“Is that how you think about yourself?” Li Qiye smiled at the self-deprecating response.
Liu Fuyou fell into silence. He was definitely not stupid, definitely an exceptional one among the first-generation disciples in his sect. However, his cultivation suddenly stopped improving. He tried for a long time before giving up and returning to his birthplace.
“I see that you’re cultivating four different laws, correct?” Li Qiye glanced at him and said.
“You’re right, Young Master.” Fuyou became startled and answered: “I cultivate two merit laws from my school and two different mental mantras. The merit laws are Eight-armed Devil Ape and Celestial Seal. The two mantras are South Fence and Mad Fiery Bull.”
He wondered how Li Qiye knew that he was cultivating four different arts at the same time.
“I see.” Li Qiye chuckled.
He noticed Li Qiye’s confident attitude. It was as if the guy had expected this, figuring it out from a single glance.
“Please correct my mistakes, Young Master.” Fuyou bowed his head and requested.
Others would think that Fuyou was insane for asking a mortal who hasn’t cultivated a single law. The most knowledgeable and well-educated mortal still couldn’t teach a cultivator anything with regard to cultivation.
Alas, Fuyou who was once considered a genius back at his school was doing just that. His peers would think that he had gone mad from being desperate.
“In recent years, your cultivation had no improvements and even started declining, true?” Li Qiye accepted the bow and continued.
“Right, Young Master.” Fuyou became increasingly shaken.
He trained extremely hard for a period yet his cultivation still stagnated. Many in the sect knew about this. However, only very few knew that his cultivation was decreasing, not just stagnating.
Normally, cultivation wouldn’t decrease like this while one still had plenty of vitality and youth. This would only occur for someone near-death as their lifespan was running out.
Fuyou was at the prime of his life with ample life force and vitality. Why did his cultivation continuously recede then? He had asked his seniors in the sect before but they couldn’t come up with a diagnosis.
Eventually, he assumed that he wasn’t meant to cultivate. Thus, he said goodbye to his sect and returned to the village.
“Elaborate on your current situation.” Li Qiye said.
“It was about a year after I reached the grand level of Conqueror Vessel and opened my sixth palace. I was preparing to break through to Enlightened Being Manifestation but my cultivation suddenly stopped improving.” He had a sad expression at this point. Remember, he was highly viewed by his sect and had plenty of potentials. This issue during the crucial breakthrough took all of this away.
After all, the level of manifestation served as a boundary. Entering this realm meant reaching an entirely new power level.
“Conqueror Vessel and Enlightened Being Manifestation?” Li Qiye looked at him.
Fuyou found this strange because Li Qiye’s eyes made him doubt himself. He didn’t know whether Li Qiye really knew cultivation or not.
“They’re the titles of cultivation realms.” Fuyou hurriedly explained about the various realms of cultivation.
The epoch was Eight Desolaces. The nine worlds epoch would never return so the previous cultivation system was also gone, no longer suitable. A new system had replaced it.
There were the twelve realms listed from weakest to strongest: Mortal Shell, Iron Skin, Bronze Tendon, Silver Carapace, Violet Marquis Corpus, Conqueror Vessel, Enlightened Being Manifestation, Samadhi Materialization, Yin Yang Celestial, Myriad-form Sanctity, Grand Dao Sacred Physique, and Dao Lord Golden Avatar. 
Each realm had three levels - minor, intermediate, and grand.
The highest realm was Dao Lords. These beings could sculpt a golden avatar by this point.
“I see, this is okay, I suppose, not incorrect.” Li Qiye smiled and shook his head: “The body becomes the vessel of the grand dao while the grand dao becomes the treasury of the body."
“You know this phrase? Young Master?” Fuyou was surprised because this guy didn’t know anything about cultivation yet just blurted out one of its most famous principles.
“I’ve heard of it before.” Li Qiye could only smile.
How could he not know about it? He was the one who started this new cultivation system, resulting in new physiques.
However, these titles were given by others. They were different from Li Qiye’s initial grand dao plan but not too far off.
The popular phrase earlier, in particular, has been refined into the world itself and carved into the primordial tree. He himself created it, that’s why he understood its profundities better than anyone else.
“Tell me what you felt while cultivating.” Li Qiye stopped reminiscing and asked.
“Not much, I just stopped improving after Conqueror Vessel’s grand level.” Fuyou pondered for a bit before answering: “Absorbing both chaos and worldly energy didn’t do anything. A while later, my vitality would churn as if I didn’t refine enough energy to support my true fate. This made the four symbols in my fate palace shrink and wither.”
He felt that Li Qiye was his last hope so he didn’t hold anything back while meticulously detailing his circumstances.
The strongest seniors in his sect had no solution to this problem. Right now, he worried that if this continued, one day he would actually drop a realm. Reverting to Marquis Corpus would be too heavy of a mental blow.
“You haven’t cultivated anything outside of these four?” Li Qiye asked.
“Right, when I first joined the sect, I started with the most basic art, South Fence, to build my cultivational foundation. After reaching Silver Carapace, I chose Mad Fiery Bull mantra, using that as the dao foundation. As for merit laws, I chose Eight-armed Devil Ape at first then Celestial Seal afterward. Is there a problem here?” Fuyou hastily answered.
Mantras and merit laws were different. Mantras were purely meant to refine the dao foundation and cultivation. The strongest the dao foundation, the more power later. As for merit laws, they were offensive and defensive techniques.
“Your cultivation is fine.” Li Qiye said.
Fuyou heaved a sigh of relief because he was afraid of a mistake there. This might lead to qi deviation or in order to fix it, he would need to destroy his dao foundation and start all over.
“If I’m not mistaken, you had a fight before the stagnation.” Li Qiye added.
“Exactly, but how do you know this? I was wounded after the battle but after taking some pills, I fully recovered, no after-effects.” Fuyou took a deep breath and elaborated.
“This has nothing to do with the injuries received in battle. I’m sure you lost and overexerted yourself.” Li Qiye said.
“That’s correct.” Fuyou agreed.
“You used the bull mantra to channel your vitality and energies in full force, then on one hand, you activated Celestial Seal to attack while using Eight-armed Devil Ape as the defensive measure, right?” Li Qiye speculated.
His speculation left Fuyou astounded.
1. The author used various words for “body” with these realms. My first attempt included words like “form”, “shell”, “body”, “frame”, “build” and others. This would make it match closely with the Chinese version. However, I chose against it and decided to make it better for reading via omission. I could have just added “physique” to each one, but I thought about it and that would make it sound like a physique cultivation system, which I don’t think this one is entirely. You get the physique after cultivating instead of solely focusing on improving the physique.