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Transcending The Jiang Hu (Generic Xianxia Cultivation)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by bandicoot879, Jul 11, 2022.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 41 - Anger
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 41 – Anger
    Moments later, Xing Yi’s limp and bruised body was thrown off stage. Wu Jia didn’t even spare him another look as he returned onstage.

    Xing Yi couldn’t gather the strength to stand. His entire body ached in pain. From every muscle and bone to places that he didn’t even knew could experience pain. He was a stiff ball that couldn’t move, as even a single contraction would cause that very muscle to wreathe in pain. And any attempt at a full breath would cause a sharp pain in both lungs.

    And he didn’t know how many, but a lot of his bones were completely broken. Smashed to little, tiny bits. He could feel loose pieces rattling around with every little movement.

    He stayed like this for a while as the Golden Blood Assembly continued to its exhibition matches. Wu Jia, after trading a few moves with a foundation establishment senior, yielded to save face and returned to his spot beside Wu Qing.

    The exhibition didn’t stop for Xing Yi as he continued to write in pain on the ground. The surroundings cultivators made sure to stay away from him and didn’t dare to get even ten meters of him. After all, no one wanted to associate with a mortal. Especially someone who had just been humiliated in front of the sect.

    During this time, Xing Yi silently circulated his inner qi, in hopes of making a quick recovery to stand up and leave as soon as possible. Every so often, he would hear someone laughing at him or calling him pathetic. He just wanted to disappear from this place and be gone.

    Meanwhile, the Bloody Path Sect’s Stewards were gossiping.

    ”Li Guoji’s dirty little secret has finally reached the day of light. No longer is the mortal’s existence a mere rumour but reality!”

    “When he made the call to allow him entry into the sect, I thought that I was dreaming.”

    “If it were me, I would’ve snatched the medallion away from him, forced the matter into secrecy and sent the boy on his way home with a big bag of gold for his troubles.”

    With Xing Yi’s public beating and the scrutiny of the sect’s elders, the many stewards used this as an opportunity to insult and attack the now vulnerable Li Guoji. Even Li Guoji’s closest members began to doubt him, and some were so audacious as to talk about him when they were only several meters away!

    “That scheming bastard!” Li Guoji gritted his teeth in anger as he stared at a smiling Wu Qing from across the arena. His hands held in tight fists, he held back the urge to fly over and rip him into shreds. Wu Qing noticed his staring and it only made Li Guoji even more furious when the other person continued to ignore his gaze.

    “Martial Brother Li, do not make any rash decisions. Once the assembly is over, we can take some time to recuperate and think of a counterattack. Simply handing the position of Head Steward is not our only option. We have plenty of time,” One of Li Guoji’s close confidants came to his side, placing a hand on his shoulder.

    Heeding their advice, Li Guoji nodded his head in agreement and calmed down, “Yes, I think that is quite advisable for this situation. I must not hand over the position to that fiend. If he ever happens to become the Head Steward, it will surely spell disaster for the Bloody Path Sect.”

    However, at some point, as the pain came down to a barely tolerable level, an inextinguishable rage had been alit within Xing Yi. It was sudden and abrupt. It arose when he remembered the emotionless face of the crowd and elders, how no one had come to help him, the ruthless beating the Wu Jia gave him, how pathetic the meaning of a cultivator’s “face” was, and how the strict rules of the strong and weak and allowed this to happen.

    That sword had never stopped. It had continued to break bone after bone, tore muscle, and was an unpredictable torture that rocked his entire body. He had begged it to stop so many times and eventually he had given in.

    And now that he reflected on that and realised, he had given in, he almost felt his head explode. His entire body shook in uncontrollable rage as he forcibly craned his neck up to stare daggers into the distant figure of Wu Jia. Even from hundreds of meters, he recognised that grey-haired youth. He wore dark purple robes, his hair slicked back at a short length, and a steel sword, jade lining its hilt.

    He wore a smile that he shouldn’t have been wearing. It shouldn’t be there. He should’ve been on the ground suffering in pain begging to Xing Yi for mercy. Not up there with a happy smile and without a care in the world.

    He should just drop dead.

    Did kindness exist? Why did none of them care to stand up for him and point out that he had been hypnotised by a butterfly? Why was he framed by three of the elders?

    Countless questions flashed through his mind as his head shook in pure rage, simulating the many ways that he would kill Wu Jia for this transgression. His body trembling in pain, he somehow managed to move his arm forward and pull himself forward in a slow crawl.

    When he first embarked on his journey to the sect, he vividly remembered the words his parents had said. At that moment, they were simply the worries of coddling parents. But now, he saw the wisdom in their words and he wanted to live up to them.

    “Don’t be afraid to fight back,” His father had said.

    He seemed to stick onto that phrase as he moved forward, a mission on his mind. The weakness, humiliation, and suffering he had experienced under the hand of Wu Jia would not be forgiven. No matter how strong he may be, he could not let this go. For the sake of his honour. Not for his face.

    Face was something created by fools!

    He wouldn’t let himself be trampled on. He would fight back no matter who they were.

    Even if they were a so-called immortal.

    Xing Yi reached the edge of the arena with bleeding fingernails and his eyes wide open in a furious expression.
    He pushed himself onto the arena and pointed in Wu Jia’s direction.

    Ignoring the foundation establishment cultivators currently fighting on stage, he screamed, “Wu Jia, you have wronged me!”

    It may be suicidal to say this out in the open. But he had learned that one thing cultivators seemed to latch onto was face. And he would use it to his advantage.

    Although his voice was drowned out by the many chattering voices in the crowd and ongoing fight, his voice still reached Wu Jia and the surrounding cultivators. Wu Jia’s smiled quickly disappeared and looked over at Xing Yi with a dark expression.

    It wasn’t a moment later that Wu Jia unsheathed his sword and jumped forward. Within just a few seconds, he bounded towards Xing Yi and without hesitation, aimed to slice his head off in one clean slice.

    But, Elder Wan intervened.

    Wu Jia immediately froze.

    At the same time, the fight on stage temporarily paused as all eyes were now on the pair yet again. Even while being frozen mid-air and his blade only inches away from Xing Yi’s neck, Wu Jia stared at Xing Yi with wide, murderous eyes.

    Wu Jia was too close for comfort, his face only a half-meter away. He could even feel his breath against his face.

    Xing Yi realised a grim reality that if Elder Wan hadn’t frozen Xing Yi in time…

    Looking at Wu Jia nervously and his hands quivering, he declared, “I will take revenge. I will grow stronger and show you that I’m not someone to be easily trampled on. In three years, I am going to challenge you to a duel and win!”

    As Xing Yi finished saying this, Wu Jia’s blade seemed to shake, dancing on the edge of Xing Yi’s skin.

    Elder Guoji almost fainted.

    Wu Qing couldn’t be any more delirious.

    Elder Yang smiled in amusement as he stroked his beard.

    Elder Hui blinked his eyes in surprise.

    Elder Wan’s emotionless façade slightly faltered as she turned her head in confusion, not sure she had heard Xing Yi correctly.

    The crowd erupted into chaos, a mix of uncontainable laughter and mocking chatter.

    Elder Wan lifted her pointing finger, allowing Wu Jia to move his mouth and speak.

    “Once I am released from Elder Wan’s entrapment, I will kill you.”

    Wu Jia’s words sent a chill down Xing Yi’s spine.

    Was Wu Jia really not going to accept his challenge and instead kill him outright? Fortunately, his worries were quelled when Elder Yang spoke up.

    AN: Follow the novel on royalroad.com if you haven't already! Follow it here if you wish to do so.

    Also, I would like to personally thanks all the people who have regularly liked my chapters. Meloa, kminari, bloodwolf, caspian, spadeofpain, radtank, 1441, mandrake, and scammer. And an additional thanks to my followers travelerayga, readsalot, and Amaan123. You guys mean alot to me and just by clicking that 'like' button on my thread posts, you have helped me keep on writing this series.

    And to those silent readers, still a huge thank you! You guys give meaning for this story to exist and without you guys I wouldn't be writing at all.

    I will make sure to follow TJH all the way through for all of you :)
     
    Merior, 1441, Instantia and 5 others like this.
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 42 - Three Years
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 42 – Three Years
    “Wu Jia, calm yourself. To kill him right now would not be wise,” Elder Yang warned.

    “Tch,” Wu Jia clicked his tongue. He exhaled a breath of air and with it his anger. He then thought of something, his eyes wandering to the sky.

    “Three years?” Wu Jia asked.

    Xing Yi gulped, “Yes.”

    “Hmph, by then I will have broken through to foundation establishment. Killing you will be as simple as simple as slapping away a fly. Elder Wan, please release this humble disciple. I no longer have the intent to kill him prematurely,”

    Wu Jia grew bored of Xing Yi and called to Elder Wan with a nonchalant expression.

    Sensing the disappearance of his killing intent, Elder Wan unfroze Wu Jia with a wave of her flawless white and nailed hands.

    Landing on his feet, he smirked at Xing Yi.

    “And what makes you so certain that you won’t run away before our duel?” Wu Jia placed his hands on his hips.

    Xing Yi didn’t have an answer for that. But Elder Hui did.

    “Our Bloody Path Sect is renowned for its Blood Oath technique. The connection of two cultivators’ though their very blood is something that very few techniques can accomplish,” Elder Hui explained.

    “To make sure you don’t run away, I will place a blood oath on you,” Moving his hands through a sequence of hand gestures, Elder Hui spat out a thumb-sized ball. It was a shade of red so dark that it was almost black.

    Allowing its form to stabilise, he smiled and flicked it at Xing Yi’s direction.

    Like a ghost, it disappeared into Xing Yi’s body. Dark red waves rippled across his body before settling and assimilating with his body.

    “It is a nice change of pace. All who I have cast this oath upon had all been begging for mercy and moving about needlessly during the process. This was far easier. If you don’t show up to the duel in three years, I can end you with just the snap of my fingers. No matter how far away you are, the blood I implanted into you will explode, killing you instantly,” Elder Hui smiled in satisfaction.

    Xing Yi felt a sense of immense dread towards his own body, terrified knowing that Elder Hui could end him at any moment. He almost regretted his spontaneous actions.

    Almost.


    He felt as if he had regained his part of his honour through this. To put his life on the line for his very honour and cultivation filled him with hope. It relieved him.

    “Alright, someone take away this arrogant mortal and drop him off at Small Leaf Valley, I wish to watch the rest of the exhibition without any further interruptions,” Elder Hui crossed his arms.

    “I will!” A black-haired woman jumped at the opportunity. Literally.

    With just the tap of her foot she reached the other side of the arena.

    Squatting down, she came next to Xing Yi’s face, “This might hurt you a bit. Sorry.”

    Slapping her small black storage pouch, she summoned a wide wooden board. On it was the crude drawing of a field of black flowers drawn in stencil. She hopped up onto the board and raised her hand to Xing Yi. Blue tendrils came forth from her hand and wrapped around the boy.

    In unison with raising her hand, Xing Yi was lifted into the air. Xing Yi’s delicate body strained under the pressure and grit his teeth in pain until his body was gently placed onto the platform. He let out a sigh of relief.

    The woman bowed to Elder Hui before departing, “Take care, Master.”

    Elder Hui nodded, “Make sure to come back in time, Xiu Li. You wouldn’t want to waste an opportunity to trade pointers with your peers.”

    Nodding, Xiu Li sat down in a seated lotus position and smashed her fists together, powering the floating platform to shoot forward into the sky and into the distance. Groaning in constant pain, Xing Yi held his hands to stomach. He was hurting all over, but he did whatever he could do to trick himself into thinking it wasn’t as painful as it really was.

    In just a few short minutes, they were over the horizon and the tall mountain top that the Golden Blood Assembly took place on had fully disappeared. All that was left was the white clouds and loud wind rushing against his body.

    “You’re pretty brave, you know?” Xiu Li commented with a bright smile.

    Right as Xing Yi was going to thank her, she added, “But also pretty stupid. You’re going to die if you don’t find a way to dispel my master’s blood oath.”

    Xing Yi gave a pained laugh through the pain.

    “Wu Jia isn’t some pushover, you know? Sure, he is a lazy bastard. But he’s pretty damn talented. Also, are you really just a mortal? Don’t you do that earthly cultivation stuff?”

    Xing Yi couldn’t explain why someone who was obviously at foundation establishment was talking to him so casually, but he played along with it. Either way, he couldn’t care to continue to honour formalities with all the pain he was in.

    “Yeah, I do. I’m only at the first layer though,” Xing Yi replied.

    “The first layer? Oh, you really are dead,” Xiu Li placed her hand on her chin, seemingly in deep thought.

    “N-No I won’t. I’ll beat him,” Xing Yi affirmed her. Nails dug into skin as he said this.

    Xiu Li noticed this out the corner of her eye, but she didn’t say anything about it.

    “Then how are you going to get stronger? Isn’t it supposed to be way harder than heavenly cultivation? And you’ve been what—cultivating for almost two years now—and you’re still at the first layer. That isn’t so promising,” Xiu Li said with a worried expression.

    Xing Yi couldn’t really answer her. He couldn’t risk leaking the Black Cauldron’s existence, nor the regenerative abilities it had on alchemical ingredients.

    “I have my ways,” Xing Yi quoted a line that was often said by mysterious cultivators.

    “Maybe you’re delusional?” Xiu Li had further doubts.

    Throughout the trip, Xiu Li continued to pester Xing Yi with countless questions. And it was to Xing Yi’s pleasure that after about thirty minutes of flight, they arrived in front a small complex of wooden houses. The dirt path they floated above lead to a green paifang at the entrance of the small, closed-off valley.

    Jumping down from the platform, Xiu Li still held the wooden platform with Xing Yi on it above the ground with the simple wave of her hand.

    Walking at a brisk pace, she walked to the largest building. It was a large wooden hall with an open entrance. Walking through the door, they were greeted by the sight of a tiny old man.

    Holding the sides of the bed while gritting his teeth, a young man dreaded each time the man plucked or stabbed a sharp, silver needle into his body. He was completely naked, with only a single white cloth covering his lower half. It was just as the tiny old man stabbed a needle into the young man’s arse and eliciting a low groan, that he noticed their presence.

    Raising his gaze from the man, he pointed to the bed behind him, “Place him there and I will deal with the rest.”

    Xiu Li brought Xing Yi over the bed. With a wave of her hand, the platform disappeared into her storage pouch, and he landed softly on to the bed.

    “Alright, I got to get back to the Golden Blood Assembly. I’ll make sure to watch your duel when it happens. Until then, just find out a way not to die!” Xiu Li gave him a bright, encouraging smile before flying off.

    After a moment, Xing Yi let his head fall to the cushion.

    “I will,” Xing Yi sighed.

    Completely exhausted and the unbearable pain having finally subsided, he drifted to sleep.

    But it felt like only an instant that he had slept when he felt a slap to the face.

    “I used to rub the sternum when waking patients. But these days, I’m not that kind,” The tiny old man was only slightly taller than Xing Yi and was slim as a stick. He flaunted a thick white beard and sharp, angular eyes.

    Xing Yi awoke in confusion. He heard the old man speaking but he was too tired to listen. He closed his eyes again so that he could go back to sleep but instead received another slap to the face.

    He wasn’t drowsy anymore.

    AN: Internal -> Heavenly Cultivation , External -> Earthly Cultivation. Will use these terminologies from now on.

    This chapter was really hard to write btw.
     
    Merior, Instantia, Scammer and 4 others like this.
  3. Steve2001

    Steve2001 Not too sore, are you?

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    The more I read this the more I think the mc is an idiot
     
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 43 - Recovery
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 43 - Recovery

    “-And if you wish for a speedy recovery, cultivate for at least three hours a day, don’t perform any strenuous physical activity, and sleep at least 8 hours a night,” Doctor Ye explained as he handed him a note with each key point on it. It was a small parchment of paper the size of his palm.

    Xing Yi took the small piece of paper with an expression of thanks and a small head bow.

    Standing up from the bed, he took care to take his first movements with care, lest he damage a muscle or bone that Doctor Ye had just fixed. For the last hour, Doctor Ye had gone around his entire body, stabbing needles in the weirdest of places.

    Although each one was extremely painful and had him gripping the bed, holding his breath in anticipation every time, bit by bit, his muscles loosened up and the constant throbbing pain in his muscles would disappear.
    Once all his muscles were fixed up, he reconnected his bones.

    According to Doctor Ye, over forty of his bones had been broken. He was lucky that Elder Hui had Xiu Li fly him here. Walking here all by himself would have been torture. Using his tiny hands, he pressed into Xing Yi’s skin, releasing a cold energy into his bones that caused them to put themselves together again.

    Xing Yi liked this far better than the needles.

    “This humble disciple thanks Martial Uncle Ye,” Xing Yi bowed, wincing at the sharp pain emerging in his lower back as he did so. He hoped that he didn’t have to do too much bowing before he made a fully recovery.

    “Receiving thanks from a mortal. The heavens sure are strange,” Doctor Ye muttered to himself as he reached into his storage pouch and grabbed a wine gourd.

    Without a care, Doctor Ye took a few sips from the gourd. Xing Yi could smell the wine from where he was, standing several meters away as he slowly acclimated his body to moving.

    Doctor Ye didn’t stop drinking. In just about twenty seconds, he had drunk the whole thing. He elicited a big gasp as he finished, wiping his mouth with his hand. It was just as he did that he noticed Xing Yi staring at him out of the corner of his eye.

    “What? Is there something on my face?” Doctor Ye asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “No, no. I was just curious about Martial Uncle’s Needle techniques,” Xing Yi replied truthfully.

    “What about it—and come follow me outside,” Doctor Ye threw the gourd back into his pouch before waving Xing Yi to follow him.

    Xing Yi was surprised. But he went with it. It was rare to find someone willing to talk to him.

    Maybe he’s lonely, Xing Yi thought.

    Xing Yi caught up to Doctor Ye as he came off of the Infirmary’s front steps, asking, “Do you know Dianmai[1]?

    “Why ask such an obvious question? Of course! I’m a master. No one in the sect except for the patriarch is more knowledgeable in it than me. If I got close enough to any of the elders, I could paralyse them with just a few taps. They wouldn’t ever let me get that close though.”

    “Wow! Martial Uncle is very strong.” It was normal for disciples to flatter their seniors to curry favour, but Xing Yi meant it. The elders were the same as God to him. They could do anything they wanted and could kill him with just the wave of their hand.

    However, this comment caused Doctor Ye to deflate. He didn’t respond.

    Right as Xing Yi was going to ask another question, Doctor Ye turned away from him.

    “You should go on now. I am a very busy man, so I don’t have much time for these types of conversations. Make sure to listen to what I said, ok? I even wrote it down for you so that you wouldn’t forget. I will make my leave now,” Martial Uncle said as he abruptly ended the conversation.

    The old man turned around and made his way back to the infirmary.

    For a moment, he wondered what caused Doctor Ye to react that way when he praised him. Xing Yi silently bowed before making his leave too.

    He walked at a brisk pace, making sure not to overexert his body. Apart from the odd pain in a muscle or bone here or there every so often, he felt fine.

    After an hour, he reached a teleportation pavilion. But as the disciple there asked him where he wanted to teleport too, he had a change of heart. Something that he had forgotten long ago had come to mind. With a flash, he appeared on a large platform sticking out the side of a mountain.

    The library.

    He greeted the librarian with a forced smile.

    “It’s you,” The librarian squinted his eyes with scrutiny, as if he was trying to find any excuse to kick him out.
    The man had been quite kind to him when they first met. But as he spent more and more time in the library, he had slowly turned on him and grown to despise him.

    If he hadn’t already made sure to return the books he had copied, he would have had something to worry about. He could only grimace when he thought about doing that. He had been walking on thin ice back then. Fortunately-
    “I know that you copied those books,” The librarian revealed, staring daggers into Xing Yi.

    Xing Yi stopped in his steps, his breath stalling. For a second, he thought about running at first but calmed that thought. He couldn’t act carelessly here. It was life or death.

    He slowly met the librarian’s gaze. He was a skinny, short-bearded man with oversized robes.

    “Senior Bai, I-“ Xing Yi was cut off.

    “There is no need to worry about it,” Senior Bai raised his hand with an assuring smile.

    Xing Yi’s shoulders slumped back down in relief.

    “I have known about it for a while now and was going to kill you right as you made another visit. But, it just so happened that I learned from a disciple that just came in here, that you challenged Wu Jia to a duel in three years,” Senior Bai explained.

    Xing Yi’s heart dropped. Just when he thought he wasn’t that bad.

    “Little mortal, I will make sure to watch you squirm. Try you may, but your death is inevitable. Wu Jia will slaughter you like a pig,” Senior Bai smiled.

    Xing Yi had no words. He wanted to get out of here immediately, but he had to borrow a book.

    Wiping the sweat off his hands and onto his robes, Xing Yi replied cordially, “This disciple is humbled that he deserves this much attention from Senior. This one would now like to excuse himself. “

    Surprisingly, Senior Bai decided to lend a helping hand.

    “Don’t waste your time searching for the book. What’s It called? I’ll get it for you in seconds. After all, you’ve only got three years?”

    Xing Yi could only grimace and accept his help. He told him the title of the book and the librarian smiled.

    “Interesting!” He exclaimed as he waved his hand to the right, a book to fly over from a shelf at the edge of the library.
    It flew into his hand with a loud smack of the leather.

    “Here,” Senior Bai smiled.

    Pursing his lips, Xing Yi reached out to take the book. As he did, the man’s hand seemingly by accident, brushed against his. It was ice cold and caused Xing Yi to look up. Senior Bai was staring straight at him, smiling.

    A chill ran down his spine, his eyes widening in fear.

    Wasting no time, he made a hasty bow before almost running out of the library.

    Even after going through the teleportation pavilion, he run all the way home. He disregarded the paved dirt paths and went the most direct way home, through the thick green foliage and past wild animals that scrambled away in his presence.

    He only felt safe when he came inside his room and shut the door behind him. He slumped down the door, completely exhausted and gasping for air.

    Terror took hold of his heart as the possibility of death became a reality.

    Cold tears ran down his cheeks as he covered his face contorted into an ugly, terrified expression.

    Shining through the window, warm rays of sunlight offered him comfort.

    AN: [1] Striking the Meridians / Acupoints (点脉 diǎnmài) (点穴 diǎnxué) – often left untranslated as “Dianmai” and “Dianxue”. Also known as “the Touch of Death” or “Hitting Pressure Points“. Fighting techniques which target the opponent’s meridians and acupoints in order to kill, cripple, immobilize, or control the opponent.
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 44 - Success
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 44 – First Success

    With his hands against the cauldron’s cold metal, sitting in lotus position and his eyes closed, Xing Yi opened his mind’s eye. Instantly, without needing to adjust or prepare, he became intimately close to the inner qi circulating throughout his one and only meridian.

    His mind’s eye allowed him to sense qi—his sixth sense. It wasn’t an actual third eye in his forehead, but a metaphorical term describing what cultivators used to see beyond reality.

    It was a warm, thick energy whose true shape and consistency eluded him every time he attempted to grasp. It was like trying to look at something out of the corner of one’s eye while still looking somewhere else. It was just a vague silhouette.

    He could feel the heat of the cauldron even through the coat of qi he had surrounded his hands with. It was smouldering hot. Even a single drop of water could peel skin off flesh.

    Inhaling, he prepared himself. Then, he exhaled. Using the momentum of the breath, he expelled his inner qi up to chest, towards his shoulders, then down the length of his arms, to his fingertips, and into the cauldron.

    One of the most difficult things about pill refinement was maintaining a clear image one’s qi within the cauldron. Whilst Xing Yi didn’t have spiritual sense, even heavenly cultivators had to restrict it lest they lose their focus jumbling two things at once.

    One could only navigate the plane of convergence by feel.

    But with thousands of attempts, Xing Yi knew that inside of the black cauldron like the back of his hand. He knew the slope of every surface, all its curves, and had an exact feeling for its height, width and length through his mind’s eyes.

    And beforehand, when placing the spiritual herbs inside the cauldron, he did so in a methodical manner that made sure the same result occurred each time. This reduced the error margin to almost nothing. He knew where almost every energy was before he even entered.

    Xing Yi penetrated the plane of convergence with an immediate objective. Travelling upwards near the surface, his qi penetrated the Red-Eyed Storm Flower’s energy bubble without resistance. Pushing forward to the other side, he penetrated the Ironwood’s bubble with even more ferocity than last time.

    Narrowing his focus, Xing Yi pulled the energies together with a swift pull on his qi.

    A small shockwave erupted throughout the cauldron, but Xing Yi continued.

    To the remnants of a Three-Horned Bird’s fire, a Grey Brussel, and a Neutralising Spiritual Cham.

    In a tight chain reaction, the ingredients were combined only several seconds apart.

    And this time, Xing Yi was feeling great. Not just great. But dominant. He conquered the plane of convergence. The energies yielded to his will like sheep.

    Whilst heavenly pill refined was that of harmony and an attempt to coax the spiritual herbs into combining, his earthly refining technique was a bloody massacre. They would combine, whether they wanted to or not.

    And eventually, Xing Yi came to the final ingredient.

    For an instant, doubt entered his mind. And the fear of failure.

    But he crushed it.

    Combining the twelfth and last energy into the collective that he had gathered so far, Xing Yi gasped.

    Quickly, he manifested a tight grasp around the contained energies. He poked around it, shaped it. It could not be disfigured or oval-shaped. It had to be a perfect circle.

    It was his first time doing so but, in this moment, he had clarity and found it simple.

    Over the next few minutes, Xing Yi brought it into a tight ball. Slowly lowering it, he brought it to the bottom of the cauldron. He waited for a moment and when he saw no movement, he exited the plane of convergence.

    Picking up a shovel next to him, he shovelled out the burning fire underneath the cauldron and patted it down until it was just embers. Sitting back down and placing his hands back on the cauldron, he entered the plane of convergence once again and wrapped a tight constraint around the combined energies.

    At this point in time, the combined energies was a hard piece of sludge. But that would change.

    Creating a vacuum with his qi, the boiling water was pulled inside the piece of sludge. It seemed like a black hole with how greedily it sucked in the water, despite remaining the same size. Within minutes, the water inside the cauldron was sucked in by the pill.

    Still, Xing Yi had to remain vigilant and keep the pill together, lest it fall apart along the way.

    But soon, all the water was gone and after a moment, Xing Yi left the plane of convergence and stood up. Laying at the bottom of the black cauldron was a tiny, thumb-sized pill. It was plain white, with a few black spots dotting its surface.
    Xing Yi didn’t have time to think about the pill’s quality because he had just refined one.

    And for the first time, it didn’t end in a loud boom.

    Xing Yi celebrated, bouncing around the entirety of his courtyard, cheering and shouting.

    “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” Xing Yi repeated over and over with the pill in hand.

    It was a mere grade-one, basic Qi Gathering Pill, but it was a pill, nonetheless.

    Pills were divided into grades from one to five, correlating to each cultivation level. A grade three pill was suitable for a core formation cultivator, whilst a grade one pill was made for vessel cleansing cultivators.

    And for a good reason. Consuming a pill of a higher grade could result in one exploding due to not being able to fully consume and control its energy. Meanwhile, consuming pills at lower grades than one’s cultivation would have little of its intended effects.

    He eyed it in the light of the sun and inspected its surface. Not only were there black specks throughout it, there was a very small but visible protruding bump on it. Lastly, it was a dull white, not the flawless shiny white that was desired.
    Using layman terms, this pill was third-rate, nothing compared to those refined by true masters.

    That was when something came to thought. Walking inside his bedroom, he pulled open a small drawer. Inside it was a white pill bottle. Tipping it down, several circulate white pills came out. They were half the size of his pill but were a pristine, unblemished, white, smooth and shiny.

    He had received these from Mo Zhi just as he had entered the sect.

    Placing the pills side by side, he saw the stark difference between them. Although they were grade-zero satiety pills, they were perfect. They had no impurities within them. If someone were to consume the satiety pill, they would reap its benefits without any side effects.

    However, if someone were to consume his shoddy, third-rate qi gathering pill, although they would be able to consume the energy within to advance their cultivation, they would sooner or later be forced to expel the impurities. Otherwise, these impurities would hinder their cultivation or cause meridians to be blocked.

    And it took time.

    Depending on how much impurities there were, it could potentially take months to cleanse it all.

    And these impurities were caused by small mistakes he had made throughout the refinement process.

    There were countless things that Xing Yi could improve on but for now, he was satisfied.

    It had been just over a month since challenging Wu Jia, and he had finally made the breakthrough he was looking for. And this wouldn’t be the end either.

    He eyed the large drawer at one side of his room with a smile.

    He had successfully refined one grade-one qi gathering pill, but he still had four more pills worth of ingredients. Not just that, but he also had enough ingredients for five lotus-explosion pills.

    Before that, Xing Yi wanted to consume the pill.

    Not waiting any further, he sat down in a seated-lotus position on a red mat. Completing three cycles of his cultivation technique for a totalling hour, he adjusted himself to the best state he could possibly be in for consuming the initial energies of the qi gathering pill.

    Bringing the pill from his lap and to his mouth, he swallowed it one big gulp.

    Instantly, like an explosion had been set off, rogue qi exploded in his lower dantian.

    Neither aspected to heaven or earth, it ran through his body, waiting to be converted. Shockingly, with this amount of qi, he felt confident enough to tackle his second meridian.

    And that is just what he did.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 45 - Second Breakthrough
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 45 – Second Breakthrough

    Cultivation was very simple.

    Drawing in the ambient qi through one’s breath, it would travel down to one’s lower dantian. If one did not nurture this energy with their own, it would naturally leave their body as they exhaled. At first, refining any amount of qi would be strenuous.

    But as one advanced in their cultivation, the amount they were capable of refining would quickly catch up to and surpass their ability to intake the world’s ambient qi.

    Unless one had a qi gathering formation or one learned a specific technique, one’s ability to gather the ambient qi would slowly increase with each layer. It was only at core formation that one’s ability to gather the ambient qi would see a significant increase.

    Until then, one could only be content with their ability to gather the qi of the world.

    What made the difference between those who were talented and those who weren’t was the difference in absorbing the natural qi of the world.

    In some cases, some cultivators could cultivate at tenfold the speed of others, able to refine nearly all the qi that they gathered.

    No one, not even those who stood at the pinnacle of cultivation, could fully explain why some were able to cultivate faster than others.

    It was the same for when one consumed pill. But it was to a lesser extent.

    Being refined as part of one whole pill meant that they were less wanting to part from the other energies that they had fused so closely with.

    “Hmm, I don’t think I can breakthrough with just this one qi gathering pill,” Xing Yi mused as he pushed against the unmoving impurities that blocked his second meridian.

    And soon, the initial aggressive wave that was best for flushing out the impurities and making a breakthrough would pass. Then, his chances of making a breakthrough would become zero.

    But Xing Yi didn’t worry. He still had other pills that he would eventually refine and consume. He became content with refining the remnant energy of the pill and merely hoped that with another pill, the increase in his inner qi would allow him to make a breakthrough.

    But as time passed, Xing Yi grew shocked.

    None of the pill’s qi had dissipated through his breath. What was the cause of this?

    But it was he finished a complete cycle of his cultivation technique, spanning twenty whole minutes, he found that the impurities had given way. He didn’t dare spend any more time wondering about why the qi hadn’t dissipated.
    This was an opportunity!

    Shocked by this revelation, but at the same time, not daring to wait any further, Xing Yi redirected the wave of inner qi to his lower dantian and into his second meridian. Smashing the churning wave of inner qi against the impurities plugging his second meridian, he gasped in exhilaration as it flushed out all at once.

    A hot surge emerged where his second meridian was, causing him to elicit a painful shout.

    Cleansing all the impurities had been too much for his young body and he almost keeled over where he sat. But soon that was the least of his worries as the impurities naturally escaped outwards to the pores of his skin, causing a disgusting stench.

    Much like his first breakthrough, he made sure to dissipate the remnant impurities that remained in his second meridian.

    For a moment, he grew ambitious and attempted to push at the impurities plugging his third meridian. However, this was wishful thinking as he found the plug to be as stalwart as a stone wall. It was like expecting a boulder to crack in half by pouring a bucket of water on it.

    Laughing at himself for overestimating himself, he smiled in ecstasy as he continued his cultivation.

    After six whole hours of meticulous cultivation, Xing Yi had fully cleansed his second meridian. Opening his eyes and inspecting his body however, he saw that he had ruined another set of silk robes.

    For a moment, he sighed in annoyance.

    He only had three of them and he had already ruined one of them.

    Now he only had one of them left.

    At this point, he was going to have to ask to borrow one from the servants.

    Making a walk down to the river, he cleaned himself in the water and dressed himself in the last clean set of robes he had. Throwing away the dirty robes into the hallway closet, he couldn’t contain his joy as he walked.

    He felt as light as a feather. Skipping around, he pushed himself a meter high with each little tap of his feet.

    Now this was fun!

    Giggling to himself, Xing Yi ran around himself at speeds that even scared himself.

    He ran through the nearby jungle with a keen dexterity and agility that made him feel like he was flying. He jumped over tall bushes like they were stairs. He climbed up trees with ease, reaching the top of them without any difficulty.

    Testing his strength, he gave a random tree a casual punch. It flew forward with incredible speed, creating a fist-sized indent on its surface. He looked at his fist in awe.

    He was so strong now!

    This continued for another hour as he tried out all sorts of things.

    But soon, the charm of his power calmed down and he returned to his home with hope.

    This was not the end.

    Another week passed and he successfully refined the other four qi gathering pills. However, he didn’t consume them. He just continued refining pills. After a few days of preparation and testing, he attempted to refine the Lotus Explosion Pills.
    Lotus Explosion Pills were magical wonders praised by all who consumed them.

    When consumed—as the name suggests, a Lotus Explosion pill would explode in a cultivator’s lower dantian in a lotus pattern. It was made specifically to help a cultivator with breaking through any bottlenecks.

    They were highly coveted by first level cultivators and all who consumed them found their persistent bottlenecks to be suddenly undone. It was said that if one had enough Lotus Explosion pills, no bottleneck could not be overcome!
    It only took Xing Yi two weeks to refine all five Lotus Explosion pills.

    Despite his temptations to gobble up all his pills and make another successive breakthrough, he didn’t dare be so brash. Through his readings, he learned that in order to have a stable foundation, he had to give his body, mind, and spirit time to adjust to the increase in strength.

    Taking the advice of Lao Qiguang, he decided that before every breakthrough, he would wait at least two months. This meant that in under two years, he would have reached the peak of meridian cleansing. This was excluding any bottlenecks that wouldn’t budge no matter how much pills he threw at it.

    If that happened, he would venture out into the world to gain experience.

    In addition, he would only consume one out of every five pills he refined. The other four he would sell to the Paragon Emporium at Camp Black. As for keeping his identity a secret, he didn’t have to worry about it at all.

    The two nascent souls of Camp Black were in closed door cultivation and wouldn’t bother to investigate about someone who was selling grade one pills to them. As long as they made spirit stones, they didn’t care. They may try to negotiate a trade deal with him but that only benefitted him.

    And unless he revealed some of his skills, he could continue to silently cultivate in peace.

    A day later, he exited from the Teleportation Hall with a bag filled to the brim with spiritual stones. Ninety-five to be exact!

    Although his pills were third-rate, they were still pills and cultivators were desperate for any they could get their hands on. The ingredients for each of his pills had cost six spirit stones each. He sold each Qi Gathering Pill for each ten spiritual stones each and Lotus Explosion pills for eleven each.

    That was thirty-one spirit stones profit—he had bought the spiritual ingredients for five Qi Gathering pills and Lotus Explosion pills again.

    If he went to the Paragon Emporium, he could buy a Mid-Mortal Grade armament of his choosing from the Paragon Emporium. In fact, much like one’s cultivation and the grades of pills, armaments were divided into five tiers.

    Human, Earth, Heavenly, Spiritual, and Celestial.

    Not only that, but each layer also had four tiers. Low, mid, high, and peak.

    But Xing Yi would only buy an armament of any heavenly-path treasure for that matter if he was an idiot. To use any of these treasures, he had to have spiritual qi to activate it.

    And he did not have any.

    Either way, Xing Yi was walking the path of earthly cultivation.

    According to Lao Qiguang, he didn’t need treasures. All he needed was his body.

    And if he was going to defeat Wu Jia, he had to become strong.

    And quickly.

    AN: Next several chapters Xing Yi is about to become Stronk!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022 at 11:06 AM
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  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 46 - Discrepancy
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 46 – Discrepancy
    Three months passed by in the blink of an eye.

    In this time, he had swiftly advanced to the 4th layer of meridian cleansing with the generous help of eight qi gathering pills and one lotus explosion pill as the bottleneck to the 4th layer had been quite hesitant to yield.

    Not to mention that each pill he consumed was worth about ten spirit stones each. If one were to buy it from a place like Paragon Emporium which was outside the sect, it would cost upwards of fifteen. If other cultivators at his level were to know how he were eating them like candy, they would begin crying in envy, feeling as if they had enacted some injustice against the heavens.

    It is as if all his past efforts had finally tipped the scales. His growth had been exponential.

    In just the past few weeks, he now had a sixty to seventy percent success rate when refining. In addition, he was now able to refine 2nd rate pills. Only a few blemishes could be spotted throughout them. It was still a dull white too.

    Most of his time spent cultivating was spent expelling impurities, which was a gross process and simply time-consuming. With the Qi Gathering Pills, he quickly bridged the gap between the layers, able to make breakthrough after breakthrough in little time.

    His pill refining had also turned into a lucrative business. Even Xing Yi was speechless when he realised how much spirit stones, he had made from his ventures. He was making so much that he was able to pay off his loan.
    And he still had three hundred spirit stones left over then.

    It was then he decided to embark on a manhunt for earthly fighting techniques. There were none in the sect’s library. All they had were vague records and accounts of their fighting prowess. It was nothing to go off on. It wasn’t just about learning how to punch and kick; it was about how to combine inner qi with it as well.

    And it made it a hundredfold more difficult.

    Without one, it would be the same as a bird with clipped wings trying to fly.

    The first place he went to was the Paragon Emporium. In the past months, they had been nice enough to seal an exclusive deal between him and his ‘Master’. They didn’t exist. It was simply him creating a cover up story so that the talkative women whom he dealt with every time would stop trying to figure him out.

    And he of course didn’t want people thinking a thirteen-year-old mortal was refining these pills.

    That would for sure make a stir and might even catch the attention of the two nascent soul ancestors of Camp Black. But so far, they were nowhere to be seen.

    Being straightforward, he asked them to find him any records of earthly fighting techniques. Getting past all the questions with a mysterious guise, he sealed the deal with a deposit of one hundred low-grade spirit stones.

    It was a steep price, but it was a price Xing Yi was willing to pay in order to learn how to fight.

    The Paragon Emporium were a large organisation and within just two weeks, they found what he was looking for. And apparently, the man they had gotten it off of was a well-known bandit that hunted weak cultivators amongst the Western Forest.

    ‘Weak’, in their terms, didn’t mean only Vessel Cleansing. It also meant Foundation Establishment.

    He had been killed a few years back and the two manuals, respectively named ‘Southern Dragon Fist’ and ‘Flying Baboon Style’, were loosely bound together with old string and they only had a dozen pages each. They had been waiting in the Emporium’s archives for a long time at this point and with Xing Yi asking for top price for an item like this, they eagerly pulled them out.

    Even with his growing wealth, Xing Yi found himself hesitant to hand over his spirit stones.

    They were one-hundred spirit stones each. A total of two hundred.

    “These earthly fighting techniques may not be complete as only their first few forms are recorded, but our appraisers have recognised these to be of a mysteriously rich origin. Upon the bottom left of each page is a red stamp, an indication of an earthly cultivation clan whose name has been lost to time. Even I don’t know why that bandit had these in his possession.”

    The lady sitting opposite of him continued to explain the two items, but Xing Yi stopped her at when she mentioned the bandit who originally had them.

    “Excuse me for interrupting you, but did this bandit cultivator perhaps be an earthly cultivator?”

    Xing inspected the two books before him, his keen eye flowing along the lines of black characters.

    The lady shook her head. “No, he couldn’t have been. He was able to manipulate the earth element. Earthly cultivators are incapable of manipulating any elemental qi.”

    Xing Yi tapped his finger against the yellow, aged paper in deep thought.

    “This humble guest would like to see the rest of this bandit’s possession, if you still happen to have them that is. Is that within the Paragon Emporium’s capabilities?”

    Xing Yi’s voice was no longer high-pitched and had slightly deepened, gaining a more adult-like tone. The long cording muscles striding down his biceps and bulging within his forearms caught the lady off guard. He was but a child.

    “Of course!” The lady smiled, leaving to call for the rest of the man’s possessions.

    However, when Xing Yi saw what was there, he was unimpressed. All heavenly cultivator treasures that he was incapable of using.

    However, amongst the items was something that shocked him. Upon picking up a small wooden bead with a strange sign grafted into it, he felt a tingling sensation throughout his body.

    His inner qi seemed to wiggle in happiness and any stiffness in his meridians began to ease.

    “I’ll take this wooden bead,” Xing Yi decided, pocketing it in his robe. It may come in handy later. He didn’t really know, but it was cheap, and he felt that the strange effect it had on his qi might help in his future cultivation.

    Paying her a combined sum of two-hundred and three spirit stones, Xing Yi walked out of the Paragon Emporium with both books and the bead in his robe pocket.

    Before leaving however, he took a small detour to a small building on the outskirts of Camp Black. He walked with a newfound confidence as he strode past the many heavenly cultivators that walked amongst the streets.

    He walked with his head high and a confident smile on his face.

    He still had doubts within his heart but with his growing strength, even that was turning into just a dull knock on his door. Buying a green string from a small merchant, he braided the string through the hole in the bead’s centre and tied it around his neck.

    He hid it under the white cloth and smiled.

    He left through the teleportation formation and after meeting Elder Wang in the intermediary zone, whom he noted to be a mysterious figure, he came out on the other side in an instant. As he came out of the room for inbound teleportation, an aged voice came from behind.

    “Hey, care to spare some time for this old senior?”

    Xing Yi stopped in his steps and turned around, seeing an old man with many wrinkles sitting against the wall at the other end of the corridor. He was stick thin and had shoulder length hair. He had a thick head of hair and an intelligent look in his eyes.

    Xing Yi guessed the man to be almost two hundred years old, the near maximum lifespan of a Foundation Establishment cultivator. He couldn’t fathom living for such a long time.

    The old man stood up, stretching his limbs and cracking his head like he always did.

    “What’s with you?” The old man asked, his hands held behind his back.

    Xing Yi chuckled, “What does senior mean? This humble disciple is merely on his way home. Has junior wronged senior?”

    “No, you are not in trouble. I merely want to inspect junior’s cultivation more closely.”

    The old man jumped forward, grabbing a hold of Xing Yi’s forearm with a tight grip.

    Xing Yi’s eyes widened.

    “What is Senior-“

    “Incredible! Junior has truly advanced three layers in only four months,” The old man exclaimed.

    Xing Yi removed himself from the man’s grasp. “This disciple feels uncomfortable near Senior. Could this disciple ask why Senior had grabbed disciple so suddenly?”

    “Oh! The strength of an earthly cultivator is something else. Without my spells and qigong, I’m afraid I would be helpless against you. You managed to escape my grasp with such ease.” The old man was in awe of his strength.

    “Senior?” Xing Yi was confused.

    “I would ask you where such strength came from as I have my suspicions. With you selling pills and whatnot I know something is not right. Bah! Secrets that this foolish Que Zhi needn’t know. What’s the use of acquiring a treasure when you’re already approaching death’s door. It is better to gift such an opportunity to the young generation!” Que Zhi muttered underneath his breath with his finger on his chin.

    Xing Yi was just about to turn around to try and leave but was stopped by Que Zhi with a surprising proposition.

    “Xing Yi, I have heard much of you amongst my peers. Although I am merely a dying old man and do not meddle in the sect’s internal affairs, I have heard much of you. You challenged Wu Jia, a rising star amongst the Outer Court to a fair duel in a few years. It is a death wish but if you wish to defeat him, meet me at my residence tomorrow morning. I may be able to help you.”

    Xing Yi looked at the old man, stunned.

    AN:


    Firstly, I'm sorry I couldn't update on Wednesday. And secondly, I would like to say that there is a massive plot hole I haven't addressed. The Black Cauldron is wide out in the open. If anyone happened to be suspicious of it then he would be dead immediately. Carelessly, I glazed over this plot point and continued to write without creating a plan for Xing Yi to cultivate in secret.

    It is my mistake and messes with the suspension of disbelief in the story. Now, I didn't expect this to be such a massive problem. This chapter took me three days of outlining and planning to think about how I was going to progress the story. I could've haphazardly addressed the plot point but at this point I think it is pointless.

    If I were to rewrite this, there would be no plot holes and tedious, "filler" chapters but in the end this is a web serial. No rewriting here. This isn't a professional story and I never plan to rewrite this in the future because I hate rewriting and know how tedious it is if you're doing so for a web serial.

    I don't mean to make Xing Yi look dumb. I am trying my best to make everything make sense but when writing a web serial plot and logistics can be difficult to keep a track of when your writing and then immediately releasing it each time. I'm not excusing myself for this and I don't think it is the end of the world but I felt like I had to address it in someway before people start commenting on it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022 at 9:22 AM
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  8. mr6king

    mr6king Getting sticky.

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    Honestly not a very big deal. A simple retcon would be making the claudron an earthly artifact. Such that it can only be used by earthy cultivators, and undectable as an artifact outside of that.

    Or just make it appear as a mundane object to whoever tries to scan it. It as sitting in the lake for who knows how long anyways.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 47 - Ten Times as Hard
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 47 – Ten Times as Hard
    It was the day after, and Xing Yi was scratching his head while looking at a yellow scroll that vaguely described the location of Cultivator Que Zhi. Walking along a mountain path, he came to a tall mountain at the edge of the sect.

    He looked up from the map several times towards a wooden house at the top of it before he gave up. He hoped this was the right place.

    Inhaling, Xing Yi leaped forward. The hidden strength lying within his legs boosted him forward with ease. Each step taking him forward several long strides, he reached the top of the mountain in a couple minutes.

    He didn’t show any sign of tiring and walked over to the front door. The house was similar to the one he had in his small village. Small. He wondered why someone so accomplished, being Foundation Establishment, would want to live in a house like this.

    He took a big breath and knocked.

    “Come in!” An old voice came from the other side.

    Xing Yi sighed in relief. He got the right place.

    Walking in with trepidation, he saw a thin old man sitting on a wooden chair in squatting position. The leggings of his purple robes were rolled all the way up, revealing his thin, tanned legs. In his hands was a white porcelain bowl containing a generous portion of meat and rice.

    On a tray next to him was a steaming pot of tea. Its soothing fragrance permeated through the air.

    “Xing Yi greets Senior Que,” Xing Yi cupped his fists and bowed. He spoke in a respectful manner.

    “You’re finally here. Just stay right there while I finish this meal,” Que Zhi said before completely devouring the remainder of his meal.

    Xing Yi waited patiently until Que Zhi finished moments later.

    A minute later, he wiped his mouth clean with a tablecloth and walked past Xing Yi and out the house. “Follow me.”

    Xing Yi came to his side and silently followed him to the back of the mountain. It was an open area. A few small trees dotted the backyard, lush grass brushing against Xing Yi’s ankles as he followed in suit. However, if one walked too far, they would end up walking off the edge of the cliff.

    Que Zhi came to a stop in the middle of the outcropping with his hands behind his back. Xing Yi stopped too. A light gust of wind came by. It was silent for a moment until Que Zhi spoke.

    “Did you bring the two books like I asked you?” Que Zhi asked.

    “Yes, Senior. Here,” Xing Yi pulled out the two thin books before bowing with them in front of him.

    He heard a few footsteps and felt Que Zhi take the two books from him. He heard him flip through the two books in rapid succession, reading each page for a brief moment before continuing. Once he finished reading both, Xing Yi exited his bow and looked to Que Zhi.

    “These ‘Southern Dragon Fist’ and ‘Flying Baboon Style’ are both very interesting. Both complement each other very nicely if cultivated in tandem. Though it is incomplete, these basic forms can bring you quite far!” Que Zhi praised, slapping the books in hand.

    He then gave them back to Xing Yi, who placed them back inside his backpack.

    “You have two years. Probably even less, to defeat Wu Jia,” Que Zhi stated.

    Xing Yi’s heart skipped a beat.

    “If you want to defeat him, you have to do so before he reaches Foundation Establishment. To defeat him, you must know his every weakness, gain an indomitable spirit, train ten times as hard as Wu Jia, learn to fly, and finally reach the peak of Meridian Cleansing. Lack any one of these criteria, and your death will be certain,” Que Zhi declared imposingly.

    Xing Yi’s jaw dropped in awe.

    This turned to a smile as he bowed once more.

    “Yes! I hope Senior will take good care of me.”

    They begun training immediately.

    The first form of the ‘Southern Dragon Fist’ was ‘Southern Dragon Whips Its Tail’.

    Back at the bottom of the mountain, Xing Yi ran up it in a strange manner. He shook his bottom with every step and did so in a zig zag pattern, the hell of his foot rotating as he touched down each time.

    Immediately, His spine felt as if it was going to be split in half. And with just a few more steps, his arse felt as if he had been sitting on a sharp protruding rock for an entire day.

    Xing Yi briefly stopped, exhausted and his bottom rear in great pain.

    “Do not worry about the pain. It is normal for the body to have an adjustment period before it naturally finds the optimal way to do things. Keep going!” Que Zhi sat on a boulder nearby, observing him keenl

    Xing Yi had a moment of respite before he steeled his will.

    He was going to die if he didn’t push himself now!

    So he carried on, drilling the first form of the ‘Southern Dragon Fist’ into himself. Soon, each moment caused his muscles to burn in pain and sweat dripped down his entire body, soaking his robes.

    What was this ‘Southern Dragon Fist’ technique. It was pure torture!

    Not just his body, but the attention required to continually cycle his inner qi in the way that the technique required of him was also very difficult!

    But what pushed him forward was the memory of him being beaten by Wu Jia. Especially the cold, seemingly arrogant face he had on his face as he did so.

    It angered him.

    And unknowingly, only briefly noticed by Que Zhi for an instance was a red light that lit up within his eyes. He repeated this gruelling training for an entire hour, travelling up and down the mountain.

    Eventually, as Xing Yi arrived at the top of the mountain once more, his lower body completely spent, Que Zhi’s came like a rusty knife scraping against metal.

    “Now it’s time for the first form of the Flying Baboon Style!”

    The first form of the flying Baboon Style was ‘Flying Baboon Gouges The Eye’.

    Que Zhi in a seated-lotus position on the roof of his house, Xing Yi kicked the air, moving forward with each one, as if he truly was a monkey flying through the jungle. This time, it felt as if the bones in his feet were going to break. Each step on the ground was agony.

    For an entire hour, Xing Yi repeated the First form of the Flying Baboon Style, his entire body sweating and shaking. And once Que Zhi called for him to stop, his next words came like a death sentence.

    “Now it’s time for the second form of the Southern Dragon Fist!”

    Xing Yi went through the remainder of the forms. All of which, through his excruciating pain, only existed as a distant blur in his future memory.

    The second form of Southern Dragon Fist, ‘Southern Dragon Greets the Sun’. Xing Yi jumped up and down in large strides up the mountain. A small imprint on the ground came each time he impacted against the ground.

    At this point, he was shirtless. Without Que Zhi popping in every so often to offer him a drink from a leather bottle, he would’ve already collapsed.

    The second form of Flying Baboon Style, ‘Flying Baboon Grabs The Peach’. Xing Yi made a grabbing motion, holding a large rock in hand. He did this for an hour. He could not feel his hand for the rest of the day.

    The third form of Southern Dragon Fist, ‘Southern Dragon Dives Into The Ocean’. Xing Yi Punched the air. When he created enough momentum, he would strike the ground, creating a small crater. His fingers felt like they were going to fall off. He did this for another hour.

    The third form of Flying Baboon Style, ‘Flying Baboon Rips The Flesh’. This form was much similar to the second form but was done so backwards. He pulled back with the same rock in hand again and again. At the end of the hour, a large hand imprint was dented into it.

    The rock dropped to the ground with a thud. Xing Yi did so too, his face resting against the hard rock ground soundly. He fell asleep.

    He awoke seemingly hours later. It was late into the afternoon. The sun was beginning to set.

    “Get up. It’s time to eat,” Que Zhi said. At the same time, Xing Yi noticed the aroma of hot food with a single sniff of his nose.

    He scrambled to his feet, wincing at the pain throughout his body.

    Nearby, Que Zhi had set up a campfire. Sitting over the campfire was—

    “You killed a bear!” Xing Yi exclaimed, shocked at the sight of a bear being stoked over the fire. Well, at least half of it. The rest was already neatly aligned into several plates on a wooden table, appropriately seasoned and a sweet sauce marinating it as it sat.

    His empty stomach called him as he walked over in a daze.

    Ignoring the aching in the bones of his feet as he walked, he stood awkwardly for a moment. His mind hadn’t caught up to his mind yet and so he waited there, seemingly waiting for Que Zhi to say something.

    “Can I really eat all of this?” Xing Yi asked, eyeing the juicy meat without shame. He licked his lips in excitement, imagining its succulent taste. Never before had he been so hungry.

    Que Zhi laughed, “Of course. Didn’t your mother tell you? If you want to grow, you have to eat a lot!”

    Xing Yi gave a massive grin.

    He slumped down and immediately buried his face in the food before him. The only word he could think of was 'delicious'.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022 at 6:19 AM
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  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 48 - Hidden Dragon Bites Off The Rat's Tail
    bandicoot879

    bandicoot879 Getting sticky.

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    Chapter 48 – Hidden Dragon Bites Off the Rat’s Tail
    That afternoon, Xing Yi arrived home drowsy. He struggled to keep his eyes open and groaned in despair when he realised, he still had one more thing to do. Taking a few trips down to the river, he filled up a large wooden tub with water.

    Then, grabbing a handful of various spiritual herbs from his herb cabinet, he tossed them inside the bath. Then, Xing Yi stripped down and hopped inside.

    A herbal bath. Using spiritual herbs to nourish exhausted muscles and meridians, it healed and strengthened the body. To create this herbal bath, the ingredients required were worth one spirit stone. With just a few uses, there would be no noticeable results. But with regular use over a long period of time, the results would be extraordinary.

    That was thirty spirit stones a month but with how much Xing Yi was currently making from pill refining, it was nothing to worry about.

    Xing Yi had stumbled upon this strengthening technique early on when he voraciously read the books in the library to transcend his earthly cultivation. He didn’t find the answers he was looking for but found some that he didn’t know he wanted.

    The book he had borrowed after recovering at Small Leaf Valley was the Eight Primordial Herbal Baths. Described within the book were eight baths that would help strengthen the body, each successive herbal bath being stronger than the last.
    The last herbal bath was meant for even mid to late Nascent Soul level cultivators.

    This strengthening technique wasn’t necessarily an earthly cultivation and could be used by both paths. However, as the strength of the baths increased, so did the cost. Just a single bath of the 5th level herbal bath would set him back over one-hundred spirit stones.

    For something that needed to be used over a long period of time to see results, it wasn’t very cost effective.

    But it was said by the author of the book that if they successfully cultivated a physique using all eight herbal baths at the appropriate cultivation stage, they would be able to punch a hole in the heavens and withstand heavenly tribulation in their sleep.

    In the future, Xing Yi didn’t truly see himself using all eight herbal baths to increase his physique. But, if he happened to have enough wealth to splurge, he wouldn’t bat an eye.

    Xing Yi exited the bath after half an hour, noticing that the bath’s efficacy had immediately declined in the last few minutes. After he dressed himself back up, he noticed that the originally green liquid had turned a dull grey. And it was starting to stink really bad.

    Picking up the cauldron with ease, he tipped its content into the Black Cauldron, allowing it to recover overnight.
    About three months ago, Xing Yi had been having these herbal baths everyday and noticed that his strength was skyrocketing.

    Cleansing his impurities was like relieving a weight off his shoulders. While strengthening his body using the herbal bath made his body stronger. It was a two-way increase in the strength of his physique.

    Major changes were being made on a weekly basis.

    Peeking under his robes, he spied abs. His arms had started filling out his robes, and he noticed the connection between his mind and muscles had become closer and closer.

    He went to bed only moments after his head hit his pillow.

    The next day, Xing Yi went about his day as he usually did.

    He refined a few pills, cultivated in closed-off meditation, and poured over the notes in his books. However, when it was just past midday, he made his way over to Que Zhi’s residence, to train with him once again.

    The path he took was quite secluded as he lived on the edge of the sect and was out of the way as Que Zhi also lived in a place far out of the way.

    Most of the sect lived near the centre of the sect and in a place like his home, he would see no one for many days unless he travelled further into the mountain range. It also acted as a decent warmup before his training since he ran all the way there.

    It didn’t take too long either. It only took him fifteen minutes to get there.

    However, it was as he was running down a certain stretch of the forest path that three figures appeared from bushes at the sides.

    They all looked very young. They were all the same height as him and still had baby fat on their face. They were probably the same age as Xing Yi, maybe even younger. From the looks of it, they were disciples that had entered the sect at the start of the new years a few months ago.

    At most, they would be at the 2nd layer of Vessel Cleansing.

    “Is this him?”

    “Of course it’s him!”

    “Shut up, who told you to speak?”

    “Sorry-“

    “Stop blabbering, he’s looking at us.”

    “Hmph, idiot.”

    The three argued amongst themselves before one of them came forward and crossed his arms. He looked at Xing Yi menacingly.

    “Hand over everything you got and we’ll leave you with just a light beating,” The young boy smirked.

    Xing Yi froze up for a moment, but his many months of extended meditation and yesterday’s training came back to him and reassured him.

    This is really happening, Xing Yi thought.

    He had been under the radar for the long time and had existed as just a rumour for a long time but with his public beating, some of the other disciples would come looking for trouble.

    Plain old extortion, stealing, and beating other disciples was not allowed, but if one happened to offend another cultivator or was caught somewhere that a supervisor, teacher, or elder were, then it would be overlooked.

    And Xing Yi didn’t have any more time to react when the three came over in tandem, smiling and laughing.

    “Oh look, he’s scared!” One of them said with a mocking smile.

    Xing Yi didn’t deny it. He was scared.

    But, as Xing Yi took in a deep breath and remembered how much stronger he had grown, he made the resolution to right back.

    His body shaking, and his eyes wide open, he assumed the first form of the Flying Baboon Style, ‘Flying Baboon Gouges the Eye’.

    His legs split into a lunge and his shoulders and arms raised up in a weird hunch, adrenaline coursed through his body and his heart thumped through his chest as the start of the fight came closer.

    Obviously, the three had underestimated him as they didn’t bring out any of their spiritual armaments and thought their fists and qigong were enough.

    The one leading at the front walked over casually, as if he was stealing from a baby and lunged forward with a uniform, straight punch.

    Now!


    Kicking the front leading cultivator’s face with Flying Baboon Gouges the Eye, his foot flexed, it connected and caused the young man to fly several meters to the side. His face was bloodied and the bones on the side of his face had been broken.

    For a moment, the young cultivator laid there limp on the ground, seemingly unconscious. The other two cultivators were shocked and could only stand still, unable to believe what they had seen.

    Not missing this critical chance, Xing Yi bound forward with Southern Dragon Whips Its Tail, crossing the gap in a single step. The cultivator summoned a flying sword from his storage pouch. Not having enough time to clasp his hands together, he formed a one-handed gesture.

    His silver sword swung through the air, threatening to kill.

    Xing Yi, with his quick reflexes, narrowly dodged the sword to the side and used Flying Baboon Grabs the Peach, his arm reaching forward like lightning. He grabbed onto the young man’s wrist and with Southern Dragon Greets the Sun, they rose into the air.

    The other young boy’s face was pale.

    “What are you doing!” The young boy shouted as he flailed around, punching Xing Yi in the face and chest.

    As the sword was redirected back into the air to follow Xing Yi and try to cut him again, Xing Yi kicked back in a circular motion with Flying Baboon Gouges the Eye, sending the sword flying backwards.

    Southern Dragon Dives Into The Ocean.

    Xing Yi and the young boy, left without any more options, were brought back to the ground with a slam. Xing Yi landed on top of the other boy and with a leading punch that caused him to recoil and spit blood.

    But he wasn’t done. The third boy had a face of horror. He stepped back while screaming at the top of his lungs. “I-It’s a monster! He’s possessed by a demon!”

    Xing Yi stood there, standing over the unconscious bodies of the two cultivators. He didn’t continue as the third showed him no aggression but this changed as the third swept his arm to the side, causing the earth to protrude from the ground and strike Xing Yi in the side.

    Xing Yi coughed air as he rolled several meters away. It was a sharp pain, but it was nothing he couldn’t overcome.

    Using Southern Dragon Whips Its Tail to close the gap again, the third boy summoned several sharp balls of earth and sent them whizzing forward. Xing Yi dodged the first with a nimble step. For the second, he was hit square in the shoulder, but was left unscathed due to his tough, resistant skin.

    The third he dodged once more. But the fourth and fifth hit him in the face and leg.

    He almost stumbled on the fifth but had closed the gap by then and used his forward momentum in a Flying Baboon Gouges the Eye. Right before his foot hit the cultivator, he summoned a thick armour of earth that protected his body.

    But Xing Yi was stronger.

    The earth crumbled away like gravel, and he sent him flying away just like he had done with the first boy. He too was knocked unconscious.

    As Xing Yi stood, gasping for air and his rapidly circulating qi and heart slowed down, he looked around in amazement at what he had done. Despite the potential trouble he could get in for this, he couldn’t help but smile.

    Even if they were but tiny rats that had attempted to bite off his skin, he was proud of himself.

    Throughout his long journey of pain, he had finally found salvation. He wasn’t the weak one anymore. He wasn’t just a helpless ant at the mercy of the world, but a hidden dragon that possessed frightening strength.

    He wanted to live in this moment for as long as he could.

    But first, he had to run.

    AN: I need some help. Whenever I past text to reply to the thread, it is all combined together and without the original spaces that I put into the text. Each time, I have to manually separate it. I have tried using the paste as text button but it doesn't work. Does anyone know how to fix this?
     
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  11. Merior

    Merior Untested Adventurer

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    It may not work for you, but try pasting the text first into something like Notepad then using the "Use BB Code Editor" (button top right here) before copying that over.

    You will need to make the chapter title bold again, and centre it, but that is pretty minor. (You'll probably also lose some formatting, and bold or italics, but it should make help you not lose line breaks etc.
     
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  12. mr6king

    mr6king Getting sticky.

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    I found that moving text from Google docs to hear works pretty well. So if your using wordz it may be worth making the switch.
     
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