- Book 12 Qin Yu – Chapter 11 Seclusion
+Previously on Stellar Transformations
Having killed the Yan clan’s clan leader, Qin Yu waited in a remote corner of the city boundaries. Waiting for Yan Gao to leave seclusion. Upon discovering the man had finished training he barged into the main hall where all of the elite members of the Yan clan gathered, and where Yan Gao was. There he took the man’s life in front of the eyes of all…
All of a sudden, cries and rancour shattered the silence in the Yan clan’s main hall. “The, the, the great patriarch is dead!”
Every single onlooker was a disciple and child of the family, and every one of them stare stupidly at the gory remains at the foot of the central throne. Patriarch Yan Gao was a guardian angel to the family, but for these disciples the man was more than that, he was an invincible god worshiped by many.
However……on this day, that invincible god known as Yan Gao – a valiant and heroic entity, was killed in a single sword stroke by the enemy.
Amidst all this shock, Xu Fan’s voice rang in their ears, “Catch the murderer, go catch that murderer!!!”
Following this shout, the entire hall erupted in shouts and cries. Many members of the family roar in agony, others ran about hurriedly and the rest busied themselves to look for the murderer. It was all hot air and no action, and they all know it. For them, they knew that for an enemy to be able to kill the patriarch in one sword stroke, wiping them out of existence was as easy as turning their hand over.
Still, chaos ensued and frantic bodies milled around in the main hall.
Amidst this chaotic display, the elder Xu Fan gestured to the second elder across him, “Second elder…”
The second elder had a very ugly expression and spoke to Yan Shuo – the other elder, “Our elder brother is a third generation disciple of the Jade Sword School. Any who dares to act against him would incur the wrath of the school behind him. Contact the jade sword school, and have them to deal with this issue.”
Xu Fan also agreed. “If our Yan clan hands over 90% of our century-worth profits to the jade sword school, they’ll likely to take up our request.”
Far away, Yan Gao’s master Yu Dian – a second generation level 8 golden immortal, was standing on the surface of a nameless planet in the Indigo Bay star field. The man was preparing to use this particular planet’s teleportation array to continue his journey.
Suddenly, alerted by the voice transfer talisman in his spatial ring, he halted his steps and took out the talisman. On the other end was one his disciples named Feng Shan. “Master, there has been a big incident.”
Standing beside the huge teleportation array, Yu Dian paused and shook himself helplessly. He has many disciples, but among them Yan Gao has the lowest strength and worst aptitude with the best disposition. The man neither gets flustered nor daunted by any task. For disciple Yan Gao, he feels he has a special connection with the man. In many ways, he was very similar to Yan Gao. As a second generation jade sword school practitioner, he was the runt of the eight second generation disciples. Where the seven others were all level 9 golden immortals, he was only a level 8 golden immortal. But, in terms of maturity, strategy and managing, he was, by far, the best of all the second generation disciples. Similarly, Yan Gao is the weakest disciple, but the most mature.
When he looked at Yan Gao, he saw himself years ago – the runt of the litter.
So when he was about to leave the Silver Stream galaxy, he was preparing to let Yan Gao take over all the matters in the galaxy’s commanding planet – ‘Red Leaf Planet’. He was ready to train Yan Gao to become his successor.
Snapping out of his memories, he sent a reply, “Feng Shan, No need to be in such a rush. You should try learn a little from your junior Yan Gao to be a bit more composed.” He scolded lightly, and asked, “Alright then, what matter is causing such a fuss?”
The breathless reply rooted him to the ground and left him dazed. “Master, Yan Gao has been killed!”
Finally he stuttered out, “What, what? Ha ha, what did you say?” He could barely believe what he was hearing. A day ago, his disciple Yan Gao sent him a message saying that he had broken through the level 6 golden immortal stage to level 7, but today…
The fellow at the other end carefully selected his next words: “Martial brother Yan Gao has died. The killer was a sword immortal, who had killed him in the main hall of the Yan clan boldly and undisguised.” There was a visible pause as the man gulped and continued, “This piece of news was just sent over by the clansmen of the Yan family.”
Yu Dian felt a little light-headed and woozy, but soon recovered enough to reply, “Feng Shan, you said the killer was a sword immortal, right? Who is it?” His voice quivered a little with fury.
Feng Shan answered, “Master, I had questioned the Yan clan about the incident. They passed over a detailed account of the person’s appearance, but with just the killer’s appearance, we cannot accurately determine who the killer is. If the killer could alter their appearance then…”
He was a man who managed all the affairs of the jade sword school, no matter large or small. After grieving his lost disciple for a very short while, he had already recovered his stony and calculating look, and instructed his disciple. “No one is to worry about this matter for now. As for the affairs on the Red Leaf Planet, leave them to your eldest martial brother. About the Yan Gao incident. Wait until I return.” He wasn’t one who would allow emotions to cloud his sound judgement. He could clearly understand that anyone who could kill a level 7 golden immortal in broad daylight, boldly and undisguised, definitely has superior power.
“Yes, master.” On the other end, Feng Shan finally loosed a breath. He also knew the murderer had to have strength beyond Yan Gao, naturally, did not want to go investigation such a figure.
Yu Dian withdrew his voice transfer talisman bead. And stride forward to the teleportation array. He was a man who held great responsibility. Not only was he a representative for the school master of the jade sword school, but he also would go on the behalf of Emperor Yu and the Devil Realm, as their middle-man on important matters. So he could not postpone it a bit.
He was due to reach his destination of the core and commanding planet of Indigo Bay star field – the Blue Solar star. “From here to there and the matters accompanying the devil realm side as well; it would all take a large amount of time.” He thought about it with frustration, ’Sigh’ “No matter, Emperor Yu’s matters are of the utmost importance, if I screw up, not only will I feel the emperor’s wrath but my school master would also feel the aftershock of it. First things first. I will sort this matter out, then return and carefully go over this Yan Gao incident.”
With his plans complete, he stepped into the teleportation array, paid the toll of 300 then vanished as a beam of light into the furthest distance.
Within the bamboo garden.
Two Liu family elders was present to thank Qin Yu about their request.
The patriarch of the Liu clan was the first to speak: “Mister Qin, I wish to convey out deepest thanks about this recent ordeal.”
He had just been sent the good news. With Yan Gao dead, the Yan family could be suppressed with ease.
Qin Yu laughed lightly. “It was just a small matter, no need to be so thankful to me. After all, it was my martial uncle who had received your request…Oh there is one thing my martial uncle was discontent with…”
The patriarch, Ming Han, looked puzzled, “With what matter?”
Qin Yu mimicked Ming Han’s puzzled look. “You had said that the Yan family had been in control of the teleportation array for most of the time. Their wealth should be hundreds of times greater than your own. My martial uncle was puzzled by why killing the patriarch and the clan leader of the Yan Clan only yielded a few hundred million?” He was completely befuddled by this result.
He did notice the changes to the facial expressions of the two elders freeze. “Mister Qin, about this, do you not know?”
He scratched his head in his mind’s eye. He may have asked another dumb question. He could not deny his understanding of the matters, in the immortal plane, was very lacking. What can he do about, other than ask? “Back then I had told my martial uncle that the Yan clan is sure to hold onto great wealth, but after he had killed the two top members of the clan, he had noticed their combined wealth was quite shabby. That is why I raised this issue with the two of you.”
Ming Han and the Liu clan’s clan leader exchanged a look. “It seems that Mister Qin does not understand the inner workings of societies within the immortal plane.” Ming Han explained, “Over the years of controlling the teleportation arrays, it would yield a shocking amount of wealth that is, if all of it, belong to the controlling clan – Yan clan. Only then will they have wealth few hundred times greater than my family. However, more than 90% of the income is collect by jade sword school as tax from this planet. The jade sword school will collect tax from all in its territory and give it to Emperor Yu!” He paused and took a big breath and continued, “Emperor Yu controls a large territory, and how could he not apply taxes on all in his territory? From the Amber Moon, money is given to the jade sword school then passed onto the emperor. In this way, the vast majority of wealth is in the hand of the peak experts of the immortal plane like emperor Yu and emperor Xuan.”
Comprehension dawned on Qin Yu. So it was just like the taxes in the mortal plane’s countries, nations and dynasties. Most of the taxes are paid to the governing body of the nations. In this case, the jade sword school and the like, are the states and local governing bodies, which coagulates and collects individual region taxes. While emperor Yu and emperor Xuan and the like are similar to monarchs. His eyes sparkled as he imagined the amount of wealth concentrated in the hands of people like emperor Yu.
“Even if most is turned over to the ruling monarchs, those that live under them live well sheltered lives. Their wealth is at least a few dozen time greater than my – Liu family.” Ming Han looked around and said, “So to seek shelter from monarchs like emperor Yu would be most favourable.”
Qin Yu smiled with acknowledgement. “Mister Liu is quite right. With the tribute paid from profits from the teleportation array, only then will you be able to seek appropriate shelter from emperor Yu. At least, part of the profits would be left within the family, if one doesn’t seek shelter from emperor Yu, the chances to obtain great wealth is much less, right?”
Ming Han confirmed. “Yes.”
Qin Yu said no more and only sipped on his tea.
Seeing the former wasn’t going to ask any more questions, Ming Han gestured, “Farewell, Mister Qin, we will leave then.”
Qin Yu laughed. “Alright, I won’t send you off then.”
Before leaving the duo had left a pile of assorted wealth up to about a few million, comprised of elixirs, elemental stones and other valuables.
Putting down the china, he opend his mouth and his voice echoed in the peaceful surroundings, “Han Shu.”
An energetic youth bounced into the clearing and bowed respectfully. “This disciple greets the master.”
Qin Yu lift a single finger and pointed at the gift left by the patriarch of the Liu family. “These items were left by the Liu family, which I have no use for. Hence, they are yours from now on.” He couldn’t care less about these useless baubles.
His disciple was stunned. Han Shu still could not believe what he was hearing, and eager to confirm. “Master, are you saying you are giving all of this to me?”
Qin Yu nodded mildly. “Be quick about it. I have matters to discuss with you.” His tone was edging towards displeasure.
Han Shu feared Qin Yu’s temper and hurried stored the goods.
“Han Shu, I have not taken you in as my disciple for a long time, but nevertheless, I can feel you have had some…remarkable changes to yourself.” His tone was solemn and deep that reverberated in the inside of Han Shu’s body.
Changes? Han Shu wanted to laugh out loud. These days, no one dares to disrespect him in any way and the clan leader greets him politely. In a matter of a very short time, he had transformed from the ugly runt of the family into the most prized jewel of the family. For that, he felt quite smug these days.
Qin Yu’s tone quietened and grew colder, “In the past, you work hard to train, but nowadays, I have seen a sharp drop in the amount of time you spend training. Often I see you are outside partying and playing with those Liu clan disciples. What I’ve said are all correct, isn’t that right?”
What Qin Yu had said was the heart of the problem. The truth pierced through Han Shu like a cold knife.
It was true. He had spent his days too leisurely. He had no ambition, so with the little recognition he’s gotten from his family already achieved. There wasn’t more that he wanted, hence he had become complacent.
Han Shu hurriedly apologised, “this disciple was in the wrong.”
“No, no…you were not mistaken.” Qin Yu shook his head. “I was the one who was wrong.”
“Master, you…” Han Shu felt panicky, his heart pounded loudly, its beat quickened in his ears.
Qin Yu sighed with exasperation, as if he was berating himself. “If I had not appeared, then perhaps you would have practice resolutely despite the hail of insults from others. But, one day, through your perseverance, you would eventually reach the Dujie stage and so on. You could either become a loose immortal or a normal immortal, such difficulties with your meridians and other bodily issues would not plague you. Henceforth, you would rise from the ashes of scorn like a phoenix reborn, dazzling all those around you and put the fear of your greatness into them, then soar into unfathomable skies above without any opposition.” Qin Yu had a helpless look. “But, because of my appearance, your life had changed. The same perseverance of yours in the past was shattered by my appearance.” Qin Yu shook his head yet again and sighed again, “Han Shu, I ask you, do you know who allowed you to have the respect of everyone around you?”
Han Shu replied without hesitation. “It was you, master.”
That was right. Precisely because of the master-disciple relationship between Qin Yu and Han Shu. That was the reason why the Liu clan’s clan leader looked very favourably on Han Shu, and in turn, all the disciples of the Liu family was very respectful to Han Shu as well.
A resolute glint entered Qin Yu’s eyes as he stared holes into Han Shu. “Han Shu, you must understand that to be truly respected, you must gain that respect by yourself. There is only shame in hiding behind the reputation of the teacher. In the end, that sort of flimsy image will not last.” Without blinking, he continued, “You may be living comfortably now when I may be by your side, but if one day I’m not around, will your feeble powers gain the respect of those around you now?”
Cold sweat broke on the face of Han Shu. At this moment, at this time, he had finally woken up from the dreamscape of the recent high life he was living.
What was gained from others was not permanent, only by grasping it with your own hands, will the things obtained be everlasting.
Qin Yu turned away and looked at the border of the bamboo grove. “Enough. I do not wish to say anymore to you. I will enter closed-door training immediately, but when I come out, I’d better see some profound changes to you, or else……You need not bother call me master again.”
From the bowed position, Han Shu stood up straight, looking firm and respectfully intoned, “Of course, master. This disciple will not let master down.”
Within the bamboo grove’s secret cultivation chamber.
There wasn’t a single person within the secret chamber.
A fine layer of sparkling teal coloured gravel covering the floor. No one could imagine that the Nine Swords Immortal Mansion was one of the specks of gravel on the ground.
Qin Yu was current within that teal colour mansion, deep in meditation. He was sitting cross-legged in a centre of a flower garden directly in front of an elaborately designed fountain, which was the same colour as the rest of the residence.
Suddenly, his eyes shot open. “Haah, back then……” He was staring at the stone table a fair distance away from his position. He was remembering the memories of his brothers – Xiao Hei and Fei Fei, and himself carousing and chatting happily between drinks. Now, he was only by himself.
His royal father and brothers were still in the mortal plane, but his beloved Li’er was far, far away in an unknown place. And his own sworn brothers, who he could talk to about anything, was in a place along the distant horizon of the Demon realm.
Whether it was in front of his subordinates – Shuo Yan and Zang Yuan, or the Liu clan’s elders, or his own disciple, he is the higher being of great intellect, virtue and upstanding character. But he was also a man who yearned for someone to talk to, heart-to-heart. In the past, he could discuss his frustrations, his days’ events, anything or everything with his brothers, but now? Now, he could only ponder about his problems by himself.
In this vast universe, where could his brothers be? That huge gap between made Qin Yu feel a kind of looming and suffocating loneliness. It made his heart grow heavier with time, and his visage become colder and made him feel more withdrawn.
This kind of unbearable pressure on him has made him want to reunite with his brothers more so than ever before. “In this next closed-door training session, I should rise my soul power to the golden immortal stage and refine a level 1 golden immortal yuanying, with it I will open the second layer world of the Atlas. Then I can immediately prepare to depart.”
Once he’d decided on his plan, he stilled his heart and entered the meditative state to access and use the ‘3-in-9 Soul Refinement’ to quickly advance the stage of his soul force.
A Year passed.
Then two years.
Within the soul space of the Human stage – first layer, of the Soul Refinement’s practice spaces, Qin Yu could not feel the passage of time, as his soul grew in power and continuous transform as he continued tirelessly through the many hand seals, which blurred with time…