Chapter 7: “Hua Che settled down Lin Yan, before he turned around and yelled at the chaotic crowd. “Little Ice Cube!””
“Young Lord Wen is very punctual. This one is Lu Yao, and this is my senior-apprentice brother Zuo Qi.”
Lu Yao wore deep green brocade robes that were covered in extremely delicate bamboo embroidery, sewn with golden thread. His eyes were grape-shaped1, appearing big and spiritual. With a jade crown binding his hair, Lu Yao looked elegant and graceful.
As the son of the Sect Leader of Shang Qing Immortal Sect, his identity was naturally incomparably honourable. His sword “Bright Moon” was also a rare and valuable object seldom found in the entire world.
A gentle breeze and a bright moon2.
Born together and always interdependent, they were siblings from the same branch.
The swords Gentle Breeze and Bright Moon were a pair of brothers. In the distant past, they actually used to be one single sword, before they were divided into two later on. After experiencing the blue sea turning into mulberry fields and countless other evolutions of the world, the two swords became separated from henceforth.
In the present world, Bright Moon became the first to appear in the world. It was acquired by the Sect Leader of the Shang Qing Immortal Sect, before he personally granted the sword to his precious son.
In Hua Che’s previous life, when he left the Sect to travel around and accumulate experience, he fell into a cold pond while saving someone. There, Hua Che found Gentle Breeze by accident.
Gentle Breeze was a spiritual sword, and it also contained a divine aura from the ancient times. Naturally, it was very invincible.
No one said anything, but it was inevitable that people were lusting after Gentle Breeze. Indeed, Hua Che’s possession of the sword ended up becoming a catalyst that set off many bloody battles.
Afterwards, Gentle Breeze really fell into the hands of a certain person. However, despite taking great pains to snatch away the sword, they weren’t even capable of unsheathing it.
Spiritual swords recognized their owners. Even if you dropped the sword into the Red Lotus Karmonic Fire3 and burned it into ashes, Gentle Breeze would still refuse to listen to anyone apart from Hua Che.
Since snatching it away was useless, this dispute finally calmed down.
Hua Che smiled coldly.
As their swords were brothers born from the same branch, the masters using them ought to also become good friends or brothers who were mutually respectful and loving. However……
The deep respect and affection Lu Yao once held toward him, ultimately still lost to his jealousy and cowardliness.
“The scholars who came to Ling Xiao Palace this year are truly outstanding.” Lu Yao’s gaze roughly swept over everyone there.
He hadn’t seen Chu Binghuan before. This was because Chu Binghuan’s personality was antisocial and reclusive, so the youth rarely left his home. Even if there were immortal way meetings, he never participated in any of them. Thus, nobody recognized him.
On the other hand, Mu Rongsa wasn’t the same. His motto in life was precisely to be high-profile, so he’ll approach any place that looked lively. Since Mu Rongsa was always rushing to be in the limelight, he was naturally recognized by Lu Yao with just a single glance.
The Young Master of Feng Ming Valley actually ran over to Ling Xiao Palace?
Lu Yao felt that this was inconceivable. However, the current situation made it inconvenient for him to ask Mu Rongsa any questions directly.
Moreover, the disciple selection examinations for immortal sects had to be absolutely fair and impartial. No one would receive preferential treatment just because of their family background. Even if Mu Rongsa was Feng Ming Valley’s Young Master, he must still receive the same treatment as the common people and pass the examination with his own ability.
Suddenly, Lu Yao blanked out for a moment.
A young man with a slender figure stood behind Mu Rongsa. He wore dark red, crossed-collar martial robes, while his hair was bound with a silver ribbon. With a pale complexion and phoenix eyes that looked cold and clear, the youth’s smile had a deep meaning hidden behind the corners of his mouth.
Lu Yao’s tone wasn’t very certain. “You, could you be, Hua……”
“It isn’t early anymore, Immortal Master Wen.” Chu Binghuan suddenly spoke, interrupting him.
Wen Yuan, who had been unable to free himself from admiring the immortal appearance of the brilliant disciples from the Shang Qing Immortal Sect, immediately recollected his thoughts.
He hurriedly said, “All of the young lords only need to live here for three days. When time is up, we will return. Nobody needs to worry. During these three days, I and the young lords from the Shang Qing Immortal Sect will all follow you. If you meet trouble, ask for help as soon as possible. By no means must you force yourself to be brave.”
However, when all was said and done, it was an examination for the potential new disciples. Although the senior-apprentice brother was following them, as long as the people weren’t in a situation that could endanger their lives, he wouldn’t care.
There were many rules and customs at the Shang Qing Immortal Sect, so the relationships between the disciples were also quite strained. In particular, there was one rule Hua Che thought was extremely stupid.
Other Sects determined who were senior and junior according to when the individual worshipped their Master.
But Shang Qing Immortal Sect was different. They used a cultivator’s own strength to determine seniority—in other words, the title of the senior-apprentice brother would go to whoever had a higher cultivation realm.
Thus, after Hua Che entered the Shang Qing Immortal Sect in his previous life, he only called Lu Yao “senior-apprentice brother” for half a month. Then, he gracefully offended his superiors and became Lu Yao’s senior-apprentice brother.
From henceforth, Hua Che had never became Lu Yao’s junior-apprentice brother ever again.
Hua Che began surpassing others with a single step. First it was only a hundred people, then it was a thousand. Leaving everyone in his dust, Hua Che soon became Shang Qing Immortal Sect’s highest ranked senior-apprentice brother, one who was completely worthy of his title.
With a system like this, the seed of competition was planted the moment a person first worships the sect. After all, changing from the “senior-apprentice brother” to the “little brother”, this was basically humiliation.
How could there be camaraderie between sect members in a sect like this? Where could you find a harmonious brothership, or mutual help and protection?
Following at the very end of the line, Hua Che shot Lu Yao a glance from afar.
Although Lu Yao was a Sect Leader’s child, he unfortunately had very average aptitude. Ever since he started cultivating, he was repeatedly surpassed by others.
His father was also excessively strict and often used corporal punishment as his way of education. Every few days, he would call Lu Yao into his study room before giving him a tongue lashing, all so his son would become tougher in personality.
His father would even hit Lu Yao in front of the other disciples, completely wearing down his son’s self-esteem. Thus, it was not surprising that Lu Yao became increasingly cowardly, indecisive and incompetent.
For this task, although Shang Qing Immortal Sect called it ‘giving personal guidance’, in reality, Zuo Qi was bringing Lu Yao along so the youth could obtain more experience.
With his train of thought interrupted, Hua Che blanked out for a moment before he turned his head toward the bean sprout standing beside him.
“My name is Lin Yan.” The bean sprout nervously rubbed his hands, his cheeks slightly red. “Thank—Thank you.”
Lin Yan was talking about how Hua Che had read aloud for him. Hua Che smiled knowingly before he raised his hand and patted Lin Yan’s shoulder. “What are you being polite for? In the future, we’ll be apprentice-brothers under the same sect. It’s natural we should help each other.”
“Hah! This brother is really that confident he’ll be selected?”
The person talking was precisely that sword cultivator from before. Listening to the way other people called him, it appeared his name was Da Hu4.
After Da Hu spoke, he laughed disdainfully, “That’s right, just now, I think that Immortal Master Lu from Shang Qing had something to say to you. You two know each other, right? It all makes sense now. Your origin is out of the ordinary and there exists friendship between you and Immortal Master Lu. Entering the Shang Qing Immortal Sect would be easy for you, let alone an insignificant Ling Xiao Temple!”
After saying this, Da Hu deliberately glanced at Wen Yuan.
Could anyone endure the humiliation of their sect?
Unexpectedly, Wen Yuan didn’t even blink at his provocation. On the contrary, he began laughing in agreement.
“This young lord is right! Ling Xiao Temple has declined too much. Let alone you guys, even I think we’re poverty-stricken!”
Da Hu: “……”
For a small, unregistered sect like Ling Xiao Temple, one that only deserved to follow the butts of large immortal sects and strive for last place at every immortal meeting, their disciples had long gotten used to such ridicule!
Hua Che didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
It was now nighttime. Everyone collectively made a bonfire before sitting around it together.
The people who came here to worship Ling Xiao Temple weren’t all cultivators who had been born in an immortal sect. Not everyone was like Mu Rongsa or Chu Binghuan, teenagers who had their own spiritual weapons and who had already began cultivating, people blessed by the heavens from a young age.
There were also people like Lin Yan, who had been born in a peasant household. They were ordinary mortals who could only carry an axe for self-protection.
Those with cultivation weren’t tired yet, but normal people would feel exhausted after hurrying through a mountain road for an entire day. At this moment, they began lying down randomly to sleep.
Mu Rongsa approached Lin Yan and asked, “Why haven’t you gone to sleep yet? You look small and slim, but your physical strength surprisingly ain’t bad.”
Lin Yang felt a bit terrified with how he was suddenly spoken to. He paused for a moment before saying, “Walking on a path like this is nothing. My family works on the fields, and that’s much tiring than this.”
“My name is Mu Rongsa. I think you look quite pleasing to the eyes, so let’s become friends!”
Li Yan quickly got up before he gave Mu Rongsa a very respectful salute. “Young Lord Murong.”
Mu Rongsa immediately broke into laughter. “What Murong5, my surname is Mu.”
Lin Yan was dumbstruck. “Ah?”
Hua Che spoke up, “His surname is Mu, his first name is Rongsa, and his courtesy name is Zhaoyao.”
Lin Yan’s face immediately flushed red. To even mistake someone’s surname, he was so rude!
Mu Rongsa looked curious. “Brother Hua, you even know my courtesy name?”
Hua Che replied with a smile. “In this world, who wouldn’t know Feng Ming Valley’s Young Lord Mu?”
Hearing this, Mu Rongsa felt very happy. “As expected of a brother of this Mu Zhaoyao!”
However, even Hua Che couldn’t help but bad-mouth, “When your dad gave you your name, he didn’t think the words “Mu Rong” would let people misunderstand?”
Mu Rongsa pouted. “How would I know? You’ll have to ask him.”
After Hua Che closed his eyes and sat for a while, he felt someone approach him. Opening his eyes to take a look, the person unexpectedly turned out to be Chu Binghuan.
Chu Binghuan didn’t speak. Instead, he directly handed over the water bag to him.
Hua Che hesitated for a moment, but he still took it in the end. “Thank you.”
“My surname is Chu, my name is Binghuan, and my courtesy name is Tianyu.”
Hua Che choked on his water before he stared at Chu Binghuan in confusion.
Why was he introducing himself?
Chu Binghuan said, as if it was a matter of course, “You should remember your fiancé’s name.”
“Ah?” Hua Che felt dumbstruck.
Chu Binghuan turned around and left.
If Hua Che knew Mu Rongsa, that guy’s courtesy name, how could Chu Binghuan allow Hua Che to not know his own?
Since Zhuang Tian had warned them beforehand, no one dared to fall into deep sleep. In addition, if their behaviour was brave enough, they might be able to leave a good impression on Wen Yuan, which would increase the probability of them passing this examination.
While Hua Che had been relaxing with his eyes closed, there had already been a lot of people who had gone to indiscreetly curry favour with Lu Yao. After Lu Yao calmly dealt with all of them, he walked over to Hua Che.
“If I’m not wrong, you’re Hua Qingkong?”
Hua Che opened his eyes. A teenager covered in blood appeared before him.
This youth’s expression looked deranged as he brandished his sword Bright Moon. Behind him laid a hundred thousand rotten bodies. The dense smell of blood mingled with the teenager’s hoarse scream.
“Hua Qingkong! If you do not kill me today, in the future, I will definitely hack your body into a thousand pieces, before grinding your bones into ash!”
The teenager in his memories merged with the youth standing before his eyes, before suddenly separating again. Hua Che shook himself out of his daze before he replied sluggishly, “Yeah.”
“It really is you!” Lu Yao was pleased beyond his expectations. “We’ve met before in Hanzhou, do you not remember me anymore? That year, I got lost in Hanzhou and was kidnapped by two child traffickers. It was you who saved me and took me back to my family.”
“That shouldn’t be the case!” Hua Che put on a bewildered expression. “I don’t remember that happening ah. Did Immortal Master Lu recognize the wrong person?”
“There’s definitely no mistake, I’m certain.” Lu Yao wasn’t anxious. Smiling, he said, “You did a good deed without wanting reciprocation, but I will forever engrave that memory into my heart. In the future, if there’s anything you need, Young Lord just needs to tell me. I’ll do my utmost best to support you.”
Before Hua Che could reply, a blood-curdling scream suddenly came from afar.
Everyone woke up with a start, only to see a bat that was the size of a basin fly over. The bat’s claws latched onto a person’s shoulder, before unexpectedly carrying the person upward into the air.
Terrified, Lin Yan’s face turned deathly pale. Mu Rongsa got up like a carp jumping out of the water6, yelling in alarm, “It’s actually a Soul Sucking Bat!”
Increasingly more bats flew over. There were at least ten or twenty, their bodies hiding the sky and covering the earth.
The corner of Hua Che’s mouth twitched. “You want to play such a big game, huh……”
Soul Sucking Bats could be considered as a somewhat low level demonic monster. They were afraid of fire, so setting off an open flame spell would be enough as self-protection.
However, the people who had never experienced the world of an immortal cultivator immediately panicked, before screaming for their moms or dads.
Hua Che retreated to one side, dragging over the distracted Lin Yan. “Go stand beside the bonfire.”
The large group of bats opened their mouths, sharp teeth heading toward people’s necks. They didn’t drink blood, but were specialized in sucking out souls.
Hua Che settled down Lin Yan, before he turned around and yelled at the chaotic crowd. “Little Ice Cube!”
Chu Binghuan, who had been calm and collected from beginning to end, nearly cried when he heard this yell.
—— “You ah you! Everyday, you keep your face so stoic, and you don’t talk much either. If you don’t smile at all, it’s a waste of your pretty face! Binghuan, Binghuan, hehe, aren’t you just a Little Ice Cube7!”
—— “Little Ice Cube, give me a smile!”
- This is basically big, round shaped eyes, but they are called ‘grape’-shaped in China. Most children have this eye type and grow out of it by adulthood. Those that have it are thought to look cute and lovely.
- This metaphor, which incorporates both the name of Hua Che’s sword and Lu Yao’s sword, means a gentle and peaceful atmosphere.
- The seventh of the eight cold hells in Buddhist lore.
- This translates literally into “Big Tiger”. It better be a nickname lol.
- Murong is a very common two-character surname, while Mu on its own is a rarely seen surname. That’s why Lin Yan got it mixed up.
- This is actually a basic kungfu move. A video of it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDWER17o9YA.
- The character “Bing” is translated to ice.