Han De refused without delay. He hadn't lost his mind yet! How could he put this kind of character near Ning Bi? That was a grudge waiting to happen.
It was important to clear the air as soon as possible!
"This… Yu Xian, is a talented… individual. But he is just displaying his gratefulness. This isn't a disciple acceptance ceremony."
Long Ai lightly nodded. |So it's like that...|
Yu Xian was dumbfounded. Not because he got rejected, because that fact hadn't even registered in his mind yet. He was dumbfounded because if he wasn't wrong, this… was a higher being…!
How could a higher being be here?! What kind of world was this?!
Liang Cuifen also felt the inexplicable pressure that the mysterious, and incredibly beautiful women radiated. She could only bring herself to sneak a few glances at her, yet she seemed strangely familiar to the eye.
While everyone had their own thoughts, at this moment, Wen Jiayi's mind was in complete turmoil.
'Yu Xian's master… is Han De?...?!?'
A moment later, she realized another important event.
'Why is Long Ai here?!'
This was the exact reaction Long Ai was expecting. If Long De, no… It was still Han De for now… If Han De could impress even her, how could Wen Jiayi stay indifferent? All they needed was some time together, and now the girl was hooked. However, the problem here wasn't the girl, but Han De instead.
Indeed, Long Ai understood in an instant that Han De had hostility towards Wen Jiayi. That hostility was still rising too. It seemed he intuitively understood she had a much higher level of cultivation, and approached him with unclear intent. His intuition wasn't ordinary! As expected of her great-great-grandson!
However, this was fine, and completely within her calculations. Long Ai gazed towards Wen Jiayi.
|You are here. Han De is my great-great-grandson. Your Su family doesn't need to worry.|
Liang Cuifen couldn't help but tremble. This mysterious woman… When she said "Su Family" she lied! It felt like a lie so big that it almost stopped Liang Cuifen's heart!
It wasn't only Han De that picked up her abnormality, but Long Ai too. This thin girl that was still wearing dirty rags underneath, clearly responded to her words…
Wen Jiayi couldn't bring herself to say anything. She bowed towards Long Ai without a word. Why did she say "Su Family"? What was the significance? At the same time, she couldn't help but glance at Han De, and Yu Xian.
Han De was about to ask his great-great-grandmother to nuke the kidnapper, only to realize Long Ai knew the culprit's family!
'Ok, makes sense. Otherwise, she wouldn't have left me here, right? Besides, the kidnapper only made a single attempt at seduction, nothing bad happened. She was probably probing me… Probably…'
By this time, Yu Xian was able to sort his thoughts.
He further increased his evaluation of Han De. No wonder, no wonder this man had so many different techniques. No wonder he had this kind of unique temperament. All of Yu Xian's previous assumptions were wrong!
Han De, was obviously a true master with incredibly deep cultivation! He had blood relations with a higher being! This was an unthinkable situation in the Sable Dusk Realm, where Yu Xian used to reside as the God-King! The highest threshold there was the Celestial Realm. Beyond that was only legends.
In hindsight, Yu Xian thought he should've realized it. This world had incredibly rich spiritual energy. There had to be incredible experts that surpassed his cultivation level as a god-king. His thinking was hindered by his previous life! He couldn't even laugh at himself!
There were too many unknowns, and he was but a frog in the well!
He kowtowed again, but this time, his feelings were half-genuine.
"Master Han De, this disciple was stupid, and blind-"
"Raise your head. You have a promising future, but you have metal roots, while I have light roots. It is unfortunate, but we have no fate with each other."
Liang Cuifen's eyes widened. Not only Yu Xian had told the truth, but this time, it was Han De that lied! When he said Yu Xian was promising, it was the truth, but when he said unfortunate, it was a lie. He recognized Yu Xian's talent, but still doesn't want Yu Xian as his disciple?
Why? This was the second time Han De had lied. She couldn't help but ponder. Then she realized, maybe he was already aware of Yu Xian's duplicitous nature? The first time he lied, it was because of Yu Xian as well!
That must be it. Liang Cuifen was now sure of it! At the same time, she sent Yu Xian a resentful glare. Because of this person, Han De had to lie not once but twice!
Wen Jiayi ended up forcefully controlling her heartbeat to slow it down. She glanced at Long Ai, and saw her look at Yu Xian. At that instant, she realized that Han De, really was Yu Xian's master. He was going to become Han De's disciple one way or the other. Long Ai had already decided on it.
|You shouldn't be so quick to dismiss him. This boy, does have some fate with you.|
Liang Cuifen couldn't help but flinch at the word "Fate".
|His talent isn't bad. You should accept him.|
'What the F#$%...'
Han De didn't expect Long Ai to take Yu Xian's side out of nowhere.
|Trust your great-great-grandmother. Look, he is already willing.|
Long Ai's voice was unusually firm. It didn't seem like she was going to let the matter go.
'She probably saw the hammer and thinks he is a good investment…'
|Good. Good that you accepted him.|
Long Ai didn't give Han De enough time to respond, and took his silence as acquiescence. Then, she turned her attention to Liang Cuifen.
|This girl's physique isn't bad either.|
Liang Cuifen gasped out of surprise.
"Yes, I was going to recommend her to the Long family. She has good talent, a sharp mind, and incredible latent potential. Yu Xian too, would be an asset to the Long family."
For a second, Liang Cuifen couldn't believe her ears. She hadn't heard sincere compliments like this for a long time. Even her parents would occasionally say nice, but ultimately false words just to make her feel better.
By this time, Long Ai had already figured out the girl's ability. She also noticed how Han De was choosing his words carefully around the girl. This made things a lot more convenient!
Long Ai's voice became stirn.
|Extreme Yin Physique's need the best teacher, and the best resources, is that wrong?|
The sudden strict aura from Long Ai pulled Han De in, forced him to follow Long Ai's rhythm. A bad premonition appeared in his heart.
Long Ai nodded.
|You can learn and improve scriptures faster than anyone, is that wrong?|
"… Not wrong…"
|You are the heir of the Han family, and the heir of the Long family. You have no shortage of resources, and you would provide everything for your disciples. Is that wrong?|
Seeing Long Ai's grim look, Han De felt that he couldn't stop playing along. The outlines of the grave he had dug himself were completely visible now.
Liang Cuifen's Luck, Talent, and Comprehension scores were fairly high. But her Will was only 5 out of 10. When they first met, Han De could've lied to her face and be confident that there would be no surprise-revenge developments down the line. At worst, he could reason with her later and make peace.
However, that wasn't good enough! Why uselessly offend her in the first place? Play safe! That's what Han De thought. That's why he refrained himself from bulls#$%ting. To leave a good impression! To get that 1 unit of gratitude!
Unfortunately, now that Long Ai was involved, offending Liang Cuifen was meaningless. If he lied now, he would offend Long Ai instead. One of the most important rules of interacting with old monsters was not offending them!
If he hadn't been greedy, if he had just lied to Liang Cuifen beforehand, she would've refused to become his disciple on her own. Now though, after saving her life, telling her the truth all the way, letting her interact with Yu Xian and see the power of cultivation, it was a safe bet that she would agree, even if he started lying now.
Han De desperately tried to find something to prevent that.
|Her talent, is it insufficient to be your disciple?|
'I really should stop interacting with MCs…'
|His talent. Is it insufficient to be your disciple?|
If Long Ai hadn't started narrowing her eyes, Han De would've said insufficient. This wasn't even about logic anymore. Long Ai clearly wanted them to be his disciples, whether Han De liked it or not!
|Juniors should know when to accept a good thing.|
Long Ai felt satisfied. If she left Han De alone, she was certain he would've sent them as far away as possible. While she did respect his character, she couldn't let him make a mistake like this! What qualifications would she have as an elder if she let that happen?
"Disciple greets master!"
The voice belonged to Yu Xian, who immediately took the initiative. He was a blacksmith, he knew how to strike while the iron was hot.
"D-Disciple greets m-master…!"
Liang Cuifen followed suit. Partly due to Long Ai's momentum and partly due to her own wish to stay close to Han De.
"…Raise your heads…"
There was a weariness in Han De's voice that he desperately wanted to hide. And he did successfully hid it, from Yu Xian and Liang Cuifen, and even from the Immortal Kidnapper too! Unfortunately, he couldn't hide it from Long Ai.
Long Ai, was genuinely surprised! Incredibly, Han De's resistance was even higher than she thought. Why was he so insistent on not receiving these disciples? She didn't know whether she should laugh or cry.
|Why don't you do a disciple acceptance ceremony now?|
Yu Xian came closer. One look at his eager expression was enough to make Han De nauseous. Han De tried hard to prevent resentment and disgust from creeping up on his face.
"That's fine. It's just a formality of serving tea then kowtowing after.-"
"-… We'll do it later."
That clear snap sound came from Wen Jiayi. Who was forgotten, even though she was only a few steps away. Yu Xian and Liang Cuifen didn't hear the sound, but Han De and Long Ai did.
The oblivious Yu Xian frowned as he muttered under his breath.
"…Isn't that a marriage ceremony?"
Unfortunately, that was audible to everyone.
Han De stared at Yu Xian with sheer disbelief at first. It didn't take long for negative feelings to stir up and manifest themselves. Not because of what Yu Xian said, but because Han De truly realized he was stuck with this harem protagonist.
He only wanted to farm some gratitude points! Why did things had to go so wrong all of a sudden?! Where had his extraordinary luck gone?!
Though Han De didn't say anything, Yu Xian saw his disbelief, frustration, and anger. Instantly, a feeling of embarrassment rose from within. This new habit of talking to himself, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to leave it as is!
Long Ai already knew much about Han De's habits, including the primordial era disciple acceptance ceremony that he started using out of nowhere. It seemed to her that Yu Xian had some strange assumptions about her great-great-grandson, but in consideration of the boy's bond with the All-Purpose Hammer, she let the matter slide this once.
Everything seemed to be timed perfectly. Long Ai gave Wen Jiayi a profound look, then transported everyone but her to the Long family homeworld.
Wen Jiayi was left in a daze. She thought she understood the reason of her father when he accepted the engagement. Han De was incredibly close to Long Ai, to the point where she openly admonished and corrected his behavior!
Then, she thought she understood the ploy of the Long family. They actually dared calculate against her so deeply, just to put Han De in a positive light!
Normally… Normally she wouldn't even consider simply out of spite. But knowing the future was a curse, as it was a blessing.
In chapter 101, Yu Xian's homeworld was depicted as a mortal dominant society, being hidden from the universe by a grand array of unknown design. Earlier chapters showed the arduous journey they had to take just to get here. The space was shattered on a cosmic scale, the threat of netherdemons was ever-present. This place was the backyard of the Whispering Realms, how could old monsters from ancient families allow such disaster to occur, or worse, let it fester?
This meant that a major power shift was going to happen. It was the only explanation.
'Old man… You dare to hide such an important piece of intelligence from me?!'
Was her father going to leave this realm? Would others follow suit? Wen Jiayi tried to imagine what would happen in a power vacuum. Such a scenario was unthinkable just an hour ago.
Scenario after scenario, she went through possible events with frightening speed. The more possibilities she considered, the unsightlier her expression became.
'So that's why you agreed to have Long family's protection…'
Everything started making perfect sense to Wen Jiayi. Why her father insisted on her marriage, why he accepted the Long family's unconditional protection even at the cost of losing face! His father, had predicted a major disaster, and was trying to subtly guide her!
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Wen Yahui, father of Wen Jiayi, hadn't predicted anything, nor did he have any idea of an upcoming disaster. He simply wanted to see his daughter's wedding. His arrangements were only meant as encouragement, because he knew she would never go through with arranged marriage!
However, Wen Jiayi didn't know that. And even if her father appeared in front of her right now, she wouldn't speak up. After all, the source of her information was abnormal. Considering how her father kept the upcoming calamity a 'secret', she was also certain that he wouldn't mention anything even if she slapped him with undeniable proof. Knowledge, could be dangerous! Knowledge, had to be kept secret!
Wen Jiayi's thoughts inevitably arrived at Han De. The information provided by the Long family was lacking in many aspects, a deliberate design, as she noticed earlier.
The most striking difference was naturally his appearance. If Wen Jiayi wasn't an Immortal Realm expert, she wasn't sure if she could keep herself from blushing. Thankfully, she had gone through many tribulations and sharpened her mind. A beautiful and handsome face couldn't affect her. However, she had to admit, appearance-wise Han De had what it takes to walk beside her.
Then came his talent. Wen Jiayi recalled Long Ai's words. Han De could learn and improve scriptures faster than anyone?
The Long family doing their best to sell their 'material' was one thing, Long Ai lying about it was another. Would the ancestor of the Long family do something like that?
Wen Jiayi thought of her father. Would her father do such a thing?
'Yes, he wouldn't hesitate to lie to a junior if it served his purpose.'
As long as Wen Yahui didn't lose face, he could do anything. An important part of this equation was that, the dead didn't speak.
Of course, Long Ai and her father were different. Even if that wasn't the case, the involved party here was Han De. A lie like this could have a deep impact on a young Core Fo-… Nascent Soul disciple.
The biggest case for Han De's talent, was of course the primordial jade rectangle. In the story, Han De was the only existence that could instill fear in Yu Xian.
Though the information about the sect called Imperium of Light was vague, everyone treated it as a powerhouse. The founder of this sect was none other than the master of Yu Xian from the graphic novel. That sect didn't exist now, but Wen Jiayi was all but certain that it would be established in the future.
More importantly, Han De's existence was completely censored in the graphic novel. It seemed as if the author didn't dare mention his name, even though intimate details of Yu Xian's life were out in the open. Or, the author simply didn't have the ability. Either seemed improbable and yet Han De's name was still censored.
Wen Jiayi couldn't help but interpret this as an acknowledgment of Han De's talent. In this aspect too, Han De had what it takes to walk beside her.
As for his pedigree, there wasn't even a need to think about it. Not only Long Ai acknowledged the Han family, but she also casually spoke of Han De as an heir of the Long family. By Wen Jiayi's estimations, it wouldn't be long until he received the surname of Long.
While thinking all of this, Wen Jiayi had already fished out the primordial celestial ship from her storage ring. Long Ai leaving her here was a message and a warning.
As she absentmindedly boarded the bullet-shaped celestial ship, an androgynous voice echoed once again.
""Estimated Time for Arrival: Unknown""