Chapter 26 - Why Is He Still Here?
Leon's meal was brought out one by one until all 5 dishes was placed in front of him. The lovely aroma easily whets his appetite as he couldn't wait to dig in and demolish it all. However, he refrained from doing so.
He's living in a world full of danger, where he doesn't know when the Great Wall would be breached, and the safety of mankind jeopardized once more.
He had to focus on his cultivation. Sating his hunger and pleasure was secondary.
"Are you sure you can finish it all?" Mary asked with curiosity.
"I will try." He didn't give a definite answer.
"Mm, good luck. Don't force yourself, if you can't though." She said with some concern.
Leon nodded, not sure why she cares whether he can finish it or not.
This woman was a strange creature. Making trouble for him one moment then showing concern the next. Maybe she just wanted his attention? Leon wasn't sure but it didn't matter.
Leon tested the tenderness of each dish with a fork. Each dish felt more tender and juicier than the next. When Leon rest his eyes on the beast meat with the metal attribute, he was at a bit of a loss.
'Is this even edible?'
The metallic texture made it seem terribly tough. He would probably break his teeth trying to bite into such a thing.
"Hmm... How is this meant to be eaten?"
"Hehehe, if you pour the special sauce on it, the meat will become soft and tenderized." Mary explained to him after giggling.
Leon did as instructed, and the result was as she said. The meat really did go soft! Such an interesting discovery.
"This is really fascinating. I wonder who came up with such a novelty." Leon praised.
"It was my grandma. She is a master chef. She likes to research different ways of preparing beast meat." Mary could not help feeling a bit proud as she commented.
"Her title as master chef is well deserved. Are you going to watch me eat?"
"Eh? No... P-Please enjoy your meal." She blushed and left.
Leon focused on his meal, taking a few bites from each dish equally.
The taste was heavenly and filled him with extreme bliss. He had strong urges to keep eating but he forcefully restrained himself from doing so and focus on refining the energy that entered his body.
He continues repeating the same step of taking a bite then cultivate.
"What is that guy doing?"
"I'm not sure. He seems to be trying to meditate, while eating."
"Why would you choose meditate when you are eating? That doesn't make sense."
"Then why is he doing it?"
"How would I know? Why don't you go over and ask him?"
"This... I rather not. He might be a bit special in this department." The person said while tapping his own head with his index finger.
The crowd continue discussing Leon's weird action. Leon didn't care what they said as he filtered out their voices and focused solely on his Divine practice.
There were 9 layers to the tempered body state. After every 3 layers was a small bottleneck, one would need to overcome.
This is due to the limited space within the glabella.
One would need a large amount of energy to expand the space and overcome the bottleneck. Unless special methods were used, one would reach the maximum naturally expandable size after achieving the peak 9th layer.
To promote their strength further, they would have to compress their energy to create more space.
When they successfully compress all their energy strands into liquid form, they would have broken through the tempered body and entered the energy condensation state.
Leon was still far from the peak tempered body layer. He was concentrating on breaking through to the 4th layer.
4 hours quietly passed by before Leon finally managed to gather up enough energy to storm into the 4th layer. The process was like flooding a water balloon with extra water causing it to stretch and strain. Leon gritted his teeth and perspire from the pain due to the expansion of his glabella space.
Perhaps back in the Divine Realm, the reason Body Cultivation System weren't as popular as the Energy Cultivation System is due to its self-torturous nature. No one wanted to struggle painfully to become more powerful and so they favored the Energy Cultivation System more, which didn't possess such nature. But how could Divine practice be that simple?
Divine practice was the act of stealing life from the world itself to prolong your own, in your continuous efforts to attain everlasting life. Its very nature is to struggle against the heaven's will. How can it be without risk?
There was a delicate balance to the amount of force one should use to expand their space. Too little causes one to fail breaking through, while too much would overstrain his glabella and inflict damage upon himself. While he would still succeed in breaking through and the injury could be healed, his foundation would become unstable and a hidden trauma would be left behind that could potentially affect his future breakthroughs.
Thanks to his previous life experience of breaking through the stage, he was able to find the delicate balance and able to make a breakthrough on his first attempt.
He remembered how he had spent many days to break through each bottleneck because of his poor talent in his previous life. This was also under the condition that he had many Spirit Gathering Pills to squander, in addition to the spirit energy-rich environment of the Divine Realm. Otherwise, it would have taken him even longer.
He was lucky to have the experience and able to save himself a lot of time in promoting his strength. He did not have a lot of resource to squander like he did in the past.
Leon stabilized his tempered body 4th layer as his body experience the strengthening effects brought by the breakthrough.
At this point, there was only about a quarter of the food left in each dish. He calculated that he would be able to push for another breakthrough in his Divine practice with the remaining food.
Leon spent another 2 hours to finish the food, refining the energy and breakthrough to the 5th layer tempered body. There were no surprises during this time as there were no further bottlenecks until his breakthrough to 7th layer.
"Phew..." Leon exhaled a wisp of foul air.
Leon's eyes shined with new light as he finished his Divine practice session.
He had received an epiphany during his practice.
A famous saying went; 'All roads lead to the Great way.'
He had always taken it as the truth but now he realized it wasn't entirely correct.
He believes that it should be 'All road eventually converges onto the Great Way.'
What is the Great Way? The Great Way can be many things, but it can also mean only one thing. It was a belief, a truth. People believe that when one attains the Great Way, they would have already attained everlasting life.
It was a profound topic that Leon unfamiliar with. His father had described the Great Way to him that way, but he is still unclear as to what it truly means to him.
He believes the roads refer to the cultivation systems and that he would find his answer when he cultivate all body, energy and soul to the peak.
This was an arduous path to take but he was willing to see it through to the end.
Many teachers and master had advised their students and disciples against such ambitious decisions in the past. After all it was better to be a master of one than to be a jack of all trades, master of none.
What Leon was aiming for was to be a master of all. But whether he would be a master of all or a master of none, only time will tell.
The steakhouse was a popular choice for its quality meals and was usually busy all day long. It was about to enter its peak period as most people usually choose around this time to have dinner.
A line of people had started queuing up from outside as the tables inside were all occupied. Some people were dissatisfied that Leon had been hogging a table for four, all to himself.
'Eh? why is he still here?'
Some waitress had was made aware after the complaint. They knew he had been there since noon.
"Aye Mary, can't you do something about your lover? He's been sitting there all day. Is he planning to live here or something? There's people waiting to be served."
"What lover? Don't talk nonsense. He had ordered 5 dishes to himself. The dishes aren't cheap either. How can we shoo away such a good patron?" Mary blushed and tried to defend Leon.
The dissatisfaction was understandable. Leon had spent a total of 6 hours sitting at the same table without leaving. Most people only dine for an average of an hour usually.
"I don't care, he has already finished his meal. There's still a lot of people waiting in line."
"Fine... I'll do something about it..." Mary said helplessly. If possible, she wouldn't mind Leon sticking around. He had this mysterious aura around him that seems to draw her in. He was also not bad looking to boot. Who said that only boys check girls out and not the other way around?
However, she can't be selfish since she had chosen to help her grandma take care of the restaurant. She can't do something selfish like that and affect their business.
Hardening her heart, she decided to head over to ask him to leave.
But just as she had decided to, she saw Leon getting up and waving for her to come over to settle the bill with a smile.
'What was all that determination for…?' She nearly staggered.