Book 2, Chapter 64 - To Meet Again to Drink and Chat Merrily

He returned to his residence. His intention was to surprise Luo Xie, but he found that no one was here. Then he thought for a bit and realized that it was the beginning of the month, so everyone must have gone to listen to the instructor teach.

Zhao Jiuge could not wait anymore and rushed toward the study hall. When he got close, he heard Instructor Zhou’s fiery and stern voice tirelessly explaining something.

When Zhao Jiuge’s face appeared before everyone, the air seemed to solidify for a moment. Then everyone rushed toward Zhao Jiuge while completely ignoring Instructor Zhou. The joy in their eyes was not fake, only some of the disciples from influential families were a bit embarrassed and didn’t come forward. However, there was still the same joy in their eyes.

Instructor Zhou smiled while he watched this scene, and he stroked his beard with his right hand. Then he observed Zhao Jiuge and gently nodded. “Not bad, I haven’t seen you in almost a year, and your aura is even more refined. You can head to the Duty Hall next month.”

There was no one more clear about Zhao Jiuge’s behavior during this year than Instructor Zhou. He didn’t say anything, but he was secretly a little happy when he heard the head teacher’s commands. An uncut gem was not worth anything; even a good gem would need to be polished for a long time to shine.

Instructor Zhou patted Zhao Jiuge’s shoulder but didn’t say anything. He felt emotional, but there was a trace of happiness in his eyes. He looked back at the 20 to 30 disciples and said, “Let’s end it here today. Next time will be your last chance to ask any questions. After that, you all will head to the Duty Hall to collect your missions.”

Instructor Zhou didn’t treat these disciples as well as Zhao Jiuge, and his words were harsh.

After Instructor Zhou left, the remaining disciples were no longer scared. The disciples all asked about what Zhao Jiuge had experienced, Zhao Jiuge didn’t know how to answer.

Luo Xie didn’t care about others, he just rushed over to hug Zhao Jiuge. When Zhao Jiuge was taken away to be confined at the Ponder Sword Cliff, no one felt more guilty than Luo Xie. After all, Zhao Jiuge had been pulled into that mess because of him. After a brief hug, Luo Xie looked at Zhao Jiuge, trembling in excitement. He looked like he had something he wanted to say but couldn’t.

Zhao Jiuge laughed and punched Luo Xie’s shoulder. “You brat, you’re still like this after a year. How are your cultivation and sword art progressing?”

Luo Xie was the same as before. He awkwardly scratched his head and smiled. He felt a bit embarrassed and said, “My cultivation has increased a lot and is now the same as yours, at the mid stage of the Spirit Transformation Realm. However, as for the sword art, I still don’t understand the essence.”

After he finished speaking, he looked at Zhao Jiuge and felt a different aura coming from him. Then he thought of himself and laughed embarrassedly.

“Us brothers will talk and drink through the night. It has almost been a year. Then we can go to the Duty Hall to accept missions to earn sect contributions.” After Zhao Jiuge said this, he smiled and then went to deal with the other people.

The disciples were split between the three instructors, so there were only around 30 people here. Zhao Jiuge didn’t see a lot of his acquaintances, but he remembered that there was one more person here. It was Zhou Dahu.

At this moment, Zhou Dahu’s face was red. When Zhao Jiuge had returned, he immediately ordered someone to inform the others. Then he stood there and watched Zhao Jiuge and Luo Xie talk.

After talking with Luo Xie, Zhao Jiuge finally looked toward him. Zhou Dahu became nervous and didn’t know what to say. However, Zhao Jiuge smiled. “Zhou Dahu, I haven’t seen you in almost a year. You look even stronger. Did you guys run into any more conflicts with them?”

Facing Zhao Jiuge’s question, Zhou Dahu quickly shook his head. Even his hands waved with his head. He quickly replied, “No, no. After Brother Zhao left, everyone cultivated in peace. A lot of people had breakthroughs and are now cultivating their sword art. Then we will head to the Duty Hall to accept missions to hone ourselves.”

In truth, after Zhao Jiuge left, not only was everyone scared of the warning and threat Instructor Zhou had left behind, but all the disciples from influential families really admired Zhao Jiuge for taking full responsibility. There was no real hatred between them, so the disciples from influential families no longer came looking for trouble. Afterward, the relationship between the two groups became more harmonious. Only Bai Zimo refused to yield, but he didn’t show it on the surface. He had buried that shame deep in his heart and was waiting to retaliate.

However, Mu Zijun appeared very little after that and focused solely on cultivation. No one knew what his situation was.

After hearing Zhou Dahu’s answer, Zhao Jiuge felt at ease. He had been afraid that these disciples were being bullied again. He had grown up being looked down upon and bullied, so he understood the pain more than most. He hated those that bullied the weak but feared the strong.

Zhao Jiuge was unwilling to turn a blind eye. Even if it had nothing to do with him, he would step forward. He would cultivate in order kill all evil doers and right all the wrongs in the world.

He talked for a bit with all the disciples from the poor families before the disciples from influential families slowly gathered. They all smiled faintly and greeted Zhao Jiuge. Zhao Jiuge didn’t ignore them. After all, both sides needed to take a step back. Also, they were all disciples of the Mysterious Heaven Sword Sect, so there was no deep hatred between them.

They only talked for a bit before the seven or eight disciples from influential families said their goodbyes. Zhao Jiuge was not someone they could offend, but they were willing to lower themselves to suck up to him. However, at least they now had a good starting point.

Zhao Jiuge knew how these people were, and he was happy to repair his relationship with them. After all, they weren’t bad people, they were just a bit too proud. Originally, they followed Mu Zijun and Bai Zimo and joined in on the mess.

However, just thinking about Bai Zimo, who was like a poisonous snake, made Zhao Jiuge’s expression gloomy. One should not be afraid of a thief stealing, but a thief remembering.

Just as Zhao Jiuge was about to ask where Luo Xie and Zhou Dahu had gone, he heard loud footsteps closing in from the distance. There were no less than 40 people, men and women with various expressions.

Zhao Jiuge was a bit shocked. Looking at the situation, most of the new disciples beside a small number were here. Zhou Jiuge wondered when he had become so famous. Wasn’t it just a confidenment? How had it attracted so many people here?

Zhao Jiuge was already somewhat famous among the disciples when he was confined at the Ponder Sword Cliff, a place none of them had heard of. They all wanted to know how much Zhao Jiuge had changed and what kind of place the Ponder Sword Cliff was, and if anything strange had happened there.

The person in the lead quickened his pace. When he saw Zhao Jiuge’s face, Leng Rufeng laughed. “You brat, you sure come back at the right time. Just a few days ago, I spent the 100 sect contributions from gathering the herbs on some spirit wine and now you’re back.”

Although he spoke like this, the warm smile on his face betrayed his inner thoughts. He was very happy to see Zhao Jiuge return. It was difficult to find a good friend in life.

Zhao Jiuge stepped forward and hugged Leng Rufeng. There was no need for words.

A good friend was hard to come by, not to mention how they both wished they had met each other earlier the moment they met.

“Haha, since you have it, then we will drink the wine tonight!” Zhao Jiuge had spent most of his time cultivating when he was locked at the Ponder Sword Cliff. Sha Sha would occasionally come to talk to him, but he was alone most of the time. Now that he was seeing so many acquaintances, how could he not feel happy?

“Okay! We won’t go back until we become drunk!” Leng Rufeng smiled and patted Zhao Jiuge’s shoulder. His excited gaze observed Zhao Jiuge.

Compared to nine months ago, Zhao Jiuge’s temperament was more refined and solidified. It seemed Zhao Jiuge had not been idle during the confinement, and his progress was great.

Only Zhao Jiuge knew that while confinement sounded bad, on the other side of the coin, it had provided him a quiet place to cultivate in peace.

There was a cluster of people, most of them disciples from influential families, and the girls,  who looked curiously at Zhao Jiuge. When they noticed that Zhao Jiuge’s aura was now more hidden, they all secretly felt a sense of dread.

These people were all here to see if Zhao Jiuge was still as amazing as he was before.

The 20 or so closer disciples were all disciples from poor families that fought together that day. They all looked at Zhao Jiuge with worship and awe in their eyes, along with a trace of joy. They looked at him like he was their pillar.

The three great joys of life: to have fought together, to have gone to the pleasure house together, and to have stood together.

And these youths have already done two of these things together.

Many years from now, they would think back to their indulgent and crazy youth, and they would miss these days.

When those youths observed Zhao Jiuge, Zhao Jiuge was also carefully observing them. The auras of these 20 people were all stronger than before, and a few of them had even reached the Spirit Transformation Realm.

“Not bad, there are a few more people at the Spirit Transformation Realm. I have to say I’m ashamed. After all this time, I’m still stuck at the mid stage of the Spirit Transformation Realm.” Zhao Jiuge praised them with a gentle smile.

After Leng Rufeng heard Zhao Jiuge’s words, he let out a sigh and helplessly said, “Ah, if only it was that easy. With time, it’s easy to increase one’s spirit force rapidly, but we have no clue about how to practice the sword art. I fear only a few will be able to enter the inner sect.”

Entering the inner sect would be like a carp leaping over the waterfall to become a dragon, but cultivating in the outer sect wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as you put in the effort, you could still use sect contributions to buy the higher level sword arts, assuming your cultivation could still progress.

Zhao Jiuge glanced at the last group of people. He didn’t see Liu Yinger or Bai Qingqing. This made Zhao Jiuge a bit depressed, but right now was not the time to ask.

Zhao Jiuge waved his hand and shouted, “Let’s go drink wine, it would be a waste to not drink Leng Rufeng’s wine. I want to see what this spirit wine thing is.”

The 20 or so figures all responded in cheers, only Leng Rufeng felt a bit depressed. He helplessly swayed his head and pointed at Zhao Jiuge.

Then Zhao Jiuge led the group back to his home and they all sat down together. As for the others, they naturally didn’t participate and they also couldn’t enter this group.

When Leng Rufeng took out a few jars of wine, Zhao Jiuge eagerly grabbed a jar. He opened the jar and a burst of wine fragrance filled the room. Everyone could clearly smell it. Leng Rufeng felt pain in his heart. He had spent 100 sect contributions to buy them.

It wasn’t some great wine that was brewed from the amazing spirit fruit, but it was still spirit wine.

Legend had it that good spirit wines were worth as much as powerful magic treasures.

Drinking spirit wine would not only increase your spirit force, it would also help refine your physique. After Zhao Jiuge heard about this, he didn’t care about Leng Rufeng’s heartache, he just yelled at everyone to drink.

At this instant, everyone began to chat and drink the spirit wine. They drank until night arrived.

It was easy to get drunk off spirit wine, and these youth didn’t even use their spirit force to suppress it. Most of them had faces as red as peach blooms and were all lying on the ground. Zhao Jiuge had one arm around Leng Rufeng’s shoulder and a jar of wine in his hand. He laid there half drunk and half awake while watching the night sky.

Leng Rufeng was already unconscious from being drunk and was leaning against Zhao Jiuge. From time to time, he would mutter a few drunken words. Looking at Leng Rufeng’s drunk state when he was normally so calm made Zhao Jiuge smile from his heart.

“Zhao Jiuge, I admire you the more. Come drink! I hope that we can still be brothers like now in the future.” Leng Rufeng was passed out drunk, so when he suddenly spoke, Zhao Jiuge was startled. However, after hearing those words, Zhao Jiuge’s smile became even warmer.

On the slow path of cultivation, the hearts of people were the most sinister. In order to get a treasure, a good friend could immediately turn and stab you in the back. Today, out of the 20 or so people here, how many would still be like this in the future?

He lifted the jar in his hand and drank the last bit of wine inside. Zhao Jiuge felt that he was also drunk and wouldn’t be able to hold on much longer. He laid there, watching the stars in the sky.

The final thought he had in his heart was that in the future, would he be able to look back and drink as happily as he did today?

Then Zhao Jiuge also passed out drunk.

The evening wind blew by the faces of these youth and blew away a bit of the wine scent. However, it could not blow away the friendship that they had formed.

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