Chapter 18: The Second Stage of the Cast Tripod Realm
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Young Mistress Yi stormed off, fuming. At the moment, her martial arts robes were completely wet, revealing her figure. Naturally, she could not stay there any longer, lest she continued giving everyone a free show.
Jiang Yi was also ready to leave. With only one wisp of black essence force left, if he went up for combat again, to say nothing of high-ranking martial artists like Young Mistress Yi, even an opponent at the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm would be capable of abusing him.
Initially, he had naively thought to join the Martial Arts Hall and pass off as a gold token-grade sparring partner to earn money and repay his debts. At the moment, it seemed like this money was indeed not easily earned…
“Lone Wolf, where are you going?”
Just as, Jiang Yi made to leave, Manager Yang immediately stopped him.
Distracted, Jiang Yi hurriedly removed his mask and said, “Manager, I quit this position. I don’t want the money either. Let me return this mask to you.”
Manager Yang was flustered. He had finally managed to hire a good sparring partner after much difficulty. How could he allow himself to look on helplessly and allow Jiang Yi to leave willy-nilly?
After all, he had been so hard-pressed by the demands of that group of young masters and young mistresses over the past few days that he was frustrated and fuming with rage.
He moved closer to Jiang Yi and beamed at him. “Lone Wolf, do you simply dislike how low the pay is? In that case… if you continue staying here, I’ll pay you the rate for a silver token-grade sparring partner? Ten taels of silver a day: how about that?”
Jiang Yi put on his cloak and smiled bitterly. “Manager, I suddenly remembered that I have something urgent to attend to. I’ll be back soon.”
After speaking, Jiang Yi ignored Manager Yang’s attempts to make him stay and walked out of the Martial Arts Hall. Under the incredulous gaze of the black-armored guard, he strode towards the Jiang Residence Central Courtyard in the east of the city.
“Manager Yang, Manager Yang!”
Five minutes after Jiang Yi left, a fiery-red figure rushed over energetically through the corridor of the technique-practicing room. Upon walking into the central hall, the person immediately gazed around at the masks worn by all the sparring partners.
“Manager Yang, where is that gold token-grade sparring partner whom I was practicing with just now?”
“He left.” Puzzled, Manager Yang blinked his eyes and asked, “What’s the matter, Young Mistress Yi? Was there a problem with that sparring partner?”
“He left? Oh no!” With a look of disappointment on her face, Young Mistress Yi said, “Get someone to inform me the instant he returns. That sparring partner really is powerful. I have been practicing my Thunderstorm Fist for eight years and have been stuck at the Proficiency Stage for the past three years. Yet, after sparring with him once, I managed to reach the Phenomenal Stage…”
Manager Yang’s facial expression suddenly changed, and his eyes were flooded with remorse. The main purpose of conducting sparring practice was to facilitate the training of a person’s reaction speed and combat instincts as well as improve a person’s martial arts skills.
It was very difficult to improve these three aspects. It required many hours of combat practice to hone one’s skills. This was also the reason why the technique-practicing room sealed off the use of essence force.
The mastery of martial arts techniques was divided into three different levels: Entry, Proficient, and Phenomenal. How could it be that this Young Mistress Yi’s skills in the Thunderstorm Fist technique had not reached the Phenomenal stage in three years worth of training, yet in one practice match against Jiang Yi, she immediately attained “Phenomenal” success?
Was this all a coincidence? Or was this kid simply trying to play dumb and weak? Was his identity, in truth, that of a powerful martial artist? Was he here to pass himself off as a sparring partner? Did he inadvertently guide and assist Young Mistress Yi to attain the Phenomenal Stage in her martial arts skills?
Manager Yang could not understand any of it. However, he knew that the next time Jiang Yi returned as a sparring partner, he had to find some way to make him stay. If he could indeed help the young masters and young mistresses in the Martial Arts Hall improve their martial arts skills at a rapid rate, then his value would be virtually incalculable…
It was already noon by the time Jiang Yi returned to the small courtyard of his own home. Thinking about how he had to head up the Western Hills the next morning, he hurriedly swallowed down a mouthful of rice. He planned to stay in his room and cultivate his power, readying himself to hit the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm.
His entire body quivered with excitement as he retrieved a small white bottle. The Spirit Pills inside were man-tier superior-grade elixirs, after all, and could help one speed up the cultivation of essence force.
On top of that, his black essence force could increase the medicinal efficacy of any elixir. Once the essence force merged with the medicinal efficacy of the Spirit Pill, that elixir would definitely be on par with an earth-tier elixir. Melting down all ten Spirit Pills would definitely be enough to help him cultivate up to the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm.
“Time to extract more black essence force!”
He put down his Spirit Pills, sat down cross-legged, and started meditating. After more than six hours, he woke up punctually and, after immediately swallowing a Spirit Pill, started to practice the Jiang Water Art.
“What a good elixir!”
Sensing a wave of heat flow from his chest and surge at quick speed towards his dantian, Jiang Yi sighed with sorrow. It sure was good to have enough elixirs for cultivation.
If Jiang Ruhu with his innately poor talent could refine his power up to the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, would it not be the case that he had been consuming Spirit Pills like how one ate rice at meals?
“Black essence force, merge!”
Once the medicinal efficacy of the Spirit Pills entered his dantian, Jiang Yi immediately assembled a wisp of black essence force and combined it with the medicinal efficacy power, before circulating the Jiang Water Art with all his might.
Sensing the blue essence force inside his dantian spewing out like an oil well blowout, Jiang Yi was uncontrollably excited. Combined with the black essence force, this elixir could allow his cultivation speed to increase by at least ten times…
Some twenty or thirty seconds later, the black essence force had been completely consumed. Jiang Yi had no choice but to stop circulating the Jiang Water Art, and instead assemble a wisp of black essence force to continue increasing the medicinal efficacy.
In such an established cycle, only when he had consumed all ten wisps of black essence force, did he reach his “end point” and thus stop his cultivation.
Huh… I cultivated for such a short duration, yet the power I have accumulated is on par with half a month of normal cultivation.
He used his inner vision to observe his body. After a moment, scared that the medicinal efficacy would dissipate, Jiang Yi retracted his vision.
He started forming more black essence force. He felt that his experience this time was different. With the increase in power brought by the Spirit Pill, the speed at which he extracted black essence force had also increased by threefold. In just an hour’s time, he managed to extract six wisps.
Not once had Jiang Yi experienced such delight throughout his many years of practicing cultivation. He focused fully on cultivating. He sat cross-legged in meditation and cultivated essence force intently, refining black essence force once it had been consumed and consuming Spirit Pills once the medical efficacy of the pills had run out, without even bothering to eat dinner.
It was only until the break of dawn the next day that Jiang Yi stopped his practice!
Out of the ten Spirit Pills, he had consumed nine of them, and he… had also broken through to the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm! With his inner vision, he saw that his dantian had accumulated twice the amount of blue essence force as before and that its color was darker by a grade.
Jiang Yi could not help but hoot loudly at the sky, releasing the happiness in his heart.
He had started practicing the Jiang Water Art when he was seven, and it was only when he was fifteen that he managed to cultivate to the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm.
Even though this was achieved with the help of pills, it was good enough to leave Jiang Yi feeling endlessly excited. Most important of all was that his seal could be continuously broken and his cultivation speed could be continuously increased. This allowed him to see a ray of hope, a hope that allowed him to be filled with fighting spirit and the will to endure.
A moment later, once he had calmed down his agitated emotions and when he used his inner vision to observe his dantian once again, he suddenly realized something was wrong! Why did the blue essence force become slightly darker? Also, why did the color of that black essence force seemingly become lighter?
As the powers of a martial artist increased, the essence force he produced would become even more condensed, and its power would increase greatly!
This was common knowledge amongst the people of Stellarsky Continent. It was normal for the properties of his blue essence force to fluctuate due to the Jiang Yi’s increase in level.
Yet, why did his black essence force experience a slight change in its color as well? Also, why did the color become lighter?
Could it be that the power of this black essence force will follow my increase in cultivation?
Jiang Yi contemplated deeply for a moment, before summoning a wisp of black essence force out from within his dantian and circulating it to the meridians at the corner of his eye. However, he discovered that there was no difference from before. While his sight improved vastly, this change was no greater than before.
“Why did the color of the black essence force become lighter?”
Jiang Yi was puzzled. Closing his eyes and using his inner vision to look into his dantian, he observed the one and only wisp of black essence force left in his body. However, he acquired no new knowledge, despite observing it for a very long time.
Two and a half minutes later, he helplessly opened his eyes. Yet his facial expression very quickly changed to one of amazement. This was because he realized that, seen through his eyes, the world around him was still so clear. It had already been two and a half minutes, yet how could it be that the black essence force had not been consumed fully?
Looks like I’ve reached the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. The blue essence force is more condensed; the black essence force has also become more condensed, thus its consumption speed has become much slower than before.
Jiang Yi shut his eyes and saw that there was indeed a wisp of black essence force near his eyes and that it had not been completely consumed yet. Once again, after a while, a black flash shone through Jiang Yi’s eye, as his vision gradually became more blurry. It looked like the black essence force had completely been consumed.
“Let me try this again!” Jiang Yi murmured.
Jiang Yi once again guided the final remaining wisp of black essence force into his eye. This time, the duration of the strengthening of his vision was increased. He could now maintain it for two and a half minutes.
“If one wisp can last for more than two and a half minutes, ten wisps can last almost half an hour!”
Jiang Yi estimated the time and was happy once again. Although it would be quick to derive who was the winner and loser in a fight against a martial arts expert, in the event of a long drawn-out group battle, his vision’s increased endurance would be very useful.
Seeing that the sky outside was already bright, Jiang Yi did not dare to do any more research. After all, he had to head over and report to Chief Rong and go to the Western Hills to take stock of the medicinal plants there. He had to refine some black essence force and keep it in reserve for use, in case he was intercepted by Jiang Ruhu and his gang.
By the time Jiang Yi finished cultivating, it was almost late morning. He’d refined six wisps of black essence force. He hastily crawled up, hurriedly grabbed two wotous 1 and walked to the housekeeping chamber in the Jiang Residence Eastern Courtyard.
After being viciously scolded by Chief Rong at the housekeeping chamber, Jiang Yi took his leave quickly and headed up to the Western Hills to take stock of the medicinal plants there.
Thankfully, this time he was once again tasked with doing odd jobs around the Western Hills, and Chief Rong had not mentioned anything about the command token. Additionally, while he was heading up the Western Hills, the clan guardsmen at the foot of the hills recognized him and did not ask him to reveal his command token.
After spending an entire hour working, Jiang Yi finally completed taking stock of the medicinal plants in Plantation Number Seven. Just as he was ready to head down the hills and return home to cultivate, he heard a rustling noise coming from the small forest to his left.
“Who goes there?” he shouted.
He swept his eyes across the small forest to his left. He muttered to himself and wondered if Jiang Ruhu and his gang of cronies had come here to block him.
After one look, Jiang Yi was completely dumbstruck. A fierce-looking plump youth slowly walked out of the small forest, his face giving off an expression of ferocity, animosity and a desire to ridicule. Who else could it be but Jiang Ruhu? On top of that, an endless number of heads appeared behind his back. This densely packed group had at least twenty people!
One person against twenty others?
Jiang Yi swallowed a gulp of saliva. It was true that his powers had greatly increased, and it was also true that he had black essence force, but how could he fight against so many people? On top of that, in addition to Jiang Ruhu, who was at the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, this group of people had five or six others who were at the third stage of the Cast Tripod Realm…
Seeing the color of Jiang Yi’s face change greatly, Jiang Ruhu laughed towards the sky for a long time and said, “Haha! Jiang Yi, I thought you were very wild? If I don’t break both your legs today, I will write my name ‘Jiang Ruhu’ in reverse!”