Chapter 272: Don’t be so Kind
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Actually, one type of profit was still missing from Mo Tiange’s calculations.
Once they’d settled down, Qin Xi sent her a Summoning Talisman, inviting her to go to the market square at the foot of the mountain.
The two of them lived in the same courtyard and their rooms were next to each other but they still had to use Summoning Talismans to pass messages—this indeed rendered Mo Tiange speechless. Not to mention just going to each other’s rooms to talk, but they could’ve just used voice transmissions directly.
When they arrived at the market square and saw the bustling crowds and cultivators milling about the shops, Mo Tiange finally remembered—when it came to profits, this should be the biggest source of profits for Tiandao Sect. With so many cultivators, the shops in Tiandao Sect would definitely have a lot of business now. Even small shops would also benefit quite a bit.
The two of them were Core Formation cultivators. Although high level cultivators had been moving around Tiandao Sect lately, walking on the street like they did still attracted everyone’s attention. These low level cultivators only watched them from afar; their gazes were filled with envy and jealousy.
“Senior Martial Brother Shoujing, where are we going?” Although she’d slowly gotten accustomed to this attention, Mo Tiange wasn’t initially a genius who drew everyone’s attention, after all. Qin Xi could remain calm and content in this kind of situation, but Mo Tiange felt extremely uncomfortable.
Qin Xi said, “A trade.”
Mo Tiange was startled. “What does Senior Martial Brother want to buy?”
But Qin Xi didn’t answer. He clasped his hands behind his back and just focused on walking.
Mo Tiange was already accustomed to his temper—he wouldn’t answer if he didn’t want to, so she no longer said anything and just followed after him in silence.
A while later, the two of them walked into a shop. It was such a coincidence. When Mo Tiange raised her gaze to examine the shop, she found that it happened to be the shop where she bought a pill furnace and materials when she first came to Tiandao Sect, the Hall of Hundred Grasses. It had now been more than sixty years since then; the Aura Refining old man who sold the pill furnace to her had most likely passed away long ago.
When she thought of that time, it was indeed a case of “things have remained the same, but people have changed.” At that time, her second uncle was still alive, and she was still a mere, small Aura Refining cultivator, who wouldn’t have mattered to anyone on Mount Yuheng. Now, she was already a Core Formation cultivator who everyone respected, but her second uncle would never come back.
A shop clerk immediately came over to welcome them right after they entered the Hall of Hundred Grasses. He greeted them with the utmost respect: “Welcome, Seniors. Is there anything Junior can help with?”
Instead of answering, Qin Xi only said, “I’m looking for Hu Zhonghai.”
The clerk looked astounded to hear what Qin Xi said, but he immediately answered, “Seniors, please come inside and wait for a moment. Junior will report this to him now—may Junior know Seniors’ names?”
“My surname is Qin.”
The clerk led them to a side room then went to report the matter.
Mo Tiange’s mind was filled with questions. The old man she met more than sixty years ago was someone from Hu Clan. Presumably, this Hall of Hundred Grasses was managed by Hu Clan. If that was indeed the case, that Hu Zhonghai must undoubtedly be a member of Hu Clan. Qin Xi explicitly said he was looking for Hu Zhonghai… Could it be that Hu Zhonghai was his old friend? But this wasn’t particularly remarkable. Master once said that aside from being in Closed Door Meditation and cultivating painstakingly, this senior martial brother of hers also spent quite a lot of his time traveling on the outside, so he’d surely gotten acquainted with many people with all kinds of strange identities.
Before long, the door of the side room was pushed open. A middle-aged man in gorgeous clothing walked in. The moment he spotted Qin Xi, he walked over and greeted Qin Xi passionately, speaking loudly with a laugh and a smile, “Brother Qin, it really is you! It’s been years since we last met; is everything alright?”
What astonished her was that this person was only in the Foundation Building realm.
Upon seeing this person, Qin Xi stood up and saluted him back. Compared to his friendly attitude, Qin Xi’s attitude was much calmer, but he still didn’t appear to lack in manners. “Thank you for the concern, Brother Hu. I trust you’ve been well since we last met?”
The two of them obviously had different cultivation levels, but they interacted as peers.
After the exchange of pleasantries, the person’s directed his gaze towards Mo Tiange. “This is…?”
Qin Xi said, “This is my junior martial sister. Her Daoist name’s Qingwei.”
“Oh, so it’s Master Daoist Qingwei!” The person seemed to have a sudden realization. He greeted her extremely politely, “My name’s Hu Zhonghai; greetings to Master Daoist Qingwei.”
Hu Zhonghai was only a Foundation Building cultivator. In normal situations, Core Formation cultivators wouldn’t need to return his greetings. However, Qin Xi was her senior martial brother after all, and he treated Hu Zhonghai as someone of the same generation, so Mo Tiange couldn’t ignore him either—she stood up and saluted him back. “Greetings to Fellow Daoist Hu.”
“I’m not worthy of receiving Master Daoist Qingwei’s greetings; I’m not worthy,” Hu Zhonghai said repeatedly. “Master Daoist Qingwei, please take a seat, please take a seat.”
Now that the greetings were done with, Hu Zhonghai enthusiastically told others to serve them tea again then invited them to visit Hu Clan as guests. Qin Xi rejected his invitation, and Hu Zhonghai also didn’t insist. The two of them then began to chat.
The gap between their cultivation levels was too large, after all, so although Hu Zhonghai spoke to Qin Xi as his equal, he was very polite with his words. The subject they talked about was also very ordinary; they talked about the things they had encountered, information about the weakening of the restrictions on Demonic Mountain, as well as some cultivation-related problems.
Mo Tiange just listened silently. From what they’d said so far, she’d roughly discovered how they were acquainted.
When Qin Xi first met Hu Zhonghai, he was still just a Foundation Building cultivator, and they were once friends that faced challenges together, so they still treated each other as peers even now. Qin Xi was about two hundred years old now. For Core Formation cultivators, he was indeed very young. For Foundation Building cultivators, however, he was considered to be middle aged, and with a few dozen additional years, and he would be considered old. In fact, Hu Zhonghai was similar to him in age, but due to the disparity in their cultivation level, he looked much older than Qin Xi.
The two people had already chatted for a while when Hu Zhonghai finally asked, “Brother Qin, when you came to Tiandao Sect, you could’ve just told someone to pass me your message, but you personally dropped in to visit—could it be that there’s something important you wanted to talk about?”
Apparently, although the two of them had a good relationship, it hadn’t reached the point where they could be considered close friends. Qin Xi immediately came to visit him right after he arrived and he also brought someone else along, so he obviously had another objective.
With a smile, Qin Xi said frankly, “Brother Hu’s right. The reason I visited today was indeed because I have a matter I need Brother Hu’s help with.”
“Oh?” Hu Zhonghai’s expression looked sincere. He smiled and said, “We’ve been friends for years. Brother Qin doesn’t need to hesitate to ask. As long as it’s something I can help with, I definitely won’t decline.”
Mo Tiange couldn’t tell whether he was just being polite or not. Hu Zhonghai was clearly different from cultivators like them; his words were forthright but smooth and showed his experience—he must be someone skilled in the ways of the world.
Qin Xi only showed a slight smile and said, “It’s nothing serious. I was just hoping Brother Hu could ask around for news about two kinds of spiritual objects.”
A thought emerged in Mo Tiange’s mind when she heard this. She couldn’t help but direct her gaze at Qin Xi.
Astonishment flitted across Hu Zhonghai’s face. “Oh? Could it be that Brother Qin’s looking for some precious treasures? Despite the connections Xuanqing School has, you actually can’t find them?”
Qin Xi smiled. “Since we couldn’t find them, they’re naturally extremely hard to find.”
Hu Zhonghai laughed out loud then said, “You’re right. Brother Qin, you can tell me what you’re looking for first. Although my cultivation level isn’t high, looking for people and objects could be considered my strong points. Maybe I’ve heard about them before.”
Qin Xi was blunt and said, “I’m looking for two things. One is a Chalcedony which has to be at least a thousand years old, and the other one is Qiyun Stone. Has Brother Hu heard about these lately?”
Mo Tiange dropped her head. Sure enough, it was these two things.
“Well…” Hu Zhonghai gave the matter a moment of thought then said, “Sure enough, the things Brother Qin’s looking for are rare. A thousand-year-old Chalcedony isn’t bad; we sometimes hear about those. Qiyun Stone, however… If it wasn’t because I manage the shop year round on the sect’s behalf, I’m afraid I wouldn’t even have known what that was. However, the shop I operate is the Hall of Hundred Grasses, while Qiyun Stones are used in tool-refining—I still have to ask around about it.”
Qin Xi said, “I won’t be able to thank you enough if you can inform me of their whereabouts, Brother Hu.”
Hu Zhonghai smiled. “Never mind; it’s nothing but a very simple task. Brother Qin, I can’t guarantee you any news about Qiyun Stone, but regarding a thousand-year-old Chalcedony, I seem to have heard news about this a few days ago. If it’s alright, would you mind waiting for me to ask around about it first?”
“That’d be best. Thank you for the trouble, Brother Hu.”
The two people continued to chat for another while. When Qin Xi finally bid him goodbye, Hu Zhonghai personally saw them off at the shop door. He also asked them about their lodgings and said that he’d notify them as soon as he got the news, which would be in three days at most.
After leaving Hu Zhonghai, the two people went back, walking in silence along the way.
Qin Xi didn’t speak, and Mo Tiange also kept her head lowered—her mind was wandering all over the place.
The monastery of a big cultivation group was naturally located high above. From the foot of the mountain to the top, there must be more than a thousand steps on the jade stairs which extended high into the clouds. Under normal circumstances, only Aura Refining disciples who couldn’t fly climbed these stairs. Those who were in the Foundation Building realm or higher all flew. It was unclear what Qin Xi was thinking. Instead of using a flying magic weapon, he just walked up like this, step by step and slowly. As it happened, Mo Tiange also had a lot on her mind. She just focused on keeping her head lowered and following him, so she also didn’t think about this point.
As she walked and walked, the person in front of her suddenly came to a stop, causing Mo Tiange to run into him headfirst. Her nose instantly reddened from the crash. If she didn’t have her protective spiritual aura, she most likely would’ve gotten a nosebleed.
Qin Xi turned around, staring at her with a frown. “What are you thinking about? How could you bump into others walking like this?”
Mo Tiange looked embarrassed. Even a small Aura Refining cultivator, who just entered the path towards immortality, wouldn’t be that stupid to run headlong into someone’s back, let alone a Core Formation cultivator like her. She was clearly spacing out just now; she still didn’t react even after bumping into him.
Fortunately, Qin Xi wasn’t asking her seriously. He continued to walk after he spoke.
Mo Tiange rubbed her nose and continued to follow after him.
As she stared at the back of the person in front of her, she suddenly felt like their current situation was similar to when they were still in Yunwu Sect. Back then, she didn’t spend that much time with Senior Martial Brother Qin, but every time, they were more or less like this. He’d take the initiative to walk in front to open a path, while she’d just focus on following him.
In a flash, more than sixty—nearly seventy—years had passed. The two of them also weren’t the small cultivators of that year—their identities had completely changed, but the way they interacted was still the same. At that time, each of them joined Yunwu Sect with their own secrets. They called each other senior martial brother and junior martial brother, but the distance between them was significant. Now, they’d become martial siblings for real, but they still maintained a distance between them. Although they trusted each other, neither of them gave their hearts to the other.
In fact, whether it was Senior Martial Brother Qin or Senior Martial Brother Shoujing, both treated her extremely well. Senior Martial Brother Qin was cold, but he always considered the fact that they were from the same sect. Senior Martial Brother Shoujing… seemed indifferent, but after careful consideration, maybe everything had gone smoothly for her all along because he was in front, paving the way. Just like now, she only mentioned the matter in passing, but he continued to remember it. After arriving at Tiandao Sect, the first thing he wanted to do was ask around for news on her behalf.
It was impossible to not feel grateful inside. However, she’d never been an extroverted person. Even if she felt grateful, she’d only keep it inside her heart.
“Senior Martial Brother Shoujing.” All of a sudden, Mo Tiange came to a halt.
Qin Xi seemed to respond absent-mindedly as he walked. Several steps later, sensing that she wasn’t following him, he finally stopped and turned around. He saw her standing about five or six steps away from him. Her head was downcast, so he couldn’t see her expression.
Quite a while later, she finally spoke: “Thank you.”
It was such an abrupt sentence, but he understood what she meant.
He was silent for a moment, but he eventually answered. His expression was faint. “It’s no big deal. You don’t need to bring it up again.”
Her head remained downcast, but she said nothing.
He also didn’t say anything.
After a long time, Mo Tiange said, “But… I hope Senior Martial Brother won’t be so kind to me again.”
Qin Xi suddenly turned around and walked forward, but after going up two steps, he stopped again and coldly said, “What are you worried about?”
Mo Tiange didn’t answer.
He tilted his head and cast her a glance, sneering: “You still think I’m coveting something?”
Without waiting for her to answer, he hurled out his flying could with a fling of his long sleeve. In an instant, he soared from the jade stairs, flying to the top of Mount Yuheng without waiting for her.
Mo Tiange, who was left behind, gazed at his back and swallowed the words “I don’t” that she wanted to say.
She just wanted to say that he shouldn’t be so kind to her to the point that she’d read too much into it. It really wasn’t what he thought…