Chapter 7: Discipline (Pt.
1)

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MARCH 20, 2022 GENZANYBAIHETO TRAVEL BY THE EDGE OF A CREEK

Chapter 7, pt.
1

Before it was even five in the morning, A Du arrived at the door. 

“Jiang-shijie, come to morning class!” When Jiang Ling heard the knock on her door, she had the sudden impulse to grab A Du and beat him.
On normal days, she was always diligent, practicing her martial arts with her shixiong and shijie in the morning without fail; she had no difficulties waking up early.
It was just that, last night, she had not slept at all.
She had leapt onto the roof to breathe in the cold night air and she had just laid back down for a little bit when this A Du, who deserved a death of one thousand cuts, called her.
Why did she have to go to morning classes here ah…

Yun He and Gu Yun were already awake by the time A Du arrived and were preparing for meditation. 

“A Du, you didn’t mention anything about morning classes yesterday.” Jiang Ling’s eyes were just about spitting flames. 

“Yun Yangzi-shibo did not have morning classes at this time?”

“Errr…”

A Du’s question left Jiang Ling with nothing to say. 

“What about Shangguan-shijie and the others from Yueluo.
Are they coming, too?” Jiang Ling also wanted to ask about their affairs. 

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“No.
Disciples from other sects are guests, different from our sect’s disciples.
For the next few days, they are free to do as they please, while disciples of our sect must attend classes on time.
Since shixiong and shijie are from our sect, naturally, you will need to go, too.” A Du explained. 

“Sounds reasonable.” Gu Yun nodded, “A Du, your Jiang-shijie just wants to be lazy.”

“You’re the lazy one!”

The new disciples all had morning class on the platform on the east side of the square.
The majority of them were in meditation and listening to some elders delivering general lectures.
On the platform were many rush mats, and there were already many disciples there meditating. 

“The elders from the Hall of Regulations, the instructors for disciple conduct and discipline, are lecturing today.
They are also the ones who punish errant disciples.” A Du suddenly slowed his pace and lowered his voice.
He turned his body and concealed half his face behind his hand, saying to the trio, “Elder Yi of the Hall of Regulations is very strict and as taciturn as the Sect Leader.
You should try to behave yourselves a little.
You must not do anything out of line.”

“Of course.” Jiang Ling also restrained her voice. 

Arriving at the platform, A Du and the trio found themselves their own rush mats and began meditation. 

Not long after, Elder Yi of the Hall of Regulations arrived, and, as expected, he looked to be an old man of about sixty years of age, with a grizzled beard and unapproachable countenance. 

Elder Yi’s morning class was nothing more than some disciples studying texts and practicing martial arts to be upright, of calm temper, and on guard against arrogance and impetuousness.
Traveling the outside world was for upholding justice and acting chivalrously, conducting oneself in accordance with one’s conscience and the external guidance of morality and righteousness, and so on. 

Yun Yangzi was casual and undisciplined; one follows their own character.
He never compelled his three disciples to recite texts each morning or practice particular moves, and after the disciplines were instructed on the dharma, they were free to cultivate their own path.
He carried out a teaching style of “shifu leads one to the door, but the way of cultivation depends on the individual.” However, as Jiang Ling listened to these ‘ways of life’, which seemed to run on forever, she felt that her ears were starting to grow calluses.
She sat on the rush mat and could not help but yawn; she really was too tired. 

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Jiang Ling was awoken by the elder’s ruler[1], “Slack and undisciplined.
Go receive punishment from the Hall of Discipline and reflect for four shichen[2].” Elder Yi was so angry that his beard was about to fly off his face.
There was someone brazen enough to doze off during his morning class, but with one question, that person turned out to be the disciple of the wayward Yun Yangzi; her relaxed and oftimes remiss countenance was exactly like his.
Jiang Ling resigned herself and recognized that she was in the wrong, acknowledging her mistake and accepting her punishment. 

When the morning classes concluded, Gu Yun patted Jiang Ling on the shoulder, his face expressing his delight over her misfortunes, and said that dinner would be waiting for her, so she could receive her punishment in peace.
Jiang Ling was filled with even more anger.
Her first day here, and she got a day’s worth of kneeling; the next four days could brew even more trouble. 

Just as she was going to leave, she heard a little shidi cry out, “Eldest shixiong has returned!”

Once they heard the call, the crowd of disciples surged over to the mountain gate’s archway one after the other, swiftly surrounding the area so tightly that even water could not pass through between them. 

Jiang Ling stood on her tiptoes, but she could not see anything, and her interest dried up.
She prepared to go to the Hall of Discipline to receive her punishment. 

At that moment, that shixiong said something—Jiang Ling did not know what—and the little disciples dispersed and went to practice their martial arts, and that person walked directly toward Jiang Ling.
Jiang Ling was internally surprised; she herself had never crossed paths with this shixiong before.
Perhaps that eldest shixiong’s defeat by shijie four years prior gave birth to a hidden sentiment? She looked at Yun He, but Yun He’s indifferent countenance had not changed.
Just as she was going to ask Gu Yun if that eldest shixiong liked Yun He, she saw that Gu Yun had already greeted that eldest shixiong and hugged him. 

Their addresses of “Da-ge” and “Second brother” were filled with familial warmth. 

Unexpectedly, they were brothers.
Jiang Ling stared blankly, at this moment thinking that she should reevaluate this shixiong of hers, as she had never expected that his family’s business would be such a large enterprise.
The eldest disciple of Qingshan Sect’s Sect Leader was actually his brother.
Jiang Ling thought a little about Shangguan Qing.
Having the gift of the gab had its benefits; one would not often come across a situation one did not understand, but it was a little dull. 

“Da-ge, this is my shijie, Yun He.
You two already met four years ago.
This is my shimei, Jiang Ling.” Gu Yun faced his da-ge and introduced his sect mates. 

“Gu Shi, A Yun’s da-ge.” Gu Shi cupped his fist and gave courtesy to Yun He and Jiang Ling, “Our family’s second son has received you two’s care for many years.
I am deeply grateful for the favor.” Gu Shi and Gu Yun shared some similarities in their sword-like brows, bright eyes, and impressive bearing.
Owing to the age difference of seven years, Gu Shi was substantially taller and seemed more dependable than the seventeen-year-old Gu Yun, who was a little more delicate-looking standing next to him.  

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Yun He said that it was Gu Yun who took care of his two shijie and shimei. 

“Eldest shixiong, the Sect Leader heard that you returned and was looking for you, hoping to discuss some things related to the Sword Conference.” Just as they were going to exchange more courtesies, they saw a disciple exit the hall.
It was the Sect Leader’s third disciple, Jin 

Jue, who had also returned alongside Gu Shi.
A Du had mentioned this person before during their chats; they were extremely high in natural talents, yet they conducted themselves with arrogance and treated others rudely, only listening to their eldest shixiong’s words.
They were a frequent guest of the Hall of Discipline.
A Du said that the younger disciplines always avoided them. 

Gu Shi bid them farewell, saying that when he had time, he would come visit them, then went directly to the hall. 

“Shixiong, you really keep your deepest secrets close, ah?” Jiang Ling ridiculed. 

“You never asked.” Gu Yun refuted. 

“Are you the shimei who slept during Elder Yi’s morning lecture today?” Jin Jue narrowed his eyes and scrutinized Jiang Ling. 

“What about it?” Jiang Ling raised her guard.

“Tch tch, even if you wear the clothing of our Qingshan Sect, it can’t put a lid on your feral reek.” Jin Jue proved each of A Du’s words true. 

“From what I can see of the Great Qingshan Sect, their teachings of courtesy can’t match our ‘feral’ ones.” Gu Yun responded caustically. 

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“Shixiong, ever since he came back, I can’t seem to recognize the words ‘courtesy and etiquette’ anywhere.” Jiang Ling added a retort. 

“As expected, a lack of management.
I’ll teach you all a lesson today on behalf of Yun Yangzi-shishu.”

“Shixiong, the elders of the Hall of Regulations have already reprimanded shimei.” Yun He did not want to create animosity with someone just after arriving, but she could not stand her shimei being scorned, “Don’t trouble shixiong, Jiang Ling, go to the Hall of Discipline to receive your punishment as you will.”

Jiang Ling listened and went to the Hall of Discipline without turning back. 

Yun He led Gu Yun back to their living quarters.
Jin Jue spat as he watched them leave.
Because of that shishu, who he had never even seen before, these three became dignified internal disciples that shizun would talk about from time to time.
Internally, Jin Jue refused to accept it. 

Footnotes

Footnotes

↑1 A big, stick-like ruler for beating students.
↑2 2 hours

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