Commander Qin is stunned. He isn’t expecting Lin Luoran’s question.
He never tells Baojia about some things in the past. However, he feels comfortable to tell Lin Luoran the story because she is a cultivator.
“Luoran, do you blame me for being nosy and says things like the Taoist root to Liu Zheng?”
Lin Luoran shakes her head and answers, “I’ve been following the path of cultivation for a short time. My masters never tell me things like that. I only ask you out of my own curiosity.”
They are in the villa of the Qin family so there is no need to worry about being overheard. Commander Qin sits down in Baojia’s room and starts to tell the story of his family.
“In fact, my grandmother, who is Baojia’s great grandmother, was a cultivator, just like you…”
Lin Luoran is shocked by the first sentence Commander Qin says. It turns out that Baojia is also the offspring of cultivators?
“Don’t be surprised. I only got to know about this after I joined the army. In my memory, my grandmother was beautiful. She even didn’t look much older than my mother. My grandfather was a scholar in the late Qing Dynasty and he came from a well-off family. They said that the dowry of my grandmother was a huge luminous pearl, and thanks to it, the Qin family became even richer. However, my grandfather began to look down upon his wife who didn’t have her own family. Then he took his mother’s advice and had two pretty concubines…”
Commander Qin is quite awkward while talking about the indecent story of his grandfather. Though she is puzzled, Lin Luoran doesn’t pursue further in order to be considerate. A cultivator gave up her cultivation and married a scholar. It might be a beautiful story if they could live in harmony and grow old together. But her husband had two concubines… Lin Luoran shivers. If the same things happen to her, she may regret giving up cultivation and overreact.
“What happened then?”
“The Qin family had already declined since I could remember. It was the time when the war between the State of Huaxia and Japan was in a stalemate. The Qin family used to be famous in the central Sichuan Province. All of a sudden, it went broke. My father couldn’t stand such a fall and secretly joined the army… Later, my father told me that on the night he sneaked out of the house, his mother seemed to know that he had planned to leave. She waited for him at the back door but didn’t try to stop him. His mother encouraged him that it was good that he wanted to serve the country. She gave him a jade pendant and told him never to let it leave his side.”
A jade pendant? Smart as Lin Luoran, she instantly knows that it is the key to the story. The jade pendant should be the amulet which Commander Qin’s grandmother gave her son!
Therefore, Commander Qin’s father became a soldier. However, he had been a rich young master for his whole life, and for several times, he almost died of shrapnel. Every time when his life was in danger, the jade pendant hanging on his chest would glow and make the shrapnel go off-track.
Commander Qin’s father discovered the capability of the jade pendant. Relying on this magical treasure, he made some remarkable contributions and his rank in the military rose a lot in a few years. Once in a field operation, a bullet came right at him. He didn’t react quickly enough and was hit by it. However, the jade pendant glowed and the bullet actually failed to go inside his body. The enemy was shocked by this miracle and retreated.
Commander Qin’s father made another huge contribution, but the jade stone broke into pieces like it had used up its energy. Though it was a pity, Commander Qin’s father couldn’t do anything about it and just stored the pieces away carefully.
Half a month later, a crazy old man broke into the camp where Commander Qin’s father stayed at night. Back then, Commander Qin’s father was already in high positions. His camp was surrounded by soldiers and nobody knew where the man came from.
The crazy cultivator lifted Commander Qin’s father from the bed and inquired him the whereabouts of the jade pendant.
Commander Qin’s father was alarmed when he heard the man asking about the jade pendant. The pendant his mother gave him was magical. How could a crazy old man know about this?
He tried to move but only to find himself strengthless and numb. Moments later, the crazy man found the jade pendant he hid away.
Looking at the jade pendant in pieces, the man yelled to the sky. His insane voice sounded dismal, “My Yue’er… Yue’er…”
Being lifted by the neck, Commander Qin’s father’s face went red. He stumbled, “Who are you… How do you know my mother?” Yue’er was the nickname of his mother, the woman who seemed to never grow old. Her full name was Jiang Mingyue (“Jiang” means “river” and “Mingyue” means “bright moon” in Mandarin), and she was indeed beautiful as a bright moon over the river.
The craziness in the man’s eyes drifted away. He muttered, “Right, if this is not her child, she will never give her pendant of life to him…” A while later, the man returned to his crazy self. He chocked Commander Qin’s father harder and said, “You did it to her! It was your fault! If she didn’t lose so much vital essence while giving birth to you, she might still be saved even her pendant of life was broken… Now, it’s too late…”
Commander Qin didn’t understand what the crazy man was talking about. He only knew that it was about his mother and something might be wrong. A sense of dark foreboding rose in his heart. Before he asked for more details, the crazy man let go of him and ran away.
Commander Qin’s father followed out. One second before, the crazy man was at the door, and the next second, he was meters away.
“Master, my mother…” Commander Qin realized that the man was a cultivator, and he called out. With a blink of an eye, the crazy cultivator was further away, but his voice came, “I told you that there was a gap between cultivators and mortals, but you didn’t listen. You did give birth to trash who didn’t have the Taoist root. Ha ha… What a trash!”
Commander Qin stops here and takes a sip of tea with a deep sigh.
This is the first time Lin Luoran hears about stories about the Taoist School. She asks cautiously, “Your grandmother… Was she alright?” Even as an amateur, Lin Luoran knows that a broken pendant of life means no good.
Commander Qin nods, “My father was occupied by the war. He wrote a letter home and received a letter in reply saying that everything was ok… When the war was over and he returned home, people told him that his mother started to look older since he left. Thus, his father looked even down upon her and days got harder and harder… One day, she coughed blood. Her illness came acutely and she passed away days later. Afterwards, my father realized that my grandmother started to cough blood on the exact day the jade pendant was broken.”
The story ends here. Lin Luoran feels sad and sighs in her heart.
Jiang Mingyue. Lin Luoran can imagine what a beautiful female cultivator Jiang Mingyue was only by hearing her name. She gave up cultivation in pursuit of the desire of mortals, and her story ended with a lonely death.
Years pass, the moonlight over the river is still bright as usual. If Commander Qin’s grandmother could know how her story ended, would she regret?
Out of no reason, sadness fills Lin Luoran’s heart. She switches the topic with a forced smile, “What about the crazy cultivator? Did he ever show up again?”