55 - One day I became a big brother (3)
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There are many resurrections in the world of cultivation. Lu Shenxing didn't really think about this fact until Wan Guanqian mistakenly regarded him as an old friend, and he had no choice but to follow the boat and become Shi Shuzu.
The weirdest thing was that there wasn't anything like an imprint of Shi Shuzu mentioned in the novel. His own soul came from a different dimension, and it should be impossible for the virtual and the real to overlap. Was it possible that he had a magical similarity with that Shi Shuzu that he didn't know about?
Lu Shenxing couldn't help but wonder, and even began to doubt his own life...
"Shi Shuzu, didn't you die?" Wan Guanqian was holding onto his doubts. His Shifu told him before he left that Shi Shuzu was far more savvy than others, and was the one closest to enlightenment. But at the end of his journey he was troubled by demons of the heart, and missed the path to immortality. His life ended miserably.
Lu Shenxing finished his cup of tea and threw out a few words, "A wisp of my soul remained."
Then, relying on a few bits and pieces of things that he had seen, he pulled out a tale of hardships and indifference to the years on the road of cultivating immortality, as well as the solitude of wandering the world as a fragment of a soul.
Eventually, although Lu Shenxing didn't know the way to enlightenment, the sadness of obsession that was born within eyes touched Wan Guanqian's heart. He didn't remember much of Shi Shuzu but he knew of the long days of solitary practice deep in the mountains.
As he spoke more about it he felt that he really had personally experienced it. Even Lu Shenxing himself believed that he was actually a person of this world, that he had been cultivating alone for thousands of years with no system and no tasks.
The original owner was at odds with Wan Guanqian. He was wealthy, coquettish, lazy and boneless. He really wasn't sure what he could teach him and there was no way he could attain a high level of cultivation. Lu Shenxing quietly withdrew his inquiring gaze, knowing the head of the school was not a fool.
Although it was weird that Wan Guanqian would make a mistake, he could be wrong.
"I'll remain as your eldest disciple in the future."
"Right, this aphid egg..." Wan Guanqian took out a green egg from his bag, pondered it, and said, "I'll leave it to you for safekeeping."
"It's nourished by spiritual energy. As for whether the incubation is successful, it mostly depends on chance."
The egg was about the same size as a chicken egg, but much heavier. Lu Shenxing held it in his hand and weighed it. He estimated it to be four or five catties, heavier than a rock.
"This is Puxi." Wan Guanqian handed over a white half-circle shaped jade pendant the size of a thumb, his phoenix eyes were half-squinted, and he observed him calmly.
The moment he touched it, Lu Shenxing was shocked as a dense sense of familiarity suddenly gathered in the palm of his hand, making him feel that this was something that belonged to him.
After a moment, Lu Shenxing retracted his hand as if he had been bitten, and clenched his fist imperceptibly. A layer of cold sweat dripped down his back, this strange feeling was unsettling in a way he couldn't ignore.
His head ached, he wouldn't be here for a long time. He wasn't even alive...
The jade pendant had an odd animal on it that looked like mix between a dragon and a phoenix. It was a slender, an adult aphid. It was very lifelike, as if it would break out of the jade at any moment and roar up into the sky.
Lu Shenxing's throat was dry, he swallowed a few times and closed his eyes. The feeling was gone, like it was merely an illusion.
Wan Guanqian, opposite him, had dispelled all traces of doubt. That Puxi was passed on to him by his Shifu and was given to his Shifu by Shi Shuzu. The aphid in it was the mount of Shi Shuzu. One soul and one spirit sealed it. There had never been a response from it before, but just then a faint red light had flowed out.
The aphid egg had appeared, and Shi Shuzu had returned, everything seemed to be destined.
Lu Shenxing licked his lips almost imperceptibly, and he tried to change the subject, "Why are you a demon?"
Wan Guanqian was taken aback, he covered his lips and smiled shyly, "Shi Shuzu, am I not good-looking like this?" After saying that, he stretched out one arm over the back of the chair, and put the other arm on his chin, his eyes rippled. There was a tenderness in his posture and the corners of the lips that were quirked up were a little enchanting and charming.
Ordinary people with all of their three spirits and six souls could handle it but Lu Shenxing wanted to beat him with a steel pipe. He teased, "Were your bones taken away?"
Wan Guanqian, "..."
"I was seriously injured a while back and I accidentally ate the core of a thousand year old snake demon and merged with his soul." Wan Guanqian looked sad, showing the melancholy that he never usually showed in front of others. "I'm not sure if I'm a human or a demon."
Aren't you just half-human and half-demon. Lu Shenxing patted him on the shoulder. It was good, now he had two attributes, and definitely wouldn't be afraid of the cold in winter.
Wan Guanqian squeezed the jade pendant, "This Puxi..."
"Don't give it to me!" Lu Shenxing then realized that he had overreacted and quickly recovered his usual calm. He spoke in a serious tone, "The secret realm is dangerous, wait until I come back."
After a moment of indulgence, Wan Guanqian thought of something, "The place where the whirling flowers bloom is a deadland, and there are many illusions. Remember to let go of your seven emotions and six vices, don't be confused..." He stopped, chuckled, and with a charming manner, "Shi Shuzu must know this already, I won’t say anymore."
What the hell do I know. Lu Shenxing got up anxiously and left, intending to chat with the juniors.
Pushing open the window, Wan Guanqian looked at the dark sky like a splash of ink. He was born with some foresight, there would be disaster.
On the tree stump in the courtyard, Liuyang, who was originally meditating and cultivating, had a dark face. He hugged his arms and said nothing, exuding an air of withdrawal.
Jiang Wangchu on the grass kept his mouth working, stuffing himself with dried sweet potato, like a chubby squirrel.
Sitting on the tree, Ning Que was holding his chin and gnawing at the corners of his mouth. Da Shixiong never called them together, today was very strange.
When Lu Shenxing said that they would talk about their wishes together, the three of them all looked lost.
Lu Shenxing waved his hand to let the maid who fanned him back away, and said casually, "You must have something to tell Da Shixiong."
Da Shixiong really wanted to talk to them, not just casually. The three of them were even more weirded out. When did this seemingly close atmosphere of brothers appear?
Could it be that Da Shixiong had had an epiphany?
"Er Shidi, do you want to be immortal?" Lu Shenxing looked at Liuyang and said frankly.
Like it was as common as 'do you want to eat?'. Liuyang's face was expressionless, a thought flashed in his eyes, and disappeared just as fast.
"Da Shixiong, I'm the same as Er Shixiong." Jiang Wangchu said with a cheeky and brazen smile, "I'm thinking of becoming a great cultivator and stepping on the road to the divine."
It’d be easier for you to become a cook and wield a big spoon. Lu Shenxing turned to Xiao Shidi.
The branches rustled, and a few leaves drifted back and forth. Ning Que jumped down and squatted beside Lu Shenxing, scratching his head a little shyly, "Da Shixiong, I want to be a talisman maker."
Both Liuyang and Jiang Wangchu were unsurprised, as if they had known Ning Que's intentions for a long time. Lu Shenxing pondered the two figures on the amulet.
"Ding, Mr. Lu, please complete two hundred squats in five minutes, starting now."
"..." Lu Shenxing's eyes twitched, this world was trying to kill him.
Under the gaze of six eyes, Lu Shenxing squatted down with a calm expression on his face, and stood up again with a calm expression on his face, the contours of his face were tense.
The original owner was a little young master who was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. His physique was average and after two hundred squats he felt like he'd gone 70 rounds in a night.
Puff, Jiang Wangchu covered his mouth and ran away, and they could hear his full-fledged laughter far away. His lung capacity was really good.
The mechanical sound of the system in his head finally arrived indicating that the task was complete. Lu Shenxing took a breath and couldn't get up off the ground.
"Da Shixiong, can I laugh?" Ning Que's eyebrow twitched, enduring very hard.
Lu Shenxing breathed heavily and looked away coldly, "No."
Ning Que hummed aggrievedly. Liuyang had already left, under the dim light, a slight curve on his lips was faintly visible. It was really something, that man was always arrogant and despised him, with a prideful look on his face. He was much more fun now.
"What are you still looking at? Come and pull me up." Lu Shenxing groaned. After exercising for a long time, his physical strength couldn't keep up. It seemed he would need to workout.
Ning Que hurriedly bent over to grab Lu Shenxing, and asked while watching his face, "Da Shixiong, why did you do that?"
"I've eaten too much beef jerky." Lu Shenxing patted the dirt off his body, moved his wrist and said casually, "Xiao Shidi, you're quite strong."
"Yeah! I'm strong, I could pick up Da Shixiong with one hand." Ning Que's slender eyes were dark and eager to try it out.
Lu Shenxing didn't want to try it at all, "It's getting late, go to sleep."
"I have to practice the Yujian." Ning Que waved his hand and trotted away, with joy in his heart. Da Shixiong had changed, he never talked to him before.
Lu Shenxing returned to his residence, it was a small and elegant courtyard. The maids who had been waiting for him bowed their heads to prepare a bath for him.
The door was pushed open, and Lu Shenxing stepped forward. There was a lump on the bed, and following his footsteps, the lump moved, and a head poked out of the quilt. The girl called to him and lowered her eyes shyly, "Young master."
Lu Shenxing's face sank. This body had a cold constitution, and he was afraid of the cold. Growing up the original owner had a maid come to warm his bed every day. He liked to sleep with his arms around her like a heater. Girls were brought in from miles away as they slept naked and over time, it had become part of his daily routine.
"Get off." Lu Shenxing pulled over a chair to sit on and ordered coldly, "Put on your clothes."
The maid's face turned pale with fright. She hurriedly went to get her clothes, got down from the bed and knelt on the ground. Her black hair scattered around her, revealing her white neck, and a face dyed with rouge, the faint fragrance of it lingering.
It was a seductive scene before him, but Lu Shenxing was soft. He tapped his index finger against the tabletop, "Pass on this message, there's no need to wait on me in my room in the future."
The maid raised her head in astonishment, but she didn't dare to look in his cold eyes. She trembled, "Yes."
Without a bed warmer, Lu Shenxing tossed and didn't sleep well all night. He looked terrible when he got up in the morning and the maids all waited on him meekly, lest they provoke the master.
Lu Shenxing went to the Qianfeng Temple, and the disciples there saw him alone, without any maids to lifted his chair or fan him. They couldn't help but rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
"The wind blows, sit down when it comes." Wan Guanqian sat cross-legged at the head.
Lu Shenxing sat for a while and his spirits improved a lot. His aura was invisible and colourless, he could not see it, grasp it, nor touch it. It was something he was experiencing for the first time.
"Liuyang, Fengqi, you group up, Wangchu and Xiao Que'r..." Wan Guanqian lazily recited the name of the disciples at today's practice.
Choosing a remote open space, Liuyang pointed to a wooden sword, "Da Shixiong, please."
Lu Shenxing picked up the wooden sword, "Er Shixiong, after you."
Lu Shenxing, who had only seen pigs run, but had never eaten pork, was on the defensive at first. He would back off no matter how Liuyang attacked. But after a while, he found something familiar in the movements of the sword, and he began to move his sword instinctually.
Both of them kept the rhythm of the practice, it wasn't a real combat.
After more than a dozen rounds, Liuyang's face, which had never revealed any emotions like anger, sorrow, or joy, showed a distinct expression of surprise. The fingers holding his wooden sword tightened a little, ignoring the swelling of the injured back of his hand.
"Er Shidi, is your hand okay?" Lu Shenxing frowned and said, "Show me, is it broken?"
"It's fine." Liuyang placed his hand behind his back, a bit discomfort in his monotone voice.
Wan Guanqian, who had been watching, stroked his chin, waved his sleeves and left.
Ning Que wiped the sweat off his forehead, staring at the slender figure like green bamboo, when Jiang Wangchu's mouth smashed against his ear.
"Xiao Shidi, why are you in a daze?"
"I want to be as good as Er Shixiong." Ning Que muttered to himself. Then he could pair up with Da Shixiong.
Jiang Wangchu didn't hear him clearly, "What did you say?"
"Nothing." Ning Que grinned, revealing two dimples, "San Shixiong, let's go again."
Jiang Wangchu was sweating all over, he walked back panting and was attacked by Ning Que.
"Er Shixiong actually lost a bout." The disciples who were watching not far away were all dumbfounded and amazed.
"How could it be!" Someone insisted.
The others sighed. Da Shixiong usually spent more time spent cleaning his sword than practicing with it. After ever round, the wooden sword was cleaned by a maid and so they rarely witnessed his actual swordsmanship.
To those disciples who went to Qingjian Sect witnessed Lu Shenxing and Ye Huai's fight with their own eyes, this would be no surprise.
Finding his internal strength was comparable to his own, and he could no longer withstand his assault, Liuyang started to admire his Da Shixiong and occasionally even took the initiative to say something to him.
While Lu Shenxing was still trying to fish for his target blind, the day the secret realm opened had arrived.
Twenty people were sent in from each school. Unlike them, Lu Shenxing didn't care about the magic weapons or whether he could become an immortal. He was only looking for the goal to complete his task. He had a different mentality, but was still under some pressure.
Ye Huai smiled and called over 'Bai Xianzhi and Liu Xianzhi' and pointed out a few of his disciples to Lu Shenxing and Liuyang. One of them had a cold expression and the other had no expression. They despised them and didn't want to lower themselves by giving them attention.
When other schools saw signs of cooperation between Qingjian Sect and Hengyang Sect, they immediately started huddling together. Everyone knew that rare treasures were guarded by fierce beasts. If they wanted to avoid being eaten before getting anything, then more people was a bonus.
"Da Shixiong, I made a lot of storage charms." Ning Que cocked his mouth, looking like he was waiting for praise.
Lu Shenxing touched his head just as he'd wished.
Liuyang next to him lowered his head and wiped his scabbard. The low air pressure around him caused others to become skittish.
He glanced at Jiang Wangchu to confirm how much food he had brought with him. Xiao Shidi was able to protect himself at any rate but why was this kid who could only drag his feet and eat have to join them. Was Shifu ill?
Jiang Wangchu found that he was being stared at and immediately looked around, but after finding nothing, he continued to pack the prepared food.
The major leaders joined forces to open the seal. Lu Shenxing took along Er Shidi and San Shidi as well as Xiao Shidi and the sixteen other disciples of the inner sect, and followed the large party into the ancient secret realm. They were embarking on a new journey, everything unknown was waiting for them.