Nine Heavens

Nine Heavens

Chapter 4 - Chapter 4

"Zhou Yin."

"Which 'Yin'?"

"Yin as in seal."

"Oh, then why not call you Zhou Yinzhang?"

"..." Faced with such a pointless question, Zhou Yin chose to remain silent.

"Alright, alright, our little junior brother just arrived, don't scare him." Eleven-year-old Huang Wenjun interrupted her and turned to Zhou Yin, "I heard you are the youngest among the newly selected disciples, so Ye-shishu assigned you to this courtyard for us to take good care of you."

Ye Yunjing was in charge of instructing the outer sect disciples. In his thirties, thin and tall, everyone called him Ye-shishu. After briefly introducing himself to all the children upon their arrival and arranging their accommodations, he disappeared and was never seen again. Perhaps he knew these children had mediocre aptitude and might never enter the inner sect in their lifetimes, so he didn't pay much attention to their arrival.

There were many small courtyards on the outer peak of the Mirror Sea Sect, scattered and hidden among the misty mountains and forests.

Zhou Yin and three others including Huang Wenjun lived in one courtyard with four small thatched cottages, one for each person.

Although cultivation sects also separated males and females, they were not as strict as the secular etiquette. Plus, they were still young, so they were not segregated unless they turned thirteen and were assigned to other courtyards, or entered the inner peak and became formal disciples with their own individual courtyards.

Since Ye Yunjing was responsible for all outer peak affairs, it was impossible for him to guide each disciple personally. The task of introducing the situation to Zhou Yin fell on Huang Wenjun's shoulders.

"There are three daily tasks: meditation, sword practice, and herb gathering. Meditation is for cultivating and consolidating the fundamentals. For cultivators, spiritual energy originates from the spiritual root, and the cultivation method is the foundation for tempering spiritual energy. If the spiritual energy is weak, nothing else can be discussed." Despite his young age, Huang Wenjun explained this clearly, evidently quite diligent in his daily practice.

"As for sword practice, the Mirror Sea Sword Sect focuses on the way of the sword, with Dao techniques as a supplement. I heard from the senior brothers that if you become an inner sect disciple, you will be bestowed a flying sword of your own by the masters. Ah, when can I also possess such a sword!" When mentioning swords, Huang Wenjun thought of the elegant demeanor of the senior brothers and sisters in the sect riding their swords and flying, his eyes sparkling with admiration.

Zhou Yin remained noncommittal.

In a sword cultivation sect, flying on swords was just the basics. When sword cultivators reached a certain realm, the sword would also gain spirituality, known as sword spirit. With unity of person and sword, and a connection of minds, the power naturally goes without saying.

However, throughout history, very few have been able to attain the great Dao through the sword. The reason lies in sword cultivators relying too much on the power of the sword, eventually losing their original intent and even the true meaning of sword cultivation. This was also one of the reasons for the decline of the Mirror Sea Sword Sect. After Sword Immortal Xuan Ying, the sect never produced another cultivator above the Nascent Soul stage.

"There is a medicinal garden in the back mountain, specially used for growing the ingredients needed for the sect's pill refinement. We have to go gather herbs every day, and then someone from the inner sect will come to collect them. But I heard those herbs are all very common. Come to think of it, if they were precious, they wouldn't let us casually pick them!"

"Although we have entered the Mirror Sea Sect, if we don't enter the inner peak, we can't be considered formal disciples. But don't be discouraged. Every five years, our sect holds a trial conference. If you work hard by then, maybe you'll catch the eye of one of the elders in the sect and become their personal disciple!"

He talked on and on, saliva flying, only realizing after a while that Zhou Yin hadn't made a sound.

"Ah Yin, did you understand everything? I spoke so fast, I hope you caught it all?"


"..." What does "mm" mean, does he understand or not?

Days passed by, simple and ordinary, and in the blink of an eye, nine years had gone by.

The cultivation method practiced by the outer sect disciples was the "Purple Jade Pure Roots Record" personally written by the founding grandmaster of the Mirror Sea Sect. It was the basic entry-level technique of the Mirror Sea Sect, with the effect of regulating vital energy and condensing spiritual veins. In the outer peak, there was a lecture every five days, where Ye Jingyun explained the contents of the "Purple Jade Pure Roots Record" to the outer sect disciples and answered their questions.

He Yun, Huang Wenjun, and Liu Xiaowan were quite diligent. Not only did they cultivate daily, but they also gathered together in their free time to exchange experiences. They were considered the top among the outer sect disciples and had currently advanced to the fifth level of Qi Refinement.

Ye Jingyun was very satisfied with their progress and said that generally, those who reached the fifth level of Qi Refinement would be qualified to participate in the trial conference.

In the past nine years, the Mirror Sea Sect had held one trial conference. He Yun and the others were not qualified to participate because they had not reached the requirements, so they could only wait for the next one.

Zhou Yin also did not neglect his cultivation. Given his current physical condition, the "Purple Jade Pure Roots Record," a gentle and harmless cultivation method, was indeed the most suitable for him. He followed the steps and did not rush to practice more advanced techniques.

Instead, he cultivated the Purple Jade Pure Roots Record day and night, supplemented by the low-level water-attribute mantra "Benevolence Code" from his previous life's memories. His originally thin and weak spiritual root, after daily tempering, was no longer obstructed and gradually gained the feeling of smooth circulation.

Despite his innate physical deficiency, his willpower was extremely strong. Apart from the sect's tasks and mealtimes, even during sleep, he would meditate and cultivate. He did not feel lonely at all. With the knowledge from his previous life and extensive reading, he knew which path to choose to be correct. Thus, his cultivation progressed by leaps and bounds. He had now also reached the seventh level of Qi Refinement, catching up from behind.

"Haha, I learned the Ice Condensing Technique taught by Ye-shishu!" Huang Wenjun walked out of the room, holding his sword in excitement.

He Yun was practicing a tricky part and heard this in disbelief, pouting, "Then demonstrate it for us to see!"

Liu Xiaowan also widened her eyes.

Huang Wenjun said proudly, "Watch closely!"

He raised his right hand holding the sword, silently recited the incantation, gathered Qi on the sword with his fingers, and slowly slid his fingertips along the blade towards the tip.


A wisp of sword Qi burst out from the tip and landed on a nearby plant.

The green leaves instantly frosted over with a thin layer of ice.

He Yun said, "Ye-shishu froze the entire leaf into ice, while you only produced frost. How can you say you learned it!"

Huang Wenjun said smugly, "Then you show me what you can do!"

He Yun bit her lower lip, not making a sound.

She indeed could not do it.

Ye-shishu had demonstrated it to them a few times. She also imitated him after returning but no matter what, she couldn't learn it. Forget frost, she couldn't even produce water droplets.

Just then, Zhou Yin walked out from the inner room.

He Yun's eyes lit up, "Ah Yin, you came at the right time. Have you learned the Ice Condensing Technique?"

Zhou Yin glanced at the branches and leaves in front of Huang Wenjun and said, "Your mind is distracted."

Huang Wenjun: "???"

"Concentrate your mind and energy, focus solely on the task at hand." Zhou Yin took the wooden sword from Huang Wenjun's hand.

When he was in a good mood, he was not stingy in guiding these few people.

"Just like this." He made a gesture with his fingertip.

The branches and leaves instantly froze into ice.

"..." Huang Wenjun.

"..." He Yun.

Huang Wenjun wailed, "Ah Yin, you joined the outer sect the latest and are the youngest, how is it that no matter how early or late we practice, we still can't compare to a single finger of yours? With your talent, you could have long entered the inner peak!"

Zhou Yin's expression was indifferent: "How do you know I haven't practiced?"

He Yun curiously went to examine the frozen branches and leaves.

"Ah Yin, your Ice Condensing Technique is exactly the same as the one demonstrated by Leaf Shishu!"

"He is at the mid-stage Foundation Establishment realm, so naturally his skill is deeper and the ice will last longer."

"Then what is the key to unleashing this immortal technique?"

Zhou Yin returned the wooden sword to him, "This technique is a low-level Daoist art. As long as you eliminate distractions, you can unleash it to the fullest. The only difference is the depth of skill."

Huang Wenjun seemed to have realized something. After practicing a few more times, the power was indeed much greater than before.

He Yun smiled faintly, "Ah Yin, you've progressed so quickly in the past few years, you're almost surpassing us."

She was at the graceful age of fourteen or fifteen, wearing a dress the color of clear water, her face beautiful. When she focused her gaze on Zhou Yin as he spoke, there seemed to be a ripple of emotion within.

Although the trial conference determined the qualifications for entering the inner sect, one still had to have an outstanding performance in order to be chosen by a good master after entering the inner peak. Seeing the prestige of the inner sect disciples and the discrimination faced by the outer sect disciples, He Yun and the others practiced day and night, all in order to be accepted as disciples by renowned masters.

With the existence of someone like Zhou Yin, occasionally guiding them, coupled with their own efforts, they did indeed break through among the outer peak disciples and became disciples valued by Ye Jingyun.

But this was still far from enough.

In the world of cultivation, it was common for men and women who were in love to become Dao companions and cultivate together. However, due to women's emphasis on emotions, very few were able to cultivate to the level of high-level female cultivators. Over time, people inevitably developed prejudices against women, and there were often cases of male cultivators using female cultivators as furnaces for cultivation, but such people were generally regarded as evil cultivators.

Although everyone was still young, with their current cultivation level, entering the inner sect was only a matter of time. The only difference was in what kind of treatment they would receive after entering. In this world where strength reigned supreme, let alone between sects, even within a sect, if your strength was high, you would receive better preferential treatment.

He Yun had high aspirations and also had feelings for Zhou Yin, so naturally, she harbored some other thoughts.

She didn't know the disciples of the inner sect, and among the outer sect, only Huang Wenjun and Zhou Yin caught her eye.

But Huang Wenjun had feelings for Liu Xiaowan, and his strength was not as good as Zhou Yin's.

Although Zhou Yin had a cold temperament, his appearance was beautiful, not inferior to women. At present, he had already reached the fifth level of Qi Refining, and if this continued, he would definitely catch the eyes of those elders after entering the inner sect and receive attention.

Most importantly, the only ones Zhou Yin was close to were their few friends, and He Yun was confident that her appearance was quite outstanding in the entire Mirror Sea Sect.

Unfortunately, Zhou Yin seemed to not have noticed her affection and turned to enter the inner room.

He Yun was a bit frustrated. Seeing Huang Wenjun's half-smiling eyes, she wanted to chase after him.

But she saw Zhou Yin come out with a bamboo basket on his back. Seeing them still standing there in a daze, he said coldly, "It's time to gather medicinal herbs."

Every day, they had to go to the back mountain to gather medicinal herbs in preparation for the people from the inner peak to come and collect them.

Huang Wenjun laughed.

Zhou Yin looked at him expressionlessly.

Huang Wenjun waved his hand, suppressing his laughter, "It's nothing, I just see that the falling flowers have the intention, but the flowing water is heartless. Wait for me, I'll go too!"

He Yun bit her lower lip, "Wait for me."

With that, she also went to get a bamboo basket.

The back mountain was actually not the territory of the Mirror Sea Sect, but because it was connected to the Mirror Sea mountain range and close to the Mirror Sea Sect, it was tacitly accepted as their sphere of influence. In fact, this place was rarely visited, shrouded in mist all year round, and occasionally there were fierce beasts appearing. Even the disciples of the Mirror Sea Sect rarely came here unless they needed to gather medicinal herbs.

Huang Wenjun called out to Liu Xiaowan, and the four of them walked along the familiar path, picking edgeworthia flowers and eight immortals grass along the way and throwing them into the bamboo baskets. Edgeworthia flowers could consolidate one's cultivation, while eight immortals grass could regulate qi and relax the muscles and tendons, both being basic ingredients for refining pills.

As for rare medicinal herbs like seven star pearls and begonia fimbristipula, if Zhou Yin and the others occasionally encountered them and submitted them, they could receive some additional rewards of Returning Origin Pills, which had great benefits for breaking through to the next level.

Suddenly, a sharp whistling sound approached from afar, carrying a chilling aura.

"Fan Ximu, where else do you think you can run? Hand over the item obediently, and I'll spare your life!"

As the voice sounded, the grass and trees within a few miles turned to ashes.

This was at least a cultivator at the mid-stage Foundation Establishment realm or above!

Huang Wenjun and the others looked at each other in horror. Without time to think much, they quickly set up defensive barriers around their bodies and hid in a nearby secluded cave.

Fan Ximu drove his flying magic treasure, using all his life's extreme speed to fly forward, his clothes stained with blood, his face haggard and miserable.

But his efforts, in the eyes of the other party, were just a distance that could be caught up in an instant.

The other party pressed down with a fire-attributed technique, and his defensive barrier collapsed in an instant.

Fan Ximu spat out a mouthful of blood and fell from mid-air, collapsing to the ground in despair.

The other party also landed, touching down lightly, with an indescribable arrogance and ease.

"Fan Ximu, you were once the most favored disciple of the sect in vain. In the end, not only were you expelled from the sect, but your fiancée also ran off with someone else. For a man to be reduced to your state, utterly useless, wearing a green hat, even if you don't find it embarrassing, I'll feel ashamed for you!"

Fan Ximu spat out another mouthful of blood and laughed coldly, "At least I was once favored by the sect leader, which is still better than you!"

The person immediately became furious, but seemed to suddenly think of something and forcibly suppressed his anger, laughing, "At this point, there's no use in saying more. If you're willing to hand over that item, I'll spare your life. As for Master, I'll go and put in a good word for you."

"You think I would believe you?"

"You and I have no grudges. I merely came out to find you on the orders of the sect. Even if I go back and say I couldn't find you, it doesn't matter. Each of us gets what we need, isn't that just perfect?"

Fan Ximu gritted his teeth, "Is this true?"

"Of course, although I, Lü Hanyuan, usually look down on you, I have never gone back on my word."

After hesitating for a while, Fan Ximu's desire to survive ultimately prevailed. He bit his finger and wrote a talisman on his other palm, then silently recited an incantation. A lamp emitting a faint purple glow slowly appeared above his palm.

Lü Hanyuan's eyes lit up, "Is this the Purple Mist Falling Shadow Lamp?!"

"Indeed," Fan Ximu handed him the lamp and said, "I need to ensure my own safety first before I can teach you the incantation to use this magic treasure."

He noticed a smile appear on the other person's lips and had an ominous feeling. Lü Hanyuan laughed heartily, "Why do you need to teach me the incantation? Didn't you already teach it to your woman?"

Fan Ximu was both shocked and furious, "You're the one who had an affair with her?!"

"Just to make it clear to you, it was me indeed!"

As soon as he finished speaking, Fan Ximu's heart was pierced by Lü Hanyuan's Fiery Cloud Sword. His eyes were wide open, dying with unresolved grievances.

Huang Wenjun and the others were hiding in the stone cave, listening to the commotion outside, not daring to make a sound. Liu Xiaowan's face turned deathly pale. When she heard the part about Lü Hanyuan killing and seizing the treasure, she couldn't help but let out a soft "ah" before quickly covering her mouth.

But it was too late. With the vast difference in strength between the two sides, the barrier was utterly useless.

Lü Hanyuan's senses were extremely sharp, and he immediately noticed, "Who's there? Come out!"


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.