Chapter 1: The Hundred Thousand Mountains
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Xiao Nuo, you’ve been lying to me all along! How cruel you are!”
Jiang Chen woke up screaming from a nightmare. His chest was heaving rapidly, his forehead covered with sweat.
He looked around and surprisingly found himself lying in a strange room. The whole thing made him very confused. Suddenly he recalled something that completely shocked him.
I am not dead? It’s impossible. I was pierced through the heart by the Infinity Sai. Even the Golden Immortality of the Great Overarching Heaven couldn’t have saved me!
Countless images instantly sprung to his mind, some of which were familiar to him, others which were not.
He was left speechless.
The Nine Heavens Continent? Isn’t it in the Planes World, at the border of the Sacred Zone? How come I’ve been reincarnated into a sixteen-year-old boy?
Jiang Chen pinched his own arm hard. From the pain, he knew that this wasn’t a dream.
Five hundred years later?
That’s what really surprised him. No matter how far away the Sacred Zone was, there were ways to travel back. But time and tide wait for no man. So many things could have happened during these five hundred years.
He was caught by anger again at the thought of his current situation.
He was born in the Over Cloud Palace, one of the three most powerful forces in the Sacred Zone. The lord of the palace was his father, who was also one of the Four Sages of the Sacred Zone.
Like father, like son.
Theoretically speaking, Jiang Chen should be extraordinary enough to be a matchless, powerful man, just like his father. However, by a twist of fate, he was born with an exhausted pulse, which made it impossible for him to practice.
Although his father visited almost all men with special abilities in the Sacred Zone, no cure was found.
This meant the son of the lord of the palace was only a useless man who could in no way be strengthened.
But fortunately, the Over Cloud Palace was a heartwarming place, where he was well taken care of by his father’s apprentices as well as his parents. They wouldn’t allow any injustice to happen to him.
Jiang Chen didn’t give up just because he couldn’t practice. Instead, he tried to develop other abilities.
As a top force in the Sacred Zone, numerous books were kept in the Cloud Pavilion of the Over Cloud Palace. Almost all subjects were covered. If some of these books had been available outside of the palace, they would have caused bloody riots.
However, he could browse them at will as the son of the lord of the palace.
He showed unusual talents in many things. At 20 years old, his achievements in elixir, tactical formation, ware pattern and beast mastery could already match the achievements of any experts.
Jiang Chen once spent three days and nights discussing elixir arts on Mount Tianshan with the Saint of Medicine. The usually aloof and proud saint described him after meeting him with four simple words – “young but dangerously talented.”
The whole Sacred Zone was shocked to hear such a comment. Soon after that, he cracked the Yin Yang Sextile Formation created by the legendary Xuan Hou, thus helping the Over Cloud Palace acquire countless invaluable treasures from the relics.
People gradually forgot that Jiang Chen couldn’t practice. They called him the First Child of the Sacred Zone in appreciation of his talents.
Later, Jiang Chen started to study medicine.
No one ever knew how advanced his medical skill became. But everyone knew if he was willing to help, however difficult the disease was, it would be cured. Even Yama couldn’t beat him.
Jiang Chen got to know Xiao Nuo when he was 25. She was a saintess of the Dragon Society. Her master was one of the Four Sages.
She was deemed the most beautiful woman in the Sacred Zone. In addition, she had achieved something unusual in her practice, which left all promising youngsters in the Sacred Zone far behind.
It was natural that Xiao Nuo had innumerable admirers.
However, she fell in love with Jiang Chen, not minding that he couldn’t practice. Instead, she appreciated his knowledge and talent.
Jiang Chen was soon attracted to such a perfect woman. What happened next was undoubtedly logical. Their marriage announcement caused quite a stir in the Sacred Zone.
On the day of their wedding, Jiang Chen walked into their wedding room with a sincere heart. He couldn’t move his eyes away from his bride, who was sitting on the edge of the bed.
He took one step ahead, then another step, until he was close enough to raise that red silk veil.
He never expected to see a cold face and a cold weapon under the veil.
“Why? Xiao Nuo! Why did you do this to me?”
At this moment, Jiang Chen was searching memories that didn’t belong to him, trying to get information regarding the Sacred Zone.
But the Nine Heavens Continent was too far away from the Sacred Zone. The communication channel between them wasn’t stable enough.
He was surprised to find that people living there didn’t have any idea of the existence of the Sacred Zone or the Planes World.
Of course he knew nothing about what had been happening in the Sacred Zone during the last five hundred years.
Jiang Chen didn’t know how his parents were, or what happened to Xiao Nuo after she killed him. There was no way she would be able to escape from the Over Cloud Palace.
Nevertheless, she tried so desperately hard to assassinate him that there must have been an ulterior motive behind the scenes.
He thought of his father’s apprentices, Bai Xuan, who drank like a fish, and Yu Qing, who adored Bai Xuan secretly but didn’t dare to mention it. Ji Xin and Yi Xing, who always spent all day playing chess.
If nothing unexpected happened, they should still be alive. Please, please don’t let anything happen to them! Jiang Chen, who could do nothing to help, was only able to pray for them.
It’s impossible to bear the tear of the planes’ channel if I haven’t achieved the Reaching Heaven State. Does this mean I’m unable to go back for my whole life? Wait, I don’t have an exhausted pulse now. I can practice!
By being revived in a new guise, he didn’t have a body with an exhausted pulse any more. Although very weak, he had the thing that he once dreamed of.
It won’t be difficult for me to achieve the Reaching Heaven State with my ability.
Jiang Chen made up his mind to practice until he was in the Reaching Heaven State in order to go back to the Sacred Zone of today, which was 500 years after his death.
Suddenly he heard some footsteps outside the door, which drew him back to reality. He started to carefully size up the room.
There was a mild sandalwood scent in the room. The winter sun shined through a hollow carved window, turning the shadow into fragments of light. Under him was a big soft bed. The quilts and sheets were all made of the finest silks.
The door was pushed open from outside. A pretty maid in a green and white robe came in. She looked 14 or 15 years old, short and slender.
“Young Master, you are awake! How wonderful it is!”
She saw Jiang Chen sitting on the edge of the bed when she went to enter the room. She opened her almond shaped eyes wide in surprise and ran away quickly after a cheer.
Jiang Chen knew that she was running to notify the Lady, the mother of his body.
The name of his current body was Ning Chen. He was the child of the Ning Mansion. The Nings were a powerful family that controlled the Southwind Ridge of the Hundred Thousand Mountains. They were a dominant force in this area.
It was said that the world was a unified whole before. Then an explosion shattered it into fragments. Each fragment was a plane.
The Sacred Zone was the most intact and the vastest among all fragments; it was the center of all planes.
By contrast, the Nine Heavens Continent was one of the least remarkable.
The continent was composed of various fields. The Hundred Thousand Mountains, where Jiang Chen was currently, was only a small corner of the Fire Field, while the Southwind Ridge was a small corner of the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
Although the Ning Mansion wasn’t worth mentioning when considering the whole Fire Field, it was a considerably powerful force in the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
Ning Chen’s father, Ning Qingyu, was the pride of the Southwind Ridge. He was especially talented, a quick learner of everything. He achieved the Mental Wander State when he was less than 20 years old, and was also known by people beyond the Hundred Thousand Mountains for his superb swordsmanship.
Later, Ning Qingyu became an apprentice of the Taoist Priest Skywind, a mighty figure in the Fire Field, and learned from him all his skills and abilities. Ning Qingyu was finally ranked amongst the top 50 powerful men in the Master List of the Fire Field.
However, this influential man had no more big achievements after that.
It was because Ning Qingyu met Ning Chen’s mother. They returned to the Ning Mansion and started their warm family there.
Ten-odd years had slipped by when Ning Chen was born. He showed talent as brilliant as his father’s- they even said that he would achieve something greater than his father had.
At age 16, Ning Chen celebrated his Pulse Invigorating Ceremony.
The meridian system is fundamental for a person.
You relied on your meridian system to breathe in the spirits of the universe or put your own abilities to good use.
The Pulse Invigorating Ceremony aimed to achieve the greatest potential of his meridian system.
Jiang Chen was an excellent child when he was in the Sacred Zone, until he was found to have an exhausted pulse after they tried to invigorate it. As a result, he was doomed to fail in practice.
Ning Chen, on the other hand, had a perfectly strong pulse. Ning Qingyu took his son to the Black Dragon City, located outside of the Hundred Thousand Mountains, to celebrate his Pulse Invigorating Ceremony.
That was where the Nings were originally from.
The Ning Mansion of the Southwind Ridge is owned by a branch of the Nings of the Black Dragon City, where their clan land is. Every successor of the Ning Mansion goes there to celebrate the Pulse Invigorating Ceremony to show their respect to the clan.
Ning Chen was found to have a unique holy pulse. His pulse was a hundred times stronger than his father’s. However, that’s also when the misfortune began.
The First Lady of the Ning’s original clan was very jealous of him, since her son Ning Haotian celebrated the ceremony with Ning Chen and it turned out that his pulse was not much better than an ordinary human’s.
That night Ning Qingyu got very drunk at the banquet. The First Lady took advantage of it and called Ning Chen over with a lie. She deprived him of his holy pulse and transplanted it into her son’s body.
Jiang Chen had no idea what happened next.
Ning Chen’s memory after that was quite vague. He was too weak to survive after losing his holy pulse. Jiang Chen had taken over his body when he died.
When Jiang Chen woke up, he was lying in Ning Chen’s room, which meant they had been back from the Black Dragon City.
At this moment, Jiang Chen heard urgent footsteps coming from outside.
A concerned voice came first before anyone appeared.
An instant later Jiang Chen saw a beautiful and slender woman in a long garnet dress appear in all her glory.
On seeing this face, Jiang Chen couldn’t help asking, “Mother, how is father now?” He almost blurted out the question and was totally stunned by himself when he finished the sentence.
“I’ve taken over this body and his memory. To some extent I am Ning Chen.” He didn’t struggle too much, but got relieved soon, since he had no other choice.
The woman looked down on hearing him. A deep frown in her face showed a profound sadness.
It was the maid coming in after her who started to speak in anger.
After Ning Chen’s holy pulse was taken, on the second day, when Ning Qingyu woke up sober and saw his son lying in bed, in a coma, he flew into a great rage. He picked up his sword and went to seek justice.
As a powerful man in the Master List, although he spent more than a decade only focusing on his family life and accompanying his wife and son, he didn’t get any weaker, but stronger.
He, in his white robe and with his sword, turned the whole Black Dragon City upside down. None of the strong ones or elders from the original clan of the Nings could stop him.
That day, numerous people from the Nings’ original clan were wounded or killed..
They didn’t stop fighting until the Xia Dynasty was informed.
Ning Qingyu insisted that the First Lady should hand her son over.
However, the Ning’s original clan claimed that the holy pulse couldn’t be transplanted one more time, so if he killed Ning Haotian, the holy pulse would be wasted for no reason. They used this as an excuse, and were only willing to make up for Ning Chen’s loss with money.
The Xia Dynasty was on Black Dragon City’s side as well, since Ning Haotian and their princess had become engaged. Of course, the dynasty preferred that Ning Haotian keep the holy pulse.
Ning Qingyu wasn’t resigned to taking the beating. He would rather die honorably, instead of living dishonorably. He swore to seek justice for his son.
In the end, the Xia Dynasty, who came to make peace, joined the fight too. Xue Jingtian, known as the Dragon General, joined hands with the Ning’s original clan.
At last, Ning Qingyu was physically tired and was put down by the Nings’ tactical formation.
“The Lord was accused of disrespect, and is imprisoned under the Black Dragon Pool by the Nings.”
The woman started to cry when the maid finished the story.
Needless to say, the Black Dragon Pool was an extremely dangerous place.
“They’ve gone too far! Just too far!”
Jiang Chen became furious after hearing the story. He anxiously asked, “Why didn’t you ask the Taoist Priest Skywind for help to seek justice?”
He knew from Ning Chen’s memory that his father had a great master.
Gao Yue shook her head with a helpless look.
It turned out that the Taoist Priest Skywind was fighting outside and didn’t know about anything that had occured in the Nine Heavens Continent.
The Ning Mansion had no way to get in touch with him.
If it were not for their fear of the Taoist Priest Skywind, Black Dragon City would not have just kept Ning Qingyu in prison.
“Son, how are you feeling? Are you feeling any discomfort?” Gao Yue wiped away her tears. While asking, she held one of his hands, her long and thin fingers slightly squeezing his wrist.
After a little while she seemed to be in great pain, and looked frustrated and angry. She remained silent.
Jiang Chen didn’t bother to ask. He knew that since the holy pulse was robbed, the broken pulse must have been very weak, even weaker than an ordinary human being, and his state had been lowered by many levels.
But these were no problems for him. He used to have an exhausted pulse. What else could be worse than that?
Suddenly, there were noises coming from outside.
“Cher, go to see what’s happening out there. Chen needs to stay in a quiet environment to recover.” Gao Yue knit her eyebrows, a certain coldness in her eyes.
Cher nodded, trotted out and came back with an apprehensive face soon after.
“Lady, things are bad. Those from the west courtyard have broken in!”
“The west courtyard?”
Gao Yue was very surprised. She didn’t understand what they came here for.