Volume 1: Water Dragon Soaring From Shallow Waters[i]
Chapter 1: Memories of the Pill Emperor
“Who am I? I am Long Chen!”
“I look down on the heavens, the arrogant Nine Firmaments’ peerless Pill Emperor- Long Chen? I am someone who is cheated by everyone, a spineless good-for-nothing incapable of cultivating- Long Chen?”
His mind was filled with confusion, and at the same time severe pains came from all over his body. Long Chen was unable to stop his mind’s chaotic thoughts, and emitted a pained groan.
“Chen-er, you’ve finally awakened? Great, your mom was worried sick for you! If you want to brag about how good are then fine, but why did you have to go duel with those people?”
A kind and gentle voice sounded beside Long Chen’s ear. The voice was full of happiness and comfort, but towards the end the voice seemed to become slightly choked with emotion.
Long Chen slowly opened his eyes and everything was just a blur. The blurred image gradually became clearer, and before his eyes appeared a woman’s face.
The woman appeared to be around thirty, and her appearance was extremely beautiful. However in the corner of her eyes were some deep wrinkles that did not match up with her age.
Currently this woman was tearfully staring at Long Chen with eyes that were full of love and pampering, making Long Chen’s heart feel a burst of warmth.
“Child, you scared your mom to death.” As the woman spoke her eyes became even redder, and her tears streamed down.
Long Chen looked at this familiar yet strange face, and doubtingly saying this word his face brought with it a trace of perplexion.
“Child, don’t scare your mom, do you not even recognize your mom?” The woman’s face immediately became panicked.
At this moment an elderly man appeared beside the woman, and examining Yao Chen he said, “Madam Long, Long Chen suffered a blow to the back of his head so it’s possible he will need to rest a bit to recover his memories. Don’t be too worried, just now I gave the young lord some medicine. The medicinal effects still haven’t completely dissolved, so just let the young lord rest for a bit longer.”
Madam Long looked worriedly at Long Chen. Reluctantly she nodded her head and she unwillingly followed the elderly man out of the room.
Long Chen heard the elderly man in the distance softly advising the woman, “Madam Long, the fact that young master Long managed to return with his life is already infinitely lucky, don’t force it too much.”
Madam Long tremblingly replied, “Respected Medicine Expert’s meaning is that my son will….”
The elderly man who had been called Medicine Expert sighed, “The young lord’s hindbrain received an acute shock. To tell the truth, being able to wake up is already extremely lucky, however the repercussions will definitely still be very severe. Losing his memory is quite possible in this situation….”
After hearing this, the two people had already gradually walked further and further away, so Long Chen could no longer hear it clearly... but what was barely audible was the sound of Madam Long’s sobbing.
Long Chen gazed blankly at the ceiling above as he felt the severe pains throughout his body, especially in his hindbrain which was bursting with a swollen aching pain.
“Just what happened? I’m Long Chen, and so Madam Long is my flesh and blood mother. How could I feel such an unfamiliar feeling?
And all these confusing memories, where did they come from? It seems that I’m an arrogant exceedingly powerful person but at the same time I’m a commonly extorted bitter good-for-nothing?
Pill Emperor Long Chen? Useless person Long Chen? Which one is the real me? Am I the Pill Emperor’s reincarnation, or am I a fusion of some trash with the Pill Emperor’s spirit?”
Long Chen’s mind was full of endless questions spinning about. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I am Long Chen. If I’m the Pill Emperor then whatever, the most important thing is that I’m still alive.
Even though I have two sets of memories that have mixed together, why do I have to go and try to fix this kind of insane problem; what I need to do now is let myself recover as quickly as possible.
Sensing his body’s health from head to toe, he quickly located many fractures. Three broken ribs, one arm broken in two places, and most severe of all, his hindbrain was injured to the point where a large portion of his scalp had caved in. It was indeed a very fierce attack.
“Huh, although I have no way to condense Qi, but my spiritual strength appears to be extremely powerful. I can actually sense things within thirty meters of my body.”
Long Chen was pleasantly surprised. According to his garbled memories, Spiritual Strength was extremely invaluable, especially for a Pill Master it was the most important thing.
Profit, profit! Whether he was the reincarnation of the Pill Emperor or just a mix containing the Pill Emperor, the present him he had definitely greatly profited.
The previous him had lived a whole lifetime, and now for the current him this allowed him to possess an exceptionally strong spirit, just what kind of awesomeness was this?
However when he carefully examined his body, his expression changed. “My Spiritual Root has been taken away. My stomach’s Spirit Bone is also missing a piece that appears to be dug out. And my heart has a hole? Just who would be this ruthless and take my Spirit Root, Spirit Bone and Spirit Blood? No wonder I can’t cultivate.” Long Chen became incessantly furious.
The current him’s Spiritual Strength was exceptionally strong, even to the point where just a quick glance allowed him to solve the mystery of why he had turned into a useless person.
The Spirit Root is located in the Dantian’s Qi source; it was a cultivator’s foundation. Without the Spirit Root there was no way to sense spiritual energy, let alone absorb it for cultivating.
Spirit Blood was something that people were born with, a trace of Xiantian blood[ii]. This was something that basically all people were born with, but the majority of cultivators didn’t know about it is all.
The Spirit Bone was found in the pit of a person’s stomach and slightly bulged out. Ordinary people wouldn’t have a Spirit Bone, and even amongst cultivators, maybe only one in ten thousand might have it, which marked them as a genius.
However Long Chen’s stomach’s Spirit Bone’s location was obviously missing a piece which had clear marks of being dug out by some person.
Long Chen’s face became exceedingly unsightly. If his memories were not all mixed up how could he not remember just who would do this to his body?
Although these three things were precious, but once they left the person’s body they wouldn’t have any more use. If they wanted to harm why did they have to use such a severe method? Using this kind of method was practically causing him to live a life worse than death.
However anger only brought on more anger, and since he was already missing these three things, being angry did not have any use.
“You better not let me find out who did this, who dared.”
Long Chen couldn’t help but to gnash his teeth in anger. This was way too detrimental to him. With him possessing a Spirit Bone, even if he used his butt to think he would still be an absolute genius.
But now some despicable bastard caused him to become a useless person who was incapable of cultivating, causing him to be humiliated and receive condescending looks.
Just when Long Chen was about to be unable to hold back his anger, the room’s door was gently pushed open, and a thirteen or fourteen year old pretty maiden walked in. This was Long Chen’s maid who was called Bao-er.
“Young lord, it’s time to take some more medicine.”
“Medicine? What medicine is in your hand?” Long Chen nose moved slightly as he asked.
“This is something the Madam paid an enormous price for before she could obtain it. It’s a Tiger Bone Pill that can extremely rapidly heal the young lord’s injuries.” Bao-er replied.
After saying this she opened the elaborate small case in her hand, showing the medicinal pill inside. “It is said this medicinal pill came from Pill Master Yun Qi grandmaster. The medicinal strength is very strong. Young lord, let Bao-er help you.”
Looking at the thing, Long Chen’s face became a bit off. Even this kind plaything could be called a pill? Its shape was extremely uneven and seemed more like a meatball.
Even not talking about the shape, its color was completely black and there wasn’t even a trace of lustre. If it wasn’t emitting a very faint medicinal aroma then Long Chen might even suspect it was a ball of sheep dung.
After staring at the thing in his hand for a quite a long time Long Chen finally sighed. Someone who had lost over eighty percent of the medicinal pill’s properties could still be called a “grandmaster?” Long Chen bewilderedly wondered how somehow had actually created something that could enter such a soft and mushy state.
Pills could be divided into five grades: low grade, middle grade, high grade, top grade, and peerless grade. As for the pill in his hand it couldn’t even count as one of the five grades. Long Chen suddenly understood that this was basically just a defective good. It was a trash pill. Normally Pill Masters would definitely not sell these kinds of medicinal pills since they couldn’t afford to lose their customers. Normally they would be turned into medicinal liquids or just directly thrown out.
“Young lord, don’t daydream. In order to obtain this precious pill the Madam already sold off her own precious jewellery. You should hurry and take it.” Bao-er urged.
Long Chen couldn’t help but to feel some pain in his heart. His impression was that his mother loved him very dearly to the point where it was like drowning in love and pampering. It reached the point where his mother would basically never refuse any of his requests.
For him, his mother had done everything. She had given birth to him while she was still young. She was born as a beautiful person, but now she was barely thirty something years and already had some wrinkles in the corner of her eyes. Seeing those deep wrinkles, Long Chen knew that for him she had already invested in too much.
Looking at the Yaowan[iii], although it was a defective good the medicinal ingredients were still not bad. Although over eighty percent of it was full of impurities, it wouldn’t have any problems healing his injuries.
Taking the Yaowan Long Chen ordered Bao-er to not leak any news of him out, excluding his mother of course.
Although Bao-er didn’t really understand, she still trusted Long Chen and obediently nodded.
After taking the medicine, although Long Chen had no way to use cultivation to absorb the medicinal strength, but by using his formidable Spiritual Strength he guided the medicinal strength to his wounds, and the speed of recovery was extremely fast.
The second day, Long Chen slowly opened his eyes and he had a smile plastered on his mouth as he exercised his muscles.
Excellent, although the Yaowan was pretty bad, the medicinal ingredients themselves were of a high quality. Other than my hindbrain, the majority of my injuries have already healed, and the amount of energy left is more than enough to heal the rest of my wounds.
He slowly walked towards the mirror, and saw a nothing out of the ordinary handsome youngster with eyebrows like swords and bright eyes. Long Chen took a deep breath, “From today onwards, I, Long Chen, will no longer be the previous Long Chen. I will rise above others.”
Although his body was still slightly weak, walking was no longer a problem. Long Chen walked out of the room and saw that the sun had already rose up from the east.
After pondering deeply for an hour he called over Bao-er and gave her a list of medicinal ingredients for her to find.
However Bao-er’s expression became a bit embarrassed and Long Chen wondered what it was before momentarily realizing that the current Long family was extremely hard pressed for money, and Bao-er had no method to get a loan for money.
Otherwise his mother would not have had to sell off her own jewellery, as at the time it was part of her exceptionally precious dowry. The present Long family was already in an extremely dire strait.
Feeling around in his pocket, he found that he had around eighty silver coins. Although this wasn’t a lot, but to buy these medicinal ingredients it was enough.
Bao-er worked diligently, and not even two hours later she had managed to buy the medicinal ingredients and return home. Long Chen immediately set about to dividing and measuring them into different portions before boiling them in a thick bowl.
Six hours later, a very thick medicinal liquid was releasing a medicinal aroma. When Long Chen saw the bowl with the cheap medicinal liquid, a smile appeared on his mouth.
“I, Long Chen, will rise above others, starting from this one bowl of medicinal liquid.”
[i] 蛟龙 (Jiao Long) is the name of a legendary dragon with the ability to control rain and water.
[ii] Xiantian blood= Innate Heaven blood.
[iii] Yaowan= pill shaped medicine that doesn’t meet medicinal pill requirements. From a linguistic point Yaowan does mean pill, but the connotation is that it’s a ball of medicine, and not a legitimate medicinal pill.
Chapter 2: Despicable Scum
The medicinal liquid entered into his stomach, and Long Chen hastily used his mind to guide the liquid throughout his body, allowing it to merge into his bones.
Normal martial artists when absorbing medicinal energies would let it assimilate inside the Dantian, and only later would they spread it throughout their body. However Long Chen didn’t have a Spirit Root, so his Dantian was completely empty and had no way to store energy.
The only thing he could do was allow the medicinal energy to scatter into every cell. Although this medicinal liquid was formed from only ordinary medicinal herbs, but after going through Long Chen’s pairing and proportions it displayed an extremely large medicinal effect.
As the medicinal energy rushed throughout his body, countless pores opened up and every single cell was like a suffocating person as it crazily absorbed the spiritual energy between heaven and earth.
Within Long Chen’s body a muffled sound came out. The originally sealed meridians were all forced open and Long Chen couldn’t stop himself from letting out a muffled groan.
When others cultivated, they would use the Dantian’s Qi in order to slowly little by little open up their meridians step by step which would not cause any pain.
However Long Chen couldn’t do so. He had to borrow an outer energy source. This energy was like the ocean’s water flowing into a river field; it’s violent and ferocious power wasn’t something that just anybody could stand.
“This pain… I will definitely remember this pain.” Long Chen gnashed his teeth; if it weren’t some person stealing his personal Spirit Root why would he be forced to choose such a crazy method?
BANG BANG BANG!
Within Chen Long’s body continuous explosions echoed out as his meridians opened up one by one. Every time a meridian channel was opened, Long Chen would have to experience an intense pain.
When all his meridians were finally opened Long Chen almost fainted into a coma. He had to rest for two full hours before he slowly revived himself.
With the pain now past him, Long Chen felt that the pores from his toes to his head were all open, and with every single breath he took the spiritual energy between heaven and earth would be slowly absorbed by him.
“Excellent, with my meridians opened I can finally practice cultivation.”
Long Chen sensed his body’s condition. With his meridians opened, he could absorb spiritual energy from heaven and earth through his pores in order to nourish his body to become stronger.
“I should first think of a method to make some money.”
Long Chen muttered to himself. Switching clothes he left his room. At this time it was already past noon, but in his huge nobleman estate there were unexpectedly very few people to be seen, making it seem like an extremely desolate place.
Long Chen’s father was a border general, and now that he had gone to the Desolate Border Long Chen and his mother had to suffer many condescending gazes from everyone in the imperial capital over these past few years. Although they had the position of a noble, but compared to before they were completely destitute, and in the entire estate there was ten or so maids who did some part-time work since they couldn’t support more people.
It could be said that in all the aristocracy they were the family in the worst straits, and Long Chen himself was the most destitute of the poor.
In the Phoenix Cry Empire, it was the golden age of martial arts. Basically everyone practiced martial arts, but as it turned out Long Chen’s special physique meant he was incapable of practicing martial arts, making him someone that everyone would sneer at.
But opposite to Long Chen was his father, Tianxiao. He was the strongest of his generation, and with him guarding the Desolate Border, even if a barbarian clan were to savagely attack they would have no ability to step even half a foot within the Phoenix Cry Empire.
Long Tianxiao was the Phoenix Cry Empire’s military god of this generation, whereas Long Chen was a trash who couldn’t even enter Qi Sensing. It was impossible to prevent people from feeling that this tiger father had a dog of a son.
Countless people would jeer at him, but Long Chen wouldn’t care. However that day, the noble Manhuang’s son Zhou Yaoyang ridiculed Long Chen saying that he wasn’t his father’s son.
Long Chen’s anger immediately soared to the heavens, as he understood that he was obviously ridiculing his mother as unfaithful. The Long Chen whose anger had even caused him to become a bit muddle headed brazenly challenged his opponent to a duel.
But his opponent was a strong person at the Seventh Heaven Layer of Qi Condensation while he was just an ordinary person incapable of even reaching Qi Sensing. He had basically been asking to be disgraced.
As a result he later was beat to the point of losing consciousness and almost dying. He was sent home, and the news caused Long Chen to be an object of ridicule for quite some time in the imperial capital.
Leaving his nobleman estate, Long Chen directly went to the imperial capital’s Hundred Grass Row. That was the place where all kinds of precious medicinal ingredients would be sold. Right now what he needed was to get an understanding of the medicinal herbs’ market situation.
Along the road there were quite a few people, and when they recognized Long Chen they couldn’t help put to point him out behind his back; however Long Chen was already used to this.
But at the same time he bitterly smiled inside. His own father had suppressed the entire Desolate Border, which was waonderful meritorious deed that protected the entire Phoenix Cry Empire.
However what did he obtain from this? This mother son duo had to suffer from bullying and humiliating stares from the imperial capital, and he himself had almost been beaten to death. How could this be considered repayment? A group of people that were protected by his father all gave him condescending stares; this was reciprocation?
Long Chen quickened his footsteps. Although he wasn’t afraid of these kinds of stares, but he would always end up a bit gloomy. However at this moment his path was blocked by a group of people.
“Aiya, is this actually Long Chen? I heard you were beat to the point where you couldn’t even recognize your own mom, so how are you so lively that you ran out today?”
In front of Long Chen a sixteen or seventeen year old teen wearing flowery clothes with two imperial guards was sneering at him.
This person was also born as a noble in an aristocrat family and was called Li Hao. However his position within the aristocracy was not high, and his status was incomparable to Long Chen’s. But in the Phoenix Cry Empire, nobility and status were only secondary. What was most important was still strength.
Li Hao was standing right in the middle of the road, and if Long Chen wanted to go through he needed to pass by him.
If it was the previous Long Chen he would turn around and walk back, but today’s Long Chen looked at Li Hao, shaking his head he sighed and said, “People say even well trained dogs know not to obstruct the road. Looks like you’re not even as good as a dog.”
“Long Chen, seems you didn’t remember the lesson I gave you last time. If you want to be beaten within an inch of your life again, then let’s fight in the martial arena.” Li Hao’s expression changed, before once again ridiculing him.
“That’s why I said you were a dog, just go eat crap beside Zhou Yaoyang.” Long Chen shook his head. He didn’t want to waste his time on this kind of person. He needed to handle his own affairs, so he started to walk around him.
“Long Chen, you are asking for death!”
Li Hao’s expression couldn’t help but to become angry, not expecting that the always cowardly Long Chen would actually act in such an unyielding manner that basically didn’t even pay attention to him. He stuck out his arms to bar Long Chen’s path.
Long Chen frowned slightly, and just as he was about to say something a figure walked over, and towards Li Hao he cursed, “Li Hao, you’re the one asking for death! Just who do you think you are to dare threaten my brother.”
The person who had come was an extremely tall man who appeared eighteen or nineteen years old, but his height was especially extraordinary, as he was three metres tall, which was taller than either of them by over a head and very intimidating.
“Shi Feng, this isn’t your business, it’d be best if you didn’t meddle around.”
When Li Hao saw Shi Feng, he couldn’t help but to try appearing strong while actually being weaker. Shi Feng was also a noble whose status was about the same as his, but Shi Feng was a strong person who had reached Eighth Heavenly Layer of Qi Condensation while he was only at the Third Heavenly Layer of Qi Condensation.
In addition Shi Feng had an innate strength that meant that amongst the same rank very few people would be his match. Therefore he didn’t have the guts to challenge Shi Feng.
“Brother Long Chen, I heard that that bastard Zhou Yaoyang beat you up, brother how about I go help you vent your anger. “ Shi Feng looked at Long Chen as his face became indignant.
Long Chen looked at the huge person in front of him, and his heart felt a bit of warmth. Shi Feng was the only one in the imperial capital who would consider him as his brother.
“No problem, my enmities are something that I will pay back myself. Just don’t worry about it.” Long Chen faintly laughed, patting Shi Feng’s shoulder.
When Shi Feng heard Long Chen say this, he thought that Long Chen might be worried about his face and so he didn’t raise the issue again.
“Let’s go, come with me for a stroll.” Long Chen said with a smile, and he brought Shi Feng for a walk.
When Li Hao say the two of them consider him as just thin air, he couldn’t help from angrily cursing, “Long Chen, you little bastard, if you have guts then you’ll join me in a duel!”
When they had only just walked a couple steps he had to stop, and deep within his eyes a murderous intent bubbled up as he slowly turned his head.
“You want to have a duel with me?” Long Chen’s voice was extremely cold, and they were just like ice shards that caused people to tremble in their bones.
Li Hao couldn’t help but to shiver as his spirit trembled. For some reason he felt that today’s Long Chen was a bit strange, but his big words had already been spoken so if at this time he was to act like a coward then he would became the entire imperial capital’s laughingstock.
Moreover he was already used to bullying Long Chen over and over, so with these experiences he ignored the trace of fear that arose in his heart.
“Not bad, you dare to accept the duel?” Li Hao mocked in a loud voice.
“Not a problem, however I want to add some stakes.” Long Chen said after a moment’s thought.
“Adding stakes? Haha, your Long family is already almost unable to feed yourselves, what are you going to take out as stakes? You could use your family’s estate, or you could say that if you lose you’ll become my slave?” Li Hao coldly mocked.
However what he didn’t notice was that in the corner of Long Chen’s mouth a callous smile seemed to have some hidden intentions.
“Brother Shi, can you lend me your martial sword?” Long Chen asked.
Shi Feng did somewhat hate to part with it, but he still handed his sword over.
Long Chen nodded, and he quietly recorded this favor into his heart. Towards Li Hao he said, “This martial sword isn’t top quality, but it is still worth eight thousand gold coins. For today I’ll just count it as five thousand gold coins, so if you win you can take the Jade Sword, but if lose you have to give me five thousand gold coins, how’s that sound?”
Li Hao’s heart shook; Shi Feng’s sword was made from steel essence and was forged by a master. It was definitely at least worth the eight thousand gold coins.
Today this idiot Long Chen actually decided to use such a thing as a bet; he had long since started laughing cheerfully in his heart.
Hit mouth once again sneered, “I don’t know if should you lose whether someone will have a falling out and not own up?”
“Don’t worry, I Shi Feng will guarantee it.” Shi Feng coldly smiled.
“Good, then let’s go to the martial arena to sign the contract. If today I don’t beat the teeth out of you then in the future I wouldn’t be Li Hao.” Li Hao couldn’t help from being extremely exuberant as he high-spiritedly spoke.
Long Chen’s face was still calm, however within his eyes appeared some darkness. Li Hao was just one of Zhou Yaoyang’s dogs, so he was never paid any attention by Long Chen. However with them always plotting against him, just what kind of hidden conspiracy was there?
However no matter what kind of conspiracy it was, the truth would always come to light one day. Long Chen walked directly to the martial arena outside the imperial capital.