Zhe Zhi
Zhe Zhi 7.2

By the time Lu Xiuyan returned with the herbs, the sky was almost dark.

He personally brewed the medicine for Lu Xiuwen and helped him take it. Then he stayed by the bedside the entire night, causing his eyes to turn red.

After a couple of days of such torment, Lu Xiuwen’s condition finally began to improve. He was a bit more energetic, and he grabbed his younger brother’s hand, saying, “Xiuyan, I have a few things to instruct you about.”

Lu Xiuyan looked up and glanced at Duan Ling.

Duan Ling was tactful and immediately excused himself, leaving the room to give the two brothers privacy for their conversation.

The two of them stayed in the room talking for a good while. Afterward, Lu Xiuyan pushed the door open and said, “A-Ling, Da’ge wants you to come in.”

As he spoke, he patted Duan Ling’s shoulder.

Duan Ling’s heart skipped a beat, sensing something unusual. Once he entered the room, the first words Lu Xiuwen uttered were, “Shidi, do one thing for me.”

His tone was incredibly casual, just like back in the days of the cult when he had pointed at Duan Ling with a whip and said with a smile, “Shidi, do me a favor.”’

Sometimes it was catching venomous snakes, sometimes it was feeding poisonous insects, and there were other tasks as well… In any case, Duan Ling ended up suffering greatly every time. From then on, he realized that the more charming Lu Xiuwen’s smile, the worse luck others were to have.

But Duan Ling had become accustomed to this, so he couldn’t help but ask out of habit, “What is it?”

After asking, he almost wished he could bite off his own tongue. Things had changed, so why should he still listen to Lu Xiuwen’s instructions? One task after another, it was simply endless.

Lu Xiuwen was unaware of the many thoughts running through Duan Ling’s mind. He sat at the edge of the bed and asked, “When do you plan to leave this place?”

“I should have left earlier, but isn’t this because of your illness? I was afraid that Xiuyan might be overwhelmed with tasks, so I stayed a few more days.”

“When you leave, could you give me a ride along the way?”

Duan Ling was taken aback and said, “I thought you would stay to accompany Xiuyan.”

“I did have that intention initially, but I only had a minor illness and he became so concerned. If I were to have a serious relapse in the future, wouldn’t he die from anxiety? To spare Xiuyan from worrying, it’s better to leave earlier.”

“But you have no family or connections, where will you go alone?”

Lu Xiuwen remained silent, just looking at Duan Ling with a gentle smile.

Duan Ling suddenly felt his eyelids twitch.

“Isn’t Shidi’s home quite spacious? I’m sure you wouldn’t mind adding one more person for your meals.”

“…” What was this saying again? It’s easy to invite a deity, but difficult to send them away?

Having observed Duan Ling’s distressed expression enough, Lu Xiuwen finally spoke up, “I was just joking. Shidi, you only need to see me off from the valley. I’ll rent a small courtyard in a nearby town and hire a servant boy to take care of me. I can manage for a few months.”

Upon hearing this, Duan Ling immediately felt that something was amiss. “Would Xiuyan really feel at ease with that?”

“I told Xiuyan that you will accompany me in searching for a renowned doctor. With Shidi by my side, he’ll naturally be at ease.”

“…You’re even deceiving Xiuyan?”

Lu Xiuwen replied with a meaningful tone, “Mn, because Xiuyan is my younger brother, it’s even more so that I have to deceive him.”

Duan Ling finally realized the deep bond between these two brothers. Instead of letting Lu Xiuyan witness his elder brother’s deteriorating health, deceiving him might be a better choice after all.

After a moment of contemplation, he nodded and said, “I’ll go pack my things now. Once you’re better, we’ll set off.”

“Okay.”

It’s unclear how Lu Xiuwen persuaded his younger brother, but in any case, Lu Xiuyan believed his words wholeheartedly. Even the way he looked at Duan Ling had warmed up considerably. He detailed Duan Ling everything, big and small, about taking care of his elder brother. If not for his wife and child, he would have likely wanted to join them on their journey.

Several days later, Lu Xiuwen recovered from his illness, and as usual, Duan Ling carried him out of the valley on his back.

Due to the remote location, it took two days of travel by carriage to reach the nearest town. After settling into an inn, Lu Xiuwen waved his hand grandly and instructed Duan Ling to go rent a courtyard and hire a servant boy.

“Why is it me again?”

“I’m penniless at the moment, so I can only rely on Shidi’s assistance.”

“…” So he was supposed to provide the money as well?

“Is Shidi unwilling? No worries. Since Xiuyan lives nearby, I’ll just go back and ask him…”

“Enough! I’ll go.”

With a grim expression, Duan Ling stormed out of the room, only returning when it was almost dark.

Lu Xiuwen had already finished his dinner and was holding his chopsticks when he asked, “Is everything taken care of?”

“No.”

Lu Xiuwen raised an eyebrow in confusion.

Seeing that there were two sets of bowls and chopsticks on the table, Duan Ling sat down and began to eat. He said, “I went to the post station and sent letters to a few friends in the martial world, asking them to inquire about news regarding divine doctors.”

Lu Xiuwen’s hand holding the chopsticks paused, and he raised his head to look at him.

Duan Ling continued, “Let’s rest in the inn for the next few days. It won’t be too late to continue on our journey once we have definite news.”

“What does Shidi mean by this?”

“Of course, it’s to find a divine doctor to treat your illness. Although it seems unlikely, it’s better than waiting for death day by day.” Duan Ling paused for a moment and quickly added, fearing that Lu Xiuwen might misunderstand, “It’s not for your sake. It’s because I promised Xiuyan and I don’t want to disappoint him.”

“I understand, everything is for Xiuyan’s sake.”

After saying that, Lu Xiuwen lowered his head and focused on his meal. His eyes dropped down, making it difficult to discern the expression in his eyes, only the corners of his mouth seemed to curve upward in what appeared to be a faint smile.

gumgum[Translator]

if you see any typos, grammar, or translation mistakes, don't hesitate to let me know. thank you for reading!

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