For the rest of the dinner, Yang Chen’s appetite had been spoilt at the revelation. Nevertheless, now that the gathering had concluded itself, everyone heaved a sigh of relief as they slowly trickled back to their living quarters.
Thereafter, Yang Chen and Cai Ning followed Tang Luyi to her arranged guest accommodations.
Under the glittering night sky, the couple pursued the path of the green marble pavement as they enjoyed the cool forest breeze.
Cai Ning noticed that Yang Chen was silent the whole time. “Are you still worried about the great ancient clans?”
Yang Chen was not keen to hide it as he took to reply, “I don’t want to hide anything from you, but it is the least of my worries at the moment. I’ve cheated death way too many times to be afraid of something like that. What I’m most wary about is if they could manipulate the elders of the Tang Sect so easily, what’s stopping them from manipulating one of my women to stab me while I sleep?”
Cai Ning giggled as she replied, “Well you can always teach us to be cultivators ourselves. At least you can be sure that none of the women beside you are incompetent. One day they will have improved so much that you wouldn’t even need to worry about them anymore.”
Yang Chen burst into laughter. “Easy for you to say, but I’m still pretty surprised that you wouldn’t mind talking about them.”
“I’m not your wife. I don’t get a say in this. This is what they call finding a glimmer of hope in the dark, isn’t it?” Cai Ning rolled her eyes. “Besides, as of now, there’s nothing you’ve faced that you cannot handle. I’m guessing that the reason why the person has yet to make an appearance is that they know that you are more powerful than them.”
Yang Chen contemplated and agreed with her. He never had been a coward his whole life, no fear except for the wellbeing of his women. Exactly, let them come in the hundreds and the thousands. I’ll slaughter them all! he thought.
As they brisk walked to their accommodation rooms, Yang Chen tightened his grip onto Cai Ning’s hands. “Ning’er, come with me.”
Yang Chen was clearly unhappy with Tang Luyi’s arrangement of separating them into two different rooms.
Cai Ning instantly caught onto his intentions as she embarrassingly noted. “You’re leaving for the tower early tomorrow, why can’t you just wait for a couple more days?”
“You’re not opposing the idea I see?” Yang Chen was in glee.
“I…” Cai Ning’s tongue was tied. She had envisioned her life to progress in the way her sister Cai Yan did, to get to that stage with her lover.
While Cai Ning was contemplating, an elegant figure made way towards the couple.
“That is not allowed here.” Tang Luyi abruptly interrupted.
Yang Chen was furious. “I’m sorry ma’am, I know she’s your favorite disciple or whatnot, but do you really have to follow her around?”
Tang Luyi sneered. “You think I ought to? I fear that one night of passion will derail her whole life-long path of cultivation!”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You really don’t know anything, do you? I truly doubt your journey in achieving such a high cultivation level.” Tang Luyi sighed as she elaborated, “A woman’s Yuan Yin far outweighs the Yuan Yang of a man. Because Cai Ning is still a virgin, she is shielded by her Yuan Yin, thus the True Qi exerted by her internal energy will be particularly pure.
“Should you take her virginity, her cultivation progression to the Xiantian level will instantly be prolonged for three years at a minimum. With her brilliance and physique, she will achieve the Xiantian realm within the next one or two years. One night of pleasure for three years of pain doesn’t seem worth it.”
Yang Chen was stupefied, staring at the embarrassed Cai Ning whose head held dead low. “Is that true? Ning’er, why didn’t you tell me?”
Cai Ning moped in silence, naturally agreeing with her master’s statement.
“Hmph, you little rascal, you just can’t bring yourself to reject him, can you? Look, she’d rather spend more time cultivating than to reject you,” Tang Luyi resented. “I don’t know why I sacrificed a decade of my life to teach you. I guess ten years of my teaching meant less than a few months with this brat!”
“It’s not that like that…” Cai Ning attempted to clarify.
“No excuses.” Tang Luyi glared at Yang Chen. “Now that you’re aware, leave her alone for the time being. Tomorrow you shall enter the Tower of Scrolls. If you truly devote your focus to learning the teachings within, I’m certain that you’re bound for enlightenment.
“If the day comes where Cai Ning achieves the Xiantian realm, that would put a satisfied smile on my face, as her master.”
Yang Chen felt warmth in his heart, watching the blushing woman by his side. She had a gentle side to her that was equally loveable once it was accessed.
That night, Yang Chen naturally kept his hands to himself, knowing how she was willing to yield for his stead. He was self-aware enough to appreciate her goodwill like a gentleman.
At the crack of dawn the next morning, Yang Chen, in the company of the siblings Tang Dianshan and Tang Luyi, left for the prohibited Tower of Scrolls.
Before he left, he didn’t forget to bid an emotional farewell with Cai Ning. Despite her position within the sect as a core disciple, she was still considered unworthy enough to enter the area where the tower was located. Thus she opted to wait for his return.
Along the narrow path from the Tang Ancestral Fortress to the hills, the forestation gradually shifted from bamboo to a forest dominated by cypress trees. There they came to an area with four stone huts, symmetrically placed in the ground.
Yang Chen questioned from curiosity, “This place, why doesn’t it have any doors?”
Tang Dianshan explained, “The four stone huts here are individually safeguarded by the noblest of our elders, sky, earth, profundity, and gold. All four elders are now centenarians themselves and are among the closest within the Tang Sect to reach the Soul Forming stage. Unless someone were to force their entry, they would not emerge from their resting place.”
Yang Chen questioned, “So am I supposed to fly in?”
“Exactly.” Tang Dianshan held out a sign of respect, before he rounded up. “My sister and I will only be able to take Master Yang this far. After a round of discussion with the elders, you will be able to proceed. We shall remain here.”
Tang Luyi added, “Your entry will not be a problem but be wary not to inflict damage upon the elders.”
Yang Chen giggled from her remarks. “Unless they’ll need to test my skills before I am allowed to enter, I suppose?”
“Because you’re not an official Shushan disciple or a member of the Tang Sect, the rules stipulate that you must be able to take three hits from the grand elders without losing, or else, the Tang Sect might be unconvinced of your worthiness of entry,” Tang Dianshan explained.
Yang Chen smirked. So the rules were made to ensure if you weren’t beyond the Soul Forming stage, you’ll never be permitted inside the tower! he thought.
Nonetheless, for a cultivator beyond the Soul Forming stage, the contents within the tower would no longer be significant which naturally meant hardly anyone would take upon such redundancy to visit the tower.
Yang Chen was done with formalities as he effortless hurled himself like an arrow on a crossbow into the center point of all four stone huts.
In the mid-rift was a large gray plot with the words ‘Tower of Scrolls’ carved onto the ground, plated with molten gold.
Yang Chen instantly realized that the ‘tower’, was actually a cellar.
“Young one, your cultivation might be well-known as the cream of the crop, but we might have to put that to the test.”
A rustic voice resonated from the stone cabin, before long four beams of Xiantian True Qi at its pinnacle purity bombarded from all four huts right to where Yang Chen was standing!
Yang Chen finally realized that the four huts were made specifically to amplify the energy that shot out from within!
However, as expected, the accumulated True Qi projectiles that could easily decimate an ordinary person was barely an obstacle in Yang Chen’s eyes.
And as such he was uninterested in a duel with the elders as he just stood in mid-air, watching idly as the projectiles from all four corners transfused through his body.
The True Qi left Yang Chen’s body the way it entered without any damage.
Watching from yards away of the tower were Tang Dianshan and Tang Luyi. They never understood how Yang Chen could be so happy go lucky in the absence of any prior safeguard measures, completely in neglect of an enhanced strike from four cultivators of Xiantian Full Cycle!
The four stone huts of ‘sky’,‘earth’,’profundity’, and ‘gold’ were left futile and could only concede with Yang Chen’s requests.
“You’re a formidable cultivator, young one. Your permission to enter the tower is granted for the next three days. When the duration is up, the Tower of Scrolls will not be accessible anymore.” The deep voice from the ‘sky’ stone cabin rustled in slight frustration as it declared.
Upon completion of its proclamation, the stone slab on the ground with the words ‘Tower of Scrolls’ instantly retracted to its four edges, exposing a dark tunnel leading deep into the abyss.
Yang Chen nodded to each side of the entrance as a gesture of acknowledgment before he galloped down the fleet of stairs. The depth of the tunnel left Yang Chen in anticipation about what was to come, despite having already passed trivial things like these.
I, the whimsical monk, have officially found a genuine temple of worship. Now it’s time to see how monks recite scriptures!