PROLOGUE
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Welcome to my novel. I had a maladaptive daydream about this premise while being disappointed with transmigration BL and thought "wow, why not turn my dissociative episode into a story!" Which I've never done before, so it's impressive it went as well as it did.

The main couple is Cannon Fodder x Cannon Fodder. I feel this makes me very unique.

The Heaven's Crossing Pier sat upon a stretch of water that had been still since it first carved its path across the lands. It was named for its unparalleled view of the scenery reflected upon smooth surface of the Celestial Path River.

The river had many offshoots into steeper lands, and the stillness was disturbed along their lengths, as if they had sprung free. Some areas were even wild, thrashing rapids that thundered through the mountains.

It was in one of these rapids that a group of people were crowded together, laughing amongst themselves. The most notable of these figures was a young man in white and gold robes perched atop a rock in the middle of the vicious river. He was sitting with an arm resting on his knee, smirking down into the water. A rope was tied to the rock, and attached to the rock was a boy gasping and flailing against the unforgiving barrage of the rapids. No matter how much he swam up, the current pushed him down again, the rope the only thing keeping him close enough to the surface to keep trying.

“Ahh, is it too much? Even though you're a student of our sect, you're already giving up?” The man sneered. “But you were so noisy until now! Well, sure. Just say the word, we’ll let you up.”

The boy below continued to desperately thrash and gasp. Even breathing was impossible; answering was beyond him.

“No answer? How brave of you, prevailing even when at your limit!” He and the youths around him all laughed.

The boy's eyes, when they emerged from the whitecaps, were filled with an icy loathing. He had been beaten black and blue before he was strung up and tossed in, and his weak body was steadily losing strength.

But no one would help. Even if the whole sect were alerted, nothing would change.

The leader stood up on the rock and stretched. “well if you insist, I won't bother you. Work hard, Lai Mingliao!”

The man slammed a foot onto Lai Mingliao's head, forcing him underwater. Satisfied, he leapt from the rock to the shore in an abnormal show of strength. As a cultivator, this was nothing to him.

The group left, still laughing. Lai Mingliao broke through the surface with a wheeze, and grasped out desperately.

No one would stretch out their hand to help. He knew that from the start.

There was nothing he could do to stop his senior brothers, least of all Xu Jian.

Xu Jian, the most skilled among the disciples of the WenDian sect. His spiritual energy was a cut above his peers. His swords skill was unparalleled. When he spoke, he carried himself with a presence that made people want to listen.

For Lai Mingliao who was weak, slow to learn, and uncertain, the difference was insurmountable.

It was distant, from the shore of the river, but Lai Mingliao could hear it as clear as day.

“The strong should kneel before the weak.”

In that moment, there was nothing Lai Mingliao wanted more than to repeat those words back to Xu Jian's face as he crushed him. Yet all he could do was thrash in place, too close to death to cry.

Lai Mingliao didn't return to the Heaven's Crossing Pier. When the group returned to check, the rope sat upon the rock, cut cleanly. No one saw him in the cities downriver, either. He had simply disappeared into the night.

The disciples all forgot him quickly. Xu Jian, bored with targeting individuals, lorded his strength over whoever was nearby, and lived a satisfying life that way. Without that weakling in the way, he felt more confident in his behaviour; no one dared to send him rebellious looks. He was like a young lord among them.

For three years, he enjoyed himself to his fullest. No one in the sect stood up to him, and for those outside the sect, he simply cut them up. It was a luxurious time for him. He earned no small amount of praise, and even those who hated him had to stomach their feelings when they saw how venerated the WenDian sect became thanks to him.

The night after he had impressed a group of nobles, a feast was held. He was dressed lavishly, and his pale, white-jade hair hung over his shoulders, complimenting the gold-threaded stitching. He seemed to shine like a sun.

There was no smile on his face that night, though.

Xu Jian had a terrible temper. It wasn't surprising to see him in a foul mood for seemingly no reason, and most people simply kept to themselves in hopes he wouldn't lash out. Many avoided looking at him, so it wasn't also strange that they didn't see the dazed, uncertain look slowly dawning on his face.

“Xu Jian.” Xu Jian turned, and when he saw the sect master, a pensive look came across his face. With a little hesitance, he saluted.

“I'm sure your junior brothers would benefit from such a shining role model addressing them. They have much to learn from you.”

Xu Jian tilted his head, then nodded, slowly. “...This disciple will do his best to impart his knowledge.”

The sect leader pushed him forward, to the head of the table. Xu Jian stared out to the river, unnaturally still as always, then to the sea of faces. The sect leader whispered a suggestion on what to say, which Xu Jian did not register. His expression was intent.

“That's got to be a decent multiplier,” he whispered.

“Pardon?”

But Xu Jian had already stepped up to speak.

“I am Xu Jinyue,” he said experimentally. Then, nodding when everyone looked at him with open expectation, he continued. “When I was fifteen, I sexually harassed a senior sister. Enraged by her rejections, I attempted to force myself on her. It was my first defeat. I hated her so much for lashing back at me that I made sure she would be cast out from the sect.”

The room was silent.

Xu Jian was not finished.

“When a junior brother accidentally spilled food on me, I dragged him out into the woods and best him until he couldn't walk. When a junior sister approached me romantically, I said seductive words to make her harass a fellow disciple I disliked, and had her take the fall when she was caught. I used my junior brothers as servants, and since I didn't abuse them, none of them felt they could say anything. Because I was already prone to violence, I praised myself for my leniency, and used it as an excuse to hurt specific individuals. I framed a random villager for theft so I could enjoy beating him in public, and then look generous by letting him go. When Lai Mingliao was adopted in and acted rebellious towards me, I decided to torment him. He eventually attacked me, so I beat him half to death and threw him into the river to see if he would drown. He seemed to have made it. After that, I would antagonize fellow disciples into dueling me, arguing with me, and being forced to bow to me. I didn't want to speak to anyone not subjugating to me.”

He looked refreshed, and was smiling a distant, distracted little smile, as pure and un-nuanced as a child's. It was the most innocent and clear expression anyone had ever seen him make.

“A lot of people knew about these things. Many of these acts were enough to be a disgrace to Wendian, but if everyone ignored it, the sect could benefit from me. So I rampaged, and rampaged, and left nothing but destruction. I'm sure that Lai Mingliao's death wouldn't mean anything to you even if it came to pass. It would be troublesome, and thus covered up, so you could praise me more, and parade me around more. We're that kind of sect, aren't we?”

He closed his eyes, and became dead to the world, lost to his own thoughts.

In between the start of his strange behaviour and his speech, only ten minutes had passed.

Name time!

赖命了 - Lài Míngliào - Protagonist
徐涧 - Xú Jiàn - MC
徐金乐 - Xú Jīnyuè - Xu Jian's courtesy name
稳淀 - Wěndiàn - sect

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