Chapter 1: Wu Yuan (1)

Year 3224 of the Eastern Martial calendar, early spring.

The Southdream Province of the Jiang Continent, Li City.

Though the chill of dawn had yet to fade, a large group of the county martial academy's disciples were already assembled on the training ground, going through their morning exercises.

This was an intermediate martial academy. The disciples were young and their musculoskeletal structures had yet to fully develop. Their understanding of martial arts was still shallow, and they had yet to embark on their true paths of martial arts.

But as an academy of the Cloudstride Sect, a formidable entity among the sixteen provinces of the Jiang Continent, those qualified to enter the academy were either talents from Li City or descendants of martial artists within the sect itself. The collective training of the group exuded a formidable air.

Whoosh! Among them was a disciple who practiced with a short spear. His limbs stretched taut like a great bow, and his waist and hips moved as one as he threw the short spear. The spear whistled through the air and pierced deeply into a wooden post. 

Bang! Bang! Bang! 

Those engaged in hand-to-hand combat moved with the agility of foxes and attacked with the ferocity of tigers. All of them displayed extraordinary martial prowess.

Meanwhile, in a corner of the training grounds, a fourteen or fifteen-year-old boy lay on the ground, propping himself with one arm in a strange posture.

"You need to move your waist a centimeter more. Your limbs aren't spread out enough, and you need to lean forward. Though you possess the strength of a thousand catties [1], you can only exhibit 70% of it." The boy, who wore a coarsely tailored and worn-down martial arts uniform, casually critiqued his classmates from afar.

To Wu Yuan, the vigorous movements of the martial academy's disciples were full of flaws. 

"This world is indeed extraordinary. When I first arrived, I thought it was a low-level martial world. The martial techniques here pale in comparison to those of the Federation. The only thing that stands out is their physical attributes. The ordinary people of this world are strong enough to contend with the martial artists of the Federation, it's truly astonishing." Wu Yuan muttered to himself.

As the youngest martial arts Grandmaster in the Human Federation of the Solar System, Wu Yuan's understanding of martial arts ranked among the top ten in the Human Federation, which had a population in the tens of billions.

Of course, that was all in the past! For Wu Yuan had transmigrated to a new world.

The cause of this transmigration? Wu Yuan wasn't sure himself. By the time he woke up, he already found himself spirited away to this world. 

The process of his transmigration? Wu Yuan didn’t have the faintest notion.

Since arriving in this world six months ago, he spent the first few months in a stupor, gradually recovering over the past month or so as the memories of the previous person were integrated with his own.

It's been half a year since I've transmigrated, but I don't see a system getting activated anytime soon. Guess you can't take webnovels seriously! Or could it be that ... I am not the protagonist? 

In his previous life, he had practiced martial arts from a young age, though he wasn’t a diehard purist.

On the various cosmic islands of the Federation's metaverse, Wu Yuan had been known as a ‘keyboard warrior’. He had also read countless webnovels, allowing him to accept the fact that he had transmigrated with relative ease.

The only thing he was still worried about was his elder sister. But since he was already here, he decided to make peace with it. As a martial arts Grandmaster, Wu Yuan understood that empty thoughts bore no fruit. Strength was the root of action, especially in this Middle Land where might reigned supreme and heroes fought for domination.

After recovering from his disoriented state, Wu Yuan quickly adapted to his new identity and began his efforts to restore his cultivation. Unfortunately, an unfamiliar body and troubling family circumstances caused Wu Yuan's progress to inch forward at a snail's pace over the past month or so.

In my previous life, I had a steady supply of energy-dense supplements and a full-fledged artificial intelligence system monitoring my bodily functions. I also received training pointers from the 'Optimal Path of Martial Arts', the cumulation of over a hundred years of big data by the Human Federation. Wu Yuan shook his head slightly.

As for this life? His cultivation environment was a far cry from before.

However, it wasn't all disadvantages. The deeper Wu Yuan dove into this world, the more he realized its astonishing potential in the martial path. It was not as simple as the lowly martial world it appeared to be.

Reality is not a novel; my sudden transmigration has nothing to do with the heavens finding me handsome. 

However, Wu Yuan was not actually indifferent to the reason behind his transmigration. It was just that he understood. He wouldn't be able to resolve this inexplicable matter for now. Even the Human Federation that had occupied the solar system in his previous life wouldn't be able to.

At this moment, my top priority is to seize first place in the martial academy major tournament in eight days. Wu Yuan's mind was calm.

The martial academy's major tournament was held once a year. The winner was qualified to enter the Cloud Martial Hall, the top martial academy within the Cloudstride Sect's territory. Even its weakest graduates were at least Adept experts.

A fifth-grade expert can be considered an Adept, and is qualified to become a thousand-soldier lieutenant colonel in the city guard. 

In the past month, Wu Yuan gained a certain level of understanding of this world. This was a world where martial sects ruled. Powerful martial artists could become kings or lords! They could erect their own sects! They could wander the world! They could even establish their own empires! Strength determined everything here.

The Cloudstride Sect was considered a great martial sect, ruling over many thousands of li [2] of land. It had innumerable disciples and plentiful experts, making it a truly colossal entity.

However, Wu Yuan was not too interested in entering the Cloud Martial Hall. During his time at the county martial academy, he had encountered a fifth-grade expert who displayed remarkable strength, slightly stronger than his own at the peak of his previous life. But the martial arts techniques exhibited were disappointing, far inferior to what he had previously learned.

Science is the primary driving force of martial arts.

As a doctoral degree holder in the specialization of martial arts, Wu Yuan agreed with this statement wholeheartedly and was a devout practitioner of this belief himself.

Many of this world’s so-called experts spent twenty years of blood, sweat, and tears, just to comprehend some secret techniques. Some sacred martial sects claimed to have a thousand-year-old heritage, but in reality, they only recorded the top skills of a few thousand practitioners. How could they compare to the 'Optimal Path of Martial Arts' derived from the training data of billions of members of the Human Federation?

Wu Yuan was only interested in the martial academy major tournament because of the other award that the winner would receive - 500 taels of silver.

A large meat bun costs three copper coins. 500 silver taels are equivalent to the purchasing power of 500,000 star yuan in the Federation. Of course, it's only enough to buy a square meter of an ordinary property in the Ruling City of the Federation.

Wu Yuan would have looked down on this bit of money in his previous life. A single martial arts duel with other martial arts Grandmasters earned him hundreds of millions in livestream rewards.

But Wu Yuan was destitute in this life. Just slightly better than those on the brink of starvation!

Martial arts practitioners require a much higher food intake than ordinary people. The slow rate of my progress is closely related to my insufficient food intake. If I have enough meat in my meals, my cultivation speed will increase more than tenfold.

Wu Yuan had many plans in mind for his martial arts training, but even a shrewd housewife couldn't cook without rice. Martial arts training was not like cultivating to achieve immortality. One had to eat, and eat well!

The 500 silver taels were the most easily obtainable 'first pot of gold' for Wu Yuan. But most importantly -- It was safe, without requiring him to take any risks.

In this world, the study of martial arts seems to be built on a mediocre foundation. But a fifth-grade expert has power in the tens of thousands of catties. How strong are the first-grade experts who establish their own territories? And the legendary land deities in the Heavenly Ranking of experts? 

Wu Yuan had previously browsed through some records in the martial arts academy. Without sufficient confidence and strength, he would not act rashly.

He was just an ordinary disciple of the martial arts academy. Why would he undergo a sudden metamorphosis? The right way to do things was one step at a time.

500 silver taels. After fulfilling my training needs, the remainder should be enough to cure my mother's illness. Wu Yuan couldn't help but recall his gentle mother's weathered face.

When he first transmigrated over, he floated in and out of consciousness for months. Many advised his mother to give up on him. But she held on, putting aside her dignity to beg the other clansmen and colleagues of her deceased husband to lend her large quantities of silver for her 'son's' recovery.

The hearts of men are not made of stone, how can they be unmalleable?

Over the months, Wu Yuan truly embraced this new body, accepting that this person was now his mother. Naturally, her actions touched his heart.

Having taken the place of her son, I shall bear this responsibility.

As time passed, the memories of the previous person who inhabited this body flowed into Wu Yuan's mind, and he felt the blazing warmth of his mother's love grow each day.

"Xu Yuanhan is here," someone suddenly called out from the other end of the training ground.

"He is the general of defense's son. The military training ground is better equipped, and he even has a dedicated soldier to spar with. He doesn't normally come to the martial arts academy for morning practice."

"Looks like something is about to happen." The training ground buzzed with speculative chatter.

These martial academy disciples were one-in-a-hundred talents in Li Cty. But the newcomer was evidently even more extraordinary.

"Wu Yuan!"

A slightly immature but deep voice rang out from afar. Many students naturally turned to look at the corner Wu Yuan was lying in.

Huh? He's here so soon? 

A burly teenager dressed in an extravagant purple martial arts uniform came into Wu Yuan's view. Standing at around 1.9m tall, he possessed an extraordinary robustness reminiscent of a brown bear. Yet, the movements of his limbs and spine were filled with invisible power, akin to a spear ready to explode forth at any instant. Each step he took radiated remarkable pressure, and he stood out among the rest like a crane among chickens.

He fixed Wu Yuan with a laser-like stare.

"Xu Yuanhan."

Wu Yuan somersaulted to his feet from the ground, soaring more than a zhang [3]  into the air. He stood tall, wearing a friendly smile as he asked, "What is it?"

Wu Yuan was nearly 1.8 meters tall, but he seemed somewhat short standing in front of Xu Yuanhan.

"Last time, I lost to you due to my carelessness. Today, I challenge you to a rematch." Xu Yuanhan stared at Wu Yuan.

1. 1 catty = 0.5 kg

2. 1 li = 0.5km

3. 1 zhang = 3.3 meters

Whysee's Thoughts

For reference:

Middle Land > Jiang Continent > Southdream Province (one of 3 provinces under Cloudstride Sect’s jurisdiction) > Li County > Li City (Wu Yuan's home)

Hello dear readers 👋 Welcome to the start of Yuan's Ascension. I'm WhySee, your translator for this novel, and it’s my absolute pleasure to be translating this incredible story for readers around the world! 

I understand that this novel is not the most straightforward in terms of geography and cultivation/power system, so I'm working on creating tables, lists, and maybe video explanations to help everyone appreciate the story better. As of now, I've created a wiki ( with some rough details. If anyone would like to contribute to it, you have my immense gratitude 🙏

If you would like to help with improving the story, whether it be correcting a grammatical error, rephrasing a sentence for better flow, suggesting better names for people/objects/powers, or pointing out a logical contradiction, please leave a comment or DM me on discord #whyseetl. To any future contributors, you have my heartfelt thanks 🙇‍♀️

To Keishacrwright, YaMeiHua, weiknarf, WuxiaSinfae, TideSlayer, Serrat, FlatTire, Silenthunder, Kvalera001, and all the other sneak peek readers, you guys are the real ones. And a very special thank you to Keishacrwright for posting the very first review of this novel 🥹

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Happy Reading ✌️


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