Reaching to the Sky

By Fēng Yù Jiǔ Qiū,Wind Resists Nine Autumns,Yu Pengcheng,风御九秋

Reaching to the Sky Chapter 1

Reaching to the Sky Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Night Rain in Chang'an

Night Rain in Chang'an

    In 540 AD, Weidu, Chang’an, late autumn.

    In 540 AD, Weidu, Chang’an, late autumn.

   It hasn't stopped raining since the afternoon. It started with a drizzle, then heavy rain began to fall endlessly in the evening. Few people had the willingness to go out because of the weather.

   It hasn't stopped raining since the afternoon. It started with a drizzle, then heavy rain began to fall endlessly in the evening. Few people had the willingness to go out because of the weather.

   Although it was still not that deep in the night, the sky was too dim already so the lights of the lanterns quickly filled the city. The lights extended its reach on some dozen miles of Dongcheng. It was the place where the imperial city was located, and where the rich people lived in luxury.

   Although it was still not that deep in the night, the sky was too dim already so the lights of the lanterns quickly filled the city. The lights extended its reach on some dozen miles of Dongcheng. It was the place where the imperial city was located, and where the rich people lived in luxury.

   The Xicheng District was where many civilians lived, but there were only a few who lived where the lights were. But northwest of Xicheng, one could see an even stronger light. It was brighter than the ordinary lights, and it seems to dance as it sways.

   The Xicheng District was where many civilians lived, but there were only a few who lived where the lights were. But northwest of Xicheng, one could see an even stronger light. It was brighter than the ordinary lights, and it seems to dance as it sways.

   A small temple is situated where that light shines. But the temple is already half-ruined. The walls and most of the halls have collapsed. Still, there is one main hall that was dedicated and taken care of for the gods.

   A small temple is situated where that light shines. But the temple is already half-ruined. The walls and most of the halls have collapsed. Still, there is one main hall that was dedicated and taken care of for the gods.

   There is a statue on the altar of the main hall. Because there is no temple to protect and maintain, the statue has been damaged through time. Its lacquer paint that glittered back then was now removed. It is no longer the beautiful-looking fairy that people once worshipped.

   There is a statue on the altar of the main hall. Because there is no temple to protect and maintain, the statue has been damaged through time. Its lacquer paint that glittered back then was now removed. It is no longer the beautiful-looking fairy that people once worshipped.

   There is a bonfire in the middle of the hall. There are several unkempt children circling the fire. They are called Hanako. They are only 13 or 14 years old, and the small ones are eight or nine years old.

   There is a bonfire in the middle of the hall. There are several unkempt children circling the fire. They are called Hanako. They are only 13 or 14 years old, and the small ones are eight or nine years old.

   The oldest of the group was a girl who is in front of a drum. She is holding a bowl of medicine while talking to a boy lying in front of the statue.

   The oldest of the group was a girl who is in front of a drum. She is holding a bowl of medicine while talking to a boy lying in front of the statue.

   The one lying on the straw is Huazi. He is about twelve or three years old. He is a very frail and thin boy. Strangely, the girl was handing to her the medicine but he does not make a single move. He just stares at the girl straight in the eye, letting her persuade him. He just refused her.

   The one lying on the straw is Huazi. He is about twelve or three years old. He is a very frail and thin boy. Strangely, the girl was handing to her the medicine but he does not make a single move. He just stares at the girl straight in the eye, letting her persuade him. He just refused her.

   Aside from them, there are two more people in the temple. One boy is busy cooking. After cooking, he will then pour it into two clay pots hanging by the fire. This person is also called Hanako, but not as thin as the other one. In fact, he was heavyset and broad.

   Aside from them, there are two more people in the temple. One boy is busy cooking. After cooking, he will then pour it into two clay pots hanging by the fire. This person is also called Hanako, but not as thin as the other one. In fact, he was heavyset and broad.

   The other one is a girl chopping some wood. She has enormous eyes, but she never speaks. She only uses gestures to communicate with others.

   The other one is a girl chopping some wood. She has enormous eyes, but she never speaks. She only uses gestures to communicate with others.

   The girl who was holding the medicine knew that the boy would not take the medicine. She became anxious, but she tried not to be angry. In a soft voice, she asked the boy why he would not accept the medicine.

   The girl who was holding the medicine knew that the boy would not take the medicine. She became anxious, but she tried not to be angry. In a soft voice, she asked the boy why he would not accept the medicine.

   The boy did not even bat an eye at the girl, and he did not answer the question.

   The boy did not even bat an eye at the girl, and he did not answer the question.

   The girl did not immediately give up and persuaded him again. Then, the boy suddenly turned over and sat up, raised his hand and whipped away the bowl of medicine. He stared at the girl with so much anger.

   The girl did not immediately give up and persuaded him again. Then, the boy suddenly turned over and sat up, raised his hand and whipped away the bowl of medicine. He stared at the girl with so much anger.

   The girl did not react. Instead, she just quietly went to pick up the medicine bowl. It was not broken, but the medicine completely spilled onto the ground.

   The girl did not react. Instead, she just quietly went to pick up the medicine bowl. It was not broken, but the medicine completely spilled onto the ground.

   The boy looked at her picking up the bowl, and the anger in his eyes gradually subsided. Instead, he was filled with heavy sorrow. After a while, he lifted his sleeves and wiped away his tears. He turned over, laid down, and then became uncomfortably quiet again.

   The boy looked at her picking up the bowl, and the anger in his eyes gradually subsided. Instead, he was filled with heavy sorrow. After a while, he lifted his sleeves and wiped away his tears. He turned over, laid down, and then became uncomfortably quiet again.

   The girl looked helplessly at him. She came over and handed the medicine bowl to the fat man who was still cooking. The rain got even stronger outside. He was urgently worried. “I don’t know where Lu Pingchuan and Mo went. Where are they now?"

   The girl looked helplessly at him. She came over and handed the medicine bowl to the fat man who was still cooking. The rain got even stronger outside. He was urgently worried. “I don’t know where Lu Pingchuan and Mo went. Where are they now?"

   "Changle did not take the medicine?” asked the fat man.

   "Changle did not take the medicine?” asked the fat man.

   The girl shook her head to say no. “Is Nanfeng here already?” It was the

   The girl shook her head to say no. “Is Nanfeng here already?” It was the

   fat man who shook his head this time. “Boss Chu, I am going to find them.”

   fat man who shook his head this time. “Boss Chu, I am going to find them.”

   “I will go too.” The girl named Chu said in a determined voice.

   “I will go too.” The girl named Chu said in a determined voice.

   As they were still talking, they heard hurried footsteps outside the door. The footsteps were coming closer. After a while, two Hanakos rushed inside. The man was naked on the top while the younger one was covered with a dead scorpion on his head.

   As they were still talking, they heard hurried footsteps outside the door. The footsteps were coming closer. After a while, two Hanakos rushed inside. The man was naked on the top while the younger one was covered with a dead scorpion on his head.

   Just seconds after they appeared, a black-skinned boy in a coat also rushed in. He had a certain spark in his eyes.

   Just seconds after they appeared, a black-skinned boy in a coat also rushed in. He had a certain spark in his eyes.

   “Nanfeng, what are you hiding in your arms? I can see it.” asked the fat man.

   “Nanfeng, what are you hiding in your arms? I can see it.” asked the fat man.

   “Well, take a guess!” The thin black boy smirked.

   “Well, take a guess!” The thin black boy smirked.

   “People, come and let's eat together.” Lu Pingchuan said in a strong voice. The girl who rushed to Chu was gesturing the words: “Huairou, you come over. I have something important to discuss with you.”

   “People, come and let's eat together.” Lu Pingchuan said in a strong voice. The girl who rushed to Chu was gesturing the words: “Huairou, you come over. I have something important to discuss with you.”

   Chu Huai softly nodded, and Lu Pingchuan walked aside and muttered something. The fat man silently served food to everyone.

   Chu Huai softly nodded, and Lu Pingchuan walked aside and muttered something. The fat man silently served food to everyone.

   As the fat man was about to eat, the Nanfeng came to the statue of God, took out a jug from his arms and secretly stuffed it into Changle. “Give good things. Everything will be repaid to you.” Then the

   As the fat man was about to eat, the Nanfeng came to the statue of God, took out a jug from his arms and secretly stuffed it into Changle. “Give good things. Everything will be repaid to you.” Then the

   fat man divided the food in the jar into six servings. In the end, he only had some soup. He mixed the soups inside the two jars and held it to himself.

   fat man divided the food in the jar into six servings. In the end, he only had some soup. He mixed the soups inside the two jars and held it to himself.

   Chu Huai and Lu Pingchuan seemed to be in a serious discussion. Their facial expressions are very solemn and from time to time, they looked back at their companions. I do not know what they are discussing about. But I'm sure that they are afraid that someone will hear as they have kept it a secret from everyone.

   Chu Huai and Lu Pingchuan seemed to be in a serious discussion. Their facial expressions are very solemn and from time to time, they looked back at their companions. I do not know what they are discussing about. But I'm sure that they are afraid that someone will hear as they have kept it a secret from everyone.

   Nanfeng and Changle took turns sipping the wine in the jug. Nanfeng seemed to be asking something, but Changle just shook his head and did not answer.

   Nanfeng and Changle took turns sipping the wine in the jug. Nanfeng seemed to be asking something, but Changle just shook his head and did not answer.

   There were mice in the temple, and they did not fail to smell the aroma of food as they ran out from the darkness. They were already next to the girl who cannot speak, but she did not hit them. Instead, she got some crumbs and kindly fed them.

   There were mice in the temple, and they did not fail to smell the aroma of food as they ran out from the darkness. They were already next to the girl who cannot speak, but she did not hit them. Instead, she got some crumbs and kindly fed them.

   “Sister Chu, the Nanfeng stole some wine for Changle to drink.” Mo started to complain.

   “Sister Chu, the Nanfeng stole some wine for Changle to drink.” Mo started to complain.

   Chu Huai slowly turned his head and

   Chu Huai slowly turned his head and

   waved his hand. “He caught a cold. Drinking wine is to drive away the cold.” After a while, Lu Pingchuan and Chu Huairou stood up and went to the bonfire.

   waved his hand. “He caught a cold. Drinking wine is to drive away the cold.” After a while, Lu Pingchuan and Chu Huairou stood up and went to the bonfire.

   Lu Pingchuan walked to the side of the fire and took the rice bowl. But he did not finish the food. He poured it generously into the jar that the fat man was holding.

   Lu Pingchuan walked to the side of the fire and took the rice bowl. But he did not finish the food. He poured it generously into the jar that the fat man was holding.

   The fat man did not bother to refuse. After expressing his gratitude, he then ate heartily.

   The fat man did not bother to refuse. After expressing his gratitude, he then ate heartily.

   “You say it.” Lu Pingchuan looked at Chu Huai seriously.

   “You say it.” Lu Pingchuan looked at Chu Huai seriously.

   Chu Huai retorted. “Or you say it.”

   Chu Huai retorted. “Or you say it.”

   Everyone saw that the two people were acting a bit strange. They carefully observed the serious expression written on both of their faces. But the girl who did not speak was still eating as she did not see what was happening. She was blind, too.

   Everyone saw that the two people were acting a bit strange. They carefully observed the serious expression written on both of their faces. But the girl who did not speak was still eating as she did not see what was happening. She was blind, too.

   “Well, as what I have said earlier,” Lu Pingchuan was deep in his thoughts. “Something big and important happened in Chang’an yesterday. You should have heard of it.”

   “Well, as what I have said earlier,” Lu Pingchuan was deep in his thoughts. “Something big and important happened in Chang’an yesterday. You should have heard of it.”

   “Brother, are you talking about Dongcheng?”

   “Brother, are you talking about Dongcheng?”

   Lu Pingchuan nodded.

   Lu Pingchuan nodded.

   “I heard that there is an ongoing contest called the Fa Conference.” The fat man added.

   “I heard that there is an ongoing contest called the Fa Conference.” The fat man added.

   Lu Pingchuan nodded again. “This ritual will be presided over by the powerful people of the country. The winners will not only be able to seal official and powerful positions, but they can also participate in the sacred books with the higher-ranked officials of the country. Many sects have sent masters and experts. I think we should go to Dongcheng to try our luck. Maybe we could be accepted in martial arts there. Even if it we don't become a disciple, it is better than being mere servants here.”

   Lu Pingchuan nodded again. “This ritual will be presided over by the powerful people of the country. The winners will not only be able to seal official and powerful positions, but they can also participate in the sacred books with the higher-ranked officials of the country. Many sects have sent masters and experts. I think we should go to Dongcheng to try our luck. Maybe we could be accepted in martial arts there. Even if it we don't become a disciple, it is better than being mere servants here.”

   Lu Pingchuan said with authority. Everyone was stunned.

   Lu Pingchuan said with authority. Everyone was stunned.

   Lu Pingchuan added some more, “We have to find a way out of here. This kind of opportunity does not always present itself. We can’t miss it.”

   Lu Pingchuan added some more, “We have to find a way out of here. This kind of opportunity does not always present itself. We can’t miss it.”

   Sensing that no one is talking, Chu Huairou replied, “Just plan and fix it. You know what I mean. Then we can go to Dongcheng tomorrow.”

   Sensing that no one is talking, Chu Huairou replied, “Just plan and fix it. You know what I mean. Then we can go to Dongcheng tomorrow.”

   Lu Pingchuan stared at everyone. “I am thinking about joining forces with Jinlan. But I don’t know if you are willing or not.” The

   Lu Pingchuan stared at everyone. “I am thinking about joining forces with Jinlan. But I don’t know if you are willing or not.” The

   people nodded.

   people nodded.

   “Mo will not wash your bowl clean,” Lu Pingchuan pulled out a dagger from his waist. “Nanfeng, take the wine.”

   “Mo will not wash your bowl clean,” Lu Pingchuan pulled out a dagger from his waist. “Nanfeng, take the wine.”

   “Big brother, I heard that the robbers worshipped before drinking wine. There has to be another set of rules for good men.” said the fat man.

   “Big brother, I heard that the robbers worshipped before drinking wine. There has to be another set of rules for good men.” said the fat man.

   “You are your own man. Just do what you think is right.” Lu Pingchuan replied nonchalantly.

   “You are your own man. Just do what you think is right.” Lu Pingchuan replied nonchalantly.

   At that very moment, Mo has already taken his own rice bowl and went to the door to wash. When he was about to open the door wide, he rushed back. “Big brother, someone is coming.”

   At that very moment, Mo has already taken his own rice bowl and went to the door to wash. When he was about to open the door wide, he rushed back. “Big brother, someone is coming.”

   Everyone heard the words and came to the door, only to see a silhouette in the rain. It was slowly approaching the temple.

   Everyone heard the words and came to the door, only to see a silhouette in the rain. It was slowly approaching the temple.

   As the figure came nearer, everyone recognized his clothes. He was in his early fifties, and was wearing a blue robe, his left hand holding a faded yellow cloth. There is a wooden stick in his right hand. As he was walking, the wooden stick frequently points forward.

   As the figure came nearer, everyone recognized his clothes. He was in his early fifties, and was wearing a blue robe, his left hand holding a faded yellow cloth. There is a wooden stick in his right hand. As he was walking, the wooden stick frequently points forward.

   Everyone knows the city, and the person who was coming was no stranger. This is a fortune teller…

   Everyone knows the city, and the person who was coming was no stranger. This is a fortune teller…

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