Even though Pei Yunshu didn’t know where this Grandmaster had come from, he flew towards the main hall on his sword.
However, as he flew over the summit of Wuzhi Peak, an inexplicable chill crept over him. Pei Yunshu involuntarily moved his sword further away from the mountaintop. Once he had distanced himself, he couldn’t understand why he had done so.
It felt like he was in a dream, but everything around him was real. Pei Yunshu thought about it, and his lips pursed.
The young disciple had said that the Grandmaster had broken through the Nascent Divinity stage, and the next step was Unity. Since he was the Grandmaster, his cultivation was already considered the best in Shanshui Sect. However, Pei Yunshu couldn’t help but feel that something was off.
It seemed like it was too low…
As he got closer to the main hall, there were more people flying on swords in the sky. Pei Yunshu didn’t want to talk to anyone, so he increased his speed and soon landed outside the hall.
Inside the hall, many disciples from various sects were already waiting, talking quietly in groups. Pei Yunshu walked past them, and from a distance, he could see Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master and various peak elders sitting.
As he walked by, a disciple from the Wuqi peak approached him and asked, “Junior Brother, why aren’t you going forward?”
Pei Yunshu paused for a moment, then turned and walked away from the main hall. “I just remembered something I forgot to bring. Senior Brother, please tell Master that I’ll come later.”
He walked out of the main hall, holding his Qingyue Sword, but before he could get far, someone chased after him, calling out, “Junior Brother!”
Pei Yunshu turned around and saw that it was Senior Brother Yunjing.
Yunjing had run over, and as the eldest disciple under Wuzhi Peak’s Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master, he had always been composed. However, his current behavior was quite different from his usual demeanor.
Eldest Senior Brother looked at Pei Yunshu, and there seemed to be a hint of probing in his eyes. “Junior Brother, why aren’t you going inside?”
But as soon as he finished speaking, Pei Yunshu took two steps back from Senior Brother, putting some distance between them. He calmly replied, “I forgot something.”
Senior Brother fell silent for a while before smiling. “Well then, go ahead and come back early.”
Pei Yunshu turned to leave, but he heard footsteps behind him. His heart suddenly began to pound fiercely, a deep sense of rejection surged from deep within him, rushing to his head. He unsheathed his Qingyue Sword, and the sharp blade left a bloody gash on Senior Brother’s hand. Pei Yunshu’s brows furrowed, his eyes cold, and he spoke indifferently, “Senior Brother, what do you want to do?”
With a cut on the palm of his hand, blood flowed slowly from the wound. Senior Brother looked at his own hand and then withdrew it, placing it behind his back. “Junior Brother, your hairpin seems loose.”
Pei Yunshu’s brow furrowed slightly. He sheathed his sword and tossed a bottle of pills to Yunjing. “Senior Brother, if you have something to say, just say it directly.”
He paused for a moment. “I don’t like outsiders getting close to me.”
“Outsiders,” Senior Brother mumbled softly, looking at Junior Brother with black eyes. There was a hint of a bitter smile in his eyes. “Well, Junior Brother, go quickly.”
Pei Yunshu certainly hadn’t forgotten anything.
But when he walked into the grand hall, he felt so stifled that he couldn’t breathe. So, he simply walked away. He flew around the Shanshui Sect but didn’t know where to go.
It was strange; he didn’t even want to go back to his own courtyard.
In the end, Pei Yunshu let his Qingyue Sword choose a place for him. “Let’s go for a walk.”
Qingyue Sword carried Pei Yunshu to the back of the mountain.
The mountain was exceptionally quiet, with only the distant birdsong breaking the silence. Pei Yunshu tied a rope between two ancient trees and sat on it, allowing his Qingyue Sword to sway him back and forth.
He had always enjoyed playing like this since he was a child. When he first arrived at Shanshui Sect, he was timid in everything he did. But as he grew more accustomed, he became fearless, capable of traversing both heaven and earth.
In front of his Master and senior brothers, he appeared as an obedient Junior Brother. But in the eyes of the Lao Tong who had raised him, he was like a mischievous little devil.
However, this little devil often pretended to be well-behaved. With his ethereal appearance, he seemed like a child under Guanyin’s seat. Few people knew Pei Yunshu’s true nature.
However, Lao Tong was ultimately just an ordinary person, and despite living on Wuzhi Peak from childhood to old age, he never achieved enlightenment in the Great Dao. In the end, he still experienced the cycle of birth, aging, sickness, and death.
After Lao Tong’s death, Pei Yunshu had several days of nightmares. Eventually, he had to seek comfort from Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master before he could sleep at night.
After that experience, he didn’t misbehave as much as before.
After the senior disciple’s passing, Pei Yunshu had nightmares for several days. In the end, he had no choice but to pester Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master to dare to sleep at night.
After that, he stopped being so mischievous.
The rope was swung high and then fell heavily. Pei Yunshu closed his eyes as the wind blew past him, loosening the hairband he had already set free. The unbound black hair flew unrestrained, and Pei Yunshu was about to call the hairband back when he saw it fall into someone’s hand.
The person stood not far away, surrounded by what seemed to be mist and clouds, making it impossible to see their face clearly. However, there was a profound sense of sword intent about them.
“Why aren’t you going to the main hall?” Their voice was melodious, light, and gentle, like water flowing into a jade basin.
Pei Yunshu didn’t know who this was and asked, “Who are you?”
Whether it was due to actual mist and clouds around the person or his vision being obstructed by his hair, Pei Yunshu couldn’t see this person clearly, and they appeared as elusive as a mirage.
The person didn’t answer, only saying, “Be careful not to fall.”
It was quite strange. Pei Yunshu decided not to bother with them and took out another white hairband from his sleeve. However, when he saw this white hairband, he was stunned.
He didn’t grab the rope with both hands, but he sat steadily. However, in the eyes of others, the rope was swinging so violently that it was terrifying. Soft branches from nearby trees suddenly climbed onto the rope and created a backrest behind Pei Yunshu.
When Pei Yunshu regained his senses, he looked at the backrest. He casually tied up his hair and glanced at the person again. Only then did he confirm that the person’s face was obscured by the clouds and mist, as if they didn’t want to be seen.
“You’re still holding my hairband,” Pei Yunshu said.
The person’s hand shook suddenly, as if Pei Yunshu’s hairband was carrying a deadly poison. They hastily tried to let go, but a burst of fire surged, reducing the hairband to ashes before it could fall.
The person seemed taken aback and maintained the posture of holding the hairband for a while before finally saying, “Sorry.”
Pei Yunshu didn’t pay much attention. It was just a hairband. He listened for a while and then walked in the direction of a water source.
“Aren’t you going to the main hall?” the person with the concealed face asked again.
Pei Yunshu replied, “I’m not going.”
He didn’t want to continue speaking with a stranger, so he decided to fly away on his sword.
The person who remained in place took a step closer and couldn’t help but look at the rope wrapped around the tree. However, their expression changed, and they turned away in embarrassment.
Pei Yunshu arrived at the main hall only when the people inside were about to disperse.
He entered from a corner and stood there, casually observing everyone in the main hall.
These people were all respectful, behaving as if the grandmaster of the Shanshui Sect, who sat high above, was their own sect’s founder. It was a display of reverence that he had never witnessed before.
Pei Yunshu had no curiosity about this grandmaster, and even the mere thought of the word “grandmaster” weighed heavily on his heart, as if something burdensome was pressing on his chest, making him unwilling to even look up.
When the people from other sects had left, the current head of the Shanshui Sect, Ling Ye Daoist Spiritual Master, instructed the core disciples and inner sect disciples to come forward and pay their respects. Pei Yunshu blended in among the inner sect disciples, standing in the back, not wanting to get a closer look at what this founder looked like.
But as the inner sect disciples departed, leaving only a dozen or so core disciples, he couldn’t avoid it any longer.
“Come here,” the grandmaster said.
The voice was extremely pleasant, as calm and indifferent as an immortal. Pei Yunshu raised his eyes and saw the grandmaster with a beautiful and indifferent appearance, calmly looking at them.
Pei Yunshu stared blankly, his complexion gradually paling. While the other disciples paid their respects, he remained fixed in place, still looking straight ahead.
Pei Yunshu stared blankly, his face growing paler with each passing moment. While the other disciples bowed in respect, he was the only one who continued to stare.
The grandmaster looked up at him, and his eyes were as deep and mysterious as a bottomless abyss. However, after a brief glance, his long eyelashes trembled slightly, and he averted his gaze.
“Yunshu,” Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master, who stood beside them, said, “Bow.”
Pei Yunshu’s mind was blank, but he eventually bowed along with his fellow disciples.
The grandmaster gestured for them to come forward one by one and exchanged greetings with each of them. When it was Pei Yunshu’s turn, it seemed as though he were rooted in place, unwilling to step closer to the grandmaster.
The disciples waiting behind him grew impatient. One of them, with great strength, pushed Pei Yunshu forward, sending him in the direction of the grandmaster. “Junior brother, don’t stand there like a fool. If you don’t seize opportunities when they arise, you’re just a simpleton!”
Pei Yunshu was caught off guard. The grandmaster stood up abruptly, hurriedly moved closer, and supported him. But as soon as he touched Pei Yunshu, the expression of Venerable Wuwang changed abruptly, and he appeared to be in incomparable pain.
He grabbed Pei Yunshu’s fingers and trembled. When Pei Yunshu steadied himself, Venerable Wuwang immediately stepped back, placing his still-shaking hand behind his back.
He didn’t dare to look into Pei Yunshu’s eyes, only saying, “Slow down.”
Pei Yunshu also took two steps back. “I’ve been disrespectful. Please forgive me, Grandmaster.”
Venerable Wuwang responded with a simple acknowledgment.
The two of them remained far apart, much farther than the other disciples who had approached earlier. There was a noticeable distance and aloofness between them.
The Grandmaster took out a treasure from his sleeve, a top-quality attack treasure that could transform into various weapons. It looked like a rope.
Pei Yunshu received it and held it in his hand. The Grandmaster looked at his hand, and his little finger trembled. He then sent the treasure flying to Pei Yunshu out of thin air.
Among all the treasures that disciples received, this was the most precious. However, Pei Yunshu didn’t show much excitement. He placed the rope into his storage bag and stood behind his Master.
Second senior brother, who stood on the other side behind him, asked, “Junior brother, did you sleep well this morning?”
Pei Yunshu lowered his gaze to the ground in the main hall and nodded slightly but didn’t speak.
Second senior brother smiled faintly. “In a few days, the sect will start accepting disciples, and after that, it will be the cultivation competition. This time, it’s being hosted by our Shanshui Sect. Junior brother, we’re all going to participate, so you should prepare well.”
Pei Yunshu didn’t seem to register his words. He just stared blankly at the ground.
The Grandmaster, sitting above, noticed this and pursed his lips. “Ling Qing.”
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master stepped forward respectfully. “Master, what can I do for you?”
“Have Yunshu move to my peak,” After uttering these words, he tightened his grip on his hand. “Move him farther from me, halfway up the mountainside.”
The Grandmaster’s residence was at the farthest point of the Shanshui Sect, on a peak called Three Days Peak. Without his permission, no one could enter it. If Pei Yunshu were to move to his peak, he would be farther away from his fellow disciples.
However, Venerable Wuwang had squeezed his hand so hard that it hurt, but this pain was nothing compared to the pain within.
But Pei Yunshu was too close to him.
Even halfway up the mountainside was still too close.
Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master hesitated for a moment before agreeing.
The Grandmaster added, “No need to have him come up the mountain to find me.”
His peripheral vision instinctively wanted to look to the side, but he abruptly stopped himself and turned his gaze back.