Note: I am not picking up this series, just translating up to chapter 6. See Table of Contents for details.
Chapter 5: Humanity & three Gu, hoping for a breakthrough
In a flash, all eyes landed on the person being called out.
It’s really getting more and more exciting, Fang Yuan mused in his heart as he forded the river and waded ashore beneath their countless stares. Immediately, he felt a layer of pressure. Such a sensation came from the spirit spring located deep within the sea of flowers. Because it was constantly generating primordial qi, the excess qi grew dense enough to bring about this nameless pressure.
Yet soon enough, bright dots of light emerged from the flowers around Fang Yuan. They floated through the air before surrounding Fang Yuan and sinking into his body.
These would be the Hope Gu, Fang Yuan murmured in his heart. The person in charge hadn’t explained things, but he knew what was going on. Every single point of light was a Gu. The name of these Gu was Hope. One of the most ancient myths spoke of the Hope Gu. Legends had it that when the world was first formed, it was savage and filled with wild beasts. When the first human came into being, he ate the raw flesh of birds and beasts and lived a difficult life.
At the same time, there existed a species of wild beast called Predicament that loved the flavor of the human. It wanted to eat him all up. The human didn’t have tough and unyielding bodies like mountains or stone, nor did they have the same sharp teeth that wild beasts possessed. How could he fight against this Predicament beast? He lacked a stable source of food and spend all their days hiding away. In the wild, he was considered the bottom of the food chain and was on the verge of going extinct.
At this time, three Gu volunteered themselves. They said to the human, “As long as you use your life to raise us, we’ll help you overcome your difficulties.”
With no other way, the human could only agree to the three Gu’s terms. He first used his own youth to raise the three Gu to adulthood, one of whom gave him strength in exchange. With this strength, his life improved. He began to have stable sources of food and ample might. He was a brave and ferocious fighter that defeated many different Predicaments. But very soon, he met with suffering again. In the end, the human discovered that their power wasn’t limitless. He too, had to rest and renew himself and couldn’t squander their strength freely.
Compared to the Predicament beasts, the human’s strength was truly too feeble. The human drew his lessons from bitter experiences, before using the prime of their life to raise the most beautiful one of the three Gu.
As a result, the second Gu granted him wisdom.
With wisdom, the human learned how to think over problems and do introspection. He also learned how to accumulate his experiences. He discovered that wisdom allowed him to do things more effectively than with strength alone. By combining wisdom with strength, he conquered many more objectives than before and killed off even more Predicaments. He even learned to eat Predicament’s meat and drink its blood, carving out a tenacious existence for himself. But such happiness didn’t last. Eventually, the human grew older and older.
This was because he gave away all his young and middle years to raise his strength and wisdom. When the human grew old, his muscles shriveled and his mind couldn’t think as fast as before.
“Human, what else can you give us? You have nothing left to offer,” said the Strength and Wisdom Gu. After discovering this, both of them heartlessly broke off relations and left him.
The human lost his strength and wisdom and was discovered by Predicaments anew. They encircled the human that was now too old to run away. Even his teeth had all fallen out, making it impossible to eat wild fruits or vegetables. He lay listlessly on the ground, surrounded by a crowd of Predicament as his heart despaired.
Right at this moment, the third Gu spoke. “Human, just make an offering to me. I can help you escape these Predicaments.”
The human wept tears as he replied, “Gu, what else do I have? Look, the Strength and Wisdom Gu both abandoned me. Now I have nothing else but old age before me. Compared to youth and my middle age, old age is nothing worth mentioning. But if I give my old ge to you, my life will be forfeit. Though I’m surrounded by Predicaments now, I still won’t die immediately. I still want to live a little longer, even if it’s just one more second. So you should go, I have nothing left to offer you anymore.”
The Gu replied, “Amongst the three Gu, I have the fewest requirements. Human, as long as you give me your heart, it’ll be enough.”
“Then I’ll give you my heart,” the human said. “But Gu, what can you give me? Even if the Strength Gu and Wisdom Gu were to return to me, it wouldn’t change our situation.”
Compared to the Strength Gu, this particular Gu had a frail body that was nothing more than a tiny speck of light. Compared to the Wisdom Gu, it was the dimmest and most dismal Gu, only emitting a weak, white light that wasn’t resplendent or bright at all.
But after the human gave his heart to this Gu, it suddenly burst into brilliant light, causing the Predicaments to cry out in horror, “This is the Hope Gu! Hurry and scatter, we Predicaments fear hope the most of all.”
In a panic, all of the Predicaments fled. The human stood gaping dumbstruck. From then on, he learned one thing: when faced with Predicaments, he had to give up his heart to Hope.
By now, the Hope Gu had converged into a stream of light that entered Fang Yuan’s body. Thanks to the pressure from outside, they quickly settled themselves in a mass by Fang Yuan’s stomach, about three cun beneath his navel. Fang Yuan immediately felt the pressure around him ease. He took a step and began to walk forward.
With each step, more streams of Hope Gu flew out from the sea of flowers to settling inside his body, joining the glowing mass by his abdomen. The glowing mass grew bigger and brighter, but it only made the elder in charge furrow his eyebrows at the sight.
There doesn’t seem to be many Hope Gu, mused many elders who had been watching Fang Yuan. Their hearts couldn’t help but feel heavy at the sight. The clan head furrowed his brows as well. This definitely wasn’t the mark of a Grade A talent!
Fang Yuan braced himself against the pressure and kept walking forward.
Those who walk ten steps and below have no potential for cultivation. 10 to 20 steps means Grade D latent talent. 20 to 30 steaps means Grade C latent talent. 30 to 40 steps is Grade B latent talent and 40 to 50 steps is Grade A latent talent. Right now, I’ve only taken 23 steps.
Twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six…twenty-seven, Fang Yuan counted silently. By the time he reached 27 steps, he suddenly heard a bang before the glowing mass in his abdomen, between his kidneys, suddenly reached its limit and exploded.
This explosion only occurred inside Fang Yuan’s body and was impossible for outsiders to discern. Only Fang Yuan felt such an earth-shaking reaction. In a flash, the hairs on his body stood on end. His pores sealed themselves as his mind was stretched to its limit to a taut state. Soon enough, emptiness filled his thoughts before his body grew soft and supple, as if sinking into a mass of clouds. His heart relaxed, his hairs flattened themselves out, and his pores re-opened again.
Immediately, his entire body was covered in a thin layer of sweat. Such a sensation might have taken some time to describe, but it only happened within the course of a few seconds. It left as quickly as it came.
Fang Yuan only lost his expression for a second before schooling it back into place. He was silently observing everything happening inside his body at this moment. Soon enough, he discovered the spot in his abdomen between his kidneys had formed an aperture out of nothingness.
The Broadening Horizons Ceremony was successful!
This was his hope for immortal life!
 cun (寸) – Chinese unit of measurement around the width of a person’s thumb around the knuckle.