Chapter 72: Hope within the Heart
The old man tried to reject him multiple times and said that Ye Fan had no need to stay, saying that when he passed by again he could then return the necessary amount.
“Old man, I have no home to return to and no place to go to, won’t you just let me stay? I can be of help.”
“Big brother, you don’t have a home?” The naivety of the little girl was very cute and although tears on her face had not dried up, she looked up at him and her small chubby face had an expression of sympathy.
Finally, the old man allowed Ye Fan to stay and cleaned up a room for him in the back before telling him that he could choose to leave at any time.
In the night, Ye Fan tossed and turned before finally getting up, silently going to the roof as he laid there to gaze at the sky. The sky was currently clear of clouds and the bright moon hung there, spilling down the moon’s radiance that seemed like a light mist as stars sparkled all over the night sky like diamonds in the sky.
The familial relations between the old man and the young girl unconsciously stirred something he had hidden deep within him, the kind faces of his parents slowly floated through his mind.
“How are you two doing……”
Ye Fan looked at the stars, as though he were trying to gaze past countless galaxies to the other side of the stars, returning to his parents side. Each time he thought of his parents, his heart found it difficult to remain calm, with his sudden disappearance, his parents must have been devastated.
For two parents to lose their only son during their waning years, it would be an extreme kind of pain.Thinking of the pain his parents must be feeling, Ye Fan felt frustrated and disturbed, he really wanted to go back to their sides and let them know that he was safe, seeing their smiling faces again.
Separated by endless numbers of galaxies, the distance was simply too far and how could he possibly go back? His heart was filled with helplessness as he blankly stared at the stars.
Every time he thought of his parents love, Ye Fan would feel anxious, since arriving at this world, he had kept these thoughts deeply hidden and did not dare to easily recall or think back. Each time he did so, it was difficult to calm down.
“No way, I must find a way back. I can’t let my parents who nurtured me through all those years use their tears to wash their faces in their waning years……” Ye Fan sat up and muttered: “There must be a way, I must make it back.”
Seeing the various cultivators flying throughout the primitive ruins, then seeing the divine might of the five peerless experts, he felt the strength of cultivators and if one day he could become strong enough, he would want to traverse through the endless galaxies and return back home to his parents side.
Personally witnessing the fearsomeness of cultivators, Ye Fan felt hope in his heart that the road home was not completely broken and there may be a glimmer of hope.
“I need to become strong, I want to traverse through the stars and return home, no longer allowing my parents to feel hurt or shed tears for me. I want their later years to be filled with smiles……” Ye Fan’s words became more firm as he tried to rouse confidence in himself: “I will definitely do it, I must do it, I must return to their sides!”
There was no point getting emotional or feeling anxiety as Ye Fan slowly calmed his emotions, his feelings were riled when seeing the familial relations between the young girl and old man, causing him to finally conquer this final perplexity that was haunting him and allowing him to find his goal and motivation.
“Nine dragons pulling a coffin, traversing through the stars and arriving at this space. If they can do it, so can I. I need to become strong enough, there will come a day when I can also pass through the void and return home.” Ye Fan’s eyes became brighter, he needed to become stronger whether it be to save Pang Bo or return back home, strength was the prerequisite.
Without knowing it, he had grown tired and laid on the roof as he slept deeply. It was only on the morning of the second day did the voice of the old man cause him to wake up.
“Kid, why have you gone up to the roof, be careful, don’t fall down.”
The little girl came out with sleepy eyes and seeing Ye Fan sitting atop the roof, her eyes immediately widened as she asked: “Big brother, what are you doing?”
Facing the puzzled expressions of the young and old, Ye Fan felt embarrassed: “It was too hot last night and I came to the roof to cool off but fell asleep accidentally.”
After taking a bath, Ye Fan was called over by the old man to have a meal with them. A pot of porridge and a dish of salted vegetables, very simple because their living conditions were limited. The little girl was very sensible and had already placed the dishes and chopsticks as she helped scoop a bowl of porridge for Ye Fan, a full bowl of porridge for her grandfather but left only a little for herself. Her bowl was already small and with such little remaining, she finished it in a few mouthfuls before placing down her chopsticks.
“Why are you eating so little?” The old man questioned her.
Although the little girl was wearing patched clothes, she seemed as beautiful as an exquisite porcelain doll as she patted her tummy and replied: “I’m already full.”
“Nonsense, you’ve only eaten a few mouthfuls how can you be full.”
“I’m really full. Last night after eating the chicken and half steamed bun that grandpa left for me, I haven’t been hungry till now.” The little girl said as she lifted her bowl and prepared to wash it.
The old man pulled her back as he filled the small bowl to the brim with porridge and said: “Good child, you’re in your growing stages and need to eat more, don’t worry, there’s still food within our home.”
“I’m not worried, I’m really fully already. Grandpa, you should eat more……” The little girl poured her porridge from the little bowl back into the old man’s big bowl.
The old man was helpless and did not say anything as he sighed.
“Grandpa, will those evil men still come today?” The little girl’s chubby red face had an expression of fear on it and her voice was very young and tender as she continued: “They already snatched our restaurant, now they still come here to intentionally cause trouble. We simply don’t have a way to carry on our business, now even our food is becoming insufficient, why won’t they let us off?”
“It’s alright, don’t worry. With grandpa here, you won’t go hungry.” The old man rubbed her head as he added a little more porridge into her bowl.
Ye Fan who was by the side did not say anything as he silently ate this simple breakfast, his heart however was in turmoil.
The old man’s first name was Jiang, a very common ancient surname and if one traced its origins, the roots were very deep. However, the old man was very ordinary and simply one amongst the multitude of living things, currently going through a tough time in his life. The beautiful and sensible young girl was called Ting Ting, her parents had passed away two years earlier and she and the old man could only rely on each other.
Ye Fan did not say anything and after the breakfast he said to the old man: “Old uncle, I’ll be going out for a walk.”
“You’re not familiar with this place, be careful.” The old man warned.
This town was neither big nor small, it could contain slightly over one thousand households and had close to five thousand people living here. At the most flourishing intersection, there were a few restaurants and inns, miscellaneous goods stores were also mostly gathered there and the other areas were mostly the living quarters of the people.
Ye Fan explored the town before finally walking out, there were many fields that were adjacent to the town and going further would be the forest where hunting parties would travel each day to hunt.
Ye Fan entered the forest and the further he walked in the more shocked he felt. Standing atop a mountain, he could see an unbroken chain of mountain peaks that seemed endless, misty and blurry, the primitive forest also seemed to have no end.
In the depths of the rest, the sounds of roaring could be heard but Ye Fan was not frightened but rather had an expression of happiness. The small town could really allow him to calmly cultivate, it was not only safe but there was actually a deep forest here and it would surely have strange beasts and spiritual medicines which were currently what he needed the most.
Ye Fan walked through the forest for for the entire morning but did not go too deep. He certainly would have time in the future and was not anxious to do so now, as it became close to the afternoon he headed back and noticed some hunting teams as well as people picking medicines along the way.
“It really isn’t easy living the lives of a normal human……” Ye Fan lamented, he noticed that the hunting party was bringing back some game animals but at the same time carried a corpse that was covered in blood as they headed in the direction of the small town. It was clear that they had been attacked by some big ferocious creature and sustained casualties.
In the distance, a few deers were drinking water by a mountain stream, Ye Fan silently made his way over as he forcefully tossed a rock out.
A deer was killed as it fell into the water. Thereafter, he killed a buck before heading back.
On the way back, some hunting parties saw that an eleven to twelve year old youth was carrying the carcass of a deer and a buck, they had expressions of astonishment on their faces but Ye Fan did not mind. He intended to stay within this small town for a long duration of time and this was certainly unavoidable.
It was close to midday when Ye Fan finally returned to the town as he sold the deer to a butcher for money before buying some grain and noodles and brought the buck back to old uncle Jiang’s little store.
From far away he could see many people surrounding the area there as the helpless cries of Ting Ting could be heard from within the group. Ye Fan’s heart immediately thumped as he swiftly rushed over.
The old man’s white hair was disheveled and there were traces of blood on his face as he sat weakly on the ground, his patched clothes had plenty of dust on it. Ting Ting was hurtfully crying as she used her small dress to wipe the blood from the old man’s face as she scolded the few malicious people people with a teary voice: “You’re all bad people, snatching away grandpa’s restaurant and now we don’t even have food to eat, you’re still not letting us go……”
A middle aged man with a sickly yellow face crouched down as he forcefully pressed a finger onto the forehead of little Ting Ting causing her to fall to the ground as he shouted: “Stupid kid, what do you know!”
“If you have any problems come at me, don’t do that to a child……” Old uncle Jiang shielded Ting Ting behind his body as he wiped the blood stains on his face: “What do you people want?”
“We don’t want too much, we’ve come here to eat but you said there are no dishes, then why open a store? Since it’s like that you might as well close it down.”
“Bad people, all of you come here daily for free meals, we don’t have the money to support all of you……” Little Ting Ting began crying even more noisily behind old uncle Jiang.
There were several people watching this spectacle but no one dared to step forward as they persuaded old uncle Jiang: “Old Jiang, close the small store and bring your granddaughter away from this place.”
“That’s right, their family has a cultivator which isn’t someone we can afford to offend, you should hurry and leave.”
“Although you will be leaving your hometown, leaving is still the best option.”
“What did all of you say?” The sickly looking middle aged man stood up as his gaze swept through the crowd, the voices immediately became silent.
Ye Fan’s rage was boiling but he did not immediately act, the enemy’s family had a cultivator and he was worried that if he was too forceful, he would actually harm this young and old duo. Of course, he was definitely not going to let these people go and not acting out now did not mean that he would not claim their debts in the future.
At this moment, the sickly looking middle aged man as well as his cronies began to take big strides as they sauntered away, the surrounding people went forward one after another to persuade old uncle Jiang while the tears of little Ting Ting could be heard intermittently.
It was a long time later before the group finally dispersed, Ting Ting’s big eyes were red as she helped old uncle Jiang up and walked towards the little store.
Seeing such a kind old man in his later years being bullied like that, then seeing the teary face of Ting Ting whose body was wearing the patched clothes, Ye Fan was beside himself in anger. He looked towards the few people who were fading from sight in the streets, and clenched his fists tightly.
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