Book 5, Zifu Disciple, Chapter 9 – Warmth
Ji Yichuan looked at his son. After hesitating, he said, “All I can tell you is that he is a disciple of Snowdragon Mountain, and that his grandfather is a Summit Master of one of their mountain summits, an individual on the Primal Daoist level.”
Ning’s face changed.
“He himself is just a Zifu Disciple and not worthy of being afraid of.” Yichuan shook his head. “But behind him stands a Primal Daoist…we truly cannot irriate him! If we struggle against him, the only result will be the extermination of the entire Ji clan. This is why your mother and I have never mentioned this, nor said a single word regarding this in front of you. Ever since that, after your mother and I stealthily returned to the Ji clan, we have always remained very low-key. However, most likely that person didn’t hold your mother and I in any regard at all.
Yichuan looked at his son. “You are now an adult, and you are very talented. According to what that Adept Mu said, it is possible that you might one day join the Raindragon Guards. This is why I have told you these things. Otherwise…I had planned to never tell you.”
“What is he called?” Ning pursued this line of questioning.
“Once you become a Wanxiang Adept, I will tell you.” Yichuan said. “If I were to die, your Uncle White will tell you. That year, your Uncle White risked his life to carry your mother and flee. He saved your life, and he knew exactly what happened that year.”
Ning said frantically, “You can’t tell me now?”
“What good would it be if I did tell you?” Yichuan barked. “Will you go seek revenge? That’s just looking for death! First be patient and endure. After enduring for a few years, you’ll have calmed down as well.”
Yichuan stared at Ning. “Don’t let hatred cloud your eyes. In this vast, endless world, slaughter and hatred is omnipresent. It is guaranteed that you will one day leave Swallow Mountain. In the vast world outside, those major schools, clans, and powerful sects are all hard to deal with. Snowdragon Mountain is nothing more than a millstone for you to sharpen your blade on, during your path to becoming an Immortal!”
Ning nodded slightly.
“On your hopes rest the future of both the Ji clan and the Yuchi clan, understood?” Yichuan said. “To become famous throughout this boundless world, and to make Snowdragon Mountain as well as the various other powers all lower their heads and submit to you; this is what your mother and I hope to see the most!”
“Yes.” Ning nodded solemnly.
“Make your mother and me proud of you!” Yichuan stared at his son. “My son!”
The autumn wind blew. Dry leaves fell.
Yuchi Snow was seated on a long bench in front of her room. The beast fur pelt laid on the bench was warm and soft. There was a layer of beast fur on Snow’s body as well. Her face was even more ashen now. She held her son’s hand, then turned to say towards Yichuan, who was standing next to her, “Yichuan, bring those beast furs over.”
“Alright.” Yichuan immediately entered the room, quickly returning while carrying a pile of beast fur clothes.
“This is…?” Ning looked at the beast fur clothes.
Yichuan said, “Your mother hasn’t had anything to do in recent days, and so she’s been sewing these beast fur clothes. Every single thread and stitch is the labor of your mother’s hands.” Seated there, Snow said softly, “There’s quite a few by now. I only made twelve sets of clothes in the past three months. They are all suitable for your current size and stature. In the future, Mother won’t be able to be by your side, but these clothes will accompany you.”
Ning’s eyes stung, and he couldn’t refrain from tearing up.
“Don’t cry.” Snow gently stroked her son’s face. “I know that soon now, I won’t be able to last any longer.”
“Mother!” Ning’s voice was trembling.
“Mother has experienced many things in this life.” Snow said slowly. “When I was an infant, I lived in a large clan with unlimited, glorious prospects. When I was young, I fled alongside my Father, eventually meeting your father and adventuring alongside him, braving danger. Afterwards, I lived ten peaceful years at the Ji clan…in my life, I’ve had a father who loved me, older brothers and sisters who loved me, a man who loved me, and you…my most beloved son. I truly feel content.”
Ning’s tears were coming down nonstop. He couldn’t control them, no matter what he tried. The only thing he could do was continuously hold his mother’s hand. His mother’s hand was no longer smooth; it had become rough and leathery, like a dry leaf without any vitality.
Snow said slowly, “In your body is the bloodline of the Ji clan, as well as the bloodline of my Yuchi clan. For your mother to have had you…is your mother’s greatest pride in life.”
“Mother…” Ning stared at his mother.
“Ning, son…in the future, will you stay for a long time at Serpentwing Lake?” Snow looked at her son.
As an Immortal practitioner, one had to have a base, after all. West Prefecture City was too crowded and had too many people. Serpentwing Lake was much calmer. In addition, Serpentwing Lake had the Aquatic Manor…in the future, he would indeed often stay at Serpentwing Lake.
“After I die.” Snow looked at Yichuan, by her side. “After I am cremated, spread my ashes over Serpentwing Lake. Yichuan, you won’t be jealous, will you?”
Yichuan’s eyes were moist. He forced out a laugh. “Slightly jealous, actually. However, after I die, my ashes will also be spread over Serpentwing Lake. By then, we’ll be together again, right?”
Yichuan gently embraced his wife.
“Ning, son.” Snow’s voice was growing weaker. She smiled. “I want to look at our Yuchi clan’s Windwing Evasion. Demonstrate it for me.”
“Yes, Mother.” Ning rose to his feet.
Behind him, out of nowhere, a pair of wings appeared. And then, forcibly resisting the pain in his heart, Ning began to execute the Windwing Evasion. Ning moved about like a giant Roc, gliding through the air, landing atop of a distant roof, and then with another flash, gliding to another place. His two wings trembled, and his movements were like that of an illusion.
Ning, in this moment, was whole-heartedly focusing on displaying the Windwing Evasion, because this was the last request of his mother.
As Ning displayed it, the wind blew against him, like his mother’s hand gently stroking his face. The touch of the wind was a caress of someone who didn’t want to let go.
Ning’s movements became all the more marvelous, and he seemed to have truly become a giant Roc, moving all the more faster and all the more freely, incomparably agile.
He was a giant Roc, a giant Roc who flew in the skies beyond the Nine Heavens. Ning, unconsciously, was unconsciously incorporating that insights he had gained that night into the True Meaning of the Wind, and merging it with the Windwing Evasion. He even incorporated some deep emotions into them, like a bird who was longing for the wind.
“The great Roc.” Snow’s eyes lit up as she watched, and she murmured softly, “The great Roc…”
She seemed to have seen her older brother.
That tall, stalwart man who had protected and cherished her since she was young. Her brother’s usage of the Windwing Evasion was so similar to the way in which Ning’s Windwing Evasion looked…
“Big Brother…” Snow seemed to have returned to the past.
A large courtyard. Her older brother was there, training in the Windwing Evasion, while her, as a toddler, was running around calling out, “Big Brother, Big Brother.”
“Little Sis.” That man, as tall and mighty as a mountain, turned to look at her.
“Big Sis, Father.” She saw two more figures, one an elegant middle-aged man with a long beard, while the other was a seemingly cold and arrogant young woman. This was her father and her older sister.
“Big Brother. Big Sis. Father…I’m coming.”
The child-Snow ran forward, ran to the side of her older brother, her older sister, and her father. Together again. They were finally together again…
Lying in Yichuan’s arms, Snow closed her eyes.
A peaceful smile was on her face.
“Ahh…ahhhh….aaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Yichuan opened his mouth, making some noise, but wasn’t able to speak. He tightly clutched his wife, raising his head high, but the tears still came spilling out.
The distant Ning came to a halt. His entire body trembling, he took one step forward after another, walking towards his mother’s side, then kneeling down.
“Mother!” Ning began to sob, a rumbling, heart-broken sound.
The sound spread outside of the courtyard. The servants outside, hearing the sobs of their young master Ji Ning, filled with such agony, misery, and sadness, immediately understood that their mistress had already died. All of them couldn’t help but to lower their heads, their tears spilling out. They would never forget this benevolent mistress of theirs.
Ning left West Prefecture City, going to live on the island in Serpentwing Lake.
According to the dying wishes of his mother, he personally scattered her ashes within the waters of Serpentwing Lake. From that day onwards, Ning gained a new hobby. He liked to lie down atop a small boat, allowing the boat to drift freely in the waters of Serpentwing Lake.
It was like…
Lying in the embrace of his mother. So very warm.
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