Ancient Strengthening Technique

AST 0053 – Discovered Treasure?

That night, after Qing Shui entered the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, his face broke out into a smile as he discovered that his backbreaking efforts of transplanting the seedlings earlier in the afternoon had already been rewarded. The former barren patch of land was now filled with a myriad of colors, there were green-colored herbs, yellow-colored herbs and red-colored herbs beginning to sprout within the boundaries of that plot of land. It was extremely pleasing to see, and gave off an atmosphere that was brimming with vitality which had not been present in the barren land before.

Looking at the big patch of growth that was in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, Qing Shui slowly strolled to the center of the realm where the crystal-clear lake was located. The spiritual energy emitted by the crystal water felt extremely abundant to him, as Qing Shui wondered : “Hmm, maybe I could rear some species of fishes and turtles here? I could eat them up after they are fully grown. The dishes which I ate previously at the Yu He Inn were just too delicious.”

(TL: How evil… what a glutton)

“The turtle soup could be considered a great source of nourishment. It nourishes the most important part of a guy’s body. However, why did Yu He order that dish for us? Perhaps it is for 3rd uncle Qing Hu?” Qing Shui scratched his head in confusion as he started to wildly guess. After all, Yu He was an incomparably ravishing hot babe, but Qing Shui could not begin to guess at her intentions.

“How evil, to think that 3rd uncle, appearing to be honest on the surface, was actually hunting for beauties under the eyes of aunty Yuan Ying. What a powerful facade. A true man does not reveal his intentions easily.”

The more Qing Shui thought of it, the more possible it felt to him. That day, on the lunch table, Qing Shui noticed that his 3rd uncle drank many bowls of the turtle soup. Although Qing Shui drank a lot too, but there was no way Yu He was interested in him right? The only reason why he drank the turtle soup was because he found it delicious. After all, Qing Shui currently did not have a partner to unleash all the nefarious fire contained in his loins, so why would he need to nourish his little bird that much? If he drank too much of it, wouldn’t it be akin to him finding trouble for himself, since there was no way for him to let off his heat?

Initially, Qing Shui wanted to immediately release a few live fishes into the crystal lake for an experiment, but after thinking for a bit, he decided to temporarily shelve the idea.

“There is no hurry, I will do so once I have the opportunity to get the live fishes.”

Clearing his head of the distracting thoughts, Qing Shui sat down and crossed his legs as he began the circulate the Ancient Strengthening Technique. Only after he had some accomplishment in the Ancient Strengthening Technique, would his path be smoother in the future. One cycle of circulation, two cycle of circulation… Time passed and as Qing Shui met the barrier at the 48th cycle, he gathered all his energy, while enduring the backlash, trying to push past the barrier with all his force. The end result was… failure. There was not even the slightest bit of inclination that the barrier would budge.

“What the fuck! Why is it still not working? Is my potential truly so weak?” Qing Shui sighed with depression evident in his eyes. Creasing his brows, he stood up. Despite having such a god-sent treasured item before him, with Qing Shui fully maxing out the available cultivation time inside of the spatial realm he still could not break through the 4th heavenly layer at all. An extreme sense of despair which he had never felt before arose in his heart. If he could not break through to the 4th heavenly layer of the Ancient Strengthening Technique, he would be forever destined to be a pitiful worm struggling on the ground. Don’t even mention the Yan Clan, he could not even afford to offend the few great clans stationed in the Hundred Miles City.

The Iaido technique, which he comprehended from the <<Basic Sword Techniques>>, had already reached the small-success stage. In order to raise his strength rapidly in the short term, Qing Shui decided to focus his efforts on training the “piercing” effect of his sword arts. Using the three word mantra – Swift, Accurate, Decisive, Qing Shui wanted to base on his understanding of the mantra’s essence, and concentrate all his might onto his sword tip.

Speaking of it was easy, but actually executing it was beyond tough. Despite the difficulty, Qing Shui still wielded his Scryrius Iron Wood Sword and slashed out arcs in the air. After which, he shook his head. The feel of the technique did not seem to feel right. Again and again, Qing Shui would contemplate each of the sword movements as he slashed out, trying to find the optimal point.

The next day, just as dawn was breaking, Qing Shui woke up punctually. As the saying goes, a whole day’s work depended on a good start in the morning. Taking in a deep breath, Qing Shui enjoyed the fresh morning air.

After which, he descended to the first floor of their residence, only to see a clumsy silhouette doggedly practicing the Solitary Rapid Fist.

“Wow, he is even more determined than me!” Qing Shui could see Qing Shi struggling to understand the concepts behind the set of fist technique. Although determination was important, in the end, talent played a huge part in the path to cultivation.

“Qing Shi, you are already awake!” Qing Shui smiled as he greeted Qing Shi.

“Hehe, Qing Shui, you yourself have already awoken too. There’s no choice, my talent is not that good, and as such I would have to put in more effort in cultivation when compared to others, that is the only way I could ever hope to catch up.” Qing Shi was very optimistic, and just by seeing that honest smile of his, it felt just like the splitting image of his father, Qing Hu.

Just with a casual glance, Qing Shui could tell that the Solitary Rapid Fist executed by Qing Shi was full of openings and flaws. Naturally, Qing Shui begin correcting Qing Shi on his stance, and instructing him in the appropriate amount of strength and pathways of attacks.

After that, Qing Shui personally instructed Qing Shi by sparring with him, pointing out his errors and enabling Qing Shi to experience rapid improvement, which caused Qing Shi to be overwhelmed with gratitude.


After breakfast.

“Qing Shui, as this your first time here in the Hundred Miles City, you should explore the streets together with Qing Shan and Qing Shi. After all, the young ones like yourselves should enjoy the lively atmosphere.” Qing Hu suggested. He was very happy that Qing Shui had defeated the scion from the Situ Clan. Because of Qing Shui, the Qing Clan’s face and reputation skyrocketed in the Hundred Miles City.

“Right, okay, I have the same intention as well, after all this place is so much larger than our Qing Village. I’m sure the streets will be filled with plenty of excitement.” Qing Shui lightly smiled.
After which, the three youngsters walked out of the Qing Clan’s Medicinal Store. Looking at the lively crowd outside on the streets, there were even some who mounted strange, exotic-looking beasts whose steps rumbled through the streets with an air of grandeur. In particular, Qing Shui loved observing such strange ferocious beasts. He knew that a beast tamer profession existed in this world. If he could one day learn the secret arts required for beast taming, and tame a bunch of ferocious beasts into submission, how cool would that be?

Street stores on both sides of the streets had all kinds of strange and fascinating curios out on display. Before Qing Shui and the rest went out, Qing Yi had passed a bank note of 100 taels of silver to him. Although this amount could not be considered huge, it was not little as well. After all, in comparison, an expenditure of this amount was sufficient for the six members of the Qing Clan to enjoy a meal at the Yu He Inn.

The three youngster strolled about, slowly exploring each corner of the bustling street. Suddenly, they saw an old man setting up a small store on the ground. The old man was so decrepit-looking that he almost seemed to have a foot in his grave, but bizarrely, his eyes were sparkling bright. The only reason why Qing Shui noticed this particular store was because the crowds of people seemed to be avoiding this particular spot, and had no interest in giving patronage to the old man. This left a conspicuously empty corner in the middle of the streets.

There were only two items displayed. One was a black-colored tree branch the size of a baby’s arm, and a dark and swarthy piece of black stone. Qing Shui felt extremely puzzled, why would this old man put two seemingly black and ugly looking things out on display?

There were many passersby, but after taking a look, all of them dispersed, clearly they had no intention of buying the items that were displayed. Out of curiousity Qing Shui squatted down as he scrutinized both of the dirty looking things on display. “Old man, what are these two things? Can I know the price?”

The bright eyes of the old man regarded Qing Shui intently. Although Qing Shui was displaying interest in his goods, the old man did not appeared happy as he emotionlessly glanced at the two items on display before saying, ”I’m not sure either. All I know is that this branch is at least 60 years of age, but look at it, still sleek and shiny, with no signs of rotting. As for this substance similar to a stone, I know only that it is incomparably tough, even blacksmiths are incapable of refining it.”

Qing Shui’s heart skipped a beat, perhaps, just like what he always read in the novels in his previous world, has he come upon a treasure? However, he immediately discarded the thought, after all, how could treasures be so easily found? Still, that stone was incomparably tough, and Qing Shui was interested in buying it.

“Old man, could I inspect these two items slowly?” Qing Shui wanted to test if the stone-like object was as tough as what the old man said.

“Little brother, take all the time you need.” The old man nonchalantly replied.

Qing Shui first picked up the dirty looking tree branch, and at the same instant he came into contact with it, he could feel a tremendous life-force welling up within it. More accurately, Qing Shui could feel an abundance of spiritual energy being emitted from this black-colored tree branch. It was… Some what similar to the spiritual energy emitted by the crystal lake in his Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. Without a doubt, Qing Shui could conclude that this branch was a treasure indeed, it was just that he was unsure of what exactly it was.

Next, Qing Shui held the black and swarthy stone-like substance up in his palm, silently, without anyone noticing, Qing Shui using a part of his 20,000 jin strength, directly applied pressure as he tried to crush it. One had to know that if it was normal iron or steel, after that level of pressure had been applied by Qing Shui, their shape would surely be distorted.

However, there were no changes to this piece of black stone-like substance. Qing Shui stared at it, thunderstruck. A thought floated about in his mind, but it was nothing but a guess.

“Could this be… Iron Essence? A material that was tougher by iron at least a 100 times!”

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