107 You Shouldn’t Stay
Lu Mingshu used her thoughts to enter the Heavenly Wheel.
Due to her debt, the functions of the Heavenly Wheel were shut down. The place that used to be lively became dull once again, and time passed slower. To just recuperate was too boring, so she came to the Heavenly Wheel, where she would read or chat with Xiao Sang.
However, the color of the wooden wheel had turned dark, and it had stopped rotating. A bright red number was in the middle of it: nine-hundred-and-eight.
Lu Mingshu smiled bitterly. Such a huge amount! I’m not even close to being able to pay it.
She used up her last bit of points to exchange for the advanced treatment, then her performance during the competition gained her a hundred new points. Adding up the interest for these last few days, she still owed the Heavenly Wheel nine-hundred-and-eight points.
Seeing that she still hadn’t recovered yet, there was no way she could earn any points for now. Lu Mingshu shrugged it away. After all, as the saying goes; when you’re covered in lice, you won’t feel itchy, when there’s a lot of debt, you won’t worry. Speaking of consequences, she doubted the Heavenly Wheel would actually ban her. It had invested quite a bit in Mingshu by giving her the advanced treatment, so banning her now would be quite a loss. It and Xiao Sang would think of a way to make her pay them back.
After earning a hundred points from the Heavenly Door competition, she realized that, not only could one earn points inside the Heavenly Wheel, one could do so outside as well! For now, there weren’t enough examples to prove her theory entirely, but when her theory was proven, it would be easy to earn points.
After reading for a while, sounds could be heard from outside.
Lu Mingshu opened her eyes and exited the Heavenly Wheel.
She saw Hui Niang ushering Liu Jizhen into her room while reporting her condition to him, “Miss has already taken her medicine and cleaned her wounds. She went out earlier to move around for a bit….”
Liu Jizhen nodded, “Later on, ask Ah Sheng to go down to the Truth Courtyard to collect medicine. Remember to tell him to take Mingshu’s tablet with him.”
Hui Niang went out to inform Ah Sheng. Liu Jizhen’s eyes met with Lu Mingshu’s.
Liu Jizhen put down the cup in his hand and walked toward her, “How are you feeling?”
“Okay,” she sat up, “but my whole body is sore.”
“Rest more then,” he smiled at her lazily. He went through this before, thus he was able to resonate with her.
Liu Jizhen proceeded to sit by her bedside.
“Master, do you want to tell me something?”
“Uh…” Liu Jizhen pondered for a while before continuing, “What are you going to do from now on?”
Lu Mingshu looked at him in confusion. What am I going to do from now on?
“Even though nothing will happen for a while, I doubt you will be able to get away from trouble totally,” Liu Jizhen emphasized each and every word he said. “You’re too outstanding, and the line of Jade Terrace has its eyes on you already. As for the Zhou family… I heard that they fought among themselves after that day.”
“Fought among themselves? You mean… internal strife?” Lu Mingshu was lost for words.
Liu Jizhen nodded, “Zhou’s Second Master came to the cloudy stage on his own accord. It wasn’t the Zhou family’s instructions.”
“No wonder Jie Wenhan was willing to be my witness.”
It all makes sense now.
“So, what is the Zhou’s planning now? Not only did they not find trouble with me, they even helped me. What do they want from me?”
“The current batch from the Zhou family doesn’t have any outstanding characters. If I’m not wrong, it should be Zhou Miaoru who is the decision-maker of the household currently.”
After she was married, Zhou Miaoru had been lowkey and didn’t care for things in the Nine Jade Palace since she wanted to be a good mother and wife. Gao Xiang didn’t know much about her either.
“Your stepmother,” Liu Jizhen teased Lu Mingshu, “if she had the talent for martial arts, your father would never have been the sect leader.”
This took Lu Mingshu by surprise. She never knew what Zhou Miaoru was like as a person because no one had ever mentioned it. Nine Jade Palace had always painted her as a good wife and loving mother, which Lu Mingshu didn’t buy at all. A kind woman would totally snatch someone’s husband and force the old wife to her death. The divorce paper wasn’t even written when Zhou Miaoru was married to Fu Shangqing!
However, from what Liu Jizhen said, it seemed like this Zhou Miaoru had some wild schemes. The Zhou family liked to marry their daughters away for benefit, and what Liu Jizhen said didn’t sound like what the Zhou family would do. Wait, didn’t Gao Xiang mention that the Zhou family wanted to marry Zhou Miaoru to Master!?
“Master, you seem to know her well, huh?”
Looking at her making a face, Liu Jizhen laughed out loud, “Did Gao Xiang tell you about that? Nah, I’m not emotionally entangled with her. I know her well because we grew up together in Nine Jade Palace, so of course I would know her better than outsiders. According to her style, she wouldn’t let you off so easily. She may even have other evil schemes against you.”
“Master, just get straight to the point.”
Liu Jizhen could feel his heart squeeze when he realized how young she still was.
“This coming year, there will be the Qilin Festival. The king of Zhongzhou has already sent out the invitations to the palace.” (Note: The Qilin is a mythical Chinese animal that is also known as the Chinese unicorn)
“King of Zhongzhou? The Qilin Festival?”
“Of the Five States, Zhongzhou and the sects have the closest relationship. The Seven Truths Platform in Zhongzhou is closest to the king. Every few years, the king will send out invitations to the Qilin festival, and every year, there will be a hero ranking. It’s a rare occasion that all the best martial artists will come and gather at one location in Zhongzhou.”
Lu Mingshu started to make sense of what Liu Jizhen was driving at, “What you mean is that… you wish to send me there?”
Liu Jizhen nodded, “You shouldn’t be trapped in the Nine Jade Palace. The world is huge; go out and take a look at what the world is like.”
Lu Mingshu remained silent for a long time.
“What’s wrong, do you have any worries?”
“Master, if I just leave like that, will anyone make things difficult for you?”
“Be at ease. Your Senior Uncle Zhuo can protect anyone without fail. Besides, why would they come for me when I’m not even against them?” He laughed.
“For now, it will be the best decision for you. You’ve trained so hard in the Green Jade Valley for years, it’s time for you to go out and gain some experience. The sect is also in a mess right now, so you should avoid it temporarily,” Liu Jizhen patted her head. “When the Qilin festival ends, don’t come back. Just take this chance to go and travel. Please be at ease, Master here promises you that, when you come back, me, Hui Niang, and Ah Sheng will be waiting for you, alive and kicking.”
After a long pause, Lu Mingshu replied to him softly, “Yes, Master.”
Smiling at her, Liu Jizhen got up and went back to his room. He sat down and stared blankly into space.
The things An Tongcheng said to him came to mind.
“That child shouldn’t be in the Nine Jade Palace anymore.”
Liu Jizhen’s hands started to tremble upon hearing that sentence.
“Grand Elder Yuan Xi gave her a piece of advice: the strongest one will break and the most powerful will be humiliated. That child is so outstanding that the Nine Jade Palace is just a quagmire with no place to accommodate her.”
Since there’s no place that will accommodate her, they would try to suppress her, or even destroy her so she would become someone like you – paralyzed and mediocre.
The latter half of the sentence went unsaid.
After a long pause, Liu Jizhen asked, “Is this Senior Uncle Zhuo’s idea?”
An Tongcheng smiled, “My master once said that your disciple shouldn’t be at the Nine Jade Palace. Anyway, we both know best what that woman Zhou Miaoru is like. I really do not hope to see Mingshu get schemed against by her. An eagle should be in the sky, not in a cage like a canary.”
A mix of feelings gushed up in Liu Jizhen. He poured himself another cup of wine and downed it.
Things now were just like wine; bitter at first, but sweet in the end.
Yes, she shouldn’t be here anymore. She deserves a better place.