"How long will you need?" Xu Qianqian bit her lip and asked.
"Don't worry, I won't be long." Mo Wen shrugged his shoulders.
"A day?" Xu Qianqian testingly raised a fair, delicate finger, looking at Mo Wen with her large blinking eyes.
"..." Mo Wen's mouth twitched. He gave up answering her. One day? He wouldn't even have time to return to the capital from the Changbai Mountain.
"Then two days?"
Xu Qianqian raised two fingers and waved them in front of Mo Wen. She wore a look that was asking for his opinion.
"Then three days? It can't be more."
"If you don't say anything, I'll take that as a yes?" Xu Qianqian said gleefully.
"Are you dreaming?" Mo Wen rolled his eyes at her, minding himself and walking over to sit on a nearby rock. He was contemplating whether to continue their journey or to rest for the night.
"Then how many days do you need?" Xu Qianqian circled unceasingly beside Mo Wen. She could only be assured once she had gotten an answer.
"Depending on my mood. If I am in good mood, then I will come back earlier. If not, I might take a year or two." Mo Wen said while shrugging.
Upon hearing his response, Xu Qianqian's dainty face turned pale. A year or two? Her father would most likely be dead by then. Wasn't Mo Wen fooling around with her?
After waiting for a long while, there was still no response from Xu Qianqian. Was it possible that she had so easily compromised? It shouldn't be.
Mo Wen curiously looked over. Only then did he realise that Xu Qianqian was already in tears, rivers gushing out from her eyes. She looked at Mo Wen with a delicate and charming face.
"Don't cry, we are still good friends."
Mo Wen's mouth twitched, he said after being rendered speechless.
What was it with women nowadays? They all knew how to act pitiful, using their tears as attacks without provocation. Who taught them to do so? Of so many good things to learn, they learned the bad things.
"Seven days. Within seven days I'll treat your old man's illness. Will that be okay?"
Mo Wen said helplessly. He did not want to face such a delicate and charming look all day. Trying to act cute... those not in the know would have thought they had met Lin Daiyu .
"Then, seven days it is. You promised, so don't regret it."
Xu Qianqian gleefully grabbed onto Mo Wen's sleeve upon hearing this, wanting to confirm it. Her small face revealed a bright smile, but her face still bore tear streaks and her lashes still had tears in them
Mo Wen finally understood why they said that women were born actors. If Xu Qianqian joined the entertainment industry, she could probably win an Oscar.
"Tonight, we will rest a bit. Tomorrow morning, I'll send you back."
Mo Wen look askance at Xu Qianqian as he got up and took out the easy tent from his backpack to set up.
For him, he was fine whether he rested or not, but Xu Qianqian was a woman. After toiling for a day, she definitely couldn't continue, so he wasn't in a rush to push her to be on their way.
With Mo Wen's promise, Xu Qianqian's mood improved instantly by quite a bit. She diligently set up her own tent. Although she was a young mistress, she wasn't sloppy when setting up the tent, completing it in a short while and snuggling into it.
The next morning, the sunlight slowly bathed the land, lighting up the forest with gold.
Mo Wen had not slept at night. He had spent the entire night meditating and practicing. For him, a nap every few days was enough to replenish his energy. His diligence was the foundation of him becoming strong. Every day, he had never slacked on practicing.
After completing a final revolution of the large vital energy circle, he slowly exhaled a breath of foul air. He then got up and exited the tent.
He discovered Xu Qianqian had got out of bed early and was setting something up on a bed of grass.
Mo Wen walked over to take a look. He discovered a white handkerchief laden with food. Although they were all packed foods, it was still rather sumptuous.
"Not bad, breakfast is quite sumptuous."
Mo Wen crouched down with a smile, unapologetically grabbing a slice of bread to eat.
"Hmm, the bread is a little dry. The fire is too strong, so it is not soft enough" Mo Wen commented "professionally" while eating.
"If it's not delicious, then why are you eating so much? Who let you eat anyway? Go eat your own food."
Xu Qianqian shot Mo Wen a glance. With a slap, she hit his hand that was reaching out for a slice of bread. If it wasn't delicious, then why did he eat so much? She hadn't seen him eating less.
After finishing breakfast, Mo Wen and Xu Qianqian continued on the road.
Mo Wen would first send Xu Qianqian back to her bodyguards first. He couldn't just leave her on the mountaintop like that.
As for looking for the Flame Flower, he could come back alone when the time came. He naturally wouldn't let a woman follow him.
"Hey, didn't you know how to fly on roofs and walk on walls? Carrying me while flying for a bit."
Xu Qianqian's hand was waving a long stalk of dogstail grass, jumping around on the mountain path from time to time.
"Carrying you? Fly on roofs and walk on walls?" Mo Wen raised his eyebrows as he said.
"It's a special occasion, so letting you carry me is not a problem." Xu Qianqian said looking generous.
With her leg strength, it would probably take no less than a day to reach the bodyguards.
She knew that Mo Wen still had some things to take care of, so she did not want to take up his time. Last night, she had experienced it herself, Mo Wen had carried her and used Qinggong. In a short while, he had covered a great distance, even a car could not compare.
"I can carry you, but what about you taking advantage of me?"
"How am I taking advantage of you?" Xu Qianqian raised her eyebrows.
"Contact between male and female is forbidden. That is what you said. For me to carry you, what is this? For me to suffer a loss physically is fine, but I will also be affected emotionally and spiritually."
"Just because you don't want to walk, I have to then carry you. My losses aren't small, shouldn't you compensate me a little?"
"Of course, if you insist on me carrying you, it wouldn't be nice of me to refuse. But shouldn't you give me a little compensation fee at least?"
In the evening, as the sun was setting in the west, the two of them finally reached back to the small forest.
In the end, they had spent a large part of their time dilly-dallying because Xu Qianqian insisted on her walking on her own. She would rather die than let Mo Wen carry her
Mo Wen followed depressingly behind Xu Qianqian, walking dallyingly on the mountain path. He secretly cursed himself for his sharp tongue. He should have just carried Xu Qianqian and used Qinggong to get back.
"Okay, my mission is complete. You better get lost."
After sending Xu Qianqian back to the small forest, Mo Wen waved his hand to signal Xu Qianqian to walk back herself, as the place where her bodyguards had set up tent was not far from there. With the protection of her bodyguards, protecting her out of the Changbai mountains shouldn't be much of a problem.
Seeing Mo Wen anxiously turning and ready to leave, Xu Qianqian immediately grabbed hold of him.
"What else do you want?" Mo Wen rolled his eyes and said.
"Give me your phone number."
Xu Qianqian glared at Mo Wen saying. Although she had given Mo Wen her contact on the way here, Mo Wen had still not given her his. What should she do if she could not find him.
Mo Wen thought, should he be like other people and prepare a more professional looking name card? He could then give them out whenever he met someone, saving people the time to keep asking him for these things.
White Rock Peak was situated in the depths of the Changbai Mountain Range. It was four thousand meters above sea level, and was considered one of the rare high peaks of the Changbai Mountain Range. At the peak, snow accumulated all year long, never melting year long. The peak was also covered with cedar trees.
Mo Wen followed the marker on the map. It took him a long while to find the White Rock Peak. Compared to the peak where the Blood Mushroom was growing, White Rock Peak was the real tall peak.
"Who goes there?"
Mo Wen had just reached the foot of White Rock Peak when two men blocked his way. Their tone and expressions were stern and somewhat unfriendly.
"I am but a medicinal herb gatherer. What is the meaning behind you blocking my way?"
Mo Wen saluted slightly with his fists, curiously looking at the two men asking.
The two of them were dressed in the same attire, and they were not dressed like people from the outside world. They were dressed more like backwater, olden day people who lived secluded in the deep mountains and ancient forests.
From their appearance, he was sure that the two men before him were the same group of people as the five disciples he met before.
Also he could sense their bodies had Inner Qi flowing in them. Obviously, they were ancient martial arts practitioners.
They were most likely people from an ancient martial arts sect in the Changbai Mountain Range. Although he did not know how many ancient martial arts sects were there in the boundaries of the Changbai Mountain Range, there were sure to be quite a few, far more that the Yuntai Mountain where the Gu Clan Fort was.
"Medicinal herb collecting? You've got some gall. Did you think that the herbs on this mountain could be simply picked as you please?"
One of the men angrily retorted when he heard this, glaring furiously at Mo Wen. If Mo Wen's action had not been honest at the least, he probably would have attacked him.
"Why can't I gather herbs?" The corner of Mo Wen's mouth curled as he asked. As expected, it wouldn't be easy to obtain the Flame Flower.
If the White Rock Peak really had a Flame Flower up top, then based on the current situation, it had probably been discovered and was heavily guarded.
If the old man dressed in black knew that the Flame Flower was atop of White Rock Peak, he must have also known that the Flame Flower was guarded by others.
What a good attempt at getting rid of your adversary by the hands of another.
Mo Wen laughed playfully. Now he immediately understood the game that the old man dressed in black tried to play.
He knew it was a trap. However, if others knew about the value of the Flame Flower, they would surely not give it up easily. Mo Wen was of the same mind now.
He could only say that the old man dressed in black played a highly skilled hand in the end.
"This area is Changtian Sect's territory. It's not a place where you can set foot in. Leave here quickly. Or else don't blame me for not holding back." The men only treated Mo Wen as one of the common medicinal herbs gatherers in the Changbai Mountain, so he planned to chase him away. After all, there were too many medicinal herbs gathering team like this in the Changbai Mountain. The commoners didn't know that there were some restricted areas which they should not go; it was normal.
"Oh, I see." Upon hearing his words, Mo Wen nodded with an understanding face. So they were playing the trick of claiming lordship over a mountain. The Changtian Sect seemed to be very powerful, dominating a mountain. People who were not capable would not dare to do such a thing.
He saluted the two men with his fists, then turned and headed down the mountain, seeming as though he was leaving.
Until Mo Wen had walked into the distance, only then did the two burly men look at each other and slowly hid themselves in the forest again, continuing to guard the mountain path. Once Mo Wen went down the mountain, he took a turn and stood before a sharp cliff wall.
Since the uphill mountain road couldn't be used, he would climb up the cliff. The mountain was so huge, it was impossible to have all areas heavily guarded.
: Lin Daiyu is one of the principal characters of Cao Xueqin's classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is portrayed as a well-educated, intelligent, witty and beautiful young woman of physical frailness who is somewhat prone to occasional melancholy.