The fact that the Dawn Sect disciples were unable to recognize the Fifth Elder of the Zephyr Sect, Tong Ruizhen, did not mean that He Zhang was equally unable to recognize him.
The truth of the matter was that as soon as he heard Tong Ruizhen cry out “You old fogey, are you snatching my disciple again”, He Zhang’s heart immediately sank, and a bad premonition crept into the forefront of his mind.
He was anxious to determine if his bad premonition was merely an illusion, but he knew that he could not make things too obvious either. Thus, he could only suppress the sense of unease in his heart as he stood up and walked forward with a stiff smile plastered all over his face as he welcomed Tong Ruizhen, “Sect Elder Tong, I was just wondering why I hadn’t seen you today yet. I’d never expected you to be waiting to make a grand appearance like this, hahahaha…”
Tong Ruizhen snorted with a resonant humph as he responded, “Alright, Sect Elder He, save your pleasantries. I, Tong Ruizhen, hate bootlickers the most.”
He Zhang felt incredibly suffocated and stiffened by Tong Ruizhen’s words, and he found his pretentious laughter choked in his throat. In the end, his hearty laughter dwindled to nothing more than a dry chuckle, before they vanished from his lips. By this time, his face had also turned a sickly green and a pale white. It was simply a sight to behold.
That said, even someone with as much pride as He Zhang did not dare to reveal any ridicule or contempt for someone like Tong Ruizhen.
Who could blame Tong Ruizhen for being the sect elder of a Greater Sect? The most important thing to note was that Tong Ruizhen was a highly acclaimed array master and talisman master. Even though his cultivation level could only be considered slightly above average among all the sect elders from the Greater Sects, his formation arrays were so highly coveted that a simple promise to set up a formation array could move throngs of people to do his bidding.
He Zhang did not fear Tong Ruizhen as a person. Rather, he feared the throngs of powerful people who stood behind him.
The Dawn Sect’s disciples stared aghast at the scene unfolding before their very eyes. If the appearance of the unkempt old man earlier had already shocked them so much, then what more the fact that He Zhang had to maintain his appearances of cordiality despite the manner in which he had been treated? This caused the Dawn Sect disciples to be thoroughly speechless and even more curious as to the true identity of this old man.
Who was he to treat the Sect Leader that heedlessly?!
On the other hand, a smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips. Even though she was unsure which Zephyr Sect’s sect elder it had been who had taken an interest in earmarking her as his Chosen Disciple, she was beginning to suspect that the slovenly man before her eyes could be the very one.
It had to be mentioned that the cantankerous old man’s temper was a good match for her as well.
Now that He Zhang’s pretensions were thoughtlessly stripped off from his appearances, the entire Discussion Hall was filled with a thick sense of awkwardness. Just as everyone was wondering how to salvage the situation, the other sect elder seated among the Zephyr Sect members who had thought to earmark Jun Xiaomo as his own Chosen Disciple spoke up.
“Old man Tong, it’s not that I’m picking on you, but have you taken a look at yourself?! How are you dressed any differently from the beggars from the mortal world? Any person of the right might would pick me as their master over you, wouldn’t you say? Furthermore, didn’t you leave the sect two weeks before we did? Yet you still dawdled for such a long time before finally arriving at the Dawn Sect at the very last moment – don’t you think you owe all of us an explanation?”
Tong Ruizhen glanced down and sized up his own dressing for a moment – his tattered clothing was indeed no different from how the mortal world beggars who lived on the streets dressed themselves. However, he had never been a thin-skinned person. He adjusted his tattered and porous clothes, before lifting his head and raising his eyebrows once more as he retorted, “Tch! What’s my clothing got to do with anything. The most valuable part of me is my brain here!”
This was an undeniable truth. Tong Ruizhen’s way with his formation arrays and talismans meant that nobody dared to tread on his feet and offend him lightly.
Naturally, this was the case for outsiders only. When it came to those within the Zephyr Sect, his contemporaries who knew Tong Ruizhen’s temperament inside out knew that they could crack harmless jokes with Tong Ruizhen anytime they want.
“Old man Tong, you still haven’t explained why you’d taken so long to get here…”
“Cough…” Tong Ruizhen coughed dryly and hesitated. It was as though he were struggling to come up with a reasonable excuse.
“I think that Sect Elder Tong must have got lost along the way.” Another sect elder from the Zephyr Sect chuckled mischievously as he chimed in, “I seem to have the impression that Sect Elder Tong’s mount is pretty good, so the problem’s certainly not there. Perhaps his sense of direction is the one that’s slightly lacking, huh?”
Tong Ruizhen was truly rendered speechless. He glared back at his compatriots and grew taciturn.
“Pfft! …” Jun Xiaomo could no longer hold it in, and she burst out in laughter. With that, everyone immediately turned their attention back to Jun Xiaomo.
It was only at this moment that Tong Ruizhen discovered that the young girl that he wanted to make his disciple was standing not too far away from him.
With large strides, he made his way before Jun Xiaomo and faced her with a spritely attitude as he asked, “Hey, little fella, have you thought it through? Have you finally decided to be my disciple?”
Gasps of shock could be heard in the otherwise silent surroundings. They could all tell from the earlier banter that the old man that had just arrived was certainly not a simple person. Even though nobody knew the exact identity of this old man, they knew without a doubt that he was a sect elder of a Greater Sect.
From what he had just said, he seems to want to make Jun Xiaomo his disciple?! What has he seen in Jun Xiaomo?!
Jun Xiaomo maintained the cordial smile on her face. That said, she made a respectful palm and fist salute to Tong Ruizhen as she addressed him with sincerity, “Junior truly appreciates Sect Elder Tong’s keen interest in her, but junior has already made her position clear in her letter. Junior hopes that Sect Elder Tong can understand her decision.”
More gasps of shock rang out in the surroundings. After all, it was evident from Jun Xiaomo’s words that she had rejected the olive branch extended to her by a sect elder from a Greater Sect!
Does this lady have mush for brains? How could she reject such a prime opportunity? Did she get kicked by a donkey in the head?!
Everyone stared at Jun Xiaomo in disbelief.
Tong Ruizhen snorted, “I don’t care! I’m going to stay here at the Dawn Sect until you agree to be my disciple.”
Jun Xiaomo was taken aback, and she found herself speechless, “This…”
She had never seen such a shameless, cantankerous old man, whether in her previous life or now.
Tong Ruizhen glared at her and continued in a huff, “Which part of this sect elder do you despise? I’m the Fifth Elder of the Zephyr Sect, and there’s a large line of people waiting to be my disciple. You, little fella, are the only one who doesn’t appreciate the opportunity you have right now. How could you even think about rejecting me in your letter!”
Jun Xiaomo chuckled bitterly. There were some reasons that she could not speak of at this moment. Was she to say that she wanted to protect her Peak, her parents and her martial brothers, and it was for this reason that she could not leave the Dawn Sect?
At this moment, Jun Linxuan finally stood up. He placed his arm on Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder as he addressed Tong Ruizhen, “Sect Elder Tong, this daughter of mine has always had her own ways of thinking since she was a little kid. Let me try and have a word with her.”
“Go on then. I’ll wait for your good news.” Sect Elder Tong shooed them with his hands as he hurried them along.
Jun Xiaomo grimaced slightly. She hesitated for a moment, but she still decided to leave with Jun Linxuan in the end. She knew that her father intended to convince her, and she was thinking of whether she should convince her father with some better reasons.
After Jun Xiaomo and Jun Linxuan left the Discussion Hall, the entire atmosphere became still and silent. The sect elders seated at the front of the Discussion Hall couldn’t be bothered to engage in small talk, so they simply closed their eyes and rested where they were seated. On the other hand, He Zhang and the other Sect Elders and Peakmasters of the Dawn Sect had been thunderstruck by what had just heard, and they were still struggling to come to terms with what was going on.
Naturally, the people who were dealt the heaviest blow by such a development was the Dawn Sect disciples who were seated in the Discussion Hall, especially Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu.
Qin Lingyu’s face darkened as he stared blankly at where Jun Xiaomo and Jun Linxuan had left the Discussion Hall from. Apart from a complicated look in his eyes, nobody could tell what he was thinking right now. On the other hand, Yu Wanrou clutched tightly at her sleeves, furiously suppressing the roiling emotions in her heart right now.
She knew that if she did not do this, she might end up screaming in frustration and indignation.
The Fifth Elder of the Zephyr Sect! The person who had taken an interest in Jun Xiaomo is actually the Fifth Elder of the Zephyr Sect?! Why! On what basis?! There are so many people who are stronger than Jun Xiaomo or have better talents and abilities than her! Why did the Fifth Elder of the Zephyr Sect have to pick Jun Xiaomo, a cultivator at the sixth level of Qi Mastery, of all people?!
Just as much as Yu Wanrou was pleased and delighted in herself earlier, Yu Wanrou was now equally dispirited and incredibly indignant.
Even though she had earned herself the right to enter a Greater Sect, she had undeniably entered the Greater Sect through a backdoor approach through Qin Lingyu. There was no way she could hold a candle to Jun Xiaomo who had been chosen and selected of her own merits. This was a given fact – anyone who could think for themselves would be able to easily determine whose achievement was more outstanding.
When all was said and done, she only had an edge over others in terms of her charms. Once she entered the Limitless Sect, whether she could maintain that edge over others was very much an unknown. On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo was quite different – as a Chosen Disciple and a formal disciple of the Zephyr Sect, nobody would dare to look down on her at all.
This was quite evident from the other Dawn Sect disciples’ gazes. Their gazes which had initially been filled with contempt had now been filled instead with looks of admiration and even jealousy. In fact, these looks were filled with far greater intensity of emotion than when they had looked upon Yu Wanrou earlier.
This made Yu Wanrou feel as though her glory and pride had once again been outstripped by Jun Xiaomo. It was as though she would always end up falling behind whenever she attempted to compete with Jun Xiaomo.
Why is this the case?! I’m can’t take it. I just can’t take it!!!
It will be best if Jun Xiaomo could reject the olive branch extended by the sect elder of the Zephyr Sect. In fact, it would be even better if Jun Xiaomo would offend him. With that, Jun Xiaomo would never be able to step foot into a Greater Sect in future.
After all, none of the sect elders liked such an aloof and prideful disciple.
Yes! It’s got to be this way.
Yu Wanrou’s mind began to wander aimlessly as she glared fierily at the entrance to the Discussion Hall. It was as though she were burning a hole through the door right now.
Time felt like it had come to a complete standstill as everyone waited in eager anticipation. At this moment, several disciples began to grow fidgety, and they couldn’t help but turn their heads slightly as they began to whisper to each other. Very soon, the entire Discussion Hall was abuzz with mild, light chattering.
After an arduous period of waiting, Jun Xiaomo and Jun Linxuan finally reentered the Discussion Hall. Jun Linxuan led the way with a stern, dignified appearance, while Jun Xiaomo followed closely behind him with her head hung low. Nobody could see the expression on her face.
Tong Ruizhen’s eyes brightened immediately, and he walked towards them as he asked eagerly, “How was it?”
As soon as they saw Tong Ruizhen’s response, the Dawn Sect disciples immediately knew just how much Tong Ruizhen favored the prospects of having Jun Xiaomo as his disciple. Those who hated Jun Xiaomo cursed at her in their hearts – Jun Xiaomo really has some dog-shit dumb luck!
Jun Linxuan nodded his head as he addressed Tong Ruizhen, “Sect Elder Tong should hear it from Xiaomo’s mouth.” As he said that, he stepped aside and revealed Jun Xiaomo’s figure behind him.
“Little fella, how was the talk? Are you willing to be my disciple?” Tong Ruizhen looked into Jun Xiaomo’s eyes and pressed the issue with a slight huff.
Jun Xiaomo remained taciturn for a moment, before she lifted her head. Then, she bowed courteously and sincerely to Tong Ruizhen as she declared, “Master, please accept a bow from your disciple.”
“Hahahahahaha…” Tong Ruizhen began to laugh heartily at this moment. His crisp and resonant laugh filled the entire Discussion Hall.
Everyone else present was rendered completely flabbergasted – Did she just…pay her respects to her new master?!!!Previous Chapter Next Chapter