Volume 1, Chapter 31 – The Yin Yang Shellfish Kings, Who Will Be the Black Pearl’s Owner? (Part 3)
After Zhang Yan swallowed the Black Pearl, he immediately sat down to refine and absorb it.
Luo Xiao had been walking around the cavern a few times, her eyes fell onto Du You’s body. She recalled that when this youth fell to the ground, it seemed that he wanted to get something out. So, she couldn’t help but feel curious.
She went to Du You’s side and bent over to search for that something on his body. After a while, she then took out a pouch from one of his sleeves.
“Hmph, rumors say that in the Great Eastern Continent, the Du Family’s influence is stretched across the three great sects. They’re indeed really rich, even this Universe Pouch was casually brought by this boy who has yet to open his meridians.”
Many cultivators used a Universe Pouch to put magic weapons and other things inside. In most sects, it was usually used by disciples who were above the Radiant Qi Stage. However, they could only obtain it after doing some outstanding meritorious deeds for the sect. Even though Luo Xiao had killed that Profound Light Stage disciple that day, she didn’t even find this pouch on him, so she didn’t expect Du You, who has yet to open his meridians to have one.
When she searched the pouch, she actually didn’t have too much hope and only thought to get some concocted pills to console herself. But the results made her quite surprised.
She put out a jet black ink-stone first and then found a scarlet pen brush with cloud patterns.
She was surprised, “Huh, could this be that bastard Du De’s ‘Spirit Eraser Ink’ and ‘Fate Decree Pen’?” She resentfully kicked the poor unconscious Du You who didn’t even know about her affairs. She spat at him and said, “Bah, fortunately, this young lady acted quickly. Otherwise, I would be coerced to follow your every word.“
After searching the magical tools, she let out a faint smile, “I didn’t expect this boy to have even imprinted these two magical tools. Hmph, if such valuable treasures were in the hands of others, I might not dare to rob it, but plundering a boy like you who has yet to open your meridians is a cinch.
She wiped her hands and forcefully erased the two traces of Soulblood’s essence on the two magical tools, making them completely ownerless. Although this might be reducing these treasures’ might she didn’t care. As long as it could still be used, the power would be restored after having been refined again later.
“With these two treasures in hand, even if we have to fight with Du Bo and lose, we could escape safely.”
After taking the two magical tools, she continued to search the pouch as greater surprises welcomed her, “Wow, a Cloud Rider Ship? What a great thing!”
“Black Gold Martial dagger? Leaving this to you is really like giving pearls to a swine!”
“Great Prime Pills? And so many of them? What a rich boy…”
“This is… Evil Breaker Salt… Pah!”
Luo Xiao was seemingly afraid of being smeared by this thing as she scattered the powder and threw the powder bag to the side. She then continued to fumble and find a lot of things, she then finally took out a few Dao manuals. Her eyes then locked onto one of the Dao manuals.
“The Golden Taiyi Manual?” 
Luo Xiao was greatly startled, this cultivation law was the most outstanding and very famous amongst human cultivators. It was rumored that after one was successful in practicing it and reached the Radiant Qi Stage, he would be able to melt metals and smelt it into iron or weapons. As well as being able to transform their qi into a sword shape. If one were to breakthrough into the Profound Light Stage, the profound lights produced from his whole body would simply be comparable to a precious flying sword.
To guarantee his success and safely to open his meridians, Du You carried this Dao manual, concocted pills, magical tools, and didn’t lack anything. This Dao manual was particularly obtained with great efforts by his mother—Du Luo—as she had used the Du Family’s massive resources to ask for favors from many cultivators and even desperately begged from a supreme expert.
After his mother gave him this manual, Du You regarded it like some priceless treasure, and before he left this place, he would always keep this manual close to his heart.
Luo Xiao locked her vision on Zhang Yan, who was in deep meditation. She let out a happy small laugh, “Fellow Daoist Zhang, this young master Du is really generous to you, even your slave is really jealous of your luck. But this cultivation law can only be practiced by a high-grade meridian type in the Radiant Qi Stage. Whether you have this good luck or not, we’ll see after you open your meridians.
Zhang Yan at present had sealed up his five senses and conscious and couldn’t hear any of Luo Xiao’s words.
The cultivation method written in the ‘Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins Manual’ was extremely dangerous. Although he had familiarized himself quite well with the method in the broken jade’s space, he still didn’t dare to take it lightly as he carefully guided the flow of his qi in the meridians’ path.
After the Black Pearl was swallowed and entered his stomach, a strand of cold and chilling stream seeped in and flowed to sink into his Dantian. It was like he swallowed millions of pieces of mysterious chilling ice, which made his blood veins in all of his limbs and bones shrink. The chilling qi then flushed through the acupoint gate to his head. Then, the other strand of heat stream branched out from the Black Pearl and flowed from the chest to the stomach. All the way downward, to finally well up in both of his legs.
The two strands of qi in his meridians, one was Yin and the other was Yang. The two then divided and occupied the upper and the lower part of his body. It was as if the two qi streams were not from the same source, but rather like enemies, separating and confronting each other.
Zhang Yan was aware that this was the result of the intercourse between the two Spirit Shellfish Kings. The pregnancy period for the Black Pearl had yet to reach its most perfect stage, and the perfect period was exactly after he swallowed it. If he was late for even a second, the Yin and Yang would be fused, and the Spirit Shellfish in the Black Pearl would have broke out, leaving him no hope.
After he started the first step in opening his meridians, he must carefully guide these two strands of qi to fuse and absorb the Black Pearl’s essence for his use.
At first, he carefully extracted part of the Yin and Yang qi and slowly fused them, to test the qi manipulation degree that would be needed. When the two types of qi were connected, the extracted qi from both must be equal, and for each, it could not be more or less in the slightest.
Shortly after, he finally realized that with his previous experiences in controlling and manipulating qi, the process was very easy and not strenuous at all. It only took him more than a hundred breaths to fully extract these two types of qi to pass through and circulate them in his meridians.
After a few moments, the two types of qi had completely fused into one and pooled in his stomach, as it then quickly submerged like heavy lead and mercury.
At this point, all the prerequisites and requirements to open his meridians had finally been met.
The next step was to execute the core method. With his True Primordial Qi, he wrapped the Black Pearl’s energy, and directed it through the entire acupoints’ gates to break through all the shackles and obstructions. Cutting off all ties and shackles that his mortal body had, which would lead to the path of immortality. And with this top-grade cultivation law, he transformed his mortal body into an immortal body, opening the path to immortality in one go!
After pacifying his heart and focusing his mind again, Zhang Yan then grasped this profound ancient technique to control the energy to run smoothly through his meridians.
Soon after, he realized that this ‘Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins Manual’ was simply created to refine the Black Pearl. For each and every branch of meridians in his body, even the most covert and subtle acupoints gates and meridians were cleansed away. Not even the slightest efficacy of the Black Pearl was wasted. He had fully refined and absorbed it to each and every part of his body, and not a single one was left out.
At this time, he felt that his heart was thumping like a drum, as surging blood like tidal waves were exuding damp but loud sounds in his ears. His blood vigorously passed through each and every acupoints’ gates. And under the circulating qi, it was as if it would flush out from his skin like a hammer that continuously beat each point of his body, making all the joints and tissues shiver.
But Zhang Yan completely ignored all these sounds, keeping his mind calm as fully focused wholeheartedly.
After all the steps had been smoothly executed and the Qi finished circulating through all his meridians, he suddenly felt that everything became void and empty.
This kind of extreme stillness gave off the feeling as if the heaven and earth had yet to exist, that even the universe had yet to be born.
He fell into a trance along with his mind and consciousness without exception, forgetting about this world.
In this vast of emptiness and stillness, he didn’t know for how long he was still when suddenly, a brilliant spark raised from his heart, asking to himself: “Who am I?”
The reply spoke, “I am exactly myself, I am not myself, I am also myself, I am still myself.”
The brilliant spark of enlightenment came as the “clang, clang” voice sounded. It was as if like two swords were colliding with each other, or like a rusted mottled lock being dropped to the ground.
Suddenly, it was as if something was being separated and had broken free from the shackles. As light suddenly emitted from all over his body!
Luo Xiao, who had been protecting Zhang Yan, suddenly got up as brilliant ripples flashed over her beautiful eyes, she joyfully spoke, “Congratulations, Fellow Daoist! The profound sound means your restriction is unlocked and you are on the same path as me now!”
She quickly looked again and saw powerful chaotic mist appear and rise behind Zhang Yan. Spreading a mysterious cloud which was very difficult to recognize, and could not be measured nor estimated because of its boundless vastness.
After Zhang Yan opened his meridians, this meridian type’s apparition appeared.
Luo Xiao was immediately dazed. Even with her experience, seeing it made her confused. What meridian’s type was this?
After one opened his meridians, the meridian type was divided into three grades—low, mid, and top.
Low-grade meridian types had various strange and bizarre phenomenon/apparition, such as unstable weather, thunder and lightning, or the appearance of lower forms of life like flora and fauna such as flowers, birds, beasts, or insects. The mid-grade meridian type was divided into the categories of the five elements, the wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. And the top grade was only divided into two categories, the Yin and Yang.
But Zhang Yan’s meridian type was actually a mass of cloud-shaped gas, which only appeared in the low-grade meridian type—the “Mist Phase”.
Could it be… that… it was a low grade?
Luo Xiao immediately shook her head. Considering that he used the method from ‘Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins Manual’, aided with the Black Pearl’s efficacy to open his meridian, only to finally result in a low-grade meridian type… she refused to believe it.
Her mind even gave birth to the thought that it would be very possible for Zhang Yan’s case, ‘could it be far beyond the top grade meridian type?’ This thought unconsciously made her greatly startled.
Human cultivators usually spent great efforts and every means available in opening their meridians in order to have the top grade meridian type. But this was not only dependent on the efficacy of Flower Jade Spring and superior cultivation law for opening the meridians, but it also depended on their own opportunities and perception.
Being able to open the top grade meridian type was very rare. Zheng Xun, who had the low-grade meridian type, was already considered as having limitless future. The very few people who obtained the top grade meridian type also could only be heard from rumors, but none of these outstanding figures had a distinguished reputation in the most sects.
However, this was not without a reason. The higher the meridian type grade, the more unique and particular the cultivation laws and methods one could practice. And those cultivators with lower grade meridian type, due to their meridian type’s uniqueness, also fell into the same predicament and had even fewer cultivation laws to choose from. Finding cultivation laws to suit their unique meridian type is without a doubt, very difficult.
If Zhang Yan’s meridian type was far beyond the top grade… Luo Xiao’s eyes revealed some complicated thoughts. She really could not imagine what kind of achievements this person could have in the future… For the first time, she asked herself whether she really wanted to lift the Soulblood Contract with him or not.
At this time, there were sound and movements from Zhang Yan as the chaotic cloud apparition seemingly transformed and seeped into the depths of his glabella between his eyebrows. A light vertical mark finally condensed and was imprinted on his forehead. Upon seeing this, Luo Xiao was instantly dazed.
A meridian type’s opening would produce a faint and false apparition made out of qi, but how would Zhang Yan condensate the true spiritual essence manifestation? She suddenly felt that all the knowledge she knew was insufficient to fully understand all the inconceivable phenomenons that were occurring with this person right now.
Zhang Yan’s eyes opened. In a flash, a brilliant light bursted out and flashed the entire cavern.
As he stretched his body and stood up, he could feel that his whole body was very light and vigorous. His bearings became graceful like the floating clouds. Everything had become different, as if he had changed his body.
In fact, now he couldn’t even be called a “human” anymore. Once one had opened his immortal meridians, he had was already half a foot into the rank of the immortal and celestial cultivators.
After returning to the Azurewood Mountain, should his meridian type be appraised by the masters there, he would directly able to enter the Upper Court and could even obtain more superior Dao manuals!
 太乙金书: Taiyi Jin Shu >>> literally: the Great 2nd Heavenly Stem Gold Manual, Taiyi itself means the extreme/highest unity of Yin and Yang or the primordial unity of Yin and Yang. Transliterating these words into English would be too long, not to mention it would lose the meaning, so I decided to leave Taiyi as is.