Chapter 19: New Year
Lu Mingshu flipped through the books while waiting for Brother Six.
Not long later, circles of airflow appeared, stirring up the leaves.
"Sister, sorry for the wait, I got delayed by some matter."
Lu Mingshu quickly walked over. "I just arrived, too! Brother six, I have also brought the books you wanted."
"Okay, move over for a bit."
Through a function of the Heavenly Wheel, he made an item fly out from a circle of airflow that then fell onto the floor with a loud thud.
Lu Mingshu discovered it to be a bundle of books.
She followed a set pattern according to the method Brother Six taught her yesterday, tossing the pile of books on her side over.
"I've received it! I have something going on, so I'll see you next time, little sister seven!"
1"Okay, thank you, brother six."
The circle of airflow gradually stabilized, before finally dispersing.
Lu Mingshu sat down and untied the bundle of books, browsing through them one by one.
This one perusal broadened her horizons greatly.
Brother Six indeed did what he said when he said he would give Lu Mingshu all the basic techniques for the line of Martial practitioners—these few books were teeming with all sorts of content.
To Martial Practitioners from a similar world, awakening the meridians were merely one of the roads one could take upon embarking on one's martial journey. There were other practices of Martial Arts that took different paths. Some started by training their blood and vital breath, while some soaked in medicine to forge their body. On the other hand, some would also first cultivate their constitution.
However, Lu Mingshu discovered that albeit these lines of martial practitioners had different paths, they shared many similarities, generally speaking.
There was no telling which way was better, for they all had their good points.
Having gained these dozens of technique manuals, Lu Mingshu immersed herself in them for half a month. During that period, when Ah Sheng had sent medication over, Lu Mingshu finally felt reassured when she saw him fully healed and filled with vigor while wearing new shoes.
Naturally smart, Lu Mingshu possessed a mind quite unlike a child's and that especially after she went through the cleansing of the Heavenly Wheel's streamers. In this half a month, she had altered the general method for awakening the meridians into something decent.
But unlocking the meridians was a matter of utmost importance, and Liu Jizhen had made it clear he had no intention of meddling. Despite her success, she wasn't feeling entirely confident in doing it alone in this manner.
At the thought of the Heavenly Wheel, Lu Mingshu clasped her hands. There were so many experts there, that it would be a shame to not ask them.
1Hence, she copied that newbie from last time and left a message on the tree, posting the meridians-awakening technique that she had altered on it.
In this mix of people, the majority were warm-hearted and idle, as not long later her topic had garnered the attention of some people who began discussing the details of the revised technique.
What made Lu Mingshu happy was that a majority felt her altering was very well done. However, she was, after all, using only theory without any practical experience, so it was inevitable that she had overlooked some details. Through the effort of countless Wheel experts from various worlds, the meridians-awakening secret recipe was fresh out of the oven as simple as that.
This specific variation of the meridians-awakening technique comprised knowledge from various worlds. Lu Mingshu believed it would not be any worse compared to the best technique in her current world.
Once she busied past this matter, the year was already coming to an end.
After she informed Fu Shangqing of their ill-treatment back then, the supplies provided to Heavenly Ascension Pavilion were all changed to the top grade. No one dared to cut corners with their provisions anymore. Vegetables and fruits were sent once every three days, and rice and noodles arrived in bulk every half a month. At year-end, a holiday gift was sent over as well.
There was also the New Year's goods sent over by Hui Niang and Ah Sheng, although they did not stay for New Year's in fear of becoming a bother to Liu Jizhen.
Lu Mingshu busied herself with cleaning, pasting the red rhyming couplets, and sorting out the New Year's goods…
After a month plus of practice, she was now doing chores in a decent manner. Although she had nobody to teach her cooking skills, she had actually improved a lot by reading through books.
Liu Jizhen sat in front of the hut and gazed at the sunset, a hand-carved wooden sword placed on his knee.
At this moment, Lu Mingshu ran over while holding new clothes in her hands. "Master, time to wear new clothes for New Year's!"
Liu Jizhen shifted his gaze to her, only to see her wearing new winter clothes. Nine Jade Palace was located on snow peaks, with white as a clothing theme. The winter clothing was made with beast hide so fluffy that it was quite cute, and, because it was New Year's on top of that, they added on a vermilion overcoat, giving it a vibe that was full of joy.
He secretly sighed.
Faced with her expectant gaze, Liu Jizhen could only stand up and receive the new clothes in her hands, going inside to change.
A short while later, Liu Jizhen walked out.
Lu Mingshu turned around, clapping, "Master looks really good in your new clothes!"
Even though Liu Jizhen was akin to being banished, he still had a rank, hence the clothes they had sent over were meant to fit his status as a courtyard leader. The same beast hide overcoat had an even more delicate standard, and the new clothes made him look even taller than the usual.
Lu Mingshu frowned again after her laughter. "I think your beard is too messy, so why not shave off your beard, Master? It's already New Year's…"
Liu Jizhen wanted to refuse, but her expectant gaze rendered him unable to say it. Hence, he went back into the house.
When he came back out, Lu Mingshu's eyes went wide.
Where did this handsome uncle come from!?
Liu Jizhen's shaved beard revealed a face with deep facial features, an eminent pair of eyes, and tall nose bridge with a defined jawline, making him look very masculine. Although his casually combed hair still cascaded down his shoulders, it had unrestrained confidence and ease.
Living together for more than a month, Lu Mingshu had never known that her Master was so good-looking!
With such a face, don't you feel shame being sloppy all day?
She had made up her mind—to always urge her Master to shave from now on!
These features of Master were in no way inferior to that pretentious father of hers!
Lu Mingshu busied herself with setting up a table of food for New Year's Eve; with her current cooking skills, she could only make something that passed as food, something you couldn't really consider a delicacy. Fortunately, Liu Jizhen was not a picky person, given that he could even eat uncooked rice, and Lu Mingshu was in a good mood, eating while beaming with joy.
Fireworks exploded magnificently from the direction of the Main Palace, the mountains behind providing a setting sun as night fell as the backdrop.
Liu Jizhen sat there in silence as usual. Lu Mingshu sat beside him, admiring the fireworks.
She remembered last year's New Year's, where Grandfather took her to paste the couplets while Mother made new clothes for her, and the whole family was bustling with noise and excitement.
"Master, I miss Mother and Grandfather…"
"Do they celebrate New Year's in Heaven, too?"
"Grandfather said, ‘a day in Heaven is like a year on Earth', so do they celebrate New Year's every day?"
"Would I still be able to see them?"
"Master, I promised Grandfather before to practice Martial Arts diligently, and not to allow anyone to bully me anymore in the future."
"Hmm, I won't let anyone bully you either…"
Feeling a weight on his arm, Liu Jizhen looked down to see Lu Mingshu already asleep on his arm, tightly hugging it.
Seeing her unguarded appearance while sleeping, his heart softened. He could not remember the last time someone had trusted him this much. He had always been a genius at practicing Martial Arts since young that others sought after. All up until his Meridians were severed had he not realized that none of them were genuine. Once his genius halo had dispersed, he was only an ordinary person and nothing more.
This child's trust made him feel fear helplessly.
1It was most likely that she had been feeling extremely helpless in her heart back then, to a point where even a bowl of medicine made her trust and become dependant on him to this degree. Thinking of it, her father was still alive, yet she was still thrown away to this place.