Chapter 1149 – Refusal
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
After returning to the Fast Leisure and Relaxation Motel, Tang Xiu met with Jin Shi, who quickly rushed over, and Wolf Head, who seemed to have drunk a lot since he was reeking of alcohol, though the man was still energetic as ever while waiting for Tang Xiu.
“How was it, Sect Master?” asked Wolf Head, eyes flickered brilliantly.
“I originally thought that the Zhus which are supposed to be the first family in He Province would know more about the Floating Snow Chateau. But after directly asking Zhu Xinghe, I finally learned he doesn’t know much about them either. Well, it seems I need to go there myself to figure out the details.”
“Let me go with you, Sect Master,” said Jin Shi.
Tang Xiu thought about it, then shook his head afterward. “No. Contact Xiaoxue and tell her to come over alone! Also, it’s best if she can arrive before tomorrow evening.”
“Understood,” replied Jin Shi respectfully.
Lianying County was only about 100km away from Zheng City and the place could be said as backwater compared to the latter. The natural environment here, however, was very great, being surrounded by hills and rivers with natural beauty that was a feast for the eyes. Precisely at that location was built a seemingly ordinary mountain village.
Known as the Floating Snow Chateau, the chateau itself covered a large area of more than 10 football fields added together. The buildings here were not of modern construction and all consisted of antique pavilions. Only some of the pavilions were faintly seen from the outside, and hardly one could see that there were other antique pavilions in the midst of dense woods. Aside from the one with three-story lofts in the middle, the rest of the pavilions only had two floors.
The three-story attic in the middle was ruled as the forbidden place in the entire Floating Snow Chateau. Even the eight two-story ones around it were also included in the forbidden zone due to it. Except for those who had special identities in the chateau, no outsiders were allowed to enter. Even Xue Mengdie, the chateau’s Vice Master, needed to send a notification in advance if she wanted to enter.
Night had fallen to replace the day and the chilling wind was blowing when two blurred figures descended from the sky and instantly disappeared into the lush woods. It was early in the winter and the fallen leaves from the trees around Zheng City could be seen fluttering everywhere. Yet, the manor complex seemed to be in spring decorated with the shades of green trees. Even the groves in the midst of trees produced colorful blooming flowers with numerous birds chirping and wandering about along with a variety of butterflies.
“This makes things a bit interesting.”
In the grove, Tang Xiu looked at the surrounding environment and a smile sported on his face.
“This place obviously has been transformed by an array, Grand Master,” commented Gu Xiaoxue. “We should be inside it now, so we may have to spend some efforts to not alarm anyone here.”
Tang Xiu’s expression shifted, but then he shook his head. “No need. We’ve already been discovered since many people are coming in this direction. It seems that those monitoring this array can detect anyone who breaks into it. Hence, there’s no need for us to do anything about it.”
Having said that, he took out a zither from the interspatial ring. It was Gu Yan’er who gave him this zither. Its whole body was carved from warm jade while its strings were forged from the tendons of a flood dragon’s tendons. It could be said that this zither was a very remarkable artifact.
Suddenly, a tea table and a small bench appeared in front of Tang Xiu. He then took a seat and placed the zither on the tea table in front as his finger immediately stroked the strings.
The notes sound flowed out like flowing water from Tang Xiu’s fingertips. It was the “Invitation Salute to the Demons” syllable. The notes were melodious and pleasing to the ears, causing many people in the entire Floating Snow Chateau to shift their eyes to Tang Xiu’s direction at this moment. Many of whom were proficient in music even looked more surprised.
Inside the three-story attic.
Xue Wuhen was sitting cross-legged in cultivation on the cushion with closed eyes. Eight chalcedonies were placed around her, neatly arranged according to the Five Elements and Eight Divinatory Trigrams. Its function seemed to resemble the function of the Spiritual Energy Gathering Array, in terms of being able to gather the world’s spiritual energy, resulting in a very high concentration of spiritual energy in this place.
Xue Wuhen’s closed eyes instantly opened as the zither’s notes entered her ears. Her graceful figure then flickered and appeared next to the window. Her eyes were as though able to pierce through the dark veil of the night to see the person playing the zither inside the array in the forest.
Another figure silently appeared next to Xue Wuhen. Her pretty eyes also focused in the direction of the woods.
Slightly glancing to the side, Xue Wuhen said, “This person’s musical attainments is much higher than mine. His zither play even nearly reaches the pinnacle. I’ve heard your play and can say that no one can be on par with this person except you.”
“Ugh!” Han Qingwu faintly sighed and said, “Just go! He’s not here for me. It’s very likely the person he’s looking for is you.”
“You know that person?” Xue Wuhen was astonished and surprised.
“There is no one but him in this world who can have such a zither skill,” said Han Qingwu. “Wuhen, remember my words. You’d better comply with anything he requests from you. You must be respectful before him and don’t make him upset.”
Xue Wuhen slightly trembled and asked incredulously, “Daoist Han, is he a very terrifying person? Who exactly is he and what is his identity?”
“You’ll know his identity later.” Han Qingwu forced a smile and said, “But I can’t tell you whether or not he’s terrifying. I just can tell you one thing—his strength is by no means beneath mine.”
“I understand.” Xue Wuhen nodded and slowly said, “But I’m very curious about something, though. You’re acquainted with him and you both came to the Floating Snow Chateau, so why don’t you meet him?”
“I’ve always been wanting to see him in my dream, but… I’m afraid… he will never want to see me. Since he doesn’t want to see me, why should I come out to see him and make him upset?” muttered Han Qingwu faintly.
Xue Wuhen instantly realized that there was some kind of special yet particular relationship between Han Qingwu and the person playing the zither. It would have otherwise been very easy for Han Qingwu to meet anyone given her terrifying power.
A graceful figure flickered and Xue Wuhen appeared in the array in the woods. Her vision instantly focused on Tang Xiu, who was still playing the zither. She instantly recognized his identity the moment she saw him. She changed her appearance when she participated in the battle against those demonic beasts in the Himalayas and witnessed Tang Xiu’s elegant and graceful demeanor there.
Even she herself couldn’t help but feel moved after meeting Tang Xiu regardless of how proud a woman she was. Unfortunately, after she sent some people to investigate him, she learned that Tang Xiu had many lovers, so she could only feel regrettable and gave up the budding feeling.
The moment after, her eyes landed on Gu Xiaoxue and felt a bit astonished and shocked even though she was also a woman.
The song finally ended.
Tang Xiu slowly looked up and his gaze swept over the bare-footed woman in front. He instantly took back the tea table, zither, and bench into the interspatial ring and cupped his fist. “I took the liberty to visit. I hope you don’t mind.”
“It’s an honor for me that Daoist Tang can visit my humble abode,” replied Xue Wuhen smilingly.
“Do you know me?” asked Tang Xiu with a smile.
“It’s been some time after we met in the Himalayas,” replied Xue Wuhen. “But Daoist Tang’s graceful demeanor still lingers in mind.”
Tang Xiu tried hard to remember her, but he wasn’t able to recall where and when he had seen this Floating Snow Chateau’s Master in the Himalayas. He secretly shook his head and said, “Chateau Master Xue is kidding me. It never occurred to me that such a place like the Floating Snow Chateau existed here. May I know which sect or school Chateau Master Xue is affiliated with?”
“I don’t belong to any sects.” Xue Wuhen shook her head and said, “I just inherited the family heritage which has been passed down for 12 generations.”
“Small yet hidden in the mountain, big yet hidden in the city.” Tang Xiu nodded and said, “It seems that Village Master Xue is indeed a resourceful and powerful person. You even have this place covered by an array. Remarkable.”
“Please don’t praise so much, Daoist Tang. I’ve seen your array in the Himalayas, which makes me feel ashamed.” Xue Wuhen forced a wry smile. “I think you can instantly break the array I’ve arranged here if you wish to do so.”
Tang Xiu just smiled lightly without denying it and replied instead, “Anyway, is Chateau Master Xue really an itinerant cultivator?”
“That’s right.” Xue Wuhen nodded.
“So you say, you’re not related to any sects, cultivators, or some other forces?” asked Tang Xiu again.
“I never liked to show myself in public and hate troubles more.” Xue Wuhen shook her head and explained, “Especially in recent decades, I only left the chateau twice. Hence, I don’t have anything to do with other forces.”
“That’s great, then.” Tang Xiu nodded.
“Anyhow, may I ask what instructions you have for me for this visit, Daoist Tang?” asked Xue Wuhen.
“It’s far from an instruction. I just want to discuss a deal with you.” Tang Xiu smiled and said, “Certainly, it won’t cause you any losses if you agree.”
“A deal as in?” asked Xue Wuhen.
“For instance, a cultivation art that you can practice up to the Immortal Stage, pills with great effects for cultivators, and an immortal sword. All of which in exchange for you to work under me. How do you think?” asked Tang Xiu.
Xue Wuhen’s eyes flickered and she shot a deep look at Tang Xiu. “No wonder someone advised me to never become enemies with you, Daoist Tang. That person also told me that I must try my best to meet your request regardless of what you need. It seems that Daoist Tang is much more terrifying than I thought before.”
“You agree, then?” asked Tang Xiu.
“I’d like to be frank with you, Daoist Tang,” said Xue Wuhen. “Your conditions are very attractive. I admit that I’m moved even though I’ve broken through to the Golden Core Stage, albeit barely. Only, I do not like to be restrained, so I ask Daoist Tang’s forgiveness on this matter.”
“I see.” Tang Xiu nodded and said, “Everyone does have their aspirations, so I won’t force it. Though it’s truly a pity since I do have the means to help you ascend to become an immortal, but you refused it.”
Xue Wuhen shook her head and said, “Since when ascension and becoming an immortal is an easy endeavor? Wouldn’t you already become an immortal yourself if that’s the case?”
“I never talk big, mind you.” Tang Xiu smilingly said, “I never say anything I’m not sure about. The stage for those who follow me will not be limited to Earth. But if you refuse, you can only rely on your own efforts as to how far you’ll reach in the future.”