Part 1 (TL by Bagelson)
With the sect skill training method Ning Rongrong handed over to Tang San, in order to grasp the Separating Heart Control, first of all required powerful perception. Therefore, Tang San’s cultivation was even simpler than Ning Rongrong’s. Assigning three different things in three different directions, and constantly shifting his gaze between these three, and moreover each time use his Blue Silver Grass to twist around these three things, twisting in three directions, binding and releasing in one second intervals.
Heart Separation Control cultivated to the peak should be capable of controlling every change in one’s surroundings. Not only was it necessary to observe these changes, but they still had to be brought completely under one’s control.
When described it seemed very complex, but in fact cultivating it was using one mind for multiple tasks, moreover letting the scattered mind focus. Not only did it require very high mental strength, at the same time it still required superb reaction.
Tang San practiced for a full afternoon, but still didn’t sense any threshold. Instead, because of constantly paying attention to three things in different directions, his eyes ached.
Because Shrek Academy had already finished their fight of the second day of the qualifying competition in advance, on the second day they simply didn’t go to the Heaven Dou Great Spirit Arena, but stayed at the Academy to cultivate.
Tang San rose at dawn, customarily exercising his Purple Demon Eye. As a result of Tang San having taken the Full Moon Wearing Autumn Dew, his cultivation was a lot easier than before.
Faintly breathing in the purple qi from the distant horizon, while Tang San gazed, he slowly exhaled and inhaled, harmonizing his Mysterious Heaven Skill internal strength. He seemed to be bathing in that purple qi, purple and gold light glittering in his eyes, Purple Demon Eye imperceptibly advancing.
Along with the sun rising from the east, the purple qi subsequently disappeared. Tang San drew a deep breath, and leapt down from the tree.
Should he continue cultivating that Heart Separation Control? Tang San somewhat helplessly reached the cultivation area from yesterday. He had always been very talented in cultivation, but he couldn’t even find the threshold for this Separating Heart Control. Yesterday he had practiced for an afternoon, but instead felt that the spirit abilities he used were somewhat chaotic. Now that he again prepared to cultivate, inwardly he couldn’t help feeling some conflicting emotions.
“What? Can’t grasp the feeling?”
A familiar voice echoed, and Tang San didn’t need to turn around to know it was Grandmaster.
“Teacher, why did you come here so early?”
Grandmaster smiled calmly, saying:
“I saw your circumstances when you cultivated yesterday. This Separating Heart Control cultivation is indeed challenging. Without perseverance and willpower, it’ll be very difficult to succeed. The starting stage is especially difficult. Once you can grasp the threshold, the later cultivation will instead become easier. Three Aperture Governing Heart means letting the mind master three apertures. Don’t be too anxious to control, first you need perception. Experience it with your heart, whether it’s the air, smell, color, sound, touch, they will all tell you a great many things. When you can sufficiently understand what these changes represent, then your control will subsequently become a lot easier. Let the use of each spirit ability become a conditioned reflex. Even if you can’t divide your heart into three this way, the end result won’t be much different. It should be a bit easier to let yourself first reach the same effect, then again slowly grasp the feeling of Separating Heart Control.”
Carefully sensing everything around, this was what Grandmaster could give Tang San. Even if he didn’t know Separating Heart Control’s cultivation technique, relying on his understanding of spirits, his comprehension of cultivation methods, he was using a different path to tell Tang San to step past the threshold even easier.
Listening to Grandmaster, Tang San seemed to find a trace of sensation, and he immediately closed his eyes. In order to not let this trace of sensation get away, he had to truly capture it.
Tang San stood there motionlessly, Grandmaster to the side no longer uttering a word, only calmly watching his disciple.
Tang San very quickly entered his cultivation state, constantly inhaling, slowly exhaling, his surroundings seeming to become empty and silent.
The scent of plants flowed into his nose, his skin sensed the surrounding temperature, the calls of insects and birds transmitted through his ears. Tang San stood there quietly, using his heart to grab that trace of sensation from before.
Gradually, Tang San was disappointed. That trace seemed more and more distant. He could sense some changes in the world around him, but these changes still passed far, far too quickly. Let alone grasping them, he was even unable to tell what was going on outside.
“Spirits can increase all your attributes, including perception.”
Grandmaster’s magnetic voice rose once again.
Tang San shook, and that trace seemed to return again. Raising his right hand, blue and purple light rushed out of his palm. With Tang San as center, black Blue Silver Grass became an extension of his body and slowly spread out in all directions, making rustling sounds as they passed.
Just like Grandmaster said, as he released his spirit, the instant Mysterious Heaven Skill circulated along with the spirit, Tang San felt his perception grow several times stronger. It was as if a veil was lifted from the originally unclear sensations. Everything around him became clear at the same time.
Each spreading strand of Blue Silver Grass brought back more and more information, being summarized in Tang San’s ind. Even though he didn’t use his eyes to see, he still already had a vague outline of the world around him.
Using his heart to be able to sense something? Blue Silver Grass showed Tang San that even though they couldn’t become his eyes, it was still able to make him sense the surrounding world even better. Of the spreading Blue Silver Grass, three strands moved. One curled around a small tree, making dew drops left from the night fall. One swung over the ground, pushing open the surrounding bushes. The last one curled around a fresh flower. The three strands of Blue Silver Grass did three different things, and even though it wasn’t an ability, at this moment Tang San finally succeeded in the simplest three part heart separation.
At this moment, suddenly, Tang San discovered his Blue Silver Grass seemed to change. Originally vague outlines became clear, and from all around, countless peculiar energies quietly rushed into his body through these Blue Silver Grass, then slowly diffused. It was such a simple process, but it let Tang San clearly see each detail within an area of several hundred square meters.
Why was it like this? Tang San inwardly started, and along with the change in his mood, that clarity immediately faded. He hastily made himself calm down again, then continued controlling the triple heart separation, and those bizarre energies started arriving again.
The bizarre energies were very scattered, each strand minute, an entirely different kind of existence from Mysterious Heaven Skill. Their energy unexpectedly had its origins in emotions, and these emotions were familiar.
While Tang San maintained his condition, he very carefully sensed the changes in these energies, trying to determine their source.
Along with the clear perception in his mental world, he gradually discovered their origin. What made him extremely astonished was that these energies came from the vast expanse of blue silver grass growing.
Blue silver grass, the most common plant on the Douluo Continent, practically omnipresent. Lacking any effect besides tenacious vitality. It was because of this that Tang San’s Blue Silver Grass Spirit was known as the standard for trash spirits.
But at this moment, Tang San felt all the blue silver grass around him transmitting familiarity, those blue silver grass that weren’t his were apparently telling him something, just like orphans finding relatives. It was precisely this familiarity that let them become Tang San’s eyes, ears, and nose, everything they sensed was transmitted to Tang San’s brain. At this moment, Tang San seemed to become the heart of the forest. His perception even gradually extended beyond a kilometer. He could clearly feel that, within this Shrek Academy forest, all the blue silver grass was swaying slightly at the same rhythm because of conforming with his aura.
This kind of feeling was unspeakably moving. Tang San discovered that each strand of his own Blue Silver Grass seemed to be spurring the vitality of the wild blue silver grass. All kinds of information from the wild blue silver grass transmitted to him, and those Blue Silver Grass he released also softly moved according to this information.
Right now, Grandmaster was looking at a bizarre scene. Spreading from Tang San’s feet, all the blue silver grass stood up sharply, softly swaying at the same rhythm, releasing a joyful feeling, and the white spirit power Tang san originally released gradually changed into a faint blue.
Variation? This was Grandmaster’s first thought. Practically immediately, he thought to interrupt Tang San. Variation could admittedly bring even more power, but it could equally possibly turn him useless. In no way did he want his disciple to follow his course in life.
However, Grandmaster still restrained his impulses. Because he discovered that right now, Tang San seemed to be the same as the surrounding blue silver grass, all blending into the forest, even his human aura disappeared. Right now he was just like an enormous strand of blue silver grass, his body also swaying softly like the blue silver grass around him.
Part 2 (TL by Bagelson)
The complex energy fluctuations of variation didn’t appear, but rather became soft and harmonious. As time passed, Tang San seemed to melt into the surrounding world.
Even with all his knowledge, Grandmaster still didn’t understand what was happening. After considering it from all angles for a moment, he didn’t dare rashly interrupt.
With the strange feeling constantly spreading through his body, Tang San felt himself become unprecedentedly relaxed. Gradually, the blue silver grass on the ground began to change, as if washed in his aura, it unexpectedly began to turn black.
Just at the start, only the several square meters of blue silver grass under Tang San’s feet showed this change, but as time passed, the affected range began to grow larger and larger. Even more bizarre, those blue silver grass clearly didn’t have the support of Tang San’s spirit power, but they still grew frantically, each strand swaying along with Tang San’s Blue Silver Grass.
Watching the spreading black, Grandmaster was inwardly somewhat panicked. Besides the toxicity, these blue silver grass appeared to become exactly the same as Tang San’s.
And at this time, Tang San felt another kind of condition. He discovered that among the changed blue silver grass, he also sensed a loneliness in the hearts of the blue silver grass that had grown in the forest for who knew how many years. That kind of particular feeling made the spirit power within him fluctuate and release, and after interacting with the strange energy from the blue silver grass it again condensed within him.
Suddenly, Grandmaster’s eyes flashed, and his gaze at Tang San filled with incredulity. He had finally thought of one circumstance that matched Tang San’s current appearance: a first rate mimicry environment cultivation.
So called first rate mimicry environment cultivation was when one cultivated in the most suitable environment, allowing oneself to completely fuse with the surroundings, becoming a part of it. In this way, not only did cultivation speed improve, but it also let the spirit become even more pure, and increased attributes overall.
But, as far as Grandmaster knew, it was only possible for such first rate mimicry environment cultivation to occur for Spirit Masters above the seventieth rank. It required tremendous mental strength. And even then, it still wasn’t something any spirit master could accomplish. It was only possible for some special spirits. Tang San was only on the forty first rank, how was it possible for this state to appear?
The greatest benefit of Heart Separation Control could be summed up in one word: simultaneity. Simultaneous control of different things, capable of letting abilities be fully used without gaps. With outstanding Heart Separation Control one could grasp each property of one’s own spirit abilities as well as the effect on the target. This was what the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School pursued as the number one auxiliary system spirit.
What Tang San accomplished right now wasn’t actually Heart Separation Control, but rather another, even more terrifying ability, environment control. Relying on the aura of one’s own spirit to control organisms with similar attributes. What kind of frightful scene was that?
With Tang San as its center, blue silver grass showed growth in an area of more than a hundred square meters before stopping. Right now, Tang San was within a dense ocean of blue silver grass. From this moment on, he didn’t need to separate Blue Silver Grass from his own body. As long as it was an area with blue silver grass, any blue silver grass could become a part of his spirit.
Let alone Tang San, even Grandmaster hadn’t even imagined that this cultivation would produce such a result.
When Tang San awoke from his immersion, it was already an hour later. Ning Rongrong had already arrived at some point, and stood at Grandmaster’s side. The two were both looking at him with odd expressions.
“Teacher, why are you looking at me like that?”
Tang San puzzled asked. Right now, as he separated from the previous feeling, that frantically growing blue silver grass had returned to normal, as if nothing ever happened.
Grandmaster said in a low voice:
“Little San, what did you feel just now? What you did, tell me in detail.”
Tang San was equally puzzled, and recounted everything he felt after immersing himself in that strange ambience.
After listening to him, before waiting for Tang San to raise any questions, Grandmaster rushed to say:
“First I’ll tell you what I saw before…”
“How is it possible?”
“Teacher, you’re saying that the wild blue silver grass here just now grew just like my Blue Silver Grass? But, my spirit power wasn’t consumed! Moreover, it even seems to have increased a lot, about the same as one night of cultivation.”
Grandmaster nodded affirmation,
“I also don’t know why such circumstances would appear for you. According to what you said, this blue silver grass was all very familiar to you, without the slightest trace of rejection. As a low grade plant, blue silver grass can at most be considered as having instinct, it basically can’t be regarded as an intelligent organism. Their sense of familiarity towards you might only be originating from your own aura. But I haven’t met many plant system Spirit Masters, and never one who could attract similar plants like you.”
Hearing that Grandmaster was also unable to explain what happened just now, Tang San couldn’t help feeling perplexed. He could only feel that what happened was beneficial and harmless to him, but also couldn’t say why.
“Anyway, there’s no harm, so there should be no need to insist on finding a cause? Third brother, you’re just this confused by yourself. In the eyes of outsiders you’re already a freak, a bit more freakishness doesn’t matter.”
Ning Rongrong wasn’t particularly shocked. Tang San had already astonished everyone too many times, and she was already used to it.
Tang San helplessly said:
“It seems I can only let it be confusing. Perhaps I will understand it later. Rongrong, look.”
While speaking, three strands of Blue Silver Grass shot out from Tang San. He didn’t even move, but those three strands already accomplished three entirely different actions in different directions. One strands struck like a whip, one strand formed a circle in the air, and the last strand directly launched the Binding ability to twist around a large tree.
The three strands of Blue Silver Grass moved simultaneously, without any gap in between. The three actions were also accomplished at exactly the same time.
“Ah? Third brother, you succeeded?”
“Even though I was slacking when I was at home, I still practiced for several years without reaching your current level. You, how did you do it?”
Tang San smiled wryly:
“I didn’t really succeed. If it was somewhere else it wouldn’t work. It’s just that because of the state I was in just now, every change in the surroundings is already branded in my mind. I only need to simultaneously transmit my thoughts, and without even needing to use my eyes to lock the target, I can easily perform three actions. But it’s still impossible to constantly control their changes, that still requires a certain delay. If it wasn’t here, even controlling them to do the first action would be impossible. But no matter what is said, I seem to have already grasped some tricks.”
Ning Rongrong suddenly stalked over in front of Tang San, staring at him fixedly.
Her beautiful eyes were breath catching, and further adding their proximity, able to feel each other’s breath, Tang San immediately started. Hastily awkwardly avoiding Ning Rongrong’s gaze, he simultaneously retreated a step,
“Rongrong, what are you doing?”
Ning Rongrong said grimly, with a blank face:
Before she’d even finished speaking, she couldn’t help laughing herself.
“Fine, no need to be noisy. Since little San has also grasped some threshold, both of you continue practicing. If you want to succeed, you need to make one hundred percent effort, otherwise even talent will become mediocrity.”
The dull cultivation continued. While Tang San practiced Heart Separation Control, in his mind always appeared the mental relaxation and the feeling from when he released his Blue Silver Grass Spirit to the surrounding wild blue silver grass. He vaguely understood that this kind of feeling didn’t seem to be something that plant system Spirit Masters possessed. Could it be that his Blue Silver Grass Spirit was somehow special? Only, for such a long time of cultivation, it still hadn’t exhibited any special characteristics!
This question always hung in Tang San’s mind. He was still pondering it even when the third day of the Continental Advanced Spirit Master Academy Elite Tournament began.
The tournament had already been going for two days, and all Spirit Master academies had also completed their first round of the qualifiers. Among these twenty eight Spirit Master teams, the unluckiest was certainly Heaven Dou Imperial Academy’s second team. Even though they had the help of healing system Spirit Masters, broken bones and snapped tendons wasn’t something that could be healed in one or two days. To recover from the advance match wasn’t very likely. Even the strength of their main force was so ordinary, let alone their substitutes.
Today was the start of the second round of the qualifiers. When the Shrek Seven Devils and the others arrived outside the Heaven Dou Great Spirit Arena, they immediately felt the difference in treatment.
When the spectators assembled outside of the Great Spirit Arena saw their green attire, they took the initiative to get out of their way. There were still comments, but they were a lot fewer. Those gazes like brambles and thorns had also disappeared, replaced by respect.
Part 3 (TL by Bagelson)
As the first match of the first round of the qualifiers, Shrek Academy left a deep impression in the hearts of the audience. Even though the fight was very short, the burst power of the seven Shrek Academy members on stage, and their merciless attack, none failed to make the audiences’ hearts flutter.
The strength they revealed made these spectators no longer dare underestimate this strangely dressed team. Showing two fortieth level Spirit Masters alone already made them the hot topic of the qualifying competition.
Today Flender didn’t run forward on his own. Instead he was dressed in the same kind of uniform as the students, striding forward with his head high, a proud expression on his face.
Even though there weren’t any jeers from the onlookers, the Shrek Academy team members still lowered their heads. Sure enough, they had used strength to tell everyone they weren’t fishbellies. But now the words on their backs had changed.
As a result of Shrek Academy’s perfect display in the first match, and further adding Flender’s silver tongue, they successfully found sponsors. That was a business selling top quality flower nectar. Reportedly, half the flower nectar in the entire Heaven Dou Empire was produced by them.
Flower nectar was juice extracted from fresh flowers, and passing a certain mixing and compounding, it was put into the bath water, giving people the corresponding fragrance after bathing. It was a favorite of women, whether nobles or commoners, none had immunity to flower nectar. Of course, they purchased different grades.
By now the letters on the Shrek Academy team members’ backs had become: Bottomless charm, wonderfully fragrant flower nectar, bathe healthier.
When seeing the new uniforms, the Shrek Seven Devils were all struck dumb, besides Ma Hongjun who was comparatively familiar with Flender, and had comforted everyone that at least his teacher hadn’t found a chamberpot manufacturer. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have needed go out.
The price for those ‘wonderfully fragrant flower nectar’ words was also rather attractive. One thousand gold spirit coins for one match, until the whole competition ended, through the qualifiers. When the promotion competition came the award would increase to two thousand gold spirit coins. If they could reach the final three, there was another fifty thousand gold spirit coins. Calculating it, if the Shrek Academy could take the championship, then they could also receive more than a hundred thousand gold spirit coins. Obtaining such income simply by having words like that on their backs made Flender quite satisfied. In order to make the Shrek Seven Devils wear the clothes, today he led by example.
If it was someone other than Flender, perhaps the Shrek Seven Devils wouldn’t have agreed to wear it no matter what. But, they could never forget Flender’s expression when he had to close the previous Shrek Academy because of financial problems. Therefore, despite the pain in their hearts, they still wore these more than extraordinary uniforms.
As they entered the Great Spirit Arena under the gazes of the spectators, this time they were greeted by two functionaries, bringing them to the competing teams’ rest area.
Starting from yesterday, each day would have fourteen matches. Seeing the Shrek Academy’s arrival, there were a lot of gazes from the other teams. The one who earned the most attention was no doubt Tang San with the ten thousand year spirit ring. The skill he had revealed indeed proved his peak skill. By now the words on the backs of the Shrek Academy uniforms had changed, but these Academies about to become their opponents didn’t pay attention to that. What they cared about was how to defeat Shrek Academy.
“Dean, who are our opponents today?”
Dai Mubai asked Flender.
Flender looked distracted a moment, saying:
He had spent these days finding advertisers, not just the present flower nectar shop, but he’d also discussed prices with several more, how could he have the time to pay attention to the competition.
Dai Mubai was speechless a moment,
“Sir, you can’t only care about money. You should still have some concern for us.”
Flender grinned, saying:
“Stinking brat, do you have a point?”
Seeing the monstrous expression in Flender’s eyes, Dai Mubai shivered, and hastily shook his head:
“Even if I’m the dean, I still delegate the work. Don’t worry, Erlong has been observing your opponents. She’ll give you a detailed rundown of your opponents later. I must remind you, if you can’t obtain the championship, I won’t let you graduate.
As he spoke, Grandmaster and Liu Erlong came walking over together. They hadn’t followed Flender’s example, and both wore their own clothes.
Grandmaster and Liu Erlong’s expressions seemed somewhat strange, and the Shrek Seven Devils could read a serious mood from their faces. Could it be that they would actually meet trouble in the qualifiers?
Seeing everyone’s attentive gazes, Grandmaster spoke in a low voice:
“Your opponents for the second round of the qualifiers are very powerful. You have three options right now. The first is to give up on this match, preserving your strength. After all, in the qualifiers, the five teams with the most points can enter the finals. Second, is to go up with the formation from the first fight, but you won’t have even one percent chance of victory. Third, is bringing out your full force, but even if you can win, your full strength will certainly have been exposed.”
The Shrek Seven Devils all looked at each other. They couldn’t understand just what kind of opponent could make Grandmaster put on such a serious face. Could this opponent even compare to the Emperor Team?
To the side Liu Erlong said:
“You’ve all heard of the Elephant Armored School. Ranked the sixth of the seven great schools. Your opponents today come from the Elephant Armored Academy run by them. The seven members on the other side are all directly related disciples of the Elephant Armored School. Three of them have reached the fortieth rank, the other four also have close to fortieth ranked strength. You might say it’s the elite of the Elephant Armored School’s young generation.”
Elephant Armored School? Hearing these three words, the Shrek Seven Devils couldn’t help having serious expressions. They were very clear on what these words represented. Just like the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School was named the most powerful support school, the Elephant Armored School had their own title: the most powerful defensive school.
The Elephant Armored School’s hereditary spirit was the Diamond Mammoth, a super spirit with extremely high defense, its attributes mainly embodying strength and defense. Of equal level spirits, practically no Spirit Master could breach their defense. If it wasn’t for their lack of a Title Douluo, perhaps their ranking among the seven great schools wouldn’t have been merely sixth.
Despite this, the Elephant Armored School master, an eighty seventh ranked Spirit Douluo, could rely on his tyrannical defense to stiffly block the attacks of Title Douluo that weren’t offensively focused. It clearly showed the power of their spirit.
Hearing Grandmaster’s words, everyone sunk into contemplation.
“If it was in a spacious battle, perhaps your first formation would still have a chance, the Elephant Armored School’s worst area is speed, relying on movement to exhaust the enemy’s spirit power is a good choice. But with the size of the competition stage, you practically won’t stand a chance. Even though the opponents don’t have a Support Spirit Master, because they all have identical spirits, their overlaying might is astonishing. From a theoretical standpoint, in order to gain the final victory, I advise you to give up this match. After all, you’re safe as long as you’re in the top five in the qualifiers. There’s nothing improper about hiding your strength in the early stage.”
“If you avoid battle, I’ll fucking……”
Liu Erlong unhappily glared at him,
“Boss Fu, I can see the coins in your eyes. You have to look at it long term. Just in case the little monsters are seriously hurt in this fight, later matches will be even harder to handle. There are a lot of talents among the advanced Spirit Master academies. Don’t forget that their opponents are up to twenty five years old. If they were twenty five as well, then of course there wouldn’t be any question, but their strength development is restricted by their age.”
Flender looked at Dai Mubai and Tang San with a bitter face,
“Decide on your own.”
Dai Mubai and Tang San looked at each other, but neither made a sound. To the side Ma Hongjun couldn’t help saying:
“If we all appear on stage, what does it matter if others learn of our strength?”
“Of course it’s no good if we let others see our strength beforehand. That way the opponents can come up with tactics against us. Perhaps these qualifiers don’t matter, but don’t forget that we’ll face even more powerful opponents in the promotion competition and the finals. Losing the element of surprise would be disadvantageous to us.”
Dai Mubai asked Tang San:
“Little San, what do you think? You’re the soul of the team, the main director. It’s your decision.”
Faint radiance flashed through Tang San’s eyes, tightly clenching both fists,
Even though his reply was just one simple word, this word simultaneously roused the spirits of all the Shrek Academy people, an intense fighting spirit pervaded the air around Tang San.
Tang San’s gaze turned to Grandmaster who was watching him intently,
“Teacher, I understand the three options you raised. But I think there’s still a way to compromise. We admittedly want to obtain the final victory in the competition, but at the same time we also want to practice our live combat capability and adaptability. If we shrink back when faced with a powerful opponent, there would be a large influence on morale. Therefore, I think it would be better to take a middle route. Adjusting the members going up, without exposing our entire hidden strength, but also bringing enough strength to defeat the opponents.”