Song Shuhang breezed through the exam in the morning, as usual.
Since he had free time, he opened the Nine Provinces Number One Group chat to take a look.
Within the chat records, there was a selfie sent by Fairy Lychee that was so beautiful that no words could describe it. She seemed to have moved to a new immortal cave today, hence she took many selfies in a row, and every single one of them was pleasing to both the eyes and the heart.
Below were the praises given by seniors within the group that were online.
But without the leaders of the lurker army, Northern River’s Loose Cultivator and Thrice Reckless Mad Saber, the Nine Provinces Number One Group had been a lot quieter on the whole.
Once Song Shuhang went online, True Monarch Yellow Mountain noticed him immediately.
True Monarch Yellow Mountain quickly asked, "Little Friend Shuhang, has Venerable White been doing well these days?"
"Yeah, he’s been doing well, everything’s going well," replied Song Shuhang. At the same time, his mind started filling with images of yesterday’s arduous desert experience and said, "However, ever since he got promoted to a Seventh Stage Spiritual Venerable, he had also gained an ‘illusory reality’ skill—that skill is certainly powerful, extremely amazing!"
True Monarch Yellow Mountain sent a 😰 emoji.
Recently, he felt exceptionally upset whenever he talked to Song Shuhang. It seemed to him that Song Shuhang was always in hot water, and his everyday life revolved around life and death situations.
At this time, Senior Medicine Master, who was thousands of miles away, calmly closed his phone.
When he noticed that Song Shuhang went online, he wanted to send a message to ask if everything was alright and notify him that within these few days, he would make a trip back to his place. But his typing speed was too slow…
Just when he had finished typing half of it, Song Shuhang said that Senior White had grasped the ‘illusory reality’ skill. Hence, Medicine Master backspaced all the words he had painstakingly typed.
Then, he continued to lurk silently, pretending he did not see Song Shuhang appearing online.
After he closed his phone, he called out, "Purple Mist, are you there?"
"I’m always here," Riverly Purple Mist’s faint voice came from downstairs,
At this moment she was in a daze, looking at the computer screen—what the screen showed was the scene of Medicine Master carefully closing his phone. Yeah, Riverly Purple Mist had installed a hidden camera in the house, one of those advanced ones; she even added all kinds of magic onto it. Medicine Master had yet to find out about it.
With a disciple like her, Medicine Master must be having a hard time, in more than one sense.
"In a while, I have a guest coming over—one of my longtime friends. Go buy something to eat and after that, retrieve a jug of our best ‘celestial wine’.
"Celestial wine?" Riverly Purple Mist nodded her head slightly. It was a very valuable medicinal wine, even Medicine Master normally couldn’t bring himself to drink too much of it. This time. he was even willing to bring it out to entertain a friend. Judging from the looks of it, this person must have quite an important place in Medicine Master’s heart.
"Is your friend a man or a woman?" Asked Riverly Purple Mist—this was the key question!
"A man!" Medicine Master calmly replied—he had already gotten used to being asked that, so his reply was fast and steady.
"Alright, I will get it done right away," Riverly Purple Mist replied as she switched her computer off.
Not long later, Medicine Master’s friend arrived.
He was a Daoist with a demeanor of a transcendent being, having white hair with a ruddy complexion, and wearing Daoist clothing. His was a Daoist whose name was registered in the Chinese records. Hence, on a daily basis, he could wear Daoist clothing out in the open.
Upon entering, he laughed loudly and said, "Medicine Master, I’ve arrived."
Medicine Master went up to him and gave him a warm hug.
After they both got seated, Riverly Purple Mist was on her best behavior as she served them wine. In front of outsiders, she had always shown Medicine Master due respect, and performed her ‘well-behaved and obedient’ disciple act well.
"Celestial wine. Wu Yinzi, its your favorite one," Medicine Master raised his glass and clinked glasses with Daoist Priest Wu Yinzi.
"Hehe, I can only taste the celestial wine at nowhere else but your place," Wu Yinzi had a melancholic look on his face.
After three rounds, Wu Yinzi was slightly tipsy and said, "Medicine Master, you managed to retain your youthful looks, but I, on the other hand, have really aged."
Medicine Master’s hand stiffened a little, and he lightly let out a sigh.
Wu Yinzi and Medicine Master were of the same generation, but when it came to talent, he was a notch higher than Medicine Master. It was just that, in his early years, Wu Yinzi suffered a life-threatening injury that critically damaged his foundation and decreased his lifespan.
He was stuck in the Fourth Stage Realm, without any progress in the past couple hundred of years. If Wu Yinzi couldn’t think of a way to promote his cultivation, his lifespan may end.
"You don’t have to feel sad for me. It’s been so many years, I’ve already come to terms with it," Wu Yinzi laughed and nodded slightly at Riverly Purple Mist who was serving him wine. He then changed the topic and said, "Your disciple Purple Mist is really lovely."
Riverly Purple Mist smiled, feeling pleased with herself.
Medicine Master laughed as well.
"I just recently accepted a disciple who keeps giving me a lot of problems and a headache, I want to beat him so badly!" When talking about his own disciple, his face looked constipated.
"Wu Yinzi, since when did you accept a disciple?" Medicine Master was puzzled.
"It was more than ten years ago—I bumped into a suitable candidate who could inherit my legacy," recalled Wu Yinzi." You know my condition, I’ve been looking for a suitable candidate who could inherit my legacy for a long time, but I couldn’t find any suitable disciples. Since I do not have much time left, and managed to meet one with much difficulty, so regardless of the consequences, I just accepted him."
Regardless of the consequences? Medicine Master got even more puzzled and asked, "What’s wrong with this disciple?"
"Well… he’s a westerner. But after becoming my disciple, he settled down in China," Wu Yinzi sighed.
"Yeah, it is somewhat unusual, after all, we have never accepted any westerners as disciples. However, your situation is special, I’m sure everyone can understand," Medicine Master nodded.
Just that, even though he’s a westerner, he shouldn’t have caused so much headache and trouble for Wu Yinzi, right?
"I accepted that fool as my disciple first, and was about to pass down my cultivation techniques to him to build a foundation at least. Do you know what he said?" Wu Yinzi finished the cup of wine and said, "That fool said: ‘Isn’t China’s martial art Shaolin?’ He said he wanted to learn Shaolin martial arts! Golden Shield, Iron Cloth! And the Seventy-Two Arts of Shaolin!"
Medicine Master’s face twitched.
"I was so mad that I beat him up badly—I am a Daoist Priest!" Said Wu Yinzi, clenching his teeth.
"But did you know? After I beat that fool up, he actually went to the barber’s the same night and shaved his entire head bald, then happily came up to me—think about it, a western monk within my Daoist sect. If not for my good reputation, this fool would have already been kicked out by the other members of the sect a long time ago!
For the sake of passing on my legacy, I tolerated his antics. After I made him practice, he managed to build a decent foundation with much difficulty. Thereafter, I formally arranged an apprenticeship ceremony to accept him as the disciple whom I will pass on my skills to. But do you know what condition that fool brought up? He told me to burn scars on his head, saying: ‘don’t all monks have to officially receive circular burn marks?’
Circular scars, have you seen any Daoist members with circular burn marks?!
Eventually, this fool pestered me for a whole year! I couldn’t take it any longer and just burned four marks on him."
At this moment, Wu Yinzi’s made a facial expression as if he didn’t want to live anymore, and said, "However, this fool said that, ‘According to TV, don’t monks have six circular burn marks?’ And insisted that I add two more.
I was so angry, I beat him up on the spot.
Thereafter… the next day, that fool went and added two more himself! I beat him up once again!
Forget about that… after much difficulty, he managed to reach the realm of three apertures. But I really couldn’t tolerate this torture any longer, so I arranged for a ceremony to end his apprenticeship and let him leave. Originally, our sect requires a disciple to reach the Third Stage before they can leave, but the sect head was so tired of his presence and wanted him out of sight and mind that he arranged for that ceremony with me. On that day, I gave him a magical Daoist robe to keep him safe, coupled with a magic sword.
But that fool… on that very day, he went to add the outer layer of the kasaya to the Daoist robe! And, he secretly looked for the sect members to exchange the flying sword for a crappy ‘vajra’. I almost went insane out of anger! And so, I beat him up once again. [ED/N: Vajra is a weapon]
A few years later, I went to meet him. That fool had learnt Buddhist scriptures, and even got a ❮Ksitigarbha’s Soul Ferrying Scripture❯. He also helped many lost souls cross over to the other side, and thus accumulated a lot virtuous light from these charitable deeds.
If not for his foundation, who wouldn’t regard him as a Buddhist disciple?! I absolutely am too ashamed to bring him back to our sect!" As he spoke, Wu Yinzi once again filled his cup to the brim.
This disciple actually practiced both Daoism and Buddhism? Daoist on the inside and Buddhist on the outside?
Upon hearing the full story, the corner of Medicine Master’s mouth twitched even more.
Is there such a coincidence in this world? He thought about how Song Shuhang once told him about the incident where a western monk confessed to a gruesome murder in the train and got gloriously arrested…
That western monk, could it be his friend’s disciple?
At this moment, Medicine Master innocently asked, "Wu Yinzi, what happened to your fool of a disciple?"
"Not too long ago, he went to jail." Wu Yinzi clenched his teeth and said, "Not too long ago, for some reason, he got himself in jail. Once I heard about the news, I used my connections and tried to get him out. But who would have known that he got addicted to the life in jail and refused to get out, saying he wanted to complete his jump through the dragon gate and advance to Second Stage before he’s willing to get out. I am so mad! This time, when he comes out, I will capture him and beat him for 10 days and 10 nights for sure!"
Medicine Master lifted his head, and looked like he was sighing—he could not take it any longer, if he did not lift his head, he was afraid he might burst out laughing in front of his good friend. It would be too impolite.
Needless to say, Wu Yinzi’s disciple was that western monk mentioned by Song Shuhang.
What a coincidence~
Time flew, another day of exams ended.
Song Shuhang went home and carefully opened the main gate.
He did not immediately enter—he popped in his head to take a glimpse around, and after seeing that everything in the backyard was normal, he secretly heaved a sigh.
Thereafter, he stretched half of his body into the house, with one hand still holding onto the main gate.
After making sure that everything was safe and sound, he entered the house with ease.
"Little Friend Shuhang, you’re back," Venerable White was in the yard. He seemed to have been waiting for Song Shuhang’s return.
Song Shuhang stiffened and then smiled, "Senior, you’re not practicing today?"
"I’m already done." Venerable White smiled and said, "Shuhang, which cultivation techniques have you learned? I’ve been imposing on you for the past few days, so I was thinking of helping you with practice today!"
Shuhang rejoiced upon hearing that!