Synopsis Sunday: I Come from the Mortal World


I come from the mortal world to seek longevity here.

Chapter 1 – Weakling

The torrent of water from the Flood Dragon River streamed down from atop the Golden Door Peak, and it restlessly swerved around the Xu family village.

It was the eighth month. Though the autumn wilt was yet to settle, a faint chill had already emerged.

Beneath an old parasol tree, its colours blurred, villagers thronged around a scholar, their concentration fully on his words.

The scholar was eighteen or so years of age. He had a sharp nose, and his eyes exuded a handsome look. In contrast, his countenance was a wax yellow, akin to the complexion of a sickly person. He was clad in a washed and starched hemp clothing which gave a pure-white appearance. The wind blew, and the clothing stuck to his body. Against expectations, his figure was not a weak one.

He clapped the two pieces of small rosewood boards in his hand together, creating a continuous whacking sound. Wetting his lips and throat, he spoke with a loud and clear voice.

“The story begins like so . . . When the fox deity’s soul scattered amidst the wind, she and Mr. Zhang, whose name was placed at the top of the imperial examination, became separated by heaven and earth. The grief was one that would never part, but Mr. Zhang broke out and cast away any suicidal thoughts. Recalling his affection, he extinguished his aims for high positions and resigned, throwing himself into a secluded life. He chose to build a house near the grave of the fox deity, and whilst he lived there, he studied life and death, and resolved his crippled life. As it’s said:

No water’s enough when you have crossed the sea;

No cloud is beautiful but that which crowns the peak.

I pass by flowers that fail to attract poor me,

Half for your sake and half for Taoism I seek.”[1]

It was no more than short story, yet everyone was silent.

Just now, this scholar had narrated a story of a fox deity and a scholar. A man and a spirit, both in deep affection for the other; but, alas, the mortal and the immortal remain eternally apart.

The perfectly suitable poem to end this emotional short story drew tears from the crowd.

Even the children who understood nothing were stunned.

Two more strikes of the wooden boards, and the scholar, tall as he was, stood up. With a shabby wooden bowl in hand, he held it out to the crowd and walked around.

After a short while, the bowl filled copper coins; one could even see a few silvers.

Guang’an Prefecture was quite a wealthy area and flourished with produce. Although these were only rural villagers, they weren’t too reserved with their wallets.

The scholar’s story was a rare entertainment within the countryside. As their emotions were moved by the story, admiration and gratitude towards this scholar was born in their hearts. Naturally, they were generous when he held out the bowl.

Having packed away everything, the scholar bowed in all directions. He decided the next location to set up and went his way.

This scholar came from a nearby Xu village. He was called Xu Yi and was eighteen this year. In his earlier years, he was an unknown existence, but in the recent two years, his name became a bit well-known in nearby villages with his mouth brimming with good stories.

Xu Yi strode swiftly. It was near noontime and he had arrived at the Xu family village’s entrance.

Under the rays of the golden sun, the verdant and lush Golden Door Mountain was akin to an enormous dragon’s spine which stretched towards the distance. At the base of the mountain, there were some eighty slanted wooden houses. They were scattered like chess pieces and extended for a dozen or so miles.

Xu Yi’s short house was situated at the corner of the mountain base. Due to the many years, it was not only dilapidated, it was rather tilted.

Although it was shabby, it was his home!

His heart was at ease when it entered his sight.

Woof woof!

Xu Yi was still a thousand feet from the wooden house when a old yellow dog ran over with a cheerful barks. When it came up, it was raised up to Xu Yi’s shoulders by his hands.

This old yellow dog had served the Xu family for nearly twenty years. It had already been seen as a member of the Xu family since a long time ago. Xu Yi’s parents had died, and he didn’t have any siblings. So, to a certain degree, this old yellow dog could be considered to be his only family.

Each day, so long as he returned from a lengthy journey, the old yellow dog always welcomed him from afar.

Xu Yi patted its wrinkled head as warmth permeated his heart.

A man and dog were slowly marching on the mountain path. The road was narrow and strewn with brambles, and the width of the path that was safe to walk allowed only a single person through. However, every time Xu Yi attempted to lean to the side and allow the old yellow dog on the unobstructed path, its tail brushed him back onto the slim pathway while it walked within the brambles on the edge. It was like a benevolent elder caring for a youth!

They arrived at their home when noon just passed. After being occupying for the entire morning, Xu Yi’s burned with hunger. He swiftly fished out from a broken jar in the corner several salted pieces of blood-red meat roughly seven pounds heavy. He walked out after straightening his back, and poked open the two black lids to the stove tops located front and back inside a short shack by the wooden house’s side. He lit up the fire; meat in the front pot, rice in the back.

After replacing the lid, Xu Yi returned to his room. He brought out South China Anthology then sat in front of the stoves as he stroked the old yellow dog’s soft fur by his neck and quietly read.

The mountains were lush with a verdant green. The winds gently caressed him; they were soft and amiable. Xu Yi’s heart washed with calm.

After an incense burned to the end, the fragrance of meat and rice escaped from the cracks between the lids and stoves, drifting into the distance with the smoke.

Xu Yi put down his book. But just as he prepared to get up and open the lid, he widened his eyes and suddenly threw himself to the ground, pushing the old yellow dog down too.

The moment he fell down, he heard a huge explosion. As if the stoves were struck by an artillery shell, they collapsed entirely. Fragments of stone and dirt flew into the air as dust rolled about.

Afterwards, a coarse voice rang out. “A thirty-pound whetstone accurately thrown beyond three hundred feet! Young master, what true power you have. It seems that you are not far from making a breakthrough past the later stage of Body Refinement.”

Xu Yi climbed up and looked towards the origin of the voice. His eyes turned icy as he carried the old yellow dog, threw him into the house, and locked the door as he faced the outside. He stood stably underneath the pavilion.

“What a good smell! Hehe, Xu Yi, I’ve heard that your business’s been booming recently! It seems that those aren’t lies. With so much wine and meat every day, you’ve truly put even me at a lower place! I truly do feel admiration for you!”

The speaker was a gorgeously clothed male. Behind him were two burly men. One had a short beard and was rather ferocious, while the other person had a body akin to an iron tower. Just by appearance alone, his sharp nose and deep eyes told others he was a fierce person.

“Sir Zhou, you must be joking. I merely script utter nonsense with this barely sharp tongue of mine. How do I dare compare himself with nobles as I scrape through a livelihood?” said Xu Yi calmly.

“Compare yourself with our young master? You think you are even worthy of considering that thought?”

Beard stepped forward with huge strides and stopped just half a step in front of Xu Yi. He held out his hand, and patted his face with a force neither light nor heavy. He sneered, “Brat, I’m sure you know what we’re coming here for. There’s no need for our young master to waste his breath any longer, right? Quickly finish this business!”

“Sir Zhou, don’t worry. The deed has been sent and it’s being investigated right now. How about this. I’ll wait here the same time tomorrow. Send someone to fetch it.”

Xu Yi remained cold-faced.

Sir Zhou laughed and said, “At least you understand! Incidentally, I’m entering Golden Door Mountain for hunting tomorrow. Go wait on the roadside. I hope you don’t disappoint me, otherwise, the consequences . . . I’m sure you understand. Oh, that’s right. I’ve heard that you’ve been training recently! I’m sure you’ve got some sort of accomplishment, right? How about you have a short spar with my subordinate here. Give him some good pointers!”

Not allowing Xu Yi to reply, Beard roared with laughter. He grabbed Xu Yi’s collar and raised him up. “That’s right, that’s right! I must ask you for a few pointers!”

Before his words even finished reaching Xu Yi’s ears, a steel-like fist had struck his shoulder. A sound akin to a muffled explosion rang out, and Xu Yi was like a kite that lost its string as he flew over thirty feet in the air before crashing back down. His face was pale; traces of blood flowed from the corners of his mouth.

“Haha! Sir, you’re talking about him? An existence akin to an ant, training? Cultivating? I can crush him to death with a finger alone!”

Beard roared at the sky in laughter.

Sir Zhou gazed at Xu Yi disdainfully, then left after turning around. From far away, his voice came. “With someone like you who’s less than even donkey crap, Sir Virtue must want to climb out of his grave just to berate you! Oh, I forgot, Sir Virtue doesn’t even have a grave now! It’s became a den for pigs!”

[1] I did not translate this part. I just found it on baike. Source can probably be traced back with Google.

Extra Information

I Come from the Mortal World (我從凡間來) is a Chinese web novel by Xiang Jian Jiang Nan (想見江南). It has over 1.5 million characters, and is listed, on Qidian, under the category of “Xianxia” and the subcategory of “Cultivation Civilization”. There are 730+ chapters; the novel was started on 12th August, 2015, and is still ongoing.



6 thoughts on “Synopsis Sunday: I Come from the Mortal World

  1. We're talking about the British Labour, so it's a simple choice between stupid and evil."But why does he want to imagine himself as the other one?"I bet his greatest regret is to have been born too late in the wrong place.


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