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[Name: Geng Shi]
[Race: Human (100%)]
[Gender: Male]
[Age: 15]

[Cultivation: Qi Condensation (3/13) (85.81%)]
[Constitution: None]
[Bloodline: None]
[Roots: Metal (31%)]

[Potential Points (Total: 16)]
-------------------------------------------
[Will: 5]
[Talent: 4]
[Comprehension: 3]
[Luck: 4]

[Cultivation Methods]
-------------------------------------------
[Iron Blood (Mortal)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Mastery: Beginner (2/4)]
[Stage: Qi Condensation (3/13)]

[Martial Arts Methods]
-------------------------------------------
[Basic Spear (Mortal)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Mastery: Beginner (2/5)]

[Indestructible Spear (Mortal)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Mastery: Beginner (1/8)]

[Fate]
Cannon fodder

[Notes]
Cannot be accepted as a disciple.

Han De was speechless.

‘After all that build-up this is what I get? He is only a single point above the best Starfall Mountain disciple...’

Han De was both happy and disappointed at the same time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t scam this guy into becoming his disciple. But fortunately, this guy wasn’t a timebomb waiting to blow up at random. Han De decided to count his blessings and leave. As he was leaving he froze. His mind started racing.

‘Oh no. Could it be that he has a heaven-defying item that shows the wrong status to the System? Or maybe his grandpa/loli is capable of providing fake information? Something that can affect the System?!’

Han De stood still in the same spot and kept thinking of different possibilities. His entire body was stiff, his expression was really sour.

‘No, no, no. No. Don’t panic. Not even my mother could notice the system. If this guy has an item or a helper that can fool the system then even 10 Transcendent experts wouldn’t be able to kill him anyway. Just relax and think things through...’

Han De thought about the Potential Points. So far, he had only encountered two people with more than 30 Potential Points. He had scammed the first and killed the second. This guy with his 16 points was the 3rd highest so far. The majority of the Starfall Mountain disciples were around 8-9 points. The worst he had seen was at 6, and the best one was at 15 points.

‘Perhaps he is not a full MC, but a minor MC instead?’

Han De felt uncomfortable about the situation and decided to do some quick field research. He summoned Treebeard to his side as a precaution and found some ordinary outer sect disciples that were carrying water as training.


[Potential Points (Total: 2)]
-------------------------------------------
[Will: 0]
[Talent: 1]
[Comprehension: 1]
[Luck: 0]

[Fate]
-


[Potential Points (Total: 1)]
-------------------------------------------
[Will: 0]
[Talent: 1]
[Comprehension: 0]
[Luck: 0]

[Fate]
-


[Potential Points (Total: 3)]
-------------------------------------------
[Will: 1]
[Talent: 1]
[Comprehension: 1]
[Luck: 0]

[Fate]
-


Han De didn’t care about his image and whistled away.

‘System, are you sure? Are you really saying that guy in the middle has 0 comprehension? How is he even still alive?!’

Han De checked the total potential points of all the ordinary disciples he could find in the area. 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 2… After gathering this baffling data, he decided not to risk detection and moved away from the disciples of the Iron Blood sect. He needed to gather his thoughts and try to analyze his findings.

‘They definitely weren’t puppets. If something was amiss Treebeard would’ve definitely said something. Compared to these people, that Geng Shi really looks like an MC.’

‘I guess they are called Potential Points for a reason. I can’t compare them to ability scores in RPGs.’

Han De realized his view of this world was genuinely skewed. It didn’t take long to realize that the culprit was the System itself. It had absurdly high expectations for everything. Han De couldn’t even get angry, he didn’t even know what the System was. Was it sentient? Was it a program? He had no idea. Getting angry at it served no purpose.

‘This means I can’t just ignore someone just because their System designated fate is cannon fodder. Actually, now that I think about it, aside from Ning Bi, Cockroach, and my own fate, I haven’t seen anything other than cannon fodder...’

After thinking about it for a while, Han De reached a conclusion. Since the System didn’t provide any help, all he could do was to gather more data by himself.

‘Actually, this is quite good. This minor MC is disillusioned and angry. I’ll just invite him to the Starfall Mountain and closely monitor him. Once he gains enough power and returns for his revenge, I can get a rough idea of his growth curve and use that as a base for defining proper power levels.’

Han De didn’t restrain his smile. Things were really easy when he didn’t have to worry about his arrogant young master reputation. He made a mental note to increase the speed of his Hidden Expert transition.

Treebeard and the Nascent Soul experts had no idea what Han De was thinking. They watched as Han De kept sneaking up on the disciples then leave after staring at them for a few seconds. They could tell that their young master was somehow detecting something they couldn’t. Was it the smell? Perhaps Anomalies had a special smell?

Han De didn’t bother explaining his behavior. In Xianxia stories hidden experts had their own peculiarities and they also usually didn’t explain anything. This was a win-win situation for him. He instructed them to wait and went in the direction that the girl disappeared.

‘Motivation wise, this girl is the key. I can just covertly take her away and let her live a normal life. Her talent is probably as miserable as others’ anyway. The minor MC will think she is suffering in the sect and his character arc won’t be disturbed. Once he gets his revenge I can reveal her to him. As long as she stays safe this minor MC won’t be able to turn on me in the future. He might even feel like he owes me a debt of gratitude...’

As Han De was displaying his trademarked creepy smile, he finally spotted the Childhood Friend A from a distance. The girl was standing alone on a cliff facing yet another mountain. Her entire body was covered with sweat. She leaned on her spear as she tried to regulate her breathing.

Han De sent his spiritual sense to her. He knew that this girl was at the low-stages of the Qi Condensation realm and couldn’t detect anything. He realized the girl was actually mumbling to herself.

“...left for auction 3 months ago. As long as I act carefully Shen Xing won’t be able to steal my roots this time.”

The girl sighed and looked at the sky. Her face was expressionless.

“In a year, Long Xiu will destroy Starfall Mountain after going crazy. Ming and Sun dynasties will collapse on their own. Silent Silhouette Sect should be close to making their move, even just looking at the Red Stone Basin is practically a suicide. I'll need to leave soon. Where to go...”

The girl kept watching the clouds without saying another word.

Han De’s mind went blank after hearing her mumbling. He slowly retracted his spiritual sense. Thankfully he hadn’t done something as stupid as enveloping her completely.

‘She was also exceptionally calm while she watched minor MC getting beaten up. Three possibilities. First, she is crazy. Second, she is an oracle. Third, she went back in time and became a regressor.’

Technically, she could be any combination of the three. A time looping lunatic oracle was nothing to scoff at. Han De was about to deny the possibility, the odds of that happening should be non-existent, surely. But then, he remembered his fate as the Calamity Attractor. He decided to play it safe and look at her status first. He very carefully moved closer to her while spamming the status check function. He wasn’t going to risk getting any closer than needed.


[Name: Yao Qing]
[Race: Human (100%)]
[Gender: Female]
[Age: 15]

[Cultivation: Qi Condensation (4/13) (97.10%)]
[Constitution: None]
[Bloodline: None]
[Roots: Lightning (82%)]

[Potential Points (Total: 30)]
-------------------------------------------
[Will: 9]
[Talent: 7]
[Comprehension: 8]
[Luck: 6]

[Cultivation Methods]
-------------------------------------------
[Celestial Storm Scripture (Mortal)]
[Power: Very Weak]
[Mastery: Intermediate (38/42)]
[Stage: Qi Condensation (3/13)]

[Expand to view 9 inactive methods...]

[Martial Arts Methods]
-------------------------------------------
[Basic Spear (Mortal)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Mastery: Advanced (9/12)]

[Azure Lightning Spear (Mortal)]
[Power: Very Weak]
[Mastery: Advanced (31/64)]
[Expand to view 34 inactive methods...]

[Expand to view more...]

[Fate]
[Usurper of Heavens]

[Notes]
[Very high potential. Would be a core pillar in any sect.]


‘Ok. Cool cool cool. So she is not crazy. That's cool. Probably a regressor template, that’s more in line with Xianxia. She’s probably working on the Basic Spear to establish a foundation and rebuild her muscle memory.’

Han De quietly returned to Treebeard’s location. He looked calm and collected to others, but his mind was in turmoil. If this girl, Yao Qing, was really a regressor, then what she said about Long Xiu going crazy should be the truth.

‘My mother wouldn’t turn crazy unless it involved me or my father. The cultivation idiot did die 2 months ago but I replaced him. Either she is talking about an event yet to come, or her timeline is all wrong…’

‘At the 4th stage of Qi Condensation, she shouldn’t have the ability to detect my presence no matter what technique she uses. Even if she somehow did, she couldn’t have known that I am from the Starfall Mountain. Unless this is the second time for her...’

Han De was in a dilemma. The existence of this girl was both a blessing and a curse. Her presence warned him of the potential dangers in the future, but it involved a risk of exposure.

‘Was I in her previous timeline? Or is the System a new variable? If it is a new variable than she will probably notice inconsistencies in this timeline due to my presence. Will she think I am a regressor/reincarnator too?’

This whole situation was giving Han De an incredible headache. It was fun to watch or read about people involved in time travel stories, but encountering one for real was both confusing and aggravating.

‘Alright, let’s think from another perspective. With how haughty the System acts, it shouldn’t get trapped by a tiny MC’s time loop. I can only assume I am a new existence in this timeline due to the System. In the first place the Syst-’

Not even Han De himself noticed how he froze for a tiny moment.

‘The first possibility is that my mother lost it after the cultivation idiot died. Makes sense, it is the simplest explanation.’

‘The second possibility is that the cultivation idiot had already died in her timeline, but my mother was able to hold on. If during the following year anything had happened to my father, she would totally lose it…’

Although he was leaning towards the first possibility he was uncertain. The handling of the Zhao faction was extremely clean to the point of disappointment. Han De was questioning the motivations and the intelligence of Zhao Dong, their leader. The possibility of a second attempt wasn’t that low. Han De needed more information.

‘It’s not like I can ask her for confirmation. Should I just go “Hey little miss, would you kindly confirm the timeframe of the Starfall Mountain’s destruction for me? You see, I am the sole heir of the sect, and this destruction business would be really inconvenient for my plans…” and expect her to answer? Might as well admit I am a transmigrator…’

Han De shook his head and went back to reality.

‘This destruction business will cause her to be wary. I should take things slow and build layer upon layer. She talked about Shen Xing stealing her roots and mentioned an auction. The timing fits the cockroach’s appearance in Brass Stallion city. I can use this to my advantage. I can scam her by using this as leverage.’

Normally Han De wouldn’t want to interact with a regressor at all to prevent his exposure. Unfortunately, these weren’t normal circumstances. By building a relationship with this MC he might be able to gain some crucial information and prevent or prepare for the sect’s collapse.

At this point, he was really glad that he started preparations early. After patting himself on the back, he thought about the ways to get information from her without exposing himself.

* * *

This was the 167th day of Yao Qing’s return. She was walking towards her usual training spot.

On the first day. After she inexplicably returned to her younger body she thought she was going mad. Was this a dream? An inner demon? Perhaps she had finally lost it and started seeing things. She had lost her cultivation but her mind was as sharp as ever. She quickly regained her confidence. This wasn’t a dream or an inner demon tribulation, and she wasn’t crazy. This was real. She had no idea how, but she really did come back.

In the previous timeline, her early years were filled with misery. These memories frequently haunted her even after she regained her cultivation. Only after tens of thousands of years, these memories had finally started to fade. But now she was back. Seeing the faces and hearing the names she had long forgotten filled her with indescribable emotions.

She remembered she had a crush on her childhood friend. He was strong, and always protected her. She often used his memory to get through the pain and misery during her early years. It was both soothing and terribly painful at the same time. When she realized she could finally meet him again she was ecstatic.

Yao Qing sighed. She had arrived at her training spot and removed the training spear from her back.

‘I really can’t believe I had a crush on that idiot Geng Shi. I really don’t know what the hell I was excited about before meeting him. He is just a 15-year-old kid. I don’t even know how old I am. I stopped counting after 20 thousand…’

Young Yao Qing really did have a crush on Geng Shi, but for the current Yao Qing, he was only a nuisance. He was the complete opposite of what she remembered. His talent was poor, his attitude was poor, his strength was poor, his looks were poor. Yao Qing realized he was just an idea for her psyche to hold on to. However, she still helped him for the sake of her younger self.

‘During the original timeline, the idiot probably died not long after I left. Just in these last 2 months alone he nearly died 5 times. Maybe I should knock some sense into him instead of teaching spear arts…’

Yao Qing started her routine. In the original timeline, she had already lost her spiritual roots by now. She didn’t need to suffer through that hardship once again. Therefore she kept training. Her current body didn’t possess her old body’s muscle memory. She could only build it back up day by day through hard training.

She repeated the Basic Spear method over and over again. With each thrust, she remembered her old moves and tried to overlay her memories to her current body. First move, second move, third move, fourth move, she kept going through the same motions she repeated for the last 167 days.

*clap* *clap* *clap*

Yao Qing immediately assumed a defensive stance after hearing clapping from behind her. She calmly analyzed the situation while looking at the young man with yellow robes.

‘High cultivation, at least Core Formation. Unknown sect. Not affiliated with Silent Silhouette.’

She hadn’t set foot on this world for… She didn’t know how long actually. It was only natural to forget the sects that inhabited it. She only remembered the Silent Silhouette because of her intense hatred.

“Not bad! Your spear skill really isn’t bad!”

Yao Qing kept her vigilance as the young man talked. Apparently, this amused him, he smiled and continued talking in a relaxed manner.

“You don’t have to be so stiff. If I wanted to, I could kill you with a flick of a sleeve. I don’t have an ulterior motive. I just saw your spear practice and thought I’d say hello. I know a little bit about spears myself. Since we met here, it must be fate! How about I show you some moves to improve your skills.”

The man looked at his storage ring. Just this act alone was enough to prove that he wasn’t from the Misty Mountains. No one would flaunt their wealth like this in the mountains. The poorness of the Iron Blood sect was a daily source of shock for Yao Qing. Just how poor could a sect be?

After looking for a while the young man seemed frozen. He slightly shook his head then cleared his throat.

“Ehm. I consider myself a sword cultivator. I don’t play with spears often so it seems I forgot to bring a spear with me. Why don’t you let me borrow that training spear.”

Under Yao Qing’s baffled gaze, he grabbed her spear and moved to the side. As soon as he entered his spear stance Yao Qing felt something was wrong.

‘This pressure, this will, he isn’t using Qi or releasing an aura, this is just radiating from his stance alone.’

Yao Qing was a spear cultivator. She knew many spear arts by heart and could recognize tens of thousands of them from a look. Yet she couldn’t tell the origins of this art in front of her.

The man started thrusting the spear. He displayed dozens of moves in succession. Yao Qing knew he was slowing things down purposefully for her. Each move looked exceedingly simple, but carried profound power.

Finally, the man infused his spiritual power to the spear and released his aura. Yao Qing used her iron will to resist the concept released by the aura. She couldn’t exactly tell what was infused within it, she could only feel how ancient it was. The man started another thrust, but the simple training spear couldn’t hold on any longer and disintegrated into dust.

Both Yao Qing and the man watched the dust that was getting scattered by a breeze. The man exited the stance and looked at Yao Qing.

“It seems I am a bit rusty and poured more Qi than the poor thing could handle…”

Yao Qing looked at the person in front of her. She wasn’t even sure if she could do the same thing in her prime. She had only exhibited her concept after reaching the Immortal Realm. This mysterious expert’s mastery was clearly much higher than hers.

‘Is his realm really this low? It didn’t seem like he was higher than the Core Formation realm when he released his aura. Could he be purposefully faking his realm? What purpose would that serve? I am just a Qi Condensation disciple…’

‘Wait, did he say he considers himself a sword cultivator?!’

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