412 – A spear technique!
Chapter 412: A spear technique!
With this idea in mind, Li Muyang felt that Lu Lin had become more and more suspicious.
Besides the few words that he had exchanged with him at the beginning, the majority of the times he stood next to Li Shinian. His brown coloured robe, deep green jade pendant, sword-like brows, his extraordinary facial features, and his thin lips gave off an amiable and kind feeling.
The man was very talkative, and also knowledgeable. He was witty, and occasionally made one burst into laughter.
Seeing that Li Muyang was no longer painting, and was glancing at him from time to time, Lu Lin cupped one fist in the other and said to Li Muyang apologetically. “I am really sorry, did I disturb Brother Muyang painting?”
Li Muyang nodded, “Indeed, I like it quiet when I paint.”
“I see.” Lu Lin looked embarrassed. “Then I won’t disturb Brother Muyang.”
He turned to Li Shinian, suggesting, “Miss Shinian, I see the plum blossoms are blooming beautifully, we should also learn from the predecessors. How about we take a walk in the snow to view the flowering plums?”
Li Shinian took a glimpse of Li Muyang and declined the offer: “I want to watch my brother paint.”
“No worries.” Lu Lin said. “When we come back from viewing the plum blossoms, Brother Muyang’s ‘Viewing snow painting’ should also be completed. Wouldn’t it be better for us to enjoy the finished product instead?”
Li Shinian pursed her lips. “I see the plum blossoms in the garden many times a day, but I have not seen my brother paint more than a few times——Besides, are the plum blossoms of the garden more good looking than when my brother paints?”
“Haha——” Li Muyang couldn’t help laughing out loud, then spoke out to ‘scold’ Li Shinian: “Shinian, you can’t say that. Brother is just an earthly being, how can I be compared to one of the four gentlemen, plum blossom? But since you want to see me paint, then I’ll do my best to paint for you.”
“Thank you, Big brother.” Li Shinian said with a sweet smile.
A scowl flashed across Lu Lin’s face and faded instantly, as he gave a cupped fist to Li Muyang, “apologies.”
He then turned to Li Shinian, bowed, performing the standard etiquette of a noble and said with a smile. “Since Miss Shinian likes to watch Brother Muyang paint, then I will accompany at the side. Miss Shinian is right, plum blossoms bloom every year, but Brother Muayng painting is a rare sight. I should properly appreciate it.”
Never hit a smiling guy.
If he did not want to leave, there also was nothing that Li Muyang could do to force him away.
After all, his last name was ‘Lu’, while he and his sister had the surname Li; in order words they were outsiders.
Li Muyang composed his emotion and organised his thoughts before he began adding colour to the painting.
This process was even quicker than the one before. With just a few strokes, the wind and snow, and the beautiful and elegant snow scene was depicted vividly.
Li Muyang did not brought a seal with him, so instead he directly signed his name at the top of the painting.
Waiting until the ink had dried, he rolled up the painting and presented it to Li Shinian, who had been standing at the side waiting for a long while. “For you.”
“Thank you, Big brother.” Hugging the scroll ‘Viewing snow in the West garden painting’ in her arms, a smile bloomed on Li Shinian’s face.
Lu Lin was captivated by Li Shinian’s sweet smile but when he saw that Li Shinian’s eyes were completely fixed on her brother Li Muyang and was completely pretending to not see him, he raged inwardly, thinking to himself that there will definitely be a time when you two are going to ask me for my help.
Lu Lin with a face of admiration said aloud: “Brother Muyang is indeed a painting master, this painting is already enough to reach the third grade.”
Li Muyang’s painting was indeed good, but it was impossible to reach the third grade. It was purely a complement from Lu Lin.
Not expecting there to be someone who even more did not understand modesty, Li Shinian lifted her head and said proudly. “In my eyes it is already the first grade.”
Li Muyang chuckled, reaching out his hand and was about to stroke Li Shinian’s head, but then on second thought he felt that this intimate behaviour was perhaps a little too inappropriate.
Li Shinian’s face grew gloomy when she saw Li Muyang raising his hand and putting it down again——
The 60th birthday was also known as ‘Flower armour birthday’.
According to the tradition of the divine continent, the birthday of an elderly that year was particularly important.
Lu Xingkong’s only son Lu Qingming returned early from defending the Yun border to celebrate his Father’s birthday. The other branches of the Lu family had also rushed back, and his former subordinates far away at the border had began to send back gifts as early as one month ago.
Strangely, a direct line of descent of the Lu family, the Lord of the Wind city, Lu Wuyoung, had not returned to Tiandu and instead sent his eldest son Lu Lin and other clan members to come celebrate Lu Xingkong’s birthday.
This action made a lot of insiders speculate that the Wind City might have felt that the Lu family was in imminent danger so they wanted to draw a line with Lu Qingming? If the Lu family really were in serious trouble, could this act really protect those of the Wind city from being affected?
Rumours and gossip endlessly fell on the ear. Everyone looked at the Lu family with sympathy and——mockery.
If even the people of the Lu family’s ancestral house were not supporting them, then does that mean they most likely were left with no room to retreat, right?
But none of these matters had much to do with Li Muyang.
He was just a ‘visitor’, the ‘Li family member’ who was living in the Lu residence. The Lu family’s core affairs had little to do with him, also no one had come over to discuss with him or asked him for advice.
But Li Muyang’s father Li Yan was very busy these days. He came and went in haste, and sometimes he would also stay the night over at the plum garden side. From the middle-level stewards, Li Muyang knew that the storm had come.
Li Muyang still maintained his previous good habits. He got up early and walked a few laps of ‘The Art of the breaking body’, before he hunched over the desk in front of the window to practice calligraphy. While the books, such as ‘The art of travelling through clouds and summoning rain’ and ‘Dragon language’ that were related to the dragon clan, he had not glanced at them at all or recited the mantra. There were too many strong cultivators in Tiandu, who knew whether he may be noticed or not by the observant people?
Besides, a peerless cultivator was living in the same courtyard as him.
Li Muyang was willing to trust the Lu family, but if they were to find out the fact that he was a dragon, whether or not they were going to trust him or not, was still uncertain.
The human heart was difficult to predict, Li Muyang dared not make the slightest mistake.
The door of the room was slammed open again.
Dressed in a cute little red robe, Li Shinian charged in and shouted to Li Muyang: “Quick, wash and dress, in a moment we need to kowtow to Grandfather Lu.”
Li Muyang knew that today was the birthday of the old Grandfather Lu Xingkong.
Lu Qingming had also said to him that today he should show his true face to the world.
Therefore, according to the relationship between the Lu family and the Li family, Li Muyang indeed needed to go kowtow to Lu Xingkong today as a junior.
Li Shinian put down the writing brush and said to Li Shinian, “Wait, I need to bath and change my clothes.”
“Dress nicer.” Li Shinian then said in lowered voice, “These days Mother has been busying making several sets of winter clothes for you.”
Li Muyang smiled and nodded, “then I’ll wear the clothes made by my Mother.”
Because Li Muyang had saved Lu Qingming’s life, Aunt Gongsun had all of a sudden gifted him several sets of gorgeous clothes. These days Li Muyang had only been wearing the clothes from Aunt Gongsun whenever he went outside, which made Luo Qi a little jealous. These days the reason that Luo Qi had not stepped a foot outside the house was because she was busy preparing winter clothing for Li Muyang.
“Smart.” Li Shinian complimented Li Muyang. “Quickly bath, in a moment I’ll come to comb your hair.”
“I’ll comb it myself.” Li Muyang said.
“That’s not going to work. You are now Gongzi Li, Young master Li, how could you do it yourself?” Li Shinian remarked with a sneer.
Li Muyang chuckled. He knew that his Little sister was dissatisfied with the five beautiful servants who followed him everywhere.
After Li Muyang had bathed, Li Shinian was already waiting in the room.
Li Muyang helplessly seated himself in front of the bronze mirror and let Li Shinian tidy his hair.
Li Shinian’s combing was very smooth, but she had never groomed a man’s hair before. Her skills were a bit rusty, and not as skilful as Jing’er and the others.
But, his little sister had kind intentions after all. Li Muyang sat there with a smile on his face, waiting for the little girl to get busy with his hair.
“Don’t laugh. “ Li Shinian failed to tie up the hair into a bun, tiny dots of sweat formed across her nose, and when she saw Li Muyang’s holding his lips tight to suppress a smile she couldn’t help yelling.
“Hahaha——” Li Muyang burst out laughing, even happier after her outburst.
After putting on the jade crown with difficultly, Li Shinian came over hugging a dim silver cotton robe. The inside of the cotton robe was filled with goose feather, making it light and warm.
Li Shinian helped Li Muyang tie his waist belt, before stepping back and looked him up and down. Her eyes sparkled and she could not help complimenting inwardly: Brother is really handsome, I did not expect the charcoal head before would grow into such a beautiful young man——
When Luo Qi saw Li Muyang dressed in the winter clothes she made, her entire face beamed with happiness. These days her son had only been wearing the clothes gifted by Lady Gongsun, which gave her a feeling of her heart being gripped, as though her son would be taken away from her at any moment——
Luo Qi had already prepared noodle soup, and after Li Muyang and Li Shinian each had a bowl. Under the guidance of Luo Qi, they were brought to the main hall of the Lu residence.
Today was Lu Xingkong’s birthday. Lu Xingkong also moved out of the plum garden, and gathered together with the family in the main hall of the Lu residence to greet the coming guests.
By the time the trio came to the front courtyard, a few long queues were already lined up across the courtyard.
Headed by Lu Qingming and Gongsun Yu, was a line of sons and nephews, and the grandchildren, led by Lu Tianyu, were in another line. Standing in another line were tall and burly military officers who had worked for Lu Xingkong for many years. The stewards and servants were also divided among the three rows. Those that did not lined up, also were not allowed to the birthday celebration.
Lu Tianyu was in the front of the line of grandchildren, followed by a number of juniors of the Lu family. Lu Lin, who they met yesterday, was also present, and greeted Li Muyang and Li Shinian with a smile and nod.
Li Muyang and Li Shinian were aware of their identity, and very considerately stood at the back of the last row. Luo Qi went to the side where Gongsun Yu and the females in the family were. Gongsun Yu was extremely busy today, there were a number of things that needed her to take care of.
Pa pa pa——
Under the escort of a group of old brothers, Lu Xingkong stepped into the main hall in a silk robe.
He had just sat down in the main hall, when Lu Qingming and Gongsun Yu went forward together, bowed down before him, and pressed their forehead against the floor.
“Father may your happiness be as boundless as the Eastern seas and your life as long as the long lasting Southern mountains.”
“Get up.” Lu Xingkong reached out with both his hands.
Lu Qingming and Gongsun Yu got up at the same time. Then, Gongsun Yu took a tray from the little servant standing next to her and respectfully presented over with both hands. “For Father’s 60th birthday, I specially ordered people from the north to hunt two fire fox to make a winter coat for Father——Father hope you don’t mind the ugly needlework, please accept Xiaoyu’s little gift.”
Lu Xingkong reached out to receive the tray, and gently stroked the stitches on the winter, emotions surging unceasingly within him.
How many years? How many years had he not received clothes sewn by his daughter-in-law? How many years had Gongsun Yu not said auspicious words to her father-in-law?
Ever since that matter happened, their relationship had fallen to freezing point, and for the past many years, Gongsun Yu had hated him as a father-in-law, also hated their Lu family——
He lifted her head up to look at Gongsun Yu and uttered in a low voice, “Good child, good child——all these years, it really has been difficult for you.”
“Father——” Gongsun Yu’s voice started to quiver, as her eyes reddened with tears. She turned around to find Li Muyang, in that sea of people, she also did not know where Li Muyang had went.
Li Muyang had returned safe and sound, and was present for Father’s 60th birthday, so Gongsun Yu was willing to untie the knot in her heart and present such a warm gift.
“Good child.” Lu Xingkong sighed and said, “It is our Lu family who wronged you.”
“Father, it is a great day today, why say this?” Lu Qingming interrupted.
“Yes, a great day.” Lu Xingkong burst out in a hearty laugh, looking at his son and daughter-in-law. “You two are really thoughtful.”
The two stepped back and stood behind Lu Xingkong, as other descendants of the Lu family came up to pay their respects and offer their birthday gifts.
By the time the uncles had finished presenting their gifts, it was the turn of the group of Generals who could also be called uncles.
Each and every one of these people were like wolves and tigers, and their voices were like a powerful, reverberating sound of thunder. One after another, they went up and kowtowed to Lu Xingkong. The gifts presented were varied, and included wine, meat, swords and weapons.
Lu Xingkong had a deep friendship with every one of them. After exchanging greetings he accepted theirs gift one after another.
By the time these military officers had kowtowed and wished Lu Xingkong a happy birthday, Lu Tianyu was the first to rush over. He ‘plopped’ on his knees, and banged his forehead against the ground three times, looked up, his forehead slightly red, and said in a loud and clear voice: “Grandchild Lu Tianyu wish Grandfather is continued to be respected by the world for your contribution.”
Lu Tianyu rose from the ground and took a delicate jade box from the little servant beside him, presenting it over with both hands. “Grandfather, this is grandson’s birthday gift to you.”
“Thank you, my dear grandson.” Lu Xingkong received the box with a smiling face and was to about to set it aside for now.
“Grandfather, open it and see if you like the gift I gave you.” said Lu Tianyu, grinning.
Lu Xingkong glanced at Lu Tianyu. “What? You want to show the treasure in public today?”
“Tht is Grandson’s little gift to you.” Lu Tianyu said with a smile.
So, Lu Xingkong opened the jade box and housed inside was a dazzling bright pearl.
“Thus is?” Lu Xingkong asked. “
“Grandfather, this is a turtle pearl, also known as the longevity pearl. It can only be obtained from thousand year old Xuan turtles. It is very effective. If you use it when bathing it has the effect of strengthening the body and drive away evil.” Lu Tianyu explained with a smug face. Evidently it was a very difficult for him to get the turtle pearl as a birthday gift.
The crowd murmured compliments about Lu Tianyu’s gift.
“Young Master Tianyu is indeed a good boy—”
“Turtle pearl is an incredibly rare treasure in the world, I heard that not every single turtle has such a pearl, only Xuan turtles that eat rainbow clams have such turtle pearls—”
“This gift from Young master Tianyu is really special and valuable—”
“I really like this gift, I will carry it with me all the time” Lu Xingkong set down the jade box and said, smiling.
Lu Tianyu beamed: “As long as Grandfather likes it. Tianyu once again wish Grandfather lives a long and healthy life, and reaches the Dragon slayer realm soon.”
Lu Xingkong laughed. Evidently he really liked the birthday wish.
After Lu Tianyu went down, the other grandchildren went up to kowtow, offer birthday congratulations, and present their prepared gifts.
When it was Li Shinian’s turn, she bowed respectfully before Lu Xingkong, kowtowed three times, and then took out a painting scroll and presented it with both hands: “Grandfather, Shinian has no valuable items but I wanted to give you a birthday present, I thought about it over and over again, it really gave me a headache.”
The corners of Li Shinian’s mouth were curved upwards in a smile, “Then I thought, although I have no valuable things, but I have someone around me who does. So I begged and begged, and finally my brother drew a picture for me, and now I will present my brother’s ‘Viewing snow in the West garden painting’ to Grandfather Lu as a birthday present. I hope Grandfather Lu likes it.”
Lu Xingkong looked at the lively and energetic Li Shinian, reached out to her head, before he received the ‘Viewing snow in the West garden painting’. He unfolded the scroll and carefully studied the painting for a long while, before he complimented: “Good painting. The composition is careful, and the colours are bold. Through the contrast, the West Garden is brought out vividly. He really lives up to the name of the talented youngster thought highly of by the double walls of painting and calligraphy Gu Huangwu.”
Lu Xingkong passed it around to the elders next to him, saying: “I am very happy with this ‘Viewing snow in the West garden painting’. Although it is my own backyard, but in the hands of Muyang there is another artistic conception. It’s almost as if I had never seen the subject of the painting before. I’ll hang this picture in my study, it will help me relieve fatigue when I’m tired.”
“Thank you, Grandfather.” Li Shinian beamed. Li Muyang’s painting being liked by the old grandfather Lu made her happier than her being liked.
“Silly child, you gave me a present, why did you thank me? I should have thanked you.” Lu Xingkong stated, smiling.
He reached out and pulled Li Shinian up from the ground, “Good child, what a good child.”
Li Shinian stepped back. It was the turn of Li Muyang to come forward to kowtow and offer birthday congratulations.
Li Muyang was deeply grateful to the Lu family for taking care of his parents and sister, and was also sincerely fond of Grandfather Lu. He bowed down and kowtowed sincerely, and then lifted up his head to say in a clear voice: “I wish Grandfather stay as dazzling as the Sun and moon, and never age like spring and autumn.”
“Hahaha, Muyang, this birthday congratulation is a bit sloppy. The divine continent is vast, how many people can be as dazzling as the sun and moon, and never age like spring and autumn?”
Li Muyang, with a smiling expression, answered: “Then I wish Grandfather is happy everyday, and all your wishes come true.”
“Well, that’s more grounded. I like it.” Lu Xingkong burst into a hearty laughter, looking at his talented grandchild. filled him with extreme satisfaction.
Li Muyang presented up a wooden box with both hands, “Grandfather, this is my birthday gift for you, please accept my small token.”
Lu Xingkong received the wooden box, which felt as heavy as though he was holding the sun and moon in his hands.
It was a gift from his own grandson, a gift from his eldest grandson——
His mind was suddenly inundated with a multitude of feelings.
“Grandfather, I know that Muyang is good at the way of painting, could there be another painting in this box?” Someone behind him said.
Lu Tianyu’s eyes were also fixed curiously on the box: “Grandfather, open it and see?”
“If it’s a painting, then it’s the same as Miss Shinian’s——”
“It’s a spear technique.” Li Muyang stated.
The room fell utterly quiet, and then all of a sudden loud laughter broke out in the room.
Someone was going to give Lu Xingkong a spear technique as a gift?