Ancient Strengthening Technique

AST 224 Comprehending the Crane Form, Small Success Stage for the Crane’s Might

Qing Shui quietly stared at the White Crane Spread Wings curtains. He had been looking at it for half a day. He already felt that it could bring a calming feeling when he first saw it back in the Greencloud Furniture City.

Qing Shui almost felt as if he could grasp that feeling, but it was slightly slippery to the touch and he could not pull it out. Just like that, Qing Shui stared at that crane in the picture, trying to sense its posture with his heart.

Qing Shui saw that the crane in the picture had stretched out its body into a relaxed state. He unconsciously displayed the Crane Form he had been practicing. Qing Shui’s Qi of Ancient Strengthening Technique continued to circulate and flow gradually by itself. He did not do this deliberately.

Qing Shui applied that Qi onto Crane’s Might, trying to be as relaxed as he could in both his mind and his body. Like the crane in the picture, he allowed the Qi of the Ancient Strengthening Technique to flow smoothly in his body.

Qing Shui realised that this casual method allowed certain areas that seemed to be slightly rough to now feel all smooth, with no blockages at all.

Qing Shui broke out into a happy smile, slowly circulating the Crane’s Might repeatedly by following the Crane Steps. This time around, Qing Shui felt his body turning lighter. While it was just a little bit, it felt very good.

He casually swayed his arms with extremely small movements that it was almost unnoticeable. His legs were nimbly performing complicated movements.

He gradually increased the strength of circulation of the Qi of the Ancient Strengthening Technique and also the speed of circulation of the Crane’s Might. However, Qing Shui did his best to keep his mind relaxed.

Just like that, Qing Shui engrossed himself as he circulated the Crane’s Might and displayed the Crane Steps. He did not move out of a one meter radius, but gave off the feeling as if he was swiftly progressing forward.

Time passed by unknowingly. Qing Shui suddenly felt a lightness coming to him and then a strong force rising in him. He did not suddenly get a huge increase in his powers. His speed was also increased by quite a bit. After all, to Qing Shui, 10% speed was already quite significant.

He had reached the small success stage for the Crane Form. Qing Shui knew that he had entered that state the moment he felt that his body was lighter. At the same moment, he also felt that the crux for the Crane Form was the Crane’s Might. The Crane’s Might emphasized on casualness and one cannot be overly impatient or anxious. At the start, only a small amount of Qi should be used. Those without a high level of comprehension and endurance would never be able to master the Crane Form.

When and before the Crane Form would reach the small success stage, only a small amount of power was required to activate the Crane’s Might. The more anxious one was, the stronger the obstacle. It was just like how clumsy Qing Shui was when he practiced the Crane Form previously.

If he had not seen the crane in its environment in the White Crane Spread Wings curtains, Qing Shui would need to take a long detour of one year or longer. He had reached the 4th heavenly layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique and the Qi started to circulate automatically which helped a lot.

The uniqueness of the Crane Form was in its subtlely and that it can never be displayed at full power. This did not mean that it would be slower. All cranes seemed to be very relaxed when flying, yet they could move at extremely swift speeds and have high endurance. This was the benefit of the Crane Form.

Qing Shui attained the great perfection stage for the Tiger Form thanks to his comprehension of the kingly aura from the Tiger’s Descend painting. He managed to attain the small success stage for the Crane Form after getting the White Crane Spread Wings curtains. He had met a bottleneck for a period of time. While he devoted a lot of hard work and effort into comprehending the Crane Form, it was undeniable that the final stroke to success came from this picture.

Having achieved success both times thanks to these vivid paintings, it was like what Canghai had said. The paintings could allow one to comprehend many things. Qing Shui felt that he might have to look for a breakthrough with those expensive paintings for his training of the Nine Animals Mimicry Technique in the future.

Qing Shui always thought that time passed very quickly in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal but he was very satisfied. He was content to have over ten times the training time than other people.

After circulating the Qi of the Ancient Strengthening Technique one more time, he achieved the 76th cycle as he hoped to. This achievement made Qing Shui very happy. He was not very sure how the levels of the Ancient Strengthening Technique compared to the level of cultivation in the world of the nine continents.

Just like how it was when he was at the pinnacle of the 3rd heavenly layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique, Qing Shui felt that he could win against someone who was at the pinnacle of a Martial Commander. However, he did not compare to a Xiantian cultivator. It was just that his techniques were unique. In a life and death battle, he was stronger than a Xiantian cultivator because his training in the Ancient Strengthening Technique had strengthened his bones and muscles.

Therefore, when he was at the pinnacle of the 3rd level of the Ancient Strengthening Technique, he could unexpectedly kill a low level Xiantian cultivator. When Qing Shui broke through to the 4th heavenly layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique, his abilities were at least comparable to a 4th grade Xiantian cultivator. He could scrape through by a close call and won against the person who was training the Nine Waves Great Golden Buddha Palm.

Now, he was even able to break through to reach the 76th cycle from the 49 cycles back then. Qing Shui had gain a considerable increase in powers when he had reached the 50th, 60th, and 70th cycle respectively. It was much more than when he broke through to the other cycles.

Qing Shui still did not know how strong he was, but he knew that he would not be able to win Canghai Mingyue. After all, it was tough to reach the pinnacle of Xiantian from the 10th grade. Of course, the benefit received by one who had reached the pinnacle of Xiantian was also immense. Even 3rd grade Xiantian cultivators would not be able to win against someone at the pinnacle of Xiantian. This was the greatest gap between those of the same grades. One could rely on powerful techniques to challenge someone of a higher grade. However, amongst those in the same grade, it was almost impossible for one who was not at the pinnacle of their cultivation state to win against one who was.

For a warrior to reach the pinnacle from the 10th grade, it was like breaking through the accumulation of the powers from the 1st to the 10th grade. This was also why it was so hard for a Martial Commander to achieve a breakthrough and become a Xiantian, for a Xiantian to break through and become a Martial King, and why there was no Martial Saint in the vast land of Greencloud Continent for the past thousand years.

He thought of how Canghai Mingyue had asked him to act as her husband to deal with that powerful 8th grade Xiantian cultivator who chased her. Qing Shui felt that while he might not be able to defeat someone who was at the pinnacle of Xiantian, he should be able to handle someone who was at the 8th grade with his abilities at the 4th heavenly layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique.

If he were to reach the pinnacle of the 4th layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique, would he be able to challenge someone from the next grade like how he did when he was at the pinnacle of the 3rd level of the Ancient Strengthening Technique? In other words, would he be able to scrape a win against someone who was a beginner Martial King if he were to reach the pinnacle of the 4th layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique?

While letting his thoughts run wild, he completed his daily training and slowly took a look around the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. This place belonged only to him and he walked to the banks of the pond which seemed very large now.

The growth rate of the black fishes and turtles had slowed down considerably. Each of them were even more swift and harder to catch than before. Qing Shui knew that this was due to the fire bird which would always grab its food from here. Those who were slower would lose their lives. Animals have a strong sense towards danger, and those who grew in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal were even smarter than those in the outside world.

“This is good as well. The fire bird gets to eat, and the black fishes and turtles would not grow too much as it would be disastrous.” Qing Shui thought about it happily. He felt happy again when he saw the Golden Medicinal Turtle and the 1000-Year Clam. These two were treasures which every alchemist would dream of. They were able to become an ingredient for alchemy by themselves or even replace another ingredient.

Qing Shui had already collected a considerable amount of Drunken Fragrance Fruit, Perilla, and Thyme by the side of the pond. While he left quite a number of them at Canghai’s place, there were still a lot more which could last him for very long.

The Strength-Enhancing Fruits, Agility-Enhancing Fruits, Endurance-Enhancing Fruits, and Physique-Enhancing Fruits were all used up. He had used the last two Endurance-Enhancing Fruits when concocting the Endurance Pellet.

Seeing the medicinal herbs which were all close to 300 years old, Qing Shui was very satisfied with the strong vitality they were emitting. After all, the environment in the Realm of the Ancient Strengthening Technique was not something which could be compared to the outside world. Qing Shui even felt that this place was even more suitable for planting and cultivating. However, the main reason he came here was because it could provide him with over ten times the amount of training time than the outside world.

Before Qing Shui completed his morning training on the next day, Canghai Mingyue and Huoyun Liu-Li arrived. However, he did not stop. He merely glanced in their direction as a greeting, while continuing to incorporate the Crane Form to the Bear Form. Those seemingly clumsy movements were actually very light and gave a weird feeling. Yet, it seemed mysterious and his ferocious strength was imbued with the light movements.

“Yueyue, let’s have a spar. I might need to risk my life in a battle to the death for you today.” Qing Shui grinned and said.

Canghai Mingyue was still not accustomed to having Qing Shui called her by her nickname, but he would need to call her that the whole day today. In addition, she would need to put up a happy front to cooperate with him.

Canghai Mingyue hesitated for a moment before launching an attack towards Qing Shui. Her actions seemed very similar to Canghai’s, but at the same time, it was also slightly similar to Huoyun Liu-Li’s when she was practicing her sword dance. Her pair of fair arms which would make snow pale in comparison swiftly lunged towards Qing Shui.

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