Chapter 13: Father’s Message
Was it truly Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer Method? Before Tang San’s eyes floated the dispirited figure of his father, could it actually be said his father originally was an outstanding blacksmith?
“Uncle San, I also don’t know whether this is Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer Method, this is something father taught me.
Shi San exhaled a long breath, then said with a big hearty smile:
“It looks as if, this time we picked up a treasure. The employment conditions just now are void: for the time being you first will be paid the same as everyone, every month one silver spirit coin. If business is good, you take an additional percentage.”
Just like this, Tang San formally became a member of Shi San’s smithy, beginning to live a full life.
The academy’s curriculum certainly was not a necessary place to him, Grandmaster’s instruction was much more useful than the academy teachers in relating basic theory.
He also carefully read that book Grandmaster gave him. Just like he expected, the spirit power cultivation methods Grandmaster put forward were very similar to the internal strength cultivation movement routes. Of course, this after all was only Grandmaster’s theoretical designs, and compared to genuine internal strength cultivation methods was still a certain distance apart, not to speak of Tang sect’s finely tempered Mysterious Heaven skill.
Xiao Wu smoothly obtained the spirit master title, and after becoming the academy’s generally accepted Xiao Wu Jie, the working students’ lives became relaxed and comfortable.
Early morning every day, Tang San would take advantage of the new-born sunrise to cultivate his Purple Demon Eye, in the morning attend regular classes, in the afternoon labour in the smithy, in the evening again listen to Grandmaster’s instruction. At night cultivate Mysterious Heaven skill. It could be said that every day to him was absolutely full.
At Shi San’s smithy, Tang San only needed a very short time to gain everyone’s approval. Shi San gave him the assignment of refining metal, and in the remaining free time, Tang San used some discarded bits and pieces to refine on his own, starting his great hidden weapon production undertaking. Of course, he was only producing some components in the smithy, genuinely assembling after returning to the academy.
Xiao Wu relying on her own tyrannical strength with Xiao Chen-Yu’s assistance, very quickly became approved as the entire Nuoding primary spirit master academy’s students boss, and compared to Tang San she passed the time very leisurely, sometimes even to the extent of not going to class. Tang San did not even see how she cultivated. But Xiao Wu’s actual strength continuously elevated steadily.
At Nuoding primary spirit master academy, one semester was one year’s time, in the entire year students were not permitted to return home, but family members could come to visit. Tang San more than once expected his father to come, but until the end of the semester, still did not see a trace of Tang Hao. Fortunately his life was sufficiently full, and he did not have too much time to long for it.
As for Spirit Hall, not long after Tang San underwent spirit master review, Spirit Hall’s people came to Nuoding academy to look for Grandmaster, Grandmaster never told Tang San what they discussed, and Tang San also did not ask. But from Grandmaster’s face compared to normal was much more smiling, and Tang San guessed the relationship between Spirit Hall and Grandmaster should have become a lot better.
“Xiao Wu, for tomorrow’s holiday, will you return home?”
Tang San said to Xiao Wu while packing his luggage.
One school year had passed, and he was finally able to return home and see his father. This afternoon at the smithy he had already asked Xhi San for a leave of absence. Also specially bought a brand new forging hammer, intending to bring back to give to his father.
Since Tang San joined Shi San’s smithy, making the quality of the various kinds of weapons and equipment produced in the smithy rise one grade, business became better, and right now Tang San’s wages already reached five silver spirit coins every month, equivalent to half a spirit master’s stipend.
Xiao Wu leaned on the bed, her eyes revealing some loneliness, entirely different from her usual liveliness,
“I’m not going home. Maybe, just stay at the academy.”
Tang San was dumbfounded a moment,
“All year, you won’t return to see your family?”
Xiao Wu’s eyes suddenly lit up, saying:
“Little San, your family isn’t far from the academy is it? Otherwise, I’ll follow you to return and play, how about that? Anyway Wang Sheng and Xiao Chen-Yu are both going to participate in the intermediate spirit master academy examination, there’s nobody to accompany me to play.”
Tang San smiled, after passing one year together, he could be considered as having some comparative understanding regarding Xiao Wu could. This little girl was lively and energetic, always appearing motivated by a desire to see the world in chaos; when acting gentle and soft, she somehow appeared like a lovely doll, but a moment later became a violent whirlwind. That Nuoding Xiao Wu Jie title of hers was exactly called in vain. In the entire academy, who knew how many students had already tasted bitterness from her.
“My family can be very poor, without anything good to entertain you.”
Xiao Wu with both hands akimbo, and big eyes glaring at Tang San said:
“Every month you saved so much of your stipend, so reluctant to spend, but still fear entertaining me?”
Tang San wearing a slight smile extended his right hand,
“Speaking of stipends I suddenly recall, a certain person still appears to owe me six silver spirit coins.”
Xiao Wu was dumbfounded a moment, her fair and tender little face revealing some embarrassment. A stipend of one gold coin every month could definitely not be regarded as little, however, her spending was truly extravagant, if seeing something good coming back to buy it, not taking into account a bit whether or not it was useful. By now she long ago already had her own bedding, not having to share with Tang San. Never able to manage her finances, in a short time asking Tang San to lend spending money, already became habit.
“Not exactly six silver coins? Wait for me to get the stipend to pay you. You still haven’t said, if you after all are willing to let me come along with you.”
Tang San said with a slight smile:
“You want to go then go. Only, my dad’s temperament can be bad.”
Xiao Wu not in the least fazed said:
“Someone this lovely, your dad will happily approve of me.”
While speaking, still assuming a gentle and soft appearance asking Tang San with blinking eyes.
Other people might be fooled by her outward appearance, but Tang San had seen too many scenes of her true volcanic eruptions. He could not help but shake his head, still not a bit swallowing her cover.
“You need not use your honey trap on me. Fortunately you will appear seven years old, if a bit older, perhaps you truly would have a little fox spirit talent.”
“Fox spirit? What’s that?”
Xiao Wu full of curiosity asked.
Tang San smiling said:
“It’s a kind of spirit beast turned into a demon, specializing in seducing men.”
Xiao Wu was stunned a moment, her gaze at Tang San suddenly became somewhat strange, between eye blinks, her mood abruptly became agitated,
“You drop dead, daring to call me a fox spirit, I’ll definitely fight you.”
While speaking, she already baring fangs and brandishing claws leapt up from her bed, charging at Tang San.
The other working students regarding this scene no longer wondered at the sight. The noise of fighting between Xiao Wu Jie and Tang San to their point of view, long ago became accustomed to; if some day those two were not fighting several times, on the contrary perhaps they instead would feel uneasy.
Early the next day, as Tang San set out with that very bouncing and vivacious young girl at his side, wearing Nuoding academy’s uniform, leaving Nuoding city, and heading towards Holy Spirit village.
This past year, to Tang San’s point of view, had been extremely rich, and also extremely satisfying. Breaking through Mysterious Heaven skill’s first tier bottleneck, under assiduous cultivation, Mysterious Heaven skill had made rapid progress. On the basis of his own calculations, by now he should already be reaching the upper middle second tier’s strength, on the basis of spirit power calculations, he should have about sixteenth rank approaching seventeenth rank.
In the academy, people able to compare spirit power with him, only had a Xiao Wu: even though he never saw her cultivate, when the two compared spirit power the difference was never far. Sometimes Tang San had the upper hand, sometimes he was reversely surpassed by Xiao Wu. Although both were children, to the two who refused to give in, exchanging points like this was hard to avoid.
Just when starting, Xiao Chen-Yu and Wang Sheng, these higher grade students occasionally joined in, but along with Tang San and Xiao Wu spirit powers’ lightning fast rise, there were no people who again came to disturb them. One could ask: who would hope to become like a sandbag’s existence?
Therefore, although Xiao Wu was nominally the boss of Nuoding’s students, in practice, when Xiao Chen-Yu’s group addressed Tang San, he was also called little San Ge.
When Tang San exchanged pointers with Xiao Wu, he always losing more than he won. Xiao Wu’s fighting techniques emerged in an endless stream, especially her Soft Skill gave people a kind of New Year cake like feeling, if in circumstances where both sides did not draw support from spirit ring powers, Tang San was practically certain to lose. Even if using spirit rings, relying on blue silver grass binding and paralysing effects, the most he could accomplish when battling Xiao Wu was a draw.
As for Tang San’s secretly practiced hidden weapons these were certainly not used when exchanging pointers, first was because the hidden weapons’ killing power was too great, too easy to injure a person, and second, he was still hoping to temper his own close combat strength through exchanging pointers with Xiao Wu. Perhaps it was because of the two mutually acting as sparring partners giving rise to an accelerating effect, but in respect to fighting, they advanced side by side. The academy’s teachers were all already disinclined to be in charge of them, and in Nuoding, although Tang San and Xiao Wu were still only first years, they already became the academy’s famous geniuses.
“Is it still far ah?”
Xiao Wu looked east, then gazed west, offhandedly asking.
“We’ll arrive soon. See that hilltop over there? Our Holy Spirit village is at the foot of the hill.”
About to arrive home, Tang San couldn’t help his mood being somewhat excited, if not for the Nuoding academy regulations he would have returned to stay at home at night, without the teacher making the rounds every day, maybe Tang San long ago would have returned home to look in on his father. ‘Not meeting for a year, dad, are you still well?’
Perhaps it was because of being an orphan in his last life, this life, Tang San all the more especially treasured that family love.
Touching Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges at his waist, there he had brought the iron hammer for his father, brand new clothes, and even some bottles of pretty good wine.
The little mountain village where he lived for six years was already in view, not knowing why, in Tang San’s heart a kind of indescribable feeling gradually appeared. If insisting on using words to describe it, then he would say, the feeling of having family was truly good. Even if that family only was him and his father.
Very quickly, the two already walked into Holy Spirit village. Tang San’s home was at the edge of the village, raising his hand to indicate the roof with that dilapidated sign, Tang San smiled at Xiao Wu and said:
“Look, that’s my home.”
Home before his eyes, Tang San’s mood subconsciously became excited, underfoot his steps increasing pace, three steps and two more and he reached the door of his home.
The front door exactly alike as when he left certainly didn’t matter, this was Tang Hao’s habit all along. After all, this smithy did not have anything that could be stolen.
“Dad, I’m back.”
Tang San excitedly shouted.
Xiao Wu from never having Tang San this excited, stood at his back looking at him somewhat curiously. In her impression, Tang San was a very gentle friend, usually not saying much, but always with a busy feeling, always having some matter to attend. Only in their exchanging of pointers could his serious side be seen. And even if seriously losing to her, one still never saw his angry or even agitated appearance.
While calling, Tang San walked inside with quick steps.
Everything seemingly had not changed, the smithy was still in turmoil, even more so compared to before he left, a hideous mess of things left all over, a broken tattered and worn out feeling, bringing Tang San even more familiarity.
“Oh, little San, you’re back.”
A mild voice rose. From inside a person walked out.
Seeing him, Tang San couldn’t help but be stunned,
“Grandpa Jack, you also, ah, then my dad?”
Walking out from inside was exactly Holy Spirit village elder old Jack, on his face a somewhat wry smile, he handed over a paper in his hand to Tang San, saying:
“You have a look, this is your father’s message. Earlier I came to find him, originally thinking to have him and me go meet you, not thinking you would already have returned.”
A nervous feeling appeared in Tang San’s heart, hurriedly taking the paper old Jack held out and lowering his head to read.
On the paper were only a few simple lines, handwriting somewhat sloppy, but concealing a bold and unconstrained spirit.
When this letter reaches you, I will have already left. Do not look for me, you will not be able to find me.
Although you are still young, you have the strength to provide for yourself. A young falcon must first spread its wings on its own before soaring.
You need not worry about me. In your nature is a great deal of your mother’s delicacy. Dad is a useless person. You gradually grow up, dad has to go get back some things that originally should have belonged to me. Inevitably one day, we two father and son will again see each other.
I hope you become formidable, but I also do not hope you become formidable. You choose your own path.
If one day you feel the spirit master vocation is not good, then return to Holy Spirit village, and like me, work as a blacksmith.
Do not miss me.
Reading the letter in his hand, Tang San’s entire person was already stunned, the joy filling his chest in an instant changing into helpless loss.
Dad left, dad, why must you leave?
Old Jack saw Tang San in low spirits, and with a wry smile said:
“Tang Hao this fellow left without any warning. The day before yesterday I came to have him forge some farm tools. With him leaving like this, we must again find a blacksmith later. This fellow, truly too irresponsible.”
Tang San slowly returned from his absentmindedness,
“Grandpa Jack, you’re saying, dad would have left in only these two days?”
Old Jack nodded.
“Should have left in these two days. Little San, don’t feel sorry, this kind of a father is unworthy of it. Come with grandpa, we’ll go to my home.”
Tang San silently shook his head, with the greatest care folding the letter in his hands, placing it in his bosom.
“Thank you, Grandpa Jack, but my home is in this mess, I must decline and remain. I still have to put it in order at once.”
Old Jack was stunned a moment, he had not thought the very small Tang San unexpectedly would send him off, with a sigh, he said:
“Very well. Only, if you need anything, do not hesitate to come find me.”
With no choice but to shake his head, he turned towards the outside and left.
As old Jack left, within the smithy remained only the two people Tang San and Xiao Wu. Tang San did not open his mouth, then began tidying up the messy room, clearing away the room’s different things.
Unusually, the ordinarily lively and energetic Xiao Wu right now kept silent, walking to Tang San’s side, calmly helping him put various things away, and bringing scoops of fresh water from the water jar outside, helping him wipe the dirt within the room.
Nuoding primary spirit master academy.
Grandmaster was in his room reading. Little San having returned home, his heart was empty. Knowing him for a year’s time, even though he never said so aloud, but his attachment to this child constantly deepened.
Until this morning when Tang San left, he still hesitated whether to go to his home to have a look. Finally Grandmaster still vetoed this notion of his. There were very many reasons, even to the extent that including himself was unable to explain clearly.
Peng, peng, peng, at this time, a knocking sound suddenly rose.
Grandmaster’s brows knitted, normally besides Tang San, there were basically no people that would come here.
“Please come in.”
Grandmaster put down the book in his hand, speaking coolly.
Opening the door, a large figure entered from outside. He wore a simple grey robe, messy black hair hanging loosely down to the shoulder, hoary face carved full of the vicissitudes of life, a pair of muddy eyes as if already like a candle guttering in the wind, his appearance didn’t at all correspond to his fifty or so years of age.
The visitor’s voice was deep and hoarse.
No knowing why, when this person entered the door, Grandmaster’s entire body subconsciously tensed, even unconsciously spreading spirit power all over his body.
Slowly standing up, Grandmaster’s eyes revealed some uncertainty.
The grey clad person coolly said:
“Speaking of, we should not have met for twenty years, right. With this current appearance of mine, it’s no wonder you do not recognize me. I’m Tang Hao.”
Grandmaster’s ‘old well makes no waves’ expression suddenly changed greatly, eyes focusing in practically an instant, rigidly staring at this person before him, both hands clutching the table, fingers already becoming pale,
“You-, you are Hao……”
Tang Hao waved his hand, stopping Grandmaster from speaking, coldly saying:
“Past titles need not be brought up again. In those days, for however many reasons, other people would perhaps consider you as only a madman, but I know you are a persistent person.”
Grandmaster gradually calmed down, rigid face somewhat affected at once,
“It seems as if my conjecture was not mistaken, as expected you are Tang San’s father. He already returned home, why would you be here?”
Tang Hao lowered his head, coolly saying:
“Precisely because he returned home, I would be here. I know you accepted him as apprentice. As father, I should have come to see you long ago. I must leave, my only worry is just him, therefore, I hope to entrust little San to you.”
“You must leave? Go where? He is your son.”
Grandmaster glared rigidly at Tang Hao, the expression in his eyes somewhat fierce.
Tang Hao still had a cold appearance,
“He is still your disciple. I have to leave, there are very many matters that are necessary to attend to. Following me, he cannot obtain happiness. I have no other requests, his life, he must choose by himself. Ten years, I have already left this world for ten years, by now he has already grown up, so I have some business that I have to deal with.”
Grandmaster drew a long breath,
“I do not know what happened to you, but, I can see little San is very reluctant to part from you, you do not feel that this kind of departure is too cruel to him?”
Tang Hao coolly said:
“He decided on his own to walk an extraordinary path; being together with me would be cruel to him. Well, I’ve said what I had to say, no matter when, please remember, he is my son.”
Having said this, Tang Hao waved his raised hand, a jet-black token tile dropped onto Grandmaster’s desk with a clanking sound, the token tile was impressively similar to the one Grandmaster originally brought with Tang San to enter Spirit Hunting Forest, only, in this token tile’s pattern were all six……
Peng, the door closed, Tang Hao’s large figure had already disappeared. Looking at the door, Grandmaster stood there for a long time without any movement.
After a good while, he could slowly lower his head, gaze falling on that token tile, the corners of his mouth revealed a slight wry smile,
“I would not have thought, my idol unexpectedly already became like this.”
Sunlight slanting from the west, side by side in front of the smithy’s door sat two petite figures. They were dressed in similar clothes, sitting quietly.
The glow of the setting sun coloured them faintly red, seemingly branding their bodies a golden red.
The girl on the left inclined her head, looking at the boy, both hands poking her chin, wanting to say something, but she endured in the end.
On the contrary it was the boy who opened his mouth, in his hands holding a brand new forging hammer,
“Xiao Wu, thank you.”
“Thank me for what?”
Xiao Wu full of curiosity asked.
“Thank you for keeping me company all along.”
Tang San lowered his head, looking at the ground underfoot, the expression in his eyes somewhat misted, also somewhat hazy, but in the end without tears falling.
Xiao Wu giggled, pushing Tang San’s shoulder with great force, nearly pushing over Tang San,
“Don’t be gloomy. Your dad only left temporarily, that’s all. Inevitably one day, you will meet again. Maybe, his leaving was only in order to let you grow even better, let you gain even more power. If you again became down like this, wouldn’t it disappoint his efforts?”
Tang San’s face revealed a trace of a wry smile,
“Maybe so, but, why did he not let me see him again. Xiao Wu, did you know, dad is my only family. Home without dad, is also no longer a home.”
Xiao Wu flung back her head, tossing her long scorpion braid in front,
“Without dad, you still have me this friend, right. If you absolutely want to find family, I wouldn’t mind being your older sister. Quickly, let me hear you call me Xiao Wu Jie. Everyone calls me that, only you are an exception.”
Looking at Xiao Wu’s lovely and smart appearance with that evening sunset glow illuminating her flushed little face, Tang San couldn’t help but smile. Just when a person’s heart was the weakest having by his side a person for company, was an extremely happy matter.
“If you want to become my little sister, I won’t be opposed. I remember what was said: although we are of the same year, it seems you compared to me must be a few months younger. I was born on the first month, you on the eighth month, correct.”
“Don’t imagine that’s possible. I will only be the older sister, I’m unsuitable to be the younger sister.”
Xiao Wu angrily raised her hand to knock Tang San’s head.
Tang San’s body in a flash had already leapt up, standing three meters in front of Xiao Wu,
“Xiao Wu, follow me onto the hill, I will show you some things.”
Tang San’s expression was very earnest, seemingly like having decided on something.
Xiao Wu also did not again play, on her little face revealing cleverness, nodding towards him.
Tang San took the initiative and pulled Xiao Wu by her delicate hand, and ran for the small hill outside the village. The two’s shadows under the illumination of the setting sun gradually lengthened on the ground.
Tang San brought Xiao Wu continuously running to the hilltop before coming to a stop, under conditions of fully pushing Mysterious Heaven skill, he could not help but pant slightly.
Standing on the hilltop, Tang San faced the setting sun, both eyes already filled with purple,
“Xiao Wu, this is my former practice place. I am very seriously asking you a question, and I hope you can seriously answer me.”
Xiao Wu bit her lip,
“Don’t you know, your current appearance is very like that old fogey at the academy?”
Tang San slowly turned around, seriously looking at Xiao Wu,
“Are you willing to be my little sister? I truly hope to be able to again have a family member.”
Xiao Wu was about to say something, but was stopped by Tang San,
“First listen to what I have to say. I have nothing, you have also seen my family’s circumstances, and I am only descended from impoverished commoners. I cannot give you wealth and also cannot give you power. You also have innate full spirit power, but you and I are not alike, I can see your life’s experiences should have some story. But I never asked, because I feared that our backgrounds disparity is too great, and we could not even become friends. But, I truly hope to be able to have a little sister like you, although I am unable to give you what nobles possess, I can give you my promise. I will always protect my little sister, will not let her come to the slightest harm.”
Seeing teardrops glimmer in Tang San’s eyes, Xiao Wu’s eyes gradually reddened,
“If one day, there are very many people wanting to kill me, and you are unable to defeat those people, then what?”
Tang San unexpectedly revealed a tiny smile,
“Then let them to first step over my corpse.”
Xiao Wu was silent, Tang San also did not speak again, and the red of the setting sun gradually slipped away, by now in the sky above stars already softly emerged.
Xiao Wu simply used one word to break the silence between the two.
All along holding back tears, as this moment finally fell, Tang San’s shaking hands, raised Xiao Wu’s hands,
“Thank you, little sister.”
Father left, but he also had a little sister. Tang San raised his head to gaze at the sky, to the stars in the sky silently making a lifetime oath.
At nightfall, the two children sat on the hilltop, feeling the gentle mountain breeze, looking at the stars and moon in the sky, the tranquil atmosphere and inviting fresh air, without exception produced a comfortable feeling.
“Do I have to call you big brother?”
Xiao Wu turned her head to look towards Tang San at her side.
Tang San was dumbfounded,
Xiao Wu’s face revealed a slight blush,
“How to say, I am also the boss of Nuoding’s students, abruptly having a big brother, how will they see me?”
Tang San smiled,
“Well, you still just call me little San. As long as I in my heart know you are my little sister, what relevance is forms of address?”
While speaking, Tang San raised his hand, pulling down his sleeve, and removed the sleeve dart on his left wrist.
“Having become my sister, I without any valuable things, this is a present to you for defending yourself. It is my first work.”
Xiao Wu curiously looked at the sleeve dart Tang San handed over,
“What is this?”