Fang Zhun laughed in amusement, “You are too considerate.”
On one side, he was laughing, on the other side, he was coughing; he really was pitiful.
If he was a girl, Hu Sha would’ve lifted him with no further delay. Unfortunately, even though he looked frail and delicate, he was still a man. Hu Sha hesitated for a long time before she decided to give him a helping hand and let him leaned on her while they walked.
“Y- You don’t have to be courteous to me! We’re heading the same direction anyway!” she said that in a high, pompous manner, as though that could cover her embarrassment.
“I’ll have to trouble you then, Hu Sha.” The warm breathing from his lips hits her hair, warm to the point where it tickled. Hu Sha couldn’t help but blushed.
Because her father was a Fire Taoist Priest, she grew up with other small priests and was the only girl. Her parents doted on her a lot. They always felt that since she was young, there was no need to teach her about the restriction between men and women. She was different from other girls in that part. She had always been open towards other boys and had no restriction whatsoever. But somehow, in front of this gentle boy who reminded her of spring breeze, she felt as though she had to restrain herself.
Why was this so? She had no idea, herself.
“Oh right. You asked me just now, if the trials in Qing Yuan Mountain is hard. I think, it depends on the person,” Fang Zhun said lightly, “It doesn’t matter how capable you are or how many demons you have exterminated, what truly matters is your heart.”
After he said that, Hu Sha repeated every word he said. “Capability….. Exterminate demons….. what else? Fang Zhun, can you repeat what you just said? I couldn’t memorize them.”
He laughed and muttered something under his breath. What it was that he said, Hu Sha have no idea.
Hu Sha asked, “What did you said? Anyway, Fang Zhun, you really knows a lot of things. I think you will definitely pass the trials!”
Fang Zhun shook his head while smiling, before pointing towards in front, “Hu Sha, we have arrived.”
Hu Sha looked up and realized that after 5 steps, the mountain route would end. What waited for them in front was a deep abyss, a misty sea of clouds. Floating above the ten thousand feet deep chasm were numerous giant white jade stones. The blocks were piling everywhere, connected above the abyss until it reached the other side of the mountain where a huge watch towers was built on top of the cliff.
“Is that the main gate?” Hu Sha stared at the strange scenery in front of her in bewilderment. She really was scared deep inside. But what she felt more than fear was excitement. “But didn’t they say the immortals lives in a snow covered peak? This place isn’t cold at all.”
Not only was it not cold, there were even greens everywhere. There wasn’t a single snow particle in sight.
“We’re not even half up the mountain, of course there’s no snow.” Fang Zhun lightly patted her shoulder. “I’m fine now. Thank you, Hu Sha. I can walk on my own.”
Hu Sha retreated two steps, her head looking at the white jade stone blocks and at Fang Zhun’s lean body. He looked like he could be blown away by the mountain’s wind anytime soon. She gritted her teeth, “It’s okay, you can come with me. Just hold my sleeves tight, I’ll make sure I won’t drop you!”
Fang Zhun nodded and grabbed onto her sleeve. Hu Sha carefully tread on the stone block and used her feet to test their hardness. It seemed solid enough, just a tad too narrow. One wrong move and you’re going to fall.
No other way, there was no turning back now. She pretended as though she was walking on level ground and just as she made progress, she suddenly regretted everything half-death. Just the blowing of the wind alone makes her feel as though she was going to fall.
Her hand suddenly felt warm. Fang Zhun’s hand grasped hers, his finger cold while his palm warm.
“Don’t be afraid. You will not fall, continue walking.”
Hu Sha had no idea why, but there was no longer fear within her. She steadily walked past the pathway and before long, the watchtowers were right in front of her eyes.
They called it ‘The Main Gate’, though there really wasn’t any gate. There were only two huge white jade pillars, above it was a plat with a dragon in a whirling dance. Beyond the gate was a magnificent hall, gorgeous and grand. In front of the gate, there was huge platform that was occupied by a lot of people at the moment. Those people were probably trying to be an apprentice too.
“Hu Sha, thanks to you, we’ve safely went past that abyss,” Fang Zhun’s looked at her appreciatively, as though successfully arriving at the gate was truly her credit.
Hu Sha’s face reddened as she fiddled with her hair, “Ha Ha Ha, a-as long as we arrive safely!”
“The main gate is just right there, go.”
Hu Sha asked in confusion, “Don’t we have to queue? There are so many people!”
Fang Zhun softly smiled, “Those are the people who did not pass the test and are not willing to leave. Let’s go.”
Hu Sha hesitantly makes her way until she reached the two pillars; and Fang Zhun was right, nobody tried to stop her. But a lot of them eyed her, some hopeful, some arrogant, while some in envy.
A couple of men and women stood under the two pillars, looking proud and lofty while wearing black and white clothing. After Hu Sha came over, a middle aged woman looked up to the sky and said, “The day is getting late. That young lady will be our last candidate.”
After she said that, she clapped her hands and a couple of disciples behind her promptly opened a huge scroll. There was nothing inside.
That middle aged woman then said, “This universe yin yang chart was made 3 days ago. Should you see anything inside, write it down for me. If you have the destiny to become a celestial, you will naturally be able to see past the obscurity.”
She then gave Hu Sha a brush and a piece of paper.
Hu Sha hastily said, “Please wait a moment. There is still another person. We climbed the mountain together.” She turns around to face Fang Zhun, but to her surprise he was no longer there. She was stumped for a moment, where had he ran off to?
That woman shook her head, “You are the last candidate. If there is still another, please ask him to come again tomorrow. You can start now.”
In great reluctance, Hu Sha trained her gaze back to the scroll in front.
What universe yin yang chart? It was clearly a blank piece of paper! Even celestials likes to toy with people! But still, being careful would do her better. She carefully studied the scroll, even got up for closer inspection. The only thing left for her to do was to glue her nose to the scroll! She gave it an up, down and side-ways glances but even a black dot could not be spotted.
Hu Sha leaned down and write down these words: A piece of blank paper. After that, she handed it over to the lady-in-charge. The lady studied her answer and asked, “Are you sure? Would you like to change your answer?”
Hu Sha shook her head lightly.
That lady smiled with warmth in her face, “Alright, little girl, what is your name? Where are you from? How old are you this year?”
“My name is Hu Sha. I will be 15 this year. I am from— from— from Jia Xing!”
That lady asked in confusion, “Jia Xing? Where is that place?”
Hu Sha softly replied her, “A place very very far away.”
That lady looked a little doubtful but in the end still wrote down her name in a record book and said, “Alright, you have passed the first test. You can go pass the gate. There will be more trials waiting for you inside.”