It was extremely quiet in the teahouse as the various adults looked tensely at Rui’er. He was timid at first, but grew bolder as he drew closer to Han Chen. His red-rimmed eyes were now filled with curiosity instead of fear.
This child’s mood changed that quickly? As his mother, Han Yunxi was in disbelief. She and the rest felt their hearts seize when Rui’er finally stood in front of Han Chen. They couldn’t guess what he was thinking or what he planned to do.
As for the ever cool and calm Han Chen, his expression showed curiosity as well. He was so tall and mighty that he might have been a mountain before Rui’er. Kneeling down, he carefully studied the child and felt that he most resembled his parents in aura instead of looks.
Little Rui’er had truly lost all fear of Han Chen. He didn’t shy from the man’s scrutiny but faced it head on, staring back into his eyes. Han Chen was unused to this and unconsciously backed away. Rui’er followed him, his gaze extremely serious as if he wanted to see through the man.
Han Yunxi and the rest were now even more lost as well as flabbergasted. Just...what was wrong with Rui’er?
“Little brat, you’re not afraid of me anymore, is it?” Han Chen asked coldly.
Rui’er then stepped back to circle around the man, first from the left, then from the right. He seemed to have discovered something? After a few more circles, he even drew close and went to sniff him. The action reminded the adults of Lil Thing. Currently, the creature was with Mu Linger, who needed to borrow it for a few days in Medicine City. If it was here to witness this sight, who knows what it’d think?
Rui’er had lost his fear, but Han Chen was out of sorts. It was obvious he wasn’t used to this little child getting so close. Finally he couldn’t stand it anymore and stood up to retreat. Rui’er turned to look at his mother and said seriously, “Not scary...not afraid!”
“Could it be that he doesn’t fear senior himself, but what’s on senior’s body…” Long Feiye mused before Han Chen continued the thought.
“He can sense my internal energy. That’s what he’s afraid of!”
Long Feiye more or less thought the same thing. “So he fears me because of my Lustbite energy?”
“But Rui’er’s not afraid of me!” Han Yunxi protested hastily.
“Your Phoenix energy is a far cry from Lustbite energy, much less my own internal reserves,” Han Chen explained.
Everyone was still puzzled. Han Chen went to sit down and said, “Every martial arts family in the Mysterious Continent possesses an item called the Seven-Shades Stone. Different people with different amounts of internal energy can cause the stone to show different colors. Each hue is categorized as a different level of internal power.”
“Something that miraculous exists?” Han Yunxi was surprised.
Han Chen went on, “The Seven-Shades Stone is a common item in the Mysterious Continent, not some miraculous object. But one with Seven-Shades Pupils is a once-in-a-hundred year rare talent. Such people only need to ‘see’ with their minds to gauge the level of internal energy in others. It’s a natural talent born in the womb. Some people don’t unlock such eyes in childhood, but can still sense the strength of internal energy despite not being able to measure its levels.”
“So Rui’er stopped fearing senior because you sealed your internal energy?” Long Feiye asked. He had once heard his master say that his gong was the condensation of qi. Anyone with internal energy would emanate a formless energy from their bodies call their qi aura. Stronger fighters had stronger auras, and the strongest auras were felt by both martial artists and ordinary people alike. Weaker fighters with lesser auras could be easily overlooked. The Seven-Shades Stone and Seven-Shades Pupils mentioned by Han Chen in the Mysterious Continent must be tools that could sense such “qi auras” and their strengths.
This matter didn’t intrigue Long Feiye, but he was astonished that Han Chen had the ability to seal his own “qi aura” away until it was impossible for people to gauge his true strength. In fact, one couldn’t even tell he was a martial artist at all. More than that, he was surprised that Rui’er had the talent to sense internal energy and qi auras naturally.
Han Chen nodded. “If his celestial eye hasn’t been unlocked yet, it’s possible to conceal auras from him. Once he grows up and cultivates that eye to maturity, it might be impossible. Natural talent is just a gift; he still has to rely on himself to nurture its future strength. Since he’s still young and weak, it’s only expected that he fears stronger powers.”
At last, everyone understood what was going on. Both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had serious expressions as they kept silent. Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao exchanged looks of disbelief. As Han Chen spoke, he looked towards Han Yunxi.
“There is one person who possesses the eye in the Mysterious Continent today. He never left his house when he was young because of fear. Now he’s only eight or nine but has quite some ability. Even if you cover up the phoenix power, he can still detect it.”
Han Yunxi couldn’t care less about who uncovered her. Her expressions were a mix of complicated feelings between surprise, joy, worry, and fear. Even her hands had begun to shake.
“My son won’t end up having three eyes in the future, right?”
Han Chen gave a start, along with Long Feiye and the rest. This…
Soon enough, the icy Han Chen burst into guffaws. “Hehe, heheheh...three eyes?”
“He won’t, right?” Han Yunxi almost wanted to cry.
She didn’t care what kind of world the Mysterious Continent was or how good Rui’er’s natural talent might be. She only wanted him to live well. As long as he didn’t fear his daddy anymore, she didn’t care about anything else!
“Thoughts and intention are existences of their own without physically manifestations,” Han Chen grinned. “The celestial eye is only mind-intent, after all. You don’t have to worry.”
After that shock wore off, Han Yunxi hugged Rui’er tight. “That’s good, that’s good!”
Rui’er had no idea what the adults were talking about. His thoughts were completely focused on Han Chen. Just what was up with this uncle? He was so strange. He clearly had a scary thing on his body, but it suddenly disappeared. Had he hidden it away? Could his daddy hide away his own scary thing too?
Neither Han Yunxi or Long Feiye realized what a powerful talent it was to possess this “celestial eye,” nor how many people pursued them or embraced them. Han Yunxi was only worried about developing an actual “third eye” while Long Feiye was wondering when he could properly hug his son for once.
“If it’s his age that makes him afraid, then when will things get better to the point he has no fear?” Gu Beiyue asked the very question on Long Feiye’s mind.
“Once he starts to understand how things work. Even the soonest would be after he turns three,” Han Chen intoned.
“Then we have still have two more years.” Long Feiye stood up and grew serious. “Senior, could you teach this junior how to conceal my internal energy?”
Han Chen didn’t speak, but suddenly grabbed Long Feiye by the shoulder. He felt a massive strength resting on his shoulders and almost attacked it by instinct, but held himself back.
“Resist me!” Han Chen said icily.
Long Feiye immediately let himself loose. Although he respected Han Chen, he would never allow anyone else besides Han Yunxi to inflict such martial pressure against him. His gaze grew ruthless as he released his Lustbite energy until it knocked Han Chen’s hand clear off.
Han Chen was taken aback. It seemed that Long Feiye’s internal reserves had increased greatly since their last meeting. Had he underestimated the man last time, or did this fellow just cultivate nonstop?
He was already the ruler of Cloud Realm Continent and its strongest martial artist. If he still hadn’t stopped cultivating, then his ambitions were quite big.
“Your Lustbite energy can be considered sixth level. Heheh, even in the Mysterious Continent, that would put you amongst its top ten fighters,” Han Chen showed a rare smile, very faint but filled with satisfaction towards Long Feiye.
Before one could seal one’s internal energy away, they had to know their own level first. Han Chen was simply measuring the depth of Long Feiye’s strength. The Mysterious Continent divided internal energy into ten tiers each of lower, middle, and upper ranks. Of its top 10 experts, the first five had reached level seven while the latter five were at level six. If Long Feiye was there now, he’d be pushing someone out to take one of the top ten spots for himself.
Han Chen couldn’t help but think that another miracle could occur in the Mysterious Continent’s martial arts world if Long Feiye was there. Unfortunately, he was born in Cloud Realm Continent and tied up with its mundane affairs here. At this though, Han Chen’s gaze drifted towards Rui’er instead. For the first time ever, he had the sudden urge to take a disciple based on natural talent alone. Still, he kept that thought to himself.
He told Long Feiye, “I can start teaching you today. It’ll be up to your cultivation to see how quickly you learn.”
“Thank you, senior!” Long Feiye was thrilled. He turned to give Rui’er an especially gentle smile, so soft that Han Yunxi almost felt jealous. Rui’er had no idea what was up with his imperial father, but he adored his smiles and quickly grinned back.
Although father and son weren’t even touching yet, this scene was enough to incite envy in any onlookers.
Han Chen and Long Feiye ended up going to the room next door. Han Yunxi finally recovered her wits once they were gone and was filled with both joy and anticipation. She cradled Rui’er and kissed his cheeks, forehead, and nose until the boy was giggling. He held her face and gave her kisses back.
Gu Beiyue looked at Rui’er and fell into a deep study. It was unclear what he was thinking about. Gu Qishao’s happiness was written all over his face as he proclaimed proudly, “As expected of my godson, he’s incredible!”
When he saw that Rui’er wasn’t paying attention, he plucked him into his arms and declared, “Rui’er, don’t go helping your father with paperwork in the future. Come with godfather to the Mysterious Continent instead, alright?”
“No good!” Rui’er responded instantly.
Gu Qishao immedaitely switched tactics. “Rui’er, don’t follow godfather to wander the Mysterious Continent. Instead, stay in Cloud Realm Continent to help your father solve his woes, alright?”
“No good!” little Rui’er was as decisive as ever.
Both Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue laughed. All of them knew the boy’s usual habits. Whenever he didn’t understand a question, he would just say, “No good!”
Han Chen spent an hour teaching Long Feiye before leaving him behind to practice alone. When Han Chen emerged, Han Yunxi had brought Rui’er to rest while Gu Beiyue was nowhere to be seen. But Gu Qishao was guarding the door and approached the man cheerily as soon as he came out.
“Your Excellency guozhang, it looks like you’re in a good mood today.”
Gu Qishao recalled that the last time they met Han Chen, the man had hardly smiled. Today he’d grinned multiple times.
release delayed by yardwork with hubby. we went to dig up some bamboo yesterday and planted it today along with a bunch of other yardwork
no matter, i'll have an extra day of releases to make this work~
p.s. you can see them setting up the xuanhuan/cultivation setting big time with this chapter. lol, stones to gauge internal energy reserves...