Carefully hiding the piece of paper under the mattress, Little Shiba covered the quilt and took a deep breath. He then closed his eyes and started to stimulate the working flow of Ignis Skill in his mind.
It would not have worked back when he had just arrived in this world, even if he got the full script of Ignis Skill and memorized all of it. The reason was that he didn't know the trick of practicing Internal Qi.
But things were quite different now with him knowing the trick. Though Unusual Strength Qigong was the easiest one among Internal Strength cultivation methods, it still shared a common trick with others.
Ignis Skill was obviously much harder than Unusual Strength Qigong, particularly in its details. But their beginning steps were pretty much the same.
Going through Ignis Skill carefully, Little Shiba managed to have a basic idea of this mental cultivation method. The differences between Ignis Skill and Unusual Strength Qigong lay in the two following parts. Firstly, the working flow of Ignis Skill was much more complex than the other one, which required a higher degree of concentration and controlling ability of Internal Qi. It took a much longer time to complete the working flow of Ignis Skill than it took for Unusual Strength Qigong. Thus, it required better controlling ability. For now, Little Shiba could only sustain two days of concentration. Secondly, the way of absorbing the essence of the world. The so-called Internal Strength was absorbing the essence of the world and then making use of it with a special method. That was the fundamental principle of Internal Strength no matter how superior it could be. Unusual Strength Qigong was the easiest one to swallow but the hardest one to digest, which could do great harm when practicing with heterogeneous pneuma. That was to say, with eating both good and bad food, the inability to digest all of it could only lead to an upset stomach. However, Ignis Skill had its own specific target. It seemed that it only absorbed the pneuma of a certain property and excluded the other properties. The reason why the working flow of Ignis Skill was much complex than the other one was that the process of digesting the pneuma with a certain property was much harder than with heterogeneous pneuma.
The name of it has already shown that it only absorbs the pneuma of fire property from the essence of the world.
Lying on the bed, Little Shiba thought in his mind with his eyes sparkling in the dark. "Though Ignis Skill is harder than the other one, it's still a level-one mind cultivating method. Otherwise, I would not have understood it. Wang Tianlei told me that he got it from the man he killed in the war, so the person who owned this couldn't be a Kung Fu master with super precious or difficult books. But this method really works for me. It's not too hard, nor too easy. I guess it's my lucky day."
Thinking of this, he giggled and remembered the words his elementary teacher used to say in his past life. The teacher was always telling him to set a goal that suited him and could be achieved by practicing. As he grew up, those words became jokes. Nowadays, in a whole new world, those words came true in another way.
It was said that building Internal Strength could strengthen one's body and prolong one's life, and Wang Bo thought so too when he read Kung Fu fiction in his past life. However, in this world, Little Shiba, who has already practiced Internal Strength, had learned that the rumor was not even half true.
The truth was that your life could only be prolonged once you've already reached the advanced level of bone forging when practicing the External Strength. Otherwise, your life was just shorter with increasing amount of Internal Qi. Let me explain: The body was like a closed container with a limited volume of water, if it was forced to bear what was beyond its capacity, it could easily break. The relationship between the body and Internal Qi was just like that of closed container and water. The only way to bear a large amount of Internal Qi was to strengthen your own body. Pushing it could only lead to an explosion.
Since one would gain pure Internal Qi with fire property by practicing the fire cultivation method, it required more than Almighty King Kong did, in terms of tendons and vessels.
Therefore, it was imaginable that the speed of practicing the fire cultivation method was slower than that of practicing the Internal Qi of Almighty King Kong. But before that, Little Shiba did not need to absorb the fire-property pneuma from the essence of the world, instead, he should transfer the impure Internal Qi, which came from practicing Unusual Strength Qigong, into Internal Qi of fire property.
After knowing what the exact way of practicing Internal Qi was, Little Shiba was more anxious than happy.
What I've gotten were just the simplest methods of strengthening the body and cultivating Internal Strength. But I could infer, just from them, how powerful I could become in the future. Then what about those who have had advanced Internal Strength, mental cultivation methods, and body-strengthening methods? How mighty would they become? This is truly a scary world, and right now, I'm just a hillbilly stuck in a small village. Life is short, and unless I'm the destined hero who can turn every challenge into an opportunity, I should just lay low!
Hiding in this village will get me nowhere. My old man wanted me to be an apprentice in Qingyang Market—such a high hope!
He lay in the bed, thinking of Qingyang Market. Similarly, someone in Qingyang Market missed the small village.
Qingyang Market was a small town on the fringe of Yunzhou of Jin, which was close to Misty Mountain. Remote as it was, the town was very prosperous because it served as the most convenient pathway to Misty Mountain, and a transaction site between Shi Wan and Yunzhou.
Yunzhou was the most remote among the thirteen states of Jin, whereas Misty Mountain was the natural borderline between Jin and Northern Yuan.
However, Jin and Northern Yuan have confronted each other for hundreds of years, but no war ever broke out at Misty Mountain. This was because Misty Mountain stretched tens of thousands of miles, and it was so-called the "Great Mountain", in which there were countless beasts, snakes and insects, and even powerful evil beasts that could not be resisted by human power. It was less likely, if not impossible, for a master of martial arts to go from Jin to Northern Yuan through Misty Mountain by their superior strength, but it would be a joke to say that someone could cross Misty Mountain with tens of thousands of troops.
Thus, neither Jin nor Northern Yuan would build fortresses or stock armaments at the periphery of Misty Mountain. But there were some businessmen who were very interested in fur, beast core, and herbs — this was the reason why Qingyang Market was so booming, even it was not in an advantageous geographical position.
No matter how prosperous Qingyang Market was, it was just a small town with four big streets, two of which were horizontal and the other two vertical, dividing the whole town into a shape looking like "井" (a Chinese character that means "well") . The most bustling part was in the center of "井", with a big warehouse. By the way, this kind of formation featured in all towns in Yunzhou, and except for the lane in the center of "井" , there were two passageways at the end of east and west streets. In the north was the Yamen (government offices in Feudal China) and in the south were small workshops. All stores and hotels concentrated in the northeastern part of the town since it was close to the entrance of Misty Mountain. The southeastern part was where rich and famous people resided, and vendors and folks lived in the northwestern part. Just like the Yamen in the north, the southwestern part, which was the forbidden zone, was the place where the Black Dragon Triad owned.
The Black Dragon Triad was a gang of moderate size in Yunzhou, controlling dozens of small towns including Qingyang Market and all the docks in Qingyang Market. Thus, people who imported or exported products needed to turn over a big sum of money to the gang, which was its main source of income.
Not all society gangs in this world were mafia. In a sense, they were monopoly organizations controlling resources through its power. It was a gang-like, economic entity and the main income of which was not from collecting protection fees, nor from recovering debt like the vulgar errands that Little Shiba had watched on TV before.
What they had to do was to control the economic artery, such as ships, docks, and workers—whatever was involved with waterway transportation. What was more, the commodities from Misty Mountain could not be easily bought by the outside merchants. So the prey was mostly sold to the local merchants and the warehouse at Qingyang Market, while all those local merchants were closely intertwined with the Black Dragon Triad, many of whom were members of the Black Dragon Triad itself. Even the largest warehouse in Qingyang Market was controlled by it. In a word, the Black Dragon Triad was the dictator of Qingyang Market. Though it was a fact that the income of the village has been greatly improved with Wang Tianlei's help, the final price of the commodity was always being constrained by the Black Dragon Triad with little negotiating space — this was the hidden rule. As for the local authority, they just served as board chairmen and did the tax collecting.
However, it didn't mean that the Black Dragon Triad would dare to fight against the Yamen. The local officials were no more than 40 people, a dozen of whom could fight a little, and others were just ordinary. But the Black Dragon Triad wouldn't mess with anyone from the authority because the latter represented the government, the face of the Jin Dynasty. Being a gang from the Jianghu at the lowest end of society, they weren't even a match for any authority. It may be true that the gang could turn the local authority upside down within two hours, with the only result being a much worse retaliation within ten minutes.
Therefore, arrogant as the Black Dragon Triad seemed to be, it still strictly abided by all the set rules for the gangs and kept peace with the Yamen. Let's put it in another way: The authority and the gang were just ganging up and acting in collusion with each other.
It was not a strange situation to understand. The officials didn't have the advantage of numbers, and the head was reappointed every few years. Cooperating with the Black Dragon Triad, who had the actual local influence, was the only way to properly rule the place. Such a phenomenon was everywhere all around the country with everyone's knowledge. The only difference was that the small villages relied on the low-level gangs while the major cities relied on the specific super-powerful schools, a few of which were even closely related to the royal and distinguished families of Jin.