“It’s funny how, before father got injured these bastards used to send us gifts and praise our family for its strength. But after he fought for their well being and got injured in the process, they began looking at us with disdain……. I can’t even walk down the road without them whispering sh*t.” These words were said by a young man who looked as if he had not passed the age of twenty.
There were a series of different expressions that played out on his face as he said these words. Traces of anger, sadness and loss were all plastered on his face. His expression got even worse when he looked at the child he was walking with.
Han Ming, he was barely 12 years old but thanks to the way his family was treated ever since his father was crippled, he became much more mature, way beyond his adolescent age. He himself felt as if part of the ridicule that the family was because him. It’s not that he couldn’t cultivate nor was he crippled in anyway, but when he was younger and when he got graded it showed that he was not even close to being a grade 1 talent. The higher the grade the more talent one had and the faster one could cultivate and the easier it was to sense yuan Qi.
Most children his age who had mediocre talents were already at the 6th layer of Body Refinement, whereas he was stuck at the 1st layer. He barely left their household as he felt that he would lose face for his clan, but due to his fathers injury the family had lost most of its status and the only servants that stayed behind were those born into the Han clan. This ultimately forced him into going out and running errands with his older brother.
During this period though it was hard for them to even run an errand without being bullied by other clans or ridiculed by the civilians. When he father got injured around the time he was 5 years old, he had vowed to get stronger and teach these people a lesson, but reality was harsh on the lad, by the time he was 10 he had been shown by a rival clan child just how foolish his dreams were. And since that day that he got humiliated he barely spoke to anyone except his father.
So even when his brother was lamenting their misery all he did was lower his head and walk. This left his older brother at a loss, all he could do was feel sorry for his younger brother but apart from that he felt useless.
“Ming’er, I kno-“
“Don’t worry about it too much brother. There is no way we can play God and change the situation so complaining about it won’t change anything. Just be happy that father can still spend time with us.”
“Sigh, between the two of us I always wonder who is the oldest yet you’re 6 years my junior.”
“ Haha, I’m still but a child, I still need brother to protect me.”
When Han Ming heard his brothers words he couldn’t help but chuckle and sheepishly spout out this sentence. And his brother couldn’t help but smile at this rare sight of his brother smiling.
“ Han Ming , Han Mu you dare show your faces here again. Are you looking to die?” Just as the brothers were laughing and chatting they heard these words. They looked for the source of the words and found that the speaker was a middle aged man with a long beard and an expression that could be best explained as one of constipation.
As Han Ming saw this person he couldn’t help but sneer, but as always without a single word he just began walking again. Han Mu followed suit and just went with his brother. The middle aged man though looked as if he wanted to start a war, instead of letting the pair walk he started pointing and shouting at the duo.
“ Look here, you two useless sons of the Han clan. Tell me Han Ming have you reached the 4th layer yet. You’re such a heaven defying talent aren’t you? And you Han Mu how f*cked up is your brain that a genius like yourself would reject joining my clan to stay in that sh*t hole you call home.”
Han Ming didn’t seem to care about what the man had said so he just kept walking as if he had heard nothing, Han Mu on the other hand couldn’t take the humiliation so he turned around and with a cold voice he retorted.
“Chen Ji! When my father was still a general of this Rovert kingdom he saved your whole family and you dare call his House a sh*t hole, and you even humiliate his children. What gratitude you have.”
“That was then, and even without that old farts help we still would’ve survived. He means nothing now and that’s all that matters. I can shit about him now because he is weak and his two sons are just the same.”
Han Ming held back his brother. “Brother don’t lower yourself to a fools level, let’s just go home. Father is waiting for his medicine.”
Han Mu was unwilling to let it go, but in the end he felt that his brother was correct and he left together with him. And even as they walked away, the surrounding people kept on whispering and pointing in their direction. Both brothers couldn’t help but sigh and silently walk away.
After a few breaths they reached a house that looked run down and ancient. Truth be told it used to be a wonderful house, but after the incident, the Kingdom had stopped giving them any money so they couldn’t take care of the house let alone buy medicine to give their father. They had started hunting but it was barely enough to make ends meet.
Just as they entered the courtyard they respectfully bowed at an old man who was seated just beside the door. “Han Mu greets Uncle.” “Han Ming greets Uncle.”
“Mu’er, Ming’er welcome back. Mu’er hurry and go give the maids the medicine to prepare. Ming’er follow me. Your father wants to speak to you.”
“ Yes Uncle.” they both replied in unison, and this caused their uncle to smile pleasantly.
“Do not waste time now, come with me.”
Han Ming and Han Mu said their goodbyes and then they both went separate ways. When Han Ming caught up with his uncle he couldn’t help but notice that his uncle’s expression was a bit grotesque and haunting to look at. Before he could even enquire he and uncle had already reached his fathers door, and knocked on it.
“Come in.” the knock was followed by a weak voice that sounded more like a whisper. Before Han Ming’s uncle opened the door he looked at him with a solem expression and uttered words that left Han Ming Flabbergasted.
“My child, please don’t hate us for what we are about to tell you.”