Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Pleasure boats and barges were all over the lake. There were girls standing outside said boats, admiring the fireworks. They turned their eyes and saw the man on the lake. His billowing hair turned half grey before becoming silver, dancing in the air. The girls were dazed by the scene. The man had a slender body and looked exceptional and dashing, as he was an incredibly handsome man. He seemed to have been merged with the scenery simply by standing around doing nothing. However, his standing silhouette seemed to be a lonesome one.
“Quite a good-looking guy indeed.” Many on the boats came to take notice of the man at the shore. Is that trick of turning hair grey some kind of spell?
“What are you people looking at?” A young man on the boat came to the bow, following the eyes of the girls. He too caught sight of Ye Futian. The appearance and bearing of the man inspired envy in the men watching him.
“He shed tears and his hair turned grey all of a sudden. I wonder who those tears were for.” one of the girls asked.
“Probably just some kind of trick,” one of the men smiled and said. The man then took out an article of clothing and put it on the girl and said, “The wind outside is cold, let’s head inside.”
“Right.” The girl nodded, turning her eyes away with a tinge of reluctance before returning to the boat.
There were many on the lake who turned to look at Ye Futian. A woman with a bolder personality even smiled and asked when her boat passed by him, “Do you mind coming up for a bit?” However, the man did not seem to notice her and simply remained standing there alone. The woman felt bored and rowed away.
Ye Futian then sat by the lakeside cross-legged, taking out a guqin and began playing at the side of the lake. It was a simple tune devoid of any power. There were illustrations within the flowing tune, which seemed to have blended with the scenery. There was no sadness, no tears, only joy, as if he was drawing an incredibly beautiful painting. He was illustrating the love between young couples, pure and beautiful.
Many seemed to feel themselves taking a trip back in time as they heard the tune. It was as if they had returned to their younger days, recalling their love in ages past. The man who was playing the tune must have had quite a story to tell. The tune ended and Ye Futian stood up, walking back to his place.
The lives of Ye Futian, Hua Fengliu, and the others were incredibly quiet in the following days. Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin spent their days basking in the sun within the compound and playing the guqin, seldom going out. It was as if they had truly become hermits. They did not bring Hua Jieyu up. No one wanted to bring her up. No one dared to. They simply hoped that time would wash away their pain.
Ye Futian’s life was also a simple and orderly one. He spent his days talking with his teacher and mastress in their place and taking strolls along the lake at night. He seemed to have even forgotten about his training altogether.
Time passed and everyone who lived near their place came to know them. An elder came to knock on their door, saying to Hua Fengliu with a smile, “I’ve grown used to hearing you people play your tune. Why would people like you come to Qingzhou City?” The old man was one who had been through a lot himself. He had ventured outside when he was young and had met renowned people of the Dharma and Arcana Plane before, but none of them exuded bearings like that of Hua Fengliu and the others. While he was old, he was able to guess that the lot of them were anything but simple folk.
“Have a seat, elder,” Hua Fengliu said. The elder did not refuse and entered their home.
“We’re old, so we thought of coming home,” Hua Fengliu smiled and replied to the old man.
“Right. Qingzhou City is a small island, and quite a quiet one too.” The old man then smiled and asked, “That handsome young man would be your son, I take it? Very good-looking indeed, and he seems to have surpassed you in looks.” Hua Fengliu smiled and did not deny any of that. Ye Futian was like their own son to them.
“But then again, a young man growing grey hair at such an age, eh. I wonder what he’s been through. I’m not sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, but if he really has something that he can’t get over with, well, time shall be the remedy to all things,” the old man said in an advisory tone. He was able to hear their tunes due to living so closeby. While the tunes were quiet, they had a tinge of sadness to them. The family seemed to have some stories to tell, so he came just to give them advice.
“Thank you, elder.” Hua Fengliu nodded.
“Alright, I’ve overstayed my welcome and I shall leave you be.” The old man left and Hua Fengliu sighed. Ye Futian’s hair had been grey every day for as long as they had been in the city. He had had a head of black hair when they came to Qingzhou City, yet his hair was all grey, almost as white as snow even. It was a sad thing for a young person to have a head of grey hair.
Hua Fengliu had no thoughts on anything else at the moment. He had only hoped that there would be good news coming from the Holy Zhi Palace. He did not want to see people show up suddenly and take Ye Futian away by force. He had already lost his beloved daughter, and he dared not think about any mishaps happening to his student, who he came to see as his son.
Qingzhou Lake had always been the most popular place in Qingzhou City. Ye Futian went to take strolls every day by the lakeside and play a tune there. Days passed and there seemed to be nothing much happening throughout the Nine States. But then again, he did not think about any of that as well.
Many who liked to go to the lake heard of a grey-haired young man who had been playing tunes by the lake every day for quite some time. It was said that he was extremely handsome. His dashing looks and exceptional bearing worked well with his grey hair, so much so that women tended to fall for him.
There had been girls from dubious places inviting the young man to come to their establishments often, yet he had never batted an eye for them. As a result, there had been many rumors regarding the grey-haired young man. Some claimed that he was missing some beloved who passed away or missing his first love, leading him to behave in such a manner. There were those who said that it was probably due to having been betrayed by someone he loved. He was so sad that he spent his days reminiscing the good old days, indulging himself in memories and refusing to move on.
However, none of them had been able to recognize him. While he had once been incredibly famous in Qingzhou City, even causing an earthquake there, all that had been a long time ago. The last time he had been seen in Qingzhou City was more than ten years ago. Those who came to hear about him might not have known him. Even those who had actually seen him all those years before probably would not recognize him due to his full head of grey hair.
Qingzhou Lake looked just as stunning that day. A boat moved along the water of the lake and a couple stood on the boat. The man was exceptionally handsome. He was over 30 years of age, exuding a unique charm. The woman was also extremely good-looking. While she was married, that had only added to her charm. Her long red dress showed her figure perfectly.
“Teacher Yang, madam.” Some who passed by recognized the two of them. It was obvious that they were rather renowned in Qingzhou City. The Yang clan and the Feng clan were both top-notch families in Qingzhou City. Yang Xiu had supreme talents and looked incredibly dashing, while the daughter of the Feng clan, Feng Qingxue, was just as exceptional in both her incredible looks and talent for training. Many were touched by the five years that Yang Xiu spent pursuing Feng Qingxue. Both of them were eventually married and it became quite a story in Qingzhou City.
Both Yang Xiu and Feng Qingxue taught at Qingzhou Academy. The academy was no longer what it used to be. A lot of things had happened and its overall strength far surpassed what it had once been. Both of them were of Dharma Plane powers. Feng Qingxue had spent years studying elsewhere before returning to the Qingzhou Academy several years later. Both of them nodded at the person who greeted them, looking amicable.
A tune was heard at the lake faraway. Both of them turned to the lake and saw a grey-haired figure playing the guqin, and many people gathered around to listen to him play.
“Qingxue, it’s been said that there has been a mystical figure showing up at the lakeside these days and that he plays a tune by the lake before leaving. There have been a lot of rumors about him. Some even claimed to witness his hair turning grey in an instant.” Yang Xiu said with a smile, “Furthermore, it seems that this guqin master is an exceptionally good-looking man, so much so that few in Qingzhou are able to compare. Many girls invited him to their boats and he never batted an eye. What do you think?”
“Since when did you become interested in things like that?” Feng Qingxue asked with a smile.
“Well, I’m still a dashing man myself. That man is said to be one whom none in Qingzhou City are able to compare to. I’d love to see if that is true,” Yang Xiu smiled and said.
“What if he actually is better-looking than you are?” Feng Qingxue asked with a smile.
“You kind of make it sound as if there’s nothing I can do about that. Though he could be better looking than me, he’s not going to steal my wife,” Yang Xiu smiled and said. The boat headed in that young man’s direction, reaching the shore gradually.
Feng Qingxue looked rather indifferent. She did not think of such things to begin with. However, when she came to listen to the tune, she was gradually pulled into the illustration of the tune. It was as if she was able to sense the purity of her youth from the tune itself.
The tune was flowing with a mystical charm, capable of bringing the thoughts of those within earshot back in time, reminiscing about their past. Feng Qingxue was unable to help but recall her youth. She was truly innocent back then, but stubborn and unruly as well, missing out on a good person. While she knew that said person would have blamed her for anything, she was nonetheless somewhat dejected whenever she recalled what happened between them.
While time had washed the matter away considerably, and having been married, she ceased to recall those times as she once did. There were times when the thoughts hit her and she still had a bit of sadness in her. But then again, there was also a bit of the good times mixed in. Those had been the best time of her youth after all.
“The guqin master has a very high skill indeed,” Yang Xiu praised as he came to be attracted by the tune as well. He turned to look at Feng Qingxue, who had also been attracted by the tune. He grew curious about the person playing it. The boat gradually came closer and her eyes turned to the figure playing the tune. As the distance between them closed and her sight grew clear, she was actually able to sense some familiarity from the man playing the guqin.
“Am I imagining things?” Feng Qingxue asked herself deep down. It was probably due to the memories being brought forth by the tune. However, her mind remained restless and she shuddered a bit.
The tune continued to flow into her ears. As the boat came increasingly close and she listened quietly, memories of bygone years that had never come to mind surfaced. The sense of familiarity filled her mind at the moment. Furthermore, as the boat got closer, the sense of familiarity grew increasingly intense. Feng Qingxue’s heart continued to race. She labored to see the face of the one who was playing the tune clearly.
The young man continued to play with all ten of his fingers. Strands of gray hair dangled before his brow, blocking his face. It was not until the tune was over that he began to lift his head up. When Feng Qingxue finally saw his face, her heart shuddered violently and her eyes reddened. She was unable to keep her tears from rolling down her face when she saw the head of grey hair clearly.
He was known all over the world. There was no one in the Nandou Nation who did not know his name, but she had no idea why his hair was all grey when she saw him again!