Xue Ba the Yellow Dog really lived up to its nickname as a genius, as it answered immediately, "The mantra only spoke of the Cultivation of the Spirit and entirely ignored the Cultivation of the Body."
Fang Ning understood what Xue Ba was saying. During his first attempt at cultivating the Dragonization Ability, Sir System did mention about the Cultivation of the Body. In fact, it mentioned that the Cultivation of the Body was extremely difficult, but he didn't need to worry as the System would be fully in charge of the process.
Immediately, Fang Ning asked, "What would happen if that step is missing?"
Xue Ba answered, "It's simple, really. The individual will face a bottleneck in his cultivation without realizing it. The limits of spiritual sense would usually only increase alongside the cultivator's physical strength. If one only cultivated his spiritual sense and ignored the level of his body, he'll soon find that he'll be stuck stagnant when he reaches his limit, as there's no more space for him to grow. If the method of spiritual sense cultivation was complete and he chose to forcefully cultivate the phase, he'll only exhaust his entire body and turn into a pile of bones."
"The mantra you just recited was not complete, and could only bring the cultivator up to the Dust Molding Phase. It does not provide any other methods beyond that, and the Dust Molding Phase is coincidentally the cultivation limit for the physique of an ordinary human, which is why I said that there's not much danger in cultivating it. Usually, a method for spiritual sense cultivation would clarify the physical requirements for each phase."
Fang Ning now understood why that Instructor Xu specifically stressed the risks of cultivating spiritual sense. Those rich men were mostly old and weary, suffered from too high of a mental stress, and they have doused themselves with so much luxury that they would not have the mental perseverance for the cultivation. Although they might look healthy from the outside, they would've been lacking internally, which would cause problems in the road of spiritual sense cultivation.
Then, Fang Ning remembered another problem. If the Yellow Dog was so knowledgeable in the ways of spiritual sense cultivation, would it be able to identify the relation between his White Dragon self and Vigilante A?
Immediately, Fang Ning asked, "Could you see the cultivation level of my physique then?"
Fang Ning's question stems from his worry, but Xue Ba the Yellow Dog was stunned by the question.
It contemplated, 'Is this new owner testing me? Was it because he saw how inelegant I was when I fought for meat with that Black Dog? Is he now doubting my abilities and is worried that I will negatively affect the True Dragon's image?"
The Venerable White Dragon seemed to not understand that basic cultivation method, but it was probably because he is a True Dragon that had no interest in getting to care about the cultivation methods of the ordinary man. Now, he is using his own physique to test him. This will not be an easy one.
It took a long time to think. Then, it used its paw to scratch its head before it carefully answered, "Venerable One, you can utilize your spiritual sense to transform into a Dragon, and to the ordinary man, it has no difference with your physique. On the other hand, an ordinary human would have 5 phases for the Cultivation of the Body, namely Health Preservation, Power Fortification, Vitality Circulation, Wisdom Advancement, Spiritual Ascension."
"As a True Dragon, Venerable One, your form is rumored to have all of your vital channels opened. You are born into unsurmountable power that cannot be matched by the usual cultivation levels of humans. I only managed to peek the True Dragon's appearance from afar on very few occasions, which was why I could recognize the presence of a True Dragon."
"With my limited abilities, your servant here cannot sense where you store your real body, Venerable One. This servant apologizes for not being able to provide you a satisfactory answer. Please forgive me, Venerable One."
Fang Ning tensed up when he heard that. It's true, then: Sir System did mention about how this Yellow Dog was as powerful as the Bai Family's Elder Ancestor when it was at its peak. Till this day, people always assumed him to be the younger form of the True Dragon. Only this Yellow Dog has the ability to immediately identify that the White Dragon was merely his spiritual sense. It was evident how knowledgeable it was.
However, it did say that it couldn't see where he hid his real body. If that's the case, could it spot the irregularities of Vigilante A?
Fang Ning couldn't set aside his worries, so he further questioned the Yellow Dog, "Not a problem. Alright, I shall test you in another aspect. Remember the Venerable Dragon God you had chanced upon? Tell me about his cultivation in his spiritual sense and his body."
Xue Ba the Yellow Dog deeply understood the hardships of an advisor. This new owner seemed to have truckloads of questions ready! It has no choice but to be more careful of his answers, "Unfortunately, I seem to only possess inadequate knowledge in this matter. Please forgive any mistakes in my answers, Venerable One."
Fang Ning heard the wariness in the dog's voice and immediately shook his head. "Speak with no fear. You will not be blamed for your mistakes."
Xue Ba finally relaxed. After some thought, the dog finally answered, "I would make a rough guess that both the Venerable Dragon God and Venerable White Dragon have faced the same difficulties that I had. They most probably have been affected by The Barrier when they descended, and it is already a known fact that a person's ability is directly proportional to the negative impact to their powers during the crossing. The Venerable Dragon God only has a very weak presence of the True Dragon within his body, and he could never compare to the few True Dragons I have managed to meet in the past. Still, his body was above the Spiritual Ascension Phase of ordinary humans."
"However, the Venerable Dragon God's spiritual sense was so strong that he completely lived up to the expectations from his name. Based on the vague presence that I managed to sense from the Venerable One, he would probably have reached the borders of the Realm of the Tao, and looked as if he was starting to form a Maxim 1 of his own. This is what the other True Dragons can never compare to. No wonder the two Venerable Ones could descend into this realm earlier on to plot their plans here."
Fang Ning froze for a moment before happiness washed through him.
'This Yellow Dog is indeed a genius! Even though I have learned the Dragonization Ability from Sir System, I have only reached the middle-level. Yes, it's true that I have some of the True Dragon's presence already, but I still need to rely on Morality to transform into a dragon. I'm almost certain that my True Dragon presence is extremely weak. On the other hand, the System originated from the Maxims of a game about martial arts, and it only seized my body afterwards! The nose of this dog was indeed amazing if Xue Ba could actually smell a hint of the Maxims!' Fang Ning thought to himself.
Thankfully, the Yellow Dog had no idea where Sir System came from. After all, the System defies all logic.
He now understood why the Yellow Dog did not relate his White Dragon back to Vigilante A. The spiritual sense of both beings had too big of a difference for the dog to relate them together.
There was no way that his secret will be out. He could finally put his worries aside now. After Fang Ning was clear of his worries, he started to be cocky again, as he commented lightly, "Your comments are absolutely accurate. You're qualified to be my advisor."
"I have grasped the depth of the new game already, and it's very deep indeed. It'll most definitely transform into something big in the future. They must be related to the folks in the Truth Department for them to be able to stir such a storm in China."
Xue Ba the dog had no idea what the Truth Department was, and had no interest in them either. The only thing it knew was that its place as an advisor was now personally confirmed by the Venerable White Dragon, and from now on, it could use its newfound position to show off in front of the Black Dog.
As it was celebrating its achievement internally, it suddenly remembered the delicious food back on the table. It was overcome with a feeling of doom as it thought about the amount that the Black Dog would've left for it. The exam took so long!
Thus, it asked hesitantly, "Do you have any other questions, Venerable One?"
Fang Ning waved his dragon claw. "No more. You can return to your food now."
Xue Ba the dog has finally completed his exams. He sprinted back to the table to find the table in a mess; there was not even a bone left. What's left on the table was a black dog, with a round belly filled with food, starfishing itself under the table, passed out from the food.
God, why did the frontline coolie enjoy a better life than the advisor at the back?
It tried to stay optimistic as it ran to the kitchen to check. Just as it expected, the kitchen was empty, and there was nobody around… Xue Ba had no choice but to clean itself up and go to sleep; it refused to stoop to the same level as a certain fella that was all brawl and no brains. As the future advisor, it would never allow itself to sleep on the ground! How bad would it look on his name? The new owner did allocate them their own room before this…
Fang Ning, on the other hand, was elated. After he had gotten the background of the mantra from the genius dog and no longer need to worry about its danger for spiritual sense cultivation, Fang Ning realized that this time, he could finally show off his skills to the world! After all, there's no need to be afraid of any identity leak anymore!
Thus, he quickly used his amazing mental prowess to go through the mantra. Then, he started cultivating according to what was stated on it. In Fang Ning's eyes, he needed to grasp the time that he had on his hand even though he had almost too much advantage in terms of his conditions and knowledge on spiritual sense cultivation. No matter how great he was, he still needed a few days to complete the cultivation!
Hence, Fang Ning started to recite the mantra as he followed the instructions in it word for word, going through every step dictated by the spoken word. He never looked so serious before.
After a while, Sir System finally interrupted, "Why are you spending your time and attention in cultivating some low-level skills like this at the cost of neglecting the Dragonization Ability? They're not conflicting skills, but aren't you just wasting your time if you continue to cultivate like this?"
Fang Ning was shocked still as he realized that Sir System was still around him. Immediately, he tried to fool the System. "My basics are shabby, and I was never a non-human System that had a learning ability so high that I would pick up anything I learn immediately. I was always a human! Of course I would get whatever chance I get to strengthen and fortify my basics before I start cultivating those skills that are much more challenging! That would give me the perk of a shorter cultivation time, too."
The System agreed, "I can see where you're coming from. The more we learn, the more we can expand our minds as we see the world. Do you need me to give you a few pointers? I can understand this basic mantra with just a blink of an eye. I won't waste EXP to learn it, though."
How could he turn down an expert that offered to teach them?
Fang Ning immediately blurted, "That would be amazing!"
The System nodded. "Alright, let me break it down to you. The mantra states, 'The road to the cultivation of the spiritual sense could only be opened once millions of thoughts become one.' You've actually managed to do that long before this! Why else do you think you can transform into the form of a dragon? As long as you make slight alterations to the way you display your spiritual sense, it would mean that you're already mastered this low-level spiritual sense cultivation method."
Realisation hit Fang Ning like a truck. Sir System was really a professor in both cultivation and battle. It could provide Fang Ning the essential key just by giving him a few hints in his problems!
With the turn of his mind, he saw his own spiritual sense disperse from its initial form as a White Dragon. It became a million thoughts again before it adopted the form of numerous piles of space dust. Finally, it gathered together to form one shining spot.
The process seemed to have taken a millennium, but in actuality, the change of one's mind would only take all but a second.
The System declared, "Alright! You've have learnt everything from this method, if you follow the same way of directing your vitality in your cultivation, you could strengthen your spiritual sense by compressing and dispersing them. Of course, I would advise you to not waste your time on this. Instead, you should continue your cultivation with the Dragonization Ability to expand your abilities quicker and more holistically, which will in turn increase your strength in battles."
Fang Ning was in awe. "Sir, you're so amazing…"
Since his cultivation was successful, Fang Ning immediately went to log in to his games. He needed to go and show off immediately. What fun would it be if someone else took the first bite of the cookie?
Suddenly, a new button named 'Cultivate' showed up in the game menu, blinking insistently on the interface. Fang Ning quickly clicked on it, and a new pop-up emerged on his screen.
"Honourable player, before you activate a new function, you'll need to use your real identity to sign a special agreement. This agreement is imperative for this function, and you will be legally bound to it. Please do not scroll through it negligently, and take your time to read every clause…"It was not made clear before this point in the novel, but from here on, the term for the amassing or compression of power that holds the ability to warp or affect reality in a significant way will be translated as a 'Maxim'.