Book 4: Chapter 15 – Reunion
Looking down to the area spreading out below him, Xue Ying started feeling really agitated, a sentiment very unlike his usual self.
He could clearly see the main building of Snowrock Castle below him. His parents were not around, and he himself was not there either. Only his little brother and several trusted servants were inhabiting the main building. Currently, only a single room within the main building was still lit. It was the study room which Xue Ying had most often used in the past. This late into the night, and someone was still within the study room. No servants would dare to do that. The person inside had to be his little brother!
Xue Ying’s figure disappeared mid-air, then quietly appeared in the corridor outside the study room.
Standing within the corridor, he looked into the room through a window.
A handsome, striking young man was sitting inside the study room. On the table, a large number of papers containing many spell diagrams were piled up.
Xue Ying stood near the window, peering inside.
“Qing Shi, you’ve become taller and more mature.” Xue Ying smiled. “So late into the night and you are still learning spells. In the past, this brat had never been so hardworking.”
Bending over the table, the handsome young man, who was deep in contemplation, suddenly felt that he was being stared at, and raised his head to look through the window. He saw a figure outside, one which left him stupefied. After rubbing his eyes, he looked once again, eyes wide-open.
Suddenly, he stood up, rushed towards the door to the study room, and pulled it open to find a black-robed young man in front of him.
“Brother, is that you? Am I hallucinating?” Qing Shi did not dare to believe what he was seeing. Even though all these years he had tried to convince himself that his brother, Dong Bo Xue Ying, would definitely come back… deep inside his heart, he also knew that his brother had over a 90% chance of dying after falling into the Black-Wind Abyss!
“I’ve come back. What? You brat, did you want me to die, is that it?” Xue Ying laughed.
Qing Shi suddenly rushed forward to hug Xue Ying, his tears dampening his clothes.
Xue Ying rubbed Qing Shi’s head, then looked him over. In the past, when rubbing his brother’s head, Qing Shi had been a lot shorter than him. But now, it seemed that they were about the same height.
“Regardless, he has grown up so handsome! He could get by in life by just depending on his good looks if needed,” Xue Ying whispered softly.
“I’ll go call Uncle Zong and Uncle Tong.” Qing Shi let go of Xue Ying before continuing his line of thought, “All these years, Uncle Zong and Uncle Tong have severely missed you, brother!”
“Mn.” Xue Ying nodded lightly. “I’ll go with you.”
Late in the night.
The dining hall of Snowrock Castle’s main building was bustling with activity, even the chief chefs of the castle having been woken up in the middle of night in order to prepare a sumptuous meal. No one was irritated by being up so late, and neither were they impatient to get back to bed. Instead, everyone felt excited. Because, from what they had heard… their Snowrock Castle’s amazing Lord, Dong Bo Xue Ying, was back! Hereafter, the days in Snowrock Castle would certainly be better.
“Send down the orders that all the soldiers and servants of the castle will receive ten times their basic salary this month!” Qing Shi excitedly shouted out in the dining hall.
“Thank you, young master. I’ll pass down the order.” the female servant was really excited.
The table in the dining hall had been set, good wines and dishes displayed on it. But this was not all of it, as more dishes were currently being prepared. The entire Snowrock Castle lit up, more and more soldiers and servants waking from their sleep. Most of them came out of their rooms blearily, met by their comrades’ words, “Second Dog, why are you still in a daze? The Lord has returned! Our Lord has finally returned!”
“What? Our Lord has returned?”
“It’s young master Xue Ying.”
There was a furor amongst the countless soldiers and servants. The amazing Lord of their Snowrock Castle was back? When they also heard that their pay for this month would be ten times more than usual, their joy grew even more!
Xue Ying, Zong Ling, Tong San and Qing Shi were all in the dining hall.
“I’m so excited to see my little brat brother again,” Xue Ying laughed. “Oh, right. What happened? Why are the servants still calling you young master? I’ve been missing for the past six years. You should have taken over the mantle of Lord of the castle by now.”
Having reached Xue Ying’s current level of combat power, being the Lord of a territory could not be considered very important.
“Xue Ying!” Zong Ling’s heart was filled with happiness, “You don’t know, but… ever since you fell into that Black-Wind Abyss, most of the castle’s people had already accepted Qing Shi as the new Lord… But Qing Shi refused. He said that he would keep waiting for you, whether it was for 50 years or for a 100 years. That he would wait until he gave his last breath! And that for as long as he lived, the position of the Lord would always be left vacant.”
“I knew that my brother would definitely come back. See, isn’t he back?” Qing Shi said, absolutely delighted.
“Qing Shi’s behaviour is different now, compared to six years ago. We haven’t seen you this excited before,” Tong San bellowed.
“Look who’s talking, Uncle Tong! Look at you, the grin on your face is so wide that your lips are about to split!” Qing Shi teased back.
“I’m happy! Today I’m really happy…” Tong San laughed out loud.
Xue Ying laughed lightly at that. He felt the sincere happiness coming from his loved ones. Even though Uncle Tong and Uncle Zong weren’t his blood, they still treated him as a nephew.”
“Oh yes, Xue Ying. How did you manage to come out from the Black-Wind Abyss?” Zong Ling asked.
“As I fell, I borrowed the wings of Xiang Pang Yun’s mutated beast body, due to which I fortunately survived. Thereafter, I spent six years trying to climb up from the valley.” Xue Ying told a story that he had made up long before this. As for the secret hidden path amongst the cracks that he used in order to escape, information about it had to never be leaked out. If that happened, Xue Ying was afraid that some experts would enter and sweep clean that piece of the Major World.
Although Xue Ying was not some wicked fiend, he was also not so selfless that he’d share it with others.
“Spent six years to climb up?” Tong San was shocked.
“Within the dephts of the Black-Wind Abyss, there is actually a Transcendent’s cavern palace, surrounded by many guardians. It’s extremely dangerous,” Xue Ying answered simply. Information about the Black-Wind Deity Palace was already well-known amongst all of the Transcendents, and he had no need to keep it a secret. “My combat power is still too weak, so I was unable to go near any of those guardians. I could only try to avoid them! Climbing up from the valley, I had to be careful not to make the slightest movement, lest it would alert the protectors. The moment they became aware of my presence, that would have been the end of me. It is to my fortune that I’ve become a Transcendent, and so I managed to carefully climb out of the place.”
This was the story he had long prepared.
After all, no one but him could confirm the truth. If one did not believe? One could always descend into the abyss and try!
‘Transcendence?!’ Zong Ling, Tong San and Qing Shi’s minds were reeling with this word. They were stupefied!
“Xue Ying, you’ve become a Transcendent?” Zong Ling had been the first person to react.
Xue Ying nodded.
There was no need to hide this piece of information. After all, he would be entering a Transcendent organisation soon, and he would go to the Infernal World soon after.
Water Rites Town, Dragon Mountain Manor.
Even though morning light was already falling in timid rays over the skies, the moon was still hanging high. The entire Water Rites Town was drowned in silence, most people already in deep sleep. Only a few vendors who had taken an early start to the day were preparing for the business day ahead.
At the same time, the Manor Lord of Water Rites Town, Si An, was in a deep slumber.
“Manor Lord, Manor Lord!” The white-haired old man You Tu still had some grit in the edge of his eyes, yet he was agitated to such an extent that his face had turned entirely red. He knocked on the door.
The door opened.
Manor Lord Si An peeked over the edge of his door, blurry-eyed. He was wearing slippers. Glancing at the person outside his room, he grumbled, “You Tu, why are you shouting so early in the morning? Look, the sun is not even up yet!”
“Big news, big news!” You Tu continued.
“What big news is more important than my sleep? Continue,” Manor Lord Si An replied. Other than past orders regarding Dong Bo Xue Ying, which only had him busy for a few moments, his days had otherwise been quite bland.
“It’s Dong Bo Xue Ying!” You Tu answered. “Dong Bo Xue Ying has returned!”
Manor Lord Si blinked a few times, then, wide-eyed, said, “Dong Bo Xue Ying has returned? Is the news reliable?”
“Yes, it’s most certainly the ironclad truth! The entire Snowrock Castle has been buzzing with activity the entire night! Every single soldier and servant will receive ten times their usual salary this month!” You Tu said. “Many servants even saw Dong Bo Xue Ying eating and chatting with his little brother in the dining hall, talking throughout the night!”
“Oh my god! He survived even the fall into the Black-Wind Abyss?” Manor Lord Si An could not dare to believe it. “This, this…”
He had felt such heartache in the past.
Knowing that such a brilliant individual had actually fallen from the sky all of a sudden… It was such a pity.
But six years later, Dong Bo Xue Ying had actually returned!
“Should I pass on the news to the higher-ups?” You Tu reminded him.
“Yes, pass on the news.” Manor Lord Si An was instantly awake. He immediately ordered, “I’ll go pass on the news right now. Prepare a carriage for me! I’ll immediately set off for Snowrock Castle! Find someone to go and open the city gates in advance!” It being too early, city gates had yet to be opened.
“Yes,” You Tu acknowledged.
The Dragon Mountain Manor had their own special ways of transmitting messages.
Manor Lord Si An promptly passed on the news to the higher-ups. He did not care much about how much furor this news would bring, to the extent of not even bothering to eat a proper meal; he ate a few mouthfuls, then, along with a few servants, he immediately set out for Snowrock Castle!