Chapter 57 - Begin Preparations!
Edited by RED
Xu Qi slowly used the bloodied clothing to cover her up, then walked over to Qian Yin, deeply embarrassed. He picked up the clothing she had dropped on the ground and said, “She was impaled through the heart with a sword. I had to get rid of as much of the clothing on her upper body as possible in order to close the wounds in her chest, stopping the bleeding and saving her life. There was no other way.”
Seeing as Qian Yin slowly let her hands down, Xu Qi smiled and continued, “And I was just done healing her, about to put her clothes back on when you came in. Your screech is so loud; it scared this young master.”
Qian Yin felt a tinge of sweetness in her heart when Xu Qi actually explained in detail what had happened. Her face gradually returned to normal and took back the clothes in Xu Qi’s hands, saying gently, “Look at you, Young Master. You must have exhausted too much energy while healing this sister. Go rest; I’ll take care of her.”
“Alright. I’m indeed tired from everything that’s happened tonight. She won’t be waking up anytime soon, either. You take a rest too. Oh, inform me at once if she wakes up. Also, please change her into a clean set of clothes,” Xu Qi’s voice turned softer as he spoke.
Qian Yin covered her mouth, giggling when she saw the embarrassed look on Xu Qi’s face. She nodded at him before walking to the bedside.
Seeing as there being no other business for him to be here, Xu Qi hurriedly exited the room. He stretched himself, and thought back to what had happened tonight in the forest.
He smiled to himself helplessly, then muttered to himself, “Misty Tower from Waterdusk, and Shadow Wind Sect from Ghosteem. Such incredible forces actually fought each other in the shadows after coming all the way here. The minor forces and schools from Mirrorlink won’t be idling either. Though, you guys can go at each other all you want. The treasure on Mt Burning Cloud is destined to be this young master’s; they can give up on it.”
Xu Qi’s eyes lit up when he finished his sentence. He remembered something very important and made his way to the rear mountain cavern.
His following arrangements would influence the overall picture of the cultivation world.
In the rear mountain cavern, other than Qian Yin who was absent taking care of the injured lady, the remaining twenty-four orphans were all gathered here.
Xu Qi looked at the twenty-four of them standing before him. After training for a period of time, each of their auras were very stable and robust. Their most valuable trait wasn’t the speed of their growth, but their age. The eldest among them was only nine.
“My brothers and sisters, my purpose for gathering you here today was to discuss a very important matter with you. That’s right; it’s not an order, but a discussion. The matter today would be decided by yourselves. I won’t force it upon you if there’s no one willing to,” Xu Qi said seriously.
“Young Master, please instruct us as you wish, we will definitely obey your commands!” Lin Hu, who stood in the frontmost, declared.
Xu Qi immediately waved his hand and said, “Lin Hu, I’ll reiterate myself. The matter today is a discussion with you, not an order. There’s no such thing as ‘obeying’. Don’t speak anymore.”
Seeing as his young master had put it as such, Lin Hu didn’t dare to speak anymore and nodded.
Xu Qi gave a slight smile, then continued, “As for what the matter is, I shall not beat around the bush. I would like to pick a few of you to leave me, and to leave this place!”
“Ah!... For us to leave Young Master, and this place… Does Young Master not want us anymore?”
“Yeah, is it because we’re not good enough, that Young Master is angry?”
Xu Qi’s words were like a bomb to them, exploding among the twenty-four orphans. Hearing their reactions made Xu Qi smile. He waved his hand, gesturing for them to be silent.
“I’m not driving anyone away, but I need to assign a mission to several of you. However, this mission is incredibly tough. I need a few people to infiltrate into several top cultivation schools’ core, to become one of their focused students to nurture. Then, they’ll slowly build up their influence among the cultivation schools, gathering information we need from them. It’s best if they were to obtain authority, to facilitate our siblings’ missions in the future, preventing any unwanted accidents from happening,” Xu Qi explained deliberately.
Seeing the crowd fall into deep thoughts, Xu Qi continued, “This is a long-term project I suddenly thought of. I don’t want you to be affected by your emotions, or to do anything for my sake. This is because if you were to be brought away by those top cultivation schools, I don’t have any idea when the next time we’ll see each other will be. In fact, I feel that my plan is a little cruel. But for the sake of our futures, for our siblings to live in peaceful times, and to not be pressured by the great schools, I do think that perhaps my plan is for the best. Of course, we can just drop this subject if no one is willing to volunteer themselves.”
“Young Master, are we still allowed to return in the future if we choose to go?” a timid voice belonging to a boy suddenly asked.
“Oh, Laoyao1, of course. The only issue is if they are unable to disengage themselves from the schools. As long as this young master has sufficient strength to go against those top schools, I will definitely bring you all back!” Xu Qi declared; he got agitated as he spoke.
The one addressed as Laoyao by Xu Qi was the youngest boy among these twenty-five orphans. He had no recollection of his name in his memory. Thus, his young master came up with this nickname for him, which he had a liking to. Gradually, this nickname spread and he was addressed as such by everyone.
Hearing such, Laoyao nodded. Then, he unexpectedly raised his hand and volunteered, “Young Master, I’m willing to volunteer myself for the sake of everyone. Count me in.”
Seeing as their youngest brother had came to such a resolution, every one of them called out his name uncontrollably.
Laoyao scratched his head in embarrassment as he saw the gazes of every brother and sister looking at him.
“Laoyao, from today on, you’ll be named as Xu Feng and entered in our Xu Clan’s family register. You’ll be in the same generation as me, as my brother!” Xu Qi threw another information bomb, stunning everyone.
Hearing this, Laoyao was excited to the point that he was at a loss of what to do. He was originally one without a name, nor any kith or kin. He had experienced some paradise-like days since being adopted by his Young Master, and was granted the opportunity to become someone he dared not to even dream - a cultivator! His choice to volunteer himself was just to repay his young master’s great kindness and to contribute to the cause of protecting his siblings in the future.
Unexpectedly, his young master had granted him the surname Xu, and declared that he would record it in the family tree. This was akin to becoming his true brother! There was no way he wouldn’t be agitated. Laoyao fell to his knees with a plop and lowered his head. His excited tears dripped to the ground.
“Young Master, I’m willing too.”
“Young Master, I’m willing too.”
Plop plop, the remaining twenty-three all fell to their knees instantly. Their expressions were as if they were injected with stimulants.
Xu Qi smiled as he watched the crowd, then said, “Get up, everyone. I can’t afford having some people going on this mission, as I have an even more important mission for you people. Also, I only plan to have seven for this mission. Laoyao is one of them; I’ll only require six more volunteers.”
After which, Xu Qi slowly picked out another six volunteers for the mission. Among them, there are five boys and one girl.
Xu Qi smiled as he watched the remaining seventeen acting dejected. He continued, “Don’t be sad. Your missions will be even tougher than the seven of them.”
Upon hearing this, the dejected crowd restored their spirit and looked to Xu Qi excitedly.
“Laoyao’s has been named. For the remaining six of you, you’re named Xu Yu, you as Xu Lei, you as Xu Dian, you as Xu Wu, you as Xu Wang, and you as Xu Ben! I trust that you should understand the meanings in the names I’ve given you,” Xu Qi sighed. He too, felt somewhat sorrowful as he spoke.
“Never forget your roots, no matter the situation!2” Qian Yun, who had been obedient today, muttered softly, causing the nearby orphans to come to a sudden realization.
Xu Qi nodded in satisfaction hearing Qian Yun’s words. He continued, “The reason for naming you with these seven characters, was that I hope you will perform your tasks with swiftness, as your names suggest, but never forget your mission, the cause you set out for. This mission will prove to be incredibly difficult, but I believe the seven of you can pull your weight and prove yourselves. You’ll have to face a lot more issues by yourselves in the future. I, Xu Qi, will express my thanks here in advance.”
Xu Qi paused for a moment, then continued, “The seven of you, move aside for now. I’ll show you another hidden force our Xu Clan will be building! Remember their names by heart.”
The seven hurriedly stood to the side, then watched the group of siblings they spent every day and night with. There was only a single thought in every one of them - reluctance to part with them.
“Lin Hu, step forward!” Xu Qi suddenly yelled.
Lin Hu blanked for a moment as he heard his name being called. He then kneeled respectfully, waiting for Xu Qi’s next orders.
“Lin Hu, I’ll be forming the Twelve Constellation Guardsmen of Xu Clan today, and you are their leader. From today on, you will be named as Xu Zi; do you accept?” Xu Qi asked plainly.
“Young Master, I’m willing!” Lin Hu answered respectfully without a second thought.
“Alright. You, you, you… the eleven of you will form the Twelve Constellation Guardsmen alongside Lin Hu. Your names will be, Zi (as rat), Niu, Hu, Mao (as rabbit), Long, She, Ma, Wei (as goat), Shen (as monkey), You (as rooster), Xu (as dog), and Hai (as pig), all surnamed Xu! Do the twelve of you understand?!3” Xu Qi named all twelve of them in one go, and explained the few exceptions to their constellation.
“Yes, Young Master!” the twelve orphans answered in unison.
“In a few years’ time, I wish to see the Twelve Constellation Guardsmen’s name be renowned far and wide; I hope the twelve of you won’t disappoint me!” Xu Qi said seriously.
The twelve hurriedly answered ‘Yes’ once more. Thus, the world famous Twelve Constellation Guardsmen in the future were officially formed today. Xu Qi would never have imagined the extent of the strength these twelve would develop in the future!
1: Laoyao/老幺 if taken in a literal sense, Lao/老 means old, and is contradictory to what they’re calling him. However, it can also be used as a prefix to addressing someone’s surname or a number indicating their seniority. Or, they could be used as a term of endearment to indicate familiarity or affection to those you know.
Yao/幺 just means the most junior/youngest, but wouldn’t be used singularly to address someone.
2: The seven undercover orphans named Feng/风(Wind), Yu/雨(Rain), Lei/雷(Thunder), Dian/电(Electric), Wu/勿(Don’t), Wang/忘(Forget), Ben/本(Roots).
3: Xu Qi uses the Chinese Zodiac system here in their proper order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. In the case of Rat, Rabbit, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, they were replaced with the word fitting to their ordinal number/position. Because you know, calling someone Xu Rat or Pig isn’t all that pleasant/mighty sounding. In Chinese naming sense, the children are usually named with words the parents hope the child to be or achieve.
Lastly, the word used to replace Dog is Xu/戌. This is different from the surname Xu/许, and their pronunciations are different. As you might already know, there are four different intonations Chinese use to pronounce words. 许 is pronounced Xu3 and 戌 is pronounced Xu1.