Chapter 15: Heart Facing the Blue Sea (1)
All of a sudden, two red dots of light rose out from within the mountain from both banks, seemingly locked on to the Glorious Star immortal herb the scholar held in his hand. The two red lights moved along the shoreside, chasing and trailing the bamboo raft floating ahead along the waves.
Swish! A large serpent, as thick as a water pail, sprung out brazenly from the banks, its eyes emitting twin points of red light. It seemed very close to achieving the state of becoming a demon spirit. The serpent opened its mouth and lunged towards the Glorious Star immortal herb levitating on the scholar’s palm.
The scholar didn’t even bother sparing a glance. With a mere wave of his hand, the serpent immediately froze in midair, unable to move another inch.
The scholar flung out his arm in one swipe, causing the serpent to drop and come crashing down into the waters. It then swam to the front of the raft, trembling with fear as it hooked its tail onto the edges. It began to wriggle its body forward and pulled the bamboo raft along, becoming a good source of labor. It did not require anyone to control it anymore.
The serpent, which had almost attained the state of a demonic spirit, hastened its speed, breaking through the waves as it dragged the bamboo raft onwards.
“This ninety-nine thousand years old Glorious Star is enough to help you shed your mortal body and refine your bones...”
As soon as he finished, he opened his mouth and lightly blew air upon the levitating immortal herb. Starlights adhering to the red stone branches and gem leaves immediately gathered together to form a delicate cloud of stars, seeping into Miao Yi’s nostrils.
Not long after, an expression of pain surfaced on Miao Yi’s face, as though he was caught up in a nightmare and unable to wake up from it. Curling black smoke began to flow from every pore of his body, giving out a horrible odor. It was fortunate that the bamboo raft was moving ahead at full speed, so the wind blowing against them was able to carry the smell away.
After the starlights on the immortal herb had completely dissolved, specks of starlight emerged once more from the branches, then the leaves and fruits not long after, kept within an arm’s length.
The scholar blew once more, and the starlights were swept into a cloud of stars, entering Miao Yi’s nostrils once again.
Three days and three nights passed under this form of repetition. The light particles emerging from the immortal herb gradually shrank and darkened in color. The entire immortal herb slowly withered and faded away. Even the nine red, ruby-like fruits had also dried up and turned unsightly after being drained of its essence.
And Miao Yi’s body was constantly oozing out a mass of impurities from his pores, its appearance akin to black mud. His entire self looked as though he had crawled out from a pool of mud, emitting a stench so foul the scholar threw him into the river to clean him up…
The weeping sound of monkeys constantly echoed from both shores, as the boat lightly floated past innumerable mountains. Up ahead, the river widened, and the sight of the magnificent sea could be seen. Miao Yi was still sleeping soundly, the flesh on his entire body had turned white and delicate, giving him the appearance of a sleeping infant.
The serpent pulling the raft at full speed let go of its tail, and the scholar then flung the withering Glorious Star immortal herb into the air. The serpent opened its mouth, catching and swallowing it in one gulp. Relaxed, it directed a sound that resembled a jeer at the scholar, before turning and swiftly disappearing into the depths of the waters.
The white hair drooping from the scholar’s temples fluttered along with his cloak, as he walked towards the front of the boat to directly face the sea. Beneath him, the bamboo raft suddenly travelled a hundred zhang further, soon flying across the vast sea at an unbelievable speed.
After half a day had passed, the bamboo raft finally grounded itself on the shore of an unknown island. The waves rolled and foamed. And Miao Yi remained in a deep sleep.
The scholar let out a look of fatigue, seemingly overwhelmed. For a moment, his entire body became blurred like a mirage, before transforming into a ray of white light. The light entered the dark green beads worn around Miao Yi’s neck to recuperate...
The tides rose and fell.
When Miao Yi woke up, the scholar brought him to a sealed abode of the Immortals located at the mountain and presented to him a jade archive piece which had the Celestial Art recorded on it.
With a face full of excitement, Miao Yi stretched out his hands to receive it, but the scholar waved his hand and retracted it back, asking solemnly, “Do you really want to cultivate the Celestial Art?”
“I want to!” Miao Yi nodded his head repeatedly.
“Do you know why I don’t want to cultivate?”
“....You’re not interested?” Miao Yi remembered that the scholar had said this before.
“Not being interested is just one part of it.” The scholar’s gaze appeared placid as he said, “There is something I need to mention to you. When the Great Immortal was teaching me the Celestial Art, he told me that once you have ventured onto this path, there is no turning back. It is a path filled with blood and massacres, of suffering and betrayal. The further you walk down this path, the more resentment you’ll have to bear. There is only one way for you to be free and that is to always walk forward, never turning back. You can only leave everything behind you once you have truly stood at the summit. And by that time, you will probably be left with nothing but loneliness… It is for this exact reason that I do not wish to cultivate the Celestial Art.”
Miao Yi felt doubtful. What the scholar had said was somewhat different from the cultivation he had in mind.
The scholar asked, “Now, do you still want to cultivate this Celestial Art?”
Thinking about his younger siblings who were already walking down this path, Miao Yi nodded his head without any hesitation.
“You really will not regret this?”
Miao Yi shook his head.
Thus, the scholar handed over the jade archive to him. Miao Yi was eager to look through it, but soon after he raised his head meekly. He’d had little schooling, so already he didn’t recognize a few of the characters in the opening segment.
He couldn’t be blamed for this, since from a young age, he’d had to bear the responsibility of supporting his family. As a result, he didn’t have the time to study, and his younger siblings ended up more educated than him.
The scholar went speechless after hearing his explanation...
The years they spent within the mountain, they remained unaware of the flourishing world. Time flew upon the blue sea, the days swiftly passing by.
The first step of cultivation involved the scholar teaching Miao Yi how to read. He had no choice but to teach him.
The cultivation method the Great Immortal left behind was known as the Fiery Star Technique. Miao Yi wasn’t able to understand it, and even if he were to exchange places with another, they wouldn’t be able to understand it too. Again, the scholar was the one to teach him the way, one step at a time.
Miao Yi discovered that Lao Bai was very knowledgeable. It was little wonder he had stayed by the Great Immortal’s side. He could just consult with him to dispel any doubts regarding a lot of topics.
There were times when Miao Yi felt regret that a man like Lao Bai did not wish to cultivate.
Learning cultivation from the beginning was exceptionally dry and dull. Miao Yi had to follow the cultivation technique to circulate the qi, sensing the Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth so he could absorb it after that.
After a few months where nothing happened, anyone would begin to feel slightly frustrated.
Miao Yi couldn’t help but ask for help, “Lao Bai, what on earth is Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth? Why can’t I sense it yet?”
Lao Bai said, “Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth is just a narrow way of saying it. To put it broadly, the Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth is the Essence of Sun and Moon. I’m sure you must have heard of the Essence of Sun and Moon before?”
Miao Yi nodded and said, “I’ve heard of it before.”
Lao Bai replied, “Then tell me, what is the Essence of Sun and Moon?”
“This…” Speechless, Miao Yi was unable to answer.
Lao Bai asked, “Sun and the moon, you do know what those are, right?”
Miao Yi nodded his head and replied, “The sun and moon in the sky.”
Lao Bai nodded his head and said, “The sun and the moon, including the earth under your feet are merely three tiny celestial bodies. Numerous amounts of these tiny celestial bodies formed the vast ocean of stars in the night sky. Thus, the Essence of Sun and Moon is the omnipotent energy of the stars. To comprehend the absorption of the Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, is to comprehend the absorption of the omnipotent energy of the stars. This omnipotent energy is not formless. The rise and fall of the tides, the growth and decay experienced by all the living beings you see with your own eyes; they are all influenced by the sun, moon and stars, which in turn are also influenced by the omnipotent energy of the stars. Its formidable force can clearly be observed. Absorbing the Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth is to seize the omnipotent energy of the stars, changing all living beings for own use. By the time it becomes your strength and when you’re capable of fully controlling it, not only can you utilize it to strengthen yourself, you can even utilize it to influence others. That is transcendence energy. Use your heart to comprehend it!”