TN: I haven’t really been well but I’ve decided to promise 2 chapter week, maybe more if I’m in the mood. I don’t have a donation button so that’s the best I can do for now. Though there will be two chapters release together this week to avoid cliffhanger and to make up last week’s chapter.
Okay, here’s some changes, never mind. Also notable is the fact I dislike info dumps and therefore they are now written in present tense… that probably made more sense in my head.
The speaker spoke without design, and yet the listener somehow detected hidden intent.
Yan Zhaoge spoke casually, but Ye Jing, who had just returned to his home town in glory, no longer held the complicated feeling from before.
Everyone else was in a good mood. Despite being overshadowed by Yan Zhaoge, they suddenly realized that they were no longer in Broad Creed Mountain, which meant in this place, Eastern Tang Kingdom, East Heaven Region, they were also gifted geniuses.
As a disciple of one of the Holy Grounds, Broad Creed Mountain, they were originally tested and chosen from the very best talents of large powers like Eastern Tang Kingdom. How could any one of them be bad?
It was just that each time one of them started to feel the slightest bit conceited, a single glance forward to that leisurely proceeding blue mantled back would immediately eliminate their fickle thoughts.
When their hands came into contact with their artifacts, ideas of striving harder and reaching higher would occupy their thoughts.
In Eastern Tang Kingdom, only the best elites of the Royal Palace Defense Army had cultivation comparable to theirs, and even then, their weapons were superior to the Royal Palace Defense Army’s demi artifacts.
Of course, they could not be compared to Yan Zhaoge at all.
Even the people they interact with are on a completely different level.
The person Yan Zhaoge would visit first was the king of Eastern Tang Kingdom who needed no introduction. He was Eastern Tang Kingdom’s number one warrior. He was the ruler of one of the three great powers of the East Heaven Region, which belonged to Broad Creed Mountain, a powerful and influential figure in the area.
And the Eastern Tang Kingdom’s affairs elder is Broad Creed Mountain’s representative in the Eastern Tang Kingdom. He is the prime consecrated within the nation and his position was higher than elder Cui, who forced Yan Zhaoge into an awkward position at the sect.
Even though there’s a difference between internal and external positions, cultivation levels, and degree of authority, but under sect regulations, deacon elders like elder Cui when they are outside the sect in places in the Eastern Tang Kingdom serve to oversee important cities or rich lands, or the extraction and use of important resources. Their duty is to protect the sect’s interests.
On the other hand, affair elders serve to oversee kingdoms, nations or large sects or clans. They become the consecrated of those forces and serve to ensure Broad Creed Sects influence and income in those places. As consecrated, they are also responsible for dealing with any unexpected situations that may arise.
After entering the city and choosing a meeting spot, Yan Zhaoge left for the palace alone. Ye Jing and the others separated and acted on their own in the national capital.
Ye Jing did have any interest in revisiting his old haunts. He walked along the river that flowed through the city until he reach a bridge. Setting foot on the bridge, he stood by himself as he looked down at the fast flowing water, calmly without words.
Si Kongqing soundlessly appear behind him. Ye Jing detected her arrival without concern, “Senior sister.”
“Are you thinking of the thing just now?” asked Si Kongqing as she slightly tilted her head.
Ye Jing shook his head, “At the time, I felt he was purposefully showing off, but after giving it some thought, it seemed unlikely.”
Si Kongqing said, “Then you are thinking about the artifacts senior brother Yan granted to everyone?”
When they were at the sect, only Ye Jing of the sixteen people in the expedition did not choose one of the artifacts Yan Zhaoge brought. The other fifteen people including Si Kongqing each chose an artifact.
“Senior brother Yan might be showing off, but he does have the qualification,” said Si Kongqing as she moved to stand at Ye Jing’s side, “Low grade artifacts are without thoughts; they cannot take sides. But our future achievements will not be decided by a single low grade artifact. Senior brother Yan treated everyone equally and gave an artifact to each person. Thus I see no reason to decline an artifact. He will not miss it because in the future he will have even better things.”
Ye Jing nodded. Even though Si Kongqing picked out an artifact just like everyone else, but she did not place much weight on this act due to her confidence in her future achievements.
“You choose not to accept an artifact. It might show your determination to walk your own road,” said Si Kongqing, “But it could also be interpreted as you refusing senior brother Yan’s kindness. The fact you refused means you are unable to differentiate good from bad. However, I feel senior brother Yan was not specifically expressing any intentions towards you. There is not much difference between the way he looks at us and the way he looks at you.”
Her words unexpectedly caused Ye Jing to tighten his fists. That figure from yesteryear that took way his childhood sweetheart and completely ignored him seemed to once again appeared before his eyes.
“I don’t know what he thinks, but I will not accept anything from him,” Ye Jing said. His words gradually grew more tranquil and his eyes were filled with a vigor stemming from confidence, “To the current me, a low grade artifact is naturally something very good, but my body and my cultivation are still more important.”
Si Kongqing said, “That is also true. So long as your mind is clear and your heart unclouded, your cultivation will be more successful. A clouded heart will cause your cultivation to easily suffer. It is worthwhile to simply let yourself go and act purely guided by your feelings.”
Ye Jing clenched his fist and said, “Yan Zhaoge is currently stronger than me. That is the truth. Not only is his strength stronger than mine, there is also the internal crystal furnace artifact refinement method, but I will not always lose to him. I will definitely surpass him.”
“A young martial scholar is not much. I will compete with him. Who can become a martial grandmaster first? And after that, who can transcend the impure and ascend into the realm of martial saint first!”
In this world, martial cultivation is divided into stages. Starting with the body refining stage, there are three large stages, first the corporeal body, then unblocking the meridians, and finally conducting qi. Each of these stages is divided into three phases, initial, middle and late.
So far, there are nine levels in total, and after those levels is the tenth level, which is also final stage of body refining, the minute stage. Thus, there are 10 levels in body refining.
Above the minute stage is a large bottleneck. If a martial warrior is able to break through, they can successfully enter the realm of martial scholar.
While it may not be apparent in Holy Grounds like Broad Creed Mountain, but in reality, someone who could become a martial scholar already has the qualifications to open their own minor school or establish their own minor sect.
The leaders of many tiny forces happen to be in the martial scholar realm of cultivation.
Martial scholars also have three large stages, they are individually, internalized astral qi, externalized astral qi, and xiantian. Each large stage is divided into three phases, initial, middle, and late. Plus there is a final stage at the end, the heavenly connection stage, which gives martial scholars ten levels as well.
And above the heavenly connection stage, there is an enormous gulf. People who manage to cross this gulf become martial grandmasters.
Once they reach that step, they are already powerful and influential figures in their local area, and they are also famous figures recognized throughout the entire Eight Extremities World.
Martial grandmasters also have four stages and ten levels. The final stage is called transcend the impure, as in transcend the impure in order to reach the sainthood. If a person manages to surpass this stage, they will have a slim hope of advancing into the martial saint realm, becoming someone of martial saint rank.
In the present world, the number of known martial saints can be counted on one’s fingers.
“His internal crystal furnace artifact refinement method can refine artifacts and spirit artifacts, but can it refine a sacred artifact? To a martial sect, how can any number of spirit artifacts be compared to the importance of a single martial saint?”
Ye Jing’s pupils shone with brilliant light. Even though he had already established his dantian’s qi ocean, he was only on the eighth level of body refinement, conducting qi middle phase. And Yan Zhaoge had long since become a martial scholar, moreover he had already reached internalized astral qi late phase.
However, Ye Jing was full of confidence. He believed he could definitely surpass the young man who seemed like his destined adversary.
He had sufficient perseverance and resolute conviction, furthermore he had his own trump card.
Ye Jing softly let out a breath of impure qi. His fingers twisted the dark red ring he wore on his right hand.
It did not matter that his starting point was low. He only needed to improve quickly. Then there will definitely be a day when he will catch up and surpass his target.
Si Kongqing looked at Ye Jing, “Junior brother Ye, your potential is extraordinary. Hold onto your lofty ambitions and keep your feet firmly on the ground, if so then there will surely be a time when you transcend the impure and grasp sainthood.”
Ye Jing smiled and said, “I am just boasting. Senior sister please don’t make fun of me. You have already reached the minute stage, only one step of reaching martial scholar. Right now, you are the one most likely to surpass Yan Zhaoge, and also the one most likely to become another early age martial scholar of Broad Creed Mountain.”
Si Kongqing said, “However, this time I do not think senior brother Yan holds any ill intent. On the contrary, elder Cui’s words in the assignment hall were truly suspicious as if they were meant to provoke conflict. Junior brother Ye, you must be careful of these hidden attacks in the future. There are many interpersonal relationships in the sect that are not easily understood. One could very easily be drawn into these dark undercurrents unknowingly.”
Ye Jing nodded, “I understand.”