“Sir. Please come in,” Ye Kong greeted Zhang Wude politely and invited him into the room.
Zhang Wude had come to find out why Ye Kong wasn’t attending classes. He hadn’t expected to see Ye Kong practicing the Shadow Dance that had been lost for several years.
Chen Jiuniang and Lu Qin left after they greeted Zhang Wude. Ye Kong asked, “Sir, this martial arts came from the shadow jade. Is there some relation between the jade and the Shadow Dance?”
Zhang Wude smiled, “I know about it because I read too much. There are not many people who still know about it.”
“It’s called the Shadow Dance but is otherwise known as Shadow Martial Arts. It is not only a profound martial art, but also a beautiful and moving dance. It was created by the extinct Shadow Clan. ”
“The Shadow Clan?” Ye Kong had heard from Lu Jun, but Lu Jun had not said any more about it.
“Yes! The Shadow Clan. It’s said that all the people of the Shadow Clan were graceful, and all of them loved music and dancing. That was why their martial art also seemed like a touching dance.”
Ye Kong asked, “The people of the Shadow Clan must have lived the good life, but were they kind people?”
Zhang Wude nodded, “They were the kindest of people, but they were also hot-blooded and emotional. When they were happy, they sang and danced with their swords. When they were angry, they fought while dancing. They often fought on others behalf when they believed people were being treated unfairly.”
“Good, I admire that.” Ye Kong nodded, “I would do the same. We should all aspire to that.”
Zhang Wude shook his head and said, “No, this kind of character is doomed to be erased from this land. The Shadow Clan is the best example.
“The people from An are the An Clan, and my home country are the Wu Clan, but more than 100,000 years ago, we were all one clan, called the North Clan.”
“The North Clan? ”
“Yes, North Clan because we all come from the Northern Land!”
Ye Kong said, “Is there really a Northern Land?”
Zhang Wude nodded, “If there is a north, there is a south!” He recalled the records in the book, and said, “A hundred thousand years ago, the northern people lived in the Northern Land, and the Southern Land, now called Cangnan, was the land of the Shadow Clan. The two continents were connected with each other and very prosperous, but there was a disaster in Northern Land. According to the ancient books, the Northern Land was invaded by the Devil Sect. They were bloodthirsty and possessed amazing power. Although people had the power to fight against them, they were not a unified force. Everyone wanted to preserve their own strength, so they were defeated one by one.
“In order to avoid war, a large number of northern people moved south. At last, the whole Northern Land was occupied by the Devil sect. The other northern people lost their fighting spirit and came to the Southern Land, and they occupied a place to settle down. After the fall of the northern land, the flames of war burned towards the Southern Lands. The Shadow Clan decided to join the ware and organized a large number of their soldiers to go north and fight against the Devil Sect invaders. After several fierce battles, the Devil Sect was blocked from crossing the North-South passage.
“In order to prevent the Devil Sect from crossing into the Southern lands, all the major sects decided to block the North-South passage. Countless ancient cultivators joined together to use their combined power to permanently isolate the Northern and Southern lands from each other. The two lands have been separated since, and the northern people settled here.”
Ye Kong understood, “It turns out that the Shadow Clan were the indigenous people, and we are all immigrants. Why did the Shadow Clan die out?”
“It is speculated by later generations that the death and injuries from the war were to severe for the Shadow Clan, their population base was small, and their reproductive capacity was weak. After the war, they gradually withered and disappeared.”
Ye Kong didn’t believe it. “They controlled the whole continent; how could they disappear so quickly?”
Zhang Wude shook his head. “There are few ancient books left, and it’s strange that all the ancient books about the extinction of the Shadow Clan are vague.” Zhang Wude waved his sleeve and sighed, “It has become history. Who knows what happened back then?”
Ye Kong sighed, “In that era of catastrophe, the Shadow Clan sacrificed the most to fight when others chose to escape, but the result was the destruction of the entire Shadow Clan. No one even remembers them. It’s not worth it!”
“But they also did it for themselves. If they didn’t resist, the whole land would have fallen.”
Ye Kong shook his head. “Sir, I don’t think so. No matter who they fought for, they stood up and sacrificed their own people to protect others. They’re real heroes. People should remember them.”
“I’m glad that you think so.” Zhang Wude nodded approvingly, “But this kind of character will suffer a lot of losses. All people want to protect themselves. They only want to live comfortably and don’t care about others. You have begun to cultivate, you should keep on practicing and improving yourself. Don’t follow in the footsteps of the Shadow Clan.”
Ye Kong was surprised. He hadn’t told Zhang Wude about his cultivation.
Zhang Wude smiled, “Only an immortal cultivator could learn the Shadow Martial Arts.”
“Please keep it a secret, sir.”
Zhang Wude said, “It’s okay to keep this secret, but you should also keep a low profile. It’s very dangerous to be a rogue cultivator, I have heard numerous tales of the killings of rogue cultivators.”
Ye Kong didn’t care and smiled, “I have no treasure or things of value to steal, so why would they waste the time?”
Zhang Wude grew angry, “You are wrong! I have heard of cultivators that will kill countless people to enhance their cultivation or practice their skills. You are an immortal cultivator, your cultivation itself is valuable. How could you be so careless!”
Ye Kong was shocked. Zhang Wude’s words explained Fan Jiushe’s actions clearly. He was fattening him up for slaughter.
“Sir, I was wrong!” Ye Kong made a very sincere salute to Zhang Wude.
Zhang Wude waved his hand and continued, “Keeping a low profile is necessary, but I hope you won’t be too selfish and merciless. Although war is merciless and cruel, you should follow your heart. Even the immortal cultivators are still human beings.”
Zhang Wude looked out the window. A gust of wind blew through his pale hair and after a moment he let out a long sigh. Ye Kong nodded while looking at Zhang Wude’s expression. He thought of the conversation he had with Ye Wei about Zhang Wude last time.
Then he asked, “Sir, why are you so familiar with things regarding immortal cultivators?”
Zhang Wude opened his eyes and stared at Ye Kong, “Do you think I’m an immortal cultivator? I already said that even if I had the talent for it, I would not cultivate.”
“I’m surprised that you have this kind of attitude towards cultivation. It seems that something happened between you and immortal cultivators?”
Zhang Wude waved his hand, “Don’t ask about it. I don’t want to talk about it. I just don’t like the people who cultivate immortality. They are too merciless. Apart from advancing their cultivation, there is nothing in the world that can move them. Even blood relationships are ignored.”
Ye Kong didn’t know who Zhang Wude was talking about, but it must have something to do with the murder of his family.
“Sir, you just said that the Shadow Dance is the martial arts of the Shadow Clan. Did the Shadow Clan use martial arts to deal with the Devil Sect? The northern immortals couldn’t deal with the devils but why did this set of martial arts work? “Ye Kong said quickly changing topics.
Zhang Wude laughed, “I’m not a cultivator or a martial arts expert. How would I know? It is recorded in the book that during the war, the Shadow Clan danced through the battlefields, so I guessed that the Shadow Clan was using their Shadow Dance to fight against the devils.”
“It seems that the power of the Shadow Dance is not inferior to the magical abilities of immortals, but why do I feel that the Shadow Dance wouldn’t stand a chance against immortal cultivators?” Ye Kong said.
Zhang Wude thought for a moment and said, “It’s said that the Shadow Clan’s martial arts were always best accompanied with music.”
Ye Kong clapped his hands and said, “It was music. Since this form of martial arts is based on dance, it’s bound to increase in strength with music!”
Zhang Wude stood up, “It’s late. I’m going back now. I wanted you to show up to class more often, but now it seems that you’d be better off cultivating at home. When you have perfectly mastered the dance, call me so I can experience it myself.”
“Sir, I will definitely invite you to watch.”
Ye Kong couldn’t wait to start practicing Shadow Dance with music. Although the music of the Shadow Clan was lost, Ye Kong replaced it with the music of the Earth, singing silently in his head and dancing to the music. Soon, he was immersed in music as he practiced the Shadow Dance.
“Ye Kong, you are doing the same actions each time, but it’s like you are performing a different dance. I can’t tell what the difference is,” Lu Qin said with a frown.
“It’s because the music I am imagining when practicing is different each time.”
Ye Kong was happy. The Shadow Dance was a truly extraordinary martial art. With Zhang Wude’s information, he found that the music used could cause changes to the Shadow Dance.
“Although this dance looks nice, you can’t make a living with it. You’d be better off learning poetry from Zhang Wude,” Chen Jiuniang said, while walking out with scissors in hand.
In Cangnan, singers and dancers we discriminated against. People who performed songs and dances for a living were highly looked down upon as nothing more than playthings. If one fell in love with singing or dancing, there wasn’t much of a future to be had. She didn’t want her son to waste all his time dancing.
“Mom, you don’t understand. It’s not only a dance, but also martial arts. It’s a very powerful martial art.”
Chen Jiuniang smiled, “I’m just reminding you that the general won’t agree with you disgracing the Ye Family by dancing for people. I’ll go sharpen my scissors now.”