Chapter 10 Wan Xuan
Ye Kong had gotten sick. This was the news making the rounds in the Ye Family, but no one thought the news was especially important. In their opinion, even if the fool was now in control of his mental faculties, he would always remain a little fish in the Ye pond.
However, for Ye Kong, the previous loss of motivation was not such a bad thing. A bold guy like him dared to practice without any knowledge of the correct path. If he had an outstanding aptitude, there was no telling if he would still be alive. This accident made him much more cautious during his process of cultivation.
Three days later, in Ye Kong’s room, Ye Kong pushed away the bowl full of bitter medicine with disgust.
“Mom, I have already recovered. There is no need for me to keep taking this medicine.”
“Kong, a good medicine always tastes bitter. You have only somewhat recovered after taking this medicine for three days. After another three days, when you are fully recovered, you won’t take this medicine anymore, okay?” Chen Jiuniang comforted him, sitting by the bedside.
Ye Kong was very clear that the damage he received had been to his soul. He was in good health even though he had overexerted himself. There was no medicine that could cure his soul. The reason why he was much better now was that his soul had started to recover.
Ye Kong was a little embarrassed to tell his mother the truth. He looked up over the ceiling for a while before realizing his mother was still holding the bowl. He had no choice but to take it.
“Okay, I will drink it!”
After three days resting in bed, Ye Kong felt much better. Just as he was about to get out of bed, he heard his mother talking outside with someone, and the voice was getting closer and closer.
Ye Kong thought it was a visitor. Life in Cangnan was cruel to him. A useless fool like Ye Kong had been bedridden for three days without a single person coming to visit. So who could it be now?
The door opened with a click and a tall young man in his twenties came in.
Ye Wei was 26 years old. He was an officer in the army, he was married with children and fought his way through countless battles to become a high-ranking military officer. He was Ye Haoran’s most excellent assistant, the favored son, but as an elder brother, he also did what he could to take good care of his mentally challenged eighth brother and Chen Jiuniang.
He was a decent man and had often helped this poor family when they went through difficulties. He was an officer in the army and he had a wife now, so the times he visited were few and far between. He was able to provide some help to Ye Kong from time to time, but he couldn’t help this family forever.
The previous Ye Kong had been very grateful to this big brother. He was the only person in this courtyard who didn’t call him a fool and would treat him with kindness.
“Brother,” Ye Kong was moved when he saw Ye Wei come in, and his eyes turned red.
“Lay back down. I’ve been at home for a few days, I came here to see you as soon as I heard. Last time, I heard that you were conscious, but I didn’t have a chance to come visit you.” Ye Wei put down a snack box and a small package in his hand before walking to sit at Ye Kong’s bed side.
When he was on earth, Ye Kong was cold-hearted. He would not cry when something was meant to touch his heart, yet when he came here, he found that he was vulnerable, and the people here were cold-hearted. They would not show any mercy to the weak, but chose to beat them instead.
Fortunately, he had a big brother who was kind to him.
They chatted casually for a while. Ye Kong told Ye Wei that he wanted to go to school. Ye Wei told him of a teacher who was an old scholar and was very old-fashioned, but he wrote perfect poems, books and articles. If Ye Kong studied hard, he could have been an official in the future.
Ye Kong laughed. He just wanted to learn to read. He didn’t intend to study hard to become an official.
After chatting for a while, Ye Wei saw that Ye Kong was smarter. He asked about things that happened in the past and found that Ye Kong still remembered things clearly. He was relieved.
“Last time I heard from our father that it was too late for you to practice martial arts and were ready to study hard, so I went to buy the treasures of writing: ink, paper and ink stone.”
“Thank you, bro’,” Ye Kong said.
“You are welcome; we are brothers. I’ll go now. You have a good rest and study hard after recovery. There will be a bright future for you.”
Ye Wei nodded, smiled, and went away with Chen Jiuniang’s endless thanks.
“Young master is a really good man.” Chen Jiuniang sighed after she sent Ye Wei away and came back into the room. She put the bag with pen and ink inside aside, opened the snack box to give some to Ye Kong, but when she opened it, she found that there were no snacks. Instead, there was only a piece of silver weighing 50 Liang.
“Young master is a really good man.” Chen Jiuniang couldn’t help repeating it again, and then said to Ye Kong, “Remember to pay him back when you have established yourself. ”
“I see. Mom, you’d better put the silver away quickly, so that Ye Cai won’t see it and have bad intentions,” Ye Kong replied with a smile.
He was sure that Ye Wei would eventually take Ye Haoran’s position as the head of the family. Would he need a useless person like him to pay him back?
Chen Jiuniang did not think about something like that as she picked up the piece of silver happily and said, “Mom will save this for you for your marriage.”
She went back to her room and hid the pieces of silver away.
“Come on, I’m only twelve,” Ye Kong said bitterly.
When his mother left, Ye Kong half laid down bored, thinking of the book in his head.
“A collection of spells… It must be something special… but how can I open it? ”
Ye Kong closed his eyes. He’d been thinking of the book for the past few days because he had a feeling that if he wanted to survive in this cruel land of Cangnan, he could only rely on this book hidden in his soul.
He had suffered the last time, so he didn’t dare to try again easily.
Day by day, almost three weeks later, Ye Kong’s injured soul had recovered from the damage.
Ye Kong’s life of study began. He went to his lessons every morning and came back for lunch at noon.
There was an old man called Zhang Wude who had been hired as his new teacher. He had a serious face and didn’t laugh at all.
Zhang Wude had a bad impression of Ye Kong at first because he was told his student was the member of the Ye Family who was mentally impaired. What could he even teach? It was an insult to ask him to teach someone who would always have the intelligence of a toddler.
It was rumored that he wasn’t a fool anymore, but in Zhang Wude’s mind, if he had really recovered, it would be clearly shown by an expression of understanding or confusion when first learning new things, but Ye Kong always maintained the same lazy and blank expression.
A few days later, Zhang Wude had already admitted that he was mistaken. Although the child always had a lazy expression, he was actually quite hard working and diligent. He was neither like the older children who were always chasing after romance nor the younger children who were always playing around. On the contrary, unlike others his age, Ye Kong spoke and acted like a mature adult.
What’s more, Ye Kong had his own unique way of looking at the world. Although he sometimes had a foul mouth, everything he said was reasonable. There were many times his words contained wisdom far beyond his age, which made Zhang Wude happy to have such an intelligent student. He thought that he had finally met a smart child who he could pass all of his knowledge onto.
But Ye Kong was not interested in poems and literature. He was more concerned about the questions such as whether there was Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity or any form of religion in the world, whether there were immortals, where to find immortal, whether there were talisman using priests and if ghosts existed.
Zhang Wude was stunned when he was asked about such strange things, but the old scholar was also experienced. Not only had he read thousands of books, he also worked as an official under a king for many years. He knew some things unknown to ordinary people.
He told Ye Kong that that he wasn’t aware of any religious sects in the world, but there were immortals. They were not immortals exactly because they had not yet cultivated to the level of immortality. Thus, they were called immortal cultivators.
Generally, the immortal cultivators belonged to various immortal sects or cultivation families. However, these people were devoted to cultivation and despised contact with ordinary people, so it was rare to see them.
In addition to the organized immortal cultivators, there were also some scattered lone immortal cultivators. However, most of these lone immortal cultivators did not have high cultivation because they didn’t have a force behind them to provide cultivation resources. Because lone cultivators were easy targets, other cultivators would openly target and kill these cultivators to take their belongings, so lone immortal cultivators were very rare, and they didn’t dare to show themselves often.
Zhang Wude also heard that in addition to the immortal cultivators, there were also demonic cultivators. The immortal cultivators were cold-hearted, and the demonic cultivators were even more terrible. The biggest difference was that the immortal cultivators would kill you for your belongings, but demonic cultivators didn’t need a reason to kill, to them killing was even more natural than breathing.
As for talisman wielding priests and ghosts or spirits, he was not clear. He never cultivated so he only knew some general information.
However, Zhang Wude still had a lot of books, many of which were encyclopedias of magic treasures, beasts, medicinal ingredients and other special items. Ye Kong liked to read these books the most. However, he knew so little of the Cangnan language that he couldn’t understand much on his own.
Ten days passed in the blink of an eye.
This morning, Ye Kong cleaned himself up. He asked his mother to comb his hair into a bun, put on a clean long gown, took his pen, ink, paper and ink stone, and left for his lessons.
As he walked out of the gate, he looked up and saw the housekeeper, Ye Cai, running towards the inner courtyard.
“What’s the rust? Is it fire? Did someone die?” Ye Kong snorted and continued towards his lessons.
As soon as Ye Kong left, he saw Ye Haoran in neat clothes walking quickly with Ye Wei and his second wife with an irresistible smile on their faces.
A group of people walked out of the gate quickly. An old man with white hair stood quietly outside. The old man wore a long gown with a small dark gray bag hung on his waist. In Nandu city, such an old man would be seen as ordinary, there was nothing special about him. The guards by the gate didn’t understand why Ye Haoran walked out and welcomed him with his eldest son and wife in person.
“Ah, master immortal is here. Please come in.” Seeing the old man, Ye Haoran wore a big smile on his face despite his usual commanding presence.
“Oh, thank you for your welcome. I haven’t seen you in five years, but you still look the same,” Immortal Wan Xuan said with a smile and followed Ye Haoran into the manor.
“That’s not true. We have grown older. We are only normal people. It’s impossible for us to compare with an immortal master such as yourself. I think the immortal master looks even younger than before, it must be because you had a breakthrough in cultivation,” Ye Haoran said as he walked.
Immortal Wan Xuan smiled bitterly, “General Ye, you don’t know that the cultivation of immortality is very difficult. I have nearly reached the ceiling for my cultivation. It’s impossible for me to make more progress without a destined encounter or a rare opportunity.”
Ye Haoran changed the topic hurriedly saying, “Every immortal cultivator has a long lifespan, much longer than that of ordinary people like me. If ordinary people can encounter a rare opportunity, then I believe that immortals will also encounter their share of opportunities in their lifetime.”
Immortal Wan Xuan didn’t want to talk much about his accomplishments. He smiled and said, “Immortal cultivators live longer than ordinary people indeed, and many immortal cultivators have the ability to stay young, their age can’t be judged with looks alone. When I first began cultivating, I once saw a young man who looked like he was 20 years old. I would have never guessed that he was an old predecessor who became famous 500 years ago.”
They laughed with each other.
Listening to Immortal Wan Xuan, Ye Haoran and Ye Wei were excited thinking of immortality and eternal youth. It was a thrilling idea.
Even the second wife beside him was thrilled. If she could become immortal and keep her youth forever, how beautiful it would be, but she also knew that Ye Haoran would let his sons and daughters cultivate immortality, but he would not allow his wife and concubines to do the same. It was known that Ye Haoran valued the future safety of the Ye Family more than anything else. If one of his beautiful wives or concubines went out and enticed or offended some powerful immortals and caused the destruction of the Ye Family, that seemed much worse to him than being cuckolded.
Since she couldn’t cultivate immortality, the second wife put her hopes on Ye Wen and Ye Wu. As long as one of them became an immortal, it would be certain for her to become the legal wife and lose the moniker of the second wife.
It was said that the cultivation of immortality also had talent requirements. The second wife regretted that she didn’t have more children. If she had lots of children, the chances of one being talented in cultivation would be much greater. It was too late for her to have more children, so she begged Ye Haoran to let her younger brother’s daughter to also have her qualifications checked by the immortal.
Ye Haoran thought about it and agreed. After all, only one out of the ten thousand had the talent to cultivate immortality. If none of his children could be selected, then the children of his relatives, friends and faithful servants could also get tested. If there was potential to become an immortal cultivator among any of them, he would still benefit in the future for providing them the opportunity.
So, Ye Haoran made a plan. First, he and his children would be tested. If they had the ability to cultivate immortality, the alternates would not get a chance. If not, then the alternatives, the children of relatives, friends and the faithful servants who were sold to the Ye family, but had earned the surname Ye, would be tested.
Ye Cai was far behind. Although he couldn’t hear clearly, he was also very nervous. He prayed that no one from Ye Haoran’s family would be chosen, so that his son could be tested as an alternative.
‘Well, if my son became an immortal cultivator, I could become a powerful figure among the Ye family. And that Li Laosi! You won’t even be notified of what is happening here, because your surname is not Ye!’ Thinking of Li Laosi, Ye Cai thought of another person who didn’t get the news: Ye Kong. ‘Haha, that fool, I specifically didn’t inform you because you had previously upset the second wife.’
He considered it again. It was okay not to inform that fool. Would the second wife make a fuss about it? Was it possible that a fool had the ability to be an immortal?
Ye Kong wanted to be an immortal cultivator, but knew nothing about the selection that was currently happening. He was peacefully reading at Zhang Wude’s place while his greatest chance to become an immortal cultivator was slipping away.
“Sir, why is it said in ‘The Southern Tales’ that Cangnan is surrounded by the Endless Wilderness? What is there in that wilderness? Do immortals live there?” Asked Ye Kong.
Zhang Wude shook his head. “I don’t know. It’s very dangerous in the Endless Wilderness because there are many beasts and terrifying monsters in there. So many that many people can’t explore its depths. Even the savages who have lived on the edge of the Endless Wilderness since ancient times will only move around the edges. No one knows the situation inside the Endless Wilderness or where the Endless wilderness ends. I don’t think the immortal cultivators would choose to practice there.”
“Oh, it’s like that. Where can I find immortal cultivators?” Ye Kong asked.
Zhang Wude smiled, he didn’t blame him. In fact, there was a time when he wanted to become an immortal cultivator.
“Kong, it’s not as easy to become an immortal cultivator as you think. Even if you go visit, they won’t necessarily accept you. Cultivation of immortality requires talent. Only one or two people in ten thousand are talented, and that talent is inherited from your ancestors. Among the ancestors of the Ye Family, there are no immortals. Even if there are ten thousand family members of the Ye Family, there is unlikely to be anyone who is talented. Do not daydream about cultivating immortality anymore..