The place where Lingxiao Xianzun was in retreat was called the ‘Spiritual Void Cave’.

The cave was located between a cliff and the main peak, connected only by a floating vine bridge, and is blocked by a formation outside so that no one can get close.

But Qi Shu could actually enter.

His Master's formations never stopped him, and during the first few months when Lingxiao Xianzun was in seclusion, he would often cross the vine bridge and go to the entrance of the cave to chat with his Master.

Most of the time he just sat at the entrance of the cave and rambled on one-sidedly, bringing a bouquet of fresh flowers that he had picked himself from below the mountain.

But today was the big day when Xianzun was leaving the cave, so Qi Shu had to follow the crowd and wait at the other end of the vine bridge.

The cliffs are cold all year round and the snow covers the branches and is blown down by the cold wind.

After standing by the suspension bridge for a while, fine snow had already lightly covered Qi Shu’s head and shoulders.

"It's so cold." A young junior disciple behind him rubbed his hands together and muttered in a whisper, "I wonder when the Xianzun will come out."

"You're anxious about this?" Wei Jing glanced back, "You've been lazy in the past with your practice of warding off the cold art, haven't you? I'm afraid I may have to tell the teaching elders."

The young disciple said, "No, no, Wei-Shixiong, please forgive me, I'm just…curious about what kind of person Xianzun is and want to see him soon."

This young disciple had only joined the Sect after Gu Hanjiang's retreat, and had not yet seen with his own eyes this Lingxiao Xianzun, who was once head of their Sect.

"Lingxiao Xianzun ah…" Wei Jing took on a stable and reliable appearance in front of his junior brothers and sisters. He seriously patted his sleeves and leisurely said, "Lingxiao Xianzun's cultivation is unfathomable. With his sword, LingxiaoYes, his sword name and his title are the same. My lovely TLC expert, SilverRain found out 'lingxiao' is the name for the 'Chinese Trumpet Vine - campsis grandiflora' and the one pictured below is called 'Morning Calm'. he is famous all over the world. He has killed countless demons and evil monsters."

The young disciple: “Who doesn't know this?”

"I haven't finished yet, have I?" Wei Jing continued, "The Immortal is not a smiling man, he is very strict. We used to be most afraid of him asking about our homework…If he finds out that you can't even practice the ‘warding off the cold’ technique after being initiated for so long, you will definitely be punished."

The young disciple shrank back in fear, no longer daring to complain about the cold.

"Xiao Wu, I think your skin is itchyQi Shu is inferring that Wei Jing is asking for a beating. XD, right?" Qi Shu said coldly, without turning his head.

In the early years, when Lingxiao Xianzun was the head, Kunlun had not yet recruited many disciples. Apart from Qi Shu, who was his personal disciple, only the current Acting Head of the Sect, Xianzun Qing Lan, had accepted four disciples.

Later, although there were more disciples in the Sect, they were still no match for the relationship between their five senior brothers.

Wei Jing, in particular, is the youngest of the five brothers, who clung to Qi Shu every day and was used to being rude in front of him.

At this moment, after being admonished by Qi Shu, he was not afraid, but even came forward, "Shixiong, did I say something wrong, when did Lingxiao Xianzun not punish us severely when teaching us a lesson?"

Qi Shu: "Master never punishes me."

"..." Wei Jing was silent for a moment and turned his head to the young disciple who had fussed about the cold, "One more thing to remember, Lingxiao Xianzun is most protective, but only of our Da-Shixiong."

"Do you know Lu Shixiong, our second senior brother, the eldest disciple of the Acting Sect Leader? When he was a child he always disobeyed Qi Shixiong. The two of them had a fight at the back of the mountain, and guess what happened?" Wei Jing said, "Lu Shixiong lost. But broke the jade pendant that Qi Shixiong had worn since he was a child. So Lu Shixiong was locked up in the back mountain for six months."

Young disciple: "..."

Qi Shu: "..."

Qi Shu: "Shut up."

Wei Jing shrugged and said no more.

Not long after, there was the sound of hurried footsteps coming from behind.

"Disciples have met the Acting Sect Leader!"

The crowd bowed, and the latter's original brisk steps paused and he cleared his throat, "All rise."

Qing Lan Xianzun's face still appeared young, but his hair was already white. He had obviously raced all the way here, and his hair crown was a little askew.

There were two people behind him, one was He Xingzhi and the other was Mo Qi, the fourth in line in the Sect.

The two disciples bowed to Qi Shu, who returned the salute before smiling, "Don't worry, Acting Sect Leader, he’s not out yet, you've made it in time."

"That's good, then." Qing Lan Xianzun straightened his crown and was clearly relieved.

Often, Qi Shu did not understand why the disciples in the Sect were afraid of his master…Why was this Xianzun Qing Lan, who had known his master for decades, and was known as a martial brother, reacted as though seeing him was like seeing a flood of ferocious beasts.

Knowing that Ling Xiao Xianzun was coming out of seclusion, he had started preparing half a month early and had even summoned almost all the disciples who were still in the Sect and were highly gifted to welcome him.

Was this necessary?

Qi Shu played with the little fox pendant hanging from his sword and thought silently in his heart...

Only he knew how patient and gentle and meticulous his Master was. Only he had ever seen it.

It took about another incense stick of time before there was movement at the cave entrance at the other end of the bridge.

A pale white light lit up from the mouth of the cave, a sign that the restrictions set by Xianzun during his retreat had finally been lifted.

In the light, someone slowly walked out.

He was dressed in white, as austere as frost, with the faint flow of spiritual energy around him, but he was even colder than the windy and snowy top of the cliff.

The disciples knelt down and saluted, "Welcome Lingxiao Xianzun's return from seclusion."
Qing Lan Xianzun also bent down and bowed respectfully, "Greetings to Shixiong after his seclusion."

Among the crowd, only Qi Shu remained standing in place.

Because of his cold and harsh nature, most of the people around him were in awe of him and ignore his appearance.

In fact, he was very beautiful.

—Qi Shu preferred to use the word ‘beautiful' to describe that face, rather than any other word.

His delicate facial features were exquisite, his nose was high and his lips extremely thin.

If this appearance was borne on the face of anyone else, it might lack heroism and even appear slightly feminine. But not on him. The awe-inspiring and solemn aura neutralised the softness, and every inch of him looked as if he had been carefully carved by the Heavenly Dao, and nothing more or less would have changed his current appearance.

Qi Shu was a little distracted, when he came back to his senses, Lingxiao Xianzun had already stepped onto the vine bridge and was walking towards him step by step.

He settled his mind before kneeling down and bowing, "Disciple Qi Shu, welcomes Master out of seclusion."

Gu Hanjiang stood still in front of him.

"What are you doing here?" His voice was extremely light and cold.

After not seeing him for so many years, the first thing he heard him say was actually this.

His Master appeared insensitive to others.

Qi Shu scolded himself, only to hear Qing Lan Xianzun next to him reply, "Shi-shi-shi-Shixiong has been in seclusion for many years, and the Kunlun Sword Sect is now thriving, so I came here…I came here specially to meet Shixiong."

Qi Shu could hear that he was trying his best to keep himself calm, but the trembling voice still revealed the Acting Sect Leader's guilty conscience.

Sure enough, Gu Hanjiang said indifferently, "No need. Ask everyone to disperse."

This tone was just a little unpleasant.

In a flash, even the air around him was much colder.

Among the disciples present, only Qi Shu dared to quietly raise his head and look towards that person, but he didn't expect that Gu Hanjiang would be looking down at him as well.

When their eyes met, Gu Hanjiang took the lead and averted his gaze.

"Go back." Gu Hanjiang's tone was cold and calm.

Qi Shu did not move and looked at him without saying a word.

“...I have something to discuss with the Acting Sect Leader."

Qi Shu: "Oh."

He paused and bowed obediently, "Yes, Master."

It was already dusk when Gu Hanjiang returned to his residence.

The place where Lingxiao Xianzun resided was a specially carved out solitary peak called
Baizhang Peak. The mountain was planted with a forest full of peach trees. Magic was used here to keep the seasons mild, unlike the main peak where snow accumulated all year round.

Deep in the peach forest, there were quiet and elegant buildings and even a waterside pavilion.

Gu Hanjiang stepped onto the stone bridge in front of the water pavilion and suddenly stopped in his tracks, "Come out."

Qi Shu walked out from behind the pavilion, without the slightest embarrassment at being caught, instead he came over with a smile, "What took Shizun so long? I’ve been waiting for you for a long time."

Gu Hanjiang: "Why didn't you go back to the house and wait?"

Qi Shu: "I wanted to see Master as soon as possible."

Gu Hanjiang's eyelids fluttered slightly.

But he didn't say anything, he just turned his head and walked straight towards the house.

"Master, wait for me."

Qi Shu quickly stepped forward and helped the other man push open the door as he reached it, welcoming him inside.

When Lingxiao Xianzun was away, Qi Shu was the only one responsible for looking after the Baizhang Peak. When he returned this time, he had completely cleaned up the whole place, inside and out, he knew the layout of the house better than Gu Hanjiang himself.

Qi Shu respectfully helped Gu Hanjiang to the table, poured him a cup of hot tea and then served him quietly.

Well-behaved, sensible and understanding, as if he was the best disciple in the world.

No one knew what thoughts are in the heart of this good disciple, that would greatly offend his superiors.

Gu Hanjiang took the tea but didn't move to drink it, saying instead, "Give me your hand."

Qi Shu blinked and obediently sat down opposite him, extending a hand.

Gu Hanjiang put two fingers on his pulse.

Lingxiao Xianzun, was just like his temperament, he was naturally cold and icy, even those slender and long hands were cold and pale.

Qi Shu stared at the rounded fingertips of the other party, and almost didn’t hear his Master's question.

"Who hurt you?"

Qi Shu replied, "A JiaolongDragon we briefly met in chapter 1.."

"Even a small Jiaolong can injure you like this?" Gu Hanjiang frowned and asked again, "Dead?"

Qi Shu: "Very dead."

Lingxiao Xianzun was quite satisfied with this answer, and after a moment, he withdrew his hand, "Your internal injuries have not yet healed, and your spiritual power has been damaged, I will write a prescription later, and you can go to the Condensing Pill Hall to get some pills to take."

Qi Shu did not reply.

Gu Hanjiang liked to be quiet and talk less, and in the past, Qi Shu was the one who mostly chatted endlessly when they were together. Today’s quietness was really abnormal.

Gu Hanjiang raised his eyes.

The latter then obediently lowered her eyes and whispered, "Master, there are still external wounds…"

Gu Hanjiang naturally did not fail to see this.

Qi Shu's skin was white, and his body went red from the slightest bump, and now he had a long, scabbed and slender scar on his face, which was an eyesore.
Gu Hanjiang asked, “Have you run out of wound medicine?”

Qi Shu is most concerned about his appearance, but a cultivator travels the world, subduing demons and eliminating devils, and it is not possible for him to get away without injury every time. That's why Gu Hanjiang had made him a medicine. Whether it was applied to a bump or scar, it would restore the skin to its original state in at most a day or two after applying it.

Qi Shu still didn’t answer, those bright eyes were hidden behind feathery eyelashes, and anyone could see that he was deliberately acting like a spoiled child. Waiting for the Master to coax him.

Gu Hanjiang looked at him severely for a long time before withdrawing his gaze with a sigh, "Bring the wound medicine."

The ointment specially made by Lingxiao Xianzun had a faint mint fragrance and was cold and refreshing to apply.

Qi Shu sat where he was and Gu Hanjiang stood in front of him, lowering his head to help him apply the medicine.

Gu Hanjiang was a little taller than Qi Shu, bent over, he almost completely covered Qi Shu. His Master’s beautiful fingers dipped into the white ointment and applied it in a circular motion to his cheek, which was a little cold and itchy.

Qi Shu suddenly regretted it a little.

He was no longer the teenage boy he had been a few years ago.

A teenager is impulsive, but he can still control his emotions, unlike a young man who is full of hot blood and vigour.

One really can't do anything too over the top.

Qi Shu looked away and tried his best to keep his breathing steady.

He really hadn't seen his Master for a long while. This longing hadn't worn off with time, but had instead grown stronger with each passing day. It was far more difficult to overcome than he had imagined.

The nearness of his Master's face, his steady, cold breath, even the familiar smell of incense on his body, all made him feel…unbearable.

The tightly bitten lower lip was suddenly nudged gently.

Qi Shu came back to his senses as Gu Hanjiang looked at him with a slight frown, "Why did you bite your lip, did it hurt?"

"No, it doesn't hurt."

Qi Shu was so hot that his brain was a bit confused, and he tried to get up in a trance, but Gu Hanjiang held him down by the shoulders.

Qi Shu: "?"

"Don't you have injuries on your body too?" Gu Hanjiang said calmly, "Take off your clothes."

Qi Shu froze for a moment, and his ears flushed red.

Authors Corner

The author has something to say:

Happy Teacher’s Day to Master Gu, and sleep with your little apprentice soon~



Submit a Comment