Knowing that Jing Yi didn’t have as many problems in the sect as she had feared, Si Fen didn’t inquire further. Obviously, the boy wasn’t willing to talk about matters too much or he already would’ve done so. It was probably for the best to let him deal with these matters on his own and only help him to get closer to his home so he could meet up with his fiance again.
In that manner, the group continued on their way, leaving the Haibin town further behind and finally leaving the Wu state for their last stop several weeks later.
The town they had arrived at was the biggest dwelling located this close to the border. It was situated at the edge of a bend in a sidearm of the river that marked the border.
Si Fen’s group had to stop in front of the town’s gates but nobody batted an eye at that. Most towns they had visited so far had been like this and thanks to her frequent travels, Si Fen often knew the people they came across. This time, she recognized one of the guards from her previous travels as well. She chatted with him for a moment while they waited for the others to check the carts before they were finally let inside. Si Fen waved at everyone to get into the town and the group approached an inn on the western side of the town.
Si Fen turned to look at Jing Yi while the servants helped to bring the horses to the stables and unpacked the goods on the carts. “This is the last stop ob our journey. I’ll deal with some things for the next three days. After that, I’ll have to return to Haibin town. We’re taking a slightly different route to stop at some other places but it won’t be the direction you have to go in anymore. So I’m afraid we’ll have to bid farewell here. I do know some people here so I can inquire if somebody is leaving in the direction of the Long kingdom anytime soon. Maybe they’d be willing to take you with you.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Thank you. I appreciate this very much. Without your help …”
Si Fen gently shook her head and patted his shoulder. “It’s alright. You’re really pitiful, being separated from your fiance like this and having to travel such a long time without knowing what has actually happened to him. That’s even worse than what I originally thought happened to you. But at the very least, as soon as you get to the Long kingdom, you’ll be able to go back to your normal life. I guess that’s something to be happy about.”
Jing Yi smiled. “That’s true.” He looked around and then motioned to where the others were working. “I should go and help out. You’ve done a lot for me. I shouldn’t take more advantage of that.”
“Mn, you do that.” Si Fen nodded and went inside to talk some things over with the owner of the inn.
Meanwhile, Jing Yi did as he had said and went to help the other servants, making sure that he did as much as he could so Si Fen couldn’t regret that she had helped him.
Soon enough, everything was ready and they went to the rooms Si Fen had gotten for them. Jing Yi was sharing a room with the same three servants that he had shared a room with at the other stops on their travel when they were lucky enough that they didn’t need to camp outside.
So far, he had gotten along well with everyone but this time, he couldn’t help but feel a bit strange. They had already spent so much time with each other but now, this might very well be one of the last days that he saw these people. Soon enough, they would return to the Haibin town while he would travel in the other direction.
It was probably a natural thing to happen. People crossed paths and then had to say goodbye. That was just how life was. It made him feel wistful nonetheless. Previously, he had hardly had contact with other people when he grew up in his village. Then, he had come to the Yun Zou Sect and there had been so many senior martial brothers and sisters that he had finally been able to have some more contact with other people. But he still hadn’t been very close to them. After all, most of his time had been spent doing chores and not actually interacting with them. It had only been Shao Hai and Xiao Dong he had more to do with.
This time around, things were different though. He had spent a lot of time with these people and even though most of them were older than him by not just a few years and had more or less tried to take care of him like they would take care of a younger brother, they had been interacting with him so much that he felt that he had gotten to know them quite a bit. Suddenly having to leave was a bit sad.
If he was honest, he might even regret his previous decisions a little. He had wanted to be a hero starting from the day his father died. It had been more than five years since then and he had always held fast to this thought. He had done everything he could to chase this dream.
But if he was honest with himself, he didn’t know much about the life of a hero. He also didn’t know much about other walks in life. Now, he had had the opportunity to take a peek at what life as a merchant was like. If the tragedy surrounding his father’s death had never happened, this might have been what became of him later on. After all, Shao Hai’s father was also a merchant. Maybe he would have had a similar experience when following Shao Hai?
He couldn’t help but think of all those possibilities but however much he thought, it wouldn’t change anything. Maybe this could have been his life but in the end, it wasn’t. He was bound to become a cultivator. He had invested a lot in this, as had Qiu Ling. By now, he could not turn back anymore. Still, he could feel a little sad about having to leave these people behind, couldn’t he?