Chapter 49: You’re Still Young
Lu Mingshu pursed her lips, but did not reply to Yan Wugui.
Yan Wugui took no more notice of her and jumped onto the large rock above him to build a roof once again. He then cleaned up the scene, leveling out all the bloodstains and whatnots.
While he busied himself away with cleaning, Lu Mingshu started to feel drowsy. She did not know whether this round of drowsiness was due to side effects of the herb, or her excessive blood loss, but she knew that her body was telling her it needed rest right now.
With Jian Wugui around, Lu Mingshu did not struggle with the drowsiness and immediately fell asleep. However, this was after all the wilderness, and she was not very familiar with Yan Wugui. Hence, she did not enter deep sleep and dreamt all the way. She dreamt of her childhood days, she dreamt about her time in Jiulu Province, she dreamt of her adventures in another world, and a moment later, she dreamt that she was fighting the Specter.
During this moment of drowsiness, she felt herself being lifted up. She fought her heavy eyelids for a long while, and when she barely managed to open her eyes into a slit, she discovered herself resting on someone's back.
This wide back and the sturdy hold of her arms, almost made Lu Mingshu tear up. She carelessly called out, "Father!"
The person that carried her stiffened.
Once she called out, Lu Mingshu remembered how her father could not possibly be carrying her like this, and her master was the only one that cared for her so. Hence, she called out once more, "Master …"
Yan Wugui terribly wanted to smash his head into the wall.
He wanted to lecture her, but the moment he turned his head back and saw Lu Mingshu fast asleep on his back, he only sighed helplessly and continued hastening on his way.
It seemed as if a long while had passed when Lu Mingshu finally awoke. She discovered herself lying in a foreign place, numb from head to toe.
Her surroundings were dim and looked to be a simple and crude stone room. Besides the bed she was lying on, there was only a rough stone table present in the room. The only light source in the room was the fire torch on the wall.
The place was void of any noise.
She tried to move her frail body off the bed, however the moment her feet touched the ground, her injuries made themselves felt, and she almost kneeled to the floor.
Lu Mingshu sat herself up on the bed, and after some time, she heard footsteps outside of the room. When she looked over in the direction of the sound, Yan Wugui appeared by the entrance of the stone room, holding onto a bowl with both hands.
"You're finally awake." he seemed to have breathed a sigh of relief, and he passed the bowl over to her. "Drink your medicine first."
When Lu Mingshu looked at the bowl of black substance, which emitted a pungent medicinal smell, she could not help but scrunch her eyebrows up. So the strange taste in my mouth, was due to this soup's flavour?
Yan Wugui felt happy when he saw her expression.
"You were burning up for a whole day and night. You had no idea, right? As the blood of the Specter is poisonous and you were even injured, you feel sick right away. Be a good girl! Drink up your medicine so that you can recover."
Ever since her grandfather and mother passed away, this was the first time someone said ‘good' to her. A bout of mixed emotions raised up in her heart, yet she could not speak of a single one of them.
She took the bowl of medicine and gulped it down in one shot.
"Brother Yan, where is this place …"
Lu Mingshu had not finished speaking when Yan Wugui retreated in his steps; holding onto the bowl with one hand while the other pinched his nose. "How long have you not bathed for? Your whole body is soured!"
"..." Lu Mingshu blushed red.
"Do you still have any strength left? I'll bring you to take a shower."
Lu Mingshu nodded silently.
Yan Wugui turned around to piggyback her. "Come up."
Lu Mingshu lifted her arms and placed them on his back; he obviously despised her smell, yet he still endured it and carried her. Lu Mingshu did not know what to think of him. According to their previous interaction, there was a possibility that Yan Wugui had mysophobia ...
The two left the stone room, passed through a long stone passageway, and finally emerged from a mountain cave.
Lu Mingshu squinted her eyes, trying to get used to the sudden brightness outside the cave. Luckily, it was evening then, hence it was not as irritating to the eyes.
After passing through a bamboo forest, they turned towards a mountain cavity and finally stopped beside a small creek.
Yan Wugui placed her on a large rock by the small creek and asked, "You don't have any extra clothes on you, right?"
Lu Mingshu nodded her head. Her spare clothes have been all left behind at the base camp, and she only carried a small pocket with her.
Yan Wugui dug through the pocket by his waist; after digging for a while, he pulled out some clothes. "Make do with this. You have to change out of those clothes no matter what!"
When Lu Mingshu saw him took out the porcelain bowl previously, she guessed that he carried a mustard seed pouch on him— now she had gotten her confirmation.
"I'll be over in that corner; give me a shout if you need me." Yan Wugui said, pointing at the extreme end of the huge rock. Lu Mingshu guessed that he was going to wash up too.
The moment the two met up after they were done washing, Yan Wugui whistled.
"Haish, you're a little beauty."
Only after Lu Mingshu had pushed the long sleeves up and cut off a good half of the skirt's hem, did the clothes somewhat fit her. She then asked, "I hope you don't mind."
Yan Wugui raised his hand. "What's the point of asking me when you have already torn it up?"
"Where are we?" After Lu Mingshu was done packing up, she finally had the mood to be concerned about her whereabouts.
They stood by a simple kitchen, built with stones piled up on each other by the creek. Yan Wugui busied himself with obtaining water and igniting the fire.
"The depths of the beast cave."
Lu Mingshu was stunned. "You know there's a beast cave here?"
Yan Wugui paused whatever he was doing and looked at her; a shadow of a smile appeared on his face. "Why do you think I would've chosen this spot for seclusion training?"
"..." Lu Mingshu thought for a while, "Has anyone gone to look for me?"
Lu Mingshu had her suspicions when no reinforcement arrived back then. However, even if Teacher Zuo disregarded her safety, Gao Xiang would still do his best to get reinforcements – it had already been a day and night, so it was abundantly clear to her as to the reason why Yan Wugui brought her away from the valley.
He did not want anyone to know he was in Jade West Mountain Forest.
Yan Wugui paused his task and looked at her with a profound expression. "Had anyone told you that being too smart would get you killed faster?"
Lu Mingshu answered him casually, "If you wanted to kill me, you should have killed me on the spot back then. It isn't profitable to kill me anymore now."
Yan Wugui was startled at the answer but regained his composure with a smile. "You're so smart and so cute, so how could I ever bear to kill you?"
"Thank you, but it would be more suitable to tell me these words in a few years."
Yan Wugui grinned even wider. "What a pity you're too young, otherwise I might've just started liking you a little."
The aroma of cooked food quickly filled the area by the creek.
One could tell that Yan Wugui was an expert in wilderness survival. It was unknown where he hunted this beast meat, nor was it known where he picked the many fresh, wild herbs and mushrooms. However, when he stewed them all together in a pot, the food that came out was a true mountain delicacy.
When he added the freshly chopped and roasted bamboo tube rice, the aroma rising up in the air was enough to make even Lu Mingshu almost swallow her tongue.
While she ate this delicious food, she reflected upon her own culinary skills. Even after years of learning, her culinary skills could only be counted as so-so. It is fortunate that master does not despise the food I cook ...
Once they were done with their meal, Yan Wugui started cleaning …
After washing the dishes, he brought her the clothes she had worn on the day they met. "There are not many parts with holes, it's still wearable after we wash and mend up the holes."
"Bro, Brother Yan …" Lu Mingshu looked at him distractedly, when she saw him holding onto her clothes.
Yan Wugui patted her head. "You're still young! Don't read too much into this."
Yan Wugui shook her clothes and was about to soak them in the water when a small item fell out from the bundle.