"Is this enough? Big Brother Chu…?" Chu Yang called him ‘Big Brother Chu’ in a very affectionate manner.
"It’s enough! Enough! It’s absolutely enough!" Chu Fei Ling’s body somewhat trembled as he replied, "In fact, even a small piece is enough. So, this is more than enough."
Chu Yang thought otherwise and said, "Take the entire chunk. After all, this is a very important matter. So, you can’t be careless. It will be troublesome if it turns out to be insufficient later."
Chu Fei Ling extended his hand excitedly, but then pulled-back his hand abruptly. Then, he spoke resolutely, "Little Brother, this Mysterious Yang Jade Core is a priceless treasure! So, I feel a bit troubled in taking it from you like this! Thus, you state its price, and I will buy it!"
He smiled and looked a bit ashamed as he continued, "Of course, I am willing to pay any price as long as it’s enough to make up for the true value of this chunk of Mysterious Yang Jade Core! Please give me a chance so that my heart can feel a bit at ease..."
"You regard me as an outsider with your words." Chu Yang replied with a smile, "We have risked our lives together. You even stood in front of me to protect me at the most critical moment… We have such a friendship! Yet, you still talk about money and transactions. This breaks my heart…"
Chu Fei Ling was obviously moved emotionally by this. His eyes turned red as he spoke in a hoarse voice, "Thank you very much, Little Brother!" He accepted the Mysterious Yang Jade Core. However, he had secretly decided in his heart, [Little Brother didn’t accept any payment, but I would never treat him unjustly!]
[The cultivators attach great importance to promotion of strength. And, purple crystal plays a major role in it. I don’t have many, but the Chu Clan has gathered thousands of pieces of purple jade. So, they should be able to provide many of them. And, I can use purple crystals to help Little Brother in the promotion of his strength when the time comes!]
[Paying even thousands of purple crystals will be totally worth it for such a show of good faith! In fact, it will be more than worth it!]
Mysterious Yang Jade Core was already in Chu Fei Ling’s hand, but this still felt like a dream to him! [The problem that has been troubling the entire clan… got solved… just like that?]
[Moreover, it was solved by the first person I found after I arrived in the Middle Three Heaven. And, that too when I intended to use him as a cover to trick my pursuers… what a lucky coincidence… that he actually had Mysterious Yang Jade!]
Chu Fei Ling felt that the god of luck was on his side…
The two people traveled together, and moved away from the Raging Fire Mountain Range as quickly as possible. They looked for a cool place to sit down, and rested for a while.
"Little Brother, may I know where you got your training from?" Chu Fei Ling was in a good mood. Moreover, he was also in the mood for some gossip, "Judging from your elegant poise… you must be from some great clan, right?"
"My master is surnamed Meng." Chu Yang chuckled. A complicated and inexplicable look flashed in his eyes as he continued, "As for my clan... it is indeed not small… ha ha ha..."
"I knew that’d be the case. An ordinary clan can’t cultivate such an outstanding genius!" Chu Fei Ling sighed with regret. He seemed deeply moved. Then, he spoke in an envious tone, "Little Brother's parents are truly blessed to have such a son."
He had spoken this with a sigh of infinite dejection. He was obviously thinking about his missing son.
"My parents..." It was hard to determine Chu Yang’s state of mind. He just let out two hollow laughs.
"Yes. Oh, by the way, Little Brother… You and I became friends at first sight. We treat one another with absolute sincerity. We get along well with each other. And, I also feel that you are an outstanding genius. So, I have an idea. But, I don’t know whether I should tell or not?" Chu Fei Ling suddenly got excited.
"What?" Chu Yang curiously asked.
"Wouldn’t it be better if we become sworn brothers since we hit it off so well?" Chu Fei Ling suggested in high spirits, "Your future prospects are limitless. So, this big brother of yours must strengthen our bond today itself."
Chu Yang was stunned by this!
[What? Sworn brothers? You and I... can ... become sworn brothers?]
Chu Yang swallowed his saliva with great difficulty, and gave a hollow laughter, "This... doesn’t this seem wrong? After all, you… you are an Emperor Level Expert… a great person…"
"Little Brother, I will get mad if you talk like that!" Chu Fei Ling’s face became stiff as he said unhappily, "Could it be that you don’t like me?"
"No, no, no... definitely not…" Chu Yang waved his hand hurriedly, "I didn’t mean that..."
"Do you think I am a burden?" Chu Fei Ling feigned an angry look.
"No, no, no..." Chu Yang was stuttering. His forehead was covered in sweat. [Sir, can you not joke with me like that? Oh god, what do you want me to do.]
"Then, you tell me the reason why you don’t wish to swear brotherhood with me?" Chu Fei Ling asked persistently.
Chu Yang didn’t know what to do, [Oh God, ah, what does he want me to say?] Chu Yang had never felt this awkward in his experience of two lives. And, he had never been stuck in such a dilemma…
"There’s no reason...? Then, what scruples do you have?" Chu Fei Ling wore a relieved smile, "Moreover, it is just between us two brothers. It has nothing to do with your clan. Of course, you can come and visit the Chu Clan in the Upper Three Heavens if you think highly of me… when the time is right..."
Chu Yang’s entire face turned black. He had been rendered speechless.
Chu Fei Ling acted fast on the other hand. He had already scooped up soil to make a table for the incense stick. Then, he patted Chu Yang on his shoulder, and laughed out loud, "Brother, come!"
Chu Yang had let his guard down, and got patted into kneeling down on the ground as a result. His heart was a total mess. Why couldn’t he give any reason? This feeling was very strange.
"There’s Heaven above, and Earth below. Today, Disciple Chu Fei Ling swears brotherhood with Chu Yang — a Chu from a different family name… cough… we hereby become sworn brothers. We will share our joys together hereafter. I’ll take it upon myself if my sworn brother is in danger… The Heaven and the Mother Earth are witnesses to this…" Chu Fei Ling looked serious.
Chu Yang had already started feeling dizzy. He was completely confused, and didn’t know what he was doing. Chu Fei Ling saw the absent-minded look on his face, and merely patted his back. Chu Yang got knocked out of his trance state, and stood up. He saw that Chu Fei Ling was looking at him with a gratified look on his brotherly face, but seemed like a father instead...
The feeling of dizziness in Young Master Chu’s head disappeared, and he sobered up. [Crap! This can’t be happening…]
He wanted to cry but had no tears to shed. [This... what the fu*k is this?]
"Brother!" Chu Fei Ling looked at him, and seemed deeply concerned, "Your complexion looks bad."
"He he he he…" Chu Yang was neither crying nor smiling. He was merely grinning.
Chu Fei Ling was in an extremely good mood. He smiled a bit and said, "It can be said that today is the luckiest day of my life. I not only found a good brother who is worthy of becoming friends with and we both treat one another with absolute sincerity. But, I am also deeply indebted to this brother for giving me the most precious item in the whole world – the Mysterious Yang Jade Core – for the treatment of my old father. This has lifted a big stone from my heart!"
He heaved a long sigh and continued, "I won’t hide this from you brother, but I haven’t been this happy in the last 18 years… Alas, I find it unbearable to recall those past events. It feels like my heart is being sheared by a knife when I recall that time..."
He recalled his bitter experiences of the last 18 years, and a myriad of emotions welled-up in his heart. The entirety of those worries had remained buried in his heart this entire time. He had never had a chance to pour out his emotions before someone. However, his emotions had been stirred up because he had found a brother today. And, this brother clearly had no connection with his clan. So, he wanted to pour out his grievances… without holding back.
"Eh..." The dull look in Chu Yang’s eyes suddenly changed, and got replaced with a shocked one as he asked, "Don’t tell me you… still have some hidden trouble that’s hard to mention?
"A hidden trouble that’s hard to mention… A hidden trouble that’s hard to mention... ha ha..." Chu Fei Ling let out a desolate laugh. He shook his head and replied, "I won’t hide it from you brother. My life has been worse than death during these last 18 years…! A dream often haunts me at midnight. And, I always feel like a knife is being twisted in my heart… sometimes it feels as if my soul will break into pieces..."
Chu Yang apparently sensed something. His mouth twitched as he asked, "I would like to hear the details…"
"I am about to unburden my heart and tell you what had happened back then, brother..." Chu Fei Ling heaved a deep sigh and said, "This painful matter has been bugging my heart for past 18 years. I haven’t been able to forget about it… even for a second..."
He exhaled a deep breath. His eyes seemed to have turned vacant, "I remember, my Chu Clan had encountered a big crisis 18 years ago! My child had just been born at that time… the child’s maternal grandmother wanted to see her grandson. So, she invited us to come. I took my dear wife and child to spend some leisure time with them…"
Chu Yang opened his eyes wide in a stare, and issued a weird sound from his throat. He complained in his heart, [fu*k fu*k fu*k, what the hell is this… how can there be such a damned matter in this world… He and I just became sworn brothers… and now this comes up...]
Chu Fei Ling had fallen into the sad recollection, "I and your sister-in-law were returning from my father-in-law’s home with bodyguards a month later. She held the baby in her bosom. However, we suddenly encountered a powerful enemy besiege midway! The two bodyguards got killed on the spot. They had gone all-out to protect us. After that, we fled for our lives, but the enemy chased us down…
"We couldn’t go back to the Chu Clan because the enemy had dispatched a huge lineup to assassinate us. We’d probably have gotten killed on the way if we had rashly returned to the clan!" Chu Fei Ling sighed, "So, the two of us fled all around with the child with us in our desperation. We hid whenever we could. But, the enemy kept chasing us, and there was no way out! We were in imminent danger when we happened to come across the Nine Heavens Portal. We were forced to take our child to the Middle Three Heavens.
"But, the enemy was in hot pursuit, and kept chasing us no matter where we went. We fought several fierce battles, but we weren’t strong-enough to deal with the enemy. We were desperate and tried our best to rush out… and finally escaped to the Lower Three Heavens… That was a windy and snowy night…" Chu Fei Ling’s vision was blurred by the glistening tears.
Chu Yang could feel the chill of that ‘windy and snowy night’, and his soul shivered…
"My wife and I were chased to the ends of the earth on that cold night. I was seriously injured, and was going to die soon. And, my wife had also suffered serious injuries at 7-8 places on her body. Her left leg was broken…"
Chu Fei Ling sighed with sorrow, "We knew that it’d be difficult to escape this tragedy. But… how could we let our child suffer the same fate?"
"However, we were in the Lower Three Heavens at that time. We were alone, and didn’t have anyone to rely on. It was already late at night. We were escaping without knowing where we were going. We just kept running in the mountain forest… and, we eventually saw a ruined temple. We were already on the verge of death… we hid our child in that ruined temple since we had no other option… Then, we wrapped a stone in cloth and embraced it as our fake child. We then continued to escape in order to lead the enemy away from our son… to give our son a slim chance of survival…"
Chu Fei Ling’s voice trembled with grief and sorrow as he spoke. He was trembling… It seemed as if he had returned to that cold snowy night from eighteen years ago...
Meanwhile, Chu Yang was listening to this, and could feel an ache in his heart. He had a burning sensation in his nose. Two steams of tears fell down…
"The two of us continued to escape in order to distract the enemy. And, we jumped down from a hundred-thousand feet tall cliff with that piece of stone in our hands..." Chu Fei Ling smiled bitterly. He then continued, "As they say… heaven never seals off all exists. We had fallen for only a few hundred feet when we got caught-up in a large net of vines. Such a vine takes a long time to form… And, it saved both of us. Furthermore, we surprisingly found a wonderful treasure growing on the cliff-wall. It was Magnificent Snow Lotus Herb…"