Chapter 1826 The Path of Tempering the Heart

“We’ve agreed that you will roam the Yin Yang World as an ordinary rank nine Celestial for a month. During this month, I will suppress your cultivation base, your looks, your Yuan Spirit, your spiritual fluctuations, everything. Here, you are no longer the beloved and respected fairy Zi Yan. You are just an ordinary cultivator that could not be any more ordinary.”

This woman was the Illusive Music Immortal Palace’s Zi Yan. Before entering the Yin Yang World, she had been moved by Yan Nantian’s words.

She wanted to try looking at the world from another angle. Long Chen had always said that this world wasn’t what she thought it was. She had thought that Long Chen’s eyes had been clouded by slaughter and hatred. She had felt that he was wrong, that he couldn’t see the sunlight.

Hence, she had made an agreement with the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither. It would suppress her cultivation base, change her appearance, and make her into a completely different person. As long as her life wasn’t in danger, it wouldn’t help her. This was a tempering experience for her, as well as an experiment.

When she first entered, everything went well. She didn’t bump into any other experts. Relying on her luck and intellect, she found quite a marvelous bounty inside an ancient cave.

At that time, she had been very confident. But on the day that the large mass of experts had entered the Yin Yang World, she had been robbed by seven different experts.

It was at this time that she found that her learning, her principles, her insights were all jokes.

In this place, the only thing was naked greed. Talking reason? That wasn’t worth a single copper coin.

At the beginning, there had been several rank nine Celestials that had grown envious of her divine item, so they had tried to kill her. She had then relied on her power, to repel them and run.

Failing seven times to talk things out with those people had given her a big impact. But the biggest impact was when she had saved an expert who had been injured and lost consciousness when fighting against a Magical Beast. After she had helped heal that expert, he actually launched a sneak attack at her, almost killing her.

It had been the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither that had been forced to come to her aid, killing her attacker. No matter what, Zi Yan couldn’t understand. If it hadn’t been for her, that person would have died, so why would he want to kill her?

Was it really true that greed would always win over everything? Was there really no gratitude?

In the next few days, she had grown somewhat numb. 

Before this, she had been like a swan gracefully soaring over the land. She had seen endless mountains and rivers, endless beautiful scenes that made her feel like this world was so wonderful.

Now, this swan’s wings had been lost. She fell to the mountains and rivers, powerless.

She had once firmly believed that as long as a person could comprehend the Heavenly Daos, they would be able to reform the world.

Now she felt that this line of thinking was laughable. She also experienced the double standards that Long Chen had brought up.

All the experts that she had encountered wished to hear her music, and when they did, they praised her, giving her the name of the Zither Fairy. They prostrated themselves before her, listening closely to her teachings.

However, when she had a different status, the same principles that she was taught before were met with derision and a killing blow. Those people couldn’t even be bothered to let her finish speaking. They just wanted her sword.

Day after day, Zi Yan was in greater and greater pain. She felt her faith and beliefs crumbling around her. The world that she had known was all false.

The Illusive Music Immortal Palace’s disciples only obtained the world’s approval due to the Illusive Music Immortal Palace’s martial might. Without this foundation, they were just a joke.

After the past few days, she didn’t even know how many people she had encountered who had wanted to kill her for her treasures. She had not encountered a single person who had wanted to help her. Some people had just watched from the side indifferently, perhaps waiting for a chance to profit while she fought off her attacker.

Recently, she had lost the desire to talk reason with others. Her heart grew colder and colder. This world made her heart cold. Without the status of fairy Zi Yan, she felt pained.

The thing that she hadn’t expected was that the first person to come to her aid would actually be Long Chen. Even without recognizing her, he had helped her and even given her something to protect herself.

That made her grateful but also ashamed. Long Chen had always been a good person. He acted openly, in the same way that he thought. He didn’t act one way while thinking another.

Before this, she had gone against him, thinking that he was a demon who had slaughtered too many people and thus lost himself. She had wanted him to abandon his slaughter. Now when she thought back to that, she felt herself to be foolish. Wasn’t giving up his slaughter just allowing others to kill him? Had she really been asking him to kill himself? She had even asked it so righteously. Thinking of that, she felt so ashamed she could die from it.

These days where she had lost her status as Fairy Zi Yan had been hell for her. She felt constant pain, and she was barely halfway through her month.

That was why she begged the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither to free her from this torment. She didn’t want to play this game any longer.

“Are you afraid of continuing because you don’t want to see that the world is even worse and more evil than you’ve already seen?” asked the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither.

Zi Yan choked back some sobs as she nodded.

“Zi Yan, this world belongs to the brave. Why do people want to become strong?”

Zi Yan shook her head. If it was before, she wouldn’t hesitate to say a few hundred responses, but now her head was a muddled mess. She no longer had her old confidence.

“Not everyone is full of wild ambitions. Ninety-nine percent of people just want freedom. They want to live, to live with freedom and dignity. Long Chen’s accomplishments are forced out by the cruelty of reality. If he didn’t work hard, if he wasn’t vicious enough, he would die. His lovers would die, and his brothers would die. As for you, you understand many principles, but you have never thought about what you live for. When you were born, your fate was set. You were to be a high and noble fairy, the heir to the Illusive Music Immortal Palace. You accepted that fate. But Long Chen had his own fate. He was a lowly noble’s son in an empire in the secular world. His fate should have ended within that rundown noble family. However, he was unwilling to allow fate to settle things for him. He fought against the Heavenly Daos. He dared to go against the very heavens. As for you? Your fate was set up by the Illusive Music Immortal Palace. Are you willing to let your fate be arranged by others?”

“Senior…” Zi Yan was surprised that the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither would say such words. Was it saying…?

“Don’t be surprised. The reason I have always stayed in the Illusive Music Immortal Palace is because I was waiting for a person to appear. That person is you, but it is not the current you. Child, don’t be afraid. Be brave. Clench your teeth and walk forward. Only by experiencing a painful struggle can you emerge from your cocoon.”

“Many thanks, senior. Disciple will definitely live up to your expectations,” said Zi Yan gratefully as she wiped away her tears.

“Child, you should know that you aren’t alone. You not only have me; don’t you also have an existence in your heart that’s more important than anything else?”

Zi Yan involuntarily thought of Long Chen. That free and unfettered figure that dared to do anything was always present in her heart.

“But he… he already said that the ties that held us together were severed. We are now strangers…” Tears once more sprang up in Zi Yan’s eyes. She thought of the heartless words Long Chen had said back in the Grand Han.

“Foolish child, you were the one forcing him to say such things. You forced his people into desperate straits. How could he not be angry? Do you not know what kind of person Long Chen is? His people’s lives are more important to him than his own. When you fought him at that time, you threw them all into great danger. Did you think he would say something nice?”

“But he definitely hates me to death now…”

“You really are foolish. Long Chen doesn’t truly hate you. Did you not hear it?”

“Hear what?” Zi Yan’s ears perked up.

“Long Chen previously said that you were ‘the same as that foolish Zi Yan.’ That proves that you are still in his heart. Were you unable to even tell that?” 

Hearing that, Zi Yan felt like a curse had been lifted. She became brighter.

“Child, the great era has come. This world is facing huge changes, and a storm of blood is coming. No one can live off of just kindness. If you are really kind, if you really want to save the lives of this world, then work hard on finding the correct Dao,” said the Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither solemnly.

“The correct Dao? You mean, the current Heavenly Daos…?”

“Talking about such things is too early. I know you are a kind child, but you have to know that just kindness without the truth can easily cause disaster. The greater your power, the greater the disaster. Taking pity on a fish you pour boiling water on it, releasing land tortoises in the river, sometimes the harder you work, the worse you make things. You are like a larvae in the cocoon struggling to become a butterfly. No one can help you. If someone helps you, you won’t be able to open your wings in the future. You have to find your own truth, your own Dao-heart. That’s the only way you can find your way and no longer be lost. That’s the only way you can become a true expert.”

“I won’t fail you,” swore Zi Yan.

“Let’s go and continue your path of tempering the heart.”

Only then did Zi Yan put away her emotions and slowly leave. She didn’t go in any particular direction. She was leaving the misty region.

The Seven String Sea Suppressing Zither didn’t ask her to go looking for treasures. It wanted her to find her heart. That was her greatest challenge.

Zi Yan was unaware of it, but her life was currently undergoing a transformation. It was a frightening transformation, a transformation that would shake and terrify the world.

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