Chapter 226: Someone Else’s Disciple
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
“Ay~ Why did I get a disciple like you?” Lord Daoist Jinghe stared at her, shaking his head and sighing at the same time. “Such a person like me, wise, et cetera, et cetera…”
“Master!” Mo Tiange glared at him. “I just wanted to ask a few things; do you have to act like this?”
“Ay~ So unfilial~ To actually speak like this to your master…”
“Master!” Don’t tell me he hasn’t finished sighing “ay~”!
Lord Daoist Jinghe snuck a glance at her. After seeing her anger-filled face, he finally snickered cheerfully and said, “Tiange… Your master feels the way you’re acting now is more like your usual self. You see, seeing you suddenly kneeling and asking to be punished, Master’s heart was scared…”
Mo Tiange had nothing to say. What kind of master was this? Did he mean that if she wasn’t fierce, he’d feel at a loss and uncomfortable all over?
“Enough!” She then put on a serious expression. “Master, I’m asking you—when I wasn’t here, was everything alright? What about Zhenji? Has he built his foundation?”
“Oh, very good, everything is very good. I didn’t let anyone touch anything in your small cave. Zhenji already built his foundation the fourth year after you left—he’s fared extremely well.”
Mo Tiange felt a bit relieved to learn that Zhenji already built his foundation. Although that year, she’d secretly left some Foundation-Building Pills for him, Zhenji’s spiritual roots were rather bad after all, so whether he could successfully build his foundation or not was hard to say. Twenty two years had passed; Zhenji ought to be in his forties now, so it would certainly be troublesome if he still hadn’t built his foundation—some cultivators were unable to build their foundation not because of their advanced age but rather, it was usually because they failed too many times, causing their mental states to destabilize, gradually increasing their distance from the Foundation Building realm.
“Master, so you’ve been teaching him all these years?”
“Ah? Teaching him? When did I ever have that kind of intention?!” Lord Daoist Jinghe carelessly waved the book he was holding.
A deep wrinkle emerged on Mo Tiange’s brows. “Could it be that you’ve been letting Zhenji fend for himself?!!!”
Upon seeing her furious expression, Lord Daoist Jinghe chuckled fawningly then said softly, “Disciple… don’t get angry. Although Master didn’t take care of that stupid boy, I got someone to take care of him. Rest assured!”
“Yep; your senior martial brothers were idle, so I got one of them to look after that child on your behalf.”
“…” This was indeed something he’d do. Back then, didn’t he also throw her into Martial Uncle Xuanyin’s care for quite a while? Later, it was only because something else happened that he finally had no choice but to recognize her as his disciple.
Mo Tiange heaved a sigh then said, “Master, since you’re not going to ask me anything, may I go back first to get some rest?”
“Sure, sure.” Lord Daoist Jinghe hurriedly nodded. “Rest well. If anything happens, I’ll have them call for you.”
“Oh, right, which senior martial brother is Zhenji with now? I’ll go and bring him back first.”
“Well…” Lord Daoist Jinghe stared at her while saying cautiously, “Zhenji’s already forty years old now; he’s not a child anymore—you still want to bring him back? Leave the man some dignity!”
“No matter how old he is, he’s still my nephew,” said Mo Tiange. Besides, based on their ages, she could really be Zhenji’s mother. As that thought crossed her mind, she shot him a skeptical glance. “Master, be honest, what did you do to Zhenji?”
“I really didn’t do anything!” Lord Daoist Jinghe said with righteous indignation and put on an earnest expression. “I’ll give someone to call him back in a moment, alright? I guarantee you’ll be able to see him in a while.”
Mo Tiange stared at her master for a while but she eventually nodded. “Alright. I hope Master isn’t lying to me.”
“Hehe, how could I? Quickly go and get some rest! You look exhausted.”
He spoke with such a dubious concerned tone, but Mo Tiange was finally convinced. “Alright.”
She turned around and started to walk away. After several steps, however, she turned around again. “By the way…”
Lord Daoist Jinghe was startled. “Huh?”
“Master, why are you so startled like that?”
“I’m not. When was I startled?” Lord Daoist Jinghe stroked his nose. His gaze was shifting around. “I told you I’d call Zhenji back; do you still have any problems?”
“… I just wanted to ask—in the end, what major event was there that the school sent out the Group Summoning Talismans?”
Lord Daoist Jinghe immediately calmed down upon hearing this question. “About that… it’s indeed a major event, but it’s not a bad thing. The matter’s quite complicated, so I’ll talk to you about it later—go and get some rest first.” This time, he looked very uncompromising.
Mo Tiange thought that although her master was unruly, he never wasted any time when dealing with serious matters. That being the case, she better follow his orders.
“Okay then. Master, I believe you this time; you can’t disappoint me.”
“I know!” Lord Daoist Jinghe impatiently drove her away. “You just got back, but you’re already bothering people like this—quickly go back and rest!”
That look of his… She really didn’t believe he was hiding nothing! Nevertheless, she just sighed inwardly then started to make her way towards her Mingxin Residence.
Once she left, Lord Daoist Jinghe hastily called out: “Mingxia!”
“I’m here, Grandmaster!” Mingxia hurriedly ran over.
“Quickly go to that stinky brat and bring Zhenji back!”
Mo Tiange naturally had no idea what Lord Daoist Jinghe said after she left. She walked into her small cave only to find that nothing had changed.
The pond in front of the house, the medicinal field at the back of the house, a row of five small rooms… Inside the small sitting room, there were still a table, several old chairs, and a tea set. Above the table, there were two books that seemed to have been randomly thrown there—those were the books she regularly read in the past. Inside the concocting room, there was still that coarse pill furnace she bought for fifteen spirit stones the very first time she began to learn how to concoct pills. As for the refining room, she never used it before—it was still completely empty without even a single thing inside. In the bedroom, Zhenji’s bed was still there but there were no other commonly used items. Last but not least was her cultivating room. It still looked the same as before, but it had been neatly tidied up.
Apparently, people often came and cleaned up the place when she wasn’t there. She naturally didn’t think the maids would’ve done that out of kindness—her master must’ve ordered them or Zhenji must’ve cleaned the house on his own, right?
Thinking about it made a slight smile blossom on her face. She then picked up an animal skin book from the bookshelf and began flipping through its pages randomly. In the end, there were still people who were concerned about her there.
“Auntie, Auntie!” A somewhat unfamiliar voice rang out from outside.
Mo Tiange turned around and saw a young man running over from the doorway of the concocting room. He looked about twenty years old; his facial features were delicate and pleasing to the eyes. Once he smiled, two small dimples instantly emerged on his cheeks.
“Auntie!” He seemed extremely happy to see her. Mo Tiange originally thought he would jump to her like he used to, but in the end, he just ran to her side. “You’re finally back!”
The Zhenji in front of her was already a Foundation Building cultivator. He still looked young, and his temperament also remained warm and kind. However, the vibe he gave off was much more mature than before.
She looked at him for a long time but eventually, she only said one sentence: “Zhenji, you’ve grown up.”
Ye Zhenji scratched his head, smiling with embarrassment. “Auntie, you were gone for such a long time—I naturally grew up. Oh, right! Why didn’t you send any message back for so many years? Did you run into danger? Was there a problem? I was worried to death, but grandmaster said I was worried for no reason…”
Mo Tiange sat down on a praying mat. When she saw him spontaneously sitting across her and launching a torrent of questions about what happened after she left, she felt her heart was filled with warmth—it was as if she was under the warmth of the winter sun.
“Auntie, why aren’t you saying anything?” Ye Zhenji finished shooting off his barrage of questions and finally realized she was silent.
Mo Tiange, who was smiling all along, finally answered, “You seem so happy when you talk, so Aunt just lets you talk to your heart’s content first.”
“Auntie!” Ye Zhenji showed a long face. “Why are you just the same as master?!”
“Master?” Mo Tiange raised her eyebrows slightly.
Nevertheless, Ye Zhenji ignored her question and once again questioned her impatiently: “Auntie, you still haven’t told me how you fared these past twenty two years!”
“I…” She smiled then took a moment to ponder her answer. “I indeed ran into some problems, but I also obtained some fated chances and eventually got through safe and sound. I didn’t get in touch with you guys because I was trapped somewhere for a very long time. But it’s all in the past now; there’s no danger anymore.” After telling her story casually, she asked back, “What’s going on with that master you spoke of? All these years, who’s been teaching you?”
“It’s my master!” Ye Zhenji seemed to be a bit confused by her question. “Auntie, after you left, it took several years before I finally succeeded in building my foundation. Once I built my foundation, grandmaster felt impatient with me and sent me to my master’s place.” At this point, he pursed his lips; obviously, he was very dissatisfied with his grandmaster’s actions. A moment later, however, he smiled again and said, “Fortunately, although master seems very fierce, he’s actually very kind. All these years, even though he was very busy, he always looked after me…”
Mo Tiange suddenly had a bad hunch in her heart. “Who’s the master you’re talking about?”
“Who else? Don’t I only have one master?” Ye Zhenji said, looking completely bewildered.
Mo Tiange sank into silence. A wrinkle gradually emerged on her brows.
“Auntie?” Ye Zhenji cautiously called.
“Nevermind.” She slowly showed a smile. Some matters had nothing to do with Zhenji—she was just being schemed against by that embarrassing old man. This was really strange; she’d avoided that senior martial brother in everything as she didn’t want to have anything to do with him in the slightest—why did that cheap master of hers want to include her in his scheme instead? He’d done it now; the nephew she brought up as a disciple suddenly became someone else’s disciple just like that. Zhenji now called him “Master, master,” so affectionately, completely different from how he used to be…
The moment she realized what she was thinking, Mo Tiange was stunned but she soon smiled mockingly at herself. What kind of mentality was she having now? Was she jealous? Because she hadn’t been back for more than twenty years, Zhenji might think another person was as important as her, so she felt unhappy? Or was it because—the person was him?
She suddenly realized her thoughts were somewhat in the wrong. It was as if some of the emotions, which she’d controlled very well, came loose in spite of herself the moment she came back. She couldn’t help but raise her eyes and look around. Clearly, there had long been no trace of him here…
“Zhenji,” she asked slowly, “How have you been doing these years? How has your master been treating you?”
Seeing as she didn’t seem unhappy, Ye Zhenji’s nerves finally loosened. He thought for a moment before answering: “When Auntie sent me to Ye Clan that year, I stayed with them for half a year before I came back. Since I had Xiaohuo with me, nothing occurred on my journey back. After I came back, I passed the test smoothly and obtained a Foundation-Building Pill. Once I got grandmaster’s approval, I entered Closed Door Meditation to build my foundation, but it ended in failure.”
Ye Zhenji spread his hands out, but Mo Tiange asked with confusion, “Didn’t I give you some things and tell you to use them when you built your foundation?”
“Auntie, are you talking about that bottle of medicinal pills?” Ye Zhenji scratched his head, saying with embarrassment, “I… I was too excited the first time, so I forgot about it.”
“…” Seeing how he looked made Mo Tiange helplessly shake her head. “You… you could’ve just forgotten anything, but you actually chose to forget such an important matter.”
Ye Zhenji said, “I never tried building my foundation before, so I was too excited then…” At that point, a smile also blossomed on his face. “After I failed, I finally realized Auntie had secretly left some Foundation-Building Pills for me. However, everyone knew I failed, so it wouldn’t be good for me to enter Closed Door Meditation again. Besides, entering Closed Door Meditation again right after failing to build my foundation was indeed not good, so I waited three years… This time, I finally succeeded.”
“En, you’re not completely stupid after all.”
Mo Tiange couldn’t help but laugh when she saw his blushing, awkward expression. “Alright, alright—please continue on.”
Ye Zhenji glanced at her in embarrassment then continued his story: “After I built my foundation, I ran into a lot of problems in my cultivation, so I went to ask grandmaster about them. In the beginning, grandmaster still guided me in detail but later, grandmaster became impatient because I asked too many questions. He then said my master was already in the late stage of the Core Formation realm but he had no disciples taking care of him; he asked me how I could be so idle while I was my master’s disciple. After that, he just tossed me away to my master.”
“… Then, how has your master been treating you?”
“Master’s very good.” When he said “master,” Ye Zhenji’s expression was no longer disdainful like it was twenty years ago. Rather, it was filled with veneration. “Master doesn’t really like to talk and he also doesn’t really like to come into contact with other people. Those who don’t know him would think he was cold and arrogant, but in reality, it’s not like that at all. When I first went to him, I didn’t understand anything, so I was really scared of him. Later, however, I felt master was really kind. He was very busy, but he was always patient when he taught me about cultivation—he never once got impatient with me. Grandmaster told me to attend to master, but master didn’t even let me serve him tea or water…”
Ye Zhenji spoke without ceasing for a long time, but Mo Tiange didn’t say anything until the end.
“Auntie? Are you unhappy?”
A long time later, Mo Tiange finally heaved a sigh. “No; this situation for you… is very good.”
She could only let that old codger have his way now. It was very likely that when he first suggested this matter, he harbored no good intentions, right? Never mind then; she ought to be happy that someone was treating Zhenji well. As for that old codger… Hmph! he shouldn’t think he’d really won!