“Risless,” Elder Liu came into her room.
It was evening now and every night she had been coming in to report to Risless about any progress made with communication towards her son Dong Chen. Risless had been anxious and hoping that time would indeed repair the rift created by her own actions. She was still new to being a mother and wasn’t sure how to deal with him.
Only after the fact did, she realized she treated Dong Chen as property like a Sect would treat its disciples. Disciples were individuals in which they needed to determine whether to invest resources into them for growth. For Dong Chen, it was not his talent that was important but the fact he was her blood relative, her son and her child. Disciples could be replaced, but her son could not.
“Yes, Elder Liu? Has more progress been made?”
“Yes, he seems to be more rational and willing to talk now,” Elder Liu said. “Perhaps soon he will talk to you as his mother. It’ll take time, but you can try again with him since he’s still young.”
“Thank you, Elder Liu.”
“Don’t thank me just yet,” Elder Liu said. “There are still a lot of things that have to be said between the two of you. He is going to want to know about the solution and the curse, and you will have to tell him one day. If he finds out on his own, that would drive another rift towards you.”
Risless heard those words and kept quiet. The desires she had for him were a secret she wouldn’t dare tell to anyone. The solution however was a secret kept between her, the progenitor, and Elder Liu. No one could know about the solution lest they get ideas that the Blossoming Flowers were really an evil and corrupted sect that needed to be eradicated from the face of the earth.
“That isn’t something I want him to know,” Risless said.
“It’s something he figured out you already know but are unwilling to tell him,” Elder Liu said. “If it keeps up, it’ll be what drives you apart from him. I’ve always told you before to just let him know and let him decide what he wants to do. Aren’t you willing to do that if he is willing?”
Risless was shocked at what she was hearing coming from Elder Liu. It was true she was willing, but it was something that she couldn’t do. It was something that would make the entire world laugh at them or even try to destroy them. There was no coming back from that in any part of the world, and it was a horrible fate to have.
“No, it’s not something we can ever do,” Risless said.
“You can step down as Sect Master and go somewhere far away from the eyes of the world,” Elder Liu said. “Even I think it would be better for you to accept than to die young and suffer as the leader doing so much of the mundane everyday. We can manage the sect and if you want to visit or need anything, I will help provide it for you. Even the Progenitors would not be against that.”
Risless thought about it seriously. If her son were willing, she would love to do that. There was a theoretical way to get rid of the curse. They could disguise themselves, and no one would know who they were. They could leave.
“No… I can’t do that,” Risless said. “I can’t leave when the Sect has already given me so much. You raised me to become the Sect Master and until death it is my duty to protect and take care of this Sect. I cannot do otherwise even for my happiness if that were possible.”
“What about your son’s happiness then?” Elder Liu asked. “He does not like being kept as a prisoner every day.”
“I can’t decide for him… I can’t…” Risless said. “If I die, then perhaps he could live an ordinary life… if that happens then perhaps he could be happy…”
“No,” Elder Liu said. “You don’t understand, do you? If you die and the rival sects knew they would target him for torture. As a Sect Master you already have many enemies and those who can’t get revenge on you will go after him. Though we could hide him and let him pretend to be someone else, there is always the possibility that he will be found and tortured.”
“I… I can’t decide,” Risless said. “I can’t deal with this sort of decision when everything seems to lead to something undesirable.”
“It’s fine for now then,” Elder Liu said. “Take it a day at a time and hopefully everything will work out. Remember, there is a full moon coming and the evil spirit will attack him again. The last time it happened, Dong Chen was traumatized. This time it would be better to let him settle in before bringing up such matters towards him.”
“I see,” Risless said. “I miss him so much… and yet… I don’t want to make the same mistakes again.”
“You won’t make the same mistakes again, but you still need to pull yourself together,” Elder Liu said. “Remember, you are the Sect Master here, you cannot show weakness. If others find out your son is your weakness, they will now how to manipulate you in the future.”
“I understand,” Risless said. “You raised me after all.”
“I did,” Elder Liu said. “I will always help you if you need it. Even if you didn’t raise your son because he is your blood, you feel that powerful connection towards him. If you want to convince him to live for the solution, I will also help you by talking to him.”
“Thank you, Elder Liu.” Risless shed some tears. “Thank you, Elder Liu.”
Elder Liu gave her a hug while thinking about how complicated everything became because Dong Chen could not get himself married before the death of his father. If he had died as well, what would have happened to Risless. There might have been something terrible that occurred in the Sect if Risless had lost her mind.
Perhaps in the future they would need to be more careful in the security for the mortals. Instead of letting the son of the next Sect Master be raised by those outside they would need to make an exception sooner and simply keep both the father and son inside the sect until the son has married and then support them afterward so such a thing didn’t happen again.
Normally the cultivators would stay out of the mortal world not wanting to influence their lives too much, but this concerned the fate of future Sect Masters.
After going a few weeks like this, I’ve realized one thing. Mom is afraid of telling me something. Elder Liu is also afraid of spilling mom’s secrets. First there is Elder Liu telling me that my death would be inconsequential, then there is the matter of both her and mom refusing to acknowledge that I can figure things out.
It’s like someone constantly telling me I’m delusional, then coming up with many explanations to make something that doesn’t exist seem like it couldn’t possibly exist. Elder Liu wouldn’t even acknowledge that I’ve figured it out.
All this really means is that the secrets they have are so horrible that the entire cultivation world would tremble if they learn of it. It’s probably the weakness of the Technique used by the Fate of Extreme Beauty, and if others knew that secret it could potentially cause all the enemies of the Blossoming Flowers Sect to hit at that weakness from every direction.
The Blossoming Flowers from my understanding is at the top of the cultivation world, but there are several rivals against it that have considerable power who could cause problems if united for a common cause. The sect was unique in that it didn’t require a specific race to become a disciple, but rather that the new recruits were female. As such, the sect had many disciples of the many different races on the continent.
I still couldn’t do anything locked in this room, but I have a plan for that. The full moon is coming soon, and so will that spirit. It’s the only time I’ll have some autonomy over who can come into this room and who can’t.
The guards outside were all women and also covered from head to toe. Unlike the disciples, everyone who guarded me since the death of my father has made sure to cover up so there is no accidental contact. Only mom and Elder Liu visit me without covering everything up.
It’s kind of peculiar and in a way it feels like I have some horrible disease they don’t want me to spread to them. The curse is said to affect anyone whom I touch except for my mom, and then there’s that evil spirit that scares the crap out of me.
I had to stick to the plan.