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Chapter 109: Happiness
At Gui Ling’s words, the entire hall went silent. The other three peak masters simultaneously turned to look with burning gazes at Qing Yuan, their desire to watch a spectacle obvious. Qing Yuan knew that his shixiong all had the bad habit of liking to spectate, but he was the peak master of Daybreak Cloud Peak. Even if he was angry, he would not show any of it in front of his juniors. He raised his head and looked at his shixiong with a smile.
It was not so easy to see a spectacle. Although he had wanted Cheng Yi as an apprentice back then, Wang Tong had scrambled to get there first. That was a few centuries ago. He did not care about it, not at all.
The three peak masters saw him like this, coughed and lowered their heads. They feared if they continued watching, fire would burst out of Qing Yuan’s eyes. If they fought, it would not look nice in front of the juniors.
Gui Ling was a rare talent—no wonder Qing Yuan wanted him. But they hadn’t thought that Gui Ling would want to go to Moon Perching Peak. After Wang Tong took on Kong Hou seven years ago, he said he would not accept any more apprentices. If Gui Ling joined Moon Perching Peak, the best choice was to have Cheng Yi as his master.
“Gui Ling, my master already said that he will not accept any more apprentices. Even so, you still want to join Moon Perching Peak?” Cheng Yi didn’t dare look at Qing Yuan Shishu. He could only look at Gui Ling. “You will not regret it?”
“I will not regret. This disciple is willing to join Moon Perching Peak.” Gui Ling bowed deeply to Cheng Yi.
Cheng Yi did not immediately answer and turned to look at Kong Hou. Kong Hou had a smile on her face and was silent, but used a sound art to Huan Zhong. [Huan Zhong, what do you think?]
[He is a good seedling suited for cultivation. It is a pity he cannot join under Wang Tong Shishu‘s name.] Huan Zhong looked indifferently at the handsome youth standing by the stairs. [If Path Friend Cheng Yi takes him and he becomes the next generation apprentice, it will not bury his talent.]
If this was another sect, Huan Zhong would not give such a suggestion. Many sects had internal conflict mainly because the peak masters competed for disciples or compared them. But Splendid Cloud Sect was different. This sect looked to be in chaos in their conduct, but in their internal management, they were more intelligent and strategic than other sects. The peaks were all close to each other.
Kong Hou agreed. Gui Ling was good at cultivation, and hard-working. Shixiong was already a Mind Manifestation forebear, but he didn’t even have a disciple under his name. Gui Ling would not take much effort. It was not unprofitable to accept him.
“Shixiong,” Kong Hou whispered in Cheng Yi’s ear. “Since Gui Ling intends to join Moon Perching Peak, how about you temporary receive him as a disciple in name? Gui Ling is reliable and works hard on his cultivation. If you accept him as a disciple, he can help you in the future.”
No matter how talented or hard-working he was, nothing could compare to being reliable and able to help. Cheng Yi thought through this and said to Gui Ling, “If so, you can join Moon Perching Peak. I will temporarily have you as my disciple in name—are you willing?”
Gui Ling stilled slightly and then bowed a moment later. “This disciple greets Master.” He looked up and met Huan Zhong’s gaze. He wanted to shift away timidly, but he found he was unable to move his neck, his body frozen.
Then he saw the famed Spirit Master Huan Zhong nod slightly at him and give a small smile.
That smile was extremely shallow and a flash in the pan that disappeared quickly. For some inexplicable reason, Gui Ling felt the other was laughing at him, or maybe smiling in victory.
Gui Ling joined Moon Perching Peak, and the other four peaks started to select as well. In the end, the other four peaks chose four, and Moon Perching Peak only chose three. Gui Ling, Gao Jian Yan and Li Rou all joined Moon Perching Peak and became inner sect disciples of Moon Perching Peak.
Li Rou had requested to join Moon Perching Peak because she wanted to become a powerful cultivator like Kong Hou Shijie. Regarding this, Gui Ling had no objections, but he suddenly found that he was now a younger generation than Li Rou and Gao Jian Yan. If he saw them in the future, he would have to call them “Shishu.” This made it hard for him to be happy.
Who was willing to suddenly be in a younger generation?
“They are all new disciples, but some are shishu and one is a shizhi. They will see each other on Moon Perching Peak, and I fear they will not be able to change quickly.” Kong Hou glanced at Gui Ling and said with a smile, “How about having them all become disciples in name? That way, they will have an easier time calling each other.”
Taking on three disciples in name just for ease of address?
Cheng Yi considered it slightly and agreed. Disciple in name was only a pleasant title. In reality, their masters had no time to spare for them, and they would have to learn techniques along with the other disciples of the sect. In terms of closeness, the disciples in name were just slightly close, while the apprentices were the closest and true students of the master.
Li Rou and Gao Jian Yan hadn’t thought that they could join Cheng Yi Forebear due to Kong Hou’s words. This was an unexpected surprise. Especially Li Rou—she looked at Kong Hou with glowing eyes, as though Kong Hou was an astounding beauty.
Seeing the matter finished, Heng Yan, as the sect master, had the new disciples leave. He looked at his three shidi and the juniors. “Since you have chosen your disciples, go back and teach them, and cultivate. Don’t stay here—do you think I will keep you for dinner?”
The other peak masters all stood up to leave. Kong Hou was preparing to leave with Huan Zhong but was called back by Heng Yan.
“Kong Hou.” Heng Yan stood up and looked at Huan Zhong who was preparing to leave. “Spirit Master Zhong Xi does not have to excuse yourself. Kong Hou and I will not be speaking of secrets.”
Huan Zhong turned to look at Kong Hou. Kong Hou smiled at him and then said to Heng Yan, “Sect Master Shibo, what matter do you have to discuss?”
“I heard Wang Tong say that you and Spirit Master Zhong Xi have karma and can perform universal paired cultivation.” He took out a fist-sized cauldron. The cauldron had complicated seals on the surface. The moment it was taken out of the storage ring, the spirit energy outside the room rushed to gather inside the room, filling it with dense spirit energy.
“This is the dragon and phoenix cauldron that the ancestors of Splendid Cloud Sect passed down. Supposedly, when placed between cultivators during universal paired cultivation, it can focus the mind, soothe the energies, and cleanse the meridians. But in our last few generations, no disciple had this opportunity. Now, it can finally be of use since Splendid Cloud Sect has a disciple who can do universal paired cultivation. I will temporarily leave this dragon and phoenix cauldron in your hands.” Heng Yan hadn’t thought that something like this would exist in the treasury of Splendid Cloud Sect. A few days ago, when he had been organizing the gifts that Wu Chuan had delivered after the Mind Manifestation ceremony, he found this.
While he didn’t know whether this cauldron was genuine or not, the ancestors should not want to harm their descendants.
“Thank you, Shibo.” Kong Hou took the dragon and phoenix cauldron and thanked Heng Yan. This small cauldron was made out of an unknown material that carried great spirit energy and contained the five elements. It was very comfortable to the touch.
“This is… the Heaven and Earth Harmony Five Elements Dragon and Phoenix Yinyang Cauldron?” When Huan Zhong saw the item in Kong Hou’s hand, his usually emotionless face showed some surprise. Supposedly, several thousand years ago, a great power had comprehended heaven, earth and the elements. He had an epiphany when observing the sky at night, and used metal from stars and the blood and feathers of dragons and phoenixes to forge a small cauldron. Supposedly, this cauldron could subdue the mountains and rivers, able to comprehend the five elements and yinyang, so it was called the Heaven and Earth Harmony Five Elements Dragon and Phoenix Yinyang Cauldron. But this cauldron had been lost for a long time. Some people said that when the powerful person had ascended, they had taken the cauldron with them. Others said this cauldron had been left in a difficult to find secret realm for a lucky person.
But no one would have guessed this mysterious divine talisman was hiding in Splendid Cloud Sect, and the sect master would easily take it out in front of an outsider like him. Did Sect Master Heng Yan not know how valuable this cauldron was?
“Just a cauldron that no one else can use; the name is so long—who can remember it?” Heng Yan did not refute this was the Heaven and Earth Harmony Five Elements Dragon and Phoenix Yinyang Cauldron and chuckled. “Better to call it the dragon and phoenix cauldron, both auspicious and easy to remember.”
Huan Zhong was silent. He started to suspect that the wealthiest among the top ten sects wasn’t Radiance Sect, but Splendid Cloud Sect. They would easily deliver the extinct merpeople scales, and a cauldron they casually took out was the dragon phoenix cauldron that only existed in legend. But the reason they gave was so that their disciples would have an easier time during universal paired cultivation.
This was like taking a blade that could kill dragons to chop an earthworm while saying that the blade was useless ordinarily, and finally could be used to cut earthworms.
If the dragon phoenix cauldron had a soul, it might turn into a person and beat Heng Yan at this moment.
Looking at Kong Hou who was smiling as she held the dragon phoenix cauldron, Huan Zhong’s expression turned gentle. A sect that was indifferent to material items but thought highly of relationships. For Kong Hou who was alone during childhood, being able to join a sect like this was the affection of the heavenly path to her.
“Thank you, Sect Master.” Huan Zhong’s mind shifted and he bowed to Huan Zhong. “Please do not worry. This junior will not tell another person about the dragon phoenix cauldron.”
Heng Yan nodded and smiled when he heard this. “Of course I trust in Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s character.” Otherwise, he would not dare take out something like this.
He had lived almost a thousand years, and he could manage to see what a person’s character was like.
Bidding farewell to Heng Yan, Kong Hou went to see her master and shixiong. She was about to go into seclusion for half a year. She could not just close the door to her cave residence and then ignore all matters. Coming out of shixiong‘s cave residence, she saw the three newly-joined shizhi practicing the sword in the corner. She did not disturb them, jumping onto the flying sword and flying towards her own residence.
“Gui Ling, what are you looking at?” Li Rou warned in a small voice. “I have just come to Moon Perching Peak for a day; we need to appear more hardworking.”
“Nothing.” Gui Ling looked away and put his attention on the sword.
There was an enormous spirit-gathering formation in Kong Hou’s cave residence. She had a zither, books, drawing supplies and other tools. This was the first time Huan Zhong was alone with a female in a cave residence, moreover this female’s cave residence. He sat cross-legged on the meditation mat. The orange fire reflected on his chin and made his entire face look gentle.
Kong Hou came out, her hair loose, and put the dragon phoenix cauldron in front of the two of them. Without her makeup, Kong Hou looked like a clean lotus who had not bloomed yet, with a sweetness unique to young girls.
Huan Zhong opened his eyes and looked at the shadows on the wall. His eyelids trembled slightly and he did not look at Kong Hou again.
Kong Hou sat down cross-legged beside him. The two clearly were not touching, but Huan Zhong could feel her presence. Kong Hou waved her sleeve and extinguished all the candles in the cave residence. The cave residence immediately became dark, with only some decorative talismans in the corner glowing with light.
Cloth rustled and Huan Zhong felt a piece of cool fabric slide across his arm. His fingers curved and then rapidly relaxed, as though he was a thief in a hurry to hide after doing something bad. He looked at ease, but in reality was in chaos.
“Are you afraid of the dark?” In the darkness, Kong Hou turned to look at Huan Zhong.
“No.” When he said the word, Huan Zhong found that his voice was hoarse. He reached out to touch his throat. “I am used to it.”
“Then I will not take out any illuminating talismans.” Kong Hou adjusted her posture into a proper meditation position and closed her eyes.
Huan Zhong turned to look at her, and then he closed his eyes slowly. Threads of spirit energy drew a circle in the air after rising from his head and landed on Kong Hou.
There is me in you, and you in me.
Suddenly, Kong Hou opened her eyes, the spirit energy dissipating completely from her body. “Huan Zhong, did you ever have a woman you were in love with?” In this closed space without any disturbances, people would sometimes speak of some topics that they usually wouldn’t, and without any restraint.
“Never.” Huan Zhong opened his eyes. His cultivation had recovered greatly, so even in the darkness, he could see the young woman’s face clearly.
Her eyes were bright and large, as though she was trying to see him in the darkness.
Huan Zhong opened his hand, light flashing in his palm and illuminating Kong Hou’s gaze. Kong Hou blinked, and for some inexplicable reason, gave a big smile.
Seeing her like this, Huan Zhong flipped his hand. Small animals made out of light flew out of his hand. This was a trick that Kong Hou had once showed him. But Huan Zhong used it like a master.
Kong Hou looked up at the “small animals” running in the cave residence and laughed. “Huan Zhong, I seem to be happy every day I am with you.”
Huan Zhong’s hand shook. All the small animals in the room immediately disappeared, and the room dropped back into darkness.
His lips moved. A long time later, he said, “Same for me.”
Kong Hou laughed gently and sat cross-legged. “Come, let’s do paired cultivation.”
The corners of Huan Zhong’s lips tensed slightly, the warmth on his face still present.
Translator Ramblings: Kong Hou’s fanclub have now gotten closer!