"You're here," the elder stood upright in front of the portrait, and he seemed to have said it with a sigh.
"I'm here," Chu Yang knew that he did not have to answer this, but he felt somewhat uncomfortable by the oppressive atmosphere in the room. Thus he responded to break this atmosphere.
Even the elder's voice blended in with this atmosphere. If Chu Yang remained silent, the entire place would remain deadly still.
And Chu Yang dared to bet, as long as he did not say anything, this elder would also remain in silence.
"Erm…" the elder responded and sank into silence again, and suddenly he asked heedlessly, "Do you know who is this in the portrait?"
Who is this in the portrait?
Chu Yang doubted why the elder asked this. Isn't she a foremother in the Chu clan? Why do I have to guess? But… what's the intention of this elder for asking me this?
Thinking for a while, Chu Yang said carefully, "The portrait… is the person in your heart."
"The portrait… is the person in my heart…" the elder repeated this sentence seemingly unconsciously. He suddenly turned back to take a deep glimpse on Chu Yang, and said sadly, "The portrait is the person in my heart… These words make great sense."
Chu Yang said lightly, "Yes, the portrait is the person in one's heart, the person who can't be forgotten and would be always in one's mind. Even if tens of thousands of years have passed, and she had turned into an old woman from a beautiful lady, his mind would still be preoccupied with her and always dream of being together with her. She would still be that original budding, pettishly charming and amorous woman…"
"Even if the time passes, or even if she had turned completely into ashes, the freshness in his memory can condense these memories of tens of thousands of years into a painting in his heart. And it will never fade away."
Chu Yang sighed deeply, "I don't know who this portrait belongs to, but I know that this painting is your heart."
When Chu Yang just started saying, the elder had already turned his back slowly to quietly look at him. The beams in his eyes fluctuated, and in the end, his eyes appeared to be a bit moist. That pair of eyes that have been dried for hundreds of years seemed to be finally back in tears?
The heaviness in his heart, his longing and sadness for hundreds of years, had all been provoked with Chu Yang's words.
He listened carefully and raised his head to suppress the tears that were already on the verge of flowing down.
The room resumed back to quietness.
After a long while, the elder said lightly, "Looks like you've experienced much while you've been outside."
Chu Yang's words provoked the loads in the elder's mind; But one sentence by the elder also seemed to have hooked up the ups and downs that Chu Yang had experienced in his two lives. Chu Yang sighed deeply and said, "Lonely and without a home. My rootless life can't be easily depicted with just a few words."
The elder nodded slightly, "You've also experienced many life and death, haven't you?"
"Yes," Chu Yang admitted.
"And you have a lover that you would never leave and forget for your life?"
The elder stopped talking, and after a long while, he sighed softly, "No wonder."
Then he turned around and sat down on the chair, looking at Chu Yang and inspecting him carefully. Then he finally said, "You're very good."
Chu Yang stood upright and did not make a sound.
"Your injury lies in your divine spirit. But it's not your divine spirit that's injured. The divine spirit in your body is too full, and it has damaged your meridians," the elder looked at him and said softly, "This isn't an injury, but a blessing. If you can digest them, all the detriments would vanish, and you would have an extremely strong spiritual qi from then onwards!"
"It turns out that you had a fortuitous opportunity in inheriting this power that's unknown to us. You're not injured," the elder drooped down his eyelids and said, "Isn't it?"
"Yes!" Chu Yang was amazed. He did not expect this elder to be so sharp in his eyes, and with just a glimpse he had seen the root of Chu Yang's illness.
"I've been called to stop my in-door-practice so that I can treat your injury. But, even though you don't need treatment now, I'm not disappointed at all!" the elder's eyes were filled with satisfaction. "Our Chu clan has finally produced such a talent. Even though I've stopped my practice, it's still rewarding and greatly comforting for me."
Chu Yang smiled lightly, "Elder, you're flattering me."
"You still don't deserve my deliberate flattering," the elder snorted and said, "560 years after Chu Canghuan, there's finally a talent among the Chu clan descendants!"
Chu Yang remembered that he saw this name when he was worshipping his ancestors. He was the ninth ancestor of the Chu clan.
"I only hope that you're not as arrogant as Chu Canghuan. It's only the best to be staunch and humble."
"Elder, please do explain," Chu Yang bowed.
"Sit down," the elder smiled slightly.
"Yes," Chu Yang looked around and he felt miserable: Where do I sit? I can't sit on the bed.
Chu Yang frowned and suddenly laughed aloud. He crossed his legs and sat on the ground.
The elder's eyes gleamed.
He lifted up the teapot on the table, opened a drawer and took out a wooden box. Chu Yang was taken aback when he took a glimpse at it: This wooden box was sparkling as if the light in the entire universe was condensed in it!
This is Starwood!
Legend had it that a little powder of Starwood had a value of ten million times that of a purple crystal!
Starwood was the number one treasure recognized in the Nine Heavens!
It would only grow one inch in a thousand years, and would take 10 thousand years to grow completely! If one would want to use it, he would need Starwoods that were aged above 10 thousand years.
Not only would it not decay for 10 thousand years, but its largest characteristic was also that it was magical! A container made by Starwood could be used as a spatial container. It had an almost limitless capacity, and the older the Starwood was, the more things it could contain.
Even a Martial Warrior could use the power of Starwood and through the 'Method of swallowing mountains and rivers', it could be constructed into containers of any shape he wanted it to be. This would be evidence of how precious Starwood was.
Starwood had long been extinct in the Nine Heavens through these many years. Chu Yang did not expect that he could find such a big box made of Starwood, and it was even used as a tea caddy.
This box had a size of half a head. Its high degree of preciousness was really rare in the Nine Heavens!
Having noticed Chu Yang's surprise, the elder smiled lightly, "You've good knowledge. But, don't think that I'm rich. In fact, the most precious thing that I have with me now is only this box."
Chu Yang laughed.
A strong fragrance of tea came out of the wooden box when it was opened.
The old man took a small pinch of tea leaves out and placed it within the teapot. He waved his two hands, and gusts of wind started to blow. But under some scrutiny, one would realize that neither the grass nor the leaves blew with the wind.
With a hand gesture, a rich aura of spiritual qi flew into the room through the door like a dragon. It condensed within the room and was transformed into clear water. Then, it slowly and silently trickled into the teapot.
Immediately, a faint heat came out of the teapot in the elder's hands. It started to boil slowly, and the refreshing fragrance of tea became even richer.
He looked calm and brew the tea intently.
But when Chu Yang looked at the elder's face through the steam that rose from the pot, it looked somehow illusory, and there was even some remote sense of sadness.
He then realized that although there was no chair and only a teapot, there were five teacups.
"The tea leaves are dated 700 years back," the elder drooped his eyelids and looked affectionately at the leaves boiling in the pot, as they turned into tender green leaves from withered leaves. He said, "I got this Starwood box to save all these tea leaves. For this wooden box… I… killed 17 people from the Ling clan, and made the Chu clan take control of only a small piece of land and never try to take bigger control."
Chu Yang secretly screamed in his heart.
For a wooden box… he killed 17 people from the Ling clan, one of the Nine Great Clans, and he actually is still alive…
This elder was also a wild person back then.
"Don't think I'm very powerful. Back then, the Nine Great Clans signed an agreement with law-enforcement officers for all the Martial Warriors who were above stage seven, as well as Martial Saints, to be out of the Law Enforcement Hall. It was only then I got the chance to attack the Ling clan."
The elder laughed.
Chu Yang curled his lips and thought, You dared to steal from the Ling clan but they did not even avenge you, and even though they did not get the box back, you are still alive. This already shows a lot a lot… What are you modest for?
"These tea leaves… were left behind by your foremother. The reason why I went to steal this box was just to keep these tea leaves. I thought that if I wasn't successful then, I would just die there, but I didn't expect that I would be successful…" the elder touched on lightly on his account and did not describe the process.
Chu Yang sighed. He knew what these words meant: His beloved wife was dead, and he had lost his purpose of living. So he thought of stealing this to keep the things that his beloved wife left behind. If he wasn't successful, he would follow her wife's fate and die… How deeply affectionate of him!
The elder's eyes were full of recollections and an indulgent smile, "… Back then, there was a tea field in her house… When I first met her, she was in the field picking the leaves. She was in white and had a golden band around her head, and her clothes swayed in the wind…"
The elder indulged in the aroma of tea, "I asked her: Is the tea more fragrant or she? She said…"
Saying till here, he suddenly regained consciousness and laughed, "I'm old, people really get very annoying when they're old."
"I'm very touched by your words," Chu Yang laughed, "Then, do you regret bringing the Chu clan into its current state, just to save these tea leaves?"
The elder shook his head and sighed, "I didn't go against my conscience. Why should I regret?"
Chu Yang burst into laughter.
The elder lifted the teapot and poured the tea into the teacups. The tea was dark green in color and its aroma spread. He seemed to have forgotten or was thinking of something else, and he filled all the teacups with tea.
Then he took a cup, and after hesitating for a long time, he picked up another cup and handed it to Chu Yang.
"I originally had three brothers. They always came here to drink tea. Every time, my wife would sit next to me and make tea for us. Now the cup you're using belonged to my second brother…"
The elder looked at the teacup affectionately, "There's a small gap on it, which was scratched away with my second brother's nails. Now, my wife and all my brothers are gone, but their teacups still persist. As long as the teacups are here, I'll have the feeling that they are all here…"
The elder looked nostalgically at the other three cups with rising steam and said lightly, "Every time I saw these teacups, I would feel that they're still alive, and still sitting here smiling and chatting. Thus, I'll always fill their teacups with tea every time I brew tea. Otherwise, I'll feel that I'm stingy."