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Chapter 59: Feng City
“Huan Zhong?” Kong Hou watched as Huan Zhong walked into her room and closed the door. She thought that he was going to tell a secret to her, so she lowered her voice and asked, “What happened?”
After closing the door, Huan Zhong realized just how absurd his action was. His gaze swept across Kong Hou’s neck and then quickly moved away. “No matter, I just came to look.”
Kong Hou immediately understood. So Huan Zhong had been worried about her health. She bent down and carried her blankets back to the bed from the couch. “I’m really fine, I just used too much spirit energy.”
“Oh.” Huan Zhong watched as Kong Hou folded her blankets and then watched as she combed her hair. His mind told him that he should leave Kong Hou’s room right now, but his feet did not listen.
There were talismans that gathered water in the room. Kong Hou took some water to rinse her mouth. She turned and saw Huan Zhong standing with his back turned to her. She couldn’t help but laugh. “Fortunately you were there yesterday.”
“Maybe, if you were not travelling with me, you would not encounter these matters.” Ever since Kong Hou met him, she was helping him gather medicine ingredients. If she had not encountered him, maybe she would have met up with some people similar to her. Good friends who were young and lively. They would fly on swords and tour the mountains and waters. She would not be accompanying him, an ill and dull sword cultivator, and encounter so many accidents along the way.
“Do not think like that. Maybe, if I had not encountered you, other cultivators would have bullied me,” Kong Hou argued back seriously. “Maybe I would not have found the opportunity for a breakthrough and would still be stuck at Base Building Stage.”
Huan Zhong turned around and saw Kong Hou was standing in front of her dressing table. An absurd thought flashed through his mind. Years later, would an outstanding male cultivator accompany her, see her put on her makeup, and draw her eyebrows for her?
When Huan Zhong put the face of any male disciple of Radiance Sect onto this male cultivator’s face, Huan Zhong felt that these disciples could not match a good girl like Kong Hou.
“Huan Zhong? Huan Zhong?” Kong Hou had asked Huan Zhong what his sword was called but then she turned and found that he was dazed out staring at her dressing table. Kong Hou looked down at her table in puzzlement. Except for the powders and rouge, there were only some hair accessories. Was something here worthy of Huan Zhong’s attention?
“Huan Zhong, are you feeling all right?” Kong Hou worried that Huan Zhong was having a problem with his health and not telling her. Last time, when he killed the Mind Manifestation evil cultivator, Huan Zhong’s inner energy had been slightly chaotic. Old Man Wu Ku was that evil cultivator’s master, and had greater cultivation. Was Huan Zhong’s spirit platform fine?
“It’s nothing.” Huan Zhong thought of how Kong Hou had ignored him last time. He shook his head and said, “I just got distracted. Could you repeat your question?”
“Are you truly all right?” Kong Hou stood up and walked next to him. She used spirit energy to explore his spirit meridians. After making sure there were no problems, she walked back to the dressing table and continued to comb her hair. “Just now, I asked what your sword is called.”
“It is called Dragon Roar.” Huan Zhong took out the Dragon Roar sword. He touched the dragon pattern on the sword sheath. The dragon pattern seemed to come alive, each scale clear to see.
In Huan Zhong’s hand, the Dragon Roar looked like an ordinary black metal sword. But when it was unsheathed, it possessed unparalleled light. Kong Hou felt a strange presence from the sword, authoritative but not a pressure caused by spirit energy.
Was this the so-called sword intent?
“This sword… has already gained sentience?” Kong Hou said. “When you used it, I heard a dragon’s roar.”
“When creating it, I took the dragon pearl from the throne in the imperial palace and put it into the mystical gold metal.” He felt the trembling of the Dragon Roar sword in his hand. It wanted to come out of its sheath, and wanted to fight shoulder to shoulder with him, its master. “Maybe it was infected with the dragon energy of the imperial family. So when the sword was forged, dragon clouds shrouded it and I named it Dragon Roar.”
“A good name.” Kong Hou repeated the name. “Dragon Roar.”
“It is suited to you, and you are suited to him.” A white-robed immortal, a black sword, killing the evil demons of the world. Kong Hou heard the hum that the Dragon Roar sword gave off. “I heard that when a sword cultivator’s swordsmanship reaches the heavenly stage, they are mentally one with the sword spirit. Is it true?”
“Not just sword cultivators. All cultivators can mentally become one with their lifebond talisman.” Huan Zhong looked at Kong Hou. “I believe you will also be able to accomplish this in the future.”
Kong Hou realized that Huan Zhong had already become mentally connected to his sword. “Then is it in a good mood right now?” She pointed at the sword in Huan Zhong’s hand.
“Good.” Huan Zhong put away the Dragon Roar sword. “It knows you are complimenting it.”
“Really?” Kong Hou was slightly surprised. Swords also had emotions?
“Of course.” Huan Zhong saw Kong Hou’s wide eyes and his expression gentled. “It likes you as well.”
Kong Hou smiled, her eyes curving. Even swords like being praised. This was so pleasing to her.
“Huan Zhong, your swordsmanship is so strong, you are younger than Spirit Master Zhong Xi, you are better-looking than him—why do people only praise him?” She felt affronted that other people only boasted about Zhong Xi even though Huan Zhong was also an apprentice of Radiance Sect and was not inferior to him in any aspect.
This matter had nothing to do with Spirit Master Zhong Xi. She was not qualified to blame this spirit master who had killed evil for the cultivation world. However, looking at Huan Zhong’s pale and handsome face, Kong Hou had a difficult time mustering positive emotions for Spirit Master Zhong Xi. If not for Huan Zhong’s frailty, he would be better than Spirit Master Zhong Xi, and people would not just know Zhong Xi, and not Huan Zhong.
Huan Zhong stilled. He watched as Kong Hou become offended on his behalf. He couldn’t help but laugh. “You do not like Spirit Master Zhong Xi?”
“It is not that. Huan Zhong, I just feel you are better than him.” Kong Hou put the Water Frost hairpin into her hair. “Also, I am biased in favor of those close to me, so no matter how good Spirit Master Zhong Xi is, he cannot compare to you.”
In the past, Huan Zhong would have felt this childish attitude of “I feel you are good, you are the best, if other people do not know your good, they are blind” was immature and laughable. But when Kong Hou said the words, Huan Zhong felt it was adorable.
“Silly girl, actually, I am…”
“Miss Kong Hou.” Lin Hu’s voice sounded outside the door. Huan Zhong made sure Kong Hou’s clothing was all neatened before he walked to the doorway and opened the door. Outside the door, Lin Hu stood in the courtyard with the five Auspicious Pavilion disciples. He looked down at them. “What is it?”
Lin Hu looked at Huan Zhong, and then the room behind him. “The disciples of Auspicious Pavilion are worried about Miss Kong Hou’s health, so they came over to take a look.” But why was the person opening the door Master? While the cultivation world did not hold the separation of genders too highly, wasn’t it slightly inappropriate if a man who was a few centuries old was staying in a young girl’s room in the early morning?
Hong Ling felt she was thinking too much after seeing Huan Zhong enter Kong Hou’s room, but she also worried about something happening. So she took her shijie and shidi to find Elder Lin. Using the excuse of being worried about Celestial Kong Hou’s health, they had Elder Lin take them to visit Celestial Kong Hou’s room.
Seeing Huan Zhong come out, his clothing neat, Hong Ling sighed inwardly in relief. It seemed she had thought too much. How old was Celestial Kong Hou? Spirit Master Huan Zhong came from a famed sect and had profound cultivation. What kind of women had he not seen before? Would he be such a lustful person?
“You have all risen?” Kong Hou walked out from behind Huan Zhong. “Since everyone is ready, then let’s depart now.”
“We are not in a hurry to return. With Spirit Master and Celestial present, we do not have to worry about safety. How about resting here a few more days, and leaving after Celestial recovers?” Ge Jin thought of the blow Old Man Wu Ku had delivered to Kong Hou’s chest. She couldn’t help but feel pain on Kong Hou’s behalf.
“No matter—aren’t I fine now?” Kong Hou worried that the evil cultivators would do something unexpected. She would feel better if they reached Auspicious Pavilion soon.
Hong Ling who followed Ge Jin silently observed Huan Zhong. She found that Spirit Master Huan Zhong who appeared cold and emotionless mostly looked at Celestial Kong Hou. Even when Shijie was talking, the other did not look at the disciples of Auspicious Pavilion at all. It seemed that their existences were not important to him. Whether or not they were present made no difference.
This was a man born with a cold heart and cold emotions.
“Huan Zhong.” Kong Hou pulled Huan Zhong’s sleeve. “How about we leave now?”
Huan Zhong was silent for a moment. “All right.”
He had a difficult time saying no in front of Kong Hou.
After experiencing yesterday, when Kong Hou stepped onto the flying palace again, she had no interest in watching the scenery. She sat cross-legged on the ground, holding a storybook she had not read far into as she constantly looked outside.
Outside, Huan Zhong stood against the banister, Lin Hu standing behind him as he handed a flying message seal to Huan Zhong.
The content of the flying message seal was simple. The general meaning was that his gifts had been delivered. In the future, when he bought such valuable things, he should not use his own money; the sect could help him.
Huan Zhong read the flying message seal several times and made sure there were no second meanings in the words. However… what Kong Hou had mailed back last time wasn’t a bag of salted fish that the owner was unable to sell?
In Splendid Cloud Sect, the new disciples saw the words “today’s main dish is Winged Fish” on the door of Food Hall. They thought something was wrong with their eyes. Maybe the shishu of Food Hall wrote incorrectly. There were so many disciples. Winged Fish was both pricy and hard to find—how could that be the main dish?
Yet when they came out with their plates, they were completely dazed. It really was winged fish, and a large bowl of winged fish for each, at that. They started to suspect that the reason Splendid Cloud Sect could not become one of the top three sects in the cultivation world was because they were too wasteful in their food, so the sect became poor?
Even Gui Ling who was usually picky with his food became silent when he saw the full bowl of braised salted fish. He did not dare believe that winged fish had been made into ugly salted dried fish. Even worse, Splendid Cloud Sect put such a good thing into the Food Hall and new disciples like him got such a large portion.
“I heard—” the nimble young shimei came over with her bowl “—I heard an inner sect shixiong say that Kong Hou Shishu who is travelling had a flying sword messenger deliver the winged fish. Kong Hou Shishu also said specifically for all the disciples to have a taste.”
“Kong Hou Shishu is so great,” Gao Jian Yan praised. What great friendship and emotion would it take to encounter so many winged fish, and be willing to spend a large sum to buy for them all to eat?
Gui Ling thought of the beautiful woman in the air that day he joined the sect.
He swallowed the fish in his mouth. Gui Ling’s impression towards Splendid Cloud Sect became even more complicated. In the entire cultivation world, which sect would have all the disciples taste such an expensive food?
Shouldn’t this be given to the apprentices, or the disciples that distinguished themselves so as to motivate other disciples?
The fact that all of Splendid Cloud Sect was so lazy and unmotivated was not without reason.
When the flying palace entered the lands of Feng City, it landed outside the gates. Seeing the familiar gates, the disciples of Auspicious Pavilion could not control their excitement. If not for Kong Hou and the other people, they would have run over.
After entering the city, Kong Hou saw many passersby exchange greetings with these disciples, and older people coming with food to ask them for a reading.
“Miss Ge Jin, the hairpin my husband gave me fell off—could you divine where I lost it?”
“Miss Ge Jin, could I trouble you to divine where my lost cow is?”
“Miss Ge Jin…”
Hearing the waves of calls, Kong Hou pulled Huan Zhong’s sleeve and abruptly moved a few steps back. She said quietly to Huan Zhong, “The strength of the people is endless. Let’s stay further away.”
“Kong Hou?” Cheng Yi saw Kong Hou and Huan Zhong standing outside the crowd and thought something was wrong with his eyes.
His adorable, cute, and obedient little shimei was pulling another man’s sleeve?!
Translator Ramblings: Huan Zhong getting dissed and praised at the same time …