To be honest, apart from Yan Zhonghua who was blinded by love in those days, Esteemed Lan Yue really didn’t know who else in the world could stand You Ming’s eccentric character that could piss anyone off by just opening his mouth.
Back then, You Ming chased after Yan Zhonghua and caught him just like he wished, getting rid of all the difficulties and obstacles to marry him. All of his senior martial brothers and close friends laughed heartily and mourned for Yan Zhonghua for three incense sticks’ worth of time. After all, almost everyone had been teased and played by You Ming before when he was gallivanting around every corner of the Nine Lands as Huai Yu.
Even he, You Ming’s direct senior martial brother, sometimes wanted to beat this younger martial brother of his.
Seeing that Esteemed Lan Yue’s face was not good, Esteemed Huai Yu stuck out his tongue and quickly spoke, “Alright, Senior Martial Brother, let’s not talk about Lin Xuanzhi. This boy’s life is so good, he can’t die anyway. Time is precious, so let’s talk more about my darling baby, Ah Hen. After all, I can’t stay here for long.”
Esteemed Lan Yue’s eyes went soft, “If I knew earlier that you were so busy in the Nine Lands, I wouldn’t have wracked my brain for a way to bring you here. But to be honest, why did you spend so much effort to come to the Five Continents?”
There was already a great divide between the Nine Lands and the Five Continents. It was impossibly difficult to go from the Five Continents to the Nine Lands. The same went for someone who wanted to travel to the Five Continents from the Nine Lands; they would have to pay a hefty price.
Esteemed Huai Yu smiled, “Who let me miss my son? Besides, those scumbags in the Nine Lands are trying all kinds of ways to find Ah Hen. Of course, I had to give Ah Hen something in advance to defend himself. I’ve already handed him the 《Ancient Divine Devil Dance》 and 《Imperial Corpse Technique》. Now I have given him another manual, the 《Profound Book of Poisons》. Basically, if he cultivates well, he would be able to protect himself in the Nine Lands with his own power when he leaves the Five Continents.”
Esteemed Lan Yue shook his head, “Of the techniques you’ve taught him, the 《Profound Book of Poisons》 is still alright since its effects can’t be seen. But for the other two, if he dares to fight in the Nine Lands, someone will know that he has something to do with you. You’re making it difficult for him to walk in the Nine Lands.”
“It’s not necessarily difficult.” Esteemed Huai Yu laughed, “There are many demonic cultivators in the Nine Lands; it’s not just him. They all know similar techniques. As long as he keeps a low profile, no one will pay him much attention, though this face of his is quite noticeable.”
Esteemed Lan Yue looked at Esteemed Huai Yu’s face that showed a trace of regret, “It’s a pity, that face.”
“It’s not a pity,” said Huai Yu in a low voice. “Otherwise, if people saw his beautiful appearance that could cause a country’s downfall, they’d be drawn to him like moths to a flame. Alas, can’t do anything about it. Who made him look exactly like me?”
Esteemed Lan Yue, “….”
He almost forgot how narcissistic You Ming was.
Esteemed Huai Yu touched his face and before Esteemed Lan Yue could ridicule him, he changed the subject, “I really hope Lin Xuanzhi can get on well with Ah Hen. If this goes on, maybe the two can change their fate against the heavens. The laws of heaven have always been constant but humans can also achieve anything with effort, isn’t that so?”
After a moment of silence, Esteemed Lan Yue patted him on the shoulder, “I used to think that the laws of heaven were irreversible and everything was predestined. But ever since the big changes in the star chart and the scattered celestial a while ago, I’ve changed my mind. Perhaps, Xuanzhi and Ah Hen together can really change their fate of killing each other.”
At least for now, their feelings seemed relatively stable. Lin Xuanzhi especially spoiled Yan Tianhen to the heavens. The same went for Yan Tianhen who had more human-oriented thoughts and feelings. He had also been in love with Lin Xuanzhi for a long time.
These celestial bodies seemed to be shrouded in a thick fog and Esteemed Lan Yue could no longer see the development of their direction and future. However, there wasn’t a sign that he could see of the two of them killing each other one day.
Did the Dao of Heaven change?
Esteemed Lan Yue didn’t know, nor did Demon Venerable You Ming. It was possible that every king in the Nine Lands didn’t know either.
Even today’s prophet family didn’t know because they had absolutely lost the ability to hold the Divination Wheel and simultaneously peer into the life stars of the two people who could influence the current situation.
No one knew what changes this great shift would bring to Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen, even to the righteous and demonic paths. He only hoped that everything would develop in a good direction so that they wouldn’t have wasted all their efforts and plans. More than ten years ago, they had worked hard to set up this huge chess game in ensuring that Lin Xuanzhi and Yan Tianhen would grow up together in the pure lands of the Five Continents, isolated from the Nine Lands, and help deepen their relationship as much as possible.
A few days later, when the time limit agreed upon by Esteemed Huai Yu and Yan Tianhen arrived, Esteemed Huai Yu began to check Yan Tianhen’s homework.
He first took Yan Tianhen to a spiritual plant field and pointed to the crazily growing weeds, “Pull these weeds out for me.”
At this point, Yan Tianhen had destroyed hundreds of spiritual plants every day since he began. At first, he was so frightened that his heart and mind trembled, and he felt like a monster, recklessly wasting resources like that. But, as the saying goes, the first time may be totally unfamiliar but the second time gets much easier. He would grow numb if he did this kind of destroying-heaven-and-earth level of wasteful actions a few more days!
So Yan Tianhen said nothing and used the internal mental skills from the 《Profound Book of Poisons》 to whirl it into his Dantian sea. He began to pull out the weeds with the secret hand seal that he practiced more than ten thousand times in just a short fifteen days.
In a spiritual plant field, where was the spiritual Qi most rich?
Not in the soil nor the air, but in the roots of the spiritual plants.
And the weeds were intertwined with the roots of the spiritual plants. Although they were invisible to the naked eye, if the soil was peeled away or if one used their Dantian Qi to see, they would find two different root systems tangled together. The roots of the spiritual plants were still entangled with the roots of the weeds as if the weeds were trying to strangle the plants to death.
It was very difficult to separate them all at once.
Originally Yan Tianhen couldn’t do it… well, it could be said that even now he couldn’t do it.
Separating the roots of the weeds from that of the spiritual plants would consume 10% of his Qi. One had to be careful because if one’s mind was not focused enough and their Qi ran out, it would be easy to injure the roots of the spiritual plants by mistake.
As a result, although the spiritual plant may not be completely destroyed, its grade would still decrease.
However, when it came to the actual operation, Yan Tianhen quickly discovered that root separation was not the most difficult step. What really tested one’s skill was the process of pulling the weeds out.
The soil was thick and heavy, especially the soil where spiritual herbs are planted. The roots of these spiritual plants often go six feet deep, or even deeper. If one wanted to pull up the weeds that also went far down from a distance, a cultivator needed to consume more Qi and strength than pulling up the weeds with his own hands.
Yan Tianhen’s strength was not enough. In the beginning, he wanted to be greedy. He tried scattering his strength and Qi onto every weed, but it undoubtedly led him to pull out no weeds at all.
After his Qi was used up, it would take some time to recover. When Yan Tianhen recovered and came back to clean up the weeds, he would find the weeds, which roots he’d originally cut off had grown again and wrapped firmly around the roots of the spiritual plants once more.
This made Yan Tianhen extremely depressed.
After a few more failures, Yan Tianhen was enlightened. He no longer bit off more than he could chew. He no longer wanted to reach Esteemed Huai Yu’s level in one go. Instead, he only tried to take care of one weed at a time.
After successfully pulling out the weeds for the first time, Yan Tianhen almost consumed 90% of his whole body’s Qi, and his arms seemed to carry a big stone that weighed about several hundred catties, leaving him too tired to lift.
Yan Tianhen then asked Esteemed Huai Yu how much weight from lifting a big stone was equivalent to pulling out a weed into the air without using his hands. Esteemed Huai Yu answered that it was only 180 kg.
Progress was slow, but while pulling the weeds every day, Yan Tianhen gained new insights and benefits.
Just like now一
“Yah!” Yan Tianhen shouted loudly, trying to pull out five weeds at the same time. He clenched his teeth and raised his hands.
His Qi was rapidly being consumed and his hands seemed to carry a weight of thirty thousand catties, trembling as the weeds rose at a snail’s pace.
Esteemed Huai Yu was sitting on a nearby tree with his legs swinging. He was holding a fruit in his hand and looked very happy chewing it, “You have destroyed over 900 of Laozi’s spiritual plants in fifteen days, and you have only trained to this extent?”
Yan Tianhen automatically tuned out the nonsense noise. He exerted tremendous effort and felt that he had never been this tired when he was a baby drinking milk.
Of course, he probably never drank his dad’s milk, either.
Pulling up five weeds at the same time was the lowest goal Esteemed Huai Yu set, but it was simply impossible for a normal cultivator to achieve.
You should know that the amount of Qi needed between pulling up one weed and pulling up two doesn’t increase additively but is doubled. The same is true for the power needed.
Yan Tianhen’s forehead was blue-veined, flushed and sweaty. Yesterday, he was still trying to pull out four of them. Today, he was suddenly going for five. This was definitely a great challenge for him!
Can’t make it, he was running out of energy.
Yan Tianhen had a sense of foreboding and even vaguely felt the impulse to give up because it was too unbearable. The weight he was currently carrying was equivalent to holding hundreds of pounds of heavy stones in both hands but he couldn’t put them down. He felt like he was being pressed to the ground.
Just then, Esteemed Huai Yu’s sharp eyes noticed that Yan Tianhen’s hand seemed to have relaxed a little. He immediately shouted, “Yan Tianhen, you have destroyed a total of hundreds of spiritual plants of mine these days. I haven’t asked your Dage for money yet. If you can’t lift these weeds today, I’ll find him right away!”
Yan Tianhen, “!!!”
He felt like he’d taken a blow to the head. It came like a bolt from the sky, numbing his head.
“What if I managed to lift it up?” Yan Tianhen roared with red eyes.
“Then Laozi will suffer a loss and won’t ask for that money!”
“Okay!” Yan Tianhen took a deep breath and released a huge roar. Ah Bai, who was hanging on the branch and eating fruit while watching, got terrified so much that he almost fell down from the tree.
After a deafening, loud cry powerful enough to drive away thousands of birds, the five weeds finally broke away from the soil and were successfully pulled out by Yan Tianhen.
Yan Tianhen stared at the five weeds lying on the ground with their roots intact, which have now turned into fertilizers. He looked down at his faintly red palms, incredulous by the power that had erupted from him.
Just now, was it actually him?
He seemed to realize that only when he was forced into a desperate situation would he be able to let loose. Although he only had a glimpse of the feeling, for a cultivator, it was enough!
Yan Tianhen was extremely tired but he still turned excitedly to look back at Esteemed Huai Yu. He cheered, “Master, I did it! I did it!”
Esteemed Huai Yu was very relieved. Just as he opened his mouth to praise him, he heard Yan Tianhen continue, “Great, now you can’t ask my Dage for money! You have to keep your word. So if you lie, you’re a dog!”
Esteemed Huai Yu, “…”
He wanted to curse but didn’t know if he should.
Esteemed Huai Yu rolled his eyes at Yan Tianhen with a dark expression, “You’re a lost cause.”
Yan Tianhen, “Hahaha!”
Esteemed Huai Yu added, “Idiot! Stupid!”
Yan Tianhen, “Hahaha!”
Esteemed Huai Yu, “…”
Damn it, he was so angry, he didn’t want to keep smiling at all.