Wuxiaworld > Nightfall > 687 The Headmaster“s Story Part 1

687 The Headmaster“s Story Part 1



The large ship docked at a harbor south of the Great River Kingdom. The black horse carriage sped across the land silently. It had been more than 70 days since they left the Wilderness. The Great River Kingdom, which was in the south had already heard news of the war in the Wilderness.

After the black horse carriage left the Wilderness, the West-Hill Divine Palace coalition army suddenly attacked the Tang army. However, the Tang army had long been prepared for this. The Northern Military Camp cavalry left Helan City, ambushing the coalition army.

The flames of war continued on the Wilderness. However, the war this time had nothing to do with The Desolate. The war continued for dozens of days until the Tang army, which was at an obvious disadvantage considering their numbers, finally gained victory under the command of His Majesty, Li Zhongyi.

Because the logistics supply line was too long and the West-Hill Divine Palace had several powerful Grand Cultivators, the Tang army did not move forward after their victory. The army split into two groups, returning to Helan City and Tuyang City respectively. The cavalry of the Northeast Border Military was approaching the Wilderness' border.

What was puzzling was that after the Tang emperor, Li Zhongyi led the Northern Military Camp cavalry back to Helan City, he did not immediately return to Chang'an but stayed there instead.

Some speculated that there was something going on in the Golden Palace, given their silence for too many years. Others thought that the Emperor only wanted to take the empress with him and enjoy some time away from Chang'an.

Although this war in the Wilderness ended with the victory of the Tang army, it cost a lot for a country to fight against the world no matter how powerful it was. As for the West-Hill Divine Palace coalition army, they suffered heavy losses and seemed unable to start a fight at least for a short period of time.

The Headmaster's war against the Heavens should have shocked the world, but because the West-Hill Divine Palace had stopped the news from spreading and the fact that everyone present had been kneeling and did not dare to look at the bright sky, they had not truly seen what happened. As such, the news did not spread widely, at least not outside of the Tang Empire.

During the journey as the black horse carriage traveled through the Great River Kingdom, the Headmaster once asked Ning Que if he wanted to visit Mogan Mountain. The Master of Calligraphy had brought disciples of the Black Ink Garden to the war in the Wilderness and had yet to return. As such, only Mo Shanshan was on the mountain and it was a good opportunity for Ning Que according to the Headmaster.


Ning Que understood what the Headmaster meant by a good opportunity. However, he did not understand why the Headmaster grew more and more naughty while aging. He chose to tease Ning Que with those words even though Sangsang was in the carriage. So Ning Que rejected him firmly.

The black carriage sped out of the Great River Kingdom and headed northeast. It passed through the hilly area in the southeast of South Jin Kingdom and came to a beautiful verdant country, the West-Hill Divine Kingdom.

There was a stall selling roasted sweet potatoes across the Taoist Temple in town. Summer had yet to pass, so even the West-Hill Divine Kingdom favored by Haotian was unbearably hot. The sweet potato stall's business should have been bad, but for some reason, it remained open and would receive the occasional patronage.

"We should eat meat around a furnace on cold snow days and eat iced food in the hot summer. This is the best enjoyment that is appropriate for the weather. But sometimes, people just like to make things difficult for themselves. They eat hotpot in the hot summer and sweat buckets just for fun. Then, they chew on sweet ice in winter for the same reason."

The Headmaster said, "They want to experience this exhilaration and have fun. Or one should say, there are many who enjoy torturing themselves. That's why this stall remains open and has been running for more than a thousand years. You guys should give it a try."

Ning Que bought three roasted sweet potatoes and began peeling one of them with his fingertips. He said, "Is there really a sweet potato stall that can run for a thousand years? Wouldn't that be an ancient business? Teacher, don't try to fool us."

The Headmaster said, "I've come down from the mountain to eat roasted sweet potatoes here since a thousand years ago."

The town was deep within West-Hill Divine Kingdom and was close to the Peach Mountain. If you looked from the stone bridge outside the town in the direction of the river flow, you'd be able to see the magnificent West-Hill Divine Palace in the green hills.

Could the mountain that the Headmaster mentioned be the Peach Mountain?

Ning Que was a little surprised and forgot to continue peeling his potato.

The Headmaster took the sweet potato from his hands and quickly peeled it, revealing soft, yellow flesh that was steaming. He handed it to Sangsang and said, "I have never seen Haotian before, nor have I ever interacted with it. So I can only guess. However, now that I look at it, my speculations are getting closer and closer to the fact. That is why I feel that I am qualified to tell you Haotian's story. Now that its story is over, I'd like to tell you mine. I don't know if the two of you would be interested to hear it."

Ning Que and Sangsang were of course interested.

The world only knew that the Tang Empire had an Academy and that there was a Headmaster in the Academy. They knew that the Headmaster was the most important one in the Academy, but rarely did they know the Headmaster's story. Master Qishan had guessed that the Headmaster was over two centuries old, but Ning Que now knew that the Headmaster had lived for over a thousand years. How interesting would his tale be?

The black horse carriage left the town and drove across the stone bridge towards the flow of the river. The Peach Mountain that the West-Hill Divine Palace was located on had a curvy path which appeared before them at the moment.

The Headmaster finished his roasted sweet potatoes and took the wet towel Sangsang handed him. He wiped the remnants of the potato from the corners of his lips and mustache, and then he wiped his sticky fingers clean. He pointed out of his window at the east and said, "Many years ago, in the east of the West-Hill Divine Kingdom, there was a country called the State of Lu."

Ning Que asked, "Why have I never heard of it?"

The Headmaster said, "That was a country established a thousand years ago. And it's been long gone."

Ning Que said, "It seems like it was only a small, unknown country."

The Headmaster said unhappily, "That's because you're ignorant and have never read a single history book. If you ask your Senior Brothers and Sisters at the back of the mountain, would they not know of the State of Lu?"

Ning Que, who had always been great at flattery, found that he had made two consecutive mistakes today.

The first was that he had forgotten to wipe his teacher's beard clean, and the second was that he had not understood that his teacher must have something to do with the State of Lu since he mentioned it. His casual words were like slapping his teacher in the face. As such, he hurriedly apologized.

The Headmaster ignored him and looked at the non-existent country of his past. He said, "I was born in the State of Lu..."

Ning Que thought that one's love for his country could not be insulted indeed.

The Headmaster said again, "I am a very ordinary person..."

Ning Que thought to himself that this statement was a slap to everyone's face.

The Headmaster did not know that Ning Que was adding lines to his statements in his heart and he continued, "I was an ordinary person, so I behaved like one. I studied since I was young, and I had learned how to tell right from wrong. Then, I took the exam and after much difficulty, became an official. However, after just one case, I was forced to resign because I offended nobility."

Ning Que asked curiously, "What case was it?"

The Headmaster said a few sentences, and judging from his expression, he still felt resentful about what had happened then.

"They just chopped off his head like that? Did you have evidence?" Ning Que asked carefully.

The Headmaster said, "I didn't have evidence, but everyone knew that he was an evil man."

Ning Que said sarcastically, "You trialed a case without evidence. I wonder how the law of the Tang Empire comes first became a rule of the Academy. Teacher, why did you kill that man? Did he offend you?"

The Headmaster said angrily, "Say, Haotian has no evidence either, why did I have to go against it?"

Ning Que said somewhat anxiously, "That's because you don't like Haotian, either."

The Headmaster paused. After a long silence, he suddenly laughed, saying, "Perhaps you were wrong. I was still young then, and my temper was rather bad."

Ning Que was chuffed, and did not forget to reciprocate. He laughed loudly and said, "Teacher, you are now over a thousand years old, but your temper doesn't seem to have gotten any better."

The laughter then halted as Ning Que rubbed the bump on his head caused by a rod. He felt like an idiot, for he knew that his teacher had a bad temper. Why did he say all that nonsense?

...

...

The black carriage arrived at the bottom of the Peach Mountain.

Ning Que grew anxious, excited and was filled with anticipation. However, what disappointed him was that the priests and deacons who hurried by them did not notice the black horse carriage. The Headmaster also did not seem like he was there to cut down peach blossoms again. He ordered the horse carriage to stop under a tree for shade.

"I was stripped of my position and had nothing else to do. I managed the family affairs but it did not feel right. Furthermore, the world was in chaos then, so I decided to live in seclusion."

"I remember that I was already more than 30 years old then. But for some reason, I suddenly developed an interest in the Classics of Haotian Taoism. I started to read and cultivate and successfully reached the Initial Awareness State and then the Perception State."

"Just as I said earlier, I was an ordinary person. My understanding and potential were all ordinary, just like ordinary cultivators. I broke the realms step-by-step and reached the No Doubts State. I got stuck there."

"To ordinary people, even the ordinary cultivators look impressive. That was why I was satisfied with my cultivation progress. And even though I was stuck and could not move forward, I thought that was usual."

"My family had been against the stripping of my post. But after I could cultivate, their attitudes toward me changed significantly. They sent me to the Peach Mountain to become a deacon."

The Headmaster pointed at the Divine Hall outside the window and said, "After coming to the Divine Hall, the leading priest asked me what I wanted to do. I thought then, that my family must have spent a lot of money. They should have just bought me another government post with that money."

Sangsang nodded frantically as she thought that the money would have been better off spent on cosmetic powder.

Ning Que felt that the Headmaster was right, so he grew even more curious about his teacher's choice. He asked, "What did you choose?"

The Headmaster said, "I thought that since I enjoyed reading Haotian Taoism Classics, I wanted to manage the library."

Ning Que slapped his thighs heavily and said, "That's a great choice!"

The Headmaster glanced at him curiously.

Ning Que praised, "The strongest and most powerful people who go against the Heavens would definitely have been librarians. Teacher, I bet you were fated to go against Haotian since then."