Many of the youths lowered their heads. The nomological truths were too far away.
After all, it was their first time entering the Wilderness Divine Hall. Their cultivation levels were low too. The pressure from the primordial species was almost unbearable. As for gaining any insight to the nomological truths, ignoring perceptivity alone, all their strength was used to bear the Wilderness Divine Hall’s pressure, where did they have the mental strength to gain insight into the truths?
Many of them felt humbled. They were proud geniuses in their own cities, but upon arriving in the Tai Ah Divine City, they could not succeed in anything. They were last in everything!
A youth mumbled, “The next time we enter, we will definitely gain some insight!”
The youth was short of breath, because he had no clout in front of Baldy Qin.
“Hehe!” Baldy Qin sneered. The youth who spoke before immediately felt a like a cricket who got frightened by a cold late autumn breeze. He did not dare to say a word.
“Next time? To enter the Wilderness Divine Hall, two hours is a thousand dragon scale runes. There is no idea when your next time will be! Earn a thousand dragon scale runes before talking!”
The youth who spoke out shrunk his neck. He did not dare to retort the bald man.
“A thousand dragon scale runes, we do not know how much that is… How difficult is it to earn a thousand dragon scale runes?” A youth asked.
Yi Yun thought and asked, “Instructor Qin, may I know what the quickest ways to earn dragon scale runes are.”
Many of the youths present wanted to enter the Wilderness Divine Hall again, but the one who wanted that the most was none other than Yi Yun.
Every entrance into the Wilderness Divine Hall made Yi Yun’s strength increase by leaps and bounds!
No one could gain more from the Wilderness Divine Hall than Yi Yun.
Currently, Yi Yun had already absorbed most of the primordial species energy. He felt that his cultivation level was approaching the middle-stages of Purple Blood!
Baldy Qin said, “To earn dragon scale runes, there are six common ways. First, kill desolate beasts, and exchange the desolate beasts’ corpses with the Tai Ah Divine City for dragon scale runes. If you are strong, then earning dragon scale runes would be very fast! But, the strength needed to hunt a desolate beast is extremely high. People such as you who go limp just from two hours in the Wilderness Divine Hall will only become food for the desolate beasts if you go to hunt in the Divine wilderness!”
“The second method is also fast. It is by earning dragon scale runes from other cultivators. For example, trading with others or fighting with others in a gambling match. The Tai Ah Divine City’s fighting arenas not only allow you to bet dragon scale runes, even glory points can be bet! But I advise you not to go. With your current strength, you will be sheep for the slaughter. In front of a pack of wolves, you will lose all you have.”
“The third method is to get onto the three rolls of honors. Every month, when the ranking is compiled, a sizable amount of dragon scale runes will be awarded. Of course, that is if you can enter the roll. There is probably no chance for you in the next two years…”
“The fourth method is to complete certain achievements, such as breaking a record, or gaining insight into some nomology. It can give you a massive one-off amount of dragon scale runes, but… naturally that has nothing to do with you.”
“The fifth method is to receive rewards from your instructor. But do you think that with your qualifications, I will reward you with any dragon scale runes?”
“The last method, doing miscellaneous jobs, by mining, picking herbs or be a sparring partner for others to earn dragon scale runes. This method is of course slow, but the advantage is… as long as you are a human, you can do it.”
Baldy Qin’s words never left the concept of “you guys are weak”. The young heroes were dumbfounded upon hearing this.
In the end, among the most common six methods, the first five methods of earning dragon scale runes had nothing to do with them. They felt like Baldy Qin was just telling them about those methods simply for his own amusement.
The most viable route was the last one, which was the least technical one, doing miscellaneous jobs!
It was slow in earning dragon scale runes and it didn’t sound good. Before they could cultivate in the Tai Ah Divine City, they had to do miscellaneous jobs!
But for their training, they had to concede into doing miscellaneous jobs. This was, after all, the Tai Ah Divine City, which was a warrior’s city. There were no normal mortals, and there weren’t many weaker warriors.
Then who was left to do the miscellaneous jobs in the city? Of course, it had to be them. Because, they were probably the weakest bunch in the Tai Ah Divine City.
“Then… Instructor Qin, I would like to ask. If we did miscellaneous jobs, how many dragon scale runes would we make a day?” A youth could not help but ask.
“This, it depends on what you do. Typically, it’s about 20 or so a day…”
Hearing Instructor Qin’s words, the youths present felt like their hearts were in a stampede of 10,000 near-horned beasts with mud-stained hoofs.
20 or so a day?
Then wouldn’t they need to save a month or two before they could finally spend two hours in the Wilderness Divine Hall?
This must be a joke!
They knew that there were many cultivation resources in the Tai Ah Divine City, and they were not limited to the Wilderness Divine Hall.
There were other uses for the dragon scale runes.
Dragon scale runes were needed to purchase 90% of the Tai Ah Divine City’s cultivation resources. It was impossible of them to refrain from eating or drinking just to save all of their dragon scale runes so that they could enter the Wilderness Divine Hall.
No wonder Baldy Qin said, “There is no guarantee when your next time will be!”
If they were to carry on like this, they were destined to not have anything to do with the Wilderness Divine Hall.
And it was obvious that there were other precious cultivation resources in the Tai Ah Divine City that were like the Wilderness Divine Hall. To obtain those, they needed thousands or tens of thousands dragon scale runes!
“I see… That’s why rookies have two hours in the Wilderness Divine Hall cultivation time upon entering the Tai Ah Divine City. This is to tell the rookies that the Tai Ah Divine City is filled with good things. If you have the ability, come get it.”
“This is to inspire the morale of the rookies. They are not counting on rookies to gain any insight of the founding city lord’s nomological truths in that two hours.”
Yi Yun understood. The person who had set up the various rules in the Tai Ah Divine City had put a lot of thought into it.
Many of the young heroes were now a little discouraged.
“Heh! Do you think that the Tai Ah Divine City’s resources are prepared for you? There are so many cultivators in the Tai Ah Divine City. There are limited top-level resources, how can it possibly be allocated? In the Tai Ah Divine City, there is a strong polarization. Less than 10% of the experts here account for 90% of the resources!”
“What do you think the reason for gathering all the talent in the Tai Ah Divine City is?”
Hearing Baldy Qin’s words, they were dumbfounded.
A youth said weakly, “Isn’t it to focus on nurturing us by gathering here in the Tai Ah Divine City?”
To them, the Tai Ah Divine City’s resources were prepared for cultivators like them.
“Focus on nurturing?” Baldy Qin laughed. “It’s indeed correct. It is to focus on nurturing. But this method is different from what you think. Have you heard of breeding venomous worms? Those who breed them will put all sorts of poisonous worms inside a jar. They will then feed all sorts of poisonous foods to the worms, letting them grow. Later, the jar will be sealed and no food will be provided. This to let the worms fight and devour each other! Only one will be left from a few hundred worms. And that will be the King worm! The most venomous worm!”
“Right now, you are the worms being captured. The Divine Kingdom wants to nurture you, but it only wants to nurture a small number of you. The rest are destined to be eliminated. They are destined to become the stepping stones for those chosen to be proud sons of Heaven!” Chapter 173: Way to earn Runes
Hearing Baldy Qin’s analogy, the young heroes felt disgruntled. They were all outstanding figures from their own lands, but the first thing they encountered in the Divine wilderness City was for them to be fodder.
To gather all of them, it was only to make them fight against each other, eliminating the weak to decide who was the King worm!
Baldy Qin said, “Only the strongest from a circle of mighty warriors is the real king. Your circle decides your future. Hence, all of you are competitors! Human peerless experts come from stepping on numerous geniuses to reach the pinnacle of martial arts!”
“Not a single sage from a million people. How many young heroes have to be stepped on for a sage to be born in the Tai Ah Divine City? The Tai Ah Divine City gives everyone the same conditions. It all depends on you, whether you become a peerless expert or a stepping stone that will be trampled on.” Baldy Qin said with no holds barred.
Upon hearing this, the young heroes were filled with mixed emotions.
Success was built on a foundation of thousands of skeletons. No one wanted to become a stepping stone for others to trample on them.
Immediately, many of the youths felt a crushing sense of danger.
Whether it was the Wilderness Divine Hall’s temptation, the thirst to accomplish great achievements, or the strong sense of danger, they were all spurred on to continue climbing higher.
Humans were never satisfied. Many of the young heroes present were from good family clans and they came to this mysterious sacred land, the Tai Ah Divine City, for cultivation, which was brilliant in and of itself.
But they knew that they were now being saddled with pressures.
Some of them had to face fierce competition within the family for resources and stature. Some had to shoulder the heavy burden of the family’s prosperity. How could they become fodder? The pressure that they faced was not any better than the pressure Lian Chengyu faced before the Kingdom’s selection.
Most of the young heroes from every corner of the Divine Kingdom had to settle for miscellaneous jobs to earn dragon scale runes. The experiences they had in the Tai Ah Divine City made them understand that, however perfect people may be, someone better will always appear. By not exceeding others, they had to begin from zero.
“There are about ten types of miscellaneous jobs. There is no fixed compensation. However much you make depends on your own skill! But generally speaking, there are some errands that are more profitable than others. I’ll begin from the highest!”
“The highest is to be a sparring partner! Some veteran cultivators will need someone to spar with them during their cultivation. After wearing protective gear, you will spar with them. Upon enduring a certain amount of time, you will receive a corresponding amount of dragon scale runes. If you have some skill, you can take on sparring missions with rich people and the corresponding compensation will be significantly more. Of course, it is also easy to get injured. Additionally, it is highly likely that you might end up bedridden for half a month.”
Sparring? Isn’t that just being a punching bag for others?
These young heroes were prideful people. If it was in the past, they would find it unacceptable to do such shameful jobs. But after hearing Baldy Qin’s words and after undergoing the training, their pride had received repeated blows. They did not mind anymore, because without strength, how were they qualified to speak about dignity? Besides, being a punching bag was better than being fodder.
To become an expert, one had to bear the weight, and they had to learn how to take a beating!
“The second highest is forging! None of you have the ability to refine weapons, but it’s alright. Parts of the weapon refining process requires the forging of some special metals. Using a forging hammer, you need to forge it a million times and up! If you think you have the exceptional strength needed, then you can take on this mission!”
“The third is to patrol the walls and maintain the ballistae on the walls! This is a demanding job that requires you to know arrays.”
“These three are the highest paying jobs. Following that there are more relatively common ones, like standing guard in the school ground or the city entrance.”
“Or taking care of the spirit beasts reared in the Tai Ah Divine City’s beast pens, picking herbs, managing the distribution of daily necessities, etc. The last few are usually done by females.”
Baldy Qin finished introducing the various jobs. Upon hearing them, many of the youths felt that the first three were much more reliable.
The first one, which was to be a punching bag, didn’t sound good, but by sparring with an expert, they could learn the offensive skills of the other. By dodging and getting beaten, they could gain the experience of fighting with an expert. Besides, the pay was good, which made it the most suitable job.
“I’ll apply for the first!”
“I’ll apply for the first too, as a sparring partner!”
The youths present immediately expressed their wishes. Baldy Qin’s memory was good, and he remembered everyone’s application.
“I’ll apply for the second one, forging! My strength is pretty good. By hitting a few hundred thousand times, it can also train my strength! By then, I refuse to believe that I cannot pierce this purple tungsten wall 40-50 times with the Primal Arrows!” Zhou Kui rolled up his sleeves and said with a low muffled voice. He too wanted to stretch himself to obtain good results. He had received too much shock in just a day!
“I’ll apply for the first… sparring.” Song Zijun said. Among the group of people, he could feel the pressure. Although they were said to be weak by Baldy Qin, compared to them, Song Zijun was weaker than more than half of them!
There was fierce competition, even for doing miscellaneous jobs!
After making his decision, Song Zijun looked at Yi Yun, along with Baldy Qin.
Up to this point, Yi Yun’s performance was the most outstanding.
Although it had not amazed Baldy Qin, he believed that with six years of training, Yi Yun would definitely shine. Although it was impossible for Yi Yun to enter the top 1000 in the first year, he had great promise to enter the top 1000 within three years.
Baldy Qin also wished he could develop a talent.
Yi Yun thought for a while and smiled, “I’ll apply for… uhm, herb-picking…”
Yi Yun’s simple sentence shocked the young heroes present.
Baldy Qin also slightly raised his eyebrow. Very few of the students he had taken in had applied for picking herbs, and they were all female.
After all, females could only be sparring partners for other females. If there were too many sparring partners, men could still do other jobs like forging. Females were not suitable for forging. Similarly, patrolling and maintaining the ballistae was typically not something girls did.
Hence, those girls, who couldn’t be sparring partners, ended up at jobs like picking herbs, taking care of the spirit beasts, and distributing materials.
But Yi Yun, who Baldy Qin felt had good prospects, wanted to pick herbs?
As such, the other young heroes looked at Yi Yun weirdly.
Isn’t this guy pretty strong?
With his abilities, he would do well either in sparring or forging. Why would he pick herbs?
It can’t be for him to get to know girls while picking herbs, and then trick them into giving their bodies to him? Or to push them down in the herb mountain and do it in the wild?
Many people thought negatively of Yi Yun, for they could see no reason for him to enter the female bunch.
“Herb-picking? Are you sure?” Baldy Qin looked Yi Yun in the eye, hoping to see Yi Yun change his decision.
“Yes! I am sure.” Yi Yun nodded.
Baldy Qin pinched his eyes, as if he saw something from Yi Yun’s body.
Although Ye Fan’s face was covered with blotches, he still smiled resplendently and exposed his snow white teeth as he said: “That’s right, one’s memories will fade away with time, there are some people and matters that will slowly become dull with the passing of time.”
“This little beggar isn’t that old but seems to already have quite a character.” A female by the side looked at Ye Fan before glancing at Li Xiao Man and continued: “It’s a pity that junior sister isn’t that well acquainted with him, otherwise, we’d be able to bring him back to the Zi Yang immortal sanctuary, leave him to handle odd jobs at the main gate, this would surely be better than him begging by the street and walking a crooked path.”
A male youth heard this and nodded: “Our sect is very strict in recruiting people, we must know their background before accepting them.”
There were no ripples on Li Xiao Man’s face, her expression was indifferent as she said to Ye Fan: “Don’t walk a crooked path, be a good ordinary person, that is possibly a kind of good fortune.”
Ye Fan laughed and did not reply as he waved before taking big strides and leaving.
“The feeling this little beggar gives a person is rather special……” The few youths by the side had such an evaluation.
Ye Fan took big strides as he left, merging into the endless the crowd. Half a minute later he was before an antique store, haggling with the boss.
“What? Fifteen coppers? One must be generous in their dealings, don’t be too avaricious.”
“Young man, don’t be too ambitious, it’s merely a wooden case, how could it be worth ten gold.
“This is a red sandalwood case, if you don’t want it, I’ll just go to another shop……” Having said this, Ye Fan turned and left.
“Don’t be so hasty, the price can be discussed.” The boss of the antique store hurriedly pulled Ye Fan back.
Finally, Ye Fan was satisfied as he walked away with an additional ten gold.
It was already midday and his tummy was rumbling but he did not wish to eat a meal without paying. As a result, he took out the red sandalwood case which was used to store the ‘source’ and sold it, using a normal copper case to store the ‘source’.
“A horseman from the Jiang Family!”Ye Fan lifted his head as he gazed at the sky and was shocked to see that a unique beast was patrolling in the air above the city and not long after it flew into the distance. He felt very confused and did not understand how the other party was able to keep track of his movements.
Ye Fan climbed the stairs of a restaurant and ordered a table full of dishes, eating to his heart’s content. Having run for days and nights on end, he had not eaten a single hot meal and he naturally began to gorge himself on the food.
It was only an hour later when he stood up satisfied. The waiter in the shop had been eyeing his table for a long time, seeing his tattered clothes and the way he ate like a beggar, he was afraid that Ye Fan would run away after finishing the food.
Ye Fan was naturally not calculative with him and threw down the money for the food on the table before going down. When he reached the big street he was shocked, the horseman of the Jiang Family had entered the city and sat on a unique beast as he disappeared around a bend.
“What’s going on? How could they possibly keep chasing me? Although they can’t pinpoint my exact location, it seems that they are able to find out my rough whereabouts!” Ye Fan had anxiety written on his face, he felt that the situation was becoming bad and he could not stay within this city for long, otherwise, things would certainly get out of hand. He did not tarry and immediately left the city, speedily heading towards the forest in the distance.
“Really chasing me to the ends of the earth, how am I going to get loose from them?” Ye Fan was crossing innumerable mountains and only stopped when the sky became completely dark.
At this moment, Ye Fan felt that the spiritual qi in the air was denser, denser than the other regions by several times. As he continued forward for over ten miles, he had a shocked expression as he saw four ancient characters carved on a limestone: Purple Sun Immortal Sanctuary.
“How did I arrive here……”
Ye Fan realised that he had arrived at Purple Sun immortal sanctuary. This was Li Xiao Man’s current sect and this immortal sanctuary was not considered far away from that city. Chapter 89: Purple Sun Immortal Sanctuary
“Purple Sun immortal sanctuary……” At this moment he realised that the meeting with Li Xiao Man and her group was not surprising, her sect was actually so close by.
Ye Fan turned and wanted to leave, he did not want to have any connections with the sect that Li Xiao Man was in. When they met today, Li Xiao Man was indifferent without any ripples, that sort of coldness and indifference, although she attempted to pass some money to him, she gave one a feeling as though she were way above them, like she was giving alms to the poor.
“Asking me to be an ordinary person and not walk a crooked path, could I really be so useless……” He mocked himself but did not feel hurt or hatred, emotions faded with the passing of time and no markings were left behind. Ye Fan felt that if they met again, a simple smile as they passed was sufficient. There was no need to be overly reminiscent of anything, at times simply brushing shoulders and walking by was possibly a better option.
Ye Fan had already walked several tens of metres away when he suddenly stopped. He had always been contemplating how to escape from the horsemen of the Jiang Family and at this moment he immediately thought of using the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary to get out of this dicey situation.
Right now, he did not have sufficient strength and could not possibly face them head on. He could only use his brain to think of how to deal with the situation as he mumbled: “I haven’t been able to get rid of them, there must be a reason for this. Even an expert could not possibly have such acute spiritual sense enabling him to constantly find traces…….”
Ye Fan felt that Purple Sun immortal sanctuary which was one of the six immortal sanctuaries would certainly have Dao Inscriptions laid down in their area, coalescing all the mysterious energy causing this area to become a self contained world, if he went into the area he could possibly cut off any connections with the outside world.
“Not bad, I’ll borrow this area!” After careful consideration, Ye Fan continued into the depths of the mountainous region.
“Such dense spiritual qi, no wonder it’s an immortal sanctuary.”
The sky was already dark but between the mountain ridges, traces of purple qi could be seen swirling, the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary truly lives up to its name, purple mist could be seen bubbling forth and occasionally purple lights could be seen streaking across the sky.
Even though it was simply the outer region, it was already exceptional with azure peaks among jade green valleys, rippling clear streams and lush green vegetation. Many of the plants and trees seemed to have gained spiritual awareness and had glossy leaves that twinkled.
Ye Fan got closer to the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary and closely inspected, trying to find a way to sneak in. However, he found this task extremely difficult as there were people supervising the entryway and there were even ferocious beasts guarding.
Two unique beasts were covered in lumps and seemed like huge crocodiles, it was only that they had two flesh wings and seemed like two small mountains as they lay there, their jade coloured eyes which were as big as a face seemed to flash with a cold light.
“Eh, there seem to be a few youths kneeling there, what’s the matter?” Ye Fan was shocked to see that there were several sixteen to seventeen year old youths kneeling before the front door.
A cultivator which was patrolling the mountain happened to walk by and said: “You people should just leave, your aptitudes are too normal and even if you work hard there won’t be much results.”
“Immortal teacher, please give us one more chance.”
The cultivator sighed: “You people have kneeled for several days, I am not a heartless person but your aptitudes are simply too ordinary. There’s no way for you to pass the test, please head down the mountain.”
“Immortal teacher, we aren’t requesting for anything else, we only wish for one more chance.” The few youths were kneeling on the ground as they bitterly pleaded.
“Alright, I’ll give all of you one more chance. Love our Hopeless Parents Half a month later we will be selecting new disciples, whether you can grasp this opportunity to stay will depend on yourselves.”
“Many thanks immortal teacher!” The youths bowed in unison.
Hearing this, Ye Fan took big strides as he walked forward.
“Who’s there?” The cultivator turned to look back.
“Immortal teacher, I’ve come here to be a disciple.” Ye Fan loudly shouted.
“It only begins half a month later, you’ve arrived too early.”
“My home is too far away and I’ve travelled for six months before arriving. I was afraid of being delayed along the way, please take pity on me immortal teacher.” Ye Fan had observed for a period of time and felt that this cultivator’s heart was rather soft and should be easily convinced.
“This doesn’t conform with the rules.”
Ye Fan’s face was very sincere as he described how he raised money, even to the point of begging, travelling over land and water, going over thousands of miles and journeyed for over half a year before reaching this area with difficulty.
This immortal teacher was not very old and looked to be about twenty seven to twenty eight years of age, he was soft hearted and as he looked at Ye Fan with his tattered clothes and face which was stained with blotches, he finally sighed as he nodded: “Alright, you’ll go together with them.”
Ye Fan hurriedly said his thanks as he followed the group of youths into the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary. All the immortal mountains had purple qi swirling around them and they seemed hazy and indistinct, palaces could be seen on each of the mountain tops, simply ephemeral, with a flavour of the land of immortals.
“This Purple Sun immortal sanctuary has even denser spiritual qi than Ling Xu immortal sanctuary……” Ye Fan muttered in his heart as he nodded, this place was clearly exceptional.
Entering into the depths of the immortal mountains, the vegetation was lush and spiritual medicine was abundant, a fresh air blew by, this was an extremely beautiful and peaceful immortal sanctuary.
Ye Fan and the few youths were settled down beside a patch of bamboo forest, there were wooden houses here that were catered for odd labourers, disciples who cultivated seldom came to this area.
Reaching this area, Ye Fan gradually calmed down. If they were still able to find him, he would only be left with the choice to struggle with his life on the line, there were no other options available.
“It’s likely that there’s something on my body that allows them to sense it and chase.”
Ye Fan eliminated the aurichalcite, this mysterious precious treasure, back in the day many cultivators got a hold of it but could not differentiate it, now that it was located silently within his golden sea of bitterness it would be even more impossible to differentiate.
Was it the Dao Scripture? This was also quite improbable, if he did not circulate the mystical arts recorded within, his golden sea of bitterness would be silent, like a divine piece of metal without any fluctuations and outsiders would be hard pressed to sense anything.
“Could it be this piece of ‘source’ that is exposing my tracks? It shouldn’t be the case.” Ye Fan contemplated deeply but did not manage to find an answer as he muttered: “I won’t care about all this first, let’s first absorb this ‘source’.”
In the next few days, the patch of bamboo forest was extremely peaceful, no outsiders came to disturb and it really was a place suitable for cultivation. The expert horsemen from the Jiang Family also did not appear.
Ye Fan had began to absorb the ‘source’ and each time he would hold it in his palm as he carefully smelted, each day he would only melt a small amount, he was worried that if he were too forceful, the vast amount of qi essence of life would all rush out, causing waves of source energy, allowing others to notice.
On the sixth day, the bright moon was hanging in the sky and Ye Fan once again smelted a small portion of the ‘source’. At this moment, the sounds of the howling sea suddenly transmitted from within his golden sea of bitterness, the clamor was astounding and he hurriedly stopped as he hid the ‘source’.
“This is so problematic……” The unique physique made him helpless, he had imagined that he would be able to control it but the frightening sound had suddenly erupted. The unique imagery caused by his sea of bitterness was astounding and if it were discovered by others, a huge ruckus would be created.
“It seems that I won’t be able to completely smelt this piece of ‘source’, I can only wait till I leave this area before I continue.”
However, his gains were not minimal and his golden sea of bitterness had grown a full circle, there were eight additional divine symbols swirling above his sea of bitterness. Ye Fan then smelted these eight divine symbols into that lump of divine metal that was already present within his sea of bitterness and constantly molded it on the aurichalcite, copying the Dao Inscriptions onto it.
This day, the silence was broken as several of the young cultivators came here and noticed Ye Fan.
“It’s you…… that little beggar!” There were looks of astonishment on the faces of the few of them, these were the disciples of the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary who he had chanced upon a few days back, Li Xiao Man was currently not in their midst.
The previous day, Ye Fan had created a loud clamor and a few cultivators had come to inspect the area. In the night they had not discovered much and the few people were curious therefore came in the early morning to inspect once again.
“How did you enter our Purple Sun immortal sanctuary? Could it be that you came looking for junior sister Li?” The few people were shocked and had never imagined that they would see Ye Fan here.
“The sect leader of your Purple Sun immortal sanctuary chanced upon me and mentioned that my aptitude was exceptional, wanting to take me as a disciple no matter what…….” Ye Fan blatantly lied.
The few people naturally did not believe this as their faces seemed unhappy, a girl amongst them said in a heavy voice: “Little beggar, your skin is really quite thick!”
At this moment, a middle aged man appeared within the bamboo forest as he walked a few rounds around the area before stopping: “I feel the aura of a ‘source’ here.”
“Greetings senior elder!” The few youths hurriedly paid their respects.
Ye Fan was shocked, this person’s spiritual sense was too sensitive, the source had already been sealed by him but was still discovered.
“No need to be overly polite.” The middle aged man’s face was rosy and his hair was jet black, however, his eyes seemed ancient and seemed to be in conflict with his outer appearance.
“This person’s real age must be seventy to eighty years or higher……” Ye Fan estimated in his heart, he felt that this was a frightening expert.
“It’s on your body……” He stared at Ye Fan.
“Greetings elder.” Ye Fan paid his respects.
“You aren’t a disciple of our Purple Sun immortal sanctuary?”
“No, I’m not.”
The middle aged man did not seem to move but suddenly appeared before Ye Fan, as though he had teleported as he grabbed Ye Fan’s hand.
“Elder, what are you……” Ye Fan was shocked and actually thought that the elder was going to act.
“Your physique……” The middle aged man had a shocked expression before he shook his head and sighed. It was clear that he had seen a lot and immediately made a judgement.
In that instant earlier, Ye Fan’s heart was extremely nervous. It was fortunate that his sea of bitterness was deathly silent, darkness shrouded the golden sea of bitterness as though it were a desolate piece of land. When the middle aged man had inspected the area, he did not discover any abnormalities.
Ye Fan felt astonished in his heart, if he purposefully chose to hide it, even such an expert personally checking could be easily tricked.
“Do you have a piece of ‘source’ on your body?” The middle aged man asked.
Ye Fan had no way to hide this fact any further as he retrieved a small wooden case: “I’m not sure if this is a ‘source’ but this is something that was passed down from my family’s ancestors.”
The middle aged man opened the wooden case and glanced at the object within before saying: “That’s right, it is a source. Although it isn’t pure, it’s already very rare. I wonder if you’re willing to part with it?”
“You can’t cultivate, this piece of ‘source is useless to you. Don’t worry, I won’t cause you to lose out. If you’re willing to make an exchange, you will gain enough wealth to last you ten lifetimes.”
“However, I really don’t want to exchange it……” Ye Fan had an awkward expression on his face. He had entered the Purple Sun immortal sanctuary and temporarily got rid of the horsemen from the Jiang Family. However, he did not think that the fact he had a ‘source’ would be leaked and this made him feel very helpless.
“You really don’t wish to make an exchange?” The middle aged man asked with a calm expression, appearing to not be forcing Ye Fan into anything.
“It’s alright, since that’s the case, I also won’t want to make things difficult for you. It’s only a piece of source, to me I can have it or not, makes no difference.” Having said this, he turned and left, only walking a few steps before disappearing from the eyes of the group.
Ye Fan’s heart shivered, this was definitely an expert.
“Little beggar, I did not expect that you would actually have a ‘source’ on you, although it isn’t a pure piece, a small ‘source’ is even more valuable than spiritual medicines.”
The few youths had amazed looks on their faces, they would never have imagined that there would be such an item on Ye Fan and a few of the people naturally began to have greed in their hearts.
“Little beggar, you really don’t know how to grasp opportunities. Do you know who the person earlier was? That was the number two expert within our Purple Sun immortal sanctuary, he has cultivated for slightly over hundred years but is already stronger than all of our grand masters. If you had handed the ‘source’ over to him and formed this good karma, the benefits would have been endless…….”
The few youths attempted to persuade Ye Fan with various benefits to attain this ‘source’ but Ye Fan was adamant in his refusal.
It was only when the group left before Ye Fan muttered: “Although I’ve temporarily avoided the horsemen of the Jiang Family, the fact that I have a ‘source’ has been leaked, who knows what troubles may come.”
The doctor smiled arrogantly and said: “Monarch, saving your son isn’t difficult. However, you should have heard of my habits; my price is not small.”
The monarch merely took a deep breath, he had heard tales of the doctor before and was mentally prepared. He deepened his tone and said: “What does Virtuous Nephew want? As long as it is within my ability, I will do my best!”
“I heard Observant Monarch has a Wish Scepter.” The doctor smiled and said: “I have heard of this treasure.Would you be willing to part with this item?” 1
This condition caused the monarch’s expression to change. He really had such a treasure, but it was very important to him.
He grew hesitant since this condition was too harsh. His Wish Scepter is extremely precious, an unfathomable artifact.
“Monarch, time does not wait for anyone.” The doctor coldly said: “The imperial family’s ancestors or a Legendary Alchemist can cure this poison, but can monarch wait until one of them comes to help!? If monarch delays the treatment, then I’m afraid your son will not be able to keep his life!”
1. Ruyi scepter, “as you wish”. A symbol of power and good fortune The monarch gritted his teeth and said: “Very well, if Virtuous Nephew can save my son, then my Wish Scepter will be yours!”
In order to save his son, the monarch had to give up his treasure. Although there were ancestors from the kingdom that could cure this poison, they were all buried underground. He couldn’t just meet them as he pleased. Even if an ancestor was willing to save his son, the delay might adversely affect the treatment.
“If Monarch is willing to trade the Wish Scepter for his life, then everything will be easy.” The sacred doctor said: “The Devil Pondleech’s poison affinity is Yin, and luckily, I also have the ashes of Heartspark Grass to stabilize the toxin and prevent it from spreading.”
Having said that, he took out a small box that contained ashes. People could sense a wave of heat assaulting their faces. It was apparent just how powerful the Yang affinity of this particular grass was.
All the alchemists watched the sacred doctor with bated breaths. Everyone knew that his medical skill was unmatched in this world, so they wanted to see him in action just once.
“This is the wrong approach.” When the sacred doctor wanted to apply the ashes of Heartspark Grass on the young man’s chest, a leisurely and calm voice appeared.
The doctor looked back; the speaker was, of course, Li Qiye whom he was especially annoyed with!
Li Qiye and the two ladies were about to leave, but they stopped after seeing the gravely wounded son of the monarch being carried in.
The always-arrogant doctor was proud of his medical ability. Although his conditions were very harsh, he had indeed saved many people near death. Many injuries that rendered even bigger sects helpless were healed by him. Thus, the sacred doctor never allowed people to question his art. Moreover, he already hated Li Qiye from the start, so after hearing his words, the doctor immediately coldly spoke: “Ignorant brat, what do you know! Don’t spew nonsense if you don’t understand medicine. Don’t think that just because of your trivial pill refinement skill that you truly understand the dao of alchemy! When it comes to the art of healing, you are not even comparable to a fart!”
Due to the existing enmity and Li Qiye questioning his skill, he immediately spared no face in his retort. In fact, he had never given anyone face before.
“Is that so?” Surprisingly, Li Qiye did not become angry like usual. He only revealed a smirk while saying: “Since you are so versed in medicine, I want to hear your opinion.”
The doctor smiled sarcastically before harshly responding: “Since a cricket like you wants to learn, then I’ll teach you a thing or two! Fairy Yuan is also an alchemy genius, so she must understand medicology as well. The leech’s poison is Yin; it’s ferocious and spreads extremely quickly. Because of this, I will use the ashes of Heartspark Grass to stabilize the toxicity. This grass is of the Yang affinity – a great recovery tool. I used Samadhi True Fire to burn it into ashes, so its Yang affinity became even higher…
“It is extremely appropriate to combat the cold Yin poison with the ashes of this grass. After the toxicity level is reduced, I will open the injured person’s chest and use my exclusive technique to seal his true fate and flesh and force the poison out of the wound. When there is no poison leftover inside his body, I will use another unique strand of detoxifying sacred medicine to destroy any remnants…”
The doctor laughed proudly at this point before continuing with great hubris: “Many people think that a sacred detoxifying medicine would be able to cure all toxins, but this is not the case. Once a ferocious poison infiltrates the body, it won’t just spread throughout the physical self, it will also harm the true fate! Only by gathering the poison in one place through meticulous examination then using medicine to dissolve it would no problems be left behind – this is the best method!”
“For this method, outside of using a profound saber art to open the chest, it would require my secret poison removing art. As for the detoxifying medicine, of course it is the best. Only I, the Devil Hand Sacred Doctor, know all three of these things in the contemporary times!” The doctor was elated as he looked at Yuan Caihe with his head high and chest out.
He was usually not a talkative person, but when it came to medicine, he could go on and on. Moreover, he wanted to show off to Yuan Caihe, so he deliberately flaunted his skill.
“I have little knowledge regarding actual medicinal applications…” Yuan Caihe contemplated for a moment before tilting her head and saying: “In theory, this method should work.”
“It is just theoretical.” Li Qiye smiled while shaking his head to say: “If you try to do this, I’m afraid that not only will you kill the injured, your own life will be forfeited as well.”
“How ignorant!” The doctor shouted: “I could easily cure an even more ferocious poison! Even the most soul-ending poison in the Alchemy Realm would be no problem, let alone this Devil Pondleech! If you don’t understand medicine, then don’t stand here and spout frightening words to scare people!”
“Someone like you wants to speak of medicine with Brother Sacred Doctor?” At this time, the marquis helped out the doctor. How could he miss this chance of kicking someone who was already down? He sneered: “Brother Sacred Doctor’s medicinal ability is unmatched in this world. You’re just a junior yet you still dare to comment on his ability now of all times?! How pitifully ignorant! Regarding the way of medicines, you are not even worthy of holding his shoes!”
No matter what, he would obtain vengeance for the Radiant-Sea Sect. Even if he couldn’t kill Li Qiye right now, he would still do his best to humiliate him!
“Marquis is right.” Another young alchemist wouldn’t miss this opportunity for flattery and sneered: “A few ignorant people want to boast and debate medicine with the sacred doctor, but this is simply teaching a fish how to swim!”
It was rare for such a good opportunity to arise, so the sacred doctor just had to show his matchless medicinal skill before Yuan Caihe and humiliate Li Qiye. Thus, he snorted and told the monarch: “Monarch, when I am detoxifying the poison, I need complete concentration. If some dumb things buzz around my ear, I won’t be able to focus. If a mistake happens, then I won’t be able to guarantee anything. If Monarch wants your Young Noble to recover, then please tell these stupid things to shut up for me!”
This was his favorite thing to do, putting on an imposing and aggressive attitude to shame others.
The Observant Monarch was powerless. His son’s life was in the sacred doctor’s hands, so he quickly cupped his fists towards Li Qiye and said: “Young Noble Li, harmony is to be treasured… Let’s take a step back and bask in the immensity of the heaven and earth, please don’t argue any longer.”
Li Qiye stared at the monarch and only gently shook his head to say: “If Monarch is so sure, then I won’t say anything else.”
The sacred doctor snorted and arrogantly said: “Monarch, don’t worry. I will save your son in no time at all.”
With that, he slowly placed the ashes on the young man’s chest wound.
“Szzzz…” The moment the ashes fell on the wound, it began to dissolve the toxin. The black energy that was initially coming from the wound turned into a green smoke.
“It’s working. The sacred doctor’s skill is truly unmatched in this world and worthy of his reputation. Only a few ignorant fools would question him!” After seeing this scene, a young alchemist exclaimed in amazement.
The doctor was basking in this glory. He smiled proudly with utmost confidence in his medicinal skill. Even if his pill refining ability was not as great as his senior brother, the White Hair Alchemy God, no one in the current era could compare to his medicinal skill!
“Ah?” However, the doctor’s expression suddenly froze. In the blink of an eye, a black ray flashed by at an unbelievable speed. Even an expert like the Observant Monarch could only see its shadow and couldn’t make out what it actually was.
At this time, the doctor still wore a gloating smile, but a small hole had been drilled into his forehead. A tiny strand of blood dripped down from it as his body tensed up before falling to the ground.
This development came too quickly. Many people had yet to calm down, and once they did, nearly all of them quickly retreated and maintained their distance. No one dared to come close.
Even the monarch was aghast and exclaimed: “What happened!” He gasped after seeing the doctor on the ground. Even a Heaven’s Equal King like him didn’t know what killed the doctor by drilling the very small hole on his forehead.
“Oh god…” An alchemist couldn’t contain his scream of horror. He was pale with trembling legs.
As a genius alchemist, Yuan Caihe instantly realized something and said with surprise: “There is something in his body!”
“Ahh…” The young man lying there bellowed. His body tensed up again as if it was about to snap in half. One could hear the sounds of bones grinding together, seemingly on the verge of breaking. The young man rolled back and forth, writhing with pain!
“My son!” The monarch was horrified. He immediately used his power to the seal the young man’s body to relieve his pain! However, the effect was not clear.
“You didn’t listen to me, so you have to suffer like this.” Li Qiye looked at the doctor on the ground and said dismissively: “You can only blame your lack of skill for your death, but now you are also bringing someone else down with you. What a sin.”
Everyone present felt a chill. No one knew how the doctor died or what the thing inside the young man’s body was! “Ahh…” The young man’s pitiful scream echoed all the way to the blue sky. His body was about to twist in half, starting with his spine. His entire body was in an agonizing pain.
Although his true fate was stained by the poison, he still had some reason and shrilly exclaimed: “Father, send me off!”
“No, my son, you have to hold on!” The monarch was distraught and quickly said: “I will find someone to cure this poison.”
“Senior, someone capable is right in front of you, why do you still want to search?” The kind Yuan Caihe saw the young man no longer wanting to live from the pain, so she reminded the monarch.
The monarch lifted his head to look at Yuan Caihe. After a split second, he immediately understood who she was referring to. He quickly stood up and cupped his hands towards Li Qiye: “Young Noble Li, this little monarch has eyes but might as well be blind. I offended you earlier, please forgive me. As long as Young Noble can save my son, you can strike or kill me if you like.”
“Monarch said too much.” Li Qiye gently shook his head and said: “I have no grievance against you, so why would I want to hit or kill you? Besides, curing is not my area of expertise.”
The monarch was at a loss after hearing this, but he had no other plan at this moment. He couldn’t help but send a glance towards Yuan Caihe as a call for help.
Ultimately, she was too kind. She gently asked Li Qiye: “Big Brother, you have a kind heart, so save the young monarch.”
“Caihe’s words are wrong. I have never had a kind heart, I am someone who kills without batting an eye.” Li Qiye shook his head and smiled. He gently stroke her hair and continued: “However, since you asked, how could I not help him?”
“I knew that Big Brother will not let someone die without helping.” Yuan Caihe smiled softly. Although her smile was not kingdom-toppling, her gentle and tranquil temperament was so beautiful that it made her seem as if she could resolve everything.
Li Qiye stepped forward and took a fang out from the young man’s wound. He threw it on the ground and lightly said: “It is true that he was ambushed by a Devil Pondleech. Its poison can indeed be fatal, but this is not the most deadly part of this matter. In fact, he will not die right now despite the vicious poison of the leech.”
“Why is that?” The monarch had to ask: “If its poison can’t kill my son, then why is he in such pain right now?”
“Normally, this poison definitely can kill him, but right now there is something inside of him that does not wish for his death.” Li Qiye answered: “It wants to use your son’s body as a breeding ground, as a host! Even if the leech’s poison is rampaging throughout his body, that thing will still let him live on.”
“What, what is it?” The monarch felt creeped out after hearing this. He could already imagine his son’s agony if he had to live like this from now on.
“It is a Leech Maggot.” Li Qiye said: “An extremely rare parasitic monster, even rarer than the Devil Pondleech. SATAN detailed Normally, it will live inside the Devil Pondleech’s poisonous fangs and feed on the toxin there. However, when the maggot wants to lay eggs, it will control the pondleech to attack prey!”
“And this prey has to be a powerful creature. For example, a strong cultivator, a longevity spirit, or a heavenly beast!” Li Qiye continued: “This is because the maggot requires both the poison of the leech and the essence of the powerful prey to hatch its eggs! After the leech attacks, the maggot will instantly push all the poison from the leech’s fangs into the prey and climb inside as well. Because of this, after the venom runs out, the fang will also fall out, stuck in the prey’s body!”
Here, Li Qiye glanced at the fang on the ground and said: “Very few pondleeches carry this type of parasite. Only a quack would think that the fatal wound came from the leech’s poison. In fact, even without curing this particular toxin, the maggot will eventually devour it completely. After it finishes absorbing this toxin and the new host’s vitality, the egg can hatch at any time, and that moment will signal the demise of the host!”
“Of course, before the end, the host will definitely suffer the most painful experience in their life and will wish for death!” Li Qiye said: “Therefore, after being marked by this particular maggot, many hosts choose to end their lives early.”
After listening to Li Qiye, the monarch felt creeps running down his spine. This parasite’s method of murder was simply too horrifying! The knowledgeable monarch had waded through countless storms and had broad horizons, but he had never heard of this Leech Maggot before.
“How do we help him right now then?” The monarch anxiously said: “Do we need to open his chest to reach his palace, or do we completely cleanse his flesh? If Young Noble can cleanse the poison in his true fate, then my son can let go of his physical body! As long as the true fate is fine, I can help him rebuild his body.”
“There is no need to be so serious and open his chest and palace.” Li Qiye smiled and said: “Those are just the practices of quacks. A real alchemist would use their own heavenly cauldron – this is their most important tool. A monster like this Leech Maggot isn’t really that ferocious and can be easily dealt with. If we have to open his palace just to deal with this maggot, then once we meet a true poisonous fiend, would we have to destroy his true fate as well?”
The monarch quickly prostrated to the ground and voiced his request: “Young Noble, please save my son, this little monarch will be forever grateful…”
Li Qiye lightly said: “Please stand up. Caihe had asked me, so I will save his life.”
Having said that, he summoned the Myriad Heavenly Cauldron and assumed control. One could only see strands of cauldron flames falling into Li Qiye’s hand. He then placed his hand on the young man’s chest. It was as if these fiery strands had their own consciousness as they delved into the young man’s body!
In the blink of an eye, the young man’s body was lit up like a transparent lantern. Under the illumination of the fiery strands, one could easily see everything inside, including his muscles and bones.
Although the fire had invaded the young man, it didn’t hurt him in the slightest. The strands entered his body in such a natural and unbelievable manner.
“This, this can’t be real!” Many alchemists present were astounded by the scene unraveling before their eyes since they couldn’t fathom this reality.
Everyone knew that the fire source of a cauldron was formed after devouring many different species of fire. Each cauldron fire was different, but one thing was certain: to be able to refine pills, their power had to be absolutely amazing.
But at this second, Li Qiye was able to control the flame and made it enter the body of a living person without damaging them at all. This was extremely fantastical and shouldn’t be possible in real life.
Even the young alchemists who were annoyed with Li Qiye were left dumbfounded and reckoned that this mastery of fire was unique in this world.
After seeing this, the Cauldron Marquis’ expression became very unsightly. Outside of shock, he was also extremely jealous. He was called the Cauldron Marquis because he was adept at controlling his cauldron, but he simply didn’t know a technique like Li Qiye’s. Even if he was to be taught, he wouldn’t be able to replicate this level of skill. This was indeed the highest level of cauldron control!
Under the light of the fiery strands, the Leech Maggot in the young man’s body was finally exposed. It was hiding in a corner of the body. After being illuminated by the fire, it let out a ferocious scream. Even though it was as thin as a strand of silk, it was still very creepy-looking.
In an instant after detecting the maggot, the fiery strands near it turned into universal laws. These strands instantly locked the maggot. Everyone could hear a clanking sound as the maggot was pulled out of the young man’s body by the fire.
“Xshhhh…” The maggot frantically struggled to escape the fiery strands with its astonishing speed. Many people quivered after seeing the ferocity of this maggot that was as thin as a strand of hair. They could already imagine how terrible it would be if this maggot was inside their own body.
“Boom!” In this moment, the fiery strands locking the maggot turned into the most overbearing flame in this world. With a little sizzle, it instantly incinerated this maggot, leaving behind nothing but ashes.
After seeing the removal of the maggot, the monarch took a deep sigh of relief. However, he couldn’t help but ask after seeing the poisonous air that still remained: “Young Noble Li, what about the poison of the leech inside my son?”
“This is even simpler.” Li Qiye controlled the cauldron and smiled before fueling the fire once more.
The remaining fiery strands inside the young man’s body ignited again. In the blink of an eye, his body caught on fire as if it was being cremated.
Out of fear for his son’s safety, the monarch had to ask: “Young Noble, will my son be okay?”
Li Qiye calmly replied: “Don’t worry, this is only burning the poison. He won’t be harmed in the slightest.”
Within the burning fire, the young man’s body began to emit green smoke. Plumes of green smoke came out and eventually dispersed. After a while, it completely dissipated.
Afterward, these fiery strands receded from his body like a tide. The young man’s vitality seemed to be restored as his face became pink again.
Li Qiye recalled the cauldron and said: “Good, it’s now up to you. The wound on his chest can be cured by your kingdom’s Soulrending Immortal Powder.”
After seeing his son’s complexion brightening up after the poison went away, the monarch rejoiced and shouted: “Quick, go get the powder and apply it on your First Brother.” After the powder was applied, the chest wound closed up very quickly and a scab started to form. This powder was indeed worthy of being the supreme ointment from the Alchemy Kingdom.
His son’s complexion started to look better, so the monarch was relieved. He prostrated on the ground and said: “Young Noble’s medical ability must be supreme in this world. Your dao of alchemy is profound with no rivals. Your control of fire is also unique in this world. You saved my son’s life, so if you ever need this little monarch in the future, just say the word.”
All of a sudden, everyone in the yard became silent. The monarch’s words were not mere flattery. All had eyes and saw that whether it was Li Qiye’s medical ability or his fire control, his skills could only be described as astonishing. Even the Marquis Cauldron who was known as a genius was very jealous and full of hate.
There were also some envious alchemists. Li Qiye was able to save the monarch’s son, meaning that he had tied a knot of friendship with him. Since the monarch was a royal subject valued by the imperial family, this was equivalent to gaining a powerful backer.
Li Qiye was very relaxed after being thanked by the monarch. He leisurely said: “If Monarch wants to thank someone, then thank Caihe.”
To him, befriending the monarch or gaining a powerful backer like the kingdom didn’t matter. He only saved the monarch’s son because of Yuan Caihe’s simple request.
The monarch quickly showed his gratitude towards Yuan Caihe. She didn’t want to accept a big gesture, but nevertheless, the monarch still bowed towards her.
At this time, Li Qiye glanced over at the young alchemists present and said: “Only a fool would worship a quack as an expert! A group of fools is not qualified to debate medicine and the dao of alchemy with me!”
Those who made fun of Li Qiye earlier felt their faces burning. They had all been flattering the sacred doctor while belittling Li Qiye at the same time. But look at it now, the doctor’s cold body was on the ground while Li Qiye saved the monarch’s son. This was a resounding slap to their faces!
Li Qiye had never given any consideration to those who provoked him. Him mocking them was already mild enough. This was because of Yuan Caihe’s presence, greatly improving his mood. Otherwise, he would have slapped them flying away.
The previous Scion of Samsara and Holy Sword Wielder seemed like nothing special in front of him. Perhaps he really would have the strength to challenge the Demon God Emperor in the near future.
For a moment, the looks of some neutral higher-ups from the Temple Alliance at Bright Glimmer of Hope started to get fervent. No one else would believe this Demon Hunt Squad could possibly only be there to raise their own fighting experience.
The competition went on, and the rest of the battles was still watched excitedly although clashes between domains like the battle between Long Haochen and Qiu Yonghao had not appeared again. After all, people wielding a domain of their own were just too few.
When the ninety-fifth battle concluded, it was already deep night, and time had come for the results to be announced.
Chen Zidian’s awe inspiring voice reverberated in the whole stadium, “For the first day of the Temples’ Great Gathering, over ninety matches have concluded. In result, the Knight Temple has twenty-four remaining people. Mage Temple, twenty-one. Spiritual Temple, sixteen. Assassin Temple, fourteen. Bright Glimmer of Hope, ten. Warrior Temple, ten. Now that the first rounds are over, total points will start to be counted from this point onwards.”
The results were like a lot of people expected, with the only added variable being the Demon Hunt Squad Bright Glimmer of Hope.
Don’t make a hasty judgement just because Bright Glimmer of Hope is at the bottom alongside the Warrior Temple. Their splendor was far greater than all five Temples.
Out of ten people, they had achieved ten victories, achieving a win rate of a hundred percent. What glorious results were these?
In fact, the other Temples had thirty-six people in total originally, but even the most powerful Knight Temple only achieved a win-rate of two-thirds.
The five participating Temples also set their eyes on the Demon Hunt Squad Bright Glimmer of Hope with great attention. They found out with shock that eight of the ten people forming this squad were actually powerhouses of the ninth step, the rest reaching the peak of the eighth step. And, among their ranks were five young knights: their leader Long Haochen, Han Yu, Zhang Fangfang, Yang Wenzhao, and Duan Yi. Migration
“The civilian may have worth as a weapon against the soldier, but his true potential lies in being firewood – fuel for the furnace of economy. The civilian weapon may kill one soldier, but the firewood civilian can support a soldier who can kill ten.” ~ excerpt from A Treatise on War, by Norton Lorist
(In-chapter note: did you guys know we put special, handcrafted quotes in the TL notes for every chapter? Open them up and have a look!)
As Lorist saw it, the 100 thousand refugees of Farkel’s the three provinces weren’t a bundle of trouble. Instead, they were gifts. As Charade and Camorra had suggested, both Windbury and The Northlands required great masses of people to fuel their development.
The reason House Norton had a different retirement condition for its soldiers was so the converted captives could truly become the house’s subjects. Basically, most of their soldiers weren’t sourced from the dominion, but rather from the captives who had served their three-year labor terms. After five years of service, they would develop a sense of belonging and would willingly become subjects.
Three years of service was enough to wipe the grudges away. After that, they would be drafted into the household forces. The captives, who had gotten used to hard labor, would accept the arrangement. However, the great benefits and treatment, as well as the strict discipline, would foster a sense of belonging. When they retire after five years, the would even be given farmland. They would be allowed to reunite with their families, or in the case of singles, form new families, and everyone would end up honest subjects in the dominion.
That was Lorist’s conversion plan and how the house’s forces had grown to the hundreds of thousands. If the method wasn’t employed, allowing youths who used to be enemies to enter the dominion would only serve to introduce an unstable variable. Fortunately, thanks to the wealth they plundered from Hanayabarta, Lorist was able to keep such a policy going.
However, the policy required time. After all, military service lasted five years at least. So, the other method of increasing the population was to forcefully migrate commoners. To Lorist, following the extermination of Madras and Iblia, the only enemy left around The Northlands was House Fisablen who occupied three provinces on the great northeastern plains. However, those provinces were even more barren than The Northlands. A lack of population was one of the duke’s most pressing problems and Lorist couldn’t scour population from him even if he wanted to.
As a result of the swift migration of Shabaj following the conquest, not a single soul could be seen in the plains around the city, or in the city for that matter. Twenty years since the civil war between the three princes, almost every house came to understand the importance of a huge population. Apart from plundering wealth, youths were a rare and dwindling resource.
The reason Lorist agreed to deploy his troops to attack the duchies was largely so he could migrate the population. Currently, The Northlands only had a population of roughly 1.67 million. No one knew how many more years it would take to grow it to three million, not to mention the fact that the target was Charade’s minimum manpower requirement to satisfy the development plan of Lorist’s dominion. It would take too long to rely on natural population growth through childbirth, mainly because it took more than ten years for a child to mature and there were many risks along the way. Migrating the population from the duchies on a large scale was much faster.
While the duchies were known to be rich, Lorist knew the incessant wars of the last decade had dwindled their income. Especially after they lost 70 thousand elite infantrymen in his last war. And after only three short years to recover, they were invaded by Auguslo. It was pretty apparent that gaining great wealth from them was not realistic. The only thing worth going for was the population.
It was a shame that after attacking Shabaj, apart from the 100 thousand inhabitants of Messen and the 160 thousand refugees whose homes were ruined, the rest were taken by House Fisablen, House Felim, House Shazin and a few other nobles who knew what they were doing. Of the dutchy’s three provinces, Rimad was occupied by House Norton alone, Messen was split between House Shazin and the allied noble army, and Jigzai was divided between House Fisablen and House Felim. Of the 800 thousand subjects in Shabaj, only 300 thousand were left after Auguslo declared a ban on migration.
The king believed he had to limit the migration. Otherwise, what would he use to revitalize the economy and redevelop the land? He still had to deal with the Union after all. Fortunately, Lorist and company were aware that they were going a little overboard. Given the current state of the dutchy, if Auguslo didn’t stop the migrations, the three provinces would end up empty.
So, after conquering Forund, Auguslo enforced strict military regulation and forbade the nobles from entering Farkel. Since Duke Farkel had already fled for Handra, Auguslo would be the one to take the towns. What would be the point of sending the nobles who had ill intentions out?
He didn’t expect that the duke would leave such a troublesome mess for him to clean up, putting him in quite a dilemma. He knew Lorist was gunning for the 100 thousand refugees but he had no choice. After all, given the current situation, Lorist’s idea was the best. Otherwise, he had to watch the refugees freeze and starve. Additionally, the cost of migrating the 100 thousand refugees would be borne by House Norton. That was another reason he allowed Lorist and Count Felim to head to Farkel and relocate the refugees.
Auguslo must not have known about the saying ‘the general far away didn’t have to wait for the decrees of the monarch to act’. Additionally, the relationship between lieges and vassals on Grindia was not strictly hierarchical. As Duke of The Northlands, Lorist had the right to refuse any of Auguslo’s orders he deemed to harm House Norton’s interest. After receiving the king’s permission, Lorist was a bird flying free in the sky and a fish swimming freely in the endless oceans.
Though there were refugees across the three provinces, namely, Samora, Phapsia, and Kribia, most were gathered in Phapsia. It was the province in which the capital, Freimox had stood. The duke had the food stores of the towns in the other provinces burned. The townsfolk now had no food, though they at least still had roofs over their heads.
Given that the total population of Farkel was around a million, how could a mere 100 thousand sate Lorist’s appetite? On the way to Kribia, Lorist had already struck an agreement with Count Felim. House Norton would take most of the refugees while House Felim took only a few. After all, House Felim had to rely on House Norton for food after the huge migration since there was no way Southern could sustain so many people in its undeveloped state.
No matter what, Auguslo was still the king. He had to be given due respect. The two came to an agreement. They wouldn’t raid the three provinces as bad as they had Forund’s. It had to be slightly better at the very least.
Lorist wouldn’t touch the farmers properly registered as citizens. It was easily done by referencing the dominion’s registry. But as a result, the homes and lands of the nobles who had left with Handra became the target. The nobles were traitors to Auguslo anyway and he would have to do the same thing after he conquered Farkel. Lorist might as well give him an early hand and use the resources he plundered to aid the refugees.
It was a really odd opportunity, to say the least. Even though the provinces had already fallen into Auguslo’s hands, the only thing that was really passed to him was the dominion registry that recorded the subjects of each town.
Additionally, subjects of the nobles entitled by the duke were not recorded in the registry. It was not unlike the 1.67 million population count of The Northlands. The number only included the subjects of House Norton. While Delamock and Winston were also controlled by the Nortons and had a combined population of around 700 thousand, they were registered as citizens of the provinces and couldn’t be counted among House Norton’s subjects.
For example, the citizens of Windbury were considered subjects of Andinaq. While Lorist was the governor and had similar rights to deal with the citizens of the city as he would his subjects, he couldn’t consider them his. The governor term could be revoked. Even if Lorist were to serve in the position for the rest of his life, he couldn’t pass the position down to his descendants. The household dominion, however, was hereditary. That was also one of the main reasons Auguslo allowed the refugees to migrate to Windbury. They would still end up under his control.
While the population was roughly a million, only were House Farkel’s subjects. Now, around 100 thousand had been forced to become refugees by the dim-witted duke. Lorist and Count Felim would soon arrive to move them to Southern. While it didn’t seem all that beneficial to The Northlands, all Lorist needed was an excuse to rescue them. He was actually counting on the subjects of the other nobles. He was confident he could migrate them to The Northlands.
Well, I should give Auguslo some face and move only 300 thousand to The Northlands.
With that, the conquest would add 500 thousand more subjects to The Northlands. It didn’t include the refugees. House Norton was the one that profited the most from the war. Lorist wasn’t too worried about the migration either.
The Norton forces had rich experience migrating droves of people. Count Felim was no stranger to it either. After Tigersoar and Pegasus arrived at Kribia, Pegasus left a division behind to work with Tigersoar to rally and watch over the refugees. Its three other divisions continued to Phapsia and Samora. As they were light cavalry, they moved quickly and could provide aid to the refugees and maintain order sooner.
Loze would lead Tigersoar per Lorist’s orders to clear up the dominions of all the local nobles who left with the duke. The order was simple: the resources plundered from the dominions would be used to aid the migration. And for the subjects of the nobles who lost the resources, they would have to join the refugees on the migration so they didn’t starve or freeze.
It was another reason Lorist wanted enough food to feed 100 thousand people for only 15 days. It would be enough to ensure that the refugees could make it to Windbury. The duke only burned the resources and warehouses of the areas and towns he controlled, but he didn’t order his vassals to do the same. Given the good weather the duchy had had for the last couple o years, the warehouses across Farkel were filled with food. Furybear’s informants Lorist had installed in the houses had long investigated and reported everything. The reports were so detailed they even had an estimate of the amount of food present.
Some of the reports even told of some road guides who led Tigersoar along for some good profit. Apart from sparing ten-odd nobles who didn’t follow the duke and gave Tigersoar a huge sum of money to leave them alone, there were 34 houses razed to the ground. The army was very thorough; all valuables were taken. It was no great feat, they were so used to raiding. Another 100 thousand people became refugees.
To other houses and forces, winter was a really threatening season. Apart from having nothing better to do for most of it, nobody was willing to be on guard duty in the chilling and windy weather. House Norton’s forces were different. They had to train and carry out missions even during the coldest time of winter. With thick furs to stave off the cold and great experience making long marches in the cold, even blizzards were no issue. As long as there was enough snow piled up on the ground, their sleds and skis could see some use.
With sleds, transporting the refugees to another location would be an even quicker affair. Lorist had Charade and Camorra to set up a complete transport line. Rest stations for the refugees to rest and resupply along the way were set up in Messen, Southern, and Windbury. Along the way, the refugees could get off their sleds to stretch their bodies until they arrived at their respective drop-off points.
After the third bout of snow stopped, the already-prepared Tigersoar soldiers led one sled after another on their long journey. It convenienced the Norton forces greatly by transporting large numbers of people during winter as there was no need to have anybody supervise the refugees. After all, anyone with half a brain wouldn’t separate from the group to wander off in the snow or cause any trouble. Leaving the wind-shielded sleds in such cold weather only meant death.
Risk So far, more than 400 thousand refugees had been gathered in Kribia. Tigersoar had also swept the province clean and was preparing to carry out the final sweeping operations in Samora. Lorist gave Loze a quota of 800 thousand refugees. Having been under Farkel’s rule for just eight years, it was hard to find so many refugees. However, Loze promised he would find a way.
After clearing up the lands across Kribia and Phapsia, the most plentiful among the spoils was food. They obtained very few gold Fordes, around 400 thousand. There were far more luxury goods and collectibles that used to belong to the nobles. Those were worth approximately a million gold Fordes. It was decided that the cash would go to Felim and the rest would fill Lorist’s coffers.
On the 32nd day of the 1st month of the next year… More than 50 days had elapsed since the migration began. The refugees from Phapsia had all been migrated, and only 40 thousand remained in Samora. Lorist estimated they could settle the refugees down on the 15th day of the 2nd month with the sleds before the thick snow melts. The rainy season and a month of good rest would follow. They could start making their contributions to the house thereafter.
Potterfang, who received a secret order to lead three divisions from Firmrock unnoticed to Phapsia, entered the main tent in the igloo.
“Your Grace, we are ready. Shall we begin?” asked he, saluting. “Look! It’s Master Xian!”
“What! The person who fixed the Array of Unyielding Emotion? He really is young!”
“Oh my god, he looks only 20. Compared to him, I have wasted my life.”
As the two silhouettes descended, everyone looked over. After identifying Ling Xian, they began to applaud.
Yan Xiong Fei on the other hand, was completely overlooked.
Even though the recovery of the Array of Unyielding Emotions happened just this afternoon, Ling Xian’s name had become widely known to the entire Clan.
What could they do? Ling Xian was simply far too competent. After using merely an hour, he repaired an array that Master Jiang could not fix. On top of that, he was so young. It wasn’t hard to imagine how glorious his future was!
The Ling Xian right now was shining bright like the Sun!
Even the leader of the family, Yan Xiong Fei, was overshadowed by him. The could be seen by everyone’s reaction.
All eyes were on Ling Xian. Their gazes were filled with respect, appreciation, and jealousy. As for Yan Xiong Fei, nobody even looked at him. It was as if he didn’t exist.
This made Yan Xiong Fei speechless. He was a little angry, and somewhat helpless. What could he do? These pairs of eyes didn’t belong to him. He couldn’t just force others to only look at him.
But what was happening made him feel rather awkward. As a leader of the clan, his spotlight was completely stolen by an outsider. Who wouldn’t feel awkward?”
“Ehem… ehem…” Yan Xiong Fei dry coughed a few times to remind others of his existence.
Even after trying to gather everyone’s attention, everyone spoke words that greatly hurt him.
“Eh? That’s our clan leader? Strange, how come I didn’t notice him?”
“Yeah, I didn’t see him neither. How could I have missed that.”
“Ah… it’s probably because it’s dark?”
Dark my @ss!
Yan Xiong Fei swore silently. What kind of excuse was this?
Everyone was holding onto a lantern. This place was as brightly lit as day time. Alright, even if it was too dark right now, how could they only see Ling Xian but not him?
It was obvious that they only had Ling Xian in mind and were ignoring him.
Yan Xiong Fei cried tearlessly. Even with his broad heart, he was angered by this. As the leader of the Yan Clan, he was completely ignored by his own people. Instead, everyone was focused on an outsider who was only here for half a day. How could he be okay with this???
Seeing this, Ling Xian suppressed his laughter. He comforted, “Never mind them, Leader Yan. It is because my face is unfamiliar, that’s why they noticed me first.”
“Whatever. There is no need to comfort me. If I can’t even handle this, then I don’t deserve to be the leader.” Yan Xiong Fei waved his hand. He emphasized the word “leader” to remind everyone of his position.
Hearing this, everyone smiled awkwardly.
Yan Xiong Fei hissed and shouted, “Disperse! Let Master Xian take a look at the monsters!”
Let Master Xian look?
Everyone had a confused look on their faces. Wasn’t Master Xian an array master? Does he know about alchemy too? Though confused, they parted ways.
Ling Xian and Yan Xiong Fei quickened their pace and walked onto the empty field.
There lied hundreds of beasts. Each and every one of them was spitting out white foams and was struggling with breathing. It seemed that they won’t be alive for much longer.
This was normal. It had been at least 15 minutes since they had collapsed. It was natural that they were growing weaker, as if they could drop dead any second.
Faced against these weak beasts, Yan Xiong Fei’s heart felt a pinch. For these beasts, he had spent a lot of spiritual stones, not to mention the number of years of research and effort.
After training these beasts for more than a decade, he was just about to get his reward. Yet these beasts didn’t have their breakthrough and on the contrary, were now on the verge of death!
Who wouldn’t be pained by this? Who wouldn’t be angered?
Thinking about it made him more mad. He turned around and screamed out, “Who brewed this batch of Dans? Stand out!”
Second sun No answer.
Everyone was behaving like a turtle as they stared down on the ground, pretending to have never heard Yan Xiong Fei.
“Well, well, well, you won’t stand out.” Yan Xiong Fei’s expression was dark. As he glanced around, he screamed out again, slowly and clearly, “I will ask you again – who brewed the Dan of Breakthrough! Stand out right now!”
Once again, no responses.
Everyone’s head was lowered as they didn’t even dare to breathe before their leader’s anger.
Yan Xiong Fei was even more enraged at this. His black hair began to tussle in the air like an angry lion. However, just as he about to unleash his spiritual energy, Ling Xian stopped him.
“Leader Yan, let it go. It is not the right time to chase after who’s responsible. We need to cure the beasts.”
Hearing this, Yan Xiong Fei’s face relaxed. He asked, “I wonder if you have a way?”
“I do have a way, but I cannot promise it will work.” Ling Xian faintly grinned, not guaranteeing anything.
Just now, he had examined the beasts and concluded that the reason why they were spitting out white foam was because there was one special spiritual medicine in the Dan of Breakthrough.
Even though he wasn’t sure what this spiritual medicine was, but he was certain that it was the existence of this that caused the Dan of Breakthrough to fail.
Ling Xian has already found an antidote from the Encyclopedia. But he wasn’t certain it would work. He was about 70 percent sure that he can revive the beasts.
“As long as there is a way… as long as there is a way.”
Yang Xiong Fei’s eyes flashed with hope. Even though it hadn’t been long since what happened, he was already feeling desperate. He thought, any sliver of hope was good.
Everyone else was also overjoyed. They knew just how much the Yan Clan had invested in these beasts. If these beasts died, then they would suffer a great loss.
Therefore, when they heard Ling Xian had a way, they became filled with hope. Especially the caretakers of the beasts, they all stared at Ling Xian with anticipation.
If he can cure the beasts, then they may be able to avoid punishment.
“Unless it’s actually, your ass! Don’t tell me a person like that actually exists!” “A person like that indeed exists, but my memory…”
“Alright, it’s best you stop thinking about it. Don’t you think it’s bad if these
flames continue to burn?” “Un, oh. You’re right.”
The old man gave a ‘oh, you’re right’ look.
“Right, I have to activate the altar. Otherwise, the chill caused by the Ice Fissure will leak out.”
“Shouldn’t you have done that kind of thing earlier!!!??”
The moment I said that, the old man actually turned into a blur and disappeared from his former location.
Are you here to flaunt your level?
“Oh my god, how did you learn that mystical magic spell?”
Princess Michelle asked. “I don’t know either…”
I looked at Aliyah.
“I suddenly happened to realize it…”
‘If you’re trying to fool someone, that’s not how you do it.’ Aliyah immediately sent a message over.
‘Then what else can I do?’ ‘Somehow, I think you’re probably…’
Before she could finish, suddenly, inside the burning ice block, a ear-piercing
scream could be heard. The frightening voice caused my entire body to tremble, and I almost fell onto the ground.
Before I could even understand the situation, the white flames were suddenly shot out from inside the ice crystal, and they were flying straight for me!
I immediately sent myself flying to the air. When I looked below, the white flames actually looked as if they were able to see me, as they crawled up the ice totem.
“What kind of joke is this!”
I quickly spread out my wing and began to fly, but, in an instant, the flames accelerated, and tightly grabbed onto me as if they were claws!
I yelled loudly.
Aliyah and Princess Michelle who regained their senses started to attack. A gigantic ice block and countless sword waves flew towards the white flames.
I don’t know why, I saw my HP and MP bar turning to zero in an instant, and right after, the white flames enveloped my entire body!
Suddenly, this word appeared right in front of me. “Oh my god… Just what is…”
And then, a bright light flashed before me…
Part 2 – Abyssal Dungeon Chapter 7: Freezing Point Abyssal Dungeon
PoV: Princess Michelle
As expected, Fir is an amazing person. This ‘Abyssal Mystic Ice’ that had been rooted here for hundreds of years was actually set ablaze by him!
If those haughty senior Magicians, who, in the end, fled dejectedly after failing, see this spectacle, I wonder what their thoughts would be.
Wait a minute, what’s going on with those flames? It’s actually producing an ear- splitting scream?
A claw made out of white flames actually appeared! Just what is going on? Everything happened so suddenly. When I finally regained my senses, that white
claw had already grabbed onto Fir who was in the air! “Attack it!”
Fir who was up in the sky, yelled out. Right, attack!
“Queen of Ice, in my name, I summon you, who stands at the endless pinnacle of
ice! Come, teardrop of the fallen land – Ice Fall!”
Fir kept telling me to increase my chanting speed. Now, I was finally able to summon Ice Fall in a span of 10 seconds!
But this isn’t the time to relax. I’m not like Fir who can easily control the direction of his magic spells. I have to control this spell until it lands!
But, before my Ice Fall could land on the white flames, those flames suddenly became fiercer, and enveloped Fir entirely in an instant!
The moment I was distracted, the Ice Fall shattered in the air, and turned into separate blocks and pieces of ice.
And Aliyah who was beside me rushed towards it like she was the wind. Her two short swords were crossed in front of her chest, as she sprinted towards the flames!
“Arcane – Crossed Purgatory Twirl!”
A giant red cross expanded behind her back, and then, it began swirling like a whirlwind!
Immediately after, Aliyah’s entire figure turned into a red blur as she rushed towards the white flames grabbing onto Fir, and fiercely smashed into it!
The white flames actually trembled for only a bit, and then, swallowed Aliyah whole.
And the flames enveloping Fir began to shrink, and no longer moved. Eh?
Eh eh eh eh eh????
The white light flashed over, and when my sight returned, I realized I was in the air!
“Such a thrilling ride!?”
Immediately after, I who was unable to go against the strong gravitational pull, under the effects of acceleration, began to fall.
The piece of Angel’s Wing was spread open quickly, however, I don’t know why, but I was actually unable to fly!
Are you kidding me?
Before I could even complete that thought, I fiercely collided onto the ground. With a large dull bang, my face and mother earth had their first affectionate contact.
“It hurts… Where the hell am I?”
I crawled up from ground, and looked at my surroundings.
The sky and surroundings were an endless blue. Excluding the walkway I was currently on, I couldn’t see anything else in my surroundings.
I took a look at my mini-map… And among the things I can think of, only one thing came to my mind which looks similar to this.
“It can’t be. It’s actually a dungeon?” “Aaaaaaahh!!!”
Suddenly, I heard a scream coming from above. I tilted my head up, and saw a black spot constantly enlarging in the sky.
Oh my god, someone else is actually falling down?
“Arcane – Speed Storm!”
A green wave of air quickly rose in the air, and the person fell straight into the center of the whirlwind, causing her to decelerate and float in the air.
Then, I stretched my hands out and brought her down. “Aliyah?”
Aliyah evidently did not expect that I would actually catch her. She looked at me blankly, and then suddenly called out.
“Umm… First of all, do you mind putting me down?” “Of course.”
I slowly placed her down, and asked.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine… This place is…”
Aliyah slowly regained her senses, and asked as she looked around.
“I don’t know either. Like you, I fell onto this place earlier. But, I was worst off than you. At least, you had someone to catch you, I fell directly onto the ground, you know.”
“Don’t worry. If I was the first to land here, you will still fall onto the ground.” “……”
“What, you’re actually hoping that I would catch you?”
“Of course not, but at the very least, you could have lied and said you would… No wait, your strength as a swordsman should be higher than mine, right?
“Tch! In any case, don’t think I will ever catch you, you idiot!”
“Alright, alright. But we should figure out how are we going to leave this place first. From my mini-map, this place looks exactly like a dungeon. But its area is quite big, and I can’t see the entire map.”
Aliyah’s eyes became white from shock. “I absolutely hate dungeons.”
“But, usually, there are several good items that could only be found in a dungeon.
Let’s go, currently, there’s only a single path we could proceed with. It seems we’re at the entrance of the dungeon.”
“In other words… It will be fine if we keep on walking straight?” I shrugged.”
“I hope… so.” Chapter 8: 1F
As I thought, after less than 5 minutes of walking, the first branch appeared in front of us. Thinking about it, if there’s only a single path in the dungeon, then it wouldn’t be a dungeon, but a large cataclysm.
But in a dungeon like this with basically no references to look at, other than the indistinct structures or stairs in the distance, we don’t even know how to proceed at all. After all, for some reasons, our surroundings was covered with a thick layer of fog, exuding a lonely and quiet feeling.
I couldn’t see the exit on the mini-map either. Geez. At the very least, give us a map or a compass or something. Otherwise, how are we going to play this?
“Let’s proceed in the left path then. There seems to be some stuffs over there.” I said.
“We should proceed in the right path instead. Don’t you feel that in usual
dungeon designs, they would always give you feel a feeling that the target is just right in front of you, but in actual fact, you have actually been walking in circles?”
Aliyah immediately rejected the proposal, and continued.
“This place is too cold. I don’t wish to stay here for too long, you know.” “……”
After a few tries, Zhang Xiaohua no longer felt frustrated. The Yuan Qi of the heavens and earth outside his body didn’t belong to him, but the qi that was absorbed into his body belonged to him. Why would he care where the Yuan Qi went? As long as the wisp of Yuan Qi doesn’t leave his body, he would find it one day. Plus, Serene Heart Sutra never mentioned how the Yuan Qi escaped one’s body, and he had never heard that the inner energy would escape when he watched He Tianshu and the others cultivate.
Is it possible that the Yuan Qi would find its own way out?
It sounds weird just saying it. So Zhang Xiaohua sat cross legged in the medical fields for a whole afternoon absorbing strands of Yuan Qi. At this point Zhang Xiaohua was also a bit bewildered, he could already sense Qi so didn’t he just absorbed it? Shouldn’t he be able to sense the boundless Yuan Qi between heaven and earth? Why was it all in such small strands? And all of the Yuan Qi seemed to be falling from above, not at all like what was described to him. Where was all the Yuan Qi? Could it be that He Tianshu and the rest’s inner energy were all trained strand by strand?
Wearing a face full of doubt, Zhang Xiaohua returned to the courtyard and out of instinct went to knock on He Tianshu’s door. He Tianshu already returned from the medicine hall and was in the room learning the Piaomiao Steps. Seeing Zhang Xiaohua at his door, He Tianshu smiled and asked, “Zhang Xiaohua did you have a problem when training in the strong bull sutra?”
Zhang Xiaohua was surprised for a second and said, “Squad leader He, you really are a saint, being (able to predict the future).”
He Tianshu waved his hand saying, “This isn’t much. Thinking back to the years when I was still young when reaching the first bottleneck in training inner energy, I was exactly like you, randomly cultivating due to panic. A moment of carelessness could have produced an accident, if not for fellow disciples releasing it early, I could have been disabled. I have heard of this strong bull sutra before as well, simple to practice, with no difficulties along the way with clear and straight instructions. Perfect for you with no one to guide you on cultivating as long as you have determination and patience.”
Afterwards, his eyebrows jumped, jovially asking, “This entire afternoon weren’t you working hard? What was your progress on the strong bull sutra?”
Zhang Xiaohua face turned red and said in a small voice, “No feeling at all; I still cannot sense Qi.”
He Tianshu laughed and said, “It’s fine, sensing Qi is different for everyone’s aptitude. Don’t give up, keep trying, before long you will probably be able to sense Qi. That year I also used two days before I could develop Qi sense.”
“Then how fast are those with talent?” Zhang Xiaohua asked in curiosity.
He Tianshu replied without hesitation, “Immediately!”
“Ah!” Zhang Xiaohua mouth gaped until you could stuff a duck egg inside.
“Yes, just in an instant,” He Tianshu leisurely laughed, “This world has countless geniuses. If I can recall correctly, in my year there were many who could sense it immediately. Of course even the majority could sense it before the second day.”
Zhang Xiaohua proceed to ask, “Then squad leader He, was there anyone who did not develop Qi sense?”
He Tianshu clenched his brows and said, “In my memory there wasn’t any. As the saying goes, Piaomiao Sect only picks the best. Almost no one took more than three or four days to gain Qi sense.”
Zhang Xiaohua with a heart full of disappointment asked a follow up question, “Then, squad leader He, when you sense Qi from the world, is the Yuan Qi in strands or in groups?”
After He Tianshu heard that he was stunned for a second and then proceeded to laugh loudly, “Zhang Xiaohua, Zhang Xiaohua, you are really good at jokes. In this world where is there such thing as real Yuan Qi? This Qi sense is a just an expression/figure of speech. I believe that in the strong bull sutra, it also mentions that it is just a figure of speech. For example, when there is gas penetrating from your forehead, this is just the fledgling stage of inner energy. Inner energy or inner strength is you circulating this gas through your channels to your acupuncture points. After circulating through the channels within the body, the amount of inner energy will increase. This is the method to increase inner energy. Of course, there are medicines to increase your efficiency, increasing the rate in which you circulate inner energy. However, I have never heard that you can absorb Qi from the air around you. If it was like that then we can just breathe every day. Why sit in meditation and endure training for our Yuan Qi?
Looking at Zhang Xiaohua’s face full of confusion, He Tianshu explained again, “Furthermore, a person’s channels/meridians is the vessel for inner energy. The size of your channels will determine how much inner energy you have. We train inner energy martial arts for two aspects. One is to increase inner energy, and the other is to expand our meridians. Only with both ways increasing is it considered as a high level inner energy martial art. Your strong bull sutra although is easy to practice but when it is easy to practice, the improvements over every month or day is also limited. This sutra/martial art will have almost no effect on expanding your channels. Many people will go insane if they practice incorrectly while training this.”
“But…” Zhang Xiaohua anxiously asked, “If you can’t sense inner energy from outside your body then how does your body produce inner energy?”
He Tianshu smiled and asked, “Since ancient times, people have wondered about how inner energy is produced and they concluded that as long as you have Qi sense, the meridians inside your body will naturally correspond the inner energy produced. Warm and cosy feeling, if you use a method/martial art to circulate, then the inner energy will follow your thoughts, like a mouse circulating in your meridians.”
“If you train for a long time, the mouse will naturally become big,” He Tianshu spoke in a manner of fact way, finishing his point/ patch up his sentence.
“Warm feeling? Circulate in your meridians?” Zhang Xiaohua came to a realization, previously when he was cultivating heavenly dipper fist, there was a warm feeling. He assumed that it was inner energy.
However, this meridians, Zhang Xiaohua kept thinking about the Serene Heart Sutra, mentioning the cultivating directions, it is not exactly the warm feeling so he asked again, “Squad leader He, then is all inner energy within the channels the same?”
He Tianshu had smiled wide again ad replied, “Of course it is not the same, every inner energy training method has a place where they are different for the usages of the different channels and the movement/ circulation of inner energy pathway. If the Piaomiao Divine Art and your strong bull sutra energy direction/circulation method is the same, then it would be also be called Piaomiao Divine Art now wouldn’t it?”
Zhang Xiaohua finally understood.
However, he still didn’t give up and asked, “Squad leader He, is what you are saying really true? Inner energy is not from the outside world absorbed into the body?”
He Tianshu resolutely said, “Positively, definitely, as well as surely!”
Zhang Xiaohua was speechless. Training Serene Heart Sutra he could certainly feel the Yuan Qi being absorbed by the body already, what is going on with this? Originally thinking to ask He Tianshu this question relating to the inner energy disappearing, asking this time made all his Qi sense questions overthrown. Isn’t it the same as not asking?
He Tianshu seeing Zhang Xiaohua’s discouraged expression walked forward and patted him on the shoulder saying, “Zhang Xiaohua, As the saying goes failure is the mother of success. As long as you are not afraid of bitterness and sacrifice, unafraid of perspiration and with enthusiasm, you will succeed. If you cannot attain Qi sense within a day, just use two days, if two days is not enough, just use three days, if really after one or two months still unable to achieve, there is also no harm. You just don’t need to train inner energy, just go and train external martial arts. Look at our Piaomiao Sect’s Shi Niu, he is learning external martial arts. Isn’t it just as impressive?”
Zhang Xiaohua didn’t bother to explain himself as he randomly gazed at He Tianshu’s table. He Tianshu looking at his expression, was slightly embarrassed/awkward, “The Piaomiao Steps second levels have some difficulty, I keep on looking but I can not understand. This obviously is a footwork martial art, there are some places I simply cannot understand, simply unimaginable. I really don’t know how the elders managed to train this. You don’t need to be anxious, when I do understand, I will immediately inform you. You go and train that strong bull sutra first, and find your Qi sense ok?”
Zhang Xiaohua also had no interest and said, “Alright, squad leader He, you go ahead and look first, I will go back and ponder again.”
After he finished speaking, Zhang Xiaohua bowed his head and walked off.
Originally, he assumed that after he visited He Tianshu’s place he’d find an answer that he would be satisfied with, but as for now Zhang Xiaohua was lost with no sense of direction. What is the connection between all this? What He Tianshu and his own Serene Heart Sutra said was completely different, could it be that he is training incorrectly?
He Tianshu looked behind him towards Zhang Xiaohua’s figure, full of worry. He also secretly worries for him, training inner energy was always reliant on talent. If after a long time he still can’t gain Qi sense then, there is absolutely no way to train inner energy. Don’t even mention circulating inner energy or strengthening your channels. Zhang Xiaohua’s fist martial arts were already forgotten up to this standard, afraid that inner energy won’t allow him to escape the same outcome.
Shortly after, He Tianshu thought back again to when Zhang Xiaohua was learning the Piaomiao Steps and the intelligence he displayed then. But even the Piaomiao Steps Qinggong also required a foundation in inner energy. So even if his skills do improved, it would be like having the stem without the roots, everything about it would be wrong. Thinking up to here, He Tianshu let out a deep sigh, roused up his own spirits and returned to meticulously studying the Piaomiao Steps.
Zhang Xiaohua returned to his room. His heart was still unreconciled, he once again took out the Serene Heart Sutra from his breast. He carefully and diligently read the first layer of the method once to confirm that his own recollection didn’t have any mistakes. Then he closed the secret manual and started to ponder to himself in his heart.
The heart sutra said it clearly, between the heaven and earth consisted of a boundless worldly Yuan Qi, the amount absorbed into your body relied on the profoundness of the practitioner’s strength. It was not at all like what the perception he experienced today, the world’s Yuan Qi existed in strands. If he lacked ability to gain Qi sense, then there was nothing to do. It’s possible that he is unable to recognise the boundless Yuan Qi, but since he already has Qi sense, shouldn’t he naturally sense the great amount of Yuan Qi? But in any case, it couldn’t be that he is able to sense some and not sense others right?
Suddenly, Zhang Xiaohua’s eyes lit up, he has only read the first layer of Serene Heart Sutra, it is possible it is not written down, and possible that the later layers had written it down. So he quickly opened the Serene Heart Sutra again.
What made Zhang Xiaohua even more disappointed was even after he read it carefully from the start to the finish, he still could not find even a hint of the answer form the secret manual. The rest of the ten plus layers only mentioned the training route and described the boundaries. It was as though only the first layer touched slightly on the worldly Yuan Qi.
However it was not as though Zhang Xiaohua did not gain any benefits, in the later portions of Serene Heart Sutra, it actually told of an alternate method of absorbing Yuan Qi . This method is not using absorbing Yuan Qi from your surroundings, instead it is some kind of method used by absorbing a type of solid worldly Yuan Qi called spirit/energy stone/Yuan shi. According to the Serene Heart Sutra records, although the worldly Yuan Qi fills the entire world, the thickness/denseness of Yuan Qi is different at different locations. At some special places where the Yuan Qi is astonishingly thick after a long time passes, it will solidify into Yuan shi. According to how long the Yuan shi has been forming, the stones will be of different sizes. Small ones are like beans, large ones are like walnuts. These Yuanshi are crystallized Yuan Qi so naturally the inside contains a lot of Yuan Qi. It can allow cultivators to absorb it for a long period of time while the stone itself will gradually decrease in size until it finally disappears.
Zhang Xiaohua was very happy and immediately stored this method in his memory. One line written in the method caused him to have cold water dumped over his head, this method needed to wait until he has trained Serene Heart Sutra until the ninth layer before he is able to use it. If not, when large amounts of Yuan Qi gather inside the body, the meridians will explode because they are not strong enough, thus causing the cultivator to explode and die.
Zhang Xiaohua curled his lip, placing the Serene Heart Sutra back into his breast, thinking to himself in his heart, indeed it was just another useless effort. Not to mention that he doesn’t even know what a Yuan shi would look like, so how he could even find one. Looking critically at his own situation, he hasn’t even entered the first layer yet, who knows how long it will take him to reach the ninth layer. Even if he had a Yuan shi, he wouldn’t even dare to absorb it.
At night, Zhang Xiaohua as before went to the woods. First he practices his fist martial art, next his sword and then his Qinggong body art. His Fist and sword arts doesn’t need to be said. His Qinggong also became more skillful. Although he doesn’t have a foundation in inner energy, Zhang Xiaohua’s body has large difference from before. When running in the woods, he had some similarities to the look of Qinggong, only not being able to go very high is wasting his elegant expression.
After doing the work he was supposed to do, Zhang Xiaohua chose a spot under a tree and with a heart full of confidence, started Serene Heart Sutra inner energy cultivation method, prepared to sense the outside world Yuan Qi, absorb into his body.
However, after sitting and sensing for a while, Zhang Xiaohua could not find any Yuan Qi at all, even the strand of Yuan Qi that he found in the afternoon was unable to be found.
Having no alternatives, Zhang Xiaohua stood up again and dusted off his clothes. Now what? Don’t tell me that there is no Yuan Qi in the night?
Zhang Xiaohua this Qi indoor, himself train this Serene Heart Sutra, why are there so many problems? If there is not a problem here, there is a problem there. Easily developing Qi sense, then next afternoon it is gone. Where should he go to find the solution?
Actually, he didn’t think that generally everyone in world who practices cultivation has someone giving them pointers to succeed. Secret manuals are theoretical, but what was recorded down ultimately is someone else’s experience. Everyone is different when cultivating and there will be differences. You need practice and experience to make up for the difference. A famous teacher will train a fine student, but of course, there are self made geniuses but that is just a drop in the ocean.
Thinking “where do I need to go to find the missing Qi sense” reminded Zhang Xiaohua, didn’t he first experience Qi sense in the afternoon in the medicine fields? Since at night in the forest he couldn’t find any, then why not go back to the medical fields to try again?
Thinking up to here, since there was still some time until midnight, there was no need to fear that he wouldn’t be able to make it back in time.
The moon lit the night and the medical fields were quiet if it wasn’t for the gently blowing wind. Under the moonlight, herbs swayed in the wind, extremely small details
It was really a beautiful night, only don’t know how was Zhang Xiaohua lucky?
Zhang Xiaohua sat between the fields, but didn’t immediately start the 9 shallow breaths and 1 deep breath.
This is improvement. The manual did not state that before practicing you should calm your heart and mind. No teacher gives this guidance and only with numerous attempts and failures then, can you achieve experience.
After Zhang Xiaohua felt that he was ready, he started the Serene Heart Sutra breathing method, slowly adjusting his own breathing frequency and gradually entered the meditative state.
When Zhang Xiaohua let his perception expand, he couldn’t help but feel alarmed and almost dropped his attention and lost the meditative state
Zhang Xiaohua’s sense/consciousness was like a fish, immediately as he sensed he realised that the surroundings have so much Yuan Qi, with wisps and strands, akin to water droplets on a rainy day. Compared to the daytime, this is 5 times more. Although the Serene Heart Sutra’s description has a large difference, the Qi in surroundings compared to before was so much more.
Zhang Xiaohua happily used the method in the heart sutra to absorb the worldly Yuan Qi. Speaking of which, isn’t it weird that when Zhang Xiaohua just absorbed the first wisp of Yuan Qi into his body, the Other Yuan Qi flooded in his direction, as if hearing some signal.
Zhang Xiaohua panicked. Before, he thought that to attract Yuan Qi, it should be done strand by strand and cultivation is a time consuming process and it will take a long time to cultivate inner energy. Looking at it current situation with abundant Yuan Qi, he only needs to attract the first strand before all the rest would follow the first strand. This truly is an amazing method. Looks like he didn’t walk the wrong road after all.
The Zhang Xiaohua’s body at this moment was unrestrained, his body’s pore are like countless little mouths competing like babies to suck the limited Yuan Qi, and the Yuan Qi is never ending. Although the amount absorbed each time is small, but there is a continuous flow of Yuan Qi to absorb.
So, Zhang Xiaohua enjoyed this happy mistake/coincidence, completely foreign about the time. When did he still know the thing about midnight? On his unmoving face appeared a trace of a smile.
Just when the smile appeared, it immediately froze. Pitiful Zhang Xiaohua sank into the deep sleep that the piaomaio sect elder would be jealous of.
The sleeping Zhang Xiaohua was still sitting cross legged and his breathing frequency did not change, the constant flowing stream of Yuan Qi also keep pouring into his body. Only the flickering light that appeared in his sleep. Under the influence of the nine shallow 1 deep breathing method, it was magnified and the inexplicable breathing frequency coincided with the stars in the sky. EARLY MORNING
In Zhang Xiao Hua’s dream, the flickering lights synchronised with the stars in the night sky. In the starry sky, countless stars, as if it received a signal, instantly flocked to a location like they could pass through space and time.
Not long after, the area around Zhang Xiao Hua was filled with a mass of intertwining star energy, the pores in his whole body piteously cried out as if the finest of foods were within sight and they opened their mouths wide open eager to have a taste.
As the star energy and yuan qi were absorbed into the body by the pores in small and hard to sense portions, the sleeping Zhang Xiao Hua unconsciously channeled the first layer of worry free heart sutra’s cultivation method, directed the energy according to the indicated pathways, and circulated it through the meridians.
The star energy, like before, was being refined slowly until it became pure yuan qi. At the same time, the inhaled yuan qi mixed and fused together with the yuan qi formed by star energy and then was further refined by the flickering lights. What was left was extremely pure yuan qi and this yuan qi was then stored in the centre of Zhang Xiao Hua’s dantian. The original amount of star energy and yuan qi absorbed was not a small amount , only the purification ability of the flickering lights was too shockingly strong and under the effect of this ability, the amount of yuan qi was lessened by 20 to 30 % each time. In the end, only the tiniest bit of yuan qi was left, however, the purity of the yuan qi that was left was… frightening!
All of this happened quietly while Zhang Xian Hua was unconscious and the amount of purified yuan qi was far too little, so little that Zhang Xiao Hua was incapable of sensing it. Only when the next day arrived with the morning sun rising did Zhang Xiao Hua finally open his eyes, rousing his clothes which contained dewdrops. However, he was still unaware of what benefits he gained for all the work he did last night.
Zhang Xiao Hua looked around at his surroundings. As he remembered yesterday’s events, he couldn’t help but let out a bitter laugh. Although he sat in that position for the entire night, his body didn’t have any hint of discomfort as he stood up to exercise his body a little. His spirit and mind is clear, so much so that he didn’t even have a trace of tiredness. It is even more invigorating compared to lying down on a warm bed. Zhang Xiao Hua couldn’t help but think to himself, why not in the future just not sleep and sell the heated bed in his room for some extra money? He could just sit in meditation and that would suffice.
Now that it’s morning, the sun has poked its head out. Zhang Xiao Hua faced the sun and made a swallowing motion, and another mouthful of warmth entered his body. Suddenly, it seemed as though Zhang Xiao Hua realised something, however, it was a faint thought and did not fully form. After tilting his head and thinking for a long time, he still couldn’t remember anything, so he just threw it to the back of his mind.
Zhang Xiao Hua wanted to go beside the herb fields to practise his heavenly dipper fist but unfortunately, beside the herb fields, there were no trees to obstruct vision. Since the beginning, when he trained his fist martial arts, Zhang Xiao Hua liked to avoid people. Now when he trained in an open area, he felt a little awkward. So he, in the end, he decided to go back to the forest to train his fist and sword.
However, when ZXH just reached the edge of the forest, he thought of something. Even without mentioning him only knowing this one set of martial arts and nothing more, his fist martial art will still be seen by others eventually, so who cares who will see it now. Although the stances were from other fist martial arts, after piecing all those various moves and stances together to form the heavenly dipper fist, it is still a fist martial art after all. In the future, there is no reason to hide it from other people. Furthermore, he himself said that he wanted to join the Piaomiao martial arts display competition, if he is not going to use his heavenly dipper fist then what could he possibly use? There is no need to care about the gossip of others. Why not just openly and righteously practise it?
But the sword technique imparted to him by Elder Yu was given on the condition that he wouldn’t show it to others, so when he practises the sword martial art, he needs to hide it from people.
Thinking up to here, Zhang Xiao Hua walked into the forest. Suddenly, he heard a “patter” sound. Zhang Xiao Hua was very surprised as it is the sound of someone falling down. Is it possible that someone is doing something bad in the forest in the broad daylight, while everything is lit up brightly?
Immediately, ZXH used his piao miao footsteps to quickly head towards the direction of the depths of the forest.
Who knew, when Zhang Xiao Hua just made several steps, he could hear a sound coming from within the depths of the forest. The voice sounded out with a few curses, “Why is this piaomiao steps so hard? This footwork is obviously wrong!”
The voice sounded very familiar, it is precisely Zhang Xiao Hua’s teacher He Tianshu.
Zhang Xiao Hua couldn’t help but exclaim, “Squad leader he, why are you up so early?”
When Zhang Xiao Hua rushed to the scene, He Tianshu was just getting off the floor. He brushed off the dirt from his body and with a surprised look on his face, he asked, “Zhang Xiao Hua? Why are you here? Why didn’t I hear your footsteps?”
Zhang Xiao Hua laughed and explained, “I normally train my fist martial art amongst these trees. Just now, I heard the sound of movement so I came over to check it out. Turns out Squad leader He was too concentrated in your training to hear my footsteps.”
He Tianshu’s eyebrows moved in all sorts of weird ways, “Movement? Ummm, just now I also heard it, it is probably a bird that broke a branch or something, don’t bother about it.”
Zhang Xiao Hua let out a burst of laughter, “Yes, that’s probably it. But, Squad leader He, why are you up so early today?”
He Tianshu took out a few sheets of paper from his breast and waved them, saying, “What else could be the reason but the piaomiao steps secret manual. Yesterday after you left, I looked over them carefully again but no matter what I do, I can’t understand how you are supposed to use these few steps and I couldn’t sleep well the whole night. So today, even before it’s light, I came here to practise and try it out, but reality proved to be the same as my thoughts. There are many areas in this martial art that are simply impossible to use, it could be that there are some errors inside.”
After hearing this, not only is Zhang Xiao Hua unconvinced, even He Tianshu himself also doesn’t have any confidence in his words. Maybe it is because of the previous bird breaking a stick explanation.
Zhang Xiao Hua’s curiosity was stirred and he asked, “Squad leader he. Is it really so mysterious? Even you can’t understand it? You are the deity of my heart you know so you must continue working hard, please don’t disappoint me ok?”
He Tianshu curled his lips saying, “It’s true, trust me. Ai, if only I was Zhang Xiao Hu.”
Zhang Xiao Hua asked inquisitively, “Why my second brother?”
He Tianshu enviously said, “If I was Zhang Xiao Hu, I would definitely have the ability to approach his teacher for guidance and he would definitely be able to explain this mystery to me. You wouldn’t understand. Rather than groping around blindly by yourself, having a teacher to guide you is like the difference between heaven and earth. As the saying goes, the predecessors plant the tree the descendants sit in the shade.
After hearing this, Zhang Xiao Hua nodded his head like a little bird pecking for rice. These words are really true. Rather than bitterly pondering over it yourself, isn’t it much faster just to ask someone and gain the answer?
Only, if he was the one to request a teacher then second brother would have to live a life of constant danger at the escort station. By comparison, Zhang Xiao Hua is satisfied with this outcome. As the saying goes, when fighting against the heavens or earth will give you boundless joy, when fighting against yourself, will you also have boundless joy?
Although sometimes, there are still some uncertainties even with this way of thinking. However, these footsteps still need to be figured out. He Tianshu told Zhang Xiao Hua, “Zhang Xiao Hua, you go the side and practise your fist martial art alright? Don’t disturb me. I will keep trying, I don’t believe that this basic footwork can elude me forever especially with my talent, which could gain qi sense in two days last time.”
After he says this, he waved his hand indicating to Zhang Xiao Hua that he should go do his own thing, and he returned to looking through those few thin pages again. Zhang Xiao Hua thought about it over and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to help, he prepared to turn and leave.
But at this moment, as He Tianshu performed the footwork and read the papers at the same time, unintentionally captured Zhang Xiao Hua’s attention. He has already learnt the Piaomiao footsteps first layer, only lacking the foundation of inner energy and is unable to put it to use fully. He doesn’t know what is the difference compared to using inner energy and without. However, after looking at He Tianshu using it fully, he paid attention, wanting to look at the true prowess of the piaomiao footsteps qigong.
Looking at He Tianshu performing the piaomiao footsteps in the small clearing in the forest, one foot would step north and another would step west. Occasionally, one foot would only move a small distance, occasionally it would step over an extremely large distance, as Zhang Xiao Hua was watching, he was unable to make head or tail of it at all. Then he saw both of He Tianshu’s feet step on the same spot and his figure became unsteady, almost falling to a side. Luckily, He Tianshu had made preparations before hand and his foot shot out to the side in an effort to support himself so the footsteps method ended here.
Zhang Xiao Hua understood that it was this portion that He Tianshu could not put into practise as this is what caused the previous fall. While Zhang Xiao Hua was thinking, He Tianshu determinedly started trying again.
This time, Zhang Xiao Hua focused carefully on the footsteps that He Tianshu used, carefully observed every move. Although Zhang Xiao Hua already had a basic understanding, the moves were very confusing and he could only barely remember 3 or 4 out of every ten moves. Again, when reaching that portion, He Tianshu made the same mistake and almost fell.
“Pei!” He Tianshu viciously spat on the floor before carefully putting the few pieces of paper in his hand back into his breast and angrily said, “I don’t believe that I won’t be able to master you”
Then he looked up, seeing Zhang Xiao Hua watching from the side, he was shocked, “Zhang Xiao Hua, why haven’t you went and practised your fist?”
Zhang Xiao Hua laughed and said, “Squad leader He, just now I saw that your practise was already not bad, why don’t I follow and learn a bit?”
“Make your choice, youth!”
The fiery voice resounded in his mind. A few lines of black text gradually materialized in front of him. It had only been a short while, but the Absolute Choice had once again appeared!?
[ Choice 1: In twelve hours, raise the Kun Peng Sword Technique’s proficiency level from Familiarized Proficiency to the Exemplary Mastery realm (D-level reward) ]
[ Choice 2: In twelve hours, raise the Massage Technique of God’s proficiency level from Familiarized Proficiency to the Exemplary Mastery realm (D-level reward) ]
(Gentle Reminder: This choice is considered a “daily-style choice” where there is only one opportunity after choosing. Successfully completing the choice’s mission will yield a reward, and failure will lead to punishment of the same level.)
“Make your choice, youth!”
1. sounds like mating in Chinese. Chapter 250: I feel we will be doomed sooner or later!
The ‘easy’ difficulty stone door was not as easy as they had imagined. Although the ogres were not too strong, they were great in number. If it were any other rookies, trying to clear it would still take them a very long time.
However, Shi Xiaobai, Sunless and Mu Yuesheng were no ordinary rookies. As they traversed forward, it was as though they were harvesting straws. They managed to finish all the ogres in a few minutes. The Gargantuan Ogre was also easily insta-killed.
The scene was enough to shock most rookies. Furthermore, Mozzie and Kevin were among the rookies that were below average.
Even though they knew of the gap that existed, when they had a visual comparison, they still felt a bitterness. This bitterness was much better than feeling numb. However, whether this bitterness would transform into motivation or slowly transform into numbness would depend on each individual’s will, whether a heart that thirsted to become stronger existed.
“Do the three of you…want to become stronger?”
Suddenly, Shi Xiaobai said to them in all solemnness.
The direction in which he looked at was Mozzie, Kevin and Mu Yuesheng who were walking towards him.
The three were slightly taken aback. This sentence immediately gave them complicated thoughts. They were unsure how to answer immediately.
Shi Xiaobai continued, “This King once said that our goal is for all four to enter the top ten. However, This King now feels a bit of pressure. This is because the assessment program is basically competitive. And your present strength is not strong enough to enter the top ten in such a competition. All of you…are not strong enough!”
The trio was stunned. This was the first time they saw Shi Xiaobai reveal such a serious expression.
What Shi Xiaobai said at the airport was something he treated seriously?
Furthermore, to get into the top ten, describing them as not strong enough was too great of a compliment for them! Maybe Mu Yuesheng might still have a chance, but for Mozzie and Kevin, top ten was a rift they could not bridge. The two of them had never thought of entering the top ten, not even in their dreams.
“But now, an opportunity is placed in front of you. An opportunity that will allow you to become strong in a short period of time, an opportunity that will allow you to approach those top ten spots. Are you willing to seize it?”
Suddenly, Shi Xiaobai said this.
The three looked up in surprise.
An opportunity to become strong?
Shi Xiaobai said solemnly, “This King has a way to make you stronger in a short period of time, but it would be very arduous and tiring. It would even be very dangerous. How strong you want to be depends on your will and resoluteness. If your will is firm enough, it is not impossible to become strong enough to squeeze into the top ten. Now, This King shall place this opportunity before you. It is your choice to seize it.”
Mozzie stared at Shi Xiaobai blankly and muttered, “There’s truly a way to become that strong?”
Shi Xiaobai grinned and said, “Of course it’s true. When has This King boasted?”
Kevin immediately rolled his eyes.
Do you think your boasting isn’t enough?
Kevin took a deep breath. He knew very well that Shi Xiaobai would not make a joke at such a moment in time. Shi Xiaobai had clearly noticed the problem with his and Mozzie’s state of mind. He truly thirsted the chance given by Shi Xiaobai to become stronger.
Kevin hesitated for a moment before his gaze turned firm. He asked, “When can we begin?”
Shi Xiaobai answered, “Immediately.”
Mozzie also said resolutely, “Lord Shi Xiaobai, I believe in you. I want to become stronger as well!”
Mu Yuesheng did not say a word, but the resolute faith in her brown pupils was the best answer.
“Alright, we shall head to the next stone door and begin This King’s plan of becoming stronger!”
Shi Xiaobai nodded his head in satisfaction. Becoming strong was not something that was just all talk. Pulling saplings to make them grow more quickly was an unorthodox manner. To become strong, one needed to suffer and stay firm. There was a need to have a thirst for becoming strong and the will to persist on resolutely.
Hence, Shi Xiaobai had placed that opportunity in front of them. He did not say any words of incitement or encouragement. Regardless of the choice, everyone had to choose it for themselves and be responsible for it. This was something Shi Xiaobai had no choice but to learn from the Absolute Choice.
Especially with such an important choice, they could only make their own choices so that they would never regret.
The five left Ogre Forest and returned to the crystalline ground. At this moment, there were few people that had yet to enter the stone doors. Occasionally, there may be teams exiting the doors, but they would make the best use of the time to head for the next door.
The moment the quintet came out, they saw four people. They were the four youths dressed in strange outfits.
The armored youth said in astonishment, “So fast? All of you entered for less than ten minutes and you have already cleared a stone door?”
Kevin was equally astonished as he asked, “Why are all of you still four?”
The armored youth immediately gave an awkward smile. The youth beside him immediately grumbled, “This fucker was trying his best to be picky and rejected one after another. He kept insisting that there will be a better one after the next to the point of no one coming in the end. Those rookies that came up also happened to form their teams. So what do you think?”
Kevin immediately felt a dark cloud over his head as he was rendered speechless. “Well, all the best.”
At this moment, Shi Xiaobai had already chosen a stone door. On the stone door, a ferocious dragon was carved on it.
Kevin said in alarm, “This door isn’t ‘hell’-difficulty, right?”
Shi Xiaobai shook his head and said, “It’s ‘medium’ difficulty.”
Kevin immediately said, “Impossible. The door has a dragon carved on it, so it can’t be simple. It’s at least the ‘hard’ difficulty. This Genius even feels that this door is ‘hell’ difficulty!”
Kevin obviously did not believe Shi Xiaobai’s words. After all, Shi Xiaobai was a crazy demon that courted death. The door he chose was definitely one of ‘hell’ difficulty. Kevin looked away and was about to push a door beside him open.
However, at this moment, Shi Xiaobai had already pushed open the door with the dragon glyph. Without any hesitation, he stepped in.
“Fuck, I feel like by following Shi Xiaobai, we will be doomed sooner or later!”
Kevin could not help but curse.
“Welcome to Stone Door 225 [Goblin Cave]. This stone door’s difficulty is ‘medium’. Please kill the guardian BOSS [Golden Goblin].”
Deep in a cave, there were two rows of flames lined along the cave’s side walls. Although the cave was rather dark, it was still bright enough due to the flames. When the quintet walked through the stone door, they arrived in this cave. Immediately, the authoritative voice boomed in their minds.
Just as Shi Xiaobai said, this was a stone door of ‘medium’ difficulty.
Kevin immediately gave an embarrassed laugh. “Shi Xiaobai, your intuition is really accurate. Ha…ha.”
Mozzie unhappily grunted. “Who just said that following Lord Shi Xiaobai would result in them being doomed sooner or later? Hmph, Lord Shi Xiaobai is so reliable!”
Kevin said with a placating smile, “Wasn’t I just suspecting that Shi Xiaobai would lead us to hell? Didn’t he keep mentioning that he wanted to find the stone door with ‘hell’-difficulty?”
Upon hearing this, Mozzie immediately gave a surprised expression and turned to look at Shi Xiaobai. She asked, “Lord Shi Xiaobai?”
Why did he suddenly change his mind and choose a ‘medium’ difficulty stone door?
Shi Xiaobai grinned and said, “Because for this level, the three of us will not do a thing. Everything will be left to you two. Isn’t ‘medium’ difficulty just perfect? Or do you think ‘hard’ or ‘hell’ difficulty is more challenging?” Chapter 251: But it’s too comfortable!
When Shi Xiaobai said this, everyone was alarmed.
Mozzie pointed at herself and Kevin in disbelief and said, “Just the two of us?”
Shi Xiaobai nodded and said, “Yes, just the two of you!”
Kevin was also dumbfounded as he loudly said, “Are you telling me, Mozzie and I will be clearing this level ourselves and the three of you will not do a thing?”
Shi Xiaobai nodded once again and said, “Yea!”
“Are you joking?”
Kevin frowned and said, “Let’s not talk about whether the two of us are able to clear this level first. Even if we can…it would take us a very long time. We were already falling behind. Wouldn’t this be making the situation worse?”
“This King is not joking.”
Shi Xiaobai’s expression turned serious once again as he said, “As This King said, it’s an opportunity to become stronger! It won’t only be this stone door. There will be two, three, or even ten or more stone doors that will be left to the two of you to clear. This will go on until the both of you become strong enough! True combat is the best way to become stronger. This King will be by your side and figure out your shortcomings in true combat. Furthermore, This King is absolutely confident to assure you…that your psionic power and stamina will not run out!”
Kevin and Mozzie’s eyes immediately widened. This was the so-called opportunity to become stronger? It was so fucking simple and brutal…but it had to be said that such actual combat was indeed the most pragmatic way of cultivation. The final results depended on their individual will. If Shi Xiaobai could use a certain way to ensure that their psionic power and stamina did not run out, this was truly a very, very valuable opportunity.
Mozzie softly said, “This is too unfair for all of you. The two of us will definitely be very slow at clearing the level. We have already fallen behind by so much. We can’t hold you back…”
Shi Xiaobai grinned and said confidently, “There is no need to worry about falling back. Later on, we can just challenge a few ‘hell’ difficulty stone doors to chase up. Furthermore, so what if we cannot chase up? When the Level Lord descends, This King will take the initiative to finish it! These are problems you do not need to consider. Now, you need to ask yourselves if you thirst to become stronger and how intense this thirst is. You need to know if it is enough to allow you to persist on.”
The process of becoming stronger was painful. Whether they could enjoy adversity depended on the thirst in their hearts giving them joy while becoming strong.
Shi Xiaobai possessed an intense longing to become strong. As a result, every time his strength increased, he would obtain a joy that was enough to make him forget and overcome the painful process of the experience. As for how intense the thirst Mozzie and Kevin had, Shi Xiaobai did not know. He did not want to force the duo, but instead gave them a chance to choose.
Mozzie’s eyes slowly gathered a strange glimmer. She obviously wanted to become stronger. This thirst might not be considered intense, but ever since she was defeated by the female whopper and having seen the distance between Lord Shi Xiaobai, Sunless and Mu Yuesheng from her, this thirst suddenly became extremely intense. Belle Adams“ Butler The unbearable feeling she had was because she greatly desired it to the point of being lost and confused.
And at this moment, Shi Xiaobai was pointing at a clear path in front of her. Although the path was filled with adversities, it was filled with light!
However, wasn’t doing so a bit too selfish?
At this moment, a hand gently grasped her hand. Mozzie turned around and saw Sunless standing beside her with an expressionless face.
“All the best.”
Sunless, who was ineloquent, only said the three words softly.
Her voice may be very soft, but it struck heavily on Mozzie’s heart. They had only gotten to know each other for a few hours, but she had already treated her as a friend that she was willing to selflessly help.
She was a person with few words and expressions. Even her emotions seemed few, but in fact, she was more serious with every friendship she had, right?
At this moment, Mu Yuesheng also chimed in, “Mozzie, don’t worry. I’m not afraid of falling behind!”
The trio did not have any complaints about them holding everyone back. Mozzie suddenly choked up as she nodded heavily, “Alright!”
After a few moments of silence, Kevin said, “Thank you!”
Shi Xiaobai immediately said with a smile, “Very good. The both of you begin preparing. The process might be very arduous, but you just need to persist on and there will be great improvements.”
After saying that, Shi Xiaobai suddenly turned to look at Mu Yuesheng. He said, “This King believes it’s time for you to break through to the tenth level of the Psionic Mortal Realm.”
Since Shi Xiaobai said that he would make all four of them enter the top ten, he naturally could not be discriminatory. However, for Mu Yuesheng, raising her psionic cultivation realm was of top priority.
Mu Yuesheng was surprised but her eyes suddenly burst out with an intense glow. She said, “You have a method?”
Following that, she remembered something as Mu Yuesheng’s face slightly blushed.
Shi Xiaobai seriously said, “This King’s Massage Technique of God can not only temporarily improve your Mind Expanse, it can even have a certain chance of sending you into a deep meditative state!”
With him saying this, the other four were taken aback. Raising one’s Mind Expanse was already incredibly amazing, but wasn’t having a certain chance of entering a deep meditative state too exaggerated?
However, they all knew that Shi Xiaobai would not joke on such matters. Although the words he said made them find him very ‘arrogant’, but he had always proven himself with his actions in reality. This made them feel like they had to seriously listen to what Shi Xiaobai had to say.
Mu Yuesheng’s eyes were filled with a struggle. She truly did not wish to miss this golden opportunity, but Shi Xiaobai’s Massage Technique of God was toxic. Even if she was not a shy girl with a skin as thin as paper, she had a basic sense of shame!
Yang Taitian, Xiao Hong, and their companions were utterly astonished.
“I’ll keep him here!”
Xue Wuji uttered a roar as a layer of ice was formed on his body, before transforming into a g1iant mouth tearing in Qin Nan’s direction.
He had obtained great benefits during his time here in the Qinglong Mystical Ground, allowing his strength to improve greatly. Therefore, Xue Wuji was extremely confident that he would be able to suppress Qin Nan with a single ability.
Qin Nan’s hair danced wildly as he lashed out a punch encapsulated in raging Flames of Phoenixes sweeping the sky. The incoming icy attack was thoroughly melted, while the remaining force from the flames struck Xue Wuji’s figure without mercy.
Xue Wuji’s eyes were filled with utter astonishment. He had not expected Qin Nan’s strength to be this terrifying. In the midst of his panic, he immediately executed his Magical Art of Ice to build an ice shield to defend himself from the attack.
The ice shield exploded into pieces while Xue Wuji’s figure was sent flying away by the terrifying Flames of Phoenixes.
Yang Taitian, Xiao Hong, and the others were stunned.
That was Xue Wuji, the second ranked among the custodians. How could he not stand a chance against Qin Nan’s single attack?
Little did they know that Qin Nan had mastered the control of Sky Thunder and Phoenix Flame after devouring the Electric Marrow and the Fiery Heart. As a result, Xue Wuji could no longer match his strength.
“The Art of Heart-Calming and Demon-Expelling. Kill’em all!”
It was as if Qin Nan had transformed into a God of War, as he summoned a giant bell surrounded by rays of lightning, resulting in a terrifying appearance. The bell encapsulated the figures of Yang Taitian, Xiao Hong, and the others within it, before it let out a blasting chime.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Yang Taitian, Xiao Hong, and the others had not expected the attack to land this swiftly. Before they could react, their bodies were all suppressed by the giant bell and were sent flying instantly.
Meanwhile, Princess Miao Miao and Qin Nan’s team dashed straight toward the stone pillar located in the center of the lake at a great speed.
Yang Taitian let out a furious roar.
How could this be!
How did this guy suddenly become this powerful!
Just a while ago, Qin Nan could not even save himself from his hunting. Now, he was able to knock them all back with a single ability!
“We have to attack together!”
At that instant, a trail of blood could be seen beside Xue Wuji’s lips as he flew toward his companions and snapped.
The two geniuses possessed extraordinary strength. They immediately joined forces with one another and sprang toward Qin Nan from two different directions.
“I’ll deal with you later!”
Qin Nan gave them a cold stare before his figure dashed straight toward the stone pillar, leaving a trail of thunder and fire behind. The surface of the lake was cut into half due to his outstanding speed.
Yang Taitian and Xue Wuji’s expressions utterly changed.
There was no way they could stop Qin Nan who was moving forward at such a terrifying speed.
“Qin Nan, don’t think that you could get your hands on the succession!”
At that instant, a loud roar could be heard all of a sudden. It turned out to be Xiao Hong whose figure could be seen flying on the lake. Six rays of green light were emitted from his back and among the lights floated a black Chessboard Martial Spirit.
“Chessboard Martial Spirit simulates the Heavens and Earth. The living beings and the creations of the world are all its chess pieces!”
A powerful aura burst out from Xiao Hong’s body who swung his hand, causing the Chessboard Martial Spirit to greatly enlarge, dropping a shadow on the entire lake. Following this, beams of light were fired from the chessboard onto the figures of Qin Nan, Princess Miao Miao, and the others.
Qin Nan and his companions were startled.
Xiao Hong pointed at the team of five with his finger, making them unable to control their movements. Their figures were sent flying backward, and in just the blink of an eye, they were dragged toward the lakeshore.
It appeared that this Chessboard Martial Spirit was able to possess its targets and turn them into chess pieces, allowing its bearer to control them.
Yang Taitian and his team became joyful and sprang forward.
Qin Nan and his companions were left in shock.
“Stay in your place!”
Princess Miao Miao, Sima Kong, Zhou Liqing, and Yan Zihan either executed powerful attacks or unleashed their Martial Spirits, resulting in a great burst of attacks striking at their enemies in a devouring manner.
“The Icy World!”
Xue Wuji and Xue Wuheng flew into the air and held their hands together. Their Martial Spirits appeared behind them as they summoned a blizzard that poured downward. Following this, a huge ice wall was formed before them.
The incoming attacks struck the ice wall, but the wall remained unharmed despite the series of explosions that took place.
Xiao Hong moved his finger once again trying to control Qin Nan’s figure.
“Illusionary Fire-Beacon Banner!”
Princess Miao Miao waved her hand, causing a giant banner engulfed in flames to appear in her hand. She then waved the banner at the sky, resulting in countless grey fireballs lighting up the chessboard with the illusionary flames.
Xiao Hong wore an astonished look. It was a surprise to him that this Illusionary Fire-Beacon Banner was capable of attacking his Martial Spirit directly.
“The Flames of Phoenixes, crumbling the Heavens with a single punch!”
Qin Nan let out a bursting roar as flames appeared from his body while the fiery cloak swept across the sky.
It was as if he had thoroughly transformed into the God of Flames, who instantly hurled his punch aiming at the Icy World.
Xue Wuji and Xue Wuheng wore mocking grins on their face. This Icy World was summoned with them cooperating with one another. It would not crumble so easily.
“Heavenly Accumulating Strike!”
Qin Nan’s aura shuddered violently as the burning flames and cloak were gathered onto his fist by an absorption force, which turned into a tiny flame before striking the ice wall.
The grins on the faces of Xue Wuji and Xue Wuheng immediately stiffened.
The giant ice wall rapidly crumbled as if it had been hit by a giant hammer, shattering the ice into pieces, resulting in a downpour of snow.
Not a hint of joy could be seen on Qin Nan’s face, who immediately raised his head and glanced forward. With a glance, his expression instantly stiffened.
He could see that Yang Taitian and his crew had arrived at the stone pillar.
“You’re still too late in the end.”
Yang Taitian stared at Qin Nan while wearing a proud smirk. He then placed his right hand on the handprint located on the surface of the stone pillar. Chapter 147: Dragon Spits A Pearl (Part 1/2)
Luo Nan sat on some stone steps with a loose-leaf notebook resting on his knee, placed in a comfortable angle. Behind him was a classical-style auditorium that blocked half of the sun. The warm rays of the sun and the chilly shadow of the building were placed side by side.
He sat right at the border where light and shadow crossed, and he faced a complicated ambient lighting. His half-squinting eyes were focused on the tip of his pen. They moved together in strokes along the paper’s surface to create neat characters one after another.
“The breathing of life of heaven and earth is the format of heaven and earth. The breathing of life of the human body is the format of the self. To display effects of the infinitesimal Self-Format with the vast and hazy Heaven and Earth Format requires not only a great match in strength, but a look into the details. Before, I did things too crudely, too stupidly….”
He lifted his head upon writing to this point. His gaze cut across the flow of people outside the large auditorium. It was now time for school society activities. The number one area with the greatest congregation of students was near the large auditorium, near the Nanan River Bank. The ages of the people spanned several years. From tall to short, from big to small, from beautiful to ugly, from male to female, all sorts of people came and went, forming a motion picture.
Ten days ago, Luo Nan would have sketched out a drawing with his observations. He would capture a few interesting people of the here and the now in drawings with typical characteristics.
Three days ago, Luo Nan would have striven to commit everybody who fell in his vision to memory. He would have memorized their facial features, their movements, their clothes, their relationships with each other, and so on. He would have classified them with great detail and precision.
Luo Nan was currently sitting on the steps of the large auditorium. He swept his gaze around and selected ten people out of the several hundred people below him. These ten were at different locations. Some were male. Some were female. They were not necessarily in the same grades or societies. However, in the following half-minute, these same ten people brushed past Luo Nan’s side as they climbed up the steps of the auditorium.
These ten people passed the closest to Luo Nan compared to other people. They came in the order he predicted, and he made not a single mistake until the last two. He made an error for the first time because one of them answered a call.
“Not bad…. Eighty percent.”
No one else could see it, but Luo Nan was absolutely clear. Every time a person approached him starting from a distance of two meters away, the muscles of his body would tense and relax, and his pores would open and close. He was instantly alert to ensure that he could jump up and react in a single breath every time a person came near him. Although his vigilance and preparation to react at a moment’s notice was covert, it used up quite a deal of energy. A thin layer of sweat appeared upon his body by the time these ten people passed him, and his breathing became a bit uneven.
It consumed a lot of physical energy, but it consumed even more mental energy. This 80% success rate wasn’t due to luck; it was from observing several hundred people’s body language, direction of pace, and location and distance. Luo Nan began from the largest to the smallest, from the outside to the inside, to make his judgments.
This was none other than what Gym Master Xiu meant when he said, “With the self as the master, observe one’s self and observe others through illumination.” Luo Nan wasn’t a video recorder. He wasn’t an inanimate object. He was a living person. Every sight captured by his eyes had to correspond to his own body. He had to clarify the key information, and discern this information into different levels of priority. This included prediction, preparation, and reaction.
Therefore, cultivating the eyes orifice was never just about cultivating the eyes. It was using the eye cavity as a guide to meld mental and physical energy, vital energy, and the body into a single furnace. This was a systematic undertaking. This was a marvelous cultivation method involving a single point levering and moving the entire body.
Luo Nan spent nearly a week’s worth of time before he could understand it. Then, he used three more days to consolidate his foundation. It could be said that he finally started after the tenth day.
Luo Nan thought about his cultivation progress and couldn’t bear to go back in time. Luo Nan was required to maintain high levels of sharpness. It was totally impermissible for him to get distracted or be lost in thought.
In the beginning, he couldn’t determine the priority levels of information in an accurate manner. Aside from that, he felt that he wasn’t using his eyes meticulously enough. He hated that he couldn’t engrave everything within his vision into his mind. It seemed that he wouldn’t be able to reach Gym Master Xiu’s standard of a ‘bitter cultivation’ if he didn’t do this. At all times, he had to completely concentrate and torment his mind until both his strength of vision and mental capacity were squeezed clean.
Luo Nan’s eyeballs felt achy and swollen just recollecting. His reflex was about to make him shed tears, but perhaps he should simply close his eyes, lie down, and take a nap. Napping was one of the greatest pleasures in the world, after all.
Bai Xinyan saw Luo Nan like this and practically canceled all of the Frost River Waterway exercises. According to her, Xiu Shenyu’s torture was much more effective in exhausting Luo Nan’s soul strength than anything else. He was simply like a lantern burning through the last bit of oil. Luo Nan might not even make it by the time Doctor Clay, whose schedule was constantly delayed, gets over to Xia City. Luo Nan might even breathe his last.
Luo Nan knew that he was walking a skewed path, but Gym Master Xiu spoke as softly as a feather, “Balance is what’s desired. First know the bounds and ends. Then increase or decrease the scale.” It was fine for a beginner to be fearless of excessiveness for a time.
All right. Luo Nan will remember to increase or decrease the scale for a lifetime.
Luo Nan flipped through his notebook until he reached the page with the flexible e-ink screen. He opened up a spreadsheet and entered the training results from this instance. Then, he went to his diary page and wrote,
“October 25th. Thousand people training has been completed. Total success rate is 72.2%. Dividing the training into sections, the middle section has a success rate of 55.6% and the end section has a success rate of 19%….”
Luo Nan finished doing some basic data analysis and closed his notebook. The surrounding pedestrians gave him strange looks, but Luo Nan ignored them. He took out a medicine bottle and applied some eye drops to his eyes. After that, he massaged his face.
A slight chill soaked into his eye sockets, and instantly some steam rose through the air. The medicine, which had a moistening function, had permeated inside to fuse with Luo Nan’s vital energy.
The liquid medicine was the product of a secret recipe given to him by Gym Master Xiu. Octopus Bro concocted it for him, and it could alleviate the fatigue of the eyes. In any case, it was quite stupid of him to overexert his eyes.
A person’s eyes were complicated and refined structures, but in the anatomical sense, one would not be able to find the existence of the eyes orifice no matter where one looked in the eyes.
The so-called eyes orifice were the eyes and their corresponding functions. This orifice interferes mutually with the mental plane to form a special structure. It was between what is real and what is imaginary. Only through this orifice could one attain the result of linking the inside with the outside and shine with spiritual radiance.
It was nearly impossible for a normal person to possess the eyes orifice. Only those who possessed a certain cultivation path, and those who could interfere with the mental and the material planes, could slowly build it. It lay on the same vein as the Shield of Truth.
Luo Nan had experienced the Shield of Truth, but it existed only as a temporary construction. The eyes orifice he was building today was like a permanent facility in comparison.
Luo Nan could somewhat feel it already.
Luo Nan closed his eyes. He could feel a deep pressure acting upon them. The pressure came from the Format Pyramid. It was his power on the mental plane. It was a side-effect against his fleshly body, which was on the material plane.
Her True Force cultivation had passed by the beginning stages of the True Mystic Rank and approached the early stages of the True Mystic Rank.
After breaking through the True Mystic Rank barrier, she had stepped into a brand-new world.
Luckily, she was in the cave and not many people could see her situation.
Of course, those at the True Lord Rank and Sovereigns could see a little bit.
“This is an unparalleled bloodline. As long as her mental energy is enough she can break through.”
The bronze skinned giant Deputy Palace Lord was slightly envious.
This bloodline suddenly made him remember something.
“Could it be? No, that’s way too unlikely….”
This thought was soon tossed out.
The multi coloured clouds and flowers around the river started to fade and Zhao Yufei realised that if it weren’t because her mental energy was enough she could instantly reach the early stage True Mystic Rank.
If Zhao Feng this talent he could charge into the early stage or even late stages of the True Mystic Rank in one breath.
However, there was no such thing as a perfect bloodline.
Zhao Feng’s bloodline focused on mental energy whereas Zhao Yufei was directly opposite. She was biased towards the Heaven Earth Yuan Qi and it was her mental energy that couldn’t catch up.
Near the river.
Zhao Feng was hugged by Goddess Bing Wei and continued to be sealed in ice.
“Bastard, I’ll see how long you can last. My cultivation and mastery of ice both surpass yours….”
Goddess Bing Wei tightly hugged Zhao Feng and the two maintained this position.
“Goddess Bing Wei’s power of ice is still being released. This means that Zhao Feng’s not fully sealed yet.”
Mo Tianyi was worried but he didn’t know what to do.
Should he go rescue Zhao Feng? But Sister Yufei was also at the critical moment.
“Senior brother, according to the deal before we’ll protect Zhao Feng when he’s in seclusion. Now the deal is complete it doesn’t matter whether we rescue him or not. Plus, we can’t even get close to him due to the ice.”
The yellow faced man shook his head and Mo Tianyi was helpless.
Goddess Bing Wei had activated her bloodline and normal True Mystic Ranks might be also sealed in ice when close enough.
At the centre of the ice it was so solid that even normal True Mystic Rank probably couldn’t even shatter it.
Under this situation Mo Tianyi and company decided to place Sister Yufei’s safety as the number one priority.
In the end, Zhao Feng was still an outsider.
“Want to ice seal me… don’t even think about it!”
Although Zhao Feng was frozen, his Qi of True Spirit never gave up.
As long as his mental energy consciousness was still there he could control his bloodline and Qi of True Spirit.
A part of the ice was absorbed by his bloodline.
Zhao Feng had two Sources of True Spirit within his body, one belonging to himself and the other to the Water Moon pirate.
In this situation Zhao Feng conserve his own Qi of True Spirit and burned the Water Moon Pirate’s Source of True Spirit.
In terms of strength the Water Moon pirate’s Qi of True Spirit was stronger than Zhao Feng’s.
Due to the burning of Qi of True Spirit, Zhao Feng’s resistance rose.
Of course, he could only burn a small amount at a time or else his body wouldn’t be able to handle it and might explode.
“This brat’s burning his Qi of True Spirit. Hmph, I’ll wait till he’s injured his foundation and falls back down to the True Human Rank.”
Goddess Bing Wei snickered coldly in her heart as at the edges of the zone of ice Shi Chengtian was healing himself.
On top of a lone mountain.
Taiyun Shuangzi’s cunning eyes kept track of the current situation.
“Zhe zhe…. Keep on fighting and hopefully you all become injured then we’ll finish them all off.”
The younger one of the Taiyun Shuangzi said smugly but the time Zhao Feng lasted against Goddess Bing Wei in the ice was longer than imagined.
In the blink of an eye, an hour had passed and Zhao Feng and Goddess Bing Wei still hadn’t come to an end.
“She’s indeed worthy of being an overwhelming prodigy that crushes several generations. Aye, it’s all my fault for getting tricked by her before.”
Zhao Feng didn’t dare to burn all his Qi of True Spirit because his body was sealed in ice and could only work it down with Goddess Bing Wei.
This meant it was a battle of endurance and Zhao Feng didn’t worry about this. He was wanting to give up a part of the Water Moon Pirate’s Source of True Spirit anyways, but could Goddess Bing Wei do that?
“Brother Mo, Sister Yufei’s broken through. Should we ask her to come help?”
The yellow faced man asked.
No, she’s just reached the True Mystic Rank and won’t be of much help.”
Mo Tianyi shook his head.
At the same time.
Within a calm cave in a bubble of light.
“You are Xin Wuheng?”
The black-haired Yu Tianhao with eyes as large as the universe looked the normal man sitting on a stone opposite him.
“Why are you chasing me? I’m not your match. You should know no one in the Sacred True Dragon Gathering is your match.”
Xin Wuheng shook his head and sighed. “You should know no one in the Sacred True Dragon Gathering is your match.”
Yu Tianhao didn’t give up because of Xin Wuheng’s words but instead revealed a surprised and solemn expression.
He had a feeling that this normal man could see everything about him and this was why he said this.
“You have no path or retreat. Either fight or give up the True Dragon Token.”
Yu Tianhao smiled as he landed on a stone opposite Xin Wuheng.
Give up the True Dragon Token?
Xin Wuheng sighed in his heart. He couldn’t do this.
The reason why he participated in the Sacred True Dragon Gathering wasn’t because of ranking but for something even better – inheritances.
“I must not pass this chance of entering the Heavens Legacy Inheritance. This is a chance to fly.”
Xin Wuheng’s eyes twinkled.
His True Dragon Token had a faint glint of gold to it and was currently ranked around tenth.
He hadn’t lost any battle in the Sacred True Dragon Gathering from beginning to now. He had even beaten two or three experts of the first tier.
“The cultivation of the peak True Human Rank but has such a powerful dragon blessing. The person that Zhao Feng recommended is indeed not simple.”
Yu Tianhao’s aura fell and in a moment his cultivation was suppressed to the peak True Human Rank.
Obviously, he didn’t want to take advantage of Xin Wuheng.
“You won’t be my match like this.”
Xin Wuheng stated expressionlessly.
Hearing this Yu Tianhao laughed: “Ridiculous!”
On the stage above the ancient arena.
The Sovereigns, especially Yu Xingchen, payed attention to the face-off between Xin Wuheng and Yu Tianhao.
Xin Wuheng was a black horse just below of Zhao Feng and being the number one prodigy, every action of Yu Tianhao’s was watched.
“Yu Tianhao’s mental energy level is comparable to the True Lord Rank and even if he supresses his cultivation, no one is his match.”
“However, this Xin Wuheng is very weird. He has profound insights and seems to be a ‘grandmaster,’ always winning even with lower cultivation.”
The Sovereigns were interested.
Unparalleled under the Heavens!
Yu Tianhao moved and waved his hand sending a brilliant light that contained the belief of overwhelming confidence and dominance.
Although he was clearly at the peak True Human Rank the power in it had reached a step where those at the True Mystic Rank would be threatened.
Just that believe alone would be able charge into the enemy’s mind and destroy their will.
Xin Wuheng stood with one hand behind his back as his other hand slowly moved through the air.
A rippling wave of air came from the palm. There was no obvious element to it.
Yu Tianhao’s devastating attack seemed to sink into a mudhole in front of Xin Wuheng and was slowed down and weakened.
The first move.
A simple nullification. There was no huge clash that was expected.
Xin Wuheng stood with one hand reached out and the other behind his back. His black hair blew in the wind and seemed like a martial arts grandmaster.
The Sovereigns were surprised.
Calm, unrushed, peaceful.
Xin Wuheng gave people a feeling that he was like the water, an experienced and old grandmaster and not a junior.
He had no talent nor bloodline but had reached a step where he could fight other monsters in this generation.
Battle intent burned in Yu Tianhao’s eyes as his belief became stronger. With a shout he charged in front of Xin Wuheng.
As Han crazily fires, he also cursed out loud.
Not to mention Forin and his men that’s under fire, even those salvage worker leaders that were behind Han were shocked speechless. In comparison to Forin’s cannon execution that was meant to display to the crowd, what Han did was the real cannon execution! As long as there’s still shells inside, the attack will not stop!
After a while, the giant howitzer artillery’s loaded ammunition was completely consumed clean, Han then moved his hand away from the launch button.
Full-on attack is Han’s signature style, whether it’s using hand weapons or giant cannons, Han would always see attacking as his own option and treat killing as his only goal.
After swiftly cutting the ropes that tied up the worker leaders, Han charged into the destroyed ruins with his beasts, continue to slash enemies that are still alive. Even if they had only a slight respite, Han will not hesitate to add another cut on their body.
Behind the pile of corpse, Han saw Forin. Although in the past he is a pretty decent 5-star esper, but he has aged, and his body had been hollowed out by countless nights of wine, meat and women. Against the aggressive Han, Forin felt a chill thoroughly inside, knowing that although he has higher level but is impossible to be a match for Han.
The Armored Godly Beasts and Demon Claw’s performance is also crazy. 10 Armored Godly Beasts were enough to stomp a warlord’s manor to the ground, not to mention the garbage army in these galactic wildernesses.
In the Milky Way Galaxy, all the high-profile outlaws all went to the Oblivion Realm, so all the people that came to the galactic wilderness are all people rejected by the Oblivion Realm, including Forin. So, this massacre for Han is unhindered, and there’s no enemy strong enough to come out and stop him.
“You can’t run! My fleet is on its way back!” Forin shouted at Han with a cold face, his figure is skinny and pressed down, like a cornered rat.
Slightly smiled, Han shook his head and said, “You are wrong. I can guarantee you that out of your ships, not even a single escape pod will return.”
Forin suddenly hesitated, and then he gritted his teeth.
Han’s not lying. Yuan Yuan continued to deliver the outer space battle’s reports to Han; No. Demon Claw is a terrifying monster, as a frigate, it actually has the firepower of a battlecruiser. In the case of loss of the strongest flagship, Forin’s fleet is being slowly eaten away by No. Demon Claw, and it’s only a matter of time until the last ship is destroyed.
“I will fight you to death!” Forin roared, jumped up into the air and was about to pounce onto Han.
Maybe because he had been a tyrant for too long, just when Forin began to regain some of the elite fighter look he had in the past…
“To death? You? You aren’t qualified!”
“Path of Heaven, Sky Break Strike!”
No one really saw how Han shot down Forin in mid-air, all people at the scene saw was Han lowering his stance suddenly, then a white light was immediately followed. That’s not laser for sure, it’s Han’s forbidden art!
Level really means nothing to warriors like Han!
As early as months after gaining his power, Han’s already famous for slaying enemies stronger than him!
In this world, aside from the levels that can be seen, there are also levels that can’t be seen!
Forbidden martial art! Anti-toxin! Power of Darkness! Void Domain! All these things are hidden, but they belong to Han’s strength!
Forin’s body fell to the ground, raise a cloud of dust, and his chest was ripped open.
Han walked over, and without a word he immediately cut off Forin’s arm and took out the dimension ring on his hand.
The 4 pieces of logic chips, sure enough they are here.
Han let out a long breath, and a hint of excitement began to surface on his face.
But what Han did not expect is, after he finished Forin and want to leave Undercurrent Fortress, he was actually asked by that many people to stay.
For Undercurrent Fortress’s permanent population, the overwhelming majority are salvage workers that relies on slaving robot parts from wreckage for a living, and the rest are traders and Forin’s men.
Now among these people, Forin’s men either ran or were pounded into dust, and the workers and traders used almost a pleading tone to request Han to stay.
Lynch said in a deep voice, “Han, if you are going, then there will be another figure like Forin taking over Undercurrent Fortress, and by then we might suffer even more than when Forin is here. This is the galactic wilderness, having tough fists is the only rule here.”
“Since you’ve already taken down Undercurrent Fortress, why not be like others and self-claim the governor position instead of being insisted on leaving?”
I’ve taken down Undercurrent Fortress?
Han slightly hesitated. He was just really angry that Forin actually wanted to harm those salvage workers that are helping Han and stop Han from acquiring those important robots. Han just killed him out of rage, but as for taking down this place and become the governor, Han never considered it at all.
The representative of merchants, an elder with a goatee also advised Han, “In the galactic wilderness, the territory belongs to whoever that takes the governor down, and we are all very willing to work for you sir, and as for the tax rate you can keep it the same as when Forin was in power.”
“After all we are businessmen. If you leave after taking down Undercurrent Fortress, when the nearby governors and lords know that this place has no leader, they will for sure fight for it, and an even bigger riot and war will breakout.”
“So taking down but not accepting the leadership of Undercurrent Fortress, is equivalent to harming all the residents here.”
Han suddenly hesitated again, of course Han gets the logic. What’s most precious in the galactic wilderness are habitable planets. The moment Undercurrent Fortress becomes a place with no governor, all major forces will be for sure like flies driven to a carcass.
“Unless you have somewhere else more important to go?” The goatee elder asked tentatively.
Han gently sighed. Now that thinking about it, he really has no where else to go. He can’t go back to Earth. And that Protector guy probably won’t be happy with him doing robot stuff in the Oblivion Realm.
According to Han’s original plan, he prepared to finish assembling the mobile shipyard and mining fleet, and then take the robots to mine everywhere in the galactic wilderness to produce the very important second generation starships.
“Originally I just want to rob this guy, but I ended up being the new governor, what just happened.” Han muttered quietly to himself.
The most eccentric system in the Milky Way Galaxy, Oblivion Realm.
Planet 1, in the yard of a huge manor that belongs to the legendary Protector.
An elder is leading a group of students and looking at the wonders of the galaxy simulation that cannot be expressed in words.
Light is turned into endless stars, forming this hologram of the galaxy. The darkness that surrounds the Milky Way Galaxy is the galactic wilderness Han’s at right now, and if continue to move forward, then one can arrive to the legendary realm of death, Turbid Star Field.
This blind elder, is the so-called Protector.
Although his white eyes can’t see anything, but they are full of the light of wisdom. And that group of students of his, are also the galaxy’s top researchers.
The protector is famous, in fact, is not because of his fighting power but his wisdom.
It has been estimated before, if you want to find the top 3 wise men in the Milky Way Galaxy, Protector will be able to occupy one of that spot for sure.
But also only a few people can understand, one of the most respected wise elder in the Milky Way Galaxy, why does he want to stay in the Oblivion Realm, be on the opposite side of the powerful Milky Way Alliance to shelter some of the most notorious criminals in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The complex data is constantly being calculated. The Protector sat at the center of the hall, while hundreds of top scholars, which are also the Protector’s students, are rapidly calculating all sets of data.
Normal people will never understand, what kind of study the Protector and his students are really working on. If one wants to be able to comprehend his mysterious data model, one will need no less than 385 points in IQ and plus 30 years of hard learning.
The people that can sit here today to help the Protector do research and record data, no doubt all meet these criteria.
“Professor, the data model had significant movement, and the fluctuation originated from the galactic wilderness outside of the Milky Way, from a place named Undercurrent Fortress.” The Protector’s chief disciple Isaac frowned as he reported to the Protector.
Protector used a deep tone and asked, “Tell me what data are changed.”
“Within 10 years, the probability of destruction of the Milky Way, it increased from 82% to 83%.”
Hearing this number, even the most calm and wise man in the Milky Way Galaxy couldn’t help but frowned slightly.
“So that means, in the galactic wilderness, a demon has been born?”
Isaac quickly replied, “Not completely. Although the probability of the Milky Way’s destruction within 10 years increased 1%, but the probability of the Milky Way’s destruction within a century actually decreased from 98% to 97%.”
The tea cup inside Protector’s hand fell to the ground, making a sharp sound.
Even the wisest man is baffled by this strange change of data.
The chance of Milky Way being destroyed within a decade is increasing, but at the same time the chance of the galaxy being destroyed within a century is actually decreasing?
This doesn’t seem to make sense!
There’s something happening right now at the distant galactic wilderness, a figure is rising, and it’s actually increasing both the probability of Milky Way being destroyed and saved?
“Calculate again.” Protector ordered in a deep voice. Although he’s clearly blind, but he raised his head and looked up at the sky.
The result of the second calculation remains the same.
“Perform the third recalculation.”
The result of the third calculation still didn’t change, both the probability of destruction and salvation increased, just like before.
Protector let out a long breath, asked Isaac in a deep voice, “Do you know why I kept the most notorious criminals of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Oblivion Realm?”
Isaac said, “Professor considered that the chance of destruction of the Milky Way Galaxy is rapidly increasing, so you want to protect any power that can help humans defend against the power of darkness, regardless of them being criminals or not.”
Protector nodded, “I sheltered over tens of thousands of notorious high-profile criminals in the Milky Way Galaxy, but I was only able to lower the probability of destruction of Milky Way Galaxy by 1%. But all of a sudden, a change in the galactic wilderness actually also lowered the probability by the same amount, it makes me baffled.”
“Sent our best men there, I want to know who’s at Undercurrent Fortress, and what is he actually doing.”
“On it.” Chapter 152: 4 King Kongs
Undercurrent Fortress’s training room is a legacy left behind by the Forin era, Han is unable to make any more improvements to the facility without tearing it down and rebuilding it since the one left behind by Forin is luxurious enough.
Han also found time to reassemble the star apes encountered earlier, using the fusion beast tools he brought with him, he reconstituted the beasts using the body parts of the slaughtered star apes horde. The result was only 30 or so fusion beasts, but in order to take most advantage of star apes’ four powerful limbs, each fusion star apes all has 4 legs and 6 arms.
After Han’s assessment, the fusion star apes’ combat power is about one-third of Godly Armored Beasts. After all, Wuyun only made 130 Godly Armored Beasts in his lifetime, and he invested as much effort as possible for each one of them, so it will be very difficult for Han to produce fusion beasts at the same level of combat power.
But these 30 fusion star apes Han made are also not considered weak, although it does lack strong defense due to not having the scales of Godly Armored beasts that can’t even be penetrated by laser. Han planned that if he finds better material later on, he will continue to strengthen these fusion star apes.
In short, Demon Claw and 2 fusion star apes will serve as the guards of the fortress. Han likes to hide the potential of his power, and the majority of fusion star apes were all hidden by him into his invisible Lunar Mark.
On the big screen in the training room, Pathless who usually does not laugh started laughing, “You want to rob the governor and you ended up becoming the governor. Han, you are the most hilarious outlaw I’ve seen.”
Han pouted, “Can we not talk about this problem anymore? You guys have laughed at me for this for a month now, doesn’t it get old?”
Pathless waved his head and said sincerely, “Not a chance. From now on whenever I remember this instance, I will laugh at you once. But that’s good too, now you at least got your own territory in the galactic wilderness.”
“The next path, Path of Mankind, splits sky and shatters earth. In comparison to the Path of Heaven and Path of Earth, the difficulty again increased several times. Of course, once you grasp the power, it’s also very shocking.”
“I have carefully observed your training, not bad. But there is still quite a gap to actually mastering. Let’s continue to train using the original method, first is the moves, then go for the understanding. After you understand it, then this technique will become yours.”
Han nodded. He can still connect to the Galactic Dark Net from wilderness, and that gave Han great convenience. Although not around, Han can ask Pathless remotely through internet about anything that comes up.
Thought for a second, Han said, “Right now what I worry about the most is source energy index. I’ve clearly reached the end of 5-star, but I just can’t make that final step.”
Pathless said as if it’s not a big deal, “What’s the hurry, you are just turning 18! When I was 18 I was still at, never mind, you don’t need to know. In short, during the early stage you relied on the inheritance crystal’s power and the Heart of Darkness to achieve flying speed of improvement.”
“But now the promoting function of the crystal and heart has already passed, you began gradually returning to normal developing speed, and that’s not to my surprise.”
“Now you have two options. One is to seek stability, practice step by step to solidify the achievements you’ve made so far. The second option is to use the Genu of Darkness, but I won’t be able to help you with that and pharmacology is Old Black’s expertise.”
Han sincerely replied, “This time I’ve decided to progress slow and steady. Within a short period of time, I won’t use the Genu of Darkness. But in the meantime, I will also be discussing with Night Walker about the best ways to fully utilize the Genu of Darkness. I guess it’s going to be a two-pronged approach, I won’t stop practicing, but I also won’t stop researching and studying about the Genu of Darkness.
Pathless nodded approvingly and said, “Your mind is very firm. With a treasure that can allow you to make rapid advancement, you actually chose to resist the temptation to use it for a quick power surge. It’s not something everyone can do.”
“After using the Genu of Darkness, you are still you. But if you don’t use it, it actually becomes a card in your hand. Unknowingly, you will have more and more cards in your sleeve, and that’s very good! In this vast Milky Way, smart people will always save themselves a few cards in their sleeves.”
After the practice ended, Han went to the free market again to look around.
The tax policies Han created is completely different from Forin’s. He followed the usual rules of the galactic wilderness to charge 10% tax per transaction, but eliminated the airport parking charges, landing fee per headcount, departure fee, and a series of random taxes.
And for trades of products such as daily necessities, agricultural products, electrical appliances, building materials, etc. that are used for the livelihood and building of the planet, Han implemented preferential policies that reduced the transaction taxes to 5%.
The reason Han made these changes is due to his feelings for the impoverished workers slaving away in Undercurrent Fortress. A carton of milk is 10 times more expensive than those sold in the Milky Way Galaxy, parents are simple too reluctant to buy it for their kids, and things can’t go on this way.
Compared to the prosperity of the arms trade, Han hope that commodity trading that can benefit the ordinary people can be flourished too, just like a well-functioning city. After all, people need to eat and wear clothes.