Li Chengfeng would not have expected his actions to result in such dramatic turns, nor did he know it would be so disastrous it changed the entire Spiritual Mountain Sect for years to come.
“Master, are you really sure about Cangjian Court?” Su Yuehan looked at Li Chengfeng worriedly. Both of them had left Cangjin Court early in the morning. After passing the Cangjin Court’s entrance, they asked for directions to Cangjian Court and went on with their journey to the court that was three mountains away.
Li Chengfeng did not dare use the teleportation array now. Well, he did not know where it was located within Cangjian Court and he would not use it even if he did.
“It’s called ‘The Sword of Spiritual Mountain', right? *No matter how ruined a boat is, it still has three nails in it.”
[*TL Note: idiom- no matter how much something has declined, there must be a reason why it earned its reputation in the first place. they must still have something good in them]
“Will they accept us?” she furrowed her brows.
He grinned. “They were shunned even at the great selection ceremony. I’m a disciple who ranked first in two tests, and then betrayed the Cangjin Court. I think they’d be happy to have me, no?”
“But won’t they be suspicious?”
“Suspicious about what? That I’m a mole?” Li Chengfeng rubbed his smooth chin and furrowed his thick eyebrows. “With my good looks, I don’t think I look like a snitch, do I?”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “We can’t judge a book by its cover. If we could, then the world would be at peace!”
“Makes sense!” He nodded, then turned to Su Yuehan. “What about you? What’s hiding beneath that face?”
Her heart suddenly raced, though she was experienced enough to lower her head shyly and blush. “You’re so mean!”
He laughed heartily and quickened his steps. Each step was light, he did not look like there was a huge weight on his shoulders.
Su Yuehan looked at Li Chengfeng quizzically. She still could not read him. He was sometimes lighthearted and reckless, other times mature and solemn; sometimes coarse and vulgar, other times refined and sophisticated.
What kind of person was he? What kind of soul was hiding beneath the surface?
Li Chengfeng and Su Yuehan took half a day to get off the mountain where Cangjin Court was located. Although their destination was visually three mountains away, Chengfeng already felt like his legs were about to break.
After leaving the main peak of Cangjin Court, Jinxiu Peak, he entered the neighbouring mountain, which was Cangjin Court’s Nine Rings Mountain. This mountain had an uneven surface of nine peaks and troughs, hence its name. It was where the Cangjin Court’s martial uncles lived and ordinary people did not pass there.
Even someone as bold as Chengfeng travelled along the path at the foot of the mountain carefully. He was afraid that if they found out what they did, they would smite him to powder.
After going around Nine Rings Mountain, he could see the main mountain of the Spiritual Mountain Sect: Prayer Mountain.
The magnificent mountain had surpassed his imaginations, he finally understood why the sect called themselves number one!
It was a mountain peak floating mid-air!
Li Chengfeng could see three layers on Prayer Mountain with flowing waterfalls spilling over and rumbling thunderously. From afar, rainbows and thin veils of mist adorned the waters making it all look like a painting.
A mountain must have water. One without the other would be like having a guqin without strings.
The regal mountain looked almost sentient due to the forms of water around it. Above the mountain were clouds that fell to rain at the peak, then surrounded the place with mist and aggregating into springs and streams and finally waterfalls.
The various forms of water were like ever-changing notes in a melody. It was absolutely mesmerising.
“The beautiful waters of Spiritual Mountain live up to their reputation!” Li Chengfeng was astonished at the beautiful scenery.
Even Su Yuehan, who had lived a long life, was speechless.
Water poured down the mountain and formed streams flowing gently down the foot of the mountain to become the Spiritual River. It was a very winding river and after modifications by generations of cultivators, it has become a river of silk circling each major mountain of the Spiritual Mountain Sect.
Li Chengfeng and Su Yuehan took in the mesmerizing view and rested for a while, then continued on their journey.
About an hour later, they slowly exited Prayer Mountain’s territory and were headed towards Cangjian Court. He noticed the scenery changing.
Cangjin Court’s territory radiated a sense of opulence and luxury while Prayer Mountain felt magnificent and made one agree that it was the number one mountain in the world.
On the other hand, the mountains within Cangjian Court were cold and intimidating!
His eyes traced the mountains ahead of him, their peaks covered in a layer of snow. Some of them were so tall their peaks were hidden amongst the clouds; others were barren rock mountains. All these mountains with their steep rocky formations were like ten thousand swords piercing the heavens or a thousand arms supporting the clouds. A layer of lush vegetation covered other mountains, stirring one’s imagination with all types of peculiar ancient trees.
Li Chengfeng could scarcely comprehend the different magnitudes of magnificence in each area.
It was soon evening and they were exhausted from a day’s travels. Li Chengfeng kept cheering Su Yuehan on. “Soon, we’re arriving at Cangjian’s Eagle Mountain soon.”
“Y-young M-master, what mountain is Eagle Mountain?” Su Yuehan’s tiny face was red and splotchy. Although Li Chengfeng was already carrying half their luggage, she was panting and her forehead covered with sweat.
“I heard last night that it’s where the Cangjian Court members cultivate, just like Cangjin Court’s Jinxiu Peak.” Li Chengfeng panted, though his eyes shone.
Su Yuehan bent over and braced her arms on her knees, panting heavily. “How long more? Young Master, are we being too optimistic? We don’t know if the senior brothers at Cangjin Court have already…”
Li Chengfeng cut her off. “I’m not worried about the seniors at Cangjin and Cangxiu Court, just Zhan Qisheng. He’s not the crazy, stupid idiot we think he is. The madness at Cheng’an was all an act to deliberately convey an impression that he was just another crazy, prodigal son.
Su Yuehan was surprised. “Why? Isn’t he worried about tarnishing his reputation?”
“I think that’s what he wants in efforts to protect himself!”
She understood a little. “Is he afraid of his brother seeing him as a threat?”
“Maybe. Can anyway really fathom the politics within these rich families? But I think that’s possible.” He patted her shoulder. “Let’s continue, we’re arriving soon.”
She frowned and followed him on. As they walked, she asked, “What if the Cangjian Court’s people are also afraid of Sir Zhan and hand you over to him? What will we do?”
He thought for a moment. “That won’t happen, I can convince them.”
“I can’t tell you now but you’ll understand if that really happens. But you’re right, it’s suspicious of us to arrive at their doorstep like this. An excuse would be good.”
He had just finished when two people suddenly appeared on the winding mountain path. These two people were clad in grey rodes, a sword with its tip pointing upwards embroidered on the right side of their chests. It was the sigil of the Cangjian Court. They both had one and two red stripes on their sleeves respectively.
These two pointed at Li Chengfeng and started yelling in alternate turns. “Halt!”
“I was the one who cleared this path!”
“I was the one who planted this tree!”
“If you want to cross this path!”
“You must pay us a little fee!”
Li Chengfeng and Su Yuehan were speechless.
Oh my goodness, what now?!
Chengfeng’s jaw dropped. Did I accidentally leave the Spiritual Mountain Sect’s territory? What’s happening here?