Chapter 29 - Lifting the Heavy as Though It Was Light
Bai Xiaochun inspected the defensive ability of the jade tablet before bursting into laughter. His fiery gaze immediately shifted towards his wooden sword. This was the same wooden sword he had received when he had first entered the sect. It had accompanied him up to this point and had already undergone two refinements.
“Judging from the improvement in the defensive capability of this jade tablet, after I refine this wooden sword for the third time, its power will definitely be extraordinary!” Bai Xiaochun smiled slightly before he began to refine the wooden sword.
As the silver light shone and the glow inside of the turtle-shell pot faded away, a small wooden sword appeared in front of Bai Xiaochun. The third silver pattern on the sword was glaring to the eyes. After a while, the brightness slowly faded away. The appearance of this wooden sword changed as well. It was now one finger longer, and the wood vein was almost completely purple.
It even exuded a peculiar aroma. This scent was very strange. The fragrance started out smelling and tasting sweet, but if one breathed it in for a long time, they would fall into a trance.
Bai Xiaochun’s body shivered as his eyes sobered. He looked at this small wooden sword with surprise. Lifting it slowly, he discovered that it was now many times heavier than before, as if he was holding a heavy rock.
His eyes shone as he placed the small wooden sword in front of him in order to inspect it closely. In his eyes, it could be seen that he was deep in thought.
“The material of this wooden sword is probably the rather common Dense Cloud Wood. This Dense Cloud Wood only requires about fourty-nine days of refinement before it can be used as equipment for cultivators. Furthermore, they can also be mass refined.” Bai Xiaochun mumbled, inspecting the vein on this wooden sword.
“Purple veins... then there is only one explanation. After multiple refinements, a mutation appeared in this sword” Bai Xiaochun closed his eyes. Every bit of knowledge about Dense Cloud Wood, which he had acquired from studying herbs, flashed through his mind.
After a long time, when he opened both of his eyes, there was a sense of anticipation revealed in his gaze. He made a couple of hand signs with his right hand, and pointed at the sword. Suddenly, a black glow mixed with traces of purple appeared on the sword before it flew out. In the blink of an eye, it pierced through the wooden cabin. It even flew out of the yard and pierced a huge rock, more than ten zhang away.
Without a sound, the small wooden sword pierced through the rock. It made a revolution within the rock before it pierced through and exited the rock again. In another blink of an eye, it had already returned in front of Bai Xiaochun.
There wasn’t even the slightest scratch on the sword’s body. Instead, an aura of sharpness flickered from the blade.
Bai Xiaochun was very excited. He turned the small wooden sword around, inspecting it thoroughly. After he covered up the third silver pattern, he pushed open the wooden cabin’s door. He was filled with happiness as he took a deep breath. However, as soon as he thought about the Scented Cloud Mountain’s small competition in two months time, he still felt unsafe.
“No, accomplishing just this much is still not enough. Those competitors are certainly going to be ferocious. It would be better if I prepared more.” Bai Xiaochun clenched his teeth, recalling the two states introduced in the Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Techinique.
Lifting the heavy as though it was light, lifting the light as though it was heavy.
When cultivating with the Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Techinique, these two levels were the established ways to practice. If one could cultivate these levels to the peak, then the technique would be transformed to a godly skill named Purple Qi Melting Cauldron Technique.
At the South Bank of the Spirit River Sect, the Purple Qi Cauldron Manipulation Techinique was a basic skill. Almost everyone would cultivate it. But it was rare for them to be able to cultivate it to the level of lifting the heavy as though it was light. The second level, lifting the light as though it was heavy was even rarer. As for cultivating them both to the peak and transforming the technique into the Purple Qi Melting Cauldron Technique, that was even more unlikely.
Even if there were people who gained enlightenment with the Purple Qi Melting Cauldron Technique, all of them would certainly be disciples of the Purple Cauldron Mountain.
“Lifting the heavy as if though it was light.... Only after reaching this level of object manipulation will my winning chances increase. ” Thinking about the introduction of this technique, Bai Xiaochun lowered his head and looked at the small wooden sword in his hand.
When Bai Xiaochun thought about how the Burning Stoves Kitchen and Administration Department wrongly assumed that he had mastered ‘lifting the heavy as though it was light’ back then during his battle with Xu Baocai, an idea suddenly crossed his mind.
“The reason that they assumed I understood how to ‘lift the heavy as though it was light’ was due to the level of ease with which I had controlled the small wooden sword. But the actual reason for this was the extraodinary power that the small wooden sword possessed after it was refined.
In fact, I am not actually skilled in manipulating the wooden sword. As for lifting the heavy though it was light...” Bai Xiaochun furrowed his brows and simply sat with legs crossed in the yard. Looking down at the wooden sword, his eyes lost focus, and gradually became bloodshot.
After a while, he suddenly raised his right hand and the wooden sword flew out. It vigorously cut straight ahead, the wind whizzed and it blew up quite some dust and dirt off the ground. Bai Xiaochun’s brows furrowed even further. He made some hand signs with his right hand and pointed again. But this time, he was not pointing at the wooden sword, instead, he was pointing at the rock that recently got pierced by the wooden sword.
With a point of his finger, the huge rock violently shook. After it rose a chi off the ground, the Qi in Bai Xiaochun's body became unstable. With a rumble, the rock fell down again.
(ED note: one chi is equal to ⅓ of a meter or 1.094 ft.)
The distress Bai Xiaochun felt disappeared, as his eyes gradually brightened up. With great determination, he circulated the spirit Qi inside of his body and pointed out again.
Once, twice, thrice…
Time flew, and in a blink of an eye, half a month had passed. In this half of a month, Bai Xiaochun was focused on controlling and moving the rock almost every second. This rock was almost triple a person’s height, and it weighed no less than seven to eight hundred jin. Even with Bai Xiaochun’s peak of the fifth level of Qi Condensation, it was still not easy to completely control that rock.
(ED note: one jin is equal to ½ kg or 1.1023 pounds)
However, because his cultivation was well-refined, Bai Xiaochun was able to try. If anyone else at the peak of the fifth level of Qi Condensation were to try, they would lift this rock for a couple cun at most.
(ED note: one cun is equal to 3.33cm or 1.311 inches)
Looking at it now, Bai Xiaochun had realized that the biggest struggle he had with controlling this big rock was not the lack of spirit Qi, but because his control over it was unstable. Oftentimes, despite the fact that he clearly still had spirit Qi inside him, the supply would break on its own.
“Changing the spirit Qi into silk strings and moving it with a constant speed so that the silk string will never break. That is the key to manipulating objects.” There was a spark in Bai Xiaochun’s bloodshot eyes as he hoarsely mumbled.
This was just like how ordinary families made noodles. If the noodles were pulled too quickly, then the noodles would break. But if it was too slow, then the noodles wouldn’t be very long. Thus, it was important to maintain a stable level of strength so a person could do it with ease.
As for cultivating the skill of manipulating objects, if one wanted to reach the peak level, then a person would need to be capable of maintaining this stable level of strength. Naturally, this would increase the difficulty.
“I get it. Lifting the heavy as though it was light does not mean everything literally. Controlling heavy things with a feeling of lightness is just a superficial message. The true meaning of this is not referring to the object but the control of spirit Qi! ”
“The total volume of my five levels of Qi Condensation is refered to as ‘heavy’, and transforming it to become a thin but prolonged silk string is refered to as ‘light. If I can do this, then it would be lifting the heavy as though it was ‘light’. And looking at its visible performance, the speed will be controlled with ease.” Bai Xiaochun’s face showed signs of excitement. After solving this riddle, he raised his right hand, and the rock far away immediately trembled and quickly rose into the air.
As if there was an invisible hand grabbing the rock, it launched into the air with a -hu- sound and headed straight towards Bai Xiaochun. But in the middle of the air, the rock paused and slammed into the yard, blowing up dust and dirt.
Bai Xiaochun did not give up and continued trying. After another half a month, he found himself unable to keep his spirit Qi in a stable prolonged line of silk string no matter how hard he tried.
Even if he managed to do it sometimes, because the rock was too heavy, the string of spirit Qi would be disconnected due to the unstable flow.
But if he was controlling the small wooden sword, this was no problem at all because it was not as heavy as the big rock. Thus, Bai Xiaochun felt a significantly easier time controlling it. With a month of practice, the speed of controlling the sword improved a lot.
In fact, this was already at the level of lifting the heavy as though it was light, but Bai Xiaochun was still unsatisfied. He gnashed his teeth in frustration, his eyes were bloodshot as his face contorted in anxiety.
“I don’t believe this!” Bai Xiaochun made some hand signs with his right hand, pointed at the rock, and this rock surprisingly flew on top of his head.
Cold sweat surfaced on Bai Xiaochun’s forehead. Looking at the big rock above his head with slight fear and shock, he tried his best to maintain that invisible string of spirit Qi. If the string was broken, even though the rock dropping would not crush him, it would still cause him intense pain.
This time he clearly lasted longer. But after an hour, Bai Xiaochun screamed, and with a rumble, the rock fell on top of him. After a while, the rock swayed and got pushed aside, allowing Bai Xiaochun to climb out from underneath it.
With the protection from the impenetrable skin, he was not really injured, but that kind of agony made him clench his teeth from pain.
However his fighting spirit only intensified. With continuous attempts, one month after another, he gradually improved from dropping that rock a couple times per day to only once. In the end, Bai Xiaochun would occasionally not drop it throughout the whole day.
And he gradually raised it higher. The highest it reached was over ten zhang. If the rock hit anyone from this height, the agony would make one’s face ashen, even if it was Bai Xiaochun.
But this was the only way he could completely focus.
Gradually, he could already make the spirit Qi inside of him behave like lifting the heavy as though it was light, and keep it stable from start to finish without any disruptions in between. But he was still not satisfied. He then stopped sitting cross-legged, instead, he started moving while maintaining the string of spiri Qi connected.
The level of difficulty increased, and rumbles echoed from the yard again and again.
Time passed by, when it was only three days away from the small competition in the Scented Cloud Mountain that Li Qinghou mentioned, there was a huge rock weighing about seven-eight hundred jin floating in midair in Bai Xiaochun’s yard. His figure was moving quickly in the yard. Meanwhile, the rock was completely still despite Bai Xiaochun moving around.
After doing this for a while, Bai Xiaochun paused. Standing in front of the wooden cabin, he laughed while facing the sky. With a wave of his right hand, that rock in the midair flew out of the yard with a woosh, and landed where it had been in the beginning.
Bai Xiaochun pinched his fingers and pointed, the small wooden sword flew out and cut straight ahead. Its speed was so fast that only a blur could be seen. In fact, its speed was dozens of times faster than before.
Bai Xiaochun’s expression was filled with delight as he pinched his fingers and made some hand signs quickly.
The extreme speed, coupled with the power of the wooden sword, immediately reached astonishing levels. In an instant, it seemed like many small wooden swords had appeared in the yard, Sword Qi flew about.
With a flourish of his sleeves, the faint images vanished. The only remaining sword went straight towards Bai Xiaochun and disappeared into his storage pouch.
“This time, I should be able to get into the top five.” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath. Even though he still wasn’t completely assured, it was almost time, so he could only sit down cross-legged and settle his Qi and restore himself to his peak state.