The voice of an old man was heard, causing the two youngsters to halt. Their faces became dark. Visible beads of cold sweat could be seen on their foreheads.
'This voice belongs to—?!'
'It can't be! He said he will be back pretty late today! Don't tell me he came back early because he heard a wind master is coming here?'
Fa Sui's body shook. He slowly moved his eyeballs and looked to his left where the source of the voice had come from. Fa Sui saw someone with white hair that was tied up neatly. When he saw the grim expression on that wrinkled face, Fa Sui trembled.
'Sh*t! I am screwed!'
"What do you think you are doing? Making a fuss right in front of the entrance gate? Are you trying to embarrass your master’s family, ah?" Fa Rong asked, his brilliant eyes shone even though his body could no longer walk normally. His legs might be unable to function normally like they used to in the olden days but his hearing was still sharp. He called in a firm tone. "Sui, I thought I told you to finish your homework a week ago?"
The corner of Falcon’s eyes twitched. He looked at Fa Sui and communicated with his eyes.
'Really, a week ago?' he asked with disbelief.
'Shuush!' Fa Sui panickedly replied to him.
Fa Sui faced his uncle and nervously told him.
"Uh...umm Uncle, don't you think I have too much homework? I mean twenty books in a week is a bit... I am still a growing boy that also needs time to play and build a healthy social life."
"Because you are trying to find excuses, I will double your homework for this week."
Fa Sui could not say anything. He glanced at Falcon, pleading for help. Falcon only shook his head slightly.
There was no helping it.
"Also, remember to buy the ingredients in this list for me." Fa Rong handed him a scroll full of herbs' names and a small amount of money. "Falcon, I will tell Zhi Yu that you are skipping again."
Fa Sui and Falcon's dark expressions turned pale, their faces now devoid of any color. They glanced strongly at each other before nodding at the same time. With a nervous fast-beating heart, Falcon gave the signals.
One, two, run!
The two boys ran away from Fa Rong as fast as they could. "Eh, ah! Wait! You naughty kids, stop! Come back here!"
"Sorry, Uncle. A boy’s gotta have some fun!" Fa Sui said while climbing the roof. "I will be back and finish the homework later on."
Hu Zi and her father were about to go to the main house when they were met someone familiar.
"Good morning, General!" A man flew and landed right in front of them.
"Morning, Shou lad." The Great General was holding Hu Zi's hand and guiding her. He showed a helpless smile.
Hu Quan Li was already in his forties, being one of the youngest Great Generals in Jin history. His eyes were calm and clever, body healthy and strong. This Great General of Jin was one of the most formidable opponents in the continent. He used to be one of the late emperor's loyal attendants, having gone to countless wars with the late emperor.
The late emperor was the current emperor's younger brother from a different mother. It is said that he died of a certain injury he attained.
The late emperor really valued Great General Hu's skill and loyalty that before he passed away, he introduced him to his cousin from his mother's side, Hua Tian Mi, who then became Hu Quan Li's only wife. The late emperor also gifted this huge manor to him.
"I'm sorry, the girl is my first disciple, I can't conceal this excitement in me; please excuse this junior."
Shou had gone to the battlefield as an elemental force under the Great General Hu's command in the past. They seemed to have a close bond.
"Haha," Hu Zi let go of her father's hand and tried to catch Shou's, her hand grasping at the air. Shou patted her head, and she was finally able to catch his hand. "Welcome to our humble home, Master."
After sending her father off, who went back to the palace, Hu Zi and Shou went to the eastern side of the manor.
The three Hu siblings were taking history lessons at their school today. Hu Zi's mother, Lady Hua, was making sweets in the kitchen for them.
Hu Quan Li especially told the servants not to disturb them. They wouldn't dare... but taking a peek was fine, right?
"Can you feel this breeze, little one?" the wind on Hu Zi's feet rotated in a weird pattern. Hu Zi nodded.
"Then how about this?" Shou showed a mischievous smile. Hu Zi's skirt suddenly lifted up, showing a little bit of her pure white skin.
No one knew where she got it. Suddenly there was a fan in her hand, which she used to hit Shou's shoulder. "Shame on you!"
"Ahaha... I'm sorry." Shou laughed heartily. "What I showed you earlier is flow. It can change the wind's flow in the direction you want." Because Hu Zi was blind, Shou decided that she needed to be taught directly. He brought Hu Zi's hand to his mouth and lightly bit it. Hu Zi was startled, there was a drop of blood coming out of her index finger.
Shou made a small green wind blow on Hu Zi, she felt the cool breeze passing through her fingers. In an instant, her pain was gone and the wound was there no more. The energy inside the person's body is green in color to the human eyes. So when they blow the wind full of energy, the wind became green too.
"Can the wind heal too?" Hu Zi asked excitedly.
"Haha, no... The thing that made the healing progress faster is my energy. The wind just carried it you see.”
Hu Zi understood, she nodded.
"Now there is something even cooler." Shou created flow beneath Hu Zi's feet again but it was more concentrated. Suddenly she wasn't able to feel the stairs, she was in mid-air!
"Flying is a very helpful technique. It is also the most dangerous. If you fail and the wind stops moving, you will fall from the height you were at and possibly die. Don't worry, I did not lift you up to the roof, you won't die even if you fall from that height!"
In her panic, Hu Zi tried to reach for Shou's sleeve, but she had no idea where it was in her dark world!
Without anything that she could stand on or hold on to, she really felt like she was in a dark space—no sound, nothing. Even in her seven years of blindness, she never felt this lonely, this empty.
"Master, master! Please let me down."
"No! Calm down and you will know what to do." Shou answered with a firm and strict tone. "Don't you want to be strong? You told me you want to make your family proud of you!"
"Yes, I–I want to be strong!" Hu Zi tried to control her breath, and she finally managed to calm down.
Seeing that Hu Zi at last got the hang of it, Shou smiled. "Now, tell me, where am I standing?"
"Concentrate and sharpen your senses!"
Hu Zi concentrated. Focusing. She heard her masters’ breath, the sound of rustling leaves, and also the feeling of swirling wind surrounding her body.
Hu Zi might not know it, but it had already been two hours since the time Shou lifted her off the ground. Lady Hua, Hu Zi's mom, came and gave some steamed meat buns to Shou. She did not seem to be very surprised to see her daughter flying one-half of a meter off the ground. After exchanging bows with Shou, she left.
After another five hours, she raised her fan and threw it in Shou's direction, which was around two meters away on her right.
Shou caught the fan, lightly smiling. The sun was almost down because it was winter. Shou let Hu Zi down, and finally, she reached the ground. Shou patted her head. "What you learned just now is 'feel.' If you master it, you will be able to know the hairstyle of someone standing in front of you or even those across the mountain. This is the most suitable skill for you to learn."
Hu Zi was touched, just now when she was concentrating, she could clearly tell the human shape her master had. She felt a surge of excitement.
The training was harsh as she needed to hang in there for almost a day but it was worth it.
“I think you are gifted, Xiao Zi.” Shou praised her.
“Hehe.” Hu Zi grinned happily. “Maybe because I cannot see…”
Because she was used to the dark, sensing that someone is standing right in front of her was normal for her. But now, she could even sense the presence of other things that were a bit further away from her.
“You can take a rest now,” Shou told her.
“Okay, thank you, Master Shou.” Hu Zi smiled.
Shou guided Hu Zi to the stairs, where she sensed the lunch box.
“Is that from mother? When did she come?” Hu Zi eagerly picked up the lunch box. She opened it swiftly and reached her hand inside, only to realize that it was empty. “Eh? Master… don’t tell me that you ate them a–”
"If you can master feeling the air, there is a way to know whether your lunch box is empty or not without approaching it." Shou smirked.
With an irritated face, Hu Zi charged toward him.
"Yeah, of course, there is! And I do not need the wind to tell me. If Master is standing not far from it, it means he ate what was inside of it!"
Hu Zi slammed Shou down, but Shou caught her body and they rolled on the ground instead.
"Ahahaha!" Shou laughed heartily. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I will treat you to good meal next time.”