Chapter 377: The Celestial!
Time passed. Soon, the moon rose again, and now... there was only one day left.
Bai Xiaochun had filled all five spots for his Dao Protectors, and couldn’t stop thinking about the benefits and drawbacks of going to the unfamiliar Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. On the final day, he went to visit Song Junwan and Hou Xiaomei to bid them farewell, which left him feeling very down. Finally, he sat down cross-legged to pass the final night. It was around the third watch when Frigidsect appeared next to him, without word or sound to herald his coming.
He looked down at Bai Xiaochun, saw the sadness on his face, and sighed.
Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes, looked at him, then looked away without saying a word.
“Xiaochun,” Frigidsect said in his ancient voice, “you’re going to be leaving tomorrow....
“There are some things I need to explain to you. Master Godwind, Crimsonsoul and I have come to an important decision....” Overlooking the fact that Bai Xiaochun was ignoring him, he smiled and sat down next to him.
“I know that your goal in practicing cultivation is to live forever. The thing is, all of us want to live forever. That’s one of the reasons why we all work hard at cultivation.
“Unfortunately, on the road that leads to living forever, there are other things that pop up, things that are sometimes even more important than our final goal. Right now, you probably don’t understand what I'm talking about, but by the time you reach my age, I think you will.
“The reason we cultivators can increase our longevity has to do with our cultivation bases. With Foundation Establishment, you get an additional 100 years of life. With Core Formation, 500. And did you know that Nascent Soul cultivators receive an increase, at minimum, of 1,000 years?! Do the math yourself.... If you reach Nascent Soul, how long can you live?” Frigidsect looked expectantly at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun had been planning to ignore Frigidsect no matter what he said. Regardless of how much he understood the decisions made by the sect, that didn’t stop him from feeling depressed about the situation. However, to hear Frigidsect bring up this topic, the topic upon which he was most focused in life, and in which all his hopes lay, ensured that he couldn’t hold himself back from doing the calculations.
It really was simple. Upon realizing that after reaching Nascent Soul, he would be able to live for 2,000 years, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone, and his heart began to beat.
“2,000 years....” he murmured, licking his lips. He might have been able to refuse to think about the Nascent Soul stage if he hadn’t calculated the exact numbers involved. But now, he could hardly refrain from panting, and his desire to reach Nascent Soul was even more intense than ever.
“And again, that’s the minimum. If you use special techniques and methods, or certain spirit medicines, you can increase your longevity by multiple times over. Of course, people who do that have to pay a heavy price. Although their cultivation bases are not limited in any way, they are doomed to die eventually, no matter what happens. Such people live a long time, but not forever. I'm in that very situation.” Frigidsect sighed and looked at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun looked back at him. “Do a lot of people do that?”
“Yes. But don’t forget that the path cultivators travel is a long and winding one. From Qi Condensation to Foundation Establishment, from Foundation Establishment to Core Formation, from Core Formation to Nascent Soul.... Many people are ejected off of the path before they can get very far.
“Out of a hundred Qi Condensation cultivators, one will be lucky to reach Foundation Establishment. Of course, that still leaves us with a lot of Foundation Establishment cultivators, but out of every hundred, one might reach Core Formation, if they are lucky.... When it comes to Nascent Soul, well... even if you count all the people who have died, the Spirit Stream Division hasn’t even produced ten of them, even going back years and years. Given that... do you think reaching Nascent Soul is difficult?”
Frigidsect sighed again before continuing. “It most definitely is difficult. The process is a challenging one, to say the least. Either you succeed and become a Nascent Soul Daoist master, or you fail and die. Of course, sects in the Middle Reaches have much higher rates of success among cultivators who attempt to step into the Nascent Soul stage. However, that doesn’t change the difficulty level for the people involved.”
Bai Xiaochun didn’t say anything. He knew that Nascent Soul was a difficult stage to reach, and that even with his Heaven-Dao Gold Core, he would only have a slightly higher chance of success.
“Xiaochun, although becoming a hostage in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect means losing a bit of freedom and independence, the truth is that you have an extremely rare opportunity!
“The Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect is a riversource sect, responsible for watching over all of the eastern Heavenspan River. The spiritual energy there is very strong, far beyond that of the Middle Reaches. They have all sorts of unique techniques and divine abilities, plus many types of fantastic spirit medicines.
“After you get there, you can take advantage of all the power available in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect to increase your chances of reaching the Nascent Soul stage!” Frigidsect was slowly raising his voice, causing it to pound into Bai Xiaochun’s ears.
Bai Xiaochun could hear the sincerity in Frigidsect’s voice, and could tell that he wasn’t being dishonest in any way. It really was true that he would have a better chance of reaching Nascent Soul in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect.
That, along with his Heaven-Dao Gold Core, wouldn’t give him a one hundred percent chance of success. However, he would have an astonishing seventy percent chance!
Thinking of the matter that way, going to the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect wasn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, it was actually incredible good fortune when it came to his cultivation!
Much of Bai Xiaochun’s negative feelings were already draining away, and his eyes were beginning to shine brightly.
“If you become a Nascent Soul cultivator in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, you can even join their parliament of elders, and would gain a relatively high level of power and influence. At that point, even being a hostage wouldn’t matter, and wouldn’t be an obstacle to you in any way. In fact, your hostage status would be a shield of sorts to you as a member of the parliament of elders!
“Furthermore, if you become a Nascent Soul cultivator there, it would be of incredible benefit to the River-Defying Sect!” After all of the analysis provided by Frigidsect, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but let out a long sigh.
“Patriarch,” he said quietly, “I think it's a big waste for you to be a cultivator. You should go off and become a diplomat....”
Frigidsect roared with laughter before tousling Bai Xiaochun’s hair.
“I’m not finished yet! Stop interrupting!” Then, his expression turned serious. “Xiaochun, much like Foundation Establishment and Core Formation, there are three ways to enter the Nascent Soul stage. The first is the simplest, and yet the most dangerous because of the high failure rate. Although you can make the attempt multiple times this way, every failure leads to a loss of longevity. That method is... using Nascent Soul Pills!”
Bai Xiaochun was listening very intently. There was no information in the sect records about the Nascent Soul stage, so this was his first time hearing such an explanation.
Frigidsect shook his head before continuing, “That method leads to a low-grade Nascent Soul, with only a slim chance of ever becoming a deva. It is also the most commonly used method....
“The second method is... by using five elements deva beast souls! So-called deva beast souls are the souls of dead Deva Realm beasts. All such souls have a certain measure of five elements power, and cultivators who step into the Nascent Soul stage using them not only become very powerful, they also have a good chance of becoming devas!”
Bai Xiaochun was shaken, and immediately committed the words ‘five elements deva beast soul’ to memory. Never could he have imagined that it was possible to reach the Nascent Soul stage with the soul of a deva-level beast.
“Then there’s the third method....” Frigidsect paused for a moment, his eyes shining brightly with both veneration and madness. This sort of expression was something rarely seen on his face.
Bai Xiaochun instantly started to get even more nervous.
“This last method is the stuff of legend. In fact... in the Heavenspan Realm, only one person has ever done it. The requirements are incredibly strict. That method is... by using five elements deva souls!
“A deva soul is the soul of a dead Deva Realm cultivator. One of the unique properties of deva souls is that each one contains the power of one of the five elements, either metal, wood, water, fire, or earth. To reach the Nascent Soul stage using this method requires... five different deva souls!
“Anyone who succeeds... becomes completely invincible within the Nascent Soul stage!”
Bai Xiaochun gasped. “Five deva souls?!”
To him, it seemed almost inconceivable. Devas were already rare to begin with; even in the Middle Reaches, there were currently only three of them. If you added in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, there wouldn’t even be ten.
Considering all of that, using the five elements deva souls method seemed virtually impossible.
Frigidsect sighed. “From ancient times until now, the number of devas who have existed is very limited, and the souls of any who die are rare and precious items.... Because of that, you can see why using the five elements deva souls method to step into Nascent Soul is unimaginably difficult, and thus, the stuff of legend.”
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, and couldn’t hold back from asking, “Patriarch, didn’t you just say that someone did succeed once? Who is that person...?”
Frigidsect didn’t respond for a moment. Looking up into the sky, he said, “The Celestial!”
“The Celestial?” Bai Xiaochun was taken aback.
“He is the most powerful cultivator in the Heavenspan Realm... and also the one who rules over the four great riversource sects.... He lives on the island in the middle of the Heavenspan Sea.... The Celestial!
“Common people like us can’t even speak his name. If you do, he will sense it, and no one wishes to do that. That is why people simply call him... the Celestial!” Frigidsect sighed yet again.
“According to the legends, he reached Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment, Heaven-Dao Gold Core, and used the five elements deva souls method to reach Nascent Soul. The entire time, he walked the heavenly path [1. In Chinese “deva” consists of the characters for “heaven” and “person” put together, so all three of these paths have “heaven” in them]. You’ve had some contact with the Wildlands, so you can probably imagine what type of position the Celestial occupies!”
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208. AWE Glossary. Xianxia-inspired T-shirts.Previous Chapter Next Chapter