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Chapter 1: Exiting Seclusion

In the beginning, the Great God Pangu split the Gods Realm into three known realms; the Mortal Realm, the Celestial Realm and the Immortal Realm.

Heretofore, mortal cultivators from the Mortal Realm will now be able to ascend to the Celestial Realm as celestial practitioners and celestial practitioners will be able to ascend to the Immortal Realm as immortal cultivators.

The story begins in the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, one of the many celestial fraternities of the Celestial Realm. In the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, the men prided their beards as dearly as their faces and the women idolized men with beautiful beards. To insult the beards of the men in this fraternity is the same as slapping on their faces.

The Celestial Realm is unlike the lower Mortal Realm where there are vast oceans and plain lands. The entire Celestial Realm is consisted of endless lofty mountains and it is thousands of times as vast as the lower Mortal Realm.

The many celestial clans and populations are situated high above the mountains. Usually the powerful celestial clans will be situated on mountains that are rich in spiritual veins that are refined by rich deposits of jadeites. That will be the most ideal place for cultivation. Other than spiritual veins and jadeites, mountains that are rich in silver and golden celestiums are also ideal, since silver and golden celestiums are needed in great demand to make precious weapons.

Below the mountains, are thick desolate mists and endless bottomless valleys that are filled with many powerful desolate monsters. The spiritual aura below the desolate mists is poor and unsuitable for cultivation.

Moreover the presence of the desolate aura is too overwhelming and can easily corrupt a cultivator inner core. However because of this very same reason, it is the ideal place for the desolate monsters that feed upon it.

In a way, the desolate mists act as a natural barrier between the desolate beasts below and the divine beasts that dwell high in the mountains.

The desolate aura below the mountains actually come from the same mountain veins as the spiritual veins that the cultivators depend upon. The only difference is that this desolate aura is actually refined into spiritual aura by the rich deposits of jadeites in the mountains and by the purifying aura above the mountains that are continuously cleansed by the divine lightning.

From time to time, there is always a possibility that a powerful desolate monster will emerge from the valley below.

The richer the spiritual auras in the mountains, the weaker the desolate auras that will be at the bottom. Therefore it is not wrong to say that mountains that are rich in spiritual auras usually do not have powerful desolate beasts below the desolate mists.

Ji Yuan had finally opened his eyes.

Today he had finally reached enlightenment and had become a Golden Saint, a seventh realm cultivation expert.

He lifted his fingers to count the number of years that he had hidden in the mountains for his seclusion.

“One hundred years…”

He was startled, “That is really a long time. Hmm…”

Just as he was about to stroke his beard, he was once again startled to find that his beautiful beard was gone.

He quickly took out a mirror and was dismayed to see that he was now clean shaven and was sighing, “I have become so ugly now. I must have lost my beard during my golden body transformation from the sixth to the seventh realm level.”

He began to mutter in great misery, “I’ve heard of stories that for those that have lost their beards during their golden body transformation, it will be a permanent loss. What bad luck I have…”

With a deep sigh, he exercised his profound strength to kick his way out of the cave, loosening the boulders out of his way and almost causing the cave to collapse, ending his adventure in the very first chapter of his new life.

He quickly rushed out of the cave with a heavy relief, “Lucky me! I’ve almost killed myself.”

As he began to make his way down the mountain peak, he started to admire the mountain sceneries that were around him and was muttering at the familiar sight. “It is so good to be alive.”

The Desolate Celestial Fraternity was a mostly mountainous celestial fraternity with a great desert to its south.  So there was actually nothing except for mountains.

But it was a familiar sight that he had always remembered and it brought back fond memories.

After a few days of walking, he had finally returned to the mountain peak where he was once the Sword Saint of the Orthodox Sword Sect.

All of a sudden he paused in his tracks when he heard some distant voice; a young maiden and a middle-aged man with bushy beard were seen talking in the tall pine tree groves.

This young maiden was extremely beautiful and she had a heavenly air. She appeared to be out of the world and her presence exuded a superior loftiness.

But Ji Yuan thought, “How come she looks so familiar, like someone that I’ve known?”

He was soon distracted by their conversations.

“Fairy Ye Chengxi, have you forgotten that without my Emperor Hall Sect to offer protection to your Orthodox Sword Sect, you will not have the luxury of strolling in these mountains?”

Ji Yuan was gasping, “Her name is Ye Chengxi…I remember her. She is my most talented senior disciple. What luck. To think that I will be able to meet my most talented disciple that I had previously placed much hope on before I went into seclusion.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi coldly said to the middle-aged man, “That is my business and none of your business.”

The middle-aged man hummed coldly in return, “Fairy Ye Chengxi is indeed the number one Sword Saintess in the Desolate Celestial Fraternity. So why don’t you agree to merge with my Emperor Hall Sect? I’m sure that I will be able to take good care of you.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi hummed, “I hope that you can dare to say that in front of me 10 years later.”

The middle-aged man immediately roared into a jovial laughter, “Do you really think that he will still be able to exit his seclusion? He is probably dead by now. Don’t be stupid. Everyone knows that he is already…”

But before he could finish, the brilliant glare of a sharp sword was displayed at his throat by Fairy Ye Chengxi.

She said coldly, “If I hear a word more from you that is insulting to my old master, I will kill you.”

But the middle-age man remained calm and he was smiling, “I am not afraid to spar with the beautiful Fairy Ye Chengxi who is one of the four renowned great beauties of the Desolate Celestial Fraternity. In fact, I will consider this to be my honor…”

All of a sudden he had turned to the direction of Ji Yuan who was eavesdropping and shouted. “Who is that! Come out now!”

Even Ye Chengxi was exclaiming softly, “Who is spying on us?”

Ji Yuan was smiling bitterly as he showed himself up but not before he had used his profound strength to hide his golden eyes which was a sign that he was a superior celestial cultivator. He had accidentally gasped when Fairy Ye Chengxi was defending his honor and this slip had caused him to be discovered.

He quickly displayed a humble half bow and greeted, “My respect to the two golden celestials.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi raised her alluring beautiful eyelids as she asked gently, “Young man, which celestial clan are you from?”

Ji Yuan stole a glance at his former disciple. She was so beautiful now. In front of her, all the beautiful mountain sceneries had lost its luster and could not be compared to her appearance. He was greatly comforted that she was now so outstanding in her celestial practice and in her profound arts of allure. However, it was a pity that he could not acknowledge her now. It was because he considered it such a shameful thing to lose his beard and he had to find a way to get back his manly beard first.

Ji Yuan replied humbly, “I am just a lowly cultivator that is without any celestial clan. My name is Yuan Ji.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi was suddenly giggling softly, “Yuan Ji? That sounds like meeting your maker.”

But she had quickly realized that she was rude and asked gently, “Will you like to follow me to cultivate the way?”

Ji Yuan was startled. He did not expect his former most prized disciple to be someone that could accept a protégé so casually. In the past, he was quite stringent when he was accepting protégés, especially direct disciples.

The middle-aged man was laughing jovially, “I didn’t expect that the renowned Fairy Ye Chengxi will have fallen so low and is so desperate to recruit new protégés to the Orthodox Sword Sect. To think that you can be so casual as to recruit any passerby to be your protégé. Or just because you think that he is a dashing young man and you want to keep him in your harem?”

Fairy Ye Chengxi ignored him and asked Ji Yuan gently, “Are you willing?”

The middle-aged man interrupted with another laugh before he said to Ji Yuan, “Young man, don’t be too hasty to reply. Let me tell you what. I’m Supremacy Li Qiang, one of the four elders of the Emperor Hall Sect. Why don’t you join my celestial clan instead? Fairy Ye is only a fifth realm golden celestial while I am a sixth realm golden supremacy.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi hummed coldly and she looked unhappy.

“Are you unhappy that I am stealing your recruit?” Li Qiang laughed jovially.

He turned to say to Yuan Ji, “Surely you must have heard of the celestial position of the Emperor Hall Sect. Compare to the inferior Orthodox Sword Sect, this isn’t even an option at all.”

Actually Yuan Ji had wanted to tell him that he really did not know about the celestial position of the Emperor Hall Sect.

Li Qiang was confident that any young men would surely pick the Emperor Hall Sect. No one would screw themselves, especially when it concerned their futures.

Fairy Ye Chengxi heaved a soft sigh. There was nothing she could do except to sigh weakly. It was because Li Qiang was right.

Yuan Ji was suddenly looking at Fairy Ye Chengxi as he said softly, “I will go with you.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi’s beautiful slim figure was jolted as she turned to Yuan Ji with a perplexed look.

Li Qiang was stunned as he looked at Yuan Ji with a look of disbelief. “Do you know what you are missing? Do you know that you have just missed your best chance of practicing the way. By going with the Orthodox Sword Sect, you are screwing yourself to the dead end. If you want to court your own death then I won’t stop you.”

Yuan Ji ignored him and instead he said to Fairy Ye Chengxi, “Master, please take me to the Orthodox Sword Sect.”

He felt a little weird that he was now calling his former disciple his master now.

Fairy Ye Chengxi nodded, “From now onward, I will be your protégé master and you are to address me as your master. You have two other senior protégé brothers in the Orthodox Sword Sect. Our sect is a small one with only less than a hundred protégés. They are mostly common protégés.”

With a soft sigh, she added. “It is exactly like what Li Qiang had said. We are a puny sect. Perhaps, you will regret it sooner or later.”

Yuan Ji said firmly, “I will not regret it.”

Fairy Ye Chengxi nodded quietly.

Before long, they had reached the heaven gates of the Orthodox Sword Sect, which was an unimpressive flight of stairs that were filled with weeds.

She took a quiet look at him before she sighed, “It must be a little forceful to make you come to this decision so hastily. If you regret it now and want to back off, I don’t blame you at all. It is actually my fault. I can even escort you down the mountains.”

She saw that there seemed to be some hesitations in his eyes as they approached the down and out heaven steps. The image of a powerful and reputable celestial clan lay with how well the heaven steps looked like because everything may be worse than it looked in the inside than outside.

“It isn’t that.” Yuan Ji smiled awkwardly. “You are very beautiful.”

Along the way, he had been watching her swaying slim figure keenly. He had never thought that his little disciple would now be such a beautiful goddess.

There was a slight flush on her countenance as she said melancholy, “Come with me.”

She took him to the inside and promptly introduced him to his two senior brothers. “This is your oldest protégé brother Zhao Gang and this is your second protégé brother Li Ming. This is Yuan Ji. From now on, he will be your third protégé brother. Do not bully him and get along well with each other.”

Yuan Ji sighed and saw that the Orthodox Sword Saint was actually in such a poor state and had little talents now.

“Yuan Ji, follow me to the inner hall. I shall impart to you our sect’s intricate formula.”

“Yes master.” He promptly said as he returned a respectful hand bow to his two older protégé brothers who looked friendly enough.

[Author Foreword]: This cultivation story will have many plot twists and the first 30 chapters are just the introduction for a ‘mystery’ plot. If you have the mood to figure it out, please do! If not, just hop on for a fun read with Yuan Ji on an unromantic ride! Hey, isn’t this story The Romantic Cultivator? ≧◉◡◉≦

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