Chapter 38: The Nine Hatchlings of a Phoenix
Is this the mythical beast in ancient Chinese legends, Grandgale?
As someone whose battlefield was in the internet forums, it was imperative for Zu An to be well-versed in the Classic of Mountain and Seas and such mythical legends too. Recalling the description of the mythical beast, Grandgale, depicted in the books, it did somewhat resemble the bizarre, massive bird imprint.
A thought suddenly came to Zu An’s mind.
According to the legends, similar to how the dragon had nine sons, the phoenix also had nine hatchlings too. The first was the Peacock, the second was the Garuda, the third was Fire Phoenix, the fourth was Golden Phoenix, the fifth was Blue Luan, the sixth was Lightning Phoenix, the seventh was Hundredwarble, the eighth was Blue Mallard, and the ninth was Grandgale!
You’re asking me why I remember all of this clearly? There’s a long tearful story to it! Back then, when I was taking a written examination to get into NetEase’s gaming department, there were all sorts of bizarre questions. Compared to the nine sons of the dragon, which has so many convoluted characters, the nine hatchlings of the phoenix are far easier to remember!
That being said, there actually many different interpretations of the nine hatchlings of the phoenix. He only remembered one of the versions.
Zu An suddenly remembered that the cultivation technique he was practicing was none other than the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra. It didn’t seem like a coincidence to him for Grandgale’s imprint to appear after he reached the peak of the second rank.
It was likely that a new phoenix hatchling imprint would emerge every time he reached the peak of a rank. However, what were these phoenix hatchling imprints for? It couldn’t be just for scaring others, could it?
Zu An had secretly experimented with it, and he found out that outsiders couldn’t see the formations on his body, so naturally, they wouldn’t be able to see the imprint of the phoenix hatchling either. That meant that he couldn’t even use it for scaring others.
It was then an idea suddenly came to his mind. He began channeling his ki toward Grandgale’s imprint, and once it was completely suffused with ki, Grandgale’s ferocious eyes suddenly lit up. Following that, the avatar of Grandgale surfaced right before his eyes.
Zu An was overjoyed to see that it was indeed working!
But what can this avatar do though? Is it like a pet of some sort?
After pondering for a moment, he ordered Grandgale to ram itself into the wall so as to test out its might. So, the latter flapped its massive wings, and a huge gale stirred up within the room. The tables and chairs were knocked all over the place, creating a huge mess.
Zu An opened his eyes wide as he waited in anticipation for Grandgale to makes its move. However, before he could make sense of what was happening, a powerful force suddenly pushed his body straight forward. In the blink of an eye, his entire body was already forcefully rammed right into the wall.
There it was, a human painting!
Zu An slowly slid down from the wall, leaving behind a distinct human silhouette on the snowy walls. Two trails of blood flowed down from the top—it was from his shattered nose.
Zu An was both infuriated and excited. It turned out that Grandgale’s ability was instantaneous movement! If he used it well, it would definitely prove to be an invaluable tool in helping him launch assaults against his opponents or flee from powerful enemies.
I wonder what the maximum distance is for this skill. Without even wiping away the blood from his nose, Zu An began channeling his ki into the Grandgale’s imprint, attempting to summon it once more.
But at the next instant, he suddenly felt his head spinning around. It turned out that he had already depleted all of his ki.
It appeared that the skill consumed his ki greatly, such that he could only afford to activate it once a day. Perhaps, when his cultivation level rose and his ki capacity increased, he would be able to use it more often.
With a deep sigh, Zu An slowly climbed back into his bed and lay down. He realized that he had accumulated quite some golden substance in the first formation in his muscles due to ramming into the wall.
Earlier in the day, he heard Ji Xiaoxi mentioning that reaching the third rank allowed a cultivator to release their qi externally and form armor or barriers to fend against attacks. While he was still at the first step, there was no doubt that he was a full-fledged third rank cultivator now.
Excited to test out his newly-gained ability, he tried his best to squeeze out whatever ki he had left in his body. Eventually, he managed to form a barrier that was not even the size of a palm in front of him, but it dissipated right away due to the lack of ki to sustain it.
Nevertheless, Zu An was still overjoyed. Theoretically speaking, he should wield the strength comparable to that of 88 adult men now, which would make him pretty much a weaker version of superman in his previous life. Even if he couldn’t beat the top few in the Marvel Universe like Hulk and Ironman, he should at least be able to beat the pushovers, Black Widow and Hawkeye, with ease.
That, together with Poisonous Prick and Grandgale, would be his key to surviving in the Chu Estate. No matter who was aiming for his life, he was at least able to put up a fight now.
After the short moment of happiness came the onset of pain. With nothing else to distract him anymore, he began hissing in pain from the bruises he had sustained all over his body. “Argh, the earlier ram sure is painful!”
He was already on the verge of healing from his wounds, but the earlier ram caused him to sustain new injuries. Not daring to mess around anymore, he lay quietly on the bed and waited patiently for Ji Dengtu’s recovery medicine to work its wonders. Unknowingly, he fell asleep.
The following day, Zu An woke up feeling a little feeble even after a night’s rest. He had recovered from almost half of his initial injuries, but he couldn’t help but feel a little dissatisfied with the effects. It looked like he was overestimating Ji Dengtu by putting his recovery medicine on the same level as Faith in Brother Spring.
If others were to learn of his thoughts, they would surely grab a chopper and chase him around town. One must know that the Hundredflower Impermanence Pill was a divine medicine that innumerable cultivators would get down on their knees for, but he actually viewed it as an inferior recovery medicine. Unforgivable!
It was then that Zu An suddenly recalled something—he had forgotten to draw the lottery. Too many things had happened yesterday night that it slipped his mind. So, he took out the keyboard and checked his Rage points. Initially, he only had 69 points left, but after earning a fair bit from the Chu Zhongtian, Qin Wanru, and Pei Mianman, the amount rose up to 3273.
He couldn’t help but frown in discontentment. It seemed like he had gone easy yesterday night, or else there was no way he would have only obtained this much Rage points from Pei Mianman. But again, faced with that kind of top-notch beauty, there was no man who would be able to bring themselves to really be harsh on her.
All of a sudden, he started to miss Plum Blossom Twelve and the lot from the Blackwind Stockade. He began reminiscing those good memories that he made with them.
Heaven, please bestow me with an antagonist whom I can antagonize!
The door was suddenly pushed open, and a suave young man with his hair combed neatly in place barged right in. He walked up to the bedside and gazed down on him loftily, “How far have your injuries recovered? Are you able to go to the academy today?”
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +299 Rage!
“I’m still alright, I guess,” Zu An replied subconsciously. “No, wait a moment. Who are you?”
“That’s good.” Without bothering to answer him, the young man turned around and headed out of the room. On his way out, he caught sight of the human-shaped imprint on the wall in his peripheral vision, and he froze in place for a moment. However, it took only a moment for him to regain his composure, and he left the room with his chest puffed out and his head up high.
Zu An was still a little dazed. It was just a moment ago that I made a wish, and they really sent me an antagonist to antagonize? Surely my prayers can’t be that effective? But speaking of which, who is that fellow though? Why is he contributing so many Rage points even though it’s the first time we’re meeting one another?
“Young master~” It was then that a grudging voice sounded by the doorway. Cheng Shouping appeared by the doorway wearing two heavy eyebags.
“What’s wrong with you? Did a vixen suck out your yang essence?” Zu An jolted in shock.
Cheng Shouping tottered over weakly. “Young master, how can you say such a thing? I had to spend the entire night up, not sleeping a wink at all in order to copy the family rules a hundred times all on my own!”
Zu An smiled sheepishly as he got up and poured him a cup of water. “Little Pingping, you should be glad that you were in the Reflection Room copying the family rules yesterday night. If you were together with me, you would have turned into a corpse by now.”
“Thanks, young master.” Cheng Shouping first accepted Zu An’s cup of water humbly before his mind managed to process the words that had just been spoken. “Wait a moment. What do you mean by ‘I would have turned into a corpse by now’?”
Zu An pointed to the human-shaped imprint on the wall and said, “Do you see that? An assassin dropped by yesterday night to assassinate me. It’s only thanks to the blessings of heaven and my superior skills that I managed to escape the ordeal. If you were around too, you would have been forced to put your life on the line to save me. There’s no saying that the enemy’s dagger might have just plunged right into your brittle body and tore it apart.”
Cheng Shouping gulped fearfully as he muttered, “Thank god I was in the Reflection Room.”
“What did you say?” Zu An’s eyebrows shot up.
Cheng Shouping immediately replied with a fawning smile, “I said that it was a pity that I wasn’t around. A person as loyal as me would have surely put my life on the line to protect you. That assassin would have to step over my dead body before he can lay his hands on you!”
Seeing how Cheng Shouping was speaking so impassionedly, such that his saliva was flying all around the place, Zu An quickly shoved his face aside. “That’s enough of you. Aren’t you getting too into the script? Let me ask you something instead. Who’s that proud-looking fellow who just walked out earlier?”
“Him? He’s the precious son of Butler Hong, Hong Xingying,” Cheng Shouping replied. “That fellow is a conceited punk, but there’s no denying that he’s a prodigious cultivator. Despite having never gone through any formal education, he managed to self-study on his own and reach the third rank. Butler Hong has always been proud of him, and the old master and old mistress are full of compliments for him too. They are expecting him to become one of the leaders of the younger generation in the Chu Estate, and they have been grooming him as such too.”
Ah, so he’s the son of Butler Hong. It’s no wonder why his hair is combed so impeccably, just like his father.
“Tsk, I was still wondering how formidable he is. After cultivating for over a decade, he has only managed to reach the third rank?” Zu An scoffed. A trash like me has managed to reach the third rank in just three days, but even I don’t go around boasting about it!
Meanwhile, Cheng Shouping shook his head wryly. It’s no wonder why they say that the young master has his heads in the clouds. Despite being utterly incapable, he still runs his mouth as if he’s a bigshot. If you can reach the third rank in your lifetime, I bet even the old master and old mistress would laugh in their sleep!
“Why are you staring at me like that?” Zu An glared at Cheng Shouping.
Cheng Shouping immediately put a smile back onto his face. “I was thinking that maybe I should tell the old mistress to let you rest for the day, given how severely injured you are.”
“There’s no need for that. This bit of injuries won’t hinder me. My father-in-law and mother-in-law are asking me to attend the academy for my own good, so how can I let them down?” Zu An thumped his chest as he spoke resolutely. Needless to say, he wasn’t interested in attending the academy, but it was far more boring to remain in the estate.
Due to the assassination yesterday night, Chu Zhongtian had stationed two guards at the entrance of his room, such that he couldn’t sneak out even if he wanted to. Given so, he would rather go to the academy instead. Perhaps, he might just find a chance to slip away and do his own stuff.
Hearing Zu An’s motivated speech, Cheng Shouping’s mouth opened so wide that one could stuff a fist down his throat. He immediately rushed forward and placed his hand on Zu An’s forehead. “Young master, what’s wrong with you? Are you having a fever?”
“Scram!” Zu An kicked him aside.
“Hahaha! Zu An, you’re really becoming more and more mature. It looks like the effort I have spent on you isn’t in vain!” A peal of laughter sounded outside, and Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru walked in with satisfied smiles on their faces.
“Father-in-law, mother-in-law, what are you doing here?” Zu An quickly put on a flattered look on his face. Ah, it sure is hard having to put on an act every day. At this rate, I might be eligible for the Oscars if I transmigrate back to my previous world.
“I heard from Xingying that you have recovered from your injuries and are intending to head to the academy. I was a little worried, so I came over to take a look.” Qin Wanru’s usual stern face had a tinge of gentleness to it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter