‘People with great lifespans possessed great spirits, and there was nothing they could not achieve.
‘People with great destiny possessed great fortune and were unrivalled.’
Fang Xingjian opened up to the first page of the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way, and these two lines were written on it. It wrote about the abstruse relationship between lifespan and destiny, and seemed to contain an extremely profound theory.
He flipped through the pages one by one and discovered that the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way was truly extremely obscure, deep, and profound. This was especially because the cultivation method recorded in it seemed to be the complete opposite of the way Knights cultivated.
Or rather, it could be said that the Friars across the entire Western Land valued one’s lifespan over fighting prowess.
The Divine level experts in Miracle World would only have a lifespan of 200 years at most. When viewed together with their endless strength, their lifespans appeared to be too insignificant.
On the other hand, the Friars in the Western Land placed lifespans in higher regard. It was said that the greatest experts amongst them could even life for up to 3,000 years. There was a saying which said that people with long lifespans could achieve anything. It meant that as long as one had a lifespan that was long enough, they would have boundless possibilities.
The Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way explained the concept of lifespan thoroughly. One would be able to refine the power of their lifespans to get stronger, and one could also refine their strength to increase their lifespan.
It meant that after cultivating the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way, one could switch between lifespan and strength interchangeably.
For a example, if a person had a lifespan of 90 years in the future, the person could use the entire of these 90 years to strengthen himself, leaving only one day’s worth of his lifespan.
The next day, the same person would be able to convert the power to gain an additional day of lifespan. Through this method, the person would always be left with one day worth of lifespan, with his remaining lifespan being stored up to become a part of his power. The person would be able to gain great power which he did not originally possess.
Moreover, it was said in the legends that when this martial technique was cultivated to the highest level, one would be able to endlessly convert the cultivated power into lifespan. In the end, one would enjoy the same lifespan as the world, having the same shine as the sun and the moon. Additionally, when one possessed endless lifespan, they would then be able to refine endless power.
It could be said that this was a unique and original martial technique which did not belong under Nurturing techniques, Training techniques, Amassing techniques, or Killing techniques.
However, the later part of the manual was overly illogical and vague, thus Fang Xingjian did not really trust what was written. Right now, he was interested in finding out what the outcome would be like if he were to cultivate this martial technique.
Therefore, Fang Xingjian started cultivating the first step of the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way, Lifespan View.
This first step included meditating silently, keeping a peaceful state of mind at an ether density of 100%. The practitioner would then capture information of their own lifespan from the endless information coming from the ether particles which formed up the physical body.
Zooming into the physical body, the muscles and bones would be seen first, followed by the cells, and then the physical particles. This was also the limit of what ordinary second transition experts could reach. In order to progress further to the next stage, one would need ether particles which would form physical particles.
Ether particles were both particles and waves. So, in order to find the information of one’s lifespan through the ether particles which form up one’s body, one would require unparalleled talent. This was also the reason why no one from the Wang Clan had cultivated the Mountainous Sea’s Book of Way for the past over 100 years.
However, when this thing, which no one had succeeded in accomplishing for the past 100 years, was placed before Fang Xingjian, who possessed the world’s best sword arts talent and the ninth level of the mystical prints, it became an easy feat.
A wave of information which contained details about his lifespan, destiny, spirit, and fortune flowed out continuously from his body, and lines of mysterious mantras seemed to be floating in the air.
Fang Xingjian felt as if his consciousness was endlessly entering deeper into the microscopic world and the ether particles, flowing in accordance to the instructions of the mantras from the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way. Very soon, Fang Xingjian saw a series of numbers—2 years, 360 days, 14 hours, 25 minutes, 23 seconds.
The numbers continued to shrink incessantly. This was Fang Xingjian’s lifespan—less than three years. When the time was up, regardless of how powerful his physical body was or how strong his will was, he would just die.
Fang Xingjian did not understand what this was based on, but this was what he understood from the information in the ether particles.
‘So, it’s true that, back then, I was left with five years of lifespan?’
After completing the first step—the Lifespan View—Fang Xingjian then started attempting the next step. He wanted to try to see if he could use his power to trade for more lifespan.
Although this could be said to be a conversion between power and lifespan, the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way still had its own specific classifications for power.
Throughout the entire book, the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way was segregated into three tiers.
At the first tier, when one was at the first transition, one’s lifespan could be interchangeable with the proficiency of one’s techniques.
At the second tier, when one was at the second transition, one’s lifespan could be interchangeable with specialty seeds, physical particles, and the the toughness of one’s body.
At the third tier, after the cultivator had attained the Divine level, one’s lifespan could be directly converted to the power of martial will. It was a pity that this tier of the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way had already been lost by the people from the Wang Clan. Even if Fang Xingjian wished to cultivate it after attaining the Divine level, he would not be able to do it.
This meant that right now, Fang Xingjian could make conversions between his skill mastery, specialty seeds, physical particles, level of body’s toughness, and his lifespan.
Out of all these, skill mastery was the one thing which Fang Xingjian cared about the least. It was also the first thing which he chose.
An immensely boundless aura enveloped him, and at the next moment, he felt the information in his consciousness concerning the Ether Divine Art start to burn up.
As the information went up in flames, the numbers on his Stats Window concerning the Ether Divine Art dropped abruptly, changing from level 12 to level 11.
However, when Fang Xingjian looked at his lifespan, there were no increments at all. He frowned and continued in his attempts to convert, sensing his mastery of the Ether Divine Arts plunge at a rapid rate with its level reducing ceaselessly.
Anyway, with his current mastery in sword arts, the Ether Divine Arts was already something he could do without. Therefore, he decided to convert all of his mastery in the Ether Divine Arts into his lifespan.
Boom! A loud explosion seemed to come from the void space, and Fang Xingjian felt that everything in his mind concerning the Ether Divine Arts had completely burned up and disappeared. The Ether Divine Arts no longer existed as a skill on his Stats Window either.
However, when Fang Xingjian looked toward his lifespan yet again, there was still no increment to it at all.
Fang Xingjian exhaled, feeling bitter. As expected, the person who had taken away his lifespan back then had not been a simple character. The method listed in the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way to increase one’s lifespan was not effective at all.
Fang Xingjian shook his head and started to experiment the next step, converting his lifespan into power.
He had already attained perfection in the area of physical particles, while mastery of skills was the thing he needed the least at the moment. Furthermore, his body’s toughness had already reached level 29, which was the maximum a Conferred Knight could reach.
This meant that the only thing he could convert his lifespan into was specialty seeds.
However, it was a pity that, according to the records in the Book of the Way, in order to instantly condense a complete specialty seed at the price of one’s lifespan, it would take over one month’s worth of the person’s lifespan. It was really not worth it.
All in all, Fang Xingjian was left with less than three years of his life left. He would die just from condensing several tens of specialty seeds.
‘But something is better than nothing. I’ll just give it a brief attempt. At the very least, it’ll give me another option in critical situations.’
By this time, Fang Xingjian was already feeling disappointed in the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way. It was a good martial technique, but it was a pity that this martial technique was useless for him.
At the next moment, Fang Xingjian started to circulate the Mountainous Sea’s Book of the Way. A profound aura of lifespan, time, degeneration, and new life spreaded throughout his entire body. Then he felt as if something was being drawn from void space, gathering in his body, and starting to help him condense specialty seeds.
However, Fang Xingjian stopped just after having condensed one-thousandth of a specialty seed. He was only trying it out, not really planning to use his lifespan to exchange for power.
However, at the next moment, Fang Xingjian’s eyes opened abruptly. Three-feet of sword light burst forth from his eyes which were filled with disbelief.
‘To think that my lifespan has not reduced in the least?’
What he first felt was not pleasant surprise. Rather, he was dumbstruck with amazement.
This was as if someone had spoken softly next to his ears, "The agreement is for you to die, and it’s for you to die three years later. It won’t do to have an additional second more or less."
At this moment, Fang Xingjian suddenly understood that the matter concerning his lifespan was no longer something that was just about lifespan and life. Instead, it had been escalated to the degree of the cause and effect of events in his life.