Chapter 26: A Tearful Goodbye
"Look what the cat brought back," she laughed as she saw their messy appearances. "Well thank you for bringing the young miss home uninjured, but I think it will be for the best that the two of you do not venture out the next couple of days."
"Unfortunately, the master is supposed to return tomorrow after gaining information, and as soon as he returns our caravan will be moving again. I am afraid to say it, but today is the last day that the two of you have been able to spend together."
Grandma Meng was usually laughing, but as she spoke her face grew solemn and her voice lower, as her expression turned apologetic.
"You will be leaving tomorrow?" Xue Wei asked shocked, his heart aching and his chest feeling tight. Wang Xiaoyun also looked completely stunned and disbelieved at the senior in front of her.
"That is right," Granma Meng said as she nodded her head. "We are not here for the sake of having fun, after all, we are here for the sake of gaining information about the Ice Harpy, and it seems that the master has gained the information we needed."
"Since he has gained what we needed, it is of utmost importance that we continue our pursuit as soon as possible. If we cannot catch her our entire trip to the Heping Kingdom has been in vain."
Xue Wei understood the basics of it, but his heart still clenched when he heard that the day of their departure was sooner than he expected.
"I will come for you," Xue Wei said decisively as he gripped Wang Xiaoyun's arms and made her face him. "I know it is impossible for you to leave your caravan, but one day I will return to your side, when that happens I will make sure that your old man will approve of me!"
Xue Wei vowed to Wang Xiaoyun who was filled with complex emotions. On one side she did not want to leave. She wanted nothing more than to stay in the city together with Xue Wei, but she knew it was impossible.
She was after all a Wayfarer. It was in her blood, and she would have to take over the caravan one day. It was not possible for her to stay with Xue Wei in Tiankong City.
Hesitating slightly, Wang Xiaoyun went closer to Xue Wei, stood on her tiptoes and gently pressed her lips against Xue Wei's.
The touch was soft and gentle but contained so many emotions. Xue Wei could not restrain himself and dragged Wang Xiaoyun into his embrace and deepened their kiss.
"Well now, I miss the days of my youth," Grandma Meng laughed again, and Xue Wei and Wang Xiaoyun jumped from one another, both utterly red in their faces.
"I promise to come and find you. You are the only woman for me." Xue Wei said thoughtfully as the redness quickly diminished and a stern expression appeared on his face.
Tears welled up in Wang Xiaoyun's eyes, and she tried to speak, but no words left her lips. "wuuwuu," was all that she managed to say, as the tears streamed down her cheeks, and she softly nodded her head.
"She will be waiting for you," Grandma Meng said seriously, and with one last glance at Wang Xiaoyun, Xue Wei nodded his head and turned around, started running away from the Wayfarer's caravan.
On the way did he meet some of the masked cultivators, but these masked cultivators never got to see even a glimpse of him as he evaded them using the Forbidden Rush ability.
As he made it back to the mansion, Xue Wei elegantly jumped over the wall and entered the estate.
The first maid he found was given the task of drawing a warm bath for him. He had already been eager to increase his strength so that he could bring honor and fame to his uncle so that he could be strong enough to reclaim his memories, but now he had something else that was urging him to get stronger too.
He wished to be by Wang Xiaoyun's side. He knew that she had a unique bloodline as she was a Wayfarer and that Wayfarers married others of their kind, but Xue Wei would not accept this fact. He would be so strong that they could not question his strength, so strong that even the Wayfarers would recognize him.
Xue Wei went straight to his bedroom where a big wooden tub filled with steaming hot water was waiting for him.
He had long since been ready for the next herbal bath, but because of him hanging out with Wang Xiaoyun he had never gotten to take the bath. He now knew that they were leaving the following day, and he was perfectly well aware that it would be impossible for him to say the second goodbye.
Since he had already said his goodbye, it was time for him to increase his strength. Wang Xiaoyun was already stronger than him, and when her bloodline activated she would soar to the skies, become an even more outstanding cultivator.
If Xue Wei wanted to catch up to her, or even overtake her, then he had to work harder than anyone else, but this was not enough to make him discouraged. He had his special pearl-like dantian and his Azure Dragon Scripture. He was capable of progressing at a speed that others in the Kingdom of Heping could not follow.
Like this, the night went past, and when the morning came, Xue Wei was still in a deep trance within the water that had gotten slightly more transparent from the night before, yet far from being clear.
At the meanwhile Wang Xiaoyun's father had returned and with him came a breeze of freshness. Every Wayfarer, apart from Wang Xiaoyun, was filled with excitement and could not wait to set out, yet their young miss was filled with sadness and mixed emotions.
Before she could find nothing more exciting than the hunt to find their Primordial Beast, but now a quiet life together with Xue Wei did not sound too bad. Unfortunately, this was something she could never afford ever to say. She was the miss of the caravan and one day she would be the leader. If she ever mentioned a normal life, the caravan would be deeply disappointed in her.
"You better keep your promise," Wang Xiaoyun mumbled to herself as she turned her back on Tiankong City and entered the carriage. The horses started carrying them out from within the city, and soon the many Wayfarers were nowhere to be seen.
In all of this commotion with the wayfarers, the Diviners had also vanished. No one knew when they disappeared or why they just noticed that they were not to be found either.
While this was the case, Xue Wei stayed inside his mansion completely unaware of what was happening in the city, but the masked men continued to patrol the streets in abundance.
They had been there when the Wayfarer's left and their faces had been dejected beneath the masks. Xue Wei had never been one who was wandering the city much, and the only reason he had done so for a few days in a row was Wang Xiaoyun. Now that she had left, he was all alone again and likely to cultivate.
Not only was he likely to cultivate, he no longer had anything holding him down. He did not have to drag Wang Xiaoyun with him whenever he was trying to flee, and the Forbidden Rush ability could be displayed to the best of his ability.
"Father, why have we not moved against the masked men?" Shen Mu asked curiously. He had seen how these masked experts had chased Xue Wei and Wang Xiaoyun, and he had been sure that his father would make the city guard move to apprehend them.
"It is quite simple," Shen Bingwen sighed, "We know that they belong to the He and Jia family mainly, but a few of them are from the Li family. Although we know this, we cannot prove it unless we catch them, but on what basis are we allowed to catch them?"
"They have not done anything wrong yet apart from slightly disturbing the peace from time to time. They have not even managed to touch the hem of Xue Wei's clothes, so to stop them on his behalf seems impossible."
"If they beat him up, then I could use my power to stop them, but since they cannot even do this, then I cannot stop them. To everyone else, it looks just like two parties playing tag."
"But father, you know as well as me that if they catch him, then it will not be a question about something as light as being beaten up. Xue Wei will be crippled for life!"
"I know," Shen Bingwen sighed, "so let us pray that he will never get caught. There are only a few months left before it is time for you to go to the military camp. If he works very hard and stays in the mansion until then, then who knows what levels he can reach. Hopefully, he will not cause any problems before then."
Shen Mu felt that his father was acting strange, but he was also well aware that he had to be careful with every single move he made, especially one containing the City Guard.
Although the Shen family right now were the City Lords, it was not certain that they would remain in this position in the future. They had gained this post because they were the first in Tiankong City to obtain a Heavenly Warrior, but now that the Li family had one too, it was clear that they had a formidable opponent.
The Li family had a longer history than the Shen family, and although their Heavenly Warrior had arrived later, he was not much weaker than the Shen Heavenly Warrior.
Shen Mu sighed. He understood that one day it would be his job to ensure that the Shen family maintained the strength and rank within Tiankong City that it had now. Shen Bingwen had placed all his hopes on this specific son because of his promising talent, and he wished for him to do him proud.
Since he had to become the new head of the Shen family, Shen Mu knew that there would be times where he wished to move but would be incapable of making a move because his every action could cause problems for the Shen family. Although he valued friendship high, he always had to put the Shen family on a pedestal and view it as his ultimate responsibility.
Time flowed like water within Tiankong City. Xue Wei finished his herbal bath and returned to the back of the training grounds where he again began the pattern drills for the Shattering Mountain Palm, the Azure Light Finger, the Forbidden Rush and lately he also started the Inner Might ability.
Inner Might was his first profound martial arts ability, and this technique proved to be many times harder than both Shattering Mountain Palm, Azure Light Finger, and Forbidden Rush.
It required a precise control over the Qi, and to be able to shape it outside of his body as well.
Shaping the Qi proved to be the most troublesome aspect. At first, he decided to try and shape a sword, but the Qi did not even resemble a sword, in fact, it looked like a pool of Qi that wiggled slightly.
The second attempt he managed to make the pool turn into a long thin line that looked like it was made from clouds. There was no sharp edge, no handle, nothing to make it resemble a sword.
Xue Wei frowned. He had experienced a few setbacks with the Azure Light Finger, but it was so little that he did not mind it, and he had experienced even less of a setback from Shattering Mountain Palm and Forbidden Rush, yet now he was encountering a real problem.