Translated by Aphelios of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Is Shang Jiyu mad again?… As Xiaoshen was contemplating this, Shang Jiyu already walked forward and his demeanor felt like it had returned to normal; Xiaoshen almost thought that it was his own illusion.
“What was wrong with the spell circle? It just suddenly lost its power.” Xiaoshen observed. He was most concerned about his water and had already known from the beginning that the Ligou River was dependent on this spell circle to remain floating in midair.
Shang Jiyu shook his head. “I was busy restoring the spell and hadn’t had a chance to look closely. Let’s wait a bit.” This was an anomaly and at the very least, it called for someone at the deacon level to come and check it out.
As he was saying this, Shang Jiyu’s gaze seemingly without a care landed on Yu Yi.
The little ink essence turned into a big ink essence and at this very moment stuck extremely close to Xiaoshen. The distance was so close that it would appear strange to a casual onlooker who didn’t know what was going on. In all likelihood, if it wasn’t for the fact that its current body did not allow for it, Yu Yi would already have climbed onto the top of Xiaoshen’s head.
“Look! This was some new spell that Xuan Wuzi invented; he said that it could have someone grow taller and the spell hit Yu Yi by accident. There weren’t any changes in the beginning, but just now, Yu Yi suddenly turned huge!” Xiaoshen immediately explained after seeing Shang Jiyu look at Yu Yi.
Ah, Xuan Wuzi…
This name kept showing up everywhere so many times that it was impossible for Shang Jiyu to not have an impression of him even if he didn’t want to.
Shang Jiyu took Xiaoshen’s hand and as if by accident, slightly used a bit of strength, and Xiaoshen naturally walked forward two steps and increased the distance between him and Yu Yi. “Are you okay yourself?”
He was the person most familiar with Xiaoshen’s cultivation and was worried that Xiaoshen exhausted his spiritual power in his attempt to hold up the Ligou River. Of course, from the outside, it looked as if Xiaoshen performed that task much more easily than he thought.
“What problem would I have… Hmm… I’m all right.” Xiaoshen said reservedly.
At this moment, he already saw a few cultivators who rode their swords over. Amongst them was Xie Kurong.
The entire Yuling Sect seemed to flare up in excitement and worry.
The Ligou River had been floating mid air around the mountains for many millennia and there was never a situation where it suddenly just fell down. Let alone that there were over a hundred newly admitted disciples of the sect on the river at the time. It was fortunate that Xiaoshen was able to pick up every single person in addition to holding up the river. The steward of Xiamo Pavilion was still wiping off his cold sweat; these disciples were all under his care.
There were many people that saw the sudden fall of the Ligou River with their own eyes. After Shang Jiyu, not only the patriarch arrived but many other worried cultivators came as well.
Yu Yi followed behind Xiaoshen closely. The people of the Yuling Sect had all seen the stone statue of Grandmaster Yu Zhao at the Jade Entrance and there was no way they didn’t know what he looked like, and they certainly knew of that unique ink essence who carried a sword on its back.
Everyone was indescribably shocked at the sight of this humongous water ink essence version of the Grandmaster Yu Zhao that they almost forgot about the Ligou River incident.
If it weren’t for the fact that Yu Zhao’s spirit had been already destroyed, they all would have suspected that this was the manifestation of his spirit.
“This…… this is……” Even Xie Kurong sucked in an air of disbelief and scrutinized the image in front of him carefully. “An ink essence? How come it’s so big?!”
Xiaoshen again repeated Xuan Wuzi’s conducts and deeds and pointed to Yu Yi, “See, it became like this.”
Yu Yi maintained its old temperament and ignored everyone. As soon as it saw Xiaoshen pointed to itself, it reached out a hand to grasp Xiaoshen’s finger and proceeded to play with it. Xiaoshen removed his hand from Yu Yi’s grasp, so Yu Yi began to play with the tips of Xiaoshen’s hair as a mean to amuse itself.
It appeared that Yu Yi resembled Yu Zhao most when it was drawing its sword. Now on the other hand, it looked as if it was being coquettish. Of course, no one actually knew whether Grandmaster Yu Zhao had a hobby of being coquettish to someone of the same gender.
“Ah, so it’s like this…” Xie Kurong looked at Yu Yi a few more times, and even though he didn’t say anything, Xie Kurong actually felt quite uncomfortable; afterall, Yu Zhao was a senior revered by all.
Thank the gods that Yu Yi was completely black, otherwise it would have been even more difficult for Xie Kurong to watch the ink essence, who was essentially a carbon copy of Grandmaster Yu Zhao and shared a similar mannerism, foolishly obsessing over Xiaoshen.
In everyone’s impression and in the stories handed down, Grandmaster Yu Zhao was a heavenly figure and master swordsman.
Xie Kurong pondered for a moment on how to undo the spell. Xuan Wuzi fortunately did possess some skills and the spell itself had its own unique features. Though Xuan Wuzi did not have the ability to perform the spell by himself, he was able to borrow the strength of the heavens and divination to aid him in casting, thus if it wasn’t for the caster himself and it didn’t conform with the heavens, it would have been very hard for others to forcibly remove the spell.
Xie Kurong’s brows wrinkled tightly after he carefully looked over the spell circle, “…There is nothing wrong with the Ligou River’s spell circle.”
As someone who experienced this firsthand and the first to discover the anomaly as well as the person to hold up the river, Xiaoshen expectedly recounted the entire process to the group.
“I thought it was because the spell circle was really old and had some problems, which caused the river to suddenly fall and pour down in torrents.” Xiaoshen explained and suspiciously asked, “If as you say, it’s not the spell circle’s problem, then could it be that someone casted a spell to cause this?”
The Yuling Sect was a place of rules and orders. Even if Yuling’s disciples wanted to practice their water cultivation, there was an assigned place for them to do so. Unless the person had amnesia, who would use the Ligou River to practice on? Xiaoshen’s doubts did not hold.
No one at the scene believed in coincidences.
Even Xiaoshen, who was the least familiar with the human world, thought there was something off, let alone others.
It was just that at this moment, no one could find out what actually happened.
“I’ll dispatch some disciples to temporarily watch over the Ligou River just in case something happens again. We need to investigate this closely. Everyone can disperse now.” Xie Kurong said calmly and began instructing the patrolling deacons to investigate this incident as well as checking up on the newly admitted disciples.
Each and every one of these new disciples had only just joined. Putting flying aside, they hadn’t even entered the Yingning (first) Stage yet.
These new disciples were wowed with stories of the beautiful and mystical Ligou River and the powerful Grandmaster Fang Cun who casted the spell to keep it afloat shortly after they entered the Yuling Sect. It was originally supposed to be a site to be admired and trusted in and it was exactly during this period of time where the new disciples simmered with excitement and wide-eye interest as they crossed the Ligou River on their boats.
To have suddenly fallen from the river, and even though Xiaoshen caught them, the disciples might have been traumatized and in the worst case scenario, it might affect their ability to enter the Yingning Stage of cultivation…
This year’s incoming class was really flocked by incidents left and right!
The new disciples were indeed terribly frightened. Those who were able to enter the Yuling Sect were for the most part well educated and mannered, thus at this moment, many were still coming to salute Xiaoshen, thanking this, according to the steward, “difficult” Library Master. They all had an extremely positive impression of Xiaoshen.
It was precisely the Library Master who was the very first to act and used a puff of celestial cloud to save everyone when they were in the midst of abject terror and he was able to prevent the river from collapsing at the same time. That scene was truly admirable to all.
Everyone was very sincere in their gratitude. For the newly admitted disciples who just had their lives at stake, Xiaoshen’s actions left a deep impression on them.
Xiaoshen was merely conveniently fishing the disciples up like one would with a net and seafood and didn’t think too much about it at the time, but now that he had finished fishing everyone up, it seemed as if he had implicitly participated in the custom of picking up brides. Thus, according to the dragon race’s traditions, as long as he was willing, all of these people could be considered his brides…
Hmm, it’s a bit too many. Xiaoshen thought as his face slightly reddened.
These new disciples didn’t know about Xiaoshen before today and didn’t know what his cultivation level was either, however what Xiaoshen displayed today was very different from the muddled descriptions they’ve heard from the steward and others.
His kind nature and skills saved everyone; he even blushed! His eyes the color of deep jade, like that of the tranquil ponds, captivated the crowd and together with his slightly dazed expression was a recipe for cuteness overload…
Both men and women would have a feeling of spring water flowing through their hearts.
But as soon as Xiaoshen remembered that Shang Jiyu was still standing behind him, he immediately cleared his head from those fanciful thoughts.
Shang Jiyu’s position in his heart was much higher than these people and Xiaoshen immediately answered in earnest, “You’re welcome. Bye.”
The youth’s show of seriousness was such a contrast to his person that it made him appear even more lovable and people’s hearts were moved.
Even the spectators couldn’t help but think to themselves that besides being an illiterate, Xiaoshen really was great at everything. Of course, there was also the overbearingness. Ah, he could really fight as well. And he wasn’t all that unreasonable…
The higher the cultivation, the broader their senses were. Xuan Wuzi was a step behind and by the time he arrived at the scene, the patriarch had already left and there wasn’t anything to see anymore; however, he felt a chill down his entire body.
Xuan Wuzi looked around and it wasn’t difficult for him to pinpoint the source of his chills – it was Martial Uncle.
He didn’t know why, but the glance that the martial uncle threw his way was not friendly at all, nope, not a bit of friendliness… Xuan Wuzi racked his brains on what might have caused the hostility. What did I do wrong? Or was it because Brother Xiaoshen said something bad about me? Besides that, there was no reason for Martial Uncle to glare at me like that.
Xiaoshen had originally planned to look for Xuan Wuzi, thus he grabbed him over as soon as he caught sight of him. “Look at what you did to Yu Yi!”
Xuan Wuzi first looked at the blurry black shape that stood next to Xiaoshen and didn’t make the connection at first. He was still contemplating on what that figure was when he suddenly saw the ink essence’s face and finally recognized it for what it was. He was both in shock and glee. “It’s this big now?!”
This was the figure that he had dreamed of. What was originally the size of one’s hand was now this big! The ink essence was now a head and a half taller than both him and the Library Master. Even though it was still the color of water ink, it’s head of white hair and bright eyes amongst the black backdrop made it even more meaningful. That along with the sword behind its back created an image of beauty despite being from a different race. In the end, it really did hold the spirit of the erudite Yu Zhao and his swordsmanship; it’s no more and no less than the soul of the distinguished style of Yu Zhao.
It was unfortunate that the spell still appeared to be unstable as it wasn’t his intention to make the ink essence this big. As expected, he really couldn’t use this spell on humans yet. If he was lucky, the spell would achieve its goals, otherwise, that person might become larger than the Hong Meng Hall and what would he do then…
“Do you know how to release this spell?” Shang Jiyu suddenly asked and interrupted Xuan Wuzi’s train of thought. Shang Jiyu’s expression was calm and cold and Xuan Wuzi couldn’t really decipher what he was concerned about.
Xuan Wuzi had already suffered a scare from Martial Uncle just before, and now to be suddenly “tested” on this issue, he was internally freaking out. “Ummm, ummm, reporting back to Martial Uncle, I had just created this spell and hadn’t completely fine tuned it… so, I… in actuality… I don’t really know how to dissolve it yet…”
Shang Jiyu, “……”
Xuan Wuzi saw Martial Uncle’s expression darkening further and trembled in fear as he continued, “I… I’m worried that if I simply revert this spell and, god forbid it went awry, and turned the ink essence into something smaller than an ant… What would I do? Ah, are there any side effects with the way it is now?”
Xuan Wuzi asked cautiously. Xiaoshen went to ask Yu Yi, “Do you feel there’s anything wrong or off? You seem to be able to fly normally and can wield the sword just fine. Can you still read?”
It wouldn’t do for its body to grow bigger but its intellect to be diluted. If that was the case, then an ink essence would no longer be called an ink essence. The most distinguished trait of the local specialty would be gone.
Yu Yi first shook its head and then nodded its head in reply.
Even though it became bigger, it still didn’t know how to talk. This was one of the largest differentiating factors between Yu Yi and an actual human being.
“Then it’s not that urgent, right? Look at this figure. With the way the ink essence is now, it makes it easier for it to do the Library Master’s biddings…” As soon as Xuan Wuzi said this, he felt a cold glare casually thrown his way from the direction of Martial Uncle and he could not help but tremble in fear and felt his blood running cold.
Xuan Wuzi didn’t know where he went wrong, but instinctively became submissive and meekly said, “I will speed up my research to quickly fine tune this spell!”
Xiaoshen looked at him in disgust and reluctantly said, “If you need to look for books to aid you in your research, then go ahead.”
Xuan Wuzi lit up in joy. There really was a silver lining! He made the right decision in developing this spell after all. See, he was finally able to obtain the permission to borrow books once again. “Yes! Of course! Thank you, Library Master! Thank you, Brother Xiaoshen!”
Yu Yi was akin to an imperial bodyguard and followed Xiaoshen all the way back to Biqiao Peak.
Xiaoshen said to Yu Yi in a hurry, “It won’t make much sense for you to stay on my head or sit inside my pocket when you’re this big. If you don’t want to return to the library at night, then why don’t you sleep in my room?”
Yu Yi shook its head, took a step forward, and hugged Xiaoshen’s arms. Yu Yi opened its mouth as if to speak yet only unintelligible sounds and fragments came out, akin to the noises of pages being flipped.
“That won’t work! There’s no place for you to stay then. You sit right here.” Xiaoshen said and Yu Yi obeyed with its sword back behind its back and two arms resting on its knees.
“Behave and stay here for me okay? Go read a book.” Xiaoshen said and left the room to head to Shang Jiyu’s place.
Shang Jiyu was sitting crossed legged on the couch, with his white clothes winding besides him like snow and his eyes closed; only his lips showed a light reddish color while the rest of his body was as straight as a sword – it was as if he stepped out of a painting.
Xiaoshen climbed onto him in a familiar manner and sat on his lap.
He casually remarked as he closed his eyes, “I felt like you were a bit unhappy today…”
Shang Jiyu slowly opened his eyes and looked at Xiaoshen as he stroked the top of his hair, “Really?”
“It seemed that way to me.” Xiaoshen emphasized.
The youth was too blunt. Shang Jiyu softly smiled and thought that he himself was perhaps making too much of a fuss and almost lost his manners over this.
That was only an ink essence; so what if it looked like Yu Zhao. With Xiaoshen’s temperament, he surely didn’t think too much about it. Xiaoshen said it too that it merely looked like Yu Zhao.
Xiaoshen opened his eyes as well and was about to say something when he saw a human shadow outside the window. “Eh?”
Shang Jiyu closed his eyes and casted a wordless spell, which opened the window. With the window opened, they still saw the human shadow… but that shadow was way too black. It was fortunate that the hair and the eyes of the Yu Yi helped others be able to differentiate it from an actual shadow. Yu Yi stood outside and immediately began to climb in as soon as it saw the window open.
“Yu Yi!” Xiaoshen shouted and jumped down from the bed barefoot.
Yu Yi happily grabbed onto Xiaoshen’s hands and before Xiaoshen had a chance to walk forward, Shang Jiyu had already pulled him back into his bosom in a tight hug. Shang Jiyu’s strength reminded Xiaoshen of when they first met at Hong Meng Hall; it was even stronger than back then.
Shang Jiyu’s expression became cold and his sword aura swept across the room, forcing Yu Yi to halt his steps. A few strands of Yu Yi’s hair was sliced by the edge of the sword’s aura and fell onto the floor; separated from their roots, they quickly became ink blots.
Yu Yi blinked his eyes and stared straight at Shang Jiyu.
Yu Yi’s fingers held onto the sword on its back tightly as its expression turned sharp and dangerous.
Shang Jiyu was able to feel the mockery from his other half as the other Shang Jiyu amusingly commented, “This is highly unexpected… or no, should I say we are truly one and the same?”
Shang Jiyu was able to feel his other half taking joy in his misfortune; it was a very simple kind of happiness, after all, during this entire time, ‘he’ had been the jealous one. Shang Jiyu on the other hand, had merely offered his hand to Xiaoshen in their first meeting and from that time on, Xiaoshen had willingly wrapped himself around him.
Even if it was two-sided, they were still one person.
Shang Jiyu lowered his eyes. He knew that it was merely an ink essence, yet he was unable to endure the youth leaving him and head toward someone else. His whole body and his heart rejected the idea and it wasn’t only because of his torrent like spiritual energy resting within his body.
Yu Yi remained where it was and nursed quite a grievance. Its shiny eyes stared at Xiaoshen, but due to the sword aura’s pressure, it was not able to move forward. Yu Yi originally wanted to pull out its sword, but Xiaoshen was standing opposite of it, so in the end, Yu Yi could only extend one of its hands towards Xiaoshen.
Xiaoshen however was puzzled at the Shang Jiyu in front of him, “Which are you exactly?”
He was confident that he was able to tell the two apart, however, this Shang Jiyu wouldn’t send the ink essence flying, while the other one promised that if Xiaoshen let him touch his finger, he also wouldn’t send Yu Yi flying, no? Then, which was the current Shang Jiyu who looked at Yu Yi with animosity?
Shand Jiyu himself didn’t know what to say either and was too embarrassed by his own actions, so he only hugged Xiaoshen tighter, turned his face, and softly said, “Don’t leave.”
A deep sneer echoed inside his heart; ridiculing him for his actions.
“I didn’t leave!” Xiaoshen said loudly and quickly became concerned. “Um… are you feeling sick?” Shang Jiyu often hugged him like this and would only relax when he was stuck by Xiaoshen’s side.
Shang Jiyu didn’t answer.
Xiaoshen said to Yu Yi, “It’s best if you leave. I already told you to stay in my room.”
Yu Yi was at a loss and gave Xiaoshen a stare filled with grievance. It didn’t know what it did wrong. It only wanted to follow Xiaoshen like usual so why did he want to chase it out?
With that sad expression directed toward him, Xiaoshen’s tone became softer but still braced himself and said, “You grew so big already; it’s time to learn to be independent.”
Yu Yi, “……”
It became even more despondent.
It wasn’t its fault that it grew so big!
Yu Yi slowly retracted the previously extended hand and as it walked out, it kept turning around to look at Xiaoshen. Its white hair shone like silver under the moonlight as its light-colored eyes dimmed. Under Xiaoshen’s firm gaze, Yu Yi climbed out the window.
Yet, it still refused to return to Xiaoshen’s room and instead, sat below the pillar as it hugged its sword.
Shang Jiyu held Xiaoshen even tighter at night.
Morning came, and Xiaoshen woke up and as he strolled out the door, he saw a bundle of dark mass curled on the porch – it was Yu Yi.
Yu Yi hugged its sword to its bosom as it sat on the floor. One hand was at the scabbard at all times as its forehead pressed against the sword. If it wasn’t for Yu Yi’s head of white hair, its dark figure would have become one with the pillars on the porch.
“Why are you sitting here?” Xiaoshen had only realized that Yu Yi had stayed here the entire night and worriedly said, “Didn’t I tell you to wait for me in my room…”
Yu Yi looked like a miserable little orphaned tadpole as it pitifully waited outside.
Yu Yi immediately stood up and went to Xiaoshen’s side as soon as it saw him.
Ink essences didn’t need any sleep and Yu Yi certainly did not want to wait in that empty room without a soul in sight; he’d rather be at the library than stay in that room.
Xiaoshen was speechless and realized that there was no talking through to Yu Yi. Its face was filled with insidious grievance and despondence that made Xiaoshen all the more guilty and thought to himself whether or not he was excessive yesterday and mistreated the ink essence.
He wanted to poked at Yu Yi’s cheeks like usual as well but the Yu Yi now was way too big and tall and Xiaoshen paused his half-risen hand in hesitation.
Upon seeing this, Yu Yi hurriedly bent down and used its cheeks to rub against Xiaoshen’s fingers.
This was a gesture that Yu Yi was accustomed to doing, but while it was cute when a tiny ink essence did it, the same gesture performed by the big ink essence carried a hint of indescribable ambiguity to it.
Shang Jiyu had just stepped foot out the opened door when he saw this sight and crossed his arm in a sneer as if he just remembered something. It seemed that he was muttering to either himself or someone else, “I really should not have made a promise to not shoot that thing…”
He wasn’t like ‘him’ at all – a hypocrite who was, under all that noble and benevolent charade, just like him.
It was really unfortunate that he promised Xiaoshen to not make a move against that ink essence with the annoying face. It was a miscalculation on his part; he didn’t think that this thing could be even more annoying than before…
Shang Jiyu’s frigid irony and scorching satire 1 was immediately felt by the sensitive ink essence. Yu Yi seemed to have caught sight of Shang Jiyu’s miniscule transformation and immediately grabbed its sword and revealed a guarded expression.
It was also probably a subconscious reaction from being frequently flicked and shot at by this Shang Jiyu.
“Don’t be afraid.” Xiaoshen seemed to have some trust for Shang Jiyu and what Shang Jiyu just said showed that he wouldn’t harm the ink essence this time around. “You miser 2 , it’s too late to regret your words.”
Wasn’t the petty one ‘him’? – Shang Jiyu smiled even wider.
It was him that strived to gain your favor and had you drive Yu Yi out.
“I’m not going to talk to you.” Xiaoshen grabbed Yu Yi’s hand and ran outside.
Shang Jiyu saw Yu Yi practically attached to Xiaoshen from a distance and his expression hardened… What an irksome presence.
He shortly thought of something and lazily said to his other half, “How about you give me one half of your time at night and I’ll think of a way to make that thing disappear?”
Shang Jiyu snorted, “I really should have showed him your true self.”
At the library.
Countless stares fell on Yu Yi as it showed up in the library with Xiaoshen. Many people didn’t know what was going on and when they saw the ink essence’s figure, they were shocked beyond belief and began to absentmindedly mutter, “It’s too big, too big… Which sage’s monumental work is this that gave birth to an ink essence this large…”
“That’s crazy. It’s not only a monumental literary work that could give birth to this giant ink essence. I heard it was hit by Xuan Wuzi’s spell; can’t you all see that it looks exactly like Yu Zhao?”
Even when placed among humans, an ink essence of this size was considered to be tall. If it was placed among its own race, it was surely a giant.
It was only after they heard that it was the work of Xuan Wuzi did they show a face that said ‘no wonder’. “I knew it was Xuan Wuzi from the beginning. Only he would develop a spell like this. Tsk, tsk. It’s not bad at all, but still… to have the guts to use an ink essence as a lab rat? Does he not want to step foot into the library ever again?”
There was still hope if you offended the Library Master Xiaoshen, however, if you pissed off the ink essences, with their arrogance and ability to hold a grudge, it would be a miracle for you to enter the library ever again.
It wasn’t only the various disciples that came to gawk at Yu Yi; even those little ink essences too emerged and surrounded Yu Yi. Their mouths were wide open and fragmented sounds could be heard throughout the library.
In a flash, an ink essence ran toward Xiaoshen with its tiny short legs.
Yu Yi looked on helplessly as it jumped onto Xiaoshen’s palms, walked all the way up his arm, and climbed onto Xiaoshen’s head; its expression one of pleasant surprise and it was even stroking the hair beneath it. The ink essence looked extremely happy at its new spot.
Yu Yi fumingly stretched out its hand and knocked the ink essence away.
Xiaoshen, “Why you… Only learning the bad stuff instead of the good.”
Yu Yi wasn’t a bit ashamed as it lowered its head…
The ink essences, especially the seniors who had transformed first, heavily criticized the now obviously large Yu Yi for hoarding the Library Master to itself and refused to let everyone else climb onto the Library Master to play. Their fingers of blame were harsh and many.
Yu Yi was silent for a mere moment before it suddenly pulled its sword out and pointed it and them.
Yu Yi stood fiercely as it wielded its sword; once its sword left its scabbard, Yu Yi’s expression became grave and somber. Its daoist robe fluttered predatorily, its ends dense with magic; the figure was like an ink painting yet it was simultaneously very much alive. Yu Yi’s sword spirit further gave off an air of being able to break the heavens and penetrate through the nine abyss. Its eyes shone with disdain on all living beings.
…It was truly worthy of being the essence of Grandmaster Yu Zhao!
The ink essences all screamed silently and hid in the bookshelves.
The surrounding disciples boiled over in excitement as well. Everyone knew that this sword carrying ink essence had inherited the sword spirit of Grandmaster Yu Zhao, but Yu Yi seldomly showed its sword, and now that it has been magnified and clear to all observers, it was a different view altogether.
A plethora of observers suddenly showed up to the scene. Grandmaster Yu Zhao had sacrificed both his body and soul and though there were stone statues made in his image and an ink essence who inherited his spirit, to be able to personally see the sword in action was a blessing for the later generations.
However, Yu Yi quickly sheathed its sword as soon as it scared off the other ink essences and continued to play with the corner of Xiaoshen’s clothes.
A collective sigh could be heard all around…
“There’s nothing to see here, get going. It’s like you all have never seen an ink essence before!” Xiaoshen waved his hands as if driving away crabs.
At this moment, Daomi was gasping for breath as he ran over with a bunch of books in hand. He has been up at the crack of dawn lately to read and often times, was completely immersed in the books and just realized Yu Yi was there. “What?! This was the result of Xuan Wuzi’s spell?”
The first thing Daomi thought of was that Yu Yi can no longer climb onto Xiaoshen like usual and said, “Yu Yi is really like a sesame flower, growing higher and higher. 3 Wait no, it should be a black sesame flower. Hahahaha.”
It was a shame that Yu Yi wasn’t able to understand Daomi’s humor and remained expressionless.
Daomi internally looked down on it. You weren’t like this when you were listening to Brother Xiaoshen recite poetry.
“You looked for these again?” Xiaoshen casually flipped through Daomi’s books.
Daomi nodded his head. “Yes. I beg you Brother Xiaoshen to look at these books that I found for you closely.”
“I am reading it. I found a spell that suits you too.” Xiaoshen said. Daomi told him last time that he wanted to learn illusion spells but Xiaoshen thought Daomi wasn’t suited for it and rejected him. As Xiaoshen looked back on this, he decided to use his own discretion and found a book that suited Daomi. “That book was hard to obtain, so I made a copy of it for you. Take a look.”
Xiaoshen grabbed a book on his desk.
As Xiaoshen became more familiar with Yuling, Daomi had scaled back on following him at all times, so he really didn’t know when Xiaoshen found this book and even copied it.
“Thank you Brother Xiaoshen.” Daomi was overwhelmed by Xiaoshen’s show of favor and received the book, opening it right away. What greeted his eyes were Xiaoshen’s incomparably hideous writing and Daomi couldn’t help but let out a long sigh before examining the contents closely.
Daomi smiled knowingly after he read just two sentences.
The dragon clan was the elder of the water clans while the phoenix was the elder of the bird clans; just as many water clans like to say that they share the same blood as the dragon clan, the bird clans too liked to seek a connection to the phoenix.
Phoenixes were intense and arrogant beings and in ancient times, were extremely insolent in the cultivation world and thus angered many powerful clans.
The phoenix clan’s number decreased in the battles and in an attempt to increase their cultivation and numbers, they long have gone into seclusion. Traces of their existence had disappeared even earlier than the dragon clan and there were rumors flying around that said that they too, like the dragon clan, had left the mortal realm.
Before the book delved deep into the magic itself, it had a disclaimer which stated that the magic originated from that of the phoenix; it was very similar to how some bird clans would shamelessly boast that, Our magic was based on the ancient phoenix clan’s magic, which inspired the creation of this sorcery or this was passed on from the phoenix clan to so and so… and passed on to us. There still remained three percent of its essence after it was passed down through eighteen hands.
All in all, there were many stories and models, but of course it didn’t go as far and outlandish as those of the dragon clan. It was probably because people were still wary that the phoenix clan, unlike the dragon clan, still wandered the mortal realm and it would be troublesome if they took offense to the rumors and stories.
Daomi originally thought this book was the same as all the other ones but as he read on, his expression showed one of shock and he couldn’t help but mutter, “This kind of magnificent and condensed Phoenix Flame technique really seems to share some similarities to the phoenix clan…”
Despite his current cultivation being rather low, Daomi after all came from a line of beings who had lived in Yuling for generations. His insight wasn’t bad and he was able to see the value of this book.
“It’s because it does share similarities…” Xiaoshen said obviously.
Back in the days, the dragon and phoenix clans had a very good relationship, and with the dragon clan’s extensive aesthetics, there were obviously marriages between these two races. Rumors state that once a dragon-phoenix couple emerged, no one could stand in their way, however neither of the races were ordinary beings. Phoenixes were extremely arrogant and the likelihood of these two races getting together was actually very low. Despite the power that came with them being together, there weren’t many dragon and phoenix couples.
Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, Xiaoshen did have some knowledge on the origins of the phoenix clan.
“But, I’ve never seen this magic before.” Daomi thought about it closely and didn’t remember ever seeing anyone within the sect practice this magic before. Was it because he was too inexperienced? “Brother Xiaoshen, where did you find this?”
“Really deep inside. I looked all over.” Xiaoshen replied. “Why? No one practiced it before? Man, they don’t know good from bad.”
“No… Maybe it’s because I’m too young.” Daomi scratched his head. The deeper one delves into the library, the more abstruse the materials were; even he didn’t know the inner workings and details.
There were countless areas within the library and without the permission of the Library Master, ordinary disciples were not allowed to go in too deep. There were even some spells and magic that had to be personally bestowed upon the higher-level disciples by the patriarch himself.
It was no wonder this book wasn’t ordinary at all since it came from a deep recess of the library. If it wasn’t for Xiaoshen picking it up, Daomi didn’t know when and if ever he would have had the chance to receive this book.
Daomi realized this and was even more grateful to Xiaoshen. This was definitely a valuable object. “Brother Xiaoshen… You’re too good to me… Wahh…”
“Why are you crying? You sound awful when you cry!” Xiaoshen was taken aback.
Even though it was public knowledge that his cries sounded awful, Xiaoshen didn’t have to specifically point it out…
Xiaoshen casually said, “Don’t cry! It’s just that I saw you working really hard in your search.”
Although Xiaoshen had said from the beginning that after he dominated the Yuling Sect, he was not going to let this crested tarling remain here, but over time as they got along, Xiaoshen began to acknowledge Daomi despite still finding him annoying. He even thought that Daomi was quite efficient in his work.
It could be said that Xie Kurong’s biggest competition for the position of grand chancellor of his Dragon Palace was Daomi!
Xiaoshen hoped that Xie Kurong would continue working hard and not fall behind.
“I merely did a little bit of work…” Daomi was deeply moved. Brother Xiaoshen really was cold on the outside but warm on the inside. He originally felt uncomfortable with Daoist Master Yun Ziran’s poem, but now he willingly recited it, “The human heart is akin to water, our friendship is deep and bottomless!”
Brother Xiaoshen slightly nodded his head; he believed Daomi used this phrase quite adeptly.
Daomi carefully put the book away and was determined to practice the technique as soon as he got back.
It was almost time for their inner disciples’ competition; the outer disciples could participate too and the winner would receive various prizes as encouragement. It was similar to the White Sea Sand ruler that Xuan Wuzi had.
He had just put away the book when he heard the sound of air drawn in in the library. He turned his head and saw Martial Uncle’s arrival.
Everyone hesitantly showed their respect to Shang Jiyu. As to why they were hesitant?
“Is it real or fake this time…”
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say.”
“Let’s show our respect first, just in case!”
As Shang Jiyu walked forward, the crowd observed the Library Master and saw that he wasn’t enthusiastic like usual, and instead, was rather cold. “Why are you here?”
“Can’t I help you look for books?” Shang Jiyu asked in return and shot another glance at Yu Yi.
When he put it that way, Xiaoshen couldn’t help but feel embarrassed and bashfully took half of the books that Daomi brought over and placed it in front of Shang Jiyu. “Well, hurry up then.”
Shang Jiyu, “……”
Shang Jiyu, “You’re not modest at all.”
Shang Jiyu thought that he was quite at ease, but the more he thought about it, the more unpleasant he felt to the point where he eventually just came over. Thankfully, this time around, the ink essence wasn’t as impudent as before and only stuck by Xiaoshen’s side.
Xiaoshen was baffled, “You humans are weird. It was you who offered in the first place.”
Yu Yi nodded its head as well. It was just its head that moved, yet its chin unconsciously fell on Xiaoshen’s shoulders.
Shang Jiyu smiled coldly to himself. It couldn’t be helped if it was ‘him‘, but now even this black Yu Zhao ranked higher than him. He had to exchange conditions with Xiaoshen just to touch his finger, but this ink essence was as impudent as always.
However, he didn’t want to make a move over this and make it convenient for ‘him’. Every time, he was the one that left a bad impression…
This was frustrating…
Xuan Wuzi spent the whole night immersed in his research of the spell and had just felt his eyes beginning to ache. He rubbed his eyes and prepared to walk out to grab a cup of tea before continuing.
He saw that Martial Uncle was, unsurprisingly, here with the Library Master.
Xuan Wuzi jogged over and paid his respect, “Brother Xiaoshen, Martial Uncle…”
Shang Jiyu glanced over apathetically at Xuan Wuzi and flicked him away with his hands.
Xuan Wuzi, “????”
Yu Yi, “……”
Shang Jiyu was in a terrible mood and very irritated.
It had only been half a day at the library, but the gloomy and dark atmosphere made many of the disciples feel uneasy and they dared not stay around to read.
Furthermore, Martial Uncle didn’t come for just that one day. Ever since that day, he began frequenting the library with his presence and from time to time, one could hear the Library Master and him bickering and sometimes, one could hear the cry of Xuan Wuzi.
Everyone complained endlessly. They weren’t able to figure out what kind of relationship Xiaoshen and Shang Jiyu had. From the looks of it, it was sometimes good and sometimes bad. As for what role Xuan Wuzi played in the middle, no one knew.
Thankfully, today, the patriarch called the martial uncle away and everyone finally felt a sense of peace.
Around seven to eight newly admitted disciples came to the library today and amongst them was Shu Feng, the disciple that Xiaoshen saved during the incident with the Ligou River. As soon as they arrived, they began looking left and right, and upon spotting Xiaoshen reading over the desk, the huge ink essence with the sword grinding the ink for him, and Daomi saying something at his side, the disciples communicated with each other in low voices and walked forward.
“Library Master.” Shu Feng boldly addressed Xiaoshen.
“Oh, it’s you.” Xiaoshen recognized Shu Feng as well as his companions; after all, these guys could all be regarded as his bride, or not… in other words the brides of a dragon.
He looked behind them but didn’t see anyone else. “How come the steward’s not with you all today?”
Shu Feng revealed a smile. “We just entered the Yingning Stage and each found a teacher already, so we no longer live in the Xiamo Pavilion. Our senior sisters and brothers brought us here.”
They must have exceptionally good foundations and roots to be able to enter the Yingning Stage this early. It was not hard to imagine that these disciples here will be the future of the Yuling Sect years later.
Xiaoshen nodded his head.
“To tell you the truth, we admire your bearing and talent greatly. We dare not forget that the Library Master saved our lives last time and other than thanking you again, we were hoping that a senior such as yourself will grace us with your teachings on our road as cultivators!” Shu Feng said earnestly.
Daomi mulled over his words carefully. This must surely be polite greetings only. Our Brother’s bearings are good, but his talent and learning on the other hand… It was probably their imaginations going wild after seeing the ink essence.
Xiaoshen was baffled as well. “Teachings of what?”
He even just learned the word ‘teachings’ the day before yesterday from the <Dictionary of Common Words and their Origins>. He also heard Daomi mention before that it was tradition for the Library Master to be considered as half a teacher and giving pointers to disciples was a usual occurrence. It was just that this was the first time since he became a Library Master that someone voluntarily asked to be taught.
Shu Feng immediately said, “Whether it be on personal character or cultivation, anything is fine!”
His colleague, or rather a senior sister also took the opportunity to interrupt, “Since Teacher is in charge of the library, can you please enlighten us disciples with the difference and connections between cultivation and spells?”
Practitioners trained their cultivation as well as their techniques, because they used their spiritual power to control the spells.
For newly admitted disciples, the origins of those two often left them confused; after all, the plethora of cultivation and spells seem to all be important.
“This…” Xiaoshen looked up in contemplation, “Of course it’s to first practice your cultivation before you practice spells. There is much that goes into it afterwards, if you want to practice spell work.”
Xiaoshen said a few empty words but there were still no changes in Shu Feng and his group’s expressions. Unlike what Daomi had thought would happen, their adoration did not vanish and instead, it seemed to have increased. “The Library Master’s words are truly profound and meaningful. We are enlightened!”
Daomi surreptitiously nodded his head. Brother Xiaoshen was truly formidable. Even though these were all empty words, they were very accurate; after all, this was someone who could use illusions as a strategy to challenge another. These disciples were all talented individuals and could probably benefit a lot from it.
“Cultivation before spell work, spells are outside of cultivation. We have benefited from your guidance!” That female disciple who asked the question bashfully gave her thanks and was able to extract the meaning behind Xiaoshen’s words. “I will definitely inscribe these words onto my desk as soon as I get back and will constantly remind myself of this.”
Shu Feng glanced at her in dissatisfaction. “How can you change up the Library Master’s words? The Library Master clearly said: ‘First practice your cultivation before you practice spells. There is much that goes into it afterwards if you want to practice spell work’.”
The female disciple looked taken aback and immediately said, “Of course. It’s my fault. To change up the wording is to lose its essence. I will write down each word as it is without change!”
What was wrong with these people? She obviously summarized it really well to a point where he almost thought it worthy to be used as propaganda material to better Brother Xiaoshen’s reputation. What are they doing now?
There was no need. There really was no need.
Shu Feng seemed to understand Daomi’s confusion and smiled at him, “We’ve heard all about the rumors of the Library Master being illiterate, but we don’t believe a single bit of it. This doesn’t only go against what the steward said about the ink essence’s tradition of recognizing their master, but also goes against what we saw of the Library Master.”
In these disciples’ eyes, Xiaoshen was completely suited for the position of the Library Master!
If Shang Jiyu was the moon above Xiaoshen’s sea, then to these disciples, Xiaoshen was the snowy summit of their mountain. Their first meeting was one of admiration; after Xiaoshen saved their lives, it became complete submission.
The first impression was the most important. In addition to all these coincidences, they were all willing to think of Xiaoshen in a positive light and had discussed this privately many times.
Xiaoshen’s words just now further deepened their impressions that the Library Master was a clever and enlightened person, different from the common people.
“The Library Master was clearly able to put such essential ideologies into words. Those so-called rumors of him not being erudite does not follow what we know of him at all. Don’t tell me that one must be overly fastidious in wording in order to show their vast scholarly knowledge? The purpose of a book being written and words being said is to have people understand it, no?” Shu Feng again said with admiration. “It’s a shame that these people don’t understand the Library Master. Commonness is great elegance. Principality stems from simplicity; a return to the origins!”
The others nodded their heads in succession and supplemented a few words and placed Xiaoshen onto an even higher pedestal. They expressed that the reason for the Library Master forcing people to recite the Daoist Master Yun Ziran’s poems must be that he wanted them to reach an epiphany. These newly admitted disciples all felt like they understood and even wanted to follow behind.
Lastly, Shu Feng showed a deep bow of respect to Xiaoshen and shyly said, “I hope the Library Master doesn’t take offense in your disciple interpreting your words without permission.”
Daomi was stupefied at his comment. These are the future of our Yuling Sect?
These people’s imagination caused him to be stuck in his disbelief for quite a while, but upon closer inspection, there was some circular logic to it. If he didn’t witness the whole process from the beginning and really believed it… Daomi couldn’t help but look toward Brother Xiaoshen, what did you do to the Yuling Sect’s young saplings?
However, he only saw that Xiaoshen was shocked as well and seemed to be contemplating the upside-down interpretation. Xiaoshen said, “…Ah, it’s all right. It’s fine.”
Brother Xiaoshen! Don’t you know what your own situation is? What do you mean it’s fine?!!!
The author has something to say:
Shu Feng – a fanboy’s filter of the idol.
Welcome to the world of the VIPs… hahahaha. Thank you everyone. =33333=
I’ll gift 500 little red envelopes in the comments section~
- It’s an idiom that means to alternately taunt and jeer at somebody or send cutting remarks and mockery at somebody.
- Here, the author used the words 小气鬼 to describe Shang Jiyu. Xiao Qi Gui literally means Little Air Ghost and is used to describe a petty or miserly person.
- Daomi is using an idiom to describe how Yu Yi sprouted up like a beanstalk and was comparing Yu Yi to a sesame flower in floom, in which each flower grows higher than the last.