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Chapter 140: Lacking Cleverness
The night wind was cool. It was early summer and the insects occasionally made sounds. Kong Hou saw Lin Hu following from a distance and pulled Huan Zhong into the woods.
“Shh.” Kong Hou put her finger to her lips. “Do not make a sound.”
Huan Zhong’s eyelids trembled. His ears and cheeks were hot and red. He nodded softly. When he detected Kong Hou pulling at his clothes, his voice trembled. “He-here?”
“Where if not here?” Kong Hou was matter of fact. “Where else except here? Before Elder Lin comes. Let’s be quick.”
Huan Zhong: “…”
He could not be so quick.
On the path, Lin Hu paused. He looked at his feet and felt conflicted. He, who had the bloodline of a yao, was fleet of foot and also of good hearing. He could hear Miss Kong Hou and Master’s conversation clearly. He sighed. He had not thought that Master would be a person like this. This was the wilderness. He was not very discerning.
After a while, he saw Master walk out of the trees wearing white robes. His expression grew uglier.
This wasn’t even fifteen minutes and Master already…
“Those clothes were too eye-catching. My shijie all like to look at beauties; I cannot let them see.” Kong Hou went on tiptoes and helped Huan Zhong adjust his jade coronet. Then she sighed. “But you are so good-looking that people will look at you no matter what you wear.”
The flush on Huan Zhong’s face still hadn’t faded. He smiled upon hearing Kong Hou’s words. “Then should I wear a mask?”
“Wear what mask? Am I such a selfish person?” Kong Hou held Huan Zhong’s hand and then leapt onto his back. “Let’s go, we are going back.”
Huan Zhong carefully supported her. He turned and looked at the end of the path to indicate for Lin Hu, hidden away, not to follow. Then he carefully walked forward with Kong Hou on his back.
Lin Hu: “…”
Why had he promised Sect Master he would keep Master company on his travels? He was not needed at all.
Seeing Grand Shishu Qiu Shuang and the others in the distance, Kong Hou jumped off Huan Zhong’s back. She neatened her clothes, and then walked over to them as though nothing had happened. The people of Splendid Cloud Sect all had smiles on their faces as though they had encountered something good. Seeing Kong Hou and Huan Zhong return so late, they did not ask questions. Ling Hui asked jokingly, “Why did you return so early?”
There were so many fun things in the city. These two were in love. Why didn’t they take the chance to have some more fun?
“We will come again in the future.” Kong Hou looked at the group. Almost everyone had returned.
No, there was one person missing.
“Where’s Gui Ling?” Kong Hou looked at Li Rou who was eating snacks with other people in the corner.” Rou Rou, did you see Gui Ling?”
“Shishu, I went with the other shishu to shop and didn’t go with Gui Ling.” Li Rou was slightly puzzled. “Gui Ling doesn’t like to go out. Even if he does, he will return quickly.”
Kong Hou frowned. Gui Ling was Eldest Shixiong‘s student. If something happened, what would she tell Eldest Shixiong? Also, Gui Ling had a good personality even though he did not like to talk. He was also diligent and hard-working. He might be the most diligent student of Moon Perching Peak. The future of Moon Perching Peak might rely on him.
“Grand Shishu, I will take a few people to search.” Kong Hou frowned even deeper. “I worry something has happened.”
Qiu Shuang nodded. “Wu Chuan, Kong Hou, take some of the higher cultivation disciples and go search in groups. Send a message immediately if you find him.”
Huan Zhong saw this and wanted to go with Kong Hou. Qiu Shuang called him, “Spirit Master Zhong Xi, this is a minor matter of the sect; we cannot trouble Spirit Master.”
“No matter. This city is filled with orthodox sects everywhere. The evil cultivator will not dare to commit evil here. Shizhi must be having fun and forgot the time. This is not anything serious.” Kong Hou knew that Grand Shishu was thinking for Huan Zhong and Radiance Sect’s reputation.
In the discussion conference, Huan Zhong had appeared in front of numerous cultivators. All the cultivators who attended the conference were sure to recognize him. A disciple of Splendid Cloud Sect got lost, but Spirit Master Zhong Xi of Radiance Sect personally performed the search. If something like this spread, people could not avoid feeling that Radiance Sect was bowing and scraping to gain favor with Splendid Cloud Sect. Sometimes, when there were too many rumors, while everything was fine between the sect elders, the juniors might have hostility that would affect their relationship.
Qiu Shuang did not like to manage minor matters but was clear-minded on matters relating to the long term interests of the sect.
Huan Zhong also realized this. He glanced at Kong Hou, nodded and said, “All right.”
Qiu Shuang had a smile. “I recently obtained a new kind of tea. If Spirit Master Zhong Xi doesn’t object, then drink with me.”
“Thank you, Elder Qiu Shuang, for your care.” Huan Zhong watched as Kong Hou jumped onto the flying sword and disappeared into the night with a few leaps. He followed Elder Qiu Shuang into the flying palace.
“This kind of tea is light but the aftertaste lingers.” Qiu Shuang pushed the teacup in front of Huan Zhong. “Spirit Master Zhong Xi, please taste.”
Huan Zhong held the cup with both hands and tasted it. Just as Elder Qiu Shuang said, the aftertaste lingered. He put down the teacup and said respectfully, “Spirit Master, just call this junior Huan Zhong.”
Qiu Shuang smiled. “If so, then I will be arrogant and call you so. Huan Zhong, the emotions of a cultivator should be like this tea. Appropriate restraint will make it last longer. Cultivators live too long, long enough that fierce emotions will fade. Spirit Master Kui Ying and his partner separated in the past because their emotions faded. Then he failed his ascension and disappeared because the death of his path companion left a mark on his heart and he could not stand on the earth and become an immortal.”
Spirit Master Kui Ying was the only living nomad immortal in the last thousand years, and also a warning to countless cultivators that wanted to become path companions. Based on an incomplete survey, after the failure of Spirit Master Kui Ying to ascend, the number of cultivators who held path unions decreased greatly. In the last few centuries, the number of cultivators who became path companions was almost as low as that of pentad spirit base cultivators.
“Thank you, Spirit Master, for your warning, but this junior is not like Spirit Master Kui Ying.” Huan Zhong faced Spirit Master Qiu Shuang’s gaze without any avoidance.
Qiu Shuang stilled slightly. What kind of eyes were these? The surging emotions hidden under his calm told her he was not lying to her. This gaze almost made Qiu Shuang believe Huan Zhong was unlike other cultivators. However, cultivation was a long process. While the emotions were true now, it was possible to not have any emotions in the future. Many people when swearing their oaths did not believe they would betray their oaths one day.
But there were always people who were different in the world. She would not feel that everyone would be misfortunate just because some other person was misfortunate. Qiu Shuang smiled and poured a cup of tea for herself. “That is good.”
In a small courtyard in the city, Gui Ling looked at the boundaries around him. In this boundary, his presence was concealed and ordinary tracking talismans could not find him.
He looked warily at the middle-aged man in front of him and gripped his sword tightly. Kong Hou Shishu had given him this sword. While he only had Energy Refinement Stage cultivation, the sword would have the power of Base Building Stage.
He also had all kinds of offensive and defensive seals in his bag that his grandmaster, master and Second Shishu had given him. With those things, he could last a while.
“It seems you’ve lived well after joining Splendid Cloud Sect. You manage to use first class magic robes and talismans.” The middle-aged man’s expression was slightly cold. “If Splendid Cloud Sect knew that you are a spy sent by Primary Luck Sect, do you feel that Splendid Cloud Sect would still accept you?”
“What do you want—did… Spirit Master Shuang Qing send you here?” Gui Ling recognized this person was Spirit Master Shuang Qing’s subordinate and greatly trusted by him.
The subordinate did not respond to his questions and laughed. “I wonder, if you died here and then Splendid Cloud Sect found you are Primary Luck Sect’s spy, would the cultivation world grow lively?”
Gui Ling sweated and said harshly, “Spirit Master Shuang Qing did not send you!” Spirit Master Shuang Qing might be ungenerous and do some little things in an attempt to step on Splendid Cloud Sect but he would not casually kill.
Back then, Shuang Qing had tempted him with the position of sect eldest disciple of Primary Luck Sect to come to Splendid Cloud Sect as a spy rather than threaten him with death. A person like that had bad thoughts but was not a vicious person. So Shuang Qing would not do anything like suddenly kidnapping him into this courtyard.
“It seems you do have some smarts. No wonder Shuang Qing wants to have you be the sect eldest disciple.” The subordinate took out a pair of heavenly silk gloves and put them on. He stretched his fingers. “Pity you have more value dead than alive.”
Seeing the subordinate attack, Gui Ling hurriedly threw his sword out to block. But the unremarkable-looking subordinate easily crushed his sword and shattered all the protective seals he wore.
This person, this person’s cultivation was above Mind Manifestation? Gui Ling felt cold all over. He took out all his attack seals and temporarily blocked the subordinate’s attacking spirit energy.
When he gripped the last seal and looked at the relaxed subordinate, he felt a wave of despair. In this moment, he thought of many things. Those brainless Splendid Cloud Sect disciples who just wanted to play, the beautiful scenery of Moon Perching Peak, the gentle gazes of Master and Second Shishu, and… Kong Hou Shishu when she flew out of the clouds on her flying sword.
Before coming to Splendid Cloud Sect, Shuang Qing had told him that the pentad spirit base disciple that Splendid Cloud Sect had accepted liked good-looking men. He had a good-looking face. It would be better if he could cause this female disciple to fall in love.
He had given up his plan of being the sect eldest disciple of Primary Luck Sect. He only wanted to stay on Moon Perching Peak, practice the sword, and have his stupid fellow disciples grow some smarts and become disciples that Splendid Cloud Sect would be proud of.
But he came into Splendid Cloud Sect with unclean thoughts. His outcome now might be karma.
He threw the last seal and closed his eyes. Pity he could no longer go to Splendid Cloud Sect’s food hall to taste the new dishes. He hadn’t had the time to tell more things to the other disciples, and…
He touched his waist. And… this phoenix hairpin hadn’t yet been gifted.
The predicted pain did not come. Gui Ling opened his eyes and saw Kong Hou Shishu shielding him.
“Little Shishu …” Gui Ling panicked slightly. “Shishu, this person has concealed his cultivation and is extremely dangerous.” The juniors of Splendid Cloud Sect did not know that Kong Hou’s cultivation had reached Mind Manifestation Stage. They only knew that Kong Hou had suddenly had an epiphany and needed to go into seclusion for a few days.
“When adults are fighting, juniors should not interrupt.” Kong Hou looked back to Gui Ling who was crouching on the ground. She raised her chin up at the grey-robed man and sneered. “Path Friend, as a Mind Manifestation power, isn’t bullying a junior of my Splendid Cloud Sect like bullying the weak?”
“The pentad spirit base Celestial Kong Hou of Splendid Cloud Sect.” The grey-robed man laughed mockingly. “I had not expected Celestial to go through my boundary. People like us are very jealous of the many talismans famed sect disciples have.” At his words, he threw out another talisman and thickened the boundary around the courtyard.
The courtyard completely quieted, as though it was separated from the outside world and became its own space.
“We large sect members have nothing else but great wealth. If you cannot accept it, then bear it.” Kong Hou held Phoenix Head, her fingers on the strings. “There are many people who do not like our wealth. Old person, you have to line up.”
Gui Ling felt a wave of shock. At such a time, Kong Hou Shishu was purposefully angering the other. Was it because she felt she could not win and wanted a quick death?
In this moment, Gui Ling finally understood stupidity was not a defect exclusive to his fellow disciples, but a problem that all of Splendid Cloud Sect was afflicted with.
Translator Ramblings: Poor Gui Ling … he still hasn’t been converted to Splendid Cloud’s way of thinking.