“A method of refining qi?” Xiao Chunmian was surprised. “Is this the kind of thing that’s been circulating around in the streets?”
“It seems you’ve heard of it.” Yu Qiu nodded and said, “There are a few tricks in it, which are difficult for ordinary people to master. But even if you know the tricks, it’s not a one-and-a-half-minute thing. If it doesn’t work, don’t force it.”
Xiao Chunmian was still doubtful. “This qi refining method… is it real?”
Yu Qiu nodded.
Xiao Chunmian carefully sized up Yu Qiu, and after a while, finally smiled. “Xiao Qiu, compared to half a month ago, you have changed so much. Is it because of this qi refining method? You… Have you been cultivating it?”
“I just started,” replied Yu Qiu. “It’s still a long way from real training.”
Xiao Chunmian closed his eyes for a while then opened them a moment later. He asked, “I heard that if you cultivate this qi refining method all the way, you can become an immortal. Is this… is it true?”
“Yes, but becoming an immortal or whatnot is very rare. Countless people want to become one, but don’t think about it first.” Yu Qiu saw his subtly constant and questioning look and thought he didn’t believe him. Helplessly, he asked, “Do you want to learn or not?”
Xiao Chunmian’s eyes narrowed into a smile. He nodded. “Of course, I want to learn.”
Yu Qiu didn’t know that, in this seemingly casual conversation, Xiao Chunmian’s mind had gone crazy–Even the emperor of the world would have very big shackles on his identity, right?
Like, during the natural calamities in the southwest some time ago, the imperial court lost its reputation for the inadequate disaster relief even though they had been busy with disaster relief… But in the final analysis, it was actually because there were two immortals fighting in the sky, and one of them was slapped onto the ground. How many lives were killed with this one strike?
If another immortal had stopped by then, how many lives could have been saved? Alas, an excellent holy mother was now aiming to be an immortal!
Xiao Chunmian had always thought that people and immortals were different and that their paths would never cross, so he had never considered it. Now he knew that the entrance to immortality had always been there. It just depended on whether he was determined enough to walk towards it. A new door opened just like this.
Afterward, Xiao Chunmian carefully listened to Yu Qiu’s patient narration.
When the narrative finally came to an end, and Yu Qiu paused to drink, Xiao Chunmian eagerly began the first attempt.
Yu Qiu looked on with interest. Even if he knew the key points, the first step of cultivation was not so easy to cross. It took Yu Qiu a whole night. It won’t be surprising if other people would take a year and a half.
He watched Xiao Chunmian try for the first time and failed. He tried for the second time and also failed.
Yu Qiu smiled faintly: An ordinary person can already do such a decent thing right from the start, which was already very good.
Then Xiao Chunmian tried for the third time and succeeded.
Yu Qiu was still thinking that, if worst comes to worst, and Xiao Chunmian still couldn’t cross on his own, then he would come back to guide him when he had reached the fifth level of Qi Refining.
What just happened?
Yu Qiu blinked, blinked again, then rubbed both eyes hard to make sure his vision wasn’t blurred. Then he carefully looked at Xiao Chunmian… Fuck1夭寿啊 – Literally “To die young [before reaching old age]!” which is really long when it’s just pronounced in three syllables in Chinese. It’s used as an interjection to express surprise, dissatisfaction, or regret… And can also be used as a curse word.! He actually succeeded!
Three times! Only three times!
Yu Qiu’s jaw suddenly dropped to the ground.
After the initial success, Xiao Chunmian still maintained his posture and scrupulously continued regulating his breathing. He spontaneously followed the path of success and continued to cultivate qi day by day until his body completely remembered the feeling.
God knew Yu Qiu hadn’t even told him this key point yet.
After a while, Xiao Chunmian slowly breathed out and finally opened his eyes.
Yu Qiu had already taken his jaw back, rubbed off the absurd look on his face, and pretended to be calm. He praised with a smile. “Not bad.”
Xiao Chunmian didn’t feel any different. He shook his head and sighed. “It’s indeed a bit difficult.”
Yu Qiu gave a hollow laugh, but the stormy waves in his heart couldn’t be suppressed. Then Yu Qiu reached out and touched his forehead, only to find that his palms were all sweaty.
He was sweating from excitement.
Originally, Yu Qiu taught Xiao Chunmian how to refine qi because he saw that his situation at home wasn’t good. He wanted him to rely on him. In any case, it was only the Qi Refining period. Although he would be called a cultivator, if he didn’t go deeper, he’d be closer to ordinary people and he wouldn’t be implicated with the strife in the cultivation world.
After all, the responsibility of introducing a mortal to the cultivation world was far too great and Yu Qiu was unwilling to bear it.
But now Yu Qiu was shaking.
What did he find? A once-in-a-lifetime cultivation genius!
Such talent, if he didn’t enter the cultivation world, he’d be no different from a pearl in the dust! Even though Yu Qiu was not a man of talent, the thought of this made him uneasy.
Yu Qiu decided that, although he was unwilling to carry the responsibility of changing other people’s lives, if Xiao Chunmian himself was interested in cultivation and proposed to enter the cultivation world, Yu Qiu would not refuse him.
However, while Yu Qiu was brimming with hope, Xiao Chunmian’s eyes were half-lidded. His mind was heavy, and he didn’t say a word for a long time.
Yu Qiu was slightly lost, and after a while, he took the initiative and said, “The money has been returned and things have been taught. If there’s nothing else, I will go back.”
Xiao Chunmian nodded.
Yu Qiu’s lips twitched and he tried to shake off his disappointment. He opened the window and was about to flip over to get out.
Xiao Chunmian suddenly called him. “Xiao Qiu, are you and Uncle Yu no longer living in the same place?”
“Yes,” Yu Qiu quickly replied. “We have left Yulian County. This time, I came back to pay you the money.”
“Left?” Xiao Chunmian was surprised. “Then how will I find you in the future?”
“You want to find me?” Yu Qiu looked back at him. “It’s a bit troublesome. I live in Fangshanji now, though it’s only temporary. I don’t know where it will be in the future.”
Xiao Chunmian froze for a moment, and after thinking about it, he understood that Yu Qiu had embarked on the immortal’s path. Naturally, he wouldn’t stay in the mortal world.
After a while, Xiao Chunmian said with a bitter smile. “I want to follow you all the way.”
Yu Qiu was surprised and happy. “Come then! Follow me, I’ll take you.”
Xiao Chunmian shook his head. He looked at the cold and clean room, then looked at the colorful Xiao mansion outside the window. “This is my home. My parents and my family are here. I can’t just leave.”
“Parents and family?” Yu Qiu frowned. “But they all treat you in such a way.”
“No matter how they treat me, they are still my parents and my family,” said Xiao Chunmian.
Yu Qiu hummed. How could he have forgotten that this guy was an incurable holy mother. Holy mothers were really troublesome.
“Can you wait for me a bit?” Xiao Chunmian asked. “I’ll go see you when I’m done with what I have to deal with.”
“… Ten days,” Yu Qiu finally said. “I can stay in Yulian County for ten days at most. In these ten days, I will live in Guanglai inn.”
Xiao Chunmian smiled and nodded. “I’ll come to you in ten days.”
Yu Qiu secretly said “I hope so.” Then he went out the window and sneaked out of the Xiao mansion.
The Guanglai Inn he was staying in was opposite the Xiao mansion. After arriving at Guanglai inn, if you walked a little more, you’d reach the bustling Tianmu casino.
Everyday as he lay on the bed in the inn, Yu Qiu could hear the loud noises from the casino.
This was very annoying in itself, but what’s more, whenever this happened, a voice in his mind would speak out.
[Host, won’t you try completing the task?]
[Just go in and bet on a game. You can easily gain experience points.]
—No gambling, no gambling.
The system emitted a noisy and meaningless sound, then it became uncommunicative, then it completely quiet down, just like in the previous days. It had no objection to Yu Qiu’s refusal.
Although the task was released, the system never forced Yu Qiu to accomplish it. It simply reminded him tirelessly everyday.
Like this, it was flexible and not firm. On the contrary, Yu Qiu was a little embarrassed.
Yu Qiu looked out the window, glanced over Tianmu Casino, then looked at the Xiao Mansion on the opposite side. Right now, what was Xiao Chunmian doing?
Xiao Chunmian was recuperating.
The magistrate didn’t really see what happened to him. Finally, he threw a doctor over to take care of him for a few days. Xiao Chunmian’s body had completely recovered. Of course, half of the reason was because of his diligence in refining qi.
During this period, Qiao Xi, the little servant girl, was released from the firewood room and continued to take care of him. Who knew what Xiao Chunmian said to her, for on the second day, the servant girl took out some money with red eyes as she redeemed herself. The magistrate was naturally angry when he heard about it, but Xiao Chunmian showed weakness and spoke a lot of good words that this matter was quickly overlooked.
After getting well, Xiao Chunmian took out his sword and danced a whole set of moves in the courtyard.
He had loved swords ever since he was young but–
“Gongzi, why did you touch that again!” As soon as the servants in the mansion saw it, they rushed over. “Madam hates seeing you like this!”
Xiao Chunmian smiled as he let the sword down to his waist. “Is the Madam in the room? I’m going to see her.”
The servants were anxious and doubtful. The eldest gongzi actually took the initiative to see the Madam. This matter was like the sun rising from the west. When Xiao Chunmian opened his mouth, the servant could only lead the way.
When they entered the Madam’s room, Mrs. Xiao saw him and greeted him with a smile. This smile was very kind, just like that of a real good wife and a good mother.
But the moment she saw the sword on Xiao Chunmian’s waist, Mrs. Xiao’s face suddenly changed, her eyebrows raised high. “Why are you carrying this kind of thing again? How would my family’s daughter look like if she wielded swords all day long!”
Xiao Chunmian’s expression remained unchanged, and he greeted her with a smile.
“Mother, you’re wrong again.” Walking to Mrs. Xiao, Xiao Chunmian whispered, “I am Chunmian, not Chunning.”
Mrs. Xiao’s face froze. “What are you talking about! Chunning…”
“Chunning is dead. She died nine years ago.”
Xiao Chunmian’s voice was neither light nor heavy. “You, ah, you… In order to fight for the heart of a man, you willingly and secretly exchanged your newborn daughter for someone else’s son. Why should I replace your daughter after Chunning’s death?”
Nine years ago, Yulian County was ravaged by bandits. A young concubine and her daughter died in the magistrate’s house. However, this “daughter” was actually Mrs. Xiao’s own daughter, and the concubine was Xiao Chunmian’s biological mother. If it weren’t for Mrs. Xiao going crazy later on, Xiao Chunmian would’ve never known this secret.
“Chunning, Chunning…” Mrs. Xiao murmured twice and suddenly went mad again. She screamed and wanted to slap Xiao Chunmian’s face again.
Xiao Chunmian reached out two hands, grabbed her neck, lifted up her whole body amidst the people’s screams and pressed her hard on the wall.
Yet his face remained gentle and full of sincere compassion. “Mother, I know you’re a pitiful person.”
“But your being pitiful is due to your stupidity and malice, so when should you bear the cost? Chunning is dead. If she was really important enough for you to become desperate, then wouldn’t it be better if you went down with her instead of being crazy your whole life?