Volume 1, Chapter 4 – Explaining Dao Manuals at Thousand Rock Pavilion (Part 1)
A group of five people gathered around the small rock platform on Thousand Rock Pavilion. Bian Qiao was sitting alone on the stone bench in the middle.
With an age roughly in his early 40s, he wore an expensive and luxurious robe, a nine folded male’s turban on his head, and a pair of high shoes. He had a white and round facial shape. As he held a purple clay teapot, he sipped his tea slowly and looked like he was some kind of monarch rather than a servant.
Many eyes were looking at Thousand Rock Pavilion; some even pointed their fingers at his location, but he didn’t care about it. The surrounding servants’ guards wore tight short opened clothing which revealed their belly and chest as their arrogant looks were completely drawn on their faces.
Zhao Ying stood at a distance as she was looking at them. She cursed Zhang Yan’s ignorance and ungrateful response, although she was somewhat regretful inside. Bian Qiao had always been sinister and cruel, as coping with a trivial novice disciple was a cinch for him. If this young thief was killed here, her older brother would scold and blame her. And if his Qi’s problem breaks out again, what could she do?
She was raised by Zhao Yuan since small. If not for her, Zhao Yuan would have already entered the temple and studied here. He would not have been delayed by ten years. Therefore, she usually had no heart to disobey Zhao Yuan. When she discovered that Zhao Yuan was vomiting blood, it made her restless and anxious.
Zhao Ying didn’t know that Bian Qiao may perhaps look rampant but actually knew how and when to act and retreat.
On one hand, he never offended the people he should never offend, to a certain extent. Even if he had some conflicts, others would give some face to Hu Shengyu, not because of him. On the other hand, he usually bullied and suppressed disciples with no backgrounds, resulting in the elevation of his reputation as the most ominous and famous steward.
“Manager Bian, Zhang Yan has come.”
A timid voice from the Profound Virtue Temple’s errand boy was heard as he pointed his finger at the tall figure that was seen walking toward the platform.
Bian Qiao had been waiting for so long, he started to feel impatient. When he heard the errand boy’s voice, he lifted his head and looked at the direction pointed by him. As he carefully looked at the figure, the hand of which he used to hold the teapot instantly stiffened, and spoke in a surprised tone, “That’s Zhang Yan?”
He thought Zhang Yan was just a poor scholar and pedantic disciple who didn’t understand the customs. However, his appearance differed greatly from his anticipation.
Today, Zhang Yan put on a wide sleeved robe that he had gotten from Min Lou. His appearance was perhaps not particularly handsome; however, he was tall and had a well proportioned body. He was taller than your average person, with an imposing charisma that exuded from his eyes. Even his steps when walking, gave off a magnificent and heroic imposing aura.
Bian Qiao was even more shocked as he saw a faint layer of crystal clear jade on his face. He had been following Hu Shengyu for many years, so he naturally understood that Zhang Yan unexpectedly was not only in the Primordial Qi Condensation realm, he is almost at the Primordial Qi Establishment realm.
Bian Qiao’s complexion turned grim as he was secretly annoyed, and cursed the person who gave him the information. A disciple with such a level of cultivation, how could he be a novice disciple?
Actually, the previous Zhang Yan’s character was dreary – he studied here for three years only to understand hard penance. He immersed himself thoroughly in researching the Eclipse Canon, and never made any friends among the disciples. It could be said that he was humble and had nothing that was worth to look at.
According to Bian Qiao’s original plan, if this Zhang Yan didn’t have a noteworthy background, he would naturally cripple him and send him down the mountain.
In his eyes, a novice disciple was nothing. The only thing that obstructed him from directly acting was that Zhang Yan was listed as a Profound Virtue Temple disciple. However, he could order some people to manage him and wouldn’t need to personally act. But the imposing appearance of Zhang Yan made him restless as he thought that Zhang Yan was not that simple.
In addition, Zhang Yan was proficient in the Eclipse Canon…
Generally, this kind of person, if he was not listed as a true disciple, he must have come from a prominent family.
As he thought to this point, Zhang Yan’s figure in his eyes became profound and mysterious. He didn’t dare to move recklessly.
However, he could only rely on his master’s name and use Hu Shengyu’s reputation. Since the situation had already unfolded like this, it was impossible to back off in the presence of so many disciples. If he flinched from this matter, it would only make him lose face.
He forced out a difficult, but somewhat smiling expression as he greeted Zhang Yan by cupping his hands before his chest, “This one is Ethics Academic Temple’s outer disciple, Bian Qiao, a steward under Hu Shengyu. Is this Junior Brother Zhang Yan?
Zhang Yan stopped walking as he calmly looked straight at Bian Qiao, “Yes.”
Bian Qiao carefully observed Zhang Yan’s complexion, to see if his face would change after he heard the name of Hu Shengyu. He saw that there was no ripples or even a startled expression from Zhang Yan. This made his heart become even more certain of his previous judgement. His next words became gentler as he probed more, “I don’t know if Junior Brother Zhang Yan has some connections with the Profound Virtue Temple’s senior disciples?”
The senior disciple that Bian Qiao mentioned here was naturally a reference to the inner and true disciples under the Profound Virtue Temple.
Zhang Yan was certainly aware about his thoughts as he faintly smiled, “Naturally this one is inferior to the closeness between Brother Bian and Senior Brother Hu.”
Bian Qiao’s complexion greatly changed, these words faintly satirized his servant’s status. It was the most hated thing to hear people mention his family’s background. Anger surged up from his heart as his smiling face became somewhat stiff.
He used to be aloof and placed himself above many people. His eyes turned cold and stared at Zhang Yan. His tone immediately became rough as he said, “I came to ask you, I heard you gave the interpretation of a Dao manual by using the Eclipse code for my Ethics Academic Temple’s disciples? Has this really happened?”
Zhang Yan calmly replied, “Yes”
Bian Qiao sneered, “I also know that you only studied for about three years now, how you could not know the customs of the Three Great Schools disciples? Interpreting the Dao manual is the job of certain specialists. I don’t want to embarrass you today, so you must swear an oath here and now, that in the future you will no longer interpret the manuals of the Three Great Schools’ disciples. I will then put you under a certain true disciple, and let bygones be bygone, what do you think?”
Zhang Yan lightly laughed, “Since Manager Bian has spoken, from henceforward, I will not interpret Dao manuals for the Ethics Academics’ disciples anymore.”
Bian Qiao squinted, watching Zhang Yan respond as he coldly spoke, “Junior Brother, you really don’t know about sincerity. Is this Bian someone you can joke with? I said the Three Great School disciples, did you hear me?”
Although the Three Great Schools were divided into three Temples, they usually had frequent contacts with each other. If someone from the Ethics Academic Temple brought Dao manuals over and wanted to ask Zhang Yan through the other two Temple’s disciples who had good relationships with him, could he also block it? Wasn’t this still the same?
Zhang Yan cupped his hands across his chest, “If that’s the case, then excuse my inability to comply.”
How would he not know that there were some hidden intentions behind Bian Qiao words? He intentionally said those words as an approach to retreat first, in order to advance more. In other words, ‘as the matter stands, it is not that I’m not willing to promise you, it is just that you really are going too far’.
Bian Qiao originally thought that since Zhang Yan had no strong supporter to back him, he would step back and avoid having a falling out. Yet he would never have thought that Zhang Yan wouldn’t know what was good or bad, as Zhang Yan unexpectedly didn’t give him any face.
He changed his mind and thought: although Zhang Yan seemed to have some capitals, since he broke the ‘rules’ first, how could he be afraid of him when it came to some other disciples who also accounted for their own interest?
Since sweet talk didn’t work and you don’t want to listen it, then don’t blame me for ignoring your face. Do you think I’ve no other means to deal with you?
Before he came, he had prepared in advance, and since it was impossible to reconcile, he was ready to resort to it.
Bian Qiao suddenly laughed as he said twice: “You might as you say so, it may be so. Since Junior Brother is proficient in interpreting manuals, you may as well let us broaden our horizons, this Bian here has three manuals. Please, I ask brother to advise me!”
He waved his hand, and a young male servant immediately brought a Dao manual. Bian Qiao knocked on the written text with his finger joint as he let out a false smile, “I also know Brother Zhang’s rules, rice, grain, and silver taels must be paid first. Now, may I ask for one or two advices from Brother Zhang.”
Since business had come to visit, Zhang Yan naturally accepted, he walked for two steps as he reached out and took that Dao manual.
Bian Qiao pressed the manual with his hand as his eyes stared at Zhang Yan, “I sincerely ask for advice, if Brother Zhang interpretation is mistaken , what would happen?”
Zhang Yan replied indifferently, “Senior Brother may smash my banner sign, then I will no longer explain about the manual Eclipse code henceforth.”
Bian Qiao shook his head, “No, it wouldn’t do, not enough.”
Zhang Yan also laughed lightly, took back his hand and stood, “How then does Senior Brother think we should do this?”
Bian Qiao squinted as he said, “You discard your cultivation, and directly quit and descend from here. Then, you shall not enter into the Blue Ocean Sect’s territory even a half step.”
Because many people had gathered here, the surrounding disciples from the Three Great Schools have also gradually come around. They couldn’t help but shout, this would absolutely destroy Zhang Yan’s cultivation path thoroughly.
Zhang Yan actually brought up the idea accidentally, he never thought that Bian Qiao would flare up quickly and become a lot tougher.
He didn’t know that this was Bian Qiao’s true nature as a servant. He, because of small profits may fear people with higher status, and since he didn’t fully know Zhang Yan’s background, we wouldn’t act directly.
If Zhang Yan lost this time and no one backed him up, he would naturally use a cruel method to eliminate him. However, if someone came forward to ask for a favor and his background was big, he would give face as he could ask for a favor conveniently. In short, as long as Zhang Yan’s interpretation was wrong and made mistakes, when the time comes, it would be easy for him to stretch his hand and act as he willed.
“Senior Brother, this may not be appropriate, but…” Zhang Yan looked perfectly calm and composed as he continued to speak, “If so, the price should be equal, and not some trifling rice.”
Bian Qiao smiled as he tried to search for something within his sleeve. He removed a white porcelain vase and put it on the stone table. “Junior Brother seems to be in the Primordial Qi Condensation realm, so I’ll give you these Pills, a total of 23 pills, and each pill is worth a treasure. What do you think? Is it worth it?”
The Three Great Schools disciples in the surroundings suddenly became noisy as they looked at this bottle of pills with envy and greedy eyes. They also knew that they couldn’t obtain these precious pills. They could only curse Bian Qiao in their heart. Bian Qiao was only a steward and not even a cultivator, but he had these precious pills. It was simply like throwing a pearl to a swine, as it only wasted precious and heavenly treasures.
Zhang Yan had profound knowledge with books, and many odd and precious items. He certainly knew the value of these pills. Not only could the pills improve and maintain one’s health and wash away the impurities from within the body, it could also be used to consolidate his Primordial Qi foundation. By invigorating his blood circulation, it would have a great effect on cultivators when meditating. Its value was simply priceless. This was the pill that an outer disciple may obtain.
He didn’t consider any longer as he immediately replied, “All right.”
Zhao Ying was among the crowd as she looked at Zhang Yan answer, and couldn’t help but sneer. This little thief was really ignorant. How come he couldn’t see that Bian Qiao had laid a trap and intentionally lured him into it?
Bian Qiao turned around toward the surroundings as he cupped his hand over his chest and said, “Good, today there are many fellow disciples gathered here. Let us make a testimony and you will all be witnessing, so as to avoid the rumors that I, Bian Qiao bullied someone.” This particular method was truly vicious, as he clearly blocked Zhang Yan’s way back with these words.
Zhang Yan coldly watching Bian Qiao’s petty action, but he actually didn’t care a bit as he then sat down on the stone stool in an uninhibited manner, picked up the manual and began to read it.
The surrounding disciples listened to Bian Qiao’s words as they stepped closer to have a look, and watch whether Zhang Yan had the ability or not. They wanted to see, what kind of capital this Zhang Yan had, which made him dare to have a falling out with Bian Qiao. Over many years, Bian Qiao had been a tyrant, as he often bullied and abused many disciples in the sect. However, nobody could do anything to him. Seeing that today someone unexpectedly dared to spit on Bian Qiao’s face; the Great Tranquility Temple and the Profound Virtue Temple’s disciples couldn’t help but to become excited. Many of them even wanted to befriend this brave disciple, but didn’t want to miss this particular scene.