Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shang Jiyu had Xiaoshen kneel on the couch with his back facing him. He then touched the silver bracelets and started working on lifting the restriction. The bracelet looked ordinary, but was absorbing a lot of energy. Xiaoshen may really be a Jiao. Jiao were the closest to dragons among the water race, and every one of them was a famous cultivator. But Xiaoshen had lived alone and didn’t know the way of the world.
Master Shang Jiyu was not only skilled in fighting, he was also a master in refining weapons. Although he was unfamiliar with artifacts that blocked spiritual power, he still managed to find a clue and slowly started to make progress. But when the sun went down and the moon came up, he had to stop.
“Now, come here.” His eyes radiated indifference, but his tone unconsciously softened.
At night, their roles switched and it was Xiaoshen’s turn to help him. The bracelet had been reduced by only half, however, Shang Jiyu’s speed was clearly faster than others’. Xiaoshen was very pleased. After circulating the little spiritual power that he recovered, his legs didn’t feel weak anymore. He was very satisfied.
“The sun already set. Let’s go lie down. I like sleeping in a circle.” Xiaoshen said.
Shang Jiyu, “……”
Xiaoshen didn’t speak the human language well. What he said had lost some of its original meaning. Shang Jiyu shot him a somewhat confused look. He had no idea how that worked… Especially if it was just the two of them.
Xiaoshen saw his baffled expression, so he mumbled, “Isn’t sleeping in a circle easy? It’s not that hard…”
He quickly wanted to go to bed so he could sneak out and find the whereabouts of his water.
Xiaoshen and Shang Jiyu were both kneeling. When Xiaoshen tried to get up, a tug on his ankles made him fall into Shang Jiyu’s arms.
Looking into Shang Jiyu’s eyes, it was obvious that he did it subconsciously. He just wanted to hold Xiaoshen tightly.
He simply wanted Xiaoshen. The boy’s soft body sat in his arms, with his back against his chest. Shang Jiyu sighed, “Mn… Just sit down.”
How uncomfortable was this position? But Xiaoshen was willing to spend time with his favorite Shang Jiyu. He adjusted his posture for a while, until he was sitting comfortably. He tucked in his bare feet, and the whole dragon retreated into the arms of Shang Jiyu, who sat back in adoration.
Hong Meng Hall (Large Mist Hall)
Xie Kurong sat slanted on the chair, and the officials in charge of the affairs of the sect were sitting below him. One of them stated, “Patriarch, Lord Han chosen the day before yesterday entered the library, but got kicked out.”
“Thrown out again?” Xie Kurong felt his head hurting again.
The Yuling Sect library had a vast collection of books and thousands of rare Daoist scripts, so naturally someone had to guard it. This person would then be called the Library Master.
The Library Master couldn’t have a low cultivation level, had to have a wide range of knowledge, and had to be proficient in literature and calligraphy.
When they lost their last librarian three years ago, they immediately started looking for someone to fill the position. However, it couldn’t just be anyone. They weren’t the ones deciding who it was going to be. Even Xia Kurong didn’t have a say in it. Out of the ten people sent one after the other, none of them were chosen.
The deacons also felt speechless. They prepared a list of names and presented it to Xia Kurong as usual. They could only do it like this. They had no idea when they would succeed.
“Can’t I choose a librarian from the Yuling Sect or the Manchu Sect?” Xia Kurong mumbled softly.
A deacon remarked abruptly, “Speaking of which, Patriarch, Chen Qun mentioned something. You left the mountain yesterday and brought back a water species with low spiritual power. Moreover, that person is still illiterate?”
Chen Qun was in charge of permanent residence affairs. He supervised and recorded every person entering or leaving the sect, whether inside or outside the department. Xie Kurong did tell Daomi to report Xiaoshen to him.
Xie Kurong, “……”
He knew it would spread. Generally no one in Yuling Sect was illiterate. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was enough to gossip about for a while. After all, this has never happened before.
Other deacons, who heard of it for the first time, were also astounded.
“What? Illiterate? Why can’t he read?”
“Heh, where did you find him?!”
“How illiterate is he? This Xiaoshen…”
Everyone was curious why Xie Kurong would bring back an uneducated water species. They focused on this aspect the most and ignored everything else, even the fact about him having low spiritual power.
Xie Kurong couldn’t tell them his ancestor’s prediction. Besides, his ancestor didn’t mention anything about bringing Xiaoshen back to the sect.
“What’s the big deal?” Xie Kurong said reservedly. “I can have Daomi teach Xiaoshen how to read!”
Biqiao Peak. (Highest Jade Peak)
During the night Shang Jiyu was well-behaved. He was embracing Xiaoshen tightly in his arms. For hundreds of years, Shang Jiyu had never been so close to anyone. Xiaoshen was the first one.
In the dark room, without the light of the night nothing could be seen, so Shang Jiyu closed his eyes again. He noticed a dewy and lightly sweet smell and realized that it was the light water vapour coming off of the young man’s body. This made him leave a deeper impression in his mind about the boy.
Under his gentle and tranquil tide-like aura, Sheng Jiyu’s inner power became calm and obedient.
When Xiaoshen opened his eyes and saw the noble looking Shang Jiyu, he knew right away that it was the one he fancied, so he happily asked, “Can you let me get up?”
When Shang Jiyu sat up and the boy left his arms, he felt a light sense of loss… Huh…
“Daomi is teaching me how to read today.” Xiaoshen said to Shang Jiyu, “Should I go back to the place we were at yesterday and wait for him there?”
Shang Jiyu, “You mean Wan Long Tai (Bound Dragon Terrace), right?”
Seeing his stunned expression, Sheng Jiyu felt a need to explain, “It used to be called Cun Xie Tai (Slightly Tilted Terrace), but he changed it.”
This ‘he’ Shang Jiyu referred to was the patriarch.
He was bewildered once again by the naming sense of humans.
Xie Kurong is not a good person at all.
Xiaoshen said dejectedly, “Well then, I’m leaving.”
He turned around and walked for a few steps. He felt something wasn’t right, as he heard footsteps behind him. When he looked back, he saw that Shang Jiyu was following him. Xiaoshen happily asked, “Are you coming to read, too?”
Seeing the delighted expression on the other’s face, Sheng Jiyu stopped and smiled back.
“Don’t go… You just arrived.”
He had unconsciously followed Xiaoshen again, but stopped, when he realized that these words were a bit childish.
It was just that Xiaoshen didn’t seem to understand it at all, probably not paying much attention to human words.
“I know! I’ll study hard!” Needless to say, he didn’t care about learning words at all, his main goal was to lift the restriction and find his water. Xiaoshen just pretended to, to fool others.
Daomi came to meet Xiaoshen as promised, and noticed that he was wearing different kinds of clothes again. This time, the style of the robe was the same as Martial Uncle’s, but the jade belt was still the original one, which made him lose the gentle appearance that he had before.
It seemed that although his spiritual power was low, he no longer had zero spiritual power.
When he first met Brother Xiaoshen, he was only wearing a ragged shirt and this jade belt. That was probably his only personal possession on his body.
The library was not on a mountain peak, but on a large floating flat land with towering buildings. On its plaque, there were several big characters with iron and silver hooks… But Xiaoshen didn’t recognize any of them. Surrounded by the river, it looked like a floating island.
“This is the Immobile Lands.” Daomi explained that a lot of boats stopped here and the library was the most lively place, since there was an academy in Yuling Sect.
Daomi grew up in the sect, and he couldn’t be more familiar with this place. “When Founder Fang Cun traveled eastward to Yuling, he met a ghost abbot, who gave him a lot of books. The library became filled with books, a large magnitude of different volumes…”
Xiaoshen interrupted him, “What’s magnitude?”
Daomi, “It means lots and lots of books.”
“Oh,” said Xiaoshen, appalled, “Then just say ‘a lot of books’.”
Daomi felt wronged. Ah, Brother Xiaoshen’s knowledge was as empty as his pocket.
Daomi didn’t mean to confuse him, but many of these words were used in everyday speech. He seriously underestimated Xiaoshen’s incompetence in human language. To the members of Yuling Sect, to know one idiom was considered being illiterate, and to know one hundred idioms was still considered being illiterate. No one could neglect their studies.
Daomi switched to easier words. “There are as many books as stars in the sky. Our ancestor was surprised by Chang’en’s ghost body and how he wouldn’t care about being burned by the sun while reading. He was a lover of books, so he stayed and helped keep the books in order. It’s said that he became the god of the scribes, and those books were left to his descendants. There weren’t only ones with human knowledge, some of them even contained godly wisdom. After he took five thousand years to read all volumes, he realized that after all this time the Yuling Sect became his scholarly domain!”
“Those who heard about it showed up in worship one after the other and the place came to be known as the Yuling Sect. The people of early Yuling were also avid fans of texts. In those days they continued filling the library with literary works ranging from human classics to daoist scrolls.This location contains the widest range of knowledge in the world. The further you go in, the more refined the wisdom in the volumes.”
When Daomi brought Xiaoshen to the first floor of the library, everything was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop, despite hundreds of people bustling about between the shelves, along the staircase or just sitting and reading.
Daomi slightly lowered his voice, “These are disciples of our sect and those sent to study here. It’s hard to distinguish them without seeing their tokens, but our disciples like to wear white. Usually there are a lot more people. The reason why there’s less people than usual is because some sections of the library can be only accessed with the permission of the Library Master, but as of yet, that position has been vacant. Some ancient books can only be borrowed with the nod from both the patriarch and the Library Master. In conclusion this library needs a new Library Master! The position’s been empty for three years now.”
As much as he wanted to tell more about it, he chose not to. Brother Xiaoshen couldn’t read or write anyway, so he wouldn’t be using the library for a while. But what Daomi didn’t know, that while he was running his mouth for half a day, Xiaoshen stopped listening at the mention of ‘white clothes’.
Xiaoshen thought that the arrogant Shang Jiyu didn’t look good in white.
It was true, this library had the most complete collection of books in the world. There were even entry-level books for children to learn Chinese characters. Daomi picked one off the shelf, found a corner and sat down, “Brother Xiaoshen, I will start teaching you Chinese characters now. Let’s start by learning how to write your name first.”
“Deep, from the character deepwater (深水 – shēnshuǐ).” There was ink and paper on the table available for use. Daomi wrote down the word “深” deep.
“Mn, okay, I know now!” Xiaoshen carved it into his memory after one look.
“Then let’s start from basic words, like heaven, earth and man…” Daomi thought that Brother Xiaoshen’s attitude was a little too casual.
Xiaoshen wanted to say that this was enough for today, but suddenly remembered something and said, “Wait a minute, I want to know two more words.”
He also picked up a brush, knocked on the table, and asked with a serious face, “How do you write ‘repaying debt’?”
Daomi wondered why he wanted these specific words, but wrote them down for him anyway.
As soon as it was done, Xiaoshen declared, “I’m a little tired today. Let’s stop here and continue some other time.”
Daomi, “?! No!”
It was not his imagination, Brother Xiaoshen wasn’t taking this seriously at all!
Xiaoshen stood up. “Is there a problem? I feel dizzy after looking at words for―”
He suddenly stopped halfway, as he noticed a little black shadow flashing through the bookshelves from the corner of his eyes, but quickly disappeared. Ultimately, nobody could really stop Xiaoshen, if he wanted to do something. He grabbed the bookshelf and climbed up to have a look.
“What are you doing? Is there a really interesting book up there?” An amused voice rang out.
Xiaoshen turned his head and looked down. There was a young man in white with slanted eyes, looking back at him curiously.
“Senior Brother Xuan Wuzi.” Daomi greeted.
Senior Brother Xuan Wuzi casually ordered Xiaoshen, “Come down.”
Since Xiaoshen couldn’t find the small black shadow, he jumped off the shelf.
After jumping down, his body looked even smaller. Xuan Wuzi sized him up closely, then looked down at his face and said, “You are the little demon that the patriarch brought back yesterday. How energetic…”
Xiaoshen could hear the slight mocking in the other’s tone, so he smugly turned away. He might not understand words well, but he could still perceive the underlying meaning. That tone was used for coaxing someone.
“Ignoring me? Heh.” Xuan Wuzi was also an impressive talent of Yuling, but wasn’t very tall, so when he saw the petite Xiaoshen, he wanted to tease him, “Which book did you try to take from there? I’ll get it for you.”
He believed that this person from the water race was weak, because his spiritual power seemed low. He seemed too feeble to get the books from the upper shelves. Although he offered his help, he wasn’t really serious.
“Why is Senior Martial Brother so eager to offer his assistance? Go about your business, we don’t need your help.” Daomi didn’t have a good relationship with him. Xuan Wuzi was always acting too arrogant. Daomi fully and faithfully stood on Xiaoshen’s side.
“Why couldn’t it be my business?” Xuan Wuzi said leisurely, “I am in line to be the next patriarch. I am also one of the Library Master candidates. And I report only to the patriarch. All these books here… could be my business in the future.”
Daomi was taken aback.
Xuan Wuzi was quite young, but he was already at the Listening to the Thunder (fifth) Stage. At this level he could begin refining his spells. Because he needed to spend time to do that, he had been stuck on the fifth level. Xuan Wuzi was proficient in many fields and he had an outstanding memory. Having so many achievements at this age, whether he was chosen as a next patriarch or not, his strength was already recognized, so Xuan Wuzi was quite arrogant.
But Daomi was born in the sect and had been growing up in Yuling for several generations. He acted really haughty while outside the sect. He snorted, but wasn’t trying to be impolite.
Xiaoshen didn’t expect that there was someone who talked more than Daomi. He stuck out his chest and said, “So what, I can’t read!”
He didn’t need to borrow any books!
Xuan Wuzi, “……”
Xuan Wuzi was stunned by what Xiaoshen said with such pride on his face, “What do you mean you can’t read?”
He noticed the basic words, like heaven, earth and man, that were scribbled on the papers on the table and sucked in a cold breath of air.
Illiteracy! There was an illiterate person in the Yuling Sect!
Xuan Wuzi murmured, “I have never seen an uneducated person… How old are you? Why can’t you read?”
The more he looked at Xiaoshen, the more curious he felt. He wanted to question him further on why he couldn’t read or write.
“Senior Brother Xuan Wuzi!” Daomi yelled. “You don’t want to be a hen who hatched a duckling!”
He took it really personally. Despite Brother Xiaoshen not being bothered by it, Daomi felt great pressure about his responsibility of being the teacher.
“What does that mean?” Xiaoshen asked.
Daomi, “It means ‘go and mind your own business’!”
Xiaoshen was amused by this newly learnt idiom and laughed.
Xuan Wuzi, “…………”
Xuan Wuzi was already familiar with Daomi’s antics, but this little water race person… The tone of questioning was sincere, but both were working in tandem with perfect timing; three people were annoyed, and it was all thanks to this Xiaoshen!
This was how Xuan Wuzi misunderstood them, but also inadvertently inserted willows into shade. 1 However, Xuan Wuzi could only laugh angrily. He didn’t want to teach them a lesson and seem like a bully, since one of them only passed the Entrance Hall (third) Stage, while the other seemed even weaker. The little one probably hadn’t even reached the Basic Cleansing (second) Stage yet.
So he spoke, while putting on airs, “Study hard. One day you’ll understand more, if you read more books. If you want to know about the past ten thousand years, you would need to consult the ancient texts!”
He flung his sleeves and started walking away, looking wise.
But he didn’t get far, when he faintly heard the little water race person, who didn’t seem to be taken in by his performance, exclaim, “Nonsense, this man also doesn’t know what he’s talking about!”
He didn’t know how to read ten thousand years ago either.
Xuan Wuzi, “???”
…No, don’t be rash! A wise man doesn’t turn back to continue a quarrel!
Xuan Wuzi left quickly. Xiaoshen didn’t want to continue their lesson anymore. He grabbed any excuse he could and growled that learning the characters of the human race was as annoying as Xuan Wuzi. He took the paper with the words ‘repaying debt’ and ran out.
Daomi cried bitterly. Originally, he only had to do odd jobs and help Brother Xiaoshen with his illiteracy. For the reputation of Yuling Sect, he had to teach Brother Xiaoshen how to read and write. Otherwise, he could not show his face to the patriarch. But Brother Xiaoshen was very disobedient, which made the task almost impossible to accomplish.
Xiaoshen jumped onto the sailless, self-steering boat, “I don’t want to learn, stay away from me!”
Daomi, “No way! Come back!”
Xuan Wuzi was standing in another boat. He had been waiting there for a long time and announced in a loud voice, “Daomi, Senior Brother has come to help you.”
Ha, I didn’t expect the opportunity to come so fast. I have to teach this little demon how to be grateful.
Daomi wanted to ignore him, but he angrily retorted, “Who needs your help?”
As he said this, he infused his magical artifact with power, trying to send a message to the elders with it.
How could Xuan Wuzi be afraid of him? Their realms were different by several levels. Despite this, he also took out his own magical tool, which was a ruler. When activated, it would grow in size and become as bright as jade.
But Daomi knew that this ruler was not as simple as it seemed. In fact, Xuan Wuzi had won this treasure at a competition and it was bestowed on him by the patriarch. It came from the deep sea, and was tough and unparalleled. It could be considered very rare, because it was only found in the deep sea and was said that it was used by the ancient dragon people to build their nests with. It was a hard-to-come-by and powerful object, envied by many.
It took Xuan Wuzi several years to control such a treasure and he finally forged it into a magic weapon. Because it was too difficult to refine, he couldn’t give it a classy form and it was straight and rectangle.
Xuan Wuzi pointed and waved, then the ruler flew up and floated in the sky. He said to Xiaoshen, “It’s not good to play truant. Senior Martial Brother will teach you how to be a man today.”
Xiaoshen, “Why do I have to be a man?”
Xuan Wuzi, “……”
He realized his mistake, so he smiled and simply stopped talking. His ruler flew to Xiaoshen. It was made of White Sea Sand and he hadn’t brought it out lately, so he wanted to show it off. He could almost imagine that if he sent it to the little demon and stopped it right in front of his face, he could make him sit down on his butt helplessly.
This was how it should be. An ordinary low-level cultivator would tremble in fright at the magnificence of this ruler. Xiaoshen saw an object flying towards him and subconsciously raised his hand to block it. Xuan Wuzi didn’t expect that he would reach out instead of avoiding. He was furious. His face changed, and he quickly called the ruler back.
But Xiaoshen’s speed was not slow either. When the soft fist made contact with the ruler, spider web like cracks started to appear!
Daomi and Xuan Wuzi, “???”
Xuan Wuzi called the ruler back and held it in his hand. Some fragments broke down from the damaged part, which meant it could fall apart at any moment. As strange as it seemed, the delicate Xiaoshen, with his white and tender hands, had cracked his ruler.
Dragons didn’t talk about realms, because for them there was no need to.
Realms were a human creation. They decided which realm cultivated the heart and which realm cultivated the body. However, dragons were born with great strength, and there was nothing tougher than dragon scales in the world.
Xiaoshen only had his spiritual power restricted, but his dragon body was still there. Although one could only see his now low cultivation level, he only had two stages left and was already at the No Retreat (tenth) Stage. It was not like he smashed the magic weapon deliberately, he just couldn’t help it.
He didn’t even move his hand once he raised it. He just stood there and let Xuan Wuzi smash at it; it was not like he could break Xiaoshen’s dragon scales even if he practiced for hundreds of years……
Xuan Wuzi wanted to smash his head into a wall. No wonder the patriarch would bring him back, despite the little demon’s low cultivation and illiteracy! His body was really tough!
Why was it so strong? It must be a shell. He definitely has a shell!
Just then, a stream of light appeared from the side of the mountain.
But flying was prohibited here.
Xuan Wuzi looked up——
A young man in white stood in the air, his ink-black hair dancing in the wind. He just happened to be one of the top fighters in the world. However, ever since he became famous, this young martial uncle, Shang Jiyu, was deemed as a cultivator that went against the heavens.
Shang Jiyu’s appearance stunned Xuan Wuzi and also made him a little anxious.
“What’s the matter?” Shang Jiyu asked with an emotionless face.
Daomi’s jaw hit the ground. He was finally able to send a message to the patriarch and his martial uncle just now, but he didn’t want this uncle to come. He arrived too fast!
Xiaoshen pointed at Xuan Wuzi and said, “He hit me with something!”
Xuan Wuzi holding the ruler, “……”
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