Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
For Chen Fan, the most important thing at the moment was to regain his power.
The progression of cultivation was divided into eight levels:
Qi Refinement, Connate, Golden Core, Nascent Soul, Soul Formation, Void, Reunion, and Tribulation.
Although his teacher, Cangqin the Immortal Cultivator had lived for eight hundred and forty thousand years, he had just reached the seventh level. Once the cultivator reached the seventh level, he was granted the title “True Immortal” and could live up to a hundred thousand years.
In this universe, a seventh level “True Immortal” would be revered as the embodiment of power and invincibility. Their powers would allow them to crush the stars, swallow the sun, and even create another dimension beyond space and time.
In the past five hundred years, Chen Fan had reached the eighth level: Tribulation, surpassing his teacher and earned the title of the: “Celestial Lord.”
However, Tribulation was too far away and too much for Chen Fan to worry about right now.
“I came back to the Earth once during my cultivation. At that time, the Earth’s Spirit Qi was completely exhausted, and it was no longer suitable for the cultivators to live.” Compared to the earth, the realm of “Cangming”—an alternative universe created by his teacher Cangqin—was a much better place for cultivators to harness energy. Chen Fan reflected his last visit to Earth as he started to sense the Qi surroundings him right now.
The last time he returned to the Earth, it would be more than a hundred years later in this current timeline, and by that time, he would already be a successful cultivator.
He ferried across billions of realms that separated him from the Earth in order to reach his home town, but he was disappointed in the end. The earth was no longer the same place as he remembered. The old national-state system had fallen apart, and the humans had formed the Earth Federation. After the humans colonized Mars, they stepped out of the solar system and entered the era of interstellar traveling.
Chen Fan had continued to live on the earth for another twenty years, and he did not sense the presence of any other cultivators.
“The Spirit Qi in this world right now was slightly more available than that of a hundred years later, but it was by no means abundant.” He shook his head silently. “Even if there is a cultivator, they will be at level two at the most.”
“I am afraid that I am still the only cultivator on earth.”
Chen Fan knew very well what it meant. It meant that as long as he could regain a fraction of his power, he could lord over this world with ease. Chen Fan also knew that he didn’t need advanced technology in order to reach his goals; he only needed to reach level two in his cultivation.
Without reaching level two, one can not even call himself a “cultivator.”
With the wealth of knowledge he had accumulated over the five hundred years, Chen Fan wagered that it would take him only a few years to reach that stage.
“The Spirit Qi is quite inconsistent around here; I better find a place with a stronger presence of Qi to help my cultivation.”
“If I can locate a numinous treasure, I will be sure to break through the second level in under three years.”
The thought of acquiring a numinous treasure amused Chen Fan, “What am I thinking? With such meager amount of Qi on the earth, there wouldn’t be any herbs left for me much less numinous treasures.”
As Chen Fan mulled over his predicament, the vehicle had pulled over to Auntie Tang’s house.
Chen Fan’s accommodation was located at the edge of downtown. Facing the enormous Yangui Lake, it was considered a high-quality mid-range property in the Chu Zhou City. On the other hand, the Tangs lived in a suburban development in Yunshan District, which was only a few minutes drive from Chen Fan’s place.
The car followed a highway that hugged the lake, and it eventually led them to the foot of the Yunwu Mountain. Chen Fanyi saw the name of the suburb development:
Dragon’s View Garden.
Chen Fan recalled that the Dragon’s View Garden was a high-end residential development in the Chu Zhou City. A small bungalow in this area would cost as much as two million even before the real estate boom.
Auntie Tang lowered the rear view mirror and saw fascination in Chen Fan’s eyes.
“The Yunwu mountain was the most famous landmark here in the Chu Zhou City other than the Yangui Lake. The Dragon’s View was only the mid-tier development around this area. Maybe later we will go further into the mountain, and I will show you some villas. They make our house look like a shed in their backyard. You should come to visit us early in the morning too; the entire mountain will be shrouded in mist, hence its name, ‘Yun-wu’: cloudy-mist.”
There was a hint of envy in Auntie Tang’s voice while she spoke about those villas high up in the mountains.
“Up there, the cheapest house cost more than ten million. It was developed by the richest man in Chu Zhou City and only his friends and the billionaires from the south could afford those properties. I could probably buy only a kitchenette even if I sold my company,” Auntie Tang shook her head and then sighed.
“The richest man in Chu Zhou City… The Shen family?” Chen Fan thought.
“Your house looks very big in my opinion. Our family lived in a 100-square-meter home in our county; it was a government subsidized property.”
Chen Fan paused and then said, “If auntie really likes those houses, I will buy you a few of them once I start to make money. I will make sure you can wake up every day to look down at the sea of cloudy mists beneath you.”
What was a villa to someone who could have the entire universe? He would have whatever his heart desired as soon as he reached level two.
Auntie Tang was pleased by Chen Fan’s words. She said, “Very well, I will take you up on it! Tell your mother to come live with me. To hell with her real estate company! Your mother and sister are two brave souls, trying to make a living in the metropolis where they have no one to turn to. If she retires now, we can go shopping together, or go to the spa if we really run out of things to do. What a life that will be, eh?”
Jiang Churan listened to the conversation, and she was not very impressed by what she heard.
Not even the richest classmate she knew could have promised to buy a villa up in the mountains as a gift. Everyone knew that only the richest of the rich could afford living up there.
“It seems that he is just like the others, full of empty talk and no real action.”
She was slightly disappointed at Chen Fan. She had thought that this boy from the countryside would be different than city boys, but it seemed that she was wrong.
The decoration in Auntie Tang’s home was elegant, in style, and exquisite in their craftsmanship. From the paintings on the wall to the blue-white porcelain vase on the table, it was evident that the Tang family was not only wealthy but also well-educated and had good taste in fine arts.
After entering the hall, Chen Fan saw a middle-aged man sitting on the sofa, wearing a pair of black rimmed glasses. He was watching the news on Tv.
He was Jiang Churan’s father, Jiang Haishan!
He was the deputy director of the Chu Zhou City. Although his rank was not high, he was close to Chu Zhou City’s power center.
Chen Fan bowed to him, and Jiang Haishan nodded absently.
“Come and grab a seat. Ran-ran, why don’t you go to the kitchen and make some tea for your dad and our guest? Can you guys wait a few minutes for dinner? I need to heat up some dishes.” Auntie Tang spoke as she entered the kitchen.
Jiang Churan nodded and took out a box of purple clay tea set made by a renowned artist from the Town of Yixin.
Chen Fan was pleasantly surprised by Jiang Churan’s tea-making techniques; her movement was fluid and smooth like flowing water while her focus on the craft didn’t allow a single drop to be spilled. It was evident that she had trained under a skilled teacher—a detail that Chen Fan did not notice in his previous life.
Jiang Haishan’s eyes were glued to the TV, and he didn’t turn around to face the guest until the news was over.
“How is your father, Reeve Chen doing? The last time I met him was at a government meeting six months ago.”
“He is doing well. Thank you for asking.” Chen Fan said politely.
Chen Fan’s father was the deputy magistrate of the Si Shui County, and although his rank was similar to that of Jiang Haishan, his jurisdiction was a remote county instead of a bustling city.
Jiang Haishan nodded, “Your father is young and full of potential. His proposal, the “Sustainable Development of County Economy and the Selection and Application of Environmental Protection Policies,” was praised by the mayor. The mayor said that your father has an international perspective, and he agreed with your father that the future economic development is inseparable from environmental protection.”
Chen Fan nodded with a blank smile. Why would he think that a high school boy would be interested in boring politics? If Chen Fan could have understood half of what Jiang Haishan had just spilled out from his mouth, he wouldn’t have bankrupted his mother’s company.
Seeing that Chen Fan was not interested in he said, Jiang Haishan frowned slightly and then changed the topic.
“I have heard from your auntie that your mother’s real estate company in Zhong Hai City is developing very fast. Many experts are predicting that the country’s property market will grow substantially next year. Your mother has chosen a good field.”
Chen Fan smiled and said, “My mother’s company was insignificant compared to that of Auntie Tang.”
Jiang Haishan shook his head. “You think too highly of her. Her company hired only a dozen people, earning merely hundreds of thousands a year. How would that compare to your mother’s corporation.”
Chen Fan hurried a humble reply, “I am not being modest at all. My mother had only a few people working under her, and that’s all the help she gets. She had to run between the contractors and the developers and deal with endless paperwork. It’s a hard job with not that much money.”
“Oh?” Jiang Haishan frowned.
What Chen Fan had told him was drastically different than what he had heard from his wife. Judging by his first impression of the boy, Jiang Haishan was convinced that Chen Fan was not lying. Therefore, he wagered that the rumors about Chen Fan’s mother he had heard before were exaggerated.
Chen Fan’s description of the company sounded more realistic, as well. It was started by a woman and her daughter in a place where they knew no one and had no connections. Building up a real estate empire so quickly seemed too good to be true regardless of how hard the mother-daughter pair had worked.
So thinking, the smile on Jiang Haishan’s face faded away slowly.
“How are your grades?” Jiang Haishan asked.
Chen Fan smiled and said, “I was the top five hundred in our county, and I have heard that your daughter ranked in the top fifty at the school. I think I will need her help at school.”
Si Shui County had the lowest education ranking among all counties under the Chu Zhou City government. Without being in the top ten in the Si Shui County, Chen Fan had no chance in entering even a second-tier university, much less a top-tier.
Jiang Haishan’s brow furrowed even deeper after hearing Chen Fan’s answer; the remaining traces of a smile on his face evaporated completely.
“Your mother had sent you to Chu Zhou City to study, not for fun. Your family can only help you for a while, but not forever. If you want to be successful, you have to rely on yourself. Education is a stepping stone, no matter which field you are in.”
Chen Fan was caught off guard by Jiang Haishan’s sudden outburst. He erased the smile he was wearing and answered, “You are right, Uncle Jiang.”
Although achieving high academic standing was not Chen Fan’s highest priority, once he advanced in his cultivation, getting into a top-tier university should be a piece of cake.
After exchanged a few more words with Chen Fan, Jiang Haishan was disappointed by the boy’s lack of knowledge and ambition. He could not help but secretly shake his head in disappointment. It was evident that what his wife had told him about the boy was simply not true.
He had also met the son of the deputy mayor and was very impressed by his appearance as well as his wealth of knowledge in economics and politics. Chen Fan failed to measure up to his most basic requirement for a future son in law.
It seems like I have a lot to talk to discuss with my wife, Jiang Haishan lamented in his mind.
He knew his wife wanted to set up his daughter with the son of her best friend. He didn’t protest her plan at first, but after meeting Chen Fan for the first time, he realized that he had to weigh-in.
My daughter would not fall for him anyway, Jiang Haishan thought. He was confident in his daughter’s judgment.