The cold winds of winter had arrived; the greenery had wilted, and Qingzhou Academy had become rather bleak.
However, Ye Futian was not affected by the cold at all. His days passed by comfortably and carelessly. Other than inscribing scrolls daily, he treated himself to the eye candy that was Hua Jieyu. He had been so happy that Yu Sheng was almost the last thing on his mind. Two months passed and he had only gone back to their dorm to visit Yu Sheng twice. This had Yu Sheng's imagination running wild as to what Ye Futian could be doing at the Hua residence.
The academy's ban on Ye Futian was still in place. When everyone was looking forward to Ye Futian's reaction, he completely vanished from their sights. His disappearance had everyone thinking if he would have come to class if there had not been a ban. Maybe if it was Senior Sister Qin Yi's lecture.
Without any warning, the first snow arrived. The snow was coming down hard, covering everything in a blanket of white overnight.
In the morning, Ye Futian stepped out of his room. He looked up at the sky, full of snow flurries, and rubbed his hands together. A hot breath escaped as he smiled.
The pavilion up ahead looked lonely, standing alone in the white, while everything around it was completely hidden by the snow. One figure stood out in the midst of it all. She seemed to have lost herself in the beautiful view. The snow was too beautiful.
Ye Futian picked up his feet and headed towards her. Another set of footprints appeared in the snow on the ground.
Standing next to the young woman, Ye Futian snuck a glance at her, but it seemed she had not taken notice of him. Her eyes were closed as she enjoyed the serenity.
Ye Futian closed his eyes as well and continued to stand beside her quietly. The white snow fell nonstop until the both of them were covered in a layer of it.
"What are you doing?" Hua Jieyu had opened her eyes and smiled at Ye Futian when she saw that he was mimicking her.
Ye Futian opened his eyes and looked at Hua Jieyu tenderly. Smiling, he replied, "Accompanying you until our hairs turn white."
Hua Jieyu blinked speechlessly. She then looked at Ye Futian's head, covered in the white snow. Her heart twinged with disappointment. She could never take his words too seriously.
"It's already been two months, you don't really think this is your home now, do you?" Hua Jieyu teased Ye Futian.
"Master is more than just my teacher; he has become like a father to me. So his home would be like home to me," Ye Futian said. He sounded quite serious.
"You two little rascals," a voice said, causing the two to turn their heads. They saw a handsome figure smiling at them, and heard him say, "Flirting so early in the morning, you guys really don't think of me at all."
Ye Futian sighed to himself. Master knew him too well.
"Father," Hua Jieyu called out, feeling wronged. She stared at her father. "Am I really your child?"
He always took Ye Futian's side. What kind of father did that?
"Who else but I could have birthed the most beautiful daughter in all of Qingzhou City?" the middle-aged man replied in a joking manner. Hua Jieyu looked at her father. In a mere two months, her father's tone and manner of speech had already adopted that of Ye Futian's. This was just...
"You really are a master." Ye Futian was impressed. Master was on a completely different level than he was in every aspect.
After spending so much time together, Ye Futian had finally found out his master's name, Hua Fengliu.
Even his name was impressive. He could not even hope to compete with Master.
"Ye Futian, over the past days your cultivation in scroll inscribing has become so well-developed that you no longer need guidance. As your power level increases, you will naturally be able to inscribe more powerful scrolls," said Hua Fengliu. He eyed Ye Futian unwaveringly. Even though Ye Futian was only in the Mystery Plane for sorcery cultivation, he was able to inscribe some of the highest-level Awakening Plane scrolls in the short span of two months.
"It's all thanks to your guidance, Master." Ye Futian bowed with gratitude.
Hua Fengliu waved his hand in denial. "You are naturally talented. You would have yielded the same results even with a different teacher. However, you must remember, you cannot be overly prideful. The outside world is far more complicated than you can imagine. Your journey has only just begun. You can come to me for help when you have any questions, not just for inscribing, but for anything about cultivation as well.
"I shall keep Master's words at heart." Ye Futian nodded in response.
"Alright, go on now," said Hua Fengliu.
Ye Futian nodded again before dropping down to both knees and gave Hua Fengliu three deep bows. His forehead came into contact with the cold ground.
"I have been under your guidance for months now and have not yet paid my respects to you properly. Even though I like to joke around, I was serious when I said that you are like a father to me. I will always keep Master's words in mind," said Ye Futian.
When he was done, Ye Futian stood up slowly and said, "I shall be on my way now."
He then turned towards Hua Jieyu for a farewell, "Bye Fox, don't miss me too much."
He walked out of the residence before she could reply.
"That rascal, it's going to take some time to get used to things without him here," Hua Fengliu laughed as he shook his head.
"Why do you like him so much?" Hua Jieyu could not understand her father. She could feel that her father genuinely liked Ye Futian, but why? Was it just because of his gift?
"Initially, it was because of his gift, but after hearing your stories about him and what happened during the Fall Quarter Examinations, I realized that under his playful demeanor was a pure heart. After receiving three years worth of insults, any normal person would have been resentful, but he remained cheerful and bright, like the sun. Furthermore, he was willing to stand up to the academy just for Yu Sheng's placement, it is easy to determine that he is an extremely loyal person," explained Hua Fengliu. "After these past two months with him, I'm starting to like his personality more and more."
"So, you would sell-out your own daughter?" Hua Jieyu rolled her eyes at her father. She said, "Even if he does have all those good qualities, you can't deny that he's a shameless pervert."
"Don't you think his little antics are cute?" laughed Hua Fengliu.
Hua Jieyu did not know what to say. Her world was in a messy situation. Her respected father had fallen under a certain person's spell.
The snow continued to fall until the entirety of Qingzhou Academy was covered in white, adding beauty to this sacred place. However, the students of Qingzhou Academy were not interested in the beautiful sight. Early in the morning, a group of powerful individuals arrived at the academy. When they arrived, all the instructors of Qingzhou Academy prepared for combat, calling upon the most powerful people at the academy. Leaders of the martial arts and sorcery schools readied themselves. The atmosphere across campus was very tense.
Many outer sect disciples did not understand the situation, but the older official disciples knew exactly where this group of people had come from, and their purpose for coming. They knew that their prestigious academy was about to fall victim to some serious provocation.
All of Qingzhou Academy was a mess. Disciples rushed toward the same direction in a frenzy.
Ye Futian witnessed this sight and found it weird, not knowing what had happened. It seemed like something big was about to take place at the academy.
"Ye Futian!" Ye Futian heard someone call his name before he could reach his dorm. Shifting his gaze in the direction of the voice, he saw a beautiful face and a soft smile spread across his own face.
"Where are you going?" asked Feng Qingxue.
"Going back to look for Yu Sheng," answered Ye Futian.
"The academy is gathering all the students, Yu Sheng should also be there," said Feng Qingxue. Something flashed in Ye Futian's eyes as if he had just had a thought.
Feng Qingxue pulled at her sleeve. She looked nervous. She asked, "Why don't we go check it out...together?"
Ye Futian stared blankly at the beautiful girl in front of him. The snow was falling on her body. She looked a little nervous and unsettled.
"Sure," Ye Futian nodded with a smile.
"Okay." Feng Qingxue took the initiative to stand beside him, and the two of them headed towards the crowd.
Ye Futian was not joking or teasing her like he had used to, but Feng Qingxue knew that things could never go back to the way they were before. Of course, she would have liked everything to be as it had been in the past. However, she had matured, and understood that things did not always go the way you wanted. Despite knowing what had been lost was gone for good, she still did not want to be complete strangers.
"I'm sorry," said Feng Qingxue suddenly. Ye Futian stared at her blankly once again. He could see that she was trying to be as courageous as she could. She looked at him and smiled. "Ye Futian, I'm sorry."
Her eyes were getting red. These days, she had been thinking a lot about what her father had said, and she knew that her actions had hurt his pride.
"I have forgotten about it already," replied Ye Futian. He understood perfectly why she was apologizing.
"There's nothing going on between Murong Qiu and I. He came to look for me after the incident, but I ignored him, and I haven't gone near him since." Feng Qingxue tried to explain herself, even though she knew it wouldn't make a difference; but it was best to make some things clear.
"That's all in the past now," Ye Futian replied. "Oh yeah, what's going on at the academy?"
Feng Qingxue could tell that Ye Futian was trying to change the subject and felt slightly disappointed. She replied to his question anyway, "I heard that aces from the City of Heiyan led the people of Heiyan Academy here."
"The City of Heiyan," muttered Ye Futian as his expression darkened. Heiyan and Qingzhou were both cities of East Sea Island. To Ye Futian, who grew up reading history books, history was something he knew quite a lot about. Before Emperor Ye Qing and Donghuang the Gret united the world three hundred years ago, there was an age of separatism led on by the nobility. During this complicated period, it was very common for cultivators to loot resources. At the time, the City of Heiyan was controlled by the Heiyan Clan. This clan was very aggressive, and repeatedly invaded the other cities of the East Sea Island for resources.
After the world had been united, Emperor Ye Qing and Donghuang the great set up new laws, and the world became much more peaceful. However, they still lacked control of the East Sea Island cities. The Heiyan Clan became Heiyan Academy, and took complete control of the city. All these years had passed, and they had still not given up on the invasion of Qingzhou City.
With this background, Heiyan Academy and Qingzhou Academy were natural enemies. Every couple of years, they would lead a group of their most powerful individuals to provoke Qingzhou Academy, as well as to test the power of its students.
"Looks like Heiyan City is getting overly ambitious once again," said Ye Futian. The peace in Qingzhou was about to be disrupted. However, this matter did not involve Ye Futian, since the city had its own special protectors, the Dark Qilin Knighthood.
But Qingzhou Academy was still in trouble!