Chapter 11: To Protect
Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -
After awhile, Zhang Yun said, "I'm not knowledgeable, but based on what I can see, senior brother's essay has reached perfection. When you take the imperial exams, you will definitely succeed. Let's go to Mr Zhao's house, he urged me to bring you to his place today and said he had important instructions for you."
Zhang Yun then grabbed all the essays on the table and dragged Pei Zi Yun to the school.
Pei Zi Yun was secretly thrilled. In his past life he wasn't familiar with Zhang Yun, he only later learnt that he was the reincarnation of an elder from a sect. This meant that he had attained a skill level high enough to be reincarnated. He had thought that by excelling in the exams, he would have the opportunity to be introduced to him. How could he have expected Zhang Yun to be at his door this very morning, admiring his work?
They hurried and reached Mr Zhao's house in no time. The sun was bright and heat radiated from it onto the bamboo forest and the yard. The pair arrived at the entrance of the yard saw Mr Zhao holding a sword in one hand and a manual in the other, he was practising his sword techniques.
They didn't dare to interrupt and stood by the side. From his memories, he could tell that Mr Zhao was proficient with the sword. He woke up early every morning just to practice. At first he had thought that he was just a scholar learning how to fight. He later realised that Mr Zhao was practicing a particular sword technique.
As they continued watching from a distance, he understood, "This is the Free Cloud Sword Technique from the Free Cloud Sect. I have already learnt it by using the memories from the original owner and the system."
'From acquiring the previous owner's memories, I have gained many different Dao Fighting Techniques. Some simple, and others difficult. Most of them have been learnt from the Free Cloud Sect or from the rogue cultivators met on his path.'
'I've been in this new world for two or three days already, yet I couldn't remember something as important as this straight away.'
'I had to see Mr Zhao practice his sword techniques to remember?'
Pei Zi Yun felt a few dark clouds form up in his heart. At this point, Zhao Ning who had finished his sword technique practice noticed his two disciples waiting respectfully. He asked, "Zi Yun, why are you here so early today?"
Pei Zi Yun replied, "Didn't teacher send my fellow brother to take me here? Just as the sun rose, my fellow brother was at my door, waiting to drag me here."
Zhang Yun's brows quivered before he replied, "It is better to be early than to be late for the examinations. After hearing Mr Zhao's instructions, I woke up early to hunt some wild chickens. Realizing that the sun was up, I was worried that fellow brother would be late, and thus hurried and brought him here."
"Haha!" Zhao Ning laughed. "Zhang Yun, Zhang Yun. I asked you to go over to your fellow brother's place in the morning. I didn't expect you to go so early. You really are an impulsive person."
As he was speaking, he pretended to hit Zhang Yun who darted out of the way, scratching his head and grinning.
Zhao Ning turned his head and looked at Pei Zi Yun, "Since you are already here, let's have some breakfast before I test you."
Zhang Yun immediately took up all the essays written by Pei Zi Yun and gave it to his teacher saying, "Teacher, I feel that senior brother's works are almost perfect and he doesn't even need to sit for the examinations. When I read it this morning, I realized it bore similarities to yours, and knew that the examinations would be easy for him."
"Oh is that so?" Even though Zhang Yun wasn't going to take the examinations, he still had to study. He wondered if Zhang Yun thought so highly of Pei Zi Yun's essays because Zhang Yun was of a lower caliber or because he was going to challenge a harder examination. Regardless, Zhao Ning was curious and picked up the essay to read.
He was shocked.
In a matter of two days, he was able to combine the different aspects of an essay and linked them up to form a fluid composition. This work would clearly earn him Elementary Scholar status in the examinations. Zhao Ning felt very suspicious. His fellow Dao Brother had seen him borrow the book written by an Elementary Scholar from the previous dynasty and had witnessed his expression upon touching the book. It was as if the book had stirred up something within him. It seems like the book and him were fated. Could it be that he was the reincarnation of his senior uncle? That would explain why he has so much karmic luck? Zhao Ning was lost in thought.
"There is a big difference in quality between your work today and two days ago. What is the reason?"
Pei Zi Yun was already prepared for this question and replied, "Yesterday after borrowing the book, I went back home and read it, then I woke up this morning. I have no idea why I am able to write at such a high level."
Zhao Ning thought for awhile, "Looks like this book has been absorbed by Zi Yun and gave him plentiful insights."
Without saying anything else on the matter he raised another topic and said, "Let me test you on this."
Pei Zi Yun considered the question and pondered for awhile before writing an essay on it. He felt that this topic wasn't difficult at all and finished writing it shortly.
In the dream, a topic of such an easy standard had been written by the old Elementary Scholar multiple times. As soon as he had finished writing, Zhao Ning picked up the finished paper and praised loudly, "You are talented and will score top marks in the examinations."
Zhao Ning instructed Zhang Yun and Pei Zi Yun to sit down as they started to eat and drink wine. The three of them were enthusiastic and in high spirits. When it was time to go, Zhao Ning entered a room before coming out and saying, "This is my guarantee for the examinations and a letter. I have many friends in the city, if any problems arise, show them this letter and they will help you."
Pei Zi Yun said jubilantly, "Thank you Teacher."
"Then be on your way!"
Zhang Yun then said, "Teacher, as I was walking to the village today I heard the villagers saying that the roads are unsafe and that bandits were prowling around the area for victims. Teacher, my fellow brother is not skilled in fighting, I shall accompany him to ensure his safety."
Zhao Ning looked up at his two disciples and saw a bond and closeness forming between them. Among them, one was the reincarnation of his senior uncle. The two of them being close would work to everyone's advantage as well. He thus agreed and said, "If that is the case, both of you should go! Zhang Yun, you are good in fighting so protect your fellow brother."
Zhang Yun replied, "Yes!"
Pei Zi Yun looked at Zhang Yun and was secretly happy. This person, before he was reincarnated, was skilled in fighting and pretty good in writing as well. Now that he was protecting him on the way to the city, the journey would be smooth.
At that time he remembered that Ye Su'er was at Peach Blossom monastery. His plan was to go to the city and attain Elementary Scholar status before returning for Ye Su'er .
As they were walking, they reached a fork at the road, Pei Zi Yun started walking in one direction. Zhang Yun immediately shouted, "Fellow brother, wrong way, wrong way! This is the way to the village."
Pei Zi Yun slapped his own forehead and remembered that he had forgotten to tell him, "Fellow brother, I am going to Peach Blossom Monastery and forgot to tell you. Please wait for a little while, I will go and be back quickly."
Zhang Yun considered for a moment before replying, "Peach Flower Monastery is a woman's place, and the leader is a good friend of Mr Zhao. Why would you want to go there? Are you up to no good?"
Pei Zi Yun sighed before saying, "Fellow brother, you are mistaken. I am a scholar person. How could I possibly not know that men are not allowed in monasteries? The reason I am going there is because of the Black Wind bandits."
Zhang Yun was very curious at his answered and replied, "What does this have anything to do with the Black Wind bandits?"
Pei Zi Yun replied, "Two days ago, the Black Wind Brigand came to the village demanding goods and women. The village women had decided to give Ye Su'er up and wanted to hand her over."
Zhang Yun heard this and a flash of rage was apparent on his face as he shouted in protest, "What? They even coerced Ye Su'er into giving herself up? This village chief is really an idiot. The village is secured by a mud wall and the empire is gradually becoming stable. These bandits still dare to commit atrocities like this and attack the village?"
"For the safety of the village, even under threat, giving up some wheat grain as payment would suffice. Why would there be a need to surrender a person?"
"So weak. When the bandits go to other villages, they are unable to extort any money from them. Next year they will double their raiding attempts on our village. Will we be able to resist? What happens when they come asking for taxes?"
"In three or four years, the village will die out. This old idiot!"
Pei Zi Yun exhaled and didn't reply. Snail Village was predominated by people with the surname "Zhang" and they were an entire clan. He and Ye Su'er were outsiders. Thankfully he was a scholar who was bound for the examinations and thus didn't get bullied.
A flash gleamed in his eyes and he knew that his thoughts had given himself away. It seemed like Zhang Yun knew the reason for his silence. Even mercenaries were not ignorant their entire lives.
He continued listening to Zhang Yun rant, "This morning as I approached the village, I heard uncle Dashan saying that two days ago villagers had been asking for wheat and women but had died on the second day. I had initially thought that the villagers killed them secretly. Little did I expect that the villagers were so afraid they were prepared to give up their wheat grains and women. It is as good as pointing a knife to your chest and giving the hilt to the bandits."
As soon as Zhang Yun said this, he felt a certain strain on their friendship and hurriedly said, "The villagers wanted to give up Ye Su'er, isn't she your childhood sweetheart and Snail Village's most beautiful woman? The villagers were all muddle-headed and didn't know she was your woman. You must have been offended."
Zhang Yun knew that Ye Su'er and his fellow brother had a close relationship and were childhood sweethearts. The actions of the villagers must have frozen his heart. Fellow brother was due to take the examinations in a few days when this happened. It could bring bad karma.
Pei Zi Yun sighed and replied, "Yes, the villagers wanted to give Ye Su'er to the bandits, I cannot accept this. Hence Ye Su'er and I decided to sneak out the village unnoticed and went to teacher for help. There teacher told us to head for Peach Flower monastery. Since I have to go to the city for my examinations, I wanted to say goodbye to Ye Su'er, and come back for her after I have attained Elementary Scholar status in the examinations. This way, the villagers will not dare to do anything."
Zhang Yun then understood everything and hurriedly said, "Fellow brother don't worry. I promise to keep this a secret and will not leak out a word. "
Pei Zi Yun thanked him profusely, "Thank you fellow brother."
There two of them were speaking closely to each other by the side of road, clueless that in each other's previous life they barely exchanged a couple of sentences with each other. Yet in this life they were talking with such enthusiasm, respect and appreciation for each other. Time flew past as they spoke, and they reached the peach flower forest before long.
Zhang Yun pointed in the direction of the forest and said, "Fellow brother, the monastery is up ahead, you should go by yourself."
As he finished, he stood guard at the entrance, refusing to enter and keeping watch for Pei Zi Yun.
Pei Zi Yun bowed and said, "Thank you fellow brother."
He followed the road into the forest, towards the monastery.
He had been here just two days ago but noticed that the flowers looked more beautiful than before. The bees and butterflies were dancing around the flowers, it was a captivating scenery.
As he neared the monastery, he noticed that everything looked the same, except that the signboard that used to be "Peach Blossom Park" is now "Peach Blossom Origins".