Chapter 12: The Descendant of the Ghost Clan
Teenager Lu Yujiu stuttered as he repeated the course of events on how he entered Qingliang Valley’s discipleship.
An idle and nameless ghost cultivator fell in love with an ordinary woman while traveling the world. He bid goodbye to the Nation of Ming Ya and stayed together with her.
The woman gave birth to Lu Yujiu but she fell ill in the confinement month. Her body became weaker and weaker. She left her mortal frame when Lu Yujiu was three years old.
For the first time, the ghost cultivator experienced the bitterness of separation. He was so sorrowful that he went as far as to abandon his young child and died in the name of love.
Lu Yujiu’s mother also had a younger sister in her family. She raised Lu Yujiu with much difficulty to eight years old and she was on the verge of passing her age of marriage. This was owned by her bringing along a child that she was of no interest to anyone since the beginning to the end.
Little Lu Yujiu was very sensible enough to pick up a small clothed wrapper and said that he would be seeking the immortals and searching for the way of Daoism. He said goodbye to his aunt and left home alone.
He arrived at Qingliang Valley before his expenses for the traveling were used up.
The senior brother who took him into the door did not carefully check before taking this little ghost into Qingliang Valley.
Lu Yujiu knew nothing about his abnormal bloodlines at that point of time, and it was by no means tolerated by the righteous sects. By the time he was twelve years old, his bloodline of the Ghost Clan was awakened but he had already regarded Qingliang Valley as his home. He had repeatedly planned to leave Qingliang Valley but he could not bear to leave in the end.
Lu Yujiu begged timidly: “…Senior Brother Xu, I do not have the desire to bring misfortune to the righteous Sects. I just want to find a place to take shelter.”
One of Xu Xingzhi’s feet stepped on the top of the stone in the stream: “You are truly courageous enough to still remain in Qingliang Valley even after your bloodline has awakened. Don’t you know the reputation of the Qingliang Valley’s Wen Xuechen?”
“I only heard…” Lu Yujiu the teenager hung his head down. “Senior Brother Wen has always been extremely disgusted with non-daoists…”
Xu Xingzhi: “It’s more than hatred this word. How old are you this year?”
Lu Yujiu answered obediently, “Fourteen.”
Xu Xingzhi breathed out a sigh: “The year you were born in, it was the time when the Ghost Clan of Ming Ya Nation was rampant, wildly arrogant and was stirring trouble all over the world. When Xuechen was young, he saw his parents being murdered by the Ghost Clan. He was pavored and in agony. It induced a heart illness to such an extent that his physique became frail. Moving was also no longer favorable. He went under the door of Qingliang Valley to practice immortality for the sake of revenge. To be able to achieve the eldest senior brother of Qingliang Valley with this kind of physique, you should know how much hatred was there to support him to go on.”
Xu Xingzhi still remembered on the day of the collapse of the Nation of Ming Ya, Wen Xuechen used magic spells to drive the five elements to shuttle between the ghost cultivators. It brought a sea of pouring blood rain to every corner.
Wen Xuechen was debility since he was young, adding to the loads on his mind, his black hair was prematurely stained with a frost white. After the battle ended, he rocked his wheelchair and came out of the hill of corpses, letting the blood fall on his white hair and dyeing it red.
The blood that flew down his cheek was accompanied by a few tears.
Similarly, Xu Xingzhi, covered with blood, stepped forward. He pushed his wheelchair with one hand and shook the folding fan with the other. An umbrella painted with small flowers covered Wen Xuechen’s head; covering his tears, covering the sight of the disciples around him.
No one understood Wen Xuechen’’s hatred for the Ghost Clan better than Xu Xingzhi.
Lu Yujiu turned pale. “Senior Brother Xu, I know what you mean…”
Xu Xingzhi raised his eyebrows: “What do you know?”
Lu Yujiu couldn’t help shivering: “I will leave Qingliang Valley immediately…”
“Who told you to leave Qingliang Valley?” Xu Xingzhi was quite amused. “I mean, you must be careful. Do not use ghost spells as you please. You will be miserable if you are discovered by White Hair Wen.”
Lu Yujiu: “…”
White, White Hair Wen…
The Lord of Qingliang Valley had an idle character and cared about nothing. All the things in the valley were handed to Wen Xuechen. Qingliang Valley was different from the other three sects. Its rank was very distinct and dignified. Wen Xuechen was also not frivolous in talking and joking. He was like a God in the hearts of these disciples. At first hearing the nickname Wen Xuechen, Lu Yujiu was frightened, but he reacted a while after he understood Xu Xingzhi’s words.
He clenched his lips. “The meaning behind Senior Brother Xu’s words is… I can continue to stay in Qingliang Valley?”
“Why not?” Xu Xingzhi patted him on the head: “Think about it, as a ghost cultivator yet you can still hold onto immortality, how good it is.”
Lu Yujiu was surprised and delighted. “Senior Brother Xu, won’t you tell Senior Brother Wen?”
“Informing is the most boring thing in the world.” Xu Xingzhi took a sip of water from the water cylinder and wiped the mouth of the tube with his sleeve before handing it to Lu Yujiu. “When I first entered Fengling Mountain, I also attended the eastern emperor sacrificial ritual. I and Young Master Zhou of Yingtian Island were fighting for the ownership of several thorns of Hao Zhi. Young Master Zhou was spoiled and domineering at that time. I was not good at learning and my right arm was injured by him. Later on, when my Master asked me why was I injured, I said that I had injured myself and it was none of his business.”
Lu Yujiu held the water cylinder in his arms and asked eagerly, “Why?”
Xu Xingzhi smiled and said, “If I had told him the truth, Master would have punished him. But me being beaten for nothing? I won’t suffer this loss.”
Lu Yujiu: “… What happened next?”
Xu Xingzhi said, “Two years later, at the sacrificial ritual of the eastern emperor, I found a remote mountain area with no one and beat him up with my own hands.”
Lu Yujiu: “…”
…Those who bore grudges were really scary…
After telling his story, Xu Xingzhi reached out and patted Lu Yujiu on the head and said, “Remember, don’t tell anyone about your identity. It’s enough that the two of us to know this secret.”
Xu Xingzhi was so assured of him that Lu Yujiu was somewhat at a loss.
He tentatively asked, “Senior Brother Xu, are you not afraid that one day…”
Xu Xingzhi retrieved his water cylinder. He turned his palm upside down and the water cylinder was turned back into a bamboo fracture fan: “Afraid of what? That someday you will show disloyalty? Will you betray Qingliang Valley one day?”
Lu Yujiu dared not speak with his mouth pulled back.
Xu Xingzhi said lightly, “Let’s talk about this kind of thing when it’s time. At least now that you have brought the rear for all your martial brothers, that is enough loyalty. Why should I drive out the shelter just because of the one in ten thousand possibilities?”
Speaking of this, Xu Xingzhi drew closer and put aside his causal expression slightly. He said, “But listen, Lu Yujiu, if you were to draw your sword against Qingliang Valley in the future, I will surely repay it back to you. I can only guarantee that my sword will not go out of my sheath before you. Do you understand?”
Lu Yujiu could not help straightening his waist and nodding earnestly.
Xu Xingzhi stretched out his little finger: “Promise?”
Lu Yujiu leaned down and kissed Xu Xingzhi’s little thumb tips.
Xu Xingzhi was astonished. “… This is…”
Lu Yujiu’s cheeks blushed slightly. “This is the highest etiquette of the Ming Ya Nation. It means commitment.”
Xu Xingzhi laughed and pulled off the Luobiao worn on Lu Yujiu’s neck.
Lu Yujiu was dragged forward one step and his eyes were watery. He seemed to be puzzled.
Every disciple who participated in the Eastern Emperor Sacrifice Ritual had one. There was a trace of spiritual power embedded in the Luobiao, which was connected with the jade bead necklace on Xu Xingzhi’s neck. The spiritual movements of each disciple could be monitored so as to distinguish and judge whether they were in danger and needed rescue.
Once the participants were injured, they could not continue the competition for the sake of safety.
Xu Xingzhi, the order officer, fulfilled his duties by folding the Luobiao into two, stuffed it into Lu Yujiu’s embrace, and patted it with his backhand. “This year, you have been disqualified. Recover and come back in two years again.”
The eastern sacrifice ritual was held at Lu Wang Platform every two years, where the participants from all the sects gathered.
The four sects each occupied the four halls of north, south, east, west. It was already late in the day, the disciples who went to collect the sacrificial objects had returned to their hall one after another to maintain their spirits in order to fight again tomorrow.
The disciples of Qingling Valley stayed in the South Hall. After returning the injured Lu Yujiu to the South Hall, he went back to the North Hall allocated to the disciples of Fengling Mountain.
From a distance, Xu Xingzhi could already see the silhouette of two figures sitting side by side cast on the hall at the north side.
Xu Xingzhi sensed something and he went forward. It was a little Jiu Zhideng and little Meng Chongguang.
They could not be considered to be sitting very close. One was weaving a ring with picked straw, and the other was writing something on a roll of bamboo slips with a brush in hand by the glimmer of candlelight in the hall.
As Xu Xingzhi approached, he coughed.
Hearing the sound, they raised their small heads together and it was especially lovely.
Meng Chongguang’s peach blossom eyes were shining like he was looking through thousands of limpid autumn waters and finally waited for the person he wanted to see.
By contrast, Jiu Zhideng was much more indifferent.
He greeted, “Senior Brother is back.”
Xu Xingzhi asked, “Why don’t you go to sleep?”
Jiu Zhideng put the bamboo slips and brush in the sleeve case and answered, “Waiting for Senior Brother to come back.”
With that, the cold-faced child wanted to stand up by supporting himself with his sword he put on the ground.
But as soon as his feet touched the ground, he made a low hum and squatted down with a slightly distorted expression.
Xu Xingzhi frowned: “What’s wrong?”
Jiu Zhideng bit his lip: “It’s nothing.”
Xu Xingzhi clicked his tongue. He squatted down and kneaded Jiu Zhideng’s right ankle which he did not dare to touch on the ground.
Jiu Zhideng stood unsteadily and fell into the arms of Xu Xingzhi.
Blood buzzed up to his cheeks, and the pale, cold face had a little panic. Jiu Zhideng forcefully pretended that nothing happened. He tried to struggle from the embrace of Xu Xingzhi: “… It’s nothing. It’s just numb from sitting down. It will be fine in a while.”
Xu Xingzhi laughed and straightened him up. He turned around and squatted on the spot. “Come up.”
Jiu Zhi Deng blushed more. The fingers pinched at the corner of his clothes loosened and tightened. “… Senior Brother, there is no need.”
Xu Xingzhi laughed at him while back faced. “Why, do you think your Senior Brother can’t carry you?”
“No, not…” Jiu Zhideng stood on one foot independently, and stuttered up on the rare occasion, “Senior Brother, this way… It’s improper.”
Xu Xingzhi: “What improper? Master is not in, Martial Uncle is not in, I’m the rule here. Come up. “
Jiu Zhideng made up his mind and finally, shyly climbed up the back of Xu Xingzhi. “Senior Brother has worked hard.”
Meng Chongguang on the other side looked at Jiu Zhideng’s hands around Xu Xingzhi’s neck, feeling quite unhappy.
He pulled the corners of Xu Xingzhi’s clothes.
Xu Xingzhi turned around and said, “What’s wrong?”
Chongguang bit at his lip in grieving and said: “… Senior Brother, my feet are numb too.”
The final outcome was not hard to imagine, two people at the laying on the back of Xu Xingzhi’s back, each occupied one side.
Both of them were thin, so it was easy to carry them together.
After making sure that both of them were hanging securely on his back, Xu Xingzhi took a step towards the inner hall.
But after a while, there was a disturbance behind.
At first, two childish fellows just pushed at each other on his backs. Then they began to pinch at each other. Later, it was unknown to know who started being so ruthlessly; they even started to kick each other’s calves.
Xu Xingzhi had to stand still. “… What are you two doing? “
Meng Chongguang was unwilling: “Senior Brother is mine. You go there.”
Jiu Zhideng: “Not going. Mine. “
Xu Xingzhi was at a loss to cry or laugh. He interrupted their quarrel: “… You two, you two, is Senior Brother such a good thing? That you two are fighting over me? If you quarrel any more, I’ll be letting both of you down.”
So the world was quiet at last. Xu Xingzhi carried them as he walking towards the brilliant light.
The light faded, and it condensed into a slight ray before bursting again.
Xu Xingzhi’s eyelids trembled and he opened them.
He was still in the wilderness.
Perhaps it took more energy to dream in the wilderness. Xu Xingzhi’s body was weak and his arms were extremely sore.
It took him quite an effort to get up before he realized that Zhou Wang was in his room. She stood with a pair of huge sabers on her back as she leaned against the wall with her arms crossed. There was even some dissatisfaction on her face.
Xu Xingzhi restrained his confusion and asked aloud, “Why are you here?”
Zhou Wang pointed out to the outside: “The people from Sealed Mountain have come to save their lord. This time they went crazy. Big Brother Meng told me to look after you, lest something should happen”
The author has something to say:
Today, Senior Brother Xu is still full of fatherly love.