Chapter – 12

Translator : Casualtranslator
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As the first ray of sunlight shone on the jujube forest, Zhang Xiaohua opened his eyes and sparkling lights seem to appear in the black of his pupils.

Zhang Xiaohua did not get up immediately like he usually would, but continued to lay on the platform and closed his eyes again. After being slapped until it was swollen, his face did not have the tingling burning sensation of yesterday, and the mouth which was hurt until it was too painful to speak was also feeling fine. While his exterior injuries healed slowly, when would his inner trauma heal?

Zhang Xiaohua’s thoughts automatically returned to the events that had happened in the last yesterday afternoon. His father was not in the wrong when he tried to stop his eldest brother from entering into the fray. One should avoid situations that are out of ones’ own waters. His eldest brother was also not in the wrong for trying to help, meeting lady Liu could be counted as a fated encounter, and even if she was a total stranger, if one were to standby aside while watching someone else being bullied, then his conscience would suffer an irreversible blow.

Thinking of the surrounding spectators, there were so many people, their faces were either wooden with disinterest, excited over someone else’s misfortune, or just sympathy, yet did they ever thought of joining in to help?

Then he thought back to the two short fat men and the pack of dog-like manservants being arrogant and overbearing, while blatantly committing a crime in daylight.

Then, he thought back to the scene where his father and two elder brothers were being trampled upon by the goons, being hit mercilessly by flurries of kicks and punches. Perhaps those goons were not after their lives, but were assaulting them out of pleasure, because seeing fresh blood would raise their excitement, but what if those goons were after their lives? Would his family be able to avoid them?

Then he thought back to Wen Wenhai and his junior sister descending from the sky, defeating those goons as casually as if they were flipping their palms over. They did not even bother to share their names to that Zhao Quansheng person, and with just a few strokes and a plaque, they shut him up and forced the evil doers to repent.

A thought shot like electricity through his mind, martial arts!

I need strength, I need martial arts.

This time, if they did not meet Wen Wenhai and his junior sister, if they had not chosen to intervene, then his own family would have been subjected to more beatings and may even lose their lives. Relying on an external help was akin to relying on air, one had to rely on oneself. Only after one had sufficient power would he be able to protect his loved ones, while protecting others.

Zhang Xiaohua felt as though the knot in his chest which appeared since yesterday has finally loosened. Similar to how he reclaimed that plot of field, with a goal in mind, anything can be done. He does not lack the ability, was not afraid of pain or difficulties, but rather needed directions on how to achieve his goal.

After deciding on the direction of his life, Zhang Xiaohua no longer wanted to stay in bed, he picked himself up and walked out of his grandmother’s room to the welcoming sunlight.

However, the excited Zhang Xiaohua was still naively unaware of how difficult the road of a martial artist was. Background, talent, perseverance, opportunity… These were the necessary requirements, but how many youths could reach their goal so easily? Every youth have their own goals, whether or not they succeed or fail, they would have acted on an impulse and would have suffered some setbacks. Everyone has their own road, and only by walking on it would they know if their ideals were right. Zhang Xiaohua was no different!

As Zhang Xiaohua walked out of the room, he saw his grandmother at the doorsteps, and walked over “Grandmother, the day is still early, and there is some cold wind blowing outside. Go back into the house, and when it is close to noon, you can come out again to enjoy the sun.”

Hearing her grandson’s voice, his grandmother replied tenderly, “Xiaohua, grandmother wants to enjoy more of the air outside. I am already living day by day, and do not want to spend my time cooped indoors. What about you, does your body still hurt? You should go back and sleep a little longer.”

Zhang Xiaohua said joyfully, “Grandmother, I have already recovered fully. Here, feel my face, it is no longer swollen.”

Zhang Xiaohua took his grandmother’s rough hands and placed them on his face, while his grandmother carefully felt while smiling, “Good, good. As long as you are fine…” After saying so, she used her sleeves to dab off the tears in her eyes, her love for her youngest grandson was apparent for anyone to see.

At the courtyard, Guo Sufei was at the stove which was supported by some simple beams making breakfast, while Liu Qing and Liu Yue were aside assisting her, seemingly happy. However, Liu Qing seemed to be feeling slightly shy, in fact, Zhang Xiaohua rubbed his eyes when he thought he saw a tinge of flush on Liu Qing’s face. Strange, what is going on?

Zhang Xiaohua would not have known that Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue have awoken before daybreak, because they were not feeling comfortable sleeping over at another place out of their homes, and in order not to awake Guo Sufei, they cuddled closely together and whispered in low voices to discuss yesterday’s happenings. Liu Qing was feeling especially grateful to Zhang Xiaolong, because if not for his timely intervention, she would have been dragged into the alleys where her fate would be much worse. Furthermore, Zhang Xialong had fractured his own arm while saving the two ladies, and despite being trample upon and being severely injured, his determination to rescue the ladies was so evident on his face that is was etched deeply into her heart.

Not long after, Guo Sufei woke up and eavesdropped on the ladies. Seeing that the sun was about to rise, she coughed a few times and sat up, while the two ladies tensed up immediately. Last night, she was too preoccupied with her family’s injuries and did not get the chance to look carefully at the ladies. Now that her family’s injuries have somewhat stabilized, she realized that ladies were very pretty, and their figures were not bad as well. Even though their heights were different, but there are many different types of beautiful flowers as well. But of course, if they were not attractive, how could they have piqued the interest of those bullies? Next, Zhang Xialong’s mother inquired about family circumstances of the two ladies, and she learnt that Liu Qing came from a family of three, her father and elder brother being the other two, and her mother had passed away years ago from an illness. Liu Qing’s father was a scholarly teacher, while her elder brother was also pursuing the academia, so their household does not own any farmland and relies on teaching students for a living, and thus has a high reputation in the village. Liu Yueyue is Liu Qing’s cousin, and her father is a butcher, being Liu Qing’s father’s brother, and they lived together in the same village. Liu Yueyue is the only child in her family of three. Yesterday, Liu Qing’s family was hosting some visitors, while Liu Yueyue’s father was opening his shop as usual, thus there was no men to accompany them to town, which resulted in the events yesterday.  The three ladies started chatting more comfortably, and Guo Sufei even asked if the two ladies have any engagement to which both said no. Although Liu Yueyue was unaffected, Liu Qin’s face turned red, which made Guo Sufei overjoyed beyond words.

When the sun was up, Guo Sufei started making breakfast, and the two ladies offered to help. Liu Qing’s face was still flushed from the conversation, which was why Zhang Xiaohua could pick it up.

Zhang Xiaohua walked over to the stove and greeted, “Good morning elder sisters.”

Even though it was a normal greeting, when Liu Qing picked up the word “elder sister”, she felt as if the young boy before her could read her mind, and her face flushed redder. Liu Yueyue happily replied, “Morning little brother.”

Zhang Xiaohua asked after his father and elder brothers, and Guo Sufei replied that she had already taken a look and there were not much changes, their external wounds have recovered to some extent, but they have not fully recovered their energy and it will be some time before they do.

As they were talking, Zhang Cai walked out of the house, his holds being supported by a wooden clutch, as he limped step by step while his right leg was evidently still hurting. Guo Sufei and Zhang Xiaohua went over to support him, Zhang Xiaohua brought his father a chair and put it at the courtyard. Zhang Cai stretched a little, and he could still feel his waist hurting.

Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue went over to give their morning greetings, which Zhang Cai said was unnecessary, “You two ladies did not return home last night, I am sure that your family is worried. The men in our family are still injured, and we cannot let Zhang Xiaohua accompany you by himself. Why don’t I get Xiaohua and some of the villagers to send a letter to your family to get them to fetch you? Would that be okay?”

Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue exchanged glances at nodded in agreement.

Then, Zhang Cai followed Zhang Xiaohua to the village to find an adult, and the two people went to Bali Gou to deliver the letter to Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue’s families.

Bali Gou was at the southwest of Guo village, and the distance between the two places was not small. By the time Zhang Xiao reached Bali Gou, it was already midday. Bali Gou as located in a ravine, and one could see from afar that it is very big, about four to five times the size of Guo village. There were many more villagers, so when Zhang Xiaohua reached the village entrance, there was already someone who saw him arrive and asked who he was looking for. Zhang Xiaohua replied that he was looking for teacher Liu which made the man cautious, but seeing that Zhang Xiaohua was not very well dressed and was accompanied by an honest-looking famer, he asked, “Where are you from? Why are you looking for teacher Liu?”

Zhang Xiaohua replied, “We are from Guo village, to pass some news of elder sisters Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue to him.”

The person was overjoyed and he replied, “Great, quickly follow me.”

Then, he led Zhang Xiaohua and the other man through a small path to a tidy courtyard, and before walking through the door, he shouted, “Teacher Liu, butcher Liu, news of your daughters have arrived.”

Then, a loud voice resounded from the house, “Ah, the kidnappers have sent a letter. I am just going to see which fellow is responsible for this.” Following the voice, a large sturdy man who was at least two heads taller than Zhang Xiaohua walked out, and grabbed Zhang Xiaohua by his collar, saying, “Talk. Which bandit group are you from, talk.” Zhang Xiaohua was lifted in the air and he was unable to catch his breath, much less answer. Then, another person walked out of the house and said, “Second brother, you cannot be so impolite. Look at this boy, his posture, his attire, do they look like they belong to a bandit? Even if he was one, you would still need to allow him to talk.”

The strong man smiled and loosened his hands, “Big brother, I am just too anxious about our daughters. Aren’t you feeling anxious too?”

Zhang Xiaohua gulped down some air, and his face gradually turned less blue. Looking at the two man, he knew that the large man was Liu Yueyue’s father, butcher Liu and the calm man was Li Qing’s father, teacher Liu.

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