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AIP - Chapter 1: Chasing a Dream

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Whenever the winds blew across the mountains, the trees of Jade Orchid Mountain would rustle with green billows, and when the golden light of the sunset cast itself across the lush mountain, it would plate the trees in gold—a sea of green flashing with golden scales, a gorgeous sight beyond words.

In the kingdom of Sageheart, this was famously known as the Rising Jade Meets Setting Sun.

The Rosecloud Domain's prodigious energies that locked the heavens and sealed the earth, the Gold Ignis Astral Winds that not even those cultivators who sought immortality dared to confront, were nothing but beautiful scenes that had drawn much fame and countless sightseers. 

But for the common folk who lived on this land, neither the jade forest nor the golden sunset could match the importance of their fields.

In Little River Village at the base of Jade Orchid Mountain, several dozen families were working their fields.

It was the middle of spring, the time to sow seeds.

But in one field, a single youth was working the field alone. He appeared to be ten-some years old, but he was handling this large field all by himself, his childish face covered in sweat.

"Big Brother Tang Jie!" A crisp voice came from the distance.

The youth raised his head and saw a girl with her hair tied up in two bunches, sticking out from her head like two goat horns, running over with a bowl of water.

She wasn't a very pretty girl, and years of working in the field had made her skin rather tough and tanned. But her large eyes sparkled brightly with vim and vigor.

The girl held the bowl in front of the boy. "Big Brother Tang Jie, aren't you tired? Have some water."

"Thank you." The boy took the bowl of water, but rather than drinking, he absentmindedly looked at the reflection of his face.

It was a rather good-looking face. It was slightly gaunt, the skin fair and clear, and it sported a very handsome nose bridge. In truth, the nose was the most important part about a person's face. If the nose looked good, the person's entire appearance would be improved.

The boy had this sort of enchanting nose, but his soft and weak eyes failed to match, making him seem rather cowardly and timid.

He didn't like it much, so he squinted his eyes, straightened his neck, and clenched his muscles. His eyes became much sharper, and his demeanor became more intimidating.

In his memories, he had had another name—also Tang Jiye.
(TN: The names share the same pronunciation, though the second character is different. The first name uses 劫 while this one uses 杰. Tang Jie [杰] will be written as 'Tang Jiye' to differentiate them.)

On Earth, he had been an ordinary office worker at a certain company in a certain city. His father had been the chief physician at the city hospital while his mother had been a math teacher. 

If he had continued on the normal course of life, Tang Jiye probably would have advanced up the ranks in his company, and if he did well, he could have become a leader of the nation with limitless possibilities.

Tang Jiye had worked diligently toward this goal and had earned the appreciation of his superiors. He had even hooked up with a girlfriend who was from a similarly influential family. Though she had a short temper, she didn't have any major problems.

No one could have expected that Tang Jiye would face disaster.

Tang Jiye had just been walking on the street when a man flailing around a knife ran out and made Tang Jiye his second victim.

He had seen that savage-faced stranger slashing at a random woman a step ahead of him, and then the man had stabbed his sharp knife into Tang Jiye's chest… The little Tang Jie had died in a rather similar fashion.

Two years ago, when little Tang Jie had just reached the age of ten, he had gone out hunting on the mountain with his parents and fellow villagers. While the rest of the village was focused on dealing with a giant bear, a boar with two sharp tusks had appeared.

It had punched a hole in little Tang Jie's chest in the same place where Tang Jiye had been stabbed.

In the end, it had died under the frenzied attack of Tang Jie's parents, who also died bringing it down.

But something that could be considered either tragic or comic took place. Tang Jie didn't die. He came back to life.

It was at that moment that Tang Jiye arrived in the boy's body.

Upon arriving, he discovered that he was an orphan.

Fortunately, his initial confusion and hesitation had been taken for despair and grief at the loss of his parents. Under the care of the other villagers, he gradually grew used to this new environment and began to energetically apply himself to his new life.

Two years had since passed much more quickly than he could have imagined.

"Big Brother Tang Jie, drink!" The little girl's big eyes gleamed as she spoke to Tang Jie.

"Oh." Stirred from his nostalgia by the girl's call, he drank the bowl of slightly muddied water.

The little girl giggled happily as she watched Tang Jie drink the water down. Looking around at the field, she said, "Brother Tang Jie, you probably can't do all this alone. Let me help you."

The little girl was about to get to work when Tang Jie stopped her. "Yaya, that's not needed. There's only half left of this field, and I can get it done in another two days."

"But don't you still have three fields on the eastern end of the village? There's no way you can do them on your own."

"I already sold them," Tang Jie indifferently replied.

"Sold them?" Yaya's eyes flew open in shock. "You sold your family's land? What will you do in the future?"

Tang Jie didn't answer. Instead, a middle-aged man walked over and lovingly caressed Yaya's head. "Silly little girl, you still don't get it? Little Jie's mind isn't here! He wants to go out!"

Go out?

Yaya looked in a daze at Tang Jie. "You… you want to leave Little River Village?"

For the people of the Rosecloud Domain, a girl of twelve wasn't young. It would be extremely normal for her to be married off after another two years.

Though Tang Jie was an orphan, he was extremely smart, since he had the soul of an adult. He also looked rather handsome and cool. It was only natural for little girls to like him.

She had never expected to hear that Tang Jie wanted to leave. Yaya became extremely dejected.

Tang Jie nodded. "Uncle Li is right. Next year, I'll sell off these last two fields and then leave."

"What are you going to do?" the little girl said in a trembling voice.

"Go and see the world outside," Tang Jie replied.

"What's so good about the outside?" Yaya couldn't understand what Tang Jie was thinking at all.

That Uncle Li sighed. "Little Jie, you'd better think this over carefully. The world is a tough place, and while Little River Village is a poor place, it's a rare spot of peace and safety. If you leave this place, your life isn't guaranteed to improve. The money you have from selling the land won't be able to last you very long."

"Uncle Li, I know. I have hands and feet and know how to take care of myself. And besides, isn't there still another year?" Tang Jie calmly replied.

Uncle Li could tell from this reply that his mind was made up, so he could only sigh and say no more.

At this moment, there was a blinding flash of light in the distance, like the rising sun, and everyone was forced to close their eyes until the light died away. After that came a rumble of thunder that made little Yaya turn pale and fall on her butt.

Everyone raised their head at the same time and saw that the weather had suddenly changed. The sky had darkened, and the golden sea of clouds had been whipped into a frenzy.

There were clearly two people flying through the sea of clouds, the clouds around them wildly roiling and dancing.

One of them was covered in dazzling golden light that made him appear like a god who had descended to the mortal realm. The other wore billowy white robes and swung around a sword that unleashed clouds of sword qi. Wherever the light of the sword went, countless trees atop Jade Orchid Mountain would snap.

"Xu Muyang, you can't run. Just obediently submit yourself!" The golden-armored figure pushed through the sword light and thrust a large palm at the white-robed man. Unperturbed, the white-robed man dodged to the side. A massive handprint descended from the heavens, slamming into the large stone atop Jade Orchid Mountain and instantly crushing it into powder. The mountaintop shuddered.

"Immortals? Immortals are fighting?" The villagers of Little River Village looked up and cried out in alarm. Tossing aside their hoes, they ran for shelter. 

When Immortals battled, mortals suffered. The common folk living in the Rosecloud Domain had long ago learned how to avoid the fallout from Immortal battles. Though Little River Village was remote and lacking in spiritual energy, the villagers rarely seeing Immortals, they had still taken the precaution of excavating caves to hide in.

The villagers ran into the cellars beneath their homes. Only Tang Jie continued to view the Immortals' battle from a distance, a fervent light in his eyes.

He muttered, "Immortals… Those are Immortals?"

From the moment he had come to this world, he had known that this world had cultivators, but he had never truly seen an Immortal. Tales regarding Immortals were like legends, existing only in the imagination. Thus, even though he yearned to become one, he did not desperately pursue it.

But today, he finally saw it.

The two Immortals in the clouds unleashed prodigious strength with every moment, and with each clash, the aftershocks obliterated everything in their path and even caused the earth to quake.

Was this the power of Immortals?

Tang Jie had never expected that his first time seeing Immortals would be so splendid and grandiose. At this moment, he was seized by an intense urge:

I want to be an Immortal!

There was no reason, and he did not need a reason!

The divine grace the Immortals displayed as they scattered the golden clouds was enough to fill his heart with infinite yearning.

Thus, with one glance, Tang Jie had made up his mind to seek immortality no matter what!

"Yes, this is why I came to this world!" Tang Jie muttered.

As for why he wanted to become Immortal?

What sort of Immortal he would become?

Or even what Immortals were?

Tang Jie didn't care!

None of it was important.

Immortals were Immortals, and just by being one, his wish would be fulfilled!

He strode toward the two Immortals battling in the distant sky.

"Tang Jie, come back!" Uncle Li called out.

Tang Jie shouted back, "Go and hide! I'm going to take a look. Perhaps one of them will take me as their disciple."

"That's impossible!" Uncle Li shouted. "The door to immortality is difficult to enter! Little Jie, don't be stupid!"

Tang Jie laughed.

He naturally understood how difficult it was to step through the door of immortality.

It was human instinct to seek strength. Tang Jie wanted to seek immortality, so why wouldn't others?

It was precisely because everyone in the world sought immortality that the threshold was so high.

One could compare it to the test he had taken to get his job in his last life.

And the temptation of immortality was many times greater than that of a job. To compare it to an army of tens of thousands trying to cross a single plank would not be at all excessive.

But that was why he had to try and work even harder to pursue it!

A man could not live for more than one hundred years, and he could not waste it away in mediocrity.

He was fortunate enough to have been reborn, so he needed to valiantly press forward so that he could live up to the generous gifts of the heavens and not let down this second life.

It did not matter that the path to immortality was difficult or dangerous. They were simply momentary spots and scenes in the path of life, and it was only right that he thoroughly experience them!

Turning his head to Uncle Li, Tang Jie called, "I know it's difficult, which is why I have to take every chance I get!"

Saying this, he ran toward the summit of Jade Orchid Mountain.

"No, don't go! You'll die!" Uncle Li and Yaya called out together.

Battles between Immortals could shake the heavens. If a mortal like him got close, the aftershocks alone could obliterate his body. To charge right in was no different from suicide.

The other villagers also saw Tang Jie running in the direction of the battle and realized what he was doing, and they shouted, "Little Jie, don't be dumb! Even if you run up to the side of an Immortal, they won't accept you!"

Tang Jie smiled. "I know… but while trying might result in failure, not trying means I'll never get a chance!"

With the sea of golden clouds raging above, he lowered his head and charged forward for his dreams!

Hypersheep325's Notes:

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by Hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.