Translated by Aphelios of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
More than 500 years ago, Chen Miaoxiang, also known by people as the Daoist Master Zhenrong, came up with a clever idea after she received the Lanyu River. It was an idea that far surpassed any of her previous works and the imagination of others.
She realized that the great river had actually given birth to a spirit and thus she went and found a soulless body and combined those two into a human being. Lanyu River was absorbed into the body and she took this “child” in as her disciple, giving him the name “Shang Jiyu” and brought him up.
Everyone, including Shang Jiyu himself, thought that he was human. No one was able to discover his true identity.
The world all believed that Chen Miaoxiang’s proudest work was the Shanhe sword, but in actuality, it was Shang Jiyu.
Only Chen Miaoxiang knew that this was her work of enlightenment. The moment Shang Jiyu gained consciousness, Chen Miaoxiang had touched upon the edge of the Great Ancient Gods’ creation of the world. The nature of Ying and Yang was no more and no less.
Shang Jiyu began to question his identity after he learned that Xiaoshen was a dragon.
Although it was unimaginable, he had slowly conjectured as to why only Xiaoshen could pacify the turbulent spiritual powers in his body, and that he was quite possibly the “lost” Lanyu River. This matched his teacher’s odd demeanor whenever the question of his origins came up, however, he had never thought about it before Xiaoshen’s arrival.
Though, how could the Lanyu River reappear when the gradually split consciousness of Shang Jiyu failed to merge.
Neither of the two Shang Jiyu gave an inch and argued endlessly, because no one knew what would happen after the merge. Would one dominate over the other or would both no longer exist?
Until this moment, until Xiaoshen needed them.
The two no longer fought and willingly combined into one to release the great river.
When Xiaoshen heard Shang Jiyu’s words, a thousand thoughts crossed his mind, yet at the same time, it seemed there was only thought that stuck.
When Xiaoshen’s eyes met Shang Jiyu, he didn’t know what Chen Miaoxiang had wanted to accomplish; he only knew that Shang Jiyu was his Langyu River. He saw their consciousness fused into one and gave him their everything with confidence.
Xiaoshen didn’t respond, but he knew that Shang Jiyu probably understood what he was thinking.
Xiaoshen and Shang Jiyu, or more accurately, the Lanyu River’s consciousness faintly interacted. Xiaoshen lifted his dragon’s head with arrogance as Shang Jiyu controlled the water and had the River flown over the scorched earth.
Everywhere it went, life reappeared and steam pervaded the air.
The dragon borrowed the water’s powers as the water relied on the dragon’s might – this was the source of the law of the water and the foundation of all. Every being was born from the waters.
Who said Xiaoshen was a dragon without water? It could soak the sky with water and press forward with great strength and vigor, and change the thousand miles of flowing fires into the most favorable battlefield for the dragons!
Shang Jiyu stopped the danger ahead and the scale that was pulled out quickly regrew.
Shang Jiyu kept watch of the grounds and contained the area of danger. Xiaoshen no longer had any scruples and tightly wrapped around Luo Pin.
Luo Pin didn’t expect this to happen. It was as if this moment was predestined ten thousand years ago – Shang Jiyu was actually the incarnation of the Lanyu River and had moved the entire body of water here. What was more, the Shanhe sword was a foil to his cultivation.
Furthermore, Xiaoshen’s control over water made Luo Pin felt as if he was ridiculing himself. Xiaoshen was a true dragon, and yet he was merely a fake phoenix. His fire could not burn everything into ashes, yet Xiaoshen’s water could awaken life itself – to the point where even his own water gained its own consciousness.
Back in the days, some followers had once bragged that Luo Pin had the power of a dragon, but it was when he was really being strangled by the azure dragon, did Luo Pin finally realize the immense power of a dragon. If it wasn’t for the shell of the white sea turtle, he would have been strangled to death a long time ago.
This was a dragon. Even if he didn’t use his cultivation, he would still be able to utterly crush countless cultivators with his body alone.
Luo Pin’s face darkened. The flames surrounding his body blasted out in full force; they were as sharp as a blade and his body bursted out pure flames, burning everything in front of him with full arrogance.
Even the azure dragon was not able to withstand the flames and had to immediately release the body he was strangling.
Luo Pin turned over and flew a few dozen miles before he hovered midair. Yet, so what if he flew a few dozen miles away from Xiaoshen – there was still water below him!
The endless sea of water could shake the nine states and overturn the grandeur of the skies as it rose from the grounds and pounced onto the phoenix in the air with violent arrogance. The thousands of feet tall waves were like the ups and downs of the mountains.
From this body of water, one could distinctly make out the shadows of the azure dragon traveling through the waters, though it was impossible to catch its real shadow.
The lines of flames on Luo Pin’s face burned brighter as he gritted his teeth and released a sea of fire. However fierce the waves were, the more intense his flames burned.
So what if it was a dragon? He was born to go against this world. Whether it was the old phoenix or this young dragon, they were both chess pieces under his palms.
The lines of flames tore opened his skin and became a pattern of blood pouring into the flames and creating a raging fire so strong it looked as if it would destroy the heavens and earth, burning everything in its path of destruction.
The great waves and the sea of fire were at an impasse, and from not afar, the humans of the city watched in utter incomprehensible awe at this scene; a scene that they could hardly imagine to be privy to in their lifetime.
The scorching flames from above and the turbulent waves from below fought fiercely in the air. The dragon and phoenix each took a side. The sun and moon no longer shone their lights and cracks outlined the earth below. Even if the cultivators did not tell them so, the humans had already thought of the word: apocalypse.
It was natural instinct to be afraid of the ruthless fire and water that would destroy everything in their path.
At this moment, there was only a frail looking ink essence that stood between them and the destruction ahead.
Although the azure dragon and the phoenix did not intentionally attack them, the combination of their water and fire had already dimmed the light on the sword——
Suddenly, in a flash, another ray of light and sword appeared to merge.
It was Xie Kurong, who stood on the other side of the city walls with his spirit weapon in hand and bowed toward Yu Zhao.
Then, another ray of light, and two more rays of light all gradually fused into one.
The silhouettes of numerous cultivators who ordinary people rarely had the opportunity to see arrived. They were not all dressed in white, but were rather the cultivators of various other sects that the Yuling disciples called in as reinforcements.
The poles were moved. The world descended into chaos. These cultivators followed the Yuling disciples to stabilize the various poles and there were some who were not afraid of death that came here willingly to enter the battle between the dragon and the phoenix.
The fire was burning. The water was swaying. Yu Zhao didn’t retreat, and neither would they.
All kinds of spirit weapons reinforced the protection of the city and rejected the destruction from entering.
They didn’t know who, but someone let out a bright smile, “Hahaha, I have no regrets of death if I could fight beside Grandmaster Yu Zhao today.”
This was the spirit of a true cultivator of Yuling.
The mortals too went from the chaos and raucous in the beginning to a gradual calmness.
In the face of this natural disaster or manmade destruction, where can they escape to? Furthermore, there were countless immortals 1 in front of them, protecting the city despite the deaths and injuries. The azure dragon, too, was resisting the tides of fire.
They didn’t know when, but the mortals had all sat down onto the ground and silently prayed as they watched the dragon and phoenix battling on in the air right outside the city.
In the blink of an eye, it was already time for the sun to set and the moon to rise, but at this moment, it looked as if both the sun and moon were about to crash to the ground.
Xiaoshen swam in the waters and swept toward Luo Pin with his waves and tsunamis.
A drop of blood seeped through the patterns across his cheeks as Luo Pin closed his eyes and used the flames like tentacles to actually accurately capture the azure dragon from the waters!
The sea of water continued to wrap around the azure dragon, yet the bloody flames from Luo Pin’s hands forcefully evaporated the waters surrounding the dragon to the point where even the dragon’s scales were about to change colors. His phoenix’s gaze quickly searched the dragon’s body.
The azure dragon was struggling to get out. It was difficult for Luo Pin to match the dragon’s tremendous power and he was not able to hold Xiaoshen down for long, but it was fine. He has found it. Luo Pin suddenly opened his eyes. It was there, the dragon’s inverse scale——
The flames solidified into a long spike similar to that of a wolf’s fang. Luo Pin held onto this brilliant flame and thrust it inch by inch into the dragon’s body!
Fresh blood splashed out the moment the scales and skin and flesh were broken through and dyed that pool of water red. With the flames in one place, the colors were so similar.
The dragon’s struggles gradually weakened. Luo Pin’s eyes slowly blinked and his eyelashes trembled along like butterfly wings.
Holding the azure dragon in his arms as his long shirt filled with characters in ink swayed in the wind. He looked at the carcass in his arms and thoughtfully said to himself, “This important moment in history must be recorded in the annals. For the sake of this world, the azure dragon Shen died.”
The heavens and earth stilled. The cultivators and mortals who have witnessed the scene seemed to be unable to accept his act of slaughtering the dragon and were left speechless.
At this point, the battle has been decided. All he needed to do now was to kill Shang Jiyu, who was restraining the destructive aura and ergo also trapped by it, and that was that.
Luo Pin raised his voice and smiled as he solemnly announced to them, “May His Royal Highness the Dragon King be remembered for all ages!”
——Looking up from the capital, nearly a million mortals and hundreds of cultivators were stupefied!
They saw Luo Pin holding a bloody azure dragon in his arms.
YET, from not far behind him, a youth with dragon horns appeared out of nowhere. He was stealthily approaching Luo Pin with a silver soft sword in his hand! But Luo Pin was completely unaware of it!
The Yuling disciples who were present all felt a complete sense of familiarity at this scene and couldn’t help but all stare at one person in their group.
Dong Wei, “……”
In retrospect, wasn’t this exactly like that time when Xiaoshen first came to Yuling with his spiritual powers still confined? It was the same underhanded method that he used to trick Dong Wei!
This was…. It was… actually an illusion!
No one was able to utter a single word. Mortals had never seen such an illusion before, and most cultivators had never seen such a intricately woven illusion before either.
They even thought it was insane that Luo Pin, who had received the true techniques of the phoenix, appeared to be deliberately yielding to Xiaoshen, Xiaoshen was right behind him yet he didn’t notice him at all.
Neither the mortals nor the other cultivators outside of Yuling had ever thought that they would see the day when a dragon would be shadily committing a sneak attack on his opponents!
Millions of spectators all knew and all saw what was going on, save for one sole person – Luo Pin, who had no idea what was happening.
Last time, it was because they weren’t allowed to say it, but this time, they didn’t want to say it.
Such was how the scene unfolded; their eyes opened wide and not a sound left their mouths as they stared stupefied at Xiaoshen, who, with a cunning smile, silently walked step by step, without haste toward the exhausted Luo Pin the “Dragon Slayer’s” back — he held up his sword and thrust down!
The sword was suddenly stabbed straight through Luo Pin’s back.
“Ughhh!” Luo Pin looked down and saw the tip of the sword sticking out of his body. His eyes constricted as he saw the azure dragon’s “corpse” turn into mist. “…Impossible!”
How can illusions imitate life and death! How can a fake hold that much power to the point where he even fooled a phoenix? He was unable to believe that the sensation, the realness of his hands personally slaying the dragon was actually a mirage. He couldn’t recall from when he had come into contact with the illusion.
Xiaoshen said as he stood behind Luo Pin. “All dharmas are forms of emptiness. 2 Did you know that Your Highness I entered the Path through the way of illusions?”
This was the pinnacle of illusions. It was not necessarily nihility, but rather intertwined. If he wanted it to be real, it was real; if he wanted it to be fake, it would still contain some realness to it.
From death comes life. There were a myriad of spells that truth and falsehood became hard to distinguish.
“Ughhh…” Luo Pin wiped the blood off from the corner of his mouth. What looked to be the most arrogant azure dragon actually held the most cunning spell of all. It was quite ironic. Luo Pin smiled coldly, “Even so…”
He hasn’t finished his sentence when from the waters, another sword shot through!
No one knew when Shang Jiyu stood on the waves as his hand that sent the sword flying was still slightly opened. The two Shanhe swords gathered together in Luo Pin’s body. One yin, one yang. The sword spirits fused together and dissolved not only the flames, but even the soul itself.
Shang Jiyu stared at Luo Pin’s expression, whose lips were slightly parted yet no words were formed, and said, “You wanted to know when the Shanhe sword was perfected right?”
Were it not for its perfection, Shang Jiyu would not have dared to release the destructive aura, nor would he have brought Luo Pin to his death.
The true mountains and river 3, against a false dragon and phoenix.
The corner of Xiaoshen’s mouth curved up, “Of course it began the moment he and I reunited.”
They were the complements to each other. Just as Xiaoshen’s powers increased immensely upon the reemergence of the Lanyu River, so too did Shang Jiyu’s sword gained perfection upon finding his master again.
Back then, the reason that the Lanyu River was able to give birth to a spirit was because Xiaoshen was ordered to guard the Kaiming Mountains and thus unconsciously connected his body to the essence of the mountain and its aura.
Through him, the spirits of the mountains and rivers, which also coincided with the essences of the heavens and earth, came into contact and was able to give birth to a soul fragment, and was subsequently placed inside a human body by Chen Miaoxiang.
However, Chen Miaoxiang after all was not a true God, and the soul was not stable. Thus, after it was placed inside a human body, it slowly began to split into two personalities like yin and yang, wax and wane, the ups and downs of the tides.
Chen Miaoxiang then simply refined the Shanhe sword for Shang Jiyu to use. She thought if one day his path was completed and the sword perfected, then at that time, his soul and mind would once again merge.
Today however was the opposite; his soul and mind merged into one because of Xiaoshen – because he was the master of the river and the protector of the mountain’s essence, because he was the key to the sword’s spirit! In an instant, the Shanhe sword has been perfected and even to a higher level.
One yin and one yang, the unity of harmony, brought about the completion of this sword.
With the brush of Shang Jiyu’s sleeves, the entire Lanyu River was gathered up and underneath it revealed a vast span of land, however, its vitality did not disappear.
Were the mountains and valleys not similar to that of waves?
Just like the waters rushing up to a thousand feet, it also looked like a lonely summit.
This was the integration of the mountains and rivers.
Luo Pin could feel his life slipping away and his soul collapsing. Putting aside the fact that there wasn’t a second white sea turtle in this world, even if there was one, it would not be able to stop the blow from the Shanhe sword.
Only a little bit more and he would have been able to realize the Killing Aura’s path and rebel against the heavens and earth.
But in the end, he was destined to fail. Can’t the world be overturned?
Even now, Luo Pin felt no remorse in his heart; there was only an unwillingness to accept his fate. He stared at Xiaoshen, and then, in a blink of an eye, the flames burned out and became ashes scattering into the earth.
Xiaoshen watched as Luo Pin turned into ash in the wind while that long robe filled with writing and had once belonged to the white sea turtle gently fell down to the ground. The ink was still vivid in its recording of the dragon clan’s long ancient history, yet the historian was no longer of this world.
……It was over. Xiaoshen reached out a hand in a desire to pick up the robe.
Yet, a sudden change occurred. The ink stained robe peeled off and transformed into eight pieces of carapace and their edges flashed a cold ray of light.
This was Luo Pin’s last reversal. Carrying his will, it had transformed from the strongest defense into the most lethal weapon as it went to pierce the azure dragon’s inverse scale!
There was no way to avoid it. The crowd let out a cry of alarm as they too were not able to stop it.
In a blink, the cold light flashed through, yet Xiaoshen didn’t feel any pain.
——It was clearly a soft wave of water that had built a wall of defense in front of Xiaoshen, yet it was able to reflect the murderous intentions and contained the crisis to the best of its abilities.
Xiaoshen suddenly looked at Shang Jiyu. Water was the dragon’s most powerful weapon and shield; it shared both the weathers and damages. However, quickly, Xiaoshen realized something was wrong. If the water was able to block the shell of a white sea turtle, then it must have carried with it Shang Jiyu’s soul.
Shang Jiyu’s face was pale white and though he opened his mouth slightly in a desire to say something to Xiaoshen, he faltered and wasn’t able to support himself, and fell from the skies.
A sea of voices rang out.
Xiaoshen immediately controlled the waters with his mind and the waves gathered together to support Shang Jiyu.
He swam to Shang Jiyu’s side and transformed into his human body. He held Shang Jiyu’s hand however, there was no response.
Inside the waves that wrapped around Shang Jiyu’s body, Xiaoshen used his consciousness to call out to Shang Jiyu’s soul, however it was like a clay ox entering into the vast sea 4. Shang Jiyu’s consciousness was a mass of chaos.
Xiaoshen sat in a daze. He suddenly recalled that Shang Jiyu did not want to partake in a knotting ceremony with him but instead wanted to follow the rites of the humans and stay together for all of eternity.
This was a meeting between old friends after tens of thousands of years, and was more importantly Xiaoshen’s lover. He was both the silent and affectionate river, and also the deeply devoted human.
The author has something to say:
Tomorrow’s the finale. Though, there’s still going to be around 20,000 words of extras that you can click on…
- In these ordinary citizens’ minds, cultivators were like immortal gods or goddesses. They used the term: 神仙 (angels, celestial beings) to describe the cultivators.
- (in Buddhism) Dharma is the nature of reality regarded as a universal truth taught by the Buddha; an aspect of truth or reality.
- Shanhe = literally means mountain (shan) and river (he)
- It’s an idiom meaning to disappear with no hope of returning.