"Move well. Learn well. Play well, eat well, and rest well."
Ning Bi's embarrassment disappeared in the blink of an eye as she started seriously mulling over Han De's words.
"That is the way of the Kame school."
Han De nodded at her question. As a pseudo-Xianxia fan herself, coaxing the little purifier of planes was rather easy.
"An ancient school created by Master Roshi."
Suddenly, Han De remembered the human lie-detected named Liang Cuifen.
It didn't matter how many bulls#$% stories he told to Ning Bi, Yao Qing, and Jin Shu. As long as he was careful enough, no one would suspect anything. Han De even included occasional slip-ups in his calculations!
However, now that there was a highly toxic MC present, all of those calculations were out the window.
Would Ning Bi tell Liang Cuifen the stories she heard from Han De?
Of course she would! Telling and hearing stories was her only leisurely activity! Even Han De heard her pestering Yao Qing and Jin Shu for stories! Anything he told Ning Bi was guaranteed to be heard by his other disciples.
Even worse, Han De remembered the existence of Yu Xian, the harem S#$%.
Han De made an urgent mental note to create a plan against Yu Xian, then cleared his throat.
"Ehm. It is an old story. The way of the Kame School is to enjoy one's life, merrily and to the fullest. Play and rest are parts of your training too. Don't be too hasty. You are my most talented disciple after all."
Though Han De smiled as warmly as possible, he could see that Ning Bi wasn't entirely convinced. The System had already warned him about her insecurities, maybe there was something to that after all.
Ning Bi had 10 points in talent. It wasn't easy for Han De to get worried about her cultivation. At any point in time, she could experience enlightenment, on any topic! Not to mention the fact that she also had 10 points in luck! A handful of dirt she picked up could turn out to be heaven-defying treasure!
Of course, Ning Bi herself didn't know that. Luck was an abstract concept, and talent wasn't easily comparable in the short term. Han De had considered these things before.
"You think your master is lying to you?"
Han De narrowed his eyes while still smiling. Ning Bi was about to refute his words, but he interrupted her.
"Jin Shu has excellent comprehension and a strong will. She is also 10 years older than you, and started cultivating at an early age. It is natural for her to have deeper knowledge. But she isn't perfect. Her talent is the lowest among my disciples."
Ning Bi's mouth dropped, but Han De continued.
"Both of you have the same cultivation base, don't you? You started cultivating a little over 3 months ago, and she started 19 years ago. How do you think she feels when she sees your progress?"
"Jin Shu's talent is low, but she makes up for it by sharpening her wits.
Yao Qing's comprehension is lower than Jin Shu's, and her talent is lower than yours. She can only rely on her strong will to keep up with you two."
Han De knew Ning Bi wasn't an idiot. She probably understood the differences already. But sometimes hearing the truth from someone else was better than trying to convince oneself.
"An array master can never beat an alchemist in making pills. A sword cultivator can never use a spear better than a spear cultivator.
It is alright to feel flustered when you see someone surpass you in some way. Even if that person is your fellow disciple. This is how we improve ourselves; it is in our nature. Humans develop civilizations even as mortals due to this instinct.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Don't let that discourage you. Differences are meant to be celebrated, to be cherished. No one is perfect, no one can be perfect. Understand?"
Ning Bi hurriedly nodded. Though she tried hard to hide it, Han De didn't miss how the corners of her mouth curled upwards for a moment. At the same time, her heartbeat became steady, and her muscles relaxed. With his Nascent Soul senses, Han De didn't need to rely on his spiritual sense to detect these changes. Just relying on his hearing was enough.
'Seeing Yu Xian and Liang Cuifen might boost her confidence a little more. Both are older, but they'll always have much lower cultivations…'
At that point, Han De noticed that they weren't alone. Old Peng and the servants of Ning Bi's palace had kept a respectful distance, but they were still present. The servants were especially eye-catching, because they were all at Foundation Establishment realm, despite being quite young.
Han De glanced at Old Peng, and the latter immediately understood his young master's and nodded in acknowledgment.
'So they chose geniuses from lower families as servants…'
Han De chose to ignore this for now. He couldn't fix everything in an instant. If he did, Ning Bi's self-esteem could take another indirect hit. At this point, it was better to let the servants stay so Ning Bi could notice the difference in talent by herself.
These genius servants cultivated from an early age and enjoyed the resources that came from a higher realm. Ning Bi caught up to them in 3 months, and the first 2 were spent in a world where the spiritual energy was receding. She was bound to leave them in the dust very soon.
"Alright, enough with the training. Let's go."
Han De made a dismissive gesture to Old Peng and left with Ning Bi. When they were completely out of hearing distance, Old Peng turned to the servants. Instead of saying anything, he sized them up one by one.
Only after Old Peng left, the servants could breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Most of them were here for the past month, and witnessed the triple tribulation with their own eyes. The Qi Condensation girl that they served surpassed their own cultivation in no time. She could attempt to form a core at any time!
Thankfully, they hadn't done anything stupid like the Yu family princess. Everyone kept their head down, and no one else was crippled.
None of them dared to say anything while they were close to the main palace, but after getting back to the servants' complex, they tentatively started discussing what they heard. It wasn't that they liked gossiping, but life as a servant was boring. Their cultivation time was limited because they had to be ready at a moment's notice. They simply had too much empty time on their hands.
"Did… Did her master say she started cultivating 3 months ago?"
They were all under the assumption that Ning Bi spent most of her life building an unshakable foundation. Surely, this last month was the fruit of her endless efforts. She was soaring after years of suppressing her cultivation! Otherwise, how could anyone go from the Qi Condensation realm to the doorstep of the Core Formation realm in the span of a month?
All of them had the same thought, but no one dared to say anything. 'Discussions' about Ning Bi were kept to a minimum by everyone. The sight of the Yu family princess' mangled body was still fresh in their minds.
"What about master Han De?"
They looked at each other in silence. Technically, this wasn't about Ning Bi, and they weren't being disrespectful. If they were to only discuss the facts, no harm should come from that. A few seconds later, a tacit understanding was formed between them.
"Didn't they say he was at Core Formation realm?"
All eyes went to Gao Niu. Among them, she was always the most knowledgeable and the most informed of current events. A fact that even the most prideful and stubborn of them had learned to accept.
They expected her to stay reluctant and beat around the bush for a while. Unexpectedly, their sister Gao took the initiative today.
"Three of my elder brothers are at Core Formation realm, therefore I am familiar with their energy ripples. Master Han De's realm is incomparable."
The atmosphere started to relax. It was as if their collective bottleneck was loosening. Someone else interjected.
"I heard he was engaged with the Shi family princess!"
Shi family princess had a legendary reputation, even among the lower families. A few of them couldn't help but gasp. However, Gao Niu kept calm and shook her head.
"The Shi princess is still engaged to Shao Bai, but it is true that there were talks for Master Han De. But two weeks ago plans changed and he became engaged with the Wen family princess."
Gao Niu scrounged at the sight of a broken teacup, but this response wasn't out of proportion. She couldn't blame anyone since she was also shocked when the news came.
"S-Sister Gao, is… is that the same…"
"Yes, that Wen family."
Both Long and Wen families were primordial powerhouses. Both were reluctant to make familial ties with other primordial families. At least, that was the perception of the servants, and their families. Both were part of the 7 major families.
"I had a feeling…"
They all saw Han De's face, and instantly understood.
"Haha! The Shi family bi…- princess must be cursing her luck!"
"Huh? Isn't she still engaged to Shao Bai?"
"Shao Bai is master Han De's cousin, isn't he?"
Han De was born from Long Xiu, while Shao Bai was born from Long Yun. While Long Xiu and Long Yun were from the same generation, Long Yun was born much earlier. Despite being much younger, Long Xiu was in a higher position.
Though the servants or their families didn't have any idea how the Long family worked, this much wasn't a secret. The Long family had the habit of announcing important heirs openly, after all.
Shao Bai and Han De seemed to be in a similar situation. The former was an Immortal Realm master, while the latter was a newcomer in the Nascent Soul realm. The difference in treatment was stunning.
Gao Niu didn't interrupt the enthusiastic girls at first, but at the mention of familial ties between Shao Bai and Han De, she decided to step in.
"This could lead to dangerous consequences. Stay away from discussing Long family matters."
On that, everyone agreed.
* * *
"Master Han De, thank you, for taking care of our little Bi. We…"
Father Ning couldn't continue his words. It seemed that just the thought of it made him emotional.
"Please, raise your head."
Han De helped father and mother Ning get up. He hadn't expected Ning Bi's parents to directly kowtow upon learning who he was.
The reason for his visit was simple. First, it was his duty as Ning Bi's master. Second, he was extremely curious about father and mother Ning. What kind of humans could give birth to the Purifier of Planes?!
'System, are you really sure they literally have no Fate or Potential?'
Naturally, there was no response.
Both of them had zero potential. Long ago Han De had assumed blank Fate section meant that the person was so ordinary that they were even below the most common Fate, the "Cannon Fodder". Maybe the System thought they weren't even worth checking.
Father Ning finally sat on a chair after Han De's insistence. Mother Ning seemed much calmer compared to him.
"Ning Bi is my most talented disciple. Even if we hadn't met, I have no doubt she would've become a powerful cultivator on her own. She isn't lucky to have become my disciple, I am lucky to have her as my disciple."
Ning Bi's heartbeat took off like a rocket. Han De saw her blushing face with the corner of his eye.
'Was I that stringy with my praises before?'
He made a mental note to praise Ning Bi more often, then continued speaking.
"If anything, I thank you both for raising Ning Bi so splendidly, and for supporting her in pursuit of her dreams."
This couple in their late twenties had actually let a 13-year-old mortal girl travel on her own, to find an immortal sect on her own, with no prior knowledge or experience. No matter how Han De looked at the situation, it was crazy. But, he had to give them some face as Ning Bi's parents.
There was also the possibility that the parents themselves had realized Ning Bi's insane luck, but Han De thought that was unlikely. If he hadn't known she had maximum luck, he never would've thought she had an extraordinary fortune.
Father and Mother Ning blushed just like their daughter. Han De's outward tone and demeanor were perfect, and his gratitude was genuine. It was impossible for anyone in the room to know his inner feelings.
"There is something I want to ask…"
"Yes! Of course! Please!"
"Are you comfortable in this place?"
The question caught the eager father Ning off-guard.
"The Long family gave the biggest palace to Ning Bi to curry favor with her, but I can't help but think they did a sloppy job."
Mother Ning silently gasped, while father Ning was too surprised to give a proper reaction. Did the master of their daughter called the Long family sloppy? Were they hearing it right?
"If you are uncomfortable with anything, please don't stay silent. If you find there are too few or too many servants, if the palace is too big, or too small, there is no need to hold back."
Han De looked at mother Ning to further drive in the main point. She was pregnant. Yes, this crazy couple was expecting another child. A stress-free environment was their most basic need right now.
If Mother Ning tried to endure this place for the sake of Ning Bi, the consequences could be dire. They were mortal villagers after all. Getting used to having servants around 24/7 could wreak havoc on one's nerves. Even Han De took some time to get used to ordering servants around.
"Whatever you decide, know that it will not burden Ning Bi in any way. The Long family wants to curry favor with her; they would fulfill any of her desires. If she wanted billions of slaves, they would give her tens of billions of slaves and ask if she desired more."
The Ning family's mouths dropped simultaneously. As Han De thought, no one explained to them the worth of Ning Bi. Another cheap tactic from the nameless and faceless Long family elders.
'They actually dared to farm debt of gratitude from my disciple's family…
Wait, when did I start using the D-word so casually?'
The D-word, or simply the word 'dare', was a special case, reserved for the Arrogant Young Master templates. Not even the Profound Expert templates had access to it. As if to hide his internal panic from himself, Han De continued without pause.
"Ehm. I only mentioned this to make you aware. You don't need to say anything if you are comfortable with things as is."
Mother Ning bowed and made father Ning followed her lead with an elbow.
While Han De felt slightly sympathetic towards the (crazily irresponsible) couple, ultimately, he felt he had to put some distance between himself and them. After exchanging some usual pleasantries, he left with Ning Bi, to visit his other disciples.
Father Ning watched them leave with a complex expression. After a while, he sighed.
"Grandfather was telling the truth…"
Mother Ning smiled at her husband and wrapped her arms around him.
"Are you itching to tell one of your grandfather's stories again? At least wait until little Bi comes back, then I can sleep while pretending to listen…"
"What do you think he meant?"
"Who, little Bi's master?"
Mother Ning pondered a few seconds.
"He doesn't seem like the type to lie. I think he really meant what he said. Not every cultivator has to scheme."
Father Ning didn't seem convinced.
"I don't know. Bi said her master was 3 years younger than us, but that wasn't the eyes of a man in his twenties."
Ning Bi's parents were expecting to be forcibly distanced to their daughter after a while. Father Ning called it letting go of the mortal attachments, yet another story told by his grandfather. Therefore, the couple was trying to make the most of their time with their daughter. Soon they could be separated, perhaps forever.
Mother Ning sighed and closed her eyes.
"It's fine. You know our little Bi's luck isn't ordinary."
They raised the little devil themselves, how could they not be aware of her reality-bending luck?