The Sword Upon Ten Li Slope
Li Chu muttered as his sword hand swung down.
Before him, a lantern with ghost fire flickering inside it was instantly extinguished before falling onto the ground in two halves, casually cleaved into two across the air just like that!
It was already midnight, but a young Daoist priest in water-fire robes was wandering in this wilderness. The scene was rather bizarre.
He was tall and lanky from afar, looking rather handsome. If one got closer, they could see his pristine features, the bright gleam in his eyes, and his immaculate and handsome face.
As he walked freely about, Ghost Lanterns being drawn out from the darkness, trying to accost him. Sadly, as the sword flashed, not one lantern could even get close.
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Whenever a Ghost Lantern was slashed, white spots that were not visible to the common folks would rise up from its body and enter the Daoist priests body.
“Alas...” Li Chu sighed as he said to himself. “As my level gets higher, the Ghost Lantern provides few and fewer experience points. Back then, I could level up just by killing one Ghost Lantern, and this time it took two whole months. If this goes on, I dont even know how long will the next level take.”
“But...” He said immediately after. “While leveling up like this is slow, it is...very safe!”
His eyes looked into the distance, as if he saw through the endless darkness and spotted those menacing existence that preyed upon men.
“This world is just so dangerous. Fiends, demons, revenants, monsters... Evil is all over this realm, and danger literally lurks everywhere! If I want to look for monsters that give me more experience, I need to take bigger risks. Although Im not sure how my strength is, Im definitely not strong. So, just to be safe, Ill stay at Ten Li Slope for a while longer.”
“A man must be able to endure loneliness, endure temptations... and kill Ghost Lanterns!”
As he talked to himself, he casually killed another five to six Ghost Lanterns. His movement was well-honed, his positioning precise as if it was second nature.
Li Chu had been in this world for almost a year now.
A year ago, he was just a high school graduate who had just completed his college entrance exam,was depressed by a fatal mistake causing him to finish second in the province.
On one boring afternoon, he opened up a very old Xianxia game. He had never thought that he would open the door of all evils.
When he woke up again, he found himself in a very foreign world.
There was a Ten Li Slope outside Yuhang town, and on Ten Li Slope was a Deyun Monastery, and he had become a junior Daoist priest of Deyun Monastery.
Of course, who he was did not matter.
What mattered in this world was that, the laws of Dao, gods and immortals, monsters and demons... all of the settings inside the game had become real! And Li Chu, who was originally controlling a virtual character, was now a person who would feel pain and could die!
He instantly fell into despair.
Anyone would just run around killing everything when they are separated by a monitor screen, but when he came to this world, Li Chu only had one thought in mind. To live on with a smile.
West of Ten Li Slope was a mass grave with many old barrows lying about. Coupled with abundant spiritual Qi, it was inevitable that some ghosts would form, and the Ghost Lanterns were the most common one.
The Ghost Lantern itself was quite weak, and its essence was some weak solitary spirits possessing onto phosphorus fire, taking the shape of a lantern. Should any passersby get close, their soul would suffer a hit.
For ghosts of this level, as long as it was a man whose yang Qi was slightly stronger, the impact could be neutralized. Even if it was successful with its attack, it would at most cause a minor illness, so it was not too big a problem.
For so many years, no one came to deal with it because everyone could not be bothered. And the people of Yuhang town also knew not to pass by Ten Li Slope at night, so no one suffered any harm.
That was until Li Chu appeared.
When he found out he could gain experience by killing monsters to improve his strength, an unprecedented disaster befell the Ghost Lanterns of Ten Li Slope.
Well, who asked them to be the weakest ghosts in this world, and they could regenerate indefinitely, so they were the best grinding option to level up.
It was late into the night.
Li Chu put his sword away and turned to leave.
He understood the notion of not draining the pond to catch the fish, so he would not kill all of them. Every time he was done grinding the Ghost Lanterns, he needed to give them three to four days to regenerate.
During these days, he would go to the forest in the east to fight Ghost Bees, or to the wasteland in the south to fight Wine Jar Monsters, or to the foothills in the north to kill Black Hairballs.
If there was anything in common between these varied monsters, it was they were very weak...
In this dangerous world, the weak and helpless Li Chu relied on these even weaker monsters to grow stronger bit by bit.
Accompanied by the moonlight, with his robes fluttering with the mountain wind, the sword-carrying Daoist priest strode forward, and soon an old Daoist monastery came into view.
There were mottled traces of time on the monasterys outer walls. Half of the walls were covered with creeping ivy. The gold paint on the plaque above had long fallen off, leaving on the empty engravings ofDeyun Monastery.
Li Chu pushed the door open, and the spacious front yard laid with green bricks appeared before him. At the center of the yard was a large copper-forged vessel, and inside it was three stout Thousand-Year Joss sticks. Across the yard was the Hall of the Three Pure Ones.
Inside the hall was the statue of Three Pure Ones. Li Chu casually nodded to the shrine as a form of greeting before walking past it.
As a soul of a modern person, even when he had come to this world of gods and monsters, he was not able to muster up much respect for the gods.
Li Chus thought process was very simple. If you can realize my wish then I will believe you. If not, sorry, lets go our separate ways.
As soon as he arrived here on the first day, he had made a wish to go home, but obviously, that did not happen...
The backyard was much, much smaller, and also messier. With yellow earthen floor, with an old leafy eucalyptus tree by the side. Under the tree was a stone-covered well, and by it were stone tables and stone stools. Even during the heat of summer, the area around the well was always cooling, as if one was sitting by the side of an open fridge.
There were three rooms in the courtyard: one was Yu Qians, one was Li Chus, and one was the kitchen, also considered Li Chus.
Li Chu tiptoed into the courtyard and quietly returned to his room for fear of disturbing his master.
His master, the abbot of Deyun Monastery, Yu Qian, was a true man of Dao—at least in his own words.
Chief Daoist Yu claimed to have walked the realms during his younger days, fighting off monsters and protecting the Dao, killing too many in the process, so now he had come to this small Daoist monastery to seclude himself and swore to never kill again.
When he was in the mood, he would often regale Li Chu with some stories of his youth, like killing a demon chieftain while drinking and reciting poetry, riding the waves of the Eastern Sea and killing dragons, opening Heavens Gate under the Kunlun Moon... The grand stories that sounded more and more arcane came one after another, and it was breathtaking!
So much so that the greatest drive for Li Chu to train and kill monsters every day was to be as strong as his master.
After simply washing up, he ended his tiring day as he took off his clothes and went to bed. In the age of no phones and internet, his sleep was instead much sounder.
Thinking of his weak self and how he was one step closer to his powerful master, a smile could not help but appear on Li Chus face...