Burning Phoenix: Chapter 53
Chapter 53: Returning Home
Hui Yue was riding on a magical horse a nostalgic expression evident on his face. The landscape which they were currently traversing through was the hillsides on which Hui Yue had trained his martial arts, and watched goats for the first ten years of his life within this different world.
Hui Yue noticed that there were no goats on the hillsides today, and he could not help but furrow his brows, wondering if anything was wrong with the village. These goats were the only treasure which they possessed, and they were to be treated well. For them to not be out today was indeed quite a shock.
A sigh escaped Hui Yue’s lips as he saw how Gao Yan and Ma Kong on either side of him were riding with big smiles and shimmering eyes, clearly excited as to see what a village that existed within the Magical Forest truly looked like.
“Don’t expect too much,” Hui Yue warned them with a chuckle. “We have no cultivators within our village, and it is really poor since we can’t hunt within the forest itself.”
Hearing this caused doubt to surface on the two bright faces. Although they understood that they might be overestimating the village, the stories from their childhood had set up deep roots within their mind, and they could not understand how anyone without the proper cultivation base could survive in such a dangerous location as the Magical Forest.
“You should believe him,” Rong Ming laughed from the front while looking at the hills they were currently travelling through. “When I first met him he was always running around on these hillsides, looking after goats for his village.”
Hearing that Hui Yue, the young child who had gained immense fame within Riluo City, actually used to spend his days on these hillsides looking after goats made all of them laugh heartily as they kept their steady pace towards the village.
Hui Yue finally lost his patience and pushed the horse into a gallop after which he quickly overtook the Rong twins and Deng Wu, rushing towards his home. As soon as Hui Yue had started rushing towards the village clear laughter followed him from behind and within seconds, the calm entourage had turned into a bunch of youngsters who were racing each other, truly enjoying their time together.
As Hui Yue got closer to the village he passed the few fields which the village had and he instantly recognised the many weather-beaten faces which were working hard with the crops.
As soon as these villagers heard the sound coming from the galloping horse, they had rushed to gather up their tools and inform the village elder that guests were arriving.
Hui Yue seeing the village within sight, slowed down his horse and allowed for the others to catch up. Everyone, apart from the Rong twins and Hui Yue, had shocked expression on their faces as they looked at the meager crops which were next to them, struggling to survive within the overused soil.
They all rode between these fields into the village square, yet arriving here none of them said a word, everyone flabbergasted. Hui Yue really had not exaggerated when he said that this village was poor.
At first, the villagers had hidden themselves the best they could trying to escape should it be a bandit attack. Instead, excitement broke out as they noticed the white haired boy who was riding atop of the magical horse.
“Hui Yue!” the village elder exclaimed with a shocked voice. Although it was the time when the Rong twins would usually come visit with the guards from the Rong family no one from the village had expected that they would be bringing Hui Yue.
The previously deserted village suddenly came abuzz, every hidden person rushed out from their hiding-places and greeted the darling child who had just returned for the first time in almost a year.
Hui Yue looked around, but even though he had been gone for almost a whole year everything in the village felt the same as it had before. The goats were all resting within their pens, and the houses seemed as though they could collapse with a slight gust of wind.
Everything was the same, and this feeling caused a wave of nostalgia to wash over Hui Yue as he looked for two specific faces in the crowd.
“Your mother is home,” the village elder said with a chuckle, “and your father is out in the forest together with the rest of the men in the village.”
Hui Yue nodded, it made sense that his father was not here, yet he could not understand why his mother was at home, rather than working together with the rest of the women out in the fields.
“Go,” a beautiful voice sounded from behind, as Rong Xing appeared and took over the reins of the magical horse he had been riding.
Rushing towards the edge of the village, excitement shown on Hui Yue’s face as the run down cabin appeared in his view. This cabin was considered one of the worst cabins within the village itself, yet it held incredible importance to Hui Yue, as he knew this was where his current parents were living.
As Hui Yue reached the house he suddenly came to a halt outside the door, and calmed himself before he knocked. He was nervous and suddenly unsure as to whether he should just enter the home or knock first.
Eventually he decided to knock on the door, before he slowly slid it open enjoying the creaking sound that the door made as it revealed the inside of the shack.
Hui Lifen was standing at the kitchen preparing porridge for her husband to eat for dinner that evening. Her beautiful face was exactly like Hui Yue had remembered, but her body had changed drastically as she was currently pregnant, and it seemed as if she could give birth at any moment.
Seeing this caused Hui Yue to be startled, but his shock was replaced by happiness. Hui Yue had no siblings in his old world, but it seemed as though he would be able to get younger sibling in this world, and a sudden feeling of protectiveness appeared from deep within Hui Yue’s very soul.
Hearing the sudden creaking of the door, Hui Lifen turned around and an expression of utter joy appeared on her face as she smiled, and rushed towards her young son.
“Little Yue!” she cried as she instantly drew the young boy into her arms, and gave him a big hug. “We have been so worried about you, you little rascal,” she scolded with love as she cried for some time. A mother’s love would always be the strongest feeling of connection, and Hui Yue had to admit that he felt good to be back home with his mother in their run down shack.
Being released from the hug, Hui Lifen dragged Hui Yue towards the table where she seated him, and went to brew some tea curious to hear everything her son had experienced throughout the last year when he had been gone.
Seated at the table, Hui Yue withdrew three memory stones. One was a storage memory stone of high quality while the other two were of medium quality and seemed to contain something different.
Hui Lifen quickly moved to the table her eyes big in surprise as she saw the three black stones which were placed on the table.
“These are…?” she asked curiously.
“They are gifts for you,” Hui Yue said with a big smile on his face. He picked up the storage stone, and placed it in front of Hui Lifen. “Open it,” He said with a happy smile on his face which showed some kind of anticipation. He could not wait to see how happy his mother would get when she saw what he was gifting them.
Hui Lifen did not need to be told more than once, and she quickly opened the memory stone. Her excited face quickly turned shocked as she noticed the large quantities of food, drinks, fabric and even money.
“Little Yue, you did not steal this right?” she asked with a shaking voice as she had never seen such extravagance before.
“They are a gift from my teacher,” Hui Yue said, not actually lying since Lan Feng was a part of him and anything gifted from Hui Yue was therefore also gifted from Lan Feng.
“You found a good teacher?” Hui Lifen asked as a pleased expression removed the shock she had felt before.
“I found a very good teacher; he also gave me these,” Hui Yue picked up the two mediocre memory stones. “One of these contains a cultivation technique, and the other contains a martial art skill,” Hui Yue started to explain, “I originally wanted to give them to some random kids within the village so that they can start cultivating and protect you all, but seeing that I will be having a little brother or little sister I would ask you keep them for him or her. When the child is born, put these memory stones against its forehead and then you can give the stones to the village elder.”
Hearing this, Hui Lifen’s face had turned stern, and she nodded her head seriously. It was only natural for Hui Yue to prioritise his own family’s safety before others, it was that kind of world after all.
Hui Yue was seated in his old kitchen for a few hours where he spoke with his mother, telling her everything which had happened the past year. He had explained how he had found an old item which contained the soul of an expert, and that since then the two shared a body.
He even went as far as to tell his mother about his alternative personality, which was ‘Li Fen’. Hui Yue knew that his mother would not tell anyone. He also knew that it was better to tell the truth to the people he truly trusted.
After a few hours Hui Yue heard knocking at the door, and the Rong twins appeared bringing along with them the other friends.
“Come on out,” Gao Yan laughed as he did not dare knock on the door like Rong Xing had done. He feared that if he tried, then he would cause the door to instantly fall off its hinges.
“We caught a fanged hog, and we are going to make a spit roast tonight and have a proper party with the villagers. We have plenty of food and wine with us to last for much longer than our training period so let us kick it off with a major party. God knows these villagers could use one.” Gao Yan was also a commoner, and he knew what could be used to energize other commoners.
It was Gao Yan who had hunted down the fanged hog while the others set up tents and build a pen for their magical beasts.
As the men came back from their daily trip to the outskirts of the Magical Forest, they were met by the scent of roasted meat, and they all rushed towards the scent.
On a small grassy field where the Rong entourage usually stayed every year was now a great bonfire over which an entire Fanged Hog was being roasted.
The hog was not the only food which was being cooked on the bonfire, small clay pots had been placed in the embers and from these the scent of spices and vegetables being cooked wafted out.
Tables had been placed on the uneven floor, and these tables were filled with bottles of different kinds of wine or juices.
Behind the tables and the massive bonfire was smaller bonfires where villagers were seated with their children eating to their heart’s content and chatting together like they had not done in years.
A relieved expression appeared in their eyes and gratefulness was shown on their faces.
As the sun went down and the moon took to the sky, the villagers kept dancing on the old field enjoying their time together. Although these villagers were far from anything that Hui Yue’s friends had expected, they quickly found that they enjoyed the company of these down to earth commoners, and Gao Yan’s impression of Hui Yue was now filled with veneration.
The young genius child which could request anything from within Riluo City, had originated from such an impoverished family. This was something which made Gao Yan awestruck because of the young boy’s determination.