The time vortex had dragged the people from ancient China into this realm. The power of the alien realm collided with the elements here, triggering uncontrollable turbulence. To prevent the realm from collapsing, as well as to protect the people of ancient China from being engulfed by the elemental power, Jiang Ziya temporarily confined them in a magic field...
Chen Jing-Ciou, Tuo Ba Yu-Er and Syu Siao-Syue were dragged to this realm by the power, and for the time being, they lived in the magic field. After mending the rift in the sky, Chen Jing-Ciou had been living a carefree life. Unfortunately, the aged Chen Jing-Ciou was brought to this realm because of the time vortex. Being rejuvenated, he met his past companions again. They had a joyful reunion, and discussed what they should do next.
Yu Wun Tuo: ...The five pieces of jade will resonate with us, the reincarnations of Ancient Artifacts, to start the magical stage conjured by Mr. Jiang.
Tuo Ba Yu-Er: That means, ordinary people like me have nothing to do, right?
Syu Siao-Syue: Yu-Er, your being drawn to this world by strange power already proves that you are not ordinary!
Chen Jing-Ciou: ‘Will Siao-Syue and Brother Yu Wun Tuo be exploited by the Xian of this strange world?’
Harboring doubt, Chen Jing-Ciou decided to scout outside the magic field alone and look around, so as to verify what Jiang Ziya had said.
Taoist: Following this procedure, you can get through the breach in the field and go to the outside world!
Chen Jing-Ciou: Thank you!
Taoist: Brother Chen, I am just exploring Taoist techniques. I didn’t mean to teach you to go out of the field!
Taoist: You must listen to Ziya. Don’t go outside!
Chen Jing-Ciou: Don’t worry; I understand!
However, after delving into the technique taught by the Taoist, Chen Jing-Ciou utilized it and stealthily sneaked out of the field...
To resist corrosion from elemental power, the runaway Chen Jing-Ciou was forced to use his Taoist techniques solely for protection, leaving him unable to hurry his way with his power. To avoid Jiang Ziya, he hid himself in a village, where the people happened to be performing annual sacrificial rites...
Turmoil from war and countless conflicts raged throughout the realm, leaving barren fields everywhere. To survive, a village offered humans and tributes as sacrifice to a mysterious religion of fishman.
Since the regular offering sacrificial rites, the village enjoyed years of peace without threats from monsters or bandits. Therefore, the villagers kept sincerely performing sacrifices. Chen Jing-Ciou, who slipped out of the magic field, had arrived at the village coincidentally and found out about their religious observances.
Child: ... A girl quietly followed the sacrificial procession last night, saying that she wants to stop the adults...
Chen Jing-Ciou: Oh no!
Chen Jing-Ciou asked about the details: the maiden had tried to dissuade the villagers from offering live people as sacrifice, but no one listened. Thus, she coaxed the children in the village to help her hide herself in the pile of sacrifices. Upon hearing this, Chen Jing-Ciou hurried to the place for sacrifices. Before the child could react, a radiating Xian appeared.
???: Can you tell me, which way did the boy go?
Ursula the Dragon Maiden: ‘Please stop!’
The Deep Ones: ‘Why do you — stop me? Aren’t you — our — companion?’
Chen Jing-Ciou: They’re over there!
Chen Jing-Ciou, Young Last Prince: I’ve finally catch up with you — Huh! Why do both of you have a fish tail?
Ursula the Dragon Maiden: Who are you?
The Deep Ones: Are you — also — a sacrifice?
Chen Jing-Ciou: No, I’m here to stop you!
The Deep Ones: Don’t kill him!
Chen Jing-Ciou, Young Last Prince: Don’t worry. I’m just ensuring that he cannot escape.
The Deep Ones: The strong — dominates — the weak. We will — leave — this place.
Ursula the Dragon Maiden: If you already intend to coexist with humans, why are you still being so cold-hearted and ruthless?
Although Chen Jing-Ciou could not understand at all, he could sense the kindness and sincerity in the words of the fishgirl, so he helped to persuade the monstrous creature.
Chen Jing-Ciou: If you don’t change your mind, the situation will be the same for you everywhere.
The Deep Ones: You — tell — the army! Just — kill me!
Chen Jing-Ciou: Monster, if you promise me not to take revenge on the villagers, I’ll let you go.
The Deep Ones: Revenge? Do you — know — I am — one of the — villagers!
Chen Jing-Ciou: What?
Taking advantage of Chen Jing-Chou's moment of distraction, the fishman seized the opportunity to flee. Chen wanted to chase the fishman, but a serpentine body entangled him. At the same time, a seal cut across the sky and stuck to the back of the fishman, dropping the monstrous creature immediately. The fishgirl was also astounded by this turn of events, transfixed.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Girl, I will leave this creature for you to handle. Brother Chen, come back with me.
The experience in this realm was reminiscent of Chen Jing-Ciou’s past.^ That day in an inn, Chen Jing-Ciou saw a maiden walking down the wooden stairs. She was a dainty figure, with her skin as fair as white jade, wearing a greenish blue dress. She bowed to Chen Jing-Ciou humbly, as if she was regarding him as some kind of personage.
When he learnt that the girl had volunteered to be the sacrifice, he could not help growing enraged. Back then, Chen Jing-Ciou was new to the martial world. He abhorred evil, deeming them his enemies. He could not stand watching the villagers oppressed by the demonic fish, so he intervened, trying to stop them.
However, people regarded Chen Jing-Ciou as a charlatan. They insisted upon offering the maiden as a sacrifice for the “River God”. Watching the maiden’s fall into the cave, he decisively jumped in as well. He rescued the maiden on the altar and woke her up. Worried, she asked Chen Jing-Ciou to run, as she still imprudently believed that the monster was a God.
Syu Siao-Syue: ...The River God...He will punish us...
Chen Jing-Ciou: So, the villagers choose to sacrifice the lives of innocent girls every year in exchange for temporary peace? Are you sure this is appropriate?
The startled maiden just kept apologizing. At that moment, Jing-Ciou could not have thought that the maiden would later become one of his closest companions. He was still lecturing her like her elder brother when he was knocked to the ground by the demonic fish leaping out of the lake.
Demonic Fish: Ugh! Didn’t I say that I only eat girls, not boys?
Jing-Ciou defeated the “River God” and left the watery cavern with the maiden. But the escaping evil creature went to the village, slaughtering all...
Chen Jing-Ciou: You evil monster! If you want to take revenge, do it to me! Why do you have to hurt the innocent?
Demonic Fish: Why would you say they’re innocent? They’ve asked you to fight me; they deserve death as punishment!
Old Woman: ‘It’s you! Your presumption brought suffering to the whole village!’
Villager: ‘Give me back my wife! My son!’
Chen Jing-Ciou: ‘I’m sorry, everyone. I — ‘
Villager: ‘Get out! Get out of our village!’
Chen Jing-Ciou turned around to head back on the bridge; but he found nothing underfoot. The river he just saw turned into a bottomless abyss. He lost his step, fell; then woke up in his journey.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: What’s wrong, Brother Chen?
Chen Jing-Ciou, Young Last Prince: Nothing. I’ve just fallen into memories of the past.
Lying on Sibuxiang, Chen Jing-Ciou sped through the clouds and mist with Jiang Ziya. After suffering through the vortex of pneuma, Chen Jing-Ciou appeared to fall in and out of trance; sometimes he would even lose consciousness...
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Maybe it is a bit inappropriate to confine you all, but I need some time to figure out the origin of the anomalies.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: If you recklessly decide to leave before that, accidents may happen. It will pain the people who care for you, right?
Chen Jing-Ciou: I am sorry for bringing you trouble. It seems that though this world is not Shangri-la, there are people who are inherently kind.
Jiang Ziya the Celestial General: Still, brother Chen, you had better think about how to deal with the “inherently kind” person waiting for you.
After coming back, Chen Jing-Ciou was berated by the two maidens for his previous escape. He could only “evade punishment” because Yu Wun Tuo asked for his help setting up the magic stage. He concentrated on imbedding pneuma into the jade. Skill comes from practice. Having ventured the martial world for many years, Chen Jing-Ciou was now a master of Guigu Taoist Techniques.
Setting up the stage, he recalled the face of his master Chen Fu. In the past, Chen Fu always shouted at him, ordering him to study the Taoist techniques; but he was too lazy to practise. Later when his master encountered misfortune, he regretted slacking. At last he even had to duel his demonized master on the Crimson Meteor...
Chen Jing-Ciou could not help grieve. The death of Chen Fu was an eternal pain in his heart.
???: ‘Don’t worry. We can restart everything.’
The magical stage under Chen Jing-Ciou was intruded upon by some kind of mysterious power that emitted dazzling light. An unknown voice rang in his mind.
A chain of images blew up in his mind. He saw himself explaining everything to his master at the top of the Skybridging Tower. Chen Fu, who had originally been furious, was very shocked. Chen Fu not only mounted the Crimson Meteor with Chen Jing-Ciou, but also succeeded his place as the guardian of the Stage of Loss. Because of that, he lost his memories and aspiration to restore his fallen state; then he spent his remaining years in carefree and peaceful bliss...
???: ‘If you acquire the power to travel through time and space, all lives can be saved.
???: None of your mistakes would have mattered... Septem has this power! As long as you bring me to him —’
Chen Jing-Ciou: No... No way!
???: Why? Don’t you want to rectify your mistakes?
Chen Jing-Ciou, Young Last Prince: Of course I want; but I can’t use such an irresponsible way!
Chen Jing-Ciou, Young Last Prince: Having suffered because of a time vortex, how could I incite another calamity just to fulfill my personal desires?
Chen Jing-Ciou: Master?!
???: Since you won’t give in, I’ll use brute force to breach the magic field!
Chen Jing-Ciou: I am sorry, master...
Chen Jing-Ciou defeated the follower of Satan who had pretended to be his master. He was completely exhausted. In his dream, he saw his master.
Chen Fu: ‘For so long, I have been pushing you with many unreasonable demands. I know you have already tried your very best...’
Chen Jing-Ciou: ‘Master, I am sorry... I have disappointed you. I —’
Chen Fu: ‘... Have a good cry and forget all these sorrows.’
Tuo Ba Yu-Er: Why do you keep apologizing? Idiot!
Stone of Origin - Syu Siao-Syue: Jing-Ciou had been blaming himself...
Slumbering on the bed, Chen Jing-Ciou could not hear their conversation. Siao-Syue cast a mana-healing spell for him, but he remained in a state of despair. Then, Tuo Ba Yu-Er picked up her musical instrument and played the song that represents their friendship. With the melodious tune, Chen Jing-Ciou gradually calmed down. In his dream, he felt like returning to the sea, sleeping tranquilly in comfort beside the coast of Shangri-la...