Lu Delong, half-human half-yao mercenary, has been training to become more powerful in his quest to be of worth to Cangji, the formidable immortal he desires. To prove he deserves a place in the expedition to Mount Kunlun, Delong risks his life in a dangerous mission against Black Moon Sect. However, as Delong grows stronger, he becomes more aware of the vast disparity between himself and Cangji—ten years is not nearly enough time for Delong to be of much use in the impending conflict that may shake the very foundations of the universe.
Yet the realization only fuels his yearning to understand the forgotten mysteries of his connection with Cangji. Delong knows he will never achieve his goal of saving the celestial dragon if he remains mortal. Luckily, thanks to his past he has a shortcut to attaining immortality.
However, memories from his previous incarnations deeply disturb Delong, and he soon realizes he might not be the innocent outsider in the conflict between gods as he first imagined himself to be.
Between Heaven and Earth Book Two
“THE DAO that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Dao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name….”
Panting, Delong peered out from behind a crooked pine tree that barely covered his twelve-year-old body. He blinked away the sweat rolling down his forehead as he tried to discern any potential followers behind the clouds weaving through the area. Youthful voices continued to recite the Dao De Jing, their words streaming out from the building in front of him. Although Delong had taken that class four times and had already memorized the Dao De Jing to the point where he could write it backward, he was still supposed to be in that building filled with nine-year-olds.
Of course, he would never admit this was because he had learning issues.
Being a good student, Delong would have still attended the lecture in the face of humiliation. However, every time the class ended, unwanted “friends” from twelve through fourteen would wait for him near the entrance of the building to “practice” their anti-yao magic. The pain from yesterday’s “training” session had left a shadow in Delong’s heart, and he did not want to endure the bullying any longer. Despite this, Delong was not comfortable with skipping the class altogether, so he ended up hiding in the backyard of the building. As a half-deer, his hearing was better than average humans’, so he could still distinguish every word spoken in the building.
“Heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long because they do not live of, or for, themselves,” the instructor said after the children’s voices died down. “To become immortal, one needs to put aside their individuality and selfish desires.”
Delong snorted. Wasn’t the desire to become immortal already selfish? To the average human, the existence of gods and supernatural beings were but unconfirmed myths, but humans with enough magical talent knew better. Thus, Daoist sects such as Cloud Fortress would often recruit children with innate ability to train their skills, and achieving immortality would become the entire purpose of a disciple’s life.
If that wasn’t a selfish desire, Delong didn’t know what was.
“Of course, being selfless and devoid of worldly attachments would not be enough,” the instructor continued. “One would also have to perfect their golden elixir to become a xian.” He then went on to quiz the students to check if they remembered what the six periods of training were: lianqi, zhuji, jindan, yuanying, lianxu, and hedao. As an individual’s internal alchemy became more advanced, the individual’s magical reserve and strength would also have a significant breakthrough, allowing the person to cast higher-level spells and create more powerful tools.
Both lianqi and zhuji focused on refining one’s essence into qi, in which one would reach early-stage zhuji after connecting all the points in one’s small zhoutian. Delong was still stuck at late-stage lianqi, which was why he was forced to retake this class over and over again.
The minimum requirement for humans to pass the first Test of Calamity was to reach yuanying level of training, and most humans in the world stagnated at jindan period.
Only legends could get beyond the first four periods of training, but Delong doubted he could even manage to connect his Eight Extraordinary Meridians and reach the third level at this rate. Without reaching the jindan period, he would never obtain a golden elixir inside the area under his navel. The elixir was the essence of a being’s life, and yao and humans alike needed to perfect it in order to shatter the Void and attain immortality.
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Yeyu wrote her first story when she was 7, and she has been creating stories on-and-off ever since, be it writing fanfiction or drawing original manga. She finally ventured into writing original fiction in high school, and stuck with the form.
Most of Yeyu’s childhood was spent overseas, but she is currently living in a small East Asian island most commonly known as Taiwan, where she was born.
When Yeyu isn’t writing in her spare time, she is probably reading, gaming, or sleeping. No cats, sadly.
MY WEBSITE: http://autumnleafrain.wordpress.com/
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