Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 136

Chapter 136: The Wind Moves

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What was that on her forehead, there was no doubt, and for a moment, He Yan didn’t know what to do. She stood there, not daring to move, only feeling the place his lips had touched was burning hot. 

Xiao Jue also froze, standing still with beautiful eyes lowered, his expression unreadable. 

On the other hand, the elder brother on the side chuckled and said, “Why are you standing still? This young master, you have already arrived.” 

Xiao Jue seemed to snap out of it at this moment, released her as if stung by a bee, turned coldly, and said, “Let’s go.” 

He Yan said, “Oh,” covering the surging waves of shock in her heart, pretending that nothing had happened, and followed Xiao Jue. But inside, she was screaming. 

She had actually… been kissed by Xiao Jue? 

Although it was on the forehead, such an intimate contact…. It was hard to ignore. Even though it was an accident, the timing couldn’t have been worse. 

They had just crossed the Lover’s Bridge, and if the Water God had seen it, he might have mistaken them for lovers. He might even have added them to his romantic tales. He Yan shivered. 

Xiao Jue, perhaps influenced by the recent incident, walked very quickly, so He Yan had to speed up to keep up with him. When they returned to Cui Yuezhi’s side, the onlookers were all applauding, and Cui Yuezhi said, “Huanqing, you really live up to the name of our Cui family’s sons! You passed it on your first try! I was wondering if you would be too afraid to do it next time, hahaha. I didn’t expect it, wow, I didn’t expect that the Lover’s Bridge would be so smooth for you!” 

In her heart, He Yan thought that he was already planning for next time, the Lover’s Bridge really had no bottom line.

“Now that’s settled,” Wei Yiniang chuckled as she patted He Yan’s hand, “crossing the Lover’s Bridge with Young Master Huanqing, in this lifetime, you won’t be separated, no matter if it’s above the beautiful landscape or below in the underworld!”

He Yan: “…” 

It was truly terrifying. 

Chiwu and Fei Nu also had expressions of speechlessness on their faces, while only Lin Shuanghe was enjoying the situation, fanning himself and saying, “I want to go there.” 

“Well, then go,” He Yan said, not in the mood for Lin Shuanghe’s teasing, which had instigated the situation earlier. 

“Maybe I’ll pass,” Lin Shuanghe said haughtily, “Why take a sip from the vast river of beauty? This bridge isn’t suitable for me. Besides, where am I going to find a young lady who can be held in my arms to cross the bridge?” 

Xiao Jue interjected, “Shut up.” 

He Yan dared not speak anymore; the joke was getting embarrassingly awkward. Fortunately, as they were the last to leave the bridge, the others didn’t notice the unexpected incident on her forehead because they were too far away. Otherwise, Lin Shuanghe would have had a field day with that joke, and she would have been utterly humiliated. 

“Now that we’ve crossed the Lover’s Bridge, let’s go and see the other events of our Water God Festival,” Cui Yuezhi said with a smile, “This is the Water Market.” 

Jiyang was located by the water, and boats of various sizes were already moored on the river. Some people were sitting at the stern, paddling, while the bow of the boats displayed various snacks, fruits, or cosmetics. If someone on the shore was interested, they would wave, and the boat would pull up to the bank for the customer to make their selection. If it was the boat’s passengers who were interested, both boats would stop in the middle of the river, and the vendors on the boat would let them choose. 

He Yan noticed a small boat that was selling pastry in the shape of a horseshoe wrapped in large green leaves. These pastries were adorned with yam and red dates, drizzled with a fine layer of honey, making them look incredibly enticing. When Cui Yuezhi saw her interest, he ordered one of his servants to call the boat over from the shore and bought several packs of these pastries. 

He Yan took one and, after expressing her thanks, took a bite. The pastry was exquisite, leaving a lingering sweetness on her palate, and she couldn’t help but compare it to the da nai cakes she and He Yunsheng had sold back in Shuojing, finding the former to be far superior. 

She ate it earnestly, her mouth puffed up like a squirrel’s. Xiao Jue seemed unable to bear it and said, “You’ve got crumbs on your lips.” 

“What?” He Yan didn’t hear clearly. 

The next moment, he impatiently flung his handkerchief onto her face and said, “Clean up, you’re embarrassing yourself.” 

He Yan: “…” 

She wiped her mouth and remarked, “There’s so much going on here.”

Just then, they heard a commotion coming from the other end of the racecourse. A crowd had gathered, but He Yan wasn’t sure what was happening.

She pointed and asked, “What’s happening over there?”

“That,” Cui Yuezhi followed her finger and explained, “That’s called ‘Wind Capture.'”

“What is Wind Capture?”

“You see, there are many horses in the horse arena,” Cui Yuezhi said with a smile. “The horse path is a circle, with a raised platform in the middle, and there’s a flag on the highest platform. People must ride horses, and when passing by the platform, they must leap up to capture the flag. After obtaining the flag, they should jump down from the platform, ideally landing on the horse. If you can get the flag within the specified time, you’ve successfully captured the wind. Those who can successfully capture the wind will have good luck. Next to it, there’s a bronze pot that drips slowly; the shorter the time used, the better the luck.” 

He Yan listened and whispered, “Isn’t this just a flag capture game?” 

Lin Shuanghe waved his fan and asked with a smile, “It sounds interesting, but what kinds of prizes are there?” 

“The prizes are diverse,” Cui Yuezhi replied. “If a man participates for himself, it’s often weapons, and sometimes even silver. If a man competes for a woman, it’s mostly jewelry, gemstones, or fabrics.” 

As Cui Yuezhi spoke, he led a few people towards the horse arena. The Jiyang horse arena was not large, unlike the martial arts arenas under the White Moon Mountain in Liangzhou, but it was already surrounded by quite a few people. Several men dressed in armor were riding horses past the arena. The horses raised gusts of wind as they passed by the platform, and when they reached the platform, several people leaped up and raced to the top of the flagpole. 

The flagpole was extremely high, with no place to stand around it, so it required skill to climb. One person managed to stop at the top of the flagpole but fell before getting the flag. He landed in a sandpit below the platform. Another person barely managed to grab the flag but fell before reaching the top of the pole. He didn’t mount the horse and received a string of copper coins as a prize. 

On the other side, a table was set up with various prizes for the “Wind Capture” game, and there were all kinds of rewards. He Yan immediately noticed a whip at the top. 

The whip was very long, appeared extremely sturdy, and emitted an oily purple glow. It looked like a high-quality item. He Yan was currently trying to avoid revealing her true identity, so she couldn’t use a sword. Most of the time, she relied on a whip. However, the whips on the martial arts field were not considered treasures, but this one looked much better than the ones she had used before. 

In an instant, He Yan felt a strong interest. 

She asked the arena owner, “May I ask, what kind of prize is this whip?” 

The arena owner smiled and said, “Young lady has good taste. This is the grand prize for our ‘Wind Capture’ event – the Purple Jade Whip. If you can capture the flag in the shortest time, you can win this whip. Many young men have come today aiming for this whip, but as of now, no one has taken it. I think it’ll be challenging today!” 

With this question, several people turned to look at her, and Cui Yuezhi asked with a smile, “Does Yuyan like this whip?” 

“I just think it looks unique,” He Yan replied modestly.

“Why not have Huanqing try to win it for you?” Cui Yuezhi smiled. “I’ve seen Huanqing’s skills before, and he should have some martial arts training, so he shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try.”

After all, Cui Yuezhi was a martial artist, he could gauge another person’s martial skills at a glance.

He Yan looked at Xiao Jue, and Xiao Jue coldly said, “Don’t even think about it.”

“I’ve already started thinking about it.” He Yan approached him, pleading softly, “Help me once, get this whip for me, and it will be more convenient for me to work for you in the future. If it weren’t for the fact that it seems like everyone here is a man today, I would have gone for it myself. Commander, Young Master… Husband?”

Xiao Jue: “You shut up.”

He Yan could only remain silent. Her gaze returned to the Purple Jade Whip, her eyes filled with longing. Sometimes, coming across a good weapon was not so easy, especially one that could be obtained without spending a single coin. Missing out on this opportunity would be a great shame. 

However, today… it just had to be today when she had her period, and she was feeling some discomfort in her abdomen. But she should be able to endure it, right? He Yan pondered for a moment in her heart. If she could capture the flag in the shortest time, it would only hurt for a brief moment, so it should be manageable. 

With this in mind, she asked the arena owner with a smile, “May women participate?” 

The arena owner hesitated, and the people around them were also taken aback. He replied, “Well, they can… but in the past, no woman has ever done so.” 

Xiao Jue turned his head, looking at her incredulously, “Are you out of your mind?” 

“Can’t help it,” He Yan said helplessly. “But I think this whip will be hard to come by in the future. Don’t worry, you know my abilities. This kind of small challenge won’t be too difficult for me.” 

“You’re not… not…” He seemed unable to continue, cutting himself off. 

He Yan looked at him strangely, “Not what?” As she was about to raise her hand to tie up her hair – long hair could be quite inconvenient.

Xiao Jue grabbed her elbow. 

“What’s going on?” He Yan asked. 

Xiao Jue hesitated and stared at her with a gaze as sharp as a knife, saying each word deliberately, “I’ll go.” 

“Ah?” He Yan hesitated for a moment, not having a chance to say anything, and saw Xiao Jue walking ahead and speaking with the horse arena owner. 

“Is Huanqing trying wind capture?” Cui Yuezhi was somewhat surprised. “For the whip that Yuyan likes?” 

He Yan couldn’t find the words to say. In fact, even though she had pleaded with Xiao Jue, she hadn’t really expected him to do something like this. A commander in charge of thousands of soldiers, coming to do this, and moreover, Second Young Master Xiao had always been proud, and he usually looked down on such matters. She didn’t expect him to actually go. 

The horse arena owner led Xiao Jue inside to fetch a horse, and Wei Yiniang smiled and spoke with an envious tone, “Young Master Huanqing treats Miss Yuyan very well.” 

That was indeed true, but for a moment, He Yan was also a bit puzzled. 

Lin Shuanghe looked at He Yan, then at the direction where Xiao Jue was heading, and his fan-waving motion gradually stopped as he stood there lost in thought. 

Before long, Xiao Jue rode out. 

It was spring, with fresh greenery and a gentle warmth. The handsome and noble young master, who seemed to brighten up the spring scenery around him, dressed in plain dark blue attire instead of traditional robes, appeared even more charming and radiant. His gaze was lazy and aloof as he sat on his horse, immediately drawing the attention of the onlookers. 

He Yan heard a woman behind her exclaim, “What a handsome young man!” 

“His eyebrows and eyes are truly handsome, and he looks so noble!” 

“When did Jiyang have such a remarkable figure? Which family’s young master is this?” 

He Yan couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride upon hearing these comments, and a line of poetry came to her mind: “Spring grass is green, clouds are white; thinking of you riding a horse, such an elegant sight.” It described him perfectly. 

Suddenly, she remembered her younger days at Xianchang Academy. During a winter hunting event, the person who caught the most game would receive a reward. Xiao Jue had single-handedly claimed the top prize, and at that time, He Yan struggled even to draw a bow, and in the end, she didn’t catch any game. She could only watch as the young man walked through the snow, dressed in luxurious clothing, and exuding an aura of elegance, attracting admiring and envious gazes from the crowd. 

Many years had passed, but he remained the same. Whenever he stood in a crowd, he could become the most dazzling figure. No matter how many trials he went through, he couldn’t tarnish his brilliance.

Xiao Jue began to ride his horse around the arena.

By this time, besides the men, many young ladies had also gathered around, of course, all to catch a glimpse of Xiao Jue. Lin Shuanghe walked up to He Yan and whispered, “Little sister, you’re really something. Xiao Huaijin is actually willing to steal the limelight for you.” 

He Yan blushed and said, “I didn’t expect him to help.” Who could have foreseen this? She suspected that Xiao Jue might be possessed by someone, but looking at how he had acted towards her before, it didn’t seem likely. 

“Are you very moved, wishing to give yourself to him?” 

He Yan jumped, and her instinct was to loudly refute, but then she remembered that Cui Yuezhi and his companions were still nearby, and she couldn’t be indiscreet. So, she answered in a low voice, “No! I don’t like the commander.” 

“If you don’t like him, why are you so nervous?” Lin Shuanghe needled. “Brother, your ears are turning red.” 

He Yan quickly covered her ears with both hands and said, “It’s not true, don’t talk nonsense!” 

Just at that moment, they heard a series of cheers from the surrounding crowd. Both of them followed the sound and saw Xiao Jue had already ridden his horse to the foot of the platform. He didn’t pause for a moment, just leaped up effortlessly, and with a fluid motion, he ascended the long pole like it was level ground. 

Even though there were people in the crowd who were skilled, it wasn’t easy to climb up there, and they had never seen such a display or someone effortlessly seizing the flag like this. 

His ascent was lightning-fast, and in the blink of an eye, he was at the top of the pole. He stepped on the tip of the long pole, casually took down the red flag, and as the wind blew, the flag fluttered in his hand. For a moment, his youthful face overlapped with that of the splendid youth of spring. His gaze wandered, and he raised his eyebrows slightly, looking down at the people below, perhaps just at He Yan, and he smiled with a curl of his lips, saying, “Got it.” 

He Yan stared at him in a daze, and for a moment, she could hear the sound of her own heartbeat, loud and impossible to ignore. Suddenly, she remembered a lesson she had heard from a teacher at Xianchang Academy when she was younger. 

In the “Chuan Deng Record,” it was written that Huineng, the Sixth Ancestor, initially resided in the Faxing Temple, where the wind made the flag move. Two monks were arguing, one saying it was the wind that moved, and the other saying it was the flag that moved. Huineng said, “It’s not the wind, it’s not the flag, it’s your mind that moves.” 

She had originally found this saying obscure and hard to understand, not knowing what it meant. But now, with no explanation, no discourse, just one look, one glance at this scene, and she understood completely. 

It’s not the wind that moves, it’s not the flag that moves, it’s the heart that moves.

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