Young master An returns to Qingcheng Taoist Temple. When he arrives, a younger brother is waiting for him at the door, in case he chooses to head back to the kitchen rather than report his duty to the Superior.
The Superior of Qingcheng Taoist Temple uses “Huizhu” as his Taoist name. The cultivation world is now in the decline. There are only five known cultivators in the level of Laying Foundation and he is one of them. Superior Huizhu is 105 years old and he is at the later stage of Laying Foundation. He deserves to be named as the top cultivator in Huaxia’s world of cultivation. When he chose An as an apprentice, Huizhu naturally placed high expectations on him — he has never expected An to be such a lazy cultivator despite being very gifted.
“Master, here’s Sister Lin’s gift in return.” An presents the wooden chest and the basket and steps back quietly.
Decoration of Superior Huizhu’s room is very simple. Apart from the stone bed on which he meditates, the only valuable object in the room is the censer on the table, whose year of production is unknown. At this moment, incense is burning in the censer and it fills the room with a refreshing aroma. The paper window is open. Outside the window is a cluster of bamboo, swinging in the wind. This is indeed a pleasant place to live inside a mountain.
In fact, young master An knows that the incense is made from plants he hand-picked from the mountain and it doesn’t worth much money. This Taoist temple with a pleasant view is ancestral, rather than being bought as a property recently. Cultivators these days can be divided into many groups: the school which Li Xi’er is from cultivates in the mountain they own; Wen Guanjing’s family is notable in the Zu Mountain School; decedents of Master Guo are important officials in military and political affairs; the Mu family owns a large sum of money and they pay for many resources for cultivation in the secular world.
Moreover, there are startups such as the Lin family. No matter how, they have accumulated wealth in a short period of time that is hard for any ordinary people to gain in their whole life.
Only Superior Huizhu is different. Named as the top cultivator in Huaxia’s world of cultivation, he still lives the monastic life of rejecting meat and cultivates inside this small Taoist temple. Living in the mountain, he has no idea what’s going on in the outside world and he has been disjointed with the secular world for a long time.
“When you were there, what have you seen? What have you eaten? Do you remember it all?” Superior Huizhu doesn’t check the gifts, instead, he asks An first.
Young master An tilts his head and thinks for a while, and then he talks about everything happened at Lin Luoran’s home. Iron thorn is now hard to find and An has only read about it in books. All the vegetables planted at Lin’s home, although they have not grown out of the ground yet, their wood Reiki is sensed by young master An. An knows for sure that the vegetables are full of Reiki and very precious.
Then An speaks of a spirit wine he drank at lunch. He doesn’t know what it is made from, but he can feel that it is indeed the perfect drink for cultivators.
Huizhu nods his head, “It was taken from the secret land. Xi’s favorite female apprentice has taken out a lot as well. He is so shrewd that he doesn’t share it with anyone.”
An is suddenly enlightened and talks about the golden hawk. Lin Luoran has been missing for over two months and Goldie has stayed with Li Xi’er for over two months. Its existence has already been spread everywhere by the young cultivators that have been to the secret land.
“Was Xi’s female apprentice there today as well?”
Huizhu can detect the Lin family several miles away with his spiritual mind. It is easy for him to detect the existence of two young cultivators, but it is hard to make sure one of them is Li Xi’er. An feels confused and nods his head, “Yes, she was there as well.”
Huizhu finally opens his eyes and stares at An. He says in a rare soft tongue, “I’m afraid you don’t know that the girl has brought back three Foundation-laying boluses.”
An scratches his head. Even he, someone obsessed with cooking, understands how precious Foundation-laying Bolus is. However, he doesn’t see the connection between bringing back Foundation-laying boluses and visiting Lin Luoran’s home.
Expression in Superior Huizhu’s eyes is calm, but there is a slight smile around the corner of his mouth, “The boluses are in much demand and all powers want them. Xi keeps one for his female apprentice. The Mu Family takes one and the last one is unsettled as it is wanted by the special department and the Wen Family.”
An blinks, wondering what his master wants to tell him. Why does he say something so hard to understand?
Xi values the female apprentice of gold nature very much. He would never let her leave the mountain and step into the secular world before. This time, however, after getting the message that Lin Luoran has come back, the girl arrived just a day after. Without the permission of Xi, she will never dare to leave the mountain.
As an apprentice, An is outstanding, however, he doesn’t have enough social experiences. It’s hard to say whether this is good or bad.
Superior Huizhu sighs and asks An to leave.
He doesn’t open the wooden chest until he is alone in the room. There are three flawless jade bottles inside the chest. The shining bottles add some brightness for the room, which is covered by the shadow of bamboos. What important is wine which is contained in the three bottles varying different years. The best one is useful even for cultivators in the level of Laying Foundation.
Huizhu thinks for a while and stands up to grind ink. He writes down the words below on a piece of paper,
“After observing her Taoist root, I find it worse than that of all cultivators. She is, however, pretty good at planting and training spirit creatures. I don’t know whether it is good or bad to have such ability when Reiki in the world are already declined… She has a fair and mild characteristic and she does not care so much about the external things. That’s why I believe she is very suitable for cultivation. There is only one problem, though, that she devotes too much to her parents but their future is uncertain, so this may become a devil inside in her future cultivation. Besides, this girl has already completed the level of Training Qi, so laying foundation is only a matter of time for her. If she didn’t have proper quality for cultivation, she could not improve at such a fast speed. Therefore, our guess that she is from the ‘Alchemy School’ may be true.”
After thinking for a while, Huizhu adds another sentence, “A genius of one single nature is rare. Just in a few years there are geniuses of all five natures and they all have connections with her. Is it possible that the ‘turning point’ in the prophecy lies on this girl?”
Huizhu waits for the paper to dry up and folds the letter into a paper crane. He makes some gestures with his right hand and mutters spells. A white light flashes around the paper crane and it flies out of the window. Soon enough, it disappears above the Qingcheng Taoist Temple and into the dense forests.
After sending away the paper crane, Huizhu remembers the spirit wine. He is about to have somebody sent the wine to the capital, but then he smiles,
“Of course she will give that to you, I don’t have to bother.”
Gradually, the sun sets and sinks into mountains. Night of the Qingcheng Mountain falls.
Lin Luoran arranges clean and quiet rooms for Li Xi’er and Qu Yiren. After that, the Lin Family, which have been lively all day, fall asleep gradually.
Goldie sleeps on the tree in the backyard. From Lin Luoran’s room, she can see that Goldie is so big that it cannot be covered fully by the luxuriant leaves.
The old man in a hospital gown in the No.7 Villa cannot fall asleep, and neither can Lin Luoran. The only thing that she has been concerning about is the problem of her mother’s Taoist root.
In fact, human beings are all the same. If an ordinary people gets the chance of cultivation, he must be thrilled. Characters in time travel stories are very cold-blooded as they never miss their family. Most of them, however, are the same in terms of hoping every relative can follow their steps. With this thought in mind, Lin Luoran becomes more and more greedy. She hopes that all her family and friends can accompany her forever.
She doesn’t need to worry about Baojia, whose grandmother is a cultivator. Baojia doesn’t know how she got her Taoist root, so it’s difficult to determine if it was triggered by the golden pattern.
Mr. Lin has already developed the sense of Qi, which proves that he owns a Taoist root.
How about Luodong? Several decades later, Luodong will become older but everyone around him may become younger. It will be so cruel if he is the only one facing death.
And her mom… Lin Luoran sighs. She finally decides to face this problem squarely.
Everyone should be asleep by now.
With something on her mind, Lin Luoran cannot fall sleep tonight. Looking out of the window, she feels that air is very refreshing at night. It is very quiet in the room that Lin Luoran can hear the sound of her parents breathing.
Luodong’s bedroom is next to hers. Like all the kids at his age, his bed is a mess while he is sleeping. Lin Luoran calms herself down and sends Reiki of five natures toward Luodong quietly.
Golden, still negative.
Lin Luoran feel disappointed. Suddenly, she finds that the brown earth Reiki are crazily rushing at Luodong.
Lin Luoran feels her heartbeat accelerating. To her surprise, Luodong is a genius of one single nature.
How come! He is just a kid saved by her and Baojia accidentally. How could he have a single Taoist root of earth just like that? Everything is so coincidental that something has to be wrong…
Lin Luoran does not know what Superior Huizhu said, nor does she check on Li Xi’er and other people’s Taoist root. Otherwise she will not just feel it is coincidental right now — she will think it is conspiratorial.
Lin Luoran checks again and receives the same result. This sudden joy takes away her secret worry. She takes Reiki molecules of all natures to the bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Lin.
Mr. Lin has already got the sense of Qi, so his body is more sensitive to Reiki than ordinary people’s. As soon as his body feels the calm and pure Reiki, it starts to resonate with brown, golden and green Reiki as Mr. Lin breathes in and out.
A Taoist root of three natures?
Not good, but not the worst as well. Lin Luoran turns to check Mrs. Lin.
Mrs. Lin prepared a great feast today. Seeing everyone enjoy the food, she was happier than having some great food herself. Right now she is smiling in her sleep.
Lin Luoran, however, is disappointed. Reiki molecules of five colors are flying around Mrs. Lin like little elves, but the amount never decreases — Mrs. Lin has not absorbed any of them, so she doesn’t have a Taoist root!
Lin Luoran feels a sense of bitterness. This result has taken away all the joy of finding out that Luodong is a genius of one single nature.
A ridiculous sense of imbalance appears in her mind. She realizes that there is always a difference between someone you are close to and someone you are not. She treats Luodong kindly out of sympathy, but Mrs. Lin is her mother… How come that Luodong has a Taoist root and her mother doesn’t?
Moon may wax or wane, and people have joys and sorrows.
Lin Luoran can understand all of these only when the problem belongs to someone else. She only realizes that she cannot actually accept the statement of “no one’s life is perfect” when she is involved in the problem herself.
Lin Luoran’s mood is fluctuating greatly. Even objects on the table next to her is vibrating. Suddenly, a small wooden chest falls and cracks into two pieces.
The wooden chest attracts Lin Luoran’s attention and objects on the table stop vibrating.
An old book with a discolored cover appears. Several large black characters on the cover are clear to see under the moonlight.
Chronicle of the Nine Provinces?
Looking at the small wooden chest, Lin Luoran knows that it is the gift from the Superior of Qingcheng Taoist Temple.
An ancient paper book… What’s that for?