Early next morning, Chengfeng was about to leave his home when he saw Su You, He Zhu and Tian Jun at his gates. They grinned when they saw him, “Hey Junior Chengfeng! You’re up! Let’s head to class together!”
Chengfeng laughed heartily. “Can’t believe my seniors had to trouble themselves to visit me, apologies for that.” As he spoke, he turned to look at his peculiar house: the large trees surrounding his house seemed to be growing on his house. Horizontal branches, twigs and dense leaves sealed his windows.
He smiled bitterly. “Guess you all can see what my house is like. Apologies for not being able to invite you into my home for the moment.”
Su You was embarrassed, laughing drily, “Junior Brother, you don’t have to insist on staying here. We have so many empty rooms with us, we could keep rats as pets… Ah, I’m not calling you a rat, I mean, the rooms are empty anyway, why let the rats have all the fun? Uh... Ptui, I didn’t mean that!”
Tian Jun did not know to laugh or cry. “Su You, you’d better stop talking.”
There was a reason why Su You was at a loss for words. He had just seen Su Yuehan walking out of the house and what he saw stunned him.
Su Yuehan yawned and stretched, both arms high in the air and arching her back to form adorable curves. Her sleepy expression plucked on these single men’s heartstrings.
Su You averted his gaze, sour and embarrassed. “So the reason why you’re not willing to move is because you’re hiding a pretty girl in your house?”
Chengfeng patted her head. “Go back to sleep, I’m going off to class with Xiaobao.”
She quickly said, “I want to go too.”
He glared. “We’re heading to class, what will you do there?”
She huffed indignantly, “I’m your servant, I have the right to follow my master and cultivate with him.”
With her hands on her hips, she turned to Su You and the rest. “Hey, don’t you all think I’m right?”
As if possessed, Su You nodded vigorously. “Of course, of course.”
Tian Jun smiled. “You’re absolutely right.”
To them, morning classes were very boring, then they had to attend array training at Yanjian Hall afterwards. With a pretty girl by their side, they would feel a little bit stronger.
Blockhead scratched his head. “Yeah, my mother said that when guys and girls work together, work becomes easier.”
Chengfeng glared with disgust. This bunch of idiots are exposing themselves! If they can’t even control themselves around a girl, how will they become cultivators?
He glared at Su Yuehan in exasperation. “Consider yourself smart, lobbying support from my seniors like that! Go wash up! We’re not waiting if you’re late!”
She made a face- which mesmerised the few guys who had been living chaste lives on the mountain for years- then went to the back of the house. After a while, she walked out with her face still wet. She had merely washed her face, brushed her teeth and tied her hair in a simple ponytail.
This simple getup with a bare face gave her an innocent beauty.
These Hidden Sword disciples were already considered cultivators. Some of them had already solidified their foundations and could take in a partner already.
However, all the female cultivators in Spiritual Mountain were in Hidden Beauty Court and everyone’s first choice were the tall, handsome and rich men of Hidden Brocade Court. If that did not work out, they picked talented cultivators of Hidden Modesty Court with huge potential. What about Hidden Sword Court? Heh, who would want these dogs as spouses? They would have to be blind or stupid!
The girls would rather marry a dog!
Hidden Sword Court disciples could not leave the mountain unless on a mission. They did not meet female cultivators often either. As for commoners… Well, there were great choices too but the cultivators did not want commoners as spouses.
How could a cultivator who spent all their time cultivating live with a commoner living a regular life? One was high in the clouds while the other far on the ground. They would have no topics in common, life would be boring.
When the guys saw this pretty girl, their eyes immediately brightened and they suddenly felt more strength in their bones.
When Chengfeng, Xiaobao and Yuehan were done washing up, they went to the precept hall for morning classes. These usually deflated students suddenly chanted the twelve commandments energetically,
“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!...”
As they chanted, Grand Senior Brother who saw them was stunned. He did not have high hopes for this bunch to attend the class. However, the decades-long habit had brought him here on time as usual, he did not expect them to be present. Everyone was early and surprisingly energetic.
He watched them quietly. After a while, he finally walked onto the front stage within the hall with hands behind his back. He stood like a stone statue, staring as they chanted.
As if they did not see Grand Senior Brother, Chengfeng and the rest continued to chant.
“...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!”
Chengfeng, Su You and the rest yelled loudly together, “Brothers of Hidden Sword Court, unsheath your swords!”
Everyone unsheathed their swords in a flash, though it was awkward because Chengfeng realised he had no sword, Su Yuehan was also empty-handed while Zhao Xiaobao’s curved blade was peculiar and meant for a woman. It was completely different from the straight, heavy swords that Su You, Tian Jun and He Zhu wielded. The haphazard group looked odd together.
The most awkward part was that this square was meant for thousands of people, yet only so few of them were present. Plus not all of them had swords.
Grand Senior Brother looked at them on the stage until even they felt uncomfortable. He finally turned around slowly and left in silence, seemingly filled with hopelessness.
The excitement from Su Yuehan’s presence died down as Su You smiled bitterly, sheathed his sword and sighed.
The passion from yesterday had died down. They still had to face the harsh reality today.
Chengfeng knew what they were thinking. “Don’t give up, Seniors! As long as we unite and work hard, the number of raised swords within the precept hall of Hidden Sword Court will look like trees in a forest! Our magnificence will be astounding!”
Su Yuehan smiled too. “Yeah, Young Master is right! I’ll work hard too!”
When the adorable girl cheered them on, Su You and the rest perked up slightly. Su You smiled. “You’re right. Tian Jun, Blockhead, we must work hard. We cannot be a joke to our juniors.”
Tian Jun nodded hard. He Zhu smiled and rubbed his head shyly, “Senior Brother Su, can you use my name instead? Don’t call me Blockhead anymore.”
Su You laughed. “Oh, you’re embarrassed now? Alright, no problem, Blockhead!”
The crowd laughed and turned to leave for Yanjian Hall. Chengfeng looked at the empty precept hall before he left.
One day, I must bring glory to Hidden Sword court, just like how I will make the Cleansing Moon Li family rise from the ashes once more!