OMF V1C10 Help Is on the Way

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The news of the Zhongs’ pact with the heretic practitioner spread like a wildfire in their village and the surrounding ones. Mister Zhong didn’t believe his ears when he heard it for the first time. The rumors had assumed every possible shape by now: In some of them, it was even said that Zhong Jing Yi wasn’t the child of Mister Zhong but that the beautiful heretic practitioner was the father instead.
At least that version wasn’t really acknowledged by the people since Madam Zhong had grown up in the village and always behaved decently. Furthermore, only Miss Lian had seen the heretic practitioner with her own eyes and who knew how reliable the words a young, unmarried woman said about a stranger were? Maybe her description of the practitioner was more wishful thinking than genuine truth.
But even though that particular version was only short-lived Mister Zhong raged immensely because of the stories. With each passing day, the villagers looked at his wife more strangely and whispered more often and louder about his son. But when he said that those stories weren’t true the people only responded that he was just afraid and thus didn’t dare to speak about it.
Some even claimed the heretic practitioner had forbidden the Zhongs from ever uttering the truth. And if they didn’t comply, they’d be struck by thunder and find a cruel end. So, naturally, the Zhongs couldn’t speak about it.
Qiu Ling listened with worry as those rumors spread. Up until now, nobody had tried to hurt Jing He’s mortal body though so he held back. He was sure that the people would soon forget about the alleged heretic practitioner and not talk about it any longer.
However, he had no idea how little happened in the countryside that could divert the people’s attention. In the previous months, the villagers had over and over again told the story of how the daughter of the Hous had plunged into a mud hole near the edge of the forest and got stuck until two grown men had rescued her with combined efforts.
There wasn’t much truth to that story either. Rather one of the boys next door, namely the son of the Pans, had pushed the girl that then only slipped on the muddy ground. She hadn’t gotten stuck in a hole at all. Instead, a second boy, the son of the Ouyangs who was known as the most reasonable of his age group and was said to have a good future ahead of him, had helped her up and brought her back to the village. The men of the village had only heard of it later. Of course, from Madam Pan who had told the story to Mister Pi first of all.
Qiu Ling couldn’t even imagine how far the truth could bend at a place like the village of the Zhongs and thus he only looked on while the story about Zhong Jing Yi’s birth changed more and more.
Finally, the rumors reached the ears of Madam Qiguan from one of the surrounding villages whose youngest son had recently joined a deity sect and had — at least in the eyes of the normal villagers — become a daoist immortal, too. With her eyes shining with joy, Madam Qiguan hurried to the paddy where Mister Pi worked. He was one of the few in the vicinity that knew how to write a little. One of the reasons he always acted cultured.
“Mister Pi, Mister Pi!” Snuffling, she halted in front of him and motioned for him to follow her to the edge of the paddy.
Only too happily Mister Pi stopped his work and followed her. “Madam Qiguan, what led you here and that so hurriedly?”
“I just heard about the child of the Zhongs!”
“Shhh!” Mister Pi looked around hastily and indeed, Mister Zhong who didn’t work far from them on the paddy lifted his head. “A delicate issue. One can only feel sorry toward the Zhongs. Maybe it would have been better to not have a child at all rather than to create one with dark magic.”
Madam Qiguan nodded eagerly. “Indeed, indeed. But maybe they can still be helped?” Madam Qiguan shot Mister Pi an insinuating gaze.
“That would be great for the Zhongs …”
“Yes, indeed.” Madam Qiguan folded her hands and lowered her voice with a look at Mister Zhong. “You certainly still know that my son, Cheng Da, was admitted to a deity sect previously. He is a practitioner now, too. A good one, of course,” she added with yet another glance at Mister Zhong. Under no circumstances could she allow people to link her son with the heretic practitioner of the Zhongs. “Anyway, I’m sure my son would know of a way to help the Zhongs.”
“That would be great.” Mister Pi ran his hand over his chin thoughtfully. “But the deity sect is far away, no?”
“Indeed, indeed. Regrettably, that is the case. But if you could help me write a letter … Isn’t Mister Mao going to the city next week? The deity sect isn’t far from there. He could take the letter with him and have someone deliver it while he does his business.”
Mister Pi lifted his brows. That was indeed so! If he helped her to write the letter, could he be present when Qiguan Cheng Da came to examine the child? “Ah, Madam Qiguan, we shouldn’t waste any time with something like that. The Zhongs already had to wait that long. The sooner they get good news, the better. Please, after you.” He motioned to the path to the village.
Only a couple of days later, at the beginning of the next week, the letter left the village of the Zhongs with Mister Mao who knew nothing of its content. And two weeks later, he arrived at the Yun Zou Sect and in the hands of Qiguan Cheng Da who then returned home together with Mister Mao.
The next morning, Qiguan Cheng Da stepped into the Zhongs’ village with his mother.

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