Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shock slammed against Xuan Shan’s heart like a tidal wave. How was this possible? The young man had taken out fifty-six high-grade spirit stones so easily, just to let him break through to Nascent Soul.
Xuan Shan felt like the understanding he had built up of the world in these three-hundred years of cultivating had been shaken. However, he didn’t have time to contemplate it, as spiritual energy swarmed into his body of its own volition, repairing his deteriorating organs.
This reparation was completed near instantaneously, like a miracle. So, this was the power of a high-grade Spirit Gathering Array. This was the first time in Xuan Shan’s life that he was able to experience what it felt like to cultivate in a sea of spiritual energy. It was an unforgettable experience.
And every sliver of this spiritual energy was a sacrifice from the young man. No matter why he did such a thing, they were now tied by fate.
All that was left in Xuan Shan’s heart was immeasurable gratefulness. From death to life, from despair to Nascent Soul.
The recovery of his body had Xuan Shan’s consciousness fully awakening. He used gentle spiritual energy to create a barrier, protecting the young man.
Xuan Shan pushed the other away gently to the edge of the immortal’s abode, he was afraid that he might mess up while trying to form his Nascent Soul and injure the young man.
Xuan Shan quickly activated his spell, meditating, to quickly refine the spiritual energy inside him. As the first batch of spiritual energy merged with his half-Nascent Soul core, the lower realm once again began to resonate with him.
Suddenly, large patches of white clouds appeared in the originally clear skies, slowly moving towards the XiaoShan Sect from all directions. As they did, they slowly began to transform into the legendary precipitous clouds, the seven colored clouds.
It was as if the world wanted to tell everyone that the lower realm finally had a Nascent Soul cultivator.
This phenomenon caught the attention of countless cultivators, spreading shock amongst them. Anyone who was born before that incident one-hundred years ago knew that this meant someone was ascending to Nascent Soul stage.
The QingLing Sect Patriarch stood on the highest spiritual peak. He sheathed his sword and fell into a deep contemplation. “Who is it, that managed to reach the steps to Nascent Soul?”
The remaining elders all flew into the sky to observe the motion of the clouds, trying to figure out who was it that had grasped the path to Nascent Soul this time.
“Could it be Xuan Shan?” Worry flashed through the QingLing Sect Leader’s eyes. That man couldn’t be allowed to ascend to Nascent Soul! If Xuan Shan were to ascend, then the XiaoShan Sect’s status would change completely!
The QingLing Sect Patriarch shook his head. “It can’t possibly be Xuan Shan. If Xuan Shan truly were to breakthrough his critical secluded cultivation, then the XiaoShan Sect wouldn’t be sacrificing half their disciples to fight on behalf of the LingYang Sect. If my guess is correct, it’s likely that Xuan Shan has already died, but they just aren’t willing to make the information public.”
The QingLing Sect Patriarch gazed at the rolling clouds. However, due to their slow speed, he couldn’t tell which direction they were heading in. Nonetheless, it excited him greatly. He had lived for far too long already, yet he didn’t have any grasp of Nascent Soul stage.
The QingLing Sect Patriarch thought, if he could achieve Nascent Soul, he was willing to give up everything and take a teacher.
The moment the propitious clouds appeared, the entire XiaoShan Sect was overcome with excitement. Elder Yuan led the other cultivators to the base of the Green Jade Peak, kneeling in respect.
Once they gave their kowtow of respect, the elder checked the area with his divine sense and found that there was a hole in the usually impenetrable barrier, and that hole had even been blocked by a special restriction seal, preventing others from going in.
“Unforgivable.” Elder Yuan said coldly, “How dare this brat.”
After Chu WuQing was sent to the very edge of the hallway of the immortal’s abode, he soon heard the sound of countless people approaching. He took a look through the barrier and, as expected, thousands of XiaoShan Sect cultivators stood outside the immortal’s abode.
As Chu WuQing looked outside, the XiaoShan Sect Elder Yuan also noticed Chu WuQing on the edge of the restriction seals. He suddenly realised that the kowtow they had made towards the Patriarch had in reality been made towards this brat. How dare he! Elder Yuan frowned, commanding, “Attack.”
Instantly, millions of arrows formed by spells shot towards the weakest part of the barrier together.
Chu WuQing was inside the immortal’s abode, with Xuan Shan Patriarch ahead and thousands of arrows awaiting him outside.
No matter how powerful Gu Yu’s runesmanship was, it wouldn’t be able to take the attack of a Golden Core stage cultivator and thousands of Foundation Establishment cultivators at once. Soon enough, cracks appeared on the restriction seal.
Chu WuQing looked over towards the direction in which Xuan Shan still hadn’t finished forming his Nascent Soul in and said towards the crowd outside, “I didn’t save your Patriarch, for you all to repay my kindness with violence.” His voice held a tone of fear, as if he was terrified of the army outside, only barely able to squeeze out the truth of his visit.
However, his eyes were filled with nothing but calm. There wasn’t a hint of fear there. In fact, his lips were also curved into a malicious smile, as if he had seen something amusing.
Hearing this, the people outside the restriction seal all paused for a moment, their spells even slowing.
After half a beat, they burst into laughter.
This Chu WuQing was crazy. Never mind how their sects were currently at war and wanted nothing more than to kill more of the other, just the idea that an insignificant little Foundation Establishment stage cultivator could possibly save a halfway Nascent Soul and even help them fully step into Nascent Soul stage was absurd.
Elder Yuan’s face went green and he suddenly released his Golden Core stage aura, enveloping the entire area. At the same time, he sent an attack towards Chu WuQing, barking, “Silence, kill him.” To him, it wasn’t that Chu WuQing had gone crazy and delusional, but that he was humiliating the XiaoShan Sect, humiliating their Patriarch, yet these disciples dared to laugh?
Elder Yuan’s attitude had everyone suddenly realising what they were doing. Chu WuQing was mocking their founder!
This time, their strikes grew even sharper.
Elder Yuan waved his hand and a ripple of light appeared in his hand, forming a bow. This bow had no bowstring, but it radiated an intimidating aura. As the sunlight shone on it, it was possible to see the hints of an intangible string.
The moment the bow appeared, the XiaoShan Sect members were unable to hide their growing excitement.
Elder Yuan raised his right hand, placing his fingers on the formless bowstring and pulling. Instantly, the spiritual energy began to swirl rapidly, gathering at Elder Yuan’s fingertips. The members of XiaoShan Sect all felt their chests tighten, and formless battlelust flowed from their bodies towards Elder Yuan’s fingertips, forming an arrow along with the spiritual energy.
Notched, the arrow cried out with an aura of violence and sweat even began to bead on Elder Yuan’s forehead. His fingers trembled, barely managing to keep the bow under control. Once this arrow left the bow, it was sure to take a life!
The arrow tip locked onto Chu WuQing.
“You’re about to die and you still dare to make jokes?” Elder Yuan sneered. The sharp arrow shot from its poised position, so fast that one could hear the sound of its friction against the air. With one arrow, the restriction seal broke and the barrier around Chu WuQing shook, cracking.
“You didn’t die?” Elder Yuan cried out in surprise. “So, you have a protective artifact. It can protect you once, but don’t think it’ll protect you twice. Die, brat.”
As the arrow left its string, no one noticed the young man that arrived on the Green Jade Peak. The young man sat upon the bare ground, a long Guqin on his lap as he plucked at it leisurely. Intangible tones were formed, purifying the spiritual energy in the air.
The young man’s fingers plucked the strings gently, and one of the strings shot out just as the arrow did, grasping the arrow. The violent energy on the arrow instantly diminished and its speed fell drastically.
This technique seemed to only be an insignificant act to him. The young man lowered his head once more without care, beginning to play the instrument once more. His lips curled upwards imperceptibly, the darkness in his mind hidden behind bright eyes. “This is my prey. Only I am allowed to kill him.”
If there was a Soul Transformation stage or higher cultivator here right now, they would be able to notice that although the music that came from the young man’s fingers was purifying the spiritual energy in the air, there was also a hint of formless demonic energy mixed in.
The second arrow disappeared into the Immortal’s Abode without a trace or sound. Elder Yuan estimated that this was due to the barrier their Patriarch had set a hundred years ago. He couldn’t believe it had been what saved that wretched Chu WuQing.
Yet he couldn’t disturb their Patriarch and enter the immortal’s abode.
Elder Yuan’s fingers once again pressed against the bow, wanting to notch a third arrow.
Chu WuQing walked into the Immortal’s Abode. Xuan Shan was at the final moments of successfully breaking through to Nascent Soul. There was no longer any danger in getting close. When he got half a step away, he felt a strong pull come from Xuan Shan’s body.
The powerful attraction sucked up all the spiritual energy towards him and also pulled Chu WuQing over.
All the high-grade spirit stones exploded into dust.
Xuan Shan had ascended to Nascent Soul.
Chu WuQing raised his head to see Xuan Shan slowly open his eyes. They were eyes marked by the passing of time even though his visage was so young.
If anyone with weak willpower were to look into those eyes, their mind would collapse, losing themselves in the endless flow of time in those eyes and beginning to doubt their own existence.
Chu WuQing saw thousands of mountains in Xuan Shan’s eyes, like a miniature silhouette of this realm, projected in amber irises.
When Xuan Shan opened his eyes, a powerful lifeforce erupted over Green Jade Peak. Grass grew over the withering mountain, and trees rose high, reaching towards the sky.
A ripple of green life cascaded down from the peak. In that moment, Green Jade Peak became worthy of its name, revived from the decay of time.
This was Xuan Shan’s Path. Observing and understanding the depth of mountains, injecting the essence of the thousands of mountains and peaks that made up the world into his heart, and thus achieving enlightenment and ascension.
The members of the XiaoShan Sect outside no longer had the mind to care about Chu WuQing inside. Their Patriarch had successfully ascended to Nascent Soul, so Chu WuQing was done for.
All the cultivators, under Elder Yuan’s lead, sat down and began to meditate. The change that had happened to Green Jade Peak just now, along with the aura of the vicissitudes of time had opened a door for them. No matter their cultivation, they all gleaned something from it.
Being able to observe a Golden Core ascending to Nascent Soul from close up, and one that was on the steps of a Greater Path, was a rare opportunity even in the higher realm, never mind the lower realm; such a chance was unheard of.
This was a huge opportunity for everyone.
Amongst them, the one it had the most impact on was Elder Yuan, who was at Golden Core stage, but didn’t have any concept or grasp of Nascent Soul.
He stared at peak in obsession, beginning to meditate without realising it, then standing up without realising it.
In that moment, he felt he had entered a strange world.
His divine sense expanded infinitely, enveloping everything in front of his eyes and even going through the barrier the Patriarch had set, able to view everything inside.
However, what he saw sent him into a rage. Chu WuQing didn’t die, instead standing so close to the Patriarch. How dare he offend the greatest cultivator in the world with his lowly Foundation Establishment stage presence?
No one could possibly break through the Patriarch’s defensive array. Chu WuQing being able to enter was definitely because the Patriarch thought he was a member of the XiaoShan Sect.
Having gotten a grasp on his Path and now able to prevent it from leaking, the Patriarch looked at Chu WuQing with eyes filled with gentleness and infinite tolerance. It must be because the Patriarch thought he was met with a talented disciple of the XiaoShan Sect after awaking from a hundred years of secluded cultivation.
Elder Yuan raised his bow once more, pulling back the string with his fingers. With the enlightenment the Patriarch had bestowed upon him, his fingers didn’t tremble this time when he drew the bowstring.
This arrow held the essence of his Path.
This arrow held his limitless faith and desire to kill.
There was only a mere point between the bow and Chu WuQing. Once this point was pierced, the other’s death was certain.
An immense, terrifying sense of danger swallowed Chu WuQing, as if the world around him had transformed into an inescapable net, leaving only the arrow aimed at him.
It took barely an instant for the arrow to arrive right behind Chu WuQing.
That was when Xuan Shan raised his fingers slightly, and the arrow fell to the ground, its power and spirit erased, and its violent aura dispersing.
Originally, Elder Yuan wouldn’t be able to shoot an arrow like that. He could only do it because he was pulled into a higher state of mind by Xuan Shan’s Path. The moment the living arrow had its energy erased, Elder Yuan was struck by the backlash, coughing up blood and questioning with disbelief, “Patriarch?”
Chu WuQing stood, a hint of a smile at his lips. He seemed to think relying on another person’s power to bully people was a rather amusing thing. He didn’t have any anxiety or fear towards his brush with death just now, as if, from the very beginning, this was all set up by him for his entertainment.
Yet, Xuan Shan didn’t hold any displeasure towards him and couldn’t feel anything but fond exasperation. He even felt that this was how the young man should act. It wasn’t annoying, only cute.
Xuan Shan stood. He was originally a lot taller than Chu WuQing. This position made him seem even taller, even more well-built. He lowered his head slightly and held out a hand towards Chu WuQing. “Would you like to head outside with me?”
“Very well,” Chu WuQing agreed, but didn’t appreciate and accept the other’s offered hand, instead jumping onto his flying boat.
Xuan Shan was stunned for a moment before he smiled in exasperation. He wrapped his arm around the young man’s shoulders giving no room for resistance. In an instant, they arrived just outside of the Immortal’s Abode.
Xuan Shan Patriarch and Chu WuQing’s concurrent appearance with the Patriarch, with the Patriarch acting so protective and cherishing, had all the XiaoShan Sect cultivators struck dumb. They thought that they were hallucinating. How could this be real?
Could it be that Chu WuQing knew their Xuan Shan Patriarch?
This unreliable guess only flashed across their minds for a mere moment before everyone discarded it. Their brains had malfunctioned from sheer shock. Their Patriarch had been in secluded cultivation for a hundred years. Chu WuQing was only so old, how could they probably have history?
Noticing Chu WuQing’s face, an idea began to form in their heads. Could it be that the Patriarch was moved by this ruler of the XianLing Sect’s beauty and decided to take him as a concubine?
That would explain the Patriarch’s protectiveness.
Disdain appeared in their hearts, mixed with jealousy, especially for Elder Yuan.
When the Patriarch had gone into secluded cultivation, Elder Yuan had yet to form his Golden Core. He had grown up listening to stories of the Patriarch. In his mind, their Patriarch was a flawless cultivator, focusing everything on pursuing the Great Path without a care for anything else. He was beyond talented, defying the heavens, and even singlehandedly creating the XiaoShan Sect.
How could a Patriarch like this be bewitched by this insignificant XianLing Sect disciple? How could he let Chu WuQing tarnish their Patriarch’s name?
He felt something inside shatter, but his gaze grew even more sincere and worshipful as he gazed at the Nascent Soul cultivator. Their Xuan Shan Patriarch was the first Nascent Soul in five thousand years, after all!
Even if he was injured by their Patriarch, he still had to bring up this bad news to him and inform him of the truth. Elder Yuan felt his heart fill with righteousness and wiped off the blood at his lips, announcing, “Patriarch, the XiaoShan Sect is currently at war with the XianLing Sect. The Sect Leader has personally led our thousands of forces into battle. This person is the XianLing Sect’s current leader, and he came here to assassinate you, Patriarch, to destroy our XiaoShan Sect. Chu WuQing is a cunning person, cruel and merciless. He’s not one who should be shown mercy to.”
Chu WuQing brushed Xuan Shan’s hand off his shoulder, smiling as he listened to Elder Yuan’s daring and righteous speech. Once Elder Yuan finished speaking, he even started clapping for the other, sighing, “What a loyal subordinate. Every word coming from the heart; it truly makes all that witness it want to weep with sorrow.”
When the members of XiaoShan Sect saw this, it snapped them out of their amazement at Chu WuQing’s beauty. The cultivators that were thinking how blessed their Patriarch was all snapped back to reality, enraged. How dare Chu WuQing treat Elder Yuan like that!
He was nothing more than a concubine, after all. Patriarch had already injured Elder Yuan by accident, protecting Chu WuQing’s life. Did Chu WuQing really think that their wise Patriarch would tolerate him demeaning and mocking his sect members?
Yet, when Chu WuQing finished speaking, they noticed with shock that their Patriarch didn’t give any response, instead looking at Chu WuQing with adoring exasperation.
They thought they were hallucinating. Could it be that their Patriarch had slipped up in the process of forming a Nascent Soul and qi deviated?
Chu WuQing finished clapping and turned his head, asking with a grin, “What do you think, Xuan Shan?”
Chu WuQing had directly addressed the Patriarch by name!
What humiliation! All the XiaoShan Sect members clenched their fists, looking towards Xuan Shan Patriarch in suppressed anger and hoping that the Xuan Shan Patriarch would punish this
Chu WuQing looked like he didn’t care, an amused smile on his face, but it wasn’t a smile that reached his eyes. How could Xuan Shan not understand what the other meant by “what do you think”?
The XianLing Sect and XiaoShan Sect had too big a difference in terms of power. Why would they ever initiate anything against the XiaoShan Sect without reason? Even if the XianLing Sect had grown so powerful in the one hundred years he had been in secluded cultivation for, if they wanted to take over, then the battlefield would be at the XiaoShan Sect’s territory.
If so, then Xuan Shan would’ve opened his eyes to death and destruction, not a peaceful scene without a single hurt disciple.
No wonder Chu WuQing would risk being hunted down by the entire XiaoShan Sect to trespass in his immortal’s abode and aid him in his breakthrough.
“What insolence!” Xuan Shan barked. He wasn’t loud, but his words came down with the aura of his cultivation. These two words felt like mountains coming down on them.
The crowd, no matter what kind of thoughts they had going through their mind, were left with nothing but terror and respect under this powerful aura.
Chu WuQing’s eyes became half-lidded. Xuan Shan’s power at Nascent Soul was far beyond a normal Nascent Soul. Was this brought by using the energy of the world to form his Nascent Soul? It seemed like his elixir wouldn’t be able to control Xuan Shan for long. It would last at most five years before completely dispersing.
The Divine Immortal’s Abode incident would occur within three years. This was more than enough time.
“After being in secluded cultivation for a hundred years, I had already used up all my lifeforce. Even if the disciples don’t know this, you, Elder Yuan, should.” Xuan Shan’s voice was emotionless, but it had Elder Yuan in cold sweat.
Coincidentally, that was when the QingLing Sect Patriarch managed to calculate the direction the clouds were moving in and arrive at the scene, following the cloud movements. When he had figured out the clouds were flowing towards the XiaoShan Sect, he had been shocked and disbelieving.
However, he knew about Xuan Shan using up his lifeforce, so it couldn’t possibly be Xuan Shan. He had suppressed this shock and told himself that the Nascent Soul cultivator must look up to Xuan Shan and thus decided to hide in the XiaoShan Sect to form their Nascent Soul.
Yet when he saw that it was Xuan Shan who stood upon the Green Jade Peak, the QingLing Sect Patriarch was lost in tidal waves of shock, mumbling, “How is this possible?”
When he personally heard Xuan Shan admit that his lifeforce had been used up, the QingLing Sect Patriarch was even more confused. More than that, he was curious. What had helped Xuan Shan restore his dried up lifeforce and immediately form his Nascent Soul?
For the first time, the QingLing Sect Patriarch felt like hadn’t done enough to nurture his spiritual energy. He rubbed his Dantian, as if he could touch the Golden Core underneath. This Golden Core had been there far too long.
So long had he felt like he had to face death every day, face the possibility that the Path he had pursued all his life might collapse.
The information their Patriarch had just given them was far too shocking. The disciples were stunned by the bomb that was dropped. After all, they thought that the Patriarch was merely in secluded cultivation and would succeed in his ascension eventually.
Now, the Patriarch had personally admitted that his lifeforce had run out and that he was about to die.
Considering Elder Yuan’s expression, it seemed to be true, too.
Then what had restored the Patriarch’s lifeforce, allowing the Patriarch to come out, successfully Nascent Soul, at such a crucial point while they were fighting the XianLing Sect? This was something too far beyond their understanding. They had no idea where to start guessing.
Could it be that there was some opportunity hidden under the Green Jade Peak that was buried for so long, only activating when the Patriarch’s lifeforce was about to dry up?
That’s what always happened in those novels, after all. When the protagonist was pushed to their limit, they would obtain an amazing opportunity and be bestowed with enlightenment and power, their cultivation skyrocketing.