Chapter 11: “What Chu Binghuan owed, he had returned it all in his previous life!”
During the morning class, Zhuang Tian’s lecture was about some basic cultivation knowledge. It was very obvious that the content had been specifically customized for new disciples. Since Chu Binghuan and Mu Rongsa didn’t need to hear it, the targets for the lecture had been Hua Che and Lin Yan.
Of course, in reality Hua Che hadn’t needed to hear it either. Thus, this lecture was basically for Lin Yan.
“In this world, there are many different types of cultivation. For the immortal path, there’s sword cultivators, musical cultivators, medical cultivators, and beast tamers. For the demonic way, there’s two types; demonic cultivators and ghost cultivators. Another category of cultivators are the demonic beast cultivators. If they are wholeheartedly good and virtuous while cultivating the immortal path, they would be part of the righteous faction. If they are bloodthirsty and like to kill, then they would be considered a demon.”
Zhuang Tian solemnly continued, “The righteous and the evil cannot coexist, but the difference between immortals and demons can sometimes be determined with just a single thought. You absolutely mustn’t cross this line.”
“Nowadays, every immortal sect has its own specialty. The Shang Qing Immortal Sect focuses on sword cultivation, Yuntian Shuijing has the most medical cultivators, Ye You Prefecture specializes in musical cultivation, while the Feng Ming Valley mainly cultivates beast tamers.”
“This Master is precisely a beast tamer. It is possible for me to manipulate spiritual beasts and communicate with them. Reportedly, high level beast tamers can connect their minds with ancient mythological beasts, swearing a sacred oath and fighting with each other side by side.”
“You must carefully think over which cultivation path you want to follow. If you pick a path that is suitable for yourself, your future will develop smoothly. But if you do not, moving forward will be arduous and full of hardships.”
Looking at his sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth, Zhuang Tian smiled and said, “Tianyu cultivates the medical path while Zhaoyao is a sword cultivator. How about Qingkong and Little Yan?”
With a hand on his chin, Lin Yan thought for a moment before saying, “Cultivating by yourself is rather lonely. I want to follow Master and have a partner.”
Zhuang Tian smiled amiably and said, “You also want to become a spiritual beast tamer?”
Lin Yan nodded seriously. “Since I was young, I’ve always taken care of my little brothers and sisters. I believe I can also take good care of kitties or puppies.”
Hearing this, Hua Che chuckled before patting Lin Yan’s shoulder. “Ninth junior-apprentice brother, spiritual pets are not the same as ordinary animals. They have big tempers, and can both fly and spit fireballs. Will you be okay?”
Lin Yan was extremely confident in himself. “I can do it.”
Hua Che said, “It just so happens that you have two eggs. Once they hatch, you can form a pact with them using blood1!”
Zhuang Tian: “Don’t worry about other people. What about you?”
“Me?” Hua Che turned his tea cup in boredom. “I still haven’t finished thinking it over.”
Zhuang Tian mulled it over for a moment before saying, “I heard Yuan’er2 say, when you were exchanging blows with Zuo Qi, you used a xiao. Is that your spiritual instrument? Since this is the case, how about cultivating the musical path?”
To be honest, Hua Che kept thinking of the sword path. After all, he had cultivated it for dozens of years and completely understood it.
With his past experience, if he once again set onto the sword cultivation path in this life, he would be able to avoid pitfalls and make the best of it.
However, the path for sword cultivators was extremely difficult, where every step forward meant the addition of a new heart demon.
Precisely because sword cultivators triumphed in every battle, their dispositions became contaminated with a fiendish aura. Thus, from the very moment they stepped onto the path of sword cultivation, a heart demon would be planted in their souls.
On the other hand, musical cultivators were much more aloof and stayed away from worldly affairs.
Musical cultivators cultivated their hearts and souls. Their cultivation soothes the spirit, letting them be peaceful and at ease, becoming detached from the world. Since ancient times, sword cultivators qi-deviated and become demons the most often, while this was rarely seen for musical cultivators.
This was also fine. In his past life, if not to cater to the Shang Qing Immortal Sect’s style, Hua Che wouldn’t have chosen the sword path.
Setting down his tea cup, Hua Che obediently said, “If Master thinks I’m suitable for musical cultivation, then I’ll learn music!”
Smiling cheerfully, Zhuang Tian said, “Alright. After choosing a path to specialize in, you can also choose a secondary path. Just like how Tianyu specializes in medical cultivation but also excels in swordsmanship. After all, the sword path is the strongest cultivation method, so you must diligently practice your swordsmanship every day. Just regard it as exercise to keep your body strong and healthy.”
“You guys are young and have just started cultivating. Don’t secretly follow us adults and the way we fast. Eat well and grow your body.”
“The commandments of our Ling Xiao Temple are—respect your Master and attach importance to the Dao. When drinking water, be aware of its origin. You must not become friends with the crafty and evil, and you must not betray others or go back on your promises.”
“The four of you have just entered the Sect. After you return to your rooms, copy out the commandments a hundred times and engrave the words into your heart.”
“Ah?” Hua Che’s face turned bitter. He immediately despaired and said, “Master, please don’t order us to copy books so casually. I can just memorize it.”
Zhuang Tian: “Reading it ten times is inferior to writing it one time. Do you understand this concept?”
Hua Che made a final struggle. “There’s only twenty words. We can remember it even without writing.”
Zhuang Tian remained indifferent. “Yes, only a trifling twenty words. Even if you write it out a hundred times, you won’t use much paper.”
Hua Che: “……Why bother wasting the Sect’s ink, ha ha, right?”
Zhuang Tian replied with a smile. “Ever since your sixth senior-apprentice brother went down the mountain to collect rent and returned victorious, times have changed at our Ling Xiao Temple. So a little bit of ink like this won’t be missed.”
Hua Che: “……”
He wasn’t sure if it was just an illusion. But when Hua Che inadvertently turned his head, he thought he saw Chu Binghuan smile.
Being long-winded, Zhuang Tian talked endlessly without reaching the point for the entire morning. Only after they had their lunches did he begin discussing the main topic.
Since Lin Yan was the only person in the Ling Xiao Temple who had not yet guided spiritual energy into his body, Zhuang Tian ordered Wen Yuan to give him individual lessons. Meanwhile, he began instructing the rest of the disciples himself.
As Hua Che began copying the commandments, he tried summoning his sword “Gentle Breeze” again. However, none of his attempts succeeded.
This was starting to make Hua Che wonder if Gentle Breeze had been eavesdropping on him. Perhaps it thought Hua Che had chosen Embracing Snow and didn’t want Gentle Breeze anymore, so it was now angry.
After trying like this for half a month, Hua Che finally realized what was happening. Gentle Breeze wasn’t coming because his cultivation level was too low, so he temporarily couldn’t summon an ancient sword!
After yet another three days, Zhuang Tian called Hua Che and the other three new disciples into the Ling Xiao Pavillion. He said:
“A Sect has its own rules and customs. Without the Sect Leader’s decree, disciples are not allowed to leave the sect.”
“The moment one starts to cultivate, your life spans will increase multiple times. I grant the four of you seven days of vacation, so you can return home and see your parents and siblings.”
“A single day on the mountain is like a millennium in the mundane world, so who knows when you could see them again after this. If you guys wish to officially set foot onto the immortal path, you must first cut off the mundane world and your former loves. Otherwise, heart demons will be born in the future when raising your cultivation realms.”
Everyone understood this concept.
However, only Hua Che and Lin Yan were affected by it.
Chu Binghuan and Mu Rongsa’s entire families were comprised of cultivators. Something like seeing one’s child die before themselves didn’t exist at all.
“I don’t want to return home, I’ll just be nagged by my dad again.” Mu Rongsa ran toward Lin Yan before asking, “How about I follow you instead? Where does your family live?”
Lin Yan naturally welcomed his friend coming over as a guest. “I have many siblings in my family. It’ll be fine as long as you don’t dislike noise.”
“A lot of people makes it more lively ah!” Grinning, Mu Rongsa began dragging Lin Yan away.
However, suddenly thinking of something, he ran back to pull Hua Che aside. Mu Rongsa said, “Brother Hua, the thing between you and seventh junior-apprentice brother……as an outsider, it isn’t good for me to say anything. It’s better to properly talk things through with him.”
“If you want to separate, then just break up straightforwardly. If you want to mend your relationship, then quickly get back together. Really, look at how you’ve been avoiding him for half a month. Even I feel tired just watching you.”
Hua Che replied absent-mindedly. “I know.”
Everyone returned to their own homes.
Without informing anyone at all, Chu Binghuan acted arbitrarily and entered the Ling Xiao Temple. He really ought to take a trip home.
Returning to Yuntian Shuijing after flying on his sword for half a day, he was reverently led into the Cloud Pavilion by a maid.
Just before he entered, the maid nervously warned him, “Young Lord, the lady is extremely angry right now.”
Chu Binghuan took a deep breath before releasing it slowly. Entering the room, he saluted Mei Cailian who was sitting on the host’s chair. “Mother.”
“You still know how to come back?!” Mei Cailian was unable to restrain her anger as the pearl and jade accessories on her head tinkled and clattered.
“Worshipping the Ling Xiao Temple without saying a single word. Not replying to any of our letters for half a month. What do you want to do?!”
Lifting up the overlap of his robes, Chu Binghuan kneeled onto his knees. “Binghuan acted without authorization. Mother, I atone for my crime.”
“Hmph, if you were really afraid of me getting angry, you wouldn’t have worshipped the Ling Xiao Temple!” Mei Cailian slapped the table and stood up. “Is Shang Qing Immortal Sect not good? Why didn’t you go there?”
Chu Binghuan: “Shang Qing Immortal Sect does not have what I seek.”
“Is that so?! Not going to the best sect in the world, and instead worshipping a dilapidated little Sect to waste time. Are you crazy?”
Pursing his lips, Chu Binghuan did not reply.
Mei Cailian suddenly sneered. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re thinking about. That day, when that surname Hua declined the engagement and left, you chased after him. Now that he is studying at the Ling Xiao Temple, you also followed him over. It isn’t that Ling Xiao Temple is very good, it’s because Hua Qingkong is there. Am I right?!”
Lowering his gaze, Chu Binghuan replied in a deep voice. “Yes.”
Mei Cailian’s delicate facial features began to gradually warp. She was so angry, both her hands began shaking.
“Go, go kneel in the ancestral hall! Let your forefathers and ancestors see the preposterous thing you have done! Just for a single man, you even disregarded your future! You don’t even care about the prospects of your family!”
Chu Binghuan stood up, but he didn’t go to the ancestral hall. Instead, he stared at Mei Cailian and said, “You want me to worship the Shang Qing Immortal Sect, all so Yuntian Shuijing will become the number one sect in the immortal way. Mother, is the status of Yuntian Shuijing not high enough today? Is your identity not honourable enough? I don’t owe the Chu family anything, so don’t try to control my intentions.”
What Chu Binghuan owed, he had returned it all in his previous life!
His family’s glory, the status of Yuntian Shuijing, he had already accomplished all of it.
In this life, Chu Binghuan only wanted to be himself.
He only wanted to find back that treasure he had accidentally lost in the past!
“I’m having a good time in the Ling Xiao Temple. Sect Leader Zhuang is benevolent and kind, the senior and junior-apprentice brothers are affable and friendly. I really like it there.”
“The sect’s rules state that we cannot randomly leave the sect. I ask Mother to please take care of her health and body.” After speaking, Chu Binghuan turned to leave.
Mei Cailian’s face became pale. “Binghuan. Come back here! If you do not show initiative and give up on yourself, not entering a famous sect, how can you snatch back Yuntian Shuijing from your Uncle?! Do you want us widowed mother and son to always live under other people’s charity?!”
His uncle Chu Changfeng was not a person greedy for power. And Chu Binghuan himself completely didn’t care about Yuntian Shuijing.
His heart was in Hangzhou.
That ancient city brimming with picturesque charm and poetic grace, with splendor just filling the eyes. After passing by the west lake that was beautiful in both light and shade and then through the busy streets, before suddenly turning around……
That person he yearned for day and night, was standing right in the middle of the waning lights.
Hua Che choked on a sip of wine.
Chu Binghuan stood without moving.
Light and shadow flashed. As people came and went, Hua Che stood at the end of the street in red robes, looking as graceful as a cloud yet blurred like a fantasy.
Chu Binghuan quickly walked over.
Only to see Hua Che holding a wine pot in his hand, looking slightly tipsy. As if he had been frightened, Hua Che choked before repeatedly coughing. Sparkling and translucent teardrops began spilling from the corners of his eyes.
Chu Binghuan’s heart moved. Reaching out a hand, he wanted to wipe away those tears. But before Chu Binghuan touched him, they were rubbed away with Hua Che’s sleeves.
Chu Binghuan could only lower his hand. He gazed deeply at Hua Che and couldn’t help but ask, “Why didn’t you return…..”
How could Hua Che have a home?
Chu Binghuan’s eyes revealed a trace of heartache. The bottom of Hua Che’s heart trembled slightly, so he hurriedly adopted a careless expression and said, “Isn’t it good to have no relatives in the world? In this world, there’s only me. With no cares at all, I’ll avoid experiencing the separation of life and death. Isn’t it great?”
Chu Binghuan: “You do have relatives.”
“Aren’t I your relative?” Chu Binghuan fished out a jade pendant from his bosom. The two characters “Qingkong” were engraved on it. This was precisely the token Hua Che’s maternal grandmother had given them that year.
Chu Binghuan said, “You’re not alone.”
- In the raws, the actual wording here was “滴血认亲” which was the way ancient people did a paternity test to recognize their relatives — they would drip blood of the two people into a bowl together. If the blood mixed, then the two people would be related.
- This is referring to Wen Yuan. ‘Er’ is a suffix that can be used for children.