Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 24
- Snail Village Early Morning
Pei Zi Yun got up early and realized that he still reeked of alcohol from the previous night. Since he did not wish to turn down the village's chief's toasts in front of his mother, he had no choice but to drink. When he woke up, he felt some discomfort and took a warm bath.
Once he was inside the wooden tub, Pei Zi Yun shouted, "System!"
A Plum Blossom materialized before his eyes and expanded rapidly until it became a semi transparent information interface, with faint light appearing before him.
"Mission 1: Rescue Ye Su'er (Completed)"
"Mission 2: Obtain Elementary Scholar status (Completed)"
"Mission 3: Obtain a Daoist Cultivator's Legacy (Incomplete)"
"Now all that is left is Mission 3. Since the patrolling soldiers are in the village, no harm shall befall on it. The Black Wind bandits are still around though, and thus it is not the time to fetch Ye Su'er home. I still have to clean them up and exact my revenge on Zhang Jie Yu."
"Maybe killing the Rogue Daoist Cultivator from Black Wind Sect would lead to me finding my cultivator's legacy."
"But if I were to kill him, should I seek some assistance?"
"For example from Teacher Zhao Ning. Although it might be a little late now, is it possible that I could gain entry into the sect through him?" As he was deep in thought, the water had become cold without him realizing. He picked up fresh clothes and got changed as he heard Pei Qian Shi talking outside the window. He pushed open the door and saw that she had prepared a present for him, "My son, now that you are an Elementary scholar, you should visit Mr Zhao and thank him."
Since Pei Zi Yun already had the intention to visit Mr Zhao, this reaffirmed it. Pei Qian Shi then prepared a gift for him to bring to Mr Zhao. Pei Zi Yun felt it was unnecessary but under the coaxing of his mother, he relented.
He could see the bamboo forest from miles away, before finally locating the bamboo hut courtyard. The morning breeze was cool and soothing, while the bamboo plants were like waves, swaying with the direction of the wind.
Just before he entered the compound, while he was still at the fence, he saw Mr Zhao holding a plate of fried vegetables, walking into the yard.
"Benefactor!" Pei Zi Yun hurriedly acknowledged his presence.
Zhao Ning raised his head and saw that Pei Zi Yun had came. Laughing he said, "What a coincidence that you are here now. Just yesterday your fellow brother had managed to hunt down a hare. I was about to prepare it right now when you just arrived. You're lucky!"
Pei Zi Yun greeted him with cupped fists in the traditional greeting of respect, "Thankfully, I did not disgrace your name and reputation Teacher. I have come to tell you that I am an Elementary Scholar now. I arrived at our village yesterday and came here today to thank you Teacher, for I would not have been able to do this without you."
"You did it all with your own talents and with your own fate." Zhao Ning waved his hands, feeling moved. Although this disciple did have some ancestry favor upon him, it was very little. He had thought that Pei Zi Yun would only make it after a few attempts at the examinations, but he managed on his first attempt. He was surprised, yet relieved. No matter what, this secular disciple wouldn't have to worry about poverty. He poured a glass of wine and said, "That is one of the benefits of being an Elementary Scholar, you have a bright future ahead of you. However, you are on your own in the future."
Pei Zi Yun's heart sank, he asked surprised, "Teacher, what happened? Did something big happen while I was away?"
Zhao Ning waved his hands again and paused before saying, "I do not belong to the Secular World. You should have already met some people from my sect. When you became an Elementary scholar, you bumped into one of my fellow brothers in the Silver Dragon Temple with the monks, in the underground cave, the dishevelled Daoist."
Although Pei Zi Yun was somewhat prepared for this, he was still appalled.
Zhao Ning sighed gently as the decades that had gone by flashed before him. It was all because of his inclinations to teach and mentor that he took him as a Half-Disciple. With a soft voice he said gently, his voice bearing loneliness, "I was initially a reclusive Daoist who came here to find my sect's elder who has been reincarnated. He is your fellow brother. Now that we've managed to find him, I have gotten orders to return."
"Benefactor, since you belong to a Daoist Sect, can't you bring me in as well?" Pei Zi Yun asked sincerely, "With the matter at Silver Dragon temple, I felt something extraordinary, as if the immortal path was real. I humbly request that on account of all these years spent together, you pull me into your sect."
He then began to kowtow, in hopes that his teacher would accept. Zhao Ning however did not allow him to go onto his knees and propped him up, "Idiot disciple, fate is limited, you are indeed too late."
Seeing Pei Zi Yun's anguished and disappointed face, Zhao Ning felt a certain sympathy for him. "My fellow younger brother gave you a manual to gain entry. Although the book is a copy, the contents are legitimate and it is indeed a way to gain entry into the sect. You have to cultivate up till the tenth step in order to gain access to the Dao Roots. Then, you and I will have our teacher student fate once again."
"Teacher, I have already settled everything. I just need to say farewell to my fellow brother and then we can leave." Zhang Yun said as he showed up carrying a bag of belongings. His hand was holding some items and he was with a youth. They were happily talking as they reached the compound when he shouted across to his teacher.
Hearing that voice, Pei Zi Yun spun around and saw Zhang Yun with a youth following behind him. The youth had deep sunken eyes and was wearing a Daoist costume. He had a tall and sturdy frame, and seemed very charismatic.
The moment Pei Zi Yun laid eyes on him however, his eyes flashed and he recalled a memory from his past life. This was the accomplice of young master Xie who had taken away his spiritual gift. His name was Song Zhi and would eventually be his own fellow brother!
In the previous life, it was this man, Song Zhi, who had given away his secret to young master Xie. He had helped young master Xie who eventually became the leader of a sect.
Meeting his enemy like this, Pei Zi Yun felt an inexplicable anger in his chest and his eyes turned bloodshot. His eyeballs were almost bulging out with rage as he realized he could see his own eye whites, which were lined with red blood vessels, and giving off a ferocious look.
Just as these emotions were apparent, Pei Zi Yun understood that this was not the right time to do anything since they were surrounded by members of an immortal sect. As he tried to appease the original owner's rage, he covered his face with his sleeves and used his hands to shield his eyes saying, "Oh no, the wind blew some sand into my eyes."
At this precise moment, the man beside Zhang Yun, Song Zhi caught a glimpse of that glare and got an uneasy feeling. It disappeared almost immediately and it was hard to tell if it was a result of Pei Zi Yun's reaction. It left him worried.
Zhang Yun welcomed him and said, "My fellow brother has sand stuck in his eyes, let me blow it out for you. If you rub your eyes, the sand will go deeper in."
He then removed Pei Zi Yun's hands away and blew gently into his eyes. Seeing his bloodshot eyes and his angry look, he was shocked.
Pei Zi Yun then put his hands down and laughed, "It was just a grain of sand, but it is out now. My fellow brother, do not worry."
Right after he said this, his expression and facial features returned to normal. Zhang Yun then realized he was being overly concerned, it was just sand in his eyes, naturally it would cause his eyes to turn red.
Seeing Pei Zi Yun and Zhang Yun having such a good relationship between them, Zhao Ning was pleased.
Pei Zi Yun had thought that after being reborn into this life, he was able to overlook the original owner's past conflicts and view them objectively while he completes the missions. However upon seeing Song Zhi, Pei Zi Yun felt the full force of the original owner's hatred that was carved across his heart as though he had never forgotten.
It was as if this hatred had dripped drop by drop into his very soul and fused both their souls together with the original owner's love and hatred. He then sank deep into thought, silently screaming in pain.
Zhao Ning then said, "Since the both of you are back, does that mean your family affairs are in order?"
Zhang Yun then clasped his hands and said, "My teacher and my benefactor, you have given me enough silver for my family affairs to be settled. I can leave with you anytime."
Zhao Ning then said, "Both of you brothers rarely get to see each other. This goodbye could very well be your final farewell. Go and say your last words to each other."
One he had finished speaking, as if he felt the full force of his loneliness, he walked into his bamboo hut.
Seeing a scene like this before him, Song Zhi sighed, knowing that things will be different once someone enters a sect as he bids an eternal farewell to his worldly self. He then followed Mr Zhao into the bamboo hut, leaving some time for the two fellow brothers.
Zhang Yun took hold of Pei Zi Yun and spoke softly, "Brother, do not be upset. I overheard teacher talking to senior uncle, and they had spoken about you."
"Senior uncle said that since you wish to join the pursuit of immortality by joining the sect, you have to follow the manual and cultivate until you are at the tenth step, then you will be able to enter the sect. Senior uncle had also said there was somebody behind the Black Wind Sect attacks.
These words were not news to him as he had heard the same thing before. Even the fact that Black Wind sect's rogue cultivator could be linked to Holy Jail Sect was not unfamiliar.
Pei Zi Yun still thanked Zhang Yun as he recalled all the missteps taken by the original owner, and how he had to wait for ten years before he eventually became a rogue cultivator and met elder Zhao who allowed him into the sect based on their relationship. He could not speak for awhile, and it was obvious that this was what he had expected of himself.
He shed tears, and looked miserable. He then hurriedly used his sleeve to wipe the tears from his face.
Zhang Yun saw Pei Zi Yun using his hands to cover his face and asked, "Fellow brother, what's happened?"
"Nothing, just the sand hurt my eyes just now, and it is uncomfortable now." Pei Zi Yun put his hands down as tears streamed down his face.
Zhang Yun had planned to say more, but seeing Pei Zi Yun in this shape, he could not speak anymore. Before long, he said, "Alright fellow brother, farewell. Oh yes, teacher said the items and books around have no value to him, but if he were to leave it here, it might be taken by someone else. So feel free to take it all."
"I understand, go on!" Pei Zi Yun covered his face, and put his sleeve down only after some time. When he looked up again, he noticed that they had vanished from the area.
Pei Zi Yun sighed and looked at the yard. There was still some tea left. As he walked into the bamboo hut, he noticed that several discarded items were strewn on the ground. He walked up to the library and found several thousand volumes of books arranged neatly.
After some time thinking, he then decided to walk down and practice the Hundred Beasts manual. He was sweating profusely while practising but did not feel any spiritual energy coursing through him. Pei Zi Yun sighed. Since he had no spiritual roots, he was unable to cultivate. The only way was to complete the mission first.
He had to make his move against the Black Wind Sect and kill that Rogue Cultivator. This Rogue Cultivator had a very shallow skillset. Since his cultivation wasn't good enough to get into the sect, Pei Zi Yun didn't need any Dao Arts to defeat him. All he needed was a little bit of spiritual energy.
However, since he didn't have any Dao Arts with him, it would be hard to kill even a rogue cultivator. He would need all the help he can get. Since Zhao Ning was no longer an option, he would have to think of another way.
The village had enough young men. However, with the introduction of the Patrol Squad and with the training they provided to those young men, they would not want to leave the village since their job was to defend it. Suddenly, an idea came to him and he decided to act on it within the next few days.
"Oh yes, even if I do not intend to bring Ye Su'er back right away, I still have to explain the reasons to her."
"It's no longer early, looks like I shall eat first" He then headed back to the village where he heard someone shouting. He peered ahead and saw a middle aged man.
When he got nearer, he realized that this man was a butler. He was skinny and was happy to see Pei Zi Yun. "I came here to find Elementary Scholar Pei yesterday, but I found out that you had just reached your village and thought you might need to settle your own affairs. Which is why I am here today."
He looked at Pei Zi Yun and saw that this Elementary Scholar was young, handsome and had a certain drive behind his eyes. He then continued, "This time I am here to return your lands back Elementary Scholar Pei."
"The master of my house said that Elementary Scholar Pei's household had a need of money in the past, and thus used your land as collateral for a loan to you. But since master Pei has already achieved Elementary Scholar status, we shall return the land to you". The butler said.