Swoosh swoosh swoosh… At this time, Xu Yangyi’s body that was meditating in the air was already beginning to faintly tremble. Just as he answered the call of Foundation Establishment, his spiritual sense was yanked down to his foundation platform, beyond his control. All of his qi freely stormed into the foundation platform, and the entire surface of the platform started to bulge at the same time! In less than three seconds, an irregular boulder no less than a hundred meters tall was formed!
Crash… Xu Yangyi’s brows tightly furrowed. He could sense that the qi inside his body… were like blades covering the top of the boulder. As if… it wanted to take him and carve out a shape! Streaks of qi wandered, and stone after stone fell down. The sound of scraping rang out. Like so, he calmly observed yet didn’t move.
“Butterflymother Southflower’s remnant soul has a few memories related to Foundation Establishment. The knowledge I learned in the past also has info on the Foundation Establishment barrier.”
“Although no one’s guiding me now or casting protective magiks, these details have existed in my heart for a long time. Protective magiks, drainage, guidance… These things only increase the success rate of Foundation Establishment, nothing else. Right now, my situation doesn’t allow it. So in that case… I’ll have to break through the limiter by myself.”
“Where my heart arrives is my future foundation platform. Foundation Establishment persists until a sage, sage palace, or Dao sanctum emerges from this hundred-meter-tall sculpture or palace carving… This is a cultivator’s future Dao. The ancient tomes state: Cultivation is of a myriad methods, and the Grand Dao of a thousand paths. This points to the Fifteen Heavenly Daos: benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, faith, warmth, goodness, respect, frugality, passivity, loyalty, obedience, bravery, honor, and honesty…”
He glanced at the boulder. “Looks like mine is a sculpture.”
His hand, without the control of spiritual sense, slowly raised upwards. Afterwards, he gently waved and an arc of silver-white qi cut forth with an omnipresent and transcendent blade. It was the omnipresence of wide seas and vast skies. It was the transcendence of standing separate from the world, antelopes slumbering in the night with antlers hung on trees, feet not touching the ground as to avoid the evil-hearted.
In the wake of this sound, the boulder quietly lost a corner.
Xu Yangyi didn’t move, instead calmly studying the blade. According to his knowledge from school, this blade was known as “Heavenseeking”. A blade’s chop parted the heavens to seek the Dao. This represented the divide henceforth from stepping out of man and into immortal, the start of pursuing true cultivation!
And any Dao which answered one, whichever Dao, would automatically lead a cultivator to complete the coming Foundation Establishment.
“No…” Roughly three minutes passed, and he looked all around suspiciously. “Why… aren’t any of the Fifteen Daos resonating with me?!”
Not one Dao led him to a continuing path! Not a single one moved!
“This is impossible. Since ancient times to now, the Fifteen Daos summarize all Grand Daos. If no Heavenly Dao agrees with me, what about my Foundation Establishment?” He pulled his hand back, tightly pursed his lips, and looked to the sky. “If I can’t reach Foundation Establishment, then why did I get to see my foundation platform?”
He took a deep breath and collected his gaze. With the next blade, he almost exhausted all of his strength. A white light glinted, and a qi blade, at least ten meters long, rushed straight at the boulder!
BOOM! A deafening sound echoed. This time, the boulder began to clamor and sway. At the same time in his world of spiritual sense, boundless clouds above his foundation platform loudly boomed! Afterwards, the platform began to whirl intensely!
“This…” Xu Yangyi’s pupils instantly shrunk. He sensed… that something was getting closer, approaching at lightning speed! Moreover, he couldn’t reject it whatsoever!
“What in the world is this?” He quickly spread his awareness to the approaching object. Its speed was fast. In the last second, it was worlds away, and in the next it had already arrived in front of him!
Bang bang bang… In less than two seconds, the clouds above his head lined up and cleared away layer after layer. Very soon… three imposing and majestic phantasms descended with a rumble!
One was an old man in a Daoist robe. Azure light filled the sky, and he carried a longsword on his back. In one hand he gripped a book and in the other he held a talisman.
The other lord was reclining on an azure ox. He was elderly and decrepit, and white light pierced through the air.
The final lord was shockingly Vairocana, a Buddha of supreme enlightenment! Golden light concealed the heavens and blotted out the earth!
The three phantasms formed three parties. In front of each phantasm, there was a character slowly revolving.
“Buddhism’s ‘salvation’, Daoism’s ‘fate’, and Confucianism’s ‘sage’.” Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed, and he recalled a very ancient legend.
“There was a professor who once said that outside the Fifteen Grand Daos, there are the Three Great Sacred Daos, the Daos of the three major religions of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism… Could this be it?” Xu Yangyi remained cool and collected as he raised his hand. His fingertips were a blade, and pointed to the character ‘sage’.
There wasn’t the slightest reaction.
Salvation, still no reaction.
Fate… Still no reaction as before!
“What the hell is going on?” He was completely dazed. “The Fifteen Heavenly Daos don’t respond to me. Does the Dao that’s hidden the deepest in my heart not conform with them? But the Three Great Sacred Daos don’t fit me, either? I… In the end, what do I desire in my heart?”
He believed that he understood himself well, but he now discovered that he even couldn’t find out what he wanted in his heart.
“What do I want?” In his sea of spiritual sense, he sat down cross-legged. He didn’t move the blade any further and began to search for what he truly wanted in his heart.
“My Dao… My belief… what is it ultimately?”
“Why… do all the Daos that I can sense refuse me?”
Beep… Beep… Xu Yangyi was none the wiser that at this moment in Baizhai City, the Three Great State-Magi all opened their eyes. In disbelief, they looked over.
“A qi outbreak at Beifeng City?”
“Such strong qi is gathering… Don’t tell me something big is about to happen?”
“Never… This has never happened! Qi gathering to such a level is unheard of in the Clearcloud Realm!”
“Second Ox.” Zu Huai’en’s gaze shimmered, and he silently stood up. “Call the qi monitoring department for me at once.”
The telephone connected. Ten minutes later, Zu Huai’en tightly pursed his lips and set down the phone.
Half an hour ago… Beifeng City had entered a state of emergency!
All the surrounding districts and counties were swept clean of their qi! All of it converged towards District 31!
“It’s him… It’s definitely him! The upper-realm cultivator!” He rigidly gnashed his teeth, strong reluctance emerging in his heart!
This was an upper-realm cultivator?
In their so-called “lower realm”, such a cultivator could bring clouds with a flip of their hand, and summon rain with a turn?
The qi outbreak was so obvious! Even separated by the municipality of Baizhai City, it could still be felt! Was this even human?!
Jingle… At this instant, his telephone rang out again. Just as he picked it up, a steady voice echoed. “Master Zu.”
“The Defense Department has ordered the three of us to immediately head over to District 31. Moreover, Battlefield Operators Master Two and Master Three have already surrounded Beifeng City.”
“What?” Zu Huai’en sucked in deeply! Such fast action! In all likelihood… While the government seemed to have lowered their guard over the extraterrestrial visitor, they were in fact outwardly relaxed and inwardly tense! Ten years ago, the visitor had clearly appeared once, yet immediately vanished without a trace. How long did these movements take? Was it even thirty minutes? Unexpectedly, Beifeng City had long since become a cage under guard!
“Understood.” He took a lungful of air. “I’ll be there right away.”
Setting down the telephone, he studied the sky and said gravely, “An “upper-realm” cultivator, huh…”
“I really want to see how fierce you are after not coming out for ten years!”
“Gasp!” Just as Baizhai City’s three private helicopters were about to take off, Li Wanxue had already removed her sunglasses. She looked in front of her in astonishment.
A line of soldiers were facing her. All of them were dressed in state-of-the-art equipment, having seized control of all the entry and exit tollbooths!
“Uncle Yao?” She caught sight of a man in the middle and said in shock, “What’s going on?”
Uncle Yao, who normally smiled at her, didn’t have the ghost of a smile on his face at this moment. He saluted and said, “Orders from the Defense Department. Starting from now, until the anomaly ends, all entry and exit into Beifeng City is prohibited!
“Uncle Yao, you’re joking, right? District 31 is the Li Family’s property!” Li Wanxue pushed towards a city gate.
She didn’t push it open.
In the instant her hand stretched out to touch the city gate, the flood of soldiers in front of her were like an orderly arm. The human wall of over fifty people at the tollbooth and the bomb squad behind actually leveled their guns at the stunningly beautiful Li Wanxue!
A mess of red dots lit up on her body, frightening her dumb where she stood.
“I’m sorry. Miss Li, please return. Starting now, the military’s taking complete control over Beifeng City’s border defense. The vice president and the three state-magi will arrive here at once. If you won’t listen to my advice…” Uncle Yao paused, “the higher-ups have ordered us to shoot anyone dead on the spot.”
What in the world had occurred?!
Li Wanxue sluggishly looked at the towering pillar of light. Something big had definitely happened inside! A super-important incident!
The vice president… the Three Great State-Magi… She no longer dared to imagine what had taken place inside!
As for those who knew what was going on inside the valley, there was only one.
Presently, he was kneeling. Both his hands were propped on the ground, and perspiration rained down from his forehead. His entire body was faintly shaking.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to stand, but he was simply unable to! Right now, inside an area of a thousand meters, there was no wind, yet the grass and trees seemed to be facing a wild gale! They rose up and down as if being stroked by an invisible hand!
“No… this is nothing… The most terrible is…” His molars tightly locked together, and he braced himself and raised his head. In front of him, Xu Yangyi’s eyes were shut, and the demon slayer was floating in the air. Xu Yangyi’s appearance was serene.
“Too awful… T-This is a monster! There’s no way this is human!”
Spiritual pressure exploded from Xu Yangyi’s body! Qi battered the four reachs and eight bounds, and turned the area into the eye of a maelstrom! Qi was ceaselessly being absorbed! Erupting! Without the slightest margin of control!
Frenzied qi devastated the surrounding area. The pillar of light above Xu Yangyi’s head condensed without scattering apart! Nonetheless, in this place, Tian Guotao’s senses, thoughts, and body were being opened bit by bit!
He couldn’t speak clearly of what this sensation was… It was like the fetters of imprisonment were shed away. His heart was wildly pounding, yet he was unable to fully understand. He only knew that once he came to a realization he was sure to profit considerably!
“Master Xu… this is the opportunity you spoke of?”
A day in the outside world was already a millennium in Xu Yangyi's mind. At the same time within his sea of spiritual sense, he opened his eyes. He didn’t know how long had passed in the outside world. He was only aware that a month seemed to have already passed here, or perhaps a year.
“Why do I want Foundation Establishment?”
“Because I want to become strong?”
“No… its because I’m strong that I can then do what I want.”
“I’m strong… so I can track down my true enemy, so I can make something like Nanzhou never happen again. So I…” He raised his arm and saw that his thickly jointed hand had already become filled with scars because of too many battles. “So I can make sure no one dares to move against me and the people at my side.”
“Senior Brother died because of me… Zhao Ziqi fell into a false-death state because of me… The Zhao Clan, the Hidden Dragon Legion, the Xingtian Legion… Too many people died during the Nanzhou campaign… and this was simply for someone else’s righteousness…”
“At the bottom of Danxia Temple, Xiaoqing and Fahai, two invincible fiends, started Danxia Temple’s calamity by only stirring their thoughts… A thousand people entered, but only nine left…”
“People everywhere are like chess pieces, and the world’s affairs are like chess… Cultivators don’t want to be chess pieces, but only I can be the chess player.”
“What I want…” His expression was absent of Foundation Establishment’s strain. Instead, it was carefree. “Is… to break away.”
“To be free and unchained!” He faintly smiled. “Rising ripples and minor steps exhaled in full, raging waves and stormy seas brush away sleeves into weeds.”
HUUUMMM!!! Just as he voiced these words, the clouds above his head began to change once more!
1. “Antelopes slumbering in the night with antlers hung on trees, feet not touching the ground as to avoid the evil-hearted”. So, yeah. This is a phrase from South Song poet Yan Yu (1191-1241 CE).
2. Only thing I really want to make a note of here is “Buddhism’s salvation”. It’s more along the lines of “Passage”, but in the context of “Passing onto the other shore (Paramita)” in Buddhism, which is in a sense ‘Salvation’. The character is 度.
3. “Rising ripples and minor steps exhaled in full, raging waves and stormy seas brush away sleeves into weeds”. Some parts of this poem was a shot in the dark. This is actually part of a famous poem from one of Jin Yong’s books Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. It is a poem from one of the factions in the book, the Carefree Sect.