Volume 1, Chapter 9 – The Surging Undercurrent Gradually Turned into the Tide 
With the broken jade’s help, the ‘Truth Seeker Illumination Manual’s’ difficult problems could be easily solved.
After this discovery, Zhang Yan didn’t ponder about the other abstruse Dao law terminology anymore, such as, “across the light, up high”, “revolving the force, in small revolution”, “emptiness stage, along the path”, and the other remaining terms. But, he violated the conventional approach and directly practiced it with his avatar in the jade space.
However, he didn’t blindly rely on the jade’s function. He only used the jade if he encountered a difficult problem. As he deduced the problems first before he verifying it in the jade with his avatar. As he used this approach more often, he gradually discovered many different ways to solve the issues he had. This deepened his comprehension toward those profound terminologies. After a few days more, Zhang Yan’s intuition grew keener as he could grasp most of the meanings without using the jade space.
After the fourth day, he could understand about 70-80% of the cultivation law’s terminology in the manual. He could also roughly perceive most of the terms used by the various ancient families in deciphering the Dao laws. From just these discoveries alone, it could be said that Zhang Yan had gained a great harvest.
This also made him feel that this piece of jade was, without a doubt, a heavenly object. Recalling the previous event, this jade fell along with a meteor. Thus, its origin should be very big.
An idea quickly crossed his mind. This jade was originally empty. There was nothing in here except his avatar now. But, since his avatar was growing in accordance with his true body and could be controlled with his thought, could other objects also exist in this jade’s space and change?
This idea may perhaps be feasible. His avatar in this space was not naked but was dressed in a robe.
The avatar’s clothing was the robe he had always been using. And since the avatar could have a robe, could it mean that other objects could also exist here?
When he thought about it, he took out the manual, and tried to bring the manual inside the space to practice the cultivation laws written in the ‘Truth Seeker Illumination Law’. However, before he even did so, he suddenly felt that his chest was slightly numbed. Right after, his conscious was forcefully ejected from his avatar and returned back to his true body.
Zhang Yan abruptly opened his eyes. He felt a painful headache, which was like it was about to crack his head open, as cold sweat streamed down his back.
He couldn’t help but become greatly scared. He hadn’t felt this sensation since he broke through to the Primordial Qi Condensation realm. Zhang Yan hurriedly scrutinized his body and found that his body seemed to have been excessively overworked. Not only was his spiritual force exhausted, his Primordial Qi was also severely consumed. He could only think that his previous guess was perhaps correct. That this was caused by his action in trying to bring the manual to cultivate in the space inside the jade.
He nodded as he quickly realized. It seemed that his attempt before, whether it was feasible or not, was not something his present self could achieve. But Zhang Yan was not depressed in light of this.
To be successful, one had to face many difficulties. Worrying and being discouraged was unnecessary. And trying to brave through it blindly, would only create a knot in the heart for Zhang Yan.
As he thought about it, his heart gradually settled, and he calmly accepted this failure. He cast away those negative thoughts in a flash.
He took out the small bottle of ‘Main Spring Pills’ that he had received from Ai Zhongwen, opened the bottle and poured out a pill onto his palms. A delicate fragrance was quickly emitted from the pill as it soothed his nerves the instant the fragrance entered his nose. He felt that the air in his lungs was very smooth and eased a lot. He immediately realized that this concocted pill was really unusual. Zhang Yan quickly opened his mouth and swallowed the pill as he then silently sat down. The pill quickly melted in his mouth and the energy within it created a warm heat, which flowed into his internal organs and spread out all over his body as it rejuvenated it.
Generally, after taking a dose of this concocted pill, to fully absorb the pill’s effect, a cultivator must guide the energy within the pill to circulate all over the body. Otherwise, once the energy was clogged up, it would injure the cultivator. Zhang Yan realized this and didn’t dare to neglect it, as he quickly meditated.
An hour later, he had fully absorbed the energy from the pill. The fatigued sensation he felt before was completely dissipated. He could feel that his Qi was fully restored and his spiritual force had also recovered. The energy contained within this pill was comparable to the energy he usually accumulated from an entire night of meditation.
Zhang Yan was secretly surprised. He also knew that concocted pills were quite helpful for a cultivator. However, he had never thought that the effect was this extraordinary. He really underestimated the efficacy of concocted pills. It was no surprise as to how those cultivators from those ancient families advanced so quickly into the Primordial Qi Establishment Realm. They not only had an excellent cultivation law, they were also aided by these concocted pills.
It was unfortunate that he could only take this pill at crucial times. He only had a few of them and could not use them wastefully. Zhang Yan secretly noted that he had to pay more attention to these kinds of concocted pills in the future, as he needed to collect some. If opportunities to obtain pills arose, he must absolutely try to get these compounded drugs.
However, Zhang Yan was really ignorant. The “Main Spring Pill” in the bottle was a high grade compounded drug even in the eyes of those ancient families. Ai Zhongwen intentionally gave a bottle of these pills to Zhang Yan because he feared that Zhang Yan would not return the poem parchment. The other reason was that he wanted to build a good relationship with him. Had Ai Zhongwen knew that Zhang Yan regarded these pills—which were given out of his good intention— like worthless cabbages, he would have succumbed to depression and incurred internal injuries.
When Zhang Yan tortured himself in his cave mansion to practice, on one of Cangwu Mountain’s peaks, Zhou Zishang was listening to his servant’s report about Zhang Yan in a pavilion at Endless Night Peak.
“You said that Zhang Yan recently interpreted the Eclipse codes and is now famous within the Three Great Schools?”
The attendant replied in a very courteous manner, “Replying to the young master. Yes, he interpreted the ancient Dao manuals.”
Zhou Zishang’s brows curdled, he didn’t speak. Astonishingly, his thought and Ai Zhongwen’s were amazingly similar. He didn’t believe that Zhang Yan could understand and was able to interpret the Eclipse codes by himself. He had a deep suspicion that there was an expert secretly directing him from behind. And that expert should not be a deacon or master from the Profound Virtue Temple or the Blue Ocean Sect. That expert should also be the same person who had instigated Zhang Yan to climb Cangwu Mountain. Zhou Zishang couldn’t help but feel deeply suspicious. However, that expert was not at this place and only secretly directed Zhang Yan on his cultivation path. Thus, Zhou Zishang felt that the latter’s likelihood was much more possible.
“If the circumstances have changed like this; dealing with Zhang Yan will not be easy.”
He carefully thought as it seemed that he could not be reckless in handling this matter. Other means must be used to deal with Zhang Yan. But since Zhang Yan was only a novice disciple from the temple and was not from the Blue Ocean Sect’s upper court, he had other means to make him succumb to him.
He brought three servants to this mountain, which have been respectfully waiting at his side. A stout and strong looking steward then walked and whispered, “Young master, do you want this lowly servant to…. Or not?” A ferocious and vicious expression flashed over his face as one of his hands made a grasping action.
Zhou Zishang’s brows only twitched. He waved his hand and replied, “It’s inappropriate! I, Zhou Zishang, am also a cultivator. How could I resort to that kind of method?” He let out a confident smile, “This Zhou Zishang has come to Cangwu Mountain. How could I leave empty handed? And you! Look for more information. I will absolutely make this good Zhang Yan descend the mountain before the third month!”
The three servants who followed him to the mountain were experienced people. As they listened to his words, they voiced their obedience and didn’t speak about it anymore. But still, they were puzzled, from where did their young master’s confidence come from?
Zhou Zishang only faintly smiled and didn’t explain any further.
After sitting alone in meditation for an hour, a child Daoist servant walked down in a hurry from the mountain passage. He quickly arrived at Zhou Zishang’s door and bowed respectfully, “I don’t know which honored guest is currently visiting our Daoist temple. The temple’s master has ordered this lowly one to invite the distinguished guest to have a chat with the master.”
Zhou Zishang stood up, repairing his robe. An arrogant expression was slightly drawn on his face as he nodded, “Lead the way.”
The child Daoist servant didn’t know his true identity. He only knew that the temple master suddenly ordered him to descend the mountain peak to greet an honored guest. This child servant didn’t dare to say anything as he respectfully formed a gesture to direct and led the way.
The Profound Virtue Temple’s master rarely went out and was not seen by many people. However, with Zhou Zishang’s cultivation level, he just needed to sit down and deliberately emit his spiritual force and wait. His presence could then be perceived by the temple’s master, who could sense that there was a powerful cultivator in the vicinity. Of which, the servant was then sent to invite this guest to go to the temple.
Not far from the foot of the mountain peak, about an hour’s time of walking, a gigantic black agate was seen in front of the temple gate.
Without notifying anyone, the child servant led Zhou Zishang straight into the temple.
The Profound Virtue Temple was built along the vertical axis of the mountain. After crossing the gate, there was a towering basaltic stele built on the side facing the east. It displayed the school’s early cultivators as their names were engraved on the stele. A stone road split the lush and dense ancient forest as it led the way to the three temple’s halls. The Ethic Academic Hall, the Great Tranquility Hall, and the Profound Virtue Hall. These three main halls were the center of the Three Great Schools of the Blue Ocean Sect.
The alley road was paved with pebbles, and there were many potted bonsais and ivy plants that were arranged neatly on both sides. It was very beautiful as if it was a celestial being’s dwelling place. However, Zhou Zishang actually had no intention to appreciate this place as he strode directly forward and followed the child servant to the top of the Temple’s Hall on Endless Night Peak.
As they strode forward and entered the main hall, they saw a white-haired and white-bearded Daoist priest sitting cross-legged on a meditation mat.
The old Daoist slightly opened his eyes, rolled up his horsetail whisk and spoke, “So it’s actually a fellow Daoist from the Heavenly Jade Sect who is visiting the temple, this poor Daoist is the head deacon of this temple; I greet you.”
Zhou Zishang didn’t return the courtesy as he replied in a straight manner, “I’ve come here to discuss something and it will be troubling fellow Daoist.”
Hearing these ‘fellow Daoist’ words and seeing the disrespectful manner from Zhou Zishang, the old Daoist priest’s eyebrows unconsciously twitched as he rose and slowly said, “Please, may your Excellency state the matter clearly.”
Zhou Zishang crossed his hands behind his back as he stood straight, and spoke condescendingly, “Myself is a youngster from the Zhou Family. One of the disciples in this Profound Virtue Temple is this one’s brother-in-law. Because there were some matters in our family, he then left after some discords happened at home. So, he angrily climbed the mountain and came here. My true intention here is to bring him back and descend this mountain.”
The Old Daoist priest’s lips squirmed as he expressionlessly replied, “A Profound Virtue Temple disciple has always followed their heart and mind, with intentions and desires to move accordingly to his destiny and nature. This old Daoist cannot force him to do anything.”
These words seemed like it was an irrelevant reply. However, it strongly hinted the words ‘heart and mind’. The Old Daoist priest’s meaning was very clear. As long as Zhang Yan was unwilling to leave, he will not force him to descend the mountain.
Zhou Zishang showed a faint smile, this answer was originally within his expectations.
“If that is the case, then please send my family’s Dao manual as a gift to my brother-in-law. Old fellow Daoist wouldn’t refuse this request would you?” Zhou Zishang’s hands held a light silk manual and directly handed it to the Old Daoist in front of him.
The Old Daoist glanced slightly at the book’s title, ‘Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins’. His eyelids unconsciously jumped slightly. He hesitated for a long time before he finally stretched his hand and received the manual. He lightly said, “If it is so, this manual would be sent to him by this old Daoist.”
The old Daoist’s complexion was indifferent, but Zhou Zishang’s also showed the same and ignored it as he cupped his hand, “Thank you for fellow Daoist’s help.”
The old Daoist priest shut his eyes and didn’t speak again. His hand pinched a jade slip as it then emitted a melodious sound. It was a sign indicating that he was asking this guest to leave.
Zhou Zishang loudly laughed and casually walked away.
The old Daoist lightly stroke his white beard. Although his complexion didn’t change even a bit, his heart was extremely amazed. This Zhou Zishang was only a teenager, but to his surprise, he had already opened his meridians and solidified his Qi. There was a faint rosy cloud enveloping this youth’s body, of which indicated that his cultivation level was not beneath himself. He was really worthy to be an elite disciple from a powerful sect. His previous conduct and methods had shown his confidence and also indicated his true self, that it was natural for him to do so.
Don’t judge his conduct of striding directly into the temple as being impolite and rude. As a matter of fact, the old Daoist was fully aware that the youth’s conducts from a moment ago were only forcing him to become a mediator to cover his true purposes. That youth also didn’t tell him about his main point. Therefore, this youth intentionally showed an arrogant and domineering appearance to make him slowly feel unwell and restless, without giving much effort in doing so.
If this youth was given sufficient time to grow, his future would be limitless.
The old Daoist lowered his head and glanced at the Dao manual in his hand. This ‘Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins’ was one of the ancient manuals from early historical times. It was told that the manual originally came from the Great Southern Sect, and was sent by a Daoist devotee’s crane. As for how this manual came into Zhou Zishang’s possession, it was unknown. This manual contained a superior law to help open one’s meridians.
When a cultivator’s meridians opened, a spiritual power seed would take root and grow. The seed would become the foundation in forming spiritual Qi. Which would give that cultivator the ability to practice a superior immortal law that would greatly promote their strength in the future. However, this Dao law was not only very complex and complicated, it also hid an enormous danger. If a cultivator didn’t have a master or an experienced cultivator to direct them in every step of the way, it would be very easy for them to run into accidents, which would injure them and even possibly break their meridians. This would absolutely cause their foundation to be completely destroyed, disabling them. And in the end, they wouldn’t be able to continue cultivating for the rest of their lives.
The old Daoist couldn’t help but sigh deeply. He didn’t know how Zhou Zishang and Zhang Yan had a falling out, but one of them had unexpectedly gone too far as he planned to destroy the other’s cultivation path.
After leaving the temple hall’s gate, Zhou Zishang seemed to be very pleased with himself. He believed that his plan was very thorough and would not fail. Zhang Yan might have been able to cultivate after he came to this Cangwu Mountain. However, Zhou Zishang was certain that even if Zhang Yan was very careful, he definitely had some acupoint gates in his meridians that he was not aware of. Once he missed all the delicate and minor details about the acupoints in his meridians, his main vital acupoint would be discarded. This plan, that borrowed the Profound Virtue Temple’s hands to destroy Zhang Yan’s cultivation path, was the safest and the most reliable plan. Even though the moment would come where Zhou Zishang would be suspected for Zhang Yan’s accident, he would have a good excuse. That the manual was given out of goodwill. Thus, Zhang Yan could only blame himself because of his bad luck.
Once Zhang Yan realizes that he has no hope to cultivate, he could only go back home and obediently serve his wife and family at home.
 The evil scheme/plan/event is in the making and is about to unfold…