Chapter 50 Painting Remnant Scroll
“You think everyone will bow for money?” Zhou Xieyi said furiously. He could no longer control his emotions and turned around.
“Stop. Haven’t you embarrassed yourself enough?” Yet a flat and dangerous voice came from nearby. “Sometimes, it is possible to bow for money.”
Zhou Xieyi paled even more. He felt shocked and puzzled but he almost instinctively bowed towards the source of the sound. He said in a trembling voice, “Father.”
A middle-aged man with clean features, a blue Taoist robe and a Taoist topknot slowly walked out from behind a carriage.
The Zhou Family was an old prestigious family of the Qin though it had started to decline after the reform of the past Shang Family. Ever since Emperor Yuanwu ascended the throne, the Zhou Family, along with almost all the old prestigious families, had no foundation to establish themselves. However, the old powers naturally had extraordinary assets.
Zhou Xieyi’s father, Zhou Yunhai, did not have a position in court but as he slowly walked forward, his steps were full of power and dignity that the new powers in Changling did not possess.
Compared to his presence, Xie Changsheng made people feel like he was just a new tycoon.
But Xie Changsheng seemed to want to exert his presence as much as possible.
Hearing this voice, and seeing Zhou Xieyi’s fearful and embarrassed state, Xie Changsheng’s eyes lit up. He looked towards Zhou Yunhai and asked, “We can talk?”
Zhou Yunhai first bowed slightly to Xue Wangxu before smiling and saying, “Since my son has lost and an outsider is going to study the Painting Remnant Scroll, we will not mind a few more outsiders. If you youths can really comprehend some profound sword forms from the Painting Remnant Scrolls of the Zhou Family and have great accomplishments, this will be a great tale in the future.”
Zhou Yunhai’s aura as he spoke was dignified and elegant but Xie Changsheng’s eyes shone even brighter. He said briskly, “How much gold?”
Zhou Yunhai seemed to find Xie Changsheng interesting. He said with a small smile, “Ten thousand gold per person?”
Xie Changsheng said straighfowardly, “Deal.”
Zhang Yi did not come from a rich family. When he heard that entering the garden would take ten thousand gold, even if Xie Changsheng would not care and help pay for them, he still felt anxious and wanted to say something.
But Xue Wangxu glanced at him.
He immediately reacted and closed his mouth.
Xue Wangxu said coolly, “Do not count me. They say the scenery of the garden is good. I will just look at the scenery.”
Zhou Yunhai said respectfully, “Cave Master Xue is a grandmaster and naturally does not need to see the remnant scroll of the Zhou Family.”
Xue Wangxu shook his head and said, “You do not have to be so humble. Even the past Changling geniuses, who were much stronger than me, value the Painting Remnant Scrolls greatly. I just do not want to see sword essences that make me itch to use them, but do not have enough time to cultivate them.”
Zhou Yunhai stilled slightly. He sighed softly and did not say more.
Zhang Yi heard this and felt even more pressed. He was even more ashamed of being too fussy just now.
Zhou Xieyi followed Zhou Yunhai onto the Zhou Family carriage to lead the way.
During this entire time, Zhou Xieyi’s head had hung low. He remained silent. When the carriage started to move, he finally raised his head. A father knew his son. Zhou Yunhai knew what he was thinking just by the light of his eyes.
“Do not ask me when I came.” Zhou Yunhai looked at him and said peacefully, “The Spirit Void Banquet of Spirit Void Sword Sect and the sword trials of Min Mountain Sword Trials appear to be a competition between the young of Qin, but in the background, isn’t it still a competition between the prestigious and powerful families of Qin? How high a young person can stand in Changling will usually determine how high the family will rise in Changling. Chen Liufeng and Fang Wuque’s fight today is akin to the first battle of Min Mountain Sword Trials. Would I miss it? When you, Luo Duofeng, and Xin Jianli were fighting for space with them, I was already present. I did not expect Ding Ning to choose you of the three. I naturally am also to blame for your defeat today.”
His tone did not hold any blame but Zhou Xieyi became even more ashamed. He gritted out, “I hadn’t expected him to be so strong.”
“Disregarding whether or not you thought him so strong, if you were stronger, he would have undoubtedly failed.” Zhou Yunhai looked coolly at him and said, “So I hope that you will turn the humiliation of this defeat into motivation to cultivate. Even though you are defeated today, if you defeat him during the Min Mountain Sword Trials, who will care about the defeat today?”
After a slight pause, Zhou Yunhai looked at Zhou Xieyi and said, “When we return, go into seclusion. Think. Even if this is a humiliation, there is only half a year until the Min Mountain Sword Trials. So what if you have to endure for half a year? I hope that you will learn the calm of the wine shop youth.”
Zhou Xieyi’s emotions slowly calmed. He looked gratefully at his father but he was still puzzled. He said, “Father, does the family care so much about the money? Why should we let them into the garden to see the sword manual for the money?”
Zhou Yunhai said coolly, “Your mind still has not cleared? The Zhou Family has studied the Painting Remnant Scroll for generations. How much time have we spent? One day … what can these young people see? Other people may not know, but do you not know how much wealth the forefather needs for cultivation?”
Hearing the word “forefather,” Zhou Xieyi felt cold all over and finally understood.
When they had come to watch the battle, Nangong Caishu, Xu Heshan and Xie Changsheng had been in the same carriage. But as they travelled towards the old garden of the Zhou Clan, Xie Changsheng rode together with Ding Ning and Shen Yi.
Just as they left the shore and entered the main path, Xie Changsheng hit his head and shouted in frustration, “Oh no!”
“What is it?” Shen Yi was shocked.
Xie Changsheng sighed and said, “Just now, I forgot to invite Yi Xin of Mind Chamber Sect to come along.”
Ding Ning glanced at him. “You really have too much money, and are troubled by not being able to spend it?”
“The use of money is to be spent,” Xie Changsheng said righteously. “My father said there is no problem with spending money like water flowing as long as new money will flow in. Flow out, flow in. This way, we can constantly obtain good-will and friendship. Otherwise, it is a dead thing piling up. In the end, it will be taken away by others.”
Ding Ning frowned slightly. He was silent for many seconds before saying, “The Guanzhong Xie Family has their reason for becoming so wealthy.”
Xie Changsheng was slightly smug. He said curiously, “You can see the Painting Remnant Scroll just as you wish. I know how to spend money better than you, but doesn’t know as much. What is the Painting Remnant Scroll?”
Looking at Xie Changsheng who had spent tens of thousands of gold in one breath but didn’t even know what the Painting Remnant Scroll was, Ding Ning could only shake his head and think, fools have their foolish fortune.
“It is very simple.” He said calmly after shaking his head, “The Painting Remnant Scroll is similar to the Shadow Mountain Sword Cave’s sword wall. Since the ancient times, people have searched for ways to strengthen their body to fight against natural disasters, beasts, and illness. Some people comprehend means to make themselves strong. In a time where there was no writing system, the earliest cultivators used all kinds of means to pass down their cultivation method.”
Xie Changsheng was stunned upon hearing this and couldn’t help interrupting, “So this is very simple. Why is it complicated?”
Ding Ning ignored him and continued, “The recording of their cultivation method may not be writing. They may be knotted rope, simple symbols or drawings. After thousands of years, some cultivation methods, that were not strong and had no cultivation value, were naturally eliminated. But some cultivation methods remained powerful after generations of change. These methods surpass most secret sect methods of the present so they were naturally passed down. But how they were recorded is different from the present. The present cultivators have to comprehend the true meaning within them.”
Xie Changsheng and Shen Yi finally understood and said together, “You mean that the Painting Remnant Scroll are the same as Shadow Mountain Sword Cave’s sword wall? It was left behind by ancient sects but not recorded with ordinary writing?”
Ding Ning nodded and said, “The Painting Remnant Scroll looks like an ink painting of mountains and rivers. It is a painting, so while it may have the air of mountains and paintings, it may not have their shapes. Most importantly, this ink painting is also incomplete so it is even harder to comprehend the true meaning left behind by the grandmaster.”
Ding Ning paused and looked seriously at Shen Yi and Xie Changsheng. He said slowly, “But it is certain that this remnant scroll contains many sword forms and cultivation concepts. This is like the table of contents for a sect’s records. The ‘Mountains and Rivers As A Painting’ that Zhou Xieyi used just now is only the weakest and most shallow sword move from the scroll and his performance could no even mimic the painting’s aura.”
Xie Changsheng’s expression turned grave. He said, “If Zhou Xieyi’s move was emitted at full power, I fear not many people on the Book of Talents will be able to withstand it. Even the shallowest and weakest move that is unable to touch the true meaning of the remnant scroll. Then if I just get to look … I did not waste tens of thousands of gold.”
Ding Ning said calmly, “Of course not. Before Emperor Yuanwu ascended the throne, the Zhou Family did not even allow the most powerful people at the time to view the remnant scroll. I fear that only the Holy One, the empress, and a rare few in court have viewed the scroll. As to the present, if we are realm six or above, I fear no matter how much money we spend, the Zhou Family would not open the Ink Garden for us to view the remnant scroll. Zhou Yunhai only agreed because he is certain we will not be able to see anything in such a short time.”
Translator Ramblings: Chinese knots was a true writing system in the warring states period, similar to the quipu of the Incas.