Sun Boyi’s expression changed instantly, the contempt and evil on his face disappeared and was replaced with a polite smile. “So you’re the son of a major clan! That’s why you came in number one for two tests! Impressive, tsk tsk, impressive indeed!”
Boyi stuck up a thumb and started to lay it on thick. “The first time I saw you, I thought you had this impressive look of determination in your eyes and a wide and full forehead. That’s how I knew you must have descended from riches. Looks like I was right.”
When Chengfeng saw his sudden change in attitude, he understood what was happening and smiled. “Brother Disciple, may I ask what I should do next?”
Sun Boyi laughed heartily. “Give the golden invitation to me.”
Chengfeng handed it over. Sun Boyi extended a palm and the golden invitation flew into his palm. He opened it and confirmed that it was a true copy and nodded. Giving it back to Chengfeng with a look of admiration and respect, he said, “Just bring this to Cangjin Court, there will be someone there when you arrive.”
Chengfeng kept it well and cupped his hands in salute. “Thank you, Brother Disciple.” When he turned, Sun Boyi yelled, “Wait!”
He turned around, puzzled, but Sun Boyi smiled sweetly. “The Spiritual Mountain has its own customs. Since you’ve already entered our sect, you should learn them in case you use the wrong greetings and make a fool of yourself.”
Chengfeng was delighted. “I see, thank you!”
Sun Boyi smiled and demonstrated generously. He held his left index and middle finger straight while curling his thumb, ring and last fingers together to look like a Sword mudra.
[T/L Note: 剑诀 Jian Jue / Sword mudra // image source: m.40407.com]
Then, he put his finger upper-right of his chest with the index and middle finger touching his chest and the fingertips pointing towards the shoulder. “This is the mudra of the Cangjian Court. If you do this greeting, the other person will know that you are from the Cangjian Court.”
Li Chengfeng imitated him half-assedly because he did not think he would be spending time with the Cangjian Court.
Sun Boyi put down his left hand and pressed his right index and thumb together. He straightened his middle, ring and little fingers together, the middle separated from the index finger. Then, he faced his right palm towards his left shoulder, the side of his right thumb touching his chest, palm straightened. “This is the Cangxiu Court’s greeting. You’ll know they’re our Sister Disciples from Cangxiu Court if you see this.
Then he chuckled, “But we already know which court they’re from even without this gesture.”
Chengfeng chuckled too. All the girls were from Cangxiu Court. You had to be blind if you needed this gesture to recognise that.
Sun Boyi then stuck all five of his fingers straight together. With palm facing up, he bent his elbow towards his chest so his palm was at his heart. “This is Cangjin Court’s greeting. Be careful when you meet someone with this greeting. The members of Cangjin Court are often rich and powerful, many of our sect’s famous cultivators come from this court.”
Chengfeng noted that down privately.
Sun Boyi then demonstrated the last gesture, though this required two hands. Both palms facing up, he put them both together in front of his abdomen and crossed the thumbs together gently. “Cangqing Court, also the court I am in.”
After Chengfeng learned it, he greeted Sun Boyi with the Cangjin Court greeting, and Sun Boyi made the Cangqing Court’s gesture in reply. Both of them laughed. “Thank you for your pointers, Brother Disciple. I owe you one.”
Sun Boyi was waiting for this exact sentence after all that sweet-talking.
He wanted to kill Chengfeng, and it would be as easy as squashing an ant. However, which half-intelligent person wouldn’t want to make friends with a person who’d ranked first in two tests and held a golden invitation in his hand? Age did not matter here!
Both talent and money were required to become a successful cultivator. Anyone with both had a bright future, this guy had proven to have both! Even if he did worse in his third test, such resources were enough for him to be a famous cultivator!
Sun Boyi laughed heartily. “Then I wish you all the best on your journey. Don’t forget me if you ever ascend to immortality.”
Chengfeng smiled. “Of course, of course.”
“What is your name?”
“My name is Li Chengfeng, I’m from Cheng’an City and am a descendant of the Cleansing Moon Sect.”
While this was a casual introduction, Sun Boyi felt as if he had been struck by lightning. His mind raced. Cheng’an City’s Cleansing Moon Sect? Li family?”
Is this the Li family that…. Made my brother become the half-ghost that he is today?
He stared at Li Chengfeng, subconsciously clenching his fist. Chengfeng did not understand his reaction, asking him in puzzlement, “Brother Disciple? What’s… the matter?”
Sun Boyi snapped back and immediately lowered his head and looked away in case he saw the hatred and anger in his eyes.
Why! Why is god so unfair!
This is the evil man who caused harm to my brother, why did he get the golden invitation?
Yes, he must be the one who hurt my brother, that’s how he got the golden invitation!
What if I kill him now to avenge my brother?
Murderous thoughts raced through his mind as his fingers retracted back into his sleeves. Chengfeng grew suspicious and alert, taking a few steps back. “Brother Disciple, you…”
Before he finished, a bright light flashed in the room and a person seemed to appear out of thin air. This person fell from mid-air and Chengfeng instinctively reached out to catch him. He had just caught the person and realised something was wrong when the person flipped over and shoved Chengfeng away hard and kicked away at the same time. Chengfeng blocked him with an arm while the other person borrowed it as support to flip himself onto the ground.
This person stumbled as he landed, tearing the silk cloth around his eyes off and the fabric out of his ears. It was Zhan Qisheng.
Chengfeng regretted not recognising him sooner and pulling some tricks beforehand. He put both arms behind his back and quickly hid the two items he had swiped from their previous encounter.
When Zhan Qisheng saw that Li Chengfeng was already there, he looked both embarrassed and furious. He retorted coldly, “Such bad luck!”
Li Chengfeng was shameless. “Yeah! You’d feel so after losing to me, even though you’ve done your best! I wonder how that feels? Ah, you’re no stranger to it anyway, you’ve already lost once before! Tsk, tsk. Guess that’s all Sir Zhan has to offer! Don’t worry. While it feels foreign now, you’ll get used to it once you lose to me more often. You’ll be that one Zhan son to lose every battle he fights!”
This was the ‘king of trash-talk’ Li Chengfeng, nobody could out-talk him, and it was the same for Zhan Qisheng. Just a few sentences were enough to almost make his head explode.
Zhan Qisheng’s eyes were ablaze. If he wasn’t so afraid of the sect’s strict rules and that… he might not be able to beat Li Chengfeng in a fight, he would have chopped this person to pieces already!
He forced his anger down and turned to Sun Boyi. “Brother Disciple, what is the next test?”
Chengfeng smirked. “Oh, you’re still doing the tests? That’s unfortunate. I’ll be going off now, we’ll meet at Cangjin Court!”
“Cangjin Court?” Zhan Qisheng stared at him intently, then suddenly laughed. “Alright, see you at Cangjin Court then! That’s a promise!”
Li Chengfeng snickered and turned to Sun Boyi. “Could you please point the way?”
Sun Boyi stared at Zhan Qisheng, then at Chengfeng back and forth until he suddenly smiled and returned to his old friendliness. He pointed, “Just walk this way.”
As he spoke, he clapped and a tunnel opened in the stone wall.
Li Chengfeng bowed, made the Cangjin Court’s greeting at Zhan Qisheng, then swaggered out.
Chengfeng did not know that the moment he turned, Zhan Qisheng was not the only one glaring at him solemnly. Sun Boyi’s face contorted. “I swear I’ll have my revenge!”
His fury disappeared in an instant as he turned to Zhan Qisheng with a smile. “You’re Sir Zhan?”
Zhan Qisheng stared at him with slanted eyes. As a son of the Zhan family, he had met many shoe-shiners and therefore was constantly vigilant. “Yes.”
Sun Boyi smiled. “Do you not like Brother Disciple Li from just now either?”
“What’s that got to do with you?”
The corner of Sun Boyi’s mouth turned up. “There is a saying that the enemy’s enemy is also a friend. Don’t you think it’s true?”
Zhan Qisheng laughed heartily, not taking him seriously at all. It did not matter if this was his examiner or an elder brother disciple. He was a son of the Zhan family, he had Zhan blood coursing through his veins!
Sun Boyi was not upset at his response. “Brother Disciple Zhan, there are many rules in the sect, and they will never be loosened for aristocrats or tightened for poorer peasants. If you break any rules while seeking revenge, you will be kicked out of the sect.”
Zhan Qisheng understood what he meant. “So you have a way to avoid all these rules?”
Sun Boyi’s smirk was cold enough to send chills. “Naturally!”
Zhan Qisheng took a step forward and asked impatiently, “How soon can you make a person disappear without breaking any rules?”
“How soon do you want it to happen?”
He glared at Sun Boyi. “Today!”
Sun Boyi lowered his head and thought for a moment. He then looked up and said, “Alright!”