TLN: So, as promised here is the first chapter to the Chinese Web Novel Xian Ni, be sure to provide feedback good or bad and mistakes. It is helpful because this is my first attempt at doing something like this.
Due credit to OSTNT which was the main inspiration for me picking up this novel as well as helping me with deciding on the standard terminology. For readers who want to read ahead, do check out the manhua, although I would advise you that there are certain marked differences between the two which will be revealed once I am able to grind out more chapters.
Without further ado, I present to you Chapter 1:
Tie Zhu sitting on the roadside of the village, was looking at the blue sky in a daze, Tie Zhu was not his real name, but because of his frailty since childhood, his father being afraid of him not able to make a living, gave him a traditional nick name.
His real name is Wang Lin, Wang is considered as the most common surname in several surrounding villages, being a family of Carpenters, Wang’s family are quite well known and have number of shops specializing in selling wood products.
Tie Zhu’s father was the second son in the family and born from a concubine, thus could not take over family business and after marriage left town to settle down in a village.
As a result of his excellent carpentary, Tie Zhu’s family are considered well-off family, having no need to worry about food or clothing, and are well respected even in the village.
Tie Zhu was an intelligent child, liked reading and thinking a lot, and was accepted as the village prodigy, and every time his father heard someone praise him, the wrinkles on his face subside revealing a joyful smile.
His Mother also takes good care of him, can be said that since childhood, he has lived a life full of parental affection, and he knew that his parents had high expectations of him, where other children of his age had to do farm work in fields, he was at home reading.
As many more ideas come, he is full of yearning for the world outside the village. Looking up from the book towards the end of the road, Tie Zhu closed the book, got up and walked towards his house.
His Father was sitting in the yard, holding a pipe, inhaling deeply, asked Tie Zhu who had come in after pushing the door open, “What Book are you reading?”.
Tie Zhu murmured out a few words, his Father knocking the ashes out of the pipe, got up and said, “Tie Zhu you have to study hard, next year is the District Exam, you have no ambition, everyone can see this, don’t be like me and stay your whole life in this village, sigh.”
“Well, You are complaining everyday, if you ask me, Tie Zhu is sure to get admitted.” Tie Zhu’s mother put the food she was carrying on the table, and called the father and son over for dinner.
Sighing, Tie Zhu sat down, casually pulled out a few mouthfuls, Mother affectionately cut out small pieces of meat.
“Dad Fourth Uncle is coming, right?” Tie Zhu asked.
“Calculating the time, he should be here soon.” Your Fourth uncle has better prospects than your father. Sigh. “Tie Zhu’s Mother Have you prepared and wrapped the dishes for Fourth Brother?” Tie Zhu’s Father mentioning the Fourth Uncle had sadness showing on his face
Tie Zhu’s mother nodded Sighing, she said: “Tie Zhu Your Fourth Uncle is a good person. Thanks to his help, Your father was able to sell wood carvings at good price. If you are able to achieve great prospects, Do not forget to repay your Fourth Uncle.”
As was saying this, Suddenly, the sound of a horse was heard through the door, which was followed by sound of horse carriage stopping abruptly. A hearty voice rang out,
“Second Brother, Open the door it’s me”
Tie Zhu is pleasantly surprised. Immediately rushed to open the door to the yard. Saw only a robust and lean middle-aged man. Starry eyed he stood outside. Seeing Tie Zhu, he laughing touched his head. Smiling, he said：“Tie Zhu I didn’t see you for just six months and you grew so tall”
Tie Zhu’s parents stood up hastily，his father said with a smile：“Fourth Brother，I figured that you would be coming soon，come on in, Tie Zhu go and get you a stool for your Fourth Uncle”
Tie Zhu complying happily, hurried back to the house and put down a bench beside the table, carefully wiping it with his sleeve, looking at the middle-aged man with eyes filled of expectation.
The middle-aged man winked at him, said jokingly：“Tie Zhu, how can you be so diligent, you were not so hard working last time I came here.”
Tie Zhu’s father peeked at Tie Zhu and smiled: “That little bastard, was just now complaining how you weren’t coming soon.”
The middle-aged man saw Tie Zhu’s face going red，laughing：“Tie Zhu, your Uncle didn’t forget his promise.” Then pulled out two books and put them on top of the table.
Tie Zhu let out an excited tone, and picked up the book to read at once, unable to contain his joy.
Tie Zhu’s mother，lovingly eyed her son, and addressed the middle-aged man：“Lao Si，Your Brother is always talking about you, this time please stay for a few days.”
The middle-aged man shook his head：“Second Sister-in-law，I am busy right now due to family work and have to rush back tomorrow，however after this is done, I will come back.” He looked apologetically at his Second brother.
Tie Zhu’s father sighed and said：“Fourth Brother，don’t listen to your sister-in-law，wrapping up family business is most important，we can meet again in the future too.”
The Middle-aged man looking at Tie Zhu’s Father，said：“Second Brother，Tie Zhu is fifteen year old now right？”
Tie Zhu’s father nodded and said：“This little bastard would become Sixteen in an year，Ah，these past ten years have gone by in a flash.” Saying so, he looked dotingly upon his son.
Middle-aged man pondered a while，then speaks in serious tone：“Second Brother，Second Sister-in-law，there was a thing i wanted to discuss with you，the Heng Yue is taking in disciples，and our Clan is allowed to nominate three people and out of those three people, I can chose one.”
Tie Zhu’s father，was at a loss for words：“Heng Yue School？ But that Heng Yue school is for Saints？”
Middle-aged Man smiled, nodding he said：“Second Brother，If that is a Saint school，then our clan is also a prominent one，My son you know does not like reading and is only good with swords，I believe the Saints won’t be too thrilled at receiving my boy.This is a precious opportunity，and I have watched Tie Zhu since childhood，he is intelligent，likes to study，perhaps he may be able to utilize it.”
Tie Zhu’s mother feeling delighted said：“Lao Si，This……this……”
Middle-aged man touched Tie Zhu’s head and said: “Second Brother, Second Sister-in-Law, I will take care of this matter, so let Tie Zhu try and if he is selected that would be his good fortune”。”
Tie Zhu was confused，trying to understand what his parents and his uncle meant by Saints？ What is a Saint？ Tie Zhu asked hesitantly but softly.
The Middle-aged man grew serious and looking at Tie Zhu said: “Tie Zhu, the Saints have the ability to fly, and each one of them are beings that us mortals cannot comprehend.”
At this Tie Zhu grew a curiousity towards the Saints.
Tie Zhu’s father got excited and pulledhis wife and Tie Zhu to bow to the Middle-aged man. The Middle-aged man quickly pulled them up sincerely, and said,”Second Brother, What are you doing My mother died early, but second mother took care of me like her own child, without which I would not be here today, Tie Zhu is my nephew and I ought to do alteast this much.”
Tie Zhu’s father crying with emotion, heavily patted the middle aged man, then nodded and said sternly to Tie Zhu: “Wang Lin, you must remember in the future, your Fourth Uncle’s favour to our family, otherwise I will not consider you my son!”
Tie Zhu’s heart shook，although he was ignorant about Saints，but seeing his parent’s faces he could see that they attached great importance to this matter，he knelt infront of his Fourth Uncle，and kowtowed multiple times heavily banging his head on ground.
The Middle-aged man pulled up Tie Zhu appreciatively，and said: “Boy，you have a few days to clean yourselves up，I will come fetch you at the end of this month!”
That evening, Tie Zhu went to sleep early, his ears caught his father and his uncle’s voices coming from the yard, his father was very happy today, and although he rarely drinks, he had asked his Fourth Uncle to drink with him.
“Saint？ What exactly is a Saint?” Tie Zhu is very excited，because even his young mind is vaguely aware, that this could be his one chance, a chance to go into the outside world!
The next morning，Fourth Uncle left，Tie Zhu’s Parents escorted him to the entrance of the village，on his way back Tie Zhu could clearly see that his father suddenly seem a lot younger，and his eyes seemed full of anticipation.
The look of expectations seems stronger compared to when he wanted Tie Zhu to attend the District Examinations.
Withing the village there are no secrets, even birth of puppies to a dog can spread in an instant to the whole village, and soon everyone in the village knew the news straight from Tie Zhu’s mothers mouth. Everybody’s eyes are now different when they look at Tie Zhu, as they are now filled with Envy and Jealousy.
“Wang Jia gave birth to a bright kid, his clan nominated him to be Heng Yue disciple.”
“I have seen Tie Zhu growing up，he had always been a bright kid, when he becomes a Heng Yue school disciple, he will have great prospects.”
“Tie Zhu you have great ability, when you grow up in the future, don’t forget to come back to visit our village, Eh”
Words such as these abundantly flocked to Tie Zhu’s ears, talk of him being sent to become Heng Yue disciple became ordinary news, but every time his parents heard, they laughed heartily and their wrinkles seem to lessen.
Whenever Tie Zhu was walking alone in the village, all the villagers who saw him, would enthusiastically try to drag him towards their home，Tie Zhu had become an example for the children in the village.
Half a month’s time passed quickly, and the news of Tie Zhu being nominated for Heng Yue spread rapidly to even the nearby villages upto eight miles, and villagers in surrounding nearby areas came to congratulate and to look at Tie Zhu.
Everybody who came, also brought with him gifts, which Tie Zhu’s parents couldn’t help but accept. When the people returned, Tie Zhu’s father set about preparing something to be given in return, after all once Tie Zhu becomes a Saint, he should not be bothered by owing a debt of gratitude towards the visiting villagers.
At this time, the clansmen of the Wang family, came to know that Lao Si had given his quota to Tie Zhu instead of his own kid, and came to congratulate him one after another.
Regarding the Clansmen of his family, Tie Zhu’s father attached great importance, because many years ago it was these people who had driven him out and looked down upon him, but now they were coming to his house. This caused the feeling of years of suffering to be swept away at once.
He and Tie Zhu’s mother had discussed that the guests must be entertained well and had spent a high price in that regard and asked the village teacher to write out invitations to be delivered to relatives.
The teacher didn’t ask for money, all he wanted was for Tie Zhu to admit that he grew up under his care, for which Tie Zhu had no objection because it was the truth.
After the invitations were delivered, most of the relatives in Wang’s Family came to celebrate, and because of so many people, Tie Zhu’s father arranged the venue to be the Village Square where banquet tables were arranged numbering in the hundreds.
The residents of the village helped themselves to the hospitality, while praising Tie Zhu unceasingly.
As for Tie Zhu’s father, he led his wife and Tie Zhu to personally greet them so that he could introduce the guests and relatives to Tie Zhu.
“This is your Third Grandfather, when your father left the family，your third grandfather secretly helped a lot，Tie Zhu you must surely remember to repay him later.” Tie Zhu’s father said to Wang Lin while helping a very old man.
Tie Zhu cleverly acknowledged，the old man looked at Tie Zhu，lamenting：“Ah Lao Er，How time flies, your child has grown so big, this kid is very good and has much better prospects compared to you.”
Tie Zhu’s father’s face grew red，smiling he said：“Third Grandfather，Tie Zhu has been intelligent since childhood，please don’t compare him with me. Take your time to walk; mother of the child, support third grandfather over” (TLN: Due credit to Lincoln for helping me with the last line.)
Tie Zhu’s mother hastily supported the arm of the Elder and moved him towards the banquet.
Seeing the old man gone, Tie Zhu’s father grunted and said to Tie Zhu: “This old guy did despise your father and had insisted on driving me away, and now that you have good prospects congratulates me, this is such kind of relative.”
Tie Zhu cluelessly nodded and asked: “Dad, did Fourth Uncle come today?”
Tie Zhu’s father shook his head：“Your Fourth Uncle passed on a letter，saying that he will not come back until the end of the month as he is far out.”
At this time，another coach came running，after it stopped a fifty year old man stepped out，he looked at Tie Zhu’s father, sighed lightly and said:”Lao Er，Congratulations”
Tie Zhu’s father’s expressions grew complicated for a while, after a while he said: “Brother…….”
The old man then looked at Tie Zhu, smiling he said: “Lao Er, this is your kid right, he might really be selected.”
Tie Zhu’s father frowned a bit, then said: “Even though Tie Zhu doesn’t have any strong advantage, he has been smart since childhood, willing to study, it is his destiny to be chosen.”
“It is not necessarily true，Saint schools are very strict towards their disciples. I can see this kid is foolish looking and can be expected to be no good.” An arrogant and rude voice came from a boy who climbed down from the wagon and could be considered to be sixteen or seventeen years old.
The Youth looks handsome, with eyebrows like scimitars and a face like Guan Yu [TLN: Guan Yu from Three Kingdom Era], his eyes revealed a look of contempt.
Tie Zhu’s father glared, Wang Lin also looked at the youth without speaking.
The Old man’s face changed colour, he shouted: “Wang Zhuo, How dare you be so rude, this is your Uncle and your Brother, Wang Lin, why have you not greeted them” Then, he turned to Tie Zhu’s Father: “My son’s speech si coarse, Lao Er do not mind him, but…..” saying so he quickly changed topic and said：”Lao Er, for somebody to be accepted as disciple of a Saint is not so simple matter, you need to be mindful of your destiny，the possibility of sending nominations from our Wang Family to Heng Yue for disciples was only because the Saints found value in my son and gave our family three quotas including my son.”
Tie Zhu’s Father snorted and said: “If your son can do it, then mine can get selected too.”
The Youth scoffs disregarding the Old man’s lecture, said contemptfully: “You are an Uncle, I suggest you do not hold high hopes, the Xiu Xian (Cultivation) System is so complex that out of ten thousand hardly even a single person succeeds, how can this idiot compare to me who was personally selected but not yet announced as a disciple to a Saint Teacher.”
The Old man’s face filled with pride, but he also reprimanded the Youth while shaking hands with Tie Zhu’s father before leading the Youth towards the Banquet.
“Tie Zhu，do not feel pressured after all even if you are not selected there is always the district exam next year.”Tie Zhu’s father who had been suppressing his anger till now, earnestly said.
Wang Lin on the other hand confidently whispered: “Don’t worry Dad, I will surely be selected”.
Tie Zhu’s father gently patted his son’s shoulders, his eyes revealing his expectations.
They still had to meet a lot of relatives, Tie Zhu’s father led him back to the banquet, where at this time the place is full of guests with everyone celibrating.
“My Dear Family relatives, My fellow village-folk, I Wang Tianshui lack culture, so I will not say much, but I am glad today that my son has gotten a chance to be selected as a Heng Yue disciple. This is the most exciting day of my life. I won’t say anything else, but Thank you for coming here for congratulating us, Thank you.” Saying so, Tie Zhu’s father completely drained the glass of wine that he was holding.
“Lao Er, your child is intelligent since birth, certainly will be selected and similar to Wang Zhuo become a Saint.”
“Second Brother, by having Tie Zhu you have fulfilled your purpose in life and have not lived it in vain, now you can enjoy happiness in the future.”
“Tie Zhu make every effort to succeed for your Father and become a Heng Yue Disciple.”
Numerous bright scenes can be seen everywhere, the sound of celebration rises from all directions, but there are people like Wang Zhuo’s Father, who on the surface bears congratulations but on the inside, look down upon his Brother and his son. He looked at his own child and then at Tie Zhu and finds himself dissatisfied with Lao Si who gave his quota to Tie Zhu, concluding in the end that unless the Saints are not blind, it is impossible for Tie Zhu to be selected.
People from different walks of life can be seen, as Tie Zhu’s father pulls Tie Zhu from one table to another toasting, while introducing him to the various relatives.
On this day, Tie Zhu’s father drank a lot of wine, he had never been so well regarded till now, when it grew late，the relatives started leaving. Before leaving, Wang Zhuo still carrying a contemptuous expression, whispered in the ear of Tie Zhu while no one was looking: “Little fool, you will not be selected, you are not cut out for it.”
Displaying a contemptuous smile, he left along with his father.
At home, lying in Bed, Tie Zhu swore to get selected no matter what!
As the rest of the month passed by, Tie Zhu’s Fourth Uncle arrived in a Carriage.
Tie Zhu’s parents quickly welcomed him indoors, but the Middle-aged man washing his face, hastily said, “Second Brother, Second Sister-in-law, I cannot stay for a long time, I want to leave with Tie Zhu immediately as tomorrow morning Heng Yue School will be taking in disciples.”
Tie Zhu’s Father hesitated, his face showing his sadness, resolutely said: “Ok, Tie Zhu follow your Uncle and go….. If you are selected be steadfast in Heng Yue School, if you are not selected don’t worry and come straight back home.”
Tie Zhu dismayingly looked at his parents, nodded heavily, his mother took out a parcel from the room and lovingly said: “Tie Zhu listen to your Fourth Uncle, do not cause trouble, when you are away from home act with patience, your mother has prepared a set of new clothes for you and your favourite grilled sweet potato, mother will miss you, If you are not selected, then come back immediately” Saying so, Tie Zhu’s mother started crying.
Tie Zhu ever since birth had not left the village, this would be his first time leaving.
Fourth Uncle said emotionally: “Tie Zhu, For the sake of your Parents make every effort to succeed and get selected, Second Brother，Second Sister-in-Law，in a few days there will be a big celebration, don’t be anxious today, and tomorrow I will take you with me, where we will come to know the results of the children nominated from the family”
Saying so, He hurriedly pulled Tie Zhu into the carriage, whipped the horse and sped away.
Tie Zhu’s parents looked at the fast disappearing carriage and wept silently.
“Tie Zhu’s Father, Tie Zhu has never left our side, this time hope he is not bullied” Tie Zhu’s mother bit her lower lip, her eyes displayed sadness.
“He has grown up and must bear his own fortune too….”Tie Zhu’s father picked up the pipe and took a deep breath, suddenly the wrinkles on his face grew a lot more.