Chapter 22 Book 1: 20: Innate Realm
Chapter 22 Book 1: 20: Innate Realm
Book 1: Chapter 20: Innate Realm
The Chen Nation’s army’s progress was incomparably smooth. How were the one hundred fifty thousand soldiers fighting a war? This seemed more like going on a tour. Along the way, they all received the best treatment. They did not have to subdue and claim the cities. Instead, the cities forcefully shoved themselves to the Chen Nation.
Along the way, Chen Liangyi felt like he was dreaming. Could this be any more ridiculous?
Back when his father fought the war, his father ended up in miserable defeat and had to flee. However, he only had to sit, wait, and collect the cities.
“Hah! Chen Taiji was truly wretched back then. Had he used Gu Hai from the start, he would not have died while feeling so wronged,” Chen Tianshan sighed.
There was no need to continue watching. Chen Tianshan already guessed the result. Simultaneously, he had gained an extremely deep understanding of how terrifying Gu Hai could be.
“My imperial father? Hah! He was just reaping what he sowed in the past!” Chen Liangyi said bitterly.
“Do you know the reason?” Chen Tianshan asked, feeling some doubt.
Chen Liangyi nodded and replied, “Over the past few days, I sought out the old eunuchs who served by my father’s side. After that, I learned what happened.”
“Gu Hai appeared out of nowhere forty years ago. When Imperial Father discovered Gu Hai’s capability, he introduced the top beauty of the Chen Nation, Chen Xianer, to Gu Hai for the sake of keeping Gu Hai by his side, aiming to control Gu Hai through that,” Chen Liangyi said bitterly.
“Oh? Control Gu Hai? Do you mean that he arranged for Chen Xianer to be by Gu Hai’s side to tempt Gu Hai and monitor him?” Chen Tianshan asked, appearing somewhat confused.
“Although I do not want to acknowledge it, it is indeed true. While Imperial Father made use of Gu Hai’s talent, he was also horrified by Gu Hai’s ability to strategize and scheme. He kept his guard up against Gu Hai, getting Chen Xianer to report everything about Gu Hai to him. Gu Hai eventually fell for Chen Xianer and took her as his wife. Then, Imperial Father and Gu Hai swore an oath of brotherhood,” Chen Liangyi explained.
“Oh? Gu Hai is so smart. Did he not discover this?” Chen Tianshan said in shock.
“Of course, Gu Hai discovered it. Furthermore, it seems he discovered it at the very start. However, Gu Hai had fallen in love with Chen Xianer and did not expose this. Instead, he used his actions to move Chen Xianer. Over time, he succeeded, and Chen Xianer submitted to him, officially becoming Gu Hai’s wife and no longer listening to Imperial Father’s orders.”
“On account of their love, it made it difficult for Gu Hai to expose the matter. Hence, Gu Hai forgave Imperial Father for being on guard against him. Gu Hai did not pursue the past. The two were supposed to be sworn brothers, but Imperial Father became obsessed at that time. Hah!”
“What was he obsessed with?” Chen Tianshan asked, feeling startled.
“Imperial Father also fell in love with Chen Xianer. He wanted Chen Xianer to come to his side, but Chen Xianer refused. Consumed with jealousy, Imperial Father prepared to kill Gu Hai and snatch Chen Xianer away.”
“What?!” Chen Tianshan exclaimed.
“Imperial Father already laid out a trap, just waiting for Gu Hai to fall into it. However, Chen Xianer disrupted it and ended up taking the arrow for Gu Hai.
“Chen Xianer died?” Chen Tianshan asked in surprise.
“No. However, Chen Xianer could no longer get pregnant because of that arrow. This enraged Gu Hai, and he swore to take revenge. However, Chen Xianer stopped him. The royal clan adopted Chen Xianer while she was young. To repay her debt of gratitude to the royal clan, she begged Gu Hai to let Imperial Father off.”
“Gu Hai doted on Chen Xianer, so he agreed. From then on, he parted ways with Imperial Father and became a merchant.”
“What about Chen Xianer?” Chen Tianshan asked out of curiosity.
“I don’t know. I only know that Chen Xianer passed away for some reason ten years ago. When she died, two of Gu Hai’s adopted sons disappeared,” Chen Liangyi explained.
“Oh? Two adopted sons?”
“Chen Xianer could not conceive. However, Gu Hai did not marry again, as he loved Chen Xianer too much. This meant that he would not have descendants. So, he adopted four sons, named Qin, Han, Tang, and Ming.”
[TL Note: Qin, Han, Tang, and Ming are the names of ancient Chinese dynasties.]
“Gu Qin? Gu Han? Gu Tang? Gu Ming?” Chen Tianshan said in amazement.
“Yes. I don’t know how Chen Xianer died, but Gu Tang and Gu Ming vanished after she died. Gu Hai did not remarry, remaining in the Gu Residence. Chen Xianer’s grave is there. Gu Qin kept Gu Hai company, and Gu Han went to the Song Nation and remained there until today,” Chen Liangyi explained.
“It looks like Chen Taiji was really just reaping what he sowed.” Chen Tianshan nodded.
“I have a report! Your Majesty, we are about to arrive in Song City!” A scout came to make a report.
“Song City? The Song Emperor will definitely resist. After all, it is his empire. He cannot possibly give it away,” Chen Tianshan said with a serious expression.
“Everyone, prepare for battle!” Chen Liangyi shouted.
“Yes!” A general quickly left to command the soldiers.
The army headed cautiously toward Song City. Soon, they saw the sprawling Song City in the distance.
However, the scene in the distance caused Chen Liangyi and Chen Tianshan to open their mouths in shock again.
Everyone saw Song City’s gates opening. Then, the Song Nation’s civil and military officials stepped outside the city and respectfully welcomed them from afar.
The Song Emperor had his hands bound and was chained at the side, not far away from the civil and military officials, appearing to be in a sorry state.
Chen Liangyi rubbed his eyes.
Chen Tianshan gaped in shock.
“Is that the Song Emperor?” Chen Liangyi asked in shock.
At the top of a city gate tower in Song City:
The young, female hall master, Venerable Liu Nian, and their groups showed complicated expressions in their eyes.
The earlier scene shocked not only Chen Liangyi and Chen Tianshan but also this group of people.
“Betray the emperor for glory? A group of traitorous officials! Did Gu Hai bribe them?” the First Song Sect Master said with an unsightly expression.
“No. Old Mister Gu did not bribe them. Rather, Old Mister Gu forced them to this. Who could have thought that Old Mister Gu had been waiting here long ago? He had already arranged for people to monitor all the major officials, recording all misdeeds the moment they were committed,” Gao Xianzhi sighed.
The First Song Sect Master gaped and said, “How can this be? This Gu Hai is too good at scheming.”
“It is not that Gu Hai is too good at scheming. Instead, it is that your ability to scheme is too shallow. That’s why you ended up limited to this small place,” the young, female hall master said with narrowed eyes.
“Huh? Indeed!” The First Song Sect Master showed a faint bitter smile.
“Alright, we have seen everything. It is time to return. Gu Hai should be coming, right?” the young woman said with a sparkle in her eyes.
Song City, inside the yard of an inn that had already closed down:
The Clear River Sect Master led ten Clear River Sect disciples, staring at an old man in front of them.
“Gu Hai?” The Clear River Sect Master continued staring at the old man.
“Greetings, Clear River Sect Master. Greetings to the various Immortal Venerates. I hope the war between the Chen Nation and the Song Nation did not disappoint you all,” Gu Hai said respectfully.
“Hahahahaha! Gu Hai, you did well! You did not see how green the face of that old fogey, the First Song Sect Master, turned when the Song Nation’s civil and military officials barged into the palace and captured the Song Emperor. You did well. Indeed, I did not misjudge you!” The Clear River Sect Master guffawed.
“Many thanks for Immortal Venerate’s praise. I apologize for this offense, but this humble one is here in hopes that Clear River Sect Master will fulfill your promise to help me break into the Innate Realm!” Gu Hai took out a scroll and handed it over.
“Oh?” The Clear River Sect Master stared at that scroll.
“This humble one has a particular physique that makes cultivation hard. I am not sufficiently sensitive to the Spiritual Energy of the world. Compared to other cultivators of the same realm, I can absorb only one percent of what they can. Furthermore, what I absorb is easily scattered. That makes it very difficult for me to progress. Breaking into the Innate Realm will require a great opportunity and vast amounts of Spiritual Energy. However, this humble one can collect only one percent of what others can, unable to progress any further. I plead with Clear River Sect Master to grant me this!” Gu Hai said gravely.
“Oh? Sit down cross-legged!” the Clear River Sect Master said, feeling curious.
If it were the past, the Clear River Sect Master would not care about an Acquired Realm cultivator. However, he was in a good mood now, so he accepted this. Furthermore, he had promised this before the young, female hall master.
“Yes. Many thanks, Immortal Venerate!”
Gu Hai immediately sat down cross-legged and placed his hands on his knees as he waited for the Clear River Sect Master to do something.
The Clear River Sect Master approached and formed a hand seal. A breeze suddenly blew in the surroundings, and faint purple energy surged towards Gu Hai’s body.
The purple energy immediately paused and scattered on the surface of Gu Hai’s body.
“Huh? What’s going on? I sent Spiritual Energy into your body. Why did it get blocked?” the Clear River Sect Master said, showing some surprise.
“Immortal Venerate, it is not blocked. Instead, when it entered my body, ninety-nine percent of it scattered automatically!” Gu Hai said with a bitter smile.
“What?!” The surrounding Clear River Sect disciples revealed shocked expressions.
“Immortal Venerate, my cultivation talent is too poor. That’s why I sought Immortal Venerate’s help. The breakthrough needs to succeed in one go. Otherwise, even if one percent of the Spiritual Energy enters my body, it will slowly leak out. I already accumulated the Acquired Veritable Energy in my dantian, reaching consummation. I only need strong energy to help break through the limit. That’s why I sought Immortal Venerate to help me with your full power,” Gu Hai explained further.
The Clear River Sect Master nodded and said, “Your cultivation talent is indeed abysmal. However, rest assured. Since I have promised, I will help you to succeed in your breakthrough!”
“Many thanks, Immortal Venerate!” Gu Hai said gratefully.
“Send your consciousness into your dantian and sense the Spiritual Energy filling your body!” the Clear River Sect Master instructed seriously.
Gu Hai immediately sank his consciousness into his dantian. His dantian was a small space with large volumes of purple energy in it. This was the Veritable Energy in Gu Hai’s body. However, he had reached consummation of the Acquired Realm. His Veritable Energy was already at the peak, unable to progress further.
The Clear River Sect Master stretched out his hand and waved. “Spiritual Energy of the world, cooperate with me!”
A strong wind suddenly blew in the surroundings, swirling around the Clear River Sect Master. Then, his body released beams of fluorescent light. The strong wind seemed to carry strands of purple light. These strands flowed along the Clear River Sect Master’s body and gathered at his palms.
The Clear River Sect Master struck Gu Hai’s back with both palms.
Gu Hai’s figure trembled, but he remained still without opening his eyes.
At this moment, the boundless purple Veritable Energy in Gu Hai’s dantian surged.
The surging Veritable Energy flowed quickly. Gu Hai did not dare to be careless, fully focusing on this.
“What a trashy physique! I did my best to send in a large amount of Spiritual Energy into your body, and you could absorb only one percent of it? Was the rest wasted? All of you, come over and help me squeeze the leaking Spiritual Energy into Gu Hai’s body!” the Clear River Sect Master ordered.
“Yes!” The Clear River Sect disciples immediately stepped forward and surrounded Gu Hai.
The ten Clear River Sect disciples took action together. They seemed to generate a large force field, driving all the surrounding Spiritual Energy toward Gu Hai and squeezing it in.
Gu Hai’s body trembled intensely. Although most of the Spiritual Energy still leaked out, plenty poured into Gu Hai’s dantian.
Spiritual Energy poured into Gu Hai’s dantian. To his eyes, the Veritable Energy in his dantian seemed to turn into countless small worms, consuming the Spiritual Energy of the world. After the worms consumed a large amount of Spiritual Energy, they suddenly split into two worms.
This resulted in more Veritable Energy, increasing the accumulation of Veritable Energy in Gu Hai’s dantian and intensifying the surges.
However, it was still insufficient. This seemed to be far from the limit.
Outside, the Clear River Sect Master’s face twitched. “Rotten wood cannot be carved. What a useless fellow!”
The group of Clear River Sect disciples goggled at Gu Hai.
They knew that Gu Hai had a poor physique. However, they did not expect it to be this awful. Ten Golden Core Realms and one Nascent Soul Realm working at full power still could not help him break through. This was crazy!
Everyone brought out their full ability. However, Gu Hai still showed no signs of breaking through after one hour.
The Clear River Sect Master was flushed with anger.
What kind of trashy physique is this?
The Clear River Sect Master had already worked hard for one hour and was starting to find this somewhat unbearable.
What a disaster. Had I known, I would not have agreed.
Just as the Clear River Sect Master was about to stop out of anger, the young, female hall master and her group entered the yard.
“Oh? You’ve already started?” The young, female hall master asked with a smile, feeling curious.
Now that the young, female hall master entered, the Clear River Sect Master naturally could not stop. He could only clench his teeth and continue infusing energy into Gu Hai.
However, Gu Hai’s body was like a bottomless pit. The vast, surging Spiritual Energy of the world could not make him break through.
“One Nascent Soul Realm cultivator and ten Golden Core Realm cultivators are pouring Spiritual Energy into Gu Hai, yet he still cannot break through?” Venerable Liu Nian appeared shocked.
The young, female hall master also frowned as she said, “How did he manage to cultivate to the peak of the Acquired Realm?”
Everyone suddenly felt grave.
“This is not enough. Use spirit stones!” the Clear River Sect Master shouted.
“Yes!” the Clear River Sect disciples answered.
Everyone quickly took out a fist-sized, iridescent stone.
When the group shouted, dazzling rainbow light suddenly burst out of the iridescent stones. Then, a visible, rainbow-colored stream of energy flowed into Gu Hai’s body.
Gu Hai’s body trembled again.
“Even such vast Spiritual Energy did not injure him? The bodies of those who cultivate physically are strong, indeed!” Venerable Liu Nian said with a frown.
The young woman nodded gravely.
“Pay no mind to his physique. Use the spirit stones at full force. I don’t believe that we can’t make him break through!” the Clear River Sect Master said with a ferocious expression.
“Yes!” the Clear River Sect disciples answered.
Surging Spiritual Energy flooded into Gu Hai’s body.
The purple Veritable Energy continuously increased in Gu Hai’s dantian, accumulating endlessly. Its color turned from the initially faint purple to a deep purple. As it surged, it started to show some sense of direction, moving counter-clockwise as it slowly spun.
As the surging Veritable Energy spun, it seemed to give off thunderous sounds.
It is finally changing color?
Gu Hai watched excitedly.
Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!
The spirit stones in the hands of the Clear River Sect Master and the others turned into white powder.
“Sect Master, all of the Spirit Stones are completely drained of Spiritual Energy? How? How could this be? I would only drain one after ten-odd cultivation sessions with it. What kind of trashy physique is this?” a Clear River Sect disciple asked in confusion.
“Continue using spirit stones. We must help him to break into the Innate Realm!” the Clear River Sect Master said with a ferocious expression.
At this moment, the Clear River Sect Master started to feel competitive.
If it is wasted, then so be it. Let’s see how many you can waste.
They all took out spirit stones again and continued to infuse energy into Gu Hai’s body.
The purple Veritable Energy in Gu Hai’s dantian spun increasingly faster.
It seemed that as the Veritable Energy spun, it made more space for new Veritable Energy.
The Veritable Energy spun increasingly faster.
Gu Hai’s consciousness stared at the spinning Veritable Energy, feeling extremely anxious.
Not enough. Still not enough.
The Clear River Sect Master tossed away the crumbled spirit stone in his hand and took out another one to continue pouring Spiritual Energy into Gu Hai. After a while, the Spiritual Energy emptied out, so he took out another spirit stone.
They had already lost track of how many spirit stones they had used. Now, piles of powder lay at everyone’s feet.
From the Clear River Sect Master’s initial ferocious expression resulting from his competitive feelings, he slowly started to break out in a cold sweat.
What’s going on?
I’ve already drained dozens of spirit stones, so why has he not broken through yet? What is he playing at? Is he really breaking through from the Acquired Realm to the Innate Realm?
“Sect Master, I already used all my spirit stones!” a Clear River Sect disciple said with a bitter smile.
“Continue!” The Clear River Sect Master took out a pile of spirit stones and tossed them to the rest.
Then, the group continued pouring the vast Spiritual Energy into Gu Hai’s body. A large portion of the Spiritual Energy leaked into the surroundings. Even though experts were suppressing the energy, it still spread out.
“This…this is practically wasting everything!” The First Song Sect Master appeared confused.
“That’s not right!” Venerable Liu Nian said with a frown.
“It is not being wasted. It seems like…it seems like Gu Hai’s dantian is too picky. Spiritual Energy is contaminated with all sorts of other energies. His dantian is accepting only about one percent of the energy—the portion with the best quality?” Venerable Liu Nian speculated.
“Veritable Energy can be picky?” the young woman marveled.
“This is the Veritable Energy from physical cultivation. It should be somewhat different from the Veritable Energy from inner energy cultivation.” Venerable Liu Nian shook his head while frowning.
Surging Spiritual Energy continued to pour into Gu Hai’s body.
Now, the Clear River Sect Master’s expression turned terrifyingly sullen. He had already used one thousand Spirit Stones, but Gu Hai still had not broken through.
“Hall Master, we might not have enough spirit stones!” the Clear River Sect Master said bitterly.
The young, female hall master took a look and ordered, “Continue!”
As the young woman spoke, she glanced at an azure-clad subordinate at the side. That subordinate quickly took out eleven purple stones.
“Superior-grade spirit stones?” The Clear River Sect Master’s eyes lit up.
The Clear River Sect people quickly used the superior-grade spirit stones to pour vast amounts of Spiritual Energy into Gu Hai’s body.
The surging Veritable Energy spun wildly in Gu Hai’s dantian, slowly forming a whirlpool in the center. As the whirlpool surged, it seemed to contain overwhelming force.
The faster the energy whirlpool spun, the stronger the force. It seemed like it wanted to compress all the Veritable Energy at its center.
The rumbling shook Gu Hai’s consciousness, but he endured it and watched quietly.
It sounded like a crack of thunder.
Suddenly, the center of the energy whirlpool congealed, instantly drawing away most of the surging Veritable Energy and forming a purple liquid in the center of the whirlpool.
A counterforce surged out, causing everyone outside to stop instantly.
Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!
The superior-grade spirit stones in everyone’s hands turned into powder.
Sweat covered the Clear River Sect Master’s head as he looked at Gu Hai with bewilderment. “This…this is the Acquired Realm? Why does it seem even more exaggerated than an Innate Realm cultivator breaking through to the Golden Core Realm?”
Gu Hai’s surroundings glowed with faint purple light. His pores seemed to exude black liquid impurities.
“He finally broke through!” Venerable Liu Nian sighed, feeling a little emotional.
Gu Hai’s consciousness merged into that drop of purple liquid. Large amounts of Veritable Energy revolved around this purple liquid. It felt like this purple liquid was the sovereign of this place, ruling over all the Veritable Energy.
“I managed to distill energy into essence! I’m now in the Innate Realm!” Gu Hai opened his eyes.