Seeing Jing Yi’s downcast expression, the man couldn’t help but feel compassionate. This poor child was out here completely alone, far from home because somebody had played a cruel prank on him. He probably didn’t just not know how to get back, but didn’t even know how to live his life now either! Just where would he go? What would he eat each day? Could a child really get by without any help?
Thinking up to this point, the man was inwardly cursing Jing Yi’s fellow disciple and finally made up his mind to just help him out himself. Anyway, if you wanted to see something done, you had to get involved yourself. You couldn’t rely on others. Well, there was no way he could personally bring him back to the Long kingdom though. But he could at least arrange for him to safely get somewhat closer.
The man only hesitated a moment longer and finally grabbed Jing Yi by the shoulder, patting it heavily. “Alright, I wouldn’t be a good person if I didn’t help you out of this. You see, my cousin’s wife is a merchant. She travels around a lot and sometimes even leaves the Wu state for that. If I’m not wrong, then she has another journey scheduled in three days. She won’t go until the Long kingdom but at least she’ll leave the state. You can stay at our house for the time being and then leave with her. How does that sound?”
Jing Yi didn’t know what to say for a moment. This … It sounded a bit too good to be true. Naturally, it would be splendid if he could take this man up on his offer. He wasn’t too sure though. “This … I don’t have anything I could give in return though.” He looked really embarrassed.
Even when it had been the people in his own village, he hadn’t been willing to take anything from them. This was what he had been taught as a child by his parents: He couldn’t just take something from others if he didn’t give something in return. It just wasn’t right.
The man couldn’t help but feel even better about this child. Even when he was in such dire straits, he was still showing such decency. Such a good boy! “Well, if you’re adamant about giving something in return, then just help my cousin-in-law out on the journey. When trading, you can always use another pair of hands.”
Jing Yi only hesitated for a moment before he nodded, cupped his fists and bowed. “Thank you very much, uncle. If it’s like that, then I’d gladly accept your help. I owe you for this.”
The man waved and then gave a laugh. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure she’ll be delighted to have company as well. You know, she’s a very outgoing person.”
Jing Yi smiled lightly and nodded.
The man patted him on the shoulder and then motioned in the other direction. “Alright, how about I show you where we live? After that, we can go over and ask her right away. Maybe there’s even something you can help her prepare beforehand. Then you won’t have to be bored for these three days.”
Jing Yi readily nodded, prepared to do whatever he could to make up for the man’s help. After all, they were really doing him a big favor. Not only would he be able to get closer to the Long kingdom much faster than if he had to walk, but he was also very clear on the matter that this would likely not be the only help the man’s cousin-in-law would render him. After all, he had no money and no food. If she took him along, wouldn’t she also need to feed him? Sure, he could go off and search for some things but would he really have the time for that when they were out traveling? Probably not. So in that case, he would make even more trouble for her than it seemed at first glance.
All these things went through his head while he followed the man over to a simple house but he didn’t say any of that aloud. Anyway, he was very thankful. He’d just work extra hard when on the journey to make it worth for the man’s cousin-in-law. He couldn’t let them regret their decision.
Soon enough, Jing Yi had been dragged in front of the man’s whole family, ranging from his wife to his three children, two brothers, and five cousins. In the end, he was finally faced with the cousin-in-law the man had mentioned.
Looking at her, Jing Yi felt a bit stunned. She was a petite woman, more than a head shorter than him with thin limbs that made it look as if she would be blown over by the slightest gust of wind.
Even though the man had said that she was often traveling like this, he just couldn’t help himself but wonder how this woman was supposed to be a merchant. Wasn’t she afraid of traveling like that? It had to be strenuous for her to do that. And what about bandits? If she was attacked, she might be scared to death!
The woman smiled at him in a soothing manner, finally motioning for him to sit down at a table. “You should sit down and eat first. You probably didn’t have anything in a while if you’ve been lost like this.”
Jing Yi was a little embarrassed about being found out but he still nodded. “You should tell me if there’s anything I can help you with. I’ll do whatever I can to make up for your help.”
The woman just patted his head, not seeming to bother at all. Just like her cousin-in-law, she felt that she should take care of a cute child like this. Anyway, one small person like this wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Thus, three days later, Jing Yi set off in the direction of the Long kingdom in the early morning.