Translated by ethidda of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
With Xuan Wuzi’s final fighting words, everybody present became quiet.
Anybody with eyes could see that Martial Uncle was not in a great mood, because the Library Master and Daoist Master Ziran were very close.
Xie Kurong looked at Xua Wuzi with regret. He was still so young. Why?
Is your Martial Uncle’s Shanhe sword a useless ornament?
Yet Xiaoshen laughed aloud, saying, “Can we bring him? I was thinking that I would have to separate from Daoist Master Ziran and that’s not great. Let’s bring him then. Xuan Wuzi, that was quite clever of you.”
Xuan Wuzi’s lips paled. His throat was dry, but he swallowed what there was. Martial Uncle’s glare was terrifying…
But Xuan Wuzi was not spineless either. He was going to be beaten up anyway, so he wasn’t going to make it pleasant for Martial Uncle!
He hardened his heart and looked away. He said with a tremor, “Yu… Yu Yi can come with too, to serve with the brush and ink, in case Teacher and Daoist Master Ziran get inspired to compose poetry.”
“Enough, enough. Are you going for business or to play? Ink essences don’t leave Yuling. It’s enough for Xiaoshen to have you guys to look after him.” Xie Kurong said, wanting to give Xuan Wuzi a way to live.
With this, Shang Jiyu’s frosted expression thawed a little.
Knowing that the Library Master was going far away to the East Pole, the Yuling Sect disciples were all heartbroken.
They only just discovered the Library Master’s halo of wisdom, and now he was leaving them. The Library Master was normally already not enthusiastic in his work. This time, he proactively requested to go to the East Pole, and nobody knew why.
Yun Hua was surprised, and then accepted it very quickly. He was only a cultivator here to study, but fortunately his close friend Xiaoshen already taught him the path to longevity. So he had no complaints about being asked to accompany him on this trip.
Besides, many of the high ranked Yuling members would be going, including Shang Jiyu. If there was work to do, it wouldn’t fall on him anyway. His only job was to compose poetry with Xiaoshen.
Therefore, Yun Hua happily brought his daily items that he had barely put down, and departed with the group from Yuling.
Upon departure, Xie Kurong saw Shang Jiyu stare at Yun Hua walking hand in hand, side by side with Xiaoshen. He said quietly, “They’re only close friends. Besides, Yun Hua is so old, he’s more like an uncle to Xiaoshen, right?”
Even though white sea turtles were long lived, in the sea turtle line, he was clearly still just a youth.
Shang Jiyu remained silent up ahead, not showing if he accepted this consolation or not.
Yuling was located in the southwest, a full eight days and eight nights of travel from the East Pole. For the sake of the commoners, the thirty or so people on the trip pushed day and night to travel faster. They also rode on the large artifact that Xie Kurong took from the Guaer Storeroom. It only required the disciples to pilot one at a time, while the rest could meditate and rest.
On the third day, Daomi could be heard loudly saying, “Daoist Master Ziran, how come you look so much younger!”
Even though Yun Hua couldn’t be described as elderly before, he definitely looked mature. But now he was much more delicate, looking like he was in the prime of his life.
Yun Hua touched his face. “Eh, really? It must be because of the longevity skill!”
He had already been near the end of his life, and that life had now been lengthened effectively. Naturally, he also started looking younger.
“Definitely. But with the way you look now, the beard is a little bit strange… Don’t move, I’ll help you burn it off.” Daomi helpfully made a fire to help Yun Hua completely get rid of his beard, revealing the clean and handsome face that looked only a bit older than twenty years old.
Xiaoshen, “Oh, pretty.”
Shang Jiyu, “……“
Xiaoshen said it without thought, completely not expecting Shang Jiyu to hold him down in the corner. “Is Yun Ziran pretty?”
“How shallow! The most exceptional thing about Daoist Master Ziran is his literary talent!” Xiaoshen scolded Shang Jiyu unapologetically. “If we’re talking about pretty, that’s you. You could make a living with just your face.”
Shang Jiyu, “……“
He was originally very angry, but he suddenly got complimented so directly by Xiaoshen, and didn’t know what to say.
Xiaoshen then added another honest truth. “But ‘he’ is even prettier than you.”
Shang Jiyu pinched his cheek. “You could’ve kept that to yourself.”
Xiaoshen stomped his foot by Shang Jiyu’s side. “I’m not talking anymore. Help me release the restriction.”
Since the silver bracelets changed unexpectedly again, Shang Jiyu worked even faster to release him from it. They made fast progress and they got much further everyday. But in the past few days, it felt like he was working through a layer of gauze, which couldn’t be punched through or seen through, impossible to break with outside force.
Xiaoshen and Shang Jiyu both felt intuitively that this was the last change. If they couldn’t undo this layer, then it didn’t matter even if they were so close. If they could get through it, then he could recover his powers completely.
“Are you impatient?” Shang Jiyu said. His tone sounded meaningful to Xiaoshen.
“If it were you, wouldn’t you be impatient? I have two cuffs.” Xiaoshen shot back. He felt that maybe Shang Jiyu had discovered something, but Shang Jiyu didn’t say anything, only held his ankle.
“Me? I’m impatient because you’re impatient.” Shang Jiyu said slowly.
Xiaoshen paused. It was unusual for Shang Jiyu to praise him so many times like today. “Not bad.”
East Pole’s mountain was named Kai Ming 1 , and it was higher than one could climb. Above it was the open sky, and on the side was the sea of the East Pole.
Now, the sea waters flowed backwards, and huge waves crashed into the sky. The disciple who had arrived first to scout met up with the group. That disciple felt inadequate. With his power alone, he could not stop the sea. He could only do as Xie Kurong said, to give warning to all the cultivation sects in the area.
Luckily, many high ranked disciples have arrived now. They could use their powers to work together. If that didn’t work, they could even keep sending word out to other cultivation sects, then combine the powers of the cultivation world and change the geography.
“We should make an array to lead the water back out.”
“Right. It’s too difficult if we just brute force it…“
“But the sea water has already been flowing backwards for so long. Would we have enough time?”
In the middle of their discussion, Xiaoshen suddenly said, “What about Kai Ming Mountain? Kai Ming Mountain is very dangerous too, right? The sea water is moving differently, causing huge waves and continuously crashing onto Kai Ming Mountain. What if the mountain got damaged, making the East Pole become so unstable that it would fall down? What to do then?”
His thinking was unexpectedly logical, but his words were too terrifying. If the East Pole’s Mountain fell over, it wouldn’t just be a question of crushing millions of lives. The eight poles corresponded to the eight trigrams 2 , and if the heaven and earth trigrams changed, there would be calamity.
“How could Kai Ming Mountain collapse, and could the huge wave crashes make it fall?” A disciple asked. In everybody’s mind, the eight poles’ mountains were original mountains that had existed since the beginning, when heaven and earth were first made.
“Of course it can. Besides, these aren’t normal huge waves. They’re the East Pole’s huge waves,” Xiaoshen said.
Everybody took in a breath of shock, finally understanding. That’s right, this was the East Pole Sea, which was none other than the forefather of all waterways.
Mountain and water, one yin and one yang, each one complimenting and balancing the other.
Xiaoshen asked again, “Did you find out why the East Pole’s sea is flowing backwards?”
The disciple who had arrived first shook his head. “I haven’t yet. The East Pole Sea is too big, and there are no water species that still live here. I couldn’t even find one to ask questions from…“
Near the eight poles, there were many places that couldn’t support life and where few people visited.
Xiaoshen examined the surroundings and said simply, “Then you hurry and fix the waterways. Daomi, Yuan Gang, and Yun Hua, follow me up Kai Ming Mountain to examine the mountain core.”
Originally, everyone thought that Xiaoshen was just following along, and the best thing about that was that since he came, Martial Uncle came too. Who knew that he would now seriously take on the leadership role? Unexpectedly, he actually had an imposing manner.
Shang Jiyu thought for a bit, but didn’t say anything. He just nodded once. The disciples immediately agreed, saying, “Yes, sir!”
Xiaoshen brought the weakest people up Kai Ming Mountain. He actually seemed to know the road around here. Because it was the first time for the others here, they followed closely behind Xiaoshen. Daomi had wanted to make some jokes, but he saw the serious expression on Brother Xiaoshen. He had never seen such an expression on him before, and was a little bit scared.
Yet, Brother Xiaoshen seemed to be very familiar with the place. They arrived at a place and he said to them, “The mountain core is visible from this gap in the rocks.”
There really was a gap there, deeper than the eye could see. Very few people ever came near the pole, and Kai Ming Mountain was unfathomably tall. Who could know that such a place existed?
Yun Hua asked in confusion, “How does the Library Master know such a secret?”
Xiaoshen said simply, “I’ve been here.”
Daomi and Yuan Gang already knew that he was a white sea turtle. Even ancient secrets were written on their shells to be passed down.
Xiaoshen told them to wait outside. The band of clouds at his waist were floating again, and he rode them into the rock gap. It was an hour before he came out again, his expression much more relaxed. “The mountain core is still fine. Hurry, let’s see how they’re doing with directing the water. We can’t let the East Pole Sea keep battering.”
He really was relieved. Fortunately, Kai Ming Mountain was fine! Otherwise, he might get scolded by Lord Zhenbao.
Humans didn’t know this. The mountains of the eight poles have stood for a hundred million years, but ten thousand years ago, the East Pole’s mountain core had started cracking.
Lord Zhenbao set an array to regrow the mountain core, but because the areas near the pole were not conducive for living beings to stay for long, he connected the array to Xiaoshen’s body, so they affected each other. He gave the task of watching over Kai Ming Mountain to Xiaoshen, so he could do some personal growth as well.
To grow a mountain core was a process of hundreds or thousands of years.
Later, Lord Zhenbao suddenly ascended and brought his whole species with him. But he left behind Xiaoshen, to wait until the mountain core was finished growing, and his task was done.
Ten thousand years had passed. The mountain core had finally finished growing. The array dispersed, and Xiaoshen woke up.
When he heard that the East Pole Sea was flowing backwards, he was already a bit worried. Not only was he worried about the waterways, but more importantly, he was worried that it would affect Kai Ming Mountain and cause issues. Luckily, it was a false alarm, and the mountain core was still fine.
Of course, he couldn’t completely stop worrying. Now, it was time to go look into the East Pole Sea’s flowing backwards and the suspicious calamity.
They returned, and met up with the other people in the pre-agreed location.
Halfway, Xiaoshen saw the Yuling Sect members, but Shang Jiyu wasn’t there. Instead, there were some additional cultivators he didn’t recognize. From their manners, they looked like they were from the water race. Xiaoshen was very sure of that, and they all had significant cultivation.
The members saw Xiaoshen return and greeted him. “Mister worked hard.”
“Where is Shang Jiyu?” Xiaoshen asked right away.
“Martial Uncle couldn’t stand to watch us work. He said we are hesitant and slow. He said he wanted to try to ‘push’ the East Pole Sea back by himself,” one disciple said with a bitter expression. “He told us to go help the humans, and save them from the calamity. Affected by the East Pole Sea, there is a large lake that is flooding into the cities and villages there.”
“I’ll go help him!” After thinking, Xiaoshen knew he wanted to help Shang Jiyu. He was a dragon, and it would be much easier for him to move water. It was the East Pole’s sea, after all. Even if they weren’t trying to directly move it, like Grandmaster Fang Cun, ‘only’ make it flow back, it was still very difficult.
“I don’t think you need to hurry. I think Martial Uncle should be fine. Why don’t Mister come with us to save the people? We need extra help there.”
Xiaoshen hesitated. Those cultivators he didn’t know decided to talk. “Hey, little friend from Yuling, why don’t you introduce yourself to this king. Who are you?”
Xiaoshen glanced at the cultivator. ‘This king’? He must be from a powerful water species in the area.
Ten thousand years ago, when the dragons were still here, the Dragon Emperor was the leader. The rest of the dragons controlled various bodies of water. Other than the Dragon Emperor, the dragons who held bodies of water were called the Dragon Kings.
But from what Daomi said, it seemed that after the dragons left, of course other water species also wanted power and to control the waterways and call themselves king. This was very understandable, but nobody was yet willing to call themselves ’emperor’.
“Um… this is our Library Master, Mister Xiaoshen.” A disciple introduced the two. “This is the Eastern Lake Jiao clan’s Lord Yang Su, the young master of the estate, and their subordinates. They also felt a change in the Eastern Lake, and their investigation led them here.”
Lord Yang Su held the hand of a boy who looked around ten years old. There were still two horns on his head, and he looked a lot like him. He led, and said reservedly, “Originally, I wanted to be like Grandmaster Fang Cun and move the East Pole’s sea to the South Pole. But I saw that a peer from Yuling was a step ahead of me, and was going to turn the water flow back, so decided to not do that.”
“?” Xiaoshen felt that this Jiao was boasting. How could the water species these days be so impractical?
Move the ocean? Dream on! Even Fang Cun reborn wouldn’t be able to do it!
Lord Yang Su watched Xiaoshen, then said suddenly, “Little bro, you look like you’re a water species. I wonder which line. We can sort out our generations.”
All the water species under the skies had the same set of generations. That was decided on by the dragon clan from before.
Xiaoshen heard him point out that he was also a water clan and thought, even though he loved to boast, he also had at least some real skills. Even without any clue, he could tell that he was a water species.
Before Xiaoshen answered, the other disciples already rushed to say, “He’s a sea serpent.”
They couldn’t let outsiders know that Brother Xiaoshen was a white sea turtle! Otherwise the water clans everywhere would go nuts bothering him. Whoever could get the dragons’ historian would have extra bragging rights.
“He doesn’t look like it to me. He seems…” Yang Su pondered for a moment. After all, he was a Jiao. These days, everybody tacitly agreed that besides the dragons, the Jiao were the strongest. He was more sensitive than other water species, but he thought about it more, and still couldn’t put his fingers on it.
Lord Yang Su also had a turtle who followed him. He probably wanted to mimic the dragon clan, and had a turtle as a chancellor. These days, the water species all loved to do this.
—Therefore, the Yuling disciples felt that if the water species knew that Brother Xiaoshen was a water species, it was very likely that he would want the distinction of having Brother Xiaoshen as his sea turtle historian. Or even with thick skin, insert himself into the dragons’ true history. He was definitely capable of it.
This old turtle coughed and boasted about his master, “The king is a true descendent from the dragons. His bloodline is pure. Mister Xiaoshen, you don’t need to be shy, you may ask for his teaching!”
Yet another true descendent of the dragons. Xiaoshen was already sick of listening to these claims. Daomi was right. Ten water species all self-proclaim this way.
And ask for his teaching? When I was playing in the waters, your grandpa was just a Jiao egg, not even hatched yet.
Daomi laughed secretly, too, and gave Xiaoshen a look, Wasn’t I right?
Everybody was used to this. They would boast a bit out of politeness. After all, the Eastern Lake was so huge. Yang Su was the master of the waters here, and he really did have some power. When he was out and about, he didn’t need to begrudge the little things.
Lord Yang Su seemed to want to prove his own claim. He held his belt with one hand, and claimed, “As for this, I actually have a past with Yuling. We almost became enemies. I am a descendent of the Lanyu Lake Dragon King! But when Lanyu Lake was moved away by your Founder, my ancestors moved to the Eastern Lake. This was clearly recorded in the genealogy book! Still, you still owe me for this, right? Hahaha!”
His son also bit his finger. Probably he had been taught this since young, and had heard this many times before, and instinctively played along. He said in a childish voice, “I am a true descendent of the Lanyu King.”
The author has something to say:
Xiaoshen: You’re forbidden from claiming random ancestors! I don’t even have a bride.
- 开明 – Open and bright.
- Ba Ji (eight poles) here refers to the eight extremities, of which Dong Ji (East Pole) is one. Bagua (trigram) is a Daoist term, which has a lot of meanings, but part of it is eight symbols/directions that dictate how the future will be, and is also how Daoist priests predict the future.