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    Chapter 104: Keep Your Distance

    Master Wind and Master Rain clearly had ambitious aspirations for their future careers.

    Wei Dedao: "???"

    Xia Shouren felt somewhat reluctant to see them veer off course, so he tried to dissuade them. "Both of you, Star Deities, with your ability to summon clouds and rain, why would you want to do this?

    After all, you're respectable stars in the Heavenly Court. No matter how poorly you fare, it shouldn't lead to treating athlete's foot, right?"

    To his surprise, Master Wind not only ignored his advice but also responded with dissatisfaction. "Why should we be content with just summoning rain our whole lives just because we know how to control the weather? We're distinguished celestial stars, chosen by the Heavenly Dao. Is a false god really more qualified to treat feet than us? Are you questioning our abilities?"

    Xia Shouren, caught off guard by the accusation: "???"

    Silently, Xia Shouren turned away. "I didn't mean it that way... Never mind, it's none of my business. Do whatever jobs you want."

    Seeing that they had discouraged their obstacle on their divine path, Master Wind and Master Rain turned their unwavering gaze back to Wei Dedao.

    Wei Dedao hunched over, resembling a disheartened old scholar. A hint of hesitation flickered in his lifeless eyes. "If the Star Deities insist, I suppose there's no harm in it."

    Upon hearing that they would henceforth be in charge of treating believers' athlete's foot, Master Wind and Master Rain were overjoyed. These two esteemed celestial constellations were as delighted as impoverished mortals who had stumbled upon money.

    Xia Shouren, witnessing this speechless scene, couldn't help but weakly tease his friend, "…I think I have an idea why they were so easily swayed by the Distress Demon."

    Shuo Zong: "…"


    In the morning, Yue He City once again plunged into the bustling activities of a busy metropolis.

    The air was humid, and during the morning rush hour, countless vehicles merged into congested roads, their windows tightly shut while the melodious voice of a morning news presenter on the car radio echoed within.

    At subway entrances and bus stops, people constantly came and went. A flood of young individuals poured in from every corner of the city, heading towards the bustling commercial district in the heart of the metropolis.

    Exiting the subway, a group of office workers, bundled up for the winter, chatted as they fumbled for their umbrellas:

    "Hey, did you catch the morning news today? There was a hilarious story."

    "Which one? Was it about the cult members being apprehended by the police?"

    "Hahaha, what capture? This person turned himself in. He claimed that last night at 11 PM, he called the emergency line 110 and confessed to being the mastermind behind an illegal cult ritual. He urged the police to come and arrest him. The operator at the call center was utterly confused and asked a few more questions. In response, this guy scolded the operator and hung up before heading to the nearest police station himself. It gave the on-duty officers quite a scare late at night."

    The office worker shared this story while pulling out his phone to show a video to his colleagues. The morning news anchor in the clip was clearly astonished as they reported the incident. The camera then cut to the chaotic scene at the local police station, where the man with the hooked nose could be heard clearly amidst the commotion, "Your efficiency is terrible! Asking so many questions! I struggled so much just to get here, it's not far anyway. You're disrupting my enlightenment!"

    They all burst into laughter, "I've never heard of someone turning themselves in with such urgency, even talking about enlightenment. Did the deity he worships order him to surrender?"

    "That deity must really have a strong sense of law and order, haha. No wonder people say those who believe in cults have unconventional thinking."

    Just as they were speaking, the news anchor transitioned to the next story, which was about the city's urban planning project identifying several dilapidated houses within Yue He City.

    One of the office workers, pointing at the footage, wore a look of surprise, "Oh, isn't that the old, abandoned house next to my parents' place that has been empty for decades? When I was a kid, I used to play around there with my best friend often. But the door was always locked, and I've never been inside. It had such an attractive appearance. What was its purpose? Is it going to be demolished?"

    His friend replied, "How could it be? Didn't you hear the reporter? That house has a history of hundreds of years, every brick and tile is a valuable artifact worthy of study. The city doesn't have enough funds for restoration and research, let alone tearing it down."

    Sure enough, the host on the phone mentioned that municipal workers found a lot of unique documents in these neglected mansions. Using these findings, along with recent expert research, she shifted the topic to the fascinating cultural history of Yue He City.

    The office workers in the elevator listened intently, occasionally expressing astonishment—

    "So those houses were actually used as shrines for deities, Master Wind? Master Rain? Who are these gods?"

    Another colleague seemed to have a sudden realization. "Oh, I remember them! When I was doing research for my thesis, I came across their names. They were among the first deities that our Yue He worshiped."


    "Yes, it's said that Yue He used to be an arid region. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors started to venerate these two gods in hopes of rain. Although they aren't well-known, they have a long history in Yue He. Their symbols can even be found in many local tombs. The article was written by an expert on history from Ning Tian's research institute, with plenty of evidence. It should be reliable. You guys should check it out if you get the chance."

    "So they must be powerful gods, right? They blessed Yue He with good weather for thousands of years? But then, in modern times, they were completely forgotten. Maybe it's because Yue He no longer lacks rain?"

    "Well, even if we do, it's not a big deal," said a young man in a brown coat, jokingly clasping his hands together and bowing towards the subway exit. He murmured, "Master Wind, Master Rain, please stop the rain in Yue He soon. It's been over half a month, and I'm running out of dry socks!"

    His colleagues laughed and followed suit, making similar gestures.

    After they finished their mock prayers and stepped out of the elevator, they unfolded their umbrellas, only to pause in surprise—

    "Holy moly?"

    The other office workers at the subway exit also noticed something, astonished as they moved their umbrellas away from their heads. "The rain has stopped?!"

    The ground was still damp, but the dark clouds that had hung overhead for more than a week began to disperse silently. Glimpses of the long-awaited morning sun filtered through the gaps in the clouds, lifting everyone's spirits, which had been dampened by the persistent rain.

    The office workers’ gloomy expressions vanished, and some even cheered exaggeratedly. Their footsteps became light as they headed to work.

    The few white-collar workers who had made wishes earlier stood dumbfounded at the subway entrance, looking at each other. Was it a coincidence? It was too effective!

    After a moment of silence, one of them spoke up,

    "Guys, do you think… things might be like what I imagined?"

    "Didn't they say that the old temples will be open for visits after renovation? We should pay our respects to these two deities when we have time."


    Not far away, Master Wind and Master Rain received Wei Xi and Unity's gazes and gracefully retracted their hands that were previously raised towards the sky.

    These two gods, who had recently complained about their followers' ingratitude, looked a little uneasy. Master Wind even glared at Wei Xi angrily, "What are you looking at! There's nothing to see!"

    Wei Xi stared back, slowly raising an eyebrow as he reached for the God-Slaying Whip coiled around his waist, which his second disciple hadn't taken away, "Without reporting, you took on a side job. Your boss hasn't scolded you yet, but you're already talking to me like this?"

    Master Wind: "………………"

    Side jobs...

    Well, that's not entirely inaccurate.

    Only now did he recall that his current boss wasn't the Heavenly Emperor, and he no longer had a guaranteed position in the Heavenly Court. Master Wind was experiencing the first wave of confusion that state-owned enterprise employees felt when transitioning to private companies. Folktales often portrayed the Heavenly Court as a feudal monarchy, with the Heavenly Emperor as its ruler. In reality, the one with absolute authority in the divine realm was the Heavenly Dao. Apart from the Heavenly Dao, all deities, regardless of rank, relied on the faith of their followers and the Heavenly Dao's blessings for their positions. As such, even though the Heavenly Emperor held the highest position in the Heavenly Court, due to the unique nature of the organization, they usually treated their subordinates politely. Any significant decisions required a collective discussion and vote.

    Unlike Wei Xi, a private company owner, who would give off the vibe of "Do you want to lose your job?" at the slightest disagreement.

    Feeling humiliated, the pride of the divine spirit within him stirred, itching for another showdown with Wei Xi.

    An old cough sounded nearby: "Lord Star... My disciple..."

    Master Wind immediately quieted down: "…Shut up."

    You're going to say your disciple is young and naive again, aren't you?

    Master Wind glanced at Wei Dedao. The golden light of virtue enveloping Wei Dedao shimmered in the morning sun, his ethereal form dazzling and stirring unease despite his immateriality.

    The old man's eyes seemed to lack strength, unfocused and lifeless, his movements and expressions exuding "I'm weak, I'm blind, I can't see or do anything."

    But Master Wind had no doubt that if he charged at Wei Xi, this old fellow would agilely step in front of him the moment he made a move, using his virtue to frame him for being struck by lightning.

    Since he knew it would end up like this, what was the point of fighting? Master Wind wasn't an idiot; he simply harrumphed and turned away.

    Wei Xi retracted his hand from caressing the Godslayer Whip and glanced at Wei Dedao, who smiled as if he knew nothing.

    Wei Xi snorted. Seeing Wei Dedao's usual, feeble appearance, his anger subsided somewhat.

    In the back, as Master Wind drew closer, he heard Master Rain gaze wistfully at the bustling crowd ahead, "After spending so long in Heaven, I didn't even realize that the mortal world has become like this. It's truly prosperous and peaceful. This is the first time in thousands of years, isn't it, Fei Lian?"

    Fei Lian was Master Wind's original name. Master Wind didn't respond, frowning with a tense expression. For some reason, he found himself recalling thousands of years ago. Back then, the land was barren, and humans were among the weakest creatures. They had just become gods, rushing about in the flourishing incense smoke, enjoying boundless glory and respect as they rained upon their believers. Yet, despite this, people still suffered greatly due to various reasons: poor harvests, beast attacks, disasters, plagues – human lives were as insignificant as blades of grass, easily lost in large numbers.

    The Northern Barren River region was too desolate, unsuitable for survival. With his and Master Rain's powers, they couldn't possibly feed all their believers.

    Over time, he couldn't remember when it started, but Master Wind lost interest in descending to the mortal realm. Staying in Heaven seemed to keep those sights at bay.

    His memory blurred for a moment, transforming into a vivid scene before his eyes. A horde of identical residents poured out from the subway entrance ahead.

    In this group of residents, mostly elderly people held the hands of their young ones. The children were bundled up warmly for the winter, their rosy and clean faces peeping out from beneath their hats, some with chubby cheeks, revealing no signs of hardship. The elderly, despite being at the twilight of their lives, walked briskly with the children, carrying large backpacks on their backs, showing no strain despite their age.

    As they brushed past Master Wind and Master Rain, an old man took out a plastic bag from his backpack and handed it to the child, "Hurry up and have your breakfast, sleeping in so late. You won't be allowed to eat once you're at school."

    The child held the large package with a pained expression, "Grandma, there's too much, I can't finish it all."

    "No way!" the elder replied, "You're still young, growing up requires more food. Drink up all that milk!"

    The child awkwardly sipped the milk while walking, the scent of steamed buns wafting through the cold air. Master Rain watched the pair's backs and chuckled, "I suddenly feel that this era, which doesn't venerate us, isn't so bad after all. At least back when we were in power, the believers of the Northern Wilderness River didn't live like this. Didn't we become gods to protect them?"

    Master Wind averted his gaze and softly humphed.


    After a sleepless night, everyone was exhausted. Upon returning to the capital, Mr. Gu hurried back to his workplace, while Wei Xi led the sect disciples to rest briefly before seeking Rain for rain-making.

    Throughout the journey back, Wei Xi was very tired. With the warm car air conditioning, he slumped against his second disciple just as he used to.

    His second disciple was warm and didn't object, even reaching out to gently comb his hair.

    With great effort, Wei Dedao held back from entering the jade pendant. He hesitated to speak, repeatedly opening his mouth only to feel Shuo Zong's icy gaze strike his face. After a moment of silence, he could only turn to Yuanyi, his fellow disciple.

    Wei Dedao said, "Yuanyi, turn your head."

    As Yuanyi tilted his head, he found himself facing his affectionate master and second senior brother.

    Wei Dedao asked, "Do you have anything to say?"

    Yuanyi replied, "Of course!"

    Wei Dedao thought to himself, Excellent! As expected of my Tai Cang Sect's sixty-third generation's brilliant and talented eldest disciple. I've been waiting for you to speak up and stop your master and junior brother. "Feel free to speak your mind."

    Instantly, Yuanyi's eyes gleamed with admiration. He panted heavily, thumping his chest, and asked eagerly, "What I want to say is, Ancestor, Heavenly Venerated, would you like to lean on me for a rest too!"

    Wei Dedao: "..."

    Suddenly, Wei Dedao realized that this grand-disciple didn't seem quite as brilliant and talented as he had thought.

    Confused by the lack of response, Yuanyi responded, "???"

    In the silence of Ancestor Shuo Zong, Unity realized that he had been rejected. He couldn't help but glance at his master and junior apprentice brother again, feeling somewhat indignant.

    It wasn't strange at all. Hadn't his master and junior apprentice brother always been like this? He was just a little envious, thinking to himself, My chest is also broad, perhaps even broader than my junior apprentice brother's. Why won't Ancestor lean on me?

    Wei Dedao felt a bit tired. Taking advantage of Shuo Zong's departure after they entered the house, he approached his disciple with a smile. "Xiao Xi, it seems your relationship with your second disciple is quite good?"

    Wei Xi replied, "Of course."

    His answer was so matter-of-fact that Wei Dedao didn't know where to begin his guidance. During his stay in Taicang Sect's sect leader token, he had seen too much and constantly regretted not giving his disciple the proper education back when they were on the mountain. Now that he finally had the chance to appear before his disciple, he truly wanted to make up for the lessons he had missed all those years.

    Wei Dedao spoke slowly, "But Xiao Xi, do you know that there should be some propriety maintained between normal master and disciple relationships?"

    Wei Xi responded, "Oh? What propriety?"

    Wei Dedao thought for a moment, recalling how his disciple interacted with his "granddisciple." He didn't know where to start. "Firstly... there should be a certain distance maintained."

    Wei Xi pondered for a moment and nodded. "I see."

    He then took off the sect leader token from around his neck under Wei Dedao's watchful gaze and placed it beside the statue of Venerable Dao Enlightenment in the living room.

    Wei Dedao: "............ What are you doing?"

    Wei Xi replied, "Didn't you say to keep our distance? I didn't know you were inside, so I wore the Sect Leader's Token close to my body."

    Shuo Zong chuckled softly as he gazed at the stunned Wei Dedao.

    Leaning against the wall with an effortlessly relaxed demeanor, he was a pleasing sight to behold. Manager Zhou, who passed by, couldn't help but glance back at him.

    Shuo Zong met his gaze.

    Manager Zhou seemed to sense that this quiet and reserved second disciple of Young Master was trying to convey something to him. He instinctively stood straight, waiting.

    In the next second, however, the young man didn't say a word. Instead, he simply raised his hand to silently touch the striking purple-gold necklace around his neck, as if eager for him to notice.

    Manager Zhou: "??????"

    What was the meaning of this?


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