Chapter 2: “Declining the engagement earlier is also good, to prevent that person at home from thinking about it and eating vinegar.”
Hua Che realized he was probably……reborn.
He didn’t know if he should laugh or cry.
He blanked out for a long time before he finally remembered what time period he was in right now.
In this age, the immortal realm had many factions. Big and small sects were basically breeding like flies, with the Shang Qing Immortal Sect in charge.
Under Shang Qing Immortal Sect’s leadership, there were also three other factions that each governed their own region. These factions were precisely Feng Ming Valley, Ye You Prefecture, and Yuntian Shuijing.
The power and influence of these three families and sects were roughly comparable, and all of them were under Shang Qing Immortal Sect’s lead.
Chu Binghuan was the eldest son in the Yuntian Shuijing family. With his illustrious family background, he was practically born into riches and honour.
He had been outstanding at a very young age, displaying wisdom surpassing normal people and talent that evoked jealousy.
This year, Chu Binghuan was sixteen years old. Hua Che was three months older than him.
Just like how the people in the past had denounced him, Hua Che’s birth mother was a prostitute. She was a woman who had gotten trapped in the red-light district, one that had undergone the vicissitudes of life.
Her name was Hua Mei’er, and she appeared just like her name1, looking extremely delicate, charming, and amorous. Her seductive skills were superb and were reportedly the envy of the entire nine states and four seas. Regardless of whether one was human, a spirit, or a demon, they would all become head over heels for her. Even an almighty master cultivating the ruthless way wouldn’t be able to resist one of her backward glances.
No, even a tree made out of iron, or a stubborn rock, wouldn’t be able to withstand one of her smiles.
Despite this, a prostitute was still a prostitute. No matter how talented or outstanding, no matter if her beauty was enough to cause the downfall of a city, Hua Mei’er was still in the lowest profession; plebeian, humble and insignificant.
Since Hua Mei’er was lowly and humble, of course her son was also lowly.
It was reasonable to say that since their identity and social ranking were as far apart as the sky and the ground, Hua Mei’er and the Chu family shouldn’t have interacted at all.
Unfortunately, God liked meddling in other people’s affairs, insisting on a predestined marriage that spanned so many generations.
The explanation could be found in the last, last generation—Chu Binghuan’s paternal grandmother once fell into dire straits. Luckily, she had the fortune to be rescued by Hua Che’s maternal grandmother.
The two felt familiarity at first sight, and immediately became sworn sisters with a profound friendship. Chu Binghuan’s paternal grandmother recalled this life-saving grace extremely fondly, and felt tender affection once she met the young Hua Mei’er. Thus, she proposed an arranged marriage between the two families.
Unfortunately, at the time Hua Mei’er was already engaged, so Chu Binghuan’s paternal grandmother had no other choice but to reluctantly give up. However, she was extremely obsessed with the idea of connecting the two families with a marriage. Inspiration struck, so she proposed her idea to Hua Che’s maternal grandmother: it would be better to let their grandchildren marry instead.
When Hua Che’s maternal mother heard this, she felt it was a splendid idea. The two hit it off immediately and enthusiastically exchanged tokens.
Just like this, Hua Mei’er—who hadn’t even yet married and was barely ten-years old at the time—already had her future son’s marriage decided.
Hearing this story really made people not know whether to laugh or cry. Afterwards, Chu Binghuan’s paternal grandmother married into Yuntian Shuijing, like a sparrow transforming into a phoenix.
As for Hua Mei’er, her family encountered misfortune. Hua Che didn’t know the causes behind it, but Hua Mei’er had not yet married before she was reduced to becoming a prostitute in the red-light district.
Afterwards, no one knows who she ended up rolling in the sheets with to give birth to Hua Che.
If you were pregnant, it was impossible to survive in the red-light district. Hua Mei’er used all of her savings to redeem herself, taking along Hua Che and her old servant Nanny Jiang to live arduously.
The beautiful predestined fate from before, had now become extremely ironic.
In his past life, after Hua Che finished arranging his mother’s funeral, he randomly found an unremarkable, tiny box. When he opened it, he found a small jade pendant placed inside.
Despite deliberately using a box that had peeling paint, the jade pendant was carefully wrapped with a silk handkerchief. The young Hua Che had instinctively thought that this thing was out of the ordinary.
When he went to interrogate Nanny Jiang, he already felt a faint premonition in his heart—this was probably a keepsake from the scum dad that had abandoned him!
Facts prove that the pendant was not his dad’s. Instead, it was his wife’s.
Hua Che had enough self-knowledge. The way he had taken this token and rushed from afar to Yuntian Shuijing, wasn’t because he wanted to seek shelter. It was even less because he (as a poor relative) was there to borrow money.
No, Hua Che was taking the initiative to break off their marriage agreement.
The children of Chu family were all proud dragons of the heavens, while he was a dirty, homeless guy. How could he match them?
If that was the case, why would he cling to an engagement and not let it go? That was just courting his own disgrace!
On the way there, Nanny Jiang had already told him: Chu Changhe and Mei Cailian didn’t have any daughters. They only had one sole son named Chu Binghuan.
Chu Binghuan’s father had died early. Today, the affairs of Yuntian Shuijing were managed by his uncle Chu Changfeng.
When he heard this, it made Hua Che’s decision to break off their marriage even more firm.
Don’t joke around!
However, when he finally met Mei Cailian, Hua Che didn’t even have time to speak before he was smacked with a torrent of abuse from the stern and harsh Mei Cailian.
“Engagement? What engagement? Why didn’t I know my son and you had an engagement? Do you have a marriage contract? Or a token? Even if you do, it isn’t certain that they’re real. It’s not like you don’t know the status of my Yuntian Shuijing in the immortal realm. How many people break open their heads trying to claim we’re relatives or old friends, how many powerful noblewomen want to marry my son? I beg you to take a look in the mirror. From head to toe, exactly what part of you would match Binghuan? No, do you think you even deserve to stand here?”
It was as if all the words he had been repeatedly contemplating on the way there completely rotted in his stomach. Hua Che, who had been full of youthful vigour, smiled angrily.
The ego of a young man was too strong, so it was impossible for him to allow someone to trample it like this.
Thus, he chewed apart the words “withdrawing marriage”, swallowing them back into his stomach, before arrogantly saying, “I’ve already looked into a mirror! I really match him, a perfect match!”
Hua Che could no longer remember Mei Cailian’s expression at that time. He only remembered how he had been blasted out of Yuntian Shuijing.
Since he was angered by Mei Cailian, Hua Che became unwilling to be mediocre and unordinary for his entire life. He decided right then to enter the immortal realm, becoming an almighty master who could call the wind and summon the rain.
Thus, Hua Che decided to worship Shang Qing Immortal Sect, which was even more awesome than Yuntian Shuijing. It was precisely on his way there that he encountered Chu Binghuan. At that time, the two people hadn’t known who each other was, which actually caused some funny events.
Hua Che had a momentary lapse in attention as he recalled these old affairs. By the time he finally reacted, he was already led into Yuntian Shuijing by the bellboy.
Suddenly, someone yelled his name. Hua Che subconsciously turned around—Nanny Jiang had unexpectedly chased after him, holding a cloak in her bosom.
First, she carefully draped it over Hua Che’s shoulders, before she remorsefully explained to both Hua Che and the bellboy: “This old slave has been disrespectful. My family’s Young Master’s body isn’t very good, so this old slave was afraid he would catch a cold. I hope the young immortal lords will take more care of him.”
Hua Che’s heart warmed. But before he could speak, Nanny Jiang urged him to quickly go.
After all, they were lonely, homeless people who had no one and could only eat wind every day. How could they let the precious and noble Lady Mei wait for a long time?
However, when Hua Che followed the bellboy and entered the Yuntian Pavillion, no one was there.
He ended up standing there for an entire hour. Don’t talk about being served a single mouthful of tea, he didn’t even see a single servant around, much less a glimpse of Mei Cailian’s shadow.
Hua Che knew she was doing this on purpose.
In his past life, he waited for a full eight hours. Although his birth had been humble, he had never lacked a good upbringing. Hua Che was proficient in the four arts, respected the elderly and cherished the young. This was all personally taught by Hua Mei’er.
In his first life, he didn’t sit anywhere, but stood properly to wait, until the sun set over the hills.
Now, Hua Che hugged his chest with his arms and laughed gently. Bypassing a low table, he sat directly onto a praying mat.
The current him hadn’t yet devoted himself to cultivating, and was truly just a normal mortal. After climbing up the mountain road, he had long been tired—waist aching and back pained.
After sitting long enough for one stick of incense to finish burning, Hua Che no longer sat up still and upright. He began loosening his body until he was slanting to the side.
Just when Hua Che began leaning back, ready to lie down, the noble and busy Mei Cailian finally arrived.
Only after a group of maids walked in to serve expensive tea and cake did Hua Che stand up unhurriedly. In a not particularly mindful tone, he said, “This junior was discourteous.”
Mei Cailian’s complexion was dark. She indifferently said, “Sit.”
Hua Che sat down cross-legged, before lifting a teacup to moisten his throat. His purpose for coming had already been reported to Mei Cailian by the sect’s disciples, so there wasn’t a need for him to ramble or be polite.
Mei Cailian’s mood was also extremely bad right now, so she didn’t feel like using any roundabout tactics with Hua Che. Instead, she straightforwardly said, “I heard the sect disciples say, you’re here to seek my son Binghuan because of some past arranged marriage agreement, you……”
Mei Cailian stared at Hua Che, her words coming to a stop.
Hua Che cupped his hands in greeting before saying, “This junior’s surname is Hua, first name is Che. Courtesy name is Qingkong. The “che” is for “clear”, while “qingkong” is for “a clear and boundless sky”.”
Mei Cailian didn’t really care about his name. She only nodded her head before saying, “Alright, Hua Qingkong, yes? I know why you’re here. But as my son’s mother, I never knew he had a marriage engagement. You say, is this not funny?”
Hearing this, Hua Che very cooperatively smiled.
This actually made Mei Cailian blank out for a moment.
Although she didn’t want to admit it, she was truly stunned. This sixteen-year old youth……was seriously very beautiful.
His skin was overly fair, while his facial features were bright and delicate. A pair of phoenix eyes gave rise to an amorous feel, incomparably bewitching.
Occasionally, Hua Che would cough twice. In combination with his not fully grown frame, it actually gave him a sickly beauty, like a weak willow in the wind. The image was extremely breathtaking, capable of captivating one’s soul.
He already looked this bewitching despite being a teenager. When he grew up, wouldn’t he be incomparably magnificent, a source of calamity?
Unfortunately, being beautiful was ultimately useless. In the end, Hua Che was still a prostitute’s son, born humble and lowly. He was also a complete mortal who didn’t even build his foundation.
If it was not for this, their marriage didn’t necessarily have to be impossible.
Hua Che set down his teacup before entering the main topic. “This engagement was decided by the last, last generation. My mother had not told this junior, and it was only after this junior interrogated my nanny, did she……”
“Engagement? What engagement? Why didn’t I know my son and you had an engagement?” Mei Caihuan interrupted Hua Che, her beautiful eyes filling with disdain. “Do you have a marriage contract? Or a token? Even if you do, it isn’t certain that they’re real……”
“I’m here to break off the engagement.”
“It’s not like you don’t know the status of my Yuntian Shuijing in the immortal realm. How many people break open their heads trying to claim we’re relatives or old friends, how many powerful noblewomen—what!?” Mei Cailian’s face immediately paled, shocked.
The smile on Hua Che’s face deepened. Supporting himself with a hand on his knee, he got up and said, “Although the previous generation was very close and wanted an engagement between our families to increase intimacy, this marriage is no longer proper. So let’s forget it! A forced marriage lets me take advantage, wronging you guys. There’s no need for us to make things so difficult.”
Mei Cailian’s complexion lost even more colour.
Hua Che saying this, made it seem as if she looked down on the youth and was taking advantage of her high position to bully him. This meant she was the one who violated the decision decided by her elders, displaying no filial piety.
Hua Che took out the token, the jade pendant, and placed it on the table. “Besides, me and your esteemed son are both male, and we’re both the sole sons. In consideration of how the ancestral line must be continued, Lady Mei not wishing to allow the engagement go through is still very reasonable. Just this is fine, I’ll take my leave!”
“Wait!” Seeing how Hua Che had turned and was about to leave, she hastily yelled to stop him. Standing up somewhat anxiously, Mei Cailian’s head was completely chaotic and filled with random noise. Disdaining Hua Che and making him leave was one matter, but Hua Che taking the initiative to break the engagement was another matter entirely.
Think about what kind of a place was Yuntian Shuijing, and what majesty it held in the nine states. This nameless nobody unexpectedly didn’t want to use them to gain a higher status, but instead wanted to feign nobleness and withdraw from the engagement. What on earth was the reason?
Grand and majestic Yuntian Shuijing, Hua Che actually looked down upon them?
The corner of Mei Cailian’s mouth twitch. “What trick are you playing?”
“Nothing ah,” Hua Che’s face was very innocent as he explained, “That, it’s just……it’s good to break off the engagement earlier. To avoid ah, that person at home, from thinking about it and eating vinegar.”
Mei Cailian was stunned. “What?!”
Only after Hua Che had walked far away did Mei Cailian pick up that jade pendant. It was made out of top-notch, mutton fat jade. With the two words “Tianyu” carved onto it, skillful as if they were done by a heavenly immortal, this was precisely Chu Binghuan’s courtesy name.
At the time they had exchanged tokens, it was already decided then that Chu Binghuan’s paternal grandmother would help her grandson pick this courtesy name. This way, they could recognize each other in the future.
Mei Cailian naturally wouldn’t agree to this absurd marriage. It had nothing to do with Hua Che’s gender, but because he had been born lowly with no family to depend on. After he got together with Chu Binghuan, what good could he bring her son?
Chu Binghuan needed to become the strongest person in the entire immortal realm, and Yuntian Shuijing will also become the greatest sect in the righteous way.
She had planned to say some harsh words so Hua Che would give up as soon as possible. However, what should she do now?
It felt like she had eaten a huge loss in front of Hua Che. Mei Cailian felt as if a breath of air had been stifled inside of her, the feeling completely unbearable.
A maid who had been keeping quiet out of fear silently withdrew. Carrying the teacups and bowls, she encountered a person head-on and bowed slightly. In an extremely deferential tone, she hastily greeted, “Young Lord.”
“Did something happen?”
The maid said slowly in a low voice, “A young lord with the surname Hua came to seek the Lady.”
Chu Binghuan’s complexion immediately changed. “Where is he?” While asking, he was already quickening his pace toward the Yuntian Pavillion.
The maid hurriedly said, “Young Lord, that person has already left. He said he came to break off the engagement, and left after returning the token.”
Chu Binghuan’s feet came to an abrupt stop, before he turned to face the maid incredulously.
The maid was afraid that her master thought his engagement was broken off because he was being disdained, so she quickly explained, “That young lord already has a lover, so he came specially to decline the engagement. It isn’t because……”
“Declining the engagement, a lover? ”
The maid felt as if her Young Lord had said those words after chewing them rotten and spitting them out. There was no need to raise her head to see him for her to know just how frightening Chu Binghuan’s expression was right now.
Not waiting for her to brave certain dangers to try and explain more, she heard words that were spat out like pelting rain:
“I’m going to look for him!”