unsheathed – Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World

Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World

Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World

At the intersection of Dragon Whisker Creek and the Iron Talisman River was a magnificent waterfall.

However, Dragon Whisker Creek had now been renamed the Dragon Whisker River.

In the dark of night, a seductive beauty held a sword with a golden tassel in her arms as she stood at the intersection of the creek and the river. The young woman was extremely shapely, and the fabric surrounding her chest was pushed far and tight. It could be said that she couldn't see her own toes if she looked down. Right now, many strands of the golden tassel were resting above her voluptuous chest.

She was none other than the personal maidservant of Her Majesty. Even though she was extremely beautiful, she had a name that was both crude and basic Yang Hua.

The young woman first tossed the incredibly valuable sword of Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, Talisman, into the river with a sudden thrust.

She then took a deep breath before undressing herself, layer by layer. She casually tossed her clothes into the splashing Iron Talisman River.

In the end, her smooth and curvaceous body was completely exposed. Bathing in the soft glow of moonlight and the rising mist from the water, she appeared increasingly ethereal and elegant.

She took a step forward, and her slender body plunged straight down into the river.

She was going to enter the river to become a goddess.

The young woman had already received an edict from the imperial court, and tonight, she was going to become the formal goddess of the Iron Talisman River.

The Great Li Empire had three levels of counties large, medium, and small. Rivers were the same. Beneath the level of rivers was creeks, where the lowest level of waterway deities would reside. Even if one was appointed as the deity of a waterway, one would only obtain the title of river guardian and not river god.

Above the level of creeks was rivers, which were then separated into three levels again upper, medium, and lower. After rising two levels, the Dragon Whisker Creek had now risen from the level of creek to medium-level river. Above the level of river was great river, and there was no further distinction apart from this. Right now, the Iron Talisman River had risen from the level of river to great river[1].

However, a decision had been made to not construct any river god shrines or erect any golden river god statues for the intersecting Dragon Whisker River and Iron Talisman River. At least not at the moment.

They would keep things simple wherever they could.

The two newly appointed river gods were both unfamiliar names to those in Dragon Spring County. Among them, the Iron Talisman River's formal god was called Yang Hua.

Compared to the "loud thunder and small raindrops"[2] of appointing the new river gods, the imperial court of the Great Li Empire also appointed three new formal mountain gods in a single breath. These formal gods would reside in Cloud Drape Mountain, Incense Mountain, and Downtrodden Mountain.

The apotheosis ceremony was grand and majestic, and the emperor of the Great Li Empire personally penned the imperial edicts. The Sage, Ruan Qiong, helped announce the opening of the altar, and the assistant minister from the Ministry of Rites helped announce the contents of the imperial edict.

Meanwhile, the geomantic official from the Ministry of Astronomy and Wu Yuan, the county magistrate and parent official of Dragon Spring County, unveiled the clay golden statues of two of the formal gods. There was a whole sequence of elaborate formalities, and not a single formality was ignored or glossed over.

The mountain gods in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent were divided into three levels the formal gods of the Five Mountains, ordinary mountain gods, and mountain lords. The mountain lords that the commoners often referred to as "lords of the land" could be viewed as something similar to officials-in-waiting in the imperial courts.

Generally speaking, mountains and mountain ranges would remain similar in size no matter how many hundreds or thousands of years passed. Thus, it was extremely difficult for mountain lords or mountain gods to gain promotion if they stayed in the same place. However, this wasn't definitive.

If a powerful cultivator decided to reside in their mountains and cultivate, and if this cultivator eventually became someone highly regarded by an empire such as a mighty imperial preceptor or True Lordthen it would be possible for the mountain lords or mountain gods to ride their coattails and also gain promotion. After all, mountains were renowned not for their height, but for the presence of immortals living in them[3].

Among the newly appointed mountain gods, the mountain god appointed to Downtrodden Mountain was especially strange. Only his surname, Song, was known. Moreover, compared to the clay statues of the two other mountain gods that were simply gilded in gold, the entire head of his statue had been specially forged from gold. Apart from this, however, the rest of his statue wasn't gilded in gold powder. Instead, his clothes and ornaments were simply painted using a variety of different colors. It was rumored that this was done due to a secret order from the imperial court.

The river was murky, and above it was a violent and thundering waterfall.

The toes of the young woman lightly touched down on the precious talismanic sword from the Daoist Sect. Like vines in the water, the golden tassel of the sword had already lightly wrapped around her toes at some time.

She was being punished because of her achievements.

Her eyes were tightly shut, and her lashes trembled slightly as tears slowly flowed from her eyes. However, these tears were quickly swept away by the currents of the river.

Even though she had been born with a unique physique that allowed her to have a strong affinity with water and rivers ever since a young age, a traveling Daoist priest had once visited her home and divined her Eight Characters for her when she was young.[4] The Daoist priest had concluded that she was prone to attracting all kinds of dark and dirty matter in the water, so it was best that she didn't approach any water sources alone, especially places where sourceless water converged.

As Yang Hua grew older, it wasn't long before a geomantic official from the Great Li Empire noticed her and brought her before Her Majesty. From then onward, she started to cultivate a top-notch water-element technique. Her cultivation advanced in leaps and bounds, and her progress in three years was equivalent to the progress of others in 30 years or even longer. This was taking into account the fact that she was only cultivating casually, while the latter people were cultivating in earnest.

However, this wasn't the main reason why she had been forced onto this "path with no return".

One had to realize that becoming river guardians or river deities was widely viewed as "taking a severed path" by orthodox Qi refiners. This wasn't a means to achieving immortality.

If a bridge to immortality were clearly collapsed in the middle, preventing one from reaching the other end, could it still be considered a bridge to immortality?

Yang Hua understood why she had suffered this fate she was being punished because of her achievements.

This was because she had won the acknowledgment of that talismanic sword in the capital. She had successfully gained control of the sword, Talisman, before the young swordsman from Wind Lightning Field, Liu Baqiao.VSit no(v)3lb/!n(.)cm for new ovl

After obtaining this supreme fated opportunity, her cultivation started to advance at an even more explosive speed. However, just as she thought that she was about to reach the Upper Five Tiers, a nightmare also crept up on her silently and without warning. Firstly, it was Her Majesty telling her to offer up the talismanic sword and hand it over to Ruan Qiong, the sage overlooking Jewel Small World. After being used to strike the Dragon Slaying Platform twice, what was returned to her was a talismanic sword that was already teetering on the brink of shattering.

However, what could she do? On one side was Her Majesty who had given her a new lease on life, and on the other side was a sage from the School of Military Thought who was an esteemed guest of the Great Li Empire. She had no option but to grit her teeth and accept this fate. However, she truly hadn't imagined that the emperor would suddenly issue that decree and order her to become the river goddess of the Iron Talisman River.

The young woman stood atop the sword and motionlessly hovered in the river. It was as if she were a deity standing in a shrine.

She rid her mind of all distracting thoughts and started to compose herself and focus her mind. She formed seals with her hands, and her body remained as immovable as a mountain.

One strand after another, her hair started to slowly detach from her scalp and vanish with the current of the river.

Immediately afterward, her flesh started to slowly melt and disintegrate.

She was in severe pain, not only in a physical sense, but even more from the anguished wails that came from the depths of her soul. She had already channeled an untaught secret technique of the Great Li Empire to cut off her senses, yet her slender body that was bloodied and disintegrating still couldn't help but shake.

Little flesh remained on her body, and she was now almost as thin as a skeleton!

In the end, the young woman was genuinely reduced to nothing more than a skeleton.

The surface of the river boiled, and steam rose into the air.

Resting on the bottom of the river, the talismanic sword that was almost shattered remained unmoving the entire time. However, the harrowing white skeleton that still barely resembled the shape of a young woman started to sway like flowing aquatic grass. It appeared weak and brittle, and it was as if it might be swept away by the currents of the river at any moment.

It was at this critical moment that the threads on the golden tassel of the talismanic sword started to emit a golden glow. Not only did these threads tighten their grip around the young woman's toes, but they even started to slowly rise and wrap around her lower legs, eventually stopping when they reached her bone-white kneecap.

Only at this moment was the skeleton finally able to stabilize itself. With the help of the golden tassel, she would no longer be disdained and abandoned by the mystical divine sense hidden in the river, and she would no longer suffer the fate of being reduced to the lowliest water-dwelling ghost or yin entity.

Gathering divine nature, remolding a godly body, and having one's mortal body transcend to the level of pseudo sage...

Observing the skeleton, one could see the first strand of hair starting to regrow on the skull.

This wasn't long crow-blue hair like that of the "old woman" river guardian in Dragon Whisker Creek. Instead, strands of pale golden hair started to appear on her white skull one after another, becoming increasingly lush and eventually granting her a head of long and gorgeous hair that measured several meters in length.

This was a rare, once-in-a-century, "rain goddess" form!

Regardless of their rank, river guardians and river gods were ultimately bound to the land and the water. They could only go with the flow. Meanwhile, rain gods that were almost completely extinct in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent could be regarded as heavenly deities that weren't bound by the earth.

Even though the rank of rain gods wouldn't be much higher than the rank of great river gods, the gap between them would be like the disparity between the strength of ordinary Qi refiners and swordsmen at the same cultivation base it was actually quite significant. Another example would be the position of palace minister held by the lantern-bearing old man. Compared to other official positions at the same level, the importance and influence of palace ministers were far greater in all aspects.

The Zenith Heaven Golden Immortal of the Dao Sect, the Golden Dharmapala Arhats of the Buddhist Sect, the gold-gilded clay statues of the deities, and the golden branches and jade leaves[5] of the mortal empires all of these titles included the description "golden".

Of course, it was slightly misleading when people referred to the Dao Manifestations of deities as Golden Dao Manifestations. This didn't mean that the bodies of these deities were genuinely covered in gold or made up of gold. For example, the river guardian of the Dragon Whisker River had only developed a speck of golden light in her eyes. There was a huge gulf between her and Yang Hua, whose flowing golden hair signified her aptitude as a rain goddess.

The young woman started to recover her appearance.

Flesh grew on her bones.

When she finally opened her eyes again, she was already in a body more beautiful than before.

A green dress formed from the water essence of the river wrapped around her slender and enchanting body.

She slowly drifted forward, and it was as if she were traversing flat ground. Her breathing was calm and relaxed, and compared to cultivating in a cave abode that was brimming with spiritual energy, she felt even more fulfilled and content at this moment.

Yang Hua raised her hand and made a grabbing motion, and the talismanic sword that had remained sheathed the entire time drifted up from the bottom of the river and into her hand. Holding the sword horizontally in front of her, Yang Hua lightly pulled it out of its scabbard. She gazed at the startling fractures on the blade. They were like scars on the face of a beautiful woman, and this was something that would cause one to feel sorrow and pity.

Now a great river goddess of the Great Li Empire, Yang Hua turned the edge of the talismanic sword upward and gazed down at the blade that was still just as sharp as before. Her voice was gentle as she murmured, "In the end, only you haven't left or abandoned me."

The talismanic sword shuddered slightly. Its spiritual energy was exhausted, and it was much like a haggard old person lying on their deathbed. It was completely devoid of spirit and energy.

"I won't ever view you with disdain. So be it if this is a severed path. We'll walk to the end together."

Yang Hua lowered her head and slightly tilted her face. Using the edge of the talismanic sword, she drew a deep gash into her cheek, so deep that even her cheekbone became visible.

The surging water of the Iron Talisman River roared by, becoming increasingly vigorous and gallant. It was filled with killing intent, and there was not a hint of resentment or melancholy.

Such was the case with worldly matters trouble would befall those who possessed cherished items, and punishment would befall those whose talent drew envy.

Such was the case with worldly beings coming into possession of deadly blades, killing intent would naturally possess their hearts!

1. There are two words for river in Chinese ( and ), and they fundamentally have the same meaning. The best example is the Yangtze River () and Yellow River (). However, the author chooses to make a distinction here.

2. This means a lot of talk but little action.

3. An extract from one of Liu Yuxi's works. Liu Yuxi was a Chinese essayist, philosopher, and poet from the Tang dynasty.

4. The Eight Characters () is a Chinese astrological concept that a person's destiny or fate can be divined by the two sexagenary cycle characters assigned to their birth year, month, day, and hour.

5. This is referring to descendants of the emperor or nobles.

Chapter end

Chapter 31: Beating Around the Mountain
Chapter 32: Peach Leaf
Chapter 33: White Dragon Disguising as a Fish
Chapter 34: Gathered Together
Chapter 35: Licorice Root
Chapter 36: Ancient Book
Chapter 37: Fist Technique
Chapter 38: Ninth Tier
Chapter 39: Cursing the Locust Tree
Chapter 40: Returning the Courtesy
Chapter 42: Prodigy
Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog
Chapter 44: Coming to Light
Chapter 45: Sunlight
Chapter 46: Skirt Dagger
Chapter 47: Going Alone
Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted
Chapter 49: Porcelain Shard
Chapter 50 (1): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 50 (2): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 51: Confrontation
Chapter 52: Shudder
Chapter 53: Gift
Chapter 54: Facing the Enemy
Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze
Chapter 56: Nodding Bodhisattva
Chapter 57: Sword Nurturing Gourd
Chapter 58: Teacher
Chapter 59: Sleep
Chapter 60: There's a Ghost
Chapter 61: Helpless Pawn
Chapter 62: Falling Tree
Chapter 63 (1): So That's How It Is
Chapter 63 (2): So That's How It Is
Chapter 64: The Three Chens
Chapter 65: Jewel
Chapter 66: Looking Up
Chapter 67 (1): Long Journey
Chapter 67 (2): Long Journey
Chapter 68: Spring Under the Heavens
Chapter 69: Night
Chapter 70: Daylight
Chapter 71 (1): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 72: Black Cloud
Chapter 73: Wooden Figure
Chapter 74: The Fire Dragon Roams the Water
Chapter 75: Mountain Selection
Chapter 76: Back to Back
Chapter 77: Entering the Mountains
Chapter 78: Another Dream
Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal
Chapter 80: Leaving the Mountains
Chapter 81: Imperial Preceptor
Chapter 82 (1): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 82 (2): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 83: Dreams
Chapter 84 (1): I Have a Sword
Chapter 84 (2): I Have a Sword
Chapter 85 (1): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 85 (2): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 86 (1): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 86 (2): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 87 (1): Little Teacher
Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher
Chapter 88: Grand Entrance
Chapter 89: Two Heads
Chapter 90: Heavy Rain
Chapter 91: Jade Hairpin
Chapter 92 (1): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 92 (2): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 93 (1): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 93 (2): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 94: A Feast for the Eyes
Chapter 95: Too Small a Place
Chapter 96: Demons in the Mountains and Rivers
Chapter 97: Bowing to the Mountain
Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God
Chapter 99: The Mountain God and the Bamboo Saber
Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 100 (2): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 101: Guard the Mountain
Chapter 102: Soaring White Ray
Chapter 103: Bamboo Building
Chapter 104: Sharing the Spoils
Chapter 105: Rootless Duckweed
Chapter 106: People from All Walks of Life
Chapter 107: Fishing Net
Chapter 108: Spring Hunting
Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say
Chapter 110: All Good Things Must Come to an End
Chapter 111: Bamboo Hat
Chapter 112: Powerful Individual
Chapter 113: Unparalleled Might
Chapter 114: Seeing A'Liang Again
Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)
Chapter 116: There's an Old Scholar In the World (2)
Chapter 117 (1): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 117 (2): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World
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