Lady Cultivator - Chapter 172 - Everyone Had Their Own Good Fortune[Updated at: 2021-01-11 13:40:58]
Chapter 172: Everyone Had Their Own Good Fortune
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
This was someone she parted with at Mount Yunwu more than ten years ago, Jiang Shanghang!
Jiang Shanghang was completely different from how he was more than ten years ago. Back when Mo Tiange met Jiang Shanghang when they first entered Yunwu Sect, he was young and looked upright, but he always emitted a gloomy vibe and his face was often filled with disdain, so people hardly wanted to get close to him.
On the contrary, the current Jiang Shanghang looked slightly younger than before— truth be told, he wasn’t fifty years old yet, so he was considerably young for a Foundation Building cultivator. He was now a lot thinner than before, but his uncomfortable gloomy vibe had become a cold indifference. His expression also became milder. It was no longer filled with disdain but instead, it now showed a faint nonchalance.
That year, after she was rescued by Jiang Shanghang, the two of them fled on their separate ways. Because Mo Tiange attracted the attention of their chasers, no one realized Jiang Shanghang was involved in the matter, allowing him to disappear without a hitch from Mount Yunwu. Although Mo Tiange was later rescued by Qin Xi, she lost her uncle and had to go to Xuanqing School which was thousands of miles away, so she really didn’t have time to ask around for news about Jiang Shanghang. In a flash, more than ten years had unknowingly passed by.
“… Senior Martial Brother Jiang?”
Upon seeing her, Jiang Shanghang was even more shocked than her. It was only after he heard her voice that he regained his composure. He said to Hai Bo, who had been standing curiously next to them: “This is my friend. Quickly bring us some Snow Lotus Tea.”
Hai Bo immediately complied. “Yes, yes. Please wait a moment; the tea will be ready soon.”
Once Hai Bo left, Jiang Shanghang’s gaze once again fell on Mo Tiange. As he examined her, his shock gradually faded. Eventually, he showed a faint smile and said, “Junior Martial Brother Ye, long time no see.”
This smile made Mo Tiange secretly feel rueful. Would the previous Jiang Shanghang have smiled? Apparently, he had changed a lot in the ten-odd years after they left Yunwu Sect.
“It’s indeed been a long time. In the blink of an eye, more than ten years have passed, and we unexpectedly meet again here.”
Jiang Shanghang smiled and nodded. “Junior Martial Brother Ye, please sit—oh, how should I address you now?”
Mo Tiange sat on the guest chair and said with a smile, “Will it make any difference how you address me? The name I go by outside is still ‘Ye Xiaotian’. Senior Martial Brother Jiang can still address me that way.” Mo Tiange paused for a moment then still with a smile, she asked, “Senior Martial Brother Jiang, are you still using your previous name?”
Jiang Shanghang sat on the master seat then shook his head. “Nowadays, I go by Jiang Shuihan.”
As she expected, he really had changed his name. When she heard that, Mo Tiange simply heaved a sigh and nodded. Jiang Shanghang probably changed his name because he had no other choice. The moment he left Jiang Clan, he broke off the relationship between them. Before he left, he even killed the beloved descendant of Jiang Clan’s Core Formation cultivator. Moreover, he wasn’t like her, who entered Xuanqing School and had people protecting her. If he hadn’t changed his name, he would’ve been very easy to find.
“We haven’t seen each other for so many years. Senior Martial Brother Jiang, how are you doing now? How did you enter Zhengfa Sect and end up as a master immortal for a northernmost tribe?”
“I’m doing pretty good now,” Jiang Shanghang said faintly, “After I left Mount Yunwu, I was determined to leave Kunwu and look for another spirit vein where I could cultivate. However, because the spirit veins in the secular world are too small, I decided to go to the northernmost area after much deliberation. Zhengfa Sect was large and the only cultivation group in the northernmost area and it specialized in water element magic, so it was just right for me. Furthermore, it was separated by countless mountains and rivers—I presumed that no matter how Jiang Clan looked for me, they wouldn’t go as far as looking in the northernmost area.”
“That… makes sense. Senior Martial Brother Jiang indeed practiced water element magic before; you and Zhengfa Sect are a good fit.” Mo Tiange couldn’t help but nod. He specialized in water element techniques, so Zhengfa Sect’s cultivation techniques were just right for him. Furthermore, it was indeed good to hide in such a faraway place from Kunwu.
Jiang Shanghang smiled. “Being able to smoothly enter Zhengfa Sect was, in fact, a coincidence. People from the northernmost area who possess spiritual roots will be accepted as disciples by Zhengfa Sect no matter how bad their spiritual roots are. However, it’s very strict towards cultivators from the south. My spiritual roots are too inferior—it should’ve been very hard for me to get accepted originally.”
“Oh? Did Senior Martial Brother perhaps run into some kind of fated chance?”
“This is really a coincidence. When I arrived here, I happened to run into the people of this tribe. Their master immortal had just fallen, so they were at risk of being taken over by other tribes, so they begged me to become their master immortal. I thought I wouldn’t have a place to go, so I just agreed to their request. Later, Zhengfa Sect changed its name and stopped going by ‘Zhengfa School,’ which it was previously known as. In order to celebrate its change of name, an exception was made for outside cultivators who’d become the master immortal of a tribe like me, and we were allowed to join the sect.”
“… I see.” In other words, Jiang Shanghang had a much more difficult time than she did these past seventeen years. He painstakingly escaped from Yunwu Sect, left Kunwu and fled far away to the northernmost area. Presumably, he’d gone through a lot of trials and tribulations in the beginning. Fortunately, his efforts still bore fruits in the end.
Jiang Shanghang looked at her then asked, “Junior Martial Brother Ye, from your appearance, it looks like you’ve fared quite well all these years. At first, I thought it would’ve already been pretty good if you could build your foundation. I never expected that your cultivation level would actually be a lot higher than mine! You must’ve gotten some extraordinary opportunities, right?” His cultivation level was still in the early stage of the Foundation Building realm. Even if he wanted to advance to the middle stage of the Foundation Building realm, it wasn’t something that could happen in a short period of time. Nevertheless, Mo Tiange was already in the peak of the middle stage of the Foundation Building realm and could attempt to advance to the late stage of the Foundation Building realm at any time.
A smile also emerged on Mo Tiange’s face. Jiang Shanghang’s temperament was rather to her taste; he directly said what he wanted to say and was no longer gloomy like before. “My life’s not bad, but I was just lucky.”
“I’m afraid merely being lucky isn’t all. Why is Junior Martial Brother Ye so modest?” Jiang Shanghang stopped for a moment before continuing: “Junior Martial Brother Ye, I’m going to be honest—back when we parted, I thought you’d most likely fail to escape that predicament. It never crossed my mind that you’d… how did you escape in the end?”
“This…” Mo Tiange felt conflicted but in the end, she decided to tell him the truth. “I almost ended up just like you predicted. If it wasn’t for Senior Martial Brother Qin who came and rescued me, I’d have certainly been a goner.”
“Senior Martial Brother Qin?” Jiang Shanghang took some time to think then said with astonishment, “Do you mean Qin Xi? Junior Martial Brother Qin who lived with us?”
Mo Tiange nodded. “After we parted that day, my second uncle and I fled from Mount Yunwu. However, we were soon overtaken by them. It was because of this that my uncle fell…” As she talked about this, her face filled with sadness.
Jiang Shanghang looked apologetic. He said, “I’m sorry. I’ve made you recollect such a hurtful matter.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Jiang Shanghang’s current behavior was indeed miles apart from what it was like years ago. If this was before, would he have possibly apologized for this kind of thing? She proceeded to say, “Before my uncle fell, he told me to seek help from someone. That person was a well-known Core Formation cultivator in west Kunwu who owed my father a favor. He once gave us a Sound-Transmitting Talisman that contained his divine sense… Soon after I crushed the Sound-Transmitting Talisman, Senior Martial Brother Qin appeared.”
“What!?” Jiang Shanghang was thunderstruck. He sank into a moment of contemplation then asked, “Could it be that Junior Martial Brother Qin has had a teacher before he came to Yunwu Sect?”
Mo Tiange chuckled and nodded. She knew Jiang Shanghang misunderstood, but she had no intention of explaining. In fact, her assumption was the same as Jiang Shanghang’s before, and Qin Xi also allowed her to believe that. She was, after all, an Aura Refining cultivator—how could she possibly believe that she’d been living with a Core Formation cultivator for several years?
After pondering the matter for a short while, Jiang Shanghang asked, “Could it be that Junior Martial Brother Qin’s master is much more influential than Yunwu Sect, so he was able to…”
“Correct…” Mo Tiange said faintly, “How could the people of Yunwu Sect possibly dare to offend the disciple of Lord Daoist Jinghe of west Kunwu’s Xuanqing School?”
“What!?” Jiang Shanghang once again exclaimed, but this time, he also sprang to his feet.
Right then, someone’s voice rang out from outside: “Master Immortal, the Snow Lotus Tea is ready.”
Jiang Shanghang regained his composure. He sat down then once again said with a calm voice, “Come in.”
A woman lifted open the curtain door and gracefully walked inside, carrying a tray in her hands. As she served the tea, her gaze furtively shifted back and forth between the two of them as if she was trying to guess the nature of their relationship. Once she finished serving the tea, she finally excused herself and left.
There were also some differences between the women of the northernmost area and the women of the heartland and Kunwu. Although their skin was white, their faces were comparably darker in color. Their statures weren’t tall but they were sturdy. From the moment she arrived in this tribe, all the women Mo Tiange saw were like that. Nevertheless, this woman looked a bit prettier than the others, and her stature was also much more feminine—she didn’t look like a typical woman from the northernmost area.
Jiang Shanghang, who noticed her gaze, explained, “Ever since Zhengfa Sect was founded in the northernmost area, there have been many marriages between its mortals and the northernmost tribes. Nowadays, some people in the tribes have blood originating from the heartland and Kunwu.” After he finished explaining, he pointed at the Snow Lotus Tea on the table. “Has Junior Martial Brother Ye drunk Snow Lotus Tea in Da’an Town? Back when I fled to the northernmost area, I didn’t drink any Snow Lotus Tea, and I suffered greatly because of that. Fortunately, I ran into tribesmen from the Seal Tribe.”
Mo Tiange shook her head and chucked. “I didn’t either. Fortunately, I’ve already built my foundation or I’d have suffered some hardships too.”
Jiang Shanghang smiled, and the two of them sipped their tea.
Just like the tea in the south, Snow Lotus Tea was also made by a sun-drying and brewing process. However, instead of tea leaves, Snow Lotus petals were used to make it. Upon drinking a mouthful of it, Mo Tiange suddenly felt a flow of warmth bubbling up from her abdomen and spreading to all her limbs and bones, causing her to feel warm all over. Apparently, the methods used to resist the cold wind in the northernmost area weren’t limited to washing with the boiled water of Snow Lotus; drinking Snow Lotus Tea was also effective.
Jiang Shanghang put down his teacup then picked up their previous topic. “Junior Martial Brother Ye, are you saying that Junior Martial Brother Qin is the disciple of Xuanqing School’s Nascent Soul cultivator?”
“Yes.” This wasn’t something that she had to keep secret.
“So that means… you’re also part of Xuanqing School now?”
Mo Tiange revealed a faint smile. “I was lucky. When I came to Xuanqing School, I gained favor from Lord Daoist Jinghe and he accepted me as his registered disciple. After I built my foundation, I became his official disciple.”
By now, Jiang Shanghang was looking at her differently from before. When he saw how confident she was and how her cultivation level was already in the peak of the middle stage of the Foundation Building realm, he already knew she must’ve fared very well. Nonetheless, he never thought she was this well.
The official disciple of a Nascent Soul cultivator… He reflected on himself. After he built his foundation, his cultivation speed wasn’t inferior to elite disciples, so he still considered himself lucky. He sometimes thought back to Junior Martial Brother Ye from that year, but he always thought she probably left this world already; he thought that even if she was lucky enough to escape that calamity, she probably couldn’t build her foundation. He never expected that not only did she succeed in building her foundation, but she’d even been doing very well—so well that it was beyond his imagination.
“That being the case, it was really no wonder Junior Martial Brother Ye made a realm-breakthrough so quickly. Not only did you smoothly build your foundation, but you also advanced to the peak of the middle stage so quickly…” Jiang Shanghang heaved a sigh then continued on, “Everyone has their own good fortune, so there’s no point in being jealous.”
“Senior Martial Brother Jiang is already a formal disciple of Zhengfa Sect; why would you envy me? Presumably with Senior Martial Brother Jiang’s temperament, achieving the Great Dao is possible.”
Jiang Shanghang smiled wryly. “Achieving the Great Dao? I’m still too far away from that! Back then, I overestimated my abilities; I thought those two ancestors were suppressing me and prioritizing Jiang Chengxian on purpose. In fact, even if they hadn’t suppressed me, would that have made any difference? I might’ve been able to build my foundation smoothly, but… My future after building my foundation still would’ve been hard to predict.”
Mo Tiange remained silent. Had she not obtained the Art of the Origin, thus turning her from someone with weak five-element spiritual roots into a heaven-gifted genius, her cultivation path would’ve probably been like his too. When she was in the Aura Refining realm, she always thought that even if her path towards immortality was arduous, she would still be successful as long as she worked hard enough. After she built her foundation, however, she realized her previous assumptions were simply naive. Aptitudes, cultivation techniques, temperament, luck—they were all equally important.
“At least Senior Martial Brother Jiang has smoothly advanced to the Foundation Building realm, no?”
Jiang Shanghang said with a sigh, “I succeeded in building my foundation only because I entered Zhengfa Sect. Back then, although I obtained Foundation-Refining Pills and Constitution-Enhancing Pills, I failed on my first attempt. Later, after I came to the northernmost area and joined Zhengfa Sect, I changed my cultivation technique to Zhengfa Sect’s high-level ice element cultivation technique. In the end, I won the sect’s minor inner competition and achieved pointers from a Core Formation senior—it was only then that I dared to enter Closed Door Meditation again. Luckily, I succeeded that time.”
“…” With the four spiritual roots Jiang Shanghang had, he was indeed lucky to have built his foundation on his second attempt. In fact, wasn’t she herself lucky too? “When I built my foundation, I used no fewer than four Foundation-Building Pills. If it wasn’t because I obtained a few Foundation-Building Pills as a reward from my master, I also don’t know when I could’ve succeeded in building my foundation.” Mo Tiange also heaved a sigh. She was oblivious when she was still in the Aura Refining realm, but now that she built her foundation, she finally knew how arduous it was as she recalled the process.
The two of them simultaneously sighed. They glanced at each other and soon afterward, both of them chuckled.
After pondering, Mo Tiange said tactfully, “By the way, Senior Martial Brother Jiang, your temperament seems different now…”
Jiang Shanghang laughed upon hearing that. “I know what you mean. You think I’m not as annoying as I used to be, right?”
Mo Tiange also laughed, but she didn’t refute him.
Jiang Shanghang said, “Leaving Jiang Clan and experiencing so many things made me realize how big this world is… When I was still in Jiang Clan, I used a secret technique to cultivate quickly, and it damaged my body, so my temperament became very strange. When I entered Zhengfa Sect, I abandoned my original cultivation technique and practiced Zhengfa Sect’s high-level ice element technique instead, so my temperament naturally isn’t what it used to be.”
“I see…” It was no wonder his vibe was completely different now; the secret technique he used before must’ve leaned towards a gloomy kind of cold while his current high-level ice element cultivation technique leaned more towards a clear kind of cold. Besides, without Jiang Clan shackling him down, it was only natural he felt more carefree.
“Moreover, all the tribesmen respect me here, and Zhengfa Sect also doesn’t push me around—everything is good, so there’s naturally no reason for me to feel bitter anymore.”
Mo Tiange also thought that was reasonable. The environment people were in affected their nature. Back when she was in Yunwu Sect, she had to be careful about every little thing, so there was a lot on her mind; she always smiled at everyone no matter what and she was always afraid of causing others the slightest offense. In Xuanqing School, however, her cultivation level was high enough, and she had both identity and status, so her personality started to become more open and she also learned to throw her weight around.
“Junior Martial Brother Ye has changed too…” Jiang Shanghang looked her up and down and smiled. “The old Junior Martial Brother Ye still looked like a child, but… you can really be considered a fairy now.”
Was this a compliment? Mo Tiange felt a bit strange. Even though she’d changed into female clothing, she always wore a wide Daoist robe with wide sleeves and wore her hair in a Daoist topknot; even the jewelry Qin Xi gave her before had never been used… Recalling that name threw her into a daze. They hadn’t seen each other for ten years, so she didn’t know if he was still in Closed Door Meditation. Her master said that because there was too much on his mind, he would most likely fail at forming his Nascent Soul, but he still insisted on doing it. She knew he wasn’t a hasty person when it came to cultivating. What was it that made him so urgent to form his Nascent Soul?
“Junior Martial Brother Ye! Junior Martial Brother Ye!”
Upon seeing Jiang Shanghang’s curious expression, Mo Tiange realized her mind had wandered for a moment. While feeling vexed with herself, she said, “I’m sorry, Senior Martial Brother Jiang…”
Jiang Shanghang looked at her inquisitively but in the end, he just shook his head and didn’t probe. Instead, he picked up another subject: “You said Junior Martial Brother Qin is Lord Daoist Jinghe’s disciple, so that means… the two of you are now fellow disciples under the same master?”
“Since he’s a disciple of such a famous cultivation group like Xuanqing School and even has a Nascent Soul as his master, why did he go to Yunwu Sect at all? He even stayed there for three years…”
“Eh…” She wasn’t too sure about this either. Besides, this was Qin Xi’s personal business; it wasn’t too appropriate for her to talk about it.
Noticing her awkward expression, Jiang Shanghang said, “I was just asking casually. If it’s not easy for you to talk about, we don’t need to talk about it.”
Mo Tiange sighed with relief. She then smiled and explained, “This is Senior Martial Brother Qin’s personal business; it isn’t appropriate for me to talk about it.”
“It was me who was being too rude.” Jiang Shanghang let go of the question but tossed her another one: “Then how’s Junior Martial Brother Qin doing now?”
“… very well.” The words she wanted to say were on the tip of her tongue but she eventually swallowed them back. “Senior Martial Brother Qin made a realm-breakthrough faster than me.”
“Really?” Jiang Shanghang asked in amazement. He thought for some time then said, “That year he was only an Aura Refining cultivator, but he was already the disciple of a Nascent Soul cultivator… Could it be that his aptitude is outstanding?” After he said that, his gaze shifted. He knew what kind of aptitude Junior Martial Brother Ye had, but she was still accepted as a disciple by a Nascent Soul cultivator. Because of that, he was wondering: was she perhaps accepted out of consideration for Junior Martial Brother Qin?
“Sort of…” Mo Tiange said faintly, “Senior Martial Brother Qin is my master’s collateral descendant, and his aptitude is outstanding. Presumably, advancing to the Nascent Soul ream also isn’t impossible.”
“Advancing to the Nascent Soul realm…” After hearing that, Jiang Shanghang couldn’t help but say, “Junior Martial Brother Qin is also in the Foundation Building realm now, isn’t he? Even if he’s a genius with a single spiritual root, successfully advancing to the Nascent Soul realm isn’t a given…”
Nevertheless, Mo Tiange merely revealed a slight smile as if she disagreed with his opinion, so he shifted to another topic. “Of the five people at our house back then, Junior Martial Brother Xu died, and Junior Martial Brother Qin left along with us, so the only one remaining in Yunwu Sect is that Senior Martial Brother Liu. I wonder how happy he is with his achievements now.”
Jiang Shanghang had a sarcastic smile on his face as he mentioned Liu Yidao. It was like he was disdainful of him.
A slight wrinkle appeared on Mo Tiange’s brows. She asked with bewilderment, “Senior Martial Brother Jiang, you didn’t have any issues with Senior Martial Brother Liu back then, did you?”
“Of course I didn’t.”
“Then why are you…”
Jiang Shanghang once again sneered. “At first, I thought he was someone who attached importance to friendships, which is rare among cultivators. Who knew that one day, I’d actually discover his secret.”
“Secret?” Mo Tiange was surprised.
“Yes, secret.” Jiang Shanghang asked coldly, “Do you know how Junior Martial Brother Xu died?”
“In the test to obtain Foundation-Building Pills…” Mo Tiange suddenly stopped. Since Jiang Shanghang said that, did Xu Jingzhi’s death perhaps have something to do with Liu Yidao?
Once he saw her expression, Jiang Shanghang nodded coldly. “You should’ve guessed what I mean. I saw them by chance that year in the forest. I personally saw them getting attacked from all sides, but right at a critical moment, Senior Martial Brother Liu didn’t warn Junior Martial Brother Xu of the attack and took advantage of the fact that the attackers hadn’t noticed him to buy himself some time to escape—he actually allowed Junior Martial Brother Xu to get encircled by Zixia Sect cultivators despite knowing he would undoubtedly end up dead.”
“What!?” Mo Tiange’s face paled. She was about to ask Jiang Shanghang why he did nothing when he saw everything, but after careful consideration, she didn’t. Aside from Jiang Shanghang’s temperament at the time, that fight would certainly end in defeat, so he naturally didn’t have any reason to court death. However, watching on the sidelines was one thing, but abandoning Xu Jingzhi as a sacrifice was a whole ‘nother thing!
She pondered the matter again. When she saw Liu Yidao last time, he was so angry over Xu Jingzhi’s death… Did he perhaps feel guilty? Since he himself caused that mess, he probably resented the people who caused him to make that decision even more.
Mo Tiange said slowly, “Senior Martial Brother Liu… has also built his foundation now. I saw him once. Now, he’s a disciple of Yunwu Sect’s Core Formation cultivator.”
“Is he?” Jiang Shanghang sneered, but his expression showed utter indifference. “I’ve long left Yunwu Sect and I have no intention of going back in the future. How he’s doing is none of my business.”
Mo Tiange said nothing. She was thinking the same thing. It was a matter that happened more than ten years ago. So what if Liu Yidao wronged Xu Jingzhi? In any case, she wouldn’t have any dealings with that person again.
It was just that this matter really made her feel emotional. Sure enough, one might know a person for a long time without understanding their true nature.