Wang Lu’s performance caused him to become the focus of all of the people in the reception hall. Suddenly, he became the centre of everyone’s discussion. No one could determine whose views about him were right, but everyone was in deep shock and awe of him.
If this had happened in a normal place, most people would call Wang Lu retarded. However, at the foot of the Spirit Blade Mountain, a premium room voucher was worth a lot.
“Do you guys think he has connections with the Spirit Blade Sect?”
This sort of guess was agreed upon by some people, which was spread throughout the crowd. Soon, there were people claiming that Wang Lu was the secret child of the Heavenly Sword Sect’s elder.
Behind the counter, the proprietress coldly looked at the crowd, and muttered in a low voice, “A bunch of retards.”
After thinking for a while, she continued, “Just looking at these idiots makes me feel angry, I should raise the prices again.”
At this moment, a voice rang out from outside the inn.
“Young master, young master!”
Although the reception hall of the Ru Family Inn was not very large, there were ten or so ‘young masters’ seated inside. Everyone’s heads turned as they saw a boy around ten years of age with delicate features come running and stumbling in.
Seeing the youth, everyone’s eyes lit up.
It wasn’t because the youth looked handsome or anything, but because of the robe he was wearing. Clearly, he was with Wang Lu, and looked like he was a pageboy.
While Wang Lu looked a bit thorny, this pageboy looked much more tender and naïve. If they wanted to get some intel on their competitor, using this boy would be a good opportunity.
“Hey, little brother…”
A person who seemed to have this intent in mind gently coughed, attracting the attention of the pageboy.
“Have you seen my young master? He’s not much older than me…”
“Ah, why doesn’t little brother come over here and talk about it more specifically with me. There are so many people going in coming out, I have no idea who you’re talking about.”
The pageboy paused for a moment, then nodded his head.
Evidently, there were some people who did not wish for these Princes to have an opportunity to start talking again. The proprietress rapped her knuckles on the counter and said, “Your young master is called Wang Lu right? He’s already upstairs, third room on the left. And remember, keep quiet in here.”
The pageboy paused again, and hurriedly bowed to the proprietress to express his thanks. He swiftly ran up the stairs, full of joy.
“Young master, young master~! I’m coming!”
The proprietress became extremely angry, and slammed her fist on the counter, “Didn’t I tell you to keep quiet!?”
Everyone in the reception hall saw an earthen jar of “Daughter Red Wine” fly across the hall, smashing right next to the pageboy’s feet. The pageboy was scared out of his wits, and did not dare to make a single sound, quietly creeping up the stairs.
However, the proprietress had not calmed down yet, and looked around for someone to bully. From the crowd of royals and nobles, she quickly found a target.
“Oi, you, yeah you, the one I sent flying with my kick before. Just then you ordered a jar of Daughter Red Wine right? Hurry up and pay the bill, one thousand liang per jar, thanks.”
Wen Bao was shocked, “When did I order Daughter Red Wine!?”
“Just then when I threw out that jar to scare the kid. What, do you want to order another jar?”
Seeing the proprietress picking up another 70cm tall wine jar with one hand, the colour of Wen Bao’s face changed, “I’ll pay, I’ll pay the bill!”
Taking her ill-gotten gains, the proprietress was delighted. Her gaze swept across the crowd, and said with a voice that was heard by most people, “A bunch of trash.”
On the second floor, the pageboy excitedly opened the young master’s door.
“Young master, I’m here!”
Wang Lu, who was sitting at the desk, raised his head in shock, “Ai, why did you come here?! Go back!”
Standing at the entrance of the room, the pageboy looked like he was about to cry. He pitifully looked at his young master sitting inside the room.
Wang Lu impatiently said, “I remember I told you guys not to come.”
The pageboy’s face fell, “The master asked me to come here. He said that it wasn’t safe for you to come and attend the Celestial Gathering by yourself.”
“And having you here will make me safe? Your surname isn’t Du… Ai, my old man sure is silly, I should’ve told you not to be silly with him.”
The pageboy was adamant, “The master told me to come.”
Wang Lu sighed, “Even though he told you to come, you could have broken your legs or just said you were sick.”
The pageboy weakly replied, “I…”
“If you didn’t want to make it too serious, you could’ve drank some croton juice, but anyways…” Wang Lu was about to continue, but saw the pageboy’s innocent yet pitiful look. He shook his head, “Forget it, just come in.” [TLN: Apparently drinking croton juice can cause vomiting and diarrhoea].
The pageboy whooped, and carried his various bags into the room.
Contrary to what most of the crowd had believed, the young master and his pageboy were neither royal or nobility, nor were they people of Xiuxian families.
They were simply normal villagers who had come from the Wang Family Village at the North-East side of the Dog Ear Mountain in the Marquis County of the Eastern Way Prefecture in the Great Ming Kingdom of the Blue River Region. [TLN: Try imagine saying that out loud].
The young master’s surname was Wang, and name was Lu, and was son of the richest man in the Wang Family Village. Before the age of nine, his name had been Wang Dirt, a greatly uncultured name. Afterwards, a kind scholar had changed his name from “Dirt” to “Land”, making him seem a bit more gentlemanly. [TLN: 陆/Lu= Land].
The pageboy was also surnamed Wang, and was the son of a moderately well-off businessman. However, after an accident which killed both of his parents, the kind-hearted Master of the Wang Family had taken him in to be the pageboy of Young Master Wang Lu. It had already been seven years.
Seven years had passed, and yet the Young Master was still full of mystery to the pageboy. His actions and thoughts were always so inexplicable and incomprehensible. Two years ago, the Master had invited a learned scholar from the Han Zong Library in the Eastern Way Prefecture to teach the Young Master literature for an astronomical price. That old goateed scholar had seven or eight pupils who had become famous scholars in the Great Ming Kingdom. Not long after he arrived, he had changed the Young Master’s name into a much more sophisticated name. However, after teaching the Young Master for only two years, he discovered that there were indeed people who were born with both innate knowledge and outstanding talent, and found that he had nothing left to teach the boy. Afraid of wasting the Young Master’s potential, he had quickly left.
Before leaving, the old scholar had evaluated the Young Master to be a genius capable of ranking as number 1 in the entire Nine Regions, and that it would be possible for Wang Lu to one day become a high ranking official. While the Master of the Wang Family was overjoyed that the sole heir of the Wang family had such limitless potential, and would bring the family much glory, his heart also ached, as he had paid the old scholar for ten years, and yet he had only stayed for two.
However, it was a pity that things never turned out perfectly. Although the Young Master was an absolute genius, he just wasn’t interested in poems and other literature. He was even more disinterested in becoming an official. After the old scholar had left, he had buried all of the books in the yard, saying that he was providing an energy source for the people in the distant future, something that was absolutely nonsensical.
“Those who desire power and riches are all shallow and short-sighted; that path is not even worth considering.” [TLN: The first half of the sentence is a proverb: 肉食者鄙]
Alright. So he didn’t even put the Great Ming Kingdom in his eyes. At that time, the Master of the Wang Family had curiously asked the Young Master what he wanted to do.
“Follow the path of the Immortal.”
Immortal!? The Young Master had nearly scared the life out of him.
Was it easy to become an Immortal? Of course not! “The path of an Immortal is different to that of a mortal’s”, this was an ancient saying. It was almost impossible for mere ordinary mortals to even step onto the path of the Immortal! Even just the basic Chi gathering technique of Immortal path was impossible for most people.
Only the extremely blessed and lucky ones who could manipulate the spiritual energy of the heavens and earth, a vast minority of people, had the right to step into the Xiuxian world. This right was called a spirit base.
In the Nine Regions, only about one out of ten thousand people had a spirit base. It was said that only after doing good deeds for ten lives would one be able to be born with a low grade spirit base. Although in this life the Master of the Wang Family had done many good deeds, and had become the richest man in the Wang Family Village, according to the legend, he would still fall short by seven or eight lives of good deeds.
However, once his son had made up his mind, apart from giving him all the support he could give to push him onto the path of the Immortal, what else could he do? After many sleepless nights, causing him to lose almost 5kg, he finally had a solution.
Everyone knew that becoming an Immortal was incredibly difficult. However, it was said that there were special pills and medicines that could be used to develop one’s spirit base. Those pills and medicines could be bought with silver, so the second richest man, Wang Da Fu had already spent over ten thousand liang of silver in order to send his son, Wang Xiao Hu to the Seven Star Sect.
The Master of Wang Family had been frugal with money his entire life. He had never wasted any money before, but in order to fulfil his son’s dream, he started to pour out money to buy various supplements… he bought everything he could find, and put it all in front of his son.
Who would have thought that Wang Lu looked down on all of these things.
“Dad, you don’t understand Xiuxian; all of these things are useless.”
The Master of the Wang Family was shocked, “These things cost tens of thousands liang of silver, how can they be useless?”
Wang Lu was silent for a while, and nodded his head in gratitude. The next day, he sold all of the things to the Wang Xiao Hu next door for 1.5 times the price his dad had bought all the things for. At least that way, his dad wouldn’t have bought all the things for nothing.
For the next few months, Wang Lu had not mentioned anything about Xiuxian, so the whole family thought that the Xiuxian thing was just a phase. However, one month ago, when the news of the Spirit Blade Sect’s Celestial Gathering came into the village, Wang Lu’s determination was once again aroused.
“Dad, I’m going to the Celestial Gathering, please lend me some travelling expenses.”
“What’s a raw and fresh gathering?” [TLN: See Prologue; same thing as what the ‘fifth junior sister’ had said, but his dad was completely serious lol].
“It’s not ‘raw’ and ‘fresh’, it’s the Spirit Blade Sect’s event for choosing disciples.”
“You want to be an Immortal again!?”
“I never gave up!”
Facing his son’s determination, the Master of the Wang Family’s decision was to find a new concubine. If this heir let down everyone’s expectations, he would have to just give birth to a new one.
Of course, the Master of the Wang Family still gave Wang Lu all of the support he could give. He sent the little pageboy to rush after Wang Lu, arriving only one day after Wang Lu. The things in the various bags he was carrying were worth no less than 200,000 liang of silver. Even though the Wang family was quite rich, it was still a significant amount of money to them.
In order to help Wang Lu become an Immortal, the Master of the Wang Family sold many valuable assets. Facing this display of parental love, the little pageboy was moved, and admired Wang Lu from the bottom of his heart.
In the room, Wang Lu looked at the bags the pageboy was carrying with a look of suspicion, “What are those?”
The pageboy chuckled, and opened the bag. He lifted up a bottle in a grandiose manner, “Look, Young Master, high quality Spirit Base Developing Pills!”
Pounding the table, Wang Lu stood up, “The fuck? Who wants that trash? Throw all of it out. Just looking at it is annoying!”
The pageboy was greatly shocked, “How can we just throw it away! These are things the Master used a lot of money to buy! These are different to the ones from before. They’re high quality, high quality! Young Master, you should know that if a mortal wants to become an Immortal, they must consume Immortal Powder. After forty-five days, they will develop a spirit base. However, if Spirit Base Developing Pills are used, the process is much faster and the spirit base will be much more stable. There’s only one week until the Celestial Gathering, so using the Spirit Base Developing Pills is the best way for Young Master to develop spirit bases! Ah, and also, here’s the Seven Star Breathing Techniques Book, the Master obtained it from the Seven Star Sect…”
Wang Lu sighed, “Enough, you don’t need to throw away all those rubbish books and pills. The way they were brought here, take them back the same way.”
The pageboy paused for a while, then looked at Wang Lu with a desolate face, “Young Master, since you want to become an Immortal, why won’t you eat these things? If a mortal wants to become an Immortal, there’s only one way…”
Wang Lu sighed again, “Yes, so why do you think I’m doing this?”
The pageboy tilted his head, and blinked. He really wanted to say ‘Young Master, it’s time for your medicine’ [TLN: hinting that Wang Lu has (mental) problems], but he was required to show the respect a pageboy should show to the Young Master. In the end, he did not say anything, and instead just used warm water to dissolve the Spirit Base Developing Pills. Immediately, the room was filled with a pleasant medicinal fragrance. “Truly worthy of being a high quality medicine.” The pageboy said in awe.
He continued to look at Wang Lu with a hopeful look on his face.
When he was in the village, this technique worked every time on the neighbour’s Da Huang. Except Da Huang was a dog. And the technique was usually accompanied by a bone.
In the end, Wang Lu indeed cracked under the pressure and said to the pageboy, “Ah, Wang Zhong…” [TLN: Wang Zhong’s name means ‘loyal’ (忠)]
The pageboy eagerly nodded his head, “Yes, Young Master?”
“For a mortal to become an Immortal, there’s only one path. However, when did I ever say I was an ordinary mortal?”