Volume 1 Chapter 19: Picking Herbs

Ye Yong stretched his waist as soon as he walked out and did a bunch of stretching exercises that Lin Wei had never seen before.

“Yong Er, have you been okay?” Lin Wei asked. She had already checked Ye Yong’s physical health and found no problems, so she was currently just worried about Ye Yong’s mental health.

“I’m fine. Everything has been going well, and I’m already at the second layer of the Qi Refinement Realm,” Ye Yong said. He had spent the last 5 days cultivating and felt the power of the divine physique. He had only spent one night reading the basics of cultivation and was already able to gather qi. He hadn’t even taken any pills or medicine- if he did, then his cultivation speed would be way faster.

“The second layer of the Qi Refinement Realm? Yong Er, you’re not lying, right?” Lin Wei asked. She couldn’t feel Ye Yong’s cultivation.

“Oh, I cultivated a qi occlusion art. It lets me hide my presence and cultivation,” Ye Yong said. He turned off his concealment item, revealing his cultivation.

“You’re really at the second layer of the Qi Refinement Realm! Yong Er, that’s so fast! What mental art are you cultivating?” Lin Wei had never heard of anyone who only used 5 days to cultivate to the second layer of the Qi Refinement Realm.

“I managed to obtain a mysterious mental art by accident. Please forgive me for not being able to tell you what it is.”

“Okay, okay, Lin Wei said. She wasn’t really trying to prove Ye Yong’s secrets- she was just shocked. Well, that makes sense. My Yong is extremely smart. There’s no way he would destroy his own future. It was definitely because he got something better.

“But mother, please don’t tell anyone that I’ve recovered my cultivation. I’ll show it when the Heavenly Luo Sect recruits disciples,” Ye Yong said. He wanted to experience the joy of showing off.

“Okay, I’ll listen to you,” Lin Wei said. She was probably more worried about Ye Yong’s future than Ye Yong himself.

At night, Lin Wei made Ye Yong a pot of soup and used a bunch of expensive spirit meat and spiritual herbs. Although the soup didn’t really taste that good, it was very tonic, and Ye Yong drank all of the soup.

After Ye Yong finished, a series of notifications came from the idling system.

‘Ding. You ingested the essence of the sword claw tiger. The [Five Tiger Fist] is extremely happy. Cultivation speed increased. Progress: 68.’

‘Ding. You ingested a thousand-year-old frozen mountain snow lotus. [Frost Iron Palm] got nourished. Cultivation speed increased. Progress: 70.’

Ye Yong was very satisfied to hear that the cultivation speed of some of his battle arts had increased. However, the progress of his divine mental art and heaven-grade sword art were only at 1 and 3, respectively.

A very heartwarming speed like usual.

Ye Yong wasn’t very worried though. This was because as long as he broke through to the Foundation Establishment Realm, he could start cultivating the mental art, meaning that by then, he would be cultivating along with the idling system, essentially doubling his cultivation speed.

Ye Yong got to the 8th layer of the Qi Refinement Realm a week later. His cultivation speed had increased as he learned more and more about the principles and techniques of gathering and manipulating qi. He would also occasionally take some pills to speed up his cultivation.

Ye Yong was cultivation way faster than he originally thought he would, and it seemed to him that he might be able to get to the 10th layer of the Foundation Establishment Realm in 2 months and might even be able to break through to the Crystallization Realm.

“I think today is the 14th day since I transmigrated. It’s already been two weeks already, huh. I think today is the day when Qin Shi Meng and the male lead Long Tian would come into contact with each other…” Ye Yong walked out of his house and looked up at the sky. “Male lead Long Tian… I really don’t want to meet him.”

Great Zhou Dynasty, Spirit Phantom Mountains…

The Spirit Phantom Mountains was a mountain range with a lot of resources, and many people went into the mountain range to get resources. The further one went, the more resources there will be available for them to collect, but there would also be more dangers.

Mortals and martial cultivators basically only stayed in the outer 2 kilometers of the mountain range. This was because the only beasts that appeared in the outer perimeter were mortal beasts, which they were able to handle. Any further in and only cultivators could be seen. There were only spirit beasts and specter beasts¹ there, and legends said that there was even a Void Realm specter beast there. However, it was only a legend, and the strongest specter beast ever found in the mountain was only at the Ascension Realm. However, the specter beast was deep inside the mountain range, so people normally didn’t have the chance to see him/her.

On this day, the mountain was covered by fog, and it was hard to see.

An unattractive 18-year-old boy with large energetic eyes and thick eyebrows wearing a jade pendant appeared at the entrance of the Spirit Phantom Mountains.

He wore cheap clothes and had a mortal-grade long sword at his waist. No one would have guessed that someone as plain-looking as him would be a cultivator at the 4th layer of the Foundation Establishment Realm. He had actually been a mortal 3 years ago. He only took 3 years to get to the 4th layer of the Foundation Establishment Realm. On the surface, that was amazing and it showed that he had amazing talent. However, he had actually cultivated for 9 years. This was because the jade pendant he wore contained a space where time flowed at three times the speed of the outer world, and yet, for some reason, it didn’t make him age faster.

Well, spending 9 years to get to the 4th layer of the Foundation Establishment Realm was pretty good.

“I need to get the white jade fungus for Uncle Liu today. Otherwise, he probably won’t be able to live past this month,” the boy muttered as he looked at the Spirit Phantom Mountains.

The boy’s name was Long Tian. He had been adopted by someone named Uncle Liu and had grown up in a village near the Spirit Phantom Mountain.

Uncle Liu used to be a martial cultivator, but a specter beast had injured his foundation. As he grew older, his illness and pain became more and more pronounced.

Long Tian couldn’t stand to see Uncle Liu, the person who had raised him, pass away in pain, so he went to find a spiritual herb called white jade fungus to treat Uncle Liu’s injuries. For the past few days, Long Tian had been going deeper and deeper into the Spirit Phantom Mountains every day in order to find the white jade fungus. Today, he intended to go in 8 kilometers. Most of the beasts that were there were in the Foundation Establishment Realm, but there were some that were in the Crystallization Realm.

Crystallizations Realm beasts were too dangerous to Long Tian, but it was a risk that he had to take if he wanted to save Uncle Liu.

Because he had grown up collecting spiritual herbs in the 2-kilometer range, Long Tian was extremely familiar with it. 3 years ago, an accident happened, and blood dripped onto the jade pendant that he had been wearing since his childhood, which activated the jade pendant and awakened the soul within his jade pendant, opening his cultivation path.

In order to forge his physique, Long Tian had to go in deeper than 2 kilometers as a mortal and experienced a ton of danger as he picked the spiritual herbs right for forging his physique.

For the past 3 years, Long Tian was mostly active around the 4-kilometer mark and collected herbs there. He would use the ones that he could use and sell the ones he couldn’t use. As such, he was pretty familiar with the 4-kilometer range of the Spirit Phantom Mountain.

He went to the 6-kilometer mark a few days ago and had mapped out quite a bit of it. Since he hadn’t found white jade fungus there, he didn’t want to waste more time there and decided to go deeper inside the mountain range.

He rushed to the place he had marked the previous day- the 7-kilometer mark. The reason he knew the exact distance was that he was a cultivator, and cultivators were pretty good at accurately calculating speed and time.

Long Tian used the beast-avoiding incense that the Fallen Immortal Elder had taught him to evade many beasts at the 10th layer of the Foundation Establishment Realm. This allowed him to avoid many unnecessary battles and go all the way to the 8-kilometer mark.

At this moment, Long Tian heard fighting sounds.

Translator’s Notes:

¹ 妖兽. 兽 means beast, that’s easy. 妖 is where the trouble comes. A lot of translators translate 妖 as demons and translate 妖兽 as demonic beasts. That’s where I think the problem is. This “demon” isn’t the demon that we normally think of; rather, it’s more like beasts (non-human beings) with intelligence. The demon that we normally think of in English is 魔 in Chinese. As such I will be using specter beasts for 妖兽 and specter for 妖. So what’s the difference between 妖 and 妖兽? Well, I think the difference is that 妖 has or can change into a human form while 妖兽 has a non-human form. For example, the nine-tailed fox that is pretty popular in Chinese folklore that can transform into a human would be a 妖, whereas a snake that can understand human speech would simply 妖兽. Oh, and 妖 is above 妖兽.

So what, you may ask, is a 灵兽? To be honest, I’m not really sure. I think that in Chinese, we categorize them as beasts that are intelligent, lucky, or fortunate. We can also categorize them as beasts that are different from normal beasts or animals or beasts that can bring about fortuitous events or luck. I guess the easiest differentiation between 灵兽 and 妖兽 and the one that I’m most sure about would be that 妖 is usually portrayed as evil in stories while 灵兽 isn’t. But make no mistake. 妖, especially in cultivation novels, are in no way eviler than humans- they just have a different set of beliefs and values. Yes, some may be evil, but that’s the same with humans. Some are evil, some are good, and some are just neutral and just go along with the others.

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