Chapter 143: Suspecting your neighbor of stealing
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
Exponential Powers Cave
To the Yin Masters and Dao Masters, this Exponential Powers Cave produced faint and indistinct spiritual energy. The spiritual energy was like a blanket of mist. The Sect Leader once said, "This is the most precious gift in the world."
"Qi on this Earth is limited, and so is Spiritual Energy."
Once a person had broken past the tenth level, he started producing spiritual energy and was baptized by the Imperial Qi. In fact, the Imperial Qi was a mix of Qi from ordinary folk on Earth and heaven's will. And the Qi that's being produced within this cave was Earthly Qi.
"Although I was only allowed to extract a sliver everyday, over time, I started to feel an improvement in my spiritual senses.That was why this cave was named Exponential Powers Cave."
At first, Song Zhi was elated, seeing that this was a clear sign that he would win the race to become an Honorary Disciple. At this point however, he was pacing back and forth within the cave, his expression was downcast. Opening the gates of heaven. Opening the gates of heaven. He could clearly feel that he was just a small step away from opening the gates of heaven. And yet the thin membrane inhibiting his progress seemed as if it was made out of solid metal, and was hard to break through. His heart was filled with anxiety.
His own master had given him the cave to cultivate. This cave used be the venue for many Patriarchs and Sect Leaders all throughout history to cultivate. It was a lesser Paradise within this secular world. It's just that the gates to heaven would not yield this easily.
With regards to opening the gates to heaven, it was comparable to life and death, there were little to no mention in writing. Based on his own experience, the gates to heavens were like a deep ravine, inaccessible.
All of a sudden he could hear the clucking of a pigeon outside. Since there were restricting charms around this cave, nothing can come near the cave without a decree. Animals were no exception to this rule. Why then would there be a pigeon standing outside?
Song Zhi hesitated, and yet the continuous clucking of the pigeon was extremely distracting. He then made for the exit. The minute he opened the cave entrance, he saw a pigeon standing right outside. He could tell that this pigeon had been charmed, as he could see an enchanted barrier around it.
This was a specialized way of communication within the sect. Since there was a restrictive charm placed around the entire mountain in which the cave resided, nothing could even land or come near this mountain. Why would there be a messenger pigeon here? Could it be that there's a message for Song Zhi from within the inner sect?
Song Zhi stepped forward and caught the pigeon with one hand. When Song Zhi approached it, it remained fixed to the ground, and did not move. It even allowed Song Zhi to raise its feet to peel off the small scroll attached.
After he had read the contents of the message, his face fell. He then started murmuring to himself, as if he was struggling internally, "Hm, this person sounds like he has something up his sleeves. But...."
He paced several steps, deep in contemplation, grinding his teeth the entire duration, before turning back into the cave. After thinking for some time, he gathered some of his enchanted weapons before sneaking down the mountain.
In the south western facing from the foot of the mountain, Song Zhi lit up a lantern and peered into the distance. He noticed a serving staff welcoming him, "Young Master, please follow me, your guest has been waiting for you."
"Who was it that invited me?" Song Zhi asked the serving staff.
"Young Master, I have no idea myself. All I know is that two masters are waiting for you. They gave me a drawing and asked me to lead you here. You are to head on upstairs to find them." The serving staff revealed a look that seemed like he was in some difficulty.
"Lead me upstairs." Song Zhi hesitated before speaking to the serving staff.
"Young Master, please follow me." The serving staff then led Song Zhi up the stairs. The minute he walked in, he saw a normal looking man. He wore a set of robes that was half-new, but wasn't old. His robes had been washed several times and looked somewhat faded and seasoned. It was Shi Mu Zhong, who was sipping his tea.
Once he entered the room. Song Zhi looked at Shi Mu Zhong. Shi Mu Zhong waved a hand, "Serve the tea."
When the tea had been served, the serving staff retreated. Shi Mu Zhong did not speak much and Song Zhi seemed slightly impatient, "Who are you? How did you come to be in possession of my drawing, and why are you looking for me?"
Hearing Song Zhi's words, Shi Mu Zhong gently placed his tea cup down and smiled, "Young Master, an honest man does not speak in riddles. The reason I've seeked you out, I've stated on the letter extremely clearly. Since you are here, you should not need to play false pretense."
"As for who I am, that's not important. What's important is that I've discovered some information about Pei Zi Yun. He's already achieved the stage of fusing gentleness with strength, and is thus at least in the ninth or tenth level. How long has he cultivated for thus far? At this rate, I suspect he will need only couple of months before he reaches the full circle foundation, and break through the gates of heaven."
After Shi Mu Zhong finished speaking, he then looked deep into Song Zhi's eyes. When Song Zhi heard this, he stood up, "No, that's not possible. How can it be possible?"
As she spoke, he glared fiercely at Shi Mu Zhong, "Cultivating is not easy. Every single step along the way is marred with difficulties. The later the stages, the harder it becomes. How can it be that at this stage, he's still progressing so quickly? No! I don't believe you."
Song Zhi's face was filled with ferocity. He then swept the contents of the entire table onto the ground. Before long, Song Zhi then looked up at Shi Mu Zhong, "Who are you. I'm sure the reason you're here is not just to tell me this."
'Song Zhi is so narrow-minded and petty. No wonder he can't accomplished big things!' Shi Mu Zhong thought to himself. "Since you've come here, you should be able to guess my motives."
As soon as these words were spoken, Song Zhi's face fell. Shi Mu Zhong then laughed, "Pei Zi Yun would attain the full circle foundation after only two years of cultivation. How long more do you think he would take before he can break through the gates of heaven and become a Yin Master?"
"The gates of heaven is like a pit, in order to live a long life you need to first cross that pit. If you are unable to cross it... You understand the consequences as well. But big brother Song, even with the special guidance of your master, do you think you're able to cross this obstacle? Or rather, how long will you take?"
"After working hard for ten years, you'd give up your Honorary Disciple seat just like that and bow to him as your senior? You would have to refer to him as Sect Leader, and watch him take all the resources that should've belonged to you, as he continues his ascension. Could you take it?"
Every single word uttered by Shi Mu Zhong was like a dagger, piercing into the heart of Song Zhi. He gave a soft groan, and clutched his chest as he retreated several steps back. The taste of blood perforated his senses.
His eyes carried a certain coldness in them, as he set his gaze fixed at Shi Mu Zhong before speaking, "Do not speak in riddles. What's your point in instigating me?"
"Haha!" Shi Mu Zhong laughed out loudly, "That's because I'm an enemy of Pei Zi Yun, and I wish for him to die. Don't you want that too?"
"Yes, I do. But we are of the same sect. Our quarrels and conflicts must be held within the confines of the sect. Even if there's a hatred between us, it has to be upright." Song Zhi spoke, as he felt an intense pressure rise up in his chest. Not being able to control it any longer, the blood rushed up to his throat as he spat out a mouthful of blood.
Seeing Song Zhi this way, Shi Mu Zhong laughed again. Just now, he had openly declared his animosity with Pei Zi Yun. He understood that in doing so, he would have the most convincing power and angle to speak to Song Zhi with. This was the only was he could get Song Zhi to stand on his side, the best way to antagonize Song Zhi.
At this point, whatever Song Zhi said was not important. And yet his body language gave away everything that his mouth did not. Shi Mu Zhong had touched a raw nerve, and stirred up Song Zhi's intense hatred for Pei Zi Yun. At this point, Song Zhi's eyes bore a severe look, killing intent welled up strongly within him. After hearing these words, his anger and hatred had turned to Shi Mu Zhong.
Shi Mu Zhong seemed as if he had expected Song Zhi to react this way. Seeing Song Zhi's ferocious stare, he relaxed before smiling, "Oh yes. I have a piece of news for you. In fact, telling you this might even bring you some help."
Song Zhi then replied, "Why are you so kind towards me, and why are you willingly leaking information to me?"
"Haha, but of course. The enemy of my enemy is after all, my friend. In order to defeat Pei Zi Yun, I am willing!" Shi Mu Zhong then laughed coldly, as he gritted his teeth, in a bid to show his seriousness.
Song Zhi paused for sometime before Shi Mu Zhong continued speaking, "As for Pei Zi Yun, have you ever thought about this. Pei Zi Yun had been an ordinary and average person all his life. Your sect's Elder Zhao observed him for many years, and did not feel his cultivation potential to be extraordinary. Why then did he suddenly develop so rapidly? Have you thought about that before? And he's made such quick progress in everything he does at that?"
"Indeed, I thought about it before. It's just that Senior Uncle Zhao guaranteed his talents, and thus I didn't read too much into it. Could it be that there's some hidden affair?" Song Zhi's curiosity had been aroused by Shi Mu Zhong's words. He opened his mouth to speak, "Could he already had skills before joining our sect, and entered with an ulterior motive?"
"Haha, with such talents, how could he just be a lowly spy?"
"Besides, it would be impossible to conceal his powers. The elders in your sect would first conduct an investigation of a person's background before admitting them into the sect. Even if he could deceive the living, he would not be able to deceive the Patriarchs of the sect, who dwell in Paradise."
"An Immortal's Spirit is extremely sensitive to such things and they would be able to detect a deception like that instantly."
"Could there be any other reasons then?" Song Zhi asked fiercely, he seemed extremely impatient.
Pei Zi Yun managed to cultivate up to this stage in two years which meant that he had some innate talents, and was a genius. However after Shi Mu Zhong pointed out this fact, the initial suspicion he bore for Pei Zi Yun started resurfacing all over again. He started to feel that there was some extremely strange circumstances.
Shi Mu Zhong drank his tea and started humming. Song Zhi gritted his teeth, "You know? You do not have to use your words to entice me. Just tell me what the exact situation is."
Shi Mu Zhong then breathed out two words, "Blessed life!"
"What?" Song Zhi was so astonished that he retreated several steps back before exhaling deeply, his face had turned pale. After some time, he managed to compose himself, "What you're trying to say is that Pei Zi Yun received a blessed life?"
Shi Mu Zhong laughed, "You are a member of the sect. That means you have access to the ancient records."
"When I say blessed life, I do not mean a true blessed life."
"Similar to someone designated by the heavens to take on a special life, we shall use the analogy of a new Emperor. As long as the Emperor hasn't ascended to his throne, or conquered more than half of the entire world, he cannot be considered to have the True Dragon. At that point, it would just be a Dormant Dragon."
"It's the same for a blessed life. Most of the time it will just turn out to be a life paved with good fortunes. Only after accomplishing something grand, would he truly convert his life to one of a blessed life."
"And when I speak of a blessed life, it is speaking about cultivation life and success, where the path was filled with grandeur and prominence.."
Hearing this, Song Zhi leaned against the wall and did not speak further. His face bore a look of contemplation, as he tried to draw more hints from Shi Mu Zhong's expressions, and yet he could see nothing. He thus looked down and tried to recall.
Seeing Song Zhi behave this way, he laughed coldly, "Young Master Song, do you still doubt me? Well, that is expected. However, I came to you with sincerity and honesty."
"There are some things that, once you do a little checking, you will have answers."
Realizing that Song Zhi was still not speaking, Shi Mu Zhong laughed before handing him an Enchanted Talisman. It had a symbol of an anchor in the middle. He then placed it down on the table, "Young Master Song. When you finally reach an understanding and wish to contact me, I will welcome you with open arms."
As he finished, he turned around to leave. Song Zhi was then observing the talisman in his hands, as though he was struggling with himself.
After Shi Mu Zhong had left, Qin Gao, who was guarding the door asked, "Advisor Shi, does this Pei Zi Yun really have a blessed life?"
Qin Gao's expression was full of curiosity as he tried to match up to the speed Shi Mu Zhong was walking.
"Hm hm!" Shi Mu Zhong cleared his throat, "Half true and half lie. As of now, I still do not understand why and how Pei Zi Yun progresses so quickly. It's just a guess of mine. Or it could also be that this person is truly a genius and received a gift from the heavens."
"Then why did you say that he had a blessed life earlier" Qin Gao paused.
"To suspect your neighbour of stealing your axe. Have you heard of this before? When someone loses an axe, and he suspects that the son of his neighbour was responsible for stealing the axe, he sees guilt in the way the son walks. He sees a look of guilt on the son's face. Even in his words, it seems like as though he was guilty."
"After he's found his axe, when he sees his neighbour's son the next day, he would feel like none of his actions or demeanor reflects that of a guilty thief."
"The reason is very simple. It's to cast doubts and instigate Song Zhi, Free Cloud Sect, Pei Zi Yun and Ye Su'er, throwing all of them into chaos. To plant a doubt in Song Zhi's mind and watch him wreck everything for Pei Zi Yun, that is my main intention."
"It's a good plan, advisor." Qin Gao exclaimed.
"Hm, and from this, we can test and determine how strong Ye Su'er fate is. Even if we're wrong, we only stand to gain and nothing to lose." Shi Mu Zhong paused for sometime before laughing out, "Actually, the main point of all of this was the talisman. It was a special talisman handed down from the sect. It can affect the thoughts of someone and even wrestle control of the person's thoughts and actions. In the end, the person might even commit an atrocity without even realizing it."
Hearing these words, Qin Gao started to understand, "Mister Shi is extremely clever."