Chapter 401: Actually, I Hope You’re a Spy
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Song Qingyuan gazed at Lin Feng deeply. After a beat, he sighed and said, smiling, “I would not refuse an elder. Happily, sire.”
He was very receptive, accepting Lin Feng’s arrangement calmly.
You’re the youngster and he’s the elder, so you can try anything you like and the elder will definitely be magnanimous and excuse you – this sort of thinking was foolish to the extreme.
If one wished to be magnanimous, then he will be magnanimous and wave it aside; if one wished to put you in your place, then he will do so without a moment’s hesitation. This, was the prerogative of the powerful.
Lin Feng simply put him away into the Celestial Small Worlds, and then, his gaze settled on Dao Zhiqiang, still in shock and speechless. Up until now, this middle-aged man has not yet regained his wits.
“Dao Zhiqiang, Lord Lin.” After a few beats, Dao Zhiqiang bowed to Lin Feng. “Thank you very much, Lord Lin, for your help.”
Although he was not an advanced cultivator, he was cool-headed and cautious. Obviously, he could tell that previously, Song Qingyuan was not actually harboring benevolent intentions.
After falling into Song Qingyuan’s hands, maybe he could indeed find his daughter Dao Yuting, but for father and daughter, it might not end well.
“What are your plans next?” Lin Feng asked.
At this point, Dao Zhiqiang has already calmed down completely. Song Qingyuan’s words have unsettled him deeply; right now, he missed his daughter even more. But after he regained his cool, after a pause, he said, “I want to go to a place, to confirm something.”
Lin Feng threw him a look. “What place?”
Dao Zhiqiang said the name of a place, situated on a mountain northeast of the ruins of the Great Thunderclap Temple. Lin Feng simply brought him there directly by Void travel.
On the mountain stood an Aurous Core cultivator, looking as if he was waiting for someone. Dao Zhiqiang stood with Lin Feng atop the clouds; after examining the cultivator for a while, Dao Zhiqiang fell into a complete silence, and a bitter smile appeared on his face.
“He’s waiting for you?” Lin Feng asked.
Smiling bitterly, Dao Zhiqiang answered, “Indeed. The reason why I left the main Embassy group and hurried here is to see him as well, in addition to delivering something to him. But from the looks of it now, this delivery route is the road to my grave, which the Right Honorable Prime Minister prepared for me.”
“I do know that the Prime Minister has contact with the Heaven Lake Sect. But looking at it now, the Prime Minister knows all about me as well.”
Dao Zhiqiang sighed. “I was from a small sect in the Great Zhou’s Northern Realms. I was very much in love with a female junior of mine – after we both attained Foundation Establishment, we got married.”
“After our marriage, we were a very devoted couple, and she gave birth to a daughter as well. Our family of three was enjoying some halcyon days.”
At this instant, Dao Zhiqiang’s gaze was filled with remembrance and yearning. “Then, I was even thinking that the true meaning of cultivation would be to enjoy that happiness for longer years.”
“My daughter, when she was still a child, she has already exhibited tremendous talent for cultivation.” Dao Zhiqiang’s expression became progressively more pained. “At first, I was still overjoyed, thinking that this was Heaven’s gift to me. But who knows that this would be the start of a nightmare!”
Dao Zhiqiang’s daughter was none other than Dao Yuting. Extraordinarily talented at a tender age, she was forcibly inducted into the Heaven Lake Sect after they discovered her.
Faced with the Heaven Lake Sect’s rule of severing all worldly connections, Dao Zhiqiang’s family was met with disaster. His daughter was abducted, his wife murdered by them as well.
As powerful as the Heavenly Lake Sect was, even Dao Zhiqiang’s sect was as insignificant as a speck of dust in front of them, not to mention him.
Dao Zhiqiang managed to escape with his life thanks to luck. If it was just for revenge, faced with such a colossus, he might not even be able to summon the will to fight.
But his daughter was still there.
As a father, even knowing the hopelessness of his path, Dao Zhiqiang will still fight his fight.
So he travelled relentlessly, looking for a great power that could help him fulfill his wish. First he joined the Great Zhou Empire’s Divine Martial Army; after the Battle of the Great Swamp of the Ancient Regions, he left the Divine Martial Army and came to the Great Qin Empire, eventually becoming a retainer of the Great Qin’s powerful Prime Minister, Wu Qingrou.
However, when he hasn’t yet seen the hope at dawn, once again, he fell into the abyss of despair.
Lin Feng gazed at Dao Zhiqiang silently. Suddenly, he smiled. “My Celestial Sect of Wonders still lacks a competent Outer Echelon manager. Are you willing to enter my sect?”
Hearing these words, Dao Zhiqiang was instantly dumbstruck as he looked at Lin Feng blankly, speechless.
After a long pause, he finally realized that this was extremely impolite and said hurriedly, “My Lord, if you are willing to take me in, I am obviously willing. It’s just that…”
Dao Zhiqiang’s heart was filled with apprehension as he looked at Lin Feng with great care and spoke softly. “My Lord, aren’t you worried that I am part of an espionage plot of Wu Qingrou’s?”
It was natural for him to have his heart in his mouth. Someone like him might as well as have ‘spy’ written on his face, especially with his greatest leverage, and greatest vulnerability – his daughter was still in others’ hands.
Even if he wasn’t a spy now, if Wu Qingrou or Cao Wei were to use Dao Yuting to threaten him later and demand that he betray the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Dao Zhiqiang reckoned that it would be hard for him to hold the line.
Not to mention that he had first pledged his loyalty to the Great Zhou Dynasty, and later left the Divine Martial Army to swear fealty to Wu Qingrou. Now, if he changed allegiances once more, regardless of the reason, he could very well be seen as a slave with three names.
If he were in Lin Feng’s position, it would be hard for him to trust such a person as well.
Lin Feng glanced at him calmly as he spoke. “I do not care for whether you’re someone else’s agent, as long as you carry out your duties to the best of your ability when you’re my manager. What I want is your ability, and not your loyalty.”
Gazing at Dao Zhiqiang, his lip suddenly twisted upwards. “Actually, I am somewhat hoping that you’re Wu Qingrou or Cao Wei’s agent.”
Dao Zhiqiang was dumbfounded, unable to speak. Suddenly, he felt a chill down his spine. “Previously, I felt that Wu Qingrou was the most frightening person I’ve ever seen; but the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders exceeds even him.”
After a long while, he gathered his wits and bowed deeply towards Lin Feng. Taking a deep breath, he spoke. “I will be my Lord’s most humble servant. I only hope that my Lord would one day take pity on me and allow me to be reunited with my daughter Yuting, that those bonded by blood would not remain separated.”
“Those that trust me, I have never let them down.” Lin Feng said even-temperedly.
“Starting from today, you are the Outer Echelon manager for the Celestial Sect of Wonders. Assorted matters, big and small, on Mount Yujing will be your responsibility. If you complete your tasks well, there will be additional rewards.” After finishing his sentence, Lin Feng flicked his finger, sending Dao Zhiqiang to Mount Yujing with a streak of purple clouds.
After sending off Dao Zhiqiang, one of Lin Feng’s voice-projecting crystals began glowing. After the transmission was established, Xiao Budian’s voice rang out. “Master, Second Senior passed the Imperial (provincial) Exam! And he was first place – Jieyuan!”
“I am more concerned about his work for this exam. Was it the sequel for his previous uncompleted essay – that groundbreaking one?” Lin Feng asked.
“No.” Shi Tianhao smiled.
Hearing this, not only did Lin Feng feel no regret, but instead laughed happily. “Good, good. To be able to hide as well as show – his understanding of the Tao is more and more mellow and coherent.”
“I asked Second Senior to bring us around the city, and return together a few days later,” Xiao Budian said.
Lin Feng nodded. Previously, he has already reached an agreement with Zhu Yi; after this Spring Examination ends, Zhu Yi will not stay at Tianjing, but rather return to Mount Yujing to continue his cultivation. He will only return to Tianjing City for the national exam in autumn, six months later.
After ending the transmission with Xiao Budian, Lin Feng clasped his hands behind his back, gratified. “Now, every disciple has begun to find their own path.”
Zhu Yi forged his own path, and Wang Lin did so as well.
This time that Wang Lin returned to his hometown and his family, it was definitely a triumphant return.
His hometown was situated in the periphery mountains of the Great Qin Empire’s Southern Realms. Along with Xiao Yan’s family in Wuzhou City, Wang Lin’s clan received official preferential treatment and protection from the Great Qin Empire as well.
After being informed that all this stemmed from Wang Lin, the one who was a mere clown, the contrast was tremendous for the Wangs.
When faced with the changed attitudes of his clan, looking at those faces full of fawning and hidden fear, Wang Lin did not feel gratified or amused; but rather, simply dealt with them calmly.
It was only when facing his parents that Wang Lin felt genuine joy.
He settled down in his hometown, accompanying his parents and started living a normal life. It was as if everything has returned to the days before he left home.
Wang Lin did this partly to be in the company of his parents, and partly to polish his own Tao.
Lin Feng talked with him afterwards, and knew that Wang Lin was unifying this Concept, of serenity and a return to nature, with the other extreme – Destructive stage of the River Styx, forming a complete Concept of power and polarity.
Not simply replacing the Destructive stage of the River Styx with serenity and return to nature, but pushing both to the extreme and then merging the two.
Compared with when he was erecting the Forest Abode, his understanding of the great universal Tao has now increased further. Now, he was truly perfecting his Heavenly Extreme Path Sutra.
Hearing this, Lin Feng first affirmed the validity of Wang Lin’s idea, and felt happy for him as well.
So, this family leave of Wang Lin’s stretched out to more than six months; now, he was still resting in his little home village.
Apart from Wang Lin and Zhu Yi, although Xiao Yan accidentally messed himself up, but he has obviously affirmed his future path as well.
After defeating and destroying the Intermediate Nascent Soul Elder, Yu Shiling, Xiao Budian’s cultivation and energy have reached new heights as well.
Yue Hongyan and Yang Qing were steadily progressing as well. Generally, Lin Feng has little to be dissatisfied about – except one.
This particular issue was that little girl, Luo Qingwu. It has already been half a year since she returned to the Ancient Yuantian World; after so long, there has been nary a whisper.
Through the Mana that he left in her Heavenly Yin Spiritual Pearl, Lin Feng could sense that the problems with her Heavenly Yin Spiritual Pearl has not improved. Right now, it was only Lin Feng’s Dual Polarity Divine Flower petals preventing it from shattering; if she attempts to cultivate Qi, things would go wrong instantly.
In the end, for this half a year, the little girl did stop cultivating completely, with not a single move.
“Could it be that I was wrong?” Lin Feng felt somewhat puzzled. “This little girl’s Heavenly Yin Spiritual Pearl physique is useless now, but her family still treats her as a precious treasure, with no changes in her privileges? If it is really true, it would be a good outcome as well.”
Lin Feng’s brows knotted up slightly. “But why do I have the feeling that the situation has evolved somewhat unexpectedly?”