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Chapter 9

Yu Xizhi woke up the second day with a very unpleasant expression on her face.

She got up and saw the piece of tree twig on the table. Remembering the events of the previous night made her expression even more unpleasant.

The previous night, she had laughed at herself and leaped forward in a step, thinking she had spent a ridiculous night, drinking absurd blood, and having absurd dreams.

It wasn’t until the half-dried tree twig rose with the wind.

In an instant, the thick night was torn apart. What she stepped on seemed to be just a small tree twig, but the small tree twig didn’t seem to think so itself.

The small tree twig felt like it was the lone forest ten miles under Qianya Peak, the brave wind, and the invincible sword!

Yu Xizhi was frightened by this speed and passion.

The small tree twig completely ignored Yu Xizhi, who was disheveled by the wind. It traversed through the clouds, swept past the night-patrolling white cranes, arrogantly brushed past the countless sword intents above the sword tomb, and astonishingly remained intact.

It plunged into Muyong Peak, hovering precisely in front of Yu Xizhi’s dormitory, amidst the shocked and doubtful gazes of numerous disciples who had practiced night after night.

The extreme speed was followed by absolute silence. Yu Xizhi felt like her internal organs were about to roll out. Trembling, she leaned against the wall to enter the room. The bloody smell in her mouth was blown away, and she collapsed onto the bed as soon as she touched it.

…Who could have thought that when she opened her eyes again, the small twig would be able to stand steadily on its own?

Yu Xizhi’s eyes were distracted; she quickly dressed and washed her face, walked around the wall in an evasive manner, picked up the Yanxiao sword, and wanted to rush out the door.

Unexpectedly, the small tree twig persisted. The moment she stepped out, it soared into the air, stopping steadily in front of her.

Yu Xizhi: …

Its endurance was truly impressive.

“Brother Twig, you’ve worked hard last night. There’s no need to continue today.”

Yu Xi Zhi advised kindly, regardless of whether the twig could understand her or if her behavior was reasonable. She treated the twig as a transmitter, hoping the ancestor in white clothes could hear her words.

“Rest at home for a while; I’ll come back in the evening.”

The twig remained motionless.

Yu Xizhi: “Well, you may not know, but disciples of Taiqing Peak must walk through the Misty Forest to temper their sword intent when going to the Academy; even Foundation Establishment Stage disciples are not allowed to ride their swords.”

The small twig finally showed some reaction, trembling slightly for a moment before rising a bit higher, coming to Yu Xizhi’s eye level.

After pondering for a moment, Yu Xizhi hesitantly reached out and held the small tree twig.

The small tree twig didn’t resist.

Evidently, it wanted to go to class with her.

It felt improper and strange to just hold it like this. After contemplating for a while, Yu Xizhi took off her hairpin and replaced it with the small tree twig.

Fortunately, this time, the small tree twig seemed to have no objections. It quietly nestled among her three thousand black hairs, as if the arrogant and unrestrained sword intent of the previous night had been nothing but a dream. At this moment, it was just a gentle hairpin around her finger.

The disciples of Kunwu’s Qi Refining Stage were not allowed to use jade.

The Dao was simple; they weren’t even given food, so naturally, they were only allowed to use wooden hairpins.

But before Yu Xizhi became an immortal cultivator, she was the eldest daughter of the Yu family in Qingwu Prefecture. After becoming an immortal cultivator, she became the direct disciple of the Kunwu Sect Master and the beloved younger sister of Taiqing Peak’s senior brother, Yu Si.

Although the hairpin she casually replaced was made of wood, it was crafted from the most precious Weixiahai agarwood and scented with the Panhua fragrance used only by imperial relatives.

When was the last time anyone used a half-dried tree branch?

This thought popped into the minds of everyone who saw Yu Xizhi along the way.

Everyone knew her style, so this piece of tree branch stood out conspicuously.

Countless gazes fell on her, and then they shifted to the small tree twig.

“Did the Yu family go bankrupt, or did Second Sister change her ways?”

“…Compared to these two possibilities, I’d rather believe that Second Sister has gone mad.”

“Or maybe she was in a hurry to leave and forgot to comb her hair, so she casually plucked a tree branch from the roadside and stuck it on her head?”

Such varied and whispered speculations followed Yu Xizhi like shadows, but she pretended not to hear. However, the small tree twig seemed extremely pleased with all the attention and scrutiny, and the disciples who stared at it gradually began to fall into contemplation.

..Did they just see some comfort and joy from a small twig? Are they crazy?

Yu Xizhi didn’t care about what others thought. She had been subjected to gazes for more than just a day or two. If anyone was crazy, it was herself from yesterday, impatiently chatting with the small tree twilight under the broad daylight.

As she passed through the misty forest, the tree branches trembled slightly as if bowing to her; as she passed through the medicine fields, the leaves of ten thousand acres curled slightly; and as she passed by the suspended spring waterfall, the translucent water droplets hung without falling.

Passing by Ziyuan Peak, the neat crowns of trees from the mountaintop to the foothills shed leaves all over the ground. Walking from the bottom of Taiqing Peak to the Academy, the clouds rolled and the weather was beautiful, with flowers blooming everywhere.

While the small tree twig was proudly reveling in its satisfaction, Yu Xizhi remained oblivious.

Her black hair swayed with her footsteps, and there was a rhythm to her movements. Behind her, the sword box was delicate but not very sturdy. The Yanxiao Sword inside it was jostled around, producing some duller sounds as it collided with the edge of the box.

As the bird calls grew louder and the sword intent permeated the air like floral fragrance, the small tree stwig swayed rapidly, scattering sword intent in all directions.

The universe remained vast and boundless.

Yu Xizhi only felt that the spiritual energy within the sect today seemed more turbulent than usual. Perhaps a certain spiritual vein was exerting extra effort today.

Walking all the way, she had already reached the late stage of the Qi refining stage.

The academy was still bustling as usual. Yu Xizhi, as usual, was about to go to the upper level but stopped in her tracks on the lower third level. Curiously, she asked, “Junior Brother Gao, what are you doing here?”

Standing together with the inner disciples on the lower third level was Gao Xiude, who had always relied on his identity as a direct disciple and disdained mingling with others.

When Gao Xiude turned to look at Yu Xizhi, his face turned red, and his neck thickened. At first sight of Yu Xizhi’s smiling face, it was evident that the awe from the past few days still lingered.

Initially, he instinctively wanted to step back, but then it seemed like he remembered something and cleared his throat. “Second Sister, you must have heard about it, right? The aura at the Sword Tomb is too strong, and Junior Sister has injured her foundation. Master Huaiwei wants to ask the Master of the Xiya building to help her recuperate her body!”

Yu Xizhi thought that she had been living too extravagantly these past few days, and she almost forgot about Junior Sister. Whether from the perspective of a future vicious supporting female character or from her own perspective as Second Sister, she felt a bit guilty for no reason.

However, her guilt was her own business, and there was no need to let Gao Xiude know.

So she said, “So what?”

This time, even before Gao Xiude could respond, an inner disciple couldn’t hold back and shouted, “Why should we ask? Is the elixir from our Liuguang Peak inferior to the Xiya Building? Is our Peak Master Jiwen inferior to the master of the Xiya Building? Why should Junior Sister’s illness be entrusted to someone else’s hands? Isn’t this… isn’t this…”

“…Isn’t this undermining our prestige and boosting others’ morale!”

Seeing that he couldn’t continue, someone else aggressively took over.


“That’s right! How can this be allowed!”

Amidst the righteous indignation, everyone suddenly realized that the girl standing outside the staircase had not spoken. They involuntarily fell silent and looked toward Yu Xizhi. “Second Sister, what do you think?”

“What do I think?”

Yu Xizhi remained unmoved, her smile unchanged. “I think, if you are so dissatisfied, go and kneel in front of the main hall of Taiqing Peak, go to Master Huaiwei’s residence to question her, and go challenge the Master Xiya Building. Do you think you can change anything by just winning an argument with Gao Xiude?”

The crowd fell silent.

The things she mentioned were things they didn’t dare to imagine, but she spoke of them so casually.

Gao Xiude frowned. He felt like Second Sister was speaking for him in the beginning, but the last sentence sounded like she was indirectly scolding him?

Yu Xizhi continued in a soft voice, “If you have the ability, go and cure Junior Sister’s illness. Then Master Huaiwei won’t need to ask the master of the Xiya Building, and Liuguang Peak won’t lose face. If you can’t do that, then all of you should just shut up and focus on cultivation.”

She didn’t want to linger any longer, so she began ascending the stairs. “…Practice until you can achieve it yourself.”

The inner disciples on the lower third level were stunned into silence.

They all looked at the position of the stairs. The hem of the Second Sister’s robe was still the cleanest among the direct and even inner disciples, so clean that there was only a small yellow flower on it.

But this clean and inconspicuous little yellow flower, accompanied by her soft but ear-piercing words, made them all shut up and focus on cultivation.

Gao Xiude stood silently for a while. He lifted the hem of his robe, snorted coldly, and then caught up with Yu Xizhi’s footsteps.

He was also a disciple of Kunwu Mountain. He had always been proud of his identity as the direct disciple of the Xuecan Peak Master. When he was just now competing with the inner disciples of Liuguang Peak, wasn’t his heart also struggling?

Xuecan Peak was covered in medicine fields, and he had tasted all kinds of herbs since he was young. He followed Master Jiliang down the mountain to open a clinic, performing good deeds and accumulating virtue. If nothing unexpected happened, his attainments in medical skills would be considerable in the future.

Master Huaiwei was going to ask for help from the Xiya Building, indicating that neither Liuguang Peak nor Xuecan Peak were capable.

He also wanted to fight for this prestige, but the person who needed help… was Junior Sister.

Gao Xiude instinctively glanced up at the second sister walking in front of him. The outline of the girl’s slender waist was outlined by her robe, which was covered by black hair. Above that was her straight back, like a pine in the depths of a mountain.

The timid Second Sister, who used to blush at the slightest tease, had long since disappeared. As he looked up at Second Sister’s figure, her words from earlier still echoed in his ears. His mind couldn’t produce any distractions, only feeling that Second Sister’s steps were calm and steady, towering like a mountain.

Junior Sister… was never like this.

Junior Sister was like a lively rabbit, yet also like a spirit in the mountains. When she smiled, it was like the sky in April on earth, making people want to preserve that brightness forever. But when she didn’t smile, it was as if snow was still flying in April, causing people to feel pity and want to wipe away the dew in her eyes.

Was there anything wrong with wanting to cure the illness for such a junior sister and not wanting her to suffer…?

He was the direct disciple of Xuecan Peak, but he was helpless about Junior Sister’s illness and could only seek outside help. Yet… was there anything wrong with that?

Gao Xiude couldn’t figure it out.

He couldn’t go to kneel in front of the main hall of Taiqing Peak, argue with Master Huaiwei at her residence, or challenge the master of the Xiya Building.

He wanted Junior Sister to get better soon, but he also didn’t want his sect to be humiliated.

Gao Xiude was born into the Gao family of Zhuyun City, a well-known family of cultivators. His family was prosperous, and his family background was solid. After entering the immortal sect, he became a direct disciple, sailing smoothly through life.

Counting on his fingers, this was unexpectedly the first time he had encountered such a dilemma in his life.

He thought this way, following the steps Second Sister had taken and suddenly remembering that Second Sister was only a year older than Junior Sister, and this year she was just barely fourteen.

He looked up again, and his gaze fell on the object inserted in the second sister’s head.

Among the black hair was a small, rough twig.

The second sister tilted her head, and the twig also leaned to the side.

The second sister nodded, and the twig trembled along.

Gao Xiude began to contemplate.

…To derive disdain and mockery from a mere small tree branch, is he going crazy?

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