"Netherworld Flower, Fruit of Life, Karmic lotus," Lian XI read and her expression bewildered with each name. "You collected all this in just five years? I don't even have the confidence to get my hands on all the things."
"What can I say, master," Zach bragged shamelessly. "Your disciple is just too amazing."
"I don't know about being amazing, but you sure are lucky to come alive from all those places," His master said. "Just imagine if those keepers of these heavenly materials know about your robbery. What would they do?"
Zach laughs uncomfortably.
"All of these just for that stupid girl," she shook her head and get back to the pill formula. Two of her disciple are brilliant in many ways, but both of them are just too stupid. She started to read again and instantly her eyes burned. "Water of oblivion."
Zach knew what exactly this meant—that he would get beaten soon. He knew there was no escape, so he was trying to come up with a cute face with his baby body. 'Surely, master would take pity on this cute baby. Would she not?'
"You take away my water of Oblivion without consulting me?" Lian Xi glared at him as her eyes turned demonic purple. Her palms tightened and Zach felt trouble breathing.
"Mas. . .ter, mer. . .cy. . ." Zach could barely say it, and after a few seconds, the pressure dropped. Only Zach knew how close to death he was in those few seconds.
The wand hit his head again, and this time far roughly. He saw his master sighing, before looking at him peculiarly.
"Have you found anything odd about your body other than what I can tell already?" she asked.
Zach tilted his head and pondered. "I feel weak, though it should be related to losing my cultivation," he said. He actually had done nothing in these few days other than cultivation. "My bowel movement and bodily fluids seemed to become better."
Lian Xi raised an eyebrow and flicked her finger to cut his arm. "Don't run spirit Qi. I would like to see the natural healing of your body."
Zach followed as he was told and saw within half a minute the little wound closing off and it would surely disappear within a couple of minutes.
"You see this?" his master said. "Even without running the spirit Qi, your body could heal so easily. Have you seen anyone with Martial Master cultivation have such a body?"
Zach frowned, still looking at the line of cut. Surely, he had not turned immortal, but his body seemed to get far better at healing and ideal for cultivation.
"Even though your stupidity has not turned you into an immortal, it did get you one step closer," Lian XI said. "I just could not believe how you could make the pill so easily with just one try. Even though it's not your pill of immortality, it's no less than a divine pill. Surely, your alchemy has not reached that level."
"I was lucky?" Zach muttered, with no other explanation.
"There's nothing in the Firmament as lucky or unlucky. It's all part of the pattern," Lian XI said, and stood up. "This pill has brought a few more strings of destiny to your fate, even I'm not sure what's waiting for you. Should I do a divining on you again?"
"Master, you know I don't believe in those things," Zach said, but it was too late. His master already closed her eyes, sitting in the lotus seat.
Zach waited for his master to finish and he knew it won't be that long.
As he had thought, Lian XI opened her eyes with a little pale face, though it turned rosy in a couple of seconds again.
"I could not determine everything, but I caught onto an important string of your destiny," she said. Yet the next thing she asked was something else. "What do you plan for now? Surely, you have not called me here just to look at your state."
Zach nodded. What his master found out, he could do too, though it would take more tests and time for him. "Master, I want you to take me with you to the Time sea."
"Out of the question," Lian Xi said immediately. "Time sea is a place that I can't guarantee my life, nor can I comprehend a tenth of its existence. I do not have time to babysit you there."
"Master Please," Zach said with the overloaded cuteness.
"I won't take you to the Time Sea, but I found another path in someplace else."
"Is that what you divine a moment ago?" Zach asked, squinting his nose.
"Yes," Lian Xi said. "You will meet your destiny in the Broken Sky Academy. I will prepare your admission there before I leave. Just prepare yourself in the meantime."
"You want me to go to Academy again? To that stupid place where most of the arrogant young master and young lady go to fawn their superiority over others?" Zach clasped his lips tighter. "I would not go even if--"
"Even if you did not want to go, the string of the pattern will pull you towards your destiny. What I am doing is just speeding up the process, so you don't waste more time denying it."
"But I don't want to go. I don't want destiny."
"We all say that," Lian Xi said, sighing. "In the academy, you will meet your destiny. It's a person with dual nature. And from what I have glimpsed, you will have to go through a lot to protect the person."
"I don't want to protect some unknown person," Zach complained. "I only want my Ju. . ." he stopped for a second. "Immortality."
That earned another hit from the wand. "Just think of it as a bodyguarding job, you master entrusted you."
"Anything but the Academy, master. It would waste so much time."
Lian Xi sighed, there was only one way for her that is to force her disciple.
"You have two ways from here. Broken Sky Academy or the gutter where I picked you from. Choose, either way, your life would be painful, but in one of the options, you will have your master's palms on your head."
Zach gritted his teeth. If his master really abandons him; forget about his junior sister, or even the experiment on Immortality, he might get killed on the streets for all the shits he had pulled over the years. Even though cultivators live for ages, they don't forget things usually, nor were they good at forgiving. He knows it better than anyone.
"Do as I tell you, and you might have a way with your junior sister," Lian Xi said.
"What are you talking about, master?" Zach asked, as if he knew nothing. "I haven't seen Junior Sister since she beat the crap out of me five years ago."
"Really, what do you think of your master?" Lian Xi snorted. "Do you think I live through the thousand-year in a cave, cultivating?"
Zach laughed with his childish face. "Master, I am pure as a unicorn."
Lian Xi clicked her tongue. She would dive into the current of times to believe that. "Just do as I told you if there is still any gratitude left in you," she said, sighing. " Go to the Broken Sky Academy and protect the person with the dual nature. If something happens to that person, something terrible will also follow you and many others."
Zach sucked in a frigid breath. If it was about gratitude, how could he dismiss his master's order? "Fine, I'll go, but I'm curious about a small thing." Zach asked, "If this person is so important, will it not be better if you or some other powerhouse do the job?"
"Destiny," Lian XI mumbled. "There is nothing others could do, if there's no you."
Zach knitted his brows, as if trying to figure out the scope of truthfulness in the statement. "By the way, what's dual nature?"
"You believe me?"
"No. I don't believe in anything related to destiny. If that were true, I would have been coronated as the King long ago," he said, forgetting everything about his contempt for destiny. It was only because he believed in his master. "It's my trust and gratitude in you, Master. If not for you . . .
"I will go to the academy, but you have to forge a new identity for me." Zach continued, remembering another important issue "And master, please don't tell Junior's sister about my current state."
"Sure," Lian XI said casually. "I will tell Anastasia, you're dead."
"No, you don't have to go that far," Zach said immediately, squinting his lips. "Just say you send me away to do some jobs. Surely the master doesn't lie, and it won't be lying as well."
"Alright," Lian Xi said with a simple smile—dangerous enough to suck out the soul of even a eunuch.
"So what's dual nature?" he asked, pulling his gaze from her or his soul might get sucked out again. He was not joking there. Something like that happened twice before.
"You will know eventually," his master said mysteriously. "Just remember, if that person dies, something terrible could happen."