I, Ip Jiang, the patriarch of the Azure Sky Sect, am casually walking around a densely populated city carrying a bag of groceries. Though no one recognizes me, people still steal glances at me from time to time. After all, I was an extremely handsome man who only looked to be about the age of a young adult.
My Azure Sky Sect broke uncountable records as I raised it up, one of those achievements being the most rapidly progressing sect in the last millennium. Its considered one of the top sects of the planet along with others which have been around for at least dozens of millenniums. Although weve become one of the top sects they still don seem to recognize us much. There are quite a number of them though and not all of them have the same affiliation. Righteous, Demonic, and everything in between, meanwhile our Azure Sky Sect has remained mostly neutral picking neither side nor involving ourselves in either sides drama.
When I first started this sect it took an exorbitant amount of time to even find ten willing people to be part of it, luckily those ten people were excellent, though their characters varied Im glad I took them in as the first disciples of my sect. Most left me to travel the world, but now I no longer have any contact with them. The only ones that remained were my 3rd, 5th, and 8th disciples who now reside as part of my sects inner circle of elders.
The rest have already set off on their own journeys, but two even betrayed me! My 4th and 6th disciples, if I ever come in contact with them again Ill make sure they learn their lesson about loyalty.
Should we even think about going to the upper realm? Whats the point? Im living a fulfilling life here, where there aren any cosmic threats, demonic disputes, nor any universe shattering events occurring. Even if there were theres no stress placed upon me to stop it, Ill just let those big boss of the universe deal with it.
While within my own thoughts I turned the corner into an alleyway. Its not like city thugs would be able to harm me anyway.
In the distance along my route I heard distinctive sounds of someone being beat. I thought for a moment to just leave, but my conscience wouldn let me. I didn have a hero complex, at least I didn think so, but thinking about it happening in an obscure alley I immediately gained sympathy for the one being beaten. The only people who pop up in my head who would do this aren good people.
Turning the corner I immediately spotted two men beating a large bag, which upon closer inspection was multiple layers of clothing wrapped around a figure. I held out my right hand and immediately the two men froze.
”Wha-whats happening? ”
”I-I can move?! ”
Waving my hand over to the left the two men floated up and gently touched the ground 3 meters away from the figure.
”Hah hah!! Wha-wha?!? ”
”Its a C-cultivator!!! ” The two spoke fearfully.
”Please, leave this person alone. ” I spoke calmly eyeing the two while releasing my hold on them.
”Oh, not leaving? Do I have to force you two away? ”
”N-no Sir cultivator, its just that… ”
”What is it? ”
The person looked at each other before gulping, ”Th-that person stole some of our stores clothes without paying.. W-we would just like some payment o-or the clothing back sir, th-thats all.. B-but since you seem to vouch for her well just leave. ” The men turned around preparing to leave.
”Wait! ” Hearing my voice froze them in place and seemed to pour a bucket of cold water on their hopes.
”Catch! ” Reaching into my robes I took out a gold coin and tossed it toward them.
When one of them turned around he quickly caught the gold piece and his face widened, showing his partner it seemed like their eyes brightened.
”Thank you, Sir cultivator!! ”
”This is more than enough! ” They said together before joyfully running off.
Turning towards the pile of clothes I saw a bright glistening pair of round sapphire colored eyes staring at me from within the huge bundle of clothes they hid in. Two small hands raised and covered their head when they noticed me staring. After a few moments their fingers began to spread apart, revealing their sapphire colored eyes once again.
Crouching down I extended my free hand towards them.
”Are you ok? Can you stand? ”
The person within the bundle of clothing stood upon their own, mostly using the wall behind them as support. They hid themselves behind so many pieces of clothing that even when they stood up it only looked like a ball of clothing had gained sentience. Retracting my hand I didn feel any offense from their lack of trust, after all a man like me would normally have some sort of agenda or reason to randomly save a person.
I was 6ft tall, but even then the person in front of me was an entire foot smaller than me. They continued to stare at me without speaking a word, their round sapphire colored eyes contrasted heavily with the dark environment.
Seeing that they weren willing to talk I decided to give them some money because of their pitiful and innocent appearance before leaving. A small flash appeared on one of the rings on my right hand before a large pouch appeared in my hand.
”Here, this is 3 silver worth of iron coins. Make do with them as you will, but I better not see you here again. ”
Their eyes darted down to the pouch and back up at me before they slowly cautiously took it from me, almost like they thought this was another trap. As they held it with both hands inspecting it I thought to myself that I no longer needed to be there.
I turned back around to the path I was headed toward originally. After only 10 steps I stopped and slowly turned around. There stood the person from before with the large pouch of coins held near their waist, they seemed a little surprised that I stopped to look back.
”What are you doing? ” Just as they looked surprised, I was a little confused on why this person started to follow me. ”Are you going to follow me? ”
After blinking a few times they finally responded… with a few nods of their head.
”I hope you refrain from doing so. ”
Turning around I kept walking down the alley. Another 20 steps and I stopped once more, the reason being the same as before.
”Stop following me! ” This time I wasn so gentle with my tone of voice. I even took a step forward to scare them a bit.
Their reaction was like what I expected, their body shook a bit and even took a step back. Their eyes even trembled.
This should stop them, fear is a huge driving factor for many situations. Surely they won pursue me now. This child surely can be so persistent and stubborn right?
After another 20 steps I felt they were finally going to give up and stop, but then suddenly I noticed them moving behind me in almost zigzag motions. Using Qi sense at my level I could easily keep paying attention to their heartbeat within a 100 meters for a few years without so much as a sweat.
I knew they were doing this so they could ”Stealthily ” follow behind me, but at this point I had given up trying to tell off the child. Id just watch how this would play out. After leaving the city I still had to go through woods and then a minor mountain range before reaching my sects own mountain range. If they manage to follow me to the minor mountain range Ill do something about it.
Exiting the city was a clearing with nowhere to hide how would they follow me now?
Apparently they just didn , at least until I reached the forest then they ran out of the city after me.
The forest had many places for them to hide, not that it mattered, but that wasn exclusive to them. I used it too and even hid my tracks at times to see how great of a tracker they were. I found it quite amusing whenever they looked stumped, turning left and right looking for me. I never completely erased my tracks though always giving them at least a few clues to use. I of course never stopped moving to give them any advantages, but they somehow still managed to find the last location I left in time and Im sure they caught numerous glimpses of me just fading away into the distance especially towards the end.
There was even a time I saw a monster-beast come close to them, but using my sword I controlled with Qi I quickly and quietly dispatched them before it got close to that child.
We were nearing the end of the forest so I decided to almost completely erase my tracks this time and even only gave them 5 seconds before I would completely disappear into the small mountain range. But before I could even reach the 3rd second she spotted me.
Are they learning to track as they
e doing it? They were gradually getting better without me noticing? Maybe I should have been paying attention instead of just trying to mess with them.
Quickly walking out of the forest I disappeared without them noticing and hid behind a tree to gauge their reaction.
As the child walked out of the forest and stared into the mountain range I wondered what was going on in their head.
Suddenly they dropped the large coin pouch they had been carrying this entire time. The act confused me, but what confused me more was what came next.
They dropped onto their knees while peering at the mountain range, their eyes began trembling heavily before it all came flooding out. Like a valve had burst their tears flowed as they sobbed quietly. Only a few muffled sounds came from them, mostly silenced by the layers of clothing they had covering their mouth. They brought their head down to try wiping the tears that flowed on their little hands.
At this point I realized I might have gone too far and reappeared in front of them without them noticing. Picking back up the pouch of coins I extended it out to them once again.
”Here. ” This time my voice was significantly softer than before when I yelled at them or even when I first spoke to them.
Reacting as soon as they heard my voice they looked up to stare at me for a moment like they were making sure I was real. Their sapphire colored eyes were glistening from tears and reddened from crying. After a moment they directly hugged me.
”Please…don leave me…I don want the money… ” Their soft voice entered my ears as I was shocked from their sudden hugging of my legs. Hearing their voice only reinforced the idea of this person being a child in my mind.
I didn expect such a strong reaction to me returning. It didn seem like much to me, but I guess what I did must have heavily impacted them earlier.
”Ok, I won leave you… How about this? You can join my sect as a disciple. Ill be sure to visit you when I have time, ok? Im a very important person in the sect after all. ”
”En… Big Brother, Ill go with you. ”
Making them a disciple wasn just a spontaneous act though, from their talent of tracking and ability to learn perhaps they could become another top expert for our sect.
”So whats your name? Im Ip Jiang. ”
”M-my? Its… Xue Jinzi. ”
”Xue Jinzi, huh? Nice to meet you, here keep this. ” Tossing them back the bag of coins. All this time Id been holding this bag of groceries, since I have to carry a person; I guess I finally have to get rid of it. With a flash the bag of food disappeared into one of my left handed rings.
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