Journey of Misty Rain2-2


(2) Southbound

Qianqian chased after those women and Liu Yicun along the dusty road. She saw that they all went into the mulberry forest, so she immediately followed. Although it was still in the early spring, the branches of the woods are lush. It’s very difficult to ride a horse in the narrow path. It’s better walk on foot. Qianqian tied the horse under a tree, then jumped on the treetops. She thought  it should have a better view. However, since only  buds on the branches, not much leaves to cover up, though it’s high above, she can see the three woman at once. They can also see her.  One of the women was looking back. Her eyebrows like new moon,  crystal eyeballs like autumn waves, long and curved eyelashes like branches of willow. Qianqian was so enchanted with this woman. She could not help but just staring at her eyes. The woman composedly looked back without saying a word. In a moment, she hurried with other two women into the bushes. Qianqian didn’t know if she should continue chasing them.  A gusty wind swept at her back hastily. Qianqian turned back, another man in black sneaked from behind, attacked her with palms. Qianqian received with her own. Two pair of palms clapped in a second with a big bang. The man took his palms back and jumped up on the tree. He astonished: “Wow! Your internal strength improved quite a lot in such a short time, impressive!”
Qianqian doesn’t know where this internal force came from.  Now she can see that the person attacked her at the back was the youngster who humiliated her in the moon hill, instantly she became offended.
The youngster was hiding in the forest over night. When he saw Liu Yicun, he reported to the women with smoke signal. The women immediately took action, chasing Liu Yicun along the main road. As well he saw a purple figure chasing after the women. When he  found out it was her, so he intended to tease her again. Unexpectedly, she has such internal force in her palm, he became more cautious now.

Qianqian sneered: “you are also one of these black clothes gangs? Is it bad in the Western Regions? You have to come to the Central Plains?”
The youngster crossed his arms in front and replied impatiently: “What black clothes gangs, I wear black clothes is black clothes gangs, then you wear purple clothes you are purple clothes gangs? You people in the central plains are really strange, everything that you don’t understand is evil, call them cults. You all think you are orthodox. But I said that most of them are paradox.”
Then he laughed again. Strangely, after listening to this, Qianqian was not mad, on the contrary, at heart, she think he is making sense. Even though he has a big mouth but his heart should not be too bad! said: “I don’t blame you for that, you are alone here, you should know how to protect yourself, but I have been nice to you. Why do you treat me like enemy?”
After saying that, she was so shy and blushed. The youngster watched her face changing color, he laughed and said: “Hey! girl, you are shy for what? I love to treat you the way I want, no big deal, you can do the same to me too!” He jumped to another branch like a happy monkey. Qianqian bite her lip, hateful and shameful, but nothing she can talked back. Suddenly, a burst of tossing, the three women and Liu Yicun have started fighting. Liu Yicun obviously is not their opponent. Qianqian was just about to help him, but the youngster blocked her way: “Where do you want to go? ”
Qianqian immediately said: “Not your business!” After the words, inside her sleeve slipped out the dagger, she then jumped up to the youngster’s face. His face was almost got cut off a piece of flesh.  He was surprised but stayed calm, keep the smile and said: “You are such a black-hearted little devil, why do you hate my face so much? always want to destroy it.”
Qianqian hold back her angry, just sneered: “If you want to keep your face, then tear off your stinky mouth!” Qianqian turned the dagger over  her wrist like a long sword to make a famous style of Lv Jiannan. The youngster saw Qianqian of a sudden became proficient. He was totally unprepared. She was  only focus on  his mouth. If she had a long sword in hand, his mouth has already been cut off from his handsome face.
The youngster shouted: “The moon on the rough sea? I didn’t expect you have learnt Lv Jiannan’s true biography.” While He was talking, a three-foot long sword sprung from his waist. The blade is flexible as a snake, light as a goose feather, the golden edge of the sword is engraved with a delicate golden snake. it is usually crouching at the waist. When it is used, just pull and pop up. It has just cut through Qianqian’s sleeve.
Qianqian retreated, looked at the sword, and the arrogance in his eyes. The youngster said: “How does Lv Jiannan passed you his swordsmanship, but does not pass you his sword?” Qianqian could not answer, he continued: “Alright, anyway, Songhu Island has no martial arts to teach you. It is better to learn this Lv jiannan than nothing.”
Qianqian seems more sad than angry, because he always told the most hurtful fact of hers, almost crying, said: “why you have to do that to me, you really think I can’t revenge, if I had a long sword now, you will be regret…” the words just came out, a long sword was thrown to her, before she realized that was Qingyoung sword of Teng Kuanrou, she heard : “Sister, pick up the sword!” Qianqian caught the sword at once swayed to the youngster.
Once Qianqian  has her sword in hand instantly became imposing. The youngster didn’t dare to underestimate her now. He waved his soft sword back. The two swords slammed together at a second. Teng Kuanrou watched it. Thinking of how this youngster’s swordsmanship is eccentric. The soft sword is elastic, wearable, injectable, deflectable, pointable, bendable, shrinkable, cuttable, can be said a sword of all kinds. It is really amazing technology. Qianqian seems doesn’t to be his opponent yet. Just wondering if he should help or not, he heard someone from the distance yelled: “Is it Qianqian? Don’t fight anymore, let’s go!”
That was Liu Yicun, he leaped forward, and the three women followed closely.  The youngster and Qianqian stopped fighting. Liu Yicun threw a small box to Qianqian, said, “go now!” Qianqian hasn’t made a move but saw the three women turned at her, then  she flew and fled without thinking. The three women of course will follow but at the same time, Liu Yicun threw another box to Teng Kuanrou. Teng Kuanrou doesn’t know why either, but as soon as he caught it, Liu Yicun also said, “Go!”
Teng Kuanrou then realized that this move was a fake, trying to distract the three women. So Teng immediately flew to the opposite direction of Qianqian. The three women did not know which way they should go, just a click, even Liu Yicun has disappeared as well. The three woman stamped their feet,  extremely resentful. The youngster laughed above the tree, said: “They are all masters of light power. You can’t catch up with any of them. The people in Central Plains are so cunning. You have just learned another lesson.”
The three women pulled the veils down, and all are beautiful. The one who had appeared in the Prince mansion, said gently: “Yueqiao, even though we failed to do that, but we still have to chase back the holy glass.”
It turned out that the youngster’s name is Yueqiao. He jumped down from the tree and pay respect to this woman: “Yes, Aunt Mu.”
Mulun was thinking about how to redeploy. She was obviously the leader of this group. She said: “Ruoxian, Qiman, you two go to the south, check with other guardians, any discovery  send the messager dove immediately to Report.”

Ruoxian and Qiman then left right away. They seemed to have no more time to loss.
Aunt Mu looked back at Yueqiao, smiled helplessly. “You are still with me!”
“Yes, Aunt Mu.” Yueqiao replied with respect again. It is completely different to what he was appeared to Qianqian.

Qianqian stopped running when she found nobody was actually chasing. She opened the box to see what the treasure is. But she saw nothing, she yelled: “Dead willow! I knew it.” she looked back to the forest, it seems so quiet, not even a bird is flying, so she sneaked back. When she returned to the mulberry forest, it was nobody, only her horse that left behind was eating grass alone. Qianqian pulled her over and touched her mane, said: “Horse, horse, only you are the best for me.” After that, someone answered: “Sister, sister, your Teng brother are not good to you?”
Qianqian turned around and saw Teng Kuanrou pulling his horse, smiling, walking towards her. Her heart was a bit pounding, but she concealed: “Well! Why is it only you? Where is that Liu Yicun?”
Teng Kuanrou took out the brocade box and opened it. It was also empty. He simpered and said: “We have all being used. The god of thief, Liu Yicun is really wise and courageous.” Qianqian instantly opposed: “What? wise and courageous,! Are you talking with your nose?”
Teng Kuanrou laughed happily.  He was actually grateful to uncle Liu. If not because of him, Qianqian might have gone far away by now. For a moment, the two were speechless. Teng Kuanrou was trying not to ask her anything, until Qianqian started the conversation voluntarily, returned his sword and said: “Where does the dead willow go?”
Teng Kuanrou was hiding behind the trees, while that Aunt Mu was talking. They should have known that Liu Yicun is going to south. If it was south, it would pass through  Dongting Lake, thinking of it, suddenly blurted out: “That’s right!”
Qianqian looked at him curiously and said, “What is it?”
Teng Kuanrou pretended to be mysterious: “I am right, uncle Liu must be heading south to Dongting Lake.”
“Why should he go south to Dongting Lake?” Qianqian doesn’t believe it, because she knows that Teng Kuanrou’s family is in Baling Dongting. This is definitely with another purpose.

Teng continued to talk nonsense: “Would you like to eat squid of Dongting Lake?”
“Squid?” Qianqian inexplicably wonder, how can he suddenly change the topic to squid? Teng Kuanrou knows that if he talks sincerely, she will definitely not listening, so that he was pulling her around with interesting subject, then he smiles proudly: “Yes! You know the hustle of Dongting Lake.”

” How long is that fish?”
Qianqian of curiosity really being picked up, asked zealously: “How long?”
“As long as you!” Teng Kuanruo looked at her as a fish, laughing.
Qianqian also laughed: “How can you say long for people! It should be said tall.”
Teng Kuanrou pretended not to understand, seriously asked: “How can fish be said that it is tall? It is long.”
“I am talking about people!”
“I am talking about fish!”
The two rode on horses while talking nonsense like this, without feeling embarrassed being together.
Teng Kuanruo suspected that on the way to the south, they might have chance to encounter those women in black again. In order to cover up their identities, he bought two sets of farmer’s clothes from the nearby village and replaced the two horses with a horse carriage. Although the carriage is not running fast, the two of them can sit side by side, talking, chatting, laughing all the way to the south.
After Xuchang, they have been down south for a few days. Nothing wrong had happened. The two gradually put down their guards. They dressed in farmer clothes, drove a carriage. When Qianqian tired of talking, she can lay on the hay behind the seat, listening to Teng Kuanrou singing the Dongting boat song: “The scenery on the Dongting Lake is good, the wind blows the rice in August.” Qianqian imagines the white sails cover the lake, and the colorful carp fills the warehouse.” For a while, she forgot she was in the rivers and lakes. What happened in the capital has faded, and even Songhu Island seems to be out of reach.
Today is a warm spring day. The wind is light and swift. Swallows shuttle between the two sides of the road. The new green under the cloud shades.
Teng Kuanrou hold the reins, said leisurely: “After Xuchang, it is Nanyang, passing Nanyang, crossing the Hanshui, it is Baling.  My sister! the southern country is water town.  The lifestyle is different from those in the capital city. ”
Qianqian jumped to the seat beside him, asked, “Well! You just said that Nanyang is the hometown of Kongming?”
Teng Kuanrou nodded: “Yes, Kongming squatted in Nanyang. It is the place. Nanyang and Xuchang were the battlegrounds of the ancient time. This is a throat fortress. Once crossing the river, you can drive straight in. The Central Plains would be under control.”
Qianqian asked again: “So if the Liao occupied this place, the whole Song Dynasty must be in their hands?”
Teng Kuanrou couldn’t help surprised, looked at Qianqian seriously. Her eyes were gloomy and look worried. He answered in a grave tone: “If this is the case, the Song dynasty would be at least half lost. But we also have a million soldiers, plus the natural barrier of the Qinling Mountains. It is not so easy for the Liao to cross the border. Not to mention that if they had come to Nanyang. Even though it really happened. There was me, your big brother. You are no need to be afraid.” Although this is to be said, there are still hidden worries in Teng Kuanrou’s heart. He knows that one day The Yanyun Sixteen States has not been retrieved yet, the Great Song Dynasty is still in crisis. But he has not said to Qianqian.
Qianqian looked at Teng Kuanrou, seeing that he is not afraid, but his eyes are slightly darkened, frowning and no longer talking. They looked around the mountains and rivers in front just like painting, it is so hard to believe that the Great Song will have a day of elimination. Qianqian recalled what Lv Jiannan said in the cave, she somewhat agree with him.
Teng Kuanrou sees Qianqian is still pondering, said: “Don’t you worry too early too soon. You are too young to worry this kind of stuff. Even it will really comes, I will take my sword, like all the people of The Great Song, slaughtering the evils and protecting our country.”
Qianqian seriously asked: “Do you really want to protect our country?”
Teng Kuanrou looked at Qianqian of  her watery eyes, immediately put away a smile said: “Of course, whether the country is rising and falling, a man has responsibility.”
while the two gazing at each other. The carriage entered a village. Teng Kuanrou took the reins and rode slowly on the slate floor of the village. The sound of the horseshoe was getting loud. There was a small river in front of the village.  Several peach trees  were standing on the river bank, with their blossoms in full bloom. There were smiling faces welcome people along the path. After crossing the river, they went into the village. There were only a few pedestrians and no smile on my face. Teng Kuanrou said while watching: “Sister, we are here to find a guesthouse to stay for tonight, and we will go to Nanyang tomorrow, okay?” Before Qianqian answer, an old man plunged out of the alley and fell in front of the carriage. Teng Kuanrou immediately stopped the carriage and was about to help the old man. Then he saw two guys in arm from the alley, shouting, swaying and stalking towards them. When they saw the old man, kicked and punched him.  Qianqian saw this, she at instant try to interrupt but was pressed by Teng Kuanrou. “Let’s me handle it!” Teng Kuanrou got off the carriage and walked to the officers, said, ” this old man is so old, how can you punch and kick like this?”
Before his words was finished, the official roared: “Not your business, or even you will I kick and punch.” Frighten him by swinging his arm, but his wrist were suddenly unable to move. Teng Kuanrou softly twisted, he screamed in pain instantly. Another officer sees the sword Teng Kuanrou was gently pulling out.  Thought: This man is in farmer dress, but apparently is a martial artist. seeing him standing with a smile, not afraid of the officers at all.  So he held his companion back, just said: “If you have gut, don’t leave.”  but themself fled into the alley right away. Teng Kuanrou and Qianqian immediately raised the old man. The old man saw him carry a sword. Knowing that he must be a knight,  said: “Thank you for the help of this old useless man.” After that he sighed again.  Qianqian asked: “What problem of you can not be solved?”
The old man sighed again and again: “You don’t know. The former government had to release the seedlings, forcing us to borrow the official money, and the interest rate was already unaffordable. Now, the new dynasty abolished the new law. It is not bad. It doesn’t need to release the seedlings, but The bureaucrat suddenly wants us to pay off the money we borrowed. When the spring seedlings are just sowed, is there any money to pay back? The government seized my house and took away my son to pay off the debt … “ the old man said that he doesn’t want to say anymore, stood up and bowed to Teng Kuanrou and Qianqian, then once again sighed and limped away.
Qianqian and Teng Kuanrou looked at each other, felt so helpless. They randomly picked a guest house to stay in the village, then planned to go to Nanyang tomorrow.
Shortly after leaving Fangjia Village, they entered Dengzhou. The mood of the two gradually recovered. Qianqian stretched out and said: “When we arrived Dengzhou, we went to Nanyang Ancient City, right?”
Teng Kuanrou said: “Of course!”
Qianqian said: “Well! Then we can see the land that Kongming ploughed?”
Teng Kuanrou said with a smile: “You silly girl, the Three Kingdoms era has been passed more than 800 years. The ancient city has been in disrepair for a long time. It has not been valued in my dynasty. The so-called heroes, how many romantic figures in ancient  times have already vanished.”
Qianqian grinned: “The people are indeed changing very fast, but I see that the sea is still the sea, the mulberry field is still mulberry field, what has changed?”
She always has strange arguments come up, Teng Kuanrou just laughed and said: “The deceased are like that the moon and  the water,  they have not ever gone.  If imagined everything is changing, nothing has ever last a second.  If imagined unchanging of the heaven and the earth, that you and me are endless.”

What he recited was the The red cliff written by Su Shi during the reign of last Emporer. Su Shi and Teng’s family were in contact with each other. Therefore, Teng Kuanrou was fortunate enough to read it, but Qianqian did not know what it is. Even though, she enjoyed watching him reciting the article. That gave her a subtle influence on the kind of self-satisfaction. Qianqian think that she somewhat understand the meaning of the article. She just can’t say it. Looking at Teng Kuanrou, he just smiled, and they seemed to have a heart and soul met in the moment.


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