Ji Yuan tried to sleep. The more he wanted to sleep, the more he couldn’t sleep. The time felt so long. Ji Yuan, who had always been optimistic, was tortured by loneliness and despair.
A huge thunder suddenly sounded, startling Ji Yuan.
Listening to thunder in this state brought Ji Yuan an unprecedented feeling, as if he were in the sky and felt the dance of thunder.
This mysterious feeling penetrated into his heart like lightning, sweeping away the fear, anxiety, depression and confusion in Ji Yuan’s heart, calming his heart.
“Hua la la……”
It did not take long for the rain to begin pouring down.
Ji Yuan’s eyelids trembled, and he heard the raindrops falling by his ears. He heard the rain hitting the ground, rocks, flowers and plants.
Time seemed to slow down at this moment.
“PATA…” “PATA…” “PATA…”
Drops of rain smashed into the leaves and the ground, transmitting a ripple.
The raindrop dripped into Jin Yuan’s heart, rippling out the darkness shrouded in between. With each ripple drew an outline of the world, providing a source of information. With tens of millions of ripples, a painting took shape. The leaves, treetops, floors, rocks, houses, rubble, flowers, and weeds, and animals fleeing in the rain, the outlines of all living things appear in Ji Yuan along with the sound of rain.
The painting had no color yet it was vivid and concrete, as if Ji Yuan was touching everything on the earth with each drop of rain.
Listening to the rain falls and a painting was created from the heart.
It is an indescribable experience, Ji Yuan forgot all his irritability, even forgot to breathe, there was a sense of stillness. The closer the objects the more clear it was, while objects at a further distance grew hazy.
‘So I’m really still on the mountain, and I’m lying in the dilapidated house. Is it a dilapidated temple? The heavy rain came suddenly, so there were many small animals fleeing in a hurry. How beautiful!’
Although he was still unable to move and open his eyes, there was a faint smile at the edge of his mouth.
His restlessness was relieved, and the supernatural hearing left Ji Yuan wondering if he had benefited from the game.
After a short while, Ji Yuan perked up as he finally heard the sound he was most looking forward to.
In the rain, a group of people swiftly marched, carrying a large wicker basket on their back. This kind of basket resembled the kind the ancient scholars used to carry on their travels to their exams. The difference was there was a covering cloth on the scholars’ basket, and this group’s baskets were significantly bigger.
Ji Yuan couldn’t hear their whole picture clearly as his range was limited, so he could only see the limbs, the baskets and the covers, with the face unclear.
It was not just the large baskets that made Ji Yuan puzzled. Some wore raincoats-like coats, while others did not. In short, they did not look like any modern raincoats at all.
“Come on, come on, let’s go! There’s a temple ahead!!!”
“Watch your step, the road is slippery in the rain !”
“Follow me, let’s take shelter from the rain and we will make a fire. Hurry up! Get going!”
In the crowd, there was someone occasionally reminding everyone to be careful and also someone occasionally urging them to speed up. There was also someone occasionally stopping to see if the people in the back managed to keep up.
After taking a turn at a few large trees and around an erect mountain rock, the man in charge finally saw the temple.
“Everyone holds on, we are at the temple. Take a look at those around you and see who’s left behind!”
“Everyone is here!!”
“Hurry into the temple, the rain is too cold! !”
The group of people quickened their pace as he spoke, storming into the temple.
“Hoo!!! This rain is so evil, it almost drench me to death!”
The man in charge was a man with a short beard who was also drenched like everyone else. He put the heavy basket down and then took off his raincoat.
He stretched his muscles and took a look at his group. There were a total of 12 people, no more nor less.
“Everyone put our goods over there. Liu Quan and Li Gui take out the charcoal, we will make a fire to warm up.”
“It’s drier over there. Go. Go put it over there!”
“There is still time to bake my clothes dry before putting the raincoat back on”
A group of people either moved the baskets or gathered firewood to make a fire. Others simply sweep the dry patch of the floor with the brush.
They were a group of merchants, and it’s not uncommon for them to travel over the mountains. It’s also common for them to encounter bad weather, so they always prepare dry wood, charcoal and other things in a basket to cope with the current situation.
The leader was called Zhang Shilin, his father was originally eager for him to study the book of the sages. Hoping that he would pass the imperial exam and enter the congregation of scholars (a.k.a Shilin), bringing honor and fortune to the Zhang family. Alas, he was not born to read books, later on, his family’s fortune had fallen. In order to make end meets, he diligently became a merchant.
As the leader, he had a lot of responsibilities and he needed to take into account the safety of the entire group. Naturally, he would be given some benefits. For example, now that everyone was busy, Zhang Shilin could knead his shoulders and relax, which no one complained about. Zhang Shilin’s role was obvious to all, and he was qualified as a good leader.
The temple is not big, it is only a few feet long and wide, and the three walls are relatively stable. There was no leakage of rain except that the eaves at the entrance were damaged, and that the two gates have long since collapsed and disappeared, allowing the cold wind to blow in from time to time.
The inside of the temple is even more dilapidated. Spider webs and animal dung were everywhere. The incense burner and the candlesticks toppled over on the table, impossible to have any tributes. Even worse, the clay statue of the mountain God had been damaged to the point where his head was nowhere to be seen.
“Thankfully this temple is still here. If the temple falls, there will be less places left to take shelter in Bullhip Mountain.”
Ji Yuan listened to the footsteps and conversations of these people.
Bullhip Mountain? Is this a dialect or just a wrong name?
It looks like these people were hiking buddies, carrying capes, tools, and such. At least they were not the kidnappers.
But the sound was clearly near. The temple was not big, he must have been in any corner of the temple, otherwise they would have been able to see him.
“Ah, brother Shilin, there’s someone here!!”
When Ji Yuan heard a nearby cry,, he heaved a huge sigh of relief in his heart. They finally found him. Next, they should call the police and ask for help. After that, he would be sent to the hospital. His life should be saved then.
Zhang Shilin rushed to the back of the statue, sure enough there was a man lying on his stomach. The merchants gather in groups of twos and threes to watch.
The man behind the statue had his eyes closed, his face unkempt, and his clothes ragged, not dead nor alive.
The young man who first spotted the beggar went closer, squatted down, prodded his nose and touched his forehead.
“Brother Shilin, this beggar is still breathing, but his forehead is burning. What should we do?”
What? Are you out of your mind? Go call the police!
If not for the fact that he could not speak, Ji Yuan would have shouted, but he hadn’t noticed that these people were calling him a beggar.
Zhang Shilin frowned and sighed.
“We are in the middle of nowhere and there is not much that we can do. He looks like he won’t last much longer. Give him some hot water and see if he’ll be able to drink. This damned world”
“Come on, let’s go. Let’s make a fire…”
The merchants shook their heads and sighed, and went away one after another.
Wait!! Wait! What are you doing? Why are you guys going away? Call the police!!
No! No way!
The reaction of these people was completely different from what Ji Yuan had imagined, causing him to both be shocked and panicked……
A dried up mushroom currently addicted to translating novels. Totally not on caffeine!