For some unknown reason, Ding Dang’s heart skips a beat. She looks towards her palms and there are two beautiful and radiant Spirit Stones in it, reflecting brilliant light into the surroundings. What that seems to be a faint light of a rainbow lingers around the Spirit Stone, making it look even more enchanting.
Lu Chen tugs on Ding Dang’s clothes with a bright smile on his face. Ding Dang lowers her head and hesitates for a moment before eventually walking slowly behind him into the room.
The gentle spring breeze that seems like a lover’s hand gently caresses the mountains and the village. The trees, flowers and grass within the courtyard trembles slightly. There are still remains of glistening dew on the corners of the flower petal.
After the panting dies down, under the gentle and soft blanket, they lie peacefully on the bed. Everything beyond the room seems to have been isolated to a faraway dimension, as though they are the only two remaining in the world.
Exceptionally peaceful and tranquil.
Ding Dang slowly sits up. Using the blanket to cover the skin from her chest down, she leans on the wall by the bed, traces of red still lingering on her face. Her gaze is gentle like the flowing water. Then, she sees the three painting hung on the opposite wall.
She stares at those painting. After a long time, some changes occur in her eyes. Suddenly, she seems to notice something and lowers her head to take a look, only to see the man beside her has turned over to stare at her.
“What are you looking towards me for?” Ding Dang asks.
Lu Chen chuckles. He gently fondles Ding Dang’s cheeks and sincerely says, “You are really beautiful.”
Ding Dang bites her lips for a moment and smiles. She seems a little happy, but her eyes gaze towards the opposite wall again. After a short moment, she mutters, “Lu Chen.”
“I don’t want this anymore.”
Lu Chen glances at her and smiles, “I don’t understand. What do you not want?”
Ding Dang takes a deep breath and replies, “I don’t want you giving me Spirit Stones and me sleeping with you.”
The smile on Lu Chen’s smile fades. However, he doesn’t seem to be furious. He stares silently at Ding Dang and after a moment, he asks, “You mean that, you do not want to use your own body to trade for Spirit Stones anymore?”
Ding Dang nods her head, “Yes.”
“Oh.” Lu Chen says, “Alright, I get it.” Then, he climbs up, grabs his clothes by the side and wears them.
Ding Dang is still leaning by the wall as she stares at him blankly. After Lu Chen is done putting on his clothes, he turns around to look at Ding Dang and hesitates for a moment, “Can you tell me the reason behind your sudden decision?”
Ding Dang shakes her head solemnly.
Lu Chen smiles, “You can’t produce anything and you don’t have any other means of earning Spirit Stones. How do you intend to earn the remaining Spirit Stones?”
Ding Dang purses her lips and mutters, “I have my own ways.”
“Alright.” Lu Chen shrugs his shoulders and walks towards the door. In the midst of this motion, his gaze sweeps across the white walls of the room and lingers for a moment on the three paintings. Then, he turns towards Ding Dang and comments, “You are quite beautiful in those paintings.”
Ding Dang bursts into laughter. Her white shoulders hugs the blanket even more tightly to cover her chests. As she laughs, a surge of joy rushes through her and her laughter grows louder and louder. Eventually, when Lu Chen is about to walk out of the entrance, he hears her shouting, “Thank you.”
Lu Chen’s footsteps halt. He turns around and smiles towards the one in the house, “There’s no need to thank me. I also enjoy being with you.”
After which, he waves his hands and leaves with large strides.
Inside the house, Ding Dang stares at the back view of the leaving man. She bites her lips as her smile slowly disappears. Then, she grabs the blanket even closer to her, covering her body with it tightly, as though she feels cold.
There aren’t any other customers in the tavern. Thus, Lu Chen sits at the opposite to the shopkeeper of the tavern, Old Ma. Old Ma pours a cup of wine for him and says, “I don’t think that there is anything going on.”
Lu Chen glances at him and says, “What do you mean?”
Old Ma slightly adjusts his seating position so that his plump body would be even more comfortable before replying, “About the event over the insignia of the Three Realm Divine Cults, even though I have found quite a few suspicious people, I have looked into them these few days and it seems to be unrelated to them.”
Lu Chen nods his head. He grabs the wine cup in front of him and drinks a mouthful. After a moment of silence, he suddenly asks, “What about the new villager Li Ji?”
Old Ma shakes his head and says, “He isn’t related to the demonic cult. He is a mere mortal.”
“Oh.” Lu Chen responds. For some reason, he seems to trust Old Ma’s words a lot. Even though he may seem peaceful on the surface, there seems to be a tinge of gloominess on him.
Old Ma didn’t notice it and continues, “However, speaking of this Li Ji, there seems to be a few rumors on him recently. It is said that he isn’t from a normal family, but a distinguished one. Initially, his family was extremely rich but after the several accidents, his family fell into decline and ended up in the current state it is in.”
Lu Chen frowns as he gazes at Old Ma, “Distinguished?”
Old Ma chuckles, “That is what the rumors say. It is probably true as well. Li Ji may not skilled in anything else, but his skills with qin qi shu hua is one to behold. Right, it is said that he himself once claimed that in the past, due to the great wealth of his family, his family is acquainted with quite a few cultivator sects. Once, an elder of a sect did him a favor, checked on his roots and said that they were are extraordinary. Not only is his Five Element Spirit Compass in his qihai suitable for cultivation, of the Five Element Divine Pillar, he possesses both the metal and water pillar, otherwise known as the rarely seen Jinshui Lingmai.”
Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting
Jinshui Lingmai -> Metal water bloodline
Qihai -> Spirit sea
Lu Chen releases his grip of the wine cup on the table. He smiles, but doesn’t reply to Old Ma’s words and a look of contemplation appears on his face.
Old Ma pays no heed to it and continues, “Thus, it has been spreading around in the village that as long this Li gongzi gathers 1000 Spirit Stones and pays a visit to the Immortal Discerning Mirror in the Thousand Autumn Doors, he would definitely be accepted as a qinchuan disciple.”
Gongzi -> ~Gentleman
Qinchuan disciple -> Refers to a disciple who would learn from one of the higher tiers directly
Lu Chen ponders for a moment before saying, “That is to say, that Li Ji isn’t an ordinary person?”
“Isn’t that so?” Old Ma smiles. “Right now, there are quite a few people who are busy boot licking him, especially those ladies. They surround him all day long frenziedly. Sigh, he is young and handsome, not to mention his underlying talent. How envious.”
Lu Chen smiles. He pushes the wine cup forward and says, “Wine.”
When the day darkens, Lu Chen walks on the bluestone pavement by the clear stream. The night breeze feels a little chilly. Under the night sky, the clear stream reflects a different view from the day. The water that glimmers in between the shadows of the trees feels like shards of mirror. The crystal clear water shines as it reflects every single ray of light.
Qin qi shu hua
Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting.
This is known as the four greatest art an academic must be skilled in. It is indicative of a person’s upbringing (People who are skilled in these are said to be more cultured)
The chess in it refers to both Chinese Chess and Go (also known as Wei Qi in Chinese)
Refers to a disciple who would learn from one of the higher tiers directly due to their overwhelming talent. Unlike other disciples, who probably only has access to ‘public and basic skills’, they would tend to be privy to the secret arts within the sect (Often depending on their own master)