Chapter 22: Cultivation in Limitlessness State
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Lyu Qingchen, the elder smiled gently and questioned, "Then what would you like to know about?"
Ning Que thought about it for a long while before he replied. "I'd like to know... what cultivation is."
Lyu Qingchen grinned and said, "You're very greedy indeed."
No sign of embarrassment was shown on Ning Que's face and he continued, "So... could you tell me how many states there are in cultivation, and what the different abilities are in each state?"
"That's certainly out of my expectation." Lyu Qingchen, the elder grinned and added, "Though the normal people in this world aren't clear about such things, they're not considered as secrets."
"They're still secrets even if they're not considered as secrets," Ning Que replied with a smile. "I'll help you to keep them as secrets."
"All right." Lyu Qingchen, the elder cackled with laughter before he silent himself for a moment and asked, "Do you know Haotian Taoism?"
Ning Que nodded his head as he stared at this Southern Haotian Taoism cultivator.
"I'm from the South School of Haotian Taoism and was ordered to travel around this world. Commoners usually know us as the traveling disciples. Since you'd like to know more about the things related to cultivation, then I'll begin with Haotian Taoism."
"Haotian Taoism believes in Haotian as the only cultivation pathway. This is because Haotian enlightens the world and all living things breathe through it. By that, I'm referring to the Breath of nature or the primordial Qi that I had mentioned last night. Thus, Haotian is the beginning of everything."
"Human beings are one of the many living things in the world, but yet many are ignorant about such things when living in this world. It's only when Haotian descends an enlightenment onto the chosen ones, will the chosen ones start to understand the logic behind the creation of the world. These chosen ones would then be able to use their psyche to control the Qi of Heaven and Earth, creating a variety of enigmatic things in this world. For this, we call them as cultivation."
"The journey in cultivation is long, slow, tedious and very taxing on willpower. We split this whole journey into five stages, which are the five states you've mentioned."
"The Initial State is known as Initial Awareness State, where the psyche of a cultivator from the Ocean of Qi and Mountain of Snow is exposed to understand the existence of the Breath of nature."
"The second state is known as the Perception State. In this state, the cultivator would be able to sense the primordial Qi floating within the Heaven and Earth, as well as live harmoniously with it. He can also carry out interactions with his perception."
"The third state is known as No Doubts State, where the cultivator is already able to fundamentally understand the pattern of flow of the primordial Qi within the Heaven and Earth, as well as make use of it. The Sword Master and Talisman Master usually known by the commoners will fall into this state."
"The fourth state is known as Seethrough State. Cultivators that enter this state are already able to fuse their consciousness with the primordial Qi with the Heaven and Earth as one. For a metamind, this means that he can attack the enemies using his own consciousness. Staying in this state for long might give them the capability to come out with profound fighting methods."
"Lad, you don't have to look at me this way. I've certainly entered the Seethrough State. Unfortunately, it's only until old age that I've only barely attained it. Now that I'm frail and aged, I doubt it's possible for me to completely master the Seethrough State, else... it'd not be so troublesome for me to kill that Great Sword Master that night."
The light from the oil lamp became dim in the carriage. It seemed like it was running out of oil. Lyu Qingchen, the elder smiled as he explained, then lowered his head and took a glance at his left foot. He sighed as he thought about how fast time had passed and time indeed waited for no man.
"The fifth state is known as Knowing Destiny State."
"As the name suggests, this state is about knowing your destiny."
"Cultivator that enters this state no longer just understands the flow pattern of Qi of Heaven and Earth from the surface, but grabs hold of the essence of the movement pattern of Qi of Heaven and Earth. He should understand the connection between Haotian and all living things in the world, and be clear of the principle of this world. People who enter such a state might be able to see the true Taoism, I suppose."
Ning Que was listening to his words with great interest. When he realized that the elder was done with his explanation, he hurriedly raised his hand and asked, "Sir, is there a state that's higher than the five states?"
"Why would you think so?" Lyu Qingchen glanced at him curiously.
He then replied, "If cultivation is a long and slow journey, then there should not be a limit to this journey. In fact, there's no journey that no man can pass through, so I believe there must be a higher state."
"A lad like you could not even step onto the initial state, but yet instead of feeling depressed about it, you become more interested in it."
Upon hearing the elder's scolding in a joking manner, Ning Que smiled innocently and said, "Just take me as a keen learner."
"I've never met a boy in this world who is so keen on learning like a lecherous man keen on knowing more about women," Lyu Qingchen smiled and said.
Ning Que silently liked this sentence in his heart, before he spread open his arms and corrected. "That's not keen on learning. That's curiosity."
Lyu Qingchen hummed for a long time before he raised his head and looked at Ning Que. He spoke slowly, "It was mentioned in legend that there are many enigmatic states beyond the Knowing Destiny State, though only two states had appeared before in the classics. One is Tianqi, and another is No Rules."
"In Tianqi, the cultivator can directly receive Haotian's enlightenment, where he can faithfully worship the Divine Skill in Taoism and temporarily borrow the power and greatness of Haotian from the state of emptiness. Haotian can protect the world, so when it places one of its many powers onto a cultivator, you can imagine how great and powerful this state is."
Ning Que imagined a mighty man in this world standing in the wind and wearing a white coat that swayed with the wind as he kneeled down to Heaven. The dark clouds in the sky scattered and a beam of light shone down. When the man waved his hand, the clouds rolled and the mountains shook. This made him felt nervous and his mind went into a turmoil. His voice had also slightly become hoarse.
"What about No Rules... What kind of state it is?"
"The classics only recorded that such a state had appeared in this world but there was no elaboration on it. Only a brief description was stated—coming from the heart without any rules."
Lyu Qingchen, the elder frowned his eyes slightly even though his expression remained peaceful and calm. He then casually added, "From my speculation, the state of No Rules enables those sages to use their thoughts even if they're ten thousand miles apart... Imagine how impressive it would be."
"Coming from the heart without any rules..." Ning Que was deeply impressed by these seven words. "Does it mean No Rules or Limitlessness State?"
He indistinctly felt that he had captured the hidden outrageous sense that these two words were trying to bring out. He did not think that it was impressive like what the elder naturally felt, in fact, he felt that it was just natural and unrestrained to the core.
"About No Rules... I believe there'll be more details about it in the Academy."
Lyu Qingchen, the elder noticed the distracted expression from the lad's young face. He said with regrets, "I believe that cultivators who can enter these two states are all sages. Though the old saying states that it takes a thousand years for a sage to be born, it has been a very long while that no sage is born into this world. Thus, these... are just legends. I advise you just to listen. It'll not benefit you to think too much."
Ning Que stood up and expressed his gratitude to his teachings again.
The elder smiled and said, "I initially thought that you'd ask questions like who the Great Cultivators in this world today were and who the famous Skilled Masters were. Young chaps like you should be more interested in such things. I never expected you to ask such questions."
Ning Que placed his hands on his knees and kept silent for a long time before he lifted his head. He looked at the elder and replied him seriously, "Knowing who is the strongest on this earth is no longer meaningful to me now. They're like eagles spreading their wings and flying in the sky, while I'm like an ant crawling on the ground with much difficulties and dangers. They'd never be mindful of me, so I'll not need to be mindful of them."
"Then... what're your reasons for asking the fundamentals of cultivation?" the elder asked and stared at him in bewilderment.
Ning Que replied him seriously, "Those Great cultivators are unlikely to appear in my life now, but if I entered Chang'an, there'd be a possibility for me to meet those normal cultivators, such as the scholar in green garment who is a Great Sword Master. Since I can never pursue cultivation, then the more I need to understand what cultivation is and be clear about their battling methods..."
"And your purpose?" The elder gradually raised his eyebrow and he seemed very excited to hear his answer.
Ning Que lowered his head and grinned. He then lifted his head and replied calmly, "If someday in the future, I'm forced to battle with a cultivator, what you have taught me today will help me greatly in defeating them."
"A commoner wishes to battle with a cultivator who can shift the Qi of Heaven and Earth? Yet you want to defeat them?"
The elder stared into Ning Que's eyes and murmured his question again. He suddenly raised his eyebrows with a jerk as he burst into a joyful laughter. "Bwahahahahaha!"
The loud laughter gradually ceased. The elder looked at the slightly embarrassed Ning Que as he smiled and said, "Very bold and heroic. I like it."