And it wasn’t because Duan Yuyang had always been picking on Han Yuran, but because Su Mo had said that half a year ago, Duan Yuyang and Second elder had personally paid them a visit to offer them a marriage proposal.
Although the Duan family can’t match up to the Yuan family, they had not needed any help from the Yuan family recently. Also, with Duan Yuyang’s unyielding character, he wouldn’t have personally paid their family a visit if it wasn’t because he had some interest no matter how much the Duan family tries to force him.
Does that mean…Duan Yuyang really does like him?
Yuan Tianwen felt his heart rate speed up a bit. He doesn’t know why he couldn’t help but care about Duan Yuyang. It’s probably because Duan Yuyang had always been by his side ever since they were kids, so to him, Duan Yuyang was like a younger brother ba.
After Yuan Tianwen thought of that, he looked up at Han Yuran.
During the past few days, he felt that the more he interacted with Han Yuran, the more his feelings for him subsided. However, his decision to take responsibility for Han Yuran remained unchanged.
As for Duan Yuyang…
“You’ve had to suffer for the past few days.” Yuan Tianwen said.
Han Yuran lightly said, “The grievances I’ve suffered don’t matter. I don’t care if other people have their own ideas about you. As long as your heart is still with me, I can ignore them.”
Yuan Tianwen kissed Han Yuran’s clean, pure white face, then said, “That’s a given. You are my saviour and I have no other way of repaying you other than to give myself to you in marriage.”
Han Yuran looked down and smiled, but no one knew how much reluctance was hidden in this smile aside from himself.
The Chasing Sun horse could travel 10 000 li1 in a day. Lin Xuanzhi and the rest had set off in the morning, and now that the sky had begun to darken, this group of travellers arrived at the Flying Luan peak that was 5000 li away from Qing city.
Lin Xuanzhi pulled over his horse to stop by the forest at the foot of the mountain.
“Let’s rest here for today, then continue our journey tomorrow when it’s light out.” Lin Xuanzhi said.
“I agree.” Duan Yuyang nodded. He got off his horse and looked for an empty s.p.a.ce, then said, “We’ll need to climb up this mountain tomorrow. If everything goes smoothly, we should be able to go down the mountain before it’s dark.” If they wanted to reach Profound City, they needed to cross this Flying Luan peak first.
From afar, Flying Luan peak looks like a bird that had opened up its wings and was about to take flight. It stretched thousands of miles and towered over its surroundings; if one wanted to go around it, their travel time would be prolonged by quite a bit.
In the past, Lin Xuanzhi had already achieved a peak Hardened Body stage cultivation and could fly around on his sword easily. When he returned from Profound Sky Sect, he always made the trip on his sword and was extremely fast, so he wasn’t affected by the peak at all.
But after he had restarted his cultivation, he hadn’t even cultivated to the Foundation stage yet. And also, since he had cultivated the equipment path, he wouldn’t be able to cross the mountain like he did before without the aid of magic treasures.
“Ah Hen, are you hungry?” Lin Xuanzhi asked.
“I wasn’t, but now that Dage mentioned it, I actually do feel a little hungry.” Yan Tianhen looked down at his stomach and rubbed it, then said, “It’s flat.”
Lin Xuanzhi looked at his childish movements and revealed a faintly discernible smile.
“Since you’re hungry, Dage will prepare dinner for you.” Lin Xuanzhi took out a bottle of water from his storage bag and pa.s.sed it to Yan Tianhen, then said, “Drink some water first.”
Yan Tianhen took the water bottle and opened it, then gulped down a few mouthfuls of water.
Duan Yuyang was standing at a side as he looked at them in amazement, then couldn’t help but complain, “I say Lin Xuanzhi, why did your temper suddenly undergo such a huge change and you’re even treating Ah Hen so well now?”
“Dage has always been very kind to me.” After Yan Tianwen finished drinking his water, he wiped his mouth and immediately blurted out to speak on Lin Xuanzhi’s behalf.
The edges of Duan Yuyang’s lips twitched. He randomly waved his hand about and said, “Fine, just treat it as I didn’t say anything.”
Yan Tianhen chuckled with a hehe.
Lin Xuanzhi smiled and said, “The two of you go get some firewood, I’ll go find some food. We need branches that are at least five hundred years old to use as firewood and we’ll ignite it with this flintstone, or else we won’t be able to roast our ingredients well.”
Duan Yuyang’s eyes immediately widened as he said, “You’re going to hunt spiritual demonic beings?”
Lin Xuanzhi nodded, then said, “Of course. Since we’re out in the wild, we shouldn’t have to let our mouths suffer too.”
Duan Yuyang stared at him, then said after awhile, “But you’re a cripple now, you definitely won’t be able to handle those demonic beings alone. Don’t court trouble for yourself.”
Lin Xuanzhi raised his eyebrows slightly, then said, “Or, Duan young master can come with me?”
Although Duan Yuyang really wanted to refuse, he thought for a bit before he said, “Fine I’ll go, at least I’m more reliable than you.”
He turned around and said to Yan Tianhen, “You stay here and don’t run around recklessly. If anyone bullies you, just use the Ground Splitting Hammer your Dage gave you to smash them to death!”
Yan Tianhen almost jumped up in surprise. He said, “How do you know I have the Ground Splitting Hammer?”
Duan Yuyang rolled his eyes, then said, “You were fiddling around with it G.o.d knows how many times on our way here. Since you were so reluctant to put it down, it must have been given to you by your brother. Why not you just marry your brother in the future?”
Yan Tianhen rubbed his nose and looked at Lin Xuanzhi a bit sheepishly, yet the latter flashed him a faint smile.
“Don’t spout nonsense.” Yan Tianhen said.
At this moment, Yuan Tianwen and Han Yuran walked over.
Han Yuran’s complexion wasn’t too good as he said, “Why are you guys stopping here? Just climb the mountain while it’s dark, we’ll be able to reach the other side by tomorrow morning.”
Duan Yuyang immediately sneered and said, “Since you’ve never been to Flying Luan peak before, I guess you don’t know the dangers of Flying Luan peak.”
Han Yuran was instantly alert with a guilty conscience. For a moment, he thought that his lie had been exposed so he immediately lashed out all fl.u.s.tered, “What kind of nonsense are you spouting? I’ve even stayed on Flying Luan peak for a period of time before, so I definitely know it better than you do.”
“Tch, you’re acting like this even though you’ve stayed here before, I really wonder how you managed to survive.” Duan Yuyang laughed coldly before ignoring him completely, then said to Lin Xuanzhi, “Since the two bodyguards have arrived, let’s enter the mountain ba.”
Lin Xuanzhi nodded, then said to Yuan Tianwen, “I’ll entrust my Jiadi to you two for awhile. We’re entering the mountains to hunt for some ingredients. Hu Po!” Hu Po was standing at one side with a cold and detached look on his face as he looked at Ah Bai. His brother just had to provoke that arrogant crane whenever he saw it. When he heard Lin Xuanzhi call him, he turned around and ran towards Lin Xuanzhi.
As for Ah Bai, he was left behind to serve as Yan Tianhen’s bodyguard.
After the two men and one tiger left, Han Yuran complained, “After we cross this mountain, we would be able to find an inn where we could stay, then we wouldn’t need to spend the night out in the open like we’re doing now.”
Within the Five Continent’s mainlands, craftsmen were usually given much better treatment than other cultivators. Even a craftsman who had just started cultivating would often be sought after and protected by many.
Han Yuran had always enjoyed comfortable living conditions ever since he was a kid. Plus he rarely left his home, so he didn’t know that spending the night out in the open was the norm for cultivators no matter what their cultivation level was.
Yuan Tianwen’s expression was a bit strange as he said, “Doesn’t Yuran know that the demonic beasts and devil beasts in Flying Luan peak are nocturnal?”
When he was recuperating on Flying Luan peak, he often heard the sounds of demonic beasts duking it out in the open. Sometimes, they could even burn or crush an entire forest.
They had never, ever left the secret cave that they were hiding in after sunset.
They could still deal with one demonic beast, but ten, or a hundred, or even thousands or ten thousands of them were not numbers that they could have dealt with.
Han Yuran was shocked, and cold sweat almost dripped down his forehead.
An idea instantly occurred to him, so he pretended to be calm as he said, “I had just momentarily forgotten that they’re riding horses. If it was just the two of us and Chi Xiao, we could have flown over Flying Luan peak to get to the other side.”
“Not necessarily.” Yuan Tianwen shook his head and said, “There are innumerable flying demonic beasts on Flying Luan peak. If we can fly over Flying Luan peak, then they can do so as well. But I have realised that compared to before, Yuran’s much less vigilant now.”
Han Yuran forced out a smile and said, “It’s probably because you were severely injured at that time. But now, you’ve already completely recovered and had even broken through to the Foundation stage so I don’t need to worry as much.”
Yuan Tianwen reminisced about the past and his heart softened, then said, “Last time, Yuran was the one who always had to protect me. So now, I should be the one to protect you.”
When Han Yuran heard this, he couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief.
At this kind of critical juncture, he can’t let down his guard.
If Yuan Tianwen discovers that he wasn’t the one who had saved him, then all his efforts would have been for naught.
After Yan Tianhen picked up a few wooden sticks that was scattered on the ground, he used the flintstone that Lin Xuanzhi had given to him to light a fire.
This flintstone was actually a kind of forged stone. The meat of demonic beasts is different from that of ordinary wild beasts; spiritual Qi circulated within their bodies, so they couldn’t be cooked well with ordinary fires. Only branches that were at least 500 years old and fire from a forged stone could be used to cook them.
The flames had just begun to burn brilliantly when Lin Xuanzhi and Duan Yuyang returned.
The moment Duan Yuyang returned, he immediately said in a loud voice, “Well Yan Tianhen aren’t you just great, and to think I even treated you like my own brother. Yet from start to finish, you actually hid the fact that Lin Xuanzhi is actually a craftsman from me!”
Duan Yuyang was holding a deer in his hands as he rushed over energetically.
Han Yuran was stunned, then he said, “Who did you say is a craftsman?”
Duan Yuyang’s eyes swept over Han Yuran, then said with dissatisfaction, “Why are you still here?’
Han Yuran abruptly turned around to look at the expressionless Lin Xuanzhi, then said with an incredulous look on his face, “You’re a craftsman? Since when?”
Lin Xuanzhi lightly said, “Just a few days ago.”
“How could it be?” Han Yuran took two steps back, then said, “You can’t possibly have a crafting soulfire. Don’t tell me you seized someone’s soulfire to become a craftsman?”
“Don’t slander people, my Dage isn’t that kind of person.” Yan Tianhen glared at Han Yuran in disgust and lifted his chin as he spoke.
“My Dage only managed to awaken his crafting soulfire after he annulled his engagement with you. I’m guessing that Dage’s bad luck in the past must have been because you were suppressing all his good fortune.”
“Yeah yeah, that’s quite possible.” Duan Yuyang clapped and smiled, “In my opinion, you should be more careful ba Yuan Tianwen!”
“Lin Xuanzhi, nice annulment!”
The colour on Han Yuran’s face alternated between white and red as he was being mocked.
Yuan Tianwen saw that his sweetheart was being bullied, so he immediately said in a cold voice, “Lin Xuanzhi, you were obviously a craftsman even before you annulled the engagement. I used to respect you because I thought you were a gentleman, but I didn’t expect that you were actually this kind of person.”
Lin Xuanzhi said, “I’ve always been like this, maybe Yuan young peak master has some sort of misunderstanding about me.”
Since the situation had turned so ugly, there was no need nor possibility of continuing the conversation any further.
Thus, Yuan Tianwen and Han Yuran sat on one side, while Lin Xuanzhi, Yan Tianhen and Duan Yuyang sat on the other and there was a considerable distance between the two groups. Yuan Tianwen often carried out his missions away from home, so he was proficient in keeping himself alive in the wild. Without needing Han Yuran to lift a finger, he had quickly finished a series of tasks by himself such as picking up branches, lighting a fire and roasting meat.
Of course, the mutant rabbit covered in thorns was personally captured by their pentcoloured crane.
Yuan Tianwen peeled off the rabbit’s skin and pierced through it with a branch, then said to Han Yuran, “I really miss the taste of your roast meat, why not we relive that part of our past today?”
Han Yuran stiffened, then smiled slightly and said, “Actually, you had thought that it was delicious because of the environment that we were in. How could my roasting techniques be compared to you? Why not you let me have a taste of your roasted meat today ba.”
Yuan Tianwen looked at him as disappointment filled his heart, the nodded and said, “That’s fine too.”
On the other side, under Lin Xuanzhi’s oppression, Duan Yuyang could only peel the skin off their deer and clean it by himself.
“How did you find out that my Dage is a craftsman?” Yan Tianwen asked curiously.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, craftsmen would wear craftsman robes as a proof of their ident.i.ty to differentiate themselves from other ordinary cultivators. People who weren’t of a certain cultivation level would not be able to identify a craftsman just by sight.
Lin Xuanzhi’s was dressed as casually as he did before, and even Han Yuran couldn’t tell that he was a craftsman.
1. One li = 0.5km↩
T/N: Hu Po is so done with his bro I can’t……
Novel recommendation: 撒野
A bittersweet slice-of-life. It may seem mundane at first, but for some reason it’s kept me hooked for the past day or so