Tl’s note: I just realized that in the past few chapters I have referred to Mu Tianxin as Meng Tianxin so from here onwards I’m gonna start writing her name as Mu Tianxin
The external cultivators have always referred to the seven direct disciples of the seven peaks of Taihua Mountain as the “Seven Children of Taihua”, and this name has a history.
These seven people are the most outstanding among the disciples of Taihua Mountain. Except for the junior sister Mu Tianxin, who specializes in alchemy and is slightly inferior in cultivation, the other six are the first to form their Golden Core among nearly a hundred disciples of Taihua Mountain, and they always rank high in the sect’s major competitions.
Age is irrelevant to cultivators, and before Luo Jianqing formed his Golden Core, he was actually a junior disciple. However, there is a rule in Taihua Mountain that forming one’s Golden Core means “being able to travel around the world without tarnishing the name of Taihua Mountain”, so among the direct disciples, whoever forms their Golden Core first becomes the eldest disciple.
Although Zuo Yunmo is older than Luo Jianqing by more than one round, he can only be ranked second because he formed his Golden Core one year later than Luo Jianqing.
After rebirth, Luo Jianqing saw Zuo Yunmo for the first time.
This second senior brother of his, like the third senior sister Wei Qiongyin, is a cultivation fanatic. Apart from dealing with matters related to the Cangshuang Peak, Zuo Yunmo would rather lock himself inside the mountain gate and cultivate for a lifetime.
Among the Seven Children of Taihua, Zuo Yunmo has the most ordinary aptitude. Eldest Senior Brother Luo Jianqing has an unparalleled superior aptitude, while the other senior brothers and sisters are all the top-quality among the first-class. Only Zuo Yunmo can be counted as the upper-quality among the first-class. However, this does not mean that Zuo Yunmo’s strength is low.
In the past major competitions of the sect, Luo Jianqing’s only opponent was Zuo Yunmo.
After half a year of seclusion, when he heard Zuo Yunmo’s voice, Luo Jianqing came down from the mountain without even changing his clothes. Seeing his hurried appearance, Zuo Yunmo smiled slightly, reached out to tidy up his clothes, and said, “Senior Brother, you’re so old, why are you still so restless like a child?”
The tone was full of helplessness and indulgence, and the voice was as gentle as a spring breeze.
Suddenly, the other party pressed him down, and Luo Jianqing had no choice but to say, “As your senior brother now, can you give me some face, junior brother?”
Zuo Yunmo showed a look of surprise on his delicate face, and then pretended to be sad and said, “Do you remember when we were young, junior brother, you used to take me around Taihua Mountain to play. At that time, you liked sitting on my shoulders the most and letting me take you through the clouds and mist. It’s only been more than 30 years, and senior brother has forgotten?”
Feeling ashamed, Luo Jianqing quickly changed the subject and asked about the details of the sect’s competition.
Half a year had already passed since he went into seclusion, and a few days ago, Luo Jianqing had asked Xuan Lingzi for permission to leave seclusion. Xuan Lingzi did not object, but only coldly reminded him not to embarrass YuXiao Peak before continuing his own seclusion cultivation.
At this moment, Luo Jianqing and Zuo Yunmo were flying towards Cangshuang Peak where the head of Taihua Mountain was located.
Although he was the senior brother, Zuo Yunmo was more skilled and experienced in handling sect affairs. He explained the details of the sect competition in a clear and organized manner, reminding Luo Jianqing of important matters but still speaking respectfully, without trying to take the position of the senior brother.
Luo Jianqing nodded and listened, but his gaze couldn’t help but glance at Zuo Yunmo’s face.
In his previous life, on the cliff where he was buried, Li Xiuchen had accused him of harming his fellow disciples with a righteous tone.
Although he had fallen into the demonic path, it was absolutely impossible for Luo Jianqing to harm his fellow disciples. However, at that time, the whole world believed that Luo Jianqing had killed his two junior brothers, and even his master Xuan Lingzi did not speak up for him.
Because the evidence was too conclusive.
After being expelled from Taihua Mountain, Luo Jianqing soon fell into the demonic path. Taihua Mountain’s head, Sect Leader Hao Xingzi, issued the Taihua Order, which declared this unscrupulous traitor wanted throughout the world, and Luo Jianqing spent a very difficult time. Three years after the Taihua Order was issued, two people found him, Zuo Yunmo and his sixth junior brother, Xiu Hen.
The three of them had a big battle in the far north. Even though Luo Jianqing was extremely talented, he was exhausted from fleeing and was defeated by his two junior brothers. At that time, Xiu Hen stepped forward and said with sorrow and indignation, “Big Brother, come with us. I will definitely demand justice from our sect leader, I believe you are not that kind of person!”
However, Zuo Yunmo stopped Xiu Hen and then looked at Luo Jianqing.
Luo Jianqing remembered until his death that his elder junior brother, who was older than him by one round, looked at him with a complicated gaze at that time, with a burning gaze that seemed to see through his inappropriate thoughts for his master as disciple.
Zuo Yunmo loved to smile, but there was no smile on his face at that time.
Luo Jianqing was brought back to Yuxiao Peak by Xuan Lingzi when he was a baby. Xuan Lingzi was cold and did not know how to take care of children, so he let Zuo Yunmo, who was in his teens at the time, take care of Luo Jianqing. From the beginning of being clumsy to being considerate later on, the shadow of this gentle elder brother was always present in Luo Jianqing’s childhood.
Zuo Yunmo was not wrong. Luo Jianqing did enjoy playing with him when he was a child, until he gradually became distant from him when he began formal cultivation.
The person who understands Luo Jianqing the most in the world is not Xuan Lingzi, nor even Luo Jianqing himself, but Zuo Yunmo.
In the fierce winds of the extreme north, Zuo Yunmo stopped impulsive Sixth Junior Brother and faced the disheveled demon cultivator Luo Jianqing. In the end, he let out a heavy sigh and said, “You have become a demon cultivator, naturally at odds with our righteous path. Luo Jianqing, you cannot return to Mount Taihua anymore. Take care of yourself, your life is still long.”
Then Zuo Yunmo stopped Xiu Hen and let Luo Jianqing go.
Three days later, Luo Jianqing learned that his two junior brothers had died in the extreme north, and their bodies were not even found.
The world says that he, Luo Jianqing, took advantage of the brotherhood of his fellow disciples and caused their deaths. But they do not know that after learning of this news, Luo Jianqing himself almost collapsed, and even returned to the extreme north regardless of the danger. In the end, he did not find the bodies of the two, only a tassel on Zuo Yunmo’s sword.
The life lamp had already been extinguished, and these two people had indeed died, without a proper burial place.
In the previous life, in the end, Luo Jianqing was despised by his fellow disciples, except for the other six of the Taihua Seven Children who had no complaints against him.
Fifth Junior Brother, Huo Yuchong, treated him like a stranger but never insulted or hated him; Fourth Junior Brother, Xie Zizhuo, explained for Luo Jianqing repeatedly but was blocked by irrefutable evidence; Third Junior Sister, Wei Qiongyin, did not inquire about these matters but closed her door directly after Luo Jianqing was expelled from Mount Taihua. Luo Jianqing never heard from this senior sister until he died. The youngest junior sister was also grief-stricken but was stopped by her dual-cultivation partner, Li Xiuchen.
“This time, all four sects and other sects will send people to watch the sect competition. The master has ordered me and Fourth Junior Brother to organize the reception affairs, but as you know, Fourth Junior Brother has been fighting with Fifth Junior Brother for the past six months and may not have that much time. If possible, would Senior Brother be willing to help this Junior Brother?”
Upon hearing this, Luo Jianqing suddenly froze and woke up from a distant memory.
He turned his head to look at Zuo Yunmo, only to see the latter’s eyes slightly opened. Then, he raised his hand and brushed a strand of hair from Luo Jianqing’s forehead behind his ear, saying helplessly, “Senior Brother, has something happened recently? Why do you look so… ” He paused for a moment before smiling and saying, “Why do you look so sorrowful?”
Luo Jianqing quickly adjusted his expression and said, “It’s nothing. I was just lost in thought. I didn’t hear what you said earlier.”
Zuo Yunmo didn’t mind and repeated what he had said.
“Okay, since Fourth Junior Brother has something to deal with, let’s organize it together,” Luo Jianqing said.
Zuo Yunmo nodded with a smile.
Soon, the two of them arrived at the main hall square on the top of the Cangshuang Peak and walked towards the main hall together. Halfway through, Luo Jianqing couldn’t help but ask in a low voice, “Junior Brother, this tassel… seems a bit old. Why haven’t you changed it?”
A gust of wind blew by, drowning out Luo Jianqing’s words. Zuo Yunmo didn’t answer and seemed not to have heard.
However, as they were about to enter the main hall, Luo Jianqing heard Zuo Yunmo’s voice with a smile ringing in his ear, “Senior Brother, Junior Brother has always been sentimental.”
Luo Jianqing paused for a moment, but Zuo Yunmo had already entered the main hall.
After another quarter of an hour passed, the Taihua Seven Children had all gathered in the Lingyun Hall, waiting for the belated Hao Xingzi venerable.
Even in the Lingyun Hall, Fifth Junior Brother was still chasing Fourth Junior Brother and fighting with various magic weapons. He even released several fifth-ranked demonic beasts, looking like he was saying, ‘If I don’t skin you alive today, then this Laozi will be your grandson!’
Xie Zizhuo begged for mercy repeatedly, “Junior Brother! Junior Brother! That’s only a sixth-ranked demonic beast. I’m your senior martial brother, after all! Demonic beasts may be valuable, but senior martial brothers are even more precious!”
The red-haired Fifth Junior Brother, Huo Yuchong, spat and cursed, “Nonsense! Your whole body of demonic beasts is not worth a single strand of my hair! Who’s your junior brother? I’m your enemy!”
Xie Zizhuo cried and screamed in despair, “It’s been half a year, how long are you going to hold a grudge?”
Huo Yuchong sneered, “Until you catch me a mutated sixth-ranked demonic beast!!!”
It wasn’t until then that Luo Jianqing realized that the Sixth-Rank Demonic Beast that the Fifth Junior Brother had was actually dead, but he had never heard of the Fifth Junior Brother chasing the Fourth Junior Brother for half a year in his previous life.
He saw his junior martial sister pulling at his sleeve and whispering, “Senior Brother, it’s not easy to refine a third-grade elixir. I tried several times after refining it for you, but I couldn’t make Xie Zizhuo’s elixir successfully. Since that guy can’t use it anymore, you can have it. This is an elixir for saving spirit beasts. When you have tamed a spirit beast in the future, it can be used to save them.”
While Xie Zizhuo was running for his life, he angrily exclaimed, “Junior Martial Sister, those are the materials I got for you!”
Mu Tianxin chuckled and rolled her eyes, “Your materials are my materials. Do you think I’ll spit out what I’ve already put in my mouth? No way!”
Holding the hot charcoal-like material in his hand, Luo Jianqing was at a loss for words.
After fooling around for a while longer, they saw that the white-bearded and white-eyebrowed Sect Leader Hao Xingzi was about to arrive at the main hall. However, Xie Zizhuo was still messing around with Huo Yuchong. Frowning slightly, Luo Jianqing was just about to intervene when suddenly a flash of sword light appeared and Zuo Yunmo lifted both of them away with one hand each.
Looking at Luo Jianqing, who had just taken out the Shuang Fu Sword, Zuo Yunmo smiled and said, “No need to trouble Senior Brother, I’ll take care of these two and put them in the disciplinary door later.”
Luo Jianqing: “…”
Xie Zizhuo: “!!!”
Huo Yuchong: “Good! When we get in the disciplinary door, let’s see where you can run, you little brat!”
Laozi: Rer=ferring to oneself arrogantly