Chapter 23: Grand Elder
It wasn't hard to find disciple Han's house Actually, he was the only disciple of the only Receptarier elder of the Purple Cloud sect. A grand Elder named Lao Bofan. A new thing I learned. Apparently elder and grand elders are two different things. An elder is someone who is responsible for a certain activity in the sect. Like the Hall master Yun of the Cloud Pavilion, or Elder Hu Tian of the punishment hall. But for the Purple Cloud Grand Elders, there were only three.
The Grand Elder of the Outer disciples, the Grand Elder of the Inner Disciples, and the Grand Elder of the Core disciples. And each of these elders has different responsibilities and is not less important than any other.
Then the sect master, who leads the whole sect, and the sect's grandmaster who is the older sect leader but had to give up his role to the newer generation. The hierarchy system was not that complicated, but let's go back to our prior point.
Han was being mentored by a Grand Master, even if he was not a Core disciple. Even if Core disciples were the hope and future of the sect, apparently Han's martial prows were not enough to get him a position in the core disciples' spot. But his understanding of Alchemy gave him a great apt.i.tude to become a Receptarier.
I understood all of this from a brief conversation with elder Yun on a game of Go that we played a few days ago before this whole ordeal happened. We were just randomly talking until he brought up the incident of me telling off the inner disciple and he then explained to me why I should be on my guard and careful of his retaliation and gave me a briefing of the sect's hierarchy.
Now, as I stood in front of disciple Han's house, I was stuck in a dilemma. If I were to confront him, I would probably end up beaten to a pulp. But if I don't then I brought nothing but hards.h.i.+p on Meng Hao who was only there to help me. My actions brought misfortune to the ones around me, this is what Elder Yun said.
So, I have to deal with this myself, but on the off chance I manage to subdue disciple Han, then his master, the Grand Elder will definitely retaliate.
I pondered on what to do for a few moments before I sighed and decided to leave. But just as I turned, an old man, far older than me as it appeared from the white smooth beard that reached all the way to the ground.
He wore gray robes and had a sweet smell about him. Like a perfume made of all the world's sweet herbal scents.
"What are you doing in front of my disciple's home…" asked the man whose resting facial expression was as serious as someone who had his favorite shoe stepped on.
At that moment, I felt that if this person wanted me dead, I had no way to deny him that 'right'. Yes, I say Right because, in a cultivation world, it is your Right if you wish someone dead or alive, it is your right because you are stronger. A world as a rule as this one cannot be measured with the serendipitous mindset of a man from the modern world.
"I'm here for an explanation, grand Elder Lao Bofan"
"So, you know of me, but I know no of you, still what seems to be the matter then?" asked the old man.
"I'm Shen Bao, an outer disciple, I came here for justice against a brother of mine that has been harmed by your disciple Han."
The old man waved at me and my whole body shuddered, "Matters of the younger generation should be handled by the younger generation. If my disciple wronged you, become better than him and get your justice back. Leave me out of your problems."
I frowned at the old man, for two things. The first was that when he waved, I noticed that the tip of his index finger, middle finger, and thumb had an icy sheen to it, they were almost transparent as if they were made of gla.s.s. The Poison G.o.d's Heritage gave me a brief explanation of the reason of this man's 'illness.'
The second thing was what he said, matters of the younger generation should be handled by the younger generation.
"Then if I were to kill disciple Han, you won't retaliate?"
"If you kill him while being younger and less powerful than him, I'll take you as my own disciple," the old man said. "Geniuses who die are no different than trash, remember that."
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"Right then, also, if you need help with the Five Destruction of Body Poison, I can help you get rid of the Ice Destruction plaguing you."
"You must have come in contact with a Receptariers manual. I'm ready to purchase it from you at whatever price you wish."
Now here comes the hard part. "I'll have to decline."
The old man's face scrunched up in an ugly frown, but still, he sighed and said, "No worries then. Still, you know what's going on with the poison in me right?"
"Yes. You're not the primary target, you were probably trying to treat a patient who has an even worse condition."
"Yes. Do you think you can help this patient?"
"He is still alive?" I asked.
"d.a.m.n, if the collateral is that severe on you how come the primary afflicted be still alive. I would really like to see it for myself."
"Then you'll have to follow me." The old man said and I followed after.
Alright, note to self, If I ever come out of this in one piece, I'll have to be careful of what I say. This is the exact same s.h.i.+t that makes all of those heroic characters in those stories feel like they are making complete dumb decisions when they could have kept their mouths shut.
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