Chapter 111: Query in the Night
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
It was late in the night. A small gust of wind blew across the mountain, causing the thick forest of trees to rustle. The shadow of a man creeping towards a room could be seen. He walked slowly until he reached the Sect Elder's room before knocking on the door.
"Master, have you fallen asleep?" Song Zhi's voice rang out from outside. Realizing that it was quiet inside the room, he gently pushed open the door and entered the Sect Leader's room.
The candles within the room lit up instantly, emitting a dazzling glow all across. The Sect Leader sat upright on his bed. It seemed like he had snapped his fingers and the candles were ignited all at once.
Song Zhi was not shocked at all by this display of powers. He then stepped forward and bowed, "Master, your disciple is feeling anxious and worried. My apologies for intruding on your meditation."
"Are you here because of Pei Zi Yun?" The Sect Leader opened his eyes.
"Yes, master. My heart feels extremely unjust. Pei Zi Yun was just lucky, and thus managed to secure such a huge accomplishment. And now all he needs to do is to open the gates of heaven before he can become a Core Disciple. And I, Song Zhi, have labored for more than ten years and contributed greatly to the sect in various ways before I could reach my current status of a Core Disciple. I feel that it's extremely unfair. And I'm not pleased." Song Zhi paused before spilling out his worries, his face showed a look of anxiousness.
"I know what you're thinking and how you're feeling. How can his one single accomplishment match up to your years of hard work. Do you really not understand, or are you pretending not to understand? Song Zhi my good disciple." The Sect Leader sighed and looked at Song Zhi as he said frankly.
Hearing the Sect Leader's words, Song Zhi fell into a state of panic. Honestly, how could he not understand? It was clear that his years of hard work were considered small and insignificant manual layout. And yet the accomplishment of Pei Zi Yun was a huge victory for the sect. It was so huge that even the Founder and the whole Paradise and sect could feel the effects.
Placing all other benefits aside, having the title of True Sovereign meant that the officials from various prefectures would look out for the interest of the sect. Having a benefit like this would benefit the sect for several hundred years.
Song Zhi's deepest fears had been placed out in the open by the Sect Leader. He swallowed hard and stammered before speaking, "Master, I know that Pei Zi Yun had done a great deed for out sect. But I am...."
The Sect Leader had a strange look on his face. He sighed and interrupted Song Zhi from completing his sentence. The Sect Leader opened his eyes once more, and didn't allow Song Zhi to continue, "Silly, why should you bother? If he's unable to break through the gates of heaven, all his accomplishments will be for naught."
"Master, you have to help me. I understand this as well. But if I do not eventually become the Sect Leader, where will I find the resources to cultivate immortality? If I do not become the Honorary Disciple, how can I receive guidance? Although all these stems from a selfish agenda, if I get to become an Honorary Disciple, I will eventually become the Sect Leader. Then I can take the sect to greater heights."
"Hm, you do not have to say all these. Let me ask you, when can you open the gates of heaven?" Hearing Song Zhi's words, the Free Cloud Sect Leader bore a cold expression as he asked. This disciple of his had sacrificed much time and effort, and yet was stuck at this point of cultivation.
"Master, I.." Song Zhi spoke halfway and did not finish his sentence. He was dumbfounded. The Sect Leader looked at his disciple struggling with anxiety and panic. The Sect Leader gave an indescribable expression.
The Sect Leader recalled to a time, twenty years ago. His own master took hold of his hands and said, "I've failed in this life. I hope that when I reincarnate into my next life, you will come and get me. Remember this, remember this."
He closed his eyes and recalled the look on his master's eyes when he gave this instruction. The Free Cloud Sect Leader heaved a sigh, "In order to secure your spot as the Honorary Disciple, you have to break through the gates of heaven and become Yin Master . If you can't even accomplish that, why should I elect you as my main disciple to become the Honorary Disciple?"
"Even becoming a Core Disciple required the Daoist to break through the gates of heavens and become Yin Master. Didn't I bypass that criteria for you? Here you are as a Core Disciple, and yet you've failed to accomplish the very same requirement." Song Zhi looked extremely displeased. He struggled within himself as if he wanted to speak out. It was clear that he felt unjust, "In fact, there are many who wished to promote Pei Zi Yun to Core Disciple. Many Sect Elders wish to promote him. Elder Zhao even brought up the possibility of bypassing all that and making Pei Zi Yun the Honorary Disciple."
Song Zhi mumbled to himself. That was his greatest fear.
"Hm, can you do the same? Whatever skills or contributions you had done for the sect also came as a result of me. If it weren't for my support and to collaborate everything for you, how would you hope to achieve these little contributions to the sect? You should know, that even as a Sect Leader, I do not have full control over everything and cannot overuse my authority. When I first promoted you to a Core Disciple, even before you met the requirements, many people had been speaking out in disagreement."
"And Pei Zi Yun had done a great accomplishment to the sect. Although my junior brother Zhao started watching over and protecting him halfway on his journey, he was able to kill a Rogue Cultivator, kill the gangsters, kill the riders. Which one of these wasn't on his own merit?"
"Which such proficient martial arts, he already impressed many. On top of that he still has immense wisdom and strategies. All these are extremely astonishing and amazed everyone who knew."
"He became a High Scholar, wrote many amazing poems, designed the policy to rid the nation of pirates and finally attained the True Sovereign title for our Patriarchs. With such an outstanding achievements, I've disrupted the intentions of our Patriarchs and offended many Sect Elders by blocking his ascent to Core Disciple." The Sect Leader himself was impressed just by speaking of Pei Zi Yun's accomplishments, "I've done all these for you. Why else would I have prevented him from becoming a Core Disciple? Now, I can still hide behind the rules and claim that he hasn't fulfilled the requirements, and nobody can speak a word against me. But if Pei Zi Yun were to be a step ahead of you again, what do you think of your chances?"
The Sect Leader spoke harshly, bearing his anger in his words. He had an immense gratitude for his master, and thus looked everywhere to find his reincarnation. Who would've thought that he would fail to elevate his master's reincarnation to a higher status. He had been stuck at the stage of opening the gates of heavens for a long time. At last, Pei Zi Yun had caught up with him. The Sect Leader felt frustrated, which translated into anger as he lashed out at Song Zhi.
"No, master. You are the Sect Leader, and you wield immense authority and power. Why can't you directly elevate me to the status of Honorary Disciple?" Song Zhi heard his master's words and said frantically.
"With regards to the Honorary Disciple position, it's true that I as the Sect Leader have a large say in this matter. However, the Core Elders and Elders have a say each as well. Furthermore the Patriarch within the Paradise has a say as well. If I could elevate you just like that, do you think I wouldn't already have done so?" The Sect Leader shook his head. Matters like this could not be resolved in just one sentence.
"Master, please help me." Song Zhi fell on his knees and begged. Hearing these words, the Sect Leader sighed deeply, "Don't be delusional. Although the Patriarchs no longer have a corporeal body, they all reside within Paradise. Since Pei Zi Yun has achieved such accomplishments for our sect, he's managed to earn the favor of the first generation's Patriarch. If it weren't for the fact that I blocked his promotion, he would've been a Core Disciple by now."
As he said this, the Sect Leader recalled the favor and grace his own master had shown him decades earlier. He then sighed, "Fine, I shall thicken my skin and pave another way for you again. You can enter my Exponential Powers Cave and cultivate your spiritual senses. This should help you break through the heavens within a year, so that you can become Yin Master ."
"Pei Zi Yun is a genius, and he's already at the seventh stage. I'm afraid he will break through the gates of heaven within a year or two. Once that happens, it will be extremely difficult for me to contain him further. These are the rules, and nobody can change them." The Sect Leader's expression was cold, as he said emotionlessly, "Once you've become Yin Master and have met the requirements, I shall go all out and elect you as the Honorary Disciple."
"Yes, master. I will not let you down, and beat Pei Zi Yun in breaking through the heaven." Song Zhi was elated after hearing his master's words.
At this point, Yu Yun Jun had walked through the stone pavements to the hall. When she was outside the entrance, she turned around to observe her surroundings before walking in with light steps into the hall. The interior of the hall could not be more different than the exterior. Within the hall, it was spacious and quiet. Apart from the incense altar, there were paintings of several Patriarchs and an inscription tablet before the painting. Each of the inscription tablet had different words on them.
The first person was the Patriarch from the previous generation, Dao Master Shan Qing. The paintings behind this Patriarch were the Core Disciples of that generation, sharing Paradise with their Patriarch. There were three from every generation.
As for the other Sect Elders, even if they had attained Yin Master status, they would not be able to share the Paradise due to lack of resources. For them to progress would be extremely difficult. Thus, most of them would choose to be reincarnated.
If one doesn't become a Yin Master, they would not even have the choice of reincarnation. They would have to follow the arrangements of the Underworld.
Yu Yun Jun walked past Dao Master Shan Qing and bowed her head in respect. She then arrived at the portrait of another Patriarch and bowed deeply. She then retrieved an incense before placing it in the burner. With a wave of her hand, the incense was ignited and burned a deep bright red. Wisps of smoke was emitted from the incense, and wafted through the air.
After igniting the incense, Yu Yun Jun started praying. Before long, a bright ray of light started to form before Yu Yun Jun. The light then transformed into the shadow of a person. By the looks of it, it was of an immortal who took the form of a young lady.
"Master, I have something important to report." Yu Yun Jun bowed as she spoke.
"The smell of incense here had reached paradise. Something must've happened. Did something important happen within the sect?" The lady asked.
"Patriarch, naturally. My disciple Pei Zi Yun is extremely extraordinary. He managed to attain the title for the first generation of Patriarchs, and thus contributed greatly to the sect. The few of us and several other fellow brothers petitioned to the Sect Leader to accept Pei Zi Yun as a Core Disciple. Sect Leader rejected the idea and said that Pei Zi Yun had not opened the gates of heavens and thus was not worthy. However, when Song Zhi had been inducted into the Core Disciples group, he too had not broken past the gates of heavens. He became a Core Disciple solely based on his contributions to the sect. I plead with Master to address the issue."
"As for the conferring of titles, we are all aware of this. The True Sovereigns are still accepting congratulations. As of now, all the spirits, deities and immortals within a few hundred kilometers radius are celebrating the happy occasion. As for this matter...." The lady's face had a surprised expression. She had been cultivating hard every day, and she knew that Yin and Yang must be separated and should not be meddled in. Hearing Yu Yun Jun's reports however, her expression changed as she hesitated.
"Yes, and that's not all. According to what Pei Zi Yun said, I'm afraid someone secretly planted a Tracing Amulet on him. Holy Jail Sect could not have mounted a sneak attack like this without anyone realizing. This was planted by someone from within our sect, to leak his location out to other people."
"After receiving the news, I then asked fellow brother Zhao and several other Elders to secretly protect Pei Zi Yun when he made his way to the capital.
"What?" When the lady had heard about the previous matter, she was still calm and composed. Hearing that someone had intended to harm him she was shocked. This was extremely suspicious. According to the rules of the sect, these Patriarchs were not allowed to interfere with daily occurrences within the sect. However, if someone betrayed the sect, the rule was that these Patriarchs had to vanquish the traitor.
"I understand. However, there's a big celebration now in Paradise, and the immortals have yet to leave. After sometime, I shall discuss this with the other Patriarchs. Since we do not have any evidence now, you do not need to bother yourself with this. When the traitor leaves his mark the next time, we shall discuss more about what to do." The lady said angrily.
"Master, I had no intentions of acting. I just wanted to report this matter to you. If I guessed correctly, this person must be Song Zhi. If not, there's a spy planted within our sect. This traitor's powers were not strong enough to conceal the Tracing Amulet." Yu Yun Jun sighed as she spoke.
"No matter what, the Sect Leader is the Sect Leader. He is entitled to his own choices. Unless he ruins the flow, or interrupt in the grand scheme of events, we cannot do anything about it. Even if he wishes to completely block off any promotion to Core Disciple, there's nothing you can do about it."
"This Pei Zi Yun's fortunes are extremely good and are vast like the sea. Acquiring a disciple like this is good fortune for you, and good fortune myself as well. You have to support him, and provide all your resources to this disciple of ours. As long as he manages to break through the gates of heaven and become Yin Master, even the Sect Leader cannot prevent his ascent." The lady thought for sometime before saying.
"With us, Patriarchs watching from Paradise, the grand scheme of things would not be complicated. It's just that you smaller beings have to be prepared and on your guard. Many things are based on perspective. If you see it as a big deal, it shall be a big deal. You have to be careful."
"Yes. master. I shall be cautious in my endeavors." Yu Yun Jun bowed. The minute she said this, the shadow of this lady disappeared.
"Oh, now that I have the protection and supervision of my Patriarch, I shall see that, both of you master and disciple, any of your schemes will amount to nothing. As long as Pei Zi Yun manages to break through the gates of heaven and become a Yin Master, not only will he become a Core Disciple but he can even be an Honorary Disciple!" Yu Yun Jun laughed, her heart feeling significantly relaxed. She was full of eager expectations for Pei Zi Yun to excel.