Ch 12: Pie In The Sky


Zhuang Wei was 25 years old, 8 years older than Xu Ziluo.
He was already at the peak of the second layer of Qi Refinement.
This kind of cultivation base is worse than Xu Ziluo’s, but there were a lot of people in the main clan that were unable to break through to the third layer of Qi Refinement even after ten years.
He was not bad.

Zhuang Wei was a member of a small family attached to the Xu family.
Xu Ziluo entered the main clan a few years ago.
Somehow, he seemed to fall in love with Xu Ziluo at first sight and took care of her from the beginning.
Xu Ziluo later cultivated faster than Zhuang Wei and developed contempt toward him.
Zhuang Wei still protected her in every way and didn’t take her attitude to heart.
When Xu Ziluo breaks through the third layer of Qi Refinement, she would even less hold Zhuang Wei in even the corner of her eye.
But Zhuang Wei still didn’t care.

Anyone who knew Zhuang Wei knew that he showed special favor toward Xu Ziluo.
Zhuang Wei had a good temper and a good personality, but Xu Ziluo was just the opposite.
She had some good looks, but her temperament was very unruly.
Zhuang Wei had many friends who thought she was not worthy of him, but he just smiled.

Xu Ziqing didn’t know the entanglement between Zhuang Wei and Xu Ziluo, but he felt very good about Zhuang Wei.
Both of them were peaceful people.
After saying a few words there in the garden, they also felt like-minded.
Xu Ziqing didn’t look down on himself, and Zhuang Wei didn’t look down on Xu Ziqing’s low strength, so they unknowingly talked for half an hour.

Afterward, Xu Ziqing noticed.
Seeing the sky, Xu Ziqing smiled at Zhuang Wei, “Zhuang-xiong1, I haven’t asked you yet, what kind of spiritual herb did you want?”

Zhuang Wei also regained his senses, patted his forehead, and said, “I talked so much with Ziqing-xiandi2 that I forgot.
I was originally ordered by the courtyard master to ask for ten Hongling herbs…” After seeing Xu Ziluo wanting to attack the people in Baicao Garden, he stopped it first.

Xu Ziqing understood, and said with a smile, “It just so happens that the Hongling herbs are mature.
I will go get some for Zhuang-xiong.”

Zhuang Wei smiled foolishly, “Many thanks to Ziqing-xiandi.”

The Hongling herb is a type of simple spiritual herb.
When picking it, one only needed to cut it flat from the ground with a knife containing spiritual power and didn’t need the spiritual power of the herbalists themselves.
So such a simple spiritual herb could be picked by Xu Ziqing himself.

Xu Ziqing went to the medicinal garden, and there were more than 20 plants that had just matured yesterday.
He picked the ten best plants and cut them, put them in a wooden box, and carefully gave them to Zhuang Wei.

Zhuang Wei took a look, and sure enough, the color and lustre of the leaf veins were well preserved.
Knowing that Xu Ziqing had picked them for him especially, he thanked him again before leaving quickly.

Because of this accident, Xu Ziqing made this one friend.
When he entered deep meditation while cultivating that night, he seemed to have sudden enlightenment.
The spiritual energy in his Dantian was compressed rapidly, and finally produced a burst of sound.
The quantity changed into a qualitative change, setting a small spiritual source.

From then on, Xu Ziqing had the cultivation base of the first Qi Refinement layer!

Old Man He looked Xu Ziqing up and down and clicked his tongue in surprise, “Good son, it’s only been three months, and you have a layer of Qi Refinement.
Sure enough, your good fortune is not small!”

Xu Ziqing was taken aback, and quickly said, “It was senior who taught well.”

Old Man He shook his head and said, “You don’t have to be modest.
The children who started with you are still absorbing the aura of heaven and earth, but you are the only one who has a spiritual source, which shows that you have good talent.
However, I don’t know why you were rated as ‘lower-low’ in qualification.
As if those who have cultivated a layer of Qi Refinement in such a short time like you are lower-low! This old man went through three years, and I am not even lower-low!”

Xu Ziqing himself was startled.
He planted a spiritual source in three months, thinking that everyone else was much faster than him.
At this time, when he heard Old Man He say this, he realized that he was actually the fastest.

Old Man He sighed and said with a serious tone, “Xu Ziqing, with your qualifications, your talents would be buried here being an odd-job worker with me.
If you want, I can talk to the Patriarch for you and transfer you to the east main courtyard.
It’s just that your aptitude evaluated by the array at that time was wrong, but I’m afraid you’ll have to start from the fourth courtyard.
If you can break through the second layer of Qi Refinement like a hot knife through butter there, it wouldn’t be difficult to transfer directly to the first courtyard.”

Xu Ziqing listened, and pondered for a moment, but shook his head, “No need, Steward He.
Ziqing only wants to practice in Baicao Garden, and doesn’t want to go to the east main courtyard.”

Old Man He said strangely, “You really don’t want to go? You don’t have any resources with me, but when you go to the main courtyard, you have a monthly allocation and are able to take pills to improve your cultivation.
This old man sees you work hard, and are diligent in cultivation.
You may not be able to get ahead unless you enter the main courtyard.”

Xu Ziqing still refused, “Ziqing is very interested in spiritual herbs, and still asks to assist Steward He.”

Seeing his resolute attitude, Old Man He no longer tried to persuade him.
He wanted Xu Ziqing to have a good future, but when he heard Xu Ziqing say that he liked spiritual herbs and was willing to cultivate by himself in Baicao Garden, in his heart, he felt regretful as well as happy.
He also loved spiritual herbs.
Otherwise, why would he still be tending the spiritual herbs here when he achieved the ninth layer of Qi Refinement so long ago? He would have already gone to be a Great Elder and live a life of ease and leisure! Now that he discovered Xu Ziqing and he had the same hobby, he couldn’t help but find him more pleasing to the eye, going from three points to seven points.

So he smiled and said, “Since you have made up your mind, I will hide this matter for you.
You must cultivate hard to take good care of the spiritual herbs.”

Xu Ziqing also smiled, “Thank you, Steward He.
This junior can’t thank you enough.”

After that, Old Man He taught Xu Ziqing to be more attentive and meticulous, and Xu Ziqing also felt that he seemed to be slowly getting closer to the stubborn and grumpy Steward He.

In recent days, Old Man He suddenly stopped instructing Xu Ziqing on tending to the spiritual herbs and asked him to concentrate on his cultivation.
The things in the garden were also handled by Old Man He.
Xu Ziqing was puzzled, but there was nothing wrong with being able to cultivate for a long time, so he obeyed orders and meditated wholeheartedly.

The absorption of spiritual power was still smooth and stable.
The other four attributes of qi still ignored Xu Ziqing completely, while the wood qi still favored him very much.

The two channels of Ren and Du could be said to be the true beginning of cultivation and were quite difficult to get through.
Even if one had a cultivation method to cultivate, and worked very hard day by day, they might still be unable to make an impact and open an acupoint.
This kind of grueling experience was exceptionally uncomfortable.

Unknowingly, another month passed, and Xu Ziqing finally opened up the eight acupoints on the Du Channel.
Among them, the first two acupoints were difficult, but after overcoming the difficulties, the last six acupoints were relatively simple.

In the middle, Old Man He also came to ask about Xu Ziqing’s progress in cultivation.
After thinking about it, Xu Ziqing only reported three acupuncture points.
He didn’t mean to guard against Old Man He, but he knew more or less that if he wanted to cultivate safely in the Baicao Garden, he couldn’t lift a beam over his head.
Old Man He really valued him, but he was also loyal to the Xu family.
If he really made progress all the way, even if Old Man He kept it a secret, if an incident happened, he was afraid that neither of them would be able to benefit.
Xu Ziqing thought, since the speed of setting down his spiritual source was considered ‘extremely fast’ before, then presumably this speed would not be very slow now.
Subconsciously, he would need to be humble.

Sure enough, Old Man He was surprised to hear that he had opened three acupoints in only a month and said that he had made extraordinary progress.

Hearing this, Xu Ziqing frowned inwardly.
No matter what, there was a sense of unease, so he hurriedly said, “It took a lot of time to get through the first acupoint, but it was easier for the latter two.
However, after getting through the third acupoint, I got stuck on the fourth acupoint.”

Old Man He laughed, “How could cultivation be so cheap? You’re just concentrating on cultivation here.
If you work hard every day, there will always be a day where it pays off.”

Xu Ziqing bowed, “Junior understands, many thanks to Steward He for his instruction.”

Time flew, and in the twinkling of an eye, it was the time for Kaiyuan.

The so-called Kaiyuan was to open a small secret realm called Linyuan.
In this small world of Haotian, there were three small secret realms that have already appeared.
Among which the Xu family was in charge of this ‘Linyuan Secret Realm’ together with the other four great cultivation families, Tian, Luo, Meng, and Wei.
The other two small secret realms were in the hands of the overseas Xianshan Sect.

The Linyuan Secret Realm was opened regularly every five years.
There were countless spiritual herbs, exotic beasts, and treasures in the mountains and forests.
Anyone who could enter it would gain something to a certain degree.

Nevertheless, not everyone could enter this secret realm.
There must be a jade sword as a guide.
The Patriarchs of the five great cultivation families each have a jade sword in their hands.
Before entering, the people who enter will be enveloped in a restriction layer.
After entering, the restriction will disappear, and the treasure hunt can begin.

Except, because it was a secret realm, it was naturally dangerous.
Over the years, those who have been able to enter the secret realm have either obtained special permission from the Patriarch, have extraordinary qualifications, or for other reasons.
In short, the number of people could not exceed one hundred.
Otherwise, the effectiveness of the jade sword would make mistakes, and the extra people would be sent somewhere random in the secret realm.

There were still two days to hurry along to the entrance of the secret realm, and Xu Ziqing knew that he also had a chance to enter this time.
It turned out that Steward He, because Xu Ziqing was very interested in tending spiritual herbs, wanted to take him to Linyuan to see it in person.
When it comes to where spiritual herbs grow abundantly, the secret realm is naturally the best choice.

Patriarch Xu Zhengtian heard that Xu Ziqing was expected to inherit Old Man He’s mantle and stay in Baicao Garden, so he agreed to Old Man He’s request.
This was also one of the reasons why Old Man He had been asking Xu Ziqing to cultivate continuously during this period of time.
Although there were many spiritual objects in the secret realm, there were also many people to divide between.
In this way, some people would act against others in the secret realm.
If they came out and only said they had never seen someone or that they had been killed by a beast, that person could get away with it.

Although Old Man He was determined to protect Xu Ziqing in the secret realm, the protection of others was, after all, something outside of his person.
He also hoped that Xu Ziqing’s own strength could be stronger so that even if he couldn’t retreat from an enemy, he could at least hang onto his life and hold out until Old Man He was able to rescue him.

Hearing Old Man He’s account, Xu Ziqing’s eyes lit up, and he was eager to have a try.
Knowing the vastness of heaven and earth through cultivation, now that he has the opportunity to visit a secret realm, how could he not be tempted? This time, Old Man He really smashed a pie right over his head3.


1, -xiong, a more respectful way to say elder brother; big brother; older brother

2, -xiandi, worthy little brother

3, Likely in reference to the title, Pie In The Sky, which means, something good that someone says will happen but that seems impossible or unlikely.

T/N, Age discrepancy in Chinese novels is common unfortunately, it’s usually not so bad when they are already adults, but alas especially in cultivation novels like this where someone can live for hundreds of years, it’s not uncommon to see.
Take the popular SVSSS for example.

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