For the first time in the past several decades, an elder from Thousand Autumn Doors had set his eyes upon a young man in Clear Stream Village. When the young man paid the fee to ascertain his roots through the Immortal Discerning Mirror, the elder from Thousand Autumn Doors was proven to be spot-on. The young man had overwhelming talent and thus, he was accepted as a qinchuan disciple.
Qinchuan -> Under the direct tutelage of an elder/sect leader etc
When the news spread, an uproar broke out in Clear Stream Village and everyone ran about spreading the news.
There are countless people who are envious of him. As for who the lucky person is, he is the person who had caused quite a commotion in the last few days, the carefree Li Ji gongzi.
Gongzi -> Gentleman
In current times, joining a cultivator sect is no different from marrying into royalty. From then on, they will soar to the skies and their lives will be completely different. The scholarly young man who was smiling gently under the green bamboos by the stream drawing portraits of ladies yesterday is now standing high up in the clouds, looking down on the masses, no longer approachable as he was.
Thus, the ladies of the village lamented deeply over their loss. There were a few of them who carefully mounted the painting on the wall and gazed at it everyday, treating it as though a precious memory of theirs to reminisce over when they’re older.
There weren’t anyone who truly held wishful thinking over him. Just that, whenever they gathered together to talk about this Li gongzi, they would argue over whom he treated better in those days.
Gongzi -> Gentleman
The weather gradually grew hotter and fewer were heading over to the tavern for a drink. As a result, Old Ma’s business wasn’t doing very well. Most of the time, there would only be Lu Chen eating and drinking for free over there. This made Old Ma’s mood even worse. Not to mention, he hasn’t reach the state of cultivation where he would be impermeable by heat and cold. Plump, he is exceptionally susceptible to perspiring, making him extremely irritable these days.
That day, Old Ma looks at the only customer in his tavern and feels displeased. Thus, he rudely exclaims, “Hey! You still owe me a great debt. Yet, you still have the cheek to be eating and drinking for free here?”
Lu Chen chuckles as he gulps down the alcohol in the cup in his hands. Then, leaning closer to the table, he smiles to Old Ma, “These days, the one who owes the debt is the true boss. Are you unaware of that?”
“Pi!” Old Ma spits towards him. Then, using the towel in his hands to wipe away the sweat drops from his forehead, he walks over to Lu Chen’s table and sits opposite to him. Taking a look at the glaring sun, he laments, “Say, look at those working outside. What is the point of toiling the entire day from early in the morning to late at night! On the other hand, look at that Li Ji, how long has he only been here? Yet, he has already been accepted into the Thousand Autumn Doors. Sometimes, a comparison made between humans can be extremely enraging.”
Lu Chen shakes his head and says, “Aren’t you speaking nonsense? This is the only way for those who owns nothing to cultivate.”
Tsking, Old Ma didn’t try to refute Lu Chen’s words. He simply shakes his head and comments, “That fellow Li Ji is truly blessed with a good life.”
Lu Chen quietly stares into an unknown direction outside of the window. After staring silently for a moment, he turns around to look at Old Ma, “That is simply a chance of fate, there is nothing special about it. Rather, about the matter of the inscription of the demonic cult, have you not found any clues?”
Hearing those words, Old Ma scratches his head in frustration and smiles bitterly, “Indeed.”
Lu Chen harrumphs and says, “It is impossible for that picture to be carved there for no particular reason. Something must have happened in this village. Try to look deeper into it.”
Old Ma sighs, “It is not like you are unaware of it. I had privately looked through the entire village for multiple times, but I really couldn’t find any suspicious figures. It seems as though we have met with a spirit. Could it be that the remnants of the demonic cult were simply too carefree, running away right after carving a picture?”
Lu Chen remains silent. After awhile, he places the wine cup onto the table and stands up, “I’ll be going back.”
By the bank of the clear stream, the green bamboos are still lush, although the peach blossoms had already withered, creating quite a lonely atmosphere. Under the intense glare of the sun, there are very few people who are walking on the bluestone pavement.
Lu Chen walks along the stream. Just as he is about to cross the stone bridge, he sees a familiar figure walking over from the opposite bank. She is Ding Dang.
Lu Chen stops in his footsteps. On the other side, Ding Dang also catches sight of Lu Chen and astonishment paints her face. Then, with a smile, she greets him, just that the smile looks slightly forced.
The two of them walk to the shade of the green bamboos to have a chat. Ding Dang looks a little restrained, but a smile emerges on her face again quickly. Facing Lu Chen, she says, “It has been a few days since we last met.”
Lu Chen measures her and nods his head, “Indeed, it has been a few days since I last met you. Where have you been?”
Ding Dang replies, “Nowhere. I don’t do well in the heat. I hate this kind of sweltering weather the most, so I haven’t been out recently.”
“Oh.” Lu Chen nods his head in response. Then, silence washes through them.
After a moment, perhaps out of awkwardness, Ding Dang purses her lips together and says, “That… the Spirit Stones that I owe you, you might have to wait a moment longer. I will return them to you as soon as possible.”
Lu Chen replies, “It doesn’t matter. I am not in urgent need of them.”
Ding Dang looks visibly relieved and her mood seems to lift. She even sticks out her tongue for a moment before smiling, “Rest easy, I will not hold back on my debts. If I say that I will pay you back, I will make sure to do it. Furthermore, if an opportunity comes by, I will grant you a great encounter that would change your life.”
“A great encounter that would change my life?” Lu Chen widens his eyes slightly as he stares at Ding Dang.
Ding Dang chuckles and nods her head vigorously. She is in high spirits, as though she holds great authority in her hand, confident as though she is in control of the lives of others.
Deep in the night, by the foot of the tea mountain, the sweltering heat in the day had dispersed altogether and replacing it is the cooling wind from the top of the mountain. The bizarre specter-like howling echoes throughout the mountain once more, creating the illusion of the ghosts suffering in hell, gripping one’s heart.
The straw cottage by the foot of the mountain stands isolated in the darkness, surrounded by the endless night.
It is entirely quiet within the straw cottage. The doors and windows are tightly shut. Even though the bizarre sounds are still seeping in, it still seems like a mystical little world by itself. There is no one in the room and not even the slightest breathing sound could be heard in the darkness. Just that, in the blurred and fuzzy shadows, an overturned bed could be seen.
In the mysterious tree hollow, Lu Chen sits on the ground as he stares at the pool of emerald water not too far away from him with a solemn expression.
A serious expression covers his entire face and his eyebrows are knitted together, as though he is deep in thought, caught in a dilemma between two decisions. His surroundings are peaceful and quiet. The gray aura shrouding the walls of this ancient tree undulates gently like tender waves.
After an unknown period of time, Lu Chen’s eyes suddenly open. It is as though he has suddenly harden up his determination to make an ultimate decision.
Taking in a deep breath, a peculiar flash of black light flashes across his face. After a short moment, a faint light appears from his lower abdomen. That is to say, the light is radiating from the dantian, as well as the most important asset of the cultivators, the qihai…
Dantian -> An acupoint in the lower abdomen, commonly known to be where cultivators ‘insert’ their energy.|Qihai -> Spirit sea
造化 (Zaohua) -> Opportunity/ Encounter
This is a word that is hard to word out in English.
Literally, it means the natural flow of events
In this chapter, it refers to an encounter(?) that would change one’s life. For example, Ding Dang promises him an opportunity for him to cultivate through enlightening him. Finding an incredible weapon/ heritage could he considered a 造化 (zaohua) as well.