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Chapter 127: Pearl
“If Sect Master Jin Yue is not willing, never mind.” Hong Yan stood and sneered. “Sect Master Jin Yue does not have to worry about other things.”
She paused when she passed Huan Zhong. “If being together with the girl you love damages your cultivation and you cannot ascend, are you still willing?”
“If I am together with her, I will be happy without ascension. If I do not have her, what is the meaning in ascension?” Huan Zhong bowed. “This junior appreciates Spirit Master’s goodwill, but forgive this junior for not accepting.”
Hong Yan’s gaze changed multiple times as she looked at him in anger and sorrow. She turned and said coolly, “Think more about it. If you regret it, come find me.”
“This junior will not regret.” Huan Zhong answered slowly, not like a young boy rushing to make an oath, but like a choice made after great thought.
Hong Yan ignored him and walked out of the hall. Outside the hall, the silver moonlight shone on the ground. One person had been standing there for an unknown amount of time, his bright head reflecting the moonlight.
Seeing Hong Yan exit, he lifted his head. “Spirit Master Hong Yan.”
“It is late—why is Grand Master still here?” Hong Yan’s red mantle flew in the wind, bright yet lonely.
“This destitute monk is waiting for Spirit Master.” Grand Master Yuan Chen did not mind Hong Yan’s coldness. He followed behind Hong Yan. “Spirit Master, while fate is determined by the heavens, it can also change. Maybe Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s fate has already changed.”
Spirit Master Hong Yan slowly walked forward and did not speak for a long time. Just as Yuan Chen thought she would not speak, Hong Yan said, “Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s fate is connected to the heavenly path. When we divined his fate in the past, Shixiong and I were in seclusion for more than a decade before we recovered. The fate of someone like this will not be easily changed.
“Maybe the one with a problem is not Zhong Xi, but the entire cultivation world.” Hong Yan looked up at the sky with the moon and sparse stars. “The heavens will not allow the cultivation world to have a chance at ascension. Our struggle is useless.”
“Have you ever thought that someone else with a fate similar to Spirit Master Zhong Xi will be born?” Yuan Chen looked down, still with a benevolent expression.
“Regardless of just how rare a person like that is, those with a heavenly fate will easily die young. If there really is someone like this, the cultivation world would have detected them already.” Hong Yan’s corners of the mouth drooped. She appeared exceptionally cold. “If the heavenly fate could be changed so easily, how could it be called a heavenly fate?”
Yuan Chen wanted to say something but stopped. He looked at Hong Yan for a long time. “Spirit Master Hong Yan, back then…”
“It is late.” Hong Yan looked at Yuan Chen with a gaze of unmelting ice. “Grand Master, goodbye.”
Yuan Chen put his hands together. “Please.”
Hong Yan returned to her residence and saw her disciples waiting for her. “If I am late to return in the future, do not wait for me. Rest early.”
“Yes.” The disciples silently left.
Lian Qiao, who walked at the rear, looked at her master who had a frosty expression. She gathered her courage and stopped walking. She turned towards Hong Yan and said, “Master, this apprentice has something to tell Master.”
“Tell me tomorrow.” Hong Yan frowned slightly. “Leave.”
“Yes…” Her courage disappeared under Hong Yan’s indifferent gaze. She left with a lowered head, her palms cold.
On Sword Cry Peak, Kong Hou sat on the giant stone and counted the spirit stones in the bag. But regardless of how she counted, there were just a few hundred. Why did Huan Zhong, who had treasure all over him, give her such a small sum of spirit stones?
When Huan Zhong returned, he saw Kong Hou counting spirit stones. She looked so adorable in her concentration that Huan Zhong’s heart softened.
“You are back?” Kong Hou looked up and smiled at him. She patted the empty space next to her.” Sit down.”
Huan Zhong came down the flying sword and sat down next to Kong Hou. “The conference will start the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will take you around Pei City.”
“All right.” Kong Hou nodded and shook the money bag in front of Huan Zhong. “Why did you give me these spirit stones?”
“These spirit stones…” Huan Zhong smiled—”have a relatively special meaning to me.”
Hearing there was a special meaning, Kong Hou put away the bag without thinking. “Then I have to keep them safe.”
Huan Zhong laughed seeing her like this and pecked her cheek.
Kong Hou covered her face and blushed slightly as she buried her head against Huan Zhong’s chest.
The night was good, a beautiful man kept her company. This was something beautiful that could not be bought with a thousand gold.
Huan Zhong sent the sleepy Kong Hou back to her room. When he came out, he encountered Wu Chuan.
Wu Chuan looked at Kong Hou’s courtyard, and then at Huan Zhong who came out. He turned his head silently, pretending not to see anything, and left. He walked faster and faster to disappear from Huan Zhong’s sight.
Huan Zhong: “…”
He returned to his own yard. Lin Hu, who had been waiting for long, gave a stack of papers to him. “Master, information on all the shops and streets in Pei City is here. Read it carefully.” The information contained which stores had the best food, which had the newest jewelry and other things.
“Thank you.” Huan Zhong took the papers and entered his room.
Looking at Huan Zhong’s back, Lin Hu finally understood why it had been so effortless to follow behind Master for the last few centuries. It was all to better torment him in the future.
All the effort that had been spared previously was being used fully in these two years.
When she woke up in the morning, Kong Hou was slightly confused. When did she go to sleep last night? After dressing, she saw her senior disciples by the door. They seemed to be watching a spectacle. She sped up walking, and saw Huan Zhong standing outside as expected.
Today, Huan Zhong was different. Usually, Huan Zhong wore white. Today, Huan Zhong still wore a light-colored robe, but his clothing had grand patterns. Even within a crowd, he would be eye-catching.
Kong Hou ran to his side and whispered, “Have you waited long?”
“No, I just came out.” Huan Zhong held her hand. “It is still early, no rush.”
Kong Hou laughed and whispered in his ear, “Your clothing today is very good-looking.”
Huan Zhong’s eyes warmed up. “As long as you like it.”
The Splendid Cloud Sect disciples hiding behind the door had complicated emotions.
“The two of them are like this, and Shimei still says they are just good friends. It really is…” Ling Hui tsked. “Spirit Master Zhong Xi has such exceptional appearance, and dressed so grandly. After they walk through the city, who wouldn’t know the feelings between them?”
“Yes.” Li Rou nodded and said, “Ling Hui Shishu, I also feel that Spirit Master Zhong Xi has dressed especially today.”
“Men.” Ling Hui shook her head and lamented. “Even the strongest and coldest man will dress up in front of the woman he likes.”
“You understand so much.” Li Rou looked reverently at Ling Hui.
Ling Hui: “No, no.”
The storybooks taught well.
Pei City. A place with rich spirit energy. Some wealthy nomad cultivators would do their best to get property in Pei City and obtain a household register here. This was the holy land of cultivation, and a sign of status.
When nomad cultivators gathered together and spoke of where they came from, they would become more confident when they mentioned Pei City.
The prosperity of Pei City did not have to be described. Kong Hou and Huan Zhong walked side by side on the streets. Listening to the talking and hawking around her, she couldn’t help but say, “Huan Zhong, let’s first find a place to sit?”
“All right.” Huan Zhong gripped her hand and looked around. The information Lin Hu had given him said there was a nearby teahouse where the storyteller could make a simple story come alive. Where was it?
After a few steps, he saw a sign hanging outside the bookstore. Written on it was “[Promise of A Lifetime] has finished selling. Please wait for the next batch.”
“Talented Author’s books are finally welcomed by many people,” Kong Hou said joyfully. “This is wonderful.” After she came to the cultivation world, Talented Author’s books had given her much inspiration. Pity that his books never sold well. Kong Hou felt indescribably happy seeing him finally being welcomed.
For her, Talented Author was a friend she had never seen that accompanied her in growing, and settled her panicked heart when she first came to the cultivation world.
“Mom, I want that.” Nearby was a carpentry stall with many carved dolls, each of them adorable. Many children surrounded the stall.
Kong Hou couldn’t help but look longer at the stall. She remembered a daughter of Emperor Jinghong had many fine dolls like this. When she was young, she had felt envious. She used mud to make some dolls and secretly put them on the window sill.
But those dolls were ugly, and would crack after being in the sunlight. She could not draw beautiful features on their faces, or dress them in beautiful clothes.
Huan Zhong released Kong Hou’s hand. He walked to the stall and bent down in the crowd of children. He selected the most refined dolls and bought several sets of clothes.
The owner saw Huan Zhong’s extraordinary dress and flattered when receiving payment, “Master is buying for your pearl? Do not worry, the clothes are made from the best cloth—your daughter will love them.”
“Pearl…” Huan Zhong looked back at Kong Hou who was waiting for him on the street, his eyes warm. “Really my pearl.”
He returned to Kong Hou’s side with the dolls and put the box in her hand. “Let’s go, my pearl.”
Kong Hou held the box and blinked her sore eyes. She teased, “Daddy, where is my mother?” She had heard the conversation between Huan Zhong and the owner. What pearl—had he given birth to her?
“Your mother is in my eyes.” Huan Zhong looked warmly at her.
Kong Hou saw her clear reflection from his eyes. She snorted. “You just take advantage of me.”
“To me, Kong Hou is my pearl, my heart.” Huan Zhong’s eyes became laughing. “If you are not my pearl, who is?”
Kong Hou looked dazedly at this man. She suddenly hugged the wooden box tightly. She seemed to return to her childhood, alone with her sleeves pushed up as she hid in the yard and made mud dolls. Suddenly, a golden doll jumped out of the mud and said to her that he wanted to go home with her.
“I understand.” She closed her eyes and smiled brightly. “Daddy Huan Zhong, your pearl wants to be carried and held up high, otherwise, she won’t walk.”
She had been joking, but Huan Zhong bent down and said to her, “Come, get up.”
There was a noisy crowd, and a street filled with dust. But the handsome man bending down made her forget everything.
Translator Ramblings: Huan Zhong’s first book income is very special.