Wu Jian comes from a small clan eking out a living in the countryside. Despite being the clan heir, he is bullied for being cowardly and weak. In a world where the strength of a person's cultivation determines their lot in life, weakness is not allowed, and those who possess it are often stamped out.
But Wu Jian doesn't want to remain weak. He doesn't want to stay a coward. He wants to be strong. Witness the rise of one young man who, with the help of his childhood friend, will face adversity, forge new bonds of love and friendship, and gain the strength needed to protect his loved ones and find meaning in his life.
It all begins here.
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the wu clan
Wu Jian’s mom. A mischievous woman who likes to tease her husband.
Appearance: She has free-flowing black hair, brown eyes, and tan skin.
Wu Jian’s dad. A stern man with an uncompromising view of the world.
Appearance: He’s tall and intimidating, with broad shoulders and thick arms. His black hair is tied into a topknot, his eyebrows are like swords, and he has a pointed goatee.
Wu Yōushì’s second wife. She’s quiet and stern, but shows kindness occasionally.
Appearance: She has long black hair, white skin, and blue eyes. Wears hanfu with muted colors.
Wu Jian’s half-brother. Son of Wu Taohua.
Appearance: He looks similar to Wu Jian, but his eyes are cyan instead of black. He always wears an arrogant smirk.
Cultivation in Severing Time and Space involves following the Path of Nirvana. Every person on the planet is born with a qi sea and meridians, but only one in every one hundred can actually cultivate, which means there are about 1,000,000 cultivators out of the 1,000,000,000 people on the planet.
WHAT ARE REALMS:
A person’s cultivation level can be separated into Ten Earthly Realms, each of which has Nine Sub Realms. When someone’s cultivation breaks through the ninth sub realm, their chi undergoes a dramatic qualitative and quantitative change, meaning they both gain more chi and their chi becomes denser than before. Depending on the power and quality of their chi, this can manifest physically, making them more beautiful, more handsome, more muscular, or even uglier if they practice the Path of Darkness.
The traditional method of cultivation is the act of generating chi within the body and compressing it into one’s qi sea. When the qi sea swells, it reaches new sub realms within each of the Ten Heavenly Realms. Breaking through to a new realm requires an act of sheer effort and willpower.
The Body Forging Realm does not have any sub realms since it is meant to prepare one’s body to generate chi. It is often considered a right of passage for 16-year-olds to try and break through the Body Forging Realm to become true cultivators. On that note, children aren’t allowed to cultivate until they reach 16 because cultivating too early can result in deformities, imbalances in someone’s chi, and even death.
The Deva Realm is the only realm that has just three stages.
THE DIFFERENT REALMS:
Body Forging Realm: The first realm. It involves forging the body into a receptacle for chi. This means training until your body is strong enough physically to generate its own chi. While there are not stages for this, strength is generally measured by the amount of power someone can generate. There are special devices that can be used to measure a person’s power through their punch. A person with 5,000 units of power has a good chance of breaking through to the next realm. However, the stronger someone is, the better their chances of reaching even higher realms are.
Hunger Realm: The second realm is one that involves gathering and compressing chi into a person’s qi sea. Each time a cultivator gathers enough chi, they can channel it through their meridians to strengthen their body, then compress their chi further to reach the next sub realm. This realm is often considered the first realm on a cultivator’s path to true power. It is at this realm that cultivators can utilize the chi in their qi sea to attack.
Anima Realm: After breaking through to the Anima Realm, cultivators will experience an incredible increase in power. This is the stage where practitioners of the Path of Nirvana begin to truly understand and grow into their power. It is also at this stage that cultivators who cultivate elemental chi really grow. A good example of this are members of the Ice Phoenix Sect in the Shang Frozen Tundra, who are all cultivators of Ice Phoenix Cultivation Method, which involves generating nine ice crystals inside of their qi sea to break through each level.
Asura Realm: The Asura Realm is considered the pinnacle of cultivation realms in small kingdoms like the Shang Kingdom, but it’s considered a middle-rank realm for larger kingdoms. When people reach the Asura Realm, their body undergoes the second qualitative change, increasing not only the amount of chi they possess but also their physical strength and even their appearance. A good example of how someone’s appearance can change are people who cultivate fire chi, which often turns their hair flaming red. Similarly, the women of the Ice Phoenix Sect who reach this realm have icy pale skin, frosty blue eyes, and silver hair.
Human Limit Realm: Very few cultivators for small kingdoms like the Shang Kingdom reach this realm, and those who do are lauded as heroes. Aside from an incredible increase in chi, a cultivator’s ability to control their chi becomes so refined they can use Heaven Rank techniques with little effort. While this still isn’t considered a very high realm to those of the larger kingdoms, it is at this stage that people at large will begin to consider you a threat. People who reach this realm can also fly.
Deva Realm: Known as the realm of true strength, cultivators who reach this realm form the core of the larger kingdoms’ military. It is at this realm where people can begin manipulating laws like time, space, and dimension. This is the only realm with three stages known as the Heavenly Tribulations Stage. The reason it’s so hard for someone to break through each sub realm of this stage is because they must go through the Heavenly Tribulations, which calls down the Judgment of Heaven in the form of lightning.
Seeker Realm: Those who reach this realm are few and far between. Also known as the Realm of Knowledge, this is the realm where cultivators begin to truly understand the world around them. It goes without saying that their power is far beyond that of ordinary cultivators. Most people who reach this realm don’t do so until they are hundreds of years old. Part of the reason for that is because this is the stage where people must begin cultivating the yin and yang energy of heaven and earth, which involves consciously drawing energy through the acupoints. However, most people do not have many acupoints open and therefore are limited in the amount they can bring into themselves.
Realization Realm: Cultivators who reach this stage gain a new leap in perspective. Aside from a massive increase in power, they also gain an increased awareness of the world around them and how it works. This is the realm where people can freely manipulate the natural laws of the universe. That said, there are only a handful of people who have reached this level of power.
Perfection Realm: This is the pinnacle of power on the planet and anyone who reaches it can be considered a god in their own right. People at this realm are so few and far between that even most cultivators are unlikely to meet someone at this level. Those who have reached this realm can no longer be considered human. They are more like demi-gods who have taken half a step into godhood.
God Realm: A mythical realm. Those who know about it assume it’s just a myth because no one has ever reached it. Very little is known about this realm. The only person on this planet who ever reached the God Realm was Tiāntáng Meiying, the Empress of Time who existed over ten thousand years ago. However, she was not from this world and traveled to it from a different one after searching for a quiet place to live.
Meridians are pathways through which qi flows. They are located all throughout the body and act similar to veins. Every person is born with meridians, which start growing from the time someone is born to the time they reach maturity at the age of fourteen.
Just because everyone has them doesn’t mean everyone can use them, as there are cases where some people might have damaged meridians that are unable to contain qi. These people are often considered defective. Some are given up for adoption and a few have even been killed at birth.
The Dantian is the source of a person’s power. Also referred to as a chi sea, it is a place within a cultivator where all of the chi they use for techniques are stored. The Dantian has, at times, been referred to as a seed, while the Meridians are like roots sprouting from the seed. As the Dantian is nourished through training and meditation, it grows stronger and the chi sea swells. Training the Dantian normally involves compressing one’s chi sea over and over to store more energy until you are ready to break through to the next realm.
People are born with 361 acupoints, which can be used to draw in yin and yang energy through the skin and into the meridians. The number of acupoints opened essentially decides how much power someone will reach in life. Because the traditional method of gaining strength is to cultivate chi from inside the body, very few people know about acupoints, though elemental cultivators often draw in elements through these acupoints subconsciously. Only people who have reached at least the Seeker Realm know about the meridians and their importance.
Most people only have anywhere from 10-16 acupoints opened and it is only possible to open them at the Body Forging Realm. Exceptionally gifted individuals might have anywhere between 20-40 acupoints open.
Wu Meiying was naturally born with all 361 acupoints open because she is the reincarnation of Tiāntáng Meiying. Wu Jian also has all 361 acupoints open, but he forcibly opens them using the acupuncture method taught to him in the Nine Heavens Spatial Severing cultivation method. Someone who has all 361 acupoints opened will have a much easier time breaking through the bottleneck of each realm. The reason for this is because even though people are not aware of it, they are subconsciously gathering yin and yang energy from their surroundings to bolster their chi when they breakthrough.
Techniques are special abilities that cultivators can use with their chi. Different techniques offer a variety of effects such as bending the elements to their will. There are also martial techniques that rely on close-combat to activate, and there are even more techniques that manipulate pure chi.
Techniques are divided into three ranks: Earth, Spirit, and Heaven, with Earth rank techniques being the weakest and Heaven rank techniques being the strongest. Each rank can be further divided into lower, middle, and high rank. The rank of a technique is determined by the amount of power it has and the amount of power it consumes. Earth rank techniques don’t require a lot of power to use and aren’t very strong. Heaven rank techniques require a lot of power, but they can be used to shatter mountains and split the sea.
NINE HEAVENS SPATIAL SEVERING CULTIVATION METHOD:
A heaven defying cultivation method that Wu Jian and Wu Meiying discovered when they found Yōuměi. This method of cultivation involves first gaining strength of at least 20,000 units worth of strength. The stronger the body, the better. Then, when the cultivator turns sixteen years of age, they must use a special acupuncture method to open all their acupoints. Only after opening all their acupoints can their true training begin.
A cultivator who uses this method can learn to manipulate space once they have reached the Hunger Realm. That’s because this method differs from other cultivation methods. What users do is draw in the yin and yang energy of heaven and earth, circulate it through their meridians to strengthen their body, and compress it into their qi sea, thus making the power their own. This method of cultivation is much faster than other methods and will allow anyone who uses it to reach the pinnacle of strength within a much shorter time frame. At the same time, many shortcuts are cut off. That said, there are some methods of gaining power that can work, such as dual cultivating with a partner.
THE XIAO CONTINENT
The Xiao Continent is one of two continents located in the world of Severing Time and Space. It is the smaller continent and made up of thirteen kingdoms. Each country has its own clans, sects, and ruling classes. Some sects will extend into more than one country, though only the Three Celestial Sects have branch offices in every country.
The Shang Kingdom is the smallest of all the kingdoms and therefore the weakest. Because they are weak, the other kingdoms often make fun of them, though they are so weak that no one bothers to subjugate them either. They pay a yearly tribute to the Heavenly Sword Sect for protection as well, which helps them avoid trouble.
Located in the center of the Xiao Continent is the Xia Dynasty--the largest and most powerful kingdom on the continent. They are ruled over by the Phoenix Emperor. Outside of the Three Celestial Sects, he is said to be the most powerful person on the continent, a man who gained his powers through the blessings of the immortal firebird, Phoenix. While the Xia Dynasty does not have the same power as the Three Celestial Sects, their power far exceeds those of all the other countries combined.
Zhou Kingdom - A militant country that rules its citizens through fear. Their emperor is a tyrant. Despite how terrible their emperor is, the Zhou Kingdom has numerous hot springs thanks to geothermal heating. They use the money earned through the hot springs to fund their military. Their capital is called Kěnéng.
Qin Country - Known as the country of ship builders, Qin is known for building ships that sail through both land and air. Their ability to produce flying ships is a secret they guard zealously. It is because of their ship building know-how that they are under the protection of the Heavenly Sword Sect, the most powerful martial oriented sect in the Xiao Continent. The capital of Qin, also known as Heavenly Kōngqì, is a harbor city where their many ship builders live.
Han Dynasty - This is a country of artisans and is known to produce the best clothing and pottery. They have no major landmarks. The nation’s capital of Luoyang is located near the inlet and is said to be the Xiao Continent’s most stylish city.
Northern Jin Kingdom - An isolated country where it always snows. They are located to the far north. The people there are a hardy folk who excel at using yin chi. The Ice Phoenix Sect of the Shang Kingdom has many ties to this country. The capital is Shuāng City. It’s located along the banks of the Xuě River, which was formed from geothermal heat melting the snow from the mountains.
Sui Kingdom - An oligarchical country ruled by a religious sect. They have an isolationist policy and do not like getting involved with others. Because their country is surrounded by dangerous mountains ruled by powerful magical beasts, it is hard to travel there. The mountain range surrounding their country is called the Sǐwáng Mountains.
Southern Tang Dynasty - A peaceful country ruled by an emperor known as the wisest emperor in the world. This is a country of scholars. Well-known for having many sects that focus on scholarly pursuits and research to deepen their understanding of the cultivation arts. This is also where the Supreme Ocean Palace resides. The capital is called Míngshì.
Ten Kingdoms Alliance - Technically, an alliance of small countries. They are ruled by the Merchant’s Guild--a branch of the Divine Moon Hall--and not an emperor. Because there is no set ruler, this country does not have a capital. Numerous small cities dot the landscape. However, the largest city is Yuèliàng, a city where the gates to the Divine Moon Hall’s province lies. The famous Zhou Clan originates from the Ten Kingdoms Alliance and their leader is an elder of the Divine Moon Hall.
Song Country - The first country to use paper money. The country has many rivers flowing through it and are well-known for the rice fields. The capital of Bá City is known as the capital of rice.
Yuan Peninsula - A country located on a peninsula on the south-eastern side of the continent. The closest country to the Da Continent. They are not a strong nation, but their cultivators are well-known poison experts. Because many of their cultivators have been used in the assassination of monarchs and nobles, the other nations do not trust them.
Ming Province - A prosperous country with a large population. They border the Shang Kingdom. While the country is prosperous, they are also overpopulated, which leads them to making attempts at expanding their territory. Their nation is ruled by the Four Great Pavilions of Ming, and there are four provinces, one ruled by each pavilion, instead of a single capital. The pavilions are: Burning Flame Pavilion, Wind-Lightning Pavilion, Water Moon Pavilion, and Martial God Pavilion.
Qing Province - A desert country known for its drug production and slave trade. It was founded by the mercenary king less than 100 years ago. They take jobs from all around the world for the right price. The king is not determined through blood but strength. A tournament is hosted twenty years at the capital to determine who will become the next king. Shāmò Méiguī is the capital of this country.
Clans are families of cultivators. The difference between a clan and a sect is that clans only consist of blood relatives, while a sect consists of many different people who wish to belong somewhere.
Because clans have blood ties, they are often intensely loyal to each other, though this is not always the case. Honoring the family is considered one of the most important roles of a clan’s members. In this case, honor mostly involves gaining strength and helping provide for the clan.
Just because someone is a member of a clan doesn’t mean they can’t join a sect. In fact, many clans join sects together because it’s easier to make a name for themselves within a sect. Sometimes, however, just one clan member will join a sect, such as the case when an exceptionally talented clan member is invited to join one of the Three Celestial Sects.
Sects are a gathering of cultivators who wish to settle down and increase their strength. It is similar in many ways to a family, but unlike a family, this is a conglomeration of many clans and individuals. Because of this, it is not unusual for there to be a lot of infighting within a sect. Watch out for treachery.
There are many different kinds of sects. While some offer broad teachings and have various cultivation methods, others are a lot more focused. The Ice Phoenix Sect, for example. All members of the Ice Phoenix Sect are female and only train in one cultivation method--the Ice Phoenix Cultivation Method, which lets women draw in yin energy to cultivate their ice techniques. Since yin energy is toxic to men if not balanced with yang energy, only women can train in this cultivation method.
While the Xiao Continent is made of Thirteen Kingdoms and Three Celestial Sects, the Da Continent has no kingdoms. It is a land ruled by magical beasts. Instead of sects and clans, there are families composed of one type of magical beast. There are four families who's power exceeds all others: The Dragon Family, The Celestial Martens, The Vermillion Birds, and Heavenly White Tiger Clan. While these four families rule on high, less powerful magical beasts form groups to eke out a living amongst themselves. This is a land ruled by the might makes right philosophy, and so life there is in a state of perpetual warfare.