"The Supreme Headmaster left something for you."
Ling Xian turned around to look at Zi Hua Shang. Flapping his sleeve, a gold storage pouch floated in midair and emitted a dizzying amount of light.
Instantly, Zi Hua Shang’s eyes brightened. "Master, this is what my father left behind?"
"Yes. According to him, this contains centuries of Zi Yang House’s wealth and legacy." Ling Xian nodded softly and grinned. "Open it and see. There is an inhibition spell placed on it that only those from the Zi Yang House can break. I did not try to break it myself, don’t worry."
"You are being kind."
Zi Yang Shang waved around her sleeve, and the gold storage pouch flew into her hand. Looking at the unharmed inhibition spell, she couldn’t help it but peek at Ling Xian. Her eyes were full of respect and appreciation, and now a hint of admiration.
Just like Ling Xian had said, he did not try to break the inhibition spell on the storage pouch. But Zi Hua Shang knew very well that with his capability, if he wanted to open the pouch, the spell could not stop him.
But before her eyes, the inhibition spell was not at all harmed. This proved Ling Xian’s character.
This was why Zi Hua Shang peeked at him with admiration.
"Don’t look at me that way." Ling Xian smiled, knowing what Zi Hua Shang was thinking. "Compared to wealth, I am more concerned about the promises I have made. Open it."
"Thank you." Zi Hua Shang bowed down to Ling Xian. Then, using the special spiritual energy that only exists in Zi Yang’s direct descendants, the inhibition spell on the storage pouch disappeared as purple air engulfed the pouch.
Then, an endless amount of heavenly light shot through the cloud. It was blinding and bedazzling.
"I…" Zi Hua Shang was stunned. Staring at the giant wealth inside the storage pouch, her fragile frame began to shake.
She originally thought that even if the pouch contained money, there wouldn’t be too much of it. But now, she was completely frozen because of the giant amount of wealth.
Spiritual medicine, medicinal Dans, spiritual stones, weapons… every resource she could think of was inside the pouch. Like a borderless ocean, there was no end to the depth of the pouch, and it was impossible to calculate just how much they were worth!
Without a doubt, this was a giant fortune!
Even Ling Xian was shaken up after glancing at the storage pouch. Then a strange thought formed in his head, and it was the greed in him to kill Zi Hua Shang and steal the pouch. However, his determination was stone set and after a few seconds, his thoughts cleared.
No matter how much wealth was before him, he will not snatch it by force. This was his principle.
Looking at the petrified Zi Hua Shang, Ling Xian smiled. Using the White Tiger’s Roar, he screamed, "Okay, snap back to reality."
Though the volume was not dialed up too high, it was shocking like thunder!
Zi Hua Shang’s body fidgeted, and slowly she dragged herself back to reality. However, her face was still shocked.
"So much… it’s… it’s impossible even to estimate." Zi Hua Shang mumbled and suddenly remembered Ling Xian’s existence. She stumbled back and kept a watchful eye on Ling Xian.
It was obvious she was on guard, afraid that he will try to steal it by force.
Seeing this, Ling Xian shook his head. He understood Zi Hua Shang’s thoughts. Anyone would react this way. Therefore, he was not angry and merely smiled. "Zi Yang House has accumulated much wealth, and it definitely can waver someone. If this was anyone else, they might hesitate. But I, Ling Xian, do not care for such materialistic gains. You do not need to worry."
Zi Hua Shang’s eyes glistened. She remembered Ling Xian risked his own life to save the House and did not open the pouch by himself while he was alone. She smiled awkwardly in shame. "Master Ling, I… I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have been on guard."
"It doesn’t matter. I know how you feel."
Ling Xian smiled softly. Zi Hua Shang lost her father and lost her pillar in life. To have suddenly acquired such a big fortune made her be on guard. That was normal. He didn’t think too much about it.
Zi Hua Shang’s cheeks flushed, and she felt even more embarrassed. She whispered, "Thank you for understanding."
"No worries. Why don’t you look for special things inside first." Ling Xian waved his hand and warned, "If I’m not wrong, the Headmaster probably left you a letter of some sort."
"Let me look for it." Zi Hua Shang nodded and searched the pouch with her spiritual energy.
After a while, she found something that was special.
It was an array board the size of a palm. On top were crisscrossing carvings full of strange special properties.
Looking at the array board before him, Ling Xian thought about it and concluded, "I see, this is the Array of Shadow’s Past."
"Array of Shadow’s Past?" Zi Hua Shang frowned as she stared at Ling Xian in confusion and waited for an explanation.
Seeing this, Ling Xian sighed. He then flapped around his sleeve, and the palm-sized array board began to bleed milky white light. Then, it transformed into the shadow of a man.
This person was wearing an expensive gold gown. He had very masculine features, especially his eyes. They were deep like the ocean and were endlessly deep. They seemed powerful, but not angry.
It was Zi Dong Lai.
Seeing this familiar shadow, Zi Hua Shang’s eyes instantly turned red. She crazily ran to the shadow and wanted to embrace her father.
However, her arms swept through the shadow and she could not grasp onto him.
"Master Ling.. what… what is this?" Zi Hua Shang asked frantically.
"Aye…" Ling Xian sighed as he looked at the panicking Zi Hua Shang, "You already know. Yet why do you ask?"
Zi Hua Shang sat on the ground and laughed mockingly. "The shadow is untouchable and not real is it."
"That’s right. Before death, the Headmaster used this array to form an image of himself. It is without consciousness, and definitely without skin and flesh." Ling Xian sighed again. "It only takes the form of the Headmaster and remembers what the Headmaster had said."
Zi Hua Shang’s face whitened, and her eyes became emotionless, "Father… Am I never going to get the chance to see you ever again…"
As she spoke, two streams of tears rolled down her cheeks and dripped onto the ground.
"Don’t be too sad. Don’t you want to hear what the Headmaster has to say?" Ling Xian sighed.
"Yes, of course." Zi Hua Shang raised her head abruptly and grabbed onto Ling Xian’s arm. "Master Ling, quickly, let my father speak."
"Ok." Ling Xian nodded. Forming a hand seal, he summoned.
Instantly, the shadow floating in midair quivered, as if conscious. Then, a familiar voice rose.
"Hua Shang, if you are seeing my silhouette right now, it means father has died, and the House of Zi Yang has diminished."
As soon as that sentence was spoken, Zi Hua Shang became deeply saddened, and tears fell again.
Ling Xian sighed and patted her shoulder. "Listen."
Zi Dong Lai’s silhouette began to talk again, "If I’m not wrong, you must be crying at this moment. Crying for me. Cry, you should cry. You will feel better after you cry. But remember, I will only allow you to cry this once."
Pausing, Zi Dong Lai continued, "Even though you are a girl, you have always been strong. I have placed a lot of hope on you. So I really hope you can swallow your sadness and become even stronger. There are now a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders."
"Listen well. You must take care of your little brother well. You also must reconstruct the House of Zi Yang. You have to make sure the world learns of the House of Zi Yang’s name again. As for my revenge… if you have the ability to achieve that, then do so. But do not, DO NOT force yourself. I do not want you to lose your life over something like that."
Zi Hua Shang was no longer crying at this point. It was as if she had grown in that very moment, and her mentality had matured. She slowly stood up and looked at the familiar man. She whispered, "Father, I will remember. Do not worry, I will take care of brother and reestablish the House of Zi Yang. I will also avenge your death."
Her last sentence was decisive and resolute. It was easy to see her determination.
"Aye… such a heavy burden is given to a woman. This is a bit too cruel," Ling Xian muttered to himself. But he knew that Zi Dong Lai had no choice.
He was the head of the House and was responsible for the existence of the House of Zi Yang. Before family and responsibility, he must’ve struggled and chose something in pain.
Just as Ling Xian was thinking about this, Zi Dong Lai spoke out again. This time, it concerned him.
"Ling Xian, you must be beside Hua Shang right now. Do not feel confused by this. Because this Array of the Shadow’s Past is something only you can activate. I also believe in your character that you will not open the storage pouch yourself. You must’ve given it to Hua Shang in its complete form."
"Headmaster you sure are calculative." Ling Xian laughed. He didn’t think Zi Dong Lai knew him so well.
"Ling Xian, thank you for everything you’ve done for the House of Zi Yang. Therefore I have decided to give you half of the wealth in the storage pouch. Hua Shang, did you hear?" Zi Dong Lai said.
"Father, do not worry. I will do as I am told." Hua Shang nodded.
Then, Zi Dong Lai continued, "If I’m not wrong, Ling Xian you will decline. Do not decline, because I have something to ask of you."
"Don’t think I am too cunning or coy. Just think of it as fulfilling a dead man’s wish. Take care of Hua Shang and Ying Xiong for me. When necessary or when you have the time, give them a few pointers about cultivation. Just so they can grow faster."
"Okay, I do not have much time left. I will leave you with this. Hua Shang, forgive me for burdening you with such a heavy load. I do not have a choice."
Zi Dong Lai’s silhouette began to fade. The only thing left behind was this guilt-filled and sorrowful statement that echoed throughout the room.
"Father, do not worry, I do not hate you." Zi Hua Shang’s eyes were puffy and red as she forced her tears back.
Because she has already agreed never to cry again.
"Ay…" Ling Xian sighed and patted her shoulders. He consoled, "Try to look ahead. The future road is very treacherous, and you need to be strong to continue walking."
"I understand." Zi Hua Shang nodded then forced a bright smile.
A tearful smile that was beautiful enough to bring an entire nation to its knees. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far