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The #1 Pretty Boy of the Immortal PathCh1 - Memory of a Failed Tribulation

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author: Yi Shi Si Zhou (一十四洲)
translator: Lanlan
proofreader: Elestrea


A dense mass of black clouds piled up above the city like the black center of a maelstrom. A flash of lightning split open a gash in the sky and a clap of rolling thunder reverberated. Mm6gIv

At that moment, a few young people were gathered together, talking nonsense far and wide.

“Speaking of that roommate of mine… That one called Lin Shu.” One of the youths clicked his tongue. “It’s like he’s sick. I’ve never seen him speak a single sentence.”

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The person next to him popped open the tab of a can of beer and agreed: “To say he’s mute would be flattery. He’s completely expressionless. Quickly go find your own place to live. I seriously don’t want to see him, fuck.”

The loud, echoing crack of thunder was earsplitting. In its deafening midst, torrential rain poured down. S5EtsC

They all turned together as if in accord to look out of the window. “So fucking loud.”

The youth who had just been complaining lifted his eyelids and looked up at the sky. He was suddenly struck dumb and his eyes widened.

“This……” He hesitated in astonishment and said, “Lao San, isn’t that that damned guy standing on top of that skyscraper over there?”

Lao San screwed up his very nearsighted eyes: “Yeah, it really is. It’s raining so hard, is that guy really crazy?” GxfMZ6

“If it isn’t depression, then it must be autism. Either way, he’s not normal.” The youth snickered, rejoicing in his misfortune. “Hey, Lao San, look! Why do you think he’s holding something in his arms?”

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“Mentally ill people are just happier, you know—it looks like a sword.”

But before they could see clearly, something completely beyond their understanding happened.

A huge bolt of purple lightning snaked its way through the black sky in unimaginable radial lines, unexpectedly streaking straight towards the figure on top of the distant building. The light at that moment was so dazzling that no one could clearly see what had happened. fJMsx2

On the street at the foot of the building, many people stood in the pelting rain excitedly taking pictures. Caption: “City X’s thunderstorm is actually like the end of the world, which fellow cultivator is undergoing his tribulation here?”

—That was the last time they ever saw Lin Shu.

When Lin Shu woke up, he became aware that he was lying down. With great effort, he moved his eyes, trying and failing to open them.

“The little idiot’s awake!” A heavily accented voice sounded in his ears. srD6O4

His body immediately froze. His eyelids were as heavy as Mount Tai, his joints were rusty, and he could barely breathe.

I’m allergic to people, really.

He took a few deep breaths. The air was damp and extremely foul-smelling, smelling of decay.

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

Lf aglfv jcv ojlifv ab mlgmeijaf tlr dl, tlr meialnjalbc yjrf cbcfzlrafca. 6wCaNh

Why aren’t you getting up?” That loud, clear voice continued to sound out. It belonged to a middle-aged lady. She seemed to reach out her hand, stretching it out to him.

Imagining the body heat that was currently approaching, Lin Shu’s senses kicked into overdrive and he suddenly opened his eyes.

The woman jumped in surprise when he opened his eyes: “Goddamnit!”

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Olc Vte kjr raloo jii bnfg jcv ujrqfv j ofk ygfjatr. Glhhs, tf olcjiis mjeuta rluta bo tlr reggbecvlcur. PTnCvj

The older woman in front of the bed looked fierce. She wore a hemp aoqun and her hair was coiled up with a thin piece of wood inserted into it. The style of dress was not modern.

Lf kjr lc j atjamtfv tea. Ktlr tea kjr fzagfwfis rtjyys. Yc atf kjiir ugfk yewqs wbiv. Po bcf kfgf ab oliw j wbnlf rfa lc jcmlfca alwfr, yelivlcu j kbgc-bea tea ilxf atlr kjr ageis cba fjrs.

Lin Shu: “……”

The tragedy of the human world. vBQbjD

He only wanted to undergo a heavenly tribulation—after the tribulation, his ascension was not far off. Unfortunately, he had classes in the evening, so he didn’t have time to leave the city and find a mountain range in the country to undergo his tribulation. He had to choose the tallest building in the area so as not to alarm ordinary people.

If anything, his mistake was choosing that skyscraper. As it turned out, the roof had an enormous lightning rod installed on it. The heavenly lightning did not strike his body, but was completely drawn in by that lightning rod. If a cultivator’s heart was not sincere or his will not strong or he attempted to hide from the heavenly tribulation using outside support, he would without exception be subjected to the wrath of heaven. If the punishment were heavy, he would completely disappear without a trace. If the punishment were light, he would be sent back to start anew, like right now.

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Really, he hadn’t thought that the lightning rod would unexpectedly draw in the lightning of the tribulation.

Modern physics, you’re killing me. EqZRdN

Lin Shu took a few breaths and took stock of his body.

His meridians were extremely stagnant and his spiritual roots were bizarre and awful. To say his aptitude was mediocre was simply closing one’s eyes and wildly boasting. For him, trying to cultivate to be an immortal was like a toad wishing to eat swan meat.

He was like a student punished for cheating—not only must he start all over again, but his textbook was also torn up.

The lady saw that lifeless look of his and her anger dissipated. She sighed, saying, “Been an idiot for almost ten years, this isn’t good either—running to out-of-the-way corners all day. This time, you nearly drowned. You have to try to remember more.” 2qsZeg

From a distance came a man’s shout. The woman let out an “Ai!” Quickly tucking his quilt in, she turned and left.

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Her hand almost brushed across Lin Shu’s neck, causing goosebumps to rise all over his body. He had trouble breathing. It took him a long while to recover.

This was a very normal, well-intentioned act of kindness from that lady, but Lin Shu couldn’t accept bodily contact with anyone. The quilt was oddly damp and ice-cold like iron. Being covered up with it was actually even more uncomfortable than remaining uncovered. It really made one unable to enjoy it.

He waited until the old lady had walked a good distance away to get up from the bed. He pushed open the sticky wooden door and looked outside. His eyes caught on the similarly dilapidated houses, gathered together and spread out in twos and threes like a village. The courtyard he was currently in was located on the outskirts of the village. Around the village itself were fields that lay abandoned. Farther away, it was grey and obscured by fog. Nothing else could be seen. xsVofB

The sky was strange and so dark it seemed like very early morning, but there were people walking around and smoke from kitchen chimneys was rising in the air. It was also implausible to say that it was dusk, though. The sky was dark grey without stars or moon and there wasn’t any trace of an afterglow brought on by a setting sun. Ghostly shadows flickered and danced, very inauspicious. For a short while, he was unable to think of anything. He wanted to further examine the scene when he saw a villager walking over. He withdrew his leg that was in the process of stepping out of the door and turned, walking back into the room.

The room was certainly nothing to write home about. It was run-down and messy. For furniture, there was only that single bed and a table in front of it. There wasn’t a mirror, so he couldn’t see his appearance. He thought of that lady’s words: “little idiot” and “mad dog.” He surmised that this body unfortunately was indeed a mentally handicapped dear little brother. He also didn’t know what kind of distinguished appearance he had.

Lin Shu rubbed his messy, weed-like hair, feeling a little suffocated.

Just then, the courtyard door was thrown open with a creak. From behind him came the sound of footsteps. He turned his head and saw that it was that lady from before. SeE6ua

The woman was carrying a white bowl. She stepped over the threshold of the door. As if calling out to a dog, she called out, “Little idiot, time to eat!”

After her yell, the little idiot turned his head and looked straight at her. As always, his expression still didn’t resemble that of a normal person, but it was somehow very different from before.

The old lady frowned. “You fell into the water one time, how are you even stupider than before?”

Saying this, she placed the bowl on the table, turned, and walked out. oIY0yS

On this earth, there were not many quiet people. The idiot was one of them as no one would come to chat with a fool. This was what Lin Shu had been seeking (and failing to find) all along, but this way wouldn’t do. He had to communicate with someone or else he would have no choice but to play the part of an idiot his entire life. Although he enjoyed the quietness, he didn’t want to be an idiot—especially this kind of idiot who dwelled in a moldy room covered by a moldy blanket.

Consequently, when the woman had almost left, she heard a trembling voice from behind her say, “……Many thanks.”

Old lady: “Aiya!”

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She suddenly turned around. “You’re not an idiot anymore!” i07KmD

Lin Shu stiffly nodded.

The old lady was almost dancing and gesticulating for joy. She turned and called out in a loud voice, “The little idiot isn’t an idiot anymore!”

A clatter of footsteps sounded. In a moment, a large group of sickly-looking, malnourished villagers gathered at the entrance, all of them stretching their necks excitedly and looking into the room.

“The little idiot isn’t an idiot anymore?” kxejWC

“That little simpleton really isn’t an idiot anymore?”

“Sure enough, the little idiot isn’t stupid anymore!”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Lin Shu: “……”

Is a fool suddenly becoming intelligent really worthy of this kind of excitement? LsA1ld

The old lady put aside the bowl and advanced toward him, trembling. She grabbed his hand: “You… Can’t you remember anything?”

Lin Shu: “!!!”

Having been grabbed by the woman, his hair was standing straight up all over his body. His eyes turned black. He backed up a few steps as if he had received an electric shock. His soul almost flew out of his body right then.

Unexpectedly, the woman knelt down straightaway. “You must save us!” iVCRjS

Seeing the woman kneeling, the villagers all imitated her, knocking their heads outside.  “You must save us!”

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Lin Shu moved his mouth. With difficulty, he organized what he wanted to say, wanting to ask why these people were kneeling to him.

Unexpectedly, after having not spoken for so long, he was completely unable to put the words together.

He opened his mouth with difficulty. “What do you want me to do?” vCHrB4

A few people started talking and jabbering all at once, especially most resonant voice of the old lady. Fortunately, although Lin Shu could barely speak, he could still listen, so he tried his best to understand what they meant.

Ten years ago, they had been haunted by an unknown demon or ghost—In the end, it became a great disaster in which the entire village was in imminent peril, but then, a Daoist immortal passed by. Using magic, he would protect the village for ten years, with the condition that he would entrust the villagers with a dazed little simpleton who he said was his apprentice.

The villagers had asked, the magic could protect them for ten years, but what would they do after those ten years?

The Daoist immortal had spoken several vague yet impressive-sounding Buddhist subtleties. He spoke of “waiting for fate’s arrival” and a bunch of other, scammer-like nonsense and then floated away. RwYHu6

Now, when the ten-year-long period was already close to arriving and the magic barrier was on the verge of collapse, the little simpleton was a simpleton no longer. It was clear that fate had arrived. The villagers were naturally overjoyed at the unexpected good news, hoping that the sudden enlightenment of this little idiot would get them a method to respond to the situation.

Lin Shu gazed outside.

It was that same scene—demonic vapor and ghostly fog filled the air in all directions. It was said that life forces were extinguished in the fog, becoming living corpses and ghosts. The entire village could be compared to a lonely island on the sea. Ten years had already passed without any news from the outside world. Even though the villagers had worn out their brains, they hadn’t come up with a way out. And if he also could not come up with a countermeasure, it would be as before and they would be trapped in this place.

He had cultivated the immortal path since childhood and his spiritual foundation was exceptionally good. He had practiced for ten years and had effortlessly drifted with the wind and current to the Mahayana. Now he was banished to this place in accordance with the heavenly law. He was not only trapped, but he actually had to speak to people as well. It was truly an unprecedented challenge for him. v5mwqE

Lin Shu stood there. Taking several deep breaths, he did some constructing in his mind and was finally able to build a complete sentence. He asked, “Is there a sword?”

The villagers all looked at him. Unexpectedly, their knees weakened and they wanted to bow their heads and kowtow to him again.

Who could have expected that once the little idiot was enlightened, he was unexpectedly so unflustered and steady, remaining calm and collected. Sure enough, he had the manner of a very capable person, the immortal really did not deceive us!

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The author has something to say: Vzk6p0

This world and setting is largely my own creation and I have not kept to the generally established cultivation rankings.

Coming again to a xianxia world, I hope everyone has a pleasant journey =w=


Translator note:

I’ve fallen down another pit you guys. Save me. 2ZsoWV

This story is super slow-burn, very plot-centric, and quite a bit less comedic than the summary may suggest. I’m excited for you all to join me on this journey!

Also, if you have some ~~money to burn~~, please consider buying the raw chapters on JJ. This author is awesome and amazingly nice and deserves all your love!

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Translator's Note

Here, “Lao San” isn’t his real name. It literally means “[old] three”(老三 – lǎo sān). This is usually a reference to birth order, so it would be a nickname for the third eldest/third born in a family.

Translator's Note

It’s significant that the type of sword he’s holding is a double-edged sword called a jian(劍 – jiàn) as there are some stereotypes associated with double-edged swords (jian) users and single-edged sword (dao – 刀 – dāo) users.

Translator's Note

Literally “咋的又沒動靜了?” = “How are there no more signs of life/no more movement [over there]?”

Translator's Note

So this woman is referred to with the word 大娘(dàniáng), which is a polite term of address for an older woman (aunt/auntie) or a colloquial way to refer to your father’s older brother’s wife. Make of that what you will. It sounded awkward to refer to her throughout as “auntie,” so I subbed in lady or woman as I saw fit.

Translator's Note

I have absolutely no idea what the author is talking about here. Seems to be something like, “Lin Shu’s senses burst into a ball.” The original line is ”林疏的感官炸成一團。”

Translator's Note

The phrase used here literally means “suffer a thousand knives!” (挨千刀的). This phrase apparently comes from an idiom that literally means “[you will be] hacked to pieces/made mincemeat of” which the internet tells me is a common phrase when scolding your significant other and/or child. According to them, it expresses one’s love(?).

Translator's Note

Literally, she looked like a fiend/demon.

Translator's Note

She is wearing a hemp version of the top left outfit:
A picture of seven different types of traditional dress for women.

Translator's Note

So I looked up the Chinese for this hairstyle, but it doesn’t seem like it’s a specific style. The hair is just pulled up in whatever style. The hair being pinned up acknowledges that the woman is no longer a maiden and is a married woman.

Translator's Note

Literally, “scattered ashes and dispersed smoke”(灰飛煙滅).

Translator's Note

He used some kind of breathing method to replace the qi in his body. When I looked it up, I got a bunch of pictures of people meditating. It appears this technique is still used in TCM. Immortal Mountain’s glossary says, “Tu Na Breathing. A special way of breathing which expels the turbid Qi within the body and draws in the Qi of the natural world. An essential part of cultivation.”

Translator's Note

I couldn’t find an exact translation for this term, so I went with a term on Immortal Mountain that was close. If anyone knows the proper term, please let me know. Here’s the definition on Immortal Mountain: “Figuratively, the very foundation (roots) of one’s body and soul. Associated with a person’s innate talent and elemental affinities. Cultivation usually requires some minimum level of innate talent, and many people find it impossible to even take the first step. In some novels, the quality of a person’s Spiritual Roots can be tested to determine if they have the talent necessary to cultivate. Rare individuals may even have special Spiritual Roots which allow them to cultivate quickly or grant them other benefits.”

Translator's Note

Here the author used the words 仁兄 (rén xiōng), which is apparently a formal address used in letters, translating to “my dear friend.” It would sound awkward if I translated it literally, so I chose to substitute it for another address. Also, though I translated it “dear little brother,” I would like to point out that the original Chinese uses the word for older brother instead. I use little to give it a more “bless your heart” type feel instead of literally meaning younger brother.

Translator's Note

This isn’t super important to know, but back in the day the thresholds of doors in China were very high and you have to raise your legs pretty high to walk over them. This may not be true, but I heard that a reason why these thresholds were so large was so that Chinese zombies/vampires (the hopping kind) were unable to hop over them and could not get into your house at night.

Translator's Note

Polite form of “you.”

Translator's Note

What I gathered from this was that the Daoist said a bunch of Daoist-y/Buddhist-y things that sounded impressive yet actually meant nothing. Because the villagers were not well-school in Daoist/Buddhist thought, they didn’t pick up on this and didn’t realize he was misleading them.

Translator's Note

If anyone knows more about Buddhism, please let me know. From what I can gather, this is a particular sect based on the Mahayana sutras. Traditionally, it appears to be more ascetic sect that places great importance on altruistically oriented spiritual practice as embodied in the ideal of the bodhisattva, a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings. It urges followers to imitate such selfless actions.

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18 comments

  1. [Modern physics, you’re killing me.]
    Bro, I’m dead! xD
    Been a while since I’ve read a cultivation bl. It’s been all modern and futuristic recently so YAYY!

    Thanks for the chapter! 🙂

    • Lin Shu is hilariously deadpan. This poor buddy is so socially awkward. Cultivation is always a challenge to translate, but I’m very excited about this novel. Hope you like it!

  2. Lin Shu was in a modern world and then he came back to the ancient times? Ugh. And he has to start with his cultivation all over again. What a harsh punishment. I don’t know how he can save this Village. Let’s see.

    Lan Lan, I’m happy to jump in this pit with you. This story really seems Interesting.

    Thanks!

    • Welcome aboard~! Glad I’ll have some company as I fall down this (seemingly endless–it’s quite a long novel) pit!

  3. The last paragraph though, why do I see a frag being raised there? 😂😂
    Thank you for the chapter, I love these type of worlds.

    • Yeah, I’m excited to see where it goes! thanks for the comment 😀

  4. Yay! Thank you for the chapter and picking it up. This was one of the cultivation novels that I’ve been keeping my eye on. It has finally been picked up! (☆^☆) Looking forward to more. ^^

    • So glad to hear that! I really like this novel, too. And it’s eventually coming out in print in Chinese since it’s very popular on JJ~ Very exciting stuff!! Thanks for the support~ 😘

  5. I really love ancient/cultivation type of novel. When u read, it likes u urself in there seeing the nice clothes they wore. i like chinese clothes/robes. They so pretty.

    Thanks for the chap.

  6. “…not only trapped, but he actually had to speak to people as well. It was truly an unprecedented challenge for him. ”

    En, I can actually relate. So can Murderbot.

    Thanks for the chapter! 😊