"What is it?"
Ling Xian frowned. He knew it. Yun Hai never visits unless something significant is happening.
"The Zi Yang House has spoken. They are seeking trainees from all over the island to accept into their House. All descendants from Clans of power, or cultivators under the age of 20, are summoned to enter the tryout. I plan to send Yun Yan and Yun Meng," Yun Hai explained.
"Hmm yes, the Zi Yang House is one of the three controlling forces. If the sisters can enter the House, then their future will be bright," Ling Xian nodded, agreeing with his decision.
"Haha, I knew you would support me. If they can become a part of the House, not only will their futures be bright, for the Yun Clan, we can reduce our fees by at least 30% every year." Yun Han laughed. Watching the handsome young man before him, he expressed his high expectations.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Ling Xian softly chuckled, "I’m not someone with a high position in the Zi Yang House. Are you expecting me to open the ‘back door’ for you?"
"Of course not." Yun Hai smiled awkwardly. He hesitated. "Junior Brother, as you know, there are four main Clans in the City of the Sun. The other three Clans all have a rough past with the Yun Clan. I am scared that they would send people to ambush the sisters."
"I see. So you want me to protect them on their way to the Zi Yang House?" Ling Xian concealed a grin, correctly guessing Yun Hai’s intention.
"That’s right. Not only are you very capable, but you also have a sharp brain. Nobody else in my clan can compete with you."
"The way you spoke of it made it so obvious. If I couldn’t guess it then I am an idiot," Ling Xian ignored Yun Hai’s flattery. He frowned and considered this carefully.
A regular guard usually cannot do anything harmful to him. With his capability, not only can he fearlessly face the three small Clans, he can even casually fend off the prominent characters from the Zi Yang House.
However, when he thought about having to be with the sisters by himself, he experienced a headache.
Sensing this, Yun Hai squeezed a strange smile. He made a troubled expression and sighed loudly. "Junior Brother, as you know, my eldest son has no children. In other words, the Yun sisters are the only pillars of the Yun Clan in the future. If anything were to happen to them, then half of my Clan collapses. I am sure you will not simply sit and watch."
"Don’t. You are putting on that fake pitiful look again. Why me?" Ling Xian shook his head as a chuckle escaped his lips.
"Hehe, it’s because you are capable. The three other Clans, in front of you, are merely clowns that hop on seesaws," Yun Hai flattered again with another cunning grin.
"You! I admit my defeat." Ling Xian shook his head helplessly, "Whatever. I will accompany them. At the same time, I will enjoy the sceneries the Shi Ao Island has to offer."
"Haha, great! To have Junior Brother personally take care of this, the heavy rock in my heart can finally land," Yun Hai bellowed.
"Don’t worry. Since I accepted your request, nothing will happen to the sisters," Ling Xian faintly smiled. He did not speak with an arrogant tone, yet the confidence he had in himself was successfully delivered.
The confidence to repress all that was against him.
"I am no longer worried. Your abilities are undefeatable. The strongest cultivator from the three Cans merely belongs to the intermediary stage of the foundational stage. They cannot even block one attack of yours." Regarding Ling Xian, Yun Hai was full of confidence. Though he was not fully aware of Ling Xian’s true capabilities, in the past three years, they’ve had many exchanges. Every battle they had, Yun Hai had lost within ten moves. From that, he knew how horrifying this young man before him was.
"I’ve already accepted your request. Stop feeding me fake compliments," Ling Xian laughed, "When do we go?"
"The sooner, the better. The journey to the Zi Yang House is a long one. I’m worried we do not have enough time," Yun Hai said.
Ling Xian fell silent for a while. "Then tell the sisters to come to my place. I will get ready, and we can leave right away."
"Alright. I love your vigorous and resolute personality." Yun Hai clapped.
"Oh I forgot to ask. Have you figured out a way to get to the nine continents?" Ling Xian asked.
"About that…" Yun Hai’s cheeks turned red. Ever since Ling Xian resolved the Yun Clan’s crisis, he sent all his subordinates to try and figure out a way. After three years of hard searching, there hasn’t been a single clue that indicates an alternative method. He felt very embarrassed about this, as if he had wronged Ling Xian.
Seeing his awkward expression, Ling Xian realized the answer. He sighed, "It’s alright. It’s not your fault."
"You really are deeply righteous," Yun Hai gave him a thumbs up, "As you know, the Yun Clan is really nothing on Shi Ao Island. We cannot find out about the latest news or secrets that easily. This is why we have no leads on what you asked of me."
"It’s ok. If the war that happened really was so violent that the Heaven split and the Earth shattered, then, of course, all the spatial portals were destroyed as a result. But I think some portals must still exist. Someone must’ve hidden or sealed them in ways normal people cannot find them." Ling Xian sighed.
"That’s what I am thinking too. It’s too bad that the Yun Clan is so weak and cannot find out about such things," Yun Hai was embarrassed again, "However, if the portals still do exist, I am sure that the three controlling forces would know of them."
"Yes, you’re right. It seems like I must go to the Zi Yang House," Ling Xian beamed, "Go now, tell the sisters to come and we will leave right away."
"I will be on my way then."
Yun Hai then stood up, turned into a dash of light and hurriedly headed to the sisters’ room.
"It’s not a bad request to accept. I have been stuck here for three years, and it’s about time I stepped out and saw what the outside world has to offer." The corners of Ling Xian’s lips curled up as he formed expectations in his head.
Ever since he arrived at the Yun Clan, he had stayed put and cut all contact with the outside world. He could really use this opportunity to go out, stroll around, and find out about the beauty of the Shi Ao Island. At the same time, he can try and figure out a way to go back to the nine continents.
"Zi Yang House… one of the controlling forces of Shi Ao Island might really know the way back to Yunzhou."
Muttering to himself, Ling Xian returned to the straw house he built for himself. Flapping his sleeve, he put the purple cauldron, the Exquisite Emerald Tree, and other treasures back into his storage pouch. Then, he sat on top of the giant green boulder before his door and waited for Yun Yan and Yun Meng.
After a while, the two sisters arrived.
Yun Yan wore a robe that was as white as snow. Her visage was beautiful enough to bring all the men in the city to their knees, and her temperament was extraordinarily moving and heartrending.
Yun Meng, on the other hand, had features that were delicate and dainty. Her movements were graceful and charming. Her mellow yellow dress and slender figure made her look like a fairy dancing in a blooming flower, gentle and cute.
The two sisters were undeniably beauties of the city. It was difficult to rank them as their styles and ambiance were so different.
Yun Yan was born quiet and shy. She has always been well-behaved and is very tasteful with a mature and sophisticated vibe.
Yun Meng was the polar opposite. She has a short-temper and is very playful. Just like a child who does not want to grow up, she is always full of energy and vitality.
After seeing Ling Xian sitting on the boulder, the sisters’ eyes brightened. Yun Meng quickened her pace and ran over. She grabbed Ling Xian’s arm, shook it around and said, "Master, it’s been a month since I last saw you. You’ve gotten more handsome again."
"I didn’t get more handsome. You’ve just gotten sweeter with your words."
Ling Xian shook his head helplessly and allowed Yun Meng to drag his arm around and around. Though her playfulness should be overwhelmingly wonderful, all he could feel was a headache.
Yun Meng was just too clingy.
A year ago, Ling Xian had the sudden discovery that Yun Meng had a natural talent for alchemy. He casually taught her a thing or two but ended up being stuck with her for the longest time. Every day, she would visit him and beg for him to be her master and teach her alchemy.
At first, Ling Xian declined. He was similar in age as Yun Meng, how could she be his apprentice? However, he could no longer take the daily begging from her and ended up accepting her request.
Then, the nightmare began.
Yun Meng would come and ask for help every other day no matter how little of a problem it was she ran into. She says she is visiting because she needs his help, but her actual objective was to hang out with Ling Xian. Her clinginess annoyed him greatly and left him with a headache every time. He could not hit her, nor swear at her, so all he could do was endure. It has gotten to a point where every time he sees Yun Meng, the only thought that pops into his head was to hide immediately.
One has to admit that Yun Meng was the first person to make the fearless and undefeatable Ling Xian scared.
"Master, I have missed you to death," Yun Meng carried her sweet smile with her and continued to swing around Ling Xian’ arms.
"Stop! I am getting dizzy," Ling Xian’s headache got worse but had no way of dealing with this apprentice of his.
"Little sister, stop the swinging."
Yun Yan walked over and bowed deeply, "Master Ling, it’s been days since I have last seen you. You appear well as usual."
"I have told you many times not to call me master. Just call me Ling Xian." Ling Xian waved his hand.
"Where do I find the guts and courage to call you by your name? I will continue using the word Master." Yun Yan bowed again.
"I really do not know how to deal with you two sisters. One is too clingy; one is too formal. Whatever, do as you will," Ling Xian felt helpless. He escaped Yun Meng’s grasp and said in a serious tone, "You grandfather must’ve told you what is going on."
"Yes, grandfather wants us to hurry to the Zi Yang House and enter into the tryouts." Yun Yan nodded. Taking a peek at Ling Xian, she blushed.
Remembering the mission grandfather had asked of her, she felt very embarrassed.
"Alright, since you already know, then I won’t say any more. I can protect you on your journey, but in return, I have one request. If you cannot comply, then I will not go with you," Ling Xian said directly.
"Please speak of it," Yun Yan whispered.
"Everything must go according to my plan and to my words. Nobody can act against my words," Ling Xian ordered.
"Naturally. Since grandfather has asked you to protect us on our way there, then, of course, you should be making all the decisions." Yun Yan grinned, charming and beautiful.
"You’re not the one I’m worried about." Ling Xian shifted his gaze to Yun Meng, "What about you? Any objections?"
"You are my Master, if I don’t listen to you, who would I listen to?" Yun Meng chuckled cunningly.
"You said it. If you defy me in any way during the journey, I will disown you as my apprentice, and you can no longer call me your Master. You hear me?" Ling Xian glared at her.
"I hear you, I hear you. Master, let us get on our way." Yun Meng’s voice was thick and sweet like honey.
"Yes, let us go."
Ling Xian nodded. Looking into the north, where the Zi Yang House stood, anticipation filled his eyes.