Chapter 14: Dawn of a New Era
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The day was still young. Jiang Yi was ready to spend four hours practicing the Jiang Water Art to refine his blue essence force and replenish the essence force consumed by the cauldron.
“Elder Liu can be so mean,” he grumbled in a low voice. “I used up so much essence force, yet he refused to give me one or two high-grade Spirit Pills to supplement my essence force…”
Just then he remembered that it seemed like there was still lowest-grade essence force pill. And did he not have black essence force? Surely, he could increase the medicinal efficacy of the essence force pill. In that way, could he not speedily practice and refine?
He hastily retrieved a small green porcelain vase from within his robes. He poured out a single green essence force pill, which he swallowed. Upon doing this, he immediately sat cross-legged to begin meditating.
This essence force elixir was the lowest-grade elixir that could facilitate cultivation. It had a similar medicinal power to the Yellow Ginseng Pill, and its dissemination speed was as slow as a snail. Jiang Yi had circulated the Jiang Water Art for a whole hour, yet the medicinal power of the essence force elixir had just spread to the exterior of the dantian. Here, the power enveloped the entire dantian, increasing the dantian’s essence refinement speed.
Using the human body for essence force refinement depended on practicing a strange cultivation method. It meant absorbing the spiritual aura of the earth and sky into the body, which would in turn be converged within the dantian and converted into essence force. Thus, the dantian and the meridians were very important to martial artists. Should the dantian in particular receive damage, one could not heal it without saint-grade elixirs, which meant that even the most powerful martial artist would become completely useless.
The dantian of the human body was like an elixir-refining cauldron, while the spiritual aura of the earth and sky were like medicinal herbs. One had to see the strength of the cauldron, as well as the skill level of the elixir refiner, to know if one could speedily produce elixirs.
There were good and bad cauldrons; likewise, there were people with high and low physical aptitudes, which meant that there were those with fast and others with slow speeds in using the dantian to refine essence force. There were different essence-refining specialists with strong and weak skills; martial artists’ refining techniques could likewise be differentiated between high and low qualities.
Naturally, refining speed had its differentiation. This was thus the reason why the martial art levels of Stellarsky Continent were named Cast Tripod Realms. The “tripod” in the name was the most important. After all, without a good dantian, martial artists’ skills and aptitudes were limited, and the life achievements which one could attain were naturally limited as well.
Everyone knew the quality of Jiang Yi’s dantian.
As his dantian was sealed, his refinement speed had always been as slow as a snail. He had black essence force that could be used with elixirs to facilitate his refining practice, which could in turn speed up his refining. However, as the amount of essence force needed to refine higher realm levels increased, unless he ate saint-grade elixirs daily like candy, Jiang Yi would forever be limited in what he could do!
“Who on earth sealed my dantian? And how can I break this seal?”
Thinking about the seal, Jiang Yi fumed with rage and gritted his teeth. According to Grand Elder’s estimates, Jiang Yi might not be Divine Martial Kingdom’s greatest genius, but nonetheless he was more powerful than Jiang Henshui, the top genius of the Jiang family, by at least a sliver. Even though he had no idea why Grand Elder had so much confidence in him, every time Jiang Yi had that thought, he would become depressed to the point of vomiting blood in anger.
“Eh… the medicinal power is already revolving around the dantian. I should quickly apply some black essence force to increase this power, otherwise this little bit of medicinal power will quickly dissipate.”
Observing a faint green light revolving around his dantian, Jiang Yi cut off his stream of thoughts. He circulated a thread of black essence force out of his dantian and transferred it through his meridians out to the exterior of the dantian in the direction of the green medical power.
The black essence force had just reached the exterior of the dantian, as Jiang Yi’s mind was absorbed by a red dragon-shaped seal on the exterior of his dantian. If one could allude to the dantian being a walnut, at that moment a relief of a fire dragon was engraved onto the outer shell of this “walnut”.
The fire dragon relief was abnormal and vivid-looking, as though it had come to life – a living fire-breathing dragon clinging onto his dantian. The entire dragon-shaped seal was assembled from tiny fire-red script. The Grand Elder had spent ages researching the words, but still could not break the seal—to say nothing of Jiang Yi’s potential.
Observing for a moment, Jiang Yi started feeling worried that the medical power of the essence force pill was overly disseminated. He anxiously decided to stop observing any further, and instead allow his black essence force to merge with the green medical power and envelope his entire dantian. Subsequently, he focused his mind, putting all his thoughts and attention towards circulating the Jiang Water Art to refine more essence force.
“It was indeed effective!”
As expected, after the black essence force merged with the medicinal power of the essence force pill, the speed at which he was refining with the Jiang Water Art did indeed increase severalfold. Jiang Yi grew excited as he felt the blue essence force in his dantian continuously and speedily get produced.
If he had a large number of elixirs and continued relying on black essence force to expand the power of the elixirs, even with this stupid seal, he could continue to speedily refine essence force. Even though his future accomplishments were limited, at least it would not be difficult for him to reach the fourth or fifth level of the Cast Tripod Realm.
The black essence force was consumed too quickly. In mere seconds, Jiang Yi was just left with two strands of black essence force remaining. His refining speed thus slowed down.
After refining for a while, as he felt the refining was getting too slow, he simply decided to stop practicing the Jiang Water Art and shifted to practicing the nameless technique. Prepared to take advantage of the time before the medical power dissipated fully, he wanted to speed up the refining process by another notch. Even though he would likely only speed up the process by a few seconds, the blue essence force that would be refined was as much as what he could refine within four hours…
However, after he spent two whole hours refining two strands of black essence force and was prepared to increase the medical power, he realized the green medicinal power wrapped around the exterior of his dantian had already been fully consumed.
“The medicinal power of this essence force elixir can’t be this weak, can it? Huh…”
Jiang Yi was rendered speechless, as he found something wrong with a strand of blank essence force right when he was prepared to withdraw it.
And when he carefully observed for a moment, his body suddenly trembled. Abruptly opening his eyes, he looked as though he had just seen a ghost.
“No way, this… How can this be possible?” he muttered to himself in complete disbelief.
Jiang Yi shut his eyes again and looked inward. He trembled more and more violently as tears silently trickled from the corners of his eyes, rolling down his delicate face and splattering onto his robes…
Men do not cry easily!
Jiang Yi rarely cried throughout his life, except for the night when Grand Elder vanished and whenever Xiaonu was beaten up when they were little. Other times, even if he was beaten up so badly that he vomited blood, his bones broke, or basically beaten black and blue, even if he fainted and was on the verge of death, he never shed a tear. This time, however, the tears were flowing unstoppably like water through a broken dam.
“Mum, God-Granddad, your son… your son finally has hope of breaking his seal…” he muttered in a low voice as he opened his eyes, his face filled with ecstasy and loneliness!
What made his ecstatic was… while he was observing the seal outside his dantian, he discovered that a character was missing from the runic patterns forming the dragon-shaped seal!
He was very familiar was this seal. Ever since he’d reached the first stage of the Cast Tripod Realm and could observe his inner conditions, he had observed this dragon-shaped seal for at least several tens of thousands of times. He remembered clearly that this dragon-shaped seal was made of a total of eighteen thousand runic patterns. At that moment, one of them was missing…
What made him feel lonely was that at this moment his mother could not see him, while Grand Elder remained missing. He thought how good would it be.
If only they could see for themselves that there is hope of breaking the seal.
This dragon-shaped seal was abnormal and odd. At the time, Grand Elder had attained the eighth stage of the Purple Mansion Realm, yet with all his great power, he was unable to find a solution despite researching for two whole years.
Despite coming up with so many ideas, the seal neither loosened nor changed. Yet, at this moment, it was evident that one runic pattern was missing. How could one explain this? All Jiang Yi knew was that it was very likely that he could completely break the seal.
“Black essence force! It must be the black essence force!”
Jiang Yi was a hundred percent confident that the reason for the change on the seal was most definitely the black essence force! In the past, he had consumed many essence force elixirs, yet such a mysterious change had never manifested before. The only possible explanation was that the black essence force could reduce the number of runic patterns in that seal, and in turn help him completely break that seal.
He strongly controlled the excitement in his heart and tried to circulate the strand of black essence force outside his dantian to surround the dragon seal. What left him in complete ecstasy was that as the black essence force gradually disappeared, a runic character on the dragon-shaped seal slowly dissipated as well. In the end, when the black essence force was completely consumed, the runic pattern had once again lost a single character!
“I’ll try it again!”
There was still a strand of recently refined black essence force in his dantian. Jian Yi hastily summoned that strand over and used it to continue battering the seal. Once again, he successfully caused yet another runic character on his seal to dissipate…
“Hahahaha, the heavens have eyes! Heavenly father, you’ve finally come to help me for once!”
He opened his eyes and started laughing aloud. Despite this, he shed tears as he laughed. It was as if he had gone mad. So many years of cruel oppression, so many years of bitter depression. At that moment, he could finally and completely release it all.
It took him half the time it takes for a stick of incense to burn before Jiang Yi finally calmed himself down. He wiped off the tear stains from the corners of his eyes, took two long deep breaths, and returned to a meditative state. He carefully observed the seal outside his dantian. It was only after confirming that the runic patterns of that dragon-shaped seal had indeed been reduced by three characters that he completely relaxed.
“Refine! Refine! I want to continuously refine black essence force, so that I can completely break this seal!”
The sky was turning orange as the evening hours drew near. However, Jiang Yi completely forgot about the time as he had completely focused his attention on refining black essence force. At that moment, he wished he could directly refine eighteen thousand strands of black essence force at once to break his seal completely. Then he would see if his refining speed was as terrible as it originally had been.
Thinking up to that point, Jiang Yi got distracted as he changed his mind, stopping the practice of the nameless technique and shifting instead to the Jiang Water Art. He wished to confirm something: since the seal was gradually being broken, would his refining speed actually increase?
It was only seconds before Jiang Yi’s body shuddered. Abruptly opening his eyes, he did not shed more tears, but rather stood up and whistled loudly towards the sky. The long whistle was loud, clear, and impassioned. It was full of elation and excitement!
Even though he had only just started breaking the seal, his refining speed with the Jiang Water Art had actually increased by two times. Even though it was still much too slow, he was now able to see a thread of light through a door of hope…