In this world, Qin Wushuang would only be eighteen years old after the new year. However, the experiences and difficulties he had gone through had given him a temperament that would not usually appear in an ordinary teenager. Thus, he looked much more mature.
Zhou Fu was not being humble on this fact as she smiled: "That is because you have a maturity and temperament that belies your age. Entering the Upper Sky at seventeen years old, you surpassed me by two years."
"Senior Sister, before you mentioned that you wanted to tell me something, what is it?" Qin Wushuang immediately asked when he saw that they were moving off-topic.
"Right, we are going off topic. Junior Brother Wushuang, in fact, it’s not a complicated matter. I just wanted to tell you that, don’t feel any pressure at the Green Cloud Palace and don’t worry about whatever your Senior Brothers or Sisters think. Just perform your best and don’t worry about hiding your brilliance from the other disciples. Between us in the Green Cloud Palace, we would only have the act of helping each other, encouraging each other and would never allow something like jealousy to occur," Zhou Fu said seriously, "I may be the head Senior Sister, but I am a girl. I have always been in fear and trepidation of this position. I fear disappointing the teacher. Now, with you here, everything is going to be better. I hope that one day, you will become someone like Wei Yi and carry the Green Cloud Palace forward. I would never feel jealous and on the contrary, I would support you with all my efforts!"
Zhou Fu spoke with sincerity and she looked at Qin Wushuang with a pair of expecting eyes. She bent her willow-like curvy brows and apparently, she wanted to know how Qin Wushuang would treat her words.
After a moment of silence, Qin Wushuang sighed and said seriously: "Senior Sister, being a disciple to the Green Cloud Palace, of course I share the worries of Teacher and will fight for our Palace. In the future, I won’t restrain myself from fighting. Only, I’ve always had a carefree personality. Leading the Green Cloud Palace is not something I am good at. I am afraid I will disappoint our teacher and you."
Zhou Fu shook her head: "No one is born a leader. All the regents and monarchs have walked the path of inexperience to maturity and climbed the peak. Wushuang, you have a calm and collected personality, a sophisticated mind, you plan things ahead and know when to retreat or advance. It is an extremely rare quality. If you are not suitable, then no one among the twelve of us would be suitable."
It was not because Zhou Fu was forcing him, but because she understood the most of the thoughts of Tan Zhongchi. Being a girl, she excelled in observing these subtle things.
She knew that their teacher had always felt regret in his search for an heir. In the entire Green Cloud Palace, the person with the most potential and talent was Zhou Fu, the girl.
During the path of training, especially in a big sect like the Stargaze Palace, a girl would face a lot of inconvenience in many occasions. It would not be difficult for her to become an elite warrior, but when leading a Palace, the fact that she was a girl would make her appear less capable than desirable.
This time, when learning that Qin Wushuang was part of their Palace, Zhou Fu was the happiest among all her fellow disciples. She instantly felt the weight on her shoulder had lessened. She also hoped from the bottom of her heart that Qin Wushuang would become their Master’s heir. And hopefully, one day he would compete with Wei Yi.
With her impression from his performance at the gambling competition, plus with Qin Wushuang’s accomplishments through the Subordinate Countries, and after the result from today’s Advanced disciple exam, Zhou Fu had become set on this idea.
Thus, she decided to open her mind and talk to Qin Wushuang about this question and to resolve his worries. Only, they had just become comrades and she did not know much about Qin Wushuang’s personality.
Qin Wushuang had done things according to his mind. If he wanted to deliver a good performance, he would never care about suppressing his momentum for others.
Qin Wushuang only asked himself and listened to his heart. Or else, at the gambling competition, he would not remain stubborn and still do whatever he wanted under the threats of the disciples to the Head Palace Master.
Seeing Zhou Fu’s sincerity in her eyes that were filled with earnesty, Qin Wushuang felt deeply touched. He said: "Senior Sister, for now, I cannot promise you anything. When I entered the sect, I had told Teacher that I valued my freedom and would like to be carefree in my martial arts training. I will not carry a heavy burden on my shoulder as I move forward—But, since the Green Cloud Palace is my place of learning, teacher for one day, father forever. I would not ignore the matters concerning the Green Cloud Palace. As for the future, I would not expect too much right now. I only have these words—Let nature take its course."
Let nature take its course was Qin Wushuang’s principle as it combined with the natural law.
Zhou Fu bit her lips lightly and mused on the thought. Suddenly, she understood something and nodded with a light sigh: "I understand. Wushuang, I still fall to a disadvantage, the teacher knows you better…"
To Qin Wushuang, Tan Zhongchi did not restrain him and would not give him any pressure. Although Tan Zhongchi had taken a lot of trouble to worry about an heir and the future of the Green Cloud Palace, he had never mentioned any of it before Qin Wushuang.
Tan Zhongchi knew that everything would pose a imperceptible influence. The relationship between Qin Wushuang and the Green Cloud Palace would not be nurtured with him showing his attitude as the teacher.
Where water flows, a canal is formed. Such process is needed.
He gave Qin Wushuang freedom and cared for him in secret. This way, he would be cultivating an atmosphere in which familiarity breeds fondness to let Qin Wushuang gradually evolve a sense of belonging to the Green Cloud Palace.
Tan Zhongchi believed his judgment. Since Qin Wushuang had poured his heart into the Bai Yue, he would do the same for the Green Cloud Palace some other day!
In fact, it would happen like that. Although Qin Wushuang had not entered the sect for long, during this time, regardless of whether it was at the Stargaze Palace or at his homeland, he would always feel the protection from Tan Zhongchi. If he had not protected him, those Martial Saints from the Subordinate Country would not fear him to such extent.
Thus, unconsciously, Qin Wushuang’s approval for Tan Zhongchi was gradually increasing. For example, in this Advanced disciple exam, Qin Wushuang wanted to aim for some perfect scores to make his teacher happy.
Although Qin Wushuang did not make any promises to Zhou Fu, he still felt moved by tonight’s talk. Not only would he not feel dislike, he felt some comfort.
After all, today was the real first day in which all the disciples from the same sect had met with each other. Zhou Fu, being the head Senior Sister, she had lowered herself and talked to him about these matters with sincerity. It was enough to show her earnesty and revealed her to be a responsible Senior Sister. With such comrades, it would be a very lucky thing for him.
Early next morning, Qin Wushuang woke up and took a walk around the Green Cloud Palace. After having breakfast, he walked toward the Main Palace.
After his first day of devilish performance, Qin Wushuang’s fame had spread. Now, almost the entire Stargaze Palace was talking about Qin Wushuang. They talked whether he could be on par with the excellent performance by Wei Yi from sixteen years ago and achieve a perfect score.
Thus, when Qin Wushuang appeared in the square before the entrance of the Main Palace, many gazes turned from all around. Many Stargaze disciples pointed to him and eyed him with admiration.
Remaining calm and collected, Qin Wushuang ignored all the looks from around him.
Just as he walked forward, suddenly, Qin Wushuang looked to his side through the crowd. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed a wave of viciousness and hatred that had shot from the crowd and stopped on him for a moment.
He looked over and saw the back of a figure disappearing from the crowd. Although it belonged to the Initial disciples’ group, Qin Wushuang still recognized clearly that person as Qi Yinfeng, whom he had defeated and shamed at the West Wind Hollow. He was also the grandson of Qi Shengnan, the Martial Saint of the Great Wu.
Apparently, the news of how Qin Wushuang had killed Qi Shengnan had spread to Qi Yinfeng’s ears. He was extremely shocked and hated Qin Wushuang to the bone.
Qin Wushuang glanced at him and thought inwardly: "This Qi Yinfeng is the grandson to Qi Shengnan, most likely he has accumulated extreme hatred towards me. Sooner or later he will become trouble. Now, since we belong to the same sect, I cannot kill him, but don’t come and make trouble. Or else, despite the punishment, I must kill this kid to prevent future disasters."
He made his decision and walked away. Suddenly, a person called out to him: "Brother Qin."
He looked back and saw Tong Yan, from the Li Huo Palace running toward him with a face full of joy: "Brother Qin, it is you. I worried that you wouldn’t make it back. Yesterday at the Laba festival, I didn’t know where to find you from so many people on the square. Unexpectedly, when I returned at dusk, I heard everyone talking about your name. And learned that you are back at the Stargaze and had achieved such good grades!"
Naturally, they both came from the Bai Yue Country and Tong Yan was proud of Qin Wushuang’s grade. Plus, his family had sent news of victory that the Bai Yue had resolved their crisis and brought the Great Wu to a total collapse. The only regret was that their Martial Saint had died honorably. However, because Qin Wushuang had appeared out of nowhere, not only did the Bai Yue not fall, they had become prosperous again.
More good news came from the newly instated Martial Saint, the Purple-Robed Great Honored Warrior, who had become an Upper Sky. He had taken command of the Martial Saint Mountain! The Emperor had bestowed upon him the title of Martial Saint.
His family had explained with seriousness to Tong Yan to let him think of all possible ways to build a good relationship with Qin Wushuang. In the early morning, Tong Yan had waited here. Finally, he was excited to have seen Qin Wushuang’s appearance.
"Senior Brother Qin, news of success flowed in an endless stream, we have so much momentum these days. Ha ha. Those cowards from the Great Wu have obviously lost their momentum and would walk away when they saw us. Qin, all of this is thanks to you showing off. He Zichong and those few guys only learned that you are an Upper Sky warrior today, they were so surprised that their jaw dropped open."
Qin Wushuang smiled and asked: "For you guys, how were your results?"
Hearing this question, Tong Ziyan could not help but feel somewhat in low spirits as he said with a depressed face: "I do not have any luck this year. I only hope to not get a bad grade in the Initial exam. Right now, I don’t have the ambition to advance to the Advance disciples rank. Hopefully, after three or five years, I would have the strength to aim for this goal!"
Tong Yan had a calm mind and did not reach for goals higher than his own abilities. For them, being martial arts students selected from the Subordinate Country, they had good potential. However, in an environment like the Stargaze Palace, they would not stand out. Thus, they could only start from being an Initial disciple.
After three or five years, to aim for the Advanced disciples still seemed a grand goal. Thus, Tong Yan was not very confident when he spoke about it.
"Ok, Qin, the exam will start soon. Let’s see if we can have another meeting on the New Year’s Day."
Tong Yan waved his hand and returned to the rank of the Initial disciples. Qin Wushuang also walked quickly to the exam location belonging to the Advanced disciples.