He worked his cultivation methods, absorbed universal qi, and completed a microcosmic orbit (1) along the direction of the veins, muscles, and bones in his body, then completed a macrocosmic orbit. He repeated this 81 times, a common routine for cultivators.
The day Luo Jianqing reincarnated, on the way back to Tai Hua Mountain, he discovered that he was unable to inhale the universal qi as he once habitually did. If the universal qi was compared to an innocent yet powerful child, it would’ve been happy to play with the superior level constitution Luo Jianqing before, and now it avoided him like the plague.
No matter how Luo Jianqing worked his cultivation methods, nowhere within three zhang of his body had even a single drop of universal qi.
What Luo Jianqing was practicing was Yu Xiao Peak’s unique cultivation method, the True Nine-Petaled Lotus Record, that was always kept hidden. This was Tai Hua Mountain’s most protected secret. It was said that in those years what Tai Hua Mountain’s grandmasters studied was that very cultivation method, and relied on them to levitate heavenwards and achieve immortality.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the True Nine-Petaled Lotus Record, but this spiritual influence was unwilling to get close to him.
For a long time, Luo Jianqing sat on the praying mat, thinking about this issue, but in the end he still couldn’t come up with an answer. When he had just reincarnated, he was already firmly in the middle stage of Core Formation, and now he had fallen to the beginning of the middle stage. If he fell down like this again, he was afraid that in one year he could drop to the early stage of Core Formation.
After meditating inside his bamboo house for a month, Luo Jianqing got up to face the vast blue sky, and suddenly he had a thought…
“Could it be that the heavens cannot tolerate me any longer?”
Naturally, the heavens had no way to answer him, but the inside of his body couldn’t grow any more. Besides, the still slowly dropping boundaries was enough answer for Luo Jianqing.
But Luo Jianqing did not get angry. He already resented the unjust will of the heavens, and although he knew his world was merely a book, being a cultivator was something he truly wanted. Cultivation was his identity. So what if it was just a book? He was still Luo Jianqing, and there was no way he was “a disciple who had one appearance, in reality a filthy, dark, and jealous person”, or so it was written in that book.
…Cough cough, maybe he was a little jealous.
He didn’t think about it too long, as the time for the new disciples’ first practice experience was approaching. Luo Jianqing packed some essential materials in his storage ring, then went to find the elder who was in charge of leading practice to receive his token.
After he took the Tai Hua Mountain’s leader token, Luo Jianqing had just barely come down from Cang Shuang Peak when he glimpsed a distant ball of fire coming from the sky. His immediate reaction was to turn around and run, but he hadn’t taken two steps when he heard a hurt voice behind his back. “Senior brother, do you have to turn and run whenever you see me?”
Luo Jianqing forced out two laughs and helplessly turned back around, looking at his little junior sister.
From head to foot, she was covered in a fire-red cotton skirt. She had a very small face that had big round eyes with slender tightly knitted eyebrows. She looked extremely sweet and charming, but her arrogant and willful personality set her far apart from the gentleness of women. Instead, she was high-spirited and reckless like the blazing sun above, bursting into thousands of rays of light.
The seven great disciples of Tai Hua Mountain’s seven peaks, the celebrated and famous young generation of the cultivation world, the Seven Children of Tai Hua Mountain.
Among them, though Luo Jianqing wasn’t too old, his cultivation was the highest, and so he was respected as the great senior brother. The other six were currently in the beginning stage of Core Formation, and they could probably go out and start their own sect, but at Tai Hua Mountain, they were still only disciples.
Luo Jianqing let out a deep sigh, and said, “Junior sister, I didn’t see you.”
Mu Tianxin didn’t believe him, and pursed her lips. “Senior brother, you used to call me by my name. You never called me junior sister.”
As she spoke, Mu Tianxin again stepped forward, forcing Luo Jianqing to step back. Mu Tianxin moved forward again, and Luo Jianqing retreated again. And so in this way, the two went one step back and forth on the walkway below Cang Shuang Peak. At this rate, they would be back at Cang Shuang Peak. The junior brothers and sisters watched them curiously. Luo Jianqing finally stopped moving and adjusted his expression to ask, “Xin’er, what did you come to see me for?”
At hearing “Xin’er”, the charming young lady immediately beamed in happiness, but coughed, trying to feign indifference and hide her sounds of joy. “Senior brother, I heard that you wanted to lead the new disciples this time instead of me. I specially refined these medicine pills for you. Please be careful while traveling.”
Luo Jianqing took three small jade bottles from his little junior sister, not knowing whether to cry or laugh. “You mean these?”
Mu Tianxin nodded heavily. “Yes, these.” Her voice had just fell when her face suddenly burst into a brilliant smile, her big eyes fixed rigidly on Luo Jianqing, fiddling ceaselessly under her sleeves, like she was worried Luo Jianqing would not accept her kindness.
He stared at the jade bottles for a long time, then put it inside his storage ring. “Junior sister, I remember that fourth junior brother asked you to refine a third-level medicine pill. You’ve refined these pills for me, so what about fourth junior brother’s?”
Mu Tianxin waved her hand, not seeming to care in the slightest. Like a dictator, she stated calmly, “I’ll make that boy Xie Zizhuo wait patiently.”
Luo Jianqing couldn’t help but laugh. “Junior sister?”
In the next moment, Mu Tianxin also started to laugh softly, without any hint of the small dictator she was acting like just a moment ago.
The two talked for a bit on Cang Shuang Peak’s mountain road, then Mu Tianxin urgently hurried back to refine a medicine pill and didn’t stay long. Before leaving, she looked at Luo Jianqing for a while, reluctant to leave, turning around twice every three steps.
When she walked to the end of the mountain road, the girl in the red clothes stopped and turned around to face Luo Jianqing, saying loudly, “Senior brother, whether I owe you in your past life, or if I like you, that’s my business. Whether you like me or not, that’s your business. Never use the excuse that you like someone else to reject me again. That’ll break my heart.”
Right after her voice fell, the bright red rays flew quickly to the sky and merely left Luo Jianqing standing in his original position, stupefied, and didn’t react for a very long time.
Between the precipitous and craggy mountain road, Luo Jianqing lifted his eyes to look at where that ray of red had just left. After a long time, he finally shook his head lightly.
He took out the three medicine bottles from his storage, two of which were second-level, and one was surprisingly third-level. Even if his little junior sister was the inheriting great disciple of Qing Lan Peak, refining a third-level medicine pill was no easy task. Such a high level medicine pill could only be achieved in the span of a month. He was afraid… that little junior sister had not rested very much.
Thinking about this, wisps of blood floating in Luo Jianqing’s eyes, he sighed wordlessly.
“You didn’t owe me in my past life… it was I that owed you.”
Faint murmurings flooded the atmosphere, and no one was able to make out anything. Suddenly, a stream of green light rose from Cang Shuang Peak and flew straight towards Yu Xiao Peak. Luo Jianqing again returned to his bamboo house. He continued to meditate in seclusion, seeking a solution to his being “untolerated by the heavens”.
Though he couldn’t respond to his little junior sister, he could at least make a promise. “Junior sister, I won’t let anyone bully you.”
A month had passed very quickly. Luo Jianqing took Shuang Fu and returned it to between his eyebrows, a green sword mark appearing on his forehead. He took off the white Yu Xiao Peak uniform and changed into a simple, light, green embroidered gown, then stepped outside.
When he left Yu Xiao Peak, Luo Jianqing turned his head to look at the bamboo house on the summit. After a long time, he returned his line of sight and walked quickly.
The new disciples this time made up twenty-four altogether, which could even be said the most that ever came together in 100 years. Every new disciple all had to go through practice, and this time the leading senior brother was Luo Jianqing. At the same time, there were four Qi Foundation stage disciples who accompanied Luo Jianqing to lead the new disciples.
Twelve junior brothers and sisters were already being taken along by the Qi Foundation stage disciples. When Luo Jianqing caught up to them, the remaining twelve disciples were all standing straight as an arrow, watching him with big eyes. Their gazes carried curiosity, reverence, and gratitude…
Luo Jianqing turned his head and only saw the little girl Liu Xiaoxiao waving her hand incessantly at him, and mouthed, “Thank you big sister.”
Luo Jianqing, “…”
Even if you don’t talk, he can still tell what you’re saying, you know!
Luo Jianqing looked down at the twelve new disciples, directly ignoring the little Liu Xiaoxiao’s fiery gaze. A cold and calm qi field dispersed into the surroundings, pressuring the crowd of children so that they couldn’t breathe deeply.
Luo Jianqing said neutrally, “Those who have gotten on the transporting formation, hold hands and be sure not to separate. Those who entered Qi Foundation, when you enter the transporting formation you will only feel a bit of dizziness, so it would be best if you endured it. Now, come up one by one.”
The little radishes nodded obediently, each and every one of them walking to the transporting formation.
After the last one went up, Luo Jianqing stepped up, standing in front of the twelve people. He turned his head to look at the two disciples in charge of the transporting formation. He lightly nodded, and the two cupped their hands to salute him, saying simultaneously, “Great senior brother”. Then they put in the spirit stones in the trough, preparing to start the transporting formation.
In a flash, the whole world was flooded in white light, boundless, powerful spiritual energy soaring, wrapping up Luo Jianqing and the twelve radishes. Naturally, the transporting formation’s oppressive aura was nothing to Luo Jianqing, but to the little radishes, it was the first time they had been assaulted with spiritual energy. Seeing that it was becoming nearly unbearable for the little radishes, Luo Jianqing helplessly shook his head, flicking his sleeves to block some spiritual energy for the little radishes.
A second later, he saw a little radish looking at him, eyes brimming with tears as he nodded his head with emotion.
Luo Jianqing, “…I was just doing it in passing.”
The little radish strained to nod his head. “Thank you senior brother, thank you senior brother!”
Seeing this small radish being so emotional, Luo Jianqing secretly found it amusing, and felt a little warm inside.
The transporting formation was slow to start, but by the time the thirteen people were really about to be transported, there was a flash of golden sword-light in the horizon. Luo Jianqing only heard a voice echoing in his mind: “Jianqing, did your master not tell you to concentrate on cultivation?”
His voice was as cold as always, but for some reason, Luo Jianqing felt like he heard a bit of urgency.
When this voice echoed in his heart, Luo Jianqing’s entire body shivered, then he slowly calmed down. He sent a voice transmission back. “Master, as the great senior brother of Tai Hua Mountain, I ought to guide these new disciples through practice.”
A long time had passed before Xuan Lingzi’s voice said deep and low, “Jianqing, do you truly want to leave?”
Luo Jianqing grit his teeth and said, “Master, the transporting formation has already begun.”
After waiting for some time, Luo Jianqing thought that his master didn’t want to speak with him any more. But surprisingly, a ray of golden sword-light split cleanly towards his forehead. Luo Jianqing’s pupils shrunk and had just took his sword to defend himself, but he heard Xuan Lingzi’s apathetic voice echo in his mind, “This red seal carried a little thought of your master’s. If you dare not to concentrate on cultivation on the way, your master will surely know.”
(1) Microcosmic orbit (小周天): Daoist qi exercise. There wasn’t an English translation for 大周天 so following this, I called it macrocosmic orbit… lol