Chapter 0: Prologue

Return to Formless

A vast, boundless sea stretched out as far as the eye could see, melding into the dark blue expanse of the sky that billowed and churned like a majestic tapestry. In the midst of the sky sat three colossal golden suns that cast their radiance upon the earth, shining unabated throughout the endless ages.

The seas churned below, waves rolling as they crashed and broke. These waves were 100 zhang1 tall at the peak of their crests, seeming to reach endlessly up into the heavens. At times, the waves even rose up to fleetingly blot out the radiance of the three suns that hung in the sky.

Standing proudly atop the crest of a certain wave was a lone man, dressed nobly in a moonlit white dragon robe, sleeves trimmed with gold. A pair of horns adorned the top of this man’s head, but rather than resembling the horns of a venerable Dragon, they were instead reminiscent of the horns of a lofty Flood Dragon2.

He stood perched on this colossal 100 zhang tall wave with his head slightly raised, gazing up at the three golden discs nestled in the sky. With his left hand placed behind his back and his right palm lightly caressing the air in front of him, his gesture looked as if he was trying to brush away the dust before him.

But with a light flick of his gilded sleeves, the surface of the sea began to roil and hiss crazily! Within the radius of thousands of miles, the seawater darkened into a deep, inky blue. A hundred columns of water rose out of the sea and shot towards the sky, wreaking earth-shattering havoc, causing the brackish blackwater to seethe madly!

The man’s golden eyes opened, and a thread of golden light escaped from his pupils, illuminating the surface of the sea. The golden beam pierced through the blackness of the water, causing cascades of color to reflect off each other. With a flick of his sleeves, the man’s foot tapped lightly off the crest of the wave as he shot towards the three suns upon the horizon.

Among the golden suns, one of them suddenly burst out with an incomparable ray of light, brilliantly illuminating the man’s body from afar. The bright golden light penetrated his body, starting from his horns and spreading to his head, body, and then feet. The golden light burst out from within like light shining through jade, as his body transformed into a golden-white Flood Dragon that soared up through the sky.

A vast white cloud suddenly appeared and began to revolve around the golden-white Flood Dragon, frightening away evil spirits. Golden lotuses blossomed out of nowhere upon the surface of the sea, causing the scent of rare perfume to permeate the air. Peals of gongs and drums resounded out, and Sanskrit sounds and mantras tickled the ears mysteriously in accordance with the auguries of Buddhism!

The remaining motes of golden light gathered together to form a humanoid figure that floated a small distance away from the massive head of the golden-white Flood Dragon.

The golden-white Flood Dragon’s body was about 50 zhang long, and just the head had a radius of 3 zhang. Its whole body exuded golden light, wrapped in the voice of Buddha, and its imposing manner startled the heavens.

The figure formed by the motes of golden-colored light wasn’t nearly as tall as the Flood Dragon’s head, but this did not diminish its imposing manner in the slightest. His face was cold and expressionless. Bare-chested, bare-footed, and without any hair, the figure was adorned with a floating reddish-gold raiment. A pestle, a bead, a hoop, a drum, and so on hovered behind the figure, making for a total of six Buddhist Magic Tools.

With a light wave of his hand, a golden silk brocade materialized from within his caress, as if it appeared out of thin air. After grasping the silk brocade in its hand and casting a glance at the golden-white Flood Dragon, the Arhat3 Arhat Luoyin declared, “The decree of the Formless Bodhisattva of the Great Buddhist Sun World proclaims that Zhao Ming has already endured confinement within the Heavenly Ocean Territory for 23,000 years and is now permitted to leave. You will return to the Formless Realm of the Great Buddhist Sun World, and once again work for the seat of the respected Formless Bodhisattva. For assisting the Water Sky Dragon in unifying 200 million miles of sea territory for the Formless Realm, your title as the Dragon King Zhao Ming will be reinstated.”

When his words ceased, the golden silk brocade in his hands took off and flew away, growing larger until it enveloped the body of the golden-white Flood Dragon. It continued to shroud the Flood Dragon until it eventually permeated into its body completely. The body of the Flood Dragon began to shrink, ultimately taking the form of a human, but it was completely different from before.

Wrapped in a plain white Buddhist robe, the horns atop his head from before were nowhere to be seen. A resplendent golden hoop was visible floating behind his head, and the phantom image of a Flood Dragon was wrapped around him, bathing him in an incomparably holy Buddhist aura.

After the Dragon King Zhao Ming looked down at his body and examined the Buddhist robe wrapped around him, he said, “Sorry for the trouble, Arhat Luoyin. You’ve freed me from the grips of punishment and reconstructed my Buddhist Physique. This lowly dragon Zhao Ming pays his gratitude and respect to the great Formless Bodhisattva.”

The expression on Arhat Luoyin’s face was not nearly as cold compared to before, when he was announcing the decree with the golden silk brocade in his hand. He opened his mouth and spoke, “You are most welcome, Dragon King. You are also a Flood Dragon cultivator of the Formless Sea Realm, and besides, among the three Bodhisattvas of the Great Buddhist Sun World, the Formless Bodhisattva is moral and just, refraining from destruction and slaughter. Although the Formless Realm possesses a billion Buddhist domains, many beings live in ignorance and chaos where the teachings of Buddha do not reach. Your punishment period has expired, but the main purpose in your release is actually to help the Formless Bodhisattva in enlightening the beings of the Formless Sea Realm.”

“This lowly dragon accepts his duty,” Zhao Ming said with a bow, cupping his fist. Arhat Luoyin nodded lightly, then turned around. His body dispelled into countless motes of golden light, which began to float and drift towards the distant reaches of the sky, eventually disappearing into one of the suns in the heavens.

Zhao Ming raised his head to look up at the three blazing golden suns in the sky. However, he knew that these three golden discs were simply the Buddhist representations of the Three Bodhisattvas, and it was totally unknown to him just how many billions of miles away their true bodies were from this area of the Heavenly Ocean Territory.

Then, he lowered his head, peering down at the boundless sea below him, which had long been restored to its former deep blue state of calm. He let out a chuckle, and his fingers turned into claws. Below him, the sea floor began to tremble, as if something wanted to break free from the bed of the ocean.

“Only because I could obtain this, I don’t regret enduring 23,000 years of confinement in the Heavenly Ocean Territory,” Zhao Ming said to himself. The moment these words left his mouth, the seas shifted and the sky quaked, causing the surface of the water to hiss and roil angrily. A massive royal seal rose up slowly and majestically from the depths. Its entire body was a gleaming silvery white, embroiled in an imposing killing intent.

The murderous aura that encompassed the seal manifested visibly in the form of ink-colored qi that swept and coiled around it, as if it had slaughtered countless beings. Engraved at the bottom of the seal were two ancient symbols. When Zhao Ming caught sight of these two symbols, a mysterious light glinted in his eyes.

Buddhist laws surging around his entire body, he concentrated more golden Buddhist power on his hands before reaching out to grab the seal out of the air. As if the seal had a spirit, it began to slowly shrink down, eventually becoming a small stamp that fit perfectly in Zhao Ming’s palm, where it faded out of sight.

With both hands behind his back, Zhao Ming muttered to himself, “This treasure has no master, so I can use it. With a single touch it can crumble mountains, and moving it slightly will cause the heavens to fall and the earth to shatter. However, I still can’t control it properly. I can draw out 1 or 2 percent of its potential at most, but that’s enough for me.”

Zhao Ming was exceptionally talented, boldly fierce, and diligent in forging his own path. But even with his age of 40,000 years, he still couldn’t fathom the origin of this treasure.

Before this treasure was plundered, even among other Immortal Treasures, it possessed an outstandingly fearful name. It was a Xiantian Artifact, with a spirituality that rose to the heavens, because it was formerly used by an “Immortal”!

An Immortal!

This seal was named Fantian!

TL Note: Hello, crescent here. This is my first Chinese translation work, and I hope you'll enjoy it. I am also translating Unfairly Fired from the Healer's Guild, a Japanese web novel that I've already translated up to the raws, so please check that out if you're interested. It's a completely different vibe from this novel, though. I'm currently looking for an editor to help me work on this novel, who preferably knows Chinese (and maybe Buddhist terms) and has worked on cultivation novels before. Please DM me through the Foxaholic Discord if you're interested.

The release frequency will be 1-2 chapters per week for now, depending on my workload each week. Sponsored chapters will be available through Ko-Fi, and I'll do my best to release them as soon as I can, but I'm juggling school and also Unfairly Fired from the Healer's Guild among other things.

If you appreciate my work or want to sponsor a chapter, please consider supporting me on Ko-Fi!

  1. A zhang is a Chinese measure of length, about 3 meters.
  2. A flood dragon: Image
  3. An arhat is a Buddhist who has reached the state of Nirvana.
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  • Comments 6

    1. Online Offline
      Infinitely supreme
      + 00 -
      Chinese cultivation novels are still d best....hope dis translator keeps up with d translations
      Read more
    2. Offline
      + 30 -
      This is my first Chinese translation work, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

      Hopefully the translator has read cultivation novels before and knows all the terms.
      Read more
    3. Offline
      Alex Astre
      + 30 -
      I've read a lot of Chinese novels, especially the ones with treasures and cultivation, but this one takes the cake for being the most impossible to understand.
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    4. Online Offline
      + 211 -
      So many Buddhist BS and nonsense here gonna stop reading this
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      1. Offline
        + 81 -
        Are you new to reading CN novels?
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      2. Online Offline
        + 10 -
        My younger brother Daoist, you haven't started comprehending the Dao around you, have you? Then this place is not for you
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