Chapter 4: Brothers
Morning of the second day.
Dragon Mountain Manor, Water Rites City.
In this world, every city had a Dragon Mountain Manor! The Dragon Mountain Manor of Water Rites City was an ancient five-story stone building.
The entrance of the Dragon Mountain Manor was guarded by powerful-looking knights. Neither the civilians nor nobles dared to venture within ten metres of the main entrance. Trespassing beyond the boundaries would mean certain death, even for the nobles!
A white-robed old man dashed into Dragon Mountain Manor.
“Lord You Tu,” greeted the two green-armoured knights at the entrance respectfully.
“Is the lord of the manor around?” asked the old man.
“Yes he is around. The lord has not seemed well since this morning,” one of the tall, green-armoured knights replied.
The old man stepped into the interior of Dragon Mountain Manor, heading up to the third floor.
“Dong dong.” The door was knocked.
“Come in,” came a voice from inside.
A white haired elder pushed open the doors and entered. The doors closed behind him. In the room, there was a smooth, dark yellow, long table with piles of paper and books strewn across its surface. Behind the table sat a black, middle-aged man browsing through a book.
This man was the master of Water Rites City’s Dragon Mountain Manor – Lord Si An!
“You Tu, how was it?” inquired Lord Si An as he glanced up.
“The news is accurate. Last night, Baron Dong Bo of Xue Ying Territory and his wife were taken away,” reported the old man. “The forces of Snowrock Castle tried to resist but were defeated in the blink of an eye.”
“Heh, the Mo Yang clan is really overbearing!” frowned Lord Si An. “It was only yesterday that I received news from the prefecture, and already, they have captured their targets during the night.”
The internal rules of Dragon Mountain Manor were also very strict.
The nineteen provinces of the empire.
Every provincial capital had a Dragon Mountain Manor, each Manor wielding secretive and tremendous power.
Province, Prefecture and County cities.
These three levels of administrative divisions ruled the world.
“They are the Mo Yang clan after all. The Mo Yang clan ranks among the top ten clans of the Eastern Province domain,” said the white haired elder.
“Heh,” sneered Lord Si An. “They ranked last among the top ten clans of the Eastern Province domain! Moreover, the rise of their clan into the top ten ranks was due to their ancestors! Otherwise, they would have never made it now.”
“However, even a small portion of their power, if exposed, could crush our colossus,” the old man sighed and shook his head. “Pity. Xue Ying Territory is now left with just the two children. I learnt from my investigations that the two year old son of the couple cried nonstop. Many soldiers and servants of Snowrock Castle are saddened by the whole incident too.”
“The Dong Bo couple have treated their people really well and are well respected,” nodded Lord Si An.
Xue Ying Territory. At the summit of the tallest mountain “Snowrock Mountain” laid the majestic Snowrock Castle.
Within the castle, some of the servants were sorrowfully gossiping in the dark. However, due to the presence of Lion-man Tong San and Six Armed Snake Demon Zong Ling, the daily life of the entire castle continued as per usual.
Although, it was already day.
Little brother Qing Shi had only just managed to calm down. Ever since his parents were taken away, he had been crying nonstop. No one could pacify him! In the past, it was his mother who attended to him personally. Since mother was a mage, she could easily add a hypnotic effect to her voice….thus putting a child to sleep was a very easy task, but now, with the trauma Qing Shi had gone through, it was a big headache to put the child to sleep.
Qing Shi had been terrified of Lion-man Tong San and Snake Demon Zong Ling from the start. Moreover, the maids had never accompanied the little brother to sleep, so it fell on Dong Bo Xue Ying to personally get his brother sleeping!
Although Xue Ying felt miserable, he endured the misery to coax his brother to fall asleep. At last, it was daylight. His little brother was dead tired, seemingly having forgotten the plight of their parents. He was, after all, still a two year old child…It could very well be that when he grew up, he would not even be able to recall last night’s incident.
“Be good, Pebble. Go to sleep.”
“I want to sleep with you, elder brother.”
“Ok. Am I not here with you?”
“Elder brother, I want to listen to you sing.”
Gradually, a very tired Qing Shi fell asleep in the arms of Dong Bo Xue Ying. The latter did not dare to move in fear of waking up his little brother.
Soon, night fell.
Zong Ling and Tong San arrived outside the house.
“Let me see,” Zong Ling said as he gently pushed the doors slightly and peeked through the slight opening. He caught sight of the chubby Qing Shi lying spread-eagled and drooling saliva on his elder brother’s chest. However, Dong Bo Xue Ying was also sound asleep. His clothing was a little dishevelled, and the blanket only covered half of his body.
Tong San also peeked through the door crack, feeling heartbroken as he gazed at the two brothers snuggled together.
“Ah Yu has always been the one taking care of Pebble and had never allowed the maids to look after him. The sight of us frightens Pebble…How will we manage in the future? Will Xue Ying have to put him to sleep every day?” Zong Ling was feeling a little worried.
“Uncle Zong, Uncle Tong,” greeted Xue Ying as he gently left his brother on the bed while he got up.
“You should sleep more,” said Zong Ling. He knew that Xue Ying had certainly not slept long.
Truth be told, Xue Ying had indeed not slept much. He was still reeling from shock, and, on top of that, he had to take care of his brother. It was only pure exhaustion that compelled him to fall asleep. Even then, his sleep was light; the presence of Zong Ling and Tong San had woken him up. Fortunately, his constitution was strong, and he could withstand the pressure.
“It’s ok. Uncle Zong and Uncle Tong, Pebble has always been taken care of by mother and no one else,” said Dong Bo Xue Ying. “Now that my parents have been taken away, the news cannot be concealed. Even now, I cannot allow the servants to take care of my little brother. He is scared of them and the both of you. So only I can take care of him. After all, I just have to get him to sleep. During the day, we will only need to arrange for someone to keep watch.”
“There are many people in the castle to keep watch during the day,” said Tong San.
“Then we will have to depend on you. When your brother gets older, it should get better,” said Zong Ling.
“En,” Dong Bo Xue Ying did not say much else. Qing Shi was after all his one and only little brother. With their parents taken away, he would have to take good care of his brother.
“Uncle Zong and Uncle Tong, previously you mentioned that I will have to obtain the Black Iron Order of Dragon Mountain Manor before I can learn more on how to rescue mother and father. How do I get it?” asked Dong Bo Xue Ying.
Both Zong Ling and Tong San were secretly helpless.
It seemed that this child would always be committed to saving his parents.
“Once you have grown stronger, Dragon Mountain Manor will naturally send over the Black Iron Order,” said Zong Ling.
“Stronger? How much stronger?” asked Dong Bo Xue Ying.
“Neither your father, Uncle Tong, nor I have the Black Iron Order,” said Tong Ling. “The day that Dragon Mountain Manor acknowledges your strength will be the day the Black Iron Order will be sent over.”
Dong Bo Xue Ying instantly understood.
To obtain the “Black Iron Order,” he must first be more powerful than Uncle Zong and Uncle Tong!
“Now I understand,” Dong Bo Xue Ying did not ask further.
“How long has Pebble been sleeping?” asked Zong Ling.
“Almost six hours,” replied Dong Bo Xue Ying.
“Then let’s wake him up. It’s already evening and Pebble has been troubled for so long without eating anything yet. Let’s wake him up for dinner. Also, let those maids play with him so that he will be able to sleep during the night. If he continues sleeping now, he will make a big fuss in the middle of the night.”
The sky was endlessly dark.
In the dining hall, Dong Bo Xue Ying sat at the head of the square table with Qing Shi beside him. The servants began serving the food.
For dinner, Dong Bo Xue Ying was having some fruit juice and a well-prepared portion of devil beast meat. His little brother was having some milk and cereals.
As Dong Bo Xue Ying watched his little brother eating happily with a smile, anguish filled his heart. There used to be their mother and father sitting at this table too, but now, it was just him and his brother.
“Are you full?” asked Dong Bo Xue Ying.
“En, I am full, very full,” replied Qing Shi as he patted his little belly. With great curiosity, he asked, “Where are mother and father? Why are they not around? Are they still sleeping?”
“They went out. Pebble, shall we head to the back garden to play?” replied Dong Bo Xue Ying.
“Back garden. Let’s go to the back garden!” Qing Shi’s attention was instantly diverted. The back garden had a lot of fun places. It was specially built for the two brothers by their mother. They loved to play there. There were even some magical artifacts there.
“Take Master Qing Shi to the back garden and look after him well.” Dong Bo Xue Ying instructed the three maids standing at the side.
The three maids replied respectfully. They all knew that from this very day, this young man was the lord of the entire Xue Ying Territory.
As he watched the maids bring his little brother down the stairs, Dong Bo Xue Ying placed his hands on the railings and looked at the back garden. There were over twenty fire crystal lamps illuminating every part of the back garden. At the back garden, there were over ten servants to play with his little brother. Every servant playing with his brother had been carefully chosen for their loyalty.
Dong Bo Xue Ying went back to his study room.
The study room was large at six metres high, fifteen metres long and ten metres wide. Considering that Snowrock Castle covered over one kilometre of ground, this study room seemed very ordinary.
Inside the study room was a table. The shelves were filled with a large number of books, many of which were biographical novels. In the past, Dong Bo Xue Ying had enjoyed reading them, and his mother had also accumulated many of them.
Sitting at the front of the study table, he waved his hands, the golden leaf manual appearing in his hands instantaneously.
“The secret spear-fighting manual of the Transcendent knights?” Dong Bo Xue Ying immediately started to read.