Nothing was left between heaven and earth. That pair of eyes was like heaven being split open to overlook this world; that blue light is as if it isolated all the suffering of the human realm. Cold, scream and fear in that piece of blue light leisurely went away.
The little ‘demoness’ stared into that pair of eyes. For a time, she lost all thoughts.
That blue light seemed like the fog of the horizon in the early hours. She reached out her hand wanting to get closer. Wanting to hold it into her palms as if that originally belonged to her. She got an intimate feeling like how she felt about big brother. Inexplicable familiar, inexplicable stable.
Like being possessed, her whole heart, her eyes only have that light blue light. Unconsciously, she put down big brother who was in her arms and walked towards that pair of eyes. That pair of eyes still stared at her without any warmth. It let her small hand slowly approach. It was just, that the blue light slowly became thin. That pair of eyes became increasingly black.
On the ground, full of snow, a small black footprint was left. With the fading, blue light, the footsteps appeared faster and faster. The little ‘demoness’ almost anxiously rushed towards that blue light. When it was almost in reach, the last touch of light was swallowed by the darkness. The eyes suddenly tore open and turned into numerous sharp claws again.
The little ‘demoness’ suddenly woke up. She just felt a sharp noise pierce her eardrums. A murderous aura pushed her from top to bottom into a bottomless abyss. She shouted, “Big brother!”
She wanted to hold big brother, but she discovered that big brother was not around anymore. She ran back in panic. However, the murderous aura came from all directions piercing her chest. She fell on the ground and spit a mouthful of blood.
Seeing that bloody mouth rushing over to her while grinning, she looked with eyes asking for help in the direction of big brother. The darkness in front of her was replaced by a sudden silver flash of light.
The silver light pierced in the sky like a sword pulling a gap between the thick black night. With a sharp and dazzling light, it forced towards her, but also happens to bring a soft warm aura.
Her eyes filled with the dim color of blood. Vaguely, she seemed to see an immortal in white on a cloud coming from a far after the light.
White snowflakes contaminated the black as ink hair. It melted and became water, sliding down, fell onto her hands and warmly opened. She looked up and saw clothes as white as the snow. And also, saw a……face more beautiful than big brother’s.
He seemed to be as if he came out of a painting, untainted by the dust of the earth nor disturbed by the noise.. A clean and pure aura dispersed the stench of blood without a trace. Even the silent falling snowflakes seemed to be blossoming into white lotuses at his side and shed a light lotus fragrant.
The clouds gradually dispersed. The moonlight appeared.
He appeared like a deity, standing in front of her. He slightly lowered his body and reached out his hand.
White hand like jade.
These four words appeared in her head. In the future during countless times between life and death, these words carved a warm mark in her heart that lingered for years.
At this time, she looked up in his eyes. Confused she asked: “Dei……deity?”
Did not have time to wait for the answer and also didn’t have time to hold that hand, her eyes turned black and she fainted.
For thousands of years, the presence of Cangjia Mountain is nothing but a legend in a yellow page of a book. It was well known that Cangjia Mountain was a barrier at the east, blocking the wind and covering the rain. It’s also high in the clouds. However, the legend of that there are ‘immortals’ in the mountain has never been confirmed. There have been some who were curious. They wanted to climb to the top of the mountain to find out. Some climbed to the half-way and gave up or were never heard of again.
Therefore, ‘myth’, people only looked at it as myth.
Until recent ten years, war didn’t stop. Natural and human disasters were frequent. At places where people were destitute, there will always appear a few strange people, saving thousands of people from fire and water. Those people call themselves ‘cultivators’.
People didn’t know that these ‘cultivators’ were in fact a group of ‘immortal cultivators’ and were from the mythical Cangjia Mountain. Furthermore, what the common people have never seen is, aside from the main peak, there are actually seven main peaks scattered in picturesque disorder
Sky, earth, gold, wood, fire, water and ground were the attributes according to the practice of cultivation. The seven secondary peak were the home of various kind of disciples from Cangjia Mountain. The youngest could be a five year old child that possessed exceptional wisdom, just entering into the cultivating path. The oldest could be already close to a hundred years old, but has not achieved much in cultivation.
- Sky, earth, gold, wood, fire, water and ground: these are the names of the peaks, namely, Tianmai, Dimai, Jinmai, Mumai, Huomai and Tumai.
In the whole Cangjia Mountain, maybe not ten thousand but definitely eight thousand disciples sought the road to cultivate into an immortal.
On a usual day, the disciples would simply practice the methods of their respective elemental cultivation as instructed by their elders and refrained from questioning about worldly affairs. On this particular day though, upon hearing the supremo’s Cang Ming Bell ringing, almost half of the cultivators had gathered at the Cloud Hall at the main peak.
- Zhangmen: Supremo is head of a sect.
At the very center of the hall, the miserable and unsightly child from last night had already been cleaned up, hair brushed, and changed into a dark blue dress. She could not conceal her shock, her eyes swept over the Cangjia disciples standing in orderly rows. She swallowed.
Up until this age, she had never seen so many people. Even if she had seen this many people, she had never seen this many all adorning the same color robe, all with their hair up in the same style, behind them even carrying the same large rod of metal, apparently all looking directly at her.
She couldn’t help but swallow again, her hand unconsciously tightening her grasp on the long white sleeve besides her, shrunk behind that person’s back, wanting to hide herself from sight.
But that person suddenly took her hand and, with a gentle tug, had caused her to take a few steps forward instead.
“Feng Shu, for what purpose did you brought a child of the mortal realm up the mountain?”
The elder seated in the main seat of the hall had white beard and hair, reaching all the way to the waist. When he spoke, his words carried no emotion, but in his eyes one could perhaps see a ripple of kindness as he carefully observed the child that was also at this moment watching him with curiosity.
“Master, please take her as your disciple.” Feng Shu held onto the child’s hand, still haven’t made any movements of courtesy, his eyes downcast and voice soft-spoken.
When hearing this, the elder raised his eyebrow. The disciples standing in the hall all held their breaths, eyes converging on the same person. It was quiet as if they didn’t exist.
Feng Shu being the great disciple was the favorite of Cangjia’s supremo Cang Yu. Although he is cold, and one could even go as far as to say he is arrogant, still all the disciples respected him immensely. He has not appeared at the Cloud Hall for almost fifty years. No one could expect that when he finally appeared, it caused supremo to sound the Cang Ming Bell and furthermore making a request that was nothing short of impossible.
Under Cang Yu’s personal mentorship are four disciples, the youngest was Qing Nian who was already close to a hundred years in cultivation. Qing Nian was also exceptionally gifted, a prodigy for cultivation. What he could cultivate in a hundred years would be equal to what an average cultivator could achieve in five hundred years. Now Feng Shu casually brings a mortal child up the mountain and he wants the supremo to personally take her into his mentorship?
Supremo Cang Yu stared intently at the child, his gaze gradually sharpening to a point.
The child felt that this gaze made her entire body cold, she raised her eyes to glance at the “deity” besides her, “I want to see big brother, can you… can you take me to see big brother?”
Feng Shu lowered his head, smiling as he patted her on the head.
This smile, it made Cang Yu’s eyebrows crease together even more tightly.
“Impossible.” Cang Yu didn’t make a sound, however one of the elders sitting on the side, Cang Hai, spoke up. Staring directly at the child he said, “Her mind is congested, her consciousness still sealed, even becoming a disciple under the Dimai peak is unthinkable, how can she enter under senior brother’s mentorship?
Those under the Dimai peak were mostly new disciples that had just recently started cultivating. This also includes those disciples that are only average in potential, cultivating for decades and still have yet to see any achievements. Even with one glance, Cang Hai could tell that there was something wrong with this child. Putting it pleasantly, her consciousness has yet to be opened. In actuality, she would be what the mortal realm considers a dimwit. For her, cultivating in itself was wishful thinking, let alone become one of the immediate disciples of the supremo!
“Feng Shu is requesting master to take her as a student.” Feng Shu stated in a calm tone. The underlying meaning in his words, it was Cang Yu’s decision to grant it or not. It was far from Cang Hai’s turn to speak out.
Sounds of intaken breaths permeated through the hall. Even if Feng Shu had always been unbridled in his actions, even if he had never shown much regards for the supremo, but in the face of thousands of Cangjia Mountain’s disciples, this was undoubtedly much too direct. Cang Hai was, out of the seven elders, the the one with the hottest temper.
“No respect for elders!” Sure enough, Cang Hai became so angry that he almost sprung up, finger pointing in Feng Shu’s direction, his entire face red with rage.
Feng Shu just lowered his gaze, never once giving Cang Hai a direct glance.
“You… You…” Cang Hai couldn’t stand that arrogance he was giving off, but he could not find any other faults. With Cang Yu sitting there, furthermore in the presence of all these disciples, he cannot loose his bearing and personally teach him a lesson!
“Calmness junior brother, calmness!”
With such a simple sentence, the interior of the Cloud Pavilion became overflowing in the scent of wine. Yet another one of the elders had left his seat. This one for a change was young and rather handsome, with thick eyebrows and ebony hair. Although he addressed Cang Hai as junior brother, he appeared to be younger than him by over fifty years. Only thing was, as soon as he got up, he almost lost his balance and nearly fell on the floor.
“Be careful, elder Cang Qu!”
Some young disciples could not help it and shouted out in concern, but what they saw instead was Cang Qu making a back flip in mid-air and with a loud laugh, swayed down the stairs. “Let me have a look, what exceptional quirks could this little runt possibly have…”
As he said this, he made his way towards the child, half walking half staggering.
When the child saw him coming closer, she wasn’t afraid. On the contrary, she actually took a few steps forward. She remembers this smell. Big brother told her before, it’s wine. In the past, big brother would often drink under the moon while she, she would be laying on his shoulder inhaling the thick and mellow fragrance of the wine and fall asleep when she got drowsy.
Cang Qu’s drunken face got closer, taking her left hand and feeling her pulse, nodding slowly. “Kid’s head really isn’t in good shape…” He switched to her right hand, “Wait, without ever having cultivated before, at this young age, she already has an open heaven’s eye…”
Cang Qu let go of her wrist, placing his hand on her forehead, “Previous lifetime… this lifetime…”
He was originally drunk and looking the part, talking in a drunken slur. Suddenly his eyes opened wide, the alcohol clouding his mind suddenly dispersed by half. While his words were still unfinished sentences, his hand hurriedly reached towards the back of her head.
The child originally felt a sort of closeness with him due to the familiar scent, letting him feel her pulse was not much, but when his hand connected with her forehead, she felt a surge of turbulent pain released from some unknown corner, spreading out towards her entire body. When that hand came to the back of her head, the pain increased tenfold, becoming sharp and stinging, all the blood in her veins suddenly transformed into thousands of blades, wanting to pierce and escape from her body. She let out a sharp scream, stumbling backwards a few steps and then started crying.
Cang Qu’s drunkenness had gone already, standing firmly at the center of the great hall, hands together at his back, concentrating his gaze on her, “Little girl, you can’t possibly be…”
“What?” Cang Hai quickly asked.
“Enough!” Cang Yu who had been quiet all this time suddenly spoke out, breaking off the end of Cang Qu’s sentence. With his Qingxu staff in hand, he slowly got up, his eyes only looking at Feng Shu, he asked, “You truly want to keep her here?”
Feng Shu’s eyes also converged with his, “Yes.”
“There is no way I can accept her.”
“Then, Feng Shu will leave Cangjia Mountain with her.”
Inside the Cloud Hall, it was abnormally quiet.
There were a few thousand disciples present, but every one of them held their eyes down and held their breaths in.
This was the great disciple, their eldest senior brother, it would be hard to find another like him in a hundred years. Nobody knows when he had actually entered Cangjia Mountain, but there was something they all knew. No matter how arrogant or rash he was, how isolated he made himself to be, how much their elders tolerated him, how much their supremo let him get away with, there was a reason to everything.
In the four corners of the nine divisions, Cangjia Mountain was the youngest of the immortal sects. However, it happened to occupy the mountain that had the highest amount of yin energy. Sixty years ago, the remnants of the devil realm attempted to revive their devil king. The other sects were all occupied with protecting themselves, turning a blind eye to the precarious fate Cangjia Mountain was faced with. When all thought Cangjia would surely fall, Feng Shu singlehandedly drove out the devil army, returning the rekindled devil king seal back into silence. Ever since then, it’s been speculated that Feng Shu’s cultivation, perhaps the only other person with a cultivation that could par would be high-tiered deity Donghua of Donghua Mountain.
Therefore, his status in Cangjia Mountain, certainly was not as simple as supremo’s great disciple, nor everyone’s eldest senior brother.
Cang Yu’s dark eyes seemed to cloud over with waves of unreadable emotions. After a long while, he finally closed his eyes, sighing as he replied “Tomorrow she will go to cultivate at Dimai peak. If she can pass the Sword Trial after three years, this master will personally take her as my disciple.”
“No, she must stay at Tianmai peak.”
Cang Yu’s expression became cold.
“Senior brother already took a step back, don’t be unsatible.” Cang Hai couldn’t help but step in when he saw Cang Yu stumped for words. “Only those disciples of supremo’s direct mentorship can ascend to Tianmai Peak. It’s not your call who stays or not.”
Feng Shu continued waiting on Cang Yu’s reply, as if he had not heard what Cang Hai said.
“An entry disciple immediately ascending to Tianmai Peak to cultivate, it’s unheard of.” Cang Yu sighed.
Feng Shu calmly spoke, “Born in the mortal realm, grew up in the mortal realm, only ten years in age but has already opened a heaven’s eye, that’s unseen of.”
“Immortal cultivation is dependent on fate. If you are acting like this it’s no different from uprooting a seedling. Instead of helping it grow you are killing it.”
“She met me, I saved her. That is fated enough.”
“If she ultimately can’t bear the blessing, even if we change the course of her life…”
“The fortune of life or the misfortune of death are naturally are decided by the mandate of heaven!”
Inside the Cloud Hall, the smoke from the incense burners curled upwards into the air, veiling the expression on Cang Yu’s face from being seen clearly. A light gust of wind came out of nowhere, slicing through that wisp of smoke, causing the bells on the Qingxu staff to give off a soft chorus and sweeping away the silence that suppressed the hall.
“Who will teach her on Tianmai Peak?”
On the Tianmai Peak, the only ones cultivating there were his three remaining disciples. The three could certainly tell that Cang Yu does not want to keep this child, so they all kept quiet.
Feng Shu however said, “Me naturally”
Feng Shu was a prideful person, his way of getting things done is apathy. He has always been solitary, cultivating alone on the main peak. At this instance, for this child, he is willing to break his code time and time again. Cang Yu smiled bitterly, “If this is your choice, I will not add any more obstacles.”
Hearing this, Feng Shu smiled softly, lowering his head to glance at the child who had been by his side the entire time, seeing her teary eyes, he bent down on his knee to help her wipe away her tears, “Do you remember what I told you yesterday?”
The child looked blankly into his eyes, which seemed to be smiling.
“I remember.” She replied after a while.
“Are you willing to stay at Cangjia Mountain?”
She blinked, trying very hard to process his question in her mind. Yesterday after she was saved by this immortal, she had been wanting to see her big brother. He had told her that only if she stayed here could she see her big brother again.
“Yes.” She nodded.
He smiled at her again and got up. Taking her hand, without sparing another glance at those around them, he turned around and left the Cloud Hall with her.
She looked down at the hand that was wrapped around hers.
His hand was like jade.
Warm like jade.
“Do you still not remember your name?”
“Big brother never told me before.”
“Then, from now on your name will be Ling Xi. What do you think?”
A chilly breeze passed by, causing Feng Shu’s white robe to swirl around him. Cangjia’s disciples quickly got out of their way, leaving a spacious aisle in the center of the hall. The voices of the two drifted on behind them as they left, becoming fainter and softer, along with their silhouettes disappearing under the setting sun, they too could no longer be heard.
Cang Yu’s gaze narrowed, watching them as the setting sun stretched out their shadows. In his bright and translucent eyes, a trace of tiredness and helplessness slowly stirred there.
Ling Xi, Ling Xi, how long has it been?