Chapter 3: He was going to steal the protagonist’s helpers so that their talents would be his.
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“You’ll all be given three days to prepare for this, after which you’ll gather here, and a Nascent Soul Stage elder will take you all to the Lower Realm. All core disciples are allowed to participate, please prepare carefully.” The Diviner Grand Elder then continued. “All core disciples are allowed to bring one servant.”
They called them a servant, but in reality, they would be a helper. With a helper in the Lower Realm, it would make things infinitely easier for them. For example, if a cultivator at Qi Condensation Stage took a Foundation Establishment Stage expert with them, then both their chances of survival and obtaining treasure would vastly increase. Of course, some believed that this was cheating and unfair to those who weren’t so fortunate. But in the world of cultivation, there was no such thing as fair.
Many people started worrying over who they were going to bring and where they’d find their helper.
The Chu Clan could basically cover the skies of the AnYang Realm with one hand. Over the generations, they had intermarried with many other powerful families in the AnYang Realm. Many of their members had powerful backgrounds and connections, and they all started to use them to find the perfect helper.
In his past lifetime, Chu WuQing had brought a death sworn 1 Peak Foundation Establishment cultivator, only half a step away from Golden Core. The death sworn’s Golden Core Spiritual Path was already mature. So long as there was enough spiritual energy, he could meditate and start core formation at any time.
While the Lower Realm rejected foreign Golden Core Stage and above cultivators, it wouldn’t repel those that were initially in the Lower Realm. That meant that if a foreign cultivator formed their Golden Core while inside the Lower Realm, they would be accepted by the consciousness of the realm.
Experts like this were scarce, never mind one that was death sworn. Even for the other clan members, their highest hopes would be an ordinary cultivator with a similar cultivation level. Death sworn? Maybe in their dreams.
From this, it was clear how much his father gave him.
Chu WuQing’s gaze darkened.
But in the end, this divine opportunity wasn’t his. He, who was no more than a cannon fodder villain in this novel.
The reborn Chu WuQing knew better than anyone that in this immortal’s abode, most treasures were protected by arrays and traps, as well as layer after layer of illusions.
Compared to a Golden Core cultivator with a high cultivation base but no knowledge of runes or arrays, he needed a master who could take apart ancient arrays. However, almost all Runesmasters were Nascent Soul Stage or above and required years upon years of experience to establish some sort of mastery in runesmanship. It was no small task to find a Runesmaster that wasn’t yet at the Golden Core Stage.
However, amongst the protagonist’s followers, there was a prodigious Runesmaster talent. He was able to create his own high-level arrays before he even reached Foundation Establishment, breaking all known limitations and records, shocking the entire cultivation world.
The protagonist had managed to quickly destroy the Chu Family; all thanks to the Heaven Binding Greater Array his follower had set.
More importantly, this follower of his was in the AnYang Realm right now. He was in a small cultivation family on the edges of the AnYang Realm, bullied and oppressed!
Chu WuQing was determined to take the protagonist’s follower and said follower’s talents for himself.
Lost in thought, the corner of Chu WuQing’s lips curled upwards. He was generally cold and proud, and even when he smiled, it was usually mocking, malicious, or sadistic. A genuine smile, one that came from the depth of his heart, was a first for all of these people, lighting up everything around him.
Immediately, the majority of the people around him were struck dumb, almost like their souls had been shaken from their bodies. That smile sent tingles straight into their very bones. They didn’t have any words to describe it. If they had to describe it, then ‘sunlight striking a field of snow, lighting up the world in an instant’ was only enough to match a tenth of what this was.
Seeing this, Chu WuJuan’s gaze darkened, sweeping over the entranced crowd lightly, but warningly. He then spoke to Chu WuQing telepathically, tone gentle, “Don’t worry, Xiaodi. I, your older brother, will do everything in my power to obtain this divine opportunity for you.”
Upon hearing Chu WuJuan’s words in his head, Chu WuQing’s smile turned mocking.
Do everything in his power to obtain the divine opportunity for Chu WuQing? No matter how strong Chu WuJuan was, he was only at Foundation Establishment. How could that compare to a Golden Core cultivator? He was obviously trying to take advantage of whatever benefits Chu WuQing’s father could give him to take the opportunity for himself.
What a shame that Chu WuJuan’s plan would be all for naught in the end.
As expected, the Diviner Grand Elder then spoke up. “WuJuan, the Patriarch has decided that there is no need for you to participate in this conflict. You already have a lightning spiritual root, and you’re using a heaven grade cultivation method. As an important successor to the Chu Clan, there’s no need for you to put your life on the line. So long as you’re alive, the Chu Clan’s future is secured. Your life is more important than anything.”
The Diviner Elder didn’t hesitate to announce this in front of everyone, clearly setting him apart from the crowd, on a pedestal that everyone else could only crane their necks and look up at.
No matter in this life or in his past one, hearing these words lit a smoldering rage in Chu WuQing. To the Patriarch, Chu WuJuan’s life was a life, but his wasn’t? Hmph.
“But…” Chu WuJuan’s chest tightened. He wasn’t to object, but the words were barely out of his mouth when an invisible pressure descended. This aura was so powerful that even the Nascent Soul Stage Diviner Elder trembled under it.
“Come, WuJuan,” The Patriarch’s voice boomed. “I will teach you personally. Your path is not here, in the Chu Clan, or in the Cultivation World, but in the Divine Heavens.”
The Divine Heavens, above all living things, the residence of ascended cultivators! Only one cultivator would ascend every thousand or so years, and the Chu Clan had only ever had one ascended cultivator, ever. The Patriarch’s tone was beyond arrogant.
Everyone looked to Chu WuJuan with envy. He would be personally taught by the Patriarch, something that many of them wouldn’t even dare to dream of. Even the grand elder had a hard time hiding his envy.
The Void Comprehension Stage Patriarch! The cultivator with the highest cultivation base in the entire AnYang Realm! Who knows how many Soul Transformation Stage cultivators wanted to learn under him, even if only as an Outer Disciple, yet were refused. There were even Early Void Comprehension Stage powerhouses that came to ask for mentorship but were rejected.
Yet Chu WuJuan, a little Foundation Establishment cultivator, would be personally taught by the Patriarch. This was an unbelievable honor.
Everyone felt jealousy rise inside them, but they didn’t dare express it.
Chu WuQing felt like he had been slapped, his face burning with pain. This wasn’t the first time but reliving it didn’t make it any easier. After all, the one thing he was most proud of, the person he depended on, was his Soul Transformation Stage father.
His path was in the Divine Heavens, so an opportunity in the Lower Realm was nothing to them?
How unfortunate that this proud master and disciple pair ended up killed by the very opportunity they looked down on, dying just as cruelly as he had.
At this thought, Chu WuQing’s mood lifted slightly.
Once they were dismissed, many people put on Speed Talismans and left quickly.
However, Chu WuQing was different. He waved a hand, and a jade boat appeared beneath his feet, lifting him into the air and allowing him to speed off faster than a Golden Core Stage cultivator.
“What’s that? Can Qi Condensation Stage cultivators use flying artifacts, too?” A disciple who had never come to the main family estate before asked.
“You don’t know? That’s no flying artifact, but a high-grade gem artifact,” a main family disciple said proudly. “This kind of artifact doesn’t require the user’s own spiritual energy to use. If you embed a mid-grade or above Spirit Stone into the inner array, then the artifact can activate on its own. It’s a very high-end item. The higher the grade of the Spirit Stone used, the faster it is, and the longer it lasts. Never mind a Qi Condensation cultivator, even a mortal could use it.”
“Embed a m-mid-grade Spirit Stone?” The branch family disciple stuttered in shock at the requirements for fuelling the artifact. One mid-grade Spirit Stone was equal to a thousand low-grade Spirit Stones. On their own, earning ten low-grade Spirit Stones a year was already very good for an ordinary Qi Condensation Stage cultivator. More often than not, they could only get their hands on spirit pearls, which weren’t even Spirit Stones.
Even the disciples of the main family only got five low-grade Spirit Stones every month. Yet, to the clan head’s son, one mid-grade Spirit Stone was nothing more than fuel for his magic artifact.
More and more people gathered around to hear them speak, and the branch family disciple seemed to freak out at this. Meanwhile, the main family disciple became even more animated, almost boastful as he continued to explain, “Pfft, a single mid-grade Spirit Stone as fuel is nothing. For a Spirit Stone jade boat like that, just the materials to make it would cost multiple high-grade Spirit Stones. I also hear that the great Zhen Jun had a rank eight master artificer create the jade boat. Although, I guess you can’t really be blamed for not knowing. Half a year ago, a core disciple from the Higher Realm came and saw it. He was completely stunned and jealous as hell.”
High-grade Spirit Stones, to those under Golden Core Stage, basically only existed in legends.
The main family disciple’s words had the branch family disciple’s head spinning as he muttered in disbelief, “Crazy. Spending Spirit Stones like that? That’s enough to…” Whatever it was enough to do, he couldn’t even imagine, his entire face going red with excitement. “Yet it’s being used to make and power an insignificant Qi Condensation Stage cultivator’s flying artifact, just to let him fly?”
The main family disciple continued to show off his knowledge smugly. “It’s enough to craft a high-grade weapon artifact for a Soul Transformation Stage cultivator, enough to buy a small cultivator city.” After showing off, he then glared at the branch family disciple. “It’s not within your right to judge Zhen Jun’s decisions! Do you want to die?”
Generally, Chu WuQing enjoyed basking in the envy and jealousy of others, yet right now, he couldn’t care less. The only thing in his head was his father, Chu HuanZhi. He just wanted to see his father as soon as possible.
He sped past peak after mountain peak, the hustle and bustle of people and civilization disappearing with each passing second, yet the ambient spiritual energy became denser and denser. It even started condensing into a mist, clouding his sight in murky white and hiding everything from view. An invisible presence blanketed the area, even thinned out, the murderous, fatal touch to it was palpable. It saw peaks barren, killing all that lived there. Not even a blade of grass could survive.
However, this killing intent and fatal aura turned gentle upon nearing Chu WuQing, gliding over his skin like a hand’s gentle stroke. It tickled, just a little, rubbing up against Chu WuQing’s clothes and skin.
This feeling was both foreign and familiar, something that seemed a lifetime away. It was filled with the unconditional love of a father for his child, and this love was so powerful, it had leaked into the inanimate killing intent around him.
The past seemed like a dream. No matter if it was when he was at his highest or his lowest, his father’s love remained, an eternal treasure, loving him more than life itself.
[So long as I’m here, that curse to prevent your cut off arms from growing back is nothing. Daddy will bring you all the treasures in the world to heal you. And if there’s anything the cultivation world doesn’t have, then the Demonic Realm will.]
[Ha, the WenXian Rankings are nothing. Back when I defeated the first ranked cultivator on there, it was no more than the dirt beneath my feet, and I destroyed it. WuQing, you’re my son, so that rebuild version is beneath you, too. How can those ranked there compare to you? There’s no need to be angry because of insignificant ants like that.]
[WuQing, she’s just a two-faced, suck up with horrible taste. A woman like that isn’t worthy of becoming my son’s cultivation partner.]
[WuQing, WuQing, you’re my son. No one can crush your pride.]
Chu WuQing’s gaze trembled, overcome with a never before seen gentleness, yet amidst that was an inescapable melancholy. In his past life, his father had been shut away in critical closed-door cultivation when Lin Yi arrived.
Critical secluded cultivation was a form of secluded cultivation where the cultivator sealed their five senses. If they wanted to come out of this state, then they only had two options: make a breakthrough in their cultivation or die!
Even the Patriarch had been no match for Lin Yi. To appease Lin Yi’s anger, and for the continuation of the Chu Clan, he had given Chu WuQing to Lin Yi to torture without hesitation.
Lin Yi loathed him and, with the chance to enact his revenge in public, he obviously wouldn’t show mercy. He was more than happy to make an example out of him for the rest of the Chu Clan, not holding back. His flesh had been sliced off, little by little, his entire body numb from the pain, and his life force draining away faster and faster. Even his soul had grown weaker and weaker under each strike… his world had gone blurry…
It was over. His life of cultivation was over… his body killed and his soul destroyed, with no hope of rebirth…
“Who dares touch my son?!” That was when killing intent flooded the entire area, and when the overwhelming and powerful destructive energy came into contact with his soul, it became life energy, slowly solidifying his soul.
The entire world had gone quiet, and all that was left was his father’s figure.
“WuQing, come here.” Chu ZhiHuan had beckoned with his hand, shaking off the restraints Lin Yi had put on him and allowing his soul to rest in Chu ZhiHuan’s palm. His father’s eyes, born to look down on others with lofty disdain, had gazed at him gently. “Daddy will help you take revenge, kill everyone who has ever harmed you.”
The contrast of going from dying to living had Chu WuQing’s heart thudding. “Dad, your secluded cultivation…”
“QingQing, no matter how great immortality may be, it doesn’t compare to the joy of having you with me, my child.” As Chu ZhiHuan’s gaze moved from Chu WuQing’s soul to the Chu Clan, he returned to the cold cruelty befitting of the Zhen Jun of the Murderous Sword. “The Chu Clan can’t even protect my son. What use has it to even continue existing?”
The Chu Clan, already half destroyed from Lin Yi’s ministrations, was then annihilated under the full strength of the dying Chu ZhiHuan’s sword. As for the Patriarch, his soul became food for Lin Yi.
In the end, however, the killing intent that filled the sky, leaving a barely standing Middle Realm, even his father’s all-out attack before his death couldn’t defeat the so-called protagonist halo.
However, the author was very good at his plot clichés, fully incorporating what it meant to kill a small one then fight a big one. Fighting a powerful boss in stages could really give the readers that rush that leveling up brought them.
Thus, Chu ZhiHuan, who was initially meant to die, was later revealed to still be alive. This body he was using was no more than an eidolon created to aid his breakthrough in cultivation. He was originally the disciple of a Xian Jun 2 in the Higher Realm, cultivating the Path of Heartlessness 3.
However, Chu ZhiHuan’s Path of Heartlessness was flawed. Though he did lack emotion, it was actually merely because he had never gotten the chance to experience genuine feelings. This sort of lack of emotion, wasn’t really heartlessness, just a lack of understanding for what emotion was and sealing oneself off from that experience.
Only truly understanding emotion and then severing it was the correct way to cultivate the Path of Heartlessness. This was also the reason why Chu ZhiHuan was unable to properly ascend.
So, he sent his soul back down to the mortal world, living another life for three thousand years.
When Lin Yi killed Chu ZhiHuan, Chu ZhiHuan achieved his breakthrough. His soul, leaving the body that had hosted it, fell asleep, slowly assimilating this enlightenment, and was taken away by his mentor. One day, after his disappearance, his voice boomed through the cultivation world.
“Lin Yi, if you dare enter the Divine Realm, I will hunt you down forever, no matter how many times you reincarnate, and kill you over and over for eternity!”
A teardrop slowly slid down from Chu WuQing’s lashes, into the mist of spiritual energy.
A gale blew through, causing the mist to vanish instantly, leaving only a bloody haze.
This haze formed into a figure, young beyond belief. Distant and handsome, standing tall and straight, like the bright moon or crisp breeze. He was an embodiment of murder, feared by even ghosts and demons, yet he stood like the holiest god that all living creatures would worship.
“WuQing,” a thin, shapely, but firm finger lifted Chu WuQing’s chin, wiping away his tears. Gently, a voice spoke up, “Tell daddy, who made you cry?”
(3) The term used here is 无情, meaning a lack of emotion, sympathy, or mercy. It actually refers to not having emotions/emotional ties, but heartlessness sounds marginally better. 无情 is also pronounced the same way as WuQing.
- 死士, translated here as death sworn, are warriors who are sworn to protect and stay loyal to a family or person, to their deaths. They’re usually guards, or assassins, who are sworn to accomplish any mission given, even if it results in their deaths or requires them to die to achieve it (ex. Attempt to assassinate someone and purposely fail, dying, to frame another person or group).
- Xian Jun is a title for a respected immortal, an already ascended cultivator
- The term used here is 无情, meaning a lack of emotion, sympathy, or mercy. It actually refers to not having emotions/emotional ties, but heartlessness sounds marginally better. 无情 is pronounced WuQing.