Chapter 80 – Universal Self-Embodiment Sutra

Once Zhang Yuanxing and Uncle Xong faded from view, Yuan Luoxi’s anger dissipated.

She gently pursed her pink lips, a hint of trepidation on her brow as she lowered her head, not daring to meet Su Yi’s gaze.
“Mystic Master, you… You’re not angry, are you?”

Cheng Wuyong hurriedly cupped his fist and said apologetically, “Mystic Master, we’re well aware that with the methods at your disposal, you could have killed them both.
It’s just, we thought that since this incident arose because of us, we ought to resolve it ourselves.
This would prevent you from being implicated any further.”

Yuan Luoxi hurriedly nodded.
“That’s exactly it.”

Seeing this, waves coursed through Fu Shan’s heart once more. 

When she faced Zhang Yuanxing, Yuan Luoxi was aggressive and unreasonable, not the least bit concerned that this might offend the prefectural capital’s Zhang Family.
But when she faced Su Yi, the pearl of the Yuan Family was as nervous as a child who’d made a mistake.

Then there was Cheng Wuyong, a peak Qi Accumulation expert.
He was nearly a peak expert even by the standards of the prefectural capital, but he was every bit as scrupulously polite as Yuan Luoxi.

The difference in attitude was enormous!

Fu Shan pondered briefly, then bowed in solemn greeting.
“Master Su, it was I who brought them here, inadvertently arriving just in time to witness this incident.
If you’re displeased, I will accept full responsibility.”

Seeing this, Su Yi’s lingering displeasure faded.
He couldn’t be bothered to pursue the matter any further, so he waved away their concerns.
“This matter ends here.”

Yuan Luoxi, Cheng Wuyong, and Fu Shan all inwardly sighed in relief.

The more they understood Su Yi’s unbelievable abilities, the more awed they felt.

Facing him wasn’t like facing an ordinary youth.
It was more like facing a proud immortal who’d descended from the clouds.

His heart was like the ocean; they couldn’t fathom its depths!

“So, to what do I owe tonight’s visit?” asked Su Yi offhandedly.
He clearly recalled Yuan Luoxi saying she planned to leave this morning, yet here she was, standing here now.

Yuan Luoxi responded in a crisp clear voice, “I heard City Lord Fu say that you were planning to leave Guangling City and go to the prefectural capital in the near future, so I decided to visit and ask when you planned to depart.
If we could go together, that… that would be even better.”

Her words carried a hint of anticipation.

Fu Shan hurriedly added, “Master Su, there’s something you should know.
I just received word that tomorrow at noon, a massive tower ship from ‘the Roving City of Commerce’ that floats atop the Great Azure will be passing through Guangling City.
It will dock here briefly.

“If you take this boat to the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital, you’ll arrive in just three days.
Furthermore, the cabins are extremely comfortable.
The tower has nine floors, with twelve pagodas built on its roof.
It can house up to eight thousand passengers.
It’s a top class treasure ship of the Great Zhou.

Fu Shan paused, then continued, “If you travel by horseback, in addition to the hardships of the road, the journey is long.
You’ll need to pass through numerous cities and mountains.
It’ll take at least five days to reach the prefectural capital.
Thus, I thought that if you’re set on leaving, you might as well travel by boat.”

Su Yi was surprised.
“That’s very thoughtful of you.”

He was surprised that Fu Shan would consider his needs so thoroughly.

“Mystic Master….” Yuan Luoxi was about to say something, but Su Yi cut her off.

“I’m just an ordinary sword cultivator of the mundane world.
I’m no ‘Mystic Master.’ Going forward, just call me by name.
‘Young Lord’ is fine too.” 

“Uh, then may I call you ‘Master Su’ like City Lord Fu Shan does?” Yuan Luoxi said hesitantly.

“Master” had a special meaning to martial artists.
It included the character for “first”, and thus meant “one who knows more”.
It wasn’t just a respectful title; it was an honorific.

“You may,” said Su Yi.
Why would he care about something like that?

The only reason he didn’t want to be called “Mystic Master” was that in this mundane world, most of those who called themselves “mystic masters” were scammers and swindlers.

“Mystic Master” was a popular title among wandering Daoists, vagrant warriors, traveling snake-oil salesmen, and adherents of unorthodox offshoots of cultivation.

Su Yi didn’t want to be mistaken for a third-rate character like that. 

When Qing Wan called him that, he didn’t mind.
After all, she was a ghost, not a human.

But Yuan Luoxi was different.
She and her companions were ultimately just martial artists of the mundane world.
If they called him “Mystic Master” and others overheard, it would be hard to avoid unfortunate misunderstandings.

“Master Su, might I ask if you’ll be boarding the ship tomorrow?” asked Yuan Luoxi gently, but her tone was hopeful.

“Thinking about it, this really does work out perfectly.
I was planning to leave Guangling City tomorrow anyway.
In that case, there’s no reason we can’t travel together.” Su Yi smiled and nodded.

“Wonderful!” A radiant smile blossomed across Yuan Luoxi’s face.
She was beside herself with excitement.

Only at times like this did she have the pretty, graceful air of a young woman.

“City Lord Fu Shan and I have already arranged rooms on board,” said Cheng Wuyong with a smile.

The way he saw it, traveling with Su Yi meant more chances to interact with him and tighten their bond.

Fu Shan smiled as he watched this play out. I’m glad I came tonight.
Otherwise, I’m afraid I would have missed Master Su’s departure. 

Before long, Yuan Luoxi and the others bade farewell.

Su Yi then strolled up to the old locust tree, carrying the pot of Peach Blossom Brew Zhang Yuanxing had left on the stone table.
He casually poured its contents into the dirt.
“I might not treasure it, but it’s still a decent spiritual brew.
You’ve sure profited this time.”

Once the pot was empty, Su Yi glanced up at the flourishing old tree and muttered to himself, “If I ever come back, and if you’re still here, it’ll mean we’re connected by fate, and I’ll grant you a stroke of fortune.” 

He then laughed and returned to his room.

The night was dark and tranquil, and the branches of the old locust tree rustled in the wind, scattering flecks of moonlight,

Candles still lit Su Yi’s room. 

He was seated at his desk and lost in thought.
He unfurled a roll of paper and, in a few brush strokes, wrote a line of text.
He then bound the paper in wire and placed it into his ink jade pendant.

With my current cultivation, I should be able to start tempering my soul. Su Yi rubbed his forehead and sank into thought.

Cultivation base, soul, and physique.
The three supported, formed, and complemented each other.

Cultivating the qi tempered the body, and a strong body nourished the soul.

Thus, in the Nine Provinces of the Wilds, anyone with the ambition to reach the pinnacle, the Imperial Realm, would start cultivating their souls alongside their bodies right from the early stages of their journey. 

A powerful soul had numerous advantages.
It could increase your ability to comprehend the Grand Dao of Heaven and Earth, and it made it easier to fathom the profundities of mysterious inheritances and secret tomes. 

Of course, most important of all, it was also useful in battle!

Cultivating the soul was an exacting process because any injury to the soul was a severe setback; it damaged your Dao. 

In the peak factions of the Nine Provinces of the Wilds, it was only after disciples cultivated their bodies to the “Inner Furnace Realm”, passed a stringent selection process, and met strict requirements that their seniors would impart soul tempering techniques to them, one-on-one. 

In his past life, Su Yi had done the same thing when he taught his nine inheriting disciples.

This was because the soul was a person’s root, the core of their personality.
Especially in the early stages of cultivation, there was no room for even the slightest error. 

But to Su Yi, none of that posed a problem.

In this life, he’d used the Pine and Crane Body Refining Technique to cultivate the Martial Dao anew.
At step along of the Blood Circulation Realm, he’d forged foundations far sturdier than his past self.

It was no exaggeration to say that should he return to the Nine Provinces, his Martial Dao foundations would surpass all peerless monsters and unparalleled immortal beauties beneath the heavens!

This was why Su Yi planned to begin his soul cultivation earlier than most. 

This wasn’t recklessness; his decision came from his understanding of his current foundations.

The reason I got stuck at the peak of the Profound Unity Realm in my past life, the reason I couldn’t so much as brush against higher levels of the Dao, was partially because I wasn’t fated for it; there was no turning point of fate or stroke of fortune for me to seize.
But it was also partially because the foundations of my soul cultivation were insufficiently powerful. 

Su Yi began sifting through and summarizing the experiences of harsh lessons of his past life.

At the end of the day, it’s because when I began cultivating my soul, I lacked an exquisite, peerless soul cultivation method.
As a result, the foundations I established in my youth were far too ordinary. 

Even though in the tens of thousands of years that followed, I sought out every secret technique, treasure, and divine medicine capable of nourishing and enhancing the soul, it was hard to fix the fundamental inadequacies of my foundations…

Now that I’ve reincarnated, I cannot allow my earlier mistakes to play out once more!

Su Yi’s gaze was calm, but his eyes contained an ancient, unshakeable resolve.

It was only after suffering the consequences that he realized just how important the early stages of cultivation were.
There was no room for even the slightest negligence!

He needed to use steadfast determination, boldness, and breadth of spirit to polish his soul.
No matter what, he couldn’t rush this process. 

Of the secret techniques at my disposal, countless involve the soul in some way.
Each has their own distinctive attributes and profundities, but only a select few can truly be said to stand above all others. 

In this life, I must cultivate a perfect, flawless soul.
I don’t just have to be stronger than I was at the same stage in my past life; I have to be stronger than everyone at my cultivation level.
In that case, I have to choose my soul cultivation technique with the utmost care.

As Su Yi pondered, three different secret soul cultivation techniques floated up into his mental sea.

The Amitabha’s Heaven Reflecting Sutra is the highest inheritance of the top Buddhist cultivation holy land of the Nine Provinces, ‘the Little Western Paradise.’ With it, I can cultivate twenty-four lotus platforms within my soul.
When they bloom, their light will illuminate the heavens.

Unfortunately, this particular sutra requires secret Buddhist techniques as supplements.
You have to be fearless and indomitable, remaining still and seated even while undergoing the six purgatories.
You must undergo life and death meditation for eight thousand years to forge a full set of perfect soul lotus platforms.
Only then can your soul be as a lotus, blooming with light that illuminates the marvelous truths of the heavens. 

It was fair to call this the ultimate Buddhist soul cultivation technique, but after pondering for a while, Su Yi gave up on it. 

The Grotto of Profound Light Mental Courtyard Sutra? It’s one of the Four Great Daoist Canons.
If cultivated to the Imperial Realm, the soul will be like a separate world.
This sutra opens the Mental Courtyard and unlocks the profound light hidden within.
It’s as if the user has infinite Mental Courtyards.
They can live forever, unwithering, and manifest as any of the three thousand Spiritual Gods of Profound Light….

Su Yi pondered in silence for a long time.
In the end, he sighed, then gave up on this peerless technique of the Daoist way.

This was for no other reason than that this secret art was particularly stringent in its requirements.
From day one, users had to cultivate another peerless Daoist inheritance alongside it, “the Supreme Clarity Vital Energy Sutra.” 

But Su Yi had peerless secret cultivation methods of his own that he wanted to use.
There was no way he’d start over as a Daoist.

Don’t tell me I really have to cultivate the Universal Self-Embodiment Sutra? Su Yi hesitated for a while.

This soul cultivation technique was something he’d obtained in his past life, the result of a thread of enlightenment he’d gleaned from the ninth of the Divine Chains sealing the Sword of the Nine Hells!

Afterward, he used his own intelligence to further grasp its profundities.
This, combined with the original thread of enlightenment, combined to form this secret soul cultivation method.

In other words, this technique was the combination of 108,000 years of cultivation experience, 108,000 years of accumulated wisdom, and the power of enlightenment originating from the Divine Chains sealing the Sword of the Nine Hells. 

Seth's Thoughts

The name of the technique here was a bit hard to translate…

If you’ve read Perfect World, the Chinese is almost the same as in Shi Hao’s Embodiment Transformation Method.
The only difference is that Su Yi calls this a “sutra”, not a “method”. 

Even though the characters are the same, the technique itself seems pretty different.
Shi Hao’s is a clone technique.
(Here’s a quote for those who haven’t read it/need a refresher: “One that can change the body of another, borrow the dao fruit of another, create a present embodiment! It is heaven-defying, a great method in the Age of Emperor Collapse!”)

But Su Yi’s method is more like… transforming the “other” and making it into your own power or absorbing energy from all available sources and putting it to use.
No cloning involved. 

The original source of the name appears to be Buddhism.
While I can’t say for sure if the authors of the two novels got it from other novels or directly from religious texts, I can say with certainty that neither novel is the original source.

 When I googled it, I got a bunch of Japanese results for 他化自在天, Takejizai-ten, the “Heaven of Freely Enjoying Things Conjured by Others”, also translated as “The Heaven of Controlling Others’ Emanations.” I saw Chinese, Japanese, and even Sanskrit…. 

It’s the sixth of the heaven of the desire realm, apparently? I’m not entirely sure what that means.
For our intents and purposes, it means “putting almost literally anything to use”.

“Mental courtyard”, otherwise known as “mind courtyard” or “governing vessel”, is an accupoint located in the center of the forehead, right by the hairline.
The term comes from Chinese Traditional Medicine. 

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the choice to translate titles comes at a cost.
English doesn’t have direct equivalents for many Chinese titles, so I do the best I can.
Some detail is lost, but I still prefer that to having a million “guye’s” and “shibo’s” and “daren’s” in the translated text. 

Anyway, the term I’ve been translating as “master” is a standard form of address for a man in normal conversations…. More like “mister” or “sir”. 

However, it’s written with the same characters for “sensei” in Japanese, and does occasionally have the meaning of “teacher” or “master” in Chinese too, especially in older texts.
So this chapter is saying that this normally polite (but otherwise unremarkable title) means something closer to “sensei” when used by martial artists. 

I had to just pick /something/ so I went with “master”, which seems closest to the intended meaning, but it's a bit of an unfortunate compromise, especially since there are so many other terms that include the word “master” in English translation.

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