At dawn, I finished packing my baggage and arrived at Teacher Wen’s room to bid him farewell. Teacher Wen handed a letter to me, saying, “This is for Lao Lun and everyone there. Be careful on your journey. Regardless of whether or not you finish your mission, you should return a bit earlier. You don’t have to come here. Going out for such a long time, your family must be very worried. Remember to stay safe.”
My eyes grew hot as I recalled all these past days. I held Teacher Wen’s hand, saying, “Teacher Wen, I will definitely come back to see you. Take care of your health. I’m going now.” Teacher Wen gave me a sly smile and said nothing else.
I did not see Dong Ri and the rest. Forget it, I won’t wait for them. I put my things into my dimensional pocket and wore my clothes. It’s time to leave this place. I spent about a year here and am reluctant to leave.
While I walked, I recalled all of the friends I made here. My heart felt a sense of loss. I shook my head and said to myself, “Don’t think about it anymore. Everyone has their own path. Because when there are meetings, there are departures. I’ll still see them in the future”. What!? That sign in front of me seems awfully familiar. I approached it and took a look. It’s the Mercenary Guild. I recalled my first mission and still hadn’t known whether or not I had failed it. I couldn’t help but smile bitterly. Oh, that’s right. I’ve been here for such a long time and I still hadn’t sought out Long Meng. Because I’ve been so busy, I had quickly forgotten about him. How embarrassing… I’ll go in and try my luck. If we meet, it’ll be because of fate’s will.
Entering the Mercenary Guild’s gate, I noticed it was much larger than the past guild buildings I’ve been to. It seems the city was of a different magnitude, it even influenced many industries. I looked in all directions. My luck couldn’t possibly be this good. In the middle of this noisy crowd, I saw a familiar, tall figure.
I shouted with a loud voice, “Long Meng!”
That tall figure trembled and turned his head. Seeing me, he shouted with pleasant surprise, “Zhang Gong, it’s you! You came. For such a long period of time, where did you go off to? I believed you had fallen for those bandit’s trap.” After saying this, he ran over to me and tightly grabbed both my arms.
I softly sighed and pretended to be depressed, saying, “I didn’t come across a trap, I only hadn’t been outside for a long time. That’s why I hadn’t come until now. I am truly sorry.”
Long Meng laughed straightforwardly and said, “It’s no problem. It’s fine as long as you came. The amount of missions I’ve completed these past days were no small amount. I’m already a D rank mercenary. What are you doing now? We were looking for a place to go drink a cup.”
“I can’t, I came here to meet with you. I have to go and complete the assignment my teacher had given me. Since I can’t go now, next time if matters aren’t urgent, I’ll definitely accompany you.”
Long Meng pressingly said with a loud voice, “That won’t do. It’s difficult to see each other. How could I let you leave so quickly? I want to go with you. You are the person I had admired the most in my life. From now on, I won’t leave you.” Please, no. I’m not some unmarried young woman. Is my sex appeal really that great?
I thought about it and then I brought him aside to the corner. His voice was too loud. I didn’t want to attract a crowd. I whispered to him, “Long Meng. You should know by now that our strengths differ greatly. If I bring you along this time, you aren’t going to be of help. It could even put you in great danger.”
“I’m not afraid of danger, so bring me along alright. I beg of you, I’ll even listen to whatever you say. Is this not enough?” He really is a passionate person. Ah, what’s to be done? That’s right, there’s still that method. I sinisterly smiled and said, “Then how about this, I’ll introduce you to a great teacher and you’ll learn martial skills from him. After you’ve had some accomplishments, then you can come with me.”
Long Meng doubtfully asked, “A great teacher? That’s fine. I’ve always wanted a master to worship. But my martial skill is too mediocre to even have a master look at me. Is there truly a good teacher?”
I didn’t answer him, instead I borrowed a pen from the front desk and wrote a letter. I handed it over to him and explained, “Hold onto this. Go to the Knight’s Academy and look for Principal Li Ke Wen. Hand this letter to him and he will make the arrangements. If the guards do not let you in, just use my name and it’ll be fine.”
Long Meng took the letter and murmured, “Knight Academy. That’s the martial heaven I have always yearned to study at. Can I really? I truly thank you Zhang Gong. Then when will you come find me?”
This was a difficult question for me. I didn’t know when I would return either. After muttering to myself for a bit, I told him, “I’ll come find you in three years. You must diligently practice.” Anyways, when the time comes, I can go visit Teacher Wen too. Haha! How could I have possibly known after returning three years later, I had already experienced many great changes.
Long Meng reluctantly parted from me as I walked toward the city gate.
I walked with my head lowered. Suddenly, I felt a formidable grandeur blocking my path. I attentively retreated a few steps back. As I raised my head, I was shocked.
A row of figures was standing in front of me. Not a single one of them was lacking. It was Xiu Si, Dong Ri, Xing Ao and Gao De. It seems they have come to send me off. “You’ve all come, and here I was thinking you weren’t going to see me off.” Naturally, I was exceptionally happy, but I was left staring at them slack-jawed once I heard their words.
Xiu Si said, “How are you so slow? We already waited half a day for you. Let’s go. Lead us, Captain.” He still wore a sinister smile after he finished talking.
“What? What is this about us setting off? You guys, it couldn’t be…?”
After glancing at each other, they all simultaneously began grinning and said in unison, “We want to go with you. Haha!”
After hearing them utter these words in unison, I still clearly didn’t fully understand. I just mechanically said, “What has Teacher Wen done now? He consented to this?”
Xing Ao said smiling, “Of course he agreed. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Let’s go. Captain, ah no, everyone unanimously decided to have our Brilliant Battle Squad become the Zhang Gong’s Bro Harem Brilliant Mercenary Company. It is better to travel like this. When we run out of money, we can make some spending money. You are the commander. Xiu Si is the vice commander.”
It was only then that I understood the meaning behind Teacher Wen’s furtive smile when I was leaving. It looks like that old man wants his disciples to go on a journey with me. Pretty good. With this many people our safety will increase by a lot. Furthermore, they all possess formidable strength.
Sighing, I said, “Then there’s truly nothing to be done about it then. Let’s go then everyone.” They all let out a cheer since they originally thought I wouldn’t be willing to take them along with me. This time they’re all very satisfied.
Just like this, we cheerfully set foot onto the road of our true journey.