Aspiring to the Immortal Path - Chapter 621
Chapter 621: Countryside
A gentle breeze caressed Tang Jie’s face, bringing with it the scent of flowers and the smell of moist dirt.
This was a natural and beautiful world, brimming with life.
Lying sprawled at the bottom of a crater like a frog in the bottom of a well, Tang Jie greedily breathed in the fresh air. At the same time, he used his sense of smell to evaluate this world that he had yet to properly lay eyes on.
The Astral Winds meant that the sky in this place was also green, and the clouds were thick and floated at a high altitude. The spiritual energy was rather concentrated, and he could occasionally see a bird fly past.
After some time, Tang Jie stood up.
Tang Jie was basically naked, wearing only the Mother Cloud Essence Metal armor, and even that had been so badly deformed by the Astral Winds that it looked like scrap metal. Tang Jie took off the armor and circulated his spiritual energy to form a set of clothing around him. Only then did he jump out of the crater to look at his surroundings.
He was in a field, on which were planted numerous unknown golden plants, which looked somewhat like rice. On the other end of the fields was a range of green mountains covered in dense forests.
While observing his surroundings, Tang Jie took out the Mountain River State Diagram stored in his Divine Palace. With a light shake, Yiyi jumped out from it.
Yiyi let out a big sigh of wonder as she looked around. “Wow, so pretty! Big Brother, where are we right now?”
“I still don’t know. We’re newcomers who know nothing about the area, so our first priority is to find someone and ask them about the situation,” Tang Jie replied.
“Where are we going to find someone?”
Tang Jie pointed at the fields. “Look at these plants. They are spaced evenly and neatly, not at all as if they were naturally grown, so someone probably planted them. From the look of it, they appear to be some kind of cereal crop. If that’s the case, then there should be a farmer around here who we can ask.”
Tang Jie shook his body, and the avatar walked out from the original body as Tang Jie ended the merged state.
And then the avatar entered the diagram.
“Eh?” Yiyi gasped. “Big Brother, you’re doing things the other way around now?”
In the past, the avatar had been outside handling business while the original body had focused on cultivation. But now, the situation had been reversed, and the original body was now outside while the avatar was inside.
Tang Jie replied, “The original body and avatar are the same person, so who is outside and inside depends on the situation. I chose the original body to cultivate and the avatar to remain outside because the hidden realm had enough spiritual herbs to cultivate with, but right now, we don’t have anything, so only the avatar can cultivate now. It’s only natural that things become reversed. Moreover, while breaking through the Astral Wind region, the original body managed to break into the later phase of the Diamond Body. I suspect that this is because I can absorb those green Astral Winds using the Parting Classic for me to use. If that’s true, then I should make good use of it rather than keeping the original body hidden in the diagram.”
“You broke into the later phase?” Yiyi was delighted to hear this, jumping up and hugging Tang Jie around the neck.
The two of them messed around for a while before finally stopping. Yiyi asked, “Doesn’t that mean that the entire Astral Wind region is a big supplement for you?”
Tang Jie bitterly smiled. “It’s not that great. I was able to break through primarily because I was only a step away, not because the power given to me by the Astral Winds was particularly strong. In truth, after absorbing all that, I only gained a tiny bit. But the benefit of the Parting Classic is that while that power might not have made me much stronger, it made me much more resistant to the Astral Winds. That was the key to my survival.”
“Oh, I get it.” Yiyi was rather dejected to hear this.
Tang Jie added, “But regardless, this is a path of improvement. Even if it only increases my wind resistance, it’s still worth doing. Thus, once the time is right, I plan to go up and take a look.”
Tang Jie looked up at the sky, and he couldn’t help but think to himself that while he had cultivated almost entirely by relying on spiritual herbs, he rarely specifically cultivated resistance. Even the lightning resistance he had cultivated back in the Valley of No Return had gradually fallen behind, falling all the way to average or even unimpressive resistance.
But breaking through the Astral Wind region had inspired Tang Jie.
Other than seeking power and cultivation level, the original body might have needed to improve itself in other aspects.
The Astral Winds were the best way to hone himself. In the past, Tang Jie had never thought about the benefits it could provide him, as the mere mention of the Astral Winds had people paling in fear, let alone actually messing around with them. This experience had broadened Tang Jie’s horizons.
Sure enough, reading ten thousand books was no match for traveling a thousand kilometers. There were some things that one couldn’t know until one experienced them. Tang Jie was excited over this discovery, and he began to imagine how he was going to cultivate inside the Astral Winds in the future.
The Great Stellar Chiliocosm had many kinds of Astral Winds, and if he cultivated them one by one, his strength was bound to grow.
These were all matters for the future. At present, he needed to find a local and ask them about the area, so Tang Jie brought Yiyi and walked along the paths that ran through the fields.
It wasn’t long before they saw plumes of smoke from kitchen fires rising in the distance.
Tang Jie and Yiyi looked at each other and picked up the pace.
A few moments later, the two of them were standing in front of a village.
A group of children were playing around at the village entrance. When they saw Tang Jie and Yiyi, rather than being afraid, they stopped and stared. They paid particular attention to Yiyi, perhaps because they had never seen such a delicate little girl before.
One child stepped forward and jabbered something at them, but they couldn’t understand each other.
Tang Jie used a translation spell, upon which he learned that the child was asking them who they were and what they were doing here.
Tang Jie replied, “We brother and sister are travelers from afar. Since we were passing by, we wanted to ask if there was a city nearby.”
The boy ran back into the village, and a few moments later, a great crowd emerged, led by a wizened old man.
The two conversed, and Tang Jie learned that the old man’s name was Cheng Shan. He was the chief of the village, and the village was called Daoxiang (Rice Fragrance) Village.
As Tang Jie didn’t understand the local customs, he didn’t dare to make up a story, so he just said that his name was Tang Jie and that he had come from very far away and had been seeing the sights until he had accidentally gotten lost. Put simply, he didn’t know anything about this place, and if he said anything about his situation, they might not even know what he was talking about.
The old man was very tactful and didn’t ask many questions.
Although Tang Jie hadn’t said much about himself, cultivators had a certain aura about them, and one could see how unusual they were simply from how they carried themselves and spoke. And while Yiyi was a little girl, she was so delicate and tender that one could instantly tell that she was no country girl. This pair of siblings couldn’t be ordinary people if they dared to travel the countryside like this. This world also had cultivators, and while the village chief had only heard about them and never seen them before, his many years meant that he naturally knew how to treat a guest. Thus, he treated Tang Jie and Yiyi very courteously, answering every question Tang Jie had.
Thus, Tang Jie quickly learned that this place was called the Verdant Cloud Domain.
Unlike the Rosecloud Domain, in the Verdant Cloud Domain, power was held by the country, not the sect. And in the Verdant Cloud Domain, there was only one country: Fengshan (Phoenix Mountain). All the cultivators served the country, and while there were some small sects, they were all of mediocre strength and managed by the local government. The ruler of the country was a powerful cultivator, completely different from the puppet rulers of the Rosecloud Domain.
Besides this, the greatest difference between here and the Rosecloud Domain was that this place was actually ruled by fiends.
Unlike the Rosecloud Domain, where humans ruled everything, or the Blood River Domain, where three races vied for supremacy, the Verdant Cloud Domain was ruled by fiends. Four fifths of the land was occupied by fiends, and desperate resistance by the humans had only been enough for them to keep the one country.
Tang Jie had just so happened to land in the human kingdom. If he had landed in fiend territory, he would have had to deal with countless fiends. Of course, which side would be the unlucky one there was hard to say.
Fengshan had a total of 36 provinces and more than 200 counties. Daoxiang Village was a small village under the administration of An Province’s Changping Prefecture’s Wutong County. Changping Prefecture was forty kilometers to the south. As for what was beyond Changping Prefecture, and what level the strongest cultivators of Fengshan had reached and who they were, this old man of the village couldn’t possibly know these things.
After explaining things, Village Chief Cheng said, “This is an impoverished and deserted land. If our guests do not mind the crudeness of the village, you may stay here for a while.”
Tang Jie wanted to leave, but this village chief seemed to be very genial, so he decided to accept. Unlike in the Blood River Domain, he wasn’t being chased by anyone and could peacefully cultivate and travel. Since he was here, he might as well see the sights, or else wouldn’t this be a huge waste of opportunity?
With this thought in mind, Tang Jie wasn’t opposed to staying in the village for a few days.
The village chief had someone clean a room for Tang Jie and had Tang Jie and Yiyi stay there.
The night passed without trouble.
The next morning, after Tang Jie finished his meditation, he saw that Yiyi was outside, playing with the children they had met yesterday.
He walked out and was greeted by several passing villagers. An auntie came over with a bowl of piping hot rice porridge, warmly asking him to drink it. Tang Jie did so and found that the taste was pretty good, but before he could offer his thanks, he found that the woman had already left.
The people here lived simple lives, so while Tang Jie was a stranger, they treated him warmly, which left him very moved.
Having nothing else to do, Tang Jie went for a walk, appreciating the village’s scenery. It wasn’t long before he reached the threshing ground.
A muscular young man was there, lifting a large millstone up and down. This millstone had to weigh around one hundred catties, but it seemed almost weightless in his hands, whooshing around.
Tang Jie didn’t want to disturb him, so he simply watched from the sidelines. Perhaps feeling embarrassed, the young man stopped after a while and said, “You must be the Sir Tang from yesterday. My mother mentioned you.”
Tang Jie wore scholarly robes and had a refined air, so he gave off the air of a scholar. Hence the people in the village called him “Sir”.
The young man seemed to think of something. Pointing at himself, he said, “Oh, right, my name is Er Hu.”
Tang Jie nodded. “Nice to meet you, Er Hu. Right, why were you waving that millstone around?”
“This?” Er Hu scratched his head and smiled. “I was cultivating.”
“‘Cultivating’?” Tang Jie frowned. “It looks to me like your Jade Gate was opened long ago, and your Spiritual Space is already formed, making you a Spirit Disciple. Why are you still cultivating using such a crude method?”
Er Hu was startled. “Sir is a cultivator?”
Before Tang Jie could reply, he dropped to his knees and shouted, “Sir, please teach me how to cultivate!”