Note: I am not picking up this series, just translating up to chapter 6. See Table of Contents for details.
Chapter 1: No regrets after the heart of a demon dies
"Be a good boy and turn over the Spring and Autumn Cicada, Fang Yuan, and I'll make things easy for you!"
"Old devil Fang, you should stop this useless resisting! All of the righteous ways united here today to crush your den of monsters. We've already set nets above and below ground! This time, you'll definitely lose your head!"
"Fang Yuan you despicable monster, you killed tens of millions of lives to cultivate this Spring and Autumn Cicada! You've already committed a heinous crime worthy of retribution! It's an unforgivable sin! Too vile!"
"Demon, you humiliated me 300 years ago! Snatching away my pure body, killing nine generations of my family—from then until now, I've hated you enough to eat your flesh and drink your blood! Today, I'll have you wish you were dead!"
Fang Yuan wore a shredded jade-green robe, his hair billowing wildly. His body was bathed in blood from head to toe as he surveyed the scene around him. The mountain breeze made his bloody robes flutter like a war banner in the wind.
The fresh red blood poured from hundreds of wounds on his body. Just by standing there for a while, Fang Yuan had already gathered a large puddle beneath his feet.
His enemies circled him in a ring, cutting off all possible ways of escape. It seemed set that he had no choice but to die today. Fang Yuan saw the situation as clearly as a blazing fire. But even though death was imminent, he remained calm, his expression flat. His eyes were like distant, ancient pools of water, and just as before—filled with a bottomless depth.
The crowds of heroes from righteous Sects that surrounded him weren't just one branch of venerable Elders. There were also renowned heroes and youths. All of them securely surrounded Fang Yuan, some roaring with rage, some smiling coldly, some squinting with suspicious, narrow-eyed stars or fearful glances as they clutched at their wounds.
None of them made a move, all in dread of Fang Yuan's last stand before his death. Just like this, the crowd nervously surrounded him for the space of six hours. As the sun set, its evening glow kindled the clouds and made them as radiant as a flame. Fang Yuan, who had been as quiet and still as a statue this whole time, slowly turned. There was a commotion amongst the gathered heroes as they all drew back a big step.
By now, the greyish-white mountain rocks beneath Fang Yuan's feet had long been dyed a dark red. His face was pale white from loss of blood, and in the glow of sunset, they suddenly acquired a sweet and beautiful glow.
Looking at the scenery of mountains against the setting sun, Fang Yuan smiled softly. "The setting sun upon the blue mountains, the spring breeze with the autumn moon. It's as they say. As the sun sets, a young dynasty draws to its end with the snows. Right or wrong, victory or defeat; one turn of the head renders it empty."
As he spoke, the vision before his eyes became details from a previous incarnation on Earth.
He used to be a student of the Middle Kingdom of that world, but his serendipitous good fortune carried over this this world. After a bumpy 300 years, he marched over the lands for 200 more years, and in this way passed 500 years.
The memories buried deep in his heart came to vivid form this instant, flashing lifelike before his eyes.
"In the end, I was defeated." Fang Yuan sighed in his heart. He was filled with emotion, but he had no regrets. He saw this result early on when he made his choice, and prepared for it in his heart.
A so-called evil way, or Dao, was one that didn't cultivate merit but killed and burned. Their crimes were such that neither men nor gods could forgive them, their enemies universal, and yet they had to march on unhindered to one's heart's content.
'If the Spring and Autumn Cicada I just cultivated is useful, then I'll become an evil devil in my next reincarnation, too!' Thus thinking, Fang Yuan couldn't help but let up a loud laugh.
"Old demon, what are you laughing about?"
"Everyone, be careful! The fiend's launching a counterattack before he dies!"
"Hurry up and hand over the Spring and Autumn Cicada!"
The heroes forced themselves forward, all crowded together, when a sudden BANG occurred as Fang Yuan self-detonated.
The spring rain fell down unbroken, quietly soaking Mt. Qingmao. The night had already advanced, and strands of cool wind stirred the fine drizzle. Mt. Qingmao wasn't dark at all, but covered with glimmers of light from the base to halfway up the mountain, as if wearing a brilliant sash of light.
These lights came from large, overhanging houses. Though its lamps didn't number in the tens of thousands, there were still in the thousands in terms of scope. This was Mt. Qingmao's Ancient Moon Village, a concentrated center of human civilization in the secluded vastnesss of the mountains.
The very center of Ancient Moon Village stood a magnificent pavilion. Currently, a grand ceremony was in place to offer sacrifices to the ancestors. The entire area was brightly lit with a glorious radiance.
"Blessing of our ancestors, we hope this time's ceremony can grant us splendid, intelligent youths to increase the new blood and hope of our Clan!" The Ancient Moon Clan Head was a middle-aged man, the hair on his temples touched by frost-white. He wore a solemn, plain white robe for the sacrificial ceremony, kneeling on the pale brown floorboards. His upper body was ramrod straight, the palms of his hands pressed together, eyes shut tight as his sincerely said his prayers.
Before him was a tall, black lacquer altar divided into three levels. Each level enshrined a memorial tablet to an ancestor, and each tablet was framed on two sides by red copper incense burners emiting curling strands of fragrant smoke.
Behind him kneeled ten more figures wearing roomy white robes, all Elders or important members of authority within the clan. After a while of saying prayers, the Ancient Moon Clan Head bent his waist forwards, both palms spread out against the ground to kowtow. His forehead bumped against the floorboards with a soft slamming noise.
The Elders behind him all wore solemn, respectful expressions as they kowtowed in turn.
For a while, the clan's ancestral hall was filled with nothing but the light sounds of heads hitting the floor.
After the grand ceremony finished, everyone slowly stood up and quietly left the dignified hall. As they filtered into the passageway, each one released a breath as relief settled upon them. Slowly, comments and discussions began to rise among the crowd.
"Time has passed so quickly, it's been a year in the blink of an eye."
"The last grand ceremony felt like it happened yesterday, I can still recall it clearly with my eyes."
"Tomorrow will be the annual Broadening Horizons Ceremony, who knows what new blood will come from the clan this time?"
"Aye, I hope we have some first-rank talent youths show up. Our Ancient Moon Clan has already gone three years without a genius talent."
"That's right. The White Clan, Bear Clan all had genius talents appear these few years. Especially Bai Ningbing from the Bai Clan, whose latent talent is terrifying."
It wasn't clear who started it, but just mentioning Bai Ningbing's name was enough to grant worried expressions on all the clan elder's faces. The latent talent of that youth was extremely outstanding, and with just two years of effort he had cultivated to a Third Level Gu Master. In terms of the current generation, he was the most outstanding, to a point that even the older generation felt that he presented an excellent pressure for all who followed his position.
With enough time, he was certain to become the Bai Clan's pillar of strength. At the very least he would be a strong leader, capable of overseeing parts of their clan by himself. Nobody doubted this point.
"However, there's some hope in the youths participating in the Broadening Horizons Ceremony this year."
"That's right, the Fangs produced a young genius talent. He could speak at three months, walk at four months, and string together phrases and poetry by the fifth month. He's an unusually intelligent child brimming with talent. It's a pity his father died young. Now he's being raised by his mother's brother and sister-in-law."
"Un, this is a child who attained wisdom early and has high aspirations. I've heard of the works he's composed: Proposing a Toast, Ode to the Plum, and Riverside City. A true genius!"
The Ancient Moon Clan Head was the last to leave the ancestral hall. As he slowly closed the door, he overheard the conversations between the elders in the passageways.
Immediately, he knew they were talking about one of Ancient Moon's youths, Fang Yuan. As the Head of the clan, he naturally paid close attention to outstanding youths within the clan. And the Ancient Moon's Fang Yuan was the most dazzling and remarkable one of them all.
Experience had shown that those who could learn something by heart after reading it once, or possessed the strength of an adult at a young age, or any number of inborn talents, all had outstanding endowments for cultivation.
"If we foster well a youth with such natural endowments, they may still not match up with Bai Ningbing. Even if they're still second-best, they'll still be one of a kind in the future, and become a banner of our Ancient Moon Clan. But as for a second-place talent, the possibilities for such a precocious child is still low. It's probable he's a first-rank talent." When this thought emerged, the Clan Head of the Ancient Moon Clan couldn't help but lift the corners of his mouth in a slight smile.
Soon afterwards, he coughed and spoke to the gathered Elders. "Gentlemen, the time is already late. For the sake of tomorrow's Broadening Horizons Ceremony, we must all rest well tonight to conserve our vitality."
When the Elders heard these words, they were seized with a tiny thread of terror. Each of them saw in the other's eyes a hint of guarded vigilance. The meaning implied in their Clan Head's words were deep and profound.
Every year, to fight for the sake of these latter generation geniuses, the Elders of the clan would fight each other until they were red in the face and their heads battered. They really should conserve their strength for tomorrow's competition.
This was more so for that Ancient Moon's Fang Yuan. His potential for first-rank latent talent was very high. Not to mention, both of his parents had already passed away, leaving him one of two remaining orphans in the Fang family. If he could be taken in and raised properly, then one could gain 100 years of guaranteed prosperity!
"However, I'll say the bad news now. You have to fight fairly, without underhanded plots that could hurt the solidarity of our Clan. Fellow Elders, keep this in your hearts!" The Clan Head took care to keep his tone solemn and severe.
"We wouldn't dare."
"We'll definitely keep this in our hearts."
"Then we'll take our leaves, there's no need to see us out, Clan Head."
With full thoughts, each of the Elders scattered and left.
Not long after, the hallways were filled with silence. The spring rain blew through the windows as the Clan Head approached them. Immediately, the fresh, wet air of the mountains greeted him deep in his heart.
This was the third level of the pavilion. The Clan Head look out to see over half of the Ancient Moon Village in one glance. Unusually, many of the lamps were still lit in the houses, even at this late hour.
Tomorrow was the Broadening Horizons Ceremony that affected the interests of every single person. An atmosphere of nervous excitement enveloped the hearts of the Clan members, so of course many of them found it hard to sleep.
"These are the hope of the Clan for the future," the Clan Head sucked in a breath as he observed the points of light.
At the same time, a clear set of pupils were quietly observing the same lights, his heart filled with complicated feelings.
"This is the Ancient Moon Village from 500 years ago?! It looks like the Spring and Autumn Cicada really worked… …" Fang Yuan's gaze was distant. Despite the rain and wind that lashed against his body, he was standing right by the window.
The Spring and Autumn Cicada was used to travel through time. In the rankings of the Ten Mystical Gu, it was ranked at number seven, so it was no insignificant matter. To put it briefly, this was like a rebirth.
"Using the Spring and Autumn Cicada to start anew, I went back 500 years!" Fang Yuan extended a hand, eyes fixed on his young and tender palm, the skin still pale and white. Then he slowly formed his hand into a fist to grasp the extent of this reality. The sound of rain hitting the window frame reached his ears as he slowly closed his eyes. After a long time, he opened them again and gave a sigh. "Those 500 years of history really felt like a dream."
But he understood very clearly that this wasn't a dream.
[Translated postscript by the author]: All right, everyone finally saw my new novel. I just wanted to give you all a head's up like at the ending of《Demon Defying Emperor》(Yu Yao Zhi Zhun), the MC is very evil, so this book will be subject to controversy. I hope my reader friends can see the sequence of this book and know what kind of story it is. The things I should say I've already said in order. Friends, if you like it, then take my hand and join me in this fantastic, risk-filled journey. A new novel is beginning, and the collections and recommendations of you, Friends, as well as ticket voting and comments/ranking, is my best source of encouragement.
 Bai Ningbing (白凝冰) - Surname Bai, or "white". Given name Ningbing, or "to freeze".
Gu (蛊) - same Gu as Dao Master Gu. Actually the name of a legendary venomous insect.