Volume 1, Chapter 36 – Meridian’s Grade Appraisal, The Beginning Journey to the Future
In the past few months, shocking news was spreading throughout Azurewood Mountain. It was said that the son of Du Luo or Lady Du from the Du Family—Du You—had borrowed the Spirit Shellfish King belonging to the sect to open his meridians. But then, he was killed and robbed by his attendant, Du Bo. Pf whom has now disappeared without a trace. It was suspected that he had met the worst possibilities.
Although the Du Family has tried everything they had to cover up this matter, but how would they conceal the truth from all the ancient family’s eyes and ears?
On the other hand, everyone in the Lower Court was taken for quite a pleasure from this misfortune. The Du Family had always been arrogant and took the Lower Court’s head disciple position nonchalantly, breaking the common customs. So they really deserved this disaster. And now, since the Du Family’s plans and arrangements had completely failed, they would no longer meddle with the Lower Court’s affairs anymore.
After the Lin Family did some bargaining, Lin Yuan obtained his wish to be the Lower Court’s head disciple, and he was really satisfied in achieving this. He had the thoughts that Zhang Yan who was driven down the mountain by Du You would come back again to the mountain. And since Du You had died, it would be strange for Zhang Yan to not = come back to the mountain. But then came another astonishing news…
Having gone for two months, Zhang Yan actually had broken his mortal’s restrictions and successfully opened his meridians and finally stepped onto the Great Dao in one fell swoop. This news was even more shocking than the missing Du You. Suddenly, upon hearing this news, Lin Yuan was dumbfounded for a long time as the previous joy vanished and turned into an ashen and grim feeling
He had been painstakingly worked to assume the Lower Court’s head disciple position, and thought that he was one step ahead of him, but how could Zhang Yan advance so far as to step ahead in front of him? Then, wasn’t his head disciple status just a joke?
Lin Yuan couldn’t help but hate the ancient family’s customs for the first time. Should it not be for the custom to stay in the Lower Court for 16 years, he could have had his meridians opened earlier and went straight to the Upper Court. If it were like this, how would he fall before the younger one, Zhang Yan?
The news also made many disciples from the ancient families dumbfounded for a while, as the Azurewood Mountain didn’t speak anything about it.
But, how many years had it been?
Zhang Yan had gone up in the mountain for about 3 years and was an outer disciple for only half a year. He just descended from the mountain for two months, so how could he successfully open his meridians? Wasn’t Zhang Yan’s aptitude said to be mediocre and could only be a warrior? On the contrary, the one that vowed to take Zhang Yan’s life, the potentially brighter talent Du You, who had gone to the Shellfish Field to open his meridians was actually missing and disappeared. The contrast between the two was really obvious.
Grand Consciousness Peak, the True Crossing Hall.
When Zhang Yan was entering the Hall once again, Shi Shoujing, He Shouxuan, and Chen Shouzhong did not dare to sit on the stone platform, as they walked forward to send respectful gestures.
The Lower Court’s grandmasters’ positions had always been taken by people who were assumed by the sect to not have any big advancement in their cultivation path. To silently manage any mundane daily affairs with ordinary people.
However, once the disciples from the Lower Court had opened their meridians, he could directly enter the Upper Court and become the Sect’s backbone as true disciples. They would be bestowed an immortal cave mansion, concocted pills, Dao manuals, and would naturally have a smooth cultivation path with a future far above theirs. Therefore, they were not just respecting Zhang Yan personally, but rather due to his would be achievement in the future.
“Seen the three grandmasters.”
Although he had successfully opened his meridians, Zhang Yan’s manner didn’t become rude and insolent. He was still respectful and courteous just like in the past. No matter what kind of thoughts these three people had in their minds right now, he indeed got accepted into the Lower Court by them. Therefore, he wasn’t respecting these people’s status, but rather respecting their previous assistance to himself.
Upon seeing Zhang Yan respectful attitude, a good impression grew in Shi Shoujing’s heart.
The three of them were seemingly powerful, but in reality, their authority was not big. They could only suppress the Lower Court’s head disciple due to their cultivation level and had been usually thinking about how to preserve themselves and could only occasionally use the Sect’s rules to discipline the Lower Court’s disciples one or two times. And since Zhang Yan had broken open his immortal meridians at the moment, the Lower Court’s regulations could not even be applied to him. So, he could have ignored them and didn’t place them in his eyes. But after seeing such respectful manners, Shi Shoujing couldn’t help but reply in a benign manner, “Junior Brother Zhang, you have broken open your immortal meridians, hence, from now on you should call us fellow brothers.”
Zhang Yan showed a faint smile and then cupped his hands again, saying, “Three senior brothers are courteous.”
The three people returned back the courtesy once more.
As they were standing, Shou Shoujing carefully looked at Zhang Yan, he could see that his breath produced a strong force of vigor and vitality and it was a clear sign that he had successfully completed his meridians opening process.He couldn’t help but secretly praise in his heart. When he heard the news that Zhang Yan had opened his meridians, he thought that the news was false, and now it seemed that his previous judgment was wrong. It was no wonder that he was taken as son-in-law by the Zhou Family, it was because it seemed that they had already been aware for these reasons.
Also, he had looked into the “Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins Manual”, of which he was perfectly aware of the bad risks it contained, because this manual was too profound, complicated, and had a plethora of things to tackle. Therefore, there were still a thousand kinds of manuals in the sects that would be fit for one. He also pondered, had it be him in his shoes, he absolutely would not take this step.
And this Zhang Yan, because his aptitude looked average, he had suggested that the most appropriate path for him was but only the warrior path. He had never thought that after having only left for a few months, this person had actually opened his meridians and ascended. Such a person, if he didn’t have a big destiny, it should have a supreme expert that is guiding him in the back.
No matter which kind, he was sure that it was not a delusion.
Thinking up to there, Shi Shoujing’s complexion became more respectful, saying, “Junior brother please wait for a moment, the senior brothers from the Upper Court will come to appraise you meridian’s type.”
Half a month ago, when Zhang Yan just returned to the mountain, the news of him having opened his meridians spread. The Immortal Masters in the Upper Court should have immediately come to appraise his meridian’s type, however, it was unknown as to why they would be this late And today, the message then came, which was the reason why Zhang Yan was called out now.
After these four people waited for half an hour, a middle-aged man who wore a high ranked sect’s steward plume robe came. This man stepped into the hall with a cold expression as the three “Shou” generation Lower Court’s deacons then greeted him. 
Upon seeing this person, Shi Shoujing’s heart couldn’t help but feel surprised, but he did not reveal anything on his expression and as usual, bowed to this sect’s steward.
This sect’s steward then turned around, as his hands were crossed behind his back, sizing up and down at Zhang Yan, and then spoke whilst his brows knitted, “Are you Zhang Yan? Quick, release your meridian’s type apparition, so this poor monk can see it.”
Zhang Yan squinted his eyes but didn’t even act.
“What’s wrong, you can’t do it?” An impatient expression drawn on his face, saying, “Circulate you qi, so your True Primordial Qi can enter the meridians and flow in the veins, it would be naturally come out.”
Zhang Yan was still motionless and lightly asked, “Who is several?”
This sect’s steward suddenly choked and was speechless for quite a while. He was about to open his mouth and wanted to lecture Zhang Yan and blurted out a few words, but he feared that he would lose his status due to arguing and would be laughed at later. He hardly suppressed the rage in his heart, and coldly spoke, “This poor monk is Wang Yixing, the Upper Court’s evaluator, especially coming here to appraise your meridian’s type.”
Originally, the evaluator must be from the Immortal Master from the Upper Court who was at least in the Profound Light Stage level and then confirmed by an elder’s evaluation from an ancient family in cooperation. However, since Zhang Yan was not from the ancient families, therefore, the Upper Court’s officials who gave the evaluation based on one’s status…no one was willing to come. This was the reason of it being repeatedly delayed, but since the Azure Ocean Sect couldn’t afford to have a bad name outside. After having dawdled for half a month, then sent Wang Yixing, a Radiant Qi Stage cultivator to come over and do the evaluation.
But this Wang Yixing also came from an ancient family, the Wang Family. When the job fell to his shoulder, he felt that he lost face. But since he was forced down by several senior brothers, he couldn’t shift this responsibility to others and was in a very bad mood. That was why he saw Zhang Yan not pleasing to his eyes.
“Since several is the evaluator from the Upper Court, this one will comply and let senior brother see it.”
Then, Zhang Yan directed his True Primordial Qi, as a mass of mist immediately diffused out from his body.
Wang Yixing couldn’t help but shout, “What!” It took almost 15 minutes for others to show their meridian’s type but it took only seconds for Zhang Yan to reveal his meridian’s type’s apparition, which was not simple. But, after he looked at the apparition’s form, he blurted in contempt, “The Mist Phase, it’s only a low-grade type.” He then waved his sleeves and cupped his hands, saying, “Then, farewell.”
The three deacons looked at each other in blank dismay, only a low-grade type? They also had the eyes to see that although Zhang Yan’s meridian type was not necessarily good, but saying such a tone and words after the evaluation, was actually extremely optional.
Since the evaluation has been completed, Zhang Yan no longer remained and immediately bid a farewell to the three deacons.
Shi Shoujing knew that with this meridian’s type evaluation, it would be related to the cultivation laws Zhang Yan would choose later. With this low-grade meridian’s type, the cultivation laws that could be chosen by Zhang Yan would be very few. He then walked along Zhang Yan toward the Main Hall’s and spoke some comforting words, ” Junior Brother Zhang, in my opinion, although your meridian’s type is but only a low grade. After you have a perfect apparition, you will have an infinite life force within your body. Even if it’s only a low grade, but you’re still worthy to feel proud and still above this one. This one felt you’ve been really wronged.”
“It’s alright, it’s just only a low-grade type, and only dividing between the high and low type.” Zhang Yan’s expression was still his usual calm self, and not even the slightest unhappiness could be seen.
Shi Shoujing secretly nodded, regardless what qualification Zhang Yan had, his character was definitely first class. In the future, his achievement would not necessarily bad, therefore, he spoke some good words again, “Tomorrow when someone takes Junior Brother to the Upper Court, if you have spare time, you can come to the Lower Court.”
“Of course I would, senior brother has walked me this far, this junior brother will leave now.” Zhang Yan cupped his hand and then left.
All the way down the Grand Consciousness peak, he took a deep relieved breath. If Wang Yixing were able to see “his beyond high grade” meridian’s type, he must have been spent some time to explain it. But fortunately that man had neither enough experience nor insight and only did it perfunctorily, therefore, he couldn’t see it.
He was perfectly aware that his identity was extremely special. His nonancient family status and able to open his meridians and enter the Upper Court from the Lower Court would certainly garner a lot of attention from many people. Moreover, most would not contain any good intentions, and it would be inconvenient for his conducts later. The Upper Court has deeper water than the Lower Court, so before he clearly grasped the situation there, he should not make himself widely known.
As for Shi Shoujing’s words about cultivation laws, he actually did not care. He had the “Taiyi Golden Manual” in his hand, of which if he could perfectly practice. He could use his qi to melt and fuse iron and gold into weapons which were comparable to the magical flying sword. The Du Family even had to desperately do everything possible to seek this ancient Dao manual. Could even a manual bestowed by the Sect be compared to this peerless manual?
But those which was originally bestowed to the true disciples such as concocted pills, he actually did not intend to give those up, even if he must fight to obtain it, then fight he will.
Everyone in the Lower Court was also waiting to know about Zhang Yan’s meridian type. Soon after, the news proliferated: After being evaluated by the masters, Zhang Yan’s meridian type was only the Mist Phase of the lower grade type.
When everyone heard this, their hearts and minds were a little bit eased. Most people thought that this was only natural. Zhang Yan neither had a family to support him nor was there any support bestowed by the sect. He was only a cultivator originating from ordinary mortals, and his achievement in being able to open his meridians was only a fortune given by the heavens. So, how would he even hope to obtain a higher level meridian grade?
But in any case, Zhang Yan was also the Lower Court’s disciple, after he had opened his meridians, his promotion to the Upper Court was a foregone conclusion. There were also some occurrences that some disciples originated from a mediocre family background, and was able to enter the Lower Court. But those people were outstanding geniuses. Rare geniuses rarely to be seen for centuries, of whom the rich and powerful ancient families usually used marriages to win them over in the past and integrated those outstanding geniuses into their family. However, when those families heard that Zhang Yan’s meridian type was but only the lower grade type, those ancient families’ intentions to recruit him immediately vanished as they lost their interest in Zhang Yan.
 Shi Shoujing, He Shouxuan, and Chen Shouzhong, the three grandmasters in the Lower Court are the deacons from the “Shou” generation to manage the Lower Court. Shou here means as defender or manager. As the Shou name is added in their middle name. We can still find this custom from most of the priests’ name in the temple or monastery. Each generation of priests has their own generation name, which in this novel could be seen in these three people’s name, Shou.