DE Book 22, Chapter 17

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Book 22, True God, Chapter 17 – Subhuti and Old Man Yuan

The Three Realms. Allclans Palace.

Graceful Peacock was narrating the entire story to the major powers present. “We were trapped in Earthmoan Mountain, and both Luwu and Windfate were heavily wounded. We were just about finished, but Darknorth…fellow Daoist Darknorth had been carefully scrutinizing everything from inside our formation, and he finally was able to see through the illusions of Earthmoan Mountain and see the truth. He walked out of our formation, then blocked several invisible attacks of Earthmoan Mountain as he led us to safety.”

“He blocked those attacks?” Exalted Celestial Thundergod asked, “Graceful Peacock, didn’t you say that the attacks of Earthmoan Mountain are extremely powerful? Empress Xi was just barely able to defend against those attacks, thanks to the protective formation, but she was still wounded. Ji Ning walked out of the formation, and THEN blocked those attacks?”

“Right.” Graceful Peacock nodded, her eyes sparkling as she smiled. “Fellow Daoist Darknorth is one of the most peerless figures to ever exist, ever since Pangu established Heaven and Earth. He has already reached the fifth stage of swordforce.”

“The fifth stage?” Exalted Celestial Thundergod was incredulous. “How is that possible?”

The entire palace became a hubbub of commotion.

Fifth-stage swordforce?

Anyone and everyone who could reach the fifth stage of swordforce would become one of the most elite Daofathers alive. Someone like Ji Ning, who also knew the [Five Treasures] sword-art, would be even more terrifying.

“Is that true?”

“He hasn’t even trained for a thousand years, right?” The major powers were all discussing this in hushed voices.

Lord Tathagata the Buddha, seated on high, spoke out. “It is indeed so.”

Exalted Celestial Thundergod was now truly dazed. He could no longer say a word.

“Ahahaha!” Daofather Subhuti, also seated on high, started to laugh.
Next to him was Daoist Three Purities, who laughed as well. “Subhuti, you knew all along?”

Subhuti just smugly stroked his beard.

“My junior apprentice-brother truly is formidable.” Houyi laughed as well. “We have gained yet another mighty general for the Endwar.”

Exalted Celestial Thundergod was filled with many mixed emotions. He was an aloof, arrogant figure, and he originally had not held Ji Ning in any regard. Ji Ning’s performance at the Deerchaser world, though…it had caused Thundergod to feel rather upset. Still, he was able to console himself that the kid had relied on the Rahu Formation and the Envoy of All Things. The kid’s true power was still quite weak.

But now, the ‘kid’ had fifth-stage swordforce and sword-arts that surpassed the limits of the Heavenly Daos. This meant that Ji Ning was now, indisputably, the number one Sword Immortal of the Three Realms!

“Subhuti.” Finally, Thundergod spoke out. “Congratulations.”

Subhuti looked at Thundergod and chortled. “This old Daoist loves to put on airs and keep people guessing. I hope you aren’t too angry with me, Thundergod.”

“How could I be? Our Nuwa Alliance has gained yet another powerful general. I couldn’t be happier!” Thundergod replied honestly.

Subhuti nodded.

Although Thundergod was a stubborn, solitary, and arrogant figure, his loyalty to the Nuwa Alliance was absolutely beyond reproach. In the end…it had been Subhuti’s dear old friend, Old Man Yuan, a figure far more powerful than Thundergod, who had ended up vacillating between the two sides. To this very day, he still had yet to join the Nuwa Alliance.

“My old friend…I truly don’t wish to end up in a fight to the death against you,” Subhuti murmured to himself.


This was a damaged, badly ravaged planet, but there were two major powers present here.

An old man with a red nose was seated in the lotus position in front of a thatched cottage. Before him was a small table, and across from him sat the white-bearded Subhuti. This was one of Subhuti’s incarnations.

“Congratulations. Your disciple actually reached the fifth stage of swordforce.” The red-nosed elder sighed with emotion. “A pity, such a pity. I knew all along that Ji Ning’s potential was extraordinarily. I really wanted to take him on as my disciple, but you refused to accept.”

“I didn’t actually refuse you,” Subhuti said. “I told you; so long as you joined our side, you could immediately take on Ji Ning as your disciple. But you refused to accept.”

“I still cannot accept.” Old Man Yuan shook his head.


Subhuti let out a cold laugh. “We’ve been fighting against the Seamless Gate for so long now. You should be able to tell that our differences are completely irreconcilable. At a time like this…you continue to waver! You said all those pompous things about ‘not wanting to see all your old friends die, one by one’…but your actions now are causing even more of our old friends to die! Your words are complete bullshit!”

“Yes.” Old Man Yuan nodded, a distant look in his eyes. “I admit that I said those things for the sake of saving face. All of those things I said were lies.”

Subhuti just looked at him.

He felt pain in his heart.

They had all emerged together from the primordial chaos as ignorant, wide-eyed newborns. They had all supported each other, discussed the Dao together, advanced together on the path of cultivation. They were so close to each other that they were like actual brothers. Some of them had ended up dying in the chaotic wars of the Primordial Era, while others had died in the war that had ended that era. Daoist Threelives, for example, had already perished.

Not many were still alive…but this old friend of his, ‘Old Man Yuan’, had actually refused to stand alongside them at such a critical hour.

“You finally admit to it,” Subhuti said icily.

“Yes.” Old Man Yuan shook his head. “Ever since the Primordial Era, we have suffered incursions from alien Outsiders. When we killed them, we gained some of their techniques and some of their records regarding the infinite primordial chaos. I came to understand that this place of ours is nothing more than a single chaosworld. The primordial chaos is a far vaster universe. When I learned this, I became filled with the desire to travel far away, to see more things.”

“We ‘True Gods’ who were born from the primordial chaos were nothing more than local bumpkins who were born to this region. How can we be considered ‘major powers’? We simply relied on the power we gained at birth.” Old Man Yuan shook his head. “In the endless primordial chaos, the true ‘major powers’ are the World Gods and Chaos Immortals. They are capable of easily wiping out our entire world.”

“Nuwa saw the truth long ago. The Three Realms was too small a place to contain her, and so she left to enter the vaster world outside of it.”

“I want to journey through that vast world as well.” Old Man Yuan’s eyes were filled with desire. “But I’m not strong enough yet. Those alien Outsiders, the Lord of All Things…I learned that even someone as formidable as the Lord of All Things was nothing more than a minor figure in the primordial chaos. There are many who are far more powerful than him. As for Rahu, he was an even more irrelevant figure.”

“I have to become more powerful.”

“A war for the Three Realms? A struggle between the Nuwa Alliance and the Seamless Gate? I’ve never cared about such things. Your visions are far too narrow…your gazes are focused on the Three Realms, but my gaze is focused on the endless primordial chaos.” Old Man Yuan shook his head. “I’ve never even considered risking my life in some squabble here in the Three Realms.”

“I want to leave this place. I want to become even more powerful.”

“Because I was born into the Three Realms, I wasn’t able to acquire any good techniques. I had no opportunities. Once I leave, I might be able to become a World God or a Chaos Immortal,” Old Man Yuan said eagerly. “That’s what I truly want. That’s what I truly desire!”

Subhuti continued to stare at him coldly. “Selfish! True, compared to the vast primordial chaos, the Three Realms is a very small place, and we are indeed nothing more than local bumpkins…but this is our home! The Three Realms is our home. All of us were born here, and we were all like brothers. They are now in mortal danger, but you are just going to stand by and watch? For the sake of becoming a so-called World God or Chaos Immortal, you are just going to watch as your old friends go off to fight? Go off to die?”

“I never thought that my old friend Yuan would end up like this.” Subhuti shook his head.

“Ahahaha…” Old Man Yuan actually began to laugh, laugh so hard that his beard shook. He then looked towards Subhuti with a dagger-sharp gaze. “Yes, I am selfish. The path of cultivation is a selfish path to begin with. If I’m going to walk this path, of course I need to treasure my own life. Of course I have to seize every opportunity I can find to become more powerful. Am I supposed to foolishly stand alongside the rest of you and risk everything?”

“You don’t possess any transcendental qualities. Neither we nor the Seamless Gate will permit you to remain unaligned.” Although Subhuti felt sorrow in his heart, he still tried to dissuade Old Man Yuan.

“I’ll do everything I can to get as much as I can from the Seamless Gate,” Old Man Yuan said calmly. “Don’t worry. Before the Endwar begins, I’ll leave the Three Realms and enter the endless primordial chaos. I’ll take my old friends with me, and together we shall adventure through it. As for what happens to you and the Seamless Gate? I won’t get involved.”

“Leave?” Subhuti was surprised.

“Right.” Old Man Yuan laughed coldly. “What, did you actually think that I would really fight on behalf of the Seamless Gate? No; neither your side nor the Seamless Gate is worth me risking my life for.”

“Good. Very good indeed.” Subhuti laughed hard, as though he had heard an incredibly funny joke. “During my [Dream of the Three Realms], I can see countless mortals change…but now, I see that the hearts of Fiendgods can change as well. You’ve changed. You’ve changed far, far too much compared to the Yuan who was born alongside me from within the primordial chaos.”

“Back then, I was just a newborn. I was born with mastery over a Grand Dao, but aside from that I knew nothing at all. Back then, we were too simple and naïve.” Old Man Yuan shook his head. “As far as I’m concerned, my brothers and friends are of secondary importance. My path of cultivation is of paramount importance.”

Subhuti gave Old Man Yuan a long, deep look, then disappeared into thin air.

As for Old Man Yuan, he just continued to sit there quietly. He lifted up one of the wine cups and took a small sip from it. “Once I become a World God and look back, all of this will be nothing more than a memory.”

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71 thoughts on “DE Book 22, Chapter 17” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

    1. Really? I think he’s rather intelligent and now is far more interesting. It’s nice to see one of these so called ‘major powers’ as he put it told off and shown the real picture. He understands that they’re nothing more than frogs at the bottom of the well and so he is working to change that for him and his closest allies. I rather admire him.

      1. If you can’t even save/help someone who is near you when you have power then what worth is that power. He is trying to flee from place he got everything without helping just to experience other new things how isnt’t that selfish. Is it intelligent to go outside to be slave of other people rather than help your home which is getting attacked by those same people who are slave masters. If you think trying to deny responsibility that you owe to the place that grew you up is being intelligent then being intelligent is not worth it.

    2. True, but a nice setup to transition to outside of the 3 realms… and an opportunity for Ning to soon show him how foolish and small he is when they meet up outside later.

    3. How is that being selfish? Subhuti is selfish. He wants Old Man Yuan to go against his philosophy of life and sacrifice EVERYTHING, along with his life, for HIS cause, HIS war, HIS friends and HIS world. Greater cause? How can it be “greater”, if this chaosworld is so small and pathetic? For someone who set their sights on boundless Primordial Chaos, this whole war is a complete joke. It’s like looking at 3 year olds fighting over a toy. It’s not his world, nor his ambition. It’s his choice, and not accepting his choice to NOT sacrifice his life is what I’d call being
      a “selfish prick”, you selfish prick.

      1. I don’t think it is a ‘greater cause’, I think saving 3 realms is ‘fighting for home’.

        I may be thinking as a mortal human, but I rather think wherever I reach in my life, I want my home, my family to be ‘SAFE’.

        If Old man yuan doesn’t consider 3 realms important part of his life that is worth saving, it simply means he doesn’t think 3 realms to be home. He is a nomad who with his tribe (his close knit friends) would leave their birthplace in search for better and more fertile place. While Shubuti feels he rather die than let his ‘home’ be ransacked.

      2. Subhuti a selfish prick? Let me put this in a more realistic term.
        Imagine you growing up with your families, friends in a neighborhood for the rest of your life.
        Then one day, someone decides to drive everyone you knew out. No compromises, no deals.
        You would not accept that right? You would do everything to protect everyone you know.
        Then you went to ask a relative who lives in the area, who could help protect everyone, but he told you that “Ah, I’m not helping you. I don’t care about this old place anyway. My dream is to move to a bigger city and get rich. You guys can help yourself.” So who is really the selfish one here?
        Even keeper Everwood of the Seamless Gate has more conscience. He doesn’t have to fight, but he still chose to do it to protect his homeworld.
        Don’t mistake cowardice for ambition or aspiration. It doesn’t change that you’re leaving your friends to die without helping them. And he has the power to help them. And that’s what people call “selfish.”

        1. The thing is the 3 realms isn’t the home he grew up the home he grew up in was destroyed long ago and it’s not just someone who are trying to drive them out both sides are his long life friends and he simply doesn’t want to kill them and die killing his other friends because it’s not worth it.Their reason for fighting for small world seems stupid when you look at the vast primordial chaos

        2. I agree that he’s selfish, but like he said so what? I don’t think Yuan’s thoughts are wrong.

          It makes sense for him to not want to risk his life for something he doesn’t care about. I don’t even think it’s wrong for him not to care about his home after all this time. His ambitions are clearly worth more to him than his “home” which is simply where he was born. Why would he owe it anything?

          1. Of course he can choose. It doesn’t make him any less of a douche though.

            As a result, overlords can “choose” to destroy Old Man Yuan too, but it is a douche thing to do, so they won’t.

            Spidy’s Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibilities.”, unless you’re Old Man Yuan….

            Peace reveals nothing. Calamity is when you know who is a true friend.

    1. Escaping from chaosworld to another seems easy so why aliens of primordial ruinworld didn’t choose to do this? As for old man yuan I didn’t expect character that was described funny and free old man will become selfish and disregard old friendship for sake of cultivation if he had dao companion or one true brother which will battle alongside him but not is being powerful really worth it?

      1. Which is why I don’t think he will become all that powerful. His drive for power is selfish/hobby while Ning’s is by necessity. It motivates more bc he NEEDS it so Ning gains insights at a redonkulous rate.

        1. Nuwa leaving during a peaceful time is a totally different situation.
          Nuwa ‘outgrew’ the 3 realms.
          She also left behind a whole bunch of stuff to help defend against future problems.
          Don’t group her with the frog who knows he’s in a well. I just wanna see the house cat that wanders by looking for a snack when the frog gets out of the well.

          1. Well said and nice points. Nuwa left the 3 realms after being the savior, while Old Man Yuan isn’t even willing to try to help, even after good friends begged him.

            I do appreciate Old Man Yuan some as he did help Ning with Heartforce, though more so as a pre-emptive bribe to get him as a desciple. Ning probably won’t burn the bridges after crossing them. In hindsight, +1 to Subhuti for foreseeing the possible morality problem Ning would have had now if Old Man Yuan was his master.

            Plus, Old Man Yuan’s reason for leaving is not convincing enough, i.e. imagine if just half of the major powers made the same choice.. so all would be right and what kind of mess will we end up with?

            Your last line made me lol.

      2. I don’t think it’s that easy, it’s just haven’t been explained yet.
        I hope in the coming chapters and books it will be explained (especially when Ning left to search for Vastheaven Palace) but I bet Primordial Chaos is filled with all kind of dangers. Remember even the Alien Outsider lost many subordinates in coming near the Three Realm.

        1. You’d win that bet. Even World God Northrest, weakened but stronger than most in the 3 realms, was in great danger while fleeing in the Primordial Chaos.

          Old Man Yuan knows he’s in a well. He’s just a coward trying to sound grand. He can’t even survive/rule his own well, yet somehow he thinks he can do better in the Primordial Chaos. tsk tsk. He’s just running away even when he has the power to make a difference.

  1. Well… I kinda agree with Old Man Yuan here. We can’t all be perfect filial stupid loyal protagonists. The world of cultivation really is a dog eat dog world. Selfishness is fine, and on average, leads to longer lives. A pretty chaotic neutral action. Well, I don’t know his backstory and how deep his friendship and brotherhood with Subhuti and the rest goes. Maybe this really is a betrayal. Meh, whatever.

      1. “Leylin Farlier “now there is a selfish man, but he is supposed to be kind of a villainous protagonist. His charm being his well thought out plans, Cold and calculating.


  2. This a really sad chapter 🙁
    It’s life I guess, we choose a path and if we don’t waver we may see that all our dreams come true, no matter who we leave for them, or in the end all would be in vain. But who really knows what’s ahead, even standing still everything around us change. So either we fret and cower on our comfort zones or dare to keep on walking, regardless life will never be the same.

  3. While I get what Old Man Yuan is saying, in the same vain, how will you survive in the primordial chaos is you aren’t even willing to take risks in your own stomping grounds? His selfishness might harbour instabilities or weaknesses in his dao heart.

    1. His insights into the Dao are much superior to other people on his level. He needs resources and he’ll EASILY break through. Three Realms are complete shit, there’s nothing in there. No good cultivation techniques, 3rd Tier Jindan, no good treasures. Leaving and adventuring in primordial chaos seems more lucrative. Even if he gets some COMMON cultivation technique he’ll easily get much, much stronger. I don’t see a reason for him to take risk to get stronger??? What does it even matter? THERE’S NOTHING FOR HIM IN THAT WAR. How the hell is not taking a “risk” there relevant, if he will NOT benefit from it? I think taking risks while adventuring while trying to get superior treasures/cultivation techniques can’t be compared to mindlessly sacrificing himself with NO benefit in sight. Just… seems dumb.

      Also his heart is set on one thing and one thing only, getting stronger. Nothing so far suggests he has doubts in his heart.

    2. It’s more likely Old Man Yuan doesn’t even have any idea how dangerous it is to travel the Primordial Chaos.
      He’s enticed by mere idea of bigger world out there, outside the Three Realm

  4. Mmmm… From what he said, we can assume he’s on neither side for sure. As from whether he’ll really go away or just reap the benefits from both sides after the Endwar is debatable.

    Thinking about it, we never saw him fight. I don’t get why him and his friends are so important for the endwar to be mentioned so many times by IET. I remember them being said to have elite Daofather class power, but it’s obviously not the case. Could he be an Elder God with extreme accomplishments in the Dao like the others of the three realms along with 4th or 5th stage Heartforce? Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the one manipulating everything from the beginning (the one bringing forth the Endwar) or being possessed by a random Chaos Immortal or World god.

      1. He could’ve gotten an inheritance or something else from the Primordial Chaos like Ji Ning’s Solitary World God technique, or even only one that cannot make him reach the World God Stage but only Elder God, which is why I thought it could be possible. Maybe that’s even why he wants to go outside the Three Realms, as he managed to become an Elder God but is unable to advance any further due to a lack of a suitable technique, and wants to go further. But these are merely speculations of mine, it’s very probable that I’m wrong, but I can’t help but think about all this when I see situations like these ?.

  5. Somehow, the way Threelives keep being mentioned makes me think he has not trully die yet.
    As the name suggest, he probably literally has Three Life – after each death, he gets revived with the condition from his last life

    1. Honestly being alive because he is “threelives” gave me a laugh but I’m somewhat convinced after Houyi’s appearance.
      I’m betting my two cents on the one armed figure with the Godfiend, he’s the only person who resembles Threelives so far and his status seems to be a bit unusual.

      Of course, this whole thing might be a troll and IET might make him dead for real.

  6. I have no idea why anyone would think it was safer to leave the 3 realms.
    Sure there’s a war going on, but outside are predators that would consider him a light snack. I can see it now: “Ah! So this is the outside world! Oh, something’s coming. Hello there….” *RIIIIPP* *chomp* *chew* *chew* *chew* *swallow*.


    1. Hehe, looks like Old Man Yuan is just a coward trying to sound grand. Or like you said, he’s an idiot. He’s not even a whale, just a big fish, in a small pond yet somehow, he thinks he can make a fist of it in the way more dangerous big sea.

    2. Even if he gets eaten, he won’t know until he at least tries. By the sounds of it he’s been coming to this conclusion for a long time and would have at least tried to leave and venture into the Primordial Chaos no matter what around this time, it’s just that the realm war was badly timed and has caused him to hasten his decision a bit.

      The added bonus is that both sides in this war have friends of his, and by leaving now he doesn’t have to turn against or kill either group.

  7. Ah Yuan. you didn’t realize that the path to world god is on the nuwa alliances side. Ji Ning needs retainers after all.

    Thanks for the chapter.

    -Sage Hidden Bear

  8.  _______
    |  THANKS♪  |
    |  NEPU!  |
      ̄∨ ̄ ̄ ̄∨ ̄ ̄
     (  )(  )
    ( )( )( )
      ∧=∧ ∧=∧
    | ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄|
    {Copied from Yunchii}

  9. I respect a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t compromise to the detriment of that goal. has to be said that you can choose your friends but not your relatives, and the brotherhood of friends can be much more deep than family (your choice vs. preordained). in any case it’s a complex web to navigate, it feels like Yuan just said to hell with the web and swiped it away to go onto the bigger stage.

  10. I definitely respect Yuan’s decision here. Heck these are the sort of decisions almost all MCs make but get a pass for because 1) it will obviously turn out to be the right choice
    2) the author paints it in the best light.
    Yuan owns his decision and what it means here, he lied about his main reason only to buy himself some time.

    Heck when you think about it Ji Ning made a similar choice for everyone on the Seamless gate’s side who he left in that world. People make selfish choices in Xianxia all the time – the line about the path of cultivation being selfish couldn’t be more true – and for someone to own up to it like this is really refreshing.

    Even though we didn’t read through his relationship with Subhuti and the others, from the beginning he never said he would join the war so it doesn’t even feel like a betrayal even if he’s abandoning them to their fate. Though that also is something that happens often in Xianxia, especially as the MC gets stronger things like squabbles on seemingly smaller scales get overlooked.

    Thanks for the Chapter RWX!

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