That night, Ren Fuyao held an incomplete scroll in his hand as he sat next to a lone lamp in his coat, engrossed in reading it.
At the third of the five night watches (23:00 – 01:00), a breeze blew through the window. The lamp fire danced a few times, and the door was pushed open by someone from the outside.
Ren Fuyao looked up and saw a leisurely man with a languid expression on his face.
“I didn’t expect you to be the Fourth Elder of the Lin family.” Ren Fuyao put down his scroll and looked at the visitor.
Lin Liuchun closed the door and stood at the entrance without walking in; he just looked at Ren Fuyao with a hint of a smile in his eyes. “Well, you know now.”
“So, did Uncle Lin come find me this late for some urgent matter?”
“How do you intend to settle your contract with the Shen family?”
Ren Fuyao smiled. “You need not worry about that, I can resolve it myself.”
Lin Liuchun walked over and sat down as he pleased opposite Ren Fuyao. He looked at him, “That won’t do, I promised your parents to take good care of you.”
Ren Fuyao squinted as he looked at him. “Then does Uncle Lin think I look like my father or my mother?”
“Like both.” Lin Liuchun replied.
Ren Fuyao’s gaze darkened a little as he stared at Lin Liuchun. “Speaking of which, I have to thank Lin Xuanzhi, Yan Tianhen, and the rest. My grandfather had planned to let me get engaged to Shen Rubing after the Hundred Families’ Gathering. After the setbacks the Shen family suffered in succession, well as all the enemies they made, I’m afraid that my marriage with Shen Rubing will fall through.”
Sect Master Ren was a practical person, he definitely wouldn’t take a fancy to a family covered in blood.
Lin Liuchun nodded. “That kid from the Shen family isn’t suitable for you.”
Ren Fuyao’s jade white fingers pinched a string of chrysoberyl and twirled it around. “Even if this one isn’t suitable, there will always be another.”
Lin Liuchun looked at his slightly feminine face and sighed softly. “Fuyao, I don’t know what I should say about us…I was probably lacking in my teachings ba.”
Ren Fuyao shook his head. “How could it be considered your fault? I just got carried away by my own wishful thinking.”
Lin Liuchun was stunned. “Your parents entrusted you to me and I watched you grow up; I’ve always regarded you as my own nephew.”
“I wonder what they would think under the yellow springs if my parents knew that you cared for me in bed as well.” Ren Fuyao smiled slightly, yet such shocking words had come out of his mouth.
A tinge of self-loathing flashed through Lin Liuchun’s eyes. He was about to say something when he heard Ren Fuyao continue, “However, that does have nothing to do with you. It was all my fault. I was the one who implanted a passion Gu in you, which was why you had those feelings for me. Uncle Lin, I thought you would never come see me of your own accord again.”
Ren Fuyao looked down as he laughed bitterly.
He didn’t know when he had fallen in love with this man who came and went with the wind, but this man had always only thought of him as a nephew.
Once demonic thoughts invaded the heart, it became difficult to restrain oneself. Ren Fuyao found someone who reared Gu’s in the South Continent and spent a lot of effort in getting a pair of passion Gu’s; he placed one in Lin Liuchun and the other in his own body.
When Lin Liuchun woke up, he lost his mind, and under Ren Fuyao’s deliberate temptation, the two of them became physically intimate. However, a dream will always just be a dream. Lin Liuchun had a lot of friends; when he drank with one of his Gu Master friends one day, that Gu Master saw at a glance that there was a Gu implanted in his body and instantly turned furious. He expended a lot of energy to remove the Gu from his body.
Subversion often happened overnight.
Lin Liuchun couldn’t accept it for a while and had a big fight with Ren Fuyao. After saying some harsh words, he disappeared without a trace within the Five Continents for 7 years, as if he had vanished into thin air.
“I was wrong.” Ren Fuyao said softly, “That was my greatest mistake.”
Lin Liuchun opened his mouth and stared at Ren Fuyao’s long, drooping eyelashes. He said softly, “Those who own up to their mistakes are good kids. I forgive you. There’s no need to mention the past anymore.”
Ren Fuyao smiled. “Then I’m afraid Uncle Lin didn’t come to find me to reminisce about the good old days ba.”
“Your contract with the Shen family…”
“I’ll solve it myself. Uncle Lin need not worry about me.”
“The Hepta-Brilliant Sacred Fire and Pill Limit Mysterious Land don’t belong to the Shen family in the first place. Your contract with them naturally won’t count.”
Without waiting for Ren Fuyao to speak again, Lin Liuchun continued, “The Shen family did something dishonest, so they wouldn’t dare let others know about it.”
After talking about Lu Qingli, Lin Liuchun grabbed a cup of water to moisten his throat. “If the Shen family dares to force you, use this to threaten them. The Shen family will at least still want to keep their face, so they won’t dare let this dirty matter be made public.”
“Okay.” Ren Fuyao answered quietly.
Lin Liuchun had not seen Ren Fuyao in several years, but he was already used to caring about this child he brought up, so he couldn’t help but toss a few more glances at Ren Fuyao.
Ren Fuyao resembled his parents very much.
Lin Liuchun always felt that Ren Fuyao had changed a lot. The young man who used to always smile very sweetly now looked heavy-hearted.
Was it his fault?
Lin Liuchun had an inexplicable feeling in his heart.
He still wanted to ask how he had been doing all these years, but he didn’t seem to have the right to ask.
What happened then was indeed Ren Fuyao’s fault, and he had made a great mistake, but after Lin Liuchun’s anger dissipated, he found Ren Fuyao pitiful– he had no father or mother ever since he was a child, and because he had a high status as the grandson of the Sect Master of Sky Peak Sect, he never had any friends either.
He treated him well, but it was also only because his old friends had entrusted their son to him.
Sky Peak Sect’s Sect Master was very strict with him. Lin Liuchun only remembered that Ren Fuyao was always covered in wounds; new ones replaced the old as they stacked on top of one another. Before old wounds could heal, new ones would be added.
“Fuyao…” Lin Liuchun spoke, but was interrupted by Ren Fuyao.
“Uncle Lin, it’s getting late, so it’s time to rest.”
Lin Liuchun was somewhat dismayed– Ren Fuyao was chasing him away.
He suddenly felt somewhat baffled; it was clearly not his fault, but why did he feel like he had let Ren Fuyao down as of this moment?
They met again after several years had passed, but there was no mutual hostility as he had imagined, and there wasn’t even a single shred of awkwardness. Yet Lin Liuchun didn’t feel happy about that; on the contrary, he felt a kind of indescribable sense of loss and melancholy.
Lin Liuchun sat for a while before he got up and left.
Another person entered through Ren Fuyao’s door shortly after he left.
Ren Fuyao looked up at the man in the cloak. He quickly got up and respectfully said, “Sect Master.”
The one who came was Sky Peak Sect’s Sect Master.
Sect Master Ren’s voice sounded slightly old, “The Shen family came to look for me today, saying that the Hepta-Brilliant Sacred Fire had fallen into the hands of the ugly kid from the Lin family. What on earth happened?”
Ren Fuyao answered, “It was probably a coincidence.”
Sect Master Ren sneered. “Fuyao, you’re truly getting more and more naive as you grow older. The Hepta-Brilliant Sacred Fire only acknowledges its owner, so how could it casually choose one? Moreover, I also heard that there was a bird that could spew fire that flew out of that kid’s arms.”
Ren Fuyao’s face paled slightly. He looked down, “Yes, but Yan Tianhen didn’t admit that the bird belonged to him. Moreover, while I was leading them over, I didn’t find any traces of a demonic beast after using a magic treasure to detect one. That bird probably wasn’t part of their group.”
“It’s hard to say whether or not they’re allies. The most pressing matter now is to find that bird that can spew fire. The Pill Limit Mysterious Land has already been destroyed, so that bird must have left the Mysterious Land…how much do you know about Yan Tianhen’s identity?”
Ever since Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen stood out amongst the rest as remarkable talents, Ren Fuyao has already began to investigate their backgrounds in secret.
“Yan Tianhen was brought back to the Lin family by Lin Zhan when he was about five-years-old. It is said that Lin Zhan pampered him very much, and treated him better than his own son and had even given him all of the Lin family’s manuals for him to choose any at will. But Yan Tianhen’s talent was not up to par and he had variegated spiritual roots, so he never made much progress. Later on, I don’t know what sort of opportunity he chanced upon but he was enlightened overnight. Right now, his cultivation level has already rushed to the seventh layer of his Refining Qi stage in just a few months, and he has even awakened his pill fire and is quite gifted in the path of alchemy as well.”
“He.” Sect Master Ren said, “That Yan Tianhen has a lot of secrets. Benzun has never believed that he would be some random vagrant picked up on a roadside by Lin Zhan. You have to continue investigating Yan Tianhen.”
Ren Fuyao was a little puzzled. “Sect Master, even if Yan Tianhen does have some talent, it’s nothing too special. Why do we have to investigate him in depth?”
“What do you know?” Sect Master Ren waved his sleeves. “Yan Tianhen is the second person with a Xuanyin body type that Benzun knows, and the natural furnace that the upper realm is looking for also has a Xuanyin body type. I would rather kill a hundred people by mistake than let one go.”
Ren Fuyao nodded. “I understand.”
Sect Master Ren looked at Ren Fuyao’s androgynous face, and an obvious expression of disgust appeared on his face, which was being covered by his cloak. But Ren Fuyao couldn’t see that expression.
“Fuyao, you must know that as long as we can please that master in the upper realm, leaving the Five Continents’ mainlands and entering the upper realm will be just around the corner.” Sect Master Ren said patiently, “Only after entering the upper realm will one be able to pry into the world of immortals.”
Ren Fuyao put on a sincere expression on his face. “I also wish that Sect Master will be able to ascend to the Nine Lands as soon as possible.”
Sect Master Ren smiled disdainfully. “If you want to investigate Yan Tianhen’s origins, you might as well start with Lin Liuchun. Lin Liuchun feels guilty towards your parents and even had that sort of relationship with you in the past. You must remember to grasp onto that point tightly so that you can finish your task as soon as possible.”
When such an embarrassing matter was mentioned right in front of Ren Fuyao, he couldn’t help but feel incomparably awkward. However, he was used to not showing his feelings on his face, so he just nodded. “I will naturally do my best.”
After Sect Master Ren finished reminding him of all this and left, Ren Fuyao collapsed onto his chair and massaged the space between his eyebrows to ease his headache. He couldn’t help but let out a prolonged sigh.
He was indeed a really good-for-nothing Young Sect Master.
Early next morning, a lot of families who came to Sky Peak City to attend the Hundred Families’ Gathering started leaving after getting their rankings when the competition this year ended.
However, before leaving, a lot of pupils came to the place where Lin Xuanzhi stayed to order the magic treasures they wanted.
Lin Xuanzhi clearly marked his prices and accepted as many orders as he could. Firstly, he needed a lot of money, and secondly, he needed to search for materials extensively and practice with all sorts of magic treasures. If he could both practice and make money, and have people deliver the materials to his doorstep, then he was killing three birds with one stone.
In just one morning, Lin Xuanzhi received nearly a hundred orders.