Chapter 2.1: The Prosperous Sea Martial Hall arrived tonight! (part 2)
The leaves of banyan trees gently rustled in the evening wind.
A stream flowed calmly in front of the cabin.
Bai Cao followed Chu Yuan into the small house. Her steps were hesitant. She didn’t know why she was like this, unexpectedly leaving her half-finished work and following this young man here.
Chu Yuan turned on the lamp switch in the room.
The room was suddenly filled with brightness.
This was her second time here. She sized up the room; there was a narrow bed she had laid on before; in front of the bed were an infusion rack and a few simple medical apparatus. Opposite the bed was a big table leaning against the wall with a medical kit, disposable syringes, sterilized alcohol and so on neatly spread on it.
The desk under the window had a small mountain of books piled on it. It seemed as if all the books were medical-related. Is he… a doctor? Bai Cao inwardly guessed. But he looked very young, at most 1□□ years old. How could he possibly be a doctor? He should be a medical student.
“What are you thinking?”
Chu Yuan put down the books in his hands and rolled up his sleeves, motioning for her to sit on the chair next to the medicine table. Once Bai Cao was seated, he used a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to gently cleanse the old wound on her forehead.
Just like before, the alcohol-soaked cotton ball cleansed her wound. It was as if the cold feeling was seeping into her heart.
“The bruise still hasn’t disappeared. Remember to apply this type of medicine on it twice everyday; then strongly massage it until it’s burning hot. It should be fine after two to three days.”
When he put some medicine onto his hands, its strong smell instantly spread all over the room. He warmed the medicine oil with his fingers then applied it to the wound on her forehead. He strongly massaged her bruise; the medicine oil was warm, his palms were, too. Bai Cao suddenly didn’t dare to look at him and lowered her head, rigidly looking at her own toes.
It became hotter and hotter.
Not only was the forehead he rubbed hot, her whole face felt hot as if it was burning. Her face was definitely red. Bai Cao started to panic.
“Thank you.” Bai Cao quickly finished her sentence while looking at the ground. She jumped down from the chair like a rabbit and rushed to the door.
Chu Yuan couldn’t help but laugh while saying. Looking at her who suddenly stopped at the door, turned her head around, and hurriedly glanced at him with clear doe-like eyes then just as hurriedly shifted her gaze back to the tip of her toes.
He turned out to be so scary.
Chu Yuan smiled slightly his voice softer as he said,
“Bring the medicine oil.”
He closed the lid of the medicine oil again while facing her. Only after seeing her trembling eyelashes did he extend his hand. Her hands were full of old and thick calluses. He rarely saw anyone of the same age as her with such old and thick calluses.
Her voice was somewhat hoarse. She opened the door and exited hurriedly.
The twilight sky gradually darkened.
She went back to the little road beside the practice field to continue sweeping the area. At this time, the disciples of Pure Elegance Martial Hall already gathered on the lawn. Unlike the other times when they just jogged or warmed up, they excitedly got together to discuss one same topic——
“Prosperous Sea Martial Hall…….”
“Prosperous Sea Martial Hall…….”
“Prosperous Sea Martial Hall…….”
The excited voices in the Pure Elegance Martial Hall were so overwhelming that even the birds living on the treetops started to sing exuberantly!
“It really is Prosperous Sea Martial Hall!” At dinnertime, Xiao Ying who sat beside Bai Cao excitedly held her bowl with both hands, simply unable to eat even a mouthful. Her blood surged in the pit of her stomach. “It really is the Prosperous Sea Martial Hall! It’s the genuine Prosperous Sea Martial Hall! Shifu is really amazing, he unexpectedly can invite Prosperous Sea Martial Hall to have an exchange with us! Aiya, every other martial halls in the country will envy us!”
“This martial hall is so awesome,” Aunty Fan said in wonder.
“Right, it really is amazing. When I’m driving, I often hear Martial Hall Master and other martial hall masters talk about Prosperous Sea Martial Hall. It looks like everyone respects them.” Uncle Fan laughed while eating.
“So, Xiao Ying, will you have a chance to go up on stage?” Auntie Fan also became excited.
“Maybe! Maybe! Maybe!” Xiao Ying thought about all the possibilities. Eventually, she became dejected and her shoulders drooped. “Not really possible. Aish, shifu would definitely send out the most outstanding disciples. Otherwise, we would become the butt of jokes for the Prosperous Sea Martial Hall because we’re too weak, then we’ll lose our faces. Ruo Bai shixiong, Yi Feng shixiong, and a few other shixiongs, even Xiu Da is stronger than I am. Aish, if only the female disciples from Prosperous Sea would come. But then again, even if there are female disciples, the ones who will go out and meet head on with them would be Chu Wei shijie and Xiu Qing shijie. My martial arts is incomparable to theirs…..”
From the start to the end of dinner, Xiao Ying kept on pouring out resentful words, resenting herself for not practicing harder. Otherwise, she might have had a slight chance to fight head to head with the Prosperous Sea Martial Hall disciples.
Bai Cao was helping Aunty Fan to clean up the bowls but saw Xiao Ying doing her homework on a small table with her head leaning on it, depressed. So she also sat like Xiao Ying, opened her math book, and said:
“I thought you were going to go to practice.”
“It’s too late!” Xiao Ying’s face became sorrowful. “Even if I were to practice now, I wouldn’t be able to surpass Ruo Bai shixiong, Yi Feng shixiong, Chu Wei shijie, Xiu Qin shijie and Xiu Da. So I simply want to forget about the idea or else I’ll be suffering to death! I have decided! Since I won’t stand out in martial arts, then I’ll stand out with my academics. That way, I’ll be able to help shifu manage Pure Elegance Martial Hall, letting everyone in the world know about Pure Elegance Martial Hall!”
Bai Cao couldn’t help but smile.
She started to study the math problems. Before dinner, she secretly went to the secluded part of the practice room to practice leg techniques so that she wouldn’t be rusty. But because she did not wear a taekwondo uniform, her legs and feet weren’t stretched sufficiently. Tomorrow she would come a bit earlier and go to an even more secluded area to practice while wearing the taekwondo uniform. More secluded area…
Bai Cao unexpectedly thought about the small cabin; accompanied by the sounds of flowing water, that place was so secluded that it seemed separated from the world.
Not hearing the sound of Bai Cao’s pen scratching on paper, Xiao Ying raised her head to look suspiciously at Bai Cao. She was looking at the small medicine bottle on top of the table in a trance. ‘Aiya, that’s just a normal medicine bottle, normally when we get hurt everyone would use that. What’s so good about it?’
Xiao Ying shouted at her. Seeing that Bai Cao was a little startled, she turned her eyes away from the bottle of medicine and saw that the other’s ears were also turning red.
“Wah, aren’t you blushing?”
Xiao Ying’s eyeballs almost popped out. Gathering herself, she carefully checked Bai Cao’s cheeks which were still smeared with red. ‘Wah, she’s really blushing! Goodness gracious!’
“I’ll go do the laundry.”
Bai Cao turned around and grabbed some random clothes before heading out.
‘Please, those clothes were the ones that just came back from the laundry!’ It shocked Xiao Ying to the point that her jaws were about to drop. Bai Cao was also very unusual. What was so rare about this medicine bottle that made Bai Cao’s face turn red? Xiao Ying was very confused as she picked the small bottle up and studied it again and again.
The next day Bai Cao got up very early and changed into her taekwondo uniform to practice according to the plan she had made. When she finally went out of the room, the sky just turned bright and it was almost the time for the all the disciples of Pure Elegance Martial Hall to wake up for their early morning practice.Undoubtedly, formerly at this time, apart from her and a few early birds on the treetop, there would be no one else in the courtyard.
Prosperous Sea Martial Hall could really stimulate the enthusiasm of every disciple who studied taekwondo.
Bai Cao had no alternative but to go back to her room and take off her clothes again. Xiao Ying was still lying on the bed without an inkling of what was happening while dreaming soundly.
Bai Cao took the piled-up washed clothes from the laundry room and hung each one to dry.
Picking up the broom to carefully sweep through the surroundings of the practice room, Bai Cao watched the disciples practicing on the lawn and in the practice room, aware that she had no choice but wipe the mattresses as usual. She could only wake up earlier tomorrow so that she could wipe all the mattresses clean before they started practicing.
‘Then, what to do now?’
She looked again at the little road that was so clean it practically could shine. After hesitating for a moment, she stepped on the trail paved with stones in the middle of the lawn, walked through a small bridge, and saw the small cabin that was surrounded by a stream.
She quietly cleaned outside the cabin.
All of a sudden…
The ground became cleaner; the dust was gently gathered together by the broom. Her heartbeat unusually became very calm. The ray of dawn was so clean that it looked transparent, leaving behind golden rays of light.
“Who let you come here?!”
A woman’s voice that was deliberately lowered could be heard from behind her. Bai Cao turned around and saw Xiu Ying unhappily staring at her, as if she did something disgusting.
“I come on my own volition.” Bai Cao paused for a second and continued, “The clothes are washed, and the area around the practice room are already clean. Because the disciples had started to practice, so the mattresses temporarily can’t be cleaned.”
“In the future, you are not allowed to come here.”
“Chu Yuan shixiong likes the silence.” Xiu Ying glanced at the window of the small cabin and faintly said, “Therefore, no one is allowed to come and disturb him.” ‘Is cleaning disturbing?’
Bai Cao stared blankly; she just wanted to thank that youth, and all she can do for him were things like cleaning. “Did you say that you finished cleaning the area near the practice room?”
“Really? I will go and check.” After walking a few steps, Xiu Ying saw that the girl just stood there holding the broom. She frowned and said, “Why are you still staring blankly and not leaving?!”
The small road was clean without a speck of dust; the pavements were even sprinkled with a bit of water. Upon seeing, one would know for certain that it had been very carefully cleaned.
“You call this clean?”
Xiu Ying used her foot to point at the cobblestones inlaid on the small road, and said with knitted brows:
“Haven’t I told you before? Every cobblestone have to be wiped clean. There’s a stain from the rainwater on this one. Didn’t you see it? Clean it again, you can’t only use the broom, you have to use a rag to wipe each one. Whenever the cobblestones get dirty, you have to clean them!” Bai Cao silently looked at the pavement.
“After the morning practice, I will come and check again.” Xiu Ying glanced at her coldly. “Do the things you should be doing first, then only think about other things. Don’t go around seeking attention from others.”
Thus, the disciples of Pure Elegance Martial Hall would see Bai Cao squatting on the ground everyday while using a rag soaked in water to strongly wipe clean every cobblestone on the little road bit by bit.
They found out in amazement that…
The little road could unexpectedly be so clean that it sparkled. Every piece of cobblestone was very clean as if it had been washed, reflecting bright rays of light under the light.
However, every time someone passed by, it would unavoidably leave behind some stains on the cobblestones. As a result, Bai Cao would appear again and single-mindedly wipe clean the cobblestones on the little road once more.
‘There must be something wrong with this girl’s brain.’
All the disciples whispered. They had never seen anyone using a rag to clean the pavement. Every disciple who passed by Bai Cao would glance at and study her, confirming whether she the one who had her forehead kicked by Xiu Da last time.
“Are you trying to impress me?”
At school, Guang Ya coldly looked at Bai Cao in front of her and said with a grunt, “The disciples of Pure Elegance Martial Hall have come quite a few times to show off, showing off until our ears are about to grow calluses. What, have you come to show off again today? So what if the Prosperous Sea Martial Hall is coming to Pure Elegance Martial Hall? I reckon they’re here just to go sightseeing. Maybe they will leave in less than half an hour, what’s there to show off about?!”
Bai Cao silently listened to her talk.
She had wanted to search for Guang Ya for a long time, but she never saw her at school. It sounded like the disciples of Pure Elegance Martial Hall often went to Absolute Victory Martial Hall to brag. This wasn’t strange. Previously, whenever Pure Elegance Martial Hall felt proud of something, the younger disciples headed by Xiu Da would go there and wantonly brag about it. After all the two martial halls were located in the same town.
“This envelope isn’t mine.”
Seeing that Guang Ya wanted to go after she finished talking, Bai Cao hurriedly took out an envelope from her bag. It was the envelope packed with money that she discovered in the bag that Guang Ya gave her to tidy up.
“Humph!” Guang Ya glanced at the envelope and snatched it. “That’s right, you don’t need it now that you’re eating well in Pure Elegance Martial Hall everyday. What’s more, you can meet the people from Prosperous Sea Martial Hall. This little money definitely mean nothing to you!”
“Guang Ya.” Bai Cao’s stomach heat up as she closely glanced at Guang Ya. “This is the money you put in my bag, right? It’s you… It’s you who gave it to me…” It was really Guang Ya who gave it to her. It was not accidentally misplaced, instead Guang Ya giving it to her intentionally. Was Guang Ya concerned that she wouldn’t have a place to stay at and food to eat?
Guang Ya rolled her eyes.
“Before this, I always thought that you hate me…”
Bai Cao suddenly didn’t dare look at her in the eyes.
“I really hate you! I still hate you now!” Guang Ya said with disdain. She haughtily lifted her head and lazily looked at her. Her chest was beating rapidly. ”You’re a freak! You clearly know that everyone hates him, but you still want to be with him. You just want to appear different from others, to stand out, to appear like you’re very kind while we aren’t?!? He’s clearly a scum. The person who’s together with a scum is definitely a scum too! That’s why I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! Go away! Don’t block my way! I feel like I’m losing face just by talking to you!”
Pushing Bai Cao away, Guang Ya who left in a bad mood!
“But shifu is your…..” Bai Cao’s heart was in pain. It was fine when other people spoke like that, but Guang Ya couldn’t be like that.
“Shut up!” Guang Ya fiercely cut her off. Her back stiffened. “I don’t have anything to do with him! I’m ashamed of him! From now on, you also aren’t allowed to talk to me; I’m also ashamed of you!”
Bai Cao bit her lips.
Looking at Guang Ya’s figure that kept on getting farther, her heart felt a little sad. She then also walked towards her classroom. Even though she was used to it, just now, she really felt that Guang Ya didn’t actually hate her. But maybe, maybe Guang Ya was simply reluctant to admit her mistake; otherwise, why would she secretly give her money?
Thinking this way, she started to feel happy again.
After some time, she suddenly couldn’t help but start to smile slightly. That’s right, that must be it. Previously, she was always fooled by Guang Ya’s harsh expression. It was her who misunderstood Guang Ya.
Wait for shifu to come back, she would definitely tell shifu. Shifu would definitely feel very happy!
“Hey, have you heard?” Inside the classroom, Xiao Ying turned her head to look at Bai Cao and saw the smile at the corner of her mouth. “How do you know? I also just got the news!”
“The Prosperous Sea Martial Hall will arrive tonight!” Xiao Ying put her hands together and said in infatuation, “I heard that they’ll stay at the Virtuous Martial Hall for a while. Tomorrow, Saturday, they will swap pointers with Virtuous Martial Hall. The day after tomorrow, which is Sunday, they will come to Pure Elegance Martial Hall!”
‘Ah, they will come tonight.’
Bai Cao stared blankly.