Chapter Thirteen: Two Souls One Body
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When light broke through the dawn the next morning, Chu WuQing left Chu HuanZhi’s residence.
Just as he left, the countless people watching him immediately spread the news.
Chu WuQing had left alone. He hadn’t obtained a Foundation Establishment helper from Chu HuanZhi. What a shocking turn of events!
Finding a good helper was a test of connections and influence, and who could beat Chu WuQing at that?
In this generation of core disciples, Chu WuQing was evidently the strongest if you only considered spiritual root potential. However, he was also the youngest, and his cultivation level only reached Level Eight Qi Condensation Stage. The only threat here was the person backing him, Chu HuanZhi.
Practically everyone was wondering what kind of person Chu HuanZhi would have protect Chu WuQing, but Chu WuQing had left? Just like that?
When Chu WuQing returned to his own place and saw the two figures there, meditating, he couldn’t help but frown. Gu Yu still hadn’t entered Qi Condensation stage.
Though he had been prepared for this result, he still felt somewhat disappointed.
Ever since entering Chu WuQing’s room, Chu WuJuan’s divine sense had been actively scanning its surroundings, going over every single little aspect of Chu WuQing’s room.
The eight-foot wide green sandalwood bed was what XiaoDi lay upon each day. He could practically see the sight of XiaoDi soundly asleep upon this bed, occasionally tossing and turning. His waist, his legs, every inch of his body coming into contact with the bed beneath him.
And those bed covers, lying atop XiaoDi’s body, touching XiaoDi’s bare skin. He could feel the other’s presence lingering on those sheets using his divine sense. Had XiaoDi ever wrapped his naked form inside those sheets before?
The ebony wood grand armchair, the royal violet ivy cattail hassocks were what XiaoDi usually sat upon, XiaoDi… Chu WuJuan could feel a slight tickle in his nose, but outwardly, his entire demeanour merely grew even more frosty and aloof.
The tea set on the table was a favourite of XiaoDi’s, caressed by XiaoDi’s hand and placed at XiaoDi’s lips…
He wanted everything in this room… apart from that abhorrent existence next to him. If only it were only he and XiaoDi here.
Chu WuJuan’s divine sense didn’t hold any malice to it, merely carefully caressing and scrutinizing. However, it was naturally tainted with the overwhelming power of lightning from above, bringing mortals around it a near fatal effect on their consciousness and spirit, like a mountain pressing down on them.
Cold sweat kept beading on Gu Yu’s forehead. He had never felt a day pass by so fast. In the blink of an eye, dawn had broken. There seemed to be a milky white sort of energy in the air around him, but he endured the urge to absorb it into his body.
Meanwhile, Chu WuJuan had begun mercilessly taunting and mocking him in the middle of the night. His divine sense was able to tell when Chu WuQing approached the area, and once the other entered the room, Chu WuJuan frowned.
Chu WuJuan, looking as if he had been meditating, opened his eyes and informed the other in a worried tone, “XiaoDi, your idea is too risky. Though this Gu Yu has great potential in regards to his spiritual roots, he’s a mortal in the end. Even if he has some talent with runes, how much help is that to you? He can’t even manage to enter Level One Qi Condensation stage. He will only drag you down if he goes with you. The Chu Clan’s branch families can give you countless people like him, you don’t even need to ask. I have a friend, a Runesmaster, too, though he’s only Late Foundation Establishment stage, he can use his arrays to defeat even Golden Core stage cultivators. He has plenty of experience dealing with traps and arrays in Hidden Realms. He and I are friends willing to die for each other. If you need, you can take him with you.”
More importantly, this friend already had a female cultivation partner and three kids. He was a very safe choice.
“Shut up,” Chu WuQing snapped, “You should mind your own business, cousin.”
As he snapped back at his cousin, the light in Chu WuQing’s eyes focused on Chu WuJuan and Chu WuJuan’s figure was reflected in those glaring eyes.
Chu WuJuan’s cheeks felt hot, his tongue dry, wanting to continue trying to convince the other, “XiaoDi…”
Yet, just as he opened his mouth to speak, the calm spiritual energy in the air suddenly grew chaotic, swirling wildly around Gu Yu and immediately drawing Chu WuQing’s attention away.
Instantly, Gu Yu began to exude a spiritual aura. This rapid absorption of spiritual energy visibly excited the violent spiritual energy further. Soon enough, Gu Yu’s already pale face grew a tinge of blue.
“Cousin,” Chu WuQing turned his head, “cut the chatter. Hurry and do your job.”
Chu WuJuan, who had a stomach of useless chatter to say: “…” Damnit, this brat. His gut feeling had been right about him.
Chu WuJuan took a step forward, the spiritual energy in his hand began to circulate, entering Gu Yu’s meridians with a special technique and guiding the violent spiritual energy into Gu Yu’s Dantian, normalizing its circulation.
Soon enough, this spiritual energy condensed into a small orb. Though it was only the size of a pea, it represented Gu Yu’s successful ascension into Level One Qi Condensation stage. It was proof he was now a true cultivator.
Gu Yu opened his eyes, eyes tinged with an irrepressible hint of joy. His gaze landed on Chu WuQing, filled with a loyal admiration and careful anxiety, fear that he might be abandoned, even though he knew that there was a lot of bullshit coming from the mouth of this cultivator that looked really strong.
Faced with the pressure of this cultivator’s divine sense and his sharp-tongued words, Gu Yu was able to remain calm and unfazed, but when he was actually faced with Chu WuQing, all his logic and rationality left him, leaving him with nothing but his emotions and instincts. Chu WuQing was so far above him. Even if he put everything into trying to catch up, he was only left with a silhouette.
He didn’t dare think what would happen if, one day, he wouldn’t even be able to see that measly silhouette. To him, that was equal to falling into infinite despair.
He acted like an adult, coming in front of Chu WuQing and kneeling respectfully, his forehead touching the ground. He could see a pair of snow-white boots and the hem of the other’s robes, fluttering due to the spiritual energy in the air. “Master, Gu Yu has entered Level One Qi Condensation stage.”
He was a swallow, freed from his torment, yet he wanted nothing more than to possess this person’s silhouette, becoming the one who stood closest to him and barring others from approaching.
His thoughts leaked into his aura, causing his entire demeanour to sharpen.
The scene in front of him with this master and servant pair had Chu WuJuan’s heart sinking. Gu Yu, a mere Qi Condensation stage servant, dared to show off to him? How dare he try and get close to Chu WuQing… how dare he try and make him look bad in front of Chu WuQing?
Chu WuJuan smiled. “Congratulations, cousin, on not having to bring a useless mortal with you to the trials. But even if Gu Yu is now Level One Qi Condensation stage, killing him will be as easy as killing a new-born chick for other cultivators. If anything happens, it won’t be the servant protecting the master. Would it not end up with the master protecting the servant? Cousin, this is a vital opportunity. I don’t want you to lose everything. I’ve already sent a message to my friend and they’re on their way. You should at least take a look before making a decision.”
If Chu WuQing made a decision to do something, even Chu HuanZhi couldn’t interfere with his decision. Though this was partly due to Chu HuanZhi spoiling him, there was no right for Chu WuJuan to butt in, ignoring Chu WuQing’s decision and trying to make him reconsider.
Chu WuJuan knew this.
He also knew that this would most certainly draw Chu WuQing’s anger to him.
As expected, Chu WuQing immediately grabbed a teacup on the table and threw it at Chu WuJuan. “Get out.”
Even though he had put his spiritual energy into that throw, there was too much of a gap between Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment. The teacup hit Chu WuJuan, yet all it did was leave a faint red mark. The teacup fell down from Chu WuJuan’s arm into his hand.
He raised the teacup, pressing his lips against the place Chu WuQing had drank from, and downed the remaining spiritual energy-infused tea, commenting, “What good tea. Since you gifted me this tea, XiaoDi, your older brother, I, will no longer disturb you.” Afterwards, his gaze swept over Gu Yu, a subconscious hint of triumph in his eyes.
Gu Yu imperceptibly widened his eyes. He had, naturally, looked around Chu WuQing’s room as well. In this private area, there were only two white jade teacups. It was clear that both were cups that had been used countless times by Chu WuQing.
Chu WuQing’s lips had pressed against these cups time after time, and his red tongue had swept across the white sides.
He couldn’t believe there existed someone so shameless, and this person was the Successor of the Chu Clan as well. Gu Yu’s gaze discreetly flew to the other teacup. Chu WuQing definitely wouldn’t use that one as a projectile now.
Gu Yu’s gaze darkened.
Chu WuJuan left as Chu WuQing had ordered, but it didn’t douse Chu WuQing’s anger in the slightest. A person who got angry would hope for their opposer to feel fear or get provoked into anger as well. However, Chu WuJuan always remained so unfazed, neutralizing whatever came his way as if he had the moral superiority. He always posed himself as a generous gentleman, making Chu WuQing feel like all his attacks had hit nothing but air.
“Let’s go.” Chu WuQing intoned, before taking Gu Yu to the ancestral hall with him.
In the ancestral hall, almost all of the Chu Clan’s below Golden Core stage core disciples were present. Everyone was wondering, guessing who Chu WuQing would bring with him if not someone Chu HuanZhi had bought him?
Suddenly, miraculously beautiful music was heard, a sound that seemed to come from strings, yet seemed to be brought by the wind, like it was played from the heavens.
The moment everyone heard it, the most beautiful scenes they could imagine surfaced in their minds, their spirits uplifted.
The Nascent Soul cultivator who had been meditating on the risen stage opened their eyes, a flash of surprise appeared in their eyes. “The Greater Path of Sound. Which friend of the Chu Clan has visited us today? Please do reveal yourself, the Chu Clan welcomes you.”
His divine sense swiftly spread out over the entire ancestral residence but didn’t detect any spiritual energy pulses. His heart skipped a beat and he made to message the Chu Clan Soul Transformation stage seniors, when suddenly, a whirlpool of spiritual energy appeared on the edges of the Chu Clan territory.
It was barren there, and even servants were rarely willing to set foot there. The ambient spiritual energy was thin, and it was considered a place for the banished.
Yet, in a place like that, a Golden Core formation phenomenon accompanying the Golden Core formation of a cultivator with talented foundations and immense spiritual reserves, a spiritual tempest.
The moment the tempest appeared, the music reached the peak of its crescendo.
“Ah, so, a junior of our clan has formed a Golden Core? Very good, very good.” The Nascent Soul elder began to laugh, sitting on the risen stage.
The cultivators in the ancestral hall were all confused. Who was it that had formed a Golden Core that caused a Nascent Soul elder visible joy?
Yet, barely seconds later, the Nascent Soul elder’s expression changed from joy to gloom. “The tempest died. It failed?”
The music had also vanished.
It wasn’t until then that everyone realized that this heavenly music had come from the cultivator stepping onto their chosen path. If this person had successfully formed a Golden Core, then they would certainly become a powerhouse, taking their place on the WenXian Rankings!
… Unfortunately, they had failed.
Yet, as everyone was sighing, thinking what a shame this was, an unexpected figure stepped into the ancestral hall.
He walked in, wearing white, and his every step seemed to invoke a heavenly tune. Spiritual energy gathered around him, slowly forming into mist. It made him seem like a god that had descended from the heavens.
Who was this? The young clan members were confused. Such a bright, outstanding Foundation Establishment cultivator couldn’t possibly be an unknown in the clan.
Yet, a few of the Foundation Establishment cultivators had rather strange and conflicted expressions, causing their features to become twisted.
“Chu YunShu, Chu YunShu, I thought it was over for him!” Someone cried out in surprise.
Immediately, someone else asked, “Who’s Chu YunShu?”
“The previous Golden Core Candidate Successor.”
The Chu Clan didn’t only have one Candidate Successor, but one for each generation. Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment was one generation, Golden Core was another and Nascent Soul was yet another generation, and whoever reached Soul Transformation first, achieving success in the core value of the Chu Clan, the path of cultivation, would have the right to challenge the current Clan Head.
If they succeeded, they would become the new Chu Clan Head, the ruler of the AnYang Realm.
The Candidate Successor of the Chu Clan wasn’t set in stone. Every ten years, there would be a large-scale tournament. Whoever won first place, could challenge the Candidate Successor of their generation for the position.
Chu YunShu had been defeated by his challenger in the tournament thirty years ago. The first place Golden Core cultivator that year had been merciless, unwilling to give his opponent any chance to turn the tables in the future. In the competition, he had destroyed Chu YunShu’s Golden Core, causing Chu YunShu’s cultivation level to fall to Peak Qi Condensation stage.
Not only were they not punished for this cruel act, many Nascent Soul Elders even showed admiration for it, believing that their behaviour was good for the future expansion and development of the clan.
The once-prodigy had fallen from his pedestal. No one thought that Chu YunShu would ever be able to re-establish foundations, and this previous Candidate Successor was banished, never heard from again.
The word ‘previous’ made things clear and many of the cultivators in the hall immediately understood what this entailed, yet this only served to shock them more, “He re-established foundations? You can do that after having your golden core shattered?”
“No, it’s not that he has just re-established foundations, but… he’s at Peak Foundation Establishment stage. It was him who was about to form a Golden Core just now.” A Late Foundation Establishment stage cultivator shook his head, explaining.
“Didn’t he just fail, though? How come he seems perfectly fine? His cultivation level didn’t fall either.”
“No, he didn’t fail. He forcibly suppressed his cultivation on the precipice between Foundation Establishment and Golden Core. What do you think he’s come here for? He’s here to compete for the opportunity!” The Late Foundation Establishment stage cultivator gritted his teeth as he spoke.
Next to them, Chu WuDan’s expression darkened. He had been pretending to not be listening, but now he knew that Chu YunShu was sure to become a tough competitor in this trial.
“Elder, Chu Clan disciple Chu YunShu greets you.” Chu YunShu addressed the Nascent Soul Elder over everyone else, “May I know if I have the right to become a core disciple of the Chu Clan and attend this competition for the opportunity?”
“Of course! If you don’t have the right to do so, YunShu, then who does?” The Nascent Soul Elder came down from the stage to greet a measly Foundation Establishment cultivator. “YunShu, I never expected that you would be able to achieve full enlightenment on the Path of Sound. The Chu Clan’s future, it’s all up to you now.”
Originally, the Chu Clan was only around fifty percent confident they’d be able to obtain the opportunity that had appeared. However, with Chu YunShu’s abrupt appearance, the Nascent Soul elder clearly thought that there was no way the Chu Clan could lose the opportunity to anyone else anymore. What he had said, too; he was clearly viewing Chu YunShu as an equal to himself.
The Nascent Soul elder then continued, “YunShu, you can bring one follower with you for the trials this time. If you have anyone in mind, you should hurry and contact them. We can wait a bit for them to arrive. If not, I can contact the Patriarch and have him help you choose someone.”
Chu YunShu shook his head. “No need. Thank you for your consideration, but I don’t need a follower.” His tone was humble, but his words were arrogant, yet no one had any heart to rebuke him.
This was the effect of an absolute gap in power and ability!
The Nascent Soul elder didn’t even mind the other had rejected him, just smiling and nodding. “So long as you’re certain, YunShu.” He showed infinite tolerance.
The other low-level cultivators in the hall were all overwhelmed with envy.
That was when someone suddenly announced, “Chu WuQing is here!”
The cultivators who originally had their attention drawn to Chu YunShu all turned to look towards the entrance of the hall, only to see that the person following Chu WuQing was a measly Level One Qi Condensation stage kid.
Almost everyone couldn’t help but think, had Chu WuQing gone crazy?
Meanwhile, the gloom that had descended on Chu WuDan due to Chu YunShu’s appearance vanished with Chu WuQing’s arrival.
There were no Chu Clan elders in the lower realm, and no Chu HuanZhi. This Chu WuQing’s brain must have rotted from Chu HuanZhi spoiling him so much. Did he think he was invincible with this insignificant little Qi Condensation stage follower? What a joke, bringing a Level One Qi Condensation stage cultivator! Killing him would be barely any harder than taking a deep breath.
Seeing everyone’s strange expressions upon entering the hall, Chu WuQing’s gaze swept over them quickly before being drawn towards the only person who wasn’t looking his way.
That person sat next to the elder, almost as if he couldn’t hear the cacophony, distant from the rest of them.
With his memories of his past life, the only person he was truly wary of in the trials this time was Chu YunShu.
He was different from small bosses like Chu WuQing and Chu WuJuan. The author had him as a rival, a frenemy of the protagonist’s!
In the original, Chu YunShu and the protagonist Lin Yi had discovered that divine item at the same time. Considering Chu YunShu’s cultivation level, he could easily win it, but he was prideful and didn’t like depending on external objects, only caring about his cultivation path, so he left it to Lin Yi. Then afterwards, in the fight for the opportunity, he was different from Chu WuQing who had lost and had both his arms crippled, Chu YunShu had only lost by his bloodline.
Then, after leaving the Lower Realm, Chu YunShu left the Chu Clan, disappearing, and when he came back, he had become an elite demonic cultivator!
As for the genocide of the Chu Clan, Chu YunShu was the only one who survived it.
Even more terrifying was that, in reality, there were two souls living in Chu YunShu’s body. Before him, there had never been anyone who could continue down the path of cultivation after having their Golden Core destroyed – sans the protagonist, of course. However, this was all because there were two souls residing in one body!
One was named Chu YunShu, the other was named Chu YunZhi. No one in the Chu Clan knew about this.
In addition, while Chu YunShu would take mercy on the protagonist, he definitely wouldn’t take mercy on a member of the Chu Clan. In the fight for divine items, he would withdraw if it was the protagonist, but if it was a member of the Chu Clan, he would destroy their Dantian.
Chu WuQing walked to the very front and sat down, beginning to meditate.
Just like in his last life, Chu YunShu’s gaze never fell upon any of these cultivators of his generation. That, of course, included Chu WuQing.