Chapter 96: Elements
The Claw of the Solar Crow and Lunar Rabbit was the strongest stance Xu Min had ever seen before. It allowed for two claws to be created from Qi. One claw would be infused with the energy of the Solar Star, and the other would be infused with energy from the Lunar Star.
The stronger the cultivator, the more energy of the two stars these claws would contain. Upon reaching the ninth-star, a warrior would possess claws which displayed the full might of the two stars. A Golden Crow and a Silver Rabbit would appear on the claws. These two symbols would make the claws explode with energy and increase their power tremendously.
Seeing this stance, Xu Min was truly excited. His eyes brightly shone; his hands quickly wrapped up the scroll once more before he placed it in his storage treasure. This was one stance he was not going to let go of.
"Why on earth would the Young Master have our scroll with the Claw of the Solar Crow and Lunar Rabbit with him in the Immortal Valley Rankings?!" an elder exclaimed quietly but angrily. His voice trembled with rage as he looked at the leader of their group.
"The Young Master was almost a six-star Warrior. It was likely for him to meet some stroke of good fortune within the Immortal Valley. The Patriarch wanted him to learn the ability as soon as he reached the sixth-star Warrior rank."
"We only had this one scroll with the full stance!" another elder whispered angrily. Although the other elders shared his emotions, they could do nothing but profusely regret ever insulting this one figure. Their faction had lost almost all the geniuses from the younger generation and a valuable, rare stance.
"We can always hope that this child will be incapable of comprehending the Claw of the Solar Crow and Lunar Rabbit," the head elder of the group sighed. Their words were spoken so low that no one outside of the group could hear them. They did all in their power to ensure that no one else knew they had lost the number one technique of their family.
"To ensure that no outsiders got their hands on this scroll, we only had one original copy. Only very outstanding members were allowed to use during training. However, the last four hundred years no one has been able to successfully comprehend it. The Young Master was our best chance of getting a new wielder of the Claw of the Solar Crow and Lunar Rabbit."
While the Snow Mountain were filled with regret and boundless hate towards Xu Min, they knew that for now, they could do nothing against him.
Inside the Immortal Valley, Xu Min was unaware of the fact that he had found Snow Mountain's best kept secret and strongest ability. He was just filled with excitement as he thought about the stance.
Xu Min kept looking through the scrolls in the hope of finding even more useful stances or abilities.
He came across quite a few which he could use. One was Iron Talons, an ability made for external practitioners to use Qi to fortify the fingers and make the as sharp as an eagle's talons.
This attack was of great use to Xu Min who was not too used to battling with his bare hands; he quickly placed it in the storage treasure of things to keep.
In the end, he found a whole lot of practical stances he could utilize. Some were more ordinary while a few were quite extraordinary, yet none of them came close to the Claws of the Solar Crow and Lunar Rabbit.
Of the ordinary ones, Xu Min saw no reason to keep them. He was going to gift them to Ouyang Xiu for helping him earlier. Although they were useless to Xu Min, they would be useful to a large family.
Of the abilities Xu Min had found, he kept a total of sixteen stances; seven of those sixteen stances were external abilities.
These external abilities enhanced a specific part of one’s body with Qi and allowed for it to become much stronger, increasing his close combat prowess by a considerable amount. Amongst these abilities was the red Qi that Shen Yu had practiced. It was a malicious ability, but Xu Min decided to keep it for further examination when he had some time.
The stances were all ranged attacks. They were not very similar to one another. One was a large sun which exploded into thousands of small fire balls similar to his Thousand Jade Shower but weaker. It also required less internal Qi, so if he were to fight weaker opponents, then this would be the best choice.
Some of the stances created single attacks such as a ball of fire, a ball of water, lightning bolts or a wind blade all created from Qi, imitating the elements around them. Fairies were the only ones who were capable of using the elements in their attacks. However, human cultivators had often examined fairies they captured, experimenting upon them and observed them with the purpose of learning how to use the elemental energies and drawing it in, merging it with their Qi.
Humans had never managed to fully comprehend the elemental energies. Nevertheless, after much work, they had managed to create stances which imitated the different elements. These kinds of attacks, although weaker than the fairie’s true elemental attacks, were quite formidable. These attacks which imitated the elements seemed simple, but they were not.
The major difference between being an external and an internal expert was more obvious the stronger the two sides became. The external practitioners had the ability to become one with the world, thus increase their strength. At the start of reaching one with the world, one would be able to summon a Worldly Flame. This flame would keep changing until the day it reached the rank of a Solar Truefire.
In contrast to the Worldly Flame, there was also a Worldly Waterdrop. However, this was much harder to comprehend. Usually one would not gain insight into it before they became an Immortal. Much like the Worldly Flame evolved into a Solar Truefire the Worldly Waterdrop turned into a Lunar Truewater. These two elements, water, and fire, were the only two elements that the External Expert was capable of comprehending and use with their attacks.
The internal experts were quite different. They could also comprehend a level of understanding with the elements, but they were not limited to specific two elements. As soon as they could sense an element, they would be able to imitate that element in their stances. Although they were able to sense the elements, they could not fully merge the two concepts. Nonetheless, being able to comprehend an element allowed for them to imitate those elements and thereby increase their strength.
There were also internal attacks that did not depend on imitating the elements, but these attacks were not as strong as the others, and many Warriors did not use them.
One would normally begin to feel the elements when they were at the third or fourth -tar of the Warrior rank. This was the reason that not many of these experts had the elemental stances with them. They simply had not managed to make contact with the elements just yet.
Additionally, many elemental stances were not found because of the sects and families. Although Snow Mountain was certain that their Young Master would survive, other families and sects were not as certain. Consequently, they did not allow them to carry important scrolls that could have an impact on their families prospects.
Xu Min just recently reached the level of strength he had now. Although he had felt specific elements such as the wind and fire, other elements were beyond his grasp at the moment. Of the many stances he had picked up, he was able to use three of them by now. One was a Stance of the Flaming Inferno, a stance which caused everything else to be surrounded by flame and to cause crowd control. The stance damaged the many people who touched the flames. The second stance was Stance of the Fireball. One of the most basic attacks one could control when they had to do with elemental Qi attacks. The final one was a wind blade. It would create a blade out of the wind which would be solidified by using Qi. It was as sharp as a sword and swift as the wind. It would attack ruthlessly and slash the opponent.
Xu Min was fully focused on these many stances and abilities. He knew that he was going to train with them sooner or later, but upon hearing the ruckus that was being made outside his tent, he decided that now was not the right time to train.
Instead, he packed everything away in two different storage treasures. One for himself and another for Ouyang Xiu.
Having reached this decision, Xu Min did not tarry. He quickly stood up and left the tent only to see that there was a huge group of experts right outside his tent.
Staring at one another, an awkward silence descended on the two sides. No one said anything. Xu Min just silently looked at everyone dumbfounded. Were they here to see him?
"He looks so ordinary," someone muttered. Another rebuked the voice with a whisper, "he is quite handsome, though."
"How can he be so strong when he looks like such a weakling?" a third voice whispered. Soon everyone was whispering amongst each other. Xu Min felt like banging his head against a wall. Were these people unaware of the fact that he was right there? That he could hear every single sentence, they said?
Shaking his head, Xu Min decided not to think about it anymore and moved towards the largest tent in the camp. Certainly, this tent belonged to Ouyang Xiu; as he reached it, he noticed he was correct.
Inside the tent was Ouyang Xiu seated with a group of other experts around him. They were talking quietly to one another. Xu Min did not wish to interrupt. Without trying to hear what was being said, he turned around to leave.
"Brother Xu, please enter," Ouyang Xiu's voice drifted through the tent doors. It was clear that he had noticed Xu Min. While he was talking about important matters with his peers, he also decided that Xu Min was an important subject. Thus he decided to suspend their important meeting until later.
One of the people present in the tent frowned slightly but no one said anything to go against what Ouyang Xiu had decided. He was without question the leader of their group. All he decided was how things would be.
Entering into the tent, Xu Min was once more met with curious stares from the other people present. By now, he was growing somewhat used to this. Instead, he just smiled as he reached out his hand and grasped Ouyang Xiu's hand.
The sudden contact surprised everyone present. When they saw that he was pressing something into Ouyang's hand, they all understood why he had chosen to act the way he did.
He just offered a gift to Ouyang Xiu. If Ouyang Xiu had known before that was what Xu Min was doing, he would have declined it, yet now it was already in his hands, what could he do to give it back?
Seeing the forceful act of Xu Min, the others smiled and smirked. Although they were uncertain of what to think of this Xu Min, they knew that now that he had gifted something to Ouyang Xiu, it would not be of little importance. Thus they were all very curious to see just what this gift was. Calling out and demanding to know what it was, however, was a taboo and no one spoke. They just all looked at the small storage treasure within Ouyang Xiu's hands with curiosity and slight greed.
While everyone was excited about Ouyang Xiu getting this gift, the man, himself, was feeling terrible. He looked at the item with a sour heart. He had not wanted anything in return for teaming up with Xu Min. In fact, he had hoped that the two of them could stay as brothers, and their friendship could grow. Was this treasure perhaps a sign that Xu Min was not willing to build a relationship but wanted to pay back what he owed?