(TN: From this chapter and onward, the honorifics will be left as the original Pinyin form, as I think the English equivalent does not translate aptly. I will give a loose definition of the honorific as it appears. Do leave me a comment if the titles get too confusing.)
This person was merely a high-level Amethyst Abode, but he had surpassed all the absolute-level cultivators, and currently ranked first on the Heaven and Earth list of the Amethyst Abode cultivators.
From the Foundation Establishment stage and onwards, each stage was divided into 4 smaller levels, namely the lower-level, middle-level, high-level and absolute-level. Every breakthrough to the next level required tremendous effort, and the strength difference between each sub-level was vastly great.
Amethyst Abode as an example, the spiritual energy that could be activated by a mid-level cultivator was several times more compared to a low-level cultivator, even dozens of times more. Although the actual combative strength would differ from person to person, for a high-level cultivator to surpass those at a higher sub-level than he was, it was almost unheard of.
Jing Yue was shocked, “Who’s Qin Yanzhi? Why’s he ranked so high?”
It was not impossible to win against someone with a higher sub-level, as Jing Yue had done so in his past life, but it was combined with a very rare and immense stroke of good fortune. For Qin Yanzhi, however, it was not an occasional three or five opponent, but a grand total of 99.
No, that was not all. More opponents did not make it into the top 100 list, were they all beaten by him?
Unexpectedly, the burly man was even more surprised than he was, and his voice increased unconsciously, “You don’t even know Qin-zhenjun*?”
(TN: Zhenren 真人is loosely defined as True Being or Perfect Person. In this novel, the title is bestowed to cultivators Golden Core and above. Zhenjun 真君 would be above Zhenren and given to very few people.)
Jing Yue shook his head blankly, attracting many people’s attention.
“How secluded is this Megasun City exactly?” Burly Man muttered and could not help but doubt life.
Jing Yue felt that Megasun City was a little wronged. The people of Megasun City might not have known about the transmission charm of Frostcloud Sect, but it was not likely that they have not heard of the ‘celebrity cultivators’. It was merely Jing Yue who never bothered about such matters.
It was just that the news that reached Megasun City would have lagged behind and more exaggerated than the original, so Jing Yue did not want to waste time distinguishing the facts from fiction.
Burly Man could not resist the imploring look sent by the youth, so he explained, “Qin Yanzhi, Qin-zhenjun is a cultivator from the most powerful school of swordsmanship, the Sword Inscription Sect. He was hailed as one of the most talented cultivators we’ve ever seen in the past ten millennia. Not only has he only spent 400 years to attain the Amethyst Abode stage, but he has also created the heaven-grade Daoyi Sword Technique. Ever since he was listed on the Flying Immortal list, he has maintained a zero-loss record and had never suffered defeat from someone at the same level.”
Jing Yue’s eyes brightened when he heard about him creating a heaven-grade technique. He had not expected such a talented young generation to appear in this era. Even when placed in the previous life, it would surely stir up a storm.
Seeing his attentiveness, Burly Man was motivated to continue, “Let’s put it this way, when Qin-zhenjun first made the list, he was already ranked the first in Foundation Establishment. When he reached the Golden Core, he was first on that list, so even if he has attained Amethyst Abode, he’ll surely also be ranked the first.”
Jing Yue was in awe, “He’s amazing…”
However, the voice in his divine consciousness sang the opposite tone, “Eh, just another cannon fodder.”
Jing Yue: ?
“Characters like this who are generally talented, dashing good looks, with naturally-born taunting skills are the typical cannon fodder type, and they are mainly used as the face-slapping victims for the protagonist.”
Jing Yue, “I can’t entirely agree with that.”
Blue Phoenix, “Why not?”
Jing Yue was steadfast, “In that case, my characterization was almost perfect, so doesn’t that make me a cannon fodder too?”
Blue phoenix, “…”
That argument was so convincing it cannot be refuted.
The blue phoenix really wanted to warn Jing Yue to stop flagging such an inauspicious target.
At this time, a voice called from the distance, “Madam! Madam! The young master has been chosen!”
Jing Yue stood on tiptoes and saw a green-robed servant approaching in a hurry. He stopped in front of a luxuriously dressed woman, panting, “The immortals from the Frostcloud Sect are at home, and said they wanted to bring the young master up into the mountains!”
The woman clutched at her chest in excitement, “Quickly, let’s go home!”
The two left in a hurry, and the onlookers looked at each other in surprise.
A man slapped his thigh and exclaimed, “That’s the lady from the Liu family. It seems that the young master possesses a double spiritual root of water and metal elements, with water stronger than metal, almost comparable to a single element. It looks like the Frostcloud Sect is interested to have him as a disciple!”
His eyes were filled with admiration.
In his divine consciousness, the blue phoenix asked, “Isn’t the Frostcloud Sect a major sect? Do you make house visits too?”
Jing Yue was also puzzled and quickly asked Burly Man beside him, “I’ve heard that the Frostcloud Sect only open the doors once every thirty years to select suitable disciples to join the sect, but it was now less than ten years from the last opening. Why are they doing the selection now?”
It was a rule he had set down personally and no one could change it. Even if a traveling Zhenren wanted to accept disciples, they had to leave a token of the sect and wait until the sect opening period before sending people to invite them up the mountain. Only after they had passed through the test could they successfully become an official disciple of the sect.
Burly Man was already used to Jing Yue’s ignorance, and said, “Half a year ago, the Jadecloud Bell at the summit of Frostcloud Sect rang suddenly, are you aware of that?”
Jing Yue nodded. He had heard about this while in Miniwest Lu region. At that time, he felt comforted, to think that the Jadecloud Bell still remembered him as its master even after ten thousand years.
“Within a few days after the bell rang, the Frostcloud Sect declared that they are open to accepting young and talented cultivators below 18 years old to join the sect and learn the art of Dao, and they are not even required to take a test. As long as their talents are recognized, they can join the sect.”
“That’s Frostcloud Sect! The holy land in the hearts of countless cultivators! It was comparable to disturbing the hornet’s nest. As you can see, Frore City is so crowded recently because everyone wanted to try their luck up the mountains.”
Jing Yue had not heard about this news, perhaps it had not reached Megasun City yet. “But what has the ringing of the bell got anything to do with the Frostcloud Sect accepting disciples?”
Burly Man lowered his voice and said in a mysterious tone, “According to rumors, on the day the bell rang, a patriarch divined that an auspicious person to the sect was born!”
Jing Yue, “If that’s the case, why are they looking for people under 18? Shouldn’t they be looking for a baby?”
Burly Man was stumped. This question was a little tricky, and he turned angry from embarrassment, “Why are you asking me for? I won’t be bothered with you anymore. I’m going to the Liu family to see the immortal!”
Jing Yue was also taken aback. He realized he was being silly. How could an outsider know about this? It would be better to return to the sect and find out for himself.
Looking at the crowd moving towards the Liu family house, Jing Yue hesitated for a moment before following them.
At this time, the Liu house was full of people, and Jing Yue barely managed to squeeze himself to the front row. He saw a young man of about 16 or 17 saying goodbye to his family. A pleasant-looking young lady stood beside him.
“Is that a fairy from the Frostcloud Sect? So a fairy looks like this…”
“This kid is so lucky!”
The chattering of the crowd continued. There was a slight reluctance on the boy’s face, but when faced with his crying parents, Jing Yue found impatience in his eyes. On the other hand, when he faced the young lady beside him, he was humble and polite, with a trace of admiration.
Jing Yue frowned. What was wrong with the Frostcloud Sect? Why would they accept a disciple with such a temperament?
At this moment, someone beside him said, “That’s Fairy Qianyue. She’s the seventh-generation core disciple under Hong Li-zhenren, a Foundation Establishment cultivator.”
Jing Yue asked, “How do you know?”
The man laughed triumphantly, “Isn’t her portrait in the beauty book available at the bookstore? You’d know if you bought one too.”
He turned around and his eyes nearly popped out, “How come it’s you again?!”
Jing Yue, “So it’s me again, such a coincidence.”
It turned out to be the same Burly Man who told him about the Flying Immortal list. The man snorted and turned his face away snootily.
Jing Yue thought to himself, although the burly man might not know any internal sect secrets, he was a good source for gossips. He rolled his eyes around mischievously, before complimenting Burly Man with a huge smile, trying to persuade the other party in giving more information about the Frostcloud Sect.
Burly Man was flattered and his mood became much pleasant. He cleared his throat, “Have you heard of Daoist-Master Jing Yuan then?”
Jing Yue, “…”
“Tsk, you’ve not even heard of Daoist-Master Jing Yuan? He’s the most powerful cultivator ever lived before the Yao Catalyst! After him, no one had successfully attained the Tribulation Passage stage until the Yao Catalyst had ended and the new era began. It’s only a few thousand years after that before two or three cultivators advanced to that stage.”
Jing Yue looked down slightly and felt a little dispirited.
“Anyway, Daoist-Master Jing Yuan was the founder of Frostcloud Sect.” Burly Man held a thumbs-up sign before he continued, “In his lifetime, he had accepted three internal disciples. The first and second disciple both perished during the Yao Catalyst, leaving only the youngest disciple Patriarch Yi Ye to continue his legacy. Since Daoist-Master Jing Yuan, it has now reached the seventh-generation of core disciples.”
Jing Yue was stunned. Even though he already knew he had only one disciple left, hearing it from another person left a dull ache in his heart.
All the past memories resurfaced and a few familiar faces flashed in his mind, making him almost suffocated.
Although most cultivators were ruthless and cold-hearted people, Jing Yue had always been casual and carefree. After being with his disciples for such a long time, there was bound to be a strong bond between them, and it was natural for him to feel sad at their passing. He had always retained the mortal being’s basic seven emotions and six desires, and did not believe that it would hinder his ascension in any way.
If he cultivated into an emotionless and lifeless person, what was the point of sharing his life with the everlasting heaven and earth?
At this moment, he could not help but wonder, if he was not struck to death by the lightning tribulation, would he be able to save his disciples from the Yao Catalyst? His three disciples were highly talented and had great prospects, but two had become spirits and might have even gone through dozens of reincarnations by now.
Suddenly, he felt something pecking his cheek. Jing Yue glanced sideways and saw the blue phoenix perched on his shoulder. The other party immediately leaned over, rubbed its fluffy little head against his neck tenderly, producing a cooing sound from its throat.
The blue phoenix was being affectionate.
When Jing Yue came to this conclusion, he instantly understood that the blue phoenix had sensed his negative emotions and was trying to comfort him in this manner. A sudden gush of warmth filled his heart and Jing Yue scratched the blue phoenix in response, and his finger was wrapped with its wings.
Come to think about it, how could there be so many ifs? If not for the blue jade, his entire existence would have disappeared. This second chance at life was already his gain, why would he have any dissatisfaction?
Now that he was reborn, whatever had passed should remain as buried. The two disciples had returned to the cycle of reincarnation. Maybe one day, they would be destined to meet again.
As he thought of this, his heart suddenly opened up, and the state of his emotions strengthened.
He could not help smiling. Cultivating Dao was akin to cultivating the heart. To be successful in cultivation, strengthening the spiritual root was important, but strengthening the heart was even more so. It seemed that in this lifetime, apart from his divine consciousness that was retained, he would have to start anew on his base cultivation and state of mind.
Burly Man noticed that Jing Yue had stopped paying attention to his words, so he lost interest in talking and said perfunctorily, “If you’re really interested in this topic, there’re many books available about Frostcloud Sect in the city bookstore, you can read about it on your own.”
Author’s Notes: Mini-theater
Burly man: That Qin-zhenjun is great!
Jing-jing: Amazing! Starry eyes!
Burly man: That Daoist-master Jing Yuan is spectacular!
Jing-jing: … shame play
Jing-jing: Ji-ji understands me. Ji-ji is considerate.
Ji-ji: Jing-jing’s face is a little scary. I've got to think if I offended him today. Ah, ah, ah! If I said his persona is too perfect and people might take advantage of it, will he blame it on me? Forget it, I’ll act cute first and think later.