Chapter 18: A Full Account
Su Chen arrived back at the stone room. Compared to his earlier exuberance, he was evidently much more composed.
Gone was his air of self-confidence and steadiness. What replaced it was the respect and reverence given to those with power.
Shi Kaihuang sat by the lake, fishing.
His method of fishing was somewhat unique. There was no fishing line on the rod. Instead, he had created a thin line of Origin Energy and placed it on the head of the rod, which he casted into the water.
The thin line wasn’t all that surprising. However, Shi Kaihuang was able to create it whilst being a fishing rod length away from it. In addition, while it was very thin, the fish gathered around this “fishing line”, as if they were attracted to it.
Upon a closer whiff, he could smell a unique fragrance gently diffusing from the fishing line, attracting the fish.
The old man’s Origin Energy actually had an odor to it!
Su Chen bowed respectfully to Shi Kaihuang at a distance. “Su Chen greets Senior.”
Shi Kaihuang didn’t lift his head. “What trick are you going to pull this time?”
Su Chen fell silent for a moment, then said, “The first time I met Senior, I was dumped by a girl moments before. In my sorrow, I swore a laughable oath……”
He didn’t demonstrate any Origin Skills, nor did he try to fawn over Shi Kaihuang. He patiently described in great detail how they met, surprising even Shi Kaihuang. However, Shi Kaihuang didn’t show his surprise; he was fully focused on the fish in the lake.
“Because of that, I received my first scolding from Senior, causing me to be roused from my apathy as if awaking from a dream. Now that I used my time to ponder on it, I realized it was probably this initial interaction that gave Senior the impression I was biting off more than I could chew. Senior thought this was a declaration made in blind arrogance.”
Shi Kaihuang squinted his eyes.
“In reality, even I believed I only made the oath in the spur of the moment. I never possessed the ability to make that dream a reality, so there was no motivation for me to jump into this bottomless pit. But I was wrong, and so was Senior…… Because that oath was not made out of impulse. More precisely, impulse was part of it, but only a small part.
Shi Kaihuang opened his eyes as they shined.
“I live in a world where bloodlines are revered. As a commoner without a bloodline, I have witnessed many things because of it. I witnessed someone use their origin to wantonly kill innocent individuals simply because their lives were ‘worth’ less than his. I went to the Cloud Rising Border, witnessing the bitter lives of those who lived there. I experienced firsthand the suffering and torment they had to endure every day. I hated and killed members from Bloodline Nobility Clans who used their status to oppress others, and I did my best to save a few cannon fodders living near the border, but everything I did was like a drop in the ocean to the human race. There’s too much suffering I am unable to alleviate and resolve.”
Shi Kaihuang finally turned around, gazing at Su Chen.
“I hoped before that one day, someone would come forward and tear it all down,” Su Chen said in a low voice.
A bitter smile flashed across his face. “Yes, at that moment I was only hoping someone else would stand up, hoping someone would become my hero. I never thought about standing up myself and becoming the hero I wish to look up to. That was, until……”
“Until that girl appeared?” Shi Kaihuang finally spoke.
Su Chen nodded his head. “Yes. On that day, I made such an oath. It was in the spur of the moment, yes, but it wasn’t completely impulsive. It was last spurt of energy necessary to break through into a higher realm. Without this energy, the breakthrough would not be possible, but this energy on itself was insufficient as well.
Shi Kaihuang gently sighed, basically acknowledging Su Chen’s explanation.
This was the first time Shi Kaihuang had ever acknowledged Su Chen.
Su Chen did not grow excited. He serenely spoke, “Many thoughts crossed my mind these last few days. I never understood why you were unwilling to accept me as a disciple. But yesterday, I finally understood. I realized why only you can be my personal instructor. It’s not because you are powerful, it’s about who you are, what you do, how you can criticize and rebuke me, all of it together.”
“When I understood this, I understood why you were unwilling to accept disciples. It’s not that you don’t want a disciple, but that you haven’t met one who meets your standards. Many of them couldn’t identify or comprehend your goal. If they can’t identify with what you do, how are they to learn from you? This is the main issue. Just like you said, those who wanted you to become their personal instructor were all playing a game called ‘win over Shi Kaihuang’. They weren’t respecting your thoughts, your efforts. They merely focused on demonstrating their successes. Of course you wouldn’t want to accept them.”
Shi Kaihuang’s eyes dimmed slightly.
Su Chen said, “I acknowledge it! I know what you are doing, and I want to do it as well. But this time, I’m not saying this out of impulse. It’s a choice I made after contemplating it thoroughly!”
He knelt on one knee and said sincerely, “Please, accept me as your disciple!”
In the Bai Clan’s main courtyard in Flying Wheel City.
Bai Jingtai sat at the front of the pavilion, his face as calm as water.
His face was long like a horse, and his mustache was combed neatly on both sides like the character “eight1”. His face seemed strange and deformed, making his visage very ugly.
However, this ugly man was exuding a killing aura so dense it almost felt real. It emanated from his body, forming an ethereal bloody mist around him.
This bloody mist intimidated his servants as they quaked in fear, not daring to make a single noise.
A young, handsome servant knelt near Bai Jingtai. He said in a low voice, “We’ve determined that Demon Face is Su Chen, the one who caused quite a stir during the Three-Mountains Region Exam. The person who killed Eldest Prince and his wife must be him. In addition, he now practices our clan’s Thunder Blade, and even passed it on to others.”
The armrest of the chair Bai Jingtai sat on shattered.
He hadn’t directly shattered it. Rather, the dense, cloudlike blood mist surrounding him had suddenly contracted, shattering the firm wooden armrest.
“It’s been an entire year. After expending so much time and energy, have we finally found him?” Bai Jingtai asked darkly.
The servant lowered his head. “It’s my fault for being useless, forcing Patriarch to wait for so long.”
“Forget about it. Since we’ve found him, take care of him.”
“Patriarch, Su Chen has entered the Hidden Dragon Institute. The kid he passed the Thunder Blade onto has also entered the Hidden Dragon Institute.”
Dealing with them within the walls of the Institute would prove to be quite an obstacle.
Bai Jingtai lowered his head in thought, then said, “Let Ou’er take care of it. Tell him to find an opportunity to kill Su Chen.”
“What about the other kid who learned our Thunder Blade?”
“The Bai Clan’s Absolute Techniques are not to be spread. Kill him.”
- In Chinese, the character for eight is 八, which is what this guy’s mustache looks like. ↩