Chapter 6: “Chu Binghuan wasn’t thinking much. After all, wherever Hua Che went, he’ll follow.”
“Brother Hua, exactly what is happening between you and that guy with the surname Chu?”
Mu Rongsa originally thought that these two people wouldn’t be able to come to an agreement, and would ultimately come to blows. He had even prepared some silver already, and was just waiting for Hua Che’s signal before he returned money in his friend’s stead.
How could Mu Rongsa have expected that after waiting for half a day, these two people would hold hands and become good friends?
Chu Binghuan was even going to accompany them to Ling Xiao Temple!
Hua Che felt extremely pressured and tired. “It’s hard to explain in a few words ah!”
Mu Rongsa said anxiously, “Then make the long story short! Otherwise, it’s hard for me to be the one stuck in the middle of you two.”
“Just consider it as……” Hua Che paused for a moment before saying, “We were once together, but then broke up. Something like that.”
“Ah?” Mu Rongsa immediately looked dumbstruck. It was very obvious that he hadn’t understood.
The boy was just about to ask again, when Chu Binghuan, who had been walking in front of them, suddenly turned around and gave him an icy glare.
Now, Mu Rongsa felt completely baffled. After blanking out for a moment, he cautiously caught up with Hua Che before muttering to him in a low voice, “When did I offend him?”
Hua Che replied, “He probably……thinks you’re my new flame.”
“What the f*ck?!”
This time, Mu Rongsa finally understood. He grabbed onto Hua Che, refusing to let him walk forward as he exclaimed, “I’m wrongly accused! This young master is pure and honest, when did I ever have an affair with you? I consider you my brother, don’t have other presumptuous feelings for me ah!”
The noise was giving Hua Che a headache. He explained innocently, “The blind one believing in this is him, not me.”
“Then quickly explain it to him ah!”
However, right after yelling this, Mu Rongsa suddenly felt that this wasn’t like him.
With how prideful and arrogant he was, why should Mu Rongsa be the one bending his knees, rushing over to explain himself to Chu Binghuan?
“Hmph, this young master is completely upright and has never done anything wrongful. How could I be afraid of Chu Binghuan?!”
Hua Che laughed in spite of himself. “Then do I still need to go and explain it to him?”
Mu Rongsa smiled naughtily. “Hehe, seeing Young Lord Chu admit defeat like this ain’t bad at all!”
After thinking it through, Mu Rongsa was now devoted to watching the drama. However, Hua Che suddenly felt a bit anxious.
Immediately after his rebirth, he had firmly declined the engagement. Like this, Hua Che had originally thought that everything would end there, and that there wouldn’t be any relationship between the two of them ever again.
How could he have expected Chu Binghuan to deliberately chase after him?
In addition, even if one disregarded how Chu Binghuan had returned the token to Hua Che, what was up with his persistence in accompanying Hua Che to Ling Xiao Temple?
Chu Binghuan’s current behaviour was really rather abnormal.
You have to know, Chu Binghuan has always been devoted to the Dao. His heart was completely free of any distractions. By solely concentrating on his cultivation, the only thing he longed for was to ascend.
Feelings and love, these were things Chu Binghuan completely didn’t want or care about. As a result, he was even more abstemious than those who cultivated the Ruthless way.
So why did Chu Binghuan’s personality suddenly change after his rebirth?
Sigh, perhaps nothing remained constant.
Just like how Hua Che’s body was supposed to be strong and robust, didn’t it also become extremely fragile now, always on the verge of collapse?
Hua Che blanked out for a moment. Chu Binghuan had actually walked over to him without him noticing.
Probably realizing his words had been too abrupt, Chu Binghuan paused for a moment before explaining, “I heard the maid who was serving my mother say, your health isn’t very good?”
Hearing this, Hua Che laughed before saying carelessly, “Of course not. I can eat, sleep and jump around.”
Chu Binghuan definitely didn’t believe in his nonsense. Grabbing Hua Che’s wrist, he took his pulse.
When the warm fingertips touched the icy cold skin, both of them trembled.
Hua Che hadn’t expected Chu Binghuan’s hand to be so warm. On the contrary, Chu Binghuan didn’t think Hua Che’s body could be so cold, especially after they had walked for so long on the mountain road.
Hua Che felt a bit panicked. He instinctively wanted to pull away, but Chu Binghuan surprisingly held onto him extremely tightly.
Chu Binghuan’s voice was still indifferent. However, he appeared even more astonished than Hua Che, as if Hua Che’s bad health was a very surprising thing.
Hua Che observed his peculiar reaction and became even more confused.
Precisely at this moment, some people appeared behind them on the mountain road. There were all types of people; some wore a rough hemp garment, while others wore satin and silk. Some were unarmed and defenseless, while others held a famous sword.
A sword cultivator impatiently said, “Are you guys gonna go or not ah? The registration is going to end soon. If you want to go, hurry up. If not, scram out of here!”
Before Hua Che or Chu Binghuan even said anything, Mu Rongsa—who was standing ahead of them—got angry first. “Hey, you really want to talk to us like this? Do you know who I am? Do you know who my dad is?”
“Who cares who your dad is! Hurry up and get out of the way!” The sword cultivator yelled, appearing extremely pretentious.
Hua Che and Chu Binghuan retreated to one side of the road. But when the sword cultivator walked over, he suddenly turned around to size up Hua Che.
The sword cultivator immediately sneered, “The old, the weak, and the sickly still want to seek immortality? Quickly go home and stay there, I heard the disciple selection examination for Ling Xiao Temple is very stringent. Instead of worshipping the Sect, be careful of losing your small life!”
Mu Rongsa was truly angered now. He was just about to make a move when Hua Che grabbed onto him and pulled him aside. “Sasa, now there’s something for us to look forward to. Let us see if this immortal friend can achieve his wish of worshipping Ling Xiao Temple. In addition, let’s see which one of us will live a longer life.”
The sword cultivator snorted coldly before leaving. With crossed arms, Hua Che merely laughed, letting this matter pass.
Mu Rongsa ended up being the one angered the most.
In any case, Hua Che had already lived for a few hundred years. He had long passed his competitive and aggressive age. Compared with the crusade he encountered as the Demon Lord, this type of malicious talk was really child’s play.
Meanwhile, Chu Binghuan silently stared at that sword cultivator who had walked into the distance.
More people walked past Hua Che. At the very end of the group, there was actually a very thin and small bean sprout who suddenly ended up slipping. If it wasn’t for Hua Che’s fast reaction and how he had subconsciously reached out to support him, this bean sprout would have fallen flat on his face.
When they finally arrived at Ling Xiao Temple……
Seeing once was better than hearing a hundred times. This place had truly declined.
The tiles and bricks were damaged but people were too lazy to mend them. The tables and chairs were cracked but people were too lazy to fix them. Specks of paint were falling off the walls……but people were too lazy to repaint them.
But contrary to what one might expect, the Sect Leader was in glowing spirits. Wearing clean, white robes, five disciples and an immortal crane followed him over.
That’s right, this was precisely everyone living in Ling Xiao Temple.
Hua Che: “……”
Chu Binghuan: “……”
Mu Rongsa: “……”
What was the point of a damned registration exam ah! Just accept everyone here!
Sure enough, someone among the candidates was thinking the same thing as Hua Che and asked in his stead.
The Sect Leader, Zhuang Tian, laughed in response. “Sigh, we need an exam. There’s so many people here, Ling Xiao Temple won’t be able to raise all of you ah!”
The scariest thing was if the atmosphere suddenly quietened.
The thoughts of the children in the crowd were all different. Some thought they had been cheated by the famous name “Ling Xiao Temple”.
Others believed everything they saw right now was just a façade, and that there was a different world hidden behind it. After all, to be able to choose such an amazing and prestigious name, the people here definitely couldn’t be ordinary.
Mu Rongsa looked here and there, scrutinizing the place. He was inwardly calculating some costs, planning out what should be renovated after he became the Sect Leader, and what should be completely rebuilt.
Hua Che thought this place was very good. Not caring about fame and fortune while being leisurely content with their position—this meant there wouldn’t be much mutual deception within the Sect.
Chu Binghuan wasn’t thinking much. After all, wherever Hua Che went, he’ll follow.
Before long, the eldest disciple of Ling Xiao Temple issued everyone a piece of paper. Zhuang Tian said, “What’s written on the paper is precisely the details and rules of this year’s disciple registration examination. Everyone should carefully read it.”
Hua Che rapidly read the paper once. At ten lines with a single glance, he quickly finished reading. Afterwards, he couldn’t help but begin slacking off.
Every candidate had different expressions after reading the piece of paper. Some appeared as if they saw an idiot, while others had an extremely complicated look on their face. There were some people who looked really alarmed, while others expressed a complete look of disdain.
But there was one person who looked very bewildered.
Hua Che recognized him. It was precisely that bean sprout he had casually helped at the foot of the mountain. The bean sprout looked anxious, gaze helpless and at a loss. He had even dropped the paper.
This bean sprout was illiterate?
It appeared to Hua Che that the boy didn’t want to ask others for help. The bean sprout was muttering under his breath, looking as if he was pretending to read the paper.
Children were thin-skinned and sensitive with a big ego. Add on how all his competitors surrounding him were trained in both combat and literature, the bean sprout would inevitably feel ashamed that he was illiterate.
Hua Che sighed. Silently moving closer to the bean sprout, he spread out his paper and then read aloud to himself, acting as if there was no one else there.
“The commandments of Ling Xiao Temple: Respect your Master and attach importance to the Dao. When drinking water, be aware of its origin1. You must not become friends with the crafty and evil, and you must not betray others or go back on your promises. The details of the new disciple selection examination: survive three days on Qingcheng Peak2.”
The bean sprout froze. He subconsciously glanced at Hua Che, who disregarded him and appeared as if he had just casually read it to himself.
That arrogant sword cultivator standing beside them yelled, “Why are you reading so loudly? Sensationalizing to please the crowds?”
Hua Che shot him a glance before smiling, “That’s right, I’m deliberately trying to show off to attract Sect Leader Zhuang Tian’s attention. Who knows, maybe he’ll make an exception and directly accept me as a closed-door disciple?”
The sword cultivator: “Fantasizing during broad daylight? Dream on!”
Hua Che smiled but didn’t continue arguing. The bean sprout stared at Hua Che, hesitating to say something several times.
He wasn’t an idiot. How could the boy not understand Hua Che’s careful thoughts? Filled with gratitude, the bean sprout suddenly felt his heart warm.
Chu Binghuan observed all of this. He had long known Hua Che was kind to others, but he didn’t expect him to be even more careful and considerate than he had originally thought.
At the very least, Hua Che hadn’t gone and asked the person something like, “You don’t know how to read? I’ll read it to you.”
Something like that would trample a person’s esteem. In addition, Hua Che himself would appear as if he was trying to show off how cultured he was.
Meanwhile, twists and turns like this weren’t something Mu Rongsa could understand. He was still pondering what would look more domineering: changing the flooring to marble or glazed jade.
Zhuang Tian looked like he was over sixty years old. He didn’t tie up his grizzled hair and instead let it down in a loose manner, the disheveled mess fluttering about in the breeze. With a goatee on his chin, Zhuang Tian wore a simple Daoist robe. If he didn’t smile or talk, he would truly look somewhat like an immortal.
Unfortunately, Zhuang Tian was fundamentally a flippant person. Whenever he smiled, wrinkles piled up across his face, making him look both comical yet benevolent.
“There are many traps on Qingcheng Peak. Don’t sleep too deeply at night, or else you might be eaten, oh!” Zhuang Tian yelled out one last warning before he reached out and gave his eldest disciple a push.
He introduced the man, “This is Wen Yuan, your future senior-apprentice brother. He’ll go with you guys to Qingcheng Peak. If you encounter any danger, just call for him.”
“In addition ah, every three years during the new disciple registration examinations, large sects will each dispatch their disciples to small sects so they can personally give guidance. This is so we can advance the development of the entire immortal realm. This year, the ancestors of our Ling Xiao Temple have blessed us. The person who will come to guide everyone is precisely an immortal from Shang Qing Immortal Sect. How do you feel? Excited?!”
Immediately, an ecstatic roar came from the crowd of people. You have to know, every time immortal sects like Feng Ming Valley and Yuntian Shuijing recruited disciples, the crowd at the front gates practically wore out the doorstep, making it impossible for someone to squeeze in. Nevermind a sect like Shang Qing Immortal Sect!
If a sect was popular, that was obviously good, but the competition would be fierce too. In addition, the selection standards would be extremely harsh.
As a result, some people became smart and decided to take an alternative route to save the nation. Before the examinations, they would spend ten thousand gold to buy gossip and figure out exactly where Shang Qing Immortal Sect would send their disciples.
With Ling Xiao Temple as an example, many people came appearing as if they wanted to worship the sect. In reality, they were hoping to behave very well during the examination or ingratiate themselves to the disciple from Shang Qing Immortal Sect. If they became favoured by them, they could directly take the back door and worship Shang Qing Immortal Sect.
To be honest, the Sect Leader completely hated this kind of social custom. Although large sects called it as “personally giving guidance”, they were actually openly snooping in on every sect’s new talents. If they liked anyone, they would directly take them away.
Wasn’t this f*cking the same as stealing their people?
In Hua Che’s past life, as one of the brilliant students from Shang Qing Immortal Sect, he had gone on this type of arduous and thankless task many times.
The sect leaders from every sect fawned over him on the surface, while guarding against him in the dark. Those potential disciples even resorted to bribery, secretly trying to curry favour with him. It had been extremely annoying.
The eldest disciple of Ling Xiao Temple used a spell to take everyone away. After walking for approximately two hours, everyone finally arrived at Qingcheng Peak.
The entire way there, Hua Che kept pondering exactly who had come from Shang Qing Immortal Sect. When they reached the summit of Qingcheng Peak, the disciple from Shang Qing Immortal Sect—who had been waiting for a long time—strolled over to welcome them.
Hua Che immediately froze.
It was Lu Yao.