Chapter 19 Part 1: “Sure enough, he really loved to nurture youths.”
The so-called, ‘even a scrawny camel is bigger than a horse’ perfectly describes this situation.
The Chou family had once been very rich. Thus, even today, their home was located in the best part of the city.
On the way there, all the carriages and people they saw were from rich families. Although it wasn’t comparable to how lively the marketplace had been, it was very beautiful and secluded.
However, in comparison to the beautifully engraved corridors in the courtyards of the neighbouring aristocratic families, the Chou family was currently filled with the sour, frustrated aura of the poor.
Perhaps it was because the current owner, Chou Fugui, had deeply believed in deities and immortals. But ever since they had entered the front doors, they saw all sorts of seals and talismans plastered in every corner.
The entire way, Chou Fugui was also passionately introducing everything. The bagua mirror1 gifted by a famous Daoist, the Buddhist statue that had been enlightened by a great master……
Even seals and spiritual water the swindling cultivators of the jianghu used to cheat the common people were here, prepared for the people of his family to use every day.
As a real cultivator from the Sky Master Mansion, these things made Mo Pan gasp in amazement. He finally understood that this person completely didn’t know how to distinguish between cultivators and the swindling folk from the jianghu.
Chou Fugui must have turned to them because the Sky Master Mansion had a rather good reputation, like trying to randomly find any doctor when one was critically ill.
For a moment, Mo Pan secretly thought——
No wonder everyone in this family all had pale complexions! If they had healthy bodies after eating ashes burnt from those seals, then they really had a ghost doing mischief!
In reality, there were a lot of common folk like Chou Fugui in the mortal realm.
Even if one doesn’t mention the precious and rare Post-Calamity cultivators, there weren’t even many Nascent Soul cultivators in the world.
In addition, most of the older cultivators would open their own sect, thus rarely appearing in the secular world again. So even Golden Core cultivators rarely come in contact with the common people.
What normal people saw the most were the gatekeepers or the disciples of Sects who worked odd jobs and were responsible for receiving guests. So how could they distinguish who was truly an expert?
However, the few Post-Calamity cultivators with combat prowess that can frighten the heavens indeed existed. Thus, the people who dreamed of immortality were especially easy to cheat.
As long as the swindlers in the jianghu claimed they possessed slightly mystical skills, those people would obediently fish out money to beg them for a peaceful life.
Because the Jiangnan region each had a big sect overseeing a piece of territory, not a lot of people dared to dupe others by pretending to be a great master. Unfortunately, there were still people like Chou Fugui in the city, who would send himself to swindlers and beg them to be cheated.
Even though Mo Pan had explained countless times that the decline of his family had nothing to do with ghosts, this person was still blindly begging random cultivators to make a move and save his family.
Not believing a genuine expert from the Sky Master Mansion, but believing the threats of swindlers. This made Mo Pan feel very speechless.
What the hell was this talisman even he, the heir of the Sky Mansion, couldn’t recognize?
Oh heavens! That seal had actually been painted with chicken blood!
Even if they’re a swindler, can they not be more diligent? It wasn’t like cinnabars were that expensive to buy!
The Chou family probably still cared about their reputation, so they had covered these things up the last time Mo Pan came here.
But it seemed like the Chou family had lost more money recently, so they had completely abandoned themselves to despair. No matter what kind of seals they had, they just blindly stuck them everywhere. It was truly a ghastly sight for Mo Pan.
However, as a righteous youth who had a good upbringing, Mo Pan truly couldn’t follow Bi Qianren’s way of casually ridiculing the common people.
Thus, Mo Pan could only stare at the undecipherable scribbles fluttering in the wind, holding back his thoughts until he gave himself internal injuries.
Unlike the professional with a heart filled with various thoughts, when Zhuge Qingtian entered this house, he took a look at the courtyard and corridor that still didn’t lose its impressive aura to this day. Then, he glanced at the nervous concubines and servants looking at them from the little garden.
Ultimately, the ghost only had a single thought in mind, “Living in such a big house and marrying three wives, he still has the face to complain about being poor?”
“Probably, toward playboys2 like this, not getting a bowl of gold every day is considered living a bitter life.”
Zhuge Qingtian and Mo Pan were still young and didn’t understand the insatiable greed of people. However, Qianren was someone who had experienced many trials and hardships in the jianghu.
Thus, he only needed a single glance to know that the decline of the Chou family really had nothing to do with a poverty ghost.
In the past, Grandfather Chou’s business of selling sea salt had made sudden, huge profits. The savings he had left behind were completely enough to allow his offspring and later generations to live with no worries.
Afterwards, in order to preserve their reputation, the imperial court had also given out a lot of silver to buy the private fleets.
To be able to squander such enormous wealth, Bi Qianren was afraid the people living in the mansion just hadn’t wanted to lose face. So even after losing their business, they still went on to live the extravagant lives they had before.
Only now that they would be unable to make ends meet, did they know to feel anxious.
When all was said and done, these people were so obsessed with deities and ghosts because they just didn’t want to face reality.
And for a ghost that lived in a person’s heart, even the strongest cultivators wouldn’t be able to eliminate them.
Poverty ghosts were easy to subdue, but the people weren’t easy to handle. In the end, even if they managed to subdue the ghost, this client would probably still blame the Sky Master Mansion for not letting them become prosperous.
Thus, any cultivator from the Sky Master Mansion with even the slightest experience would just ignore Chou Fugui’s pleas.
Only someone like Mo Pan, a youth who had just started travelling the jianghu to gain experience, would firmly believe he had the duty to protect the common people from evil ghosts. The moment he had heard of this matter, he immediately agreed to help him.
In return, up until now, Chou Fugui had entangled him to the point it wasn’t easy for the youth to get rid of him.
Except, Lingsui Daoren knew of this matter but still hadn’t stopped Mo Pan. He had probably intended for his disciple to obtain a lesson from this experience.
Bi Qianren had seen through everything, but he didn’t reveal the truth. He only observed the way the two youths had reacted to this matter.
Upon seeing how both of them had looked at Chou Fugui like they were hating how iron didn’t turn into steel, Qianren suddenly felt a bit interested. He had also become a bit curious exactly what the final outcome of this incident would be.
To be able to personally witness their juniors mature and secretly assist them when they needed it, perhaps this was the delight in being their elder?
Bi Qianren’s expression had always been indifferent. Chou Fugui also felt that the black-clothed man wasn’t someone easy to provoke.
In addition to how Zhuge Qingtian’s gaze toward himself didn’t look very friendly, Chou Fugui immediately began entangling Mo Pan again, who was the easiest to talk to.
Immediately hugging over numerous scrolls of calligraphy and paintings, he said earnestly, “Little Sky Master, the pawn shop depresses prices a lot, so I temporarily have some financial difficulties. These are all the famous paintings and calligraphy collected by my grandfather. Just take them back to your home, it’ll make everything appear sophisticated.”
Although the Chou family had declined, they never lacked servants. These years, Chou Fugui completely relied on pawning the things in their family to maintain their livelihood.
The beloved belongings of Grandfather Chou had all been sold by him. But what Chou Fugui obtained in exchange were the useless seals he stuck all over the windows of their home.
Zhuge Qingtian really couldn’t understand. These people were already in such financial straits, so why would they still insist on getting servants to serve them instead of being willing to do work themselves? Even if they just opened a small shop, they were unlikely to starve to death.
The ghost could only complain to Bi Qianren, “Even now, he’s still talking about sophistication!”
“If I was his grandfather, I would have definitely pried open my coffin lid and came over to find him!”
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- For more information, check: https://www.thespruce.com/feng-shui-use-of-the-bagua-mirror-1275043.
- This refers to the children of the rich who only eat, drink, and have fun every day.