Chapter 61: China's Cultivation Net (One)
"Is there a computer?" Xu Yangyi asked.
"There is!" Zhou Tingting immediately brought over a very old laptop. After Xu Yangyi opened it, he swiftly entered in the url of a website that couldn't be even more intimate.
He tapped the computer keys in a practiced motion and a familiar web page instantly appeared before him again.
In the following second, Zhou Tingting's hand nervously shut off the computer. Moreover, her chest was faintly moving up and down. Her complexion was wan, and she appeared to be greatly frightened.
Xu Yangyi raised a brow, indicating for her to explain.
"Cough…" Zhou Tingting realized what she had done and said in trepidation: "Cough… Perhaps Sir is used to connecting online like so, but this won't do…"
"China's cultivation network is a website that requires payment. A low-grade spirit stone for a single week, but my monthly expenses have already been used up. So…" She opened up a website with a green-colored symbol on the computer a bit awkwardly: "You have to use this…"
"A VPN?" Xu Yangyi was a little curious. This was something he had truly never seen at Heavens Law.
"This isn't a normal VPN." Zhou Tingting's laughter carried a sliver of haughtiness: "This is the Green Leaf VPN!"
"I decoded this from several hundred cultivation softwares. In case the spirit stone isn't paid on time, the cultivation network's general proxy will immediately block off your IP address. However, with the Green Leaf VPN, all blocked addresses can go in! Not only does it use a proxy server, but it's also claimed that the server is the hardest to pinpoint! At the very least, I still haven't been discovered! What's most important though is that it accepts Chinese currency!"
Xu Yangyi was unable to stifle his laughter and shook his head. There would always be a countermeasure to deal with a policy. It seemed he was a person ignorant of the plights of others.*
The website quickly loaded once again. It wasn't know who drew the background, but in the midst of immortals lingering on clouds, there were several handsome ancient young cultivators riding on flying swords. They were surrounded by winding mountains and freely scattered mystical clouds, immortal cranes flying in harmony. Above their heads, there were large characters drawn in ink, dazzling to the eye: China Cultivation Net.
At the center, there was a section that took up around three-fifths of the screen. On the left and right, there were two lines of messages left behind. On the left it said: "A Dao that can be tread is not the everlasting Dao". On the right it said: "That which is true is that which is the Dao."*
Zhou Tingting's breathing was urgent as she clasped her tea, kneeling behind Xu Yangyi as if she were a maid. She had already stretched out her neck as far as she could, appearing like she wanted to bore through the computer. Nevertheless, she grit her teeth and restrained herself and even assumed the style of a pretty daughter from a humble family.
"Can't you not use a VPN for a link? Xu Yangyi raised a brow and asked suspiciously.
"It's not the same!" Zhou Tingting shouted a reply without missing a beat. Afterwards, she gently coughed and said bashfully: "This website… even if you use a VPN to connect to it, we can only get into listings and transactions categories. As for other 'Cultivation Tips', 'Issued Missions', 'Dao Result Conventions' and 'Industry News', our small clans can't get into these four areas."
"Because this website needs real-name authentication…" Zhou Tingting sighed with secret bitterness: "In case it detects fringe cultivators like us, the system won't supply higher privileges… and moreover, China's cultivation net doesn't offer the service of raising one's privileges…"
Before she had finished speaking, Xu Yangyi had come to understand.
This site was open with full access to Heavens Law. They had the privileges to enter all the regions. For many years, this was the only website they were capable of accessing, a view that had long since been incapable of become even more familiar. He was rather understanding that China's cultivation net only had two kinds of methods to increase one's privileges.
Method one, if you made contributions to the real world, your ranking would increase. You could then enter setup messages such as "Reading Privileges 100" or "Reading Privileges 888". The highest reading authority a Qi Condensation cultivator could have was 50. The highest reading privilege set up for a Foundation Establishment cultivator would be 100. As for Core Formation cultivators… whatever amount they wanted it to be was whatever it was. In any case, weren't there only ten people that could view it?
Method two, even simpler, and that was to recharge.
After all, the present age was cultivation civilization. The cultivation world and the human world were intimately connected, and a majority of genuine high officials, for instance one like Chu Zhaonan's affluent three generations, were incredibly well-versed with the cultivation world. Perhaps a good part of Qi Condensation cultivators didn't possess their thorough understandings.
In the case they were aware, who didn't want to cultivate? The ages of those clan masters were too old to cultivate, but didn't they have grandchildren? Great-grandchildren? There was no short supply of their posterity!
However, if you weren't a cultivator, you were simply incapable of advancing through the real-name authentication. Thus, after China set up the internet in the 90s, the people at the top of the nation's pyramid joined together to draft a bill. A requirement in "accordance to circumstance" that the children of ordinary people ought to enjoy equal benefits. Later on, this wasn't only limited to the inheritance of Dao legacies...
On the next day, there was a function to recharge credits.
A union master cost 10,000 low-grade spirit stones.
A gold union master cost a 1000 middle-grade spirit stones.
A diamond union master cost a 100 high-grade spirit stones.
An exalted lord cost 10 supreme-grade spirit stones.
Basically, once you were an exalted lord, it wouldn't be a problem even if you wanted to read a Core Formation master's post. But for fringe cultivators, there wasn't enough time to cultivate. How could they recharge a price of 10,000 low-grade spirit stones?
Originally, they wanted to compromise on the balance of power between the cultivation and human worlds, but who would've imagine the magic of money would truly be so great without boundary? On that next day, twenty-three exalted lords appeared. It was the service merchants of the cultivation world's turn to be rendered dumbstruck this time.
Halting his train of thought, Xu Yangyi laughed and entered his account information. Smoothly logging on in an instant, he felt Zhou Tingting's eyes at the side of him stiffen.
"HL...01…" Zhou Tingting took a glance, and in the next second, her screech nearly flipped over the rooftop: "HL! Heavens Law! You're from Heavens Law?! A-and you're also 01?!"
She covered her mouth in shock. Although she couldn't enter the sections she desired to the most, she'd been around long enough to know that not counting Heavens Law, there was the Big Three: the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, the Featherwood Guard, and the CSIB. However, Heavens Law was known as the cradle of high-level cultivators! Out of every ten Foundation Establishment cultivators, half would come from Heavens Law!
The organization couldn't join in on the struggle of power, but it was a publicly acknowledged apex power.
Even more important was… the two letters 'HL' were required to be authenticated. It was said that it was incredibly difficult to graduate from Heavens Law, however, which graduate wouldn't not be scrambled over each graduation? Those with the two letters HL in the front of their login ID were all graduates-to-be or graduates!
In particular… the two digits of 01...
"You… You… Sir…" She felt her breathing become rushed!
Heavens knew that the first time she had say Xu Yangyi, her initial thought was to bother him! So long as he was willing to dispel her cultivation woes for her, everything was fair game besides her body!
Soon after… looking clearly at his appearance and build, she felt that her body wasn't exactly off the table… Finally, the two digits of 01 appeared, and she completely collected all of her thoughts. Being 01 was the representation of a city champion! A candidate to contest the title of paragon! The highest of priorities all parties would fight over for!
"Sir… Sir is a champion?" Her gaze twinkled fiercely. She dared not believe by any stretch of her imagination that she managed to pick up treasure when she went out for stroll!
"In the past." Xu Yangyi answered indifferently and clicked on the "Cultivation Rankings" section while he was at it. No one knew whatsoever, but the instant the ID HL-01 logged on, the computer screens of the four major powers all rang out with an ear-piercing beep!
"Lost information captured… Lost information captured…" At this moment, in the Mingshui Province branch, a mechanical face suddenly opened its mouth and a stream of zeroes and ones endlessly circulated within its eyes: "Locating position…"
"Verifying data chain… Position captured…"
In Mingshui Province's Featherwood Guard's Panshan City branch, a middle-aged woman raised her wristwatch in doubt and looked at it. As she saw the cover emit red flashes, her pupils immediately sharpened.
In the following second, she ran to the front of the office without the slightest hesitation, stifling the wild palpitations of her heart. Knocking gently on the door, she didn't even wait for the other side to answer and pushed her way through the door. Her voice carried a trace of urgency: "Branch Master, the person the top brass requested to track has appeared!"
Before her was an old man that appeared to be over seventy years old. He wore a pair of rimless silver glasses with crystal lenses and an azure-colored long gown, and his hand holding a brush was comfortably writing. His disposition was hale and hearty, his age not showing the least bit at all.
"Good character!" The secretary at his side holding a towel didn't pay attention to the middle-aged woman and laughed: "Branchmaster Chen's Liu Style calligraphy is simply divine. Sir, look at the straight hook of this 托. Even if Liu Gongquan was still in this world, he could do no better than this."***
The old man smiled and set down his brush, extending his hand to take a lukewarm towel into it. He casually wiped them, not raising his head: "The person being tracked?"
"Of the Featherwood Guard, the CSIB, and the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, which branch doesn't have a person they want to trace?" He lifted his long gown and sat down on the sofa, crossing his legs in satisfaction. With a wave, a cup of lukewarm tea flew into his hand: "Who is it?"
"Three years ago on September 8th, Sir mentioned a person by name to track" The middle-aged woman said gently without delay: "It was just investigated that his Heavens Law username HL-01 has appeared again! He's in our Mingshui Province!"
The old man's gaze flashed, and he inhaled deeply: "Are you certain it is him?"
"Then what are you waiting for?" The old man laughed grimly as he set down his tea: "Conduct an investigation straightaway!"
"Slow down." Just as the middle-aged woman was about to leave, the old man laughed: "If you're certain don't take action by yourself. Notify me at once."
The middle-aged woman left and the secretary laughed: "Branch Master, does this necessitate such importance?"
"Moron…" Branchmaster Chen closed his eyes, his smile even colder than ice: "What do you know…"
This was a cultivator that had escaped from Vermillion Snow's clutches!
Eight Foundation Establishment cultivators about the same as himself had died in battle! Among them, four were at the Great Circle of Foundation Establishment! But from that landscape of mountains of corpses and seas of blood, Xu Yangyi was capable of surviving against all odds!
What was most important though… was there were apex figures that mentioned him by name to track down! Otherwise, why would he be concerned over a trifling Qi Condensation cultivator?
He just didn't understand. Why was it that an insignificant Qi Condensation cultivator was able to obtain such importance from a lordship?
At the same time, in the middle of a jungle, there were thirty to forty people leaping on a tree over twenty meters tall like energetic squirrels.
"Distance from the target is forty meters!" A series of red numbers appeared on the goggles of a camouflaged man wearing protective eyewear: "It's already been confirmed the demon accompanying the featherfall grass for it to bloom is at the late stage of Qi Condensation. Moreover, it's a demon of unknown size. Commander Chu, report complete."
"Close in on three sides." The chilly voice of a man could be heard in everyone's earpieces: "Stick to the plan."
Of the last of the troops, there were only two people. A man whose entire body was wrapped within a cloak and only holding two enormous eye-grabbing pistols emitting a coldness in his hands. The other man's fingers seemed like they were flying as they moved over a tablet, incessantly making calculations.
At this moment, both men's wristwatches rang out with a beeping noise in sync. They nearly stopped in step simultaneously.
"This…" The man in the cloak's voice revealed a wavering for the first time: "He's still alive?"
"Gao Ye!" He immediately turned his head towards the person at his side.
He obtained the other's low excited roar: "Understood!"
On the tablet, the entire chart that had just appeared on it vanished straightaway, and another completely different data chart surfaced.
T/N: Quick explanation on the forum tier level things: its also like that on China's forums. There are different VIP levels, privileges granted base on level, etc.
* "Ignorant to others' plights" Direct translation is "Why don't they eat meat" A phrase allegedly said by Emperor Hui of Jin when he heard his people did not have rice to eat. Somewhat along the lines of Marie Antoinette saying "Let them eat cake."
** "The Dao that can be tread is not the everlasting Dao." This line is the first line of the Dao De Jing, THE Daoist scripture, one of the most translated works in the entire world. I am unsure of the second line specifically.
*** Liu Gongquan is a Tang Calligrapher. Very famous