Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
The discussion hall was a very large auditorium, there were many chairs arranged neatly inside, and it was where the upper echelons of the sect would congregate to discuss important matters.
Today, there were not many people in the discussion hall, but the atmosphere was especially solemn.
Even though Ou Peng was smiling when he led the group in, once he entered the hall, his smile was replaced with a straight, serious face. The people who were following also put on a serious expression. Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing were the sect master’s personal disciples, but even they had seldom come to this hall. Thus, when they entered, they became respectful and their behaviors formal, as they stood near the hall entrance not daring to make a sound. Old fourth and old sixth of the Piaomiao’s six tigers, as well as chief disciple Zhang Chengyue were standing at their own allocated positions, while waiting for sect master Ou Peng to take his place.
Ou Peng walked into the inner most area of the discussion hall and sat on a large adorned chair, before facing his audience. After seeing the sect master comfortably seated, the rest then carefully seated themselves.
Ou Peng glanced at his audience, and then said to Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing “Both of you come over as well. Find someplace and sit down.”
Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing replied in unison “Thanks sect master.” Then, they found two chairs and seated themselves down as well.
Ou Peng then continued “Describe what happened for us.”
Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing exchanged glances, and Wen Wenhai spoke up “Yes, sect master, the mission went on like that. “Then, Wen Wenhai described the events after he and his junior sister left Piaomiao sect, up till where he met his two senior uncles, without missing a single details in his recount, including the fact that he save Zhang Cai and his family. However, he intentionally left out two important points, the incident when Xue Qing gave her plaque to Zhang Cai as well as the fact that they pocketed three stalks of precious herbs for themselves. However, when he finished his narrative, he included a line at the end “However, there are two matters which needs to be explained, please forgive disciple for omitting them in my report.”
Ou Peng pondered, and nodded in approval.
Then, Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing took out the silver box and the flat stone box, as well as the bag of precious herbs from their possessions, and displayed the items on the table beside Ou Peng.
Ou Peng did not open the silver box, instead, he told old fourth “You can carry on with your things, we will wait for you.” Old four replied “I understand.”, and then, he stood up and left the hall hurriedly. Only Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing let their confusion seep out on their faces, the other audiences were as quiet as if they were in meditation.
Not long after, old four returned, nodded hurriedly at Ou Peng, before retaking his position.
Ou Peng then said “Everyone has suffered. We can finally see some returns after such a long period of investment. Shall we look at the contents of the treasure now?” Saying which, he smiled towards the audience.
Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing were not aware that Ou Peng’s friendly side; he would always appear solemn and serious in the discussion hall. Hence for today, the people in the hall were feeling curious, as they knew that a treasure which could excite their sect leader could not be an ordinary one.
Ou Peng picked the silver box up first, carefully opened it, and saw a booklet inside. He took out the booklet which felt soft to the touch, yet it did not feel like paper or silk, and thus the material remained a mystery. A single word, “sword”, was written on the cover, its font was similar to Piaomiao sect’s signboard except the calligraphy betrayed a hint of murderous intent. After Ou Peng read the cover, he flipped open the book at scanned through the contents at his own casual pace. As he flipped through the pages, his eyes became squint and but he did not say anything.
After half a bell worth of time, Ou Peng’s gaze move back onto the silver box, as he carefully examined it again. Suddenly, his eyes lighted up, and he extended his hand and uncovered the base which the booklet was on, revealing three neatly placed bottles; the silver box turned out to have two layers, with the first layer where the booklet was placed reaching up to only a third of the height of the box. Ou Peng was even more cautious as he took out the first bottle; the bottles were actually carved from jade, with some unknown material used to seal its contents, and on the first bottle were the three words “Qi strengthening pill”! Ou Peng’s mood soared, this Qi strengthening pill was something that existed centuries ago, and was used to strengthen one’s inner energy. Its recipe was lost long ago, but according to the books within the sect, this pill could be consumed to provide thirty years’ worth of inner energy training. If he were to consume on the pills here and now, his inner energy would… As Ou Peng let his imagination run wild, his hands actually began to tremble.
He then carefully put the bottle back into the box, and took out another one. This bottle was almost identical to the first bottle except that the words carved on it said “Bone reinforcing pill.” Ou Peng wrinkled his brows, what was the use of such a pill? To reinforce the bones? There were no records of such an item among the books in the sect, but for it to be placed with the Qi strengthening pill, it had to be an equally precious item. When he had the time, he could ask the other three factions, perhaps one of their libraries would have records of it. He then carefully placed the bottle back to its original position.
After that, he took out the last bottle, and when he say the three words carved on its front, he lost control of himself and stood up on the spot, wide-eyed. The other people in the discussion hall also stand up immediately, not knowing what their sect mater saw for him to react in such a way.
Ou Peng calmed his thoughts and seated himself again, while signaling the other people to sit down. At that moment, he began to feel a tinge of regret, he regretted not bringing Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing into the discussion hall with him along. Now that these items were placed out in the open for everyone to see, he could not hide them for himself anymore. However, these items were truly that precious, and it was not because he did not trust his sect members, but rather that the value of the items could cause the downfall of his sect if they were leaked to the public.
Ou Peng could not help but ponder deeply again with his eyes closed.
The audience was surprised to see their sect master excited one moment and worried in the next, his behavior was truly abnormal.
After Ou Peng made his mind up, he opened his eyes and reverted to his original expression. He placed the bottle back into the box, and picked up the booklet again, handing it to Zhang Chengyu, saying “Give this to your senior uncles to see. You all can take a look at it as well.”
The booklet was passed around as everyone skimmed through it once, while Ou Peng announced “Chengyue, make a copy of this book and pass the copy to your sixth senior uncle. The original copy will be left in our restricted library to be kept safely.
Zhang Chengyue nodded in acknowledgment. Then, Ou Peng turned to Old sixth and said “Old sixth, you will be responsible for nurturing the disciples. Pick a few with exceptional aptitudes to practice this sword manual, and in the future, our Piaomiao sect will own another branch of sword arts.
Old sixth replied “Yes, sect master, I will do my best to allow this sword art to flourish in our sect.”
Ou Peng nodded without a word.
Then, Ou Peng announced the identities of the pills in the first two bottles while everyone gleamed with envy. These pills were truly top quality items, only that they were not aware of the number of pills and if they would have the opportunity to consume one.
Finally, Ou Peng said “There is another bottle of pills, and it contains the legendary “longevity extending pills”, although we cannot confirm authenticity.
The audience was stunned as he voice rang throughout the hall.
Although the qi strengthening pill was known to be a profound medicine in the Jianghu world and all the martial artists would scramble to obtain one, the longevity extending pill was so famous that its name was widespread among the ordinary population. It was a legend among the legends; everyone has of its efficacy to extend one’s lifespan by a decade, but no one has seen it for at least a thousand years. Even intelligent people would be stumbled if they were asked to calculate the length of someone’s life, so even if someone had consumed such a pill, who was able to tell if it was effective? Not to mention who would use such a valuable pill on a person who is near death? Not before long, everyone treated it as a joke, and it became a popular material for fictitious story-tellers. For such a joke among the ordinary households to appear among precious medicines like the “Qi strengthening pill”, one would be in a dilemma to laugh or cry.
Was it real or fake?
However, everyone already knew that whether it was authentic or not, if other sects caught wind of its appearance, then even the survivability of the Piaomiao sect would be in question.
It was no wonder that the sect master’s behavior was so erratic previously. It seems that they should not pursue this matter any further. However, the only question is, did the other three factions obtain the same items?
Everyone, including the sect master, had such thoughts in their hearts.
Next, the sect master opened the clothe bundle where the herbs were kept, and was thus treated to another shock. There were hundreds of years old ginsengs, Tainqi, Sanjing, etc..… many without familiar names as he looked at the contents of the cloth bundle, he felt fear crawling through his heart. Never in a hundred or thousand years would he expect to receive such gains. Had he known earlier, he would not have cared about his reputation or pride, and would personally set off for the expedition. Taking into account Sir Yanming’s antics, who would care to play scissors paper stone with him? Instead, he would have sparred immediately. This time, Sir Yanming has missed a rare opportunity, and fortunately for him, little Hai and Qing’er had arrived back to the sect safely. Had anything happened to these precious treasures, then it would be already be too late for regrets.
For Ou Peng to have so many thoughts running through his head was natural, as he had just seen pills from the legends and while he could not ascertain their authenticity, the items were consumable in nature and limited in quantity. At least, the precious herbs in front of him were things which value could be verified. A stalk of hundred year old ginseng could be a lifesaver in a perilous situation, and when prescribed with other herbs, its effects would even be enhanced. When he was listening to Wen Wenhai’s story, he was unable to determine the extent of its importance as they thought Sir Yanming was exaggerating. However, now that he has seen the treasures with his own eyes, and with the knowledge that there were even more in the secret area, it seems that the four factions would need to meet and discuss things more formally.
Then, as everyone in the audience looked at each other, Ou Peng excitedly called Zhang Chengyue to inform the hallmaster and elder of the pharmacy hall to join them in the discussion hall.