Chapter 19 Part 1: “He leaned close to Chu Binghuan’s ears before saying, half-genuine and half-jokingly, “I’ll be very willing to die in your hands.””
“Cease your nonsense!” Chu Binghuan yelled out involuntarily, his tone filled with severity.
Hua Che hadn’t expected Chu Binghuan to react so violently. He hadn’t been deliberately teasing him, because he truly didn’t feel that well right now.
Forcing himself to become more spirited, Hua Che comforted, “Medical experts have long become accustomed to the fate of mankind. It’ll be fine once you’re used to it.”
Chu Binghuan seized Hua Che’s wrist as his right hand palmed the youth’s forehead.
“It’s no wonder you’re babbling such nonsense. You have a fever.” He said.
“Oh.” Hua Che very cheerfully accepted this fact. He didn’t take his fever too seriously.
Instead, he pretended to solemnly urge, “Quick, grab a brush ah! I don’t have enough strength to do it myself, so help me write it instead.”
Chu Binghuan was at a loss. “Write what?”
Hua Che replied, deadly earnest, “Write out your preferences and dislikes, so we can give it to your destined wife ah! Quickly, quickly, before I forget everything in a while.”
Chu Binghuan: “……”
No, he shouldn’t bicker with a sickly patient whose high fever has muddled their brain!
“Who is that arsonist?” Chu Binghuan, who didn’t want to continue discussing his “destined wife”, changed the topic. He lowered his voice before asking in a deep tone, “Did you see them?”
“No. But……” Hua Che looked up at the black clouds in the sky. He chuckled in an enigmatic manner and said, “I can probably guess who it is.”
Hearing this, Chu Binghuan didn’t continue to question him. Right now, what was most important was Hua Che’s body.
He reminded the sick youth, “Relax.”
Hua Che knew Chu Binghuan wanted to probe his spirit. He naturally wouldn’t resist.
The so-called “probing spirit” is a technique where a user enters their opponent’s inner world with their own soul. The user would be able to explore their opponent’s soul, spiritual knowledge, and their golden core.
With this technique, it would be possible for the user to take advantage of this opportunity to cast an evil curse on their opponent. In addition, they could also extract the opponent’s soul, steal their golden core, or even seize their body.
But at the same time, the user themselves will be at a risk when performing this technique. For example, if their opponent resists, like if their attack using True Energy is too fierce, the user will suffer backlash.
Instead of stealing their opponent’s soul, the user would be trapped in their opponent’s inner world, allowing their own soul to be gobbled up by their opponent.
Chu Binghuan moved cautiously. Entering Hua Che’s inner world, he circled around a lap. Only after confirming Hua Che hadn’t been secretly cursed did he finally relax.
By the time Chu Binghuan retreated, he discovered that Hua Che had closed his eyes. With his head leaning to a side and shallow, relaxed breathing, the sickly youth had actually fallen asleep.
But Hua Che didn’t sleep well. He had a bunch of discontinuous dreams that couldn’t be connected at all.
For a moment, he would see Hua Mei’er embroidering under the oil lamp. She had been very skilled in the feminine arts, and the lotus she embroidered would look vivid and lifelike, pure without the slightest speck of dirt. Meanwhile, her embroidered plum blossoms would appear proudly in full bloom, as if they were striving unremittingly.
As she embroidered, Hua Mei’er would speak to the child lying on her knees, “Mother loves lotuses and plum blossoms the most. One is undaunted in spite of all setbacks, standing alone when the cold approaches. The other grows out of the mud unsullied, becoming elegant, pure and holy. Thus, they are the gentlemen among flowers.”
“Che’er1, your name resembles a young lotus. Pure and transparent2, untainted by even a speck of dust. Your state of mind should be as free and vast as the far away open sky3. Without black clouds or worried rain, forever gentle and sunny.”
Hua Che lifted his chin to take a look at the poetry anthology that was spread out on the desk. As a child who had just learned to recognize words, he especially loved to show off his new skill.
Hua Che read aloud in a meticulous manner, “After the autumn rain passes, how green has the world become. Under the open sky, the colour of the distant mountains changes a thousand times4.”
Mother caressed his head.
Her hands were as warm as the sunshine.
A moment later, Hua Che dreamt of Lu Mingfeng, sitting above the throne hall and accepting the worship from thousands of immortals.
With cultivation of a thousand years, he looked grave and stern, solemn and respectful. He was a person of virtue and prestige, yet self-disciplined and measured.
Without exception, all the cultivators in the world revered Lu Mingfeng. In their eyes, to have the fortune to worship him as a master was a blessing cultivated after ten years.
Hua Che once thought this fortune was something he would never be able to receive. It was definitely something that belonged to Chu Binghuan instead.
But who would have expected Lu Mingfeng to pass over Chu Binghuan before choosing himself!
It was said that this had angered Mei Cailian terribly. She ended up intentionally visiting Shang Qing Immortal Sect to demand an explanation.
Elder Qianyang found it very difficult to understand as well. After all, Chu Binghuan’s aptitude for cultivation was something everyone could discern with the naked eye.
Although Hua Che wasn’t bad either, why hadn’t Lu Mingfeng accepted both of them together?
Did he dislike having too many outstanding disciples? In the future Thousand Immortal Sect Martial Conference, if his disciples could monopolize the first three places, wouldn’t this bring himself honour as well?!
But of course, these words weren’t something he could say aloud. Elder Qianyang was practically thanking the heavens for how he had finally obtained such a good disciple.
He was so happy, he couldn’t even tell apart north, south, east and west anymore. In fact, Elder Qianyang was afraid Lu Mingfeng would suddenly renege on his choice!
And of course, Hua Che, who had suddenly obtained such good fortune by dumb luck, had been overwhelmed with favour.
His Master was very amazing, and was also very good to him. Although he was usually a bit too severe, he was the type who was cold on the outside but warm on the inside. As long as it was something good for his disciples, Lu Mingfeng was never stingy.
Spiritual weapons, medicine, immortal herbs. All kinds of spiritual supplements, and medical bathes that could help one increase their cultivation. It made other disciples in the sect become filled with both envy and jealousy.
But Hua Che’s natural talent was truly outstanding. Even if he chose the path of the sword to pander to Shang Qing Immortal Sect’s specialty, he was still invincible. In a sect where military and literary talents were as common as rain, he still left his peers in his dust.
As for his personal history, little people in the sect knew about his background. They only knew he came from an impoverished family, suffered a lot of bitterness and endured many hardships. They believed Hua Che rather died instead of submitting, and thus kept on fighting in spite of his setbacks.
In the immortal world, a distinguished meeting would be held every four years. It was said to be a martial conference that consisted of thousands of sects, the Thousand Immortal Sect Martial Conference.
When the time came, disciples from all sorts of major sects would gather at Shang Qing Immortal Sect. Using martial arts to make friends, they would compete with each other fiercely to learn from one another.
It could be considered as a friendly exchange among the immortal sects. It was also an opportunity to train the new people of the immortal way, and select the best talents.
If one could pass the conference brilliantly and take one of the top three places, not only could they instantly become famous overnight among the entire world, they would bring even more glory and light to the sects and ancestors backing them.
The mishap happened precisely during this time.
As long as it was a disciple who had entered their sect for a full year, with an cultivation age under thirty years old, they would all be eligible to enter the Thousand Immortal Sect Martial Conference.
That first year, Hua Che cut his way through all obstacles. Pulling strongly against the frantic tide, his frosty sword made the entire fourteen states tremble as he bravely seized first place.
Only seventeen years-old, as a young man who still hadn’t been crowned5, Hua Che obtained immeasurable glory. Everyone had been convinced by his extraordinary bravery and heroic bearing. Everyone admired his peerless talent.
No one could resist the radiance of this youth, who was as enthusiastic as the morning sun above the nine heavens. Other people were destined to be reduced to some remnant stars, only capable of serving as his foil.
For the next three Thousand Immortal Sect Martial Conferences, it seemed as if the winner had long been foreordained. Like it was expected, as a matter of course, for Hua Che to seize victory each time.
Indeed, he had defended first place three times in a row, while second place unsurprisingly belonged to Chu Binghuan. Everyone else only deserved to compete for third place.
Admiration, longing, worship, and……jealousy.
“He is too dazzling. When you stand with him, you’ll seem extremely insignificant. Sometimes, I really wish he could take a tumble. Severely falling down, until he can never crawl back up again!”
This was something Lu Yao had said. Something Hua Che had secretly heard, many, many years later.
When all was said and done, Hua Che had been a young teenager who was frivolous and not yet that sensible. His limelight was too magnificent, yet he didn’t know he was attracting resentment.
Hua Che thought he was winning glory for his sect, obtaining honour for his Master, and working hard for himself.
As a result……his senior-apprentice brothers and junior-apprentice brothers didn’t think this at all.
So in the final end, everyone began hitting a man who was already down.
Hua Che, who had been too outstanding, finally attracted the attention of his birth father.
The mishap happened at the next Thousand Immortal Sect Martial Conference, under the eyes of thousands of immortal families and sects.
Hua Che didn’t know if the man surnamed Yin had done it on purpose, but he appeared just like that, completely undisguised, before recognizing Hua Che as his son in front of all the righteous immortal cultivators.
He called out Hua Che’s mother’s name, and then said all of his youthful, romantic dealings with Hua Mei’er in the past.
And after revealing such a major, secret history, how could the immortal sects still have the mind to continue their martial conference?
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- “Er” is a diminutive word for “child”, often used in nicknames.
- The “Che” Hua Mei’er chose is from 纯澈无垢 and can be translated to clear/transparent.
- “Qingkong” can be translated to “open sky”.
- This is the first line of a poem written by Su Shi.
- This is a coming of age ceremony. For more information, check: http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/a1/a-XB3V7K0E6C7DCDD78CD1B7.