Cardinal Sect was situated way up in the mountains. The settlement closest to them was at least hundreds of miles away.
Lin SuCi started his Qi practice, and could be considered to be a cultivator already. This time, when he flew with Yan Boshen on the sword, his body no longer suffered from any discomfort. Hiding in Yan Boshen’s robes, he chattered away.
When Yan Boshen’s sword landed in the biggest city within a hundred miles radius, Lin SuCi finally shut his talkative mouth.
For the past few months, he had been living in the mountains, always either in Cardinal Sect or within the woods, and the only time he left the place, was a not very pleasant journey to Mysterious Heart Sect.
Lin SuCi’s eyes had started shining. As he walked, his head was turning everywhere, eyes darting all over, and his tongue clicking away.
“Boshen Boshen, why is there a statue on the roof of this house! Boshen Boshen, what are they hanging on those bamboo poles in their yard?”
Lin SuCi walked on the dirt path. Along the path was the fragrance of wild flowers and smoke from the chimneys of kitchens, giving him a down-to-earth feeling, different from how life was like in Cardinal Sect. Having never seen such sights before, he was full of excitement. He even wanted to catch an ant by the side of the road and greet it.
“Guardian beast… Drying dyed cloth… That’s the ear of wheat…”
The city gates were towering. Many civilians were going in and out, and there were occasional groups of people dressed neatly in uniform patrolling.
With a curious cat next to him, Yan Boshen, who never spoke much, had unknowingly ended up speaking quite a lot as he answered Lin SuCi’s incessant questions.
Lin SuCi did not care much about Yan Boshen’s answers. He did not actually want to know everything. In both his previous life and the few months of his current one, he had never been exposed to anything like this before. Listening to Yan Boshen’s low voice, he had long been filled with excitement, and exclaimed about everything in front of his starry eyes.
This was the largest city lake within a hundred miles, with mountains and pavilions around it, and a continuous stream of cultivators walking along the streets and lanes. Lin SuCi sobered his mind up, and gripped the sleeve of his official keeper tightly, to prevent himself from getting lost. However, his thoughts had long been on what was going on around them.
Yan Boshen was not surprised by how the little kitten was amazed by everything. For a kitten who was exposed to such a scene for the first time in his life, as long as he did not run around harassing the crowd, he was satisfied. Other than that, Yan Boshen dared not ask for more.
To have a little cat-boy pulling on his sleeve as he walked around was not very dignified. Yan Boshen attached a ring of invisible spiritual energy on Lin SuCi’s wrist, and let him go bouncing around after he ensured that he would always be within his sight.
On the sides of the broad street were lined with a wide range of shops selling spiritual wares and robes. There were even civilian servants standing at the door welcoming guests in.
Lin SuCi’s eyes were drawn to every shop and display. Everything was colourful and chaotic, and his ears perked up and he could not stop exclaiming.
The exquisite artifacts in front of him flowed with pure spiritual energy. To Lin SuCi, they made him extremely comfortable, not to mention how the artifacts themselves looked delicate and beautiful. He had never seen such things before, and revealed the curiosity of a kitten that was only a few months old. Soon, unaware, he walked out of Yan Boshen’s sight.
“Pfft… Look, which village did he come from? What an eye-opener for him!”
“Poor thing, he must have never came out before. Hahahaha…”
As Lin SuCi was delighted with the novelty of the place, behind him came an undisguised sneer.
He ignored them, pretending not to hear a thing, and continued looking at the jade belt ornaments at the store.
Having learnt from Yan Boshen all this time, Lin SuCi was always on the lookout for spiritual energy. Just now, he had discovered that on this hollow carved jade ornament, there was a flow of spiritual energy on it that felt very relaxing, and attracted him so much that he could not pull himself away.
Lin SuCi did not care about whoever who was sneering at him behind his back. He crouched down, and pointed at one of the small pots, asking the stall owner, “How much is this?”
The stall owner was about forty or fifty years old, and looked like a father. Seeing the adorable cat-boy hugging his knees while crouching, he chuckled, “It’s a rudimentary spiritual pot. I’ll charge you 5 spiritual gems for it.”
Lin SuCi nodded his head obediently, then pointed at another item. “What about this one? Then, this one?”
Lin SuCi had asked about many items, and finally, casually pointed at one of them. “Uncle, how much is this ornament?”
“This?” The stall owner hesitated. “I’ll charge you 20 spiritual gems for that.”
“20? It’s so expensive.” Lin SuCi scrunched his nose delicately, his eyes troubled. “Uncle, can you give me a discount for it? I want to buy it for fun, and if it’s too expensive, my older brother will scold me.”
Behind him came another burst of laughter. The person who had just sneered at Lin SuCi had yet to leave, and acted as though he had discovered something funny, and was overjoyed. “Quick, look, this poor kid has to even bargain over 20 spiritual gems!”
Lin SuCi’s ears twitched, and heard the words of these people very clearly.
Where did this ridiculous kid come from? Why is he following him and not letting go?
This sort of words really spoilt his mood, and Lin SuCi bit his lip and looked up.
Standing not far behind him were a couple of youths dressed in white. They were not very old, looking to be around the age of eighteen, and on their faces were sneers. When they saw Lin SuCi looked up, one of them laughed, “Look, this poor kid is watching us.”
Lin SuCi studied the clothes of the youths. When he saw the embroidery on their shoulders, his eyes flashed.
He searched around, but did not see Yan Boshen who was supposed to be following behind him. Lin SuCi paused, and decided to throw aside his idea of tattling to Yan Boshen since he could not be found.
Oh ho, I guess I’ll play with these brats myself.
Lin SuCi slowly revealed a harmless smiling face, then lowered his head shyly. He continued quietly bargaining with the stall owner with red ears.
That stall owner was very brisk, and offered him the price of fifteen spiritual gems.”
“Uncle, please give me a minute. I’ll go look for my older brother to get some money. I’ll be back very quickly, can you hold on to this for me?”
Lin SuCi did not mention anything else, just blinking his eyes adorably. His bright and young eyes were innocent and naive, making it difficult for people to deny him.
The stall owner was a little uncertain. Seeing that this little child was obedient and neat looking, not out to fool people, he gave a nod. “I’ll hold on to it for you.”
Lin SuCi thanked him. About to stand up, behind him a spiritual force came straight for his back.
Having been trained for over a month, Lin SuCi’s grasp of spiritual energy was very sensitive. He did not wait for that spiritual force to touch his body, but instead, widened his eyes, and fell forward exaggeratedly. At the same time, he shouted, “Oh no! The disciples of Mysterious Heart Sect are beating people in the street!”
His voice was very loud, but his actions very nimble. He stumbled around, but did not bump into any of the stall owner’s things. Tumbling over, he staggered around, and with his clear voice, he drew the attention of the crowd.
Their current location was in the middle of several major sects, the this city was managed by these sects working together. Half of the people around them were cultivators, and when the words “Mysterious Heart Sect” was heard, it attracted the attention of many people, and they all drew closer.
Lin SuCi steadied his feet, and pressing his arm he revealed a pained expression on his face. Looking towards those youths who were a little stunned, he asked with a voice full of puzzlement, “Why are you disciples from Mysterious Heart Sect like this? I don’t know you guys, how can you hurt people at will?”
That youth who played the prank saw that there were many people around him, and that his identity had been exposed. He was a little panicked, and speaking to Lin SuCi, he could only insist, “I didn’t touch you! You fell down by yourself!”
“How can you say that…” Lin SuCi’s eyes were sympathetic, and he said gently. “Who is your master? Go back and tell him he’s too incompetent. Didn’t he teach you that expending spiritual energy would leave traces?”
The youth’s face changed.
Amongst the cultivators, some of them reached their hands out and nodded.
“The child with the cat ears is right, there are traces of the spiritual force used in the air.”
“The disciples of Mysterious Heart Sect are too flippant! After hitting someone, they even refuse to admit it! Tsk tsk tsk, really don’t know how Mysterious Heart Sect…”
Lin SuCi’s eyes turned kindly. “To sudden hurt someone like this, there should be an explanation for it. Did I offend you in some way?”
Those youths reddened. Bullying people secretly and to end up being exposed so publicly, and have the crowd pointing and reproaching them, one of the youths could not bear it anymore, and silently crouched down covering his face.
The youth who made the move had no choice, and tried to lay the blame on Lin SuCi. “It’s your own fault, stumbling around and blocking our way. I just wanted to push you aside.”
Lin SuCi nodded. “So you felt that I was blocking your way, and you directly injured me without a word. Well, Mysterious Heart Sect is mighty, the world is in your hands.”
The youth immediately felt his face burning. Especially with disciples from other sects watching, he could not bear with it anymore. Pointing at Lin SuCi, he scolded furiously. “Who do you think you are?! Some poor kid from a village, you actually dare to say such nonsense about Mysterious Heart Sect?! Let me warn you, you’re not allowed to say such rubbish, and spoil my sect’s reputation!”
Hearing that, Lin SuCi almost laughed out loud. Barely managing to hold his laughter back, he rounded his eyes and pretended to be surprised. “You’re insulting me?!”
The young man was furious, and said, “Insulting you? You’re not worth it!”
“Insubordination, disrespect for elders…” Lin SuCi counted on his fingers, turning around curiously and smiled sweetly at a young man dressed in green with embroidered sleeves. “This friend, in your sect, what’s the punishment for being irreverent and disrespectful?”
The eyes of the young man in green flashed. “I’m a disciple from Pagoda Temple. In Pagoda Temple, if one is disrespectful to his elders, they would be denounced for it.”
“In our Thousands Stars Sect, they’ll be flogged a hundred times and driven out.”
“Our Shuruo Pavilion will whip them and abolish their cultivation. After all, such disciples are a waste of spiritual energy.”
The cultivators around commented all at once.
Lin SuCi was prepared. He gathered up his sleeves and stood there calmly, raising his brow at those Mysterious Heart Sect disciples. He drawled slowly, “So, you’ve all heard, to be disrespectful is a big crime no matter where you are… Why are you all so ignorant? Now, I can’t even have mercy on any one of you.”
He pretended to be troubled, and gave a long sigh.
That Mysterious Heart Sect disciple was confused. “… How does being disrespectful to the elders have anything to do with you?!”
“Oh, it’s like this…” Lin SuCi thought for a moment, then leaned towards them. His voice was very very soft, like a breath, so as not to be heard by others.
“I’m your ancestor.”
Lin SuCi slowly twitched his ears in front him, composedly raising his brow. The adorable looking youth smiled rakishly, “Kid, address me as your grand senior uncle.”