Chapter 205: Golden Streaks of Light
Constantly switching between absorbing the essence of the heavens and the earth which was refined into Qi and then further refining that Qi into spiritual energy kept Hui Yue fully occupied for more than a whole day. During this whole time, Lan Feng ensured that nothing happened around him. His entire being was on high alert, every muscle was tensed, and his Wu Wei circulated through their shared body, ready to be used at any time should any trouble occur.
While Lan Feng was fully focused on the outside world, Hui Yue’s entire focus was on the inside world. His eyes were closed while he felt the essence of the heavens and the earth entering through his veins and meridians. He felt how it kept circulating within his meridians until it was fully refined, and then how it ended up joining the Qi Swirl. Then it was sucked into the middle dantian where the Qi threads one after another were refined further into small drops of spiritual energy.
Usually, the spiritual energy sea would start climbing towards the shoreline and at some point become so filled that it would spill out over the shoreline. The spiritual energy sea would become chaotic and eventually it would carve out an area within the middle dantian to hold an even larger amount of spiritual energy. This would increase the depth and width of the sea.
This was the usual way of breaking through, however, no matter how much Hui Yue refined the sea did not rise like it used to, nor did it burst over his shoreline in an attempt to break through into the next rank. The only thing which happened was that ripples could be seen on the surface. Ripples which appeared every time one drop after another fell into the spiritual energy sea below.
Grumbling Hui Yue stopped refining more energy as he understood that the current situation could not be dealt with by forcefully refining more and more spiritual energy. He was stuck at a bottleneck, a bottleneck which required something other than just raw energy. It was obvious that Hui Yue was closing in on the upper dantian level. It seemed the Duke rank required some sort of insight or enlightenment, something which Hui Yue still had not encountered.
‘Hey, Lan Feng, which kind of enlightenment am I meant to have? What is it I am supposed to understand?’ Hui Yue asked sourly, feeling agitated that he had sufficient energy to break through, however, not the insight to.
‘I can’t tell you,’ Lan Feng said seriously. ‘If I tell you, then you might be able to gain enlightenment, but it would not be your own enlightenment but mine. It will not be true to your path of cultivation.’
As soon as Lan Feng opened his mouth, Hui Yue already knew what the answer would be. He felt incredibly frustrated by the fact that he could not break through now when he had planned to do so.
Sighing deeply and calming himself, Hui Yue closed his eyes for a moment. When they opened again they shone with determination.
‘Although I did not break through now, I still refined a large amount of energy and it has increased my strength quite a bit. Although I am not a Duke yet I’m still not weak.’
Thinking like this he was content as he once more sat down and started cultivating. Lan Feng stayed in control while he traveled on the paved road in front of him. He passed through one forest after another where they encountered multiple bandits, some of which ran away when they felt Lan Feng’s aura, others determined that their advantage in numbers was enough to deal with him and thus went straight to their deaths.
During this long trip of a few weeks, Hui Yue spent half the time refining more energy and the other half contemplating what it was he was missing; what was keeping him from transcending another rank.
When he became a Duke, the strength of his Qi would multiply by at least double, and becoming that strong meant that he would be capable of dealing with any ordinary King beast or expert. The more experienced experts would be a different matter though.
Ruminating about the path of cultivation he had taken, Hui Yue remembered how he started his journey back in his hometown. How he trained his internal energies from infancy. He thought about his urge to perfect his Qi, making it of the finest quality possible. Back then he knew that it was a roundabout way to cultivate, that although the results were great it took an incredible amount of time. But back then Hui Yue decided to spend time to perfect his quality and even now he was the same. Although it took time for him to come to the stage he was at now, it had all been his decisions which paved the road for him.
Thinking back on all the hardships and the patience he needed in the past he realised that he had become too greedy, too content with getting everything easily. He understood that his road to cultivation was paved with hard work, and that what he needed was not easy results such as getting answers from Lan Feng. No he needed to submerge himself in his cultivation and feel what it told him.
As this dawned upon him he felt how golden streaks of light appeared from his forehead and saw as these streaks flowed through his entire body before they entered the middle dantian. They proceeded to carved the shoreline larger, carving the depths of the sea unfathomably deep, and rearranging the entire spiritual energy sea.
As streaks of light appeared, Hui Yue noticed how his soul felt light and was filled with warmth like a hot summer day. As the golden streaks were about to disappear they entered the five elemental flames which were hovering above the energy sea, the elemental flames all starting to soar into the sky. Their strength was now far superior to before as they absorbed the golden energy their size doubled. Hui Yue started to feel how his affinity with the elements increased drastically. His eyes widened as he understood that having to reflect on his path of cultivation was what he had been missing. That he was rushing recently. Rushing to improve his strength, and during this period he had forgotten what path he embarked on all those years back.
As the streaks of light disappeared within the elemental flames, Hui Yue felt immense joy and excitement. Lan Feng instantly found a place to settle down for a short while and the white-haired boy used this time to figure out what happened to his body. To see how strong he had become and how useful his new strength truly was.
Sitting still he found that his body itself had not become much stronger than it was before. He understood that although his body became somewhat stronger, he had focused almost solely on internal energies such as Qi, spiritual energy, and Wu Wei, and that he had not paid enough attention to his physical strength.
His internal energy was stronger than what he expected, but although his internal energy was stronger and he was able to use both martial arts and spiritual arts, he still understood that physical strength was incredibly important.
Having come to this conclusion, Hui Yue made Lan Feng travel throughout the day while the two of them would settle down at night and spend the time training their body. At first it was something which made his body beaten up and tired, however, as the days went by and the training became routine, Hui Yue’s body slowly started to change. His muscles become far stronger than before. Lean muscle could be seen easily, and hs toned body was far stronger than it had been months before.
Traveling through Shenyuan took an astonishing four months, and their speed was far slower than even traveling within the Dungeons of the Divine. This was mainly due to Hui Yue spending every night training his body. Although the trip was longer and it would take him more time before he would be reunited with his friends, an eagerness to increase his strength swelled inside him. He knew that it was important to increase his strength when he was able to do so. If Wan Qiao refused to assist them, then it was important to be as strong as possible for when he had to face a Lord of the Forest.
Another thing which made Hui Yue take training his body seriously was partly because of the previous stated reasons, but also partly because of some changes he felt within his body. The stronger his body became the better it could handle his internal energies. The more it could release at a time. Also an increase in brute strength increased both martial and spiritual arts’ powers.
Knowing this, Hui Yue started to regret not training his body earlier, however, due to the amount of internal strength he now had training his body was far easier than it would have been earlier.
While Hui Yue focused fully on training, both internal and external energies, Lan Feng focused on their travel. Finally, one day they came to a halt as they stared at a massive fortified city built from stone.
A tall wall was erected all around the city and the surroundings somehow reminded Hui Yue of medieval castle towns he read about in the past. This structure was completely different from the architecture in the Taiyang Kingdom.
The last few days multiple humanoid beasts had appeared on the road, all of which were on their way to the city in front of them. As they came closer and closer guards wearing red armor were patrolling the roads and the constant bandit attacks had long since vanished. As such Lan Feng did not have to display his aura to shock people around them.
Following the many beasts, Hui Yue was surprised that no one was looking at him as a human but instead thought he was a beast. Although his appearance was slightly different from the majority of the humans his body had no signs of being a beast either.
‘It’s because you don’t have a human aura,’ Lan Feng said quietly, ‘Although I am keeping my aura hidden you do not let off a human aura since we share a body.’
Entering into the city, Hui Yue suddenly wondered what the currency was. With him he had gold coins, spirit coins, and even beast cores, but he was quite certain that the latter was not their currency of choice.
Looking around he saw how the entire city was packed full of creatures. All them were mixed humans and beasts with a few full beasts walking around.
In the sky, One-Horned Eagles were flying around patrolling the city, and on the ground beastly humans were moving one after another some selling and others buying. It looked in every way like a human city. Hui Yue started walking through the various streets looking for a marketplace where he could hear someone yell out prices for their items. this was the only way Hui Yue could think about getting the answer he was looking for.