Translated by ethidda of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The disciples each performed for the Library Master, sharing the puns they collected, in hopes of entertaining the Library Master. Nobody would’ve expected that the Library Master’s expression became darker and darker, rage tinged with aggrievedness, aggrievedness wrapped around anger.
When he could no longer endure it, Xiaoshen howled, “All of you shut up! I’m sick of this!!”
Whenever he thought of his painful memories, he became extremely unhappy. He suppressed his urge to cry, and instead yelled, “I hate puns the most!”
Daomi misled us again?
But that starling had been making puns left and right. He even made a pun when he realized that he had been cultivating the Phoenix Flame technique, and the Library Master didn’t do anything.
But the Library Master very quickly answered the unspoken question.
“It’s hard enough for me to endure one Daomi. If anyone dares to make another pun, then they can be illiterate for life!” Xiaoshen scolded, panting. “Do you think you’re very funny? Hmm? ‘The Dragon King moved ashore – he’s incredible!’? Is a dragon who left the sea still incredible? How can he be incredible? Tell me? Or you, tell me? You don’t even understand basic logic, and you want to become literate!!”
Many people lowered their heads in shame. Actually, when they were looking for puns, they also thought that some of them were not well-made, but they thought that the Library Master liked it like that. They sighed. It was their fault for not having a spine.
It was Daomi’s fault too. What a mess.
If they had known, they would’ve been better off looking up if Yun Ziran released any new works. Damn it, though. Of all the poets the Library Master could like, he chose to like this unheard-of garbage poet. It was almost impossible to find any of his works. The last Library Master had already passed, so only ghosts knew where he bought them.
“Don’t be mad,” Shang Jiyu said suddenly.
The disciples were happily surprised. Martial Uncle was going to be unusually kind today and help them calm the Library Master down. With their relationship, where they’re constantly embracing each other, surely the Library Master would forgive everyone.
Shang Jiyu continued quickly, “Beat them all up. It’s no good to get so angry that you get sick. I’ll help you hold them down, so nobody can get away.”
They had complex feelings…
Martial Uncle was still the same Martial Uncle, or maybe even more over the top.
“They can’t even handle a single punch from me. I would end up breaking them all,” Xiaoshen said disconsolately. If he broke them all, who would be held responsible? He felt that when he was in a rage, he might use an unusually large amount of force.
Everybody had witnessed Xiaoshen’s strength already and trembled in fear. Brother Xiaoshen’s fingers might look pale and delicate, but he shattered the White Sea sand ruler with his bare hands. If Martial Uncle held you down and let Xiaoshen punch you, you would immediately go to reincarnate.
Everybody was completely despondent. What a misjudgement! They utterly failed to please. Now, it was too awkward for anyone to ask Brother Xiaoshen to let them read the divine texts. They looked at him and Martial Uncle, then begrudgingly dispersed.
Yet Shang Jiyu stopped Xuan Wuzi, who was in the crowd. “Xuan Wuzi, stay.”
“…” Xuan Wuzi walked over, weeping. “Martial Uncle, hit me. I really haven’t found a way to fix it yet.”
He was a dead mouse who felt no cold. 1
Shang Jiyu’s expression darkened.
Xuan Wuzi’s face paled, and tried to hide behind Xiaoshen. “Library Master, Library Master, you have to say something. I wanted Yu Yi to cooperate with my experiments, but you said to not touch him!”
Xiaoshen, “?? Are you snitching on me?”
Shang Jiyu, “Not only do you slack off, but you’re also trying to anger Teacher Xiaoshen?”
Xuah Wuzi, “……“
Might as well execute him now.
At that moment, Xie Kurong unexpectedly arrived at the library.
“Martial Uncle is here too?” Xie Kurong greeted Shang Jiyu in an easy manner. Then he saluted Xiaoshen, “Xiaoshen.”
This was the grand chancellor (candidate) 2 . Now, Xiaoshen ignored Xuan Wuzi, “What is it?”
“You left yesterday, right? A later division chose a great young successor. He’s even the same as you, from a water species. Yuan Gang?” Xie Kurong gestured to the disciple behind him, who was dressed in white. That disciple stepped forward and greeted them right away, with suppressed excitement.
“Look, as the Library Master, can you give him a few pointers? Even better if it’s a lost ancient technique.”
There was a white sea turtle in the sect. If Xie Kurong only expressed shock, but then ignored it, he would be an idiot. But he also worried that Xiaoshen would hold a grudge, for being called an illiterate before.
Now, after just one night, he quickly found an excuse to bring someone to pester Xiaoshen. He especially chose a water species who won first place, one with a shell.
Xiaoshen was still unhappy. He slowly looked over this disciple.
This is my big break. Yuan Gang thought this, and then knelt down with a ‘thud’. “Teacher, please instruct me!”
Xiaoshen pulled a book from his chest, without any expression, and gave it to Yuan Gang.
“Thank you, sir.” Trembling, Yuan Gang received the book. As expected, once the patriarch came, it was so easy to ask for a favor.
From around them, there were looks of jealousy. It was just good to be first place. This competition, he was probably the luckiest. Normally, the prize was just some ingredients or some artifact. This was incomparable. What fortune!
Yuan Gang couldn’t stop himself and opened the first page. Yet there it was in Library Master’s uneven writing, the foreword: ‘This Phoenix technique, the Phoenix Flame’…
Yuan Gang, “??”
Yuan Gang, “Sir, there seems to have been a mistake. This looks like the book Daomi practiced.”
Xiaoshen, “It’s exactly that one, even with my original handwriting. Daomi already copied it for himself and returned this one to me. Now I’m giving it to you.”
Yuan Gang’s lips quivered. He said with a warble, “Teacher, but I’m a shrimp.”
Xiaoshen looked him over. “I can tell.”
Yuan Gang, “……“
Xie Kurong didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “Xiaoshen, he’s a water species. You gave him a lost fire phoenix technique. How do you expect him to cultivate it?”
Yuan Gang’s face was burning red, and could only nod in agreement.
The eavesdroppers all shrank back, too. This was unreasonable… The Library Master was still that same Library Master.
“He’s only won the division first place. Does that mean I need to especially translate a book for him? Can’t he practice this one?” Xiaoshen retorted. “Did I say to practice fire? The book is full of insights. The most important thing is to understand the essence. When you can intuit the technique beyond the techniques, the way beyond the ways, then you will have understood.”
Yuan Gang stared blankly.
He thought very hard, but could not figure out what these words meant. It’s true that the Library Master didn’t seem to have a high cultivation, but the things he’d said before had all been truths.
“Wonderful! A ‘technique beyond the techniques’!” Xie Kurong even laughed, with his hand covering his mouth. It looked genuine, not like he was placating Xiaoshen. “Today was the first time I’ve heard of this way of practicing. How wonderful! That’s right, Yuan Gang. Since the Library Master believes in you, then take this book with the Phoenix Fire technique to master it. I believe that this is also your luck. If you can gain something from it, you will benefit for life.”
Yuan Gang bowed low and kowtowed. “I will follow your teachings.”
Xiaoshen looked around. Those who had been watching the scene unfold had all left, especially those who were water species.
What if Xiaoshen really did give them a book with the Phoenix Flame technique? How would they practice it?…
Sigh. Nobody even knew how to win Brother Xiaoshen’s favor.
“Oh, right.” Xie Kurong suddenly looked left and right, trying to lead Xiaoshen into the corner.
Xiaoshen followed over. “What are you doing?”
Xie Kurong took out a piece of paper with a rubbing of divine text from his chest. He said quietly, “Actually, this has been passed down in my family. According to my ancestors, during the ancient times, they lived in Qing province near the coast as priests, and had some acquaintance with the dragons. This writing was written by the dragons on a stele. Would you take a look and see if you can understand it?”
Xiaoshen was surprised. Was he really from a family of grand chancellors? Did he really have to give Xie Kurong more kudos?
He took the paper and looked, “……“
Xie Kurong, “What do you think?”
Xiaoshen held up the paper, “The words mean, basically, ‘ahead on the left there is a toilet’.”
This was a huge blow to Xie Kurong. “……“
Xiaoshen suddenly thought to ask, “Where was this stele at your house?”
Xie Kurong’s face lost all color, and staggered out.
“What’s he doing?” Shang Jiyu saw Xie Kurong’s back as he was leaving, and walked over. He wondered if Xie Kurong wanted to learn divine text, was rejected, and received a huge blow.
“Nothing.” Xiaoshen actually helped the (optional) grand chancellor save face.
“Then do you want to work on breaking the prohibition now?” Shang Jiyu smiled.
Xiaoshen really didn’t have anything else to do at the library. Yu Yi led the ink essences to do the work. Originally, he wanted to go find his water, but now it seemed that the horrid ex-wife was interfering. So it was more important to break the restriction.
“…Yes, alright,” Xiaoshen said.
The two went in a corner. Shang Jiyu held Xiaoshen’s ankle. The two were so close, it looked as if they were nestled together, but there was actually still space between them. They were close, yet still apart, and even if Xiaoshen wanted to complain, he couldn’t.
And Shang Jiyu purposely didn’t say anything. He mimicked his other self shamelessly, so that Xiaoshen wouldn’t dare to complain, or even look at him more than a few times.
“Xiao…” A disciple had come over, and just stuck his head over, then hurried to cover his eyes and turn around. He ran faster than a mad dog, and warned everybody to stay away.
They were wondering why Martial Uncle came today. It turned out he wanted to play a new game…
After several more hours, Xiaoshen and Shang Jiyu left the corner.
A careful look would show that Brother Xiaoshen’s expression was as usual, or maybe even radiant. Someone sensitive would even be able to tell that Xiaoshen’s cultivation seemed to have greatly increased.
In contrast, fatigue seemed to shadow Martial Uncle between his brows.
The disciples watching them, “……Huh?”
In the cultivation world, every sect and clan would be proud to have someone go to Yuling to study. Yuling did not keep its door wide open, either; they did not accept just anyone. In no time, Yuling started study periods and set a few standards for entering. There was a line of students waiting to join.
Today was the day for another round of cultivators from other sects to enter the Imperial Palace. Everyone of them were entrusted with their sects’ hopes as well as their own ambitions. They hoped that at Yuling’s Immobile Lands, they could find the great way that was for them.
These practitioners have all already achieved a certain level of cultivation. They were the cream of the crop in their own sects, and worked hard to get this opportunity. They knew each other, and conversed a bit on the way, while the Yuling disciples led them down the road.
“That must be the Ligou River,” one cultivator said with a sigh. “Back when Grandmaster Fang Cun used his personal power to change the geography, he left the Ligou River to flow around the mountain. This is my first time seeing it in person. It was worth the mention in the books!”
The others all seemed to follow this person’s lead and made sounds of agreement. They all came to Yuling together to study, so they were basically classmates. In the cultivation world, the friendship with a fellow student at Yuling was worth something.
One of the cultivators, who was middle-aged with a goatee, suggested, “Why don’t we first go boat around the Ligou River and sightsee a bit?”
The cultivator leader gave him a cold look. “We’d better follow the greeter Senior Brother Xiao and get checked in. Otherwise, we’d be delaying him.”
The one who got called Senior Brother Xiao was surprised and flattered. He said, “It’s fine, it’s fine.”
He was only an outer disciple (a regular disciple, not chosen by one of the masters). In contrast, this lead cultivator in front of him was from Seven Swords Sect, a sect with some name, unlike that cultivator with the goatee, who came from a small place without any reputation. He couldn’t even remember the name of the sect that person came from, so of course he didn’t hold much status in this group of people.
“Eh? What are those Yuling disciples doing up ahead?” Someone asked suddenly.
They haven’t arrived at Ligou River yet. They could only see that up ahead, there were a group of Yuling disciples in white, practicing their sword techniques. One of the disciples tried to use a technique against a pile of grass, but nothing happened.
The greeter disciple also craned his neck to look and seemed curious.
The cultivator from Seven Swords Sect glanced at him, and said, “If Senior Brother Xiao wants to look, why don’t we go over and observe?”
“Well…” The greeter disciple was embarrassed, but he really couldn’t resist his curiosity. “Then please excuse the detour.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. We also want to go look.” Whether they wanted to or not, even if their cultivation was higher than this outer disciple, they weren’t familiar with the area or the people here. So they would rather accommodate him. It was very understandable.
They approached and the greeter disciple introduced, “This is our Senior Brother Yuan Gang. He recently won first place in the division in our sect’s small competition.”
The Seven Swords Sect cultivator nodded, but didn’t say anything. He didn’t want to just chat him up.
But that cultivator with the goatee leaned over and said, “Little bro, aren’t you someone who cultivates water techniques? But this seems a bit like a fire explosion. It doesn’t seem to suit you.”
Even though he hadn’t started a fire, they could all feel that his spiritual power was not moving like water would.
Yuan Gang looked over, his face cold and expressionless.
He was an inner disciple at Yuling, and had his own pride.
The greeter disciple was worried that his Senior Brother got upset, and stuttered, “Senior Brother, these people just arrived at the sect today, to seek learning. They just entered the Imperial Palace.”
What he meant was, please be forgiving about any offenses they might make.
The others all glared at Goatee as well. What if he dragged them all down, by saying things he shouldn’t say?
“It’s alright. This fellow cultivator actually saw everything very clearly.” Yuan Gang wasn’t really that angry. He even asked, “Which sect are you from?”
The cultivator with a goatee laughed. “It’s not a well known sect. I’m from Nanzhou Cultivation Sect, it’s a small sect.”
In fact, nobody had heard of it before.
The person next to him actually quite liked him, and said immediately, “Even if it’s not a famous sect, my friend Daoist Master Yun Hua here is a well studied person. He has written works that were collected by Yuling over a hundred years ago!”
In the cultivation world today, there were three great achievements. One: study ancient divine texts; two: find which ancient powerful people/royalty you relate to; and three: your writing to be added into the Yuling library!
With this, his status seemed to instantly elevate.
“Really?” Yuan Gang wasn’t especially surprised. After all, this was Yuling. There were as many works as fish swim in the lake. He asked out of politeness, and also so he could brag about his photographic memory. “I don’t remember any books by ‘Yun Hua’. Does this gentleman have a pseudonym? I would read his great work when I have time.”
Yun Hua laughed in embarrassment. “I used my courtesy name. My courtesy name is ‘Ziran’.”
First, Yuan Gang made an ‘oh?’ sound. Following, he thought about it and suddenly was shocked. He said faintly, “Ziran? Yun Ziran?!!”
Yun Hua said confusedly, “You know me?”
Yuan Gang, “……“
The other disciples, “……“
Who doesn’t know you??
The author has something to say:
So, the new work I mentioned last time, the name and the summary are finally done! I’m officially advertising it, hahaha! Please, everybody, here’s a preview. After Xiaoshen is finished, I’ll be preparing to start on it. It’ll be long. PS: You won’t be able to find it yet by searching, but you can find it by clicking on the author’s name’s page.
“I Got Popular After The Part-Time Job in Hell”
Lan He was making ends meet in the entertainment industry. He worked as an actor, but because he didn’t have connections, he never got popular.
It’s ok, though, he has a part time job. He is an hourly worker in hell. He’s an “impermanent”* and earns money working for the dark/ghostly side.
During the day, some actors stole Lan He’s part because of his rich sponsor.
That night, Lan He was asked to collect a ghost, who happened to be that rich sponsor.
The rich sponsor and the actor knelt with a crash: …Actually, you have more (ghostly) connections!
Lan He: Stand back, I’m going to use my powerful skill.
Pedestrian: Aren’t you my idol!! Gege! Mama loves you!
Lan He: Why are you still here? Do you want to die?
Pedestrian: I’m so scared!
Lan He: ??? Don’t make more work for me!
*When a live person goes to work in hell, he’s called an impermanent.