Nothing Was For Certain
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Daiyu studied the boy in front of her with interest. Tears were no longer flowing as excessively, and he appeared to have understood her words. In all honesty, this was a gamble. If the devotion to his mother was resolute, that could mean he was someone who honored past origins. He would be the perfect person to take in as a junior brother as he would honor his roots. If, however, his devotion to his mother was more than that of the sect— then she lost this gamble.

She cared little about his lack of ability or his lack of money. What he doesn't have, she'll give. Nevertheless, what she doesn't have, he'll have to give as well. Nothing was ever for free. In the past, she often gave whatever Guiren wanted of her without any of it reciprocated. It was both a reasonable yet foolish thinking.

One she lived by before and could not tolerate now.

Daiyu stared at the child in front of her. If he were smart enough, he would understand her intent.

He had a chance.

The child clenched and unclenched his fingers. Due to the earlier assault on his body, each finger movement seemed to penetrate into his nerves, and he could feel the pain traveling into his bones. But this was good, he was awake. He used to think he had nothing but... didn't he still have his own two hands?

He didn't believe anything would change, so he never bothered to try defending himself. He didn't have the capability to practice martial arts, so he never tried to learn. A teardrop fell on to his unwashed hands. He was awake now. Today's wages would tie in today, but what about tomorrow? If he was ever kicked out, would he live longer than his mother, or would his mother live longer than him?

Daiyu turned away, impassive.

The value of money changed day to day with different greeds and wants. How can someone guaranteed their wealth would never fade? New leaders were always overtaking the old as there were always struggle and conflict for the most prominent seat in power. Sometimes not even the closest of blood ties mattered.

Nothing was ever for certain.

Nothing set in stone.

A moment of recognition was a moment of desire that brings dust.

It was nothing new, yet every soul yearned for these assets. Their goal, their struggles, and their lives were deeply poured in for these desires. Hence, Daiyu wouldn't dare call them meaningless. Whatever meaning one has was to be given to the object by the owner. She didn't possess the right to judge.

However, to her, it was mundane.

How tasteless.

She wanted something that would last forever.

Stretching out her hands, she tenderly caught a small pink petal drifting in the air from the blossom on a tree above her. Nonetheless, she thought, would she ever be able to get it?

What price did she have to pay?

"Senior sister!" The boy hurried forward with firm eyes. His clear voice delivered his answer, "I'm willing to give my heart to the sect."

Daiyu turned back, her hazel eyes on his hands. His fingers were no longer trembling, and his voice no longer stuttered. This child was not bad indeed, "Name?"

The simple question appeared to have thrown the child off. The boy looked down as he shuffled his feet. He was never given a name from his mother. Commoners born from the poor had little attachments to their children as the children were sent to work to give money back to the family. There was no opportunity to bond.

"I don't have a name."

Daiyu raised her eyebrow. This was fine as well.

"I'll give you a name," She pondered for a minute, "Huizhong."

The two words together meant wise loyalty. She was taking a chance to name her hope for the sect.

"Junior brother Huizhong," Her voice was faint to catch, but it firmly established his place.

Don't let me down.

Suddenly a surge of nausea seemed to hit Daiyu as she staggered back. Her legs trembled as she quickly grabbed on to a tree to steady herself.

It hurts.


It hurts.

The two words were all she could think of as she attempted to soothe her body's energy. In the past week, she had been relentless in training her body. Her younger body would not be able to handle certain martial moves, so Daiyu knew she needed to train harder to make out for the lacking strength. With or without her Shifu's approval, she would still go on to master all the moves of the six-claws dragon technique.

In truth, in order to carry out the full extent of the power, the technique needed to be done with two people. It was an attack that was supposed to be precise, and the user was not permitted to hold back, or their attacking power would recoil.

Using hands like claws, the practitioner would accumulate vast amounts of energy into their palm and fingertips. In combat, they would aim for the forehead, shoulder points, wrist, under the ribs, back of legs, and the bottom of the foot.

Their fingertips would inject just the appropriate amount of energy on those points to drive the rest of the opponent's spiritual energy into turmoil. The attack points were to be divided into two users, so the burden of carrying out the attacks would be shared. After all, if it were just one person, all their energy would be significantly drained, while if there were two, they wouldn't be so exhausted.

Daiyu clenched her hands as a bead of sweat ran down her chin, her body swayed.

Why now?

Why hadn't she noticed before?

Her body suddenly fell forward as her eyelids fluttered shut.