"Hmph! Back then, I could only obtain the Inner Vajra Buddha after spending a tremendous amount of effort and experience with the Ruyi Jingu Bang. Do you really think you can obtain it by just sitting here ruminating blindly?"
Ming Long was disdainful towards Wu Yu's display of persistence and tenacity.
"Hey, silly monkey, you'd best listen to Granny's advice and take my offer. I'm only extending an olive branch to you on the account that we're both successors of the Great Sage."
Though Ming Long materialized before his eyes as a child not older than ten, her wizened expressions were rather adorable.
"I am a human, not a monkey."
Wu Yu stood in the middle of the cave, hands firmly gripped around the upper section of the Demon Subduing Staff. The other end of the immortal treasure was firmly planted within the earth.
Closing his eyes and focusing his spirit, he visualized his Demon Subduing Staff as the Ruyi Jingu Bang.
"Invincible Vajra Body! When fully cultivated, one would become exceptionally powerful, able to crush all 8,000 heavenly palaces and wreck the 10,000 tiers of hell! One would possess a skull of copper and bones of steel, a body forged with a myriad of metals. The weapons of gods and immortals would cause no harm. The Heavenly Dao's immortals cannot vanquish you!"
The ear-shattering sound that Wu Yu had heard before once again reverberated through his ear canals, rousing him.
The thousands of words on the Ruyi Jingu Bang began to appear in his mind's eye.
Although that image had only appeared once in his dreamscape, Wu Yu would never forget it as long as he drew breath.
There were times where he imagined himself transported back in front of the massive, golden pillar.
Thousands of tiny golden characters adorned the pillar, and each character seemed like it had its own complicated spirit design.
It was a shame that Wu Yu could only clearly make out the first thousand characters. No matter how hard he tried to glean any further characters, they appeared hazy and mysterious.
Every single character held an inscrutable mysticism.
Wu Yu burrowed his brows in frustration as time ticked by.
He knew that there was a possibility that the number of remaining immortal roots would lessen the more time passed. His chances would similarly decrease.
"Just where could the Ruyi Jingu Bang be located within my body?"
He could not find a single trace of the mysterious artifact's location no matter how hard he searched.
"A Staff to Ascension.
"Immortal Ape Transformation.
"Visualizing the Inner Ape."
He executed the three abilities in his mind.
It was only during the process of executing these three skills that Wu Yu could vaguely feel the presence of the Ruyi Jingu Bang.
As he visualized the Inner Ape, the Unparalleled Monkey King appeared within the burning flames, majestic and imposing. His crimson cape seemed to extend for 10,000 miles!
His pupils shone like a brilliant midday sun, illuminating the mountains and rivers for miles around.
His roar could split heaven and earth, knocking the moon and stars out of the sky!
A Staff to Ascension, Single Ascension Staff. Wu Yu had already imagined that the Demon Subduing Staff was the Ruyi Jingu Bang; what would happen if he imagined that he was the Unparalleled Monkey King?
Three days passed.
Though he had focused obstinately, he had nothing to show for it.
Normal people would find it extremely difficult to persist with such wild abandonment.
Most of them would have agreed to Ming Long's conditions from the get-go. After all, those worries were for the future, and if one were to truly become an immortal, making good on a promise would just be an afterthought. It would be more prudent to use Ming Long first and deal with the consequences after.
But not Wu Yu. He possessed a righteous heart and would not make empty promises he knew he could not keep.
Of course, the many years of experience on the battlefield had taught him that there was always a price to pay for victories that seemed too easy.
Thus, he continued to brood over the hazy characters, hoping to glean a clue of what they were.
"Inner Vajra Buddha?"
Suddenly he remembered that Ming Long had uttered these words before.
"What is a Buddha?"
He had never heard of the word and had no idea how to write it.
However, he understood “inner vajra.”
"Inner Vajra Buddha… Inner Vajra Buddha... the second tier of Invincible Vajra Body is known as the Inner Vajra Buddha."
These three words had a magical quality and attracted Wu Yu's attention.
He could not help but start to recite the words silently.
"Inner Vajra Buddha..."
After awhile, the amount of times Wu Yu had chanted those words started to number in the hundreds. As he recited, he visualized the Inner Ape and focused his vision on the Demon Subduing Staff within his grasp.
After an indeterminate number of chants, his heart suddenly jolted and the gigantic pillar came into view again. Of the thousands of words that the Invincible Vajra Body contained, he could still only clearly read the first thousand.
"Is it possible that the next three words could be 'Inner Vajra Buddha?’"
He concentrated on the first three blurry characters on the pillar and willed his imagination to visualize “Inner Vajra Buddha” in its place.
As he faced the blurry words and recited “Inner Vajra Buddha” silently, the world seemed to become engulfed in a radiant, golden glow, shocking Wu Yu!
Amazingly, the impossible had happened and the haze over the three characters started to lift.
It was as he had guessed: Inner Vajra Buddha!
"Ah, the character for 'Buddha' is the same character as for 'seemingly.’"
Wu Yu did not know how the word was written before he had seen this.
In truth, what excited Wu Yu most was that the fog had lifted not only over those three words, but a total of four words. There was another word that could be seen.
The unveiled word was “mantra.”
"Inner Vajra Buddha Mantra?"
Wu Yu was baffled.
"Should I be reciting these words out loud?"
Until now, Wu Yu had only been silently chanting.
When the thought appeared in his mind, his lips moved and he vocalized, "Inner Vajra Buddha Mantra… Ah!"
The moment he articulated the final word, his face flashed a pallid white and a wave of searing pain washed over him, nearly knocking him off his feet.
Such a phenomenon had actually happened as a result of him reciting those four words aloud!
The strange phenomena was that each word that he uttered appeared as a golden character within his body. “Inner Vajra Buddha Mantra” glowed beneath his skin the moment he finished saying them. Terrifyingly, each word was like a blade, stabbing deep into Wu Yu's bones, ligaments, flesh, meridians, and even his mind the moment they were formed.
The torment this caused was indescribable.
Peng! Peng! Peng!
The golden characters smashed indiscriminately within Wu Yu's body, pummeling his organs and tearing his bones and ligaments apart from the inside.
The pain that he had felt previously while refining his body was nothing compared to this.
However, Wu Yu noticed two things happening.
First, the words released a trail of golden vapor wherever they went. The golden vapor seeped into all the damaged ligaments, bones, and flesh, regenerating what had been destroyed. This process was akin to rigorous forging in the smithy.
Second, the moment he finished reciting the four words, another three words revealed themselves from the fog!
It was highly likely that as long as Wu Yu continued to recite the new words as they came, he would be able to uncover all the words that were previously hidden. The second tier of the Invincible Vajra Body he had longed for would be within his grasp!
Ming Long was flustered at this development.
"Impossible, how could you have obtained the Inner Vajra Buddha Mantra unaided within such a short time!?"
Wu Yu chuckled upon hearing her words.
This affirmed that he had found the correct method.
"Obviously, the more I chant, the more the next sequence of words will be revealed. Although these words wreak havoc within my body, it is a cycle of destruction and rebirth for me. This is the only way for my Invincible Vajra Body to become stronger!
"Mantra is the second tier of the Invincible Vajra Body!"
Wu Yu rejoiced!
He had quenched his long-held thirst.
"No way, you!" Ming Long stomped her feet in anger. To her, this was as impossible as a cooked duck taking flight.
Wu Yu did not want to divulge that he had heard the words “Inner Vajra Buddha” from her lest his debt to her be further compounded.
"Granny is livid, I will braise and steam your flesh before dicing it and feasting upon it!"
Ming Long was extremely disgruntled that she could not profit from Wu Yu's advancement to the second tier of the Invincible Vajra Body.
Understanding that time was of the essence, Wu Yu ignored her and sat down, legs folded. He prepared himself mentally for the imminent torture before moving on with the next phrase that appeared.
"Manifest dharmic form..."
"Eliminate mortal sentiment..."
With every new word chanted, a golden character would appear somewhere within his body among his organs, meridians, mind, limbs, ligaments, flesh, and bones. While the characters were relatively diminutive in size, each of them dug into Wu Yu like beastly talons, shredding his body repeatedly into a bloody mess.
The horrifying pain was akin to being ripped apart by several wild monsters at the same time.
To cultivate dao against all odds, pain was a given.
"The path to immortality is long and arduous. If I cannot even endure refining my body in the Qi Condensation Realm, how could I even think of becoming an immortal?"
Now, Wu Yu's sole objective was to attain immortality! Mortals die sooner or later, only immortals could enjoy boundless longevity.
If he could not become an immortal, what was the point of cultivation?
Wu Yu steeled his resolve. Nothing could affect his concentration.
Thus, he continued to chant from the mantra, causing more and more golden characters to materialize in his body, tearing into his muscles and fracturing his bones. The golden vapor they emitted nourished Wu Yu's flesh and blood, renewing his injured body into a harder and stronger version.
As the saying went, a thousand hammer strikes can turn a square into a weapon.
The Inner Vajra Buddha Mantra was the hammer striking Wu Yu over and over, forging him into something greater!
There was no doubt that a normal person could not bear such abuse.
As expected, the words naturally revealed themselves as he continued chanting.
Wu Yu pressed on, enduring more than 200 words on his body. From the outside, his body pulsed with a faint golden glow that seemed to penetrate his skin. One could see the golden scriptures flowing beneath his frame, leaving trails of broken matter in its wake.
Yet, all Wu Yu did was clench his teeth and knit his brows.
"I must leave this place with an immortal root, there is no way I can waste another year."
The path to immortality was fraught with countless strong adversaries, and Wu Yu had only just begun his journey. He was still a weakling in the grand scheme of things and was thus plagued by many insecurities.
However, he had finally understood the true terrifying strength of the Inner Vajra Buddha.
"The second tier of Invincible Vajra Body is called the Inner Vajra Buddha. Chanting the mantra will activate the forging process. The scriptures enter my body like a sculptor facing a raw, uncut piece of rock, slowly chipping away at the rough edges and solidifying the foundation before unveiling the sculpture of a Buddha. The name of this Buddha is Inner Vajra Buddha. The Inner Vajra Buddha guards from within the body, enriching one's flesh, blood, bones, muscles, organs, and meridians, causing one's inner body to become incomparably robust. This further manifests in one's outer body, reaching amazingly ridiculous levels!”
Wu Yu could now roughly make out the appearance of the Inner Vajra Buddha.
Divine, awe-inspiring, indestructible Vajra.
Inviolable by all lifeforms.
Golden rays shrouded the figure keeping watch from within Wu Yu. As long as Inner Vajra Buddha was active, Wu Yu could not be slain.
An intrinsic resistance to external threats!
Although the Inner Vajra Buddha was invisible and immaterial, it existed within Wu Yu's body amongst his flesh and blood.
"There are six ranks of Inner Vajra Buddha. Cultivating its first rank means that the imperceptible Inner Vajra Buddha is one zhang tall. Each further rank attained will lead to the Inner Vajra Buddha growing one zhang taller. In its complete form, the Inner Vajra Buddha will be six zhang tall, almost 10 times my height!"
It was hard to imagine, but with a six-zhang-tall majestic Buddha living within his body, how much harder and more overbearing would his own physical body be?
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