Heavenly Soul Chapter 12: An Enlightening Conversation

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Qinghe chuckled. "Master said the same thing when he found that I could cultivate."
Wu Xiao finally closed his mouth and asked, "What realm are you at now?"
Seeing him hesitating, Wu Xiao grew nervous. Did something happen to his soul after all?
"As far as everyone knows, I'm at the fourth realm," Qinghe finally said while shifting his eyes away. Though he wanted to hide his true level, Sect Master Wu was after all something like a healer for his soul. He needed the complete truth to make an accurate diagnosis. So he hinted that it wasn't his true level.
Sure enough, Wu Xiao caught on. "Then what realm are you truly at?"
Qinghe decided on full disclosure. "Currently at the sixth, but I will have to allow my cultivation to rise to the seventh realm. I might have used my spiritual force a bit more than advisable, so I am unfortunately about to achieve a breakthrough. I have already reached the limit to which I can suppress my spiritual power, so I will have to cultivate and expand the holes in the restrictions until I can reach seventh realm or else my core might get damaged." Finally letting go of his reservations, he explained everything without holding back.
Though the others didn't understand what type of restrictions they were both talking about, hearing the phrase 'I am unfortunately about to achieve a breakthrough', they felt their teeth itch.
Most cultivators would jump for joy at the possibility of attaining a breakthrough, and here this man was bemoaning it as if it was thrust onto him by force!
"Isn't it a good thing to get a chance to breakthrough?" Jing Shui said, miffed that his friend had hidden his true level even from him.
"What's so wrong with your cultivation that you have to restrict it?" Liu Xue asked, equally miffed at this junior who seemed to have higher potential than anyone in her sect. Why couldn't he have joined her sect?
"Senior Brother, are you going to leave us behind again?" the twins cried. They had barely been able to catch up to the fourth realm when they had to find out that he was already in the sixth. And on top of that, he was soon going to advance to the seventh! This was unfair!
Qinghe didn't know whether he should laugh or cry at all of their blaming expressions.
Wu Xiao's cold voice cut through their complaining, "If he doesn't restrict the rate at which his level is rising to a speed at which his body can keep up with, his spiritual energy will tear him apart from the inside out in a slow and excruciating process, at the end of which lies death. Even his soul might not escape unscathed."
Sudden silence claimed them.
"W-What do you mean…he can die?" Jing Shui stammered out.
The twins were wordlessly clutching onto Qinghe even tighter, their faces pale and eyes wide in terror at the thought of losing their beloved senior brother. Even Liu Xue looked stunned. None of them had expected it to be this serious.
Qinghe waved their fears away. "I'm not going to die, so stop looking at me like that. It is only a minor possibility. I have been dealing with this for decades, I know what I'm doing. All I have to do is refine and strengthen my body slowly as I increase my level step-by-step."
They were somewhat reassured at his confident tone and let go of the fear that he would immediately keel over. See, he was even able to stand by himself now! Surely the danger must have passed?
Wu Xiao, however, knew how risky this was. Yet after seeing the others' relaxing expressions, he couldn't bring himself to say anything to refute these words.
"Well, I am at least reassured that you won't be going after my Ah-Shui," he finally joked.
"I did try to tell you that," Qinghe said drily.
"Oh? Why wouldn't he like Xiao Shui? I think they'd make a great couple," Liu Xue offered.
"Master!" Jing Shui was mortified.
"Elder Sister! How could you! Ah-Shui isn't even his type! If you keep hindering our love, we'll elope!" Wu Xiao had fully returned to his silly self again.
"Hey! Who are you saying will elope with you!"
"Who are you calling Elder Sister! Call me Senior Martial Sister, you brat!"
"Ah… Here they go again…" Qinghe groaned as the twins still attached to him giggled in glee at the chaos.
Wanting to escape before this got any more rowdy, Qinghe tried to excuse himself, "I'll be returning to my sect then―"
"No, wait! I have a few more things to talk about. Ouch! Elder Sister, be more gentle~"
Qinghe wished he could just leave this lunacy behind already.
Wu Xiao finally disentangled himself from the master and disciple duo and took Qinghe aside to talk in private. Qinghe had to ask Jing Shui to play with the twins who were displeased at being left behind.
"Tell me the truth, how are you?" Wu Xiao's tone had turned solemn again.
Qinghe sighed. "I really am alright. I can deal with this."
Nodding, Wu Xiao said, "Then I'd like to ask you for something. Can you let me examine the restrictions on your soul more thoroughly?"
Seeing Qinghe stiffen, Wu Xiao knew that he understood he would have to touch him. But surprisingly, Qinghe nodded.
Feeling a sense of déjà vu, Wu Xiao extended his hand towards Qinghe's chest and Qinghe stiffened even more. Feeling the warmth beneath his palm and the beat of his heart, Wu Xiao was reassured. Yes, this boy was still alive, still breathing.
He gently, carefully probed at the Soul Sealing spell with his own spiritual power. After finishing his examination, he withdrew both his spiritual power and his hand. Qinghe relaxed again.
"The holes in the restrictions are miniscule, barely pinpricks. It will be all too easy for these tiny holes to widen up as you use spiritual energy. Won't it be too difficult to manage them?"
"Yes, it was in the beginning. Now I'm used to it and it comes effortlessly. I just have to use my own spiritual power to temporarily hold the edges of the gaps so that they don't widen," Qinghe informed serenely.
Wu Xiao knew that it had to be extraordinarily difficult to keep doing this every time he used spiritual energy, but did not say anything. It seemed that he and his friend had underestimated the sheer power of this kid. Despite such severe and absolute restrictions, he had not only been able to cultivate again, he had also risen to the sixth realm in a couple of decades! Despite this, Qinghe looked healthy and his cultivation was stable. Wu Xiao could only guess at the unlimited potential he possessed.
"Sect Master Wu, I'd like to thank you for saving my life that time," Qinghe suddenly said and bowed sincerely.
Wu Xiao shook his head, a sad smile curving his lips. "No, I don't deserve your gratitude. You did almost all of the work that brought you till here. I only tortured a little kid."
"That you did, but if weren't for that, I wouldn't be able to bring myself up to here. I really do have you to thank for that. Though back then I wasn't in a state in which I could understand why you did it, I know now and I want you to know that I truly am grateful," Qinghe said earnestly.
With a wry smile, Wu Xiao finally accepted his words. "You really have a smooth tongue, you know?"
Qinghe smiled unperturbed.
"You should visit me sometime to see if we can redo parts of the restriction. It can lessen your burden a bit," Wu Xiao offered.
"I will consider it," Qinghe said, still smiling.
"Alright then, tell me if you decide on a time."
With an evil-sounding chuckle, Qinghe replied, "Oh, but does Sect Master Wu really need to hear from me? I'm sure the Mist can tell you when I'll come before I even make the decision."
Wu Xiao stared at him in shock.
Silver Mist was the name of a subdivision in the Silver Moon Sect that foretold the future. This particular division was strictly hidden from the world and only a very few people within the Silver Moon Sect itself knew about Silver Mist's existence.
How the hell did Qinghe find out?
"Sect Master Wu Xiao, I hope you remember that I have my ways to gain information and that I won't hesitate to use it if necessary," Qinghe drawled leisurely. His half-lidded eyes sparkled with a predatory look and a corner of his lips curled in a sadistic smirk, giving off the impression of a wicked devil.
"W–What is this about? Are you threatening to expose my sect's secret? Why?" Wu Xiao suddenly felt like crying. One moment he was being thanked sincerely and the next moment he was being bullied. What was even going on? Was this revenge for that painful experience he had to undergo at his hand that one time?
Tilting his head, Qinghe kept smiling unnervingly, "Why, you ask? So that you wouldn't even dream of breaking my friend's heart, that's why."
Wu Xiao was dumbfounded, having trouble processing what he just heard.
Not giving him time to digest it, Qinghe stepped in close without touching him, and with his hands clasped behind his back, he whispered lightly into Wu Xiao's ear, "If you hurt him, I will destroy you. You will live your life in suffering while wishing for death. Your power, your cultivation, reputation, I will crush them all. I will not leave anyone for you to rely on. You will live alone, in misery, and I will make sure that no one shows you even a shred of mercy throughout the entirety of your long, long life."
Qinghe stepped back and smiled as if nothing had happened. Wu Xiao stared at him, his face pale with shock and fear.
Hm, did he overdo it a bit? Qinghe wondered. He shrugged unconcernedly, it was always better to be overwhelming rather than underwhelming in these kinds of situations.
"Then I shall take my leave, Sect Master Wu. Please keep in mind my sincere advice. I shall entrust my friend to your capable hands," Qinghe said while once again bowing earnestly.
Wu Xiao had still not recovered from the shock when Qinghe turned around on his heel and left.
The twins immediately detached themselves from a harried-looking Jing Shui and reattached themselves to Qinghe. "Senior Brother, let's go back!"
"Alright," Qinghe patted them in a good mood.
Jing Shui walked up to them and asked Qinghe, "What were you talking about so closely with that idiot?" His tone sounded somewhat discontent, though he himself didn't seem to notice it.
"Oh, I was requesting him to kindly be good to you," Qinghe said, smiling placidly.
Flushing, Jing Shui stammered, "W-Who needs him to be good to me! W-W-Why would you even say something like that!"
"Oh?" Qinghe expressed his doubt with a raised eyebrow. "Why are you so flustered, Brother Jing? I only said that since he seemed to value you a lot as his friend despite his high station. If he takes good care of you in your times of need, then it'll greatly alleviate my worry."
"Friend?" Jing Shui frowned. His thoughts were too muddled right now to fully understand everything Qinghe said. He only absently nodded as he chewed on the word 'friend'. He felt disgruntled for some reason.
Noticing his strange expression, Qinghe smiled in satisfaction.
"Jin-er, Yin-er, we're leaving. Get prepared." After instructing the two, Qinghe went to Liu Xue and respectfully bid his farewell.
A pair of wings sprouted on the backs of the twins, another part of their spiritual beast heritage. Fei Jin's wings were made of blue lightning while Fei Yin's were made of blue crystalline ice. They flapped their wings and crackling sounds ensued.
Qinghe cast the spell of flight on himself and flew upwards.
Below him, Jing Shui was still caught in a daze while Wu Xiao had finally snapped out of it enough to come running to Jing Shui.
The last thing Qinghe heard as he left was Wu Xiao's tearful voice loudly complaining, "Ah-Shui! Your friend is so scary! Comfort me, comfort meeeee~!"
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