After Ye Futian left the Realm Palace, he returned to the mountains. Sky River Great Elder was still cultivating, so he did not ask much.
However, the master must already have some idea about the matter. So, if the master did not start the conversation, he wouldn't ask any questions.
He also went back to cavern residence to cultivate, and he continued to study the Deed of Thorough Comprehension.
The next day, on the mountain path below, a young and very beautiful woman came toward the mountain. She looked up at the mountain in front of her with lots of emotions in her heart.
The woman was Xu Ping'an.
Yesterday, the Grand Uncle-Master left soon after he appeared, but it touched her deeply. He had asked her to go up the mountain, so she was now making the trip.
As she walked up the mountain, there was an old man standing there, waiting for her.
The old man's hair was scattered and looked rugged. It was as if he had been through a lot in life. However, Xu Ping'an knew that the man who stood in front of her was the legendary old man who had been imprinted in her memory but she had never met.
Xu Ping looked at the old man and proceeded to kneel on the ground and bowed down to pay her respect. "Disciple Xu Ping'an greets the Grandmaster."
"Get up." Somehow the old man appeared in front of her, holding her arm with both hands, helping her up. Xu Ping'an looked at the kind gentleness in the old man's eyes, and her heart was filled with emotion.
His name had been part of her life, and her parents had mentioned it countless times. They were all in Tianhe City, but this was the first time that she had really met this Grandmaster. The number one cultivator in Tianhe Realm—Sky River Great Elder—was also her grandfather's mentor, who had nurtured her grandfather into the first sword emperor of Tianhe Realm.
She would like to go back in time and experienced that era it was and see for herself what a glorious past it was.
Naturally, Sky River Great Elder knew of Xu Ping'an. He had always known, and he had seen her, though not in person. He knew that the descendant of his eldest disciple Xu Haoran had a daughter to continue theirs.
Even Xu Haoran's name was given by him. His father—the Gentleman Sword Emperor—was full of righteousness, hence the name. Once upon a time, he had high hopes for the little guy. However, that once talented boy was now gray-haired and weakened by age. How sad it made him when he thought of it...
"I'm sorry for not having taken care of your family." Sky River Great Elder sighed, and his voice was full of guilt. Xu Ping'an bowed her head slightly. It was not her place to comment on matters between her elders. Her parents had never complained; all these were her grandfather's own choice.
Her father had often said that even in the muddy world, they still need to be the bright light that would shine through it.
"I have been waiting for you, too," Sky River Great Elder said again.
"I've always wanted to see the Grandmaster also, but father told me not to come and disturb your cultivation," Xu Ping'an replied.
"Your father was afraid of involving me," Sky River Great Elder smiled and replied. He knew better than anyone that although he survived from the ordeal back then, he was still a sinner in the eyes of the God Clan. This mountain was his prison; he was an invisible prisoner.
Xu Ping'an also understood. She knew many things.
"Grandmaster, Uncle-Master is back, and asked me to bring you a message," Xu Ping'an said.
Sky River Great Elder's arm twitched slightly. Even though he had many disciples, he knew who Ping'an meant as soon as she mentioned it.
He had come back, after all. And not long ago, Lord Taixuan had also sent his disciple here.
"Uncle-Master wanted you to know that he regrets that he could not come see you," Xu Ping'an said.
"Indeed, it was regrettable." Sky River Great Elder's eyes looked into the distance.
"Uncle-Master also said that he had accepted several apprentices on your behalf, and that you have seen one of them already, and that he asked you to please take care of that apprentice."
Sky River Great Elder did not speak. It seemed that he knew everything that had happened here, and knew them very well.
The news of Sky River Great Elder had appointed a successor had been spread all over Tianhe City. Now that Qi Xuangang had arrived, it was impossible that he had not heard about it.
"Anything else?" Sky River Great Elder asked.
Xu Ping'an was silent for a moment, and then said, "Uncle-Master said that there was one more thing, but that the Grandmaster would understand his intention after seeing me."
Sky River Great Elder looked at Xu Ping'an. Of course, he understood.
This disciple of was his was indeed disobedient. Everything was arranged just for him.
However, even without his instructions, would he do anything differently?
"Lass, you will stay on the mountain to cultivate from now on," said the Sky River Great Elder. "And bring your parents here too."
Xu Ping'an was dumbfounded for a moment as she looked up at the Grandmaster, remembering the words she said before.
She was a little confused before about what Grandmaster would understand when he saw her.
Now she understood.
The third thing Uncle-Master had asked was to let the Grandmaster take care of her...
When her thoughts turned to this, Xu Ping's felt a little bitter but also was warmed by it. Her life had been miserable, and no one excepted that her parents had ever given her this feeling. But now, both Grand Uncle-Master and the Grandmaster cared about her.
"My father told me to go back after I relayed the message," Xu Ping'an said while bowing her head.
"If you have the heart to continue seeing your parents like this, then listen to your father," Sky River Great Elder said. Xu Ping'an clenched her fists, then nodded decisively. Clearly, she had made a decision in her heart.
"Grand Uncle-Master also asked me to bring a message to Uncle-Master," Xu Ping'an said again.
Sky River Great Elder nodded. Then Ye Futian, who was cultivating, heard his voice. Soon, he came over and saw Xu Ping'an.
Ye Futian was a little puzzled and didn't know who Xu Ping'an was.
"This is Ping'an—the grandchild of my eldest disciple, who was also your older Uncle-Master. He was the premier sword emperor of Tianhe Realm, who perished in that battle. Ping'an's parents also had their cultivation destroyed, and Ping'an took care of them by herself," said the Sky River Great Elder.
This short remark made a great impression on Ye Futian. It rendered him speechless for a moment. The Sky River Great Elder, in a few words, had told a thrilling but tragic story.
And some, because of that battle, and because of the things related to his teacher.
"Your master was there too, and visited Ping'an and her parents, and asked Ping'an to give you a message," Sky River Great Elder continued. Ye Futian's heart was troubled again. Had Master arrived as well?
Ye Futian looked at Xu Ping'an and saw that she was bowing slightly to him, saying, "Uncle-Master."
In terms of seniority, Xu Ping'an had to address Ye Futian as "Uncle-Master."
"Mmm," Ye Futian replied. The Master had visited them must be because he had great been affection for them, or else he would not risk so much. Back then, Master's senior brother, the premier sword emperor of Tianhe Realm, gave his life because of the thing involving the master.
The Master must have felt guilty.
"Grand Uncle-Master asked me to tell Uncle-Master that from now on, you do not know him when you meet. Concentrate on cultivating, and don't forget the words he gave you, no matter when, where, or who you are facing," Xu Ping'an said.
Ye Futian's expression suddenly changed. Those words gave him a very ominous feeling. It was as if he was telling giving his last testimony and will.
As if he noticed Ye Futian's expression, Sky River Great Elder asked Ye Futian, "What did he say?"
"As heaven always moves strongly, the gentleman ought always improve himself." Ye Futian looked at the Grandmaster. His face was a little gloomy.
"And then?" Sky River Great Elder asked.
"Gentleman does not stand on an unstable wall," Ye Futian replied. "The Master was telling me to completely sever the relationship with him—no matter when, where, or who I am facing. I am to deny that I knew him."
When he heard Ye Futian's words, Sky River Great Elder was silent. Naturally, he understood as well.
Ye Futian told him that Feixue could now concentrate on cultivating, so he had nothing to worry about?
After all, he still came back.
"Grandmaster, what happened in the past, and what did my master intend to do?" Ye Futian asked.
"Some things are hard to resolve, and some things must be faced sooner or later," Sky River Great Elder looked at Ye Futian, but those murky eyes seemed unusually firm at the moment. "So, I respect your master's choice."
Ye Futian's face was slightly pale. "You go back with Ping'an and take her parents here."
"Very well," Ye Futian nodded and looked at Xu Ping'an. "Let's go," he said.
"Yes," Xu Ping'an nodded. She left with Ye Futian to pick up Xu Haoran and his wife.
At the old house, Ye Futian and Xu Ping'an were coming over.
"Dad, Mom," Xu Ping'an called out, but no one responded. Sensing that something was out of sorts, Ye Futian's body flickered, and he headed toward the inside of the house.
Xu Ping'an seemed to feel it too. Her face changed as her figure flickered to enter the old house. Ye Futian and Xu Ping'an's footsteps suddenly stopped, and they could not move another step.
Xu Ping'an's body was shaking as were her legs. Looking at the two figures leaning quietly there, endless tears continued sliding down her cheeks.
After what seemed to be a long time, she walked over next to the old man and knelt down, saying, "Father and Mother, but why?"
In an instant, tears fell like rain.
Ye Futian also walked up quietly and looked at the elderly couple; they were his senior brother and sister-in-law, but they were so old. Suddenly he felt a pain in his heart.
What had the master gone through? And what was he carrying in his heart?
Xu Ping'an was lying on top of the old couple, but Ye Futian saw a letter next to them. He crouched down. Xu Ping'an, at this moment, was so fragile, like a powerless girl.
"They left peacefully and left you a letter," Ye Futian whispered. They did not suffer but had left peacefully.
Xu Ping'an was sobbing. She picked up the letter, and her tears were falling on it.
"Ping'an, don't be sad. If it weren't because we wanted to spend more time with you, we would have left already, but we have been reluctant to let you go. You will understand the meaning of your Grand Uncle-Master after you are at the mountain. Although we know it was selfish of us, we hope that you will stay with the Grandmaster so that at least you will be protected when you are in danger, not like when you were with us and we couldn't protect you."
There are many other things in the letter, but they were all words of regret. As Xu Ping'an was reading it, she couldn't stop crying. She had never complained about her destiny. Never.
"Ping'an, don't forget the words of your parents, even if you are in the muddy world, still shine your light through it. We can't see your future, and our only wish is for you to be safe, always." the letter. The letter was soaked with tears that had blurred the handwriting.
Ye Futian felt bitterness in his heart. Master went far away for Feixue's sake. However, after Feixue's matter was resolved, the master followed him. Now he knew that Master was bearing such a heavy weight. That constant concern aside, he would accompany him to the Upper Realm.
Same with Ping'an's parents!
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