The thin man stroked his chin a couple of times before speaking again.
“How old did that cultivator look?” the thin man asked.
The veiled woman gulped before replying,
“He… he’s young, probably sixteen or seventeen, but definitely younger than twenty.”
An irritated expression appeared on the man’s face as he replied with a louder tone.
“So you mean to say that our people could not differentiate between a cultivator belonging to a mercenary group and an itinerant cultivator? Do you think a cultivator of such a young age would join a mercenary company, or do you think it is a high-level cultivator that has returned to his youth?”
The veiled woman lowered her face even more and didn’t speak.
“Do you think a cultivator that has enough talent to become a cultivator at that age would be without a backing? GO!! I want every single thing there is to know about that cultivator.” The thin man yelled.
“Yes, my lord.” The woman replied before disappearing.
The thin man sighed to himself before standing up and walking up to a shelf and opening a drawer. He then pulled out a jade slip and looked at it for a moment before keeping back into the drawer and closing it.
~sigh~ “It is not the time yet.” The man muttered before walking to a window and staring outside.
“What are you planning father… “
Lin Mu was practicing the Thousand Armament Blade scripture in the Sleepscape. He had nearly completed the basics of the weapons he already had and now was progressing to the more advanced parts. Though right now, he felt as if he was being hindered. He understood that it was because of a lack of weapons and that he would have to get them soon or this may become a flaw in his technique.
The more he practiced, the more he understood how the techniques of different weapons fit together and complemented each other. He now grasped the flaws of different weapons and how to overcome them with the use of another weapon.
“You are doing well. The improvement is significant.” Xukong praised.
Xukong had been seeing Lin Mu practicing diligently every day. He thought about how the boy was hardworking, even though his innate talent in cultivation was low. He had chosen not to tell this to Lin Mu as he wanted to see if he could overcome this limitation by himself.
Xukong had seen many experts over the millennia that he had lived. He had seen them rise, prosper, fall, and die. He had seen immensely talented and gifted people so much so that they were even venerated as the Heaven’s ordained. But he had also seen those very people lose themselves to cultivation and then perish in the annals of time.
Countless people have tried to go against the heavens, yet few have survived it. Even the ones that survived it shortly disappeared, though people still had some evidence that showed that they were alive.
Xukong then remembered a memory from his past,
Countless white pillars could be seen floating in the endless void, along with some distortions spread around. At the depths of these pillars, a colossal being was currently resting. The being had a pale white body, eight legs, and ten golden yellow eyes that glowed with an imposing light.
This was none other than Xukong himself. Streaks of silvery grey lights could be seen floating around his body and the white pillars. These streaks of light would touch the white pillars and then be absorbed by them. One could even see the streaks traveling through the pillars and moving towards Xukong’s body.
Fine threads arose from Xukong’s body that connected to the giant white pillars. The light streaks would transfer from the white pillars to the fine threads, which would then carry it to Xukong’s body.
With every Light streak that was absorbed, the distortions in the void slowly reduced. One could not tell how long it would take for each distortion to disappear, but time could not be measured in the void, thus making it more difficult. It could have been a second or a year, but the distortion finally disappeared.
Xukong stayed in the same position, unmoving for a long time, until he sensed some disturbance in the distance. His perception spread in the surroundings and suppressed all the distortions. Even though the void was always silent, a different kind of eerie silence descended because of the pressure imposed by Xukong.
“Hmm, this is quite unusual of you, Old monster,” Xukong spoke.
In response to Xukong’s words, the space in front of him started swirling and an ash grey throne appeared. The throne was empty, yet a presence could still be felt from it. A voice could then be heard echoing.
“Are you so bothered by my presence that I can’t even visit you, Xukong?” The voice spoke.
“Oh, you know what you’ve done, old monster. You would never come here unless it was something important and your other slaves were unable to help you with it.” Xukong replied with an annoyed voice.
“They’re not my slaves, they have their own free will.” The voice replied.
“What kind of free will is that, where you only have two choices? Their karma is chained and will be until you choose so.” Xukong spoke.
“But this is what they’ve chosen. I’ve never interfered in their affairs.” The voice replied.
~Tch~ “I don’t even want to argue with you. Just tell me what you are here for.” Xukong asked.
“I’m just here to tell you that I will be gone for a while, so take care of my ‘Slaves’ for a while, will you.” The voice answered.
“Is there even any place where your influence doesn’t extend to? You should be able to observe everything on your own, unless…” Xukong spoke and then trailed off before suddenly becoming agitated.
“NOO! What has happened? What did you do!!!?” Xukong roared.
“I wish I could tell you, but there are other machinations underway.” The voice spoke before fading away.
“STOP!” Xukong yelled, making countless threads appear.
The threads moved at a blinding speed and tried to stop the ash grey throne, but alas! The ash grey throne turned ethereal and then disappeared in a swirl of light.
“DAMMIT!! Nothing good will ever come out of this.” Xukong protested.
Soon the silence returned to the void, and Xukong became immovable once again.
Xukong broke his trail of memories after hearing Lin Mu call out to him.
“Senior, it’s time for your lessons about Dao Script.” Lin Mu spoke.
“Ah yes, it is time,” Xukong replied, before appearing in front of Lin Mu.
Xukong then taught Lin Mu for a few hours before it was time for Lin Mu to sleep.
“I should be able to start reading the lost immortal’s memoirs soon.” Lin Mu spoke.
“Well, you do have the basics down, so you should be ready in about a month,” Xukong replied.
Lin Mu nodded in appreciation of senior Xukong’s words before going towards the spirit apple tree and plucking today’s ripened spirit apples. He then fell asleep and disappeared from the Sleepscape.
Lin Mu woke up in the morning and spent the rest of his day cultivating, as he wanted to be ready for tomorrow. It would be Lin Mu’s turn to participate in the vigil tomorrow along with Xiao Lu. He was expecting to find some more clues at night time.
In these two days, he had not gone out and had just cultivated on his own. He already had enough beast meat to last him for a week, thus he was not worried about it that much.
Lin Mu was currently sitting down on his bed and was refining his spirit sense. He was successful in increasing the range of his spirit sense by an additional half-meter, but still wanted to extend it for as long as he could.
Though senior Xukong reminded him that he would have to ensure that he had replenished his entire store of spirit qi before leaving for the vigil. This meant that he won’t be able to refine his spirit sense tomorrow, as every time he did that he would end up depleting nearly three-fourths of his qi stores.
Lin Mu had just finished replenishing his qi and had ended his cultivation session for the day, when he heard someone knocking at the gate of the courtyard. He opened his eyes and stood up to open the gate.
Lin Mu opened the gate only to find an unknown person standing at the gate.
“Come on, it’s time for the vigil.” The person said.
“Oh ok, where’s Xiao Lu though?” Lin Mu asked.
“He’s already gone ahead. You were late, so I was asked to come to get you.” The person replied.
“Is that so?” Lin Mu spoke with a calm voice.
Lin Mu then locked the gate before leaving with the person. They walked for five minutes before reaching their destination. The spot they were at was an open square that was located at the center of the residential district.
Upon reaching there, he saw three people standing there. One of them was Xiao Lu, another person was a portly man whom Lin Mu had seen the day and the last person was none other than the person with whom Lin Mu had his first big conflict with, Yuan Tu.