Chapter 30 - The Intended Departure
"Feng Li really sent me a good present this time."
Shi Mu muttered to himself, stroking the purple bow, a happy look on his face.
After looking around a bit more, he found a leather bag inside the pack, which he had not seen before. A bundle of light yellow arrows were in the bag. The arrowheads were made of black iron, and black feathers were neatly aligned on the back of the arrows.
Shi Mu pulled one out of the bag, nocked the bow, and stood in front of the window. He could not wait any long: with the bow and the bag full of arrows he strode out of his room.
The remaining of the day saw him practise the purple steel bow. He learned archery when he trained at the club, so it did not take him much time to get used to using the purple steel bow. By the end of the day, he was able to hit a target fifty steps away around 70% of the time, and the bow was only half open. As the passing servants saw this, they couldn't believe their eyes.
In the evening, in the hall of Shi Mu's manor.
"Brother Shi, are you really going to the frontier fortress to join the Jun Wu Hall?" Zhong Xiu asked in surprise, her eyes wide open.
"Yes, and I'm setting off in a few days." Shi Mu answered calmly.
"So what about me? And the manor?" The young girl was confused.
"I asked Zhang Suo to sell the fields and the restaurant the other day, and as for Miss Zhong, you have two choices: one, I'll take you to Auntie Zhen's place, even though the Wu Family is plotting something against you, they won't take the risk of offending the Jin Family. The other choice is, you can go with me. I remember you once said that, although you don't have many relatives willing to accept you, you still have an aunt, though distantly related, in the city of Qing Shui, in Lu Long Prefecture. That city is quite near to the frontier fortress, so I can take you to your aunt." Shi Mu answered, obviously he had been considering this for a while.
"Brother Shi, can't I just stay with you? If you are going to a new place, you will need a maid to cook for you." Hearing Shi Mu's offer, Zhong Xiu lowered her head slightly, and braced herself to speak. Her voice was almost inaudible.
"Miss Zhong, you know, the frontier fortress is adjacent to the plains of the barbarian tribes. Wars happen there frequently. Although I did not consent to Uncle Zhong's last request, it's the least I can do to make sure you are safe. How can I take you to that dangerous places? Also, I'm going there for the single purpose of joining in the Jun Wu Hall, you know it's a place for military training, right? So probably they will offer me food and a room, and won't let me go out. It's highly likely that I can't live as freely, as I have been, out of the Hall." Shi Mu turned her down, shaking his head. He did not see that the girl was in love with him.
The girl's face went pale at the answer. After a long while, she lifted her head up again, and answered, biting her lips,
"If Brother Shi really can't take me in, then I'd better go and live with my aunt."
"Good. Since you've decided, then let's make some preparations during the next few days, so that we can set off together." The girl's decision satisfied Shi Mu.
But, just as Shi Mu was gearing up to leave for Feng City, an unexpected event happened the next morning, disrupting his plan completely.
"What? You mean some guys are riding horses on our fields and trampling our crops? Who would dare to do such a thing?" Shi Mu frowned as Zhang Suo reported to him.
"I can't identify the others, but I know the leader. He's definitely young master Tian, the son of the fifth master of the Jin Family. I've met him before, so I know I am not mistaken. young master Shi, what do we do now? We've sold the fields but we have not officially handed them over to the buyers, so if the fields are ravaged the buyers won't take them!" Zhang Suo asked, burning in a frenzy of rage.
"Young master Tia? You mean Jin Tian? Well, I'll go have a look then." After only a brief thought, Shi Mu understood perfectly who should this "young master Tian" was. His eyes grew cold and fierce.
If the fifth master had not persuaded the eldest leader of the Jin Family to take Shi Mu's Qi Ling pill and give it to Jin Tian, Shi Mu would not, necessarily, have to leave the city right now.
Although he had always been calm, the moment he heard Jin Tian's name he became angry. So he went directly out of the manor, and made his way to the large fields nearby.
He soon reached the edge of the fields. In the middle, several glamorously dressed youths were chasing a fox on their big horses. The fox was rather small, and jumping nimbly among the crops. Due to this, although there are many of them, the youths still could not catch it.
Seeing the crops that had been torn up by the horses chasing the fox, Shi Mu's face became furious.
"Young master Shi, that man is Jin Tian." Zhang Suo had finally caught up with Shi Mu. He told Shi Mu while gasping for breath, pointing to a blue-robed young man with a flat nose.
Hearing this Shi Mu cast a cold glance at the youth, and walked over to him. Just then, the fox turned about abruptly with the several youths following it at a high speed. Their leader was the blue-robed young man, who payed no attention to Shi Mu's presence while his fellows all slowed down their horses as soon as they saw Shi Mu approach. Jin Tian gave his horse some heavy whips and rushed at Shi Mu fiercely.
"Stop it, Jin Tian."
"Do you know what are you doing?"
Astonished, his acquaintances all shouted out warnings, trying to get him to stop, while Jin Tian himself rushed on, as though he had heard nothing.
Seeing this, Shi Mu narrowed his eyes and lifted one leg, kicking the fox away. He then moved his shoulders to evade the oncoming horse, turned around, and hit the horse with great strength.
The blue-robed young man was sent flying over ten meters with his horse, then fell onto the ground, hard.
His acquaintances shouted at the sight, and hurried to Jin Tian's side.
"You bastard, asking for death!"
Just then, the blue-robed young man got out from under the horse's body and jumped up to his feet, he seemed uninjured, his shirt was torn open at his chest and one could see something gold under his shirt.
"How strong! And yet Jin Tian is unharmed?"
"This is Seventh Aunt's step son? He's has such amazing strength!"
"I heard that he used to be the top practitioner of our city, but he seems rather ordinary."
"Oh, Jin Tian is wearing the Golden Armour!"
"What? Fifth Uncle cherishes that armor almost as much as he cherishes himself! We can't even touch it."
These whispering young men, who sighed a sigh of relief after making sure of Jin Tian's safety, were apparently all apart of the Jin Family. One after another, they stopped their horses and stood watching.
"You bastard! You dare to challenge me? I'll kill you!"
Ignoring his companions' reactions, Jin Tian tore his shirt off. A glittering golden armour could be seen underneath. At the same time, he drew his sword from his waist.
Hearing the curse and seeing the reflected cold light of the sword, Shi Mu narrowed his eyes.