At the southernmost part of the Taixuan Continent, on Mount Yanhuo, which spouted intense flames from its peak all year round and spanned a radius of 150km…
A stream of light originating from the north streaked past as it shot towards a remote mountain valley. Countless bright and dim glimmers of light followed closely behind, like a swarm of angry hornets. They chased the streak of light without pause, intent on tearing it to shreds!
The worn out flying ship under the man’s feet had already reached the end of its life; before he had even landed, the ship instantly dissolved into fine dust. Mo Tianliao fell hard towards the ground and quickly curled up into a fetal position so he could roll and soften the impact. As he rolled on the ground, a new layer of grass and mud was added to his already tattered and torn black robes.
Not a single blade of grass grew on the volcano’s peak, but its sides were lush with greenery. The peaks of the surrounding mountains reached high up into the skies and were shrouded in clouds. This mountain valley was situated between two tall mountains, so the land here was rather flat and covered in vibrant green grass. The sole feature here was a short and thick tree, which stood out in the middle of the flat plains.
Mo Tianliao gasped for breath and moved towards that short tree with difficulty. There was barely any strength left in his legs, so he used his arms to pull himself up to lean against the tree.
He had been running for 39 days by now. All of the spiritual weapons he carried had been used up and all of the energy in his body had been spent. He tried to gather up the remaining qi in his meridians, causing a sharp burst of pain in his dantian as he coughed up a mouthful of blood.
Mo Tianliao had never looked so wretched ever since he had made a name for himself as a demonic weaponsmith. Thinking back to how he had fallen to this point, he had only been trying to use some unusual materials to forge a weapon, thanks to a burst of inspiration. Who could have expected that the heavens themselves would react to the forging? The skies had broadcast the creation of a divine weapon, letting the entire cultivation world know that Lord Duantian was making a weapon that could destroy the earth.
“Meow!” A soft call by his chest caught his attention. Following that, a tiny white paw appeared through a hole in his robes. The owner of the paw wiggled around for a bit before realising that this wasn’t the collar where it usually peeped out from, but a tiny new hole that had been created today. In a flash of anger, it made a swipe at the cloth with claws out, widening the hole even further.
Thus, the last spiritual weapon that Lord Duantian carried fell to a cat’s claws…
“Milord, that was your master’s last piece of clothing, couldn’t you have let me die with dignity?” Mo Tianliao wiped the corner of his mouth and lowered his head helplessly. He watched as the little white furball crept out of the hole it had made and shook its grass-stained paws in disdain.
The furball turned out to be a beautiful white kitten. Its fur was as pure as fresh snow, while its eyes were as bright and clear as glass.
The kitten crouched on top of Mo Tianliao’s chest and observed him silently. Mo Tianliao’s handsome face was now covered in blood. In the eyes of the beautiful little kitten, the average-looking man had now become even uglier. Thus, the kitten sat up straight and raised a paw, preparing to slap Mo Tianliao’s face.
Mo Tianliao caught hold of that little paw and kissed it, “Xiaozhao, I…”
“Mo Tianliao, you have nowhere else to run!” Before the man and kitten could say their farewells, those ‘hornets’ had arrived.
All sorts of flying vessels, from swords to ships, carrying cultivators from the various sects, were now gathered in this mountain valley.
Mo Tianliao pushed the kitten into the hollow of the tree behind him and leaned lazily against the tree, watching the people before him with cold eyes.
The faces of his enemies, his old friends, and his subordinates… orthodox cultivators, demonic cultivators, and even the ‘benevolent’ Buddhist cultivators stared back at him from the crowd…
“Duantian, stop this fruitless resistance at once and hand over the divine weapon, so that we can put this unpleasantness behind us,” Elder Yunhe of the Green Cloud Sect intoned while stroking his long, white beard, the very picture of righteousness.
“Yunhe, you old fart, stop putting on airs,” Grand Elder Kugu of the Thousand Ghosts Sect retorted with a menacing chuckle. He produced a small black banner with a wave of his hand, “If you know what’s good for you, then hand over the divine weapon and I’ll send you off on your way quickly! Otherwise, I’ll let you have a taste of this Soul-devouring Banner!”
Grand Elder Kugu’s proclamation pushed those around him to retreat.
Most of the weapons of this world could be sorted into six different grades.
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.
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Higher grade ones that could be used to face down a hundred enemies at once were called immortal weapons. As for the legendary divine weapons that could destroy the earth, no one had ever seen one before, except for the one that Mo Tianliao had not finished forging.
The Soul-devouring Banner in Grand Elder Kugu’s hand was a high-grade spiritual weapon which could almost be called an immortal weapon. It was said to have been made by gathering a thousand wronged souls. Any unfortunate person devoured by the banner would have their very souls torn apart by thousands of vengeful wraiths; even if their bodies died, they would never be freed.
“The Soul-devouring Banner…” Mo Tianliao looked over at the little black and gold banner, “…is just a piece of rubbish.”
“What did you say?” Grand Elder Kugu was shocked.
Mo Tianliao laid his hand on one of the gnarled roots protruding from the ground and twitched his finger, “Old Kugu, do you still remember what you did when you begged me to make the Soul-Devouring Banner for you?”
Grand Elder Kugu’s expression turned extremely sour.
Back then, Mo Tianliao had told him that he needed a special ingredient in order to synchronise his soul completely with the Soul-devouring Banner. That special ingredient turned out to be the heart’s blood of forty-nine of his kinsmen. He then murdered all of his kin, and even seven of his beloved concubines in order to get enough heart’s blood. However, in the end, when Mo Tianliao received that bottle of fresh blood, he had only used it to draw a simple pattern on the banner. Actually, using a prick of blood from a fingertip would have had the same effect, it was just that he had thought a flower drawn with heart’s blood would look better.
This event ended up becoming a thorn in Grand Elder Kugu’s heart, causing his cultivation to stagnate for a hundred years.
“If a divine weapon were to fall into the hands of such a perverse person, the cultivation realm will be in grave danger…” The elder from the Green Cloud Sect lamented, drawing nods of agreement from the other orthodox cultivators present.
Although the demonic cultivators looked down upon the Green Cloud Sect, they agreed with his statement. Compared to the strict sect-bound hierarchies of the orthodox cultivators, the demonic cultivators were like scattered grains of sand, not bound to anyone and striving to stand above all. If they really let Mo Tianliao keep that divine weapon, then none of them would be able to live in peace, not with his infamously unpredictable moods.
The seemingly merciful Buddhist cultivator, Venerable Gaosong, spoke up: “Lord Duantian, you should end your own life.”
The ticklish feeling of the kitten’s frantic scratching on his back made the corners of Mo Tianliao’s lips curl up as he replied, “The number of immortal weapons in the world can be counted on one hand; have any of you ever seen one with your own eyes?”
A bad feeling rose up in the hearts of the hunters. They had been chasing Lord Duantian for over a month. Since the master weaponsmith had countless spiritual weapons in his hands, none of them had gotten away unscathed in this long pursuit. Now that they had finally forced him to use up all his weapons and cornered him in this mountain valley, had they instead walked into his last trap?
As expected, before any of them could react, the two sides of the valley suddenly lit up and the grassy plains turned into a field of blood-red thorns. The mountains shook as the earth split, releasing a sea of coloured lights which rushed towards the skies!
“Welcome, my dear guests! Take a good look at my magnum opus!” The master weaponsmith Lord Duantian continued leaning against the tree in a lazy manner, a carefree smile on his face as if he were simply inviting them to tea.
“AHHH!” Wherever the coloured lights landed, with no exceptions, the cultivators standing there would be turned into a fine, bloody mist.
“Duantian, stop this!” Elder Yunhe finally reacted and leaped onto a flying sword to hover in mid-air. The stronger cultivators all followed suit. Those without the power to do the same died instantly.
Before the remaining cultivators could catch their breath, a loud drone from above caught their attention. A dome of light formed at the top of the valley. It crashed down over them, trapping them inside, and it started shrinking swiftly.
“Damn it, if we touch that dome of light, we’ll also…” When they turned to look at the body parts strewn across the ground, immense terror rose in the cultivators’ hearts.
“This is Absolute Death Valley, a high grade immortal weapon and essentially, an inescapable death.” Mo Tianliao introduced his magnum opus with excitement. He had named it Absolute Death because everything in the valley would be killed, regardless of their identity or their cultivation levels, and eventually, the weapon would also self-destruct. It was a great way to take your enemies down with you.
“Duantian, you lunatic!”
“Milord, please have mercy, we only did it because we were incited by others!”
Swearing, cries of mercy and despair filled the air, together with the mists of blood.
Mo Tianliao slid down the tree a little and turned his head, shoving his head into the fist-sized hollow there. This hollow was the only escape out of Death Valley, and he had originally intended to leave his will there. Now it was perfect for keeping his kitten safe.
He kissed the top of his kitten’s furry head and spoke with the remainder of his energy, “Lucky we haven’t signed a blood contract… When I’m gone, you have to take good care of yourself, don’t let yourself get captured… Learn how to catch your own fish to eat… Don’t play until you forget to eat…”
The nagging voice became softer and softer. Three days ago, Mo Tianliao had already suffered a fatal blow. He could no longer hold on to his consciousness and slowly shut his eyes for the last time.
“Mew?” The white kitten patted his face, waiting for the idiot to wake up and nuzzle him with a silly smile as usual. However, the idiot’s eyes remained shut.
The light dome above them was drawing ever closer. In the next moment, the silly idiot would also be torn to shreds. The kitten pushed Mo Tianliao’s nose in panic. Seeing that he still wasn’t moving, the kitten tried moving closer and licking him.
Hey, this excellency has already deigned to lick you, if you continue pretending to sleep, I’m going to beat you up! Hey!
The nuzzle he was expecting didn’t come. Instead, what met him was a blinding flash of light.
Bang! The entire mountain valley crumbled; rocks fell, grass withered, the limbs scattered across the ground turned into a river of blood… Only the short, bare tree continued standing in the midst of it all.
You’re my cat from now on, you’ll take my surname…
Goodness, such a beautiful kitty turned out to be male…
You’re scratching me again? You’ll be Mo Xiaozhao from now on! Ack, ow ow ow…
Master Xiaozhao, it’s time to eat some fish~ Come give me a kiss! Ack, ow ow…
“Meeeow…. Meeeeooww…” The kitten’s soft cries echoed in the empty mountain valley. The thick-skinned idiot who came too close and enjoyed his scratches was no longer here…
Mo Tianliao is the seme (gong), so let’s call him carpenter* (mu gong) for short!
Mo Tianliao is made of wood (mu), so wood seme (mu gong), which actually means ‘carpenter’
Hello! This is my first cultivation and danmei novel, so do let me know in the comments or on Discord (@timebun) if any of the translations don’t make sense!
This novel has lots of cultivation terms, but I’ll explain them at the bottom whenever they appear~
Lord Duantian (煅天尊者) – A title given to Mo Tianliao, literally means ‘Lord who can forge the heavens’
Mo Xiaozhao (莫小爪) – Mo is Mo Tianliao’s surname, Xiaozhao = little claw
兵器 – weapons
法器 – magical weapons
宝器 – treasure weapons
灵器 – spirit weapons
仙器 – immortal weapons
神器 – divine weapons
Types of cultivators
Orthodox cultivator (道修) – They tend to follow the pure/just/righteous path to cultivation, although that might not necessarily be how they act. Good reputation and manners are important to them.
Demonic cultivator (魔修) – Not actually ‘demonic’, but they tend to be more free on their path to cultivation, doing as they like. Might is right on the demonic side.
Buddhist cultivator (佛修) – Not actually religious, but they follow a Buddhist way of cultivation which is not explained in this story. They try to appear merciful and righteous.