Jiang Chen’s brains felt like mush — as if he was in a dream, but this felt much more real than that. Every inch of skin, every bone in his body cried out in agony.
“Am I dead? Am I suffering in the fires of purgatory that burn in hell?” Jiang Chen’s first instinct was that he was dead, but the tenuous hint of breath in his body seemed to remind him otherwise. He was still alive.
After who knew how long, Jiang Chen forced his eyes open with a struggle, but found himself in a coffin.
In a coffin? Then I’m really dead? How depressing.
“How laughable. I, Jiang Chen, son of the Celestial Emperor, was born with a yin constitution and thus couldn’t cultivate. Even though father refined the Sun Moon Pill so that I could live as long as the universe, I still became father’s burden and succumbed when the cataclysm descended from the heavens….
“Eh? What’s going on with my meridians? There’s true qi flowing through them?! It’s rather weak… wait! This… this isn’t my body, this is definitely not my body! I was born with a yin constitution, so how could I have true qi present in my body?
“And, if I’m really dead, how could there be energy flowing through my body?” An electrical jolt sizzled through Jiang Chen’s brain as he laid in the coffin. At the same time, he realized that the body lying in the coffin didn’t belong to him.
“This… what’s this? Whose body is this?” This unexpected discovery brought both surprise and joy. He quickly discovered a few fragments of memory in the body.
“This body’s owner was also called Jiang Chen? The son of the duke of the Jiang Han province in the Eastern Kingdom? The name is right, but this is obviously not me! I am the son of the almighty Celestial Emperor - how did I become the scion of such a mundane kingdom?” Jiang Chen’s mind was filled with questions.
“Did I really die in the cataclysm? Is this the fabled reincarnation? The heavens were shattered and the wheel of life smashed... I should’ve been annihilated with no hope of traveling along the wheel of life! So… I... really reincarnated?” Jiang Chen finally confirmed this new reality after perusing the fragments from the past Jiang Chen’s consciousness.
“To think that I was the exalted son of the Celestial Emperor in my past life, yet barred from cultivating due to my yin constitution. And now that I’ve reincarnated into the noble son of such a humdrum kingdom, I’ve gained the potential to cultivate... Oh the irony!
“The heavens were shattered and order crumbled… I lived a million years in vain in my past life. I died with the sun and moon and couldn’t offer any help when disaster arrived. A yin constitution cannot cultivate and thus is doomed to always be at the mercy of others. My fate was like that of a floating speck of dust - easily dispelled as the wind blew.”
Jiang Chen grew somber, lost in his thoughts as he thought of his past life, and of his father who’d developed the Sun Moon Pill at an incredible cost, so that his son’s mortal body could enjoy life as long as the sun and moon’s.
He knew that this life and death separation was possibly an eternal farewell!
Even though he’d lived a million years, even though he possessed great intelligence - when he thought of his father painstakingly taking care of him, hot tears spilled out of his eyes.
He knew the heavens were shattered. Even if one was as almighty as the Celestial Emperor, it was almost impossible to survive. Jiang Chen grew upset as his thoughts traveled to the end of this path.
However, a bolt of thunder crashed into his soul when he touched upon his body’s meridians. It was like a man dying of thirst finding a sweet spring! The slowly moving true qi was so weak, weak to the point of almost flickering out. But it was this fragile hint of true qi that stoked his flames of life and swept away depressing thoughts.
“Cultivate? Heh, cultivation! This was ludicrous for someone with a yin constitution like mine. I couldn’t train in my past life, but never bowed to fate. Now that I’ve gained this potential due to reincarnation, the door of fate has cracked open for me!
“As the exalted son of the Celestial Emperor, I held charge of the Tianlang Library for millions of years. I perused countless books and scrolls, and am familiar with all disciplines and methods of cultivation. I was renowned for pill dao, but my knowledge was forever halted at a theoretical, abstract level. Now that I’ve gained the ability to cultivate, what cause have I to fear? For what reason would I bow my head in defeat?” Jiang Chen felt a weight lift off his shoulders as he explored this line of reasoning.
The previous negative emotions slowly dissipated. This reincarnation was a turning point that would interminably change his life!
Indeed, from the perspective of his past life, being an ordinary noble son was completely inconsequential. But even the lowliest person possessed one quality that he hadn’t in his past life, and that was the ability to cultivate!
The qualification to cultivate was the starting line of a race.
Although he had been as lofty as dragons and phoenixes in his past life, he had only ever been able to watch from the sidelines. Now, despite his commonness and being like an ant in his new life, he could step up to the starting line and take his place.
The path of cultivation was ceaseless and boundless. If one was so fortunate, golden carps could transform to dragons and the lowest of bugs could soar in the heavens. And now, an opportunity had come!
Son of the Celestial Emperor, Keeper of the Tianlang Library. He had devoted millions of years almost entirely to studying. It was no exaggeration to say that he was a walking encyclopedia and grasped the world’s knowledge in his hand.
His belly full of theories spanning from the heavens to common dirt, there was no topic that Jiang Chen was unfamiliar with. Although he hadn’t been able to cultivate in the many boring years of his past life, he loved to take disciples and conduct experiments with them, testing out one theory or another. He’d lost track of how many prodigies he’d created in his lifetime.
What was opportunity?
He’d reincarnated with the memories of Jiang Chen, son of the Celestial Emperor, and had gained the body of Jiang Chen, an unfortunate dukedom heir. The experiments he had conducted via his disciples could finally now be acted out with his own hands!
This was opportunity!
Jiang Chen could hardly contain himself. A striking crash sounded at this moment, like something had slipped and smashed.
“Jiang Ying, figure it out! Find out at all costs!” Jiang Feng, the duke of Jiang Han, flung a vase furiously, wanting to burn down the kingdom in his rage.
“Your Lordship, we already have a clue.” Jiang Ying spoke respectfully, dressed from head to toe in black. “Although the young master wasn’t diligent in training, he was still a cultivator of the true qi level. His control over his body is absolute. In the face of such an important occasion, he wouldn’t have lost control and passed gas.”
“Then someone else is behind all this? Someone wanted to intentionally embarrass Chen’er during the Rites of Heavenly Worship, so that he would enrage the king and be executed?” Jiang Feng’s tone descended to a dangerous point.
“The young master ate breakfast with friends at the Autumn Crane this morning. I didn’t discover anything when I investigated the tavern, but found traces of “Three Laugh Powder” in the young master’s body.”
Three Laugh Powder?
Jiang Feng’s face darkened, how would he not know what that was? It cleared up a person’s internal passages and while it didn’t have any side effects, it caused a person’s qi to sink through their body and be expelled from all parts of the body. His son’s damnable gas emission that’d sent the king into a rage during the Rites hadn’t come out of nowhere, it was definitely due to this “Three Laugh Powder”!
“So it wasn’t a coincidence. This was a devious, premeditated plot!” Jiang Feng easily came to this conclusion after connecting the dots.
“Your Lordship, here’s a list of whom the young master had breakfast with. However, they’re all sons of other dukes, so it will be difficult to find out who’s responsible.” Jiang Ying was Jiang Feng’s right hand man, a most valued and loyal vassal.
“Go, go thoroughly investigate this matter! Even if I lose my dukedom, even if I am torn asunder, I will not idly sit by after the loss of my son!”
Jiang Feng didn’t believe the crap of absolute obedience to one’s overlord. Utter drivel!
Generations of the Jiang family had been loyal, but not stupidly loyal.
The Jiang family had toiled ceaselessly for the Eastern royal family for generations, defending the land, fighting in wars, and steadfastly holding their stations. They had won their sole dukedom at high cost, but now his only son had been unceremoniously caned to death??
A vassal had no need to be loyal if their liege wasn’t benevolent. If it came down to it, rebellion then!
Jiang Feng felt an internal volcano on the verge of erupting whenever he thought of King Eastern Lu coldly giving the order to kill, the sight of his enemies gloating, and his son lying in the coffin, beaten beyond recognition.
The duke itched to swiftly return to his territory and stampede into the capital with hundreds of thousands under his banner, to make rivers of blood flow in the streets!
Upon hearing these words, combined with the vague memories left in the body, Jiang Chen roughly understood what had happened.
The original owner of this body had the unfortunate timing to fart during the Rites of Heavenly Worship!
The ceremony had been hosted by the most sacred temple in the country. The king and all 108 Eastern nobles had come to pray for King Eastern Lu’s beloved daughter. Everyone had commenced many preparations before the rites were held: forgoing meat, bathing, changing into fresh clothes, as well as burning lavender incense.
In other words - the attendees had cleaned up nicely. They were striving for perfection in order to convince the heavens of their sincerity, so that they might succeed in obtaining blessings.
Everything proceeded smoothly at first.
But just as the king and his nobles kowtowed on the temple steps in prayer, Jiang Chen emitted an earsplitting fart!
Kowtowing in prayer was the most important part of the entire ritual. Absolute silence needed to be maintained. This was how one communicated with the gods and demonstrated their devotion.
But Jiang Chen’s fart rudely broke the silence and shattered the dignified gathering.
It was common knowledge that farts were comprised of unhealthy gas and were extremely unsound. If this had happened during a regular occasion, it would have been simply ignored as everyone else held their breath.
However, Jiang Chen’s regrettable fart was smelly and long. It was an affront to the gods!
The high priest in charge of the rite’s proceedings was appalled and cursed loudly, as if the fart had destroyed the pillar of the world and was causing the sky to cave in.
This aroused the great wrath of King Eastern Lu, as he doted on his beloved daughter, and he called for the guards to drag Jiang Chen away and beat him to death.
Even then, his anger wasn’t abated. He ordered the boy’s corpse hung on the city wall for vultures and scavengers to pick at. Jiang Chen wouldn’t even have a body left if the other nobles hadn’t persuade the king otherwise, pointing out that open display of a corpse was vulgar and uncivilized, and would adversely impact the kingdom’s fortunes.