The place that Song Ci spoke of was the mountain behind Mo Yao, where demons were held captive.
Unfortunately, neither of them knew the way there, so they had to put their plans on hold and head back to sleep.
It was only after returning that Song Ci realized Wen Changchu had yet to return. He could not help worrying: please don’t stir up trouble!
Rong Bai was unconcerned. After casting the lantern aside, he took his boots off and climbed into bed. Without even covering himself with the quilt, he closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Rong Bai’s breathing was steady by the time Song Ci had quietly taken off his clothes. He looked as if he had already fallen asleep.
Although it was spring, the night was still a little chilly. Rong Bai was likely to fall ill the next morning if he slept without a quilt the whole night. After thinking about it, Song Ci decided to be nosy and tuck him in.
But Rong Bai was sleeping on his own quilt and would definitely be jolted awake if Song Ci pulled it out from under him.
Lu Shaoqing had warned him never to disturb Rong Bai’s sleep unless there was an absolute need. Otherwise, Rong Bai would fly into a rage and butcher anyone he saw, regardless of friend or foe.
Song Ci shivered and quietly pulled his quilt over Rong Bai. To cover himself with the quilt too, he slowly wormed his way over, taking up half of Rong Bai’s bed.
The instant the quilt touched Rong Bai, his breathing lightened and his long, dense eyelashes gave a slight quiver as he partially opened his indifferent eyes.
On seeing that, Song Ci panicked and hurriedly closed his eyes and pretended to sleep with half his face buried under the quilt.
Rong Bai cast him a look and said nothing as he turned his head slightly to the side to continue sleeping.
Song Ci waited for a while, but Rong Bai did not erupt with anger. It seemed that Lu Shaoqing’s words were not entirely right. Master Rong was not as temperamental as he had suggested, killing people at every turn. After getting along with him for several days, Song Ci felt that Master Rong was actually good-tempered and could even be considered gentle.
At least, for the time being.
Song Ci was relieved and continued to mull it over for a moment. But he was tired after half a night of torment and gradually fell asleep.
Song Ci slept until the deafening bell rang and pulled him out from his dream. When he opened his eyes, most of the people in the room had already woken up. Even Rong Bai was all dressed and ready.
Song Ci gave a big yawn and rose from the bed to put on the clothes he had received yesterday. Then he went to the courtyard to wash his face and gargle his mouth with water, after which he tied his hair up with a piece of hair ribbon. With a little tidying up, he looked spirited.
Right after he was done, they were shepherded to the morning class. Song Ci walked beside Rong Bai and followed the big squad to the morning class hall.
The sun had just raised its head, and the early morning breeze was cool. Numerous newly recruited disciples gathered at the front of the entrance to the morning class hall. Under the smiling gaze of Zhu Yishu, no one dared to speak casually and simply stood quietly.
Wen Changchu was an exception. The moment he saw Song Ci, he waved to him and leaped even more joyfully than rabbits.
Song Ci and Rong Bai walked over to him. As soon as they reached him, Wen Changchu said, “Why are you only here now? I’ve been here for half an hour!”
“Who told you to come so early?” Song Ci retorted. “All of us came only after hearing the bell.”
“Let’s not talk about it.” Wen Changchu wanted to cry. “Before I could figure out who was in the room last night, I was caught red-handed by Zhu Yishu.”
“Oh, Zhu shizhang is gentle by nature. He shouldn’t have reprimanded you, right?” Song Ci wondered why this pair of master and disciple both liked to roam outside in the middle of the night. But Wen Changchu was still more fortunate than him. At least Zhu Yishu would not silence him.
“He didn’t scold me, but he made me copy Mo Yao Sect’s regulations for an hour. My tired hands are about to break…” Wen Changchu said miserably. “I haven’t even slept for long when he woke me up. When I came here, there was no one around at all.”
“Then, you are worse off than me.” Song Ci conceded defeat.
Wen Changchu lowered his voice and said bitterly, “Once I get out of here, I will burn down the regulations of this lousy sect!”
Rong Bai said indifferently, “He heard it.”
Rong Bai did not clearly indicate who this “he” was, but Wen Changchu was still frightened into immediate silence. He looked back at Zhu Yishu, only feeling relieved when he saw that there was no change in Zhu Yishu’s expression; Zhu Yishu was not even looking this way. Wen Changchu ceased his babbling and behaved himself.
Song Ci snickered, then pursed his lips and stopped looking around.
The contents of the morning class were boring. First, Zhu Yishu briefly introduced the three Schools of Mo Yao and the schoolmasters.
Zhu Yishu’s shifu, Dai Yanxing, was the master of the School of Ping Luan. To put it bluntly, it was the disciples from Ping Luan who would be assigned to suppress any evil or chaos wherever it might arise. They were the pillars of Mo Yao when it came to combat ability.
The remaining schools were Shou An and Jing Si. The schoolmaster of Shou An was Wang Jie. Their main tasks were to resolve any residual problems after the School of Ping Luan had done their jobs. This included troublesome but not dangerous matters such as compensating for any losses and public relations.
Jing Si, which was under the charge of Du Hanyan, was even simpler. They were responsible for the sect’s financial and internal affairs. Any reports of demons from the common folks would have to be screened by Jing Si and assigned grades before it would be handed over to the School of Ping Luan.
After the introduction, Zhu Yishu started to explain Mo Yao Sect’s regulations.
There were quite a number of sect regulations. Zhu Yishu only went through those that were more important and directed the youths to their books for the remaining rules. One of the most important rules he emphasized was that they should never step into the forbidden area at the back of the mountain. Any trespassers will be directly expelled from Mo Yao.
Zhu Yishu’s tone was mild, and he spoke slowly. There was nothing harsh about his words. However, the mention of expulsion from Mo Yao still made many people so nervous that they saw the back mountain as a bottomless abyss of no return.
After Zhu Yishu had briefly explained the sect rules, he informed the youths that he would take them to meet a powerful figure in Mo Yao.
The youths were excited on hearing this, and there was a constant buzz of discussion. Song Ci could not understand even after listening to them for a while, so he asked Rong Bai, “Who are we going to meet?”
“Perhaps the one from Mo Yao who has ascended into immortality.” Rong Bai answered softly.
“So there’s really an ascended immortal from Mo Yao!” Song Ci was astonished. He had initially thought those people outside had intentionally mentioned it to bolster Mo Yao’s reputation.
Rong Bai nodded. “Just the one.”
Then he should really widen his knowledge.
Song Ci and the others followed Zhu Yishu along a path until they reached a hall.
The entrance of this hall differed from the others. The roof was bright yellow, a color that was a symbol of nobility – the imperial clan. The plaque read: Feng Shen Hall.
The doors of the hall were wide open, and they could see the massive statue with just one look into the hall. Song Ci wondered if this was the place he had fled to last night to hide from Dan Yanxing.
The hall was much brighter in the daytime than at night. When the youths came before the hall, they quietened down and stepped in slowly with reverent expressions. They could only see the entire statue after entering the hall.
Song Ci stared at the statue, looking it up and down several times. He actually found it inconceivable, because the face of the statue seemed familiar to him.
Then, what truly struck him as incredible was when Zhu Yishu stood beside the foot of the statue and declared to the crowd, “This is the immortal who ascended from Mo Yao. His esteemed name is Wen Chan.”