There is a simple tea shack on the outskirts of the small town near the Canglan Mountains.
A few people were sitting in the shack.
They have no baggage, and they’re faces are not weather-worn from a long journey, but they don’t look like locals and look rather weird.

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The owner of the tea shack isn’t surprised; he sees a lot of this kind of people.

Canglan Mountain is the end of the human world.
There used to be a towering peak here.
According to legend, experts who can climb the peak to the heavenly palace on top of the clouds, are reborn and become gods of the upper realm, so this mountain is called ” Tianzhu”.1

Because the lands around Tianzhu are a forbidden place in the human world, mortal creatures cannot survive near it.
Nothing grows on the entire Canglan Mountain Range, except for strange stones made from the bones of ancient wild animals.
The rest are lifeless, snow-capped mountains.

No one knows what’s behind the Canglan Mountain Range, and no one knows what’s beyond the end of the human world.

Until ten years ago, two sword auras, one clear and one turbid, broke through the sky.
The Tianzhu broke, the mountains collapsed and the ground cracked.
After fire and rain, the original Tianzhu disappeared, and thousands of years of ice and snow melted and turned into a mist stretching for thousands of miles.

A year later, a touch of verdant green appeared at the foot of Canglan Mountain, and the first grass sprouts on this lifeless land.

Three years later, people gradually came here to open up the wasteland.
They found the soil is particularly suitable for crop growth, and it slowly became a small town.

Later, a tea shack appeared at the end of the town, providing expensive tea for those who came to visit the Canglan Mountains.

The tea shack is built at the end of the road.
Further ahead leads to an unknown place.

Most travelers will stay in the small town, go to the tea shack to drink a bowl of thick tea, look at the Tianzhu ruins, and say some weird words.

In the mouths of these people, a person called “Dugu Zhuo” was mentioned countless times.

“Dugu Zhuo’s all to blame.
If it weren’t for him, the Nine Heavens2 wouldn’t…” When the boss served the tea bowl for the guest, he heard a conversation he was already familiar with.

The boss left the table and withdrew his ears impatiently.

He had listened to the story of Dugu Zhuo for several years.
While everyone have heard it, very few people have actually seen Dugu Zhuo.
Everyone only talked about these things.

Dugu Zhuo, a disciple of Qingtian Sword Sect.
Originally a good seedling looked highly upon by the sect, but did something heinous.

He coveted the pair of Xuan and Su swords guarded by the Tianjian Sect for generations.
In order to win the divine swords, he was ruthless and murdered the previous owner of the Xuan Jian3 n order to win the divine sword, he was heartbroken and murdered the previous Xuan Jian owner, his own father!

The Dugu Zhuo who committed the crime of killing his own father severely injured Ye Zhou, the owner of Su Jian, and took it away.

After that, the whereabouts of Ye Zhou was unknown.
When Dugu Zhuo reappeared, he had already refined two divine swords, and presumably Ye Zhou bones had turned to dust.

Holding the two swords of creation, Dugu Zhuo stepped onto the Tianzhu and tried to become a god as a sinner.
The god was furious and knocked him down.
Dugu Zhuo, who became angry and furious, sacrificed the pair of divine swords and broke Tianzhu.
The Nine Heavens, having lost Tianzhu, fell into the human world, and the realm of gods no longer existed,

No longer having a possibility to become god, the cultivation world fell into chaos, and countless cultivators scolded the demon scourge, Dugu Zhuo.

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But they only dared to curse privately.
If they really met Dugu Zhuo, who would dare to speak up to him?

The tea shack was very small, and the two guests in Taoist robes did not deliberately avoid taboos.
The scolding kept entering the boss’s ears, making him frown.

He is just an ordinary person and doesn’t understand the love and hatred of those cultivators.
In his opinion, if it were not the collapse of Tianzhu, the court wouldn’t have sent a group of slaves to open up wasteland.
Reclaiming farmland meant being free from slavery, and he would not have become a rich peasant with dozens of acres of land.

What the guests say, the tea shack owner can’t refute.
He can only pretend not to hear, and stare down at the ground under his feet.

Every spring, a few weeds drilled in the cracks of the earth, the fresh verdant shade looking very gratifying.

Most of the guests from the tea shack came to see the Tianzhu ruins, took a look, drank tea, sighed, cursed Dugu Zhuo, and paid money and left, so the tea shack was empty at noon.

The east wind blew.
Even in spring, the cold wind is still a bit bitter.
Seeing that the guests are all gone, the owner of the tea shack cleaned up the stall, preparing to go home.

At this moment, a man in black, wearing a hat and carrying a package, walked into the tea shack and sat at the corner table.

“A bowl of hot tea.” When the man put the package on the table it made a slight “clang” sound.
The package was obviously a weapon.

The boss didn’t dare to neglect him, and hurriedly brought a big bowl of steaming tea.

When putting down the tea bowl, the boss inadvertently saw the man’s face and couldn’t help but zone out for a while.

This person is too good-looking, better-looking than the small town’s tofu Xi Shi, better-looking than the white flowers in the spring mountains, and better-looking than the snowy scenery outside the windows in winter.

It is also colder than ice and snow.

The boss didn’t dare to look at him directly, and returned to the pantry, peeking at the man in black through a gap in the wood.

He stretched out his hand to lift the tea bowl.
His fingers were distinct, thin and slender like a strong bamboo.
Across his fingers and on the back of his hands were sword scars, like jade that was shattered and glued back, giving people a shocking pain just thinking about it.

The black-clothed man drank the hot tea slowly.
Each movement was pleasing to the eyes, and seemed very well-educated.

He put down the empty tea bowl, did not call the boss to refill the tea, but took out a piece of warm jade from his arms and looked at it quietly.

A jade of excellent color was placed on a palm full of knife marks looked very unmatched.

The man in black frowned slightly, as if he was in a bad mood.
He put his other hand on the package, and the sound of metal colliding came again, and the tea shack owner couldn’t help shrinking his neck.

At this time, a slightly chilly spring breeze was blowing.
An early spring apricot flower fell on the warm jade held in his palm, the pale pink petals making the warm jade appear more lush, full of vitality.

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The black-clothed man looked at his palm and smiled softly.
The contours of the face under the hat became soft, and the murderous air dissipated a lot with this smile.

The tea shack owner suddenly relaxed, and boldly poked his head out of the tea room and asked: “Guest, do you want to more tea?”

“No.” The black-clothed man put down a piece of silver, carried the package, got up, and left the tea shack.

Seeing his direction was the Canglan Mountains where no one dared to step, the boss couldn’t help chasing after him.
He shouted from behind, “Guest, in front of you is a forbidden place.
It is said that the Demon King Dugu Zhuo is there.
You can’t go to the Canglan Mountains to practice cultivation!”

The black-clothed man had no intention of paying attention to the tea shack owner.
Hearing this, he stopped, turned slightly, lifted the hat, revealing most of his face.

His body seemed to be fused with the misty Canglan Mountains.
His sight fell on the boss with a look through the turmoil of the world, and his voice was not happy or angry: “I am Dugu Zhuo.”

After that, he pressed down the hat, turned and continued along the path, disappearing in the mist after a short while.

Long after he left, the owner of the tea shack sat on the ground, trembling.
“He is Dugu Zhuo?”

The demon who deceived his master, killed his father, and slaughtered the gods, Dugu Zhuo?

“How come?” the tea shack owner murmured.

Getting up to clean the table and chairs, he saw a pale pink apricot blossom beside the tea bowl Dugu Zhuo had used.
The petals were intact.

“Impossible.” The boss said again.

The black-clothed Dugu Zhuo, who puzzled the boss, had already set foot on the Canglan Mountains.
It seemed that he felt that the former site of Tianzhu was under his feet.

“Quiet.” Dugu Zhuo shouted in a low voice.

The contents of the package bounced twice restlessly.
Dugu Zhuo unwrapped the package to reveal two broken swords inside.

The two swords that used to create the world have now become four pieces of rusty scrap iron.
The Dugu Zhuo who once cut off the Tianzhu and fought against the Nine Heavens has also shattered his dantian4, and there is not much time.

Dugu Zhuo picked up the Su Jian, hung the piece of warm jade on the hilt of the broken sword, and waited quietly for a moment.
The warm jade and broken sword made no response.

Not here either.

From the ends of the earth to here, there is nowhere to be seen.5

For ten years, Dugu Zhuo has traveled to every corner of the human world, but could not find the whereabouts of Ye Zhou’s remnant soul.

There is no possibility of seeing each other again in this life.
Dugu Zhuo only wants an afterlife, but Ye Zhou has no afterlife.

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He put away the broken sword, holding the warm jade firmly, and walked firmly into the fog.

No one knows what is on the other side of the Canglan Mountain range.
The Tianzhu stood here before, and no one can get out of this mountain range.

Even if Tianzhu disappears, the fog will cause people to lose their way, die in the blue clouds and mist, or return to the foot of the mountain.

Dugu Zhuo’s current level is almost the same as that of a newcomer, and there is only death waiting by continuing forward.

But he didn’t intend to look back.
Behind him was the past that was toyed by fate, an unbearable life, and a world without Ye Zhou.

Dugu Zhuo stepped forward firmly, feeling strong resistance in every step he took, moving forward with difficulty.

But even if he only took an inch, Dugu Zhuo had to move forward an inch.

He walked forward with difficulty step by step.
Clouds and mist covered his eyes, the cold air whisking from the mountains freezing his body, and he himself was covered in frost.
If it weren’t for the warm jade in his palm, Dugu Zhuo would have already turned into an ice sculpture.

Consciousness gradually blurring, Dugu Zhuo could not help but recall half of his life in his mind, like a candle before death.

In a daze, he seemed to see a young Ye Zhou, jumping in the mountains and forests, fighting a few monsters.

Dugu Zhuo smiled.
Ye Zhou was his elder.
When he met Ye Zhou, Ye Zhou was already the elder of Qingtian Sword Sect.
He stood in front of him wearing a plain white robe and looked at him indifferently, coldly said: “Follow me.”

When he first met, Ye Zhou was tall and cold in his heart.
How could he be a teenager?

However, it was not bad to have such an illusion before he died.
At least he can see Ye Zhou’s carefree appearance.

As Dugu Zhuo was reminiscing, the fog in front gradually dissipated, and the figure of the young Ye Zhou became clearer and clearer.

The young Ye Zhou, dressed in white, was not afraid of being besieged by a few monsters, holding an ordinary iron sword, as he struggled to kill him.

Two fists are hard to fight four hands, the beast kept hitting the young Ye Zhou’s body, and Ye Zhou’s face was pale and growing weaker and weaker.

Even in a fantasy world, Dugu Zhuo couldn’t watch Ye Zhou get injured.
He picked up the black broken sword from the package.
This was the Xuan Jian that Dugu Zhuo got after his father’s death.
He yearned for it all his life, and after getting it, abandoned the divine sword.

When Dugu Zhuo took the sword, the young Ye Zhou dexterously distanced himself from the monster, took out a bottle of medicine and drank it, saying to himself: “It is still difficult to deal with these elite monsters with my current HP.
It’s good I prepared many types of healing medicine.”

Taking medicine to recover his blood, the young Ye Zhou saw a black-clothed man rushing into the monster group, carrying a tattered iron sword, and snatching away the elite monster who he finally managed to grind to residual blood.

Ye Zhou: “…”

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Dugu Zhuo’s meridians have long been broken.
At this moment, he can only use one move to force Xuan Jian sword to move.

Fortunately, the monster isn’t strong and can be slaughtered in one move.

After the monster fell, Dugu Zhuo was also unstable, half kneeling on the ground, holding the hilt of Xuan Jian in hand, trying his best to suppress the churning blood in his chest.

Even in his illusion, Dugu Zhuo didn’t want to vomit blood in front of Ye Zhou.

After barely stabilizing his body, Dugu Zhuo was about to raise his head to look at Ye Zhou when suddenly a strange sound came from his ear——

[Ding, you killed the monsters and get 3 low-grade spirit stones.]

[Ding, you killed the monsters, and get the secret book .]

[Ding, you killed the monsters, and get a precious healing spirit grass.]

[Ding, you killed the monsters, gaining 100*6 experience, do you use want to use your experience to upgrade? Yes/No]

What is this? Dugu Zhuo was confused.

At this time, a strong wind blew his ears.
The young Ye Zhou, whose wounds were healed, came over with a sword, his brows were full of anger as he shouted: “Dare to steal my monster?”

Sword qi rushed towards his face, tearing Dugu Zhuo’s hat apart.
He was unaware of all the changes around him; he only felt that the Ye Zhou in front of him was extremely real.

Dugu Zhuo stared at Ye Zhou’s face, and whispered, “Have I arrived in the afterlife?”

When he saw Dugu Zhuo’s face, Ye Zhou’s sword tip tilted and the original trajectory aiming for Dugo Zhuo’s shoulder missed.


天柱: Pillar holding up the skies/heavens.


Personally prefer nine realms, but using nine heavens since that’s what the google says.


Jian = sword.
Xuan Jian is the Xuan sword mentioned 1 line ago.
For readability, I’ll use “Xian Jian” and “Su Jian” to refer to the swords similar to how you would refer to “Excalibur.”


Analogous and sometimes called “golden core” depending on the author/translated.
Considered an core or mass of qi/energy/spirit one forms, after which they can often be said to formally having stepped into cultivation.


Adapted an adage.
Basically, he scoured the earth but couldn’t find what he’s looking for.

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