The Inverted Dragon's Scale Chapter 163-168
Chapter 163: Acknowledge as master!
Just as Xiahou Qianbai has summarised the seven realms of martial arts for Li Muyang, what kind of state is the Empty Valley?
It seems like a valley or rather a water channel. Essential qi fills up the valley, it gradually rises and develops into a towering mountain and then escalates to the High Mountain Realm.
What's different is that, this valley can be large or small, deep or shallow. Like a gulf or a warehouse. Because of the difference in depth and size, cultivators achieve different outcomes.
Of course, it's not a definite influencing factor. It does not necessarily mean that a wider gulf means one is more likely to become a strong person of Starry Sky. Such a misinterpretation would cause cultivators who are unable to fill up the Empty Valley to sustain injuries and fill with resentment. It also doesn't necessarily mean that those with a small valley would not have big accomplishments; however, those with a small valley does have a higher probability of progressing at a slower pace——Those originally without an Empty Valley but was enlightened overnight and become famous across the starry sky, are also not a small number.
Therefore, everything depended on fate.
However, Xiahou Qianbai has never seen an Empty Valley like this.
More accurately, it's not a valley.
It's an ocean, a vast expanse of blue sea.
Majestic, spectacular and without boundaries.
Water ripples are wide and powerful compared to the bright starry sky above. The size of the sky is the size of the sea. Boundless sea and sky. Sky and sea together as one. There is no clear dividing line between the sky and the sea, as though it is difficult to separate them from their origin.
Red sun rises from the bottom of the sea, the moon goddess descends toward the bottom of the sea.
The sea is their bed, it's a warm hug. It embraces thousands of stars and even the brightest star in the sky is just a child of the sea.
"What is this?" Xiahou Qianbai became furious when he saw this scene. He felt Li Muyang is rebellious and always use all sorts of weird things to refute every word he says—He can endure everything else but the seven realms of martial arts are the rules that all cultivators of the divine continent follow, why must you be different?
"What is this? Because I said the Empty Valley is like a valley, so you've got an ocean? If there’s something you’re not happy with, then tell me, don't play such tricks with me——" Xiahou Qianbai had an impulse to yell at Li Muyang.
Of course, he's a noble. He would never behave in such a rude manner.
"As vast as the ocean?" Li Muyang is a beginner, he obviously could not understand the meaning of Xiahou Qianbai's words and even more did not notice the odd expression on his face. Of course, even if he noticed, he would only think that Xiahou Qianbai is——envious. After all, a disciple's Empty Valley is larger than his Empty Valley back then, of course the teacher's face won't look so good.
Li Muyang eyes widen and his face lit up in a wide smile: "So, my Empty Valley must be very big, right?"
"Very big." Xiahou Qianbai replied. In fact, 'very' can hardly describe it. He thought for a very long time, before deciding that 'as vast as the sea' is more appropriate.
"That's great, that's great. Teacher Xiahou mentioned that a bigger Empty Valley can accumulate more essential qi and has a higher chance of breaking into the next realm and progress further in the long run— — Teacher Xiahou, I will definitely become a strong person of Starry Sky, right?"
Xiahou Qianbai remained silent for a long time, before he replied: "This——depends on fate."
Xiahou Qianbai was not brushing off Li Muyang. He really could not make a rational analysis of Li Muyang's current state, not even a dubious speculation.
His Empty Valley is a vast blue sea, is this good or bad?
It seems pretty special, and also very cool.
But, that's a vast sea, what about his future path? How will he set the pace of his future training?
And more importantly, just how much essential qi would he need to fill up the sea?
"I understand. I understand. You Taoists don't like to give definite answers."
Seeing Xiahou Qianbai's gaze sweeping over, Li Muyang realised he said something very stupid.
In order to remedy his mistakes, he said something even more stupid: "Monks are the same."
The strange thing today was that Xiahou Qianbai did not get into a tangle with him on his mistake, as though he did not pay attention to his explanation.
He still had a very strange kind of look on his face as his gaze flickered back and forth over Li Muyang's face. "Li Muyang——just who are you?"
"I'm Li Muyang." Li Muyang tried hard to maintain calm and even attempted to control his heart rate. Because for a master like Xiahou Qianbai, as long as there's the slightest subtle change in emotion, it won't escape from his eyes.
He is still Li Muyang but just not the same Li Muyang as before.
He is now a dragon.
If this secret was known to others, would Xiahou Qianbai slay him by himself?
People dream of slaying dragons all day long, such as Tie Muxin, Cai Pa, Qiandu and even Yang Xiaohu——They would not let him go, right?
Li Muyang's life is really stressful.
Xiahou Qianbai sensed Li Muyang's nervousness but did not think too much. He simply thought he was worried that his foundation is not ideal.
"I mean, your body——is not the same with other people. Or should I say, different from many other people."
"I know that." Li Muyang's face turned gloomy, "I was struck by lightning when I was born and nearly died. Later, when grandpa Taoist priest came to examine me he told me that lightning entered my body and it's a miracle that I'm still alive—Ever since I was born, my body has not improved. Several times my pulse went weak and I almost——could not live to today. It is for this reason that I always had few friends and schoolmates looked down on me, calling me a trash, a pig——"
"I did not mean that." Xiahou Qianbai hurriedly explained: "It doesn't matter where a hero is from or their background. What happened is in the past and now you're a student of Starry Sky Academy. Those who ridiculed you will definitely regret and berate themselves for their behaviour and actions——"
"Thank you teacher Xiahou." Li Muyang said gratefully.
Li Muyang set down the bowl of medicine, adjusted his clothing and with a 'plop' sound, dropped to his knees in front of Xiahou Qianbai.
"What are you doing?" Xiahou Qianbai just stood coldly; no trace of being ruffled at all.
"Zheng Gu was in Yuanzhou, when Qi Ji brought along his poem to visit him. The poem 'early-blooming plum tree' reads: In the village covered in deep snow, last night bloomed a few. Upon hearing this, Zheng Gu said: 'a few' is not early, why not change it to 'one'. Much better. Qi Ji immediately knelt down and respectfully bowed with both hands to Zheng Gu. He is Qi Ji's master who corrected his mistake with one word. The ancient story 'one who corrects a mistake be your master' is passed on with approval. Teacher Xiahou helped me build my foundation, it can't even be compared to the ancient story——The favour of a drop of water should be repaid with a fountain of water. Student is unable to repay your kindness, I hope teacher Xiahou will take me in as your disciple so I can give my respect day and night and pour you tea——"
Xiahou Qianbai interrupted Li Muyang, saying coldly: "If you pay your respect to me day and night it will disturb my practice, and I already have people to pouring my tea. What is the use in taking you in?"
"——" Li Muyang felt his face was burning with embarrassment, more painful that being ruthlessly slapped across the face.
Chapter 164:《Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery》!
The historical book 'Starry Sky Aspiration' would read: 'Muyang has a determined mind and his wisdom is like the sea. Becoming a disciple of Starry Sky teacher Xiahou Qianbai was his starting point. Later, reaping such benefits, he became an ultimate success in Starry Sky.'
It appears that even the clouds were carrying out a myriad of analysis on the fact that Li Muyang was accepted as Xiahou Qianbai's disciple.
Of course, the majority of people would think that they bonded because of mutual interest; the master is handsome while the disciple is good-looking; the master is remarkable and the disciple is even remarkable; seeing the two of them together would make others think that they're the most famous pair of master and apprentice in the world—–
The truth was both cruel and embarrassing.
At that moment, Li Muyang only had one thought on his mind: I have already knelt down, if you do not accept me as your disciple then does that not mean I would suffer too great a loss? Wouldn't that be too humiliating for himself?
So, with a sincere expression on Li Muyang's face, he added: "Teacher Xiahou, I have no selfish desires, I only want to repay you. I kindly ask Teacher Xiahou to fulfill my request and let disciple serve Teacher Xiaohou——"
"Taking you in would not beneficial to me, but a nuisance. That's how you repay me?"
"If I became accomplished one day, I will definitely mention Teacher Xiahou's name."
Xiahou Qianbai sneered unceasingly: "Do you think——I need a guy who only just successfully built his foundation to add luster to my name? If I have to rely on you to achieve fame in Starry Sky, I might as well work harder myself——"
"I can collect herbal ingredients for Teacher Xiahou to refine pills——"
"Pills and medicines are one of the main ways of cultivation and you are lacking knowledge in this. It would only require my constant teaching, thus, adding more trouble to myself."
Li Muyang clenched his teeth. He decided to use his trick. "I can kill chickens for Teacher Xiahou——If there are other poultry or wild animals, I'm willing to do it."
"Taoists does not kill without reason." Xiahou Qianbai coldly refused.
After a pause, he continued: "But because of your enthusiasm, for now, I will take you in as my disciple. But I must warn you beforehand, if l know that you used my name wrongly, I will kill you instantly."
Li Muyang 'plopped' down on his knees, kowtowed and said: "Master, rest assure, I will only add to master's good name and will never let any damage be done to master's reputation."
"Get up." With the stretch of Xiahou Qianbai's hand, Li Muyang couldn't help but rise from the floor.
Xiahou Qianbai carefully studied the face of his new disciple, Li Muyang. This kid looks handsome; his skin is white and soft.
What's strange WAS that he was not this white before, But now his skin is the same tone as Xiahou Qianbai's own complexion. The most dazzling part of his face is his pair of eyes, black like ink, lively and shining. Because of his eyes, his entire face looked especially 'alive', giving off a natural sense of intimacy.
Wearing Starry Sky Academy's cloud robe, which fluttered in the breeze, tall and handsome, he exhibited a similar demeanor to Xiaohou Qianbai back in the days.
Back then he was hailed as the most handsome man of Starry Sky, is this kid going to inherit this title?
Thinking of this possibility, Xiahou Qianbai suddenly was not so against accepting him as a disciple.
"I have only taught students before, I never had a disciple nor do I know how to teach a disciple. So, don't think I will have any special treatment towards you."
"Disciple understands. Even if I'm your disciple, I don't ask for any kind of special treatment. I just hope Teacher Xiahou treats everyone equally and teach me whatever you teach other students, so that I can prove my honesty and sincerity."
"Hm. That's good if that's the case." Xiahou Qianbai was more and more satisfied with Li Muyang. This kid knew what to say. "You're my disciple, what I know would obviously be passed down on to you. Long story, I'll tell you about this in more details later. You have just successfully built your foundation and moreover, you relied on external forces to build your foundation, so you need to be more diligent and practice daily for your foundation to become more stable and solid. Cultivation is similar to voyaging through the stormy sea on a boat; the more sturdy your ship is, the more easily it is for you to endure the power of the waves——"
"Thank you, master." Li Muyang immediately expressed his gratitude. You see, this is the difference between student and 'disciple'. Before he became his master, he had never talked to him like this. Now that he's his master, not only his attitude and manner have changed immediately, he also talked about more personal matters.
"Your valley is different to other people——" Xiahou Qianbai said, hesitating. After all, he did not bear to tell the truth as he saw it to Li Muyang. He feared it would affect the boy's enthusiasm in cultivation.
Before, he was a spectator. Whether or not he felt that Li Muyang's empty valley was a valley or a sea, this was Li Muyang's business and had nothing with him.
But now, as his master, he had to think and plan for him.
A disciple's affair is the Master's affair.
If his disciple was not good, the master would also feel ashamed, right?
"But I believe that as long as you diligently train, you will be able to fill it up. I look forward to the day when you step into the High Mountain Realm."
"Thank you, Master." Li Muyang thanked him profusely again.
Xiahou Qianbai gave a dismissive wave. "You have been here for several days now, there must be many people looking for you. You should go back to your house, I also have some things to think about."
"Yes." Li Muyang respectfully said goodbye and scurried over to pour Xiahou Qianbai a cup of Divine Fog tea before he left. "Disciple will leave now. I will come pay respect to master tomorrow."
Li Muyang turned, walking towards the outside of the medicine hut.
"Wait." Xiahou Qianbai exclaimed.
"What else can I do for master?"
Xiahou Qianbai walked over to a bookshelf and began to rummage for something. He reached under the space of the bookshelf and pulled out a book.
He handed the book over to Li Muyang, saying. "'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' was left behind by master Tai Yi Xuan; it's the only way to practice Pervading Mystery——This is my handwritten copy and it has always been passed along within the Taoist sect, one day I will take you to Mt Lungfu. Take this book back and study it carefully. It will be a great help in your practice and aid you to break through into the next realm. 'The Art of the Breaking Body' is a supreme technique of training qi. You have only practiced it for a short time so you're still deficient in qi, so practice 'The Art of the breaking Body' daily and do not slack off——'The Art of the Breaking Body' trains the Qi, while 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' contains great wisdom. As for other matters, this will depend on your effort and nature."
Li Muyang received the bamboo scroll. His eyes brimmed with tears as he said: "Master's kindness, disciple will always remember and won't dare to forget."
With the flick of his hand, Xiahou Qianbai said: "This is the first and last time. It won't happen again."
"Disciple knows. Today, master made an exception, Disciple feels very guilty and uneasy——"
"Go. Carefully study it. It contains so much wisdom in it. Back then, Master I was able to break through two realms within three years because of the sudden inspirations that came to mind from reading 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery'——I hope you will also have this sort of achievement."
"Disciple will not disappoint Master."
After saying goodbye to Xiahou Qianbai, Li Muyang returned to his own small courtyard, holding tightly onto the Taoist sect's treasured 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery'.
He immediately shut the door and after confirming that no one was around, he held the 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' up with both hands and began to laugh heartily.
His laugh was unrestrained but did not emit any sound.
Then, tears flowed down his cheeks like big beads.
From the moment he left his home, he did not dare not to relax. After he unintentionally killed Cui Zhaoren, he felt as though a mighty mountain was bound onto his back.
He desperately fought.
He desperately fought for himself, and also his parents and sister far away in Jiangnan.
Now, he finally sees hope.
Chapter 165: Guilty Conscience！
'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' is written by Wenzi. Wenzi's surname was Xin and his sobriquet was Jiran. He was one of the founders of Taoism and was respectfully known as master of Tai Yi Xuan. He was also the disciple of Taoist sect's most powerful and formidable Lao Zi.
'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' was one of the four sacred scriptures of Taoism, which contains great meaning and wisdom.
This scripture had always been kept a secret therefore the outside world was not aware of it’s existence. Needless to say, Li Muyang would have never obtained this manuscript byhimself.
The fact that Xiahou Qianbai was willing to give this book as a present to his new disciple Li Muyang to understand and study, showed that he really valued this new disciple.
Li Muyang understood Master's kind intention, so he won't ever let his Master down.
Not only to survive, but also to let Teacher Xiahou know that accepting him as his disciple is something to be thankful for.
Today, I'm proud of my master and one day, I hope my master will also be proud of me.
So, after receiving this book, Li Muyang did not dare to slack off in the slightest.
After cooking a small pot of rice porridge and eating by himself, he began to study 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' in the yard.
'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' is divided into twelve scrolls: one, Origin of the Tao; two, The sincerity of the essence; three, The nine observances; four, Words from registers; five, The virtue of the Way; sixth, The virtue of the ruler; seven, The illumination of the minuscule; eight, nature; nine, The virtue of the people; ten, The kind-heartedness of the ruler; eleven, The righteousness of the ruler; twelve, The propriety of the ruler.
Li Muyang dared not to be too greedy, too greedy in obtaining profound knowledge.
He started reading from the first volume 'Origin of the Tao'. He has to first understand what is the 'Dao' before he has the opportunity to truly comprehend the way of the Dao.
"Lao Zi said: There was a mix of things before the birth of Heaven and Earth; it was soundless, it was formless, lonely, solitary and changeless. To name it, I do not know how, I just call it the Dao." Li Muyang recited out loud.
The opening atmosphere was impressive. With just a few words it had given a concise introduction on the Dao; Li Muyang felt very enjoy.
"The Dao is unpredictable and unfathomable; it wraps around the heaven and earth but is formless; flowing from the origin, it gushes but does not fill; turbid, calm and pure, it dispenses its endlessness and omnipotence day and night. It holds everything but let go when needed. It is hidden away but is bright; it is flexible but is hard, inhaling yin and exhaling yang as the three light, the sun, the moon and the stars. The mountain is high, the lake is deep, the beasts run, the birds fly, the unicorns roam, the phoenix soars, the astronomic calendar travels—–"
Li Muyang recited in one breath, realising that it's not too difficult to understand.
What was even more fascinating was that when he covered up the scroll, the words still glowed in his mind and he even blurted out subconsciously: "An authentic person is someone big in a small world, someone who lowers their noble self to govern humans, someone who is not evasive and unreliable, not lost and delirious, and will conceals their name. When Dao prevails they will keep concealed, when the world is without Dao they will show themselves, act without action, attend to affairs without attending to them, harbours the heavenly law in their mind and embraces the will of the heaven, exhaling and inhaling yin and yang, spitting out the old and accepting the new, close and open with yin and yang, roll and unfold with strength and gentleness, lower and rise with yin and yang, share common wishes with the heaven and earth and the same body with the Dao——–"
Li Muyang was stunned.
It's here, it's here, that wonderful feeling is here again.
The same as when he read 'The Language of Dragons', despite it being the first time he touched that book and saw those hard-to-pronounce characters, he was able to read the characters fluently, understand the meaning and feel the sadness that the words contained.
Li Muyang felt he really was a genius.
No, the black dragon in his body was a genius.
Otherwise, why can it do everything?
It's understandable that it knows dragon language; after all, when others scold him and call him a waste, a idiot, he also could speak the Jiangnan accent fluently.
However, for it to be proficient in Taoism's 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' is very surprising.
Is 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' not the Taoist's treasure? Why would a dragon have such a deep knowledge of it?
Could it be—this dragon once went undercover in the human world?
Even thinking about it is exciting.
Knock, Knock, Knock——
There was a knock on the other side of the door.
Li Muyang listened carefully. It was only until he was certain that someone was knocking at the door, did he cautiously hid the 'Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery' into a small dark secret compartment he dug out in his room. He then placed a vase as disguise over it, before he went to open the courtyard door.
Standing at the door were Li Muyang's classmates Qiandu and Lin Canghai. Today they did not have classes, both of them were dressed in ordinary casual clothes. Qiandu wore an all-black outfit, as though she was about to have a fight with someone. Looking determined and formidable but beautiful and cute. Her eyes were soft and with a tenderness that makes one forget about everything.
Lin Canghai was dressed in a white outfit, his skin is pale like snow and his facial features were delicate and soft, and with a clear and bright pair of eyes like a child. His face always carried a faint smile, anyone who sees him would praise the boy cute, and then can't help but have tender affection for him.
It was said that Starry Sky Academy controlled all the talents of the nine nations; solely by this fact alone, it was already better than the other top schools.
Li Muyang suddenly remembered Cui Xiaoxin, who's far away in Tiandu; if she was here——How good would it be.
Qiandu stared at Li Muyang lost in thought at the doorway, then suddenly said with a smile: "Muyang classmate, are you thinking whether or not to let me and Canghai in——Did we come at a bad time?"
It was only then that Li Muyang snapped out of his daze, hurriedly invited them into the house and said apologetically: "I'm sorry, seeing you two reminded me of a friend, so I suddenly got a little distracted."
With both hands behind her back, Qiandu stepped into the house, her footsteps were light and graceful, and her eyes narrowed into half circles as she said with a smile: "She must be a very beautiful girl, right?"
"Yes." Li Muyang bravely answered. Qiandu guessed correctly. Cui Xiaoxin is really very beautiful, although Qiandu's a girl, he couldn't lie about such things.
However, subconsciously he did not want to talk about Cui Xiaoxin to other people.
Because——he felt that it's a little secret that's buried deep in his heart.
"So, that friend must be very important to you?" Qiandu then asked. Women have peculiar reactions when they hear gossip.
Li Muyang gave a wry smile, saying: "Strictly speaking, she's my first friend——female friend. So she's very important."
"Oh." Qiandu exclaimed, her eyes blinking in excitement. "A very important beautiful girl, Muyang classmate must like her very much, right?"
Li Muyang's face flushed bright red, mumbling: "Actually, I don't——like her very much."
"You like her normally?"
"Lets not talk about this topic." Li Muyang turned somewhat embarrassed and somewhat shy. "Why did you come?"
Qiandu's lips curved into a soft smile and she no longer forced Li Muyang to answer her question, instead said with a smile: "A few days ago I heard that while you were attending Teacher Xiahou's Taoism class, you suddenly went into a violent state. And a fight broke out between you and teacher Xiahou—-"
"What?" Li Muyang looked shocked, asking anxiously: "Me and Teacher Xiahou broke into a fight?"
He has been staying in the medicine cottage these days and had no contact with the outside world. He was not at all informed of what happened after that day.
Qiandu gave Li Muyang a doubting stare as she asked: "You don't know anything?"
"At that time——I was feeling very uncomfortable. My mind was filled with extremely violent thoughts and my entire body was not under my control. At that time, my mind was in a mess. When I woke up my mind was blank and I don't even know what happened."
"No wonder." The suspicion in Qiandu's eye had not completely dispersed, casting a meaningful glance back and forth Li Muyang's face, she said: "This matter turned very big, only very few students in Starry Sky Academy dare to publicly make things difficult for teachers, and in such a rude way. After the incident, the whole school was talking about this, someone said you—were possessed by a demon."
"Of course, no one agrees with that. How could a person with a demon in his body be accepted by Starry Sky Academy? Are the teachers of Starry Sky Academy blind or idiots? However, many people say you're secretly practicing evil techniques, so when you heard the recitation of Taoist 'Cleansing Mind Incantation' you became irritable, restless and lost control of emotions so you started to attack teacher Xiahou—"
Li Muyang staggered to his feet, murmuring: "It's finished. Finished. I—attacked Teacher Xiahou, this matter is getting out of hand—"
Lin Canghai smiled sweetly as he said in a ridiculing tone: "Brother Muyang, we all envy you. You have just entered the school but you have earned so much fame. We are way behind you."
"Canghai——" Qiandu whispered harshly.
Lin Canghai gave a slight, brief bow to Li Muyang an as apology.
Li Muyang could already tell that Lin Canghai attaches great importance to what Qiandu says. And he follows Qiandu around all day long like he's her little tail.
"It doesn't matter." Li Muyang's face turned pale: "I had no idea that I did such a stupid thing. How can I go out and meet people? And then? How was the situation solved in the end?"
"Later teacher Xiahou stood up to explain for you. He said you’re stupid, you have not built your foundation and you're delusional to think that you could become successful instantly. He says you borrowed a mysterious scroll from the Starry Sky Library and secretly practiced, and in the end was possessed by a demon, giving rise to what happened—He also said that if he did not use the 'Cleansing Mind Incantation' to help you eliminate the evil, dispel all distractions, then you would have became a trash who cannot talk or move anymore."
"——" Li Muyang was inwardly thankful. Although the way he explained it was a bit mean but at least it satisfied the other students' curiosity, so they are no longer suspicious about his physical condition.
Otherwise, no matter where he goes, groups of people would gather around him and point their fingers at him. Some people would even bet ten gold coins that demons are hiding inside his body while some people would bet twenty gold coins that he's possessed by a demon——Can he still live at that time?
As the saying goes: a guilty conscience needs no accuser.
"Teacher Xiahou is right, if it wasn't for his help, I'm afraid I won't be standing here laughing and talking happily with you two—" Li Muyang tried to maintain calm and composed. "So, that's why you came to see me?"
"No, we're here to see if there are demons in your body." Qiandu said in a cold voice, fixing Li Muyang with a piercing gaze.
Chapter 166: A one-sided battle！
Li Muyang's heart sank but he maintained a calm outward appearance and replied with a smile on his face: "Then you saw demons?"
Qiandu circled around Li Muyang two times, before she said: "Li Muyang, have you ever thought that you're special?"
"Me?" Li Muyang smiled. "Except for a little talent in martial arts, there isn't anything else special about me."
"You were enrolled into Starry Sky Academy based on the best results of West Wind Kingdom, that is very special itself. I have read your information. Before that exam, you never had any good grades nor any outstanding performance——"
"It seems your words are full of hidden meaning." Li Muyang smiled and said. "Before achieving the best results in West Wind Kingdom's imperial exam, not only did I not have good grades or other outstanding performance, I was simply a useless trash. All the students in my school called me 'pig', yes, I also have another nickname 'Black Charcoal'——you can't tell, right? I used to be very dark; my little sister always used my face as a mirror. I don't know what happened but now I'm getting whiter."
"On your way to Starry Sky, you killed Cui Zhaoren who is from one of Tiandu's noble family——You were ambushed and attacked countless times, many are well-known vicious people but you still arrived safe and sound at the foot of Starry Sky."
"Maybe my luck is good."
"You were the first freshman to pass the four trials, wine, women, avarice and temper, and arrive at the peak of Broken Mountain."
"My luck this year has been pretty good."
"You've never learnt dragon language before but you could understand Teacher Yang's pronunciation of the dragon language——"
"I also did not know that I'm so gifted in Dragon Language."
"So many miracles have happened on the same person, isn't that suspicious? Moreover, your changes happened so suddenly. If nothing strange happened—— then it's hard to explain everything." Qiandu walked right in front of Li Muyang, staring into his eyes. Qiandu's eyes were flashing while Li Muyang's eyes were as calm as Sunset Lake in autumn. "Li Muyang, are we friends?"
"I've always treated you two as my friend." Li Muyang's line of sight hovered between Qiandu and Lin Canghai as he exclaimed earnestly.
"Shouldn't friends be honest with each other?" Qiandu said, a smile pulling up the corners of her mouth. "You're too mysterious, I feel that countless secrets are hidden within your body, you're difficult to predict and get close to."
Li Muyang's smile gradually faded into a serious look as he stared at Qiandu: "You say you're called Qiandu, then what about your surname?" Qiandu is your name but it does not include your surname, right?"
Qiandu smiled and replied: "If you ask, I will tell you."
"You didn't tell us your surname but everyone accepted your self-introduction. Including Teacher Yang. Is he not a little curious?"
"Perhaps, teacher Yang is only concerned about students' talent in martial arts and does not care about their background?"
"Teacher Yang shows a certain degree of care and concern towards you, although he does not say exactly what's on his mind—–but, believe me, as a trash who has been bullied and discriminated against for tens of years, I can sharply sense even a slight change in emotion."
Qiandu's long, beautiful eyelashes fluttered as she blinked and said with a smile: "It seems you're an attentive boy."
"Also Canghai, you two don't seem to have any obvious relationship on the surface but I can see that he's very respectful to you and dependent on you——Do you two know each other already?"
Lin Canghai's smiling face still looked cute but there was a light flashing in his eyes.
"Qiandu, you also have a lot of secrets. Canghai also have many secrets. Which student in Starry Sky Academy does not have secrets? If you don't tell us, then we should not ask. There isn't a lot of things that I have learnt before but there is one thing that's called 'respect the privacy of others'."
Qiandu stayed silent for a moment, before her lips curved into a sweet smile. "Okay. You've manage to persuade me. Whether or not you're possessed by a demon or is hiding a demon in your body——no matter how curious I am, I won't ask anymore."
"Friends should trust each other, right?" Li Muyang said with a smile.
"Of course. I believe you're a good person and will never do anything to hurt your friends. Although we only spent little time together but this is my initial opinion of you——"
"Thanks." Li Muyang said earnestly. He had always been a sincere and straightforward person. There are many things that he wants to tell but there is no way he could say it out loud.
Because he endured loneliness for so long, he longed for friends. Since Qiandu was willing to put aside her doubts and still treat him as a friend, he suddenly felt a very warm feeling filling his heart.
"Thank you for what?" Qiandu quietly chuckled. "Then I should also thank you for not asking?"
Li Muyang also chuckled before he asked: "I see you two are dressed up, are you two going out?"
"That’s right." Qiandu replied with a smile. "In front of Starry Sky Academy is the endless Flower Language Plains and behind is towering red Nujiang. It is said that the Starry Sky Academy is a land of mysteries. There are many mysterious places that need us to explore it. We have came to Starry Sky Academy for some time now but we have not yet went out to explore. Since we have nothing to do today, we were just thinking about walking around. Do you want to come with us?"
Li Muyang was tempted.
As the saying goes: 'Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books'. Starry Sky Academy is a mysterious place; Broken Mountain is high and surrounded by clouds so it's difficult to get a glimpse of its true face. No matter whether for the landscape alone or for the secret caverns, it was always worth an exploration.
Besides, Li Muyang always felt that he and this Broken Mountain have an inexplicable connection, just like when tears dropped from his eyes the first time he saw Nujiang.
Li Muyang stayed silent in thought, before he replied: "Okay. Wait a little bit, I'll go and change into more suitable clothing for walking."
Seeing Li Muyang went back in to change his clothes, Lin Canghai walked over to Qiandu and whispered: "Why is Sister Wang especially kind to him?"
"Because, he is a man with a story." Qiandu chuckled silently, gazing intently and smiling at the bunch of bamboo in the courtyard.
"Do you really believe him?"
"Your perception is the best, do you think he can be trusted?"
"It depends on the situation." Lin Canghai said, smiling. "If he's a friend then that's obviously a good thing, right? But I'm really curious. A guy who killed Cui Zhaoren, someone at the Free Clouds realm, and made his body disappear into dust, what kind of secrets are hiding in his body?"
Under the red plum tree, above a giant boulder.
Lu Qiji sat cross-legged, practicing an unknown martial technique.
A white crystal ball hovered low over her head at a rapid pace, dragging a long tail behind it. It looked like a small white animal scuttling in mid-air.
As though the white crystal ball is a powerful magnetic pole, it absorbed the essence of the sun scattered all around.
In the entire small courtyard, all the visible light that the naked eye could see darted towards the direction of Lu Qiji and then was instantly swallowed by the white crystal ball.
The sun was fierce and the air was hot, providing an endless source of light for the white crystal ball to absorb.
Just now sunlight was being absorbed into the white crystal ball and then instantly, additional new light flashed over. There were only fleeting moments of darkness, which were instantly expelled into daylight again.
The area around Lu Qiji was surrounded by light and was the brightest place in the entire small yard.
Like a box full of jewels opened in a lamp-lit room, the jewels in the box were the brightest source of light in the entire house.
Lu Qiji's beautiful face was illuminated into a transparent colour, the white dress on her appeared more pure and holy like she's a fairy that descended to this world.
As though she sensed something, her closed eyes suddenly sprung open.
Her purple eyes were flashing like two burning red suns.
She opened her mouth, and with a swoosh, the white crystal ball darted in.
"Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet; violet is the peak state of the Phoenix Heart, it can destroy the sky, rise and rebirth. Now my Phoenix heart is still white and there's still some time before it reaches red. Unfortunately, it's not possible to absorb sunlight on a large scale, since it will arouse the suspicion of the old monsters in the academy. The absorption range can only confined to this small courtyard. The progress is too slow, Li Muyang might surpass me——"
Knock, knock, knock——
Somebody knocked at the door.
Lu Qiji's body moved without wind, soaring up into the air in a graceful posture.
By the time she landed, she already stood up fully.
She walked over to pull open the door, where handsome youngster Chu Xun, dressed in a black outfit, was standing at the doorway.
The youngster's face was as pretty as jade and at his waist was a sword strapped tightly. He stood upright at the door, tall, thin and smiling: "Qiji, do you want to go for a walk?"
"Go for a walk?" Qiji asked in a slightly hesitant voice: "We're at the peak of Broken Mountain, where can we go for a walk?"
"When we're at Tiandu, we always went horse-riding around the beautiful plains. Since we're at Broken Mountain now, we can't go horse riding. But we can take a walk around; after all, the scenery around Broken Mountain is still pretty good, it's quite impressive. If you don't like the mountainous areas, we could go explore Flower Language Plains. It's one of the top ten dangerous places in the divine continent, we might encounter some strange beast or treasure——"
Lu Qiji thought for a moment before she replied: "Okay."
"Then let's go now?"
Lu Qiji nodded: "However, the date of your battle with Li Muyang is near, are you ready?"
Chu Xun sneered: "A one-sided battle."
Chapter 167: Mountain Stream!
Red, yellow and white wildflowers densely scattered, dotting along in clusters on the lush green grass. An undergrowth of bramble bushes and thorn shrubs almost bloted out the sky like a hundred-year old tree.
Deep in the forest, the burbling noise of clear spring water could be heard, and fish that looked as white as fresh snow were swimming happily down the mountain stream.
There were birds singing, wolves howling, and a group of deer drinking water.
The ground was wreathed in clouds and mist, like treading on clouds and roaming around immortals' mansion. A weak-blazing light pierced through the thicket, shining onto the young students touring around, bringing a warm glow to their smiles.
"One does not know the true face of Broken Mountain until they come here." Li Muyang said with a sigh and a smile. "I had only heard about the height of Broken Mountain, but never once had such a clear, distinct feeling before. Only until you come and experience the feeling of being one with it, then you would come to know of its vastness."
"Broken Mountain, also known as Nameless Mountain, is the most broad and mysterious mountain in Flower Language Plains. Tens of thousands of years ago, a dragon slayer immortal traveled here and slashed off the mountainside with his sword. Then, gathering the forces of the nine countries, he built this Starry Sky Academy—When we stand at the foot of the mountain and look up, Broken Mountain is simply a towering peak wrapped in high clouds; we can only see its height but not its broadness. Now that we've personally measured it through walking and see how it fans out for miles, we can fully appreciate its majestic beauty." Handsome like a celestial being, Lin Canghai said with a smile.
"In the wild, the deer cry to each other, looking for food to reduce their hunger. I have a guest, I will entertain them with a flute, a drum and a zither." Qiandu's black clothes made her look valiant, beautiful and alluring. She stretched out her soft, white hand, pointing to the enchanting scenery and exclaiming: "I take the earth as a seat, the mountain spring water as wine and wild animals as food to treat my two distinguished guests. How can such an idyllic scene lack music?"
As she spoke, Qiandu pulled out a piccolo.
The piccolo is a green-jade colour with its outer surface shining and reflecting light, lively like water ripples. It was obvious that it was not an ordinary piccolo and it was unknown what materials it was made out of.
"In the wilderness, I came unprepared, I can't play the zither or flute, I can only express my feelings with this song."
Qiandu put the piccolo to her lips and began to gently breathe into it. Beautiful notes flowed out of the holes, slow and soft, echoing through the forests and hills that they just treaded across.
"'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'." Lin Canghai gazed at Qiandu with an intoxicated smile as he exclaimed: "This is the tune 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'."
'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' enjoys great fame in the world. Along with 'The Guangling verse' and 'Lovesickness', they are known as the three greatest classics of the divine continent.
But because the original 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' has been lost for hundred of years, only some scattered memories and fragmented syllables are left behind, and very few people can play the complete version of 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix.'
Lin Canghai has a strong appreciation for music; the instant he heard this tune, he felt refreshed, joyous and a sense of exhilaration.
The 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' musical notation has been lost for hundreds of years. The fact that Lin Canghai could distinguish this tune was enough for people to be flabbergasted.
What was even more strange was that Li Muyang felt he had heard this tune before.
Not just heard it before, but very familiar with it. As though he had heard it thousands of times before.
He nodded, saying: "Phoenix looking for Phoenix' is the best song in the divine continent."
Lin Canghai's smile transformed into a ruminative smile, as he looked at Li Muyang and asked: "Brother Muyang has heard this tune before?"
"I think so–" Li Muyang said. He felt like he has heard it somewhere before, but was uncertain. This sort of feeling was a feeling he's too familiar with. When he was sitting the imperial exam, there were many questions he hasn't seen before—almost every question, but he answered them with godly powers and handed in a perfect answer paper.
"Hehe." Lin Canghai gave a gently chuckle, then no longer continued his conversation with Li Muyang. Instead, he concentrated on appreciating the piece of music that Qiandu was performing.
In his heart, Li Muyang's behavior is the same to an idiot pretending to understand and seeking to impress by pretending to know more than he does.
This tune 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' has disappeared hundreds of years ago, ordinary people would not know its notes or tune.
I've heard it before through special ways. How would Li Muyang have such a source?
However, because of his mild nature, he would never expose a person's lie in front of them or injure a person's self-confidence.
After all, Li Muyang was a very good friend to him.
Li Muyang was unaware of what Lin Canghai was thinking, he was completely mesmerised by Qiandu's performance.
When the beautiful sound from the piccolo resonated, he felt like he was circling out of the sky and forgotten where he is or what year it is.
He likes this kind of music because it made him happy, it's joyful. It evoked beautiful fantasies and thoughts.
Like listening to a childhood song, it brings back memories of a childhood friend or a wonderful time in life—
Vaguely, he remembered someone.
A white shadow. The shadow came towards him against the light. In the darkness, it was hard to see anything clearly but he could see the person's graceful figure and an undisguisable smile across his own face——
As though it's the love of his life.
Qiandu walked on while playing, the notes were like the rays of the sun sprinkling down on them.
Falling onto Li Muyang's eyes, lips, hair, ears, and finally his heart——
Li Muyang's heart began to tremble. The trembling was extremely faint, like a breeze blowing through the wheat field, like bees vibrating their wings.
Li Muyang also hummed along, he felt his body must also follow and dance.
Lin Canghai shot a puzzled glance over his shoulder and then turned around again, fixing his line of sight on Qiandu.
Li Muyang was extremely happy; his joy was immense.
"This guy, he's going too far—-" Lin Canghai grumbled. We're friends, even if you told us that you haven't heard this song before, we wouldn't laugh at you. After all, most people in the world have never heard of it as well.
But why are you pretending to be someone you're not? You don't believe in our character?
Because of this misunderstanding, Lin Canghai thought little of Li Muyang's moral character.
Li Muyang really liked the tune 'Phoenix looking Phoenix'.
He tried to get closer to the music and merge into one with it.
He stretched out his hand, pulling out a green leaf on the branch above his head.
He put the leaf to his lip and began to blow upon it—the air enclosed vibrated into a loud but harsh note.
Disturbed by the noise, Qiandu's footsteps came to an abrupt stop as she sharply turned around to see.
Lin Canghai became boundlessly angry. He felt his blood rising to his face when this guy pretended to be an expert, now this guy dares to disturb others performing. This is really difficult to forgive.
He clenched the hilt of his sword strapped at his waist, but did not draw his sword in the end.
Li Muyang apologised with an embarrassed chuckle, his face flushing red when he said: "I wasn't ready—-"
"Li Muyang, don't—-"
Lin Canghai was about to stop him, when he realised Li Muyang had already placed the leaf to the tip of his lip again.
A familiar, graceful musical tune that almost made his eyes pop out of his head sounded from the tiny leaf.
"'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'. This is 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'—" Lin Canghai stared at Li Muyang, his eyes wide in disbelief.
This guy, he really can play the tune 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'; moreover, it's the original 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'.
He had never seen the original 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' musical notation before; however, Lin Canghai was certain that the 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix' tune he has heard several times before was identical to the one he's listening to right now.
Moreover, he played quite well; his techniques are quite exquisite.
He produced a sound like that with just a small piece of leaf and achieved the same effect as Qiandu's magic piccolo.
How could this be?
Qiandu also was wide-eyed in astonishment.
She was a beautiful woman with big eyes but when she stared at him in wide-eyed amazement, her eyes looked even bigger, rounder and also cuter than before.
Beautiful with a touch of cuteness, cute with a touch of sexiness, this girl exhibits a variety of elements that makes people amaze and forget everything vulgar.
The magic piccolo was still on her lips, but Qiandu did not make any more sounds.
She peeled her gaze away to shoot Lin Canghai a questioning look.
Lin Canghai shook his head at her, indicating that he also does not know what is going on.
He also thought that Li Muyang was pretending and deliberately causing a disturbance, but now it seems like he's the one who could not recognise an expert in front of him.
Qiandu pondered for a moment, before a smile curved her lips.
She adjusted her mentality, breathed in gently, and the wonderful notes once again flowed from her magic piccolo.
One dressed in a beautiful black outfit, and the other in a flowing white robe.
One playing with a leaf, and the other with a piccolo.
The two people played the same notes, performed the same tune.
At this moment, their music was in harmony, their feelings also connected.
As though Li Muyang was able to understand Qiandu's mind and Qiandu also understood the meaning of Li Muyang's every expression.
Gazing into each other eyes, warmth and joy like the sunshine filled their heart.
They haven't known each other for a long time and the number of words they have said to each other can be counted with their fingers. They do not have any intimate relationship and can't even be considered as close friends.
However, they felt they've known each other for centuries.
Then, something mysterious happened.
Beautiful butterflies fluttered over, dancing and circling around Li Muyang and Qiandu.
Fish broke the surface of the spring water, ripples widening out as they desperately tried to search for the source of the music, leaping again and again into the air, and plunging into the water—
A whimpering young wolf stopped crying, staring wide-eyed at the direction of where the music was coming from, while a smile uglier than its crying face surfaced onto its face—
The deer gathered around, and like devout followers, closely followed the footsteps of Li Muyang and Qiandu.
They walked, and they followed. They stopped, and they also stopped. They stepped over a large stone and they also stepped over the stone. They jumped over a river, while the deer, blocked by the river, leapt into the river and desperately swam after them.
Chapter 168: Heaven and earth are grief-stricken!
The peak of the mountain was perpetually wreathed in cloud, with maple leaves reflecting the late autumn colours.
The sun shining overhead, crystal-clear spring water cascading down the mountain.
The young people were handsome and blooming, indulging in the landscape to their heart's content and exhibiting their youthfulness.
The black-robed girl played a piccolo, while the white-robed boy played the accompaniment music, elegant music flowed from the edge of their lips, twisting around the mountain and fields, lightly hitting against the babbling brooks, adding energy and vitality to this beautiful paradise.
The flute's vocal range was broad, loud and clear. The notes coming from the leaves sounded fresh, clean and gratifying.
This tune, which conveys an infinite yearning for love, was vividly and thoroughly expressed, and made one ponder deeply.
At this time, at this view.
Playing the flute, Qiandu led the way in front. The young girl's footsteps were brisk but strong as she climbed over rocks and crossed several brooks. Occasionally, she rose high into the air like a beautiful and playful black butterfly.
Li Muyang held a leaf in both hands, the leaf is soft, but his eyes were even softer. He stared intently at the black-robed girl in front. She is the woman he's chasing after. She is the love he yearns for.
Lin Canghai completely immersed himself in the melody, closely following after them. When they stopped, he also abruptly came to a stop. As though he was an affectionate man deep in love, but his expression was exquisite and cute, that makes people mistaken him as a celestial boy who fell into a wrong path.
Directly behind Lin Canghai, were deer, rabbits, a pack of wolves, and colourful pheasants——
They, surprisingly, were safe and coexisting peacefully.
Occasionally, Li Muyang and Qiandu gazed into each other's eyes, a joyous feeling penetrated from their inside to the outside.
He likes her!
She likes him too!
A glance like that can't deceive others, such emotions can't be disguised.
When the music played to the part of sacrificing for love, 'rise from the ashes', Qiandu's expression became mournful and the smile on Li Muyang's face completely vanished.
The sadness, despair and the painful feeling of seeking but failed to obtain slowly diffused across their body, tightly wrapping around their entire body and constricting their heart, which felt as though they were squashed down by a thousand pound boulder, in that, they couldn't even breathe.
Li Muyang felt a heart wrenching feeling.
He felt an endless sadness and the same white figure surfaced to his mind once again.
The white figure was saying farewell to him, uttering: 'I’ll wait for you'–
I’ll wait for you!
I’ll wait for you!
I’ll wait for you——
"Who? Who is that? Li Muyang's mood turned violent.
No matter how desperately he tried, he still couldn't see the face of the woman in white.
Who is she? Why did she say 'I'll wait for you'? Why would she be waiting for me?
Even if he does not know who she is, Li Muyang felt sad and aggrieved for her.
His eyes turned red, as though his body was invaded by some unknown demon.
He mustered up all his strength and changed his technique of playing.
The music became more sorrowful, and the sound became louder than before.
As the music reached the ears of connoisseur Lin Canghai, he immediately realised that Li Muyang's tone and pitch differed from before.
Now the sounds were more ambitious, serious, solemn and magnificent.
The Phoenix's steely determination to die in a show of flames and combustion and that endless fire were vividly expressed through his music.
Lin Canghai felt a burning pain on his face, a surge of boiling hot air pouncing towards him.
Flabbergasted, he lifted his head up, only to discover purple clouds floating across the sky.
"Why would there be sparks?"
It's Li Muyang's music.
Li Muyang's body was wrapped in a huge body of purple sparks, each musical note that leapt out, transformed into a purple spark. The notes accumulated into one piece and the sparks also lined up as one.
Boundlessly spreading into the distance.
Overhead, there was almost a sea of purple flames painted above.
Butterflies flapped their wings, desperately fluttering into the flames, like the Phoenix throwing itself into the fire.
The pack of wolves raised their head and let out a long howl, their voice filled with an endless sorrow.
Big beads of tears streamed from the deer's eyes, as if they were saying farewell to their children and lover.
Rabbits knocked themselves against trees; pheasants frantically danced.
The sight in front became mad and savage.
The tranquil, auspicious and peaceful atmosphere faded, developing into a suicide-like aura that enveloped all the people and animals in this area.
The music has become the ruler of all things, dictating their joy, their sadness. Their everything.
Lin Canghai had awakened from his earlier trance, standing aghast at the sight of Li Muyang entering into a frantic state.
At this moment, Li Muyang's entire body was draped by an unusual fire, as he hovered at a high altitude, like a demon god crawling out of hell.
"Li Muyang—–" He screamed. "Li Muyang, what happened to you?"
Today, Li Muyang was strange.
Not only was he able to play the tune 'Phoenix seeking phoenix', which has been lost for hundreds of years, he rose into the air with a strange fire draped all over him. It's too peculiar.
Qiandu also stopped playing.
She was Li Muyang's music companion; no one understood Li Muyang's emotion more than her at that time.
When Li Muyang was happy, she could feel his joy.
At that time, she was also happy.
When Li Muyang was in despair, when he was struggling desperately, she also felt the same pain and desperately struggled—
Li Muyang's music took over her music. Li Muyang's mood also drove her emotions.
When she noticed that Li Muyang's music was abnormal, she already set aside her magic flute and stopped playing, glaring at Li Muyang with a puzzled look crossing her face.
The difference in Li Muyang's music before and now was too immense and his mood was also poles apart, making her unable to react at all.
"Li Muyang, hurry stop. Hurry and stop." Qiandu cried. She knew that Li Muyang must stop playing. His mind had already been disturbed by the melody and perhaps he also lost his self-awareness. If he continued to play, he might not be able to free himself from the tune 'Phoenix looking for Phoenix'.
He might perform until his strength is drained or even until he's exhausted to death.
Li Muyang did not reply.
His face more and more ferocious, his expression more and more painful. Even though Qiandu had stopped her music, he single-mindedly continued playing.
He felt a piercing pain in the back of his head; he felt his eyeballs were almost bursting from the scalding blood vessels.
He felt an endless grievance, a boundless hatred and distress from his unbreakable and inescapable fate—
He thought and thought, expending his energy to think, expending his strength to run, to chase after her.
He wanted to chase the girl in white. He desperately wanted to see the woman's face clearly.
However, no matter how hard he tried, her figure remains a vague, fuzzy silhouette. He could only see a slim, graceful figure but not her facial features.
The autumn wind howled, raising dust and leaves as giant trees shook.
The mountain stream splashed and hissed, sending showers flying in all directions.
Dark clouds rolled across the sky, toiling and rumbling continuously.
Big, heavy raindrops pelted down hard and started bouncing off, patting and watering all living things in the world.
The dragon king's pain and sorrow, were felt by both heaven and earth.