Chapter 164 – The Grave of Long Bing
Sure enough, Wu Zhangkong led the way into Heaven Dou Public Cemetery. The plant life seen peeking from over the walls was actually part of the cemetery. A collection of large trees were orderly arranged between the gravestones.
Wu Zhangkong’s robes fluttered behind him as he entered, seeming to fit in as a ghostly specter.
This was Tang Wulin’s first time entering such a place, and so his gaze began to wander. There were only a few people present in the cemetery paying their respects to the deceased.
As if possessed, Wu Zhangkong didn’t stop until they arrived at a gravestone just off of the cemetery’s center.
The gravestone was tall and adorned with a few simple words: The grave of Long Bing.
Long Bing? Who’s that? It sounds like a girl’s name.
“Wait here.” Turning around to speak to Tang Wulin, Wu Zhangkong’s tone had thawed from its usual iciness to a warm tenderness.
“Okay.” Tang Wulin considerately moved to stand at the side.
Now holding a white cloth, Wu Zhangkong began to clean the gravestone. Each movement was filled with heartfelt gentleness as if he was caressing a most cherished item.
The gravestone wasn’t dirty by any means; in fact, only a thin layer of dust covered it. In no time at all, it was sparkling clean as jade. Compared to the other gravestones, it was clearly much brighter.
The tenderness in Wu Zhangkong’s expression had completely eclipsed the melancholy and sorrow he carried before.
As if in a trance, not a single word left his lips as he caringly wiped the gravestone clean.
Though Tang Wulin wished to step forward and lend a hand, something told him that he shouldn’t disturb his teacher in such a moment. A stifled feeling pressed down on him.
After a full hour of earnest cleaning, Wu Zhangkong finally finished and stood up to gaze upon the gravestone, his eyes filled with a level of love and kindness never seen until now. It was as if the spring winds had blown a smile onto his face, creating a cozy atmosphere around him.
“You were always fond of white, so I’m wearing white today.”
“You said you liked my smile, so I will smile only for you.”
“Bing’er, how are you doing in the next world?”
As he softly spoke, Wu Zhangkong’s fingers traced the grooves that made up the name ‘Long Bing.’ Not a single tear escaped, presenting only a gentle smile.
By the time they left the cemetery, it was already evening.
Wu Zhangkong had assumed his usual cold attitude, and Tang Wulin didn’t dare to ask anything. All he could do was follow behind his teacher. Long Bing should be a relative of Teacher Wu, right? Or could it be one of those lovers Xie Xie talked about before?
Without bothering to explain anything, Wu Zhangkong simply led the way back to Heaven Dou City.
Crowds of people were bustling along the warmly-lit streets of Heaven Dou City. The shops had opened long ago and were engaged in fast and hard business transactions.
Though Wu Zhangkong had regained his composure, Tang Wulin’s image of him had been irreversibly changed.
Teacher Wu isn’t really a cold person! He said his smile is only meant for that person!
“What do you want to eat for dinner?” Wu Zhangkong peered at Tang Wulin inquisitively.
“Huh? Anything is fine!” Tang Wulin was fine with anything as long as it was food.
Not one to overcomplicate things, Wu Zhangkong decided thus, “Let’s go for noodles then. Some delicious noodles.”
Tang Wulin’s interest was piqued. Wu Zhangkong had actually described a food as ‘delicious’, something out of character of him.
These noodles really are delicious! Tang Wulin thought to himself for the tenth time as he devoured his tenth bowl. The noodles were cooked just right and were perfectly complemented by the rich soup. At first glance, it seemed to be a simple dish with only some meatballs and vegetables as toppings, but the taste was amazing.
Wu Zhangkong had only eaten one bowl, but he had savored each and every noodle. The previous tenderness had resurfaced in the depths of Wu Zhangkong’s eyes, astonishing Tang Wulin. Although he wasn’t smiling, that gentleness in his eyes along with his handsome looks had the mysterious effect of melting the hearts of every single woman that entered the small noodle shop.
In fact, there were even some courageous ladies who came up to flirt with him from time to time.
And every time, Wu Zhangkong had a simple, sure-kill answer prepared for these entanglements. He would simply shift his gaze to Tang Wulin and say with his usual indifference, “This is my son.”
Neither of them looked similar to the other, especially when comparing the adorableness of Tang Wulin’s large and bright eyes with the chilling handsomeness of Wu Zhangkong’s narrow and sharp eyes.
Yet, none of the pretty ladies who approached him doubted their relationship as father and son after a brief glance at Tang Wulin.
Son? Tang Wulin didn’t refute Wu Zhangkong’s statement. Instead, he attentively watched the constant changes in Wu Zhangkong’s expression. He could tell that the iciness of today’s Wu Zhangkong was different from the one he was familiar with.
After half a year of cultivating with Wu Zhangkong, he had gradually begun to understand that Wu Zhangkong’s heart really wasn’t as cold as it appeared. On the contrary, under the cold exterior, he was a passionate person full of love and kindness.
A seed of fear had found its way into Tang Wulin when they had visited the cemetery this morning, but the actions of Wu Zhangkong afterward had reaffirmed his thoughts. Teacher Wu really is kind.
He must have lost someone really important to him.
Soon after, another shocking scene took place in the noodle shop. In front of a child lay a mountain of bowls while the handsome young man sitting across from him only had a single bowl before him. He was slowly eating each noodle one by one as if they were the world’s greatest delicacy.
Such a strange combination simply demanded the attention of their surroundings.
“Let’s go.” After they finished eating and paid, Wu Zhangkong brought Tang Wulin back to the inn.
“Go meditate. We’re getting up early tomorrow morning.” Taking a few minutes to wash his face first, Wu Zhangkong quickly climbed onto his bed and began meditating cross-legged.
Taking care not to disturb Wu Zhangkong, Tang Wulin silently crept to the front of the bed and peered out the window. It was deep into the night, but Heaven Dou City was still thriving with warm lights and rowdy people. Tang Wulin liked this city far more than Eastsea City. Instead of the cluster of skyscrapers that made up the core of Eastsea City, there was history, culture and most importantly, human warmth that permeated throughout Heaven Dou City.
At his young age, Tang Wulin wasn’t able to understand that this ambiguous feeling originated from the culture and history of the city.
In the moments of twilight as the sky transitioned from darkness to a deep blue, Tang Wulin was stirred awake by Wu Zhangkong.
Tang Wulin could clearly feel the Mysterious Heaven Method’s greater efficacy compared to the standard methods provided by the academy. In his first session, he had entered a deep meditation and refined his body, and in this second session, there was a tangible increase in his soul power. His soul power and body had blended together and were now working in complete harmony, completely devoid of the unease his bloodline had previously brought about.
Though Tang Wulin’s body hadn’t increased in power, it had definitely increased in toughness.
“Let’s go.” Wu Zhangkong beckoned to Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin hastily rushed over to Wu Zhangkong, and the moment he reached him, Wu Zhangkong grabbed hold of his arm. A sudden gale struck Tang Wulin, and the next thing he knew, they were on the inn’s rooftop.
From behind Tang Wulin, Wu Zhangkong reached over to grasp his head. Two fingers poked into Tang Wulin’s jaw, the thumbs pressing into the temples, and the remaining three fingers stabbed into other acupuncture points on his face.
“Feel how my soul power circulates. I’ll have you start cultivating the Purple Demon Eyes soon after. Breathe according to the Mysterious Heaven Method and look to the east. Every morning, there is a streak of white rising from the east. The moment it appears, it is followed by a trace of purple qi. The Tang Sect’s Purple Demon Eyes is a method to absorb that purple qi and use it to improve eyesight. When we absorb that energy, we are also cultivating our spiritual power. Understood?”
“I understand.” It wasn’t hard for Tang Wulin to comprehend such a simple idea.
Thin threads of soul power began pouring into Tang Wulin’s facial acupuncture points from Wu Zhangkong’s fingers. His face immediately felt refreshed as if he was washing it in a crystal-clear spring. The feeling was simply indescribable. Amidst this feeling of clarity, Tang Wulin noticed that his eyes had grown stronger, and he was able to see faraway things even more clearly now.
In complete silence, he memorized how Wu Zhangkong’s soul power flowed throughout his face.
“Gather your soul power and follow my guidance. Steadily breathe according to the Mysterious Heaven Method,” reminded Wu Zhangkong.
Tang Wulin quickly did as instructed.
He was already familiar with what he needed to do and spurred on by Wu ZhangKong, it didn’t take long for him to begin circulating his soul power as needed for the Purple Demon Eyes.
Right at that moment, a streak of white crept up on the horizon and for the first time, Tang Wulin noticed the purple of the morning dawn.
Suddenly, the purple light seemed to fill his eyes, and a comforting warmth permeated through them. He didn’t know why, but tears began to well up. But instead of streaming down, they glistened and created a thin layer across his eyes. An indescribable feeling of soothing and warmth were absorbed into his eyes, merging into their depths and the minuscule acupuncture points surrounding it.