Ancient Strengthening Technique: Chapter 25 – Library of Qing Clan, Elder Lin appears!
“Gaining insight, into the way of the Heavens?” Thoughts were spinning in Qing Shui’s mind as he heard this.
Qing Shui recalled the state of enlightenment he had previously attained, and he knew well the tremendous benefits which originated from it. Every time one completes their meditation in a state of enlightenment, the benefits gained far surpassed 10 years of hard work. But other than enlightenment, was there no other way to gain insight into the way of the Heavens? There seemed to be no other way indeed. After all, gaining insight into the way of the Heavens depended on an individual’s karma and destiny, the majority of the cultivators would never experience that special state of enlightenment throughout their entire life! Some would even have an encounter similar to Qing Shui, entering that special state, but not at the peak of Houtian!
Unconvinced, just as Qing Shui wanted to ask Qing Yi about other methods that would allow one to gain insights of the way of Heavens, Qing Yi interjected.
“Qing Shui, we have arrived at the library!”
Qing Shui looked down and realized that they had already reached the end of the path. In front of him, there was a 3 story building constructed entirely from heavy stones. A secretive and slightly oppressive feeling permeated the atmosphere. There were no windows in this building, even the door entrance was built out of thick slabs of solid rocks!
The width of the door was roughly about 3m in length, with a height of 4m. Hanging atop the door was a plaque carved with 3 words , “Qing Clan’s Library”!
The stone door to the library was tightly shut. At the end of every year, the library would only be open for a period of two months. During these two months, disciples with cultivation level equal to or higher than the 6th Grade of Martial Warrior would be able to enter the and have the opportunity to select from the vast collection a martial techniques that were suitable for their cultivation. During the other ten months, only direct descendents of the Qing Clan had the opportunity to enter. The remaining disciples could only enter during the last two months of the year.
This was the first time Qing Shui had seen the library. After all, the Qing Clan still had it own rules. Although the collection does not consists of many rare and valuable books, there were still many martial techniques and heterogenous books like the
(Continental Medical Annal) lying around.
Other than martial techniques, there were also cultivation arts that were located in the 3rd and 2nd level of the library. Those relatively more common books and martial manuals with a lower grade would usually be placed in the 1st level. Qing Clan’s disciples who reached the required level of cultivation, are allowed to browse through the books and manuals, and even copy them down. The only restriction is that you would not be allowed to divulge the clan techniques to outsiders!
Walking to the entrance, with an exertion of force that could not be considered light nor heavy, Qing Shui eagerly raised his hands and knocked 3 times on the stone door. “Boom, Boom, Boom” the sound reverberated across the lawn.
After a moment, the heavy stone door opened, a senile looking old man with cloudy eyes and a head full of white hair appeared. Qing Shui stared mutely, the attire of this old man was totally different from what Qing Shui expected from someone like this. The old man looked like he could not be bothered with the slightest bit of personal hygiene, yet his clothes were the epitome of cleanliness.
“Elder Lin, I brought Qing Shui over to the library to borrow some books!” Qing Yi greeted the old man respectfully.
Looking at her smile, Qing Shui felt that Qing Yi had quite a deep relationship with this old man.
“Ah, so it is you, little kiddo Qing Yi, come in, come in! It has been ages since your last visit.” Elder Lin warmly smiled. After saying that, he glanced at Qing Shui. The cloudy look in his eyes was replaced by an instance of clarity, but it quickly faded back to normal.
“So you are Qing Shui, good… very good!” Elder Lin with a face full of smiles, praised Qing Shui twice in succession, Qing Shui felt very surprised, for he knew that Elder Lin rarely complimented people. Even Qing Zi nor the genius Qing You had never received compliments from him before.
“Grandpa Lin, Qing Shui greets you!” Qing Shui bowed low as he respectfully greeted Elder Lin.
“Young man, hahahahaha”, Elder Lin for God knows what reason, had his lips curl up in a smile.
After which, Qing Shui and Qing Yi followed Elder Lin as he led them into the library.
The moment they entered, Qing Shui realized that the space within was much larger than what he had previously imagined, and there was almost no natural light in the library. The only source of light was emitted by the few panels of Jadestone pearls attached to the wall. The light the pearls emitted was soft, but was sufficient for users of the library to read what they wanted to clearly.
Past the panels of the Jadestone pearls, were rows and rows of ancient looking wooden bookshelves. From an initial glance, the wood materials used in construction of the bookshelves looked old and dilapidated, but upon closer observation, the wood was actually thick and heavy, giving observers a solid and durable impression.
With that half-bent back, and that slouching posture, Elder Lin looked so old, one could almost mistake him for a fossil. It was said that Elder Lin had been the caretaker of the Qing Clan’s library since tens of years ago!
“Elder Lin, I want to borrow some books on elementary medical knowledge for Qing Shui” Qing Yi said.
Elder Lin slowly lumbered towards an inconspicuous corner of the library, and pulled out a few books that were covered with dust. He slightly patted the books to displace the dust and returned.
During the whole process where Elder Lin was retrieving the books, Qing Shui has been constantly monitoring Elder Lin’s movements. He had a intuition that this keeper of the library Elder Lin was not the senile and confused old man he appeared to be. Qing Shui had the feeling that this old man in front of him was actually a terrifyingly strong expert! But after that thought flashed past his mind, Qing Shui silently laughed it off. After all, the strongest in the Qing Clan was Qing Luo, how strong could Elder Lin be?
“For a period of 40+ years, these books have just been lying there collecting dust… There was no one who would even deign to look at them. Forget it you don’t need to return the books after you are done with them. Even if you did not borrow them today, sooner or later I would have chucked these books out. Since no one in the Qing Clan ever reads them, just take it then.” Elder Lin passed the books to Qing Shui as he said expressionlessly.
Qing Shui felt that the Elder Lin today was very strange. The Elder Lin that everyone knew was someone who didn’t really talk much, preferring to spend his time in silence and solitude. But today, he was unexpectedly in such a talkative mood!
Qing Shui accepted the books from Elder Lin, the more he looked, the more he still felt that Elder Lin was hiding his true abilities in an act of clumsiness.
“Thank you, Grandpa Lin!” Qing Shui earnestly thanked Elder Lin. After that, Qing Shui realized that other than the three medical books he had initially requested, there was an additional 4th book which he did not request.
Qing Shui curiously peered at the 4th book, it was titled (Basic Sword Techniques)!
Qing Shui wanted to question Elder Lin, but who would have thought Elder Lin initiated the conversation. “After you are done with the four books, just toss them directly into the trash, you need not bother to send them back.”
Since he was to dispose of them, Qing Shui decided that he might as well keep them; after all, with a title like (Basic Sword Techniques), how profound could the techniques contained in it be? But to the current him, he could still learn something from it! After all, Rome wasn’t build in one day, and all lakes and oceans originated from a single drop of water.
Bidding their goodbyes to Elder Lin, the heavy stone door tightly closed as Qing Shui and Qing Yi left the library.
Qing Yi had long regarded Elder Lin as part of her family. Despite his senile and befuddled facade, she knew that deep in his heart, Elder Lin treats the descendants of Qing Clan as his own flesh and blood. Especially Qing Yi, ever since she was young, Elder Lin would spare no expenses and dote on her. Even now, after the passage of so many years, Qing Yi still respected this old man just as she would have respected Qing Luo.
Feeling elation in his heart, Qing Shui was holding on to the pile of books, in his previous life, he had been too addicted to gaming. Reading books? Visiting the library? Not a chance! Who would have thought that the current Qing Shui, out of his own volition, wanted to browse the Qing Clan’s library for books to read!
“Humans were really unpredictably weird!”