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Chapter 152: Showing Off Wealth
After the ordeal passed, the pill-making building of Daybreak Cloud Peak was flattened. Qing Yuan held his precious pill cauldron and rejoiced he had had the foresight to put his pill cauldrons and precious herbs into his storage bag.
The place struck by lightning was completely black. As the wind blew and clouds moved, sweet rain came down from the sky.
Kong Hou picked up her skirt and ran towards where Huan Zhong was. She found he was completely black and even his coronet had disappeared. She had never seen him in such a sorry state and laughed as she covered her mouth.
Huan Zhong put away Dragon Roar sword and slowly walked in front of Kong Hou. “You laugh at me, hmm?”
“No.” Kong Hou shook her head, her eyes as bright as stars. “I will not laugh at my man.”
Huan Zhong spread his arms and pulled Kong Hou into his embrace. He would not tell Kong Hou that many things and people had appeared in his consciousness. In the end, it was her face that helped him overcome his mental demon.
He feared separation. He wanted to always keep her company. All the terror and anticipation could not withstand her smile and her soft “Huan Zhong.”
Why did sword cultivators carry their swords?
To protect the world, the sect, themselves and… the people they loved.
When they had someone they wanted to protect, they would become stronger. In the past, he didn’t understand but he did now. Having terror, worry, happiness and sadness was not wrong. People were gifted with these emotions when born. Why did one have to forcibly abandon these emotions?
In the past, he thought being emotionless was being invincible. Now he finally knew that understanding emotions was true strength.
“Ah, ah, ah, this is my favourite dress!”
Kong Hou leaned on Huan Zhong’s chest and pinched his waist. After brushing against Huan Zhong, her clothes were completely unfit to be seen.
“Am I more important or your clothes?” Huan Zhong’s tone was full of hurt.
Kong Hou’s heart trembled. She patted Huan Zhong’s back. “Of course you are more important, you are.”
Huan Zhong smiled in satisfaction. “I just know I am most important in Kong Hou’s heart.”
The elders, with their good hearing, could no longer bear to listen and perceptively walked away. Spirit Master Nameless caressed his snowy white beard and said emotionally, “I had not expected Spirit Master Zhong Xi to be like this in front of his partner…”
“It is good for young people to have such feelings.” Qing Yuan coughed. “Good.”
Spirit Master Nameless smiled and stopped laughing about the feelings of young people.
In a small town neighbouring Harmonious City, Jiu Su sat on a wooden carved chair and looked lazily at his subordinate who was kneeling on the ground. “You say the person we sent was discovered by the common people of Harmonious City when he just entered the city?”
The subordinate’s teeth rattled as he carefully nodded. “Yes, Lord.”
“Ha.” Jiu Su sneered. “Unable to fool even ordinary people. What is the use in you people?”
The entire room was silent. No one dared to make a sound.
One of the sages closest to Jiu Su inhaled deeply. He gathered his courage and said, “Lord, Harmonious City is a very odd place.”
“No matter how odd, they are just lowly people who cannot cultivate.” Jiu Su snorted. “You have all lived for centuries and millennia, but still can’t handle these people?”
Everyone grew silent again and didn’t dare argue back in front of the Lord. They felt Harmonious City cast a mental shadow on their minds.
Jiu Su had no interest in discussing such minor problems with these failed subordinates. “Send people to continue investigating. Have the orthodox sect members arrived at Harmonious City? Have you been able to obtain any useful information from them?”
“From the last time the people we sent to Splendid Cloud Sect were discovered, the major sects all take along illusion detecting talismans when they travel. Our people cannot disguise themselves as orthodox sect disciples to get close. Also, they are extremely cautious. The disciples of minor sects will be in the company of disciples arranged by major sects when they travel. Even if our people do our best to get cose, we cannot get any useful information.”
The orthodox sect cultivators were more and more united now. The evil cultivators were even more inconvenienced in their evil-doing.
“The people of the ten major sects are still so meddlesome.” Jiu Su’s expression was dark. “There is no need to worry. Right now, the cultivation world only has a few people with high cultivation—they are not a match for this seat. When it is the eighth, I will have the cultivation world run with rivers of blood.”
“Lord, my subordinate has found a piece of news. I do not know if it is useful.”
“The rumors say that Nine Phoenix Sect had wishes for their disciple to become life companions with Zhong Xi. Zhong Xi was in love with Splendid Cloud Sect’s Kong Hou and refused Nine Phoenix Sect. Splendid Cloud Sect’s Heng Yan and Radiance Sect’s Jin Yue were the ones to set up Zhong Xi and Kong Hou’s path union ceremony. Kong Hou’s master Wang Tong seems to be discontent with this marriage.”
“Interesting.” Jiu Su raised an eyebrow. “But what is the use in knowing these childish emotions?”
Jiu Su smiled disdainfully. Love was not dispensable. Love that moved the sky and the earth really only moved oneself. He had favored and loved Hong Yan in the past, but in the end, hadn’t she injured him at the cost of her life?
If not for her, he would have conquered the cultivation world a decade ago. Why would he have needed to wait until today?
Harmonious City was filled with people. Cultivators from all over came with gifts to attend the path union ceremony of Spirit Master Zhong Xi and Celestial Kong Hou. The shops of Harmonious City took this opportunity and introduced many new products. Supposedly, the flying swords of the same style as Spirit Master Zhong Xi’s were selling very well and many young cultivators liked to buy one to hang from their belts.
Also, the hairpins and dresses that the female disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect liked and even the dried meat that the sect master of Radiance Sect liked to eat were very welcomed by the cultivators.
The cultivators that guarded the gates of Harmonious City appeared ordinary, but they all had Core Formation or above cultivation. The leaders were the apprentices of each peak. The sects felt slightly safer seeing Splendid Cloud Sect being so serious.
Peak Master Zhi He of Nine Phoenix Sect and the sect eldest disciple Ling Yue were attracted by the busy atmosphere and the red ribbons and flowers everywhere in the city when they entered. There were many shops along the streets. Surprisingly, no hawker came in front of her to introduce their products, and there were no beggar children running towards her.
The sound of people hawking their wares rose and fell. The entire city was in a joyful atmosphere.
“To congratulate Celestial Kong Hou and Spirit Master Zhong Xi for their path union ceremony, this shop will have twenty percent off all products.”
“Never Separating Noodles. You will want another after eating a bowl. The noodles that Celestial Kong Hou and Spirit Master Zhong Xi have eaten. When male cultivators eat these, they will find a beautiful female cultivator. When female cultivators eat these, they will find a handsome and faithful male cultivator.”
Ling Yue couldn’t help but laugh. When she came to Harmonious City a decade ago, she had felt that the people of Harmonious City were different from other people. When she saw them again today, she felt even more that these people were very interesting.
She walked in front of the noodle shop and asked the waiter recruiting guests, “Did Spirit Master Zhong Xi and Spirit Master Kong Hou really come to eat here?”
“Of course, this lowly one will not dare lie about this.” The waiter smiled and beckoned for Zhi He and Ling Yue to sit. “Celestial, Transcendent, is there anything you cannot eat?”
“Nothing.” Ling Yue examined the noodle shop. There were many foreign cultivators inside, and their accents were varied. This noodle shop was very busy.
The noodles made in a place like Harmonious City that was filled with delicious food wouldn’t be a disappointment. Ling Yue and Zhong Xi finished eating. When they walked out, they soon saw a shop selling tangyuan calling out to guests. “Even Spirit Master Zhong Xi said this was delicious.”
Ling Yue, Zhi He: “…”
They felt that they had been deceived.
Along the way, nine out of ten shops called themselves shops that Kong Hou and Zhong Xi said were good. The remaining shops were too busy to call because they had too many guests.
“The people of Harmonious City are really bold to dare to use Celestial Kong Hou and Spirit Master Zhong Xi to get guests.” Zhi He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Splendid Cloud Sect is generous to these people.”
As Zhi He spoke, the two receiving disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect hurried over. There had been so many guests these few days that Radiance Sect and Splendid Cloud Sect’s disciples were running up and down the mountain.
Seeing the disciples of Splendid Cloud Sect run to the gates to welcome them, Peak Master Zhi He said with a smile, “Thank you, Path Friend, for welcoming us.”
“This junior is Gui Ling, a disciple of Splendid Cloud Sect. Peak Master and Celestial have come a long way—please.” The Splendid Cloud Sect disciple summoned cranes to invite the pair up the mountain.
Ling Yue saw this disciple had an outstanding appearance and had Base Building Stage cultivation with a bone age of just twenty or so. “Path Friend, which branch are you from?”
“This junior is the eldest disciple of Spirit Master Cheng Yi of Moon Perching Peak. This one had the fortune to meet Peak Master and Celestial ten years ago at the conference.” Gui Ling was dressed in blue robes and had a jade coronet in his hair. He was elegant and respectful.
Ten years ago, he was just a youth in his teens. Even if he attended the conference, he would not have been eye-catching. He was not surprised Ling Yue did not recognize him.
Ling Yue was shocked inside. So this was Gui Ling. The news Splendid Cloud Sect had accepted a disciple who reached Base Building in less than ten years had spread to the major sects a long time ago. This cultivation speed could not compare to Kong Hou, Zhong Xi, Ling Yue and the others, but in the entire cultivation world, it was already terrifying.
People could only admire such luck.
The oldest generation of Splendid Cloud Sect had Qiu Shuang and the other three elders. The older generation had Wang Tong and Qing Yuan as the pillars. In her generation, there was Kong Hou, Wu Chuan, Cheng Yi, Tan Feng, Ling Hui and other disciples. Now, in the younger generation, there were Gui Ling and other disciples who were starting to appear. They did not need to worry about the strength of their sect for the next millennium.
“Just now, there were many shops down the mountain who called themselves ones that Celestial Kong Hou and Spirit Master Zhong Xi had tasted…” Ling Yue reminded tactfully.
Gui Ling’s expression was slightly odd. He bowed to Ling Yue and said, “Celestial, thank you for telling me. However, those shops are not lying. Kong Hou Shishu and Zhong Xi Shishu… have gone and tasted those food shops.”
He was too embarrassed to say that Kong Hou Shishu had eaten from one end of the city to the other end with Spirit Master Zhong Xi, and didn’t miss a food stall.
He really didn’t know what kind of feelings Spirit Master Zhong Xi had when he accompanied Kong Hou Shishu to finish all this. During his youth, he had some positive feelings towards Kong Hou Shishu. However, those feelings dissipated when he saw how Spirit Master Zhong Xi treated Kong Hou Shishu.
He could not imagine being like Spirit Master Zhong Xi, and playing cute so naturally.
The great Spirit Master Zhong Xi was like that in front of Kong Hou Shishu—who would believe it?
Based on tradition, Kong Hou and Huan Zhong could not meet in the week before the path union ceremony. Huan Zhong couldn’t even stay in Splendid Cloud Sect.
Without Huan Zhong to keep her company, Kong Hou was bored. She ran over to teach the disciple spells and managed to become one of the most welcomed older disciples by the new disciples.
The night before the path union ceremony, Kong Hou thought that she would meditate for the entire night and not be able to go to sleep. But when she touched the bed, she fell asleep and also had a strange dream.
This dream was slightly strange. She did not see herself, did not see Master, only that her two shixiong and Qing Yuan Shishu were at odds. Then Gui Ling joined the sect and Qing Yuan Shishu took him on as a student. Many conflicts arose in the sect.
Where was Huan Zhong?
Just as Kong Hou had this thought, the scenery around her changed to become the beautiful Radiance Sect.
Huan Zhong stood silently on a giant rock, his expression void of joy and sadness. However, his face was extremely pale and he threw up blood whenever he coughed.
“Huan Zhong!” Kong Hou found that she was a wisp of wind, a transparent ball of energy. No one could see her. She was a powerless observer. She watched as Huan Zhong’s health deteriorated. She watched as the evil cultivators ambushed the cultivation world, and countless people from the ten major sects died. Huan Zhong, with his ill body, fought Jiu Su. His black hair turned white and his spirit platform split apart.
The cultivation world turned into an ocean of blood. Jiu Su was defeated in the end, but all disciples of Moon Star Sect were wiped out, and less than one in ten of Quiet Peace Temple survived. More than half of the major sword cultivator sects died. The three elders of Splendid Cloud Sect passed away. The conflict between the five peaks could not be mediated, and in the end, they separated.
Kong Hou woke up from her dream and climbed out of the bed. She was in a daze as she looked outside the window. A moment later, she opened the window. Very early in the morning of the eighth, she could not see the moon, and only saw stars.
“This is a happy day. Can’t I have a happy dream?” Kong Hou bowed to the sky. “The dreams are the reverse, the dreams are the reverse. Heavenly Path, you have to protect the cultivation world. Thank you.”
After bowing, she put the pastries and fruits on the windowsill. “This is your tribute. We have agreement now.”
The stars in the sky flashed and some meteors flew across the sky.
After looking for a while, Kong Hou seemed to finally wake up from the tragedy in her dream. She put on her wedding dress and crown before starting to make up her face.
The cultivation world did not care about wedding attendants, and would not have the female cultivator wear a veil. Supposedly, a thousand years ago, a male cultivator from the mortal world wanted the female cultivator he was marrying to wear a veil. The female cultivator then beat him up.
After the beating, the female cultivator said, what bad habit was this? Other men could not look at a woman’s face at the wedding banquet but a man’s face could be seen by other women?
Their path union ceremony was cancelled because of this. The male cultivator’s tragic and true experience helped speed up the equality between genders in the cultivation world. At least, not many male cultivators dared to have female cultivators do things that they themselves were not willing to do.
The sky grew bright. Kong Hou heard music arise from the sect. The female disciples surrounded her and complimented her from head to toe.
“Ling Hui Shijie.” Kong Hou grabbed Ling Hui’s hand. In her dream, Ling Hui had been killed by an evil cultivator disguised as Tan Feng Shixiong. Her new dress had been stained red with blood.
“Do not be nervous.” Ling Hui patted her hand. “You are just going through the motions. You are so familiar with Zhong Xi. What is there to be nervous about?”
“The groom is here!”
The people of Harmonious City looked up at the flying horse procession sprinting through the sky and clapped in excitement as red pockets and fresh flowers came down from the sky.
After the flying horses were two rows of grand flying ships carrying musicians.
Behind them were dancing female cultivators, and grand flying palaces. The rain of red envelopes never stopped.
When the low-key Radiance Sect started to show off its wealth, no other sect could compare.
Translator Ramblings: Kong Hou and Huan Zhong’s public image needs the help of several sects cough public image firms cough to remain intact.