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Celestial Ascent: A Tale of Myths and Martial Arts

  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Author: SBWGR
  • Chapters: 86
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Age Rating: 18+
  • 👁 118
  • 7.5
  • 💬 0

Annotation

In the mystical realm of "Celestial Ascent: A Tale of Myths and Martial Arts" a young snake catcher, Xu Ying, finds his destiny intertwined with the forces of the supernatural. In a world where mythical creatures lurk in shadows and martial arts masters wield powers beyond imagination, Xu Ying stands as an unlikely hero. Born into hardship and trained in the ancient arts of snake catching, his life takes a dramatic turn when he encounters a formidable snake demon, altering his path forever. As political turmoil and supernatural disturbances disrupt the peace, Xu Ying's journey leads him through a labyrinth of challenges and adventures. From confronting corrupt deities to battling the mythical beings that terrorize the innocent, his quest for justice transcends mere survival. With every encounter, he uncovers hidden truths about his mysterious past and the intricate world of power and deceit he inhabits. Xu Ying’s transformation from an ordinary snake catcher to a martial arts legend is not just a tale of physical prowess; it's a story of inner strength and moral fortitude. As he navigates a world riddled with moral ambiguity, his convictions and courage are put to the ultimate test. His journey is not just about the battles he fights but also the relationships he forms, the betrayals he endures, and the choices he makes. "Celestial Ascent" is a gripping saga of mythical adventures, epic battles, and a young hero's relentless pursuit of justice. It’s a story that weaves together the threads of mythology, martial arts, and a timeless struggle against oppression. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through a world where myths come alive, and a hero is born from the unlikeliest of origins.

Chapter 1 The Serpent of Yongzhou

In the fields of Yongzhou, a serpent of unusual breed was found. Its body was black, adorned with white markings. It held the deadly power to wither plants and trees upon contact. When it bit humans, none could resist its venom.

At this point in his writing, Liu Zongyuan put down his pen with a sigh. Rising from his desk, he walked to the window and murmured softly, "The hardship of the people surpasses even the ferocity of this strange snake. Since the fourteenth year of Tianbao, the state has decayed. Even such bizarre creatures now roam freely in our villages."

The year was the fourteenth of Tianbao, marking the decline of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, known for his sagacity and filial piety. The rebellion of Prince Dongping heralded the end of an era of prosperity. Although the rebellion was quelled, the years of turmoil that followed saw warlords divide the land, never to regain its former glory.

It was in these times that demons and malevolent spirits arose across the divine land of China. The imperial court was riddled with treacherous officials and eunuchs wielding power. Men of ambition and integrity, like Liu Zongyuan, were often exiled to remote and desolate places, unable to realize their lofty aspirations.

As Liu pondered over this, a sudden gust of black wind blew outside his window. A venomous snake, its body adorned with alternating black and white rings, emerged from a ditch onto the street, wilting all vegetation in its path.

This very serpent was the one he had just described in his writings, known for its extraordinary toxicity.

However, this snake was unusually large, measuring over nine meters in length. With a sweep of its tail, buildings collapsed; its breath emitted a poisonous fog.

The townspeople screamed and ran in terror, unwilling to pause even for a moment.

At a street corner, a plump pig, its skin as white as porcelain, was munching on cabbages. It inhaled the poison and died instantly, its legs kicking in the air.

Suddenly, a ragged youth rushed forward, punching with such force that his fist seemed to generate a gust of wind, scattering the toxic fog.

The snake, terrified, tried to escape, but the youth caught up and kicked it in the jaw.

The serpent was sent spinning into the air. The youth advanced swiftly, leaping up and rapidly pressing along the snake's spine.

Crackling sounds, like fireworks, echoed as the youth dislocated the serpent's bones with his fingers.

In mere moments, he had moved from the snake's head to its tail, completely disarticulating its spine, rendering it immobile.

The onlookers cheered, shouting, "Xiao Ying! What skill!"

The youth, Xu Ying, was known for his snake-catching abilities in Lingling County, Yongzhou. At only fourteen, he had honed remarkable skills.

Xu Ying, dragging the snake by its tail, was about to leave when Liu Zongyuan stepped out and asked, "Xu Ying, why do you catch snakes?"

Pausing, Xu Ying respectfully greeted Liu Zongyuan and replied, "Sir, dried snake venom can be used as medicine for various ailments. The governor has decreed that those who catch these snakes are exempted from taxes."

Liu smiled and said, "That's good."

Xu's face darkened. "My grandfather died catching snakes, and so did my father. I've been learning this craft for six years, always fearing I might meet the same fate."

Liu was moved by compassion. "I am friends with the governor. I can ask him to exempt you from this labor and restore your taxes."

At this, the snake, capable of human speech, pleaded, "Kind sir, spare me! I have painstakingly cultivated my abilities for years. Let me go, and I'll practice my magic in the mountains!"

Liu was startled. "This is a snake demon!"

The serpent continued, "My maternal grandfather, a snake demon, was killed by snake catchers, as were my parents. I thought I'd escape this fate and transform into a dragon, but it seems I too am doomed."

Xu gently dislocated the snake's jaw, silencing it.

Tears filled his eyes. "Sir, I can survive by catching snakes. Without this, I fear I'll soon starve."

He left with the snake, his heart heavy.

Liu, moved to tears, lamented, "Who knew that taxation could be more venomous than snakes? Though the serpent is poisonous, what's more toxic is the oppressive levies!"

Returning to his room, Liu wrote passionately, creating the timeless essay "On the Snake Catcher."

Xu brought the snake home, placing it in a large vat. It was late, and he had to wait until morning to deliver it to the authorities.

After a simple meal, he fell into a deep

sleep.

The snake struggled in the vat, attempting to realign its dislocated bones. Suddenly, Xu awoke to the commotion of ruthless officials demanding taxes from the villagers.

He checked on the snake, relieved it was still there, and went back to sleep.

The snake continued its struggle, eventually managing to realign its jaw. Just as it was about to attack, Xu woke up.

Realizing its plan was futile, the snake lay still, plotting revenge.

Xu, bathed in the morning sunlight, practiced the Taiyi Guiding Technique, absorbing the sun's essence with each breath.

His abdomen rumbled like thunder, the energy moving from his lower dantian to his throat and back again. His body emitted a warm mist.

Xu's skills were not inherited from his grandfather or father. In fact, he was not their biological kin but had been adopted by his grandfather after a fire at the Xu family estate.

His only memory of the fire was a breathing technique, the Taiyi Guiding Technique, which he had practiced daily for seven years.

He had initially thought it useless, only aiding him in urinating further. But after killing a large snake with his grandfather and father, he realized its true potential.

Though he taught the technique to them, it was too late for them to master it, and they died in their snake-catching endeavors.

Now, Xu was alone, having perfected the Taiyi Guiding Technique three years prior. He felt there was more to learn, but the path ahead was unclear.

Behind him, the snake demon watched in awe as Xu absorbed the sun's essence, marveling at his rapid progress and questioning if he was truly human.

As the sun reached its zenith, Xu ceased his practice, aware of the dangers of cultivating during the intense heat.

He approached the vat and threatened the snake, "Answer my questions, or I'll kill you."

The snake, eager to live, complied.

It revealed that its grandfather, originally an ordinary snake, had stumbled upon a cave with a scroll and a gourd of pills. Consuming the pills, it gained intelligence and started practicing the techniques from the scroll, eventually becoming a demon. This knowledge was passed down through generations.

Xu asked to see the scroll. The snake hesitated but complied when Xu demonstrated his strength by crushing a rock, extracting water from it.

The scroll contained techniques for the Da Ri Guiding Technique and the Elephant Power Bull Demon Fist, a martial art.

Xu, intrigued, realized the Da Ri Guiding Technique was similar to his own but less effective in absorbing solar essence.

Like his Taiyi Guiding Technique, it ended abruptly after the Qi Gathering stage, with no further guidance.

Xu wondered why all these techniques ended at the same stage and suspected foul play against his demon kind.

He examined the Elephant Power Bull Demon Fist, realizing its potential to exponentially increase his strength and size during combat.

Just then, villagers called out for him to join the deity worship.

He tucked the scroll away, realigning the snake's neck and warning it not to harm anyone before leaving for the village temple.

The temple, despite the villagers' poverty, was lavishly constructed. The villagers, rich and poor alike, brought offerings for the deity, while Xu arrived empty-handed.

Inside, the wooden deity statue absorbed the incense and offerings, transforming into flesh and demanding more from the villagers.

Across Yongzhou and beyond, similar scenes unfolded in temples, reflecting the divine guardianship of each locale. Yet, since the emperor's decline, the spiritual vitality of these deities had waned.

In the temple, the deity berated Xu and others for their lack of offerings, threatening to withhold blessings.

Xu, witnessing this, pondered the complexities of faith, power, and the struggles of the common folk.

Chapter 2 The Unleashing of Inner Power

In a desolate village oppressed by celestial neglect, Xu Ying, resigned to his fate, offered but a cursory nod to the deity in emerald garb, his gestures devoid of the customary incense, candles, and fruits. Starved of even basic sustenance himself, how could he afford offerings to the divine?

The deity's other chosen villagers, their faces ashen with dread, stood in stark contrast to Xu Ying's indifference. Among them was Jiang Lu, a man in his forties, yet worn to the semblance of an octogenarian by hardship. His face was creased with wrinkles, his body stooped and trembling. "Great Spirit," he implored, "I have not even a morsel to eat. Last night, I gnawed only on bark, and the tax collectors bleed me dry. What could I possibly offer you?"

The deity in green, with a glance and a sneer, retorted, "You appease the taxmen but not me? Am I lesser to you than them?" Jiang Lu, petrified, remained silent.

The deity's eyes,

Heroes

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