Yun Bei Fen woke up especially early the next morning. The sun hadn’t even risen when he slipped out of bed and hurried to the hall. He wanted to make sure that he hadn’t just imagined the old man that came by last night.
Baili Chao was standing in the courtyard at that time and looked up at the now clear, blue sky, contemplating the ways of Heaven. For all those years he stayed in the Teng Yong Sect he had always paid close attention to the children they took in, always in the hope of making one of them his last disciple. He had never found someone he felt a connection with though. Now, upon leaving the sect for the first time in so long, he actually met this little boy and immediately felt what had been lacking so far.
What could this be called if not fate? It was as if Heaven had wanted him to wait for this person. If that was so, then he would put all his energy into guiding him. This boy, he would make sure that he became a mighty cultivator!
Baili Chao smiled and wanted to head back into the house when small, hurried steps sounded behind him. He turned and a little figure threw itself onto him.
Baili Chao blanked. "Ah? What did you just call me?"
"Grandpa." Yun Bei Fen looked up at him with his big eyes and smiled.
Faced with this adorable child Baili Chao didn’t really know what to say. He crouched down in front of him and patted his head. "Why are you calling me that?"
Yun Bei Fen pondered and finally his face lit up. "Because you’re old!"
Baili Chao gave a cough and patted the boy’s shoulder. So it was really true that a new-born calf wouldn’t be afraid of the tiger. Well, the boy didn’t even know what exactly a cultivator was so it was to be expected. This too was something he’d have to slowly teach him.
"How about you go and make me a cup of tea?"
"Mn." Yun Bei Fen nodded and hurried back into the house. He rummaged around the kitchen and finally returned with a cup. He stopped in front of Baili Chao and held it up.
The cultivator looked at the cup. Not even a bit of steam was rising from it. This obviously wasn’t the hot tea he had expected. He could probably count himself lucky if he had gotten lukewarm tea instead of a cold one.
Baili Chao cleared his throat. "Yun Bei Fen, you know if someone wants to become the disciple of a cultivator he will present him with a cup of tea. So, do you want me to be your master?"
Yun Bei Fen tilted his head and pondered the question. In the end, he decided that he didn’t know enough yet. "Is having a master like having a grandfather?"
Baili Chao smiled wryly. What did that child have with grandfathers? "Not quite. It’s more like having a second father. In regards to cultivation, it’s often said that being a master for a day is like being a father for life. Your master will teach you everything you need to know just like how your real father would do."
Yun Bei Fen nodded. He didn’t have his real father anymore. Having another father didn’t sound so bad. "Alright. I accept."
Baili Chao’s jaw dropped. What did this rascal mean, he accepted?! It was obviously the master who accepted the disciple, not the other way around!
When the cute little boy in front of him lifted the cup higher up he couldn’t say anything though. Ah, never mind, this child was so young he just didn’t understand yet. In a few years, he would probably be embarrassed because of what he did today.
Baili Chao took the cup and gulped down the content. His face blanked the moment the liquid ran down his throat. Never mind that this was cold. How could this even be called tea? This was obviously plain water!
Baili Chao had tears streaming down his cheeks. But what could he do now? He handed the cup back to Yun Bei Fen and patted the boy’s head. "Alright, Xiao Fen. You can bring the cup back. Let’s wait for your uncle to get up to say farewell. After that, I’ll bring you to the Teng Yong Sect."
The boy nodded but didn’t go.
"What is it?"
"Father called me Fen’er."
"Oh? So, you want me to call you Fen’er, too?"
Yun Bei Fen nodded. If he got himself a second father, then naturally his second father should do the same as his first father. His father was supposed to call him Fen’er!
Baili Chao smiled. "Alright. Then go bring the cup back into the kitchen, Fen’er. You can come out again after that."
"Mn!" The boy nodded and hurried back into the kitchen. Finally, he had a father again. He wouldn’t be alone anymore.
Yun Bei Fen put the cup down with a smile before running outside again. He stopped next to Baili Chao and hurriedly clasped his hand. "Father!"
Baili Chao coughed. It seemed he had been promoted from grandfather to father now. "Actually, you ought to call me master."
Yun Bei Fen blinked in confusion. "But you said you’d be my second father from now on. I never called my father master."
"That …" That was a dumb move of me to explain it like that. "Ah, never mind. Just call me however you want. But you have to do me one favor."
"When we arrive at the Teng Yong Sect and other people are around then you really have to call me master."
"Why that?" Yun Bei Fen who had just been alright with promising whatever his second father wanted didn’t like this idea too much. He finally had a new father. Why couldn’t he call him that?
"Well …" Baili Chao sighed. He had taken his other disciples in when they were a little older and already understood what it meant to be a cultivator. How was he supposed to explain this?
Feeling quite embarrassed he just made up a convenient lie. "You got yourself a second father. Wouldn’t the other children be really jealous if they new? As a good child, you should be considerate of their circumstances. So, it’s still better to call me master when they are around."
Yun Bei Fen nodded. What his new father said seemed really logical. "But only when other children are around."
"Uh …" Baili Chao felt cold sweat bead his brow. Wouldn’t he become a laughing stock if the other Elders found out he took in a disciple that refused to call him master? And the sect master … Ugh. He didn’t even want to think about it. That shameless guy would probably point to his face and laugh at him. While everyone else was watching no less. He definitely couldn’t let that happen!
"Well, you see the old men in our Teng Yong Sect are terribly chatty. If they heard you call me father they would certainly tell the children. So, no, as long as we’re in the Teng Yong Sect you absolutely have to call me master."
"But only if somebody else is around, right?" Yun Bei Fen wouldn’t give up so fast. He tugged at his new father’s hand and looked at him pitifully. He didn’t want to always have to call him master.
"Ahem …" Baili Chao coughed. How was he supposed to reject this cute little fellow? "Well, yes, as long as nobody else is around."
Yun Bei Fen’s face immediately lit up. "Thank you, father!" He hugged the old man and finally even managed to be lifted up onto his arms.
Baili Chao could only sigh. He deeply felt that he would probably overindulge this little disciple of his. He could only hope that Yun Bei Fen would still turn out decent and not rely on his backing to bully others later on how many other disciples did.
Well, considering that this little one was still young he could still right everything he had done wrong until now. Mn, this child would certainly turn out well. After all, just the fact that he had accepted him as his master showed that he had good eyes.