At dusk the trickle of people coming down the mountain began, with robes with their hems stained with frost, and green lotus leaf in hand. When their fellow disciples saw them, they would burst out in cheers and walk back arm in arm.
He Yanyun descended a little late. In the afterglow of the setting sun, Ruan Xiaolian spotted her at a glance.
Not because her movement was elegant, her downhill descent graceful, but because… her lotus leaf was truly too big.
The largest leaf anyone else has brought down was as big as a plate, or a fan- but He Yanyun, hers covered half of her entire body.
As she left the mountain path, everyone who saw her gave her sidelong glances. But because she was a young girl, doing something like this would only make people feel that she was cute and lovable.
Ruan Xiaolian rushed up to meet her, and swept her eyes along the length of the leaf, “This… is enough for many portions.”
He Yanyun proudly said, “Of course, I picked the biggest one.”
Ruan Xiaolian smiled, “We can also call Duiyan over to eat.”
The people next to them grew more and more confused as they listened, completely not understanding what they were talking about.
The thousand leafed lotus only bloomed at midnight. According to the experience of the people prior, picking it too early or too late would cause a loss in the quality of the medicinal effects.
Yin-shixiong is going flower picking, Luo-shixiong will undoubtedly accompany him. This is something that the Cang Ya disciples collectively recognized.
Thus they didn’t wait at the foot of the mountain for Luo Mingchuan to descend, and all headed back with wonderful expectations and blessings.
The moon was clear and the stars scattered. Chongming Mountain was encased within cloud and mist and the thick cover of night, indiscernible to the eye.
There no longer existed the sea of people that gathered at the mountain in the light of day, only leaving peace and silence behind.
The wind blowing through the mountains at night was cold and damp. Yin Biyue watched the countless lotus leaves, layer upon layer, swaying and dancing like surging jade waves in the sea as the wind blew by. It was hard to imagine that there would be a lake on this mountain.
Bitingly cold winds swirled. Between the moments as he raised his gaze, the Heavens and Earth spread endlessly before him, as if the brilliant moon above the Ninth Heaven was within reach.
Standing here, he should have felt the lonesomeness of the pinnacle.
But because there was someone beside him, this frigid night also became warm.
Yin Biyue was momentarily dazed.
This kind of warmth, throughout his long career as a transmigrating villain, was something he never experienced before. But he didn’t know when it began, but it has already become familiar.
He lightly parted his lips, voice drifting in the air, “Luo-shixiong…”
Luo Mingchuan didn’t ask what was wrong, and instead also attentively met his gaze, returning, “Yin-shidi.”
His gaze was focused, moonbeams seemingly flowing through his eyes.
Yin Biyue’s heart suddenly trembled.
He subconsciously turned his head to look at lake and lotus leaves. As his eyes landed on the lake, in its center he saw faint glimmers of speckled night, like leaping lights of fireflies- fragments of shattered stars, unceasingly igniting and extinguishing. An instant of withering glory, beautiful yet fleeting.
Luo Mingchuan smiled, “The flower is about to bloom.”
Yin Biyue started, and was gently pulled along by his wrist to fly forwards.
They alighted onto lotus leaves as they went, the mountain’s winds buffeting their faces, their sleeves fluttering.
The lake’s center held the singular lotus blossom.
The stem was slender, and the unopened bud was small and tender. An unending stream of glowing specks spilled from the spaces between the petals, rising towards the sky.
The moon’s light cast westward, landing perfectly on the lotus blossom.
From a blossoming bud into a blinding brilliance, it took only a twinkle of the eye.
Radiance gushed from the flower’s pistil, the lake’s water into a sheet of white, glimmering with the luster of gems.
The jade coloured lotus was no larger than one’s palm, yet overlapping endlessly. Its thousands of layers and tens of thousands of petals the exquisite and beautiful craft of immortal hands .
“Shidi, eat the lotus as soon as it’s picked, the medical effects are best then.”
Yin Biyue nodded. Reaching out to pick the stem, the splendor dimmed by half instantly.
The lotus entered his mouth and turned to liquid without any chewing. Cool yet not cold, flowing along his meridians.
In the same moment, Luo Mingchuan lightly pushed off his toes to send his body flying backwards, yet he his breathing could not be suppressed as it steadily grew frantic.
Wherever he passed, the mist scattered, lotus leaves parted, waters surged, and waves turned!
The Heart’s Blood Oath was resolved.
His cultivation realm actually skipped past Lesser Vessel early-stage, and directly entered the mid-stage until it reluctantly stopped.
He feared the might of his own breakthrough would affect Shidi, and hastily retreated. He now watched Yin Biyue at a distance, his expression tense.
Yin Biyue felt the lotus flower pure and smooth through his four limbs and bones, his mental sea became clearer than he could have imagined.
This kind of feeling was very strange, and he couldn’t help but close his eyes.
After the Breakthrough stage a cultivator is able to see the sea within themselves. Currently, his divine sense floated above that sea, watching countless tributaries converging into a silvery light, flowing towards the ocean. He knew that the streams were what became of the Thousand Petal Lotus¹.
Hundreds of rivers return to the sea, a silver radiance arising from its waters, waves gleaming crystalline as if scattered with moonlight².
Luo Mingchuan watched Yin Biyue close his eyes, his entire body foiled with a layer of soft brilliance, he and the bright moon above shining upon each other.
The Thousand Petal Lotus’s effects have begun. It was the same as rebuilding his meridians once again, and henceforth Shidi’s natural aptitude³ has been increased by a level.
He smiled faintly, feeling more uninhibited than when he broke through moments prior.
But the next instant, his smile stiffened at the corner of his lips.
Yin Biyue opened his eyes, his gaze clear and cold, his pupils flashing with a stroke of silver.
White robes swayed in the mountain breeze, accompanying the billowing three thousand strands of white doused in splendor.
That moment, Luo Mingchuan felt as if he was drowned within a frozen pit, the chill within his heart overflowing.
The Thousand Petal Lotus couldn’t cure his shidi’s white hair.
Yin Biyue opened his eyes and saw that Luo Mingchuan had promoted to Lesser Vessel Middle Stage, his breath fully integrated, and realm steady. Just as he wanted to congratulate him, he felt that Luo Mingchuan appeared to be distracted, so he called out, “Shixiong?”
Luo Mingchuan pulled them back to shore, his eyes landing on the strand of white hair that fell on his chest.
He resolutely spoke, “Shidi, we’ll set out for Xingshan Temple right away. If Xingshan Temple has no solution, we’ll go to Jikong Temple! There will be a solution! You’ll recover, believe me!”
Yin Biyue followed his gaze and saw where the problem layed. He hastily opened his mouth to explain.
“Shixiong, it’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with me in the slightest.”
Luo Mingchuan felt like Shidi was consoling him, and absolutely could not swallow those words.
He looked into Yin Biyue’s eyes, and earnestly said, “There will be a solution. Follow me, alright?”
Central Continent. Yunyang City⁴.
The Academy Director stood in the courtyard, the locust trees filling the yard rustled by the evening wind.
He watched the figure standing atop the cornice.
Like gazing up at a distant moon, remote and unfamiliar, yet like greeting a friend on the street, intimate to the extreme⁵.
He said, “Since you’ve come, why not come down for a cup of tea?”
The distance between them was great, and his voice was also not loud, but the figure atop the cornice leapt down in one smooth motion.
Cloak swelling like a white bird spreading its wings, drawing a bright arc against the night, the figure landed lightly in the courtyard.
A meter away.
This distance was just correct.
The Academy director knew; Wei Jingfeng did not leave the Fallen Star Abyss and coolly travelled⁶ to the distant Yunyang City was not to have a cup of tea.
He waited for the other to speak first.
Wei Jingfeng glanced at the shattered Star Array Disk and grey roof tiles on the stone table.
He saved the Academy Director, but also destroyed his instrument⁷.
This one look had a lot of meaning. Saving someone and destroying someone, to a Saint, it is all but a thought.
Then he said, “This Old Man has said before; this matter is not for you to meddle in.”
His tone was somber and called himself an old man, yet his voice also carried the sluggish roughness of a youth going through puberty.
These two descriptions should be incomparably incompatible, yet due to his bearing no one could deny there wasn’t the least the sense that it was odd.
Silent depths and mountain peaks⁸, deep and immeasurable.
The Academy Director said nothing.
This silence was neither silent agreement nor silent acquiescence. It was silent defiance.
Wei Jingfeng understood his intent, and his tone of voice cooled further,
“Other people praised you once with ‘calculation through the heavens’ and you took it seriously? Who do you think you are? This world’s most useless are scholars!”
His words are very harsh, and hateful to listen to.
This world’s most useless are scholars.
The Academy Director was indeed a scholar, but he was a scholar who stood at this world’s peak. Who dares say he is useless?
He hasn’t heard this kind of mockery in six hundred years, but his expression didn’t seem angry at all.
He even had some humorous thoughts: see, this is the result of not reading enough books. Cursing back and forth, in the end there’s just this one phrase.
So he smiled for real, and also spoke a sentence,
“Wei Jingfeng, I haven’t seen in many years, yet your appearance has not changed at all.”
Hearing this, the Sword Saint’s voice was even stronger. The wind swirling throughout the courtyard blew swifter, and the all the locust trees trembled faintly.
“Fresh faced or withered bones, it’s just skin deep! For what reason would this Old Man care about this kind of thing?”
As he spoke, he took a couple steps forward and stepped out of the shadow cast by the corridor.
Moonlight fell on his face, clearly revealing an adolescent face!
Paired with his snow-sheen cloak, cloud patterned brocade boots, he seemed just like a young master who would ride on horseback into the red light district⁹.
The director retreated two steps.
Thus the distance between them returned to one meter.
The Director knew that he angered him. The best thing to do is to change the subject.
“How is the Fallen Star Abyss?”
Wei Jingfeng replied, “It’s still expanding. What did that guy in Jikong Temple say?”
“He thinks the same as I.”
These few sentences of back and forth seemed baffling, and they also spoke lightly, yet it was related to the fate and future of the world.
That guy in Jikong Temple, naturally, was referring to the Sage Wu Wang of Jikong Temple.
That Sage hasn’t cared for worldly events for thousands of years, yet about this matter, he had the same view as the Director.
So the Director pleaded with him, “Why are you so stubborn?”
The Sword Saint lifted his eyes slightly, casting his gaze thousands of li into the distance.
“Before everything happens, there is nothing that can determine someone else’s fate. A Saint cannot, neither can the paths of stars, and neither can the heavenly dao!”
This sentence was very consistent with the code Wei Jingfeng has lived by from start to finish.
The Director understood, but still could not accept it. Because he felt he was the one who was right. Not only did Wu Wang agree with him, but if everyone else in the world also knew of it, they would also make the same choice.
So he asked the Sword Saint,
“Even if that person will bring a great calamity to the world?”
1) Technically the lotus is called 千叶莲 which means thousand leafed, but it means petals in this case (though it also has thousands of leaves).
2) 百川归海，大海上泛起银辉，波光粼粼，仿佛有月光洒落。This footnote is here to illustrate the difficulties of translating Chinese and so I can cry publicly about how much I struggled with it.
A hundred rivers returning to the sea [all things progress in one direction], a silver light arising from the sea, light like that reflects off waves are clear and crystalline, as if there is moonlight sprinkled.
波光 is technically just the light that reflects off waves, undulating and uneven. Think blinded like the ocean.
粼粼 is used specifically for the shine and freshness of water droplets. Think bottled water commercials.
洒 is generally associated with water as well.
In conclusion, I tried my best.
3) The term used means something to the tune of musculoskeletal and spiritual structure, but basically means the conditions and talent for cultivation in his body that he was born with.
4) 云阳 – If we are to believe this is in actual China instead of Fantasy Landmass this is an actual place in central China. Otherwise, it’s Cloud Sun (Sunny Cloud? Cloudy Sun?) City.
5) 举目望月，遥远生疏，也如临街寒暄，熟稔至极。Looking at someone from below, distant so as to make them seem strange, yet someone that you can face the street and yell a greeting, and extremely familiar.
6) 不远万里 to translate literally, “as if ten thousand miles is not far” meaning to make light of a long journey. Used to show that shifu came to visit despite the long distance he had to travel to do so, as if he thought nothing of it.
7) Not a toot toot instrument, but as in a ceremonious/religious tool, in this case, his trigram plate （阵盘）.
8) 渊渟岳峙，深不可测。It actually talks about his moral character, rather than strictly his breadth of mind or whatnot.
9) 走马章台的少年公子 – It’s lowkey what it says on the tin, someone who rides a horse (and thus proudly) into Zhang Tai Street, a street that was filled with brothels in ancient Chang’an. The term used here is youthful gongzi, which is usually the son of a noble or wealthy family.Please download our sponsor's game to support us!