Chapter 4: Entering the Mountain Sect
Looking at the four men who were concentrating on controlling the flying leaf in front, she instantly grew anxious again. Just what the hell did these people want with her? Was that round ball really that important? In the cultivation world, were these objects used to test spirit veins not everywhere? Even if it’s destroyed, there should not be a need to arrest her and send her for questioning, right!?
Imagining how she, as a pure and innocent person, was about to go into debt in an instant, and was probably going to spend the next half of her life paying back her debt, she began to feel extremely terrible. Mom… I want to go home.
Just as Zhu Yao was feeling restless, the scenery in front of her suddenly changed. Earlier, while she was flying in the air, she could only see an endless sea of white clouds. However, in the next instant, as though the curtains had been pulled open, the clouds scattered, and a mountain range could be seen floating in the air. Like thin silver ribbons, streams of water flowed down from the peak of the mountains, falling into the ocean beneath.
Zhu Yao was instantly dumbfounded by this game-like background scenery in front of her. She did not expect that, in reality, she would actually be able to see such a scenery.
The leaf they were sitting on, flew towards the largest mountain within the mountain range. Stopping a few hundred feet before the mountain, Senior-martial uncle Li, the youngest looking youth out of the four, took out a wooden tablet, and threw it into the air. Then, in the space surrounding the mountain, a layer of plastic firm-like substance tore open, and a crack big enough for the leaf to pass through revealed itself. After passing through, it automatically closed itself, and could no longer be seen. Zhu Yao guessed that it should be something similar to a great formation used to protect the mountain range.
Only after entering, could she see the big and small residences in the floating mountain range. And, the place they were heading to, was exactly the plaza in front of the largest residence.
Finally, she was able to step on solid ground, but, she realized there were already a sea of little turnips standing around in the plaza. When she looked carefully, there were more than a hundred of them. They were separated into clusters, and four white-robed men stood in front of each cluster. Zhu Yao instantly understood that these were the children who were selected from various other cities.
After senior-martial uncle Li landed, he gave a simple greeting to the rest of his companions. She was unsure of what he said to the rest of them, but, not long after, all the white-robed people at the plaza, without any exception, looked straight towards her.
Zhu Yao suddenly felt immense pressure, and intentionally tried to hide behind the crowd. However, the people present were all turnips who were merely half her size, there’s no place for her to hide even if she wanted to, unless she were to pile up two turnips over each other. She turned and looked towards her little friend Wang Xuzhi, who had a small and thin body, and started pondering the feasibility of this idea.
And as though he felt her intentions, he quickly plunged into the crowd, and distanced himself far away from her.
Little wimp! You unfaithful brat!
“Senior-martial uncle Li, this is a matter of utmost importance. There’s no matter if we disregard the rules in this case, let’s hurry inside and inform the Sect Master.” The white-robed people seemed to have finally come up with something, as a female disciple suggested while she pointed to the hall, and then, she turned back and gave Zhu Yao a weird glance.
The white-robed man named Li seemed to have accepted her proposal. He gave Zhu Yao a glance as well, then, he turned and quickly entered the hall.
Zhu Yao became even more anxious. Why did she feel like this issue was turning out to be more serious than she initially imagined it to be? Was it too late to run? Even though there’s an ocean beneath her, she knew how to swim…
“I’m Chen Ying, a disciple of the Glory Hall of Sword Peak. Junior-martial sister, I wonder how I should address you?” The woman who was speaking with senior-martial uncle Li earlier, walked over, and asked with a light smile.
See, here they come. They have begun the questioning. “My name’s Zhu Yao! Umm… Ms. Chen, that thing about the crystal ball, I really didn’t do it intentionally!” Girl, you must believe me!
Chen Ying actually gave an even gentler smile. “Since you have entered the Ancient Hill Sect, we belong to the same sect, so it’s fine if you call me senior-martial sister. Junior-martial sister, don’t worry. About this issue regarding the sect, Sect Master will give his verdict soon.”
“Ah, I still have to see the Sect Master?” He will not be making her stay behind and work to pay off her debts, right?
Chen Ying nodded. “According to the sect’s rules, initially, new disciples must first spend one month at the Commandment Hall to learn our sect’s laws. Then, they will be taken in as disciples by the various Peak Lords, and their talents will then be fostered. However, junior-martial sister’s situation is a little special, so there’s a need to first inform Sect Master, and have him make a decision.”
Special… Especially bad, right? They’re actually claiming debts the moment I step into the sect.
Chen Ying talked about some other things as well, but unfortunately, Zhu Yao’s mind was filled with thoughts regarding the broken ball, and completely could not absorb what she was telling her. The female disciple seemed to have realized Zhu Yao was distracted as well, and simply stopped talking. Not long after, Senior-martial uncle Li, who had entered the hall earlier, came out.
“An order from the Sect Master, he wants you to enter the hall.” Senior-martial uncle Li told her.
Zhu Yao took in a deep breath. In any case, I have to pay sooner or later, let’s just go then. She gritted her teeth and followed after him.
“Umm… Senior-martial uncle Li, is the Sect Master really angry?” She had to make mental preparations.
He turned and glanced at her. Towards her question, he no longer had the high-class cold look like earlier, rather, he answered really gently. “Our Sect Master has a gentle temperament. How can he be angry?”
“Oh.” It’s good that he wasn’t angry, there was still hope for discussion then.
Only after they entered the hall did she realize that there were actually six people seated inside. Five people were seated at the bottom, while a single person was seated at the middle floor, he must be the so-called Sect Master. He looked around forty years of age, and had a smile on his face. Just as senior-martial uncle Li had said, he did indeed look like a very gentle person.
“This lady is…” Seeing Zhu Yao entering the hall, the Sect Master turned to look towards senior-uncle Li who brought her in.
“To answer Sect Master, it’s indeed her!”
When he heard his reply, the Sect Master’s expression became even more surprised. He sized Zhu Yao up from head to toe, and then asked. “She… Why is she so…”
“Old?” The corner of Zhu Yao’s lips twitched. She was momentarily unhappy. You should be glad I’m not even despising you. What right do you have to call me old? “Uncle, I’m twenty-eight this year, thank you!” Didn’t you know asking a lady’s age was a taboo?
The Sect Master was startled for a moment, as though he did not expect that she would talk back to him. And, as though he realized his question was indeed a little inappropriate, he coughed, and with a wave of his hand, a ball, which looked similar to the crystal ball she broke, suddenly appeared in the center of the hall. However, the ball was much bigger, and clearer, than the previous one.
“Miss, place your hand on the ball.”
Zhu Yao’s eyes suddenly widened. She looked at the ball in front of her, and silently took a step back. She had a phobia for balls.
“Umm… Earlier, I accidentally broke one. I’m afraid…” She weakly stretched out her finger. “So… I think it’s best if I don’t place my hand onto it.”
“No worries! Just place your hand onto it!” Sect Master thought that she was afraid, so he gave her an encouraging smile. “Don’t be afraid, I will guarantee that no harm will be done to you.”
“You won’t blame me if it breaks?” It seemed like they had a big stock of them. Then why did they bring her here?
“Naturally, I won’t blame you.”
“Then, the one I broke in the city earlier?”
“I won’t blame you for that either!”
“Say that earlier!” They actually made her heart pound wildly for the entire journey. In the end, they were not trying to make her pay for the crystal ball. Zhu Yao instantly placed her hand on the ball. As long as they were not going to make her pay, forget about a single hand, if they wanted her to hug it, she would do it too.
The moment her hand touched the crystal ball, streaks of lightning once again instantly filled the entire ball. In less than five seconds, like the previous ball, it shattered.
“She really is!” Sect Master uncle suddenly stood up, and he was already showing a very excited expression. He turned and looked towards senior-martial uncle Li below. “Hurry! Go to Jade Forest Peak! Inform Ancestral Grandmaster of this matter!”
Only after senior-martial uncle Li had left the hall, did the Sect Master finally calm down his excitement. His face, which was initially already gentle, became even more kind and pleasant when he looked towards Zhu Yao. “What’s your name?”
“What’s your name, uncle?” Knowing that she did not need to pay for her debts, Zhu Yao momentarily felt much better, and blurted out.
A certain uncle: “…”
“What audacity!” A red-clothed lady, who was seated at the bottom, yelled, and looked at Zhu Yao with a criticizing look. “Do you not know of the person who’s currently sitting in front of you?”
“I don’t know?” If she knew, why would she have asked?
“You…” The red-clothed lady became furious. “With such arrogance, how can you become successful? Currently, you’re still nothing but a mere mortal, but if you were to make achievements with your cultivation in the future, won’t you be capable of offending your master and destroying the reputation of our ancestors? Senior-martial brother, I think there’s still a need for further discussion regarding this matter.”
“Junior-martial sister, do not be impatient.” Sect Master waved his hand and said. “You know that someone with a potential like this is hard to come by as well. In these ten thousand years, there has only been one.”
The red-robed lady, was still unsatisfied. “Even if that’s the case, this woman’s age is already way past her prime. Even with such great potential, I’m afraid it will be hard for her to form her Azoth pellet before her lifespan is spent. By then, aren’t we simply flogging a dead horse?”
“Junior-martial sister, this…”
“Hey, hey, hey! When you guys are talking, can you please think about the person in question?” Zhu Yao could not help but raise her hand. When talking bad about someone, who would say it in front of the person in question? Were they testing the limits of her patience, or were they testing their guts?