Xu Yangyi was somewhat spellbound. He was only accustomed to listening to information he was more or less was aware of, screens of the past. His yesterday had already been three years for everyone else...
In his mind, it was as if the savage scene of Vermilion Snow causing great chaos to the crowds in the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena was before his eyes. The battle where he had made his first showing and became famous was still vivid and fresh in his mind.
“What realm is he?” He looked calmly at the computer screen and asked.
“The middle stage!” Zhou Tingting’s face was flushed. “He’s simply a genius! In thirteen years, he cultivated to the middle stage! Cultivators who can presently rise a small boundary in two or three decades are a dime a dozen…”
Was that so?
Xu Yangyi suddenly laughed. Had he not dreamed for three years, he himself would’ve been at the middle stage three years ago.
“Sir might be unaware, but last year he came out of seclusion from the Featherwood Guard, and single-handedly went to Yuyangy City and killed all the demons with a criminal record. Some were even ten years his senior… S-Sir, this?”
She looked puzzledly at Xu Yangyi, but the other had already silently closed out of the page and opened the industry news tab.
She was quite confused.
Obviously, this… Huh? Well, this cultivator she still didn’t know the name of seemed to hold quite an interested expression towards Chu Zhaonan, so how could his interest disappear just as quickly?
She couldn’t have known, but just from this familiar name, Xu Yangyi was fondly recalling his own past. Yet it was only this and nothing more.
On Chinacultivation.com’s news page, Xu Yangyi took a quick glimpse at the stickied post.
‘In 2016, in the first major case to occur in China in fifty years, Vermilion Snow massacred the Fengyi City branch. Afterwards, at the end of last year, the four major powers: Heavens Law, the CSIB, the Featherwood Guard, and the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, formally took charge of full responsibility for the incident together.’
‘Three years ago on August 21st, Heavens Law’s Nantong Province branch held the quinquennial graduation ceremony. In total, 12,342 people participated. Among them was Nantong Province’s 130 cultivation families, in total 342 people. In addition, there were 12,000 guests. The number of Heavens Law graduates numbered 62. Each city’s champion totaled thirteen people. After the end of the Qualifier, Vermilion Snow suddenly killed her way in. This has led to an unprecedented, overwhelming incident in China’s past five decades.’
‘Firecloud, Shadowslay, Wang Buzhi, The Three Friends in Winter, Moonchaser, and Tigersplitter, these eight Foundation Establishment cultivators, acted to allow the survivors to evacuate and sacrificed their lives in honor and glory. They did so without qualm as true cultivators. Through the Chinese government’s Deputy Energy Minister, Mr. Chu Tianyi’s, suggestion, they were posthumously recognized as martyrs, and the families of these eight cultivators were arranged for by the government. Those who had families were automatically upgraded a level. Their children and younger generations will get to enjoy a tuition-free education at Heavens Law and will moreover have the privilege to select an occupation among the Big Three. Fengyi City’s Heavens Law branch has already erected a heroes monument.’
A tide of sorrow rushed over Xu Yangyi’s heart. He was now looking at the already black-and-white figures, but they had still been before him yesterday, not drawing back a single step as if they were sharp swords.
The boiling killing intent within his heart suddenly flared, yet it noiselessly fizzled away. Strength, only strength was number one. Even now, a burning expectation had arose in his heart regarding the Eternal Alchemy Canon.
He continued to read.
‘Demonkind’s greatest organization, the Myriad Demons Palace has already stated their responsibility for this matter. As one of their authorities, Vermilion Snow had ranked early on as one of the Myriad Demons Palace’s elders. Moreover, Old Demon Blackmount specially declared during a news conference last year on New Year’s Day: he wouldn’t cover up this event by any means, and they would even search for her. Daomaster Mountainruler revealed himself for the first time in two centuries and furthermore expressed his own attitude: ‘the Age of Cultivation Civilization is absolutely not the olden days of imperial autocracy. A civilized system is unable to tolerate such a provocation, and even further, the modern civilized system cannot be allowed to collapse’. At the same time he stated that If he discovered Vermilion Snow’s hiding place, even if she was separated by a distance of 5,000 kilometers, he would definitely put her to death.’
‘Daomaster Droughtbringer didn’t make an appearance, but he entrusted his Majordomo Senior Farcloud to pass on: the era of ancient cultivation when the strongest fist reigned supreme is already a thing of the past. If anyone dares to provoke modern-day Earth’s sphere of culture, in my capacity as one of the Myriad Demons Palace’s three forebears, she must comply with the decisions of the greater tide.’
‘To date, there has been no word of Vermilion Snow. The Yixue Clan and the Zhou Clan have calculated the divination three times, but are unable to find her whereabouts. Mr. Tao Hongzhi, an expert on the study of Demon Society and Modern Civilization has suggested that if Vermilion Snow hid in her own private secret realm that she discovered among Earth’s numerous secret ancient cultivation realms, almost nothing could be hardly accomplished within the next several decades. However, a majority of human cultivators suspect the Myriad Demons Palace of deliberate asylum. This Spring Festival, Nantong Province’s 4,000 surviving cultivators will stage a sit-in at Shennong Forestry, Daomaster Blackmount’s Dao sanctum, drawing widespread attention. Several of the Chinese government’s high officials have appeared to temporarily settle this matter.’
‘As of now, Vermilion Snow’s bounty is 12 billion, and she ranks as number one on the Heavenly Demon Ranking.’
‘It’s certain that this tremendous incident’s effect will be far-reaching for the next decade. Still, it will become the target of everyone’s attention. This incident in itself cannot be considered a change in peace and security of what things in the future will be like, as brought by the path between humanity and demons. We’ll have to request everyone to wait and see.’
Below, there were all kinds of comments that nearly flipped the heavens of the red stickied message.
‘Bullshit! There’s no question that the demons are shielding her! Apart from the Myriad Demons Palace, where else could she hide?! Humanity should take a hard line! Force the Myriad Demons Palace to hand her over! This is really fuckin’ indulgent! If there was a first time, there’s gonna be a second! It’s hard to say the next time will be a second Vermilion Snow! To transgress against my human race, even though I am inadequate, she must be put to death! Don’t tell me we’re scared of those pack of demons?!’ - ID: Eyes Obscured by a Single Leaf.
‘Comment above, you’re too excited; force them? You really believe demonkind’s three great Dao Masters are vegetarians? Their amicable replies are already sufficient face. The Myriad Demons Palace has also stated they would take responsibility. You still want an even greater disturbance? So disturbing that China’s government nukes their Core Formation cultivators? Will you only be happy once a provincial capital has been leveled to the ground? Have you thought about the ordinary people?’ - ID: My Buddha is Merciful.
‘Well, I’ll say! The present era of Cultivation Civilization is really too weak! I read in a web novel that they wouldn’t accept and ignore something like this, that the greatest fist is the big boss. THAT is a cultivator!’ - ID: Huainanzi
‘Comment above, are you ill? Is that era of small clans and powers still alive and well? Aren’t there even mortals around? There’s no reason to be worried every day that you’ll be killed off by someone with an unseen blade! You know that’s just a novel, too! Even in the ancient cultivation era, things weren’t like that! Even the State of Qin still needed to pay attention for a good reason to send out troops! Any time period has a civilized ground work! These days, a guided missile can threaten a Foundation Establishment cultivator and a nuclear warhead can pose a threat to a Core Formation cultivator. This is society’s balance of standards. You’re not taking into account that ordinary people have invented all kinds of things; things that you can’t use!’ - ID: My Name is MT.
‘That’s right! If you’re not going to make a web call, are you going to use a paper crane? A call takes a second! It’s not the quarter-hour of a paper crane! A quarter of an hour is enough time for a Foundation Establishment senior to kill you ten times! Moreover, unless you’re a Foundation Establishment cultivator, the cars and airplanes of ordinary people are convenient! Don’t tell me it’s like the ancient cultivation era, and I’d still be required to ask my senior to sit on his flying sword if I left the sect? Isn’t that funny?’ - ID: Glutton.
‘Ordinary people use both their hands to change the world. This is worthy of respect.’
‘Without them, it would be impossible to have satellites scan every one of Earth’s nooks and crannies, so that cultivators could find spirit veins and secret realms.’
‘Mortals have used their own knowledge to stand at equal height with cultivators. At the very least, I can’t keep myself away from the items of ordinary people every day. From clothing, food, home, and transportation, which one can be parted from?’
“They’re just deviating from the topic…” Zhou Tingting looked on in high spirits. “Sir, don’t pay any mind. That’s just how it is. It’s just troll posting. In my opinion, they’re even more nationalistic than mortal internet trolls.”
Xu Yangyi calmly closed out of the web page. The more he read, the more he felt the killing intent in his heart become stronger. Even if he somehow restrained it, it would soon come breaking through from the bottom of his heart.
These people that were commenting were doing so in a lackadaisical and uncaring manner, treating this incident with the attitude of a spectator. As for him, he truly remembered that day vividly, and how desperate it was.
That day caused him to become enlightened as to what was his truth, his own Dao.
“Let me borrow your cultivation area.” He stood up expressionlessly. “After I leave seclusion, you can come to me if you have questions.”
“Sir! Do as you please! No, I’ll take you there!” An excited flush suddenly appeared on Zhou Tingting’s face. He wasn’t leaving! This cultivator wasn’t leaving! This was the acceptance of her friendship. Moreover, he appeared to be quite easy-going. In half a year, she could ask several cultivation questions that had long nagged at her!
Xu Yangyi’s gaze seemed to hardly ripple as he looked at Zhou Tingting leading the way ahead of him. The fire in his heart gradually calmed down. Merely, calmness was sometimes a kind of soundless perseverance.
Right now, what he had to do the most was cultivate. With Chu Zhaonan at the middle stage, there was no reason for him to still be at the initial stage! He would walk step by step, Qi Condensation… Foundation Establishment, until there was ultimately a day where could use his hand to pinch Vermilion Snow by the neck, chop off her head, and place it at the center of the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena, so she could repent day and night.
“There’s also you…” Xu Yangyi stroked the pendant on his chest, his gaze staunchly resolute like a boulder. For his blood hatred of thirteen years, he had finally set foot in the true world. There would inevitably be a day where he would stand before his nightmare, and personally smash apart this thirteen-year-old nightmare by his own hand.
The duo walked down to the first floor from the fifth and stopped before a large door. Zhou Tingting turned around and bowed respectfully. “Sir, the basement downstairs… is one of several places in Bai County that is pretty rich with qi. Inside, there is a small Spirit Drawing Formation. Would you like me to call for you once every week?”
“Sure.” Xu Yangyi inhaled deeply and prepared to step in, yet he suddenly paused in step. “Have you ever heard of… the Eternal Alchemy Canon?”
“The Eternal Alchemy Canon?” Zhou Tingting tilted her head as she pondered it over, yet her answer went against Xu Yangyi’s expectations. “Of course, I know.”
“I’m just asking.” Xu Yangyi replied without so much as batting an eyelid, and his gaze gently swept over the other. “You actually know what that is with your status?”
“The news forums!” Zhou Tingting awkwardly laughed. “It’s on there… also… also, you would even know about the Eternal Alchemy Canon if you Baidu’d it…”
Xu Yangyi’s brows slightly stirred, and he raised his chin, hinting to the girl to continue speaking.
“Sir, you should know that the Tang dynasty was one of the most flourishing eras in China for Daoism, right? It was because their emperors, of the Li lineage, all had a weakness among all of China’s emperors, and that was to demonstrate the legitimacy of their throne by using the relationships they’d obtained with celestial immortals. This was to prove they had received the Mandate of Heaven, and their lives would be eternal and prosperous. The immortal that the Tang won over was the Old Master, Lao Er.” 
“However, the reason why Daoism thrived was because in the Han dynasty before the Tang, an extraordinarily famous scholar appeared. Wei Boyang of the Eastern Han wrote a text that could even be said to be the basis of Daoism…” She pursed her lips and looked towards Xu Yangyi. “Its name is The Harmony of the Trium, but it has another name, and that’s The Eternal Alchemy Canon!” 
2. The Harmony of the Trium is my personal spin on the various translated titles of “周易参同契”, which has been translated by other as “The Kinship of Three” and “ The Kinship of Three in Accordance with the Book of Changes”. In case you are unaware, the Book of Changes is considered one of THE Daoist text. I thought about using the title “The Trinity” but as you may know, this is a term used in Christianity. The three components of the unities can be considered: the Dao, cosmology, and alchemy.