From this day on, Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen would once again re-enter the final seclusion.
Two months worth of time couldn’t be said to be a long time, but it couldn’t be considered short either. When the final day of the seclusion was over, many elders of the family waited outside the door for the juniors to exit – including the third and fifth elders.
Not long after, Lin Zezhi was the first to come out.
The third elder’s face broke into a smile, “Zezhi, have you made progress in your cultivation?”
Lin Zezhi had a restrained smile, “My progress can’t be considered much”
The third elder was annoyed with this false humility, “This place is the most suitable to cultivate in my entire Lin family. If you’ve only improved by a ‘small margin’, I will be very dissatisfied with you”.
“Now, it isn’t as serious as third elder’s words imply,” Lin Zezhi said, “I’m now a Foundation Stage first layer peak cultivator. I originally thought that I could take advantage of this time to break through the first layer, but it seems that I’ve overestimated myself. I’m sorry, I’ve disappointed both third elder and my own expectations.”
Everyone who heard Lin Zezhi’s words was shocked.
“Can this still be called ‘a bit’? That is too strong, isn’t it? In just two months he’s managed to reach the first layer’s peak!”
“Yeah, how many people, when refining Qi seventh layer and foundation stage first layer, would be stuck there for three years? Zezhi only took two months and he’s almost at foundation stage second layer!”
Zezhi was still so modest as well, he’s definitely worthy of being the leader of the younger generation.
Listening to this non-stop praise, Lin Zezhi’s heart was ecstatic.
He either knew or secretly found out about the others progress who had entered the cultivation rooms as well. Although there were some who’ve improved, there wasn’t anyone who had broken through a realm. Certainly, he was the one who stands out the most.
The fifth elder also nodded his head in satisfaction, “What about your <<Burning Sky Palm>>? How is its progress?”
Lin Zezhi squinted his eyes. He suddenly leapt up, drawing a circle with both hands, and abruptly aimed his palms toward a distant boulder.
The fire and wind cyclone hit the boulder. They only heard a loud “bang”, and the boulder shattered into dozens of pieces in an instant!
Everyone sucked in a breath.
In just two months, his Burning Sky Palm had already achieved the third layer! He was definitely a genius!
The third elder was extremely satisfied. His arrogant gaze swept through the surrounding people and thought to himself, all you fair weather friends…sooner or later, Lin Zezhi’s light will show you that the only way for mediocre people to survive in this world is for them to follow the right people!
Lin Zezhi withdrew his hands, enormously satisfied with himself, and let out a small smile. However, he said, “This still isn’t all that impressive yet. Uncles, I’ve let you all witness my embarrassment.”
The people present had all wanted to take the chance and praise him some more when suddenly, a flow of hot air broke through and gushed out from the hall in the cultivation room.
The sound of air being dispersed by wind travelled above the heads of the people present. Another noise suddenly occurred– bang, and everyone turned to look behind them where there was another boulder – very similar to the one that Lin Zezhi destroyed. But on this boulder, there was a handprint, three feet wide, embedded into it!
This palm print, which had completely penetrated through the rock, had carved out a hole in the shape of a hand. Furthermore, the surrounding rocks was burnt grey-black and completely smoothed over, yet there were no signs of cracking or other damage to them.
Everyone, including the third elder, all looked incredulous.
Lin Zezhi couldn’t control his face as his expression became ugly.
Everyone could tell that this handprint of Lin Yan’s had utterly suppressed Lin Zezhi’s display of shattering a boulder. After all, in this world, the more one masters a skill, the less sloppy they will be. They will only hit where they are meant to hit. If they say that they will chop off someone’s head, they absolutely will not cut even a strand of hair at the same time.
With this comparison, Lin Zezhi’s skill was already not enough.
The culprit, Lin Yan, swaggered out. The sunlight fell on his face, which had the smile of a ruffian but at the same time appeared delicate – it made him look like he deserved a beating, yet also made it impossible for people to hate him.
“Ya ya ya, what are all of you doing guarding here?” Lin Yan smiled slightly and saluted them, “All of these uncles here have waited to greet me, but I haven’t really made much progress in my cultivation, so I will leave first. There’s no need to send me off!”
Under the stares of everyone present, Lin Yan actually vanished with a wave of his hands!
The fifth elder couldn’t bear to laugh or cry. He looked at the retreating back of Lin Yan in the distance, “This kid is really wild and difficult to train.”
A person standing off on the side nodded his head, “Exactly, he came from a side branch and grew up without a father nor mother. It’s no wonder he doesn’t understand etiquette.”
The fifth elder’s face suddenly became cold, and he swept his gaze across the man who had just spoken.
Those that still wanted to take this chance to step on Lin Yan immediately became quiet.
The fifth elder looked at the palm print again and smiled, satisfied. Toward Lin Zezhi, he said, “In regards to improving your cultivation, increasing in level isn’t everything. The skill and mastery of your technique, as well as your ability to bring out your strength in actual battle, are just as important as improving your cultivation”.
Lin Zezhi grinded his teeth in anger in his heart, but on the outside he wore a humble smile, “I understand and have received this family elder’s lesson.”
The third elder was so angry that the color of his face was beginning to change. He glared at Lin Zezh, indignant that he hadn’t met up to his expectations. He hmph-ed and turned away, refusing to look. Fifth elder was a little helpless. They are all Lin family’s children, wasn’t third elder being a little narrow-minded? He wasn’t able to see the big picture at all.
Not long after, several people exited one after the other.
Besides Lin Zezhi, who had come out first, no one had any significant progress in their cultivation. But from their expressions, it was easy to see that these juniors must have all gained some benefits from their time in there.
Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen were the last to exit.
The moment Lin Xuanzhi stepped out, fifth elder’s eyes brightened.
When the surrounding people heard this, their expressions were varied, but most of them had some wonder and amazement on their face.
Lin Xuanzhi had a warm and soft light in his eyes, his white robes like snow, his hair was black like ink and fell down around his face like a waterfall – half of which was still hanging in the air behind him. Wide shoulders and a narrow waist, he stood as if he were a cold cypress tree growing on the peak of a snow-covered mountain, proud and independent.
He lightly said, “Un, I’m at the second layer of my Foundation Stage.”
The sound of sucking in cold air arose once again.
Lin Zezhi stared at Lin Xuanzhi with incredulity and stuttered out, “Impossible! You -you clearly weren’t – before!”
Lin Xuanzhi swept his eyes through Lin Zezhi and faintly said, “I just broke through. Do you think I should have first reported it to you?”
Lin Zezhi awkwardly said, “Of course not. Congratulations, Xuanzhi.”
Lin Xuanzhi responded, “There’s no need for congratulations, I’ve only managed to build my foundation stage’s second layer. If no one here needs me, I’ll take my leave first.”
Everyone present, “…”
Fuck, just the second layer of your foundation? This was clearly him just acting cool to attack everyone else!
“Only?” The fifth elder raised his eyebrow.
“I originally planned on reaching the hardened body stage.” Lin Xuazhi looked serenely at the fifth elder.
Fifth elder, “…”
He’d never seen such an unconventional person before!
Fifth elder didn’t have any words to say in response. Lin Xuanzhi was even better than Lin Zezhi at drawing hatred towards himself. Yet, these words which were arrogant to the extreme, when paired with his manner and appearance, became tricky. It was hard to tell in the moment whether he was purposefully boasting and inflating his ability, or if he truly had the ability to do as he claimed.
However… It’s probably the latter that is true. Moreover, in the eyes of the entire Lin family, Lin Xuanzhi already cannot be compared to normal geniuses. He’d already brought about numerous “pleasant surprises” and “unforeseen incidents”. No one could predict what tomorrow’s Lin Xuanzhi would bring to the table.
After the people present recovered from the silence that came from being dealt a great mental blow, everyone followed up with praise for Lin Xuanzhi.
Fifth elder sighed with relief and said, “After you’ve taken some time to rest, come to the conference hall.”
Lin Xuanzhi nodded his head, then said to Yan Tianhen, who was currently half hidden behind him, “Ah Hen, Let’s return first”.
“Okay”, Yan Tianhen grabbed the hand that Lin Xuanzhi offered him and, with a bright smile, walked off with him.
Gazing at the two receding figures, one tall and one short, the seniors of the Lin Family couldn’t help but to sigh. “This Yan Tianhen sure is lucky to be favored by Xuanzhi. In the future, he will surely receive countless benefits.”
“Yeah, some people’s fates just can’t be compared.”
“But he’s both ugly and lame, I really don’t know what Lin Xuanzhi sees in him when he himself is like an immortal.”
“It’s just that he has a good fate. When he was first adopted by Lin Zhan, didn’t Lin Zhan pamper him and was even willing to give up everything for him?”
“Speaking of Lin Zhan, there must have been something wrong with him to go adopt a random child from the streets instead of taking in one of the children within the family!” Hearing all of these sour words, the fifth elder lightly swept his gaze through the crowd, “Yan Tianhen received the favor of Lin Xuanzhi because his heart is pure and good. When Lin Xuanzhi fell to the bottom, Yan Tianhen never abandoned him or complained about the situation. He never said even a single bad word about him. You are all so busy being envious of him, how about you instead look back at your own actions and determine exactly how he got to that position in the first place.”
After being criticized so easily, those that originally wanted to complain about how good Yan Tianhen’s luck was now couldn’t help but fall into silence.
That’s right. When Lin Xuanzhi became a good-for-nothing, they didn’t offer any coal in the snow, and there were even some who took the chance to throw rocks at him while he was down. Now, if Lin Xuanzhi didn’t take revenge on them, he would already be considered very benevolent.
On the way back, Yan Tianhen blinked and looked at Lin Xuanzhi. “Dage, when you said that you were planning on reaching hardened body stage, were you speaking the truth? If you had gotten a few more days time, would you have broken through again?”
Lin Xuanzhi looked back with a gaze that looked like he was humoring a child. “The words I used to trick the others, you believed in as well?”
Yan Tianhen was shocked, “But didn’t Dage say that he already doesn’t think much of building the second layer foundation anymore?”
Lin Xuanzhi responded calmly, “Oh, that? I was just babbling nonsense.”
Yan Tianhen, “…”
Yan Tianhen summoned up his courage to ask, “Dage, why did you say those words to them then? Did you want to scare them?”
Lin Xuanzhi responded, “I just wanted to show Lin Zezhi what it meant to truly show off.”
Yan Tianhen, “…”
Don’t look at how Yan Tianhen had absolutely zero progress in refining medicinal liquid or pills, and in fact wasted all their family contribution points without having anything to show for it, he has had incredible progress in refining corpses.
In the beginning, Yan Tianhen stayed in his room to train Ling Chigu, but later, Ling Chigu could communicate without obstructions and followed commands without stipulation. So Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen retreated to a mountain cave to further train Ling Chigu.
Originally, Yan Tianhen didn’t want to take up Lin Xuanzhi’s precious cultivation time, but his attitude was firm and it was hard to say no to him.
Nowadays, Ling Chigu was already capable of mimicking the motions of a living person as well as hide himself. His cultivation had improved, even reaching the foundation stage. It’s just that, all of the Yang flames in his body had become Yin flames. If it appears again, it will contain an eerie ghost Qi.
All of the families will leave and arrive at the meeting before the scheduled date. The perfect time for the families to make and strengthen their connections is before the competitions begin. This is another important event of the Hundred Families Gathering.
Yan Tianhen didn’t have a lot of things to bring, so he packed quickly. He then turned toward the expressionless Ling Chigu, who was standing still in the middle of the room. Yan Tianhen scrunched up his eyebrows and asked, unprompted, “Ah Gu, what should I bring for you? Or maybe I should go out and buy some clothes for you?”
Ling Chigu’s black eyes peered at Yan Tianhen.
Ling Chigu couldn’t speak, and the orders that Yan Tianhen could give him were very simple. At this time, it was impossible to know what Ling Chigu’s thoughts were.
Yan Tianhen couldn’t help but to think, perhaps after one becomes a corpse, one no longer has thoughts or opinions.
Right now Ling Chigu was wearing a black robe that was crafted by Lin Xuanzhi.
While Yan Tianhen was deep in thought, someone knocked on the door.