AST 851 - Nine Yang Golden Body, Confounded Retreat (teaser)
“Grand Elder, today’s the lucky day. We have finally found the man with the legendary ‘Nine Yang Golden Body’,” The woman named Huang Wu said to the old man in a respectful tone.
Qing Shui, on the other hand, quickly raised his cautiousness and carefully observed the old man. He couldn’t pinpoint the old man’s exact age but the geezer was certainly old, as evidenced by his withering appearance. The old man was also wearing a full set of plain clothes - the simplest, most common clothes in the market - over his moderately thin body. In spite of his appearance, the old man’s eyes were gleaming with a bizarre mannerism - it was weird and perplexing.
When Qing Shui saw the old man’s cane, he froze. That was the Dragon-Headed Cane, if not very similar to the one kept in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. There wasn't any obvious difference in terms of their appearances, so for Qing Shui, the canes were of the same kind.
The old man snapped his attention to Qing Shui and revealed a grin. His eyes were transfixed on Qing Shui as he said, “Haha, this is great. I've been searching for 300 years for the legendary Nine Yang Golden Body and was about to give up, until you showed up to our doorstep. Thank the Heavens for treating me so well.”
“Nine Yang Golden Body?” This was the second time Qing Shui heard of this term that was supposedly a type of special constitution of a human body. However, he was extremely bewildered because he had heard two different terms to this constitution. In the case of the Marionette Sect, it was the ‘Nine Yang Golden Body’. For the outsiders, it wasn’t the Nine Yang but the body of ‘Nine Yin’ Instead.
Qing Shui was essentially a marionette to this old man - a marionette that could potentially become the Nine Yang Marionette King.
The lower levelled marionettes were more or less walking corpses but they were not dead entirely, as their bodily functions, like the heart, were still intact - all except the brain. In other words, the brain was dead, thus rendering the marionette the incapability of utilizing the basic cognitive functions. Marionettes of lower levels would always display such behavior and as such, the chances of retaliation would be extremely low.
The ‘Nine Yang Golden Body’ was said to be the strongest constitution amongst the other types of constitution for a marionette in the Marionette Sect. Moreover, whoever could obtain such person of said constitution would be able to reach the top level with just the control of the Body, thus achieving the greatest dream a marionette master could strive for. Should they achieve the process of nurturing a marionette to become the Nine Yang Marionette King, the influence and power of the Marionette Sect would never be underestimated ever again.
The old man maintained his gaze on Qing Shui while shivering with an overwhelming sense of excitement.
Qing Shui’s first instinct was to escape quickly as he clearly had no confidence in winning against this old man. In the presence of absolute power, everything was futile. He feared that he wouldn't be able to kill his opponent even with the deadly forces of his Primordial Flame Ball and Poison Weapons. So the only realistic way was to run when he had the chance to.
Fortunately for Qing Shui, he wasn't as helpless as he was during the time he faced the woman in the crystal coffin. Last time, his powers and body were confined and restricted, so he wasn't able to retaliate or move his muscles. So while he had the freedom to move this time, he decided to think of ways to escape this predicament as soon as possible.
“Enough. Don't even think of escaping, because you can't. If you try anything, I will make sure you suffer the consequence of doing so,” said the old man as he curved a sly smile on his face.
“Such confidence? Then this Octagon Inn must be the front of your Marionette Sect!” Qing Shui laughed.
“And you're still able to laugh? You're right, this Octagon Inn is one of the many outposts of the Marionette Sect. All these years, this outpost had acquired a lot of decent marionettes for our sect.” The old man spoke with pride, as if using the Octagon Inn as a bait to capture potential marionettes was the greatest idea the Marionette Sect ever had.
Qing Shui gathered up all his power within the body and raised his spiritual energy to the maximum. His hand shivered for a moment, then with a quick movement, he shot out ten poisonous Ten Thousand Coldsteel Needles toward his opponents instantaneously!
Petal Rain Under The Skies!
At the same time, Qing Shui exerted his force on his feet and released the Mighty Elephant Stomp!
In a mere second, Qing Shui instantly fell to the lower floors - from the ninth floor to the ground floor - like an ‘atomic bomb’ of a tremendous force. He was able to escape swiftly in the midst of chaos in the Octagon Inn.
Nine Continents Steps!
After Qing Shui had managed to escape through the use of the Nine Continents Steps, the entire Octagon Inn began to collapse instantaneously, killing the unfortunate souls unwittingly caught in the crumbling of the building. The patrons were consisted of men from the supreme aristocratic clans and wealthy merchants, so Qing Shui didn't feel pity when most of them had died. Those who were able to escape were people of martial cultivators. While some of them were fine, most of them were injured from the falling debris.
The thought of using the 10,000 Years Coldsteel Needles to inflict heavy damage on the old man didn't cross his mind but the needles were sufficient to block against the Grand Elder’s assault, allowing a small window of time to escape from the predicament.
The old man and the woman quickly dashed outwards, hovering in mid-air as they scanned the area below with attentive eyes. However, no matter where they looked, they just couldn't seem to find the silhouette of that young man. Realizing something was wrong, they quickly glanced at the heap of debris below their feet.
“He should be here. Why can’t I feel his aura?” The old man ordered his men to remove the debris with haste. Even if they had to dig up the soil below three feet, they must find him - dead or alive.
Unbeknownst to the old man, Qing Shui had already escaped ten thousand li away from the scene through his Nine Continents Steps. He immediately mounted on the Fire Bird without hesitation and flew as far as he could. This incident in addition to the one with the woman in the crystal coffin had made him realize the great disparity between his power and that of his opponents. The road to the top of the martial arts world was still quite far.
He could initiate a split-second kill if he were to fight against martial warriors of the same level. But in the scenario against a higher levelled opponent, it would be difficult as the disparity of strength was too great. If he were to combat against the old man alone, he might be able to land a few hits. However, that thought immediately vanished when he sensed a tremendous amount of strength emitting from the old man's body. He wouldn't be able to win anyway, so without a second thought, he chose to escape.
Against the old man alone, Qing Shui might have half a chance of winning, especially if he used the Thunderous Beast's Violet Lightning Strike and his own Divinity Protection. The Divinity Protection may prove to be ineffective should he clash with the old man but if the Violet Lightning Strike was able to show an effect, then the old man would surely die.
Power, he needed to gain more power!
At that moment, Qing Shui found himself wanting more power, his desire grew stronger the more he felt helpless. If he could break through the Seventh Heavenly Layer of his Ancient Strengthening Technique, killing the old fool would be a piece of cake…….
Qing Shui hads currently reached an area of wasteland that stretched toward the path of the Eastern Victory Divine Continent. He finally felt at ease as he rode on his Fire Bird, despite the subtle nervousness during his focus to escape the grasp of the old man. He wasn’t too worried, because he knew he could escape for safety and destroy the Octagon Inn at the same time.
At the same time, the Grand Elder of the ‘Octagon Inn’ was on the verge of going mad. He released his anger at the mountain-pile of debris, feeling dejected as ever……..
A number of old men and sect members stood behind the Grand Elder with frowns on their faces. They were so close in snatching a marionette of the Nine Yang Golden Body and now they had lost the chance.
Qing Shui kept his eyes on his surroundings before affirming the safety of his current position. He urged his Fire Bird to fly as fast as possible as the sky began to light up brightly, indicating the current hour to be afternoon. Due to his quick reaction and swiftness, he had managed to lose the pursuers from the Marionette Sect completely.
He didn't expect the Grand Elder to reveal his own constitution as the NIne Yang Golden Body, much less possessing a body of extraordinary power too. Qing Shui didn't think he was born with the Nine Yang Golden Body but an outcome of an illusion wrought by the cultivation of the Ancient Strengthening Technique.
He shook his head and dispersed the confusing thoughts. He didn’t care if he had the Nine Yang Golden Body or not, nothing felt satiated unless he had the Ancient Strengthening Technique and the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, as well as everything he had owned until now. If only he had the opportunity to gain an immense power, he would be able to reach the heights of the entire continents in the world as he had dreamed of. By then, he could do whatever he wanted and do the things he had been wanting to do.
He had been running relentlessly for the whole day. It wasn't until the sky had turned dark that Qing Shui finally took the time to enter the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
With the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal as his haven, Qing Shui felt happy as this place was private space of absolute safety. When he was inside, he had practically spent 100 days or three months, doing absolutely everything to strengthen his cultivation and artifacts. Moreover, a lot of things could change within three months but in reality, Qing Shui had only spent six hours of real time strengthening techniques and his power.
He also took some time to temper some artifacts!
After a lengthy period, the Spirit Gathering Lamp had reached Grade Three!
The Spirit Gathering Lamp: An ancient artifact that could allow the user to increase the spiritual power of their demonic beasts engaged in a battle, thus increasing the attacking prowess of the demonic beasts. Moreover, the increase was in correlation to the realm of the grade. A passive artifact with zero energy consumption, the lamp was now in Grade Three, which had further increased the efficiency of its usage.
Qing Shui was particularly pleased with the 30% increase to the demonic beasts’ powers. Even though the speed of the advancement was comparably different than before and the time required to level up seemed longer, that had little effect on his pleasant mood. As long as the progress remained on the steady path, everything would be fine.
Soulshake Bell: Grade Seven. The Soulshake Bell had a superb effect that would be extremely formidable against most demonic beast. There would also be an absolute hit on demonic beasts of Peak Martial King. If death was not meant to be, then they would certainly be crippled. The bell has an extraordinary effect on Martial Saints as well.
Demon Binding Ropes: Grade Six. The ropes could overcome powerful opponents of greater strength easily.
Qing Shui hadn’t been using the Demon Binding Ropes for quite a while, so he wasn’t sure what kind of power the ropes could possess for now. The further the realm, the longer the time required for the upgrade would be. Speaking of upgrade, it has been a while since the Soulshake Bell and the Demon Binding Ropes hadn’t achieve a breakthrough.
The speed of upgrade of the Blackjade Poisonous Spiderweb and the Spirit Gathering Lamp seemed a little bit slower. Regardless, the Blackjade Poisonous Spiderweb was now in the Grade Four - the best among the other weapons!
Despite the increase to its battle prowess, the time required for the upgrade was uncertain. However, one thing's for certain - the magical treasure has the ability to nurture a person to a powerful warrior once the artifact had reached the final realm. In extreme cases, a magical treasure could even bring forth a destruction to the world.
If he didn't have the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, the realm of the magical treasure may require a longer period of time to break through. But when he thought about the immense power the magical treasure could potentially achieve, he didn't mind waiting even for a few more years as he was quite confident that his Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal could hasten the process without a hitch.
The drawing of the [Hundred Forms of the Tiger] and the ‘Realm of Drawing Bones’ was just on an elementary level. There was still a long way to go despite the potential growth of his drawing. Luckily, he still had an ample time to advance his drawings, so the only problem he had was the accumulation of time. If he continued to put a constant effort to his drawings, he would eventually yield a great success.
Qing Shui continued his way to the east the next day. With a lot of free time on his hands, he decided to look at the [Hundred Forms of the Tiger] and the [Poison Scripture] while mounted on his Fire Bird through the long dull journey. He would also ponder over a few things sometimes. As he had been busy for the past few days, he left practically left no room to think some things through.
He didn’t need to ponder over some matters purposely as everything had happened according to his will. Moreover, he had no choice and most times he was required to act as quickly as he could. After he had calmed himself down, the first thing that popped into his mind was the matters involving his romance.
Qing Shui felt quite troubled thinking about his relationships with his wives. He had never doubted himself as someone who was extremely possessive with the ladies. He couldn’t give up on them, yet he clearly understood that he shouldn’t be promiscuous with any women he met. Falling in love was easy, as feelings could develop in a mere few seconds. It would be hard to get along with each other over time but it would be way harder to forget about someone he truly loved. The worst part about any relationship was getting along with a few exceptional women, as it would be the hardest situation a man could face in his lifetime.
In any case, the ladies had practically never asked him to love them solely or even pester him with that matter. They didn’t even limit the number of women he could love either…….
Perhaps this was the custom in the World of the Nine Continents. Even though all men and women were considered equal, men were allowed to wed multiples times and have numerous wives but no one would hear the news of a woman having multiple husbands. The reason may have to do with the majority of martial warriors being male. Essentially 90% of men had dominated the martial arts scene in the World of the Nine Continents.
After the time was almost right, he recalled his Fire Bird.
Nine Continents Steps!
He had to use the Nine Continents Steps once every single day despite this technique being weaker than before due to the improved speed of his Fire Bird.
Qing Shui always knew something was different but he couldn’t explain what exactly had changed.
Suddenly, Qing Shui glanced down at the Nine Continent Boots on his feet!
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