"I don't have the Stars Diffraction Technique, so how could I know what would happen in three months? So you 'definitely' should not believe every word that I said."
Wang Wu assumed the "dead pig should not be afraid of boiled water" rogue attitude, which caused her disciple Wang Lu to feel helpless.
From his experience with her for more than two years, Wang Lu knew that Wang Wu was not a credible person. The most typical example was around two years ago when she offered her the long term meal ticket at Misty Peak cafeteria; at that time, she hyped up the cafeteria so much, saying that it has the most high quality Western cuisine. Thus, Wang Lu cheerfully took the meal ticket and rushed to the cafeteria, only to curse inwardly when he encountered those fish heads on "look up at the starry sky".
However, to say that she could not be trusted… Just the day before, at the Heavenly Sword Hall, the six elders gave their endorsement of her! Daoist Master Feng Yin confidently exclaimed "I believe her!" with such a conviction! Regardless of Daoist Zhifeng, they all believe her!
Thinking to this, Wang Lu could only inwardly sigh, thinking, "I'll believe her this one time!"
Then, it was cultivation time.
In accordance with Wang Wu's requirements, in three months, Wang Lu has to break through the third level of the sword art and reached the seventh level of Qi Cultivating Stage. The most important thing was naturally the cultivation of the Non-Phase Method. Nowadays, the vast majority of the cultivators in the Immortal Cultivation World used cultivation methods like the Non-Phase Method to absorb the surrounding spiritual energy and transform them into magical power to further advance their cultivation. This method was usually called as the Core Cultivation Method—it was the foundation of all cultivation. It contained the most extensive content, but also the most difficult one. Sixty to seventy percent of the time, the cultivators would focus their cultivation of this Core Cultivation Method. As for the Non-Phase Sword Art, although his Master did request him to practice it, it was actually just a minor part of the cultivation...
However, when Wang Lu actually began to practice it, he was surprised to find out that this Non-Phase Method was the most worry free and required the least effort.
Because this Method was too wonderful...
For more than two years—also because of his spirit root—the vast majority of Methods possessed by the Spirit Sword Sect were out of his reach because the Core Cultivation Method was very difficult. The most important point was that this Immortal Cultivation Method was too elusive and indescribable, requiring a more senior cultivator to comprehend its content. How to breath in the surrounding spiritual energy, how to circulate them, and how to transform them into magical power... many times those senior cultivators would just use their feelings to describe what was written on the text and pass it onto their juniors. However, passing the information in this manner would inevitably produce errors, not to mention that each cultivator would have different physique and different circumstances. Thus, even after practicing the same cultivation method, the experience would be completely different. It was very difficult to have a universal method applicable to all condition that would take all the cultivators on the same straight path.
Currently, even if they have a Master to teach them, a cultivator would still have the feeling of "blind men with the elephant" and thus struggle to cultivate.
Take the Qi Cultivating Stage for example; in this stage, the main thing to do was to absorb the surrounding spiritual energy, keep it inside the Inner Mansion, and transform it into magical power while circulating it inside the body. After that, the Inner Mansion would evolve into Jade Mansion, creating the node that connected the inside and the outside.
For the ordinary Core Cultivation Methods, there were too many steps that cultivators needed to try before they could accomplish this. For example, the surrounding spiritual energy absorption speed, the way to circulate it, and so on; the size of each person's Inner Mansion was different, so the location for the circulation was also different from person to person… Even if the method was touted as the simplest, most "universal" method, it still has too many hazy and vague area, which made it hard to explain clearly and correctly.
However, Non-Phase Method could actually do that! How to use the two hundred and six Sword Bones to extract the golden liquid to construct the cycle, where to gather the golden liquid in the Inner Mansion, how much strength was needed to drive the energy, the conversion speed, the diameter of the whirlpool… Each steps taken were so meticulously explained that it made one's hair stand up in anger! Moreover, it was completely tailored; Wang Lu only needed to practice it step by step accordingly without any hesitation whatsoever.
Towards this, Wang Wu actually didn't claim any credit. "In fact, there's nothing difficult in this. Even though it gets in the way of absorbing the surrounding spiritual energy, your Void Spirit Root is, after all, a top rank spirit root in the Immortal Cultivation World. Its other aspects quality are all top notch, therefore, as long as the designed Cultivation Method perfectly tailored to your condition, in accordance with the ideal theory of advance deduction, the designed method could just be theorized on paper; it doesn't need to be experimented first before you can practice it… Of course, this method is only applicable to you. If the other cultivators were to try it, in half a day, they would suffer Qi Deviation and their body would explode hahaha!"
Laugh your ass! You think it's funny to do a human experiment on your own disciple!?
In any case, the Core Cultivation Method of the Non-Phase Method was basically without any difficulties. His cultivation speed was extraordinarily astonishing. In just ten short days, Wang Lu was able to construct a simple small cycle and completed the ninth level of Qi Cultivating Stage… If it were to extrapolate from this, reaching the seventh level of Qi Cultivating Stage in three months was actually an easily achievable target.
Then, it was time for the Non-Phase Sword Art.
According to Wang Lu's choice, his Master taught him the second set of the Non-Phase Sword Art. This second set was indeed like what his Master said: one was required to have a great wisdom in order to practice it; the designed idea for this sword art was the convergence of the essence of all the world's sword art into one—omnipotent! Simultaneously, one was also required to have the insight to all of the world's sword arts' flaws—invincible!
Just listening to this guiding principle, Wang Lu would immediately associate it with those various perpetual motion machines, water turning into oil contraption, and so on. No matter how he thought about it, it was still unreasonable.
Fortunately, his Master quickly followed it with, "Of course, that belongs to the ideal form of the Non-Phase Sword Art, which may seem illusory for you. However, for Immortal Cultivators, we must always have lofty ideals. As to how we link it to the reality, that's another matter entirely."
Wang Lu suddenly understood: this second set of the Non-Phase Sword Art was created to have Wang Wu's characteristic in it. "Why don't you say it earlier?" he thought.
However, when his Master told him the method for the first level of this Non-Phase Sword Art, Wang Lu suddenly felt like he was being cheated once again.
"The method for the first level is very simple, you just have to go and find fifty to sixty sets of the mortal world's second or third rate sword arts, practice them one by one, and master them."
"Where would I find fifty to sixty sets of mortal world's sword arts?!"
"... Well, you don't." While speaking, his Master, out of nowhere, suddenly pulled out a big pile of old and worn out sword art books. "These are my collection of extremely expensive high quality books that I purchased from the mortal world. Practice well, and don't disappoint your Master's painstaking effort."
With a face full of doubt, Wang Lu reached out for that covered-in-dust pile of books.
"'Loose Style Sword Art', 'Recline Corpse Sword Art', 'Climb Over Women Sword Art'... What the hell! Aren't all these basic sword arts solely taught for newcomers!? Do you think I don't know the difference in the grade in the mortal world's martial arts? Where are the two sets of Coiling Finger Soft Sword and Soul of the Fallen Hero Sword?!"
When he continued to peruse, he found a note, which was written with: quality goods made in Classic Store pavilion, limited time offer at a wholesale price of ten taels of silver.
Wang Lu immediately looked up, but his Master has long vanished.
While the overall feeling was that he was cheated badly by his Master, in the following half a month, Wang Lu earnestly practiced these novice sword arts one by one until he mastered them all.
Arguably, even if these were novice sword arts, it would be difficult to master them in just three to five years. However, Wang Lu had been soaked in the Changing Tendon Washing Marrow concoction, which turned him into one in a thousand years martial art prodigy. Combined this with the Non-Phase Sword Bone foundation in his body, his practice speed was several times faster than an ordinary mortal. In just ten days, he had already fully mastered these dozens of sword arts.
And in these ten days, Wang Lu gradually understood his Master's intention: although these introductory sword arts were easy to understand with little to no practical value, but they were actually the sums of the thousands of years of martial arts, which was the most suitable for a newcomer to understand the essence of the sword and became a path to enlightenment in the way of the sword.
Although Wang Lu had previously learned the Soft Cloud Sword, his understanding of it was only on the technical level; he has yet to reach the deeper level of it and its understanding. And through practicing these dozens of sword arts, each with different characteristic, Wang Lu gradually found out the common truth behind these sword arts.
Although this feeling was still vague, but according to his Master's argument, this was the first level of the Non-Phase Sword Art. In her own words, the first level was just the theoretical study, far from having practical fighting value. Thus, although Wang Lu had reached the first level of Non-Phase Sword Art, it would still better if he used his Soft Cloud Sword Art in actual combat.
The second level of this sword art was exactly the same as its first level—exploration of theory that did not involve combat. The difference was the grade in the mortal world's sword arts, from novice sword art to middle-level sword art, such as every unique sword art on each sect. There were dozens of these sets in another stack of Classic Store Pavilion; the only difference was the wholesale price was now one thousand taels… Was there anything sacred for this pavilion? How could they even sold the middle-level sword arts wholesale?
With the sword art's grade increase, the subtlety and power were also increased multiple times. However, the difficulty in practice was not that different. In ten days, Wang Lu overcame dozens of these middle-level sword arts one by one, and gained a clear understanding of them.
Then, when Wang Lu confidently challenged the third level, the situation considerably changed.
According to his Master's overall plan, the cultivation of the third level would form the outline of the initial form of the Non-Phase Sword Art and has the preliminary real combat capability—the word preliminary here was in regard to the Immortal Cultivation World standard, but if it was in regard to mortal world...
The third level of Non-Phase Sword Art far surpassed any mortal world's top sword art. As for the practice method...
"Very simple, from over a hundred sets of sword arts that you previously mastered through comprehensive study, you take your deep understanding of the truth of them and combine it with your own situation to create a new set. Even if this newly created set doesn't have the initial form of the Non-Phase Sword Art, your third level is already considered as a success."
"... Self-create a sword art!?" Wang Lu could not believe what he just heard.
"Hey, isn't this very democratic, free, and universal?"
"Democratic your ass! Quickly give me the dictator's authoritarian solution of this Non-Phase Sword Art!"
It turned out that his Master actually sighed. "Unfortunately, I am not joking about this… Non-Phase Sword Art and Non-Phase Method are two completely different things. The levels in Non-Phase Method are the basis for the Immortal Cultivation; in simple terms, it's the cultivation of unity of men and heaven. As long as the heaven remain unchanged and the men stay the same, naturally, the set of correct solution could be summed up and imparted to you. However, the sword art is used against the hostile enemy—a real attacking method in fighting with endless variations. How could it possibly have a set of rigid routine? Thus, this needs to be experienced and explored by yourself; you need to find a suitable path for yourself. Think about how Master have to take each step of the way by myself, yet you have a great Master to point it out for you. You're multiple times luckier than Master, so, brave youngster, go and find your own path!"
"F*ck! My path is to put your face under my foot!"
The practice of the third level of Non-Phase Sword art was very slow.
From the beginning of the third month set by his Master, it has been more than a month. The cultivation of the Non-Phase Method progressed steadily, and now he has reached the eighth level of Qi Cultivating Stage. The targeted seventh level was already within his sight, and in addition to that, he has mastered all kinds of mortal world's sword arts required for the first two levels of the Non-Phase Sword Art.
Unfortunately, he has yet to see even the shadow of the third level.
Initially, for matters regarding martial arts, Wang Lu has one of the best teacher—the Inn Lady Boss. However, nowadays, when he needed her the most, the Lady Boss has bizarrely disappeared, nowhere to be seen! When he inquired about her from other people in the Spirit Creek Town, they actually said she went to the nearby towns and villages to purchase goods to re-fill her stock!
"What the hell! Your daily-turnover-of-over-ten-thousand broken store also needs to be re-stocked!? Can you even sell it to ghost… huh?"
Another thought came to his mind; he realized that not that long ago, he ate too much, which used up most of the ingredients in the storage and forced the Lady Boss to go out to procure them… "Damn! What a boomerang!"
With no-one to help, he could only rely on himself. However, creating a new sword art was easier said than done! Although Wang Lu had achieved quite a considerable amount of understanding and even had the sword art cast a faint shadow at the bottom of his heart through a month of constant practice of mortal world's martial art, creating a new sword art suitable for himself based on this foundation was still difficult.
Of course, with Wang Lu's talent and perception, if he really wanted it, he could patch the current source material at hands to integrate them into a new set of sword art that would be far better than the intermediate sword art of the mortal world. However… according to his Master, the created sword art would become his cultivation foundation far into the future. That being the case, was there any use to employ this kind of self-deception method on this issue?
Since he possessed the Void Spirit Root, since he was a professional adventurer, since his body was this kind of special, then it was either he wouldn't do it or he would do it to the best of his abilities.
According to his Master, the second set of the Non-Phase Sword Art would test his wisdom, as such, he would just use his supreme perception to break through this mountain pass. Weren't these just around a hundred mortal world's sword arts? See how he would use his power of supreme deduction to, one by one, simulate them in his mind and come out with the result!
Thus, for the next few days, all day long, Wang Lu would contemplate the sword art like a lovelorn teenager, then at the evening, he would heave a sigh, and, at night, he would toss and turn on his bed, nearly unable to sleep.
Today, at daytime, with a distracted state of mind, Wang Lu tottered down away from the Non-Phase Peak. He went through the sect's shrinking array and arrived at Misty Peak's small plaza. He swayed left and right as he wobbled to the cafeteria.
Along the way, there were quite a lot senior brothers and sisters frightened by him—he didn't greet them; when they called out his name, he paid them no attention. Even when they reached out to shake him, his eyes still looked vacant and unfocused.
Some people thought that he suffered Qi Deviation and immediately looked for their Master. When they reported it, Elder Liu Xian immediately rushed to the scene, but with just a single glance, he immediately scolded them, "That Non-Phase Peak idiot is trying to create a sensation again! All of you, just leave him alone!"
Since even their Master had said that, they no longer cared anymore… However, it was indeed somewhat unbearable to look at how that dementia-looking red and white disciple crashed into the Misty Peak cafeteria.
Several Spirit Sword Sect disciples looked at Wang Lu with a face filled with pity, and then they looked at the new sign hung at the entrance of the Misty Peak cafeteria: Giving Back Affection. Sincere Bargain. Please taste the brand new dishes!