Volume 1, Chapter 14 – Heavenly Sect’s Contention at the Clear Sky Peak (Part 5)
“A strong cultivator who is able to lift a tripod?”
Wang Lei quickly laughed as he heard these words, “Able to ’lift a tripod’ can only be achieved by taking secret drugs and improving your cultivation base. It also needs the Golden Divine Sand as well as liquid Shellfish Jade to remold the body and forge a heavenly mortal body. Even disciples from big sects won’t have a chance to attain it. I was just lucky to have a good fortuitous luck to achieve this attainment.”
Seeing doubts from Ai Zhongwen’s complexion, Wang Lie proudly ripped his upper clothes. There were countless golden runes shaped like tadpoles, twisting and moving. The runes were flickering and sparkling as they moved from his chest to his back. A brilliant golden light suddenly illuminated the mountain passageway as the golden light reflected bright, faint rosy clouds.
Ai Zhongwen’s complexion greatly changed as he faintly said, “Golden Mark Runes?”
Wang Lie proudly smiled, “Yes, it’s my Vast Origin Sect’s Golden Mark Runes!”
Ai Zhongwen quickly shifted his eyes to Zhang Yan, his lips closed and opened as threads of worries and concerns covered his face.
Golden Mark Runes could only be created with the five elemental Divine Sands, of which had a secret method to insert the divine sand into the body. 49 days later, it then must be blended with Shellfish Jade liquid, which would then create a Golden Ink. After that, a supreme cultivator must use tremendous spiritual power to paint Golden Mark Runes on the body. With this method, a person’s cultivation base would be enhanced by at least a level.
Because of the Five Elements Divine Sand’s effects, his aura was almost similar, so Ai Zhongwen mistakenly believed that Wang Lie was a strong cultivator who could lift a tripod.
Wang Lie’s eyes turned to Zhang Yan. His complexion was pretty much relaxed as he then spoke, “Brother Zhang Yan, my cultivation base has reached the peak of Primordial Qi Condensation Realm and aided with the Runes Mark, my cultivation is comparable to the peak of Primordial Qi Establishment Realm. My body is much more powerful and my bones are as powerful as an elephant with stronger life force. In short, my physical strength is 2 folds stronger than yours. You don’t have any chance of winning. But I can see that you have extraordinary martial arts. If we fight now, the result would be that you will be severely wounded at the end. If you step back this once, I will not make things difficult for you. What do you think?”
After exchanging fists, Wang Lie could feel that Zhang Yan would be a very difficult opponent. He may have a stronger cultivation base than Zhang Yan; however, if they were to really fight, he was unsure that he could win over Zhang Yan easily. So, he didn’t want to engage in a death match against Zhang Yan. If this could be ended in a peaceful and friendly way, this would be the best outcome for the both of them.
Zhang Yan at first was startled, but he then let out a loud laughter.
Wang Lie felt as if he was being humiliated, as he quickly retorted, “Do you think I’m joking with you?”
Zhang Yan stopped laughing. As his eyes looked at Wang Lie sharply, he said, “Our schools’ honors are at the stake here, how I could dare to play with it? Brother Wang Lie, you actually wished me to draw back, isn’t that ridiculous?”
Wang Lie’s eyes twitched, he wanted to refute Zhang Yan’s words, but he could not find the appropriate words.
“Brother Wang, I also thought that you were an honorable person, but I never thought that you actually tried to persuade me to draw back when you think that you cannot win against me. There is no need to break my fighting spirit, because you will fail to do so, so less talking about winning or losing!”
Zhang Yan’s voice became louder as his voice carried his indomitable and fearless spirit, “Brother Wang’s words have just provoked me to have a death match with you. If you really want to break through the gate, you have to cross over my dead body first. Today’s situation has reached the point of no return, and unless this Zhang Yan has died, I will still stand and fight! Look at my fist!”
Zhang Yan rushed forward as soon as he finished speaking. The stone ground cracked as he stepped his foot with thunderous sounds. He crossed over the 3-4 meters distance lightning fast as his fists bombarded Wang Lie with an unparalleled momentum.
Zhang Yan’s few words made Wang Lie feel ashamed and angry. However, because he was greatly deterred by Zhang Yan’s imposing manner, as well as being suddenly attacked, he couldn’t help but feel distraught and panicked. Even if his strength was much stronger than Zhang Yan, he could only retreat and desperately try to block Zhang Yan’s bombardments with his hands, while blocking the center of his chest.
In seconds, Zhang Yan already closed in, as his fist then hit the middle of Wang Lie’s arm. However, it was as if he was hitting a thick wall.
Zhang Yan’s eyes twitched. This Wang Lie was indeed far stronger than he was. He could not instantly break through his defense, but even then, he only had this one chance and could absolutely not draw back even a step!
Blue veins bulged out from his forehead in an instant as he revolved and gathered all his Qi into his fist, and stroke out a lightning punch!
His Qi was violently surging up from his Dantian and suddenly broke through several veins’ gates like a tidal wave; hot steam burst out from his stomach like boiling water, as if it was trying to find a path to burst out from his body.
Zhang Yan let out a loud roar and abruptly sent out his fist. The shock wave sounds tore the air apart and emitted an explosive sound.
Wang Lie’s arms were broken instantly as it hit his chest. Blood spurted out crazily from his mouth as his body was lifted from the ground with his face thrown backward.
Zhang Yan’s body leaped up. He didn’t wait for Wang Lie’s body to fall down to the ground as one hand was covering his face and neck as he tried to stand on his knees. Zhang Yan took the opportunity to deal another powerful wave of punches to Wang Lie’s head, adding more pressure to Wang Lie’s body. Wang Lie desperately tried to raise his hands to resist Zhang Yan’s blows, but to no avail. His consciousness gradually scattered and he finally lost conscience. A ‘bang’ sound was heard as his body thumped faintly on the ground.
A small stone pit was seen on the paved cobblestone on the mountain passageway. It was created by the repeated impact of Zhang Yan’s blows over Wang Lie. It was clearly shown that the force behind Zhang Yan’s fists was very powerful and fierce.
Even though Wang Lie was at the point of dying, Zhang Yan was still anxious, so he squatted down and broke Wang Lie’s four limbs. He then slowly stood and found that his clothes were drenched in his sweat.
Zhang Yan’s series of strikes and attacks left Ai Zhongwen dumbfounded. Zhang Yan was usually gentle and refined. He never thought that he would be so ferocious to this extent. It was as if Zhang Yan had turned into a beast, violent and extremely ferocious when hunting its prey. Ai Zhongwen’s body stiffened and numbed even though he was only watching the fight from the side. Cold sweat poured down from all over his body as he looked at Wang Lie’s unconscious body on the ground, severely injured. Shivering, he couldn’t help but ask, “Senior brother… we were only comparing notes here, how could this happen?”
Zhang Yan replied back in a disapproving tone, “Brother Ai, you must know that in catching a tiger, either we become its victim or we die! This time if I didn’t injure him, he would’ve injured me!”
The previous Zhang Yan, in that apocalypse world, had seen countless occurrences of many people dying because of their negligence; because those people were looking down on the opponents who had been seriously injured or were dying. He had seen that numerous times, and now, how would he dare to be careless? He would rather break his opponent’s arms and feet to not leave any chance for the opponent to strike back!
Ai Zhongwen reluctantly accepted Zhang Yan’s explanation. It was just that Zhang Yan’s ferociousness and his imposing manner made him shiver. He was somewhat uneasy.
Zhang Yan only looked at Wang Lie’s face, which was covered with blood. This guy was truly very strong, he thought, as he felt very lucky inside his heart.
Wang Lie’s real strength was far above his, and he was not exaggerating when he said that their strength was at a different level. Such an opponent was indeed difficult to deal with. However, he had been in dangerous situations and experienced massacres for god knows how many times. His will and fighting spirit had been tempered in such a hellish world. Just because the opponent was very big and strong, he couldn’t succumb himself to panic but had strived to find any chance to strike instead.
From Wang Lie’s attitude and words, he could see glimpses of flaws from him. Zhang Yan realized that Wang Lie may perhaps be very strong, but he had no desire to win and was likely sent by other people. Thus, he feared that he would be injured in the process.
Zhang Yan had experienced countless fights and was surrounded by many deathmatch situations like this in his previous life. So he taunted Wang Lie and stimulated him as he was secretly accumulating and mobilizing his whole Qi to prepare to strike in advance. Sure enough, Wang Lie became restless and impatient because of a few of his words. As his mental state disrupted his breath and Qi flow, Zhang Yan could feel this subtle changes and immediately took the opportunity to deal decisive blows. With this strategy and move, Wang Lie was then beaten in one fell swoop.
However, knocking down a strong opponent like this had also provided other benefits.
The moment he threw out his punch, he felt that a vein’s acupoint near his Dantian suddenly opened, as his Qi was then revolving and spreading out the Qi in his body in a cycle. The Qi was surging out like a river, and it was as if it would break out from his body, destroying his body. It was very fortunate that he could direct the Qi through his fists and repeatedly send punches out, causing the Qi outburst to gradually dissipate. And to his surprise, although he lost most of his strength, the last trace of his remaining Qi became purer and more refined than before.
He felt like that he was touching the real method of how to temper his life force and strength.
After one had condensed their Primordial Qi, their life force and vitality would still be locked deep in their veins and Dantian. This life force was not under the control of their spiritual force. It was very hard to quench this aspect. However, the mental state of being in a life or death situation like a moment ago, had shown Zhang Yan that his acupoints gates could be opened with this approach.
Zhang Yan suddenly thought that this was perhaps Chen Feng’s original intention. Perhaps he already knew about this method, therefore, he unceasingly sent repeated challenges to other cultivators. He intended to open his acupoints’ gates by borrowing the extreme pressure from an external factor. With this in mind, his life force was then quenched and became purer, harmonizing with his mental state and spiritual force.
It seemed that the more he experienced a life and death fight, the more he could stimulate his acupoints’ gates open. Previously, he thought that this would be very difficult to achieve. However now, after experiencing it, this step didn’t make him baffled anymore.
Ai Zhongwen walked in front of Zhang Yan and took out a bottle of pills from his sleeve, handing it to him, “Brother Zhang, you must still fight later. If you trust me, these pills are not poison and can restore your strength. Maybe tomorrow, you’ll have to face a harder fight…”
Zhang Yan took the bottle of pills. But, he didn’t immediately take it and fell into deep thoughts instead. The Vast Origin Sect had sent such a powerful disciple the same night. It was clear that they didn’t want to have a prolonged battle, but wanted to quickly end the battle and move to the next step. This… was not a good sign for him.
He could deal with Wang Lie alone. But, he could not guarantee that he would be able to cope with two or three opponents at once. The day when Chen Feng was sent to the Great Southern Sect three years ago, he didn’t encounter a particularly powerful opponent on the same day. But this didn’t mean that he could not have coped with harder situations.
This made him re-review his original intention.
After all, the risk of blocking two sects’ disciples was really huge. With the broken jade’s function, he could find the right methods and laws to cultivate. Even he was confident that he could achieve higher realms and enhance his strength, finding a suitable method for him without having a life or death fight. Then, was there a need for him to stay here and block the two sects’ disciples and court his own death? What was the true purpose of participating in this Daoist Convention? Was it not for fame? With such a great opportunity, he absolutely could not miss this.
Although there was a saying that one couldn’t have both fish and bear paw at the same time, he still didn’t want to give up this opportunity. 
When he thought about it, he slightly sneered. Since the Vast Origin Sect wanted a quick and decisive fight, he would give them one.
“Brother Ai, please go and send another challenge, tell them that Zhang Yan is ready to challenge other Vast Origin’s disciples… tell them: Three days later, I challenge them in interpreting the Star Steles’ Inscriptions!”
Ai Zhongwen’s eyes suddenly widened, flabbergasted. It took a long while before he recovered as he then came forward and grabbed Zhang Yan’s sleeve, anxiously saying, “Brother Zhang Yan, don’t be so crazy, be careful, you must be prudent!”
The Star Steles were stone steles inscribed with profound ancient texts written by a supreme and wise Daoist from ancient times. It was thoroughly written in a profound Eclipse text. There were 9 Steles, of which contained profound changes and a lot of heavenly secrets. This age’s cultivators could only decipher 6 pieces of it, and it was only related to the changes in astrology and physiognomy, as it didn’t even touch on the fate and destiny of domain. The content within the tablet’s inscriptions that were explained to everyone was very different from each other.
These six Star Steles were given to all Daoist Convention’s hosts to be taken care of every time the convention took place.
The text written on the steles were very profound and mysterious. When one was interpreting these mnemonics, one’s spiritual force and mental state would be aligned with the subtle changes of the stars. If one could really deduce the meanings behind the inscription, they would harvest great advantages for their cultivation. But, once they made a mistake and couldn’t deduce the heavenly secrets within the star’s changes, their mental and spiritual state would be damaged. Their meridians would be discarded, finally destroying their cultivation path completely. Therefore, this challenge was not some kind of ordinary texts’ interpretation challenge, but they had to gamble with their own lives.
Zhang Yan’s complexion didn’t change for a bit, as he only replied in a deep voice, “Does Brother Ai want to wait for other Vast Origins Sect’s disciples to come here and go home? I don’t want to do that, I will take the initiative to bring the fight to them and accomplish the whole task with one strike!”
 鱼与熊掌不可兼得: Lit: the fish and bear’s paw, you can’t have both at the same time (Idiom from Mencius, means that you must choose one or the other, and you can’t always get everything you want.