Although it was called a martial arts school, apparently it also served as the Min family’s place of residence. It was a typical traditional house, with a separate training hall, located on top of a small hill. Upon reaching the top of the steps, a huge entrance gate greeted Li Xinwen’s group.
The rather imposing gate struck Li Xinwen with a wave of nostalgia. His memories took him back to Long Xing, to the time when a passing cultivator picked him up. Left at the foot of the mountain, he was told to climb up on his own. He still remembered the struggle to reach the top of the mountain. Several others who climbed the mountain with him had given up halfway through, but Li Xinwen persisted.
In the end, out of the hundreds and hundreds of candidates, less than one hundred managed to finish the climb. The majestic view of the gate to Soaring Heaven Sect left a deep impression on him as a child and that was also the time when he met the person he trusted the most. It was unfortunate that the other person didn’t think the same, since he could easily betray Li Xinwen for a treasure. Li Xinwen clenched his fists upon remembering that act of betrayal.
‘One day, I shall return to seek retribution for this debt…’ Li Xinwen thought, his eyes turning cold.
Sun Xiao seemed to have noticed the change in Li Xinwen and gently pulled on Li Xinwen’s sleeve. “Xin-gege, are you alright?” he asked in a worried tone.
Sun Xiao’s voice was crisp and clear, and it was loud enough for the two Xue brothers to hear. Naturally, Xue Rui became worried, so he quickly rushed over to Li Xinwen’s side. “Xinwen, what’s wrong? Are you tired? Here, drink some water first,” Xue Rui quickly rummaged inside his bag and took out a small bottle of mineral water. He unscrewed the cap and handed it to Li Xinwen.
Li Xinwen first stared at his younger brother, then at Xue Rui before his eyes landed on the bottle of water. He was not thirsty, nor was he tired, but he still took the bottle from Xue Rui. He didn’t drink it right away. Instead, he handed it over to Sun Xiao who looked a bit tired from climbing up the steps. “Ah‘Xiao drink first,” Li Xinwen said with a smile.
Seeing the smile on Li Xinwen’s face, the worry in Sun Xiao’s heart disappeared. ‘Earlier, Gege looked really scary… Was it just my imagination?’ he couldn’t help wondering. He took the bottle from Li Xinwen and quickly drank from it. Once he was done, he returned the bottle to Li Xinwen only to see him drink from the same bottle. His heart raced, and he suddenly remembered a conversation back in school. ‘That… is an indirect kiss?’ he thought as he continued to stare at Li Xinwen who was downing the water.
Each time Li Xinwen swallowed, his adam’s apple would move. This physical response did not escape Sun Xiao’s eyes, nor those of Xue Rui who stood beside him. Xue Rui quickly looked away before ending up doing something he would regret.
‘Though… it might already be too late for that. In Xinwen’s heart, just how far have I fallen?’ at this thought, Xue Rui let out a heavy sigh.
Only after drinking a bit of water did Li Xinwen notice Sun Xiao staring at him. The younger boy’s face was red, making Li Xinwen think that the boy might be feeling hot because of the sun. “Want to drink some more?” Li Xinwen asked as he offered the bottle to Sun Xiao, with about a quarter of the amount of water left.
Staring at the bottle, and thinking of the indirect kiss, Sun Xiao became too embarrassed and quickly shook his head. “Xin-gege can finish it! I’m not thirsty anymore,” Sun Xiao said, rejecting the offer. Sharing drinks used to be normal for them as brothers but lately, he had been having weird thoughts. Not to mention, the boys in his school were talking about adult stuff all the time now and Sun Xiao had no choice but to listen to his classmates discussing all those indecent things.
Seeing that Sun Xiao didn’t want to drink anymore, and not wanting to drink more himself, he simply turned to Xue Rui. “Rui-ge, thanks for the water,” he said with a small smile on his face.
Xue Rui, who was given a smile, was shocked. He didn’t expect that a simple gesture could bring a smile on Li Xinwen’s face. Not to mention, this smile was different from the forced smile he usually gave. ‘I may have fallen far, but it looks like I can still take a step forward…,’ Xue Rui thought with renewed spirits.
“Don’t mention it, Xinwen. I brought a lot of bottled water so if you ever feel thirsty again, just tell me,” Xue Rui informed him as he took the bottle from Li Xinwen’s hand. He sealed the cap back before putting it into his bag. “Speaking of which, we’ve already stood here for a while and there’s still no sign of that bas-… I mean, there is still no sign of Min Xiaoyu,” Xue Rui quickly corrected the way he addressed Min Xiaoyu so it sounded respectful. After finding out that Min Xiaoyu’s grandfather was also his brother’s master, he suddenly felt nervous.
‘If that guy tells his grandfather… Will the grandfather tell my brother? If that happens…’ Xue Rui paled at the thought of Xue Jun punishing him.
They waited a while longer but Min Xiaoyu still didn’t come for them. Li Xinwen frowned and took out his phone to send a message to Min Xiaoyu. But even after sending the message, there was still no sign of him.
Just then, a small group of men came up from the bottom of the hill. When this group of men saw Li Xinwen’s group, they were surprised. “Are you new students?” one of the men asked. “Are you not able to open the gate?”
“Are we supposed to simply open the gate?” Li Xinwen asked back.
“Of course! As long as you can open the gate, you can learn from the school!” the man who asked them earlier, replied. “Didn’t the basic school tell you about this?”
“Basic school?” Li Xinwen was now confused. Min Xiaoyu had advised them to come directly to this place, but it seemed there was another school to attend first before they could come to this one.
Hearing this, the expression of the group of men changed. Another man spoke. “Ha! Looks like some people thought they could simply enter and learn to cultivate. Did you think that if you wait here, someone would come and open the door for you?” Li Xinwen’s eyes quickly found him and saw someone who was arrogant and seemed to be looking down on him. “Listen up,” the man continued, “This school is not for people like you. Why don’t you just scram?”
Li Xinwen silently gauged the group’s fighting strength. ‘The highest is only halfway through the 1st stage of Houtian and this guy dared to act arrogant before me? I just have to open the gate, right?’ Li Xinwen turned to the gate and walked closer to it.
The arrogant man saw this action and burst out laughing. “Brothers! Look at him, he thinks he can simply open the gate? Hey, listen, normies. To open this gate, you need to channel your-“
Before he could finish talking, a loud, explosive sound rang out as Li Xinwen slammed his fist into the gate. The guy who had acted arrogantly before, paled, thinking that he had messed with a master. But when he saw that the gate didn’t react, he felt relieved. He was about to open his mouth to belittle Li Xinwen again when they heard a cracking sound.
Webs of cracks formed on the gate’s surface, all the way until not even the concrete pillars that held the gate together were spared. Not long after, the once majestic entrance came rumbling down right before their eyes. Just a punch from Li Xinwen was enough to reduce the gate into nothing but useless boulders and rubble.
The group of men behind him stared at him with fear. Sun Xiao and Xue Rui stared at Li Xinwen with admiration and shock respectively.
Xue Jun on the other hand only narrowed his eyes and clenched his fists. His emotion was unreadable. He had been keeping quiet since they arrived because he wanted to see how strong Li Xinwen was. He had withheld from them the information about opening the door even though he knew the method. After all, Xue Jun knew his brother wouldn’t be able to open it, let alone Li Xinwen’s brother, Sun Xiao. But he really didn’t expect that Li Xinwen would simply destroy the gate instead.
After venting his anger on the gate, Li Xinwen felt a bit better. Turning his attention back to the arrogant student from before, Li Xinwen just gave him a mocking smile. “I’m sorry, what were you saying just now? I don’t think I heard it properly.”
The face of the arrogant student turned white and he started to sweat. Li Xinwen saw this and felt that he had shown enough strength to scare the poor young cultivator. “I am a simple man. As long as you don’t cross me, I won’t retaliate,” Li Xinwen said with a smile.
Unfortunately, some people, even when given leniency, do not appreciate it.
“You dared to destroy the school gate? See if the elder will let you off, ah!”
As if on cue, a middle-aged looking man came out of the main residence. He was dressed in a black martial arts garb, and there was a hint of white in his black hair. Seeing this man, the group of students collectively gave him a salute.
“Greetings to the Master,” they all said at the same time, as if this was how they would normally greet the older man.
“En. You lot go on inside first,” the middle-aged man replied.
Hearing this, the group of students finally moved but the arrogant student shot Li Xinwen a smirk. “Ha! Looks like Master has come out to deal with you personally! Don’t regret your actions now!”
Li Xinwen frowned, eyes narrowing at the arrogant student who quickly scurried away in fear. Only after the students were all inside the training hall did Li Xinwen turn his attention to the middle-aged man. In fact, ever since the man came out, Li Xinwen could feel the aura of a mid-4th stage Houtian practitioner. Fortunately, Li Xinwen was a peak 4th stage Houtian or else, he might have been suppressed by now.
“Are you the one who destroyed the gate?” the man asked. “How will you compensate for the damage?”
“Isn’t it just repairing the gate? Just tell me how much you need, I will pay for the repairs,” Xue Rui said as he habitually took out a cheque book.
“You fool! You think money is enough to compensate for our gate?” the man asked. “Xue Jun, I know you’re there! I am already here and you are still not coming out to greet me?!”
At this, Xue Jun finally came forward and gave the other man a respectful salute. “Xue Jun greets senior martial brother.”
“Hmph! After coming back from your mission, you didn’t even come and visit us once. Did you already forget about our master?”
Xue Jun could only lower his head and stay silent as he was reprimanded. After all, he did not have any valid excuse to give the other man.
“And then when you finally decide to come back, you brought these trouble makers? One is your brother, the other is some random cultivator and the last one…” his words trailed off when his eyes landed on Sun Xiao. His eyes narrowed as they set on Sun Xiao, making the younger boy fidget nervously. “Zhuo Yang body type…” he murmured in disbelief.
Then, the middle-aged man raised one foot and took a step forward. But Li Xinwen noticed the spiritual energy around the man had changed so he quickly went to Sun Xiao’s side. As soon as he arrived, he pulled Sun Xiao close to his body while using his other hand to grab the middle-aged man’s wrist, stopping the other from touching Sun Xiao.
“What are you planning to do?” Li Xinwen asked; his eyes held a dangerous glint as he released the full aura of the peak 4th stage of Houtian.
The middle-aged man was suddenly surprised by this turn of events and he quickly pulled away, taking several steps back. “So you were hiding your strength?” the man sneered.
“You didn’t answer my question… what were you planning to do?” Li Xinwen asked once more. The temperature around them started to drop as Li Xinwen continued to suppress the middle-aged man. Soon, the temperature was cold enough that one could even see his own breath.
Surprisingly, Sun Xiao who was beside Li Xinwen wasn’t affected by the cold temperature. He only had a confused look as he watched how the middle-aged man before them seemed to take on a troubled expression. He could also see that Xue Rui and Xue Jun seemed cold.
“Xin-gege, what’s wrong with them?” Sun Xiao asked Li Xinwen as he looked up at him, only to have his head drawn into the other’s chest.
“It’s nothing. Ah‘Xiao doesn’t have to worry,” Li Xinwen said in a gentle tone — a tone that was vastly different from his current cold expression.
The temperature continued to drop and in the end, Xue Rui felt that he was going to freeze to death. Just as he felt that he was about to pass out from the cold, he felt a strong force wrap around him and he was dragged away from the area. Turning his head, he could see his elder brother, with a grim expression on his face.
“Brother… just… what is happening?” Xue Rui asked. “Earlier… it felt really cold…” Xue Rui said, shivering.
Xue Jun was a cultivator and had a high affinity with water elements, so he had a slight resistance to the cold. Therefore, compared to Xue Rui, he was faring better. “Li Xinwen released his own domain16,” Xue Jun muttered in a low voice. ‘But how? Master mentioned that domains can only be released once you reach Xiantian stage. Master said he’s the only one who has achieved that stage in this whole world, Plus… Li Xinwen was a normal human. Just what is this fake?” Xue Jun had a vexed expression plastered on his face.
“Hmm… looks like Jingguo has offended someone that he shouldn’t have,” a calm voice sounded from behind Xue Jun.
When Xue Jun heard this voice, his body went rigid for a moment, but then he collected himself. Straightening his back, he turned around to greet the other. “Xue Jun sees the Master,” Xue Jun said as he saluted the man and bowed his head.
“En. No need to be tense. Is he your younger brother? Which one? The second or the youngest?” the man eyed Xue Rui’s figure.
Xue Rui, hearing how Xue Jun addressed the other man, couldn’t help but turn his head around to see. Since he knew his brother’s master was the owner of this place, and he also knew that Min Xiaoyu’s grandfather owned the martial arts school, it was only fitting to conclude that they were one and the same person. But when his eyes landed on this so called grandfather, he was surprised at how young the man appeared to be.
The man himself wore a similar black coloured martial arts garb. He was holding a wooden cane in a relaxed manner as if his home’s gate hadn’t been destroyed at all. In fact, his expression contained a hint of amusement.
‘Did I get it wrong? He looks too young to be someone’s grandfather. In fact, aren’t we of the same age?!’
“He’s my youngest brother, Xue Rui,” Xue Jun replied. Then, he turned to Xue Rui and whispered to his younger brother. “Xiao Rui, this is my master, Min Shaotian.”
“I see,” after hearing Xue Jun’s reply, Min Shaotian raised his hand and touched his chin as if pondering. “And what about that person with the aura of a peak 4th stage Houtian? I can’t believe there is someone who can train up to this point without any guidance.” As he said this, his eyes moved from Xue Rui to Li Xinwen.
“He’s… Li Xinwen. He recently got injured and almost lost his life. I don’t know how he managed to train in such a short amount of time…” Xue Jun replied.
“Oh? What do you mean by that?”
“Master, it hasn’t even been a month since he woke up from his comatose state.”
At this revelation, the man’s expression changed. Compared to his easy going demeanor earlier, he turned serious. “He’s rising up too fast. He might be cultivating the demonic path…” As he said this, he walked towards Li Xinwen with a solemn expression.
Once he entered the domain, he lifted his cane slightly before slamming it down to the ground. Almost immediately, the air around them changed and Li Xinwen’s domain shattered. “I do not wish to cause unnecessary harm so I hope that you think properly before answering my question,” Min Shaotian said as he eyed Li Xinwen. “What path are you cultivating?”
Li Xinwen had his focus on the man before him and failed to notice Min Shaotian’s arrival. In addition, Min Shaotian’s cultivation level was an entire realm higher, so if Min Shaotian wanted to conceal his aura, Li Xinwen would not be able to perceive him.
But just because Min Shaotian was a realm higher in his cultivation, that didn’t mean that Li Xinwen was afraid of him. After all, Li Xinwen was someone who had already reached the peak of Kongming stage. Compared to his opponents back in Long Xing, a Xiantian stage was nothing in his eyes. He was confident that his experience was enough to make up for the disparity in strength.
Seeing that Li Xinwen wasn’t afraid of him, Min Shaotian let out a sigh. “Do you think that you can beat me with your pseudo-domain?” Min Shaotian asked as his other hand went to hold the body of his cane. Then, he shifted his other hand, to hold the upper part of the cane before pulling it upwards.
‘A hidden blade,’ Li Xinwen thought as he watched the man unsheathe his weapon.
Li Xinwen was just about to move when he felt a set of arms wrap around his abdomen. “Xin-gege, he has a sword. Don’t go!” Sun Xiao cried out, his eyes already pooled with water that threatened to fall. “Let’s just leave. Ah‘Xiao doesn’t want to learn martial arts from this place anymore. This place is filled with bad guys!”
Min Shaotian who was called one of the bad guys: …
Xue Jun who learned from someone who was called a bad guy: …
The ‘master’ who was suppressed by Li Xinwen before: …
Hearing the young boy exclaim in that tone, if Min Shaotian were still able to strike, then he could not possibly be human, ah! Especially, when he looked at the boy and those clear, innocent eyes glaring at him like he was truly the bad guy. ‘This boy has a good constitution… a pure Zhuo Yang body type. If this man was really a demonic cultivator, then this boy would have been dead long ago.’ With this thought, Min Shaotian quickly sheathed his blade.
‘On the other hand, it’s no wonder Jingguo would dare to offend this man, his cultivation has been stagnating for ten years now. He must’ve been anxious; to the point that he didn’t realize his tail was showing up.’
“Chen Jingguo, you go in first and start the students’ training in the training hall,” Min Shaotian said as he dismissed the man who tried to act against Sun Xiao.
The man, Chen Jingguo, looked reluctant and his eyes lingered on Sun Xiao. But in the end, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to beat Li Xinwen so he simply gave up. ‘There will be plenty of chances in the future,’ he thought as he saluted Min Shaotian and walked towards the training hall.
Once Chen Jingguo left, Min Shaotian’s attention returned to Li Xinwen. “This… how to say this… It seems that I was quick to judge and ended up misunderstanding something. But as a fellow cultivator, you understand, right?”
“Of course, I understand it very clearly,” Li Xinwen replied. “Earlier, your disciple whom you call Chen Jingguo tried to harm someone important to me. It is very understandable… after all, from his point of view, Ah‘Xiao’s body type is something he yearns for. You were suspicious of me, thinking that I cultivated the demonic path, but your own disciple cultivates the demonic path himself. Are you trying to show me how to slap yourself?”
“…” Min Shaotian, who could be said to have picked up a huge stone and accidentally dropped it on his own foot, was unable to refute it. “I… have an explanation for that. But this conversation isn’t suitable to be discussed out in the open like this,” Min Shaotian sighed. “Ah, where are my manners. First, I would like to apologize for the misunderstanding. It seems that my disciple, Xue Jun, brought you. So how about we go inside first and discuss things over a cup of tea?”
“We’re not supposed to follow strangers blindly,” Sun Xiao spoke before Li Xinwen could agree. “Xin-gege, let’s just go. Maybe big brother Min is not here and we came to the wrong place,” Sun Xiao said as he looked up at Li Xinwen again.
“Big brother Min?” Min Shaotian who heard this suddenly had a look of understanding. “Are you perhaps the Mr. Li that my grandson told me about?” Min Shaotian asked Li Xinwen.
“Then are you Mr. Min Xiaoyu’s grandfather?” Li Xinwen asked back.
“That is indeed me! Why didn’t you say so? Yuyu did say that you would be coming this weekend. He was supposed to come and welcome you but when he cultivated last night, he managed to break through his bottleneck. So now, he’s trying to enter the 2nd stage,” Min Shaotian replied.
“Xin-gege, don’t believe him! He must be lying. Look at him! Can someone as young as him have a grandson as old as big brother Min?” Sun Xiao continued to glare at Min Shaotian, eyes full of suspicion.
When Li Xinwen heard this, the corner of his lips curved into a smile. His hand reached out and rubbed Sun Xiao’s head, feeling proud of his little brother. ‘The talk of building his confidence these past few nights is really paying off. At this rate, what happened to Ah’Xiao in Hua-jie’s past won’t happen again.’
Faced with Sun Xiao’s rebuke, Min Shaotian could only show a helpless expression. If he could, he would summon his grandson over to dispel their suspicions, but alas, he couldn’t bother his grandson while he was breaking through. “Alright, alright. This… I was wrong,” Min Shaotian said. “Young man, the martial arts that I practice is different from the secular world’s martial arts. Here, let me show you.”
Min Shaotian waved his hand and a wind blade appeared, moving at a fast speed towards a nearby tree. The sharp wind blade mercilessly cut the tree in half and it fell to the ground with a loud sound.
“See? Aren’t I amazing?”
“My Xin-gege can also do that…” Sun Xiao mumbled in a soft voice. During their practice these past few nights, Li Xinwen had slowly shown him some amazing things that he could expect to do once he started training martial arts, so he wasn’t really impressed with the wind blade. ‘Plus, what is a tree compared to the big gate?’ he wanted to say but decided to keep his mouth shut lest the man in front of them decide to take advantage of the ruined gate.
As someone who has reached the Xiantian stage, how could Min Xiaotian not hear what Sun Xiao had said? In the end, he could only let out a heavy, defeated sigh. “Do you really not want to learn from me? If you learn from me, I can help open up your twelve meridian gates and let you cultivate!”
“If it is something you can do, I’m sure that my Xin-gege can also do it,” Sun Xiao replied. “Right?” At this, Sun Xiao once again looked up at Li Xinwen, silently asking the man to agree with him.
Unfortunately, this time, Li Xinwen shook his head. “Ah‘Xiao, to help open your twelve meridian gates, someone has to inject their spiritual energy and guide it through your meridians. This process needs to be done in one go without stopping in the middle, so it will take quite a while. You have a pure Yang type body called Zhuo Yang, but Ge‘s body type is that of Yin constitution. If I inject my spiritual energy through your meridians, it will only cause you more harm than good. In fact, I may end up damaging your meridians,” Li Xinwen explained.
“That’s right!” Min Shaotian joined in. “Of course, you can also try to open your gate on your own. But it will take a long time. And you will also have to do the meridians slowly, one by one.”
“Then, how long did Xin-gege take?”
Li Xinwen didn’t lie. He did spend two years in his last life to build his foundation.
“Then… does Xin-gege suggest that Ah‘Xiao let him open the gates?” Sun Xiao asked. “But he tried to harm Xin-gege earlier. What if it’s a trap?”
Sun Xiao’s words were like ammunition, shooting Min Shiaotian while still lying down. “Then how about this? If I have so much as a little thought to cause any of you harm, even a single hair, then let the heavens be the judge and send down lightning to strike me.”
Li Xinwen was surprised that Min Shaotian dared to make an oath. Seeing that the other was truly sincere, he patted Sun Xiao’s head. “Let’s just go in and hear him out. Don’t worry, if he tries anything, Gege will protect you,” Li Xinwen smiled at Sun Xiao as he assured the young boy.
After finally managing to convince both Sun Xiao and Li Xinwen, Min Shaotian finally felt that he had redeemed himself. ‘Now I just have to make sure to show the boy that laozi is not a bad guy!’
Li Xinwen and Sun Xiao followed Min Shaotian. It was only as they got closer to Xue Jun and Xue Rui, that Li Xinwen remembered that they were also present. Looking at Xue Rui’s figure, he suddenly felt guilty. “Rui-ge, how are you feeling?” Li Xinwen asked. Though he did want to teach Xue Rui a lesson, he hadn’t planned it to be like this. He knew Xue Rui was mortal and if he were to use his full strength, then he would simply be bullying the weak. That was not Li Xinwen’s nature.
“I’m okay. Just a bit cold,” Xue Rui replied. “Xinwen, earlier…”
“I will explain later. I apologize for dragging you along, Rui-ge,” Li Xinwen said.
“Don’t worry about it,” Xue Rui smiled at Li Xinwen.
“What do you mean don’t worry? If I didn’t save you earlier by bringing you out, you would’ve frozen to death!” Xue Jun said angrily.
“First young master Xue is right. Rui-ge, I wasn’t careful earlier. Tell me what you want and I will make it up to you at a later time,” Li Xinwen said, agreeing with what Xue Jun said and offering to make it up to Xue Rui.
Of course Xue Rui immediately decided to take advantage of this matter. “Then, how about a kiss? Your kiss will surely warm me up!”
“… Think again and tell me later,” Li Xinwen said as he turned to walk away.
“Idiot,” Xue Jun muttered under his breath as he watched his younger brother act like a fool.
“Ah, Xinwen, wait!” Xue Rui quickly rushed over to Li Xinwen’s side. “How about holding hands?” Xue Rui asked. “Holding hands should be fine, right?”
Li Xinwen thought for a while, before he held out his hand for the other to hold. “Only until we get inside,” Li Xinwen told him.
Xue Rui didn’t dare ask for more and instead he simply took Li Xinwen’s hand in his. It may have only been a few days, but for Xue Rui, it felt like an eternity since the last time he was this close to Li Xinwen.
Sun Xiao saw the two holding hands and his heart felt uncomfortable. Xue Jun was the same, though he had mixed feelings about this scene. For one, he knew that that person was not the Li Xinwen that he and his brother had fallen in love with, but it still felt like watching the one you love walk away with another man.
“Xiao Rui… once you find out he’s not who you think he is, I hope you won’t be too heartbroken…” Xue Jun murmured in a soft voice before he finally followed the rest of the group.
Min Shaotian who was leading them naturally heard everything. But since he had very little understanding of what was happening, he didn’t say anything lest he agitate the young man again. Sun Xiao was indeed a rare find, and Min Shaotian truly wanted the boy as his disciple since all of his cultivation methods were only compatible with those who leaned more towards the Yang energy. Although Xue Jun was one of his best disciples, in the end, his cultivation method did not suit Xue Jun since Xue Jun leaned more towards the Yin energy.
‘It truly is a shame,’ he lamented. ‘But maybe this Mr. Li can help him in his cultivation. After all, their body conditions seem to be the same.’
They entered the main residence and a middle-aged woman who was currently cleaning the entrance greeted them. “Ah, master. Are these four your guests?” the woman asked.
“En. Go and prepare tea for us and deliver it to the eastern courtyard,” Min Shaotian replied.
The woman bowed her head before she hurriedly walked away. Min Shaotian continued to lead them deeper into the residence until they reached another courtyard. When they stepped into the courtyard, Li Xinwen felt that he had entered a barrier. Not only that, the spiritual energy here was much denser than on the outside. Compared to his dimension, it was still less pure.
“This is my private courtyard. No one is allowed here without permission,” Min Shaotian told the group. “Jun, this is also your first time here, right?”
“Yes,” Xue Jun replied.
“En. Do you notice anything different?”
Xue Jun closed his eyes and began to feel the surroundings. “There is more spiritual energy here.”
“That’s right. Now go into that room over there,” Min Shaotian pointed to a door with his cane. “Inside you will see my grandson. Don’t bother him, but you can cultivate there without worrying about being disturbed. The rest of you, follow me.”
Xue Jun separated from the group and went to the room that Min Shaotian had pointed to earlier. Li Xinwen and the rest continued to follow Min Shaotian to another room. This room was quite huge and there was a small wooden coffee table in the middle. Min Shaotian went over and took a seat near the coffee table before he gestured for them to sit on the opposite side. “Please have a seat.”
Xue Rui took the lead and sat near the end of the table, then pulled Li Xinwen to sit down beside him. This action made Li Xinwen frown, but since he was still feeling a bit guilty for almost ‘killing’ Xue Rui earlier, he stayed quiet and obediently sat down beside the male. Sun Xiao naturally sat beside Li Xinwen and finally, Min Shaotian spoke again.
“I will get right to the point. I want the boy to be my direct disciple,” Min Shaotian said with a serious tone.
“As his guardian, I refuse,” came Li Xinwen’s direct reply.
“Why? It would be beneficial if you let me train him.”
“Chen Jingguo,” Li Xinwen uttered only one name in reply and Min Shaotian immediately understood.
A heavy sigh escaped his lips before he massaged his temples. “Right, I should explain to you about that first… earlier, do you know why I thought you were a demonic cultivator?” Min Shaotian asked.
“Is it because Xue Jun told you I have only woken up from my coma recently? And then my cultivation rose up very quickly?” Li Xinwen asked back, and Min Shaotian nodded his head. Li Xinwen didn’t say anything else and Min Shaotian waited for a while before finally asking.
“Are you not going to explain?”
“What is there to explain? I can only say my method is different from yours and it is very compatible with me, which is why my cultivation level can soar by leaps and bounds,” Li Xinwen replied. “Now, back to the original discussion, Mr. Min. Chen Jingguo. If you dislike demonic cultivators, why is he here?”
“Because I’m trying to smoke out the rest.”
The reply was short, but it told Li Xinwen a lot. ‘So, there are more cultivators in this world? And there seems to be a group of demonic cultivators too.’
“What I’m about to tell you, you must not speak of it anywhere else. If you do, you’ll end up endangering your own lives,” Min Shaotian advised.
“Danger? Are you saying that someone will come to kill us?” Xue Rui asked. Though he had seen a lot of miraculous things today, it was still hard for him to accept all of it in one day. After all, his upbringing taught him not to believe in any nonsense, and to only believe in science. Of course, after today, he would need to reorganize his thoughts, and the way he saw the world would also change.
“Killing you would be considered mercy for them. Rather than kill you, they will simply take your soul and refine it for their own use. Then, you will not be able to enter the cycle of reincarnation at all.”
After the words were said, the room fell into complete silence. Sun Xiao appeared slightly fearful while Li Xinwen had a grim expression. He didn’t know how strong the demonic cultivators were, so he wasn’t sure if he could protect his family if they decided to come after them.
Min Shaotian who saw their grim expressions decided to reassure them. “Don’t worry though. As long as you don’t have anything of value to them, they won’t come out to get you. That is, of course, as long as you keep your mouth shut.”
“It began around twenty years ago. At that time, my Yuyu was still just a little toddler, barely two years old, and his father had just found a treasure. We didn’t know what it was supposed to do at first, so we simply took it back with us. I called on my friends, and we did some research on it, but even after a long time, we still couldn’t figure it out. Then one day, a friend of mine said he had finally figured out how to activate the treasure…”
16 Domain – A personal domain/boundary where a cultivator can use to suppress their opponent. Requires high level of understanding and consumes a lot of spiritual energy.