Chapter 757: The Albatross Around Lin Feng’s Neck
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng flew up from Jieyu’s back and started hovering in mid-air. He looked left and right before reaching out to touch the seemingly empty void in front of him.
In the next moment, a stream of wave-like light circles expanded outwards from the center of Lin Feng’s palm.
A giant sphere of light appeared in front of Lin Feng following the expansion of the light circles. The volume of this sphere was immense, and looked like a tiny star when one was in close contact with it.
Lin Feng laughed and said, “Alright, let’s go in.”
Zhu Yi, Li Yuanfang, Jieyu and Baiguang nodded their hands and followed behind Lin Feng into the sphere of light.
This sphere of light was a gargantuan spatial illusion. As Lin Feng entered the sphere, he turned around and suddenly realized that Zhu Yi and the others were nowhere to be seen.
“Fine. Let me see what’s so special and mystical about your spatial illusion.” Lin Feng placed his hands behind his back and sauntered forward.
Everything in front of him was a patch of blinding white light and nothing could be seen. Lin Feng was not worried as he strolled forward step by step.
All of a sudden, the white light began to dissipate and a human figure appeared in the middle of It and walked up to Lin Feng – it was Yang Qing, who was originally in Xiao Yan’s company.
Yang Qing seemed a little anxious as he greeted Lin Feng. “Master, it doesn’t seem like I’ll get any better… What should I do?”
Lin Feng watched Yang Qing in silence for a long while.
Yang Qing became even more jittery at Lin Feng’s response – or rather, his lack of it. A look of guilt and remorse came over him as he lowered his head to avoid Lin Feng’s gaze.
“Is this a projection of the hidden worries in my heart?” Lin Feng shook his head faintly and laughed as he muttered under his breath. “This illusion is interesting.”
Lin Feng completely ignored Yang Qing in front of him and looked up to survey his surroundings. “If I wallow in my own worries and am unable to correct my mentality and rediscover my motivations, then I may be stuck inside forever. This illusion is going to start corrupting and eroding my soul as well, to the point where my soul is eventually destroyed.”
“Heh, interesting.” Lin Feng turned back towards Yang Qing.
Yang Qing just looked so lost, as if he was about to collapse completely.
This was not because Lin Feng was worried that Yang Qing was lagging behind and he would never display the same amount of talent and success as his other disciples, and neither was it because Lin Feng despised Yang Qing. What Lin Feng was truly worried about was that if Yang Qing remained in his prolonged state of equivocal noncommitment and uncertainty of mind, he could eventually destroy himself.
Yang Qing was about to experience the same awkwardness when Wang Lin first became Lin Feng’s disciple all those years ago. Every single one of his seniors and juniors were already making a name for themselves out there – everyone but him. He was the only one that was the ‘ordinary’ one, and it felt as if Yang Qing was blemishing his master’s name and only dragging on his coattails.
Wang Lin resisted such pressure with raw willpower and resilience and eventually caught up with the others in some sense. However, the mantle was now passed to Yang Qing. If this continued for too long, it was hard to say whether or not Yang Qing would eventually attain success himself.
In truth, even though Yang Qing could not be said to be extraordinarily resilient, he was already a lot better than his younger self.
From Lin Feng’s perspective, if he ended up in the same spot as Wang Lin all those years ago, he was not a hundred percent confident that Yang Qing could make it out alive.
It was this deep concern that caused this projection to appear in front of Lin Feng at this very moment.
“Looks like it’s time I let you out into the world to experience the rains and storms. You will never find your own path if I’m always protecting you.” Lin Feng did not refer to him as his disciple – he was not even looking at the Yang Qing in front of him as he spoke.
His gaze was cast over Yang Qing’s shoulder towards the far horizon and it seemed as if he was talking to himself.
Yang Qing lowered his head even more as he heard Lin Feng’s words. “Then… Then what if I run into some great trouble outside and suffer a psychological trauma that I can’t recover from? What if I die? I will be lost forever…”
This was not a true reflection of Yang Qing’s mentality, but simply another projection of Lin Feng’s anxiety.
“Only this way will you grow up, mature and become truly great. Only this way will you experience the most exciting moments of your life. This is my real role as your master, instead of protecting you like a little bird. I don’t want to end up domesticating you – I don’t want to see the eagle become a chicken that can’t soar through the skies.”
“Death and psychological trauma are real possibilities. But nothing in this world is free and you can’t get anything without putting in effort. If you want to achieve success, then you must have the courage to experience risk and take failure in your stride. The only thing you can do is maximize your chances of success one way or another.”
Lin Feng continued softly, “I leave it up to you to choose. I trust you won’t disappoint me.”
Yang Qing finally raised his head looked Lin Feng in the eye with a warm smile on his face. “Yes, master.”
Before his voice dropped, the figure before Lin Feng vanished into thin air.
Lin Feng was still expressionless as he continued forward. Not before long, another figure appeared in front of him – it was Zhu Yi, who was just with him not too long ago.
Zhu Yi wore a serious expression as he greeted Lin Feng just like Yang Qing did. “Master, I think you’re showing favoritism towards some disciples.”
“Oh, why do you say that?” Lin Feng responded with a question as Zhu Yi quickly answered, “When Third Junior was in the Qi cultivation and later on in the foundation establishment stage, you did everything you could to help him. You tried your best to find resources for his ascension and you were extremely attentive towards his state of mind and his direction. You gave him advice every so often to reduce the burden on his shoulders.”
“Everybody says that Third Junior is a clear example of your misjudgment in choosing disciples – but you’re always protecting him, egging him on.”
Lin Feng’s expression was still plain and calm. “Anything else?”
Zhu Yi continued his rambling. “Before First Senior formed the nascent soul, you worked extremely hard as well. You personally helped him master the technique of fusing five different primordial fires together, and you even protected him in the process. This made him extraordinarily powerful after successfully forming the nascent soul.”
Lin Feng repeated the same question as before. “Anything else?”
Zhu Yi was not about to stop as he nodded his head. “As for Little Junior, perhaps it’s because he joined you when he was just a little boy and you watched him grow up. Perhaps it’s because you made him into the man he is today. You are as much a father to him as you are his master, and even his own parents have never put in the same blood and sweat on him as you have.”
“During his tribulations of the Yin Wind, you expended so much energy and material resources to plug the innate gap in his nine-holed aurous core. It’s comparable to the effort you gave for Third Junior during his foundation establishment stage. You even resisted the number one holy ground in the Divine Lands – the Great Void Sect – and repelled them forcefully to seek justice for Little Junior.”
“Everybody in the Divine Lands thought you were crazy and you had no idea what you’re doing. You were willing to antagonize the Great Void Sect for such a young disciple.”
Zhu Yi stared right into Lin Feng’s eyes. “Of the four disciples that you are closest to, I am the only one that you have been relatively relaxed towards. Besides the time when I was forming the Crucible and I lacked the balance between light and darkness, you brought me to the Spiritual Conference of Hanhai to obtain the Mantra of Light, you haven’t accorded me any special attention and care like you have towards the others.”
Lin Feng met Zhu Yi’s gaze and started to laugh.
This was obviously another projection of his own deep-seated worries – he was worried that Zhu Yi would be distanced from him and their master-disciple relationship would erode.
This was nothing too embarrassing or unnatural. It was a typical representation of the relationships people had with one another. There would come a time when somebody would become a little more sensitive which would give rise to the possibility of the fear of loss amongst other sources of emotional anxieties.
This had nothing to do with the level of mastery or with one’s resilience and willpower. This was something that normal people would eventually experience on an emotional level.
Lin Feng smiled at Zhu Yi and shot back another question. “Have you ever had any great trouble that required my help besides the time you needed help with forming the Crucible?”
Zhu Yi shook his head. “No.”
Lin Feng laughed heartily and said, “That’s it. Everything you’ve been doing has been near-perfect. Why are you making so much noise for nothing?”
“You are the disciple that I’ve worried the least for. Besides doing what masters should do, I will not interfere and give you additional trouble.”
“Think about it. If you’ve been doing everything right, and there’s somebody whispering into your ear like an annoying fly and nagging at you non-stop –‘You should be doing it like this,’– won’t you lose your patience? Won’t you want this person gone from your life?”
Zhu Yi nodded his head in acknowledgement. “Of course – bless my ears.”
Lin Feng placed his palms together and laughed again. “That’s the way. I don’t wish to be someone like that.”
Lin Feng retracted his jovial mood immediately afterwards as his face turned solemn. “When you run into trouble or something that you can’t handle by yourself like Xiao Yan, Wang Lin and Xiao Budian have, I will not sit by and do nothing. I will try my best to help you resolve your conundrums.”
He stared into Zhu Yi’s eyes and said slowly, “I sincerely believe that you will understand my intentions and understand what I am doing.”
Zhu Yi finally let go of his tense expression and smiled warmly. “Yes, master.”
As he watched Zhu Yi’s figure disappear from sight, Lin Feng shook his head once again and chuckled to himself. This spatial illusion was a chance to mow the lawn in the deepest recesses of his mind and face his deepest fears and sources of anxieties.
Some of these hidden worries were actually quite trivial. They were like one’s subconsciousness – typically, one would just avoid them without thinking rationally about them.
They were like little parasites that bugged Lin Feng’s deep consciousness. Inside the spatial illusion, Lin Feng found the opportunity to draw out these little parasites one by one. Ultimately, this was a formless improvement towards his path of cultivation and his mentality.
The people that he met one after another inside the illusions were all projections of his deep-seated worries and anxieties.
He even saw the Virtuous Zen Master. The Zen Master talked about the spectacular rise of the early days of the Great Thunderclap Temple, but after the Ten Great Disciples of the Buddha, the age of the Buddhist cultivators entered a state of decline and decadence. How could the Celestial Sect of Wonders avoid the very same fate?
Besides Lin Feng, the first generation of disciples from the Celestial Sect of Wonders were far too extraordinary, to the point where it was unprecedented and not replicable at the same time. Even though Lin Feng helped to choose the second and third generation of disciples with special care, they were ultimately inferior to Xiao Yan and the others. Was such a procession not similar to the Great Thunderclap Temple all those years ago?
He met Shen Qifeng as well. He spoke of the high-profile rise and expansion of the Samsara Sect under the great leadership of the Samsara Priest. However, following the unexpected death of the Samsara Priest, the sect immediately fragmented into several factions, and ceaseless and horrifying infighting ensued which eventually caused the Samsara Sect to crumble into dust. The Celestial Sect of Wonders today was intricately tied to Lin Feng – and Lin Feng alone. If he met some unfortunate demise, what would happen to the fate of the Celestial Sect of Wonders?
His direct disciples were all supreme in their own right, and were destined to be big players of the era. He was the only one that could unite them together and keep them under control – if he was gone, the Celestial Sect of Wonders was bound to fragment and break apart.
He spoke to Xuanli, who spoke of the Heaven-Destroying Sword Qi. He discussed the possibility that the highest level of power the Heaven-Destroying Sword possessed would bring about true apocalypse and the destruction of everything – including the sword itself, and ultimately its owner.
Lin Feng faced all these anxieties with an open mind and stood his ground against every single one.
“From the looks of it, my worries are no longer so hidden anymore and I do think about some of these problems from day to day,” Lin Feng thought to himself as he encountered the next illusion.
It was the current leader of the Great Void Sect, Yan Nanlai.