He didn’t think she could make him any angrier but he was wrong. He’d underestimated her ability. She went off and returned home pregnant. A fourteen-year-old girl, pregnant!
That wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was her refusal to say who the father was! He repeatedly asked her what had happened but she refused to say.
Grandfather Feng felt his unaccomplished granddaughter had to have fallen victim to someone’s schemes. This granddaughter of his, on her own, no way would she have the guts to have intimate relations with a man. Not without being married first!
But even if it she was the victim, she was too capricious. It was her leaving home the way she did that gave outsiders an opportunity to harm her.
Ay! He got angry every time he thought about it. How did his Feng house give birth to such a stupid granddaughter?!
Madam Lan held onto Feng Wu’s hand. “Don’t worry Father, Feng Wu knows her wrongs. She will be obedient in the future,” she said, trying to soothe her father-in-law. Why couldn’t this child admit her mistake? Her stubbornness was going to make Father-in-law angrier.
“Xiao Wu, quickly tell Grandfather you were wrong.” Madam Lan feared her father-in-law would kick Feng Wu out again. She tugged at Feng Wu, her anxious eyes filled with tears.
“I was wrong.” Feng Wu didn’t know how she was wrong, but she wasn’t afraid to admit it if her confession would keep this pretty lady from crying.
Master said crying was no good. It made people weak. That’s why she didn’t cry. This lady by her side had to be very weak.
Feng Wu thought admitting it would keep the lady from crying. She didn’t expect the lady would cry even more! Didn’t she say what the lady wanted? Why was the lady crying?
“Xiao Wu, you must have suffered greatly. You must not have eaten or slept well. And you had to take care of your baby by yourself. These last few months, even your temperament has changed…” When did Xiao Wu ever admit her mistakes so easily? Madam Lan knew perfectly well how stubborn her daughter was. That stubborn attitude was the cause of most of her troubles.
It took so much hardship to change her attitude. Poor Xiao Wu! Don’t worry Mother will definitely protect you!
Madam Lan’s wails filled the hall. Grandfather caught Hang’s[notes] eyes. The message was clear. Stop your wife from crying so much! Crying women vexed him to no end.
Not eat well? Not sleep well? Feng Wu considered it. She had delicious meat buns and barbeques every day. As for sleeping, the bed in her dorm was nice and soft. Although the bed in Tian Yue’s house was firmer, it was still comfortable. She didn’t feel like she had suffered.
“I’m not bitter. I eat meat buns and roasted chicken. The bed is also soft.” After thinking about it she added, “Little White helps with Little Bun. It’s not hard.”
“Wuu…. You used to only eat magical beast meat. You refused to eat any other kinds of meat, now you’re eating meat buns and chicken? Wuu…. My poor child!”
Madam Lan was excellent at crying.
Feng Wu didn’t know what to do. Master was right. Excessively crying women were troublesome. Feng Wu was pleased she avoided being a crybaby.
“Enough!” Grandfather Feng yelled. “What are you crying so much for? All of you get out. Feng Wu, you stay.”
As soon as Grandfather Feng slammed his hand on the table Madam Lan stopped crying.
Feng Wu looked at the old man in admiration. So powerful. Just a few words and he made the woman that was her mother stop crying.
Were all mothers like that? But it was strange. Tian Yue was a mother and she didn’t cry.
Looking down Grandfather Feng saw that Feng Wu hadn’t been frightened by his outburst. Not only that but she was staring at him with shiny eyes. The girl lived outside for a year and her courage grew. If it was before she would definitely have cried and plastered an aggrieved expression on her face.
Madam Lan looked at Feng Wu. She was worried her father-in-law would get angry again so she was reluctant to leave. But she didn’t dare stay. She had lived in Feng house long enough to know that no one dared gainsay him.
Feng Ting was overjoyed. How wonderful! She hoped the old man was going to slap Feng Wu and her vile spawn to death.
Her face didn’t show a trace of her vicious thoughts. The only thing on her face was concern for her younger sister.
Papa Feng and Tian were worried because Grandfather Feng still looked angry. Was it a good idea to leave them alone together like this?
The father and son duo came to the same decision. They would wait outside the door, so if there was movement, they would be able to rush in and save Feng Wu.
After everyone left, Grandfather Feng stared at Feng Wu angrily. How surprising, she was unafraid of him. If this was before she would have already been shivering in fear. Where was this new calm attitude coming from? Turned out her leaving the house for a while was good. Her temperament had changed for the better.
Grandfather Feng coughed lightly before speaking. “You know you were wrong?”
“Yes.” Feng Wu replied obediently; her eyes crystal clear. This person was amazing. She had heard Older Brother Tian say he was her grandfather. In the future she had to be stronger like her grandfather. No one would dare be noisy and cry in front of her then.
“You and that kid from the Qui family don’t share fate. Don’t worry about it. You’ll find the right person in the future.”
“What kid from the Qui family?” Blink blink.
“Who else? Still pretending to be confused? Still not giving up on that Qui Ruo Bai?!” He thought she’d let go, turned out she was still holding out hope.
“I don’t want him.” Feng Wu didn’t know this guy from the Qui house.
“Forget it! I get angry every time I see you. Leave the child here. Go out and talk to your father and brother.” Grandfather Feng dismissed her with a wave of his hand. How irritating. Did those two stupid idiots think he didn’t know they were guarding outside the door? Who did they think he was? As if he would really kill his own granddaughter. Psh!
“Hm.” Feng Wu nodded and left Little Bun with Little White in the hall.
Grandfather Feng waited until Feng Wu left before reaching over and taking Little Bun from Little White. He studied Little Bun closely.
Grandfather Feng was still a stranger to Little Bun and his hold was a too firm. Little Bun frowned, displeased.
Grandfather Feng stared back at Little Bun. “Who are you, you little rascal? Why does the vice-principal think you’re so special? Says you’re special, says it’s a secret, says he’s not allowed to say. And now I have to keep it a secret too. Tells me I have to keep it a secret but won’t share what the hell the secret is. Fucking old geezer. Even if I wanted to talk about it, it’s not like I know anything.”
He had blown an enchantment out through his beard as he spoke so no one heard their conversation.
“Xiao Wu, you and Grandfather finished talking already?” Tian was surprised their conversation ended so quickly.
Papa Feng was puzzled. “Where’s the child?” He was anxious when he didn’t see the nanny beast holding Little Bun.
“With Grandfather,” replied Feng Wu.
“With Grandfather?!” Cold-hearted Grandfather Feng was interested in a child? How shocking!
But neither men were worried about Little Bun’s well-being. Grandfather Feng was a peerless powerhouse on the pinnacle of the world. He wouldn’t stoop to hurting a baby.
Grandfather Feng: Then why the hell were you loitering by the doorway?!
“It looks like Grandfather Feng didn’t say it, but he’s forgiven you. He wouldn’t have been interested in your child otherwise.”
Papa Feng was so relieved. On one side was his daughter, on the other side was his father. He would have had a hard time if they fought. Good thing everyone could live peacefully.
“That’s great Xiao Wu. Looks like Grandfather isn’t angry anymore.”
Feng Wu had suffered a lot in the past year but now things were finally better.
That Feng Wu was back home was a big deal. The news spread to the other aristocrat houses in the capital.
Most people didn’t expect her to return, after all most people would have been executed for shaming their houses like that. Being exiled was a lenient sentence. Or if the person wasn’t driven out, then they would have been stripped of their status. They would most certainly never enjoy the benefits they once had.
The capital, Qui mansion, Bing’s room.
“So Feng Wu is really back.” The woman who spoke was dignified with sharp eyebrows and eastern features. Her porcelain hand held a jade teacup to red lips.
“It makes me sick. Grandpa Feng is beyond silly.” Bing[ID] was sitting by the window trimming a plant, but she was doing it badly.
“What should we do Big Sister Lanzhou? I hate her so much. I don’t understand why Grandpa Feng would let her come back. She’ll be buzzing around Elder Brother again. It’s disgusting!” Shui wanted to slap Feng Wu ever since she found out from Feng Ting, but her sister had sent her a note so she was forced to return home. Lanzhou, her older sister’s friend, had come over so now all three were in Bing’s room.
“Little sister, stop talking nonsense. If you liken her to a fly buzzing, then what is Bai?”[ID] Bing glanced at Shui in light reproach. She put down the potted plant and went to sit down beside Lanzhou.
Shui realized her comment had been inappropriate. She covered her mouth with her hand in an oops gesture before sticking her tongue out at her older sister playfully. “I was wrong. To say she’s a fly is too good for her.”
“Shui, why are you even so angry? It’s not like she and Bai are ever going to get together. You should know your mother would never allow Bai to marry a woman who’s already has a child.” Lanzhou put her teacup down, while maintaining her perfect posture.
“I just really hate her! I don’t want to see her pestering Elder Brother. And she slapped me twice last time. She’s a horrible, disgusting woman. I wish she would just die!”
“She beat you?!”Bing didn’t expect her little sister to keep something so important secret.
Even Lanzhou’s eyes opened up in surprise. “She dared hit you?!”
“Of course she dared. She’s older now. Before she would always make a detour around me, but now not only does she dare talk back to me, she dare hit me!” Shui’s heart burned with anger every time she thought about the slaps she received.
Bing’s eyes darkened. “Hm . . . In that case I really can’t let her go.”
“Older Sister, you and Sister Lanzhou have to help me get revenge!” Her sister and Sister Lanzhou were the only ones she could share the humiliation with. Yes, she was really beaten by someone with a crippled cultivation system. Her pride wouldn’t let her swallow the insult.
Lanzhou let out a small puff of air before softly saying, “Don’t worry. Feng Wu was in the wrong this time. Bing and I will help you.”
“Big Sister Lanzhou, you’re wonderful!” Shui exclaimed.
Feng Wu didn’t know three girls were out to get her. She was busy being happy.
She was either reading romance novels with her mother or accompanying her mother with Little Bun shopping or watching some play or other. Sometimes Tian came along with them, though usually he was busy practicing swordsmanship with Grandfather Feng.
Papa Feng had his hands full taking care of family business so he didn’t normally have time to accompany them.
The mother and daughter duo were walking hand in hand to see a play. They presented a pretty picture in their coordinated outfits. The theater they were going to was well-known in the capital; many aristocrats and couples patronized it.
Today’s play was called “Dragon Slayer Hero.” It was about a young swordsmanship fanatic named Ao. He visited sword masters from all around the world in order to hone his own swordsmanship. When he finally returned home, he found out that a gigantic fire-breathing dragon had burned his entire village down.
Everyone died. Even his parents. To avenge them he went to the royal palace and obtained the legendary Holy Royal sword that had been passed down for generations. Then Ao went to the dragon’s home island and slayed the fire-breathing dragon.
People didn’t have to live in fear of the dragon anymore so Ao was hailed as a hero and awarded the princess’s hand in marriage. Ao and the princess married and lived happily ever after. The End.
The person who played the part of Ao was a handsome man from the kingdom by the name of Hua Sheng. Madam Lan liked the actor and went to every play he appeared in. If he was in it, she would be there.
They were at the point in the story where Ao returned home to find it burned to the ground. It was an emotional scene were the hero vowed he would avenge everyone, has father, mother, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends – the entire village!
“Wuuu, wuuu. Ao is so pitiful, losing his family so young. ” Madam Lan dabbed her eyes with her tear soaked handkerchief.
Feng Wu: But why is the dragon made of fabric?
Well it was a fake dragon of course. It was basically made out of magical fabric that when imbued with fire magic would give people the illusion of a dragon.
Feng Wu’s eyes were sharp and she could tell from a glance that the dragon flying around was fake.
Feng Wu wondered why the man cried so much. Why declare vengeance on a piece of fabric? He was so strange.
“Wuuu… hiccup!” Madam Lan had cried so much she hiccupped.
“The sword is obviously a regular iron sword. Why are they calling it a holy sword?” Feng Wu stared at the man on stage holding the “holy” sword made of iron and at the "dragon" made out of fabric. She watched them fight with an expressionless face. It didn’t make sense.
“Wuuu…” Madam Lan bit her handkerchief. She was never going go to a play with Xiao Wu ever again! Can’t let a person enjoy the story in peace!
Madam Lan, who had dreams of watching plays with her daughter, had her dreams dashed. She didn’t dare ask Feng Wu again.
Well if mother and daughter couldn’t watch plays together then they could cook! Madam Lan smiled just thinking about all the wonderful cakes they would make together.
Madam Lan sent the servants out of the kitchen so she and her daughter could experience the joy of cooking, but Madam Lan truly regretted the decision when the finished product came out.
Madam Lan: What is this? Obviously followed the same steps so why is the thing my daughter made all black and smoking? Is it safe to eat…?
Feng Wu stared at her mother with bright expectant eyes, waiting for her mother to try a bite.
Madam Lan wasn't sure she'd survive if she ate it.
Auntie Lian was standing to the side wondering the very same thing.
“No… never mind. I’m afraid to do that. Just practice some more.” What Madam Lan really wanted to say was, "Please never cook again!" but that cute expression… she couldn’t bare to.
They ended up eating the biscuits Madam Lan made. The ones Feng Wu made was quietly removed and disposed of as lethal weapons.
“Da! Da! Da!” Little Bun grinned, his toothless mouth open and dripping drool. He held the rattle like it was a toy as he banged it against the bed furiously. He was having fun all by himself.
“Young Master, here’s some delicious milk. It’s from a level 5 beast.” The maid ignored the nanny shengmu beast and offered Little Bun a bottle of milk.
The shengmu had been peacefully standing when the maid walked into the room toward Little Bun. It immediately glared a warning at the maid to not come any closer, otherwise it wouldn't be nice.
Everyone knew shengmu beasts were the best babysitters. But if it regarded you as an enemy it wouldn’t hesitate to lash out at you.
She stopped trying to move closer. “Shengmu beast, you’re Little White right? The young miss asked me to bring the little master this milk. Here, you can feed it to him.”
Not only did Little White reject the milk, it knocked the milk to the floor.
“Why did you do that?!” She was angry but she couldn’t reason with the beast so she picked the bottle up and left.
She walked to a tiny obscure corner.
“How did it go? Did the kid drink it?” Another woman in maid uniform hurried to the first maid.
“No Sister Ming. The shengmu beast was watching and wouldn’t let the kid have any.”
“Useless! Such a simple thing and you couldn’t do it. Why did the eldest miss even save you for?!” The new maid cursed as she pointed at the first maid.
The first maid kept her head down as she was being scolded, but in her heart was a rebellious thought: if it was so easy why didn’t you do it?
After a few more choice words, Ming shook her sleeve out and left to report to her master.
“Sorry Master, the girl failed.” Ming kept her head respectfully down.
“That child is a stain to the house. I wanted to save the Feng reputation, I did not expect you would let me down so much…”
Feng Ting looked coldly at Ming. A glimmer of something flashed in her eyes.
“Eldest Young Miss, I will not fail next time. Please have mercy!” Ming threw herself down begging in fright.
“Forget it. Upon reconsideration, it’s probably too early to get rid of the child anyway.”
Ming was unwilling. “But Miss, letting Xiao Ye[ID] off is too good. That loser Feng Wu doesn’t deserve your kindness!”
“Don’t worry, I’m not letting her off the hook. I’m the eldest daughter. I’ll never let that trash take my place in Brother Tian’s heart.”
Feng Ting knew she was behaving irrationally, but she couldn’t help it. She felt her reason snap whenever she saw Brother Tian doting on Feng Wu.
Grandfather Feng treated her with indifference and her father didn’t love her. Brother Tian was the only one good to her. Their relationship opened a lot of doors for her, primary of which was access to other aristocrats and their direct heirs.
She’d worked hard to make sure Tian saw her in the best light. She knew he admired the same kind of woman Grandfather did. Both men liked women who reflected them, strong and intelligent. If it weren’t for the fact Papa Feng loved Madam Lan so much, Madam Lan, with her temper, would have never been able to step through the front gates of Feng House and gotten Grandfather’s approval.
She knew it was impossible for her to win over any of the three major members.[notes] No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t move them. They treated her with indifference, neither neglecting nor favoring her. Brother Tian was her only angle.
Tian and Feng Wu didn’t used to get along before. She used to secretly laugh at Feng Wu because of it, but now they were getting along and he was even doting on her. She felt threatened for the first time.
She was jealous of Feng Wu. That girl got all the attention just because she was Madam Lan’s daughter. She didn’t have to put any effort in at all!
She had to get rid of Feng Wu and make Feng house completely give up on that trash. She had wanted to kill Feng Wu’s child just to make her suffer. But thinking about it now, she knew it wasn’t the right time. She was being too irrational. Wouldn’t killing the child help Feng Wu? Then her shame wouldn’t be an eyesore to everyone. As long as her illegitimate child existed they would remember the scandal and the shame Feng Wu brought to the house. Feng Wu, that slut, she gave birth to a child out of wedlock, is what they would think every time they saw the baby.
Feng Ting calmed down after thinking it over. She stopped being so anxious. She wasn’t the only one who wanted Feng Wu gone either. If she knew Shui at all, she knew Shui would act against Feng Wu soon. She wasn’t sure what Shui planned but she needed to be ready to add to the flames when the time came.
Feng Wu was playing in the garden with Little Bun when a maid walked in with a girl. The girl was about the same age as Feng Wu.
“Second Young Miss, Miss Yi Lin is here.” The maid stood to the side respectfully.
“Xiao Wu! Why didn’t you come visit me when you came back? I don’t have anyone to talk to. I’ve been so bored since you left.” Yi Lin dismissed the maid with, “You leave first. I have some things I want to talk to your master about.”
The maids all knew Yi Lin and their master were on good terms, so they obediently obeyed.
After all the maids left Yi Lin stepped over toward Feng Wu and reached out to affectionately hold her hand. But unexpectedly the Feng Wu who had always been close to her stepped back to avoid her.
Surprising. When did this fool get so smart? Had she done something? No, not possible. Feng Wu was too stupid. Yi Lin was confused.
Feng Wu had taken Little Bun and backed up two steps. “Who are you?” She stared at the stranger in front of her.
“What’s wrong with you Xiao Wu? I’m Yi Lin, your cousin. Your aunt’s daughter. How could you forget me?!” Was it amnesia? But she hadn’t heard anything about it. Maybe Feng Wu was pretending to not know her because she was mad about that whole pregnancy thing? It was her idea that got Feng Wu into the situation…
“Xiao Wu, are you still angry with me? Because I suggested you go to Heavy Fog forest and look for the legendary essence fruit? You have to believe me, I never thought something like that would happen in the middle of the forest. I would never do something like that to you on purpose. I wish I could switch places with you. Don’t be mad anymore OK?” Yi Lin’s eyes got red and she brought a handkerchief to her cheeks.
Feng Wu should have rushed over and comforted her; she was Feng Wu’s only friend since they were little after all.
But it was a sad miscalculation. The Feng Wu that Yi Lin knew, the one that regarded her as a friend and close sister, had died during childbirth. The Feng Wu in front of her was a different soul from another world. And this Feng Wu wasn’t so gullible. This Feng Wu wouldn’t trust a person who tried to emotionally manipulate her.
It might be because Feng Wu had always been an unusual child who possessed an innate sense of self, but she could read other people easily. Those who were sincere, those who weren’t, she could tell.
Like when she first met Tian, it was because she sensed his sincerity and kindness that she unequivocally accepted him as her brother.
Feng Ting on the other hand was not good. Though she claimed to be her older sister the only thing Feng Wu sensed from her was hate, so naturally Feng Wu refused to acknowledge her. This attitude wasn't suspicious because Original Feng Wu never paid attention to Feng Ting either.
Feng Wu could tell Yi Lin didn’t like her. Unable to sense any kindness from the person in front of her, Feng Wu naturally wouldn’t believe her. Even if Feng Wu wasn’t smart, she had good instincts. She was like an animal that instinctively knew to avoid danger.
Yi Lin stood there and cried for a full five minutes but Feng Wu didn’t show a single sign of concern. It was clear Feng Wu wans't interested in comforting her, she was just standing there holding Little Bun. Yi Lin was at her wits end. What was she supposed to do in a situation like this? Her act was useless if no one acknowledged it.
Luckily for Yi Lin, Madam Lan saved her. “Yi Lin, what’s the matter. You two cousins normally get a long so well. What’s going on?” The girls were like two peas in a pod so why was the atmosphere so tense?
It only got stranger as Madam Lan got closer. One was crying while the other stood there like a stone. Why were they so unfriendly to each other?
“Auntie.” At last! Yi Lin was so relieved. She hadn’t known how to get out of the situation. Why was Feng Wu suddenly so hard to deal with? Had going outside been too much of a shock for her?
“Yi Lin, stop crying. Come tell your auntie what’s wrong.” Madam Lan walked over and wiped Yi Lin’s tears.
“It’s nothing, -sniffle-. I was just complaining how I wasn’t by Xiao Wu’s side when the accident happened. Then afterwards I couldn’t help her. I felt sad.” Of course Yi Lin wasn’t going to tell the truth. The only ones who knew about Feng Wu's accident were her and Feng Wu.
If Grandfather Feng found out she had a hand in Feng Wu’s pregnancy, she knew wouldn't escape unscathed.
Her father’s side of the family was minor and had no power, so she couldn’t risk losing the affections of her father and uncle.
Madam Lan was moved to tears. “You have a good heart. Auntie is touched you care so much for Xiao Wu.” Madam Lan was easily moved by small things, but Yi Lin’s concern for Feng Wu moved her a lot.
“Don’t cry anymore Auntie. It’s my fault for making you sad.”
“It’s not your fault Yi Lin. Auntie is just so touched by you girls.”
The two hugged and cried in each other’s arms, totally forgetting about Feng Wu.
When her tears finally dried and there was nothing left to cry, Madam Lan pulled back from Yi Lin and asked, “Yi Lin, why were you looking for Xiao Wu?”
“Oh right. Daughter's day is in three days. I wanted to see the river lanterns with Xiao Wu. Is it OK?” Yi Lin finally got to say what she came to say. She never expected to have such a long delay.
Yi Lin would have tossed her sleeve and left ages ago were it not for the fact that Madam Lan was her aunt and the patriarch’s wife. Why else would she have bothered to spend so much time carrying on and crying with the woman. Yi Lin didn’t understand why her uncle married such a human waterfall. The woman cried more than she talked!
If it was Yi Lin inviting Feng Wu then it was OK. They were cousins. Madam Lan had nearly forgotten about Daughter's day. She gave her permission for the two go together.
Speaking of Daughter's day, it is a unique festival in the ancient east. Everyday on that day, unmarried daughters from all over (it didn’t matter if they were royalty, aristocrats, or commoners) would go to the river to watch the lights. Legend had it that their wishes would come true if they wrote their birthday and wish on a piece of paper and tied it to a lantern to float down the river.
Whether it was true or not, countless unmarried girls went to the river to light a lantern.
Papa Feng told his two daughters, Feng Wu and Feng Ting, to go and enjoy themselves at the river. Of course he wouldn’t let them go unchaperoned. He assigned Tian to watch over them and had Madam Lan stay behind to take care of Little Bun.
Little Bun wasn’t born under a fantastic star but he was small and adorable. In less than an hour, he’d gained Madam Lan’s acceptance and won her over.
The Feng children went to the spot reserved for nobles. Everyone was allowed to light a lantern on the river, but there were specific places for every class. The nobility were prideful, so of course they wouldn’t cram in with the common folk.
The royal family built a garden just for noble children. In the garden was a bamboo building for young noble ladies to sit and chat in. They could admire the beautiful flowers while setting their lanterns onto the river.
It was a large three-story building. The first floor was for daughters of minor noble families. The second floor was for those from major noble families. These included some ranked aristocrats like the daughters of minor princes and dukes. The third floor was reserved for imperial princesses of the royal family and their invited guests.
No one would dare enter the building without permission.
Feng Wu and Feng Ting went to the second floor. It was awkward for a guy to follow them in so Tian stayed in the garden.
There were already a few ladies inside. They began whispering as soon as they saw Feng Wu. A few bold ones even pointed; they had no scruples doing so since Tian wasn’t there.
The ladies knew Feng Wu was an impulsive, brainless twit. She got in trouble every time she made a ruckus. If she dared make trouble in the building, then the queen would punish her for sure. It wouldn’t matter if she was a Feng member or not.
All the ladies there were from distinguished families. It wasn’t that they hated Feng Wu, it was just that her behavior was unfit for a girl in her position. She was simply too unsightly. But despite her behavior and her inability to cultivate, her family still looked kindly upon her.
She had no self-control and went berserk whenever anyone mentioned the word “broken cultivation”[notes] in front of her. You couldn’t even count how many times her recklessness got her in trouble. She never learned and kept falling for the same schemes over and over again.
How did Feng house produce someone like her? She was unfit for public occasions.
When some of the young ladies thought about it like that, their mouths soured. It felt like the standards for nobility had dropped.
The gossip about Feng Wu had spread to the entire aristocracy. Considering Feng Wu’s personality, none of the ladies felt any sympathy for her.
Trash would always be trash and it would have been better if she knew her place. Being a noble did not fit her at all; it was simply too big a hat for her to wear. She was better suited to be amongst the common folk.
No one expected her to return from exile. This Daughter's day suddenly felt dreary.
Some were jealous of her even if they didn’t want to admit it. That was part of the reason they hated her. Jealous she could make her family love her so much without putting in any effort. Her family didn’t give up on her even though she had no cultivation abilities.
They thought about their own situations, of how much time and effort they spent learning things they had no interest in just so their parents would be proud of them.
So as you can see, there were various reasons why some girls didn’t like Original Feng Wu. Of course there were also girls who didn’t bother with Feng Wu, never mind put in the effort to hate her, but these girls were in the minority.
So when Feng Wu went up to the second floor she was immediately hit by a wave of strong disgust. It shot at her like a knife as the girls didn’t disguise how they felt.
Shui and her sister, Bing, sat in a corner. They sneered when they saw Feng Wu come up. Time to make trouble for the loser. The bigger the trouble the better.
“Oh my god, look at the guts on that girl. So loose and still dare to come out in public.”
“I know. How thick can her skin be? She already lived so long as the number one disappointment in the Feng family. Living in so much excess, was there even any value in her chastity?”
“Does she even have any face left? I don’t know why Feng house would let someone so shameful back in.”
“I know. If it was my house, we’d have kill the slut already for ruining the family name like that.”
“She dare come light the lantern even though she already has a child. So shameless.”
“I know. I would have mortified to death.”
The noble ladies held themselves with grace and proper poise while delivering these vicious words. It was a testament to their education.
If it was Original Feng Wu, she would have already rushed out and slapped some bitches. She didn’t get the nickname “she devil” for nothing.
But the one standing there now wasn’t the Feng Wu they knew.
“Xiao Wu! You’re here. Why didn’t you call out to me?” Yi Lin yelled up from down the stairs.
Yi Lin’s family was a smaller noble family so she didn’t have the qualifications to go to the second floor. Without Feng Wu there she wouldn’t have the courage to go up. She could only blame her mother for marrying poorly.
As the eldest daughter in Feng house, her mother could have married better, but instead she married into some no name minor noble house.
Her mother, Feng TianJiao, had been the number one catch back then. She naturally attracted the spotlight as the eldest Feng daughter. Everyone wondered which top notch family she would marry into. Who knew the delicate Feng daughter would fall in love and try to elope with the son of a minor noble.
She was captured and brought back home in under two hours, but she didn’t give in and instead went on a hunger strike. So between having her die from hunger or letting her marry the man she wanted, the family ended up giving in, however they only gave her a small dowry.
Her life wasn’t peaches and cream after marriage. It was only after she moved out of Feng house that she realized what hardships lay in living in a minor house. It was too late for regrets though.
Feng Jiao had two sons and three daughters. Yi Lin was her eldest. Because she had so many children, she was able to live an easy life. Feng house members were relieved.
No matter what, she was still the eldest daughter of Feng house. The house she married into didn’t dare treat her badly. Everyone had already gone through their indignant phase over the marriage. Even her arrogant and domineering father and brother[notes] couldn’t do anything but shake their heads in helplessness.
Feng house may have ignored her long ago had they not been bound by blood.
“It’s Yi Lin. Come on up.” Feng Ting beckoned for Yi Li to come up.
Now that she had Feng Ting’s approval, Yi Lin picked up the hem of her skirt and walked upstairs. As soon as she reached the top she went to stand beside Feng Wu and Feng Ting. She looked around curiously.
The other ladies had no interest in her so they didn’t pay her any attention. She was a Feng cousin so they weren’t concerned about her behaving inappropriately like some greenhorn.
Yi Lin, this person was good at using other people. She was outrageously spoiled by her mother. In fact if it weren’t for her knowing to display the right image, she would have been rejected by Feng house long ago.
Feng Ting hid the disdain in her eyes. It figured Feng Wu was only worthy of associating with this kind of person. She knew Yi Lin spoke badly about Feng Wu behind her back. Yi Lin even used Feng Wu to beat her two younger sisters by fooling Feng Wu into thinking they bullied her at home.
The results were predictable; of course there would be no words of praise. Her family scolded her severely and her aunt’s family was offended. Feng Wu was a fool.
“Let’s go sit here.” Yi Lin pulled Feng Wu’s hand to a couple of empty seats.
The seat wasn’t bad. It had a good view of both the garden and river below.
“Xiao Wu, Feng Ting, have you heard? Other than the usual male guests we always have, there’s another bigshot visiting.” Yi Lin lowered her voice. She looked left and right, pretending to be mysterious.
“A heavy weight huh? Is he one of the three princes?” Feng Ting wasn’t all that interested.
Daughter day was basically like a giant blind date with many minor princes and members of the imperial royal family in attendance. There were always a few who paired up during the festival.
The three princes attended every year. Not many people could get close to them, but that didn’t dampen the ladies’ enthusiasm. If they could become an imperial concubine, they’d be the envy of the nation.
Feng Ting wasn’t looking to marrying any of the three princes though. She wasn’t delusional. She knew that with her status, there was no way she would be admitted as a concubine. Besides she already had a target in mind.
Yi Lin’s dream of being a concubine was ridiculous. She looked down on Yi Lin and her silly dreams. A girl from such a small house, how could she be accepted as a royal concubine? Feng Ting was disdainful of Yi Lin.
“I don’t know which prince, but it’s definitely a prince from the Silver Moon country. A descendent of a god!” Yi Lin grew more excited the more she thought about it. If she could get his favor, she wouldn’t have to suck up to Xiao Wu anymore!
“Prince of the Ancient Silver Moon country?” Feng Ting nearly yelled out loud. No wonder there were so many more male guests downstairs than normal. Turned it a big shot would be visiting.
A fire lit in Feng Ting’s heart. Bo forget it, she wouldn’t have a chance. Eighty percent of the aristocrats here would by aiming for him. She wouldn’t get the chance to get close.
Feng Ting dreamed big but she was realistic. She had a strong sense of self-awareness and knew better than to try and snatch a prince away from one of the princesses. It would be one thing if she succeeded, but if she failed she would be blacklisted forever. The risk wasn’t worth it.
Yi Lin was surprised her cousins didn’t know about the Silver Moon prince.
Madam Lan hadn’t shared the news with the girls because she didn’t think the Silver Moon’s prince’s arrival had anything to do with their house. Neither girls were qualified to pursue him. Feng Wu already had a baby so shooting that high wasn’t possible. Feng Ting was an ordinary concubine so her being able to marry into any member of the royal family was already a stretch.
Yi Lin gave them a strange look. “Yeah, I heard it from my mom. How come you guys don’t know?” Even her mother, the wife of a small patriarch, knew about it, so how could her more highly placed cousins not know?
Normally Feng Wu wouldn’t go inside the bamboo house with the other nobles. Normally she would leave the festival right after placing her lantern in the river, so Yi Lin had expected she would have to force Feng Wu to go inside. Unexpectedly, Feng Wu went voluntarily went inside the house.
Yi Lin was interested in being inside the house because her odds of attracting the prince’s attention would be better there. Yi Lin didn’t understand why Feng Wu had such a change of heart, but it didn’t matter. This worked out for the best. Yi Lin made up her mind to use the opportunity to capture the prince’s heart. Then we’ll see who would dare look down on her.
The more Yi Lin thought about it, the more beautiful her dreams became. She could see herself wearing a crown as an imperial concubine, be the envy of all the girls here.
Feng Wu didn’t care at all about the conversation the girls were having; the prince had nothing to do with her. She focused on eating the stash of pastries on the table.
Once those slices were devoured, Feng Wu stretched her hands out to the daughter cakes. The cake was often eaten during Daughter day, so they were relatively famous all throughout the ancient eastern countries.
The ones here were specifically made by royal chefs of the royal family, so they were fragrant, soft, and wonderfully sweet. To say they were popular with girls would have been an understatement.
“I didn’t know. Mother didn’t mention it. Xiao Wu did you know?” Was Madam Lan afraid she would steal Feng Wu’s limelight, that she would attract the prince’s attention and eventually have a better life than Feng Wu? Was that why she deliberately didn’t share news of the prince?
Feng Ting didn’t think Madam Lan was sincere towards her. The only reason the madam didn’t scold her was to maintain a virtuous reputation. If it was her husband, children, or grandchildren, she would be sincere.
Feng Wu didn’t slow down but she did shake her head slightly at the question.
“You didn’t know Xiao Wu?” Feng Ting didn’t believe it for a second. Feng Wu had to be lying. But she didn’t lose anything because she never viewed the prince as a target anyway. She wouldn’t let Madam Lan manipulate her even if the woman was actively trying to ruin her chances of a good match.
“Mm.” Feng Wu nodded as she stretched her hand out to another piece of cake.
“Shui, what are you doing here? I thought you’d be on the third floor with Princess Rong Hua.”
Shui was dressed in a pale pink dress made of rare magical fabric. It was obvious from the stitches that the embroidery was special. She didn’t wear any extra accessories other than a small bejeweled headpiece. It was a simple understated type of elegance.
“Sister Lanzhou is up on the third floor with the five princesses. This year even the queen is up there. My sister was also afraid I would say something wrong, so she wouldn’t let me up.” Shui rolled her eyes playfully.
Princess Rong Hua was the king’s third daughter. Though she wasn't the oldest daughter, she was the queen’s daughter, so her status was still higher than the other princesses.
Shui’s sister, Bing, was also friends with her. Together they were recognized as the three most outstanding ladies in their generation.
Number one was Princess Rong Hua, the third princess of the ancient eastern kingdoms. The second was Lanzhou, the eldest daughter of the Lan family. The third was Bing from the Qui family. They were all peerless beauties with too many suitors to count.
Because of their outstanding reputation the queen invited Lanzhou and Bing to the third floor. Every Daughter day Bing would bring Shui up to do a meet and greet with the princesses.
This year was different. This year Princess Rong Hua had her eyes set on a certain someone, so she was extra sensitive to the things around her. Bing was a smart girl; she knew her little sister had a big mouth. What if that big mouth said something inappropriate? It ruin Bing’s friendship with the princess.
“Oh, so that’s why. Shui, why don’t you come and sit with us?” Feng Ting took Shui’s hand and led her to the seat beside her.
Yi Lin had always been jealous of the good relationship between Feng Ting and Shui. It was so unfair. How did a concubine daughter end up having such a good friend? This was a source of unhappiness in Yi Lin’s heart. Because of this she approached and flattered Shui whenever she had the chance. She leaned forward and spoke some words of flattery. “Miss Shui is so beautiful today. Truly befitting of a daughter of the Qui house.”
Shui didn’t care for Yi Lin’s bootlicking. She disdainfully said, “I’m beautiful every day. Today is nothing special.”
“I misspoke; it was my fault. Of course Miss Shui is beautiful every day.” Yi Lin stopped her chatter and kept quiet after that.
“Xiao Wu, don’t just eat snacks, drink some tea as well. This is special fulong tea from the palace. It’s not every day we get to drink this kind of tea.” Yi Lin focused on Feng Wu since she couldn’t edge into the conversation between Feng Ting and Shui.
Fulong flowers had a wonderful fragrance that spread for miles. They were specially grown in the mountains in the ancient eastern countries and were popular with the ladies because it was good for the complexion.
Eventually fulong flowers were made into teas and became an exclusive tribute to the royal family. Except for some powerful families who were able to get it though special means, it was impossible for anyone to get their hands on it.
Every year on Daughter’s day the royal family would provide fulong tea as refreshment inside the house. It was a rare opportunity for the lower ranked noble girls to drink it.
Yi Lin had already poured a cup for herself and was enjoying it.
Seeing that the tea had a fresh, bright fragrance, Feng Wu poured a cup. Her eyes lit up. It was delicious! She took a few more sips before biting into another piece of cake. She was busy eating and didn’t notice the look Yi Lin and Shui gave her.
Feng Ting noticed. It excited her. She was sure Feng Wu was about to suffer some bad luck. She was certainly not going to warn Feng Wu!
The ladies on the second floor enjoyed the tea and cakes while chatting. The sky shone, blooming with dazzling fireworks.
They knew the lantern lighting would start soon. Excited and unable to sit still, they gradually filed out in groups of two’s and three’s to the river. It was a short easy walk because the river was right in front of the garden.
Each lady had a maid with them who carried the lantern; it was just that the maids couldn’t enter the bamboo house and were waiting in a separate room nearby.
Both maids for Feng Wu and Yi Lin were waiting outside with lanterns for their masters.
“Tian what’s wrong with you today? Are you worried about Feng Ting? You keep looking at the bamboo house.” Bai noticed his friend had been distracted and his gaze kept straying to the bamboo house.
“Xiao Wu is inside. I was worried she might be bullied.” Tian shared his concern with this friend.
“Vice-captain, why are you worried about that rotten woman? She beat Shui last time. Who’d be fierce enough to bully her?” Ning Fei[ID] said.
Lu Zhong[ID] joined in. “Yeah, that woman is so bad. Vice-captain, you should only be worried about Feng Ting. Feng Wu isn't qualified to be your sister."
“Lu Zhong, I consider you a friend. So I will ask you to not talk about my sister that way.” Tian glared at Lu Zhong. He directed his words at Lu Zhong but he made sure to catch Ning Fei’s eyes as well.
He intended to be a good brother. Obviously he wasn’t going to let his friends bad mouth his little sister in front of him.
Lu Zhong and Ning Fei exchanged glances. It looked like Tian was serious. If they didn’t want to break their friendship, they would have to stop badmouthing Feng Wu. They didn’t want to lose a good friend over such a rotten girl so they kept their mouths shut.
It was the first time Bai heard about his sister being beat. Both his sisters were adored in their house. They were spoiled and had never been physically disciplined.
Suddenly he just learned his younger sister was beaten? And she was beaten by a girl who was known all over the kingdom as a person with broken cultivation. How was that possible?
Bai nearly laughed out loud.
Thinking about Feng Wu’s broken cultivation, even if his sister wasn’t a peerless master, there shouldn’t have been a problem dealing with Feng Wu’s broken cultivation. It was hard for Bai to believe what he’d just heard.
“You said Feng Wu hit Shui? What’s going on?” Bai didn’t think it was true. The two boys were good friends with Shui so there was no way they’d make such a strange joke.
Ning Fei and Lu Zhong looked carefully at Tian. They didn’t want to say it, but the captain asked… they only needed to not badmouth Feng Wu.
Their description of what happened was biased towards Shui. The girls met on the mountain and there were some words exchanged. Eventually Feng Wu got so angry she hit Shui. Feng Wu refused to apologize and became even more belligerent, but because they wanted to give the vice-captain some face, they let her go.
Bai pressed his hand to his forehead. Did these guys think he didn’t know what their personalities were like? “Jin Li,[ID] you tell me what happened.” He trusted Jin Li’s interpretation of events more than these other two guys.
“We met Feng Wu and some of her friends while we were in the middle of a mission in the virtual world. Shui said a lot of ugly things and provoked Feng Wu. Feng Wu, don’t know when she gained abilities, but she managed to slap Shui before any of us could react. After the slap, Ning Fei and Lu Zhong demanded an apology from Feng Wu. Feng Wu refused, so those two fought Feng Wu’s friends. They didn’t think Feng Wu’s friend recorded the incident. To keep things from getting worse I took our group off the mountain.”
Jin Li was objective and didn’t add unnecessary opinion to the story. His retelling stuck to the facts.
“So that’s why Shui said all those things to me before. She was pestering me the other day when she came back and kept telling me to ignore and scold Feng Wu. When I asked her what had happened, she only told me Feng Wu hadn’t given up on me and was trying to use Feng Ting to get close to me. Turned out she was too ashamed to tell me she was beaten."
Bai touched his chin and turned to look at Tian. “Tian, my younger sister was beaten. I’m not going to let that slide.”
Tian’s face didn’t look good. He knew Qui house people were short-tempered. If Xiao Wu didn't apologize to Shui, he was afraid Bai would personally seek Xiao Wu out to get justice. They had been friends for a long time so he knew how ruthless Bai was. He didn't think his sister would be able to stand up to his friend, especially given her secret crush.
“I will have her apologize. No matter the provocation, she shouldn’t have used violence.” Tian made a serious promise to Bai. Xiao Wu was in the wrong and she needed to apologize properly. Fortunately the families had a good relationship, so an apology would be enough to settle the matter.
Feng Wu had no idea her brother had already promised an apology. She was walking around the outside of the bamboo house with Feng Ting and the other girls.
The crowd was loud and cheerful. Shui didn’t follow her sister, but tagged along with Feng Ting. The smile on her face was so weird it made some of those who saw feel weird.
She couldn’t conceal the excitement in her eyes. The curve of her smile grew wider and wider. She couldn’t wait to see Feng Wu humiliated.
Daughter’s day was a rare opportunity to make good relationships, so many male guests were already looking for their lady interests. Soon enough couples began to form.
Even though Feng Ting was a concubine-born daughter, her beauty was enough to attract several men. Although her status wasn’t as good as a daughter of the main line, she was much more talented than the actual main line daughter, Feng Wu. Anyone who wanted to join with the Feng family would prefer her over Feng Wu.
Unfortunately for them, Feng Ting had her own ideas. She tactfully refused all the men who approached her. But her rejection was so gentle and graceful that no one was offended.
There were plenty of men who approached Shui as well. As the second main daughter of the Qui house, her status was much higher than Feng Ting’s. Naturally the quality of men who approached her was different.
Feng Ting was jealous, but she maintained a benign expression so no could tell what she was thinking.
Yi Lin was another matter. She was a Feng cousin too! Why weren’t there any men approaching her? What was wrong with their eyes?!
Feng Wu was watching the fireworks when a voice called out to her. She recognized the voice so she turned her head happily.
Sure enough it was her brother. But beside him were the mean people from before. Feng Wu ignored them.
Ning Fei and Lu Zhong snorted when they saw Feng Wu. They couldn’t say anything bad since Tian was there.
“Brother!” Feng Wu ran into her brother’s arms giving him a big hug. She rubbed her head happily against his chest.
Ning Fei and Lu Zhong’s mouth nearly dropped to the floor. Was this the same Feng Wu?
Everyone knew the person Feng Wu hated the most was her brother. The siblings never talked to each other. But now she was so affectionate? This wasn’t right. Something was fishy. She had to be trying to divide their friendship!
The more they looked at it the more believable it was. That nasty woman, she was definitely trying to drive a wedge between them!
Bai rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he looked at the siblings.
“Xiao Wu, have you been good? Has anyone bullied you?” Tian had been so worried. He was worried she would get bullied. He was worried she’d lose her temper and fight with the other ladies. He was afraid Grandfather would get mad and scold her again.
“I was good. No one bullied me.” Feng Wu let her brother pat her head as she talked.
“That’s good.” Tian smiled and rubbed her head twice more.
Feng Ting’s heart turned cold as she looked at the heartwarming scene between the two siblings. Did Tian only care about Feng Wu? Would he no longer care about her? She didn’t want to be ignored, and she didn’t want him to dote only Feng Wu, so she called out in an aggrieved voice.
Tian looked to Feng Ting. “Ting Ting.”
This only made Feng Ting’s heart more uncomfortable. Before Feng Wu came back, she was the only sister in Tian’s heart. But now she had to share the position with Feng Wu. After ten years of being close siblings, she was being relegated to an extra. It looked like there was no way to overcome the issue of her having a different mother.
“Vice-captain, remember you promised the captain you make this bad…er you’d make Feng Wu apologize.” Originally Ning Fei wanted to scold her but fortunately he corrected himself in time.
“Yes, yes! Vice-captain, she has to apologize, right now. She has to apologize for hitting Shui.” Lu Zhong spoke up from the side.
Tian gave them a cold glare. Then he turned in a circle while stilling hugging Feng Wu so she could face Shui.
“Xiao Wu, Big Brother heard you hit Shui. It’s wrong to hit people. You know you should apologize to when you hit people right?” In the end he didn’t use his position as an elder brother to force her to apologize, instead he tried to explain why she should apologize.
He was encouraged by how much she had grown up recently. He hoped she could see the error of her ways and apologize on her own.
Feng Wu looked at her brother then at Shui. Her mouth was puckered tight but she didn’t speak.
Why was Brother asking her to apologize? These bad guys scolded Little Bun. She didn’t like them so she wasn’t going to apologize.
But if she didn’t apologize her brother wouldn’t like her anymore. Her brother treated her well, just like the brothers of the girls who lived under the mountain. He spoiled her and bought her delicious food. She didn’t want to lose her brother, but she didn’t want to apologize either.
Feng Wu was at a loss. She didn’t have experience with these kinds of problems. She didn’t know what to do so she switched to her default mode, which was to look down and not speak.
“Xiao Wu?” Tian called out to her several times but couldn’t get her to react. Was she unwilling to apologize because she was angry again?
“Xiao Wu, you should apologize. You shouldn’t have hit Shui that day. Everything will be better once you apologize OK?” Feng Ting walked over and tried to hold Feng Wu’s hand, but Feng Wu hid her hand behind her back, not letting Feng Ting touch her.
“Xiao Wu!” Feng Ting cried out, her feelings hurt. Pity Feng Wu lowered her head even more and didn’t acknowledge Feng Ting at all. All she could see was the top of Feng Wu’s head.
“Xiao Wu! You’re bullying Ting Ting again! You’re always like this! Is it because you're jealous Ting Ting is better than you!? You’re so narrowminded!” Shui glared angrily at Feng Wu. She was being mean on purpose by not accepting Feng Ting’s kindness.
Lu Zhong and Ning Fei naturally looked at Feng Wu with the same unhappy eyes. Feng Wu was just not nice!
“The only reason you can bully people is because you’re a daughter of Feng house. You don’t know how to repent. No wonder the captain doesn’t like you. It’d be weird if anyone likes you.”
“Hurry up and apologize to Shui. And to Feng Ting too!” Lu Zhong shouted.
The whole thing was giving Tian a headache. He wasn't sure how, but things were getting more and more troublesome. They were overreacting.
He knew Xiao Wu never liked Feng Ting so he wasn’t going to force his younger sister to get along with Feng Ting. Anyways it wasn’t unusual for main daughters to not get along with concubine daughters.
He was upset Lu Zhong demanded an apology from Feng Wu for Feng Ting. Feng Ting and Xiao Wu were from his house. Even if Xiao Wu did something wrong, it was up to their house to reprimand her. Lu Zhong and the others were out of line.
Bai cut in. “Lu Zhong, the affairs of Feng house are managed by Feng members. Plus Tian is right here.”
Lu Zhong realized his mistake. He closed his mouth and stop yelling at Feng Wu to apologize.
Ning Fei was about to stop Lu Zhong but the captain beat him to it.
Both of them were sons of big families, so even if they weren’t as politically minded as Tian and Bai, they were no fools.
But sometimes mistakes were made and reminders needed to be voiced.
It was just that Shui was a spoiled princess in her house. She never understood the concept of overstepping one's bounds. She only knew that her friend was being bullied by a crippled cultivator, so how could she not demand an apology on her friend’s behalf?
“We’re giving you a chance to apologize, but you still refuse? Don’t pretend to be stupid. Today, there’s no way you’re getting off until you apologize to be me and Ting Ting!” Both her brother and her friends were there. She wasn’t afraid.
Feng Wu didn’t raise her head. Her image was still that of a frozen piece of wood.
Bai frowned as he watched his sister carelessly act out. He began to wonder at the repercussions of everyone in the family spoiling her so much.
Dare tell a main daughter to apologize to a concubine daughter? If she was bullying a small no name family, it would be one thing. After all the strength of the Qui house was undeniable. Even if the other party resented it, they would follow the order and wouldn’t dare retaliate.
But the person she was bullying was a Feng member. Feng house was just as powerful as the Qui house. Only a brainless idiot would dare. Unfortunately the brainless idiot was his little sister.
In a loud whisper he said, “Enough Shui!” then he looked at Feng Wu and said, “Feng Wu, as long as you apologize to my sister for hitting her, we can put this entire thing behind us. No one will pursue the matter further.”
“Brother!” Shui didn’t think he would do that. How could Feng Wu get off with such an easy thing? No. She wouldn’t be satisfied unless she slapped Feng Wu a few times.
“I said that’s enough.” Bai gave his sister a hard look. The warning was clear in his eyes.
Shui knew her brother’s temper very well. He would put up with her temper tantrums, but she had to be careful not to cross the line and make him mad. When he got angry, he didn’t care and didn’t give anyone face.
Shui closed her mouth, not daring to aggravate her brother further.
“I won’t apologize.” Feng Wu finally spoke up in an aggrieved voice. She slowly raised her head. Her voice had been soft but there was an undeniable stubborn streak in it.
“Xiao Wu, don’t be stubborn. As long as you apologize this thing will be all over. Since Bai promised not to pursue the matter, no one will pursue it after this.” Tian stared at Xiao Wu closely, trying to decipher her expression. He didn’t want Xiao Wu to get caught up in the drama.
“She’s a bad person. She scolded Xiao Ye.[ID] I won’t apologize to a bad person.” Feng Wu turned her head and stopped looking at her brother. Feng Wu wanted a brother, but she would give him up if he insisted on siding with the bad people.
Tian was about to try again when a commotion broke out. There were many people clustered around the gate staring at something. They oohed in excitement, as though they were seeing something extraordinary.
“Oh my goodness! Is that the Silver Moon prince? He’s divine! I’ve never seen anyone so good looking.”
“He’s way more handsome than Qui Ruo Bai and Feng JunTian. Really worthy of being called the prince of Silver Moon. As beautiful as the moon…”
“I wish I could talk to him…”
“Dream on. Have you not seen all the princesses here? Besides even if the princesses weren’t here, there’s still Qui Ruo Bing and Lan Lanzhou. We don’t have a chance.”
“Have you heard? The third princess has taken a fancy to the prince and intends to marry into the Silver Moon kingdom.”
“Really? The third princess has good foresight. I’ve never heard of any man catching her eye. Now we’re finally looking at one.”
“What’s so strange about it? The prince is so good looking and he has a noble background. It’s only natural so many girls would be attracted to him. The question is, who would dare fight the princess for him?"
The gossip easily floated to Feng Wu and the others. They finally realized the VIP guest had finally arrived.
Some people couldn’t see over the crowd so they couldn’t tell if the prince was as beautiful as the girls said.
Tian decided it wasn’t the right time to talk about the apology anymore.
The Silver Moon prince’s visit was a big deal, especially because the prince was likely to be the kingdom’s next emperor. Any personal squabbles could be addressed later.
“Ting Ting, let’s go look. I’m really curious what he looks like.” Shui forgot all about the apology, distracted as she was by the prince.
She didn’t have any special designs on him, she was just genuinely curious what he looked like. Was he really that handsome? Rumor had it that the people of Silver Moon kingdom had the moon’s protection, all the citizens were beautiful. Was it true?
Shui had originally wanted to go to the third floor and ask Princess Rong Hua, but her sister was worried about her upsetting the princess so she wasn’t allowed to go up.
She didn’t understand what was going on with her sister today. In years past she was allowed to go up and play. The queen and the princesses all liked her, so why wasn’t she allowed to this year?
Shui had a bad temper and didn’t understand subtle nuances. She wasn’t smart and didn’t understand her sister’s motivation.
Bing didn’t want Shui to go up and start asking questions because she didn’t want the princess to start doubting her.
Lanzhou was fine because she was set to be an imperial concubine, she just hadn’t decided which imperial household she would marry into yet.
Princess Rong Hua was interested in marrying into the Silver Moon kingdom by marrying the prince. If Shui were to go and ask now, then the princess might suspect the sisters were interested in him as well.
To the public Princess Rong Hua was graceful and generous, but in reality she was petty and suspicious. Bing spent a lot of effort to get into the princess’s inner circle of friends. She knew when to lay low to prevent the princess from being suspicious of her.
Unfortunately Bing didn’t dare tell Shui these things.
“OK. Xiao Wu, want to come with us?” Feng Ting asked.
Feng Wu turned her head away and ignored Feng Ting, leaving Feng Ting to laugh awkwardly.
“Huh! Don’t know good when she sees it. Ting Ting let’s go. Don’t bother with her.” Shui grimaced at Feng Wu and pulled Feng Ting towards the crowd.
Tian smiled helplessly at the scene. Xiao Wu was obedient but she was still as stubborn as ever. As long as she thought she was doing the right thing, no one would be able to move her.
Feng Wu was unhappy because everyone, even her beloved brother, wanted her to apologize to the bad guys. She felt deeply wronged.
Master told her she didn’t have to listen to other people speak badly about her. She could hit them if they wouldn’t stop. She listened to Master’s words. The bad people said mean things about Little Bun so she hit them. But her brother said she was wrong and he asked her to apologize to the bad people. But they were bad people so she wasn’t going to!
Feng Wu missed Master so much. She was caught up feeling down and didn’t notice the crowd was moving towards her. Silver Moon’s prince was moving in her direction and the crowd was following him.
Feng Wu looked up and incidentally saw the prince through the crowd. Her eyes lit up.
She rushed out like a cannonball, pushing through all the nobles ladies who were in her way. Before anyone could react, she had already rushed into the prince’s arms.
“What?! Who was that?!”
“Too shameless! How can our ancient eastern kingdom have such a loose girl?!”
“Wait and see. His Highness is definitely going to push her away!”
Someone recognized the figure. “Isn’t that Feng Wu?”
“No! Isn’t she secretly in love with Bai of the Qui house? How can she embrace another guy?”
“Why?! She’s shameless that’s why!”
“Ridiculous! How can we have such a shameless woman in our country?! What will the prince think of us? She’s bringing shame to all ancient eastern girls!”
Princess Rong Hua kept a serene smile on her face but her hands were fisted inside her sleeves. She never expected someone would be so bold. All the noble ladies knew she had her eyes on the prince and intended to unite the country with the Silver Moon kingdom through marriage. Now this audacious girl dared seduce the prince right in front of her! Clearly the girl didn’t want to live. She would pay dearly once the prince left.
These vicious thoughts passed through the princess’s mind as she waited for the prince to push the shameless hussy away.
The prince did push her away as everyone expected.
Feng Wu was no longer pressed against his body but her arms were still tenaciously gripping his waist. Her eyes were red like she was about to cry.
“Shit!” Tian muttered. He regretted not holding on to Feng Wu. Now… shit shit! How was he going to save her? It was his fault for pushing her too hard!
Bai frowned. What Feng Wu just did, it would create a lot of trouble for Feng house.
Bing watched the scene coldly from behind Princess Rong Hua. What was going on?! The drugs shouldn’t have kicked in already! Although she wanted to avenge her sister, she would never have chosen the current time. The dosage required at least half an hour to take effect. Bing didn’t understand!
Yi Lin walked away from the bamboo house alone. She didn’t want anyone to suspect her. She never expected Shui would be so ruthless! What kind of drug did she use? Would Feng house be implicated?!
Even if her ambitions were thwarted, she would never have stooped to harming Feng house. She wasn’t stupid. She knew Feng house was her strongest backer. As long as there was a Feng house, it wouldn’t matter who she married, her future husband’s family wouldn’t dare treat her coldly.
She knew Shui had something planned, but she hadn’t said anything because she wanted to please Shui. She even promised to help.
But now it wasn’t just about humiliating Feng Wu, it was about the entire Feng house. There wouldn’t be any direct punishment but all the Feng girls would suffer a blow to their reputations!
It wasn’t just Feng Wu in Feng house, she was involved as well! She was the one who invited Feng Wu!
Yi Lin’s intestines were knotting up in regret. She wasn’t the only one, Feng Ting was regretful too! She never expected Shui would use such a heinous trick to target Feng Wu.
She would have stopped it if she’d known. If Yi Lin could think of it, of course she would realize it too. She hated the current situation.
Why didn’t they pick a different time to give the drug to Feng Wu? Doing it during the Silver Moon prince’s visit, this not only harmed Feng Wu, it also harmed her! It would ruin her chances for a good marriage! It would impact the rest of her life!
God how she hated Shui! If that girl thought of her at all, she wouldn’t have pulled such a dirty trick!
The thought of how Feng Wu’s reputation would affect her future outcome made her eyes red. Feng Ting’s legs nearly gave out from under her.
Little did she know, Shui was even more surprised than she was. How did the drug take affect so fast? She hadn’t intended for Feng Wu to make a fool of herself with the Silver Moon prince! It wasn’t just Feng Wu, this would affect the entire Feng house!
Shui’s face was as pale as a ghost. She couldn’t even imagine the fallout if anyone knew that the whole thing was her and Bing’s idea. She was afraid her house would also suffer along with Feng house if the royal family every found it.
After all what was the most important thing for a house? Well reputation of course! Grandfather would ounish her severely if he found out she had anything to do with it.
Shui trembled in fear just thinking about it. She didn’t know what kind of punishment she would get. Little did she know the man[notes] next to her wanted to strangle her.
Everyone was suitably shocked, but the Silver Moon prince was about to shock them even more. The look on Feng Wu’s face had surprised him. He leaned back and mussed her hair.
“Xiao Wu, what’s wrong?”
“Senior Ming Xi.” Feng Wu uttered his name before burying her face back into his chest, refusing to say more.
Ming Xi had gone home after returning from taking the second-years to train.[notes] While he was home, his father received a call from the ancient eastern countries asking for help. As a result Ming Xi went to the ancient eastern countries ostensibly as a visitor.
He never expected to see Feng Wu. Certainly never under such conditions.
From Ming Xi’s understanding of Feng Wu he could tell she’d been wronged. Her eyes were red and face wasn't right. She didn’t look good.
She appeared stoic and expressionless, but she was actually a sensitive girl and especially susceptible to certain hurts.
“Hey, don’t be sad. Can you tell me what’s wrong? Maybe I can help.” Ming Xi held her in his arms, trying to comfort her as best he could.
Ming Xi was still holding Feng Wu so had to turn his head to speak to the queen and the princess. “Your Royal Highness, Princess, please excuse me. I’ll be leaving first. There is something I must discuss with my friend.”
No one expected this! This… this… it meant Prince Ming Xi knew Feng Wu, a person with broken cultivation! How was this possible?!
Why her?! What qualifications did this broken cultivator have to know Silver Moon’s future emperor?! Many of the smaller houses were unaware of Feng Wu’s motherhood status, but the bigger houses all knew. This was because the bigger houses hadn’t spread the news, so the smaller houses didn’t know.
Therefore most only knew that Feng Wu was a failed cultivator, but they didn’t know she was a mother.
Those in the know were so shocked their mouths nearly dropped to the floor. How was this possible? They had to be seeing wrong. Feng Wu knew the prince of Silver Moon? This was even crazier than news of her being welcomed back into Feng house.
“Prince Ming Xi has something to talk about, of course. But please remember to not stray too far. Your safety is of the utmost importance.” The queen was the queen. Even if her heart was raging madly she still behaved accordingly, with dignity and graciousness. She didn’t show the slightest bit of displeasure at Ming Xi’s departure.
Ming Xi nodded. He took Feng Wu’s hand and left, but because of the queen’s reminder, he didn’t go too far.
Princess Rong Hua watched jealously as they left. How?! How could such a notorious woman snatch her future husband from her?! He’d been indifferent towards her, but just now he had been so gentle with Feng Wu!
Lanzhou and Bing were standing next to the princess. They exchanged glances but stayed silent.
The queen patted Princess Rong Hua’s hand and acted as though nothing had happened. As in previous years, she had the ladies write their notes to be put in the lanterns before setting it afloat down the river.
Her mother’s gentle reminder brought Princess Rong Hua back to her senses. She was an imperial royal princess; how could she give a show for others to enjoy. The thought buoyed her spirits and she returned to behaving like a princess, poised, graceful, and charming. She didn’t comment on Ming Xi leaving with Feng Wu.
Of the four remaining princesses, only the eldest princess was Princess Rong Hua’s full-blooded sister. The other three were secretly happy while they watched the drama.
Ming Xi was such a good catch, naturally Princess Rong Hua wouldn’t be the only one who fancied him. However she relied on being the queen’s daughter and suppressed the other three princesses. She’d been watching them like a hawk and didn’t allow them to get close to Ming Xi.
None of them dared say anything about her suppressing them. She had a strong mother and was also the king’s favorite. Whether it be status or affection, they couldn’t beat her. The three princesses had no choice but to shut up and give up.
Unexpectedly they didn’t have to make a move; someone else made it. And that someone even succeeded! It didn’t matter who the person was, they were happy as as long as that person defeated Princess Rong Hua.
Ming Xi and Feng Wu didn’t know anything about all that. They had found an out of the way corner where Feng Wu was telling him what happened. Her face was downcast as she told him how strong the bad guys were. They were so powerful; they even got her older brother to tell her to apologize.
Her pitiful eyes tugged at Ming Xi’s heart. “It’s OK. Don’t apologize if you don’t want to. It’s not your fault.”
Feng Wu’s eyes lit up at his words and her spirits soared. He was just like Master! Master wouldn’t have told her apologize either!
“Yes. Master said I should fight back if anyone bullied me. I should hit them back until they’re afraid to bully me again.” Feng Wu had a wobbly, slightly crooked, slightly hopeful smile after she spoke.
This made Ming Xi even more unhappy with Tian. This brother of hers… The one in the Qui family knew to protect his sister, but this guy tried to shame Feng Wu by making her apologize. What a failure as an older brother.
“Your master is right. If someone bullies, you don’t have to be polite. If you can’t beat them, then find your seniors to help. Elena or Jier will be happy to help you.” Ming Xi reached over to pat her head.
“OK!” Feng Wu nodded her head happily.
They didn’t talk privately for too long since they were in a public space so they got up and rejoined the crowd again.
“Xiao Wu!” Tian called out to his sister and ran over to her as soon as he saw her reappear.
Feng Wu didn’t reply, she just kept her head down. Normally she would have rushed into his arms and rubbed her cheeks against him like a little baby.
He knew she was angry, but didn’t she understand he was trying to do what was best for her? Didn’t she know Shui was vindictive and would keep harassing her if she didn’t apologize? That girl would definitely plan something in the shadows.
“Xiao Wu, I know you’re angry, but I’m doing this to protect you.” Tian felt helpless. He was trying to help but she didn’t appreciate it.
Because of Feng Wu’s earlier “throw her arms and hug” display a lot of people were interested in her, so now she was the center of attention. They kept their ears perked to listen in. But how come no matter how hard they strained they couldn’t hear a thing?
You even put up a sound barrier? Come on! How are we to satisfy our curiosity? The people complained in their hearts.
“Perhaps you are considering what’s best for Xiao Wu, but your kind of consideration isn’t what she needs.” Ming Xi said softly.
Ming Xi said this with a soft angelic smile on his face, but Tian could feel the other party was not happy with him.
“Look at this. Afterwards tell me if you still feel Xiao Wu should apologize.” Ming Xi handed a stone object to Tian.
Tian reached for it then wove his consciousness into it. It was an imprint stone with the recording that Rain took when they were all in the virtual world together. She couldn’t use it so she had given it to Feng Wu. She had told Feng Wu to use her qi to transfer the recording onto another stone in the outside world.[notes]
Feng Wu obediently did exactly as Rain instructed. Then she left it in her storage ring and forgot about it until Ming Xi asked her about it while they were talking earlier.
After Ming Xi saw the recording he felt the two slaps were too light. That girl deserved a tougher beating.
Tian’s face turned green as he watched the recording. He thought they had traded the usual insults along the lines of Shui telling Xiao Wu had a crippled cultivation and probably some things about Bai not liking her. He assumed Xiao Wu lost control like she normally did and lashed out physically. He hadn’t realized the extent of what Jin Li meant when he said “a lot of ugly words.” His imagination was no where as inflamatory as the recording in the stone.
He would never have asked Xiao Wu to apologize if he’d seen this earlier. He would have demanded Shui apologize. Just because he didn’t want Bai to go after Xiao Wu didn’t mean he was afraid of him. Now that he knew the truth, even if Bai wanted to reprimand Xiao Wu, he wasn’t going to let it happen.
They had been good brothers for a long time. If it weren’t for the sake of getting justice for his sister, he wouldn’t confront Bai. It was too bad things reached this point. Even if it affected their brotherhood, he wasn’t going to let Feng Wu apologize to Shui.
“Xiao Wu, I was wrong. I won’t ask you to apologize to Shui anymore. You’re right. You didn’t do anything wrong.” Tian gently said as he rubbed her head.
“Mm. Brother is good.” Feng Wu threw herself into her brother’s arms like usual. As long as her brother didn’t ask her to apologize, then he was a good brother.
Bai, Shui and the others had a bunch of questions for Tian, but sadly they couldn’t ask a single one because Tian was with the Feng Wu and Feng Wu was with the prince.
Feng Wu was very happy that night. She had her brother on one side and Ming Xi on the other. They accompanied her to the water and watched as she set her lantern in the river with her wish note attached.
Ming Xi went back and spoke a few words with the queen and the princess. He stayed with Feng Wu for the rest of the festival that night. He couldn’t help but smile at her contagious good mood.
Would he have been so relaxed if he knew Feng Wu’s wish was to marry him? . . .
Feng Wu’s peaceful family life was interrupted several days after the festival.
The Qui family learned about Shui being attacked after the festival. How could Madam Qui let it slide? She brought her son and daughter to seek justice.
Bai knew how short-tempered his mother was, so he had originally wanted to keep her from knowing. He wanted to find another opportunity to go to Feng house and ask Feng Wu to apologize so they could put the whole thing behind them, but Bing “accidentally” let it slip. So now here they were in Feng house…the situation out of control.
Ning Fei and Jin Li also came along as witnesses. Madam Qui didn’t want it to be said she was causing trouble without reason.
Madam Qui and Madam Lan had never gotten along. Madam Qui was quick to anger and just as quick to fight, whereas Madam Lan was tender and loved to cry. Their temperaments mixed like hot oil and water.
But it wasn’t just their temperaments, there was a deeper reason they didn’t get along. That reason was Feng Hang.[notes]
Back in the when, Grandfather Feng’s top choice for Hang’s wife was the current Madam Qui.[notes] The Qui house also liked her and wanted her as a daughter-in-law. Madam Qui’s family knew so they were waiting for the proposal before declaring their preference for Feng House.
Madam Qui was a fierce and arrogant woman. She liked her men to not only be handsome, but masculine as well. Hang was a bronze god with a taciturn expression like an iceberg.
The Qui son was a fair skinned pretty man. This kind of man was certainly attractive to many ladies, unfortunately Madam Qui was not one of them. Her choice of husband would naturally be Feng Hang.
But things didn’t turn out the way she wanted them to. Feng Hang ended up falling in love with Madam Lan. It was doubly worse because she had always disliked the woman.
Madam Lan was a beautiful and honest woman and she had had countless suitors. Her manners were so loveable people couldn’t help but like her.
Such an honest and emotive woman would never mix well with the hot-tempered Madam Qui. In her eyes, Madam Lan had always been a spineless embarrassment of a woman.
She never imagined the woman she looked down on would get her position.
Feng house joined with Lan house and Qui house proceeded with their proposal. Madam Qui’s family accepted of course. It would have been strange if they didn’t. Even if it wasn’t their first choice, the Qiu house was still an impressive thousand-year-old name.
So in the end Madam Lan married into Feng house and Madam Qui married into Qui house. The two women lived their lives without intersecting for the most part.
Madam Qui lived happily with her husband. The pretty face she thought was girly was actually very manly. She eventually fell in love with him and the two lived a happy life together.
She always thought her life was better than Madam Lan’s. After all her husband didn’t take any concubines, but Feng house had a concubine. The oldest was even concubine-born. Ha!
Madam Qui’s children were all geniuses and beauties of the country. Her son was a recognized genius and her eldest daughter was a renowned beauty with countless suitors.
Madam Lan’s daughter, on the hand, was a broken cultivator. On top of that her character, manners, and heart were all bad. She was constantly getting in trouble and even had a child out of wedlock! Feng house lost a lot of face because of her.
All these things gave Madam Qui a sense superiority over Madam Lan.
But when she found out that her precious daughter was beaten by Feng Wu, a broken cultivator, she was furious. How could she not want justice for her daughter?!
She didn’t care the reasons why; she only knew her daughter had been beaten by a cripple cultivator. Madam Qui aggressively entered Feng house with her entourage; her demeanor overwhelmingly aggressive.
As soon as she entered, she demanded for Feng Wu.
Bai was frowning next to her. His thoughts were rebellious. Was his mother sure about this? Grandfather Qui and Grandfather Feng were good friends with each other. Running over to Feng house and making such a ruckus. Are you sure Grandfather Qui won’t be pissed when he finds out?
Shui wasn’t thinking as deeply as her brother. She was only thinking how great it would be when Feng Wu knelt in front of her and apologized.
Bing stared straight ahead with cold eyes. Her whole person was as cold as her name.[notes]
Ning Fei and Lu Zhong wished they could disappear into the wall. They didn’t want to be at the vice-captain’s house making a fuss. Auntie, can’t we solve this matter in a more civilized manner?! Can you not drag others down with you? Have a thought for the insignificant people here!
Jin Li, who never liked drama, really wanted to leave. Unfortunately there was no way out.
“Madam Qui, what’s the reason for the sudden visit?” As head of Feng house, Papa Feng had brought his son to the main hall to greet their guests as soon as he got word of Madam Qui’s arrival. He didn’t expect Madam Qui to have such an aggressive and imposing attitude. It was obvious at a glance she was here to cause trouble.
Tian used his eyes to ask Bai what was going on.
Bai gave a meaningful glance at his sister before shrugging very slightly.
Tian immediately understood his friend’s gesture.
The translation was, my mother found out about my sister being beaten and came here because of it. I didn’t want all this, but my mother refused to listen! So now here we are.
Tian knew his friend preferred to resolve issues by himself without involving his family. Madam Qui's presence today was definitely not Bai’s idea.
“For an important matter of course! Your daughter assaulted my daughter! Twice! How do you want to resolve this matter?!”
Xiao Wu hit Qui Shui? Did he hear right? No can’t be true.
Feng Hang’s first reaction was disbelief. As her father, he knew perfectly well his own daughter’s ability. Xiao Wu didn’t have the ability to beat Qui Shui. Never mind beat, Xiao Wu even touching Qui Shui would have been unbelievable.
Instead of staying at home and staying out of trouble you come to my house and start talking nonsense? Listen if my daughter had that kind of strength, I’d be walking on cloud nine here.
Though Papa Feng had a lot of thoughts on the matter the only thing he said out loud was, “Are you sure it was Xiao Wu and not someone pretending to be Xiao Wu?”
From his words it was clear he didn’t believe it. Honestly Madam Qui had a hard time believing it as well. What kind of strength did Shui have? What kind of strength did Feng Wu have? It would have been more believable if it was Shui beating Feng Wu.
If it hadn’t been for Bing’s repeated assurances and witness testimonial from the boys, she wouldn’t have come all the way to Feng house.
“You’re her father and you don’t know?! Your daughter, who knows where she learned to be so wicked and strong, but she’s gotten so big she even dared assault my daughter. You don’t believe me. Just ask your oldest daughter to confirm it. She wouldn’t lie to you!”
Bring Feng Ting out to verify the story? Papa Feng was more willing to believe the story now, but was Xiao Wu really so strong she could beat Qui Shui? Qui Shui’s strength was like a baby’s in his eyes, but in front of Xiao Wu her strength may as well be an elder.
Papa Feng had someone go and summon Feng Ting.
Feng Ting was confused at the summons. She saw the Qui group as soon as she walked into the hall. The atmosphere was antagonistic and she could tell something was up. Could Shui have told Madam Qui about Feng Wu beating her?
But that was unlikely, not with Shui’s pride. She wouldn’t easily share she was beat by a broken cultivator.
Feng Ting guessed it was Bing’s idea. Then when Shui saw how angry her mother was, she probably thought it was a good chance to get back at Feng Wu.
“Father, I’m here.” Feng Ting didn’t let on what was on her mind while greeting her father.
Papa Feng said, “OK,” then gestured to Madam Qui. “Your Aunt Qui says Xiao Wu hit Qui Shui. Is that true?”
“It’s true; it happened in the virtual world a few days ago.” Feng Ting had already thought how to act. She wouldn’t volunteer any extra information and only speak enough to answer the question truthfully. She belonged to Feng house. It was OK to spite Feng Wu in front of others, but while in front of her own house she couldn’t appear as though she was favoring Qui house.
“Tell me what happened.”
“The situation at the time was like this…” Feng Ting spent about ten minutes telling the story. Of course she left out almost everything Shui said. She glossed over it and only said Shui had scolded Feng Wu. She made sure to highlight the main point, and that was the two quarreled over some words. Later Feng Wu slapped Shui twice.
She didn’t notice Tian’s thoughtful gaze as he looked at her.
“There you have it. Clearly Feng Wu was at fault. I won’t make things difficult for you. Just summon Feng Wu. Have her kneel down in front of my daughter and apologize properly and we can leave it at that.”
Kneel down and apologize?! Everyone’s expressions changed when they heard that.
Shui was both happy and miserable.
Bai and Jin Li felt it was excessive. Kneel down and apologize? No matter how much Feng Wu may have hit, she was still a daughter of Feng house. If she were to kneel, wouldn’t that be the same as Feng house kneeling?!
Feng Ting was standing on the side. She would have just let Qui Shui return the two slaps or have Xiao Wu and Feng house apologize a little.
The family would agree even if they wouldn’t be happy about it. But to ask Xiao Wu to kneel? That was too much! Who would agree to that?
Feng house was just as big as Qui house. Let a daughter of one aristocratic house kneel to another in apology while inside her own home? No one with any dignity would allow that.
Even if Xiao Wu beat Shui, it was a dispute between children. It was already ugly enough a madam would intervene in a squabble between children, but to make such an outrageous demand? Do you want to tear the two families apart?
Feng Ting wondered if Madam Qui was crazy. How did someone with such a low IQ give birth to Bai and Bing? Luckily they weren’t as temperamental as Shui, otherwise Qui house would have fallen already.
Feng Ting’s heart warmed as she thought about Bai. She had liked him since she was a small, so she had worked hard to learn all kinds of things and advance her sword skills, just so he’d like her. She even lowered herself to please Shui, that brainless twit.
She had nudged Shui into disliking Feng Wu when she accidentally found out Feng Wu like Bai too. Because of Feng Ting, the relationship between Feng Wu and Shui got worse over time
Feng Wu had a bad temper and was impulsive but she was weak. As for Shui, even if she wasn’t that strong, she was strong enough to take on Feng Wu without a problem.
So every time they clashed, Feng Wu would lose. Fortunately it had always been a fight of words. Shui knew better than to be physically violent towards another person.
Instead Shui kept Feng Wu from making friends by encouraging other noble girls to shun Feng Wu.
She did this to kill Feng Wu’s dreams of marrying Bai. But Feng Wu refused to give up and kept fighting her. Feng Ting planted the love letter idea in Shui’s head and made her think it was her own brilliant one. Then Shui actually got Yi Lin to encourage Feng Wu to write it as a confession to Bai.
Feng Wu had no brains. She went off and wrote the love letter immediately afterwards. It was easy for Shui to get the letter. Once she did, she showed it to all the noble girls. Even some of the young masters saw it. Feng Wu was humiliated. She ran off to who knew where and returned home pregnant. It was wonderful. Just beautiful.
Feng Ting worked so hard because she wanted to marry into Qui house. But Madam Qui and Bing didn’t give her a chance. Especially Madam Qui. Every time the madam saw her, she’d have this disdainful look on her face. Bing ignored her once she saw that. She felt like she was a just a plaything for Shui.
She hated Madam Qui and Bing. Why spend time doing something thankless? She stopped bothering with them and instead focused on Shui and getting into her good graces.
This time Madam Qui came to Feng house. Feng Ting would be happy if both Feng Wu and Madam Qui suffered.
“Kneel down and apologize? Madam Qui speaks so outrageously.” Papa Feng didn’t normally smile, but now his face was frigid.
“Your daughter did something wrong. Isn’t it natural to kneel down and beg forgiveness with an apology?” Madam Qui always thought her children were the best. The children of other houses were nothing in her eyes. Feng Wu was even worse; she was rubbish, so it was perfectly naturally for someone like that to kneel and apologize to her daughter.
Papa Feng flicked his sleeve and put his hands behind his back. “Oh? Can your daughter bear it? Having my Xiao Wu kneel in front of her? She’s not afraid of earning ill fortune in the future?” His voice was cold.
“You dare curse my daughter?!”[notes] Madam Qui couldn’t tolerate a single blemish on her children. Of course she wouldn’t stand and listen quietly now.
“Humph!” Papa Feng snorted. He turned his head, not bothering to look at the shrew in front of him. He secretly rejoiced in his heart. Good thing he escaped marriage with her, instead the Qui house were the ones with the misfortune of handling her.
“Mother, we aren’t here to fight with each other. Don’t over speak.” Bai couldn’t take it anymore. Odds of them fighting would go up if they kept going back and forth like this.
“Humph!” Madam Qui snorted. She decided to give her son some face, so she turned her head away and stopped talking.
“Tian, go and call Feng Wu. She’s the other party involved. She should be a part of this discussion.” That was the only thing Bai could think of saying.
Tian turned to his father. He left to get Feng Wu after getting a nod from his father.
The atmosphere was frigid between the two groups. The hall was completely silent as they waited for Tian to return.
Tian returned ten minutes later with Feng Wu and Madam Lan.
Madam Lan was teaching Feng Wu an embroidery technique native to the ancient eastern countries. It was a technique young ladies were expected to learn as it was a praise-worthy skill.
Madam Lan was pleased. Feng Wu had never been interested in embroidery until now. She had always been intent on getting rid of her reputation for broken cultivation, so she preferred trying to learn swordsmanship. But now her baby had finally grown and was interested in listening. She had also wanted to teach Xiao Wu to occasionally make special dishes for her future husband. It would have been fun, but she never expected Xiao Wu's cooking skills could be so lethal. The cooking plan was aborted immediately.
Now she was trying to teach Xiao Wu to embroider. Unexpectedly, Xiao Wu was really good!
Feng Wu had been a bad cook back when she lived on Yuehua mountain too, which was why her chores involved cleaning, cutting firewood, mending clothes, and things like that. Her skills were naturally a good match for embroidering things. Never mind embroidery, Feng Wu had no problems sewing her own clothes.
Just as mother and daughter were learning together, Tian came and interrupted them, saying it was a request from her husband.
Madam Lan was shocked. Were they trying to drive her baby out again?! Madam Lan had been traumatized the first her father-in-law kicked her baby out.
This time, this time she would go with Xiao Wu and see Father-in-Law. Xiao Wu was too pitiful. She wouldn’t let her face Father-in-law alone. All kinds of preposterous possibilities filled Madam Lan’s head.
She refused to believe it wasn’t the case no matter how much Tian tried to explain. Madam Lan was sure her father-in-law was going to kick her baby out again.
He didn’t know what else to say. Forget it. His mother was just too good at imagining things. Sometimes it was impossible to talk sense into her. As a result Madam Lan came with him and Xiao Wu to the main hall.
“Why are you here?” Papa Feng was surprised at his wife’s appearance. He turned to Tian for an answer.
Tian: Don’t ask. I don’t know anything.
No response came from his son. He could only turn back to his wife and wait for a response.
“What’s wrong? You didn’t tell me Madam Qui was visiting.” Turned out Father-in-law wasn’t trying to drive Xiao Wu out.
Madam Lan glanced at the other group finally willing to believe Tian. As long as Father-in-law wasn’t trying to drive her baby out, anything else could be resolved.
Papa Feng smiled dryly. Things were only going to get worse with these two in the picture.
Who didn’t know Madam Qui looked at his wife unpleasantly? It was like a firework explosion whenever they got together. Although it was always Madam Qui who lit the flames…
“Madam Qui just arrived so it slipped my mind,” he lied without missing a beat.
“Oh. Why don’t we ask Madam Qui to have a seat?” She gestured the to servants. “Come, bring some cups and tea. Everyone please sit. Sit. We’re all friends. Don’t be so formal.” Madam Lan laughed lightly and gently. Her demeaner was a stark contrast from Madam Qui’s fiery one.
Madam Qui’s anger rose 100% at the sight of Madam Lan. “Your daughter beat my daughter. Have her kneel and apologize immediately. Otherwise don’t blame me for not giving you and your husband any face.”
Madam Lan’s eyes widened. “Xiao Wu, you really hit Qui Shiu?”
Feng Wu’s face was still as stiff as ever, but she did nod her head.
“Wow! You are so good! My Xiao Wu finally got so strong! No one can say you're a broken cultivator now. Mother is so happy for you!” Madam Lan pulled out her handkerchief and wiped the tears from her eyes.
Did you miss the point? Everyone else was stunned into silence. How did you equate hitting Shui with not being a broken cultivator anymore?
Well… it was true. Shui wasn’t powerful when compared to the rest of the world but when compared to her peers she was definitely strong. Even if Feng Wu wasn't on par with Shui, that Feng Wu could slap Shui proved she wasn't weak.
This kind of strength… you couldn’t classify as broken.
“Stop crying and stop behaving so foolishly. Have your daughter kneel and apologize!” Madam Qui was going crazy. This stupid Madam Lan! She was always like this! It drove her mad every time.
“Apologize? What for?” The bubble of tears in her eyes dissipated in the space of a single sentence. Truly, a magnificent gift. No one could beat her when it came to dramatic tears.
“You’re asking me why? You’re asking me why?! It seems you and your house are not contrite!”
“This is just an argument between children. As elders, you and I shouldn’t get involved. Moreover the strong are respected in this world. Shui is the kind of person to attack others with her words. If she is permitted to attack Xiao Wu like that, why can’t Xiao Wu hit back in defense? It's only because Shui was inferior that she suffered those strikes without retaliating. If this were reversed, I and my husband would never do something like this, going to Qui house to raise a commotion. How outrageous.”
No one expected the gentle, docile Madam Lan to have such a sharp tongue. Her words were reasonable, even they weren’t polite.
Papa Feng had been harassed by Madam Qui just now. Her behavior was shameful but he refrained from saying anything because of the relationship between the two houses. Of course he wouldn’t hold back if she got out of line, but he wanted to avoid verbally sparring with Madam Qui if possible. It would have looked unsightly, him head of house, arguing with a lady from another house.
He breathed a sigh of relief at his wife’s words. One woman arguing with another woman was acceptable. It was even better because Madam Lan's words cleared the air.
“You . . . you . . .!” Madam Qui was speechless. She was so angry she could only point an accusing finger at Madam Lan.
What did she mean? To say Shui didn't strike back because she was inferior. What was this business with her and Feng Hang[notes] not bringing Feng Wu to their house to make trouble if it been Feng Wu who was beaten?
Was it sarcasm? Was she being sarcastic? Madam Qui had truly underestimated Madam Lan. She had thought Madam Lan was just a simpering fool, unexpectedly her adversary had a sharp tongue and teeth to bite back.
You say Shui should have fought back if she had the ability? Fine I’ll make you eat your words.
“Shui, did you hear that? Madam Lan said you can hit back. What are you still standing here for? Go, go and give Feng Wu a vicious beating! Madam Lan said this is an argument between you children, so us adults won’t interfere!” Madam Qui sneered. She motioned Shui with her eyes, telling her to be merciless.
Hitting back was acceptable? Fantastic! Shui had promised her brother she would drop the matter and not hold a grudge if Feng Wu apologized, but now she was allowed to hit back without fear of Bai scolding her. It was great!
Shui walked out from behind her mother and stared hard at Feng Wu.
“Go outside and fight, don’t do it in the hall. No matter who wins or loses, the matter ends with this. I don’t want any further issues with the quarrel.” Papa Feng made a clear decision. It was only a fight. If Qui family got too serious, he would just stop it.
Madam Qui also knew the hall was not an appropriate place for a fight, so she nodded in agreement.
Madam Lan was a little worried about her baby, but this was Feng house. Her baby wouldn’t suffer in her own home. She and her husband would watch over her; they would step in and save Xiao Wu if the situation warranted it.
Everyone walked out back to the practice field. It was reserved for Tian’s exclusive use, so outsiders weren’t normally allowed. Currently it was empty.
“OK, the battle will determine things. You two, go and prepare yourselves.” Papa Feng stood in the center as he spoke. Feng Wu and Shui stood on either end of the field. Everyone else stood farther out to the left so the girls would be able to fight unobstructed.
Ning Fei was excited. “Captain, this time Shui will definitely teach Feng Wu a good lesson.”
“Yeah, I agree. That Feng Wu, she slapped Shui twice. It was all because we thought she was broken, so we didn’t think to defend against her. There's no way she can defeat Shui in a real fight.” Lu Zhong was certain Shui would beat Feng Wu.
Jin Li didn’t say anything. The affair had nothing to do with him.
Madam Qui had a sneer on her face. She fully expected Shui to win. Bing and Bai stood by her side, the same expectation in their hearts. It was inconceivable for Shui to lose.
Tian and Madam Lan looked at the field nervously. They were prepared to rush in and rescue Feng Wu if something went wrong.
Feng Ting laughed evilly in her heart. She knew Shui too well. She wouldn’t kill Feng Wu outright but she wouldn’t let her off easy either. Even if Feng Wu could avoid being crippled she would have to spend a long time in bed recuperating.
Feng Ting wanted to laugh when she thought about Feng Wu getting what she deserved. But she held it in and kept a suitably somber expression on her face, pretending to be the perfect older sister.
“There’s no need to prepare. We can start now.” Shui glanced at Feng Wu smugly. She was finally going to get to revenge for those two slaps to the face.
Tian frowned. “Xiao Wu, how about you?”
Feng Wu shook her head too. No need.
“OK then let the battle begin.” Papa Feng said in a loud voice before stepping aside and leaving the entire battlefield to the two girls.
“Feng Wu, don’t worry. Our houses have a good relationship so I won’t kill you. But that hand of yours that you slapped me with, I will destroy it.” Shui sneered. She was waiting for Feng Wu to shiver in fear. But Feng Wu was unaccommodating. Her face was as expressionless as a board.
“Pretending to be tough?!” Shui snorted. Suddenly a small cluster of green light appeared in the palm of her hand. Inside the cluster was some kind of plant. Though small, it was extraordinary looking.
It was Shui’s contract plant and would provide a supporting role in battle. The plant’s current level wasn’t high, but it would grow along with Shui as she got stronger.
“Go! Entwine!” Shui shouted.
The green light was full of Shui’s spiritual energy. At Shui’s command it rushed out at Feng Wu.
The light grew as it got closer to Feng Wu, eventually getting as big as three meters.
The magic plant looked like an ordinary fern plant once it grew to its full size, however it wasn’t easy to deal with. It reached out its sharp, toothy leaves toward Feng Wu. Clearly it wanted to bind her up.
Just when everyone thought Feng Wu wouldn’t be able to escape, she did something surprising. She bound up into the sky out of the plant’s range.
“Trying to escape?” Shui wasn’t worried. She chanted a spell and took manual control of the plant. The plant’s body turned incredibly flexible as Shui took over. She moved it upwards to attack Feng Wu.
Feng Wu was like an acrobat, and she evaded one attack after another easily. She switched tactics with the next one and instead faced it head on.
Everyone knew the best way to deal with a magician was to shorten as much of the distance as possible by pulling them into close combat. No matter how strong a magician was, most were weak when it came to hand-to-hand combat.
Shui wasn’t alarmed when she saw Feng Wu moving in close. She sneered, unconcerned. “I don’t know what happened to you. Your strength has improved, but even improved it won’t work. You can’t beat me. I’m not an ordinary magician. You want to decide the outcome with close combat? Come on then! Let’s see your efforts!”
A sword appeared in Shui’s hand. Yes it was a sword. She was a dual magician/martial cultivator.
There weren’t many dual cultivators because learning magic took a long time, so you wouldn’t have enough time to commit to practicing your swordsmanship. Trying to practice both meant you could, at best, be mediocre with both, but never truly excellent.
However here were a small number of geniuses who were able to excel at both. Whether it was magical arts or martial qi, they could cultivate both at the same time. Some even became sword and magic gods simultaneously.
The most famous was Longze-Jiamoer. He attained godhood for both before ascending to the heavens to pursue even greater power.
It was because of Longze-Jiamoer that dual cultivation became popular, but ultimately less than ten people succeeded in being dual cultivators.
So it was a shock to everyone that Shui was a dual cultivator. Feng Ting was the most surprised of everyone there. She didn’t not know Shui had such a good card up her sleeve. Shui said she kept Feng Ting as a good sister, but in actuality she’d kept such a good secret to herself.
Feng Ting hated Shui for being so guarded, but she didn’t let it show on her face. She stared intently at the field, trying to see if Feng Wu could escape Shui’s attack.
“How unexpected! Shui knows both martial and magical arts. Feng Wu is dead.” Ning Fei was excited.
“But Feng Wu is actually pretty strong. Compared to her broken cultivation, where she couldn't advance in either arts, she's completely different now. Too bad her opponent is Shui.” Lu Zhong was also surprised.
The two talked as though the outcome was already set, like Feng Wu was already beaten and bruised from the battle.
Feng Wu wasn’t intimidated. She drew out her own sword and clashed against Shui’s.
Shui’s swordsmanship wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t mastery level. If she was fighting against a regular sword user, then her victory would have been a foregone conclusion, however she was fighting against Feng Wu, a genius sword user. Her talent was heads and shoulders above Shui’s.
Shui blocked Feng Wu’s initial attack. Then she used Moving Clouds and Flowing Waters to counter. Every attack was aimed at Feng Wu’s right hand. Feng Wu would have already lost her arm if she didn't have her sword to block.
Feng Wu stepped back in a burst of wind. She blocked all of Shui’s attacks like they were nothing.
Shui thought Feng Wu was just a novice sword user, so she hadn’t given Feng Wu much thought, but now her face changed. She had been slapped twice by Feng Wu because she had underestimated her.
Feng Wu was stronger than Shui expected. She was overwhelmed at how difficult the fight was.
She retreated several steps to get some distance between them. Once she retreated enough she would be able to use magic again.
Obviously Feng Wu wasn’t going to let that happen. She rushed at Shui. By the time Shui pulled her sword to block, it was too late. A gash ripped into her skin. The cut was deep enough to leave a trail of blood down her arm.
“Ah!” screamed Shui. She grabbed at the cut with her uninjured hand and backed up several steps. Blood pooled at her feet as it flowed down her arm.
“Shui!” Her family screamed in worry.
After their initial shock wore off, Ning Fei and Lu Zhong also became concerned.
Madam Lan, Papa Feng, and Tian were relieved. They had been ready to rush in and interrupt the fight if Feng Wu was in danger, but fortunately Feng Wu was OK. In fact they were surprised she could win against Shui.
They had really underestimated her before.
Tian: Xiao Wu is so good!
Madam Lan: See, who says Xiao Wu is a broken cultivator?
Papa Feng: Admittance into Xingguang Holy Academy is so difficult. As expected, those who can enroll are geniuses.
Papa Feng was incredibly proud of Xiao Wu.
“It seems our family’s Xiao Wu won the match.” Papa Feng’s expression was still as cold as ice, but from his voice you could tell he was in a good mood.
“It’s not over yet! I can still fight.” Shui yelled out. There was no way she’d accept the defeat, not against this kind of useless person!
“The wound on your arm is deep. It’s better to see to it immediately.” Papa Feng frowned as he looked at Shui.
“I’m fine. I can keep fighting.”
“Shui, don’t try to be tough.” Bai looked uneasily at his sister’s bloody arm.
“It’s OK. I want to continue,” Shui said, refusing to admit defeat. She pointed her sword at Feng Wu. “I can’t accept losing to her.” The determination was clear in her eyes.
Madam Qui was confident in her daughter’s ability to win, after all Shui still had a bunch of good items she hadn’t used yet. After thinking it over, Madam Qui decided she wanted the match to continue. “OK, stop trying to convince your sister. Let her finish the match. After this we’ll go home and there won’t be any more trouble about this matter.”
Bai sighed, but nodded in agreement. He wouldn’t say anything else.
“Don’t think you can beat me like this. I’ll show you the gap between us.”
Shui suddenly took out a red pill after saying that. She popped it in her mouth, letting it melt on her tongue and flow down her throat. Her rank rose from 8th junior magician to 9th, then 10th! Then 11th! It kept going up higher and higher. It didn’t stop until she reached the 25th level. She stood as a senior level magician and sword master.
The pill Shui took was a forced enhancer that increased her level for a short period of time. It was the kind of medicine people normally reserved for life or death situations. They used it judiciously because it inflicted a great deal of physical damage to the body once the enhancement wore off.
Shui actually used the pill for such a minor match.
The face of the Qui members changed. They thought she’d just use some high-level scrolls and offensive spells. None of them thought she would dare use the pill. Didn’t she know it took over a year and a half of rest to recover after using it.
Bai regretted not speaking out more and stopping her from continuing. But since she took the pill, he was sure she would get the upper hand.
No one believed Feng Wu, who had only recently gained abilities, would have the strength to go against the advanced Shui.
Those watching had labelled Feng Wu the loser of the match.
But it wasn’t going to go the way everyone thought. Feng Wu wasn’t afraid. Shui had grown stronger, quickly rising 17 levels instantly, but it was only one realm higher[notes] than her previous strength.
She went from a junior magician and sword user to a senior magician and sword user. If Feng Wu was just a junior sword user then it would have been impossible for her to resist. But Feng Wu wasn’t a junior.
Shui’s wounded arm healed and her strength went up multiple levels. She glared at Feng Wu with murder in her eyes.
“Feng Wu! Take this!” Shui attacked. Her sword technique was like a tight weave without a single hole to exploit.
The attack would have left Feng Wu disfigured if she didn’t die from it.
“So young and yet so vicious. Tian’er, in the future make sure you don’t take this kind of person for a wife.” Madam Lan involuntarily cried out. She did not like Shui’s style of attack at all.
Tian: … I didn’t even say anything.
Clang! The two swords clashed. Feng Wu blocked successfully.
“Liquid Arrows!” Shui’s level was high enough that she could cast simple spells in seconds.
Shui’s water archery became advanced from the pill’s effect. Anyone hit by the arrows would turn into a fishnet!
Madam Lan’s cry had surprised Feng Wu.
She moved like a bird and dodged. But Shui’s attack was relentless.
Feng Wu kept evading, those she couldn’t avoid were batted away with her sword. Even after several minutes of intense fighting, Shui still failed to gain an advantage.
She couldn’t hurt a single finger on Feng Wu. She was thrown off-balance and her mood became unstable.
She couldn’t hurt Feng Wu with magic so she switched to using a sword for close combat. She resorted to using sword aura to suppress Feng Wu. Her techniques became more and more advanced as she moved; her body emitted a powerful sword aura as she did.
This improvement was a direct result of the pill. Despite this, she still couldn’t bridge the distance between her and Feng Wu.
The world of Yuehua mountain that Feng Wu came from was filled with sword masters, and her master was that world’s number one sword master. The number of sword techniques Feng Wu learned from her master would have blown Shui’s mind.
Feng Wu used the same level of skill to counterattack. She sealed all of Shui’s attacks. Shui couldn’t get the upper hand despite her increase in dual-cultivation level.
They fought on equal footing. Sparks flew as their swords clashed; the sound of metal on metal echoed across the field.
Shui couldn’t hit Feng Wu no matter what she did. Her anger overwhelmed her heart and destroyed her sense of reason. Darkness clouded her eyes and she took out a black sphere.
The aura from the sphere made everyone’s heart speed up.
“Thunder ball! How can you have something like that!” Bai yelled out. The indifferent expression he had before disappeared. His face turned as white as paper.
Madam Qui was shocked at what she was seeing. She wanted Madam Lan to watch her daughter be humiliated but she never thought of killing Feng Wu!
Even if Feng Wu wasn’t worthy of respect she was still a main daughter of Feng house. Knowing her father-in-law’s temper, she knew he would kill Shui if Shui killed Feng Wu. Even if Shui was fortunate enough to escape death, he would with 100% certainty destroy her cultivation. She would live the rest of her life without cultivation; she would be a waste!
Bing broke out in a cold sweat as soon as Little Thunder came out. Even if Shui managed to kill Feng Wu, she wouldn’t escape unscathed. If she herself didn’t die from the explosion, she would end up crippled. The damage she inflicted on her opponent would be nearly the same amount as the damage she would inflict on herself!
Even if she failed to get back at Feng Wu this time, there would have been more opportunities in the future. How could Shui not think of this? How stupid could she be?
Bing scolded her little sister for being a fool. She was willing to help her sister get revenge, but instead of using her help, Shui decided to jump headfirst and kill herself. Stupid!
The expression of the three boys, Ning Fei, Lu Zhong, and Jin Li also changed. This little ball was enough to blow up an entire mansion. Using thunder ball, wasn’t this Shui trying to kill Feng Wu?!
No matter how much they disliked Feng Wu, they recognized that she was a Feng member. They sniped at her and did a lot of trash talking, but they would never resort to killing her!
They understood if Feng Wu died under their hands, it would no longer be a quarrel between juniors, but a war between houses. Even if they had guts a thousand times over, they wouldn’t dare!
Didn’t Shui understand this?
She did. Initially she had only planned on cutting off Feng Wu’s hand, but the culmination of everything clouded her judgment. It had started with the cut, but when she couldn’t touch Feng Wu even after taking the enhancement pill, something in her heart shifted. It screamed at her. She wanted to kill Feng Wu! She wanted to kill Feng Wu! She wanted to kill Feng Wu! She would be a joke if she couldn’t kill Feng Wu today!
She didn’t notice the jealousy in her heart. She was jealous Feng Wu could be so strong without an enhancement pill, but her pride prevented her from acknowledging that jealousy.
“Qui Rou Shui! You dare!” Papa Feng Was furious. A junior from Qui house was actually trying to kill his daughter with a thunder ball? In her own home? Clearly she didn’t want to live anymore!
Shui’s movement would have been too fast for anyone else. The thunder ball would have exploded and blown Feng Wu to bits the moment it reached her. But there was one person watching who was faster. To be head of a major house, of course he was fast!
Despite the distance, Papa Feng appeared in front of Feng Wu almost instantly. He grabbed her hand and covered her in a bear hug.
Bang! A loud explosion rocked the field as the thunder ball exploded right in front of Papa Feng. Thick smoke covered the entire field after the ground violently shook. Everyone in the residence was startled.
“What’s going on?! Did someone dare attack Feng house?!”
“What is it?! Did a holy rank master come to Feng house for a challenge?!”
“Oh my god! Was it an earthquake?!”
Feng house guards ran out of the residence one by one. They pointed at the black cloud over the field.
“All of you, shut up!” roared Housekeeper Luo. The guards dispersed, not daring to speak as casually as before.
The bang had alarmed Grandfather Feng as well. He had been drinking tea in the tea room when the thunder ball exploded. He teleported instantly to the field where they had the match.
There was a huge hole in the ground. Cracks, big and small, stretching from the field. Papa Feng was in the center hugging Feng Wu tight against his chest.
Thanks to Papa Feng’s strength and the nine-level protective brooch he wore, they were both safe without a single scratch.
In fact even if Papa Feng hadn’t interfered, Feng Wu would have been fine. She had already sensed the danger. With her strength, even if she couldn’t avoid a direct hit, she would have only suffered minor injuries. It was just that her father rescued her before she had the chance to react.
“What’s going on?” Grandfather Feng’s powerful holy aura suppressed everyone. It was like their souls couldn’t even move. Fortunately Grandfather Feng had no interest in them and withdrew his aura before it became unbearable.
“Father-in-law, you have to speak for Xiao Wu. That little girl over there has a twisted mind. She had a match against Xiao Wu, but when she couldn’t win with her inferior skills, she took an enhancement pill to increase her rank. We didn’t say anything after she took the pill, but even with the pill she still couldn’t touch Xiao Wu.
I thought she would have a sense of moderation, but who knew this little girl, when she couldn’t beat Xiao Wu, actually wanted to kill her! She dared use a thunder ball!
I can’t imagine if this had been outside the family residence, what vicious means she would have used against Xiao Wu!” Madam Lan’s crying face was a work of art and portrayed her outrage and fear beautifully.
At about this time the after effects of the pill hit Shui. She vomited a mouthful of blood before promptly passing out.
“Shui!” Both Madam Lan and Bing flew to her side. They looked at her uneasily.
“Oh!? A young woman with such a vicious mind, she should be educated better. I will visit Qui’s grandfather later. He better be prepared to give a full account of the matter!” Grandfather Feng looked hard at the Qui family members. He was not going let this go. Qui house needed to understand there were ramifications for messing with Feng house. His house would not to be bullied!
He couldn’t allow other little girls to think they could hop over to Feng house and toss around thunder balls willy nilly without suffering serious repercussions.
Qui family quickly retreated with the injured and unconscious Shui. The three witnesses, Jin Li, Lu Zhong, and Ning Fei also left as fast as they could.
Grandfather waited until they left before getting to the bottom of the matter. “Alright speak. How did it end up that Qui Rou Shui was fighting with Xiao Wu?”
“Grandfather it was like this…” Tian recounted the incident, from how it started in the virtual world, to the events at Daughter’s day, and then finally to Madam Qui’s arrival.
Tian told the story in detail but he didn’t add extra spice to it. He kept it neutral stuck to the facts.
“Xiao Die[notes] spoke correctly. The strong are respected in this world. If you can’t beat other people, then you can only be beaten. That little girl suffered but didn’t want to work hard to improve her strength, instead she chose to rely on her family for vengeance. Humph! That girl from Qui house is just an untalented little one.”
Grandfather Feng snorted in disapproval. His gaze when he looked at Feng Wu was much kinder. This girl had fought for Feng house honor. She did good.
“Father-in-law, we can’t let her go. She refused to let the grudge go and tried to kill Xiao Wu.” Her children meant the world to her. She wouldn’t forgive Shui for trying to kill her daughter. Thinking of how Feng Wu nearly died made Madam Lan erupt in tears again.
Papa Feng walked over with Feng Wu. Madam Lan rushed over as soon as she saw them approach. She checked Feng Wu all over and made sure her daughter didn’t have even the smallest injury. She didn’t see any, but she wouldn’t be fully relieved until a doctor checked Feng Wu for internal injuries.
Things were not so good in the Qui residence. Bing had wanted her mother to teach Feng Wu a lesson, but in the end her expectations were betrayed. Instead of teaching Feng Wu a lesson, her sister became seriously injured.
The manner of their return created a huge uproar in the residence. Grandfather Qui and the patriarch were naturally alarmed over Shui – her injuries were not minor!
Naturally they were angry to see Shui returned with such a serious injury, but there was nothing they could say after Bai told them what happened.
What could they say? This girl was bold enough to take a thunder ball and release it in Feng’s residence. This rotten girl didn’t know how high the sky was. If it weren’t for the close relationship between the two houses, it wouldn’t have been out of line for Feng house to kill her on site.
Even though they were angry, they still called a doctor to heal Shui. Feng house would come for explanations soon. It seemed they would be able to resolve the matter without bloodshed this time.
No one told Feng Wu how the issue with Shui was resolved, nor did she ask. She ate well and slept well and didn’t think about Shui at all.
Feng Wu didn’t walk away from the fight with nothing. When the thunder ball approached her, she had a strong foreboding that death was one step away if she was not careful. That strong sense of life or death had opened her eyes. She retreated into closed door mediation for three days to sort out her experience. By the time she came out, Qui house had already delivered the agreed upon compensation. None of it stayed in Feng residence -everything was handed to Feng Wu.
Feng Wu was a rich young lady, she had so many good things in her storage ring. Some were from Madam Lan, some were from Tian, but most were from Qui house.
Without Shui harassing her, Feng Wu’s life returned to being peaceful. But dang it, it was only for a short time.
News came that Feng TianXing was coming home soon and she was bringing her daughter with her. The travel-worn mother daughter pair would arrive in a few days.
Xing was Grandfather Feng’s second daughter. She had always been strong and independent. But she didn’t grow up and marry a fine outstanding man from a big house, instead she volunteered to join the troops guarding the entrance between the blood and human races in Blood Moon forest. [notes]
She had left just a bit after Tian was born, about twenty years ago. Funny how fast time flew by. Her return was a joyous event for Feng house.
This time she was accompanied by a young girl, Feng Yanran. To describe Yanran as beautiful would have been an insult.
Ask anyone in the ancient eastern countries to list the best beauties and they would undoubtedly mention Princess Rong Hua, Lan Lanzhou of Lan house, and Qui Ruo Bing of Qui house.
But after meeting Yanran the answer would be Feng Yanran of Feng house.
Yanran’s beauty surpassed all three ladies. She eclipsed any beauty who dared stand next to her. Even Grandfather Feng and Papa Feng were stunned when they saw her. They had not expected the sweet child they knew to grow into such a devastating beauty.
Tian, who normally never bothered with beauties, had to do a double take. He didn’t have much of an opinion about Yanran, but even he had to admire her physical beauty. There wasn’t a single female in the world who could compare to her. Who’d have thought he’d meet a girl capable of holding a candle next to Ming Xi. More surprising still was the fact that she was his cousin.
“Sit down Xing, you’ve suffered these past twenty years.” Grandfather Feng’s eyes stung a little as he looked at his daughter. He owed this daughter the most. She had sacrificed a lot, spending her life at the borders protecting humanity from the Asura race.
“Father, this daughter has missed you greatly.” Xing threw herself into her father’s arms.
Grandfather Feng was known to be a strict elder in Feng house. Xing was the only one in her generation who was fearless enough to argue with him. It was clear from their interaction that father and daughter had a good relationship.
“OK, it’s good that you’re back.” Grandfather Feng secretly wiped at his eyes. He didn’t want the kids to see him be so fragile.
“Grandpa! I missed Grandpa a lot!” Yanran’s voice sounded like melodious fairy music. You could spend all day lost listening to it.
“Yanran, you’ve grown up so much. Grandpa remembers when I met you the first time. You were only five back then. In the blink of an eye, you’ve grown so big.” Grandfather Feng lovingly patted Yanran’s head.
It was probably because of the debt Grandfather had to Xing, but he was particularly sweet on Yanran.
Feng Wu had been jealous of her when they were little. She often stole Yanran’s toys and snacks. Of course she was reprimanded every time.
Current Feng Wu didn’t know anything about that past though. She watched the heart-warming scene with a stone face as she stood beside Tian.
Feng Ting wasn’t like Feng Wu. Feng Ting was green with envy. This girl . . . she was just a bastard! And yet she still got the Feng name and so much love from everyone. Feng Ting felt horrible inside, but she was practiced at keep her thoughts hidden. She fixed a smile on her face and looked like a well-behaved junior.
More words of care welled up from Papa Feng. “Let’s go eat. Your sister-in-law had the kitchen prepare all your and Yanran’s favorite foods. Remember to eat a lot. You haven’t had a homecooked meal in so long. The cook is still the same from when you were little.”
Xing’s favorite sister had suffered so much. He couldn’t help but treat her favorably.
“Brother, you and Sister-in-law haven’t changed at all. You both still look as young as the last time we met. Our children have all grown up though. It’s been ten years since they saw each other. Tian, Xiao Wu. You kids have grown up so much. Even you Ting Ting, you look much better now.”
Xing sighed. It was ten years ago that she sent Yanran back to Feng house. Too many things happened that year. It was the saddest, most painful year of her life. She could not protect her own daughter so had to leave her here, to be sheltered by her father.
It took two years for Blood Moon forest to calm enough for her to send for Yanran.
“Auntie.” Tian replied.
“Auntie.” Feng Wu replied without emotion.
“Auntie, you’re still so youthful. I remember when I first met Auntie. Auntie was beautiful then too. Even after ten years, you look exactly the same.” Feng Ting knew this aunt was highly regarded in the family, so she was eager to cultivate a good relationship.
Papa Feng smiled and nodded slightly. “It’s true, the three have really grown up. Ting Ting, you are especially beautiful. I wonder what man will be blessed enough to marry you in the future.” He didn’t treat her any different because she was a concubine daughter.
They talked as they entered the residence and sat down to eat.
“Go on eat. Xing and Yanran must be starving.” Grandfather Feng didn’t say much, only encouraged everyone to eat.
Feng Wu picked up her chopsticks and grabbed a piece of her favorite dish.
Tian and Feng Ting silently ate their food as well.
Yanran sat next to Feng Wu. She had wonderful table manners, was elegant and gentle when she ate. Simply a pleasure to watch.
Pity Feng Wu didn’t give Yanran a thought. She was busy eating. No one could grab her attention while eating.
The four juniors didn’t talk while they ate but the four elders talked to each about different topics from time to time.
“Xing, recently there have been some abnormality in Blood Moon forest. What’s going on?”
This time there was a lot of trouble. There was an enchantment outside Blood Moon forest that prevented the Asura from entering the human realm and feed on human blood at will, but last month the boundary between the two realms became unstable. His Royal Highness became anxious and invited the ancient eastern countries’ Silver Moon kingdom’s prince, who had the blood of gods in his veins, to shore up the boundary.
“Something did happen. Four elders and my own teacher all disappeared mysteriously. The barrier was destroyed from the inside. If it weren’t for His Royal Highness inviting Prince Ming Xi in time, I’m afraid the Asura would have already rushed out.” Xing shared.
“Destroyed the barrier from the inside!? How did they know where the weak point was?” Papa Feng Was shocked. No barrier was perfect – there would always be a weak point somewhere. But that weakness was hard to find. It was a small as the eye of a needle. Other than the person who laid the barrier, it would be difficult for anyone else to find it.
“Regarding this matter, I do not know. The elders wondered if someone had revealed the barrier’s weakness. They were considering Senior Brother Lunsa, but he suddenly disappeared. It was at this time that my master and the four elders also disappeared without a trace. I immediately notified His Imperial Royal Highness, who then dispatched many people to investigate. Unfortunately they couldn’t find a single trail to follow.”
“Lunsa! It was actually him?! You really can’t judge a book by its cover. The first time I met him I thought he was just a pretty boy how liked to chase skirts. Unexpectedly, he’s actually a traitor, selling out his own people to the Asura!” It was not Papa Feng’s nature to curse others so he didn’t say much, but it was obvious from his tone he was very unhappy.
“It may not have been Senior Brother Lunsa. Everything happened so fast we can’t be sure. If I hadn’t taken Yanran out to hunt weaker Asuras for practical experience, I’m afraid I would be dead as well.
To be able to take all four elders and my master at the same time, whoever it is can’t be ordinary. I suspect it is an Asura from the royal line, otherwise it would have been impossible.
Senior Brother Lunsa’s private life is complicated and the suspicions regarding him are strong, but I don’t believe has the ability to contact Asura royalty.”
Papa Feng gave a guess. “He can’t contact Asura royalty directly, but he could have contacted lesser Asuras. What I can’t figure out is his motivation.”
“Actually before he disappeared there were rumors about him engaging in a relationship with a female Asura."
A loud bang erupted. Grandfather Feng had slammed his fist against the table.
“For a woman, he dared betray his country?! He’s nothing but a beast!” Grandfather Feng hadn’t been this riled up in a long time. For him, the most despicable thing was the person who would betray his family and country for some cheap affection.
When Grandfather was younger, he also had a good brother who was very talented and held great promise. Later, that brother met a princess from a nearby country. He dared steal national secrets for her before running away and eloping.Grandfather Feng chased him for seven days and seven nights. When he found them, he personally beheaded them, showing absolutely no mercy. It was because of this experience that Grandfather Feng hated those who violated their country’s trust for reasons of affection.
“These are all just unconfirmed rumors. I still can’t believe Senior Brother Lunsa would do something like this.” Xing shook her head in disbelief.
“OK, let us not talk about these things anymore. Eat, eat.” Grandfather Feng had calmed down and was now raising his chopsticks again.
But when he lowered his head to chose which vegetables to eat, he was greeted by a stunning scene.
There was nothing left.
Everyone: . . .
Madam Lan glanced guiltily at Feng Wu, who was calmly wiping her mouth. She was the only one who had had the time to dine with Feng Wu, so she was aware how much her daughter ate. It seemed she had instructed the kitchen to make too few dishes. She had forgotten to account for her daughter's bottomless stomach. What was to be done?
Regarding this matter, it had been ten days since Feng Wu returned. Tian was a sword fanatic so he practiced his swordsmanship every day in the field; Papa Feng was busy with work and social responsibilities, so he rarely ate at home; Grandfather Feng spent all day in meditation to improve his cultivation, and as a holy level cultivator he didn’t need to eat, so he only went through the motions when he felt like it.
This time he came out to eat for his daughter’s homecoming. He hadn’t seen her in many years, so he gathered everyone to have a meal together.
It was just that Grandfather Feng never expected the table would be empty before he could chew a single bite. He was angry.
Which cook failed to properly portion the meal correctly? Such small portions! Barely enough to coat anyone’s belly.
Tian, Feng Ting and Yanran couldn’t help but look at Feng Wu. Their eyes kept drifting back to her. How did she eat so much food and not have it show in her belly?!
Grandfather Feng naturally noticed the children’s gazes. His eyes widened as he stared at her. This girl was so hungry?! Young Miss, I did not get to eat at all. Do you think you’re some kind of lulu beast?!
He stared at her and she stared back. They calmly stared at each other without blinking. Finally after a minute of staring, Grandfather Feng couldn’t stand it anymore.
“OK, let Xing and Yanran rest. Xiao Die,[notes] next time be sure to tell the kitchen not to skimp on the portions. Just use everything we have.”
“Yes Father-in-law.” Madam Lan had been so frightened, she wanted to pat her chest. She thought Father-in-law wanted to send Xiao Wu away again, but it was just a false alarm.
After lunch, Xing and Yanran moved into the courtyard that Xing used to live in. Madam Lan had originally arranged another building with a good view for Yanran, but Yanran insisted on living with her mother so Madam Lan didn’t force the issue.
After mother and daughter left to rest, Father Feng and Madam Lan had a nice chat. “Have the tailor come and make some new pretty clothes for the girls. Get some nice accessories as well. Afterwards find someone to craft a few magical items too. This kind of stuff is more practical.”
“I know, I will. Since we’re bringing in the tailor, we may as well get all the children some new clothes. Xiao Wu will be going back to school soon; she could use some new outfits.”
“Good. You can take care of all these things. Remember to remind Jiao[notes] of Xing and Yanran’s return. Have her bring some of the children to visit. Jiao and Xing are sisters, they should visit one another.” He said this but he couldn’t help but frown at the thought of Jiao. Although they were sisters, one was savage and willful, the other brave and strong, standing guard in Blood Moon forest for twenty years to protect the country.
Later that afternoon, Jiao visited Feng residence with her kids. She arrived just as Madam Lan was asking the tailor to measure Yanran.
“Oh so this is Yanran, so beautiful even our country’s three most beautiful girls can’t compare.” Jiao recognized Yanran as soon as she saw her.
Not too long ago she had been informed about mother and daughter, Xing and Yanran’s, arrival so it was easy for her to guess the girl’s identity.
“These are your cousins. You met them when you were little. Do you remember?” In front of the younger generation, Jiao behaved reasonably and didn’t fly into a fit.
“Of course. I remember Brother Yi Yan, Brother Yi Tian and of course Sister Yi Lin. We used to play together when we were little. Everyone still looks the same.” Yanran looked at Yi Lin shyly as she spoke.
“You haven’t changed much either. “ Yi Lin’s voice was a little strange. She couldn’t help feeing disgusted. Who was this hussy trying to seduce with that face of hers? Distrust filled Yi Lin's heart.
Yi Meng and Yi Fei looked at their cousin enviously. How could there be someone so beautiful in the world?
The two Yi boys, stared completely enraptured at Yanran’s face. Words couldn’t describe how beautiful she was. They didn’t say anything else after returning her greeting, instead they stood quietly, only daring to sneak a peek at her from time to time.
“Here, this is for you to play with.” Jiao pulled a hairpin from her hair. It had an enchantment and a dozen coral beads embedded inside. It was obvious from a glance that it was a valuable hairpin.
“Thank you Auntie.” Yanran blushed as she took the hairpin.
As soon as she finished with Yanran, Jiao turned to Madam Lan and complained. “Sister-in-law, you are at fault here. How can you only make clothes for Yanran? My children are also your nieces and nephews. You can’t favor one over another!”
Madam Lan’s smile didn’t falter. “How can I not consider them?” She took the complaint in stride and called out to the children. “Children, come and have the tailor measure you. Tell her what colors you like and what fabrics you prefer.” It was just a few bits of cloth. It didn’t matter; the cost was negligible anyway.
After saying that Madam Lan took Jiao to see Xing.
The children remained in the hall to get measured and to choose their fabrics.
The moment the adults left Yi Tian was ready to make trouble. “Yi Lin said you were back, but I couldn’t believe it. You did something so shameful. I don’t understand how Grandfather let you back.” He had disliked Feng Wu since they were little kids. She was unreasonable and incompetent. She constantly bullied Feng Ting and his two younger sisters.[notes] Such a rotten woman. It would have been great if she never returned to Feng house.
“Yi Tian, that’s none of your business.” Tian stood up and glared at his cousin, the warning was clear in his eyes.
“What’s going on? What are you talking about Brother Yi Tian?” Yanran looked at him suspiciously.
Yi Tian had been dumbstruck at Tian’s glare, and he hadn’t dared say more. But his caution flew out the window the moment Yanran spoke. He immediately forgot about Tian’s warning and proceeded to curry favor with his beautiful cousin.
Indeed, a fool can be easily muddled by beauty.
“Sister Yanran, let me tell you, this Feng Wu is a bad person. We don’t know who she had relations with, but she was pregnant last year. Grandfather kicked her out of the house. She only just returned. She brought her bastard back with her too.”
Yi Tian was enthusiastically speaking when he got slapped in the face twice. The slaps were quite sharp and painful.
“You’re a bad person for scolding my baby.”
“What’s the big deal, he is a bastard? I was speaking the truth.”
Suddenly a loud bang sounded and Yi Tian flew out of the hall and down the steps before vomiting a mouthful of blood.
“Ah!” Yanran covered her mouth with one hand.
Both Yi Meng and Yi Fei screamed in unison. “Ah!”
“Feng Wu! You are so bold?!” He looked coldly at her. This girl dared lay a hand on his brother to this extent? She was going to regret it!
Yi Yan drew his sword to attack Feng Wu. This made Tian draw his own sword and nudge Feng Wu behind him.
“Yi Yan, that was Yi Tian’s overconfidence. If you want, how about you play against me instead? Tian guarded Feng Wu and kept her from having to face Yi Yan directly.
Yi Yan was not as impulsive or irritable as his brother. He was more thoughtful with a deep and vicious mind. He didn’t run to Feng house all day like Yi Lin either, in fact he rarely visited. Not knowing the situation, he didn’t dare act unrestrained. Grandfather Feng made it clear, Yi house was responsible for themselves.
“Brother Tian, are you going to protect her?” Yi Yan raised his eyebrows; obviously surprised Tian would guard Feng Wu. It was strange. Tian, who had never expressed concern for his sister, was suddenly protecting her. He wondered if something happened that he didn’t know about.
“Xiao Wu is my sister, of course I’d protect her.”
Yi Yan nodded. “I understand.” It looked like he had given up on avenging his brother for the moment.
Tian knew Yi Yan was a calculating person. Yi Yan wasn’t making a move because he wasn’t sure he would win. He would forebear for now, but he wouldn't be polite to Feng Wu if he saw an opportunity in the future.
Tian sighed in his heart. Add one more name to his sister’s list of hostile persons. The Qui girl had already been offended to death. He didn’t know if there would be any more unexpected things in the future. Now with the Yi brothers, Xiao Wu’s ability to attract hostility had apparently gotten stronger. It looked like he’d have to work hard to improve, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to cover her.
While Yi Yan was confronting Tian, the Yi sisters had already rushed over to the fallen Yi Tian and helped him up. “Second Brother, are you OK?!”
Yi Tian stared at Feng Wu with angry flames in his eyes.
“I’m OK. I’m not going to die.” He shook their hands away and shakily stood up, unwilling to show weakness in front of so many people.
“Brother Yi Tian, are you sure you are OK? I have good healing medicine if you need it.” Feng Ting took out a bottle from her space bracelet and poured out a black pill to hand to him.
Yi Tian blushed at the worry in her eyes. He accepted the pill and thanked her.
“Brother Yi Tian, if that’s not enough I have more potent medicine as well. Mother and I encountered all kinds of dangers in Blood Moon forest, so I always have a variety of healing medicines.” Yanran’s eyes were soft with concern.
“Sister Yanran, I’m OK. I’m sorry to have worried you.” Yi Tian’s face was completely red; he was so embarrassed.
This made Feng Ting unhappy. Men! They really did get stupid when it came to beauty. Before Yanran, Yi Tian would follow her like a dog all day, now all of sudden, he forgot her existence.
“That’s good.” Yanran’s cheeks had turned slightly pink. It was hard to look away from such a rosy picture.
Yi Tian was obsessed with it. How could there be someone so beautiful? He used to think Feng Ting was one of the rarest beauties in the world, but now faced with Yanran, Feng Ting blended into the background.
Just looking at Yanran made him forget about getting revenge against Feng Wu.
Madam Lan had learned her lesson. They couldn’t run out of dishes before dinner ended, so this time she had the kitchen cook for three times the amount of people.
The meal was peaceful, at least there was no unpleasantness. Yi Tian was smitten by Yanran and kept glancing her way or helping her with food from time to time. The whole thing made his mother frown.
But Jiao[notes] didn’t say anything. She knew her father’s temper. He wouldn’t give anyone face if they made trouble. So Jiao restrained herself and stayed silent.
The moment they returned to Yi residence, she ushered the children into her room to enlighten them.
“Listen, in the future, make sure to stay away from Yanran. Especially you, Yi Tian. Don’t think I didn’t notice you making eyes at her. As your mother I can see you like her a lot. But as your mother, I will disown you if you dare take Yanran as a wife.”
Jiao loved her children and normally spoiled them. This was the first time she was so serious and spoke coldly to them.
The girls gasped in surprise. Was this their same over-protective mother? Her words, it was hard to believe they had come out of her mouth.
Yi Yan was confused, but he didn’t say anything. His feelings weren’t as strong as his sisters. Feng Yanran was beautiful, but he wouldn’t ask her to marry him based on that alone.
Yi Tian was the only one really unhappy. After all his mother had mentioned him by name.
“Mother! What’s wrong with Sister Yanran? Why do you hate her so much?” Yi Tian was unwilling upon remembering her beauty.
“Do you really want to know?” Her expression suddenly changed. Her eyes were deadly serious as she stared at Yi Tian.
“Yes!” He nodded his head without hesitation.
“Do you all want to know as well?” She looked at the other children closely.
The children exchanged uneasy glances, but in the end all of them nodded yes.
“Well I’m afraid if I don’t tell you, you’ll be helpless. You’ll end up delivered to that Feng Yanran on a platter.” Jiao sighed helplessly.
She took a deep breath and her face became grave. “Remember, what you hear today does not go beyond these doors. This is the biggest Feng secret, so do not tell anyone. Even your grandfather doesn’t know.”
The siblings were shocked. A secret even Grandfather didn’t know about?!
The children walked out of Jiao’s room looking a little strange. Whatever Jiao told them was so unbelievable, it felt crazy. None of them repeated what they heard; not that anyone would have believed them anyway.
The Yi children did not share it with any of their Feng cousins.
Everyone in Feng residence were happy at Xing and hYanran's return from Blood Moon forest, especially Grandfather Feng. He had a constant grin on his face. His good mood influenced everyone and filtered through the rest of the residence.
Grandfather Feng wanted to announce Xing and Yanran’s arrival, so he had Madam Lan organize a banquet with an invitation list that included all the influential nobles in the city.
Feng house was a calm house that didn't like lot of bustling activity, so they rarely ever hosted banquets. But Xing’s return made Grandfather Feng incredibly happy, so they had to have a banquet to celebrate. Madam Lan naturally took charge of the planning and execution.
The old man wanted everyone to see his wonderful daughter and beautiful granddaughter. Those other three beauties? Psh. Once everyone feasted their eyes Yanran, they would all know the most beautiful girl came from Feng house.
“Senior Ming Xi?” Feng Wu walked out of the residence easily because everyone was preoccupied with the banquet preparations. She met Ming Xi at the agreed location.
“Xiao Wu, come here.” No one would have guessed it was Ming Xi, the prince of Silver Moon kingdom. He was dressed as a respectable, young swordsman in a silvery outfit with a sword in one hand. His face was obscured by a wide, brimmed, netted hat.
Ming Xi pulled Xiao Wu into an old house. He pulled down his hat once they entered the courtyard properly.
“Xiao Wu, I’m looking for you because I need to borrow something of yours.” Ming Xi’s face didn’t have the normal gentle expression he usually wore. His unusually serious face . . . Xiao Wu wasn’t used to it.
“What is it?”
Ming Xi took a deep breath and said, “Your sword.” He wasn’t sure if Feng Wu would be willing to lend him such an important artifact. He had witnessed its purification abilities in town that day, and right now he urgently needed that power. [notes]
The place he was going was incredibly dangerous. He came to Feng Wu only to borrow her sword so he could resolve the matter himself. He didn’t intend to involve her by bringing her with him.
Feng Wu took out the small sword she usually used from her space ring and handed it to Ming Xi. “Here you go,” she generously said.
Ming Xi shook his head. “Not this one. The one you used to purify the grievances in town.”
“Xiao Chun?” Feng Wu asked doubtfully. She summoned Xiao Chun and laid it on the table between them. “Xiao Chun, you have to listen to Senior Ming Xi . . .” Feng Wu was afraid Xiao Chun would be disobedient so she made sure to lecture him.
Feng Wu didn’t understand how extraordinary a sword Xiao Chun was. It was the purest sword in the world, so it was a bad idea for anyone to hold Xiao Chun if they weren’t pure enough. If Xiao Chun was handed to someone who wasn’t compatible with it, never mind being able to hold it, the person would be lucky to not be severely injured by Xiao Chun’s aura.
Good thing Ming Xi owned a divine sword as well. His heart was pure and he wasn’t hurt by Xiao Chun’s aura when he picked it up.
“Thank you, Xiao Wu. This helps me a lot. I will return Xiao Chun as soon as I can.” Ming Xi looked at Feng Wu as he solemnly promised. His eyes were gentle.
“OK.” Feng Wu touched Xiao Chun’s hilt to make sure it would be obedient and not misbehave.
Watching Feng Wu seriously admonishing Xiao Chun made Ming Xi smile. He carefully looked at the sword in his hand. The aura it exuded was strongly reminiscent of something from the ancient days. The carvings on it were unfamiliar to him and he couldn’t recollect the sword from any of the records he read. But it was impossible for such a divine sword to not have a name.
The two didn’t chat long. After exchanging Xiao Chun, Ming Xi and Feng Wu parted ways.
Feng Wu returned to her room; no one noticed she had been missing.
“Da Da.” Mommy, hug.
Little Bun was sweating from his efforts at climbing the mountain that was his comforter. From time to time, like a good mother, Little White[notes] would sneak forward and wipe his brow.
Little Bun immediately stopped trying to climb when he noticed Feng Wu return. He reached out his arms for a hug. Little Bun’s appetite had increased recently, so Grandfather Feng specially ordered magical beast milk for him. Magical beast milk was both delicious and nutritious. There were also a bunch of baby shoes and clothes sent by Madam Lan.
Little Bun inevitably grew fat under so much loving care. He was now a plump ball.
Probably because of all the high-quality food he ate, this little guy, despite only being one, could already walk a little. Other than when he was playing around in bed, he rarely ever crawled anymore. He seemed to really enjoy climbing his mother’s quilt like it was an adventure.
Feng Wu picked up her chubby Little Bun with a bit of effort. He happily smeared her face with saliva. It didn’t bother Feng Wu at all. She just wiped it away with the corner of her sleeve before walking to the garden with him in her arms.
Garden walks were a new activity. Little Bun was fascinated by the garden, so they took him for a walk around the garden at least three times a day.
“Xiao Wu, is this little guy yours? So cute. Can I hug him?” Feng Yanran was also walking in the garden when she saw Feng Wu with Little Bun. Her eyes lit up at the sight of the little guy.
Feng Wu nodded giving her permission.
Yanran happily held out her arms to him. Little Bun immediately started crying, crying until he ran out of breath. Anyone watching the scene would have been sad.
Little White took Little Bun from Feng Wu’s arms and bounced him up and down. So professional.
Yanran looked at Little Bun in embarrassment. She turned to Feng Wu and asked, “He doesn’t like me?” She was sad as she rather liked the plump little guy.
She’d always been a loveable girl. No matter how difficult the other person was, they would normally be charmed by her in the end. But today this little guy didn’t like her at all.
Feng Wu didn’t know to lie. She looked at Yanran and was blunt. “He doesn’t like you.”
Since she got Little White, Feng Wu didn’t have to worry about handling a distressed Little Bun, but that didn’t mean she didn’t understand her son. For example, she knew who he liked and didn't like to be held by. He often took the initiative to reach out toward those he wanted to hug. He would smile and send little kissy smoochy faces at them – this last was reserved for those he especially liked.
Take Grandfather Feng for example. If you only looked at his serious face, you would think kids wouldn’t like him. But Little Bun actually liked him quite a bit and he constantly asked to be picked up and hugged. Not only that, Little Bun even sent Grandfather Feng off with kisses when it was time to say goodbye. Grandfather Feng visited Little Bun every day and was always sending over some kind of present or other. Needless to say, Grandfather Feng was also fond of Little Bun.
“Woo . . .” Yanran moaned, feeling sour when she heard Feng Wu’s blunt response. “Xiao Wu, you really dislike me that much? Tell me what you don’t like; I’ll change. Don’t hate me OK? And don’t let Xiao Ye[notes] hate me either OK?”
Yanran had misunderstood Feng Wu’s straightforward reply. She thought Feng Wu didn’t like her, and so had made sure Xiao Ye wouldn’t like her either. Maybe Feng Wu even did something to make Xiao Ye cry.
Feng Wu pursed her lips. This cousin was overthinking things.
Madam Lan and Xing were passing by the garden when they saw Yanran sobbing. They immediately went over to see what was wrong. “What’s the matter? Why is Yanran crying?”
“Xiao Ye doesn’t like her, so she’s crying.” Feng Wu answered with her normally expressionless face.
It was impossible for anyone to think she could be lying with a face so serious.
Yanran was taken aback when she heard. She didn’t expect Feng Wu to say that; it was impossible for her to accuse Feng Wu of lying now.
“So that’s what happened. Yanran, it’s not that Xiao Ye doesn’t like you; he’s just afraid of strangers, that’s all. He’ll like you once he gets more accustomed to you.”
It turned out to be such a trivial matter. Madam Lan was glad it wasn’t because Yanran was being bullied. She still remembered the first time Yanran came to visit the Feng residence. Everyone doted on her.
Because of this, Xiao Wu felt neglected, and in a fit, had shoved Yanran into the lake. Fortunately, the servants found Yanran in time so she only choked on a bit of water.
Papa Feng was so mad he disciplined Feng Wu in strict accordance with family law. He punished Feng Wu so severely, she almost didn’t survive. Madam Lan didn’t want a repeat of the past. After all if it happened again, would her daughter have a life to live?
“Really? In that case, I have to get closer to Xiao Ye. Xiao Wu is it alright if I visit often?”
“OK,” nodded Feng Wu.
Yea! Yanran’s response to Feng Wu’s indifferent reaction was a bit over the top. She remembered how impulsive and irritable Feng Wu had been when they were both younger. But now she was such a tolerant young lady! Yanran knew Feng Wu didn’t like her, but she didn’t say it out loud. She knew her cousin was pretending to be nonchalant in front of her aunt.
Poor Feng Wu, she had no idea Yanran had labeled her a schemer.
Xing looked lovingly at the girls. Her voice was gentle when she spoke. “You two keep playing. Sister-in-law and I have other things to do so we won’t accompany you.”
Despite being in Blood Moon forest for over twenty years, and carrying a strong layer of malignant qi in her body, Xing was still kind. She conducted herself with propriety and was diligent in her work. Everyone in Feng house liked her.
“OK Xiao Wu, I will try to play with Xiao Ye now.” Yanran’s eyes were still red, but there was a pitiful charm to it.
She kept trying to get close to Little Bun after the two elders left, but Little Bun didn’t understand what was happening, so he cried every time she moved toward him.
Yanran was used to people liking her, so this failure with Little Bun was frustrating. She ignored Little Bun’s cries and kept approaching, until finally, Feng Wu couldn’t take it anymore. She was his mother and she wasn’t going to let Little Bun cry because of Yanran.
“Xiao Ye doesn’t like you. Stop getting close to him.” Feng Wu frowned, worried Little Bun would hurt himself from crying too much. This was the first time he cried so hard. He had never been a crying child before.
“I just want him to like me.” Yanran pouted as tears swam in her eyes, threatening to fall any second.
“It’s not good to force people.” Feng Wu was a sincere girl, so when she saw Yanran doing something wrong, she told her. She spoke bluntly without giving the other party any face.
What was face? Of course Feng Wu didn’t know.
“Woo . . . Xiao Wu, is there a misunderstanding between us? Why do you hate me so much? I always wanted to be good sisters with you, even back when we were kids. Why do you not like me?” Yanran hiccuped through her tears. Her voice was full of grievance.
It was a shame for Yanran. Feng Wu hated crying people the most. As soon as Yanran started bawling her eyes out, Feng Wu grabbed Little White and Little Bun and ran away.
Yanran cried her eyes out for two minutes. It was weird that there was no movement around her so she looked up.
Where was everyone? They ran away?! Yanran was dumbstruck. She didn’t expect Feng Wu to actually leave like that . . . Yanran sniffled for a while, but she eventually left the garden.
Two figures walked out from the side of the garden after Yanran left.
“Brother Yi Tian, I thought you liked Yanran. She cried so pitifully just now; how come you didn’t comfort her?” Feng Ting was bitter.
Yi Tian hurriedly explained. “Ting Ting, you’ve always been my favorite. How could I possibly like Cousin Yanran?”
Feng Ting looked suspiciously at the anxious Yi Tian. There was something going on with this guy. It was obvious how much he liked Yanran a few days ago. Now all of a sudden he claimed he didn’t like the girl? Too strange.
Feng Ting didn’t understand, but she didn’t probe further. She decided to be generous and forgive Yi Tian. Together side by side, they walked through the garden, chatting and laughing as they did.
Almost all the big names were present at the Feng banquet. Even the royal family sent the three princesses as representatives.
Madam Lan asked Feng Wu if she wanted to go to the banquet. It sounded like it would be too much bother so Feng Wu shook her head no.
Madam Lan nodded. She rushed to the front hall after directing the servants to have the kitchen have lots of food be delivered to Feng Wu’s room.
As the hostess, she couldn’t be absent too long. There were still many guests waiting for her to properly greet them.
She had originally wanted Feng Wu to join in the banquet, but the gossip she heard stopped her. She didn’t want her daughter to go out and bear it. So that was why she personally went to Feng Wu’s room to ask.
It wasn’t a big deal that Feng Wu was absent from the banquet, but as head of house, Papa Feng had to be notified, otherwise he was liable to get angry. Madam Lan made sure to fill him in immediately.
After pondering for a bit, he nodded his head in understanding. “We’ll do it this way then.” Papa Feng recently learned of Feng Wu’s bottomless stomach, so he added. “Make sure to prepare a lot of food for her. That girl loves to eat.”
Madam Lan agreed and hurriedly left to greet the guests.
Yanran’s name was destined to echo throughout the aristocracy in the ancient eastern countries. She displaced the three beauties and became number one in the eyes of all the men present.
That is not to say Princess Ronghua, Lanzhou, and Bing turned into forgotten wallflowers. Their fans reduced by two-thirds, but they still had a sizeable number of men around them. Though the men remaining weren’t swayed to move, their eyes still strayed to her from time to time.
Even if the three beauties looked down on the men around them, they were still uncomfortable by loss in admiration.
Princess Ronghua counted herself lucky that Prince Ming Xi wasn’t in attendance. After all, what if he saw Yanran and fell in love with her? Even if the princess didn’t want to admit it, she couldn’t deny Yanran’s beauty.
The three beauties weren’t doing too bad. Their appearance and status was enough to ensure there would still be plenty of male company around them, though the same couldn’t be said of the other girls whose beauty was inferior.
Yanran was the center of attention, making the other girls at the banquet secretly bite their handkerchief in frustration. These vixens were jealous of Yanran.
They secretly labeled her a disastrous beauty, and in their hearts, they quickly replaced Feng Wu, who had been public enemy number, with Yanran. This was great for Feng Wu, because they weren’t gossiping about her, instead their focus switched to Yanran.
Even though Yanran wasn’t a direct descendent of Feng house, it was clear how much Grandfather Fang loved her. He had so many grandchildren, yet how many had a banquet in their honor? Even if the banquet was ostensibly for both Yanran and her mother, she was still half of the equation.
Feng house rarely held banquets, but this time they went all out and held one for Xing and Yanran. On top of that, Madam Lan made sure to introduce Yanran to all the high noble ladies.
Grandfather Feng, who rarely smiled in public, was spotted chatting and laughing with Xing all night long. Father and daughter clearly had a good relationship.
Everyone present could see how much affection he had for the mother-daughter pair. Xing and Yanran’s stature in the family was obviously high. I’m afraid their place in his heart was higher than the patriarch’s two daughter. Obviously, this increased Yanran’s value in the public eye.
Feng Ting maintained a graceful smile throughout the whole affair, but there was a lot of hate simmering in her heart. What was so great about Yanran? Even though Yanran was surnamed Feng, she wasn’t a true Feng member. At best, she could be considered a distant extended member of the family, but he was willing to use the Feng name to hold a banquet for her. Was Grandfather confused? Even Tian didn’t get this kind of treatment. This Yanran was simply a devil!
Feng Ting saw Yi Lin sitting by herself in one of the pavilions eating some pastries. She walked over with a smile and asked, “Yi Lin, why are you here all by yourself? There are so many games over there. Why don’t you go over and watch?”
“Oh, Feng Ting, it’s you. What do I need to explain? Didn’t you leave the hall because your chest hurt when you look at Yanran being spoiled by everyone in the banquet hall?”
The two girls had left the banquet hall and were currently in the garden, where Madam Lan arranged several games to entertain the younger generation.
The girls were the only ones playing; all the boys were too bewitched by Yanran to join in on the games.
Feng Ting’s smile didn’t change. “Yi Lin, what do you mean? Why would my chest hurt? Aren’t you the one that’s uncomfortable? All three of you Yi sisters are Grandfather’s granddaughters, but he only cares about Yanran. You three sisters, in Grandfather’s heart, do you even equal one Yanran?”
“Grandfather is welcoming a wolf into the house. Yanran is destined to destroy Feng house.” Yi Lin quickly shut her mouth. There was an annoyed expression on her face. She shared something she wasn’t supposed to.
Destined to destroy Feng house? What was she talking about? What kind of abilities could Yanran have to destroy one of the strongest houses in the ancient eastern country?
“Don’t ask anymore. Knowing too much isn’t good for you. Since we’re cousins, I’ll give you some advice. Stay away from Yanran. Don’t get too close to her, or things won’t end well for you.” After saying this, Yi Lin ran away as though she was being chased by ghosts. She wouldn’t turn around no matter how much Feng Ting called out. Instead she increased her speed and ran away even faster.
Doubts grew in Feng Ting’s heart, but a pity, she wouldn’t get any more information even if she asked. The questions in her heart only deepened.
What was going on? Feng Ting didn’t understand, but she took Yi Lin’s warning to heart. Although she wouldn't have tried to get close even if she hadn't gotten the warning. She and Yanran . . . it was impossible for them to be friends.
Bad news came two days after the banquet - part of the boundary in Blood Moon forest had been destroyed. Many Asuras were able to pass through and hid themselves in the human world.
This created a crisis in the human world. Fortunately, the Silver Moon kingdom’s prince was there to purify the area and rearrange the enchantment, thus limiting the Asura’s incursion.
The difficulty was in dealing with the Asuras who entered and had now disappeared somewhere in the human world.
The blood-kin Asura race were very similar to humans. They looked just like humans, and were outstandingly beautiful. There wasn’t a single ugly Asura.
The sun turned them into ash and destroyed their bodies so completely that there would be no chance of recovery. Because of this, the most terrifying thing to them was the daylight.
They were born naturally fearing the dark; they could only live in the dark. [notes] Their skin was strong and impervious to all weapons except for pure silver ones.
All were charmingly beautiful and irresistibly drawn to the fragrant scent of human blood. Blood was like opium to them; they were desperate to drink it. And because of their proficiency in illusion spells, their prey willingly offered their blood.
It was inconceivable the havoc a race like that would wreak on the human world.
Several star generals from Star Marshall hall had already been dispatched to track them down.
Xingguang Holy Academy also recruited senior level students to aid in the capture.
Imperial families of all the major empires built up their defenses and increased patrols.
All the major guilds had active quests with incredible rewards for the capture, dead or alive, of blood folk.
Pure arms in all the major cities were sold out. Supplies were low and prices were high, especially anything with silver.
The news spread to every corner of the mainland: the Asura were here. All the countries in the ancient east were affected. The number of victims would continue to rise until every escaped Asura was accounted for.
Although all the ancient eastern countries were talking about it, Feng Wu’s life was still relatively peaceful. She had her own things to occupy her time with, so she was usually in her room practicing or chatting with Jier or the others from the Masters team. Her life was easy and pleasant, except sometimes Yanran would run to her room to see Little Bun. Little Bun was unhappy with this, and refused to let her approach him at all.
Xing seemed to like Feng Wu a great deal. She visited almost as often as Yanran did. She was good to Feng Wu, always speaking gently and kindly, reminding Feng Wu to forget the past and look forward. But Feng Wu had no memories of the original owner, so what was there for her to forget? Feng Wu didn’t understand her aunt.
Ming Xi called and asked Feng Wu to meet him in the same place as before.
Feng Wu got Xiao Chun back in the same old courtyard. Xiao Chun was very happy! Ming Xi’s aura was good, but he liked Feng Wu’s aura most. Xiao Chun was a strong-willed sword. If it didn’t like the way you smelled, it would ditch you.
But it felt good to go out this time. There were a lot of polluted things to purify. This was the most fun it had had since leaving the small town.[notes] After affectionally greeting Feng Wu, Xiao Chun returned to her dantian and proceeded to get warm and be nourished with some good rest. It had eaten a lot, and needed time to digest.
“The Asura contaminated the area around Blood Moon forest and nearly collapsed the entire barrier. Fortunately, with Xiao Chun’s help, we were able to clean up the pollution and rearrange the barrier to minimize damage.” Ming Xi pulled out several items. “All these are for you. Please accept them. They may come in handy in the future.”
Ming Xi’s face was as beautiful as the moonlight. His shallow smile was filled with gentleness and wasn’t as reserved or distant as usual.
“OK.” Feng Wu took out her space ring and directly threw the items inside without even sparing them a glance.
“Was it dangerous?” Feng Wu asked Ming Xi seriously. She suddenly understood why he needed Xiao Chun after connecting what he said to the recent news she heard.
Aunt Xing said the Asura clans were powerful. If Ming Xi went to find them, then wasn’t it very dangerous?
Ming Xi didn’t expect Feng Wu to ask something like that. He smiled and said, “It was alright. I was mainly there to purify the boundary, not to attack the Asuras. There were a few small-scale skirmishes, but the Asuras were quickly defeated, so there was no danger.”
He lied. The situation in Blood Moon forest was much worse than expected. The troops stationed outside the forest were nearly wiped out. The villagers near the forest were also sucked dry.
It was a tough battle for him and the other masters sent to purify the enchantment. The entire periphery was like purgatory on earth. The Asuras were tenacious and resisted strongly. They even sent out two princes to battle. Ming Xi’s group were able to defeat the two princes, but it cost them many high-powered masters. Both sides lost a tremendous amount.
He didn’t want Feng Wu to worry about him so he didn’t tell her all that.
Feng Wu nodded and took out a beautifully packaged box of biscuits from her space ring after Ming Xi finished talking. The biscuits were made by the chefs in the Feng residence. Feng Wu recently became obsessed with them and normally ate a large plateful every day. She wanted to share the things she liked with Ming Xi.
She held the biscuits out to him with an expectant look on her face. Ming Xi felt like it would be a crime to not accept.
He reached out to take one. As he did so Feng Wu’s lips curved into a small smile. Even her eyes crinkled slightly.
Ming Xi smiled. Him accepting her cookie, such a simple thing could make her so happy?
“Eat,” Feng Wu said seriously.
Feng Wu nodded. “Now.”
Ming Xi popped the biscuit in his mouth and a milky flavor spread on his tongue. “It tastes good. You should have some too.” He held onto the cookie box so Feng Wu’s hands could be free to have some.
Feng Wu picked one up and quietly ate it. The corners of her mouth were still slightly curved and it was easy to tell she was in a good mood.
“Xiao Wu, I’m leaving the ancient eastern countries tomorrow. Other than returning your sword, I also wanted to say goodbye. We probably won’t meet again until school starts. Take care of yourself. There are many people in the region who are hostile towards you. While you’re here, make sure to be careful of the things around you, don’t be careless.”
Even if Ming Xi hadn’t specifically asked about Feng Wu, Princess Ronghua talked about Feng Wu from time to time. Thanks to this, Ming Xi was clear about Feng Wu’s situation in the ancient eastern countries. He had learned a lot.
Princess Ronghua was clever of course. She never directly spoke ill of anyone, but she was skilled at leading the conversation so the other party couldn’t help but think the worse.
A pity she was up against Ming Xi. She couldn’t fool him no matter how skillfully she guided the conversation.
Ming Xi was very clear what kind of girl Feng Wu was. His opinion didn’t waver despite all the princess’s efforts.
Ming Xi was leaving?! Feng Wu pursed her lips, feeling unhappy. But her eyes quickly brightened. She could meet him again once school resumed.
Feng Wu clenched her hands firmly in resolve. She needed to work hard to get Ming Xi to marry here when she returned to school so Little Bun could have a father.
Ming Xi’s departure didn’t alarm any of the nobles in the ancient eastern countries. Other than select members of the royal family, no one knew the exact time of his departure.
Princess Ronghua, having failed to charm him, was the most disappointed of everyone. She couldn't accept it, but it didn't matter. Regardless how she felt, Ming Xi was still gone and her heart was still broken.
The holiday ended shortly after Ming Xi left, and it was time for Feng Wu to return to school. Madam Lan was unwilling. She only recently got her daughter back, but now they had to part again. So sad. . .
Madam Lan stood in front of the gates crying as she bid Feng Wu farewell. “Xiao Wu, you have to take care of yourself. Try to get along with your classmates. Don’t let other people bully you. Do you understand?”
“Take care of yourself. Tell us if you need money.” Papa Feng said with an expressionless face.
“Pay attention to your classes. Don’t run around too much. And don’t trust other people too easily. Take care of yourself and Xiao Ye.” Tian was also reluctant to part with his sister, but unlike the rest of his family, he was a student at Xingguang Holy Academy. Although with his abilities, he could have applied for graduation already. He had originally planned on applying, but with Feng Wu now in the picture, he dismissed the idea. As long as he was still a student, he could go back and visit her anytime he wanted.
No matter how much they all wanted her to stay, she left with Little White and Little Bun. The teleportation array lit up, and just like that, she was gone. Gone back to Zhongyang city and the academy. . .
A new semester, a new beginning. The second semester was officially underway. Those who failed the task last semester could try to complete it this semester. Once they completed it and received a seeking stone, they could take a new class with a new teacher, and begin their education in the virtual world together!
“Teacher, where is the virtual world? Are the people there real? They have thoughts and emotions and they don’t seem fake at all!”
Shayeli began to explain the history behind the virtual world. “I believe everyone knows the virtual world was created by Longze-Jiamoer. Does anyone know why he created the world before ascending?” She had a babyface and a great figure, but no one knew her true age.
“So we have a place to practice safely.”
“It’s there so we can more effectively train our spiritual powers.”
“It’s there so we can experience training against different kinds of masters and achieve a breakthrough, all without leaving school.”
The students answered one by one but Shayeli only smiled at them.
“Teacher, are we right?” A student couldn’t help but ask.
“Not quite. Though it isn’t a secret, it’s not widely known. Had you not entered the academy, most of you would never know the reason.” Shayeli spoke mysteriously.
Feng Wu blinked as she watched the teacher be mysterious.
Ink tapped Feng Wu’s hand with an elbow and asked in a whisper, “Xiao Wu, do you know?” Her calmness had made him curious.
Feng Wu looked at him and said, “Yes.”
Then how do I not know?! Ink thought helplessly.
The teacher continued onstage. “It is said, a thousand years ago a huge battle for the throne shook the demon world. The battle was between the previous demon lord and the current demon lord.”
The students were in an uproar upon finding out the virtual world had something to do with the demon world. What incredibly news!
“How long has the demon world existed? No one really knows. It’s my understanding there have only been two demon lords, despite having existed for countless years.
First, the first demon lord was born in the demon world. To show their respect for him as the most powerful demon, the other demons called him the demon progenitor. That is to say he was the ancestor of all demons.
Second, his identity is incredibly mysterious. He was a divine prince from the purest god lineages, but somewhere along the way, his heart fell to the demonic arts. Thereafter he transformed into a demon god.
No one knows the names of either of the two demon lords. To distinguish between them, the first demon lord is referred to as the demon progenitor while the second demon lord, the current ruler of the demon realm, is referred to as the seated demon ruler.
When the seated demon ruler transformed from a divine god to a demon god, the heavenly realm was unable to accommodate him further. He took his subordinates, left the heavenly realm and went to the demon realm. There he defeated the progenitor and became the new ruler.
Although the progenitor was defeated, he did not leave the demon realm. Instead he regrouped with his loyal subjects and counterattacked in hopes of retaking the throne. He did this again and again, but he never succeeded. The last battle left him grievously injured and he fled the demon realm and came here.”
The students listening felt their heartbeat speed up; they were excited. They listened intently, not daring to interrupt. How unexpected. This kind of thing actually happened in the demon realm. And it even involved the human realm. Too exciting!
“After all his failures, the demon progenitor gave up on retaking the demon realm. A new awful idea grew in his mind. He would transform the human realm into a new demon realm and continue his reign that way.”
“The demon progenitor is too much! How can he do something like that?!”
“Right?! Really despicable!”
“Yeah, but he must have failed. He couldn’t retake the demon realm. Now he wants to take over the human realm? He can keep dreaming!”
Everyone rushed to express their dislike of the progenitor.
Feng Wu quietly listened to the heated discussion, but didn’t participate.
Ink raised his hand excitedly, happy to join in. “So, Teacher, then what happened? Didn’t the strongest amongst us annihilate the progenitor so utterly, body and soul, he never dared come again?!”
“Tsch, that’s silly. How could he come to the Human realm if his soul is destroyed?” Ink’s comment got a rise out of many of the students.
“You rascals. Do you think he’s some minor character you can kill off so easily?! This is the demon progenitor, even if he was injured when he fled here, he’s not someone ordinary humans can beat.
Lord Longze-Jiamer led the fight against the progenitor. Lord Longze was a demi-god, but he had a break-through during battle and became a god capable of flying to the Heavenly realm.
He used his divine powers and a space artifact to create the Void. Then before ascending to the Heavenly realm, he sealed the soul of the progenitor inside it.
The souls of many of those who fell in battle voluntarily entered the Void with the demon progenitor in order to guard against him. Essentially they are all immortal because they are in the Void.
Before Lord Longze ascended to the Heavenly realm, he handed the Void realm to the principal of Xingguang Holy Academy, Master An Shengyaun.
The principal felt it was a waste to use the Void realm only for holding the progenitor, so he used his magic to divide the Void into several continents, and separated the space where the progenitor was imprisoned from everything else.
The continents are used for students to experience. Humanity’s strength has improved greatly over the centuries because of it.[notes] We were able to recover our strength from the loss we suffered from fighting the progenitor.”
“Even Master Longze couldn’t destroy the progenitor?” Xi[notes] asked.
Xi admired Longze-Jiamer the most, so she was disappointed her idol couldn’t defeat the progenitor.
“The progenitor attacking, that would have been a big deal. Star Marshall hall should have intervened. How come Teacher didn’t say anything about them in the story just now?” asked a perceptive student who had noticed a discrepancy in the story.
“Who said Star Marshall hall didn’t move? The hall suffered tremendous loss. Three of the four celestial seal successors[notes] perished in that battle.
The hall master was restricted from using his full powers in the Human realm, so he wasn’t able to act against the progenitor when he attacked. This allowed the progenitor to massacre humans without restrictions.
Far too many humans were sacrificed in that battle. Countless high-level magicians and sword masters died. It was the most devastating battle for humanity, only second to the loss incurred from the Battle of Gods and Demons.”
“Teacher, why couldn’t the hall master move? Even if the hall master couldn’t move, there’s the school principal. Was he not able to move either?” a female sword student asked.
“As I said, there were restrictions. I’m just a teacher; how can I answer such profound questions?” Sayali smacked the table angrily, scaring all the students. Turned out this teacher looked cute, but had a bad temper!
Shayeli glanced at the girl who had asked the question. A hundred thousand questions! Honestly!
The girl wanted to run away, nearly in tears. She’d only asked one question!
“Class dismissed!” Shayeli slapped the table, grabbed the textbook and left class without a backward glance. Her stride was long, almost like she was running away.
No, she wasn’t running away. She was leaving to check her references, that was all. These students had no initiative. Asking the teacher everything instead of figuring it out for themselves from the text!
The students: . . .
The school arranged to have someone teach the students, who already had a seeking stone, how to use it to enter the virtual world. Those who didn’t have a stone yet had to keep making money. Woo . . . they shouldn’t have set such a high goal. Why was money so heard to earn these days?
Currently all the students with stones were sitting arm’s length apart from each other in a classroom. They began following the instructions to find the entrance to the virtual world.
There were many students who didn't have experience with the stone, so it took them a long time to even sense the virtual world, never mind the entrance.
Some students knew what the stone was for and had already tried to find the entrance on their own over the holiday break. They succeeded after a great deal of effort. So while the inexperienced were trying to sense the virtual world, the experienced students had already found the door and passed through.
Feng Wu easily entered the virtual world and immediately went to West Flower. When she had entered before, she didn’t know there was a virtual world version of Xingguang Holy Academy, but after listening to the teacher instruct, she knew there was one in West Flower.
The teachers in the virtual world weren’t the same as the ones who taught in the real world. The school in the virtual world was taught by the fallen heroic spirits of those who perished in the great battle with the demon progenitor. They had volunteered to remain in the Void realm. They wouldn’t completely die ss long as they remained in the realm, but such a long life was too boring with nothing to do, so some bored masters agreed to be teachers. Maybe they would have some fun doing it.
The teachers were really moody though. They expelled any student who failed to satisfy them. So just meeting a master teacher didn’t guarantee a bright future. That teacher had to acknowledge you.
The virtual world was a magical world where you could leisurely develop your spiritual power. It was slower than in the real world, but it was easier and more relaxing.
Many seniors liked staying in the virtual world because of this. They could increase their spiritual powers without having to cultivate. Only a fool wouldn’t take advantage of it.
Another big reason had to do with opportunities, there were countless opportunities in fact. You could apprentice under a peerless master and inherit their knowledge or find an inheritance that had long disappeared in the real world.
So basically, even if you didn’t become a god and ascend to the Heavenly realm, odds were good you could at least become a Holy level master.
It wasn’t just the students who were attracted to the possibility of finding an inheritance, many powerful families and members of royalty were also interested. They all wanted to be the next lucky person to get a strong inheritance.
But how many would get an inheritance? There were so many that entere every day. An inheritance was important. It wasn't like any random schmuck could get it just by showing up. This wasn’t like some online fiction, where anyone who casually showed up at a village could get clues to an amazing artifact or be recruited into a mysterious sect.
The teacher said the school was located in West Flower. They just had to go and report in.
Feng Wu asked a kind lady for directions to get to the school. After walking for a quarter of a mile, she finally saw Xingguang Academy – it was an exact duplicate of the one in the real world.
About twenty students from the class earlier were standing in front of the gate. A teacher stood by the gate greeting them.
The first step after arriving at the virtual academy was to take the placement test.
“Teacher! This is too much. It’s our first day and we haven’t learned anything yet. Isn’t having us take a placement test a little too much?!” yelled a man from the Sword division.
“Yeah. Teacher, can you let us go in and read a few books first?”
“Teacher! Please excuse us this time!” Had he known, he would have stayed at home and read more books instead of going out to play during the holiday break!
The teacher looked doubtfully at the group of students begging for mercy. “It’s fine. We’re testing combat knowledge, not theoretical knowledge.”
“Huh? Oh, that’s good. That’s good.” The boys patted their chests. As long as it wasn’t a test on theory, they would take it!
“No! That’s unfair to us girls!” The cuties in the Magic division were unhappy. The girls in the Magic division didn’t get combat experience in the introductory classes. How could they fight if the opponent was a bunch of gorilla boys in the Sword division?
“Tch! Girls from the Magic division are so useless. If you’re all too scared, then just go home already! What did you come here to learn huh?!” The girls from the Sword division looked down on the weak lily girls of the Magic division, so of course they wouldn’t be polite towards them.
“You! You guys! What qualifications do you have to say that to us?!” The mage cuties were unhappy! The two sides nearly broke out in a fight.
“Enough. Is this teacher invisible to you? You should all learn from that student over there.” The teacher looked to Feng Wu with praise in his eyes. “Look at her, standing obediently and not causing anyone trouble. Unlike you rabble lot, the teacher’s standing right here and you still dare make trouble!”
The teacher was appreciative of Feng Wu. After seeing how noisy all the other students were, he felt the taciturn Feng Wu was quite cute.
The female magicians wondered who she was. She looked like a sword user but she hadn’t spoken at all. She must be trying to suck up to the teacher! Schemer!
The sword users also wondered who she was. She looked like she was from the Sword division, but she hadn’t spoken up while they were arguing with the magicians. She wasn’t united with them against the magicians! Too unfriendly!
Feng Wu only wondered when they would take the test. She was hungry . . .
“Stop being so noisy and follow me.” The teacher walked ahead, leading the freshman class to the test site.
The students followed the teacher into the building. They stopped in front of a room on the first floor.
“Everyone inside!” said the teacher.
The students opened the door with a mix of curiosity and trepidation. They walked through one by one, with the teacher taking the rear.
They found four identical doors inside. Each door had a little snippet introduction in common language.
“As you see, there are four doors. Behind each is a different exam room. The first two doors are for magic users and the last two doors are for sword users.
The doors represent different teachers. Let me introduce you. The first is the legendary holy magician Sage Nige. Sage Nige was a dual fire/wood magician and is best at combat magic, so if you want to be a combat magician, then I recommend going with Sage Nige in the first door.
The second master is also a powerful holy magician; however her specialty is not combat magic but support magic. I believe you’ve all heard of her. She’s popular in the legends. Sage Mei Laji, the legendary holy magician.
There were lots of stories about Sage Mei Laji even while she was alive. Her elements were light and wood. The two elements can be used to support a team or fight in single combat.
In fact, Xingguang Holy Academy owns a book on support magic that she wrote. If you want to pursue support magic, then I recommend Sage Mei Laji’s second door.”
Low-pitched discussions immediately ensued among those in the Magic division. Most of the boys chose the first door while most of the girls chose the second.
“Behind the third door is a holy sword master. His name should also be familiar to everyone here, the magic/martial arts user, Sage Heaven Destruction.
“The Sage Heaven Destruction? My god! I’m not dreaming right? He’s a legend from a thousand years ago! Turned out he fell in that battle!”
“My grandfather told me about him; if he hadn’t fallen in battle, he would have definitely ascended to the Heavenly realm.”
“Sage Heaven Destruction . . . I have to choose the third door! Nobody better get in my way!”
“Tch! Who has the time to stop you?! You’re the one standing in the way! Later I have to rush in before everyone else!”
Many of the Sword division students went crazy upon hearing the name “Heaven Destruction”, after all Sage Heaven Destruction was a true peerless holy sword master. Legend had it, he was the closest to becoming a sword god.
“Your future won’t be bad if you follow him. Even if you only learn half a maneuver, you might become a legendary sword master!”
The students in the Sword division couldn’t help but fantasize what would happen after they became a disciple of Sage Heaven Destruction.
“The fourth teacher is also a holy sword master. She is known as Sage Seizing Spirit Sword. Few know her real name. I certainly don't, nor for that matter do I know her strength, but she was praised by Lord Longze himself. There are simply too few stories about her. Other than her peers, few knew her. This is all the introduction I can give. I leave the decision of who to choose up to you.”
“That’s too ambiguous. I don’t know if she’s powerful or not. If I’m to chose by preference, then I’m going to have to go with Sage Heaven Destruction.”
“Me too, I’m going to go with Sage Heaven Destruction.”
“Teacher, the difficulty of the tests behind each door is different. What happens if we fail the test?” asked a female magician.
Yeah . . . what if you couldn’t make it through the first time? It was only after this timid girl asked the question that everyone awoke from the dream of learning from a sage master.
“Teacher, if we fail, we can re-take the test right?” A male magician asked weakly.
The Sword division didn’t have the confidence to laugh at the magicians. They were also interested in knowing what happened if they failed the test. There was no way an assessment done by a sage would be simple.
“Re-take the test?! If you fail, that's it. You won’t have another chance. Of course if you do really well later on, there is a possiblity the sages will accept you as a disciple. Though the chance of that is small, it is not impossible.”
The scene filled with grief. Turned out they’d only get one chance.
“Teacher, aside from the four teachers here, are there any other teachers we can choose from?” Success would be higher with an easier teacher!
“Yes, there is another teacher, a demigod. He was only half a step away from ascending to the Heavenly realm. He also has an exam room. Do you want to try it?” The teacher coolly looked at them.
The students stared at each other in disbelief. A demigod!? For real?! A demigod?! This wasn’t a dream right?
“Teacher, Teacher, I just want to ask, is this demigod, is this a teacher of magic or the sword?” Ink couldn’t help but ask.
A demigod was the strongest existence in the realm. There weren’t many demigods in the world, and yet here was their chance to learn from one. They were insanely happy.
The Magic division were just as excited as the Sword division. To meet a sage as a teacher could already be considered great fortune, but now there was an even better teacher! Please be a teacher of magic! Please be a teacher of magic!
“Fortunately for you, that lord is a master of both martial and magical arts. To say he is a god of both magic and sword would be accurate. You can try if you’re interested. But just know, the assessment set by that master is not easy.
As far as I know, no one, in a thousand years has passed the test. Even geniuses older than you couldn’t pass.
But I have good news. The assessment for this teacher and the other four teachers are not counted together. So you can still take the test for the other four teachers even if you fail this one.”
What great news! Where they only had one shot before, now they had two! Even if they failed, with the demigod, their efforts wouldn't affect their chances with the other holy masters.
“OK, now chose the room of your choice. If you want to try the room with the demigod, then look over there please.” The teacher pointed behind them. A golden gate appeared on the originally empty wall.
“You will formally enter the exam room once you pass through the golden gate. If you wish to go, then do so quickly. Even though I don’t think any of you will pass, you should not let the opportunity go to waste.”
The students were silent. Do you have to say it so bluntly? The golden gate stood in front of them. Even if they failed the test, it wouldn’t affect their chances of taking the other tests.
This kind of opportunity . . . you have to take it and see what happens. Who wouldn’t try? Who wouldn’t want to be a disciple of a demigod?
Not all the students were excited namely, Jier, Feng Wu, Ai Lin[notes] and Zi Cheng.
Feng Wu didn’t think it was that amazing to be a disciple of a demigod, so she wasn’t excited. Jier was already recognized as the heir to summer, so other inheritances were nothing to him. Zi Cheng had her system. As long as she had enough points, there wasn’t anything she couldn’t buy. Even though she wanted the recognition of a demigod, she didn’t lose her head over it.
Of the four, Ai Lin felt the most conflicted. She was confused. Based on what she remembered about the plot, Zi Cheng never participated in an assessment with a demigod. There had only been four doors and Zi Cheng picked the first one, becoming a disciple of a powerful combat magician.
Now the tests were the same, but there was an additional one from a demigod. Where did this demigod come from?! Was the person also a transmigrator?
Ai Lin had a lot of ideas, but she didn't know which one was correct.
She took a few deep breaths to calm her mind. This wasn’t the first time the plot changed. She needed to get used to it and not let it mess with her mind so much.
Feng Wu calmly followed the person in front through the gate. She lost consciousness for a moment. When she woke up, she saw she was in an ordinary village.
Feng Wu couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Her eyes glowed with eagerness.
She ran around the village, the expression on her face openly full of joy and eagerness. She ran into the village and watched the villagers come and go. She even felt kind toward the children who used to bully her.
She called out their names, but no one responded. She stretched out a hand to grab at the clothes of a woman passing by, but all she grabbed was air.
Feng Wu watched the familiar, yet strange people move around the village. The children were playing and causing mischief. It was so familiar, but at the same time, not familiar at all!
“Master . . .” Feng Wu whispered mournfully. She turned and looked at the mountain not too far away. Wasn’t that the same mountain she lived on for more than ten years?
She stopped looking at the people in the village and instead rushed to the mountain. The bamboo house was there. The hot spring was there. Even the little animals that played with her were there. Still all the same. But the master she cared for most of all wasn’t.
She searched all over Yuehua mountain, but she couldn’t find him!
He wasn’t here. She couldn’t find him . . . She missed him so much.
Feng Wu’s eyes got red. She tried her best to not let the tears fall. She couldn’t cry! Master said the strong didn’t cry.
While sniffling and holding her tears back, she realized there was one place she hadn’t checked. He had to be there! It was his favorite resting place.
Feng Wu’s eyes lit up brightly. Her sadness from before disappeared completely.
She light-stepped to the cave behind the waterfall easily, but the master she was looking for wasn’t inside. The interior of the cave transformed the moment she stepped inside. In the blink of an eye, everything disappeared - the village, the mountain, the cave.
Feng Wu found herself in the center of a square with all the others who passed through the gate. Before she had time to look around, a familiar voice boomed from the sky. It was a voice Feng Wu was deeply familiar with, a voice she knew ever since she could remember.
The disembodied voice was clear and elegant. It said, “Welcome. All of you should have seen the images just now. If you answer all my questions correctly you will become a disciple of my White Merciful Wind style.”
None of the students could figure out where the person who called himself “White Merciful Wind” was.
The students looked at each other with surprise and excitement in their eyes. Finally! It was about to start. Ask! Ask! We want to answer! they all thought.
“First question, what is the name of the village you just saw?
Second question, what is the name of the big yellow dog at the entrance of the village?
Third question, what is the name of the mountain outside the village?
Fourth question, who is your favorite person?
Fifth question, who am I?”
Huh? What was this? Why was the demigod so unfair?!
“What was the name of the village? What kind of question is that? How would I know?!”
“Is the yellow dog named Rhubarb?!” someone randomly guessed.
“I don’t know it. I can’t answer a single question!” exclaimed another who had given up.
“Could it be this lord doesn’t intend to accept any disciples? He just came up with these questions to mess with us?”
Zi Cheng frowned. She couldn’t answer any of the questions either. There couldn’t be a standard answer to them.
Ai Lin wondered what was going on. Why were the questions so odd?
“I can’t answer. I give up,” became a constant refrain from the group. Many shook their heads and sighed in disappointment.
“The village is called Zhang Jia village. The yellow dog is called Xiao Huang. The mountain outside the village is called Yuehua mountain. My most favorite person is Master. You are Master!”
Feng Wu looked at the sky and answered each question earnestly.
Everyone else was immediately ejected from the room the moment Feng Wu finished answering. They didn’t even have time to express their thoughts on the matter. Before they knew it, they were already back in the main room outside the golden gate.
“What happened?! Did that girl get the answers right?!” Everyone had been ejected, but the one who answered wasn't amongst them. It was hard not to speculate.
“No way. That test was way too mysterious. Where would we have seen the answers? How come I didn’t spot any?!”
“Fuck! That was it? That was all you had to do to become a disciple of a demigod?! Isn’t that too easy? Shouldn’t you go through all kinds of difficulties for it?!”
“Why can’t I have such awesome luck?”
“A demigod disciple. Can’t believe it would be so easy to be a demigod disciple.”
The teacher had been unconcerned when they were ejected, but upon hearing the contents of their conversation he became quite excited.
His chin nearly dropped to the floor; he was so shocked. After so many years, who knew how many students had come through, no one had ever gotten the lord’s favor. Was he really so lucky as to witness a disciple be accepted?
“What are you talking about? Did someone qualify?! Who is it? Which of you knows the identity of the student that passed? Is it someone from the Magic division or someone from the Sword division?” The teacher grabbed the nearest student and shook him so hard the student thought he his head would rattle off his shoulders.
“Teacher, calm down. You're going to make me pass out. I don't know. Please forgive me. All I know is it was a girl.” The student gave the information as fast as he could.
“Who knows who the girl is! Come out now and speak if you do!” The teacher released the hapless student as he focused his attention on the others.
“Teacher, the girl is named Feng Wu. She’s a classmate from the Sword division.” Ai Lin volunteered.
“Feng Wu? Why does this name sound familiar? Is she a celebrity in the lower grades? Hm . . . true, to be a worthy of being a disciple of a demigod, she couldn’t be a nobody.” The teacher nodded his head as if affirming to himself.
“Teacher, Feng Wu is very famous. She proposed to Senior Ming Xi in the school cafeteria in her first year. She even has a child out of wedlock at her age. Two such major events, how can she not be famous?” Jasmine didn't make it to the top ten but she did get into the top fifty, so she received a sensing stone and was able to enter the virtual world.
She hated Feng Wu and couldn’t stand to see her in the limelight.
“So it was her! I knew her name sounded familiar.”
Those who hadn’t recognized Feng Wu before finally remembered why she looked familiar after Jasmine’s explanation. There were only a few students who could achieve that kind of notoriety in their first semester, at least in the last few decades anyway.
“She’s the one who proposed to Senior Ming Xi? She’s got the looks, no wonder she had the guts to pursue him.”
“Guts? Please, more like no shame,” said someone who was envious.
“Stop talking nonsense. Isn’t being a demigod’s disciple and reaching the Heavenly realm even better than successfully proposing to Senior Ming Xi? What if she heard us badmouthing her? She might make our lives difficult.” This came from an alarmist.
“True. That makes sense.” Some people agreed after thinking it over.
Jier looked coldly at Jasmine for instigating the whole discussion.
Jasmine wasn’t afraid of him though. There were so many people around. What could he do? She gave him a provoking glare back.
She hoped Jier would get angry and act out in front of the teacher. Anyways, they were in the virtual world. It wasn’t like she would die in real life if he killed her, but Jier would get punished according to school rules if he attacked her in front of the teacher though.
Too bad for her, Jier wasn’t a fool. There were plenty of other opportunities if he really wanted to take care of a small fry like her. He wouldn’t get in trouble over such a stupid woman. He returned her glare with a disdainful look.
Jasmine was infuriated. One day she would make him pay for looking down on her.
“Enough with the chatter. Even if you failed this exam you can try the other teachers. There won’t be any further chances if you fail after that.”
The teacher’s comment reminded the students they had better things to worry about than to gossip about Feng Wu. They had their own exams to get through!
Feng Wu’s master, White Merciful Wind, was a middle-aged rare beauty who had reached the pinnacle in his original world.
“Master!” Feng Wu rushed into his arms and her little head happily nuzzled his chest.
“Little girl, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for thousands of years. If the hexagram hadn’t said you would definitely appear in this world, I would have ascended to the Heavenly realm already!” White knocked her on the head with his knuckles.
To think, he defeated all the masters, but ended up accepting such a silly disciple. Tian Lan,[notes] this stupid disciple, was the only one he worried about. They’d lived together for over ten years on Yuehua mountain, and he’d long ago thought of her as a daughter, so when he couldn’t find her, he decided not to ascend to the Heavenly realm.
“Master, Tian Lan really missed Master.” Feng Wu looked at him with red-rimmed eyes. In front of her master, she reverted back to being the Tian Lan who lived a carefree life on Yuehua mountain.
“Don’t cry. Have you forgotten Master doesn’t like crying children?” White squeezed his beloved disciple's cute-bun like face. Even though her appearance was different, the smooshable face was still the same.
“I’m not crying. I never cry,” Feng Wu said seriously as she looked at her master.
“Hm, OK, you weren’t crying. You’re doing good. I’m sure you won’t cry in the future either.” White nodded and complimented Feng Wu.
Feng Wu was happy to be praised by her master!
“Master, are we going home?” Feng Wu suddenly felt a little sad when she thought about her friends and the relatives she just met.
White was silent when he heard this. Go home? If they could really go back, how could they have ended up in this world?
“Lan’er,[notes] I’m afraid we won’t ever be able to go back to our house on Yuehua mountain. But it’s OK. I created a replica of our home here in the virtual world. You will live here with Master when you come to the virtual world.” White didn’t explain much as he touched Feng Wu’s head.
“OK.” Feng Wu nodded her head. She didn’t have to leave her friends and family so she was very happy.
“Master, I made friends and I even have family here. Jier, Ming Xi, Ink, Pei Qing . . .” Feng Wu listed off her friends one by one to her master. She wanted to introduce all of them to him.
“Good, but you must be careful. Don’t be fooled.” White knew all too well how socially clumsy his disciple was. Fortunately she had always been lucky and had never been fooled. Maybe foolish people had foolish blessings?
“I won’t be deceived.” Feng Wu said confidently.
Well being confident was a good thing. He didn’t rap her on her head.
He’d traveled through time and space to find this stupid, beloved disciple. Unexpectedly he couldn’t find her, even after thousands of years. It had been a really long time . . . If he hadn’t insisted on staying and waiting for his stupid disciple, he would have already ascended with that kid Longze-Jiamoer.
Setting up such a basic test for new disciples was a good idea. Tian Lan was the only one who could have answered all the questions correctly.
So many people came through over the years, but none of them was Tian Lan. Fortunately, his patience paid off and he finally found his stupid disciple.
White was in a good mood after seeing his disciple again. He wondered what had happened to her.
“Tell Master what you’ve experienced in this realm. Has anyone bullied you?”
Feng Wu looked at her master and told him everything that had happened to her since she arrived and became Feng Wu. She was bad at storytelling so her story was bland and factual. There were no points of color or emotion, it was very staid.
Listening to Feng Wu’s description, White went from being concerned to being calm. He never expected that his very young disciple would have experienced giving birth already.
It seemed like the child crossed over in the middle of delivery. What kind of luck was this? He came over directly, born as a baby into a noble man’s house.
Luckily he wasn’t born into a common household, instead he was the only son of a small well-to -do house. Because he was the only master, he never wanted for anything. Using the experience from his previous life made his current one incredibly easy to navigate.
He gave her a pitiful look when he considered all the things she lived through. This girl’s luck . . . was bad sometimes.
“When I have a chance, I would like to see this son of yours. I can’t leave the virtual world right now, but when I do, I will go and visit your son.”
With his strength, White could have left the virtual world anytime, but once he did, it would have been whole ordeal getting the parts necessary to rebuild his physical body.
His body was destroyed in the battle thousands of years ago. The materials needed to rebuild it were extremely rare and hard to find. But now that he found his little disciple, things would be easier. If worse came to worse, he would just have her work a little harder to help her favorite master find the materials to rebuild his body.
White thought candidly about the best way to enslave his little disciple to work for him.
Feng Wu didn’t know a certain unscrupulous master had already moved beyond the joy of reunion to more practical issues, like how to get her to work hard for him. She was still obliviously happy at being reunited.
“Master, why did we end up here?” Feng Wu wasn’t a fool; it was just that she didn’t waste time thinking about things she didn’t understand.
To suddenly arrive in a new world, anyone would wonder why. But Feng Wu knew it was beyond her, so she didn’t think about it too much. But now her master was here, and her master was the smartest, most powerful, person in the world. She was used to asking her master all the questions she didn’t understand.
“Xiao Wu, this matter is a long story. Listen, and I will slowly explain it to you.” White sighed just thinking about how the two of them ended up crossing over. It had been dangerous back then. If he hadn’t whisked them both away in time, there was no way they could have survived. They would have been annihilated along with their small realm on the outer edges of the universe.[notes]
Little Dusty, the realm the two of them came from, had many mortals and practitioners. Few mortals lived beyond their 100th year, but those who did were considered to be long lived. Practitioners were different because they had twelve levels of internal qi. Legend had it, that once a person’s inner qi surpassed the twelfth level, they would reach a legendary place called the Heavenly realm.
White was the strongest to have reached the twelfth level, but there had plenty of masters who reached it as well. They plateaued and couldn’t move any higher.
This was because a long time ago someone in their small world offended a son of a big family from one of the greater worlds. That world sent a peerless powerhouse to Little Dusty and the heavenly laws of their world was forcibly changed. Since then no one in Little Dusty could break through to the Heavenly realm.
White was a genius, the heaven defying type who only came along once every tens of thousands of years. A person like him would never have been satisfied remaining below the heavens.
He travelled extensively, exploring all kinds of deadly and secret places, until he finally came upon a way to breakthrough and become stronger. The secret was to jump out of his own realm and into another realm. Going to another realm would allow him to escape the restrictions placed on Little Dusty and allow him to explore higher realms . . .
White found a way to escape Little Dusty after searching for a long time. Every small realm like Little Dusty had a boundary stone, it was the heart of the world. He would be able to use the power of the stone to escape Little Dusty.
But where was the stone? He finally found it using numerology.
Little Dusty’s boundary stone was the purest energy in their world. Like Xiao Chun,[notes] it wouldn’t accept anything impure.
White knew he wouldn’t be able to get it on his own, so he calculated the best person who could approach the stone. He never expected his search would lead him to an abandoned baby, Tian Lan.
White promptly adopted her in order to get the stone. Tian Lan was a pure girl without any extraneous thoughts in her head. It was probably this part of her personality that allowed her to learn things so fast. The animals and plants all loved her.
When White adopted Tian Lan, he didn’t have an objective in mind, but before he knew it, after so many years together, he ended up raising her like she was his own daughter, teaching her many things in his own way.
Eventually White brought Tian Lan to the boundary stone. Without using any effort, she easily grasped the stone that no one could obtain.
White promptly used the power of the stone to set up a tremendously large heaven opposing array and forcefully opened a passage to another realm. Naturally he wasn’t going to abandon Tian Lan; he was definitely bringing her with him, but White had to hold the formation stable, so Feng Wu was sent ahead of him through the passage without knowing what was going on.
Tian Lan wasn’t a curious person and she had no idea what her master was doing. He would do whatever he wanted to do.
White was about to step through after Feng Wu, when the person who changed the heavenly laws of Little Dusty noticed the stone was being used to forcefully open a realm passageway.
White couldn’t tell who it was. All he could see was a hand reaching from the sky. The voice that accompanied it was full of insolence.
Little Dusty immediately began collapsing. Cracks appeared above and below, in the sky and in the ground. Lightning shot out and thunder rumbled. The surrounding around Yuehua mountain began to collapse. Woe befell Little Dusty; countless lives were lost, killed in the catastrophe.
Luckily, White managed to escape just in time. Little Dusty was completely destroyed by the person in the sky, but White didn’t know this until later. He lost consciousness the moment he stepped through the passageway. Next he awoke, he was already a new-born babe.
He entered a great, wonderful, new world after escaping Little Dusty. The laws of heaven in the world he entered were complete an unaltered. The people were stronger and used a different method to train.
White started down the path of cultivation and slowly became stronger step by step. In the process he kept looking for his missing disciple. Now here she was.
He never thought the interval difference between their entrances would have resulted in thousands of years difference in the new world. Moreover, their original bodies were completely destroyed when they passed through the barrier between worlds. Luckily they were both reborn.
Feng Wu was silent for a long time after White finished his story. It was as though she needed time to digest it.
White looked at his little disciple. He hadn’t seen in her in so many years. Sigh. She was still a little slow.
“So that’s how I ended up here.” Feng Wu nodded. She wasn’t sad Little Dusty was destroyed, nor was she sad to learn her master had a motive behind adopting her.
They had lived together for so many years that their relationship was basically like that of father and daughter. Feng Wu didn’t care about why he adopted her. It wasn’t important.
For his part, White knew his disciple well. He wouldn’t have told her the story so unstintingly if he thought she would have gotten angry. Never mind being angry, he was certain she wouldn’t even waste time thinking about it. It was just the way her mind worked.
“Master, have some steamed buns.” Feng Wu was happy after finally getting the answers she’d been wanting for so long. She took out two buns, one for her master, one for herself.
White accepted, and the two ate the buns with gusto.
Feng Wu finally found her master, and White finally found the beloved disciple he’d been separated from for so long.
While the two of them harmoniously sat together, leisurely eating buns and occasionally sipping tea, the other students were having a more difficult time trying to pass their tests. White’s exam room was set up to find Feng Wu, so it was like being on a vacation tour; there was nothing dangerous to be careful about.
In contrast, the other exam rooms were not easy at all. They were very difficult and dangerous inside. The students had to be careful not to get too injured, otherwise they would be ejected from the rooms.
Finally, several hours later two students succeeded. Ai Lin and Zi Cheng, both from the Magic division, successfully became disciples of Sages Mei Laji and Nige.
The Magic division were quite proud of themselves. The Sword division was angry about it, but luckily, they had the even more powerful Feng Wu on their side.
What was so great about the Magician division anyway? What was there to brag about? Our Sword division has Feng Wu, and she’s a demigod disciple!
Neither sides could do anything other than stare murderously at the other.
Jier yawned as he waited for Feng Wu outside the golden gate. He didn’t need to do the exam. He was a successor to one of the seasons so his teacher had been determined already. He went in and walked around for a bit before coming back out.
“Why hasn’t Xiao Wu come out yet?” Ink was a little worried as he stood next to Jier.
This kind of exam wasn’t dangerous, but everyone else, even the ones who went in after, had already come out. Feng Wu was the first one to do the test, so why wasn’t she out yet?
It wasn’t just Ink, Jier was frowning as well.
“Teacher, are you sure nothing bad can happen in there?”
“What could happen? This is Xingguang Holy academy. Behind every door here is a hero who was responsible for the demon progenitor’s retreat. What could possibly happen to your classmate?” The teacher rolled his eyes at them.
Ink and Jier anxiously waited for Feng Wu for what felt like forever, when she finally walked out through the gate with her familiar expressionless, stone face.
Ink immediately rushed over to her. “Xiao Wu, what took you so long. We were really worried! We thought something bad happened to you.”
“I was fine. I saw Master and we had some steamed buns together.”
“Congratulations! It looks like you really did get the demigod’s approval! Isn’t that awesome?!” Ink was very happy for her.
“Congratulations Xiao Wu, you got a good master.” Jier was also happy she got such a great teacher.
Because Feng Wu had taken so long inside, there had been a lot of speculation about whether or not she would get accepted as a disciple. Some thought yes, while others thought no, but now they had a clear answer. Of course this attracted a lot of hate and envy her way.
Even Zi Cheng was a bit envious of Feng Wu’s good fortune. She herself had to persevere and go through so much just to be Sage Nige’s disciple. Each successive trial was harder than the one before, and had involved defeating a magic beast and breaking an illusion array formation.
To be acknowledged by a demigod and become his disciple was a dream so many of them had. Yet Feng Wu got it so easily. All she had to do was answer five questions. Their respective roads to becoming accepted disciples were just too different.
Ai Lin also had her own thoughts on the matter, but she sincerely went forward and congratulated Feng Wu. She didn’t care about being a demigod disciple and was happy as long as Zi Cheng didn’t benefit.
Besides, the god-level inheritance[notes] she got was way better than being a demigod’s disciple, so she wasn’t that jealous.
No matter what each of them thought individually, all the students gradually stepped forward and congratulated Feng Wu on finding such a great teacher.
Even the teacher looked kindlier upon Feng Wu, and praised her for winning a demigod’s acknowledgement.
Of course both Zi Cheng and Ai Lin were also praised for passing their exams. In his eyes, the three became model students and representatives for the freshman class.
The teacher explained how the virtual world version of Xingguang Holy academy worked. Both schools had the same size footprint, however there was a forest outside the perimeter of the virtual one. The forest was filled with magical monsters of various levels, with higher levels closer to the center and lower levels along the periphery.
Most students gained combat experience by practicing in the forest. The beasts inside had the same combat powers as their real world equivalent, so the average freshman didn’t dare approach normally.
The teacher took the students and gave them a tour of the school, pointing out all the dangerous places they weren’t allowed to go. Inadvertently entering any of these places would mean putting their lives on the line.
After the tour, he took everyone to report to the teachers in charge of the virtual world branch. The twenty students from the current batch were divided into classes based on their specialty.
Students didn’t have to attend classes in the virtual world, but they had to complete all assigned homework. That, combined with the constant tests, meant life would be hard.
Those students with masters had it even harder. Not only would they have to do regular class assignments, they also had to do assignments from their individual masters.
It would be tiring for sure, but they would learn a lot as well.
The agenda for the first day in the virtual world was to register and get class assignments. Classes only started once fifty students made it into the virtual world.
The class for the students who received their sensing stones early was different from the classes for some senior students. Essentially these guys were considered the cream of the crop and would receive a more elite education.[notes]
Classes finally started on the third day after all the students with sensing stones made it into the virtual world.
Classes for the Magic division were mostly theoretical and focused on casting spells. Classes for the Sword division were the opposite and instead focused on practical combat. There were only about twenty students from the Sword division so all of them would have the same lessons.
None of the students in Xingguang were weak, but because enrollment in the Sword division was much higher than in the Magic division, their rate of expulsion was a lot higher. A few sword users were eliminated every year.
It was the first day of class so everyone was excited. All the students who had the ability to enter the virtual world in the second semester of their freshman year was, without a doubt, strong performers in the first semester.
Being able to earn enough to rank in the top fifty, none of them were simple people.
Twenty or so sword users stood on the field in front of Teacher James. He was the assigned practical combat teacher for their class.
“Many of you should already know me. I am James, and I will be your teacher for combat class. I will be supervising all of you in the days ahead. I hope all of you will be able to complete your assignments and grow stronger,” said James with a stern expressionless face. “I will give you your first task; think of it as homework. Follow me.”
After saying so, James promptly took the Sword division students to large a room. Inside the room were twenty doors.
“Behind these doors lay various mini worlds filled with beasts. Your first assignment is behind these doors. You are to enter, hunt and obtain at least two beast cores. You will be deducted three points if you fail to complete the assignment. Anyone with less than sixty points will be expelled. There will be no make-up tests, so take every assignment I assign seriously.”
The doors were divided into unique areas: oceans, deserts, forests . . . each were complete worlds.
The students who thought it was just an ordinary assignment quickly changed their mindset and took the assignment more seriously.
“Teacher, if points can be deducted, then does that mean we can add points too?” Ink eagerly raised his hand to ask.
James nodded approvingly. “Yes, there is a bonus point system. For example, in this assignment, you only need to hunt and obtain two beast cores. Doing so will mean you’ve satisfactorily completed the assignment. However hunting an additional beast and getting one more core will mean getting one more point. You can do this for up to a maximum of three points. After that, no matter how high your score is, you won’t get any more extra points.
I will give each of you a score after you complete the assignment. The scores are divided into six tiers: “A” through “F”. An “A” is the best and “F” is the worse. Obviously “F” is a fail while “E” is only barely passing . . .”
It was easy enough to understand: every assignment was scored and a maximum of three additional points was possible per assignment. To get more points the students would have to wait for the next assignment.
What they didn’t know was the standard used to score. How many points could they earn from killing two beasts and getting their cores? They were still a little confused about that aspect of the grading, but James didn’t give them time to think it over.
Because this assignment would be individually graded, the students could not work as a team, but had to go solo.
James opened the door they would use for the assignment. A dense wooded forest lay beyond it.
Were the sounds that came through the open door.
The group didn’t have a chance to speak before James started the assignment. Just because the monsters were low level didn’t mean a group of freshmen would have it easy. For a bunch of rookies like them, this was already considered hard!
At their current level, the students would have a difficult time defeating one monster, never mind two.
Some in the group were frowning, while others were full of confidence.
“Everyone, work hard. I’ll go in first,” said a sword user. He stepped into the forest with a long sword in his hand.
“I’m going in.” Another sword user, this time female, walked in.
The others took action after watching two of their classmates walking in fearlessly.
“Xiao Wu, let’s go. Be careful though.” Ink cheered Feng Wu on.
They walked into the exam room and split off in different directions.
It was a huge forest with lush trees that covered the ground in dark shadows. Feng Wu walked alone down the quiet path with her dagger in hand.
James stood somewhere in the world observing the students’ reactions. Some were already fighting, while others were fleeing. Some were cautious while others were reckless. As a master with high cultivation, it was easy for James to see the expression on the students’ faces. He knew everything within several hundred meters of him just by focusing his mind.
A male student was resting in a hidden spot after unceremoniously defeating a beast and collecting its core.
Another boy, named Ou Meng, was more cautious. He and his mother, a minor concubine, were often bullied by the main wife and her eldest son. He and his mother were forced to reduce their monthly deposits.
He was forced to learn how to make money at a young age, so the money-making assignment from the first semester was easy for him. He got a good grade and made it to the top ten. This brought the family's attention on him and suddenly his mother, who had been forgotten by his father, was remembered again.
He had to work hard so he and his mother could have a better life at home. Failing wasn’t an option for this assignment or any other. He wouldn’t give his aunt a chance to hurt him or his mother.
“Hoo.” He tore a piece off his clothes and wrapped his wound. The pain and injuries received in the virtual world felt realistic. You had to get properly treated by a doctor or take the right medicine to heal.
It wasn’t possible to find a doctor to treat his injuries in his current situation though. He had to make do with basic dressing to stop the bleeding.
He had to hunt down a monster to complete the assignment, so he couldn’t afford to lose consciousness from loss of blood.
Ou Meng carefully hid inside a hole in a tree and didn’t come out even though he heard footsteps nearby. He wouldn’t risk it until he knew if the person was malicious or not.
The footsteps got closer and closer. From the haggard breathing, it was obvious the person was running madly.
Soon enough a beautiful, young girl wielding a sword entered Ou Meng’s sight. Her eyes were full of panic as she occasionally looked over her shoulder at what was chasing her.
She was clearly worn out, but the monster chasing her was also injured. The two must have had a fierce fight, before the girl lost ground and had to retreat. The enraged monster wouldn’t let her escape though.
Ou Meng didn’t come out from his hiding place. The teacher had made it clear the assignment wasn’t a team battle, but an individual one. He didn’t intend to put himself at risk to save a random stranger.
He would wait and see. The girl would be teleported out if she succumbed to the monster’s attack. The mini worlds were different in that people wouldn’t get ejected out of the virtual world if they died. Instead they would just be teleported out of the mini world.
The girl rushed forward madly. Just as she thought she was going to die, a figure appeared. The person was dark-haired and a known celebrity in the freshman class, the only demigod disciple, a source of envy and jealousy in the freshman sword class.
“Classmate Feng Wu! Please help me!” The girl rushed to Feng Wu frantically, as though toward her savior.
Since entering, Feng Wu had already hunted one monster and was looking for another. She didn’t expect to find a second one so quickly. As for the girl crying for help, Feng Wu had no time for her.
Feng Wu raised her sword as the girl rushed toward her. The girl watched as the monster she had been running so fearfully away from was quickly dispatched with a few swift slashes by Feng Wu.
It wasn’t just the girl, Ou Meng was also sighing in surprise. With that kind of strength, it was no wonder she made it as a demigod’s disciple.
Feng Wu immediately reached for the monster core. The rescued girl walked over out of breath. She stared at the core as she spoke. “Classmate Feng Wu, thank you for helping me get the core!” With a friendly smile on her face, she reached a hand out for the core, as if it belonged to her.
Feng Wu dealt the finishing blow, but she was the one who fought the monster and brought it nearly half to death, so naturally the core belonged to her.
She didn’t think about what would have happened if Feng Wu hadn’t arrived. Never mind the magic core, it was questionable if she could even remain in the mini world.
She was confident Feng Wu would be too embarrassed to not hand it over. A pity Feng Wu didn’t follow her script.
Feng Wu didn’t bother responding to the girl, instead she put the magic core in the space ring.
“Feng Wu, you think you can look down on your classmates just because you’re a disciple of a demigod? That’s a magic core I’ve worked hard for. Give it to me!” The girl ignored her injuries and threatened Feng Wu in a loud voice.
Ou Meng, who had remained hidden through the whole ordeal, only had one thought: No good deed went unpunished. It was hard being a good person.
He was glad he hadn’t rescued the beauty like some hothead.
Feng Wu blinked. She looked at the girl who was staring back resentfully.
Who was this person? She tilted her head to one side. Master said not to bother with nonsensical people. She should just ignore them.
Feng Wu looked at the girl who was posturing aggressively one more time before turning around and leaving without a word.
“You! Come back here! Give back the magic core!” The girl chased after Feng Wu, and soon both disappeared out of sight.
Ou Meng sighed silently. Peronally, he would have slapped the girl. Stupid people like that, the only way to feel better was to beat some sense into them.
After resting a bit more, Ou Meng slid out of his hiding spot and headed down a different road.
Yi Lin was relieved to have successfully snuck back into her room, however she got a huge scare when her mother opened the door.
“Mom! What are you doing?! You didn’t let the servants notify me you were coming! That really surprised me!” Yi Lin voiced her dissatisfaction.
Jiao dismissed Yi Lin’s personal maid and the other servants in Yi Lin’s quarters. Alone with her daughter she said, “Let’s chat. Where did you go?”
“Where did I go? I walked around outside for a bit of course.” Yi Lin’s gaze drifted away from her mother, not daring to look at the older woman in the eyes.
She wasn’t one to admit defeat, even as a small child. She was afraid of Grandfather Feng and Uncle Feng,[notes]but the one she was most afraid of was her mother.
Everyone thought her mother was willful and savage, a brainless ditz, but the Yi siblings knew better. They knew their mother wasn’t a simple woman. Her reputation was only that way because of Grandfather Feng and Uncle Feng.
“Go out for a while? When did you and Qui Shui become so friendly?” Her mother asked casually.
“What Qui Shiu? Mom I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Yi Lin played stupid. Knowing her mother’s temper, she knew her mother would be unhappy with her.
“You don’t know what I’m talking about?” Her mother chuckled lightly. “Lin’er, I’m your mother. How can I not know what your personality is like? I know you secretly like Qui Bai and that’s why you’re trying to get closer to Qui Shiu. You hope to one day be the madam of the Qui house. Mother knows your intentions.”
There were things Jiao hadn’t intended to talk about, but Yi Lin had already crossed certain lines. She was afraid Qui Shiu would ruin Yi Lin’s future if she didn’t put an end to it.
Hearing her mother expressing her plans so bluntly was too much for Yi Lin. She couldn’t help but deny everything. “Mom, don’t listen to random gossip. How could I ever think that way?!”
“Ha?!” Jiao slapped the table hard. “You don’t think I know all the things you did to get close to Qui Bai? You worked really hard. You even dared move against your own kin."
Yi Lin’s face paled in fright. She didn’t expect her mother to know what she had done.
“Mom! How’d you know this?!”
“Girl, you’ve been restless ever since Feng Wu returned. Then you go off and meet someone mysteriously? I was afraid you’d do something foolish so I sent someone to investigate. It was a good thing I checked. I found out some incredible things. You’re really brave! Dare work with Qui Shui to scheme against your own cousin!”
Jiao slammed her hand against the table again. Her chest heaved up and down in anger.
Yi Lin knew she couldn’t hide it anymore so she confessed. “OK I admit it. I teamed up with Qui Shui[notes] on Daughters’ day and tricked her into eating pearl powder with fulong flower tea. But nothing happened!
I don’t know why it worked out that way! Everyone knows eating pearl powder with fulong tea will give you really strong hallucinations. But nothing happened to her, so our efforts were in vain!”
The plan was to use the festival as a cover to scheme against Feng Wu. Shui was responsible for the snacks while she was responsible for bringing Feng Wu. Everything went as planned. Feng Wu didn’t just nibble on the snacks, she positively pigged out. But despite eating so much, she wasn’t affected at all.
They’d planned everything. Feng Wu would embarrass herself in front of the queen and all the other noble children while under the hallucinogenic effects of the powder and tea. It was the best day to do it because of the special guest from the Ancient Silver Moon kingdom.
Yi Lin didn’t like Feng Wu, but she had never thought to kill her. She had done it because Shui promised to invite her to the house if things went well. The invitation would give Yi Lin a chance to connect with Bai.
Everything went as planned, but the expected end result didn’t happen.
Neither Yi Lin nor Shui knew Feng Wu was Xiao Chun’s[notes]master. Xiao Chun was an embodiment of purity, so the effects of the tea and powder were instantly nullified. So no matter how much Feng Wu ate, it was impossible for her to be poisoned, because Xiao Chun would have nullified the effects.
“Did you forget to use your brain? You really believe that Qui Shui girl said? She was only using you to deal with Feng Wu. I swear if Feng Wu had been caught in your schemes, the king and queen would have investigated. And in the end, the person they'd find wouldn't be Qui Shui.”
Jiao hated how this daughter didn’t live up to expectations. She poked Yi Lin on the forehead. She didn’t understand how she gave birth to such a dull-witted child. To actually be used as someone else’s pawn . . .
Yi Lin couldn’t believe it. “No, Shui said she took cared of the evidence. No one would have been able to connect it to us.” It wasn’t just that she couldn’t believe it, but that she didn’t want to believe it. She didn’t want to believe she’d been such an easy to outwit fool.
People were like this. They only believed what they wanted to believe.
239: A Major Feng House Event
Jiao snorted coldly. “I think she did take care of the evidence on her end. But if someone were to come looking, they’d find you to be a convenient scapegoat.
No one in Feng or Yi house will care for you once your reputation is ruined. You secretly poisoned your cousin! The ones suffering will be our two houses. Qui house will come up clean, really good at scheming that one.”
Yi Lin got the shivers after hearing her mother’s analysis of the situation. She still didn’t want to admit she’d been used. “No, no I have an agreement with Shui. As long as I helped her with this, she would help me pursue Brother Bai.” Yi Lin excitedly said.
“Help you pursue Qui Bai? You really think that’s possible? Just think how the Qui sisters look down on you. Dream on little girl.” The angrier Jiao got, the more she poked at Yi Lin’s forehead.
Yi Lin stepped back and covered her forehead with a hand. “But she promised. Qui house is such a big house, and she’s a main daughter. How could she lie to me?”
“You still don’t believe it? Let me ask you. You went to see Qui Shui just now right? Did she say when she would invite you over to see her brother?” Before Yi Lin could answer, Jiao answered for her. “No, she didn’t.”
Yi Lin nodded a little sadly. “She asked me out. Then she asked me if Feng Wu had some kind of medicine for the situation. She asked me if I inadvertently had something to do with it. She was so annoyed I didn’t have the heart to ask about visiting.”
“It’s obvious from the start she never intended to keep her promise; she only wanted to use you for her benefit.”
“What should I do then? Shui is too horrible! Mom we can’t let this go! She has to properly explain herself!” Yi Lin was in tears - she was so angry. Why give her false hope like that?! She only wanted to marry a good man.
The more Yi Lin thought about it, the sadder she became. She flung herself onto the table in tears.
“Don’t cry. Mother won’t let her get away with it. I will definitely make her pay.” A sharp light flashed in Jiao’s eyes. “Regarding Qui Bai, don’t think about him anymore. It doesn’t matter even if your uncle is head of Feng house.
Madam Qui harbors resentment towards Feng house. As long as it has anything to do with Feng house, she’ll oppose it. Given that family’s history with ours, it’s impossible for you - there’s no way you can marry Qui Bai.
Although Feng Ting is crazy about marrying Qui Bai and wants to marry into Qui house, she’ll ultimately fail. She doesn’t know Madam Qui won’t let a daughter of Feng house in.”
Other people didn’t know about the resentment Madam Qui had over Feng house, but Jiao knew perfectly well.
Yi Lin was surprised because she had never heard gossip about Madam Qui having a grudge with Feng house.
“What happened? Why does Madam Qui resent Feng house?”
“It all started with your uncle’s marriage . . .” Jiao recounted how initially Xiang Zhongqui[notes] was the favored candidate for the daughter-in-law position in Feng house. However Xiao Die[notes] stole her thunder, won Feng Hang’s[notes] heart and took the lead to become the madam of Feng house. So Xiang Zhongqui married into the Qui family instead.
“Wow, so Madam Qui had this kind of grudge with Feng house!” This was the first Yi Lin heard about it. If she’d known, she wouldn’t have worked with Qui Shui. “Mom, why didn’t you tell before? I wouldn’t have helped Shui if I’d known all this,” complained Yi Lin.
“You dare complain? How was I to know you fell for the Qui boy?” Of course she would have told Yi Lin if she knew. “Now that you know, make sure you stay away from the Qui family. Don’t let people take advantage of you so easily. It was a good thing nothing bad befell Feng Wu that day, otherwise your grandfather might have killed you.”
Grandfather Feng was a stubborn man who remembered every gratitude he had for someone and every grudge he held against a person. He would make sure to clean house properly if it turned out Yi Lin was responsible for poisoning Feng Wu.
Yi Lin was scared when she heard this. A serious Grandfather Feng was one she feared the most! He would kill her if there was a smidgeon of doubt in his mind about her loyalties.
The more she thought about it, the more afraid she became. She truly resented Shui. She wouldn’t let Shui get away with it. Luckily Shui only saw her as a fool, so she would wait and see . . .
The atmosphere in Feng house was lively because Grandfather Feng had a major announcement. Xing[notes] was hired by Xingguang Holy academy to be a teacher. Then to reward her dedication for the twenty years she guarded Blood Moon forest, the school allowed Yanran to enroll as a student without taking the entrance examination.
People of Feng house were congratulating Xing and Yanran. In two days the mother daughter pair would be leaving. The whole thing made Feng Ting uncomfortable.
As a young lady of an aristocratic house, she didn’t have to go to Xingguang Holy academy to learn like some other people. There were better opportunities for her to learn advanced sword skills by staying home.
It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it was just that Yanran was going to Xingguang Holy academy. The issue was her use of the exemption reservation. The reservation was a tremendous honor given to those houses who made outstanding contributions to the human world.
Those with a reservation were assigned a teacher to personally guide them through their academic studies and training. Another benefit was priority when selecting inheritances in the virtual world.
With so many advantages, it was practically guaranteed Yanran would make a name for herself and become a powerful sword master or amazing magical/arts warrior.
The reservation represented future guarantees; how could Feng Ting not be jealous? She would have to work harder and return to the virtual world to find an inheritance for herself. The Feng inheritance would be passed onto Tian[notes] so if she wanted to get stronger, she would have to find a way to do it herself.
“Ting Ting, what’s wrong? Why are you in a bad mood?” Yi Tian[notes] asked as he poured her a cup of tea.
The two of them were sitting in a box watching a musical together, but Feng Ting had been distracted. Yi Tian could see she was in a bad mood.
240: The Secret From Thirty Years Ago (1)
“It’s nothing. I was just sad because Cousin Yanran will be leaving for Xingguang Holy academy in two days.” Feng Ting couldn’t say the real reason for her dissatisfaction so she used a random excuse.
Yi Tian believed her easily. He had always seen her as a good daughter and a kind-hearted girl. He looked a little embarrassed as he furrowed his brows and frowned at her words.
“Ting Ting, in the future, don’t get too close to Yanran. Or Aunt Xing either. It won’t be good for you to have too much contact with that mother daughter pair.”
“Why would you say that? Yi Lin told me the same thing the other day. Brother Yi Tian, what are you hiding from me?” Feng Ting looked suspiciously at Yi Tian.
“This . . .” Yi Tian scratched his head self-consciously. He had promised his mother he would not say anything, but at the same time he didn’t want to keep it a secret from Feng Ting. Would it really be a good idea to keep her in the dark?
“Brother Yi Tian, if you know something, please tell me. I promise not to tell anyone else.” Feng Ting had felt uncomfortable that the day Yi Lin gave her the warning, but she hadn’t been able to figure out what was wrong.
She had forgotten about it, until Yi Tian mentioned it again just now. Did Aunt Jiao know some big secret? It had to be something big if so many of the children were instructed not to divulge it.
She would use the foolish Yi Tian to find out what the big secret was.
Yi Tian was hesitant about sharing. He couldn't ignore the plea in Feng Ting's eyes. He really liked her . . .
“Ting Ting, what I tell you today, you can’t share with anyone else. It won’t be good for you otherwise. Both your father and grandfather will be angry with you.”
He decided to tell her the truth, but for the sake of her future, he prefaced it with a reminder. Yi Tian was impulsive and wasn’t as clever as his brother, but he was good to the people he liked. He’d always kept Feng Ting in his thoughts, but unfortunately, she had other plans and had no interest in marrying someone from the Yi house. Her eyes were on a bigger prize.
“Speak, I promise to keep it a secret.” Now Feng Ting was really curious. She never expected it to involve both her father and grandfather.
“It began when my mother was a child . . .”
Feng Ting learned the secret from thirty years ago as she listened to Yi Tian’s narration.
Thirty years ago Grandfather Feng’s wife, Li Ruo, was the madam of Feng house. She looked like an ordinary middle-class daughter from an ordinary middle-class family, but in reality, she was an astrologer with the ability to predict her future and those of her family members by reading the stars. It was an impressive ability even if it was only for family.
She was a smart woman. She kept her ability a secret and pretended to be an ordinary noble lady. Even after she married Grandfather Feng, she kept her abilities hidden and didn’t use it to profit the family.
No one in Feng house knew because she had been so careful. Things changed when the three kids grew up.
It was probably a combination of Xing not being favored by Madam Li Ruo and her having a similar personality to Grandfather Feng, that Grandfather Feng and Hang liked her more than Jiao. Grandfather Feng felt bad his wife didn’t appear to like their youngest daughter at all.
For whatever reason, between her two daughters, Madam Li Ruo liked Jiao the most. She pampered Jiao, which led to Jiao being strong-willed and spoiled.
The family didn’t understand why Madam Li Ruo liked Jiao so much. Most families would like their baby girl more than the eldest daughter. No one knew the answer.
The madam’s body deteriorated as the children grew up. All astrologers had short lives because they had to use their life force to predict the future.
Grandfather Feng didn’t know this. He only knew that his wife had always had a strong body, but having three kids seemed to have severely weakened her.
In order to save her life, he took Hang to a secret realm to find a life-restoring fruit.
The two men left, leaving the ladies in the compound. Madam Li Ruo had always spoiled Jiao, so naturally Jiao had strong affections for her. She had been guarding her mother diligently since her mother’s collapse.
On the other hand, Xing was never favored by her mother, so she didn’t visit other than to pay her daily respects. She wouldn’t visit without reason only to be rebuffed.
Three days after the men left, a meteor shower sparked across the starry sky.
It made Madam Li Ruo uneasy. It was the kind of unease that appeared when the family’s future was in danger.
She made a divination secretly while Jiao wasn’t around. The results led her to an unexpected decision.
Jiao was awakened by the heavy rain falling that night. Uneasy, she ran to her mother’s room, but her mother wasn’t there. It was so late and her body was so weak, where could she have gone?
Jiao was now really worried. While searching for her mother, she heard some noise inside Xing’s room. She walked inside, intending to ask her sister if she knew their mother’s whereabouts.
The scene inside shocked her. Her mother held a dagger in one hand while chasing Xing, the killing intent was firm and clear in her eyes. A mother wanting to kill her own daughter?!
Originally Madam Li Ruo was stronger than Xing, but her body had weakened to such a severe state, she didn’t have the physical ability to kill Xing anymore.
Xing escaped their mother by shoving her away and rushing out into the heavy rain. Jiao finally came to her senses. She rushed to help her mother up. Being shoved so hard had worsened Madam Li Ruo’s condition and her life was fading fast.
“Mom! What’s going on? Why are you doing this?!” Jiao didn’t understand. Her mother was a kind person. Why would she try to kill her own daughter? Even if it was one she never liked?
The twelve-year-old Jiao supported her mother while weeping hard.
241: The Secret From Thirty Years Ago (2)
Her mother had to be delirious from illness. Otherwise how could she try to kill someone, never mind her own daughter? Jiao was unwilling to believe the scene she just witnessed so she made excuses for her mother.
“It’s too late! -cough cough- This is god’s will. Jiao’er -cough- promise mother. Promise to kill your sister. You must kill her or she will destroy the entire Feng house with her own hands -cough-. She is a calamitous star. She will bring disaster to Feng house. -Cough- kill her, only this way can we save Feng house.”
Madam Li Ruo held Jiao’s hand tightly. Her body was so weak, she was barely breathing.
Jiao shook her head desperately. Her tears flowed down in a continuous stream. “Mom! What are you talking about? I don’t understand!”
“Jiao’er, Jiao’er. -Cough- remember Mother’s words. Do not forget. Mother is an astrologer. When you kids were born, I divined the future for you three.”
Jiao hadn’t calmed the emotions in her heart when she was stunned by this new revelation. She never thought her gentle mother was an astrologer.
Astrologers were a special profession and were considered a national treasure on the mainland for their ability to predict the future by reading celestial events.
If Li Ruo had not concealed her identity as an astrologer, she would have even been able to marry a prince, her background as a minor noble notwithstanding. There would be no issues.
Knowing her mother’s true identity was a shocker to Jiao.
“Xing, Xing’s future is the most unclear of all you children. The only thing Mother could see was a sea of blood. Nothing else but blood. All these years Mother has always had an ominous feeling about Xing . . . even if she is my own daughter.
Tonight, because of the meteor shower, I divined the future again. I . . . I -cough- finally found out. Xing is a calamitous star. Everyone in Feng house will die. -Cough- No one will live.
Remember you must kill Xing. Kill her. She will destroy Feng house with her calamity star.” Madam Li Ruo couldn’t hang on any further. Her hand dropped and her breathing stopped.
“Mom!” Jiao shouted frantically. Her shout was drowned out by the storm. It was like the heavy rain isolated them from the world outside.
After crying herself out, Jiao knew she had to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. She would kill Xing.
Unfortunately, Jiao didn’t get a chance to kill her sister before Grandfather Feng and Hang returned. When Grandfather Feng left, he had carried with him Madam Li Ruo’s life stone. They had hurried back home when the stone’s light nearly extinguished.
The two men were met by the scene of the two sisters battling. Both girls were injured, but Xing was much more so than Jiao.
The men stopped Jiao from killing Xing, so she immediately told them what Madam Li Ruo said just before dying, but neither men believed her. Instead they blamed her for Madam Li Ruo’s death. Madam Li Ruo would have been disappointed in this daughter she loved so dearly.
Xing didn’t understand what was happening. She only knew her mother had tried to kill her, and now her sister was trying to do the same, so the relationship between the two sisters turned frigid. Father and son protected the baby of the house fiercely. In the process Jiao became estranged from the rest of the family.
Just because she was alienated by everyone, didn’t mean Jiao was going to give up, instead she became even more aggressive. Her mother had been her favorite person in the entire world. In order to fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Jiao tried to kill Xing[notes] several times.
She was beaten close to death several times when her father found out. After her wounds healed, she continued trying to kill Xing again. This was when Xing took the initiative to flee to Blood Moon forest under the pretext of guarding the boundaries.
Both father and son felt sorry for Xing so their relationship with Jiao suffered even more. Things turned especially cold after Jiao insisted on marrying the son of a minor house. Her relationship with the rest of the family was barely holding up.
Any exchange they had over the years was simply a face-saving measure. This was why both father and son loved Yanran so much, yet had no affection for the Yi children.
When Yi Tian initially heard the story from his mom, he had needed some time to reconcile it in his mind. In the eyes of the public, she was unreliable, but as her son, he knew better. She was not as simple as she appeared.
His mother didn’t regret marrying his father, in fact they had a convivial marriage. The public didn’t believe it and thought she was quite bitter and was just putting up a front while in public.
His mother didn’t bother to correct public perception. Even within Feng house his mother deliberately took advantage of her bad reputation to take advantage of his aunt and uncle. She seemed to do it deliberately just to make trouble for them.
Feng Ting didn’t know what to believe. Apparently her grandmother had been an astrologer? And she had foreseen Aunt Xing would take Yanran and kill everyone in Feng house?
It was just too terrible a thing to think about. Could the relationship between the two aunts be so bad that Aunt Jiao would make up something like this to destroy Aunt Xing’s reputation?
But it wasn’t possible. She was sure how Yi Tian felt about her. If it wasn’t true, there was no way he would tell it to her.
If things were really as Aunt Jiao said, would Feng house really be destroyed by Aunt Xing?
Feng Ting couldn’t come up with any ideas even after leaving the theater. It had been thirty years since that day. Aunt Jiao and Aunt Xing were the only ones still alive who knew the real story. There was no one she could go to in order to check the story.
Feng Ting wasn’t fully convinced because there was no way to verify it. Jiao’s reputation for being unreliable was well-known throughout all of countries in the ancient east. You could only believe half the words that came out of her mouth. The only ones who’d believe her unreservedly were her kids.
She knew Yi Tian wouldn’t lie to her. She didn’t completely disbelieve the story either. For obvious reasons, it was impossible for her to completely cut all ties from her aunt and her cousin. Even if she was willing to do it, there was no way the family would allow it. So, she made up her mind to keep a certain distance instead.
Regardless of Feng Ting’s internal conflict, Feng Wu was nearly done with her assessment.[notes]
Feng Wu killed a monster and dug its core out with her sword. It was the fifth core so she had successfully killed five monsters.
Monsters in the special world beyond the doors had no sentience so Feng Wu had no problems killing them. Had they been sentient she would not have been such an efficient killer.
After getting all five cores, she used the teleportation to return to the main room. She was the first to finish so it was only her and the teacher in the main room.
James nodded at her appearance, satisfied with her performance.
Soon after Feng Wu returned, two more students appeared. From the injuries it was obvious what kind of fight they had. One of the two was Ou Meng. He glanced at Feng Wu curiously, wondering what happened to that other girl in the forest.
Although he wanted to know the juicy details, he decided to not ask. He and Feng Wu weren’t close. And if he asked a question like that, she might think he was trying to suck up to her because she was demi-god’s disciple.
A half hour later time ran out and the rooms were automatically closed. All the students still inside were forcefully teleported out.
The returned students looked bad. Their faces were marked and their clothes were torn with blood stains all over.
One particularly ugly girl stared at Feng Wu with bitter eyes. She looked like she wanted to kill Feng Wu’s entire family.
“I will announce the names of those who passed. Listen carefully. Those who completed the task today should remember to be humble. Those to failed should not be discouraged. I hope all of you will perform better next time.
In first place: Feng Wu. For eliminating five monsters and completing the task she gets three extra points.
In second place: Pei.[notes]For eliminating four monsters he gets two points.
Third place is tied with three people: Louna, Ou Meng, and Ink.[notes]All three eliminated three monsters. Each person will get an additional extra point.
Now for the students who completed the mission. Xi, Josephine, Mei Li Sha, Aidu Lun, Julie, Wei Si, Ansi, Aner . . .”
James managed to speak all the names in one breath.[notes]
Out of the twenty-three people who entered the virtual world, only fifteen completed the task. Basically, eight failed. Their points would be deducted, but they would be not penalized for failing. Loss of points, was in and of itself, a serious punishment, so there was no need to give them further penalties.
James praised the five who ranked and gave encouragement to those who didn’t complete their assignment. After announcing the end of class, he asked all the injured students to go to the clinic to get healed.
The clinic at school was free, so it was easier to heal there. To get healed outside of school meant finding and paying a native doctor or magician with healing abilities. The clinic at school was not only free, but was staffed 24/7, so it was also convenient.
James promptly left after making his announcements. The remaining students looked at one another. Some took out medicine from their space rings, while others stood up with support, intending to find a doctor for their injuries.
Feng Wu didn’t have anything to do, but she was hungry after all the fighting earlier. Food was required when stamina dropped too low in the virtual world. Feng Wu would feel weak if her stamina dropped below the minimum threshold, even walking would be difficult.
All activities, whether running errands or killing monsters, required energy. Everyone felt hunger when the amount of energy expended became high enough.
Feng Wu was hungry. She touched her tummy thinking she would find Master to cook something for her.
Of course she would think to go to her master when she got hungry. Back on Yuehua mountain, she always went to Master when she got hungry. The two would eat whatever he made. He did the cooking because Feng Wu had always been a poisonous cook. The only way he would let his precious disciple cook was if he wanted to die.
It was a good plan on Feng Wu’s part, but unfortunately, she was stopped before she could walk through the door.
“Stop! Don’t think that just because you’re a disciple of a demigod, you can bully people. I, Beverly, am not afraid of a despicable person like you! Just boldly stealing other people’s magic cores! I won’t let you leave until you give me an explanation!”
It was the same girl Feng Wu saved earlier. Apparently now she wanted revenge for the magic core. The way the strange girl stopped Feng Wu made people wonder if there was merit to the accusation.
The girl wasn’t born beautiful, but had become a lovely beauty as she got older. She wasn’t an aristocrat, but she was a spoiled child of a small grocery store owner. At her previous school, she only interacted with other common children. Her background, when compared to them, was among the best. The teachers loved her because of her talent and her family background. Everything changed once she enrolled at Xingguang though. At the academy, no one paid her any attention.
The other students didn’t crowd around her, or look at her enviously. She hadn’t realized just how big the gap between commoners and nobles were until Xingguang.
The young noble misses were disdainful of her and had no interest in associating with a common person like her, while she disdained putting in the effort required to make friends with them.
Unlike some of the other common girls, Beverly felt it was beneath her to suck up to the noble girls. As a result of this, she was like a lone wolf with no friends in class.
But she looked pretty and had an easy temperament, so certain boys didn’t mind paying her attention and being her knight.
243: Can’t Withstand the Scrutiny
Beverly wasn’t an idiot. She knew unattainable things were always the best, so she prettily showed gratitude to the boys who protected her, but never allowed them to go too far. Her attitude made people think she wasn’t a vain girl vying for attention. Her repuation among the boys was good because of this.
She didn’t have a good relationship with any of the girls though, and at first it didn’t bother her. But then Feng Wu appeared. She never expected a girl with a ruined reputation, a shameless hussy who gave birth out of wedlock, would be accepted by a demigod. Beverly couldn’t help but feel jealous.
That jealousy turned into hate after Feng Wu stole the magic core from her. If you were to ask her why, it would be because Feng Wu was stronger than her. The monster that chased her, nearly killing her, was so easily taken down by Feng Wu with just two slashes.
Being overtaken by someone inferior and with a worse reputation, Beverly wasn’t the kind of magnanimous person to not mind! Hate for Feng Wu easily sprouted in her heart.
Feng Wu didn’t know Beverly hated her so much. She stood quietly in front of Beverly before asking, “Who are you?”
Yes, that’s right, Feng Wu had already forgotten the girl.
What was going on? The onlookers watched even more closely. One said she was robbed while the other party claimed to not know the accuser. Interesting!
Healing can wait! It wasn’t like they were going to die from their injuries. Eating can wait! Their energy wasn’t going to plummet that fast. Watching the show was more important!
Of all the reactions Beverly thought Feng Wu would have, she never expected Feng Wu to act like she didn’t remember. Beverly’s face flushed. This shameless liar! She thought.
Feng Wu didn’t know it, but her not remembering aggravated Beverly even more.
“Still won’t admit your crime?! You stole my magic core! I was about to kill that monster, when you jumped in and stole my kill then stole my magic core! It’s your fault I couldn’t complete the assignment! People like you are shameless!”
Suddenly the story from Beverly’s mouth was different. She hid the fact that she was running away from the monster, only highlighting Feng Wu’s role in stealing the kill, and her role as an innocent girl who was wronged.
Those who didn’t know the truth, were on Beverly’s side. Who knew how many people were jealous of Feng Wu for being a demigod disciple? If these accusations were true, then would the demigod choose a new disciple? Their hopes were rekindled.
Those who thought this way immediately spoke up to denounce Feng Wu. It didn’t matter if it was really true or not, as long as it could be turned into truth. There weren’t many who thought this way, but there were a few. Most people were watching for the entertainment and to be messengers of justice later.
“Feng Wu, this is your fault. Didn’t expect you to be this kind of person.”
“Yeah, I know, totally shameless.”
“No wonder she doesn’t have any injuries and still managed to come out before anyone else. She was stealing kills from other people!”
“As for being the disciple of a demigod, with this kind of character, the demigod will definitely reject you!”
“I don’t understand how someone with such bad character was picked by a demigod. I’m better than she is!”
For a while, Feng Wu became the subject of their crusade. Any other girl would have either started crying from the injustice of it all, went on the defense, or drew her sword and started attacking them.
But Feng Wu wasn’t like that. She blinked and stared at Beverly seriously for a moment. A vague impression came to mind.
“I don’t remember doing this. If you say I did, then let’s go to the teacher. He is very good; he’ll be able to tell if I did it or not.”
Feng Wu had a hazy impression of Beverly, but she really didn’t remember doing what Beverly accused her of doing. The other party was adamant so Feng Wu decided to find the teacher. Jier said the teacher was good. If there was a problem, then the teacher would resolve it.
Jier was referring to academic problems . . .
Beverly cried. What should she do? Go the teacher? Of course not! If she did, then he would reveal what happened inside the rooms. She wouldn’t have the courage to show her face.
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re trying to do. You just want to use your demigod’s name to ask the teacher to side with you. Don’t even think it! I’m not that stupid.”
Beverly shot back at Feng Wu. She didn’t agree or disagree to finding the teacher.
What Beverly said made the smarter students look at her differently. They guessed things weren’t as she said. Better to stand back and just watch.
Of course there were fools in the crowd who failed to see the loopholes in Beverly’s words. They believed her words. A demigod . . . of course the teacher would have to give that person face. Poor Beverly, she would suffer.
Ou Meng stood to the side thinking that people like Beverly had no shame.
“Beverly, you claim Feng Wu stole your core. So I want to ask, how many monsters did you kill in the special room?” Xi[notes] couldn’t help but join the discussion.
“I . . .” Beverly blushed, speechless. She hadn’t killed any.
“You didn’t kill any huh?” Xi pushed the person in front of her out of her way. “You said you couldn’t pass the assignment because Feng Wu stole your kill and took your core, so I’m surprised. Even if Feng Wu gave you that one core, would you pass? Thinking about the assignment, you have to have another core in your possession.” Xi stared at Beverly disdainfully as she spoke.
The other girls covered their mouths and giggled. There was no way what Beverly said earlier would have stood up to scrutiny. You just had to think about it and ask the right questions.
244: Leaving the Matter As Is
Beverly’s face changed from blue to red upon hearing the laughter. She never thought another girl would help Feng Wu. Shouldn’t they all hate Feng Wu together? She was just a commoner, and yet she had such good fortune! They should be united in jealousy against her.
Beverly didn’t understand. It wasn’t that the girls weren’t jealous of Feng Wu, it was just that they weren’t as stupid as she was. Anyways, Feng Wu had the backing of a demigod. You had to give that person face.
Few people at school knew Feng Wu’s identity. Most people thought she was a commoner. It was true she had made some high-profile friends, but that didn’t change her low-born status.
Beverly didn’t know Feng Wu’s identity so she dared move against Feng Wu to ruin her reputation.
“I wanted to get my magic core back from her after she stole it from me, so I had no time to kill other monsters!” shouted Beverly. She wasn’t the kind of girl to retreat from a few words. She babbled an excuse for not killing any other monsters.
“You spend so much time chasing Feng Wu for the core. You didn’t think to kill another monster?” Xi sneered, obviously not believing a word.
“I . . .I was angry at the time. I forgot OK?!” Beverly raged at Xi.
“Oh, sure. Your results are your own. No one controls what you do.” Xi shrugged.
The other students watched Xi nearly make Beverly blow up in anger. This was getting even more fun.
“You . . . Stop bullying me! I know you’re roommates with her! You’re helping her by purposefully making it hard for me!” Beverly bit her lip, her eyes glistening with tears, a victim of bullying.
The other girls looked at the little white lotus[notes] with disdain, before turning their heads away one by one. This status-less girl couldn’t even understand her own situation.
The girls in Beverly’s class were especially feeling it. They’d been uncomfortable with her acting like a holy virgin. The boys in class completely ate her act, never getting tired or it. They loved to gather around her.
The girls would be accused of bullying Beverly, of harboring ill-intentions, if they so much as made a face at her. They always took her side because Beverly would have that pitiful expression. None of the girls in class liked being around her.
Even the few common girls in class didn’t like getting too close to her. Beverly was the kind of arrogant girl who didn’t know her own position. So a friendship with her meant constant fear of being dressed-down by her.
Watching her suffer the loss by Xi put the girls in a good mood. Just deserts! If it weren’t for the brain-dead boys in class, they would have taught her a lesson ages ago.
“I admit Feng Wu and I are roommates. So what? You don’t think I’d be fair? Let’s go find the teacher. But you say the teacher will give face to Feng Wu’s demigod master, so you’re unwilling.
I just said a few words on Feng Wu’s behalf and you already have opinions about it. You say you speak the truth. Why hasn’t anyone stood up for you? Are they deliberately being unkind and trying to embarrass you?” Xi’s sharp words put pressure on Beverly.
“When did I say that? You . . . you bully!” After all her ridiculousness, Beverly covered her face with her hands and made to run away.
She had to run. The girls wouldn’t stand up for her and she could see from the expression on the boys, some of them were already hesitating about helping her. If she didn’t leave, she’d be opening herself up for a verbal attack by everyone.
Ink had wanted to speak up for Feng Wu, but Xi beat him to the punch. It was great, almost like a movie. A pity he hadn’t prepared some snacks and drinks. The show would have been even better with some food.
Ink sighed to himself, thinking how immature he was, but then again what did being prepared have anything to do with maturity?
Feng Wu had become a silent spectator watching Xi verbally spar with Beverly. The whole show had been so exciting!
But with the protagonist of the play gone, there was no reason to stick around. Xi and Ink dragged Feng Wu to the clinic for treatment.
Although Feng Wu hadn’t suffered any injuries and Ink and Xi only had some minor cuts and scratches, the treatment was free, so why not use it?
There was no one at the clinic when they arrived. The other twenty or so people had been quickly seen to by the doctors in the clinic afterwards. Now the only thing left was to replace their clothes. Both Ink and Xi had to get a new set to replace the ones damaged during the assignment.
In the virtual world, you can get different types of equipment either by making it yourself, picking them up as drop items from boss fights, or as rewards for certain tasks.
To get good equipment items, you either had to have the strength to get them yourself or the funds to purchase them from street vendors. Feng Wu didn’t have any high-level equipment items, but she had a good master, so she didn’t have to worry.
The group of three walked out of the clinic together. Ink and Xi had agreed to meet up for a boss fight in order to get some new equipment. Feng Wu decided to go shopping and eat on her own.
“Barbeque! Barbeque! Fantastic grilled magic pork, spicy, fragrant and delicious! One skewer will replenish twenty percent of your stamina! Ten silver coins each! Ten silver coins!”
“Bread! Fresh out of the oven! Five silvers for one! Cheap and affordable!”
“Bronze suit! Fifty gold per set! Only fifty gold! Can be worn by anyone below level forty!”
“Silver weapons on sale! Don’t miss out! Made by passionate master craftsmen! Don’t wait! Come and get yours!”
“Eighteen-year-old youth! Fair complexioned beauty! If you’re interested, chat me privately!”
“Looking for a wife! Live well with your own equipment and upgrades! Real ladies only! Lady posers, don’t try it. Or you’re dead!”
Lively calls sounded as soon as Feng Wu walked out the gates of the academy. People had even set up stalls looking for wives and boyfriends. It was an exciting, lively scene to behold with everyone crowded together.
Feng Wu bought twenty skewers. She was happy to buy and the vendor was happy to sell. Feng Wu was such a cutie that the vendor gave her a free bread roll.
Feng Wu ate the skewers and bread as she walked. The skewers were delicious and the bread was fragrant and sweet with a soft, milky fragrance. She was in a good mood.
Two girls wearing the academy uniform approached her. Of the new freshman class, only fifty had made it into the virtual world. They had not received their uniforms yet so the two girls approaching weren’t new students.
Any walking the streets wearing a uniform had to be second-years at least.
“Boa, being here always reminds me of the first time we met. The first time I saw you, the sound of fireworks burst in my brain as you stood in front of me like a goddess. I knew it was love!”
A boy in uniform stood holding the hand of a shy girl. The tender and passionate eyes in such a handsome face caught the attention of a lot of girls.
“Brother Noel . . .” The girl whispered as she lowered her head.
The man selling bronze weapons looked at the couple unpleased. Are you going to buy or not?! You pretty boy! You’re not interested in buying; you just want to pick up girls! I hope the beauty dumps you! This was the gist of the vendor’s thoughts.
Feng Wu looked at the scene with sparkling eyes. This person was amazing!
“Boa, take a look at this one. I think it suits you really well. You look so beautiful people will forget to blink!” Noel passed her the cheapest article affectionately.
Boa made a face, but she took the red dress and gazed at it in front of her body. A sweet smile came to her lips.
“Brother Noel, you have good tastes. I’ll take this one then.” Boa decided happily.
“Boss, this one.” Noel took out ten gold coins and smartly paid for the dress.
The boss took the money but he had some choice words in his heart for this player. Standing in front of his booth all day. Don’t pretend to be some big-shot if all you’re going to buy is the cheapest item.
The couple didn’t notice the boss’s resentment one bit. They walked to the beach to look at the ocean, holding hands all along the way.
The virtual world is like the real world, so it naturally had a beach and ocean. And like any place with a beach, it was a hot spot for couples.
The two walked quietly, watching the water roll in and out, occasionally being intimate and kissing each other.
“Brother Noel, does it feel like someone’s watching us?” Boa kept getting the feeling someone was watching them, but she didn’t see anyone when she looked back. The feeling kept getting stronger and stronger, to the point she couldn’t ignore it.
Noel gave her a pampering smile. “Silly, you’re thinking too much. Everyone here is busy with their own business. Who’d want to watch us?”
It was a hot spot for couples. Looking around, other than the two of them, there were only a few other couples engaged in the same business as them.
“Ah! Who are you?!” Unfortunately, as soon Noel finished speaking, Boa screamed this line out. She had turned her head only to find a stiff face looking at them. Boa nearly fainted from fright.
“Who are you?!” Noel was just as surprised. He hadn’t noticed someone creeping so close to them. His reputation as the third seat for the third years would be tarnished if anyone found out.
“You’re amazing. You can make her so happy!” Feng Wu complimented Noel seriously.
This boy was so amazing. He was able to make the girl so happy with just a few words. She had to learn so she could coax Ming Xi into marrying her.
With this idea in her mind, Feng Wu looked at Noel even more sincerely.
“Noel, who is this girl? Is she your girlfriend from outside?”[notes]
“No, I don’t know her!” Noel felt like he was being unjustly accused. While it was true he did have a lot of girlfriends, this girl right now was definitely not his girlfriend.
“You really don’t know?” Boa asked suspiciously.
Noel nodded desperately. “Really, really.”
“I’m not his girlfriend.” Feng Wu understand the meaning of the word and was able to correct the situation.
“Then who are you? Why are you following us?” asked Boa.
“I want to learn how to pursue other people.”
“Ha?” Both Boa and Noel felt like their brains were insufficient to process her reply.
“Continue. Don’t mind me. I’ll just observe.” Feng Wu made up her mind to learn Noel’s pickup technique so she could use it on Ming Xi.
“Go away! Stop following us!” yelled a flushed Boa. She was on a good date. Why was this person bothering them?
Feng Wu shook her head. “Continue.” After a moment of thought she added, “Just pretend I’m not here.”
“Noel, get rid of her!” Boa was getting seriously angry. Was this girl sent by her rival to ruin her date?!
Noel looked embarrassedly at Boa before turning to look at Feng Wu. The dark-haired girl was weird, but she was really pretty.
“This . . .it’s not so good. She’s so young, and she’s a girl. I can’t beat an innocent girl up.” Noel always considered himself a knight. He cherished all the lovely ladies at the academy, believing that all the girls were cute and should be spoiled. Have him beat a girl up? He just couldn’t do it.
“What? Why are you reluctant? Whatever, I don’t care. Just make her go away!” Boa pointed an angry finger toward Feng Wu’s chest.
Noel swallowed. He would consider his girlfriend’s feelings. They hadn’t been together long and they’d only kissed three times. He had to get a few more kisses before breaking up.
“Well, miss, we’re busy. Please leave first.” Noel tried to convince Feng Wu. He couldn’t raise a hand against a girl, so he tried a more civilly polite way.
“No, I’ll stand and watch. I won’t disturb you.”
Why were they this way? She wasn’t bothering them. Did they not want to share the method with her? Feng Wu was confused.
246: What Did She Come to Do?
You’re interrupting! Both yelled in their thoughts.
Boa: Make her leave!
Noel: . . .
“Fine, if you won’t make her leave, then I’m leaving.” Boa was so angry that her eyes were red. She turned around and ran away.
“Boa! Boa!” Noel chased after her for two steps before sighing and stopping. He turned around and helplessly asked, “Hey pretty girl, what exactly did you want?”
“Please teach me how to convince someone to marry me.”
“Get . . .get married?” Noel repeated. Was he having hearing issues today? “How old are you? You want to get married so young?!”
“I’m not young. I’m a mother.”
“Haha. Be good and stop joking.” She must be some pet’s mother, thought Noel. If she raised a pet, then maybe she felt like its mother, so maybe that’s why she’s thinking about marriage? Were all little girls this strange nowadays, Noel wondered.
“I’m not joking. I want Senior Ming Xi to marry me and be Xiao Ye’s father.” Feng Wu answered stubbornly as she looked at Noel.
“Senior Ming Xi? The Senior Ming Xi you’re talking about can’t be the same Senior Ming Xi I’m thinking about.” Noel wasn’t serious at first, but upon hearing the name, he couldn’t help but rethink the situation.
Ming Xi was well-known in school. He was the class president of the fifth years and the school’s number one beauty with a beauty that transcended both genders. Who knew how many underclassmen ran to see him, sneaking into the fifth year area just to get a peek.
But then again, it wasn’t just the underclassmen, the upperclassmen weren’t immune either. Quite a few had expressed interest, but Senior Ming Xi was like a winter lotus on top of a mountain. He was never insincere. He studied at the academy for four years, having skipped a grade, and in all that time, his name had never been ambiguously attached to a single girl.
No, wait that wasn’t quite right. There was one girl he seemed to have a relationship with, Senior Sister Elena. But he and Senior Sister Elena weren’t in that kind of relationship. The two had a really good relationship, but you couldn’t really think of Senior Sister Elena as a girl . . . that tomboy.
Noel considered the things he knew about Ming Xi.
“I only know of one Ming Xi,” replied Feng Wu.
“You want to pursue Senior Ming Xi? And you want to marry him? Are you . . . is your name Feng Wu?” Noel was struck by a flash of inspiration.
Feng Wu had been flashy in the first semester. There was the public proposal in the cafeteria, then there were the scandals that followed her, about how she had a baby out of wedlock and was a scheming and vicious girl. In short, it was all bad gossip.
But despite all the scandals, she was alive and thriving at school. There was no news about her making trouble or anything about her being devastated. Her spirit was so strong that even the upperclassmen were talking about her.
There were more rumors about her lately. Most were from the Magic division. The rumors said she was a plotting, scheming girl, with a vicious mind and cold heart. Her personal life was a mess.
Jier had beat up quite a few people in the Magic division for spreading the rumors. Ink had also been working hard to clear up the rumors in the Sword division. The students in her class were fine. Having been with each other for a semester, it was easy for them to see what kind of person she was. There were only a few people in her class who hated her. Most recognized she was a simple, straightforward girl, who was a little naïve.
Under Ink’s leadership, the class had been hiding the rumors so she wouldn’t hear and be sad.
Feng Wu didn’t know any of these things.
“I’m Feng Wu.” Feng Wu nodded obediently. A strand of doubt shone in her eyes. Had she met him before?
“It really is you! I admire you, you know! Meeting you today proved something too! As expected, you can only believe half the rumors. No, maybe not even half!” After staring at Feng Wu for a few seconds he came to a conclusion. Rumors couldn’t be believed! He couldn’t see the slightest truth to any of them. If she hadn’t admitted to being Feng Wu, Noel would have doubted if he had in fact recognized the wrong person.
Feng Wu: I don’t understand . . .
“Seeing that you’re sincere, let’s go. I’ll teach you how to pursue Senior Ming Xi.” How could Noel not join in on such an interesting thing? If he helped get them together, he'd be able to tell his friends all about it.
They walked along the beach until they found a place that wasn’t too crowded to sit and talk. The only sounds aside from their conversation, were the sounds of the wave crashing against the sand.
“I’ve never pursued a man, but men and woman are similar. The same routine can be used. Let me give you an example.” Noel paused before continuing with, “So normally when I see a lady I like, I’ll try to meet her more often by creating a few chance encounters. Then I’ll say something sweet like, ‘Our meeting must be destined,’ or ‘It must be heaven’s will that we meet again.’
Then afterwards I’ll send flowers, like roses, because roses represent love, and woman enjoy getting roses. A note should accompany the flowers too. Something flattering like, ‘Beautiful roses for a beautiful lady,’ or ‘The rose pales in comparison to you.’”
He watched as Feng Wu rushed to take out a pen and paper from her storage space. She began to write furiously. “Hey, you don’t have to take notes!” Noel had a bad premonition.
“What else?” Feng Wu’s eyes shone brightly. Noel was already classified as a love expert in her mind.
“Let’s make sure you understand what I said earlier first before we talk about anything more.” The feeling that he would regret what he said kept getting stronger and stronger.
Feng Wu was excited to pursue Ming Xi using the methods she learned from Noel. After she left the virtual world, she tried to find ways to have a chance encounter with Ming Xi.
In the upperclassman area a familiar scene emerged.
The bell to Ming Xi's room rang one day. He opened it to find an expressionless Feng Wu.
“Feng Wu?” Ming Xi wasn’t sure why she was looking for him.
Feng Wu stared at him for a full minute before turning around and leaving.
Ming Xi: Why did she come?
247: Sending Flowers
The curious crowd in the dormitory: Weren’t you here to confess? Girl, why’d you leave without saying anything? What a let-down, and after we spent our precious minutes waiting.
Ming Xi sees a dark-haired lolli looking around with interest as she stands outside by the door of the class.
Crowd: Did someone rush to class to confess to Senior Ming Xi? Hurry up and confess your love publicly already! Say it fast, just pretend we’re not here!
Ming Xi stared at Feng Wu, a confused expression on his face. “What’s the matter?”
Feng Wu looked at Ming Xi for a full two minutes, and just as the audience was about to jump in and ask why she was there, she turned around and left. Yes, they didn’t see wrong. She just left, without so much as a goodbye.
Ming Xi and the audience: Why was she here?
Ming Xi washed his hands after using the bathroom. After washing, naturally he wanted to dry them. He automatically took the handkerchief that was handed to him. He wiped his hands then looked up to return it the owner. It was only a glance, but it made him take two steps back.
“Xiao Wu! Why are you here?!” Ming Xi doubted his eyes for a moment, after all this was the men’s room. Did Feng Wu enter the men’s room by mistake?
Feng Wu watched Ming Xi for a full minute before stating, “We are destined.” After a moment’s thought she added, “The heavens meant for us to meet here.” Then she drifted away silently, leaving Ming Xi to stare at the lettering on the men’s wall.
Feng Wu returned to class in an excellent mood. She had done as Noel said. Would Ming Xi think they were destined and agree to marry her now?
“Xiao Wu, you’ve been running to the upperclassman area a lot recently. What have you been doing?” Ink asked while leaning towards her desk.
“Looking to make chance encounters with Senior Ming Xi.”
Chance encounters? That was not what he’d expected. He prayed for Ming Xi and hoped bad luck would not go his way.
A pity the gods did not hear Ink’s prayer. The incident with Feng Wu going to the men’s bathroom to find Ming Xi had already spread through the upperclassman area and all of the boys’ dorm.
Luckily no one else heard her words, so the only thing about the rumor was how Feng Wu had followed Ming Xi into the men’s bathroom.
As for Ming Xi, he didn’t say anything about it. His answer to anyone asking was the kind of smile that deterred anyone from asking further.
Though Feng Wu’s strange harassment ceased after the bathroom encounter, it would be foolish to think Feng Wu would stop there.
It was the first day of the top-ten challenge for the fifth years. As the number one in his year, Ming Xi had to be the strongest. Though most believed in his strength, there were several strong students who were unconvinced.
So what could those unconvinced do? Well the school allowed them to challenge those in the top ten in the challenge. As the number one student, Ming Xi was a popular choice when it came to challenges.
All the first years agreed Jier was the number student in their class, but he wasn’t officially ranked yet, so it wasn’t possible to challenge him. The top ten seats in their class would only be announced after the assessment.
Since the first years didn’t have a top ten ranking yet, they didn’t have a choice but to go observe the tournament for the other grades.
Feng Wu had gotten up earlier that day to buy a large bouquet of flowers. She intended to send them to Ming Xi. Noel said roses represented love, so as long as Ming Xi accepted it, then it wouldn’t be long until he would also accept the proposal.
Today was the big. Feng Wu counted out her saved pocket money for the month – 100 gold coins. She would use them to buy lots of roses for Ming Xi.
Feng Wu had more than 100 gold of course. Between the money her mom and brother gave her, she had plenty. However, they had said not to spend it randomly and to use it for school related expenses. This was why she was only using her saved pocket money.
Feng Wu had researched which kind of roses would best represent her feelings, which ones would bloom the most beautifully.
The result? Crystal roses. The cost was sky-high at one gold per rose. Feng Wu worked hard for her money, but she also worked hard to pursue Ming Xi, so though she was reluctant to part with so much, when she thought about Ming Xi agreeing to marry her, she was no longer quite so stingy.
She blinked away the distress clouding her eyes.
“Little girl, your 99 crystal roses are all wrapped up. Here you go. Be careful though, they are heavy.” The friendly grandpa helped wrapped the flowers up beautifully before handing them to Feng Wu. But he was worried because they were so heavy, so he gave her a reminder.
“OK.” Feng Fu accepted the flowers. There was some heft to them, but it was nothing for her. She paid the grandpa with the money she prepared earlier. She touched the flattened money pouch – there was only one gold left inside. The food in the cafeteria was fortunately notoriously cheap. One gold would be enough for a month.
“Little girl, did you buy these flowers for your boyfriend?” It was the first time he saw a girl buy a boy roses. The aristocratic boys liked buying roses for the girls they liked because they represented love. As for a girl buying them herself, this was a first the grandpa had seen it happen in all the years he sold flowers.
“For a proposal,” replied Feng Wu seriously.
Pro . . . proposal? “Heh, this grandpa wishes you success!” Though the answer shocked him, he smiled and gave his blessings. He sighed thinking how nice it was to be young.
Feng Wu was focused as she walked back to campus with her bouquet of roses . She realized she had problem once she returned - she didn’t know where the challenge for the top ten were held.
She took out her communication crystal to call Jier over.
Jier was disturbed when he arrived and saw the large bouquet of roses in Feng Wu’s arms.
248: Everyone’s Here
“Xiao Wu, someone gave those to you?” But how? How could someone pursue Xiao Wu without him knowing about it? He hadn’t heard of anyone interested in her enough to give her crystal roses. Such a move . . . the guy had to be experienced.
Jier’s mind whirled with how to deal with this new guy trying to play with Feng Wu. He couldn’t leave any wounds and he couldn’t leave any bruises either.
“No, I want to give these to Senior Ming Xi.”
Jier’s eyes widened. “You want to give Ming Xi flowers?!” He had to have heard wrong.
Feng Wu nodded.
Jier felt unwell looking at that nod.
“Where are they holding the challenge for the fifth-year top ten?” Feng Wu couldn't figure it out so she asked.
“At training ground number 5.” He had replied reflexively. He immediately felt bad when the words left his mouth. He tugged at Feng Wu as she was about to leave. “Xiao Wu, are you really going to give him flowers?”
He wanted to tell her ladies didn’t give men flowers; it was the other way around. No lady had ever given a man flowers before . . .
He could just imagine Ming Xi’s amazed expression.
She was about to answer when a familiar voice shouted from behind.
“Xiao Wu?” Luis[notes] called out from a distance; his voice a little uncertain.
Feng Wu, still holding the bouquet, looked behind her to confirm the identity of the person calling out to her.
“Senior Luis.” Feng Wu hadn’t seen Luis and the others in a while so she was happy to have this accidental meeting.
“What are you doing? Are these flowers a present from a suitor? Such a big bouquet of crystal roses, it most have cost close to a hundred gold.” Luis was very curious. He reached out, wanting to touch the fresh-looking crystal rose, but Feng Wu stepped aside, preventing him from doing so.
“Ninety-nine gold.” Feng Wu corrected. After thinking for a moment, she said, “These aren’t from a suitor. I want to give these to Senior Ming Xi.”
“Xiao Wu, just for your courage, I will support you! Let’s go together. I know where Ming Xi is.” This was going to be great! He couldn’t wait to see Ming Xi’s face when given the flowers. Should he use an imprint stone to record it? Later when Ming Xi pissed him off, he could use the recording as a threat. It was a good idea. Definitely worth a try!
“Yes.” Feng Wu nodded and followed Luis with the flowers in her arms.
“Wait! Wait for me!” Jier yelled after them. If things went poorly, he wanted to be there to help Feng Wu escape. He was definitely not following them because he wanted to watch the show . . . No way would he admit that. Yep, he was only following because he was looking out for Feng Wu’s best interests.
Feng Wu had rejected Luis’s offer to help carry the flowers. She walked into the area with a large bouquet and two men flanking her sides. The two guys had expectant expressions on their faces.
Feng Wu’s face was hidden by the large bouquet of flowers in her arms, so people didn’t recognize her. Although she made for a conspicuous figure, her appearance only garnered a few side glances. It was the top-ten tournament, so there were a lot of exciting things to watch.
“Where’s Luis? Why isn’t he here yet?” Elena asked Tian Ya and Gerasi[notes] as she stared at the door for training ground number 5.
“I don’t know. He said he’d be here after breakfast, so he should be here after he’s had breakfast,” said Gerasi unconcerned.
“What is he a pig? Still want to eat on such a big day. I heard the eighth-seat from the fourth years want to challenge him. It’s like he has no sense of urgency.” Elena said, disappointed he wasn’t living up to potential.
“Don’t worry. He’ll definitely show up before it starts.” Gerasi was certain Luis wouldn’t be late for such an important event.
“See if I don’t flay him alive if he’s late.” Elena muttered bitterly.
Ming Xi closed his eyes while Tian Ya slowly and methodically wiped his sword. Neither of them were interested in the conversation.
“There he is! Look Sister Elena, he’s finally here.” Thank goodness. Now Gerasi could finally escape Elena’s nagging. He was so happy to see Luis and give his ears a rest.
Elena turned around and saw the hereto absent Luis. She wanted to go over and scold and twist his ear, but she didn’t expect him to walk behind a girl holding flowers.
It was definitely a girl based on the skirt she was wearing. But who was she? A new girlfriend? This kid was definitely rich, sending such expensive flowers. You couldn’t get a bouquet that big without spending a hundred gold.
Because Feng Wu’s face was so small, the flowers obscured her. Luis hadn’t approached yet, so it was no wonder Elena hadn’t recognized the flower girl was Feng Wu.
“Is that girl Luis’s girlfriend? That big shot ate out with his girlfriend. He actually bought a first year such an extravagant present.” How did she not not notice how flirtatious this guy was?
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard about him having a girlfriend.” Gerasi was confused. He and Luis were good friends for a number of years now. To think this guy had a girlfriend and didn’t tell him about it. He needed to take him out to lunch and get all the details. Seriously making people suffer so much PDA early in the morning.
Luis pulled his collar up as a wave of cold malice hit him.
Jier, who had been obscured before, came into view as the three of them got closer. This naturally allowed them to guess the identity of the girl with the roses.
“Xiao Wu! Who gave you those flowers? Which skeezeball has his sights set on you? Which one is it? This one? This one?” Elena asked as she pointed to Luis and Jier alternatingly.
Even Ming Xi and Tian Ya glanced over. It was hard to read Ming Xi’s dark eyes. It made Tian Ya raise an eyebrow, but that was it. His attention returned to his blade, having lost interest in their conversation.
“Xiao Wu, don’t be fooled by bad men. They’re all full of bad intentions. Come, it’ll be safer in my arms!” Jier and the others couldn’t keep listening anymore. What was this all men were bad? Then were all women good?
249: Beautiful Flowers for a Beauty
Feng Wu kept her eyes fixed on Ming Xi the entire time she listened to Elena’s nagging. She hugged the roses tightly as she walked up to Ming Xi.
“Here for you,” she said as she held the flowers out to him.
Ming Xi: This is the first time a girl has given me flowers. What am I supposed to do?
Gerasi: So jealous. Why don’t girls ever give me flowers?
Luis: Excellent! Excellent! I need to record this!
Jier: Ah . . . I can’t take it. This is too beautiful!
Elena . . . was dumbfounded – her mouth opened in shock.
Tian Ya: . . .
Fortunately they were in a secluded area and were isolated from the crowd. Ming Xi and the others wanted to avoid being stared at so they had specifically picked the location for its inconspicuousness.
Seeing how Ming Xi was just staring blankly at her, Feng Wu remembered Noel’s advice. She added, “Beautiful flowers for a beauty.”
“Puff!” Neither Luis nor Gerasi could hold it in.
Jier stroked his forehead. He felt a headache coming on.
Ming Xi, Elena, Tian Ya: . . .
Ming Xi still hadn’t said anything, so Feng Wu said something that nearly made a person see red. “You are prettier than a rose.”
Ming Xi’s head hurt. What to do? He definitely could not accept the flowers, but Feng Wu looked so serious. It felt criminal to refuse.
It would be cruel but he squared his emotions. He gently smiled and said, “I’m sorry Xiao Wu. I can’t accept these flowers. Had the corners of his mouth not been so twisted, he could have fooled everyone into thinking he was calm and unaffected.
Ming Xi didn’t accept her flowers. Feng Wu’s mood went downhill and the anticipation in her eyes dimmed. “Oh.” She stopped extending the flowers out and pulled them back to her chest.
Everyone stared at Ming Xi accusingly for making her depressed.
Ming Xi: . . .
“Xiao Wu, don’t be sad. If Ming Xi doesn’t want to take it, I’ll take it.” Jier offered. Jier couldn’t stand to see her so sad so he reached over to take the flowers. It would be alright as long as someone accepted the flowers right?
Who knew Feng Wu would side step his reach and reject his offer?
Jier stared blankly. Seemed his charms were useless in front of Feng Wu. Any other girl would have rushed to give him the flowers; he wouldn’t have even needed to reach out for them.
Jier pretended to be hurt. “Xiao Wu, why won’t you give them to me?”
Feng Wu didn’t hesitate. She looked at him seriously and answered. “You’re not as pretty as Senior Ming Xi.”
Not as pretty as Ming Xi?! Jier wanted to vomit blood. He was masculine, handsome, distinguished, elegant and three hundred other amazing adjectives OK?
Luis and the others snickered. In fact, they had also planned on accepting the flowers, so that Feng Wu wouldn’t feel embarrassed from her rejection. Good thing they weren’t as fast as Jier, otherwise they would have been the one eating humble pie.
It made Ming Xi oddly happy that Feng Wu refused to give the flowers to anyone else.
Right at that moment, the teacher shouted from across the field that the seat challenges for the fourth and fifth years would start soon.
Ming Xi and the others couldn’t chat with Feng Wu anymore, there were things they had to do.
Jier and Feng Wu were the only ones in their group who didn’t have to participate in the top ten challenge.
The challenge allowed students to challenge those in the top ten and take over the spot. However, regular students didn’t have the qualifications to challenge the top five upon entry. They had to first at least make it into the top ten. Students in the top ten could challenge each other. Rankings would change based on wins and losses.
250: Persecuted to Death
The girls couldn’t help but yell out when the male god in their hearts appeared.
The boys were screaming just as enthusiastically.
“Senior Ming Xi! I don’t mind that you’re above me!”
“Senior Ming Xi! Let’s have a beautiful baby together!”
“Senior Ming Xi! I love you!”
There were far more men who loved women, but there were always a few special guys who loved other men. It wasn’t forbidden for one man to love another. In fact, there were several outstanding male couples in Xingguang, so it wasn’t surprising there would be who few who would express romantic feelings for Ming Xi.
Ming Xi had a stiff smile on his face, while Luis and the others had an amused smirk.
“Fourth year top ten challenge starts now!” announced a teacher on the podium.
The fourth-year top ten students stood up on stage one at a time, each with a different expression on their faces. Loud shouts came from those fourth years waiting to challenge them. Those who wanted to enter the top were many, but unfortunately not everyone would have the opportunity to fight for a spot.
It would have been unbearably long if everyone who wanted to challenge the top ten were allowed to do so. Not to mention, it would have been unfair to those in the top ten.
To make things fair, the challengers would get up on stage one at a time and then participate in a melee fight. The last five standing would then be allowed to challenge the top ten.
The area for the fifth-year challengers had just started, but it was already filling up; a melee was inevitable.
Feng Wu and Jier were standing next to the fifth-year platform watching the melee go full blast. Magic balls and swords were everywhere. If the contestants didn’t watch out, they’d be easily eliminated. The top ten watched the scene calmly; after so many years, they were used to it.
“The girl with the flowers is the first year that’s been chasing you recently right?” asked Grace,[notes] her beautiful red lips shaped the words while her eyes held a hint of disdain.
Ming Xi continued looking at the battle ring, ignoring Grace. She had schemed all sorts of things to be the only girl by his side. He had ignored her so far because her schemes hadn’t caused any deaths.
“She looks like a lovely girl, it’s just a shame she has such poor character. I heard she encouraged her friend to bullY her roommate. She’s not married and she has son. A noble prince like you, I don’t believe it will look good to have such a depraved girl around.” Grace casually said.
“Grace, what are you trying to do? Don’t go overboard, stop your scheming.” Ming Xi’s eyes were cold. There were a myriad of reasons why he had been tolerant of her actions, but even his patience had a limit.
“Why? Do you really like that little girl? That kind of girl, it’s best for Your Highness to stay away from her. Our Silver Moon kingdom will never accept such a corrupt woman as an imperial concubine.”
“Grace, out of consideration for our shared childhood, I have tolerated your schemes, however, I will warn you not to go overboard.” Ming Xi’s face was cold, the smile having long ago disappeared from his face.
“Well Ming Xi, allow me to also remind you not to do anything that would hurt my sister’s feelings.” Grace was blunt.
“That would be unreasonable.” The conversation was meaningless and Ming Xi wasn’t interested in continuing. He tossed his cloak aside, got up, and moved to a different area.
Grace let him walk away. No matter what, Ming Xi would be the next ruler of Silver Moon kingdom. She had no desire to battle with him, so she would only cross his bottom line as a last resort.
Feng Wu had no idea people were arguing about her; she was busy watching the battle platform.
“Gurgle . . .” Hunger made Feng Wu touch her tummy.
Jier had no interest in the battle. He preferred beating other people as opposed to watching other people get beat up.
He had watched Feng Wu touch her belly a few times. Wondering if she was uncomfortable somehow, he asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Hungry.” Feng Wu replied sadly.
She hadn’t eaten as much as she wanted to this morning because she had to make time to buy the flowers. Now her stomach was empty and growling.
Jier sighed. “I’ll buy you something to eat. Be good and wait here until I come back.”
“OK,” replied Feng Wu obediently.
Jier was relieved after she agreed. He knew Feng Wu was an obedient girl. If she agreed to something, then she would see it through. Now he wouldn’t have to worry about her running around.
Jier left Feng Wu alone with her bouquet of roses in front of the platform ring. Many eyes pivoted in her direction, but she was unaffected. It was like she didn’t even notice.
Noel was walking toward the fifth-year platform when he saw a girl holding a large bouquet of roses. Who would send so many flowers and leave the girl holding it? Whoever it was, this guy had no class. Noel went over to take a look.
But why did the dark hair look so familiar?
“Feng Wu! It’s you!” Noel uttered in surprise.
Feng Wu’s eyes got red when she saw Noel. “You lied. Ming Xi did not accept my flowers.” She was extremely aggrieved. She had foregone buying her beloved meat buns and chicken thighs, being frugal all month, in order to save up enough for the roses. She had hoped Ming Xi would agree to marryher after recieving the roses, but not only did he reject her flowers, he was also unhappy about them.
“You sent flowers to Senior Ming Xi?!” Noel doubted his ears for a moment. Maybe he’d heard wrong?
“Didn’t you say to give flowers after creating chance encounters. I did all these things, but Senior Ming Xi wasn’t happy.” Feng Wu was a sensitive girl, so even if Ming Xi was smiling, she knew he wasn’t happy. So of course she was very disappointed.
“When did I say to do that?!” Noel felt unjustly accused. He refused to accept this kind of injustice and immediately defended himself.