Home The Hermit The Moment (Part II)

Chapter 8 The Moment (Part II)

No Sweet Apples Yuzhi Yang 767 words Sat, 13 Oct 2018 14:34:27 GMT Subscribe

Yuxiao couldn’t linger on the pain. He jumped into a standing position and lunged toward Li. Yuxiao’s hands gripped Li’s head from the back as he pressed the man to the ground. There was a twist and the guard’s head turned 180 degrees, instantly killing him.

Yuxiao didn’t pause as he picked up Li’s sword and charged toward the other guard; his entire motion took less than five seconds. The surviving guard, watching Yuxiao’s bloody face and sword, could barely react. Yuxiao looked like a monster in the moonlight, scaring him into running.

Yuxiao hated abusive men like these and couldn’t let him get away. He tossed the sword like a javelin, piercing the guard, who had just gotten on the horse, right in the back. The horse trotted two steps before the man was thrown off, shivered a few times, and took his last breath, with no one the wiser as to his last thoughts. Yuxiao walked over to him and retrieved his wallet. His right eye felt blurry, and feeling it with his hand, he could see there was a smear of blood in the moonlight.

He was stunned. Did I hurt my eye? He felt his right eye with a shaking hand again, then felt calmer. He had only hurt the corner of his eye a little bit and realized the sword must have grazed his right cheek near his temple. He was not vain about his looks, and all of his working out was for cultivating the qi, but he still sighed. “My face has a scar now.”

His words were not deep, but if anyone elderly had heard him they would have been surprised at how jaded he sounded, even though his voice was still young.

Killing six people in one day. Yuxiao stared at the new corpse on the ground.

The soft light from the moon and stars gave everything a glow, and by now, most people would have already fallen asleep. The crickets had lowered their chirping, and even the owls had found their prey and were quiet. There was no sound except the wind moving through the trees, and the two horses could be heard ambling in the woods, snorting lowly. Two dark shadows were motionless on the ground, while another dark shadow stood still, too, as a silhouette in this painting of the forest at night.

As the moon sent down its brightest rays, this young man, staring into space or perhaps lost in thought, looked up at the moon. His eyes had lost their sense of bewilderment from before; it was as if this night gave him a new direction. The blood on his face could not cover up his naiveté, but there was maturity there, and it made his face a little frightening. He looked down at the now sleeping horses, and sat down in a lotus pose to begin meditating and gathering his breath.

The moon and the stars slowly went away, and day took over from night. A pale horizon appeared with the rising sun, and then the red sun rose up from the east, coloring half the sky. As the red faded and the sun rose higher, most of the earth was lit up by daylight. Next to the still young man, the two horses were awake and already grazing.

When the horses were full, they trotted a little further away, perhaps seeking water, or maybe looking for home. The sun moved to the middle of the sky, but the horses didn’t return. All of a sudden, the young man opened his eyes. A bright light flashed within them and an excitement brightening his whole face. Then he started laughing, the sound so loud, it must have traveled far. His face, with remnants of blood, actually seemed rather scary.

“The heavens may not have answered me, but I have finally cultivated qi! Yes!”

This laughing and excited young man was Yuxiao, but he was not the useless fourth brother of the Xue family anymore. Not only was he no longer a loser—he could be called a genius now. He'd had his coming-of-age ceremony already, but hadn’t turned sixteen years old yet. How could an almost-sixteen-years-old, who cultivated qi with his own method, be called a moron? Maybe in his family a sixteen-year-old getting qi was not a big deal, but those who did always practiced the orthodox way and had the right supplements. He was always allergic to those supplements, and yet he had gotten the qi anyway. It was a spectacular achievement.

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