“Wow! Young Master, is this where you’re staying?”
Zhao Xiaobao followed Chengfeng to the place he was staying. Xiaobao was astonished, to say the least, seeing that the Spiritual Mountain Sect was so highly regarded. Who would’ve thought that his Young Master would be staying in such a dump?
This was even comparable to a beggar’s grass hut!
Chengfeng ignored his shock as he smiled, “Yep. Since you’re here now, it’ll be much easier to split the chores in the future. You’ll be in charge of growing the crops, Yuehan will be in charge of tidying the place.”
“Growing the crops??” asked Xiaobao, his eyes wide with shock. “Cultivators need to grow their own crops? Uh… Are you a cultivator or a farmer?”
Su Yuehan was delighted. She patted Xiaobao on his back and said, “I bet you didn’t know this, did you? Not only do cultivators have to learn about training their Qi and skills, they even need to learn how to train their internal alchemy (neidan), make medicine, crafting fulu seals, drawing arrays, but they also have to learn how to craft their own magical weapons! This is a list of all the resources Young Master needs, you’ll be in charge of retrieving them!”
Xiaobao was shocked, “What about you?”
Yuehan giggled, “Me? I’m in charge of the Young Master’s meal and day to day necessities! Or, would you rather fight with a girl for her chores?”
Xiaobao was flustered. He scratched the back of his head and thought about how he should go about with his new assignments. Chengfeng watched them as he slightly shook his head, ‘Xiaobao’s easily swayed demeanour would never go away I guess. Even a new handmaiden like Su Yuehan could force him to do things he doesn’t want to do… He’s such a softie!’ he thought to himself.
Xiaobao’s arrival led to Chengfeng choosing one of the rooms for him to stay in. After the two of them spent half a day cleaning the room, Xiaobao finally had a place to rest his head in. But just like Chengfeng, his floor was made of soil and grass, and his ceiling was the stars and skies.
However, the good thing was that Xiaobao was just like Chengfeng, both of them quickly joined the ways of the streets since they were young, doing odd jobs and whatnot. Although this was different from the past, there was no hardship that they couldn’t endure together.
Not to mention, now that they had an extra person giving them a helping hand, their efficiency had definitely gone up as well. Just when it was nightfall, not only had the three of them successfully cleaned all of the rooms, Chengfeng also noticed that this stout house could be parted into four rooms. One for Xiaobao, one for Yuehan, one for him and the last one would be left empty temporarily.
Chengfeng then left the house at an estimated 20-metre distance and proceeded to dig a hole by a nearby stream. He then used some wooden planks that had been thrown out while they cleaned the house and built a toilet for them to use so that they wouldn’t have to walk two hundred meters into the woods to do their business. Because first of all, that would be inconvenient and second of all, it would be dangerous.
Before the sky turned dark, Chengfeng used his bone spear and chopped down a few tree branches from a tree. He then used a string that he had made himself and tied it around their living compound to act as a simple yet effective trap. Although it was useless against cultivators, it was very efficient in keeping away wild beasts and venomous snakes. Not to mention, if someone were to ever trespass their land, it would send a signal and alert them all.
The three of them worked hard for an entire day, they ate and slept until the next day. At this moment, if Chengfeng didn’t count the days during the Spiritual Mountain Sect’s entrance test, he had already been here for three days. However, he was currently still sleeping on top of a hard wooden door, and his pillow was his own cloth bag. His heart felt heavy and he still couldn’t sleep well no matter how hard he tried.
Having arrived at the Spiritual Mountain Sect, it turned out to be worse than he imagined.
Since the day of his test, he had encountered all types of hardships. Although Chengfeng depended on his own strength to overcome them all, he realised that his situation had not turned any better at all. Actually, it had turned for the worst.
In Hidden Brocade Court, Chengfeng realised that the Zhan family’s influence was more substantial than he had imagined. This was why he left Hidden Brocade Court and humiliated Zhan Qisheng. Even though he was initially delighted at first, now that he had arrived in Hidden Sword Court, he realised that this was far worse and dangerous than Hidden Brocade Court or Hidden Modesty Court!
Although they were indeed mortal enemies with Hidden Brocade Court, they would never hand him over to them. But… the people from this place were firmly against outsiders. Not to mention all of them would continuously look at outsiders with full suspicion and hostility. As if every outsider was coming to get them and sabotage them.
Furthermore, they seemed to be doing their best to kick him out… yet they didn’t dare to do it directly.
Why was that so?
Chengfeng tossed and turned as he tried to make sense of the situation.
“Unless… Are they afraid that I would sabotage what they were trying to do? But what is it that they want to do?”
Chengfeng tried his best to think of an answer, but because he hadn’t fully understood the situation, he wouldn’t be able to find an answer even if he tried. He could only give up and see where the wind would take him.
At this moment, Chengfeng felt as if he had nowhere to go. He couldn’t possibly leave another Court in the Spiritual Mountain Sect because Zhang Junheng had already set his eyes on his home. If he were to catch wind of any news regarding Chengfeng failing to be a cultivator, he’s afraid that another tragedy would immediately occur in his household once more.
Although his mother would never be unprepared, as a son, how could he possibly allow himself to put his family in danger?
But he couldn’t leave Hidden Sword Court once more as well, because other than Hidden Sword Court, there would be nowhere else to go!
Since there’s only one path left, he should just stick with it!
Chengfeng let out a long sigh and slowly drifted back to sleep.
The next day, when the sun had yet to rise, Chengfeng heard the sound of the small tinkling of bells. The three of them jolted awake in shock and immediately ran outside, to find out that the sound came from the mountain peak of Eagle Mountain.
“What is that sound?” asked Chengfeng confusedly.
“It sounds like a bell…” replied Xiaobao, still groggy.
Chengfeng was annoyed, “Ugh, of course, I know that. What I meant was, why is the bell ringing?”
Yuehan yawned as she replied, “They’re probably gathering up the disciples… Young Master, what shall we eat today?”
“I’m not eating,” replied Chengfeng, a thought went through his mind as he continued, “Let's freshen up, I want to go see what’s happening! Xiaobao, follow me.”
“Huh? Me too…?” asked Xiaobao, still halfawake. Chengfeng proceeded to slap him on the head.
Chengfeng glared at him and threatened, “Who was it who told me they wanted to cultivate yesterday?”
Xiaobao was finally fully awake and alert. The three of them freshened up and walked towards the sound of the bell.
They followed the stone stairs up. When they lifted their heads, they could see disciples from Hidden Sword Court carrying their swords while they walked along the same stone stairs. Chengfeng and the gang looked at each other and proceeded to quietly follow them up.
After walking for about 2 kilometres, Chengfeng noticed that they had arrived in front of a giant mountain gate. What made this mountain different from Hidden Brocade Court’s extravagant aura was that Hidden Sword Court’s mountain gate had two massive stone swords on both sides of the gate. These two stone swords were around 20 metres tall and 3 metres wide, the blades of the swords were full of cuts and scars. It was as if someone had wielded them through a tragic battle, a solemn and murderous aura emitted from them.
Chengfeng and the other two looked at one another, all of them felt the intense aura and couldn’t help but shudder. The three of them unintentionally took lighter steps in unison and continued to climb up the stairs.
As they entered the mountain gates, what greeted their eyes was a large plaza made of bluestone. In the middle sat a large stone platform, and on top of the platform stood a large stone plaque that was engraved with a bunch of characters that Chengfeng could not see clearly due to the distance.
Surrounding the stone plaque gathered hundreds of disciples from Hidden Sword Court that had lined up neatly. At the front stood Hidden Sword Court’s Grand Senior Brother, whereas the middle stood the disciples as they loudly recited what seemed to be the commandments of Hidden Sword Court.
"I am a member of the Hidden Sword Court, its members are my siblings.
I drink the waters of the Spiritual Mountain in the mornings, and feast at the halls of Eagle Peak in the evenings.
There are twelve precepts, each of them emotionless and unbiased.
Remember these always:
Those who betray their teachers and ancestors, we kill!
Those who are unfaithful and unfilial, we kill!
Those who forget brotherhood in greed, we kill!
Those who betray the sect, we kill!
Those who rebel against authority, we kill!
Those who betray their brothers, we kill!
Those who bully the weak, we kill!
Those who hurt women, we kill!
Those who shrink from adversity, we kill!
Those who run in the face of battle, we kill!
Those who lust for power, we kill!
Those who lack compassion, we kill!
Brothers of Hidden Sword Court, unsheath your swords!"
As the disciples recited these commandments, all of them wielded their swords in unison. The light reflected by the sea of swords started to glisten, resembling a forest of swords.