OMF V1C11 A Cultured, Young Daoist

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On that morning, Qiu Ling bent over Jing He’s mortal reincarnation and held his small hands. He gave a bright smile and the boy seemed to reciprocate it even though he couldn’t see him. Qiu Ling felt deeply satisfied. Normally, Madam Zhong wouldn’t leave her son’s side for even a second. But today she had prepared her husband’s meal and accompanied him outside. For a while, Qiu Ling would have Jing Yi all to himself.
“Jing He.” He sighed, thinking of how only a few weeks had passed in the human realm. In the Nine Heavens, it hadn’t even been two hours and he already missed him. “How can I wait a whole mortal life for you?”
He wished Jing Yi could’ve answered him but the boy couldn’t hear him just like all those other humans. But if Qiu Ling was honest that might be better. He had wanted to help him through saving his mother but now such rumors had abounded.
Qiu Ling’s face fell thinking of that. Jing He’s reputation in the Nine Heavens was stellar but now he had just been reincarnated in this mortal realm and he was treated like a leper. Humans were such inferior creatures!
Just when he was cursing the mortal race in his mind voices were raised outside.
“Qiguan Cheng Da!” Of course, this was Mister Pi who was the first one to hurry toward Madam Qiguan’s son. “How nice of you to swing by!” He made sure not to sound as if he had already known that Qiguan Cheng Da would come. After all, he was a cultured man who didn’t do this for the fame! His gaze flitted to Madam Qiguan who waddled up behind him.
“Cheng’er!” She took her son by the arm and looked him up and down. “You’re looking really well!”
“Indeed, indeed!” agreed Mister Pi. “Being a Daoist does you good!”
Qiu Ling pricked up his ears inside the Zhong’s house. Daoist? What was a Daoist doing in such a remote village? “They wouldn’t have called him because of you, would they?” He stroked Jing He’s black shock of hair. The boy gurgled happily and extended his small hands. Qiu Ling surrendered one of his fingers to him and observed what happened outside.
Qiguan Cheng Da lifted his chin up and smiled to give the impression of a charitable gentleman. In Qiu Ling’s eyes, he seemed more like a cock trying to become a peacock. This guy definitely wasn’t a Daoist. There wasn’t more than a fine thread of spiritual energy inside him.
“Don’t, don’t, Mister Pi. I only felt that it was my fate to commit myself to the righteous cause and help the common people.”
The corner of Mister Pi’s mouth twitched when Qiguan Cheng Da spoke of ‘common people’. He had watched this boy grow up! Did he really have to listen to him trying to sound like someone better? But how could he say his thoughts out loud after he himself had written the letter to call him because of the heretic practitioner? Mister Pi could only pretend to smile and cast a meaningful glance at the Zhongs’ house. “Cheng Da, it’s good that you came! Actually, there is someone in our village who could use your help!”
“Oh?” Qiguan Cheng Da knew, of course, that Mister Pi was talking about the Zhongs. But he didn’t want to give the other villagers the impression that he could be called upon that easily. He was an important man now! Those villagers couldn’t even compare to his little finger!
“Indeed, indeed,” Madam Pan filled in an explanation. “It’s like this …”
She told him her favorite version of the story concerning Jing Yi. In this version, the heretic practitioner noticed Madam Zhong at the riverbank where she had been crying miserably. As a matter of course, she had been unaware that he was a heretic practitioner since the Zhongs were good people so she lamented her fate in front of this friendly stranger. She told him that even after five years of marriage she still hadn’t conceived a child and would hardly dare to look her husband in the eye anymore.
The heretic practitioner then revealed that he was able to help her. She just had to make a promise in return: His own daughter would be born in eight months and he was already in search of a suitable husband for her.
Madame Pan hastily inserted the reason for that: As the daughter of a heretic practitioner the girl, of course, couldn’t find a decent husband. So now her father could only search for someone being in great need of help who had no other choice but to acquiesce. If Madam Zhong promised that her son would marry his daughter when both of them were grown up, then, of course, he could help her.
Madam Zhong who was a decent woman as everyone knew went back to her husband first to debate what they should do. Mister Zhong also suffered because they still didn’t have a child so the two of them agreed finally.
Madam Zhong met the heretic practitioner the following day again. He gave her an enchanted ginseng and told her that she should soak it in her and her husband’s blood. If she ate it after that, she would conceive a son.
“And like that Jing Yi was born,” Madam Pan finished her story. “The Heavens are kind to have Miss Lian witness how the heretic practitioner came back to help to birth the child. Otherwise, nobody might have ever learned of this and the poor child couldn’t be saved anymore.”
Qiguan Cheng Da pressed his lips together. His mother hadn’t explained much about the story in her letter. Hence, he hadn’t known what he was going to encounter. After listening to the entire story he wasn’t sure if he could do something. He hadn’t left his home too long ago and contrary to what his mother and the other villagers thought his status and his talent was nothing out of the ordinary. If anything, it was even below average.
Thus he wasn’t part of the Yun Zou Sect’s inner sect and didn’t have a master to teach him anything. If Zhong Jing Yi’s birth really had anything to do with the spell of a heretic practitioner, he most certainly wouldn’t have been able to realize it much less do anything about it.
But of course, Qiguan Cheng Da couldn’t admit that. He nodded deliberately, a gesture he had copied from Mister Pi of all people before he went to the Yun Zou Sect to look like a cultured man. Then he turned to the Zhongs’ house. “That is indeed an alarming story. I should have a look at the child. Those demonic powers aren’t to be trifled with. The whole village could be in danger!”
The villagers all nodded as if they had been enlightened by these wise words and followed Qiguan Cheng Da to the Zhongs’ door. Feeling righteousness to be on his side the young Daoist knocked on the door.

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