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“The ninth day of August, dusk.
Jun YanZhi’s party encounters rainfall on their journey and they seek accommodation in Qing Quan village. In this village there was an old man named Lu YunFei with bushy eyebrows and white hair. He was good-natured and hospitable. Living with him was his only grandson, Lu Jing, and together they relied on each other for survival. Unfortunately, the old man pa.s.sed away from illness few days ago, leaving the grandson to take care of the house alone. Although young, Lu Jing holds much of his grandfather’s manner, and he welcomes Jun YanZhi’s party of travelers to stay the night, treating them with the utmost hospitality.”
——taken from 《A Calamity for All Living Things》Chapter 10
At this time, the novel didn’t explain the matter of Lu Jing’s possession. These words were merely a foreshadowing. (1) Jun YanZhi’s party pa.s.sed by Qing Quan village and were received as guests by the body stealing Lu YunFei.
At that time, with the large cloudburst, Wen Jing provoked the old ghost, hoping Jun YanZhi’s party would run into Lu YunFei during his possession attempt.
The black clothed man slowly spoke: “I am Jun YanZhi.” (2)
He brushed the rain from his body and pulled Wen Jing up from the muddy ground. That distinctly splendid appearance held not a trace of icy chill, but instead gave off a feeling like a tender spring breeze. The words of that man left him feeling relieved and unguarded.
Wen Jing wasn’t able to determine his own mood, he only knew he felt a little giddy.
The white clothed man entered, looked at the muddy Wen Jing, and said mildly: “I am Liu QianMo. Along with my two junior brothers, we were pa.s.sing through this place and were caught in this heavy rain. We were wishing to stay a night with you.”
He pointed to the stiff corpse on the ground: “Who is this?”
Wen Jing was still blankly staring into the distance, oblivious to the white clothed youth’s question.
Gentle nature, exquisite looks, pure and honest, lofty integrity like clear jade (3)…..this was the description from the novel. Was this feeling……
Liu QianMo, never having encountered this sort of reaction, with some embarra.s.sment, chose to turn a blind eye. He coughed, awkwardly saying: “Small brother, this person is……”
Wen Jing recovered, stiffly bowing his head to cover it up: “He was my grandfather.”
Liu QianMo was silent for a moment, then sighed: “Your grandfather. For a relative to attempt to possess you……”
The grey clothed youth then said: “To lay his hands on his own grandson, indeed a rare thing, isn’t it.”
Wen Jing diffidently bowed his head, not saying a word.
Jun YanZhi silently looked at the old man on the ground, saying with a low voice: “It’s already getting late. First, roll him up in a gra.s.s mat and we can bury him in the morning.”
For the life saving benefactor that he was putting up in his home, Wen Jing pulled out everything edible in the house, ending up with four different dishes and one soup arranged on the table.
When Lu YunFei had been around he’d rarely been able to sleep soundly or for very long. He’d always suffered from anxiety. He was truly thankful now that he had narrowly escaped with his life.
There had only been two people in the family. The dishes were few and furthermore somewhat damaged. He didn’t dwell on it overmuch but subconsciously he placed the best looking set of dishes in front of Jun Yanzhi, ladled out his rice, and poured the good tea.
Jun YanZhi glanced lightly at him but didn’t speak.
Liu QianMo mildly raised an eyebrow.
It was completely bare in front of himself and his junior brother while junior brother Jun had actually been served a meal. This contrast in treatment……
But…… junior brother Jun had personally saved him so the boy’s grat.i.tude was understandable.
He introduced each person: “We are all Qing Xu sword sect disciples from Hui Shi Feng. (4) Of the two here, the first is fourth junior brother Jun YanZhi and the younger one is eighth junior brother Mo ShaoYan.”
Wen Jing looked at the two and silently nodded. The eldest senior brother was a gentle individual. Mo ShaoYan was also a youth with good ambition. It was a shame that they had met such miserable ends.
Mo ShaoYan asked: “You knew we were coming? If not, how did you know to call out Daoist Immortal gege?”
Wen Jing awkwardly glossed over it by saying: “The village was named for one of your people. I was panicking and ended up randomly using that phrasing.”
Liu QianMo smiled: “How old are you this year?”
Wen Jing poured water for him and smiled: “Thirteen years old.”
Jun YanZhi asked: “In that case, are you looking to enter the Qing Xu sword sect?”
Wen Jing nodded: “I was hoping to try my luck once the gates open in half a month.”
Liu QianMo smiled again, saying: “If you come to Hui Shi Feng, you and I would be fellow apprentices……” on saying this, he gave an embarra.s.sed cough and continued: “However, unfortunately, Hui Shi Feng hasn’t accepted any disciples in many years.”
Wen Jing bowed his head as he dug into his meal and didn’t respond.
There was a reason for this.
Qing Xu sword sect had a total of sixteen peaks. The main peak was in charge with the remaining peaks ranking equally amongst each other behind it. The master of Hui Shi Feng was named Duan Xuan, and was one of Qing Xu sword sect’s five Golden Core (5) cultivators. He was held to be deep and unmeasurable and was renowned throughout the realm.
With Duan Xuan in command, Hui Shi Feng could turn its nose up at competing for recognition and should have been able to contend to become Qing Xu sword sect’s tower of strength. It was a pity that in the past decade it hadn’t been able to contribute any achievements and had unexpectedly gone into decline.
The cause of this was Duan Xuan.
That is to say, he basically didn’t care about anything at all.
With regards to the cultivation of Qi Refining disciples, he had no interest and didn’t involve himself with them. For the disciples that built their foundations, he merely taught a few sets of merit laws but didn’t provide any guidance and left them to figure things out themselves. Although Qing Xu sword sect didn’t allow disciples to kill each other, large groups of people were difficult to manage and they had personalities of all sorts. For example Tian Heng Feng (6) had over two hundred followers, and with so many people, from time to time some would take the initiative come over to bully the mostly uninhabited Hui Shi Feng. Over time, Hui Shi Feng’s poor reputation had spread and new disciples began to avoid joining for fear of being considered second-rate. In the past ten years not a single one had come to Duan Xuan’s door.
Feeling the topic was somewhat bitter, Liu QianMo gave a hollow laugh: “I’m afraid you and I won’t have an opportunity to be fellow apprentices. Shizun (7) doesn’t like new disciples and prefers to focus on the ones already in place.”
Wen Jing didn’t dare expose his lie and only said: “Understood.”
A trace of sadness pervaded the atmosphere. Wen Jing kept himself busy cooking the rest of the meal and putting together beds for his guests.
The strong winds and downpour continued until midnight and then finally ended. Giving his bed to his benefactors, Wen Jing ended up rolled in a quilt lying on the ice-cold stone floor. The damp from the rainy night chilled him to the bone. Freezing and unable to sleep, his teeth chattering, at last he climbed to his feet and sighed.
Can’t sleep, might as well go to the toilet.
The moon hung in the sky. It was somewhat clear and chilly.
A few clumps of flowers were scattered around the little courtyard and branches were lying on the ground, broken by the wind. In the corner, the corpse wrapped in a woven mat was wet.
Having an idea, Wen Jing changed direction and cautiously approached Lu YunFei’s side. His hand exploring within the gra.s.s mat, he slowly felt around.
A small pitch-black tablet dropped into his hand. It was the same one that Lu YunFei had wanted him to bring back home for him. It felt heavy and seemed to be made out of stone. An indistinct spiritual energy seemed to emanate from it. On its front side in the middle was engraved two archaic characters, he was unable to distinguish what they were.
Wen Jing tried to read them again and again but was still unable to make sense of what he was looking at.
This small family tablet seemed to be a spirit stone……
“This late and you’re not sleeping?” Not far away came the sudden sound of a man’s deep gentle voice.
Wen Jing’s soul nearly flew away. He immediately with feigned calm turned his head around and saw a man in black clothes quietly standing about ten paces away.
“Jun, Jun xiushi (8) couldn’t sleep either?”
Jun YanZhi shifted his gaze towards the full moon: “The rain stopped. Didn’t need to sleep so I went for a walk.”
“I as well ……” Wen Jing smiled with embarra.s.sment. Feeling somewhat moved, he stood up, putting the tablet away.
Jun YanZhi’s eyes landed on the corpse: “Did your grandfather usually treat you well?”
“He was very kind.”
“……could you tell why he would want to possess you?”
Wen Jing felt a little bitter as he smiled and said: “I’m stupid, I completely don’t have a clue.”
Jun YanZhi didn’t answer, lowering his head as he looked down.
Pure moonlight illuminated his profile, giving him the appearance of a meditating statue.
Wen Jing’s heart surged wildly.
This was the person who in a few years would unify all the cultivators in Zhu Feng!
Watching in silence, that originally gentle profile like jade, it was actually hard to imagine that it flawlessly concealed an energy monstrous enough to steal your heart and soul.
Something rushed forth and then faded away again in a flash.
Wen Jing s.p.a.ced out for a while. Exactly what had he seen just then…..
Having not yet mentally recovered, within his head an electronic sound started up, similar to that of a red alert, an ear-piercing noise began to screech.
” Alert! Jun YanZhi’s moral standing has reached -1000! Please take note! Moral standing has reached -1000!”
Jun YanZhi softly said something but Wen Jing couldn’t make it out.
He was distracted.
The alarm in his head was persistent and continual. In the quiet of the moonlit night, it was especially maddening. Wen Jing stared blankly at Jun YanZhi, wishing he could do something to break off the electronic sound of the alarm.
Suddenly the alarm disappeared, returning everything back to tranquility. Nothing seemed to have happened. The only thing left was the remaining dizziness reverberating in his brain.
Wen Jing forced a smile, asking: “Jun xiushi, what did you say just now?”
Jun YanZhi faintly wrinkled his brows and raised his head to look again at the bright full moon. Glossing it over, he said: “I didn’t say anything. It’s getting late, you should get a good night’s sleep.”
Wen Jing was somewhat dazed and bit by bit he returned back to himself sitting on the ground. Concentrating, he held his breath and sure enough inside his head arose a message.
[Self defense system initiated. Starting today it is possible to determine the moral standing of the people in your vicinity.]
Early morning, drizzly rain, everything was grey and indistinct. Wen Jing stood at the village entrance and bid farewell to Jun YanZhi’s party. Lu YunFei had already been buried in Qing Quan village’s graveyard. Wen Jing kowtowed a few times in order to repay the old man for the many years of nurturing.
He used his consciousness to evaluate the moral standing of the three men.
The numerical value seemed to be somewhat unstable. Liu QianMo drifted from 300 to 400. Mo ShaoYan maintained at about 300 or so. It was only Jun YanZhi’s moral standing that happened to remain at a constant value of -1000 with a label of “Guilty of terrible crimes. Everyone is required to administer punishment”.
Wen Jing looked at the gentle face of the man in black clothes, feeling somewhat angry.
This system was clearly broken. For this refined and harmless person that everyone had a good impression about to be suddenly labeled as “Everyone is required to administer punishment”?
Liu QianMo smiled: “I hope to see you again – – maybe in half a month you’ll be visiting us instead.”
Wen Jing quickly shut the system down, saying: “I don’t have words to thank you for your immense kindness, may the Daoist immortals have a good journey.”
Liu QianMo was about to modestly reply when he heard Mo ShaoYan, not in the least ashamed say: “It was barely an effort on our parts, no need to dwell on it, we’ll be going now.”
Liu QianMo thought to himself, why don’t you just call yourself the Jade Emperor (9) and ride off into the wind: “We’ll be going!”
Cloaked by a white mist, the green mountains stood in the distance shrouded by the wind and rain. The three figures drifted far away into the sky. Before long they became hazy and indistinct as they were enveloped and disappeared within the mountain’s fog.
Wen Jing watched for a while and then returned to his home.
Lu YunFei was dead and he was the only one remaining in the small courtyard. Even though it was quiet and cold, he was no longer afraid, his body and mind finally feeling a sense of relief. Wen Jing packed everything away and sat down to do his daily meditation, his heart finally able to cultivate without any distractions.
In this peaceful manner he pa.s.sed the next half month until finally the day the Qing Xu sword sect opened it’s gates had arrived.
Authors notes this time were only thank you’s for donations.
1. Actually, I think it would be better described as an allusion as the possession had already taken place.
3. I mangled the whole sentence, but essentially it’s a super over the top poetic description for Jun YanZhi. The jade reference is actually for some sort of jade pot for ice water and it come off as a bit bizarre in english. See:
5. Another name for the Core Building stage
7. A politer form for one’s teacher. Step up from Shifu
9. Mythical figure, leader of the G.o.ds.
Looks like the chapters are starting to get longer. It jumped from 2400 to 3200 characters.
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