XHP – Chapter 9

Chapter 9

His Secret

 

Hu Sha’s legs are in a twisted form; cold sweat is covering her forehead as she sits on the bed.

 

This position is called ‘The Twisting Posture’.  It has a beautiful pose and can help settle the minds of disciples who have difficulties to stay focus.

 

How beautiful it is; she cannot see.  How settling it is; she cannot feel.

 

She only knows that her feet are in great pain; her bones feel like they are going to break.

 

When she couldn’t take it anymore, she tries to open her eyes but quickly receive Second Senior Brother’s lazy reprimand, “Concentrate, focus.  Do not open your eyes.”

 

Hu Sha is almost in tears.

 

This Second Senior Brother is a lot scarier than the First Senior Brother; he has been keeping an eye on her in front.  She can’t even twist her eyebrows without receiving a scolding.

 

“Second Senior Brother…   I…  I cannot take it anymore.  My feet hurts….” She tremblingly said.  If he continues to forbid her from assuming her normal position, she will no longer be able to use this pair of feet.

 

His voice sounds particularly warm and sympathetic, “Everyone is like that in the beginning.  Once time passes, you will be fine.”

 

“But…. It will really break…… This posture—- cannot……”  She continues to tremble.

 

He half-opened his eyes as he continues to sit without moving on his chair, “Be good.  Just bear with it for a little while.”

 

A loud voice suddenly bellows from outside, “You—–  What are you doing in bright daylight?!”

 

The window is suddenly kicked open.  Dust fills the air.  Hu Sha almost falls from the bed from surprise.  A lady wearing white dress stands by the window; staring at the room with large eyes.  Her face is red.

 

Feng Yi continues to recline on the chair.  Without even opening his eyes, he says, “Can’t you see?”

 

That lady continues to stare at Feng Yi and Hu Sha back and forth.  She finally laughs when she realizes that Hu Sha is assuming the ‘twist position’, “Oh, you two are meditating.  Senior Uncle Feng Yi is really tricky, I thought……”

 

“What did you think?” he casually asks, inciting a red tinge on the girl’s face.

 

Hu Sha cluelessly looks at the both of them, not understanding what this is about.  When the other girl looks at her in appraisal, Hu Sha finally recognizes her.

 

“Ah!  It is you!  The fairy jiejie from yesterday!”  Hu Sha’s eyes twinkles.  Isn’t this the fairy she saw on the forbidden ground?  The one who reared that spirit beast?

 

The girl froze, “Have we met?”

 

“In the forbidden ground!  Have you forgotten?”  Hu Sha is very excited!  She can now secretly relieve herself from this position.  She inconspicuously stretch her legs; woah how comfortable.

 

That lady has a sudden realization.  She mutters under her breath, “Right.  You were the one who got reprimanded by Senior Great Grandfather earlier on…..”

 

Hu Sha suddenly feels embarrassed beyond words.  That lady on the other hand quickly pays respect to her and Feng Yi, “Man Qing greets Senior Uncle Feng Yi and Senior Uncle Hu Sha.”

 

Hu Sha’s shame disappeared; flattered by the girl’s conduct.

 

Feng Yi appears a little impatient, “Are you here to search for my Senior Brother again?”

 

Man Qing’s face turns red, “Y-Yes.  Where is Senior Uncle Feng Di?  I knocked on his door just now but nobody was around.”

 

Feng Yi nods.  “No wonder.  You go around eavesdropping on other people and kick their windows off….  Having this kind of person looking for him everyday, he naturally will not sit still in Zhi Yan House.”

 

Man Qing rubs her nose in embarrassment as she laughs, “Then, since he isn’t around, I should retreat first.  Man Qing is truly sorry for disturbing Senior Uncle’s cultivation.  Goodbye.”

 

She leaves through the window and in the blink of an eye, she disappears.

 

Hu Sha froze as she looks at the ruined window, mumbling to herself, “Don’t tell me fairy jiejie likes the Eldest Senior Brother?”

 

Feng Yi nonchalantly replies her, “Who knows.  She glued herself to him every single day.  Eldest Senior Brother likes earnest and hardworking people; she likes him but couldn’t even understand him, this kind of ‘like’ is pointless.”

 

Hu Sha falls into a deep silence.  After a moment, she cautiously asks him, “This…. Senior Brother, aren’t everyone here celestials?  Celestials are also….. like this?”  Her father used to tell her that celestials cut off all emotions.  Once they start yearning for something, they will be punished to the mortal realm.  Why are emotions and love such a normal thing here?

 

Feng Yi glances at her, “Why not?  Everything in this world are of the yin and yang, which is something that is determined by the heaven and earth.”

 

It— It is like that?

 

“Hu Sha,” his voice suddenly turns warm.  Hu Sha trembles upon hearing his tone, lifting up her head to look at him in desperation.

 

“Why are your legs straightened out?  Seems like I need to teach you back from scratch.”  Feng Yi gets up and leisurely walks over.  He gives her smile before he arrange her legs back to how it was, earlier on.

 

Hu Sha suddenly feels as though her life is tragic beyond compare.

 

“If you won’t concentrate, you will not get any food today.”  After saying that, he goes back to his seat and close his eyes.

 

Hu Sha continues to suffer, sweat lining her forehead.

 

She has no idea how much time has passed; the room is in deep silence.  Winds blows in from the window that Man Qing destroyed.

 

Hu Sha’s head starts nodding off as she falls into a half-asleep state.

 

A flock of birds flies through the bamboo forest, jolting her awake.

 

Sunlight penetrates through the bamboo trees, falling into the window.  A person sits on the seat near the window; wearing a dark robe embroidered with rich red threads.  His sleeves are strewn across the seat.  He appears to be asleep, his black hair framing his face; showing off his long eyelashes.

 

This scene resembles a painting, Hu Sha thought.

 

She holds her breath, as though afraid to wake him up.  She slowly gets down from the bed before massaging her numb legs.

 

Hu Sha looks at the sky, it seems to be around 3 pm at the moment.  She musters up her courage, “Second Senior Brother….. Second Senior Brother……”

 

He didn’t even move.

 

Hu Sha puts on her shoes before heading over to him and pulling his sleeves, “Second Senior Brother, it’s three pm.”

 

He didn’t react.

 

Hu Sha is suddenly suspicious.  She puts her hand under his nose quietly.  He isn’t breathing!  His entire body is cold like ice!  Her soul almost flew off from the shock.  Her knees suddenly turn soft.

 

“Second Senior Brother!” She grasp his hand; it feels so cold, like she is touching a stone.

 

Oh God!  Is he dead?  He actually died!  Hu Sha gets up, planning to run out to look for help only to remember that both Shifu and First Senior Brother aren’t around.  There is nobody around!  She circles around anxiously.

 

“Is Junior Brother Feng Yi around?”  a voice suddenly comes from outside.  Hu Sha feels nervous even though she hasn’t done anything wrong.  “I- I didn’t do it!  It wasn’t me!”

 

The person outside pauses for a while, not saying anything.  Hu Sha forces herself to calm down.  The person outside is a woman; she is looking at her in curiosity and wonder.

 

Hu Sha’s nose turns sour, she really wants to cry right now.  She tremblingly points at Feng Yi, “H-He……”  She suddenly loses the ability to think.

 

As she did that, Feng Yi suddenly speaks, “How noisy.  Didn’t I tell you to meditate until 3 pm?”

 

He gets up and slowly pulls the band that ties his hair.  Black jade-like hair falls against his shoulders.  He quickly adjust them, looking a little impatient.

 

“Second Senior Brother….” Hu Sha is dumbfounded, “Y-You didn’t……”

 

He clearly wasn’t breathing; his entire body was ice cold!  How did he come back to life?

 

Hu Sha couldn’t stop herself from checking his breathing once again.  She place her finger under his nose, coming in contact with his upper lips.  There are warm breaths!  He is still alive!

 

“Aren’t you going to put your hand away?” he lowers his head to look at her.  “I told you to meditate, what are you doing?”

 

Hu Sha froze as she looks at his pretty yet indolent face.

 

“Wah!” she cries out loud.  “Second Senior Brother, you didn’t die!  You are still alive!  Thank goodness!”  Hu Sha cried with tears and mucus and all; she didn’t care for her appearance at all.

 

Feng Yi sighs before looking at the woman by the window; she is gently laughing as she curiously looks at Hu Sha.  He pats Hu Sha’s head and takes out a paper bag from his chest; flaunting it in front of her.  “Be good.  Of course Second Senior Brother is still alive, stop crying.  Come, eat these.”

 

Hu Sha seizes the bag from him while weeping, “I thought—– I thought you were dead!  You scared me to death!”

 

Feng Yi pulls her up from the ground and uses his hand to wipe her tears.  “Second Senior Brother will not die, you saw wrong.  Stop crying.  If you keep on crying, you won’ t look cute anymore.”

 

Hu Sha wipes her nose before opening the paper bag in grievance.  There is a fresh-out-of-the-oven roasted duck along with two buns inside the bag.  She bites a mouthful of the bun before speaking, “You didn’t even go out….. Where did you get these from?”

 

Feng Yi laughs as he pats her head, “Using a celestial method of course.   You wouldn’t know even if I tell you.  Alright, stop crying.  Go and play after you eat, I have something to do.”

 

Hu Sha heads towards the entrance, still somewhat shaken.

 

The woman is now by the door.  “I suppose this is Senior Uncle Fang Zhun’s newest disciple.”  Her voice is really warm.

 

Hu Sha nods at her.  That woman smiles at her gently, “Then, you are my Junior Sister.  Hu Sha, my name is Bai Ru.”

 

Hu Sha froze for a moment as Feng Yi heads to her and pats her shoulder, “Call her Senior Sister.  She is Senior Uncle Fang Ye’s disciples.  Senior Uncle Fang Ye is shifu’s Senior Brother.”

 

Hu Sha obediently calls her ‘Senior Sister’.  Bai Ru smiles brightly before taking her hands, looking at her in affection.  She turns to Feng Yi and smiles, “See how much you made her cry?  Feng Yi, you are such a bully.”

 

Feng Yi sighs, “I would never bully her…..  Never mind.  Why did you come looking for me, Senior Sister?”

 

“Not me.  Senior Uncle Fang Zhun is going out for a couple of days.  He told me to send you a message.”  Bai Ru smiles.  “Shang He Zhen Ren from Feng Ji Prefecture’s Mount Tao Yuan is pretty close to Senior Uncle Fang Zhun.  He sent an invitation to invite shifu, Senior Uncle and a couple more disciples to Mount Tao Yuan.  Senior Uncle agreed to go there on the second day next month.  He told me to tell you and Feng Di to prepare; Mount Tao Yuan’s Shang Rong ought to challenge a duel again.  He told me to tell you to not to embarrass him.”

 

Feng Yi sighs as he tidies up his sleeves, “How troublesome!  Who wants to duel with him?!”

 

Bai Ru laughs, “I already told Feng Di.  Speaking about him, why hasn’t he return?  He must have gotten lost in Qing Liang Hall, you better go and search for him.”  After she said that, she pats Hu Sha’s head and says a few courtesy words before leaving.

 

Feng Yi shakes his head as he leisurely walks towards the door.  He gently pushes Hu Sha, “I will go and search for Senior Brother.  You can go back.  Right……”

 

He suddenly leans closer to her ear before whispering, “What happened today is a secret, do not tell anyone.  If you do, I will not buy you food anymore.”

 

Secret?  What is he talking about?

 

She ponders until her head is about to break and still cannot understand what ‘secret’ he was talking about.

 

 

 

 

 

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