Published at 24th of December 2019 10:13:12 PM

Chapter 28

Coincidentally, this man happens to be Third Childe Zhao who had Li Xing almost beaten to death the other day . Li Xing cannot help but secretly complain his bad luck for running into this heatless villain, but he shows no emotion on his face as if he had never seen the man while Third Childe Zhao is completely slack-jawed at seeing him .

Li Xing’s lack of reaction makes Third Childe Zhao even more confused . Is this him or is it just someone who looks exactly like him? Sensing the strange vibe, Chen Shuang takes a look at Zhao Yun and then turns to Third Childe Zhao, asking, “Zhao San, you know Zhao Yun?”

Third Childe Zhao, realizing he could never admit to having beaten up one of Chen Shuang’s people, laughs awkwardly, “I must’ve mistaken him for someone else . ”

After the random chatting and formalities, everyone takes their seat .

Then there stands up a man who has a protruding mouth, hollow cheeks and a bony frame . He wags his head pretentiously, saying, “Considering we are here today to make friends through poetry, I’d like to humbly start off by presenting a few lines of my own . ”

At that moment, a girl is heard chuckling, “Mr . Zhang, would you mind waiting for a moment?”

As Li Xing turns his head to find that voice, a girl stands up from her seat . She is around Chen Shuang’s age with pretty features and is dressed in white satin . But her look seems quite patronizing like a pride princess .

Seeing everyone has turned their eyes on her, the girl looks at Chen Shuang with a smile, “I remember Chen Shuang mentioned last time that she also writes poems . Mr . Zhang, why don’t you give a head start to Chen Shuang? Whatever topic is fine, as long as it is appropriate for the occasion . ”

Chen Shuang, being caught off guard, instantly blushes . A poet is no ordinary person . Even with a good memory and a smart brain, one is not necessarily able to compose good poetry . Great poets are like great artists who only belong in a small minority .

On the other hand, Chen Shuang has always been stumbling in poetry writing, and she just came to the convention for entertainment . Feeling rattled, she shoots a glare at the girl .

That girl’s name is Zhu Qingying, the daughter of Qingyun city’s ruler, Zhu Jin .

Zhu Qingying and Chen Shuang have had a hard time getting along with each other and one always tends to relish the other’s embarrassment . Chen Shuang has level three blood power but she is not much of a literary talent, while although Zhu Qingying only has level one blood power and is inferior in martial art, she is well versed in literature .

“What am I going to do? This is so embarrassing . Zhu Qingying, you just wait . Sooner or later I will get back at you!” Feeling angry at her predicament, Chen Shuang decides to throw in the towel and tell everyone that she doesn’t know how to write a poem .

Li Xing has already seen through everything, thinking, “As part of her entourage, I’m supposed to defend the girl . Well, I may as well just help her out . ” So beyond everyone’s expectation, he suddenly speaks, “Didn’t Miss Chen write a poem about drinking yesterday?”

Chen Shuang, taken by surprise, turns around at Li Xing . Seeing him look calm as usual, she wonders, “Is he trying to help me?” She then hesitates a little and says, “Well, that’s right . But I don’t think it is appropriate for the occasion . ”

Chen Shuang’s unexpected look doesn’t get away from Zhu Qingying who assumes her poem is offensive to the ear, so Zhu immediately says, “It doesn’t matte . Why not just recite it to us?”

Then everyone else chimes in, “Recite it!”

Chen Shuang glances at Li Xing nervously, asking for help with a desperate look .

The sight of Chen Shuang - a girl from an influential family - being vulnerable and helpless makes Li Xing’s heart soften . Slowly, he reads out:

Amid the flowers, from a pot of wine

I drink alone beneath the bright moonshine .

I raise my cup to invite the Moon who blends

Her light with my Shadow and we’re three friends .

The Moon does not know how to drink her share;

In vain my Shadow follows me here and there .

Together with them for the time I stay

And make merry before spring’s spent away .

I sing and the Moon lingers to hear my song;

My Shadow’s a mess when I dance along .

Sober, we three remain cheerful and gay;

Drunken, we part and each may go his way .

Our friendship will outshine all earthly love,

Next time we’ll meet beyond the stars above .

This poem, titled Drinking Alone under the Moon, was written by Li Bai from the Tang Dynasty (681-907 AD) and has been sung through the ages . Although it doesn’t quite meet the standards for a poem in this world, great poetry knows no bounds .

After finishing reciting, Li Xing doesn’t say one more word .

Everyone there is transfixed and begins to imagine an uninhibited man holding his wine cup high under the moon, singing and dancing with wild abandon in a way that he will never be restrained by life and always follows his heart .

“That’s brilliant!” Third Childe Zhao claps his hands in amazement . Even someone who has only learned the rudiments of writing like him is able to find the superb excellence in the poem .

Zhu Qingying, apparently impressed to the point of speechless, turns her look at Li Xing .  

Since “Zhao Yun” is just a servant, she didn’t bother to pay any attention at him . But after he read the poem, she is immediately intrigued .

“There is no way that Chen Shuang could have written such bold lines, this man must have written it . He is just helping his master out . ” Zhu Qingying is intelligent enough to figure out the truth .

With a chuckle, the girl says, “I didn’t expect Chen Shuang could have written such a great poem . Why not read us another one?”

Chen Shuang immediately panics . As she is about to refuse, she suddenly feels a finger tapping on her back and then quickly writes down: Say yes .

Because Li Xing was standing behind Chen Shuang and had his hand tucked in his sleeve, no one noticed he was directing her by writing on her back .

Realizing what Li Xing is planning to do, Chen Shuang relaxes a little, thinking, “This man now is worth three blood crystals every month . ”

Chen Shuang calms herself and smiles, “Since Miss Zhu asks, I’m happy to be obliged . ”

Then she clears her throat, and with a confident and heroic look, she reads out, “Tens years it takes to grind a sword; Its frosty edge has yet to be tested; Today I’m showing this sword to you; Is there anyone who has a grievance?”

This poem was written by Jia Dao, another poet from the Tang Dynasty . Li Xing used to work hard at school and has memorized a lot of poetry . It just had never occurred to him that he could think of Jia Dao’s Swordsman on an occasion like this .

After hearing it, everyone seems to be taken by the power between the lines . The color on Zhu Qingying’s face has also changed . She keeps staring in awe at Chen Shuang .

Chen Shuang feels a sense of satisfaction rushing over her, but she shows no emotion and maintains her cold and distant look .

Li Xing has already taken back his finger with no one noticing . Just now when he wrote those words on Chen Shuang’s back, he could feel her soft skins through her clothes . Suddenly he is struck by a romantic feeling toward the girl .

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“Could this poem have been written by someone else in advance?” Zhu Qingying keeps wondering in disbelief .

She knows better than anyone of Chen Shuang’s level in literature . The two poems were both so powerful that it couldn’t have come from a girl, even if Chen Shuang is gifted in poetry .

The rest keep applauding and shouting compliments .

“There is another poetry prodigy in Qingyun city . Even Qian Bixie is no match to Chen Shuang!”

“I doubt even Murong Jiaojiao, the No . one poet in the entire Ping state, could ever think of such beautiful lines . ”

Chen Shuang is a bit carried away by all the compliments, but the thought that she actually never wrote neither of those poems makes her look a little uneasy . Meanwhile, Zhu Qingying keeps focusing her attention on Li Xing the whole time .   

When she first laid eyes on Li Xing, she only saw a pretty young man, but as she looks closer, she is gradually amazed by his calm and collected bearing which could never be easily found on anyone in a world where people are only venerated for their physical force .

The weak usually shows humbleness while the powerful usually seem haughty, which is normally what can be seen in the people of Tianyuan isle . Rarely has there been anyone like Li Xing .

Although able to feel Zhu Qingying’s eyes on him, Li Xing chooses not to react .

After a while, Zhu Qingying smiles and ventures a question, “Chen Shuang, is there any way I can have this servant of yours?”

Chen Shuang didn’t expect this . Laughing at the girl’s brazenness inside, she smiles back at her and answers, “Yes, there is . But it will cost you one hundred thousand blood crystals . ”

The entire room gasps . One hundred thousand blood crystals! Hardly could that amount be found in the whole Qingyun city . What exactly makes a mere servant worthy of such a price?

Zhu Qingying bursts into a knowing laughter, “I understand . Forget I asked . ” Then she turns to Li Xing and continues, “Zhao Yun, if you want to leave the Chen family some day, you are welcome to mine . I promise the Zhu family will double the pay you get in the Chen family . ”

Chen Shuang, trying to suppress her anger, says indifferently, “Zhao Yun, if you want to go to the Zhu family, you are free to leave!”

Li Xing feels amused knowing the two girls are bickering over him, but replies with a serious look, “I’m indebted to the Chen family, so I’d like to decline the offer . ”

Chen Shuang wasn’t completely sure that Li Xing would stay, but his answer makes her relieve and feel pleased at the same time . With evidently faked regret, she says, “It seems we have let you down . Zhao Yun has far bigger ambition than go to the Zhu family . ”

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The degrading tone in her voice makes everyone else in the room laugh awkwardly, except for Zhu Qingying who slightly frowns at the girl’s words .

After the short interlude, everyone else in attendance composes a piece of poetry of their own . At one point, Li Xing has to force back the urge to jump from the building after listening to the unbearably vulgar and so-called “poems” one after another .

The boring poetry convention doesn’t wrap up until three hours later . Then Li Xing follows Chen Shuang downstairs and heads back for Three Chivalries Garden .

On their way back, Chen Shuang can hardly hide her smile and says to Li Xing with a seemingly berating tone, “How dare you!” But the merriment on her face completely belies her anger .

Slightly bowing, Li Xing says, “Please forgive my indiscretion, but I couldn’t stand that girl’s attitude toward you . I had to improvise under the circumstances . I hereby ask for your punishment for my behavior . ”

Chen Shuang feels even more delighted by Li Xing’s proper explanation, thinking, “I made an absolutely right choice by keeping him around back then . ”

“Very good, Zhao Yun! From now on, you will be paid three blood crystals every month . ” With a smile, she hastens her horse Hong’er and gallops away .

Obviously, being part of Chen Shuang’s entourage is an easy job for Li Xing . Apart from the trip to Qingyun Hotel, he has the rest of whole day to himself, so he spends all the time practicing blood in his room .

Li Xing later asks Chen Shuang if he could have a few days’ leave . Chen Shuang agrees immediately and gives him thirty thousand coppers as traveling expenses .

On an afternoon, Li Xing returns to Purple Bamboo Garden where he sees Li Hu training his strength by repeatedly lifting a stone lock weighing over a hundred kilos .

He can immediately tell that Li Hu has improved a lot in blood practicing .

Seeing Li Xing back, Li Hu laughs, “Young Master, I’m nearing level one blood power!”

Li Xing smiles approvingly, knowing that although the boy has already broken through his dermal meridians, he still needs time to complete the first level of blood practicing . He brings the boy to the bamboo house and hands him The Book of Ultimate Blood and The Book of Ultimate Martial Art .

Both surprised and overjoyed, the boy says, “Thank you, Young Master!”

“Keep on practicing . I believe you will be powerful someday . ” Li Xing says .

Nodding his head hard, Li Hu promises solemnly, “I won’t let Young Master down!”

As Li Xing and Li Hu, the two mad cultivators in Purple Bamboo Garden spend almost every day practicing, all the choirs and errands fall on Xiaoxiu . Fortunately, the girl is industrious and diligent enough to arrange everything in perfect order .