Xiao Zhongnan is a taciturn man. He doesn’t use words to appease my sudden temper, nor does he ask questions about it. This behavior is quite contrary to Psycho.
I am lying in front of the window with my chin in one hand, staring at the grass in the courtyard, preoccupied.
I know that Psycho is Xiao Zhongnan, they are one and the same, but I always treat them as two separate individuals without realizing it.
If, someday, Xiao Zhongnan’s memories from being Psycho come back, I think he’ll still treat me no different from the present. After all, the few months I spent with him in the cave were only a small part of his five years of lost memory. Moreover, those memories were not that beautiful. I left him alone in that cave.
As I was absorbed in my own thoughts, voices sounded from outside the courtyard, and I saw several people walk in carrying a tree as thick as an adult man’s thigh.
“Hey, careful. This tree is what the Castle Master ordered to find and brought back with great difficulty, don’t harm it!” Cheng Xiaoyu came in along with them, twittering continuously.
I got up to open the door and went out. “What’s this? What are you lifting?”
When Cheng Xiaoyu saw me, he took a few steps forward and whispered mysteriously in my ear, “You have regained the sacred favor, la! This is a wisteria tree specially dug up for you by the Castle Master. He said if you plant it in your courtyard now, it will bloom next year.”
I slapped him on the head. “What ‘regained the sacred favor’? You’ve read too many dramas, haven’t you?” After a pause, I widened my eyes at him and incredulously repeated, “Wisteria dug up for me by the Castle Master?!”
I recalled what I said to him that day, and I indeed mention a beautiful wisteria located outside of the sect master’s residence. But I didn’t expect him to remember it and actually go as far as to find one for me!
I’ve only seen this type of wisteria growing in the south. It must have taken a lot of effort to find such a thick and sturdy wisteria here in the northern grasslands.
He actually seems very considerate of me?
Cheng Xiaoyu was looking forward to the blooms as he confidently replied, “Yes ah, the Castle Master also said that when the flowers bloom next year, the kitchen will make ziluo1紫萝饼 ziluo bing: this is the most appetizing I could find.cakes. I can already feel my saliva trickling down. Big brother, have you tried ziluo cakes before? Are they tasty?”
I had no intention of answering him, leaving only a sentence. “I’m going to find him!” I left in a hurry.
In fact, I don’t know why on earth I am so happy. Didn’t Xiao Zhongnan only give me a fine steed, followed by a wisteria? Am I that easy to please? How can my requirements be so low? Even though no one has sent me anything before? But these things might even be completely insignificant to Xiao Zhongnan, why am I stupidly feeling happy? I’m so foolish…
By the time I was outside Xiao Zhongnan’s courtyard, the arch at the corners of my mouth could no longer be smoothed down. I could only try to take a few deep breaths and restrain my smile before knocking on the door of his study. I know he usually stays in his study during this time of day.
“Come in.” His voice came from inside the door.
I pushed open the door and walked inside. I took a quick glance and saw him standing by the table. There was a goshawk on the table, and he was apparently unfolding a letter that had just been removed from the goshawk’s leg.
“Am I bothering you?”
“No.” He looked down at the table before looking up at me, “What’s the matter?”
I turned away and did not dare to look into his eyes. “I’m here to thank you for the wisteria. Brother Xiao is considerate, I like it very much.”
More than just liking it, from now on, I’m afraid I’ll sit in front of the window every day, hoping it will take root, climb, and bloom early. By the time it blooms, it will surely be a hundred times more beautiful than the wisteria in HanYiJiao.
“Is there anything else you like? I will find it for you. There’s no need to be so polite between you and me.” He picked up a brush and wrote a few words on the paper, then re-rolled it and tied it back onto the goshawk’s leg. He gestured to the window and said to me, “Help me open the window.”
“Oh, okay!” I rushed over and opened the window, and just as I turned around, I felt a breeze from the flap of the feathered wings passing by me. When I looked up at the sky, the goshawk had already spread its wings and was soaring high, turning into a small dot in a blink of an eye.
“What a beautiful hawk!” I praised.
“That is the goshawk of the Wulin Alliance Leader. It was given to him by Black Hawk Castle many years ago.” Xiao Zhongnan said, “If you like it, I can also give you one.”
Why is he so fond of giving me things nowadays?
I waved my hand quickly, not daring to accept another gift from him again. “No need, no need, I don’t like it that much!”
He heard what I said and didn’t insist further. “In a few days, I’ll be taking a trip and when I will return is uncertain. If you have any demands, you can directly talk to Mobei or Uncle Cheng. You can let Xiaoyu accompany you to play if you get bored, alright?”
Instead of nodding, I asked him, “Where are you going?” After I asked, I felt that I had committed an indiscretion.
Han Qingyan, Han Qingyan, is your tail raised up to the heavens now? Asking what you shouldn’t be asking, who do you think you are!
I was mentally criticizing myself when Xiao Zhongnan unexpectedly answered my question without hesitation.
“During the previous Wulin Assembly, the Alliance Leader decided to dispatch another expedition against the demon sect, saying that they must be pulled out from the roots this time. The letter from just now was asking me to go down south to lend him a hand.”
A huge shock reverberated in my heart. It was clear that I was already a “dead man” in the Jianghu, but when I heard him say this, it seemed as if I was the one who was going to be crusaded against.
“But what about your illness?”
His expression remained unchanged. He said, “I will bring extra people and let them tie me at night.”
I frowned. “It’s not as safe outside as it is here in the Castle. If you encounter an ambush from the demon sect halfway, wouldn’t that be tying yourself into a zongzi2粽子 zongzi: glutinous rice and choice of filling wrapped in leaves and boiled. and throwing yourself straight into their net?”
He asked me, “Then what do you suggest?”
I rolled my eyes and said very naturally, “Take me there, my martial arts is better than that of your guards! Plus, I’m familiar with the demon sects’ behavior and style. I will definitely not let you come in contact with them!”
“No.” He refused me without a thought.
“It’s too dangerous.”
“Too dangerous…” Why is there a slight feeling of joy in my heart? I took a step back. “Am I a man who is afraid of some danger? In that case, I won’t go up the mountain and will only wait at the foot of the mountain until you come back?”
“Do you really want to go with me?”
“Yes,” I said firmly.
He pondered for a moment. “Since you insist on joining, we’ll leave in two days, and you can pack your luggage within these few days.”
“Alright!” I was so happy. I was about to leave perfectly satisfied, but before I left, I remembered something. I turned around, not neglecting to tell him, “Prepare a horse for me. I don’t want to sit in a carriage this time.”
He smiled slightly when he heard my words. “Naturally.”
Aiyou, hey, this cold Castle Master Xiao looks very fine when he smiles. Although Psycho always smiled a lot before, he smiled stupidly, unlike Xiao Zhongnan, whose smile had a special hint of… ice and snow melting for the first time!
I must follow him, but not because I’m afraid he will be ambushed by the demon sect. If the demon sect was that capable, they wouldn’t be in the sort of plight they are in right now.
Xiao Zhongnan gave up on his illness, but I still want to try again. I must find a way to steal the rare book from HanYiJiao’s secret chamber amidst the chaos. Fortunately, I know of a winding, narrow path that goes from the back mountain into the center of the sect. With the righteous cultivators attacking the front of the mountain, HanYiJiao probably won’t have many people guarding their rear, and this will be a good opportunity for me to sneak in!
When a person treats me well, I also must treat him well in turn.
Xiao Zhongnan is treating me very well now, so I should treat him better and cure his terrible ailment.
I’ve thought it over. After his illness is cured, and if one day he finds his unique and unrivaled person, at that time the demon sect should’ve already been destroyed, and I will be able to leave Black Hawk Castle and travel around the world with peace of mind.
- 1紫萝饼 ziluo bing: this is the most appetizing I could find.
- 2粽子 zongzi: glutinous rice and choice of filling wrapped in leaves and boiled.