Chapter 19: Star Cluster
The cart’s wheels rumbled as they travelled swiftly on the western main road, kicking up a lot of dust clouds.
A noble son lifted the hanging curtain of the cart as a pair of slightly slanted phoenix eyes looked outside. Occasionally, his gaze would accidentally meet the eyes of a lady lifting the curtain in the cart beside them. When those girls suddenly saw his glimmering eyes, their faces would flush as they hurriedly shifted their gazes. Although, there were a few who were more daring, and would cover their mouths before softly laughing in a dainty manner.
One after another, Duan ChongXuan would smile back at them.
Yin BiYue felt speechless. For this whole journey……does your face not feel stiff?
After passing through the road where they encountered the Bao Pu Sect disciples, all three of them lost interest and thus began to accelerate their journey. As a result, they made it out of the Panlong mountain range not even three days later.
After crossing the Yun Zhong road, the rest of the journey was indeed peaceful. Duan ChongXuan rented out a cart at a building and requested a coachman. When he had nothing to do, he would just raise the curtain in the cart and look outside. In his words, this was also a type of travelling. It was a method of cultivation, and a way of life.
Yin BiYue truly did not understand Duan ChongXuan’s reactions, which made it seem like sitting on a cart was as novel as sitting on a blue-winged luan1.
Could it be……did this guy always fly around in the sky when he left his house in the past?
Nah, he probably just felt too stifled at Xi Hua Peak.
In comparison, Luo MingChuan had became more silent.
There were only three people in the cart. When the only chatterbox became busy with looking at the scenery and the ladies, this kind of silence became somewhat awkward.
Perhaps the only person who thought it was awkward was Yin BiYue.
Fortunately, it was merely some awkwardness, and there wasn’t any real hidden danger.
In the past, as long as the distance between him and Luo MingChuan was somewhat close, Yin BiYue would feel uncomfortable from head to toe and raise his guard.
However, currently, for this journey, the cart wasn’t very large. Even if the two people sat on opposite ends, they would only be separated by a mere three chi2.
As time passed, Yin BiYue gradually became used to it.
And occasionally, when he meets Luo MingChuan’s gaze, he would, with some difficulty, be capable of curling up the corner of his lips and returning a smile.
This kind of progress was truly something worth celebrating.
After Yin BiYue became more magnanimous, the one lacking confidence became Luo MingChuan instead.
He felt that his slip of tongue in the past had harmed his junior-apprentice brother. In the future, he had to find an opportunity to straighten out Yin BiYue’s obsession, so that his junior-apprentice brother would no longer lose his way.
His past experience made him believe that he was someone who recognized his own mistakes and would reform himself.
However, his junior-apprentice brother was just sitting there, where the distance between them wasn’t even three chi. When Luo MingChuan raised his head to look at him, a hint of a smile flitted through Yin BiYue’s eyes.
Luo MingChuan suddenly felt his heart was thrown into disarray.
The feeling was similar to what one would feel as they stood outside the Academy’s library during a midsummer’s night, while the night breeze blew past and the petals of the Chinese Scholar Tree scattered all over their body.
Focusing his mind, Luo MingChuan began to silently read the ‘Clearing Heart Incantation’.
As a result, Yin BiYue keenly sensed the extremely subtle change in atmosphere within the cart.
This change began after Luo MingChuan had closed his eyes. The spiritual energy surrounding his entire body became steady and peaceful.
If one said that martial cultivators paid more attention to arduous, long-term practice, like how sword cultivators practiced their swordsmanship day after day while tempering their sword intent, then toward spiritual cultivators, what were most important were a gifted spiritual vein and a suitable spiritual art.
Yin BiYue remembered that when Luo MingChuan first entered Cang Ya, he had been a martial cultivator. His Master had even painstakingly helped him find a good sword called ‘Submerged Boat’.
But who would have expected that after he passed the Essence Cleansing Stage barrier, his spiritual vein would awaken? On the contrary, Luo MingChuan then became suited for spiritual cultivation.
Yin BiYue combed through his memories.
When they had fought against each other in the Violet Heaven Secret Realm, Luo MingChuan had borrowed the jungle to obstruct his sword intent. In the span of a single breath, everything withered endlessly. If Yin BiYue was to guess, Luo MingChuan’s spiritual vein leaned more toward the controlling of a plant’s ability to live.
During the questioning within Cang Ya’s dungeon, Luo MingChuan had used the Jia Lan Spiritual Pupil Arts.
Yin BiYue had researched it before. This was a Buddhist martial arts technique, and had originated from Xing Shan3 Temple, which was one of the ‘Double Buddha Temples’.
Cang Ya did not teach this technique, so perhaps Luo MingChuan had learned it during his stay at Lan Yuan Academy, or perhaps he had learned it during some other opportunity. Although it wasn’t on par with the secret martial art techniques that were passed down from generation to generation, it still required the user to have high, innate talent.
It could be seen that Luo MingChuan’s gifted spiritual vein approached one that was completely pure, without even a speck of contaminant.
During this entire journey, whenever they encountered groups of mountain bandits, Luo MingChuan always solidified his true essence into a barrier before directly striking them away. From this, it could be seen that he had abundant true essence. In other words, Luo MingChuan had a very broad spiritual vein, one that could store a lot of true essence.
Yin BiYue thought that spiritual cultivators were truly troublesome. Who knew what other random martial art techniques Luo MingChuan would know? In addition to a potential hidden ace he had never revealed?
Out of the corner of his eye, Yin BiYue saw the sword at Luo MingChuan’s waist.
It was a long sword with a rich cyan colour, although the style was plain and simple.
It looked similar to the green bamboo sprouts that had just burst through the soil top, ones that would not break in the midst of a breeze, or become dirty after it rained. Like a lone boat that braved the wind and billows on a river, it would not change its original destination despite the night rain floating in the wind.
Just like a nobleman.
Master swordsmith Yan Qing’s ten years of blood, sweat and tears all went into the creation of this noble sword, ‘Submerged Boat’.
Luo MingChuan always had an honourable sword, although not many people would have taken note of it.
This was because the aura surrounding his entire body was excessively gentle and calm, to the extent that it weakened his sword’s sharpness.
Even for those who do notice it, they would just think that Luo MingChuan was reminiscing over his Master Zheng YangZi’s benevolence, to always have it by his side.
Yin BiYue suddenly felt a bit cold.
If Luo MingChuan truly did not use the sword anymore, why did that sword not have even the slightest bit of lethargy?
But if he was still persevering with practicing the sword, then how could he split his attention and also learn the martial arts of spiritual cultivators?
The experience of countless predecessors proved that balancing both sides was precisely a road to disaster.
In the Academy, Yin BiYue had studied half of the ancient books in the library, books from all subjects.
Currently, in his mind, he was rapidly searching through his knowledge. The ultimate conclusion he obtained was——
In the present age, a person like this didn’t exist. However, a million years ago during the Holy Saint era, there had been one.
The Buddhist Xing Shan Temple’s Saint, known as the ‘Omnipotent’. Ever since humanity learned to turn the heaven and earth’s spiritual energy into their own true essence and began cultivating, this name was recorded among ancient books as the only person who broke through the barriers of buddhism cultivation, spiritual cultivation, and martial cultivation.
However, that Saint had long fallen and hadn’t left behind any inheritances. In addition, that era had also long vanished, like smoke in thin air.
The atmosphere in the cart was as peaceful as a lake, appearing to suit one’s pondering over history and old affairs.
Yin BiYue followed Luo MingChuan’s actions, closing his eyes while focusing to think.
Before humans had appeared on the Main Continent, there were unusual beasts that had been birthed from the accumulation of the heaven and earth’s spiritual energy. For the most ancient humans, they had gradually learned how to cultivate while struggling against various beasts in the poorest of environments. It was only after then, did they enter the era of civilized humanity.
Four hundred thousand years after this, the cultivation world had ushered in its golden age.
Emerging in large numbers were countless Sages and Holy Saints, so much that there were even people who had attained the realm above that of a Holy Saint’s, the ‘Immortals’ who touched the threshold of heavenly law. At the same time, demonic cultivation had also soared, and there appeared many ‘Demon Lords’ and other strong demonic cultivators who had the abilities to confront the ‘Immortals’.
This was precisely the ‘Holy Saint era’ that had persisted for a hundred thousand years.
In history’s long river, it had been brief but glorious.
And after that, was a fierce war that destroyed the heavens and wiped out the earth. Countless cultivators had died, and many Sects and influential families ended up not having future generations. The Eastern Continent’s demonic cultivation also splitted up into its ‘Twelve Demonic Sects’.
Afterwards, calamity descended from the heavens. Fire fell from the sky, and the earth split open. This continued for an entire year. Disease broke out amongst the five great Continents, and the people suffered terribly.
And after yet another millenium, all living things resuscitated as the spring grass was reborn.
The Main Continent finally regained fertility and was given a new opportunity to live.
Because there had been more demonic cultivators on the Eastern Continent, it continued to be a land of chaos and disorder. Several big cities each did things their own way.
On the Western Continent, Bao Pu Sect was established while Cang Ya Mountain was created. With a hundred thousand giant mountains as the boundary and one in the South, one in the North, they became the Western Continent’s new order. Many influential families depended on them to found new towns and cities. Like this, the lives of both mortals and cultivators gradually returned to the right track.
On the Southern Continent, Qing Lu Jian Sect and Xing Shan Temple had not died out. Therefore, they continued to maintain their past order.
A Sage had appeared in the Northern Continent. Many people of strength followed his lead and banished the demonic cultivators. They unified the Northern Continent and established the Northern Imperial Court.
It appeared that everything was once again improving.
However, people quickly discovered that once one became a Sage, their cultivation realms could not be improved by even the slightest step forward. It seemed to be because of a restriction on their aptitudes. During what seemed like an endless period of time, these Sages could only wait for death.
Within a span of six hundred thousand years, after the previous Sage had fallen, a new Sage appeared. Luckily, a Sage also had a very long life, one that could be measured with millennia.
People slowly adjusted to a world without Saints.
This was precisely the slow ‘Silent Magic era’.
Until Wei JingFeng passed the heavenly tribulation filled with thunder and fire.
And became a Saint.
The weather changed colour, and the entire world was astonished.
It was like some kind of a signal from the heavens, or perhaps it had just been a coincidence.
For the millennium after this, geniuses repeatedly emerged from each Continent like the spring bamboo after rain4. There was also a good deal of people who showed the potential to enter the realm of the Saint.
For example, the already famous Sword Saint’s chief disciple, Jun Yu. Or Bao Pu Sect’s Lin YuanGui. Some younger ones would be Qing Lu Jian Sect’s Zhong Shan, and Lian Jian’s Qu DuiYan. There were also other famous youngsters who had withdrawn from worldly affairs. They were quiet cultivators who only occasionally passed out some messages.
The future hundred thousand years could practically be imagined. After this batch of geniuses matured, the structure of the five Continents would inevitably and subsequently change.
But of course, for the events of the future, there were too many variables and thus was hard to predict.
The Academy Director called the current era the ‘Star Cluster’.
As a result, many cultivators, after knowing geniuses had appeared in some Sects, would all proudly proclaim, “We live in the era with the brightest cluster of stars!”
The appearance of the Sword Saint was a sign that the olden days had concluded, and a new age had begun.
Yin BiYue thought, this was truly a very cool affair.
However, was the changing era really a good thing?
Change signified dispute, and dispute signified another chaotic world.
Yin BiYue opened his eyes and saw Luo MingChuan, who still had his eyes closed. He sat upright in the somewhat shaky cart with a tranquil aura surrounding him. The sword at his waist, Submerged Boat, had the same serenity.
Yin BiYue didn’t know just what kind of person Luo MingChuan would become in the future.
Perhaps, this was the best era, yet also the worst one.
At this moment, Luo MingChuan woke up from his meditative state. The moment he opened his eyes, his gaze met a pair of pupils that was as cold as stars.
In a straightforward manner, the teenager across from him was watching him attentively, focused and silent. A strand of anxiety floated within Yin BiYue’s eyes.
Like a rock striking the surface of a calm lake, his gaze instantly smashed apart Luo MingChuan’s already settled and pacified state of mind.
For an unknown reason, he subconsciously avoided the teenager’s eyes. In attempt to hide it yet making things more conspicuous, Luo MingChuan asked, “Junior-apprentice brother, is there something the matter?”
The moment Luo MingChuan opened his eyes, Yin BiYue choked.
Being caught red-handed while peeping at the protagonist, how! Do! You! Solve! This!!!???
‘I am currently wondering whether your future path is wide or not, and if it is the path of a hero or one of a ruthless person.’
‘You look so handsome! It’s nothing, I’m just casually taking a look, heh heh.’
Heh heh my ass!! What kind of idiotic responses were these!!
Unfortunately, Luo MingChuan just had to ask him, “Junior-apprentice brother, is there something the matter?”
Could there even be profanity in this story???!!!
Yin BiYue felt as if all the blood in his body rushed toward his face. He had never encountered a moment that was more awkward and embarrassing as this one.
With Luo MingChuan’s peculiar thought process, he wouldn’t think that Yin BiYue had been staring at him for all these hours, right?!
Luo MingChuan would definitely think he was a pervert, right?! This was truly too embarrassing ahh!!
The more embarrassed he was, the more he was unable to think of a plan. Just when Yin BiYue decided to say ‘it’s nothing, I’m just casually looking’ with despair.…..
‘Ding——it’s detected that the user’s embarrassment levels have broken through 100, and thus it is automatically determined that the user is in a dilemma. Do you wish to activate the Little Halo Assistant?’