**WARNING: in case you guys missed the tags/description/reviews, this is a selfcest romance!
From the day storm-clouds gathered atop the Palace of Bliss, all the cultivators within the Jianghu1 江湖 – the martial arts community/cultivation world. Lit tl would be riverlake. knew that the greatest demonic cultivator, He Huan, was going into tribulation.
The cultivation rankings had been simplified over the course of many years and were now divided into five great stages: Body Enhancing, Foundation Building, Golden Core, Nascent Soul, and Calamity Crossing.
As for the Jianghu of today, only the Xuanmen Righteous Sect’s sect head, Qing XuZi, reached the stage closest to Ascension, Calamity Crossing.
It was also because of this, that for many years, in the many confrontations between the demonic sects and the righteous sects, the demonic side always had to take a step back, never starting a war. Yet, with the beginning of He Huan’s tribulation, the world knew that this type of stalemate was very likely to end.
Right before reaching the Calamity Crossing stage, in tandem with the accumulation of spiritual energy in a cultivator’s body, the sky would gradually show signs of preparing for tribulation. Now that the tribulation clouds above the Palace of Bliss had been gathering for more than a month, countless righteous cultivators kept hoping for a bolt of lightning that would kill the Demon Lord He Huan.
Unfortunately, that bolt never came down, still hiding amidst the clouds. Helpless, all the major sects could only look up at the sky whenever they found themselves bored enough.
Has the lightning tribulation killed He Huan today?
No, it still hasn’t.
Sigh, then let’s continue watching.
Such words were repeated day after day by the elders of the major sects. The people of the world were also getting more and more anxious as time went by; was this heavenly tribulation coming down or not?
Never had there been a case where tribulation gathered for more than a month, and still hadn’t started.
What was this called? Even when going through tribulation, that bastard He Huan, still had the time to mess with us. Dead or alive, is it that hard to get an answer? To make everyone look at your Palace of Bliss day and day out like an Amah Rock2According to a legend, the faithful wife of a fisherman climbed the hills every day, carrying her son, to watch for the return of her husband, not knowing he had been drowned at sea. In reward for her faithfulness, she was turned into a rock by the Goddess of the Sea (Mazu) so that her spirit could unite with that of her husband. Another version has it that the wife was turned into stone so that she could forever gaze out towards the sea, both looking out and waiting for her husband., it really doesn’t give others a sense of relief!
The major sects waited in unease, while He Huan, who was the epicentre of all this attention, was very carefree.
Seated in front of the window inside the Palace of Bliss that had garnered the attention of the world, was a red-clothed demonic cultivator, his hair loose and eyes as brilliant as peach blossoms.
His tribulation had arrived, yet there was not a hint of worry on his face. He lazily took a sip of his warm wine, then looked up to watch the little sprinkles of rain that had managed to enter through the carved-wooden windows. He raised his brush, but then fell into contemplation. In the end, he decided to let the stack of letters remain on the table.
These past few days, he would take small sips of wine here and there while writing the letters. Whenever he thought of something, he’d take his brush and write down a few sentences, and if there was nothing he could think of, he’d stare at the thick tribulation clouds in the sky and let his mind drift away. That flippant attitude completely didn’t put the heavenly tribulation in his eyes.
However, today he couldn’t afford to be that leisurely because in front of him knelt the Head Enforcer of the Palace of Bliss, Bi QianRen. Full of loyal intentions, he pleaded, “Palace Master please reconsider, dividing your divine consciousness in two then using it to let your Nascent Soul3元婴 – The actual Nascent Soul, not the Nascent Soul Stage. gain intelligence, this kind of thing, it’s never been done by cultivators before!”
That’s right, just before this, He Huan explained this crazy idea to his most trusted subordinate. He wanted to borrow the power contained within the heavenly tribulation to split his divine consciousness into two, then weld the other half to his Nascent Soul, creating another version of himself.
Once the divine consciousness became damaged, it would be extremely difficult to repair. As for one’s Nascent Soul, that was practically a cultivator’s core. He Huan actually wanted to use both in this endeavour; it was no wonder Qian Ren had instantly knelt down, desperately trying to dissuade him.
However, he’d purposely gone to the Snowy Mountains to find the Soul Splitting Technique and suppressed his cultivation just for this matter. He chose to not breakthrough for so many years, all for the sake of nourishing his Nascent Soul.
Clearly, he’d already made up his mind, so why would he listen to other people’s words?
Sure enough, He Huan only swept his glance over the black-clothed man kneeling in front of the table, not a hint of reconsideration on his face. He said plainly, “This Master just happens to want to be the first person who breaks this record.”
The reason for calling QianRen over today was to assign some responsibilities. After all, this Soul Splitting Technique had never been tested before. Even He Huan couldn’t be entirely sure of the outcome. Therefore, in case of failure, he was still prepared. He addressed QianRen, “I’ve set his memories at 18 years old, but I’m not sure which version of my 18-year-old self it will be. If I’ve still not awakened by the time the tribulation is over, I will need you to help me keep an eye on him.”
Saying this, he paused and looked back to his letter, thousands of thoughts swirling in his mind. He was suddenly registering the fact that he’d already stayed in this strange world for a hundred years. The memory of climbing out of that pile of corpses in the beginning had started to become a bit fuzzy. In fact, he could hardly remember what he looked like in his childhood.
The tip of the brush made contact with the calligraphy paper as it left a spot of ink; his gaze shifted before finally saying the rest of his words, “If anything goes wrong… I allow you to take this Palace Master’s position.”
QianRen still didn’t understand what He Huan meant. He wondered how a person could have two 18-year-old periods. However, his long-held habitual loyalty kept him from asking further. All he had to do was follow the Palace Master’s orders.
He raised his head to look deeply at his Master then immediately accepted these new responsibilities, “This subordinate will use his life to guard the Palace of Bliss, waiting for you to awaken.”
“That’s good enough, you may retire. Before this Master successfully overcomes this time’s tribulation, don’t let anyone near this place.”
Waving his subordinate away, He Huan’s right hand clasped the wine cup, his eyes slightly glassy from being a little tipsy. Feeling the warm wine flow into his stomach, he unconsciously used his fingers to touch the position of his dantian. As usual, the Nascent Soul he’d formed since he was just 20 was providing spiritual energy to his entire body.
The Nascent Soul was the source of life in a cultivator. Once the Nascent Soul dies, the cultivator would definitely follow. However, if a cultivator was killed and even burned to ashes, as long as the Nascent Soul was still alive, then the cultivator still had a chance to live again by possessing another body. This little thing residing in his abdomen shared a life-death relationship with him. It was infinitely more reliable when compared to any sort of friendship in this world.
He Huan thought about it before downing another cup. He started to send a wave of spiritual energy to his dantian and sighed, “No matter how I try to phrase it, the one destined to accompany me until the very end, is only you, right?”
The wind swept up the pine needles while rain splattered on fresh bamboo, the sounds of the oncoming storm making it through the windows and enveloping the Hall4殿 – a large single building in traditional Chinese architecture . Azure curtains waved in the wind, and following the last bit of spiritual energy entering the Yuan Ying, the tribulation clouds that had been stationary for over a month finally sounded with thunder.
When the heavenly tribulation that had been suppressed for so long finally began, many people were shocked, but the red-clothed man who stood in front of the window seemed to be completely unmoved.
His finger lazily hooked up, controlling his spiritual energy to pick up the wine jug, and in a toast to the night, he took a gulp before taking a glance at his reflection in the mirror, suddenly revealing a crazed smile.
He pulled his outer robe off, raised the brush still in his hand, and wrote countless words down onto the robes. He tilted his head when he saw that his high-quality clothing had been stained by ink, but he didn’t feel that it was a pity. Soon after, he quickly put his outer robe back on and flew into the sky to welcome the threatening tribulation, then used his own strength to summon the winds and rain.
The tribulation for the Calamity Crossing stage was a total of nine by nine, 81 strikes of lightning. Finally, after sounding for an entire night above the Palace of Bliss, did the sounds of thunder start to dissipate at daylight.
With the rain washing away the night, the first glow of dawn shone through the clear clouds, revealing itself to the world once again. It was then that everyone knew, a new storm would soon wash over the Jianghu.
However, no one could have imagined what would happen on the second day after the end of the lightning tribulation. As the morning light lit up the QingYun Hall once again, the red-clothed man laying on the table gradually woke up.
His eyes no longer held his previous unfathomable gaze, only total blankness and confusion. Amidst the silence of the room, he looked up, gaze settling on the plaque that contained the three characters “QingYun Hall”. In his heart, there was only one question, “Where is this place?”
Suddenly waking up in this place, he circled the room a few times and found that although he couldn’t remember where he was, he was familiar with the decorations and items inside. Everything seemed to be in line with the name QingYun5clear clouds.
The Hall was eight stories high, the windows on every floor were also extremely large, and each was framed by intricate wooden carvings. When the sunlight hit the windowsill, shadows of bamboo would be imprinted on the ground, matching perfectly with the azure curtains.
There were two large cabinets beside the engraved bed stocked full of high-quality books. As opposed to a cultivator’s room, it appeared more like a scholar’s study room.
Standing on the top floor and looking down, one could see a hot spring encased within the steam. The sides of the spring were lined with bamboo and pine, while Taihu Rocks6decorative giant rocks were scattered about, with a gravel path winding between them. There were no vibrant flowers to be seen, but the scene contained an atmosphere of elegant purity. Mist surrounded several wooden corridors and each side covered by verdant orchids. Looking from afar, it could almost be mistaken as a castle in the sky.
His line of sight followed the direction in which the morning light entered, he turned his head, finally discovering the desk containing the stack of sealed letters. Picking one up, he could easily see the name of the intended recipient——He Huan.
- 1江湖 – the martial arts community/cultivation world. Lit tl would be riverlake.
- 2According to a legend, the faithful wife of a fisherman climbed the hills every day, carrying her son, to watch for the return of her husband, not knowing he had been drowned at sea. In reward for her faithfulness, she was turned into a rock by the Goddess of the Sea (Mazu) so that her spirit could unite with that of her husband. Another version has it that the wife was turned into stone so that she could forever gaze out towards the sea, both looking out and waiting for her husband.
- 3元婴 – The actual Nascent Soul, not the Nascent Soul Stage.
- 4殿 – a large single building in traditional Chinese architecture
- 5clear clouds
- 6decorative giant rocks