A Regressor’s Tale of Cultivation
Chapter 249: Heavenly Tribulation (1)

Translator: TranslatingNovice

Editor: Z0Rel

Rustle, rustle, rustle...

I sit quietly, watching Kim Yeon perform the Paired Wing Dance.

She executes each move flawlessly, without missing a beat.

How long have I been staring at her?

"Eun-hyun Oppa? I've completed all 10,000 repetitions of the Paired Wing Dance you assigned!"

She approaches me, wiping off her sweat.

"Eun-hyun Oppa?"

It's only when she shakes me that I snap back to reality.

"Ah, sorry. I was lost in thought for a moment."


After a brief pause, she looks at me worriedly and then checks my forehead.

"Eun-hyun Oppa, have you been like this often lately?"

"Hm? Ah..."

I hold my head and nod.

"Sorry, I'll be more careful."

"No, I'm not saying that... Just don't overdo it."


"Having pushed the Wonderfully Mysterious Innate Heart Canon to its limit myself, I know. Eun-hyun Oppa, you must be exhausted from pushing your consciousness to its extremes, right?"


I chuckle bitterly.

It seems she noticed, despite my attempts to hide it.

Teaching Jeon Myeong-hoon and Kim Yeon, instructing the transformed Hong Fan in martial arts, and sharing insights about poison had been my routine for months.

Lately, I found myself zoning out more frequently, a consequence of pushing my consciousness to the extreme, just as she had pointed out.

"Thanks for worrying about me, Yeon-ah. Shall we take a look at your Paired Wing Dance then?"


After watching her perform the dance and giving feedback on her cultivation, we wrap up the day's training.

"See you tomorrow, Yeon-ah."

"Yes, and as I said... don't overdo it!"

"...I won't."


I wake up with a start.


I'm drenched in sweat.

Dreaming through the Wonderfully Mysterious Innate Heart Canon, my body continued to practice the sword in the cave residence even as I slept, training with the sword all night long.

Dawn is approaching.

But I don't let the sun rise.



As my consciousness accelerates, time seems to slow.

"Accelerate, accelerate, accelerate..."

At Ultimate Pinnacle, the acceleration of my conscious could only achieve up to a tenfold increase.

"Accelerate, accelerate, accelerate...!"

But after reaching Treading Heavens, tenfold acceleration became the 'base level.' Depending on the current state, I can accelerate much more beyond that.

How long have I been compressing my consciousness to the extreme and accelerating?

I see the morning sun hanging on the horizon rising exceedingly slowly.

The wind slowed to the point where I could see the movement of floating dust particles with the naked eye.

The grass stands still, not swaying in the wind.

The morning dew stops in mid-air.

Or rather, it seems to stop, moving so slowly that it appears frozen.

No, precisely, my consciousness is just accelerating that much.

I push my consciousness to its maximum acceleration.

Ultimate Pinnacle, Beyond the Path, Treading Heavens.

Along with the power of the Wonderfully Mysterious Innate Heart Canon and a vast consciousness domain equivalent to a Heavenly Being,

I mobilize all the power of my consciousness and successfully enter a world nearly at a standstill, compressing time to an extreme extent.


My head feels like it's on fire.

I want to escape this insane world immediately.

It feels like my upper dantian is about to explode from the overload.


This state is not meant to be maintained in full consciousness for long.

But I endure.

I force myself to endure in this crazily still world, experiencing time almost at a standstill.

And in that state, I begin to unfold all the martial arts I have learned,


And used.

Severing Mountain Swordsmanship unfolds.

Within it, the complexities of the Severing Vein Saber Method, the subtleties of the Fighting Monster Hidden Weapon Technique, and the intricacies of the Fighting Monster Traceless Fist.

The flurry of the Dragon Form Soaring Claw, entwined with the maneuvers of the Parallel Wing Spear and Paired Wing Dance.

My sword moves beyond the planes, so despite swinging at tremendous speeds, there's no shockwave dispersion.

Thus, in the dark dawn.

I rise in my cave residence and quietly, unbeknownst to anyone, rapidly perform Severing Mountain Swordsmanship 42,000 times.


I'm drenched in cold sweat.

I feel like I'm losing my mind.

Though my body is not tired, enduring in this world of extreme standstill brings with it a brain-burning agony just by enduring.


But I don't stop.

Instead, I utter a single phrase.

"There's... not enough time."


It's insufficient.

Far too insufficient!

At any moment, it feels as though that terrifying True Immortal will crack open the heavens like a lid and peer down at us.

Yet, the time allotted to me was at best around 50 years.

With just 50 years, a dullard can accomplish nothing.

Then what should be done?

I have to squeeze every last bit out of my brain, create time however possible, and advance as far as I can.

I must reach beyond Treading Heavens within the given time!


As I unfold Severing Mountain Swordsmanship for the last time, I'm unable to control the sensation of crossing the plane and a shockwave spreads through the void.

In a world nearly at a standstill, the shockwave activates the protective formations installed around my cave residence.


Although the impact should have shaken the mountain, fortunately, the protective formations absorb the impact, only stirring the air inside my cave residence.

"Huff... Huff..."

I take a moment to catch my breath.

The pain that had been constricting my mind disperses for a moment.

But that's it.

I take a moment's respite and immediately begin to perform the Severing Mountain Swordsmanship again.


It feels like steam is coming out of my head.

Not just my consciousness, but my Nascent Soul itself feels wrung out and abused.

Continuing like this will undoubtedly cause issues with my Nascent Soul.

Yet, I don't stop.


In one corner, Yuan Yu, who is accumulating spiritual power in seclusion, bears all the stress that's placed on my Nascent Soul as a curse.

The burden that is placed on my Nascent Soul enters inside Yuan Yu.


Yuan Yu's head explodes.

Not stopping there, the area above Yuan Yu's neck boils and bubbles for a while before it begins to regenerate properly, and his Blood Soul suffers severe damage.

The burden I transferred to Yuan Yu is too great.

It's the result of desperation to extend the time given to a dullard.

It can't possibly be at a normal level.


Even so, I can't ascend to the next stage.

I'm still lacking Gradual Cultivation.

"More, more, more…!"

If it's still not enough, then I just need to fill it more!

I clench my teeth and swing the Severing Mountain Swordsmanship to its extreme, accelerating my consciousness until sunrise.

Originally, to keep the secret pact with Hon Wei, I had to gather my followers within the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect.

However, the young disciples of the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect who had been following me recently started to stealthily avoid me whenever they see me.


Only Jeon Myeong-hoon, whom I consistently trained, would substitute his morning greetings with a lightning baptism without fail.


I swing my club to deflect Jeon Myeong-hoon's lightning directly.

Recently, I haven't been reinforcing the club with energy to prevent it from breaking or getting damaged, aside from making sure it stayed intact.

Just infusing it with the bare minimum energy of the Qi Refining initial stage.

I continue practicing the Severing Mountain Swordsmanship with a club in hand towards Jeon Myeong-hoon.

Accelerate, accelerate, accelerate!


A shockwave is created in front of my body.

Enjoying the feeling of every flow of air striking my body and being unilaterally repelled, I lock eyes with Jeon Myeong-hoon in this extreme standstill world.

For a moment, I see myself reflected in his pupils.

With an untrimmed beard and disheveled hair, with eyes full of bloodshot veins, I look like a complete madman!

'…No wonder all those who pledged their allegiance to me disappeared.'

I chuckle to myself for a moment with that thought.

But there's no helping it.

There's no time to groom myself.

No time to kindly respond to those who speak to me.

No time for greetings.

No time to smile.

No time to spare for others.

I crazily oversee Jeon Myeong-hoon's training while also relentlessly repeating my own.

But still, time is insufficient.

Living all day with accelerated consciousness, the Blood Soul I divided to Yuan Yu is tasked with cultivating, recovering spiritual power, and recuperating the Nascent Soul all day long.

And so, continuously transferring the burden to Yuan Yu, I endlessly pondered and pondered again about martial arts (武).

Pondering martial arts, I repeated the process of pushing the vitality of my body to its limits, endlessly bringing the Earth Tribe's cultivation close to the Heavenly Being stage.

Similarly, for the Heaven Tribe's cultivation to ascend to the Heavenly Being stage, I continuously analyzed and reflected on the enlightenment and teachings of the Heavenly Being stage I heard from Jin Hwi and Hong Su-ryeong in a part of my mind for Understanding before Breakthrough.

Though I say I practice martial arts, martial arts have become part of me. Recently, since sitting down to cultivate spiritual power and practicing martial arts to cultivate spiritual power had no difference in speed, I did not insist on meditating, allowing the Heaven Tribe's cultivation to proceed without difficulty.

Practicing the cultivation of the Heaven and Earth Tribes, and concurrently training in martial arts, I constantly yearned for the next stage.


Before I knew it, the club in my hand became the sword itself.


How many times have I unfolded the Severing Mountain Swordsmanship that the club itself was weathered by the air pressure and transformed into the most appropriate form of a wooden sword for performing Severing Mountain Swordsmanship?

Then, what beyond Treading Heavens am I so desperately swinging my stick-turned-wooden sword for?

Beyond Treading Heavens, the third phase of Manifestation is as follows:

The realm where one imposes their ideals upon the world.

But what exactly does that mean?

What does it mean to impose one's ideals on the world?

Essentially, it boils down to this:

―What is perfection?

I recall the teachings of Jang Ik.

―The term 'perfect,' or 'complete,' does not exist in this world. Do you know why?

―...Why is that?

—Try executing a perfect slash, a perfect thrust.

I performed as Jang Ik instructed in front of him.

—Is the technique you performed perfect?

―...Yes, it is.

―Right, it is. But at the same time, it's not. Would you use the exact same technique in a blizzard-swept battlefield?

―No, I wouldn't.

—Conversely, inside a volcano seething with lava, would you use the same technique as in a blizzard-swept battlefield?

―Absolutely not.

―Then, let's say both of your arms were cut off and couldn't regenerate. If you were to perform the same technique by holding the sword in your mouth, would it be the same as before?

—That would be impossible.

—Right, it's impossible. Therefore, there is no such thing as perfection in this world.

As I swing my Severing Mountain Swordsmanship, I ponder Jang Ik's words.

—Your swordsmanship was created under the same principle, and you swing your sword under that principle, but the principle changes depending on the target and the location where you swing your sword. In other words, from the moment you learned that swordsmanship to now, 'you have never swung the same swordsmanship twice.'


Woong, woong, woong!

The tip of the wooden sword seems to carry Jang Ik's advice with it.

—The space one second before and one second after changes entirely with the subtle flow of air. Not just the air, but the flow of energy, the opponent's mental state, and your own, all change from one second to the next. Therefore, the swordsmanship you unfold one second before and one second after are 'different.'

―...Then, what should I do?

How can the same martial arts be executed?

—If you've reached this stage, you must know that your Fighting Spirit isn't just a simple combat technique. Your Fighting Spirit embodies your life and everything you've asserted for.

Wo-ong, wo-ong, wo-ong!

I perform the Severing Mountain Swordsmanship.


An explosion rings out, and my sword, containing merely the level of Qi Refining energy, shakes off Jeon Myeong-hoon's Core Formation level lightning and even rebounds a shockwave back at him.

―Polish your assertion to the utmost within your Fighting Spirit. I polished the assertion of 'destruction'! Yu Hwa polished the assertion of 'rest.' What is your assertion?

'My assertion...'

—The external expression of your Fighting Spirit can change endlessly and continuously adopt different identities. But! The heart does not change. Or rather, imbue your Fighting Spirit with an unchanging heart! Thus, no matter how the outward appearance changes, no matter how your sword changes, that immutable heart will remain and become engraved as a law upon this world.

That's right.

Simply put, it's about awakening the unique traits of one's martial art, creating a standard that does not change regardless of the situation.

If that 'standard' is truly made to be 'absolutely' unchangeable, then it becomes engraved as a law in this world.

Heavenly Tribulation is executed by the heavens to enforce the law of conforming to the heavens upon cultivators who defy the heavens.

Then perhaps, the power similar to Heavenly Tribulation wielded by those in the third phase of Manifestation, belonging to the Heart Tribe, might be akin to executing their own laws, somewhat resembling the heavens.


Once again, this time only infusing enough energy into the wooden sword for a single use of Sword Energy, I spin around and deflect Jeon Myeong-hoon, who had transformed like a Thunder God, with ease.

But it doesn't end with just repelling him.

Even as Jeon Myeong-hoon is repelled, he appears unbearably slow to me who is accelerating my consciousness close to a standstill.

Rolling my feet forward and arriving at the spot where Jeon Myeong-hoon is about to land, I strike down with my wooden sword once more towards Jeon Myeong-hoon, who is now slowly bouncing towards me.

Jeon Myeong-hoon seems to react slowly but fails to properly block, resulting in his head being split in half by the wooden sword.

The heart I infuse into my martial arts.

What I want to assert.

Kwang, kwang, kwang!

With just enough energy to maintain a single Sword Gang, my wooden sword swings, sending shockwaves that reach not only Jeon Myeong-hoon but also starts demolishing nearby mountains.

Jeon Myeong-hoon, turned into a bloody mess, stands up after a while and rushes at me with his eyes full of bloodshot rage.

And the same situation continues to repeat.

Jeon Myeong-hoon is evolving and making progress, albeit as little as an ant's footsteps, but it is still slow from my perspective.

"Seo Eun-hyun!!!"

Jeon Myeong-hoon, with bloodshot eyes, rushes at me with the intent to kill.

And as the training ends, he goes back to his cave residence with Jin So-hae.

Riding on Jin So-hae's back to his cave residence, I briefly stare blankly at Jeon Myeong-hoon as he vents his complaints and curses about me to Jin So-hae.

Returning to my cave residence after Jeon Myeong-hoon's training, I see the disciples of the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect sneakily avoiding me and chattering among themselves.

I see the sounds of greetings and the Elders and Grand Elders occasionally greeting me as they pass by.

I hear the sounds of greetings and see the elders and grand elders passing by occasionally greeting me.

Before entering my cave residence, I look down at the scenic beauty of the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect one more time.

This place is the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect.

A failed creation by Yang Su-jin and a congregation of non-humans.


Looking down at the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect, I suddenly realize why I have been out of my mind lately.

Far away, I see Hong Su-ryeong kidnapping fresh new disciples.

Seeing that, I laugh.

"...I'm an idiot."

It's an old realization, once again.

To the disciples, to Hong Su-ryeong, to Yeon Jin, to Jin Hwi, to Jin Byuk-ho, to Jin So-hae… to the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect itself.

I tried to distance myself because it's a sect doomed for destruction.

I made a foolish vow not to give my affection to Hong Su-ryeong.

But look,

Already, am I not feeling as if this scenery of the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect is like my home?

This place is the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect.

My sect, my family are here.

"...Do you hear me, Yang Su-jin?"

I speak, looking up at the sky.

"I'm a dullard, an idiot, a cripple, and I don't understand much about non-humans or whatever. Fate, freedom, slavery. Honestly, I've never lived my life thinking about such things every time I meet someone. So…."

Of course, I still can't completely refute Yang Su-jin's logic.

But, even if I can't refute it, I can deny it.

I am not a saint.

I am selfish.

I am greedy and not capable enough to solve every problem.

Nor do I have the magnanimity of a sage.


For my family, with whom I have ties.

"I will protect them."

I won't let them perish.

The name of the heart that dwells in my martial art is Sincerity (盡心 / entire heart).

I haven't lived my life like a saint or a sage.

In a world too full of non-humans for it to be possible, perhaps I've become much crueler than when I was on Earth.

But, there is one thing I can be certain of.

I've always put my entire heart into every situation.

In every connection, in every moment, I've always put my whole heart into it, so now...

My family, with whom I have connections, will not die.


Looking up at the sky, I swear.

"This time too, I will change it."

And so, time flows on and 20 years pass.

Jeon Myeong-hoon finally approaches the Nascent Soul stage.

Chapter 249: Heavenly Tribulation (1)
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