Book 11: Chapter 38 – Instant World
Deep in her heart, the green-haired woman, Xi Wei, was biased toward a certain way of thinking. She knew that the Meishan Clan Master had managed to reach the fifth vine leaf world after having cultivated for a long period of time, so the probability of him crossing the impassable stage was higher. Nonetheless, she was still more biased toward Xue Ying, since his innate talent and potential were much higher. As for the Meishan Clan Master? Back during the time when the sacred master was still alive, he would become a mere honorary disciple. Meanwhile, Xue Ying would have been qualified to receive better training.
She briefly explained the rules to the Meishan Clan Master, and he quickly descended toward the fifth vine leaf world, where he sat cross-legged.
Day after day passed.
In that state of absolute isolation, Xue Ying could eventually no longer stop himself from becoming fidgety. Despite having deduced, both from the relapses of his hex poison and his heart rate, that two years had already passed, the seclusion was still so much worse than even the hundred years’ worth of torture inflicted by the Six Ghosts Resentment. Even under the torturous pain of the hex poison, he could still see the sunlight, feel the wind, watch the night sky, enjoy the occasional piping-hot bun, or travel all over the world with Jing Qiu.
But now, he was surrounded by nothingness!
Soon… Two and a half years have already passed. It won’t be long until the three years time limit, Xue Ying thought to himself. His facial expression could no longer hide his distress. Frowns would often surface, and even a savage look appeared from time to time.
The trial of this fifth vine leaf world is also known as the Impassable Stage.
That’s especially because of that last instant before the three year period is up. As long as I hold on to myself through that instant, I get to live. Otherwise, I’ll die, Xue Ying resolved.
Xi Wei watched him from a distance, paying attention to the time all the while. The instant before the three year period is up…it’s that final instant that determines everything.
Atop the enormous fifth vine leaf world.
Xue Ying’s current expression seeped with savageness and agony. He was clearly starting to go mad, though he still forced himself to not let that wanton frenzy overcome him and control him into attacking his surroundings.
Suddenly, a fluctuation descended.
Xue Ying’s expression became serene.
“It’s here.” Xi Wei watched on.
Weng. As the fluctuation enveloped the consciousness of his soul, Xue Ying immediately understood. The final stage? I must endure it.
His soul consciousness was dragged directly into an illusory world.
This illusory world was also known as an Instant World, according to the records. Someone taken inside might feel like they spent a long time in this illusory world, but only a single instant would pass outside! The Instant World confused the memory of the one inside, causing them to forget even their original identity and combat power; everything would be forgotten! Losing all of one’s memories essentially represented them starting a new life.
If one could not struggle free from the Instant World before they grew old in that new life, their soul would crumble apart in both the real world and the illusory world.
Therefore, this final Impassable Stage actually included this Instant World in addition to those three years of isolation.
After three years of absolute isolation, even those peak Transcendents, who were able to endure, would be in an unstable state of heart. Their soul consciousness would then be pulled into that illusory world under those conditions. It was actually very difficult for one to awaken from this state before dying of old age.
The world had an emperor of extremely high status, countless aristocratic noble clans, and an innumerable amount of cities.
Instead of those clans and cities, however, Xue Ying was born and orphaned in a poor village. He managed to keep himself alive by going up the mountain to chop firewood and through hunting.
Somewhere on the mountain that Xue Ying climbed, the cry of a girl resounded,. “Ah! Help! Please help me…”
Wearing a fur coat and carrying the wild chickens and rabbits he had just hunted, Xue Ying felt his ears twitch. While he prepared to rush towards the source of that voice, he quickly shouted, “Little White, follow me.” In response, a snowy-white hunting dog began running right beside him.
The pair—one human and one dog—hurried along the mountain paths before coming upon a girl laid down amidst the weeds; her leg was broken, and her clothes were tattered.
“Help me! Help!” Seeing someone approach, the girl began screaming even louder.
Before coming to her help, however, Xue Ying found himself looking at the girl in a daze. He glimpsed her fair skin peeking through her tattered garb. The most beautiful girl he had even seen, as he grew up in that poor village, was the second daughter of the village head. But even she, compared to this girl in front of him, would be considered ordinary. The girl’s skin was soft and had the allure of white jade. She was simply beautiful, like a Deity who had descended from the heavens.
“What are you staring at?” The girl felt embarrassed once she discovered that her tattered clothes truly did reveal various parts of her body.
“Oh, oh, oh.” Xue Ying recklessly rushed over to help as he could..
“Ah. Your leg is broken.”
“I can’t move by myself, so you should just carry me. Rest assured, though, that I’ll certainly return this favor. I‘ll build a big house for you, or even help you find a beautiful girl for yourself.”
“Alright.” A simple and honest boy, Xue Ying might have been overcome with shyness and excitement, but he still carried the lass on his back.
“What are you called?”
“I am Xue Ying.”
“Your family name is Xue? That’s quite rare.”
“I am an orphan, so I don’t know much about that. Since people in the village call me Xue Ying, I am just Xue Ying.”
“Oh… By the way, why were you up the mountain? Me, I actually fell down from the cliff.”
“Woah, you fell off that cliff? How did you survive after falling for more than five kilometers?”
“I have a protection seal, but you wouldn’t know about it! Let’s just say I survived regardless. Are we going to the city once we’re off the mountain?”
“That would be troublesome. This mountain is really big, and there’s no main road passing through it. You would also have to pass through the many big mountains littered with tigers and wolves…”
“Just tell me how to get off this mountain. No need to make it sound so complicated.”
“I have never left the mountain before, so I don’t know.”
“You’ve never left? You’re this age, and yet you’ve actually never left the mountain?”
“But I want to go home.”
“Oh… I’ll try asking the village head. Rest assured, I’ll definitely help you. Right, what are you called?”
“You can just call me… Fairy.”
Xue Ying took care of the girl until her leg recovered, and then he brought her to the village head to find a map of the area. He wanted to take her out of the mountain.
“Ah, Xue Ying. You must know that it is very difficult to leave the mountain from within. It would be better if you don’t even attempt it. Why not turn back? Go on and find a girl; father some children here, in the village. If you still choose to leave, I have to let you know that even the strongest hunters of our village have a chance of dying on the road.”
“Thank you, village head, but I still want to go out and have a look.”
Thus, Xue Ying brought along the girl called Fairy to leave the mountain.
While she was quite good with a sword, compared to the hunters of the mountain village and to Xue Ying’s blade techniques, she still had a way to go. Along with her, Xue Ying experienced many dangers. He killed many wild beasts around the mountain village; he was even poisoned and injured. But eventually, he still overcame all those ordeals. The days the two spent depending on one another spawned a certain bond between them. Over time, Xue Ying also learned that the real name of this girl who called herself Fairy was Xu Ling.
After three months of harsh trekking, they finally made it out of the mountain with their lives intact. They eventually reached a magnificent city and an extravagant mansion—the mansion of Xu.
That was the Fairy’s home.
Initially joyous at the return of Xu Ling, the Xu Clan soon found themselves enraged.
“What, that poor, savage brat from the mountains? You want to marry him? Are you mad?”
“I want to marry him!”
“Your mother and I have already decided on our partner. Guards, capture that poor brat!”
Xue Ying did his best to resist using a wood-cutting blade, but he was defeated in one exchange by a single guard, who then captured and threw him into the dungeon. No matter how loud Xu Ling cried and shouted, it was useless.
“He’s my savior! He suffered so much to bring me out from the mountain. Father, mother, you can’t be like this!”
“It’s precisely because he is your savior that we didn’t immediately kill him. Now, be a good girl and listen to us—or that might change.”
Time went on, day after day.
Xue Ying was still locked inside the dungeon.
“Add this poison into his daily meals. In half a year, he’ll get sick and naturally die.”
“You have to get married, or the brat dies! The day after you get married, I’ll let that brat go and even give him a huge sum of money.”
“The third little miss is going to get married today!”
“Woah, it’s so crowded.”
Xue Ying could hear those voices from within his dungeon cell, and at that moment, he turned slightly mad. He waited until one of the guards entered his room to bring him a meal. He then somehow beat him unconscious, grabbed the key from his body, and left the dungeon.
It was truly crowded outside.
Within Xu Ling’s chambers, the girl herself stood by her bed in a loose-fitting red dress.
“Ling’er.” Xue Ying rushed over in his tattered clothes.
“Why are you here?” the maid-servant by the side shouted in panic.
“Big Brother Xue Ying.” Still in her red wedding dress, Xu Ling’s eyes turned red as soon as she saw him.
However, an uproar soon appeared.
“The groom is here.”
“What’s going on?”
“Take down that brat. Quick!”
A fight erupted in the courtyard.
This wild brat from the mountains, simple but honest, was not so easy to deal with once he turned crazy. His combat power had somehow increased tremendously.
“Why have you not brought him down yet? Everyone, charge!” ordered the patriarch of the Xu Clan. A large number of guards immediately rushed up, of which two happened to be spear users.
As soon as he saw those spears piercing his way…Xue Ying focused all of his attention on dodging the incoming iron. The spear moved across an arc right in front of his chest. Seeing the spearhead whistling before his figure, Xue Ying’s eyes moved.
He suddenly had a feeling that the spear was extremely familiar to him, much more so than the blade he currently wielded.
Without any warning, he grabbed the spear and exerted his strength, causing the body of the weapon to tremble. With exquisite control, he pried the spear from the opponent’s hands.
Hu la. Spear in hand, Xue Ying naturally unleashed an extremely skillful spear technique. It flowed like a flooding dragon, wantonly charging ahead and crushing everything barring its path. In but a moment, all of the guards were beaten down.
“How could you all be so useless!” The Xu Patriarch felt anxious.
Heaven and earth trembled.
A single wave of Xue Ying’s spear could sweep across a thousand soldiers and cause the entire wall in front of him to collapse. Not even the area over a thousand meters behind that wall was safe from that unseen impact. The total amount of casualties was enormous.
Everyone was shocked at the sight of Xue Ying.
This, this was not human at all!
Xu Ling who was in her red wedding dress, looked at Xue Ying in disbelief.
Xue Ying’s whole figure gradually rose up into the sky. He caressed the spear in his hand while looking at the distant Xu Ling. Her appearance was identical to Jing Qiu’s. This illusory world could actually project a natural scene according to his inner heart. Only through that ability could it really make it difficult for a soul consciousness, dragged into this world, to awaken.
“This Instant World is, ultimately, just an illusion.”
“This spear…” Xue Ying grabbed that spear tight. “In the end, it was still the spear that I’m so familiar with that gave me the chance to awaken.”
Hong hong hong~
The entire illusory world began crumbling apart, as Xue Ying’s soul consciousness started returning to its origin.
Xue Ying opened his eyes.
He saw the vast vine leaf stretch before him, as well as the grand, towering main branch of the Sky-Reaching Vine. Above was the distant starry sky seemingly without bounds.
It was all so peaceful, so familiar to him.
Everything was familiar to him, but at the same time, it felt as if everything had transformed!
It’s not the world that changed; I’m the one who’s different. Xue Ying stood up, smiling. And I’ll be the one to change the world.
Jing Qiu, I have succeeded—I’ve passed all five vine leaf world trials of the Sky-Reaching Vine!
Xue Ying looked up. He could feel blood surge from his heart and throughout his body. For him, everything would be different from that point onward.