The #1 Pretty Boy of the Immortal Path

Chapter 1 - Memory of a Failed Tribulation


Chapter 1 – Memory of a Failed Tribulation

author: Yi Shi Si Zhou (一十四洲)

translator: Lanlan

proofreader: Elestrea

A dense mass of black clouds piled up above the city like the black center of a maelstrom. A flash of lightning split open a gash in the sky and a clap of rolling thunder reverberated.

At that moment, a few young people were gathered together, talking nonsense far and wide.

“Speaking of that roommate of mine… That one called Lin Shu.” One of the youths clicked his tongue. “It’s like he’s sick. I’ve never seen him speak a single sentence.”

The person next to him popped open the tab of a can of beer and agreed: “To say he’s mute would be flattery. He’s completely expressionless. Quickly go find your own place to live. I seriously don’t want to see him, fuck.”

The loud, echoing crack of thunder was earsplitting. In its deafening midst, torrential rain poured down.

They all turned together as if in accord to look out of the window. “So fucking loud.”

The youth who had just been complaining lifted his eyelids and looked up at the sky. He was suddenly struck dumb and his eyes widened.

“This……” He hesitated in astonishment and said, “Lao San, isn’t that that damned guy standing on top of that skyscraper over there?”

Lao San screwed up his very nearsighted eyes: “Yeah, it really is. It’s raining so hard, is that guy really crazy?”

“If it isn’t depression, then it must be autism. Either way, he’s not normal.” The youth snickered, rejoicing in his misfortune. “Hey, Lao San, look! Why do you think he’s holding something in his arms?”

“Mentally ill people are just happier, you know—it looks like a sword.”

But before they could see clearly, something completely beyond their understanding happened.

A huge bolt of purple lightning snaked its way through the black sky in unimaginable radial lines, unexpectedly streaking straight towards the figure on top of the distant building. The light at that moment was so dazzling that no one could clearly see what had happened.

On the street at the foot of the building, many people stood in the pelting rain excitedly taking pictures. Caption: “City X’s thunderstorm is actually like the end of the world, which fellow cultivator is undergoing his tribulation here?”

—That was the last time they ever saw Lin Shu.

When Lin Shu woke up, he became aware that he was lying down. With great effort, he moved his eyes, trying and failing to open them.

“The little idiot’s awake!” A heavily accented voice sounded in his ears.

His body immediately froze. His eyelids were as heavy as Mount Tai, his joints were rusty, and he could barely breathe.

I’m allergic to people, really.

He took a few deep breaths. The air was damp and extremely foul-smelling, smelling of decay.

He tried and failed to circulate his qi, his cultivation base nonexistent.

“Why aren’t you getting up?” That loud, clear voice continued to sound out. It belonged to a middle-aged lady. She seemed to reach out her hand, stretching it out to him.

Imagining the body heat that was currently approaching, Lin Shu’s senses kicked into overdrive and he suddenly opened his eyes.

The woman jumped in surprise when he opened his eyes: “Goddamnit!”

Lin Shu was stiff all over and gasped a few breaths. Dizzy, he finally caught sight of his surroundings.

The older woman in front of the bed looked fierce. She wore a hemp aoqun and her hair was coiled up with a thin piece of wood inserted into it. The style of dress was not modern.

He was in a thatched hut. This hut was extremely shabby. On the walls grew bumpy mold. If one were to film a movie set in ancient times, building a worn-out hut like this was truly not easy.

Lin Shu: “……”

The tragedy of the human world.

He only wanted to undergo a heavenly tribulation—after the tribulation, his ascension was not far off. Unfortunately, he had classes in the evening, so he didn’t have time to leave the city and find a mountain range in the country to undergo his tribulation. He had to choose the tallest building in the area so as not to alarm ordinary people.

If anything, his mistake was choosing that skyscraper. As it turned out, the roof had an enormous lightning rod installed on it. The heavenly lightning did not strike his body, but was completely drawn in by that lightning rod. If a cultivator’s heart was not sincere or his will not strong or he attempted to hide from the heavenly tribulation using outside support, he would without exception be subjected to the wrath of heaven. If the punishment were heavy, he would completely disappear without a trace. If the punishment were light, he would be sent back to start anew, like right now.

Really, he hadn’t thought that the lightning rod would unexpectedly draw in the lightning of the tribulation.

Modern physics, you’re killing me.

Lin Shu took a few breaths and took stock of his body.

His meridians were extremely stagnant and his spiritual roots were bizarre and awful. To say his aptitude was mediocre was simply closing one’s eyes and wildly boasting. For him, trying to cultivate to be an immortal was like a toad wishing to eat swan meat.

He was like a student punished for cheating—not only must he start all over again, but his textbook was also torn up.

The lady saw that lifeless look of his and her anger dissipated. She sighed, saying, “Been an idiot for almost ten years, this isn’t good either—running to out-of-the-way corners all day. This time, you nearly drowned. You have to try to remember more.”

From a distance came a man’s shout. The woman let out an “Ai!” Quickly tucking his quilt in, she turned and left.

Her hand almost brushed across Lin Shu’s neck, causing goosebumps to rise all over his body. He had trouble breathing. It took him a long while to recover.

This was a very normal, well-intentioned act of kindness from that lady, but Lin Shu couldn’t accept bodily contact with anyone. The quilt was oddly damp and ice-cold like iron. Being covered up with it was actually even more uncomfortable than remaining uncovered. It really made one unable to enjoy it.

He waited until the old lady had walked a good distance away to get up from the bed. He pushed open the sticky wooden door and looked outside. His eyes caught on the similarly dilapidated houses, gathered together and spread out in twos and threes like a village. The courtyard he was currently in was located on the outskirts of the village. Around the village itself were fields that lay abandoned. Farther away, it was grey and obscured by fog. Nothing else could be seen.

The sky was strange and so dark it seemed like very early morning, but there were people walking around and smoke from kitchen chimneys was rising in the air. It was also implausible to say that it was dusk, though. The sky was dark grey without stars or moon and there wasn’t any trace of an afterglow brought on by a setting sun. Ghostly shadows flickered and danced, very inauspicious. For a short while, he was unable to think of anything. He wanted to further examine the scene when he saw a villager walking over. He withdrew his leg that was in the process of stepping out of the door and turned, walking back into the room.

The room was certainly nothing to write home about. It was run-down and messy. For furniture, there was only that single bed and a table in front of it. There wasn’t a mirror, so he couldn’t see his appearance. He thought of that lady’s words: “little idiot” and “mad dog.” He surmised that this body unfortunately was indeed a mentally handicapped dear little brother. He also didn’t know what kind of distinguished appearance he had.

Lin Shu rubbed his messy, weed-like hair, feeling a little suffocated.

Just then, the courtyard door was thrown open with a creak. From behind him came the sound of footsteps. He turned his head and saw that it was that lady from before.

The woman was carrying a white bowl. She stepped over the threshold of the door. As if calling out to a dog, she called out, “Little idiot, time to eat!”

After her yell, the little idiot turned his head and looked straight at her. As always, his expression still didn’t resemble that of a normal person, but it was somehow very different from before.

The old lady frowned. “You fell into the water one time, how are you even stupider than before?”

Saying this, she placed the bowl on the table, turned, and walked out.

On this earth, there were not many quiet people. The idiot was one of them as no one would come to chat with a fool. This was what Lin Shu had been seeking (and failing to find) all along, but this way wouldn’t do. He had to communicate with someone or else he would have no choice but to play the part of an idiot his entire life. Although he enjoyed the quietness, he didn’t want to be an idiot—especially this kind of idiot who dwelled in a moldy room covered by a moldy blanket.

Consequently, when the woman had almost left, she heard a trembling voice from behind her say, “……Many thanks.”

Old lady: “Aiya!”

She suddenly turned around. “You’re not an idiot anymore!”

Lin Shu stiffly nodded.

The old lady was almost dancing and gesticulating for joy. She turned and called out in a loud voice, “The little idiot isn’t an idiot anymore!”

A clatter of footsteps sounded. In a moment, a large group of sickly-looking, malnourished villagers gathered at the entrance, all of them stretching their necks excitedly and looking into the room.

“The little idiot isn’t an idiot anymore?”

“That little simpleton really isn’t an idiot anymore?”

“Sure enough, the little idiot isn’t stupid anymore!”

Lin Shu: “……”

Is a fool suddenly becoming intelligent really worthy of this kind of excitement?

The old lady put aside the bowl and advanced toward him, trembling. She grabbed his hand: “You… Can’t you remember anything?”

Lin Shu: “!!!”

Having been grabbed by the woman, his hair was standing straight up all over his body. His eyes turned black. He backed up a few steps as if he had received an electric shock. His soul almost flew out of his body right then.

Unexpectedly, the woman knelt down straightaway. “You must save us!”

Seeing the woman kneeling, the villagers all imitated her, knocking their heads outside. “You must save us!”

Lin Shu moved his mouth. With difficulty, he organized what he wanted to say, wanting to ask why these people were kneeling to him.

Unexpectedly, after having not spoken for so long, he was completely unable to put the words together.

He opened his mouth with difficulty. “What do you want me to do?”

A few people started talking and jabbering all at once, especially most resonant voice of the old lady. Fortunately, although Lin Shu could barely speak, he could still listen, so he tried his best to understand what they meant.

Ten years ago, they had been haunted by an unknown demon or ghost—In the end, it became a great disaster in which the entire village was in imminent peril, but then, a Daoist immortal passed by. Using magic, he would protect the village for ten years, with the condition that he would entrust the villagers with a dazed little simpleton who he said was his apprentice.

The villagers had asked, the magic could protect them for ten years, but what would they do after those ten years?

The Daoist immortal had spoken several vague yet impressive-sounding Buddhist subtleties. He spoke of “waiting for fate’s arrival” and a bunch of other, scammer-like nonsense and then floated away.

Now, when the ten-year-long period was already close to arriving and the magic barrier was on the verge of collapse, the little simpleton was a simpleton no longer. It was clear that fate had arrived. The villagers were naturally overjoyed at the unexpected good news, hoping that the sudden enlightenment of this little idiot would get them a method to respond to the situation.

Lin Shu gazed outside.

It was that same scene—demonic vapor and ghostly fog filled the air in all directions. It was said that life forces were extinguished in the fog, becoming living corpses and ghosts. The entire village could be compared to a lonely island on the sea. Ten years had already passed without any news from the outside world. Even though the villagers had worn out their brains, they hadn’t come up with a way out. And if he also could not come up with a countermeasure, it would be as before and they would be trapped in this place.

He had cultivated the immortal path since childhood and his spiritual foundation was exceptionally good. He had practiced for ten years and had effortlessly drifted with the wind and current to the Mahayana. Now he was banished to this place in accordance with the heavenly law. He was not only trapped, but he actually had to speak to people as well. It was truly an unprecedented challenge for him.

Lin Shu stood there. Taking several deep breaths, he did some constructing in his mind and was finally able to build a complete sentence. He asked, “Is there a sword?”

The villagers all looked at him. Unexpectedly, their knees weakened and they wanted to bow their heads and kowtow to him again.

Who could have expected that once the little idiot was enlightened, he was unexpectedly so unflustered and steady, remaining calm and collected. Sure enough, he had the manner of a very capable person, the immortal really did not deceive us!

The author has something to say:

This world and setting is largely my own creation and I have not kept to the generally established cultivation rankings.

Coming again to a xianxia world, I hope everyone has a pleasant journey =w=

Translator note:

I’ve fallen down another pit you guys. Save me.

This story is super slow-burn, very plot-centric, and quite a bit less comedic than the summary may suggest. I’m excited for you all to join me on this journey!

Also, if you have some ~~money to burn~~, please consider buying the raw chapters on JJ. This author is awesome and amazingly nice and deserves all your love!


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