HSSB40: The Lin family maiden leaves seclusion
In the Central Heaven Region, where Broad Creed Mountain’s headquarters were located, within the depths of the multiple mountains existed an enormous cave, a peaceful place within which disciples of Broad Creed Mountain opted to go into secluded meditation.
The stone door outside the cave, which previously been closed, suddenly began to open little by little.
From within, a maiden of only fifteen or sixteen years of age stepped out. Dressed completely in white, her beauty cast a radiant glow onto the surrounding forest, as she resembled a water lily blossoming in the evening.
Outside the cave, there were two youths waiting. Upon seeing the young maiden, smiles appeared on their faces: “Junior apprentice-sister Lin is leaving the gate?”
Lin Yushao gracefully laughed as she greeted the two: “Senior apprentice-brothers.”
The two youths returned her greeting. One of them laughed and responded: “Congratulations to junior apprentice- sister Lin for making a breakthrough during your seclusion. If you can complete a few tasks for the clan, you’ll soon be able to wear a blue qingpao.”
According to Broad Creed Mountain’s rules, all normal disciples would have to wear white robes. Of the previous Ye Jing, Lan Wenyan, and Lin Yushao, none were exempt from this rule.
For innately gifted disciples, after their cultivation reached a certain realm, they would be
rigorously tested by the clan. If they passed, they would wear blue robes instead, and, being considered Chosen amongst the disciples, would be nurtured by the clan, like Sikong Qing.
At a level above that, like Yan Zhaoge, their robes would be lined with a black trim. Any disciples at this level would be considered core disciples of the clan, and would have a greatly different position from the other disciples. Each core disciple would wield considerable influence—correspondingly, while their privileges and prestige could be considered the highest, their numbers were also the lowest.
Lin Yushao lightly smiled and responded: “I’ve only cultivated for a short period, and my foundation is unsteady. I also am lacking in experience from outside training. As for becoming a blue robed disciple, I’m still a great distance from reaching that level.”
“If at some later time I have a chance to travel outside the clan with senior apprentice-brothers, I hope that you can give me some pointers.”
The two youths exchanged glances for a moment, then laughed. In their hearts, they were thinking: “With senior apprentice-brother Yan acting as a strong tree to block the wind and rain for you, what sort of trial could possibly stop you?”
However, the other party was polite and deferential, without any hint of trying to exploit her connection to Yan Zhaoge. Naturally, this made the attitude of the two youths soften. Laughing, they responded: “With senior apprentice-brother Yan guiding you, there shouldn’t be a need for us.”
“Rather, if we had the opportunity to train with senior apprentice-brother Yan, that would be a fortuitous opportunity for us. At that time, we’ll have to trouble junior apprentice-sister Lin to mention our names.”
Lin Yushao lightly laughed again: “Senior apprentice-brother Yan’s experience has surpassed ours by too much. Naturally, he’ll have his own ideas.”
“Nonetheless, from the perspective of this junior sister, I would naturally hope to be able to travel alongside you two senior apprentice-brothers.”
The two youths laughed as well, but everyone present knew full well that the one to make the decision would ultimately be Yan Zhaoge. Still, with what Lin Yushao had already said, it was enough for the two of them.
Lin Yushao asked: “I don’t know if senior apprentice-brothers know, but…regarding senior apprentice-brother Yan, is he in the clan right now?”
One of the disciples shook his head: “A short while ago, senior apprentice-brother Yan went to lead a group of our fellow disciples on a mission to the Sealing Dragon Abyss near the East Heaven Region’s Eastern Tang Kingdom. Later, he stayed there for unknown reasons, and hasn’t yet returned to the mountain.”
“East Heaven Region…Eastern Tang Kingdom…” Lin Yushao became quiet for a moment as her expression briefly showed an inscrutable expression before quickly returning to normal.
The Broad Creed Mountain disciples briefly examined her for a moment, slightly hesitating before saying:
“Junior apprentice-brother Ye also went with them. From what I’ve heard, it seems as if he’s gone missing.”
Lin Yushao’s gaze shook slightly and her body stiffened as she heard him continue: “However, he seems to only have been lost. Whether he’s alive or dead is still uncertain.”
The other youth looked at Lin Yushao, then suddenly spoke in a low voice: “Senior apprentice-sister Sikong Qing also went with them. According to some rumors, after leaving the Sealing Dragon Abyss this time, there have been some changes in her attitude towards senior apprentice-brother Yan….”
Lin Yushao was silent for a moment as she processed everything, before her expression reverted to normal.
She softly said: “I hope that Ye… Junior apprentice-brother Ye will be helped by the heavens*.”
Regardless of the affairs between the two of them in the past, everyone was still ultimately part of the same clan, so what she said couldn’t be considered inappropriate.
Only, the two disciples exchanged glances again, their smiles becoming slightly odd. They nodded in agreement: “Of course, we hope that the heavens will help those who are deserving.”
*TN Note: These two are actually the same idiom, but in Lin Yushao’s sentence, it implies that she wants him to be safe, while the two other youths are simply saying the idiom – “Heaven will help those who deserve it.”
After the three parted ways, Lin Yushao almost seemed like a statue as she stood outside the cave, unmoving.
Only after a long time had passed did she softly sigh, finally revealing the slightest hint of anger.
After reporting to the clan elders about the progress of her secluded cultivation, Lin Yushao applied for permission to leave to clan and go to the East Heaven Region’s Eastern Tang Kingdom.
That place was also her hometown.
When the Assignment Hall Elder heard her request, his expression became somewhat ambiguous, since the fact that Yan Zhaoge was currently in the Eastern Tang was common knowledge.
However, the Elder did nothing to block her request, even seeming quite open and frank when approving it.
Lin Yushao greeted everyone she saw as she always had, then returned back to her dwelling. After gathering up her belongings, she departed from the clan.
Yet, under her calm exterior, her emotions were in turmoil. Even she herself was unable to understand why she so urgently wanted to travel to the Eastern Tang Kingdom…
At this moment, Yan Zhaoge was in the Luliao Mountains, waiting for the men he dispatched to report back on Ye Jing and Meng Wan.
“If they’re able to be found, then we’ll find them. Even if we fail to find them, it’s still not a big deal.” Yan Zhaoge carelessly said. “However, if you’re able to find Ye Jing’s whereabouts, don’t attack him. Finding his whereabouts will be enough—I’ll personally go to resolve this matter.”
The other people thought that Yan Zhaoge wanted to personally go just to vent his anger. Thus, they quickly responded in the affirmative.
“As for that Meng Wan…” Yan Zhaoge pondered: “Chao Yuanlong… Xiao Sheng… Meng Wan… the Sacred Sun Clan seems to have densely occupied the region around the Sealing Dragon Abyss and the Luliao Mountains. What could they be planning?”
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Yan Zhaoge began to take an interest in what the Sacred Sun Clan was planning.
Only one thing was for certain, they hadn’t come because of the changes in the Sealing Dragon Abyss. Rather, it seemed like they were searching for something.
From what he had seen, it seemed more like a personal affair of someone inside the clan rather than a mission from the clan itself.
“Young master.” At this moment, a black clothed cultivator appeared in front of Yan Zhaoge.
Yan Zhaoge asked: “Whose whereabouts have you discovered?”
“The Sacred Sun Clan’s Maiden of Extreme Yin’s.”
Yan Zhaoge clapped his hands unworriedly: “Lead the way, let’s go take a look. Also, let Ah Hu’s side keep searching for traces of Ye Jing.”
It was a rare change that Meng Wan had left the clan by herself and fallen into a trap. From the looks of it, it didn’t seem like there were experts from the Sacred Sun Clan laying in wait to ambush them either.
If there wasn’t an opportunity, that would be that, but if there was a chance and he didn’t take the opportunity to do something, Yan Zhaoge would feel as though he had no face left to return to Broad Creed Mountain.
Regarding the struggle between two Sacred Grounds, if there wasn’t any third party meddling, any single Martial Saint or Saint Artifact could decide the outcome of the war— perhaps even as the most important factor.
That was even without taking into account the superiority of the Crown of Extreme Yin as compared to regular Saint Artifacts. If a Maiden of Extreme Yin equipped with the artifact was able to step into the Martial Grandmaster realm, she would be able to wield enormous power.
The only question was… if he was going to do something, to what degree was he going to do it?
…Get rid of her?
That seemed a little bit too vicious.
And after the news spread out, the entire Sacred Sun Clan would be up in arms, with the inevitable outcome of a full-out war erupting between the two Sacred Grounds.
Previously, Meng Wan had already sustained some injuries in the icy cold pond, but were those injuries enough to ensure that she would definitely be defeated in the next Extreme Yin Bout?
Yan Zhaoge pondered as he flew through the mountains.
“Young master.” At this time, another black clothed cultivator appeared. “There’s another group of Sacred Sun Clan cultivators in the vicinity. They seem to be the same group that was with Chao Yuanlong.”
Yan Zhaoge rubbed his chin: “Now things are getting interesting.”