Last chapter recap: Kong Hou prepares to travel.
Chapter 25: Giving Medicine
Hearing someone else actually liked Talented Author’s books just like she did, Kong Hou was curious and turned back to look. The man dressed in plain brocade robes was walking over, his hair completely neat and not one strand out of place. This was an extremely clean and tidy person, so clean that people felt having him touch any dust or dirt was a crime.
Kong Hou blinked her large eyes, and moved a step back.
The man nodded minutely to her. Looking at the book in her hand, his slightly sickly features relaxed. “Apologies, I’ve interrupted you two.”
He most likely did not smile frequently. His pale lips curved upwards slightly, appearing slightly uneasy but still good-looking. Truthfully, people who were very good-looking, even if they were crying, they were still better looking than other people who were smiling.
“No.” Kong Hou recovered and returned a big smile to the other person. “I’m just passing by and buying books.”
The man coughed. “Just now, I heard the conversation between you and the owner from the door. You… also like this person’s books?”
“Also?” Kong Hou’s eyes lit up. Did this good-looking man also like Talented Author’s books? Thinking of this, she nodded happily. “Yes, his plots are spectacular, the protagonists are strong and likable. I have many of his books. If you like them…” She wanted to say, if you like them, I can lend them to you. But remembering that she was going to leave Harmonious City right after, she smiled embarrassedly. “If I were not going on a trip, I would lend them to you.”
“You are leaving the city?” The man looked at the snowflakes outside. He said with slight worry, “The wind and snow outside are heavy, and the minds of cultivators outside Harmonious City are hard to predict. If Miss is going out of the city, you have to be careful.”
“Thank you, I will be careful.” Kong Hou did not feel the kindness of strangers was meddlesome. She bowed to the other person. Turning, she said to the bookstore owner. “Owner, you have to save them for me. When I am back, I’ll come here.”
“Honored Transcendent, I will keep them for you,” the bookstore owner said and added, “I will save them for you. My sons and grandsons will do the same.” Some of these honored transcendents would take decades on a trip. He feared he might not last until then, so he added his sons and grandsons.
“Owner, you are such a comedian.” Kong Hou handed over some spirit stones. “This is the deposit. Farewell.”
“Honored Transcendent, have a good journey. This one will wait for your return.” The bookstore owner sent Kong Hou off with a smile before saying politely to the man. “Sir, please wait. I will get your book now.”
He found several of Talented Author’s books in the cabinets. The bookstore owner wanted to hand them to the man, but when he saw the other’s clean brocade robes and his jade-like hands, he found a handkerchief and cleaned the books. He handed them to the man with both hands. “Sir, please.”
“Thank you for your trouble.” The man’s gaze was aloof as he took the books in hand. The bookstore owner saw the almost sparkling clean hand and felt putting such bad books into this person’s hand was dirtying the other’s cleanliness. The bookstore owner who usually liked to advertise his bookstore didn’t dare to say an extra word in front of this noble gentleman who did not look to be in good health.
But he hadn’t expected this noble person to speak to him.
“That celestial is a member of Splendid Cloud Sect?”
“Sir has good eyes. The honored transcendent isn’t just a member of Splendid Cloud Sect; she is an apprentice.” When the bookstore owner spoke of Splendid Cloud Sect, his voice became proud. For the citizens of Harmonious City, Splendid Cloud Sect’s honor was their pride. “When she first came to my shop, she was still a young child with two hairbuns. In the flash of an eye, she became a Base Building cultivator. Don’t you think her strong?”
The man nodded and handed spirit stones to the bookstore owner.
“These books do not cost so much.” The bookstore owner only took one spirit stone and gave the man back forty jade coins. “Sir, you are a foreigner, but Harmonious City does business with sincerity. Foreigners and locals all get the same price. These books are not worth much—do not give me so much.”
The man put away the jade stones. He smoothed a hand over the storybooks, his movements gentle as though he was touching treasure. “These books are not valuable?”
“This Talented Author is not a famous author, so his books naturally aren’t as expensive as other people’s. That honored transcendent is most likely the reader in Harmonious City who likes Talented Author the most.” The bookstore owner saw the man’s expression was slightly cold and thought he had said too much. He paused and hurriedly said, “Customer, do you have any other requests?”
“No need.” The man put the books away. He turned and walked out, seeming to meld into one with the snowy weather.
Harmonious City had four gates. Kong Hou chose the east gate. To the east of Harmonious City were several prosperous cities and many small cities, each of them with cultivation sects. Kong Hou had heard Ling Hui Shijie mention there was a sect called Water Moon Study. The disciples there were all beautiful girls. They made good wine, beautiful clothes. When they fought, they were goddesses dancing. She, she wanted to see.
No matter what, watching beautiful girls would make people feel pleased.
Harmonious City’s streets were covered with snow. Kong Hou walked slowly and with focus. She observed every person she passed, listened to their conversation and gave a relaxed smile.
Harmonious City was large, but even the largest city had an end. She looked at the tall gates. Kong Hou turned to look at the prosperous streets and then moved forward with determination.
Walking out of the eastern gates, Kong Hou hadn’t yet jumped onto her flying sword when she heard bells behind her. A carriage pulled by two white horses was coming out of the city. The bells on the horses’ necks rang as the tassels flew in the air.
The carriage driver was a middle-aged man with the aura of a cultivator. However, Kong Hou could not see the other’s cultivation. This meant that the other had much higher cultivation than she did, so she moved to the side.
The first rule of going outside was to not posture in front of people stronger than oneself. In the storybooks, people that dared to posture would die quickly.
The carriage slowly stopped when it was about to pass her. Kong Hou took a deep breath. It was here, it was here—the trend of being inexplicably involved in trouble when outside was about to occur to her!
The curtain lifted and revealed a handsome and familiar face.
“Miss?” The man looked at her with surprise. He seemed to want to say something, but he suddenly started coughing. He hurriedly covered his mouth with a clean handkerchief, turning his face away from her.
A good-looking man was so good-looking even when coughing.
Kong Hou saw the other’s face flush with red as though he would soon die. She took out a pill from her storage ring and went on tiptoes to hand it to him. “I am a disciple of Splendid Cloud Sect. This is a pill that the sect elder made. If you eat it, you may be more comfortable.”
If she randomly gave out medicine, other people wouldn’t dare to eat it. If she stated her identity, the other may be reassured.
When she thought of this, Kong Hou sighed inwardly. Before leaving, she had vowed that she would not resolve matters she encountered relying on the reputation of her sect. Not even half a day after leaving, she was already relying on the reputation of her sect to get people’s trust.
Fortunately, she had not spoken the vow out loud. She would pretend it did not exist. Words that were not spoken could be taken back at any time.
“Many thanks, Miss.” The man took the pill and swallowed it without hesitation. The middle-aged carriage driver looked at Kong Hou who was smiling beside the carriage. His eyes were half-lidded and he did not speak.
“You are welcome.” Kong Hou jumped onto her flying sword and said with a smile, “The snow and wind is heavy. Sir, if you are ill, wait for the snow to stop before travelling.” She saw this person’s sickly appearance. He appeared to not have any cultivation. It would be uncomfortable on a snowy day like this.
“Miss, thank you. However, this one has to go to Water Moon Study for a kind of medicine. This medicine is only found in winter, so I have to travel.” The man looked at the young woman floating above him. “This one’s mortal name is Huan Zhong. Thank you, Miss, for your medicine.”
“So that’s how it is.” Kong Hou saw this person seemed weak in health and speculated that the medicine was extremely important to him. “Then I hope that Sir will get your medicine quickly and be healthy.”
“Thank you, Miss, for your words.” Huan Zhong smiled. “Farewell.”
“Farewell.” Kong Hou saw the other not put down the curtain after saying farewell and tilted her head in puzzlement.
Noticing her movement, Huan Zhong laughed. After coughing, he said, “Miss, you first.”
So he was letting her go first. Kong Hou realized this and bowed to the other. She flew away on her flying sword. When she looked down, she could still see that carriage stopped by the eastern gates.
Mother-empress had once said to her that beautiful women were calamities. Then what was such a good-looking man? She hoped that he would be all right. So good-looking—if anything happened to him, it would be a pity.
A large span of area outside the city belonged to Harmonious City’s jurisdiction. Kong Hou did not fly quickly, so it took her a few days to get to the next city. Compared to Harmonious City, this city was much smaller but still bustling with people.
When she was entering the city, Kong Hou found the guards would have the ordinary people pay a toll, but not the cultivators. She did not understand. Cultivators should have more money, but why did they only demand money from ordinary people and not cultivators?
Entering the city, she found the streets were busy. Kong Hou was grandly dressed. Although she was young, ordinary people did not dare to offend her. While ordinary mortals could not see the cultivation of a cultivator, they could see the difference between ordinary people and cultivators. They would move aside respectfully for any cultivators.
“Inn, inn…” Kong Hou walked along the street and searched. If she did not find an inn to stay in, how could she call this travelling?
After searching around, she finally picked an inn with a wide courtyard. The front hall was where guests ate, and the rooms were most likely in the back. She walked in. Before she spoke, a worker came over and introduced the prices of the rooms.
“Celestial, if you need a pill-making room or a single courtyard, this shop has all that,” the worker said enthusiastically. “If there are any needs, just order us.”
“Miss, it is not safe for you to stay alone when travelling outside. How about living in my yard?” A man dressed in grand clothes who was eating spoke lazily. “My place is large, and I have servants. I will not slight Miss.”
Kong Hou looked at the speaker and her eyebrows twitched slightly.
Translator Ramblings: Talented Author is the opposite of his name. The effects of reading too many novels is showing on Kong Hou.