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Chapter 4 - Strange Fruit

Xu Qi retained his consciousness even though he had fainted physically. He felt as if all his strength had been sapped away. Right as he thought he was about to die, he was filled with a sudden surge of warmth; a sense of strength emerged that had never existed within him.

“Wake up, brat. Stop feigning death, or I’m going to vanish,” Venerable Ziyan remarked, his eyes watching Xu Qi who was lying on the ground.


Following which, Xu Qi opened his eyes. He felt nothing unusual. He questioned, “Senior, what miraculous effects does the Celestial Core Pill have? I don’t seem to feel anything special.”


“The Celestial Core Pills were concocted by my master. Only a single batch of them had been concocted. It will reconstruct your body, and with the passage of time and the growth of your cultivation, it will enable you to have an undying heart!” Venerable Ziyan answered proudly.


“Undying heart. That’s pretty good,” Xu Qi muttered.


“Brat, try focusing all your energy into your fist. Then, you will see the difference.”


Xu Qi clenched his fist as instructed, slowly raising it. He could feel an endless strength in his fist, enveloped by green light. He exclaimed, “Senior, I feel full of strength. What’s the meaning of this light?”


Venerable Ziyan rolled his eyes at Xu Qi for not knowing. He explained, “Brat, this is the Rainbow Celestem1 energy injected into the pills during their concoction by my master. Once you’ve ingested one, you’ll naturally possess it. However, you are too weak now; chances are that you haven’t even activated 0.01% of its efficacy. Take it slow and cultivate yourself bit by bit.”


“Looks like it’s a miraculous pill,” Xu Qi commented in anticipation.


“Brat, I’m about to go. Do not open this door yet; wait till you’re stronger and have activated more of the Celestial Core Pills’ powers. Only then should you return to open the door. There are some cultivation methods and treasures contained within my ring. I don’t sense any cultivation in you; they’ll prove useful to you. As for whether you can subdue those four beasts, it will depend on your fortune. However, you must never release them, no matter what. Now, the Four Divinities Coffer lies within your sea of consciousness. You will be devoured by them if they ever manage to escape, and you’ll die by your body exploding” Venerable Ziyan warned gravely.


“This junior understands. Though, is there any way to revive, senior?” Xu Qi asked. He understood this man was a freak with 10,000 years of cultivation. If he managed to revive him, it would be the equivalent to Xu Qi gaining a safety charm.


“Brat, I can no longer be revived in my current state. Go on and leave, but don’t take the ring with you yet. Get it the next time you return here. I have already marked the ring using your blood; only you can use it. Use your spiritual sense to operate the ring when you need to.” Venerable Ziyan shook his head, as his remnant gradually faded.


“My heart is full of regrets for my past actions. You must subdue them, brat. I’m counting on you. This master… sigh…” Venerable Ziyan slowly faded in regret.


Xu Qi didn’t want to remain here any longer after Venerable Ziyan disappeared. Soon, he returned from the black box from within his sea of consciousness without bringing anything back. He was in no hurry; everything would be his.



“Sigh… senior, what exactly happened in the past?” Xu Qi snapped out of his reminiscing. He once again looked towards the stone box; the ring and medicinal bottle remained, but Venerable Ziyan existed no longer.


Xu Qi quickly made his way to the stone box. He picked up the ring and tried sending his spiritual sense into it; it felt like a door opened. Xu Qi noticed the ring had a large capacity, yet not much was placed within, two swords, a black cauldron, and over ten books. 


“Seems like this ring is the legendary interspatial ring. But couldn’t he have left more items in it for me?” Xu Qi felt dissatisfied, realizing not much was in the ring.


Xu Qi retracted his spiritual sense, “The ring is a little too loose,” he tried wearing it. However, the ring started shrinking to fit his finger the moment he put it on. 


“Hm? Pretty neat! I like this, haha.” Xu Qi chuckled and stored the medicinal bottle in the ring. He then shifted his gaze towards the stone door.


What mysteries lie behind this door? What do the Four Divinities look like? I shall see for myself today! Xu Qi thought as he approached the stone door.


With Xu Qi’s stature right now, compared to a year ago, he was able to easily grab the iron hoop latched to the door. However, no matter how much strength he used, he could not even budge it. “Damn. How can I open this damned door?  Venerable Ziyan didn’t explain this to me. This is so infuriating,” Xu Qi complained. At the same time, he’d unintentionally slapped the stone door with the ring worn on his finger. When they came into contact, that immovable door budged! Xu Qi immediately backed off.

A ray of light appeared where the two came into contact. It started circulating along the door, slowly forming a drawing of a Daoist talisman.


Kakaka… The stone door revealed a small crack, slowly opening on both sides. Xu Qi looked on nervously at the door, ready to flee at any moment.


Rumble… The stone door opened fully, but nothing appeared. Xu Qi gathered his courage and stepped through the door.


Xu Qi halted after stepping beyond the door. His hairs stood on end his hands trembled uncontrollably at the sight before him. 


“How many people have died here?!” Skeletons were lying everywhere, more than he can fit into his vision. Only their clothes were left over the white bones, and weapons were stabbed into the bodies of some. Evidently, all of them died in battle.


These kinds of weapons do not exist in this world! I suppose the weapons of these ancient cultivators are not common quality. Since they’re not owned by anyone now, I shall hold onto them for safekeeping, Xu Qi thought as he walked and looked carefully at each skeleton, putting their weapons away into his ring.


All types of weapons could be found on the ground; there were even some that Xu Qi couldn’t name the type of. Though, that didn’t mean he’d leave them alone. Xu Qi looked around once more to ensure he didn’t leave any weapons behind when he collected them all as if it was his duty to clear the area.


After that, he started to inspect the area. Stone walls were on all four sides, resembling a plaza. Four enormous doors were on the other end from where Xu Qi entered, spreading in a row. The only difference between each door was they had varying degrees of damage, but none of them had holes.


So that’s where the Four Divinities are suppressed, Xu Qi thought inwardly as he furrowed his brows, looking at the ground full of skeletons.


“All you seniors have already turned to bones. This junior here shall bury you all together. With all due respect, if I did anything inappropriate while carrying your remains, please forgive this junior,” Xu Qi clasped his hands and gave a slight bow towards the skeletons.

Strange fruit trees grew near the walls on the right of the plaza. “Let’s have them buried there.” Xu Qi looked around, and that place seemed best. He flipped his hands, taking out a pair of twin axes and started digging in front of the trees. Although his body was small, he had a seemingly endless supply of strength after being nourished by the Celestial Core Pill.


Shortly after, Xu Qi dug an enormous hole, large enough to bury all the skeletons. Xu Qi treated the remains with extreme care; he used their clothes to wrap up each body and placed them carefully into the pit. When he was done, even Xu Qi’s enhanced body felt exhausted. Nevertheless, he still covered the pit in one go, shoveling bit by bit. In the end, he bowed thrice towards the mound of dirt with his hands clasped saying, “Please rest in peace, seniors. May all grievances return to the dirt along with you.”


When all was finished, Xu Qi looked toward the row of trees and noticed the fruits they bore. He felt thirsty after going through all the trouble, “The fruits that grow here can’t be ordinary. I should try one; they are probably safe to consume.” Xu Qi smacked his lips, his throat rolling in anticipation.


The fruit trees were not tall; even Xu Qi was able to reach the fruits with his small stature. He casually picked a fruit and rubbed it on his clothes. Just like that, Xu Qi gobbled up the fruit. It felt nothing but refreshing, and he proceeded on to devour another two before stopping.


Xu Qi did not feel any strange effects after ingesting the fruits. He looked at the empty plaza, then the four huge doors, and said, “Forget it. I cannot afford to open them casually.”


Moving on, Xu Qi thought of the items stored within the interspatial ring with excitement. He was ready to return and browse through the books left by Venerable Ziyan. With that, he made his way to the exit.


The plaza doors once again closed themselves gradually as Xu Qi left. What he failed to notice was, as he turned around to leave, each of the four doors let out an extremely faint ripple and returned to their peaceful states immediately after.


Back in his room, Xu Qi gently touched the ring on his finger, retrieving the books from Venerable Ziyan. As Xu Qi flipped through different books, such as “Five Elements Wings,” “God Sealing Formations,” and “Ever-changing Swords,” a torn and tattered book labeled “Void Dao” caught his attention, making Xu Qi ponder over its meaning. Additionally, the last book in his hand was mysterious; it was not labeled. Xu Qi let go of the other books and started reading the nameless book out of curiosity.


The following words came into Xu Qi’s view, “Venerable Ziyan be mine name; I am a disciple of Lady Nuxi. Mine restless nature hath led to troubling times. Me hopes that the fated junior who reaches here will assume mine mantle and practice mine ‘Void Dao.’ If thou art unwilling, thou mayest learn other cultivation methods; those be sufficient to ensure thee a lifetime of safety. The Four Divinities Cavern art the treasure of mine master; Four Divinities Coffer be where four divine beasts art suppressed.”


Xu Qi was stunned for a moment reading up till there, “Four Divinities Coffer! So that’s the name of the small black box within my sea of consciousness, which belonged to Goddess Nuwa, originally!”


The book continued, “Several trees art planted within the Four Divinities Cavern; the fruit it bears art named ‘Green Mystique Fruit.’ Upon consumption, thy cultivation art shall increase by 100 years. However, only a maximum of three can be consumed by one. Over-consumption will lead to dire consequence.” Xu Qi was flabbergasted, “I think I ate three carelessly earlier; I can’t eat anymore! And what was that about 100 years’ worth of cultivation? I don’t feel anything different!”


“I hope the fated junior will treat the rotten corpses within the cavern respectfully. As for the four divine beasts, I spent all my powers to seal them in the cavern; thou may attempt to subdue them only if thou hast learned all sealing techniques of mine. Dost remember to attempt in sequence, for they art extremely powerful; even mine master hadst to use various tricks and means to find success. The proper sequence to subduing is first the Black Tortoise, then Vermillion Bird, White Tiger and lastly the Azure Dragon. Thou art to attempt in this sequence, or art bound to fail otherwise.”


There’s even a sequence to them, huh? Nobody’s got time to go provoking them. I’ll just let them stay in there, Xu Qi thought inwardly.


“The bronze ring I left behind is a personal belonging of mine. It doubles as the key to the cavern; don’t lose it. The two swords in the ring were personally forged by me. They are named ‘Rainlord’ and ‘Heaven’s Vanquisher.’ If one wishes to subdue the four beasts, it is necessary to wield the Heavens Vanquisher. To wield it, it is imperative thou art versed in mine Void Dao, else thou willst not be able to wield the sword. As for whether thou art able to subdue them eventually, it wilt depend on thy luck. Lastly, avoid harming the innocent. Keep that in mind always...” Venerable Ziyan’s message ended there. The following pages were all records of methods to subdue and summon monsters.


Xu Qi thought for a moment and retrieved both swords from the ring. He grabbed hold of one, slowly unsheathing it, revealing the word “Rain”2. He sheathed it back and picked up the other sword and examined it carefully, “The Heavens Vanquisher sword! Allow me to have a glimpse of the power fitting of your name!”

TL Note:

1: Celestem/神蒂: a word i made up by combining celestial and stem, signifying the “stem of celestial” energy. Though it seemed like the author stopped using the term in later chapters and just use rainbow energy instead.

2: Rainlord is named Ba Yu/霸雨 in Chinese. The word Ba (Lord) was revealed when Xu Qi unsheathed it. But it wouldn’t make sense in english for Lord to appear before Rain.

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