Previous Han De's pride was sky-high. He was the genius of the Han Family. He was the genius of the Starfall Mountain Sect. His cultivation progress was unparalleled even at a very young age. This was the reason why he chose to create his own martial arts method, rather than choose one from the archives.
'Hmph, I'll create my own sword art, and achieve enlightenment. It is only natural.'
Unfortunately, he didn't achieve enlightenment. But he did create a famous martial art. Still, it became a knot in his heart. He scoured the south-eastern side of the continent, gathered news from all around, just to find someone, anyone, that had gone through enlightenment. He would go to that person, defeat him, and wash off this embarrassment. Yet he couldn't find a single person.
'Hmph, if I can't do it, then it is only natural that no one else can!'
Current Han De that is hiding behind the door frame and watching his disciple in secret, naturally knew all about this.
'How long is she going to continue? It can't be super long right? It should take a day at most. The longest enlightenment record is 2 days. Even if she is an MC she is still in Qi Condensation, there should be a limit.'
'Only 2 days left on the quest, the conference should end and battlegrounds should start today. She's still going to need some rest after this. It's going to be close…'
Han De remembered what other Xianxia characters would do during someone's enlightenment. People close to that person would stay around them and be their dharma protectors.
'Right, I guess I should sit in a lotus position somewhere nearby and prevent anyone from getting close?'
Getting excited about doing something Xianxia-like, Han De chose to sit in the middle of the hallway. Unfortunately, his disciple's grunts were rather annoying for him to constantly hear in the background. So he stood up and left after 10 minutes.
'Why am I even sitting so close to her. This is my mansion. Who would dare to barge into my mansion? My father is the sect leader! It would be basically declaring war on the entire sect, or worse, on the Han family.'
He arrived at his favorite courtyard, the one with the absurdly expensive trees. He sensed a spiritual imprint trying to contact him, recognizing the imprint, he opened the connection.
<Greetings, Elder De.>
<You humble servant begs for your forgiveness. We have failed to kill Xiao Ping, last signs suggest that he might have entered the battlegrounds in disguise.>
Every time Han De spoke to Peng, he thought things were getting worse and worse. This guy was his jinx. He was deeply regretting ever contacting him.
'He can't enter the sect, not in a million years. But battlegrounds is outside the sect boundaries, there are also many visitors. I can't order them to check everyone's credentials. That's just asking to offend everyone involved. Even if I find him I can't just drag him while everyone is watching either.'
<Stand down. Do nothing.>
'Normally this guy would openly challenge me outside the sect. Then I would have to respond and duel him out in the open. I might be able to trick him if he challenges me in battlegrounds. He might even lose control if he sees Xiao Lan.'
<Put the Nascent Soul experts around my abode. No one is allowed to go inside the main house. No one is allowed to sweep the house with their spiritual sense. Let no one in, if anyone tries to make a fuss beat them up no matter their cultivation, then throw them in a dungeon.>
'Might as well play it safe with Ning Bi's enlightenment.'
Han De cut off the connection without waiting for Peng's response. He was trying to come up with a plan to prevent a fight between him and Xiao Ping.
* * *
The conference was finally over. Elder Yu was filled in on the issue of Han De's missing memories by Han Wei. They had to keep everything under a tight lid. That left Elder Yu as the only one qualified to review inconsistencies in Han De's memories. He was the one that kept Han Wei up to date with his son's events.
Arriving near Han De's abode, Elder Yu saw 15 Nascent Soul experts closing in on him. All of them had ferocious expressions. The one in the front spoke.
"No one is allowed to get near Elder De's abode. Leave. This will be your only warning."
Elder Yu frowned. He recognized these experts as the Han family loyalists. While they were sect members, and they belonged to Han faction just like Elder Yu himself, they could also be considered a sub-faction that were only loyal to Han De, and to some extent Han Wei.
This was getting troublesome for Elder Yu's taste, he didn't move forward. Instead, he sent his spiritual sense to contact Han De directly. However, his spiritual sense was intercepted by the experts in front of him. And now, a murderous aura started to appear from all of them.
"Since you are a Han faction elder, I will give you face this once. Leave, don't ever try to send your spiritual sense again. If you do, don't blame us for being ruthless."
The Nascent Soul experts in front of Elder Yu were raised by the Han family. They had the same upbringing as Old Peng. You could say they were classmates in a sense. They trained together, they went to missions together, they went through hell together. They also shared the Old Peng's love for beating people up.
As they were Nascent Soul experts, they had to act with a certain gravitas. They couldn't just continue beating people up like in the good old days. They stood still in envy as their young master gave missions to Old Peng's subordinates. As such, when they heard about it, they jumped on the mission that Han De issued. Finally a chance to beat someone senseless!
Regrettably, they failed. But Han De issued a new mission. The people that had failed to act quickly to join the previous one also gleefully joined it. It was their young master that had given the mission, something was bound to happen. Now seeing Elder Yu in front of them, Nascent Soul experts were excited. He was from the Han faction, so they had to give him some face, but now they were eagerly waiting for a mistake.
A chance to completely beat a Nascent Soul expert senseless! 1v15, truly a rare occurrence! They were under orders too! No one could find a fault with them! They couldn't control their excitement and all of them leaked their murderous auras uncontrollably.
Han De noticed these murderous auras immediately. He was trying to come up with contingency plans. What to do in case a challenge appears? What to do if a duel is inevitable? Which methods are suitable to weasel his way out?
He was already under stress between Ning Bi's enlightenment and Xiao Ping. His face was contorted with annoyance. He didn't know which of the 16 Nascent Soul expert was the leader, so he sent an area voice transmission to them.
<<I told you to beat people up, I didn't tell you to do it in my front yard. Just beat him up somewhere else, I don't care where as long as it's not here.>>
15 Nascent Soul thu*cough* experts flinched. However soon all of them had very wide smiles. This was the final confirmation, this guy was done for!
<<Eh? Elder Yu? Why are you here?>>
Han De didn't check out the person that was about to be beaten like a dog, but he did recognize his spiritual imprint by chance.
<Elder De, I was sent here by the Grand Elder. I think you know what I am here.>
Han De remembered his father was going to send him for the memory thing. That was 2 weeks ago, so it took him a second to register.
Seeing Han De allowing Elder Yu to enter, the 15 Nascent Soul experts were filled with regret. They all agreed that next time someone sent a spiritual sense they would simply start beating him without any explanation. They scattered once again and started to wait for their next victim.
* * *
Han De and Elder Yu moved to a room with special protective formations. What they had to discuss was extremely sensitive, so they couldn't allow anyone to listen in on their conversation. They weren't Han Wei that could prevent such a thing with his mere presence, they needed some stacked heavy-duty formations.
Elder Yu thought it was strange for Han De to place Nascent Soul experts along the perimeter. He was also curious about the mission he sent them to, but he knew Han Wei didn't want to interfere with his son's affairs, so he didn't ask about it. However, he was nearly beaten to death by 15 fierce Nascent Soul experts, so he thought it wasn't out of line if he asked only about them.
* * *
"What do you mean Ning Bi is going through enlightenment?!"
Han De looked calm outside, but he was enjoying this sight from the inside.
'Heh, this guy's reaction is even more exaggerated than mine!'
After seeing Han De wasn't joking, Elder Yu started babbling. He was excited. Enlightenment was, naturally, a very prestigious affair for a sect.
"This is big! We need to inform the Grand Elder! What auspicious news! No one had entered enlightenment since the Breach! This will be big n-"
"No, we will not announce it."
Han De knew about the cultivation moron's efforts of trying to fight, cripple, or kill a person with enlightenment experience. Although he had faith in Ning Bi's MC status, he didn't want to get himself involved. He was her master, any fallout from her actions would have to be cleaned up by him.
If she accidentally killed an important person, the bill would come directly to him. In the past whenever cultivation moron's actions caused an incident, the one that cleaned up after him was his father. He didn't want to assume such a mantle himself. No way.
Elder Yu forcefully curbed his enthusiasm and thought things through from a logical perspective. He immediately understood what Han De was thinking. Actually, he didn't, they were thinking about completely different things, but Elder Yu thought there was a silent understanding with each other. So he didn't clarify, just silently nodded.
* * *
"Memories are interlinked constructs. When you remember one thing, you inevitably recall another. When your memory gets attacked, the attacking entity uses memory pathways to inflict damage."
"Soul searching works with the same principle. When you search someone's memories you follow the pathways. A stronger path means a strong relation. Of course, the soul search I am talking about is the fake one, the one that searches the physical body. Searching a soul itself is an evil technique that damages all parties involved."
"We will go through your actions over certain periods. Establish which events are missing. Who were involved in those events, and where they happened. We might be able to figure out an entry position for the attack."
As Elder Yu explained, Han De listened. They started going through Han De's actions year by year. Elder Yu hadn't followed Han De anywhere, but he had received reports of his actions regularly.
Thankfully, cultivation idiot was truly obsessed with cultivation. He didn't go out much, and when he did it was an obvious affair. Even then, it took all day to go through 10 years worth of events and characters.
"Oh, by the way, since you have no memory of her, I should tell you that you were chasing Chu Chen for the last few years."
Chu Chen? Who was that? ...Something about a jade-like skin?
"I was chasing the uncanny valley girl?!"
Han De inadvertently blurted out. Elder Yu was surprised at his reaction as well. Han De suddenly grabbed Elder Yu's shoulders.
"Does my mom know about it?!"
"I-I don't think so. No, she shouldn't know."
Han De looked at Elder Yu's eyes. He was very close. Uncomfortably close.
"I am no longer chasing the unca- Chu Chen, alright? No, as far as my mother is concerned, I never chased her. Never! No, I don't even know her! Do you understand?!"
Elder Yu gave confirmation with wide eyes, then moved away from Han De. He was a Nascent Soul expert, this was the first time someone dared to act like this to him. But, that person was Grand Elder's son, so he didn't pursue it. At the same time, he was quite puzzled about Han De's reaction. Chu Chen was an impressive beauty by any standards.
Han De took a deep breath and calmed down. Marrying that girl with her freaky flat-colored skin was the last thing he wanted right now.
* * *
Han Wei watched the last pair of young geniuses duel each other. All masters visiting were watching the first day of the battlegrounds. The conference result wasn't as satisfactory as he had hoped. Time healed old wounds, but also made people forgetful.
Elder Yu silently arrived and sat behind him. Han Wei gave a slight nod, signaling him to make his report.
<Damage is mostly limited to the last 5 years. It starts from 2 years ago and expands backward. Most of it is just minor memories related to sects and families. If there were any important events they were only known by him. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to regain any significant memories.>
Han Wei gave a slight nod. He didn't expect anything substantial from this, but at least it gave an idea about where to look.
<Also, Elder De's disciple is going through enlightenment, Elder De himself does not wish to announce it.>
Han Wei was about to give yet another slight nod, but stopped and directly turned towards Elder Yu with wide eyes.
* * *
[Difficulty Level: G]
[Summary: Your extremely talented disciple has formed many grudges so far, but this is the first time she forged such a deep grudge! Although her future is bright, she is still young and inexperienced. As her master, you must carefully nurture her! Help Ning Bi with settling her deep grudge!]
[Requirements: Assist Ning Bi with resolving her deep grudge]
[Time Remaining: 4 hours and 13 minutes.]
[Success: 250 Profound Points]
[Failure: Ning Bi will no longer be host's disciple]
[Notes: With current Privilege Level (1), the host has to maintain a minimum of (1) disciple(s) (50% of the maximum disciples limit). Failure to do so will result in the removal of the System. As the System is completely integrated into the host's soul, removal will result in said soul's dissipation]
Han De was pacing in the hallway neighboring Ning Bi. With only 4 hours left, he was only 4 hours away from death. Ning Bi was still in enlightenment. She had stopped swinging and was now meditating, but she was still obviously getting enlightened.
'Should I interrupt her? If I do interrupt her for the duel she will most likely lose her respect for me, and maybe leave anyway. If I don't and she still continues after 4 hours, the quest will fail. In both cases, my soul will be gone as the system leaves!'
'What kind of Qi Condensation enlightenment lasts for 2 days anyway?! Wait, can she even fight with her current state? What if she collapses out of hunger after the first swing? Can she even swing right now?'
Han De kept pacing.
[Your disciple, Ning Bi, has created a new martial arts scripture!]
[Issuing 1000 Profound Points as a reward.]
[Cosmic Destruction Scripture (Incomplete)]
[Your disciple, Ning Bi, has gained a new skill!]
[Issuing 100 Profound Points as a reward.]
[Notes: By blocking the visual senses, the user can tap into a spatial domain to perceive their surroundings. Passively increases relational action processing and prediction speed while active. Further effects are unknown.]