Last chapter recap: Kong Hou meets the New Year red envelopes.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Adnana.
Chapter 5: Brocade Bag
Even though he had not been in the cultivation world for many years, Wang Tong still felt that his luck at getting red envelope was as bad as ever.
“20% discount on select talismans.”
“Discount on special magic robes.”
Wang Tong opened the brocade bags and saw the coupons with the seal of Sky Sect. He felt sorrow rise. Coupons were good, but he could not afford to buy Sky Sect’s items.
Any magic robe would need hundreds and thousands of spirit stones. Not just twenty percent off, even if it was ninety percent off, it would still pain him like a knife being twisted in his heart. He turned to look at his two apprentices. One had a fifty spirit stones exchange coupon, another an eighty spirit stones coupon. This was much more practical than getting the discount coupons. But a cunning sect like Sky Sect would not give many coupons like that.
Wang Tong shoved his coupons back in the brocade bag and tried not to show his jealousy. In cultivation, strength was important. While luck was a mysterious thing, everyone wanted to have good luck.
When he had accepted these two apprentices in the past, he had looked down on them for their ordinary talent. But these two had extremely good luck. Their advancement speed wasn’t any slower than that of any of the geniuses in the sect. Others in the sect even said that all of his luck had been spent on getting two lucky apprentices.
Fortunately, the two apprentices were filial. When his money was tight, they would come and help him. As he thought about this, Wang Tong felt happier. What the apprentices had was his as well.
“Master.” The soft voice of a child. The little girl with her loose hair carried a pile of brocade bags, her face scrunching up. “I won’t be able to carry these anymore.”
“Put them here.” Tan Feng found a cloth bag and had Kong Hou throw in the brocade bags. Then he held hands with her and said, “Little Shimei has very good luck. Let’s go back to the inn and open them.”
“Yes.” Kong Hou nodded. She was extremely curious about the brocade bags. “Can these brocade bags be traded for a lot of money?”
Tan Feng wanted to say this was Sky Sect’s way of advertising and selling their own talismans and pills. But facing Little Shimei‘s hopeful eyes, he swallowed his morals and nodded. “Yes, we can. Little Shimei is extremely lucky. We cannot pick this many red envelopes.”
This was a child. Adults should praise children a lot.
Tan Feng’s words made Kong Hou extremely happy. She was able to get so many red envelopes after just coming to the cultivation world. Master and the shixiong would like her even more.
When they reached the inn, and Kong Hou’s curiosity about the inn passed, Kong Hou sat down properly on the chair and said to Wang Tong and the two shixiong, “While you didn’t get many brocade bags, do not be unhappy. When I get something good, I will share with you.”
Wang Tong silently drank his tea. The swindler Sky Sect was going to make his little apprentice happy for nothing.
“Really?” Tan Feng showed a suitably joyous and surprised expression. “That would be wonderful.”
“Yes.” Kong Hou nodded. “My words will count.” She was not a three-year-old child. If she said she would share, she would not go back on her word.
After giving a solemn promise, Kong Hou started to open the brocade bags. When she was halfway through, she looked at Tan Feng. “Second Shixiong, I will open and you will look, all right?”
“All right.” Tan Feng was happy to play at opening red envelopes with Little Shimei.
“Ten spirit stones voucher.”
“Twenty spirit stones voucher.”
Wang Tong looked up at his second apprentice. It seemed that his second apprentice had accumulated a lot of private wealth in the years he hadn’t been in the cultivation world to be able to put out so many spirit stones to make a child happy.
“One, one hundred spirit stones voucher.” Tan Feng picked up the tea from the table and moistened his throat.
This time, even Cheng Yi looked sideways at Tan Feng. Little Shimei still had a pile of brocade bags to open. Was Shidi preparing to empty his wallet to make Shimei happy?
“Magic robe voucher.”
Wang Tong couldn’t control himself from pulling his second apprentice’s sleeve and said using a sound art, “Second Apprentice, Sky Sect’s magic robes are very expensive. Kong Hou is still young, and growing at this age. Isn’t it too extravagant for Kong Hou to wear such clothing now?”
“Master…” Tan Feng pushed the vouchers in front of Wang Tong with a strange expression. “Little Shimei really got them.”
Seeing the spirit stones vouchers, Tan Feng looked suspiciously at Wang Tong. “Master, did you kidnap her from the mortal realm because you found Little Shimei has very good luck?”
“Nonsense, is this master a person like that?” Wang Tong smiled as he touched the spirit stone vouchers on the table.
Tan Feng: …
He did seem to be a person like that.
After going through all the brocade bags, Wang Tong and his apprentices made an inventory. They could exchange for almost five hundred spirit stones, and there was a magic robe voucher worth at least five hundred spirit stones. This was really wealth coming down from the heavens.
Wang Tong felt even more heartsore. He hadn’t thought that his little apprentice would be richer than he was less than four hours after she came to the cultivation world. What kind of dignity did he have left as the master?
“Right.” Kong Hou touched her sleeve and pulled out a gold brocade bag. “I got this as well. What is its purpose?”
Looking at the golden brocade bag, Wang Tong finally couldn’t control his jealousy.
Golden brocade bag—Sky Sect would only give out one golden brocade bag each New Year. This year, it ended in the hands of his apprentice.
After being silent for a long time, Wang Tong slapped the table and stood up.
“Master?” Kong Hou was sharing the spirit stone vouchers with her two shixiong, and jumped in fright at Wang Tong’s action. She stared with wide eyes at Wang Tong.
“Tomorrow, when we return, this master will go to Five Elements Hall and register you for an apprenticeship ceremony,” Wang Tong said, “as quickly as possible.”
Kong Hou nodded repeatedly. “Good, good.”
After saying this, she pushed the spirit stone vouchers in front of Wang Tong. “Master, these are yours.”
One hundred and fifty spirit stones.
Wang Tong looked at the spirit stone vouchers and then at the innocently smiling young girl in front of him. He patted her head with a smile and said, “Keep them. How can a little girl not have any spending money?”
Kong Hou was puzzled. “But I said I would share with you.”
“Silly child, you gave them to this master, and this master has received them. These…” Wang Tong tried to move his eyes away from the spirit stone vouchers. “These are a symbol of Master’s intentions. You cannot refuse what elders give you, understand?”
Kong Hou thought for a moment and understood the cause and effect of this “you give to me, and I return to you.” “Thank you master, you are so good.”
Wang Tong patted her head in helplessness. How could this child be so silly? If he was an evil cultivator, this child would have been ruined for life.
Oh, he would just worry more in the future.
Deep into the night, lying on an unfamiliar bed, Kong Hou could not go to sleep. She took out the golden brocade bag from under her pillow. It contained a jade stone the size of a thumb, extremely comfortable to hold in her hand. She felt extremely light as though she was lying on feathers. Master said this was a stone that helped activate people’s meridians. It aided people’s cultivation when they wore it.
What was cultivation?
Like the protagonist of those cultivation stories, sitting cross-legged and comprehending the world’s spirit energy and five elements? As she thought of this, she climbed up from bed and sat cross-legged for a while. She didn’t feel any spirit energy, just cold. Also, her legs turned numb.
She anxiously went back into bed. Kong Hou started to worry. What if she didn’t have any cultivation talent—would Master and the shixiong send her back to the palace?
She touched the stone which made her feel extremely comfortable. She wanted to stay in this cultivation world where she didn’t understand anything, rather than go back to the golden and glorious imperial palace.
There, no one liked her or cared about her.
She rolled around in bed and thought for a long time before finally sinking into sleep. She had a dream. She dreamt of Emperor Jinghong charging into the palace with his army, and she was running in the long alleyways. She ran for a long long time but still didn’t find the exit.
The sound of fighting was right behind her. She continued to run, kept on running, and finally saw a door. The door opened. Behind the door were white clouds, singing birds, and endless freedom.
Kong Hou opened her eyes and looked dazedly at the silk canopy.
“Little Shimei, I’m coming in.”
After a while, Tan Feng came in carrying a set of clothing. Seeing Kong Hou still in bed, he said with a smile, “Still lazing in bed. I requested a servant woman to help do your hair. Do you know how to dress yourself?”
“Second *Shixiong.” Kong Hou blinked and nodded. “I can dress myself.”
“Then I will leave first. No need to hurry.” Tan Feng put the clothes down, walked out of the room, and covered the door before he said to Cheng Yi who was waiting outside, “The little girl is already awake. How did you know Little Shimei wouldn’t know how to do her hair?”
“She is the imperial princess who helped Master pass his ordeal.” Cheng Yi took Tan Feng back to his room. “While she might have not lived well in the palace, they shouldn’t have let her do something like doing her own hair. She will not know how.” If she knew how to do her own hair, she wouldn’t have allowed her hair to be loose all throughout last night.
“Then what to do when we return to the sect?” Tan Feng shook his head. “I don’t know how to do the hair of a little girl.”
Cheng Yi stared at Tan Feng for a beat before saying with a stiff face, “I don’t know either.”
The two stared at each other. They had never expected the first problem in raising their little shimei would be her hair.
Kong Hou got out of bed and put on the clothing Second Shixiong had carried in. The clothes were edged in fur. After Kong Hou put them on, she appeared like a young fox that had just manifested in human form. Even people who didn’t like children would feel that she was adorable.
When the servant woman saw Kong Hou, she praised Kong Hou and then tied two furry little balls around her buns. Then, she appeared even more like a young fox kit.
Wang Tong and his apprentices saw Kong Hou in her new clothing. The three men finally understood why some people in the sect liked to show off their children or young apprentices.
“It is snowing outside.” Cheng Yi walked in front of Kong Hou. “Shixiong will hold your hand.”
Kong Hou put her soft little hand into Cheng Yi’s hand. Cheng Yi showed a satisfied expression. “Let’s go, Shixiong will take you shopping.”
Wang Tong: …
Apprentice, an hour ago, this master wanted to buy some more clothing, and you said you didn’t have enough spirit stones on you.
This unfilial apprentice!
Buying things for young adorable beings was an instinct many adults couldn’t control. Cheng Yi bought several sets of furred winter clothing for Little Shimei before he said to Wang Tong whom he had forgotten for a while, “Master, should we return?”
Wang Tong shook the new clothing he had put on and kept his expression stiff to maintain his expert composure. “Yes.”
He would let the entire sect now that he, Wang Tong, was returning in glory, having passed over the Mind Manifestation Stage and become a great Projection power.
Translator Ramblings: Kong Hou, what kind of unreliable master do you have?