Chapter 2 “Mysterious Black Cauldron”
The sensation was similar to a bug bite when the cauldron entered her body. By the time she came back to her senses again, the strand of black light had completely disappeared by then. In its place, only a mark on her right hand gave proof to the whole incident.
The symbol was only the size of a fingernail, but it looked exactly like the same large metallic object that was once placed in the middle of the hall. Like a birth mark, no matter how she tries to wipe it off, it won’t come clean.
A lot of things still didn’t make sense to her, but there were too many questions plaguing her mind with no clear answers in the near vicinity. Deliberating her choices, she decides to return to her residence first before slowly working her way into unraveling everything.
After leaving the ancestral hall, Ling Yue relied solely on her body’s reflexive habits and headed towards the courtyard behind the building.
The northern manor of the Ye family consisted of the ancestral hall and a back courtyard. This made up her entire residential area.
Ye Ling Yue and her mother, as well as an old granny who has been serving them for a long time, lived together in this place . By relying on the meager allowances provided to them each month by the house, the three somehow managed to survive just fine until today.
As she continued on her path, several short buildings soon appeared in sight from the direction up ahead. Looking at the appearances of these structures, they are nothing more than storage sheds converted into living quarters.
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Coming up to a certain building that was no more than a simple cabin, some chickens and a vegetable garden were all that welcomed her. Aside from these, there were nothing else. This rundown shack made up her living quarter, her home.
“Little young miss, you’re back.” An old woman with a face full of wrinkles came out to greet her from within the small cabin after hearing her return. The old granny coughed incessantly, but after seeing the girl’s return, the sickly appearance became overshadowed by her warming smile
This old woman was her mother’s loyal servant, Granny Liu.
For all these years, it was always Granny Liu whom took care of this daughter and mother pair in their times of need.
“Granny Liu, you still haven’t completely recovered yet, why did you get up so soon?” Ye Ling Yue remembered it was usually Granny Liu who was responsible for cleaning up the ancestral hall. But recently, this old woman fell sick and “the former retarded her” didn’t want the old granny to overwork herself. So, out of insistence, she managed to persuade Granny Liu to let her go instead for the cleaning duty. That’s the reason why she encountered Wang Gui and those people, which led to her eventual death.
Ling Yue’s question may be a casual one, but when Granny Liu heard the fluent words coming out of her mouth, it was like a sudden clap of thunder that had struck down onto the ground. Her old eyes were filled with disbelief.
“Little young miss, you’ve recovered?” Granny Liu excitedly grabbed onto her hands and inspected her thoroughly. The result was a bright clarity in Ling Yue’s eye no different from a normal person’s.
Ecstatic with joy, tears started to swell out of the corner of her old eyes. Hugging the young girl ceaselessly, Granny Liu finally succumbs to her emotion and started to cry.
“Granny Liu, please don’t cry. The wind out here is strong, let’s go inside first.” Ling Yue’s heart was filled with ruefulness. A retarded girl has a retarded girl’s advantage; at the very least no one will suspect anything when she acts out of character. The memory loss card can always be called upon when needed.
After going back inside the room, Granny Liu immediately took notice to the filth clinging onto her body. Hurrying to bring some hot water over, the old granny demanded the young lady to wash up and get changed first. Sure of this, she then promptly went off to prepare something for the girl to eat.
Not wanting to waste the time, Ling Yue took advantage of the woman’s absence and began assessing her surroundings.
The cabin the three of them stayed in weren’t large by any means. There were only a few crude furnishings placed inside, a dining table, some long benches, and a mirror beside the table.
Walking over to the mirror, the reflection illustrated Ling Yue’s own appearance for the first time.
It was a face which still possessed the innocent look of a child. Although a bit malnourished and sickly, her eyes however were beautiful like the crescent moons in the night sky. With long eyelashes rising upwards, her facial features were all very exquisite. A natural born beauty.
After putting down the mirror, Ling Yue then caught sight of two crummy looking books used as wobble-stoppers under the table. Casually picking them up, the words written on the cover of these books were (Records of Da Xia) and (Introduction to Martialist).
(Martialist is a made up word, but it’s still better than using “warrior”)
Both books hadn’t been read in ages for a thick layer of dust and soot had gathered on the surface.
Not minding it, she flips through the pages and got a rough understanding of the world she lives in.
Ling Yue was currently living inside a kingdom called Da Xia. In this place, there are many different administrative areas along with a complicated topography. As to the current location where the Ye family resided, this little village was called Autumn Maple Town, a small settlement in the northern most area of Da Xia. Due to this region being a mountainous area with many valleys, a wide variety of wild and ferocious animals calls this place home. Each strongly territorial about their environments.
In Da Xia, regardless of you being an ordinary citizen or a member of a noble house, eight to nine out of ten people would voluntarily learn martial art out of necessity. According to the different cultivation levels of a martialist, there are nine ranks within the first constitutional domain, followed by the lower celestial and upper celestial realm after that.
The difference between a normal person and a martialist lies in the dantian of a the person’s body – they can condense their inner force together. This so called inner force was actually their Yuan energy.
Ling Yue was slightly taken aback. She could clearly feel the faintly weak flow of power slowly moving about in her dantian at the moment.
Could it be, the former me is also a martialist? Exactly like the book described. Having Yuan energy in the dantian was the symptoms of someone breaking into the entry rank of a martialist.
“Little young miss, why did you take the wobble-stoppers from under the table for?” Just as she was lost in thought, Granny Liu’s curious voice interrupted Ling Yue’s train of thought.
“Granny, have I ever trained in martial art before?” she places the book down, asking.
She can be positive that although the energy in her dantian may be weak, but it was exactly like the Yuan energy aforementioned in the (Introduction to Martialists).
“When you were young, you did learn a few moves from your mother.” Granny Liu sets the bowl and chopsticks in place.
Just a few moves and I already cultivated Yuan energy, could it be that I’m naturally talented to become a martialist?
Puzzled, she then looked at the table before her. There’s a bowl of brown rice and a dish of dry dull vegetables.
“This is what we usually eat?” If that’s all they ever consumed then it’s no wonder she’s so skinny and small.
“Little young miss, we don’t have any more money. Housekeeper Wang and his son embezzled more of our allowances this month,” the old woman sighed with helplessness in her voice and wrinkled her already wrinkled forehead.
Housekeeper Wang was precisely Wang Gui’s father, he’s in charge of managing the north manor’s affair in the Ye family.
The mother and daughter pair are not favored at all in the Ye family, hence the reason why even the servants would dare bully them and deduct their allowance.
“Mother doesn’t care about the situation with the monthly allowance?” Ling Yue asks with a tinge of surprise in her voice. Her mother was the third daughter of the current family chief. As the dignified third miss of the Ye family, how did she ever fall into such a decrepit state?
The door was kicked open and in came a youth clustered around by many servants from behind.
“And what of it if she tries? A retarded girl is a retarded girl, you still think your mother is the genius who everyone respected from back then? She’s only a good-for-nothing now, who would care about a good-for-nothing’s wellbeing.” The youth with fancy clothes raised his head high, the nose facing the sky. He had the appearance of a calf with an indescribable arrogance to him.
This overbearing youth who suddenly barged in on them was Ling Yue’s older cousin, Ye Qing.
After Wang Gui and his crew had beaten her to “death”, these people became encroached with fear and ran for their master in hopes of the young lord handling the aftermath.
Ye Qing had looked around the ancestral hall after getting wind of the news, but after finding no traces of the dumb girl’s corpse, he knew then the wrench hadn’t died.
Knowing where Ling Yue most likely went, Ye Qing headed straight for the backyard where the cabin stood. As he came close, he just so happens to overhear Ling Yue and Granny Liu discussing the topic.
In his wildest dreams Ye Qing would never have expected the girl to be with such fortune. Not only did she escape death, she also became a normal person after bumping that head of hers.
“Sixth young master, how can you say that about the third miss, she’s your blood-related paternal aunt.”
“What paternal aunt, you think she’s fit to be my aunt? She’s only a good-for-nothing who was divorced and sent back home, losing all of our Ye family’s face in the process.” Ye Qing spat with disdain in his mouth.
“What did you say? I dare you to say it one more time!” Ling Yue’s eye turned cold like iron. Inside her body, the newly developed Yuan energy began to surge because of her anger.
“I can repeat it a hundred times if I want to. Retard girl, let me tell you, because of another woman, your mother was kicked out by your father and was even critically injured in the process. She made our Ye family lose a lot face due to her uselessness. Both of you are bitches who no one wants, and yet you got the shame to leach off of the family without paying rent.” Ye Qing and the group of servants all started to laugh loudly in a ridiculing tone.
Ye Qing and his crew would say these words every time they bullied her, and every time “Ling Yue” would cower in fear while crying for forgiveness. But not today, everything will change.
From the bottom of her heart, the deep hatred that’s been buried for thirteen years rushed out like a volcanic eruption. Pushing aside Granny Liu who wanted to stop her, Ling Yue violently lunges forward at Ye Qing after stamping her foot backwards to gain momentum.
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