Hong Chuan is also a little slightly stunned. Only after a brief moment does he continues, “Looks like this is the only plausible explanation. That being said, Brother Lu, you have been living in this village for quite awhile. Have you heard of any legend about the mysterious fish in the Dragon Lake?”
Lu Chen shakes his head and replies, “I have never heard of it. Dragon Lake and Dragon Pool, other than those awe-inspiring name, there has never been anything that happened in these lakes all these years. They are just like a puddle of dead water, no one has ever saw… mysterious fishes.”
Somehow, when before he said the last two words, he suddenly stopped for a brief moment.
Hong Chuan didn’t notice this anomaly and sighs. Then, with a relieved tone, he says, “No matter what, I really have to thank you, Brother Lu. Otherwise, I really might have died in grievance just like that.”
Lu Chen chuckles, “It is just a small matter, you don’t have to think too much of it. Right, what plans do you have? Do you still intend to go to the Dragon Lake to investigate the matter?”
Hong Chuan contemplates for a moment and shakes his head, “There is something weird about that giant fish in the Dragon Lake. With my current level of cultivation, I doubt that I am capable of subduing it. So for the time being, I don’t intend on seeking it. If there is a chance in the future, I will invite some of my powerful seniors over to look into the matter.”
Lu Chen nods his head and replies, “That’s good.”
Hong Chuan climbs down the bed and tries walking around the house. Looking at his movements, Lu Chen asks, “How are your injuries?”
Hong Chuan replies, “It shouldn’t be a big problem. It’s just that I suffered a little bit of trauma, causing my blood flow to become erratic. I should be able to recover with a day’s rest.”
Lu Chen smiles, “That’s for the best. How about it, since you have already rested here for the night, you might as well stay here for the day. Tomorrow, when the sun rises, I will accompany you to the chasm so that you can accomplish your task. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting lost.”
Hong Chuan immediately leaps with joy. His face even turns slightly red as he exclaims, “Brother Lu, are you serious? I, I…”
Lu Chen chuckles, “I’m just bringing you there, it’s not a big deal. After all, we are all out in the big world, what does helping out one another counts as?”
Hong Chuan bows with a sincere look on his face. He stares at Lu Chen and says, “Brother Lu sure is a warm-hearted person. I don’t know how I should express my gratitude to you.”
The disciples of Kunlun Sect are known for being extremely polite. After accepting this kind of favor from Lu Chen, Hong Chuan feels great gratitude towards him and not mentioning how he keeps trying to thank him, he even insists on gifting him something as a token of appreciation.
Lu Chen could only smile while rejecting his goodwill, repeating that it is just a small matter. However, Hong Chuan insists and from him, Lu Chen finds out that this disciple from a renowned sect had been asking for directions all the way here, especially upon reaching Clear Stream Village. Before Lu Chen, there wasn’t anyone who would bother with him. Everyone looked at him in wariness and disgust and they tried their best to avoid him. None of them were willing to talk to him.
After hearing those words, Lu Chen is also surprised. After thinking about it, he replies, “Wu… Brother Hong. I think they probably thought that you were here to rob them of their opportunities. After all, the people here had been working for an entire lifetime just for that single chance. Although they might not know you, there is always a chance that you might steal an opportunity away from them…”
Hong Chuan stares in shock and asks, “Just for this?”
Lu Chen smiles bitterly as well, “Other than this, I can’t think of any other possible reasons. However, they wouldn’t behave like this normally. Oh, right!” His eyes twinkle as he scans Hong Chuan from head to toe and says, “It must be because you were carrying a sword that day. You had the look of a wandering cultivator. If so, you would be much stronger than us mortals. If the cultivators from the Thousand Autumn Doors were to come, they would definitely prioritise people like you who already have a foundation. That’s the reason why they refuse to talk to you.”
Only now does Hong Chuan comes to a realisation. For a short moment, he couldn’t find any words to say. However, the contrast between Lu Chen and the other villagers causes him to feel even more grateful to Lu Chen. In the end, he started on another wave of formal ceremonies to express his thanks. Lu Chen finds it a little difficult to cope with it.
In the end, Hong Chuan offers a gift once again to express his thanks.
Lu Chen rejects it once more, though his attitude towards the rejection isn’t as strong this time. Yet, an awkward situation arises this time. Just a second ago, the Hong Chuan who was determined to make Lu Chen accept his present suddenly realises that not only the long sword tied to his back is missing, even his luggage and fortunes are all missing…
In that moment, the two men in the straw cottage stares at one another. There is a long period of time where neither of them said anything. Or rather, they didn’t know what to say.
Then, Lu Chen laughs dryly and says, “You might have lost it in the water yesterday night. Are there any important items inside that went missing?”
In this instant, Hong Chuan’s face is so red that it is on the verge of turning purple. From the look of his face, he seems to feel so ashamed that he almost wanted to draw his sword to kill himself.
Looking at that sight, Lu Chen begins to worry for him. Fortunately, Hong Chuan doesn’t seem to be that inflexible. After a short moment, with a tearful face, he says, “There isn’t any important items inside. However… That… I… Sigh, I’m really sorry to Brother Lu!”
Lu Chen looks at his depressed face. It is a little hilarious, but somehow, he seems a surge of warmth in his heart. Then, he shakes his head and replies warmly, “Brother Hong, do I look like a greedy person?”
Hong Chuan is surprised and immediately raises his head to say, “No no no, I don’t mean that!”
Lu Chen smiles, “If that’s so, there is no need for you to be so depressed. For us to meet in such a big world, it could be called a type of fate. So, why should you get upset over mere monetary fortune. Come, let me bring you to the village to have some good wine. To get drunk with an acquaintance, it is a type of joy in life.”
Saying those words, he stands up with a smile and guides Hong Chuan out of the straw cottage, all the way to Old Ma’s tavern.
Hong Chuan looks at Lu Chen from the back. For a moment, he didn’t know what to say. Complex emotions could be seen in his eyes. Lu Chen looks like a mere mortal and in comparison, he is a disciple of a reputable sect. Their social positions are extremely far apart from one another. But somehow, in this instant, Lu Chen’s back seems to be growing bigger and bigger.
Walking past the clear stream, a thought suddenly flashes through his mind, “Could he be one of the talented people in this world whom father once talked about? For such a person to be buried in a rural village, it is such a pity.”
Naturally, Lu Chen wouldn’t know the thoughts of the embarrassed Hong Chuan who is following behind him. Actually, Lu Chen and Hong Chuan has unintentionally forgotten a fact. That is, as long as it is a mortal, there isn’t anyone would face a cultivator so calmly. That is because of the wide gap between their strength as well as their social position.
However, to Lu Chen, everything can’t be more natural. He acts so naturally that even Hong Chuan doesn’t notice. In fact, he doesn’t even find anything amiss with the situation.