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Chapter 22 – Mourning Ghost Chasm

Tian Ying

Lu Chen brings Hong Chuan to the small tavern and he realises that the business of the tavern today is not bad. There are customers sitting on most of the tables. Old Ma sits behind the counter with a smile on his face. It looks like he is in good mood.

Lu Chen walks over to Old Ma to greet him, as well as to order a flask of wine. Then, he takes the table by the side with Hong Chuan.

They chat alongside alcohol and it seems that the both of them get along well. There is a feeling as though they hate the fact they didn’t get to meet each other earlier. It didn’t take long for them to finish a flask. Lu Chen smiles as he gets up and says, “Wait for a moment. I will get another one.”

Hong Chuan was just about to reject the offer but Lu Chen has already left. Hong Chuan could only sit back down.

Walking to the counter, Lu Chen smacks the table with a smile, “Another flask, boss.”

Sitting behind the counter, Old Ma chuckles, “Customer, hold for a moment, I will get it for you after I’m done writing down this debt.”

Lu Chen nods his head and says, “Fine.” Then,  as he says that, he leans on the counter as he waits. He first glances at the customers who are drinking alcohol and casually looks at interior beyond the counter, only to see Old Ma writing some things on a paper with a lowered head. There aren’t many things written on the paper, just a single line.

Lu Chen’s face remains nonchalant as he averts his gaze. Then, he notices Hong Chuan looking over. While a smile, he says, “Hold for a moment. I will be there in a jiffy.”

In the middle of his words, Old Ma has already stood up to take a flask of wine. He passes it to Lu Chen and says, “Customer, your wine.”

“Great.” Lu Chen grabs the wine and returns back to Hong Chuang’s side.

※※※

In the turn of an eye, it is already the noon of the next day. From the straw cottage, Lu Chen brings Hong Chuan up the tea mountain.

The mountainous wind whistles from the top of the mountain and a sight of greenery fills one’s eyes. There is a refreshing fragrance along the wind that brings comfort. It is probably the fragrance unique to the Tea Spirit Leaves. As the both of them walk up the mountainous paths, Tea Spirit Trees fill both sides of the path. Hong Chuan can’t help but exclaim, “I didn’t expect the spirit in the air would be not bad, to be able to cultivate so many Spirit Tea Trees.”

At the front, Lu Chen hears his words and replies, “This are just the most ordinary Spirit Tea Leaves. Your Kunlun Sect probably wouldn’t take a second look a it.”

Hong Chuan chuckles, “My sect has quite the history, thus it has accumulated quite a few good things. We are also quite known for our tea leaves. If fate allows, I will bring some to Brother Lu.”

Lu Chen smiles, “Sounds great.”

The two of them chat as they walk along the path. Following behind Lu Chen’s back, Hong Chuan realises that even though Lu Chen may seem to be walking casually, he never hesitates even a fork appears in the road, choosing the road to walk on instantaneously. It seems like he is indeed quite familiar with this mountainous path.

After an hour of walking, the two of them reached the peak of the tea mountain.

Hong Chuan scans the surroundings and ascertains that he is at the east foothill of the tea mountain. He feels a little sentimental. He smiles at Lu Chen and says, “I am fortunate to have Brother Lu lead the way. Otherwise, I would really be in trouble.”

Lu Chen waves his hands and says, “Back then, you lost your way only because it was late at night and the paths weren’t clear to see. If it was the day then, you might not have gotten lost. Oh, the Mourning Ghost Chasm is just over there. Let’s go.”

The two men follows the path to the peak of the east mountains. Traversing the boundary to the back mountain, there isn’t as many labyrinth-like passages as the front mountain. Most of the time, there is only a single passageway. There are even times there isn’t even a passageway and they would have to climb for quite a distance to get over it.

However, the both of them are nimble people, so this kind of mountainous terrain is unable to stop them. Around half an hour later, Lu Chen suddenly stops and points to a location in front of him. Turning towards Hong Chuan, he says, “That’s it.”

Hong Chuan’s spirit jolts. He hurriedly takes a few steps forward, only to see a 30 radius zhang crater appearing suddenly in the middle of the flat ground. Walking slightly forward, he sees an entrance that is filled with pebbles, grasses and flowers. Looking downwards, he realises that it is a very deep hole with at least a depth of 100 zhang. The cliffs by the sides are incomparably steep. Some pine trees are growing resiliently from the gaps between the stones, adding some life to the depression.
30 zhang -> 100m, 100 zhang -> 333.3m

On the further end of the opposite cliff, he could see water flowing out from some location of the stone cliff. It flows vertically downwards, forming a narrow and long waterfall to the bottom of the chasm. Humidity could be felt from the mountainous breeze.

The chasm is massive, making one couldn’t help but comment how mystical and magnificent creation could be. Hong Chuan looks awestruck. After looking for a moment, he couldn’t resist remarking to Lu Chen, “It is rare for such land to hold such amazing sight.”

Lu Chen smiles, “Back then, when I first came here, I felt about the same as you.” Then, he takes a few step forward to the edge of the chasm. Looking down, he says, “Look at that cliff, don’t you see some nests lodged between the crevices? Those are the nests of the swallows. However, I have no idea whether they say the swallows that you speak of.”

Hong Chuan nods his head and says, “This is enough, this is enough. From the looks of the geography, this should be it. Now, I only have to wait for those swallow to go out hunting to catch a few of them, then I would have completed the request tasked of me.”

Lu Chen says, “These swallows only come out in the evening. It is still early, so let’s just rest awhile here.”

Hong Chuan expresses his agreement and looks at Lu Chen. A sincere expression appears on his face as he says, “Brother Lu, you have really did me a great favor this time. I am thankful to you.”

Lu Chen smiles and waves his hands, gesturing him to spare with the formalities.

The two of them sits on the mountain and chats idly about everything. Unknowingly, the sun starts to set and the skies start to turn slightly yellow. At this moment, a bizarre ruckus could be heard from the chasm, as though a commotion has broken out.

Hong Chuan’s eyes light up. He immediately stands up. Then, he reaches out into his embrace and takes out a light net. Lu Chen glances at it and it seems to be the net fishermen used for fishing.

Hong Chuan turns to Lu Chen and says, “It is fortunate that I was careful to keep this treasure close to me, that’s why I didn’t lose it. Otherwise, it would be difficult to catch those agile swallows.”

“Oh?” Lu Chen’s curiosity arouses. From the sound of it, the mysterious net in Hong Chuan’s hands seem to be extraordinary. Thus, he starts to study it carefully from a distant.

Hong Chuan doesn’t stop him. With the mysterious net, he walks to the edge of the cliff and gazes downwards as he waits solemnly.

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