Chapter 12: “The Box Left Behind by Father”
Sima You Yue looked at the box clasped in her hands. She felt a myriad of mixed emotions stir within her as she looked at it, half of her wanted to satisfy her curiosity and quickly open it while another part of her had her reserves of opening it, fearing that if she opened it, somehow she’d be on a path to no return.
“Well, since it’s something that cheap Father who had left it behind, I might as well have a look in it.” She convinced herself as she broke open the seal and lifted the lid.
Inside the box, lay a simple ring, a piece of leather parchment and a dark stone. She picked up the leather parchment and took a look. There was a map that was drawn on it, and a house was deliberately marked out. Other than that, she could not find anything else that had a clue to what this place was. She wanted to put the map back in its original position but noticed that there was an envelope there.
“What is this?”
Written on the envelope were the words: ‘To my Daughter.’
She then picked it up and unsealed it, and out slipped a piece of paper. Her expression became serious as she read it.
The letter was not very long , it simply stated that the ring left behind for her was an ancient artifact and was a prized family heirloom. It was in fact, a rare interspatial ring. Other than that, not much other information on the ring was written. She found it peculiar that if this was really a family heirloom, why would Sima Lie be oblivious to this? Also, she had a feeling that there was more to her family situation.
She placed the ring back, currently she still has yet to cultivate enough to amass sufficient Spiritual Qi to harness the power of a Spiritual Master. The current her still could not make the ring hers as a drop of blood was needed to form the bond and that too, required Spiritual energy. Her fingers deftly glossed over the map as her eyes studied the various lines and landmarks drawn on it. Her Father had also mentioned that this map was very important and she should never ever divulge to anyone else that she possessed it.
This leather parchment looked a little worn, seems like it had quite a bit of story and history behind it. She did not possess any knowledge to provide her any clues to where this map was for. There was no other information written on the paper as well.
“So he left me a dilapidated map, this cheap Father of mine, the least he could have done was to tell me where the map was for! Or else what use of it is it to me if I’m so clueless?!” She shook her head and sighed in resignation, not knowing why that man had to make everything so mysterious, rendering her completely helpless.
Finally, she picked up the final item in the box, the dark piece of stone and carefully placed it on her palm as she brought it closer and studied it intently. After a while, she sighed in exasperation as she tried to figure out how was this small stone an ‘ancient artifact’ as the letter had claimed it was.
“It’s just a very black stone, hmm, a little smooth and rounded more like a pebble… looks a little like obsidian, are you sure it’s really an ancient artifact?” She raised an eyebrow in query, her eyes full of doubt as she continued muttering to herself: “That cheap Father had also wrote that this stone chooses its Master, perhaps we’re not meant to be and we have no fate so I can’t see what’s so special about you?”
Sima You Yue finally placed the small stone back into the box after fiddling with it a while longer as she closed the lid and started to earnestly cultivate. As long as she could become a Spirit Master, she would be able to bind the space ring and make it hers by putting a drop of her blood on it. At that time, she would be able to see what was stored inside. A huge part of her was very curious on the items that man had left behind for her.
She gently touched the illusion ring on her finger as she softly cursed in her heart, why was the interspatial ring so troublesome! Why could she only bind it after she has attained the level of a Spirit Master? If only it was convenient like this illusion ring without so many cumbersome conditions, how nice would that be!
This time round, when she was cultivating, she did not absorb all the Spiritual Qi, instead, she spent the whole day trying to sense the various attributes. This time, she carefully observed the various colours and realised that within so many colours, she could sense that here were more of some colours and less of some. She could also sense that those different little light orbs seem to be able to sense her as well and were attracted to her and flying all around her, seemingly wanting to be absorbed into her body.
Soon it was time for dinner and Sima You Yue stopped meditating as she got ready for dinner, those brothers of hers should most probably be back by now.
“Young Master, Fourth Young Master came and is waiting for you.” Yun Yue gently informed Sima You Yue from outside the door.
“Alright, I’ve got it, let him know I’ll be out soon.” She replied as she got down from her bed.
“Yes, Young Master.” Yun Yue respectfully bowed and retreated.
Sima You Yue quickly stuffed the box under her pillow and left. In her hurry, she did not notice that there was a faint glow emitted from within the box.
“Fourth Brother, why have you come?” Sima You Yue walked over the the table that Sima You Le was drinking tea at.
“Oh, I’m here to call you for dinner.” He gave her a wide smile.
“You could have just asked a servant to pass the message, why did you have to make this trip yourself? Since you’ve come all the way here just to pick me up, we should go over now.”
He followed her as they walked over to the dining hall. He hesitated a moment before he opened his mouth and said: “I’ve something else to tell you too.”
“What is it?” She turned her head and asked.
“Teacher Mu has given an ultimatum, he said that if you do not appear in the Academy tomorrow, the principal will dismiss you from the Academy. Even if the King pleads on your behalf, you won’t be able to attend.” Sima You Le said.
“Teacher Mu? Who is Teacher Mu?” Sima You Yue blinked and asked him sincerely with a puzzled expression.
Seeing her reaction, Sima You Le bitterly smiled and patted her head. “Your class teacher. Teacher Mu.”
Sima You Yue furrowed her brows as she struggled to think. She seemed to have a small recollection, this Teacher Mu was her teacher in charge of her class, other than teaching, he controlled a lot of other things in school.
“If you do not want to go, I’ll let Teacher Mu know on your behalf.” He paused. “It’s just that you won’t be able to attend the Academy anymore.”
“No need, I’ll just go to the Academy with you tomorrow.” She shook her head and said.
Before, she had no interest in the Academy as she could not cultivate but now that she was able to, going to the Academy would let her be more exposed to the various teachings and methods, although it was a little too soon, it did not pose a big problem.
During the dinner, Sima You Yue expressed her interest in attending the Academy to Sima Lie. He also had the same thoughts as her. Since she could cultivate now, going to the Academy would be a good choice.
It was at this point that her other four brothers knew that she could cultivate and they congratulated her one by one, letting her feel the warmth of a family as they were each exhilarated and genuinely happy for her.
After dinner, Sima Yue went back to her room and continued meditating, however this time, she did not only simply observe the various little light orbs, she also tried to absorb them.
At first, with her guidance, she experienced some resistance, however after a few tries, the first orb was absorbed in, as she seamlessly guided it along her meridians and into her abdomen. After the first one was successfully absorbed, the second light orb followed by the third and everything after was just as easily absorbed.
While she was cultivating this time, there was a spectrum of lights shining out from the box which she had placed below her pillow earlier today. When the various coloured lights shone out, more little orbs of light gathered around her as she quickly absorbed them.
Late into the night, she had to stop cultivating as she had to attend the Academy tomorrow. Once she stopped her meditation, the light from the box disappeared completely and not a trace of that beautiful spectacle could be seen.
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