HSSB406: Heavens beyond our heavens
As Yan Zhaoge’s impressions of his mother, Xue Chuqing, were extremely faint, he had still been relatively calm within.
However, as he saw that seldom seen forlorn look on Yan Di’s face, he too felt rather emotional for a time.
Seeing his father with the looks of yearning for his wife, Yan Zhaoge pondered for a moment before a rascally smile suddenly appeared on his face, he going up and asking Yan Di, “Father, between you and mother, who’s the stronger one?”
Hearing his words, Yan Di instantly knew not whether to laugh or cry, “This child; you’re just concerned about this?”
“Your fame surpassed mother’s back then, but I heard you say earlier that the martial arts mother cultivated in were even more outstanding, always having been kept deeply hidden by her. Of course I’m curious,” Yan Zhaoge spoke in a righteous, matter-of-fact manner, “Perhaps mother was intentionally leaving you face before outsiders back then, maybe?”
Yan Di pointed at Yan Zhaoge, repeatedly shaking his head, “You, you…”
Yan Zhaoge chortled, pressing him, “Say it, say it.”
Yan Di first broke helplessly into a smile before he recalled very earnestly, “We didn’t fight in a deathmatch, so I can’t really say for sure, but I should have been superior to her by a bit. However…”
His eyes narrowed momentarily into slits, “Chuqing should have been stronger than second apprentice-brother, Huang Xu and the others.”
“In terms of her intricate control of her body’s strength, Chuqing was the most superb of all those I’ve seen.”
Hearing this, Yan Zhaoge instantly smiled, “Even more superb than you?”
Yan Di answered candidly, “In this area, she was stronger than me. If one unit of our strength can be used to exert one unit of force, one unit of Chuqing’s strength would be able to exert even greater force than that. This is unrelated to cultivation, seemingly being more related to personal talent.”
Yan Zhaoge asked, “Speaking of personal talent, how’s Han Long’er?”
Of the late Shi Tie’s disciples, Ying Longtu had been the latest to come under his tutelage, also being the youngest as well as yet to leave the wing of his Master.
Following the discussions of Broad Creed Mountain’s bigwigs, it had finally been decided that Ying Longtu would come under Yan Di’s guidance.
Still, on the clan’s annals, Ying Longtu would still be descended from Shi Tie’s lineage, Yan Di being considered as teaching him on his behalf.
Actually, when Yan Zhaoge had found Ying Longtu that year, he had felt that the person most suited to be his Master was not his eldest apprentice-uncle Shi Tie, instead being his father Yan Di.
While Han Long’er was pure of mind, he was exceptionally clear and bright in terms of comprehension of the martial dao, learning everything quickly and also being able to connect and merge things together.
If others dabbled in too vast an area, it might be them biting off more than they could chew, instead not having much ability in all the martial arts they cultivated in.
However, Han Long’er was simply proficient in everything as well as able to connect all of his learnings to bolster one another.
In other words, his personality aside, Han Long’er was actually more suited to follow the path of Yan Di or Fang Zhun.
Still, of the two, Yan Di didn’t like taking disciples, only having two direct disciples other than Ah Hu who was one in all but name, one being his only son Yan Zhaoge and the other Feng Moyang, the son of his senior apprentice-brother and good friend, Feng Chi.
Also, him having accepted Feng Moyang as a disciple had also greatly been due to wanting to groom his with regard to his substantial talent in alchemy.
Meanwhile, Fang Zhun was in charge of the Assignment Hall, having many matters to deal with. Ever since Lu Wen, he had no longer accepted disciples.
Of course, Shi Tie was also extremely proficient in teaching his disciples, especially not using himself as a guide in teaching them.
While Xu Fei had been like him, only focusing on a single martial art, Shi Tie had taught Ying Longtu in a completely different manner, establishing an excellent foundation for him.
In being taught instead by Yan Di now, Ying Longtu did not find it any uncomfortable at all.
As for those others descended from his eldest apprentice-brother’s lineage, Yan Di spared no effort in grooming them as well.
Hearing Yan Zhaoge ask about Han Long’er, Yan Di smiled, “You’ll know after you see him.”
“Oh?” Yan Zhaoge blinked, “It seems like there is much to anticipate.”
After they had finished laughing at this, Yan Zhaoge asked solemnly, “Father, have you all seen the people senior apprentice-uncle Feng brought back to the clan?”
Yan Di’s face turned solemn as well, “I’ve seen them. I’d never thought that such a strange matter could possibly exist before.”
The people Yan Zhaoge was referring to were naturally Ouyang Qi as well as the deceased Chang Ning who looked extremely similar to Sikong Qing.
Ouyang Qi aside, Chang Ning’s corpse had been handled with secret arts by Yan Zhaoge, keeping it temporarily preserved as Feng Chi and Feng Moyang had sent it back to Broad Creed Mountain before the great battle over at the Outer East Sea had occurred.
Yan Di and the others had already long since seen it, all feeling it to be greatly unexpected as they clicked their tongues at the strangeness of the matter.
“We will also be examining junior apprentice-niece Sikong once now that she has returned,” Yan Di appeared to be in deep thought, “This matter doesn’t feel simple at all.”
Yan Zhaoge nodded slightly in agreement.
Afterwards, the two discussed the journey that Yan Zhaoge had just returned from and what he had seen and experienced outside.
The praise and approval within Yan Di’s gaze that was on Yan Zhaoge had increased greatly, yet was concealed deeply and no longer evident as he concentrated on pointing out Yan Zhaoge’s flaws and deficiencies in his journey that had just ended.
This was only natural of him as a father. The more satisfied a father was in his child, the less he would speak words of praise as he would instead hope for his child to be even more brilliant, even more perfect.
Yan Di still had to take a look at Sikong Qing and handle some other matters of the clan afterwards, as Yan Zhaoge now parted ways with him and walked leisurely along the mountain paths by himself.
After parting ways with Yan Di, Yan Zhaoge’s expression gradually grew grave.
There was still a period of time before the Marsh of Illusory Sea weakened and the Ten Character Heavenly Rainbow appeared, so he was in no rush to make his way there, instead being able to continue cultivating on the Mountain.
However, some of the information that Yan Di had given to him proved many of his earlier guesses.
The Great Calamity had caused that original world to split apart.
Whether it was the Eight Extremities World or the Flame Devil World, both were a portion of it.
And now, the likely existence of yet more worlds had proven this yet further.
At the same time, it also served as an explanation of Sikong Qing’s unique situation.
The world opposite the Ten Character Heavenly Rainbow should also be one of the fragments of that complete world of before the Great Calamity?
As countless thoughts flashed through Yan Zhaoge’s mind, what he was actually the most concerned about was this: were the martial arts that his mother cultivated in from a completely preserved legacy from a power of before the Great Calamity that had been found through some stroke of fortune later on, or had it, in the first place, been passed down by lucky survivors of the Great Calamity?
Having witnessed the words and actions of the mysterious woman related to the Extreme Yin Crown when he was perusing the pillar of the Divine Palace in the Great Western Desert, Yan Zhaoge had already felt that there must be lucky survivors of the Great Calamity.
Such a long time having passed, they themselves might already have passed away, but could they still have legacies yet to be discontinued, having been passed down all the way till now?
Yan Zhaoge narrowed his eyes, a gloomy light flashing within his pupils, “If such people truly exist, might they know what exactly it was that caused that Great Calamity?”
As he strolled solitarily on a mountain path, Yan Zhaoge suddenly smiled, “Pretty interesting.”
Knowing that there were heavens beyond his heavens, Yan Zhaoge did not feel panicked, instead feeling as though the world before him had broadened as his spirits suddenly rose.
He raised his head and gazed far off into the distance, where the morning sun was rising over the horizon amidst the peaks of Broad Creed Mountain.
Facing the sunlight, Yan Zhaoge stretched lazily before now taking a great stride forward, resuming his footsteps once more.