By the time they returned to the Ye family from the Spring appreciating tower, it was already getting dark. Ye Kong decided that the first thing he needed to do was start practicing his magic techniques in order to best protect his life in any possible future crisis.
However, when Ye Kong returned, he heard that his teacher had requested his presence. Why did Zhang Wude fall into such a state after watching the play? It seemed that there would be an answer soon. Otherwise, Zhang Wude would not request an audience.
It was extremely cold and the sky was starting to grow dark, the old sat with the young around the stove, Zhang Wude poured some wine for Ye Kong and said with a smile, “Do you find it strange that I lost control of myself?”
“Yes.” Ye Kong took over the wine cup and said lightly, “It must be that today’s play reminded you of something.”
Zhang Wude nodded, “Clever, I always knew that you were a big fish in a little pond and you would achieve great things one day. The Lu brothers said this play was your idea, I have no doubt about it, it must be your creation.”
Ye Kong laughed and didn’t speak, he thought back to when they had met for the first time and how Zhang Wude hated the way he behaved and the vulgar language he used.
But Ye Kong didn’t cut in, he listened to Zhang Wude talking about the past.
On the eastern border of the country of An, there was a country whose territory was no smaller than that of An, Wu country, Zhang Wude was part of a large family which had a long rooted history in the country of Wu.
The Zhang family was larger than the present Ye family. There were thousands of grandchildren and tens of thousands of servants under the Zhang family.
When there were many children and grandchildren being born into the family, the chance of someone being born with cultivation talent was also increased. Zhang Wude’s ninth younger brother was such a lucky individual, his talent for cultivation was very good, this was why Zhang Wude knew more information than most about the world of immortals.
Zhang Wude’s younger brother was called Zhang Jiude, he had a dual-type spiritual root. Because of his potential, he was accepted as a discipline by the Yunfu sect, which located in the Wu country, when he was still young.
At the time, the Zhang family was extremely happy to have an immortal cultivator in the family, they would enjoy hundreds of years of prosperity with the protection from immortals.
Zhang Jiude was indeed outstanding and worthy of people’s expectation, it took only ten years for him to build his foundation. He was even highly valued by the leader of the Yunfu sect.
Ye Kong could only let out a sigh; Zhang Jiude had successfully established his foundation within ten years, but he had only reached the third stage of Qi refining over the course of three years. If it was not for the immortal Qi he absorbed from Huang Quan, he wouldn’t have even reached the third layer.
It would take even more time to advance as a cultivator reaches higher layers of cultivation, he didn’t even know whether he would be able to build his foundation within 20 years.
“The Zhang family was also one of the most famous families in Wu country, and became even more prosperous with an immortal cultivator as a member of the family.” Zhang Wude looked out of the window as if he was recalling a specific memory.
A strong night wind blew in through the cracks in the window, which caused Zhang Wude to shudder.
He shook his head and said, “Everyone thought that ninth brother would bring hundreds of years of prosperity to the Zhang family. Who knew that he would instead bring about the extermination of the Zhang family! ”
“Why?” Ye Kong said, “Did your ninth brother offend a powerful cultivator during his travels? Since he was the core disciple of Yunfu sect, Yunfu sect should have arranged for protection for him and his family. Who would be brave enough to exterminate your family?”
Zhang Wude took a sip of wine and said something that Ye Kong had never considered, “It was Yunfu Sect that exterminated my family.”
“Oh?” Ye Kong felt that it was strange upon hearing this. If the Yunfu sect valued Zhang Jiude so much, why would it exterminate the entire Zhang family? Even if Zhang Jiude offended the sect elders, at most he would be punished. What could cause them to exterminate his entire family? Yunfu sect was a powerful immortal sect within the Wu country, and the Zhang family was a powerful mortal family within the same kingdom, it would be expected for them to have a good relationship. How could there be such a deep hatred?
After hearing Zhang Wude’s words, he knew that the sect valued Zhang Jiude after he reached the foundation establishment stage, he was appointed to be the successor to the leader of the sect. Therefore, Zhang Jiude had access to all of the secret records of the sect and was placed in charge of one of the sects treasure houses.
Zhang Jiude was well-organized when handling the everyday business. He maintained detailed records of everything that came in and went out, he even maintained his principles and never took any of the items for his own personal use.
Everyone within the sect knew that Zhang Jiude was a good person of principles and integrity, even the nascent soul elders who were going into in closed door cultivation trusted him. One of the elders decided to pass on their orders to Zhang Jiude before entering closed door cultivation and entrusting him to guard their personal storehouse.
But, was Zhang Jiude really a good person? It turned out that he wasn’t a person of good integrity, he was a person who was rotten to the core. People trusted him because he was in charge of one of the treasure houses for more than ten years and hadn’t taken anything for himself, but this was because there was nothing he valued.
The personal storehouse of a nascent soul elder was much more abundant than one of the sects treasure houses. Zhang Jiude’s eyes were dazzled by all of the types of magic tools, spirit tools and rare materials. The greed in his heart finally took control and made a move.
In the personal storehouse of the nascent soul elder, the most valuable treasure was a Nine Centuries Tree, the fruit was incredibly valuable because it was said that eating it could cause a cultivator to feel like they had experienced nine centuries of reincarnation in a very short time, which was very useful for a nascent soul cultivator to successfully transform the spirit!
However, the fruit was extremely rare, the nine centuries tree produced only one fruit in the span of several hundred years. The nascent soul elder in Yunfu sect had not reached a full completion of the nascent soul stage, so he had not eaten it. Fortunately, if the fruit was not picked, it could last for several decades without withering.
The other reason the elder was so willing to allow Zhang Jiude to guard this precious fruit was because he was only in the late stages of foundation establishment, which was far away from requiring the fruit to help transform his spirit, the fruit was useless to him.
But the elder had not taken into account the greed of others. People who were blinded by greed, were not acting so out of necessity.
Though the fruit wasn’t beneficial to him, couldn’t he exchange it for something else? Zhang Jiude had a very keen mind and knew the value of such an item, so he chose to steal the fruit.
Most would think that even if you steal the fruit, you should leave the tree behind. However, Zhang Jiude actually had a terrible nature; after stealing the fruit, he destroyed the tree. Why? He did this in order to create an excuse that the tree died and the fruit withered.
But after destroying the tree, Zhang Jiude was still afraid of being caught. What if the elder came out of closed door cultivation and asked, “Why didn’t you inform me that it was going to die?”
Or maybe he would ask why a tree that had lived for thousands of years, would suddenly die as soon as it was given to Zhang Jiude.
The more Zhang Jiude thought, the more worried he became, so he collected all of the valuables and left the sect, returning home.
As soon as Zhang Jiude was found to be missing from the sect, the matter was quickly exposed, and the nascent soul elder hurriedly left closed door cultivation. When he saw what had happened, he was furious, he immediately ordered the sect to surround the Zhang family.
The Yunfu sect was extremely lenient with Zhang Jiude, after all, it was hard to find a cultivator with such good cultivation talent, he would become a pillar of the sect if his cultivation could reach the nascent soul stage.
They decided to inform Zhang Jiude that considering this was his first time committing such an act, they wouldn’t kill him, instead he would need to repent his sins and dedicate to improving himself for the next 20 years. However, such a light punishment was based on him returning the fruit of the nine centuries tree as well as the other things he had stolen upon escaping.
Of course, if he was stubborn, they wouldn’t let him go, and the whole Zhang family would be buried together with him.
For this reason, they believed that this matter would reach its logical end. If he didn’t care about himself, he should at least care about what happens to his family, right?
Zhang Jiude’s answer was quite straightforward. He agreed! But he said that he needed to retrieve the items, as he had secretly hid them away. So, with his family as the sects hostage, he went to retrieve the treasures.
However, Zhang Wude was not at ease, so he asked to accompany Zhang Jiude. Zhang Wude was afraid that this boy would change his mind and abandon the family.
So Zhang Jiude took his brother and left. When they arrived at a certain location, Zhang Wude noticed that his brother had retrieved the fruit from a secret stash of treasures. Zhang Wude was excited and urged his brother to quickly return the fruit and save their family.
But, no one expected that Zhang Jiude had other plans, he didn’t plan on exchanging the fruit for the lives of his family at all. This was because someone had already agreed to purchase the fruit, and the buyer promised something that would allow Zhang Jiude to enter the nascent soul stage within in 100 years.
He had no idea who the buyer was till now, but the temptation of entering nascent soul stage within 100 years was an irresistible temptation for Zhang Jiude, for he was only in the late stage of foundation establishment at that time and 100 years was extremely fast.
Although he was a rare talent, he would be just a little faster in forming his core, after forming his core, it would be hard to say whether he could advance or not, there were many talented cultivation seeds which were unable to break through the early stages of core formation and died of old age. The attraction of the nascent soul stage was too strong.
In contrast, the lives of his family members were much less important. Anyway, the life expectancy of ordinary people was limited. Even if no one killed them, they would only live for less than a century. Their lives were meaningless to him, without his family as a distraction, he could cultivate wholeheartedly. In the future, no one would be able to use his family members to threaten him.
No matter how Zhang Wude knelt down and begged him, Zhang Jiude acted as if he heard nothing and left without looking back, only leaving a few words,
“Don’t worry, I will get revenge for you…”
As soon as the elder realize that Zhang Jiude had betrayed them again, he immediately began to exterminate the Zhang family. The nascent soul elder was so angry that he unleashed a strike which cleanly killed over 2,000 of the Zhang family members in a single blow. The other members of the sect quickly began to kill the entire Zhang family, even the servants couldn’t escape their fate.
Because of his service to the royal family of the Wu country, Zhang Wude was saved. As a famous scholar, the officials and people of the Wu country held great respect for Zhang Wude. Zhang Jiude had left him to return to the family alone, by the time he returned to the Zhang Family, the nascent soul elder had relieved the majority of his anger, so he decided to allow Zhang Wude to live.
After hearing this, Ye Kong’s questions were answered. No wonder Zhang Wude didn’t approve of immortal cultivation, his experience had caused him to believe that all immortal cultivators were extremely selfish. After venturing on the path of immortal cultivation, his own brother had become no better than a beast.
He was afraid that Ye Kong would also become such a person.
On the other hand, why did Zhang Wude cry when he saw the sentimental brotherhood in the play? It was because it reminded him of his ninth brother, but his own brother had become his enemy.
“I will get revenge for you.” Ye Kong said the same words as Zhang Jiude, but the meanings were very different.
Zhang Wude nodded and said, “In fact, I don’t hate the Yunfu sect, what I hate most is the beast that Zhang Jiude became! My only wish is to see that beast meet his end!”
“Oh.” Ye Kong nodded, if he fought against Yunfu sect alone, he was afraid that he had no chance of winning, but he was much more confident when facing Zhang Jiude.
“How many years has it been?”
“More than a decade.”
“Good, I will get revenge for you!”
Zhang Jiude was in the late stages of the foundation establishment that time, and even if he had supernatural talent, he should have only just formed his core. However, Ye Kong was only at the third level of Qi refining. Could he really get revenge?
Zhang Wude was very skeptical about that, he wiped the tears from his eyes and sighed, “I didn’t want you to help me get revenge, but the play has made me emotional and I was too rash in telling this to you.”
“I see. Don’t worry, I won’t try to break a stone with an egg.” Ye Kong secretly made up his mind to kill that beast one day!