Chapter 80: Elemental Affinity
“Which elemental affinity did you gain?” Sha Yun asked curiously. As a beast she was born with an elemental affinity, but she knew humans only unlocked it once the cultivator managed to access the middle dantian and move into the realm of a Master ranked cultivator.
Hui Yue was grumbling a little, before he answered, “I am not sure. The only change I can feel is that I am many times stronger than I have ever been before. This is actually quite odd.”
Deep within the dantian cave Lan Feng nodded, and his previous haughty expression was replaced by a confused frown.
‘I can’t feel your affinity.’ He said slowly. ‘What do you feel?’
Hui Yue looked at Sha Yun apologetically before he sat down and entered a meditational position, after which he created a mental projection and moved to the lower dantian. It was time for him to explore the depths of the changes in his body.
Seated within the dantian cave, Hui Yue’s mental projection looked around and saw that a new tunnel-like structure had appeared at the ceiling right above the Qi spiral. He noticed how strands of Qi from the spiral were being sucked into the new tunnel at an incredibly slow pace.
At this sight, Hui Yue scrunched his brows and excitedly allowed his mental avatar to float up into the tunnel, to see where it ended.
The tunnel was long and the stone cave twisted slightly from going upwards to becoming a slope. The tunnel walls had at first been jagged and rough, yet the further Hui Yue moved the smoother they became and eventually Hui Yue no longer felt as though he was walking through a rough tunnel but rather a stone hallway.
After travelling through this hallway for a period of time, Hui Yue reached a set of gates. The gate doors were massive and created from carved out stone, elaborate carvings of two phoenixes with a massive vermillion bird in the middle spreading a daunting yet resonant presence from the sealed entrance. . Looking at the gate, Hui Yue could not help but wonder what had created such a thing within him.
‘They were carved by Qi, like a manifestation.’ Lan Feng answered his question. ‘Ever since you reached the peak of the ninth-star Practitioner rank, every excess strand of Qi you refined went into carving out this gate, allowing for you to open your middle dantian. The more elaborate the gate, the more promising the spiritual sea will become.’
Hearing that, Hui Yue gaped. ‘When your gate finished, all the Qi you refined for the gate rushed back to the Qi spiral, allowing for it to surge and push you into the Master rank, but you have yet to open your middle dantian.’
Hui Yue nodded. It made sense that the surging power he felt before was from the return of all the Qi he had refined over the last couple of weeks. At first, Hui Yue noticed that the essence he refined had vanished, yet he had assumed that it was due to him having hit the bottleneck. That he was simply unable to absorb more Qi until he broke through.
With excitement in his eyes and a slight tremble in his hand, Hui Yue placed his palm on the massive stone gate and gently pushed. After pushing, Hui Yue’s brows sunk into an angry slope, because the stone did not move an inch.
‘Are you an idiot?’ Lan Feng’s bright voice sounded, uncontained laughter could be heard in his mind. ‘This is a massive door. For you to unlock the middle dantian, do you think it is as simple as just gently pushing it with your hands?’
The mocking words made Hui Yue consider his actions, and he let a self-mocking laughter escape his lips, as he caressed the big door in front of him.
‘Breaking into my middle dantian, huh?’ Hui Yue mumbled and with but a thought, the Qi spiral in his lower dantian instantly gyrated wildly before it shot a volley of Qi strands into the newly opened tunnel, where he now stood.
With the speed the Qi was traveling at, it took no more than a split second before the strands had arrived at Hui Yue’s side and gathered together in a ball. Spreading his arms, Hui Yue shaped the ball into a battering ram, proceeding to forcibly smash open the door with the spectral tool.
The onslaught of the battering ram yielded no result at first, yet after a few consecutive strikes, the big stone door started to show signs of budging, before eventually the final strand of Qi from his spiral had been integrated into the battering ram. Creaking sounds could be heard from the gate, as it slowly crumbled under the pressure, the gathering dust filling the air before revealing the appearance of a new cave .
Gaping, Hui Yue dissolved the Qi battering ram and allowed for each and every one of his Qi threads to go into the dantian cave once more where they settled down within the Qi spiral, before he took a step into this new place.
It was an inner cave unlike anything Hui Yue had ever seen before. He surmised its position to be somewhere beside the heart, yet the size was thousands of times bigger than that of the dantian cave. Alas, the cave currently seemed just as empty as it was big.
Looking at the cave, Hui Yue noticed that he had not a lot of space to move on, instead he was able to hover above the ground, which looked exactly like a dried up sea. No matter how much Hui Yue strained his eyes, nor how much Qi he used to fortify them, it was impossible for him to see the end of the dried up sea. The only reason he knew how big it was, was because he could feel it with his mental projection. It was able to observe the entire body from the inside.
‘This is huge.’ Lan Feng said in an astonished voice. ‘It is obvious that the purity of your Qi has produced miracles.’
Hui Yue could only nod. He had no way of knowing how large the spiritual sea was for other cultivators, but he was definitely of the impression that this sea was vast and would be difficult to fill up with spiritual energy.
Just as Hui Yue was starting to feel slightly depressed, he noticed how gusts of Qi appeared within the cave, and a copy of Hui Yue materialized in the very middle of the spiritual energy sea, where it was seated with closed eyes and hands neatly formed into the bird hand symbol.
This copy looked exactly like the one within his lower dantian and just like as that copy was refining Qi from essence, this copy was attracting a steady stream of Qi threads which in turn were absorbed. Ever so slowly, it started refining the first drop of spiritual energy.
Hui Yue was silently observing the Spiritual Essence Sea in front of him for a long time before he finally managed to wrest his attention away. Looking next to him, Lan Feng was standing proudly and upright, looking at the same sea as Hui Yue. The white-haired boy noticed how nostalgia was flooding him from Lan Feng’s soul.
To Lan Feng, Hui Yue was the only way he would be able to regain his body, not to mention getting revenge on the man who forced him into such a sorry state, and this step of forcing ajar the middle dantian was only a small step on the road to greatness. However, this spiritual energy sea was so vast that it exceeded Lan Feng’s every expectation, and although it would require much more effort to fill it up and advance into the King rank and thus finally the upper dantian, it also made for a much stronger foundation and ability to deal with other middle dantian ranked experts, outclassing his peers in quality by leagues.
‘So… where do I find my elemental affinity?’ Hui Yue asked Lan Feng, his excitement still high. Thinking about the affinities, Hui Yue could not help but secretly hope for it to be wood.
‘Sit down.’ Lan Feng ordered, and Hui Yue’s mental projection did just that. ‘Feel out your entire spiritual energy sea. Somewhere in this dry ground is a coloured flame. This is your affinity flame and you control the affinities existing here.’
Hui Yue once more followed the orders given by Lan Feng, and it did not take him long to find the supposed flame Lan Feng had mentioned, only it was not one flame, nor was it two.
In front of Hui Yue’s mental projection were five flames of various strength and colours. The first flame was yellow which was soaring all the way to the cave ceiling, clearly representing Earth. The second flame was red and much like the yellow one, it was aiming to reach the top, both seemed as if they were fighting one another to topple the other for supremacy.
The third flame was silver and it was only slightly below the first two flames, yet the final two flames were both quite weak, one was blue the other green.
‘I have never seen anything like this before.’ Lan Feng said, flabbergasted, deep inside he started to worry about how this young man and how he had managed to have so many secrets inside his body, most of them things which Lan Feng had not even heard about, even in his long life.
‘Does this mean I have five elemental affinities?’ Hui Yue asked as a thrilled and slightly greedy appearance was shown on his handsome face.
‘I do not know.’ Lan Feng answered in turn, before he mumbled a little to himself. ‘Try calling them.’ He finally said. ‘If they heed your beckoning then they truly are within your grasp, yet if they ignore you, then I have absolutely no idea what it means for all five flames to be present. It can have something to do with the nine gates within your dantian cave.’
Hui Yue quickly nodded his head as he sat down, closed his eyes, and waited for a moment. ‘How I am supposed to call them again?’ He asked sheepishly, as he had been seated for some time, unable to do anything.
‘You really are quite dumb.’ Lan Feng commented before he started to describe the procedure. ‘Firstly, you need to want to get them to you. The more you want them to be within your hand the quicker they will respond. Make sure to focus on a specific area where you want them to appear, if not they will just randomly appear anywhere or in some cases not move at all.’
Having heard that, Hui Yue nodded. Previously, he had called out to them with his soul, yet no reaction was seen and a slight worry manifested itself within. Extending both hands, Hui Yue once more thought about the five flames, and this time he wanted them to be within his hands. He wanted his elemental affinities to become his strength and then suddenly he felt something land in his hands.
Opening his eyes, Hui Yue stared at three colourful flames, each and every one of them trying to outshine the other. In one hand was the red flame, while the other was shared by the yellow and silver. Neither the blue nor the green flame had moved even an inch and disappointment flooded over Hui Yue as he no longer had the hope of becoming an alchemist.
Still, dabbling in alchemy was not the only amazing profession and while most were lucky if they got two elemental affinities, Hui Yue was now seated within his newly opened middle dantian with three roaring fires within his hands.
Looking at these flames, Hui Yue felt satisfaction within his heart. All three of them were strong, and he was going to use them both for survival and for attacking his enemies. Although he wished for alchemy, it was not so bad now that he gained inscription instead.
With a flicker of his hand, Hui Yue allowed for the three flames to return to their original position underneath the copy, who was currently refining the Qi strands ever so slowly, and once an hour, Hui Yue could feel how a drop of pure spiritual energy landed within his spiritual energy sea.
‘Rest now.’ Lan Feng said in an excited voice. ‘Tomorrow, I will teach you a new skill, not to mention telling you about your new rank. Soon we will be able to set off into the Dungeons of the Divine.’