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Chapter 20

Two voices rang out simultaneously, then fell silent at the same time.

The disciples of Xiya Tower were first awakened by the crisp yet inexplicably familiar voice of a young girl. They were about to look towards the doorway when they were startled by a thunderous sound, forcing them to look incredulously towards the corner of the noodle shop.

Yu Xizhi, however, was the first to notice the familiar robes of the Xiya Tower disciples. She frowned with a hint of confusion.

“Why is it you again? Have you been eating noodles here for seven or eight days? No matter how good the noodles are, you’d get sick of them eating them every day, wouldn’t you?”

The disciples in the hall, wearing the robes of Xiya Tower, felt a sudden pang of sadness upon hearing her words, almost shedding tears. They never expected that the one who understood them the most would be her.

Having searched all over Kunwu Mountain Sect for the noodle-eating girl without success, their thoughts naturally expanded, extending their search to nearby towns. Consequently, a noodle shop became one of their stakeout points.

Eating noodles continuously does become tiresome. But so what? They couldn’t very well sit in the shop without eating noodles, could they?

A bowl of noodles in the morning, a bowl at noon, and another in the evening—no matter how delicious the noodles, this way of eating would ruin them.

The Xiya Tower disciples had naturally divided their search tasks: some swept through the outer sect of Kunwu, some probed the inner sect, and some, like the brothers Xuanping and Xuanfan, recklessly ventured into the Sword Tomb due to their high cultivation. Additionally, a small group was assigned to patrol the noodle shop and Xianyun County.

These groups were divided according to their cultivation levels: the lower the level, the more peripheral the task, with no rotation system in place. Hence, Xuanping and Xuanfan, being in the late stages of Qi refining, endlessly circled the inner sect while those at the outer sect returned empty-handed, and the ones stationed at the noodle shop… kept eating noodles.

She finally walked in, glancing around, before Yu Si could speak. Changing her tone, she said, “What’s wrong with smelling like meat pies? Did I eat your family’s pies? Whether I abstain from eating or not is none of your business! Which sect are you from, meddling in my brother’s affairs?”

Yu Si knew that Yu Xizhi had already taken on a task and left before the people from Xiya Tower arrived, so it was normal for her not to recognize them.

Although Yu Si had many complaints about the conduct of the Xiya Tower disciples over the past few days, he was used to being the senior brother, a calm and steady person often bound by reminders like “be tolerant,” “don’t be petty,” and “it’s no big deal if younger disciples are a bit unruly.”

Over time, he became very patient, so his mindset remained stable.

But not Yu Xizhi.

If she were like Yu Si, there wouldn’t always be a grudge notebook tucked beside her sword case.

She was used to cold taunts and sarcasm, with too many people talking about her behind her back. When she heard them, she wrote them down and sought opportunities for payback.

She could wait to retort those who insulted her.

But insulting Yu Si was unacceptable.

Yu Si was her brother, her greatest ally in fighting against the fates of the original male and female leads, and the first person in this world to give her care and warmth.

So, before Yu Si could explain the recent situation in Kunwu Mountain Sect or the ban issued by their master, True Immortal Huaiyun, Yu Xizhi had already removed the sword case from her back and placed it heavily to the side. “Who was it just now that said they wanted to see me? And that every family has its own difficult scripture to recite? What’s the point of opening your eyes…”

As she spoke the last half of her sentence, her hand was already on the hilt of the Yanxiao sword. She first raised her eyebrows and smiled in the direction of the shopkeeper: “Boss, bring a bowl of noodles for each of the people behind me, and add some meatballs.”

Then she lifted her chin and continued her previous words, smiling sinisterly, “…..Come, let me enlighten you.”

As she spoke, she inconspicuously glanced behind her.

Sure enough, the only ones who had followed her into the noodle shop were the anxious Huang Li, who was staring at her with unspoken words, and the cautiously alert Cheng Luocen. The elusive ancestor Xie had left, always appearing and disappearing unpredictably. Judging by Huang Li’s expression, it seemed likely he was supposed to deliver a message saying the ancestor had left first.

…And then Huang Li was frightened by her sinister look as she touched her sword.

The Xiya Tower disciples were also frightened.

They were in a dilemma.

Yu Xizhi was too recognizable; even if one ignored her excessively beautiful face, no one else would randomly stick a tree twig in their hair.

…Although it was unclear why there was also a chopstick next to the branch, the noodle-eating girl they had been searching for was right in front of them.

Fighting her was out of the question.

The noodle-eating girl easily handled the Xuanping and Xuanfan brothers as if chopping vegetables, let alone them.

But retreating…

They represented the face of Xiya Tower. The girl’s hand was already on her sword hilt, which in the world of cultivation was as good as issuing a challenge.

What should they do?

They exchanged anxious and fearful glances, belatedly recalling that not only were they facing a formidable enemy, but they had also heard another person’s voice earlier.

Turning their eyes with trepidation, they saw that the black-clad man, who had been furious just moments ago, had inexplicably pulled back his hood, restrained his aura, and sat back down.

Xiya Tower disciples: …

Master Tan, you can’t just start talking and not finish!

You were the one looking for her, and now that she’s right in front of us, what should we do? Give us some direction!

Master Tan was in a difficult position.

Just as he had revealed his presence and started speaking, he sensed something amiss.

The faint, intermittent aura of the red-robed elder from Baiyu Pavillion was drifting in from afar, clearly heading towards Kunwu Mountain Sect.

If he caused a big commotion, the red-robed elder might sense his presence and come straight for him.

The elder’s intentions were unclear, but certainly unfriendly. This place was crowded with ordinary people, making it unsuitable and inappropriate to cause a disturbance.

He had encountered Yu Xizhi twice in the noodle shop—an ordained fate.

Since he had found her, the major objective was already achieved. Recruiting her as a disciple could wait.

Revealing his identity in a noodle shop would be too crude.

It was good for the younger disciples to experience some challenges and get a taste of the dangers of sword cultivation from their future senior sister.

With this thought, Master Tan felt much more at ease. He discreetly nodded to the Xiya Tower disciples and continued eating his noodles.

The already fragrant noodles seemed even more appetizing now.

Xiya Tower disciples: …

Hiss…the master didn’t get up or speak, he…he nodded!

What does the nod mean?!

Did he want them to be “enlightened”?

Meanwhile, Yu Xizhi was growing impatient. She shook her wrist, causing the sword hilt to knock against the table edge with an increasingly irritated sound. Huang Li and Cheng Luocen, scared stiff, pulled out their chairs and sat down. The shopkeeper quickly served the noodles and meatballs.

Over the past few days, the noodle shop has become accustomed to the daily presence of cultivators. The shopkeeper, unfazed by the tense atmosphere, even managed to smile at Yu Xizhi and say, “Little immortal, you’re here! Try these meatballs and see if they have the right flavor.”

Yu Si never expected that Yu Xizhi was familiar with the shopkeeper, who wanted her to evaluate the most famous beef meatballs in the area. His eyes showed confusion and a desire to stop Yu Xizhi from making further provocative comments, but he ultimately said nothing.

Above all else, Yu Xizhi was his sister.

If she caused trouble, he would cover for her.

If she made a mistake, he would scold her privately. Even though the disciples of Xiya Tower surrounded them and the atmosphere was a bit strange, Yu Si would never embarrass Yu Xizhi in public.

Moreover, he had just caught a glimpse of the man sitting in the corner—it was indeed Master Tan of Xiya Tower.

Although he didn’t know why Master Tan was eating noodles here, since the man had put his hood back on and restrained his aura, it was clear he didn’t want to be recognized.

Since that was the case, Yu Si naturally pretended not to see him.

If Master Tan could indulge his disciples’ antics, why couldn’t Yu Si indulge his own sister?

Yu Si slightly curled his lips and said, “It seems my sister’s cultivation has improved during this trip down the mountain.”

The leading Xiya Tower disciple, Li Shengyi, who had late-stage Enlightenment cultivation, was shaking like a leaf. He tried to keep his composure, but his teeth chattered as he spoke.

“You… you must be the second senior sister from Taiqing Peak who makes meat pies, right? Fine, if we must fight, then let’s fight! Who do you think you’re looking down on!”

The meat pie-making Second Senior Sister, who had been impatient, began eating as soon as the noodles arrived. She had been too busy over the past week to eat properly, so she started on the meatballs without a word, mumbling something indistinctly as she ate.

The Xiya Tower disciples couldn’t catch a single word, exchanging confused glances.

Yu Si, sitting upright and calm, translated clearly, “My sister invites you all to a duel at our sect’s sword testing platform. There’s no time like the present. Since you’ve finished eating, you might as well head there first. She’ll come after she finishes her meal.”

The Xiya Tower disciples looked wooden and said, “We will wait here for the second senior sister to finish her meal.”

Countless gazes turned towards Yu Xizhi’s table as she ate.

In her previous life, Yu Xizhi had faced all kinds of scrutiny, so she was unfazed by the attention. However, the others at her table didn’t share her calm demeanor.

“Wow, what a scene! These young disciples from Xiya Tower really don’t know their own strength. Daring to challenge her to a sword fight? It’s going to be a one-sided beatdown.”

Cheng Luocen kept his eyes down, feeling somewhat uneasy as he ate his noodles.

The noodles were delicious, but the attention from all sides was excruciating, and the nagging old man in his head was too noisy: “The boy across from you, is he that girl’s brother? My, my, he’s got a natural sword body. With such talent, Kunwu Mountain Sect is in for several more prosperous centuries.”

Cheng Luocen poked a beef meatball with his chopsticks and took a bite.

The savory broth blended with the noodle soup’s flavor, creating an explosion of taste in his mouth.

The meatball was so delicious that it almost brought tears to his eyes.

Despite his resolve to abandon worldly desires in pursuit of the Dao, he couldn’t help but think, these meatballs are really damn good.

Even the old man’s incessant chatter became more bearable with such good food.

The old man, unable to taste the food himself, wasn’t too bothered.

However, watching Yu Xizhi eat her noodles made him increasingly hungry, and he reluctantly shifted his gaze, noticing Master Tan in the corner.

“Hmm,” he murmured.

“What is it now?”

Cheng Luocen, sipping his soup, felt much warmer and more good-natured, so he asked proactively.

“The man in black in the corner is a Soul Accumulation Cultivator,” the old man immediately identified. “A soul accumulation master eating noodles? Is he here for the noodles, or is there another purpose? Hard to say. If there’s really a sword fight later, you must watch. Even if it’s a one-sided fight, with me here, I can explain the differences between Xiya Tower and Kunwu Mountain Sect.”

Cheng Luocen agreed silently, thinking to himself that after joining Kunwu Mountain Sect, he’d probably only manage to get into the outer sect. How could he watch such a sword fight?

This thought persisted until Yu Xizhi finished her noodles with satisfaction. Having set the location for the duel, she ignored everyone else in the shop and called out to Yu Si to drag the three people with one sword and stagger towards Kunwu Mountain Sect.

Yu Si hesitated.

“I have plenty of teleportation talismans.”

Yu Xizhi responded confidently, “Some people have never experienced flying in their lives. Brother, this is a chance to accumulate some good karma!”

Yu Si: …

Huang Li’s legs were trembling, but he was still excited.

This was the sword of the Kunwu Mountain Sect’s senior brother! Even if he ended up in the outer sect, he could boast for a lifetime that he had flown on his senior brother’s sword!

Cheng Luocen tried to appear calm, but his fists were quietly clenched at his sides.

For a cultivator, wasn’t the goal to be able to traverse the heavens and the earth? Could he really fly now?

Yu Si knew this was just an excuse Yu Xizhi had made up, but he didn’t bother to expose it. He didn’t mind either, so he formed a hand seal and took off on his sword.

The disciples of Xiya Tower were stunned.

They saw Yu Si’s long sword flying through the sky like a small boat, the young man standing tall at the bow, and the young girl standing steadily at the stern. Clearly, she was very accustomed to hitching a ride on a sword. The young man effortlessly carried a person in each hand, maintaining a strange balance as they flew towards Kunwu Mountain Sect.

Li Shengyi was amazed.

“You can… really do that?”

Master Tan, who had finished his noodles, was now standing beside him, also looking up at the four shadows in the sky. With his hands behind his back, he remarked, “I never thought I’d see someone carrying four people on one sword again. It’s been many years since I’ve seen such a sight.”

Li Shengyi didn’t know whether to be more shocked that Master Tan was chatting with a lowly disciple like him or by the meaning of his words. His body and mind reacted honestly. “What? Others have done this before?”

“During the war with the demon realm, there were indeed formations like this,” Master Tan reminisced.

“Though it looks comical, in reality, one person controlling the sword while the others form a support formation with music, talismans, or other sword techniques can create a very powerful combat unit.”

Li Shengyi found it hard to imagine. The four had already disappeared into the horizon, becoming tiny black dots. He mumbled, “That…that’s really impressive.”

After a pause, Li Shengyi couldn’t help but ask softly, “Master, do I really have to fight that second senior sister?”

Master Tan’s expression turned serious. He looked at Li Shengyi warmly and asked, “What do you think?”

With that, Master Tan’s figure disappeared without a trace, not even disturbing the air.

Li Shengyi stared at the empty space beside him, bitterly repeating, “What do I think?”

What could he say?

…If he had a choice, he’d go back in time and shut his mouth, saying nothing at all.

Damn his big mouth! Always talk too much!

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