Chapter 35 A Sad Song
For most locals in Huating, this was an extremely unfamiliar name. But for few, this meant one of the top clubs for Huating.
Garden Party was placed in the interior of Lan Mount National Forest Garden, Southeast area of Huating’s Yunjian District. It covered an area of less than 1,500 field and was surrounded by old trees that completely covered the sun. Ancient buildings were dotted within the surrounding mountains and lakes, making for a quiet and peaceful scenery.
Although the clubhouse was built within a national garden, it neither did publicity nor open itself to the public. Instead, it had a membership system. For the past five to six years since the establishment of the clubhouse, there were never more than a hundred members. Thus, most of the building complex was in a cold and cheerless state.
Under the early morning sunshine, along a hidden path, Wang Yuetong drove a yellow beetle while introducing Garden Party to Li Tianlan.
“Second Uncle opened Garden Party when he first arrived at Huating. For the past five years, there were only less than one hundred membership cards. About twenty of them are VIP members while the rest are ordinary members.
“But even those ordinary members are powerful characters in Huating. Having a membership card to Garden Party represented the cardholder’s high reputation in Huating as well.”
Wang Yuetong blinked at the route in front and whispered, “Senior Brother, I will ask for Second Uncle to give you a membership card later. When I am not around you during vacation, you can still come here to take a look.”
“Even though there are few guests here normally, anyone you met is deserving for you to establish a relationship with. Sky Academy is not a normal school and connections inside and outside of the school are tight. If you want to develop in Huating or in the south in the future, there is no harm knowing more people. And the 100 members here are the worthiest of knowing.”
Li Tianlan spoke calmly but sighed internally. Perhaps Wang Yuetong had goodwill, but it was determined that the 100 members of Garden Party would have not much help to his future.
It was known that each member here belonged to Southeast Group, or were the people who would not have any conflicts of interest with Southeast Group in the short run. Knowing that Wang family of Beihai was the leader of Southeast Group, he was certain that the attitude of these members would be negative once his identity was exposed.
However, Li Tianlan understood what Wang Yuetong was thinking. It was obvious that she was trying to help him. But from her perspective, her help would mean that he needed to integrate fast into the Southeast Group’s system. This was perhaps ideal in Wang Yuetong’s eyes but Li Tianlan could not do it.
He would rather be a farmer than a vassal.
If he wanted to be a vassal, apart from Kunlun city, everyone including Prince Group would welcome grandfather and the Li family to join them. Why then did the Li family stay in the border for so many years?
Why then did Li Tianlan hide his identity so cautiously?
As long as they could put aside their pride, the Li family would have reappeared in Zhongzhou State as a vassal.
But why did grandfather endure for so many years?
For so many years, why did the elites of Xuanyuan Stage of Kunlun rather die than leave the campsite, staying at the border with his grandfather?
It was because of Xuanyuan Stage of Kunlun, because of War God’s hundred years of pride and dignity. With all these, who would be willing to be other’s vassal? Who would dare to be other’s vassal?
Li Tianlan sat silently on the shotgun seat of the beetle. He had a calm expression as Wang Yuetong led him through the path into the gate of Garden Party.
Large ancient garden-like structures appeared in Li Tianlan’s sight.
It was April and the flowers were blooming in spring, showing beautiful shades of purple and red. Calm water flowed gently under small antique bridges, with pavilions and towers beside it, a scene to be remembered. Sometimes, elegant and gentle waitresses wearing cheongsam walked amongst the beautiful flowers with trays in their hands. All the scenery here conveyed a sense of peace and quiet. All the noise of the modern society seemed to have completely vanished here.
Li Tianlan remembered Qin Weibai and a sentence.
“I really should come here with you.”
Perhaps that was how Qin Weibai felt whenever she sent him a message about the novel things that she had seen.
Wang Yuetong stared at the slightly stoned Li Tianlan, and came beside him, laughing quietly. “Don’t stare anymore. If you like this place, you can come here often once you get the card. Nobody would care if you choose to stay here every day during your seven days of holidays. However, you shouldn’t place your eyes on the waitresses here. The women here are all devious and would eat you without spitting your bones out.”
Li Tianlan followed Wang Yuetong across a small bridge and looked down at the limpid running water and the fish swimming beneath his feet. He smiled, “Why? The waitresses here have autonomy?”
“By theory, yes. There are three beauties of Garden Party, beautiful scenery, delicious food, and pretty women.”
Wang Yuetong explained in a low voice, “Every waitress here has at least a master’s degree and has good enough emotional intelligence and an excellent appearance. Anyone of them would be a real beauty outside with class and knowledge. The club would not care if they wish to do something with the guests.”
“What a foul atmosphere!”
Li Tianlan shook his head and said subconsciously.
Wang Yuetong stared at Li Tianlan with some consternation before suddenly bursting into laughter. “Senior Brother Tianlan, you are so cute when you are conservative.”
Li Tianlan was lazy to defend himself and just followed Wang Yuetong ahead.
They walked for another ten minutes in the quiet and beautiful path that seemed to be out of this world before arriving to their destination.
Less than 20 meters from where they were, an octagon pavilion supported by several thick pillars appeared before their eyes. The pavilion seemed to be surrounded completely by water, with only a 2-meter wide route extending straight ahead until the center of the pavilion.
Inside the pavilion, an old man and a young man sat at opposite ends of the table. They seemed to be playing a game of chess.
Wang Yuetong quickened her pace a little and shouted out before she even reached the pavilion. “Second Uncle!”
Inside the pavilion, the young man sitting opposite the elder lifted his head to look at Wang Yuetong, with a doting smile appearing immediately on his face as he saw her. When he saw Li Tianlan, he was slightly stunned but he continued smiling. He waved at the two but did not rise, focusing once more at the chessboard in front of him.
Li Tianlan walked calmly into the pavilion. He subconsciously glanced at the chessboard without looking at the two individuals playing the game.
On the chessboard, black and white pieces were places all across the board and were in all directions. Both players had a solemn face and played slower with each move.
Li Tianlan knew a little about Go, but he was merely a novice who only knew the rule without diving deeper into the field. However, he did immediately felt that something was amiss just by scanning the chessboard.
The black and white pieces were organized orderly on the board but the layout was very weird as if the two were playing chess without considering any logic. Just when he was wondering, the solemn elder put down his chess piece and smiled gently. “No more, no more. I will lose if we continue playing. I’m tired.”
“Such a game of Gomuko. A world-famous game indeed.”
Wang Yuetong smiled casually. Even though her tone was complimentary, there wasn’t any sincerity in it.
“Chess is a puzzle to train your intellect. Gomuko, Go, Chinese chess, or even Chinese Checkers share the same fundamental principles. Why do princess care what chess we are playing? All chess is the same as long as we are happily playing them.”
The old man looked up at Wang Yuetong and smiled.
The old man was around 60 to 70 years of age. He wore a blue shirt and had long hair and a short beard. He had an average look with a deadly pale on his face that made him look sickly. The only part unusual about him was his eyes.
The elder’s eyes were neither full of vicissitudes nor extremely wise, but they shine brightly as if they were stars in the sky, spreading their light outwards. They seemed to be able to discern everything in a split second. However, what gave Li Tianlan the most lasting impression was still his temperament.
It was an indescribable temperament as if an extreme sense of mystery and detachment. He smiled gently and his eyes were clear but he still gave an illusion of not being a human being on earth.
“Is that the Taoist Xuan Xuanzi who is considered a revered guest to even Wang Tianzong himself?”
“Good Morning Taoist Priest, I’m Yuetong.”
Wang Yuetong bowed and paid her respects properly but her tone was not as gentle. “Taoist Priest, you do not make sense. Even though Gomuko and Go are all chess, the two have immensely different rules. How do you mix the two games together?”
“They are all the same.”
The old man’s eyes were still gentle as he spoke with indescribable silence and profound meaning. “Full enlightenment is fundamentally simple.”
“This girl doesn’t like to use her brain since young. She will not understand what you had said.”
The young man sitting opposite the elder glanced at Wang Yuetong, smiling. “But this girl does have a conscience, running straight here right at the start of a vacation. Looks like I don’t dote you for nothing.”
“Second Uncle, my main objective was not to see you. I heard that the old Immortal Xuan Xuanzi was here and thus decided to come and get some Divine Qi from him.”
Wang Yuetong grunted as she wrinkled her nose, smiling as she pulled Li Tianlan over. “Let me introduce him to you. This is Senior Brother Li Tianlan. Senior Brother Tianlan has Wind and Thunder Veins and will have great achievements in the future.”
“Wind and Thunder Veins!”
Such words stunned not only Wang Yuetong’s Second Uncle Wang Xiaoyao. Even Xuan Xuanzi, who sat opposite Wang Xiaoyao, had glimmers flashing violently in his eyes. His bright eyes stared at Li Tianlan immediately.
“In that case, he must be a real young handsome prodigy. Tianlan, Tianlan, an interesting name.”
Wang Xiaoyao stared at Li Tianlan, eyes flashing for a second or two before sticking out his hand to shake. “Tianlan, I am Wang Xiaoyao. Since you are classmates with Yuetong, you can call me Second Uncle too if you don’t mind.”
Li Tianlan stared solemnly at Wang Xiaoyao and shook hands with him before calling him Second Uncle.
Wang Xiaoyao was thirty years old but only seemed to be twenty-seven or twenty-eight. He was tall and had a handsome face, and could be considered to be the standard good-looking man. Ning Qiancheng had messaged him and said that Wang Xiaoyao was the most arrogant wealthy man of Wang family of Beihai. However, Li Tianlan was completely oblivious to that fact now as his glances were extremely modest and calm, even wearing a sincere smile, making anyone like him upon the first glance. There was no arrogance nor rudeness in him at all.
At this instance, Li Tianlan did not know that he was meeting with his love rival but seeing that the low-key and modest Wang Xiaoyao was a huge contrast from what Ning Qiancheng had told him, his vigilance had increased even further. In his mind, such a man would be countless times more dangerous than those who were externally arrogant and domineering in appearance.
Wang Xiaoyao slapped Li Tianlan’s shoulder casually, with all-natural action. “You are Yuetong’s friend and is naturally not an outsider. Don’t be nervous.”
Li Tianlan didn’t say much and sat down casually next to Wang Yuetong. In his Perception State, he realized that other than Wang Xiaoyao, even the Senior Taoist Xuan Xuanzi, who sat opposite Wang Xiaoyao, was sizing him up, as his glance lingered a bit longer on him. Li Tianlan turned his head to look at the Taoist and nodded slightly.
“Does our little friend here believe in the mandate of heaven?”
Xuan Xuanzi, who had been observing Li Tianlan for a while, suddenly smiled and asked with a gentle tone.
Li Tianlan dared not to be too careless. Zhongzhou State was vast in territory and in talents. Even though mystics were considered to be superstition, the read mystical talent might still exist.
His grandfather had told him that there were a few semi-immortal individuals who roamed the earth but had talents that enable them to look through one’s destiny. The Xuan Xuanzi in front of him was obviously a VIP of Wang family of Beihai. Even though Li Tianlan did not know if he could look through his destiny, he was sure that the other party was not just a normal swindler.
“Yes and no.”
Li Tianlan kept silent for a while before answering cautiously.
Xuan Xuanzi smiled even gentler. He stared at Li Tianlan’s face intensely as he got interested. He continued, “Little friend, everyone has their own mandate of heaven. If you don’t mind, can you lend me your left hand for me to nag about your mandate of heaven?”
Wang Xiaoyao was slightly stunned.
Wang Yuetong was pleasantly surprised. That was why she brought Li Tianlan here today.
Xuan Xuanzi was a real talent of Haotian Taoism, a grandmaster of mystic arts. It was rumored that his eyes could not only see through karma of heaven and earth but also control the fate of the nation. Thus, not only did Wang family of Beihai regard him as a VIP, even the few powerful heads of Zhongzhou State Central Authority, Hidden Dragon Sea, paid great respect to him. Anything that such an extraordinary person said would have a prophetic effect.
Wang Yuetong went to Sky Academy with the intention of collecting talents for Wang family of Beihai. Li Tianlan was her most important target not just because of his Wind and Thunder Veins, as even his character was truly admirable in Wang Yuetong’s eyes. If such a character joined Wang family of Beihai, he would be a big boost to the family when he entered the Invincible Realm, or even just the Thunder-shocking Realm.
As Xuan Xuanzi coincidentally came to Huating now, Wang Yuetong wanted to bring Li Tianlan over for Xuan Xuanzi to view his fate and give him some advice for Li Tianlan to grow faster.
That was gratitude for Li Tianlan, making him closer to Wang family of Beihai.
Wang Yuetong was still considering how she could ask Xuan Xuanzi when the senior Taoist expressed interest in Li Tianlan himself, making it a perfect situation.
Li Tianlan was also slightly surprised but he had no reason to reject him. Even if the other party could see through his fate, he did not believe that he could know his background. After a slight consideration, he held up his left hand in front of Xuan Xuanzi and said sincerely, “Please, Taoist Priest.”
Xuan Xuanzi nodded with a smile. He narrowed his clear eyes and peered closely.
Li Tianlan waited silently.
Wang Yuetong sat beside him with her hands crossed, seemingly more nervous than Li Tianlan.
Wang Xiaoyao, who noticed this detail, frowned but did not say much.
Xuan Xuanzi peered for a full five minutes. Just when Li Tianlan felt that he was already asleep, he moved his body and lifted his eyes. He smiled, looking at Li Tianlan. “What is the most prosperous must decay. Our little friend must have experienced many hardships in the past. If the I’m not wrong, our little friend experienced a life and death tribulation just a year ago. Am I right?”
Li Tianlan clenched his left hand subconsciously as his face changed dramatically.
Such a reaction had confirmed the accuracy of Xuan Xuanzi without requiring him to give a verbal answer.
Xuan Xuanzi seemed to have not seen all of this and continued, “Your future path should be clear. After graduation from Sky Academy, I recommend you to develop in Wuyue. There is King’s Aura in Wuyue. If you can have a foothold in Wuyue, your life will be complete. From your palm print, I see that your birth destiny has already been clearly shown. You have an extremely prosperous fate and the destiny of a Heavenly Son.”
Wang Xiaoyao instinctively narrowed his eyes as a murderous gaze glimmered in his cold harsh eyes.
He did not suspect what Xuan Xuanzi said but two sentences from his speech triggered the most sensitive part of his heart.
The first was Wuyue.
Wuyue province was now the most prosperous and powerful province in Zhongzhou State, with the main city Jinling being extremely close to Huating. More importantly, the entire Wuyue province was the back garden of Wang family of Beihai, with a firmness second only to Beihai Province itself.
Wuyue was where Wang family of Beihai first became prosperous. It was fine if Li Tianlan joined Wang family of Beihai. However, if he chose not to join, where would Wang family of Beihai be if he had a firm position in Wuyue?
The second was because of the destiny of Heavenly Son.
Heavenly Sons were born out of Zhongzhou State for every five hundred years. Heavenly Sons were people who had deep profound impacts on the Dark World, such as the ancestor who brought Wang family of Beihai back from its descent to its peak in Wuyue few hundred years ago.
The top master of Dark World was not necessarily a Heavenly So, but a Heavenly Son would definitely be a top master in the Dark World.
“When a Heavenly Son appears, the disaster will come; the Heavenly Son will cope with the disaster, but who will cope with the Heavenly Son?”
This was also from the mouth of Xuan Xuanzi. Its meaning was apparent enough.
Wang Xiaoyao stared at Li Tianlan and then again at the agitated Wang Yuetong. His expression changed as all killing intent faded away, with calmness restored on his face once more.
Li Tianlan looked at Xuan Xuanzi solemnly and replied respectfully, “Thank you for your guidance.”
Xuan Xuanzi smiled and waved. Li Tianlan’s phone rang just when he was about to continue.
Li Tianlan was stunned as he smiled apologetically at the few before walking away to receive the call.
“I’ll find something to eat. Senior Brother and I did not have breakfast and we are starving.”
Wang Yuetong said this sentence and stood up to leave too.
Once again, only Wang Xiaoyao and Xuan Xuanzi were left in the pavilion.
The atmosphere was temporarily silent.
Xuan Xuanzi stared at the thoughtful Wang Xiaoyao and suddenly laughed. “Did you have a killing intent just now?”
Wang Xiaoyao did not hide and laughed bitterly, admitting by default.
Xuan Xuanzi whispered, “From the viewpoint of Wang family of Beihai, I advise you not to make an action easily, or you may shoot yourself in the leg.”
“What do you mean?”
Wang Xiaoyao straightened his back subconsciously and focused himself as he asked.
Xuan Xuanzi smiled, “Within 10 years, this child will have an extremely prosperous fate. If you can get closer to him, the advantages will definitely outweigh the disadvantages.”
“Within ten years?”
Wang Xiaoyao frowned. He could listen to every single word of Xuan Xuanzi and think deeply on each one of them. “What about after 10 years?”
Xuan Xuanzi lowered his eyelids and replied calmly, “He will definitely die after 10 years.”
The senior Taoist picked up a chess piece on the chessboard and rubbed it lightly. He sighed as he said, “A magnificent and powerful tragic song. What a pity.”