Chapter 157: A Favor from the Slime King
At the moment, Sila was sitting alone at the bottom of the Cliff of Heroes . After he had died countless times, he finally had a chance to rest . Divine didn’t plan to put him through constant training as he pointed out that Sila deserved a moment of rest to train his mind and review what he had learned .
Tomorrow was the last day he could practice the art under Divine’s training . Now he could catch a glimpse of Death Bridge’s martial moves . Better yet, his ability to sense danger was being honed and enhanced .
On the first day, Divine kept on using martial moves without relying much on inner force . It took Sila over half of the day before he could understand a part of Death Bridge . It was an art that focused on speed and precision . Its moves primarily concentrated around fatally damaging bones, joints, and internal organs by breaking, twisting, and yanking . They were both dangerous and lethal .
On the second day, Divine got more serious and started to rely more on his inner force, represented by his psychic power in the game . Divine explained to him that Death Bridge was a kind of art that borrowed the opponent’s strength to work against them . As this concept shared a similarity with Monster Soul’s Worlds Crossing Bridge and the last part of the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws Book, Sila could get the hang of it in no time .
Divine also told him that it was usual for profound arts to share similarities when people mastered them, especially for the arts that were categorized as the same kind . With this advice, coupled with the fact that Divine didn’t hold back in a spar, Sila was finally enlightened about the use of the last part of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws Book, and tried to adapt it for himself .
While he was recalling the experiences he had gained over the past two days, a black mist was being emitted from his right hand . Today also marked the second day he had practiced using psychic power . For the record, the first day was complete chaos . Not only had it corroded his hand like it was acid water, but the pain was so great that it broke his concentration . It took him some time, along with Divine’s advice, to calm it down . Now, he was trying to get used to it .
Based on Divine’s explanation, psychic power represented the true nature of a person . Nevertheless, possessing a destructive psychic power didn’t mean you were a bad person . It was natural that people had both good and bad sides . No matter how righteous one was, there would still be evil in their mind, and vice versa . If one could accept this fact, one’s psychic power would eventually approve of oneself .
Aside from that, Sila had successfully sealed his right arm and the Black Dragon Sword . He did it using one of the skills he had gotten as a reward for conquering the Android Kingdom . With his repeated usage of the Seal and Unseal skills on the Right Arm of the Sealed One, both soon reached the maximum level . With his right arm being completely sealed, the metal arm returned to being his original arm with its flesh and blood . Finally, he could walk around without being the center of attention . As a side note, when he sealed the right arm, he found that Strengthened Bones was sealed as well, enabling him to train using his genuine body .
As a bonus, at long last, he had finally sealed the Couple Ring of Commitment on his left ring finger . It took him a long time to reach this day .
Meanwhile, Sila’s left hand turned a page in a book . His eyes intently read the words displayed . Yesterday, Mora had sent him the books he had promised . There were three of them as followed: Flaming Cloud Qi Scroll, Five Elements Scroll, and Heaven’s Decree Book .
Sila was currently reading the Heaven’s Decree Book . Although his teacher had suggested he only practice it after he had succeeded in inventing his personal profound art, Mora didn’t forbid him from reading it, so his action shouldn’t be counted as disobedience .
Flaming Cloud Qi was a high-tier qi art, but it was still a step behind Tiger Dragon Qi . The main difference between the arts was the circulation method . Tiger Dragon Qi started at the underbelly position while Flaming Cloud Qi started at the heart position . It took Sila only a short time to feel the power within his heart after circulating his inner force . The reason for this speed of learning must be because he didn’t have to build up inner force from scratch . After all, he had Tiger Dragon Qi as a base . Since these two qi arts shared many similarities, he could use either of them without a problem .
As for the Five Elements Scroll, it explained the concept of the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water . The system of Five Elements was used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena such as Feng Shui, internal organs, and acupoints . The doctrine of Five Elements described two cycles: a strengthening or creation cycle, and a weakening or destruction cycle .
During his first attempt at reading it, there were many things that he didn’t understand . However, that changed after he had read the book for Heaven’s Decree . At the very least, it helped him realize the connection between Teacher Mora and his father .
As it turned out, the two of them had invented their personal profound arts together .
Flaming Cloud Qi Art might be an inheritance passed down from generation to generation, but Sila was confident that Nine Sun-Melting-Fists was an art that his teacher had invented on his own .
The contents of the Heaven’s Decree Book was separated into three parts . The first part was the art of Profound Qi Circulation . It wasn’t a qi art, but rather his father’s explanation of the principle behind the flow of qi . The second part was about the sword styles, which Sila was now trying his best to comprehend . Lastly, the final part contained Pumin’s life experiences . Teachings, warnings, combat techniques, philosophies, and survival strategies were all written down in the form of a diary . It was by far the messiest part of the book .
The thing that piqued Sila’s interest right now was Profound Qi Circulation Art . Witnessing only this part of his father’s work, Sila realized that it was no exaggeration to hail his father as a Prodigy .
While others focused on the latent power and the amount of inner force, thinking that qi circulation was just a means to an end, his father held the process of qi circulation in higher regard . In Pumin’s opinion, a few amounts of simple qi that one could use with masterful cleverness -- by being able to regenerate it in no time and having no waste in utilization -- was even more dangerous than any powerful qi .
Thus, Pumin didn’t invest his time in learning qi arts; he only depended on the inner force that his body built up naturally . Even so, when he was twenty-seven years old and his inner force was still lacking, he was already hailed as the Sword Prodigy . The secret for that was revealed to Sila; it lied in Pumin’s mastery over qi circulation .
The concept of Profound Qi Circulation Art was strongly based on the principle of Five Elements and also shared a unique relationship with Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ acupoints knowledge; Profound Qi Circulation Art focused on the creation and strengthening cycle, while the knowledge of acupoints focused on the destruction and weakening cycle .
Attacking the opponent’s acupoints mainly emphasized on weakening their ability to utilize inner force . On the other hand, Profound Qi Circulation Art’s sole purpose was to make it easier for the practitioner to utilize inner force . The two concepts were polar opposites of each other, but they both originated from the knowledge held within the Five Elements Scroll .
To practice Profound Qi Circulation Art, one must start the qi circulation in the lungs, which is an organ of the Metal Element . When a human breathes in, the energy will be collected in the lungs, and then transmitted from the lungs to the kidneys, which represented the Water Element . Water nourishes Wood, so the energy will then enter the liver before being sent to the heart, which represented the Fire Element . The Fire energy will flow into the spleen, an organ of the Earth Element . The cycle is completed when the Earth energy returns back to the lungs . This was the basic method of Profound Qi Circulation Art .
The apex of the art is to strengthen the energy by depending on the knowledge of human physiology, enhancing the utilization of qi circulation . For example, the energy in the liver can infiltrate the spleen, while the spleen can absorb both nourishment and water so it can help control the amount of water in kidneys . At the same time, the water in the kidneys can calm the heat in the heart while said heat can keep the air within the lungs at a moderate level . Concurrently, the air in the lungs flows to the liver to maintain balance .
Profound Qi Circulation Art only had benefits without any downsides, so Sila was interested in learning it .
Looking at his right hand, he found that his psychic power was listening to him than before . Well, it only applied when his mind was calm . Sila wasn’t sure he would be able to properly use it in actual combat yet .
Sila tried to clad his right hand with psychic power while cladding his left hand with qi . However, both powers rejected each other and brought Sila tremendous pain . He had no choice but to deactivate them . It was disheartening that he couldn’t even use them both simultaneously while Zero could fuse his together .
“I was told that qi, magic, and psychic power originated from the same thing . Why can’t I combine or even use them together?”
Sila muttered to himself, but someone heard him and gave him an answer . As soon as he sensed the other being’s presence, he immediately turned his head with vigilance .
“The first reason is because they cannot be easily merged . But the most important reason is that you are exerting your power the wrong way . ”
“Your Majesty!!” Sila exclaimed in surprise . He hurriedly got up and bowed .
“You have my praise . You must have become a lot stronger to be able to sense my presence that fast . ”
“How is Bow, sir?” Sila didn’t bother with the compliment . He was more concerned about Bow .
“Thanks to you, Bow’s physical condition has gotten a lot better . She just woke up from the coma, but she is disoriented due to the time gap between reality and Monster Soul . It will take some time before she fully recovers,” The Slime King said with a smile on his face .
Listening to the good news, Sila also smiled . “I’m glad to hear that . I was very worried . ”
“Mn . Bow told me about you . It seems you lost an important item to save Bow, didn’t you? I’m very thankful for that . ”
“It’s just an in-game material, sir . It’s not that I’m bothered by losing it . ”
“As her father, you can’t possibly imagine how important Bow is to me . I would personally like to return the favor, but there are a lot of limitations since I’m an Independent NPC . ”
“No need for that, sir . Looking after Bow was originally my responsibility . ”
“As I can tell that you said those words with sincerity, I appreciate your help even more . At first, I planned to teach you my personal profound art, but I changed my mind . Think of it as a favor from me . ”
Honestly speaking, Sila didn’t wish for a reward or anything, but he was curious about the meaning behind the Slime King’s words .
“Um . . . It’s not that I’m protesting your decision or anything, sir, but how does not teaching me your profound art count as doing me a favor?”
“Hahaha . You really should consider it a favor . I can see that your combat style is similar to mine . Watching you practice is like watching my younger self . If I were to teach you my profound art, although you would become stronger in a short time, it would affect your growth in the long run . Your growth will stagnate as what you will be using is my art that adjusted to suit you instead of your original art . Don’t let my art hinder your growth, Sila . You can already do this much despite your age . In the next few years, even I won’t be a match for you . ”
Listening to such a high evaluation, Sila was embarrassed . He scratched his head as he replied, “You overpraise me, Your Majesty . There is no way my art will be greater than yours . ”
“That’s the risk you need to take . In the future, your personal art can be either better or worse than mine . However, if you learn my art, it might limit your imagination, and you will have no way to surpass me . The fact that I won’t teach you is proof that I wish you well . ”
“I see . Thank you very much, sir . ”
“Haha . Even if I don’t teach you my art, I can still give you pieces of advice . For example, I can tell that you were exerting your power incorrectly . ”
“Incorrectly? I always use my power this way though . Is there a different method?”
“There is . It’s uncommon knowledge that is not well known . Lucky for you, I’m included in those who know and will impart this knowledge to you .
“If I have to explain it, in short, there are two ways to utilize qi: External and Internal . The method that you have been using is External; releasing qi from within to cloak your body . It’s a norm for most people, but it’s not suitable for you . ”
“How is it not, sir?”
“Let me tell you first that the way to utilize inner force is like the concept of the dominant hand . Right-handed people are the most common, so most inventions are designed to be used with the right hand . The same can be said about qi arts . External Utilizers are more common, thus most qi arts are suitable for people with that trait . However, as far as I see it, you are born with the Internal trait . To put it simply, it’s like you are using a golf club designed for right-handed despite the fact you’re left-handed . ”
“Sir? But I’m right-handed . ”
“It’s just a metaphor . I didn’t mean it literally . It implies that all the arts you are using were designed for External Utilizers while you are an Internal Utilizer . ”
“Eh? What does it mean by internal utilization, then?” Sila started to feel worried . He had learned the method of utilizing inner force from both the Tiger Dragon Qi Book and the Flaming Cloud Qi Scroll; if this method turned out to be incompatible with him, he would be at a loss .
“Keeping the inner force within your body . The more you make your inner force reside within you, the more power you can exert . It’s different from External Utilizers, who can exert more power the more they cloak inner force around their body . ”
“Which one is better, sir?”
“It’s equal, depending on each person . Within the Slime Kingdom, Poluk, Divine, and I are External Utilizers . Only Viola is an Internal Utilizer . If you want to learn more about it, I suggest you go ask her . ”
Suddenly, a certain thought formed in Sila’s mind . He quickly opened the Heaven’s Decree Book and reread the first part about Profound Qi Circulation Art . Though it didn’t literally contain any contents regarding External or Internal Utilizers, one of the descriptions in the book clearly talked about keeping the inner force within the body without letting it seep outside, which fitted the Slime King’s explanation .
“Is there something wrong?” the Slime King asked as he saw Sila was deep in thought .
“No, sir . It’s just that my father seemed to be an Internal Utilizer too . ”
“It’s not that strange . Though it’s not always true, there are many instances where a parent and their child shared the same utilization trait . ”
Putting all of the books into his system window, Sila decided that the first thing he would do after finishing his training under Divine’s guidance was comprehending Profound Qi Circulation Art .
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty . ”
“No problem . ” The Slime King went back to where he came from . “Another piece of advice for you: though it’s true that qi, magic, and psychic power originated from the same thing, they all have their unique characteristics . What you did just now was like trying to mix oil with water; although both are liquid substances, they won’t fuse together . ”
“What should I do, then?”
At that time, Divine came . “Oh, Your Majesty . Are you coming for a visit? Or are you interested in teaching Sila with me so that he can take revenge on the person who bullied Bow?”
The Slime King declined . “Nah, I won’t bother and don’t plan to meddle in a kid’s affair . By the way, Divine, can I leave the Slime Kingdom in your hands while I’m gone?”
“Of course, Your Majesty . ”
The Slime King nodded . “As for the answer to your question, Sila, you just need to know how to fuse water with oil; it uses the same principle . ” As he finished speaking, he left, leaving Sila with a new puzzle .
Looking at the spot where the Slime King stood moments ago, Divine said to Sila, “It’s rare for His Majesty to give anyone advice, Sila . Remember his words well . Now, today is the last day, so I will give it my all from the start, alright?”
Nodding, Sila took a stance to prepare for the incoming attack . For today, he just had to do what he could against Divine . As for other matters, he would just think about them another time .