Rays of the dawn spilled over the waterfall, the clear water sprayed in the air and fell straight into a deep pool. At first glance, it looked like a stream of colorful clouds descending from the sky.
In the morning mist that had yet to dissipate, the figure of a teen, about seventeen or eighteen, danced lightly with a long sword. His every move had its own rhythm, sharp and oppressive.
Cold light pierced through the fog, and the water in the pool surged.
The wind blew and petals of pink and white fell on the edge of the pool, some cut in half by the sword energy, while some fell on the young man’s head, accentuating his jet-black hair and alabaster-white skin.
After completing a set of sword techniques, Jing Yue stroked two fingers over the hilt of the long sword—the sword tassel fluttered in the air, the blade cold and shiny, as if it were not an ordinary item.
This sword was made using the Galaxy sword capsule that was given by Sword Inscription Sect during the Patriarch Initiation Ceremony, and it was named Mini Canglan Sword.
Since the day Mini Canglan Sword was forged by the Refining Hall, it was already a premium-grade spiritual artifact, and it could continue to grow. To do so, one must find 4 ice-elemental items, respectively the Fire-In-Ice, Ice Soil, Ice Cicada Leaf, and Ice Gold Mine, combined with its own Ice (water) attributes, this sword could be upgraded to a Celestial-grade artifact.
The name was given to commemorate the Canglan Sword that fell with him during the lightning tribulation in his past life.
At this time, an attendant-disciple came forward to report, “Laozu, the Sect Leader requests for a meeting.”
Jing Yue kept his sword and headed towards the Great Hall on Whitefog Summit.
It had been seven years since he joined the sect but he still lived on Whitefog Summit. Five years ago, Yi Ye officially went into closed-door seclusion, and he became the only master on Whitefog Summit. Now that he had turned 17, his cultivation had reached the Absolute level of Qi Refining stage, and only awaited a chance encounter to attain the Foundation Establishment stage.
In this life, his cultivation progressed by leaps and bounds compared to the previous life. Firstly, he benefited from the Omnispirit Body and the abundance of spiritual energy on Whitefog Summit. Secondly, he was already so familiar with the Art of Ten Desolate Universe that he would naturally get twice the result with half the effort when he cultivated.
When he arrived at the main hall, Sect Leader Wei Tianli was already waiting at the hall and he complimented, “Laozu is truly a genius. I’ve only not seen you for a few months yet your cultivation has improved so much. I heard that even the core disciples are not your opponent in a match of basic swordplay.”
Jing Yue merely smiled. He knew very well in his heart that his talent in swordplay could only be regarded as ordinary. It was simply because of his familiarity with that particular sword technique, which he had practiced for thousands of years, and the manuscript that Yi Wang left him had helped him greatly too, that he could reach the current level now.
“What’s the reason for your visit today?”
Wei Tianli, “We just received notification that Great Reverend Kong Miao of the Three Realm Temple has passed away. I’ll be leading several elders from the sect to pay our condolences.”
Three Realm Temple was the leading Buddhist temple of the cultivation world with a historical legacy that far surpassed Frostcloud Sect. Meanwhile, Reverend Kong Miao was the monk most revered with the highest qualifications and strongest cultivation level in Three Realm Temple today, and also one of the three great Tribulation Passage cultivators of the righteous Dao. Now that he had passed on, it was almost equivalent to an earthquake to the cultivation world. For both official and private reasons, Frostcloud Sect should pay respects properly.
Jing Yue, “Kong Miao?”
Wei Tianli, “That’s right. I heard Reverend Kong Miao received some guidance from Laozu and he achieved enlightenment because of that, so I’d like to ask if Laozu wanted to go with us.”
Jing Yue could not help being amused. How could he guide Kong Miao?
He was Dao while the other party was Buddhist. Although Buddha and Dao share the same realm, the ways of cultivation were completely different.
The foundation of Dao cultivation lied in the spiritual root, while Buddhism in the root of wisdom. Dao practiced comprehension, while Buddhism practiced enlightenment. Although the two seemed to cultivate both the heart and mind, it was quite different in nature.
Back then, he had attained the Tribulation Passage stage and went into the mortal world to seek chance encounters when he accidentally picked up an abandoned baby. Jing Yue noticed the baby’s innate root of wisdom inclined towards the path of Buddhism, so he sent him to Three Realm Temple.
Unexpectedly, after ten thousand years, the rumors had developed into this version.
Whatever. Kong Miao had a causal relationship with him after all, and he was also looking for chance encounters to help him with the breakthrough to Foundation Establishment stage, so he might as well make a trip to the Central region.
“When do we depart?”
Wei Tianli, “In three days, I’ll be here for Laozu again.”
After sending Wei Tianli off, Jing Yue decided to stroll around the inner gates.
The inner gates had been very stable in the past few years. After benefiting from the changes, the disciples automatically maintained the existing order without him being in control constantly. As a result, he mostly stayed on Whitefog Mountain practicing his cultivation. Counting the days, he had not left for half a year.
When Jing Yue called out casually, blue phoenix flew out from nowhere, landed on his shoulder, and bounced happily as it asked, “What’s up?”
“You’re so well-behaved today. Didn’t you go eavesdropping again?”
“I… I’m not that sort of phoenix.” Blue phoenix twisted its body around and showed Jing Yue its butt.
Mm… after six years, blue phoenix had not grown up at all. No matter its appearance or mind, it was still so dumb… ah no, pure and innocent.
Jing Yue brought Ji-ji to Frond Island and found the place bustling and crowded with people.
Nowadays, the disciples of the inner gates were long accustomed to visiting the exchange meeting after practice, to see if there were any resources for exchange or purchase, and if there were tasks that could be accepted.
And this was not only exclusive to the inner gates. As early as five years ago, the outer gates and even the core disciples held exchange meetings.
Jing Yue strolled around the stalls leisurely. In the past few years, Frostcloud Sect had released several basic pill recipes, so the spiritual herb ingredients were no longer sold as cheaply as before, and most of them at reasonable prices.
In other words, it was no longer that easy to pick up a steal.
Some disciples recognized him and greeted him respectfully, but they simply could not help their eyes from looking back at him. They had only not seen him for a few months, but somehow they felt the Laozu had become even better looking.
Jing Yue waved his hand. “I’m just browsing. Ignore me.”
Blue phoenix squinted. They were clearly lusting after his beauty!
Its Jing-jing was born with such an appearance, inevitably many fairies and vixens would be entangled in the future, so what should it do when the time comes? If the wrong C-position^ was chosen, it would be so disgusted that it could not eat or sleep for three days, so this could only be solved by opening a harem!
(TN: C-position lit. Center-position or lead position. Instead of choosing one ‘female’ lead, why not a harem so Ji-ji doesn’t have to take sides?)
However, there would be less chances of 1vs1 arguments or touching reunions in a harem, so was that a wise choice?
Blue phoenix fell into a tough dilemma and sighed deeply.
Jing Yue turned his head and noticed the sullen look on Ji-ji, so he asked, “Are you disappointed because there are no stalls selling street literature?”
‘Street literature’ was a new phrase Jing Yue learned from Ji-ji.
Blue phoenix avoided his gaze guiltily, “No, of course not.”
Jing Yue, “…” He guessed it right!
“You’re a pre-historic divine beast after all. Although you’re born with deficiencies, you can still reach adulthood if you cultivate seriously. But you? You’re so unmotivated that you can’t even fight a spiritual pheasant from the back mountains. Be careful or you’ll end up being caught and become a roast chicken.”
Blue phoenix: QaQ
Just as Jing Yue was lecturing his beloved pet, he suddenly ran into some acquaintances. It turned out to be his temporary roommates from before.
“Oh, it’s you guys.”
Blue phoenix heaved a sigh of relief and gave the three a grateful look. Of course...no one noticed.
Shi Nian, “Laozu, how come you’re here?”
Yu Xiaobao, “I heard Master Kong Miao passed away and the Sect Leader is going to central region to express condolences. Will Laozu be going too?”
Over the years, Jing Yue treated them the same way, so they had long lost their original restraints.
Jing Yue, “Xiaobao, you are well informed. I'll leave in three days.”
He noticed that they did not seem to be visiting the stalls, so he asked, “Where are you going?”
Liang Yuan, “The Communication Hall. Yesterday, A-nian thought of a trick for the Water Prison Technique, so he carved it on the jade wall. We want to see if there’s any feedback today.”
Nowadays, the jade wall of the Communication Hall had become a holy place for the exchange of techniques among disciples, and many disciples’ questions and experiences were recorded on it. Once, a Golden Core Zhenren wandered around the Communication Hall leisurely. After studying the jade wall overnight, he suddenly broke through to the next level. Since then, the jade wall became a legend, and an endless stream of people cultivated in front of it every day.
When Jing Yue heard that, he decided to tag along with them.
When the group arrived at the Communication Hall, Jing Yue first went through the tips suggested by Shi Nian and praised, “The idea is not too bad.”
Shi Nian was indeed quite intelligent. In just a few years, he gradually caught up to Liang Yuan and they were both level-6 Qi Refining cultivators now, while Yu Xiaobao was at level-5. Everyone had shown great improvements.
Seeing that there were still many unanswered questions on the jade wall, Jing Yue picked out a few that had been there for quite some time and added his comments one by one.
Suddenly, he heard someone else call out to him.
Jing Yue turned around and saw the brothers Long Ridi and Long Ritian.
The two were respectful, modest and polite. They have long lost the previous gloomy and hostile manner. This was also the biggest change within the disciples of the inner gates in recent years.
Once there was a good and fair cultivation environment, the cultivation level would mostly improve, and the mood would be relaxed and open.
This change affected everyone subtly.
Jing Yue noticed that they held a task token in their hands and asked curiously, “Have you accepted an assignment?”
Long Ridi replied, “Laozu, we just accepted a task to deliver spiritual grass and are about to head to Credence City.”
Credence City? That sounded familiar.
Ah! There was a branch of the Golden Pavilion there!
Jing Yue recalled that the Golden Pavilion was a famous auction house in the cultivation world, with branches on all continents, and very well-informed about priceless treasures and valuable materials.
Since he wanted to upgrade the Mini Canglan Sword, why not inquire about the news of the four Ice items? Besides, since he joined the sect, he had not been to other places in the Evernorth region except Frore City.
Jing Yue, “How far is Credence City away from Frostcloud Sect?”
Long Ridi had no idea why he asked this question and honestly said, “The journey only takes half a day on a spiritual bird.”
Jing Yue estimated that a round trip would not delay the schedule to Three Realm Temple, so he said, “Do you mind if I come along?”
The brothers were flattered and readily agreed.
As soon as they left, the Communication Hall abruptly fell into a strange silence.
The next instant, everyone flocked to the jade wall, wanting to pay tribute to Laozu’s writing. Amid all the pushing and shoving, no one could see anything clearly in the end.
“That’s enough! Stop pushing!”
Someone sternly chastised, and everyone turned to see Mu Feng.
After his cultivation base was eradicated back then, his recovery could only be described as smooth-sailing, as if he suddenly had an epiphany. In just six years, he made continuous breakthroughs and was now a level-5 Qi Refining cultivator. Perhaps in more than ten years, he would Establish the Foundation successfully.
It was rumored that the Laozu was very optimistic about him, and as a result, Mu Feng was held in high regard in the inner gates.
The others dared not argue with him and all gave way in silence, complaining internally in their hearts.
Mu Feng stepped forward for a look and found that Laozu had actually answered his question. He was overjoyed as he scrutinized it carefully.
Laozu did not directly tell him the answer but merely provided him a direction of thinking. Mu Feng furrowed his eyebrows and thought for a long time. Suddenly, he laughed aloud and said, “So that’s how it is! So that’s how it is!”
As soon as he finished speaking, he felt an ease between his eyebrows and he had already attained level-6 Qi Refining stage.
Jing Yue was not aware of the happenings in the Communication Hall. In the afternoon, he and the Long brothers reached Credence City.
The three did not practice Inedia and were a little hungry after sitting on the spiritual bird for such a long time, so they decided to find a restaurant to fill their stomachs first.
Long Ritian asked Jing Yue for his opinion, “I heard that the Credence Restaurant in Credence City is very famous. Should we go there for a try?”
Of course, Jing Yue had no objection. They inquired about the location of the restaurant and walked over leisurely.
There were not many customers in Credence Restaurant at this time. They chose a table next to the window.
The waiter came forward to greet them. Seeing that Jing Yue had no opinion, Long Ritian boldly ordered a few dishes.
While waiting for the dishes to be served, Jing Yue asked about the situation of Credence City.
It was not the first time for the brothers to be here, so in the face of the Laozu’s inquiries, they naturally told him everything they knew.
Jing Yue, “In that case, the biggest cultivation family in Credence City is the Hong family?”
Long Ritian, “Yes, the Hong family produced Hong Li-zhenren, so they are recognized as the top cultivation family here.”
Long Ridi, “Come to think of it, the biggest cultivation family in Credence City was the Gu family back then. After Hong Li-zhenren achieved the Golden Core stage, the Hong family took advantage of the situation for a rapid resurgence and overtook the Gu family. Originally, the Gu family had a strong foundation and could barely hold their ground, but…”
When he said this, he looked at Jing Yue cautiously. “…But a few years ago, after the Gu family was severely punished by Frostcloud Sect for occupying the spirit mine belonging to Ministone Gate, they fell from grace in recent years.”
Jing Yue raised his eyebrows. “Is this the Gu family that caused the incident back then?”
He still remembered the core disciple that stopped him at the entrance of the barrier and threatened him. After that incident, the disciple was sent to the Schism Ocean, right?
He spelled out the doubts in his mind, and Long Ritian replied, “Gu Xia-shixiong has been stationed in Schism Ocean for the past few years, and I heard that he made several major contributions too.”
Schism Ocean was the boundary that separated the human realm from the Yao Detention Mountain and was highly perilous. Although that place was heavily guarded by disciples belonging to the 3 major sects and 1 temple all year round, the situation faced by the Gu family disciple was almost equivalent to exile.
Jing Yue sighed inwardly. Considering the fact that Frostcloud Sect had turned for the better, the people who did no major mistakes should be pardoned too.
He turned his attention to other things. Across the street, he saw many people crowding around a medicinal shop, and said, “Does that medicinal shop belong to Frostcloud Sect?”
“Exactly.” Long Ritian immediately said enthusiastically, “Laozu, in recent years, the pills concocted by Frostcloud Sect has made waves all over the cultivation world, and many claimed that it is not inferior to those sold by the major pill sects.”
Long Ridi, “Apparently, many rogue cultivators and disciples from the smaller sects will snap up the pills from our medicinal shops and sell it elsewhere.”
Of course Jing Yue already knew about this, but since the Long brothers were so excited, he listened quietly.
He propped up his chin with one hand and his sleeve slid down to reveal a jade-like forearm, his expression focused and serious, his bright black pupils seemed to be concentrated on them alone. Gradually, both the brothers became a little nervous, their words tumbling over each other.
Upon seeing this, blue phoenix sighed quietly.
Jing-jing was getting more suitable to follow the route as a Mary-Sue’s heartthrob. Should it remind him to change role? However, if everyone ended up loving Jing-jing, would it still have the chance to slap face? Such a dilemma!
At this moment, Ji-ji fell into deep contemplation again.
A commotion started at the entrance at this time and they subconsciously turned towards that direction. The brothers’ expressions instantly became ugly.
Jing Yue was puzzled. A young man in exquisite clothes walked in surrounded by a group of people. The man looked like a rich young master, but Jing Yue had not seen him before.
“Who’s the person being surrounded?”
The brothers exchanged a glance. Long Ridi said, “Laozu, he used to be a disciple of Frostcloud Sect.”
Jing Yue, “Used to be? He isn’t one now?”
Long Ridi’s expression was a little peculiar. “He was expelled two years ago.”
Jing Yue was taken aback. Why was he not aware of this? But he quickly realized. At that time, the affairs within the inner gates had already been sorted out, and many wardens and enforcers were already in place, so he rarely intervened in trivial matters.
“Tell me what happened.”
It turned out that the young man’s name was Wang Yishui. He had good talents and originally belonged to the Noble faction.
Wang Yishui had conflicts with Mu Feng. The specifics were no longer available, but when Mu Feng’s cultivation base was eradicated, Wang Yishui humiliated the other party once. Later, after Mu Feng recovered and broke through the inception realm within a short period of time, he then challenged Wang Yishui who was also a level-4 Qi Refining cultivator like him.
That challenge was justified and a core disciple supervised the match. Wang Yishui was defeated and lost miserably.
At the end of the match, when Mu Feng had retracted his power, Wang Yishui took advantage of that slack to sneak an attack, but it was blocked by that core disciple. However, what he did violated the rules of the inner gates, so his cultivation was abolished by the Law Enforcement Hall and he was expelled from Frostcloud Sect.
Jing Yue, “This person attempted to strike out at Mu Feng when he was down, which already shows that his temperament isn’t good. After that, he still didn’t repent. What the Law Enforcement Hall did was correct.”
Seeing that Wang Yishui’s group had been seated, he asked, “Then, he is now…”
Long Ridi, “The sect didn’t abolish his Dantian, so he can still cultivate if he starts from scratch. I think he may have joined another sect in Credence City.”
Jing Yue, “Ministone Gate?”
Long Ridi, “With his aptitude, he won’t set his sights on Ministone Gate. It’s most likely Moonedge Pavilion, the largest sect near Credence City.”
Jing Yue smiled. “He seems to be taken seriously now.”
Jing Yue was unperturbed. The punishment had been doled out. No matter where the other party went in the future, he would no longer have anything to do with Frostcloud Sect.
However, the Long brothers’ expressions remained unpleasant. For them, Wang Yishui’s transfer to another sect was seen as a betrayal, and their pride as disciples of Frostcloud Sect made it unbearable for them.
Jing Yue advised, “That matter is already over. Maybe his destiny belongs here?”
His persuasion fell on deaf ears, but blue phoenix was alerted instead.
“You’re right! There’s a type of protagonist that follows this trope! Abandoned by the orthodox sect, they finally blackened and went further on the road of demonic cultivation. Although he is a demon, he is most emotional and instinctive, and even portrays the righteous ways as hypocrites!”
Jing Yue, “Let me remind you that there are no demonic cultivators in the Evernorth region. The Moonedge Pavilion is an orthodox sect.”
Blue phoenix rolled its eyes. “Of course I know! There is another genre where the protagonist is…”
Jing Yue slammed on the table abruptly. The Long brothers got such a fright that they dropped their chopsticks.