Chapter 23 Qinian*
*delusions/fantasies; wild and fanciful thoughts
Being stared at by Shen Shu earnestly, Ye Yunlan pursed his lips with a headache.
His disciple’s cultivation base advancing by leaps and bounds was naturally good.
However, since his injury relapsed three years ago and Shen Shu becoming aware of it, Shen Shu had begun to pay special attention to his body. He would often retrieve all kinds of elixir for him.
Even though he had told Shen Shu that these spirit medicines could only relieve his injury a little, but could not cure his injuries completely, Shen Shu still tirelessly brought the spirit medicine back. Watching him take the spirit medicine, and seeing his complexion become a bit better, he would smile happily.
When he casually said that the elixir was bitter, Shen Shu would try to get rid of the bitterness of the elixir. Later, he learned how to cook from out of nowhere, and the elixir he made each had different flavors. It was good enough to be called a delicacy.
Whenever he saw Shen Shu bring the elixir back and have an expectant appearance, he couldn’t say anything to reject it.
He took the porcelain bowl, and lowered his head to see the pure white lotus petals and golden ice pear fruit in the bowl. It looked very attractive.
He picked up the spoon.
The taste of it was indeed wonderful. It was sweet and refreshing, dissolving instantly when it entered his mouth. The gentle and warm medicinal power infiltrated his fragmented meridians.
He felt a little more comfortable and his appearance slightly relaxed.
Shen Shu leaned against the table and looked down at his master.
Ye Yunlan’s complexion was extremely white. His thin body was wrapped in thick fox fur with only a snowy white face exposed. His long eyelashes were drooping down, and his slender fingers were holding the porcelain bowl, spooning the sweet soup inside.
It was like an elegant white crane drawing water by the river.
The spoon slightly knocked against the bowl wall, making a fine crackling sound.
The man’s thin lips were stained with moisturizing liquid, tinting it pink. This made a person want to… get intimate with him.
Shen Shu didn’t dare to look again.
His adam’s apple moved. He stared at the ground, remembering the first winter of living with his Master.
At that time, the filthy energy in his body had just been removed and he just began to practice spiritual power. With spiritual protection, he didn’t feel cold.
But Ye Yunlan was different. Although his Master never said he was cold, Shen Shu knew that this person usually had cold limbs. It was even worse in winter.
He used to quietly hold the other person’s hand at night when they were asleep. However, no matter how he held it, it wouldn’t get warm. Even if he went to bed earlier to warm it up for this person, when this person went to sleep by himself, there was always coldness in the blanket on that person’s side.
Many times, he wanted to hug the other party and warm him up.
But, in the end, he just froze until dawn.
Until he started to cultivate, the first thing he did was to go to the library to find formations to keep warm. He set up heaters around the bamboo building. After thinking about it, he still felt that it was not enough, so he went to the mountains to hunt. He personally made a fox fur coat for Ye Yunlan.
He remembered that when his Master received the clothes, his indifferent expression was surprised, “Shen Shu, you know how to… make clothes?”
“No…but I can learn.” He said seriously, “Master can carve a sword for me and I…can make clothes for Master.”
His Master listened, then his lips seemed to curve upwards, “You have been considerate.”
He watched his Master get up and put the fox fur on. The white fur lined against the other party’s skin and was as good-looking as he had imagined.
Perhaps because of the fur, the lonely temperament of his master was much less. There was a rare illusion of softness and intimacy.
From then on, he liked winter very much.
He liked watching his Master wear his hand-made fox fur and stay in the warm house he had arranged, quietly and peacefully.
Every now and then, a secret joy would linger in his heart.
Ye Yunlan put down the porcelain bowl in his hand, making a soft noise on the book case.
Shen Shu regained his senses from his thoughts. His eyes drooped slightly, he asked: “Master, was it yummy?”
Ye Yunlan let out a light “En”. Seeing Shen Shu’s face with joy and bright eyes, he thought he was still similar to the young him who would be extremely happy after receiving his reward. He said softly: “You, if you spend so much time searching for elixirs, you should spend more time in your cultivation. Maybe in a few years, Senior Brother won’t even have to suppress his cultivation to not be your opponent.”
Shen Shu: “It won’t take a few years.”
Ye Yunlan understood what he meant. He couldn’t help laughing. “You are confident.”
But he didn’t say that he was overestimating himself.
He remembered when He Lanze first started to exchange notes with Shen Shu, he was very careless.
Shen Shu had never learned the sword before. At that time, he had only learned a month’s worth of martial arts. He Lanze whose sword dao had already reached the great success realm, suppressed his spiritual power cultivation base, but would still crush Shen Shu.
He Lanze would only exchange notes with Shen Shu once, then after the exchange, would go into the bamboo building and chat with him on the excuse of being thirsty.
For the sake of exchanging notes with Shen Shu, he would not refuse.
After Shen Shu was defeated by He Lanze several times, he asked: “Master, me being like this, does it make you embarrassed?”
He rubbed the boy’s head and comforted him patiently: “It’s just a waste of a few cans of tea leaves.”
Shen Shu said nothing. He had already seen that Shen Shu was a rare genius in swordsmanship, with a wild instinct talent. He would be able to grow rapidly in battle.
The time in which Shen Shu will be crushed by He Lanze won’t be long.
But he didn’t expect it would be this fast.
In three years.
He watched from Shen Shu being defeated by He Lanze with one move, then to him lasting several moves, then later to where He Lanze would suppress his spiritual power cultivation base, but could still barely share the limelight with the opponent.
He Lanze’s attitude also went from being careless at the beginning to being focused afterwards.
Every time Shen Shu exchanged pointers with He Lanze, he would not stop until he was exhausted. As his strength improved, after He Lanze and Shen Shu had a battle, there would be less and less time for He Lanze to find him for tea to chat.
Ye Yunlan once persuaded Shen Shu: “You don’t have to fight as if your life depended on it every time you fight with He Lanze.”
Shen Shu seriously said: “I am saving tea for Master.”
When he thought of Shen Shu’s seriousness at the time, Ye Yunlan’s face had a helpless smile.
“You are now a golden core. Such speed is rare amongst the younger generation in the cultivation world.” Ye Yunlan said.
The reason why there are a few people in the realm of cultivation that have this speed is because there are a few families in the cultivation world who have deep inheritance. Because of their bloodline, resources, and cultivation since childhood, it is not the case in which there are no young people who have a better cultivation base than Shen Shu.
But leaving many factors aside, Shen Shu had done well enough at his age.
“It’s a good thing that your spiritual power cultivation base grows fast, but in this way, your foundation will easily become unstable. What you need to do now is to suppress your cultivation base, temper your mental state, refine your spiritual power, and make your realm completely stable.”
“So, your Master has a suggestion.” Ye Yunlan raised his head and looked at Shen Shu, “Go and pick up a few sect missions outside Qingyun Mountain. Go see the world. Shen Shu, your future should not be limited to this square inch of land.”
Shen Shu thought to himself, but I just want to be with you, Master.
He was no longer the boy before who expressed his emotions straightforwardly. Over the years, he followed Ye Yunlan’s expectations and grew into what the other party hoped for.
After thinking for a while, he said: “Master, I heard that after half a month, it will be the Tianchi Mountain conference. I want to participate.”
The Tianchi Mountain conference was a grand meeting for the younger generation of disciples in the cultivation world. At that time, all major sects will dispatch disciples to participate, for the face of their sect.
Shen Shu can indeed open his eyes and increase his knowledge if he went.
Ye Yunlan: “Why do you want to attend the conference?”
Shen Shu: “I want to test my own strength. As Master said, I need to gain more experience. I can take this opportunity to temper myself and stabilize my cultivation.”
There is another thing he didn’t mention to Ye Yunlan, which is his real goal in regard to this gathering. He had heard that if he could get first place in this conference, he could get a nine-tier elixir.
Elixirs are rare.
The elixir he had found in the past few years were no more than sixth rank. If he can obtain the ninth rank elixir… will the injury on his master’s body improve?
If it’s like this, the annoying sect master who comes to heal his master every month will not be able to pester his master again in the future.
Ye Yunlan was satisfied with his answer: “Since you have decided, go and pack your things. As Master remembers it, the Sect has organized the Shenxing Flying Boat to go to the conference, don’t miss it.”
Shen Shu was silent for a moment: “Master…can you accompany me? When I see other disciples in the sect, they are usually accompanied by their Masters when they go to the conference…”
The martial arts competition at the Dao Conference was not just a casual exchange of pointers. If one party does not surrender in time, there is a possibility of serious injuries or death, it does require someone to take care of them.
Ye Yunlan had never been to the Dao Conference in his previous life.
In this life, he had also decided to spend the rest of his life in a remote place, no longer wanting to participate in anything of the cultivation world.
He had already seen the vastness of the world, the changing mountains and rivers of the world, the countless scenery. He didn’t feel nostalgic.
But Shen Shu hasn’t.
Ye Yunlan thought for a while.
If Shen Shu was alone, would he be bullied, deceived, or tempted? These… he was actually quite worried about.
It was indeed better to take care of him.
This time, he was just going out to look after his apprentice. As long as he acted less publicly, there would probably be no problems.
So he agreed.
“Okay, I will accompany you as your Master.”
The shadow next to Shen Shu twisted excitedly.
He picked up the porcelain bowl on the table, rubbed the edge of the bowl with his fingertips, and muttered joyfully.
“Master treats me so well.”
Shen Shu stepped out of the bamboo building and went to a small bamboo building next to it.
Since he got older, his figure has also grown. The carved bed had become more and more cramped. A year and a half ago, he was ordered by Ye Yunlan to move out and build a small bamboo building next to him.
He stood in front of the window, looking at the silhouette of his master in the window of the opposite bamboo building.
He didn’t lie down on the bed until the lights went out.
After a while, he fell asleep.
There was heavy snow flying in the dream.
He was walking in the snow and suddenly smelt a sweet smell.
Following the fragrance, he saw a half-covered window.
His heart throbbed. A voice told him that he shouldn’t open this window, but another voice urged him to open this window quickly.
He opened the window.
He saw a carved bed in the room. There was also a wet, wrinkled fox fur.
There was a man lying on the fox fur, dazzling white. The man propped himself up with one hand and his black hair slipped off his shoulders. He turned sideways to look at him.
He saw the other party’s red eyes and misty eyes, as if he was suffering in pain.
The cold voice trembled and called him.
“…Come, help me.”