History Star “One Stroke Spring And Autumn” Sima Qian1 knew that people would inevitably die, perhaps with an impact as heavy as Mount Tai, or perhaps as light as a goose feather. Chen Mo2 also knew that if things continued like this, by the time he died, his would definitely be even lighter than a feather.
Chen Mo sat cross-legged on the bed with his eye closed, stopping the circulation of his qi and blood. As the saying goes in Star World, Human Star Warriors3 used qi and blood to temper their whole bodies, to detach themselves from the mundane, to reach the Realm of Earth Immortal. But no matter what he did, no matter what method he used, Chen Mo found that his qi and blood were like a water pump, unable to flare up in the slightest.
In Star World, the warriors who were incapable of reaching the most fundamental “Qi And Blood Nine Turns” were predestined in this life to be unaccomplished, to be destroyed like dust.
Heaving a sigh, he had trained since early morning without any signs appearing, but Chen Mo was not dispirited. He had repeated this cultivation motion for more than a decade already. In these ten years, his disappointment had already passed. However, Chen Mo was extremely stubborn. As a result, he never renounced even the smallest possibility of hope.
Chen Mo pushed open the window. A pure white snowy landscape slowly came into view. As far as the eye could see, the world was a brilliant cover of snow, filled with ice crystals and jade trees. Chen Mo could not help but recall that poem of Chairman Mao’s, reciting: “Wrapped in silver and white, a sight exceptionally enchanting, countless distinguished characters, can be seen even now!”
“A good poem, Young Master4 truly has composed a good poem.”
Behind him suddenly came a girl’s praise.
Without turning to look, Chen Mo knew it must be his personal maid Little Tao coming to attend to him. Every morning, she would always punctually enter his room with a basin of hot water. Even though Chen Mo could not reach even Qi And Blood One Turn, his livelihood across all of the Great Chong Dynasty5 was the stuff of envy for even Qi And Blood Nine Turn warriors.
“Although Young Master is unable to practice martial arts, even the Great Chong Dynasty’s Star Generals that inherited Star Names may not be able to compare to you in your literature.” Little Tao genuinely said.
“What literature do I have.” A cold wind blew, making Chen Mo shiver.
Little Tao said with concern: “A blizzard fell last night. Young Master, be careful of chills.” Saying this, she directed other maids to add more fuel to several of the braziers in the room, closing the window even more securely. The temperature inside immediately climbed, becoming as warm as spring.
“Young Master, will you still go for a morning run today?” Little Tao brought the basin of hot water for Chen Mo to wash his face.
Diligence in his studies had always been Chen Mo’s custom. Although he was unable to circulate qi an blood even after so many years, Chen Mo believed that there would one day finally be a change if he trained his body like this everyday.
Hastily rinsing himself, Chen Mo then ordered Little Tao’s accompanying maids to keep the temperature before finally dressing up and leaving the room.
The maids saw Chen Mo still striving so hard in such harsh weather, and they all let out sighs.
“Young Master Chen Mo truly is great. He’s been exiled to the Azure Dragon Town for so many years, yet he doesn’t complain. He even treats us so well.”
“Yes, the other clans’ sisters will receive scoldings at the drop of a hat.”
“It’s such a pity that even though Young Master is such a good person, he cannot train in martial arts. What will we do in the future.”
“Enough chatting, properly do your work.” Little Tao ordered, silently gazing at Chen Mo’s departing figure, recalling that interesting poem again. “Countless distinguished characters, can be seen even now…” Muttering the verses, Little Tao shook her head. This poem was a grand aspiration from Young Master’s heart. It was a pity that in the Great Chong Dynasty, no amount of grand aspiration or heroic words could match strength. Otherwise, this was nothing more than a laughingstock.
Just like Young Master Chen Mo’s present situation.
Chen Mo shivered, shrinking his shoulders. He slowly jogged along the path. The temperature was very cold, the north wind like a blade, cutting into his flesh inch by inch. In a word, it was painful.
Right now, the sky was still dark, and there were extremely few pedestrians about on the street. Even the earliest of risers had yet to leave their doors. However, Chen Mo was not at all the earliest to rise.
Azure Dragon Town, martial arts arena.
A group of fifteen to sixteen year old boys and girls were already sparring on the grounds, training their qi and blood.
The Great Chong Dynasty, even all of Star World, split Star Cultivators into Purple Rose, Heavenly Star, Earthly Star, and Human Star. Earthly Star and above were classified as Star Maidens and did not need further discussion. Human Star was the limit of every warrior who first entered the Star Path.
Human Star had Four Realms comprised of Qi And Blood Nine Turns, Three Flowers Overhead, Greater And Lesser Thunder Tribulation, and Dragon Wind In Man. Among them, Qi And Blood Nine Turns was the fundamental for all warriors. Cultivators trained their whole bodies using qi and blood and were capable of circulating their qi and blood throughout their entire bodies. After that, they used qi and blood to train their skin, muscle, tendons, pores, organs, bones, meridians, heart, and mind. Each phase of training was one turn.
These young men and women were clothed thinly, but they were completely unafraid of the cold. The qi and blood on their bodies were vigorous, like a raging fire. Even from far away, one could feel scorching heat upon their face, releasing a whiff of tyrannical blood and breath from inside to out. From a glance, they were using qi and blood to train their organs and bones. They were Sixth and Seventh Turn warriors.
Punches like cannons cracked in the air.
The young woman leading these boys and girls even more outstanding. She wore black clothes, and her pitch-dark hair was tied in a snake bun. Her figure was slender, curvaceous as a woman’s should be, her eyes as ice-cold as a freezing winter. Compared to the other Blood And Qi Six, Seven Turns warriors, the girl’s martial arts were even more graceful and swift, with a kind of gently floating beauty.
Upon seeing this young woman, Chen Mo’s brow wrinkled.
The girl was named Qing Wan,6 the honorable daughter of the Azure Dragon Town’s Qing Family. Unlike the Chen Family, the Qing Family had been rooted in the Azure Dragon Town for a hundred years. They could be said to be the regional boss. When he first came to the Azure Dragon Town, there was a bit of friction between her and Chen Mo, so he specifically did not want to see this counterpart.
“Chen Mo, you aren’t resting well at home, so you ran out to make a disgrace of yourself?”
Qing Wan halted her shadowboxing. A detached glint glimmered in her eyes when she spotted the jogging Chen Mo.
When the others saw Chen Mo run over, they stopped their sparring one after another. Watching Qing Wan mock him, they immediately followed the girl’s lead and ridiculed him as well.
“Young Master Chen Mo, I can see your whole body is shivering. Can it be too cold?”
“I never thought you’d persist in your training today. I even bet you wouldn’t come out.”
“Not bad. Although you’re certainly trash, you still are quite diligent.”
“To surprisingly dare say that Lord7 Chang’an’s child is trash, aren’t you afraid Lord Chang’an will destroy the Jie Family? You big tiger, ha, ha.”
“That’s not fair, I merely spoke the truth.”
These young men and woman were already very familiar with Chen Mo’s routine. These people were all disciples from the local aristocracy, and they all stuck together. Chen Mo was nothing more than an outsider, but when he arrived at Azure Dragon Town, all of the elder warriors in the Town were forced to bend their knees to them, making them exceptionally resentful. However, these disciples only dared to gossip every day, flaunting their superiority if only a bit. Even though they knew Chen Mo was incapable of even Qi And Blood One Turn, they did not dare rashly take action against him.
The reason was very simple.
They did not dare because of Chen Mo’s background.
Chen Mo’s father was the Great Chong Dynasty’s famous Lord Chang’an. Aside from the Imperial Family, the noble families in the Great Chong Dynasty were split into the ranks of “lord, duke, and marquis.” Those bestowed the title of “lord” were of exceptional achievement and merit, characters even the current His Imperial Majesty would be courteous to.
Chen Mo’s father had three sons and one daughter. Chen Mo was the youngest. His mother left when he was young, her whereabouts unknown, and when Chen Mo came of age to train in martial arts, he was nevertheless slow and incapable of circulating his qi and blood or tempering his muscle and bone. In the end, he was deemed incapable of learning martial arts. If he was a girl, this actually would not have been a problem. Everyone knew that in Star World, girls could bear a Star Name.8 Capability in martial arts was not important at all.
But to the Chen Mo who was a man, this could be said to be a bolt from the blue.
Therefore, even if he was the son of Lord Chang’an, he was treated as a commoner and sent to Azure Dragon Town.
Azure Dragon Town was a little village in Chuan Province.9 It could not compare to the flourishing Changluo10 at the center of Chuan Province, and neither could it compare to the military stronghold of Thorntree. At best, Azure Dragon Town was praised by some literati as possessing enchanting scenery, glory of illustrious sons, and a famous Azure Dragon Mountain. Any idiot could see that Chen Mo staying at Azure Dragon Town was nothing more than an idle life until his death.
In the phrase that some noble families loved to use for Chen Mo.
Two harsh words.
It was quite obvious. For the magnificent Lord Chang’an, a man that the Great Chong Dynasty’s emperor invited into the palace for tea on a daily basis, every single one of his children excelled on the path of martial arts. It was only Chen Mo who was unexpectedly unable to learn martial arts, reduced to a laughingstock. If it was anyone else, they would have already been thrown to the mountain for the wolves.
But Chen Mo did not pay heed to the mockery from these brats. Who was he kidding. For better or for worse, his mentality was that of an adult, one who has experienced great winds and waves, great tribulations in life to have a heart like still water.
However, seeing these brats wave their fists every time, to practice their martial arts so mightily in all respects, his blood rolled, still making Chen Mo feel in his heart that this was very unfair. To think that a seven chi man like him,11 to be unable to personally teach a lesson to these people mocking him, he was honestly depressed.
Without saying another word, Chen Mo buried his head into his robe. He believed there would come a day, so long as he trained like this, that he could incite his qi and blood.
Seeing Chen Mo not care, the people who had been jeering at him felt bored.
“He should play the role of a Young Master properly. To think of training willy-nilly like this everyday, does he actually believe this will work?”
“To be judged incapable of martial arts even by Lord Chang’an, what delusions does he have.”
“He’s nothing more than an abandoned child.”
They could see no fluster, fear, unease, or even anger on Chen Mo’s face, making these normally domineering and arrogant warriors very uninterested. Bullying the son of Lord Chang’an who was on equal terms with the emperor was clearly a very pleasurable thing, but how was it that they were unable to derive any satisfaction.
This was too dissatisfying.
“Make the most of your training, everyone. The ‘Divine Warrior Examination’12 begins in three months. During that time, there will be provincial examinations, metropolitan examinations, and court examinations. This is a good opportunity for you to stand out and gain fame. Do not be lazy.” The middle-aged drill instructor shouted.
Upon hearing the Divine Warrior Examination, these men and women immediately became stern and serious, practicing their boxing and kung fu with even more effort.
Chen Mo ran along the trail to the outskirts, finally stopping under a Snow Bamboo grove. Chen Mo then stood on some stakes and began some rudimentary shadowboxing.
Truth be told, Chen Mo had practiced taichi and bagua before on Earth.13 He did not know how many techniques there were in his mind. It was a pity he was unable to produce “qi and blood circulation,” rendering him merely something attractive but without substance.
Practicing for a bit, Chen Mo still felt no changes in his energy, somewhat dully walking along the dike and taking a gander. Before his eyes was an expansive river, vast and magnificent. All at once, it made Chen Mo’s mood much more tranquil.
“When Heaven is about to place a great responsibility on a great man, it always first frustrates his spirit and will, exhausts his muscles and bones, exposes him to starvation and poverty, harasses him by troubles and setbacks so as to stimulate his spirit, toughen his nature and enhance his abilities.”14
Reciting each of these words of consolation soothed Chen Mo greatly.
All of a sudden, a graceful voice snickered from above him.
“When Heaven is about to place a great responsibility on a great man, it always first frustrates his spirit and will, exhausts his muscles and bones…I never imagined this. You are not that young, yet to have this sort of comprehension, not bad, not bad. How promising.”
Chen Mo’s heart jumped. He turned his head to look, and atop a stalk of Snow Bamboo, a young woman was currently standing on the flexible stalk. Her robe was white as snow, her long hair floating. She was light as a feather, to stand on that stalk that could not support even the weight of a single bird, with room to spare no less.
“Promising, I’m nothing but an abandoned child.” Chen Mo was self-deprecating.
“Abandoned child?” The young woman curled the corner of her lips disdainfully. “Can Elder Sister’s son, can the nephew of I, Chen Qingzhi,15 be an abandoned child?”
Chen Mo’s mouth hung agape as he stared.
- 天史星‘一筆春秋’司馬遷 ↩
- 陳默 ↩
- 人星武者, Tentative. ↩
- 少爺 ↩
- 大重王 ↩
- 青宛 ↩
- 君, I really was tempted to translate this as archduke, but indeed, it’s being used to denote a “Lord” title. ↩
- In this context, “bear” means pregnancy. ↩
- 川州 ↩
- 長洛 ↩
- Seven chi is 2.33 meters tall. This guy is massive. ↩
- 神武舉 ↩
- So he’s a reincarnator? Unlike Su Xing who was a traveller. ↩
- TL taken from here ↩
- 陳慶之 ↩