But, Ding Dang’s discomfort disappears in a flash. After a short moment, Lu Chen flicks his hands with a smile and says, “It is easy to find Spiritual Stones, but a beauty like you is hard to come by. If there is a chance to approach such beauty, it is an opportunity I cannot pass by.”
Ding Dang’s face flushes red as she rolls her eyes before turning around to leave.
Lu Chen watches as she returns back to that house in the distance. Then, he turns around and walks back in his original path. When he passes by that large chinese scholar tree, he sees that the old fisherman named Old Yu is still sitting under the shade of the tree fishing. It seems that he is the only one in the village who remained nonchalant to the spectacle that just happened.
However, at this moment, other than the old fisherman, he found Old Ma standing behind Old Yu, scanning the clear stream in front of him.
Lu Chen walks over by Old Ma’s side and says, “There is no fish in this stream.”
Old Ma doesn’t seem surprised in the least by his sudden appearance. Instead, he points to the gaps between those rocks in the clear stream and replies, “This time, you are speaking nonsense. Look, there are many fishes over there.”
Lu Chen looks with an annoyed expression at a leisurely swimming gray-black little fish which is even smaller than his finger. He sighs and says, “I am saying, there isn’t the big fish which Old Yu wants to catch here.”
Old Ma ponders and replies, “You’re right.”
The two man walk side by side along the coast of the clear stream. The spring breeze tickle their face, bringing them a pleasant and relaxing sensation. While walking, Old Ma suddenly mentions, “That woman named Ding Dang, if she were to really collect a thousand Spiritual Stones, pass the test of the Immortal Discerning Mirror out of sheer luck and become a cultivator under the Thousand Autumn Sects, what do you think would be the first thing she would do?”
Lu Chen looks at the green mountains in the distance. A faint smile creeps onto the corner of his lips as he replies, “Oh, trying her best to cultivate so that she could achieve immortality?”
Old Ma glances at him and says, “I think that after she starts cultivating, the first thing she would do is to creep back here and kill you, the man whom she had a relationship with.”
Lu Chen laughs as he pats Old Ma’s shoulders. He replies, “Old Ma, why are your thoughts so pessimistic? She is just a woman and she didn’t provoke you at all. Why are you so against her? Besides, those things have yet to happen, so who could say for sure? In my opinion, after Ding Dang starts cultivating, she might start to reminisce her past relationship with me and return here to enlighten me and bring me to the mountains to cultivate. What do you say?” Saying those words, he couldn’t resist but laugh heartily.
Old Ma laughs coldly and ignores him. After walking a few more steps, he sees the fork in the road leading to the little tavern just ahead. He suddenly speaks plainly, “You know that I am right.”
Lu Chen’s footsteps halt for a moment. He walks towards the fork in the road and turns back with a smile on his face, “It isn’t early anymore. You should return back to your little tavern. I will go back home to enjoy my sleep.”
Old Ma stares at him, “You have seen much more than me. Why do you pretend not to see them?”
Lu Chen eyelids droops slightly. After a moment in solemnity, he replies, “Seeing more, I would like to try to be more open. This way, at least I would be able to live a little more comfortably.”
He shrugs and continues, “Otherwise, even if I continue living, it might just be worse than death. So, I might as well make myself a little more happy.”
Finishing his piece, Lu Chen laughs. He looks cheerful and happy. By the side of the river, in the embrace of the spring breeze, under the green bamboos and the peach blossoms, he waves his hand towards Old Ma and turns around to leave.
Old Ma stares at his back figure and shakes his head. A hint of lamentation reveals on his face, just that he chooses to remain silent.
After leaving Old Ma, Lu Chen continues on the path along the clear stream, all the way until he reaches the foot of the mountain. He could see a lonely straw cottage by the side of the foot of the mountain. Slightly further, there is a deep large emerald lake. That is the origin of the clear stream.
At this moment, it is unknown where did Lu Chen pluck a bamboo leave from, but he chews it in his mouth. It has a slightly bitter and refreshing taste which stimulates his taste buds. He continues to walk leisurely towards the straw cottage.
Just that, 30 meters away from the straw cottage, his body suddenly trembles. He staggers and almost falls onto the ground. Fortunately, there is a peach blossom tree just by the road. Lu Chen grabs on the bark of the tree. Due to the excessive force he exerts, the peach blossom tree shakes and countless pink flower petals falls, producing the sight of a colorful and enchanting spring rain.
Lu Chen suddenly widens his mouth as the muscles on his face distorts. He seems to be screaming loudly, reminiscent of the roar of an injured wild beast. However, bizarrely, no matter how wide his mouth opens, not a single noise escapes from his mouth.
Following which, his entire body starts to tremble uncontrollably, as though he is plunged into unimaginable pain.
Without a single premonition, two balls of fire suddenly blazes within the pair of black pupils of his.
The black flames burn frenziedly, just like that night of that year!
After the sudden emergence of the black flames in Lu Chen’s eyes, in various parts of his body underneath his shirt, an unusual deep sound seems to echo at the very same moment. It sounds like the friction between bones, as well as the scream of agony of the flesh and blood, sending a shiver down one’s spine.
Lu Chen takes in a deep breath as he grinds his teeth before walking in big steps towards the straw cottage at the bottom of the mountain. His staggering steps looks as though every single step would bring him intense pain.
Barely walking a few steps, bizarre black inscriptions could be vaguely seen on his exposed skin, face, neck, hands and such. Studying closely at it, it seems to form a picture.
Like a burning inferno.
Lu Chen pants as he sprints with large steps. The distance to the straw cottage reduces and reduces. However, the mysterious phenomenon that is occurring on his body seems to trigger all of a sudden.
In an instant, on the skin at his nape, a ball of peculiar black flames gushes out from beneath his skin and starts to burn. In just a blink of an eye, the blood and flesh by the black flames chars.
Lu Chen howls as his body trembles. He almost trips to the floor. However, courage and willpower seems to rush into him from some unknown source. Under the excruciating pain of self-immolation, he forcibly wills himself to remain standing as he continues running in front towards the straw cottage, as though that ordinary looking straw cottage holds his straw of hope.
As time passes, Lu Chen’s condition seems to be deteriorating at every single instant. Black flames continue to appear from every single corner from his body. The next moment, it appears on the back of his hand, then his chest, his back, top of his head, thigh, calf, as though there isn’t a single part of his body that is spared. When Lu Chen finally reaches the entrance of the straw cottage, it looks as though his entire body has been consumed by the black flames.
He pushes open the door of the straw cottage and dashes in. The door opens and shuts immediately afterwards. Despite being immersed in the excruciating pain of being incinerated by the black flames, he still pauses for a moment suddenly. Then, from a certain location from the top, a stalk of unexceptional gray grass stem floats down.
Haha pardon my lack of vocabulary. Really couldn’t find synonyms for laugh, smile, chuckle, face, laugh heartily, says and speaks. Chinese has really creative ways to phrasing words that mean the same thing.