Nine Heavens

Nine Heavens

Chapter 3 - Chapter 3

Zhou Yin didn't answer, but Zhou Chai next to him hurriedly said, "To answer the immortal, this is my young son, surnamed Zhou and named Yin."

The young man asking the question let out an "oh", his critical gaze sweeping back and forth over Zhou Yin, then glancing at the other children. He pursed his lips and pointed at Zhou Yin, "He'll do."

Zhou Chai was overjoyed, finding it a bit hard to believe, "Immortal, immortal, you want to accept him as your disciple?"

The other party replied perfunctorily, "His aptitude is too poor, he can't be an inner disciple. Going in, he can only start as an outer disciple first, helping with some miscellaneous tasks. If he has the opportunity, we'll talk about it then."

Even though Zhou Chai wanted Zhou Yin to become a disciple of the immortal sect, hearing that once there, not only would he lack the qualifications to learn immortal techniques, but could only be ordered around to do odd jobs - if that was the case, he might as well stay at home. Wait a few years for the war to settle down, then go to school and be an ordinary person.

The Zhou family having their eldest as a cultivator was already enough.

"Thank you for your kind intentions, immortal, but we..."

"I'll go."

Zhou Yin heard that Zhou Chai intended to refuse, so he interrupted.


That Jinghai Sword Sect disciple grew even more impatient. He already looked down on Zhou Yin. Seeing Zhou Chai hesitating, as if the Mirror Sea Sect was some kind of hellish place, he became even more displeased. For mortals, being able to enter an immortal cultivation sect was an opportunity of a lifetime that many beg for but can never get.

He snorted coldly. Thinking of the sect's instructions, he still suppressed his temper and explained to these crude villagers, "Our sect holds a trial convention every five years. At that time, if you practice diligently and make progress, it's not impossible to have the opportunity to become an inner disciple."

The Mirror Sea Sect's glory days were long gone, with dwindling talent. They were in urgent need of better seedlings to enter the sect. So even though Zhou Yin's spiritual roots were sparse, they still recruited him based on the principle of "better to have too many than too few". This was really a move of no other choice.

"I want to go." Zhou Yin said calmly, without extra words.

The Zhou family's village was located at the foot of the Jinghai Mountains, a bit closer to the Mirror Sea Sect. Originally, the Mirror Sea Sect should have had priority in selecting disciples here. However, the Jinting Sect had seized the initiative and picked the good seedlings first. The Mirror Sea Sect didn't dare to openly express their anger, showing how much their power had declined.

At this time, over 5,000 years had passed since He Lian's fall. The situation in the world had changed greatly, and the various sects had redrawn their spheres of influence.

Presumably, even the cultivation methods were very different from before. Zhou Yin, as a demon cultivator in his previous life, was not limited to one sect. He had studied and was quite interested in the ways of Dao cultivators, sword cultivators and others. He also understood that the world was vast, with hidden dragons and crouching tigers. No matter how small a sect, it had its own unique aspects.

So he had the idea of going to take a look at the Mirror Sea Sect. Even if it was in decline, the Mirror Sea Sect was once a first-rate sect and naturally had its own set of methods for cultivation. He was starting over in this life, starting from scratch. If he could open another door through this, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

When Zhou Yin insisted on something, Zhou Chai and Madam Ji had always been unable to dissuade him.

After the Mirror Sea Sect disciple who came to select people chose Zhou Yin and a few other children, he gave them three days to bid farewell to their families, saying he would come to pick them up again in three days.

This parting, even if not a permanent one, was almost the same as a permanent one. Once cultivators entered the immortal gate and set foot on the path of longevity, unless they could cultivate to a certain realm and be sent out by the sect to carry out tasks, they were not allowed to easily leave the mountain.

This was because the feelings of the mortal world would affect the firmness of their Dao heart. Therefore, cultivators emphasized severing mortal ties. In this regard, whether Dao cultivators, Buddhist cultivators, demonic cultivators or other immortal cultivators, they were all the same.

The Zhou family sent away two children in succession. Madam Ji cried her heart out. But in this situation, they could only choose this method to protect the children. Otherwise, once the war started, the common people would be displaced, lacking food and water. The adults could still manage, but the children who couldn't even truss up a chicken might even become "two-legged sheep", meaning being eaten as food.

A chaotic world was about to rise, the weak were prey to the strong, cruel as it was.

During these three days, Zhou Yin was not idle.

He had already found a way to cultivate according to the condition of this body.

Those who had tested Zhou Yin's aptitude all said that this child's aptitude was ordinary and completely unsuitable for cultivation, no different from an average person.

In the cultivation world, what was valued most was innate talent.

In the eyes of the world, a single spiritual root was the purest spiritual root. If a person possessed a single spiritual root, then he would be regarded as having excellent aptitude for cultivation. But in reality, this was not the case.

Among the five elements, water produces wood, wood produces fire, fire produces earth, earth produces metal, and metal produces water. So if a person simultaneously possessed two spiritual roots that produced each other, such as water and wood dual spiritual roots, and the spiritual energy was abundant, then this kind of dual spiritual root would far surpass a single spiritual root.

Similarly, among dual spiritual roots, if the attributes of the spiritual roots restrained each other, naturally it would not be as pure as a single spiritual root. Although people with ordinary aptitude could reach an upper-middle level through diligent cultivation later in life, as a master in a sect, who wouldn't hope for their disciples to be outstanding?

The reason Zhou Yin was considered to have no potential for cultivation was not because he had a single spiritual root, but because the spiritual energy in his body was so sparse it could almost be ignored. This was an innate defect that was almost impossible to make up for through any cultivation.

But it was just almost, not absolutely.

Who was Zhou Yin? Starting as a rogue cultivator, taking solid steps, one by one, without any shortcuts, coupled with his own outstanding wisdom, good at gathering the strengths of all and avoiding shortcomings, removing the dross and taking the essence, and being able to single-mindedly cultivate bitterly, he achieved the legend of a generation of demonic cultivation masters.

Although he had lost the power of his previous life, his wisdom and vision had not diminished in the slightest. After he knew the situation of his body, he had not gone a day without thinking of countermeasures. After a long time, he finally thought of a solution.

In Zhou Yin's memory, the number one cultivation sect in the world, the Shangxuan Sect, once had a set of techniques called the Purifying Marrow Scripture.

It was not some high-level heavenly stage mind technique. Almost every Shangxuan Sect entry-level disciple could access it. But almost no one chose to practice it, because the uniqueness of this set of techniques was that it could re-sort all the meridians in your body. In other words, as long as you practiced the Purifying Marrow Scripture, no matter how high your previous cultivation was, it would all be abolished and you would have to start over.

For those who had qi deviated, the Purifying Marrow Scripture might be useful. But what ordinary person would practice this kind of thing for no reason, turning their well-cultivated power to ashes? So it was destined to be left on a high shelf, untouched.

Zhou Yin had read many books, so naturally he had also seen this set of mental techniques, but he never thought there would be a day when it would actually come in handy.

His current situation, the reason his spiritual roots were thin, was not because he was born without spiritual energy, but because his meridians were blocked and could not circulate well, leading to an inability to absorb the spiritual energy of the outside world and make it his own. But with the Purifying Marrow Scripture, it was different.

This set of mental techniques could unblock the clogged meridians and regulate the internal energy. Simply put, it would transform the body into a suitable vessel for cultivation.

This process of change was very long. Each time the meridians were reversed and the blood and energy were combed through, one had to experience unimaginable pain, as if the five viscera, six bowels, and eight extraordinary meridians were being torn apart and reassembled. If Zhou Yin could go into seclusion to cultivate, perhaps he could break through the obstacles in one go, but with his current identity as a child, his physical strength and endurance could not support long periods of seclusion, so he could only progress gradually. This meant that this kind of pain had to be experienced once a day.

The Dragon Shadow Pond was rich in spiritual energy and was an excellent place for cultivation. Zhou Yin would take some time every day to sit in meditation here, practicing the Purifying Marrow Scripture and comprehending the state of mind to improve his body's aptitude.

Such a process was actually very tedious, doing the same thing over and over again, day after day. Once the mind was slightly relaxed, it would lead to deviation and demonic interference.

But Zhou Yin was someone who had long been accustomed to loneliness, so he did not find it bitter. For him, having failed the tribulation in his previous life and who should have been annihilated, yet still being able to sit here quietly, listening to the pine waves like the sea and watching the white clouds and blue sky, was already a great luxury.

The main peak of the Mirror Sea Mountain Range towered into the clouds, with year-round snow that flowed down the mountain to form the Dragon Shadow Pond waterfall. This pond water, which gathered the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, washed his body day after day. Coupled with the Purifying Marrow Scripture, cultivating both internally and externally, he finally succeeded in breaking through the blocked meridians.

Zhou Yin slowly opened his eyes, his face slightly pale from soaking in the cold pond water. At this moment, his body had just experienced the pain of cutting the meridians and washing the marrow. Let alone a five or six-year-old child's body, even a proper cultivator might not be able to endure it, but he gritted his teeth and endured, not even letting out a whimper.

Obviously, this kind of tempering had its rewards.

The previously stagnant and heavy energy in his body had disappeared, replaced by a feeling of lightness throughout his body. He knew that he had successfully taken the first step. But this was only the first step.

Having a medium-grade cultivation physique only allowed him to have the same qualifications to cultivate as others, not to be superior. If he did not persist in cultivating, he would still be lost among the crowd and become a stepping stone for others in this world where the strong were like clouds.

With his meridians unblocked, his hearing had also become much more sensitive. He heard Zhou Chai's footsteps coming this way from afar.

Zhou Yin got up from the rock and swam to the shore, just in time to be seen by Zhou Chai in his dripping wet state, who thought he was just playing in the water again.

"Bao'er, come quickly, the immortal elders of the Mirror Sea Sect have already arrived and are waiting for you!"

With the eldest son sent away, the precious youngest son was also about to leave their side. Madam Ji was so heartbroken that she could not restrain herself, but knew there was no other way. She could only endure the pain and bid a reluctant farewell, earnestly instructing him. It went without saying that even though Zhou Yin's emotions were thin and his actions were casual, he could not truly treat this pair of parents as strangers.

The people who came from the Mirror Sea Sect were not the same ones as last time, but they did not re-examine everyone's aptitude, so they did not discover the changes in Zhou Yin's body. They only gathered the few children together.

The leading young disciple summoned a green leaf, which emitted a green glow and floated lightly in mid-air, as if it had no weight. With a wave of his hand, the few children had already landed on the green leaf. The villagers had never seen such a miraculous sight and hurriedly knelt down to worship.

"They're so easily frightened by a flying magic treasure, they really haven't seen the world!" Chen Yuanzhi widened her eyes as she watched this scene and sneered.

She was the daughter of an elder in the Mirror Sea Sect and had grown up being pampered in the sect since childhood.

Lu Yanping did not think her words were too much and laughed along with her, "They are all crude villagers who have never seen the world in their lives. Cultivators are naturally no different from immortals in their eyes."

Chen Yuanzhi had purely come along to see the world and experience new things. Hearing this, she felt a sense of superiority on one hand, but also found it boring on the other. She couldn't help but pout, "Senior Brother, with the aptitude of these children, any inner sect disciple can be sent out to assess them. Why do you need to make a move? Anyway, they will never be able to enter the inner sect and can only be outer sect disciples."

"Little Junior Sister, next time we go out, I'll take you to stroll around the market in Songzhou. It's very lively there!" Another disciple chimed in to amuse her.

"Hmph, I don't care. Senior Brother already took me there last time!"

"Alright, you've had your fun," Lu Yanping looked at the time. "It's getting late, we should head back."

With a shout of "go", the leaf carried everyone and rose into the air. Lu Yanping and the other Mirror Sea Sect disciples summoned their personal flying swords and flew on them, following behind the leaf towards the direction of the Mirror Sea Sect.

The remaining villagers were still kneeling on the ground, looking up in awe at their figures disappearing into the clouds.

The Mirror Sea Sect was divided into the outer peak and inner peak. The inner peak was the core of the sect, while the outer peak was where the outer sect disciples were housed.

Needless to say, Zhou Yin and the others could only stay at the outer peak.

This was not to say that all the disciples at the outer peak had poor aptitude. There were also some with good roots, but only by passing the trial assessment held every five years could one enter the inner peak and become a formal disciple.

The other three people arranged to live with Zhou Yin belonged to this type.

As such, among the four of them, Zhou Yin became the one with the lowest status and the least promising future. But because his appearance was too misleading, and the other three were also young, they were still quite friendly to him and did not show any disdain or contempt.

Then again, with Zhou Yin's temperament, even if all the great masters in the world were against him, he would not take it to heart.

In his bones, he was still the same He Lian who, even when facing the Void Refinement Heavenly Tribulation, could still protect a wisp of his divine soul from being extinguished.

"Are you the new little junior brother? I'm called He Yun, he's Huang Wenjun, and the youngest one is Liu Xiaowan, but now you're the youngest one here. What about you, what's your name?" He Yun, who had her hair in braids, had a bright smile.

The other little boy had a blade of grass in his mouth, and the youngest Liu Xiaowan was well-behaved and quiet. The three of them had curved eyebrows and eyes, pure and enthusiastic, without a trace of falsehood.

The author has something to say:

1. Regarding the single spiritual root, double spiritual root, and so on, I don't know how other novels set it up, so I just made up a set of settings. As I said before, since it's a fantasy novel, let your imagination run wild. All roads lead to Rome, so just refer to this novel's settings when reading it.

2. The term "two-legged sheep" mentioned in the text is not something I created. 
It was mentioned in Song Dynasty miscellaneous records. This is a dark page in human history. Whenever there was chaos and famine, with not even grass roots to eat, people could only resort to cannibalism.

Especially those rebel armies, like Huang Chao's uprising in the late Tang Dynasty. Historical records clearly documented that he put many people in a mortar, mashed them up, and ate them together with their bones.

Of course, in modern times, due to certain needs, Huang Chao was portrayed as a rebel leader who overthrew feudal rule. But with the fact that he ate people, no matter what, he cannot be called a human being.

What makes humans human is that they have spirituality, wisdom, and emotions.


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.