Chapter 187: An Unexpected Flirting
Accompanied by the happy twittering of birds, the next daybreak arrived.
With a scream of surprise, the woman in white came back from her coma.
She sat bolt up, her impeccable face quite tense and alarmed. Regaining her constant vigilance at once, she looked all around. But when she got a clear view of the surroundings, her expression became startled.
“Where am I?” She wondered.
She then remembered the thing that happened last night and still felt weak for the lack of internal qi and blood.
The place she lay was a flat rock covered by a thin layer of dry grass, which looked like a hastily prepared bed. And there were no fetters or shackles at the place as she had imagined. What surprised her more was that she discovered the toxicant inside her had been cleaned. And judging by the refreshing environment, she was not in a dungeon confining prisoners.
“You are up?”
A familiar voice fluttered to her ears from nearby.
She instantly darted wary eyes to her side.
What she saw on the nearby sand shore of the lake was a smiley-faced, short-haired young man, who was sitting on a rock before a bonfire. He had put two big white fish on a pointed wooden skewer and poised it over the fire. Fish oil was dripping down the skewer, causing the fire to sizzle. A faint but tempting smell of the fish was suffusing the lakeshore.
“You! It’s you… That little monk called Nonsense?”
The woman in white yelled in shock.
Last night, she was on the run after being poisoned. Her vision was affected by the poison, so at that time she only had a vague feeling that someone had helped her out but did not recognize who that person was. Now, when she caught sight of Li Mu and associated him with the blurred scenes in her memory, she instantly came to know that it was this little monk who saved her, though she only met him once at Peace County.
“Merciful Buddha! Benefactor, we met again. I pay my respect to you.” Li Mu pressed his palms together as a Buddhist salute casually.
He decided to play along now that the woman in white still took him as a monk, for he did not want to expose his identity in the first place.
After recognizing Li Mu, the vigilance on the face of the woman in white faded a lot.
“You saved me last night?” She inquired in a tone of surprise.
Because she was well aware of the strength of her hunters. Last night, she was chased by three Great Masters as well as scores of dark-armored warriors in the Master Realm. How on earth did the monk rescue her from all those experts who aimed to hunt her down? Further, he looked quite untroubled by the incident and was clear of any wounds. Well, how did he achieve that?
“Yes, it’s me.” Li Mu nodded and then explained, “Ooh, merciful Buddha! Last night, I was just passing you, but they thought I was your accomplice. That leader of that Three Demons of Dragon Rock made to hit me, so I had to launch a counter-attack and then rescued you by the way.”
“You really escaped their deadly chasing?” The woman in white slowly stood up. Sensing her condition, she found this a bit unbelievable.
“No,” Li Mu turned the skewered fish over as he said, “I didn’t escape from their hunting but kicked their ass and forced them to flee in helter-skelter. Well, merciful Buddha, Amitabha, please pardon me. I’m so sorry that I accidentally killed a dozen people.”
“You…” The woman in white went dumbfounded.
“This monk, who claims that his Buddhist name used to be Madcap and now is Nonsense, is really one of a kind!”
“What really happened last night? It’s you who removed the poison inside me?” After noticing that her body was fine and her internal qi was also on the mend, she felt much less unnerved and then ambered towards the sand shore step by step, her expression much more relaxed.
Li Mu handed her one of the fully grilled fish to her along with the wooden skewer and recounted the whole thing.
“You killed the second and the third demons of the Three Demons of Dragon Rock? And you also finished off all those dark-armored warriors?” The woman in white dropped her jaw and could not help but question him again.
“Why can’t I?” Li Mu replied, “I am the best leader candidate of the Snow Mountain Wheel Temple in my generation. My master, Jiu Mozhi, the Wisdom King, is the unmatched wise expert. Well, from you Benefactor’s look, I can tell that you very much doubt what I am saying.”
The woman in white was even more speechless.
She, still, had no idea why his story was not very convincing to her even though he told it with pure honesty and sincerity.
“By the way, Miss Benefactor, I reckon what you should really be curious about are supposed to be matters like how come my blood can clear your toxicant, right?” said Li Mu as he happily bit off a chunk of the plump white fish, trying to steer the topic away from the dangerous waters. Since everything on this planet was untainted by the industrial revolution, the environment was all very natural. The lake was clear, the white fishes in the water were large and dumb, very easy to catch. Although he had no condiment at hand, the flavor of the grilled fish still tasted quite good.
As Li Mu pointed out the mystery, the woman in white immediately felt nonplussed about it. She nodded and asked, “Yeah, why could your blood take that kind of poison out?”
Li Mu then answered very frankly, “To tell you the truth, I don’t know, either. I guess perhaps it’s because I had caught and eaten tons of serpents when I was living on the snow-capped mountain in my childhood. Or else, it could be for the blood of the flood dragon that I drank a few days ago just before it began its transformation.”
The woman in white had no words to answer him.
“Well, that says not much.” She complained internally.
Then, she took a bite at the grilled fish. The flavor left in her mouth and on her white teeth. That was a refreshing taste she had never had. Given that she was hitten by an arrow and also poisoned last night, she was quite weak and famished at the moment. Thus, she tucked in unscrupulously. Before she knew it, she had finished the entire fish on the skewer.
“But aren’t you a monk? Why can you kill? And how come you eat fish?” The moment the woman in white blurted out the string of questions, the incident that happened at the mansion of those scoundrels in Peace County suddenly occurred to her. She immediately knew she could not get any valid answers from the monk, because he was basically a chatterbox and really good at false reasoning. She had seen him got tiresomely talkative the other day, and was clear that once he opened his mouth to argue, there was no end of it. Therefore, when she noticed that Li Mu seemed about to set on another explanation, she hastily waved at him in panic and said, “Forget it. No need to say a word. I know it all.”
“Er…” Li Mu reluctantly swallowed back the lengthy speech that he held in store for her.
Truthfully, he felt like making a little wicked joke now. He actually intended to mimic the chatty Tang Monk and toy with the goddess-like woman in white.
As Li Mu ate up his fish, he plunged into the lake with a flop. Shortly, he came up to the shore with several more moderate-sized white fish, butchered and cleaned them with proficiency, skewered them and then started grilling again.
Wind blew all the way to down the mountain.
It whistled past the woods. It was already autumn, so the temperature was rather low.
The woman in white felt a chill on her shoulder and looked around. Only then did she realize there was a large piece of cloth stripped off from her right shoulder, which almost stretched to her waist. But someone had covered that long opening with the front part of a robe rather clumsily.
Then, she cast appraising eyes upon Li Mu.
Quite innocently, Li Mu shrugged and said, “Your right shoulder was injured. The arrow that hit you carried strong poison. If I didn’t get the arrow out, I could not clean the toxicant. So…”
But the woman in white interrupted with a stern face. “Then why did you tear off such a long piece?” After all, the arrow only hit her shoulder, but the strip of opening extended to her backside. She could not help worrying if he had seen her body.
In a more innocent voice, Li Mu answered, “You also know you’re very attractive.”
“But why does that matter?” doubted the woman in white.
“As you know, you’re too beautiful, so I got a bit nervous when taking the arrow out. I was under a huge amount of pressure at that time. So, my hand was kind of shaky… and overdid it by accident.”
“You didn’t do it on purpose?” demanded the beautiful woman.
“Merciful Buddha, I am a monk. How can I do that kind of deed?”
“So… you’ve seen it all?”
“Merciful Buddha! In the eyes of a monk, no matter how beautiful one’s appearance is, it’s merely a good-looking skeleton. Benefactor, why mind it?”
“Well, now that you see me as nothing more than a good-looking skeleton, why did your hand get shaky?”
“Emm… it’s because…” Li Mu suddenly had no reply for that. “Fu*k, how come I can’t get out of my own way when talking to her?”
The woman in white stared at him piercingly.
A hint of embarrassment crept onto Li Mu’s face.
All of a sudden, the woman in white giggled.
That smile on her face made Li Mu feel that the freezing winter was repelled and the flowery spring just arrived. In a trice, his whole world seemed to have become warm and bright like spring. Without noticing it, Li Mu googled at her in a daze, a trickle of drool very cooperatively hanging at the corner of his mouth…
It was the first time that Li Mu saw the woman in white gave such a smile.
When this unparalleled drop-dead gorgeous woman smiled, even a heart of steel would soften.
“Whatsoever, you’re just a little monk. You even haven’t come of age. I figure it’s not a big deal even if you saw my back. Well, never mind.” Beaming, the woman in white threw Li Mu a glance. She looked peerlessly stunning.
Li Mu hurriedly wiped off his drool.
“Ooh, this is killing me, killing me, killing me…”
“How could there be such a gorgeous woman in the world? With simply a smile or a glance, she could make any man surrender, or even have an urge to die for her in spite of themselves.”
“Whoa, she is really a dangerous beauty.”
Li Mu repeatedly chanted the Buddhist doctrines inwardly.
“Gee, what a devil she is!”
“Amitabha! You, benefactor, are surely a wise person who can see through the vanity of life,” Li Mu flattered and said, “Next time when you get injured or poisoned, feel free to come to me.”
“Bah!” The woman in white pretended to be annoyed and then taunted, “A filthy mouth cannot utter decent language.”
After that, she snatched the just grilled white fish in Li Mu’s hand and started enjoying her meal without paying any attention to the monk.
Curiously, she felt relaxed as never before.
Particularly, when she caught the monk’s honest expression mingled by a trace of lewdness and heard him talking nonsense and arguing with all his false reasons, she was more at ease than listening to the justified and righteous speeches in usual days. She also registered that she was exceptionally tolerant towards this monk. If it were anyone else who saw part of her naked body, she certainly would do away with that man no matter how much she trusted him.
But the monk seemed to have a certain unique quality that made her temporarily put down all the fighting and scheming, forget her identity and responsibility, and just be like other carefree girls of her age. When he was around, she could empty her mind and get rid of all her worries for a brief period.
Li Mu also sniggered. With a fit of laughter, he also started to eat his share.
Intermittently, he was struck by a sudden flashback of that breathtaking shoulder curve and the dazzling white skin he saw as he accidentally stripped the clothes down to her waist… He, well, was still a virgin.
A while later, the woman in white was done with the fish.
She got to her feet and walked to the lake. Then, she bent down to look at her reflection while adjusting her long hair and doing makeup. Her slim and smooth fingers went back and forth through a cascade of thick, shining black hair. Her unmatched fair and delicate oval face looked serene and peaceful. Bathing in the sun, the outline of her face seemed to glow gold, which made her sacredly beautiful.
The scene was just like a perfect beauty portrait.
Li Mu watched it in silence.
After a short moment, the woman in white stood up and said, “Little monk, thank you for saving my life. Now, I’m going to hit the road.”