Chapter 8: The First Meeting
After admonishing them, the youth surnamed Xu kicked the taller man’s butt. “Go and apologize to him and get lost. Your qualifications will be canceled this year, come back the following year at the sacrificial ceremony of the eastern emperor.”
The tall and short men were dripping sweat and their faces were filled with fear. With their clothes wet, they knelt on the ground and kept on kowtowing. “Thank you, Senior Brother Xu, thank you, Senior Brother Xu… We beg Senior Brother not to tell Senior Brother Zhou, otherwise, we will certainly be expelled from Yingtian Island…”
Senior Brother Xu could not help but raise his mouth and shook his folding fan, saying, “Expelled from Yingtian Island? If Zhou Beinan knows that I caught both of you committing such a crime, it will be strange if he did not beat your brains out.”
Both of them shuddered. “…”
Xu Xingzhi had enough of teasing them and he no longer made trouble for them. He made them apologize to the young boy.
Not getting Xu Xingzhi’s permission, they kept their heads bowed and dare not get up at all, while the young boy only stared at Xu Xingzhi with curiosity in his eyes.
Xu Xingzhi asked the young boy, “How? Are you willing to forgive them?”
The young boy did not look at them but faced Xu Xingzhi and obediently nodded his head. “En!”
Xu Xingzhi bent down and held them in his hands before pushing them forward, “Scram, don’t embarrass the four sects.”
At Xu Xingzhi’s command, they took their magic artifacts and left in faze, running even faster than rabbits.
Xu Xingzhi was about to leave but was stopped by a little paw holding onto the backs of his clothes.
The young boy stood on tiptoe and attempted to stuff the Fuyu fruits into his hands.
“I have no use for this.”
“Sacrificial ceremony of the eastern emperor, don’t you need it?” The young boy blinked and tried to promote, “…Both of them wanted it. For you.”
Xu Xingzhi smiled and used the folding fan to push the young boy’s paws. “They are competing but I am not. I am the order officer for the sacrificial ceremony.”
The young boy could not understand so he grabbed Xu Xingzhi’s clothes as if he wanted him to give an explanation.
With nothing else in his hands, Xu Xingzhi looked down and checked at the jade bead necklace at his neck, making sure that there was no abnormality in the beads before he walked towards the blue rock where the young boy was seated at. He jumped on it and patted at the side, motioning the young boy to come and sit.
The young boy waded over and sat down close to Xu Xingzhi.
Xu Xingzhi said, “You don’t resign to fate.”
The young boy boldly reached out his hand to check at the jade beads necklace between Xu Xingzhi’s neck and was caught by him on his wrist.
A spiritual force quietly penetrated into the boy’s body through the wrist meridians, but the boy’s face was, as usual, allowing Xu Xingzhi’s spiritual energy to wander around among his odd meridians, without scruple.
Xu Xingzhi sighed in surprise, “A child with spiritual roots.”
The boy started with a pair of ignorant eyes. “What is a spiritual root?”
Xu Xingzhi explained, “If anyone who seeks immortality and enquires about the pathway wants to achieve something, his roots, understanding, and efforts are indispensable. Your spiritual roots are very good. What about your parents, little fellow?
The boy looked down at his toes and said, “I don’t have.”
Xu Xingzhi was stunned and immediately comforted, “It’s all right, I don’t have any too.”
The boy buried his head even lower, “I haven’t seen my parents since I was born.”
“…Same.” Xu Xingzhi said with ease, “I only have one twin elder brother. If it hadn’t been for my Master Qing Jing-jun accepting me as his disciple, I would still be scrambling with a group of gangsters in the street.”
Speaking of this, Xu Xingzhi opened the fan as usual and was ready to fan himself. Unexpectedly, the boy held his palm and pinched it painfully.
Perhaps in order to placate Xu Xingzhi, the young boy held up the Fuyu fruit again, “Fruit. For you.”
Xu Xingzhi laughed and pushed the fruit away again, “When I first came to Ling Qiu Mountain, I grabbed two fruits and ate one secretly. It’s juicy and fleshy, but it tasted like a lot of dregs and it grits the teeth. It’s not nice to eat.”
The young boy nodded especially seriously. He took the fruit which Xu Xingzhi had judged to be “not delicious” and asked, “You just said, ‘order officer’, what is that?”
Xu Xingzhi answered patiently, “The four immortal sects hold the sacrificial ceremony of the eastern emperor every two years. Originally, all the disciples regardless of the rank will compete for the sacrifices together. The more sacrifices they got and the higher those rarities were, will allow them to serve as sacrificial officers for the sacrifices of the eastern emperor. I’ve been a sacrificial officer for six years. It’s tiring. Therefore, after the consultation, our four head disciples did not participate in the contest but served as an order officer in charge of several areas in order to avoid problems in the competition.
After that, he propped up the jade bead necklace between his neck with his fingertips and pointed out the shining points on it to the boy, “Look, I am in charge of these five mountains Yu Shan, Ling Qiu, Zhan Ge, Gao Tu, and Tai Hua. The sacrificial objects are quite rare, and often, there will be monsters guarding them. If disciples use their spiritual power in these five places and face any difficulty, I will go and help them.”
Xu Xingzhi came here half a month ago.
He searched all over the mountain, but found no trace of “Yong”. The Fuyu fruits also had no beasts guarding them.
These precious fruits were like a pile of wild watermelons growing in the mountains, waiting to decay.
Xu Xingzhi explained, “Originally, I thought that the disciples who came to Ling Qiu Mountain to look for Fuyu fruits wouldn’t have to use any spiritual power at all, so they were considered to have gained a big bargain. I didn’t expect that they would use their spiritual power to attack a commoner like you.”
The young boy showed a frightening expression in coordination, and Xu Xingzhi could not help feeling soft-heartened as he saw this. He touched his hair and felt only softness at his fingertips, so he decided to touch more.
The young boy never had his hair rubbed like this before. First, he shrugged his shoulders reflectively, then his expression relaxed strangely. Then, uncontrollably, he showed his indescribable expression and squinted comfortably.
Seeing this scene, Xu Xingzhi was amazed.
If he was a kitten, he should be intoxicated by the rubbing now, snoring and humming.
Perhaps he was touched too comfortably. The young boy lay idly on Xu Xingzhi’s legs and used Xu Xingzhi’s knees as a pillow. He asked with an innocent face, “…What is “Yong?”
Xu Xingzhi was surprised at how he was acting so familiar and poked his tender cheek with his fan.
He poked a pit and it felt especially nice.
Xu Xingzhi recalled the ferocious appearance of the monster’s green face, its tusks, and the terrifying scenes of it chasing those who touched the Fuyu fruits. He did not want to answer in detail, “Regardless, it is not a good thing.”
The boy continued to ask cleverly, “Then where did it go?”
This question was also a mystery to Xu Xingzhi, so he speculated on his own accord, “…Maybe they moved? He glanced at the fruits strung on the boy’s feet. “Did you pick it up on the hill?”
The boy dropped his head and rubbed his fingers. “…En.”
Xu Xingzhi asked, “Aren’t you afraid of the beasts on this mountain?”
The young boy’s eyes were slightly bent as he laughed sweetly. The more he saw the more he felt it was very jabbing to the heart, “I came here only half a month ago. The people at the bottom of the mountain say there are beasts and delicious fruits in the mountains. I haven’t seen any beasts, so I’d like to go up and see them.”
Xu Xingzhi thought that his child without his mother with him was quite brave.
That’s good, he had the same conduct as him.
After a while, he turned over on Xu Xingzhi’s leg and arched, “Senior Brother Xu, what’s your name?”
Xu Xingzhi answered with great delight, “He Fang Yin Xiao Qie Xu Xing1 Xu Xingzhi. How about you? “
The young boy proudly raised his chest and said, “Guangguang2.”
Xu Xingzhi couldn’t help laughing, “Hahahaha.”
The boy wondered, “Does my name sound bad?”
He explained to Xu Xingzhi that he used to live on a mountain a hundred miles away and was picked up by a hunter and brought him up to the age of four. When he was hunting, the hunter accidentally fell and died.
The hunter was poor and could not afford to buy clothes. He was always wrapped in animal skins. After the death of the hunter, he was cut off from his clothes and food and lost the animal hide when he went down to look for food.
Later, after he went down the hill in his clothes, he was surrounded by several children who laughed and threw stones at him. They gave him a nickname.
The boy said with grievances, “At that time they all called me Guangguang. I think the name sounds good.”
Xu Xingzhi laughed and slapped his leg. “Hahahahaha.”
After chatting for a long time, Xu Xingzhi looked at the sky and pushed the child’s head, “Get up. Erguang, I’m leaving now.”
Before he could correct Xu Xingzhi’s address to himself, the boy quickly climbed up and begged, “Senior Brother Xu, stay here.”
Xu Xingzhi felt this was rather funny. He touched his hair and said, “Senior Brother Xu is the head disciple in Fengling Mountain. What can I do here if I stay here?
The boy looked innocent, “Stay here with me. You are very interesting. I want to be with you forever.”
Xu Xingzhi pinched his nose and laughed. “…I’m afraid not.”
The young boy’s expression changed slightly.
His forefinger and thumb slightly coincided, and more than a dozen vines spiral out of the shadows of the green rock, along the rock surface, like poisonous snakes.
Xu Xingzhi did not realize what he was doing. He jumped down the greenstone, patted the dust on his buttocks, and was about to leave.
At the matter of life or death, the boy’s thoughts suddenly turned, he loosened his tightly pinched fingers, and the vine immediately retracted to the ground, disappearing without a trace.
He squatted down, unfastened the vines on his feet, grabbed Xu Xingzhi’s sleeve in a few steps, and said, “Senior Brother Xu! May I come under your door with this?
He graciously handed over the precious fruit like radish and shook it in front of Xu Xingzhi.
Xu Xingzhi frowned.
…This child had no family and his spiritual root was beyond expected. He was like a piece of jade, indeed a talent to practice immortality and alchemy.
It’s a pity that he let him wander alone among the villages and towns in the mountains.
Xu Xingzhi took this bunch of Fuyu fruits and thought about it carefully, then he said, “…It’s not impossible either. But we are not allowed to accept disciples in our generation. I’ll take you back first. You have a good spiritual root and you even brought this bunch of fruits back. All teachers and uncles will like you. You can tell me which one of them you would like to be accepted at Fengling Mountain.”
The young boy shook his head resolutely and his eyes were as bright as muntjac, “… I just want to be your junior brother, I don’t want anyone else.”
Xu Xingzhi said, “You really can choose. My master, Qing Jing-jun, is Fengling Mountain’s lord.
Then he grabbed the young boy’s hand and took him in his arms.
A blue light wheel from his fingertips ignited, Xu Xingzhi’s arm was revealed and the small fingernail of the light wheel was thrown into the air.
The light wheel was like a whale absorbing the water, watching the wind for a long time. In a twinkling of an eye, it became as big as a door.
Xu Xingzhi embraced the boy and ordered in a warm voice, “Close your eyes.”
The young boy lay in Xu Xingzhi’s arms, grabbed his clothes on his chest, and buried his face in his chest while his forehead against his clavicle, “En.”
Xu Xingzhi jumped into the blue light gate and disappeared with the boy in the wild hills in a blink of an eye.
The scene changed in an instant. It took no longer than an instant for Xu Xingzhi to move again.
The surrounding scenery was no longer the deep valley forest with sparse smoke but in an elegant place with pavilion and flowers blossoming, the immortal sect disciples dressed in different uniforms came and went, they saw Xu Xingzhi and called out a “Greeting, Senior Brother Xu” respectfully, without stopping their footstep.
Xu Xingzhi’s hands held the folding fan and held the boy in the other hand. He accepted the greeting as usual. At the same time, he whispered in his ear, “Erguang3, when you come here, don’t say you are Guangguang, let alone explain to others how your name “Guangguang” came from. Do you understand?”
The child in his arms obediently said, “Okay. Then Senior Brother Xu, what should I be called?”
Xu Xingzhi scratched his ears with his folding fan. He was stuck.
Very fast, Xu Xingzhi stopped in front of a person.
Like all disciples of Danyang Peak, he was donned in a plain dressing with a wide gown and sleeve. There was a whisk with a jade handle in his arms, and it’s white hairs flew down like a stream.
His tone was warm as he greeted Xu Xingzhi, “Back from Ling Qiu Mountain? What’s the situation there?”
Xu Xingzhi was not in a hurry to answer, he looked around and said, “What about Fatty Zhou?”
Qu Chi answered, “Beinan went to Qing Qiu. Xuechen went to Yaoguang Mountain. I just came back from Zhangyao Mountain.”
Xu Xingzhi was surprised, “This year is really busy, even Xuechen went… Nothing serious had happened at my side. Just two foolish disciples from Yingtian Island. I taught them a lesson.”
Qu Chi noticed the young boy lying in Xu Xingzhi’s arms, “This child is…”
Xu Xingzhi naturally answered, “I picked this child up. His spiritual root is pretty good.” He turned around and showed Qu Chi his face, “Take a look, he is beautiful.”
The child was praised by Xu Xingzhi and he tightly clutched at his arms. He rubbed himself against his embrace.
Qu Chi gave a faint smile. “You love to raise children.”
Xu Xingzhi blinked and spoke with pride, “Aren’t you envious? You don’t know how to raise right? Can’t afford to raise right?”
Qu Chi helplessly laughed. “…What’s his name?”
Xu Xingzhi: “…Hm- Chongguang.”
Qu Zhi was close to tears, “…Why does it feel like you just made this up.”
Xu Xingzhi spoke righteously with his garbage words, “How is this possible. Ask him if you don’t believe it.”
Chongguang was quick to accept this, “It is my name.”
Xu Xingzhi ‘hehe’d with a smile.
Chongguang this name sounded not bad. As for the surname…Wait for him to flip the book of surnames.
Qu Chi asked, “You are going to bring him along?”
Xu Xingzhi hugged Chongguang and told him as he walked, “Next time I’m afraid I will have to bring you along, but currently, I won’t be able to afford to bring you with me. There’s too much stuff going on, if something happens to any mountains, I will have to rush there.”
He had yet to wait for Chongguang to digest the meaning of his words, Xu Xingzhi had already faced a group of Fengling disciples wearing the same color as him and called, “…Jiu Zhideng, Xiao Deng!”
A youth similar to Xu Xingzhi’s age turned around.
The youth was handsome but he had an air of indifference around him as if the world affair was not significant to him.
But after seeing Xu Xingzhi, his eyes reflected a human-like aura. The sharp edges instantly soften into the water, “Senior Brother is back?”
…He basically did not place any importance to Chongguang until he noticed Xu Xingzhi’s action of carrying Chongguang single-handedly. The light in his eyes abruptly dimmed.
Chongguang tilted his head.
Xu Xingzhi put down Meng Guang and pushed him towards Jiu Zhideng’s direction, “Xiao Deng, this is Chongguang. Take care of him first and give and some food and clothing.”
Jiu Zhideng’s eyebrows furrowed and he answered with reluctance, “Yes, Senior Brother.”
Chongguang did not reveal any emotional fluctuations regarding Jiu Zhideng’s performance. He bent over and lifted his head up at Xu Xingzhi, “Senior Brother Xu, I will be very obedient. When will you come back to fetch me?”
Xu Xingzhi bent down his body and touched his extremely soft hairs that arouse wonder. “There are three more days be before the eastern emperor ritual competition. It will be slightly busier, but I will come and see you tonight at Xiao Deng’s.”
Chongguang lifted up his ball of his sole and while Xu Xingzhi was not aware, he kissed his cheek.
He hugged his hands, in between his brows were layers of the sweet taste of candies and he said, “…Senior Brother Xu, I will wait for you.”
The author has something to say:
Jiu Zhideng after many years: I was the first, it was clear that I came first. Hugging, calling him Senior Brother, and even liking Senior Brother…