The river was only a few dozen meters wide, and the water was very clear and slow-running. It reflected the surrounding mountains.
A person was sitting on a rock beside the river. He had a fishing rod in his hand and he was staring at the ripples coming from the float on the river. A fish was currently teasing the hook.
Most fish would test the bait a couple of times before eating it to confirm it was edible. Suddenly, the float sank and the fishing rod bent. The fish had taken the bait.
“Hahaha, my luck’s pretty good today. I got a big fish.” He laughed heartily. His voice was still heroic and unrestrained. He was the old Border Suppressing Marquis of the Phoenix Cry Empire, Long Tianxiao.
A two-foot-long fish flew out of the water. Long Tianxiao pulled fiercely. The fish was strong, but it was pulled over by Long Tianxiao in just a short moment. He caught it in a net.
This fish had to be over ten pounds. Such a catch was quite rare, delighting Long Tianxiao.
“Now Xiaoyu will have a good snack.” Long Tianxiao smiled.
“Yup. I’ll also have a good snack.” A voice rang out behind Long Tianxiao.
Long Tianxiao jumped, almost dropping the fish. He saw a black-robed man smiling at him.
“Chen-er… you’re back?” Long Tianxiao dropped the fish and grabbed Long Chen’s arms, shaking him fiercely, his eyes reddening. “Little brat, you’re getting quite strong.”
With Long Tianxiao’s power, how could he possibly shake Long Chen? Although Long Chen had given Long Tianxiao some medicinal pills to change his constitution, his innate talent was limited. Even now, he hadn’t broken through to the Xiantian realm.
“Yes. If I wasn’t strong, I would be suppressed by others. How else am I supposed to block the wind and rain?” Long Chen smiled.
Back when Long Chen was a child, Long Tianxiao would always give his share of meat to Long Chen, often saying that men needed to grow up strong to shield others from the wind and rain.
Now, Long Chen was no longer that small child. He had become a true expert.
“Have you seen your mother and sister yet?” asked Long Tianxiao.
“I saw them first,” said Long Chen.
“Good. Let’s go home. You really came back at the right time. This small river has a kind of fish called the Golden Mouth Catfish. Ordinary catfish live in dirty water and eat rotten meat. Its meat is like mud and has a bad mouth feel. There’s also a strange taste to it. But these Golden Mouth Catfish eat the fruit that drops to the top of the river. Their meat is delicious and feels good as it flows down your throat. Today, my luck is good, and I actually caught such a big one. It seems the heavens knew you would be back and specially prepared it for me, hahaha…” laughed Long Tianxiao.
Long Chen smiled self-mockingly. If the heavens had known he was coming back, it probably would have been impossible to fish up anything at all. He helped his father carry the net. Other than the Golden Mouth Catfish, there were a dozen other random fish. There was definitely enough to eat.
“If the Golden Mouth Catfish tastes so good, why don’t I catch a few extra?” asked Long Chen. With his current power, catching fish didn’t take any effort. If he wanted to, he could pick this entire river clear.
“No, no. Then it wouldn’t have any meaning. Fishing is a kind of pleasure, not a means of survival. These two things must be differentiated.” Long Tianxiao walked alongside Long Chen as he slowly said, “Although your cultivation base is higher and you’re stronger, your mental realm hasn’t progressed. That isn’t a good thing.”
“Dad, are you transmitting your teachings to me?” Long Chen smiled.
“What, because your cultivation base is higher, you’re looking down on me?” demanded Long Tianxiao humorously.
“How could I dare? In front of you, I will never strike or curse back when you beat and curse me,” laughed Long Chen.
“Little brat, wasn’t that because you were too naughty? If we weren’t strict enough and instead indulged you, you’d have long since ascended,” scolded Long Tianxiao.
Long Chen laughed and didn’t argue. To be scolded by his father was a kind of blessing as well.
They quickly arrived at the grass hut, and they saw Long Xiaoyu playing with the medicinal pill, throwing it high into the air. When it was thrown, the medicinal energy would ripple and unleash light similar to fireworks.
She was so focused on it that she didn’t even notice Long Tianxiao and Long Chen, making them speechless.
There was a stone table outside the grass hut with four stone seats around it. Seeing that fourth seat, he knew it had been prepared for him this entire time, but it had gone empty.
Even while he wasn’t present, his family was always thinking of him. As for him, it had been so many years, but he hadn’t even returned once.
Mrs. Long ran out when Long Tianxiao returned, taking the Golden Mouth Catfish. Seeing such a big one, she smiled. She told them to have some tea while she prepared the fish.
Long Tianxiao took out a teapot and placed it on the stone table, steeping the tea. Long Chen hastily said, “I have some good tea leaves here.”
“Tea isn’t differentiated by good or bad. What matters is the state of mind of the drinker. When it comes to fish, what matters isn’t size, but what you want.” Long Tianxiao shook his head and used his own tea leaves.
“Chen-er, you’re too tired. I can see the weariness in your eyes. You need to adjust yourselves, or if you continue like this, with your nerves tight constantly, you won’t be able to release your burden. Your mind will close off, and when you encounter troublesome situations, you won’t be able to make the correct decision. Although I don’t know what you’ve experienced, I can feel that you’re under too much pressure. If you stay in that state for too long, it’ll cause problems.”
Long Tianxiao looked at Long Chen with some distress. Long Chen’s worn-down face couldn’t conceal his weariness.
However, he had also become an adult now and had his own world. Long Tianxiao could not block the wind and rain for him.
“Some stuff has really been causing me some trouble lately, and it feels a bit hard to breathe because of it,” said Long Chen.
As soon as he had returned to the Martial Heaven Continent, he had seen the Xuantian Dao Sect’s destruction and become surrounded by powerful enemies that wanted to kill him. Practically, the entire Eastern Xuan Region was after him.
Pill Valley, the ancient races, the ancient family alliance, and the Bloodkill Hall were all watching him. As for the Corrupt path, they had been silent this whole time. But he knew they were plotting something.
That was the most frightening thing. The open dangers could be defended against, but the enemies at your back would lie in wait until they could launch one fatal blow.
This kind of pressure was something that would probably drive someone else mad.
“You’re tired,” said Long Tianxiao.
“Yes, a bit.” Long Chen nodded.
“If you’re tired, then stop for a moment.”
“But I can’t stop.” Long Chen bitterly smiled.
“Why can’t you stop? Do you still remember the first time you learned to swim?” Long Tianxiao passed Long Chen a cup of tea.
Long Chen received it. He scrunched his eyebrows. “How could I not remember? Back then, you really were vicious and directly tossed me into the pool. I choked and floated on the water. I still remember you had a fierce fight with mother because of it.”
Long Tianxiao nodded. “That’s right. Your mother loved you too much to do that. But some things can’t be taken step by step. That’s why it just took you a few hours to learn how to swim. Although you were just two years old, I trust you remember everything at that time.”
“Of course I remember. I remember your dark face very clearly. It was just as frightening as Yama King’s face,” grumbled Long Chen.
Long Tianxiao had truly been frightening at that time. If Long Chen had a son, he wouldn’t be able to treat him like that.
Long Tianxiao shook his head. “It seems you don’t remember enough. Do you still remember when I told you this: life is like drowning. The more you panic, the more afraid you are; the more you struggle, the closer you are to death.”
Long Chen was startled. Now that Long Tianxiao brought it up, Long Chen truly did recall that he had said this.
“Your current situation is like drowning in a sea. You are struggling to maintain a moment’s safety, but you are unable to escape the crisis. You can’t see hope. That’s why you’re tired, because you can’t see the shore or any islands. In this kind of situation, the more you struggle, the more energy you’re wasting. Do you still remember how you managed to learn how to swim in just a few hours?”
Long Chen sank into thought. “You told me that in a crisis, when no one else can help you, you have to learn a way to breathe for yourself. Once you get a chance to breathe, you adjust your current state to face the danger, instead of blindly fighting against the crisis. What you’re saying is…”
“Yes. Just like back then, you have to think of a way to breathe. Your nerves are tight all the time now. That won’t help you, and it’ll hold you back instead. You don’t have a way to relax? That’s just an excuse. You have to relax, and that’s the only way you can face the next challenge better. When drowning, you have to find a way to breathe before learning how to swim. Only once you know how to breathe can you begin the race against time. With it, you’ll be able to last longer on the waves. You can last until someone saves you, or until you reach the shore. Sometimes, the principles behind a single breath of air can be the foundation of the entire world’s cycle. The Dao is always right beside us, but most people turn a blind eye to it. So, Chen-er, don’t be in such a rush to run. Sometimes, you have to stop and look at the scenery around you. You might even have to look back at your path. Then you might come to an enlightenment. Don’t blindly follow the flow of the waves. Having a target doesn’t mean you won’t get lost. You have to comprehend your own Dao. Don’t follow the same path that someone else walked, because if you do, you won’t surpass them.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter