Chapter 17 - One step, One life

In the ten stages of the Martial Path, the first three stages strengthen the skin, bones, and meridians, while the next three stages strengthen the blood and five viscera. Thereafter, the following three stages channel the muscles, transform the bones, and change the marrow before reaching the ultimate tenth stage of the Martial Path. 

The Body Refining Pellets were extremely important for the first four stages. Even as a member of one of the four great sects, outer disciples of the Azure Sky Sect would only receive one a month. Chen Xiao’s heart must’ve crumbled when he lost three Body Refining Pellets to him. The five Body Refining Pellets Lin Yun had with him now was equivalent to almost half a year’s funds for an ordinary disciple.

Thanks to a fortuitous encounter on Cloud Horizon Mountain, he had managed to reach the fourth stage of the Martial Path rather smoothly. The foundation of his cultivation was stable as a result, which made the past few days of battling demonic beasts- a feat no one would believe- possible. His cultivation had been advancing rapidly with each passing day. It would not be long before he had another smooth break through, this time into the fifth stage of the Martial Path.

But there had been a change of plans. Although there was a chance he could defeat two martial practitioners in the sixth stage of the Martial Path with his current cultivation, his victory wasn’t guaranteed. Lin Yun did not want to fight unless he was sure he would win. He would have to find some way to guarantee his victory.

He sat down and folded his legs before tossing a Body Refining Pellet into his mouth. The pellet began to dissolve immediately and it was not long before he felt the medicine permeate his body. It felt incredible! He could feel each strand of muscle being strengthened. The Body Refining Liquid that he bought before didn’t even come close to the Body Refining Pellet! 

One pellet wasn’t enough. It would take at least two days to break through at this rate . By then, the two men from the Yun Clan would have made off with his Blood Lily. Lin Yun decided to take the remaining four pellets in one go.

Boom!

The medicinal effect of the five Body Refining Pellets converged in his core before circulating throughout his body. The medicine roared through Lin Yun like molten iron through a mould. His internal temperature rose several degrees. He felt as if he was being refined in a cauldron. Without warning, a strand of azure mist started to rise from the top of his head. He could tell something wasn’t right, but there was no turning back now. He had to trust his decision and ride it out.

The Pure Yang Art!

Administrator Yang had worried the overbearing nature of the Pure Yang Art wasn’t compatible with Lin Yun’s slow cultivation speed. Here it would be his trump card.

The effect of five Body Refining Pellets wasn’t something that could be tamed by an ordinary cultivation technique, but the ferocity of the medicine flowing through his veins was a perfect match for the Pure Yang Art. Everything was going according to plan.

The different types of internal energy all had their own characteristics. There were those as tranquil as water, as subtle as jade, or as powerful as a stallion. The different cultivation techniques were designed to help practitioners bring out the true nature of their internal energy.

Among all the cultivation techniques, the Pure Yang Art was unique. Its focus was on processing and refining internal energy. It helped a cultivator increase the amount of internal energy they could store and, more importantly, purified their internal energy as they circulated it. The only drawback was that the amount of internal energy the Pure Yang Art needed to process to advance was unfeasible for any normal cultivator to obtain in a reasonable amount of time.

The overbearing natures of medicine and Pure Yang Art joined in a chemical reaction. Lin Yun’s skin turned red and his muscles slowly loosened as his entire body underwent a change. His Pure Yang Art was initially in the second stage, but he began to make ferocious progress.

Boom!

After three hours, a pair of explosions rang out from Lin Yun’s body in quick succession. As the shockwaves from the two explosions overlapped, his aura began to surge. He had simultaneously advanced his Pure Yang Art to the third stage and had reached the fifth stage of the Martial Path and his cultivation realm.

Lin Yun opened his eyes and stretched. Aside from the advancements he made internally, he noticed that his muscles had become more defined during the process. His body had been reforged by the five Body Refining Pellets.

The most important change had come with his advancement to the third stage of the Pure Yang Art. Upon drawing Flower Burial, he was amazed at how drastically different it felt to wield the sword with his increased cultivation. Even after his experience in the Hundred Flower Valley, the sword had been exhausting to use for an extended period, but now he felt like he could swing it all day without breaking a sweat.

Remembering his task at hand, Lin Yun looked at the sun and muttered, “Three hours...the two of them have probably left by now.”


At the entrance to the Hundred Flower Valley, the two men from the Yun Clan spoke excitedly with one another.

“This is great! We’re gunna make a killing this time!”

“Heh, the materials from the Flaming Blood Python alone would last us a while, not to mention the reward the young master promised.”

“Even so, I think I’m done fighting demonic beasts for a while. There were two of us a whole stage ahead of that damn snake and it still gave us trouble. What was that weird kid from the Azure Sky Sect thinking, claiming the Blood Lily was his? Do you think he knew about the Flaming Blood Python?”

“Who knows. At least he was tactful. Otherwise, I would’ve killed him. Those Azure Sky Sect disciples usually have Body Refining Pellets on them. It’s usually not a bad idea to mug the weaker ones when you see them. I kinda regret letting him go...”

The two of them continued to chatted happily as they walked

Whoosh!

The sudden appearance of a silhouette halted their conversation. Lin Yun had finally found them. But when the two men saw Lin Yun, they laughed.

“Which one of you has my Blood Lily?” Lin Yun asked flatly. As he spoke, his hand slowly reached for the hilt of his sword and he began to prepare the Flowing Wind Sword. Lin Yun’s indifference made their hair stand on end.

“What are you trying to do? The Blood Lily is with me. What’s the matter? You want to snatch it back?” asked one of the men. When he saw Lin Yun’s grim expression, he sneered, “Don’t think that you’re a bigshot just because you’re a disciple of the Azure Sky Sect. It’ll be weeks before someone finds your body out here! You better hope nothing happ...”

Wind Assembling!

Lin Yun made his move before the man could finish speaking. The Flower Burial was akin to a crystal stream of water as he pulled it from its sheath. Rotating violently in his palm, the Flowing Wind Sword’s might was at its fullest as he stabbed the man who spoke.

Swish!

The attack came so quickly neither Yun Clan member had had time to react.

Boom!

The man’s final breath came out as a gurgle as blood poured from his neck as he flew. With his cultivation in the fifth stage of the Martial Path, the might of the Flowing Wind Sword had doubled. At such close range, it was tough for even someone in the sixth stage of the Martial Path to survive his attack.

It took the man on the right a second to process what had just happened before he started running for his life. It was the right choice. If he had hesitated a few seconds longer, he would have joined his friend.

“Damn,” Lin Yun sighed inwardly. If a person in the sixth stage of the Martial Path was determined to run, it was a waste of time trying to pursue. Lin Yun wished that he had a movement technique.

Regardless, he had achieved his goal. Lin Yun flipped through the dead man’s bag and took the Blood Lily back along with the Flaming Blood Python’s materials they had collected.

“Mhm? Where’s the red stripe?”

The man had the snake’s gall and fangs, but had left behind the stripe on its back. Lin Yun was disappointed, but moved on quickly. After all, he had just collected his tenth Blood Lily, completing one of the three spiritual stone missions. All he had left was to kill the bandit, Kuang Yan, and slay three Flame Inked Tigers.

When Lin Yun sheathed his sword, his silhouette vanished into the night.

With just a single step, he had taken a life!

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Thyaeria's Thoughts

Thyaeria: I guess our MC isn't those righteous wusses with no-no about killing.