Zhao Xiaobao had brought Han Tianxing away from the house because Su Yeuhan needed to apply her ointment. They approached when they heard Su You’s shouts.
When Han Tianxing heard Su You’s explanations, his expression turned painful, clenched his teeth and kowtowed, “It’s all my fault, I have become a burden to you! I was the one who started this, how could I let you suffer instead? I must take responsibility for my actions, just let me die on this assignment, and we’ll be even!”
Han Tianxing’s words sounded so sincere that Chengfeng was moved, helping Han Tianxing up. “Since I have taken you in, I can’t push you back into the fire pit, can I? Or I’ll become a laughable man of no honour! Don’t worry, although it is an unreasonable assignment, we’ll survive this!”
Sobbing, Han Tianxing replied with warm tears in his eyes, “Senior Brother Chengfeng!”
Chengfeng patted his shoulder. “We’re brothers till death, you’re part of Hidden Sword Court now!”
Han Tianxing nodded hard, wiping his tears vigorously, “Mmm!”
Su You smiled bitterly as he watched them both. “Even if he wants to go refute the order, it’s too late. Once the document has been signed, you can’t reverse it! You must complete this assignment, and even if you can’t… you must!”
Chengfeng smiled. “So looks like the wood has already become the boat. If that’s the case, there’s no need to waste time thinking.” He turned to Su You, “Senior Su, I’ll go alone for this assignment, I don’t want to trouble my seniors for this.”
Su You’s lips parted, about to say something but never did.
Han Tianxing immediately offered, “Senior Brother, I’ll go with you!”
Chengfeng chuckled, “Why would you? To die?”
“You’re putting yourself in danger in place of me, how could I sit and watch?!”
Chengfeng grinned. “You’re just one more life to risk if you go. I can move faster alone, especially if I need to escape!”
Tianxing still wanted to speak but Chengfeng stopped him with a hand. “That’s enough, the decision has been made! I’ll leave tomorrow morning!”
Tianxing choked, “Senior Brother!”
Ignoring Tianxing, Chengfeng turned to speak to Su You. “Senior Su You, you should go practise array formations with Tianjun and Blockhead. I’ll be able to practise with you all when I return later!”
Forcing a smile, Su You stared awkwardly as Chengfeng turned to return to his room, which was also that laughable broken house. His heart was heavy, his emotions complicated.
Privately, they did want Chengfeng to take on the assignment because none of them wanted to risk their lives for Han Tianxing
They did not even know Tianxing, why would they want to take the bullet for him?
Avoiding danger is just a human instinct.
Chengfeng’s words had touched them but after the initial passion, their heads would eventually return to reason.
Why would they want to risk death for Han Tianxing? Just for a Court war cry? To prove that Hidden Sword Court protected every member?
But who would protect them?
THEY were supposed to be the young ones that needed protections!
This thought crept up like a demon, plaguing their hearts, especially when Su You knew that this assignment had a ninety percent chance of death. He felt fear, panic, frustration and shame.
But… this Junior Brother Chengfeng surely isn’t any ordinary person at all. The kid just took up the job without hesitation or attempt to push the responsibility.
He was a natural leader!
Although Chengfeng was a newcomer and ranked lowest, Su You respected him. No matter in terms of cultivation potential or human values, Su You was willing to see Chengfeng as a leader.
But… will he even come back alive?
Su You’s heart was so heavy he could not breathe. With so many thoughts, he could not even remember the path back to his quarters.
When Su You saw Tianjun wiping his own sword carefully, he was stunned for a moment, then asked, “What are you doing?”
Tianjun side-eyed him. “Do you really intend to let Junior Brother Chengfeng go alone?”
Su You couldn’t help but say, “You mean, you want to go with him?”
Tianjun grinned. “Of course I don’t want to!”
Su You heaved a sigh of relief but was privately frustrated: how could he feel no desire to go at all?!
But afterwards, Tianjun said, “Senior Brother Su, I have a question…”
“What is it?” Su You asked, puzzled.
Tianjun stopped wiping his sword and stared at Su You solemnly. “If Chengfeng dies on this mission and never comes back… do you think the Hidden Sword Court… still has hope?”
This question hit Su You like lightning.
Right. If Li Chengfeng died, would they still have any hope?
Before Li Chengfeng arrived, Su You had no hope for the future of the Court. Although Grand Senior Brother had successfully instigated war, what did they personally gain? And could Hidden Sword Court really live? If they did, who would be the one who would lead them out of the tough times?
Grand Senior Brother?
Su You subconsciously shook his head.
He thought for a while, then said to Tianjun, “Do you really think he has that much potential?”
Tianjun smiled. “It’s not what I think, I have no choice! Before he arrived, Hidden Sword seemed doomed but after that, consecutive impossible things have happened. I don’t know what he can do and I don’t know if he can bring the court out of this tough situation within a month. But I know that you can’t, I can’t, Blockhead can’t, Senior Brother Qin can’t, Grand Senior Brother… He can’t either!
“Only this youngest, lowest-ranked, and seemingly least-experienced, strange Junior Chengfeng… makes me feel like he has unlimited potential! I feel like there’s hope with him!”
Tianjun said with a straight face, “That is why I will go with him, either to protect or die with him, I must. If we succeed, I’ll then die making sure he becomes leader!”
“And if you don’t?”
Tianjun smiled bitterly. “Then I’ll still die willingly! At least I’m not wasting time suffering in this dark, hopeless place!”
Su You fell silent for a long time, frozen like a statue.
Snow outside the house melted slowly under sunlight, water dripped into the small drains beneath the roofs with a pitter-patter. They flowed downwards to a funnel that bobbed up and down with rhythm.
The funnel was made of bamboo and every time it filled, it would tilt down and empty its contents, finally bobbing up again with a clang.
The clanging went on for a while as Su You struggled with himself, his eyes bloodshot. With a strained voice, he asked, “What about Blockhead? Is he going?”
Tianjun smiled, “Is there even a need to ask? He wanted to save a person trapped in a sealed mine, do you think he’ll go?”
Su You took a deep breath and then let it out. “You are right… We… have no choice! Junior Brother Chengfeng is our only hope. If he dies… Then Hidden Sword will have no more hope!”
Tianjun grinned, “So you’ve made your decision?”
Su You gripped his sword and unsheathed it suddenly, filling the space with light reflecting off his sword!
He twanged his blade gently and said, “Alright, let’s all go then!” He then looked at Tianjun and they both smiled at the same time.
They were genuine smiles too!