Yan Boshen did not know if Lin SuCi was his most valuable item, but he was sure of one thing. Lin SuCi was the one who was most able to spend money.
He had just broke through the first stage of the Qi practice not too long ago. Yan Boshen and Qing Fou examined his body, and decided to allow for his next break through. In a short period of time, out of the many things Yan Boshen had previous purchased for him, there was a small pile that he had no use for anymore.
Lin SuCi reflected upon himself. To prevent wasting these artifacts that he had barely touch, should he stop seeking for advice, and only continue after he was done playing with them?
Yan Boshen’s response was to drag him by his collar into the cold pool abundant with spiritual energy and force him into a closed mental state.
Lin SuCi did not waste any time, and stayed there honestly to try breaking through to the next level.
He did not know how others cultivated, and only knew how he did. Manipulating the spiritual energy to him was as though being like a fish in water. Settling down, he followed accordingly to the standard cultivation methods, and the external spiritual energy flooded into him, coagulating and forming his Dantian, running over and over again through his meridians.
The breakthrough this time felt a lot more uncomfortable than the previous time. As he was letting the spiritual energy flow through him, an indescribable sense of something tearing wrapped around him, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. It felt as though his flesh and blood was swelling up, and it was a splitting pain.
Lin SuCi’s consciousness drifted away. His body conveyed to him the feeling that it was going through successive changes, and eventually, all that he could feel was nothing but pain.
During this stage, he had no way of evading it, and huge drops of sweat rolled off his forehead from the pain. His face paled, but he was unable to move, and could only grit his teeth and endure the rolling waves of pain.
Lin SuCi did not know how long he suffered under the pain. He could only wait until his body was wrapped up in a light and comfortable spiritual energy, and his pain felt as though it had been washed away.
At the same time, a gentle spiritual energy flowed through Lin SuCi’s body, following along the torn blood vessels within him and slowly repaired them.
Lin SuCi’s hearing had long been blocked. After remaining in a trance for a long time, he could vaguely hear the turbulent splashing sound of water from a small waterfall outside the cold pool.
A moment later, he slowly opened his eyes.
The pearl-like water droplets hung off his long eyelashes. When he looked up, the drops of water fell onto his cheeks. Sliding down his face, they converged on his jaw, glittering and translucent in the light reflected from the pool.
Lin SuCi blinked. The pain he felt was just as though it was a sudden dream, the feeling remaining only vaguely in his flesh and bones. When he gathered enough spiritual energy, he only felt an unspeakable sense of ease and comfort, and the energy felt even more fitting in his body than before.
He got up, and his greyish-purple robe clung onto his body. Soaked in water, the weight of the clothes caused his hips to tremble for a moment when he stood up.
The cold pool gradually got clearer, each ripple bringing along with it curling cold fog. Lin SuCi’s eyes swept past them, catching sight of the flowing spiritual energy.
Lin SuCi flicked his sleeves and leapt up onto the shore, holding onto his clothes.
There was a small bamboo basket beside the bank, and in it was fish porridge that was still steaming in the air.
Having experienced the stomach ache from the intense hunger, Lin SuCi had learnt his lesson and ate an inedia pill to prevent the embarrassment from last time happening again.
Sitting there with his legs criss-crossed, he scooped the fish porridge into his mouth. His stomach warmed up, and the chill in his body dissipated a little.
Not liking that the robe was too heavy, Lin SuCi removed it and tied it onto his waist. The thin white robe left on him was wet and translucent. Sticking to his body, it revealed his slender outline.
As it was soaked, the robe was a little tight. Uncomfortable, Lin SuCi twisted his neck and reached out to pull open the wet collar a little. When he lifted his arm, it was so stiff he could barely move.
Lin SuCi clicked his tongue. He could not be bothered with it anymore, and picked up the basket before climbing up the cliff.
There was no one in the cave. Yan Boshen was not around.
Lin SuCi stripped the wet clothes off his body. The white robe fell onto the ground, and when Lin SuCi looked down at it, he saw a layer of black dirt on it.
His eyes were a little blank.
Lin SuCi looked down and observed his body. Having not looked at himself, he had no idea, but now when he looked, he nearly covered his eyes and wailed.
Why was he so dirty?!
As a person who liked cleanliness, Lin SuCi would always wash himself thoroughly every day. He was still of a very young age, and his body was particularly soft and tender. His skin could be described as smooth and delicate, and very fragile. Now, on his skin was a layer of dirt, covering his original fair and clean skin.
Lin SuCi’s mouth twitched. He picked up the dirty clothes off the ground, changed into a clean robe and sneaked to the riverside he often visited.
Over here, the river was not big. The water ran clear, and standing in it, it reached his thigh.
Disdainfully, Lin SuCi scrubbed the dirt off himself. Scrubbing and scrubbing for a long time, none of it came off.
Was the dirt growing on him?!
Lin SuCi tried a few methods but was unable to get rid of the dirt. Looking down, in the reflection of the clear water, his appearance was far from how he was before.
Lin SuCi covered his face. He could not bear to look straight at it.
After some time, Lin SuCi sucked in a breath and plucked a leaf by the river bank. He clumsily folded it into the shape of a crane, and drew an incantation on it with his finger. Then he loudly spoke to the crane, “Boshen Boshen! Quickly come to the river behind the mountain and save me! If you’re late, your darling is going to throw himself into the river!”
After saying that, Lin SuCi released the crane made from the leaf.
The swaying crane flapped its wings, unsure of the direction it should go. Lin SuCi was on tenterhooks, and he muttered, “Bro, give me some face, quick, go look for my official keeper! Go to the southeast go to the southeast!”
Perhaps Lin SuCi’s muttering had taken effect. The crane swayed left and right a few times, then slowly found the direction and flapped its wings, staggering towards the southeast.
While waiting for his official keeper to rescue him, Lin SuCi crouched down in the river, his arms splashing in the water. Stepping on the pebbles he moved along with the motions of his arms, pretending that he could swim, and he had great fun.
Swimming back and forth a couple of times, Lin SuCi’s thighs were aching from crouching. He finally heard footsteps heading towards him.
In Yan Boshen’s hand was the crane Lin SuCi had released. Standing in the distance, he looked at the kitten splashing about in the water composedly.
“Boshen Boshen!” As soon as Lin SuCi saw Yan Boshen, his eyes immediately brightened. Standing up abruptly, the water splashed about him, and he raised his arm waving strongly at Yan Boshen.
When Yan Boshen came closer and saw him, he knew why the little kitten had called him over.
Yan Boshen studied Lin SuCi, and gave his evaluation of two words.
Lin SuCi, standing in the river, showed a tragic expression. He wrapped his arms tightly around his shoulder and slowly crouched down, exposing only his body above his shoulders.
His wet hair clung to his cheeks, and the teenager sobbed quietly, “You once held me in your hands as though I was a treasure. I never thought that you would say I’m dirty now!”
Yan Boshen, “…”
Deep in his act, Lin SuCi continued improvising. He splashed at the water, drawling his words, “Fine fine, you can just go now. Just let me, this stained and dirty person, vanish from your eyes forever!”
Yan Boshen continued having a poker face. Lifting his clothes, he stepped into the river, and grabbed onto Lin SuCi’s neck. The little kitten who was flailing his arms about, entranced in his act, was immediately stopped.
Yan Boshen asked impassively, “Do you still want to be clean?”
Lin SuCi blinked. “Lord Boshen, please help me out, and save me from the dirty mud.”
This was not the first time this cat spoke nonsense. Yan Boshen had already been forced to get used to it, and his brow did not even wrinkle.
However, when he looked at Lin SuCi, he hesitated a little. “… Did you grow a little bigger?”
Hearing this, Lin SuCi shyly covered his face. “Not yet.”
Yan Boshen was expressionless. “… I’m talking about your body.”
Lin SuCi then slowly responded, holding his hands out and looking at himself. “I don’t think so.”
“… Forget it.”
Yan Boshen decided to not argue with this little kitten. He tapped his finger on the center of Lin SuCi’s brows, and the teenager transformed into a little furball and fell into his palm.
The little kitten had always been very clean and his fur was fluffy and neat. Now, he had become a dirty wet cat. His soaked fur was clinging tightly to his body, and he looked very thin.
Due to the breakthrough, the dirt on his body was expelled from within, and it was not something that Lin SuCi could clean off himself. Turning into a cat, he had no qualms about lying in Yan Boshen’s palm. Following along with his actions, he lifted his front paws, and kicked out his back paws.
“Boshen Boshen.” The kitten’s voice sounded a little older than before. He sounded like a bigger child, but his voice still sounded childish.
“How long did I take this time?”
Yan Boshen’s palm was covered with spiritual energy. Wherever it went, the dirt would fall off the little kitten’s body. Soon, the little kitten returned to his clean self again.
Hugging Yan Boshen’s fingers, Lin SuCi flipped himself around. Swaying his tails, he was spirited. “I’m now in the second stage, it won’t be long before…”
“It’s the third stage.”
Yan Boshen interrupted him. Speaking composedly, he grabbed his little paws and rinsed him with water.
“The third stage?” Lin SuCi’s eyes rounded slightly, then curved into lines. “Ah, breaking through two stages at once, how embarrassing. It’s such a pain to be so talented.”
Yan Boshen glanced at him, and allowed the kitten to continue boasting.
“You’re clean now.”
The kitten was only palm sized. No matter how meticulous Yan Boshen washed him, it only took a little while.
Standing in the river, the water did not go past his knee. His silvery grey robe had already darkened with water, and contrasted deeply with the upper half of his body.
Yan Boshen let go off the little kitten, turning to head ashore.
Still lying in Yan Boshen’s palm, Lin SuCi was swinging his tail and smiling. Suddenly being let go, his paws scrabbled in the air and he splashed into the river.
Caught off guard, Lin SuCi swallowed a mouthful of water. He shuddered, and when he was completely submerged in water, he transformed into his human figure. Throwing his bare arms around Yan Boshen, he leapt up and hook his thighs firmly around Yan Boshen’s waist. His movements caused water to spray across Yan Boshen’s face.
Before Yan Boshen realized it, a naked teenager had appeared in his arms. Lin SuCi’s actions were fast, and before he could react, the teenager was clinging tightly to him, like a vine twisting around a branch, almost strangling him.
Knowing who got the greater shock between the both of them, Lin SuCi’s constricted pupils met Yan Boshen’s slightly stunned eyes. His mouth curled, and he took the first word.
“Boshen! How can you do this to me! You’re too much!”
Could a little kitten be just casually tossed into the river? He was only the size of a palm, what if the current carried him away?
His official keeper was too mean!
Yan Boshen’s eyes narrowed. He awkwardly held onto Lin SuCi’s slender and naked waist, trying to pull him down.
“Do you still remember that I’m a kitten? I won’t be able to stand against your boorishness!”
Yan Boshen replied perfunctorily, “Fine, I was wrong.”
He devoted himself wholeheartedly to struggling with the teenager entangled with him, only thinking about how to remove this sticky cat-boy away from him and save him from his panic.
Yan Boshen jerked towards the voice, only to see an alarmed figure in blue stumbling away, together with Xiao Lan’s inimitable deep, guilty voice drifting towards them.
“I didn’t see anything I didn’t hear anything!”
Yan Boshen opened his mouth, but in the chaos he could say nothing. He stared as Xiao Lan floundered away and disappeared. “…”
Through Yan Boshen’s shoulders, Lin SuCi watched as Xiao Lan left. Stroking his chin, he was curious. “What’s wrong with Fifth Senior?”
Yan Boshen slowly turned his head to this naive boy in his arms. Looking at Lin SuCi’s eyes that were full of curiosity, he tightened his hold on his patience and shut his eyes.
“Get down… from my body.”