Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Hong Meng Hall
“Wuwuwuwuwuwu, ah wuwuwuwuwuwu, I’m scared of him, he broke my ruler…” Xuan Wuzi squatted in the hall and cried. He was crying loudly, as he held the ruler full of cracks in his arms.
His heart was filled with fear and grievance.
Xiaoshen stood beside him and said, “I didn’t know. He tried to hit me with something and I blocked it.” He glanced at Shang Jiyu next to him, saw him nod a little in support, and said to him, “This man is really annoying!”
Xuan Wuzi’s cry suddenly grew louder.
Yes, he broke his White Sea Sand ruler while blocking it.
“And then?” Xia Kurong asked, deadpan. In his opinion, the result of this incident was both unexpected and reasonable.
Xiaoshen seemed to be petite and his powers were suppressed, but alas, silly boy, what was tougher than the tortoise family?
Xuan Wuzi sobbed and dared not speak several times. After glancing at Shang Jiyu a couple of times, he tearfully said, “Then Martial Uncle stabbed at me with his sword…”
“I was just scaring him,” Shang Jiyu indifferently explained.
As Xuan Wuzi described, it sounded fair… Of course, it only sounded.
Xuan Wuzi became silent and he thought back to his martial uncle’s sword. It was like the mountain and sea. At that moment, he couldn’t resist at all! He was dazed, as if he was imprisoned and unable to move, and even had the feeling that if he relaxed even for a moment, he would die immediately.
But in the end, the sword stopped just in front of him without hurting a hair on his head…
As Martial Uncle said, it was meant to just give him a scare.
But he got so frightened, that his face turned white. Although his achievements were unlike others’, he had never fought with a cultivator whose realm was higher than his in the past. At this moment, he realized that he had been too shallow and he experienced too little.
And even after this kind of hair-raising event, the patriarch had to appear at once. After asking around, he learnt that the reason why his martial uncle moved his sword was that Daomi had just summoned him at that time.
Among these disciples, it was not even a matter of fighting bravely and ruthlessly. At most, it would be a small matter that could escalate with the appearance of a spiritual weapon. He didn’t know how many times it had happened in a year, but it was the first time someone had used such an unrestrained style of fighting to solve it.
“Did you thank your uncle?” Xie Kurong asked, shaking his head.
When Shang Jiyu was still at a low level, his daoist swordsmanship was already unparalleled. He relied on two swords to cut down cultivators two levels higher. Now he had only used one sword to ‘scare’ Xuan Wuzi. He should be glad that today’s uncle was not so violent.
When Xuan Wuzi thought about the deeds of his martial uncle, he felt relieved nonetheless. It didn’t happen to him anyway, but mostly to outsiders. But then, he became afraid again. He saluted Shang Jiyu with tears, “Thank you, Martial Uncle, for your kindness…”
After all, he didn’t expect Xiaoshen’s shell to be so hard, nor did he expect that his martial uncle was Xiaoshen’s backer. When did his martial uncle accept subordinates…
Xie Kurong looked at his spiritual weapon again, “It’s better to cultivate the heart than to practice weapons. Today’s matter, you must reflect on it, otherwise you can’t continue your training! And fix your weapon! Besides, you should know what to say and what not to say.”
For example, it would not be appropriate to mention the fight between children and Shang Jiyu. Otherwise, people would be alarmed and there would be rumors everywhere.
“Yes.” Xuan Wuzi knew what he needed to do.
Alas, what’s the use of this weapon? It was broken by Xiaoshen. If it was in front of Martial Uncle, he didn’t have the courage to even bring it out. He didn’t know how long it would take to reshape it again. He felt miserable.
When Xuan Wuzi left, Xie Kurong looked at Shang Jiyu and said, “Martial Uncle, you don’t need to come out for such a small thing in the future! At least don’t use your sword! If you pull out your sword on sect grounds, people will think that enemies have invaded.”
It was not pleasant to say, but it was like trying to kill a chicken with a butcher’s knife. Of course that chicken was going to be terrified. He announced to the public that his martial uncle was practicing with his sword, so no one connected this matter to Xuan Wuzi. After all, the two were far from each other in terms of cultivation. No one thought that Shang Jiyu’s sword was used to scare a child.
Daomi also plucked up the courage to admit his mistake. “It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have been impulsive and report everything.”
A moment later, Shang Jiyu’s eyelashes flickered, and he said, “But Xiaoshen is small and weak, so he needs to be taken care of.”
Xie Kurong, “……”
Xie Kurong thought that his martial uncle was telling lies with his eyes open. Before today, he would have believed it, but now? In the end, whose body was weak and whose magic tool was cracked?
Looking at Xiaoshen again, he still couldn’t believe it.
“Then leave it to Daomi when you can.” Xie Kurong said. Alas, after today, anyone who wanted to provoke Xiaoshen would have to weigh his magic weapon’s value.
“Brother Xiaoshen, I didn’t expect you to be so powerful. Xuan Wuzi used to be crazy. After this, he can’t hang his face.” Once out of the Hong Meng Hall, Daomi found the opportunity to praise Xiaoshen. He didn’t expect that Brother Xiaoshen was not an octopus at all.
“Why is that?” Xiaoshen was not feeling proud about it. He just did what he wanted to. But then he sincerely added, “Shang Jiyu’s sword looked good. When I saw it, I thought it was really…”
He was stunned at the time.
Shang Jiyu’s sword was also chilly, with an ancient and crude style. Xiaoshen didn’t know what others thought of it, but he could perceive the heart of the sword, such as seeing the tide rise and fall. The sword power was full of unbridled bravado, while also filled with frenzy at the same time. But when he stopped in front of Xuan Wuzi, he was as clean and sharp as before. In that split moment, his change was so resolute that only the chilling feeling left in the air could prove that he did draw that sword just now.
After that thought, Xiaoshen finished his sentence, “…beautiful!”
Because he was too emotional, he unconsciously ended up using dragon words.
Shang Jiyu, “……”
“So, what about Yu Zhao’s sword?” Xiaoshen suddenly thought of the old man. After all, Shang Jiyu was constantly compared to Yu Zhao, but Xiaoshen was unaware about it, because he had been sleeping for thousands of years.
How could Daomi dare to comment on Yu Zhao’s sword in front of Shang Jiyu? He laughed and tried circling around the topic. “Martial Uncle’s two swords are famous all over the world. Today, only one sword appeared. You can ask him about his other sword. I’ll clean up with the patriarch first…”
He made an excuse and ran away, lest the fire in the city gate hurt the fish. 1
Shang Jiyu didn’t seem to care about it. He lightly said, “Yu Zhao fell thousands of years ago. If you want to see his sword, you can go to Jade Terrace of Jin Que to have a look and offer a prayer.”
Jin Que was one the two que towers at the entrance of the sect, and Jade Entrance (Yu Guan) referred to the entrance between the two peaks of Wan Ren Mountain at the back. The full name was ‘Immortal Cuts the Jade Entrance’. In fact, ‘immortal’ referred to Yu Zhao. The two mountains were originally one, which was split apart by his sword.
“Fell?” Xiaoshen wondered, “Listening to Daomi, I thought it was called ascending.”
Shang Jiyu shook his head. “Thousands of years ago, Yu Zhao and the founder died together, and both fell down.”
“It’s a pity.” This time, Xiaoshen shook his head in sympathy. “But it’s okay, I agree that he was like you, but I see you as you are.”
There was a slight change on Shang Jiyu’s cold face, “He’s like me?”
Although Shang Jiyu knew that no one was like him, the world said that he was similar to Yu Zhao. No person had compared Yu Zhao to him before.
“It’s only natural, since I knew you first. Who else is like you?! Who would dare to be like you?!” Xiaoshen was a natural mess. The ‘who’, of course, referred to the other Shang Jiyu.
Shang Jiyu lowered his head a little, but he did have a shallow smile on his lips. Xiaoshen didn’t even notice it.
Xiaoshen glanced at him, but was actually lost in his thoughts, thinking of nothing important. There was an ordinary night, ten thousand years ago, when he was a very thin dragon. In the west sky and in the cracks between the thick clouds, the brilliance of the new moon poured down, making the vast water glitter, casting a shadow. It extended on the far coast, all covered with the same dim and cool color, even covering his dragon scales.
Xuan Wuzi’s artifact was broken, and he was called to the patriarch for a lesson. After a short time, things spread.
Even if they didn’t mention Shang Jiyu, the name of Xiaoshen had become widespread in Yuling Sect. When one met Xiaoshen, they were slightly disappointed, because, unexpectedly, he didn’t look like a human. He was so small and lovely, and he was (probably) a tortoise.
The human race was different from the demons. Although all humans were born with a dao constitution, some of the demon races were weaker, but they had the ability to protect their lives. Like Xiaoshen, their cultivation may be low, while their bodies were tough. They thought he was a rare tortoise, that was why he was brought back by the patriarch.
And as it turns out, most definitely, according to reliable sources, Xiaoshen was still illiterate! How did he know these prominent figures?
For this reason, when Xiaoshen went to the library later, he inevitably attracted an audience.
In fact, Xiaoshen didn’t want to learn any more words, but Daomi begged him. Now the whole Sect was aware that he existed. Maybe soon the whole cultivation world would know. After all, there were so many outsiders in the clan, and apparently his progress of literacy attracted worldwide attention.
No matter how or despite what, at least, they should be able to recognize the person whose name was all over the sect.
Xiaoshen didn’t want to be in the library, but he still didn’t know where his water was. He needed to investigate secretly. If he didn’t understand anything, he would get confused easily. So he reluctantly went to school. Because there were so many people around, Daomi deliberately found a corner where nobody was.
“Wood, water, fire, earth… 2 ” Xiaoshen was listening to Daomi absently, when he suddenly felt like he was being watched.
Last time he came to the library, he noticed something, but he couldn’t catch it. Later he quarreled with Xuan Wuzi. It was a strange place to reappear at again.
Xiaoshen pretended to read carefully, then seized the opportunity and jumped up!
On the bookshelf, which was at the same level as his eyes, there was a small ink figure.
The little rogue’s eyebrows and eyes were black, just like shining and moistened ink, but its long hair was white; he was dressed in a daoist robe and was carrying a small sword. The corners of his clothes gently flowed in the wind, the end of its hair was as dense as ink in water.
Though small and dark, he could still see the ink rogue’s facial features clearly. Its eyebrows flew into its sideburns and its eyes were like cold stars. It leaned its back against the spine of the bookcase and stared at Xiaoshen for a while. It didn’t even try to hide.
“What is this?” Xiaoshen wondered.
There were thousands of treasures of the dragon race, but he had never seen anything like this.
Daomi took a look. “Ah, this is the place where Chang’en Zu used to read books and ascended, so there is a legacy. Only in the library, not anywhere else in the world, are famous, authentic works. The atmosphere would then turn into ink essence, and the ink stick and ink would be refined.” Daomi said, but watching Xiaoshen move to touch the little black figure, he quickly exclaimed, “Wait! Don’t touch it!”
…Illiterate people couldn’t touch the ink essences!
These ink essences despised people very much. Their level was a little lower and they didn’t look anyone in the eye, especially those who wanted to become the Library Master, they were not acknowledged at all. They also attacked people and were small and grumpy.
Xiaoshen had no spiritual power now. If he touched it, he would be beaten by the ink essence. Or if the ink essence split like the White Sea Sand, what would he do then? This was a protected creature in Yuling Sect!
If Xiaoshen knew what Daomi was thinking, he would surely say that there were many ink essences, but only one dragon in the world!
What shocked Daomi was that Xiaoshen was able to touch the ink essence. With two small black hands holding Xiaoshen’s fingers, the little black figure climbed up and sat in the palm of Xiaoshen’s hand.
Daomi felt like he was struck by lightning. Many learned people came to the library. The ink essence had eyes higher than the top of the sky. How could it just climb into Xiaoshen’s hand? He couldn’t help but touch his forehead, afraid it was burning.
Xiaoshen looked at the excited Daomi confused, and asked about the ink essence, “So, this is your Yuling local specialty?”
Local specialty, “……”
Daomi was going crazy. He had never heard anyone calling an ink essence that. This was the unique treasure of the Yuling Sect! Not every place would have anything as precious as this!
There were sects outside who wanted to exchange rare treasures for the ink essences. The Yuling Sect never agreed. But what’s more, the ink essence was close to Xiaoshen and it was called a local specialty. Although it didn’t retaliate, it didn’t look happy.
Suddenly, Daomi heard sounds from above. He looked up. Between the tall bookshelves and the dense collection of books, he did not know when, many small black spots came out and looked towards them.
Daomi thought dully, they seemed to be surrounded by small black figures.
Xiaoshen inspected the other ink essences. They were all dressed in daoist robes and each of them looked different. Strangely, none carried a sword like the one in his hand.
“Why does it have a sword?” Xiaoshen asked.
Daomi explained, “It was transformed from Yu Zhao’s text, the founder who was the peerless sword immortal, and his article also has the meaning of sword. Probably because of this, it carries a sword on its back. It’s easy to recognize. It’s the only sword holding ink essence in the library.”
“Mn, it likes me.” Xiaoshen looked at it. But it was not surprising that he was as popular as in the sea! Everyone likes me!
Daomi suddenly shuddered. He thought that, although no one appointed Xiaoshen, the only person who was so popular with the ink essences in the past was the Library Master. It was also the only position in the clan that was not appointed by the patriarch. The Library Master also needed the approval of the ink essences.
Daomi couldn’t forget that the position of Library Master of Yuling Sect had been empty for three years because of these troublesome little black figures.
Hong Meng Hall.
“Who?” Xie Kurong said, with an empty expression, “Who are you talking about?”
Daomi, “Xiaoshen, the tortoise you brought back from outside…” Well… After the incident with Xuan Wuzi, he was sure that he had guessed wrong. He was not an octopus at all. After that shocking event with the ink essences happened, he didn’t dare to delay. He immediately returned to the patriarch to discuss it.
“Patriarch.” The deacons were all looking at Xie Kurong. Now they had to meet Xiaoshen.
Xie Kurong’s brain was also very empty. He was thinking of a way to make an illiterate become a great scholar overnight. Could he be a descendant of Chang’en?, he thought, then he said in a panic, “Is he here? You call him in.”
Xiaoshen was just outside the hall, and soon came in. And not only Xiaoshen, but also the sword and ink essence from Yu Zhao’s text!
Usually, ink essences only liked to stay in the library, and even though their range of activity was not limited, few people saw them at other places in Yuling Sect.
All the people in the hall watched the little black figure with a sword on his back sitting on the top of Xiaoshen’s head. Its fingertips and clothes were moving about endlessly, gathering and scattering. Seeing them, the ink essence even used its fingers several times to tell them: He can do it!
There was a dead silence in the hall. Was this their next Master of the Library? Did the ink essences know how important that position was?
They hadn’t seen the specific level of Xiaoshen, and they were all astonished at this time. There was no notion brought up, because Xie Kurong knew how illiterate Xiaoshen was.
Some naive deacons even hoped that Xiaoshen would be incompetent. Some young people liked to pretend to be a pig to eat a tiger. 3
Yes, that must be it.
A deacon started speaking, “All the previous Library Masters had great abilities. They were frank and understanding and have heard a lot…”
But Xiaoshen interrupted him, “Don’t talk in idioms, I can’t understand them.”
The author has something to say:
Illiterate employment: A class 1 dangerous occupation, librarian…
- Bystanders unwillingly getting involved in a situation.
- 藏拙 means to hide one’s shortcomings by keeping quiet. 扮猪吃老虎 means to pretend to be a pig and eat the lions. In other words, pretend to be weak but actually very strong. (Kind of like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.)
So here they’re saying: Some deacons were still naively hopeful that Xiaoshen was just being understated to hide his weaknesses. And also some young people liked to play at being wolves in sheep’s clothing.