Book 4 Chapter 1: Unity of Spirit and Qi
Zhuge Yuanhong observed Teng Qingshan, and the more he saw of his natural disposition, the more he liked him. “His temperament is tenacious, and he’s neither arrogant nor impatient. He is exceptionally talented and has great willpower! If I were to meticulously instruct him, he would easily enter the Innate Master Realm in 10 years. Once he enters the Innate Master Realm, he can use his spirit to comprehend heaven and earth. Thus, his realm will progressively increase….If Qingshan were to undergo harsh training for 10 years and based on his attitude, he may surpass me. In the future, he may even cause my Gui Yuan Sect to become Yangzhou’s number one sect by replacing Qing Hu Island.”
In the eyes of exceptionally strong experts, a few secret books and treasures were no longer of much value.
Those were only external objects.
When one reached Zhuge Yuanhong’s level, one would place importance on cultivating internal areas. Moreover, trying to find a true disciple to one’s liking was extremely difficult at that level.
Treasures were easy to obtain, but disciples were difficult!
“Qingshan, if you solely concentrate on cultivating in the future, you will definitely enter the Innate Master Realm sooner or later.” Zhuge Yuanhong said.
“Yes, master.” Teng Qingshan replied in agreement.
Although he had agreed outwardly, Teng Qingshan had his doubts in his heart. He had most likely already entered the peak of the Postliminary Realm, but regarding realms… having experienced two lives, despite being unable to compare to Zhuge Yuanhong, at the very least, he was not inferior to that Ghost Fox, Sima Qing. However, why had he not yet seen any signs of breaking into the Innate Master Realm?
“Master, what do I have to do to advance from the Postliminary Realm to the Innate Master Realm?” Teng Qingshan inquired.
Seeing that Teng Qingshan was anxious, Zhuge Yuanhong couldn’t help but laugh. “Okay, I will discuss a bit about this matter with you, today! In this world, the number of experts at the Innate Master Realm is extremely small. Among 10 million people, it would be rare for even one to appear! As for experts at the peak of the Postliminary Realm, they are innumerable. Therefore, you should understand exactly how hard it is to advance from the Postliminary Realm to the Innate Master Realm.”
Teng Qingshan nodded.
Teng Qingshan knew about population numbers. For example, his hometown Yi City had a perimeter of 300 kilometers and a population of 3 million. All of Jiangning County contained approximately 30 million people. Within all of Yangzhou, there were most likely 400 million people!
“The absolute first condition to advance from the Postliminary Realm to the Innate Master Realm is to be at the peak of the Postliminary Realm!” Zhuge Yuanhong chuckled and said, “The second condition is for the spirit of one’s essence, Qi and Spirit to be strong enough! The third condition is to find a method for the Spirit and Qi to fuse together! If one satisfies these three conditions and if one has enough talent, perseverance, and luck, then one will be able to become an innate master!”
Teng Qingshan silently took this to his heart.
A method for Unity of Spirit and Qi?
Teng Qingshan had no idea what any of this was.
“You should already know about reaching the peak of the Postliminary Realm. As for the second requirement, I will carefully explain to you the essence, Qi and Spirit.” Zhuge Yuanhong said. “The essence refers to the essence of one’s body or in other words, blood essence. Life on this world is dictated by breathing in Spiritual Qi from Heaven and Earth and eating the five essential crops, which is transformed into the body’s essence! The very basis of a person’s body is this essence!” (TL: the five essential crops= millet, soybean, sesame, barley, rice)
“The Qi is obtained from absorbing the Heaven and Earth’s Spiritual Qi before voluntarily refining it through cultivation. It will then transform into inner strength! The ability to utilize Qi and to blend it with essence will make a martial artist’s body strong. As for inner strength, you should already have a pretty good understanding. However, among the three, you must pay the most attention to understanding ‘Spirit’!” Zhuge Yuanhong’s expression turned serious.
Teng Qingshan listened earnestly.
This concerned the ability to step into the Innate Master Realm.
“This ‘Spirit’ is what normal people call ‘mental ability’. It is also what we martial artists call the ‘realm of conception’. There are some people who feel muddle-headed and sleepy all day. This is because their Spirit is insufficient! Their state of mind is weak! There are also others who have ample mental ability and feel invigorated when doing anything. This is also called ‘sufficient spirit’. Of course, the so-called ‘sufficient spirit’ only pertains to commoners.”
“When martial artists cultivate inner strength, the inner strength is able to foster ‘Spirit’. Thus, martial artists will always reach sufficient Spirit. In order to become an innate master, the requirements for ‘Spirit’ are 10 to 100 times higher than a villager’s ample mental ability!” Zhuge Yuanhong said. “This requirement is harsh, and the majority of martial artists are all stuck at this stage and cannot become an innate master.”
Teng Qingshan’s eyebrows creased, “Master, how do I know if my Spirit is strong enough to become an innate master?”
“Good question!” Zhuge Yuanhong laughed. “There is an easy method to see if one’s ‘Spirit’ is strong enough to become an innate master.”
“What method?” Teng Qingshan proceeded to ask.
Zhuge Yuanhong let out a chuckle and stretched out his hand. A deep cyan ebb of light flew out from his palm.
Teng Qingshan felt a heart-palpitating force from the deep cyan ebb of light and couldn’t help but stare at it: “Innate True Origin! This is Innate True Origin! Master’s Innate True Origin is much stronger than Sima Qing’s! It hasn’t even touched me yet, and I’m already feeling fear.”
The deep cyan ebb of light looked exactly like a deep cyan colored ribbon. It coiled around Zhuge Yuanhong’s body twice before finally assimilating into Zhuge Yuanhong’s body. Afterwards, Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan: “Qingshan, you saw it right?”
“I saw it.” Teng Qingshan nodded.
“When your ‘Spirit’ is able to control inner strength, then that will signify you have one foot in the Innate Master Realm.” Zhuge Yuanhong laughed. “Unity of Spirit and Qi is essentially whether one’s Spirit is strong enough to fuse with Qi and to control the flow of inner strength. Of course, this is very difficult! One must have a method for the Unity of Spirit and Qi.”
Teng Qingshan nodded.
“How can I reach the Unity of Spirit and Qi?” Teng Qingshan promptly inquired.
“Your Spirit must be strong enough to break through the seal of your Niwan Palace!” Zhuge Yuanhong said. “The Niwan Palace is within a person’s mind! ‘Spirit’ is also concealed in the Niwan Palace. The Niwan Palace is sealed, so a normal martial artist’s Spirit is not enough to break out.”
Teng Qingshan also understood this in his heart.
The Millennium Chronicles of his previous life had also mentioned the Niwan Palace.
Breaking through the barrier of the Niwan Palace would enable the Spirit to fuse with Qi, which would allow him to transform and become an innate master.
“Of course, there are secret methods to strengthen one’s ‘Spirit’ in order to break through the Niwan Palace! Such are the methods to reach the Unity of Spirit and Qi.” Zhuge Yuanhong laughed. “These methods are secrets that the various great sects do not disclose.”
“If the earliest elders of the sects didn’t have secret methods, then how did they break through?” Teng Qingshan couldn’t help but ask.
Zhuge Yuanhong said: “If they didn’t have a secret method, then they had to create their own! The secret methods of the various great sects were created by a few elders.”
Teng Qingshan let out a sigh in his heart.
Strengthening one’s Spirit to control inner strength to revolve outside the body was too hard.
“Qingshan, a few secret methods are classified into three large classes: ‘Heaven Class’, ‘Earth Class’, and ‘Human Class’. You already know about the Human Class secret methods, since Postliminary experts cultivate with these methods.” Zhuge Yuanhong said. “As for Earth Class secret methods, they contain methods to break through into the Innate Realm. There are numerous innate experts who cultivate with these methods. As for Heaven Class secret methods, they are obviously even more mysterious.”
Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan, “Qingshan, Earth Class secret methods and Heaven Class secret methods are very important. Thus, I must receive approval from the elders before I can give them to you! You must wait until I officially take you on as a disciple before I give the secret methods to you.”
Teng Qingshan nodded.
A great sect would naturally have its own rules. The Earth and Heaven Class secret methods were not something that could just be handed to whomever.
“Qingshan, let me tell you! Our Gui Yuan Sect has two great Heaven Class secret methods! Between the two, the Gui Yuan Heart Technique has the most formidable power and is the ultimate secret method of my Gui Yuan Sect!” Zhuge Yuanhong said seriously.
Even if the class was the same, the prowess would be different.
Even Teng Qingshan understood this. There were some times when a few unique skills had great power. His own Toxic Dragon Drill was exceptionally powerful. “Could it be that master wants to pass on the Gui Yuan Heart Technique to me?” Teng Qingshan said silently. “The Gui Yuan Sect and the Gui Yuan Heart Technique. Just from hearing the name, I can tell how important it is.”
Zhuge Yuanhong continued to speak: “The Gui Yuan Heart Technique is the most cultivated technique amongst our Gui Yuan Sect’s history of experts. In the past 100 years, over 90 percent of those who became an innate master cultivated in the Gui Yuan Heart Technique! Therefore, when it comes to questions that arise while cultivating, our sect has many books that describe the experiences of the elders throughout history that you can refer to. This way, it will be difficult to take a wrong path while cultivating.”
“However… the Gui Yuan Heart Technique cultivates the Sword Arts!” Zhuge Yuanhong said.
Teng Qingshan was stunned when heard this.
He himself cultivated Spear Arts. What use would giving this to him be?
Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan: “Of the two Heaven Class secret manuals in my Gui Yuan Sect, one is for Sword Arts and the other is for Saber Arts. Therefore, Qingshan, if you wish to learn the Gui Yuan Heart Technique, it would be best if you forsook your Spear Arts and learned the Sword Arts! Truthfully, this is a reasonable justification because with your current Spear Art realm, it would be very easy for you to learn Sword Arts.”
“Qingshan, what do you think?” Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan.
Forsake his Spear Arts? Learn the Sword Arts?
The second this idea appeared in his mind, it was quickly discarded by Teng Qingshan. In his previous life, he had bitterly trained his Xing Yi Martial Arts. In this life, he continued to meticulously study it while transferring it to his Spear Arts. When he used his spear, he utilized it like his arm. Moreover, he had only converted three attacks of the Five Elemental Boxing and still had two attacks left.
However, looking at it now, the Five Elemental Spear Arts clearly possessed incredible martial prowess.
“Master, there’s no need to!” Teng Qingshan didn’t think about it any longer and proceeded to shake his head. “I will still learn the Spear Arts. Are there any Earth Class Spear Art manuals in the sect?”
“Yes, but there is only one, the Dark Moon Spear Technique!” Zhuge Yuanhong said. “Qingshan, amongst the various weapons like the saber, sword, club, stick etc., the spear is the hardest to succeed with! Within the Nine Prefectures, those who managed to become an innate master while using Spear Arts number a lot fewer than those who use the saber or sword! The difficulty to improve one’s Spear Arts is extremely high, and there are very few people to use as references.”
Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan: “Qingshan, you should consider awhile first! I plan to officially accept you as my disciple on the 21st of the ninth month at the main hall of the Gui Yuan Sect! You can give me your answer again on that day!”
Teng Qingshan replied in agreement.
“One more thing, Qingshan. The Unity of Spirit and Qi and the utilization of Spirit to control inner strength do not have to reach my level. You only have to have a slight grasp over them. If you can still control your inner strength after it leaves your body, then the Unity of Spirit and Qi can be considered complete. Of course, you shouldn’t worry too much. It’s very difficult to reach that level. Wait until you receive a secret manual, so you can train according to its method. There will eventually be a day when you succeed.” Zhuge Yuanhong proceeded to laugh. “Okay, you should head back first.”
However, Teng Qingshan stood completely still in his original spot.
Having slight control over one’s inner strength after it left his or her body?
What about his own Saddened Throwing Knives?
When his throwing knives flew a long distance, he had to control them with his inner strength. Was this the same thing?
“Why are you standing there like a statue?” Zhuge Yuanhong let out a low yell.