Chapter 14: “Turning his gaze and smiling, Hua Che said, “Even if I cultivate the musical way, I’ll still be able to beat up the sword cultivators from the Shang Qing Immortal Sect until they’re looking for their broken teeth on the ground. Do you believe it?””
Hua Che’s heart warmed as the rims of his eyes unwittingly reddened.
If these words had been said to him in their previous life, his past self would likely feel so moved, he’d have turned silly by now.
“How did you become drunk without even drinking any wine?” Standing up, Hua Che practically fled from the scene.
His former longing has now become his fear.
With great difficulty, Hua Che had finally relinquished his old affections. He didn’t want to follow the same path to failure again just because of some sweet words.
Watching Hua Che’s back, Chu Binghuan didn’t plan on chasing him. He knew that this was a matter that couldn’t be rushed.
Currently, Hua Che was only sixteen years-old. He was different from that pretty and flirtatious demon lord who called the wind and summoned the rain. From inside to outside, the present Hua Che was still very innocent.
Don’t be fooled by how the youth pretended to be an old expert in romantic affairs, always flirting here and there. In reality, Hua Che’s face was even thinner than paper.
But no matter what, in this life, Chu Binghuan wouldn’t let the two of them miss each other again.
Hua Che bid farewell to Nanny Jiang that night. Scared witless, he returned to the Ling Xiao Temple by himself.
Mu Rongsa and Lin Yan returned half a day in advance, and also brought back a bunch of local specialties as souvenirs. They handed it all to Zhuang Xiaowu who took them to the kitchen to cook.
Mu Rongsa stealthily called Hua Che to the side before asking, “How was it? Did you talk things out with Chu Tianyu?”
Gazing at the blue sky and white clouds, Hua Che sighed. “I think……our situation became worse.”
“Forget it, I can’t explain it clearly. My head is already hurting.” Hua Che rubbed his temples before smoothly shifting topics. “How about you? Going with Lin Yan to visit the countryside, how did it feel?”
“Ha ha ha ha, it was extremely fun!” The moment this was mentioned, Mu Rongsa immediately became excited. “Brother Hua, it’s such a pity you didn’t come with us. Little Yan has three older brothers, two little sisters, and one little brother, along with his parents and grandmother. It’s so lively with such a big family, you even need to fight over the food!”
Hua Che could imagine a scene like that.
The lives of cultivators were very long. After Yin energy enters the body, it washes away all the dirtiness from the mundane world. When one built their foundation, their lifespan would already surpass an ordinary mortal’s. After reaching the Golden Core stage, one would be able to live for at least two hundred years.
Mu Rongsa originally thought that when Lin Yan returned home, he’ll see a scene where everyone wept bitter tears, reluctant for their parting. He had already grabbed his own handkerchief, preparing to cry himself. As a result……
People from surrounding villages all came to congratulate them. Father Lin even slaughtered a whole pig as a sacrifice to their ancestors. He told them that one of their Lin family’s offspring has become an Immortal Master, bringing countless honour to their forefathers.
Everyone was laughing and smiling, and there wasn’t even the least bit of sadness.
As they passed the entire day in such a lively manner, Mu Rongsa wasn’t sure if he was reading him wrong, but he kept feeling that Lin Yan wasn’t very happy.
Sure enough, in the evening, he found Lin Yan on the roof amidst the night wind.
Lin Yan laughed bitterly before saying, “This is the first time they’ve attached importance to me like this!”
“I’m the middle child in my family. I have my big brothers above me, and my little brother and sisters below me. New clothes are always worn by my eldest brother, while the old ones are given to my second eldest brother. Third brother wears the patched-up clothing, while I……wear the damaged ones.”
“The pork-belly meat is my little brother’s, and the sweet syrup is for my little sisters. Only farm work is mine.”
“I need to go up the mountain to chop firewood and down the fields to farm. I need to do the laundry and cook, and still need to squeeze sheep’s milk for my little sisters to drink.
“My little sister was born premature. Her health isn’t very good, so we must give her supplements. I was born full-term, so my body has been strong and robust since young. It’s natural that I need to leave the delicious things to my little brother and sister.
“And my older brothers need to go to school, to pass the exam and receive scholarly honour. Of course they need to eat well too.”
As the sole son, Mu Rongsa had been pampered and spoiled since childhood. Naturally, he was unable to sympathize with him. However, when Mu Rongsa heard all of this, he still felt somewhat distressed for Lin Yan.
“Do you hate them?” Mu Rongsa asked.
Lin Yan thought for a moment before gently shaking his head. “That’s my big brother, little brother, and little sister, I don’t hate them. I’m just…nothing more than a little disappointed. Today, they paid so much attention to me, I just feel a bit overwhelmed.”
“Don’t feel sad.” Mu Rongsa hugged Lin Yan’s shoulder. “In the future, this big brother will cover you! This young master has a lot of money, you can eat whatever you want. Even if you want to eat something prepared by the imperial palace’s chef, this young master can kidnap him for you!”
Lin Yan’s grief turned into laughter.
The disciples who left the sect had all returned. Zhuang Tian opened the library that hadn’t been opened for a long time, letting everyone go in and find books to read themselves. If there was anything they couldn’t understand, they just needed to ask him.
Chu Binghuan already knew all the famous medical books in the world so well, he could recite them backwards from memory. With regards to his comprehension of medical literature, there was probably no one who could surpass him. Thus, the easiest disciple to teach in the Ling Xiao Temple was precisely Chu Binghuan.
Hua Che was relatively unfamiliar with musical cultivation. However, he had a considerably high level of mastery when it came to music. Time and again, he made Zhuang Tian gasp with admiration, so he didn’t need any guidance either.
The only person that made Zhuang Tian worry was precisely Lin Yan.
He was a true novice, without even the slightest foundation, and he was even cultivating the same path as himself!
Zhuang Tian’s tears were practically crisscrossing on his face. He could finally feel the value of what it meant to be a Master!
“As a spiritual beast master, the first step is precisely to tame beasts. The specific details on how to do this are different case by case. Some people are overbearing, forcing others to yield to them, as if their beasts were violent-tempered horses. Other people may be comparatively more gentle, using their compassion to influence them, letting the beasts accept themselves.”
Without a doubt, Lin Yan chose the latter method.
With regards to Mu Rongsa, he had been studying swordsmanship manuals until his brains were practically melting. If he wasn’t eating, then he had to go to the toilet. Otherwise, he would make his subordinates massage his waist or hammer his legs, carry over tea or pour him water.
Zhuang Tian truly couldn’t continue watching him do all of this. Using the reason of how it was inadvisable for people devoted to cultivation to be overly raucous and noisy, he drove out all of those people.
In order to obtain the grand position of the Sect Leader of Ling Xiao Temple, Mu Rongsa suffered in silence and went to practice his sword.
However, what was an elegant and flowing sword move in Mu Rongsa’s eyes, was precisely blind gesturing in Hua Che’s.
“Sasa, can’t you be more serious ah?” Hua Che practically couldn’t bear to look at him.
Mu Rongsa was unconvinced. “I’m being very careful ah! Look, this is ‘Level Sand and Descending Geese1’, and this one is ‘Mustering Troops on the Battlefield’!”
Hua Che held his head. Lightly leaping over the beauty couch, he took two steps closer before picking up a dried branch from the ground. “Come, this junior-sect brother will exchange some blows with you.”
“Don’t joke around.” Mu Rongsa became excited. “I’m using a real sword, but you’re only gonna grab a broken twig?”
Hua Che said indifferently, “If you could receive three……one of my attacks, I’ll take care of all your dirty laundry for this year.”
Mu Rongsa was just worrying about how nobody would wash his dirty clothes now that his subordinates were ousted from the sect. After being stimulated by Hua Che like this, he lifted his sword and immediately rushed at him. “Brother Hua, be careful oh!”
In the corridor, Lin Yan, who was just passing by, finally saw with his own eyes what it meant to “lose your helmet and remove your armour2”, rolling and crawling in a desperate attempt to escape.
“Brother Hua, Brother Hua! Don’t, don’t!” Mu Rongsa raised his Domineering Leakage—ah no, it was called Domineering Side—as he was chased and beaten by Hua Che, who only held a dried branch.
Losing with dishevelled hair, Mu Rongsa’s entire head and face were also filthy with grime. The entire fight had been completely one-sided, and Mu Rongsa was as miserable as one can be.
The dried branch was so fast, it was practically leaving overlapping images in one’s sight. Moreover, the power behind every blow was capable of crushing stone.
In Hua Che’s hands, the dried branch was as steadfast as iron. If Mu Rongsa’s sword wasn’t a spiritual weapon of the highest calibre, it would have long been sliced into dregs.
“Here, look carefully. You need to thrust up.” Hua Che neatly rotated his wrist.
As the dried branch was raised, rays of light began flowing all over the place. The True Energy spilling out appeared as if it was a chilly blade from the North.
Mu Rongsa sneezed, shivering with fear.
“Raise your sword a bit higher, and stop shaking your hand.”
“Save me, Hua Qingkong wants to injure his sect brother ah!”
“Pay attention to your feet.”
“Master, save me ah ah ah ah!”
Lin Yan shivered. “……”
Eighth senior-apprentice brother was so, so ruthless!
With great mercy, Hua Che ultimately spared Mu Rongsa’s life in the end.
Mu Rongsa was moved to tears. Sprawled on his back, he panted, “Brother……Brother Hua, this……this Young Master, cough cough cough……this Young Master surrenders to you!”
Hua Che threw away the dried branch that hadn’t been damaged at all. Glancing at the half-dead Mu Rongsa, he said, “Hey, stop resting. Quickly go take a bath, change your clothes, and then prepare to eat dinner.”
“Can’t, even if we’re eating dragon’s meat tonight, I won’t come!” Mu Rongsa was so tired, he was practically paralyzed.
Forcing himself to be more spirited, he asked, “Brother Hua ah, what exactly are your origins? How come you’re so powerful?! You’re good at the xiao, and even your swordsmanship is also so excellent. I originally thought Chu Tianyu was already powerful enough……wait!”
Supporting himself with the ground, Mu Rongsa stood up. “Brother Hua, your talent for swordsmanship is already this high. Why won’t you study the sword path?”
Turning his gaze and smiling, Hua Che said, “Even if I cultivate the musical way, I’ll still be able to beat up the sword cultivators from the Shang Qing Immortal Sect until they’re looking for their teeth on the ground. Do you believe it?”
This time, Mu Rongsa didn’t even think before replying, “I believe it!!!”
Although there wasn’t dragon meat, there was snake soup.
Everyone says snake meat was very delicious, but Hua Che didn’t like it. Meanwhile, Chu Binghuan was a vegetarian. Thus, the one who ate with the most vigor was actually Mu Rongsa, who didn’t abstain from either meat or vegetables.
That evening, Mu Rongsa had gone through hellish training under the devil Hua Che’s teachings. Thus, he no longer cared about his image. Wolfing down all of his food, Mu Rongsa didn’t even leave a single piece left.
Although there weren’t many disciples, the territory of the Ling Xiao Temple was very big. In addition, apart from the Ling Xiao Pavillion, all of the other rooms were named after the heavenly palaces commonly found in folk stories. They all sounded extremely arrogant.
Perhaps even the founder of the Ling Xiao Temple thought it was a bit too excessive. Calling a single courtyard with a house as a “palace” seemed too ostentatious, so it was changed to “pavillion”.
Mu Rongsa picked around for a while before taking a great fancy to the “Doushuai Pavilion”. After all, in folk stories, that was the residence of the Heavenly Lord of Dao5.
Meanwhile, Lin Yan didn’t have many requirements, so he casually chose the “Yunlou Pavilion6” that neighboured Hua Che.
Guanghan Pavilion and Huale Pavilion had relatively good locations. With one north of Ling Xiao Temple and the other south, along with countless mountains and rivers separating them, the journey from one Pavilion to the other would be a long and arduous road. Both places were beautiful and elegant, surrounded by mountains and the sea.
Guanghan Pavilion was cold and quiet. Unusual and rarely seen herbs were planted in the entire courtyard, perfectly suiting Chu Binghuan’s medical cultivation.
Meanwhile, Huale Pavilion was filled with birdsong and fragrant flowers. With wide clouds and the sky high above, there was a poetic and artistic quality to the place. It perfectly suited Hua Che’s musical cultivation.
However, Chu Binghuan wasn’t very satisfied.
Although Guanghan Pavilion was admittedly good, it was too far away from the Huale Pavilion.
Despite clearly being from the same sect, other than morning class and their two meals, Chu Binghuan wouldn’t be able to catch sight of Hua Che for the entire day. He deeply suspected that Hua Che was deliberately avoiding himself.
Deciding to pay Hua Che a visit, Chu Binghuan set down his medical book.
He had just walked into the courtyard of the Huale Pavilion when he saw Mu Rongsa running out, looking as if he was scared witless. Behind him, Hua Che chased relentlessly, appearing like a demon from hell.
Chu Binghuan: “……”
Today, Hua Che’s entertainment seems to be tormenting Mu Rongsa.
Just at this moment, Wen Yuan ran over with his brows beading with sweat. While panting heavily, he said, “Something bad happened! People from the Shang Qing Immortal Sect came, and they want our Master to hand over eighth junior-apprentice brother!”
Chu Binghuan’s complexion sank as Hua Che and Mu Rongsa paused at the same time.
“They’re looking for me?” Hua Che threw away his tree branch, looking completely innocent. “Why are they looking for me?”
“It seems like……like……” Wen Yuan’s face was deathly pale. “Zuo Qi died.”
- This is a famous piece on the Qin.
- This is a Chinese idiom to describe huge embarrassment while suffering a major defeat.
- This is the palace on the moon previously mentioned.
- This means “transform into music/happiness”.
- For more information, check: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daode_Tianzun.
- This means “a tall building towering into the sky”.