"Magnificent Snow Lotus Herb..." Chu Yang muttered subconsciously.
"Yes, the Magnificent Snow Lotus Herb. And, there were two flowers in that plant. One black, and one white — a Yin and a Yang. And, its Yin and Yang elements complemented each other to generate a wondrous effect that could cure incurable illnesses, increase martial power, and even help one make a breakthrough!" Chu Fei Ling explained. He then added, "My wife and I took one flower each. Our injured bodies unexpectedly made a complete recovery overnight! Moreover, our martial powers increased dramatically, and both of us broke through to the Second Grade Emperor Level…"
"Your misfortune truly turned into a blessing." Chu Yang sighed deeply.
"Misfortune turned into a blessing…? Ha-ha…" Chu Fei Ling laughed bitterly and said, "My wife and I sensed that our injuries had healed. So, we immediately rushed back. We killed our way back through the enemies. In fact, we killed dozens of pursuers; left and right. We didn’t even have time to interrogate our enemies or force an oral confession out of them. We rushed straight back to that ruined temple… but…"
"Our child was already gone by then..." Chu Fei Ling spoke in an extremely painful voice.
"The child… had already disappeared..." Chu Yang was at a loss for words. He felt as if that deeply buried hatred that he had harbored in his heart towards his own parents for abandoning him had vanished in thin air right this moment…
"The two of us had nearly gone crazy. We searched for our child unceasingly. We even searched the wolf lairs and tiger caves in several nearby mountains, but we couldn’t find him… We helplessly returned to the Upper Three Heavens after a long time. However, our poor child’s memory has been ever-present in our hearts like a steadily growing thorn. My wife misses our son, and longs to see him again day and night. Her appearance has grown wan and sallow. Her martial power hasn’t advanced one bit in the last 18 years. Instead, it has dropped from the Second Grade of Emperor Level to the First Grade. She has also developed a deep-seated illness of chest pain…"
"The entire family treats us as a laughing stock... my in-law family have treated me and wife as if we are their enemies... all these years ..." Chu Fei Ling heaved a deep sigh with sorrow, "... all these years…‘distress’ is the word that can sum up our state... "
Chu Yang was already completely stupefied.
[There’s no doubt that this person before my eyes — the one who has just become my ‘sword big brother’— is my own biological father!]
Chu Fei Ling turned his head once he was done sighing over his misfortune. But, he was surprised to see that there were tears streaming down Chu Yang’s face. He was startled by this. So, he asked, "Brother, what happened to you?"
"Boo hoo hoo... this story has touched me..." Chu Yang wiped his tears, and exposed a smile uglier than his cry…
Chu Yang was greatly conflicted in his heart! He had a strong impulse to throw himself and embrace this man who had been suffering for so many years. He wanted to tell him that… [I’m your son! I’m your son who went missing 18 years ago!]
[But... Damn! I can’t!]
That’s because... they had just become sworn brothers. Moreover, he had been semi-forced into it by Chu Fei Ling. [He would perhaps be ashamed to death if I tell him the truth right now… he may not even get enough time to be pleasantly surprised on having found me…]
[Oh God, I forced my own son to swear brotherhood with myself…?]
[Who can withstand such an insane matter?]
[More importantly... I am also shouldering my own responsibilities… such as the responsibility of the Master of Nine Tribulations Sword, the responsibility to save Little Wu… My birth clan would obviously find out about the things that I’ve done to unify the Lower Three Heavens if I go back to gain their recognition. And, they would get to the heart of the matter if that happens. Perhaps my identity as the Master of Nine Tribulations Sword might get revealed.]
[Of course, I trust my father and mother. But, the problem is... the Chu Clan isn’t united at present! God knows who harbors evil intentions in the clan? It doesn’t matter who does it, but the entire Chu Clan would get implicated, and would disappear without a trace once my identity as the Master of Nine Tribulations Sword gets leaked out!]
[It wouldn’t be a matter of great happiness if I am to gain recognition as the son, but the clan gets destroyed in the process. That’d be a great tragedy instead!]
[Moreover, my parents would probably swallow me whole to keep me in a safe space if I don’t tell them about the things which happened in the Lower Three Heavens… they would send a group of experts to protect me at the very least. But, how can we hide the facts from the eyes and ears of the nine great ruling clans if the experts of Chu Clan are to be mobilized? This is no small matter. It can’t be hidden easily…]
These conflicted feelings were killing Chu Yang.
"Sword Spirit, is there a way to permanently cure… the problem of chest pain?" Chu Yang asked the Sword Spirit in his mind. He looked a bit worried.
"Chest pain…?" Sword Spirit snorted disdainfully, "What’s so great about this ailment? It happens when a person has been longing for someone. The resulting depression leads to their meridians getting blocked. That's all."
"I see... can the complete Nine Tribulations Pill cure it permanently?" Chu Yang asked with anticipation. [I haven’t seen my mother, but I still want her to get well...]
"Big Brother... that’s not necessary, got it?" Sword Spirit screamed loudly, "The incomplete version of Nine Tribulations Pill is good-enough to cure this ailment. The usage of the complete Nine Tribulations Pill is a brute ‘overkill’. It’s a complete waste of valuable resources. This treasure is potent enough to help one enhance an entire level... You mustn’t throw away our precious wealth like that. Our wealth is certainly very profound, but it won’t last long if you keep squandering it left and right..."
Sword Spirit was so distressed that he nearly cried, "This is the most precious wonder-drug in the entire Nine Heavens! It’s not some cabbage that grows on the roadside! Even a Supreme Level Expert would witness a big effect if they were to eat it ah ah ah…"
"Enhance an entire level?" Chu Yang’s eyes lit-up, "That’s awesome. That’s enough to help my mother increase her self-preservation ability…"
Sword Spirit slapped his own cheek several times in remorse. [I am such a ‘big mouth’! Why did I have to say that…?]
"It enhances an entire level... Why didn’t you tell me earlier?" Chu Yang asked in a puzzled manner.
"It can only help the powerhouses of Emperor Level and above in enhancing their level! It will heal your wounds, and will store-up as medicinal efficacy if you eat it at your current level. But, it will only be turned into a lump of shit besides that!" Sword Spirit snorted in anger. He was clearly in a bad mood.
"Eh..." Chu Yang excitedly raised his eyebrow, and suddenly thought of something. [Well, how about I also let my old man enhance his level? Otherwise, I won’t feel relieved if I take into consideration how he’s in danger every day.]
"Can you give me two Nine Tribulations Pills?" Chu Yang asked.
"There won’t be any left for Mo Qing Wu if I do that." Sword Spirit rolled his eyes and thought, [this guy has become addicted to squandering our wealth.]
"Nonsense!" Chu Yang got furious, "We have Jade Snow Spirit Ginseng, Mysterious Ice Jade Paste, Mysterious Yang Jade Essence, Vitality Spring Water, and so many other elixirs. We also have Sea of Fire Purple Crustal Spirit Mushroom. We should be able to produce many Nine Tribulations Pills, right? How can there be an inadequacy of materials?!"
Sword Spirit seemed to be distressed. His whole body trembled, "I call you Great Sword Lord, do I not? Listen to me, oh Great Sword Lord! This is an enormous waste of resources! This is an unforgivable sin..."
"You listen to me, and prepare the pills at once!" Chu Yang used the Way of the Tyrant and spoke with an authority which couldn’t be questioned.
"I can at most prepare one! The Mysterious Ice Jade Paste and Mysterious Yang Jade Essence can only be used a little bit..." Sword Spirit bargained with a resolute look on his face. In fact, he didn’t yield an inch, "Otherwise, I would rather go on strike!"
"You have a quarter of an hour to prepare one pill." Minister Chu surrendered.
"Is there anything else you want?" Sword Spirit saw that this guy was about to say something, but had stopped abruptly. So, he couldn’t help but ask angrily.
"Actually... I have to give them two weapons so that they can protect themselves..." Chu Yang spoke with a salivating face, "You have also seen that his saber is soft and dull. It doesn’t have much use…"
"I have prepared that already!" the Sword Spirit said grumpily, "I knew that you would come to annoy me the moment I saw you crying like a kid. So, I already prepared the weapons for you. Here, take them away," he threw out a sword and a saber with a ‘ding’ sound.
"You are a very good guy!" Minister Chu was moved to tears as he said, "I would have devoted my life to you if you were a woman. In fact, I would have taken you as my wife."
"... Get the hell out of here!!" The Sword Spirit had goose bumps over his entire body. He only possessed a spirit body, but he still felt creeped out…
"One more thing... Can you make a few pills which can conceal one’s strength to perfection so that others can’t see through one’s cultivation... that sort of pills..."
"I live to serve you..." The Sword Spirit faced upwards and heaved a deep sigh.
Chu Yang triumphantly exited his sea of consciousness.
He opened his eyes. He saw that Chu Fei Ling was right in front of his face, and was carefully examining him. There was a look of deep concern on his face, "Brother... wake up. Brothers, how are you?"
[What happened? How did my brother suddenly lose consciousness? And, I am calling him out, but he won’t wake up…]
Chu Yang came to his senses, and woke up with a jolt. He awkwardly coughed a few times. He again heard several heartfelt cries calling ‘brother’ to wake him up. However, Minister Chu only felt discomfort in his whole body… including in his pants… wherein his eggs had been clutched, and were being pulled...
[You can’t wake someone like this… this can kill me, father...]
"Um, I was thinking... your present strength should be at the Ninth Grade Saber Emperor Level, right?" Chu Yang smacked his lips and asked, "How come you never thought of making a breakthrough to the Saber Monarch Level?"
"Break through to the Saber Monarch Level?" Chu Fei Ling shook his head and replied, "You think it’s easy to make a breakthrough to the Monarch Level? Brother, the breakthrough from Emperor Level to Monarch Level isn’t as simple as the breakthrough from Revered Martial Level to King Level. It depends on the world’s elementary power, one’s cultivation efficiency, lucky coincidence, and one’s mental state to achieve enlightenment… Not a single one of these factors is dispensable…"
"Hm, hm, hm…" Chu Yang nodded again and again. Then, he sincerely said, "Then... today... you know… since you have recognized me as... you know… Little Brother… So, I have something to give it to you… as a gift… for meeting you for the first time..."
Chu Yang didn’t know how to say this directly. [What should I call myself? How should I address him? This is the problem! In fact, it’s the biggest problem!]
[Should I call him Big Brother? Should I refer to myself as Little Brother?] Chu Yang felt leg cramps as he thought about these things. So, he obviously couldn’t speak them out loud.
It was indeed true that Minister Chu was a maverick, and an ‘out of control’ guy. However… he didn’t dare to be sloppy in such a serious issue! [This is not… a fu*king joke… ]
"You still want to give me ‘first meeting’ gift?! I should be the one who should give you a first meeting gift, Little Brother. You are making me feel ashamed by saying this." Chu Fei Ling waved his hand. He felt strange in his heart strange, [did this unlikely brother stutter?] He then spoke with sincerity, "Brother! Dear Brother! You gave me these things… this is enough for this big brother of yours. I probably won’t be able to repay for this kindness in my whole life..."
"Well... I can make you break through to the Monarch Level today..." Chu Yang hardened his heart, and took the decisive action in this complex situation.
"What?" Chu Fei Ling was shocked.
"Eat it!" Chu Yang took out a pill. In fact, he had already stuffed it into Chu Fei Ling’s mouth before the man could see what it looked like. The pill entered his mouth, and filled his mouth with fragrance. He felt comfortable in his limbs and bones. Then, a cold stream formed a mutual spiral with a hot steam, and surged jubilantly within his Dantian.
Meanwhile, a cold sensation suddenly appeared in his mind. He had never really touched upon the meanings of the great dao principles. But, they suddenly stormed into his mind, and began to churn around in his thoughts...