The book “Regarding Soldiers” had been published for many ages. Many sages and talented strategists had never stopped researching and adding information to it, making it timeless and applicable on the battlefield. The contents of the book included military strategies as well as formations and how to set them up.
It was studied by many intelligent students; however, because everyone had a different aptitude, they learned different things from the book. Some learned the intricacies in military strategies, others learned how to create magical formations that could form a deadly spell with the power to shake the heavens and earth.
Some of the most powerful formations listed in the book were: Ten Thousand Golems, Demonic Fog Forest, Eight Diagrams Four Beasts formation… These deadly formations were researched by the older generations. After many thousands of years of geographic and celestial findings, these formations have only become more powerful.
Feng Feiyun didn’t really know how to answer; he thought he should have kept his mouth shut so that he wouldn’t have to answer this damn question.
However, after seeing Housekeeper Liu and Feng Wanpeng’s eager eyes, Feng Feiyun’s heart was moved with an indescribable feeling. It was telling him that he shouldn’t let the ones that truly care about him be disappointed.
Only effort and perseveration will be acceptable!
Feng Feiyun elegantly fixed his sleeves, pondered for a moment and then spoke:
“Regarding Soldiers” is indeed ideologically profound. Its careful and rigorous logics are timeless and have been proven throughout the years. It speaks on the many variables of war including the psychological factor, basic morale management, the importance of the common soldiers, and the commanders. One can say that “Regarding Soldiers” has a great application for military battles as well as proper cultivation of the troops during war. The excellence of the book is from how it deals with the humanity factor, establishing trust and comradery between the soldiers and commanders; killing and sieging are only secondaries.”
Feng Feiyun was in a trance, his hands motioned as if he was observing an actual battle between two armies.
“How to maneuver one’s troop, how to siege and defend, how to utilize one’s given advantages or disadvantages, and how to plan the correct formations are all part of the book. A commander should be versed in all of the aforementioned information in order to be effective.”
Feng Feiyun had the aura of a great general as he was calmly explaining the logics behind the book in great detail.
At this moment, both Feng Wanpeng and Housekeeper Liu were completely frightened. With their mouths opened, they tried to wipe the dust off their eyes to see if Feng Feiyun was an impostor.
Even the maid standing by the door was terrified, and she nearly fell to the floor. Her big eyes were filled with admiration for the young master.
They asked themselves:
“Is this not Young Master Feng? An illiterate fool with no talents? This is the young master that couldn’t control his words or actions?”
Housekeeper Liu was especially touched; his tears dripped down his face:
“Master… Look at the young master! He still has a promising future!! He will not be a mediocre person without a goal, and he will be a great general one day. If the young miss knew about this, she would be so happy.”
Feng Wanpeng was more composed than Housekeeper Liu, but he still felt strong emotions. He uncontrollably slammed the table and thought:
“Maybe the azure heaven still has eyes for me. This boy who was always afraid of my presence; if he could drop his bad habits and train rigorously without fear of hardship, maybe he could be historically renowned in the future.”
Feng Wanpeng once again contained his excitement and did not express it outwardly; his calm face continued his question:
“You said winning the hearts of your troops is the main point while killing and siege were only second, can you explain this logic to me?”
“What actually drives a war is the soldier’s beliefs and morale on both sides. To finish a war without battle by winning or crushing the hearts of the combatants; this is the true strategy.”
Feng Feiyun replied.
Feng Wanpeng again questioned:
“In war, what is the most important factor?”
Feng Feiyun had no experience in militaristic combats, and he didn’t know the right answer for this question. He contemplated for a bit and then responded:
“Fortune.” Feng Wanpeng’s brows furrowed in thought for a moment, then he exploded with laughter:
“A good fortune! You are not wrong! When in battle, if fortune is not on your side, then even with a million troops you will surely fail. Fortune! Fate! Inevitability!”
This was the first time Feng Feiyun had heard his father’s laughter.
Even though this answer was not completely correct, Feng Wanpeng was still satisfied with the simple, yet profound, answer. However, ultimately, who knew if this was just a sudden flash of brilliance. Who was to say that he wouldn’t go back to playing with the maids in the next few days?
Feng Wanpeng stated:
“Even though your view regarding the military has improved, but it is still nothing compared to your older brother. Housekeeper Liu, tomorrow, go and invite adviser Ge to our home. Tomorrow, I want adviser Ge to start teaching him the art of war!”
Housekeeper Liu was ecstatic. Adviser Ge, in Spirit State City was considered an accomplished military adviser. If the master wanted him to teach young master; it showed the master had some confidence and expectation of Young Master Feng from now on.
The Jin Dynasty had always used force to rule the kingdom. There were numerous battles and revolts inside the kingdom; if one was gifted at the art of war, then he could join the army; his future, at that time, could not be measured.
Housekeeper Liu happily followed the order. Even though he was old, his speed was impressively akin to the wind; his feet had never touched the ground, and he disappeared from the hallway.
Feng Feiyun followed him outside from the hallway to the inner courtyard. His mind was considering his future regarding cultivation and military career. He had to be the best; only, this goal would allow him to have the strongest motivation for success.
“First I have to make myself well known in the Jin Dynasty. A restart in cultivation might not necessarily be a bad thing; it will train and forge my willpower one more time. There is a chance that I can reach a higher apex than I was at before.”
Feng Feiyun smiled while looking at the shadow of the Spirit Vessel on his palm; he was eagerly awaiting his future.
His future was in the palm of his hand.
“Feiyun, I heard that you have learned how to read; is this true?”
Near the hallway, next to a small tranquil pond, a handsome young man appeared. He wore a simple yet elegant robe, and an iron white sword hung by his waist; his qi was flowing naturally in his body, showing his considerable inner strength. Each of his steps felt graceful, yet they contained a hidden white aura enumerating from his feet. He was like an immortal; any women would be attracted by him.
Young of age, powerful cultivation, handsome, and elegant! All of these descriptions applied to Feng Suiyu. His smile gave off an amicable feeling. He went and gently tapped on Feng Feiyun’s shoulder.
This was Feng Feiyun’s older brother; he was adopted by Feng Wanpeng.
If Feng Feiyun was an uneducated fool that was hated by everyone in Spirit State City, then Feng Suiyu was a famous young man known for his talent, cultivation, and his humble behavior toward everyone.
In people’s eyes, Feng Feiyun and Feng Suiyu were the two sides of a coin. Some, behind their backs, had said that Feng Suiyu was the future young governor and cursed Feng Feiyun as a piece of trash, an animal, and a low life.
Feng Suiyu treated Feiyun extremely well; it was as if they were blood-related. The first time Feng Feiyun defiled a girl, it was Feng Suiyu who set it up and planned the whole ordeal.
The first time Feng Feiyun burned down the library was also with the help and planning of Feng Suiyu. Each time Feng Feiyun had committed an atrocity, Feng Suiyu had always dealt with the aftermath; he even begged Feng Wanpeng to forgive his younger brother.
The old Young Master Feng loved his older brother very much, but the current Feng Feiyun was sickened to the stomach by Suiyu’s smile.
If it wasn’t for Suiyu’s guidance at a young age, then Feiyun wouldn’t be in this current disposition where everyone in the city hated him.
Feng Suiyu was an adopted child; if he wanted to inherit the governor’s position, his only option was to make Feng Feiyun ineligible by removing all hope of him from Feng Wanpeng.
Feng Suiyu only hurried here to examine the news of Feng Feiyun becoming a literate person. If Feiyun became a better person, then he would threaten his future ascension. Maybe he would need to exterminate Feiyun in the cradle, cutting the weed from its roots.
Feng Feiyun had a sudden thought, and he wanted to tease Suiyu a little bit; he shook his head and lamented:
“Literacy to me is such a monumental task; it was all news spread by the dog servants and maids. It shouldn’t have reached father because he started asking me about it. Brother would know, I normally had never read a book before. I panicked when he asked me and I answered: “The Golden Lotus”. I regretted this so much because it is a banned book! Oh! Of course father started scolding me.”
(TL: Jin Ping Mei or The Golden Lotus is a renowned historical novel regarding sexual relations in ancient China)
Feng Suiyu couldn’t help but laugh, he presumptuously thought in his mind: “An idiot will always be an idiot, I thought he really became literate. It seems like I have worried needlessly. Haha. He said “The Golden Lotus” in front of foster father; foster father must be even more disappointed in him now.”
However, his face did not reveal any intention of ridicule, and he thoughtfully said:
“Feiyun, don’t worry about it too much. I will help explain this to foster father for you.”
“I really thank you, Brother.”
Feiyun was touched with tears in his eyes. However, in his mind, he knew that Feng Suiyu was definitely not a good person. For him to explain anything positive to father would be a miracle; he would just use this chance to discredit me even more.
“We’re closer than blood brothers. Such a small matter, not worth mentioning. I heard, recently, you are interested in old man Luo’s granddaughter. Go find her and relax; you should forget the unhappy things.”
Feng Suiyu voiced his concern.
“This is a great idea! Only brother truly understands me.”
Feng Feiyun replied with a refreshed feeling and left afterwards.
Feng Suiyu saw how quickly Feiyun left. He cynically smiled and thought that this kid would, sooner or later, die on a woman’s belly. He shook his head and went to the main lobby. He saw Feng Wanpeng sitting in the chair of the house and said:
“Foster father, regarding Feiyun…”
“You know about Feiyun’s story?”
Feng Wanpeng’s fingers gently played with the tea cup; his expression became a bit strange.
Feng Suiyu did not know Feng Wanpeng’s current mood; however, he was certain that he became even more disappointed with Feng Feiyun, even to the point of despair.
Heh Heh! The more disappointed you are, the more advantageous it is for me!
He was ecstatic on the inside; outwardly, he sighed heavily, and he nodded his head:
“Feiyun, in the end, was still too young. Reading that book was indeed a bit inappropriate.”
“No, I found it very fitting. Feng Feiyun the boy lacked discipline. Before, I didn’t think that he could become anything worthwhile; however, if he could research these books more, I believe that there is still hope for him. Suiyu, regarding this area, you have to learn from him a little; read this type of books more. It will only help your future career path.”
With a serious expression, Feng Wanpeng earnestly said.
Feng Suiyu was stunned! Why would a book like “The Golden Lotus” be nothing but good for his career? Is foster father trying to teach me a secret regarding the court? But… “The Golden Lotus”… How could it relate to administration in any way? My experience must not be enough. I was unable see the intricacies or the long term implications of his words.
Although Feng Suiyu’s heart was filled with questions, he didn’t dare to ask. He did, however, respectfully say:
“Your advice is wise; Suiyu will research more on the topic. I will not let foster father become disappointed.”
Feng Wanpeng pleasingly nodded his head.
Of course, Feng Feiyun didn’t actually seek out Xiao Yuer before, because it was only a ruse to trick Feng Suiyu.
The most important thing right now was to cultivate the “Immortal Phoenix Physique”. The most crucial thing to him right now was cultivation; the art of war was only secondary.
If one’s cultivation was absolutely high, reaching the apex, one punch could destroy millions of soldiers. The art of war, in front of absolute power, was not worth mentioning. The current Feng Feiyun could not even defeat an average man; if someone as talented as Feng Suiyu wanted to kill him, he wouldn’t have the strength to defend himself. This was another reason why he was in such a rush to cultivate.
Although his physique was not suitable for cultivation, the Immortal Phoenix Physique could improve one’s constitution and innate body type; this would turn him into a cultivation genius.
The Immortal Phoenix Physique was divided into two stages, the first stage was “Blood Purification”.
Blood was the source of life in a human’s body, but it also contained many impurities; the higher the amount of impurities, the weaker the body would be.
The lower the grade of the blood, the weaker the body would be, too. Thus, if the blood purity and grade can increase, then the body would become stronger as well; the meridians will widen, the bones and marrows would become more intricate and tough.
The second stage was “Bone Refining”; this was also known as “Cultivating the Phoenix Bones.”
A cultivator’s aptitude depended on one’s physique, and the physique’s strength was determined by the skeletal structure. The bones were the foundation of a body that were needed to create an immortal physique.
Each time a phoenix bone was successfully cultivated, the body became one part stronger. Only when one had completed all nine hundred and ninety nine phoenix bones would his Immortal Phoenix Physique be considered to have reached grand completion, allowing him to live ninety thousand years.
In his past, Feng Feiyun had finished two hundred and six phoenix bones; his body was tougher than diamond, and the elements couldn’t harm him. If he was able to reach grand completion, then Shui Yueting wouldn’t have been able to kill him even with a sneak attack.
Once the grand completion level of the Immortal Phoenix Physique was reached, then the owner could stand tall even among the ancient saints.
However, now, Feng Feiyun had to start over from the beginning. He started the first process “Blood Purification”.
It was divided into four steps.
The first step was to remove the impurities from the blood. Once the blood reached a color of crimson fire, it has been purified. The meridians would be wider after achieving the first step; additionally, the purified blood would allow for spirit energy to enumerate from it and change the original constitution of his body.
Reaching the early level of the Spirit Realm was also considered the first step in leaving the mortal realm.
Cultivators also had their own ranks; once they reached the highest stages, they would become saints and immortals.
The Spirit Realm was the first stage of cultivators, and was divided into early, intermediate, and peak.
In this stage, the body was able to produce its own spirit energy, and this was the distinguishing factor between a mortal and a cultivator.
To sum it up in a sentence, as long as the body was capable producing spirit energy, then even Feng Feiyun could escape his reputation of being an idiot and even become stronger than normal martial artists.
This was only the early level; the intermediate and peak levels of the Spirit Realm were considerably more terrifying. Above the Spirit Realm was the Immortal Foundation. Immortal Foundation cultivators were tyrants of their own regions.
Feng Feiyun had already cultivated the Immortal Phoenix Physique once, so he was already experienced with the process; his blood flow within his meridians was swift.
Under normal circumstances, the blood required three minutes to do a full rotation of the human body, but Feng Feiyun’s current flow was at two minutes per revolution. The impurities were extruded from his pores. After three hours, the blood had revoluted one hundred and eighty times, and his body was filled with a dark layer of clay-like impurities.
“This is the first step towards 'Blood Purification,' but it is also the easiest. It should take three to five days for a grand completion.”
Feiyun opened his eyes and quickly calculated.
The warm sun light permeated from the window as time passed by quickly. Feng Feiyun didn’t sleep for a whole night, but he had no feeling of drowsiness. He commanded the servants to prepare hot water so he could wash away the dark impurities. A maid then put on a new silky white robe for him; he was rejuvenated and filled with energy.
A grand breakfast was already prepared. It consisted of a snow jelly mushroom soup, a bowl of bird nest with lotus seeds, a plate of buttered snowflake shortbread, and an appetizing lean meat dish.
Feiyun saw the food on the table and shook his head:
“Take it away, bring me one pound of buns and water.”
Because he was in the midst of purification, his food should be plain. Buns with water were the best combination.
The two servants thought to themselves that the young master had become so unpredictable; it was as if he was possessed. However, they didn’t dare to question his intention, so they immediately cleaned the food on the tables and brought him the buns and water.
“For lunch, prepare the same thing for me.”
Feiyun immediate ate the buns and drank his water. Afterwards, he went to the decorated mountain at the pond near the West Building; he stood on top of an isolated stone and gently threw a punch, then withdrew it.
This was the opening technique; he wanted to see how much his physique had improved.
“The meridians are widened twice the size as before, same as a talented mortal. The body is hardened by three parts, and strength is increased by double as well judging by that one punch.”
Although it was only one night, Feiyun’s constitution, compared to before, was like the difference between heaven and earth.
In the cultivating world, the number one technique was definitely a physique training technique. However, to fully perfect the body, the Immortal Phoenix Physique alone was not sufficient. The body had to experience real combat and overcome many challenges in order to become more formidable day by day.
Feiyun started to throw a series of punches. These were not part of any known technique; however, based on his own perception of the heavenly arts, they summed up the mysterious truths behind body refining. A total of only nine punches were thrown, and each punch represented a different spot of the body. Every fist that was thrown had the whole body structure behind it, and every bit of muscle and bone were activated. These actions were also like the flow of water and the drifting of the clouds; he became one with the heavenly nature, giving spectators a feeling of natural beauty.