CHAPTER 112: TRAINING IN THE IMAGINARY SCAPE
The people of Zettel often show a preference for leisure over business of any sort, whether in ruling their Kingdom or running a stall.
Their belief is that the good life is spent enjoying life.
Zettellian has a strong sense of family. They have many cities but none so big. The Capital is big but Arial is not coming there to be a sightseer.
Arial is using the forest path, avoiding cities and villages.
But since Arial once went there, or more like stationed there during the Invasion, the most he knows about Zettel is their building.
After all at the time, culture is just superfluous instead of necessity. He also knows that Zettelian believe in the Night Mother and the Dawn Father.
But other than that the knowledge Arial had about Zettel is superficial. Their army is not that strong but it could be said that Zettel have many expert which they can be proud of.
Arial is now camping outside the city of Zidur in the forest around it. He is about to train again.
But before that he had to calm himself. There are many things that he is dissatisfied about now.
Actually he did not want to join the Martial Art Meet. He just got back from the Dark lands and truthfully he wanted to spend more time with Helia and Ariadne.
But, he could not refuse the Abbot of Linzi Temple, not when he has helped him before in the matter of the dragon heart.
Such deeds need to be repaid. He would not be accused as an ingratitude person. Arial, with his personality he acquire in this second life of his, try to do his best.
If in the old world, he is a coward, in this life he will be brave. If he is unhonourable on his past life, he will be honourable in this life.
In a way, since he thinks like this since he was a child, his personality is remade as it is today.
Honorable and just.
It is by that virtue, he agrees.
And there is also news that shocked him. His suspicion about Liao Bao is cleared. Zhang Liao Bao who he knows now, to be the disciple of the Northern Badger is given permission to go first.
When he first heard that Zhang Liao Bao could not return home because he has been invited to the Martial Art Meet, Arial was about to punish him but of course he relented.
After all, Liao Bao, that slicky bastard always has a way with words and he did contribute something in the North and Arial always reward people with result.
But then he received a letter from Vangua and everything change. At least his plan for Vangua is halted.
Who would have thought the abbot then sent a letter asking him to the representative of the South?
It seems the Abbot is training the next Abbot in the Mount MontBlanc and they need to train in seclusion for three years before they can come out.
Of course Arial try to reject, asking the Abbot to send someone from the Temple to join the Meet but the Abbot insisted asking that all debt will be settled if Arial accept his request.
So, after Arial sent Silas back to Vangua to aid Harald, he began making preparation for the martial art meet.
He trains and trains in that days preceding his impeding leave. All when he has set his sight on Vangua.
He has a thought about just ignoring the request but doing that means he is ungrateful and not to just a person but to one of the Immortals, one that controls one of hidden force in the continent.
The great thing about expert is they rarely interfere in the matter of worldly possession but Arial always believe that to be ridiculous.
One needs to be in harmony with people to understand the Heaven intention.
Those that separate himself with worldly matters and held their head high, believing themselves to be above worldly matter, that is just hubris.
Arial is this kind of existence.
He believes that by tethering yourself to worldly matter then you are not lost in your thoughts and your conviction.
It contributes greatly towards your moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike yourself, who cares little for your pursuit and whose abilities you must go out of yourself to appreciate.
This is what he believes.
But his decision to join the martial art meet makes many startled. His council and his parent for example.
They even persuade him many times to reject, to decline the Abbot invitation but Arial have made his decision.
And a man as strong will as him, who could stop him once he decided on something?
It also makes Helia angry. A few weeks before his departure they both had an intense argument.
Helia then told Arial of his responsibility as husband and as a father to their daughter chastising him on the matter of his travelling and adventuring but finally after Arial told that he need to settle this debt, and with great persuasion by his parents, employing Lisa help to console Helia heart even though Helia is sulking, she finally understand and consented.
With a kiss on Helia lips and Ariadne forehead, he started his journey, without anyone accompanying, much to the chagrin of his council who all wanted their lord to be accompanied by elite guard of the Dragonguard.
But Arial is confident of his ability to take care of himself. And the more people he had to bring, the slower the journey will be.
This journey might take 2 months to go the Xenos Desert. That is what he thought when he examines the distance in the map.
He is right now in the forest, green leaves and big tree everywhere. Arial has chosen a secluded spot to conduct his matter in private.
He has also set up a tent, a simple tent that does not need much maintenance.
The tent is just fit for one person, with a few clothes on the top to stop water, if it ever rain, a very shabby looking tent and Arial is satisfied enough with this.
Supplies in the matter of food are sufficient. He brought enough supplies, more gold then food.
After all he is not worried being robbed.
A man as strong as him, who have endured journey in the Land of Dragons and the Plains of the Orc, human bandit is the least of his worries.
And expert? Which expert will lower themselves robbing a junior as young as himself?
And Arial himself acknowledge that he is strong. After all not many can claim they defeated a dragon in this day and age.
The wind blows hard and cold but Arial is fine. His body after the heart swapping is tougher than before.
Cold and hot is just a breeze for him. A tingling sensation at the most extreme. He is beginning again his training.
Since he begins his journey he has been trying to improve his technique. His internal energy is not a problem but his technique is.
Primarily his swordsmanship technique. This, he had to admit.
Arial began sitting down, cross legged and take his breath. Right now he is focusing his internal energy to feel the flow in his body, the power coursing through his vein.
Arial has created Dragon Roar, Dragon Palm, Imposing Presence and the Heaven Punishment Style but all martial art is from the same root.
Arial has decided from now on, he will only use his own technique, maybe creating a school of martial art by himself instead of using the swordsmanship he learns in the library.
It seems Levitia Internal Cultivation technique has helped him to gain some insight in the inner working of technique.
The Heaven Punishment Style is the combination of all the swordsmanship technique he could remember when he is in the library, a fusion of all this technique amalgamated into one style.
Of course, right now he is only able to merge three technique of swordsmanship in the Style.
The three technique Arial have managed to fuse is the Flying Blade technique a technique that enables Arial blade to fly and dances in the air, the Blinding Dance technique a technique where Arial separated into ten images parrying weapon and executing fast strikes, and with a stabbing motion, a high level swordsmanship and the Slicing Water technique, a technique aimed to slice enemy head.
Arial want to fuse two more sword technique the Sweeping Star technique, a technique imbuing weapons with internal energy to attack in a sweeping motions, and Light Strike, a fast stabbing attack.
Right now the technique Arial mostly used is this. Wind God technique, an alleviating technique.
Swift like the wind and unpredictable. Very useful in dodging.
Then Lion Bite.
A technique to take enemies weapon. Dragon Regret, a palm attack that released internal energy as it throw enemies far away and may even broke bones and kill with one strike.
The Internal Energy Cultivation Technique of Levitia that improve internal energy by leaps and bounds.
Then the Light Healing Finger Technique used primarily to heal internal energy injury, Snake Slither the Ground technique a technique that use internal energy to be channel to the ankle for swift sidestepping and to give time for better positioning
Then there is Divine Sword Finger Technique, a purer version of Sword Finger technique. Linzi technique that Arial got from the Abbot.
There is also Fairy Steps another lightness technique. The user will disappear from his or her enemies’ vision for a while when using it due to the fast movement.
Feet are channeled by internal energy constantly when using this technique.
Then there is Sword Finger Technique, a technique that involves creating invisible sword, and Palm of Wrath, a palm technique, releasing internal energy wave hurting or maybe killing any weak enemies.
Palm of Wrath is fused with Dragon Palm and the other sword finger technique and any sword technique will be into the Heaven Punishment Style.
There is so many other techniques he learn but this is the one he always use. But he always felt that learning so many techniques, does it make you strong?
WRONG! This is what he believes. That such method of power is wrong.
Levitia is reputed to be the greatest master but even he does not have that many techniques.
Arial believe why do you have to create so many technique and style? Why not fuse this technique into a greater level of technique?
An All Encompassing style. One style. One technique. A unifying theory of every single martial art under the heavens.
Such thought might be laugh about in the martial art world if anyone ever heard it but Arial is confident.
More is not always better. He believes in this conviction. Sometimes little is better. Sometimes little is greater.
He decided this a long time ago when he got the internal energy technique from the Abbot.
Palm technique will all be fused in the Dragon Palm technique and any Aura technique will be fused in the Imposing Presence and Dragon Roar.
The reason why Arial is so proficient in creating technique is not because he is some master but because the method of Levitia technique which is nothing, encompasses everything.
Like a blank slate or a blank paper it teaches internal cultivation and some technique but of course you can write anything to it. Like a blank book with a guide in writing.
Arial is trying to improve his Imposing Presence technique. This technique is like releasing killing intent but in the scale of making people faint and making people feel fear right in their heart.
Imposing Presence if Arial ever completed it, will also help him from external and internal attack taking it head on, utilizing completely the massive internal energy Arial had.
It will be like the Iron Body technique of Linzi temple. Arial internal energy combined with his talent of understanding the flow of the energy in one body make his training effortless but he could not really be called a genius in martial art technique.
His tactic in battlefield and in politic can be attributed to his understanding and practical theory of the world which he learn during the darkest time in human history and his internal energy level can be attributed to either divine intervention or luck.
After all, if not for his luck, it is unthinkable for him to reach so high level of mastery in internal energy cultivation.
If it’s not for his luck and perseverance, could he have discovered such technique on the Library?
Of course right now the Imperial Library is under the Chu family but Arial is not so worried about it.
Not only you will not find the Library unless you really looked for it but also it is hard to find it.
And with the ongoing conflict between Northern Chu and Southern Tai, why would they try to find anything in the library?
Of course, Arial will not let the Chu’s to get their hands on the book.
Someday, he will come to that Library again and he will take all the books in the secret chamber and store it on his Private Library. But even if they find it can they compare to Arial?
After all even though they started learning that technique can it compare to Arial? He learned it since he was a baby and not to mention his experience in his past life could help him tremendously.
Silas once said to Arial a great man have three attributes. Strength, smart and a bit of luck. Has three of this attributes and that man will become a great man.
Arial began closing his eye.
And the moment he close his eyes, he is in the imaginary scape again, looking at the swirling energy in his mind.
He realized this just recently after he got the heart from the dragon. The Imaginary Scape existed during that time. Of course, he found that he can access this Imaginary Landscape unintentionally.
This must be how dragons train. This is why they can afford to sleep for hundreds if not thousands of years. It enables him to look at himself, to create simulations in his mind. Arial believe this is one of the abilities that the dragon have.
He also understands that many of his technique is still rudimentary and one need particular attention in improving themselves.
Imposing Presence need to be improved.
He needs to understand how to release the internal energy in a control manner.
The book that the Abbot lend him has taught him control but imposing presence is used to pressure your enemy mentally and Arial is confident when it reaches the perfect form this technique could pressure physically too.
For now he need to concentrate and then he could see a clone of himself in the imaginary scape standing utilizing internal energy and it was like Arial could see in the veins of the clone how and where the energy is distributed.
Every time it is wrong, Arial change his thoughts and another clone is formed and use Imposing Presence.
It is with this advantage that Arial could gain insight and ideas on how to improve the Imposing Presence.
The imaginary scape is helping Arial to improve himself in ways that no one could imagine.
Even if he is not genius with this kind of training and hard work and combined with his internal energy, it is no exaggeration to say he could catch up easily to those geniuses in understanding the profound mystery of internal energy distribution.
Imposing Presence he mused.
This technique requires control of the most precise kind. Then seeing one of his clones he could see that internal energy need not only applied outwards but also inwardly, strengthening the body and intimidating the enemy.
With this understanding Arial once again conjure up another mental image and this time he give his mental image an enemy.
Hundreds of them.
The Orc he fights before is now used in his mental training as test subject for his training. He could see when his clone employ Imposing presence a few of them faint.
Not strong enough he mused.
Need more control he mentally take note of this.
Then he takes another breath and all of his clones disappear. Now the Heaven Punishment Style he thought and then suddenly the Imaginary Scape change to a mountain.
He mentally makes a mountain appear. After all this is on his mind. He can make anything he wanted.
Then a clone formed from the wind and suddenly he employed Heaven Punishment Style shooting energy wave from every strike scratching the hills near the big mountain and his clone flew as Arial look in bird view examining some steps or strokes that he need to change or modified.
Right now he is trying to fuse Sweeping Star Technique and Light Strike into one. Which part needs to be minimized?
Which part needs to take a prominent role? When to release internal energy? When to conceal it?
All this must be taken into consideration. Every time there is something is wrong, the clones disappear, replace by another clone once again employing the same technique.
This might prove to be troublesome he mentally said.
He is without a doubt is so engulfed in training that he didn’t notice, two men is looking at him in the shadows while he is sitting cross legged in that tiny tent of his.