Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Zhou Donghuang did not continue practicing for the whole of the next day.
He helped Lin Lan and Granny Lian move all the valuable goods from the treasure vault of the Magnolia Guild to the mansion in the compound behind Yunxuan Restaurant. A group of guards and servant girls would be responsible for moving the rest of the goods.
As night fell, the Magnolia Guild was empty, and Zhou Donghuang kept Lin Lan company at the main entrance of the Magnolia Guild. They stood there for a long time.
“Mother, if the old does not go, the new cannot come,” Zhou Donghuang advised.
“Even so… the Magnolia Guild has existed for over ten years,” Lin Lan sighed.
Was ten years’ toil of blood and sweat really going to be irrevocably lost?
“The old Magnolia Guild has fallen… why can’t a new Magnolia Guild be started?” Zhou Donghuang countered.
“A new Magnolia Guild?” Lin Lan turned, looking at Zhou Donghuang with sparkling eyes. “Donghuang, you mean… establishing a new Magnolia Guild?”
“Only if you are willing… Yunxuan Restaurant will forever be behind you,” Zhou Donghuang said with a slight smile.
He had thought things through over the past two days, such as letting his mother establish a new Magnolia Guild with the financial support of Yunxuan Restaurant if she could not let go of the Magnolia Guild and it would be able to match the old Magnolia Guild as well.
“Donghuang,” Lin Lan smiled bitterly, “Establishing a guild is not so easy… the preeminent families of the prefecture capital will not allow an ordinary person to establish a guild that will compete with the guilds under their control. If I establish a new Magnolia Guild, neither the Hong family nor Lin family of the prefecture capital will allow it, because Qingshan Town is the territory of the guilds under their control. Even more so for your Yunxuan Restaurant, if not for Elder Zhao San’s reputation, there would be many people who would attempt a takeover.”
At this, Lin Lan’s expression became solemn again.
The Wang family coming the previous day to seek revenge had allowed her to guess some truths. Zhao San would not be concerned with what happened to her son, Zhou Donghuang. Zhao San might very well have given her son Zhou Donghuang Yunxuan Restaurant purely to discharge a moral obligation.
In the days that followed, the change of ownership of Yunxuan Restaurant would reach the prefecture capital, and surely many people would go to the Governor’s Household seeking Zhao San’s comments.
If Zhao San showed that he was not concerned about the ownership of Yunxuan Restaurant, it would result in many people coming to Qingshan Town to fight for the ownership of Yunxuan Restaurant.
“Donghuang, tell meyour mother honestly… what is your connection to Zhao San? If someone comes to seize Yunxuan Restaurant, will he help you?” Lin Lan asked Zhou Donghuang solemnly.
“Mother, I am able to protect what is mine,” Zhou Donghuang smiled nonchalantly.
To Lin Lan, his words carried a different meaning: Zhao San would not help.
Immediately, Lin Lan began worrying. Her only thoughts were of how to help Zhou Donghuang protect Yunxuan Restaurant, and she no longer thought about establishing a new Magnolia Guild.
“Donghuang, I”m tired… let’s go back.”
At Lin Lan’s wish, Zhou Donghuang and Lin Lan left the Magnolia Guild and returned to Yunxuan Restaurant.
Yunxuan Restaurant occupied a large piece of land, but only the area in front was open to the public; the area in the back was a compound and mansion that was not open to the public.
This was where Zhao San used to stay.
Compared with the Magnolia Guild, the environment here was even better, and the smiles on the faces of the guards and servant girls who had come here were even brighter than before.
When they got back, Granny Lian had already finished supervising the guards and servant girls in arranging everything.
The spacious room that Zhao San had stayed in was now Zhou Donghuang’s room.
That Zhao San really knew how to enjoy life.
A partition divided that spacious room into two areas: in one area was the bed, and in the other was a table with paper and a brush; it was evidently where Zhao San usually did his writing.
Besides that, the walls of the room were decorated with several scrolls of calligraphy and paintings, the brush strokes forceful and sure, with the signature “Zhao San” on all of them.
The writing is not bad… pity that it lacks character.
Zhou Donghuang stood before the table, and with sudden inspiration, picked up the brush, dabbed it in ink, and wrote out twelve words on the white paper spread out on the table: If anyone dares to provoke me, I will teach him a lesson!
These twelve words were more forceful than the words Zhao San had written, and more importantly, they carried a sense of majesty.
Finally, with a casual sweep of his hand, Zhou Donghuang left his signature on the paper with a flourish.
A work of calligraphy far superior to what Zhao San had written was born.
However, Zhou Donghuang did not hang it up but left it lying carelessly on the table instead. He walked around the partition and went to his bed to continue practicing.
Zhou Donghuang practiced continuously until the second day and only awoke when the guild master of the Sunset Guild Hong Yue came calling. He had sent over all the herbs that Zhou Donghuang wanted.
With the herbs he required, Zhou Donghuang formulated a qi-gathering elixir that would increase his sensitivity to qi by 30%.
When Lin Lan tried the qi-gathering elixir after it was ready, she could not help being shocked beyond words.
“Mother, expend all the qi in your body now and start practicing all over again,” Zhou Donghuang said to Lin Lan with a sincere expression. “I have a style of practicing that is even more suitable for you, and if you practice this technique, your future will be limitless.”
“I”m agingmy years, how can my future be limitless?”
Lin Lan shook her head, thinking that Zhou Donghuang was merely comforting her. “However, if you feel it is beneficial, I have no objection to expending all my qi and starting all over again.”
Finally, Lin Lan expended all her qi right then in front of Zhou Donghuang, intending to start practicing from scratch with the technique that Zhou Donghuang gave her.
She had absolutely no regrets from the beginning until the end, trusting Zhou Donghuang unconditionally.
The technique that Zhou Donghuang gave Lin Lan was not the Way of the Four Supremes, neither was it the Way of the Thousand Star Sword, Fiery Thunder Training Regimen, or Manual of Unruffled Sage, but a technique called “Everlasting Youth.”
This technique was one of the supreme techniques in the universe, but its focus was not on combat, but on lengthening one’s life.
The longer one practiced this technique, the longer one’s life would be. Moreover, the rate of practice was not that slow. The most important thing was that it was extremely accessible to people with average potential.
In the course of practicing the Technique of Everlasting Youth, it would exert a subtle influence on the practitioner, increasing his potential.
“Mother, this Technique of Everlasting Youth is the most suitable technique for you that I can think of. Practice it well, and in time, you will feel how wonderful it is.”
Zhou Donghuang wrote down the Technique of Everlasting Youth, and after instructing Lin Lan to memorize the contents before burning it, he left behind ten bottles of the qi-gathering elixir that increased sensitivity to qi by 30% for Lin Lan. Only then did he leave.
The technique he gave Lin Lan might not be the best, but it was the most suitable for her.
The next thing I should do is to use the new qi-gathering elixir that I formulated to attain level-one of Qi-gathering as quickly as I can.
Zhou Donghuang devoted his full concentration to practicing once he returned from seeing Lin Lan.
Zhou Donghuang spent the twenty-second day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era practicing as it passed slowly.
This whole time, the mad cultist did not appear.
Zhou Donghuang had avoided being brought away from Ziyun and to Earth by the Mad Cultist and had smoothly revised the course of history.
The afternoon of the twenty-third day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era.
“Young Master, Chief Steward Fu says… there is a guest having lunch in the heavenly dining booth of Yunxuan Restaurant, and he claims to be from the Li family of the prefecture capital and insists on seeing you personally.”
Granny Lian’s voice was carried into the room, causing Zhou Donghuang to pause his practice.
“The Li family of the prefecture capital?” Zhou Donghuang’s eyes narrowed slightly with a cold gleam. “It seems to be the clan-brother from the Li family of the prefecture capital that Li Xian mentioned.”
When Zhou Donghuang entered the heavenly dining booth of Yunxuan Restaurant, a slim and strong-looking middle-aged man dressed in blue was busy devouring the delicacies on the table.
“You’re looking for me?” Zhou Donghuang asked, nonchalantly sweeping his gaze over him as he pushed the door open and entered.
“You are the new owner of Yunxuan Restaurant, Zhou Donghuang?”
The middle-aged man merely glanced up with an indifferent look at Zhou Donghuang, before returning his attention to the delicacies on the table. He spoke with a commanding tone as he ate, “Where is Li Xian? Let him come and see me.”
“Li Xian?” Zhou Donghuang smiled calmly. “I’m afraid you will not be able to see him.”
“What do you mean?”
The middle-aged man finally stopped eating, and his gaze fell on Zhou Donghuang like lightning, his expression darkening slightly.
“I don’t mean anything by it. I just want to tell you… if you want to see him, I’m afraid you’ll have to pass the gates of hell.”
“You… you killed him?!”
The middle-aged man’s expression changed, and he shook his head. “I almost forgot, you are only a martial invalid… you instructed someone to kill him?”
“What if I told you… that I killed him with one stomp, would you believe that?” Zhou Donghuang asked, smiling.
“You?” The middle-aged man laughed derisively. “Although Li Xian was not particularly talented in the Martial Way, he was still a level-one adept of Qi-gathering… as a martial invalid, how could you kill him?”
“I see you have just arrived in Qingshan Town.”
Hearing the middle-aged man’s words, Zhou Donghuang knew for sure that he had just arrived in Qingshan Town. Otherwise, he would definitely have heard the news that Zhou Donghuang had killed Wang Yukun, a level-two adept of Qi-gathering.
These few days, the topic of conversations in Qingshan Town had been centered almost entirely on how he had killed Wang Yukun.
“Never mind, why are you looking for me?” Zhou Donghuang said impatiently. “If it’s nothing important, I’m eager to resume practicing.”
“You are a martial invalid, what are you practicing?” The middle-aged man smiled coldly. “Zhou Donghuang, since you are already here… I will be straightforward. This Yunxuan Restaurant has caught the attention of the second young master of the Li family of the prefecture capital, and he sent me here in Qingshan Town to purchase it over from you.”
The middle-aged man stated his motives succinctly.
Several days ago, he had received a letter from Li Xian and had sought out immediately the second young master of the Li family of the prefecture capital whom he served.
He knew that a business such as Yunxuan Restaurant was beyond his ability to handle.
Moreover, if he made a gift of it to the second young master, not only would he have earned merit but would also surely gain substantial practical benefits.
“Purchase Yunxuan Restaurant?” Zhou Donghuang fixed a searching look on the middle-aged man and asked indifferently, “In that case… how much is your second young master of the Li family of the prefecture capital willing to spend on Yunxuan Restaurant?”
“A thousand liang of silver.”
The middle-aged man’s gaze was like lightning as he stared at Zhou Donghuang.