HSSB112: A solid foundation, a step further
Just the Flowing Cloud Mirror coupled together with the Blood Refining Orb naturally wasn’t sufficient to produce a Blood Devil Plate.
However, with both main ingredients already available to him, if Yan Zhaoge wanted to forge a Blood Devil Plate, it would be much easier for him to do so.
Other than Flowing Cloud Mirrors, Yan Di had also brought back a large amount of Fire Patterned Jade from the Fire Domain for Yan Zhaoge, who felt very happy at this.
Mixing the Fire Patterned Jade with the Ice Dome Grease that was produced in the Heaven Domain to form a medicinal salve, Yan Zhaoge applied it on his own body.
Yan Zhaoge resembled a statue as he got into the meditative position and circulated his qi.
The medicinal salve gradually turned transparent as clouds of smoke were unceasingly absorbed by the pulsing acupoints of Yan Zhaoge’s entire body.
Within his dantian’s qi ocean, the chaotic mass of qi concealed beneath the clear qi surged unceasingly, gradually separating into two streams of pure, refined qi, one extremely cold, the other extremely hot.
Within that extremely hot stream of pure, refined qi, a tiny fire seed flickered slightly.
The spiritual energy within the medicinal salve was gradually split up and absorbed by the hot and cold streams of pure, refined qi, following which they gradually reformed into a chaotic mass.
Yan Zhaoge opened his eyes, swivelling his pupils about. His perception of the outside world was now much keener than it had been before.
It was not merely an improvement of his aura-qi; his spiritual sense itself had also progressed.
The Martial Scholar realm was generally divided into three major stages, the inner aura stage, the outer aura stage and the Xiantian stage, following which was the Heavenly Connection Stage from which a Martial Scholar would attempt their breakthrough into the Martial Grandmaster realm.
The greatest difference between a late outer aura Martial Scholar and an early Xiantian Martial Scholar was that the latter had refined their aura-qi to the point where it possessed spirituality.
When the aura-qi gained spirituality, it would be strengthened, and a martial practitioner would also be able to wield it with even greater ease than before.
For two opposing aura-qis of a similar density, the side possessing spirituality would be able to easily defeat the side without. To make up for this deficit, a larger amount of aura-qi would be required.
This was one of the reasons for the difference in strength between Xiantian Martial Scholars and late outer aura Martial Scholars.
In comparison to the distance between levels within the outer aura stage itself, the distance from the outer aura stage to the Xiantian stage was even greater, as great of a gulf as from the inner aura to the outer aura stage.
Other than their aura-qi undergoing a qualitative change, Xiantian Martial Scholars would also see their spiritual sense taking great strides forward, being beneficial in discovering concealed enemies as well as increasing the acuity of their senses as their reaction speed in the midst of combat was also increased.
Comparatively speaking, in breaking through from the late outer aura stage to the early Xiantian stage,enlightenment was more significant than the accumulation of aura-qi.
However, the density of Xiantian Martial Scholars’ aura-qi was generally much greater than that of late outer aura Martial Scholars as well.
To Yan Zhaoge, glimpsing through the secret of how to bestow his aura-qi spirituality was not hard. On the contrary, his problem was that after having stepped into the late outer aura Martial Scholar realm not long ago in the Eastern Tang, he had been warring all over the place without any time to seriously cultivate, resulting in his current accumulation of strength being a little lacking.
But with the Ice Dome Grease and Fire Patterned Jade now, having gone through two baptisms of his body, most of the deficiencies in his accumulated cultivation had been made up for.
This way, his distance from the Xiantian Martial Scholar realm had lessened a step further.
“I can keep the Underground Fire Pith on me first; it does not have to be used immediately,” Yan Zhaoge rose, rotating his neck, “There’s also the Heaven Ascending Vine this time, for concocting the Heaven Returning Divine Pill for Grand Master. Now, only one final main ingredient is lacking. Hopefully, the information is true that it can be found in the Mountain Domain.
As Yan Zhaoge walked out of the door, for once, Ah Hu was not outside waiting for him.
“I wonder if Ah Hu has succeeded,” Yan Zhaoge knew that Ah Hu was currently also in the midst of cultivating.
The him who was already a late Xiantian Martial Scholar was currently attempting to break through into the Heavenly Connection stage.
Of the ten levels of the Martial Scholar realm, the Heavenly Connection stage was the final one. The name of Heavenly Connection itself already explained everything.
Stepping into the Heavenly Connection stage, a Martial Scholar could begin making preparations for breaking through into the Martial Grandmaster realm. Once they succeeded, it would be a different heaven and earth altogether.
Ah Hu’s willingness to be a retainer always caused many to unconsciously overlook him.
However, Yan Zhaoge clearly knew that this big man who looked a little simple and honest as well as slick actually possessed rather astonishing talent in the area of the martial dao!
To put it bluntly, it was in no way inferior to that of Yan Zhaoge’s body’s original owner!
Yan Di had not treated him badly at all, having treated him as he would a disciple, taking great care in teaching and guiding him. Therefore, Ah Hu’s ability completely wouldn’t lose to the likes of Xiao Shen and Chao Yuanlong at the same cultivation level.
“Oh, it’s still that same bottleneck,” Coming to where Ah Hu had engaged in secluded cultivation and entering it, Yan Zhaoge observed silently by the side for a moment before he shook his head slightly, “It’s just that paper-thin distance away, but he just can’t get past it.”
The Ah Hu of this moment no longer had his usual smile on his face, instead being solemn and earnest, all his attention fully focused.
His aura blazed, resembling a ferocious tiger set on devouring everything it saw.
His aura-qi took the form of an illusory heaven and earth, the entire world shaking and distorting with black hurricanes as silhouettes flickered.
The storm vaguely solidified to form the shape of a tiger, the roars of the tiger and the howls of the wind mixing together, being hard to tell apart.
Yan Zhaoge hesitated slightly for a moment, “It’s fine if it’s others, but with Ah Hu just that final step away, it’s not like I have no way to get him past that.”
“It’s just that as soon as I reveal this technique, it might very well cause some suspicion within Father…wait, I can push it to that dead dude Yan Xu.”
A spark of inspiration flashing through his mind, Yan Zhaoge had an idea.
The Meteor Blade martial art of Yan Xu’s had been generally browsed through by Yan Zhaoge, who had come to feel more and more certain in it.
When Ah Hu temporarily ceased in his cultivation, opening his eyes and seeing Yan Zhaoge, he was not surprised in the least, as he instead grinned, “The Heavenly Connection stage, is a little difficult ah.”
Listening to Ah Hu’s grumbles, Yan Zhaoge threw over a scroll at him, “Yan Xu’s Meteor Blade, some incomplete Martial Art that he learnt from who knows where, does have its unique areas; you can take a look.”
Ah Hu said somewhat curiously as he received the book, “Young Master, I don’t cultivate in sabres.”
Yan Zhaoge said, “Comprehending by analogy; having also taken an overall look of it earlier, I’ve found that it might be of help to you now.”
“Entering the Heavenly Connection stage is not a pure matter of accumulating your strength; most important is gaining instant enlightenment. All your other preparations are complete; the only thing you need is that final flash of insight, dissipating that final fog.”
“The feeling of Heavenly Connection, resonating and combining to become one with the Heavens.”
Having received pointers from Yan Zhaoge whose cultivation was actually inferior to his own, Ah Hu was not impatient in the least, as he instead nodded, “Yes, that’s right.”
Yan Zhaoge spoke, “You might want to try viewing the stars within the night sky, sensing their faraway changes, especially that instant where the shooting stars flash by; perhaps that might be effective.”
“The principles of this Meteor Blade martial art all stem from there; you can try to use it as a reference.”
As he said thus, Yan Zhaoge’s finger traced out an arc in mid-air, resembling a shooting star flashing past the horizon.
Ah Hu looked thoughtful as he too extended a finger and traced some imaginary arcs of his own, before taking that scroll and walking outside.
Yan Zhaoge shrugged, “Speaking of martial manuals, I still have a chance to enter the Martial Repository once.”
Broad Creed Mountain’s Martial Repository housed all of Broad Creed Mountain’s supreme martial arts as well as all the other martial arts its disciples had inadvertently come by over the years whilst roaming the outside world.
In the Martial Repository, the higher one went, the higher the grade of the martial manuals stored.
The first floor contained Broad Creed Mountain’s own foundational martial arts, and was mainly for newly-entered disciples.
The second floor contained Broad Creed Mountain’s various advanced-level martial arts; other than that, the martial arts collected from the outside world were mostly also concentrated here.
Some of them, their grade being relatively lower, were then placed here. While Broad Creed Mountain didn’t prohibit its disciples from dabbling in martial arts of the outside world, they had to first make sure that their own foundations had been well-established. Therefore, martial arts from the outside world weren’t stored on the first floor, lest new disciples, out of a moment of greed or novelty, instead fell behind in their standard cultivation.
Coming here, Yan Zhaoge completely brushed by the first and second floors, directly heading to the third floor.