Chapter 133: A great achievement that seems flawed*
*title is from the Dao De Jing
A desolate peak, just like it’s name. There was no tasteful scenery, no imposing manner, no refined roots of an immortal, nothing exceptional at all.
It was extremely simple, totally deserted like a piece of uninhabited land, old and dried trees with crows, the colours of the sun setting in the west, it simply did not seem like a main peak of an immortal sect. On this desolate peak, there were broken ruins, and even the mountain path was covered in overgrowth. In the sky, seven to eight figures could be seen flying past, they were dazed as they passed by the area before slowly descending down.
These were a couple of young disciples, none of them seemed past twenty, on this very peak, there were actually people searching for an immortal affinity, the disciples felt stunned and swiftly came over to take a look.
“Greetings elder Li.” There were both males and females within the ground, after paying their respects, they quickly began to measure Ye Fan and Ji Ziyue.
“Senior, what sort of test do we have to take?” Ye Fan began to question about the contents of the test.
This slightly withered and decrepit old man was the only person that lived on the main peak, Li Ruoyu, he shook his head before continuing: “Actually, there is no need for a test, there hasn’t been anyone here for so many years, if you really wish to remain, you automatically pass.”
By the side, the seven to eight disciples of the Tai Xuan sect began to smile, they simply could not understand why these two people would choose this main peak that had fallen into decline.
“I guess the potential of these two must be very poor, it is likely that they won’t be chosen by the other main peaks and have purposely come here to pass the test.”
“These two people are quite smart, thinking of using such methods to remain, but this is merely a waste of time, they won’t be able to join the other main peaks after making a decision to remain here.”
“Over the years, there are always those who think they are smarter than the others, in the end they still silently left the sect.”
These young disciples softly discussed and mocked, they were the disciples of the main peak up ahead and the legacy there was experiencing a period of extreme prosperity.
Ji Ziyue had painted her delicate face to look like that of a little cat, only her large eyes remained spirited, she lightly glanced at these disciples before looking back at the elder: “Senior Li, let’s just follow the rules, allow us to take the required test.”
“There’s no need……” Li Ruoyu shook his head.
“Senior uncle Li, since they wish to take the test to prove themselves, you should give them a chance to do so.” Not far away, the disciples were lightly laughing.
“That’s right, who knows, they may really contain an immortal body, in the future they may actually be able to help this peak regain its past glory. Senior uncle Li, you should just test what they’re made of.”
This was a main peak that was already in decline, if it were any other flourishing main peaks, they would not dare to butt in like that, even if they wanted to scale the mountain they would be required to first inform, this actually spoke volumes of the elder’s good temperament.
“Alright.” Li Ruoyi nodded, he doddered and swayed as he walked into a distant dilapidated pavilion.
At the apex of this main peak, rubble was littered about, without a single perfect building in sight. In the centre was a vast piece of land with nine jade stones forming nine steps, although many years had passed, the jade stones still glistened without any signs of damage, seemingly extremely soft.
“So it’s actually the Nine Steps to Heaven test.” One of the female disciples was stunned.
As the only person and elder within the sect of this main peak, Li RuoyI lamented: “Five hundred years ago, countless numbers of Tai Xuan sect disciples wished to scale the Nine Steps to Heaven, becoming a disciple of this peak, that was such a glorious sight.”
“There are really the Nine Steps to Heaven here, I’ve heard of it in the past but who knew that it was actually at this peak.”
“Today, the Nine Steps to Heaven has almost been completely covered in dust, this area has become cold and desolate without the glory of the past, now who would still be willing to ascend the Nine Steps to Heaven.”
“This peak is now a far cry from its former glory, it has long faded and waned.” The seven to eight young disciples softly discussed, their words were filled with contempt.
“Back then, how many peerless talents scaled these steps and felt pride from doing so……” Li Ruoyu sighed.
“Senior uncle Li, you can’t keep reminiscing about the past.”
The few young disciples lightly laughed with a disapproving tone. “The so called test is to scale the Nine Steps to Heaven?” Ji Ziyue was very curious, she did not find anything special about this test.
“That’s right, go ahead and try.” Li Ruoyu nodded.
“The future geniuses of this peak, let’s see if you can pass the test.”
“Remember to stand firm, don’t fall off the first step.”
The few young disciples continued to mock, thinking that Ji Ziyue and Ye Fan were merely trying to be smart alecks, they did not believe that the two had the abilities to pass the test. Faced with their mocking, Ji Ziyue was indifferent as she lightly glided forward like a butterfly towards the Nine Steps to Heaven.
The Nine Steps to Heaven were formed from nine different jade bricks that had been piled together, their colours were unique but merely glistened without any divine glow.
Ji Ziyue climbed the first jade step as the ancient green jade flashed, rippling outwards but she continued to seem relaxed. Another step as the second red jade step flashed scarlet, she could feel a slight pressure as her brow frowned. Upon taking her third step onto the blue jade, it began to flash as she felt her steps become extremely heavy.
Fourth step, fifth step…… only till the seventh step did she feel that it was extremely difficult to take another step, it was as though her feet were weighed down by mountains as her body was covered in sweat.
She did not know that when Li Ruoyu saw her reach the third step, he already had an expression of astonishment and when she reached the seventh step, he was already speechless.
As Ji Ziyue took her eighth step, the ancient jade began to sparkle, upon placing her feet on the purple jade step, she felt as though she were bearing the weight of the heavens, it was simply impossible to catch her breath.
On her ninth step, she finally trod on the final step, immediately heavenly music could be heard, a five coloured light shot up into the sky, and a rainbow of silvergrass appeared. She had successfully climbed the Nine Steps to Heaven causing a unique scene to appear on the peak.
“This……..” Li Ruoyu had an expression of incredulity as his body lightly trembled, finding this simply inconceivable as he muttered: “Back in the day, I heard that a person who climbed to the seventh step was already a peerless talent, since the beginning of this peak’s legacy, I don’t know if there’s anyone who has ever reached the ninth step of heaven.
By the side, the young disciples had expressions of disbelief, no one had expected such an outcome, there was actually an unfathomable talent on such a desolate peak.
Ji Ziyue finally understood the situation and immediately regretted, she had assumed that one needed to ascend all the steps to pass, who knew that this was simply not the case. She stuck out her tongue and had a bitter expression: “It’s over, I didn’t want to shine too much in this place, what should we do now?”
“This isn’t possible, how could she be better than all the predecessors?”
“Over time, the Nine Steps of Heaven must have suffered some damage, otherwise, how could it be possible to pass all of them?” The few young disciples were still filled with doubt.
At this moment, a streak of green came flying over from the main peak up ahead, a male of forty to fifty years of age came before Li Ruoyu as he paid his respects: “Greetings senior brother Li.”
“Greetings teacher.” By the side, the young disciples paid their respects to the middle aged man.
“I seemed to notice a unique scene flash earlier, I wonder if anything happened?”
“Teacher, earlier……” The few young disciples began to describe the events that had occurred earlier.
“What?!” The middle aged man was astonished.
Figures flashed as another seven to eight people landed, their hair was white and had clearly come from the main peak up ahead.
Understanding the situation, these people also had expressions of astonishment before dragging Li Ruoyu off to the side, speaking with difficult expressions.
Not to mention Li Ruoyu, even the young disciples by the side could guess at their intentions, they must have been astonished at Ji Ziyue’s capabilities and wanted to have her as ‘Star peak’s’ disciple.
“I understand your intentions…….” Li Ruoyu sighed: “This peak has already fallen, with such a peerless talent, remaining here would definitely be a waste, if she is willing, you can bring her away.”
The few elders expressed their thanks to Li Ruoyu, snatching someone’s disciple left them feeling a bitter aftertaste in their mouths.
In an instant, Ji Ziyue had been surrounded by the few elders of the Star Peak, they each had benevolent expressions as though they were looking at a priceless treasure, constantly nodding their heads.
“Hey hey hey, few white bearded seniors, don’t make such a big fuss, why does it feel like there are a pack of wolves staring at me?” Ji Ziyue spoke softly in an unsatisfied tone.
The few elders lost their smiles for a moment before continuing as though nothing had happened, taking turns to speak as they explained the splendour of the Star Peak, wanting to directly take her as a disciple.
“I wish to join the desolate peak, I have no interest in the other main peaks.”
“The desolate peak has already fallen for many years, there is no legacy that remains, as for the Star Peak, it is currently flourishing and actually ranks within the top three main peaks.”
“It’s a pity that I have no interest in the Star Peak.”
By the side, the few young disciples were stunned, the elders were doing their best to persuade but there was actually someone who rejected their advances, absolutely indifferent. If this were to spread it would definitely cause many to be left stunned, this was really agonizing.
“You must wish to learn that mysterious technique of legends right? It has been lost for many years, even if you stay here you won’t be able to acquire anything.” The few elders appeared kindly as they continued to speak: “Once you join the desolate peak, you won’t be able to join the other main peaks, however, the disciples of other main peaks have the chance to choose once again.”
“That’s right, you can always join our Star Peak first, if the legacy appears, you can then return.”
By the side, the disciples were indignant, they had never seen the elders of the Star Peak act in this manner to take on disciples, they would actually lower themselves to speak to a junior, this was something simply inconceivable.
“Let me think about it……..” Ji Ziyue had accidentally showcased her prowess, this was far from her intentions, her spirited large eyes began to blink as she continued: “Alright, I can join the Star Peak but don’t let these people talk nonsense.” She pointed at the few young disciples by the side. She wanted to stay reclusively within the Tai Xuan sect, she did not expect to be noticed so soon.
“You can rest your mind…….” The few elders of the Star Peak began to laugh.
Ji Ziyue knew that as a superpower, the Tai Xuan sect would definitely do checks on the identities of their new disciples, she did not care much about this, even if they found out it would not matter. She only needed to hide here for a few months, escaping from the eyes of those within the Ji Family who wanted to harm her, even if the Tai Xuan sect were to find out about her identity, they would also have to close one eye, they might even attempt to create better relations with the elders within the Ji Family.
The final outcome was Ji Ziyue joining the Star Peak quietly, officially becoming their disciple. “There’s one more person, let’s see his performance, how is his aptitude?” The others were also interest in Ye Fan’s performance, he had come here together with Ji Ziyue and could also be a talent.
Ye Fan had thoroughly sealed his sea of bitterness, it was motionless like divine metal without a single fluctuation, he definitely did not wish to expose his unique physique.
“Dragon-like bearing and tiger-like steps, his aptitude shouldn’t be ordinary……”
The people by the side were not done speaking as Ye Fan ascended the first step, a green light flashed as he was instantly sent flying away several metres, falling onto the ground.
“This……. Not even the first step?!”
“This aptitude is simply too…….” The people by the side had stopped talking, they really felt speechless.
“Few junior brothers, please accept him into the Star Peak as well.” Li Ruoyu helped Ye Fan to speak up.
“This……..” The few elders of the Star Peak were silent for a moment but finally nodded, they had stolen a talent and needed to show some face to Li Ruoyu.
“Many thanks to the kind intentions of seniors, I do not wish to join the Star Peak and merely wish to remain here.” Ye Fan paid his respects to the elders as he spoke.
The few elders present exchanged glances, what was going on today? When was the desolate peak so appealing that people would begin to reject joining the Star Peak? The arrogance of the talent in front was understandable, but a youth whose talent made one raise their eyebrows also acted in the same way, this was a huge blow to their esteem.
The few young disciples by the side seemed to go crazy, back then, they had endured all sorts of tests to finally emerge from the crowd, becoming an official disciple. Who knew that someone would actually look down on the Star Peak, this made them feel restless. If a peerless talent did this, that was fine, but someone of this calibre also acted in this manner, how could they take this lying down?
Ji Ziyue’s large eyes blinked as she smiled: “It’ll be good if you stay here……” This peak was their real objective, only the mysterious technique could garner their interest.
Finally, the group of people from the Star Peak left, the desolate peak became quiet once again leaving only Ye Fan and Li Ruoyu.
Night fell as the distant starlight bathed the area like water, Star Peak appeared dazzling and was shrouded in endless lights.
Ye Fan gazed afar and was dazed, the Star Peak was actually able to coalesce the starlight to cover that area, light fell like water, simply a majestic scene.
Li Ruoyu stood at the apex of the desolate peak: “That is the legacy of the Star Peak, using the starlight as their origin of power, once a person cultivates to a peak, they will be able to connect with the stars, allowing the stars through their entire body to create an immortal body that will be hard pressed to find a match.”
“I believe that the desolate peak is not inferior to the Star peak, it will rise up once again.” Ye Fan was curious about the power of the legacy of Star Peak but he was more interested in the mysterious technique that could be found on desolate peak.
“Five hundred years ago, the desolate peak had immortal mist lingering about, filled with auspicious signs, simply a splendid dwelling that was high above in the clouds. Experts of large numbers was a common sight, a place of glory, it’s a pity that it slowly fell into decline……”
“How can we make the legacy appear again? Those Heaven Steps…….”
Ye Fan suspected that the Nine Steps of Heaven could possibly contain the legacy of the mysterious technique.
Li Ruoyu shook his head: “The entire main peak is a scripture, the legacy is not contained within the Nine Steps of Heaven, only when the desolate peak releases a unique splendor with lights rushing to the sky and a vast immortal aura swirling, that is when the legacy appears once again.”
“Could that be the only method?” Ye Fan was skeptical.
“Over the tens of thousands of years, there was only one exception. There was once a predecessor who managed to acquire mysterious technique without the legacy appearing, he would eventually become a peerless expert and his power was unfathomable.” Li Ruoyu sighed.
“How did he acquire it?” Ye Fan’s eyes immediately lit up.
“Who knows? Before he died, he only said some words.”
“A great achievement that seems flawed, a great fullness that seems empty, a great intelligence that seems foolish ……..”