Chapter 114: Seventh World (18)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Liu Tao’s hometown was remote and backward, so it was very difficult to go there at once. Bai Duan and Liu Tao first took the train, then took several long-distance buses, and finally came to the small county near Liu Tao’s hometown.
As soon as he got out of the coach station, Bai Duan heard an old, hoarse, uncertain voice, “I’m not sure…. Tao Zi?”
He and Liu Tao turned around and saw a thin, gray haired middle-aged man standing in the bustling crowd, his eyes full of excitement and joy.
Liu Tao stepped in, immediately showed the same eager smile, ran to the middle-aged man, gave him a strong hug, “Dad!”
He didn’t see his son for a year. Papa Liu looked proudly at his son who was becoming more and more excellent. He had full words in his chest to say, but didn’t know how to express them. Finally, he could only pat Liu Tao on the back, “Okay! Good! You came back safe!”
“Dad, why did you come to pick me up?” Liu Tao smiled at Papa Liu and said strangely, “When I was a freshman, you let me walk back myself. I walked for hours!”
“You are a child who grew up in the mountains and can walk for a few hours and yet you still feel aggrieved? Can you compare with Master Bai?” Papa Liu glared at him, rubbed his hands and looked at Bai Duan, with some care and enthusiasm in his tone, “This…are you Master Bai?”
“Uncle,” Bai Duan nodded to Papa Liu, “you can call me Bai Duan or Little Duan.”
Anyway, he was also his future father-in-law. The name ‘Master Bai’ was really awkward.
“No, no! You are an Onmyoji! You helped our Er Ya!” Papa Liu waved his hand. He didn’t dare to give up his ‘honorific title,’ but he finally changed under the persuasion of Bai Duan and Liu Tao. After all, Master Bai was not used to such a title and didn’t listen well, so everything was subject to the wishes of the Onmyoji.
Delivering the fruit he brought to quench Master Bai’s thirst, Liu Fu eagerly took him and Liu Tao to walk out, explaining with embarrassment, “Next, it’s going to be a mountain road. It’s not easy to walk. I drove a tractor, and I hope you won’t feel aggrieved.”
“Oh, is this a shuttle?” Liu Tao raised his eyebrows, turned to Bai Duan and squeezed his eyes, “I can enjoy this treatment, thanks to Master Bai.”
Bai Duan stretched out his hand and pulled Liu Tao’s arm, which was wrapped around his waist. He gave him a dim stare, which made him smile at Liu Fu, who turned around, “Hard work is only for you.”
Liu Fu continued to call it ‘not hard.’ He was more and more fond of Bai Duan, a talented and approachable Onmyoji. He saw his son walking with Bai Duan side by side. His words and deeds were intimate, and his smile was more and more brilliant.
Bai Duan looked at Liu Fu in silence. It was really hard to imagine how the simple farmer would look when he learned the real relationship between himself and Liu Tao. In fact, there was a little bit of guilt, but this guilt could not shake Bai Duan’s determination to stick to his feelings.
With Liu Tao and his luggage, he sat in the back of the tractor. Bai Duan had a chat with Papa Liu, and at the same time went to Liu Tao’s hometown in the mountains.
A while ago, it had rained, which made the dirt road in the mountains more rugged and muddy. The tractor didn’t dare to speed up at all, for fear that the tires would sink into the mud. The speed was not much faster than walking.
Although the speed was slow, Liu Fu’s driving skill was passable, and there was no emergency along the way so they safely arrived in the village before sunset. Thanks to the visit of the benefactor from Liu Tao, the Liu family took action early. Even other people in the village knew that there was a big man in the Liu family, who was said to be a great Onmyoji, who had helped the Liu family.
When the tractor drove into the village, almost all the villagers came out of their houses to see the great master Bai, and Bai Duan did not disappoint them.
Although sitting on the tractor, Bai Duan’s elegance and dignity accumulated in several worlds was not damaged at all. He didn’t need to cover up his demeanor and temperament as Liu Tao did, and make himself ordinary. Even because he wanted to show his excellence in front of his lover’s ‘family,’ he pays special attention to his every move.
Bai Duan, with a handsome face and noble temperament, was like a fairy in the eyes of the villagers, more elegant and noble than the Liu family’s second daughter, who just came back from the big city. Although the old gentleman with good manners was more in line with their fantasy about the profession of ‘Onmyoji,’ the universal rule of Yan value still allowed them to accept the ‘Onmyoji’ without any struggle because of this handsome young man.
Liu Tao’s mother stood at the door of her home, watching Bai Duan and her son get off the tractor, but she didn’t dare to talk to the other. The eldest sister who came to help from her husband’s house was next to her mother, at a loss.
Fortunately, second sister Liu Yun was not so introverted. Seeing that the atmosphere of the meeting seemed awkward and stiff, she hurriedly came forward and smiled warmly at Bai Duan, “Master Bai, you are finally here. Our family has been looking forward to the opportunity to thank you face to face!”
To be honest, the Liu family was grateful and awed by Bai Duan, and they knew that their family conditions were very poor. If Liu Yun didn’t help and bring back a lot of money to improve their family situation, the Liu parents would never dare to invite this ‘Master Bai’ to their home to suffer.
Liu Yun’s coming forward not only eased the Liu family’s tension, but also relieved Bai Duan. He smiled at Liu Yun, “Second Sister, I haven’t seen you for a while, you… It seems to have changed a lot. “
Liu Yun used to be fashionable and beautiful, and her delicate makeup was like her mask, which covered her joys and sorrows. Now, Liu Yun’s plain face and clothes turned into simple and convenient farmhouse clothes, but the whole life was full of vitality and hope, as if she had come back to life.
“Is that so? Am I tanned? Letting the master laugh at my appearance…” Liu Yun was embarrassed and touched her skin, which was no longer smooth and tender, but had no regrets. She reached for Bai Duan’s arm, glanced at his brother and pushed his wife into the room. She talked about her life after returning home and her family.
Liu Tao followed them silently, but he couldn’t do any intimate acts with Bai Duan because he was curious in all directions. He could only swallow the sullen breath and greet the villagers with the same smile as usual.
Liu Yun, who was good at dancing and had a gentle and polite personality, soon relaxed the Liu family. Although she was still a little nervous, she didn’t dare to say a word.
After a little exchange of greetings, the people quickly sat down at the newly purchased wooden table. On the table, there were a lot of dishes, which were not exquisite, but were very attentive. The meat and vegetables were well matched. Moreover, the ingredients were carefully raised and planted by the villagers. They were natural, pollution-free, fresh, crisp and delicious.
Between pushing the cup and changing the cup, the estrangement between Bai Duan and the Liu family went to another level. He first talked about Liu Tao’s life in school, and then, according to the curiosity of the Liu family, said some spiritual events he had experienced and dealt with. Of course, Bai Duan had just started to talk about a few things. He simply picked up the interesting records in the notes of his ancestors and said them, which made the Liu family marvel, and looked at Bai Duan with reverence.
During the conversation, Bai Duan paid attention to the Liu family’s reaction all the time and tried to talk about some topics they were interested in. Of course, he also found that Elder Sister Liu had been fidgety all the time and seemed to want to say something, but she was always secretly stopped by Mama Liu. Her face became more anxious and worried.
Bai Duan turned to look at elder sister Liu and said, “Elder Sister, it seems that you need my help?”
Hearing Bai Duan’s inquiry, Elder Sister Liu’s eyes brightened, while the rest of the Liu family looked up, rather embarrassed.
“Little Duan, you’ve just come here. You’re so tired. We shouldn’t let you worry…” Liu Fu rubbed his hands and glared at his eldest daughter with discontent, “but my eldest daughter… She just can’t hold her breath!”
“I’m in a good spirit. If you need my help, please let me know.” Bai Duan naturally wouldn’t let go of the chance to please the family and responded with alacrity.
Elder Sister Liu glanced at her father’s face, saw that he had no further objection, and quickly thanked Bai Duan and told him what was pressing on her mind.
It was not Elder Sister Liu, but her husband’s elder sister, her eldest aunt. The eldest sister-in-law had a six-year-old son, who was fierce and as lovely as Jade Snow. However, when he was three years old, he fell into the pond. Although he was rescued in time, he became stupid since then and hadn’t improved at all.
The people in the village said that the child was frightened and lost his soul, but they asked the most famous shenpo in eight villages to summon his soul, but it didn’t work. Later, some people said that they could only believe in science, so they sent the child to the town’s hospital for treatment, but several hospitals later, they still didn’t find any problems. Gradually, everyone felt that the child was a lost cause. Only the eldest aunt refused to give up.
This time she heard that the Liu family asked help from a talented Onmyoji. The eldest aunt immediately found the eldest sister of the Liu family, knelt on the ground and begged her to help her child. The eldest sister of the Liu family was soft and kind-hearted. She was in love with her little nephew, who got in trouble at a young age. She couldn’t stand the entreaties of her eldest sister-in-law. She soon agreed.
After listening to Elder Sister Liu’s narration, Bai Duan couldn’t help since he hadn’t dealt with any similar situations, and he was not sure whether he could succeed or not.
After pondering for a moment, Bai Duan nodded, “I can try it, but I need to see the child first.” Bai Duan frowned and had to pour cold water on Elder Sister Liu, who was ecstatic. “However, if it’s really soul separation, and it’s been more than three years since, basically… It’s hard. You have to prepare the child’s parents.”
Elder Sister Liu’s smile, which had not yet been fully revealed, was stagnant, and finally turned into a sigh, “Don’t worry, Master, I will tell my eldest aunt. We are not unreasonable people, and will certainly thank you…” After a pause, she hesitated, “When can you see the child?”
“I can do it any time.” Bai Duan also understood the family’s eagerness, “If it’s convenient, then let’s go tomorrow morning.”