Perhaps it was due to the guard’s tryout, Du Shaofu didn’t run into anyone on the way back to his courtyard.
The truth is, even if he does meet someone including the servants and the guards, they will not bother themselves with him. Young Master Du Shaofu’s presence throughout the years is like the invisible air.
Although treated as invisible he does live in quite a nice place. The whole courtyard is very wide, there are not many similar ones available as only those respected family elders are qualified to live in such a courtyard.
Du Shaofu can live in this courtyard is mainly due to basking in his father’s glory, if not for his Father being the third brother of the current Du Clan Patriarch, just the words of ‘fool young master’ were enough to strip him of any decent treatment, let alone a courtyard like this.
When Du Shaofu reached the courtyard, a familiar figure was sleeping on a wicker chair, drunk but hands still holding on to a wine jug, reluctant to let it go.
"Dad, how did you get this drunk again."
Du Shaofu went over, looking at the drunken face half hidden by disheveled hair, distressed filled his bright eyes.
In these sixteen years, Du Shaofu’s most notable memory of his father Du Tingxuan, is that he often sits in the yard clutching his wine jug and just staring at the sky, gradually falling into a drunken stupor reeking of wine.
"Shaofu, you’re back. Are you hungry, find something to eat from the kitchen."
Du Tingxuan woke up drowsily, still confused, raised his hand to rubbed his bleary eyes and sat up from the wicker chair, a strong stench of alcohol wafted pass as he speaks. A head taller than Du Shaofu, body slightly on the thinner side, under the disheveled hair, were shadows of a dashing face, if not for the overwhelming stench of alcohol.
"Dad, I'm not hungry, I help you to your room and rest."
Just as Du Shaofu was about to move forward, Du Tingxuan’s hand blocked his body, swaying the wine jug in his hand smiled and said: "No need, there’s no more wine, I’m going out to buy some wine."
Having said that, Du Tingxuan dragged his drunken body staggered out of the courtyard, leaving Du Shaofu standing alone silently.
From the time Du Shaofu can remember things, the wine jug never left his father’s hands, but strangely for Du Shaofu he has no memory of his mother at all. After standing there quietly for a while, Du Shaofu went in search for a drink of water in the hall then went straight back to his room.
Inside his room, Du Shaofu sat cross-legged, condensing a handseal xuanqi emitted from his whole body, suddenly within the palm a talisman-like pattern gushed out, murmuring lightly with a satisfied smile: "This mysterious first style power is not weak fortunately, I just initiated a little.”
Earlier on the stage Du Shaofu used the first style that he spent a decade in front of the ancient stone tablet to comprehend, the scope of power just by initiating it a little bit is astonishing.
Only Du Shaofu knows, the mysterious first style within the stone tablet, it not only enabled his martial veins to be recovered but also to cultivate xuanqi, more importantly, this first style feels like it is all-encompassing, with endless variations, awe-inspiring and overbearing.
However, currently Du Shaofu is in a rather perplexing situation, his body accumulated plenty of xuanqi but without any level of cultivation.
Although the first style was able to mend broken martial veins, enabling his body to produce xuanqi but after all, it is not a type of martial exercise law, it’s unable to increase his level of cultivation.
In this world, humans practicing martial arts are differentiated into different realms - Houtian Warrior, Xiantian Warrior. Only after entering Xiantian warrior can one be considered as truly stepping into the martial world, but the vast majority spent their lives stuck at the Houtian level unable to take that step into Xiantian, which only proves even though one can practice but not just any person can cross over into Xiantian territory.
Although he was unable to practice martial arts before, being born in an old martial family the years he lived wasn’t wasted. Du Shaofu is crystal clear about his current condition; there are nine layers to a Houtian, with the xuanqi within his body, fighting against a Houtian eight layer or even a ninth layer is not a problem.
"My martial veins are mended and I’m able to practice now, tomorrow I should go to the Martial Collection Building to look for an exercise law."
Du Shaofu deliberated since there is no way to practice the second style of the mysterious stone tablet, so for now, he can only practice a different technique to get his level of cultivation up.
Even without him having any level of cultivation the mysterious first style was able to exhibit that kind of power, once he raises his cultivation the mysterious first style definitely will become more powerful, which makes Du Shaofu excited.
"Continue to comprehend the mysterious first style."
After deciding, Du Shaofu condensed a handseal, closed his eyes and entered a state of comprehension, besides it’s not like he has any daily chores to perform.
Although Du Shaofu took ten years to comprehend the first style on that ancient stone tablet before reaching minor completion but clearly there’s still a long way to go to before fully grasping it.
Ten years ago, when he was tested to have broken veins thus have no future in martial arts, unable to accept the result, he ran out into the violent storm before the stone tablet to vent out. Who would’ve thought that lightning would strike the stone tablet, the stone tablet was fine, but the lightning ricocheted striking Du Shaofu instead.
Du Shaofu woke up after being in a coma for three days. The truth was that, in those three days, he was in a wondrous state gaining insight, when that lightning strike down, a mysterious talisman pattern from the ancient stone tablet accompanied by lightning appeared in his mind.
Du Shaofu did not know what those mysterious talisman patterns were in the beginning, however in that wondrous state Du Shaofu had an epiphany, in the end, he finally understood that it was a powerful martial style, it was as if the mysterious style were specifically created for people with broken veins.
Martial pulse is divided into nine grades, the lowest being grade one and nine highest, the higher the order of the martial pulse the greater the future achievements will be, this is a universal law and also the irrevocable truth.
Du Shaofu’s broken martial veins weren't even graded as a martial pulse which means that he will never have any success in practicing martial arts, even some bottom-tier skill are just for fitness purposes only.
The mysterious first style that was able to mend martial veins allowed Du Shaofu to see hope from the abyss of despair, as long as he comprehends the moves, a waste martial pulse will be able to practice. Again and again, Du Shaofu stood in front of the ancient stone tablet, in his eyes, those cracks and grooves are no longer simple fractures but a secret pattern of the human body.
The complicated dense lines and cracks are just like the human body's meridians in general, very profound, very mysterious, and finally, he was able to comprehend enough to practice the mysterious first style.
Du Shaofu immersed himself in comprehension, just like a fish in the boundless sea, unable to regain himself. The subsequent ten years Du Shaofu finally grasp that mysterious first style and understood that there should be a second style, a third style, but within that ancient stone tablet of the Du Clan, it only contained the first style.
Inside the room, further insights gradually rendered Du Shaofu into a state of selflessness..........
Morning, silence all around, only the slightest light peeking from the east horizon, gradually the first ray of sunlight pierced the darkness before dawn, across the mountains and the ocean, finally enveloping Stone City.
Waking up his opened eyes are met with darkness, but his whole body feels light and comfortable, just like after a round of quenching marrow and cleansing meridians.
Du Shaofu reached up and gave the top a push, emitting sounds of “kaka” due to friction as the stone cover slides open and Du Shaofu stood up from the sarcophagus like it was the most normal thing in the world.
1. Major body detoxification and overhaul where everything improves; clear bright eyes, baby skin, stronger bones, tougher skin….etc