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Chapter 138: Return to the Sect
“You are so confident?” Kong Hou saw the roiling spirit energy had stopped and loosened her arms. But Huan Zhong pulled her back in the next moment and held her tightly in his embrace.
“I will be very good to you, better than any other man in the world.” Huan Zhong hugged the person in his arms. His voice was gentle and soft.
“You men just like saying pleasing things.” Kong Hou looked up at Huan Zhong but she could only see his chin. “What happened just now?”
Huan Zhong looked at her wounds with a dim gaze. “Do not move; I will put salve on you.”
His movements were soft and his fingers were trembling as though he was suppressing all kinds of emotions. Kong Hou gripped his wrist, sighed and said, “Huan Zhong, look at me.”
Huan Zhong looked up, his eyes filled with guilt and sadness. This caused Kong Hou to think of the golden hair dogs that Splendid Cloud Sect raised. They looked brave and grand, but when they made mistakes, they looked at people pitifully with their black eyes.
“They are all just surface wounds; it’s fine.” She, the wounded, had to comfort the culprit. But this was her man. What could she do?
“This is my fault.” Huan Zhong’s voice was hoarse and dark like black clouds that hid a surging storm. “This won’t happen in the future.”
“Huan Zhong…” Kong Hou observed Huan Zhong’s expression. She touched him and sent spirit energy into his body to see if something had happened to his spirit platform. She sighed in relief. “You made such a ruckus. Sect Leader Jin must be very worried. Let’s go out soon.”
The hand putting on salve stilled. Huan Zhong looked at the closed cave door. Here, there was only the two of them—the world that belonged to them, calm and undisturbed.
“All right.” Huan Zhong took out a new dress out of his storage ring to hand to Kong Hou. “Your clothing is damaged. Change.”
“Why do you have so many things suitable for girls in your storage ring?” Kong Hou used a spell to change clothing. The measurements were perfect. Huan Zhong must have had this custom-made for her.
“A few days ago when you were living with your other sect disciples, I had nothing to do during the night, so I made a few magic robes for you.” Huan Zhong saw that the dress fit Kong Hou perfectly and he gave a smile. “Do you like it?”
“Very good-looking.” Kong Hou took out a jade comb to put in Huan Zhong’s hand. “Your uncontrolled spirit energy messed up my hair. Now I punish you to help me fix it.”
The almost omnipotent Spirit Master Zhong Xi failed for the first time in his life on a woman’s hair.
Kong Hou’s hair was as smooth as silk. Just when he would manage to catch the hair on her left, some locks would slip away on the right. When he tried to coil the hair, his hands were twisted. He didn’t know which way to turn. After a while, he started to sweat.
Kong Hou did not rush him. She sat lazily on the soft couch, holding a mirror in her hand to see how Huan Zhong was doing.
After an hour, Kong Hou felt that her hair was messier than before.
“It seems that I have to look at the mirror when I do this. You are not able.” Kong Hou couldn’t help but laugh. She took the jade comb from Huan Zhong’s hand and skilfully coiled her hair into a knot.
“I will practice in the future.” Huan Zhong looked at Kong Hou’s side profile with hurt. He seemed very dispirited.
“I believe you.” Kong Hou took off his coronet and helped him gather his scattered hair. She adjusted his white robes. “Let’s go.”
Huan Zhong reached to hold her hand. He did not stand up. “Kong Hou.”
“Hm?” Kong Hou turned to look at him. Seeing him still sitting cross-legged on the ground, she crouched in front of him. “What, is the cave more interesting than the outside?”
“With you present, living in any place will be interesting.” Huan Zhong looked at her with a serious gaze.
Kong Hou blinked and touched his forehead. “Huan Zhong, you suddenly learned the trick of sweet-talking?”
He put her hand to his lips for a soft kiss. “I speak the truth.”
Kong Hou: “…”
What woman could resist a good-looking man saying pleasing things?
Jin Yue exhaled deeply when he saw the chaotic spirit energy suddenly stop. Qiu Shuang appeared calm but she inwardly wiped her sweat away. She was an elder; she had to look calm in front of her juniors.
The cave entrance suddenly opened. Huan Zhong and Kong Hou came out, holding each other’s hands. Jin Yue stared a long time at Huan Zhong with slight puzzlement. Had his apprentice bitten through his lips when he went mad? Why did they look so swollen?
“Spirit Master Qiu Shuang, Master.” Huan Zhong did not immediately release Kong Hou’s hand. He pulled her in front of Jin Yue before he released her hand and bowed. “This junior was useless and caused you to worry.”
“As long as you are fine.” Jin Yue had so many things to say, but when he saw his apprentice standing unharmed in front of him, he wasn’t able to say a thing. He patted Huan Zhong’s shoulder and said to Kong Hou who stood next to him with a sweet smile, “Thank you, Miss Kong Hou. Please rest.”
“Sect Master Jin is too serious. There is no need for thanks.” Kong Hou peeked to look at Huan Zhong’s lips, her smile growing more sweet and embarrassed.
The tips of Huan Zhong’s ears flushed. He remained silent.
Jin Yue felt a sense of urgency from the side. The girl was smiling at him. Why was his apprentice still so silent and standing with his head lowered? How could a man be like this?
He turned to look at Lin Hu. It appeared he had to get Lin Hu to find some books on getting the favor of women for his apprentice to read and memorize.
“Kong Hou, return with me to my room. I will look at your meridians.” Qiu Shuang saw the two juniors trading looks. She knew that Jin Yue had things he wanted to say to Zhong Xi, so she had to be the villain this time.
“Oh.” Kong Hou looked anxiously at Huan Zhong and then followed Qiu Shuang.
Huan Zhong watched her departing back until she disappeared. He turned and saw Master looking at him. He bowed. “Master.”
“The disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect are returning in three days. What are your plans?” Jin Yue knew his apprentice had intentions towards Kong Hou but hadn’t expected his emotions to be so deep. He had raised Zhong Xi for three centuries and never seen his expressions so overt. In his memories, Zhong Xi had been cold and stoic even as a child. He hadn’t ever shown much emotion when elders teased him or gave him rare talismans.
But when Miss Kong Hou had departed just now, the yearning in Zhong Xi’s eyes was so clear and shocking to him. At the same time he rejoiced that Miss Kong Hou also had some emotions towards his apprentice. Otherwise…
Sword cultivators did not fall in love easily. If they did, it was only once in a lifetime.
“Master.” Huan Zhong bowed in salute. “This apprentice wants to leave with Kong Hou.”
“You will not regret it if everyone in the cultivation world laughs at you?”
“I will not.”
“You will not regret it if Splendid Cloud Sect obstructs you?”
“I will not.” Huan Zhong shook his head. “Splendid Cloud Sect is her home. I do not bear to make it difficult for her.”
Jin Yue felt both pained and helpless upon hearing this. Zhong Xi had been raised as a genius from childhood but was willing to endure such slights. He did not care, but he, as the master, did care. “Miss Kong Hou is so good that you will throw away your reputation in the cultivation world, your pride and your dignity?”
“Master, before I encountered her, I have never cared about anything. Reputation and dignity do not exist for me.” His life only had the sword and cultivation—no joy, no sadness, no desire. “Also, Kong Hou definitely would not bear to see me slighted.”
Jealousy, longing, greed. He had been unfamiliar with those emotions until he encountered Kong Hou. He started to be jealous when Kong Hou gave the first ring she crafted to Cheng Yi. He longed to be closer to Kong Hou, and was greedy for all of Kong Hou’s emotions.
This kind of thoughts could not be seen in the light of day, but he found them novel and wasn’t willing to give them up.
“I understand.” Jin Yue put his hand on Huan Zhong’s life meridian. Huan Zhong’s index finger trembled but his hand didn’t move. He allowed Jin Yue to explore.
“Your spirit platform is much more stable. It appears that universal paired cultivation with Miss Kong Hou has been of great help to you.” Jin Yue took his hand away. “I have sent people to Unforeseeable Sea and Wind Listening Valley about the spirit medicine. Do not worry too much.”
“This apprentice has made Master worry.” Huan Zhong looked down.
“As long as you are fine, this master will be fine.” Jin Yue saw Huan Zhong recover his usual stoic attitude and waved his hand. “All right, go find Miss Kong Hou.”
He found looking at this wooden face awkward.
“Apprentice bids farewell.” Huan Zhong walked away obediently. Lin Hu looked over and prepared to follow when Jin Yue called him. He could only stop.
“Lin Hu, Zhong Xi is not willing to be close to others. You are unlike the others…” Jin Yue sighed. “I will trouble you to follow him in the future.”
“Sect Master, do not worry. This one understands.”
Jin Yue forced a smile and did not say anything else.
Three days later, with the farewells of Radiance Sect, Qiu Shuang presented the grand flying palace they had used to come here. The disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect boarded the flying palace and saw Spirit Master Zhong Xi following behind Kong Hou. They thought, Spirit Master Zhong Xi and Kong Hou Shimei were such good friends that he even saw her onto the palace for their farewell.
Seeing Spirit Master Zhong Xi not descend the flying palace even as the sect leader of Radiance Sect bid them farewell and the flying palace took off, the Splendid Cloud Sect members finally realized—Spirit Master Zhong Xi was going back to Splendid Cloud Sect with them?
“Wu Chuan Shixiong, do you think, with Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s attitude, he wants to marry into Splendid Cloud Sect?” Ling Hui sat in a room and drank tea with Wu Chuan and the other disciples. She turned to look out the window to see Kong Hou and Spirit Master Zhong Xi leaning against the rails and admiring the scenery. Kong Hou Shimei always had this habit of wanting to look down on the clouds from a tall height. She said this made her feel like a cultivator.
She did not understand this little fondness of Kong Hou’s. However, she was happy seeing Spirit Master Zhong Xi willing to play such a boring game with Little Shimei. Who would disdain their fellow disciple for having such charisma?
“Hm?” Wu Chuan had a mouthful of tea and didn’t know how to answer.
Even if Spirit Master Zhong Xi wanted to marry in, Wang Tong Shishu might not agree.
In any case, he would definitely not let Wang Tong Shishu find out about the Dragon and Phoenix Cauldron.
Translator Ramblings: Huan Zhong should have been a dressmaker rather than an author.