Volume 2: The Broken Jade’s Real Word-like Evolutionary Ability
Chapter 1 – The Eternal Beholder Immortal Cave and the Wild Dragon Great Lake
Azure Ocean Sect, at the Clearwater Lake of the Eternal Beholder Immortal Cave.
Ning Chongxuan’s sleeves were fluttering as he stood on a ferry boat, sailing against the rippling waves on a vast, great lake. Goldfishes leaped joyfully from time to time as a purple-back great whale ducked and dived along the way. As far as the eyes could see, the lake’s water and the sky seemed to merge into one color, like it was undivided from top to bottom. Clouds and mists lingered around as drizzles from the sky looked like threads made of pearls and jades. The shore’s moist air filled was with spiritual qi, as if it was being sprayed and sprinkled from the sky. It was like taking a deep breath was like drinking pure fermented nectar, tranquilizing one’s heart.
As he ignored the sight of the immortal’s dwellings picturesque scenes, he was actually frowning slightly. As he turned his head and listened attentively, he heard that besides the distant cry of the wild goose and cranes in the boundless sky, there was also a faint jade bell tinkling sounds. The timbre was elusive and ethereal, enveloping the atmosphere. It entered the skin and seeped into the bone as it made one’s heart itch, filling it with lust. He couldn’t help but snort, “Those are the tinkling jades seized from the Three Lakes’ beautiful demoness!”
Just as he just finished talking, a cool breeze suddenly swept his body as the mist before his eyes quickly dispersed like a curtain of beads and were gently being roped up, resembling the opening of a book. Nearby, a jade pavilion’s terrace appeared on top of the water as a happy looking youth wore a golden crest. He laid and sat on a couch made of clouds as the maidservants, with necklaces made of precious stones hung til the armpit as their flowing robe swept the floor.
Ning Chongxuan stepped on the floating jade stairs, and then tidied up his robe before respectfully kowtowing, “Chongxuan pays a visit to the Respected Master.”
At first, the youth’s appearance seemingly could be seen clearly, however, when looking at his face again, it was actually covered with mist, making it indistinct. The youth then let out laughter before he spoke in a moist and clear voice, “Chongxuan, what’s your wish to see this Master today?”
The Ning Chongxuan replied in a deep tone, “This one wants to ask for a female from the Respected Master.”
The youth’s curiosity seemed to be sparked as he quickly sat straight and spoke with a smile, “Chongxuan, previously, you said that you wanted to focus your mind wholeheartedly, and had no intention to pursue a Dao companion, have you been thinking it through now? Very good, very good.”
Ning Chongxuan actually sternly replied, “Respected Master, this one doesn’t have the intention for this female to take care of me, but wants her to be with a certain disciple who has just opened his meridians.”
Upon hearing that it was not for Ning Chongxuan himself, the youth seemed to not mind and spoke while smiling, “Chongxuan, you regard this person as an important one, and I have yet to know his name.”
The youth lying down partly and casually spoke, “Is this the Zhang Yan whom you recently mentioned?”
“It’s precisely him! Respected Master, this person’s will is firm and resolute. Moreover, his true character is outstanding; in the whole of your disciple’s life, he has never seen a second person. He needs to be roped in and enter our branch as early as possible.” Ning Chongxuan lifted his head and continued, “Originally, the Lower Court is the gathering place for the ancient families’ hedgehog, and Zhang Yan comes from an ordinary family background. But he actually was able to break through it through hardships, and finally entered the ranks. Even after he got admitted, he is far from arrogant and rash and has always been carefully sizing up the situation. And now, he has successfully opened his meridians. This disciple has always been observing his will and bearing. Therefore, this one would like him to do obeisance and study under Senior Brother Qi Yuntian. However, since Senior Brother Qi actually has closed up to refine magic tools, this disciple braves oneself to come and beg the Respected Master’s benevolence to bestow him gifts.”
The youth asked, “This person’s opened meridians, what’s his meridian’s type?”
“It’s the Mist apparition, and the sect has appraised it as a low grade.”
“Low grade? It’s also the Mist?” The youth was startled, he looked up to the sky and suddenly laughed loudly, “Wonderful, wonderful! Isn’t it the same with this master in the past?”
Ning Chongxuan cupped his hands and spoke with a bright tone, “Respected Master had shown the light with opened meridians and Mist apparition in the past, which is a low-grade type. But, even though having this meridian’s type, Respected Master actually could condense the sea of qi to ascend to the sky. The characteristic of types, though inferior, but also could still win. Thus, it can be seen that, although it’s true that meridian’s type is no doubt essential, but a cultivator’s firm Dao heart is indispensable.”
“As it turns out, in this way, your thoughts, I’m perfectly aware of.” The youth bent his finger and flicked as a soft jade seashell leaf flew toward Ning Chongxuan, “This is the Dao manual this master used to practice in the past. You call the shots for this matter, whether as to comprehend or experience it, all will be dependent on that young fellow’s opportunity.”
Ning Chongxuan’s hands stretched out as he respectfully received that seashell leaf and held it. Then, his complexion turned serious again. The youth’s complexion changed as he shook his head again and again. Obviously, he was not satisfied with Ning Chongxuan’s serious manner as he listlessly spoke, “Ah right, you just said that you wanted a female to be with him. This master will grant your wish. So, who is it that you choose?”
“Oh?” The youth glanced at him with a flash of profound meaning and spoke while smiling, “You’ve actually been scheming to send out Tang Yan. Not only would your entanglement be lessened, but you could also borrow the Wang Family to compel me so that young fellow can enter my apprenticeship branch.”
“This disciple doesn’t dare to think about it.”
The youth pointed at him, “Ah… you really need to change your serious manners’ habits. You must know that even immortals would still need to have amusement and some fun.”
Ning Chongxuan replied with a deep veneration, “Respected Master is still giving the teaching, how could this disciple dare to lose all restraints?”
“Stop it, stop it.” The youth waved his hand and did not have the intention to speak again, he perfectly knew that he could not change his disciple’s disposition.
Then, Ning Chongxuan bowed down to do obeisance and spoke in a low tone, “Then, what about Zhang Yan’s admittance to our branch?”
Having not obtained any answers for a long time, he then lifted his head and found that, apart from the mist above the lake, the youth’s whereabouts had already been lost above the bluish green ripples in this vast expanse of waters. Had there even been a person’s shadow here before?
He sighed with disappointment. Although that youth had gone, but he still bowed respectfully according to the proper etiquettes before he stood up to leave. But he then found a jade slip under his foot, which had already been printed with four elegant and beautiful words.
“Observes his actions.”
On the second day after having his meridian’s type evaluated, Zhang Yan was sitting in meditation on the mountain when he suddenly felt something and lifted his head to look above. He saw that two cultivators were standing on a flying ship as one of them then waved his hand to him, “Zhang Yan, since you have opened your meridians, you are now the Upper Court’s disciple, so you have to come along with me today.”
As that person’s palm stretches out and grasped, Zhang Yan felt a strand of pulling force being transmitted at him. He knew that these people were from the Upper Court. So, he let them pick him up and didn’t resist, he let himself get pulled out by that man and flew onto the flying ship. He secretly pondered, “Could it be that this person is at the Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, ‘the Red Cloud Summoning’ stage?” It was said that if one had arrived at this stage, his qi would condensate and envelop his whole body. Not only would he be able to make a wall of qi, but he could also take objects spatially and utilize his qi to move heavy objects weighing hundreds of pounds without touching it.
After he flew onto the flying ship, these two men didn’t speak and just directed the flying ship to fly toward the south.
Having flown for one day and night, they finally left the Azurewood Mountain’s 18 peaks boundary as a vast and boundless Great Lake was now presented before them. This location was one of the ten big spirit points in the Great Eastern Continent, and also was the core of the Azure Ocean Sect’s courtyard—the Wild Dragon Great Lake.
Zhang Yan viewed the mountain foot underneath as he then discovered that the Azurewood Mountain was like the heaven’s gate barrier that protected the great lake outlet from the outside. Before the gate, a river appeared that was like a jade belt clamped by the mountain peaks at its sides, taking the form of an access opening. Even though he was on the flying ship, he could also hear the sounds of the running water in the rapids.
When he was practicing on the Azurewood Mountain, he often heard other disciples saying that “the Azurewood Mountain has the path to immortality to take, and leaped over the heaven’s gate of the Wild Dragon Great Lake”. And upon seeing the view right now, the saying did really speak the truth.
Ten days later, they were still riding on the flying ship as unequaled shadows appeared again on the water surface below. And above the shadows, continuous lines of houses unfolded, as pavilions and kiosks became faintly visible, resembling a city-state in the human world. Floating in the midair above, there was an island that spurted out from the flowing waterfall. After opening his meridians, his eyesight had become extremely keen, as he also could clearly see from atop of the flying ship that many cultivators rode on cranes to accompany them to cross over the sky, depicting the picture of a school for immortals.
But, after he carefully looked again, he was unable to restrain his great astonishment again. The shadow submerged underneath the water turned out to be a gigantic Black Tortoise, which was unable to be measured!
The Azure Ocean Sect’s founder patriarch used his unfathomable spiritual power to seize this Black Tortoise, which was unknown for how long it had been living in the Darknorth Continent. The founder patriarch also moved in the famous towering Nine Yang Mountains from the Southcliff Continent and placed those peaks to encircle the lake around this gigantic Black Tortoise, building the palace and the nine cities.
Zhang Yan took a quick view around the continuous endless palace towers, which were built around one of the nine cities on these nine peaks—the Nine Changes City.
The Azure Ocean Sect’s members were living either in these nine peaks or in the immortal caves around the vicinity of the Wild Dragon Great Lake. However, even the cultivators’ families and clansman, who lived in these cities, could reach hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. This picture greatly opened Zhang Yan’s mind wide open.
A half day later on the flying ship, they were now riding toward a small island with a beautiful scenery and waterfall, as they stopped on its mountain. One of the cultivators pointed at the wharf down the mountain and said, “Zhang Yan, you take a boat from here and go to the Heaven Ascension Pavilion to look for Martial Uncle Wu. I will go back and to do some other chores, so excuse me for not attending.”
After the two people spoke, they didn’t speak anything again, as they controlled the ship and took off.
Originally, deferred to the convention’s customs, these two people must escort him to enter the Heaven Ascension Pavilion, which only then would they be determined to have done the job perfectly. But these two people disregarded Zhang Yan, since he was not from an ancient family background. They didn’t know about the details, therefore, they were disinclined to speak anything to him. After all, in any case, leading him here could also be said to have completed the above arrangement. This way, they didn’t have to manage many things.
Zhang Yan memorized the direction as he went down from the mountain top and passed through clusters of forest before he arrived at the wharf. It was crowded here as there was also a small county’s fair. He then looked for the dock’s worker and asked, “Steward, how I would leave this shore and cross the lake by boat?”
This wharf’s worker was about 50-years-old with gray hairs on his temples. The wrinkles on his face were interlocked, and judging from his body, he seemingly had been practicing a superficial breathing practice method. He glanced at Zhang Yan and saw that his clothing was not elegant and had no attendants at his side. He then looked up with a supine expression and spoke in a self-important manner, “From which peak are you from and which senior brother’s clansman?”
Zhang Yan shook his head and said, “I’m from neither.”
The steward let out a light snort and repeatedly waved his hand, “Today, there are a lot of honored guests, so you must wait for a while.”
When the Azure Ocean Sect’s members had opened their meridians, they were then eligible to bring along their families or friends to live in the city. However, since many of these people were ordinary mortals or cultivators who had yet to open their meridians, they could not fly and didn’t have any means to go there. Thus, they must take the boat from outside Azurewood Mountain to enter through the gully bay of the Wild Dragon Great Lake’s heaven’s gate. They must traverse the water and pass through several island villages to supplement drinking water on the way before they could finally reach the innermost islands area. This arrangement was the wharf’s steward responsibility to provide the ferrying boat and go to the island on top of the Black Tortoise’s back.
However, since there had always been quite a lot of people taking trips, the first one to arrive would be the first one to get the service. Also, it was natural that people’s status also played a role here. So, as this steward saw that Zhang Yan had not the least bit of prominent background, he thought that he was a clansman who was seeking refuge from his relatives, therefore he simply didn’t pay any attention.
Zhang Yan couldn’t help but smile, but he didn’t want to haggle over this matter with ordinary people. However, just when he was about to reveal his status, he suddenly saw that the steward’s complexion changed toward the newly arrived group of people and greeted them with a smile. He repeatedly groveled and spoke, “Ladies and gentlemen, are you the relatives and friends from Immortal Master Qin’s Jadeite Immortal Cave? The boat has already been prepared appropriately. Please come here, please come here. This Qian himself will personally man the ship to deliver the ladies and gentlemen to cross to your island.”
Zhang Yan looked at those people and saw that there were several people that barely could be regarded as cultivators in this group. However, their cultivation levels were actually varied, and the highest one was at the Primordial Qi Condensation Realm, of whom they were most likely the clansman of ancient family’s branches.
Facing the flattery from the steward, several people responded with constraints and nodded as one man in scholar attire paused when he passed by Zhang Yan. He then looked back and said, “This Senior Brother, our meeting is but fated, would you like to ride together with us?”
Had someone else been standing on the wharf, he would not even speak these words. But Zhang Yan’s stature and facial expression were outstanding, even if he was amongst tens of thousands of people, he could particularly identify him at a glance. It was said that an outstanding person was like rare dragons and phoenixes, and his appearance was seemingly unlike some ordinary disciples, therefore, this man sent out the invitation.
Zhang Yan then showed a light smile and said, “Then, I thank Senior Brother.”
Just as they stepped on the ferrying ship together, this man cupped his hands and politely spoke, “Myself is Qin Gui, I don’t know which Immortal Master Senior Brother is studying under?”
Zhang Yan replied, “I haven’t acknowledged anyone as a master.”
Qin Gui couldn’t help but feel astonished. Having a master was precisely carrying the master’s name, and saying to have no master would certainly be true. But he also saw that there was not the least bit of falsehood, even ancient families’ usually exchanged martial nephews to acknowledge a certain master mutually. Even if ones were unwilling to say it, they would absolutely never say a flat denial. Otherwise, it would be same as killing and destroying their masters and ancestors. Therefore, Zhang Yan was honest when he said that.
Having chatted again, Qin Gui then found that Zhang Yan seemingly really did not have the least of background, he also didn’t have clansmen to practice in the faction. Not to mention that Zhang Yan concealed his True Primordial Qi aura, and restrained his qi inside his flesh and blood. He only emitted out an ordinary life force, of which couldn’t be seen even by the least bit by Qin Gui’s cultivation level.
Qin Gui secretly guessed in his heart that perhaps he was seriously mistaken; perhaps this person was an ordinary mortal who would visit his relatives or clansman. It’s a pity that he actually had an excellent appearance and bearing. Thinking up to there, a slight contempt was drawn on his complexion as he lost his curiosity toward Zhang Yan and then turned around to talk with the two companions at his sides.
Zhang Yan was also glad for not having to speak with this passerby anymore. He looked ahead and saw that there were only the sparkling bluish green rippling waves of the water lake as the sight of the islands’ pavilions were looming from the distance, causing one’s mind to be unable to be restrained smoothly.
Having boarded the boat for an hour, they quickly approached one island’s shore as from the other side, suddenly the sounds of flutes, harps, and gourds of musical instruments sounded, causing everyone to raise their heads and look up.
Astonishment flashed over Qin Gui’s complexion as he stepped two steps forward, “It’s the heavenly music to receive a guest, which honored guest is visiting this Nine Changes City?”
His companion at his side also walked several steps and excitedly spoke, “The silk-curtained palanquin, the golden jadeite bell, the silvery baskets, along with 29 warrior escorts and 100 female entertainers. This is surely a traveling fairy maiden from the Four Great Immortal Cave!”
These people had clansman cultivating in the Azure Ocean Sect and knew that these fairy maidens were usually used to win over talented outstanding disciples. Since they were compelled to cultivate, they took the apprenticeship under female cultivators in their immortal cave, of which made these females’ cultivation level be low. Moreover, there was also the support from the sect’s patriarch behind them, and for certain reasons, their degree of freedom was usually very high. If one were able to take one of them as Dao companion, he could be said to reach the heavens in a single bound. Therefore, common disciples in the sect were usually after them and strived to get the attention from those fairy maidens. Unfortunately, most people could only hope to see them. They didn’t expect that today, they actually ran into those fairy maidens here.
Qin Gui was unable to restrain the envy in his heart and said, “Unexpectedly, the fairy maidens from the Immortal Cave Fairyland came out to receive a guest personally. I don’t know which Senior Brother from any fairyland that has such a good fortune!”