Chapter 135: Inner Force
It took Burapha less than a day for him to become renowned across Monster Soul, going from an ordinary merchant to someone called the Eastern Sea Evil God.
Burapha was currently in the weapon shop. No one dared to cause a problem while inside, since the legendary weaponsmith lived here. Most guild leaders, including Montra, had their main weapons produced by his hand, so no one dared to become his enemy in the open.
Burapha closed his system window after checking all the messages that were left during his absence. He tried to contact Sila but it was to no avail. It seemed Sila had already logged out.
White Swan entered the shop and threw a costume that she had bought from a boutique toward Burapha. "Here you go. As you asked."
He picked up the clothing and inspected it with satisfaction before clicking the equip button. Then, his red Hawaiian shirt and Thai fisherman pants were replaced by a blue coat and black jeans.
"Why do you want to wear a costume? Usually, no one wears this kind of clothing aside from during certain events or festivals."
Zeref, who was sitting nearby, replied in Burapha's stead. "It's because of the lance. That lance was forged by combining the Dragon Killer Sword and the Godly Oceanic Armor. Because of this, it developed an unexpected property; it's classified as both a weapon and the main armor. So, when equipping it, you won't be able to wear normal clothing. Costumes are okay, though, as they're merely masks."
"Don't worry, Miss White Swan. This lance is awesome. Although it's a weapon, it has both offensive and defensive options. I think it's even better than wearing a conventional armor. By the way, this costume is not that bad. Even though it doesn't have any options or provide even a single point of defense, it can't break."
White Swan listened to the explanation with an expression that was showing disbelief. She had been in an information guild for a very long time but she had never heard of any weapon that possessed the power of the armor.
Burapha was fully aware that she would like to know about the lance so he showed her its information.
(S) Eastern Sea Evil Lance (Zeref)
+ Increase both physical attack and defense points by 10,000.
+ When fighting against a being of the dragon race, your stats will increase by 20%.
+ A dragon dies due to the Eastern Sea Evil Lance cannot be revived with special abilities and their Rank will be demoted by three.
- You cannot equip armor or clothing.
- Cannot be sold or transferred.
+ When equipped, you will get Item Skill: Oceanic Armor (Passive).
"Great, right? Since it grants me the power of the armor without me having to wear one, I no longer need to wear any armor anymore. With it, I think I can move a lot better compared to before when I used to wear heavy or light armor," said Burapha with a smile on his face.
"What about the eyepatch? Won't you take it off? It's eye-catching too," asked White Swan.
"Ah, this? This is a part of my training. I plan to continue wearing it for the time being. Um... Let me just..." Burapha crudely combed his hair and let it cover his left eye. "It should be enough with this."
"What are you planning to do next, son? Are you going to the base of the Heavenly Dragon Guild?"
Burapha shook his hand. "That would be too soon, Uncle. I plan to polish my ability in actual combat first before I have my rematch. I'm thinking about going north to visit Belacia City in the Snow Realm. I want to fight against monsters and players along the way to gradually improve my ability and fight Revin when the war event comes."
"North? Going there alone? Isn't it too dangerous?"
Belacia City was located in the north of the Main Continent in an area people called the Snow Realm.
The Snow Realm was one of the most dangerous regions in Monster Soul. Monsters living there were at least Knight Rank and the terrain was freezing cold all year around. During the two week journey to Belacia City from the closest city, the only thing in sight the whole time was snow; there was no water or food. What awaited travelers was only monsters trying to ambush.
Nevertheless, Belacia City was like an oasis in Monster Soul. With the journey there being very difficult, there were many strong people who disliked politics and the influence of guilds. They formed a small society and drove out people who affiliated with a guild.
As a result, ever since the game launched, Belacia City was the only open city that had never been conquered by a guild.
"It's better if it's dangerous. I have been avoiding danger my whole life. That will end. As the successor of the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art, I will pave my way through any obstacles I have to face."
"Um... If you go from here, it will take you around a month to get there." White Swan roughly calculated the time.
"No. Big Brother Blue is in Grea City right now so I will go and meet him first. Traveling from Grea City will be less time-consuming. I will take around two weeks to arrive there."
"Blue? What is he doing in Grea City? Isn't he supposed to be working on collecting intel from Mountain Thieves League members?"
"I don't know the reason. He just left me a message to go and meet him as soon as possible; it seems he has something to show off to me."
"Something to show off? If it's a valuable item, please seize it for me, so that I can donate it to the guild to cover the losses we suffer because of him." White Swan said with her eyebrows twitching. The reason why she, a vice-leader figure, had to be stationed at Zhongsuyuan City and had to do general duties like selling information, which was supposed to be the job of a lower-ranked member, was due to the financial crisis that her guild was currently facing. Her guild had to lay off many members and general jobs were distributed to higher-ranked members. By the way, more than 60% of the guild's resources were spent by a certain newshawk:
Blue-Colored Catastrophe. This title wasn't, in the slightest, exaggerated.
She had asked the guild leader several times why Bluebird hadn't been fired yet. Doing so would be the quickest and most sensible solution for solving the guild's financial crisis. However, her boss only laughed and remarked that Bluebird was the most skilled newshawk of the guild. If he was fired and was recruited by another guild, it would lead to a big problem. Boss also told her that the value of the information that Bluebird had been providing to the guild was, most of the time, priceless.
Nonetheless, personally, White Swan still thought that it didn't matter how priceless the information that Bluebird obtained if their guild can't sell it. Moreover, if another guild recruited Bluebird, it might even be better for their guild. She dared to say that even the richest guild in Monster Soul would likely go bankrupt with Bluebird joining.
"Haha, I'll try. Don't expect too much though," said Burapha with a smile. It seemed to him that Bluebird had always been a troublemaker no matter where he went or who he was with.
"If you need anything, you can pay me a visit. I think I will be staying in Zhongsuyuan City for quite a while," said White Swan.
Burapha nodded and both of them added each other into their contact lists. Then, Burapha sent a message to Bluebird asking to be picked up at the Mansion of Secrets.
Sila was sitting alone in the dojo next to Varee's house when he sensed that his body had somehow changed. His physical condition was at his best despite not working out as much as he used to.
He could feel the fragments of qi flowing throughout his body. Realizing this feeling, Sila quickly recalled the circulation method of Tiger Dragon Qi and followed the instructions.
It was different from last time when he had tried using Genesis Punch in the real world. Genesis Punch was a qi art that required inner force to unleash its power, so he couldn't do it since his body lacked genuine qi. He was told that it would take him several years for his body to build up inner force and be able to use it.
Thus, this moment marked the first time he truly discovered that what he was told about Monster Soul was the real deal. The brain collected experiences and the body practiced. Now, he was able to fully comprehend the reason why Monster Soul was like a heaven for profound practitioners, why many Independent NPCs got addicted to the game and chose to stay, and why Montra could become very skilled in a short amount of time. It turned out that Monster Soul acted like a profound art learning program.
Sila sat cross-legged in the dojo for a long time while the qi that had been flowing freely started to move according to his will. Several droplets of qi were like small ponds that were combining together to become a lake before flowing from his stomach to his heart, hands, and feet. His mind was exhausted from the constant concentration, but his body was particularly refreshed.
'It would be best if I didn't have to log out, but two in-game weeks are the limit for how long I can stay online.'
Sila didn't know if he should call himself a game addict. What he did know was the fact that he wanted to enter the game very badly.
The power in his body was surging so he stood up and tried to perform some of the martial moves that he had studied, starting from Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. He took step after step to circle around within the dojo about a hundred times and found out that his movement had obviously become faster. One lap around the dojo took him only about ten or so seconds.
Afterward, he tried Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Even though he didn't know the exact martial moves, he was fully aware that all of the techniques were connected to a single word: circle. Sila drew his hands in circles many times, aiming to lessen the impact of the air touching his hands.
As for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, it was the most compatible art for Sila, so he could follow all of its martial moves without any error.
'It is not enough. I couldn't use Genesis Punch last time because I lacked inner force. But now I have it, though not much and the power is weak. At the very least, there should be some result if I try.'
His shirt was drenched in sweat, so Sila took it off. He held out his right arm and focused all the inner force that he could sense on it, sending it all flowing that way.
The qi started to move, though very slowly. It took twenty minutes, which felt like an entire day for him, for the qi to finally reach his right palm.
Sila could feel a warm sensation on his right palm. Warm, yet powerful.
He clutched his hand in joy. Suddenly, the power dispersed and his stamina instantly drained. His body fell to the floor.
"I can't move...?!" Sila panicked. His brain was fine and he was conscious of his body, but he couldn't move at all.
His body stayed still in that manner for five full minutes before Sila could sense his inner force again. The tiny amount of qi started to accumulate in his bloodstream. It wasn't until the qi circulated throughout his entire body that Sila could move once more. He sat up cross-legged and began to circulate qi according to Tiger Dragon Qi's circulation method so he could regain his strength.
He sighed in relief as he realized that he had been too hasty. He didn't know a thing about genuine qi in real life but he had forced it to accumulate into a single point, which had proved to be a dangerous idea.
Inner force is something humans naturally possess from the start and qi arts are all about bringing out the latent power sleeping within the human body.
It was dangerous to forcefully bring out inner force without knowledge of how it works. The symptom that Sila had just experienced was one kind of qi deviation; using more qi than the body can generate. It was fortunate that Sila was just a beginner and the amount of his inner force was low, thus the deviation wasn't severe.
"Fu... That was close. Calm down, me. Being able to use qi at my age is considered very fast already."
Sila sat and meditated while the qi in his body built up. He no longer dared to unleash its power but let it build up naturally.
"Kiryu once noted that his qi guided his martial moves. The simplest movement that allows qi to unleash its full potential is the most correct martial move. On the other hand, Teacher Mora started by practicing martial arts until his body naturally built up the most suitable qi for his movement. What about me? If I practice both qi art and martial arts at the same time, will the progress be faster?" wondered Sila. But he had never been the type to solve puzzles using his brain, thus, he decided to investigate with actions.
With that in mind, Sila started to perform the martial moves of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, respectively. The more he practiced, the slower his movements became, as he wanted to observe the changes to the qi within his body.
Frankly, Sila's idea wasn't impossible, but it would take time. Practicing both qi arts and martial arts at the same time is similar to a musician playing a guitar and singing simultaneously. This kind of thing requires experience and constant training, unlike in-game qi that can automatically flow with the system's support.
Martial moves adapted themselves to qi while qi also adapted itself to martial moves. Both things gradually merged together and would become one eventually. Sila was no longer in a hurry and let the process proceed naturally.
Finally, evening had come, and Sila had entered the house with no one to greet him. Although he was a loner, Rashane's family was too quiet. Rashane worked almost every day and only came back home at night while Varee had been spending all of her free time in the game after her mother passed away. Moreover, after Vata ran away from the house, the distance between the members of this family seemed to have widened.
Sila recalled the time when he had lived with his teacher. Although there were only two of them under the dojo's roof, their dojo was even livelier than this house. There were no high-tech appliances. Sometimes he and his teacher had to prepare homemade meals for all the other disciples to celebrate events. And sometimes some disciples had slept over at their dojo. Sure, it was a bit difficult without appliances, but his time back then had been very fun, at least more enjoyable than his stay in this lifeless house.
The technology that was supposed to bring humans closer to each other instead widened the distance between them. It was very sad, thinking like this.
Sila took a bath to clean his body and entered the world of Monster Soul once again.