Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword - Chapter 15
Chapter 15: True Love
After snowing for so many days, sunlight finally reappeared today.
Yet sunlight did not reach this particular room. Li Xun Huan did not despair. He knows that many places on Earth never see the sunlight.
Besides, he’s already very familiar with despair.
He’s not sure exactly what Tian, Zhao, and the others will do to him. He’s too lazy to think of such things. Right now, Tian Qi is taking the Shaolin monks to see Qin Xiao Yi and his son. They simply threw him into this storage room. However, Long Xiao4 Yun didn’t say a thing.
Li Xun Huan doesn’t blame Long Xiao4 Yun.
Long Xiao4 Yun has his reasons. Besides, he can’t do anything anyway.
Now, Li Xun Huan can only hope Ah Fei would not come back and try to save him. He knows that although Ah Fei’s sword is fast, his martial arts has many holes. If he meets up with the likes of Tian Qi and Reverend Xin Mei, and his sword doesn’t draw blood with the first strike, then his sword would probably never draw blood again!
In just three more years, Ah Fei would be able to cover his weaknesses. At that time, he would be invincible.
So he must live for another three years.
The floor is very wet. Li Xun Huan coughed again. He only wish that he could drink some wine.
Yet now, even this wish is beyond his reach. If someone else was in this position, that person would probably cry.
But Li Xun Huan laughed instead. He thought that some of the things in this world are quite funny.
This used to be his house. Everything here used to be his. Yet now everyone thinks he’s a thief, locking him in this little room like a dog. Who would’ve thought?
The door suddenly opened.
Perhaps Zhao Zheng Yi can’t even wait this short a while, and decided to kill him now?
Yet Li Xun Huan immediately found out that it’s not Zhao Zheng Yi. He smelled excellent wine. And saw a hand holding the wine bottle.
This hand is quite small, covering the wrist is a bright red sleeve.
Li Xun Huan said, “Xiao3 Yun, Is that you?”
The red child came in giggling. He held the bottle with both hands and smelled the wine. Then said with a bright smile, “I know you really want a drink, right?”
Li Xun Huan also smiled. “Since you know that I really want wine, you brought me some, right?”
The red child nodded. He poured some wine into a cup, then put it in front of Li Xun Huan’s face. Just as Li Xun Huan opened this mouth, the red child withdrew his hand. He then spoke with a smile, “You have to guess what kind of wine this is before I let you drink it.”
LI Xun Huan closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, then said. “This is an old Zhu Ye Qing. It’s my favorite wine. If I can’t even smell this type of wine, then I truly deserve to die.”
The red child smiled. “No wonder people all say Little Li Tan Hua is an expert on women and wine. But if you really want to drink this wine, then you better answer a question.”
“What’s the question?”
The bright smile from the red child’s face disappeared quickly.
He stared at Li Xun Huan and asked, “What exactly is your relationship with my mother? Does she like you a lot?”
Li Xun Huan’s face also changed. He just said, “Is this really something you should ask?”
The red child answered, “Why can’t a child ask about his mother?”
Li Xun Huan said in an angry tone. “You should realize that your mother loves your father wholeheartedly. How could you think otherwise?”
The red child laughed coldly. “Do you think you can hide this from me? Stop dreaming.”
He bit his teeth. “When mother heard what happened to you, she just closed the door and cried secretly in her room. Even when I almost died, she didn’t cry like this. I’m asking you now. Why?”
Li Xun Huan’s heart dropped. It’s as if he just became a pile a mud, being stepped on by passing people. After a long time, he finally regained his composure. “I’ll tell you this right now. You can question anyone. But never your mother. That’s because she has nothing to hide. Now you can take your wine and go.”
The red child stared at him. “This wine is for you. How could I take it back?”
He suddenly poured the whole cup on Li Xun Huan’s face.
Li Xun Huan didn’t move. He didn’t even look at the red child’s face. Instead he just said, “You’re just a kid. I don’t blame you.”
The red child laughed coldly. “Even if I weren’t a kid, what can you do to me?”
He suddenly pulled out a dagger, which he waved in front of Li Xun Huan’s face. “Do you see this dagger clearly? This is your dagger. She said that if I have this dagger, you’ll protect me. But can you protect me now? You can’t even protect yourself.”
Li Xun Huan sighed. “You’re right. Dagger is for killing anyway, not for protection.”
The red child’s face turned all white. He said venomously, “You crippled me. Now I want you to experience the same pain. You...”
Suddenly someone yelled outside. “Xiao3 Yun? Is that you inside?”
This voice is warm and enchanting. Yet when Li Xun Huan and the red child heard this, their faces immediately changed. The red child immediately hid the dagger, his face regaining that innocent smile. “Mom. I’m in here. I brought some wine for Uncle Li. But when mom you yelled, it scared me. Look, you got me to spill all this wine on Uncle Li’s face.”
As he spoke, Lin Shi Yin arrived at the door. Her beautiful eyes now all red, filled with sadness.
Yet when she saw the red child, she immediately regained her warmness. “Your Uncle Li doesn’t want to drink wine right now. You should be resting in bed right now. Come on.”
The red child said, “Uncle Li isn’t really guilty, is he? How come we won’t try to save him?”
Lin Shi Yin said softly, “A child should not say such things. Go to sleep.”
The red child turned and looked at Li Xun Huan. “Uncle Li. I need to go now. Tomorrow I’ll bring more wine for you.”
As Li Xun Huan looked at that child’s innocent smile, cold sweat poured down his face.
Then he heard Lin Shi Yin sigh. “I was originally afraid that he might try to hurt you. But now... now I don’t worry anymore. Although he has made some mistakes, he’s still a good boy.”
Li Xun Huan could only smile along.
Lin Shi Yin didn’t look at him. After a long time, she said, “You used to at least keep your promises. Why did you change?”
Li Xun Huan felt as if his throat had been stuffed, preventing him from saying anything.
“You promised me not to see Lin Xian Er. Yet they found you in Lin Xian Er’s room.”
Li Xun Huan laughed. He doesn’t even know himself why he laughed, but he did laugh. Looking at his own feet, he said, “I remember that this shack was built only about fifteen or so years ago.”
“Yet now this room is already old. The window is broken. There’s a hole on the roof. This shows that ten years is indeed a long time. If a room can changed, how come people can’t?”
Lin Shi Yin squeezed her own hand, then asked, “Since... since when did you became a liar?”
Li Xun Huan said, “I’ve always been a liar. It’s just that I’m much more experienced now.”
Li Xun Huan still kept smiling. His goal has been reached.
He wanted to hurt her. Hurt her so she’ll leave. He can’t drag down others with him. So he must be heartless to hurt those he loves.
Because these are the people he cares for the most.
Hurting them is like hurting himself. Although he smile on the surface, his heart is already broken.
He closed his eyes so tears won’t come out. By the time he opened them again, he found that Lin Shi Yin is still right in front of him, staring into his eyes.
“Why..why are you still here?”
Lin Shi Yin said, “I just want to make sure. Are you... are you really the Plum Flower Bandit?”
Li Xun Huan burst into laughter. “Am I the Plum Flower Bandit? You ask if I’m the Plum Flower Bandit...”
Lin Shi Yin said, “Although I don’t believe it, I still want you to tell me yourself.”
Li Xun Huan kept on laughing. “If you don’t believe so, why do you ask? If I’m a liar, then why bother asking me? If I can lie to you once, I can lie to you a hundred times! A thousand times!”
Lin Shi Yin’s face became more and more pale. Her whole body shaking.
After a long time, she said, “I’ll let you go. I don’t care if you’re the Plum Flower Bandit. I’ll still let you go. I only hope that you’ll never come back this time!”
Li Xun Huan said loudly, “Stop! How can you do this? Do you think I’ll run away like a dog? What kind of a person do you think I am?”
Lin Shi Yin ignored him, and instead went over to unseal his pressure point.
At this moment, someone said, “Shi Yin. What do you think you’re doing?”
This is Long Xiao4 Yun’s voice.
Lin Shi Yin turned around and stared at Long Xiao4 Yun. She spoke one word at a time. “You don’t know what I’m trying to do?”
Long Xiao4 Yun’s face changed. “But...”
Lin Shi Yin said, “But what? You’re suppose to be the one to do this! Did you forget all the things he did for us? Did you forget the past? Are you going to watch him die like this?”
Long Xiao Yun squeezed his own hands. Then he started to hit his own chest. “I don’t have the courage. I’m afraid. I’m a coward. But why don’t you think a minute. How can we do this? If we let him go, do you think they’d let us go?”
Lin Shi Yin looked at him, as if looking at a stranger. She took a few steps backward. “You’ve changed. You’ve also changed... You weren’t like this before!”
Long Xiao Yun sighed. “You’re right. I’ve changed. Because I now have a wife, a son. No matter what I do, I have to think of them first.”
Before he finished, she cried. Nothing in this world can move a mother more than her child.
Long Xiao4 Yun kneeled in front of Li Xun Huan, his face full of tears. “Brother. I’ve failed you. I can only seek forgiveness.”
Li Xun Huan said, “Forgive you? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve said it before. None of this is your fault. If I wanted to leave, I could’ve done so already. I wouldn’t need you to save me.”
He was still staring at his own feet, because he really couldn't bear to look at them. He was afraid he would not be able to control his tears.
Long XiaoYun said: "Brother, I know well of your hardships, but I can guarantee that they would not kill you. You only need to see Sum Wu Dai Tze and then you'll be fine."
Li XunHuan wrinkled his brows: "Sum Wu Dai Tze? Could it be that they are planning to send me to Shaolin?"
Long XiaoYun said: "That's right. Cheun Zhung Suer was Sum Wu Dai Tze's beloved disciple. Sum Wu Dai Tze would also not carelessly accuse an innocent man. Besides, senior Bak Heal Seng is at Shaolin right now, he will definitely help you find justice.".
Li XunHuan did not say a word. Because he had just spotted Tian Qi.
Tian Qi was staring at him, snickering.
In that brief moment when Tian Qi appeared, Lin ShiYin restored her composure, nodded slightly towards him, and slowly walked out.
The evening wind cuts to the bone. She took two steps, and suddenly said: "Yun Yue, come on out.".
The red child slipped out from behind the building and smiled: "Mom, I couldn't sleep, so......therefore.....".
Lin ShiYin said: "Therefore you led them here. Am I right?".
The red child laughed and rushed over. He suddenly saw the gloomy complexion on his mother's face, and stopped running, bowing his head.
Lin ShiYin watched him quietly. This was her precious child, her flesh and blood. A few teardrops fell from her eyes.
After a long time, she let out a sad sigh, raised her face towards the heavens, and said: "Why is it that hatred is so much more harder to forget than kindness....."
Tie ChuanJia clenched his fists and paced back and forth within the temple grounds. After who knows how long, the fire went out but nobody went to replenish the firewood.
A Fei just sat there quietly, not moving.
Tie ChuanJia said angrily: I'd already guessed that even if you killed the Plum Flower Bandit, those "dai haps" wouldn't go along with it. If a pack of wild dogs saw a fat piece of meat, how can they be willing to give it up?
A Fei: You did advise me, but I still went, because I had to!
Tie ChuanJia sighed: Luckily you went, otherwise you might not have recognized these "dai haps" true faces.
He suddenly turned around and stared at A Fei: You really didn't get to see my Master?
A Fei: No.
Tie ChuanJia watched the extinguished bonfire and started to space out, mumbling to himself: I wonder how he's doing...
A Fei: He never wished for others to worry about him.
Tie ChuanJia laughed loosely: That's right. Even though those "dai haps" view him as a thorn in the side, a nail in the eyes [OUCH!], not a single one of them would dare to move one of his fingers.
A Fei: Mmm.
Tie ChuanJia looked outside the doorway: The sky is light, I need to depart.
A Fei: Fine.
Tie ChuanJia: If you happen to see my Master, say - "If Tie ChuanJia is able to solve his own problems, he will definitely return to look for him.".
A Fei: Fine.
Tie ChuanJia looked at his thin face, grasped his fist and said: Farewell.
Although there was a caring sentiment in his eyes, he turned his head, and walked out without glancing back.
A Fei still didn't move, but within his pair of strong, shining pupils, there suddenly appeared to be a bit of moisture.
A Fei shut his eyes, as if to go to sleep, but a teardrop escaped from the corner of his eye, like a cold dew drop in a field.
He did not tell Tie ChuanJia of his encounter with Li XunHuan, because he didn't want to watch Tie ChuanJia go stake his life for Li XunHuan, he will go stake his own life for Li XunHuan!
What is the price of one life when it comes to friendship?
After a period of time, the morning sun casted a person's shadow across the area, the long dark shadow advanced to cover A Fei's face.
A Fei did not open his eyes, he only asked: It's you? Do you have any news?
This youth's intuition was better than a wild animal's. The one who came in was Lin XianEr: It's good news.
A Fei was hard pressed to believe that there was still good news in this world.
Lin XianEr: Although he is still not free at the moment, at least he will not be in any danger.
A Fei: Oh?
Lin XianEr: Because Tian Qi and those guys can only go along with Reverend XinMei's proposal to send him off to Shaolin. Shaolin's Abbot XinHu has always been fair. And I also hear that Bai XiaoSheng is there. If these two men can't clear his name, then no one can.
A Fei: Who is Bai XiaoSheng?
Lin XianEr giggled: This person is the world's number one knowledgable person, there is nothing he doesn't know. It is also said that only he can determine whether a Plum Flower Bandit is the real deal or not.
A Fei was silent for a moment. Then he suddenly opened his eyes and stared at Lin XianEr: Do you know which is the most despicable type of person in this world?
Lin XianEr smiled: Would it be like Zhao ZhengYi, that type of Fake Gentleman?
A Fei: A Fake Gentleman is worth hating, but a know-it-all is the most despicable.
Lin XianEr: A know-it-all? Are you referring to Bai XiaoSheng?
A Fei: That's right. This type of person thinks highly of himself. He thinks of himself as very intelligent, that theres nothing he does not know. On his one word alone, he can seal another man's fate, but how much can he truly know?
Lin XianEr: But everyone says...
A Fei laughed coldly: It is only because everyone says there is nothing he doesn't know that, in the end, he winds up fooling himself, and believes that there is nothing he doesn't know.
A Fei continued: I'd rather put my trust in someone who doesn't know a thing.
If a person wants others to have a good impression of him, the best method is to first let others know that he likes himself. Lin XianEr has used this method a number of times.
But this time she didn't use it successfully. A Fei watched the snow fall outside the doorway for a long time, then asked: When are they preparing to move out?
Lin XianEr: Tomorrow morning.
A Fei: Why are they waiting until tomorrow?
Lin XianEr: Because tonight they are giving a welcoming dinner for Reverend XinMei.
A Fei quickly turned his head, and looked at her with bright eyes: There is no reason other than this?
Lin XianEr: Why does there have to be another reason?
A Fei: Reverend XinMei would not delay a day just for a meal.
Lin XianEr shifted her eyes: Although he would not stay because of a meal, he must do so because tonight there will also be another special guest.
A Fei: Who?
Lin XianEr: TieDi Xian Sheng [Mr. Iron Flute].
A Fei: TieDi Xian Sheng? Who is he?
Lin XianEr's eyes widened and appeared very startled: You don't even know who TieDi Xian Sheng is?
A Fei: Why must I know who he is?
Lin XianEr sighed: Because even if TieDi Xian Sheng is not THE most reputable person in today's martial world, he is not far from it.
A Fei: Oh.
Lin XianEr: It is rumored that this person's martial arts is high and not any lesser than the leaders of the Seven Major Sects [Here we go with the 7 major sects again...].
At the same time she was speaking, she was watching for a reaction on A Fei's face.
But once again, A Fei disappointed her.
His face did not appear frightened at all. On the contrary, he laughed: So, they invited this TieDi Xian Sheng to take care of me.
Lin XianEr lowered her eyes: Reverend XinMei always plans things very carefully. He's afraid...
A Fei: He's afraid I will go rescue Li XunHuan, so he got TieDi Xian Sheng to be a bodyguard.
Lin XianEr: Even if they didn't look for him, TieDi Xian Sheng still must come.
A Fei: Why?
Lin XianEr: Because it seems that his beloved concubine died at the hands of the Plum Flower Bandit.
A Fei: Therefore, they will finish dinner before heading out.
Lin XianEr thought for a moment: Or maybe...
A Fei: Or maybe they will never head out.
Lin XianEr: Why?
A Fei: If my wife died at someone else's hands, I would not allow him to live long enough to get to Shaolin.
Lin XianEr changed expression: Are you afraid that once TieDi Xian Sheng arrives, he will move against Li XunHuan?
A Fei: Mmm.
Lin XianEr paused for a second, and sighed: That's right. This is a possibility. TieDi Xian Sheng never let's others persuade him, if he was set on attacking, even Reverend XinMei may not be able to stop him.
A Fei: You have finished saying everything. You may leave.
Lin XianEr: But are you planning to rescue Li XunHuan before TieDi Xian Sheng arrives?
A Fei: Whatever I'm planning, it's none of your concern. Bye.
Lin XianEr: But depending on your one person's strength, there is no way you can rescue him!
She continued on: I know that your martial arts is very high, but Tian Qi and Zhao ZhengYi are also not weak. Furthermore, Reverend XinMei is Shaolin's 2nd ranked master, his inner power is pure....
A Fei stared at her coldly, not saying a word.
Lin XianEr gasped for breath: XingYun Manor can be said to contain an assembly of masters, if you want to go perform a rescue, thats....thats......
A Fei suddenly said: That's crazy. Right?
Lin XianEr lowered her head, not daring to look at his eyes.
A Fei laughed and laughed: Everyone can occasionally be a bit crazy, sometimes that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Lin XianEr bowed her head: I understand your meaning.
A Fei: Oh.
Lin XianEr: Because no one is expecting you to dare strike in broad daylight, their defenses won't be very tight. And besides, last night was very busy. They could be sleeping past noon...
A Fei: You've already spoken way too much.
Lin XianEr: Fine, I'll shut up. But you...you should still be careful, in the event something happens, don't forget that there is still someone in XingYun Manor who owes you a life.
A Fei waited across from XingYun Manor for an hour.
He is crouched there, like he's outside a mouse hole, not a single movement from head to toe, just a pair of sharp cat-eyes.
The wind cutted across his body, cold like a knife.
But he did not care one bit. When he was ten, in order to catch a fox, he waited on top of snow without moving for two hours.
That time he endured, because of hunger. If he didn't get that fox, it was possible he would starve! In order to survive, it is not difficult for a man to endure hardship.
But for a person to endure hardship in order that someone else can survive is not an easy thing. Very few people can pull this off.
At this time a person staggered out from XingYun Manor. Even though he was very far, A Fei could still make out that this person was a freckled man.
He naturally didn't figure that this freckled man was Lin XianEr's father, he only saw that he was a high ranking servant of XingYun Manor.
Because an ordinary servant would not be so arrogant - and if one is not a servant, he would also not be this arrogant.
Although this man's belly was not full of envy, it was full of wine.
Right now he was staggering over to the teahouse to do some heavy-duty boasting. Who knew that when he reached the street corner, he suddenly discovered that a sword was pointing at his throat.
A Fei did not like to use a sword on this type of person, but using a sword to speak was more effective than using one's tongue. He coldly said: I ask one thing, you answer one thing. If you can't answer, I'll kill you. If you answer incorrectly, I'll also kill you. Do you understand?
Freckled Lin wanted to nod his head, but was afraid of getting stabbed by the sword. He wanted to say something, but nothing came out. The wine in his belly had changed into cold sweat.
A Fei: I ask you, Is Li XunHuan still inside the manor?
Freckled Lin: Yes...
His lips trembled a few times before he could get this word out.
A Fei: Where?
Freckled Lin: In the firewood......firewood shed.
A Fei: Lead me there!
Freckled Lin became terrified: How could I lead you there....I don't....I don't have the means.....
A Fei: You can definitely think of a way.
He suddenly moved his sword, and with a "chi" sound, the blade of the sword stabbed into the wall.
A Fei's stare penetrated inside Freckled Lin's veins, and coldly said: You can definitely think of a way, is that right?
Freckled Lin's teeth clattered: Yes....yes.....
A Fei: Good, turn around and walk straight back inside. Don't forget I'm right behind you.
Since this wasn't the first time Freckled Lin has brought a friend here, when A Fei followed behind him, the doormen did not take much notice.
The firewood shed was not far from the kitchen, but the kitchen was very far from the Master's room. Because a gentleman is far from the kitchen, and the former master of XingYun Manor was a true gentleman.
Freckled Lin took the shortcut to the firewood shed and did not bump into anyone. Even if he was discovered, they would just think that he was going to the kitchen to steal some food and wine.
Within a lonely courtyard was a lonely building. Outside the broken door was a strong padlock.
Freckled Lin: Master....master Li is locked inside this building. Sir, you...
A Fei stared at him: I don't think you would dare lie to me.
Freckled Lin laughed: How can this servant dare to tell a lie, how can I dare to risk my own head to play a joke.
A Fei: Very well.
After saying these two words, he extended his hand and knocked the freckled man unconscious onto the floor. He ran over and with one leg, he kicked open the door.