Chen Musheng stood by the opening of the bamboo forest. In a humble manner, he said, “Nie Tian, this is the residence our sectmaster has arranged for your grandfather to live in.
“Apart from the top of Cloudsoaring Mountain and the short mountain where your master lives, this bamboo forest has the richest spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in this entire area. Besides, this location is secluded and quiet, which makes it a perfect place to live in.”
Nie Tian glanced around and saw two clear creeks running through a forest of fresh, green bamboo, and a handful of well-designed buildings sitting by the creeks. He nodded in satisfaction.
“I’ll take my leave now if you don’t need me anymore.” Chen Musheng asked for permission to leave.
“Thank you for bringing me here, Elder Chen,” Nie Tian said.
“You’re most welcome.” A hearty smile finally appeared on Chen Musheng’s nervous face as he sensed from Nie Tian’s words that he had forgiven him and wouldn’t try to find fault with him for the unfairness he had done to Nie Donghai and the Nie Clan.
Ever since he had learned that Nie Tian had risen to prominence and won the acknowledgment of many major sects, he had been in a constant state of anxiety.
He had feared that Nie Tian would seek him out one day to settle accounts with him.
Earlier, Nie Tian had intentionally ignored him when they had met in the Realm of Split Void, which had made him realize that Nie Tian hadn’t forgiven him.
It was also at that time that he witnessed Nie Tian’s strong influence and lofty status, and thus decided to do everything within his power to make up for his mistakes, hoping that Nie Tian would forgive him eventually.
For that reason, he had visited the Nie Clan repeatedly to talk to Nie Donghai ever since he had returned to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Since he had apologized sincerely and amended his mistakes, Nie Donghai had already forgiven him.
Today, Nie Tian saying ‘thank you’ to him finally relieved him from the fear that Nie Tian would find an opportunity to hold him responsible for his previous mistakes.
Satisfied, Chen Musheng left.
As soon as he left, Li Langfeng appeared and said in a respectful manner, “Nie Tian.”
Surprised, Nie Tian asked, “Since when have you been here?”
Upon seeing Li Langfeng, Li Ye’s expression flickered as he subconsciously stepped back to keep a safe distance from him.
Li Langfeng had a notorious name in the Realm of Split Void. Almost everyone had heard about his brutal means and merciless nature. Therefore, Li Ye was still apprehensive, even though he knew that Li Langfeng had decided to work for Nie Tian.
After all, Li Langfeng, who practiced poisonous incantations, was very different from regular Qi warriors.
“I stayed in the Realm of a Hundred Battles when you left for the Realm of Mystic Heaven with Senior Zhao,” Li Langfeng explained. “Then, when I learned that the crisis in the Realm of Mystic Heaven was over, and Miss Dong was coming to see you in the Realm of Flame Heaven, I came with her.”
Nie Tian nodded. “I see. But why didn’t you stay in the bamboo forest? You seem to have come from that direction.”
After a moment of hesitation, Li Langfeng sagged his head and said, “Wherever I go, misfortune follows. And I practice poisonous incantations. I’m afraid that I’ll bring misfortune to your family, so...”
Apparently, he had chosen to live in another location so that the bamboo forest wouldn’t be polluted by his aura, which he was afraid would somehow bring bad luck to Nie Tian’s family.
Li Ye snorted a laugh. “Who would have thought that a fierce person like you would believe in luck?”
“Come with us. You don’t bring misfortune. It’s just that you’ve gone through some misfortunes in your life. That’s all.” With these words, Nie Tian walked into the bamboo forest with a calm expression.
Li Ye followed along without hesitation.
Eyes filled with gratitude, Li Langfeng stood there for a few seconds, circulating his spiritual power to suppress his aura. Only after he was certain that not a shred of his poisonous aura would leave him did he quietly trot after Nie Tian and Li Ye.
As soon as Nie Tian entered the bamboo forest, he heard young women chatting and laughing.
A confused expression instantly appeared on his face.
Li Ye gazed into the depths of the bamboo forest and saw numerous young women, who were dressed in fine garments and wearing makeup, in a bamboo building. Eyes wide, he exclaimed softly, “There are a lot of pretty girls there! Ye Qin from the Yin Sect, Qin Yan from the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce, Xuan Yue from the Ice Pavilion Sect, Qi Yiren from the Tool Sect, and Cao Feifei from the Cao Clan...”
Li Ye’s beady eyes glittered with the light of excitement as he stated the names of the known beauties from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars as if he were introducing treasures from his collection.
His fat body trembling in excitement, he hastily took out a bronze mirror to fix his poorly made bun and appearance.
At that very moment, a girl with bright eyes and white teeth spotted Nie Tian from afar, and instantly skipped with joy. “Ah! Big Brother Nie Tian!”
She was Nie You. Now that a few years had passed, she had already grown into a beautiful young woman.
She skipped to Nie Tian. Eyes glittering with joy and excitement, she exclaimed, “You’re finally back, big brother. Many big sisters are waiting for you.”
At this moment, many bright eyes in the depths of the bamboo forest seemed to have found their target, and rapidly converged on Nie Tian.
They had been chatting and laughing a moment ago, but upon realizing that Nie Tian was here, they all fell silent and laid their eyes on him, as if he were some sort of rare animal.
“Damn it! I should have clean up myself before I came!” Li Ye fixed his hair in such a hurry that he ended up messing it up even more.
Nie Tian laughed and ruffled Nie You’s head in a doting fashion. “You’ve already entered the middle Lesser Heaven stage?”
Back when Nie Tian had lived in Black Cloud City, Nie You had been one of the few who had considered Nie Tian a true member of the Nie Clan and a respectable older brother.
At this moment, a ponytail had replaced her towering braid on top of her head. It swung about as she walked, giving her a young, energetic look.
Nie You’s eyes smiled into the shape of crescent moons as she said, “Yeah, and that’s actually thanks to you, big brother. If you didn’t save the Realm of Flame Heaven every time we were in danger, our clan would have never enjoyed the treatment we’re receiving today.”
Apparently, Nie You wasn’t a child anymore. She knew what had happened in Black Cloud City and the Nie Clan over the past few years.
She also knew that the reason why the Nie Clan had been the first to be evacuated when the outsiders had invaded the Realm of Flame Heaven, and that Nie Donghai and Nie Qian had been later invited to move to this bamboo forest, was all because the sects in the Realm of Flame Heaven had given Nie Tian face.
Nie Tian smiled and didn’t say anything.
At that moment, he noticed that many beauties, each beautiful in their own way, were walking towards him from the depths of the bamboo forest.
On the building that towered over all the others, Nie Donghai pushed his window open and looked quietly at Nie Tian, his body trembling slightly with emotions.
However, he didn’t rush downstairs and out of his residence to meet Nie Tian.
Instead, he looked at him from afar, a gratified smiled filling his face.
“All of those girls have exceptional cultivation bases, powerful backgrounds, outstanding talent, and charming appearances. It seems that Little Tian is blessed with some happy trouble.” He chuckled and quietly closed his window, deciding not to get into those girls’ way.
Before Nie Tian could say anything, Li Ye stepped forward, his fat body blocking Nie Tian from view. “Dear beautiful sisters,” he said, “my name is Li Ye. My master is Zhen Huilan, the most powerful equipment forger throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars. I’m a Premium grade equipment forger acknowledged by the Tool Sect myself. Nie Tian’s Flame Star is one of my works. Also, my cultivation base is higher than this guy. I’m at the Worldly realm.”
Since he blocked Nie Tian completely from view, the girls had to lay their eyes on him.
Many of them frowned and cursed him with disgusted looks on their faces.
“Who the hell is this fatty?”
“Li Ye? How come I’ve never heard of such a person? Since when did Master Zhen have such a fool as a disciple?”
“This moron actually dares to stand before Nie Tian! Get out of the way!”
At that moment, a young woman in noble, fiery-red garments rushed over and pushed Li Ye out of her way. “Get out of my way, fat-ass! You’re stopping me from meeting my future husband!”
Pushed to the side, Li Ye said embarrassedly, “Junior Martial Sister Qi… What are you doing here?”
This girl was Qi Yiren, Qi Bailu’s granddaughter and a middle Greater Heaven stage cultivator. She cultivated fire-attributed incantations, but showed no interest in equipment forging. She had known Li Ye from long ago.
Qi Bailu was Zhen Huilan’s senior martial brother and the sectmaster of the Tool Sect. As his granddaughter, Qi Yiren always did whatever she liked. She never called Li Ye senior martial brother when they met, and there was nothing Li Ye could do about it.
Qi Yiren gave him a nasty look before turning to look at Nie Tian with a warm face. Her cheeks were slightly flushed as she said in a soft voice, “I’m here to see my future husband! Hello, Nie Tian, I’m Qi Yiren. My grandfather is the sectmaster of the Tool Sect. In my heart, only a hero like you is deserving of being my husband.
“I’m only here to take a look at you. My grandfather has already prepared a generous dowry for our marriage. Once we get married, your family will have spiritual tools and spiritual materials they won’t be able to exhaust in their lifetime.”
Hey guys, I read about the Four Symbols the other day, and thought you might want to read about them, since they're culturally important across China and East Asia. So I gathered some materials, which I'll present to you over the next few days.
In ancient Chinese astronomy, the sky ecliptic was divided into four sections. Each of these sections contained seven mansions, and together they formed the 28 Mansions. The 28 Mansions may be considered to be equivalent to the zodiacal constellations in Western astronomy, although they reflect the movement of the Moon through a sidereal month rather than the Sun in a tropical year. This enabled the ancient Chinese to mark the travelling positions of the Sun and the Moon, as well as to determine the time and seasons. Each section of the sky is assigned to a mythological creature, collectively known as the Four Symbols. These creatures are the Azure Dragon of the East, the White Tiger of the West, the Black Tortoise of the North, and the Vermillion Bird of the South. Apart from their astronomical significance, each of the Four Symbols is surrounded by various mythological associations.
According to the archaeological evidence, the concept of the Four Symbols may have existed as early as China’s Neolithic period (some 6,000 years ago). This is based on some clam shells and bones forming the images of the Azure Dragon and the White Tiger that were found in a tomb in Henan. In addition, it is claimed that one of the artefacts from the tomb of the Marquis Yi of Zeng (c. 433 B.C.) is a lacquer-painted wardrobe with the patterns of the Four Symbols and 28 Mansions.