Chapter 417: "The Fan Brothers (1)"
Off the main thoroughfare and through a tiny patch of woods, a snaking pebbled path wound through the grass leading a short way to a small bamboo forest.
Unless one was aware of this place, no one ever know that within the grounds of the Zephyr Academy, such a quiet and tranquil little spot existed.
Fan Jin led the way bringing Jun Wu Xie to come to this place. Out in the courtyard, a youth about fifteen or sixteen years of age was sweeping up the leaves from the pebbled path, and when he saw Fan Jin and Jun Wu Xie approaching, he hastily went up to greet them.
"Eldest Master, you've arrived." The youth's eyes were filled with adulation for Fan Jin and when those eyes fell on Jun Wu Xie, they were soon tinged with query.
"Yes, and I've brought another little one to freeload for lunch. Is Little Zhuo having his lunch now?" Fan Jin stated his intentions unashamedly and that incited a suppressed chuckle from the youth, totally unable to dislike Fan Jin's candidness.
"Please enter, Eldest Master." The youth opened the door with a smile and he extended the same courtesy to Jun Wu Xie.
The gates made from bamboo were pushed opened and a wind chime hung at the corner of the door chimed. Within the pristine bamboo forest, the chime tinkled clearly and was very pleasing to the ear.
Fan Jin turned to nod his head and led Jun Xie into the courtyard.
The courtyard was not too big, but was exquisite and delicately furnished. The dwellings seen from within the courtyard were not extravagant but simple and succinct. There were three dwellings built up and at the side of the quaint yard, a little spring ran, emptying into a small pool. The water was so clear you can see the bottom of the pool and red koi were swimming within stirring up small ripples.
With just her first glance, Jun Wu Xie loved the small yard, and the peace and tranquility in here.
The two of them were still walking when they saw a frail figure appear at the door of a bamboo dwelling directly facing them.
It was a skinny and weak youth. The blue clothes which had been tailored for him hung from his body, looking a size too big and the delicate face was deathly pale, even his lips. He stood slightly bent over, unbecoming of his young and supposed to be exuberant age. He was holding a bamboo walking stick in his hand and he was leaning his weight upon it. The youth looked to be frighteningly frail but he possessed a pair of clear and sparkling bright eyes. Those attractive eyes were smiling and when you saw those eyes, it made one forget the frailty of his body.
The moment Fan Jin saw the youth, he widened his steps and strode right up to hold up the youth's tottering body.
"The noon sun is so strong. You should be good and stay indoors, what are you doing out here?" Fan Jin asked with a disapproving frown on his face as he helped the youth slowly into the bamboo house, and he did not forget Jun Xie as he turned to him and said: "Jun Xie, come on inside as well."
The youth turned his head to look at Jun Wu Xie, the curiosity in those clear eyes piqued. He was assessing Jun Wu Xie, but the eyes were still friendly and were not offensive.
Jun Wu Xie nodded to the youth and she followed them inside.
The furnishings on the inside of the house was just as simple as it was outside in the yard, without any excessive decorations. Fan Jin helped the youth to sit down on a chair by the table while asking Jun Xie to make himself comfortable while he himself sat beside the frail youth.
"Big brother, aren't you going to introduce us?" The frail youth looked at Jun Wu Xie smiling earnestly.
Fan Jin replied: "This is Jun Xie. I had told you about him earlier, the new disciple I would be mentoring. And Jun Xie, this is my younger brother, Fan Zhuo."
Fan Zhuo looked at Jun Wu Xie and his eyes sparkled with his smile. "So you are Jun Xie? If my big brother had not told me you were already fourteen, I would have thought you were only twelve or thirteen looking at your small petite frame. You should take care to eat and drink well everyday, and not hurt your body."
Fan Zhuo had a weak body himself and he knew very well how a weak body dragged him down.