Chapter 2 The Blue Cloud Clan 2-1
The sun gently beamed onto the ocean, drifting apart the clouds.
On the East Sea, the weather was fine. A ray of green light moved swiftly toward the east. Left of the green light was a silver-haired man who stood with his hands behind his back on top of a five-colored cloud. Right of the green light was a giant lotus flower carrying a beautiful woman and a frowning boy.
The travelers were Xin Yuesong and company. After burying Ye Xiruo and his wife, they were rushing home with Ye Ye to the Blue Cloud clan’s headquarters at Mt. Yuemang, located on an island in the East Sea.
All three adults were trained mystics of the Blue Cloud clan, their flying skills were extraordinary, enabling them to reach Mt. Yuemang in just a short time. The mountain stood tall into the sky, seemingly connecting the sky and the earth. On the peak of Mt. Yuemang, hovering among the clouds, was the legendary clan of Blue Cloud.
The trio and the boy landed on top of the mountain. After a short walk, they entered into a sea of clouds, where a tall gate made of white rock stood with two stone columns, each carved with dragons and clouds. On the gate were the words, Blue Cloud Clan. As they walked inside the gate, they passed numerous fellow clan members, who all bowed at them. Seeing the stony-faced Ye, everyone was curious and asked about him.
The further they walked, the more houses appeared, and the more elaborate the homes seemed. By the time the group reached a large garden, a young girl of about 10 could be seen playing with butterflies. When she saw Ye, she also stared and asked about him. Seeing Ye walk further away, she jumped out and demanded, “hey, I was looking at you, why didn’t you greet me?”
Yuesong ignored the young girl and kept walking, while Zhaoshan and Hengwu had to stop for fear of leaving Ye behind.
Ye frowned as he asked, “you’re part of the Blue Cloud clan?” When the girl nodded, he snorted and pointed to Yuesong and the other adults. “They’re your elders, so why aren’t you greeting them?”
The girl was shocked into silence, meanwhile, Ye had pushed her aside and walked up to Yuesong. Zhaoshan and Hengwu also caught up. Zhaoshan looked back at the stunned girl and chuckled.
After walking around a grand palace, the group reached a plaza behind the palace, where hundreds of clan members in white were practicing swords. Their movements were uniform and clean, and their chanting echoed into the skies. Ye was impressed by the scene, as he watched the practice, someone’s sword flew out of their hand, making Ye yelp.
But the sword was not flying randomly, rather, it circled around the body and made a flourish before returning to its owner’s hand. Ye was so stunned he forgot to keep walking.
Zhaoshan commented, “I bet you’ve never seen anything like this right? This is called the sword-guarding skill, when you’re really good, you can make the sword fly, make one sword fight like hundreds of swords, and defeat many enemies!”
Ye looked at him and walked on. “I’ve seen plenty of things like this!” Zhaoshan grimaced.
At the front of the plaza, a young man in white monitored everyone’s sword training. When he saw the group arrive, he rushed over. Noticing Yuesong’s bloodied hands, he said, “Uncle, your...” Yuesong made a dismissive gesture and asked, “Is the clan leader here?” The young man nodded. “He’s back, all the elders are in the palace.”
Hengwu looked overjoyed. “He’s home? Wonderful.” She ushered Yuesong toward the palace.
There’s almost one hundred stone steps underneath the palace, and it took only 20 or so steps before Ye was panting with effort. Zhaoshan tried to help, “tired? Let me help you.” Ye refused and starting running, actually overtaking Zhaoshan, making the man cuss.
By the time they reached the doors of the palace, Ye was exhausted, but he stayed silent. Zhaoshan was annoyed but also admired him a little.
As the group marched into the palace, sunlight cascaded into the palace, making the space look bright. Fragrant scent wafted from the golden incense burners; three golden pillars with dragon sculptures stood on both sides. With clouds wrapped around the pillars, the dragons looked real, and part of an enchanted realm.
Around a dozen people in white stood inside the entrance. Seeing the group, they bowed and made gestures of greeting. In the middle of the palace, four men and two women stood in conversation, who turned around at the group’s entrance.
One of the men who was talking, who looked to be about thirty or so, wore a white outfit embroidered with red flames. He was quite handsome, if only with a sharp gaze that seemed menacing, and not as elegant as Yuesong and his group. When he saw Yuesong’s injured hands, he questioned, “what happened here?”
An elderly man, in a loose-fitting white outfit, had white hair and a ruddy complexion. His face looked kind. When Hengwu saw the man, she made a happy sound and charged at him as if she was a child. She held his arms and begged, “Uncle, you’re back! I missed you so much! Please heal our brother’s hands.”
When everyone saw Yuesong’s hands, they were shocked and asked for the reason. The elderly man patted Hengwu and rushed to Yuesong. “Such grave injuries!” He then opened his hands, his left fingers turning into green branches, wrapping Yuesong’s hands in the middle, while his right fingers turned into water, slithering inside the branches.
When the water entered the branches, they enveloped and healed Yuesong’s hands; in a moment, his hands returned to normal.
When the branches and water were retrieved, the elderly man’s hands returned to their formal state. ”It’s lucky my Five-Cycle skill is well-practiced, or your hands would have been useless. What happened?”
Ye watched with shock, but when he noticed Zhaoshan was looking at him, he put on a dismissive expression.
Yuesong bowed at the elderly man gingerly, then took out a silver paper crane. “Before I came to the mountain, I left my old friend a messenger bird spell. The bird came a few days ago with the message that we were to meet at our childhood haunt. He needed to tell me something very important, but...” He looked at Ye and sighed. “They were killed enroute, leaving their child.”
Zhaoshan said, “this child’s parents were the legendary thiefs, Ye Xiruo and Ou Mei. They have passed, but their child says the couple were killed because they stole a letter between a traitor of the Blue Cloud clan and the monsters.”
Everyone was shocked at the revelation. The man wearing the red flames said, “traitor in our clan? Impossible!” A middle-aged man with a beard remarked, “maybe someone is trying to set us up and make us fight among ourselves?”
The others also gave their opinions, with some saying this was nonsense and some saying this was a misunderstanding. One pretty woman with quite a menacing air said the Ye couple was bought off by someone to create a false rumor. Ye heard all the remarks, stayed silent, and then he turned to go. Zhaoshan shouted, “hey, where are you going?”
Everyone looked toward Ye and stopped talking. Ye kept walking toward the door. “I don’t want to learn from a bunch of idiots!”
With this announcement, everyone’s expression chilled. The woman with a stern face also shouted, “What did you say? You say it again!”
Before Ye replied, Yuesong said coldly, “Second Sister, his parents just died because of our clan, and you’re questioning their character?”
The woman’s expression shifted a few times before she half-smiled. “I was only guessing, I didn’t say...” Yuesong didn’t let her finish. “Starting today, I’ll do everything I can to find the traitor. When I find him or her, I’ll make them pay in blood!”
When Ye heard the words, he turned around and marched back to Yuesong. “I’ll kill him with my bare hands!”
The killing energy in Ye’s tone made everyone shiver a bit. The man with red flames watched Ye for a while before laughing, “kid, you’re my kind of people! My name is Yan Huolan, the leader of the current generation of the clan. Do you want to be my disciple, learn the skills, and avenge your parents?”
Everyone started chattering again, but Huolan waved his hand impatiently, “Stop it! I don’t have any disciples, why can’t I make him one?”
Ye waved his head. “It’s alright, Xin Yuesong has promised to teach me.”
Huolan was quiet before laughing again, “well, I wouldn’t want to fight over disciples. It’s fine, Fourth zBrother’s skills are pretty great, go ahead and learn from him.”
The menacing woman commented with a sarcastic air, “if you want to be Fourth Brother’s disciple, how can you call him by his name? It’s very rude!”
Ye stiffened his neck. “Who said he was my teacher? I was just letting him teach me, it’s my business what I call him.”
Everyone frowned at Ye’s announcement, while Yuesong said, “you can call me whatever you want, but everyone else is your elder and you have to respect them, understood?” Ye was defiant. “You don’t have to tell me this. If they were nice to me, of course I’ll respect them.”
Then Yuesong introduced everyone to Ye. Ye learned that everyone in the palace were the highest-ranked mystics of the clan, and they were all students of the last generation’s leader. The man with the beard was Chai Ziqing, ranked third, known as the Red-Fingered Mystic. Xin Yuesong was ranked fourth and known as the Silver-Haired Mystic. Number five was Enchanted Light Xiao Zhaoshan, number six was Golden Palace Bai Lang. Number seven was Purple Rain Lin Chunchou. Su Hengwu was Wise Scent Fairy and ranked eighth. The menacing woman was Li Junjing, she was younger but ranked second, and people called her elder sister since she was the only daughter of the last generational leader. The oldest and First Brother, Monster-Slayer Lei Ao, liked to travel and was not at the mountain at the moment.
No matter who Yuesong introduced, Ye merely looked and didn’t greet them, which irked everyone. Ye was a handsome body, but no one took a liking to him.
Finally, Yuesong pointed to the white-haired elderly man. “He’s the highest ranked in our clan, and he’s our superior. Kneel and kowtow at him now.”
Ye blurted, “I didn’t make you my teacher, I’m not part of your clan, why should I kowtow at him?”