Author’s Note: So we had the last two exams of the school year this morning 🙌🏼 and the ferry to the island my friends and I are going to is still at 5pm, so I decided to post a chapter while waiting 💩 That means no double chapters on Wednesday (yay or nay?) 😅 well, hope you Enjoy! See you guys again on Wednesday! ❤️
P.S. Don’t forget to vote for your fave character on the Three Lifetimes index page! 🐯
Just minutes after Taren had left the house, Jin came in through the front door with a dark expression on his face. I had an inkling that they had encountered each other on the streets and it terrified me.
“I’m not having an affair!” Was the first thing my mouth spouted after seeing him. My response was so abrupt, it hung in the air. I wanted to snatch it and stuff it back in my mouth. I turned red from embarrassment.
Jin looked at me quietly, then his shoulders began to tremble as he laughed. “I was not even accusing you.” He wiped the tears away from his eyes.
I looked at him sullenly. “I’m just saying so you won’t get the wrong idea. I don’t want you to be mad at me again like last time. Rest assured, we won’t ever be seeing him again soon.”
Jin smiled childishly as he wrapped his arms around my shoulders. He was already fourteen years old, and he already surpassed me in height by almost a head. He grew up so fast that it unnerved me. Although I liked this Jin in front of me, I missed the potato Jin I held in my arms as well.
I stretched one of Jin’s smooth cheek in one hand. “Can you not grow up so fast? You used to follow me around as a child, and yet here you are now acting like such an adult.”
Jin held my hand on his cheek tenderly. He smiled. “You don’t want to marry a child, do you?”
My heart started flipping like a fish out of water. “No…but…”
“Then won’t I be an adult for your convenience?” He grinned beguilingly. He held my palm in his, and I could only look on helplessly at our entwined hands. Hey, this was too forward of him! He was still fourteen! Hey? Hey!
I tugged at my hand, but he wouldn’t let me go. I started sweating.
“Ah? I think I hear Seiran in my room?” I pretended to hear something in the distance. “Oh? He wants to take a bath? And he wants to play with yarn?!” When Jin’s hand loosened on mine, I instantly took my hand back as I dashed up the stairs. “I’ll make you chicken porridge later!” I called out to him as he shook his head at me fondly.
The Flying Lotus competition happened every five years. It was a competition between practitioners of the different clans, to showcase their talent on the stage and honor their families. The most prominent clan in the Capital was the Hua clan, which always developed practitioners who ranked top 5 during the competition. A few trained commoners also applied, but they were all heavily humiliated in defeat in the end, owing to the fact that they had only cultivated to the elementary stages of Nascent Realm.
I had passed by the colosseum where the competition was held a long time ago, and needless to say, I was not satisfied by their performance. The most prominent clan had only Xian profound realm experts taking part in the competition, and no adolescent had reached the Infernal or Empyrean realm. The Hua clan leader was at middle Infernal realm, and I didn’t see anyone who was at the Empyrean realm. I guess I wouldn’t be meeting them in Heaven for thousands of years.
Why were these people so weak? Or was it that my standards were too high? I didn’t really delve in too deeply on that matter, because I thought it had nothing to do with me.
But Jin approached me one day with a request, “Can I take part in the Flying Lotus competition?”
I was dumbstruck. I had totally forgotten to ask him if he wanted to become a practitioner. Because I knew he was actually a deity, I didn’t think it mattered if he cultivated or not. I had forgotten that he was a mortal now, despite his immortal soul.
“Why do you want to take part?” I queried. The next competition would happen a year from now. It was too soon. Most people with no cultivation background would be aghast at the idea of spending only a year to train before the competition, but it seemed this didn’t deter Jin in the slightest.
“So I can also do something for you,” Jin said shyly after some inner deliberation. I didn’t understand what he meant by that, however.
“What does taking part in the competition have anything to do with me?” I wondered aloud. Well, if one won the competition, national recognition would be granted together with an Imperial reward. Last time it was the Heavenly Peach Fruit which was said to cure any illnesses, and prior to that was a Soul Forming Dan pill which made one leap at least three levels higher than one’s current cultivation.
“Well…” He looked away as a blush permeated his cheeks. “Honestly…I just…” He said the following words in a muffled tone, “…want you to be proud of me.”
I chuckled. “You think I’m not proud of you?”
“It’s not that!” He shook his head vehemently. “I want to be able to win this competition for you.” He took my hand in his as he gazed gently at me, then his eyes suddenly hardened. “I also don’t like how the nobles look down upon us commoners so much. The other day, my friends had a squabble with the Chu Tan clan, and they became heavily wounded because they did not know how to fight back. If I could defeat them fairly in the competition, no one would say we were trash again.”
I see. So his sudden willingness was for vengeance and honor? He was, after all, the God of War. Perhaps he had already been itching for a power that could save people. It was very characteristic of him, and one reason why I liked him.
“And why are you telling me this? You think I know anything that’ll make you strong?” I asked, amused.
“I think you’re hiding something, but it’s not bad.” His reply surprised me. How did he know something was different about me? Aside from not aging, aside from lazing around the house all day but still having it spotlessly clean, aside from secretly blow drying my hair with a gust of wind from my palm…I also recalled that incident in the past where I had healed my wound and made him believe he had done it with his kisses and prayers…damn. I could name a lot that I did (or thought I did) in secret. He was too smart not to notice.
“Is that so?” I said lightly, “You think I’m the strongest in the world? That I’m capable of raising trash meridians to peak meridians?”
“Yes,” he said with such certainty that I felt pressured into meeting his expectations. “After all, you took it upon yourself to take care of me all these years without any outside help. So yes. To me, you are the strongest in the world.” He squeezed my hand, and I felt a warm jolt of electricity run up my arm.
“Well, you’re right about that. I AM the strongest,” I said haughtily. I could only say that now that I was in the mortal realm. In Heaven, I doubt I would ever win in a spar against the God of War. When he would remember this conversation in the future, I would probably be knocking my head against tofu in embarrassment.
I was also glad he didn’t probe too deeply into my background, or I would have to lie to him. I honestly did not want to tell him I was actually a deity, because I was afraid of his reaction. Perhaps if I told him, he would not treat me the same way anymore.
After thinking for some time, I said firmly, “If revenge is the only thing you’re after, I’m not going to help you. Nothing good comes from revenge, and you have to be prepared to dig two graves. Besides, such black feelings will only encumber your cultivation.”
“But I want to do this for you as well,” he replied. “I have two goals. The other is for vengeance, not simple revenge.”
He was playing with words, but I also believed that vengeance and revenge were different things. Vengeance was committed to avenge crimes, and revenge was used for petty insults. Although they might mean almost the same thing, the level of one’s understanding towards these feelings affected the way one was able to circulate spiritual energy around the body. Negative feelings would hamper one’s cultivation by remarkably slowing down one’s energy flow.
“Well, I actually don’t believe in using others as a goal, but if that makes you want to become stronger, then I will allow it.” I nodded my head after some thought.
I never was someone who wanted to become strong for other people. I was someone who became strong for myself, because I believed that the only person I should rely on was me. I was selfish in that way, but I realized that perhaps I was missing that certain core that Jin himself had. People held different views of things, and I didn’t want to force my own views on him. I also realized that if one had someone they loved, they would want to become stronger to protect them. He seemed to be a part of such case…I wanted to believe he loved me as well. Tee hee~
“Will you help me become strong?” He looked at me with worried eyes. I couldn’t turn down his request now could I? “I’ll make you proud.”
“As I said, you don’t need to say such things. I’m already proud of who you are.” I kissed his cheek and he smiled.