Chapter 88: Silk Extraction and the Grass Hollow
Translator: YH Editor: Pranav
"Master is very disappointed that you've gotten injured."
The person speaking was Hai Qing, who had been Dai Gang's attendant since before he had become a master. Practically all of Dai Gang's matters were handled by Hai Qing, who was serious and inflexible.
A spark of jealousy flashed in his eyes as he looked at Duanmu Huanghun, but it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. He had been a faithful attendant to the master for more than thirty years, yet he was still not qualified to be his disciple.
Although he was jealous of Duanmu Huanghun's good fortune, he did not utter a single complaint. Even though Master Dai Gang had not taken him in as a disciple, he had never shortchanged Hai Qing. The guidance Dai Gang had given him was no less than that provided to his own disciples. He was extremely grateful to the master and had always been completely loyal to him.
Hai Qing couldn't understand how this wretched looking fellow was worthy of Dai Gang's notice. When Duanmu Huanghun, who was riddled with injuries, was brought before him, Hai Qing's first reaction wasn't to laugh at his plight; rather, it was one of anger.
It was an honor to be one of Dai Gang's disciples. Hai Qing felt that Duanmu Huanghun's first duty after becoming Dai Gang's disciple was to uphold this honor and not disgrace his new status.
He did not like Duanmu Huanghun.
The other two disciples of the master were brilliant and accomplished. Lu Chen was one of the top three physicians of his generation. He was known as the Divine Physician and was revered by many. Yu Mingqiu was the youngest person to ever become a vice-division leader. His progress in recent years has been phenomenal, and he was a popular candidate for the next division leader of the Deathgrass Division.
This Duanmu Huanghun, however, was such an embarrassment.
Hai Qing spared no effort to protect the reputation of his master, and hence, he did not like Duanmu Huanghun one bit.
Due to his longstanding service to Dai Gang, Hai Qing was regarded as a part of his family. Hai Qing had taken charge of both Lu Chen and Yu Mingqiu's initial training, but he would most certainly not extend the same courtesy to Duanmu Huanghun.
"A grandmaster's disciple needing to be rescued by a student who had just activated his natal residence; oh boy, I sure hope I heard wrong. What's worse is, of course, being found naked and covered in injuries. Remember this, it doesn't matter if you prefer men or women or whether you're a good or a bad person. You're free to do as you please but as a disciple of Master Dai Gang, the greatest sin that you can possibly commit is being weak."
Hai Qing delivered his speech coldly, his sentences carefully crafted to provoke.
Duanmu Huanghun's face revealed hints of a cruel expression as he glared ferociously at Hai Qing.
"Not happy? Hehe! Very well, remember this expression of yours! You still think you're gifted and don't need to respect anyone here? Let me tell you what it means to be a genius. Only those who are much stronger than others deserve to be labeled as geniuses-pathetic wimps like you are nothing more than maggots."
Hai Qing remained expressionless as he ripped Duanmu Huanghun's wound open.
"To be honest, I couldn't care less about what happens to you, you pathetic maggot. As far as I'm concerned, you have no business being in this sacred place. Regretfully, I do, however, have to honor my duty. This is the key to the Grass Hollow. Come find me when you manage to get out of it. Although, I'd be very pleased if you end up dying inside instead."
Hai Qing tossed an emerald green leaf on the ground as he left.
Duanmu Huanghun's anger soon subsided and he became completely calm.
Without any hesitation, he picked up the leaf and started walking towards the Grass Hollow under the cover of night.
Hai Qing returned home.
His wife was rather worried, and asked, "Huanghun is still so young, isn't it a bit early for him to be in the Grass Hollow?"
"He is talented but needs to be polished. Otherwise, he'll not amount to anything," Hai Qing explained.
"But he's too young. Lu Chen was seventeen when he entered the Grass Hollow; Mingqiu a little earlier at sixteen," his wife responded, clearly still worried.
"He is the last disciple," Hai Qing replied flatly. "He is different from the others."
"But if some mishap were to befall him......"
"That only means that he isn't talented enough and doesn't deserve to be part of master's plans. We still have time to find another one." Hai Qing continued, "The last disciple has a different significance to the master."
His wife was silent for a moment before she asked, "Do we really still have time?"
Hai Qing, who was packing his things, sluggishly replied, "We do."
Ai Hui didn't place much significance to the current blind battle; both Lou Lan and he did not seem to care about it at all.
The next day, Ai Hui was summoned to the embroidery workshop.
The young ladies of the embroidery workshop noticed a different air about him, and none of them dared to tease him anymore. After all, he must be incredibly talented to be able to learn the [Twin Weaving Technique] after seeing it just once, and it was said that the owner of the workshop even wanted to take him in as her last disciple.
Perhaps because it wasn't his first visit, Ai Hui felt less constrained this time.
Mingxiu, who was standing in front of a door, waved at Ai Hui as she said, "Junior, come over here."
Ai Hui promptly went over.
"Master and Mistress are both inside," Mingxiu said while she pushed the door open.
A wave of heat gushed out of the room as the door opened.
Ai Hui was startled. Just what was inside?
"What are you waiting for? Come in quickly," his teacher snapped impatiently from within the room.
Ai Hui hurriedly entered.
Upon entering, he realized that the temperature inside was even higher-it was as if he was a piece of dim sum being steamed. Both Teacher Wang and the Mistress were here, but they appeared to be completely unaffected by the intense heat.
Ai Hui noticed an enormous boiler in the center emitting waves of heat. This must be what was causing the workshop to be so hot.
Ai Hui was curious about what the boiler was used for.
"Master, Mistress," Ai Hui greeted.
Han Yuqin addressed him as well. "Let me check the gloves for any damage."
She was pleased to see that the gloves remained in good condition. After her examination, she said, "Some irresponsible old man has left your training to me. It seems I have no choice but to take up the job."
Old Wang chuckled. Not only was he not embarrassed, but he also appeared to be very pleased with himself.
"Your circumstances are rarely seen," the old lady said, before continuing solemnly, "Since you are unable to carry out Circulatory Cycle Revolution, our aim is to activate your two hand palaces. After much discussion with your teacher, we have decided on silk extraction as a method of training."
"Silk extraction?" Ai Hui asked, his face blank. He wasn't expecting something like that. Can silk extraction even be considered a training method?
"Yes, indeed, the training method suitable for you now is different from what is usually done. You need to circulate your elemental energy in as slow a manner as possible. The elemental energy within your body is extremely pure, and circulating it at a fast pace would place a huge burden on your body. When done slowly, the burden is much lighter and will allow your body to gradually become more accustomed to elemental energy. The slower circulation will thus result in a greater stimulative effect of the elemental energy in your body, helping it absorb elemental energy more effectively."
"In the field of embroidery, silk extraction requires the slowest circulation of elemental energy!"