Chapter 1 Douluo Continent, Otherworldly Tang San

Holy Spirit village[4]. If one only heard its name, might sound like a  rather astonishing village. In fact, this was merely a single village of three hundred households south of Fasinuo province’s Nuoding city. The reason why it was called Holy Spirit was because in legend, a hundred years ago a Spirit Sage ranked Spirit Master[5] came from there[6]. This was also the eternal pride of Holy Spirit village.

Outside Holy Spirit village was, without exception, a vast expanse of farmland where grain and vegetables were produced and sent to supply Nuoding city. Nuoding city was located in the middle of Fasinuo province, and while it wasn’t considered a major city, the border of another empire was, after all, very close, and naturally, merchants of both great empires traded there. Consequently, Nuoding city flourished and the lives of the commoners in the villages around the city were better than elsewhere.

Barely at daybreak, in the distant east, the sky was a pale grey dawn color. On a small hundred meter tall hilltop adjacent to Holy Spirit village was a thin and small silhouette.

This was only a five or six-year old child. Evidently, every day he endured the heat of the sun. His skin was a healthy wheat colour, his black short hair appeared very neat, and his clothes, though simple, were clean.

Speaking of a child at this age, to climb this hundred meter tall hill couldn’t be an easy task, but strangely, when he arrived at the summit his face wasn’t the least bit red, nor was he panting. His expression appeared content and pleased.

The boy sat down on the hilltop, his two eyes unwaveringly looking to the east where the dawn sky was gradually brightening. Slowly starting to inhale through his nose, gently exhaling through his mouth; continuous inhalations and faint exhalations that, in the end, became a splendid cycle.

During this process, his eyes suddenly opened wide. A faint trace of purple qi seemed to flash in the light of the growing bright grey dawn in the distant horizon. Without astonishing vision and concentration, it would be impossible to notice it.

At the  sight of the purple qi, the boy's spirit was so completely focused he no longer even exhaled, only a light and slow inhalation. At the same time the two eyes firmly stared  in concentration at the flickering purple light.

The purple qi didn’t last long; by the time the eastern light gradually rose to become daylight, the purple qi had completely vanished already.

Only then did the boy, with a long exhalation of internal turbid qi,  slowly close his eyes. White qi poured out through his mouth like a bolt of unrolling silk before it slowly dispersed.

After sitting quietly for a long time, the boy once more opened his eyes.  In the center of his eyes there was surprisingly, perhaps because of that impure purple qi, a glimmer of light purple. Although this purple didn’t remain long before quietly disappearing, that very existence was nevertheless distinct.

With a dejected sigh, the boy showed a grudging expression unsuitable for his age. He shook  his head and said  to himself,

”Still impossible. My Mysterious Heaven[7] skill is still unable to break through the first serious bottleneck. It’s already been a full three months, so why this result? Even Purple Demon Eye, which relied on purple qi from the east that could only be cultivated in early morning, has shown better progress. With Mysterious Heaven skill unable to break through the bottleneck, my Mysterious Jade Hand[8] is also unable to advance. When originally cultivating to the border between the first and second tier, I didn’t seem to come across circumstances like this. How come, when Mysterious Heaven skill altogether has nine tiers, it’s this first tier that is this troublesome? Is it because this world is different from my original world?”

This child, who had arrived in this world five years ago, was exactly that Tang Sect's Tang San who leapt from a cliff for his ideals. When he regained consciousness, he discovered that, in addition to a warm sensation, he was unable to move. But the expected death did not arrive, and  he was very quickly born into this world.

Tang San wasn’t clear on what was going on until much later. He hadn’t died, but he was also no longer the former Tang San.

The reborn Tang San needed nearly a year to learn this world's language. He still remembered that, at the time he was born, though he was still unable to open his eyes and see, he heard the deep sound of a man's heart-rending lung-splitting wail. When he learned this world's language, by relying on his outstanding memory, he also couldn’t help recalling that man had shouted, “Third sister, don't abandon me,” and that man was his father, Tang Hao[9]. His mother in this world at that time was already dead from a difficult childbirth.

Whether because of the gods’ dark will or simple coincidence, Tang Hao miraculously named him Tang San[10] as a memento of his dead wife.

Because of this, the village children around his age gathered every day to ridicule him. Nevertheless, in his heart, Tang San was fully content. This, after all, was the name he had used for nearly 30 years in the other world. He was content with simply having a name to remind him of his past life.  

Since arriving in this world, Tang San had initially felt shocked and afraid. But, with the subsequent excitement as well as the present tranquility, he had already completely accepted the reality that seemed, to him, like the second chance from Heaven. Here, he might be able to realise the biggest wish he had in his previous existence.

Though he came into this world naked,Tang San still possessed the greatest wealth: his memory. As Outer Tang sect's most outstanding genius, the methods of manufacturing Tang Sect's various  mechanisms, including hidden weapons, were all engraved in his mind. In addition, he had made off with Inner Tang Sect’s rare manuscript that he had yearned to try for many years. While learning it, he had committed to memory and learned by heart Inner Sect’s Mysterious Heaven Treasure Record, and with it, Tang San hoped to reproduce Tang Sect's brilliance in this world.

“Time to be going back.”

Tang San glanced at the color of the sky, his thin and small body leapt up and he ran down the mountain. If anyone had caught sight of him at this moment, they definitely would be staring wide-eyed in astonishment. Each of his steps was shockingly capable of bringing him nearly 3 ? meters. The mountain's crevices and uneven ground could not be said to have any effect on him as he effortlessly dodged  and rapidly advanced between openings. Even compared to adults he would still be much faster.

What was the essence of Tang Sect? Hidden weapons, poison and lightness skill. The greatest difference between Inner and Outer Tang Sect was the usage methods of hidden weapons. Outer sect gave priority to mechanisms, and for inner sect the standard was genuine technique. Poison use was likewise an Outer sect talent, while in the inner sect, hidden weapons were handed down in a direct line from master to disciple and very few employed poison, since they were basically not needed.

Mysterious Heaven Treasure Record only described six types of martial skills, separated into the inner strength internal technique Mysterious Heaven Skill, hand skill practice technique Mysterious Jade Hand, vision cultivation technique Purple Demon Eye, capturing technique Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon[11], light body technique Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track[12], as well as hidden weapon use technique, Hidden Weapon Hundred Separation[13].

The first five were basics; after all, without a robust foundation, how could one bring out the quintessence of Tang Sect’s hidden weapons?

Having started training Mysterious Heaven Skill at one year old, Tang San, who at present was already almost six years old, was still laying the foundation.

Tang San's family lived on the west side of Holy Spirit village, by the village chief's place. The three room mud brick house could be said to be the crudest in the entire village. It had a wooden plaque one meter in diameter over the door, painted with a simple hammer. The hammer in this world was the most widespread symbol of a blacksmith.

That's right. Tang San's father Tang Hao was a blacksmith, the only blacksmith in the village.

In this world, blacksmith could be said to be the humblest of professions. This is because none of this world's best weapons were, for a certain reason, forged by blacksmiths.

Even so, as this village's only accomplished blacksmith, Tang San's family shouldn’t have been this impoverished with such a meagre little income......

Entering the house, Tang San already smelled fragrant rice. That wasn’t Tang Hao making him breakfast; rather he cooked for Tang Hao.

Starting from four years old, before Tang San was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, cooking was already his daily task; even if he had to stand on a stool in order to be able to reach the top of the kitchen counter.

It wasn’t because Tang Hao demanded it, but rather because if he didn’t do it, Tang San would practically never be able to eat his fill.

Arriving before the kitchen counter, he stood on the wooden stool with practiced ease, lifting the lid of the large iron cooking pot, the scent of fragrant rice wafting out. The cauldron's congee had cooked thoroughly for a long time.

Every day, before going up the hill, Tang San always made sure to put rice in the pot to cook and prepare the firewood so that when he returned, the congee would be cooked well.

Picking up two already worn out bowls with more than ten notches from the counter to the side, Tang San very cautiously ladled congee into the two bowls and placed them on the table behind him. The congee's rice grains could practically be counted by eye, and for Tang San's growing body, this little nutrition was obviously insufficient; this was also the reason why his body was as slim as a thread.

 “Dad, food.”

Tang San called out.

After a long time, the inner room door drape lifted, and a large figure appeared with somewhat staggering steps and walked out.

It was a middle aged man, his appearance seemed close to fifty years old. His stature was still extraordinarily large and stalwart, though one dared not compliment his style of dress.

His worn robe covered with holes, without so much as a patch, exposed bronze colored skin. His previously good facial features now appeared waxen in color. He had a pair of sleepy eyes and a dazed manner; messy hair that looked just like a bird’s nest, a beard that had gone who knew how long without being straightened out. A dim and lifeless look was visible in his eyes. Even though the night had already passed, he still reeked of alcohol, yet Tang San didn’t frown.

This was Tang Hao, Tang San’s father in this world.

While growing up, Tang San never knew what paternal love was. The way Tang Hao treated him was always the same regardless, being firm right from the beginning. Athough he knew to make a little food for him to eat, but nevertheless, as time passed, right after Tang San started taking the initiative to cook, Tang Hao became even more uncaring of anything. In this way their home was so impoverished that they didn’t even have decent furniture. Food also was a problem, mainly due to Tang Hao using all that meagre blacksmith income to trade for alcohol.

While Tang San was a large child, his father was really also about 30 years old, married so early even before thirty years old, but Tang Hao nevertheless must be compared to someone much older, he rather resembled Tang San's grandfather.

With regard to Tang Hao's behaviour, Tang San carried no resentment. In his former lifetime, he was an orphan. In this lifetime, even though Tang Hao treated him badly, he at least had family. For Tang San,