Wei Tianli waved his palm and ignored the sect’s prohibition of flying on sect grounds, he swept Jing Yue up and headed towards Whitefog Summit.
That was the exclusive cultivation grounds of Patriarch Yi Ye.
Jing Yue felt the strong winds whistling in his ears while the blue phoenix screamed in his divine consciousness.
“Ahahahahahh, so exciting! The wind is blowing my *ss out!”
Jing Yue, “…”
How he wished he could seal that chicken’s beak forever!
When everything settled down, he finally laid eyes on his little disciple again, after ten thousand years.
In his memory, he watched the little disciple grow from a small child to a handsome young man, but in a blink of an eye, he was already a weary and white-bearded old man.
Jing Yue’s heart surged with emotions and he blurted, “Little crybaby, how have you been?”
Patriarch Yi Ye was originally seated in a manner befitting of a distinguished immortal, but when he heard the words ‘little crybaby’, his eyes popped wide and jaw dropped open as if he was stunned silly.
“You… you… who are you?”
“I’m your Shizun.”
“Shi…” Yi Ye was so excited that his butt left the seat, but very quickly, he sat down again, his tone steady, “How can you prove it?”
“You really want me to prove it?”
Jing Yue glanced at Yi Ye thoughtfully. There were another man and woman in the hall with them, and they were both Return to Void cultivators, most probably the other two patriarchs of the sect.
He had already found out from the bookstore that there were two other patriarchs at Return to Void stage in the Frostcloud Sect apart from Yi Ye, who was at Tribulation Passage stage.
Yi Ye did not reply but merely yanked his chin up slightly.
Jing Yue could not help laughing. His disciple still acted like a child, raising his chin whenever he felt guilty, his eyes in a downcast, with an ‘I don’t care’ attitude. It was adorable.
“Alright then,” Jing Yue coughed softly before he recited, “You wetted the bed at the age of three, peeked at Fairy Wuchen taking a bath when you were six, and at the age of eight, you were chased by nine dogs and ran across half a mountain…”
“Stop, stop, stop!”
Liu Yun, Liu Feng and Wei Tianli’s expressions were full of disbelief, wondering if they just had a hallucination. Yi Ye’s mouth twitched at the corners, but he could no longer stay seated. He walked towards Jing Yue, but was silent for a long while before he finally spoke, “…Are you really my Shizun?”
Jing Yue raised a hand, held Yi Ye, and said with a smile, “As real as I can be.”
Familiar divine consciousness enveloped Yi Ye, warm as breaking dawn, majestic as the rising and falling tides.
Tears gradually appeared in Yi Ye’s eyes. The next moment, he knelt on the ground, hugged Jing Yue’s thigh, and cried bitterly, “Shizun! Shizun! This disciple has missed you so much!”
Yi Ye cried for a long time, until Jing Yue went from distressed, to calm, to being annoyed. Even the blue phoenix got so irritated that it jumped on Yi Ye’s head and trampled wildly.
At this time, Patriarch Yi Ye, who could cause an earthquake to the cultivation world with a mere stomp of his feet, was reduced to someone with no dignity left.
Finally, when Yi Ye calmed down, everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
He had perfectly showcased the origin of ‘little crybaby’, and his catastrophic performance slightly diluted the shock about Daoist-Master Jing Yuan’s resurrection.
The hall was silent.
Yi Ye wiped the corners of his eyes with his sleeve and looked at the blue phoenix, “Shizun, this chicken is really annoying. Can I roast it?”
Feeling the sincerity in Yi Ye’s words, the blue phoenix got so scared that it sprawled on top of Jing Yue’s head, its feathers puffed up in fright.
Jing Yue, “No, you can’t.”
Although there were times he wanted to do the same.
Yi Ye, “Oh.” So disappointed.
Blue phoenix, “Oh, my heart.”
Subsequently, Jing Yue was ushered to the main seat.
Apart from him, everyone in the hall was an extraordinary existence in the outside world, but at this moment, they stood respectfully at the lower level.
Jing Yue gave them a brief recount of his rebirth and said, “On the day I woke up, the Jadecloud Bell most probably felt my presence, but why did the Frostcloud Sect create such a commotion? What did the Jadecloud Bell indicate to you?”
They looked at each other before Yi Ye replied, “Shizun, after your passing, the Jadecloud Bell was silent for ten thousand years. On that day, there was a sudden vision. With the help of the Jadecloud Bell, I laid a formation to glimpse at the future, and calculated that there will be chaos in the heavenly Dao, but also a ray of hope in the turmoil. This person has great merit and deeply connected to the Frostcloud Sect.”
“However, I could only see a vague image of a young man in the living gates of the formation. I don’t know if it’s his current or future appearance. To avoid any mistakes or omission, we enlarged the search to young cultivators aged 18 and below. I never expected Shizun to be resurrected, and come to think of it, Shizun must be the ray of hope.”
Jing Yue, “So that’s how it was.”
Yi Ye, “It has been eight thousand years since the Yao Catalyst ended, and we dare not divulge anything yet. So, we just spread the news that we’re looking for a person who could bring great fortune to the sect.”
Jing Yue, “The Jadecloud Bell rang again today, and it will inevitably attract many inquiries. But the news of my rebirth is too inconceivable, and I want to avoid any commotion. In the future, you may refer to me as the auspicious person, and that the Jadecloud Bell was indicating at me. Mm, just say I became Yi Ye’s disciple.”
Yi Ye knelt on the ground with a loud thump, “This disciple dare not violate our master-disciple relationship.”
Everyone else followed suit.
When Jing Yue saw all of them kneeling without any rhyme or reason, his expression turned cold and he chastised, “Stand up at once! Yi Ye, after ten thousand years, has your bones grown soft?”
Yi Ye was startled. He recalled that Shizun disliked others kneeling indiscriminately, his heart filled with warmth and nostalgia, and tears poured down his face, “Shizun, this disciple is wrong.”
Subsequently, he took out a discipline cane from out of nowhere and offered it to Jing Yue with both hands. At the sight of his pitiful look, a complex expression crossed the faces of the juniors in the hall, as if they could not wait to poke their eyes out.
Jing Yue, “…”
It looked familiar.
Was this the same discipline cane he deliberately chopped down from a spiritual tree and used it to discipline Yi Ye when he was being a naughty child?
Jing Yue’s tone softened, “You still kept it?”
Yi Ye, “This disciple will never forget Shizun’s teachings.”
Jing Yue, “…” It felt odd somehow.
They stood up one after another. Yi Ye glanced at his disciple, Liu Yun, who understood his signal and persuaded, “Zushi^, if you became the disciple of Shizun, you’d have to perform the disciple rites to Shizun in front of others in the future, and to Shizun, that’ll be a violation of your master-disciple relationship indeed.”
(TN: Zushi祖师 in this context refers to Grandmaster, as Liu Yun is Yi Ye's disciple, while Yi Ye is Jing Yue's disciple)
Jing Yue also realized that Yi Ye was put in a difficult position, but other than this, it was not easy to settle on his identity.
At this time, the only female in the hall, Liu Feng, said, “Let’s do it this way. Zushi can take Zushi as his master, and we can tell the others that Zushi had inherited some legacy from Daoist-Master Jing Yuan. In this way, your identity will be hidden, and Shizun will not be in a difficult position too.”
Jing Yue agreed after brief consideration. He could not be bothered about such trivial matters.
However, Yi Ye was still dissatisfied, “If so… then Shizun will become my Shidi?”
(TN: Further clarification on the connection: The present Jing Yue will take the past Jing Yuan as his master, so by default, he will become Daoist-Master Jing Yuan’s fourth disciple, and Yi Ye as the third disciple has to call Jing Yue his Shidi.)
Jing Yue grinned, “Do you have a better suggestion?”
Yi Ye, “… I don’t.”
Jing Yue, “Be quiet then.”
Yi Ye, “… Okay.”
A disciple must pay respects to the master by performing a ritual.
Jing Yue followed everyone to the Patriarch’s Pavilion and saw that the vast hall was kept very clean. An altar was erected in the center with Daoist-Master Jing Yuan’s memorial tablet and offerings, and his portrait hung on the wall.
Speaking of which, the new face that was constructed by the blue jade was only about 30% similar to his past self, and suddenly seeing it again, Jing Yue almost could not recognize himself.
The painting mostly displayed his back, with his head slightly tilted to show one side of his face. The eyebrows grew deep into the temples, his gaze sharp and piercing, and the jade-like face was stained with drops of blood. His green robes were covered with blood, sword hung upside-down, and the tip of the sword was scarlet. In front of him, there were mounds of Yao corpses and the cracked ground was long soaked with fresh blood.
In the blank space of the picture scroll, a line of words were written, ‘Daoist Jing Yuan Slaying a Hundred Thousand Yao on Mortal Realm Mountain’.
Jing Yue held his breath unconsciously as the murderous aura from the picture scroll washed over him. He could still recall that he was a Tribulation Passage cultivator at that time, and he only brought about a dozen disciples with him up to the Mortal Realm Mountain to slay Yao. On that day, it was dark and dreary on the mountain, blood flowed into a river, and they were only there to avenge the people who had been killed by Yao.
He never expected that this image would be recorded.
Since the portrait was left unsigned, Jing Yue asked, “Who drew this painting?”
Yi Ye, “It was Second-shixiong.”
Jing Yue was taken aback and his heart filled with pain. He looked around and saw shorter alters on the left and right of the main hall. Jing Yue knew those were the memorial altars for his first and second disciples.
Portraits for the two of them also hung on the walls, both of them the usual frontal portraits. One of them looked ordinary and honest, while the other one had a face that was half-covered with crisscrossed scars.
He burned a stick of incense for the both of them, and amid the curling smoke, he prayed silently in his heart, hoping to see them again during his living years.
After that, Jing Yue knelt before his own altar and kowtowed three times, lamenting the fact that he was paying respects to himself as his own disciple, and it had to be the first incident in all heaven and earth.
When he inserted the three sticks of incense into the incense burner, the green smoke went straight up instead…
On the sect grounds.
Qianyue and a few fellow disciples stood around Jadedew Summit, discussing the strange event that happened.
“The last time the Jadecloud Bell rang, I saw all the summit leaders from all the big and small summits heading towards Bluecloud Summit. At that time, the entire sky was filled with sword radiance, and I thought the Frostcloud Sect will undergo a massive change.”
“That’s right. I’ve never seen so many elders ignoring the prohibition and mounting their flying swords all at once. I was nearly frightened out of my wits.”
“Just now, it’s even more exaggerated. Even the spiritual beasts…”
The female cultivator who was speaking stopped abruptly.
An invisible suppression poured down, but they did not feel uncomfortable. On the contrary, it felt like the meridians had undergone a baptism of purification, and the spiritual energy in the body was activated.
A spiritual bird flew down from the sky and landed on the ground, followed by hundreds and thousands.
The cranes lifted their heads and squawked loudly, while the peacocks spread their tail feathers.
The colorful butterflies fluttered, the whitebait fish danced, the white apes howled, and the horned beasts roared.
The heads of the deer drooped, the golden lions prostrated on the ground, and all faced the East and bowed in unison.
Another chime of the bell, the sound carried the might of the forefathers and the strength of Pangu^, as if crossing through time, shuttled through reincarnation, and rang through the nine heavens into the mortal world.
(TN: Pangu盘古 was said to be the creator of the world)
Twang, twang, twang…
The bell chimed repeatedly, one after another, and the sound hammered the hearts and stirred the blood to a boiling point.
Qianyue counted silently, and the Jadecloud Bell finally went quiet after nine chimes.
Everyone was solemn. The Jadecloud Bell would only ring nine times in a row when it involved matters of life and death for the Frostcloud Sect.
And now, in one day, the Jadecloud Bell had rung for a total of ten times!
What exactly was going on?
“Ah! Look, quickly!”
A disciple pointed a finger to the East where the highest summit of the sect was located—the Whitefog Summit.
Suddenly, the world turned dark and the sky turned azure as if the sea and sky turned upside down.
The sun and the moon were shining, and countless stars fell like raindrops creating showers of silvery lights.
At that moment, the earth shook, beasts roared, and thousands of birds rushed frantically towards Whitefog Mountain, even though they were prevented by the mountain protection barrier, they were unafraid and relentless, trying repeatedly.
People stared at this scene in a daze, without a clue of what was going on.
But everyone realized one thing… a change is happening at Frostcloud Sect.