Some time has passed. In an empty room, Dee has awakened. He cluelessly looked around, not knowing what had happened between now and after he had fainted. His last memories were of him lying on the ground crying for help. Dee tried to move his body but was too weak to do so. His lips are dry, sweat dripping down his forehead like a waterfall. Dee tried to observe the place he was in. Rather than saying that it’s a room, it’s more like a cottage. Just by looking at the place once, Dee could tell he was still in Zundian. Both the rooftop and the floor are made up of hays, the cottage looks like the ones from decades ago. Dee looks at himself, he is laid on a hardwood bed, with a shabby blanket. The bed here is not comfortable at all, Dee felt his back is hurting because of it.
Dee looked farther away, finding Rui also laying on a bed. He seemed to be still unconscious. Dee pulled his blanket off, he saw his right leg wrapped along with bandages. That right leg still kind of stings. He’s
“Oh, you are awake.” An old man walked into the room. The old man has few strings of white hair on his almost bald head, and a long long beard, his voice gentle and warm.
“Is he awake yet?” The old man pointed at Rui.
“I don’t think so,” Dee replied.
“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself,” The old man said. “People here call me Grandpa Yuan.”
“Nice to meet you.” Dee tried to offer his hand to Grandpa Yuan, but his arm was too sore.
“Be careful,” Grandpa Yuan said. He picked up a bowl beside him, mixed it around with a wooden spoon. “You got seriously poisoned during the fight. If you didn’t notice, you are currently in Zundian, and I’m your doctor.”
“Here.” Grandpa Yuan handed Dee the bowl and the spoon. “Sit up and drink this soup. It will help you recover.”
Grandpa Yuan helped Dee up, it was a tough process. Dee’s whole body is very sore and is in an extremely weak state. He is still a bit dizzy and is having a minor headache. Dee slowly drank the soup, it was comfortably warm. Yet, it’s also very bitter. From the taste of it, it appears the soup was made from wild herbs. The warmness of the soup drained down Dee’s throat. Just one sip was enough to make Dee feel a lot better.
“Rest for a bit, then you will be able to walk,” Grandpa Yuan told Dee.
“Thank you.” Dee appreciated his helpfulness.
“That’s what us doctors do,” Grandpa Yuan proudly said. “Now I’ve got to check on other people.”
Dee laid back down, he started recalling the fight they had with the unknown enemy. “Who could they possibly be?” Dee thought. These enemies were wearing masks, however, he did see some of their faces when dining in the restaurant. But Dee still has no idea of who they are, he doesn’t recognize their faces. One thing that Dee is keeping a note of, is that some of the enemies look a bit foreign. Some of them don’t look like local Chang’an people.
Dee started to recall the details in the fight, information that he could think of. But not many were remembered, the pain had caused Dee to forget about lots of details. The only thing Dee could think of at the moment is that one of the enemies was using a spear. Spears are a rare weapon today, they used to be one of the more popular weapons to use. But the rise of swordsmen really damaged the popularity of spears.
Dee is frustrated that he couldn’t remember more, almost to the point of jumping out of the bed. But he kept his cool. Dee took another few sips of the bitter soup, he still feels pain when sitting up. “Hopefully I’ll be able to walk soon,” Dee prayed.
Hours later, Dee tried a million times to stand up, but his legs were too weak to handle his weight. He still couldn’t really move. However, Dee could comfortably sit up now.
All of a sudden, Dee heard some footsteps. Somebody is about to break inside the cottage. Dee for a second feared that it could be assassins, But it was just Grandpa Yuan.
“How are you doing now?” Grandpa Yuan asked. Seeing Dee could sit up on his own.
“Is your friend still not awake yet?”
“No,” Dee replied. He now is a bit worried about Rui’s condition. “He will be fine right?”
“Of course.” What Grandpa Yuan said removed Dee’s worries. “It’s just that he was really hurt, and might not wake up soon.”
“How badly was he hurt?”
“Your friend had several wounds on both of his legs,” Grandpa Yuan told Dee. “Many other smaller ones are all over his body. But the most fatal one is a stab to the side of his belly.”
Dee certainly felt the pain Rui was going through just by hearing the words, these wounds seemed no joke. Dee really hoped that Rui could get well soon, so he could thank him in person. In fact, he wants all other members to be well too. As they really saved his life.
Grandpa Yuan continued on, “Luckily, the stab was to the side. If it was straight in the middle, your friend might have bled to death.”
“How are we saved? How did we end up here.” Dee wondered.
“One of your people, I think, found a localist,” Grandpa Yuan told Dee the story. “He cried for help, so the people here decided to rescue you guys.”
“I’m really thankful for it.”
“People from Zundian don’t usually intervene with outsiders. But you guys were really hurting, so we helped,” Grandpa Yuan added. He walked over to Rui’s bed and checked how Rui was doing. “Are you able to walk now?”
“Not by myself,” Dee said helplessly. “My leg still hurts.”
“If you want, I can help you.”
“Thanks a lot.”
Grandpa Yuan helped Dee get up, holding his arm to keep his balance. Dee’s first few steps were wobbly, he couldn’t put any pressure on that right leg. He will be better just walking off of one leg instead. However, after more steps, Dee could now keep his balance.
“Try walking on your own,” Grandpa Yuan said, no longer holding on to Dee’s arm.
Dee started walking. Unlike before, Dee could feel his legs and he successfully walked a few meters forward. But, the pain is still there. “I can sort of limp forward right now,” Dee said.
“You walk more fluidly than I do,” Grandpa Yuan jokes. He is not only nice but also has a sense of humor. “Go out and get some fresh air.”
Grandpa Yuan handed Dee some cloth to keep him warm. Dee limped outside the cottage and took a deep breath. Getting fresh air for the first time really comforted Dee. He peeked around, and suddenly saw a familiar body, It was Shun. Shun is just sitting right outside the cottage and seems to be waiting for either Dee or Rui.
Shun has a strap of bandage across his chest, as he was brutally hurt in the chest area. He seems like he’s recovered nicely, but his face still looks grey, tired, and exhausted.
Shun saw Dee, quickly bowing. “Master Dee,” He called.
“Thank you for saving our lives. You are really a great swordsman.” Dee praised.
“I’m not the hero. The credit is for everyone,” Shun said.
Dee smiled, it’s nice to see a person being humble. “ Are you feeling fine now?” Dee asked, seeing such a long stripe of bandage on Shun’s chest.
“Good to know,” Dee said. “Do you know where Yuchi is?”
“He was hurt badly. He did wake up, but he still needs to recover,” Shun said.
“Do you know where everyone else is?”
Shun’s fingers pointed in a crowded direction. Dee wanted to check on other people as well, see how they are doing. He limped his way in the pointed direction. After not so long, Dee found all of his other members, who are alive and happy.