Scattered Immortal Chapter 1 – The scattered immortal who climbed out from the underground
In this era where immortals were revered, holy beings were emperors and evil spirits were rampaging around the lands, as a scattered immortal, Tang Qing felt that the pressure on him was very big. Ordinary cultivators only needed to cultivate at ease, meditate, comprehend things that were needed for their cultivation and when their corporeal body surpassed its limits, they would be able to face against the Ninth Heavenly Immortal Tribulation that would descend upon them. If they managed to overcome the Ninth Heavenly Immortal Tribulation, they would be able to become immortal. On the other hand, if they failed to overcome the tribulation, they would vanish like smoke into thin air, which in other words means, die. This was also what people usually meant by, ‘you either succeed or die trying to succeed’. If god would give Tang Qing another chance, back then when he had failed to overcome the tribulation, he would have just drifted with the flow and just die. Beat him to death and he would also never ever decide to change to cultivate as a scattered immortal because the path of a scattered immortal was seriously just too sick. It was sick to the point that even someone like him who would act like he is the big boss and god is the second brother felt that he was crumbling apart. As a scattered immortal, you simply do not know when the tribulation that belongs to you would suddenly descend upon you. Perhaps it would descend upon you while you were flirting around with a woman, perhaps when you were having sexual intercourse, or perhaps when you were just trying to peacefully comprehend a cultivation method, that damned tribulation would just quietly descend upon you. What’s more, the tribulation that belongs to a scattered immortal was many times more frightening than the Ninth Heaven Immortal Tribulation. If it was all only just that, it was still unlikely for it to make Tang Qing felt that he was crumbling apart. What caused him to go crazy was that after you overcome the First Layer Heavenly Tribulation, you still have to overcome another layer of tribulation, Second Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Third Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Fourth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Fifth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Sixth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Seventh Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Eight Layer Heavenly Tribulation……You simply do not know just how many Layer Heavenly Tribulation you have to overcome for the tribulation to finally come to an end. This was just like a path of darkness, where the path continues endlessly with no end at all. “This is the Ninth Layer already……Just when will it finally come to an end?!” Since ancient times, there have been quite a lot of cultivators who have become a scattered immortal. But however, without an exception, practically all of them died in the midst of overcoming their tribulation and up till now, no one has heard of anyone being able to finish walking to the end of this road of no return. Tang Qing has already successfully overcome the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation. Every time before he faces against the tribulation, he would always have a large expectation towards the tribulation finally coming to an end, and every time after he overcomes the tribulation, he would instead be met with absolute despair in return. Expectation and despair, repeating on and on, Tang Qing had already experienced this cycle of emotions 9 times already. “Sigh!” A sigh of helplessness. As to how the things were right now, all that he was able to felt was just helplessness. Shaking his head, Tang Qing held up the shining gemstone in his hand. After taking a look at the clay and soil mixture above him, and a look at the deep pit below him where the end could not be seen at all, Tang Qing let out another sigh. Arching his back, he changed his posture, with his back sticking onto the uneven clay wall and his legs exerting force onto the rock at the opposite side of him. This way, he was able to rest for a while without falling back down into the pit. After resting for a while, he then began to continue digging upwards with the rugged stone in his hand. Tang Qing clearly remembered that right after he overcome the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, his consciousness started to gradually fade away. When he woke back up, he found that he was buried deep within the underground. However, this was also within what he had expected to happen because the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation was really just too frightening. In the face of the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, the cave-dwelling which he created with meticulous care was like a mere insect, totally not being able to withstand a single blow at all. Just thinking about it now, he could still feel the lingering fears that came from the tribulation. To actually be able to successfully overcome the tribulation and wake up alive...To speak the truth, even he himself also felt somewhat unexpected. Due to the tribulation belonging to a scattered immortal being extremely frightening, and furthermore with each of the Layer Heavenly Tribulation being more sickening as the layer increase, every time when Tang Qing managed to successfully overcome the tribulation, his corporeal body would suffer serious amount of damage, with this time being the most serious out of all the times. This time, his corporeal body suffered an extremely large damage which straightforwardly caused him to lose his entire cultivation. With his entire cultivation gone, who knows just how long would it take for him to completely restore back his cultivation. Undergo tribulation, recover, cultivate, undergo tribulation again, recover again, cultivate again, undergo tribulation again, repeating continuously like this…… Enough, Tang Qing really felt that it was enough for him. Thinking back carefully, ever since he stepped foot onto the path of a scattered immortal, he had been cultivating, thinking of methods to raise his cultivation and being afraid of the tribulation descending upon him when he was not prepared constantly. Having lived for so long, Tang Qing realized that he had not even enjoyed his life for a day at all. All those years, he basically did not live for himself but lived for that damned tribulation. This time, Tang Qing had finally accepted the situation. "The tribulation can come if it wants to for all I cares. If it doesn't come, good. If it comes, I will just undergo the tribulation then. And if I can’t overcome the tribulation, I will just die then. I don’t want to continue on like this anymore." “Rumbling…….” The strong feeling of hunger and fatigue engulfed over each and every inch of Tang Qing’s body, up to the point that he felt that his entire body was going soft and his four limbs were lacking in strength. After enduring for a while, Tang Qing began feeling giddy. Due to the underground having no air circulation and Tang Qing’s endless digging, Tang Qing’s body had long exceeded its limits. If not for his Ninth Layer Scattered Immortal Body, he probably would have long died in the underground. Just as he was digging, he suddenly sensed something different. The clay and soil mixture above him was obviously different from before. “Could it be......?” A thought came into Tang Qing’s mind and he immediately increased his strength to dig upwards crazily. When the stone that he held onto pierced through the final layer of clay and soil mixture, a faint glimmer of light shined through the hole, which however stung his eyes and made his eyes ached for a while, and even almost causing him to fall all the way back down to where he once was. He did not dare to immediately open his eyes, and instead, he greedily breathed in fresh air from the small hole above him. At this moment, Tang Qing had a feeling of having died and reborn back to life. After feeling that it was enough, he dug out the hole in one go and used the last bit of his energy to climb out of the hole. “This is seriously goddam suffering……” The feeling of complete exhaustion made him felt giddy. After lying down on the floor and gasping for breath heavily for a great while, he then shook his head and wobbly stood up. Taking a clear look at his surroundings, he discovered that he was standing within a desolate ruin. Looking into the far distance, ravines, deep holes and mountain ranges were everywhere. No matter was it the ravines, deep holes or the mountain ranges, all of them were bald with not a single grass growing on it at all. “Seems like the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation was much more frightening than I had imagined. Not only did it destroyed my cave-dwelling, it even destroyed the land within the radius of 50 kilometers to this kind of degree.” Tang Qing shook his head and dragged his currently weak and fatigued body forward. Not knowing how long he had walked, he discovered something strange during the time he was walking. Every certain amount of distance, he would discover a corpse. Some corpse had already been dead for a long time and turned into a pile of bones, while some seemed to have died not long ago. On the bones and body of the corpses, there were distinct scars on it, apparently to have been killed by someone. Not sure just what happened here after I finished my tribulation, why are there so many dead people here? Because Tang Qing’s clothes were boomed to ashes by the tribulation, he was currently completely naked, thus he had no choice but to take off the clothes from a corpse and wear it on himself. Although the smell was somewhat unpleasant, he could only make do with it for now. Also, he picked up a yellow banner from the ground. On the yellow banner, two big words ‘God-Predictor’ was written on it, and on both side of the two big words, ‘deduce formation, evaluate treasures, well versed in techniques’ was written on one side, and ‘save the dead, heal the injured, treat all kind of illness’ was written on the other side. “Not sure who this thing belonged to, to actually know so many things.” Just like this, Tang Qing muddle-headedly used the yellow banner as a prop and wandered forward aimlessly. After passing over a ravine and a mountain range, he finally saw a living person. To be more precise, the living person that he saw was a woman. The woman wore an agile attire and had her hair tied into a ponytail. On her complexion, there was not a slight of cosmetics at all, yet it was still flawless and dead gorgeous. On her back, she wore a scarlet red cloak which brought out her heroic bearings to the greatest extent. In front of the woman, there was a horse carriage. However, the horse was currently crouching on the ground with its head resting on the ground and its eyes half opened half closed. “I treated you so well at home with all the good foods and drinks, and yet you this fellow actually goof off! This is absurd!” The woman wrinkled her brows and reprimanded the horse angrily. Seemingly to have discovered a person walking towards her, she turned her body around and glared at Tang Qing as she shouted out, “Damned swindler, what are you looking at!” Tang Qing originally thought that he had finally met a savior, but changed his mind immediately upon discovering that this woman’s emotions was currently extremely unstable, and it seems that the woman’s temper was also quite irascible. He absolutely did not want to provoke this woman since his cultivation was completely gone right now. Although relying on the Ninth Layer Scattered Immortal Body of his, it would be unlikely for his life to be in any danger, but after all, his corporeal body right now was very weak and not suitable to fight. What’s more, he was able to see that the cultivation of the woman was not weak. If I cannot afford to provoke, I should be able to at least hide right. But who would have thought that just when he turned around and prepared to leave, a shouting sound came from behind his back. “Hey! Swindler, stand right there!” Tang Qing came to a halt at once, or else what could he who had lost all of his cultivation actually be able to do about it? Turning around and pointing at himself, he asked, “Calling me?” “If I’m not calling you, then could I have been talking to a ghost?” The woman rolled her eyes at Tang Qing and said petulantly, “Is there anyone else here other than you?” “What is the matter?” “It is written on your banner that you are able to save the dead, heal the injured and treat all kind of illness. Come take a look at just what kind of illness this horse of mine caught.” The agile attired woman seemed to loathe this kind of Jianghu[^1] swindlers like Tang Qing very much, but right now she could only seek a random doctor to cure an urgent illness. “If you are able to let this horse of mine stand up, young lady I will bestow you 3 spirit stone.” A look at this woman and you would be able to see that she was not someone easy to deal with. Tang Qing did not want to provoke her, but he was seriously just too exhausted already, with his entire body feeling weak. Sitting on the ground and not wanting to move at all, Tang Qing thought for a moment and said, “I will help you cure your horse. There is no need for the spirit stones, but you will have to promise to give me a lift.” “Oh?” The woman seemed to not have expected this swindler to actually not want the spirit stones and said while chuckling, “As long as you are able to cure my horse, there is no harm in giving you a lift.” Tang Qing did not say anything else and walk straightforwardly went over to take a look at the horse properly. To have experienced up to even the Ninth Layer Heavenly Tribulation, Tang Qing’s knowledge and experience were of course out of the ordinary. With a look, he was able to see that the horse was a high-quality good horse. A lofty figure, entire body scarlet red, hair comparatively long, if his guess was not wrong, the horse should be a black flame horse. This kind of horse, when running, its hair would fly around recklessly, similar to a fireball that was burning ragingly. “This black flame horse of yours is not ill.” Hearing that, the woman couldn’t help but went into a daze for a moment as astonishment flashed within her eyes, “You actually recognized out that this is a black flame horse? Your insight is not that bad huh.” Afterwards, suddenly coming back to her sense, she asked, “Since the horse is not ill, why did it suddenly stop running?” “Is this the first time the horse traveled far away from home?” “Eh? Didn’t expect that you this swindler would have some capability!” The woman was seriously astonished, “This horse of mine has been raised at my home since it was born. This is the first time it traveled far away from home with me.” “Then that’s it, it is somewhat homesick.” “Homesick?” This was still the first time that the woman has heard that there was actually ‘homesick’ this kind of reasoning and asked with interest, “Then what do I do?” “Just let me console it for a bit should do.” “Console? How to console?” The woman was extremely curious. Tang Qing squatted down and stroked lightly on the horse’s hair as he said, “Little horse, I know that you are homesick.” “Haha! So funny! Is that your way of consoling it? It is just a horse, how would it possibly be able to understand what you are saying.” The woman laughed. But just when she was laughing, the horse that was crouching on the ground actually moved and raised its head as it looked at Tang Qing’s eyes, with the gaze seemingly just like it has met someone who fully understood it. “This……” The woman did not hear Tang Qing speak anymore, but she saw that Tang Qing’s mouth was moving, seemingly to be silently reading out something, yet at the same time seemingly like he was conversing with the horse. Just when the woman was confused, a scene which she did not dare to believe happen happened. The horse which was originally dispirited suddenly stood up and lifted up its head in high spirits as it neighed loudly. “You……What did you say to it? How is the horse able to understand what you say?” Could it be……” The woman seemed to have suddenly realized something and blurted out loudly, “You know beast taming communication technique?!” “To a certain extent, I guess.” Tang Qing swayed the yellow banner that he was holding, “If I don't have a bit of real capability, how would I dare to carry this yellow banner with me right.” The woman looked towards Tang Qing once again. This time, there was lesser disdain within her eyes and more a bit of curiosity in her eyes because she knew that beast taming communication technique was extremely complicated and people who knew of it were hard to find. She had always wanted to learn but did not have the chance. Who would have thought that this Jianghu swindler who she met today would actually know beast taming communication technique this kind of strange thing. This has truly given her quite a shock. “The horse is already completely well. You said that would give me a lift, you won’t go back on your words right?” Coming back to sense from her astonishment, hearing what Tang Qing said, the woman shrugs her shoulder without a care and said, “Since I Shangguan Ling have promised you, I will of course not go back on my words. I will give you a lift, what’s the big deal.” [^1]: Jianghu (?? jianghú) – literally translates as “Rivers and Lakes”, but figuratively refers to the “underground world of martial arts”. A section of society consisting of martial artists, gangsters, thieves, beggars, prostitutes, merchants, entertainers, and anyone else wanting to operate outside of mainstream society or in the grey area of the law.