Yan Sanniang answered with a smile, “Yes I am indeed from the Yang clan, General Cai. I apologize that my arrival has come rather sudden and unannounced. It’s because there are certain updates from Master to Young Master Chen that cannot be delayed any longer. I genuinely hope that it wouldn’t be too big an inconvenience for you, General Cai. We have been looking for a chance to meet you, Young Master Chen. I believed that Miss Yali and her husband would definitely bring trouble if this misunderstanding isn’t resolved. Thus, this one decided to show up to prove your identity.“
Cai Yuncheng gave a smile of recognition, but he was still bewildered!
He did not know that Yang Gongming had such a powerful master by his side! Furthermore, it was apparent that the Yang clan was clearly aware of the Cai clan’s situation, and that of Yang Chen.
Cai Yuncheng knew that the four dominant clans would never show their hand in broad daylight. But even for the seclusive Yang Gongming to possess such frightening levels of intel, truly left cold sweat on the General of Yellow Flame Iron Brigade.
While the country’s security bureau essentially belonged to the Li clan, the similarly powerful Yang clan certainly wouldn’t be too far behind. It was then that Cai Yuncheng realised he had truly been underestimating the clans.
Cai Yuncheng previously figured that Guo Yali was from the Guo family, so Yang Chen’s mother Guo Xuehua was presumably her sister. That subsequently revealed Yang Chen’s family background. But what surprised him even more was the move from the Yang clan to directly send a well-kept master here to assist Yang Chen with the incident.
Cai Yuncheng quickly reorganised his thoughts as he replied, “Since it’s Old Yang’s decision to personally convey a message to Yang Chen, it surely isn’t a problem. It’s an honor to have you as a guest. Please make yourself at home. I’ll go get someone to serve you a drink.”
“It’s fine.” Yan Sanniang halted Cai Yuncheng who was about to leave the living room, then immediately turned to Yang Chen as she recounted. “Young Master Chen, I’m amazed at how far you’ve progressed from the last time we met.”
“This isn’t a good place to talk. Let’s go outside.” Yang Chen suggested.
“Sure.” Upon her reply Yan Sanniang instantly vanished from the living room.
Cai Yuncheng was petrified, as he stood there stiff as a board. Just when he wanted to question Yang Chen about her whereabouts, Yang Chen vanished too!
Approximately 10 kilometers or so away in a secluded pavilion on top of a lush green hill, the silhouettes of a young and an elderly could be seen. They naturally were the ‘vanished’ Yang Chen and Yan Sanniang.
Yan Sanniang’s amiable smile exerted a sense of pride and respect. “From what I’ve known, among the cream of the crop that has achieved Xiantian Full Cycle, there isn’t anyone with the same cultivation tenacity as you, Young Master Chen. Your apprehension to the arts is truly an envy to many.”
Yang Chen scratched on the back of his head as he giggled. “I’m not sure which level I’m in. But as far as I know, there is nothing in this world that cannot be comprehended. During your visit to the Cai residence, I uncovered many things that I previously couldn’t have wrapped my mind around. Just like you said, Grandma Yan, many things are easier to be experienced than told.”
Yan Sanniang was impressed. “Exactly. Which is why your achievements are particularly remarkable. All I did was gift you a vague exposition, and look how far you’ve come. Your breakthrough was due to your own understanding towards the wisdom of the skies.”
Yang Chen then curiously inquired, “So, can Grandma Yan interpret my cultivation now?”
Yan Sanniang shook her head as she continued, “At this level, everyone is in the same realm of cultivation. Let’s not talk about me; even in Hongmeng, no one can oversee each another’s cultivations. For any of us to oversee the cultivation level of others, one must be in the unexplored realm that has only been spoken in legends.”
Yang Chen nodded with his head filled with thoughts. He then asked, “I don’t even know what my current cultivation level is. How could I possibly know what the legendary realm is?”
Yan Sanniang stared to the skies afar as she mumbled, “The truth is, the cultivation level that Hongmeng and ourselves have achieved, is far beyond what a mortal could accomplish. It could be said that this realm is outside the three realms—the heavens, the mortal realm, and the earth—and the five elements.
“Young Master Chen might’ve experienced that while in the Xiantian Full Cycle, True Qi can be amassed to break through the boundaries of space.
“This quality has exceeded the laws of parallel space. In fact, it is a superior one—an energy very close to that of the universe’s source.
“And for us as cultivators, when we achieve Xiantian Full Cycle, we have advanced through the realms of mortal.
“In this stage, there isn’t a specific name as everyone experiences it slightly differently from the next. Some people describe it as breaking through the cocoon, while the ancestors call it ‘Tribulation Passing’. There are also the ones who believe that it would strengthen one’s soul, an inevitable process to step into the next level…
“Regardless, these were all made to provide commonly comprehensible terms to the masses. However, none of which had been proven until this day. According to the myths, anyone who has achieved this breakthrough is deemed an immortal, capable of ascending into the nine stages of heaven. And our ancestors who have broken through that barrier were said to have vanished.”
Yang Chen was lost in the exposition. “Vanished? To where?”
“I wish I knew.” Yan Sanniang sighed. “I have spent the better part of my life stuck in this level; unable to unravel the legendary gateway of advancement. It is worth noting, however, since the Paleolithic era, almost no one was able to achieve that level. None within the last few centuries. My body quality isn’t particularly outstanding either, so I guess I’ll be stuck on this realm for the rest of my life.”
Yang Chen went through it in his head before he questioned, “Grandma Yan, as you mentioned, if the people of Hongmeng were all of this level, could it be that they are similar to that of the gods? If they’re all able to use space methods, doesn’t that mean that no they’re not inferior nor superior to each other?”
Yan Sanniang shook her head as she replied, “Not exactly so. The main reason that the western gods are powerless against one another, is because they all possess the ability of harnessing parallel spaces for reincarnation. To the people from Hongmeng, or the cultivators of the same realm like us, although it’s very unlikely that victory can be decided in a one-on-one combat, we’ll definitely turn into dust should they come for us in groups. After all, unlike the gods, we don’t hold the ability to ‘reincarnate’.
“Then again I’m proud to say that you, Young Master Chen, are an exception. Not only did you achieve this realm of cultivation, you possess the capabilities of gods as well. I believe at this point in time, you are convincingly a league above most of the Hongmeng cultivators.”
Yang Chen upon hearing that, felt rather proud of himself as he chuckled. “Grandma Yan, there’s still one more thing that I’d need you to enlighten me with.”
Yan Sanniang as usual replied with a smile, but this time simmered with dispiritment. “Young Master Chen, if it’s about cultivation, there genuinely isn’t anything left for me to teach you. You have already matched my level. There’s isn’t anything I know of that you don’t.”
“Eh, who would spend their entire life just thinking about cultivation?” Yang Chen was slightly embarrassed. Nervously, he asked, “I was going to ask about… having children.”
Yan Sanniang was confused at his question.
Yang Chen continued awkwardly, “Grandma Yan, to be honest with you I had always thought I could live my entire life a bachelor. But I have wife now, and several other lovers, not to mention my family. Even if it doesn’t matter to me, women would surely think about giving birth.
“But it seems to me however, that my past exposure to the divine light resulted in the impotence among all my lovers. I used to have a lover and she managed to bear my child. But… I didn’t appreciate that. So now, I’m dying to know why… I wonder if you have experienced this?”
Yan Sanniang was stupefied, her wrinkles curled up as she frustratedly replied, “Young Master Chen, that was actually something I’ve been worrying about lately.”
“Huh?” Yang Chen felt dejected. “Grandma Yan, have you spotted an incurable disease on me?!”
Yan Sanniang shook her head. “Well it isn’t a disease. It’s just that you’re too powerful…”
“What?” Yang Chen frowned.
Yan Sanniang proceeded after a long sigh. “Young Master Chen, in all honesty, you should be aware by now about just how strong your body has become. Apart from you, every cultivator at your realm has a body so strong that mortals will never fathom. Even if an entire mountain is slammed onto us, we won't necessarily receive any damage at all.
"In terms of what people call ‘science’, our ‘genes’ have exceeded the boundaries of human by an absurd margin.
"Therefore, if you managed to procreate with an ordinary woman and give birth a child, the child upon birth will possess half your attributes.
"Can you imagine? A newborn with a body yielding the half the strength of yours?”
Yang Chen instantly realised something. He doubted a little longer before he continued, “So what you’re trying to say is, this is the laws of nature at work?”
“I suppose you could use those words, yes.” Yan Sanniang continued on a serious tone, “This could even be categorised as the rule of the heavens. As your genes grow stronger, the success rate for an offspring with an ordinary woman will gradually decrease. And the only reason for that is because you, Young Master Chen, have long exceeded the boundaries of what deems a human.
“Try thinking in such a manner. If a ‘non-human’ and a ‘human’ try to procreate, it’s clearly easier said than done. Hence, it would be much easier for you to impregnate a woman back when you were much less powerful.”
Yang Chen felt uneasy as he pulled on his hair. “If I knew earlier then I wouldn’t have thought about getting to the next realm so soon. Is there anything else I can do now?”
Yan Sanniang smiled as she replied, “Well Young Master Chen, there’s still hope for you. As long as you try your best to encourage these women to advance themselves, in addition to—for lack of a better term—diligently sowing the crops, then no matter how small the chances, you can still lead to offsprings of your own. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be legends of demigods given birth by a god and a mortal.”
Diligently sowing the crops? Yang Chen led out an evil grin, amazed by the way Grandma Yan phrased it.
A burden for most things would best be avoided. But this ‘burden’ seems more like a reward than a punishment! Yang Chen thought.
But that also reminded Yang Chen about another matter. As he pushed the limits within the boundaries of what defines a human, his lifespan could easily exceed several hundred years. This would mean that he would have to find a solution to increase the lifespans of his women, or at the very least encourage them to cultivate. But right now, it seemed too daunting of a task to accomplish. He decided to leave that matter for another time.
Yan Sanniang saw the occasional creepy smile on Yang Chen’s face but she couldn’t do anything about it. She then pulled the conversation back to her main intention. “Young Master Chen, if there isn’t any other questions, I have an accessory with me with regards from Master.”
Yang Chen came back to their conversation. “What is that?”
“It’s a calligraphy canister.” Yan Sanniang drew the long calligraphy canister out from her sleeve and handed it to Yang Chen. With a graceful smile, she emphasized, “Young Master Chen, I believe in several instances, that you have felt the privileges of being the first grandson of the Yang clan. This one feels that since you’re no longer an ordinary man, you need not dwell on your dark past. It is important that you let the people around you live comfortably and in peace.”
When she noticed that Yang Chen stood still by her side with no intention to continue the conversation, she bent slightly to the back and once again vanished into thin air.
Yang Chen contemplated by himself for hours to come, until he eventually took a deep breath and opened the calligraphy canister.
On the extensive white scroll, were two lines of a Chinese poem well-written in calligraphy ink.
It wrote: The flowery path has never been swept in the visit of a guest, but the gates shall be opened for you from now on.