Last chapter recap: A sect leader comes with apologies.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Adnana.
Chapter 18: Deep Gratefulness
It did not take long to go from Harmonious City to Splendid Cloud Sect. Along the way, Zhou Cang wanted to ask about his younger brother from Splendid Cloud Sect’s two apprentices. But the two apprentices seemed to pretend to be dumb or really did not understand his hints. From beginning to end, they did not mention a thing.
When they came to Splendid Cloud Sect’s main hall, the group got off their flying talismans. Zhou Cang could not help himself and asked the question in his heart. “Young Friends, may this one know if this one’s unaccomplished younger brother has felt any regret?”
Kong Hou who was leading the way at the front turned and smiled brightly at Zhou Cang. Her black eyes caused Zhou Cang to unconsciously trust and like her more.
“Sect Master Zhou, do not worry. This Mind Manifestation forebear made a great mistake, but Sect Master and the *shibo* are all just people. They only put him into a quiet room and did not do anything else.” When Kong Hou smiled, the lingering child chubbiness on her face caused her to look extremely innocent.
“Sect Master Heng Yan is noble and honest; this one did not mean that. This one is only worried for the unaccomplished younger brother and has disturbed your sect,” Zhou Cang sighed in relief. As long as they had not privately enacted punishment. When they returned this time, he would lock his brother in the yard and not let him go anywhere.
Kong Hou saw Zhou Cang act like this. She did not say anything but her good impression of Zhou Cang fell slightly. In these years, she had received many spirit stone vouchers from Sky Sect, so she had a good impression of the sect. She hadn’t expected the new sect master to be like this…
She did not care if this Sect Master Zhou was good or not, but he indulged his relative and did not restrict him. He was an accomplice to the culprit. That Zhou Xing, the Mind Manifestation cultivator, dared to be so arrogant only because of his older brother.
Stepping into the main hall of Splendid Cloud Sect, Kong Hou stood at the side and listened to Master and Peak Master Song He exchange greetings. The two of them may have been old acquaintances as their conversation was pleasant, but no one mentioned the Mind Manifestation forebear Zhou Xing who had broken the rules of Harmonious City.
As the two chatted and chatted, they moved onto the matter of teaching apprentices.
“My three apprentices are nothing compared to the disciples of Radiance Sect.” Wang Tong shook his head and criticized his own apprentices. “The eldest only reached Core Formation two years ago, the second recently went into seclusion, and I don’t know how long until he will succeed.”
“Brother Wang Tong is too humble. Cheng Yi and Tan Feng are extremely young to have such cultivation. Even in the cultivation world, they are among the top.” Song He’s mood was like the tea leaves in a teacup, uncomfortable after being pulled up and dragged down by the water.
In the cultivation world, who didn’t know Wang Tong had two good apprentices? A few years ago, he had even accepted a pentad spirit base apprentice. Now Wang Tong was coming in front of him and saying that his apprentices were not accomplished. Didn’t Wang Tong just want him to praise them? They were all old men centuries old—who did not understand each other?
Song He was angry inside but had to maintain his smile. He praised Wang Tong’s apprentices from head to toe.
“No, no, they are still young, they are not worthy of your praise,” Wang Tong said humbly, but his smugness was written on his face.
Sitting at the side, Zhou Cang wanted to participate in the conversation, but didn’t know where to start. Hearing Song He praise Wang Tong’s students, he hurriedly praised as well. “Peak Master Wang Tong has taught your disciples well; this one admires you greatly. Your last apprentice is young but has Base Building cultivation and good conduct. This one admires you. This one has not taught his younger brother well, and has made trouble for your sect.”
Wang Tong who had been speaking to Song He for a long while snorted coldly and said, “Sect Master Zhou is too humble. Your unaccomplished young brother had said he would take my youngest apprentice as a concubine.”
Zhou Cang’s expression froze. He felt that he was burning inside and out with embarrassment. He knew that his younger brother had propositioned two apprentices of Splendid Cloud Sect. He hadn’t know that one of them was Wang Tong’s last apprentice.
He turned and looked at the bright-eyed young woman standing behind Wang Tong. Zhou Cang said with a strained expression, “Miss Kong Hou, this one’s younger brother was rude, and this one apologizes to you on his behalf.”
Kong Hou hurriedly dodged this bow, and said with a shocked expression, “Sect Master Zhou, what are you doing? You are you, other people are other people. Kong Hou is young but knows not to blame others. Sect Master, please do not do this.”
The younger brother committed a mistake, and the older one came to apologize?
“Sect Master Zhou, my apprentice is young and cannot receive your bow.” Wang Tong stood up and moved between Zhou Cang and Kong Hou. He would not allow Zhou Cang to finish his bow. “Since you have mentioned this matter, then let us sit down and discuss it.”
Zhou Cang felt bitterness rise, but he had to obey and sit down.
Song He sat on the side and savored Splendid Cloud Sect’s unique tea. He would maintain his stance of not helping either side, and prepared to be silent from beginning to end.
A plate of pastries was placed in front of him. He looked over. It had been Wang Tong’s youngest apprentice, Kong Hou.
Kong Hou pointed at the pastries, smiled at Song He, and then covered her smile before moving to stand behind Wang Tong. Song He sighed helplessly. Wang Tong had such good luck with his apprentices that members of his generation like him were envious.
Radiance Sect did not lack for talented disciples, but taking apprentices depended on karma. He had been in the sect for many years, but had not found two disciples fitting to his taste.
“Sect Master Zhou, you should know the rules of Splendid Cloud Sect. Bullying innocent citizens, propositioning women—it will not be overboard if we kill him.” When Wang Tong spoke of a serious matter, his expression became much sterner. “Splendid Cloud Sect will not care what he does in the area governed by your Sky Sect, but in Harmonious City, he has to follow the rules of Splendid Cloud Sect.”
“Peak Master Wang Tong, my younger brother has made a big mistake because this one has not taught him well. But for the sake of our relationship of many years, please have mercy.” Zhou Cang stood and bowed deeply to Wang Tong.
Wang Tong had higher cultivation than Zhou Cang and he easily accepted this bow.
“Zhou Cang, whether a mortal or a cultivator, one will also have emotional biases. You are not wrong in protecting your young brother. However, the citizens he bullied are also the younger brothers or sons of other people. Who will give them justice?”
Zhou Cang knew that Wang Tong was right. He was on the wrong side and could not argue.
“This time, he propositioned female disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect. They have Splendid Cloud Sect to support them. But if he propositioned ordinary women, where would these innocent women get support?”
Kong Hou found that her master who was usually smiling in front of her was especially intimidating when he was stern. She was just standing behind Master but didn’t dare to breathe out loud. Zhou Cang, standing in front of her master, was covered in cold sweat and couldn’t string sentences together.
“Zhou Cang, your younger brother is a person—other people are not people?” Wang Tong sneered. “If I were you, I would not apologize for him today because I would have no face to say it.”
Zhou Cang knew that Wang Tong was correct. But he only had one younger brother. Would he really watch as his brother died by Splendid Cloud Sect’s hand? Zhou Cang, helpless, could only look pleadingly at Song He. But Song He was sipping tea and eating pastries at the moment, and did not notice his gaze.
“Please, Peak Master, spare my younger brother’s life.” Zhou Cang made a full bow to Wang Tong again.
Standing behind Wang Tong, Kong Hou saw Zhou Cang put himself in such a low position. She felt extremely complicated. When Zhou Xing had been showing off, had he once thought of his older brother losing all face for him?
Zhou Cang as the older brother indulged his younger brother in everything. Had he ever thought that one day, his younger brother would be spoiled to the point of causing a great calamity?
She peeked at Wang Tong and decided that she would work on her cultivation and not cause trouble outside, so as to avoid her Master and *shixiong* having to bow and plead for her. When she thought of that scene, she could not accept it.
Therefore, she would definitely not become someone like Zhou Xing.
Noticing his young apprentice’s shift in emotion, Wang Tong said, “Did you recite your mental spell today? Master doesn’t need you here for company. Return and cultivate.”
“Farewell.” Kong Hou bowed to Song He and Zhou Cang before leaving, her movements still carrying the noble air that she had formed in the imperial palace.
Song He’s eyes lit up slightly. This young *shizi* carried a weak thread of dragon energy. Her future was limitless.
“How come you came out?” Cheng Yi saw Kong Hou come out of the main hall. She appeared slightly unhappy. “Did that sect master Zhou say ugly things?”
Kong Hou shook her head. Seeing the undisguised concern on Eldest *Shixiong*’s face, she said, “*Shixiong*, I will definitely not be like him in the future.”
“The one in jail.” Speaking of the jail, Kong Hou thought of the outcomes of those evil people. Her shoulders shook. “I can’t bear Master and *shixiong* bowing and scraping for me.”
“Why compare yourself to someone like that?” Cheng Yi laughed. “Why aren’t you comparing yourself to Zhong Xi or Ling Bo?”
Kong Hou shook her head. She did not want to grow three meters tall. Then she wouldn’t be able to wear pretty dresses. “No, no.”
“So unmotivated.” Cheng Yi laughed and said, “You have been drawn off the right path by your *shixiong* and *shijie*.”
“The *shixiong* and *shijie* are all very good.” Kong Hou said in a small voice, “Shhh, Eldest *Shixiong*, speak in a lower voice. Don’t let other people hear you.”
Cheng Yi laughed again and caused Kong Hou to glare in anger. Who would speak badly of others in such a loud voice—could he speak badly of others properly?
In the end, no one knew how Wang Tong communicated with Zhou Cang. Zhou Cang gave Splendid Cloud Sect a large sum as thanks, and also put up a public apology letter up on the door of Sky Sect’s shop in Harmonious City.
The day the Zhou brothers left Splendid Cloud Sect, Kong Hou did not meditate, and woke up especially early to “send them off.”
Having been kept in jail for a few days, Zhou Xing was especially docile. His chin was not raised any longer, his eyes did not flick around. Even his hair fell down obediently and covered his tree-like face. What shocked her the most was Zhou Xing’s cultivation had decreased to Base Building.
But looking at Zhou Cang’s gratefulness, Kong Hou asked Ling Hui who was with her to watch the spectacle using a sound art. “Ling Hui *Shijie*, how come Zhou Xing’s cultivation has decreased so much?”
“Oh, after Radiance Sect and our sect considered and discussed, we felt that Zhou Xing did not have to die but he must be punished. They destroyed half of his cultivation in order to stop him from using his cultivation to bully others again.” Ling Hui smiled and gave half of her snacks to Kong Hou. “When they return, Zhou Cang will have to give his sect master position he just got to someone else.”
Most likely, after this, Zhou Xing would run away when he heard the words Splendid Cloud Sect.
Translator Ramblings: Poor Zhou Cang. He spoiled his brother too much and now pays for it.