Nan Huai Ren was only envious, he did not want to become a victim of the Revolving Crescent Sun Merit Law. Everyone knew that cultivating this method would result in a trap, set up by its effect that was impossible to get out of, becoming a piece of trash in the end.
Seeing Nan Huai Ren’s expression, Li Qi Ye only smiled and didn’t say anything else.
The next day, Li Qi Ye woke up early, as usual, to cultivate. However, when he opened the door, he was startled because there was a man standing quietly outside.
It was an old man, around the age of fifty to sixty. He was wearing a robe made out of vines, his face was lean without any facial hair, but his eyes were extremely alive. Although he was old, his back was straight and his spirit was high.
“Senior, good morning!”
The old man respectfully clapped his hands when he saw Li Qi Ye.
Li Qi Ye didn’t know what to say. He was always calm and collective while looking at life, but he was at a loss with the current event. If the boy Nan Huai Ren called him “senior,” it would be acceptable; however, this was an old man, around fifty to sixty years old, respectfully calling a thirteen year old boy like him, “senior”; such a strange thing.
Li Qi Ye regathered his wit and said:
“Elder, you must be mistaken, I am not your senior.”
The old man looked around, and turned his gaze back to Li Qi Ye and asked:
“This place is the Prime Disciple’s peak?”
Li Qi Ye truthfully answered. If this old man didn’t have such a good spirit, he would think this was an encounter with a mentally ill patient.
“You are the Prime Disciple of our Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, correct?”
Li Qi Ye obediently answered honestly again:
“Yes, I am Li Qi Ye.”
The old man smiled and formally bowed his head, then said:
“Then it is correct. This is your peak and you are the Prime Disciple, which means that you are my senior.”
Li Qi Ye suddenly became silent, he was certain that the old man didn’t have the wrong person. But in the end, to have such an old man calling him senior felt very strange and uncomfortable.
“Sorry, sorry, I’m late!”
At this time, Nan Huai Ren breathlessly rushed in from the outside, and smiled.
When Nan Huai Ren arrived, he saw Li Qi Ye and the old man standing still in front of the door. He coughed awkwardly, then did their introductions:
“Big brother, this is second brother. Second brother, this is…”
“I know, he is big brother!”
Before Nan Huai Ren could finish, the old man interrupted him and earnestly replied.
“Uh, nice to meet you, second younger brother!”
Li Qi Ye hesitantly gave out a courteous response.
The old man nodded, revealing a very nice smile, and said:
-Senior, this younger brother’s name is Tu Bu Yu. I am also the second disciple of the Sect Master. Since you are the Prime Disciple, you are the eldest brother of all of our third generation disciples.
Seeing his kind smile, Li Qi Ye’s head was shaking. He wanted to yell: Uncle, I am only thirteen years old and you are fifty to sixty years old, please don’t play coy in front of me and call yourself “younger brother.”
Finally, Li Qi Ye invited Tu Bu Yu inside the house, then he dragged Nan Huai Ren to the side and asked:
“What is going on?”
Having a younger brother like this old man, Li Qi Ye was at a loss for words.
This time, it was Nan Huai Ren’s turn to not know how to answer. It took a while before he calmly responded:
“Brother, a couple of days ago, I already told you that second brother was coming back.”
Li Qi Ye, of course, knew about the second brother coming back because Nan Huai Ren had told him this, but he didn’t pay attention. He thought that the second disciple of Sect Master Su Yong Huang would be around thirty years old, at the most forty. But this younger brother in front of him was at least fifty years old. He was surprised and startled to have a younger brother this old.
“Brother, he is indeed Tu Bu Yu, the second disciple of the Sect Master.”
Nan Huai Ren said with confidence. The truth was, before, the Sect Master only had Tu Bu Yu as a disciple; Li Qi Ye had only recently went under the Sect Master’s wing.
Li Qi Ye contemplated for a moment. He had not met his master yet, but only this fifty year old second brother.
However, it was true that he was the Prime Disciple and with that status, all third generation disciples – despite their age – had to call him “big brother.”
“How many more older disciples do we have here at the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect?”
Li Qi Ye glanced at Nan Huai Ren and asked. Imagining a scene where a bunch of old men gathered around him and respectfully called him “big brother,” Li Qi Ye could not stand it.
“Only one person like that…”
Nan Huai Ren quietly laughed.
After hearing the response, Li Qi Ye sighed in relief and walked toward Tu Bu Yu:
“When did junior Tu come back? Did master come back with you?”
“Dear big brother, this young brother came back alone. I only…”
Tu Bu Yu said with a serious manner and an exposing kind smile.
Li Qi Ye immediately interrupted him, and said:
“Younger brother, you are sixty; please don’t be so courteous, you are shortening my life.”
“Dear big brother, I am only one thousand six hundred and seventy five years old this year.”
Tu Bu Yu, while keeping his amicable smile, seriously answered.
Li Qi Ye staggered, almost falling over after hearing the answer. Not only him, but even Nan Huai Ren couldn’t stand straight.
“Could, could you repeat that…”
Li Qi Ye was almost choked to death by his own saliva. A one thousand year old man called him big brother. Dear heaven, does one really need a younger brother this old?
“This young brother is one thousand six hundred and seventy five years old.”
Tu Bu Yu slowly repeated without changing his tone.
Li Qi Ye glared at Nan Huai Ren, and Nan Huai Ren could only innocently smile; he, himself, didn’t know that Tu Bu Yu was so old.
“Big brother, are you okay? Do you want this young brother to get you a cup of water…”
Seeing Li Qi Ye’s choking expression, Tu Bu Yu kindly offered.
Li Qi Ye recovered and broke Tu Bu Yu’s words mid-sentence:
“Grandpa, please stop calling yourself young brother, I’m getting goosebumps. First, I am only thirteen years old, you are above one thousand; you calling me big brother is only shortening my life. Second, this is the main point, why are you trying to be cute in front of me, calling yourself young brother? Are you implying that I am really old compared to my age? Do I look that old? Huai Ren, do I look that old?”
Li Qi Ye crazily spoke nonstop, Nan Huai Ren was smiling on the inside. This was the first time he had seen this senior unable to to hold onto his calm emotions.
However, under the killing glare of Li Qi Ye, Nan Huai Ren could only smile and pretend to look else where.
“If this is big brother’s command, this young brother… no, I will respectfully obey.”
Tu Bu Yu was receptive, with a smile on his face.
“Such a brilliant decision, young brother Tu.”
Li Qi Ye nodded his head approvingly.
Tu Bu Yu smilingly replied:
“When it comes to heavenly brilliance, I am not your equal.”
Tu Bu Yu’s words silenced Nan Huai Ren. He used to think that he was smooth and slick, good at reading other people’s mind, but this old man was even faster at flattering than he was. It seemed that Nan Huai Ren had met his match.
Li Qi Ye only smiled and certainly did not mind this. One could see that Tu Bu Yu was an interesting and wily person; a person living for one thousand years like him could call a thirteen year old boy “big brother” in their first meeting. This type of person, if he wasn’t an insidious mastermind, then he would be a person who could read the circumstances, knowing what to do in each situation.
Of course, no matter what type of person he was, he could not escape from the eyes of Li Qi Ye. He had seen many people; when it comes to reading people’s thoughts and characters, very few could hide their intentions and nature in front of him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to cultivate the invincible Min Ren.
Li Qi Ye and Tu Bu Yu only just casually talked for a little bit, then they said their goodbyes. In fact, Li Qi Ye didn’t really care for Tu Bu Yu’s purpose in coming back to the sect, so he didn’t bother asking; this wasn’t a big deal to him. Li Qi Ye only had one goal; that was to make himself powerful, rebuild the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, and kill anyone who tried to block his steps, leaving no survivors!
If the appearance of Tu Bu Yu yesterday was strange and funny for Li Qi Ye, then the news from Nan Huai Ren the next day was unexpected to him.
The next day, Nan Huai Ren and his master, Protector Mo, went up to the peak. They reported to Li Qi Ye, giving important news: Tomorrow, Li Shuang Yan, the princess of the Nine Saint Demon Gate, will be coming to the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect.
As the person in charge of the marriage between the two factions, Protector Mo was the first to be informed regarding Li Shuang Yan’s arrival by the Nine Saint Demon Gate.
“Coming is fine, it is best to come after thinking it through completely. But if not, it doesn’t really matter.”
Li Qi Ye was quite surprised. He thought that the Nine Saint Demon Gate would wait for eight or ten years, he didn’t expect that Li Shuang Yan would be coming in less than a year.
Of course, if the Nine Saint Demon Gate was to wait for ten years before making a move, then Li Qi Ye wouldn’t open his door for them. By then, his wings would have become full-fledged so there was no need for the Nine Saint Demon Gate to come. What he needed right now was a timely ally, not someone who would “embroider flowers on cotton cloths.” (TL: Basically giving help when it is no longer necessary, cottons was considered expensive/high class in the era where this phrase originated from.)
Protector Mo was too hesitant to personally ask Li Qi Ye, so he winked at Nan Huai Ren. Nan Huai Ren understood his master, and had to bite the bullet to ask:
“Senior, if princess Li actually wanted to stay at our Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, would you really let her be a sword maid?”