Li Jimao, “How did you do?”
Li Yamao patted his donkey’s head. “That polite and amicable immortal said that I pick things up very quickly but my basic skills are lacking a lot and I don’t know a lot of words which is such a disgrace. He wants me to practice the Great Heavenly Circulation diligently at home, learn more words and try again next year—Brother, it’s likely to turn out well!”
That donkey was wailing from his pat but Li Yamao couldn’t keep his happiness and patted it again. “Even the donkey knows how to congratulate me!”
“Good job!” Li Jimao was also sincerely happy for him. “Work hard for one year and in the future, I will take care of Father and Mother at home and you can go ahead out.”
Li Yamao smiled until his eyes couldn’t be seen. “I really bumped into good luck…… What else did the immortal say?”
Li Jimao asked, “Why?”
“He said that my name is not very elegant and I need to change it when I attend the academy in the future. But I said that I don’t know words and asked him to give me a name. He said alright and wrote three words down. And I said that my brother was called Jimao and it doesn’t sound very nice either, and asked him to give one too—He actually had an extremely good temper and gave you a name!”
Li Jimao asked, “How do I say it? Write it out for me to see.”
Li Yamao scratched his head. “I don’t know words and could only remember the strokes. But, there are so many strokes so let’s ask Brother Lin to have a look when we get home.”
He tilted his head over to ask Lin Shu, “Brother Lin, how about you?”
In the state of dizziness and blurriness, Lin Shu tried to maintain his soberness and said, “Still alright.”
“You must have passed it!” Li Yamao was very happy again. “Brother, you can explore the academy first and I’ll go find you next year.”
How could they not talk about their elation and excitement? After they reached home, Li Yamao was scolded badly.
“Things have not even begun and what are you doing!” Big Mother put her hands on her hips and frowned. “How did Xiao Shu end up like this!”
Li Yamao had a guilty conscience and scratched his head. “Is he your child or am I your child……”
“My foot!” His mother picked up a rolling pin. “Which one of you three did I not raise? All of you are brothers!”
Li Yamao told her, “You’re biased?”
“I’m biased?” Big Mother pulled his ear. “You should look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look as good looking as him with your ugliness?”
Lin Shu was slowly fanning himself on the bamboo chair at the side, watching Li Yamao getting beaten in engrossment.
Mentioning it, he was really brought up by Big Mother. His former three meals a day were all taken care of by her. When he went all over the place, fell into the water and got stuck in the shell, it was also her who took care of him when he woke up.
After she finished beating Li Yamao, she came to check on him again and poured him some water.
Lin Shu held it with both hands, drinking it sip by sip.
“How come you’re like a kitten!” She laughed. “Drink more.”
Lin Shu thought that this kind of relationship was fresh and wonderful.
However, no matter how attentively he was taken care of, the foundation of his health was poor after all. After basking in the sun for half a day and being wearied on the way, Lin Shu withered like those crops in the field.
After withering for half a month, the ‘Shangling Examination list” was released. Among the five people from Ning’an Residence, there was Lin Shu’s name on it. Li Yamao came back to inform them in great delight and after the whole family was done being happy, Lin Shu proceeded to wilt.
He recovered from the heatstroke but got a cold again because of the wind blowing onto his wet hair.
“Catching a cold on a summer day!” Big Mother was greatly bewildered.
Lin Shu coughed with half of his life left and it was strenuous to even move his finger so he was unable to explain what k2018;low immunity’ meant to Big Mother.
In his previous life, he had already built a foundation when he was six or seven years old and was immune to all kinds of diseases since then. He really did not know what it was like to fall sick.
He was sick for half a month and in August, it was time for him to set out on a journey to Shangling Academy in Sichuan province.
Big Mother did not felt at ease letting Lin Shu go on his own so Li Yamao went together with him. They first rented a carriage to head South from Ning’an Residence and sat a ferry from Jiangkou to Dongting, and headed West to Sichuan by land.
When they left Ning’an Residence, light rain fell from the sky.
Li Yamao reached his hand out to catch the rain and said, “The rain is still too little and the fields are all dried up. What can this small amount of rain do?”
Lin Shu lifted the carriage curtain and saw the fields at the side of the road were cracked from the drought. He turned his head towards Big Mother who was carrying an oil umbrella at the side of the road.
Seeing Lin Shu looking at her, Big Mother took a few steps forward and told him, “Be careful on your way!”
Lin Shu felt slightly warm in his heart and nodded.
Li Yamao drew out a whip on the horse and shouted, “Giddyup—“.
The wheels started to rattle up forward.
Big Mother made a few steps forward and told Lin Shu, “When you come home next year, I’ll prepare nice dishes for you!”
Lin Shu responded, “Oh.”
The hoofs of the horse gradually fastened and the boundless fog very quickly ate up the shadow of Big Mother. Lin Shu looked at the crop field on both sides and put his attention on the road up ahead.
He wished for the rain to get bigger.
Li Yamao asked, “The road is a bit bumpy, Brother, are you alright?”
Lin Shu replied, “I’m fine.”
Oh, now that Li Yamao said it in a strict sense, he could no longer call him Li Yamao (李鸭毛). The system had given him a new name, Li Yamao (李雅懋), but with the same pronunciation. Therefore, he still called him Yamao as usual.
A month passed since both of them set off.
Along the road, Lin Shu could roughly make out the local conditions and customs. The city was far from flourished as the present and was indeed timed with a slightly lower productivity.
Things gradually bustled as they entered the Sichuan grounds.
Today, Li Yamao drove a cart on the official path and suddenly said, “Brother Lin, quick take a look!”
An eminent city revealed a corner vaguely in the surrounding of the mountains between the hidden view from the thick fog. Its city tower gate was towering forcefully and intriguing.
Lin Shu didn’t know anything at all regarding the outside world and Li Yamao was trapped in the city for 10 years so they were about the same. Both of them did not know what kind of place it was and stopped to have a look. Li Yamao asked a passer-by and found out this was the capital of Nan Xia.
That passer-by who was rushing said, “Our capital is really magnificent!”
Li Yamao was fascinated, “If there is a chance in the future, I have to take a look.”
The academy was going to start soon and they were going to miss it if they made any more detours. The two of them took a look and continued on their journey.
It was already September when they arrived at the foot of Shangling mountain, The scenery of Sichuan was beautiful, with an upright and refreshing weather. It was a very delightful sight.
Looking at it from bottom to the top, the mass of mountains was surrounded by an immortal fog. The vegetation on the mountain were fresh and green, plump and tender; the five-colored sparrows flew high up in the sky and could occasionally see the cornice. particularly in an immortal manner which was much different from the mortal city.
There was a small pavilion every five miles and a big pavilion every ten miles in Nan Xia. Two youngsters in black sat facing each other with a huge red-crowned crane stayed at the side of the pavilion. Seeing the horse carriage approaching, one of them exited the pavilion and cupped his hands. “Dear guest, are you entering the academy?”
Li Yamao replied, “Yes.”
Lin Shu got down from the horse and one of the youngsters asked, “Is it just one of you or both?”
Li Yamao told him, “Just one.”
The other one in the pavilion said modestly and politely, “Please come over here to write your name down.”
Li Yamao stepped forward and that person handed over a book of names. He flipped over to Fujian province first and then flipped to Ning’an Residence to find the Immortal Dao Sanctuary, and found Lin Shu’s name. He put a tick on it and told the young man, “I’m done.”
It was indeed hard to find those few words for someone who only knew some.
Before Lin Shu could answer and do it, Li Yamao took care of everything. He felt that he was already secretly acknowledged as handicapped, weak, pitiful and helpless.
The young man took the book and said, “Shangling Academy, mortals have to stop here. Daoist Lin, please follow me.”
Lin Shu glanced at Li Yamao and told him, “I’m going.”
Li Yamao took a bundle from the horse carriage and smiled. “Brother, take good care of yourself. I’ll come to accompany you next year.”
Lin Shu laughed in a rather embarrassing manner. “Alright.”
The huge red-crowned crane cried out and the young man said ‘rise’. Lin Shu was supported by a gentle energy, ascended to the midair and landed on the red-crowned crane. After a short time, the young man also floated onto the crane.
The red-crowned crane flapped its wings and took off. Li Yamao waved goodbye to Lin Shu.
Lin Shu kept looking towards him and waved his hands.
In his previous life, after his Teacher passed away, he did not have any friends and families anymore. He did not expect to live a difficult life for once and had two brothers as well as a Big Mother who took good care of him to this degree. He was somewhat at his wits’ end but was genuinely touched from his heart. He was reluctant to part ways.
He did not know how he could repay this care and kindness.
The red-crowned crane flew straight into the lingering immortal fog. Lin Shu collected his state of mind earlier on and looked above him.
Although he almost cultivated to Mayahana stage, he has never met any immortals besides his Teacher, let alone this large-scale academy. He was curious about what the developed immortal cultivators were like.
The red-crowned crane flew higher and higher. It was a bird with powers so its speed was surprisingly fast. Within a moment, it has already arrived the summit and hovered before landing—But within 10 miles, he could see the magnificent Immortal Palace, vast and various forest, the flow in the spring gushing quickly. It was extremely beautiful.
The red-crowned crane flew close to the entrance.
There were four words engraved at the entrance ‘Intoxicated in Shangling’.
There was a group of people, each with their signboard, just like the ones those fortune-telling swindlers often held in their hands. It was those kind with ‘XX Fortune-telling’ written on it,
A few people dressed in gray were scattered along the flight of steps. Some of them were staring blankly and some of them were reading a book, the signboard had ‘Scholar Dao Sanctuary” written on it.
The meadow at the side of the steps was a ground of sixes and sevens, with a signboard ‘Immortal Dao Sanctuary’ stuck on the ground.
And among the sixes and sevens of people, a field of red could be seen at a glance.
Lin Shu, “……”
There was unexpectedly someone he knew.
The few girls in Phoenix Villa encircled the colored glass couch, fanning themselves with a fan.
On the colored glass couch sat Big Missy, Ling Fengxiao.
It was rather sizzling hot in Sichuan in September. The girls wore thin cotton clothes, revealing half of their arms and shoulders. Only Big Missy was wearing a wide long-sleeved imperial clothes and her entire body was hidden up. She was being fed iced grapes by Ling Baochen.
Ling Baochen sensed the movement on top and lifted his head. “The crane is back.”
Someone shouted immediately, “Which sanctuary? Is it a Junior Brother or Junior Sister?”
The young man who brought Lin Shu on the red-crowned crane said, “Junior Brother of Immortal Dao Sanctuary!”
The people of the Scholar Dao Sanctuary and the Arts Sanctuary sighed and were disappointed.
The Immortal Dao Sanctuary was also a bit disappointed, maybe because the person who arrived was not a Junior Sister.
Ling Baochen laughed out with a ‘Pfft’ as he waited for the red-crowned crane to land.
“Big Missy,” she said. “Look who’s here.”
Ling Fengxiao raised her eyelids and looked up and down at Lin Shu She hooked the corners of her mouth. “What a coincidence.”
She was originally disappointed but the thousands of people in the Immortal Dao Sanctuary who laid down on the meadow or were unable to take a human form stood up all of a sudden and greeted with their hands bowed one after another.
“So he’s actually an acquaintance of Senior Sister Ling!”
“Junior Brother is a talent indeed!”
Lin Shu cranked his head, “?”
Where are all of your Immortal Path backbone?