Shen Qingqiu remained silent for a while before tossing the invitation into Ming Fan’s arms, instructing him to keep it safe.

Luo Binghe had made remarkable progress with the guidance of the dream demon in his dreams. He was already capable of handling tasks on his own, and Shen Qingqiu was delighted to delegate various trivial matters within Cang Qiong Mountain to him. As he grew older, Luo Binghe took on missions to eliminate demons and help others. This way, he wouldn’t keep wandering around Shen Qingqiu all the time.

Although he was well taken care of, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but wonder if he had pampered Luo Binghe too much, causing the boy to become overly attached to him. He occasionally reflected on whether he should portray himself as a villain to prove his firm stance to the system. Otherwise, he feared he wouldn’t have the heart to strike Luo Binghe down into the Abyss of No Return.

However, despite his self-reflections, every time he encountered Luo Binghe and faced that innocent face and the figure that worked tirelessly, Shen Qingqiu would instinctively praise him first, saying things like, “Did you finish copying the files? / Did you save the person? / Did you find the item? / Is the food ready? Well done.” After praising him, he would forget about what he originally intended to do…

Ming Fan received the invitation, noticed Shen Qingqiu’s unfavorable expression, and thought about how Luo Binghe, that little brat, had been critical of the food in the kitchen, causing Shen Qingqiu to have poor meals these days. He asked, “Master, should I prepare some porridge and snacks?”

Shen Qingqiu had no appetite and waved his hand, saying, “No need. You can go.”

Ming Fan didn’t dare to say more and obediently left. Tears welled up in his heart: This brat Luo Binghe has become Master’s favorite in recent years. I can’t even make Master have a bowl of porridge!

Of course, he didn’t consider that it might be an issue with his cooking skills.

After some time, footsteps approached again.

Shen Qingqiu said, “Didn’t I say there’s no need?”

“The disciple has traveled all the way from another continent. If the Master doesn’t even spare a glance, how could I refuse?” The voice was gentle and slightly aggrieved, with a hint of playfulness. When Shen Qingqiu heard it, he almost fell off his chair when he turned around. Seventeen-year-old Luo Binghe stood tall, dressed in white, with a slight smile at the corner of his lips, gazing at him intently.

The long sword carried by Luo Binghe, “Zhengyang,” was pulled out from the Ten Thousand Swords Peak. The name of the divine sword perfectly matched Luo Binghe’s demeanor at that moment. The sword shone with a brilliant light, and although it was considered an excellent sword that garnered praise from the fellow disciples when Luo Binghe pulled it out from the rock wall, it couldn’t compare to the sword that truly belonged to Luo Binghe.

Shen Qingqiu collected himself and asked, “Why did you come back so quickly this time?”

Sitting beside him, Luo Binghe calmly poured a cup of tea and pushed it toward Shen Qingqiu, saying, “It’s nothing urgent. I just missed Master, so I rushed back.”

His words sounded somewhat slick, but as the protagonist, Luo Binghe had the ability to make even the most slick words sound sincere and gentle. Shen Qingqiu… was deeply touched!

Shen Qingqiu took the cup of tea and took a sip. It was snow mountain tea collected from the Peak of the Dome, but he couldn’t taste its flavor. He said, “The Immortal Alliance Conference is about to begin.”

Luo Binghe had known about this matter for a long time and asked, “Should I prepare a list of participating disciples from Qing Jing Peak and submit it for Master’s review?”

For these years, Shen Qingqiu had delegated all kinds of miscellaneous tasks, big and small, to Luo Binghe. After all, Luo Binghe was now obedient, capable, and meticulous in his work. Shen Qingqiu couldn’t think of any reason why he should handle them himself… Before making the final decision, Luo Binghe would always seek Shen Qingqiu’s approval to check if there were any flaws. Shen Qingqiu often wanted to say, “You don’t have to check it with me anymore. Really, your ability to handle things is much better than mine!”

Shen Qingqiu said, “After you prepare it, just report directly to the Sect Leader.”

Luo Binghe nodded, wanting to say something else but noticed a hint of peculiarity.

Shen Qingqiu asked, “Didn’t I say it’s unnecessary?”

“Disciple traveled a long way back from another continent. If Master won’t spare a glance, would you reject me?” The voice was elegant, clear, and slightly teasing. Shen Qingqiu realized that Luo Binghe seemed to have something important to say. He turned serious and asked, “What is it?”

Shen Qingqiu stared into Luo Binghe’s eyes and said, “Do you want to become stronger? Strong to the point where no one can match you and the world dares not challenge you?”

Luo Binghe had already had an answer to this question long ago.

He sat upright and without hesitation, looked back directly at Shen Qingqiu, and replied, “Yes!”

2 / 2

Seeing his resolute answer, Shen Qingqiu breathed a sigh of relief. He continued to inquire, “If before that, you had to endure much pain and torment, go through countless hardships, and come close to mental and physical collapse, would you still strive to become the strongest?”

Luo Binghe slowly responded, “I fear neither pain nor hardship. I only wish to become strong enough to protect the important people and things in my life!”

With this answer, Shen Qingqiu finally felt a slight sense of balance in his heart.

Yes, Luo Binghe, in order to protect the harem of three thousand beauties that will surround you in the future, you must become stronger!

Although he still felt reluctant, Shen Qingqiu understood that this was the necessary process for the protagonist to break out of his cocoon and transform into a butterfly. He had to adjust his mindset.

Even though he had become proficient in brainwashing himself, he couldn’t find any pleasure in it, no matter how many times he did it.

Three days later, the disciples from all twelve peaks of Cang Qiong Mountain gathered together and headed to the conference.

The venue for the Immortal Alliance Conference was a mountain range with complex terrain, stretching for several miles. It was called the Death Valley.

Famous figures with their identities established would not participate in the Immortal Alliance Conference, as they had no need to vie for attention with the younger generation. There was no necessity, nor did they bother. Therefore, the twelve peak masters and senior figures would not register. The quota limit was high, and the more, the merrier. Finally, about a hundred people were well-equipped and set off to the Death Valley in a grand manner.

Flying on swords was too ostentatious and disruptive, so they traveled by carriage instead.

In a cultivation novel, people actually rode horses and carriages all day long! Shen Qingqiu could never understand the meaning behind Tian Yi Dao’s inclusion of such a setting, but no matter how much he wanted to criticize it, he had already grown numb after doing it for three years.

Most people chose to ride horses, appearing valiant and heroic. However, Shen Qingqiu was not skilled in horsemanship and didn’t want to risk breaking his neck. Besides, he found it less comfortable and elegant to be exposed to the elements outside. So, to the astonishment of onlookers, he climbed into a carriage.

There were already people inside the carriage, and when they saw him opening the curtain and trying to squeeze in, they looked down on him and said, “A grown man, and you’re competing with me for space!”

This woman had beautiful features and a towering figure, she was none other than Qi Qingqi, the peak master of Xian Shu Peak.

In the original work, Shen Qingqiu had little interaction with Qi Qingqi. However, in recent years, they had occasionally worked together, and he knew that she was straightforward, outspoken, and had a fiery temperament. They got along quite well.

Shen Qingqiu used his folding fan to make her move and calmly said, “I’m not feeling well.”

Qi Qingqi made room for him but continued to mock him, “Spoiled! With your attitude, how can you resemble a Golden Core Immortal cultivator? Do you need someone to serve you snacks later?”

Shen Qingqiu suddenly realized, “You’re right. Thanks for reminding me.” With that, he knocked the arm of the carriage with the fan handle.

Soon, the carriage curtain was lifted, and Luo Binghe smiled and asked, “Master, do you want some snacks, water, or are you feeling uncomfortable?”

The white horse was spirited, and the young man was exceptionally handsome. Under the sunlight, he was dazzlingly bright.

Shen Qingqiu replied, “Your Senior Sister Qi wants some snacks.”

Luo Binghe immediately took out delicately wrapped pastries from his pocket. It seemed he had prepared them in advance.

He said, “Master, if you have any other instructions, please let me know.” Only then did he put down the curtain.

Liu Qingge rode past them on his horse, humming powerfully.

Shen Qingqiu remarked, “Naturally.” He lowered his head and opened the paper package. “Dragon Whisker Pastry. Not bad.” He then handed the pastries to Qi Qingqi and asked, “Would you like some?”

…Qi Qingqi couldn’t describe how she felt at that moment.

She felt that it was probably resentment. How could this considerate and highly skilled disciple be taught by Shen Qingqiu?

Actually, it wasn’t the case. She didn’t know that there was a term to describe this feeling—it was called “blindingly dazzling.”

Qi Qingqi didn’t look at Shen Qingqiu as she started eating the Dragon Whisker Pastry, still struggling, “Even Liu Mingyan is riding a horse!”

As long as she could make Shen Qingqiu feel a little ashamed, it would be a victory!

Coincidentally, Shen Qingqiu had nothing else to do, so he glanced outside. Indeed, Liu Mingyan wore a veil and carried the precious sword “Water Mirage.” She sat on her horse with elegance, and as the breeze blew, her veil fluttered, creating an ethereal image.

This scene was so pleasing to the eye that Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but look for a while. He sighed, “It’s so beautiful.”

Qi Qingqi scoffed at him, “Don’t you dare have any thoughts about my beloved disciple!”

This back-and-forth exchange was overheard by Luo Binghe nearby, and his face turned pale.

But Shen Qingqiu didn’t pay attention to his expression. Instead, he focused on eating the pastries and continued to watch. He had the mentality of eating popcorn and drinking cola while waiting for the commercials to end before the movie started: It was Liu Mingyan! How could there be no sparks or romantic chemistry between the male and female leads in such a situation!

Luo Binghe noticed that his Master kept staring at Liu Mingyan and couldn’t help but grip the reins tighter. His knuckles turned white.

“Beautiful, you say?”

She didn’t even show her face. Could she be more beautiful than me?

Luo Binghe wasn’t narcissistic; he simply knew very well how he looked. He didn’t take pride in it nor did he falsely humble himself.

After a while, with no sign of Shen Qingqiu averting his gaze, Luo Binghe couldn’t help it any longer. He urged his horse forward, riding alongside Liu Mingyan.

Luo Binghe turned his head slightly and smiled, greeting, “Junior Sister Liu.”

Liu Mingyan paused for a moment, nodding gently in return, “Senior Brother Luo.”

Oh, oh, oh! It’s starting, it’s starting!

Shen Qingqiu couldn’t contain his excitement as he witnessed the scene of the stunningly beautiful male and female leads riding side by side, just as described in the book. He couldn’t help but lean out further to get a better view.

Luo Binghe noticed Shen Qingqiu’s unwavering gaze, not only failing to divert his eyes but staring at them with fervor. He felt a twitch in his heart and a sense of discomfort. While talking and laughing with Liu Mingyan, he subtly accelerated the pace of their horses, gradually moving farther away until Shen Qingqiu couldn’t see them without fully leaning out of the carriage.

Disappointed, Shen Qingqiu reluctantly sat back.

How could he forget? There were never any third wheels or obstructive onlookers when the main couple were having their romantic moments. But it seemed that the child had grown up, now understanding the need to avoid prying eyes, even from elders… Could this be the rebellious phase finally arriving?