Chapter 404: Graveside Meeting
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng arrived at Mount Qingyang; at the foot of the mountain, Zhu Yi, Shi Tianhao and the others were already waiting for him.
Knowing that they were going to sweep the grave of Zhu Yi’s late mother, even the always-rambunctious Tuntun was now just standing erect quietly, let alone Shi Tianhao.
Lin Feng, seeing Zhu Yi, nodded slightly. “Your examination results, Tianhao has already told me. Good job. If your mother knows about it beyond the grave, she would no doubt be gratified as well.”
“I had planned to come here to pray and bring comfort to Mother’s soul in paradise only after the autumn Huishiis over and my name is on the golden billboard,” Zhu Yi said. “Still, remembering that it has been some days since I came to sweep the grave, I was troubled that Mother’s grave might not be in the best of shapes, and so I could not help but come early, today.”
Lin Feng nodded. “That would be a reasonable thing to do.”
After a moment’s hesitation, Zhu Yi spoke quietly. “Master, I would like to move Mother’s grave to the Sect. I hope that you would grant my request.”
“Granted.” Lin Feng answered in the affirmative. “I am fine with this, you can go on ahead.”
A smile appeared on Zhu Yi’s face. “Thank you, Master.”
The party walked on towards the slope of Mount Qingyang. On the way, Zhuge Fengling quietly straggled to the back; she tugged on Tuntun and asked, “Zhu…Brother Zhu’s mother, was she really a previous Divine Feminine of the Great Void Sect?”
Tuntun stole a glance at Zhu Yi stealthily and said in hushed tones, “True as it can be.”
Beside them, Jun Zining’s face was overcome with shock. “Divine Feminine of the Great Void Sect? Isn’t that the All-Under-Heavens Strider? I heard from my dad that the Great Void Sect is the first and foremost Holy Land in the world, and the All-Under-Heavens Strider is the leader of the Great Void Sect disciples experiencing the mortal world.”
“If Brother Zhu’s mother was really the Great Void Sect Divine Feminine, then she should have been transported back to the Great Void Sect for burial. Why was she buried in such a small, forlorn place?”
Tuntun curled her lips, “She violated rules of the Great Void Sect and was thus expelled from the Sect.”
Before the last notes of her voice even fell, in front of them, Zhu Yi turned around, face expressionless as the dead of the night, and directed a look at her.
Tuntun, the Taotie who would charge into hell before admitting in the slightest that she was afraid, was chilled to the bone by this one look from Zhu Yi. She quickly feigned a cough, not daring to continue talking.
But she still quietly spoke to Zhuge Fengling and Jun Zining, by way of Mana Voice projection, “His mother cultivated the Mantra of the Great Oblivion, from the Great Void Sect’s Supreme Path – the two sutras, Great and Void. You feel emotion, and then you obviate emotion. What it avoids most is emotional entanglement with another.”
“In the end, Meng Bingyun was not only emotionally entangled with the Marquis of Xuanji, Zhu Hongwu, but she left her Sect for him, which was the reason for her tragic end.”
Jun Zining frowned, the features on her petite face scrunching up. “This Zhu Hongwu…truly a heartless man!”
Zhuge Fengling, meanwhile, moved the corner of her mouth without speaking. She has seen more people and things, and did not feel this to be particularly extraordinary.
“Hmm?” Lin Feng, walking at the front of the party, suddenly halted very slightly in his pace as his gaze fell on the hillside in the distance.
Zhu Yi, following Lin Feng’s gaze, felt an involuntary tightening in his chest. “Master, is there something wrong? That’s the location of my mother’s grave.”
Lin Feng shook his head. “Not really anything wrong. It’s just that there is someone there already.”
“Someone else?” Zhu Yi, Shi Tianhao and the others were all astonished. Their senses could all be considered sharp, but none of them could sense even the slightest hint that there was anyone else present.
Even though Lin Feng has already told them that there was someone there, their Awareness, scanning the area, still found nothing.
Lin Feng, actually, had only vaguely sensed that there was someone there. Who? What mantra? Doing what? He couldn’t see clearly either, as if he was peering through a thick haze.
“If my actual body is here, with a stronger Awareness, maybe I could have a clearer view,” Lin Feng shrugged. Looking at Zhu Yi, whose face was now visibly darker, he said comfortingly, “It’s not grave-robbers, you can be sure of this.”
Zhu Yi, taking a deep breath, nodded as he took the lead, striding towards Meng Bingyun’s grave.
From a distance away, you could already see the grave of Meng Bingyun, but Zhu Yi’s pace has halted.
Because, as Ling Feng said, before his mother’s grave stood a person. That person stood there silently, without emitting the faintest aura.
He was clearly standing there, but he gave observers a fuzzy feeling – as if he was there, but simultaneously not there. It was as if his entire person has already melted into the universe, being one with it and not leaving a trace.
But if the naked eye was to see him, all attention will be attracted to him instantly – as if this person was the center of the entire universe.
This person was clad in fine brocade, with a purple-gold hat atop his head. His temples were turning white, while his hands were spotlessly clean and white as the purest jade, giving the feeling of holding immense power.
Zhu Yi’s breath halted slightly. His mental state, true to his heart and never wavering ever since he started his journey of cultivation, was starting to simmer at this moment.
Because this person was none other than his father, the Grand Advisor of the Great Zhou Empire, the Marquis of Xuanji, Zhu Hongwu.
Zhu Hongwu turned around slowly, his gaze briefly falling on Zhu Yi. “Zhu Yi, you’re here to pay homage to your mother’s grave.”
His gaze swept past Zhu Yi, Shi Tianhao and the others, finally falling on Lin Feng.
“Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Lin Feng?”
Lin Feng looked at Zhu Hongwu calmly. Beside him, Zhu Yi’s gaze was fixated on this Marquis of the Great Zhou Empire as well. Lin Feng tilted his head slightly. “Yi?”
Zhu Yi’s stare abruptly became steady once again, back to its meaningful and reserved state. Looking at Zhu Hongwu, his gaze was restored to its calmness.
Zhu Hongwu’s eyebrows tossed slightly as he looked at the suddenly composed Zhu Yi with some visible surprise.
He looked at Zhu Yi again, before his gaze moved away yet again and returned to Lin Feng.
Lin Feng said, emotionless, “Marquis of Xuanji, you did not come at the right time.”
This was a gentlemen’s agreement; Lin Feng will not enter Tianjing, and the Zhou Emperor, Liang Pan, and Zhu Hongwu will not make things difficult for Zhu Yi.
Meanwhile, the two parties have not reached the point to meet, face-to-face. Now, the time wasn’t right.
Zhu Hongwu said calmly, “I will obey His Majesty’s decree. This is the duty of His Majesty’s subject. I have no intention to be your enemy; I came today to verify a matter. My private matter.”
Lin Feng’s eyes flickered slightly. “If so, there is no time like the present. It would be good if some things are settled today.”
Hearing this, Zhu Yi took a step forward as he gazed at Zhu Hongwu calmly and spoke. “Zhu Hongwu, today, I came just to ask you one question. How exactly did my mother die?”
After he completed his sentence, Zhu Yi’s mental state became completely different.
It was a sort of transcendence, similar to the freedom Xiao Yan had felt that day, when he finally shattered the obstacles in his heart after defeating Murong Yanran on Xingyun Peak.
In those times in the Marquis’s Residence, despite having doubts about his mother’s death, he dared not utter them when facing Zhu Hongwu.
Because without strength, you could not back up reason even if it was on your side. Against Zhu Hongwu’s violence, abundant in strength but lacking in justice, he could only swallow his pride and keep his head down.
No matter what, reason was above all. People with strength, acting with reason – that was the correct path.
At this instant, Zhu Yi’s mental state was lucid and his heart carefree. He felt that his mind and spirit were elevated like never before – to the extent that he could almost attempt the Tribulations of the Yin Wind now and attain Advanced Aurous Core.
Hearing Zhu Yi’s accusatory question, Zhu Hongwu only lifted his brows. “What did you call me just now? You’re an educated man, a scholar as well – where did your education go? Did you not study your etiquette and rites? Do you not understand the Three Cardinal Guides and the Five Constant Virtues? Do you not understand ethics and morals? Why did you call my name directly?”
Zhu Yi said quietly, “Ethics and cardinal guides are for those with hearts. For a heartless person like you, why do I need to follow any ethics or guides whatsoever?”
“How you treated Mother, how you treated me, both of us know very well. We don’t need to go through things one by one, do we?”
Zhu Hongwu’s eyes were fixated on Zhu Yi, his gaze crackling with lightning. After a beat, he turned to look at Lin Feng and said coldly, “Lin Feng, is this how you teach your disciples? No sense of etiquette, no sense of rules.”
Lin Feng smiled faintly as he spoke, composed. “How I teach my disciples is not a matter for others to criticize. The same goes, even to you.”
“Although you’re related to Zhu Yi by blood, you have not fulfilled your duty of guidance, not even for a single day. You only restrain others with etiquette and rules, to satisfy your personal desire for control – you are not much of a father or a husband.”
Lin Feng’s gaze swept past the grave of Meng Bingyun as he said calmly, “Whatever entanglement you have with Meng Bingyun, I do not know, but you continued this entanglement to involve the next generation. If you see Zhu Yi as a speck of dust, then do not blame him if he sees you as an enemy.”
“There could be an effect only if there was a cause. The causality you started will definitely end with you – this is the way of Heaven, and there can be no exceptions.”
Zhu Hongwu’s gaze settled on Meng Bingyun’s headstone as well. Suddenly, the coldness and severity disappeared and he said quietly, “Then, you involve yourself in the causality of us, of father and son, husband and wife…do you think you can remain out of this?”
Lin Feng said calmly, “I involved myself…so what?”
The spring chill is clear in the air as the cold draught made its presence known. After god knows how long, Zhu Hongwu’s voice sounded in the air. “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Lin Feng, you’re not far from your destruction.”
“You unfilial son, you think if you lean on the Celestial Sect of Wonders, you can do as you wish? You should know that, after all, you are not your master!”
Zhu Yi said calmly, “And you too should know that the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.”
Zhu Hongwu suddenly unrolled a portrait. The portrait was of a lady, a lady of a grace and beauty unparalleled in an entire generation.
The brushwork of the artist was not exactly smooth; in fact, it even appeared somewhat cold and rigid. However, it emanated an invincible manner – similar to Zhu Hongwu himself.
Zhu Yi, seeing the lady in the portrait, felt his breath halt slightly – because he recognized that the person in the portrait was none other than his mother, Meng Bingyun.
Zhu Hongwu unrolled the portrait and after gazing at it silently for a moment, said, “The Great Void Sect, it habitually uses people as chess pieces, to complete its own grand design. They do not know, however, that there are far more than one player in the chess game.”
“However, Bingyun, I must admit that you made a good move, one that I had not expected. This might be the proudest move of your entire life.”
He suddenly turned and looked at Lin Feng. “I heard that you and Bingyun were old acquaintances?”
Lin Feng’s expression did not change in the slightest. “That’s right.”
Zhu Hongwu gazed at the portrait, and then at the grave at the side. He let out a long sigh. “Good move.”
His emotions quickly became calm again, and the look he directed at Lin Feng contained a strange quality. “You should know, too, that the Great Void Sect’s overall design has had changes?”