Translator: Atlas Studios
Editor: Atlas Studios
Melodious bell chimes resonated between the clouds as the Primordial Five Continents, which were located at the center of the Trichiliocosm1, welcomed a new dawn. The sun rose from the east as the stars faded into the vault of heaven.
On the north-west of the East Continent of Purvavideha1, at an inconspicuous corner near the Middle Continent, a gigantic array formation covered the dozens of emerald mountains below it. The array formation was smooth as silk and appeared similar to an inverted crystal bowl.
Under the bright sun rays, the walls of the array formation radiated colorful bursts of light. Waves of visible spiritual energy drifted within the array formation.
Divine creatures and spiritual beasts were playing in the mountains. Shadows appeared briefly in between the clouds occasionally.
Waves of smoke spiraled upwards as music from the string instruments danced in the air.
Many people were sitting in a lotus position and practicing breathing exercises at the clearing beside the houses in the woods. Some were also floating freely in the sky. It appeared like a picture of an immortal mountain.
As the morning rays shone on the array formation, a white cloud drifted towards it from the East Ocean.
Two shadows were standing on the cloud—one was tall, and the other was shorter. The taller person was an old Daoist priest. Beside him was a sweet girl, who seemed to be around eight or nine years old.
“The clouds were never-ending, and so were our thoughts. Yet, why is there a need to worry when the gentle breeze blew at our sides?”
The old Daoist priest sang emotionally.
“When the Primordial World was created, the Great Dragon-Phoenix War soon erupted. Time flew by in a snap of the fingers.
“The pavilion leading to the Platform of the Immortals could not be seen. Only the magnificent songs from above the heavens could be heard.
“Overcoming one’s obstacles, helping others with their obstacles, and crossing the river of troubles. Laughing at humans, laughing at the gods, and preventing disasters.
“Why does one miss his homeland? Their ancestors have risked their lives and achieved serenity.
“Ling’e, listen up!
“According to the legends, after the ancient Great Mage-Demon War, the humans won the upper hand in achieving Heavenly Dao. The humans at the Qi Refinement Realm gradually occupied most places apart from the North Continent of Uttarakuru. We are spread out across the Trichiliocosm and can be found within thousands of first-order clusters. However, the South Continent of Jambudvipa was where humans’ destiny lies, and thus we are prohibited from entering there.
“We are now in the East Continent. This is one of the best cultivation places in the Three Realms.
“Ling’e, look at these immortal mountains in front. Don’t they look delicately beautiful and magnificent?”
The little girl nodded obediently. Her beautiful eyes batted lightly. An eager smile appeared between her chubby cheeks that were full of baby fats.
She opened her mouth and answered, “Yeah. It’s very magnificent, indeed!” Her voice sounded like the chirpings of a newborn bird—it was melodious yet timid.
“Being able to occupy a spirit meridian close to the Middle Continent proves that our sect is indeed very powerful!”
The old Daoist priest combed through his beard and smiled in contentment. He shook his horsetail whisk to express his pride in his sect.
The girl in a lotus dress asked softly, “Master, why don’t we choose to occupy a spirit meridian in the Middle Continent instead?”
The old Daoist priest did not have an answer to that. He forced a laugh and said, “There are too many powerful people in the Middle Continent. We would face many troubles daily if we occupied a spirit meridian in the Middle Continent. This place is more tranquil and free, Ling’e.”
The little girl cupped her hands, lowered her head, and replied, “Yes, I’m listening!”
“I am leading you into the path to immortality. From now onwards, you must focus on your cultivation. Do not slack off in the process. You must aim to succeed in your cultivation early, go down the path to become an immortal, pursue immortality, and reap the fruits to your efforts in practicing Dao!”
The little girl tilted her head and asked softly, “But, Master… have you ascended to become an immortal?”
The old Daoist priest covered his mouth and coughed. “I made some mistakes in my cultivation several years ago. However, I will reach Immortal Ascension in about 10 to 20 years.
“Let’s go. Follow me into the array formation.
“You must remember that the name of our sect is the Immortal Du Sect. Our ancestor who created the sect is the famous Perfected Du’e from West Kunlun. The Dao that we inherited is the Single Qi Heaven Regularization Dao. This is a complex but exceptional cultivation technique to achieve immortality!
“Do you remember what I have said? This will lead you in your cultivation in the future. You must not forget it.”
“Yes! I have remembered it all!”
The little girl nodded her head earnestly. The old Daoist priest flicked his horsetail whisk and directed the white cloud to gradually approach the array formation in front. He took out a palm-size jade token and held it in his hand.
As the jade token emitted beautiful green lights, a crack slowly appeared on the array formation that protected the mountains. The old Daoist priest and the little girl entered the array formation on the white cloud.
Just as the master and disciple entered the array formation, a few white cranes glided in between the clouds and approached them. A few youngsters, who were clad in Daoist robes or colorful dresses, were standing on the cranes. They were the inner sect disciples who were currently responsible for patrolling the mountains.
They came forward and greeted the old Daoist priest by the title Martial Uncle Qi Yuan. After finding out that this little girl was the old Daoist priest’s new disciple, they left swiftly on the white cranes.
The little girl’s large eyes sparkled and reflected the two graceful female disciples’ silhouettes as they left.
“Master, when can Ling’e move freely in the air on the immortal cranes?”
“You will be able to do that on any objects once you manage to cultivate the Five Qi in your chest.” The old Daoist priest combed through his beard and smiled. “You may think that what you saw were immortal cranes, but they were actually all formed from some Dharma artifacts. Do not be impatient. Cultivation takes time.
“I will first bring you to our mountain peak before settling the various administrative procedures pertaining to you entering the sect.
“Including you and me, our line of succession only has three people. Despite so, we occupy a mountain within the sect. It is our absolute honor to be awarded that.”
When Qi Yuan talked about that, his old and wrinkled face displayed some pride.
However, the little girl’s focus was not on the fact that they ‘occupied their own mountain’. She counted with her fingers.
“Master, but there are only two of us.”
“Oh? Didn’t I tell you on the way here? Look at my memory.”
Qi Yuan lifted his head and looked at the clouds that were drifting by. He said nonchalantly, “You have a Senior Martial Brother before you. I took him in as a disciple 100 years ago. Now, he could be… yeah, could be considered a talented cultivator who is responsible for his own cultivation.
“It’s just that… Hehehe…”
The little girl stood on tiptoe. “Master, your laugh is so weird.”
“Ling’e, you must remember…” Qi Yuan looked down at his precious disciple, whom he had just picked up from a third-order universe. His expression was solemn, and there was light in his eyes. The creases on his face seemed to form a huge word—solemn.
The little was exceptionally gifted in cultivation and was a little clever. Since she was young, she had been familiar with ceremonial formalities and was very knowledgeable. Seeing how solemn her master appeared, she focused her attention and listened attentively.
The old Daoist priest suddenly sighed softly and appeared like a balloon that was losing air. He said in a hushed voice, “Your big Senior Martial Brother had also experienced some problems with his cultivation. He seemed to be saying nonsense all the time and would harbor some unorthodox and controversial opinions.
“You can ask him to teach and help you with your cultivation in the future, but you must most definitely ensure that you do not heed his morals on being a man!
“I will focus my attention on teaching you how to behave and conduct yourself.”
The little girl blinked. Although she did not really understand what her master said, she nodded and answered obediently, “Yes! I will follow what you said!”
The old Daoist priest finally let out a breath after hearing that. He pointed the horsetail whisk that he was holding in front and shook it.
“Look. This is our Little Qiong Peak.”
As one’s gaze followed the direction of the horsetail whisk’s tail, they would see a ‘malnourished’ and short mountain peak that was situated in the middle of several tall mountain peaks.
All other places within the sect looked like sculptures and drawings in the forest or sky-high roofs and pagodas on the mountain peak. Meanwhile, this mountain peak was much more rustic and simple. It looked like a place where no one would usually go.
Many precious creatures were walking in the lush bushes. The only infrastructure there were the two straw huts beside the small lake by the hillside and the few herb gardens beside the straw huts.
The old Daoist priest seemed very satisfied with his mountain peak. He drove the white cloud, landed directly at the hillside with the little girl, and passed a simple array formation.
This array formation could only prevent outsiders from detecting what was happening inside. Because of the restrictions in the Immortal Du Sect, within the gigantic array formation that protected the mountains, only the array formation at the restricted area in the mountain behind had defensive properties.
As they landed in front of the hut, the white cloud dissipated by itself.
The little girl’s canvas boots stepped on the short grass that was still dripping morning dew. The grass was gentle and soft. The scent of the grass and trees lingered in the gentle breeze. She could not help but indulge herself in the beautiful lake view and scenery. A gasp leaked from in between her soft, pink lips.
The surface of the small lake twinkled as the morning rays on the mountain shone on it.
The few spiritual fish in the lake leaped above the water surface, and crystal-like water droplets accompanied them. They seemed to be welcoming the little cultivator that newly arrived.
The old Daoist priest smiled as he observed his little disciple’s reactions. He raised his voice and said, “Changshou, why aren’t you here to meet your Junior Martial Sister?”
The little girl instinctively looked at the hut with shut doors. Anticipation grew in her heart.
Her senior martial brother had been cultivating in the immortal sect. He must be wise, heroic, and charming. He would definitely be similar to the demon-slaying heroes that she had been hearing about from the legendary tales from a young age.
However, the hut was quiet. No noise could be heard from inside.
The old Daoist priest shouted again, “Changshou? Why are you hiding in the house? Are you being shy?”
The old Daoist priest muttered to himself while dragging the little girl towards the hut. “This is weird. I could detect that his aura was still lingering in the room.” He lifted his hands and pushed the two wooden doors open. A strange medicinal scent blew in his face. The old Daoist priest darted his eyes and saw the origin of the aura that he had detected—a paper doll that was placed on the wooden bed!
The old Daoist priest and the young girl suddenly started wobbling back and forth. The expression on the old Daoist priest’s face changed immediately. He dragged the little girl and started evacuating hastily. While he was moving, he could not help but curse out loud, “Oh, no! It’s the Immortal Enervating Scent that Changshou had concocted!”
The little girl felt that the universe was spinning. Although her master pulled her, she started falling to one side immediately.
As she was falling, the little girl could not resist looking in the direction of the splash.
On the surface of the lake, a lean silhouette appeared to be reaching for the skies. He was only wearing black trousers. His sturdy and evenly-distributed muscles were shimmering faintly under the sunlight. As he moved, two streams of sparkling water followed the movements of his long drenched hair.
The amount of sunlight was just right. When this young man’s relatively handsome face showed up before the little girl’s eyes, her face flushed red instantly.
However, she had yet to start on her cultivation, and there was no way she could withstand the effects of the medicinal scent. She had already lost consciousness before landing on the ground. Her face was still burning red.
Just as she had expected—the valiant big senior martial brother of her dreams!