In a small courtyard on the eastern side of the Ye Castle.
Qinghan was sitting in his house, feeling rather upset by the big words he had spoken just before.
“Oh… Since I’ve already bragged about it, I should atleast try it. But how can I actually improve my cultivation?”
He sighed with helplessness. In order to win some credit within his family, he had shamelessly overstated his ambition to surpass Qingxian within the next three years.
On the other hand, he had already made an oath in front of his deceased mother, that he would one day move his parents’ memorial tablets into the Sacred Temple. Even though he had made so many aspiring promises, he hadn’t even come up with a specific plan to accomplish these promises. After all, it was a decision that was forced upon him by reality and not made of his own volition. Ten years ago, his father had died, his fourth uncle went missing and his grandfather had become a hermit. That year, he had encountered various unfortunate things, one after the other. Since then, his eldest uncle had taken charge of the whole family. As a result, the family status of Qinghan had experienced a sharp drop. Despite the fact that he was a lineal descendant of the Ye Family, he lived a tougher life than the collateral ones.
Qinghan was the only bloodline of his parents, because his sister was an adopted child. Given all of this, he had to be cruel to himself, as he had put the responsibility to revive his family onto himself.
Although he had strategically defeated Qingxian twice, it was far from a true success. He had outwitted Qinghua, rather than beating him with his ability in cultivation.
Not everyone in the Flame Dragon Continent was as gullible as Qingxian. If he wished to survive in this jungle, then he really needed to acquire a higher realm of cultivation!
True ability was the fundamental requirement to live in this world!
The Mars Prefecture was actually divided into six major cities. Apart from the Dragon City, that was located in the center, there were five other cities that had been occupied by the five prominent families. The names of these families were Feng, Hua, Xue, Yue and Ye. The governance of Dragon City was not very stable, as this city saw a change of leadership relatively often. In comparison, the other five cities enjoyed thousands of years long-term governance under the five prominent families.
What was the secret behind the trouble-free governance for thousands of years? They all boasted a rigorous, yet unique training system for their descendants. It was no wonder that there were numerous masters emerging from these families, whom would eventually become the leaders of certain regions.
The unique training skill of the Ye Family was to summon battle beasts. It was said that, in ancient times, the ancestors of the Ye Family shared part of the bloodline of the battle beasts. Nowadays, everyone in the Ye Family would have three chances in their lifetime to awaken and summon these battle beasts.
The summoned battle beast wasn’t only able to fight on its own, but it could also integrate with its master. Once integrated, the attack power would be amplified multiple times, as both strength and speed would jump to a new level. When certain battle beasts were integrated with their master, they could even generate insurmountable techniques. The current leader of the Ye Family, Ye Tianlong, for instance, had summoned an eighth-grade battle beast – the bear of the earth, and once they were integrated, a highly defensive technique called the ‘Armor of the Earth’ would be gained. Ye Tianlong was in the first level of the Realm of the Saint, yet he was already known as the most outstanding cultivator in defensiveness, simply because of this technique.
Due to this special beast-summoning skill, the Ye Family was able to occupy Grey City and enjoy a dominant position throughout the Mars Prefecture.
In order to create more masters in cultivation, the Ye Family would list the most promising members into the key descendant program. However, the criteria to be a part of this program were rather high – either one had to be able to summon at least a sixth-grade battle beast, or one has to have entered the Realm of the Commander before the age of sixteen. If one could summon at least a sixth-grade battle beast, it would serve as solid evidence that the sacred beast blood accounted for a large percentage of the person’s blood. Even if he wasn’t particularly good at cultivation, the Ye Family would still endow him with magic medicines and techniques to help him. If one entered the Realm of the Commander before the age of sixteen, he would also be regarded as a talented master, even if his battle beast was of a lower grade.
“Well, what I have got right now? I really don’t have any damn talent in cultivation. It has been ten years, when I was only 5 years old, since I took my first step on the path of cultivation. How can I achieve the Realm of the Commander within a year? Besides, I suppose that I have too little beast blood in my body, at least, that would explain why I failed the previous two awakenings at the age of five and ten. The Flame Dragon Festival is quickly approaching, I’m not confident in summoning any kind of beast within a month. What shall I do? Alas…If my sister had the beast blood, we would perhaps have a better chance. But… No, she never will.” Qinghan frowned, calculating his chance of success.
For each lineal member of the Ye Family, they would have three chances to awaken their beast bloodline, at the age of five, ten and fifteen respectively. The awakening ceremony would be held once every five years. Basically, if one failed the first two times, the chance for the third time would be extremely slim. At this point, the rare beast blood in his body would be so thin, that it was almost impossible to resonate with the ancient beast spirit. That was the major reason for failure.
Qinghan’s sister, Qingyu, as an adopted child, didn’t even bear any chance to be part of the key descendants. Therefore, Qinghan became the only hope of his direct family to revive the reputation his father had once obtained. Sadly, he had only reached the first level of the Realm of the Elite at the age of fifteen, while at the same time his previous two awakening attempts had both ended in failure. It seemed that his talent in cultivation was so limited, that his future would be bleak in this regard. The Elder Clan of the Ye Family had observed the growth track of Qinghan, and forecasted that he would never be qualified as a key descendant. Apart from his father’s death and his mother’s indecent background, his own lack of talent was another reason he was looked down upon.
– Creak! –
The door opened with a shrieking sound, which disrupted Qinghan’s flow of thoughts. Qingyu stood there in a white dress, holding a mysterious-looking box in her hands.
“Qingyu, go to sleep, it’s already late at night.” Qinghan said softly. His sister’s delicate body and feminine temperaments, had always aroused the most tender of feelings from the bottom of his heart.
“Brother, you’re also awake.” Qingyu replied as she put the box on the desk. She coughed a little bit, before he solemnly spoke to Qinghan, “Brother, I have a question for you, if …I mean, what if we run away from the Ye Family and find a remote place to enjoy the rest of our lives? Would you accept this proposal?”
“Hum?” Looking at the sincere expression on his sister’s face, Qinghan knew she wasn’t joking. After considering her proposal for quite a while, Qinghan came up with some broken sentences, “Well, I haven’t… I mean, I’ve never thought of such a scenario. My dear sister, if you’re really eager for that kind of life, I’ll… I’ll have to seriously consider it…”
“Hehe! Mom was right when she called you a man of passion, who’ll never stand for any kind of normal life. When you took that oath the other day, I was shocked at first, but later… I realized, that you’re a man who possesses big dreams. Now, I’ll show you a little something.” Qingyu smiled as she pushed the box towards Qinghan.
“What is this?” Qinghan was totally befuddled.
“Given your aggressive and unyielding personality, as well as your poor talent in cultivation, Mom was afraid that you would one day drag yourself into trouble if you had these two items. She hoped that, by not showing you these items, you would be able to live a calm and peaceful life. Brother, only if you got married and had a bunch of children, would mom let me reveal this box to you, before handing it over to your most talented child. Well, that was our mother’s opinion at least. However, I’m afraid that I have to betray her will. I believe in you, brother, don’t be frustrated by your current achievements, just look forward and dream big. Alright, look, there are two items in here. The first is an account of father’s experiences on his path of cultivation, while the second one is the treasure he managed to obtain at the cost of his life…” Qingyu sighed with relief, as if she had just accomplished a big mission.
Seeing her aspiring yet helpless brother, Qingyu had been hesitating between following or betraying her mother’s will. Since the death of their mother, Qinghan had racked his brain over how to improve his cultivation endlessly, yet he couldn’t discover any shortcuts. Qingyu felt rather sympathetic towards her brother, as she had finally decided to give him the final items of their father. She hoped, that by giving her brother these items, she would be able to help him achieve some improvements on his path of cultivation.
“An account of his experiences? And the treasure that cost our father’s life?” Qinghan repeated the names of the objects, in order to reassure himself.
Their father, Ye Dao was the second son of their grandparents. He was a prodigy in cultivation that would appear only once in a hundred years. At the age of six, he had already reached the Realm of the Soldier; half a year later, he had broken through the restraints to his twelve meridians and successfully surpassed the Realm of the General… At the age of twenty eight, he was already a well-known cultivator in the Realm of the Emperor. In addition, he had summoned an eighth-grade battle dralion (It resembles a hybrid of a dragon and a lion) at the age of three! Doubtlessly, he was considered as the number one talent in cultivation throughout the Ye Family. Also, in that year, he took the first place on the Mortal Ranking List. Despite all of this, Ye Dao was rebellious and unrestrained. He never took any advice from the Ye Family and even married a prostitute, completely disregarding the objections from his family. The elders in the family bore mixed feelings for him – they loved his talent, but they were greatly frustrated by his obstinacy. Eventually, he lost his life in an adventure to one of the three most mysterious areas in the continent – the Luo Shen Mountain.
The death of Ye Dao had caused waves of sadness among the family members, as they had lost their most promising cultivator, whose talent was recognized throughout the entire continent.
Staring at the box, Qinghua felt extremely fortunate to obtain these two items. Originally, he thought all the remaining valuables of his father had been confiscated by the family.
“Brother, I’m sleepy… I’ll go to my bedroom.” Qingyu shot a warm smile at her brother, before she turned around and left.
Qinghan hastily opened the box and as he did, a yellowish handwritten book and a gleaming ring in the shape of a golden dragon were revealed.
“The Sutra of Martial Arts”
“The Golden Dragon Ring”
– Ah! – Qinghan’s was almost in the state of ecstasy when he saw these two items. The yellowish handwritten book was titled, ‘The Sutra of Wu Dao’ and encompassed the lifelong experiences of his father, a cultivator in the third level of the Realm of the Emperor. It was priceless! Plus, the ring was a treasure hidden in the Luo Shen Mountain, it must definitely have some special functions! In Qinghan’s opinion, anything that had a dragon or a phoenix sculptured on it, would be a priceless treasure.
Inside the handwritten book, the calligraphy was vigorous and forceful.
Qinghan read, “The cultivation of Martial Arts may change the destiny of your life! For those below the Realm of the General, the determinant factor is your talent and diligence. There are absolutely no shortcuts. If your physical body and talent don’t allow you to advance any further in martial arts, then you won’t have any chance to climb to the top of the ladder in cultivation. For those above the Realm of the General, intelligence and timing play a more important part at this stage. Some of them may even have the chance to become immortal… I’ve been cultivating for over twenty years and in these twenty years I’ve managed to reach the third level of the Realm of the Emperor, while I also possessed an eighth-grade dralion. My fighting experiences were rich, as I’ve fought with various evil emperors from the Demon Prefecture… Now, I wish that, with what I wrote here, future cultivators will be helped.”
Reading through this first paragraph, Qinghan’s ecstasy quickly turned into sadness. Without a healthy physical body and talent, he was doomed to be a failure. Diligence alone was far from enough.
Considering the jammed meridians and his lack of talent, Qinghan slipped back into depression.
The first lines of the book were already a “death-sentence” to his wish of walking down the path of cultivation.
Without talent, the highest he would ever reach was probably the third level of the Realm of the Commander. If he didn’t manage to wipe out all of the jammed substance in his meridians, he would never be able to surpass the Realm of the Commander.
The beautiful bubble of dreams was poked by these incisive words. Qinghan quietly sat there, like a flattened balloon. However, he still hoped that there would be a silver lining for him somewhere in the future. So he continued reading.
“This book is divided into two volumes. One volume is called the Sutra of Martial Arts, which mainly contains information about the cultivation of martial arts… The other volume is about the Secret Code for Sacred Blood. Once learned, one will have the density of their sacred blood increased, under the condition that you are a descendant of the Ye Family. If you’ve grasped this Secret Code, it will increase the possibility of summoning a seventh-grade… Or even a ninth-grade holy beast…”
“What?! the Secret Code for Sacred Blood? It will actually increase the chance to summon a seventh-grade beast, or better…”
Qinghan’s fluctuating mood went to another climax, as the feelings of excitement burst out like a flood, running turbulently, as if it was trying to breach the dyke.