Old Sovereign

     They say life begins at 60. Who knew that Ji Lao Cao would actually experience the literal meaning of this saying?
     Just as Ji Lao Cao finally let go all of the worries in his heart and accepted his death, he transmigrated to another world. His sould fused with one of the branch member of Ji Clan.
     Now, meet the new Ji Lao Cao. Dignified, courageous and old. When he opened his eyes, he was still a 60 year old man.
     Who says the future is for the younger generation? Who says the younger generation shall surpass the old?
     What a load of crap! This Granddaddy here shall be the one to conquer everything under heaven..
     What heaven?  Don't be ridiculous. Even the heavens must bow before me!


  • Chapter 1: Ji Lao Cao
         Ji Lao Cao suck in a deep breath as he felt the pulsating pain coming from his knees. He frowned for a moment before he started massaging his knees. However, the movement seems to have no effect as the pain simply became more painful and made it harder for him to breath.
         "This joints, why don't you leave me alone just for one day?!" He cursed silently. The door of his room gently opened, followed by a middle aged woman coming inside who simply stared at his pitiful appearance without emotions visible in her eyes.
         "You should exercise more, Father." She started. She brought the newly washed clothes inside and rudely dropped it to Ji Lao Cao's bed.
         "Ning child, this old bones of mine cannot take such tasks anymore." He mumbled softly, afraid to make his daughter agitated.
         "That is why I am telling you to exercises more. How would your joint pain go away if you kept sitting all day?" Despite his soft voice, the woman still became agitated.
         "Child, it really is painful." His voice became softer. 
         "Ai, when a person gets older, they became hardheaded." She casually threw her remarks. Hearing this, Ji Lao Cao felt his chest tightening. How could the young ones know the feeling of being in constant pain due to the failing of bones? How could they know that the old cannot do what they expected them to do?
         Once, he threw the same remarks to his father and now, his own daughter was saying those things back at him. Now he knew why his father would simply stay silent back then.
         Ji Ning saw her father being quiet and left the room with frustration. Seeing that same scene, Ji Lao Cao could not help the drop of tear that fell from the corner of his eyes.
         Everyone of his children has already left the Ji house. Only his daugther was left with him along with her husband and two sons. It has been a long time since he last seen his other three children and not even once did they tried to check up on him. However, he was not angry at all. In fact, he is very proud of their successes in life. He couldn't wish for more. Just the thought that he managed to give them the education that they needed and prepared them for the real world, he could accept death any day now.
         If there is one thing that he couldn't accept was the fact that he couldn't achieve the dream he once had. He wanted to travel the world. He did not regretted marrying his late wife but he did regretted not being able to see what the world could offer. 
         He reminisced of the past. His family, his friends, everyone he met, and even his pets. Everyone has left. They went to their own paths, pursued their dreams and passion, and lived their life to the fullest.
         Here he is, at the corner of his bed, surrounded by the old walls of his home. No one bothers him at all, and that's what made him lonely. It seems like he was just a forgotten relic of the past, waiting for time to corrode him into sand. He could feel death inching closer to him as if there was a tight rope bounding them together.
         His eyes darted to his wrinkled hands. It was once powerful. He could remember that he used to carry two of his children in his arms after a long day of work. Seeing their smiles from his memories, a warm smile bloomed at his ancient face.
         The young enjoys the world while the old clings to the past. The former wishes to make time faster in order to experience more but the old wishes time to be turned back at the time where they felt the love they longed for. If only they knew the pain of the old who were just trapped in their own illusions and memories.
         He reached out his trembling hands to the bottom part of his drawer and took an album from it. He opened it and saw a picture of him when he was just a year old. His parents looked at him with great delight and love, almost to the point of suffocation. Then he saw the pictures of his late wife, his children and then his grandchildren. He seems to be deeply carving everything in his mind and soul, wishing for it to never leave him.
    - - -
         Day by day, Ji Lao Cao indulged himself to the happiness of his memories. Sometimes he would feel this extreme loneliness and he could only cry. Of course, he hid from his daughter. She is always busy, taking care of her husband and children. He wouldn't want to add himself to the trouble. 
         When there are times that his joint pain are dormant, he would go out of the house, sit at the rocking chair and let the morning sun wash his gloominess away.
         A year went by.
         Then another year.
         And another year.
         By the fourth year, his daughter's family left the Ji House and went to another city in order to find better environment and job.
         Of course, Ji Lao Cao made this easier for the both of them. He hid his pain for four years, became livelier and tried his best to make them believe that he could live by himself. When he waved at their car gradually becoming small from the distance, drops of tears kept falling in his wrinkled face.
         The young wishes for the future, but the old kept stuck at the joyful memories of the past. Truly a powerful word.
    - - -
         By the fifth year, Ji Lao Cao passed away. In his deathbed, he made a letter for all of his children. He told them his love for them, and how truly proud he felt for them.
         At the end, the old wishes for their family for a better future. The only time the old would look into the future and not into the past.
  • Chapter 2: A New Body
         Ji Lao Cao died with a sweet smile plastered on his cold face. There was nothing he could do to change his life. He could only accept his death and truthfully speaking, he was contented of how everthing turned out to be.
         "Wait. Why does it still hurt? I thought I died? Where is the peace after death?" He frowned at the thought while pulsing pain jolted him out of the peaceful thought of passing away. When he opened his eyes, he saw an unfamiliar room. He could only describe the place as dilapidated and at some point, thought that it was a trash room.
         "Did they put me in this godforsaken room? Those unfilial brats!" He roared, his voice was hoarse and raspy. He was about to charge out of the room when he felt his knees aching once again. "Ow ow ow! This blasted knees!"
         Seemingly unaware of the strangeness of his situation, he continued cursing as he tried soothing the pain in his joints. It was about this time that a stream of memories came flooding in his mind. Due to his old age, he immediately fell unconscious.
         When Ji Lao Cao opened his eyes again, what greeted him was a pair of big blue eyes. So pure and innocent that it made Ji Lao Cao grimaced at the fact that his were slit to the point that it always looked like he was smiling crafty old fox.
         "Grandfather? You're finally awake!" The child excitedly moved around the house. He came back with a bowl of soup and shove it to the old man's hands. "Grandfather was unconscious for a day already. What happened?"
          Seeing the concern in those eyes made Ji Lao Cao cry inside. Although outside he is smiling like a good old grandpa, he was actually touched at the concern of the small brat. 'Good! Good! Good! What a filial kid!'
         "Grandpa had faced some difficulties in his cultivation and the aftereffects made him fall into coma. Little Tian should not be concerned too much." Ji Lao Cao explained the circumstances of this body to the child. He couldn't bring out the fact that the original owner of this body died after that rebound to his cultivation due to his cautiousness. After all, if someone were to find out that he was not from this world, it'll bring countless troubles to the both of them and more importantly, he couldn't bring himself to hurt the little kid.
         "Really? I heard Elder Brother Ji Chen is conducting a lesson today. Would Grandpa like to attend to clear the misunderstandings in your cultivation?" Although Little Tian said that in a pure manner, the content of his words left a bad aftertaste in Ji Lao Cao's tounge. Why? Based on the memories inside his mind, that Ji Chen brat was just 15 years old this year who managed to reach the second stage of cultivation, Adept Stage. He was considered as one of the geniuses of this old city, but who is Ji Lao Cao? He was a seventy year old man from Earth and the other Ji Lao Cao from  Long Continent. Technically, he is already 140 years old if the two were to add up. It would be a lot of shame for such an old man to bootlicked to a young man who is apparently hedonistic and arrogant. 
         "Little Tian should not concern about this old man. You should focus on your own cultivation. After all, this old man can't protect you forever. Your path shall be yours to follow in the future." He smiled bitterly, thinking about the memories he had from Earth. The young ones will need to leave one day. He could only urge the brat to keep on improving himself so he could one day stand by himself.
         Ji Tian kept silent for a moment, nodded his small head in determination and went to the room next door. Ji Lao Cao needs time to assimilate himself to this world. He is ,after all, not from here. He could see flashes of memories inside him but thinking all about it, this old man really did lived a bitter life.
         Those bad memories, he kept them all at the corner of his mind. He didn't want to delve to them at this time. First, he wants answers to his questions. He needed to browse inside his memories to confirm his situation. China has a history of those immortals too so the cultivation thing is not new to his memory. What's new is the fact that this is not a legend to this world but the reality. Ji Lao Cao of this world has reached the 9th Level of Body Refining. Just one step and he would enter the next stage which is the Martial Adept Realm. It was true that the original Ji Lao Cao has reached his bottleneck and during his breakthrough, he found one of his inner demons lurking inside his heart. As it is a qualitative leap to ones prowess, naturally, the hurdle to overcome it was a big one. It would be what cultivators call the First Enlightenment wherein a cultivator could successfully wield the Worldly Energy or also commonly called Qi and other people back on Earth called it as Mana in western countries.
         "Inner Demon?" After emerging, that inner demon directly killed Ji Lao Cao. Truly unfortunate. But what is that inner demon actually is? Well, to hypothesize it, Ji Lao Cao could assume that that is one of the things that impede a person's advancement. Whether it is a memory or a trauma. In the deceased Ji Lao Cao's case, his inner demon is his very own wife. She disappeared as soon as they were married and never came back after all this years. Even her family refused to say the truth, what could he really do then? The Mu Clan has been one of those ancient clans and the Mu Family in this city was one of those offsprings of the main Mu Clan. When his wife disappeared, the Mu Family kept a tight lip over it and judging from their stability and rate of improvement, Ji Lao Cao could deduced that his wife has entered a sect or the main clan to pursue her cultivation. She managed to acquire a firm hold of a position on the main clan and has thus, helped the current Mu Family to rise in status within this small city.
         Ji Lao Cao thought that this is such a tragedy. The soul of the original owner of this body has already dissipated but Ji Lao Cao swore to continue protecting the child in the next room and also, deal with the runaway wife if fate destined it to be. After vowing it, Ji Lao Cao went on to his next problem.
          The Ji Family of Fallen Leaf City could be described as a jungle. Full of weak critters and with beasts and monsters lurking in the dark. It'll be troublesome to stir up this hornet nest, so Ji Lao Cao chose to hid himself for the time being. The current House Head is Ji Wei, Ji Lao Cao's younger brother. Ji Wei is also Ji Chen's father, making that arrogant and hedonistic brat his nephew. The second of the three siblings is Ji Zhuo and lastly was Ji Lao Cao. To summarize their current realationship, Ji Wei is currently suppressing Ji Zhuo because this Second Brother has been eyeing the seat of House Head for a long time now. No one puts any thought to Ji Lao Cao mainly because he remained aloof to the seat and because of his pitiful strength. Ji Lao Cao wants his peace and truthfully speaking, he just wants to raise that small child until the day he dies.
         Speaking of dying, this is really a wonderful world. Once a person enters the cultivation path, their life would be enhanced. Technically, the average lifespan of normal humans in this world were just 60. Once you began cultivation, the average lifespan of those in the Body Enhancement Realm were raised to a hundred years old. After that, a Martial Scholar could lived up to a hundred and fifty years. And legends says that once you reached the top, immortality shall be within your grasp.
         "I should try cultivating too." He mumbled after choosing what to do in the future. How do they cultivate here again?
         Ji Lao Cao scanned his memories and surprisingly, he found what he was looking for about 65 years ago. Back then the old Ji Lao Cao was 5 years old and his father imparted to him the secret manual of their family. Inside it were a set of Body Enhancement Realm Technique and a Qi Gathering Technique. The first one was for the first realm of cultivation meant to prepare a cultivator for the second realm. 
         In Ji Lao Cao's own understanding, a body was like a mud clay. The Body Enhancement Technique was like the hands of a potter. The potter molds the clay into a container wherein after completion, water could be filled inside. The same principle could be used in cultivation. Train your body until the ninth level to be able to absorb Qi.
         Looking at the technique, Ji Lao Cao couldn't help but frown. He couldn't help it at all. He could read the whole technique but somehow, he felt that something is wrong about it. To simplify his feelings, it was like reading a sentence full of wrong grammar. You could read and understand it, but in the end it is still wrong.
         He frowned for a moment before he closed his eyes and began analyzing his memories again. Somehow, he felt that he has been cheated by the father of this body. Technique? If Ji Lao Cao were to see that manual again, he is pretty much sure he would shred it into piesces.
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