Chapter 97: Bitter Training
Within the forest, Xiao Chen seemed to have disappeared into thin air. When Xiao Chen reappeared, the scene in front of his eyes had a devastating change.
There was a gushing waterfall in the distance, flowing down from a mountain stream into a long river below. At the river bank, there was a large and spacious area. Just by standing on the bank, one could a smell the clean and refreshing air.
This river was known as Zhuang River. There were many rivers in Savage Forest; this river was just one of the unremarkable many. Xiao Chen was at was the source of the river.
This place would not be easily noticed by those who did not know of it. Practically no one paid any attention to this place but Xiao Chen’s Spiritual Sense could detect something unusual in this area.
In the cave behind the waterfall, there was a large stone. The Spiritual Energy was extremely dense there. If one cultivated on top of it, they would be able to be faster by about 50 percent compared to cultivating outside.
After Xiao Chen accidentally discovered it, he immediately laid down an illusion formation in order to misdirect others. This area was originally very desolate; when Xiao Chen was laying the formation, he went about it in an unhurried manner, not worrying at all.
This illusion formation took Xiao Chen a total of ten days to complete. As long as no Martial King came here, no one would be able to discover this place. Even if they came to the surrounding area by accident, they would unconsciously go around it.
Now that Xiao Chen was here, he was completely safe. He casually found a flat rock and sat cross legged. He slowly circulated the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation and entered into a state of cultivation.
The sun rose and scattered its light on the land; the night passed, uninterrupted. Xiao Chen opened his eyes and took a deep breath. He jumped down from the rock and washed his face at the riverside.
In the morning, the waterfall had stopped gushing and the surface of the river was as calm as a mirror. Xiao Chen raised his leg and stepped on the surface of the river; his body miraculously stopped on the surface of the water.
Xiao Chen’s heart was as calm as the water as he circulated the mental cultivation methods of the Azure Dragon Cloud Soaring Art. He closed his eyes and slowly walked on the river’s surface. Every step he took sent ripples through the water.
In the ancient legends, the dragon was the overlord of the sky and seas. It could submerge itself in the abyss, overturn the seas and rivers, and summon the wind and rain; there was nothing it could not do. When it flew up into the nine heavens, it could ride on the clouds, summon the wind and lightning in an instant, and fly thousands of kilometers in a flash.
The Azure Dragon Cloud Soaring Art was such a movement technique. When practiced to great perfection, the legend of riding on clouds or overturning the seas and rivers could be easily accomplished.
In the past few days, Xiao Chen had been practicing the Azure Dragon Cloud Soaring Art in the middle of Zhuang River. He initially did not make any progress; however, now he was in the small success stage and was able to walk on the water’s surface slowly.
Xiao Chen walked slowly on the water, comprehending the profoundness of the Azure Dragon Cloud Soaring Art. When the sun rose to its peak, the sound of water falling could be heard.
The energetic waterfall began to gush once again. The calm river surface became turbulent. Xiao Chen opened his eyes and a grave look appeared in his gaze.
From this moment forward, at this time every day, the training truly started. If Xiao Chen was careless, he would instantly drop into the water, getting soaked in the process.
The river water was flowing rapidly. Xiao Chen stood on the surface. Every step he took against the flow, he exhausted a large amount of Essence. However, his body still swayed left and right on the water.
When Xiao Chen walked about a hundred steps, he could no longer maintain it and fell into the river. The turbulent water flushed Xiao Chen’s body down the river rapidly.
The peaceful Zhuang River now revealed its malevolent side. The turbulent water carried a huge force; it was pushing on Xiao Chen’s body, making it exceptionally difficult for him to maintain balance as he flowed downstream rapidly.
This was not the first time this had happened to him. Xiao Chen did not panic and was very calm. Holding his breath, his body slowly sank to the bottom of the river.
The Essence in his body circulated as he waited to take action after he accumulated some strength. He pushed off the riverbed with his feet and his body shot up like an arrow, leaping out of the water.
When he fell toward the water again, he somersaulted in the air and landed firmly on the river’s bank.
Looking at the rushing river, Xiao Chen felt gratitude. If a regular cultivator was not in a good state of mind, it would be possible for them to die in the turbulent water.
Xiao Chen was feeling very uncomfortable as his whole body was dripping wet. Xiao Chen dried his face and removed his clothing. Then, he took out a set of dry clothes from the Universe Ring and changed into them.
At this moment, it was no longer suitable to practice the movement technique. Xiao Chen did not waste any time after that. After eating some dried rations, he took out a wooden pole and stood it upright on the ground.
He held the Lunar Shadow Saber and stood under the blazing sun, practicing the first move of the Rushing Thunder Saber Technique. In his opinion, he had to be able to chop at the pole at least twenty times before the wooden pole fell over for it to be considered to be in the great perfection stage.
He was currently able to do it four times; that was barely considered to be in the small success stage. There was still a long way to go before hitting the large success stage.
“Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!”
After practicing for two hours, Xiao Chen was able to make five consecutive cuts. The light wooden pole wobbled for a moment but it did not fall over.
“Finally, there is some progress! I can make five consecutive chops!” Xiao Chen said joyfully as he wiped the sweat from his forehead and the handle of his saber.
After leaving Mohe City, Xiao Chen realized that there were too many geniuses in this world. He pretty much amounted to nothing.
Just in Dongming Province alone, before reaching the age of 16 or 17, the successors of the three great powers had cultivated to Martial Grand Master already.
This was a realm that most regular cultivators would not reach in their lifetime. However, they were able to do it easily before the age of 16 or 17. It can only be said, when constantly comparing oneself to others, it will only make one angry.
When the scope was widened to include the entire world, there were countless scary geniuses. Xiao Chen’s current achievements were simple, not even worth mentioning. He was like a drop in the ocean, totally unremarkable.
Since he had arrived in this world where strength reigned, he was not resigned to being ruled over by others, to become a stepping stone for others, and sink into the dregs of history.
Without a strong talent, he had to put in many times the effort, just like the Thunder Emperor from a thousand year ago. He was born in a poor family, but he relied on only himself to trample over all the geniuses of the noble families.
He had obtained the inheritance of the Thunder Emperor; even if he could not be bothered with his own pride, he had to care about the legendary reputation of the Thunder Emperor. Since he did not have this kind of demonic talent, he had to put in hundreds or thousands times more the effort.
He erected a wooden pole once again and focused himself. He continued tirelessly practicing Drawing the Saber. The number of wooden poles which laid on the ground continued to increase.
After an hour, Xiao Chen sheathed his saber and rested for awhile. He then walked slowly to the river’s bank and gazed at the gushing waterfall in the distance; it had already weakened significantly.
He shouted lightly and jumped violently onto the surface of the turbulent water, running at a rapid speed on its surface. Ripples surged through the surroundings; the water splashed two meters high beside him.
Xiao Chen kept running, not stopping to rest even for a moment. When he reached underneath the waterfall, he shouted loudly and leaped up high into the air.
A spear made of Qi appeared in front of him. With a ‘shua’ sound, it sliced apart the cascading water. Xiao Chen landed on a rock behind the waterfall. This was the cave that was behind the rush of water.
It was only about two meters deep and the air was very humid. The water that flowed down over the entrance of the cave was like a curtain of water. It was very similar to the Water Curtain Cave in his previous life.
[TL notes: 水帘洞, Water Curtain Cave, is a reference to a Chinese legend of a monkey born from a rock and eventually turning into a deity. Many of you might have read about this before, it's the legend of Sun Wukong in Journey to the West. The Water Curtain Cave is where this monkey lived in his early days.]
In the cavern was a very smooth and flat rock. Xiao Chen revealed a faint smile and slowly sat upon it. He immediately entered into a state of cultivation; the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation circulated unceasingly in his body.
The dense Spiritual Energy in the surroundings poured into Xiao Chen’s body continuously. The Spiritual Energy was so dense that it was like a fog; it was almost as though it would liquefy.
Xiao Chen only circulated it with a cycle and the meridians in the body were already saturated with Spiritual Energy. That was a sense of extreme excitement rising from the area where his Martial Spirit was.
Xiao Chen knew this was a sign of advancing in cultivation realm. As long as he was willing, he could immediately recover his cultivation as an Inferior Grade Martial Master.
However, Xiao Chen did not do that. Back then, after using the Ninth Heaven’s Thunder Formation, his cultivation fell to Superior Grade Martial Disciple. He then thought about it carefully and felt that this was not a bad thing. Instead, it was an opportunity for him to establish a firmer foundation.
He only spent a few months to progress from Spirit Refinement to Inferior Grade Martial Master. To an ordinary cultivator, this was something inconceivable. Regardless of the situation, he never did establish a proper foundation.
It was important for the foundation of a tall building to be done properly. Only by establishing a proper foundation, would the tall building not collapse.
The path of Martial Cultivation had the same principles. If Spirit Refinement was to be compared to digging out a foundation, then Martial Disciple was the equivalent to laying the foundation.
Xiao Chen had spent considerably more time than others in the Spirit Refinement Realm; he spent a total of 15 years. The foundation that he dug was much deeper than others. Now, all he had to do was to lay his foundation once again and make a foundation that was unbreakable.
With just a thought, Xiao Chen infused the large amount of Spiritual Energy he absorbed into his flesh and bones, slowly tempering his body.
After the Essence circulated in his body for nine cycles, Xiao Chen’s eyes shot open. There was a sticky black substance covering his body. Xiao Chen leaped out of the entrance of the cave into the gushing waterfall, washing away the impurities that were eliminated from his body thoroughly.
He immediately felt undoubtedly refreshed; he was carefree and relaxed. He could not help but shout loudly. His aura exploded out to the extreme. The water droplets that clung to his body instantly evaporated.
Xiao Chen landed heavily on the surface of the water. A huge force extended out from the bottom of his feet. In the next moment, a three-meter high splash soared around him.
Pushing off with his feet lightly, Xiao Chen returned to the river bank. The sun was setting on the boundless horizon; night had arrived. One day went by so quickly.
A small white figure rushed over from the outside of the illusion formation. When Xiao Chen saw it, he revealed a smile. No matter how boring or lonely this cultivation session was, he would still have Xiao Bai to accompany him.
After recovering for a night, Xiao Bai regained its high spirited nature. It had escaped from the Spirit Blood Jade long ago.
Xiao Chen was not too worried about its safety. Xiao Bai’s speed was incredibly fast after cultivating the Mysterious Nine Heavenly Revolution Transformation. Even Xiao Chen would be left in the dust.
When it ran over to Xiao Chen, there was a herb in its mouth. It placed it in Xiao Chen’s hand as though it was paying tribute. Xiao Chen did not find this strange; Xiao Bai was quite sensitive to such natural treasures with a Spiritual Nature. Every time it went out, it would normally return with some harvest.
Xiao Chen carefully inspected the herb in his hand. His eyes lit up as he said in joy, “Rank 5 Spirit Herb — Vanilla Rue! This is a stalk of superior grade 30 year old herb. It is worth thousands of gold taels.”
Hearing Xiao Chen’s joyful words, Xiao Bai exposed a very human-like smile. Obviously, it was very pleased.