"Master chef, I see that your head is big and neck thick, which are the best criteria for the candidate to search for the treasure in the west. Please accept this VIP meal ticket as well as the heavy responsibility of escorting me to the Western Continent and looking for the whereabouts of the key!"
To be able to make such a humble and unassuming chef say such straightforward words was indeed a skill. In the last couple of days, for the cultivators who occasionally passed through Misty Peak, the most common thing they saw was Wang Lu exuberantly entering Misty Peak Cafeteria with a face filled with hope and expectation, only to come out dispirited a moment later. For a couple of days, this has been the main joke of them.
Wang Lu has quite a resounding fame in Spirit Sword Mountain. His time on the mountain was only about thirteen years, but his cultivation base was already at middle-level Xudan, while his actual fighting ability has already reached Jindan, far above the cultivators of his peer; even many cultivators twenty or thirty years senior than him could only stare at him with wide eyes. However, the more surprising thing was his practical ability. Since his debut, he has established Wisdom Sect down the mountain, contended with the elite team from Ten Thousand Arts Sect, overthrown Beast Master School from Grand Cloud Mountain, exploited the Ancient Sword Tomb… any one of these was enough to make him famous. Right now, not to mention Spirit Sword Mountain, Wang Lu was even a well-known character within the Immortal Cultivation World of Nine Regions.
However, this seemingly omnipotent well-known figure has actually suffered several consecutive defeat in the Misty Peak Cafeteria, which greatly aroused people’s curiosity immediately. Unfortunately, all of the dialogue of Wang Lu and Aya was a secret. Although people were curious, they could only indulge themselves in the flight of fancy. For example, Wang Lu and Aya already have a secret relationship since way back. As early as ten years ago, Wang Lu has already fallen in love at first sight for Aya, and after several years of constant pursuit, he finally impressed her heart—otherwise, how do you explain why he frequently comes to Misty Peak Cafeteria to eat? But now, because discord, they broke up. Several times they negotiated about abortion, break up fees, and several other issues, but failed to come to an agreement. Wang Lu, who came from a poor and loser background, attempted to bribe her with meal tickets, which triggered a great indignation from Aya, thus things came to an impasse...
Such popular vulgar rumors gradually spread out in Spirit Sword Mountain. Although Wang Lu’s reputation was not at all bad, in time, a lot of people began to be skeptical. It was not that they did not trust Wang Lu’s moral character, but… it was said that the origin of such rumors was from Non-Phase Peak! This undoubtedly greatly aggravated the weight of the rumor.
At the same time, the fuming Wang Lu who was stopped by Aya for several days, did not have the time to care about some boring people slandering his behavior. Before Aya’s problem was not solved, he was not interested in other things.
These days, he has used various methods to probe her, and it was like she really has no intention to head West. Let alone heading West, she was not even willing to leave Spirit Sword Mountain. Nothing could move her, no matter what he said.
However, this was really odd. According to Wang Lu, Aya and Lady Boss were completely different. She was not a hikikomori who lives a reclusive life and withdrawn from social life. Although she was usually quite silent and indifferent in the Misty Peak Cafeteria, when he occasionally chat with her, he found out that her heroic woman spirit was something that was difficult to cover.
Such a character must definitely be a hero if placed outside, yet she contentedly chose to become a chef in the cafeteria—the crucial point here was that this was not her strong point.
"Aya, what exactly is your difficulty, why don’t you tell me? For many years, we have been fair-weather friends, do you think I will not help you?"
Towards this, Aya just indifferently smiled. "You have good intention, but if I do have some difficulties, before I came to the mountain, wouldn’t I have already asked for help from the Elders? Don’t talk about it anymore."
Without having any better idea, Wang Lu had to break the impasse. "Is it possible that old fart Sect Leader took you by force and impregnated you? Don’t worry, I will take revenge for you by putting laxative in his tea…"
He already didn’t know how many times she told him to go away. Fortunately, by the next day, when he entered the Misty Peak Cafeteria again, it was business as usual. However, the issue was still unresolvable, which unavoidably made him depressed. After pondering it over, Wang Lu decided to make his killer move.
"Master, what is wrong with Aya actually?"
The so-called killer move was naturally to seek help from an insider. The so-called knowing oneself and the enemy and you will be ever-victorious, obviously, there was a reason why Aya was so emotionally attached to the Misty Peak Cafeteria. With this reason unknown, Wang Lu was unable to apply his various methods. He had tried to Aya directly for several times, but she always rebuffed him, as for asking from the other Elders… the one he was most familiar was, after all, his Master.
"Hm, you finally know how to ask help from other people, don’t you always like to show off your prowess?"
Master has been waiting respectfully at Non-Phase Peak for this for quite a while.
"Aya’s problem is very simple, it’s not that she doesn’t want to go out, it’s just that she can’t."
"She can’t go out?" Wang Lu was so surprised that he directly jumped up from his chair. "Sure enough, that old fart Sect Leader indeed seized her by force, impregnated her, and now uses her son as a hostage!"
Wang Wu was stunned for a moment before praising her disciple. "Good idea! Tomorrow, I’ll spread out this rumor. If that old fart doesn’t give me a raise, I will not clarify."
"... Master, don’t create troubles if you don’t want trouble to trouble you, why don’t you understand."
Nevertheless, seeing that was how Wang Wu responded, Wang Lu also knew that his guess was miles away. "What exactly is her problem?"
"It’s a long story, where to begin?" Wang Wu lightly knocked the table with her knuckle while she thought about it, then she opened her mouth to ask, "You have known Aya for more than ten years, so you must know her quite well. What do you think about her character?"
Wang Lu thought for a moment. "Generally speaking, she’s honest, serious, humble and polite. She also has a strong sense of responsibility. Although I can see that she’s quite competitive, for some reason, she very much restrains it. In addition, when she talks to people, although not outwardly domineering, but to many of them, she was too calm and indifferent, as if she was all too familiar with the subject. Clearly, this is the response of someone who sits at the top, which makes people feel like she’s some kind of lord, master, or perhaps a monarch of a country… It’s hard to imagine what she is doing here as a part-time chef."
"Mm, your basic assumption is correct, she indeed comes from a monarch family… of course, now, it could only be called as a subjugated monarch family."
Wang Lu was startled. "Was it because she cooked for her own people?"
Wang Wu coldly looked at her disciple. "Why don’t you try to say that in front of her face."
"I still understand the truth of not looking for trouble if I don’t want to die. Please continue."
"Her country was torn apart, perished in the hands of the people. The reasons are too many, but her temper can be accounted for a large part, which you should be able to think about, so I don’t have to repeat them."
Wang Lu nodded, very clear that someone with a particularly serious temperament as Aya was not a good leader, particularly a leader of a country...
"But, exactly because of her temper that after her country was subjugated, she could not accept it. She placed all the blame on herself, and her remorse was really difficult to bear. There were many stories, but in short, in her dazed state, she heard a rumor that says, in the far Eastern continent, there’s a magical way to win every war."
A sure way to win every war? Wang Lu wrinkled his brows and then said, "Is it Kaigua?"
"... If you interrupt me again, I will stop. You and I are people of the Nine Regions, so we don’t care too much about this way to win every war, but for Aya, at that time, this is her only hope in the dark. Therefore, she tried her hardest to come to the east, just to seek for this way to win every war. However, during this period, she ran into my Heavenly Sword Hall Senior Brother, and under a chance coincidence, she now stays on the mountain."
"Wait a minute, there’s too much information missing here. Why did she stay on the mountain when she met the Heavenly Sword Hall Elder? Why didn’t she continue to find that way to win every war? Did the Elder tell her to stay here for one hundred years and only then will she be rewarded with the way to win every war? While during this period she is slowly enlightened and thus put down her burden, moving towards a new life? Even though she has a straightforward temper, she is not an idiot."
Upon hearing this, Wang Wu’s countenance turned slightly gloomier. "How could it be that easy? When my Senior Brother met her, she was already like a nearly dried oil lamp, and was only supported by her obsession. She has wandered around Nine Regions for many years, how could she not now that this way to win every war is completely false? When this hope disappeared, her body could not hold on anymore. When Senior Brother saw her, he could not help but sigh at her bitter life experience, thus, he brought her back to the mountain, helped her condense her soul using the Feng Shui line of Spirit Sword Mountain, which preserved her vitality. But… This is only a stopgap solution. Once she leaves Spirit Sword Mountain, she would immediately vanish into thin air."
Wang Lu was inexplicably surprised. "What the hell is this thing? What do you mean by vanish into thin air once she leaves the mountain?"
Wang Wu indifferently said, "What else but a departed soul?"
"Departed soul?" Although rationally, this was a logical answer to the previous clues, but he remembered that familiar voice and smiling face… hold on, the last part seemed wrong. In short, Wang Lu really can’t imagine that the heroic and vigorous young woman was actually a deceased person!
"Of course she’s not your common wandering soul and feral ghost. Have you ever seen a departed soul that really looks like a real person? She has heartbeats, warm body, shadow, and her own thoughts… she is the soul of the brave departed." Wang Wu sighed. "If while living, the deceased has exceptional meritorious deeds, revered by thousands upon thousands of people, upright and outspoken, with just and honorable temperament, after the death, it might become the soul of the brave departed. Of course, the common soul of the brave departed does not have the same level as her. The soul must be pure, and the desire to exist must be extremely strong. Furthermore, it must also have an incredibly powerful primordial spirit in addition to some extremely special conditions. If all of these conditions are met, only then would the soul of the brave departed be so vividly condensed."
Wang Lu nodded. "When a cultivator reaches Unity Stage, their primordial spirit and body can transform into each other. This means that before her death, Aya is an expert of Unity Stage?"
Speaking to this, Wang Lu was suddenly in awe.
"She was born in the Western Continent, the law there is different, so we can’t just simply convert what we have and theirs. But, in general, the difference should not be too much." Wang Wu said, "However, she witnessed her country perish and her people in a terrible situation, shaking her primordial spirit and thus it was powerless to transform, but this actually met a special circumstance, which can make her maintain her life for a bit longer. Simply speaking, it’s like Big Heart Demon Oath; she vowed that she has to do something first before her soul would scatter away."
Upon hearing this, Wang Lu was already clear about the ins and outs of the story. "It’s to find the way to win every war and recover her country. It’s just that when she wandered around Nine Regions, she gradually came to the realization there’s no such thing as a way to win every war, therefore her Big Heart Demon Oath slacked off, and thus it was difficult for her spirit of the brave departed to stay in condensed state. But then she ran into the Sect Elder which helped her solidify her physique through Feng Shui line and spells. But, in the meantime, she can’t be away from the mountain, right?"
Wang Wu said, "Besides, the elder has given her a great favor, so she's also staying here out of gratitude."
"Given her a great favor?"
With a face filled with compassion and pity, Wang Wu said, "Actually, it’s to invite her for a great banquet, which moved her to tears. She came to the Nine Regions using the body of the spirit of the brave departed. She wandered around for years alone and forsaken without ever having a hearty meal. That was the first time she tasted the real Nine Regions cuisine; pleasantly surprised, her soul almost flew away. Later on, she thought that she had received big kindness, thus she wanted to repay this kindness first before she can rest in peace. Unfortunately, there are not that many things that she can do on the mountain, yet her appetite was hard to satisfy; she ate quite a lot of stored grain on the Spirit Sword Mountain. Later on, feeling ashamed, she volunteered to take over the chef position on the Misty Peak cafeteria; she said that she could not receive people’s grace for no reason anymore, and at the same time, it would be more valuable if such delicious dishes could come out from her culinary skill. As a result… as you see, with her special physique, I think she would not be able to repay the favor forever."
"In short, the story behind Aya is more or less like this. If you can get the clue on how to liberate her, it could be considered as boundless beneficence." When it came to this, Wang Wu chuckled. "How about it, do you have the confidence to handle it?"
Wang Lu grunted. "After listening to such a story, do you think I can have a different answer?"
In the autumn of the year 6356, at Non-Phase Peak, Wang Lu silently vowed, determining to carry out a great plan.
Save the chef Aya!In Japan, hikikomori (Japanese: ひきこもり or 引き籠り, lit. "pulling inward, being confined", i.e., "acute social withdrawal") are reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement.Kaigua - Originally used by computer game players, this term refers to using additional apps to help one excel at playing certain games. This practice is in fact cheating, therefore it's forbidden in online gaming. Now, the term is used in a more general sense to marvel at unbelievable feats, not necessarily scored by cheating. In this sense, the term has a touch of joking, as if saying someone is helped by a mysterious force.