Chapter 10: As Prophesized (1)
In a residence’s courtyard inside the city, there was a kind-faced cultivator who carried a sword on his back, decked out in yellow robes. He gazed after Fairy Hong Chen’s figure as she disappeared into the richly ornamented building. Seemingly coming to a realization, he murmured to himself, “I see!”
He looked like he had understood something, then gave a smile, and went back into his house. He sat in a lotus stance on the bed, both hands positioned into an Orchid Buddha Seal, each placed on the left and right knees respectively. He shut his eyes and mouth, and chanted in an obscure sanskrit.
Normal people probably couldn’t see anything, but those with profound transcendence energy would definitely see a stream of golden ‘swastika¹’ words flowing out from his moving mouth. Those words grew from small to big, quickly flying out of the door and disappearing completely without a trace...
Inside the city, the three siblings gave a long sigh of relief when they finally escaped Head Guard Huang and slipped past the city walls.
They found an old well, where Miao Yi scooped a bucket of water to cleanse himself with, then led his two siblings onto the streets. The three of them became exceptionally excited as they walked amongst the crowd, looking forward to their glorious moment of becoming Immortals.
But what gave them a headache was, they didn’t know which School of Immortals to join!
If they went according to what normal people would think, joining the greatest School of Immortals would be the best. But the three of them didn’t even know which school was the best.
Every sect wanted the treasures found from within the Boundless Secular World. From the earliest years of manslaughter and robbery, the cultivators who gathered here from different schools and sects slowly set out rules and regulations for all. For the sake of fairness, they decided that no one was allowed to pull any tricks, such as ‘pulling customers’ from the streets. It all depended on the voluntary acts of the treasure hunter. Whoever the treasure hunter chose to gift the treasures to, the treasures would belong to that person or sect.
But it was impossible to be completely fair. The bigger sects inside the Ancient City had divided residences that were lofty and grand. The smaller sects, on the other hand, owned residences with standards that were significantly worse. If depending on the voluntary acts of the treasure hunter, the smaller sects would definitely suffer the losses.
But there definitely were a lot of lofty and grand residences! The three siblings prepared themselves to compare each residence.
“Zhang Fengbao… Zhang Fengbao…”
As the three siblings passed a street corner, Fatty Zhang halted in his tracks and turned his head, his face showing an expression of surprise as he looked around.
“Brother, what are you doing?” Miao Yi and Little Lu stopped to ask.
“Someone is calling me,” Fatty Zhang said, still looking around.
“Who called you?” Miao Yi and Little Lu didn’t see anyone nearby.
“Listen! It sounds like it’s coming from this way.” Fatty Zhang pointed towards the other end of the street.
Big brother and little sister raised their ears but couldn’t hear anything. They looked at each other and shook their heads. Little Lu laughed sneeringly, “Second Brother is lying again.”
Miao Yi seemed like he didn’t dare speak highly of his little brother’s character. He frowned and said, “Little Brother, stop fooling around.”
Panicking, Fatty Zhang pointed towards the end of the street. “You guys listen for yourselves! Someone keeps calling Zhang Fengbao, Zhang Fengbao.”
Little Lu expressed her suspicions at Fatty Zhang as she said, “Second Brother, everyone who knows you calls you Fatty Zhang, right?”
“I…” Fatty Zhang was speechless. He thought he was mishearing things, so he dug in his ear with his little finger and yet, he could still hear it. So he couldn’t help but cry out helplessly, “Big Brother, you guys seriously don’t hear it? You’re not playing me, right?”
Little Lu shook her head. She stared at her unrepentant second brother with disdain.
Seeing that his brother didn’t look like he was lying, Miao Yi suddenly thought about an incident which happened in the Boundless Secular World. During that time, he heard a qin’s melody and yet, Yan Beihong insisted he hadn’t heard anything at all. The current situation seemed similar to what he had experienced.
“Go, let’s go take a look!” Miao Yi called out, and let Fatty Zhang lead the way.
After moving past the street, the trio arrived outside a residence’s small courtyard. Fatty Zhang pointed at the courtyard and said, “This is the place.”
Without saying another word, and not waiting for Miao Yi’s instruction, Fatty Zhang was already pushing open the courtyard gate, shouting, “Who’s there? I…”
He choked on his words. The three siblings’ eyes widened, the three of them finding it difficult to believe what they were seeing inside the courtyard.
If they hadn’t opened the gate and just looked in from outside the courtyard, they would only see an ordinary building. But once they pushed open the gate, it was a whole different world. There were flashing rays of light, waves of auspicious auras intertwining together, the sound of heavenly music in the air, and exotic smells assailing the nostrils. Standing left and right were numerous majestic-looking demigods, clad in golden armor. This was not an ordinary residence at all, this place was clearly a paradise for Immortals.
Inside the dwelling covered in the glow of the sun, an Immortal clad in yellow robes, with a sword on his back, sat cross-legged on top of a lotus flower throne. His face showed an amiable smile, beckoning the three of them to come in.
With such a great Immortal inviting them in, the three of them did not dare to refuse. As they carefully entered the courtyard, the gate behind them closed by itself.
The Yellow-Robed Great Immortal swept a look across the three of them, and finally dropped his gaze onto Fatty Zhang’s face. He gave a slight nod and smiled, “Were you the one who heard my summoning?”
Fatty Zhang’s usual sly and crafty attitude was completely gone. He nodded, looking both earnest and foolish. When running into a formidable man, his style was to act honest and well-behaved.
The Yellow-Robed Great Immortal laughed, “I wished to find a disciple to pass on my mantle. Regrettably, there has been no suitable candidate so far. I met with the Oracle and asked for his advice. The Oracle gave me a prophecy and as expected, the destined one has arrived.”
The three who had kept themselves compliant, cautiously listening to his speech, did not understand a word he was talking about. The Yellow-Robed Great Immortal seemed not to care if the three siblings understood what he said or not. He only asked Fatty Zhang, “Will you be my disciple?”
When the three of them walked around the city, the residences of other Immortal sects who were accepting people, all seemed more grander compared to this residence. But upon passing the gates of this residence, they found there wasn’t much difference in grandeur between here and those other Immortal clans.
Who could tell which one was good and which one was bad? This Immortal’s appearance looked as if it covered a great facade. Miao Yi gritted his teeth, reaching into his clothes in search of something. He took out two immortal herbs, placing one of each onto Fatty Zhang’s and Little Lu’s hands, and then pushed them towards the Yellow-Robed Immortal.
It was also Fatty Zhang and Little Lu’s first time laying their eyes upon the Glorious Star immortal herb. As they gazed at the herb’s red-stone branches and its gem leaves shrouded by little starlight, they couldn’t take their eyes off for even a moment.
The Yellow-Robed Immortal was also caught by surprise when he saw the two immortal herbs. Judging by the size of the immortal herbs, he could tell that they had grown for quite a long time, probably more than ten thousand years. The glance he casted at Miao Yi was laced with suspicion. He asked, “Did you enter the Boundless Secular World?”
Miao Yi thought in his heart, what kind of rubbish is he asking, if I didn’t find the immortal herbs and offer them to you, would you even accept us? But on the surface, he nodded and replied, “Yes.”
The Yellow-Robed Immortal immediately cast a sharp glance at Miao Yi with his keen eyes, scrutinizing Miao Yi’s entire body. He could tell that Miao Yi only had two immortal herbs on him. He felt sorry, and said, “Your temperament is hard to come by, but it’s too bad that leaving one immortal herb for you would cause you harm instead. No matter!”
After saying that, he lifted up his cuffs. The immortal herb held in Fatty Zhang’s hand flew into his large sleeve with a woosh. He then pointed to the ground with his finger, “Why are you still hesitating to kowtow and acknowledge your master!”
Fatty Zhang turned his head back and looked at Miao Yi, who nodded his head in reply.
Fatty Zhang knelt down on his knees at once and kowtowed, “Master!”
The Yellow-Robed Immortal let out a knowing laugh, then he nodded his head at Miao Yi and Lu Xuexin and said, “Him, I will accept. Both of you can leave now.”
The three siblings were simultaneously frozen in shock. That wasn’t right, wasn’t he supposed to accept them both so long as they had the immortal herb?
Fatty Zhang was the first one to jump up and exclaim, “Master, all three of us are here together. We have the immortal herb, please accept all of us.”
The Yellow-Robed Immortal shook his head disapprovingly.
Miao Yi quickly pushed Lu Xuexin to the front, and begged, “Great Immortal, please accept my sister, she too has the immortal herb. Little Sister, quickly kneel down and acknowledge him as master!”
Lu Xuexin was about to kneel down, but the Yellow-Robed Immortal brushed his large sleeves, halting her movements. She couldn’t kneel even if she wanted to.
Fatty Zhang also called out nervously from the sidelines, “Big Brother, Little Sister, both of you quickly kneel down and acknowledge him as master!”
The three siblings were very simple-minded. As long as they were together, they could still look after one another.
Even if he wanted to, Miao Yi couldn’t tell them that he had risked his life for those immortal herbs, only just managing to bring back two.
“I am not really interested in the immortal herbs. Besides, our school doesn’t accept female disciples!” The Yellow-Robed Immortal shook his head.
Fatty Zhang immediately gave up, he extended his hand and said, “Then give me back my immortal herb. I don’t want to be your disciple anymore.”
The Yellow-Robed Immortal grinned and said, “This is not a market, you have already kowtowed and called me master. In that sense, there is no going back on your words.”
After he said that, he brushed his large sleeves again and the courtyard gates opened automatically. In an instant, a gust of wind swept Miao Yi and Lu Xuexin out of the gates.
As the gates closed, the two of them were barred outside, unable to enter. No matter how much they shouted for the gates to open, the voices inside and outside were completely disconnected from each.
¹Swastika - A sacred symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. Means good fortune or well-being.