Chapter 10.3 Background
Pei Jing sat on a tree trunk, eating fruits one after another while observing them ruin all the spiritual herbs on the entire hill. From Pei Jing’s perspective, this part of Yinghui Peak couldn’t be considered a thriving garden. The vegetation had very little spiritual energy and was only suitable for medicinal purposes for mortals. It couldn’t be used for alchemy. Nevertheless, even in this condition, what they had done was enough to give this group of people a good scolding.
He jumped down from the treetop and acted as if he had forgotten something, heading back towards the spiritual garden. Standing at the edge, he was amazed to see a group of people diligently digging the soil. He exclaimed, “What are you all doing?”
His exclamation halted the movements of the group.
The leader, surnamed Li, stood frozen in place, and the stick in his hand fell to the ground.
Pei Jing became angry, his face turning red, and he stomped his feet in frustration. “You’ve gone too far! I’m going to tell the Peak Master!”
Several cultivators pleaded, “No! It’s not what you think!”
Ignoring them, Pei Jing swiftly turned around and ran towards the main hall of Yinghui Peak.
The group chased after him, desperately shouting, “Don’t tell the Peak Master! We were just loosening the soil!”
Huang Fu Daoren was extremely angered, finding it hard to believe the number of incidents involving the disciples of this generation.
Standing in the center of the hall, he wore a stern expression that demanded respect. He glared at the trembling individuals and spoke firmly, “Loosening the soil? Instead of staying still in the middle of the night, you chose to venture out and loosen the soil in the spiritual garden.”
Several cultivators were on the verge of tears. Seeing the Peak Master’s unwavering expression, they knew he wouldn’t let them off easily. Pei Jing, standing obediently by the side, fueled their burning anger. They were determined to make sure he wouldn’t escape punishment either.
“Peak Master! He framed all of us!”
“He deceived us by claiming that there were treasures buried beneath the spiritual garden, enticing us to dig.”
“That’s right! Zhang Yiming made the first move. When we arrived, half of the spiritual garden had already been dug up, and he discovered that bracelet during the digging.”
Huang Fu’s frustration caused him a headache. These rebellious youngsters had truly crossed the line.
Pei Jing couldn’t help but find it amusing and frustrating. He knew these individuals were clueless, but he never expected them to be so dense. Weren’t they digging their own graves? Accusing him of soil loosening might be a lighter charge.
Huang Fu glared at Pei Jing and demanded, “Give it to me!”
Pei Jing obediently took off the bracelet from his wrist and handed it to Huang Fu. He had a puzzled look on his face as he said, “I didn’t find this bracelet in the spiritual garden. I never mentioned its origin to them. They falsely accused me.”
In expressing himself, Pei Jing couldn’t help feeling unjust.
Huang Fu became stunned the moment he held the bracelet.
The bracelet emitted a strong and pure water elemental energy. As Huang Fu examined it closely, he indeed noticed elegantly written characters inside the bracelet—Pei Yuzhi.
Huang Fu’s hand trembled, and his gaze fell upon Pei Jing. “Where did you get this bracelet?”
Pei Jing scratched his head in confusion. “Huh? On my first day at Yinghui Peak, I got lost and encountered a Senior Brother dressed in white robes. He guided me to the main hall. Along the way, we had several conversations, and before leaving, he praised my exceptional physique and admirable character. Then, he gifted me this bracelet, saying it was meant for someone destined to receive it.”
This is perhaps the first time I truly praised myself.
Huang Fu was taken aback, feeling doubtful. “Really?”
“Absolutely true. Feel free to confront him. If it turns out to be false, I’ll accept my defeat.”
Pei Yuzhi had actually come to Yinghui Peak? And he held this young disciple in high regard?
Huang Fu’s hand trembled as he held the bracelet. With mixed belief and doubt, he returned it to Pei Jing. Yunxiao’s Pei Yuzhi was not only an otherworldly existence but also the epitome of faith across the 108 peaks.
“If you’re lying, watch how I’ll teach you a lesson!”
Huang Fu warned Pei Jing, lacking any intimidation.
Then he looked back at the group of disciples standing there, their expressions changed, eyes widened, emanating an eerie atmosphere.
“False accusations against fellow disciples, a grave crime! If you enjoy digging so much, then stay there and take care of the spiritual garden—I’ll ensure you dig your hearts out!”
Several disciples silently cursed Pei Jing in their minds but didn’t dare defy the Peak Master’s command. With pained expressions and a sense of misery, they reluctantly replied, “Yes.”
Behind the Peak Master, Pei Jing smiled at them sincerely, genuinely sympathizing with the four unfortunate souls.
However, the group interpreted this smile as dripping with sarcasm, causing them to almost cough up blood in frustration.
Pei Jing didn’t have any major objections to Huang Fu’s decision. Those who attempted to steal from the sect had inherent character issues and deserved some correction. Spending a considerable time farming would lead to a person’s heart becoming purer and less desirous.
As he expected, Huang Fu truly wrote a letter and sent it to Tianqian Peak.
Upon reading the letter, Chen Xu’s face twitched uncontrollably. Pei Yuzhi’s ability to praise himself to such an extent was impressive. He had arrived at Yinghui Peak on his flying sword, concealing his presence.
At that time, the other three people in the courtyard were already asleep. Pei Jing set up a barrier and invited Chen Xu inside.
Chen Xu glanced around, reveling in malicious joy, and remarked, “It’s not easy to find a place in Yunxiao with absolutely no spiritual energy. Huang Fu went to great lengths to torment you.”
Pei Jing sat on a stone stool and asked, “Did you come here just to make snide comments?”
Chen Xu handed the letter from Huang Fu to Pei Jing and said, “Let’s see how you’ll respond.”
Pei Jing unfolded the paper and indeed saw the twisted handwriting of Huang Fu.
However, this time it was much better than the note from last time. Perhaps because he was the recipient, Huang Fu was particularly cautious. The wording was exceptionally respectful, leaving Pei Jing both amused and puzzled.
Pei Jing held the pen in his hand and chuckled, “How should I respond? Of course, I should start by praising myself.”
As he wrote, he said, “Although Zhang Yiming’s Spiritual Roots are not remarkable, he possesses a kind-hearted nature, humility, and good manners. He also has a proper and dignified appearance. With proper nurturing, he will surely become a great talent. Please take good care of him on my behalf.”
Pei Jing’s shamelessness made Chen Xu burst into laughter. “So now you’re entering the secular world? Back then, you were in a hurry to make me leave, afraid that others would think you had influential connections. Has your stance changed?”
Pei Jing played with the pen and replied, “I’m just giving him a gentle reminder, asking him not to give me a hard time. I don’t intend to seek special treatment.”
Chen Xu countered, “As someone personally requested by Pei Yuzhi, how could he not treat you differently?”
Pei Jing found his argument reasonable and added, “Then ask him not to meddle too much. Treat me like any other disciple. Oh, and most importantly, I want to be placed near Chu Junyu.”
Chen Xu impatiently waited for Pei Jing to finish writing.
Before leaving, Chen Xu couldn’t resist nagging, “If you’ve already destroyed Yinghui Peak’s spiritual garden, refrain from any more outrageous actions.”
Pei Jing laughed and scolded, “Are you being annoying on purpose? How many times do I need to hear those words?”
Chen Xu cursed, “Even if I say it ten thousand times, you still won’t listen.”
The next day during the early class, Pei Jing sat quietly at his desk, disregarding the jealous gazes from a few individuals. He smiled sincerely and brightly, his focus solely on Chu Junyu. They would be roommates from now on, and he was confident that he could handle a troublesome little brat.
After the Elder finished teaching the class on how to cultivate and control Qi within the body…
Huang Fu Daoren entered with a particularly complex expression, casting a glance at Pei Jing.
He never anticipated that Tianqian Peak would actually reply to him. His hands trembled with nervousness and anxiety as he almost tore the letter apart. The letter’s content felt like a surreal dream. Pei Yuzhi was the future Sect Master, rendering his age irrelevant. According to seniority, he should address him as Senior Brother.
So, did Senior Brother Pei truly favor this rookie who caused trouble within three days of joining?
With this thought, he looked at Chu Junyu with a sense of regret. Treating a precious gem as an ordinary pebble and an ordinary pebble as a precious gem, did Senior Brother Pei accidentally damage his eyes during his seclusion?
Of course, he didn’t dare utter such words.
Huang Fu cleared his throat and gave a brief account of the previous day’s events. After criticizing those few individuals again, he spoke slowly, “Zhang Yiming discovered it in time and reported to me, saving most of the spiritual fields. We hold no grudges. What rightfully belongs to him will remain his. From now on, he’ll return to Heaven within Heaven lodging. There will be no need to tend to the spiritual fields anymore. Join the other regular disciples and complete other tasks.”
Everyone was surprised and turned their heads to look at the main character.
Amidst various envious, curious, and resentful gazes, Pei Jing smiled, revealing a set of bright white teeth. He had a pleasant and charming appearance. “Thank you, Peak Master.”
Just as he had said, confidence was all that mattered. His luck couldn’t be that bad.
Chu Junyu didn’t say a word upon suddenly gaining a roommate. He didn’t even glance back at Pei Jing.
In the afternoon, they went out for a hunt. Pei Jing sat near the roots of a cloud crane’s wing, which was a daring yet dashing spot. Not many dared to sit there apart from him. He held a bunch of delicious fruits he had discovered the previous night in his arms as he waited patiently. Finally, the cloud crane started flying over the fields.
The cloud crane glided low, and Pei Jing could clearly observe the hardworking group of people. They carried water on their backs, and their clothes were drenched in sweat. The weather wasn’t hot, but prolonged exposure to the sun still caused dryness in one’s mouth.
Tsk-tsk-ing, Pei Jing waved enthusiastically to the cultivator surnamed Li, who had mocked him previously.
The cultivator surnamed Li, noticing him, turned away, ignoring his presence.
The cloud crane flew exceptionally slowly within Yinghui Peak, allowing Pei Jing some spare time to playfully tease him.
“Hey, Brother Li, why are you sweating so much? You must have been working hard for a long time. Are you hungry? If you’re hungry, let me show you how I eat.”
The cultivator surnamed Li: “Get lost!”
Pei Jing took another bite of the fruit. The fruit was red, and its juice stained his lips an even deeper shade of red. With his hair tied up and dressed in a blue robe, he looked graceful. The cloud crane soared through the sky, accompanied by auspicious light and feathers. He smiled, radiating confidence and vitality.
The infuriated cultivators in the spiritual garden felt a slight ache in their hearts and lungs.
Pei Jing noticed the high sun and felt inclined to recite a poem cheerfully. He said, “I shall now recite a poem to uplift your spirits: In the noonday heat, we perspire, farming dreams set our hearts afire.”
Halfway through the recitation, the people below weren’t infuriated, but instead, they started laughing themselves.
At that moment, the cloud crane emerged from Yinghui Peak, spreading its wings and soaring into the sky, parting the floating clouds to reveal the sun.
The gentle breeze caressed their faces as the sun moved closer to the horizon.
Pei Jing’s hair was blown forward, covering his eyes, momentarily surprising everyone. What a strong gust of wind!
He felt like he was about to die. In the past, he had mockingly laughed at their surprise when they were all amazed by the profound water mirror. But why didn’t anyone inform him that the crane could fly so fast? Now, he had lost interest in plucking feathers and just wanted to land quickly.
He reached out to tidy his hair and turned his head, loudly asking the person next to him, “How much longer until we arrive?!”
“Half an hour.”
Pei Jing let out a sigh of frustration, “…”, this path was impossible to take. He longed for his sword.
Hunting demons in the neighboring mountains of Yunxiao seemed like child’s play to him.
He hurriedly made excuses to finish the task.
Pei Jing ended up walking with a stranger, unable to find Chu Junyu anywhere. They resorted to casual conversation while taking a stroll.
Simultaneously, Pei Jing asked a question that had been bothering him for a long time.
“Why do I feel like everyone has such strong opinions about me? I was punished to work in the fields, and one by one, people came to mock me. Why?”
The slender cultivator who accompanied him, despite his small frame and obvious hardship, had to respond, “I’m just guessing, so don’t worry too much. We all joined Yunxiao together and got to know each other. After all, we went through various trials and challenges to stand out. We come from different regions, with different spiritual roots and aptitudes, but we all started at the same point. However, you’re different. We asked around discreetly, and no one remembers you. You didn’t even participate in the selection process. You directly entered the Outer Peaks. We’re all young people here, and we value merit. It’s just that we can’t stand someone like you, who got in based on connections.”
Pei Jing’s smile froze on his lips: “…”
So, his connection had already been exposed? He had been careless…
The slender cultivator secretly assessed him, making sure he wasn’t angry before letting out a sigh of relief and slowly continuing, “And then there was the housing selection. You happened to draw the lot for Heaven within Heaven room. If we say there was no manipulation behind the scenes, no one would believe it. But you’re naive…” The slender cultivator paused for a second, realizing something was amiss, and quickly changed his tone, offering a smile. “But you’re mischievous. You tore up the paper and angered the Peak Master, which led to your punishment.”
Pei Jing remained silent for a long time and let out a sigh, “I understand.”
It turned out that what Pei Jing perceived as the old man Huang Fu being difficult with him was seen by these resentful and cynical junior disciples as favoritism.
But to be honest, the slender cultivator wasn’t wrong. Everyone assumed he had connections, and he did indeed have connections.
However, those connections were of his own making.
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