If he wanted to reach the Bone-Forging Realm, was it easier said than done?
He was afraid that the only way was just as Qin Xuanlong said. If you were chosen by an elder of the Wu family to become their disciple, then you would a chance to encounter the skill of Bone Forging.
"Now is still a good time to practice the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique !" Junior Leopard said to himself upon arriving at his dwelling.
Although the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique and the Ignis Skill were not exercises of common origin, they were both skills with properties of flame. The spiritual energy one must take in and transform was basically the same for both. The main difference was that the spiritual energy needed by the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique had to be purer, and the process of transformation was more delicate.
All of this was no problem for Junior Leopard, especially the delicate control and transformation of internal Qi. Even if he had not learned how to activate his fantastical eyes, in the half year he had spent training he had gotten a good grasp on his internal Qi, The difference, therefore, between the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique and the Ignis Skill was no problem for him; he was even looking forward to getting a greater understanding of his internal qi by exploring the fine details of their differences.
The process of transforming Ignis Internal Qi into that which could be used for the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique wasn't complicated. As for its power, although everything he had learned about it was still quite basic, it was still stronger than the internal qi from the Ignis Skill. That is not to say that the Ignis Skill used by the Sect of Flame was no good. On the contrary, as a comprehensive system of cultivating internal qi, it was still stronger than the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique, but Junior Leopard had only been able to get a hold of the introductory notes of a mere disciple of the Sect of the Flame. The notes contained only an incomplete outline of the basics. As for what he had studied of the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique, it was more complete, if still elementary; additionally, upon consideration of the future, his opportunities to practice the Blaze Technique would be greater than his opportunities to practice the Ignis Skill. With this in mind, he had no hesitation to choose the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique for practice.
He sat quietly in the room, inhaling and exhaling the surrounding spiritual qi from heaven and earth, taking in wisps of elemental flame into his body, and using the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique to transform this qi into his own internal strength.
The spiritual qi in this room was not strong, but relative to Junior Leopard's present ability to absorb qi it was more than enough.
As Junior Leopard circulated his internal qi, a thin layer of red light began to enshroud his surroundings. He was covered completely in this red light, and as he slowly opened his eyes, he took a sharp intake of breath. The red light wrapped inside his body and split into two separate rays through his nostrils. His eyesight flickered softly for a moment, and then everything returned to normal.
"This Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique is not bad… if I have the chance to study this in its entirety, that would be perfect!" Junior Leopard could feel the full power of fire within his body, and a satisfied expression appeared upon his face.
A Level One fighter. He was now already a Level One fighter. Even though within the three realms and nine classes, first class was the lowest, he was still satisfied.
In the Skin-Toughening Realm, the mark of a Level One fighter was just like what he had just done. He had assimilated his entire body's internal qi with his skin and flesh and then shot it out. Wang Tianlei was also a fighter, and he could concentrate his internal qi's powerful Jingang into any blade, giving the sword in his hand extra lethal force. Such were the characteristics of fighters.
Although a Level One fighter could link up his internal qi with his skin and flesh, they could not control it outside of their body. They could disperse it, but were not able to concentrate it. It was limited to this form. Even though it could strengthen the force of their attack, this also had limits; only by training to second class would he be able to fire out the internal qi he had linked up with his skin and flesh at will. By combining the strength of his body and internal qi, he could command at will this powerful force, and by the stage of a Level Three fighter, he could concentrate the strength of his entire body to its very limit, and with easy, graceful movements link up his internal qi and keep it restrained beneath his skin. Linking it up like this, into this state, his internal qi could not only be used to kill enemies and nourish flesh and blood but at the same time could have a nourishing effect on his skeleton. If he wanted to really reach the bone forging state, he still needed to combine his bone forging fighting technique with a potion bath.
"It is not only that the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique needs to be comprehensive, it also needs the bone forging technique. Otherwise, even if you master the comprehensive system of the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire Technique, there will be no way to perfect it!" Junior Leopard got out of his bed, pushed the window open, and gazed out at the sky filled with stars, and the reddish full moon.
"I don't know where I am now and the stars in the sky above must also include the earth beneath my feet!" He thought for a moment, and then he laughed at this foolishness and nodded his head. "It is impossible to see the Earth, but so long as I can see the sun that is good enough!"
Gazing at the stars and thinking of the earth, his mind slowly drifted towards a scene from his previous life, and he quickly fell into a sorrowful train of thought.
"Junior Leopard, what's on your mind?!"
He had been in a trance, when suddenly a voice came from behind him, making him jump in surprise.
"Hello, Master Qin." Seeing Qin Xuanlong come in, Junior Leopard was a little surprised — What was he doing barging into his home at so late an hour, without so much as knocking at the door? Was this not poor manners?
"I've been knocking at your door for ages, and after seeing no response I thought something may have happened to you!"
"Oh, I was just thinking about something, I got a bit lost in thought!" Junior Leopard replied promptly, but his heart blushed in shame. It wasn't that Master Qin was impolite and it was that he himself had gone into a trance.
"Thinking about martial arts, eh!" Qin Xuanlong said with a smile and sat down.
What he was thinking of, Junior Leopard naturally could not tell Qin Xuanlong. He just smiled and nodded.
"I know that you are very hard working, especially in martial arts! You do not merely have an extraordinary aptitude, but you give it all of your efforts. Your future achievements will be unlimited!"
"Master Qin, you exaggerate!" Junior Leopard replied cautiously.
"You needn't feel nervous! I've come today to tell you something. Over these next few days, please do not leave the house, stay in your room and practice in safety!"
"Why?!" Junior Leopard asked, confused. "What's going on?!"
"It is nothing to do with us, but as the saying goes, 'when the city gates burn, the fish in the moat suffer' — I am merely afraid of you getting caught up in it!" Qin Xuanlong smiled bitterly. "I have just received news; Xue Wuya, Seventh Dark Lord of the Dark Sect, has been pursued thousands of miles by the White Blademaster Lu Shaoyou, and they have already entered the limits of Yunzhou district. From their route, it seems like Xue Wuya aims to hide within the Misty Mountains; these are close to Qingyang Market, if by any chance they pass through here, there may be big trouble!"
"Xue Wuya, the Seventh Dark Lord of the Dark Sect!" Junior Leopard was shocked. This name reverberated like thunder in his ears.
As a matter of fact, as Junior Leopard stepped through the main gate of the Wu's ironware shop, he could just about count as someone part of the martial arts circle, although belonging to the very lowest level.
To all of those belonging to the lowest level of the martial arts world, it was tough to come across a true expert, but they were all very clear on all the information, anecdotes, and rumors of these experts. Just as ordinary people in Junior Leopard's previous life treated celebrities. Even if they had never seen them in person, they would still know a lot about this person's background, perhaps even more than their own. There was a logic to this; even if what they know is not completely true, this didn't influence their understanding of the legends of the martial arts experts.
Xue Wuya was the best killer of the Dark Sect and the Blood River Sect. He was the seventh Dark Lord of the Dark Sect, and at 48 years old. He was a strong Level Eight fighter. He had already mastered the Dark Sect's secret methods, as well as the Bloodfire Power of the Blood River Sect. Relying on the secret skills and special techniques of the Dark Sect, he was regarded as strong even within the ranks of Level Eight experts.
The White Blademaster Lu Shaoyou was the number one expert of the younger generation of the Mingyi School, and one of the few Level Eight experts under all of the heavens. He also had the most outstanding reputation of the last 50 years in martial arts circles. Only at the age of 32, his skill in fencing was sublime. He was acknowledged as one of the under 50s most likely to reach level nine. It is said that his current strength was already at the peak of Level Eight when Xue Wuya bumped into him and with the two of them, both at the heights of level eight, a battle of the Titans was inevitable. Listening to Qin Xuanlong explain carefully, Junior Leopard understood the situation. This time, Xue Wuya was out of luck, and on the way to Yangzhou West Country had been overcome by a fit of madness and slaughtered an entire family. After the massacre was over, he came across Lu Shaoyou, who was in Yangzhou West Country visiting a friend. Lu Shaoyou, outraged at witnessing such brutal conduct, drew his sword from its sheath and engaged in battle with Xue Wuya, who finally fled, only to be relentlessly pursued for thousands of miles, from the nation of Jin's hinterlands of Yangzhou all the way here to remote Yunzhou, all the way with no easing of his rage.
Although Lu Shaoyou was a Level Eight expert unmatched anywhere in this world, Xue Wuya was highly proficient in the art of stealth. With a heavy heart in his bosom, he had killed countless unfortunate people along the way. Anyone who came across his path was torn to shreds as he vented the rage in his belly. If it had not been for the fear that Lu Shaoyou may be too hot on his heels, the road from Yangzhou all the way to Yunzhou would have been a river of blood.
This news had already reached Qingyang market, and it seemed like Xue Wuya was heading in this direction toward the Misty Mountains. So, Qin Xuanlong had come to find Junior Leopard and make sure that he would stay in the Wu's Forge and not leave, lest he would come across a mishap.
In fact, aside from the Wu's ironware shop, the local government of Qingyang Market, as well as the Black Dragon Gang, had also scampered away upon hearing this news for fear of encountering this angel of death, Xue Wuya.
Hearing Qin Xuanlong talk, Junior Leopard's heart cursed Lu Shaoyou. It was unwise to provoke anyone, but what was he doing provoking an angel of death like Xue Wuya?
Yes, that's right, he cursed Lu Shaoyou.
If it had not been for Lu Shaoyou meddling in other people's business, Xue Wuya would not have run all this way to Yunzhou, and would not have carried out such massacres on the way.
Of course, it was understandable to get involved when arriving at the scene of Xue Wuya's slaughter, but if he failed to kill him then that should have been the end of it, why the need to pursue him all this way?
"Unable to accomplish anything, but liable to spoil everything!"
It was best not to provoke a man like Xue Wuya, and if you did provoke him, you should eliminate him completely. What on earth was Lu Shaoyou doing chasing him like this?
Junior Leopard cursed Lu Shaoyou silently. Coming across an injustice and raising your sword to help, that was called standing up for justice. But wiping your ass and not wiping it clean, that was called idiocy!
"Alright then, you rest early and remember what I told you, and for these next few days do not leave the Wu clan's Forge. Although Xue Wuya's massacring rampantly, he will not cause trouble with the Wu family without good cause. It is best that you don't leave our compound, that way you shouldn't have any trouble!"
"But my home is within the boundaries of the Misty Mountains, will my families really not have trouble?" Junior Leopard asked, face full of concern.
"There shouldn't trouble. Xue Wuya is desperate to escape from Lu Shaoyou and intent on hiding in the Misty Mountains. Your home is in this village on the boundary of the mountains, there is no chance that he will stop here!" Qin Xuanlong spoke with total certainty.
"Good, good!" Junior Leopard said patting the pit of his stomach. "And who knows, perhaps Lu Shaoyou may catch up to Xue Wuya!"
Although Lu Shaoyou is very formidable, he is not a god. The Misty Mountains stretch for thousands of miles and are covered with thick forest. If Xue Wuya can get the chance, he will delve deep into the old forest; then no matter how exceptional Lu Shaoyou's methods are, he will never be able to find him!
"Then that means, all those unfortunate people killed by Xue Wuya on the way died for nothing!" Junior Leopard thought to himself, but his lips dared not say this out loud. He just showed a face of concern.
"No need to worry, worrying is no use!" Qin Xuanlong said reassuringly, seeing Junior Leopard's apparently worried face.
"I understand, thank you, Master Qin!"
Qin Xuanlong nodded his head, sighed softly, and departed.