Translated by Aphelios of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
There have been some noxious winds blowing within the Yuling Sect recently, which started from the newly admitted cultivators and stemmed from the library.
There was public flattery of Yuling’s number one illiterate Xiaoshen.
The disciples of the Xiamo Pavilion all gradually became apprentices to various masters. It was probably because they had experienced life and death together that they’ve all maintained a good relationship with one another and would often gather together at the library. Ever since Shu Feng consulted Xiaoshen for pointers, more and more people started coming here.
Xiaoshen was quite nice to them since they were all his bridal candidates and they admired him to boot.
Since the masters they apprenticed under differed, it was quite normal for them to have contradicting opinions. Some disciples who were fond of reflections even felt that their own thoughts differed from their teachers and would be at a loss.
These disciples who saw Xiaoshen as a wise senior would often come to him for advice.
Xiaoshen had already accepted the new fact that he was a wise man and would say with immense self-pleasure, “In actuality, all things in the universe can become your teachers, but teachers can only guide you into the world of cultivation. While you practice and study cultivation, don’t be too rigid and instead, learn how to adapt and change when needed. You can see how all these people who study the Path of the Water seem to be on the same path of cultivation, but in reality, each cultivator is different. If you really followed another cultivator’s cultivation to a T, then you wouldn’t be able to move forward in your own cultivation.”
Everyone was suddenly enlightened and took his words to heart.
Wei Yu – the female disciple who asked Xiaoshen for advice before – was the first to respond, “Teacher spoke such sublime words with profound meaning! The method of teaching is not to be restrained, change comes from within!”
Everyone glared at Wei Yu. Why does she always make the same mistake? How was she different compared to those vulgar humans?
Wei Yu immediately realized her error, “I won’t talk drivel again.”
The right way was to repeat Xiaoshen’s teachings just now verbatim, memorize it, and copy it onto paper.
There’s no hope.
He originally thought that this Wei Yu was quite accomplished in the literatures with great prospects, and could have very well been a candidate for the seat of the next Library Master.
From the looks of it, this batch of disciples had all been tamed; they propagated Teacher Xiaoshen’s refinement all over Yuling.
The elders were all dumbstruck and some even considered it to be ridiculous, “Don’t dwell too much on these insignificant words. You all believe him to be profound, yet you hardly realize that just not too long ago, he didn’t know a single character.”
“What of it?” After saying this, these disciples repeated Xiaoshen’s words fluently to the elders. “Are these words not reasonable? Can your distinguished selves come up with this?”
The elders, “……”
They really couldn’t come up with something like this! They couldn’t even figure out Xiaoshen’s illusions. After all, Xiaoshen’s cultivation was indeed at a much higher level than theirs!
This became proof for Xiaoshen’s new followers, “This is teacher Xiaoshen’s profound wisdom and knowledge. A true sage does not concern himself with mere formalities.”
In addition to this, they put what they preached into practice and that was to imitate Xiaoshen and use colloquial speech.
The remaining Yuling disciples expressed, This is absurd! Xiaoshen has brought calamity to our Yuling!
There were already some weak-willed disciples who were swayed to their side. (That hateful Wei Yu with her eloquent and charming manner of speech.) If things continued like this, colloquial speech would completely fill Yuling; that would simply not do!
Grandmaster Fang Cun had created the cultivation sect that was Yuling, with five thousand years of profound learning and deep scholarship, only to face destruction in merely one day?!
Even Xie Kurong knew about this situation, yet he was unwilling to lend a hand and take care of this matter. In private, he had discussed the situation with the teachers, yet there were over three thousand paths to cultivation, with all kinds of followers. If Xiaoshen’s followers triumphed, then this meant that they did have their reasons.
Both sides refused to give in to each other.
As their leader, Shu Feng spoke colloquially and engaged in intense debate with each and every person who dared to criticize Xiaoshen. As a pleasant surprise, unexpectedly, by being in a state of forgetting to focus on himself, he was able to increase his cultivation and complete the Yingning Stage perfectly.
However, this was still not enough for both sides and they were waiting for more powerful and stronger evidence to determine whether or not it was a malignant trend to follow Xiaoshen.
Xiaoshen would rather not get involved personally.
In fact, these past few days, he didn’t even continue on his quest to track the clues of the spirit bracelet but rather watched over Daomi as he made a breakthrough in the Entrance Hall (third) Stage and entered the Perceiving the Golden Dragon (fourth) Stage. When Xiaoshen first came to the Yuling Sect, Doami had mentioned to him that he was close to breaking through the Entrance Hall Stage. Now he was at a vital point and he was able to reach an epiphany from the results of practicing the Phoenix Flame technique that Xiaoshen gave him.
Daomi sat crossed legged on the couch; he has already been in this position for three days and three nights.
His paternal grandma and his parents were all by his side to protect him with their spiritual energy.
Thus, even though Xiaoshen said he was here to guard Daomi, in reality, there really wasn’t much for him to do there and he couldn’t squeeze himself in either. He was purely there because he cared about Daomi and felt the need to stand guard just in case.
However, in Xiaoshen’s opinion, Daomi was taking a bit too long to break through the stage and after two days, Xiaoshen had already dozed off on the chair opposite of the scene.
Daomi on the other hand had entered the Realm of Obliviousness and was no longer aware of the flow of time. His eyes were closed as he looked inside for the divine light and after a long period of spell work and practice, he had finally entered a state of emptiness, and made an all-out effort to break through the final barrier.
Henceforth, he was able to see the light!
All of a sudden, a clear light appeared, and Daomi almost lifted the roof of the room as he jumped up and let out a long howl.
His family all smiled in gratitude. He succeeded!
Xiaoshen was shocked awake, “Ahhh!”
He situated himself and stared at Daomi, who had his wings out once again, but this time, they shined even brighter.
Daomi threw himself at Xiaoshen in a hug, “Brother Xiaoshen, I made it!”
Xiaoshen yawned and carelessly said, “Congratulations. You’ve entered the Azure Dragon Realm.”
Huh? Did he say azure or gold? Daomi wasn’t able to tell exactly which tone Xiaoshen used, but didn’t pay much mind to it. Brother Xiaoshen’s manner of speech always had a foreign flavor to it. Furthermore, he never showed much interest in the realms set by humans.
He jubilantly exclaimed, “Brother Xiaoshen, thank you!”
Xiaoshen nodded. The dreams of humans were not all the same as Yu Zhao’s. If one asked where the golden dragon was, there were no traces of the golden dragon’s cry, however, there was the cry of the azure dragon, and it was most definitely an authentic azure dragon.
“This sound was really loud. It gave me a fright.” Xiaoshen mumbled.
“This wasn’t that loud. What’s really loud is the Sky Survey (sixth) Stage.” Daomi happily said. The Sky Survey Stage was still two levels away from him, but he had already begun imagining it.
The reason why the Sky Survey Stage was called the Sky Survey was because once a cultivator entered this realm, their soul would faintly connect to the stars and observe the vast land beneath and be able to comprehend nature’s law. From there, they would be able to establish their own Dao, which was known as the ‘Realization of Dao through Climbing the Stars’.
Different cultivators connected with different stars. Currently, there was no research to explain how exactly this was distributed and how adhering to different stars would affect the cultivator’s future path in cultivation, however, the majority of the people believed that there was no effect. Amongst the well-known cultivators in history, there were those who adhered to the planet Mars, yet were quite docile and behaved, while others were never able to find their soul pair, even though they bonded with the planet Venus.
Yet, there was a group of cultivators who were superstitious and believed that this was closely related to fate; it was just a matter of probability. For example, there were a bunch of people in the Yuling Sect who speculated that if Xiaoshen shall ever adhere to a star, it would probably be a comet…
—It could both be a lucky omen or bring upon disaster. Just like how after he became the Library Master, everyone could borrow books again, yet he forcibly pushed Yun Ziran onto others.
Daomi had once believed this was utter nonsense as well, yet following the increase of his cultivation, he unexpectedly looked forward to finding out what star he would adhere and connect to.
He took a peek at Brother Xiaoshen. Has Brother Xiaoshen reached the Sky Survey Realm yet? Daomi believed he had, but didn’t know which was Xiaoshen’s star. Cultivators like the patriarch and Martial Uncle didn’t ever mention their stars; perhaps Brother Xiaoshen was like this too.
“Ehh, when will Shang Jiyu come back? It has been several days since Xie Kurong called him over.” Xiaoshen suddenly started sighing again. Even though there wasn’t anything pressing that needed Shang Jiyu’s presence and Daoist Master Yun Ziran’s writing were superb, still, even if there were wine and dishes, one look at the prince equated to a lifetime of memory.
“Martial Uncle might be investigating the Ligou River incident from last time. Frankly, I believe there was something fishy going on too.” Daomi quietly said as he snuck a look at his grandfather who was busy celebrating his grandson entering the Perceiving the Golden Dragon Stage and was planning to host a celebratory party. “But my grandpa told me not to randomly discuss this incident in case it causes others to have ideas. That wouldn’t be good at all.”
“Probably.” Xiaoshen began to once again give Xie Kurong a grade. Why did he keep dragging Shang Jiyu around and not let him come back?
Yu Yi, who kept to Xiaoshen like a shadow, suddenly raised its head and muttered something, yet no one was able to make sense of it.
Daomi, “It’s most likely cursing Martial Uncle.”
Xiaoshen, “I think so too.”
Yu Yi, “……”
It was quite a coincidence that right after Xiaoshen mentioned Shang Jiyu, he ran across him while riding the boat after leaving Daomi’s residence.
Xiaoshen gave a shout as Shang Jiyu flew by on his sword, and he stopped and hovered above.
Xiaoshen blocked the sun with his arm and waved at Shang Jiyu. Ever since the unrelenting and continuous rain and gray clouds after the recruitment at the Imperial Palace came to an end, what followed was Xiaoshen’s hated scorching sun. The glare of the sun seemed to pour out with vigor onto the earth, kindled a burning heat that could melt humans, and shone so brightly that Xiaoshen had to close his jade eyes.
Shang Jiyu let out a small smile. His mood had just lightened when he saw Yu Yi stretching its hands and using its sleeves to help Xiaoshen block out the sun. Its pitch black form concealed more than half of Xiaoshen’s figure.
Shang Jiyu, “……”
That blasted Yu Yi probably followed Xiaoshen around during the days he was away.
Shang Jiyu settled on the boat and grabbed Xiaoshen’s hands. He did not spare a glance at Yu Yi as he spoke calmly, “Did anything happen these days?”
“Nothing, I just missed you is all.” Xiaoshen stated bluntly. “What were you doing?”
Shang Jiyu was caught off guard. Humans were rarely this blunt, and Xiaoshen’s words completely washed away his earlier discontent. Shang Jiyu tenderly said, “It was related to the Ligou River incident, but my part is all taken care of already. I’m afraid that this incident was not man-made… Xie Kurong had already sent people outside to investigate further. In order to prevent another accident from occurring, these past two days, he and I were adding another layer of spell work for reinforcement.”
Thus, next time an accident occurred again at the Ligou River, no one would be hurt. It was just that the spell circle took some work.
“Yes, yes. We must be very careful. There’s only a little water left there.” Xiaoshen thought to himself that they can’t waste the water again. You wastrels. Let’s see how you can all repay me after wasting everything.
Yu Yi continued blocking the sun for the Library Master like a loyal and faithful vassal.
Shang Jiyu shot a glance at Yu Yi and said to it, “You can put your hand down.”
Yu Yi wrinkled its brows and stared at Shang Jiyu.
Shang Jiyu remained unmoved. From the outside, no one could see that he took offense to this matter, even though the sounds of mockery from the other him could be heard over a hundred times.
“That’s right, I can summon a cloud. You can put your hand down.” Xiaoshen agreed.
Shang Jiyu didn’t look visibly annoyed like that time, thus Xiaoshen expectedly thought the once off incident from before was just that, an anomaly. Shang Jiyu was not that petty. He was probably being considerate to Yu Yi when he told it to put its hands down.
Yu Yi stared at Shang Jiyu for a bit, but after hearing Xiaoshen’s words, it reluctantly removed its sleeves and was visibly a little unhappy.
Xiaoshen was in the middle of summoning a small cloud when Shang Jiyu grasped his hands and drew his sword.
The sword once again came out of its sheath and produced a ‘cling’ sound of metal on metal.
The sword flew toward the heavens and reached the blue skies; immediately, clouds from all directions gathered and concealed the clear sky and scorching sun from view. The image was one of a disaster’s imminent descent and startled cultivators all over.
At this moment, the sword suddenly returned to its scabbard and no traces of its sword spirit remained, yet the clouds were still present.
A section of vast gray clouds were summoned merely for the sake of blocking out the sun.
Shang Jiyu said, “There’s no more sun.”
Xiaoshen looked up and saw that it was cloudy. He happily hugged Shang Jiyu and said, “This sword is really nice.”
“Du, du, du…”
No one knew when Yu Yi sat down and was using its sword to knock on the edge of the boat in suppressed bitterness.
Yet Xiaoshen could not hear Yu Yi and went to touch Shang Jiyu’s ancient sword, “I didn’t get a chance to ask last time, but what’s your sword’s name?”
“It shares the same name as the other sword – Shanhe 1 ,” Shang Jiyu said. “Every hill and every stream. The sword was crafted by my teacher.”
Xiaoshen looked at it closely, “That’s to say it’s Yin and Yang. Very nice.”
Simple and yet it was two extremes; needing to both separate and integrate. It was a sword that was difficult for ordinary people to control. Xiaoshen has not had a chance to see Shang Jiyu’s other sword, but it was already universally shocking for one to practice this type of cultivation.
Xiaoshen suddenly had a thought. Shang Jiyu’s dual personality didn’t emerge from using this sword to perfect his cultivation, right?…
He inconspicuously gauged Shang Jiyu, but was found out, “Anything wrong?”
“Nothing.” Xiaoshen smiled, but then felt a sinking feeling in his stomach and immediately shouted, “The river’s about to fall again!”
Shang Jiyu held onto him, “It’s not.”
Xiaoshen looked again and saw it really wasn’t falling; it was just that Yu Yi had grouchily poked a hole in the boat with his sword.
Yu Yi stood up at a loss. It didn’t look like Yu Yi did it on purpose, but the water had already reached its ankle.
Xiaoshen looked on in dismay. He quite liked this boat. Just a few days ago, under Shu Feng, Wei Yu, and the other’s flattery, he imitated the sect’s drunkard and carved his own masterpiece onto the boat: ‘The water of Yuling spiraled down and I faced the great waves to fish up friends of the olden days’. He personally thought it quite embodied the same style as that of Daoist Master Yun Ziran.
This poem vividly portrayed the image in his mind of the scene where he took over the Yuling Sect.
Since the ready-made Dragon Palaces were all underwater, how could he use the customs of the dragons to change these olden friends into brides? He was inspired by the human practice of fishing. It was of course to wait until the brides accidentally (or with outside ‘help’) fell into the water and then he’d sit in his palace to fish for his brides; it was a very appealing thought.
Thus, this boat was very unique and Xiaoshen didn’t want to give it up. He quickly controlled the water flow and landed on a nearby mountain peak. He planned to grab a disciple to help him fix up the boat.
This particular mountain peak was bustling with excitement and filled with cultivators. There were stands and stalls set up, similar to the ones that Xiaoshen saw at the human race’s market, but it wasn’t that noisy and there would be occasional flashes of gemstones shining through.
Xiaoshen had seen the topographic maps of Yuling before and recalled that these particular mountain peaks represented the Golden Mountain and were all very lively, unlike the cold and quiet Biqiao Peak.
This region held the medicine wharf where specialists provided medicinal care and medicine while its neighboring vendor was a marketplace for medicinal elixirs, and there was also a place to exchange other materials, called Water Spring Ferry. In addition, there was a region for guests of the Yuling Sect to reside in and more… Thus it was almost always bustling with excitement and life.
The Library Master Xiaoshen and the martial uncle graced the people of this region with their presence (carrying along a beloved pet – one huge ink essence), and caught the attention of many who snuck glances at the pair; some felt nervous. They didn’t know why the pair descended onto their peak. Did the martial uncle even have a need to barter?
However, the martial uncle did not speak a single word, thus the people of the peak thought maybe he was accompanying the Library Master to watch the lively markets. No one dared to bother them and thus, the people of the peak could only continue on in fear and trepidation.
One female cultivator stared for a bit and looked as if she was going to start something. She gathered up her courage and walked over with a bag.
Xiaoshen asked her before she even had a chance to speak, “Do you know how to repair boats?”
The female cultivator was at a loss, “Yes…”
Very good! Xiaoshen grabbed her over and said, “Then come and help me repair this boat and make it good as new.”
“Okay……” The female cultivator was caught off guard when asked to be a handyman. She sweat in dismay, but then immediately thought that she could not waste this opportunity and said, “Library Master, we are helping the rare demon clan through donations. They suddenly encountered a great catastrophe and came to Yuling for help. Everyone all donated several items to them, such as medicinal elixirs, medicinal herbs, and spirit tools that they don’t need. Do you think you want to also……”
Represent the library and donate some books… Ordinary disciples didn’t have the qualifications to make such a call.
“Help a rare demon clan?” Xiaoshen repeated the cultivator’s request with slight suspicion.
“Yes.” The female cultivator looked very sweet as she smiled, “There are less than 100 of them now. Under the slaughter of a group of immoral and wicked cultivators, they’ve even lost their homes. Us Yuling disciples have always been benevolent and willing to do good and practice the right cultivation, thus when we are met with a situation such as this, we need to at least express our position.”
She once again pushed the bag in front of Xiaoshen’s face; the meaning was quite obvious.
Xiaoshen took a look – there were quite a lot of things inside. It was probably all donations from everyone; there were even a few balls of rare medicinal herbs. He took them out and ate them. “Forget the rest, you can keep them.”
Even though he was extremely pitiable – the Yuling Sect destroyed his home and was the only remaining one in the entire cultivation world… But he really didn’t like the taste of the other stuff in the bag.
The female cultivator, “……”
The author has something to say:
Xiaoshen: “I’m super rare, super pitiable. Are there any donations for me?”