Chapter 20: I Will Not Be Alone
Su Chen locked himself in his room and thought about it for three days.
After three days, he returned to the stone room, where Shi Kaihuang was sitting, cooking a pot of meat.
The pot and flame were formed out of Origin Energy, and only the Vicious Beast meat was real. The meat roasted in midair under the support of the Origin Energy, until it was cooked all the way through.
Seeing Su Chen walking over, Shi Kaihuang asked “Have you thought it through yet?”
“Yes. I’ve thought it through,” Su Chen replied.
“So what’s your answer?”
“Before I give you my answer, I want to tell you about the way that I see things. First, I have to confess, that the words you spoke to me three days ago gave me quite the scare. I was a bit indecisive after I discovered that I was not as selfless as I thought. I said that I wanted to do something for the human race, but not by making that kind of sacrifice. I was unwilling to throw myself into the fire for the sake of saving others. But after contemplating later on, although everything you said may be true, it has yet to occur, right? So in the end, this is all just your speculation.”
“Yes, but I’m not just taking random shots in the dark,” Shi Kaihuang replied.
“I know, but I believe that while there is a dark side to this world, there is also light. Light and darkness always coexist. In other words, while all the negative things you mentioned may exist, this does not mean that only negative things exist by any stretch of the imagination. I trust that there are many wonderful things waiting for us. Even though you didn’t mention them, that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.”
Shi Kaihuang’s eyes revealed a trace of ridicule. “Is this the reassurance you are giving yourself for walking down this path? Tricking yourself into believing that there is light in this world?”
“If there’s no light, then what are you?” Su Chen countered.
Shi Kaihuang was speechless.
This was the first time that Shi Kaihuang had been refuted by Su Chen to the point of speechlessness.
Su Chen said, “I was once blinded for three years. In those three years, I lived in constant darkness, and it seemed as if my life had no hope. But I never gave up on myself. I continued to strive and fight, which is why I’m alive here today. Back then, many people asked me why I continued to persevere……”
He paused for a moment, then continued, “It was hope. I believed that one day, my eyes would recover. I didn’t want to be completely unprepared when that day came. Because of a little hope, I gritted my teeth and persevered, no matter how many obstacles blocked my path. Senior Shi, believe me, I have already experienced what it’s like to walk in darkness and what it’s like to be surrounded by evil wolves. Everything that you mentioned, I have tried before, but I did not surrender. Right now, the future that you are talking about is just a future that you imagined based on the encounters and experiences that you have had…… There are four critical steps, and you haven’t even taken the second step yet, right? So in these inferences, there are too many other possibilities or changes that might occur, indicating that there is more hope in the future.”
Upon reaching this point, Su Chen’s voice became slightly louder and more passionate. “Even in the darkest period of my life, both literally and figuratively, I was able to grasp onto a tiny bit of hope to continue. So now, what excuse do I have to give up?”
“That’s why I’m here. I still want to take this path.”
“But unfortunately, it’s not because of the reasons that you expected. It’s not from a determination to sacrifice myself for the greater good, and it’s not from a desire to dedicate my entire life to raising the human race to eminence. Rather, it’s because I believe that this world is still full of hope, and because I still have hope for humanity. I believe that in the future there will not only be darkness but also light. After all, I am an expert in finding light within the darkness!”
“I believe that I will not be alone!”
A long silence.
After the time it takes for half a stick of incense to burn, Shi Kaihuang finally spoke. “I am not a very smart person…… on the battlefield, there is no room for small tricks. The entire time, I wanted a student who would fight to live on a field of death, so to speak – one with the resoluteness and audacity to forge onwards no matter what the difficulty was.”
Upon hearing these words, Su Chen’s heart sank.
Shi Kaihuang continued, “But unexpectedly, the student I accepted in the end is someone who is cunning and good at arguments, who possesses elegant, articulate speech and who has his own way of thinking, even becoming disillusioned with my way of thinking. Perhaps this is fate.”
Upon hearing these words, Su Chen’s heart was filled with joy and excitement.
Shi Kaihuang said, “Well, come with me.”
As he spoke, he stood up, heading towards the forest behind him.
Su Chen didn’t know what he was planning on doing. He did not dare to speak carelessly, so he followed silently behind Shi Kaihuang.
The two of them walked in this manner. They passed through the small forest and walked down a long, winding corridor. After walking past numerous pavilions and towers, they arrived in front of a group of towers.
Shi Kaihuang began walking towards one of the ancient-looking towers.
After entering the ancient tower, Su Chen discovered that the interior was actually extremely beautiful, as if he had entered another realm.
Inside the large room, an old man sat behind a large front desk. He was thumbing through a pile of records.
Upon seeing Shi Kaihuang enter, the white-bearded old man began to yell, “Shi Kaihuang? Why are you here?”
“I’m here to register someone,” Shi Kaihuang replied. He shifted to the side, revealing Su Chen, who was trailing behind him.
Upon seeing Su Chen, the white-bearded old man was clearly taken aback. He asked, “Register? Register what?”
“What else can I register here? Register my new disciple for me, would you? From today onwards, he is now my student.”
Upon hearing these words, the old man with the white beard was stunned.
His expression slowly changed, becoming more and more red. The hairs on his beard began to stick out straight as he yelled, “You’re accepting a disciple? How is this possible!? Shi Kaihuang, you’re accepting disciples now? And you made him an inheritor disciple right off the bat?”
“Alright alright, don’t look at me with that strange expression. I don’t have the patience to determine whether they are regular disciples or inheritor disciples. Either I don’t accept them at all, or they become my inheritor disciples right off the bat. Is that really so strange?” Shi Kaihuang impatiently waved his hand. “Quick, register him.”
The white-bearded old man stared at Shi Kaihuang, stupefied, then at Su Chen. Finally, as if awakening from a dream, he hurriedly began to search for the registration book as he muttered, “Dammit, dammit, where did I put it?”
“Right here!” Shi Kaihuang couldn’t watch any longer. He pointed at a large beastskin book to his side.
“Oh! That’s where it is.” The white-bearded old man picked up the beastskin book and hurriedly flipped it open, muttering to himself incessantly.
As the old man chanted in a low voice, Su Chen saw a gust of azure smoke emerge from the beastskin book. The smoke formed a small, spherical figure as it emerged. Two eyes opened on the sphere, shifting around constantly.
“Tell me your name!” the old man yelled.
Shi Kaihuang patted Su Chen’s shoulder. “Tell him your name.”
“Ah…… Su Chen! My name is Su Chen,” Su Chen hurriedly said.
“His name is Su Chen!” the white-bearded old man said to the smoke spectre that had emerged from the beastskin book.
The smoke spectre suddenly split into two thin columns of smoke, snaking their way into Su Chen’s nostrils.
Su Chen hadn’t expected this kind of development. He coughed repeatedly out of instinct, but he discovered that the smoke didn’t actually choke him. After entering his body, it disappeared.
“Okay, it’s remembered you.”
The old man pulled out an Origin Stone and tossed it into the smoke spectre’s mouth.
Su Chen saw very clearly that it was a mid-grade Origin Stone.
It cost a mid-grade Origin Stone just to register him? What kind of registration was this?
Su Chen didn’t understand. He glanced at Shi Kaihuang, but Shi Kaihuang wasted no words. He declared with indifference, “Let’s go.”
The white-bearded old man watched Shi Kaihuang leave, still in a daze. He suddenly thought of something, then began to flip through his cluttered work desk. “Where is it, where is it? Dammit, where did I put it…… Oh, here it is.”
He pulled out a black, inky bracelet from the pile and tapped it with his finger. The bracelet began to shine with a strange light and the old man yelled into it, “Shi Kaihuang accepted a disciple!”
Formless Origin Energy ripples began to diffuse out from the bracelet, spreading to every corner. Almost all of the instructors at the Hidden Dragon Institute felt the strange ripples from their bracelets, whether they were busy or not, whether they were in the library, the lecture hall, the Skill Transmission Hall, or the Refinement Pavilion. They all opened their bracelets to hear what the old man had to say.
“Shi Kaihuang accepted a disciple!”
Everyone instantly froze in their tracks.
In that instant, the various instructors acted like they had been struck by a destruction-class time-attribute Origin Skill, frozen on the spot.