Chapter 289: A Cultured Meeting
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Not just Shi Zongyue or Vivant Joy Holy Man, but the numerous immortal souls, nascent soul stage and aurous core stage fighters cast their eyes on the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
It’s often said that one has to see in order to believe. Rumors are but rumors, stories made more dramatic as it flows from one mouth to the next, often ending up as colourful but unbelievable fantasies.
But everyone saw. The crowd had seen for themselves how formidable the Celestial Sect of Wonders was.
Lin Feng glanced at the goals he had set for himself and the sect, and saw that there was progress, and he was pleased. One of the purpose of bringing his disciples out for the assembly was to better the reputation of his sect, and he had achieved it.
“Not bad,” Lin Feng complimented Wang Lin as he returned from the ring.
“There’s still room for improvement” replied Wang Lin, a warm smile returning to his icy cold face.
He listened intently as Lin Feng pointed out his errors in handling magic, nodding and absorbing the lesson.
“Hmm?” stopped Lin Feng in his tracks. He had sensed a unique aura coming from the horizon towards the Sea of the Northern Wind. It was a solitary presence. Aurous core stage at best, but very unique.
It was one that was learned, experienced, respectful, benevolent and pure.
Such aura was rarely found on fighters.
From the corner of his sight, Vivant Joy Holy Man beckoned to Shi Zongyue, “He’s here.”
“Perhaps a little too late,” replied Shi Zongyue.
“He might have overslept a little, but he’ll still make it.”
Shi Zongyue sighed, “It’s really a bad habit.”
The mass of immortal soul fighters could all sense the lone presence. After the exchange between Shi Zongyue and Vivant Joy Holy Man, Lin Feng felt his curiousity piqued even further.
Evidently, they both not only knew who this mystery man was, but was familiar with his antics. From the looks of it, this man was going to participate in the competition as well.
But the peculiar thing was this, given that so many immortal soul elders and strong warriors had arrived on time, what audacity it was for this man to arrive late. It was no big matter for Lin Feng and the likes of his ranks, but such an act was utmost disrespect towards Shi Zongyue, the host.
Notwithstanding, the fact that Shi Zongyue and the rest spoke somewhat fondly or even protectively of this man made everyone even more curious.
The crowd murmured incessantly, the immortal soul elders hush in their discussions.
Lin Feng and his disciples exchanged glances, collectively recalling that when Shi Xingyun came over to send his greetings, he had made a comment in passing that there was still one absent fighter who could rival Zhu Yi and Xiao Budian.
It was highly probable to be this man.
In his usual calm demeanour, Zhu Yi looked over his shoulder towards the horizon, making out the silhouette of a man walking towards the crowd.
The man’s movements were sloppy and unkempt, clearly someone who did not care about being late.
But in fact he moved at tremendous speed, the ground beneath him flashed past, the scenery a blur. In no time, he stood in front of the crowd.
His face revealed no expression at all, not the slightest sign of anxiety.
What caught Zhu Yi’s attention the most was that above this man’s head was a column of aura that rose to the sky. The aura was light and did not carry much power, but a deeper look let one see that it was clearly made up of tiny chinese characters, strung together in beautiful prose.
“A scholar of the Great Qin Empire?”
“Not bad at all” replied the man.
The man was in his twenties, donning a long beige robe, green top and a scarf, clearly a learned person who had a scholar-like aura.
He was not particularly handsome, nor righteous nor evil, just plain and warm.
He stood in front of the audience and motioned to the crowd, “My name is Jiao Junchen, pleasure to meet everyone.”
Jiao Junchun smiled sheepishly, but was not shy in admitting, “I’ve a bad habit of oversleeping, sorry to keep everyone waiting”
Nobody knew what to say to such a frank person. No one seemed to criticise him.
In any case, it was almost impossible to lie to the immortal soul elders. And if what he said was true, then he had really overslept.
But it was quite ludicrous an excuse.
“You might as well have not turned up!” someone from the crowd interjected, but even if it were true, Jiao Junchen did not seem to mind at all. In fact, it would have been no surprise if Jiao Junchen turned and left to go back to sleep.
Of course, Shi Zongyue and the other immortal soul elders would not allow it. Besides, it was likely that the matter be let aside unless anyone like Lin Feng and his ranks were to pursue it, given the elders protection of Jiao Junchen.
The other elders were more interested to find out exactly what this aurous core brat was capable of.
Though not everyone could see, but the elders definitely knew that Jiao Junchen was a natural charmer.
Vivant Joy Holy Man cleared his throat, “Junchen, join the rest. We’ll proceed with the drawing of lots for the semi-finals of the foundation establishment stage competition”.
Jiao Junchen obliged and proceeded towards his camp, only to be stopped by Shi Xingyun, “Slept enough?”.
“Actually, not quite” replied Jiao Junchen. He sneezed, but did not seem to mean any disrespect.
Shi Xingyun pointed to the Celestial Sect of Wonders and commented, “The young man in purple robes over there is Zhu Yi”.
“He’s the second disciple of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, also the son of the Marquis of Xuanji, Zhu Hongwu and the Great Void Sect’s previous All-under-heavens strider Meng Bingyun.”
Jiao Junchen’s eyes widened and glistened with excitement, “I’ll go and send my greetings”.
Shi Xingyun replied, “Go ahead, I mentioned your name to them earlier just now. Zhu Yi said that even if he did not get to spar with you, he’d like to speak to you.”
“Haha, then we shall see how learned he is” joked Jiao Junchen as he made his way over.
Noticing Jiao Junchen’s movements, Lin Feng turned towards Zhu Yi, who was already looking at Jiao Junchen.
At Lin Feng’s camp, Jiao Junchen took a ceremonious bow, “I’m Jiao Junchen, it’s an honour to meet you sir”.
Lin Feng nodded without a word.
Jiao Junchen stood upright and took a good look at Zhu Yi, “You are a scholar too?”
The concept of a scholar was very broad, but in this case very applicable to both men.
Zhu Yi replied, “That’s right”.
Out of nowhere, Jiao Junchen let out a sigh of regret, “I don’t think you can make it. We’re better off sparring in martial art. Exchanging ideas with a person like you seems rather pointless”
Lin Feng almost blurted out a laugh.
“This fellow is so sarcastic towards Zhu Yi, he’s almost taunting him,” thought Lin Feng.
Zhu Yi’s eyebrows stood at attention, his face revealing a forced smile.
Jiao Junchen looked Zhu Yi in the eyes and frankly commented, “Your results today are like the rest, fruit of hard labour. But you are no doubt talented, being this powerful in your twenties, you are unbelievably talented indeed.”
“But your studies are sub-par. A real scholar reads, meditates, and grows spiritually. He does not dwell in these arts or magic. You seek a different understanding of the natural world”
“The real scholar is truly outstanding. He does not seek attention, but it is given to him once he appears”
“They don’t normally get involved with any martial arts, but absorb the spirit of the earth naturally. Once on their way, they don’t stop acquiring knowledge until they’ve reached new heights. They just keep learning until one day, they swallow an Aurous Core”
“For all there is to know, the Aurous Core contains it all. But with the right spark, overnight one will form the nascent soul”.
Jiao Junchen stoically continued, “You are a talented fighter, but not a scholar. I would like to spar with you, but not in academia”.
Zhu Yi listened for a moment, then questioned, “Spiritual development as a way of understanding the world is not wrong, may I ask which stage you are at?”
Shi Xingyun had been observing the exchange, and had walked over. He added, “My friend Jiao Junchen here did not practice at all before the entrance exams last year. He entered the exams fresh and ignorant, but when he came out he was already at the final part of the aurous core stage”
Jiao Junchen sighed, “I’m not gifted, I’m still far below the elders’ level”
He meant every word, not trying to show off.
But no matter how one interpreted, it seemed staged.
“It’s really a cultured meeting” thought Lin Feng. Looking at the exchange between his disciples and Jiao Junchen, Lin Feng could not help but shake his head, “So this man is a follower of Confucianism, I thought the lineage had ended already” he said.
Shi Zongyue stood surprised. Jiao Junchen adjusted his clothes and faced Lin Feng, courteously taking a bow, “Sir, you’re indeed well-versed. I am a follower of Confucianism.”