Hu Sha’s legs were in a twisted form; cold sweat was covering her forehead as she sat on the bed.
This position was called ‘The Twisting Posture’. It had a beautiful pose and could help settle the minds of disciples who had difficulties to stay focus.
How beautiful it was; she could not see. How settling it was; she could not feel.
She only knew that her feet were in great pain; her bones felt like they were going to break.
When she couldn’t take it anymore, she tried to open her eyes but quickly received Second Senior Brother’s lazy reprimand, “Concentrate, focus. Do not open your eyes.”
Hu Sha was almost in tears.
This Second Senior Brother was a lot scarier than the First Senior Brother; he had been keeping an eye on her in front. She could not even twist her eyebrows without receiving a scolding.
“Second Senior Brother… I… I cannot take it anymore. My feet hurts….” She tremblingly said. If he continued to forbid her from assuming her normal position, she would no longer be able to use this pair of feet.
His voice sounded particularly warm and sympathetic, “Everyone is like that in the beginning. Once time passes, you will be fine.”
“But…. It will really break…… This posture—- cannot……” She continued to tremble.
He half-opened his eyes as he continued to sit without moving on his chair, “Be good. Just bear with it for a little while.”
A loud voice suddenly bellowed from outside, “You—– What are you doing in bright daylight?!”
The window was suddenly kicked open. Dust filled the air. Hu Sha almost fell from the bed from surprise. A lady wearing white dress stood by the window; staring at the room with large eyes. Her face was red.
Feng Yi continued to recline on the chair. Without even opening his eyes, he said, “Can’t you see?”
That lady continued to stare at Feng Yi and Hu Sha back and forth. She finally laughed when she realized that Hu Sha was assuming the ‘twist position’, “Oh, you two are meditating. Senior Uncle Feng Yi is a real trickster, I thought……”
“What did you think?” he casually asked, inciting a red tinge on the girl’s face.
Hu Sha cluelessly looked at the both of them, not understanding what this was about. When the other girl looked at her in appraisal, Hu Sha finally recognized her.
“Ah! It is you! The fairy jiejie from yesterday!” Hu Sha’s eyes twinkled. Wasn’t this the fairy she saw on the forbidden ground? The one who reared that spirit beast?
The girl froze, “Have we met?”
“In the forbidden ground! Have you forgotten?” Hu Sha was very excited! She could now secretly relieved herself from this position. She inconspicuously stretched her legs; woah how comfortable.
That lady had a sudden realization. She muttered under her breath, “Right. You were the one who got reprimanded by Senior Great Grandfather earlier on…..”
Hu Sha suddenly felt embarrassed beyond words. That lady on the other hand quickly paid respect to her and Feng Yi, “Man Qing greets Senior Uncle Feng Yi and Senior Uncle Hu Sha.”
Hu Sha’s shame disappeared; flattered by the girl’s conduct.
Feng Yi appeared a little impatient, “Are you here to search for my Senior Brother again?”
Man Qing’s face turned red, “Y-Yes. Where is Senior Uncle Feng Di? I knocked on his door just now but nobody was around.”
Feng Yi nodded. “No wonder. You go around eavesdropping on other people and kick their windows off…. Having this kind of person looking for him everyday, he naturally will not sit still in Zhi Yan House.”
Man Qing rubbed her nose in embarrassment as she laughed, “Then, since he isn’t around, I should retreat first. Man Qing is truly sorry for disturbing Senior Uncle’s cultivation. Goodbye.”
She left through the window and in the blink of an eye, she disappeared.
Hu Sha froze as she looked at the ruined window, mumbling to herself, “Don’t tell me fairy jiejie likes the Eldest Senior Brother?”
Feng Yi nonchalantly replied her, “Who knows. She glued herself to him every single day. Eldest Senior Brother likes earnest and hardworking people; she likes him but couldn’t even understand him, this kind of ‘like’ is pointless.”
Hu Sha fell into a deep silence. After a moment, she cautiously asked him, “This…. Senior Brother, aren’t everyone here celestials? Celestials are also….. like this?” Her father used to tell her that celestials cut off all emotions. Once they started yearning for something, they would be punished to the mortal realm. Why were emotions and love such a normal thing here?
Feng Yi glanced at her, “Why not? Everything in this world are of the yin and yang, which is something that is determined by the heaven and earth.”
It— It was like that?
“Hu Sha,” his voice suddenly turned warm. Hu Sha trembleed upon hearing his tone, lifting up her head to look at him in desperation.
“Why are your legs straightened out? Seems like I need to teach you back from scratch.” Feng Yi got up and leisurely walked over. He gave her smile before he arranged her legs back to how it was, earlier on.
Hu Sha suddenly felt as though her life was tragic beyond compare.
“If you won’t concentrate, you will not get any food today.” After saying that, he went back to his seat and closed his eyes.
Hu Sha continued to suffer, sweat lining her forehead.
She had no idea how much time had passed; the room was in deep silence. Winds blew in from the window that Man Qing destroyed.
Hu Sha’s head started nodding off as she fell into a half-asleep state.
A flock of birds flew through the bamboo forest, jolting her awake.
Sunlight penetrated through the bamboo trees, falling into the window. A person sat on the seat near the window; wearing a dark robe embroidered with rich red threads. His sleeves were strewn across the seat. He appeared to be asleep, his black hair framing his face; showing off his long eyelashes.
This scene resembled a painting, Hu Sha thought.
She held her breath, as though afraid to wake him up. She slowly got down from the bed before massaging her numb legs.
Hu Sha looked at the sky, it seemed to be around 3 pm at the moment. She mustered up her courage, “Second Senior Brother….. Second Senior Brother……”
He didn’t even move.
Hu Sha puts on her shoes before heading over to him and pulling his sleeves, “Second Senior Brother, it’s three pm.”
He didn’t react.
Hu Sha was suddenly suspicious. She put her hand under his nose quietly. He wasn’t breathing! His entire body was cold like ice! Her soul almost flew off from the shock. Her knees suddenly turned soft.
“Second Senior Brother!” She grasped his hand; it felt so cold, like she was touching a stone.
Oh God! Was he dead? He actually died! Hu Sha got up, planning to run out to look for help only to remember that both Shifu and First Senior Brother weren’t around. There was nobody around! She circled around anxiously.
“Is Junior Brother Feng Yi around?” a voice suddenly came from outside. Hu Sha felt nervous even though she hadn’t done anything wrong. “I- I didn’t do it! It wasn’t me!”
The person outside paused for a while, not saying anything. Hu Sha forced herself to calm down. The person outside was a woman; she was looking at her in curiosity and wonder.
Hu Sha’s nose turned sour, she really wanted to cry right now. She tremblingly pointed at Feng Yi, “H-He……” She suddenly lost the ability to think.
As she did that, Feng Yi suddenly spoke, “How noisy. Didn’t I tell you to meditate until 3 pm?”
He got up and slowly pulled the band that tied his hair. Black jade-like hair fell against his shoulders. He quickly adjust them, looking a little impatient.
“Second Senior Brother….” Hu Sha was dumbfounded, “Y-You didn’t……”
He clearly wasn’t breathing; his entire body was ice cold! How did he came back to life?
Hu Sha couldn’t stop herself from checking his breathing once again. She placed her finger under his nose, coming in contact with his upper lips. There were warm breaths! He was still alive!
“Aren’t you going to put your hand away?” he lowered his head to look at her. “I told you to meditate, what are you doing?”
Hu Sha froze as she looked at his pretty yet indolent face.
“Wah!” she cried out loud. “Second Senior Brother, you didn’t die! You are still alive! Thank goodness!” Hu Sha cried with tears and mucus and all; she didn’t care for her appearance at all.
Feng Yi sighed before looking at the woman by the window; she was gently laughing as she curiously looked at Hu Sha. He patted Hu Sha’s head and took out a paper bag from his chest; flaunting it in front of her. “Be good. Of course Second Senior Brother is still alive, stop crying. Come, eat these.”
Hu Sha seized the bag from him while weeping, “I thought—– I thought you were dead! You scared me to death!”
Feng Yi pulled her up from the ground and used his hand to wipe her tears. “Second Senior Brother will not die, you saw wrong. Stop crying. If you keep on crying, you won’ t look cute anymore.”
Hu Sha wiped her nose before opening the paper bag in grievance. There was a fresh-out-of-the-oven roasted duck along with two buns inside the bag. She bites a mouthful of the bun before speaking, “You didn’t even go out….. Where did you get these from?”
Feng Yi laughed as he patted her head, “Using a celestial method of course. You wouldn’t know even if I tell you. Alright, stop crying. Go and play after you eat, I have something to do.”
Hu Sha headed towards the entrance, still somewhat shaken.
The woman was now by the door. “I suppose this is Senior Uncle Fang Zhun’s newest disciple.” Her voice was really warm.
Hu Sha nodded at her. That woman smiled at her gently, “Then, you are my Junior Sister. Hu Sha, my name is Bai Ru.”
Hu Sha froze for a moment as Feng Yi headed to her and patted her shoulder, “Call her Senior Sister. She is Senior Uncle Fang Ye’s disciples. Senior Uncle Fang Ye is shifu’s Senior Brother.”
Hu Sha obediently called her ‘Senior Sister’. Bai Ru smiled brightly before taking her hands, looking at her in affection. She turned to Feng Yi and smiled, “See how much you made her cry? Feng Yi, you are such a bully.”
Feng Yi sighed, “I would never bully her….. Never mind. Why did you come looking for me, Senior Sister?”
“Not me. Senior Uncle Fang Zhun is going out for a couple of days. He told me to send you a message.” Bai Ru smiled. “Shang He Zhen Ren from Feng Ji Prefecture’s Mount Tao Yuan is pretty close to Senior Uncle Fang Zhun. He sent an invitation to invite shifu, Senior Uncle and a couple more disciples to Mount Tao Yuan. Senior Uncle agreed to go there on the second day next month. He told me to tell you and Feng Di to prepare; Mount Tao Yuan’s Shang Rong ought to challenge a duel again. He told me to tell you to not to embarrass him.”
Feng Yi sighed as he tidied up his sleeves, “How troublesome! Who wants to duel with him?!”
Bai Ru laughed, “I already told Feng Di. Speaking about him, why hasn’t he return? He must have gotten lost in Qing Liang Hall, you better go and search for him.” After she said that, she patted Hu Sha’s head and said a few courtesy words before leaving.
Feng Yi shook his head as he leisurely walked towards the door. He gently pushed Hu Sha, “I will go and search for Senior Brother. You can go back. Right……”
He suddenly leaned closer to her ear before whispering, “What happened today is a secret, do not tell anyone. If you do, I will not buy you food anymore.”
Secret? What was he talking about?
She pondered until her head was about to break and still could not understand what ‘secret’ he was talking about.