AST 1152 - Essence, Qi and Spirit, Old Wang’s Difficulty
Qing Shui went idle for quite a while, which was considered normal for someone who had just received a huge surprise. This was a major breakthrough compared to the ones before as this was caused by the Violet Golden Blood Vessels. The Mysterious Fruit, on the other hand, was able to further provide an enhancing impact on the breakthrough itself.
Moreover, Qing Shui realized that he was quite comfortable when the breakthrough happened, unlike the past breakthroughs where he felt unsynced with his own body after a brief moment of power upsurge. He was now completely relaxed and in harmony with his body, which meant that the toxins inside his system had been completely flushed out, leaving only the pure essence flowing inside his blood.
He looked at the blood all over his body and felt uncomfortable with the feeling of being stained in blood. He didn’t mind it before, but he couldn’t tolerate it anymore, so he took some water and washed his body before changing into something more comfortable and clean.
Good things would always lift up anyone's mood. Qing Shui felt that he was extremely fortunate since he was able to achieve a massive improvement to his power. This would make a smooth transition for his future cultivation as well.
Even though the disparity of strength between an Early State Master and himself was still great, Qing Shui had never once thought that he would break through to the State Master Realm that quickly. Even if he had a sudden boost to his power, that breakthrough would never become a reality.
Even so, he would not become an almighty cultivator just because of that, unless the Ancient Strengthening Technique was able to break through to the Eighth Heavenly Layer, then it would be possible for him to become a State Master. Despite knowing that it was possible, the breakthrough to the Eighth Heavenly Layer was still far from his reach, unfortunately.
After that, Qing Shui went on to cultivate his skills continuously. He wanted to attain full control over the new power as soon as possible, at least until he was able to control it to the minute subtlety level. Qing Shui felt the need of achieving stable control of his powers regardless of what they may be in nature.
A martial cultivator must be able to destroy rocks and mountains with a flick of a hand, yet he must also be able to capture a mosquito unharmed with a forceful grip of his fist.
Qing Shui continued to execute his Taichi Fists without stopping. This was the best method to quench and coordinate his body in order to distribute the energy throughout his body proportionally.
Qing Shui could clearly tell the difference between the Taichi Fists from before and now as the disparity of power was too great to ignore. The Taichi Golden Qi was much stronger in terms of its speed and power. There was also a massive change in the way he demonstrated the Taichi Fists. Those who had knowledge and experience of executing Taichi Fists could naturally tell that Qing Shui was becoming one with the surroundings of Heaven and Earth.
Fish in Water!
Nine Palace Steps!
Qing Shui shuttled back and forth in mid-air inside the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. His movement was as fast and as smooth as flowing water. Normal people would not suspect that something was amiss when they saw him shuffling about, only he seemed slightly celestial-like as he moved. Only those powerful enough would be able to sense the horrific power disguised within his movements.
Qing Shui was already satisfied with the Mysterious fruit. He didn't plan on consuming the remaining one because of the ‘full period’ after every breakthrough, regardless whether the end result was a fail or a success. Essentially, the process of his cultivation would come to a temporary halt during this period of time.
The ‘full period’ would be longer especially when the power after the breakthrough had become stronger. Small breakthroughs would not result in a long halt to one's cultivation. It was also considered normal for successive breakthroughs to happen after a small breakthrough to one’s power.
He kept the other fruit safe and proceeded to observe the harmony of the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal with a cheerful attitude. This realm was his secret, now and forever. Since no one else could enter the realm, he didn't feel the need to expose its existence to anyone, even his family members.
A number of demonic beasts inside the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal continued to cultivate their power at their own pace. The Spiritual Qi inside the realm had grown stronger, albeit slightly. This was perhaps due to the increasing age of the medicinal herbs he had planted as the Spiritual Qi that these herbs emanated would grow more intense along with its growing age.
With the sudden burst of power, Qing Shui might not need the assistance of his demonic beasts anymore. Of course, he would still need some of their help during a fight. Thunderous Beast’s Violet Lightning Strike was still useful after all.
During this period of time, Qing Shui spent most of the hour practicing the Five Elements Divine Refining Technique. This technique was primarily focused on condensing his spiritual energy. Furthermore, Qing Shui’s main strength of the Five Elements Divine Refining Technique was none other than the early stage Wood Vines.
Because he had just gone through a breakthrough, he extended his hand excitedly and executed an Absolute Seal. Violet demonic vines appeared in the distance and spiraled to the sky in a violent motion. The devouring power of the vines was quite terrifying in that instant as each rope of the vines were as thick as an adult’s arm. The violet spikes on the vines were brilliant and sharp. They were densely packed together with the length of each spike about half a meter long. Anyone would have chills down their spine with one look at the horrific sight of the vines.
The vines were getting stronger once again. Qing Shui observed the demonic vines he had released as he made a quick thought. If required, he could allow the vines to grow more than a thousand meters long. Even those of the same level of power would be swallowed by these demonic vines. They would have an extremely difficult time in breaking free from the vines alone.
Because of that reason, the Wood Vines was Qing Shui’s most preferred skill among the Five Elements Divine Refining Technique, both for its control and its damage power.
As for the others, the Golden Sword was still considered decent. The Fire, Earth and Water elements were quite decent as well but because Qing Shui already had the Nine Continents Mountain, Tidal Cloud Waves Seal and the Primordial Flames, he didn’t think that those three elemental skills were powerful enough for him.
Qing Shui had essentially spent most of his time in the four continents mastering his Wood Vines. He wanted to cultivate the Wood Vines to its absolute power. Despite this, the current state of the Wood Vines was already quite invincible.
Of course, there was also the Seal of Xuantian, which was still at its First Wave. However, it had become even more powerful once he arrived in the four continents. With the recent power boost, the prowess of the Seal of Xuantian would naturally become stronger as well.
After another demonstration of the Wood Vines, Qing Shui looked up to the sky that resembled a humongous platform that was made of the Heaven Seal. The seal was silvery white in color, which emanated a powerful coercive effect towards its surroundings. The seal seemed extra substantial, which meant that it could contain more energy than it had before.
Qing Shui was already unfazed and uninterested by this type of crushing attack as he already possessed the overbearing power of the Nine Continents Mountain. The Nine Continents Mountain was both an offensive and defensive skill, which made it more domineering than the Seal of Xuantian itself.
Qing Shui extended his hand to grab the silvery platform. The large platform fell onto his hand and the weird thing he felt was that the Seal of Xuantian had another ability other than the ability to crush his opponents.
It had the ability to decrease one’s movement and reduce one’s reaction time!
This was the ability of the First Wave of the Seal of Xuantian. What would become of this skill in the future was unbeknownst to Qing Shui. However, the difficulty of this skill was still considered average as it was still possible for Qing Shui to cultivate. After all, the name of the skill itself was unique and extraordinary.
As for Qing Shui, the ability to decrease his opponent’s speed was more useful than the crushing ability due to its damage being inferior than that of the Nine Continents Mountain.
The next day, Qing Shui woke up early feeling refreshed. He walked out of his room to perform his morning practice and that was when he realized the sky was brighter in the four continents than it was in the five continents. After a session of morning practice, he went straight to the Firecloud Blacksmith Store to check things out.
His powers had grown stronger, allowing him to undergo a humongous change in his overall essence, Qi and spirit. In a sense, he had become more ‘substantial’. His spiritual sense was stable, yet many could still tell how remarkable Qing Shui had become.
That was just their intuition but in many cases, intuition could be as accurate as the fact itself!
When he arrived at the blacksmith store, it was already opened for business. Old man Wang was already inside, ready to start his day. Qing Shui was the one who asked old man Wang and his grandson to man the store. It would be convenient for them to live here as well.
The main objective of the store was to sell weapons, armor and miscellaneous accessories. These items were nothing to Qing Shui in comparison to what he had already owned, so the blacksmith store was essentially bait to lure a certain someone to find him.
If he had this level of talent when Miss Yan came to visit, he would show his crafting abilities boldly in front of her. It had been several days since then. Perhaps she had already gone back home by now.
“Sir, you’ve come!”
Old man Wang greeted Qing Shui with a smile when he saw him walking into the store.
“No one’s here today yet. Come, let’s sit there and talk for a moment!” said Qing Shui as he led old man Wang towards a small table inside the blacksmith store.
“Alright, alright!” Old man Wang replied beamingly.
“Old Wang, from what I can observe of your crafting skill, it’s not bad. Do you know why the weapons you’ve crafted are of mediocre quality?” asked Qing Shui as he looked at old man Wang with a friendly smile.
“I know. It’s because I don’t have a cultivation base. I have been depending on my raw strength all this time. If I was still young and fit, perhaps I could still cultivate my skills further. I’m already an old man, so my body’s all worn out. Besides, even if I did manage to cultivate my skills at this point, I may not be able to produce items of high quality.” Old man Wang shook his head as he replied Qing Shui.
“That’s right. I see you’re thinking of letting your grandson follow this path of crafting as well.”
“Yes. The living of our generation is based on crafting. Other than that, we have nothing. His parents passed away when he was very young, so we are the only two left in the household,” said old man Wang with a strained expression.
Qing Shui looked at the anguish and frustrated expression on old man Wang’s already wrinkled face. He could understand old man Wang’s grief and pain - he who had struggled to live only for the sake of his grandson. Old man Wang was lonely, yet he had a flicker of hope inside his heart.
There were many people like him out there in the World of the Nine Continents whom struggled to live. Many could endure no matter how hard or exhausted their lives were, but they could never bear the pain of loneliness. Just like old man Wang, he could endure anything because of his grandson. If he didn’t have a grandson to live for, he would have given up on life a long time ago.
“Old Wang, do you mind if your grandson cultivates a bit of martial skill for the sake of harnessing his crafting abilities? I will teach him how to craft some things too.” Qing Shui smiled.
Old man Wang widened his eyes as he stared at Qing Shui. His eyes were filled with tears all of a sudden as his lips quivered. He knew what kind of person Qing Shui really was based on the days he had spent with him recently. All this time, he was actually afraid of asking Qing Shui to accept his grandson as his disciple in learning crafting skills.
Fortunately, the Gods had finally answered his prayers. He stared at Qing Shui for the longest time before wiping off his tears in the corner of his eyes with his sleeves and saying, “Sir, my grandson is already this old. Is it still possible? If he can actually learn about a star and a half of your ability, I will be relieved even if I pass away in the future.”
“Stone, come here!”
Old man Wang beckoned to his grandson and said with a grin, “This good sir will teach you some things in the future. Quickly, give him a kowtow!”
The young man wasn’t a kid anymore, so when he heard old man Wang’s words, he quickly knelt on the ground, gave a respectful kowtow and said, “Sir, I know I’m unworthy to become your disciple but I will respect you as my rightful teacher.”
He spoke with a serious and sincere tone!
Qing Shui pulled him up and grinned, “We are a family now, so you don’t have to kneel. We were destined to meet each other like this.”
Qing Shui was satisfied with old man Wang’s character. In his eyes, old man Wang was a true gallant man of justice with a kind heart who cared very much for his own family member…...
Taking out a paper and brush, Qing Shui wrote a few words and drew pictures depicting a man performing certain actions. Below these illustrations were explanations on what he should follow to cultivate his skill.
“Stone, follow these steps every morning to strengthen your body. Don’t be afraid of hardships!” Qing Shui said with a smile.
“Sir, I’m not afraid of hardships. Actually, I have been practicing every morning but never had the correct method to follow. My methods are rough and quite forceful,” Stone said as he received the paper from Qing Shui politely.
“I know. But that’s alright now. If you are free, you can practice inside the courtyard. If you don’t understand any part of the illustration, you can ask me. I can explain in more detail. But remember, you can never become an invincible cultivator. I just want you to achieve further things in the path of a crafter. Only a martial warrior with power greater than Xiantian will craft weapons of greater quality.”
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