Chapter 89: Tempering the Self

Cloudsoaring Mountain...

Standing on the mountaintop, surrounded by a boundless white fog, the master of the Cloudsoaring sect, Jiang Zhisu, was gazing at the back of the mountain, his green robes fluttering against the wind.

Jiang Lingzhu and Li Fan stood beside him, and just like him, they were also looking at the back of the mountain, their eyes filled with disbelief.

“The flow of the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth seems to have changed…” said Jiang Zhisu.

After staring for a while, Li Fan said, “Based on my calculations, Nie Tian ought to have reached the top already.”

Jiang Zhisu said gently, “It’s begun.”

“Father, why did martial granduncle chose Nie Tian?” Jiang Lingzhu asked, puzzled.

Li Fan furrowed his brow and said, “Actually, I find it quite strange myself. I failed to spot any special cultivation talent on him. Pan Bai of the Spiritual Treasure sect is well-known for his ability to recognize talent, and since he set his mind on Nie Tian, he must have something unique. But, even if that was true, it was still very unlikely for martial granduncle to pick him, right?”

Jiang Zhisu shook his head and said, “I also have no idea why. In martial uncle’s entire life, he has only taken in a total of three disciples, with Nie Tian being the third. You probably have heard of the first two, and know what cultivation stage they’re at and their current status.”

Li Fan’s heart was filled with veneration upon hearing these words.

Jiang Zhisu remained silent for a while before saying, “Martial uncle hasn’t made a breakthrough in years, and his time... is about to run out. If there are no surprises, Nie Tian is very likely his last disciple. Actually, I originally assumed that he wouldn’t take in any more disciples; who would have thought that he would set his eyes on Nie Tian. However, it’s our sect’s fortune that martial uncle has taken in a new disciple.”

“I wonder how many steps he’ll be able to take.” Curiosity was written across Li Fan’s face.

Eyes narrowed, Jiang Zhisu used his soul to sense the flow of the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in the vicinity of the Cloudsoaring Mountain. “The first two of martial uncle’s disciples both turned out to be more successful than their master. I hope that Nie Tian will too. After today, we’ll have a clearer understanding of Nie Tian’s potential.”

Upon hearing his words, both Li Fan and Jiang Lingzhu’s eyes brimmed with admiration, as if they knew what Nie Tian was experiencing at that moment.

On the back of the mountain...

Having walked seven steps, Nie Tian couldn’t move his legs even the least bit.

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

Just as he was catching his breath, rapid and vigorous heartbeats once again sounded out from within his chest.

Nie Tian, who was on the verge of losing consciousness, remained where he was and used his soul to sense the changes inside of him.

He discovered that countless strands of unknown energy were roaming about inside of him, carrying pure and refined power, as they constantly entered and exited his flesh, bones, and internal organs.

He no longer forced himself to take steps forward, but rather attempted to use the Qi Refining Incantation to control the strands of energy.

As soon as he started, he could keenly feel the numerous strands of energy frantically surging forth into his spiritual sea.

In only a flash, his spiritual sea was brimming with spiritual power, but the mighty spiritual energy in him was much stronger than the energy he had acquired from the spirit beast meat in the Green Illusion dimension!

When he tried to use the Qi Refining Incantation to expand his spiritual sea, he discovered that his spiritual sea seemed to be ripped apart and sewn back together, expanding rapidly.

Not only that, but along with the acceleration of his heartbeat, he gradually gained control of the strands of energy that were originally rampaging uncontrollably in his flesh, bones, and internal organs.

Before long, he sensed that the energy was disappearing at an astonishing speed.

He was actually absorbing it!

Before long, he snapped out of the muddleheaded state he had been in, and regained command of his own body, even though he was still feeling incomparably sore and painful.

“Continue!” The urging voice once again echoed out from within the thatched cottage.

Nie Tian gritted his teeth and took another step forward.

The moment he stretched out his leg, he felt drops of murky sweat flowing out from his body, dripping down as he moved along.

THUMP!

When his foot landed on the ground, another surge of energy flowed into him through his sole.

As soon as it entered Nie Tian’s foot, the surge of energy once again split into countless strands of energy, dispersing into every corner of his body.

THUMP! THUMP!

He took another two steps in quick succession, and the energy which rushed forth into his body once again became frantic and disorderly.

He had just restored clarity to his mind, and yet was once again thrown into bewilderment as a flesh-rending pain burst out within him, causing him to stagger to the point where he almost fell over.

It was at that point that he realized that the amount of energy that his body was able to bear had once again reached its limit!

He stopped moving again, and then used the Qi Refining Incantation to pull the abundant energy inward.

CRACKLE!

A strange sound rang out from his bones, as if his joints were cheering, his blood was surging in high spirits, and his internal organs were roaring wildly!

Soon, he discovered that the energy, which had filled his spiritual sea to the brim, seemed to have completely transformed his spiritual sea after a violent upheaval.

After examining himself with rapt attention, ecstasy appeared on his face. “The ninth level of Qi Refining!”

He had spent a very long time to expand his spiritual sea bit by bit in the Green Illusion dimension before eventually reaching the eighth level of Qi Refining. At that time, he was fully aware that there was still a very long road ahead, and it could be months before he would reach the ninth level of Qi Refining.

He never expected that simply by taking a few steps within the sea of clouds, his spiritual sea would finish upgrading, and he would step into the ninth level of Qi Refining just like that!

CRACKLE!

All of his bones continued to make cracking sounds, and at the same time, huge amounts of sweat mixed with filth continued to pour out of his pores.

Along with the outflow of the sweat, he suddenly felt his muscles, meridians, and veins grow more powerful and resilient, his bones become as hard as steel, and his internal organs fill with endless strength.

Surprised and elated, he released his psychic awareness in an attempt to probe the surroundings.

His psychic power was like tentacles stretching out from his soul, traveling at an unimaginably high speed, extending into every direction to cover a 150 meters radius!

Within the range of 150 meters, the flow of the wind, the surging power within the clouds, the swaying reeds on top of the thatched cottages, and the ice-cold moisture of the stone ground all became clear to him.

At the same time, a terrifyingly strong life fluctuation, which pulsed in the thatched cottage in front of him, was reflected into his mind!

Closing his eyes, he used his soul to sense it...

Within that thatched cottage, there seemed to be an entity that resembled a blazing sun, releasing heaven-shaking and earth-shattering life fluctuations.

He immediately felt dwarfed by such a formidable power. He also felt that with a look or just a thought, that life within the thatched cottage would be able to instantly reduce him into nothing more than slag.

Back in the Green Illusion dimension, he had also used his unique psychic awareness to detect the Lurker Lizard and Frost Python. The fleshly aura and signs of life of those two spirit beasts had been slightly stronger than Yu Tong’s, yet they had already made him feel immeasurably weak.

However, compared to the life fluctuations within the thatched cottage, they seemed ridiculously insignificant, as if they were bugs and this was a dragon, as if they were fireflies and this was the sun.

“It’s so powerful!” he exclaimed inwardly. “Is that... really a human being?”

“Yee?!” A muttering sound echoed out from within the thatched cottage, “Such considerable psychic power at the Qi Refining stage... Not bad...”

After halting for a moment, the man in the thatched cottage called out, “Focus, keep going!”

Upon hearing the words, Nie Tian’s psychic power instantly returned to his soul, as if it was pushed back by a formless, giant hand.

With a shock to his soul, his snapped out of his psychic activities and realized that it wasn’t the time to observe that person.

However, after experiencing a period of bewilderment, his body seemed to have become adapted again and the strands of energy that had rushed forth into his body seemed to have been consumed by more than half.

Therefore, he took another step forward.

Just like that, he walked and stopped. Step by step, he gradually moved towards that thatched cottage.

He didn’t pay attention to how long it had been, or how much energy he had absorbed. He even forgot how many steps he had taken.

In the end, when he reached the door of the thatched cottage, he raised his head, and realized that a full moon already hung high in the sky.

“Come in!” the voice echoed out again.

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