Millennium Snow Ginseng (千年雪蔘)
After a while, when the excitement eventually settled down, taking the Millennium Snow Ginseng became another matter. I knew well enough that I should be very careful when I take an elixir. If not, I can fall into a deadly coma any time.
‘If it had been so easy to eat, the struggle to contend for Millennium Snow Ginseng would not have taken so long.'
It is not common to see such an elixir as Millennium Snow Ginseng. In fact, among the elixirs discovered or produced in the past hundred years, Millennium Snow Ginseng is one of the most unsurpassed elixir compared to Big Red Pill (大丸丹 Dàwándān) in the history of Shaolin Temple. An elixir means that it holds Qi (氣 Qì - vital energy) of nature itself, which has been accumulated and reserved to the extreme, and is a condensed mass of giant Qi.
Without having prepared enough for the Millennium Snow Ginseng, if I merely eat it raw, I will surely have a swelling of my Temple (太陽穴 – the dented spot of between ears and eyes), and my legs and hips will become unbearably hot, and the blood vessels of my whole body will explode, and of course I will die. It is hard to bear the fearful Qi within the Millennium Snow Ginseng.
What is contained in the Millennium Snow Ginseng is the most powerful Yin Qi (陰氣). In order to eat the mass of condensed Yin Qi, I should also have the powerful Yin Qi. But such Neigong can only be found in North Sea (北海 Běihǎi – a sect in Siberia), and the Lightning Dragon One Qigong is basically Yang Qi (陽氣 Yángqì).
Here, for the further process of the story, we have to understand the theory of Yin & Yang (陰陽 Yīn Yáng). Yin & Yang, the duality exists in all aspects of the Universe. Yin represents Female / Soft / Cold / Death / Dark / Negative / the Moon, while Yang is Male / Hard / Hot / Life / Light / Positive / the Sun. The comparisons are endless. Yin & Yang theory describes how opposite or contrary forces are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they mutually give rise to each other.
Will I accept the Millennium Snow Ginseng by adapting my Neigong to Yin Qi?
Will I harmonize Yin Qi, keeping my life force strong with Yang Qi?
The only way I can choose is the latter.
As a matter of fact, it is questionable whether I can survive with only my Neigong after consuming the Millennium Snow Ginseng. I may be sure my Neigong has reached the First-Class, yet it is not much compared with the outstanding martial artists who had participated within the competitions. I need to thoroughly focus on preparing and concentrating to survive after I consume the Millennium Snow Ginseng.
Let’s recall the matter from my memories.
What was the process of the competition to win the elixir at that time?
There must be some clue…
The competition began, when Tanmu So, the young master from Tanmu Clan, travelled abroad. He became familiar with the five young elites of the Righteous Factions (正派 Zhèngpài), who were called 'Five Dragons,' and they ventured together sightseeing within Huangshan. In the meantime, they by some chance discovered the Millennium Snow Ginseng, and soon an argument occurred and ending with a quarrel took place on the site.
As a result, Tanmu So ran away with the Millennium Snow Ginseng, and the five elites began tracking him down. On the other hand, the Experts (高手 Gāoshǒu) of Huangshan Faction started to intervene in the contest, and even the members of Zhongnan Faction and Huashan Faction (華山派 Huàshānpài) came running to seize him. Even the warriors of Evil Factions (邪派 Xiépà) and Devil Dao (魔道 Módào) rushed to capture Tanmu So.
Tanmu So was lucky to be alive but in the process lost one of his arms. He presented the Millennium Snow Ginseng to the leader of Righteous Factions (正派), who then allowed him to survive. As a result, it seemed to be the saying of 'after making a bowl of porridge and giving it to a dog.'
‘Wait… Something is strange. He ran away from here?'
I found it quite strange within my memory, and I examined up.
The snowy field where I stand is not the sort of terrain leading in to the valley. The cave in the back of the valley waterfall continued for about thirty meters, and suddenly there is a cliff with a mysterious scene.
Of course, there is a small byway between the valleys, but it is quite difficult to run away through there against five elite successors of Righteous Factions. Even if only one person blocks the byway, no one will be able to pass through.
I guessed there was something going on between Tanmu So and the five elites. In addition, the contest of that day was an ugly dirty fight that could not be believed to be instigated from the successors of Righteous Factions.
Anyway, now I had to make a choice of whether to challenge in consuming the Millennium Snow Ginseng, or to think about it more calmly.
‘Will I go out with the Millennium Snow Ginseng? Nonsense! Let's just consume it here.’
I chose to eat it within this place without any hesitation.
'When you gain something precious, you should not allow others to take away your valuable thing.'
It was a gamble of life and death until all the trials that occured in journeying to this place anyway, so I have to walk one step further by believing in my physical strength and mental ability.
A drop of sweat trickled down my forehead. Swallowing my saliva, I carefully picked up the Millennium Snow Ginseng and lifted it up with my hands. Indeed, a cold sensation quickly passed into my hands even though I held it in a careful manner. Furthermore, a fresh and cool smell flowed into my nose, making me feel as if my insides is being washed away.
“Oh… No. Let’s regain a little physical strength.”
I shook my head.
When I started eating it, I realized that I was fraught with fear and had spent a great deal amount of energy coming here.
The more physical strength I have, the better it will be to survive, so now it is time to relax my exhausted mind and body.
I took out the jerky and the bean bag in my arms and ate a light meal. Even if I came with a bottle of liquor hanging around my waist, I did not drink it on purpose. I was not a foolish person who drank alcohol before taking an elixir.
'But I’m a little hungry now. Hmm…’
Being a little short on food, I found lotus flowers, lotus leaves, and lotus roots which are suitable for food consumption. I had a hunch that it would be a nutritious meal if it were properly parboiled.
The monks of Baekhwan temple usually ate the black lotus flowers. I could not imagine any side effects on my health in this regard. After thinking so, I moved to the pond and began to collect lotus flowers.
I cut off the white lotus and the black lotus one by one, and I cut out the lotus leaves and the rootstocks separately. Then, after simply making a fire, I poured water into the bucket and started boiling it. When it was properly boiled, I sprinkled boiled water on the snow field and cut off the rotten parts.
The lotus flowers and lotus leaves that were adequately warm were very delicious. I ate them by comparing the taste of white lotus and black lotus, both of which were moderately delicious.
Feeling satisfied, I lay slightly against the cave.
'I’ll take a break for a while before I consume the Millennium Snow Ginseng.'
At that moment, I felt something strange.
I am lying down, but how is the hot energy in Low Dantian (下丹田 Xià Dāntián – point two inches below the navel where one’s Qi resides) flowing up?
It was like a furnace churning, just feeling like my internal organs would melt away! I quickly stood up and sat down.
It’s making me crazy.
Why did this happen?
Sitting with my legs crossed in a Buddhist statue position, I concentrated and rushed to work on Lightning Dragon One Qigong (雷龍一气功 Léilóng Yīqìgōng). As soon as I operated Qi in Big Circulatory Cycle (大周天 Dàzhōutiān), the enormous amount of energy which had soared up to the top of the head calmed down for a while, and the pain throughout the whole body was soon alleviated.
I suddenly spewed out blood in the next moment. Assuming it calmed down, it still had a great deal of wings spread out and was raging like a phoenix within my whole body. I tried to understand this situation in a state of delirium and immense terrible pain.
There was an idea passing by in a blink of second.
'Elixir… Elixir works with each other and lives together side by side… No way…'
I was dumbfounded.
White lotus and black lotus!
Nobody paid any attention to it, but this was also a miraculous elixir!
As for elixir, Yin Qi and Yang Qi tend to stick together, so it is believed that the lotus with the extreme Yang Qi was living near the Millennium Snow Ginseng with the extreme Yin Qi.
‘…But the monks who ate the black lotus flowers were okay…’
Is it because I ate white lotus and black lotus together at the same time?
Obviously, what I did was hard for anyone to think of. Over time, those who came to explore
this place would not have thought of eating it together.
If they eat only one type, they will not develop any potential Yang Qi, but when they eat both together, the same amount of Yang Qi will work with Yin Qi of the Millennium Snow Ginseng.
I felt blood vessels were rupturing all over my body. I desperately pressed down with Lightning Dragon One Qigong, but I just could not handle it. If it were like this, the internal blood vessels in the gut would burst like balloons after a heart attack. I was intrigued by the fact that it would shortly be in a while.
‘If this happens… I can’t help it!’
I closed my eyes tightly and held the Millennium Snow Ginseng in one hand. Then I opened my mouth and chewed it without hesitation.
I could feel a cold chill gushing down my throat. A moment later it was estimated that the remains of the Millennium Snow Ginseng have finally reached the stomach.
Yin Qi and Yang Qi met and exploded in a uncontrollable clash!
I felt more spasms than when my stomach was first stabbed, so my eyes turned inside out and I had a bloodynose. The blood was dripping down but it was so painful that I couldn’t even care about it. It was such an immense pain that it seemed to churn violently within my body one by one, slowly oozing out sweat and blood through the very pores of my flesh all over my whole body.
I crawled around the floor screaming painfully. I couldn’t even dream of sitting down and calming my spirit. At the same time, sweats were dripping down my back as I felt some relief from the inside for a while.
On the inside, there was a fusion of Qi of the Millennium Snow Ginseng, of black and white lotuses. My stomach felt like it was heaving to burst out in an explosion, but at the same time, the Qi from the elixir was making up for the combined Qi from the black and white lotuses.
I was traumatised by the pain, as if it was like ants eating at the insides of my whole body.
‘It was suicidal foolly… If I consumed the Millennium Snow Ginseng only…'
I guess the opposite would happen.
When the extreme Yin Qi surged up, if I tried to stop it by the Lightning Dragon One Qigong, it would be surely impossible. And I knew I had miraculously found how to take Millennium Snow Ginseng correctly.
I should eat Millennium Snow Ginseng and white lotus and black lotus together at the same time! This was the only way to take it! Except that, there was no way to survive after eating Millennium Snow Ginseng.
I felt the pain gradually subsided. The mixing of Yin Qi and Yang Qi, to be precise, helped increase the volume of my Neigong, and I was gradually pushing it into the Low Dantian.
I sat back desperately. Then I clenched my teeth and tried the best possible operating method of Neigong.
I was able to calm down my mind only after Yang Qi went down to the lower part of my abdomen. I eased the tension and placed my tongue on my upper teeth. I breathed through my nose, but when I breathed in, I held my breath slowly until the lower abdomen swelled. I then slowly breathed out as my belly was allowed to rest, pointed both hands outward, and took the stance of the Horse Position (馬步 Mǎbù).
After three more repetitions, Yang Qi finally decreased to the lower abdomen.
At the moment when Yang Qi fell down to the Low Dantian, my whole body began to tremble responding to the energy fusion of the Millennium Snow Ginseng, the white and black lotuses. But there was no longer an ounce of pain. Only the glittering of my eyes turned into a wise satisfied look, and the sweat flowed endlessly throughout my whole body. As the Low Dantian rose with explosive power, the power encountered the surrounding blood flow.
The power continued to climb straight up along the Conception Vessel (任脈 Rènmài - it runs from the Low Dantian up along the front body to the head, where it connects with the Governing Vessel to form a complete circuit), and it eventually encountered a gate. The force gently pushed the gate, but the gate did not open.
I felt a slight pain around the Temple (太陽穴 Tàiyángxué – the dented spot of between ears and eyes), but I could not tell whether it was the pain or I just assumed. I gathered the energy that spread throughout my whole body, and I poured it to the gate one step at a time.
I finally opened my eyes after a while. The clear concentration appeared to penetrate the whole body. There was a pool of blood around me. When I scratched the ground in agony, two fingernails were pulled out. My whole body was painted with bloody sweat. However, it did not matter whether blood and tears were dried out of my eyes.
All over my body rose a haze of smoke. I slowly made my Neigong calm down and stood up from the ground. I succeeded in pushing the vast energy into the Low Dantian, and the power of the elixir spread through the whole body. As a result, the gate of Life & Death (生死玄關 Shēngsǐ Xuánguān) was opened; all the blocked vessels which had interrupted the harmonious flow of Qi were completely pierced.
With this, it was clear that I am definitely at Peak-Class (絕頂 Juédǐng)!
I now had as much Neigong as the elders of those great factions!
I would be able to show at least ten times more power than in the past.
“I finally succeeded.”
A strange destiny was achieved through sheer effort and blind determination.
The feeling right now cannot be expressed by any means!!
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Editors: T0ngan, Calvis