Heart Crushing Palm, part 1

Lin Zhennan walked to the Main Hall and gathered the escorts, sending some people to go check out the town, and instructing the rest to patrol the Escort House. All the escorts had heard about the situation. The flagpole of the Escort House being cut down was a slap in the face for each and every one of them. Infuriated, they had already dressed themselves in uniforms and taken up arms. Upon the command of the Chief Master, they instantly obeyed the order wholeheartedly. 

Lin Zhennan felt a measure of relief as he witnessed the entire Escort House working in unison, preparing to defend its honor. Walking back inside, he spoke to Lin Pingzhi. 

   “Pingzhi, your mom hasn’t been well for the last couple of days. The enemy will soon be coming; why don’t you move into the room outside her bedroom to guard her?” 

   “I don’t need…,” Madam Wang rejected, but before finishing the sentence, she suddenly realized what her husband really meant. He wasn’t asking their son to guard her; instead, he was really trying to have their son close by, so they could protect him. Their son was a very sensitive and proud young man. If they had asked him to hide behind them, he would probably feel humiliated, and go straight out to challenge the enemy to a fight. That would be too dangerous! So she immediately swallowed the second half of the sentence down her throat. 

   “That’s right, Pingzhi. Mom is having joint problems these days; both my arms and legs feel weak. Your father needs to take care of the Escort House and can’t be accompanying me all the time. If the enemy gets in, I won’t be able to fight them off.” 

   “I’ll stay with you,” Lin Pingzhi stated without hesitation. 

That night Lin Pingzhi slept on the bed just outside his parents’ room. The couple left the door open. Placing their weapons right next to their pillows, they slept dressed, so that they could jump up to fight at any time. 

The night passed uneventfully until dawn, when someone outside the window called in a low voice, “Young Master? Young Master!” Lin Pingzhi had not been able to sleep for the most of the night, and had just fallen asleep, so he didn’t wake up. 

   “What’s the matter?” Lin Zhennan asked.

   “The Young Master’s horse…the horse is dead!” the man outside answered.

Lin Pingzhi loved his horse very much, so as soon as the horse’s groom found out about the calamity, he rushed to tell Lin Pingzhi. Roused by the words, Lin Pingzhi sat up in bed.

Lin Pingzhi was sad after found his horse was died
Lin Pingzhi was sad after found his horse was died

   “Let me go look.” Lin Zhennan knew that once again, something had gone terribly wrong, so he hurried to the stable with Lin Pingzhi. The body of the horse lay on the ground. It had been dead for quite some time. As before, there was not a single wound on the corpse. “Did you hear any noise last night?” Lin Zhennan asked.

    “No, sir!” the groom answered.

   “Don’t get upset. I’ll see to it that you receive another good colt.” Lin Zhennan patted Lin Pingzhi gingerly on the shoulder, as Lin Pingzhi quietly caressed the horse’s corpse, tears emerging from his eyes.

All of a sudden, Henchman Chen burst into the stables shouting in panic, “Chief…Chief Master, it’s terrible…horrible! All those escorts…the escorts were killed by the demon!”

   “What did you say?” Lin Zhennan and Lin Pingzhi asked in unison, their voices filled with incredulity.

   “Dead, all dead!” Henchman Chen kept muttering uncontrollably.

   “Who is dead?” Lin Pingzhi demanded angrily. He grabbed Chen’s collar and shook him hard.

   “Young…Young Master…dead!” Chen mumbled dazedly.

Hearing the words “Young Master dead,” Lin Zhennan was most disturbed. But he did not want to yell at Chen for saying those ominous words, afraid of revealing his uneasiness. (To be continued)

No comments:

Post a Comment