Chapter 24: Transforming Weapons
‘Soul Fusion?’ Hui Yue echoed, while his mental projection frowned slightly. It was obvious that Hui Yue’s and Lan Feng’s souls were already merged together, so hearing the surprise Lan Feng had exclaimed caused a slight worry to creep up in his heart.
‘Soul fusion and entwined souls are not the same,’ Lan Feng said as an answer to Hui Yue’s thoughts, causing his eyes to widen in shock.
‘When we made a soul contracts our souls got wrapped around each other like a knot, unable to be untied unless we achieve our aims. We can sense the mood of the other and the senses of the soul since our souls exist whilst pressed together, but when we are done, our souls will go each their way, unable to ever feel these emotions again.’ Lan Feng explained what Hui Yue already knew. The Phoenix had previously explained the soul contract and its usages.
‘A soul fusion is different,’ Lan Feng sighed, and Hui Yue started to wonder if this was what brought about the change inside him recently. ‘A soul fusion literally merges a part of our souls. Even when our goals have been achieved, and our souls are split from each other, we will keep this link. A slim part of my soul has merged into you and a part of your soul has merged into me. I have more of your soul than you have of mine since you just used your mental energy to replenish me.’
Hearing this surprised Hui Yue beyond words. His mental state was disrupted and his mental avatar started becoming transparent as no focus was around for its upkeep. Only one thing went through Hui Yue’s head–
‘So you are saying that I will never be rid of you?’ He asked Lan Feng with horror in his voice, causing indignation to stir on the blue boy’s facial expression. ‘Sorry,’ Hui Yue laughingly said afterwards, ‘I’m shocked. How did this happen?’
Lan Feng could asseverate the apology’s credibility, which in some way did not help his feelings, but he still decided to answer his abrasive friend.
‘We had our auras merged for so long, combined with me forcefully possessing our body must have been the trigger. Though it could only happen because we have a soul contract. Our souls were already so close and now they have fused together. This is actually a little miraculous!’ Lan Feng said with excitement, as he thought about it.
‘Miracle, how?’ Hui Yue inquired, still slightly apprehensive about the thought of always bringing a part of Lan Feng with him wherever he went, not to mention a part of his soul would forever be stuck within Lan Feng.
‘Well. You will be able to use some of my power now that you have a portion of my soul. At least, you should be able to use my affinities to create much better skills than the pitiful Fire Spark you used before.’
‘Will I be able to use spiritual arts?’ Hui Yue asked with great interest and his eyes started glistening with excitement, only to be turned down by Lan Feng,
‘In theory, yes. But you will not be able to. Even if you can use my elemental affinities you are unable to refine Qi into Spiritual energy. You can only do that after unlocking the middle dantian.’
Lan Feng fell silent in thought, and Hui Yue could sense the pensiveness. It was as if a barrier had been erupted between the two of them warning Hui Yue not to communicate. He could almost make out thoughts swirling within Lan Feng’s mind with his naked eye, and sometimes fragments of the thoughts bled over into Hui Yue’s head, allowing him to infer that Lan Feng was currently probing his memory for any clues to soul fusion.
‘There is a way,’ Lan Feng said, as he opened his eyes slowly and the invisible barrier between the two ebbed away. ‘When a soul fusion has been established, it is possible to steal power from your fusion partner. If I were to refine spiritual power, you will be able to use it.’ At first, Hui Yue had been incredibly excited, but after being told of the procedure to its execution, disappointment washed over him like a splash of cold water.
‘But you can’t refine much spiritual power at a time,’ Hui Yue sighed dejectedly as he gazed at the blue thread of light between the two.
‘That is true,’ Lan Feng said, ‘but you won’t need a lot for it to be doing severe damage to your peers.’
Hui Yue, once again, found his interest spurred on, as he saw a way to be able to beat stronger opponents such as Wang Ju Long.
‘Imagine Fire Spark if you were to infuse it with just a bit of spiritual energy,’ Lan Feng said, as a smile appeared on his face.
Hui Yue, too, felt a smile spread. The Fire Spark used by Lan Feng had been far from perfect. If Hui Yue were to practice hard, and had the ability to borrow Lan Feng’s spiritual power, creating a fire bomb with a power exceeding that should not prove an impossible task.
‘I don’t know much about soul fusions, so I will suggest you to sit down and search your body thoroughly before you start consuming those incredibly delicious-smelling medicinal pills in your pocket.’ Lan Feng said, and Hui Yue could not help laughing. After ten years of constantly living together with this odd bird-boy, Hui Yue had to admit that his presence had grown on him – in fact, it might be a good thing that they were to never truly part
Hui Yue did as he had been told and his mental projection sat down in the middle of the Qi spiral to begin meditating.
Slowly the mental projection started to turn transparent as the Qi spiral moved frantically, and eventually the projection was completely gone. Hui Yue had injected his mental projection into the Qi strands, and he could feel how the Qi was bursting with power and seeking to break out of the spiral.
One thread of Qi was allowed to break free and it shot out from the Qi cave at a high speed. It entered directly into a yang meridian around the stomach area, where Hui Yue noticed his meridians had grown in width.
Having his meridians grow was most likely the result of Lan Feng’s high quality spiritual energy pulsing through them, back when he released his miniature sun-sized Fire Spark. Having enlarged meridians was a major boon, as it allowed for more Qi to flow through their channels at a time.
Hui Yue’s scalp turned numb from the anticipation and glee, as he directed his consciousness further through the deep reaches of his body. Upon reaching the end of the twelve open meridians, he saw an opening towards a thirteenth vessel that had collapsed inwards, and how the spiritual energy had resulted in the end of the meridian being caved in.
He instantly willed for more Qi threads towards this part, but he did not instantly charge at the entrance to force it open. Instead, he slowly allowed the Qi threads to dig their way into the newfound meridian, and ultimately the entrance was completely unsealed, allowing the Qi to enter and travel at a snail’s pace through the previously unknown tunnel.
This meridian was the Chong Mai meridian, also known as the penetrating meridian. Its purpose was to further the Qi access from the meridian into the blood vessels and even into the organs. This allowed for a cultivator to use Qi as an internal shield within the body, and in the same breath allow the Qi to strengthen the organs and blood itself.
‘Brat, this is awesome!’ Lan Feng’s voice resounded from deep within the Qi cave. ‘To be able to unlock the Chong Mai meridian while still being in the student rank is really rare, and it will give you a head start amongst all the other cultivators of your generation.’
Hui Yue himself was filled with as much excitement as Lan Feng, and he pushed back his consciousness to the Qi cave, where he recreated his mental projection and left the synchronisation with the Qi spiral, which in turn slowed down remarkably.
‘So what do I do now?’ Hui Yue asked, slightly dazed. It seemed as though the disaster from the previous night had turned into a blessing in disguise. Not only had he achieved soul fusion with Lan Feng, his meridians had grown in size and he had even unlocked the Chong Mai meridian to boot.
Not to mention the many pills waiting for his consumption, Hui Yue felt as if there were so many treasures happening within his body and did not know what to focus on.
‘I would suggest that you start with taking one of these lovely medicinal pills, and after absorbing all the Qi from the pill into the Qi spiral, you will go and train the high ranked martial art attack skill that I am going to give you. When you have used all of your Qi on training you will enter meditation and refine more Qi until you have restored the Qi spiral to its usual shape and then you will force the Qi into your Chong Mai meridian, from which you will start fortifying your internal organs and dissolve as much Qi as possible within the blood. When you run out of Qi, you will once again meditate until your Qi spiral has filled to usual size before you take a new medicinal pill and repeat the same actions.’
Hui Yue listened to Lan Feng and felt his heart leap when he heard the phoenix was finally ready to provide him with a high ranked martial art skill.
‘You are not to practice Fire Spark before I have refined at least some spiritual essence for you to practice with,’ Lan Feng said sternly, to which Hui Yue nodded in approval.
Hui Yue dissolved his mental projection and woke up, seated below the tree in his backyard. The majority of the day had already come to pass, and the sun was climbing down beneath the mountain tops.
Hui Yue sighed, but although he was tempted to ingest a medicinal pill already, he was perfectly aware that stressing it would only bring detrimental effects and he did not fancy the idea.
The schedule Lan Feng had planned for Hui Yue was structured in a way that allowed Hui Yue to stabilize the Qi he would gain from the pills by both fortifying his organs but also, at the same time, practicing a martial art attack skill. Doing this should stabilize the Qi enough for him to be able to consume another pill within a short timeframe. However, Hui Yue knew that he should not expect eating a pill every day. The fortification was supposed to be incredibly hard, and mastering a new martial art skill was no simple endeavor, either.
Still a smile appeared on the small boy’s face as he left his courtyard, moving towards the canteen. The following day would be the time for him to start his cultivation for real.
Hui Yue had been unable to sleep all night, as he was filled with excitement about finally trying out a medicinal pill, not to mention learning a new martial art skill, and eventually he had to give up on sleep, opting to instead sit down on top of his bed while meditating deeply.
Hui Yue had since long ago noticed that the student’s emblem was not as simple as it seemed, and every time he was within his courtyard, he would stow it away underneath his pillow, which in turn caused great distress amongst the elders who wished to see the genius train.
As soon as the first birds started singing in the sky, Hui Yue’s eyes shut open and an excited smile appeared on his face. Grabbing his jacket, he jumped out the house and placed himself in the wet grass which was below the tree in his courtyard.
Hui Yue completely ignored how the dew soaked his clothes, but it was finally time for him to try out one of the pills that he had never tried before.
A green jade case appeared within his hands, and as if trembling slightly, Hui Yue slowly opened the lid, allowing the heavenly herb-like scent to swiftly rise in and suffuse the air.
A greedy smile appeared on his face as his hand quickly grasped the pill and tossed it into his mouth.
As soon as the pill got in contact with the saliva, the hard shell instantly melted, releasing waves of profound sweetness within Hui Yue’s mouth, and, before long, the entire pill turned into a liquid that quickly slid down Hui Yue’s throat.
As soon as the liquid passed through the throat, it turned from liquid into small streaks of light which entered the body through the meridians and different blood vessels, rushing towards the Qi cave.
Each streak of light appeared and rushed directly into the Qi spiral where it merged together with a Qi thread, which then grew in thickness, before it slowly parted into two.
It took Hui Yue immense effort and sweat was pouring down his forehead as he ended up hunting down the wayward rays of light that had pervaded into his blood vessels. Had he not opened the Chong Mai meridian, then it would have been impossible for Hui Yue to locate these rays of light and, thus, have lost more than half of the pill’s efficiency.
Hui Yue’s Qi cave had increased with up to an additional seventh of its original size, and although it might not sound like much, it was definitely an incredible amount considering the former size was cultivated through ten years of painstaking efforts.
It was past noon when Hui Yue finally opened his eyes and looked up at the sun. It had taken him several hours to absorb the energy of the medicinal pill, but at last he had managed to squeeze out the latent effects of the pill.
Hui Yue jumped up and instantly felt how the energy within him was bursting forth, rushing through his meridians and trying to force their way out of his body. A big smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face as he started performing Raging Strike, Stone Fist and Shattering Kick in a series, and the strength used in these was at least twice to what he had performed back when he dueled Wang Ju Long.
‘Stop playing around with those useless skills,’ Lan Feng’s spectral voice sounded out from within Hui Yue’s mind, but now, although Lan Feng’s voice seemed full of disdain, a feeling of childish superiority billowed from within Hui Yue and had him unable to stifle a laugh at the silly bird.
‘I absorbed the pill,’ Hui Yue said laughingly, as he looked around the courtyard. Inside their shared body, his soul was urging Lan Feng to understand his immense desire to know what high ranked martial art skill he would be getting.
Lan Feng ended up laughing, causing Hui Yue to sprout a dumb grin as neither bird nor human could keep any emotions or thoughts secret from the other anymore. The two of them were literally stuck together like gum.
‘Okay, okay,’ Lan Feng laughed and Hui Yue quickly entered a meditational stance and created a mental projection, which appeared within the Qi cave, once he dived into his inner realm.
The blue boy moved towards the seated Hui Yue and, much like the other times, raised a finger to his forehead and pulled out a sphere of blue light stuck to his fingertip.
This blue light slowly travelled through the air and embedded itself inside of Hui Yue’s head, rupturing into a flood of knowledge and information.
‘Transforming Weapons’ was the name of this skill, and it was a Middle King ranked martial art attack skill.
This skill fully allowed Hui Yue to step into Lan Feng’s shoes and grasp just why he looked down on the attack skills Hui Yue had learned so far.
Transforming Weapons was a skill that allowed Hui Yue to mould his Qi into different weapon shapes; however, the shape of the weapons could not be bigger than the capacity of Qi residing within the individual cultivator.
Hui Yue knew by intuition that he was currently only able to create knives and short swords. Even if he could only create knives and short swords, Hui Yue felt a great joy within his heart as he recalled all his days practicing Wushu.
Hui Yue retained his seated position while allowing his Qi to flow through his meridians in a pattern according to the skill he had just been taught pretty much instantly, and, slowly, he felt how the coursing Qi threatened to rush out of his hands and take the shape of a knife.
The first attempt ended in a vague mist nigh imperceptible to the naked eye; however, Hui Yue could feel the form of the mist and excitement rushed through his body, despite the feeling of holding the apparitional handle of the mist-knife being a short-lived luxury.
He repeated the same action throughout the entire afternoon until he finally emptied dry his Qi reserves. Since he was currently training, it was impossible for him to apply the amount of Qi that the perfected skill would need to be sustained. However, even now, Hui Yue had felt how his Qi had vanished in a steady stream throughout the last couple of hours.
As the final dregs of Qi had been squeezed out of the Qi spiral, a satisfied expression appeared on Hui Yue’s sweat-glazed face as he opened his eyes.
Although several hours had gone by whilst practicing, Hui Yue had now managed to form the outline of the knife in his hand. Although this outline was a far cry from the perfected skill, the speed of his training was astonishing by normal standards.
This was partly due to his higher purity of Qi, but the majority of the credit went to Lan Feng, since he had already perfected the skill, and with their souls now partially fused, Hui Yue had the benefit of an innate understanding of the skill beforehand.
Hui Yue knew that it was unlikely the remaining time would be sufficient for him to try and fortify his body, and instead he sat down and savoured the warmth of the setting sun while absorbing the essence of the world and slowly refining it into Qi, while allowing his dried-out Qi spiral to slowly regain its previous splendor.
The following night was spent the same way as the previous, with Hui Yue focusing on refining essence into Qi, increasing the size of his Qi spiral slowly but steadily.
The following morning was no different. Hui Yue jumped out of bed as soon as he heard the first birds chirping awake the mountaintops and, once more, moved into the courtyard where he sat down below his usual tree.
Slowly, he took his time as he created his mental projection and placed himself within his Qi cave after which he slowly meditated, allowing his mind to completely harmonize with his body.
The mental projection once more moved into the Qi spiral and disappeared, after which a few strands of Qi moved to the Chong Mai meridian before slowly entering Hui Yue’s body, wrapping itself around one of his internal organs.
First it was like the Qi Guard which shielded the entire organ. However, after a short while, this protective layer of Qi slowly sank into the organ, causing it to light up slightly with a white light. Another stand of Qi wrapped around the same organ and the action was repeated.
This method allowed Hui Yue to strengthen his body internally, making it highly impervious to internal injuries. However, fortifying the body was a process that should be carried out throughout the course of one’s life as the Qi and other energy forms were constantly evolving.
Fortifying the body was also a very time consuming process, and after half a day, Hui Yue had used up his entire Qi pool without finishing the fortification of the first organ.
The organ itself was now much stronger; Hui Yue could feel how each strand of Qi needed more time to submerge itself within the tissue, but he kept patiently cultivating while implementing the improvements to the internal organ, and as his final drop of Qi had disappeared, satisfaction was once again evident on Hui Yue’s face.
The time was only high noon, but Hui Yue decided against taking another medicinal pill so soon after his last, after considering the risks; instead, he sat down, cultivating while allowing the Qi spiral to gyrate and strengthen up again.
After an hour, Hui Yue once again had the full strength he needed, and he resumed the practice of his Transforming Weapons skill.
The next week went by in a flash, and Hui Yue had shirked his academic responsibilities and completely skipped his classes, focusing on his routine of taking a medicinal pill every second day, practicing his new martial art skill and afterwards fortifying his body, internally.