Chapter 25 Apricot Blossoms
Chen Xianyu knew that his elder brother usually looked down on the beauties he painted in the book of beauties. It is rare that he would ask questions today, so it raised a little interest in him, “He is the person I mentioned to brother before, the beauty that can be comparable to Brother Xu.”
“Someone who can stand shoulder to shoulder with Qingyue?” Chen Weiyuan raised his eyebrows, “Tianxuan, do you have to compare your Senior Brother Xu with others at will?”
Chen Xianyu defended: “I know, I know. I respect Senior Brother Xu as much as I do my elder brother. But just now, I couldn’t help it, so I compared him to Senior Brother Xu.”
“My painting skills are clumsy and I can’t draw the real person in the painting. Once brother sees this person, you will know what I said is true. Just now, I saw that person on the Shenxing Flying Boat. Speaking about the conference, that person will also go to Tianchi Mountain. He is Sky Sect’s Yanhui peak’s disciple named Ye Yunlan. When elder brother arrives, he can take a closer look.”
Chen Weiyuan was startled.
Chen Xianyu: “Brother?”
“Ye Yunlan…” Chen Weiyuan repeated it in a low voice, and said, “It’s a good name.”
Chen Xianyu blinked in suspicion. His elder brother hadn’t even seen the person, so why would he compliment the other’s name for no reason?
Chen Weiyuan stopped continuing this topic, but looked up to the sky.
Even in the daytime, the starlight entwined like silk threads was still invisible in his eyes.
He said: “Tianxuan, that year, the astrological signs changed. It has been three years now, but the variables in the world have not yet been revealed. This is inconsistent with common sense. Please pay more attention to your surroundings. If you notice anything wrong, tell me as soon as possible.”
Chen Xianyu: “I will pay attention, brother.”
Chen Weiyuan nodded, then he waved his sleeves to scatter the water mirror.
The wind on the top of Tianchi Mountain made his robe flutter and dance.
“Ye Yunlan…” He whispered the name again, then his fingertips traced the picture book. The emotions in his star-filled eyes were hard to detect.
Suddenly a pleasant voice came from behind.
“Senior Brother Chen, the wind is scorching and the fog is cold on the top of the mountain, why are you in a daze here?” The voice came with a laughing tone.
Chen Weiyuan put away the picture book in his hand. His indifferent appearance showed a smile.
He turned around, looked at the person, and said warmly: “Qingyue, why did you come?”
——”Here, your elbow needs to be raised another half an inch. The energy will be condensed in the arm when it flows, then it will penetrate the sword in your hand.” Ye Yunlan stood in front of Shen Shu, pointing out his technique aloud, “Do you still have something unclear about this sword move?”
Shen Shu: “I understand, thank you Master.”
Ye Yunlan nodded slightly. He looked up at the side window sill.
Outside the window sill was a surging cloud. Bright sunlight shone on the endless open sea of clouds, displaying a magnificent sight.
“Tianchi Mountain is located in the Central Continent. The East Continent and Central Continent are separated by tens of thousands of miles. Even if it is a Shenxing flying boat, it will take three days to reach it. If you feel bored, you can go out for a walk.” Ye Yunlan said.
Shen Shu: “I don’t feel bored. Three days of sun, with just a little practice, it will fly by quickly.”
When he thought that he would be alone with his Master for three days, there wasn’t enough time for him to be happy, so how could he still want to go out?
He looked at the only carved wooden bed in the room, a gleam of light passed by in his dark eyes. He was about to speak, but the door of the room was knocked on.
“Is Junior Brother Ye here?” came a female voice, “Can you open the door for Senior Sister?”
Ye Yunlan frowned when he heard this voice. After hesitating for a moment, he walked over and opened the door.
Standing outside the door was Senior Sister Yin in red.
She had a glamorous appearance. She was very assertive, tall, and scorching hot like a fire. When she saw Ye Yunlan, she smiled: “I heard people say that Junior Brother Ye was resting in this room, so I wanted to come and look for Junior Brother to chat. I hope I didn’t disturb Junior Brother.”
The affection in Yin Ling’s eyes was not concealed. No matter who saw it, they can feel her affection towards Ye Yunlan.
In the past few years, she had been really bold in pursuing him. Even when Ye Yunlan has clearly rejected her several times, her enthusiasm remained unabated.
According to Yin Ling, as long as he does not find a dao companion, she will not give up.
Ye Yunlan was silent for a moment, “I have something to do, please go back, Senior Sister.”
“It’s early morning, what does Junior Brother Ye have to do?” Senior Sister Yin glanced at him with a bit of resentment in her eyes.
Ye Yunlan had never been approached by a woman before. He was really not good at dealing with such a passionate pursuit by a woman. He pursed his lips and didn’t know what to say, so Shen Shu walked over. He folded his arms and said by the door: “Master is giving me pointers, I’m afraid we don’t have time to chat with Senior Sister.”
Senior Sister Yin glared at Shen Shu, “Martial Nephew, you have grown up so much, how can you still be the same as before and bother your Master every day?”
Shen Shu: “Because he is my master, I ask him for advice. It is only natural.”
Senior Sister Yin snorted. She raised her hand, curled her long black hair on her cheeks, then raised her eyes to Ye Yunlan, “Junior Brother Ye…”
Ye Yunlan had a headache, “I really don’t have time today.”
Senior Sister Yin: “Junior Brother really didn’t lie to me?”
Ye Yunlan: “…serious.”
“Fine.” Senior Sister Yin gave him a grieving look, “I will wait for Junior Brother to have some time, then I’ll come to chat with you again.”
After finally sending Senior Sister Yin away, Ye Yunlan sat next to the pearwood round table in the room and rubbed his temples with his hand.
Shen Shu walked over to him, but once again set his eyes on the carved bed in the room.
Since he moved out of the bamboo building, he and his master have not slept in the same bed for more than a year.
He took the teapot on the table and poured themselves tea: “Master, disciple will first practice for a while. At night, is it possible ……”
Before he finished, the door was struck again.
Shen Shu: “…” Suddenly he wanted to smash the teacup in his hand.
“Is Junior Brother Ye inside?” This time there was a calm male voice coming from outside the door.
Shen Shu could tell it was the voice of his cheap Martial Uncle.
Before Ye Yunlan got up to open the door, he put down his teacup and walked over to open the door.
He Lanze saw Shen Shu open the door and his long eyebrows raised slightly. His first sentence was: “Why is Martial Nephew Shen here? I remember that there are many rooms in the Shenxing flying boat. As long as one has a disciple token, they can be assigned a room of their own.”
The implication was asking him to stay in his own room.
Shen Shu expressionlessly said, “Shouldn’t Martial Uncle be in your own room?”
He Lanze choked. Three years later, he still couldn’t get used to seeing the kid in front of him. He knew in his heart that this kid also couldn’t get used to him either.
He did not want to quarrel with this kid anymore, so he strode into the room, and called out: “Junior Brother Ye.”
Ye Yunlan raised his eyes slightly, “Senior Brother.”
He Lanze: “I heard that Junior Brother was also on this Shenxing flying boat. It turns out that Junior Brother also wants to participate in the Tianchi Mountain dao conference. Why didn’t Junior Brother tell me before? Also, your body…”
“It’s not me who wants to participate, it’s my disciple.” Ye Yunlan interrupted.
“Oh?” He Lanze looked at Shen Shu, “Junior Brother is only going to accompany Martial Nephew to increase his knowledge?”
Ye Yunlan: “That’s right.”
He Lanze said: “If this is the case, Senior Brother will feel more at ease.”
He thought for a while, then took out a white veil hat from his storage ring. He put it on the table, then hesitated for a moment: “Junior Brother, Senior Brother knows that you like peace. There are many people in this conference. If you wear this, it may reduce a lot of disturbance.”
This coincided with Ye Yunlan’s previous thoughts. He took the veil hat, rubbed it in his hand, then replied: “Thank you Senior Brother.”
He Lanze looked at him with his head down, his quiet and pale face; then warmth flowed in his heart. He said softly: “No need to say thank you.” He continued to discuss the topic of the Dao conference. After having a few conversations with Ye Yunlan, he then reluctantly left.
After He Lanze left, Ye Yunlan remembered something.
“Shen Shu, Senior Brother reminded me that you also have a disciple token in your hand and can also be allocated a room on the Shenxing Flying Boat. If you get one, we won’t have to be so crowded at night.”
Shen Shu: “…Yes, Master.”
—Three days later.
The huge Shenxing flying boat slowly descended at the foot of Tianchi Mountain, attracting many eyes from Tianchi Mountain.
The Central Continent was a place where outstanding people gathered. Half of the six top sects in the Immortal Dao are located in the Central Continent.
However, Sky Sect, the number one major sect of the immortal dao, was located in the Eastern Continent.
Many people were curious about Sky Sect disciples.
Sky Sect disciples filed out of the flying boat and flooded into Tianchi Mountain in groups.
After a long time, when the crowds were getting thinner, a figure wearing a veiled hat walked off the flying boat, followed by a handsome young man in black.
As soon as he got off the flying boat, he saw the distant mountains and green hills. Not far away was a small city. There was a subtle difference between the spiritual veins of the Central Continent and Eastern Continent. Cultivators may not adapt to them when they first arrive, but Ye Yunlan felt it was very familiar.
At this time in his previous life, he had not been to the Central Continent.
From the Eastern Continent Qingyun Mountain, to the North’s Tianji Pavilion, then to the Western Continent’s Buddha Pagoda.
When he came to the Central Continent, he had already passed most of his life.
At that time, the Demon Lord had just rescued him from the Buddha Pagoda.
Together, they lived in the Central Continent for more than ten years.
He was wasted in the Buddha Pagoda and his mind was very unstable. His cultivation was exhausted, and he had backlash from the intent of the Nirvana sword, making him weaker than a mortal. In order to take care of him, the Demon Lord bought a courtyard in a small city in the Central Continent, boiled medicine and made soup for him. He fed him, bite by bite.
Later, his sanity gradually recovered and he was finally able to get out of his bed and walk around slowly. The other party helped him walk in the sparsely-traveled alley.
Someone in the alley was selling mung bean and apricot blossom cakes.
He stopped there, staring at the fireworks in the alleyway for a long time.
That night, the Demon Lord brought back a few pieces of mung bean and apricot blossom cakes.
He was very tired of drinking the bitter medicine, so he took the apricot blossom cake. After drinking the medicine, it was rare for him not to feel nausea or vomit.
Seeing that he liked it, the Demon Lord planted an apricot tree in the courtyard where they lived. Every early spring, the apricot blossoms would be in full bloom.
There was a wicker chair next to the apricot tree. When he was free, he would sit on the wicker chair, watching the Demon Lord crouching to pick the apricot flowers and turn them into dried flowers.
Then he would see the smoke rising from the roof with a sweet fragrance of mung bean and apricot blossom cakes spreading over.
Sometimes, the Demon Lord would sit next to him. He would take out the apricot blossoms from his hair, one by one, stare at him for a long while, then prop up the wicker chair with one knee to lean over to kiss him.
He raised his head and looked at the treetops. The fine sunlight pierced his eyes through the gaps in the branches and leaves.
The light and shadow swayed in a trance.
Spiritual energy flowed into his dried up body through his meridians.
He felt long-lost warmth.
The memory of those hundred years in the cold death-like Buddha Pagoda, with this gentle surging warmth, seemed to be a dream in the afternoon sun.
Later, he walked the world alone. Occasionally passing through the Central Continent, he would return to the courtyard and stay for a long time.
In a wink of an eye, a few decades passed and everything in the courtyard has become decayed and obsolete.
Only the apricot tree in the courtyard grew taller and more lush.
The breeze blew.
The apricot blossoms were all over his jacket.
He closed his eyes. He seemed to be able to vaguely smell the sweet fragrance of mung bean and apricot blossom cakes from back then.
——There were towns under Tianchi Mountain.
Because the dao conference will start soon, the town was very busy. Looking up, there was a bustling flow of people.
Ye Yunlan and Shen Shu walked into the town and heard the noise around them.
“Selling spirit artifacts! Don’t miss out by just walking by. High-grade spirit artifacts made by a refining master personally, selling now only for six hundred top-grade spirit stones!”
“Medium-grade spirit elixirs that can unblock spirit veins and stabilize one’s foundation! It can be obtained for a thousand two hundred middle-grade spirit stones–”
“Selling steamed buns, three pieces for a coin, white and tender, just out of the oven!”
There were mortals and cultivators living in this town. It was rare for them to gather together to set up stalls.
“Master, wait for me.” Shen Shu said suddenly.
Ye Yunlan nodded. He saw the young man stride towards the stall selling the buns. He said a few words, then paid the money. He brought back a greased paper bag.
“It’s noon, so I bought some cakes. Master, try some. If Master is not used to it, I will find something else for Master.” Shen Shu said.
He saw a cake seller on the side, and remembered that his Master had always loved these sweets, so he definitely would like it.
The problem of eating can be solved with a single bigu pill, but Ye Yunlan has been accustomed to Shen Shu’s cooking for the past few years, thus he seldom ate the bland and tasteless bigu pill.
He took the oily paper bag and opened it and was startled.
The pastries wrapped in oil paper were small, green-bean coloured, and looked very soft and sweet.
It was mung bean and apricot blossom cakes.