Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
In the quiet afternoon, the Immortal Du Sect’s smooth, thin mountain-protecting array formation covered the land.
A series of rhythmic blows echoed throughout the Little Qiong Peak—the mountain which was a great deal shorter than the rest.
In the forest five kilometers north of the three straw huts by the lake, a huge tree shook with every blow.
A young lady stood under the tree. She was dressed in her training attire, which was embroidered with orchids and grass. Her hair was tied up with purple silk. Currently, she was waving her big axe non-stop. Yet, she looked inexplicably graceful.
Through gritted teeth, this young woman spoke with ‘kind regards’.
“You won’t let me use Dharmic powers, what if my bulging muscles grow on my legs and arms?! I’m a female cultivator! Really… and you said you would watch me log. Where are you?! You’ve gone back to meditate! Hmph, stinky Senior Brother. I will uproot you, break your trunks and branches, cut off your roots and leave no inch of grass behind! Break!”
The old tree swayed back and forth slowly, before it finally tumbled to the ground, scaring all of the birds in the forest.
All of a sudden, she heard a voice from behind her.
“Are you… Little Ling’e?”
Lan Ling’e jumped up, holding her axe. Immediately, she became cautious. When she landed on the ground, she turned around and looked up at the person floating in the air. For some reason, she looked familiar.
The female immortal was seated cross-legged on a ten-feet-long wine gourd, and was dressed in a dirty-looking hemp garment. ‘D*mn, her hemp garment looks like it’s going to be torn apart at any moment. Oh, so it’s Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu!’
Lan Ling’e quickly set her axe down and cupped her hands in a Dao salute towards Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu. In the back of her mind, she recalled several model greetings that her senior brother had taught her. From among them, she chose the most appropriate one and gently said, “Your disciple Ling’e pays her greetings to Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu. Your disciple’s cultivation is low, and I did not welcome you fast enough. Please forgive me, Aunt-Master.”
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. Don’t stand on ceremony,” replied Jiu Jiu. Immediately, she developed a liking towards this martial niece standing underneath her, who was polite and courteous with her words.
Jiu Jiu kept her huge wine gourd and jumped down from the sky.
“Is your Senior Brother here? I am looking for him.”
“Senior Brother should be cultivating,” answered Lan Ling’e gently and submissively. “Aunt-Master, may I invite you to go in and wait, while I ask Master to come out of seclusion to welcome you? This humble house always falls short in showing hospitality. Aunt-Master, please forgive us.”
“Ai, don’t go to all that trouble. I came just to look for your Senior Brother. Your Master is about to ascend to immortality. Let him stay in seclusion, and don’t disturb him.”
Jiu Jiu waved her hand, and then turned around to survey her surroundings. “Little Ling’e, what are you logging for?”
“It’s a method of cultivation. Aunt-Master, I have embarrassed myself in front of you.”
Lan Ling’e’s reply came quickly and naturally. Yet, she felt confused inside.
‘What is this Martial Aunt looking for my Senior Brother for?’
Cultivators enjoyed long lifespans after ascending to immortality. There were also many cross-generational Dao couples in the sect.
The martial aunt standing in front of Lan Ling’e had a beautiful face and a full figure. Although she looked unkempt, she was naturally pretty, and had great potential as well.
‘More importantly, Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu went on an expedition with Senior Brother before… Something’s fishy!’
Lan Ling’e immediately became wary. The cogs in her mind spun, as she thought of a way to find out why Jiu Jiu was here.
However, before she could speak, several waves appeared in the ground a short distance from her. Li Changshou’s figure slowly emerged. Then, he cupped his hands and bowed to Jiu Jiu.
Shortly after, Jiu Jiu and Li Changshou were seated cross-legged at either side of the short table in Li Changshou’s straw hut.
Jiu Jiu had come to give Li Changshou his reward for this Priming Meet. At the same time, she brought Jiang Jingshan’s thank-you gift to Li Changshou. Two storage Dharma treasures sat on the sort table.
Li Changshou did not stand on ceremony and accepted them both.
In the storage ring that Uncle-Master Jiang gave to him, Li Changshou saw a hill of Dharma treasures and spirit stones. His heart filled with appreciation.
As he surveyed the Little Qiong Peak’s earth meridians earlier, Li Changshou worried about the resources he would need to build the various array formations. However, after receiving Uncle-Master Jiang’s gift, half of his problems were solved.
Li Changshou asked, “Aunt-Master, why didn’t you go to the South Continent?”
“Ai!” Jiu Jiu sighed. Listlessly, she slumped on the table. Her eyes looked dull. “I wanted to go and play around, but when I got back to the mountain, they questioned and reprimanded me until now. I just came out from the Punishment Hall. I’m worrying now. The elders have punished me with an alcohol ban lasting three years. Ah, they might as well tie me to the Lightning-Conducting Pillar to be struck for three years…”
Li Changshou could not help but smile. It was only then that he realized Jiu Jiu’s little Dharma wine gourd was gone. The elders of the sect must have taken it away.
Just then, Lan Ling’e entered the house carrying tea. When she saw this scene, she pursed her lips.
‘They look so casual. This Martial Aunt gets along so well with Senior Brother. There is something wrong with her indeed.’
Lan Ling’e served the tea, and then carried her own meditation cushion to her senior brother’s side. She knelt down and sat on her feet obediently, and even intentionally placed her arm on her senior brother.
Jiu Jiu saw this and stared at Li Changshou. “Eh? Changshou, your condition?”
“Nothing happens when Junior Sister touches me. I think it’s because we have known each other for a long time,” replied Li Changshou calmly. “When females other than Junior Sister touch me, I will start to convulse.”
“Cough! Cough, cough!”
Lan Ling’e began coughing uncontrollably. Her pained expression could probably be attributed to her efforts to try and keep in her laughter.
“Oh, I see.”
Jiu Jiu did not become suspicious. She remained slumped on the table as she sighed listlessly. Both her eyes were still devoid of light.
“Three years. How can I endure three years? How can I go into seclusion without wine? How can I cultivate? I won’t even be able to sleep. I will have no energy to do anything. This rascal, Yuan Qing. Why did he have to set all of these up? He could have just gotten himself into trouble. Now, I have to endure three years of punishment as well.”
Li Changshou frowned and pondered deeply as he rubbed his chin and sighed.
When Lan Ling’e saw this expression on her senior brother’s face, she instinctively moved aside and sat upright. She looked steadily forward, not daring to say a single word.
Lan Ling’e stole a glance at the angle at which Li Changshou’s eyebrows were tilted downward. Then, she confirmed that her senior brother was going to play a trick on someone!
Every time her senior brother made that expression, either she or her master would be used in his plan!
“Aunt-Master Jiu, why don’t we negotiate something?”
“Huh? Negotiate what?” asked Jiu Jiu wearily.
“For the three years that Aunt-Master is not allowed to drink wine, if you’re unable to cultivate, why not come and build array formations together with your disciple?” Li Changshou’s expression was serious as he continued, “As thanks for your help, your disciple will help Aunt-Master brew three premium kinds of wine that have already ceased to exist. Three years later, Aunt-Master can enjoy them. What’s more, you will get a drink that can replace wine.”
“Premium wine that has ceased to exist? A drink that can replace wine?”
Jiu Jiu immediately perked up and sat upright. “What is it? Are you trying to bluff me into doing work for you for free? Let’s make this clear, I’m not good at array formations.”
“Aunt-Master, you will only need to use your immortal powers to stabilize the base of the array formation and suppress the spiritual powers,” replied Li Changshou as he smiled calmly. Then, he asked, “Aunt-Master, do you like to drink wine or the taste of wine? Do you like the taste of wine or the feeling you get when you drink too much?”
“Er…” Jiu Jiu said softly, “Both. I joined the sect when I was three years old. Coincidentally, my Fifth Senior Brother, who was put in charge of taking care of me, loved drinking wine. Once, he accidentally threw me in a wine vat to be bathed. Since then, I could not get my hands off of this stuff. If you really want to know, the taste of the wine is important to me, but so is the floating feeling I get when I drink enough of it.”
“Aunt-Master, please look at this.”
Li Changshou pointed to the tea cup in front of him. From inside his sleeve, he pulled out a small, jade pot. He opened the jade pot and put a drop of light-green liquid into the tea cup.
A moment later, a fragrant smell floated across the room. The drink in the tea cup turned green.
Li Changshou smiled and said, “Try it, Aunt-Master. See if you get the same floating feeling.”
“Oh?” Jiu Jiu blinked, picked up the tea cup, and smelled the drink out of habit. She could only smell a light fragrance. Then, she lowered her head and took a sip. At once, her eyes lit up.
She raised her hand and downed the rest of the drink at one go.
Jiu Jiu’s face slowly flushed red. A distant look appeared in her eyes, and she grinned helplessly.
“Good stuff… good job…”
The tea cup dropped onto the table as Jiu Jiu slowly lay back down. She slowly adjusted herself on the ground, and then started giggling. Then she said, “Seventh Senior Brother, you’re not ashamed? You stick to Sixth Senior Sister all day. Even after cultivating together for so many years, you haven’t gotten a child!
“You’re all getting into pairs one by one. Am I destined to be alone just because I’m ninth? Hmph, once I become a Heaven Immortal, I’m going to find a few beautiful men to serve and massage me every day…
“Little Changshou… don’t you ever, ever, ever look down on your Master. Your Master was so formidable back then…”
Slowly, Jiu Jiu began to snore. She hugged her futon and lay down on the ground, fast asleep.
Lan Ling’e asked curiously, “Senior Brother, what is this?”
“Drunken Immortal,” replied Li Changshou using voice transmission. “Not only is this meant to be an incapacitating agent, but it is also a good wine. However, it does not contain any alcohol. Apart from making one drunk, it has no other effect. I eliminated this at first.
“According to the ancient texts, long ago, immortals who loved drinking all tried this immortal brew. However, they became extremely addicted to alcohol and downed these in one go.
“These are made in the same way that wine is made. However, while immortal fruits and grains are used for making wine, 32 types of herbs are used to make Drunken Immortal.”
Lan Ling’e asked worriedly, “Can you really make three types of these?”
Li Changshou smiled and nodded. He glanced at Jiu Jiu, who was in deep sleep, and thought about the Pill Chamber that he would obtain soon. Then, he sent another voice transmission to Lan Ling’e. “Don’t talk about three types, I can even make 13 types. If I have the help of a Perfected Immortal, a lot of things that I previously thought would be impossible would now be attainable. Once the Pill Chamber is complete, it would be safer and more secure.”
“Alright,” replied Lan Ling’e, pouting. As she looked at her martial aunt, who looked exceptionally loveable while she was sleeping, Lan Ling’e could not help but feel threatened.
Thus, two years later…
Someone kicked open the wooden door of Li Changshou’s straw hut. Jiu Jiu, dressed in a hemp garment, rushed into the house agitatedly.
“Quick! This month’s Drunken Immortal and Beauty’s Charm…
“You’re not in?
“Aiya, why are you refining pills again?! I should just tie you to the medicine furnace!”
Jiu Jiu stomped her foot and cursed under her breath. Then, she hurriedly turned around and jumped into the air, wanting to head towards the dense forest behind the straw hut.
Yet, she suddenly stopped herself. She tilted her head and stared at the deep forest in front of her, as she felt the faint movement of spiritual energy. Black lines appeared on her forehead as memories of being pathetically trapped inside more than ten times over the past six months surfaced in her mind.
If she did not already know what lay in front of her, she would not have been able to tell that there were more than 28 bright arrays and 76 dark arrays inside. In addition, there were trapping arrays and mazes, which were all linked!
“Where is the Life Gate? Did I really help to build this place?
“Is it here? That doesn’t seem right.
“Is it here?
“Ahya! These array formations are so irritating!
“Li Changshou, get out here! Otherwise, I’ll tear your entire house down!”
A gentle breeze blew past the forest. Several trees swayed, as the flow of spiritual energy in the forest sped up.
Li Changshou’s hoarse voice could be heard in the wind. “The array formation has been undone. Your disciple is looking after the furnace. It’s not convenient for me to come out and welcome you.”
Jiu Jiu blinked and carefully advanced 100 feet. Once she made sure she was safe, Jiu Jiu charged towards the center of the forest furiously.
There, a small, elegant structure stood quietly. Clear air drifted out of it, carrying a fresh fragrance throughout the forest.