Chapter 360: Expounding the Dao
"You…" Xiao Zuo'en only had time to yelp out in surprise. In a flash, he saw Xu Yangyi's already-approaching face.
Xu Yangyi was calm as before, as if such victory was quite normal to him. If he had lost, it would've been an anomaly in itself.
In this twinkling, with a mere glance, an absurd feeling rose up in Xiao Zuo'en's mind. Even his master was terribly cautious against the challenge of high spirit-masters! And he himself was only a step away from being a high-rank spirit-master! Nothing more than a step! Did this mysterious Master Xu actually think that this was a proper expected matter of course?
In the next second, a massive force beyond his ability to resist spread right in front of him, as if he was confronted by a dire beast of primordial chaos!
"URK!" Xiao Zuo'en didn't put up the slightest defense. Perhaps it could be altogether said that he didn't have time to defend. He was like a kite cut of its string, vomiting blood and suddenly flying back. With a rumble, he slammed into a tree behind him, causing his eyes to lose spirit. He weakly collapsed.
"You're… a special-rank… special-rank spirit-master…" His face twisted hideously because of pain, carrying a hint of disbelief. He fell under the tree at an angle, all his clothes having been shredded away. His slippers had flown away to some unknown place long ago.
Master Tian took in everything before his eyes, in a daze. Although he guessed that Xu Yangyi would win, he hadn't expected at all that Xiao Zuo'en, a quasi-high spirit-master, wouldn't even be able to withstand one move!
Barely one move had left Xiao Zuo'en without any further battle strength!
In the end, what was this realm? How could another spirit-master that could contend with a Guardian-Magus of the State appear at the city outskirts?! No…
He inhaled deeply, a sudden question causing him to shudder from head to toe. "When I saw him back then, he injured all over… Who… could actually injure a special spirit-master that can compare to a state-magus?!"
In an instant, his brows jumped, and he drew a sharp breath. He deeply studied Xu Yangyi.
"Legend says…" he said in a voice only audible to him, "that Grandmaster Zhang back then was so powerful that he couldn't go any further… He was on a whole different level than other special spirit-masters. Since him, there hasn't been another person able to reach this stage… Could it be… Master Xu has already approached that legendary realm?"
"Call back the team," Xu Yangyi said indifferently. "In three days, I hope there won't be anyone left here besides myself."
Xu Yangyi nodded and walked towards the villa, but he discovered that Master Tian was following close on his feels from behind. The old man wanted to say something but kept on hesitating.
Master Tian stared vacantly. Just now, an idea had rose up in his heart, however, he hadn't made a decision. His mind was a chaotic jumble, leaving him incapable of reining in his emotions so that he hadn't even discovered that he was following Xu Yangyi. As soon as Xu Yangyi had turned around, he came to his senses at once. Gritting his teeth, he took a knee on the ground.
"Tian Guotao… wishes to pay respects to Master Xu as master!"
He finished speaking and kneeled seriously, ready to kowtow. He discovered, however, that his body physically couldn't bow forward!
"This…" His lips quivered. On Xu Yangyi's person, he bore witness to one miracle after another. The inhabitants of a lower realm weren't stupid. Their realms and developmental history were just too inferior in comparison to Earth's. Admittedly, they had their own defining characteristic, but it was this and nothing more.
Right now, his scope had been opened. Although Xu Yangyi hadn't said anything, he seemed to see the door to a new world. He himself didn't understand why he would pay respects to someone he hadn't even known for three days as master! And while he was doubtful, he didn't have one shred of resistance in his heart!
"Qi… Qi externalization?" He lifted his head in shock, his gaze fiery as he looked at Xu Yangyi. "Master Xu… please, please accept me as your disciple!"
Xu Yangyi calmly observed him. "I don't take disciples."
"So, you don't need to kneel. Even if I accepted a disciple, they wouldn't need to kneel."
"Master Xu!!!" At this moment, Tian Guotao didn't care at all whether or not Xiao Zuo'en had awakened. Strength suddenly coursed through his body, and all his limbs landed on the ground. He lower his head and gritted out, "Sir, you need me!"
Xu Yangyi paid him no attention and walked towards the villa.
"Master Xu! Maybe you're a spirit-master who bitterly cultivated! Maybe you don't know know about the current world, or even the spirit-master world! I've always been silently observing you, sir! Chief Li can only provide you with an ordinary person's help, but I can give you the help of a spirit-master! I can help you find many secret tales about spirit-masters! I can also take you to a gathering of spirit-masters! This'll be a great help to you in quickly understanding the world!"
Xu Yangyi's footsteps imperceptibly slowed.
Tian Guotao's gaze brightened. His thoughts had never been so fast, and he followed up in rapid succession, "Master Xu, please believe me! I truly want to enter the high spirit-master realm! I don't have any other ideas about you! And there are many tasks that have many needs if you cultivate here. Could it be that you're going to find other people to handle these things?"
"Every spirit-master's status is incomparably noble! How could you handle these trivial chores yourself, sir?"
Xu Yangyi's back faced him. The demon slayer said after ages, "Are you willing?"
"I am willing!" Tian Guotao took a few step forwards on his knees and said excitedly, "I am willing to renounce my status as a spirit-master and become your steward! As long as you take me to witness the never-trod path!"
Xu Yangyi didn't reply. At this time, a weak voice suddenly echoed in his spiritual sense.
Big bro… accept him…
Zhao Ziqi? The light of Xu Yangyi's eyes quickly shimmered, and his heart became heated.
For those in a foreign land, the most difficult was loneliness. But not only was he in a foreign land, he had now even arrived in another world! The world's immensity was a feeling of no one understanding you, a place set high of unbearable coldness. Thus, it was a test of the spirit. However… beyond all his expectations, he, was not alone.
When I took you back to the Zhao Clan, they said they'd let me take you along. So… you followed me to the Clearcloud Realm? The crook of his mouth perked up, and he said though his spiritual sense, You awake?
No… Zhao Ziqi's voice was very weak. I feel… there's something weird about the qi here, and… some kind of strange thing. Like it's calling me… I woke up because of that…
When I saw this person, I almost understood… Big bro, accept him… This world, or perhaps it could be the people, there's something wrong with all of them… I, I'm going to wake up soon. I'll talk to you then… Accept him, you won't regret it… Zhao Ziqi's voice gradually weakened and finally disappeared. A ray of sunlight seemed to shine into Xu Yangyi's heart, and he smiled as he turned around.
"Get up, alright?"
"S-Sir, you agree?" Tian Guotao didn't move and fixed Xu Yangyi with his eyes.
"Follow me," Xu Yangyi finished speaking and walked towards the villa without turning his head back. Tian Guotao bolted up to his feet and hurried over, taking huge steps with each stride.
In the hall, Xu Yangyi waved his hands at two cowering women who were hiding at opposite sides. "Go back wherever you were. Without my nod, please don't enter this place for the time being."
Everyone left. Xu Yangyi intently studied Tian Guotao. After ages, he said in a soft voice, "When Heaven and Earth was joined at the beginning, the Dao was divided into Yin and Yang…"
Tian Danguo fell into a daze. In a twinkling, a trace of ecstasy well up on his face! He madly began to absorb this arcane effort's teaching.
It was nothing more than Heavens Law's most elementary art, the Hundred Solutions.
The Hundred Solutions was the most peculiar divine ability. Its divine ability was also an arcane effort. Any arcane effort could be chosen as an organization's fundamental arcane effort, but in that case, it conformed to three requirements at the minimum: the foundation was easily understood, it was fully comprehensive, and the underlying basis was strong.
Perhaps it wouldn't lead to great future accomplishments, but it could truly guide one into the magnificent world of cultivation! Moreover, this arcane effort was indeed enough to reach Foundation Establishment! It was a mystery how much better it was in comparison to the Clearcloud Realm's so-called new-age magics! It was several times more profound than what was said to be the Zhang Family's Cultivation Magic! 
Tian Guotao listened without missing a word. Both his hands were trembling in disarray. He wanted to run out and find a notebook to jot Xu Yangyi's words down, but he couldn't bear to whatsoever right now. He didn't want to leave one bit!
Swish swish swish… Doors to new worlds were opened. The more he heard, the more apprehensive he was! As he heard about training the qi sea, a massive tsunami had already surged up in his heart!
"You can actually cycle qi like that!"
"This acupuncture point can actually store qi!"
"Qi sea… this is the qi sea! My cultivation in the past was nothing more than a dried-up well at most!"
"Spiritual sense! Is this the soul? You can actually see things without using your eyes?"
This was the disparity of knowledge.
The disparity between 5,000 years and 2,000 years.
The disparity of Core Formation not even appearing, yet there were rumors of gods and immortals on Earth.
An hour later, Xu Yangyi stopped talking. He poured a cup of tea and casually drank it. Tian Guotao was like a stone buddha, motionless.
Another hour passed and so did another. Tian Guotao sat for a whole three hours. Afterwards, he opened his eyes. The inside of his eyes carried a sheen of murky-yellow tears.
"I am enlightened…" he said in a shaky voice and then stood up. He bowed to the ground at Xu Yangyi. "Many thanks, Master."
"You aren't my disciple yet." Xu Yangyi shook his head. "I don't accept disciples casually. And you're a little on the old side. If you can completely absorb this arcane effort, you'll be able to live up to 200 years old. But if you don't, you won't be able to become my disciple."
200 years old!!! Tian Guotao was no longer astonished. Today, he really had experienced a bit too many shocks. He said in a sincere tone, "I will work hard."
"Then be a good a steward. Although I don't take disciples, I never treat the people beside me unfairly."
If Xu Yangyi wanted Tian Guotao to work with all his might, then he naturally had to give some benefits. In any case, it was nothing more than the insignificant Hundred Solutions.
"Now for the first thing." Xu Yangyi tucked his smile away and solemnly looked at his new steward. "I'm going into seclusion for five years. Tell the Li Family not to disturb me no matter what in these five years!"
Five years… the time to assail Foundation Establishment!
He had given himself a restriction of five years for the foundation platform's summons. He would take all his gains and go through all of them to earnestly plan his today and tomorrow. He would comb through all that he'd learned and solve each doubt that he hadn't bothered with the details of in the past, and attack Foundation Establishment with every ounce of his will!
"Foundation Establishment, eh…" He gazed faintly at the ceiling. "I'm in front of you at last."
It didn't even take three days.
In just one day, everyone in the area had withdrawn, and Xu Yangyi had already found a very fitting place for seclusion in the villa. His chosen area was a wine cellar. It was set with dozens of barrels of the Clearcloud Realm's specialty liquors. Presently, all of them were being moved outside. Xu Yangyi had already taken out the Vajra Formation that he used back then in Danxia Temple, and placed it down inside.
It wasn't a Spirit Focusing Formation, and it didn't have as strong as an effect in gathering qi. However, there was always a little! And a little was a little!
Facing him, a sparkling, pure stone faintly glimmered. Were it not for the full support of the added seal around him… perhaps a raging tide of qi might've now surged up here!
A Vajra Formation installed with a supreme-grade spirit stone!
History's most extravagant Qi Condensation formation!
1. "New-age" - "吐纳 (tu3na4). So the specific thing about this word is that it can be used as an idiom to represent "In with the new and out with the old". However, it might just refer to the basic breathing exercise in Daoism for wellness.