Chapter 349: Catch up on horse!
There was the rumbling of cart wheels, as it speeded along the blue pavement stone through the City of Tiandu, towards the Thousand Buddha Temple outside the city.
They had set off at quite a late time today, therefore the streets were gradually growing more and more lively, crowds coming and going like tides and the group of people was also very low-key.
Li Muyang walked alongside the carriage, incessantly brushing past the crowd.
He did not look at the crowd, and of course, those people did not care for a little servant boy who was following a carriage. He was like an insignificant spade, or a blunt knife that had rusted, plowing the fields and cutting water.
Li Shinian wanted to hear a story, and Li Muyang also wanted to tell a story.
But what kind of story should he tell?
Because of his poor health, Li Muyang had read countless heroic stories in his childhood. However, he did not have the confidence to retell these stories. Because Cui Xiaoxin had read a lot, and perhaps she had read the stories that he had seen, and the stories that he had not read she probably had seen before.
Li Muyang decided to talk about his experience.
"There was once a poor scholar who liked the daughter of a rich family. The girl was not only beautiful, but also smart, kind-hearted, and had a very good personality. She gave the scholar a lot of help——"
"The poor scholar falls in love with the daughter of a rich family, your story is very old-fashioned? There are hundreds of these kinds of book in our house. Who wants to hear you tell them?" Li Shinian shouted.
Li Muyang smiled at Li Shinian, understanding that Li Shinian was worried that this story cannot impress Cui Xiaoxin, and then continued, "The Poor scholar had always wanted to confess to the rich girl, but he felt inferior. He knew well that there was a huge gap between them, and if he did confess to her like that, then even if she agrees, the girl's family would not agree, and they would never be together."
Cui Xiaoxin listened intently, fumbling with the white jade teacup.
"The poor scholar wanted to change his own destiny. He decides to go to the capital to sit in the imperial exam. If he became the top scorer in the exams, he would bring honour to his family, and may have the qualifications to be together with the girl. If he proposes marriage to the girl with the identity of the first in the imperial exams, then the girl's family presumably will not oppose——He packed his bags and set off, trekking up mountains and wading through water, rain or shine, and step by step headed toward the Imperial capital. Because he has such a beautiful wish in his heart, so hardship did not feel like hardship, exhaustion did not feel of exhaustion."
"The scholar encountered bandits on his way. The bandits were robbing a group of travelling merchants, the men were killed, and a mother and daughter were desperately struggling. The scholar was very afraid, but unarmed, he still rushed towards those bandits. The first time he charged over, he bandits kicked him away. He endured the pain and rushed over for the second time. He was kicked away by another bandit."
"There was a bandit that treaded on the scholar’s chest. He was condescendingly looking down at him and saying you penniless scholar, if I cut you up and put into a pot to fry I wouldn't gain much profit, we intended to let you off. But if you dare come up again, I will cut your head with a knife."
The bandit removed his foot and walked towards the mother and daughter. Because his companions were already tearing at the mother and daughter's clothes.
"Ah?" Li Shinian's eyes were opened wide, expectantly looking outside at Li Muyang. She had heard this sort of story countless times before, but it still felt tense and exciting every time. "What happened to the mother and daughter?"
"The scholar was afraid of death, the scholar did not want to die. He came with the purpose of sitting the imperial exam, he wanted to achieve first place in the exam and marry the rich girl he liked. He knew that if he rushed over again, the bandit would really chop his head off. If he dies, then he would have nothing at all."
"The scholar rushed over again?" Cui Xiaoxin asked anxiously. She finally took the initiative to speak to Li Muyang, although she did not know that the person walking outside was Li Muyang.
"Yes. The scholar rushed over once again." Li Muyang said in a calm voice. He spoke softly and calmly, but there was an inexplicable sorrow when it reaches the ears of others. "He was killed by the bandits, but it was not his head that was severed, it was his chest that was stabbed with a knife."
"Ah?" The two girls in the carriage exclaimed.
"No heroes came to save them?"
"How could he have died? I've read those novels before, the hero and the heroine would finally live happily together."
"Someone came, the bandit fled, the mother and daughter rushed over, the girl held the scholar's body that was gradually growing colder and asked him in a wailing voice why did he risk his life? Why did he risk his life to save a stranger—— "
"The scholar's eyes were closed, and his voice was weak when he responded, "Because of the gold butterfly pin on your head——she had one too."
"The scholar died, and that is the end of the story. He failed to go sit the imperial exam, and it was impossible for him to marry the one he loves."
"It's very tragic." Li Shinian's eyes were red, clutching her chest and crying, "I don't like it. Why did you tell such a sad story? None of the books I read are written like that. They are all very good at writing. It was always a happy ending."
Cui Xiaoxin, with a gloomy look on her face, peeped through a gap in the curtains to look at the face that was told the story.
This was an unfamiliar face, Cui Xiaoxin was certain that she had never seen such a face.
But why did she felt that there was a hidden meaning behind his story? What was he trying to say?
"The thing that makes one lose all hopes was that, in the story of the scholar, the young lady did not know that the scholar secretly liked her, and even did not know why he suddenly went to the capital to sit the imperial exam. When the scholar left, the girl was unhappy but finally obeyed her parents and married the son of an official. The two were always courteous and respectful to each other, it was also a good marriage."
"Don’t talk anymore." Li Shinian grumbled. "Don't talk anymore."
Cui Xiaoxin took Li Shinian's hand, saying, "What you have read are stories, what he told is life. That’s the way life is, there is nothing we can do?"
"Big sister Xiaoxin, I just feel so sad." Li Shinian said in a low voice.
"If you think of it as a story, you will feel sad. If something like that happens to you, it would feel like your heart is being stabbed." "
Cui Xiaoxin clenched Li Shinian's hand, and said to Li Muyang who was separated by a curtain, "What is your name?"
"Li Mu." Li Muyang replied in a quiet voice. From the beginning, he had pronounced his every word following Hong Xiu's method. Even Li Shinian could not notice any flaws, so it was even more impossible for Cui Xiaoxin to notice anything.
"Li Mu, you told a very good story." Cui Xiaoxin said. "Go ask Xiao Hong for a jar of wine to moisten your throat."
"Thank you Miss Cui." Li Muyang said.
His footsteps paused, waiting for the carriage to pass by and waiting for Cui Meng's carriage to catch up.
Cui Meng caught up to Li Muyang, and while lashing his whip he asked, "Why did Miss ask you to go over there?"
"To listen to me telling a story." Li Muyang’s body was powerlessly leaning against the carriage door, emotions surging within him.
To tell such a story felt like he had stepped into the love trial back when he was climbing Broken Mountain again.
A surprise reunion, a faint ambiguous feeling, and then depending on each other for survival. When she fell into the abyss it felt as though his heart was being taken out, like a real experience of separation between loved ones——
"You know how to tell stories?" Cui Meng exclaimed, then chuckled: "Come on brother, tell older brother a story. Older brother likes to hear stories."
"I didn't tell it very well, they all cried."
Cui Meng's face revealed a fearful expression: "Then forget it. The two Miss have such good temper but you could make them cry, your story telling skill is surely not so great——"
Li Muyang’s mouth twitched, and he didn't respond.
Horses treaded across black mud, where there was not a blade of winter grass growing.
Carriages speeded across the wilderness, where there was not the slightest voice.
They were on their way to Thousand Buddha Temple, which is situated on White cloud mountain outside of Tiandu city. This was a long trip, but because Thousand Buddha Temple was popular and attended by many worshippers, so it was not difficult to see pilgrims flocking to the mountain.
Li Muyang was deep in thought, when he heard a rapid clatter of horse hooves.
Cui family's bodyguards issued a warning sign one after another, then a group of people in front cleared the way, and another set of people turned round ready to intercept the people, to see if they had any evil intentions.
Cui Meng's expression was serious, being on guard for any potential dangers, and Li Muyang also tensed up.
His sister and sister's close friend were in the front carriage, and he didn't want anything to happen to them.
Besides, they had just left Tiandu city, the capital was not far away, there shouldn't be an attack, right?
Just as the black-clad mounted bodyguards turned around, a loud voice shouted, "Sitting in the front carriage is Miss Xiaoxin?"
"It is our family's Miss Xiaoxin." A bodyguard said with a smile, "We did not think it would be the Song family's Third young master. Third young master is going on a trip?"
A huge claret horse charged out from the group of black clad bodyguards. This horse was a different species, although looked like a horse, its four hooves had long hair, which seemed like four blaze of flames when it was galloping.
Sat astride the horse was a blue robed youngster, coming over with a smiling expression and saying, "I need to see Xiaoxin."
Cui Tu dared not obstruct him, "Third young master, Miss Xiaoxin is in the front carriage."
The blue robed youngster smiled and spurred his horse faster to catch up to the carriage in front.
Cui Xiaoxin had heard movements behind, and had already got off the carriage waiting on the roadside.
When the blue robed youngster arrived, Cui Xiaoxin bowed slightly, smiled and said: "I did not expect to see Third elder brother here. Is Third elder brother going out of town?"
"I came for you." Blue robed youngster’s eyes lit up seeing Cui Xiaoxin, a charming smile on his face, as he said: "Yesterday I heard you want to go to Thousand Buddha Temple, so I waited at Cui mansion very early in the morning today. But they said that you have already set off, so I hurriedly tried to catch up."