“Alright child, this is a secret formula of Pill King Hall. I have studied it hard for many years yet it’s workings elude me. You may have some passable skill in alchemy but there’s no way you can see through its mysteries after just a glance.”
Picking up on his surface thoughts, Aunt Tao shook her head. She then turned to Chu Qingcheng, “Girl, you didn’t come here just for his sake, right?”
Chu Qingcheng’s cheek went rosy and bowed as she related the feast’s events in all its details. Aunt Tao cried out in shock.
“What, even Regent Estate came? Ah, this must be fate…”
Crying towards the heavens, Aunt Tao wiped the dry tears from her eyes and muttered, “Chuchu, what are you planning to do next? Will you let them destroy Drifting Flowers Edifice? Or will you plead with the Venerable to fight them to the death?”
Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow in thought.
Each of the Seven Noble Houses raised their own Venerable. They were Radiant Stage cultivators, their last line of defense. They would never ask a Venerable’s intervention unless a calamity struck.
This confirmed that Drifting Flowers Edifice was on the brink of annihilation.
When he thought about it, going against another Radiant Stage expert would most likely end in the Regent Estate’s Venerable being wounded for a few decades. [I guess it is another way to slow down their conquest.]
“Sister Chuchu, ask the Venerable to step in and let them know we will fight tooth and nail with them. Drifting Flowers Edifice isn’t their playground.” Zhuo Fan instigated, the more chaos, the better it was for him.
Chu Qingcheng shook her head, her eyes firm, “Asking the Venerable will trigger a war among the Seven Houses. The Empire would be plunged into civil war and the people would fall into despair. My heart cannot bear it. If Drifting Flowers Edifice falls, we, sisters, will part ways, but in case of war, Drifting Flowers Edifice will lose for sure and my sisters will perish with it. As a Lord, I cannot ignore their fates.”
“Now I see why Grandmother chose you, the least qualified, as the Lord despite unanimous disapproval.” Aunt Tao nodded with a faint smile.
Zhuo Fan, on the other hand, rolled his eyes, [Softies the lot of ’em!]
If it were him, he would’ve divided and then conquered, attack openly and overtly, spreading slaughter everywhere and throw the Empire upside down. That was where his chance laid, to rise above from that madness. [I would rather turn my back on the world than have the world turn its back on me!]
The demonic cultivator path was cruel and ambitious, with everyone stepping on others to reach the peak.
Unfortunately, Chu Qingcheng was not a demonic cultivator. Her kind nature was just not cut out for this unlike Zhuo Fan’s bold nature!
“And there are the overseers poisoned by that old dog…”
Chu Qingcheng gazed with worry at Aunt Tao, “This is why I want to ask Aunt Tao to step out and protect the Bodhi Root! Perhaps our only chance of getting the antidote is if we give it in exchange…”
“You plan on making me face that accursed man in alchemy?”
Aunt Tao seemed to have heard the biggest joke, cackling like mad. But in her lunacy, a hint of woe was hidden.
“Qingcheng, look at me. In my trials of unraveling his Rainbow Cloud Palm, I am now neither human nor demon. Do you think my feeble skill is enough to win?”
Her heart in pain, Chu Qingcheng whispered something in Aunt Tao’s ear.
Aunt Tao’s eyes lit up and nodded, “I see, I see. So that’s what you’re planning. But… will it work?”
Chu Qingcheng’s eyes were dead set, her nod firm, “Then I will die a worthy death!”
“So that’s why you brought this child.”
Sighing, Aunt Tao patted Chu Qingcheng tenderly on the shoulder. She then turned serious as she eyed Zhuo Fan, “Kid, come here and kowtow to this Grandmother three times!”
Zhuo Fan was clueless, [Grandmother? Where?]
Following her finger, he discovered she was referring to the living dead!
He was still out of the loop, but the dead ought to be shown respect, he guess. So kowtowing wasn’t that big of a deal. And so, Zhuo Fan was quite casual in his kneeling and knocking his head on the ground.
As he did, he realized Chu Qingcheng was kneeling next to him, kowtowing just as well.
“Good! The rite is complete!”
Zhuo Fan was still confused when Aunt Tao shouted, and asked for him to kneel again.
This time, he was against it. He was first clueless to what was going on, but now he had to kneel again to this damnable old bat? But Chu Qingcheng’s piercing eyes left Zhuo Fan with no other choice.
[Crud, I’m Song Yu now and can only kneel.]
Aunt Tao and Chu Qingcheng noticed his proud eyes and shook their heads.
Next, Aunt Tao began reciting the teaching of Drifting Flowers Edifice’s ancestors, along with their thousand-year-old history. Zhuo Fan wasn’t at all content listening to some senseless rambling.
But around the middle, Zhuo Fan started paying attention.
It turned out Drifting Flowers Edifice and Pill King Hall were in a tight alliance, frequently marrying one’s disciples to the other.
Also, the Pill King Hall’s Rainbow Cloud Palm wasn’t so strong in the past. But thanks to Drifting Flowers Edifice providing Bodhi Jade Sap, it slowly improved, becoming what it was today, the dread of all the Seven Houses.
Later, because a Pill King Hall and Drifting Flowers Edifice couple quarreled, which led to a fight. It ended up with the husband using the Rainbow Cloud Palm on the wife, and the wife returned, enraged back to Drifting Flowers Edifice.
Drifting Flowers Edifice didn’t take it seriously at first, using Bodhi Jade Sap to cure her. But they were shocked to find the Bodhi Jade Sap, which could save one from imminent death, to be ineffective.
From that moment, Drifting Flowers Edifice realized the seriousness of the situation. Pill King Hall’s poison was out of control so they cut off their supply of Bodhi Jade Sap.
This enraged Pill King Hall and the Houses became bitter enemies ever since.
Until a hundred years ago, the Pill King Hall kept harassing Drifting Flowers Edifice and killing 8 overseers with Rainbow Cloud Palm. Not even the Lords were exempted, with two of them falling victim as well.
The imperial family turned a blind eye to their feud. How could they not? Pill King Hall was supplying them with pills.
It got to the point where Pill King Hall drove Drifting Flowers Edifice close to destruction several times!
One thing had to be said. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
In Drifting Flowers Edifice’s hour of most desperate need, a strange woman stepped up, Chu Bijun. She was none other than the living dead laying in the ancient ice.
Not only was she strong, she was also wise. On one hand, she repelled Pill King Hall’s attacks, and, on the other, connected with the other Houses through marriage, expanding their power. This had led to Pill King Hall to suffer countless and heavy defeats over the last century.
Everyone in the Seven Houses had to admire this woman’s skill. They all came to the realization that without her, there would’ve been no Drifting Flowers Edifice today.
Even Pill King Hall had to admire her.
The people came to call her the Lady of Steel, while the disciples of Drifting Flowers Edifice called her Grandmother. She was by no means the Edifice Lord, but she assisted three generations of them, holding Drifting Flowers Edifice strong.
It was a pity the Lady of Steel ended up falling in an enemy’s ploy.
A decade ago, Vicious Pill King had three overseers under his control. They betrayed the House and called out for help. Chu Bijun went to their rescue, only to fall into their trap.
Heavily wounded and poisoned by the Rainbow Cloud Palm, she still managed to escape their encirclement.
They always thought Pill King Hall was behind this but now they knew it was Regent Estate all along.
Her state was very precarious on her return, with but one breath away from death. In this moment of impending demise, she made a bold and radical decision.
To make Chu Qingcheng the Edifice Lord, passing on the mantle to a mere 13-year-old girl, with Iris and Peony Overseers at her side. This decision earned disapproval among many overseers.
But they could only bear it in silence before the might of their Grandmother. In light of what happened, Chu Qingcheng’s most trusted allies were the Iris and Peony Overseers.
With time, people started to think Grandmother was dead, when in fact Aunt Tao, froze her on her last breath and had turned her into a living dead!
This ended the sorrowful history of Drifting Flowers Edifice.
Chu Qingcheng dabbed her eyes and recalled those times as she looked at Grandmother.
Aunt Tao was looking stern at Zhuo Fan, “Kid, did you get all of it?”
Zhuo Fan nodded, “Yes!”
“Good. Now, you will be the next one to pass it on! The Drifting Flowers Edifice will never die as long as someone remembers it!” She laughed and helped Zhuo up before he joined his and Chu Qingcheng’s delicate hands together.
“Just for a few days… take care!”
Aunt Tao walked towards the cave wall and entered contemplation.
Zhuo Fan was about to ask for clarification when Chu Qingcheng pulled him before the Grandmother. She bowed again and left without turning around.
With a rumble, the stone door closed and the array started again.
“Sister Chuchu, what is going on?” Zhuo Fan asked puzzled. He didn’t understand why Chu Qingcheng prevented him from speaking and brought him to listen to their history.
Chu Qingcheng shook her head and showed a rare but warm smile, “From now on, call me just Chuchu, or Qingcheng!”
Zhuo Fan blinked. He was clueless to what Chuchu meant, but her gaze evoked something foreign in his heart.
Chu Qingcheng pulled his hand as she continued, “You are now one of us. Come, I will take you to see the members of my family.”
Spectre: Did Zhuo Fan just go and marry himself off just like that?