Chapter 21 – Since You Can’t Guide Me Then I Will Test You
After listening to Yang Chen’s words, Shangguan Feng felt as if he had gained enlightenment. Several years of doubt had apparently dispersed. For many years he had listened to the experiences of many experts at the foundation stage and all of them had said that the final juncture was the most difficult. Most of them had to use every method available to be able to break through.
Shangguan Feng had been incessantly pondering for a way to break through, using the experience of his predecessors as basis, but he hadn’t been able to succeed. His efforts had always fallen short at the final moment. But that also increasingly affirmed his conclusion, that for the last extremely difficult juncture on building his foundation he would need to retain a portion of his strength for the last big effort. At the very least several foundation stage experts had said that this was the correct strategy.
But, the experiences of others may not be entirely suited for every person, so Shangguan Feng had continuously tried for several years, in the end, exhausting both his body and mind. Ten years of disappointment had made him lose all hope and at last he became completely discouraged and without any hope to reach the foundation stage. From then on, he had diligently taken care of Pure Yang Palace’s Ye Xiu Manor, until today.
According to Yang Chen’s memories of him in his previous life, Shangguan Feng had finally broken through and reached foundation stage precisely by using his full strength, without holding back, to pound against the juncture. At that time he had still regretted that, if he had used this kind of method a hundred years ago, maybe he would have entered foundation stage and become an inner disciple much earlier, and would not have wasted two hundred years of missing the most optimal cultivation period.
In this life, since Shangguan Feng had already shown this kind of attitude, Yang Chen did not mind telling him about this information. In any case, making a favourable impression on a foundation stage manager in the Ye Xiu manor was not a bad thing for him. Furthermore, doing this kind of huge favor, which had cost him nothing, there was no reason not to do it.
However Shangguan Feng did not feel like this. Originally he had lost all hope, but now suddenly that flaming desire was once again ignited within his heart. Thinking about Yang Chen’s method, he had already dreamed of himself reaching foundation stage. After pondering for a moment, he suddenly got up and deeply thanked Yang Chen.
“Many thanks, Younger Brother Yang, for giving me directions, If I succeed in building my foundation in the future, I will never forget Younger Brother Yang’s kindness for guiding me!”
Even though he only said these words, in his heart, Shangguan Feng felt an unspeakable gratitude towards Yang Chen.
Yang Chen pretended to blank out for a moment and then smilingly said:
“Senior Brother Shangguan, we were only discussing about some martial techniques we have experienced, this had no relation with building a foundation. If senior brother had an insight, that is only because of senior brother’s good fortune, it cannot be attributed to me.”
Though Yang Chen had said this, Shangguan Feng didn’t think like that. The more Yang Chen didn’t claim credit for himself, the more pure and good his nature seemed, the more Shangguan Feng felt grateful in his heart.
Feeling delighted, Shangguan Feng didn’t care about anyone else and once again cupped his hands towards Yang Chen to show his thanks.
“Younger Brother Yang, I will immediately go and train in seclusion for one to three months and as soon as I come out, I will personally give directions to you! Other people may not dare to teach a third qi layer disciple, but in any case this old man is still qualified, right?”
“Then I wish for Elder Brother to succeed!”
Yang Chen also did not forget about complimenting Shangguan Feng and soon afterwards he continued speaking:
“Many thanks, Elder Brother Shangguan!”
Unconsciously he had already started calling him as elder brother and not manager.
This time, Shangguan Feng’s actions had become even more rapid. In the evening of the same day, all four servants who injured by Yang Chen were delivered to the Profound Pavilion. The injuries on their bodies had almost recovered, external injuries already couldn’t be seen anymore. It could be assumed that a lot of precious medicines were used for their treatment. In that night, Shangguan Feng arranged everything and hurriedly started his closed door training to build his foundation.
When Shen Da and other three saw Yang Chen again they were not as unruly as before. These four were mere servants, but after the cold reception given to Yang Chen in the morning, when they had these kinds of malicious thoughts, having experienced Yang Chen’s invincible might, where all of them had been beaten unconscious and on top of that, with Shangguan Feng’s repeated warnings, these four did not dare to have any more ill conceived thoughts. When confronting Yang Chen, all of them bowed respectfully and when Yang Chen asked them to do something, none of them dared to disobey.
While Shangguan Feng had entered closed door training, Yang Chen had no choice but to face Chu Heng’s malicious moves again. He had made Yang Chen’s position so high, that everyone who met him had to cup his hands and treat him respectfully, so that Yang Chen could not complain about anything.
Although Yang Chen did not care about learning any fundamental knowledge, as he wouldn’t need it, in order to not arouse any suspicion, he could not help but put up appearances, as if he was learning from the beginning. Otherwise, if a person who was filled with political wisdom, could practice pharmacy and could distinguish different medicines proficiently, having near perfect knowledge of geography of stars, was nothing but an executioner, it would definitely arouse suspicions.
Immortal cultivation sects placed extreme importance on teaching the future generations, if Yang Chen were to expose all this knowledge, then he would surely be considered as a spy from another sect, sent to steal Pure Yang Palace’s teachings. In that case, it could be said that Chu Heng would surely rejoice for getting rid of Yang Chen, while at the same time rendering a great service for the sect.
Therefore, Yang Chen had to pretend and assume the appearance of an individual learning from the beginning. Naturally, Yang Chen’s background as an executioner had already established him as an illiterate person, with no knowledge about most letters. Well, of course he would recognize some letters but in no way would they exceed a hundred.
Shangguan Feng had said that after coming out of seclusion, he would personally teach Yang Chen. But in Yang Chen’s eyes, this affair arranged by Shangguan Feng was merely a case of using an extraordinary person in an insignificant position. Using this simple affair in exchange for Yang Chen’s huge favor, it really was too cheap.
Next morning, with Shen Da leading the way, Yang Chen once again went to the Book Pavilion, where the preparatory disciples studied. But this time he did not go directly to the pavilion of the preparatory disciples who had joined with him, but rather he came to the pavilion where the disciples who had joined one year earlier than him were studying.
Seeing Yang Chen, the old teacher in the pavilion stopped and cupped his hands towards him:
“Senior Brother Yang, it is a great honor for us that you have come to this Hanlin Pavilion, I suppose this is to give directions to these younger brothers? I invite you to the seat of honor!”
And gave the same excuse as yesterday. Those sitting disciples also all stood up and showed their regards, everything was the same as yesterday without any difference.
“I don’t dare, this Yang is just a newcomer who still doesn’t understand many things. For some things I would like master to provide some guidance!”
Yang Chen reasoned curtly with a humble attitude.
“Huh, I do not dare, do not dare! Who would dare to teach Senior Brother Yang!?”
The old teacher replied with great alarm in an exaggerated manner of speaking, while he continuously moved both hands, saying:
“I’m not qualified!”
“Are you not able to guide me?”
Seeing this kind of careless manner, Yang Chen’s tone immediately changed.
“Absolutely do not dare! Senior Brother Yang!”
The old teacher still continued with this kind of manner:
“Yang Chen are a third qi layer disciple, how can we dare to teach Yang Chen? Absolutely not!”
Yang Chen coldly snorted.
“Since this is the case, I also will not make things difficult for you. Only I fear that you are lazy and incompetent and will hamper the student’s progress, so first I will test you.”
A book was thrown in front of the old teacher and Yang Chen pointed a large golden sword at the seat. Slashing it deeply he said: “Read every letter of every sentence from this book aloud and then explain it to me, I will listen and check whether you have made a mistake or not!”
After Yang Chen said this, no matter whether it was the old teacher or the preparatory disciples, all of them were the same as Shen Da and foolishly stared at Yang Chen. Test h im? What is this?
Only, no matter who it was, no one dared to disagree. Yang Chen had been given the status of a third qi layer disciple, this had been decided and passed down by the accomplished disciple Chu Heng and at the same time properly arranged by Manager Shangguan. Who would dare to dishonor him?
Since he was a third qi layer outer disciple, naturally he had the authority to inspect and test other preparatory disciples and even had the authority to inspect these teachers. But, if this happened, were Uncle Master Chu’s arrangements still useful?
The first one to respond was actually Shen Da. Ever since Yang Chen had ruthlessly taught him a lesson he did not dare to have any other thoughts in his mind, adding to that Shangguan Feng’s repeated warnings, Shen Da already understood the circumstances.
Of course, the most important point of all of this was, that this action of Yang Chen didn’t break Uncle Master Chu’s established rules at all and was completely fair and reasonable, so even if he was here, he would also be unable to say anything. Hence, Shen Da shouted loudly towards the teacher:
“Young Master Yang has commanded something, are you still not complying?”
Shen Da was someone among servants who had prestige, that old teacher didn’t dare to neglect this shout and hastily picked up the book thrown by Yang Chen and started reading loudly.
Since he had already became aware that Chu Heng’s arrangements had no meaning now, the old teacher also meaningfully glanced at him and not only started reading slowly and loudly, but also explained very clearly and logically, showing no signs of attempting to use crafty tricks.
The other preparatory disciples looked at Yang Chen, it seemed that they had also changed a little bit. Since Yang Chen could use this kind of method to break his obstructions and in addition to that could also enjoy a higher status when compared to others, including experience many natural resources, maybe he would very quickly rise above everyone. However no one could say anything, so all of them were calmly listening to the old teacher reading the book, acting as if they were not able to understand it very well the first time.
Yang Chen held a book in his hand, it was the same as the book in the old teacher’s hand and he was pretending to turn the pages and read, but in the eyes of other people it seemed as if he trying to remember something and they actually did not dare to interrupt him. Yesterday, Yang Chen had fought with four third qi layer servants alone, three of whom had cultivation tools, and one of them furthermore cultivated blazing palms. All of them were beaten by Yang Chen. This news has already spread, so naturally no one dared to disregard him.
From next day, every day Yang Chen would just change the teacher and the book. Every time a teacher would be forced to read a book for him and explain it, using the pompous reason of testing them to check whether they were competent or not. In every case the individual whom he demanded to test had to read books for a day or half a day and eventually all of them were made to read and explain one or two books before giving up.
Very quickly every teacher became used to this kind of thing. Firstly, Yang Chen hadn’t broken any rules, and secondly, before entering seclusion, Shangguan Feng had taken care of this and had specifically instructed all teachers to help out Yang Chen as much as they could. So they had done as much as possible in accordance to Yang Chen’s request, without creating much problems.
At the same, while Yang Chen was sending off the teachers for medicine debation, Du Qian appeared in the Profound Pavilion. After sending them off, Yang Chen turned around just to discover Du Qian looking at him with an expression that was a smile, yet not a smile.
“Uncle Master Du!”
Yang Chen hastily greeted him according to proper ceremony, it was a rule that ceremonies could not be disregarded.
“Originally I had thought that Chu Heng would give specific directions to make things difficult for you, but now it seems you are doing alright?”
Du Qian was very appreciative of Yang Chen, perhaps it was because Yang Chen’s background as an executioner and his own status as a disciple of the Law Enforcement Hall were very similar. Furthermore at that time, Yang Chen had completely destroyed Chu Heng‘s reputation, so until now Du Qian had believed that Yang Chen’s life was not very satisfactory, but after coming here that belief had completely changed.
Du Qian then asked:
“Has Chu Feng revoked your status?”
“My status is still the same!”
Yang Chen replied with a somewhat self deprecating smile.
“Then why did that teacher dare to to teach medicine to you?”
Du Qian did not understand, he originally thought to help Yang Chen, but it seemed as if Yang Chen no longer required it.
“Teach medicine to this disciple? No, no, no! Uncle Master Du, you are mistaken!”
Yang Chen seriously shook his finger while continuing:
“He wasn’t teaching medicine to me, Uncle Master Du!”
“I have seen it with my own eyes, how can it be wrong?”
Du Qian laughingly scolded him, but soon after that he asked:
“He didn’t teach you to debate about medicine, then what? Were you teaching him?”
“More or less, Uncle Master Du! Hehe!”
Yang Chen laughed.
“He was not teaching disciple, this disciple was inspecting him, watching whether he is knowledgeable of his topics, so that fellow brothers are not misguided. You are also aware that, since Disciple has a higher status than his fellow disciples, naturally this Disciple was asked to take responsibility to check and inspect. I reluctantly had to accept this affair. But I will seriously test them, so as to avoid some people from cheating others for their personal gains and neglect the future of many fellow brothers.”
Hearing Yang Chen speak these kinds of shameless words proudly, Du Qian, whose nature was quite honest, could not help but smile. Shaking his head, he disappeared.
Even though it was out of question for Du Qian to provide much help to Yang Chen, there would always be a feeling of familiarity. Although this visit by Du Qian did not serve any purpose, seeing Yang Chen getting the same opportunities as the other disciples made him feel quite relieved. Since there was not much of a problem, he also didn’t tangle much and turned around to leave.
Yang Chen was learning very rapidly, at least in the eyes of others this was so. No matter which book it was, as long as it had been read and explained once, he would immediately remember it. In a brief period of two months, all of the introductory books on learning characters, learning pharmacy, distinguishing medicine and learning the geography of stars, which the preparatory disciples had to learn in three years, were already studied by him.
While the other preparatory disciples, who had entered with Yang Chen, were slowly learning to read and write characters, Yang Chen already stood at the gate of the achievement room at the core of the Ye Xiu Manor. Here, two outer disciples were stationed at all times to guard the starting cultivation techniques for those who entered the sect, but it was highly unlikely that it held any other cultivation techniques. To experience the cultivation of high level techniques, he would first have to become an official outer disciple, only then could he go to learn from a successful outer disciple personally.
“This one is called Yang Chen, I have come today to enter the cultivation room to find a suitable method to cultivate, I ask for these elder brothers to help me out!”
Yang Chen said with a bow to the outer disciples who were guarding the cultivation room.
“Yang Chen? I know you, you have just entered the Ye Xiu Manor some days ago. Just after these couple of days you want cultivation techniques? You think too poorly of my Pure Yang Palace!”
The relationship between the disciple who was guarding the cultivation room and Sun Hai Jing was pretty good, so he had already heard about Yang Chen beating Sun Hai Jing and was thus deliberately trying to make things difficult for Yang Chen.
“Do you really believe that you have already become a third qi layer disciple?”
Yang Chen still hadn’t replied, when suddenly within the Ye Xiu Manor there was a burst of heavenly energy, powerfully rising in an imposing manner. Soon afterwards, it suddenly withdrew, following which a strong spiritual awareness swept through the place, affecting anyone who came in contact with it.
“Which Uncle Master has succeeded in building a foundation?”
Seeing the circumstances, that one outer disciple asked, being very surprised, but Yang Chen clearly understood who it was.