An illuminated glow of the moon could be seen shining through into a waxed paper paned window of a grand room. The delicate touch of the moonlight settled on the body of a small figure rolling sleeplessly on a large bed.
Huizhang rolled to his right side once again, the twelfth time during the night. Shoving his face into the soft blanket, he lamented when he was not able to be lulled to sleep. Although he wasn't actively trying to recount today's events, they appeared anyway like little rascals working to taunt him.
After his fall, along with the roar of laughter that followed his way, Huizhang eventually got back up to his feet. However, this action only allowed the laughter to quiet to sniggers stabbing at what was left of his pride. Despite the fact, he usually wouldn't mind being looked down upon, this time, he really couldn't cope the same way he could before.
He recalled getting up and waiting for his senior sister's reaction.
Daiyu had merely given a quick glance around the crowd before her dull eyes landed on him.
That was it.
Huizhang couldn't accurately express what he was feeling at that time. Perhaps, it was the feeling of relief to not have to continue making a fool of himself, but there was something different— a sour taste of bitterness he didn't even notice himself that somehow still managed to creep into his heart.
Frustrated, Huizhang rolled back on to his left side.
What was he hoping for?
A compliment when he clearly knew he didn't deserve it?
A word of encouragement that would do nothing but bring him more shame since everyone would know it was fed from empty kindness?
Although Huizhang knew Daiyu didn't say anything wrong with those words and those words suggested nothing of harm to him, he still couldn't help but to want for something else to be spoken at that time.
It was so cold and straightforward how unattached she was to the whole situation.
Perhaps the bitterness came from the expectations Huizhang had built on to the notion that they were martial disciples to the sect master, so even if he fell, she would help him through. But now seeing how different this disparity was— quite painful.
After leaving with Daiyu, Huizhang didn't know what to say. He really wanted her to express her thoughts on his moves, but he didn't dare ask out of embarrassment. They both walked speechlessly down the mountain under the shadows of the nearby trees.
At some point, Huizhang had become so immersed in his own degrading thoughts concerning himself, he tripped over a simple protruding bump of dirt from the ground. While he didn't make a sound as he fell, Daiyu seemed to have heard him landing on the ground.
Without a word, she loosened a thin white cloth from her sleeves. It was simply meant as her intention to help him up, but Huizhang had viewed it as another meaning.
She must not have wanted to touch him directly.
Was it because he was dirty? Or maybe she was ashamed of him? Sudden thoughts of the unwanted bloomed into his mind once again, bringing a foul stench of bitterness.
In reality, Daiyu meant no harm by it. While she currently didn't have any emotions, it didn't change the fact that she once did. Noting how quiet Huizhang had become and his facial expressions distorting to display his inner thoughts, Daiyu could guess how he was feeling.
Back at the training grounds, she simply wanted Huizhang to show her what he had known, whether it be what he had seen or what he had heard.
As for not speaking out about the disrespectful laughter the others had given Huizhang, it was something she overlooked.
In the past, a similar situation had occurred with Guiren. When she had openly defended him when he was clearly lacking, it made others hold a quiet discourtesy belief of him as well as her.
The martial sister was picking favorites.
Even if her junior brother amounted to nothing, she could still make him walk in heavens.
It had slowly built a grudge against her and distrust that anything she did could be honest.
Letting others see Huizhang at his lowest would hopefully give him more genuine respect once he improved. However, without her emotions, Daiyu misjudged how negatively Huizhang saw the circumstances.
After noticing Huizhang fell, Daiyu could have bent down and directly helped him up, but seeing the boiling emotions that raged in Huizhang's eyes, she hesitated.
If she touched his hand... would those emotions travel to her?
Would those same emotions affect her like they did in her past life? Would they once again put her in a position where she would no longer be in control?
Unwilling to directly touch him, she offered the white cloth as assistance.
However, this simple action caused Huizhang to be unable to fall asleep.
Huizhang flipped over once more before he stared blankly at the moon.