Chapter 30.2: Strict Teacher
This next day was precisely the day of the month which Spiritual Master Lingwu answered any questions his disciples had. Su Tingyun woke up early in the morning to wait for him and soon spotted him in the distance. Just as she was hesitating over how to call out to him, she found that he had walked over to her.
That’s right, since she had already appeared in his path, how could he possibly not know that she had something to ask?
“You have business?” Su Lijiang’s tone was very mild. It contained neither anger or joy, nor did it contain any trace of displeasure from seeing Su Tingyun blocking the road. His mood did not seem to change much at all. She had constantly been in his surroundings these days. Although she was tactful and usually didn’t appear in front of him, he knew that she was right here. She was in his life.
He had continuously worked on adjusting his mood. While his disciples were training in illusion domains, he was honing his mentality in those domains as well. As of now, his emotions had gradually calmed and he was able to face Wei Yun without being disturbed.
“I swapped some pointers with Du Xizhi yesterday.” Su Tingyun grinned a little. “My strength was greater and I had been able to swing him up then smash him onto the ground.”
Su Lijiang’s temples slightly twitched.
Du Xizhi was his disciple. He had pretty good aptitude and a desire to become someone strong. He’ll probably be depressed for a few days from having been defeated by a woman at the first stage of Spirit Condensation. However, this is also pretty good. It will allow him to realize that he was still very weak.
Su Lijiang didn’t doubt Su Tingyun’s words. Even after not seeing her for so many years, he still subconsciously felt that Wei Yun was very strong. Although she was only at the Spirit Condensation Stage, she had great strength that seemed inexhaustible. Du Xizhi hasn’t learned attack techniques yet so the fact that he lost to her wasn’t very strange.
“En.” Su Lijiang nodded. “It was his ability that was lacking.”
After Su Lijiang finished speaking, he made to leave. Su Tingyun hastily said, “He doesn’t know attack techniques and can’t even beat someone like me who’s only relying on strength. With things like this, won’t he be the weakest one in the sect field practice exam?”
Su Lijiang’s steps paused. His line of sight slightly slanted to sweep over Su Tingyun, then he said, “I understand.”
This time, Su Lijiang didn’t stop anymore and directly strode away. He used reduce space into inchesT/N and reached the public square in the blink of an eye, appearing right in the middle of those disciples. Su Tingyun didn’t know either if her words had any effect or not. There was a dimension-separating array over where they taught the lessons so she couldn’t even eavesdrop. Thus, she stopped paying attention to it and started watering the medicinal field and getting rid of bugs like usual.
The Orchid Tongue Grass was still saying with a Manchurian accent, “looks unsightly, looks unsightly…” It was particularly amusing to hear. Su Tingyun suddenly felt that this Orchid Tongue Grass was like a parrot. It just liked copying the speech of others.
That night, Du Xizhi and Yin Li ran over to thank Su Tingyun. They said that Spiritual Master Lingwu was bringing them to the upper level of the Book Repository so they could choose for themselves a suitable high-level martial arts technique. Su Tingyun took advantage of the time while the two children were still excited to ask them to take care of Xiao Mei. The two immediately agreed and said that since they were high in seniority, no one would say anything about them picking a couple people of lower seniority to attend to them. They said they would just have Li Xinmei stay with them in order to unconditionally guarantee her safety.
Having obtained a guarantee, Su Tingyun felt more relieved and decided to refine some strong low-level medicinal pills. Afterwards, she planned to go to Ten Thousand Treasures House to see if there’s any suitable artifact that would help Xiao Mei protect herself.
Su Tingyun was like a parent that was packing for a kid that was about to head out on a trip. She tried to think of everything that would possibly be needed. She had been saving that high-grade spirit stone this entire time – buying low-rank things hadn’t used up much of it – but after she brought a defense-type little copper bell and a low-rank blade formation, her slush fund was completely depleted. Su Tingyun could only sigh to express what a troll it was that the spirit treasures in this world were so damned expensive.
When her thoughts got to this point, she subconsciously stroked the jade ring on her hand.
This jade ring was something Spiritual Master Lingwu had gifted to Wei Yun, the person who had saved his life, back then. It was said to be his family heirloom, yet he didn’t ask for the ring back when they met again.
There was spiritual energy above the ring. Su Tingyun had realized that this ring was an artifact ever since she started cultivating. As of now, her fingers weren’t that thick and coarse anymore, but that ring seemed to have shrunk a size and was still sticking tenaciously to her flesh. She couldn’t pull it off at all. It had probably imprinted on a master like the novels described.
She had sent her spiritual consciousness energy into the jade ring before, according to the instructions on a jade scroll. She even tried dripping her blood on it, but the ring didn’t react at all. She has always been curious as to what exactly this ring could do and had considered asking Spiritual Master Lingwu about it. However, in the end, she dropped the idea.
Su Tingyun had been planning to ask Du Xizhi and Yin Li to deliver the stuff she had prepared to Li Xinmei. However, to her surprise, they actually brought Li Xinmei from the Array Hall over to her a couple days later.
“Grannie, you missed Mei jiejie a lot, didn’t you? I’ve brought her here for you.” Yin Li had a sweet mouth. She energetically skipped as she pulled Li Xinmei over, seeming particularly lively.
In all, it had been almost half a year since Su Tingyun had seen Li Xinmei. She had probably grown a little taller. Her hairstyle was in a simple bun with a single jade hairpin inserted through it, it was a very refreshing style. She was wearing a pomegranate-colored buttoned Chinese jacket. Her skirt still fluttered like waves, making her appear to be a red lotus that was slowly blooming in the middle of a pond.
“Grannie.” Li Xinmei walked to Su Tingyun with quick steps, then smiled as she rested her head on Su Tingyun’s shoulder and lightly rubbed against her like a cat.
“Heaven Firmament Peak isn’t open for casual visitations, that’s why I haven’t been able to visit you this entire time.” She rubbed against Su Tingyun a little, then lifted her head. “Are you doing well?”
“Very well.” Su Tingyun clapped. “I just grow some medicinal grass and refine a couple pills every day, the days are so free and unfettered.”
It’s just a shame she didn’t dare to leave Heaven Firmament Peak, otherwise she would also look for Xiao Mei to chat.
Yin Li left after leading Li Xinmei over in order to give them some time alone. Su Tingyun and Li Xinmei sat next to the pond and watched the sun set behind the distant mountains as they chatted and recounted the events that had occurred this past half a year.
Last time, after Master Dan determined Li Xinmei’s injury to be incurable, Liu Feizhou said that Li Xinmei was going to be abandoned and that everything that had been given to her would be taken back. Su Tingyun and Li Xinmei had been very sad at that time but in reality, Li Xinmei found that her Master didn’t make things difficult for her after she went back.
He didn’t take back the treasured jade water thread skirt or the white jade hairpin, nor did he diminish the amount of medicinal pills and spirit stones she received each month as allowance.
In the end, Liu Feizhou was just a vicious, merciless, and selfish demon. He always thinks that everyone else is the same as him!
When Su Tingyun’s thoughts got to here, she couldn’t help but feel that Ning Xuzi, that fatty, was rather humane and warm.
As of now, Li Xinmei’s cultivation was at the second stage of Spirit Condensation.
Since everyone was at low levels of cultivation right now, Li Xinmei’s current level ranked at the upper middle portion of the newly accepted disciples. Thus, no one felt that her current lifestyle was inappropriate and her days were pretty smooth as well.
The only thing was, since her meridians were injured, cultivating was very painful for her after she broke into the Spirit Condensation Stage. Every time her spiritual energy circulated an entire round, she would feel as if she had been cut a thousand times. To have gotten to the second stage of Spirit Condensation under these circumstances, the amount of hardships she must have endured was hard to imagine.
“Master treats me very well.” Li Xinmei’s voice was very soft. “He had even been mocked by his Senior Brothers because of me. I don’t want to disappoint him.”
Grannie said that as long as one lives, there’s hope. She was still living. Even though it hurt to absorb spiritual energy, it wasn’t impossible. Thus, as long as she could endure and persist, she would definitely still be able to advance.
“I’ve refined quite a lot of Meridian Moistening Pills lately.” Su Tingyun reached out and patted Li Xinmei’s skinny and frail shoulder. “Although they’re all low-rank Meridian Moistening Pills, there’s a lot of them. You can just eat them like beans while you’re cultivating. It should help to alleviate some of the pain in your meridians.”
After she finished speaking, she took out a spatial universe bag and handed it to Li Xinmei. “Originally, I was planning to ask those two kids to pass it to you but since you’ve come, it’s just in time.”
Li Xinmei didn’t decline. She sniffled, then took the spatial universe bag and hugged it. Her legs swung softly as she rested her head on Su Tingyun’s shoulder.
“Grannie, I have an older brother. Once I find him, I’ll have him acknowledge you as his grannie too.” Li Xinmei’s eyes were sparkling as she spoke. It was still the same faint gold color but her eyes seemed to overflow with light and color beneath the rays of the sunset. These were the Universal Array Eyes that Array Sect ancestor had left behind. She had only gleaned a bit of knowledge but she now already possesses a pair of eyes that were different from that of the masses.
She had a lot of natural aptitude ah. Master had once also given her a lot of hope. That’s why, Li Xinmei felt, she must not give up. Unless it hurt to death, she won’t stop practicing mental cultivation methods and absorbing spiritual energy.
Su Tingyun reached out to help her rearrange some of her loose hair. “Where did your older brother go?”
Li Xinmei’s body slightly jolted and she drew closer to Su Tingyun as she said softly, “He was taken away.” She hugged her head in pain and curled up, trembling.
Upon seeing this, Su Tingyun immediately understood that Li Xinmei had definitely suffered a trauma when she was little. Perhaps the hidden injury she had was also a result of that time. She lightly patted Li Xinmei’s back so she wouldn’t fall into a deep recollection.
After about fifteen minutes, Li Xinmei finally calmed down again.
The old and young pair chatted for a little more before Li Xinmei reluctantly left. Once she left, Su Tingyun started refining pills again. She stopped refining other pills and simply focused solely on Meridian Moistening Pills. It was in hopes that Li Xinmei’s cultivation would be a little easier. However, her ability was limited, this was also as much as she could do.
In a blink of an eye, half a month had passed and the sect field practice exam had commenced.
Su Tingyun heard bustling noise from outside starting early in the morning. The moment she headed out to take a look, she saw that Spiritual Master Lingwu’s eleven disciples were all wearing indigo blue disciple clothing and standing neatly outside the public square like a row of little saplings.
The oldest of them was probably only fifteen, while the youngest seemed about seven. This little group was going to the sect field practice exam island to hunt and kill spirit beasts. The person who obtained the most spirit crystals would be ranked first of the newly accepted disciples. They would be in the limelight and would even be able to obtain a high-level artifact.
Those fresh youngsters were all heading off towards the island where the exam was being held. Su Tingyun was clearly only 25 years old, yet she could only stand beneath the tree and quietly watch them walk past.
The cool spring breeze had caused quite a few tree leaves to fall. Leaves landed on her shoulders, making the scene rather desolate. She folded her hands behind her back as she slowly walked towards the pond. Before she could even indulge in her sorrow, the Orchid Tongue Grass suddenly spoke.
“Within the sect, killing those that belonged to the same sect is prohibited. However, on the examination island, there are bound to be some newly accepted disciples that meet accidents and end up being buried in the stomachs of spirit beasts.”
“What you mean is…”
Su Tingyun’s eyelids leapt and her heart jolted. Orchid Tongue Grass liked parroting people. Where did it hear this conversation?
There were arrays everywhere in Heaven Firmament Peak and Spiritual Master Lingwu’s disciples wouldn’t be so dumb as to secretly conspire near the lake and let the Orchid Tongue Grass overhear. Could it be that the Orchid Tongue Grass covering the mountains can communicate with one another?
That means that if other Orchid Tongue Grass heard a conversation like this, the one in her pond would also repeat it?
“What else did you hear? Did they say any names?” Su Tingyun was very excited. If her conjecture was correct, then wouldn’t the entire world be within her sights? After all, this entire world was covered with Orchid Tongue Grass.
However, reality proved that she was, as expected, just thinking too much.
After the Orchid Tongue Grass repeated those two sentences two more times, it then said, “Looks unsightly, you look so unsightly…”
Su Tingyun: “…”
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Yours Truly
T/N – ‘reduce space into inches’ was translated kind of literally but it’s a common movement technique that appears in a lot of novels. It’s also known as ‘reduce space technique’ and in modern times, is known as teleporting, according to a bing internet search since no google in china Q-Q I have to acknowledge that bing isn’t that bad…
I am slightly sad, and slightly happy to announce that… you guys don’t get a bonus chapter for this week because people got the wrong answer in the event!! Sad ‘cause I have to edit the schedule plus you guys don’t get to read a little more of this awesome story, happy ‘cause I really did not have a chapter prepared and might’ve had to keep my roommates up to tl a chapter in the middle of the night. However, there will be more chances! And hopefully college will settle into a routine so I can actually have time to sit down and tl. That said, thanks to everyone who participated and I will definitely be putting up more bonus chapter opportunities! Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter!
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