AST 857 - Eastern God Country, Dongfang Aristocrat Clan
Qing Shui left the place. Even though the old man from the Golden Buddha Temple didn’t say anything and he did not leave any sort of promise, Qing Shui knew that he would help them if the circumstances were right, that is on the condition that they even required help.
The stood on his Fire Bird and flew towards the east at high speed. This unplanned incident at the Golden Buddha Temple was extremely significant, it could even be a turning point, since he felt that he was much closer to the seventh Layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique after his breakthrough. He felt that his body had entered a new mysterious realm as he stepped closer to the seventh Layer.
It is rumored that one with the strength of ten stars could start sense the realm of Martial Emperor. But Qing Shui knew that it was very rare for someone to be able to do that with just ten stars of strength and understanding how powerful a Martial Emperor could be was just the tip of the iceberg.
Most importantly, he did not know how much strength one had to accumulate to become a Martial Emperor. He only knew that the numbers wouldn’t be small and he did not know how the Grades in Martial Emperor were segregated in the World of the Nine Continents.
Qing Shui longed to reach the seventh Layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique. It was a critical level of the Ancient Strengthening Technique that allowed the user to move from intermediate to advanced grade. It should at least provide a x10 effect on his strength and that was only his conservative estimate. Even the transition from third to fourth layer, lower to intermediate, produced a greater than x10 effect.
Everytime, he went from the initial layer to the next, the qi in his dantian turned from gaseous to liquid which enabled him to gain a lot of strength and Qing Shui did not know how his strength would soar for the next transition, this made him look forward to reaching the seventh layer.
Qing Shui was now observing his Vajra’s Glare which he rarely used. He could easily count the rare occasion which he used that because the effects were too insignificant at the moment or rather it was on a much lower level so it wasn’t that useful to him. If he was successful, the effects will be great.
Vajra’s Glare was a skill which required activation. It focused all of the strength throughout one’s body on the eyes and shot it towards the opponent in a unique way. There was quite a high chance it would distract the opponent. The stronger the target was, the lower the chance of success.
He did not know what realm his Vajra’s Glare was in but he knew that the success rate had risen by 10%. Despite the increase in success rate, the effect of the skill was still highly depended on the opponent’s strength and spiritual energy. Qing Shui was still very happy since he was rather confident about his current level of spiritual energy. He suddenly remembered the flyleaf with the words ‘Buddha Eyes’ on it, that was given to him. He immediately took it out and started reading.
Buddha Eyes, also called Buddha True Eyes, was an ability that allowed one to see through all illusions. The user could directly attack their opponent's ‘soul’ by channeling an attack through their eyes, thus causing an injury to their spiritual body. In serious cases, the opponent might even appear to lose their soul.
It was a sort of spiritual attack.
At this point, Qing Shui realized that this Buddha True Eyes seemed to be related to his Vajra’s Glare despite their difference. Since the old man said that he was fated to learn this Buddha True Eyes, did that mean that the old man knew that he knew the Vajra’s Glare?
After that, he reviewed the technique of the skill. He decided to try it out because he had some time, hoping that perhaps it would also speed up the progress of his Vajra’s Glare.
Nine Continents Steps!
The further east he went, the more flying beasts and demonic beasts he saw. He even saw other cultivators riding their flying beasts. They were extremely fast and disappeared from sight quickly.
As he headed east, the concentration of spiritual qi in the atmosphere increased. Qing Shui could see the cities, mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and seas from his Fire Bird’s back but he was not in the mood to explore.
He felt that his time was limited, so it wasn’t the right time to explore now. His priority was to reach Eastern God Country, the landmark at the far east of the continent before Sky Penetrating Mountains.
When he thought about the Golden Buddha Temple, Qing Shui suddenly remembered the young fatty that he met when he was buying herbs a long time ago. He brought the fatty back to the Qing residence, but one day a monk brought the man away saying that he had an affinity with Buddha...
He has an affinity with Buddha? He, himself was also told this. He wondered where the monk brought the fatty to and if the fatty had now become a powerful cultivator. Maybe, it was even possible to meet him again.
At Eastern God Country...
After three months, Qing Shui finally arrived at Eastern God Country. He decided to stay in a nearby city for about two days before heading to the capital city. The capital city of Eastern Victory Divine Continent was also the capital of Eastern God Country. This was nothing unusual since capital cities were commonly found in the best locations on the continent. As he was approaching a city and it was near noon, he decided to land and stay there for two days.
The city gave Qing Shui the impression that it was filled with history, though that might not be the case for others. The architecture in the city did indeed contribute to his impression of the place. Most of the buildings were at the north and faced south. The roofs were high in the centre and gradually sloped down two sides to allow for rain to run off and reduce accumulation of rain.
The roofs were made of durable yellow and red tiles. They were pleasant-looking; not lavish but still retained a sort of grandness. This was also the reason why Qing Shui chose this city for his short stay.
As noon approached, a faint aroma filled the streets, especially the one that Qing Shui was on, which was primarily occupied by restaurants and eateries.
There were simple setups of benches and tables along the street, as the small eatery owners started preparing various food items. They busied themselves, as they struggled to make a living, just to survive and have a better life.
“Fresh Scallion pancakes! Made from techniques handed down over the generations! Don’t miss your chance to try one!”
“Old Hu Mala Soup!”
Qing Shui ears were filled with hawkers touting loudly, over and over again.
“Oh, this smells good!”
With Qing Shui’s keen sense of smell, he immediate looked over in the direction where the aroma was coming from. It was not far and he walked over casually. It was a normal family owned stall which sold only scallion pancakes, a few side dishes and porridge.
The hawker was a woman who was about 30 years old. There were four children around the ages of three to eight. There were three boys and one girl. The girl was the youngest, she sat on a mat playing with two other slightly older boys. The boy who was about eight was scrubbing some bowls, helping the woman.
Qing Shui watched the woman and her children and began to think about his mother. Mothers are the greatest, they can and will go through any sort of suffering for their children.
The woman was very beautiful but coarse-looking clothes hid most of her elegance and there were tiny wrinkles on her face due to her overworking.
The woman seemed to notice that someone was staring, so she looked up and saw Qing Shui. She smiled, “Young sir, do you want to have your meal here?”
“I’m broke,” Qing Shui said softly.
“It’s just some home-cooked dishes. It’s okay. Everyone has their difficult times, it’ll be fine as long as you do something about it,” the woman smiled, speaking warmly. Qing Shui looked at the almost empty stall. There were so many customers elsewhere but there were only one of two customers here. Furthermore, the few people looked poor.
In a short time, a plate of side dish, a scallion pancake and a bowl of porridge was placed in front of him. They smelled good, it was this aroma that he had detected. He thanked the woman cheerfully and started eating.
Once he started eating, Qing Shui could tell that it tasted alright but it was normal— actually too normal. The contrast between the pleasant smell and the oddly normal taste made him feel uncomfortable. It might be better if it did not smell so good. The contrast annoyed him.
“Does it taste bad?” the woman asked when she noticed Qing Shui pausing after just one mouthful.
“No but it does not match its smell.” Qing Shui answered and continued eating.
The woman knew this but she had no choice. To feed her family, especially her children, she had to do this. She was unable to hold back a sigh.
“Sister, do you have a piece of paper and a brush?”
Qing Shui asked the woman.
“Do you know how to read?” Qing Shui asked having he thought about it for a moment.
“A few words!” the woman replied.
Qing Shui waited for the woman to provide him the paper and brush. Thereafter, he started scribbling a few recipes for scallion pancakes, sides dishes, porridges, two desserts and some soups. They were dishes that did not cost much to make and he finished by leaving a sentence to ask the woman to burn the paper after reading. He then passed the paper to the woman.
“Since I got a free meal from you, I’ll give this to you. It might be useful to you.” He gave it to the woman and left.
The woman took it from him without much though. She watched as Qing Shui disappeared from sight before she opened up the piece of paper. She was stunned when she saw the recipes. The ingredients couldn’t be any more normal but she sensed that the recipes were very valuable. She sighed looking at the direction that Qing Shui disappeared from. After that, she looked to the boy washing dishes and said, “Xuan’er, let’s go back early today. I’ll prepare something nice for all of you.”
By this point, Qing Shui was already far away. He helped the woman because he wanted to help out a mother and the woman was also kind-hearted. The recipes that he gave her were just some standard fare which would allow her to make some pretty tasty dishes. They could not be compared to his nourishing soups. They would taste good enough for people to crave but not for people to be jealous. She could probably reach the level of a head chef. In the worst case scenario, she could be a head chef for others but that wouldn’t be too bad anyway.
If the recipe he gave her was too good, it might harm her instead of benefiting her.
After Qing Shui was full, he decided to walk around. He was previously in a normal residential area but he had now ventured to an area with luxurious residences.
“Today’s the wedding of Dongfang Ye from the Dongfang Aristocrat Clan. They invited all family and friends of the family. We can go there to drink and eat all sorts of good food. Who would miss such an opportunity?” a middle-aged man commented shamelessly.
“Dong Yan, even though they mentioned that anyone above Xiantian can attend without an invitation, we just reached Xiantian, isn’t that a little embarrassing?” A man about 30 years old asked.
“Yes. Let’s find someone like us. If there are more of us, it won’t be so embarrassing,” the man called Dong Yan laughed.
The younger man was speechless but Qing Shui approached them with a smile.
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