Chapter 69: Retrieve
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: - -
When the rituals were over, it was almost noon. Lunch wasn't the most sumptuous, but it was definitely healthy and nutritious. They had mushrooms, beans, boiled cabbages, beancurd and soup. After Pei Zi Yun had finished his bowl of rice, he started eating the dishes. When he looked up, he saw that Zhao Ning and Yu Yun Jun had stopped eating. He then placed his chopsticks down.
"Your journey was long, and you must be tired. Return to your quarters to get some rest!" Yu Yun Jun said kindly, and everyone around smiled. It was the same for them the first time, who wouldn't be so excited to be here and cultivate Dao Arts that they forgot to rest?
"Yes, this disciple will then retire to his quarters." Pei Zi Yun said as someone stood up and led the way to the outer disciples' dormitory.
Although it was referred to as a dormitory, it was in fact a neat and spacious room. There was a mattress at the side and a quilt to go along. Although there was a bookshelf by the wall, it wasn't a huge one, it was a small one. He walked up to the shelf and took a look at the books, which provided basic insights into life within the Dao and history on the monastery.
"Everything you see here is for the perusal of the outer disciples."
Next to the window was a wooden table, with inkstone and paper on it. Pei Zi Yun took a seat on the chair next to the table and started fiddling with the inkstone. He then said in a hushed voice, "System!"
A white Plum Blossom appeared before his eyes, expanding rapidly before turning into an information interface. It was almost transparent as it floated around, emitting a faint white light.
"Mission: Defend yourself against the bandits, enter Free Cloud Sect Completed! (Yet to be extracted.)"
A transparent Plum Blossom floated up before resting on his forehead "Woosh" Pei Zi Yun trembled as a ton of information, knowledge and experience flooded his mind. His vision became a whirl.
When he finally regained his composure, he was shocked to see the sun almost setting.
"It has taken me hours to absorb all the information, knowledge and experience." Pei Zi Yun stood up and took two steps forward. He was extremely confused and perplexed, "Original owner, you've planned this out very well."
Pei Zi Yun had initially thought that he completely understood the intentions of the original owner. Only now had he realized that the original owner had withheld plenty of information from him. In the past, he only understood a small portion of what was happening, and thought it was the entire picture. Now however, all the details came flooding into him.
'All these information and knowledge. It seems like Paradise is a place which absorb and accumulated Qi from the Earth. However, the Qi on Earth is limited. How could it absorb the Qi without interrupting the flow?'
'When the outer disciples build more monasteries, the amount of incense received increases exponentially. This is how Qi is being replaced.'
'However, if we were to solely rely on Paradise for Qi, in a few generations, we would inevitably kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.' (TN : Chinese proverbs )
'The purpose of the outer disciples is to accumulate materials for the sect elders. The inner disciples roles are to refine and cultivate the Dao. Once this is done, the inner disciples will be able to open the gates of heavens and become Yin Masters.'
'If Paradise didn't exist, it would be hard to become an Earth Immortal. Furthermore, the contents within Paradise are limited as well. There are a fixed and limited number of Earth immortals that can be cultivated within a sect. For our Free Cloud Sect, we can only have a maximum of five Earth Immortals in every generation.'
(TN: Generation is used to determine people of the same level eg: senior brothers and sisters are within the same generation)
'However, the outer disciples are very important too. It can even be said that when it comes to the contributions to the sect, the outer disciple's contributions are more important. In order for a disciple to reach the honorary disciple position, he would have to establish a great amount of contributions. This was why Song Zhi spent countless years accumulating his contributions to the sect. This outer big senior brother had already taken the first step into becoming an honorary disciple.'
(TN: An honorary disciple was one was groomed to become a Sect Leader of his generation, and will become Leader in future.)
'However contribution alone is not enough to ensure that one becomes an honorary disciple.'
'Not only must they cultivate to great heights, but they must keep their cultivation and Dao pure and clean. The reason behind this is because Paradise only accepts cultivators who are pure and true to one's own destiny. Deviating away from this course by learning other forms of Dao Arts would hinder this. Free Cloud Sect's core Dao is Resonance.'
'If a person were corrupt his cultivation, even if he became very strong and powerful, he wouldn't have the required fate to enter Paradise.'
'The original owner had cultivated other techniques and was thus considered impure. Hence even with his trump card, he was still ranked outside of the sect's nucleus. The original owner only discovered this much later. Thankfully the original owner did not deceive me. All the techniques that he had left for me in my memories were pure and true to my own nature. Thus when I received all these details from the original owner, I was already on the road to achieve a perfect cultivation.'
Pei Zi Yun looked at his abilities and a string of words formed before his eyes.
"Free Cloud Sect Sword Technique: Advanced"
"Free Cloud Daoist Manual: Level 5"
Techniques: 31 Variations - Intermediate"
Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Master were the ranks to climb in terms of proficiency. In this short time, Pei Zi Yun had acquired all the experience and knowledge and thus his proficiency level had increased quite a fair bit. He could feel the strength and power within his veins, and he felt extremely comfortable. The original owner had absorbed many Dao Techniques by using the Plum Blossom, and Pei Zi Yun had inherited those techniques from his memories. Regardless of whether Pei Zi Yun inherited the techniques, or absorbed it directly from the legacies, it would be subjected to the aging of time. However, just like that Pei Zi Yun had saved five years of time.
"He he!" Pei Zi Yun went for dinner within the great hall before returning to his dormitory to study.
Pei Zi Yun did not speak to anyone the entire night. Early morning the next day, he left his dormitory and walked onto the open field. This was where the outer disciples were training. Pei Zi Yun glanced down at the vast land before him. He saw many disciples wearing their Daoist robes and practising various techniques. There were fist techniques and kicking techniques. This was the morning routine and it was extremely lively.
Pei Zi Yun looked for a space to fit himself into, and drew his new sword to get a feel for it. Without thinking twice, he imbued the sword with some of his inner Qi. The Qi was as thin as a strand of hair, and it delved into the blade of the sword. Pei Zi Yun then jabbed the sword forward.
The sound of the sword splitting the air could be heard.
"Indeed! Pei Zi Yun realized that the feeling he got while wielding this sword was extremely different from other times. It was almost as if his inner Qi, moves, speed had all reached a high level of proficiency. It was almost as if he had cultivated these techniques for several decades.
"Chi!" This time, he felt a sense of proficiency that came with years of practice. Pei Zi Yun thought, "Having acquired experience and knowledge, the level of my techniques had risen considerably. I wonder if this will show in my practice?"
Just as he was thinking this, a flash of light gleamed in his eyes. Pei Zi Yun looked at the words that formed, "Free Cloud Sect Sword Technique : Advanced Level Completion 0.1%"
"Ever since I've acquired another additional petal, even though it was transparent, I can now start working on my advanced sword techniques?" Pei Zi Yun thought to himself, "It looks like as the amount of authority I receive increases, so will my skills and technique levels."
"I wonder how powerful the initially completed Plum Flower was, and how many completed techniques were available for my use?"
"Ai, this aspect is blurred out. The original owner is keeping this from me again." Initially, he didn't experience anything like this and thus was unaware that the original owner was hiding things from him, and only releasing information a little at a time, on a need to know basis. Pei Zi Yun confirmed this, by thinking of that question again. The answer came back to him in the form of blurred out words.
"In the previous life the original owner had opened the gates of heavens and entered Free Cloud Sect through Zhao Ning. However, since his Dao Techniques were impure, he couldn't enter the nucleus or core of the sect."
"This time, however, is different." Pei Zi Yun was on the field. Seeing that nobody was observing him, he stopped practicing.
Song Zhi had reminded him yesterday that today he had to partake in a tea ceremony with his teacher. Should he have any questions then, he should ask his teacher. This was the instructions given to him by his teacher. Free Cloud Sect had a rich history and thus learning was of utmost importance. This was the difference between a sect member and a rogue cultivator.
"I'm almost going to be late. I shall leave now!"
Pei Zi Yun walked hurriedly to the last hall and saw Yu Yun Jun seated down. This time however, she wasn't sitting atop the highest seat. There was nobody seated on the highest seat however. And Zhao Ning was sitting beside her.
Song Zhi stood by the side, as the little girl Chu Xia was boiling the tea. Serving tea for your teacher was a part of the induction ritual, and the main point of this was to pay respects and ask for guidance after the first day.
Pei Zi Yun went over to Chu Xia to take the teapot. He then poured it into a tea cup, and respectfully served the tea to his teacher before bowing to her.
Yu Yun Jun received the tea, and sniffed it once. She then used the lid of the teacup to fan the tea several times before blowing on it. She then asked, "You've already received the Free Cloud Dao manual yesterday, how's the studying coming along? Are there any doubts you might wish to bring up?"
She smiled as she asked.
Hearing Yu Yun Jun's words, Pei Zi Yun was thinking hard and fast in his head. Since he had the memories of the original owner, and the Plum Flower as his trump card, he thus understood everything. However, if he failed to hide it appropriately, and cultivated rapidly, he would raise some eyebrows and people might suspect that he had an innate treasure such as this. Then people would covet this prized gift. Now was a good time to start letting them think that he was gifted and was born talented. Then, he would not need to worry about anyone suspecting in the future.
Furthermore, he had been pure since birth, and he was within one of the biggest and most powerful sects around, he did not need to hide the fact that he was gifted. In fact, the stronger and more brilliant the was, the better. What's more, he was the only disciple of Yu Yun Jun. Zhao Ning had already chosen Zhang Yun. Since positions were limited, should Pei Zi Yun be taken in under Zhao Ning, he would always remain number 2, unless Zhao Ning abandoned Zhang Yun.
This was the reason why he readily agreed to be Yu Yun Jun's disciple in this life - different from the original owner. 'I'm not even that close to Zhao Ning, and will not be his chosen disciple, what do I have to rely on?'
He then made up his mind as to what to do, "Wise teacher, when I returned to my dormitory to study last night, I started studying the manual and had finished reading it. I have no questions or doubts about it at all. It's only that there are some highly sophisticated techniques, that I haven't reached maximum proficiency. But I will soon.
Yu Yun Jun was only casually asking, and what she heard astonished her. Even Zhao Ning was laughing and trying not to spit his tea out. He looked at Pei Zi Yun doubtfully, and found it hard to believe.
When Zhao Ning himself had entered the sect, he had spent more than a month trying to figure out the manual. And here was Pei Zi Yun, who claimed to have finished it in a single night. He had some suspicions as to whether Pei Zi Yun was just boasting.
Yu Yun Jun paused for sometime to think, and wondered if what her disciple said could be true. She then smiled and said, "Since you've already understood it, why don't you recite the entire first page of the Free Cloud Daoist Manual."
Pei Zi Yun was full of confidence, having read and understood this countless of times in the previous life. He took a step forward, paused for a second, and started reciting it, "Through the Dao Arts, heaven and earth will be combined...."
Pei Zi Yun recited the entire page word for word, flawlessly. Yu Yun Jun and Zhao Ning's faces changed, as if they did not dare to believe it. Song Zhi, who was standing by the side, was pinching his fingers together in anticipation. When he had first studied the book, it took him a whole five months before he could learn the manual. And this Pei Zi Yun had only spent one night in the dormitory. With such a genius around, how should he as a big senior brother have any face to command authority?
When Yu Yun Jun finished hearing him recite the first page, she thought for sometime, and wondered if it could just be a coincidence that he had memorized the first page. She then said, "Recite the 7th page."
"Yes!" Pei Zi Yun then started reciting the 7th page, without missing a single word, and without making a single mistake. Yu Yun Jun was astonished, and did not bother concealing it.
Song Zhi looked at Pei Zi Yun, and thought for sometime. He then stepped forward and said, "Since you've already finished learning the entire manual, I wonder if you can actually demonstrate the skills of these manuals."
Pei Zi Yun smiled respectfully and said, "Since I've finished learning it, of course I can demonstrate."
Song Zhi stretched out a hand, and retrieved a dagger from his robes. He then ran the dagger through his inner forearm and opened a huge gash, "Since junior brother is so confident, please demonstrate the Sweet Dew Technique."
The Sweet Dew Technique could be used to treat injuries, and was one of the most commonly used techniques within this sect. Although the amount of energy required to use this technique was very little, it required a great deal of understanding before the energy could be summoned and controlled. Pei Zi Yun smiled, and waved his hand over the open wound. There was a flash of light as it started to work its way around the gash. The wound healed gradually before their eyes.
Song Zhi found this hard to believe, and he ran his hands over where the gash had been and realized that it had been completely healed. His face was crestfallen, "Impossible. You must've learnt other Dao techniques from before this?"
Learning other Dao techniques before joining the sect suggested that Pei Zi Yun had learnt foreign techniques and joined the sect after, this implied that he was impure. It was not a small accusation. In fact, it was a grave one. Once an accusation like this had been confirmed, it destroyed all chances a person has of entering the nucleus of the sect.
Pei Zi Yun looked up at Song Zhi. The original owner had indeed learnt other Dao Techniques before joining the sect, but he himself did not. Before he could defend himself, the little girl Chu Xia looked at Song Zhi and said, "My junior brother is a genius and was gifted since birth. How can he have cultivated other techniques when he had always been with senior uncle Zhao. Unless you are casting doubts on senior uncle Zhao?"
Once she said this, Song Zhi's face fell. Zhao Ning had heard Song Zhi's words as well and his face remained cold, "I personally watched Pei Zi Yun grow up. Whatever you said about bringing other techniques into the sect, never bring it up again."
The tone in his voice was firm and unwavering. It would be a joke if the person he watched grow up turned out to be a spy or a traitor.
Zhao Ning turned around and smiled at Pei Zi Yun, "How far have you progressed in your Hundred Beasts movements? Why don't you demonstrate for us."
He had heard how Pei Zi Yun had defeated Zhang Jie Yu, and even managed to kill him. He had thought that it was an overstatement. Seeing his power of comprehension while reciting the manual, he was astounded. Could this person really be a genius?
"Yes, after you Senior Uncle." Pei Zi Yun looked at how Zhao Ning defended himself, and was about to call out a mistake in his move. He then remembered that he had just joined the sect, and was a disciple of Yu Yun Jun and not Zhao Ning. He then held his mouth.