Chapter 489 - Na'er
On the narrow path, Tang Wulin and the silver-haired girl locked gazes. Shivers ran down their spines.
Previously he had only received the privilege of a fleeting glance before he was whisked away by Wu Zhangkong. But now, standing face to face with the girl, he could finally see her face clearly. Could finally register those familiar features.
At first, her expression stayed blank, revealing nothing beneath her cold exterior. Then the confusion slowly melted from her eyes and tears welled up. She let out a cry.
Tang Wulin froze as she threw herself into his arms.
Na’er… It’s Na’er! It’s really her! He snapped out of his shock, his heart quivering. He had used his connections to search for her far and wide, but in the end she had been so close at hand. The beautiful girl before him was Na’er, his little sister.
She had been just six when she disappeared, and now before he knew it six years had passed. A blossoming young lady. Tang Wulin hadn’t even recognized her at first glance. But he never forgot her warmth, her smell, and her smile. He could hardly believe that it was her, that he wasn’t dreaming. That he didn’t somehow make a mistake and confused resemblance for the real thing. In fact, when he had blurted out her name, his mind had yet to catch up with his body. Never had he expected this.
Na’er hugged him tight, her body trembling as she sobbed. “Big Brother! Big Brother! Is it really you? This isn’t a lie, right?” she asked, eyes bright. Her heart tingled with excitement.
Tang Wulin shared her sentiment, if not more. He was strong and brave, but in the end, the scars of having his family leave him would never fade. He had grown up an orphan. This reunion with Na’er, his little sister, was more than he could hope for.
Na’er’s really big now! And she’s so slender. I can’t believe she used to be a glutton like me. She’s only twelve but she looks a bit older. Wow.
But she remembers me! I’m still her big brother!
Minutes later, the two finally put a stopper on their overflowing emotions.
Na’er smiled brilliantly at Tang Wulin. “Big Brother, why are you here?”
“I’m an outer court student. What about you? I heard from Teacher Wu that you’re the Sea God Pavilion’s master’s disciple? I thought your martial soul didn’t awaken?”
Na’er wiped away the last of her tears. “Big Brother, you first! What have you been doing these past years?”
Tang Wulin’s eyes reddened once more at her question. He did his best to fight back the tears as he told her of what happened after she left. When she heard about his parents’ disappearance, her brows drew tight in a frown. She remained silent throughout the story, an attentive listener. By the time he was finished, the sky was pitch black.
“Na’er, what about you?” Tang Wulin asked. But right before she could answer, his communicator rang. He took it out and looked at the name on the screen. “Sorry, it’s my teacher,” he said, a meek smile.
“Yes, Teacher Wu?” he answered the call.
“Come back quickly,” said Wu Zhangkong, voice cold as usual.
“Yes,” Tang Wulin answered, though he’d much rather catch up with Na’er and talk into the night. But this was Sea God’s Island, hallow ground for Shrek Academy. He must obey his teacher.
“Na’er, I gotta leave first. My grandteacher is Scarlet Dragon Douluo Zhuo Shi, so I’m staying with him. Let’s meet up here again tomorrow and you can tell me what you’ve been up to.”
“Okay.” Na’er smiled sweetly, nodding shyly.
Tang Wulin hugged her again before running off.
Na’er stood there, watching him leave. When she could no longer see him, she bit her lip. “Big Brother…”
Upon returning to the house, Tang Wulin waited for any orders from Wu Zhangkong. However, his teacher remained silent and sent him off to bed early.
As Tang Wulin shrugged off his shoes and climbed into bed, he settled himself into meditative position. But try as he might, he could not fall into that familiar feeling. Reuniting with Na’er had brought forth an intense joy within his heart, and it still clung to him, feeding his restlessness.
As direct disciple to the Pavilion Master, Na’er’s position was unrivalled among the students of Shrek Academy.
He was happy for her. She was a soul master now too. Despite this, he could not wrap his mind around how she had Awakened her martial soul and became so strong.
Na’er’s reappearance ignited Tang Wulin’s longing for his parents. Mom, Dad, I’ve finally found Na’er. Where did you two go?
Tang Wulin woke up early the next day and practiced Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens under Zhuo Shi’s supervision through the morning. Although he didn’t get much sleep, he felt invigorated. He looked forward to his meeting with Na’er in the afternoon.
By the time he reached their meeting spot, Na’er was already there waiting for him.
Catching sight of her silver eyes, he couldn’t help but ask, “Na’er, weren’t your eyes purple? What happened to them? Why did they change?”
Na’er smiled. “It’s because my martial soul Awakened. Big Brother, I’m sorry I left without saying goodbye. My family found me and took me away.”
Tang Wulin’s heart thumped. “They found you?”
She nodded. “Yeah. Then brought me back to our clan right away. After that, they held a ceremony and Awakened my martial soul.”
“My family brought me here when I was eight to study under my teacher. That’s about it. My story is pretty boring compared to yours. I really missed you though!”
He had an inkling she was keeping something from him. Still, he refrained from prodding. Anything she withheld must be a clan secret.
“It’s good that you reunited with your family. I missed you too.”
Na’er stepped forward and grabbed his hand, placing it on her cheek. “Big Brother, when are you going to take me out to eat some good food?”
Tang Wulin’s heart melted. “How about right now?”
“Yes! Let’s go!” A smile blossomed on Na’er’s lips.
Tang Wulin led her by the hand to the lakeside. He called Wu Zhangkong and gave an excuse to get the afternoon off, saying he had something important to attend to.
On the small boat, Tang Wulin forced Na’er to sit and watch as he pushed the heavy oars. The boat cut across the clear waters, straight for the shore. Na’er watched him with a grin, her chin cradled in her hands. He met her smile with one of his own. Finally could he taste a hint of peace. What he had yearned for, familial bonds, wrapped tight around him in an embrace. His little sister was back. Even if her original family had reclaimed her, in his heart she would forever be his little sister.
Upon arriving on shore, Tang Wulin hopped off first and offered a hand to help Na’er disembark the boat. After a semester of studying in Shrek Academy, he knew the city like the back of his hand. They wove through the streets excitedly, especially on Tang Wulin’s part, his favorite food stand their destination.
“You’re still too slow,” said Liang Xiaoyu, his eyes never leaving the sight of Xie Xie, who was running around the working student dormitory. “You need to pay attention to the way you move, how you preserve momentum and your acceleration. You need to imbue your speed into your attacks, bring both speed and power into harmony. It’s similar to being one with the sword. Only once you attain that state will you be able to bring out the full potential of speed.”
Xie Xie slowed to a jog and stopped in front of Liang Xiaoyu. He listened earnestly, not daring to miss a single word.
“Follow the path of killing with a single blow. You need to concentrate all of your speed into empowering your attack to accomplish that. Speed, power, martial soul and soul skills, patience, and an opportunity are all essential to pulling off such a strike.”
Just listening to Liang Xiaoyu’s lecture caused his heart to beat quicker, his blood to roar. He felt certain, like he was no longer lost. Like he was finally stumbling on to his true path. Everything Liang Xiaoyu said resonated with him. New doors were opening.
Shrek Academy followed a hands-off approach in nurturing their students. Students could ask for guidance, but the more profound the answer, the more contribution points it would cost. Even then, a meticulous answer like Liang Xiaoyu’s was hard to find! Not to mention, Liang Xiaoyu demonstrated attacks, footwork, and techniques as he lectured.
Xie Xie understood his shortcomings well. He was lacking in lethal power and his speed was nothing remarkable either. If he couldn’t increase his attack power, then he would be useless on the battlefield. He still hadn’t tapped into the full potential of his daggers. But now a path had opened up for him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter