Volume 2, Chapter 5 – Mounts the Clouds and Rides the Mist to Fly High through the Vast Sky
A colorful spirit lizard climbed over from the finger as it pleasingly swung its long tail as if it was rejecting a granule of jade’s bead. Zhang Yan’s eyes followed it all the way into a small crack on the wall while faintly smiling. These spirit animals were raised in his Immortal Cave and usually only ate flying insects as it also swept the dust and dirt, causing poisonous snakes as well as other ferocious beasts to not dare to approach. It also only needed to be fed with a Spirit Shellfish bead once a year, which was truly cheap and worthwhile. However, he could only feel some regret that these kinds of living creatures could neither enter nor be reflected in the Broken Jade’s space.
And compared to these spirit animals, the group of people led by Tang Yan in the northern part of the island were useless to him; not even one of them sparked his interest.
He had once taken the initiative to ask Ning Chongxuan to return this woman; however, the other person actually evaded the subject and seemed to have some profound intentions. He carefully thought about it and decided that first, he would let these people be dried up under the sun and would rarely provide them with supplies as to see how long they were able to support themselves. So it wouldn’t be a wonder should they leave voluntarily.
Zhang Yan secretly anticipated, “Senior Brother Ning said that three years later, there would be a great competition where all the Sect’s Courts’ disciples from the nine peaks would gather. In which many of them are outstanding experts of the younger generation. I heard that the gifts that would be bestowed are quite generous. I must strive hard to practice as to be able to obtain a top result and a good harvest at that time!”
Although true disciples didn’t need to go out to kill, they were in a fierce competition with each other. Moreover, the other disciples were also hostile towards true disciples and have been constantly provoking them. Not only does the Upper Court not forbid it, but instead encourages this kind of competition. And the three years’ big competition was to be held in order to improve the disciples’ cultivation level in the Sect.
As for the Sect’s bestowments, it would depend on the disciples’ cultivation level, with each realm having different gifts. It was the same for true disciples, such as the gifts for Profound Light Realm disciples, which would be 10 times more precious than gifts for Radiant Qi Realm disciples. There were even magic flying swords to be bestowed. Both realms, of course, could not be compared on the same level, so regardless of which realm, the most fundamental purpose was to improve their cultivation.
If he were to improve his cultivation level, how could he let Tang Yan and other trivial matters occupy his mind?
At the moment the sky had darkened, Zhang Yan stepped out from his Immortal Cave and headed to the volcanic crater on the Spirit Leaf Island. At 3 to 5 PM everyday, it was the third time in the day when the fire surged and the chaotic and Evil qi was at its peak. The mist evaporated and the Heaven and Earth spiritual qi was extremely fierce. This time was precisely the best time to polish his True Primordial Qi.
In the past two months, after having spent more than 20 days in the Broken Jade’s space, he had been repeatedly practicing the Taiyi Golden Manual. The time he had spent there was equivalent to a year in the outside world. Not only was he able to comprehend this cultivation law thoroughly in his heart, but he also had experimented the maximum tolerance his body was able to endure with each stage.
For example, at his present stage, the most he could inhale was three and a half strands of Evil qi to temper his True Primordial Qi before he got injured. It might be insufficient, but as his first time practicing, he could only inhale at most a half breath more. And along with his unceasing practice, his adaptation degree also deepened. So the quantity he could absorb was also getting more and more.
In this way, he could maximize the efficiency of his practice, causing his cultivation practice to always be maintained at a steady pace. Had it been other cultivators practicing the Taiyi Golden Manual without the protection of their elders or Masters, they would never dare to be as bold as him.
However, for each and every step, he had repeatedly experimented in the Broken Jade, until he guaranteed that he would be absolutely safe before he dared to practice it with his true body. And due to his experience in practicing the cultivation law in the “the Exquisite Records of the Inner Qi Profound Origins Manual“, he had been mastering the ability to control and manipulate his qi, causing him to smoothly practice the Taiyi Golden Manual.
Zhang Yan sat down on the ground nearby the fire hole. He had been tempering himself for a month here. Today, he was about to extract and refine the Yang essence into pure qi. Along with a deafening “BOOM” explosion nearby, smoke and dust instantly flew all around as Evil qi then bursted out. He immediately focused his mind and spirit wholeheartedly as he slowly inhaled a thread of golden fire’s evil qi and swallowed it down. Then, he directed and circulated it through his meridians while a thread of his True Primordial Qi came out from his acupoint gate to finally meet the corroding Evil qi, until it slowly blended and finally transformed into spiritual qi.
Zhang Yan repeatedly continued the process as he gathered more and more spiritual qi. He didn’t know for how long he had been in this state when he felt that his previously dormant internal organs were going to burst out. He opened his mouth and let out “Haaa” to exhale a foul gas. When he looked at it carefully, the gas had a faint blackish-red color, which were seemingly the impurities in his True Primordial Qi.
Zhang Yan viewed it from another angle internally with his divine sense, and he could see a transparent water-like spiritual qi circulating through his acupoints’ gates. Under the surprise, he spoke, “I’m finally successful!” The first refinement step, to refine the Yang essence into pure qi was the most difficult. But once this gas had been successfully refined, then it would be easier for the next refinement; it would no longer be like the first time where he had to try very hard to practice refining it.
His eyes flashed. Since he had been successful in refining the Yang essence to pure qi, he would be able to practice the first stage’s gate contained within this “Billows Cloud Secret Manual”.
When he got this thick manual, he was unable to decide which Dao manuals he would practice first. But when he carefully read it and conducting some meticulous verification, he actually discovered a lot of profound discoveries. Of which, made his worries completely unnecessary.
The Radiant Qi Realm was nothing else but refining one’s True Primordial Qi to temper and transform it to pure spiritual qi. In this aspect, the two Dao manuals were the same. However, the focus point was actually different.
The “Taiyi Golden Manual” entirely focused on this “refining” word, while paying great importance in tempering a cultivator’s True Primordial Qi. However, on the other hand, there were only a few utilization methods in this manual.
But the “Billows Cloud Secret Manual”, although it contained a cultivation law to practice and refine spiritual qi, in the eyes of Zhang Yan, it was not necessarily better, and could neither be compared nor was it worth mentioning alongside the Taiyi Golden Manual. However, it didn’t mean that this Dao Manual had no value whatsoever. Since this Dao manual focused on the “law” word, it meant that it put great emphasis on the method of tempering the spiritual qi along with its circulation and manipulation. As well as giving birth to changes.
Zhang Yan’s desire to comprehend this cultivation law was understandable. Practicing the cultivation law in this “Taiyi Golden Manual” required at least a high grade meridian’s type, but once a cultivator can successfully practice it, his qi would be improved by 10%. Making his qi become more powerful with an overbearing force and peerless might, and giving him more freedom for various uses, of which, exempting the needs to practice other kinds of qi refining methods.
However, the “Billows Cloud Secret Manual” was different. The requirement to practice this Dao manual was at most only a low grade Mist Apparition type, which had some limitations when compared to high-grade types. Thus, the only clever way was to use various ways to transform and exercise the spiritual qi’s flexibility. In fact, many cultivators with low-grade meridian types were perfectly aware about each kind of spiritual qi utilization techniques.
To put it shortly, the “Billows Cloud Secret Manual” was written by a weak Celestial Immortal. Therefore, he could only compose the manual to flexibly transform spiritual qi. Dao Master Sun’s cultivation level, of whom Zhang Yan didn’t dare to measure, had given this manual to him, which perhaps also carried his interpretation about spiritual qi transformation and manipulation to the acme.
These two Dao manuals, one was for the “refining” and the other one was the “law”. Not only did they have no conflict, but instead complemented each other. Therefore, he decided early on that after he practiced the Yang essence refinement, he must try it to find out what kind of divine method was contained in this secret manual!
He didn’t return back to his Immortal Cave but instead stayed here to stimulate and circulate his qi in accordance with the method. And according to the method described in the Dao manual, once all the spiritual qi in his body had been circulated, it could make his body as light as cotton, as if it had no weight. He could then borrow the blowing winds to stride over the water’s surface easily.
But Zhang Yan’s spiritual qi was not any ordinary qi that a Radiant Qi Realm’s disciples could have, his was but refined and tempered from the most pure of the powerful golden fire essence. And at the moment, as he circulated his qi according to the method, he suddenly felt that his body became very light; his feet were lifted off when the wind blew—like a light floating feather.
He really didn’t expect this beforehand, so he quickly calmed himself and slightly looked at his movements. Taking a deep breath first, he strode forward. In a flash, his footing had stepped on the rising cloud above the mist, causing him to barely hold in his astonishment. It was as if a pair of wings had grown on his body, making him suddenly soar straight into the clouds!
When he firmly stabilized his footing, he found himself standing on the clouds above the mist that lingered in the sky. He looked supinely at the starry sky as he then gazed down upon the Great Lake underneath. He sighed while a tumultuous emotion filled his heart, “To think that the so-called ‘mounts the clouds and rides the mists’ was like this! And when I enter the Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, I could naturally use my qi to gather the clouds to roam through everywhere. This is what immortals can do!”
At the same time at the other side of the Spirit Leaf Island, Ling’er walked toward Tang Yan and complained, “Young Lady Yan, when will this day be over?”
Several hundreds of their people were now stranded at the edge of the island, as to avoid the evil qi. Those warriors were in better condition due to their improved their cultivation, and relying on various kinds of concocted pills and Five Elements Gold Sand, as they didn’t need to practice their breathing technique. And coupled with their strong physique, they were able to move like usual even in a place like this.
However, it was different for these women. Their cultivation practices mostly leaned toward the Yin element, and the Golden Phoenix Blazing Inferno caused dizziness and a burning sensation in their internal organs, making them grieve. Not only were they unable to cultivate, they weren’t even able to leave their house. They could only step outside to cultivate for one or two hours every night. Even so, they must be very careful as to avoid inhaling the Evil qi inadvertently.
Had this Evil qi seep into their body, it would then mix with their True Primordial Qi, causing their qi to be contaminated and impure. Over time, it would corrode and damage their meridians, and slowly destroy their foundations unknowingly. Therefore, the soaring Heaven and Earth Spiritual Qi in this Spirit Leaf Island was equal to poisonous beasts for them.
Upon seeing Tang Yan’s concerns and slightly restless expression, Ling’er’s eyes turned as she said, “I heard that Dao Master Sun has given this Zhang Yan his secret manual, could it be that this time he had returned to his home because of worries?”
Hearing Ling’er’s teasing, a smile was drawn on Tang Yan’s face, “There are many cultivators with the Mist Apparition type in this world. But only a selected few are able to successfully practice it. Dao Master Sun is but a real a genius amongst a million, could this Zhang Yan even be able to be compared to him?”
“Hmm, right.” Ling’er patted her palm and said, “It’s exactly so.”
Tang Yan smiled and said, “Ling’er, the time has arrived, you go to practice.”
Linger looked outside the thatched house and let out an “Ah” shout and said, “Today’s Evil qi has passed, Young Lady Yan, I’ll go meditate.”
Ling’er then asked to be excused, but who would have thought that shortly after she came out from the door, she yelled loudly, “Young Lady Yan, come here quickly. Isn’t that Zhang Yan?”
Tang Yan was startled. She quickly got down from the couch and came out of the house in a few strides. She was surprised to see the shocked expression of Ling’er, who was looking at the sky. She could not help but also follow her vision as she saw a youth with hands behind his back hovering in midair beneath the bright moon, while his robes and sleeves were fluttering as if it were dancing. At this moment, the sea of stars filled the boundless sky as if this youth was a celestial being that had descended from heaven!
She locked her vision, wasn’t it Zhang Yan himself?
Ling’er was overwhelmed with shock as she spoke, “How long has this Zhang Yan been practicing? How could he be able to magically hover in the air? Hasn’t Young Master Wang said that this person’s aptitude is only mediocre and couldn’t have any accomplishments?”
Bursts of agitated feeling and thoughts suddenly filled Tang Yan’s mind, “Could it be that Zhang Yan was really as Ning Chongxuan has said, that he’s a rare and outstanding genius in cultivation? No, this person has neither an ancient family background nor has he any foundations. His present achievement is definitely a short and brief flash!”
Although she had these thoughts, but restless feelings unknowingly filled her heart as it was difficult to calm down. These days, she had been constantly consuming her strength due to the Golden Phoenix Blazing Inferno on this island and was thinking of conveying a message to Young Master Wang as to seek his help ahead of time. However, due to her conceited and arrogant nature, she was not willing to take the initiative to lower her reputation. But when she saw this scene at present, it was as if she was stimulated and made up her mind as to no longer wait to act.
She tightly pinched the silk handkerchief on her hand, bit her lower lip and spoke in a fierce tone, “Ling’er, send my letter to Young Master Wang. Tell him that I have had enough and am unable to bear with the Evil qi on this island anymore; say that I’m in a helpless state. I hope that he would pity my miserable state, ask him to rescue me as quickly as possible to save me from this sea of bitterness!”