“Help?” Li Chengfeng’s straight eyebrows were almost raised to his hairline like two angry, unsheathed swords. “How will I help him? Do you think I’m some indomitable hero? Do you think I can challenge the entire Hidden Modesty Court? Grand Senior Brother only cares about protecting himself and is unwilling to step forward. What can I do then? Threaten him with my sword?”
Chengfeng was confident that he could convince Grand Senior Brother to step forward. Also, he had already proven that he was not a spy so Grand Senior Brother must have let down his suspicions already to be convinced into taking Han Tianxing in.
But Li Chengfeng was wrong. Very wrong.
“I think he was targeting me!” Chengfeng was now calmer after venting his anger.
Su Yuehan reasoned, “How could he be targeting you? Didn’t you help him just now?”
Chengfeng chuckled coldly. “I caused a commotion at the conference so now Grand Senior Brother is wary of me, afraid I’ll replace him! Plus the Heaven Splitting Sword in his hands is a fake, he knows it!”
Su Yuehan gently advised him, “Young Master, you need to calm down. Grand Senior Brother doesn’t know that you took… the real Heaven Splitting Sword.” Su Yuehan lowered her voice in the end so softly that Li Chengfeng only read her lips.
Chengfeng was still furious. “Right, even if you are right, if he’s overly calculative and cowardly, he’ll never be successful! Does he think the Hidden Modesty Court would not touch us because he didn’t take Han Tianxing in? Such naivete!”
“Take in Han Tianxing?”
On the other side, Grand Senior Brother and Qin Mieqin were returning to their quarters. Grand Senior Brother looked at Mieqin out the corner of his eyes, huffing as he said, “Why should we take him in? What good will that do our court?”
Qin Mieqin replied in a very subservient, careful tone, “Grand Senior Brother, well… there was actually some sense in what Junior Chengfeng said. It does not matter either way. Whether we take in the traitor or not, Hidden Modesty would help Hidden Brocade attack us…”
Grand Senior Brother cut him off. “You’re right! Doesn’t matter if we take him in, they are all enemies. A battle is imminent but we cannot mess up our plans just because of taking in a traitor from Hidden Modesty Court!”
Grand Senior Brother clenched his teeth. “We lost Shiwu Mountain, the mountain Hidden Sword Court relied on for survival, just for the plan! Do you know what Shiwu Mountain meant to our court?”
Mieqin’s face darkened as he sighed softly. “I do…”
Grand Senior Brother clenched his fist. “This is Hidden Sword Court’s last hope! We have made such huge sacrifices for the court, I will not let anyone ruin this!” His eyes darted at Mieqin, glaring sharply. “I will not show mercy, even if it comes to you!”
Qin Mieqin’s expression froze. “I will obey your every order, Grand Senior Brother!”
Although both seem similar in cultivation from their robes- green stripes representing the Foundation Solidification realm, Qin Mieqin knew that Grand Senior Brother was hiding his true capabilities. His powers far exceeded what he showed.
All this hiding was him biding his time, waiting for the day to come!
But would they live to see this day?
After the conference, Qin Mieqin knew that they were only lucky. Without Chengfeng’s appearance and Grand Senior Sister helping them from the shadows, their plan would have long become just a joke!
The mantis catches the cicada but the oriole is behind. Qian Shanxue was the oriole, he had his eyes on them for a long time now!
Li Chengfeng had proven to not be a traitor. If Li Chengfeng no longer supports the court… then even if the inevitable court wars came, who could Hidden Sword Court rely on to prosper once again?
Qin Mieqin hid these thoughts well, he did not argue with Grand Senior Brother.
On the other side, Chengfeng had no choice but to face this infuriating situation.
This was no longer just an act of heroism, it was a matter relating to the Hidden Sword Court’s future progress.
When Chengfeng slowly calmed down and returned to his quarters, Han Tianxing looked at Chengfeng longingly, the last glimmer of hope in his eyes.
Chengfeng instinctively avoided his gaze and when Tianxing noticed, his face paled, then he laughed bitterly and struggled to walk out.
Xiaobao quickly grabbed him. “Where are you going?”
Han Tianxing pushed Zhao Xiaobao’s hand grabbing his sleeve forcefully away. “I was reckless, I should not have come to Hidden Sword Court, causing trouble to my seniors here. I should bear the consequences of my own actions, you can’t suffer because of me. I just hope you’ll visit my mother some day! Don’t let my mother… worry.”
As he spoke, Tianxing choked up, almost crying.
Chengfeng saw him kowtow then leave but couldn’t help saying, “Where are you going? Wait!”
He calmly asked, “You want to go back to Hidden Modesty Court?”
Han Tianxing said hopelessly, “Back to Hidden Modesty Court to face my death!”
“No way!” Chengfeng said suddenly. “You should run as soon as you can! The farther, the better!”
Han Tianxing asked, puzzled, “While the world is vast, where will I run to? I’m not talented in cultivation, where will I be able to hide?”
“You can enrol into the military! Spending your life serving is an option!”
Tianxing smiled bitterly. “Senior Brother Chengfeng, I’m not like you, you’re from a martial family. I have been an academician since young, my shoulders are not broad nor my arms strong. I will just be cannon fodder as a soldier, that is the same as suicide.”
Chengfeng was speechless. After a long silence, he took out a check of one thousand silvers. “Take this money. Go back and bring your mother to somewhere obscure and start a business. There’s not much money here but it’s enough to keep you two alive.”
Tianxing gazed at him deeply and pushed the check away. “Senior Chengfeng, I thank you for your good intentions. If I leave with my mother, I will make sure we live, I can work to sustain myself.”
Chengfeng stuck his thumb up. “That’s very brave of you! A good man doesn’t always have to be a cultivator. Maybe you’ll be successful after you leave Spiritual Mountain Sect!”
Han Tianxing nodded, preparing to leave. Chengfeng stopped him, “The sun is setting, Spiritual Mountain is not suited for night travels. You should leave tomorrow morning.”
Han Tianxing fell silent and nodded slightly. Chengfeng got Xiaobao to bring Tianxing to where he usually stayed while Chengfeng lied down in Yuehan’s room after laying a mat.
That night, Chengfeng tossed and turned, unable to fall asleep.
He deeply sympathised with Han Tianxing’s pitiful encounters. If he wasn’t the traitorous immortal, if he hadn’t had all these strange occurrences happen to him, could he currently be in Tianxing’s place?
What made Chengfeng furious was that all he could do was watch!
There was nothing this heroic Chengfeng could do!
What an insult!
Su Yuehan lied next to him, watching worriedly as Chengfeng tossed and turned irritably like a burning fireball. However, she did not say anything because she knew every passionate cultivator with their own worries must pass this obstacle on their own.
They must abandon something they always held on to, no matter if it was justice, dignity or even freedom…
In short, on the long journey of cultivation, they must abandon some things to be able to grow!
The three tests also showed that cultivation was not just physical training, it also put one’s mind and soul to test.
How will Chengfeng change from this encounter?