Chapter 10 - Fighting with Fists Is the Way to Go

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“Lifespan?” Gu Suihan was beginning to understand what Li Rong was talking about.

“That’s right. As cultivators of the Way, we are willing to go through three disasters and six afflictions or go through heavenly tribulations1(
Three disasters
Disaster from Heaven: TLDR an exam set by the heavens to test the cultivator’s level and ability. Might involve a case where the cultivator is trapped in some formation and has to find a way out.
Disaster from Earth: TLDR the cultivator does something that causes normal humans to try and kill him.
Disaster from humans: TLDR this time, it’s the cultivator’s disciple(s) who get him into hot soup.
Six afflictions
Gold affliction: basically injured by something made of metal
Earth affliction: basically you might be a victim of an earthquake or landslide or fall into a dried up well etc, particularly when you try to hide yourself in a cave to cultivate by yourself.
Water affliction: basically you get stuck somewhere with water or inside water itself.
Wood affliction: basically you get stuck under a tree or worse, IN a tree.
Fire affliction: basically someone tries to set you on fire (especially when you’re in that cave cultivating) or lightning tries to strike you.
Mental affliction: basically when you’re trying to cultivate or meditate, you get distracted or affected by some external force and you end up being unable to snap out of your meditation mode or you just go completely insane or you suffer internal injuries.
Heavenly Tribulations
Wuxia Xianxia Xuanhuan Terms
in some novels, this refers to a trial encountered by cultivators at key points in their cultivation, which they must resist and ultimately transcend. Because immortal cultivation (generally) goes against the Will of Heaven, the Heavens will send down tribulations to oppress high-level cultivators who make progress towards Immortality, often right when they enter a new cultivation stage. This typically takes the form of a lightning storm, with extraordinarily powerful bolts of lightning raining down from the Heavens to strike at the cultivator.
It is said that to become an immortal you must go through this super combo of disasters, afflictions and tribulations. ‘Tis not easy to be cultivator. If it was, then we wouldn’t need MCs reborn with all their memories, a combination of souls, along with those ‘gold finger’ cheats, systems and other superpowers. /rant]. We don’t care if we can eventually live our days relaxing in nothingness or if we can live long lives. At the end of it all, we still have to return everything to the universe. We are to bring happiness to the world and break the karmic cycle.”

Li Rong frowned and looked a little frustrated as he went on, “But there are always some people who cultivate in order to attain more power. But the things they do make them seem like an ant trying to shake a tree as they dream of using the power from all living things to add to their lifespan. Such people have pitted themselves against the Way of Heaven, so their cultivation journey is usually filled with difficulties and sometimes, disasters come knocking on their door.”

“Humph, you must be joking, young man.” Nan Yuntian scoffed when he heard the way Li Rong had described such cultivators. “It doesn’t matter if you’re cultivating in the Way or if you’re trying to attain immortality. Aren’t cultivators in the Way like you also doing something that’s against the will of Heaven?”

“Hoho, that’s not how it goes,” said the Seven Kill Sect Disciplinarian Zhang as he looked at Nan Yuntian from the corner of his eye. “Cultivators of the Way like us are seeking longevity, cultivating our hearts and minds and aiming to surpass all tests that come our way. If we achieve our aims, we will definitely give back to the universe. But those like you who only care about cultivating in the way of martial arts are after something that is truly against the will of Heaven. You start wars and court disasters for no good reason and desire to reverse the Way of Heaven. We can’t possibly compare to such a mindset.”

“Cultivation of the Truth can shape your character, but the Way of Martial Arts can defy heaven.” Nan Yuntian’s expression was icy as he sneered, “Only martial arts can enable one to surpass this universe! Strength is the basis of all things!”

“Martial arts can grant you power over the mundane world, but you will not be able to live leisurely for a long time to come. You will not escape death.” Disciplinarian Zhang scoffed in contempt. “Did you think you could make that person appear over such a small thing? What a joke.”

“Why, you!” Nan Yuntian’s face reddened with anger. “Fine! It is true that I am not confident of being able to make that person appear, but I am no pushover2. As far as I know, you were lucky enough to somehow break through to Origin Core stage just a few years ago, weren’t you? Are you sure you’re able to protect this boy from me and get him back in one good piece?”

Nan Yuntian got up with a start and his robe started flapping wildly even though there was no wind. The entire arena fell completely silent from this sudden display of might. The illusion of a ferocious lion slowly emerged from behind Nan Yuntian and even its soundless roar was able to strike terror in the hearts of people, while the clouds in the sky trembled and disappeared. Nan Yuntian now resembled a hungry lion, a furious and powerful one.

“So, we still have to fight, I see.” Disciplinarian Zhang flipped his long sleeves back and stood up as he scoffed, “You really want to go to the point of no return?” As he spoke, he used one hand to summon the secret realm back to himself, made a seal with his hands and filled the entire city center with a ghostly Qi. It was still daytime, but everyone immediately saw the sky darken as countless vengeful souls and ghosts who had died a wrongful death appeared and started howling. A Ghost Controlling Flag appeared in his left hand from nowhere. The inscriptions on it flashed faintly and Yin Qi surrounded it. The image of a palace in ruins was printed in the middle of the flag, and anyone who gazed upon it would feel like they had fallen into hell. The whole atmosphere was both sinister and eerie.

“Haha! Elder Zhang, this boy isn’t part of the Seven Kill Sect yet, so why do you even bother?” The middle-aged man from Vast Sky Sect burst out laughing, then stood up and continued, “Besides, since when was the Seven Kill Sect qualified to represent every cultivator in the world of cultivation?”

“Tsk! And since when did the Seven Kill Sect have to check with any of you before deciding what to do?” Disciplinarian Zhang glanced at that middle-aged man without hiding any of his disdain. The middle-aged man was furious, but Disciplinarian Zhang ignored him and suddenly turned to ask Gu Suihan, “Young man, you can see what’s going on for yourself. Are you willing to join the Seven Kill Sect?”

It was obvious whose side it was better to stand on. Gu Suihan wasn’t an idiot and wasn’t going to pretend he could fight all these people either, so he immediately bowed and said, “Your disciple, Gu Suihan, greets Disciplinarian Zhang.”

“Haha! Excellent!” Disciplinarian Zhang’s anger was slightly appeased, and he smiled as he said, “From now on, you shall be a disciple of the Seven Kill Sect.” After he said that, he turned to look back at the middle-aged man from the Vast Sky Sect as he smirked, “How’s that? I’ve got a reason to fight now, don’t I?”

The middle-aged man remained silent with a frosty look on his face for a long time before finally hissing, “How shameless.”

As tensions continued to rise, the disciplinarian from the War Demon Sect had no choice but to try to mediate the situation. “We’re all cultivation sects and we cross paths very often as a result, so why make things so ugly for one another? In my opinion, since this boy has already joined the Seven Kill Sect, our friend Disciplinarian Zhang is naturally obliged to protect him. The Castellan can get Disciplinarian Zhang to make compensation after this.”

Anybody sharp enough would see immediately that the War Demon Sect was in the same camp as the Seven Kill Sect and sided with the Seven Kill Sect in everything, but Nan Yuntian couldn’t do anything about this. Once Gu Suihan agreed to join the Seven Kill Sect, Nan Yuntian knew the game was up. After all, even if he didn’t fear the revenge that the Seven Kill Sect would exact on him for this, it wasn’t worth fighting both the Seven Kill Sect and the War Demon Sect together.

If he insisted on fighting them even after he had been offered a peaceful alternative, the retaliation he would suffer later was not something that he as a castellan could deal with. This situation made Nan Yuntian feel an overwhelming sense of hatred for the calm and collected young man, so much so that Nan Yuntian really wished he could kill Gu Suihan right now.

“Sir, Miss has already become part of the Seven Kill Sect. Do not forget that place. It’s only a few more years until the awakening, isn’t it? I think it’s better to let this go for now, otherwise you might implicate Miss.” The voice of an official who had been standing quietly behind Nan Yuntian all this time suddenly rang inside Nan Yuntian’s head, his words filled with confidence in Nan Xingyuan.

Nan Yuntian shut his eyes and exhaled deeply. He said quietly, “I know what to do.”

“Don’t forget how you ended up in this state back then,” Disciplinarian Zhang suddenly said to Nan Yuntian with a disdainful look as he narrowed his eyes.

“So what? Back then, he was only short of one step. If your sects hadn’t suddenly appeared, he wouldn’t have failed!” bellowed Nan Yuntian in a rage. The ferocious lion behind him roared as well.

“If we didn’t do anything, did you think you would still be in charge of this place?” The disciplinarian of the War Demon Sect couldn’t help but glare furiously at Nan Yuntian.

Back then, he was the one who had nearly destroyed the despot of this place. If he had just been addicted to massacring and doing whatever he wanted, the sects would not have bothered to do anything about him. As long as he wasn’t targeting them, they couldn’t care less. Unfortunately, the invincible power he had only gave him even more ambitious dreams – he wanted to destroy this world.

That desire alone was enough to rile up all the sects.

“In any case, his appearance caused martial artists like you to be opposed by the rules of this universe. This is an irrefutable truth. Why else would you have allowed your children to enter one of our sects in order to cultivate the Truth and seek the Way?” The disciplinarian from Fallen Star Sect had his eyes half closed as he continued in a neutral tone, “The Way of Martial Arts is on the decline right now and martial artists have been facing a lot of difficulties. I believe you would know a lot better about this situation than we do.”

A few moments after hearing those words, Nan Yuntian suddenly withdrew his fury and sat down again rather indignantly. His voice was solemn as he said, “While that is true, I still find it difficult to accept.”

Disciplinarian Zhang looked at Nan Yuntian’s somewhat lonesome figure and sighed quietly as he looked up at the sky, then kept away his Ghost Controlling Flag. He said, “Let’s get down to business properly. With regard to Gu Suihan, I don’t think it’s as simple as the ship getting robbed, right?”

“And what else do you think this entails?” Nan Yuntian looked up and scoffed, “It’s been a few centuries since the royal court has seen such an audacious figure. A few hundred court officials died from that incident. Did you think that this little bit of gold is enough to draw the attention of the royal court?” Nan Yuntian’s eyes reddened as his frosty gaze passed over Gu Suihan. Then he continued, “What the royal court is concerned about is that someone actually challenged their authority in public. If they don’t make a thorough investigation, more such acts of rebellion will occur in the future.”

“That wouldn’t be the real reason why your superiors are so angry.” Disciplinarian Zhang made a face. He clearly didn’t have any regard for the authority Nan Yuntian was talking about. It must have been something more important. Something related to your superiors.

He didn’t utter the last bit. To him, as long as it was something that was bad for the martial artists, cultivators like himself would lend their support. After all, nobody wanted what happened back then to happen again.

As he thought about these things, Disciplinarian Zhang suddenly glanced at Gu Suihan standing behind him with a glint in his eyes.

Perhaps it was because of the attitude of the sects and their disdain for martial artists, but Nan Yuntian clearly realized that he wasn’t going to be able to arrest the person involved in this case. His heart slowly calmed back down, but his expression remained as nasty as ever.

Several hours later…

All the remaining young men and women either chose or were allocated to the various sects. The most shocking part was that Nan Xingyuan ended up standing among the new disciples of the Seven Kill Sect, despite looking terribly unhappy about it.

“The thing you’re holding onto is like a hot potato in your hands. If you don’t hand it over now, you will end up suffering from dire consequences beyond your imagination,” Nan Xingyuan whispered into Gu Suihan’s ear as she glared fiercely at him.

Perhaps Gu Suihan had finally gotten annoyed with her. His arm suddenly shot out and grabbed hold of her slim neck. She stared back at him in shock as he quietly said to her, “Did you think your father would be able to protect you for the rest of your life?”

His voice was very soft, but very steady. Just like the hand around her neck.

“You…you wouldn’t dare!” Nan Xingyuan squeezed these words out even though she was about to choke and stared at Gu Suihan with a mocking look in her eyes.

Gu Suihan looked down as if he was thinking about this, then calmly said to her, “I wouldn’t dare to.” Before Nan Xingyuan could say anything, he went on, “But how can you be sure that I will cooperate with any of you?”

His expression was still as calm and collected as always, but Nan Xingyuan could see contempt in his slightly upturned lips and an aloofness in his eyes that never seemed to disappear.

“If you don’t hand it over, you will die. The family you once belonged to will also be implicated.”

Nan Xingyuan suddenly felt fearful, because she realized that Gu Suihan’s expression had never changed at all. His expression seemed…like a mask you could buy off the street3, just that it was a little less stiff.

The Clacker’s Tea Party

Today’s ~~snack~~ tea recommendation:

Chrysanthemum Tea

After so much MSG, have some tea. I don’t know why the summary box in wiki says steep in 100 deg C water. DO NOT DO THAT. YOU WILL COOK/BURN THE FLOWER(S) AND MAKE THE TEA BITTER.

  1. Three disasters, Six afflictions and Heavenly Tribulation.<br/>Translated from: [仙家所谓的三灾六难 ↩️

  2. Squishy persimmon = Pushover. A metaphor for a pushover or someone who is easily bullied is 软柿子, or literally soft persimmon, which I think is very cute. Also, squishy persimmons are yummy. ↩️

  3. Mask bought off the streets. (Not sure if legit but according to all the dramas I’ve watched) These are masks sold by random street stalls/stalls at a festival of sorts that are usually meant for children and cover the entire face. ↩️

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