Book 1 Chapter 8: Soul Apprentice stage! Cultivation and research
The sunlight of the early morning caressed Bai Yunfei’s face, gently waking him up.
After sitting up on the bed, he only felt unspeakably rotten, his head hurting like it was about to crack. Because he had never drunk wine before, it was already a great surprise that he had been able to return to the house and sleep on the bed.
Only after a good while did Bai Yunfei sober up a bit. He massaged his temples and mumbled in a low voice: “How did I return last night? I only remember that… I seemed to drink a jug of wine… I can’t remember… what happened afterwards… Is this the feeling of a hangover? So unbearable, just how can I make it go away?”
When Bai Yunfei was thinking about how to get rid of this unbearable feeling, an indescribable burst of energy appeared in his body. A comfortable feeling that felt like he was soaking in a warm bath swept through his entire body, making him feel relaxed almost to the point of moaning.
When he regained his composure, the unbearable feeling before had already disappeared, and he felt extremely vigorous.
“This…” Bai Yunfei shook his head in some disbelief. A mysterious feeling appeared in his mind — something special seemed to exist in his body, and also seemed to be in the depths of his soul…
“Could it be…”Suddenly thinking of something, he put his right hand in front of his face, stared at the interspatial ring on his hand and did his utmost to imagine that he was ‘controlling’ that mysterious existence.
Eventually, he felt that there seemed to be a current of energy flow into the ring along his arm according to his intention. Afterwards, he felt a space!
In the space, which was 5 meters square, there were three scroll-like objects and a long spear ‘floating’. Because there were only four objects, it looked somewhat spacious.
“Sure enough… This special power is none other than soulforce!”
Bai Yunfei wanted to take that long spear out, but he could not do so because there seemed to be another force covering it. He tried taking out a scroll but still could not do so. He gave another scroll a try, and as soon as he had a thought, his hand felt heavier. A gray scroll had appeared in his hand. He then tried taking out the last scroll but was unsuccessful.
Bai Yunfei looked carefully at this gray scroll, which was about as long as a palm and as large as two fingers in diameter. The scroll was made from an unknown material that resembled cloth somewhat but also resembled the skin of a certain animal somewhat. It had no opening, making unfolding it seemed impossible. There were also many complex, mysterious, strange symbols which looked like a certain kind of language on it.
“Can’t open it. Then, let’s use soulforce?”
This time Bai Yunfei controlled and channeled a strand of soulforce from his body into the scroll very smoothly. He immediately felt utterly confused as a string of information rushed into his mind. He hurriedly closed his eyes and restrained himself, cautiously receiving the information that had just appeared in his mind.
“‘Soul Cultivation Art’, this is the most basic soul cultivation method. It can grow and recover soulforce. The soul and the body are inseparable. The soul can control the body and the body can cultivate the soul. The soul is concealed in the body and only soul cultivators can feel and control soulforce…”
“The first three stages of soul cultivators are: Soul Apprentice, Soul Personage and Soul Warrior. They are also called the Three Stages of Body Control: the Soul Apprentice stage — controls the skin and flesh; the Soul Personage stage — controls the bones and blood; the Soul Warrior stage — controls the acupoints.”
“Soul Apprentice Chapter…”
After a long time, Bai Yunfei slowly opened his eyes: “This is only the method for controlling the skin and flesh of the Soul Apprentice stage, but I obviously feel that there are other contents in the scroll. At least it still has the body control methods of the Soul Personage and Soul Warrior stages. Could it be, because I’m just an early Soul Apprentice, I can’t obtain the later methods yet?”
He stood up, got off the bed and walked up to a pile of five or six bricks in a corner of the wall. After thinking carefully for a while, he made a fist with his right hand and put it in front of him. Gradually, all the skin and flesh of his right arm seemed to begin to wiggle slightly. The skin seemed to thicken and tighten, and the muscles also bulged out slowly. His entire right arm became much thicker than his left arm, looking full of power.
With a soft shout, he struck it down on the pile of bricks in front of him.
“Bang!” A rather resounding explosion rang out. Even the entire room seemed to tremble after that.
“Hey hey! What are you doing in my room?! Let me tell you something. If you damage my room, I won’t let it drop! I will…” A somewhat flustered and exasperated voice was heard outside. Then the door of the room was pushed open and a mustached man walked in.
But, after he had pushed open the door, when only half of his body entered the room, he saw Bai Yunfei standing in a corner of the wall and that area of brick fragments in front of him. Staring at Bai Yunfei’s right arm, which was bulging with muscles, and that fist, which still had a little red brick dust stuck on it, he was stupefied for a long time…
“You… Er… Please continue what you are doing… Please continue… I won’t disturb you again…” After stuttering these words, he carefully moved back out with an obsequious smile and closed the door.
Bai Yunfei was immersing himself in his own thoughts so he did not pay attention to the man either.
“Just the initial control of the skin and flesh is already so powerful. My power has increased at least several times…”
Looking at the pile of broken bricks on the floor, he carefully felt the soulforce in his body again. Even though it was weak, it really did exist. Bai Yunfei was very excited in his heart: “Soul cultivator… I’ve finally become a soul cultivator! I’ve also taken a step towards the goal of getting revenge…”
He tidied up the room, had a simple meal and sat on the bed again. After carefully researching the interspatial ring for a while, he loaded all the remaining bricks, daggers, money and so on into it.
Bai Yunfei truly liked this little thing — it was really too convenient.
Sitting on the bed, he held the interspatial ring in his hand and said in his mind: “Upgrade.”
“Item grade: Superior.”
“Upgrade level: +6.”
“Additional attribute: Strength +19.”
“Upgrade requirement: 12 soul points.”
“Indeed, soul points are just soulforce!” The moment he upgraded the item, that feeling of having some kind of energy drawn out of his body appeared again. He had not known what it was previously, but now he could feel clearly that it was none other than soulforce!
Without stopping, Bai Yunfei upgraded the ring several times continuously, and he only failed once.
“Item grade: Superior.”
“Upgrade level: +8.”
“Additional attribute: Strength +33.”
“Upgrade requirement: 16 soul points.”
Because he did not know if a superior ring could also be destroyed or not after reaching +8 like a normal dagger, he did not dare to risk trying upgrading it — if by any chance the ring was destroyed after an upgrade failure, he would have no one to cry to.
Carefully feeling his soulforce a bit, Bai Yunfei noticed that it was slightly weaker than before. He then took a dagger and upgraded it to +8. Now he felt that about half of his soulforce had been spent.
Bai Yunfei stopped upgrading and, according to what was written in the ‘Soul Cultivation Art’, began to restrain his mind and channel his soulforce along special routes in his body, slowly recovering the soulforce that had been used.
But when he felt that his soulforce had fully recovered, he did not stop. Instead, he kept executing the technique and felt the soulforce in his body increasing bit by bit.
Only when the moon began to rise did Bai Yunfei slowly open his eyes.
“Soul points are soulforce. They can be recovered and increased through cultivation…” He reached out his hand and gave the ring on his right hand a stroke. Several daggers appeared in his hand. “If that’s the case, I can also calculate how much soulforce I have using soul points. This will be a very intuitive data. Now then, let’s give it a try…”
After a long time…
“Damn it! Failed again! I didn’t expect that it’s so hard to get a +10 item!” Bai Yunfei shook his head with force, “I’ve already reached my limit. If I count the last upgrade, I’ve got 219 soul points…”
… … … …
The next day, when Bai Yunfei woke up, the first thing he did was to examine the soulforce in his body.
“As expected… My soulforce has increased!” Although he had predicted this earlier, now that he could verify that it was correct, he still could not help trembling with excitement.
After he used the Upgrade Technique to exhaust the soul points, which were also the soulforce, his soulforce would increase somewhat… What does this mean?
This means that, in addition to growing his soulforce through cultivation techniques like the other soul cultivators, Bai Yunfei could grow his soulforce by using the Upgrade Technique! This could be said to be a shortcut! A shortcut that only he could take!
After calming his excited mind down with great difficulty, Bai Yunfei began to sum up the results of his study on the numerical value of the soul points: “Counting the last upgrade, from when the soulforce was full to when it was used up, there were 219 soul points in total. I remember that… when I used the Upgrade Technique for the first time, I exhausted my soulforce just to upgrade a brick. At that time, it was about… 60 points. It shouldn’t have been more than 70 points. Besides, at that time both my physical body and soulforce were pretty weak. So… a strong ordinary person should have about 100 soul points.”
“The Upgrade Technique, the Soul Cultivation Art, the skin and flesh control of the Soul Apprentice stage… There are still many things that need researching…”
In ten consecutive days, except for when he had to perform the most basic bodily functions like eating and sleeping and when he had to go out to buy things, Bai Yunfei seemed to spend all his time on cultivation and research. But he benefited a lot from the careful experiences and experiments during this period of time.
Firstly, it was his soulforce. Every night he would use up his soulforce. When he woke up the next day, it would have increased by about 10 points. Now the soulforce in Bai Yunfei’s body had reached over 300 in amount. This number meant that he was a middle Soul Apprentice now!
In ten days, he had reached the middle level from the early level of the Soul Apprentice stage. If other soul cultivators knew about this speed, they would probably feel so inferior that they would want to bang their heads against a wall!
As his soulforce became more powerful, his skin and flesh control method also improved. Because his soulforce increased quickly, Bai Yunfei paid close attention to learning the art of body control. If his level of body control could not keep up with the increase in his soulforce, this would not be a good thing at all.
Now, when he did his best to channel his soulforce to reinforce his skin and flesh, his punches, his speed, his jump, his defense and so on were almost ten times greater than an ordinary person’s. He was already close to the limit an ordinary martial artist could reach through training the body.
Secondly, it was the Upgrade Technique. After all kinds of experiments, now Bai Yunfei had gained an initial understanding of it.
Apparently, any object could be upgraded. But objects of different types would have different upgrade results.
Offensive objects such as sabers, swords, sticks and even rocks all had damage. The numerical values of the damage varied according to the power of the objects. After these objects were upgraded, they would receive increases in damage.
Defensive objects such as clothes, shoes and hats all possessed defense. However, ordinary clothes, whether they were made of coarse cloth or brocade, all had pitiful defense of a point or two. They would basically stay the same even after they were upgraded.
The next type was jewelry, such as rings, necklaces and so on. Bai Yunfei also bought some to research. After they were upgraded, they would randomly get an additional attribute. According to what he knew at the moment, there were four additional attributes: Strength, Endurance, Agility and Spirit. The first three types were relatively easy to understand, and the chances of them appearing were rather big. But the chances of ‘Spirit’ appearing were extremely low, and ‘Spirit’ increased soulforce!
After upgrading many pieces of jewelry, Bai Yunfei obtained only one item that could raise Spirit. Moreover, it was ultimately destroyed.
But, except for the ‘superior’ interspatial ring on his finger, all the objects he had seen so far had been ‘normal’ objects. Even when he upgraded them to +8, they only gained a few attribute points, which was basically useless. And when he upgraded them further, they all exploded before reaching +10.
On the tenth day, Bai Yunfei finally stopped his ‘closed-door session’ and decided to go out again.
The reason was very simple — he had run out of money…