Ancient Strengthening Technique: Chapter 9 – Break Through to the Second-Layered Heavens!
Time flowed by, another year has passed, since that time where he forcibly lifted up the 800 jin heavy rock, Qing Shui was even more certain of the benefits of strengthening his body and he was even more determined to walk on this path!
The Ancient Strengthening Technique obviously could be cultivated to temper his body, and that Yin-Yang symbol rotating in his sea of consciousness had been constantly emitting energy to nourish his bones and the organs in his body. Other than the refining of his bones and organs, the Yin-Yang symbol was also constantly raising his vital energy level to its peak, allowing Qing Shui to be even more perceptive..
After 1 year, Qing Shui no longer looked that delicate and frail anymore. Although his body frame were lacking in muscles when compared to the rest of the 3rd generation members, his body was extremely well balanced.
Qing Shui knew that this was a result of the benefits given to him by both the Ancient Strengthening Technique and the YinYang symbol. Qing Shui in his current state, could have already easily lifted up rocks weighing more than 1000 jin, however he was determined to keep his true abilities a secret and as such, none of the others found out.
In the one year that had passed, Qing Shui had cultivated to the Martial Warrior, 2nd Grade, for the Blue Lotus Art. Although he had already condensed Qi, no one knew about it and thus, he was classified as a Martial Student as based on the standards that he had not cultivated for a period that is longer than 3 years.
The majority of the 3rd generation disciples no longer taunted him, he was no longer the trash in their eyes. Qing Shui did not even notice their change in actions, After all, he was an adult in all aspects with the exception of his body and had never allowed the jeering and taunting to affect him.
Nonetheless, he did not mind interacting with these young disciples, he understood that they possessed the inherent nature of a child, all those taunts from before were without malice, they would obviously dislike that which was different from them.
Interaction with them actually granted Qing Shui a second chance to experience once again the heart of being a child, allowing himself to maintain a purity of heart that borders on innocence. He naturally wouldn’t bother too much about them.
Qing Shui still had not had any interactions with the eldest grandson Qing Zi and the genius Qing You. After all, the 2 of them were not required to join in the daily training sessions of the Qing Clan. In contrast, he met Qing Yang quite often, now that Qing Yang was 16 years old, other than the traces of heroic bearing that could be seen from his features, he had also begun to exhibit a mature aura.
In this world, being 16 makes you of age and could be considered an adult. Qing Yang had broken through to the Martial Warrior, 6th Grade of the Blue Lotus Art, slightly before the age of 16, entering into an important phase of his life. In the future, he would also no longer need to join in the Qing Clan’s daily training session.
After Qing Yang broke through, the Qing Clan decided to have a banquet to celebrate as it can be considered a joyful event. If Qing Yang had broken through at the age of 17 instead, there would not be so much fanfare and importance placed on this celebratory banquet!
16 years old was the great divide. If Qing Yang had broken through to the Martial Warrior, 6th Grade only after the age of 16, in this life, his potential would only enable him to reach Martial Commander, 8th Grade at the very most. It would be highly improbable for him to break through to the 9th Grade and not to mention, the peak of Hou Tian.
However, if one broke through before the age of 16, one would usually be able to reach the Martial Commander, 9th Grade during his 40s or 50s. Reaching the 10th Grade (Peak of Hou Tian), would require on the individual’s luck and destiny.
Within the 3rd generation, the ones with the greatest talent, other than the genius Qing You, and the eldest grandson Qing Zi, Qing Yang could also be considered as one of the better known figures.
Qing Bei’s potential was also higher than average, it was just that she was born a female, female usually have more limitations when they are cultivating when compared to males, in order to compensate for that, Qing Bei would require a plethora of medicinal herbs and tonics.
As dawn approaches, after Qing Shui finished his daily morning regime, he returned home to breakfast with Qing Yi. Since Qing Shui recovered, he could see that Qing Yi was smiling more often, even her eyes were brighter, appearing to have somewhat lighten the burden in her heart.
Qing Shui vaguely knew about the burden in Qing Yi’s heart, he wanted to eradicate it totally, however he was only 8 years old now, he did not have sufficient power. Qing Shui made a vow to himself, the road ahead, no matter how arduous, he would unequivocally accomplish his mother’s wishes!
“Qing Shui, I have already delayed my return to the City for half a month, I would need to return to the City after the meal today. This time round, I would need to escort a large batch of medicinal herbs, promise me that you will cultivate obediently at home okay? In the future, mother would still need to depend on your strength to fight for our rights against those despicable bloodsuckers.”  Qing Yi gently said as she patted Qing Shui’s head, with such an intelligent son, she did not bother hiding this sort of inconsequential things from him.
Qing Shui slightly nodded his head, hints of unwillingness appeared in his eyes as he did not want to part from Qing Yi, but he knew that at this moment, he should maximize his cultivation time. Only after he gets stronger, would he be able to help Qing Yi. After learning from Qing Yi that the business she was in charge of was related to medicinal herbs, Qing Shui could not help but be startled. Imprinted in his mind, there were information regarding Alchemy as well. It was just that in the present, he had no way of tapping into his potential knowledge potential on the art of pills concoction!
Initially, he had planned to accompany Qing Yi during her assignment. After which, he decided not to. With his current strength, he would only be a burden to Qing Yi as she would still have to divide part of her attention to protect him. Qing Shui could only sulk and allow Qing Yi to go alone.
“Mother, you have to be cautious during this trip, your safety should be your priority, even if the business transaction failed, the money lost could always be earned again. Mother, you only have a single son.. Give me a few years; I would definitely make you the happiest person in the world.” The reason why Qing Shui kept reiterating was to leave a deep impression behind in Qing Yi’s mind. He wanted to remind her that no matter what, she could not let herself be harmed, her safety was the most important, she still has him as her son! Even though he was young now, he would protect her when he grew up eventually.
Qing Shui only knew that Qing Yi was a medicinal herb merchant back when she revealed to him. He could also deduce that the business partners of Qing Yi all had backings from other families and clans with power much greater than the Qing Clan, so when it comes to splitting the profit, Qing Yi would always get the shorter end of the stick. Even though the business partners would siphon more than half of the profits away, the remaining profit could still said to be considerable. There would be no lack of people from the Qing Clan wanting to take over if Qing Yi decided to relinquish her hold on it. Even though her heart was not feeling too comfortable, Qing Yi still decided to endure it.
If he could gain comprehension regarding the art of alchemy, there would not be a problem to concoct and refine some excellent grades of medicinal pills; Small Revitalizing Pellets, Golden Fragrant Jade Pills, Golden Sore Ointment, Beauty Temptress Pills, even legendary artifacts such as refining the Glowing Buddha Seeds and the 9 Souls Reincarnation Pellets. If this was the case; women, riches, authority and power would all belong to him! Qing Shui was eagerly anticipating the arrival of this day.
Qing Yi had departed; Qing Yi could be said as the source where most of Qing Clan’s income comes from. Over half of the Qing Clan’s income came from the medicinal herbs business of Qing Yi. Other than Qing Yi, there was apparently a few other Qing Clan members which were helping her out, if not it would be totally impossible for her to return and accompany Qing Shui for a period of more than 10 days.
Qing Shui was circulating Qi around his body based on the Ancient Strengthening Technique over and over again, after a year of cultivation, be in rain or shine, he had never stopped his cultivation before. Although the Qing Clan was somewhat stringent regarding the training of the 3rd generation disciples, other than that, they were free to do whatever they want outside the time needed for the training sessions.
Although Qing Shui was only 8-9 years old, in terms of mentality, he was already an adult, he evidently knew the importance of strength in this world. With his kid-sized body, he could not yet achieve the wishes of Qing Yi, therefore, he expended all his effort and time on practicing his cultivation.
In his body, the streams of blue and yellow Qi was only slightly thicker than a strand of hair, converging together. For the past year, Qing Shui had been assiduously cultivating the Blue Lotus Art and had already broken through to the 2nd level.
However, for the Ancient Strengthening Technique, it was very bizarre, it was as if, the moment he had stepped in the door to the layer of the first heavens, he could already enjoy the benefits such as impurities cleansing. It was as though he did not need to cultivate to the peak of the first layer to enjoy the benefits it brought.
But even despite expending all his efforts and assiduously cultivating the Ancient Strengthening Technique for the past year, he had only reached the peak of the first layer, unable to break through the second layer!
In this past year, he did not know if it was coincidental, or the reason was because the Ancient Strengthening Technique was a complementary supporting art, Qing Shui found out by chance that he could simultaneously activate both the Blue Lotus Art and the Ancient Strengthening Technique together! This discovery made him overjoyed. Reaping twice the benefit with only half the effort!
Qing Shui was cultivating silently in his basement, circulating his Qi over his body over and over again, he could feel that he was on the verge of breaking through, but seemed to be lacking something.. He knew that he was at the final bottleneck but whenever he tried to overcome the last barrier, he always failed. Rivulets of sweat flowed down his face in testament of the efforts he expended.
“I must make a breakthrough, for the sake of my mother, and myself, I will never succumb to failure, i must be stronger, i don’t want to be labeled trash ever again, I MUST STAND AT THE SUMMIT OF THIS WORLD!” RAWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
An unknown amount of time passed, and as a faint whitish glow was appearing in the eastern skies, “Peng!” a sound akin to the popping of a bottle cork rang out, Qing Shui could feel an extremely comfortable and cooling energy flowing through his whole body. All of the 360 acupoints and his pores on his body were shivering as if in delight.
The hair-thin strand of Qi, after Qing Shui had broken through to the second-layered heavens had grown thicker by more than 10 times! It was as thick as wool now.
After slowly circulating his Qi for 36 cycles, Qing Shui could feel explosive energy in his body, even his perceptiveness increased, he could seem to see the world clearer, he could even see an ant walking on the ground clearly from far away. In a radius of 10m, he could hear everything lucidly.
 Weight measuring system by the Chinese, 200 jin roughly equates to 100kg.