Yang Chen was annoyed at her sudden appearance. Goddamnit Tang Luyi. Can’t you leave us alone and recuperate? I even evaded the opportunity to heal her as a petty punishment!
You want to stir controversy? Well fine, I just had the idea to pop her cherry in this picturesque bamboo forest. Can’t you feel the passion here between us? Why do you always have to interrupt?! he thought.
With her arrival, the couple felt uneasy continuing with their sensual kiss.
Cai Ning, embarrassed, quickly hid behind Yang Chen’s muscular body to avoid looking at her master in the eye.
Tang Luyi was pale and frail but was left mostly unaffected. She hovered herself through several bamboo shoots before elegantly landing a few meters away from them both. Her graceful cultivation was clearly leagues above her disciple despite her injuries.
“Hmph, lovey-dovey in the bamboo forest. Are you not ashamed?!” Tang Luyi proclaimed with a stone-cold expression.
Yang Chen started becoming agitated. “Hey, I’m not kissing you. What are you mad about?”
“You…” Tang Luyi’s blood pressure skyrocketed in an instant. Yet she chose to refrain from making a move knowing that she was no match for Yang Chen.
“Seeing that you saved the Tang Sect, I will let you go this once,” Tang Luyi boastfully replied.
That reactively led Yang Chen to shake his head in determent. “Ning’er, your master must be so full of herself to be able to gloat this much after being mind controlled.”
“How dare you?!” Tang Luyi nearly threw up a mouth of blood.
Cai Ning quickly reacted to cease the fiery interaction between them both, as she awkwardly bit on her cherry lips. Pulling Yang Chen’s hand, she advised, “Alright, alright. She’s my master after all. And our senior.”
Yang Chen was not actually mad at Tang Luyi. While she looked cold and indifferent on the outside, the warmth in her eyes was not lost to him when she looked at Cai Ning.
“Master, you came here on your own to look for us. Is there a problem?” Cai Ning carefully mentioned, evidently still nervous in the presence of her no-nonsense mentor.
Tang Luyi stared at Cai Ning in silence for a while, before she affectionately asked, “These years out there, has it been kind to you?”
Cai Ning was caught off-guard as she quickly snapped out of her own thoughts. Her eyes immediately reddened as an overwhelming surge of emotions filled her very essence. She shook her head with an appreciative smile. “Yes, thank you for asking, Master.”
“That’s great to hear…” Tang Luyi proclaimed with a repressed smile. “Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made.”
While speaking, Tang Luyi handed Yang Chen a soul-piercing glare. “Yang Chen, I am aware that you are at the top of your rank right now. I’m also aware that I or the entire Tang Sect put together would not even amount to anything against you. But Cai Ning has been under my guidance for ten years. I watched her grow up to be the articulate woman she is now. You can say that she’s like a daughter to me.
“I am strict with her because I do not want her to suffer the things I have. But you, you have to cherish her and care for her like she is the most precious thing you’ve ever seen. If you hurt her in any way, I will never forgive you till the day I die!”
Yang Chen was slightly taken aback. He never thought Tang Luyi would be talking to him about Cai Ning, or to even be so welcoming of their relationship. He was half-expecting her to be biased against himself, as she did with most men.
“Hmph, you thought I’d oppose your relationship with Cai Ning?” Tang Luyi seemed to have read Yang Chen’s thoughts.
“At the end of the day, I’m only her master. I can’t decide what she wants to do with her life. I, Tang Luyi, might not have a liking for nasty men, but I’m also not unreasonable.
“If it wasn’t for Cai Ning’s position in your heart, you would’ve slaughtered us before you could grasp the situation. But since now you’ve done the Tang Sect a great favor, I will not dismiss my gratitude for hatred.”
Yang Chen chuckled satisfyingly. “I’m sure I like you more now than when you were hypnotized. Nice, that’s how I envisioned a Xiantian Full Cycle cultivator to act.”
“Stop with the false approvals. I know you never bothered to even look at us mere Xiantian cultivators.” Tang Luyi stared at Yang Chen in a peculiar manner, seemingly still in a daze on how a man this young could achieve such heights.
Cai Ning at this point had tears rolling down her cheeks. She reminisced the years she had spent hating and loving her master before her eyes. Here her master stood, like she had never aged a day, just as graceful and mesmerizing as she remembered. This was the same woman who had taught her everything she knew. Though they were not related by blood, Tang Luyi dedicated her life’s teaching in a way that exceeded even her own mother.
“Master,” Cai Ning wobblily called upon her.
Tang Luyi shivered ever so slightly as she empathetically stared at her disciple.
Cai Ning clenched her teeth, putting her thoughts aside as she went towards her mentor and gave her a tight embrace.
“Master, I’ve missed you so much…”
Tang Luyi’s trademark stoicism cracked open as she patted her disciple on the back.
“Silly girl, if you missed me you could’ve come back anytime. There was no need to wait all these years...”
“I missed you Master, but… but I was afraid you’d get mad.”
“You’re still the silly girl I remember. You’re all grown up now, no longer the careless child you once were.”
Tang Luyi affectionately caressed her hair, as she lightly sighed.
Yang Chen took several steps back and allowed the two women to share their moment. He watched patiently and silently before he was reminded of that rugged man who had handed him the Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture when he was a boy.
After the two emotional women cried and laughed in each other’s presence, Tang Luyi finally took to discuss the core situation.
She was notified that Tang Dianshan and the rest of the elders were awake, fully aware of the incident. They were in much haste to invite Yang Chen to their location to provide him with a proper apology. They were also keen on discussing the real reason everyone was gathered there as well.
Naturally, they were all taken aback by the barren site from where the great guildhall once stood.
As dusk encroached, Yang Chen and Cai Ning alongside her master Tang Luyi strolled towards the dining hall of the Tang Ancestral Fortress. A banquet was set up in honor of the guests.
Tang Dianshan led the entire seat of Xiantian elders, upon Yang Chen appearance, hastily made way to welcome his entrance.
“My gratitude to Master Yang for your selfless rescue of the Tang Sect from an imminent catastrophe. I, Tang Dianshan, represent the entire Tang Sect of a thousand people hereby to dedicate the greatest honor to you. If there is any request of assistance by Master Yang towards the Tang clan, we will certainly vow to be in full support!”
Tang Dianshan was in cold sweat recalling the incident. His best cultivators, including himself, were manipulated by foreign powers. If they were to be slaughtered right there and then, the entire Tang Sect would have crumbled from within!
Without a Xiantian cultivator in place, they would concede to the likes of Kunlun and Shaolin, both of which were major ancient sects.
Yang Chen was however completely uninterested by their words of gratitude. He hadn’t eaten since the day before. He was eyeing the feast laid out before him. He might not be hungry, but he definitely was craving decent food. “Erm… about that Master Tang, why don’t we start eating? Sounds good?”
The sect members were dumbfounded. They didn’t expect the young master of the Yang clan to be so easy-going. One would usually expect arrogance and self-centeredness from major clan members, but all Yang Chen cared about at this moment was food.
If only Yang Chen knew they took his lack of interest in their formal conversations as humility, he would’ve burst into laughter.
In normal circumstances, Cai Ning as just another disciple would not be allowed to sit among the elders. But today, she was hailed as one of their saviors which caused her to be seen in a different light.
Tang Dianshan and his board showered Cai Ning with praises and exclamation, leaving her slightly uneasy as she was barely involved with the rescue.
Small talk was unavoidable in a banquet of such magnitude, but Yang Chen braced himself through it all. The wine served was self-brewed, native to the Tang Sect. It was made using a combination of exquisite secret ingredients while possessing an alcohol concentration of sixty percent. The burning after-sensation through the throat left Yang Chen in a frenzy.
Yang Chen had a ridiculously stimulated appetite. He chomped down on the roasted pig and gulped down alcohol like there was no tomorrow. With no sign of stopping, he left the masses with a peculiar sight.
They did not understand much about the Soul Forming stage, but they were aware that a master of such terrifying levels should be detached from mortal necessities like food. But judging from his eating habits, he was closer to a street mongrel than a grandmaster!
The sect members in attendance were looking forward to a proper discussion over the incident in that afternoon, but Yang Chen seemed to be completely devoid of any urgent matters!
As everyone was wondering what to be done next, Tang Dianshan took to himself to break the ice. “Master Yang, I’m sure the point of your visit was to discuss the possibility of you entering the Tower of Scrolls, is it not? Would you mind if we start the discussion now?”