Even after Ye Futian departed with Hua Fengliu, the people of Qingzhou Academy were still unable to calm down.
It was going to be difficult to forget the image of a determined Ye Futian. Ye Futian and Yu Sheng did not say much about being treated unfairly during the Fall Quarter Examinations, nor did they say anything when the academy decided to punish Ye Futian. Despite receiving unfair treatment from the academy, it was the two of them who still stepped in to protect the honor of Qingzhou Academy. However, they were resolute in their decision to leave after gaining the attention of the most influential people at the academy.
Finally, the relationship between Hua Jieyu and Ye Futian was clear and the hatred that everyone felt for Ye Futian in the past disappeared. Everyone used to think that Ye Futian was unworthy of a goddess like Hua Jieyu, but now, he was the only person of the outer sect disciples that was worthy of standing by her side.
Naturally, this only made the hate Murong Qiu felt for Ye Futian grow stronger.
Pavilion Lord Shi Zhong of the Earth Elemental Pavilion was badly hurt, but only one of his colleagues went over to help him up. The others just left, obviously unhappy with him. As a result of his actions, Qingzhou Academy might lose three of their most gifted students. If the three of them made a name for themselves, would Qingzhou Academy be able to tell the world that they made any contributions to their success?
Ye Futian returned to his master's residence, where he had left just a little while ago. It felt weird to be here again.
"Ye Futian," called out Hua Fengliu as he took his seat.
"Master," replied Ye Futian. He was still trying to figure out his Master's true identity.
"This was most likely the doing of Shi Zhong alone, as he harbors bad intentions. I will have Qingzhou Academy deal with him. Qingzhou Academy has contributed so much to the city of Qingzhou; there's no need to harbor vengeance against them for the doings of one person," Hua Fengliu reasoned.
"Yes, Master. I understand," nodded Ye Futian.
"I am confused as to why you're so adamant about leaving the academy. If you choose to stay, then it would only be a matter of time before one of the Pavilion Lords set their sights on you. You would be highly valued," Hua Fengliu asked puzzled.
"I know the other Pavilion Lords are different from Shi Zhong, but still, none of them prevented his actions toward me even though they knew what he did was wrong. It's obvious that they were not willing to make an enemy of Shi Zhong for a mere outer sect disciple like myself. One might say that it was because I was not worth fighting for back then, but even after today's battle, they were still unwilling to help Yu Sheng and me. I can't tolerate this, so naturally I made the decision to leave the academy. Besides, now that Shi Zhong has a bone to pick with me, staying will only make things harder for myself. Should I have to fight against a Pavilion Lord while in the Awakening Plane?" explained Ye Futian.
Ye Futian continued, a bit confused himself, "As for being valued by the Pavilion Lords, none of them can surpass you. Under Master's guidance, would I even need them?"
"This..." Yu Sheng listened from behind Ye Futian. He was impressed. With this level of brown-nosing, no wonder Ye Futian was able to turn his master into his father-in-law.
Hua Jieyu looked at Ye Futian with disdain. At the same time, she could see that her father was nodding in agreement with Ye Futian. Hua Fengliu looked very satisfied at his response and replied, "You have a very good point."
Yu Sheng widened his eyes. Hua Fengliu was definitely not the modest type.
"Master, the outside world is too dangerous. A small issue is enough to warrant a request to rid me of my powers. I think I should just stay here by your side and cultivate from now on," Ye Futian saw an opportunity and took it.
"No!" Hua Jieyu opened her mouth before her father could say anything. What did he mean the outside world was too dangerous? Did he plan on just staying indoors for the rest of his life?
"Father, you said that cultivation isn't simply about putting work into training and practice; you must also have actual battle experience. If I have to regularly go to Mount Tianyao for battle training, then he should definitely have to as well. Since his gift is so great, he needs to go out and gain actual experience to aid his cultivation," said Hua Jieyu.
"Master, what she said is correct. So, from now on, besides cultivating here, I should go out regularly with Hua Jieyu. Under her care, Master shouldn't have to worry about me," said Ye Futian.
"You...," Hua Jieyu was completely speechless. She felt wronged as she looked toward her father. "Father, are you really not worried he might do something to me?"
"Of course I'm not worried! You've been cultivating longer than he has and you have more experience. Would he even be able to bully you?" asked Hua Fengliu jokingly.
"But," Hua Jieyu had more to say but was cut off by Ye Futian. "Thank you, Master!"
"Am I the third wheel?" Yu Sheng asked quietly. He scratched his head in confusion. Ye Futian looked back at him and thought that Yu Sheng was getting smarter and more observant by the day.
Hua Fengliu smiled at Yu Sheng and said, "Yu Sheng, you're a natural warrior and need to continuously refine your skills through battle. I will give you a spell scroll for defense later. You should also pick out some books on battle tactics and some spell books for cultivation from my library. Then, head to Mount Tianyao to train. You should keep challenging higher level demons to help yourself improve."
"Okay," nodded Yu Sheng. It seemed like he really was the extra wheel.
"Master, what about me?" asked Ye Futian with anticipation. He had already learned to inscribe spell scrolls and could not wait to see what Hua Fengliu had in store for him next.
"Since you're cultivating in martial and divination arts, you'll need to break through the planes for both at the same time. You've got tons to do," said Hua Fengliu. Ye Futian nodded and headed towards the study. Hua Fengliu had a large collection of books in his library, including books from all categories. It was a smaller version of Qingzhou Academy's library.
"Awakening level Thunder Elemental Sorcery, Thunder Lash, and Fire Elemental Sorcery, the Burning of Silence," Ye Futian picked these two spellbooks to study. As he continued to study the spells, night fell.
The snow was still falling and a crescent moon hung in the night sky.
The sound of a string instrument resonated throughout the residence. It was a guqin. The song was peaceful and brought serenity.
Ye Futian was drawn in by the sound of the guqin. He left the library and walked toward the main residence. There, he saw Hua Fengliu plucking away at the strings of the guqin. Basking in the moonlight, he looked so graceful.
Freedom Meditation kicked in by itself. Ye Futian could almost see the music notes floating through the air like tiny fairies.
His eyes closed, Ye Futian sat down in the snow and emptied his mind. He could feel the moonlight washing down on him, the cool light cleansing his body. The music flowed into his body, into his Life Palace. There, the World Tree began to rustle. Each leaf danced as the music notes wafted. The notes floated around, and eventually formed a picture. It was a guqin.
The guqin continued to play. Ye Futian entered a state of oblivion. Only the music continued to enter his mind, relaxing his entire being. His worries were all tossed into the back of his mind.
The song ended. Ye Futian still had his eyes closed. In his Life Palace, a third type of Life Spirit appeared in addition to the Natal Spirit and the World Tree Spirit. It was the Guqin Spirit.
Ye Futian was shocked. He knew that even by using the Freedom Meditation, Life Spirits could only be created in very special conditions. However, all it had taken for him to create the Guqin Spirit was one piece by Hua Fengliu.
Ye Futian opened his eyes slowly and asked Hua Fengliu, "Master, what piece was that?"
"Purification of the Night Moon," replied Hua Fengliu.
"I felt something change within me after listening to Master play. My ability to perceive energy has strengthened. I want to learn to play the guqin," said Ye Futian with great determination. Energy determined the level of a sorcerer, so if pieces played on the guqin could help improve that, then it would definitely aid in cultivation.
"Okay," said Hua Fengliu with a smile. Hua Jieyu watched everything unfold off to the side. She looked at her father and knew that he purposely played the guqin to test Ye Futian. Hua Fengliu wanted to pass down this skill to Ye Futian.
"Let's start by learning some basic pieces. Hua Jieyu, bring the sheet music. You will teach Ye Futian," ordered Hua Fengliu.
"Me?" Hua Jieyu blinked in disbelief and looked at her father in distress. Ye Futian felt touched, Master was too good to him.
"Be a good girl," Hua Fengliu tried to persuade Hua Jieyu. She glared at her father and left to get the sheet music.
Moments later, the moonlight was shining down on Hua Jieyu as she sat elegantly in front of the guqin. She unwillingly explained something to Ye Futian.
"Hey Fox, how do I play this note?" Ye Futian pointed at the music score and accidentally touched Hua Jieyu's hand.
Hua Jieyu immediately turned to look at him. In response, he said, "Sorry. It was an accident. I can't see clearly since it's dark out here."
"How many accidents have you had already?" Hua Jieyu asked with a smile on her face. Her hand touched Ye Futian's waist. Her fingers grabbed hold of him and she began to pinch down hard. He gasped and looked at the beauty in front of him. At least he could enjoy the view while in pain.
Ye Futian learned quickly, acquiring all the basic knowledge. He then began to play sheet music. Slowly, his skills matured, until he was able to play smoothly.
It got deeper into the night. Hua Fengliu had already gone to bed but Hua Jieyu was still by Ye Futian's side, teaching him the ropes.
At that moment, Ye Futian had his hands on the instrument and a bright aura emitted from him. When his fingers plucked at the strings, the music flowed and sent shivers down Hua Jieyu's spine.
She watched as Ye Futian kept his eyes closed. His Guqin Spirit harmonized with the guqin, giving life to every note that resulted from a stroke of his fingers.
Under the moonlight, his handsome face looked peaceful. His hands were like magic; they had the ability to get the listener moving with their every stroke. Hua Jieyu became more and more relaxed, her eyes closing as well. She was immersed in the music, and eventually fell asleep sitting in the snow.
"A prodigy," remarked Hua Fengliu, who was listening from his bedroom. He was very pleased. He too closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep with the music.
Ye Futian was spellbound by the music, unable to pull himself out of the state. He continued to play throughout the night, but felt no fatigue. On the contrary, he felt clear-minded.
The next morning, he opened his eyes and felt a change within himself. Using the Freedom Meditation to perceive the Spiritual Qi of the Heavens and the Earth, he knew that he had broken into the eighth plane of Awakening for sorcerers. He could not help but smile.
Ye Futian looked ahead and saw Hua Jieyu laying in the snow, her body covered in a layer of white snow. The jacket laid out on top of her was now drenched. He walked up to her and carefully removed the jacket. At that moment, Hua Jieyu opened her eyes and looked up at Ye Futian. He smiled at her and retracted his hand. "The jacket's wet, I didn't want you to get sick so I took it off for you," he explained.
"Really? You didn't have any other intentions?" she asked with a faint smile.
"Am I that type of person?" Ye Futian saw her smile and took a step back.
"What do you think?" laughed Hua Jieyu.
Suddenly, they heard something. It was the door to Yu Sheng's room. He stepped out and saw Hua Jieyu and Ye Futian. He then gave them a strange look.
"I'm going to leave now. Please feel free to continue whatever you guys were doing," Yu Sheng said as he took giant steps to bring himself away from the two. They were flirting in front of him so early in the morning. How inconsiderate! How was he supposed to feel about this?