It was an honorable status to be the teacher of a prince for the Cultivation practitioners of any sect.
The so-called motto in the Cultivation circle of "not being involved in the affairs of the mortal world" was only relevant when the affairs were insignificant.
As far as the disciples like Gu Qing and Xiang Wanshu of the major Cultivation sects were concerned, it was not an alluring honor for them to give up a few years of Cultivation to become a teacher of a prince.
Yet, it would be different to be the teacher of the emperor.
Most of all, Xiang Wanshu didn't make the comment merely from his own point of view.
By now Gu Qing knew that Xiang Wanshu had been to the Palace of Prince Jing Xin. As for why the Green Mountain Sect was suddenly involved in the affairs of the royal family, the Cultivation circle had many theories. The Center Sect that should be the first one to show their anxiety had been keeping their silence until now.
"Shenmo Peak owes a debt to Royal Concubine Hu. As for what that debt is, your Big Brother Tong Yan knows very well what that is."
Gu Qing offered an explanation, but he didn't say anything more.
Xiang Wanshu didn't believe what Gu Qing said, naturally, but he could do nothing about it.
It didn't take long for the two of them to finish eating the fruit, no matter how precious they were. Since Xiang Wanshu couldn't get the answer he wanted, there was no point in them carrying on with the conversation. Soon after, the two of them bid farewell to each other.
Gu Qing returned to the Jing House. After greeting Jing Shang and others, he arrived in his room.
Seeing the accumulated snow outside the window, Gu Qing suddenly recalled the scene of him boiling tea on Shenmo Peak over the years. He then went to the backyard.
There were many wild cats in the backyard of the Jing House; it was because White Ghost liked having them there.
Since White Ghost was here in the backyard, it would be safe for Jing Li to play here; and there was no need to worry about him being bit or scratched by the wild cats.
Yet, Gu Qing was worried about another issue: He was worried that this little "nephew" of his Master would be taught by Master White Ghost to become a gambler.
"Maybe, though it's because White Ghost is upset with my Master."
"But, the little kid is always innocent," Gu Qing said softly while looking at the dry vines on the snow covered wall.
The dry vines shuddered slightly, and the remaining snow on the wall fell down in tandem. Liu Ada walked out from inside the vines, his whole body covered with snow, looking a bit fatter now.
He didn't say anything while gazing at Gu Qing, his eyes full of mocking expression.
"Kitty, kitty, I'm back. The snowfall was so heavy that the teacher was worried that the thatched cottage might be damaged by the accumulated snow on the roof; so he let us come home earlier today."
Jing Li's joyful voice could be heard outside the backyard.
Gu Qing let out a bitter smile and leapt onto the top of the wall after cupping his hands to Liu Ada.
As Jing Li ran into the backyard, his boots splashed snow in all directions, his face crimson.
As Gu Qing was about to leave, he suddenly felt something odd; his expression changed a little after he looked at Jing Li more carefully.
Jing Li's breathing was quite steady even though he had run so brusquely; and his breathing was long and rhythmic, compatible with certain rule of heaven and earth.
"The Breathing Method of Yumen?!"
Startle, Gu Qing looked at the white cat who led Jing Li walking into the dry vines, wondering if he was teaching this child the Cultivation method.
Xiang Wanshu returned to the Palace of Prince Jing Xin and told the Royal Teacher Liang briefly about the conversation he had with Gu Qing; then he went to work on his own Cultivation.
Sitting in the study room, the Royal Teacher Liang looked at the falling snow outside the window, deep in thought for a long time; but he still couldn't figure out what the Green Mountain Sect wanted to achieve from this arrangement.
All of a sudden, a subordinate brought a personal card and said somebody wanted to meet the prince.
The Royal Teacher Liang took the card and glanced at it, feeling surprised.
It was because this card was even cleaner than the white snow. It was wordless and didn't have a signature on it.
Since so many officials and Cultivation practitioners wanted to meet the prince, it would usually pass three barriers for the card to reach his hands.
It was indeed exceptional for a wordless card to pass the three barriers to reach his hands.
After some deliberation, the Royal Teacher Liang said, "Bring them in here."
"They" were a chubby man dressed in common cloth, and his shoes had old oil stains on them in addition to the snow.
This person smiled innocently at Royal Teacher Liang, looking naïve and harmless. Royal Teacher thought his background must be profound since he could show such a relaxed expression in front of a significant figure.
The fat man was in fact not a Cultivation practitioner, so the Palace of Prince was still cautious of him. It was evident that some highly achieved swordsmen were hiding in the study room, since a silhouette could be seen behind the screen.
The arrangement wasn't intended to be a secret. Seeing this, the fat man smiled and pretended he didn't notice it; but he reminded, "If Master thinks this matter can be heard by others, it's fine with me."
The Royal Teacher Liang asked emotionlessly, "Who are you? What do you want?"
The fat man replied, "I'm the manager and chef of a restaurant in Zhaoge City. Nine years ago, Master Shi Fengchen of the Pure Heaven Bureau asked me to carry out a task."
"And?" pressed the Royal Teacher Liang, his eyebrows arched.
The time and event were easy for him to remember.
In Mingcui Valley outside Zhaoge City nine years ago, the Peak Master of Shenmo, Zhao Layue, dealt with an assassination attempt, and almost died from it.
The fat man said, "My master was worried that the prince might have forgotten about the event, so he asked me to come all this way to remind you of it."
The Royal Teacher Liang asked after a moment of silence, "Proof?"
"We of course have the proof. Shi Fengchen was a meticulous person, so he didn't forget doing this before his death."
Seeing the Royal Teacher Liang's expression, the fat man knew what he was thinking, as he said, "The evidence might not convince the Center Sect to give up on you, but what about the One-Cottage House?"
The expression turned from terrible to ugly on the Royal Teacher Liang's face.
Prince Jing Xin became more and more popular in the imperial court. Aside from the support of the Center Sect, it was important that the One-Cottage House be against the inheritance of the second prince.
Considering the attitude of those scholars at the One-Cottage House, once they found out that Prince Jing Xin had collaborated with the Old Ones…they would rather have a vixen sitting on the throne than the first prince!
In the end, the fat man stated the most troublesome issue.
"You know clearly how the Green Mountain Sect is: As long as they believed this thing, the prince would have a hard time staying alive, let alone inheriting the emperor position."
Staring at his fat face, the Royal Teacher Liang demanded, "Your organization has already been destroyed. What can a lone wolf like you do?"
The fat man didn't show any fear, saying, "I believe that you know clearly what is underneath the iceberg."
The Royal Teacher Liang suddenly burst out laughing, saying, "I'm curious about whom you are listening to nowadays; the West Ocean? Or a Cultivation sect that has your files?"
The fat man said earnestly, "We just listen to whoever is our superior, no matter if it is the West Ocean or others, as long as that person is the superior."
The combination of the superior and subordinates formed the two sides of a coin; this way the Old Ones would exist forever.
The Royal Teacher Liang asked after a long moment of silence, "What do you want from us?"
"We will inform you when the time comes," the fat man said.
The Royal Teacher Liang said, "One thing only."
"No more debt afterwards," the fat man said.
"Leave here by yourself," the Royal Teacher Liang said.
The silhouette behind the screen moved, and Prince Jing Xin walked out from behind the screen.
No highly achieved swordsman hid behind the screen; it was only him hiding there.
In comparison to when Jing Xin was in the old plum garden, his face looked a bit paler, and he had mostly concealed his noble air within himself, appearing more composed now.
Jing Xin walked to the table and sat down across from the Royal Teacher Liang.
The two of them sat across from each other, silently.
The snow outside the window fell down from the sky soundlessly.
The cold air had gradually filled the study room.
As a long time had passed, Jing Xin sighed, "I haven't done anything wrong all my life, except for this."
The Royal Teacher Liang said, "Time is like a river; when it flows past, it's gone. So what we should do is always look forward."
Nine years ago, his younger brother Liang Xinchen died due to an illness, and became a drop of water in the river of time.
Unexpectedly, this matter was not over yet.
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