Chapter 185: Tall Trees Get Their Tops Blown Off

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Jiang Yanyu’s fingertip was like a sword, spry and lively as a heavenly immortal as she wrote her last word, “off,” on her stele.

The Seven Treasures Pagoda’s examination was indeed extraordinary. The stone steles shrouded in purple clouds seemed to be comparable to Purple Rose Qi. Even Jiang Yanyu was somewhat straining. She had no choice but to exercise her Lesser Thunder Tribulation Realm’s magic energy to finally complete her final “off” character. These short couple strokes soaked Jiang Yanyu’s thin clothes in perspiration.

The Zen mantra that Jiang Yanyu wrote was “tall trees get their tops blown off.”1 She looked at this sentence, and recalling her current environment, Jiang Yanyu could not help but smile.

Any way she looked, she really did not fit the standard. In the Great Chong Dynasty, even Huan Wen’s reputation was slightly less than hers. Did she stand out too much?

Jiang Yanyu was only pondering randomly, not really caring at all, actually.

Having stayed at a sect in the Inner Star Fields, the girl was keenly aware of mountains beyond the mountains. The Great Chong Dynasty was merely a corner of Star World. Her reputation here was merely because this place was too backwards. Even if she was any more famous, no one could match her.

As she thought of this, Jiang Yanyu then looked to her other opponents.

The young monk, Fang Xi, was also finally writing his last stroke. His phrase “the lotus blooms untainted from the mud” showed that he was indeed a direct disciple of the Wanshou Temple. The first mantra he thought of was related to the Buddha.

It was reasonable to say that, given Fang Xi’s Third Layer Thunder Tribulation cultivation, an excellent Zen level in the Inner Star Fields would make even Jiang Yanyu sit up and take notice, but the strange thing was that Jiang Yanyu contrarily was not focused on him. She cared more about her other opponent, one that fell far short of Fang Xi in Realm.

Chen Mo!

How was this man who was a “tree in a forest” doing.

Jiang Yanyu listened to the various warriors’ discussions and ridicule. She looked to Chen Mo and could not help but be silent.

Right now, Chen Mo’s final word had yet to be engraved. He was currently entangled by a Thunder Tribulation cultivator.

Jiang Yanyu was very easily able to distinguish the strength of Chen Mo’s True Qi. Amidst the tens of thousands of steles, she found the mantra that Chen Mo wrote.

“Trees long for peace, winds never cease.”

The girl’s lips could not resist curling slightly. This man was the complete opposite of what she thought, but his artistry was somewhat in line with hers.

What a good “trees long for peace, winds never cease.”

Truly a display of self-confidence.

However, the irony right now was that Chen Mo was basically unable to find peace at all. On the contrary, Jiang Yanyu and the others watched from afar, free and relaxed.

All the cultivators watched Chen Mo, and even Fang Xi threw a glance over.

Probably, they felt a bit doubtful about whether or not Chen Mo’s artistic intention did not have the time to write that “cease” character.

Jiang Yanyu felt a pang of regret. She even believed that Chen Mo could become her rival, but he would be unable to obtain a full score on the first floor of the assessment.

Chen Mo wrinkled his brow, very depressed.

I just wanted wanted to be a quiet, handsome man. How can it be so hard.

“Passing will not be easy. If I wash out here, that would be pitiful.” Chen Mo coldly said.

“Your Highness, Your Servant Tong Jingtian does not wish to make things difficult for you. But I already had my eye on this purple stele. If Your Highness feels this troublesome, then please let us get along.” Tong Jingtian laughed, absolute as if he was the victor.

Everyone stared. Should Chen Mo yield, that would be the same as losing.

And how could Chen Mo ever yield. Furthermore, even if he actually went to look for some other stele, it would be too late.

The last bit of time was almost up. Chen Mo wrinkled his brow, but his heart remained neither hot nor cold, neither urgent nor slow.

Tong Jingtian sneered, secretly pleased. He had already given up on the purple stele engraving. The reason he wanted to hinder Chen Mo was naturally to draw everyone’s attention to his own might.

The jinshi were all no more than twenty year old youths. Few could be as imposing as Jiang Yanyu or have achievement in the Dao like Fang Xi did. The majority of people had arrogance and vanity in their hearts, otherwise, they would not be so zealous about the Divine Warrior Examination.

Chen Mo’s reputation was too brilliant, but it turned out his cultivation was merely Three Flowers Gathered Overhead, and his reputation was disharmonious.

Tong Jingtian thought to himself that he was unable to achieve a full score at the first assessment. But if he was able to humiliate Chen Mo, then his reputation would become even greater than Chen Mo’s. Everything Chen Mo had achieved before would then become his stepping stones.

His plan could not be described as bad. At the same time, Tong Jingtian also had this strength. He was the jieyuan of the Yuan Province located in the Northern Luxuriant Great Province of the Great Chong Dynasty’s thirty-six provinces. Born into one of the Nine Marquis families, he could be considered one of the top ten jinshi in terms of cultivation alone. Although Chen Mo’s reputation was overwhelming, they had never met. In Tong Jingtian’s eyes, this was nothing more than power that the Chang’an Mansion had fabricated. 

If this brat truly was very strong, then he would not have been one of the last to enter the venue along with several Three Flowers warriors during the qualifiers.

However, Tong Jingtian was not arrogant enough to underestimate his enemy. With regards to the well-known Chang’an Mansion, he still had a bit of lingering trepidation, especially towards Chen Mo’s elder sister, Chen Luan. She was the previous Divine Warrior Examination’s zhuangyuan, a first-rate genius. Heaven knew if this Chen Mo had someone behind him or not.

Tong Jingtian did not dare let Chen Mo get close. He urged on his magic treasure to obstruct Chen Mo.

His blade magic treasure was illusory, producing more blades and becoming like a centipede. This magic treasure was called “Centipede Child And Mother Blades.” When attacking an enemy, they would encircle and interlock, leaving no room for escape. It could absolutely contain Chen Mo.

As long as he pushed Chen Mo away from the purple stele, this battle would be his victory.

All the glory would be his.

Tong Jingtian thought this to himself, and he was even more cautious, using the Tong Family’s signature technique “Ox Brute Possession.” The Tong Family had a first-rate martial learning, the “Ox Demon Power.” Its brute force was able to contend with the barbarian tribes. Normal warrior martial arts could hardly get through him.

Chen Mo’s hands and feet were restrained by the Centipede Child And Mother Blades, and he secretly brought out his big stick to beat back the magic treasure.

But the Centipede Child And Mother Blades were interlinked. Break one, the next link would immediately replace it, practically not giving Chen Mo an opportunity to break through.

Tong Jingtian’s Thunder Tribulation magic energy was above True Qi. He controlled his Flying Swords. From high above, his body dressed in black robes gave off a cold and sinister air.

In actuality, to handle this Tong Jingtian was very simple. Chen Mo had the Qiankun One Qi, Bodhi Treasure Karma, and the Northern Dipper Saber. Any one of these was sufficient to instantly dispatch this person.

But everyone was watching. If he used them, he would expose his actual strength.

In this assessment, Chen Mo’s opponent was only Jiang Yanyu. Naturally, he did not want to expose himself so early. Seeing Tong Jingtian decide on hindering him to prevent the carving of the stele, Chen Mo wrinkled his brow and retracted Northern Dipper all of a sudden.

Chen Mo used the Dark Yang Finger continuously.

It struck the Centipede Child And Mother Blades, and then Chen Mo somersaulted with the Bowl Body Techniques, using Qian Three Unbroken.

Three punches like cannons.

Three sharp cracks.

The Centipede Child And Mother Blades were smashed apart, and Chen Mo prepared to use the Zhangtian Seal to first suppress Tong Jingtian. Tong Jingtian apparently recalled Chang’an Mansion’s signature technique. The young man laughed, “I will come face you, Saint Of War.” He struck a hand seal, and his dozen Flying Swords became a mad bull charging towards Chen Mo.

Chen Mo’s Zhangtian Seal shook it.

All of a sudden, there was a bull’s bellow.

Tong Jingtian surprisingly pushed one of his hands forth. This technique was called “Ox Demon Horn.” His punch was as tumultuous as a charging bull. Chen Mo actually did not fear close quarters with anyone, and he had the idea to repel Tong Jingtian and use the Zhangtian Seal to trap him.

Chen Mo’s Bagua punch-intent was brilliant, using the Bagua techniques in succession.

Although Tong Jingtian did not have martial intent, he had cultivated a body of copper skin and iron bones. When the Ox Demon Power was used, he honestly would be in a fervor, like a mad bull.

Whoosh, whoosh.

His punch-intent rocked into the sky. Chen Mo had no thoughts of wasting time with this person, continuously striking the man’s body with several palms. Tong Jingtian was pushed several steps back, his eyes full of malevolence. Suddenly, he brandished an ability with his hands.

A cloud of black qi rolled forth, becoming a dense black mist that devoured Chen Mo.

This ability, “Yin Demon Gathering,” was capable of devouring Essence-blood and True Qi, something that a Three Flowers warrior could not hope to prevail over. Tong Jingtian formed another hand seal. The black mist became an Ox Demon God that fiercely rippled and firmly trapped Chen Mo.

“I win!” Tong Jingtian’s eyes shone.

The spectating warriors were all silent. A Three Flowers Gathered Overhead warrior trapped by a Thunder Tribulation cultivator’s power faced poor odds. Even if he had some kind of ability or treasure, it would be difficult to break through in a short amount of time.

The first floor’s incense stick was already at its final bit. Even if Chen Mo defeated Tong Jingtian right now, he would not have the time to go write that “cease” character.

Xi Wen’s complexion was pale from sheer fury. She nearly crushed the Locust Repeating Crossbow in her hands to pieces. If it was not for her big brother insistently stopping her, the girl would have already used the “Hundred Locusts Art” to shoot first and ask questions later.

“This man is too despicable, to unexpectedly use His Highness’ engraving time to sneak attack.” Xi Wen grit her teeth.

Zongzheng Ying and the others were much calmer than her. “Even if he is unable to write this character, His Highness will still have thirty-seven points, enough to enter the next floor. As for this grudge, worry about it later.”

“Our power is still too weak.” Xi Wu was solemn.

When Qing Wan heard the heartfelt concern that these people had for Chen Mo, her eyes contained conflicted feelings. It was reasonable to say that she ought to feel happy seeing Chen Mo trapped and ridiculed by everyone around him, but Qing Wan actually found she could not find any joy in this at all.

Those surrounding sneers that took joy in Chen Mo’s calamity were so ugly, they made her feel disgusted.

Back then, did she look like this in Chen Mo’s eyes?2

Qing Wan’s heart vaguely stung.


A resounding explosion. Tong Jingtian was startled and pushed backwards. The black qi suddenly broke apart. Chen Mo brandished Northern Dipper, shattering this ability.

A tough haughtiness made Tong Jingtian feel stifled.

How could this Three Flowers Gathered Overhead Realm warrior possess such enormous might.

Tong Jingtian was inwardly shocked, yet he did not concede defeat. He once again operated the Centipede Child And Mother Blades, secretly clutching a talisman as well. Chen Mo’s gaze was ice-cold as he brandished a palm.

A tyrannical force pounded against Tong Jingtian’s body. The black qi covering the young man’s whole body dispersed like panicked ghosts, and his magic treasure was immediately broken. THe incorporeal power firmly trapped him.

Tong Jingtian was stupefied.

A Three Flowers Gathered Overhead warrior was surprisingly able to restrain him.

An enormous palmprint exploded against his body. Tong Jingtian screamed, sent flying away very mercilessly. Everyone watched dumbstruck at the lightning quick turnaround.

Chen Mo did not care for Tong Jingtian’s status. There were only a few final seconds left. Seeing that the stele of purple qi was still blank, to write using normal True Qi was already too late. It was impossible to even write a “cease” character with this amount of time.

Everyone believed he had lost.

Chen Mo instantly took up his big stick and imbued it with Star Energy, swinging it twice.

Northern Dipper’s tyrannical power jolted everyone. The powerful purple qi on the stone stele was unexpectedly ripped easily apart by Northern Dipper. With a rumble, the stele split, revealing numerous cracks.

At the same time, the lights on the steles dimmed.

The first floor’s Ink Meaning examination had concluded.

Everyone looked at the last character that Chen Mo wrote with the might of a god descended, secretly holding their breaths. The purple qi stele was surprisingly broken in the blink of an eye. What a pity there were only two illegible strokes, not a “cease” character at all. Undoubtedly, Chen Mo’s Ink Meaning was incomplete at the very end.

Jiang Yanyu sighed. Just now, she nearly believed that Chen Mo had created a miracle.

Chen Mo looked at the strokes on the stone stele and retracted the giant staff. Surprisingly, he showed a smile. Everyone merely expected that he was smiling out of anger and did not dare mock him any further.

Xi Wen was furious to the point she was nearly spilling tears.

Monk Seven Treasures was neither sad nor joyful as he calculated scores.

In the first floor’s Ink Meaning assessment.

In the end, only three people obtained perfect scores.

Jiang Yanyu and Fang Xi were naturally among them. The seven character mantras that the two of them wrote made all the warriors feel stunned.

However, who was the other person that was actually able to complete carving the purple qi stele? Everyone looked. Even the First Layer Thunder Tribulation cultivators were apparently unable to etch anything.

The only one left that did write a character on the purple stele was Chen Mo.

All of a sudden.

Everyone shifted their gazes to Chen Mo.

His gold leaf’s points changed. Chen Mo’s score reached 42 points, and his name was solemnly ranked third. He achieved full marks in the Ink Meaning test.

Everyone inhaled sharply.

Xi Wen, Jiang Yanyu, Fang Xi, and the rest were stunned.

“Trees long for peace, winds never cease. Chen Mo, 14 points!”3 Monk Seven Treasures looked at the steles and said.

“Great Master, did you count wrong. Chen Mo’s final scribbles are fundamentally not the ‘cease’ character, how can they count.”

“Exactly, he clearly did not write it out.”

“Although being able to carve a character into the purple qi stele is very amazing, this cannot be considered a complete mantra in any way.”

Everyone was unconvinced. If it was not for Monk Seven Treasures being a senior monk of the Seven Treasures Pagoda who had achieved the Dao and cultivated for a century, they would have even wanted to protest this blatantly naked shielding.

Although Chen Mo’s full score made Qing Wan and the others very happy, they also felt a bit confused.

Monk Seven Treasures was as calm as a dry well.

“This character is ‘cease.’ Everyone here simply does not recognize it.”

Does not recognize it?

Everyone was dizzy. In any case, they were heirs of major aristocrats. To surprisingly say they were illiterate, if it was not for fear of Monk Seven Treasures’ cultivation, they would have broken out into curses.

Monk Seven Treasures tapped his finger.

Those two seeming scribbles on the purple stele slowly transformed, surprisingly forming the character, “cease.”

“What is this?” Everyone was stupefied.

“Can it be…” Jiang Yanyu’s brow wrinkled, and her gaze turned solemn. “This is an ancient character.”

“This is precisely a ‘cease’ character in immemorial script. Old Monk just happens to know a bit.” Monk Seven Treasures said.

Immemorial script?

All of the warriors present were shaken.

Star World’s history was long and winding, and its characters naturally were numerous as well. But if divided according to era, then the immemorial script would belong to script from prehistoric times. This script was basically recorded only in various novels and documents. These characters had long died out. Everyone thought they were legend.

“You are actually capable of even immemorial script??”

Everyone was flabbergasted.

Of course Chen Mo was not capable. In truth, the final “cease” character he wrote was from oracle bone script. The “cease” character of oracle bone script consisted of a “v” and a slightly diagonal stroke, looking something like a trident. Its strokes were not the same as the regular “cease” character. Chen Mo saw there was no time to write the standard character and so instead used oracle bone script.

As expected, this script existed in Star World.

But he never imagined its background was so huge, to surprisingly be immemorial script.

The expressions of the warriors who were in schadenfreude before now changed when they looked at Chen Mo. To be able to write in immemorial script, not even the Great Chong Dynasty’s great scholars could manage.

“The Ink Meaning assessment is finished. Jinshi who have less than thirty points are excused.” Pausing, Monk Seven Treasures glanced at the Tong Jingtian who was knocked out cold by Chen Mo’s Zhangtian Seal. “In addition, this child has forfeited his qualifications.” Monk Seven Treasures waved his hand and sent Tong Jingtian out of the Seven Treasures Pagoda. 

Everyone was speechless. They could not help but be very sympathetic to this man. Some warriors that had the same thinking a moment ago to stand out like Tong Jingtian now secretly rejoiced. They really did correspond with those seven characters that Jiang Yanyu etched.

Tall trees get their tops blown off.

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  1. 木秀於林 風必摧之
  2. Here comes the redemption arc.
  3. Full score on this floor.


  1. … the immemorial script would belong to script from prehistoric times.

    Technically, if there is a script, then the times are not prehistoric. The point of prehistory is that there is no writing and thus no historical documents; this is the case even if the writing system is still undeciphered.

    1. True, in a scholarly context. But it’s likely there’s some nuance in the TL that I failed to understand and deliver.

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