Chapter 25: Never Betray
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lin Yi gazed down at Chu WuQing, trying to find some sort of emotional response. If the other showed any sorrow or unwillingness, then he could forcibly convince himself that this person who had bestowed upon him kindness, given him all he owned, was his savior.
Yet, his reality shattered around him. The Master he had thought untouchable and aloof had been all over some other person in public and was kissed, left in such a state.
Why? Why? Why could they? Why not him?
At that moment, Lin Yi felt such a yearning for power. He wished that one day he could stand properly in front of Chu WuQing, pulling Chu WuQing into his arms and seeing the expressions that Chu WuQing would never show him otherwise.
Would those eyes, so cold and cruel when they gazed down upon him now, grow misty? Would the tips of his brows and the corners of his eyes redden?
He desperately wanted to snatch Chu WuQing away from that blasphemous creature, but he had no right to do so. In Chu WuQing’s eyes, he was no more than a plaything. He was grateful that this position allowed him to get close to Chu WuQing, but in that moment, he was ever so frustrated that his identity meant that he would be doomed to keep his admiration a hidden, secret thing.
As a Qi Condensation stage cultivator who had only just stepped onto the path of cultivation, he was pushed out as a target when the sect was besieged by Golden Core cultivators.
It was easy to imagine what kind of rage and consequence would befall him if he made the slightest mistake. And exposing him so utterly, displaying him like a toy, it was humiliation, like he didn’t have any dignity to speak of. Even if he tried to trick himself, Lin Yi’s hopes and dreams regarding Chu WuQing were shattered in that instant. Even if he had a thousand excuses for the other, he still had to bow down to the truth.
He cast his gaze down, so no one could see his bright, unfazed eyes turn deep black, like an all-consuming abyss silent and devoid of light or life.
Only by achieving a Great Path, only by climbing up and aiming for true ascension, only by completely defeating all others of his generation would he win Chu WuQing’s gaze. When that time came, Chu WuQing would have to look upon him, whether in anger or jealousy or an admiration he didn’t dare hope for; anything, he would bask in it with delight.
Just the thought of growing intimate with him, dominating his gaze, forcing everyone else out of his world made excitement bloom inside him. ‘Master, I’m willing to use any means necessary if it means to possess you for myself. Aren’t you happy at my loyalty, master?’ he asked in his heart.
This seed of thought, a farewell to his past entirely, took root in Lin Yi’s heart and instantly grew into a towering tree.
Lin Yi raised his head, the storm clouds in his eyes dispersing. He seemed to still be that impossibly calm, composed, and unfazed sword cultivator. He gazed at the elderly cultivator but didn’t answer immediately, instead looking around at everyone else.
Seeing the gazes of all the others around him, he understood what kind of power this elderly cultivator had.
But, so what?
Lin Yi calmly replied, “I am grateful for your offer, but a sword cultivator cannot be so fickle.” Though this Golden Core cultivator was powerful, he was far from good enough to teach him anything. Why would Lin Yi need any instruction on his way of the sword?
Plus, Chu WuQing was right there. He would never betray the other in front of him.
Lin Yi’s gaze swept lightly over Chu WuQing. It seemed as if he had merely glanced at the other with his peripheral vision, but in reality, all his attention was on Chu WuQing.
Chu WuQing stood behind the gates to the peak and in that moment, it felt as if some dangerous predator had locked onto him. It felt like he would be devoured at any moment. The feeling left as swiftly as it came, like he had imagined it. Then he felt Lin Yi’s gaze like soft, gentle sunlight, filled with admiration.
However, this admiration was no longer the pure and untainted respect from before. It was like wool, brushing over his body gently. It made him feel naked.
This was such a strange feeling. Chu WuQing was confused; he couldn’t think of any reason for it. Maybe this was like imprinting or something? After all, he was the one who had guided Lin Yi into the cultivation realm.
He could understand that feeling of being like a fledgling who didn’t want to be abandoned or separated from the one they relied on.
Chu WuQing didn’t react outwardly apart from backing further behind the gate, only the corner of his robes now visible.
The corner of Lin Yi’s lips turned upwards just slightly as he thought to himself, ‘Master, are you moved by my loyalty? In the future, you should reward me for such loyalty. Please, don’t worry, your loyal servant shall never leave you or betray you. I will be by your side forever, and make sure you can always feel my loyal heart.’
With Lin Yi’s refusal, the elderly Golden Core cultivator didn’t change his kindly expression, but his smile no longer reached his eyes. Lin Yi was correct. A true cultivator on the path of the sword would so easily change their choices due to external factors, never mind betray their sect.
If they did, then it would cause their resolve on this path of the sword to waver, misleading them onto an incorrect path further and further away from the path of the sword.
Though he admired Lin Yi’s talent, the elderly cultivator also refused to allow this potential threat to exist in another sect.
Lin Yi calmly continued, “Senior, your sword isn’t honest enough. You have too much yearning in your heart for external cultivation levels, so you’re naturally trapped by it. Only by clearing your heart of all but the sword, abandoning all else, can you truly step onto the Path through the sword, reaching your peak.” At that point, even with the thin ambient spiritual energy here as a hindrance, it wouldn’t be able to prevent a sword cultivator from achieving Nascent Soul stage or even Soul Transformation.
Though Lin Yi held little in terms of knowledge on cultivation, but so long as he possessed his sword spiritual root, he was the absolute king of sword cultivators. For all under Soul Transformation stage, so long as they hadn’t truly accomplished the path of the sword, all it took was one glance for him to find the flaws in their sword cultivation.
At the cultivation level of the elderly cultivator, he was already at the peak of what the Lower Realm could hold. If he wanted to reach Nascent Soul, then he would have to remain resolute, abandoning all yearning for the advancement in his spiritual energy and focusing entirely on the path of the sword. Once he achieved enlightenment, he would be able to carve out a path for himself.
Lin Yi’s words were that of an ignorant child, yet it had pointed out the key to the problem that had troubled these cultivators for all these years, even thought this path was solely for sword cultivators who had comprehended sword intent.
If these words were spoken by a powerful expert at Golden Core Late stage, or a cultivator who had achieved a Greater Path, these cultivators would naturally go and complement these words, but they had come from the mouth of Lin Yi, a junior in cultivation who had only just started his journey. It was nothing more than a joke to them.
It was like a child who had only just learned to crawl telling an adult how to run faster. No one would believe it. They would only think the other was being pretentious and arrogant. Especially since he had rebuked the very cultivator who basically held control over the entire cultivation world. This senior cultivator was no even tempered and kind soul.
Everyone thought it was quite a shame but also rather funny. So what if he was a prodigy? So what if he could win the attention and admiration of a powerhouse cultivator. He was stupid enough to turn all that into nothing and even give his life for his mistake.
The elderly sword cultivator fell silent. This silence put immense pressure on the crowd, their hearts trembling as they remembered what chaos his previous silences had brought to the cultivation world.
The elderly cultivator’s gaze pierced the Level Four Qi Condensation stage young man with razor sharp sword intent. However, under such a gaze, the young man didn’t show any signs of retreat. He wasn’t even fazed in the slightest, calmly staring back at the elderly cultivator and circulating his spiritual energy using his core cultivation method. Shockingly, he was evenly matched in his battle of auras with a Golden Core stage cultivator.
However, the more brilliant he was, the funnier everyone found it. A child playing with an axe would only hurt himself.
After five breaths of silence, the elderly sword cultivator suddenly began to laugh. Just as all the cultivators thought that Lin Yi was sure to pay with his life, the Golden Core elderly cultivator instead gave the other a bow of respect saved for cultivators of the same status and seniority.
“Child, you’re correct. I do have too much yearning for external things, and that is indeed why I’ve been trapped at the stage of Golden Core for over six hundred years, unable to even get a feeling for the next stage. Though in terms of cultivation, you have little, but in terms of your comprehension of the Path of the Sword, you are far superior to me. I truly am not worthy of becoming your teacher in the Path of the Sword. If you are willing, you can join our QingLing Sect as a guest elder.”
The elderly sword cultivator once again extended an invitation, once again stunned the entire crowd.
This powerful senior really didn’t care that this young cultivator had rebuked him, and instead complimented him, saying he was correct? Was what Lin Yi said really true? What kind of prodigy was he? All of it was so strange. This cultivation world truly was getting harder and harder to understand.
And this QingLing Sect’s Great Elder had lowered himself to such a degree, inviting the other with such sincerity. If it was any of them, they would be sure to accept. They could hardly imagine what kind of benefits and treatment they would get, and their stagnant cultivation would once again have a chance of advancing.
What was most important was that they could extend their lifespan. The Great Elder of QingLing Sect had lived far past the limit of a Golden Core stage cultivator after all. What was more tempting than that?
At that moment, everyone there wanted nothing more than to replace Lin Yi and immediately agree.
However, Lin Yi’s answer remained unchanged. “Lin Yi dares not accept such a great honor.”
Even at this point, Lin Yi still rejected the other!
The elderly sword cultivator’s kindly aura sharpened immediately. “Even if you don’t dare accept, you will still have to accept it.” As he flung his sleeve forwards, storm clouds gathered, covering the sun. A spiritual pressure far beyond what a Peak Golden Core stage cultivator could exude descended, forcing all the Golden Core cultivators to retreat a hundred steps.
Instantly, he caught Lin Yi with his sleeve and left.
The QingLing Sect’s Great Elder had taken Lin Yi by force in front of everyone!
They could easily imagine that it wouldn’t take more than a hundred years for QingLing Sect to have another cultivator who could easily sweep the floor with all other Golden Core cultivators, turning QingLing’s superiority absolute!
Everyone left XianLing Sect with their own thoughts.
Chu WuQing returned to the great hall, awed at the power of the plot. The female lead had contributed to it, and the protagonist halo had probably active as well. Even if he had taken the plot away from its original course, it still swerved right back.
But so what? Before the protagonist reached Golden Core, he wouldn’t be able to harm Chu WuQing. Conversely, he could humiliate the protagonist again and again, letting him taste what it felt like to fall into mud.
Just like this abandonment.
Chu WuQing summoned everyone to the hall. The elders thought that he was going to look into Lin Yi’s incident and punish those responsible, but instead, Chu WuQing calmly announced, “The TaYue Sect will attack us within five days. Make sure everyone is onguard and prepared for battle. We will launch a sneak attack on them tonight. Gu Yu will act as the commander for this assault.”
The Grand Elder asked in surprise, “Why would the TaYue Sect hasten their plans? If we act tonight, we won’t have much time to prepare. Can we really win? Also, Gu Yu is just a Level Two Qi Condensation stage cultivator who is studying runesmanship. How will he know how to command and direct cultivators in battle?”
Chu WuQing’s gaze swept over the Grand Elder, his tone unchanged. “Tonight, the entire sect moves out.”
Chu WuQing didn’t exude any aura when he said this, but everyone had full confidence in his words. They didn’t question his decision again and, even though the Grand Elder was still worried, he suppressed it.
At the same time, in the TaYue Sect’s Sect Leader Hall, the TaYue Sect’s Sect Leader frowned slightly after listening to his Golden Core elder’s reports back of what had occurred. “Though this Lin Yi was taken forcibly by the Great Elder of the QingLing Sect, but his heart still must belong to XianLing Sect. This is something the Great Elder must be worried about. He will want the XianLing Sect to be annihilated, but he can’t act personally. For every day that the XianLing Sect continues to exist, they continue to be a thorn in the Great Elder’s side. If we can conquer the XianLing Sect, we will definitely gain the QingLing’s Sect’s support.”
“Elder Chen, head to JiuLi Sect and convince them to ally with us. Elder Zhou, you head to Illusion Tower. Elder Feng…”
With that, the TaYue Sect’s Golden Core cultivators, sans the Sect Leader Wang and his son, all left for other sects to convince them to form an alliance, so that they could crush the XianLing Sect in three days.