The Daoist Seal - Chapter 15
The One Who I Hit Is You
The old man walked out from the dilapidated complex. He looked feeble, but Jiang Xiaofan sensed a feeling of familiarity from him as if he was no different than those ordinary elderly neighbors from his hometown.
He rushed forward, took the old man into his arms from the two men, and gingerly assisted him.
The old man kindly smiled. He looked at Jiang Xiaofan with pity in his clouded eyes and nodded his head. “Young man, not bad. This place can’t compare with the seven main peaks. There aren’t many good resources lying around here, so take this Inedia Pill as a welcome gift. I hope that it is to your liking.”
The old man trembled as he took out an earthy-yellow colored pill and placed it in Jiang Xiaofan’s hand. The two men to the side motioned their lips, wanting to say something, but eventually kept their silence.
Since the old man had strongly insisted, it would be rude of Jiang Xiaofan to reject him. He carefully placed the Inedia Pill in the pocket of his robe.
Because of Jiang Xiaofan’s arrival, the atmosphere of the dilapidated complex became somewhat lively. The two men were of average build, more on the thin side. They were in their twenties and were named Lin Quan and Tang You. Their cultivation levels weren’t high, just at third heaven of Micro Realm. However, their eyes brightly twinkled. With one good look at them, it was obvious that they were the animated type.
The four of them were the only ones living in Standstill Peak. It was getting late. Due to his poor health, the old man went to rest early, but the other three were still wide awake. Even though this was the first meeting, they were already chatting familiarly with each other.
Night soon settled in. Seas of clouds covered the seven main peaks as if they were mist sprinkled down from Heaven. Seemingly to have originated from the immortal realm, the view of the majestic mountains was breathtaking and looked surreal.
Compared with them, Standstill Peak was really barren.
Jiang Xiaofan immediately grew upset. He had won over Jin Mohao, who wielded a spirit weapon, fair and square and became one of the seven new inner disciples. To his dismay, he was sent to this forsaken mound of dirt called Standstill Peak. It wasn’t that he hated this place; he just thought that being assigned here was unjustifiable.
“It couldn’t be that you still don’t know why you were sent here, right?” asked Lin Quan warily.
“Why?” Jiang Xiaofan really didn’t know.
Lin Quan and Tang You glanced at each other, not knowing what to say next. Lin Quan then decided to discuss the matter from another aspect. He reminded Jiang Xiaofan, “You wouldn’t know how possibly strong you are, yeah?”
“Huh?” Jiang Xiaofan was even more puzzled.
The two of them were utterly speechless. They decided to be more direct and explained, “Please, Boss. When you had arrived at the Emperor’s Heaven Sect not long ago, you beat up Zhu Xidao’s elder cousin. Three months later, you didn’t stop at that and became even more ruthless. You ended beating up the Respected One’s younger brother. Zhu Xidao is this sect’s number one core disciple! Not to mention, he has some sort of mysterious background. Even many of the elders have to be cautious with him. Instead, you managed to offend him! Pray tell, how can anything go well for you?!”
Embarrassed, Jiang Xiaofan blushed. He then contemplated seriously. These turn of events did seem to go that way, but why was he to be blamed? Those two deserved it and were asking to be hit.
“That Zhu whatever-dao. He’s so damn pompous! Screw him!”
Whenever Jiang Xiaofan thought of this person, he would grow agitated. Still, he had to admit that Zhu Xidao was powerful, incredibly powerful. If not for Ye Qiuyu’s help during that time, there was a big possibility that he would’ve died.
“Ay, what can be done? He’s just so talented and his cultivation is off the charts! He’s not someone you nor I can go up against. Just bear with it.” The two of them knew how Jiang Xiaofan felt and consoled him by patting his shoulder.
“Bear my ass! One day, I’ll beat that punk until his mother can’t even recognize him!”
Jiang Xiaofan was livid. Three days ago, he had sensed that Zhu Xidao really wanted to kill him. That one attack was enough to take his life.
The two men were so shocked that they wobbled. Beat up Zhu Xidao? How could he say this out loud?!
“Anyway, why are you guys here? And that old man too. What’s up with him?” Since he had his circumstance figured out, he queried theirs.
Both of them deeply sighed. They were originally the guardian disciples of the Pill Cultivation Pavilion and didn’t belong to any of the seven main peaks. Unfortunately, they had knocked a bottle of pills over and had been sent here as punishment. They could only leave Standstill Peak once their ten-year penalty was over.
What was even more staggering to Jiang Xiaofan was the situation with the feeble old man.
His name was Liu Cheng’an, and he originally was an elder of the Heaven’s Emperor Sect. Because of a deviation, his cultivation was forever lost, which was why he had been sent here.
Although this place wasn’t a main peak and only an ordinary mountain, Liu Cheng’an had contributed much good to the sect. Because he lost his cultivation and could no longer stay in the Hall of Elders, the sect had decided to offer this peak to him and allow him to live here indefinitely until old.
“At least the Emperor’s Heaven Sect has some good conscience left in them.” Jiang Xiaofan nodded.
Lin Quan coldly smirked and replied, “Conscience? You think too simple. Old Man Liu may have lost his cultivation, but his sea of awareness still exists. If some cultivator discovers him, he or she can extract many of the sect’s secrets from Old Man Liu’s sea of awareness. That’s why the sect gave him this mountain. It may look like gratitude, but in reality, he’s placed under house arrest.”
Tang You continued, “Furthermore, as you can see, Old Man Liu’s body is very weak. Family clans and sects naturally won't provide mortal necessities like rice, vegetables, meat, etc. but will instead give pills as sustenance for the body. We have them too at Standstill Peak; however, they are unimaginably scarce. Every day, we are only given two Inedia Pills. To us, even one pill a day is difficult to cure thirst and hunger, let alone someone like Old Man Liu whose body has been damaged from deviation!”
The two of them didn’t hide anything from Jiang Xiaofan. They not only told him of how glorious Old Man Liu’s status as an elder was prior to his incident, but also of how he never displayed an air of self-importance. Old Man Liu was easy-going and well-liked among many.
Even though the elders of the sect didn’t want the old man to continue living, they couldn’t just directly eliminate a highly respectable person like him. Therefore, they employed this method to contain him.
“Then, earlier….” Jiang Xiaofan was slightly taken aback.
Lin Quan heavily sighed. “You guessed it. The old man knows the truth. Normally, the two of us just need one Inedia Pill per day, and we would give the remaining one to Old Man Liu each time. However, he’s just too kind. Even though he kept the pills, he never ate all of them. Every couple of nights, he would discreetly feed us a pill. He thinks that we don’t know about it, but actually, we do.”
Although men should not easily shed tears, these two couldn’t help to control themselves whenever they discussed this matter. Their eyes reddened, and their noses tingled.
Jiang Xiaofan didn’t know what to say. He instantly felt that the insignificant Inedia Pill inside his pocket had become very heavy.
“Those bastards?! Are they even humans?!” He tightened up his fist, wanting to beat someone.
Liu Quan and Tang You bitterly smiled. Since when did Immortal Daoist sects ever have a heart? To the ones with prominence, people like them were just mere tools. When they were deemed useful, they would be treated well. Once a tool loses its value, then it would be casually flung away.
Tang You didn’t think much of it, to be honest. After all, he did commit a mistake. Being sent to wherever made no difference to him. However, he felt that Old Man Liu had been deeply mistreated. For a big part of his life, Old Man Liu dedicated himself to the Emperor’s Heaven Sect, but, in the end, this was his fate.
Jiang Xiaofan brooded over this newfound reality. These so-called Immortal Daoist sects were even crueler than those from the mortal realm. Like Lin Quan and Tang You had mentioned, Old Man Liu indeed was very good-natured, friendly, and extremely kind. No matter how Jiang Xiaofan viewed him, Old Man Liu didn’t seem like he used to be an elder with high status.
Suddenly, Jiang Xiaofan came up with an idea. He looked at the two of them and asked, “Are there small animals on this mountain? Like birds, hares, etc.?”
They didn’t know why Jiang Xiaofan had asked them this, but they nodded. Standstill Peak might be a barren mountain, but nevertheless, it was still within the boundaries of the Emperor’s Heaven Sect. The mountain, needless to say, had much wildlife, and they contained more spiritual qi than those from the mortal realm.
Jiang Xiaofan explained his plan to the other two. He wanted to have a barbecue tonight in order to satiate the old man and nourish him back to good health.
Immediately, Liu Quan’s and Tang You’s eyes lit up, but soon, they shook their heads. They didn’t know how to set it up.
“No problem! I know!”
Jiang Xiaofan grinned. He was an orphan after all. When he was young, other children would scout for eggs from birds’ nests and hunt hares. Without exception, he learned these skills as well. Contrarily, while they did it for fun, he did it for survival.
The three of them were cultivators. Capturing small animals was, undoubtedly, an easy task. Before long, a campfire had been built in front of the dilapidated complex. Two hares were skewered on top of the flames, and soon, the enticing smell of roast meat permeated the air. The hares had been roasted to a golden-brown color with oil dripping down, which looked very tempting.
They then escorted Old Man Liu out. When he saw the scene before him, he was at first surprised. However, he soon knew what the three were up to, and his smile deepened.
“How delicious! I didn’t think that Brother Jiang would have such skill! Old Man Liu, you need to eat more.” Lin Quan tore off a thigh and scarfed it down, his mouth glistening with oil.
“Haha, alright, alright,” chuckled the old man.
The four of them gathered around the fire and happily ate their meat. Sounds of chatter and laughter filled the air. The atmosphere was a special one. It was as if they were a close-knit family. It felt very warm.
Just then, an annoying person appeared and ruined the ambiance.
From above, a mystical rainbow descended to the ground. An arrogant-looking young man who donned a blue robe and was about twenty-five years of age emerged. He pointed at them and lectured, “The Emperor’s Heaven Sect is the largest Immortal Daoist sect, yet here you all are, starting a mortal fire and roasting that disgusting meat. You’re polluting the sect’s spiritual air. Do you have no pride?!”
“Shixiong, don’t you think that you’re being overly sensitive? We’re merely roasting wild meat here. How are we polluting the sect’s spiritual air?” Tang You tightly knitted his brows.
Never in the blue-robed youth’s imagination did he think that a third heaven Micro Realm disciple from Standstill Peak would defy him like this. His face immediately darkened. He yelled, “Insolent! I am your Shixiong! Are you questioning me?!”
Looking at the belligerent youth before him, Old Man Liu also furrowed his brows and replied, “Young man, starting a campfire has no effect on the sect’s spiritual air. We didn’t violate any rules either. It’s better that you leave.”
“Liu Cheng’an, do you still think that you are an elder?!” The youth’s words were acerbic, and he continued to jeer, “You’re now nothing but waste! You can’t even compare with an outer disciple, yet you’re ordering me around?!”
Lin Quan and Tang You were inflamed. If it was they whom he was insulting, they could at least tolerate it. However, now that he had maligned this kind old man, they were not going to put up with his attitude.
“Don’t be rash. Let me talk to this Shixiong.”
Jiang Xiaofan halted them and walked over to the blue-robed youth with a smile on his face.
“Hey, you’re not a bad character. At least you know your worth.”
The youth smirked and gazed at Jiang Xiaofan walking towards him with a cheerful expression. He was eager to display his Shixiong pose and interrogate the person before him, but all of a sudden, what he saw was a fist coming at him.
Jiang Xiaofan stopped in front of the blue-robed youth, smiled unusually, balled up his right hand, and directly punched him in the face.
Now that he had cultivated the Diamond Sutra’s tempering body technique, his physical body was incredibly tough and strong. The blue-robed youth was a seventh heaven Micro Realm cultivator, but even he could not withstand the punch. In an instant, he was sent flying out with blood streaming down his nose and mouth. A few of his teeth were also knocked loose.
Lin Quan and Tang You fell into a daze, not knowing how to react. Even Old Man Liu revealed an expression of shock. He didn’t think that Jiang Xiaofan would retaliate.
It took a long while for the blue-robed youth to come to his senses after getting hit. Fire seemed to breathe from his eyes. His complexion flushed red with anger until he finally exploded and screamed at Jiang Xiaofan, “You dare to hit me?!”
Jiang Xiaofan wiped his hand and shot a side glance at him. With disdain in his tone, he assured him, “The one who I hit is you!”