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 Chapter 17: Wretched

Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -

- Early morning

Zhang Jie Yu and Yue Qiu Shan were seated in a restaurant. There was a stone table in front of them and stone chairs about half a metre tall surrounding the tables. On the table was a jade tray, containing a pot and several tea cups. Two praying mats were beside them, with two other people occupying them.

The rising sun had just begun to shine. Zhang Jie Yu was seated quietly, meditating and chanting Dao Mantras. There was a line of Qi energy, similar to a thread on his body.

Yue Qiu Shan had originally been drinking tea, but seeing a white string of Qi energy on his disciple's body he knew it was the energy of an Elementary Scholar. He then said, "This energy is very profound. I was just thinking about your examinations, I did not expect to see results so soon. This is a gift."

"With the Elementary Scholar status, your mortal side has been dissolved considerably."

As Zhang Jie Yu was deep in meditation, his senses were all shut, and thus did not hear anything. A string of purple energy was visible for a second before he started vomiting. After three huffs, it disappeared.

Yue Qiu Shan hurriedly poured a cup of red tea and brought it to Zhang Jie Yu who opened his eyes after smelling the aroma.

Yue Qiu Shan smiled and said, "Come and sit Jie Yu."

Zhang Jie Yu took the cup, drank a few mouthful and said, "That tasted good."

"The product of a wealthy land obtained from ancient people with sincerity." Yue Qiu Shan sighed and said, "Your Elementary Scholar status is already out."

"In this world, people only care about wealth." Yue Qiu Shan sighed again and said, " Look at these items. The curtains, the wooden files, the stove, the kneeling and praying mats. Even the tea you just drank. Are they not wealth too?"

"If you wish to speak of things of the Earth; although the divine mountains are not of this planet, Black Alter Sect's mountain, Truth Sect's Flat West mountain and First Pole Sect's Green Treasure mountain, are they not Immortal mountains and not of this world either?"

"There can be no divine mountains without mountains."

"As for paradise, even if our sect conquers the divine mountains, it is still a mountain. Therefore, the mountain Immortals, regardless, are still mountain people too."

"These mountains need to have spiritual sources as with everything under the heavens."

"Since there are many mountains on this Earth, you cannot conquer just one mountain and proclaim yourself king. People have to confer the title upon you, and recognize this to prevent any trouble. You know that if a mountain has no spiritual energy, conquering it means you are a just a rogue cultivator, and can only reach spirit Immortality.

"This disciple knows that there are five classes of Immortals. Spirit Immortals, Human Immortals, Earth Immortals, Deity Immortals and Heaven Immortals. As for rogue cultivators, even if a human can cultivate the five energies, he will be no younger than a hundred and twenty when he is done. Then he will become a mere spirit Immortal. Zhang Jie Yu's face was pale as he sighed, "The manual says that the pains of cultivating surpasses all else. Cultivation is like crops grown in sand and rocks, almost impossible to result in growth. Even if a person has the ability to fly, he would come up empty when he reaches paradise, and would only undergo transformation after."

"Only when there's paradise, will there be Earth Immortals. Only when there's a divine mountain, will there be Deity Immortals. The point of this discussion is to highlight the fact that even if you have the substance to become Immortal, but do not reach paradise, you will not become an Immortal. But our sect knows the path to paradise, and we have cultivated up to Earth Immortal status.

"But teacher, what is the actual reason for coming so early? I am guessing it is not to say all these things."

Yue Qiu Shan laughed and said, "We have thirteen people under us, and among them, I like you the most. You are young and have already developed such intelligence. Before I can even say anything, you have already guessed my intentions. You are correct."

"Paradise has its limitations. I truly hope you will be able to rise in rank and eventually become an Earth Immortal, if not, to obtain the highest manual. But a word of advice, in order to become an Earth Immortal, you have to stand out from the rest."

"I have a mission. If you are able to accomplish it, you will stand out from your peers."

"Yes, thank you teacher for your guidance. Presumably, the new list of disciples have been confirmed?"

"The Elementary Scholars have been confirmed. Look, this is the namelist. Invite the Elementary Scholars according to this list. Silver Dragon Temple is just outside of the city and we have several outer circle disciples in the temple. Take these people into the temple. As to how you're going to make them yield to you, I wish to see your methods. Take this as a test."

"If you must know, unless you become a True Sovereign, you can never leave the mortal world. These disciples, regardless of inner or outer circle, are just assistants. Do not think too much of them."

"Yes, I understand. If there is no inner or outer circle, even the heavens and divine mountains will not be able to contain me." Zhang Jie Yu laughed as he spoke.

............

Safe Travels Inn

Pei Zi Yun was in his room reading after just having breakfast. At this point, he had no spiritual roots and was thus, unable to cultivate. Since he had nothing better to do, he started reading essays.

"After careful calculation, considering I did not make any mistakes, I should be ranked in the first band among the top three. The worst case situation would have me at the top of the second band."

"It's just that I am feeling very uneasy, I do not know why." Pei Zi Yun thought of his mother back in Snail Village, and Ye Su'er back at Peach Flower Origins monastery and felt a flutter in his heart that would not become still. He turned a few times in his bed and tried to read the essay that he had memorized and written in the exams. He then sighed and finally understood.

I've obtained the literary skills of the old Elementary Scholar. Although he was very talented, it took him a long time before he eventually acquired the Elementary Scholar title. Hence, he bore a sense of despair and resentment.

"And this was shown when I wrote the essay. It was flawless in every aspect except for that tone of resentment."

There was a knock on the door.

"Oh, it is brother Tang!" the person on the door was Tang Zhen, with a bubbly demeanor. He laughed and said, "Brother Pei, you have rested for two days already! Shall we go out and have some fun today?"

He then took out his invitation. Pei Zi Yun opened it and took a look. The invitation was from a poet's society for a meet. The venue was at River View restaurant which was not far from the inn. Pei Zi Yun considered for a moment, thinking of how restless he was just now, being unable to read his essay. He did not want to seem too anti-social as well, so he decided to stop hesitating and finally said, "Of course."

After instructing the hotel staff to bring some hot water for him to wash, he dressed in a newly washed and starched outfit.

Before long, they were along the walkway as they approached the restaurant. From afar, they were able to spot it along the banks of the river. It had a good five stories to it, and was all glass. As they got nearer, they noticed that the river was facing the restaurant, with a few boats rowing along it.

"River View and River Reflections are the biggest restaurants around the river. But River Reflections is much newer." As they reached the entrance, they were welcomed by a student who was dressed in white and had a golden belt. He was holding a fan and welcomed them.

Before they got to the entrance, the student hurried over to welcome them, "It is the famous brother Pei. Welcome, welcome! I remember you from the banquet that night. The poem you wrote on stage was very good, and hence, we just had to invite you. I hope you do not find it strange that I am this straightforward."

He then led Pei Zi Yun up to the roof of the restaurant. Pei Zi Yun's heart leapt as he admired the view from such a height. The wind blew over as the river gushed below. The river was so huge that to look in one direction, you were unable to see the end of the other. This made him think of an ancient poem in his previous life, as he recalled the exact emotions he felt while he saw scenery like this. He then said, "The front never got to meet the ancestors, and the end never got to meet visitors. It can only gaze into the heavens for all eternity."

When he had arrived at the last line, he could not bring himself to finish it because it was too tragic.

The last line of the poem was the most important point. By missing it out, it was taken that he had the talent but not the opportunity. He was a young man, and the results of the examinations were not even out, from where did he get such old sentiments? He thus stopped and pretended that the poem ended there. He then said softly, "The poem has ended. The last line shall be completed another time."

"Good, what a good poem. The only thing that was missing was the last line. What a shame." Pei Zi Yun heard somebody say. He turned around to find the person holding a teapot and standing up. He poured a cup of tea and gave it to him. It was Zhang Jie Yu.

Zhang Jie Yu was dressed in his usual sharp attire, wearing a red sash around his waist. His shoes had a seasoned look about them, and were not extravagant, but seemed like they had faced a storm.

Pei Zi Yun looked confused as he thought to himself, "What confidence he has, who would have expected that he is now a disciple of Holy Jail Sect."

"Hearing brother Pei's three lines, I was intrigued, only to hear that the poem has ended. I shall drink three cups to help brother Pei's poetic inspiration." Zhang Jie Yu laughed as he spoke, full of confidence.

"Sure!"

The students all around him voiced their agreements.

Everyone saw the leader of the poet's society bringing a youth up the stairs and found him very familiar. The students around did not seem to mind and were all exchanging poems with each other. The youth abruptly recited a poem. After hearing his first line, they were all smiling. As he recited the second line, a few were shocked. When the third line was said, everyone felt that it was a special, mythical poem. But he failed to deliver the final line. Thus when Zhang Yu Jia suggested a toast of three cups to help with his inspiration, everyone agreed.

In his memory of the previous life, Zhang Jie Yu did not become an enemy of the original owner. They just had certain small conflicts. He unintentionally caused the original owner to take a misstep that eventually caused him to lose many years. At this point, Pei Zi Yun could not refuse the toast, and drank three cups. The wine was bitter, but he swallowed it anyway.

After walking a few steps, an idea came into his head, but he did not reveal it yet. He then laughed and said, "Today my inspiration for the poem is depleted and I cannot complete it."

Zhang Jie Yu sat down, and did not move.

A student sighed and said, "It was such a majestic poem, but without its proper ending. What a waste. Why doesn't brother Pei leave a mark on this restaurant until he is ready to finish his poem? Would that not be a good idea?"

At this point, the waiter came up to serve dessert and another waiter brought an inkstone and a quill.

What a coincidence. To bring up the writing materials just as it was suggested. A student then took the ink and quill, and dipped the quill into the inkstone.

Pei Zi Yun then walked up without hesitation, took the quill and started writing.

Before long, he had written the first three lines of the poem, with the waiter himself reading the poem out loud.

Once he had finished, he too felt a tinge of regret. Noticing that the poem had no name he asked, "Will young master leave a name for the poem so that I can hang it up and wait for you to return and complete it."

Pei Zi Yun laughed, "Since this poem was written atop this place, the poem shall be called River View."

Suddenly, a commotion was heard downstairs and a Daoist man came upstairs. Seeing a table had some meat and wine, he proceeded to help himself to those.

The waiter was still thinking about the poem when he saw this unkempt Daoist and began to rage.

From where did this dirty Daoist come from, and how dare he come into this restaurant and cause problems?!

Pei Zi Yun looked at this man and thought he looked familiar. A student said, "You dirty Daoist, all you know is eat and laze. And you still want to steal meat? Have you given up on your cultivation journey?"

As he said this, he drank the wine and replied, "Food and wine are for the stomach. Dao is for the heart."

The student heard this and was enraged, "You are not speaking logic Daoist, in fact you are speaking rubbish."

The waiter heard this and called for more waiters, "Come, let's bring this scoundrel to the courts."

Upon realizing the severity of the situation, Pei Zi Yun felt compelled to do something and said, "Just give him the wine and meat. Today is the poets gathering, why should everyone get upset."

The waiter heard Pei Zi Yun and laughed, "Since master Pei asks for compassion, it will do us no harm to give him a plate of salted vegetables. But he has to eat somewhere else."

As he said this, he instructed, "Give this Daoist some salted vegetable, and let him eat downstairs."

Seeing this, the Daoist man said, "You wretched people, you don't know better."

The Daoist laughed as he walked down. Pei Zi Yun felt a laughter in his heart. He looked at Zhang Jie Yu and noticed he was deep in thought and was immobile.

Nobody else knows, but I do. Zhang Jie Yu is a disciple of Holy Jail Sect. This Daoist man tried to fool around and disgraced the Dao. Zhang Jie Yu could not bear it.

But in a situation like this, this Daoist man seemed very fishy. This event is very suspicious as well.

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