Chapter 71: Staying behind
Ye Fan believed that in the coming few days, this area would be abuzz with activity. There would likely be big battles everywhere and even more sects from eastern badlands would rush here, the entire ruins would be boiling over because of the demon emperor’s Yin Grave.
Gazing from a distance, he could still the blood light rushing to the sky and streaks of mystical rainbows rushing.
“Regardless of whether the Desolate Pagoda exists within the Yin Grave, it no longer concerns me……” Ye Fan was already very satisfied and he now needed to find a safe place to calm down and cultivate.
The unique beasts and strange birds that had gathered by the outskirts of the ruins had all scattered, when Ye Fan headed out but did not see any birds or beasts.
The sky was densely covered with stars as a bright moon hung in the sky, the curtain of the night had long arrived.
Ye Fan walked by the Ling Xu Sanctuary but did not hesitate as he continued on into the distance, it was the right time to leave. Although some of the broken Buddhist artifacts were there, he did not intend to go recover them for fear of meeting with Elder Han.
The most important Bodhi seed was currently still on his body and even though he had lost those broken Buddhist artifacts, he did not feel regretful as life was after all still the most important thing.
Ye Fan’s speed was very fast, toiling for long hours he rushed through the night out of this mountain region and left the land of strife further and further behind, his heart however was still gripped with anxiety.
Three days later, Ye Fan appeared over two thousand miles away. He ate little and slept in the open, cautious as he stealthily progressed and almost never entered any of the towns as he traversed through the wilds. It was only now that he let out a sigh of relief as his heart gradually calmed down.
At the moment it was already late into the night and clouds covered the stars and moon in the sky making it seem especially dark. Lights could be seen dotting the front as a town that could not be considered to be big was seen, Ye Fan felt that he had finally arrived at a safe area and did not need to run anymore as he walked forward steadily.
Nearing the place, he found that this was really a small town and most of the people were already asleep and only a few lights could still be seen flickering.
Walking into the small town and walking a full circle, he finally chanced upon a small store that had not closed up for the night in a remote corner.
This was an extremely small restaurant and there were only seven to eight tables within, the chairs and tables looked to have seen quite a few years but were polished to the point of glowing, seemingly interesting and appealing, extremely clean.
“Old uncle what’s there to eat, hurry and make some of them.”
The shopkeeper was an old man with a head full of white hair, age had left its mark on his face and it was covered with wrinkles, he seemed to have fully experiencing the hardships of life, there were several patches where his clothes had been mended and it seemed that his life had not been that easy.
Seeing this eleven to twelve year old youth coming here alone so late at night, the old man felt startled but he still had a warm smile as he answered: “We only have half a roast chicken, slightly more than half a dish of beef and some steamed buns.”
“Alright, serve all of them.”
“Wait a while, I’ll make them hot for you.” This restaurant was simply too small and the life of this old man was really tough, he was the shopkeeper, waiter and also the chef.
Not long after, the aroma of roast chicken could be smelt and it was served together with the plate of marinated beef, Ye Fan immediately began to salivate. For this past year Pang Bo and him had eaten only vegetarian food and there was almost no meat and fish within the Ling Xu sanctuary. The simple food before him made his stomach growl in hunger.
He hastily received the dishes and chopsticks as he gobbled the snow white steamed buns and ripped a piece of the chicken thing as he began to wolf everything down. At this instant, he felt that whatever delicacies the world had to offer were only thus and could stand by the side, they would not bring the feeling of satisfaction this meal before him currently could.
“Don’t rush, eat slowly. Drink some soup to warm your stomach, don’t choke.” The old man brought a bowl of hot soup and kindly reminded.
“Thank you old uncle, your culinary skills are really superb and making me salivate.” Ye Fan was stuffing food into his mouth as he mumbled.
Ye Fan’s dressing did not seem like a poor man’s child but the way he wolfed the food made the old man feel curious as he retrieved a cloth from his patched sleeve and began to wipe the already clean table and chairs by the side as he shook his head and laughed: “You’re just too hungry, no matter what you it you would also find it delicious.”
“Grandpa, why haven’t you close the doors……”
A five to six year old looking young girl walked into the house, her clothes were also patched up and wore very simple clothing, sporting two braids, she looked very cute and her red rosy cheeks seemed like an apple.
“Go ahead and sleep first, I’ll close up in a while.”
The little girl looked at the food on the table as her big eyes seemed to shine with light, thereafter she secretly swallowed a big mouthful of saliva as she nodded and replied: “Okay.”
Not long after, Ye Fan had already cleared off all the dishes on the table as he stood up and said: “Okay old man, you should prepare to close up.” Having said this, he reached to his chest but seemed embarrassed, he had forgotten that he did not have any money nor gold or silver objects, without any way to make payment.
“Little brother are you having some difficulties?” The old man seemed to have already guessed the situation and noticed his embarrassment.
“This…… I really haven’t brought any money.”
“Ahhh another bad person.” The little girl by the side widened her eyes, weeping and sobbing as she stared at Ye Fan: “You people are too nasty, always coming to eat free food and renege on your debts, only knowing how to bully grandpa and I, we’re already to the point where we probably can’t feed ourselves……”
Having said this, she looked at the chicken bones on the table as her eyes became redder: “Grandpa said that if no guests came he would give me the chicken thigh to eat….. In the end you ate it all for free, really just bullying us.”
The young girl’s lips started to quiver as her long eyelashes trembled, tears began to flow down as her red cheeks were stained with tears, she used her patched dress to continually wipe at her tears.
It was obvious that their lives were not the best and usually encountered bullies.
“Young girl, don’t cry……” Ye Fan was really embarrassed and ashamed, this young and old duo seemed to have already been in quite a predicament before he came.
“It’s okay, little brother doesn’t have to reproach himself. I can see that you are different from those rascally bullies, you aren’t a freeloader but rather have really forgotten to bring money.” The old man whose face was covered in wrinkles brought the little girl to the side and said: “Don’t cry, grandpa left a piece of chicken meat and half a steamed bun for you so you won’t have to starve.”
“Grandpa……” The little girl cried in grievance as she continued: “I’m not doing this for myself but because grandpa hasn’t eaten dinner either. We’re always bullied by those bad people and have not much savings left, if it goes on like this what should we do……”
Seeing the patched up clothes on the old and young duo and hearing their words, Ye Fan felt wistful in his heart as he was deeply moved and his nose actually felt stuffy.
The lives of normal people was filled with bitter, sour, hot and sweet moments, the familial relations between this old and young duo made him have a feeling of that he had not experienced for a long time.
“Little girl don’t cry, I’m not a bad person. Although I don’t have any money, but I have something here that can pay for this meal.” Ye Fan took a small jade bottle out, it was a bottle of hundred plants extract that he had obtained while out exploring.
“This is a piece of good jade, too precious, I cannot accept it.” The old man shook his head and continued: “Everyone has their difficult times, little brother if you pass by here in the future you can always pay then.”
Ye Fan sighed, the old man’s life was already so harsh yet he had such character and attitude, making him feel respect as he said: “Please keep it, this really doesn’t count for much to me.”
“Too precious, I really cannot accept it. Outside, everyone would have difficult moment, little brother don’t need to be reproachful of yourself.” The old man’s wrinkled hands firmly pushed the jade bottle back.
Seeing his refusal, Ye Fan could only put away the bottle.
“Since you don’t want it, then I’ll stay behind and help you to do some manual labour.” At this moment he did not have anywhere to go and discovering that this old man was so down-to-earth and kind, he decided to stay here temporarily and concentrate on cultivating while helping the old man.
The little girl looked down at her feet and her big eyes were red as she softly said: “We can’t even feed ourselves…..”
Ye Fan crouched down as he look with pity towards the little girl and rubbed her head: “I won’t add any burdens to you by staying behind.”