Nine Heavens

Nine Heavens

Chapter 1 - Chapter 1

The sunlight was obscured, and the world was gloomy.

Amidst the layers of overlapping clouds, wind and thunder surged.

This was a sign of the impending Heavenly Tribulation.

Since ancient times, cultivators, whether Dao or demonic, had to go through the stages of Qi Refining, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, and Deity Transformation, progressing step by step, layer by layer, until finally breaking through Deity Transformation, reaching the Void Refinement realm, and becoming an immortal of the Upper Realm.

Heaven and Earth treat all living beings as straw dogs, and birth, aging, sickness, and death are laws that no one can escape.

Cultivators pursue the Dao of longevity, which inherently goes against the laws of Heaven and Earth. Therefore, every advancement in realm naturally comes with a Heavenly Tribulation. If one successfully passes the tribulation, all is well, but if not, their soul will scatter and vanish between Heaven and Earth.

From Qi Refining to Deity Transformation, the Heavenly Tribulations naturally become more and more difficult with each realm. Upon reaching the Deity Transformation stage, if one wants to refine their spirit and return to the void, achieving the Great Dao, the difficulty is incomparable to the previous realms.

Since Yuzhang Zhenren successfully passed the Deity Transformation tribulation and ascended 5,000 years ago, no one on the Taichu Continent has successfully passed the Deity Transformation tribulation.

On a thousand-foot cliff, atop a sheer rock face, a person sat cross-legged.

His face was like jade, his posture like a pine tree, wearing a tall crown and broad belt, looking like an immortal.

However, he was not an immortal, nor even the most common Dao cultivator.

He was a demonic cultivator.

Since the beginning of time, no demonic cultivator had ever successfully entered the Deity Transformation stage.

Yet He Lian had not only passed the Deity Transformation stage but was now attempting to break through to Void Refinement.

If successful, he would be the first person in tens of thousands of years to cultivate from the demonic path to the Void Refinement realm and achieve success.

The world watched.

The wind was fierce, and thunder rumbled within the clouds.

The Heavenly Tribulation was imminent.

That green robe fluttered in the wind, yet the person on the rock remained motionless, sitting steadily.

In an instant, the sky seemed to be split open.

Lightning surged out from the crack, striking down fiercely.

The light was dazzlingly bright, almost illuminating the entire sky.

The sound was deafening, echoing through the universe, such that every person on the continent could hear it.

Cultivators were surprised, while mortals were terrified. They looked up at the sky with near reverence, kneeling and muttering.

Even when Yuzhang Zhenren transcended the tribulation and ascended 5,000 years ago, there had never been such a vast lightning tribulation.

It seemed to have the momentum to split apart Heaven, Earth, and all things.

The lightning struck down, near and far, around his body, but could not strike him.

As such, the thunder grew louder and the lightning grew fiercer, striking one after another, from intervals of a moment to no longer having any pause, several or dozens of bolts falling at the same time.

Wherever it passed, plants withered and died.

Amidst the light and shadows, He Lian's face was expressionless, his eyes tightly closed. Rainwater fell on his face, reflecting a cold, stony texture.

His heart was empty and clear, as if he was thinking of nothing, yet also as if countless thoughts were surging forth.

The myriad things of Heaven and Earth, endlessly reproducing, from nothing to something, and then returning to nothing again.

The Heavenly Dao is emotionless, existing not for humans, and perishing not for humans.

Such a Heavenly Tribulation was unprecedented since ancient times. Even though he was a demonic cultivation Grandmaster, he felt it extremely difficult.

Anyone who had achieved success in cultivation had to learn to endure pain. Once accustomed, one becomes numb. He Lian was no exception.

He mobilized all his spiritual awareness and energy, erecting a barrier around himself to withstand the thousands of pounds of heavenly lightning carrying the killing intent of Heaven and Earth.

Time passed bit by bit.

Energy was also consumed bit by bit.

But the thunder seemed endless, not decreasing but increasing.

A thread of fresh blood seeped from the corner of He Lian's mouth.

A sense of unwillingness suddenly surged in his heart.

Was it only because he was the first demonic cultivator to undergo the Void Refinement tribulation that the tribulation was more difficult than others?

This Heaven-shaking, Earth-moving lightning tribulation lasted for three whole days and nights. Even the cultivators did not dare approach, only watching from afar, trying to guess the life or death of the tribulation taker from the center of the tribulation.

After three days, following a purple-white lightning flash, the thunder abruptly ceased.

Heaven and Earth were tranquil once more, the clouds parted to reveal the sun, shining upon the world.

Only the ravaged plants indicated the earth-shattering traces of what had occurred here.

There was a Heavenly Tribulation, but no signs of successfully passing the tribulation.

This meant another tribulation taker had fallen.

Busybodies who sighed in lament ran up to that thousand-foot cliff to search for traces, only to see burnt rocks and withered trees, no signs of life.

5,000 years later, Zhou Family Village.

Sunlight scattered down through the branches and leaves, green vines and lush flowers swayed, tree roots meandered downward. A stream babbled through, so clear that even the swaying water plants and swimming little fish below could be distinctly seen.

In the distance, mountains undulated. At the edge of the sky was a deep blue, and as far as the eye could see, the few tallest mountain peaks were shrouded in hazy white clouds.

This was merely the most common scenery in a small mountain village on a summer afternoon.

"Bao'er, Bao'er!"

Zhou Da called out as he stepped on the mountain stone path, one foot deep, one foot shallow.

He looked around but didn't see that familiar figure by the usual spot at the riverside. He couldn't help starting to get a bit anxious.

The teenage boy's face was urgent as he raised his voice and quickened his pace.

The sound of rushing water reached his ears. It was the waterfall from the nearby mountain falling into the pond below, also the source of the small river.

The boy's heart stirred and he immediately rushed toward the waterfall.

Sure enough, in the water curtain of the waterfall, a figure sat cross-legged on a large rock, almost their entire body submerged in the water, also bearing the impact of the falling water, not moving at all, who knew if they were dead or alive.


The boy's face turned deathly pale. Heedless of everything, he jumped into the pond and swam toward the rock.

The pond was so deep the bottom could not be seen. It was said that countless years ago, there had been traces of a dragon appearing, so the locals called it Dragon Shadow Pond. But in the boy's memory, not only had his father and grandfather's generation never seen a dragon, but because people often drowned here in the past while enjoying the cool water, as time passed, no one dared approach Dragon Shadow Pond anymore.

But now, he couldn't care about all that.

The water temperature during the dog days of summer wasn't cold, but as soon as his body jumped in, he still couldn't help shivering.

Zhou Da gritted his teeth and swam with all his might toward the figure on the rock, calling out as he swam. Gradually, he started running out of strength.

His ankle was entangled by water plants and his body suddenly sank. His hands flailed a few times and he gulped a few mouthfuls of water, but to no avail. Instead, he sank even faster, and very quickly even his eyes were submerged.

At the critical moment, his ankle was freed and his hand was grasped. The other hand tightly gripped his waist and pulled him up, quickly surfacing from the water.

The person who pulled Zhou Da out of the water dragged him to the edge of the pond and hauled him up. He looked at the young man kneeling on the ground, his face turning green as he vomited out water, but said nothing.

Zhou Da held his stomach and panted, "Bao, Bao'er..."

"You're not a good swimmer, why did you go in?" The implication was that not only did he not save anyone, but he was a burden.

"I was afraid you were in danger, the water is very deep..."

"I wasn't in danger." The child talking to him was only about five or six years old, fair and lovely like jade and snow. His hair was tied in two buns with red strings. His clothes were soaked from being in the water earlier. In his hand, he held a large carp that was still wriggling, but his face was cold, seeming even more like it was carved from jade.

"Bao'er, don't go there anymore in the future. I'm very worried. Dad told me to call you back..." Zhou Da stammered as he was looked at by the child's black, moist eyes, until his voice abruptly stopped.

"I was meditating, there was no danger. I won't fall in the water like you."

"Oh," Zhou Da scratched his head, "what's meditating?"

The child tossed the fish into his arms and turned to leave.

The young man behind him fumbled to catch the fish while following him and chattering.

"Bao'er, wait for me, don't walk so fast, you'll fall! Bao'er, where did you catch such a big fish? I've never seen one in the river, was it in the pond? That pond is too deep, you must never go there again!..."

He Lian quickened his pace, his face expressionless, his heart twitching. How on earth had he fallen to this state?

Five thousand years ago, he had failed in his tribulation. By all rights, his soul should have scattered and disappeared between heaven and earth. But he had endured the Nine Heavens Thunderbolt Tribulation, stubbornly protecting a wisp of his soul from dissipating. He had thought that the best outcome would be to attach himself to a plant and slowly cultivate a human form over a thousand years or so.

Who would have thought that by a twist of fate, he would enter the body of a stillborn infant in Zhou household and become a child of the Zhou family, Zhou Da's younger brother, Zhou Bao'er.

Thousands of years had passed in the blink of an eye. The mortal world had changed. The unified dynasty of the Taichu Continent had split into five major countries and several minor ones. The major and minor countries schemed against and devoured each other, never tiring of it.

But in the eyes of cultivators, five thousand years was not actually that long. Once one broke through to the Nascent Soul stage and entered the Deity Transformation stage, it meant having a lifespan of several thousand to tens of thousands of years.

Those few major cultivation sects on the continent still existed. Top sects like Shangxuan Sect and Qinggu Sect had already existed in He Lian's previous life, and they still stood tall now. But He Lian could only know this much. The village that the Zhou household belonged to was located in a remote area within the borders of Anyang, a small country to the east. It had little contact with the outside world. The latest news that could be heard was at least several months old.

Cultivation was actually just a broad concept. Many people only wanted to cultivate the path to immortality they envisioned in their hearts, which was to enter the upper realm and become immortal gods and venerated ones. Therefore, there were not only Dao cultivators in the world, but also Buddhist cultivators, demonic cultivators, sword cultivators, plant cultivators, monster cultivators, and so on.

It was just that Dao cultivators were the most numerous and had the largest scale. The major sects on the continent were also almost all Dao cultivation sects.

Many people's faces changed at the mention of demonic cultivation, immediately thinking of using female cultivators as furnaces for dual cultivation. But in reality, such demonic cultivators were still a minority after all.

The difference between demonic cultivation and Dao cultivation was that demonic cultivation emphasized doing as one pleased, not being constrained by rules, while Dao cultivators needed to follow the rules set by the sect from the very beginning. This way, although they were sticking to the rules, it also reduced the danger of straying onto the wrong path.

In contrast, demonic cultivators were also human. Humans had the seven emotions and six desires. Often, the higher one's cultivation, the more temptations one faced, and the easier it was to be blinded by desire and go into the devil's path.

Therefore, from ancient times to the present, few demonic cultivators had succeeded. Those whose cultivation was ruined in an instant were too numerous to count. When people mentioned demonic cultivators, they often regarded them as evil demons and mentioned them in the same breath as the legendary demon race.

As an oddity among oddities, He Lian was the first demonic cultivator to cultivate to the Deity Transformation stage since there were clear records on the Taichu Continent. Although he ultimately failed to transcend the tribulation, no other demonic cultivator was able to break through the Deity Transformation stage after him. In the five thousand years after He Lian's fall, the number of demonic cultivators on the continent had sharply decreased, and their strength had also been greatly weakened.

For this reason, even though he had not reached the realm of ascension, He Lian still became a monument in the hearts of demonic cultivators. He was the goal that each of them hoped to achieve in their lifetime. They revered him as their grandmaster and worshipped him. Even mentioning He Lian's name would cause the faces of members from the Dao cultivation sects to change color.

However, a generation's demonic cultivation grandmaster now had to be trapped in the body of an ordinary child. Not only that, He Lian had long probed the spiritual energy in his body and found that this body only had an extremely thin water-attribute spiritual root.

In other words, he was not suited for the path of cultivation.

In his previous life, He Lian had a single fire-attribute spiritual root. From the most basic Qi Refining stage all the way to later entering the Deity Transformation stage, he had cultivated fire-attribute techniques. Fire was extremely unyielding and fierce, incompatible with water.

Who would have thought that in his new life, not only did he have to start from the field he was least proficient in, but his body was also uncooperative. If any grandmaster were to take his pulse, the conclusion they would reach could only be: average aptitude, difficult to make progress.

He was naturally not someone who easily admitted defeat.

Therefore, since his rebirth, He Lian had gone to the waterside to meditate every day, even sitting under waterfalls, in order to find a path suitable for himself.

In his view, so-called aptitude was only an innate foundation. If one could work hard later in life, coupled with the experience of thousands of years of cultivation in his previous life, it was not impossible to take a different path and open up a new world.

As a result, just now, when he had finally gained some insight, Zhou Da had to pop out and interrupt his progress.

Zhou Da's body, on the other hand, had a rare ice spiritual root and abundant spiritual energy. It was a good material for cultivation. Why hadn't he chosen a good vessel for himself? If Zhou Da weren't his elder brother in this life, he would make good fertilizer to concoct pills with. Maybe that way, he could escape his predicament sooner and officially embark on the path of cultivation.

He Lian's thoughts circled around. Behind him, Zhou Da only felt a chill all over his body and couldn't help but sneeze.

Author's Note: The new story has begun, thank you all for your support! Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will be updating daily in the near future.

Many cultivation novels have their own realm settings, which are mostly similar but with slight differences. Therefore, the settings in this novel should be taken as the standard, and there's no need to compare them with the settings in other novels.

Taichu Continent: Dao Cultivators, Sword Cultivators, Demon Cultivators, Buddhist Cultivators, and Monster Cultivators.

Cultivation Realms: Qi Refining, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, Divine Transformation, and Void Refinement (Upper Realm immortals).


Hello! I'm Echo, and I've always been fascinated by how stories can connect us across different worlds. When I'm not translating, I'm probably playing guitar or experimenting in the kitchen. I hope my translations resonate with you, just like a good melody

Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ohce.