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Chapter 113: All Not As Good
Kong Hou quickly looked at Wang Tong and saw that while his expression was normal, his eyes were full of worry.
Noticing Kong Hou’s small movement, Huan Zhong looked along her line of sight, and saw Wang Tong in the distance. He looked down at his hand which was grasping Kong Hou’s hand and reluctantly released it. “Go over.”
Kong Hou’s cultivation speed was very fast, just like his in the past. He still remembered in the past, when seclusion ended, fellow disciples would have expressions of admiration or envy. Back then, Master told him it was normal for people to admire other people’s good traits and feel inferior in their own shortcomings. If one could control their mind well enough, they would be released or succeed.
But in the eyes of these Splendid Cloud Sect apprentices, Huan Zhong only saw joy or excitement, as though the higher Kong Hou’s cultivation was, the better it was for them.
“Spirit Master Zhong Xi.” Wu Chuan went forward and bowed. “You have worked hard recently. Please follow this one and have a drink of tea.”
After half a year, Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s presence was even more true to the origin. With his cultivation, he could not see that the other was a cultivator at all. So young and already in Mind Dividing Stage. A shocking thing. No wonder everyone in the cultivation world thought of him as the hope of ascension in this thousand years.
Wu Chuan looked up at the sky. The heavens were temperamental. Why was Lingyou World punished that no one had ascended for so many years?
“Thank you.” Huan Zhong looked back at Kong Hou and whispered to her, “I will first go to Path Friend Wu Chuan’s place.”
Kong Hou felt slightly embarrassed at Wang Tong guessing her thoughts. Hearing Huan Zhong say this, she bowed to Wu Chuan and said to Huan Zhong, “All right. I have not seen my master and fellow disciples for many days. We have things to talk about. Go drink tea with Wu Chuan Shixiong first.”
Wu Chuan’s gaze moved between the two of them. His expression did not change. “Please.”
Heng Yan and Wu Chuan left with Huan Zhong. Wang Tong could no longer maintain his expression and waved a hand at Kong Hou. “Come, come, come; return with me.”
The apprentices of other peaks saw Wang Tong’s expression wasn’t right. Thinking how Kong Hou had come out hand in hand with Spirit Master Zhong Xi, they felt that there was something wrong. They shoved their gifts to Kong Hou and ran. They would not stay and be present when someone was going to lecture their apprentice.
After everyone else ran away, Wang Tong looked at Kong Hou with a serious expression. “What is going on with you and Spirit Master Zhong Xi?”
“Master, this apprentice was just enchanted by lust…” Kong Hou said in a quiet voice. “Master, please do not be angry.”
“Do you not know Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s status in the cultivation world?” Wang Tong took a deep breath. “If you draw him into a love ordeal and damage his mental state, no one in Radiance Sect will forgive you.”
Kong Hou whispered, “But didn’t you say that Nine Phoenix Sect once had intentions of having their disciple and Zhong Xi join together?”
“Did you see Radiance Sect agree?” Wang Tong lowered his voice and said gravely, “Do you know that Nine Phoenix Sect even took out phoenix blood in hopes that Radiance Sect would agree?”
Phoenix blood was a treasure from the ancient times. It was extremely valuable. But Radiance Sect did not hesitate in their refusal. The great hopes that Radiance Sect had of Huan Zhong could be seen. They would not let him be slighted even for valuable ancient treasures.
“So young, but you have good eyes—so many male cultivators in the cultivation world and you want Spirit Master Zhong Xi.” Wang Tong was both exasperated and amused. He worried that Kong Hou would be depressed after this love of hers ended in hopelessness. “There are so many lettuces in the garden, but you picked the freshest and most valuable to dig up.”
“Master, I am your apprentice,” Kong Hou whispered. “You cannot compare your apprentice to a pig.”
“In Master’s eyes, of course you are the most valuable jade lettuce in the world. All men that come near you are the ugliest fattest pigs.” Wang Tong sighed. “But people in the world are biased. Spirit Master Zhong Xi became famous at a young age and has killed many evil cultivators. He has a great reputation in the cultivation world. If the world learns of your thoughts, in their eyes, Spirit Master Zhong Xi is that valuable jade lettuce.”
Kong Hou didn’t know how to argue at this time, but she knew that Master was not saying these to attack her, but to let her understand the reality of the cultivation world.
“Oh, if I had known early, we should have used the opportunity of giving Radiance Sect the merpeople scales to have them owe us a favor. Maybe Spirit Master Zhong Xi would have paid you back with his body because you are good-looking and have a pentad spirit base.” Wang Tong rubbed his beard and shook his head. “From all people you could have fallen in love with, why did it have to be him?”
If she wanted any other male cultivator, there was a chance of forcing him, but Spirit Master Zhong Xi was invulnerable from head to toe.
Kong Hou thought, if some precious medicinal ingredients could get Huan Zhong to give himself in return, Huan Zhong might have to sell himself to her for several lifetimes to repay his debts.
But she did not say this to Master. She was young, but she felt that a love based on repaying a favor would not last for long.
In the main hall of Splendid Cloud Sect, Heng Yan looked with a smile at Zhong Xi who was seated. “Spirit Master Zhong Xi, have you been used to this humble sect in your visit? Kong Hou is young; Spirit Master, please have tolerance for any shortcomings.”
“Sect Master is too serious. Kong Hou is good. You also know that there is a problem with this junior’s spirit platform. Fortunately, I had Kong Hou these days to help my cultivation recover slowly. She has had to bear with me.” Zhong Xi bowed to Heng Yan. “Elder, please do not call this junior Spirit Master. Just call this junior Zhong Xi or Huan Zhong.”
“Huan Zhong is your mortal name?” Heng Yan nodded and did not insist. “This name is good. Huan, great pillars supporting the heavens and earth. Zhong, respected by the people. The person who named you hopes that you can support the world, and be respected.”
Huan Zhong said, “Sect Master is too complementary.”
He and Heng Yan talked for another hour before Heng Yan let Wu Chuan see Huan Zhong back to his courtyard.
When Wu Chuan returned, Heng Yan shook his head and said, “Spirit Master Zhong Xi has not lost his first yang.” Heng Yan of course would not ask such a thing, but observe slowly from the face. He worried he would see incorrectly so he looked a while longer.
“So you are reassured now?”
“What reassured?” Heng Yan sighed. “This is fine, but that doesn’t mean the other is fine.” Just now, he had seen clearly when Kong Hou Shizhi had curled fingers with Spirit Master Zhong Xi. Who was the one benefiting?
Huan Zhong had not sat long in the courtyard when Wang Tong visited him. In front of Wang Tong, Huan Zhong was much more restrained.
“Spirit Master Zhong Xi, thank you for your care of my apprentice in these days.” Wang Tong looked at Huan Zhong’s smooth movements as he made tea and thought, his young apprentice’s eyes were very good at picking men.
“Elder is too polite. Based on the generation levels of us major sects, this junior should call you shishu.” Huan Zhong presented the teacup with both hands. “Then Kong Hou will be my little shimei and it is logical for me to take care of her.”
No sect would accept a talented disciple being immersed in matters of love. Also, Kong Hou still didn’t know of his intentions. How could he dare spill any of his intentions and cause Spirit Master Wang Tong to return and punish Kong Hou?
Wang Tong had lived over nine hundred years and naturally knew the universal language the cultivation world used when refusing others. That was “I think of her as a shijie/shimei” or “I think of him as a shixiong/shidi.” This kind of talk was subtle but fellow disciples were like siblings. Who would have other intentions towards their siblings?
Hearing the words “shimei,” Wang Tong’s heart jumped. He feared his apprentice’s intentions would be destroyed. He looked at Huan Zhong, wanting to speak. A moment later, he drank a sip of tea and said, “Good tea.”
“This junior received the tea from a secret realm. If Shishu likes it, this junior has more.” Zhong Xi took out a big bag of spirit tea from his storage ring. He, who did not understand how to gain the favor of elders, only knew to take out things generously.
Looking at the spirit tea brimming with spirit energy, Wang Tong said sincerely, “Spirit Master Zhong Xi, this old man will sit on seniority and call you as nephew. We cultivators should not care about such material items, but you…”
Such valuable spirit tea. He just said a word, and the other took it all out. This child was so honest that he couldn’t help but worry for Jin Yue. How did he teach his apprentice to throw good things out without a care?
Huan Zhong looked in puzzlement at Wang Tong. Did he like these or not?
Wang Tong sighed and took out a small jar from the big bag. “This old man usually does not like drinking tea. This is enough.”
“Then this junior will keep these and when Shishu finishes, this junior will send you more.” Huan Zhong put away the spirit tea.
Wang Tong: “…”
Children who primarily cultivated the sword path were truly so sincere to the point of speechlessness. Even though the other did not want his apprentice, Wang Tong could not lie and pick a pile of flaws from him. Bidding farewell to Huan Zhong, Wang Tong returned to Moon Perching Peak. Seeing Kong Hou teaching the grand-disciples, he sighed deeply and said, “Kong Hou, come with Master.”
Kong Hou saw Wang Tong have a serious expression and thought there was a major matter. She said to Gui Ling and the others, “Stay here and comprehend.”
Gao Jian Yan, Gui Ling, and Li Rou saw their grandmaster find Kong Hou and didn’t dare delay her. “Shishu, we will work hard.”
Kong Hou was very satisfied after teaching the juniors. She waved goodbye to the disciples and walked behind Wang Tong. “Master, what is it?”
“Come in first.” Wang Tong saw the three grand disciples peeking over and led Kong Hou back to his cave residence. Master and apprentice sat next to the jade table. Wang Tong looked at Kong Hou. Kong Hou looked at Wang Tong. The pair sank into a mysterious silence.
“Good apprentice.” Wang Tong coughed dryly and interrupted the awkward silence. “This master thought for a long time, and went through all the young male cultivators in the cultivation world.”
Kong Hou looked in puzzlement at him.
“Chang De of Clear Dawn Sect is of good appearance, is the sect eldest disciple and has a limitless future. The second apprentice of the sect master of Nine Phoenix Sect, seems to be called Jing Yuan, has outstanding appearance. While he only has a single spirit base, he is also elegant. The sect master of Beast King Sect is young and accomplished. Even now, there are no rumors about him and a female cultivator. Spirit Master Guang Jiao of Sunset Pill Tower has been called the disciple with most potential among pill makers. He is also good-looking. There is also the sect eldest disciple of Binary Sect—what was his name; this master saw him a century ago. He was elegant and ethereal. Two years ago, Blue Feather Sect accepted a disciple who is already in Base Building and is exceptionally good-looking. He is called the second young master of the cultivation world…”
“Then who is the first?” Kong Hou asked in interest.
“That’s not important; most important is that he is good-looking.” How could he tell her that Spirit Master Zhong Xi was the first?
“Don’t you feel your divination is not good enough? The young sect master of Moon Star Sect is outstandingly talented in divination. Even more importantly, he is as beautiful as an immortal.” Wang Tong thought and said, “Yes, there is that one, what was his name, that sect subordinate to Radiance Sect. An He of Harmonious Wind Study. He has outstanding swordsmanship and can equal your Wu Chuan Shixiong and Ling Yue of Nine Phoenix Sect. Right, and Monk Wu You of Quiet Peace Temple—even if he has shaved his head, he is as beautiful as a flower…”
“Wait a moment, Master. Wu You is a monk.”
“That’s not important. The point is, how do you feel about them?” Wang Tong looked with bright eyes at Kong Hou.
Kong Hou thought for a long time and said honestly, “All not as good as Huan Zhong.”
Translator Ramblings: Wang Tong is such a good master/parent.