Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword - Chapter 63
Chapter 63 - A Severing of Relationships
An autumn forest, a dried and withered forest.
Just past this decayed forest lies a remote and secluded path. Ah Fei pointed at a light at the far end of the road and said, "That is my home."
This word in the ears of Li XunHuan is a totally foreign and unfamiliar word.
Ah Fei, with his eyes still focused on the light in the distance continued, "The lamps are still lit, she must not be asleep yet."
In the small house, there was a bright lamp, a thick cotton dress, and the fluttering eyebrows of a beautiful woman. She sat diligently sewing clothes under the lamp light, patiently waiting for her most intimate person to return to her side.
What an extremely beautiful picture.
Just the though of this picture filled Ah Fei's heart with sweet longing and warmth, and those pair of razor sharp eyes became soft and gentle.
He had always been a solitary and lonely person, but now, he knows that there is someone waiting for him ... the person he loves the most in the world is waiting for him.
This feeling is definitely a joyous one, a feeling that is incomparable to any other, a feeling that can't be replaced by anything else in the world.
Li XunHuan's heart sunk.
Seeing the that look of happiness on Ah Fei's face, he coudln't help but feel guilty.
He originally had not intended to disappoint Ah Fei. He couldn't imagine what Ah Fei's reaction would be when Ah Fei discovered that Lin XianEr wasn't there.
Although what he was doing was for Ah Fei's own good, to allow him to live on happily and righteously like a true man, Li XunHuan still felt that in some way he was wronging his friend.
"A long sadness cannot compare to a short one."
Li XunHuan just hoped that Ah Fei would recover quickly from the sadness that was to come, and would quickly forget all about her as well. She wasn't worth his love and wasn't worth his moping over.
Unfortunately, people always fall in love with those whom they shouldn't fall in love with. Because emotions are like an unbridled horse, completely uncontrollable and inescapable. This is one of the saddest truths of being human. And because of this, there is no end to the tragedies that befall us all.
The lamp is bright, and the door is slightly opened. Light seeps through the crack and illuminates the path outside. The road was soaked with rain from the night before and under the lamp light were a track of disordered footprints. They were the footprints of a man.
"Who has come here before?" Ah Fei said as he furrowed his brow, but slowly he became at ease again.
He had always trusted Lin XianEr. He believed that she would never do anything to betray that trust.
Li XunHuan followed him from a short distance as if he was afraid of stepping foot inside that house.
Ah Fei turned around and said smilingly, "I hope the stew that she is cooking tonight doesn't have any bamboo shoots in it. You can try a little and you'll discover that her skills in the kitchen are even better than her skills with the blade."
Li XunHuan smiled in response. Who would have known that this smile was full of so much grief?
The big bowl of beef rib soup really didn't have bamboo shoots in it. Li XunHuan just couldn't figure out her secret. Perhaps what happens today will really be completely different.
Li XunHuan simply couldn't imagine how a woman could use such cruel methods to deceive someone who loved and cared for her so much.
"But how am I any different, I'm deceiving him as well." Li XunHuan thought to himself.
"Why can't I just tell him honestly, that Lin XianEr is no longer here, and that it was all my idea." Li XunHuan bent down and let out an agonizing cough.
Ah Fei looked back at him and said, "If only you were willing to live with me here for some time, that cough of yours would go away. Because there is no wine here, only soup."
But he would never know just how damaging that "soup" was to his body, much more damaging than any wine could ever be.
Not a single sound could be heard from inside the house.
"She must be in the kitchen. Otherwise, she would have definitely come out to welcome you." Ah Fei said.
Li XunHuan didn't answer him because he just didn't know what he should say.
Finally the door was opened. The small living room was as clean as before. The lamp on the table wasn't lit but still emitted warmth.
Ah Fei let out a long sigh of relief. He had finally returned home safe and sound. He didn't let her down. But where was she? Where could she be?
There weren't any lights on in the kitchen, let alone warm soup waiting for him. The door of Lin XianEr's room was shut tightly.
Ah Fei looked back at Li XunHuan who still stood in the doorway and said, "She must have already went to bed. She always falls asleep really early."
Li XunHuan wanted to let out a smile but the muscles on his face tensed up. He heard faint moans from inside the room, they were the moans of a woman.
The moans of a dying woman!
The voice was definitely coming from inside Lin XianEr's room.
Li XunHuan's face changed colors, he dashed towards the door and banged on it. "Are you alright? Please open the door!"
There was no answer. The moaning stopped as well. Whoever was inside was obviously trying to respond but couldn't let out a single word.
Ah Fei began sweating profusely and rammed the door open with his shoulder.
Li XunHuan shut his eyes. He didn't want to see the look on Ah Fei's face right now. The look on the face of someone who is witnessing his lover in her dying breath, who would want to see such a thing?
Not only did Li XunHuan not dare to look, nor could he bear to look, he simply didn't even want to entertain the thought of it.
But when the door was opened, he didn't hear anything. Could it be that Ah Fei was so struck by the scene that he fainted?
Li XunHuan opened his eyes and saw Ah Fei still standing in the doorway of Lin XianEr's room.
But the strange thing was the look on Ah Fei's face was not one of sadness but one of bewilderment.
What had just happened in that room? Li XunHuan just couldn't figure it out.
The first thing Li XunHuan saw was blood. Then he saw the person lying over the pool of blood.
But he never would have guessed that the person lying there in a pool of blood, breathing her last breath, was LingLing.
Li XunHuan's blood froze. Ah Fei calmly looked over the body that lay on the floor. A strange expression came over his face. Did he just figure something out?
He didn't ask "What is this young girl doing here?"
Instead, he coldly asked, "This time, was she waiting for you here again?"
Li XunHuan felt as if his heart was split open.
He rushed over picking up the bloodsoaked LingLing in his arms, and tested her for a pulse and breath.
He only hoped that it wasn't too late to save her life. He was desperate.
LingLing finally opened her eyes and saw Li XunHuan. Tears fell from her eyes.
These were tears of sorrow, yet they were also tears of joy.
Before her death, she was able to see Li XunHuan one last time.
Li XunHuan's eyes were overflowing with tears now, and said in a soft comforting voice, "You are so young, there's no way you will die."
LingLing appeared as if she didn't hear his words at all, and said in a trembling voice,
"This time you were wrong."
"This time I was wrong" Li XunHuan said half-sobbingly.
"You should have known, there isn't a man alive who would be willing to kill her." LingLing said.
Li XunHuan's voice had almost become silent, "I've dragged you down into this, I have wronged you."
LingLing struggled to take a hold of his hand. "You have always been good to me. You're not the one who has wronged me. It is him."
"He tricked me, and I ... I've tricked you too."
"You didn't ..."
Her fingernails started to dig into his skin. "I've deceived you ... I had long lost my virginity to him. When I was here waiting for you ... I just hated myself for not telling you from the beginning."
Her voice suddenly became much clearer, as if she was full of energy again. But Li XunHuan knew it was just an illusion. If it weren't for her youthfulness, there was no way she could have lived until now.
"I tried my best to stay alive until moment, because I wanted to explain this to you, because if you can understand, then I can die with no regrets."
"It was my fault to begin with, it was my fault for not protecting you ..."
"Even though he deceived me, I don't hate him. Because I know he will definitely receive retribution, he will receive a punishment that is ten times worse ten mine."
"It was him..."
Before Li XunHuan could finish his sentence, Ah Fei forcefully pushed pushed him aside.
He stared at LingLing and asked, "You lead Lu FengXian to this place?"
LingLing bit down on her lip.
"It was him that asked you to bring Lu FengXian here?"
LingLing suddenly exhausted her remaining strength and shouted out all in one breath, "Yes, it was him, but do you know for what reason he is doing this? Do you know how much he has done for you? For you ..."
Her voice abruptly cracked and she stopped breathing.
Extremely serene, she died an extremely serene death.
There was no further movement from her body, and there was no further sound from her mouth.
Except for the wind that still blew, everything including the ground itself seemed to lose all of its vitality. Everything had seemingly transformed into a graveyard. A graveyard in which all life could be buried in.
But even the sound of the wind seemed to weep in sorrow. Its cry could shatter one's heart.
After who knows how long, Ah Fei finally stood straight up. But he didn't cast one glance at Li XunHuan. He just coldly asked, "Why did you do this for?"
Normally Li XunHuan would've answered this question without hesitation. But at this moment he didn't say a single word.
He knew that by saying anything he would not only cause himself pain, but it would be hard for others to endure as well.
Ah Fei still didn't turn to face him, and slowly continued, "You thought she was the one who was causing me to fall into depression. That if she were to leave me, that I would regain my livelihood. But did you know that without her, there's no way I could live on?"
Li XunHuan sullenly replied, "I only hoped that you would stop being deceived, that you could find someone who was worthy of your love and affection, and that, you could totally forget all this unhappiness in your life."
Ah Fei seemed shocked and replied, "You think that she has been deceiving me? And that she isn't worth my affection?"
"I only know this, that ever since you met her, she has brought nothing but misfortune."
"And how do you know whether I am happy, or that I'm unhappy?"
Ah Fei finally turned and stared at Li XunHuan and said angrily, "Who do you think you are? Trying to control my every thought and trying to control my destiny? You're nothing. You're just a fool who's lying to himself. You let the woman you love walk straight into hands of danger, and then you think of yourself as all high and noble."
Every word he spoke was as sharp as a needle. No other words in the world could hurt Li XunHuan more.
Ah Fei gritted his teeth and continued, "And even if all she brought to me was misfotune, what about you? What do you bring to those around you? Lin ShiYin's happiness was totally ruined by you. And you're still not satisfied, you still have to come and ruin mine?"
Li XunHuan's hands began to tremble, and before he could even bend down, he was already coughing up blood.
Ah Fei took a few long glances at him before turning around and began walking towards the door. Before Li XunHuan had even stopped coughing, he lunged towards the door and blocked the exit.
"What do you still want?" Ah Fei said.
Li XunHuan wiped the blood off his mouth with his sleeve and caught his breath.
"You ... you're going to look for her?"
"You can't go!"
"I said so. Because even if you can find her and bring her back, it'll only be more painful. Sooner or later, the day will come when she will destroy you ... I can't bare to watch you suffer under the hands of this kind of woman."
Ah Fei was already holding on very tightly, but with each word that Li XunHuan spoke, his grip tightened even more. His fingers started to turn white from all the pressure.
His face started turning pale as well. The colors of his eyes had turned a bright fiery red.
"You're being apart from her now will only cause you temporary pain. But if you stay together with her, that pain will last a lifetime. When you two separated, you should've seen clearly just what happenend ..."
Ah Fei interrupted him, "You've always been my friend."
"Up until now, you are still my friend."
"But from now on, we are friends no longer!"
A total look of shock came upon Li XunHuan's face. "Why?"
"Because I can endure you insulting me, but I cannot forgive you for insulting her!"
"You think I'm merely insulting her?"
"I've put up with so much until now, because we've always been friends. But from this day forward, if you dare insult her one more time, that insult will have to be washed away with blood!" Ah Fei's body was shaking now as he spoke, "Whether it be mine or yours!"
Li XunHuan appeared as if someone had punched him hard in the chest. He took two steps back towards the side of the door.
He clenched his mouth closed but blood still dripped down from the sides of his cheek.
"I'm going to go look for her now, and no matter what I will find her. I hope you are not planning to follow me. Because if you are, you will live to regret it!" Ah Fei said, while not even looking at Li XunHuan.
After those words, he walked out of the house.
Tears usually taste salty. But some tears tend to flow inwards back into our stomach.
These tears not only taste salty, but incredibly bitter.
Blood usually tastes salty as well. But the blood of a broken hearted person, that blood will taste even more bitter than tears.
Li XunHuan had no idea how long he had been coughing up blood now, but his sleeves were already dyed red. He had no way of standing up straight either.
The footprints on the floor were all stained with blood. Li XunHuan suddenly remembered the set of disordered footprints that he saw earlier outside and his heart turned freezing cold.
Ah Fei would definitely find her. Because Lin XianEr will secretly leave traces along her path, so that he could find her.
It didn't even have to be anything substantial, because Ah Fei was naturally gifted at tracking people down.
His skills at tracking were probably even superior to trained dogs.
But what happens when he does catch up?
Its almost certain that Ah Fei will challenge Lu FengXian to fight to the death.
Lin XianEr loved watching men fight to the death for her.
Just thinking about the scenario made Li XunHuan break out in cold sweat.
At the present, Ah Fei is no match for Lu FengXian. The only person who could save him now is Li XunHuan, however ...
"I hope you are not planning to follow me. Because if you are, you will live to regret it!"
And Li XunHuan knew that Ah Fei always meant every word he says!
Furthermore, it was extremely dark outside now.
Li XunHuan's ability at tracking people were nowhere near Ah Fei's level. Even if he wanted to chase after them, his chance of success was close to zero.
Li XunHuan struggled to stand. He picked up LingLing's body, placed her on the bed, and covered her with a blanket.
No matter the consequences, he would go after them. Li XunHuan had made up his mind.
Even if Ah Fei no longer considers him to be a friend, Li XunHuan will always will always consider Ah Fei to be his friend.
His friendship towards Ah Fei will never change.
Its the same with his love. Even if the seas dry up and the mountains split, his heart would never change.
"ShiYin, ShiYin, how have you been?"