“This isn’t the first time too. In the past few years, the spiritual energy residing in the land governed by Sword Burial Valley has continued to dwindle. Both sword and medicinal pill refining have been failing, and even people who go into seclusion to make breakthroughs undergo energy deviations. The new disciples that we have taken in during the past few years have also been dying for strange reasons, and there are even people who come to steal the secret manuals of the sect…”
Though Jiang Fan was constantly reminding himself that this old man was most likely acting pitiful to gain sympathy, he could not help but lament over Sword Burial Sect’s current situation.
Large sects might look impressive, but in actuality, uniting all the members was difficult to achieve. In order to secure their own statuses, sect members had to hide their inner thoughts and put on masks, grit their teeth and push forward.
“These aren’t the only problems, Sword Burial Valley has external threats as well. Long River Sect is in the east, and there is Ten Thousand Rocks Mountain Villa in the north. With the might that Sword Burial Valley had in the past, we naturally did not fear them. We competed over spiritual pulses, mystical herbs and ores, and out of necessity Sword Burial Valley formed grudges with those two powers. Now that the might of Sword Burial Valley is clearly dwindling, they have been silently watching from the sidelines, waiting for an opportunity.”
It sounded like Sword Burial Valley’s days were numbered.
No matter how prosperous a sect was, it would eventually and inevitably reach its end.
In reality, the life of a cultivator was really cruel. The rules of regular people could hardly restrain them. Most people believed in the idea of the strong eating the weak, and that whoever was stronger would survive.
As Elder Lu had said, when Sword Burial Valley was strong, they bullied their two neighbors. Now that Sword Burial Valley’s downfall was in sight, it would be fair for their opponents to come and bite them to death.
Even a secluded and inconspicuous little sect like Returnflow Mountain was eyed by the demonic cultivators. How could a land of peach blossoms, free of worries and woes, possibly exist in this world?
“Elder Lu is a guest that has come from afar. Why don’t you first have a nice rest. If you have something to discuss, it’s not too late to talk about it later.”
Elder Lu stood up with a bitter smile.
“No need. Actually, I shouldn’t have made this trip. Sword Burial Valley’s present situation isn’t something that came to be in just one or two days. No matter who succeeds the Valley Lord, he will not be able to renew the life of the withering spiritual pulse, and he will also not be able to reunite the scattered hearts of the sect members. Ever since the incident of the exploding furnace, Elder Mo left, with dozens of his disciples in tow. The Sword Burial Valley now…”
Elder Lu shook his head.
He could not bear to continue.
The foundation of the present Sword Burial Valley was already shaking. If someone else were to give it another light push, it would collapse completely.
In his first visit, he still held hopes for Mo Chen. He had hoped to bring Mo Chen back to Sword Burial Valley to unite everyone’s hearts with his status as a lineal descendant, and then save Sword Burial Valley from its fate of impending doom.
But now, he no longer carried such hopes.
He really should not have made this trip.
Mo Chen was living comfortably, and Returnflow Mountain was a considerably good place. In the future, he would most certainly succeed the position of sect master of this small sect. Why would he want to be burdened by the mess created by Sword Burial Valley?
At the door, Elder Lu stopped, turned around and said, “Brave Mo, Madam Rou Zhu’s grave is at the rear mountain of Sword Burial Valley, leaning next to her father’s tomb. In the future, if you ever pass by Sword Burial Valley, please consider going over to have a look.”
Jiang Fan looked at Eldest Senior Brother, and then back at Elder Lu.
Mo Chen simply nodded.
He did not know this woman that Elder Lu mentioned, and so, he did not think much of it.
After all, it was still not certain that he was the child that Sword Burial Valley had lost.
Elder Lu did not stay for long, and Jiang Fan instructed some people to send him down the mountain.
Seeing the figure of Elder Lu’s lonely back, Jiang Fan had an odd feeling for some reason.
He felt like this might be the last time he would see this person.
Jiang Fan did not like this person and did not welcome his arrival. However, when Jiang Fan saw Elder Lu’s solemn, departing silhouette, he could not describe the feeling in his heart.
Ning Yu strolled over. He wore his usual azure, broad-sleeve robe, held together by a profound black waistband. His clothes fluttered with the mountain winds, making him look like a falling leaf that could immediately be blown away by the winds.
“Has the guest left?”
Jiang Fan nodded.
“Who is that?”
“An elder of Sword Burial Valley. His surname is Lu.”
Ning Yu pondered for a moment. “Sword Burial Valley should have two elders with the surname Lu. One is named Lu Chengling, while I’m not quite sure what’s the other one called. Why is Returnflow Mountain in contact with Sword Burial Valley? I’ve never heard of it.”
Jiang Fan unnaturally cleared his throat.
When Elder Lu came for a return visit, Jiang Fan thought that he was here for sabotage, with his main purpose being tricking Eldest Senior Brother into becoming some valley lord’s son-in-law. However, after seeing how things turned out, Jiang Fan realized that his guess might have been wrong.
From his words, Jiang Fan could sense that they were related to Eldest Senior Brother’s birth.
However, Jiang Fan had yet to confirm it with Eldest Senior Brother, and all the more this shouldn’t be mentioned to Ning Yu.
Ning Yu fortunately did not press the issue, stopping things from being too difficult for him.
“It seems like he…”
Ning Yu paused and swallowed back his words.
Though Ning Yu did not see that person’s facial features, but Ning Yu felt that his body was emitting a thick aura of death.
It seemed like… he did not have long to live.
When Xiaodong received the news, Elder Lu had already left.
This person came and left in a hurry, truly making it hard for others to figure out his motives.
Eldest Senior Brother sat next to the window, staring quietly and blankly at the undulating mountain range.
It seemed like Eldest Senior Brother was not in a very good mood…
Xiaodong felt like he could sense Eldest Senior Brother’s emotions. Not just because the two were living together and getting along together, but more because of the tacit understanding they shared that others did not.
The reason why Eldest Senior Brother’s mood was bad, was definitely related to the guest that made a sudden visit.
Mo Chen turned his head.
Xiaodong poured him a cup of tea and whispered, “I went to take a look earlier. Auntie Qi has already cleaned Senior Sister’s room. The pillow and bed sheet have all been washed and sunned. They were all very thoroughly done. Then… when we receive Senior Sister, is there anything else we need to prepare?”
“No need.” Mo Chen sighed.
Earlier, his heart was indeed in a bit of a mess.
Was the woman at Sword Burial Valley, who went mad from the loss of her son, his mother?
What did she look like? How did she lose her son?
However, after looking at Little Junior Brother, he strangely felt better.
Little Junior Brother’s careful behavior made it seem that he was afraid of harming Mo Chen.
Even if Little Junior Brother did not ask about nor bring up the matter of the guest’s arrival, whatever he was thinking was all written on his face. Those clear and vivid eyes of his could not hide even the smallest thought he had.
Mo Chen would never leave Returnflow Mountain.
Mo Chen had never shaken away this conviction.
Even if Sword Burial Valley was currently comparable to the heavens, even if Elder Lu used all sorts of flowery language and bedazzled him with the countless benefits he might receive, Mo Chen would never budge.
Those people were not his responsibility.
He was saved and raised by Master. Master imparted him with knowledge and nurtured him with all his heart. Li Fulin was his master, and also his father.
His martial siblings were like his own arms and legs. His Little Junior Brother especially was a little dumb, making it hard for others to feel at ease. It felt like there should always be someone taking care of him.