Translated by ethidda of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Thin clouds covered the sun, and there was misty rain. It was wonderful weather. In the quiet mountain forest, a ray of light flashed from time to time, lighting up outside the magnificent Jade Pass.
Pretty much all the sects that had any renown in today’s cultivation world were present.
That was because today, they were holding a first ever, most grand ascension ceremony at the Yuling Sect. They all came to watch the ceremony.
These days, which cultivator would dare to say that he would definitely have a successful ascension? They barely had enough time to carefully cultivate in isolation, never mind making such a large commotion, inviting people they knew and people they didn’t know.
But today’s ascension would definitely succeed, so every cultivator’s expression was relaxed, even yearning, especially some cultivators from smaller sects. They had waited so many years, and hadn’t had a chance to watch anybody ascend in broad daylight yet.
The azure dragon had torn apart Luo Pin. Everybody knew that these days. This was His Highness the Dragon. He was Lord ZhenBao’s son. His fate was obviously entwined with that of the gods, and could ascend to the upper realms directly. Whether this world was destroyed or not really didn’t have to matter to him, but he still stood forward and defended the world from destruction.
Now was the time for him to use that string of fate with the gods.
The patriarch of the NanZhou Cultivation Sect led five cultivators from his sect and also arrived just outside the Jade Pass.
Maybe nobody would recognize the “NanZhou Cultivation Sect”. Their cultivation was not particularly remarkable either. Even their Patriarch was only so-so. But if you named the person sent by this sect, everybody would know of him, because that would be Yun Hua, Daoist Master Yun Ziran.
He was the great poet leading the new wave of scholars. His genius could not be easily described with words, and should not be discussed lightly.
There were already expert scholars who were certain that even a million years later, that many of the works of the cultivators who were better-studied than Yun Ziran would disappear with the passage of time. But his work would be preserved.
He was the first human to have been a dragon historian, and he was also the last dragon’s historian. And only his historical records were different from the other dragon historical records; everybody could read them. This would be the rare primary source for humans to understand dragons, not just from legends.
Yun Ziran often accompanied His Highness, the last dragon, Xiaoshen, and recorded his every word and action. Even if his words were plain and unpretentious, those coming after him would still research it.
Therefore, there wasn’t any point in discussing if Yun Ziran was knowledgeable in literature or not. The meaning of his words overshadowed everything else.
Because Yun Ziran came from there, the NanZhou Cultivation Sect members were able to attend the ceremony today. And they had five people come.
With the reception disciple’s guide, they entered the Imperial Palace, through the Jade Pass, and saw — endless mountains and rivers. The wide open waters were boundless, connecting to the sky in the distance. Among them were countless peaks, standing beautifully, covered in lush vegetation hiding the numerous buildings. It was the most beautiful scene.
This miraculous scene where the mountains and river were as one was of course His Highness Lanyu Shen (note: Shen as in Xiaoshen) lived here.
The former Ligu Puddle and Baizhang Pond were all things of the past, replaced by the Lanyu Lake. It had also attracted countless people from the water species to voluntarily come serve His Highness the Dragon, and live here.
On one of the mountain’s peaks, in a pavilion, a man could be seen wearing a tall hat and flowy clothes, reciting poetry. This was Yun Ziran. There were also many people around him, listening attentively.
The NanZhou Cultivation Sect patriarch was happy to see this and went over. He chatted with Yun Ziran, and was also fortunate to listen to the last two sentences of the poems he was writing.
“…The Dragon Emperor saved a string of divine fate, and would ascend in daylight of today.”
The NanZhou Patriarch thought, it is fine. He didn’t really hope that Yun Hua would actually improve. So many people were praising him, and he at least managed to rhyme. That was enough to not embarrass the NanZhou Cultivation Sect.
“Ah, Patriarch is here! Perfect timing. After I finish this poem, I’m going to observe the ceremony. Patriarch, why don’t you come with me?” Yun Ziran invited his patriarch, full of smiles.
Everybody went together. They walked down from the pavilion and rode boats.
Anybody who knew anything about Yuling Sect knew that in the palaces ahead here were either elders or enshrined tablets (t/n: for dead people). It was not allowed to ride flying artifacts.
Only, the people who were new to Yuling Sect were curious why so many small boats were on the great lake, but they all avoided a large area in the water.
“Yun Hua, are there hidden currents there? How come nobody seems to be going there?” The NanHua Patriarch asked.
“Oh!” Yun Ziran immediately explained seriously, “You just arrived, so the receptionist disciple probably hasn’t explained to you yet. You must not ride a boat over there because the most powerful elder of the Yuling Sect is under there.”
“You mean Daoist Master Shang Jiyu?” The NanHua Patriarch and several of the disciples started getting excited. They had heard of his great reputation long ago. “Didn’t they say during the fight with Luo Pin, he only had a breath left and could fall at any moment?”
Daoist Master Yun Ziran laughed aloud. “Have you read the Rong Capitol Dragon and Phoenix Battle Record that Yuling Sect released recently? That work recorded and analyzed the causes and results.”
“Of course we read it!”
“Who hasn’t read it… It was too bad that our cultivation was not enough to help save the capitol that day. So we could only look at the battle record repeatedly.”
“Not just the officially published text, I also read the extras. But some of the people’s abilities… Sigh, it was hard to understand. Then comparing it with that from Yuling, it seemed to be full of errors. Some people actually concluded that His Highness Xiaoshen used an illusion…”
Seeing that they were leaving the topic, Yun Ziran stopped them. “Then you should know that Elder Shang is Lanyu Lake in human form!”
Speaking of this, he had to sigh again, “Daoist Master RongYi really had great powers!”
“Well, since you know that, this is the source of life energy of the water. Would Elder really fall so easily? It is dangerous, true. His nerves were damaged, but with timely cultivation in the water, he will slowly recover. That’s right there. We can’t just disrespect our elder because he is recuperating, and pilot our boats over his head, right?” Yun ZiRan said.
Of course, as for the fact that the entire Lanyu Lake was Shang Jiyu himself was not worth bringing up. After all, the elder also had a human form, so it didn’t have the same meaning.
The group of people chatted and laughed then met another boat at a pier. That boat only had several people but argued as if there were several dozen people.
“Bullshit! What nonsense. When did I really help during the dragon and phoenix battle? I didn’t! Even though I knew right away that Luo Pin was just a rat with chicken feathers tied onto its tail — he was never a real bird!”
Daomi said loudly.
NanZhou Patriarch looked at Daomi curiously. He didn’t know what his identity was, that someone would say he contributed greatly to defeating Luo Pin.
Yuan Gang said mercilessly, “My Master already revealed everything. It was because you annoyed Luo Pin everyday, that he lost his patience and revealed his identity.”
Daomi glared at him, “Nonsense!”
Xuan Wuzi made fun of him, saying, “Daomi is the real number one bird in all of history. He annoyed a real dragon. He bothered a fake phoenix. And he is still alive. He really is our Yuling Sect’s number one cultivator.”
Daomi leapt forward and started wrestling with Xuan Wuzi.
Yun Ziran glanced over, and introduced them. “These three are in order: His Highness, the aqua dragon’s disciple, the starling, and the scapegoat.”
NanZhou Patriarch, “…”
He was startled. Everybody thought that because Xiaoshen was at Yuling, everybody there was a capable sage, like the patriarch Xie Kurong, Daoist Master Shang Jiyu, etc. That Yun Ziran was of course the most unusual of the group.
But looking at it now, Yun Ziran actually seemed to fit in…
At the terrace to observe the ceremony, countless cultivators had already congregated.
Xie Kurong was up there as the leader. Next to him was of course the greatest person at Yuling Sect, His Highness, the debt holder. The two were discussing something about the ascension to happen momentarily.
The turtle grand chancellor, Jin Qianzi, helped settle the newly arrived cultivators, making sure everything was in order.
To cultivators, time passed too quickly.
Not long after, it was the auspicious time.
The attendees all watched breathlessly as Xiaoshen stood up. The “jade belt” (Yu Dai) at his waist swinging lightly into a cloud.
“Today is not sunny, nor rainy. The time is perfect.” Xiaoshen looked at the sky and said loudly. “As was promised to me as a Dragon King, the blue clouds will send away this deity.”
That cloud which contained divine fate lightly coalesced into an ink-colored silhouette.
Shuimo Sword (Water-ink sword), water-ink shaped, it was the ink essence Yu Yi — no, he probably couldn’t be called such nowadays. Because everybody knew that his body was still possessed by the remnants of Yu Zhao’s soul. He was not a spirit, nor monster; not a ghost, nor human.
And this was one of the great strange phenomena today as well, that a body possessed by the remnant of a soul could ascend to become a deity.
All the cultivators watched his silhouette, with excitement flooding their hearts, and raised their hands in celebration.
Who hadn’t heard of Grandmaster Yuzhao’s history? During the dragon-phoenix battle, his conviction had been called forth. The cultivators present all started chanting. Originally, for humankind, his body died and his cultivation dispersed, leaving only behind a tattered soul. Yet, it has as much conviction as ever.
Today, without suffering for ascension 1 , he was carried into divinity by a blue cloud. But nobody was jealous!
“I almost forgot…” Xiaoshen took out several pieces of turtle shells. The historical records had fallen apart so terribly. He threw it to the side, precisely into Yu Yi’s hands. “Remember to explain to Lord Zhenbao that I’ll be bringing my consort with me up there in a bit! Wait for me a bit longer! Also, have him build my cavern estate a bit larger. An extra person means we need more water—”
Listening to His Highness, the aqua dragon’s trivial requests, everybody could only admire him.
His Highness, the aqua dragon truly had the flair of Lord Zhenbao. He held the cloud that could let him ascend to divinity, but easily gifted it to Grandmaster Yuzhao, and could even casually say that he would bring his consort with him to the divine realm in a bit. Everybody felt admiration, as this was the true spirit of a true dragon, whose generosity was as big as the sky and earth.
Yu Yi held the pieces of turtle shell and nodded unhappily.
Ascending… He also wanted to ascend with Xiaoshen. Why did he have to go first…
The aqua dragon floated lightly on the wind, directly into the divine realm beyond the highest skies.
That silhouette was about to disappear from sight. The ink-colored silhouette seemed empty as he looked down on all the breadth of mountains and lakes. Then slowly, his silver eyes showed the slightest gentleness.
“Have you verified the finances?” The ascension had finished and Xiaoshen turned to aggressively ask Xie Kurong.
“I already gave the tribute list to Jin Qianzi…” Xie Kurong said helplessly.
Hey, it was not that the Yuling Sect sold tickets to Yu Zhao’s ascension ceremony. Yuling Sect definitely did not sell tickets!
…But people were going to their sect to observe the ceremony, to watch with their own eyes a miraculous ascension in broad daylight. Then even got to see the last true dragon in the world, while they were at it. All were historical events. They were guided on the river and tea and water were free. Would everybody really partake in this without gifts, and not feel embarrassed?
Never mind that everybody in Yulin was still working hard to repay their debt. This blue cloud ascension was provided by Xiaoshen. That these things were given to him for use was only natural.
Xiaoshen nodded satisfactorily. “Great, then I’ll let you handle the rest!”
After saying so, he also snuck away.
Xie Kurong looked at all the cultivators gathered here, the raucous scene, and felt that his head was about to explode.
The golden crow landed and the moon rabbit rose. 2
The dark blue sky, layers of cloud moved slowly. The round moon revealed itself from behind, hanging high in the sky, pouring down bright, clear light onto the clear waves of the water and the waving trees, adding a layer of shine to them. The water in the lake was silent as they explored, almost also unable to differentiate between the jewel-like waters and the cool moonlight.
The sky and earth were deathly silent. Only a small boat was stopped in the middle of the great lake. A young man in azure clothes sat there, curled up, his upper body lying on the body of the boat. His deep green eyes quietly watched the waters.
After a long time, the young man reached down and touched the cold water, as if waking from sleep. He closed his eyes, as the tip of his finger touched another finger tip…
Yuling became a mountain around water overnight. I fished my friend from amongst the smoky waves.
—End of book—
The author has something to say:
Thank you everybody for supporting this short story. I still have a lot to work on for the intimate scenes. Boohoo. Love you all. It’s the final chapter, so I’m giving out 800 little red envelopes. There will also be news of physical books in traditional and simplified Chinese. You can follow on Weibo 晋江_糖兔 (t/n: Author’s Weibo handle). Muah! =3=
I really was quite handicapped this year. I only wrote one long piece and two short ones. Next year, I’ll attempt to write two long ones. I’ll rest a bit after the end, and then I will start the long piece after I’ve prepared: “I Got Popular After The Part-Time Job in Hell”. Everybody please take a preview. You can see it by clicking through from the author’s name. And you can also see the special. Hehe. Move yo’ little hand to fulfill this bunny’s wishes. (t/n: Author’s name translates to “Bunny who makes cotton candy”)
Let’s continue tomorrow with the extras~