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Beneath the Embroidered Brocade 44 Matters of the hear

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On a small hill, that seemed to be miles and miles away from any sign of life or civilization. The grass was green and overgrown with all types of vegetation. It was still dark, it was estimated the sun would not rise for at least another six hours.

It was strange to see a lone person at this time of the night, standing among the tall grasses waving wildly due to the strong winds.

Especially if this place had been inhabited by people for so many years.

But this person seems unphased by the winds, he was just standing there, it didn't seem that he wanted to move any time soon. He was like a living statue that stood upon a hill.

He gave off the feeling of a ghost reminiscent of his past, thus returning on the darkest of nights to visit if he could help it.

The person was dressed in the pale ivory robes of a scholar, looking at an old tomb, that had long been forgotten by outsiders, who only knew that this hill was never to be trespassed upon. It was nothing short of a legend, but when faced with consequences, every living person had long moved away, leaving this area completely abandoned.

When thinking about it, Gan Tian Chi couldn't help but give a helpless smile.

The will of the divine struck fear in the hearts of men. That was why kings and emperors could exist. Without the will of the heavens, they were no more than ordinary people that took control of land by force.

He turned toward the giant stone that stood as a marker. There was not even a single mark or etching on the stone that gave clue toward the identity of the person that was laid to rest there. But Gan Tian Chi knew very well of this person.

This person had the surname of Gan.

His own surname wasn't his, it was borrowed from this man he met during a time he was wandering alone in the continent.

It was almost as if fate would have it, this young man actually noticed him, came up to him and started a conversation with him.

As someone who had been above the world and living in solidarity, he was touched by this action.

They soon became great brothers.

But like all good things, there must one day be an end.

Although that young man was nothing but a passerby in his life, they shared a bond that lasted a lifetime.

"Hello, my dear brother, I've returned." Gan Tian Chi said in a low voice. There was an ever so gentle smile upon his face as he looked at the unmarked stone.

[Look how much time has passed.]

Gan Tian Chi bent down, slowly removing the vines that had wrapped itself around the stone.

Its roots were long entrenched within the ground, having been there for so long, they refused to budge, but under the tug, they immediately fell apart. All those years of reinforcing itself had been wasted.

All because it chose the wrong place to put its roots.

After all the weeds had been uprooted, the unmarred stone was left on its own, free from dirt and dust.

Gan Tian Chi silently gazed upon the dirt ground just below the stone. Below, were the old bones of a friend who he once regarded as a brother.

No matter how powerful he was, he could not summon up the spirit of a person that died so long ago.

At this point, Gan Tian Chi hated that he would forever be an observer in this ever-changing world, with the passage of time, only he will be unchanged and forever wandering in this vast world.

"I guess you never imagined that one of our meetings would turn out this way." He laughed to no one. The wind did not manage to carry his laughter very far.

"I found a child." He started talking to the stone as if it was a close friend that he trusted and confided in.

"Remember, that I once said that I was fated to have everything around me as the fleeting winds, destined to be forever lonely and you said that we would remain good brothers until the day we die."

"I finally found a person that could accompany me forever, so this road won't be as lonely anymore..."

Gan Tian Chi paused for a while, he was in deep thought...

[Have I done the correct thing allowing the little girl to follow in my footsteps?

Was I too selfish pushing her onto this path at such a young age?

After all, she could have had at least lived like a normal person for about twenty to thirty years, before the signs started showing up.]

He thought about himself as well, although twenty to thirty years seemed like nothing, it was a large part of a time when he actually lived, with friends and family. Thinking about it, he couldn't help but think of his… Home.

That period of time was actually where some of his most precious memories existed, he would never think of giving it up.

[Xue'er, I hope you can forgive me for being selfish.

But it's better sooner than later.

One cannot miss what they do not know.]

"Was it the right thing to do?" It was as if he was talking to his friend who was standing before him again.

He shook his head, stopping all thought, "Anyway, I once said that I would not make a move until they bothered me, I finally found a reason."

There was now a wry smile on his lips, at this moment he was like a trickster that would get away with anything, he had returned to his usual personality.

"A toast to you, my dear brother." Gan Tian Chi took out the sheepskin gourd that he had filled with his most precious wine. He slowly poured it on the ground before the stone, as if to honor the deceased spirit, before taking a sip from it himself.

"Good wine indeed."
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