Chapter 0: Regarding Whether Or Not One Should Ascend

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T/N: MUST READ: Zhen: Zhen is the chinese word for truth, the actual, the real. Cultivators before they reach Xian (daoist immortal), they must xiuzhen a.k.a. cultivate Truth or Real, trying to reach that pure state of True Self. Reverting to Xiantian (the untainted state before one is born, before heaven, before descending on this impure world, before creation) is often just one of the steps along the way.

With the arrival of the mundane era, the spiritual qi of heaven and earth gradually thinned. The road to immortality became incomparably difficult.

Unlike the cultivators of the ancient glorious era, modern people paid a huge price in perseverance, as well as countless rare treasures, for every stride made in their cultivation. Even so, not a single person managed to reach the legendary highest realm of cultivation, the Mahayana realm!

Mahayana: it is the final realm of cultivating Zhen. Only after surviving Nine Heavenly Tribulations could a cultivator truly reach this realm. Countless absolutely stunning cultivators were reduced to ashes on the wind by the awesome and terrifying might of heaven of earth.

It was a pity that none of this counted for much in front of Ye Xing.

Today was his eighteenth birthday. It was also the day he would undergo tribulation. Normal cultivators at this age had just stepped onto their road of cultivation. He, on the other hand, had already reached the end of his road of cultivation.

Speaking of which, it was somewhat sad. He himself did not understand how he ended up cultivating to the Mahayana realm.

Qi Refinement at age three, Foundation Building at age five, Gold Core at age seven, all the way to Tribulation, he never encountered the thing known to other cultivators as ‘bottleneck’.

Of course, this did not mean that he had it easy during in his path of cultivation. Starting from the Qi Refinement realm, that old fart used various unnamed and unnamable substances to mix medicinal baths. Moreover, he was forced to take these baths everyday.

Each and every ingredient of that medicinal bath was enough to make a Gold Core daoist go bankrupt, or make a Nascent Soul daoist shed bitter tears. The water of the medicinal bath overflowed with so much spiritual qi that a normal Gold Core cultivator might explode and die after soaking for an eighth of an hour. The him of that time, who was still in the Qi Refinement realm, foolishly listened to his master’s instructions and jumped in. The surging spiritual qi almost gave him a stroke. If not for the strengthened constitution provided by the “Nine Nine Profound Technique” he cultivated, the following story probably would not exist.

In the past ten or more years, other than occasionally going out with his master to experience actual combat, the rest of his time was all spent on cultivation. And then… he accidentally cultivated to the Mahayana realm.

It should be said that the old fart had not shown up ever since Ye Xing reached the Tribulation realm. Even though he was undergoing tribulation today, not a single trace of his master could be seen.

‘Could it be that my master went to that god-forsaken place again to perform health maintenance? Master was a VIP client there, after all,’ thought Ye Xing as he raised his middle finger to the sky. He gazed at the continuously condensing and flickering lightning tribulation—the tiny bit of its aura that dispersed into the air was sufficient to cause Tribulation realm cultivators to shrink back.

Historically, when cultivators underwent the Nine Heavenly Tribulations, they would normally find a paradise rich in spiritual qi, or a completely secured secret location, or even have tens of thousands of people guard them, all in order to guarantee success.

However, in his case, not only did he randomly choose a bare mountain top with nothing in sight, there were even people coming to attack him.

“Shameless devil! Return my 10,000 year spiritdeer branch!” roared a violent old man with wrinkles all over his face, pure white hair and beard, and an immortal sword in his hand. The look in his eyes was as if someone had slept with his dao companion. No, perhaps compared to sleeping with his dao companion, snatching his spiritdeer branch was even more unacceptable.

Wasn’t it just some heavenly treasure that was difficult to encounter even in 10,000 years? You look way too anxious. When one gets ahold of something like that, naturally the faster you eat it up the better. By now, it’s probably digested to the point where only saliva is left…

“Shameless devil! Return my immortal pet!” a middle-aged cultivator shouted from side with a rather similar expression on his face.

Are you talking about that big white rabbit? When one gets ahold of something like that, naturally the faster you eat it up the better yo…

“Shameless devil! Return my dao companion!”

Are you talking about that cute little loli? When one gets ahold of something like that, naturally the faster you…wait a minute, what the heck did that old fart do?

Surrounding the bare mountain top, more than ten Tribulation realm cultivators all pointed their swords toward the young man experiencing tribulation. Any one among them was a big shot in the current cultivation world. Normally, should one of them visit any sect or school, they would be welcomed with the highest honors. A few of them were even enemies under any other circumstance, but today they faced off against a common enemy.

Regardless of what the old fart did to make so many people show up at the same time during his tribulation, the things they were looking for couldn’t be returned anyways, so Ye Xing couldn’t be bothered to care about them. He focused on enduring his tribulation.

The process of tribulation was heart-stopping and soul-shaking.

The first eight tribulations took the form of lightning. Each streak was powerful enough to reduce a Tribulation realm cultivator to less than dust! Moreover, they could only be faced head-on. This was also why all the big shots of the cultivation world only dared to hoot from the outer fringes, and did not dare to go up and pick a fight.

Ye Xing cultivated the Nine Nine Profound Technique. It was one of the cultivation world’s rare body-refining cultivation techniques. It pursued the path of becoming immortal through one’s physical body, without relying on any external strength.

Thus, he chose to headbutt the tribulation lightning.

After receiving eight strikes of tribulation lightning, Ye Xing rubbed at his scorched hair, wondering to himself whether or not he should change his hairstyle.

The big shots encircling him were shocked silly. Tribulation lightning could be dealt with like this? Did he cultivate the rumored Iron Head Technique from antiquity?

Whatever the case, the final strike of the Nine Heavenly Tribulation was the legendary inner demon tribulation.

Inner demon tribulation targeted the cultivator’s immortal heart. It ignored all defenses. If it was not endured, then the cultivator would crumble apart from the inside, without any chance of survival. This was also the chance for these big shots to get their revenge. While enduring the inner demon tribulation, the cultivator could not move. Their ability to defend themselves was reduced to the lowest point. That was why everyone chose remote and quiet locations for their tribulation, in order to guard against the unexpected.

All the cultivators glanced back and forth. Finally it was the violent old man who took the lead.

“Charge!”

It was truly a world shaking battle. Countless greater divine abilities that normal cultivators would rarely encounter in their lifetimes seemed to appear as if performed in formation. Mountains and lakes shook in upheaval. Heaven and earth lost color. The remnants of destructive qi from this battle would cause the land to remain barren for many decades.

A truly epic battle that could not be described even with 18,000 words occurred here.

Afterward, those big shots laid before Ye Xing in a disordered mess, vomiting blood. There were also fragments of various broken immortal treasures scattered across the ground. In truth, he didn’t want this to happen either. However, each and every one of these guys was more worked up than he was. If the outside world knew they were defeated like this, the entire cultivation world would become a mess.

However, he was going to ascend anyways. He did not intend on publicizing this matter either.

“Wait! You can’t ascend yet!”

A streak of rainbow light flew out from the body of the violent old man who was vomiting blood. It quickly shifted into human form. This was an anima possession technique, a skill that only high-level cultivators could master.

Yes, still this familiar face, still this familiar voice, and still this familiar vulgarity—if this person dared to stand in front of him now, he would certainly use his Mahayana realm cultivation and might to communicate with them intensely.

“Why shouldn’t I ascend? To play mahjong with you?” Ye Xing replied.

“Listen to me first, alright? If you ascend right now, the situation will be really bad.”

Do you know what you’re saying? It’s already near the climax, and you’re asking us to force it back? There’s nothing worse than this, you know?

“Your entire cultivation journey was too successful. I’m afraid even the tribulation was merely a piece of cake for you.”

That’s right, it really was successful, almost as if all the struggles other people had to undergo were cut out and he only needed to level up. In truth, this really… was quite boring.

But what could he do? It wasn’t his fault that he was strong.

“However, this will leave imperfections in your road of cultivation. To cultivate Zhen, other than the physical body reverting to Zhen, one must also find their True Self. For the former, you have already achieved the very pinnacle, obtaining the strongest might. But the latter, you have not necessarily completed. Finding your True Self is an important part of reverting to Zhen, returning to your true state. No matter how blessed or talented one is, this is not a step that can be skipped.

Oh? This was a new concept. Wasn’t the popular trend of the cultivation world supposed to be ‘the weak are prey for the strong’, ‘only strength truly matters’, ‘the law of the jungle’ and those kinds of things? When you first threw the Nine Nine Profound Technique in front of me, didn’t you always inculcate me with ideology of the fist?

The old fart’s words seemed to open a new door for him, allowing him to reassess his journey of cultivation.

There was some sense in the old fart’s words. To directly skip over ‘every dog has its day’, without experiencing any canceled engagements, face-slapping, or other such scenarios, it simply felt as if his life were lacking something. Just like a story that had just started with only a couple thousand words and yet it was about to end. Even without all this, simply based on his intuition, he could faintly sense that his cultivation had not yet reached complete perfection. This was a very mysterious feeling that had nothing to do with his cultivation realm.

Also, why was he in such a rush to ascend? Who stipulated that one must ascend after tribulation? Did they ask the opinion of the person involved? He was only 17 years and 364 days old. Compared to those big shots who were thousands of years old, wasn’t he practically a newborn?

And what really crushed down on Ye Xing was the final phrase.

“As the first Mahayana realm immortal in this mundane era, you’ve never been in love, have you?”

Pfffff—!

Bang bang—!

When hitting someone, don’t hit the face! When hurting someone, don’t hurt the heart! Why are you jabbing at the sore spot? Do you want to fight? All my time was spent on cultivation, how would I find time to be in love? Even if I had the time, there were no girls by my side! Whose fault was it that I hadn’t experienced love? Whose fault was it that I underwent secluded cultivation deep in the mountains for ten or more years? Whose fault was it that other than cultivation, I had nothing else to do? In the end, it was all your fault!

Ye Xing seemed to experience a pain greater than the Nine Heavenly Tribulation. Despite being a magnificent Mahayana realm cultivator unequaled under heaven, in the end, he hadn’t even held hands with a girl. If this becomes known to future cultivators, they will give him a title similar to ‘Single Celestial’, ‘Forever Alone Immortal’, or ‘Lone Woof Cultivator’.

Being the first cultivator to survive the Nine Heavenly Tribulation in the mundane era, he felt a heavy responsibility.

To make a long story short, the battle between the first Mahayana cultivator of the mundane era and more than ten of the strongest experts of the cultivation world was recorded down by the various great sects as the Battle of Beseeching Heaven. Excepting those few sect elders of profound cultivation, no one else knew the outcome of this battle. They only heard that the situation at the time was exceptionally dire, and even immortal treasures were damaged and destroyed.

After that battle, the Mahayana cultivator disappeared without a trace. Some say he already broke through the void and ascended. Others say he remained in cultivation world.

All hot topics would inevitably cool off. Every aspect of the Battle of Beseeching Heaven was eventually recorded into history books for future cultivators flip through.

As for Ye Xing? Of course he didn’t ascend! Even without considering what kind of thing ascension actually was, despite being despicable, the old fart’s words usually held some value. If the old fart said his journey of cultivation was not yet complete, then there should be some reason for it.

The solution was also quite simple. His problem was that his journey of cultivation was too successful. He possessed Mahayana realm strength, but lacked Mahayana realm experience. In that case, wouldn’t it be fine if he just gained some experience? The best approach would be to start from the bottom, and try out everything that a normal cultivator would experience.

In any case, all of those words came from the old fart. Even if something did go wrong, so long as he stayed in this world, he could always find the person at fault.

For the sake of preventing accidents, he even casually sealed his Nine Nine Profound Technique. Only when he encountered a special situation would he be able to use it. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any point in this training.

A Mahayana realm daoist instantly transformed into a Qi Refinement trash, even his ambiance underwent a shocking transformation. He was confident that even Tribulation realm cultivators could not see through him.

For the next step, he should find a sect and start from scratch, experiencing the hundred flavors of life, just like in all those immortal cultivation stories.

Right now, he just happened to be standing at the food of a mountain in front of a sect that met his criteria. Feeling proud of his success, he could not help but feel a bit emotional inside. After living in seclusion for 17 years and cultivating to Mahayana realm, today, he was finally setting foot in the cultivation world.

Immortal Destiny Sect

Not a bad name, might as well choose you.

IMCF1

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