Chapter 18 (I): Bao Pu1
Like Cang Ya, Bao Pu Sect was also located in the Western Continent, with one in the South and one in the North . On opposite ends, Bao Pu Sect faced Cang Ya Mountain in a distant manner, and was one of the ‘Three Mountain Sects’ . When people mentioned the Western Continent, the first thing they would think of would be Cang Ya Mountain . And right after that, they would remember Bao Pu Sect .
A lot of people had forgotten, but two thousand years ago, Bao Pu Sect had been the number one Sect of the Western Continent . Their prestige and influence had far exceeded Cang Ya Mountain’s .
This would have continued to be the case……had Cang Ya Mountain not birthed a Sword Saint . In addition, this Sword Saint’s relationship with Bao Pu Sect was very terrible .
In other words, Cang Ya Mountain’s rise was accompanied by Bao Pu Sect’s decline .
The wheel of history continued to roll onwards, casting behind their days of glory . Slowly, the prestige they once had was annihilated by the dust .
However, there were always people unwilling to forget the honours one no longer had, and even fewer accepted this fact .
The resentment within Bao Pu Sect had already been stewing for the past one thousand and six hundred years . Like the Taiji array that remained unchanged over time, this resentment was also passed down generation after generation .
For the purpose of avoiding inconveniences, before they had set off, Luo MingChuan had released his aura; the oppressing might of a cultivator in the Revelation realm .
Sure enough, mountain bandits and small fry all avoided them and scattered, saving them a lot of trouble . However, they hadn’t expected that there was another group of cultivators rushing toward the Flower Picking Festival along the Panlong Mountain range, a route where perils were near but help was distant . To them, Luo MingChuan’s oppressing aura appeared somewhat like a provocation .
Thus, their current situation was formed .
Among the people dressed in light blue robes, a lone cultivator walked out . He was merely at the early-stage of the Soul Manifestation cultivation realm . But despite facing down Luo MingChuan, who was in the Revelation realm, the cultivator’s attitude was incredibly domineering and imposing . “Bao Pao Sect is handling our affairs . Where did this small fry spring from to obstruct the path?”
Originally, Luo MingChuan had intended to let them go first .
However, when the Bao Pu Sect disciple said that, although he had already been leaning to one side in preparation to move, Luo MingChuan suddenly paused . Then, instead of making way, he performed a ceremonial salute .
“Cang Ya Mountain, Xi Qian Peak, Luo MingChuan . ”
By now, both Yin BiYue and Duan ChongXuan had already made their way there, and were just in time to hear Luo MingChuan introduce himself . Thus, Yin BiYue also greeted them with a ceremonial salute . “Cang Ya Mountain, Xi Hua Peak, Yin BiYue . ”
“Xi Hua Peak, Duan ChongXuan . ”
Although the three of them had greeted them with a half salute, the Bao Pu Sect group had to return a full salute .
This was because Luo MingChuan was Cang Ya Mountain’s succeeding disciple, while Yin BiYue and Duan ChongXuan were the Sword Saint’s disciples . But as for the Bao Pu Sect group, all of them were merely third-generation disciples .
The Bao Pu Sect disciple who had spoken up managed to snap out of his shock . His complexion had already become ashen, but he still led his group to return a salute .
When Luo MingChuan had announced his name, he had nearly broke into loud curses . Did they think he was a stupid, three year old urchin, one that believed in any lies? Why would Cang Ya Mountain’s chief disciple be dressed poor rags like this?!
However, the two standing behind Luo MingChuan made him stiffly choke back his anger .
Being the Sword Saint’s disciple wasn’t something anyone would recklessly lie about .
One couldn’t blame the Bao Pu Sect disciple for being arrogant . After all, Luo MingChuan wasn’t wearing the robes of Cang Ya Mountain, and was instead dressed in a plain white robe . The hood of Yin BiYue’s black cloak was still hiding half his face . And then add on Duan ChongXuan’s outfit, the one that made him look like a moving, little golden man……
All of this made them look nothing like the disciples of a proper and honourable big Sect .
Instead, it made them look awfully soft and easy to bully .
However, when Luo MingChuan saluted them first, this ‘softness’ became a soft knife2 instead .
Thus, the Bao Pu Sect disciples wearing fine robes were the ones who became rude and uncouth mountain village men .
If Luo MingChuan had not saluted them, since they were not from the same Sect, it would have been unnecessary to pay particular attention to their difference in generations and corresponding etiquette .
But now, they had no other choice but to return their salute, so they returned it with stifled unwillingness .
At this moment, a male voice spoke up from the forest . Within his indifferent tone was a note of oppression that wouldn’t let others refuse him .
“Martial Nephew, step down . ”
Delight appeared on that leading Bao Pu Sect disciple’s face . He respectfully answered, “Understood, Martial Uncle He . ”
He hadn’t been the only one who immediately became happy . Ten or so Bao Pu Sect disciples all became rather cheerful . Spontaneously, the group parted in the middle, welcoming the man who had walked out of the forest .
Yin BiYue had long known that for the Bao Pu Sect disciples to be so arrogant, the one with the highest cultivation level definitely couldn’t have been the one who had spoken up before .
And after the Bao Pu Sect disciples found out their identities, although the group became astonished, none had been panicked . It could be assumed that their actual leader had to be someone with an identity and a cultivation realm equally matched to the three of them .
Although they had called him ‘Martial Uncle’, the person who had walked out of the forest was a young adult .
His figure was slightly on the thinner side, and he had a pale complexion . Although he wore the same light blue robe as the others, it gave him a profound aura . It resembled the accumulation of moss on a rock after many long years .
The might of the Revelation Stage aura surrounding his body was revealed, transforming him into someone who could rival Luo MingChuan’s prowess .
The rest of the Bao Pu Sect disciples gathered behind him, allowing him to lead them .
The circumstances of the scene became reversed .
Yin BiYue had already started considering which Sword Art he should use first when he drew his sword later .
The teenager cupped his hands in greeting before returning a half salute . “Bao Pu Sect, He Lai . ”
His name was very simple . So uncomplicated, it was somewhat baffling .
However, Luo MingChuan’s expression made it evident that he understood something . This was because He Lai was indeed very well-known .
The young man’s tone contained a hint of contempt, “We were unaware Cang Ya’s brilliant disciple was here, and were unable to recognize you . We have offended you greatly and request forgiveness . ”
Although he requested forgiveness, it was apparent he still did not have any intentions of making way for them . On the contrary, when he said ‘being unable to recognize you’, he suggested that the three of them were the ones that were bizarrely dressed, and that their appearances were improper .
He Lai swept his gaze across Duan ChongXuan . Immediately, hints of scorn appeared in his eyes, along with some faint disappointment .
He was indeed disappointed .
This was because everybody was wondering how the Sword Saint’s disciples would be like . Now that he saw them in person, he only felt that in reality, one’s renowned reputation was difficult to live up to . A large reason as to why he decided to enter this year’s Flower Picking Festival was because he had received news of how the Sword Saint’s disciples were attending .
Now, it seemed like they were nothing more than this . They were truly unworthy of him making a trip down the mountain .
No one present was an idiot, so naturally, everybody understood the meaning behind He Lai’s words .
A wave of sneers erupted within the group of Bao Pu Sect disciples . They were light, but ear-piercing .
But Duan ChongXuan also chuckled . He took two steps forward, and then nodded in greeting .
“Senior-apprentice brother He, I’ve long looked forward to meeting you . Now that I’ve seen you, it’s truly an honour . ”
Yin BiYue keenly noticed that the aura surrounding the chatterbox had changed .
It didn’t look like false bravado or a bluff, but rather like an innate momentum .
Even his ostentatious silk changpao embroidered with belladona blossoms in gold thread seemed to have become a proper and graceful Emperor’s gown .
Although Duan ChongXuan said ‘nice to meet you’, it sounded more like, ‘kneel before me’ .
Duan ChongXuan continued to speak, “Master, our elder, has always taught us that ‘every honest action done must never cross the line’ . To not allow outside influences to sway the heart, and to not be deceived and allow our eyes to be blinded . To ‘change the direction of others’ rather than ‘allow others to manipulate me’ . If one’s heart is firm and unwavering, every action honest and true to oneself, then no matter if it is a famed blade or a simple folding fan, plain clothes or finery, all are viewed as external influences . ”
He Lai’s complexion was somewhat bad . However, he couldn’t retort and say that the Sword Saint was wrong .
Duan ChongXuan suddenly changed the topic . The smile on his face gradually deepened as he said, “Meeting each other by chance must be an event directed by Fate . Although there is the saying of ‘first come, first served’, today I have personally seen my Bao Pu Sect friends are truly upright and honest, like clear jade containing pearls . To be content with poverty and to strive for virtue in this way truly makes me admire you! Since these friends seem to be in a hurry and are unable to wait, how could we not make way?”
Duan ChongXuan gestured forward with his fan before gracefully retreating, “May everyone please pass first!”
Chapter 18 (II): Bao Pu1
The complexions of the Bao Pu Sect disciples became ashen as they waited for He Lai to make a decision .
However, Luo MingChuan didn’t give them a chance to speak up .
“This scuffle in the gorge is a small matter, but if it spreads outside, my Cang Ya Mountain will unavoidably incur enmity for using our power to bully others . My sect has always upheld righteousness . This kind of bad reputation, we simply cannot bear it!”
He withdrew to one side before assuming a position that made it obvious he was making way for them . “May everyone please pass first!”
Yin BiYue was already unable to pull out his sword .
If one unraveled Duan ChongXuan’s flowery, twisting words, one would find that it implied, ‘you’re ugly, so you can pass first’ .
On the other hand, Luo MingChuan’s words blatantly meant, ‘you’re weak, so you can pass first’ .
Xi Hua Peak’s diplomatic representative plus Cang Ya Mountain’s diplomatic representative——how did these two guys with MAX verbal ability manage to gather together in one group?!
For the first time, Yin BiYue profoundly understood the saying, ‘mouthing off was justice’ .
Since things had already reached this point, if Bao Pu Sect still did not pass, then it would make them look somewhat pretentious .
Because……they had already made way for them ah! No matter what Bao Pu Sect said or did now, it would all look unreasonable!
He Lai cupped his hands in a salute . He said, “I’m sure we will meet again,” before he turned around and led the Bao Pu Sect disciples away .
After the Bao Pu Sect group walked off into the distance, Luo MingChuan once again took his position at the front before making his way forward .
Yin BiYue and Duan ChongXuan chatted as they walked beside each other . Confused, Yin BiYue asked, “Did Master really say something like that?”
Boldly and self-confidently, Duan ChongXuan said, “I’ve only met Master’s portrait! Who knows if that elder had said something like this before!”
Once again, Yin BiYue found himself completely speechless .
To dare making up the Sword Saint’s words, if this guy had been born in the Northern Imperial City……
He would definitely dare to even fabricate an Imperial edict! Sooner or later, someone would have barged into his home to investigate him!
As one moved up the trail between the mountain peaks, the boughs of the trees provided shelter from the sun .
A disciple wearing a light blue robe asked with unwillingness in his tone, “Martial Uncle He, are we going to let this matter just pass like this?”
When He Lai, who had remained silent till then, heard his words, a pleased smile appeared on his face . “Nowadays, Cang Ya Mountain has actually weakened to the point they can only flaunt the speed of their tongues . What is there to fear?”
The moment he said this, there were immediately others who agreed . “That’s right! Moreover, during this Flower Picking Festival, Martial Uncle will naturally teach them a lesson!”
Another person asked, “That person who covered half their face with a hooded black cloak, is he truly a disciple of Xi Hua Peak? Why doesn’t he look like a good person?”
The first disciple who had gotten into a dispute with Luo MingChuan replied, “Heh, at first, I didn’t believe the three of them were from Cang Ya Mountain . However, the moment that person spoke up, I knew it was true! Half a month ago, our spy hidden in Cang Ya sent back some news . Someone from Xi Hua Peak encountered an accident while cultivating, and all of their hair turned white overnight! It can be assumed it was precisely that secretive guy who kept himself covered!”
Expressions of understanding appeared on everyone else’s faces . Another person said, “If that’s the case, he couldn’t have avoided major damage to his cultivation . I truly don’t know what he’s doing at the Flower Picking Festival!”
Wittily and cheerfully, the Bao Pu Sect disciples joked together, as they walked onwards in glowing spirits .
Duan ChongXuan wasn’t someone who liked flaunting the quickness of his tongue . It was just that he hated suffering losses and being at a disadvantage .
Ever since he was a child, the environment he grew up in had taught him: regardless of whether it was talking or if it was making a move, there was never a reason to let himself suffer a loss .
Luo MingChuan was also not fond of settling disputes with a debate . However, he believed that if something could be solved by using one’s mouth, it was unnecessary to use one’s sword .
And even if he was simply just using his words, he mustn’t allow others to humiliate them .
They insisted on following their own principles, and didn’t care what it would look like in the eyes of others .
Yin BiYue thought that he probably wouldn’t have a chance to draw his sword before the Flower Picking Festival started .
However, he still didn’t understand a few things . “Just now, that person called He Lai, is he very famous?”
Duan ChongXuan stared at him in astonishment, before immediately laughing until his eyebrows rose and his lungs ran out of air . “Fourth senior-apprentice brother ah! You should have asked question in front of him! It would absolutely anger him to the point he’d vomit up enough blood to turn his entire robe red!”
Yin BiYue truly didn’t know . Even though he had gone through all the ancient books and records at the Lan Yuan Academy and knew the origins and history of every Sect like the back of his hand, he wasn’t clear on what geniuses had appeared in the last hundred years or so .
He only knew the Qing Lu Jian Sect had a ‘Wind and Rain Sword’ ace, because they were truly too famous .
Duan ChongXuan proceeded to ask, “Do you know of ‘Bao Pu’s Seven Viscounts’?”
Yin BiYue looked pensive before thoughtfully saying, “I seem to have heard about them before . Is there one named Lin YuanGui?”
Duan ChongXuan felt that the other six Viscounts could all stain their robes red as well .
However, he still patiently helped his family’s senior-apprentice brother dispel his doubts . “The He Lai from before is precisely the fifth member of ‘Bao Pu’s Seven Viscounts’ . ”
Yin BiYue suddenly saw the light .
However, if the one ranked fifth was already like this, what would the ones ranked below him be like?
Duan ChongXuan continued on to say, “In regards to the Bao Pu’s Seven Viscounts, four of them are spiritual cultivators while three of them are martial cultivators . The one ranked first, Lin YuanGui, can be comparable to our eldest senior-apprentice brother at Cang Ya Mountain . The other six also possess unusual spiritual veins that will no doubt enable them to stand out amongst thousands and possibly become legends……But sometimes, I think Bao Pu Sect is just trying to attract more people into their Sect, to allow the other six to be equally as famous as Lin YuanGui . ”
The moment the chatterbox started speaking, he wouldn’t be able to stop . “Say, what kind of logic do you think they’re working with? More people means victory?! At Cang Ya, if I picked thirty-six heavenly stars2 and seventy-two earth movers who could shake mountains, which amounts to a hundred and eight heroes in total, would I be able to crush the entire cultivation world?! If I was Lin YuanGui and everyone kept putting me together with the other six, I would have long washed my hands of Bao Pu Sect, before leaving the mountain and betraying them!”
Yin BiYue thought, toward Bao Pu Sect……Just how much hatred did the chatterbox have for them ah?!
After thinking about it for a bit, he understood . From the very beginning, this Bao Pu Sect that had been second eldest for ten thousand years have always acted peculiar when it came to Cang Ya Mountain . Most importantly, it was said that the Sword Saint’s relationship with Bao Pu Sect was very bad .
The Sword Saint . Once again, it was about the Sword Saint .
Whenever Yin BiYue thought about this conveniently and cheaply obtained Master, his heart would always feel quite entangled .
He didn’t know why the Sword Saint, who had been out wandering for many years, would send a message to eldest senior-apprentice brother and make him accept a disciple on his behalf . Accept Yin BiYue himself, to Xi Hua Peak .
But, as he glanced at Duan ChongXuan, who was still immersed in roasting Bao Pu Sect……
No, he completely didn’t understand what the Sword Saint’s standards were when it came to accepting disciples!
After mentioning the Sword Saint, he was reminded of the Academy Director . It had been said that the two were the best of friends .
The Academy had that many talented children, so why would the Academy Director pick him to assist him in his affairs?
Could it be……the mutual attraction between the villains from the evil faction?
Tsk . The behaviour of important characters always made others feel baffled .
Yin BiYue thought, if he needed a resume, it would definitely be written like this:
My name is Yin BiYue .
I am a villain .
I like cultivating, I like practicing my swordsmanship, I like pondering over things, etc .
I am a man who will become an Ultimate Villain Boss .
You can insult me, but you cannot insult my life’s dream goal .
You can doubt me, but you cannot doubt my professional accomplishments .
The protagonist has his golden finger . Wherever he wants to go, the entire world would make way for him .
I have the Fiend’s Villainous Halo . Block gods, slaughter gods . Block Buddha, slaughter Buddha .
I am Yin BiYue . I help myself bring salt .
Pah, it’s truly salty3!
抱朴: (bào pǔ) means to cherish simplicity .
lit . Big Dipper stars, in Chinese myth, 36 stars each represent a different god/goddess .
带盐 (dài yán) means ‘bring salt’ and is a homophone for 代言 (spokesperson) so slangwise, “bringing salt” means ‘being a spokesperson for myself” . In this case, Yin BiYue finds it salty because it feels like he is boasting about himself .