Hearing the young woman’s words, Hei became interested. Bai and Mei became excited. There was a chance of staying with Hei after all.
Hei remembered hearing the words ‘Man Peak’ upon the completion of the second layer of Way of Essence.
‘Even when I choose to ignore the side quests, they come to me instead. Sigh.’
Hei was sighing at the fact that he seemed to be a side quest magnet. He just couldn’t seem to find a quiet path.
After complaining in his mind, he realised something.
“Didn’t the Radiant Jade Sect only accept female disciples?”
The young woman responded.
“It has been many years, causing a misconception, but the Man Peak still accepts male disciples.”
After the young woman spoke, the old lady expressed her disapproval.
“Jingfei! Do you realise what you are doing?”
Jingfei snapped back.
“If I recall correctly, as the peak leader of the Man Peak, I am allowed to recruit disciples.”
Seeing that Jingfei wasn’t going to back down, the old lady could only remind her.
She had a stern face as she spoke.
“It is you, who is choosing the difficult road.”
Seeing this, Hei started to evaluate the situation.
‘A damsel in distress? Country toppling beauty, of age, able to leave the sect, but chaperoned by a stronger elder, seeking the assistance of a boy… marriage problems?’
It was a bit of a jump, but this was the conclusion Hei had come up with. Given his past experience with similar situations, he was confident in his deductive reasoning.
On the surface, the offer was a decent one. He would be able to go to the same sect as Bai and Mei. Hang around with the young ladies, with a nice ratio. Many a man’s dream.
However, Hei could see past this. He was going to get dragged into a lot of drama if he chose to go to the Radiant Jade Sect.
Frankly speaking, it wasn’t worth it.
Sure, he would like to watch over Bai himself, but he had already given Mei an extremely detailed instruction manual for how she was to look after Bai and he was confident in her ability to follow the instructions.
It clearly stated what was allowed, what was to be avoided, an what must never be allowed to occur.
It was a delicate balance. He wanted Bai to feel that she had a lot of freedom, but in actuality, she would be living in a world Hei created for her.
He felt that it was important to keep her safe from negative influences for a few deca- years. Once she grew into a proper overlord, he would allow her to make her own choices.
After all, he couldn’t in good consciousness, leave the world in the hands of a morally questionable young lady.
Since he didn’t have any motivation to join the sect, Hei needed to be shown the merits of joining.
“What’s in it for me?”
Jingfei was confused at Hei’s words. Wasn’t he at the 5-sect summit? What did he mean by ‘What’s in it for me?’.
Furthermore, she was inviting this boy into a sect full of young ladies. Wouldn’t any other young man immediately jump at the chance?
That is what her education was telling her.
She could only offer a generic answer.
“I’ll give you anything you want, within reason.”
Hearing this, Hei raised his hand to his chin in thought. He came to the conclusion that Jingfei had nothing to offer him, so he jokingly responded.
“What if what I want is you?”
Jingfei had a disgusted face. Bai and Mei also showed negative reactions.
Seeing this, Hei could only cough awkwardly.
“It was only an illusion. I don’t want anything from you.”
He turned back around and was ready to leave when Jingfei spoke again.
“Anything but that. I’ll give you anything but that.”
Hei paid her no mind. He continued his footsteps ready to disappear.
“Please! I will do anything else!”
This time, Hei could hear desperation in her voice. He remembered something like this happening before, so curious, he turned around to take a look.
He saw Jingfei’s pleading eyes, but what he paid attention to was something else entirely.
‘What do we have here? A blue?’
Hei could see a faint blue aura around Jingfei. It was the same aura he saw around the matriarch when she had asked them for help.
He turned to Bai and Mei, who nodded their heads. He then turned to Tianlan and the result was the same.
‘Is the aura revealed when they ask for help? Why would it be like that?’
This made Hei rethink his choice. Since she was a blue, it changed everything. A blue was worth going through a little bit of trouble.
“You can put away those eyes right now. They aren’t doing anything for me. I want tangibles.”
He paused for a moment before he continued.
“I’ll agree, but for the duration of my stay at the Radiant Jade Sect, you will be my personal maid. Take it or leave it.”
He had initially thought to have her become his maid for life, but he thought that would be much harder to agree to.
Depending on the scale of the problem, it may not be worth it to make a lifelong commitment, but to be his maid while he was helping her was a small price to pay.
That is unless she was full of pride, in which case, Hei would stay away. Prideful senior sisters… Not worth the hassle.
Jingfei seemed to be hesitant.
“What would your maid have to do.”
She had heard horror stories about the things men did with their maids, and she didn’t want to sign up for any of that.
Hearing the apprehension in her voice, Hei was a little confused.
“Maid things of course.”
He started listing things with his fingers.
“Cleaning, doing the laundry, running errands, massages. What else? I would say cooking, but we will have to see how good you are at baking first. But those are the kinds of things you will have to do.”
He was basically describing the things his mother had him do during his childhood.
He turned a questioning look at Jingfei.
“What else is there? Accompanying me to places? I mean, you can do that if you want to, but it’s not part of your maidly duties.”
Jingfei looked at Hei with a suspicious gaze. She turned to the old lady, who also didn’t quite know what to say.
She then turned back to Hei and responded.
“If that’s really all there is, I will agree.”
Hei nodded his head.
“Then I guess I will be coming over to your Man Peak, Peak Leader Jingfei.”
Hei walked over to the Radiant Jade Sect’s area.
Bai and Mei came up to him and took one of his arms each, and the old lady was staring daggers at him.
Hei ignored all of this as he thought about how he would handle Jingfei’s situation.
At some point, Xiulan had left the stands and came up to the stage with Shao Chen and the maid, Shui.
The four came from their respective sects to meet their mother and grandfather.
Xiulan looked to her children with a concerned face.
“I understand that you want to have your fun, but are you sure your training won’t be affected by joining these sects?”
Shao Chen agreed.
“That’s right. I have already told you again and again that these tiny sects have nothing to offer. It is better to practice at home.”
“Don’t worry, Mumu. We will be sure to keep up our training.”
Bai added on.
“Mm. I will make sure Brother doesn’t slack in his training. Of course, I will also be diligent.”
Next was Mei.
“That’s right, Mother-in-law. I will be sure to improve my skills to become a worthy daughter-in-law.”
Tianlan also spoke.
“There is no need to be worried, Mother. I will be sure to remember my daily training.”
Hearing these words, Xiulan and Shao Chen nodded their heads in approval. They still thought the kids were wasting their time, but as long as it didn’t affect their training, it wasn’t an issue.
The audience and the representatives, on the other hand, were looking at Xiulan and Shao Chen with interest. To be able to say these words right in front of the 5 sects.
That the children would be wasting their time, simply having their fun and that they should remember their training…
Especially coming from Mei, who was a 10-year-old transcendent realm cultivator and yet was still below the standards of her mother-in-law.
What exactly was this Shao Clan?
Of course, they were referring to baking training, but to everyone else, it sounded like they were speaking of cultivation.
After saying goodbye to Xiulan and Shao Chen, the four headed off to their respective sects. Tianlan was all alone, while Hei, Bai and Mei were together, which made him feel that something was unfair about the situation, but all he needed to do was focus on the goal at hand.
Hei had already given his siblings the game plan. It was all in the chant. Find the blues and take them in. Other than that, take all of the knowledge held within these sects. But be low key about it.
After all of the juniors gathered, the representatives used their various means to transport their juniors to the sects.
Some used flying swords, and some used clouds.
The Radiant Jade Sect used a giant flying leaf, which travelled at quite a fast speed.
Hei wondered how it worked. It didn’t seem to have any kind of propulsion system.
If he could apply the same concepts to his chains, he would be able to do some interesting things.
Hei was seated on the leaf, as were all of the young ladies.
Mei and Bai were seated close to him.
Well, close wasn’t the best way to describe it. They were leaning on him, is what they were doing. Taking his shoulders as pillows.
At some point, Hei just decided to lay down.
Bai and Mei followed suit, and the three stared up into the sky as the clouds passed by.
More specifically, Hei stared at the clouds. Bai and Mei didn’t seem interested in them. They just snuggled up against Hei.
Seeing this, Hei decided to create a barrier to prevent the wind from blowing on them and to block the conversations of the other disciples, creating a peaceful environment.
He then forgot about his two sisters as he gazed at the clouds.
This reminded Hei of his early days where he would lay inside the basin, looking to the ceiling, as he and Xiulan would take baths together.
‘Sigh. 10 years.’
Hei was thinking about how he hadn’t seen his parents in an entire 10 years.
Luckily, he was still able to remember them clearly. He didn’t know what he would do if he started to forget.
Bai and Mei could tell that their brother was longing for something that he couldn’t easily obtain.
This would happen every now and then when there was nothing on his mind.
It wasn’t long before a face appeared in Hei’s vision.
For a split second, he saw Xiulan’s face above the basin like in the past, but it quickly changed to the face of his adorable little sister.
“Little Bai, what are you-”
Hei words were cut off by Bai, who smiled mischievously and proceeded to roll up Hei’s shirt and blow raspberries on his stomach.
Hei sat up and gave Bai a smile in return.
“You just started something you can’t handle, Little Bai.”
Hei got up and pounced on Bai, knocking her off balance.
He then grabbed her in a tight hug and jumped off the leaf with her.
As they were plummeting to the ground, Hei spoke.
“How do you like skydiving, Little Bai?”
“I’m not scared. I know you’re going to keep me safe, Brother.”
That wasn’t really the reaction he was looking for, but it showed that she trusted him.
“Sigh. Being a good brother isn’t the most fun.”
They both laughed as Hei used Chain Wings to fly back towards the leaf.
It was a little difficult to catch up.
“Do you think that old lady sped up on us?”
“It seems someone doesn’t like you very much, Brother.”
“Hehe. Does she think this little leaf is faster than me?”
Hei was about to speed up when he could feel Mei’s aura from the leaf.
“We need to work on Mei’s temper.”
Hei located Mei using the complaining method and sent a chain to grab her from the leaf.
He pulled her in and held his sisters with one arm each.
Mei was happy to be held by Hei like this. He was basically hugging her.
Mei realised that it wasn’t so easy to get Hei to accept his title. But she wouldn’t give up just because of that. One day he would let her call him Darling.
“What’s gotten you all upset like this?”
“That old witch is trying to leave you behind.”
“But is that something to be angry about, is it? Did you think we would fall behind?”
As he said this, Hei pulled out a new model of dragon he had created after focusing on high-speed flight.
It was a long a sleek dragon with minimal extras, creating a streamlined shape.
The siblings took a seat on the dragon, and Hei had it fly to the leaf.
When it got beside the leaf, Mei stuck her tongue out at the old lady.
The journey continued like this, Hei flying his dragon beside the leaf, until they reached the Radiant Jade Sect.
If Hei had to describe it, he would say it was a bunch of Chinese buildings on a few mountains.
There were four mountains in total.
No, there was another smaller mountain that didn’t look too good compared to the others. It was in pretty bad shape, causing it to seem separated from the others, which were immaculately maintained.
All of the other mountains had grand buildings at the top. This mountain, however, seemed to have been broken half-way up, leaving a flat surface, overgrown with vegetation.
There weren’t many buildings on it and those that were there could hardly be called buildings at all.
‘I’m guessing that’s the Man Peak…’
The leaf landed in a square that was full of young ladies, who welcomed the new batch who had joined them.
Apparently, the group from Spring Leaf City were the last batch to join.
There was a lot of attention brought to the three who had come in on a dragon.
The ladies took notice of Hei, but since he hadn’t spoken, they were unable to tell that he was a boy. His appearance was already vastly different to what they were used to.
There was a raised platform where a fairly attractive woman was standing. Hei wouldn’t describe her as a country toppling beauty though.
She began a speech, welcoming the newly joined disciples and told them the basics of how to find their residences and about the period of adjustment before they went through the initiation and chose their masters.
During the speech, she introduced herself as Elder Yu.
After the speech was over, the old lady went up and whispered into Elder Yu’s ear, who turned to Hei with a hateful gaze.
‘And the plot thickens.’
Hei now realised that there were some politics involved in Jingfei’s situation.
Elder Yu spoke of how those who were selected to join the Man Peak would do things.
They were hard to even call members of the sect by the sound of it.
Apparently, the male disciples had mandatory missions that they had to complete every 6 months and weren’t assigned residences.
Every facility that was free for the young ladies, required merit points from the boys.
And the things that required merit points from the young ladies, were 10 times as expensive for the boys.
‘Good thing I don’t need any of those things. Otherwise, I would probably starve to death.’
Hei had no need for external resources. As long as he had a steady supply of natural Qi, he wouldn’t need anything else. That included food and water. He even suspected that he could live without air, but he didn’t have any desire to test it out.
After Elder Yu was finished with her announcement, the young ladies went to the places she had talked about to get more information and to find out where they would be staying.
Bai and Mei were reluctant to leave, but Hei encouraged them to befriend their new fellow apprentice sisters.
‘Maybe I should limit my interaction with those two.’
He was thinking separation would be good for his sisters. They seemed a little too dependent.
It was understandable for Bai, after all, they had been together since she was born. But Mei had been independent her whole life. To be so clingy now, there was probably an underlying issue.
Since Hei wasn’t any kind of psychologist, he decided to just go about his business.
There was no place for him to go to get more information. He was relegated to the Man Peak, where nothing ever happened.
Hei looked over to Jingfei.
“Let’s go home then, Miss Jingfei.”
Jingfei also lived on the Man Peak. Hei wondered what she had done to be given such a punishment.
Jingfei led the way as Hei followed behind.
At first, Hei thought that the man peak was a little run-down, but upon taking a closer look…
He was right.
“This dump is the Man Peak, huh?”
“That would be correct.”
“Where do you live?”
“There are a few cultivator caves on the mountain.”
Hearing this, Hei’s mind blanked for a moment.
He recalled that there were such things as cultivator caves in many of the stories he had read, but he was not one for them.
He would much rather live in a house.
“Uh-uh. This isn’t going to work for me. Your first duty as my maid is to bring me all the information you can find on formations, metallurgy, carpentry and masonry. Not only the occupations but the ins and outs of the material production processes along with common applications.”
Jingfei looked at him with a blank face.
Hei pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down what he wanted.
He floated the paper to her and spoke.
She still had the same blank face as she took the paper and slowly turned around.
Before she took her first step, she turned back to Hei who shooed her away.
“Chop-chop. I want to get this thing done sooner rather than later.”