Abbess Yun Miao soon picked up the call. Needless to say, she was quite surprised by Yang Chen’s call.
“What’s the matter?” she asked mildly.
Yang Chen laughed unnaturally. “I’ve got a question which you might know the answers to. Sorry to disturb.”
“Hmmph, it’s so like you to call only when you need something. Well then, hurry up. I haven’t got all day,” Abbess Yun Miao laughed.
“It’s like this. Recently, I’ve been thinking about teaching cultivation. Just the basics of internal energy with the aim of entering the Xiantian realm. However, I only know of the Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture which obviously, is not for everyone. That’s why I wanted to ask you about the other forms of cultivation,” said Yang Chen.
Abbess Yun Miao hesitated for a moment. “The person you want to teach, is it one of your women?”
“Abbess, how did you know?” he asked, stunned.
“Hmmph.” Abbess Yun Miao grunted with displeasure. “With your morals, why would you teach anyone anything if it didn’t serve you?”
“Hehe… Abbess knows me well. But… where can I get more information about internal energy? Oh, didn’t you say it was from Shushan? Where specifically? Do they have a place where they keep all their scriptures?” asked Yang Chen, grinning.
Abbess Yun Miao sighed. “Yes, of course they do. Most techniques are recorded in scripture as opposed to the Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture. However… in recent centuries, the Shushan people have been dwindling and their ancestral homes have been moved out of Mount Emei. The place I practised my martial arts with Senior Brother wasn’t the original location of the Shushan sect. Bringing Hui’er to Mount Emei during the past decade for cultivation was a mere formality.”
Yang Chen was stunned. It sounded like the Shushan was only an empty shell! There were only Song Tianxing and Abbess Yun Miao’s disciples left?!
“Abbess, are you joking? How could you call it a sect?!”
She snorted. “So what if our numbers are small? The ancient arts are dying out day after day. Kunlun, Shaolin, Maoshan, and a few others are the only remaining large sects. Although other sects have scriptures passed down from ancient times, people with enough comprehension and resilience are still too few. Many give up. Even sects like ours have diminished in size. Our teachings have always been as good as everyone else anyway, so what’s there to be embarrassed about?”
Yang Chen was suddenly speechless. “Where are the books kept?”
“What’s the hurry? I’m about to tell you,” she said slowly. “To be honest, you shouldn’t ask me. You should be looking for that brat Cai Ning—Flower Rain.”
“That’s right,” she continued. “Most of the records were kept in the prosperous Tang Sect’s stronghold, also known as the Tang Ancestral Fortress. Some might describe it as the epicenter of martial arts. As long as they are selected, once they enter the sect, they would choose to transmit teachings of different sects according to their backgrounds.
“When Cai Ning entered the Tang lineage, it was actually because her build was suitable for the Tang Sect’s techniques and hidden weapons. Even if it wasn’t, I was inclined to take her into Shushan too because that brat’s skill was formidable. Even if she was to cultivate my expertise, the Nebula Sword Technique, she would achieve stellar results.”
It was through Abbess Yun Miao’s explanations that Yang Chen finally had a deeper understanding in this area.
Due to the changes in the past few centuries, there were fewer people who could calm their minds, block out temptations, and withstand the hardships of practices like the ancient people.
Although every sect still maintained their lineages to pass on knowledge, they weren’t able to form huge sects like in the past. Also, current China uses these ancient sects as the main source of manpower for the Yellow Flame Iron Brigade. Experts were only trained when required.
The Chinese government had been secretly supporting them through funding and different resources, as well as choosing highly talented children without any problematic backgrounds to enter each sect for cultivation.
For example, Cai Ning and Yang Lie were outstanding talents from the group.
The benefit of this was that each sect no longer had any conflict. Everyone worked to supply the country with talent while the country allowed each sect to continue passing on their knowledge. It was a win-win situation.
However, to decrease its potential to disrupt the stability of society, ancient sects gradually became secrets and vanished from the minds of the commoners.
When Yang Chen heard this, he asked, “Would that mean I have to go to the Tang Ancestral Fortress at the Chuan Province?”
Abbess Yun Miao replied, “That depends on what scriptures you want. The ones kept with the Tang Sect are records of offensive techniques from sects around Mount Emei. That includes Five Poisons and other unique teachings. For Kunlun, it mainly contains information on the Taoist breath techniques. There are scriptures about Qingcheng and Wudang as well. As for Shaolin, that involves more Buddhist techniques. Maoshan focuses more on cultivation with the help of herbal pills. We have many scriptures passed down from generations ago. It really depends on what you want your girls to learn.”
He laughed. “What else? I have photographic memory anyway. Worst case scenario, I read everything and choose the best and fastest one to teach!”
“You… You pig!!” scolded Abbess Yun Miao suddenly, furious.
He frowned. “Abbess, I respect you but you can’t call me a pig like that. You can’t hold grudges just because I don’t listen to you and I didn’t become your son-in-law!”
Abbess Yun Miao almost hit the roof. She took a few deep breaths and finally said, “I really don’t know how a stupid bastard like you could attain such high levels in cultivation. Why are you treating internal energy like child’s play?! Different techniques have different characteristics. Some bodies have unsuitable builds for it and if you force them to practice it, they’d go insane!
“Do you think my senior brother randomly decided to pass on the Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture to you? That was because your physique was suitable to master this set of techniques!
“Also, what makes you think anyone could just read the scriptures? You should know that mythical arts of many sects are treasures that foreign powers send spies for! The Chinese foundations were built on techniques like this. There's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. How could we let you read if just because you asked? You have to go through many levels of challenges and screenings before we decide if you are worthy.”
Yang Chen grunted, then mumbled, “I understand now. Looks like I’ll have to get my hands a little dirty before I enter...”
“You… You… Pig-brain! What are you thinking now?!” Abbess Yun Miao was panicking now, shrieking over the phone.
Yang Chen smiled sweetly. “What do you mean…”
“If you force yourself in, what’s the difference between that and robbery? Those people are the pillars of the Chinese world of cultivation. If you hurt them, it’d be equal to helping our foreign enemies destroy China from the inside!
“That is why, for safety, I want you to look for that brat Cai Ning. Her master Tang Luyi loves her very much. Tang Luyi is the Tang sect master’s biological sister. Her cultivation would be as good as mine. When I met her a few years ago, she was already at the doorstep of the Xiantian realm. I haven’t met her since, but I can only assume that she has reached, if not surpassed it. If you can persuade her to help you, then you’d be all set.”
He replied curiously, “The Xiantian realm? Abbess, I remember one of the Dragon Group members telling me that there hadn’t been any experts in the Xiantian realm leading up to my appearance.”
Abbess Yun Miao dismissed it. “What do you know? What makes you think these masters would walk around in public like it was nothing to them? The people from the Dragon Group are from the army. They have very limited knowledge on the full extent of the martial arts world. In actuality, every sect has its own experts who have attained the Xiantian realm. They’re just unwilling to reveal it. They only cultivate in secret, praying they can pass the obstacles. Ling Xuzi from Hongmeng was only revealed to have entered the Xiantian realm when he appeared after many years of disappearance.”
Yang Chen was only asking out of curiosity. To him, it didn’t matter how many experts there were in the world. Of course, he wouldn’t say this unless he was talking to people from Hongmeng. He didn’t want to attract the heavenly tribulations again. Hongmeng’s initial appearance had shaken him that time, and who could be certain there wasn’t anyone more powerful than him? Hiding his talents had its benefits.
After getting the information, Yang Chen thanked Abbess Yun Miao and hung up.
Since Abbess Yun Miao told him to bring Cai Ning, Yang Chen was only too happy to comply. It might save him a lot of trouble and having that extra time to deepen his relationship with Cai Ning would be good too.
And… Yang Chen’s heart was tingling. He hadn’t finished his business with the sisters yet.
He was about to call Cai Ning when he received a message. It was her sister Cai Yan. “Wei Tinghao is dragging me to the tequila bar. It wasn’t appropriate for me to reject him in front of his friends. I’ll be there in twenty minutes, and I might get drunk…”
Yang Chen shuddered, clenching his teeth. He was already a mess dealing with Lin Ruoxi, why did this woman have to text him at this hour?!