After that Gate of All Living Things incident, the Ten Thousand Arts Sect Elders and disciples didn't get off their Cloud Wave Boat for the rest of the day.
They had bravely traveled thousands of miles, from the Eastern Border Region to this place, after being entrusted by their people to slap some Spirit Sword Sect face. Initially, they were very complacent because they had complete confidence in their ability. Unfortunately, when they arrived, they experienced the 'turning into a clown' moment at the welcoming ceremony. Because of inattentiveness, they suffered humiliation. The disciples were reduced to delinquent teenagers. They suffered another loss at the competition in the evening banquet that should've been their victory. It could even be said that they opened the door to a pitch black room. In an attempt to reverse the unfavorable situation, the Elders even tried to sacrifice by revealing the Gate of All Living Things. However, in the end, not only did it not successfully reverse the situation, it lowered their morale even more. When Wang Lu brilliantly performed by easily playing the Gate of All Living Things, even the Eldest Brother among the young generation of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, Zhan Ziye, felt he had no confidence in the face of this 'exotic flower', much less the rest of them.
That night, the Ten Thousand Arts Sect people slept inside the Cloud Wave Boat because they didn't have the face to re-embark on the Spirit Sword Sect's land. Therefore, they had to sleep peacefully inside the Cloud Wave Boat.
However, even though the night was long, no one slept. The several Elders talked for the whole night while the five disciples sighed on the cabin outside their bedrooms. Their low morale had turned for the worst.
"I still can't figure out how he could survive the insect poison." Zhao Jiangyuan was indignant, "From any angle, there's no way he could do it without cheating, right?"
Lu Qiancai feebly retorted, "He was inside our Sect's Gate of All Living Things, and Master and Uncles were watching over him, how could you explain his cheating method?"
Zhao Jiangyuan was at a loss for words. However, his complexion showed that he was still indignant about it. After a while, someone put forward a hypothesis.
"That Wang Lu is so powerful, is he really just a Qi Cultivating Stage disciple? Holy crap! Could it be he's a Spirit Sword Sect Elder who changes his appearance?"
This time, even Ye Feifei couldn't stand seeing this anymore, "Zhao Jiangyuan, have you lost your mind? How could you even come up with such an absurd idea?"
At this time, their Eldest Brother finally said, "That's enough. That Wang Lu is indeed powerful, there's nothing to say otherwise."
Zhao Jiangyuan cocked his head, "Hah, how can a Qi Cultivating kid who excels at tricks and dishonest ways be that powerful? He's only somewhat good in having a certain kind of unique skill, that's all."
This time, no one objected his words. Deep inside their hearts, whether it was Zhan Ziye, Ye Feifei, or Lu Qiancai, they actually liked this explanation.
Indeed, no matter how brilliant Wang Lu was, it couldn't conceal his flaw in cultivation level... Although the Ten Thousand Arts Sect disciples had always been known for their academic abilities and thought that it was shameful to crush other people based on cultivation stage different, this time, they really couldn't take it; even if it was shameful, so be it!
"Senior Brothers, Senior Sister, I think maybe we should change our angle in viewing this problem."
Hai Yunfan finally broke the silence that ensued after Zhao Jiangyuan's last remark and attracted everyone's attention.
As a member of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect junior little brother, Hai Yunfan didn't have too much outstanding achievement in cultivation. Nevertheless, since he managed to get chosen by the Sect Elders to join this team, he naturally had a convincing ability.
"I remember at our Ten Thousand Arts Sect, the Elders often taught us to look at problems with an open mind. I think those words are not only applicable in academic things, but also in people. As an enemy, this Wang Lu is certainly very annoying, but why must we regard him as an enemy? In fact, in theory, our visit to Spirit Sword Sect this time is supposed to be friendly exchanges and to promote friendship."
Zhao Jiangyuan muttered, "But didn't the Elders already told us that if there's an opportunity, we should try to best them? So we acted according to Elders' instruction, this group of barbarians…"
Hai Yunfan said with a smile, "But now it seems like we have no chance. We even lost three times in a row. Even if we gain a big upper hand in the academic exchange, so what? We still lost three to one."
Zhao Jiangyuan frowned, "Junior Brother, you always seem to take our opponent's side."
"Senior Brother, you misunderstood. I'm just saying that since our effort to best them so far have been very difficult, why not simply give up this unrealistic goal? The Elders have indeed instructed us so, but that's because, at the meeting, Shengjing Sect told us to do it, so why would we need to be implicated so deep just for the sake of words said by an upstart sect?"
Zhao Jiangyuan's complexion suddenly turned bright, "When you put it that way, I feel my heart immediately lightening a bit. We indeed do not need to work ourselves to death for an upstart."
Hai Yunfan smiled, "Moreover, from our point of view as scholars, Wang Lu, this person is really formidable. Perhaps he doesn't possess high enough cultivation level or stage, but his strong points are truly dazzling. Instead of blindly treating the other as the enemy, we might as well make up our deficiencies by learning from other's strong points, scratching each other's back so to speak. I believe he will also be interested in our Ten Thousand Arts Sect's uniqueness."
Everyone looked at each other and felt that Hai Yunfan did have a point.
"In other words, if Wang Lu is not a Spirit Sword Sect disciple and instead one of our Ten Thousand Arts Sect disciples, don't you want to make friends with him?" After a pause, Little Hai continued, "I heard that he runs his own power and has a lot of money."
"Hmph, yet another upstart." Several talented people replied in disdain, yet Hai Yunfan could actually see that these people were actually somewhat excited. After all, who doesn't want to be friends with the local rich guy? Even scholars also found it difficult to resist the temptation.
Of course, this alone was not enough. Thus, after weighing in a bit, Hai Yunfan threw out his card.
"Moreover, if we have a good relationship with Wang Lu, through him, we can establish connections with other people in the Spirit Sword Sect. For example, the other Successor Disciple Liu Li."
As soon as he said that, Hai Yunfan was very pleased to notice the interest in the Eldest Brother's eyes.
"Or that gentle and amiable outer court disciple Yue Xinyao."
Now, it was Lu Qiancai's turn whose interest was piqued.
"Or that petite and lovely inner court disciple Huo Yung."
Awesome, now even his Senior Brother Zhao Jiangyuan turned his head!
Hai Yunfan chuckled, "So, I think we should go and talk to Wang Lu tomorrow morning, what do you guys think?"
"That's a great idea!"
"We do need to talk to him; indeed we do!"
After he had managed to coax his Senior Brothers to return to their respective room, Hai Yunfan was about to return to his room too when he heard a woman sigh.
"Junior Brother, it has really been hard on you."
Hai Yunfan suddenly stopped in his tracks, "Senior Sister?"
"Since our arrival here, you have been trying to resolve the contradictions so that both sides can become friends. This time you finally get your wish."
Hai Yunfan wryly smiled, "If the three Senior Brothers weren't dispirited and disheartened, I'm afraid they would've turned a deaf ear to everything I said a moment ago. However, Senior Sister is right, I have always felt that it is really unwise to offend Spirit Sword Sect just because Shengjing Sect told us to."
Ye Feifei asked, "Are you really that afraid of Wang Lu?"
Hai Yunfan was silent for a moment, and then calmly and frankly said, "Senior Sister, I believe you also knew that in the past I participated in the Spirit Sword Sect's Immortal Gathering, and later on was fortunate enough to get a recommendation to enter the Ten Thousand Arts Sect. In that Immortal Gathering, I've seen with my own eyes how formidable Wang Lu is. Frankly speaking, he is the last person I want to be an enemy of. Moreover, Spirit Sword Sect is more powerful than it seems."
Ye Feifei lightly smiled, "Wang Lu is indeed very formidable...I also don't want to encounter that kind of enemy. As for tomorrow morning, we may have to rely on you to open the way for us."
Hai Yunfan said, "Rest assured, Senior Sister, though we haven't met for several years, I should still be able to talk to Wang Lu... It's late, Senior Sister, please take a rest."
Ye Feifei nodded and then, before leaving, she said, "Thank you for managing to persuade Ziye tonight. Otherwise, once his stubborn temper flares up, I'm afraid he may cause big trouble with the Spirit Sword Sect."
"No need to be polite, Senior Sister. Eldest Brother's problem is also my problem." Hai Yunfan brightly smiled and waved goodbye at Ye Feifei. When he turned around, however, that smile turned somewhat bitter.
The next morning, as per last night's plan, a line of five people went to visit Wang Lu at the Non-Phase Peak in Spirit Sword Mountain.
After they set foot on the solid ground of Non-Phase Peak, Zhan Ziye lightly laughed. "Actually, there's nothing to feel bad about this, and fortunately, the awkwardness didn't last too long yesterday."
Zhan Ziye also laughed slightly, "As long as we shift our mentality into non-antagonistic kind, treating this exchange activity as a real exchange activity, nothing can tangle our mind anymore."
With such an open-minded smile, it was hard to imagine that last night, his mind was extremely tangled because of that Gate of All Living Things incident.
As a man of insight, Hai Yunfan naturally knew what was in his Eldest Brother's mind. Actually, his Eldest Brother wasn't trying to hide it at all. During their walk to the Non-Phase Peak, Zhan Ziye cheerfully said, "Speaking of which, that Liu Li's Brilliant Heart Sutra doesn't even exist in our Ten Thousand Arts Sect collection, even just its introduction. The only information we have about it is that it's an Immortal level method. Spirit Sword Sect is known to have inherited Immortal level methods, so this is quite possible... If there's an opportunity, I would really like to exchange a few strokes and compare notes with her."
Hai Yunfan smiled, "The opportunity is naturally there. I heard that in a few days, the two Sects' disciples would compete in a tournament. As our ace, Eldest Brother will definitely go against the Spirit Sword Sect's successor disciple Liu Li. I only hope you won't be too hard on her."
Zhan Ziye repeatedly shook his head, "How could it be? We are doing friendly exchanges, not trying to embarrass other people. Let alone Liu Li, even if I have to encounter Wang Lu, I will also show mercy and not embarrass him."
While they were walking and talking, the group finally arrived at the boundary of the Non-Phase Peak. From that humble wooden house came a burst of male and female's laughter. These few visitors were stunned, but they soon differentiated the voices of Wang Lu, Liu Li, Yue Xinyao, Huo Ying... these four people.
Upon hearing the laughter of these four people, Zhan Ziye, who walked at the front, immediately stopped in his track and revealed a look of surprise.
Hai Yunfan, who was behind him, hurriedly said, "They are fellow Brothers and Sisters, so it's natural for them to have a close relationship…"
Zhan Ziye reluctantly smiled, "Yeah, you're right. They're fellow brothers and sisters, I think too much…"
He only said half of what he wanted to say and could not continue anymore, because the content of the dialogue inside the house was truly explosive.
"Hahaha, you guys lost again. Even three against one, you guys still lost thirteen times in a row, there's no excuse anymore!"
"How could there be a Senior Brother like you? You clearly know we are still novices in this, yet you won't let us off. Moreover, how come all the cards that we drew were either one star or two stars, but when you draw, you always get five stars or six stars!"
"Humph, everyone has inspected these cards beforehand, so you can't blame them for your bad luck. In short, a bet is a bet. Now, quickly take it off!"
"We had a deal. One person, one piece. Don't just dawdle there, quickly take it off and give it to me while it's still warm!"
"I hate it! Go inside first, and don't try to peek!"
Outside, Hai Yunfan cleared his throat and then tried to make the last effort, "Senior Brothers, I think this is just probably a misunderstanding."
However, the other three Senior Brothers didn't hear him at all.