Lady Cultivator - Chapter 242 - Ruan Mingzhu[Updated at: 2021-01-11 13:41:22]
Chapter 242: Ruan Mingzhu
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Phoenix Flowers spread as far as the eye could see, dyeing the trail between the rock walls a deep red color.
No one would’ve imagined that inside a mountain, there would actually be such a secret track surrounded by different shades of red, layer upon layer, from light red to pink to deep red.
Mo Tiange carefully looked around. This was a kind of deciduous Phoenix Tree. Based on how lush it was, it’d presumably grown and thrived ever since the Middle Ages era.
The twigs from deciduous Phoenix Trees could be used for refining tools, while its flowers and fruits could be used for pill-concocting, so this tree was indeed a treasure. She opened her medicine purse then started to slowly pick up the matured fruits that had fallen to the ground. They were the most precious parts of the deciduous Phoenix Tree. Immediately afterward, she began picking the flowers. She also took a few twigs that wouldn’t affect the main trunks and put them inside her Qiankun Bag.
Once everything was finished, Mo Tiange intended to go back following the original path. However, she found that she couldn’t clearly remember the path she took to come here.
There were many byways among these rock walls. For cultivators, these shouldn’t be very hard to differentiate. Nevertheless, when Mo Tiange stood before the fork in the path, she found she had really forgotten where she came from.
She never felt at a loss like this before. In the beginning, she even suspected that she, in fact, hadn’t at all passed the second test, and that was why she felt she couldn’t remember the road at all. But everything in front of her now was too real. The smell of the earth, the brilliance of the Phoenix Trees—no matter what she saw, heard, or touched, everything was too real to be fake.
Could it be that this was already the third test? She sank into contemplation. Five Confusions Plaguing Spirit… Everything before her was all an illusion, but it was identical to the real thing.
The moment this thought entered her mind, Mo Tiange promptly made a decision. She chose a spot under the Phoenix Tree then sat down.
When one was in a situation they didn’t understand, the best thing one could do was to cope with it by being consistent. Besides, since Five Confusions Plaguing Spirit ought to be an illusion, if she didn’t see anything, she shouldn’t be affected.
She first pasted a Heart-Calming Talisman on her body and swallowed a Soul-Pacifying Pill, then after a moment of contemplation, she took off the Spirit-Concealing Pendant hanging on her neck and held it in her hand. Once she finished, Mo Tiange, who was sitting cross-legged, finally closed her eyes. She was ready to face the third test.
Although the Spirit-Concealing Pendant could also have an effect if it hung on her neck, it’d be slightly more effective if she held it in her hand because it’d be directly pasted to her meridians.
… Once again, the kind of dream-like feeling appeared. Her mind suddenly became blurry; it was as if her rationality was leaving her, and she felt like she was going to fall asleep soon.
“Grandmaster!” In her dazed state, Mo Tiange suddenly heard a voice.
She opened her eyes and saw someone through the gaps between the branches and the leaves of the Phoenix Tree—it was Ruan Mingzhu!
How could she be here? Besides, why did she call out “grandmaster”?
She still had those thoughts in her mind, but in the next second, she felt there was nothing strange about Ruan Mingzhu being there. Why did she feel strange then?
Ruan Mingzhu didn’t see her. She walked while staring at the spot next to her, and there was a delicate, naive smile on her face—it was as if she was walking with someone.
However, the spot next to her was obviously empty.
“Grandmaster!” As she walked, Ruan Mingzhu said, “Senior martial brother’s ignoring me, but you didn’t tell him off!”
A moment later, as if she heard the person next to her saying something, she pursed her lips and said grudgingly, “Why do I have to be like senior martial brother? We’re only in our twenties but we already built our foundation—do we have to be afraid of not having enough time to form our Gold Cores? I think it’s senior martial brother who’s strange; he’s still so young, but he already acts like an old man!”
She took a breather then she covered her mouth and laughed, looking extremely cheerful. “Anyway, I want to be happy and free. What’s the point of cultivating? It’s definitely not being shut alone inside our Immortal Caves for Closed Door Meditation!”
At that moment, Ruan Mingzhu arrived in front of the Phoenix Tree.
She looked up to look at the red Phoenix Tree, but she seemed to have not seen Mo Tiange, who was sitting not too far from her.
“Wow! It’s really beautiful! Next time, we definitely have to bring senior martial brother along so he can see this too!”
After she said that, her face suddenly had a dazed expression. A moment later, however, a smile slowly emerged on her face again. “Senior Martial Brother, I’ll take you to see something good. Aiya! Let’s go, let’s go!”
She seemed to be pulling someone along as she walked under the Phoenix Tree.
“Take a look; isn’t it beautiful?”
Some time passed before she finally let out a “hmph!” and said in annoyance, “Senior Martial Brother, you’re accompanying me to have fun. Can’t you concentrate a bit?”
“Aiya!” The way Ruan Mingzhu laughed now really made her look like a young girl; she had no hidden agenda; there was only pure happiness. “Senior Martial Brother, you’ll bore yourself to death if you continue on like this! Cultivating and cultivating every day… I really don’t think you like to live like this; it’s really boring!”
“Haha!” She reached out to pull on that nonexistent person. “Senior Martial Brother, you have to smile more! You look so handsome when you smile!”
Mo Tiange opened her eyes again and looked at Ruan Mingzhu, who wasn’t far from her now. For an instant, the scene in front of her became fuzzy. Someone quietly appeared next to Ruan Mingzhu.
That person reached out to stroke Ruan Mingzhu’s head, saying, “Stop talking nonsense. You’ve played enough; let’s go back.”
Ruan Mingzhu looked away. “No! I don’t want to go back! Senior Martial Brother, it’s not easy for us to be able to go out on a trip like this…”
The Spirit-Concealing Pendant in Mo Tiange’s palm emitted a coolness, causing her to quiver and her mind to regain a bit of its clarity. Nevertheless, she was again confounded by the scene before her eyes.
Was this real or fake in the end? Was this Ruan Mingzhu’s hallucination or her hallucination?
As soon as this thought flashed in her mind, the person she saw gradually faded. Mo Tiange inwardly heaved a sigh of relief. Apparently, she was affected by Ruan Mingzhu; because Ruan Mingzhu was hallucinating, Mo Tiange also thought about someone that should be there.
After another while, Ruan Mingzhu’s expression once again changed. The originally delicate, cute young girl had now become aggressive and full of fury.
“Do you really think I don’t know what you’re thinking in your heart?” she shouted furiously while pointing at the Phoenix Tree in front of her, “I’m telling you now; stop your fantasy! Take a look at yourself! You want to fight me over my senior martial brother? Dream on!”
“You still dare to talk back to me? You’re right, but so what if I’m just grandmaster’s grand-disciple? I can call him senior martial brother; can you do the same? Wei Jiasi, take a clear look at your status!”
This… Mo Tiange wanted to listen a bit more, but her mind already started to become fuzzy. Sometimes Ruan Mingzhu’s voice sounded like it came from afar, but sometimes it sounded like it came from somewhere closer.
“Alright, I’ll give you a lesson today; what can you do about it?” With a furious expression, Ruan Mingzhu, who regarded the Phoenix Tree as Wei Jiasi, raised her hand then thrust her sword forward.
Upon seeing the Phoenix Tree losing a branch, Mo Tiange wanted to stand up, but she discovered her consciousness was hazy. What was going on?
Fortunately, Ruan Mingzhu stopped her movements. The expression on her face became mournful. “Grandmaster, Grandmaster, what are you saying?”
“No! Don’t drive me away!” she shouted, “Grandmaster, I didn’t do it on purpose; I really didn’t do it on purpose. Don’t drive me away, okay?” she begged while staring at a nonexistent person.
“Senior Martial Brother, help me. Help me talk to grandmaster! I didn’t do it on purpose; I just wanted to give her a lesson—I didn’t expect my attacks to be that heavy…”
“What’s the difference between telling me to go to a branch courtyard and driving me away? Grandmaster, please forgive me this one time for my father’s sake, okay? I promise I won’t do it again; this time it’s for real!”
She crouched down and started to weep, causing her face to be covered with tears.
After some time, she finally wiped the tears off her face. “You guys aren’t letting me go back, so fine, I won’t go back! You’ll come and take me back sooner or later!”
But she was disappointed. From her crossed look in the beginning, her expression gradually became dull, and she just sat there in a daze.
After some time, she finally smiled happily. “I can go back? I can really go back?” She then laughed contentedly. “I knew it! Grandmaster and senior martial brother love me the most, so they won’t let me stay here by myself!”
“Grandmaster!” she called out as she sprang from the ground. In the next second, however, the smile on her face froze. “Grandmaster, you still want to send me away?”
She started shouting: “Why? It’s been sixty years; is that still not enough? Was leaving me at that place still not enough punishment? I don’t want to go back there!”
“Senior Martial Brother!” She seemed to see something then she impatiently tried to grab onto something. “Senior Martial Brother, I’m back, I…”
The smile on her face only lasted for a brief moment before it turned into incredulity. “Senior Martial Brother, what did you say? Even you too…”
She dropped and sat on the ground, mumbling to herself, “You guys… Do you really not like me anymore? Why? Why are you still unwilling to forgive me after such a long time? Why do you all say I was wrong? Even if I did anything wrong before, you always forgave me. But this time, do you really intend on never forgiving me?”
Tears fell from her haggard face slowly and fell on to her hands. She didn’t even have the strength to cry aloud now. Her eyes just filled with despair.
“I… What am I living for? No one likes me; even grandmaster and senior martial brother also dislike me…” She slowly raised her gaze, fixating it on a certain spot as if she saw something.
Time passed by. Her eyes gradually filled with hate and sorrow. “So you guys already got someone to replace me? What Martial Uncle Mo? Grandmaster, Senior Martial Brother, look at me—I’m Mingzhu. I’m your only beloved Mingzhu! Grandmaster…”
“No, you don’t like Mingzhu anymore? I-I’m not willing! Obviously mine… grandmaster is mine; senior martial brother is also mine!” A fierce expression emerged on Ruan Mingzhu’s face as she slowly turned her head. She was only a short distance away from Mo Tiange, who was still sitting under the Phoenix Tree.
“Wei Jiasi, are you coming to laugh at me? Hmph!” From Ruan Mingzhu’s expression, she obviously regarded Mo Tiange as Wei Jiasi.
Mo Tiange’s eyes were open. She felt something was amiss, but she couldn’t tell what it was.
Ruan Mingzhu grasped her sword and stood up. She said, “So what if I give you another lesson? It’s just like you said anyway—I have nothing!”
Mo Tiange watched on helplessly as Ruan Mingzhu raised her hand, watched on helplessly as Ruan Mingzhu thrust the sword in her hand forward.
In that instant, Mo Tiange finally moved. She lifted her hand, blocking the power of the sword with a beam of spiritual aura. Nevertheless, her move caused the thing she was holding in her hand to fall to the ground.
Ruan Mingzhu crouched down to pick the thing up.
It was a jade pendant with a gentle color. It had cloud patterns on it and was tied on to a red string. On the middle of the other side of the jade, there was a tiny engraving that said “Qin.”
Ruan Mingzhu’s eyes widened. At first, she looked surprised, but her expression soon turned doubtful. In the end, her expression turned gloomy and was suffused with anger—even her fingers trembled out of anger. “Senior Martial Brother… Senior Martial Brother, you actually gave this jade pendant to others… You…”
Her gaze gradually cooled down, and she turned her head to look at Mo Tiange. She then spoke, although it was unclear whether she was speaking to Mo Tiange or talking to herself: “Grandmaster and Senior Martial Brother dislike me, and people in the school look down on me… Why do I have to keep being Ruan Mingzhu? No, I don’t want to be Ruan Mingzhu.” There was a kind of darkness in her gaze, and the gaze that was fixated on Mo Tiange’s face. “Being you is really good—grandmaster’s disciple can openly call him senior martial brother… A good aptitude—presumably, in several dozen years, I can advance to the Core Formation realm. At that time…” A dreamy smile bloom on her face. “In that case, I’ll just be you…”