T/N: Extra Chapter today! This chapter is dedicated to Shayden, Myrna M and Karen S.! Thank you for the ko-fi! uwu
Chapter 43 [Master-disciple story 1] I want this person
Outside of the sea of clouds, on the apex of KunLun Mountain.
Inside a lofty palace, everybody sat in a circle facing the enigmatic water mirror that only revealed purple clouds. The water mirror was about 100 chi wide and its edges were embedded with five phases (1) of crystal stones, as well as potrayals of the several ways to cultivate. This mirror was in fact, a high level magic tool.
(1) Five phases: wood, fire, earth, metal, water
At this moment, the bright mirror clearly reflected the spectacle of the stairways to heaven. It didn’t only let you observe the circumstances of each participant of the trial, it could also reflect the view of participants from different angles capturing their every single expression.
Among the participants, there was a youth who looked confident and charming as he climbed up the stairs without any difficulties just like he was stepping on ordinary land. There were also seniors who were able to advance ahead with ease casually. However, there were even more ordinary cultivators like Chu Jiao who bit their teeth and persevered with sweat soaking their backs. Majority of the people came from different parts of the world and they were all here sharing the same one purpose, to pass this trial and enter the number one biggest sect under the skies and reach heaven in a single bound(2).
(2) Reach heaven in a single bound: To have instant success
However, although the stairways to heaven allowed people to take a step towards heaven, it was actually harder than climbing to heaven.(3)
(3) In this sentence, the author makes a play on words using the idiom and comparing it to reality.
The entire duration of the Heaven Reach Trial took a total of 3 days and 3 nights and every time, the number of participants exceeded tens of thousands but the number of people who were able to last until the very last day was only a short hundred people. Today was just the very first day and already half of the people had found it hard to bear the pressure, falling directly into the sea of clouds and losing their qualifications in the trial.
There were a total of 10 people sitting inside the palace. Aside from the respected Sect Leader, Qing Wei and other respected seniors, there was also the Noble Spirit Sect’s top nine expert zhenjuns whom at the same time, were also known as the Noble Spirit Sect’s 9 big elders.
“The number of good seedlings this time are also quite a lot.” An elder who had a head of white hair laughed while stroking his beard.
“That’s right.” Another middle-aged beautiful woman who wore red clothes, spoke. She pointed at the mirror reflecting the sauntering confident youth’s figure and said. “I think that child isn’t bad at all. Limitless Maestro,I hope you’re not thinking of stealing him from me again”
“How unbecoming.” The zhenjun elder glared. “Scarlet Sunset, I didn’t steal from you at all so you better let me have him this time!”
“All right all right.” Sect Leader Qing Wei who sat on the throne in the middle waved his hands from headache. “You two are always arguing over the disciples until your faces turn red and your necks bulge out. Aren’t you afraid of being ridiculed by the younger generation?”
“What’s so funny about this?’ Scarlet Sunset zhenjun played with the whip in her hands. “What we’re doing is just cherishing talent. If they somehow followed the wrong master, it would be a waste of these young seedlings’ potential.”
“You you you, who are you saying is following the wrong master!” The Maestro fumed.
“Enough.” Qing Wei promptly stepped in. “Can’t the both of you learn from Highest Heavens and carry even the slightest bit of the demeanor of an elder!”
Hearing his name being called, a man who had been cultivating with his eyes closed sitting at the front opened his eyes. His body was akin to an unsheathed a sword causing cold air to engulf the main hall.
“It’s nothing, it’s nothing. We were just joking. Please continue cultivating, Highest Heavens.”
The Sect Leader saw that he had inadvertently roused the cultivating maniac and hurriedly turned around to pacify him.
That man had extremely handsome features yet because he was expressionless and had an unapproachable air, it appeared as if he was just wearing a mask. He listened to the Sect Leader and nodded his head in response, closing his eyes once more.
Before closing his eyes, his gaze coincidentally swept through the water mirror which reflected Chu Jiao’s face who incessantly perspired, however, his gaze didn’t stop for more than a second as if he was only glancing at a struggling ant which was not the least bit of concern to him.
The person in the mirror appeared to be around 15 or 16 years old. She wore ordinary rough hemp clothes and had long hair that was tied at the top of her head. She had her waist bent slightly and only moved a step after a long time. She was clearly struggling yet she repeatedly never gave up. Her entire face was filled with sweat and dust, degrading her looks into an unrecognizable point to the extent that you couldn’t identify her true gender. Only her pair of eyes were spirited and bright, making her look more like a genuine youth.
The people in the hall also observed Chu Jiao’s appearance at this moment and secretly shook their heads in their heart. This youth appeared to struggle with all her might so they concluded that she wouldn’t be hold on after tonight.
However, Chu Jiao surpassed their expectations.
She didn’t only carry through the first day, she carried through the second and was able to persevere until the third night, becoming one of the hundred people left on the 9,999 steps of stairs.
In these 3 days, Chu Jiao had told herself innumerable times that she wouldn’t be able to hold onto the next second, however, she still held her breath, grit her teeth and clenched her fists, somewhat shakily circulating the zhenqi in her dantian, feeling it become hollow then filled repeatedly. Bit by bit, she shifted her foot and stepped forward one step at a time.
“I won’t believe….” She swallowed the blood that surged out of her throat and panted heavily. “That I should accept my fate…just because the heavens arranged it so…..” She recalled experiences while growing up and remembered the feelings she had when she agreed to the system’s proposal.
Unwillingness filling up her eyes.
“Since….this is called the stairways to heaven…” She lifted her spine that was practically almost crooked by the pressure and stared at the dark night sky that appeared to be within reach. Glistening luster flashed in her eyes. “I’m going to climb it…”
“And step on it with my feet”
Daybreak was about to arrive and at this moment in the main hall, everybody watched the pair bright eyes that didn’t concede defeat. Hearing the youth’s immature and somewhat ridiculous words, they felt slightly moved.
“The younger generations will pass us in time ah…” Limitless zhenjun stroked his beard as if he was recalling the previous years where he was as similarly bold.
“Haha.” The Sect Leader laughed in his seat. He pointed at the youth who cut a sorry figure and informed the awake handsome man who gazed at the water mirror. “Highest Heavens, this child appears to be extremely alike to you from that time ah.”
That man had ceased cultivating at this point and sat upright carrying his long sword. His gaze directed on the middle of the mirror. He had heard the Sect Leader’s jest yet his pair of eyes remained calm and collected, without a desire to comment..
“Oh? I seem to recall our cold faced immortal zhenjun, Highest Heavens also had this period where he acted with such arrogance and was ignorant of the immensity of heaven and earth.” The Sect Leader’s words rouse the spirits of the remaining elders.
“Haha, at that time ah…” The Sect Leader narrowed his eyes and grinned, recalling the past yet he did not continue speaking. This behavior of leading someone on really made everyone so angry they gnashed their teeth.
And in the reflection of the water mirror, Chu Jiao was probably the first to top the list of having the most pitiful appearance in history as she stepped on the very last step of stairs.
“Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine…”
At this moment, the sun rose, covering the heavens with a dazzling light.
Hearing the system notify the end of her trial, Chu Jiao instantly felt relief. Her vision turned black as her entire body fell down like a kite that had lost its string.
She thought she was going to die a horrible death from falling so high up in the cloud and didn’t expect to land on a pair of arms that exuded cold air.
Then, she heard a cold voice like the crisp sound of precious jade knocking against pearl plate, ring beside her ear as she heard him say-
“I want this person.”