A Filial Son Strived for the Honor of His Deceased Parents
It was deep in the night and Grey City had turned rather chilly. The continuous rhythmically dropping of the raindrops added an additional feeling of coldness.
It was three o’clock in the morning; the streets were silent with barely any passers-by. Except for the dangling candlelight that was lighting a nightclub, this place, surprisingly, was almost static at this moment of the day, rendering a bleak prospect.
Quite opposite to the general picture, in the courtyard of the Ye Castle, at the City Major Mansion, candlelight from the lanterns were gleaming softly, illuminating all of the corners. More strangely, outside the closed gate of a certain courtyard, a teenager in green clothing was kneeling down in great sorrow.
The cold and rainy night, a brightly-lit courtyard, a kneeled-down teenager in the rain, and a couple of brightly shining lanterns, all of this presented a horrendous and uncanny scene.
“Respected Elder Clan, please accept my request. I will work like a horse to repay this favour…” The teenager begged, as he lifted his tear-filled face up. He then proceeded with a succession of kowtows towards the direction of the gate. Soon, the raindrops had soaked his hair and were streaming down his face, yet, he seemed to be unaware of the wet- and coldness.
His hoarse voice broke the silence of the night.
There came no reply from inside the courtyard, as the gate remained closed. The shadow of the flame fluttered in the wind, which was quite vivid on the background of the window coverings (窗户纸) .
After a long, long time!
The teenager in green clothing kept shouting and begging, until finally he was utterly exhausted and lay prostrate. Once in awhile, he managed to slowly raise his head, expecting some form of response from the courtyard. Due to the continuously pouring of the rain on him, he was extremely pale; yet, in the reflection of the light, there was a hint of unswerving determination and bitterness.
The gate of the courtyard remained tightly closed and no words came out.
Outside, it was raining worse than ever!
It was already dawn, the sky was whitening and the weather quickly cleared up. In the courtyard, the fallen leaves and boughs were the only indicator of the heavy wind and rain from last night.
The teenager was still kneeling down, almost motionless. Due to the coldness, his body suffered from fits of trembles. And, because of sleeplessness, his eyes were filled with blood streaks. He managed to prop himself up, merely using his ironlike will.
– Creak! –
The gate of the courtyard finally opened!
Looking up at the two middle-aged men in front of the gate, the teenager widened his eyes, craving for sympathy. He wriggled his dry and rough lips, but words got in the way. All he did was kowtow to these two men.
“Kid, why are you so stubborn?! Do you even care about your own health?”
The two middle-aged men were both in their forties and both of them were well-known celebrities in the Mars Prefecture. The one in grey clothing was named Ye Ron, a member of the Elder Clan, who had a prominent nose and eagle-like eyes. On the corner of his mouth, there was a slightly discernible scar. Ye Ron was also the vice-president of the Punishment Department of the Ye Family. The one in the white robe and with the golden crown was Ye Qiang, the vice-president of the Combat Department of the Ye Family, as well as the third son of the clan leader of the Ye Family. This man carried a folding fan with him, presenting himself as an intelligent, yet dissolute man.
The one who spoke with the teenager was Ye Qiang. Out of compassion, he folded his fan and moved forward, trying to help the young man up.
Unexpectedly, the teenager refused his good intentions, and remained in a kneeled-down position. He licked his dehydrated lips, before he responded to Ye Qiang, “Third… Third Uncle, how’s it going? Did the Elder Clan approve my request?” He then anchored his bewildered eyes on Ye Qiang.
“Er… Alas…” Ye Qiang shook his head in dismal and helplessness. Obviously, the Elder Clan had disapproved.
“Ye Qinghan, stand up and go home.” Ye Ron interrupted in an unconcerned voice, his eagle-like eyes stared terrifyingly at the teenager. The scar on the corner of his mouth looked currently even more hideous than before.
“Remember, your mother used to be a famous prostitute. When your father announced his marriage with her, it was quite a sensation throughout the Ye Family. Everyone was in disapproval of this marriage, because it was an obvious betrayal of the family rules. You know, if it wasn’t for the clemency of the Ye Family, this couple would’ve been ousted from this family by the clan leader. Given all of that, we never admitted your mother’s identity as one of the daughters-in-law of this big family. Oh, and your father, that supercilious man, who trudged all by himself to the Holy Mountain for treasures, but never came back. Yeah, he died from severe injuries. Since the death of your father, the yearly payment (岁钱)  for you and your mother hasn’t been discontinued, which is a proof that we have never mistreated you, or your mother. Look, if it wasn’t for our Ye Family, both of you would’ve been reduced to street beggars long ago!”
“Now, your mother has died of her illness. Considering that you’re a filial son, the family has decided to help you bury her body. Nevertheless, we haven’t seen any gratitude from you. On the contrary, you go so far as to request for your mother to be buried in the ancestral tomb! Are you nuts? The ancestral tomb is a dignified place for the deceased forefathers of our Ye Family. It’d be a blasphemy, if we were to allow the disgraceful prostitute to be buried in this tomb. Give it up, young man. Your mother will never be buried together with your father. I suggest you’d better get out of here as soon as possible. If you continue disturbing us, I’ll show you just how strict our family rules are.”
Ye Qinghan abruptly stood up, glaring at Elder Ron. However, he felt so dizzy that he was about to fall back down. Given the duration of his kneeled-down position and the cold rain from last night, he staggered backwards for several steps, before he managed to steady himself.
“Me? Continue, hum? Yesterday, you sneak attacked Qingxian with a despicable trick, and even left him with some serious injuries. If it wasn’t for your mother’s death, you would’ve been immediately handed over to the Punishment Department to receive severe torture. Now, you even dare to propose such a shameless request, what do you want? Do you really believe that you’ve got a freepass from punishment? Don’t be silly and go home!”
“Haha, the family… Our family is too good to us… Elder Ron, please rest assured that I’ll never, ever, disturb anyone from the Elder Clan again. Elder Clan! Haha…” Looking at the sneering Elder Ron and the neutral Third Uncle – Ye Qiang, Qinghan laughed bitterly. There was a feeling of solitude and desolateness in the sound of his voice. For quite a while, he kept staring at the plate that hanged on the lintel part of the gate, which read “Elder Clan”. Eventually, he wiped off the raindrops, and left, wearing a sarcastic expression on his face.
“Qinghan, I’ve done my best. Your First Uncle, and Ye Ron, they fiercely rejected your request. After all, it would break the family rules if we were to let your mother be buried in the ancestral tomb. Now, listen, in order to be listed as one of the key descendants of the Ye Family, you have to cultivate diligently, to see if you have the chance to transcend into the Realm of the Commander. Or, there is another option: to summon a six-graded combat beast before the Flame Dragon Festival! Anyway, I’ll recommend you to the Elder Clan once you’ve achieved either of these two goals. Until then, your mother’s unfulfilled wish… It will be realized…”
Out of surprise, Qinghan stopped to hear more clearly of these unspoken words that were conveyed by his third uncle, Ye Qiang, who had a special ability to transmit his voice secretly without even so much as opening his mouth. Qinghan nodded his head towards his third uncle, before he turned away and disappeared in the morning fog.
The Ye Castle belonged to the City Major Mansion in Grey City, in which numerous lineal siblings of the Ye Family lived. The amount of occupied land had reached into thousands of square meters. Looking from a bird’s eye view, the tens of hundreds of small courtyards, that encompassed the inside of the mansion, very much resembled a small-scale imperial palace.
The Ye Castle was divided into two parts – the western courtyards and the eastern courtyards. The former was used by high status members of the Ye Family, while the latter was used by the guards and other servants.
In the eastern courtyard, there stood an independent house, which was surrounded by farmland and shabby cottages.
The morning fog got thicker and thicker. A dim light came through a window and shone on the courtyard, as it blended itself into the white morning fog. At the same time, there was an indistinctive girlish wailing sound that came from inside the courtyard, which gave this place a mysterious and ghostly impression.
A black shadow walked through the fog, quickly approaching this small courtyard.
The hall of the courtyard was only about twenty square meters, in which all the sundries were cleared up. In the middle of this hall, there was a coffin that stood horizontally. In front of this coffin, a girl had kneeled down, burning spirit money .
The girl was also in her late teens and a white morning dress was tightly wrapped around her body. Her face was as delicate as jade and her skin was as white as snow. The traces of tears left on her face made her look like a rather pathetic being, yet, even now, she was still very charming.
As soon as the young man entered the hall, the girl stood up. She wiped off the remaining tears and tidied up her outfit. After looking at the withered and low-spirited young man, her tears welled up once again, “Brother!”
The young man was Qinghan, he straightened his back to force himself to look energetic. The sobbing tone in his sister’s voice made him even sadder, but he had to set a positive example for her.
He stepped forward, picking up some incense sticks and candles. He and his sister both kneeled down, and bowed three times with the sticks and candles in their hands. Afterwards, he reminded his sister to continue burning spirit money, before he kneeled down in front of the coffin.
“I don’t deserve to be a filial son, as I have failed to accomplish your last wish. Mom, I have to bury you in the West Mountain. I hope your soul will rest in peace! Don’t worry, I will take care of myself as well as my sister. And I promise… I will establish our reputation through cultivation…” As he continued, the helplessness on his face gradually faded away, instead, there emerged the looks of determination and confidence.
Suddenly, he stood up and picked a wine bowl up. He broke the bowl and selected a piece of the debris. By holding up his left hand, he cut through his skin with that piece of debris. Immediately, blood spilled out continuously.
“In the name of the heavens, I, Ye Qinghan swear, that I will put both of my parent’s memorial tablets in the Sacred Temple of the Holy City. I will let thousands of people worship them. If I dare to betray this oath, then I will be crushed into tiny bits and pieces, just like this bowl!” Qinghan exclaimed.
As soon as he finished his oath, he pinched the piece of bowl into powders. The red blood and the white powder mingled together, which revealed a shocking sight.
“Ah! Brother, are you crazy…” His sister, Ye Qingyu, cried out for her brother’s horrible behaviour.
“Swearing in front of a dead body is the most solemn kind of oath in the Flame Dragon Continent. While putting the memorial tablet into the Sacred Temple is the highest of honors for the deceased. Only those who have contributed greatly to this continent, or those super competent cultivators, would be allowed to be listed in the hall of the Sacred Temple. My brother…he is going to drive himself up against a wall…” Qingyu thought to herself.
“Hehe, since they’re worried that the ancestral tomb would be tarnished by my mother, then… I will bet my life, that I will find a better place for my deceased parents. Once they are in the Sacred Temple, they’ll be worshipped by thousands of people, including by those from our Ye Family…” Through the door, Qinghan looked into the distance and unexpectedly chuckled.
Though a little bit immature, his voice was immensely powerful. The sound was long and loud, lingering throughout the courtyard.
In the distance, the rising sunrays pushed the fog away and the sky was quickly turning brighter and brighter.
…………：window coverings (窗户纸)： In China and Japan, homes are frequently designed with lattice window covered with rice paper. The translucent paper diffuses natural light entering the room, creating a very serene and peaceful atmosphere. Throughout the day, as the light changes, so will the atmosphere.
: yearly payment (岁钱)：In ancient china, family members, apprentices and servants would receive money from the family, either monthly or yearly.
: Spirit money (Mingbi, 冥币)：fake money burned as an offering to the dead.