Chapter 12: Toothless Tiger
"You are going to run out of Qi soon." Xue Wei laughed at Li Jian, who was so furious that he was not even aware of the fact that he was using all the energy he could control without any restraints. Finally, he could no longer execute the Sonic Palm, nor any other martial arts for that matter.
Truthfully, Xue Wei was not much better off himself. He had only executed Azure Light Finger and Shattering Mountain Palm once each, but those two attacks had taken eighty percent of his Qi. And while the Forbidden Rush depended more on external powers than internal, it still used up the final twenty percent that he had.
Xue Wei’s face drained of color, but so did Li Jian’s. Although Li Jian was like a toothless tiger, he still had a body that was much more sturdy than Xue Wei's. If he got caught, then it was evident he would not have a good ending.
"I should have learned Inner Might," he sighed to himself and decided that when he returned home, he would train Inner Might, the only profound ability he had picked out from the ring.
"Anyone else who wants to cripple me today?" Xue Wei asked as his eyes looked over every single person that was standing around him, his eyes as unyielding as ever, and every follower of Li Jian shivered as they looked away.
Shen Mu was astonished too, but he was also feeling a little proud. He was sure that Xue Wei would have been beaten silly, but seeing this friend of his display such skills, he was astonished.
"Man, that was amazing!" he called out and took a step towards Xue Wei. "That has to be one hell of a movement technique! I have never seen anyone use a movement technique before; I bet you are the only one within the entire Tiankong City with one! Your uncle must have passed it on to you before he left?"
Shen Mu spoke just loud enough for people to hear what he said, and a clamor instantly broke out. So the strange movements were due to a movement technique! They were all enlightened, and many looked at Xue Wei with jealousy.
Xue Wei just shrugged his shoulders. "We should hurry back home,” Xue Wei said as he hurried next to Shen Mu.
He had no more energy in his body, nor did he have a sturdy frame and all of them should be able to beat him easily. Even Li Jian had been inching closer to Xue Wei, but he dared not touch him now that he too had used all his Qi, whereas Shen Mu was by his side with all his Qi intact.
“You were lucky this time!” Li Jian sneered, feeling as if he had lost his entire face. He had not lost when it came to cultivation base, neither had he lost because of his strength being inferior, but because the other had an evasion and movement martial art.
Xue Wei had to admit that he had been lucky. Li Jian and his ninth layered strength were many times stronger than he had expected. If not for his cool-headedness and Li Jian losing his calm, then the outcome of the battle was likely to have been different.
Xue Wei knew that the Azure Light Finger took around forty percent of his Qi, and a fully charged Shattering Mountain Palm was the same.
A bit of perspiration dripped down his forehead as he thought about how close he had been to being beaten up, and not just him but also Shen Mu.
Although Xue Wei could feel the loss of energy and somewhat feeble, his mental state had never been better. He had been bullied and abused for so long, and now he finally had been able to pay back those debts by just a little. He had been able to show that he was not trash, and he felt as if his shoulders were a thousand times lighter than what they had been before.
His usually expressionless face turned into a smile, and his clenched hands slowly opened. He felt free for the first time, and he looked into the sky above, thoroughly enjoying himself. He felt restored.
Shen Mu could feel that Xue Wei had spent all his energy and nodded his head before he escorted Xue Wei back to the mansion. When they returned they noticed that the manager was waiting outside for them.
When the manager saw Xue Wei being walked home by Shen Mu, he was at first surprised, but then he noticed Xue Wei's state and his eyes turned dangerously dark.
"Manager Su, do not worry," Xue Wei said with an uncharacteristic grin on his face. "Li Jian is much worse off than I am."
"Mu, thank you for following me home. When I am at home, Li Jian will not dare do anything to me, so I am safe now," Xue Wei turned to Shen Mu and told him. This was the first time that Xue Wei referred to Shen Mu by just his first name, and Shen Mu couldn’t help the smile that spread on his lips. It seemed that Xue Wei finally acknowledged their friendship.
"Don't sweat it," Shen Mu grinned back and waved at Xue Wei as he turned around. "Train hard and show that Li Jian that not everyone is as useless as him. He just recently broke into the ninth layer of the Ordinary Warrior rank, so I will expect it to be a half year if not a year before he becomes an Earth Warrior."
Shen Mu started walking down the street, when he turned around and said one last thing to Xue Wei, "Show them all just how strong you are after your next secluded cultivation!"
Xue Wei nodded his head solemnly and reached into his robes where he found the bag filled with medicinal plants.
"Manager Su, please have the maids fill up a bath for me," Xue Wei requested, and the manager nodded his head solemnly.
Although he was incredibly curious about what Xue Wei had meant when he said that Li Jian was looking much worse, he did not dare ask. He was confident that after a short amount of time, the guards and the maids would have brought a rumor back for him to hear.
Xue Wei did not go directly to his room. Instead, he went to the back where the training grounds were located.
He closed his eyes and remembered the feelings he had experienced when fighting Li Jian, and how he had narrowly escaped every attack by relying on the Forbidden Rush ability.
He started moving like a flutter; although there was not much wind within the eastern region, it was as if his every move brought forth a gentle breeze, which slowly increased to become a current of wind and from that wind manifested a gale.
Xue Wei moved faster than the eye could see; he merged with the wind brought forth by his movements, and he thoroughly began enjoying the feeling of the abstruse feeling of turning ethereal like the wind.
He increased and decreased his speed according to his wishes. He changed his directions with but a thought, and he was capable of jumping far into the sky.
Currently, Xue Wei was only capable of performing these actions, but if he managed to reach a higher level, both of understanding the art and also of cultivation so that he could unleash more of its potential, then it would not be impossible for him to fly in the future.
Xue Wei had read books about legendary figures who had managed to cultivate to a level where they were capable of flying, yet none of the books stated anything about the levels above the Heavenly Warrior level.
Xue Wei came to a stop. This movement martial art did not consume much energy as it instead required the surrounding energy to display its might, but it was still very taxing on his mind as he needed to keep everything within his inner eye so that he could calculate where to move to, how fast to move there, and what path to take.
It was also because of this that Xue Wei noticed that Manager Su had arrived on the training ground, and he turned around after stopping.
"Young Master, the bath has been drawn. You should go to your room and enjoy the bath."
Xue Wei nodded his head, his face once again expressionless, but Manager Su knew from experience that Xue Wei was not deliberately acting cold towards him. This was just his usual self.
Having nodded his head, Xue Wei went straight back to his room where he found a big wooden barrel filled with steaming hot water.
He then reached into his robes and took out the bag of plants that he had bought earlier that day. Blood Ginseng and Corpse Grass were both widespread materials.
The pharmacies could cultivate a Blood Ginseng. They were regular ginsengs that had been fertilized with blood until the root itself had turned crimson .
The older the ginseng, and the more blood it had consumed, the more medicinal properties were within the plant.
The ginsengs that Xue Wei had bought were only ten years old each. Although ten years seemed like a lot to a fifteen-year-old young man, they were not that old in the world of plants.
Humans cultivated most Blood Ginsengs, but a few rare ones could be found in nature if there was some kind of bloody phenomenon. Xue Wei had read about a blood spring that was deep in one of the danger regions, and he knew that that place had to have Blood Ginsengs in large quantities. The naturally formed ones were also much more potent in energy than these domestically grown ones.
But no matter how much Xue Wei wanted to get his hands on the naturally formed Blood Ginsengs, he knew it was impossible; and being realistic, he also knew that his body could not handle all the energy contained within them. It might just end up exploding.
Since this was the case, Xue Wei decided to use the next best, which was a herb he knew he could control. And together with the Blood Ginseng was the forty-year-old Corpse Grass.
Corpse Grass was also a widespread material. In fact, it was even more common than Blood Ginseng and required even less work.
Corpse Grass grew on top of corpses and took nutrients from the carcass. They could store a great amount of energy within their leaves from when the body was still present, and live for up to thousands of years.
With Corpse Grass, the medicinal properties got stranger the older they were.
Corpse Grass was poisonous. It was after all a herb that existed by living off the dead. However, Corpse Grass that were older were not poisonous any longer but were instead highly effective medicine for young and budding warriors.
Blood Ginseng were filled with blood essence and consuming one directly was dangerous. But adding it to the bathwater was a great way of extracting the energy from the plant, allowing for him to absorb the blood essence and strengthen his body's exterior.
The Corpse Grass was just old enough to have gotten rid of the poisonous aspect, but too young to contain too much energy. It was a thin balance, so he had to be careful. The older the herb, the stronger it became. Although it lost the poisonous effect, it was also forty years old and had gathered energy for forty years.
Although it was tempting to eat medicine with a lot of strength, the risk was too high. It could enter the body and break down the meridians, the channels within the body where the Qi flowed, and leave a warrior crippled for life; or if he was really unlucky, his entire body could explode.
Keeping this in mind, Xue Wei took a knife and cut open the first of the ten-year-old ginseng. He then saw how small drops of liquid that resembled blood dropped into the bathtub.
After careful observation and ten drops of liquid later, Xue Wei placed the Blood Ginseng back in the wooden box. He had not used more than a third of the medicinal fluid within the first ginseng, but it was already enough.
The bath in front of him had turned completely red like blood, and Xue Wei took a deep breath. He then found the Solar Flower and took one of the petals which he dropped into the red water and then added half a leaf of Corpse Grass.