Chapter 302: Aggregation [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
There was already a strand of dawn on the horizon by the time Qianye walked out of the room. He swept over the small courtyard with his True Sight, and as expected, he could clearly see wisps of white mist flowing out from the man-made decorations at the four corners. Moreover, they were somewhat denser than the naturally occurring daybreak origin power.
Afterwards, Qianye began his busy day.
First, he went to the depository. The section open to the guest warriors was related to basic theories and low-grade cultivation arts, so there weren’t too many people here. Normally, most warriors who had reached rank-nine, even those of humble origins, already had certain opportunities to learn special cultivation arts. As such, they had little interest in those basic items.
But as it happened, Qianye was lacking in basic theory. He was currently cultivating both daybreak and darkness origin powers—the opposing attributes were existing together under the effects of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll and didn’t obstruct his progress. But compared to the secret techniques held by those aristocratic descendants, his technique in origin power utilization was a blank slate, just like a toddler learning to talk.
Taking the Combatant Formula as an example, he could steadily push past 45 tides during cultivation, but in battle, he could only fire off 35 in an instant. Meanwhile, his resonance with the origin power in the environment was completely dependent on instincts. Unlike Zhao Jundu and Song Zining, he couldn’t draw upon natural origin power to form a fixed domain.
Qianye stayed at the depository for an entire morning, browsing through various types of basic origin power theories. These were things the Song clan descendants had to learn at a young age before formally practicing secret arts and combat techniques. As such, almost no one came to the corresponding bookshelves, but Qianye benefited greatly—many topics became clear to him at once.
The entire process was fairly smooth and the steward of the depository even made two copies for him. They didn’t need Song Zining for such a privilege as the personal guard in charge of guiding Qianye could settle it on his own. Additionally, Qianye also found a book on two-handed sword basic techniques. It could be said that his rewards were quite bountiful.
Planning to use all of the remaining time on cultivation, Qianye headed to the Song clan’s cultivation grounds with the personal guard. Although he was already mentally-prepared, he couldn’t help but become momentarily astonished at the sight.
The largest centralized cultivation grounds Qianye had seen was at the Yellow Springs Training Camp which could accommodate hundreds of cultivators. However, the cultivation chambers there were no more than rows of metallic longhouses resembling a barracks.
But the grounds before them occupied half a hillside and an entire valley floor, an even wider area than Yellow Springs. Every chamber occupied a wide area and was built upon an incomparably enormous origin array. There were two kinetic towers, dozens of meters in height, supplying the energy required for its operation.
A faint blue glow emerged in Qianye’s eyes as he glanced over with the Eye of Truth. He found that the basic structure of each origin array was quite similar outside and only their sizes were different.
He saw that the core of the array was located in a windowless stone room at the corner—a number of disciples hauled an entire crate of black crystals into it and soon brought out a crate full of depleted stones. Dense origin power flowed out from the stone room and transitioned, layer by layer, through the origin arrays. They were purified and transformed until finally entering the cultivation chamber as daybreak origin power for the cultivator to absorb.
When the personal guard brought Qianye to register, the young lady in charge of handling the procedure gazed intently at Qianye and seemed unable to ignore him at all.
Qianye was startled, but before he could ask, the young lady chuckled and said, “It’s nothing! I was just curious and I wanted to see what kind of person can actually make the seventh young master bring out an entire year’s quota.”
“The whole year?” Qianye glanced at the register and found that he was listed for three days.
The young lady raised her chin and said, “The Song clan’s cultivation ground isn’t of a low quality like the dojos outside. There are only seven sky-grade cultivation chambers, sometimes used by the elders. Seventh Young Master has three days to his name and this is far beyond any other person. The other young masters and mistresses get only one day per year. Some don’t even get any at all!”
While saying this, the young lady and the personal guard nearby both revealed envious expressions. They two of them were both surnamed Song, but their bloodlines were relatively thin. Not to mention a sky-grade cultivation chamber, they didn’t even have the right to use the earth-grade and man-grade ones which were slightly lower in rank.
The young lady brought Qianye to the sky-grade cultivation chamber. Along the way, he observed the facility with his Eye of Truth and found that, in terms of origin power density, earth-grade cultivation chambers were ten times that of man-grade, while sky-grade was dozens of times more. Converted into black crystals, the volume of consumption was huge!
Qianye finally understood why there were only seven such cultivation chambers even with the Song clan’s wealth.
The young lady pushed open the doors to a small walled courtyard and pointed to the cultivation chamber at its center. “We’re here,” she paused for a moment, but couldn’t help but add, “it’s unfortunate that you’re not yet at rank nine. Otherwise, the sky-grade cultivation chamber is most helpful for breaking through to the champion rank. According to the elders, the chances would be increased by as much as ten percent!”
“Ten percent!” Qianye was astonished.
One had to know that there were hundreds of millions of fighters, but to most of them, rank-nine was the peak of their lives. Less than one out of ten thousand would be able to successfully condense their energy into a vortex and truly step onto the path of a champion.
Less than ten percent of clan disciples were able to break through to the champion rank despite their exceptional bloodlines, proper nurturing, and solid financial support. This meant that this sky-grade cultivation chamber was actually able to raise their chances of a breakthrough by more than twofold. Unfortunately, the Song clan’s younger generation descendants were declining in talent even though they possessed such resources.
The young lady explained all the facilities to Qianye one by one and then tapped lightly on the purple bell outside of the courtyard—the clock had started ticking.
After the young lady left the compound, Qianye removed his armor, entered the limestone cultivation chamber, and sat down cross-legged.
The mist inside was so dense that one could hardly see his own fingers. There were neither windows nor vents here—it turned out that the vapors were gushing out directly from the limestone on the walls and floor.
At this moment, Qianye didn’t even need to activate his Eye of Truth to know that this wasn’t vapor, but instead extremely dense daybreak origin power. The energy aggregation array in the Deep Cloud Hall paled in comparison.
Qianye reached out to touch the floor and found that, although the limestone appeared coarse, it actually possessed a soft, warm, and gentle texture.
This wasn’t stone at all! It was the legendary Green Sun Warm Jade. Most aristocratic clans would use them to make cushions for cultivation and meditation. A palm-sized piece was already priceless, but the Song Clan had covered an entire cultivation chamber with it.
Qianye wouldn’t have imagined the Song clan would actually have such a foundation if he hadn’t seen it for himself. Similarly, although the other three great clans weren’t known for their wealth, it could be presumed their accumulations over hundreds of years wouldn’t be too different.
Qianye suddenly thought of Evernight Continent where a silver coin was a colossal amount a scavenger had likely never seen in his life, and a dozen-odd gold coins would be enough to make hunters and mercenaries risk life and limb. Those who would be counted as geniuses of the landowning class like Gu Liyu and Ye Mulan would stop at nothing to form a marriage relationship with the great clans.
There was no fairness to speak of in this world, even in nature. Exuberant darkness origin power filled one's lungs at all times while daybreak life forms had to struggle to survive in between the gaps.
Qianye collected his thoughts and began to cultivate. The core of his current cultivation were the Glory and Mystery Chapters of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll in which he had achieved an initial balance. Darkness origin power was derived from blood energy which could be continuously replenished as long as he kept killing. This was an accelerated path—he didn’t have to worry about the progress. On the contrary, he had to control his essence blood absorption to avoid taking in an excessive amount of blood energy and breaking the fragile balance.
Comparatively, he had no other shortcuts for daybreak origin power and could only rely on cultivation. This had actually become the weak link. Even though Qianye’s combatant formula had reached an astonishing 45 cycles, it still couldn’t compare to the convenience of killing and absorbing essence blood.
This was perhaps a reflection of the difference in cultivation as a whole between humans and the dark races.
Taking a deep breath, Qianye’s heart became as concentrated as still water. At this moment, the daybreak origin power density here had reached a point where it was visible to the naked eye. His breath drew in everything like a whale devouring the ocean waters—the vapors not only flowed in from his mouth and nose but also seeped into his body through his skin.
Within the blink of an eye, the daybreak origin power within the chamber was completely exhausted—he had actually absorbed all of it.
It turned out that the sky-grade cultivation had such a benefit!
Dense clouds of daybreak origin power filled Qianye’s body to the brim. Even his muscles felt some pain after his bones and limbs were flooded with intense origin power pressure. It was fortunate that Qianye had to go through unimaginable barriers when he first cultivated the Combatant Formula and this kind of pressure was nothing to him.
The Glory Chapter of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll kicked into action, gradually circulating the daybreak origin power within Qianye’s body and forming it into a vortex. A drop of milky white daybreak origin power was formed at its center. The drop eventually grew bigger and finally took form as all the daybreak origin power in his body was used up. It dripped down from the center of the vortex and fell into his sea of energy.
At that split second, it seemed as though the entire world was filled with the sound of a drop of water falling into the sea.
Qianye couldn’t help but tremble all over as he instinctively spat out a beam of milky-white qi. It took the shape of an arrow, flew directly at the opposite wall, and actually bore a small finger-sized hole through it!
Exhalation like an arrow—this was precisely a sign of attaining a higher level as described by the Glory Chapter. Reaching this step meant that his origin power had reached a certain level of density. Aggregating energy into a vortex to break through to the champion level was now only a matter of time. His success would naturally follow when the conditions were right.
Qianye slowly opened his eyes. The room was, once again, filled with vapor. Strands of daybreak origin power continuously seeped through the four walls, and before long, it became tangibly dense.
Qianye shot a glance at the clock and found that it hadn’t even been one hour yet.
He got up, moved his muscles around, and also practiced one round of the military use combat arts. Seeing that the daybreak origin power was once again as heavy as rain, he got seated once again and swept all the daybreak origin power clean with a whale-like breath. He then closed his eyes and concentrated on purifying it.
An hour later, Qianye spat out an arrow once again. All of the daybreak origin power had been condensed into a drop of milky fluid and collected into his sea of qi.
Cultivating for one hour here was equal to the greater half of the month outside. And this was compared to Qianye’s 45 tides in the Combatant Formula. At this point, Qianye was completely assured. He would definitely rely on daybreak origin power to achieve victory in the arena under the gazes of all the spectators. It was best he refrained from using blood energy if he could help it. Otherwise, there were many experts among the spectators, especially Duchess An, and there was no guarantee he wouldn’t slip-up under their discerning eyes.
Now, the effects of the sky-grade cultivation chamber were so good that he even had the leisure to thoroughly comprehend the basic theories he had learned this morning and also practice some two-handed sword techniques in passing.
Just like that, a drop of milky fluid would fall into the nodes of his sea of qi every hour. Qianye no longer paid any attention to time and was completely immersed into the world of cultivation.
However, the world outside the cultivation chamber was in chaos.
Six out of the seven sets of sky-grade kinetic equipment were operating normally, but one of the kinetic towers was rumbling like thunder and spewing out large masses of white gas. Its operation speed had exceeded the critical point and was already bordering on danger.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
There were quite a lot of subtle hints in the previous chapters with the potential to shape the story. I smell political plots brewing.
7/7 of the week! Enjoy ^_^