Chapter 144: Absurdity
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
Mountain Entrance, Night, Dao Monastery
The disciple had just finished his daily recitation of mantras, and had completed his other chores. All of a sudden, the disciple noticed a Daoist man moving quickly in the darkness, causing the disciple to jump in shock. When he turned around and observed the man, he sighed, "Senior Brother Song, didn't the Sect Leader allow you to enter the cave to cultivate, and break through the gates of heaven? Why are you here instead?"
"Hao Yong, Senior Brother has something I need you to do." Song Zhi entered the limestone tiled room, where a small window could be seen. Due to the little light coming into the room, it had a dark and gloomy atmosphere.
"Go and copy all the information about Pei Zi Yun from the file in our information room. Then this hundred taels of silver will be yours." Song Zhi's face looked pale, as if all the color had drained from his face, as red blood vessels lined the whites within his eyes.
"Senior Brother, how can I accept your money?" Hao Yong looked up and gazed at the single bill of hundred tael.
"This is Senior Brother's way of rewarding you. Please accept it." Song Zhi coughed softly as he spoke.
Hao Yong rejected it several times more before finally forcing a smile, "Senior Brother, I will accept it shamefully then."
He then reached out to grab the bill before stuffing it into his pocket.
"Junior Brother, put in more effort into the task, I shall need it by tomorrow!" Song Zhi spoke before giving a strange expression and walking away. Hao Yong glanced at Song Zhi as he walked off with squinted eyes. He then sighed, "This Sect Leader's position must really be extremely important for Song Zhi to investigate Brother Pei's history and to want information on him. To me however, money is the most important."
As Hao Yong spoke, he took out the hundred tael bill and kissed it.
The next day, Hao Yong stealthily and sneakily climbed up the mountain. Standing before the cave, he shouted gently, "Senior Brother, are you in?"
"Hao Yong, where are my materials?"
Song Zhi rushed out of the cave, a Daoist manual in his hand, his eyes were bloodshot, much more so than yesterday. Seeing Hao Yong before him, he seemed somewhat irritated and asked once more, "Hao Yong where are the information?"
"Senior Brother, the files that you requested, I've already made a copy." Hao Yong then handed Song Zhi a folder of information. Hao Yong's master was the Elder in charge of protecting and monitoring information on sect members. Doing something like this was thus very easy for him.
"As for this matter, do not speak of it to anyone else." Song Zhi fished out another hundred tael bill and glared at Hao Yong.
"Senior Brother, don't worry. Heaven knows, you know and I know. There shall not be a third party who would find out about this." Hao Yong smiled as he accepted the hundred taels, "I shall take my leave now."
Song Zhi hurriedly returned to his cave with his folder of information. Once he entered the cave, he tossed aside the Dao manual and started reading the file under the ember of a candle. He read each of the thousands of words carefully.
Song Zhi had no idea why he'd been feeling irritable the past few days. After holding all the relevant information about his enemy within his hands, his heart started to calm down and compose itself. His eyes were completely focused on the words as his brows furrowed into an intense and serious look. When he was done, he started all over from the top once more. He took several paces before thinking to himself, "The Dao manual says that for a person to receive a blessed life, he would require an immense wealth of good fortunes."
"Assuming that Ye Su'er has an anointed cultivation life, and seeing that Pei Zi Yun is exhibiting such signs as well, his development should be the same as hers. Why then did he develop much slowly compared to her?"
"That's right. An anointed cultivation life would mean they should realize their potentials together at the same time."
"Although Ye Su'er and Pei Zi Yun were childhood sweethearts, this was not a good enough reason for Ye Su'er to completely fall in love with him. Thus, none of his anointed cultivation life traits showed up, which even misled senior uncle Zhao Ning to overlook him, and think of him as just a simple, average boy."
"According to the documents I have, two years ago, the Black Wind Sect bandits wanted to take Ye Su'er away, which caused some problems for Pei Zi Yun. However, these three bandits died in the middle of the night, and their murderer was never apprehended. It must be Pei Zi Yun that killed them."
"Could it be that Pei Zi Yun braved the threats and dangers of death to save her, and caused her to wholeheartedly fall in love with him because of that? After she fell in love with him wholeheartedly, good fortunes started befalling Pei Zi Yun, as though it rubbed off her. Although the both of them had been separated when she joined True Element Sect, Pei Zi Yun had already started developing. Hence, regardless of whether it was his scholarly efforts, or cultivation efforts, he started to excel and didn't look back from then."
Song Zhi continued brainstorming and mumbled to himself, "Yes, that must be the reason. Pei Zi Yun acquired Ye Su'er's heart and love, and thus gained a huge fortune for himself."
"If I were to win this woman, I could borrow some of her good fortunes to open the gates to heaven. It looks like I have to make a request from my master." Song Zhi thought to himself. He was so eager and impatient that he hurriedly left the cave and headed towards the Sect Leader's secluded room.
Sect Mountains, Sect Leader's Secluded Room
Song Zhi knocked on the door eagerly, "Master, master!"
"Come in!" The Sect Leader replied.
"Have you finally broken through to the gates of heaven?" The Sect Leader opened his eyes immediately after sensing that Song Zhi had paid him a visit, "This Exponential Power's Cave had been extremely efficient and throughout history, only Sect Leaders had seen the interior of the cave. Once a person enters the cave, it's as good as sealing the deal, and becoming the Sect Leader."
"Since you have yet to break through the gates of heavens, why have you come out?"
Song Zhi looked at the Sect Leader and did not reply. Instead he asked, "Master, are there anointed lives in this world?"
The question came out of nowhere and caused the Sect Leader to frown, "An anointed life is as good as being born a royalty in the cultivation world and there is much discussion about the possibility of it. Why would you think of this all of a sudden? Could it be that you've met someone like that?"
"Master, take a look at this information and the notes that I've scribbled above." Song Zhi then handed the Sect Leader the documents. Seeing the nature of the documents, the Sect Leader didn't seem to pleased. For something as secretive and confidential as this, only Sect Elders were allowed to access the records. How then could Song Zhi have come to acquire it?
However, the Sect Leader continued reading it as Song Zhi continued speaking, "Master look at this, it says that Ye Su'er and Pei Zi Yun were childhood sweethearts. However, that alone did not completely cause Ye Su'er to fall in love with him. Thus, he did not exhibit any signs of being gifted then, and even caused Elder Zhao to overlook him and even gave up on him."
"However, after the Black Wind Sect incident, Ye Su'er truly admired and fell in love with Pei Zi Yun. Although her physical self was separated from Pei Zi Yun, he started to make rapid progress and succeeded in all of his endeavors and even became an Elementary Scholar before becoming a Top Scorer."
"And that's not all. Pei Zi Yun even excelled along the Dao and his cultivation. Whatever he learns, he will understand quickly and become proficient before long. Hence he managed to cultivate up till the ninth level within two years."
As Song Zhi spoke, his eyes sparkled as though reaching a huge revelation. He looked at the Sect Leader, "Master, don't you think that Ye Su'er has an anointed life, and thus rubbed off Pei Zi Yun?"
Hearing Song Zhi speak, and looking at the documents in his hands, the Sect Leader's expression turned to fear and shock. A small part of his reaction arose due to Song Zhi's speculation, which somewhat made sense. However, he was mainly in disbelief that his own disciple had regressed to this extent. He then cleared his throat, "What do you wish to do about that then?"
When Song Zhi heard this, his face turned to one of joy before hurriedly replying, "Master, can you help me propose a marriage between this woman and myself? As long as I can marry her, I would be able to break through heaven immediately, and become a Yin Master!"
The Sect Leader's face fell, and yet Song Zhi was so delusional that he had not realized the abrupt change in his expression. Song Zhi was even tapping his feet in excitement. The Sect Leader was appalled at his own disciple. Could it be that Song Zhi had been trying to force his way through the gates of heavens, that he deviated away from the righteous course and suffered a Qi Deviation?
He thus asked, "You seem to have forgotten but Ye Su'er is the person that Pei Zi Yun is in love with. They are both in love with each other. You've even read the love poem written by him to her."
Song Zhi seemed somewhat agitated and raised his voice at the Sect Leader, "Master, but they have not arranged for a matchmaker to finalize their marriage, and have not bowed to the heaven and earth in their union. Since you are on rather good terms with the Sect Leader of True Element Sect, and our sects do not prohibit marriage, Master, why won't you help me?"
The Sect Leader's face sank deeply and gazed upon the face of his idiotic and crazed disciple before scolding him fiercely, "I've granted you the right to meditate in seclusion, and this is what you chose to do with your time? Instead of directing all your energy and efforts into breaking past the gates of heaven, you have to think of all these wayward and nonsensical things? Haven't I already told you, that the most important thing was for you to break through the gates of heaven? Now you're deviating from the path and might even be suffering from Qi Deviation to be able to speak such heresy."
"Let's not even talk about the fact that True Element's Sect Leader would refuse this offer. Once I raise this up within our inner sect, my own reputation would fall to the ground due to the ridiculous nature of such a request. What face would I have to continue being the Sect Leader? Get your ass back into the cave right now. If you should continue speaking such gibberish, do not think of becoming the Honorary Disciple any more."
"Master!" Song Zhi begged. He had came here with such high hopes, and yet looked crestfallen and dejected at this point.
"Get out!" The Sect Leader raged, as Song Zhi trembled in fear, not daring to speak further. He then turned around and slipped away.
The minute Song Zhi left his master's secluded room, his eyes squinted in hatred, his spirit had been broken and he was extremely downcast. He did not know what to do, or where to go next.
"Haha, fellow brother is indeed formidable. Right, how did you manage to cultivate so quickly fellow brother? Why don't you teach us your secrets?" Song Zhi suddenly heard some chatter just after taking a few steps. He could sense the excitement in their voices and looked up at an alley on the mountain. Several disciples were surrounding Pei Zi Yun excitedly.
Song Zhi forced a laugh and stood by the side when he heard a junior brother of his raised his voice in shock, "What? Fellow brother has attained the ninth level of cultivation?"
Hearing these words, Song Zhi's smile froze. It seemed like the person who had seeked him out had not lied to him. Pei Zi Yun had indeed attained the ninth level of cultivation.
"Senior Brother!" Pei Zi Yun gazed around before walking up to Song Zhi and saluting him politely.
"Junior Brother is too courteous." Song Zhi's eyes were bloodshot and his face was pale. He smiled and returned the greeting, before seeing Pei Zi Yun knock on the Sect Leader's doors.
"Come in!" A familiar voice could be heard from within. Pei Zi Yun then strolled in as Song Zhi clenched his hands into fists. "Could it be that even master is abandoning me?"
Song Zhi took a slow walk back to the cave. Once he was back in, he was assaulted by the spiritual energy which was supposed to make him feel comfortable and increase his prowess, and yet he was unable to calm himself down. Every time he closed his eyes, Pei Zi Yun's face came into view.
When Pei Zi Yun walked in, he saw the Sect Leader's face still flushed red, and his cheeks were twitching in evident anger. Seeing the Sect Leader fuming, Pei Zi Yun bowed politely and didn't speak.
"So Zi Yun is here, what is the matter?" The Sect Leader tried to smile as he asked. With regards to Pei Zi Yun, he felt somewhat guilty deep down. Pei Zi Yun was extremely talented and capable. With someone like this in the sect, even if he didn't become the Sect Leader, he would to elevate the status of the sect by his works.
"Sect Leader, I've been under several attacks these few days. Thus, I started uprooting all my enemies one by one and managed to exterminate them all. However, there's one person left, who I've been unable to locate. I seek Sect Leader's assistance with this matter."
"What?" The Sect Leader shouted out before carefully scrutinizing Pei Zi Yun. He noticed killing aura circling over him. Clearly, he had just killed people not too long ago.
"Tell me everything in detail." The Sect Leader said slowly.
"Sect Leader, everything started from when I left for the Southern Kingdom. At that point, I had already been targeted. When I returned to Ying Prefecture, I was attacked again. When I investigated further, I discovered that Meng Luo Gong from the Dagger Clan was behind this attack. I thus killed him. However, I'm still unable to locate the mastermind."
"Damn it! The audacity to attack a Free Cloud Sect disciple here in Ying Prefecture. Damn it! Do you know how this person looks, or know of any special characteristics?"
Pei Zi Yun then replied, "Sect Leader, I have a drawing of him since I've met him once before, please take a look Leader."
Pei Zi Yun then retrieved a drawing from within the folds of his robes.
The Sect Leader unrolled the drawing and a normal looking man's face appeared on the scroll, "This is the man?"
"Yes, Sect Leader. That's him." Pei Zi Yun replied.
"Good. I know what to do. As long as he's still in Ying Prefecture, I will find him for you, and dig him out of his hiding place."
"Many thanks, Sect Leader." Pei Zi Yun saluted before retreating.
When the Sect Leader noticed that Pei Zi Yun had left after hearing the door close shut, he sighed, "Song Zhi, Song Zhi. If only you had half the character of Pei Zi Yun, I wouldn't have to worry so much about you."
As soon as his words had been spoken, he retrieved an Enchanted Talisman.
"Sect Leader." The shadow within the talisman spoke after seeing his leader.
"Elder Chen, I have a task for you to do. Someone tried to kill Pei Zi Yun. Check up on this man, and investigate everything thoroughly!" The Sect Leader spoke out softly. After Elder Chen had heard the instructions, he replied, "Sect Leader, I will do my best in this matter. Rest assured."