Lu Zhou looked at the small figure with a neutral expression. ‘I don’t recognize him… If I’m exposed, they’ll definitely gang up on me… That’s dangerous…’
Lu Zhou looked at the buildings around the Flying Star House. Their different heights had a wave-like pattern similar to the five peaks. The peaks could not be seen at all; they seemed taller and loftier than the Ninth Temple. There was a kind of beauty in the lack of symmetry.
Lu Zhou said, “I’m… fine.”
“Fine?” The disciple scratched his head, but he did not think much about it. He said, “Elder Meng, this way please.”
“What’s so urgent?”
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him yourself.” He was only an ordinary disciple. How would he know about the matters of Ye Zhen and the others?
Lu Zhou remembered Sikong Beichen’s flying letter. Since these two managed to return to the Flying Star House, it was clear Sikong Beichen did not gain much of an upper hand
“Lead the way.”
“Huh? Lead… lead the way?” The disciple scratched his head again.
At this moment, the Flying Star House disciples at the foot of the mountain looked up.
“It’s Elder Meng! As expected, Elder Meng survived the annihilation mission at the Thousand Willow Monastery.”
“Elder Meng’s skilled in escape techniques after all. Elder Ye has said that even he might not be able to catch Elder Meng. How amazing!”
“Hey, don’t you think Elder Meng looks even more imposing when he flies now?”
While Lu Zhou flew up Lofty Steep Mountain, he considered how cautious he should be with using the Deadly Strike Cards. He had to gain a better understanding of the Flying Star House’s collective strength. If the Flying Star House’s strength was as the rumor said where their strength mainly lay with the housemaster and Ye Zhen, he was confident he would be able to do as he pleased. Although group battles and long battles were not advantageous to him, he was confident he would not have a problem with killing Ye Zhen.
Indeed, Lofty Steep Mountain was high. When Lu Zhou was halfway up the mountain, he could feel the clear difference between the lower and higher altitude. He could see faint Formation veins in the air. He could sense the power of these veins was much stronger than ordinary Formations from their auras.
As he was looking at the second peak, a voice reached his ears. “Elder Meng, this way!”
A Confucian scholar flew toward him and hovered above him before he bowed in greeting.
Lu Zhou flew up.
The Confucian scholar pointed at the space in front of the second peak and said, “Elder Meng, I knew you’d be fine! Anyway, that’s where the Daoist veins are, you should be careful.”
Lu Zhou did not reply to him. Instead, he asked, “What is it?”
“Elder Ye told me to wait for you here, and bring you to him as soon as you return,” the Confucian scholar said. Although his words were respectful, his tone and expression were proud.
Lu Zhou recalled Meng Changdong’s words. Indeed, the two’s relationship did not seem to be good. He could not help but sigh inwardly. Meng Changdong was an elder of the Flying Star House, but he seemed lower than a disciple.
The Confucian scholar was arrogant and bossy like a dog who threatened someone based on its master’s strength.
Lu Zhou stroked his beard calmly and said, “I rushed all the way back; I’m going to change my clothes.”
The Confucian scholar was slightly taken aback when he heard the way Lu Zhou spoke. Then, he quickly said, “I’ll wait here.”
“Alright.” Lu Zhou flew toward the second peak and entered a lavish courtyard at the peak.
Several disciples bowed upon seeing him, but he remained silent as he walked past them.
After Lu Zhou entered the room, one of the disciples said in a hushed voice, “Leave Elder Meng alone. Since the annihilation mission is a failure, he must be feeling down.”
The other disciples nodded.
Inside the room, Lu Zhou walked up to the bookshelf and scanned it. He saw a damaged box in the upper left corner.
Just as Meng Changdong had said, the most dangerous place was the safest. This did not seem like a place where important items would be kept. However, it was exactly where the memory crystal was kept. The damaged box was kept within reach and did not even have a covering. Nevertheless, its height was just right. One would not be able to see into the box.
Lu Zhou opened the box and picked the crystal up. It was cold to the touch. A familiar feeling stirred in his mind. With this, he confirmed the crystal was the other half of his crystal. Then, he placed it in his sleeve.
Now that he had obtained his crystal, he did not think the next part would be difficult.
“Elder Meng.” A voice rang from outside the room.
‘Is someone’s keeping an eye on me?’
Meng Changdong had said that disciples were sent to accompany him when he studied the crystal. There were ears and eyes on the wall.
Lu Zhou looked around himself as his ears glowed blue, unleashing the Heavenly Writing’s power.
“That old geezer, Meng Changdong, sure is lucky for being able to stay alive after that setback.”
“He’s one of the most useless Nine-leaf cultivators I’ve ever met. Elder Ye alone could fight against ten Nine-leaf cultivators.”
He increased the range of his hearing until the middle peak.
“Elder Ye, Meng Changdong is back. He’s in his room now, and he’ll be here to see you soon.”
Lu Zhou retracted his power. He looked at the door. The other person was still knocking on his door.
Lu Zhou opened the door and saw the Confucian scholar.
The Confucian scholar smiled and said, “I thought that you’ve forgotten about the matter at hand, Elder Meng… This way please.”
Lu Zhou’s expression remained the same as he raised his hand and struck.
The Confucian scholar did not expect Lu Zhou to suddenly strike him. The slap landed on his cheek square. A handprint appeared on his face immediately, accompanied by a stinging pain. He was thoroughly shocked
“Elder Meng!” The Confucian scholar widened his eyes as he held his cheek with his hand.
The disciples in the courtyard at the second peak gathered, attracted by the commotion. They were in disbelief. They had never seen Meng Changdong striking anyone before. Even if was going to strike someone, that person was not someone he should have hit. After all, this Confucian scholar was Ye Zhen’s direct disciple, Jiang Xiaosheng!
Lu Zhou looked at Jiang Xiaosheng indifferently and said, “You’re just a disciple. How dare you order an elder around?” He emphasized the word ‘elder’. His tone and mannerism were starkly different from Meng Changdong.
The disciples present on the scene looked at ‘Meng Changdong’ in shock. Was this still the Elder Meng they knew? Is he finally standing his ground? How was he going to explain himself to Elder Ye? All of them remained silent. No one reprimanded the Confucian scholar as well.
However, the Confucian scholar seemed to have inherited Ye Zhen’s natural disposition. He calmed down quickly. He bowed and cupped his fists together. “I’ve made a mistake. Elder Ye has invited you over for a talk.” His tone was now respectful and polite; the arrogance had vanished.
“Lead the way,” Lu Zhou said.
When Jiang Xiaosheng turned around to fly outside, a dark expression briefly flitted across his face.
It did not take long before two of them arrived outside a dojo near a five-story courtyard on the middle peak.
Lu Zhou looked at the cherry blossom trees outside the dojo and could not help but wonder inwardly, ‘It’s cold all year round on Lofty Steep Mountain. Why are there cherry blossoms here?’
The architectural style of the dojo reminded Lu Zhou of a certain country on earth.
The wooden door opened. “Elder Meng, this way.”
Lu Zhou entered the dojo. The open-styled dojo reminded him of a certain country in his memories. There was a sunroof on top and a yellow wooden floor. The center of the dojo was built with high-grade wood, and many scenic paintings hung on the walls.
The sunroof on top did not brighten up the dojo. Instead, it cast a stark contrast between light and shadow, giving the place a mysterious look.
The word ‘ru’ hung in the main hall, looking out of place.
Seated before the ‘ru’ character was Ye Zhen, the Flying Star House’s Grand Elder who had almost equal authority as the housemaster. It was difficult to imagine someone so young with an erudite air to the Grand Elder of the Flying Star House.
“Master, Elder Meng is here.” The Confucian scholar made sure to look as though he was in pain when he greeted his master.
Ye Zhen opened his eyes and glanced at his disciple. He asked calmly, “What happened to your face?”
Jiang Xiaosheng prostrated himself. “I deserved it. I accidentally offended Elder Meng.”
Upon hearing this, Ye Zhen shifted his gaze to ‘Meng Changdong’. His eyes seemed to be speaking a language of their own.
The moment their eyes met, Lu Zhou saw a lot of emotions. There was calmness, killing intent, shock, and disbelief.
“Please take a seat.” Ye Zhen raised his arm.
Lu Zhou wondered what would happen if he used the Deadly Strike Card to kill Ye Zhen now. However, he was not in a hurry so he calmly walked over and sat across Ye Zhen with his legs crossed.
Ye Zhen looked apologetic as he said, “I apologize to you on Jiang Xiaosheng’s behalf. A disciple should know his place. How could he be disrespectful to an elder”
Lu Zhou nodded in satisfaction. He said, shocking Ye Zhen and his disciple, “It’s the father’s fault for not raising the child properly, and the teacher’s fault for not teaching a pupil correctly. Leading by example is something that every teacher and master should know.”
However, the shock seemed to only last a second. Ye Zhen said with a dignified air, “You have a point, Elder Meng. Jiang Xiaosheng, what mistake did you make?”
Initially, Jiang Xiaosheng had assumed his master would stand up for him. The current situation threw him off. Still prostrated, he said, “I went into Elder Meng’s courtyard without permission and… and offended Elder Meng!”
“You’re Elder Ye’s direct disciple so your mistake is even worse. What do you say, Elder Ye?” Lu Zhou’s tone was calm.
“It’s just as you said, Elder Meng. Drag him out and give him 30 strokes of the cane. You’ll be grounded for one month.” Ye Zhen waved his arm.
A gust of wind rolled toward Jiang Xiaosheng. With a boom, he flew out of the dojo. “Forgive me, master! Forgive me, master!”
Ye Zhen smiled and asked, “Are you satisfied with this, Elder Meng?”