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Er-kun activated his trap card.

Chapter 4 – Spirit Refinement

All the Fatties became overjoyed. They looked towards Bai Xiaochun, their impressions of him were currently at an all time high. Not only did they think that this Bai Xiaochun was cute, they also thought his gut was full of dirty tricks. Hence, Senior Fatty Zhang decided to reward Bai Xiaochun with a spiritual rice grain.

Bai Xiaochun smiled happily and returned to his room in a daze. Before he could finish climbing onto his bed, the countless heavenly medicinal treasures condensed inside his body suddenly erupted, causing him to pass out on the ground, snoring.

His sleep was delightfully extraordinary. The next day, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shot opened, his mind in high spirits. He looked down to discover that he has grown fatter in size, his entire body covered in sticky, black grime. He quickly left to clean himself up. The Fatty Zhang’s group of people were currently busy preparing breakfast for the inner disciples. When they saw Bai Xiaochun, a smile broke out on their faces.

“Ninth Brother, that dirt is the impurities from inside your body. Your cultivation later on will benefit greatly without them. In the next few days, we can manage without you. You can come back to work later.”

“That spiritual grain is a very good item, remember to eat it quickly. Leaving it out for a long time won’t do you any good.”

Bai Xiaochun’s mind cleared up as he nodded in reply. When he returned to his room, his eyes fell on the turtle shell wok. He carried it outside and gave it a quick scrub before bringing it back and placing it on the stove. He looked at the spiritual rice grain in his hand. This grain was as large as his pinky finger, and it was translucent and shiny. There was a lovely fragrance emanating from it.

“The kind of things immortals get to eat truly cannot be compared to normal food.” Bai Xiaochun sighed, full of emotion. He threw some wooden logs underneath the stove to kindle the flames. Just as the fire ignited, a heatwave flowed out, causing Bai Xiaochun to quickly retreat. He stared at the flames, amazed.

“This fire is also one of a kind, not only does it burn quickly, the flame’s temperature is also very high.” Bai Xiaochun turned his eyes towards the wood inside the stove. These must not be ordinary wooden logs.

After the fire had been ignited, Bai Xiaochun was surprised to suddenly find that the first rune stripe of the turtle shell wok began to slowly glow. Once it started, the subsequent rune stripes began to glow in order, from the bottom upwards.

Bai Xiaochun stared blankly for a while, and then he suddenly slapped his thigh.

“Didn’t I already say so, this is a treasure. It is certainly even better than Senior Brother’s wok.” The more he looked at it, the more extraordinary he found this wok. He quickly threw the spiritual grain into the heated wok.

While waiting on the side, he picked up the Violet Qi Cauldron Technique manual and began practicing in accordance with the first illustration.

After starting for a moment, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes immediately shot open. He discovered that the stances that gave him extreme difficulty yesterday had suddenly become effortless. He did not feel any discomfort, and even the breathing technique caused him no trouble. Instead, it gave him a refreshing feeling.

He persisted awhile more. He found that while he could only take three or four breaths at best in the beginning, he was now able to surpass eight breathes without any pain.

Containing his excitement, Bai Xiaochun forced himself to calm down and persist for thirty more breaths. When his body began to ache, a trickle of gas suddenly appeared inside his body. This gas was as cold as ice, and it quickly circulated around his body. Even though it has dissipated before completing a whole round, Bai Xiaochun still jumped up excitedly.

“There’s Qi, haha, there’s Qi!” Bai Xiaochun was so happy he felt like he would go crazy. He paced back and forth inside his room. Thinking back to last night when he ate all those precious resources, he quietly thought that he really didn’t have enough.“No wonder Senior Zhang said that he would rather starve to death at the Hearthfire Kitchen instead of becoming an outside disciple. This kind of good fortune, even outside disciples cannot hope to have.” Bai Xiaochun quickly sat down and continued to train.

This time, he relied on the first breathing technique of the Violet Qi Cauldron Technique and the motions from the first illustration. He endured for a further sixty breaths in the blink of an eye, at which point a trickle of qi twice as powerful as the previous one appeared and quickly made its way throughout his body.

By now, Bai Xiaochun already had some experience. He quickly followed the instructions from the first illustration and quietly attempted to control the path of circulation within his body.

Very quickly, the Qi inside him followed his commands and traveled through his pulses. As he persisted with the first illustration’s guidance, he even began to sense that inside his body there were countless tiny units of cold gas slowly surging out from all over his body. These tiny units condensed into a small droplet and joined the trickle of Qi circulating inside him, causing it to grow.

In the end, the trickle of Qi has turned into a tiny stream. After it made one more complete circulation around his body, Bai Xiaochun shook, his head releasing a cloud of steam as a thud rang out from within.

An unprecedented vigorous sensation flowed through him as torrents of impurities streamed out from his pores ceaselessly.

Inside him, the small stream of Qi still exists, and instead of dissipating over time, it had become a part of him. As the flow of Qi slowly travels through him, Bai Xiaochun opened his eyes, which has now turned clearer and livelier.

Even his entire body felt much more nimble than in the past.

“Maintaining a stream of Qi, this is the Violet Qi Cauldron Technique first stage’s effect. This also means that I have reached the first stage of Qi Condensing!” Bai Xiaochun was extremely excited. He left to clean himself up.

Fatty Zhang’s group noticed him and gave each other a knowing smile. Towards Bai Xiaochun’s astounding cultivation speed, even though they were slightly surprised, they understood the reason.

When he returned to his room, Bai Xiaochun breathed in deeply several times and picked up the bamboo tome and examined it closely.

“After reaching the first stage of Qi Condensing, I can manipulate a few items. This is definitely an immortal technique, it can even move things without touching them!” Bai Xiaochun’s eyes brightened, he followed the instructions in the manual, both his hands forming a simple formation and pointed it at the table next to him. He instantly felt the tiny streams inside of his body responding to his command. They rode on his pulses, reaching the very tip of his finger and then shot out.

An invisible thread was created and it attached itself to the table, creating a connection. Unfortunately, just as the connection was made, it grew unstable and snapped.

Bai Xiaochun’s face paled; only a while later was he fully recovered. After giving it some more thought, he ignored the table and pulled out a wooden sword. He didn’t know what kind of wood the sword was made out of, but while it was not as heavy as the table, it still had quite a hefty feel to it. He lifted his hand and pointed towards the sword.

The wooden sword suddenly shook and slowly began to float, but only for a moment, as it immediately fell down.

Bai Xiaochun did not become frustrated. As he repeated his attempts many times, the wooden sword began to float higher and higher before dropping. Ten inches, twenty inches, thirty inches… by sunset, he was able to fully lift the wooden sword. Even though its speed was not very fast, and it was hard to control, it would no longer fall easily like before.

“Henceforth, I, Bai Xiaochun, am truly set on the path of immortality!” Bai Xiaochun stood there with a proud expression. His left arm was behind his back while his right arm swung wildly in front, causing the wooden sword to fly back and forth.

Only when he did not have any breath left did he retrieve the wooden sword. He wanted to continue his cultivation when suddenly a delicious fragrance flowed out from inside the wok. He lifted his head and sucked in a deep breath, and instantly felt famished. Today he had been busy with training and completely forgot about the wok that was stewing the spiritual rice grain. He stepped forward and took off the lid of the wok.

Moments after he lifted up the lid, a thick sweet scent flowed out from the spiritual rice grain. However, the most surprising thing was that there was a blindingly bright rune inside the rice grain!

This rune’s figure was extremely clear. Looking closely, one could feel an overwhelming sensation coming from this symbol. Sometime later, the rune slowly dimmed and became silver. Bai Xiaochun narrowed his eyes. After thinking for a while, he picked up the spiritual grain and inspected it closely.

“This symbol looks familiar…” Bai Xiaochun fell into deep thought. He bent over and looked at the stove and discovered that the fire had long been extinguished, even the wooden log had turned into ash. The runes stripe on the wok had already grown dim once again.

He instantly realized that the rune inside the spiritual rice grain and the runes on the wok matched perfectly.

For his own safety, Bai Xiaochun did not eat the rice grain. He put it inside his pouch and spent some more time pondering. In the end, he left his room and joined Fatty Zhang’s group in their work.

In the blink of an eye, half a month passed. In this time, Bai Xiaochun’s progress came to a grinding halt. His cultivation speed was slow, and when he observed others cooking their spiritual rice grain, he did not notice any runes appearing.

Even more curious, he sensed that there was something off about his rice grain, especially because of the turtleshell wok. There was something strange going on. Days later, while on their trip to buy food outside the Hearthfire Kitchens, he visited the Four Seas Room.

When he came back from his trip to the Four Seas Room, Bai Xiaochun’s depressed heart had brightened with delight, and he had to try his best to suppress his joy. When he returned to his room, he immediately took out the spiritual grain and observed the rune closely, a strange  glint in his eyes.

“Immortals cultivate in three fundamental paths. The first is Medicinal Refinement, the second is Qi Refinement, and the third is… Spirit Refinement!” Bai Xiaochun thought about how he has managed to find out in the Four Seas Room that the illustrations of the Spirit Refinement letters seemed extremely similar to the the runes on the spiritual rice grain.

“Spirit Refinement!” Bai Xiaochun shouted out in one long breath.

Spirit Refinement is a special method of cultivation. The method forcefully injects the power of heavens and earth into items and objects. It does this by overtaking the divine process of natural creation and stealing the Qi from Heaven and Earth to refine items. No matter if it was medicinal pills or treasures, they could  be spiritually refined. Since such a method was going against the heavens, there was only a certain probability of success. Once successful, the refined item’s quality and strength would be drastically increased, but if the process failed, it could immediately turn the most valuable of treasures into waste.

The most terrifying thing about Spirit Refinement process is that their effects can be stacked. If an object is successfully refined ten times, its effect could change the heavens and shake the earth.

The more valuable an item, the greater the stacking effect.

The only caveat was that the more times an item is refined, the smaller the chance of them being successfully refined. Even the few existing great experts at Spirit Refining do not casually test their luck with this matter. No matter what, the price paid when the process failed is just too great.

“The ancient records once mentioned that this Spirit Creek Sect had a Guardian Treasure that they obtained due to a fateful encounter, the ten times refined Sky Horn Sword!” Bai Xiaochun could feel his mouth getting dry. He swallowed down his saliva, his eyes showing signs of fear and bewilderment. He glanced at the turtleshell wok with its dozens of dim runes stripes, his heart jumping through his throat.

Right now, he was sure. The reason why the rune appeared on the spiritual rice grain was all because of this wok!

After hesitating for some time, Bai Xiaochun clenched his teeth. If he did not solve this mystery tonight, he would not be able to get any sleep. But he also knew that if this wok was really not ordinary, perhaps even more mysterious than he would ever know, he must definitely never let another soul know of it.

That’s why he waited until midnight to approach the turtleshell wok. He breathed in deeply and retrieved the wooden sword from the bag. Just like how he threw the spiritual rice grain inside on that day, he threw the wooden sword directly into the wok.



Translator: Er-kun

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