“Oh, eldest young master has a reaction!”
A maid exclaimed. She had been in the mansion for many years and had never seen the young master react like this.
Madam Ma's chest jumped wildly with excitement. Without any care of her condition, she knelt with a thud, “Please save my child!”
But the Daoist didn’t respond to her. Instead, he looked at Tianci with a complicated expression. Madam Ma was anxious and pleaded, “Xianzhang, please save Tianci!”
(TN: Xianzhang 仙长 = immortal master)
The Daoist asked the maids to help Madam Ma up and coughed lightly. “Well, let me feel his pulse first.”
His brows wrinkled minutely the moment he touched his pulse but soon lowered his eyes to hide his expression. After a while, he said something that made Madam Ma ecstatic. “The young master is not a fool.”
Madam Ma was so agitated she almost bit her tongue, “Xianzhang, can you really save him? Yes, yes, my Tianci is quick to learn anything. Even though… he seems a little unusual, but he’s nothing like a fool!”
In the past, all the doctors and Daoist priests said that Tianci was an idiot. Although she didn’t refute, she refused to admit it in her heart either.
“The reason he’s like this is that he is predestined to embark on the path of immortality. Now, he has fallen into the secular world and is infected by the mortal aura. That's why his mind seems lacking.”
The garden was suddenly quiet. Although the Daoist priest didn’t seem like a bad person, why did it feel like he was talking nonsense with a straight face?
Madam Ma tentatively asked, “May I ask if my son can really be saved?”
The Daoist nodded with restraint. “As long as I awaken his spiritual dais, the soul-mind will return.”
A maid couldn’t help but say, “You’re not lying to us, right?”
The Daoist smiled without saying a word, only looking at Madam Ma.
Madam Ma hesitated for a moment, thinking inwardly that the Daoist wouldn’t dare to harm others under full view of everyone. Furthermore, since the Daoist stepped in, Tianci kept looking at him without blinking. It was so weird that she had to give it a try.
Thus, she took Tianci’s hand and approached the Daoist. “Xianzhang, please go ahead.”
The Daoist stretched out a jade-like finger, the nails full and supple, and lightly touched Yuan Tianci's eyebrows.
Madam Ma and several maids stared at the Daoist nervously, fearing that he might do something unruly.
Suddenly, a strong chill descended. Unlike the winter wind, the coldness carried a sharp murderous aura, just like facing a sword of cold light, when death was but an instant!
Everyone trembled lightly and their faces were as white as paper. Madam Ma only felt that her lower abdomen was dropping and couldn't help crying out in pain.
A pair of small hands supported her and the chill dissipated in an instant. A warm current poured into Madam Ma's body and dispelled the pain. Madam Ma lowered her head blankly and saw her precious son’s twinkling eyes blinking.
The other party tilted his head and looked at her in confusion.
Madam Ma couldn’t hold back the ecstasy in her heart. Although Tianci still didn’t speak, for the first time, there was a vivid expression in his eyes!
“Tianci! I’m your mother!”
The maids around came back to their senses and urged with trembling voices, “Eldest Young Master, please greet Madam as your mother!”
Yuan Tianci turned his head blankly and looked at the young Daoist again. The Daoist smiled at him. He was startled before trying to curl his mouth like the other party somewhat stiffly, showing his first smile in more than five years. Then, he turned his gaze back to Madam Ma and called her ‘mother’ in his childish voice.
“Oh, my son!”
Tears gushed from Madam Ma’s eyes. She took Tianci into her arms and the tears quickly wetted the fluff on the white fox cloak.
Several maids held each other’s hands, the corners of their eyes red, and the old nanny took out a kerchief to wipe her tears. Only the Daoist widened his eyes slightly and forcibly flattened the corners of his mouth that wanted to curl up.
Oh no, there was also the strange bird lying on his shoulder, the fluff on its body trembling, with one wing flapping wildly.
After Madam Ma vented her emotions to her heart's content, she raised her head suddenly. “Quick! Go and bring the master back! Our Tianci is cured!”
In short, there was a flurry in the house, and it took a long time for someone to remember the existence of the Daoist and invited him into the main hall.
After a while, Yuan Genzhu rushed in like the wind. His face was flushed and his forehead was covered with beads of sweat. It was clearly the dead of winter but his waistcoat was wet, a dark water stain appeared, and a muddy stain on his knees. He had most probably stumbled on the way back due to haste.
The expression on Yuan Genzhu's face was wary with anticipation mixed with fear. He was afraid of disappointment, afraid that everything was nothing but empty joy.
There was no one else in his eyes but the little boy sitting next to Madam Ma. Yuan Genzhu's face was tense and he cautiously said, “Tianci?”
Yuan Tianci looked at the Daoist again. After the latter nodded at him, he whispered, “Father!”
Yuan Genzhu's whole body felt like it was struck by lightning and swayed like he was about to fall. The servants quickly stepped forward to support him. Yuan Genzhu's lips couldn't help shaking, and his throat finally responded, but it quickly turned into a choking.
He was not eager to check on his precious son but bowed to the Daoist sitting in the main seat instead. Before his knees touched the ground, his body was lifted by a gentle force.
“Tianci has a destiny with me. Saving him is nothing more than a cause and effect. Master Yuan doesn't need to show such courtesy.”
The Daoist’s voice was clear and inexplicably reassuring. Yuan Genzhu settled down and said, “May I know the immortal’s name? I want to build a temple and forge a golden statue for the immortal, so that the entire Prosperous City, no, the entire Xiang Kingdom, will know the immortal's compassion and supernatural powers!”
The Daoist stood up and slowly said, “My name is Jing Yue. Master Yuan doesn't have to spend so much time and effort on this. As I said, Tianci has a destiny with me.” He suddenly pointed his finger at Yuan Tianci. “I just want to take him away.”
The people in the courtyard were dumbfounded.
Jing Yue, “This person is supposed to be a member of the immortal realm. If you forcefully confine him to the secular world, all the blessings will be lost, so he should practice immortality with me.”
Yuan Genzhu hesitated to say something but stopped. Over the years, he traveled far and wide and had heard many stories about immortals. But Xiang kingdom was not big and he had never seen a real immortal, most of them tricksters. Subconsciously, he thought Jing Yue wanted to cheat Tianci away from them.
But after further thought, the other party's extraordinary ability and temperament were not faked. He recalled all the things he had had since picking up Tianci, and he couldn't help believing a little.
Even so, how could he give up Tianci so easily?
Yuan Genzhu was thinking of a way to refuse when someone suddenly said, “I agree. Jing-xianzhang, you may take Tianci away.”
He looked at Madam Ma in amazement with a look of disbelief on his face.
Madam Ma turned a blind eye to her husband’s shock. Her eyes were red as she said, “Although I’m just a woman, I also know righteousness. The immortal saved my son and can be considered my son’s second parent. From all angles, the Yuan family owes you a debt of gratitude. Besides, the path of immortality is a chance that mortals can’t even ask for. How can I stop Tianci’s future for my selfish interests?”
Jing Yue finally put aside his nonchalant attitude and cupped his hands, his emotions moved. “Thank you, Madam, for your kind consent, and thank you to the Yuan family for taking care of Tianci.”
After thinking for a while, he took out some cinnabar and yellow paper and drew a talisman. Once done, several cyan rays immersed into the yellow paper, and this display made the Yuan family more convinced of his identity.
Jing Yue, “Keep this charm well. As long as you don't do evil, this charm can bless you with a hundred years of wealth and health.”
Everyone was shocked and knelt on the ground. When they raised their eyes again, the Daoist and Yuan Tianci were gone.
Yuan Genzhu looked at the thin snow that suddenly floated in the garden and muttered, “There really are immortals in this world.”
After that, his eyes were sad again.
Prosperous City, back of the mountains.
In the cold and humid mountain forest, Jing Yue walked slowly on the mountain road with one hand holding Yuan Tianci.
He looked at the small guy in his arms and couldn't help but sigh. Qin-zhenjun, how did he end up like this? No wonder he couldn’t find him anywhere!
It turned out that during the battle at Buried Star Ocean, Qin Yanzhi created a rift in the Nine Heavens. At the last moment, before the cracks sealed, Jing Yue slammed the jade that the old man Tianzhu gave him into Qin Yanzhi's body, and the two got swept into the Nine Heaven Rift.
The rift was full of chaos, and the chaos was full of malefic energy.
Jing Yue knew that if he couldn't leave this place quickly, he and Qin Yanzhi would never survive.
So he took a risk and used a secret technique that had been lost in ancient times—the 33 Heaven Delimitation Curse.
It ought to be known that within the Nine Heavens, apart from one big world, there were hundreds of millions of small worlds. Rumor has it that a Tribulation Passage stalwart who had achieved ascension could even open up a small world.
The big and small worlds were independent of each other and belonged to different spatial planes. Even if they came into occasional contact, no one could see it and no traces could be found. Only when someone broke through the heavenly order in the existing realm, that it could be possible to sense the mysterious connection with the big world, therefore catching a line of cause and effect, and ascend into the big world.
At that time, they were trapped in the Nine Heavens Rift and were not restricted by the laws of heaven. In other words, Jing Yue could also sense the existence of the big world. On this basis, the 33 Heaven Delimitation Curse could connect him to the big world and help him return.
This was a method he had obtained from the secret realm of the Middle Ages. He had never tried it and it sounded very unreliable, but this was his only choice, so he could only bite the bullet and do it!
Initially, everything went smoothly. Just as he was about to take Qin Yanzhi into the big world again, he suddenly felt an invisible barrier. His divine consciousness was in pain immediately, as if being cut in half, causing him to instantly lose consciousness.
When he woke up, he found himself lying naked in the wilderness. Not only was he seriously injured, but the Qiankun bag, Sumeru Ring, and mini Canglan Sword that he carried at all times were gone. These items were branded with his spiritual sense but he couldn't feel it at all. At that time, Jing Yue suspected that he might have accidentally dropped into a certain small world. As his belongings were not in the laws of this world, they were repelled and most likely had disappeared forever in the Nine Heavens Rift.
It was inevitable for Jing Yue to feel despondent but this was not the most important matter. The main point was that Qin Yanzhi had disappeared.
He forced himself to search around but he was nowhere to be seen. He wondered in horror if Qin Yanzhi could still be trapped in the rift? Or did he not fall into the same small world with him? The latter was still okay, but the former… Qin Yanzhi would have no chance of surviving.
Jing Yue endured the pain and released his divine consciousness. Restricted by the laws of this place, his divine consciousness had also been weakened a lot. He could only vaguely perceive the aura of the same origin as him in the small world, but the location was uncertain. It seemed close yet far away at the same time.
But Jing Yue breathed a sigh of relief. That at least meant Qin Yanzhi was here and still alive.
From then on, Jing Yue embarked on the journey to search for Qin Yanzhi. It took him three years and he gradually learned about this small world.
This was the Haotian Realm, divided into four major continents, with a big ocean in the middle.
There were dozens of countries on every continent. Over the years, Jing Yue had set foot in almost all the countries on the two continents in the south and east. In the fourth year, he switched to the west continent and finally found an old acquaintance!
It was a sunny morning and Jing Yue happily set off on the road with the bag that he newly gathered. He walked along the river and then climbed up halfway up the mountain. Suddenly, Jing Yue stopped.
Ahead was a strange sight—six wild monkeys were attacking a chicken.
The chick seemed thin and weak, but the fighting power was good. It jumped up and down to avoid the monkeys’ attacks and scratched left and right that left marks on the monkeys. What attracted Jing Yue's attention the most was the little chicken’s blue feathers.
The ferocious chick froze abruptly and was almost caught by the monkey. Jing Yue attacked the monkeys with his spiritual power, sending them scuttling away in fear.
“Is it really Jing-jing? Is Ji-ji dreaming?”
The pathetic little blue chicken stared at Jing Yue with tears in its eyes, and the two wings were tangled together, but it dared not move, as if afraid it would wake up from the dream when it moved.
Jing Yue felt a stab of pain in his heart. His Ji-ji was always chubby and glamorous, and the famine-stricken sight in front of him was really different from before. Also, Ji-ji was always timid and cowardly, and even lost a lot of vitality from the formation back then. But it looked fierce and vicious when fighting with the monkeys just now. He wondered how much hardships it went through before the circumstances forced it to be this way?
Moreover, he clearly remembered handing Ji-ji to Lin-zhenjun, but Ji-ji appeared here, indicating that Ji-ji had chased after him and fell into the rift with him, and he didn’t notice it at all. He felt sorry for Ji-ji.
Jing Yue blinked back tears and said in the gentlest tone, “Ji-ji, I’m your Jing-jing. Don’t be afraid. I found you now.”
“Jing-jing!!!” Blue phoenix burst into tears and pounced into Jing Yue’s arms, grabbing the front of his clothes and sobbing, “Why did Jing-jing give Ji-ji to someone else? Don’t Jing-jing want Ji-ji anymore?”
Jing Yue quickly hugged it tightly and comforted, “How can I not want you? What I’m about to do is just too dangerous. I’m just worried that something might happen to you.” Seeing that Ji-ji was about to wail again, he said, “I was wrong. I won’t do it again.”
Blue phoenix choked. “Anyway, in any case, Jing-jing is not allowed to leave Ji-ji behind again!”
Jing Yue, “Okay.”
Blue phoenix, “Swear it.”
Jing Yue, “I swear.”
Jing Yue finally got Ji-ji's forgiveness after much persuasion. Then, he learned that when the rift started closing, Ji-ji managed to chase after him and grabbed his belt the entire time. However, he only thought of saving Qin Yanzhi at that time and didn't even notice that there was a little phoenix hanging on his waist.
Jing Yue rubbed blue phoenix’s head. “You shouldn’t do such dangerous things in the future. Do you hear me?”
Blue phoenix turned its head unhappily, leaning on Jing Yue and pretending to be dead.
After blue phoenix was found by accident, Jing Yue suddenly wanted to stop for a while. He could feel that in addition to Ji-ji, there was another familiar aura in the small world that was near yet far. It could only be Qin Yanzhi. As long as the other party was still in this world, based on the causal relationship between them, they were destined to meet eventually.
Thus, he moved into an unmanned Daoist temple on the mountain and became the only Daoist priest there.
Although the spiritual energy in this world was not as abundant and pure as the great world, it had little effect on Jing Yue, who possessed an Omnispirit body. At least, his cultivation speed did not slow down too much.
While cultivating, Jing Yue occasionally went down the mountain to help people catch ghosts, find people, and probe for news... In short, he was a down-to-earth Daoist priest.
On a certain day in the fifth year, he went down to visit a widowed old man again. It happened that a distant relative of the other party came back from Xiang Kingdom and was a guest in the old man's house.
The country Jing Yue resided in was Chen, while Xiang was adjacent to it. The young man often traveled between Chen and Xiang for business.
While chatting, the other party mentioned that there was a Prosperous City in Xiang with a wealthy philanthropist staying there. The five-year-old son of the philanthropist was picked up from the woods and was mentally challenged, but the philanthropist never disliked him. He always loved his son as before and even spent a fortune trying to treat his eldest son.
Young man, “A brother of mine works in the philanthropist's mansion so I know some inside stories. I heard that the dim-witted son was only a baby when he was picked up by the philanthropist, but his body was covered with sword wounds. Alas, who could do such a thing to a baby? I always suspected this fool has an unusual background, perhaps even a formidable enemy. I wonder if the philanthropist is inviting trouble by raising him. I just hope that the kindness will be rewarded.”
When Jing Yue heard some keywords, he felt a sense of urgency in his heart. He asked, “Do you know when the philanthropist picked up this son?”
The young man happily said, “I do know! It was the third day of the third month five years ago. The philanthropist made this date the birthday of his foolish son.”
Five years ago on the third day of the third month?
Jing Yue was shocked. Wasn't that the day when he fell into the small world?
Qin Yanzhi? Five years old? Foolish son?
It couldn’t be?!!
Author’s Notes: Divine Bragging
Ji-ji: I lost weight…
Jing-jing: I ran around naked…
Rouge: Not only did I run around naked, but I was also seen by others…
Jing-jing: Let’s congratulate xxx for the new nickname!
Rouge: Can you stop calling people xxx? It’s disrespectful.
Jing-jing: Okay, dim-witted son.
Rouge: … Let’s keep the xxx.