6 - Sad Face

"Why the sad face, Yifan?" asked an ancient voice that seemed to echo with the Dao.

One could not determine whether the speaker was a male or a female, only that whoever it is, he or she must be ancestor-level old.

"Do you miss your family?"

Above the clouds, somewhere near the central part of the seemingly boundless lands, a beautiful white crane flapped its large wings against the midwinter wind. With a gigantic wingspan of one li, the crane looked nothing like an ordinary animal. Its feathers emitted a soft spiritual glow that wrapped its entire body with warm light, making it look equally sacred and majestic.

On the crown of its head, a middle-aged man with white brows and peppered hair, a skinny teenager with a scar on his neck, a little boy not even a decade old and an ugly, fat cat were sitting cross-legged.

Yes, even the ugly cat was sitting cross-legged. If one were to look closely, one could even see that the cat had a very humanlike expression of meditation on its face.

It could be guessed that these people were all cultivators and very strong ones at that, even the little boy not even a decade old, with deep attainments sufficient to resist with just their bodies the whipping winds that would otherwise easily rip apart a mortal. The fact that they were using a pure-blood demon crane as a mount proved that they had extraordinary backgrounds.

Suddenly, the cat opened its mouth.

"Do you desire to go visit your home?"

The ancient voice that asked those three questions was, surprisingly, not from the middle-aged man… but the ugly cat!

"This Seat understands. It has only been a year since this Seat took you under my tutelage." The cat seemed to recall a memory long forgotten. "For mortals like your family, a year must have been quite a long time. With your age, this must have been the first time you have been away from your family for so long. However, for us cultivators, a year is akin to a blink of an eye. Sometimes, even less."

When the ugly cat stopped talking, silence reigned on the group. When it realized no one was going to say anything, it continued to speak at its own leisurely pace.

"Yifan, you have yet to fully understand that for us cultivators to be able to reach the peak and touch immortality, one must always strive to cultivate the unyielding heart… an undistracted heart… a pure heart…"

Unable to bear it any longer, the middle-aged man lowered his head and he scratched his cheek. "Master, you have only accepted Junior Brother for less than two months—"

"You with the surname Chu! How dare you interrupt the Master as he discusses the Dao?!" the skinny teenager suddenly erupted in anger. Among the three, it seemed like he was the one truly lost in the wonders of their Master's teachings. "Off with your head!"

"S-Senior Brother, you already cut off three of my heads this month!" the middle-aged man, though appearing fearful, protested with a wronged expression. "The last one hasn't even properly regenerated yet because you borrowed Wuye Sect's Blade of Transgression the last time you lost our bet."

"How dare you talk back to your senior?!" The skinny teenager's ear had turned crimson. "Off with your head!"

"Master, Senior Brother Yun is starting again!"

"Alas, like this Seat always say, cultivate the heart," the cat sighed as if he was grieving about the fate of the universe. "Yifan, you must never learn from your senior brothers. This Seat has thoroughly failed to educate them."

Two sounds of rocks hitting rocks thundered through the sky. The middle-aged man with the surname Chu and the skinny teenager with the surname Yun were kowtowing towards the ugly cat. From the sounds alone, it could be deciphered how hard the defensive abilities of their bodies and the feathers of the crane were.

"Master, this disciple has failed you!"

"Master, it's really only Senior Brother that has failed you! It's not your fault!"

"What are you saying, you imbecile? Do you want to have your head cut off?"

"Why is it always my head? Don't you know other threats? Are you a kid?"

"What, you insulting kids now? Do you want me to cut your tail as well?"

"No! Junior Brother, save me! Tell him your sad face will turn really sad if my tail is cut off."

"Yifan, you must never be sad—"

"Master, I'm just hungry," the little boy, Wu Yifan, complained. He felt another headache incoming. Among them, he was the youngest but he felt like he was the only adult. "Can we stop in a nearby city to eat?"

The ugly cat opened its eyes, which were colorless like crystals. It reflected the light from the heaven and earth.

"Oh, why didn't you say so earlier?" Leisurely, it patted its furry paw on the crane. "All right, Xiao Feng, find us a city. But stay away from the north. I felt an ominously cold energy coming there. It seems like the peaceful days of this world is near its end."

"Master, I bet you are hungry too."

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