Xiaodong was very confused.
He… He hadn’t spilled even a single word, yet Eldest Senior Brother still figured everything out.
Was the secret still considered kept?
Mo Chen checked on Xiaodong’s meridians following the energy circulation, and then placed his hand on the location of Xiaodong’s Dantian. He then nodded contently.
Having only taken the first step across the door of cultivation not too long ago, Xiaodong was naturally unaware, but him allowing others to check on his own meridians and Dantian without any hesitation was not something most cultivators would do.
The path of cultivation was long and hard, and it could be said to be a path that defied the heavens. On this path, not only would they have to fight the heavens, they even had to fight other people. However, many people did not fall because of their fight with the heavens. Of course, there were many cultivators who died from injuries to the meridians and from energy deviation. But compared to those who lost their lives in battles with other people, the number was simply too insignificant. Returnflow Mountain was a small sect with few disciples and attendants, so there were barely any internal struggles. There were even fewer direct disciples, with merely five of them – and one even ran away. Now, there were only four of them. The head of the horses Eldest Senior Brother, Linglong with the simple personality, the loyal Jiang Fan, and the youngest child Xiaodong, who was now treating Master and his senior siblings as his most important people after the passing of his only remaining relative. The outer sect disciples could not avoid competing with each other, but till now, there hadn’t been any incident of internal killings within Returnflow Mountain.
The other sects and clans however were different. Even if they were in the same sect, even the most intimate of martial siblings could never drop their guard against each other, let alone allow others to easily hold onto their own lifelines. As for facing others outside of their own sect, it was essentially a top priority for all cultivators to guard against other cultivators. For example, when Mo Chen headed out last year, on his way back from Linzhou, he witnessed four people fighting to their deaths over a bottle of deadly poisonous snake saliva. There were many people who embarked on the path of cultivation every year, but every year, there was also a lot of people who lost their lives on this path.
Mo Chen retracted his hand and thought that he should find a day to have a proper talk with Little Junior Brother on the importance of being vigilant against others.
“Linglong is going to come out of her seclusion in about two days. Let’s receive her together when that time comes.”
Xiaodong blinked a few times before replying hesitantly, “Okay…”
“Worried that Linglong will harass you?” Mo Chen smiled and said, “She won’t. There isn’t a wall without cracks in this world. I had seen those two together too. Jiang Fan and even Master had seen them together. Most people here might even have an inkling about their relationship, so how could this blame fall on you?”
“Master knows too?”
Mo Chen smiled.
Mo chen was not certain if Master knew about it, but among the outer sect disciples, Master indeed had expectations of Di Wenjun. These expectations might be because of Di Wenjun’s aptitude, his drive and character, but it might also be because of Linglong.
Xiaodong felt at ease, revealing an unhazy smile. “That’s great. Then, since everyone knows, does that mean Senior Sister and Senior Brother Di are going to be married very soon?”
Mo Chen looked at Xiaodong’s sparkling eyes. Clearly, the two of them had completely different train of thoughts.
Xiaodong really liked liveliness, but he did not know of many lively things. The best he could think of were marriage ceremonies. Vibrant music, loud firecrackers, wearing red auspicious clothes, relatives and friends coming together to congratulate the new couples, and even sitting down to have a bustling feast.
Xiaodong had even thought of an even further future.
Would Senior Sister give birth to a baby? Just how lively would it be on the mountain then? Life on Returnflow Mountain now was great too, but… it was too serene. The mountaintop area where the sect resided was really vast, but there were only about a hundred people living here. With everyone tending to their own tasks, the place was truly too quiet. Other than seeing a few people in the morning practices, it was hard to find other people to talk to during other times. Putting aside the day, when night fell, the mountain winds were like wolf howls and tiger roars. In the mountain forest at night, the place where the sect was situated felt incredibly small and insignificant.
Xiaodong had lived among the common people since he was young. Though he had gradually grown accustomed to life on the mountain, this immense feeling of loneliness was not something that he could get used to in just a short year or two.
Mo Chen was startled when he heard Xiaodong’s words.
He slowly shook his head.
Xiaodong regained his senses and felt confused.
“Marriage… might and might not happen.”
“Why?” Xiaodong asked. He did not understand.
Mo Chen sat down.
Little Junior Brother still did not understand many things. Though he had already entered the sect, his knowledge on the life of cultivators was still pretty small.
“Do you know why people pursue the path of cultivation?”
Xiaodong pondered for a moment, before he shook his head cluelessly.
To become strong? To live longer? To obtain even more riches and higher authority?
These reasons seemed to all exist, but Xiaodong felt that they were not entirely correct. At the very least, he felt Master and his senior siblings were not walking on this path for those reasons.
“Then you should be aware that the lifespans between regular people and cultivators are different, right?”
“I know.” Xiaodong definitely knew this.
People on the path of cultivation naturally lived long lives. For example, his master, Spiritual Master Li Fulin, was around fifty years old, but he still looked really young. If he went down the mountain and mixed with the common people, others would guess that he was at most thirty years old. Cultivators could easily live for over a hundred or even two hundred years… To the regular people, this was hard to fathom.
“Not many cultivators get married. It’s not that none do, but it’s rare compared to regular people. Regular people get married in order to reproduce. Because human life is bitter and harsh, and there were too many variables, it would be best for them to leave behind descendants as quickly as possible. To cultivators however, it is different. Cultivators can live longer, and so the meaning of our lives is no longer bound by reproduction. That’s why marriage is no longer important. Not to mention, cultivators are different from regular people. Even if we want to leave behind descendants, it’s not an easy thing to do.”
Xiaodong let out a gasp.
He had been completely oblivious to this.
“Among regular people, family businesses are passed down from fathers to sons, and from sons to grandsons. As this continued, as long as there are descendants, their surnames, and thus their blood, would never be discontinued. However, cultivators can take in disciples to take over their affairs, ensuring that the sect and the arts flourish.”
There was still one thing that Mo Chen did not mention.
It was exactly because of their long lifespans, that a moment of joy and love was really nothing much to cultivators. Regular people could be loving couples for tens of years, but have different dreams on the bed later on. Not to mention there were even more variables to consider for cultivators. Of course, it was not that it was impossible to find a Daoist couple with deep affection for one another, it was just that it was rare to see one. Many people might become courteous to the other after that moment of passion receded, or they might act like strangers.
Linglong and Di Wenjun might harbor intentions for each other, but no one could say how far they could go.