From the moment Yun Jinghong told Wang Bugui that he could gather herbs in the woods, the boy began to train even harder. Each day, upon the conclusion of his prana power training, he would go into the woods to gather fruit and herbs. No matter how deep the herbs were hidden in the ground, he could find them, as the small spiritual beasts that were his friends had a strong sense of smell, and he sent them in every direction to search for herbs on his behalf.
They would come back within 15 minutes with herbs that gave off strange fragrances and looked exquisite in their mouths, and Wang Bugui would give them marvelous fruit and berries in exchange, before bidding them farewell cheerfully and heading back to the Purple Waterfall.
Wang Bugui lifted his head to gaze up at the Purple Waterfall made of a galaxy of stars when he reached its feet. He could sense the force of a galaxy of stars falling from the Nine Heavens just by looking at it, as if he was really amongst the stars himself. He gave a heartfelt sigh before charging back to the platform and resuming his training of holding his stance and trying to make sense of the principles of Tao.
Divine aura was already encircling the Purple Waterfall, and combined with the additional divine aura from the Heaven and Earth summoned by the holy light from Wang Bugui's pendant, the divine presence around the area grew so thick that it would not dissipate. Droplets of condensed divine vapor began to fall as Wang Bugui immersed himself in trying to unlock the mysteries of Tao. He opened his eyes suddenly after one hour and channeled the blood prana power throughout his entire body for an attack.
Wang Bugui let out a huge roar as the blood vigour in his body surged, driving his Endless Gold Prana Power Fist.
The huge ball of purple water above his head was struck by his fist and it stopped falling, before moving back up by about five meters, against the flow of the waterfall. It was the result of his training from six in the morning till midnight everyday.
"After putting in 10 days of hard work, I've finally met the basic requirements." Wang Bugui muttered to himself at the foot of the waterfall. Yun Jinghong, who was observing from afar, nodded in satisfaction as he witnessed the scene.
He walked toward Wang Bugui and appeared before the waterfall in an instant. "Hmm, you've met the pre-requisites. I can now tell you about the next training method."
"I've been ready for this!" Replied Wang Bugui confidently as he smiled, exposing his huge white teeth.
"Follow me." Said Yun Jinghong as he turned to leave the waterfall. Wang Bugui instantly leaped off the stone platform and followed suit.
They arrived at the training ground eastward of the Purple Waterfall. There were a few square shaped rocks placed there, and each of them was about three meters wide. They were entirely black, and there were two rows of black jade rings nearby. Behind all of these were a few huge circular green stone slabs.
"Each square stone slab weighs about 15 tons, and there are 10 of them. There are words inscribed on each of them, describing a magical formation. You can easily stack them one above the other and also reduce their weight to aid your training. If you which to achieve progress in each stage, you have to gain the corresponding amount of achievement in the eight types of limits. If you wish to step foot in the Prana Soul level, you have to at least achieve some progress in seven of those limits."
"The method is to adjust the weight of the stone slabs, using the inscriptions, to a manageable level for you to begin training. The lowest you can go is 1.5 tons, and if you can shift 3 tons of stone, you'll have been the early stages of your Prana Body stage. Shifting 6 tons will mean you're at middle stage, while 7.5 tons means that you're at the final stages. If you can begin to wield 15 tons of stone, you'll have perfected mastery over the Prana Body stage."
Yun Jinghong turned to speak to Wang Bugui. The boy's eyes grew wide with amazement— he had never thought that each stone slab could weigh up to 15 tons. "These stone slabs are not huge, how could they weigh up to 15 tons each? Could they have been formed from some magical treasure?" He asked.
"Naturally. They were made from a stone our founding father brought back from a planet that bore huge gravity. He re-molded it into these stone slabs and carved the words into them," said Yun Jinghong as he nodded.
"How heavy are these black jade rings?" Wang Bugui asked as he looked at the two rows of rings.
"You still haven't earned the right to touch those things, and you'll only begin to understand why after entering the Prana Body phase. Alright, you should begin training. From now on, come here to practice immediately after you've finished your training at the waterfall. If you still can't knock the waterfall upward by 10 meters within seven days, prepare to cry." Yun Jinghong said. Yun Jinghong hurried the boy to begin training, and Wang Bugui began lifting the stone slabs without any further questions.
He saw that the numbers three to 30 were carved on each slab, and each number was accompanied by a paragraph of talismanic words. He felt around the inscription on one that bore the number 'three' and pressed down with a little force. It gave off a faint white glow, and as he tried to lift it, he realized that it was 1.5 tons heavy.
"Alright, I'll leave you to it. You can decide how to train." Yun Jinghong said as he turned and walked back to the Yuxu Palace. Wang Bugui rolled his eyes at his departing master, feeling that Yun Jinghong was skiving, as he had not offered a single bit of advice.
"Here comes a new challenge!" Wang Bugui thought as he turned his attention back to his training. He rolled his shirt sleeves up excitedly and began to move the stone slabs. He could not help but marvel at the profundity of Tao, as he found it amazing that a stone slab could contain so much mass. As Yun Jinghong had not given him any advice on how to proceed with his training, the boy could only attempt to achieve progress with the methods he knew.
Sometimes, he lifted the stone slabs and sometimes he carried them on his back while he did squats. He even tried to lift them from a squatting position or did push-ups with them on his back, using any method he learned in the West to aid his training.
Yun Jinghong, who was observing the child while drinking tea at the main hall of the palace, staggered, nearly dropping the cup of tea onto the floor. He had never imagined that Wang Xuanming had not thought his son the proper way to cultivate his power, and that the boy had been using the training methods of mortals up till now. "Seems like the boy is really a piece of pure jade that hasn't been molded in any way." The old master thought, shaking his head as he walked back to the training ground.
"Stop. I'll teach you the techniques of training your maximal power, and you can use these to practice." Yun Jinghong said, instantly appearing before the boy. Wang Bugui got a shock and released the stone slab he was holding obediently, as he looked at his master.
He saw Yun Jinghong's hand glow with a golden light as his master planted a gold needle into his head. Instantly, an amazing training method appeared in his head. He then saw Yun Jinghong touch a huge green stone slab with one finger, and the inanimate object began moving and slowly transformed into a stone giant.
"Follow the method in your mind now to continue training. If you make any mistakes, the stone giant will correct you. Aside from that, I want you to fight with it everyday after your training." Yun Jinghong instructed.
"No problem, I'll begin practicing right away!" Said Wang Bugui with a smile as he clenched his fists tightly, instantly turning his attention back to his training. Yun Jinghong then flicked his sleeves, turned and left.
Wang Bugui controlled the movements of the stone slabs with his palms, according to the method imprinted in his mind. He changed his stance slowly and found that every stance was very unique. It felt like the motions of Tai Chi, but there was a forceful energy hidden in his movements. Sometimes, he moved like a dragon cruising in the skies, while there were instances when his body shot out like an enraged dragon emerging from the water. During his practice, the stone giant helped to correct a few poses which he got wrong, and it would not leave his side until he perfected those moves.
Wang Bugui put all of his energy into the practice of his mystical skill, and this time, the pendant also aided him by giving out a faint glow. It helped him become more at one with Tao, eventually leading him to run through a cycle of his technique completely without making any mistakes.
He eventually arrived at a stage where he could feel the surrounding space turn deadly silent, and everywhere he treaded turned into a black and white world where only his mantra and himself remained. The pictorial guides to each of his moves, as well as the essence of his mantra was inscribed in the space around him, and he continued channeling the power from his mystical skills in this colorless realm. Heaven and Earth became his canvas, while Tao was his ink. He used his body as a brush and began drawing down various amazing poses with each move he made.
Wang Bugui gradually got used to the training method and he could continually display all of the moves by midnight, even though they still lacked some fluidity. He shut his eyes and continued wielding them in the training ground, displaying all of the unique stances he had learnt with increasing pace. He stopped for a couple of times in between but immediately began continuing from where he stopped each time.
In his mind, the world had already turned into a background of an ink painting, and his moves were adding some details to it. He opened his eyes only after drawing the last stroke with his stone and re-entered the normal world.
"What a profound set of martial art. It's a pity that it's already so late. I've heard that one can continue cultivation for a few days without rest after entering the Prana Soul realm, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'll rest after fighting one round with the stone giant." Said Wang Bugui, reluctant to leave his training behind.
He walked up to the stone giant and punched. Unexpectedly, the creature dodged his blow easily and countered with a powerful punch of its own, instantly knocking Wang Bugui backward. He massaged his bruised stomach and looked in surprise at the stone giant. He felt his emotions stir as he realized that the creature was using the same martial arts as his. It was even more well trained in the technique than Wang Bugui, and the child knew why Yun Jinghong wanted him to spar with it for a round before he went to rest every night— the old master wanted to crystalize the fruit of his labors from the day.
Wang Bugui laughed bitterly as he rushed up to engage the stone giant in combat again, and his ordeal lasted for about five minutes before passing the test. The creature retreated back to its original position and curled up. Its understanding of the mystical technique was far greater than that of Wang Bugui's, and it was no pushover. The boy, however, had not lost heart. After all, it was no easy feat to pass the test within a short span of five minutes.
Furthermore, he was pleased to spar with it as the process would only serve to enhance his own understanding of the skill. Wang Bugui dragged his tired body back to the jade bench and fell asleep the moment he lay down. The pendant began to glow after he was deep in slumber...