Volume 1 – Between Daybreak and Evernight, Chapter 10: Waiting is Unnecessary
Qianye felt an extraordinary space in his abdominal area. Origin power faintly surged inside of it, as if it were a fledgling butterfly trying to break out of its cocoon. Only by breaking through the invisible barrier wrapped around that space could he ignite this node and allow the origin power inside and outside his body to merge together.
Each cultivation art had a different process of breaking through said barrier. Most of them were on the gentle side, slowly grinding the barrier down thinner and thinner. The barrier would eventually be broken, and the origin power would naturally merge.
Some arts were more violent and forceful, attracting the inner and outer tides into repeatedly crashing into the barrier. The Combatant Formula was one such example. It was an art that would make the origin tides become wild and potent, and the force it created was comparable to first-class cultivation arts. However, it would also damage the body’s internal organs in the process of breaking the barrier.
Qianye was able to quickly activate his first complete origin tide. Today his objective was to attempt an assault on his node barrier.
He carefully directed the surging origin power to rush toward the node in his lower abdomen. Waves of origin power slowly adjusted their angle and crashed into the node barrier.
The node barrier resembled a tall dam that firmly kept the origin tides away.
Qianye slowly grew absorbed in the task, and even the strange fragrance of the Vermillion Countenance Blood had vanished from his senses. He felt as if he had become one with the origin tides, surging tall and powerfully crashing against the barrier before falling apart and transforming into a myriad of origin power droplets. It was as if he were actually the tides themselves.
The next wave, however, would only be taller, and its force would be even stronger than before. Each impact and each recoil of the origin power caused Qianye’s body to shake slightly.
During the process in which the origin tides in Qianye’s body crashed against the node barrier, the origin power that resonated in the outside world constantly replenished Qianye’s origin power. In this way, Qianye’s origin power gradually increased.
It was unknown how many times this tedious cycle repeated, and when a cycle of origin tides finished, before the surging origin power could completely subside, a new wave suddenly appeared!
Qianye was both shocked and overjoyed. He hurried to concentrate and guide this wave to crash against the node barrier. When the tide crashed into the barrier, Qianye’s ears buzzed and became filled with the sounds of roaring water. His body involuntarily shuddered at the impact, and he was nearly thrown from where he sat.
This was the first wave of the second cycle of the origin tides. It was imbued with the surplus force of the first cycle of origin tides, and its impact was already proportionate to the fourth or fifth wave of the first cycle.
This was the first sign of success. As Qianye accumulated more origin power, the second, third, and fourth cycles of origin tides would naturally form as well. As more origin tides formed, the more powerful the tides became, and the more impact they would have against the node barrier.
It was said that the time to activate the abdominal node would be after the third cycle of origin tides’ formation.
When the bell rang, Qianye tidied himself as he usually did and swiftly left the cultivation room. This time, he had achieved a breakthrough in his assignment, and there were a dozen or so other children who had cultivated alongside him also looking happy with their own successes.
But Qianye didn’t feel very happy. His progress could be considered quick, but he could only be ranked among the top one third in this class. Almost half a year had passed, and it was said that, in some other classes, someone had already ignited their first origin node.
As usual, the children fell into formation in the valley’s empty ground. For some reason, Chen Lei stood beside Qianye.
When everyone ran to the training field under the instructor’s command, Chen Lei approached Qianye and lowered his voice. “I’ve started cultivating my third cycle of origin tides. Once I ignite my origin node, you better watch out!”
Qianye kept looking forward as if he hadn’t heard anything.
The combat and Biological Structure classes came next.
Qianye’s opponent during the combat class was an average kid. Neither side had a relationship or grudge with the other, so the result of the combat was ordinary. Then came Biological Structure.
This time, however, the instructor was a thin, bald, and wrinkled old man that looked unfamiliar. He had a pair of murky gray eyes, and when they swept across Qianye, he felt as if his entire being was being seen through. Qianye immediately shivered.
The old man’s eyes had already swept past Qianye at first. Then his eyes twitched, and he turned back to look at Qianye once more.
There was a laboratory workbench in front of every student, and a rectangular thing covered in white cloth sat on top of it.
The old man cleared his throat, and his voice was as coarse and raspy as a crow’s cry. “Hello, kids! From today onward, I will make you into true monsters! I believe that none of you will be willing to remember my name, but after the next half year, this name will accompany you for a very, very long time. My name is Sheeeeeeeeeeeen Tu!”
Shen Tu then explained how his class worked. It was very simple. They needed to complete their task within the allotted period of time, and no one was allowed to vomit.
“Alright! I would like you to now pull away the white cloth in front of you and this up!” Shen Tu raised an object that resembled a thin hook.
Qianye took a step forward and lifted the white cloth on top of the laboratory workbench. He was immediately caught by surprise!
Beneath the white cloth was an icy cold corpse! However, the corpse had a familiar face. Qianye remembered that this was a kid who had entered the training camp with him!
The corpse before him was clearly well preserved. Even though almost a year had passed, it had no rot and was still in perfect condition.
At the corner of the laboratory workbench was a tray filled with dozens of oddly shaped tools. Like the tool that Shen Tu was holding, one of them was a hook.
There was also a corpse on stage. Shen Tu plunged the hook into the corpse’s chest and pulled it upward. Then he used a sharp, small knife to cut through the thin layer of the corpse’s skin.
Seeing this familiar face, Qianye was deeply conflicted and just couldn’t find it within himself to act. Just like Qianye, a large majority of the children appeared to be both terrified and at a loss. A small minority of the children, however, began to do as Shen Tu said. Some of them even wore cruel, sinister smiles on their faces.
Suddenly, a guard began to loudly count down from ten.
Shock went through the children. It was the human countdown that they knew extremely well! They knew that anyone who failed to act by the end of the countdown would be punished, and there was no telling if Shen Tu’s punishment would be even more brutal than Zhang Jing’s!
Everyone, including Qianye, hurriedly grabbed the tool and began dissecting the body as Shen Tu taught them.
Qianye had just finished the set procedure when he heard a cry come from next to him. A girl had cried out and begun to desperately vomit on the ground.
Shen Tu stopped what he was doing and quietly stared at the little girl who was vomiting violently. Every kid in the classroom was watching her as well, and silence reigned for a time.
When the little girl was finished vomiting and crying, Shen Tu said with an unfathomable tenderness, “Take her away and clean her up.”
Two merciless guards lifted the little girl like a chick, and no matter how much she cried or struggled, they took her away.
The class continued, and the children continued to study Shen Tu’s knowledge in silence.
The only sound that resounded in the classroom was the old man’s raspy voice.
A week later, Shen Tu appeared in front of the children once more. It was still a class on dissection. The old man planned to finish his human physiology lecture in vital areas and weak points in three classes.
When Qianye lifted the white cloth in front of him, he suddenly took a step back. The corpse on his bench was none other than the little girl’s!
Qianye immediately understood what Shen Tu had meant one week ago when he said “clean her up”. It was at this moment that he felt Shen Tu’s eyes firmly lock onto him.
Qianye did not raise his head. His hands did not shake even once as he lifted a plier and a thin blade to begin the set procedures.
Qianye did not remember how he went through this class. In fact, he did not even remember how he went through the day. It was suddenly night already, and he was laying on his bed.
Light snores were already beginning to reverberate in the barracks. Most of the kids had entered dreamland, but Qianye just couldn’t fall asleep no matter how he tried.
The Yellow Springs Training Camp really was hell. Qianye did not know how much longer he would be able to endure this, but he knew that, even if he did, something inside him was eventually going to change.
It had been quite some time since Qianye had thought about the vague shadow in the beginning of his memories. He had originally thought that he would’ve forgotten it by this point, but it suddenly resurfaced in his mind. He realized that some beliefs would eventually be lost no matter how hard one tried.
Shi Yan’s stiff face was the second thing to appear, and it was trying very hard to smile. It was as if someone was saying, “come out alive,” in his ears. Qianye fell into a trance, unsure if the voice belonged to Shi Yan or that person.
Qianye closed his eyes, and when he opened them once more, he was completely awake. Someone was waiting for him. Someone had given him a promise. Now he fully understood the meaning behind the surname “Lin”. Everything could only be realized after he walked out of this hell.
In this hell, chances only came once. He would lose them if he did not take them. He could not wait here.
Qianye suddenly jumped down from his bed and silently landed on the ground. He then used the stealth technique he had learned from the combat class to make his way to Chen Lei’s bed. He did not seem to have alerted anyone along the way.
Chen Lei was not sleeping well, and his face was covered in anxiety. It was unknown what he was dreaming of.
Qianye’s slowly, but resolutely, stretched a hand toward his throat.
It was at this moment that the child on the bed beside Chen Lei suddenly turned around, opened his eyes, and saw Qianye’s movement.
Qianye turned around to look him in the eye, and the child immediately trembled. The child hurriedly turned back and continued to sleep, pretending to have seen nothing.
All hesitation was gone from Qianye’s left hand as it fell around Chen Lei’s throat quick as lightning, wrapping around it as he punched his other hand with full force right into Chen Lei’s ribs!
A dull thud resounded in the barracks, and most of the children were immediately woken up from their sleep. Some of them even jumped from their beds instinctively.
The pounding noises resounded repeatedly.
Chen Lei’s eyes were bulging out of his sockets, and his face was already flushed a dark purple. His tongue stuck entirely out of his mouth. He furiously scratched and clawed at Qianye’s hands. Some missed, but those that landed struck with tremendous force.
However, Qianye’s hand was completely immobile as if it were made from iron. It was as if he couldn’t feel any pain. Meanwhile, his right hand repeatedly smashed into Chen Lei’s stomach and ribs in a steady rhythm.
This scene resembled the one in which Chen Lei instructed his companions to beat Qianye up. Their performances, however, were completely different from each other. Chen Lei was clearly out of his wits, and his counter attacks were in complete disorder. It could only be seen as a panicked struggle at best.
The few strongest children in the class inwardly shook their heads after they saw Chen Lei’s performance. They no longer paid attention to him.
However, they looked at Qianye with caution and fear.
Qianye had been continuously beating Chen Lei from the start, but his breathing, and even his expression, had basically never changed. It was as if he were currently doing something that was utterly inconsequential, and every dull thud was like a blow to the heart of every child.
Chen Lei finally stopped moving, his body spasming out of pure reflex.
Qianye stopped beating him and returned to his bed. He nonchalantly pulled the blanket over his head and returned to sleep.
A while later, Chen Lei suddenly jumped off of his bed and stumbled toward the window, shrieking, “Instructor! Instructor! Someone is trying to kill me, save me!”