Chapter 14 - Art of Dragon Mastery
Lin Yi couldn’t believe how lucky he was- a little later, and the doors would’ve shut him inside! Learning the first stage? He’d starve to death before anything else.
The first ray of sunlight shined onto the mountain, and the stone doors behind Lin Yi closed themselves without warning.
He walked back to try and get the doors open again, but to no avail.
The stone tablet spoke the truth. The only way to get past the doors was to wait for the full moon five years later.
Lin Yi was a little disappointed, but he did manage to get his hands on some special scroll. He’d figure the whole thing out after getting home.
“Yi, you okay?” A familiar voice sounded from behind him. Lin Yi turned and saw Old Lin, talking to him as if he didn’t try to murder him last night.
“Fuck! You damn old man, kicking me down a freaking mountain, were you trying to kill me?!” Lin Yi’s bones were still hurting from the fall.
“I dunno, you look pretty alive to me.” Seeing Lin Yi in one piece relaxed Old Lin, since he was prepared to see some pretty serious injuries. He seemed calm, but he’d be lying if he said he didn’t worry at all. As strengthened with medicine as the boy may be, the old man had no guarantee, not when falling down a mountain was concerned.
“Halfway there, old man.” Lin Yi said as he considered if he should inform the old man of his findings. After some hesitation, he concluded that Old Lin’s vast knowledge could but bring him more benefit than harm.
“Old man, I went in this cave yesterday…” Lin Yi said as he pointed behind him.
“Uh-huh…” Old Lin already knew- Lin Yi was holding a chest in his hand. He couldn’t help but feel delighted that Lin Yi decided to tell him of it, however... It meant that he was trusted. He didn’t raise Lin Yi up for nothing after all, the old man contemplated.
“And then…” Lin Yi didn’t know what the old man was thinking, so he told him everything that took place, finishing it by handing over the chest. “And this is that chest!”
“Keep it.” Old Lin said after a look at it, his voice dull.
“You’re not gonna look inside?” Lin Yi was confused. The old man didn’t seem interested in something so magical, not at all!
“There’s no point.” Old Lin shook his head.
Lin Yi had loads of questions to fire, but the old man’s face made it clear what he was thinking. Stop asking so many questions, do whatever you want.
It was difficult, but the two managed to climb back up home. Old Lin fell into his bed and started sleeping, leaving Lin Yi with his chest.
Since the old man didn’t bother, Lin Yi had only himself to learn what the whole thing was about. He placed the chest on an old table, and started examining it.
The chest was from an ancient time, similar to what royalty used to hold their elixirs and bibles. It wasn’t locked, and Lin Yi opened it with ease.
He was breathing heavily at this point, his eyes wide with anticipation. Inside the chest was a scroll made of silk.
He took the scroll out of the chest, and noticed a small piece of jade at the bottom. Lin Yi picked it up and raised it to a light.
It was high quality jade, with a mysterious pattern etched on it. It wasn’t the ancient text, so Lin Yi didn’t understand what it meant. He knew, however, that the writing on the scroll was different from the one etched on the jade.
He was puzzled- the stone tablets and the scroll had the same writing- only the jade was exempt from that rule.
Lin Yi took the jade to the old man afterward, inquiring about its purpose. Unexpectedly, the old man didn’t know. All he did was stare at it, equally surprised himself.
Much more surprised than when Lin Yi showed him the chest.
He came to the conclusion that the jade had to be related to the scroll, and subsequently, the training to master the art. He decided to have it with him at all times.
The scroll disappointed Lin Yi a little when he unrolled it- it was thin, and the size of a scarf.
Lin Yi’s experience with Wuxia novels, however, told him that it wasn’t about the word count on the scroll. Many high level techniques required only a piece of human skin to write down. With that in mind, Lin Yi started reading.
The four words “Art of Dragon Mastery” caught Lin Yi’s eyes instantly. It was of the same ancient text from the stone tablets in the cave.
Below the title was a line of small characters. The first stage: Silkworm in the Sky. The main text followed after: “Mortals weren’t much different from ants. Through what means does one change their fate, grasping…”
Lin Yi went through the text quickly. The first stage was divided into the early phase, the mid phase, and the late phase. The scroll, however, had only the first stage of “Art of Dragon Mastery” written on it.
Lin Yi, of course, understood that there wasn’t only one stage to this art. If it was mentioned that there was a first stage, then naturally there would be a second and third stage as well.
As for where the other scrolls were, Lin Yi wasn’t sure. They might be behind the second set of doors, or somewhere else entirely. At any rate, Lin Yi had to finish completing the first stage before thinking of anything else.
The introduction to the Art of Dragon Mastery was complex and difficult to understand, but the process of the actual training was very clear, and detailed. There were even illustrations of human acupuncture points for him to reference. Lin Yi never had any trouble with those, since he’d been practicing kungfu from a young age.
Without any second thoughts, Lin Yi followed the instructions the first stage gave him. Lin Yi was young, and he couldn’t possibly have considered anything else beyond the simple idea of defeating Old Lin. In actuality, there lay a risk: What he was training so hard for may very well be incompatible with the things the old man had taught him already, and incompatibilities like that were a serious matter.
Even when Lin Yi would look back years later… The main reason he was interested in learning “Art of Dragon Mastery” in the first place was because of how cool the name sounded. Kung fu that could take down even a dragon? Who wouldn’t want to learn something like that?
It wasn’t until much later that Lin Yi realized- it wasn’t martial arts at all.