Chapter 84: Syncing Elemental Affinities
Hui Yue was standing within the rear garden, his clothes tattered and his hair dishevelled as he was panting heavily. There was no blood on his skin, nor were there any wounds and although the young man looked to be in a sorry state excitement was evident within his eyes, and a smile was sprouting on his face.
“Yun, you are simply amazing!” Hui Yue exclaimed, as he sat down and instantly closed his eyes in a meditational position. Then he went through the entire sparring match which had just happened.
Sha Yun usually refused to spar against Hui Yue as she could not bring herself to try to injure Hui Yue seriously, yet Hui Yue kept asking for her help. Due to Hui Yue’s persistence the snake-woman eventually gave in and decided to try and help him.
Standing in front of each other, Hui Yue was only allowed to use the Earthen Spikes, which he had become much more proficient in. Although Hui Yue was still unable to summon the spears to a fitting size without incantations, he had noticed that his affinity with Earth definitely improved.
Another astonishing development was discovered by Hui Yue. Upon perfecting his Earthen Spikes, he would be able to perform any sort of earthen creation, as his affinity would allow for Earth to act according to his desires.
Knowing that unlike martial art skills, Hui Yue would only have to perfect one of each elemental affinity, then he would be able to perfectly mould those elements in the future. This was one of the reasons higher ranked cultivators were so much more deadly. Not only did they have strength and a higher cultivation base, but as soon as they managed to sync perfectly with their affinity, then they would be in a completely different league than others of the same rank who had not perfected their affinities.
Hui Yue had perfected his Fire Spark, because he had trained it relentlessly in the past. His relentless training coupled with Lan Feng’s spiritual power and their shared soul helped him perfect the Fire elemental affinity faster than a normal cultivator would. Hui Yue was now working hard on the Earth elemental affinity.
At the start, Hui Yue had managed to produce small Earthen Spikes, but they had already grown to be just over a metre tall now. Sha Yun had been born with a synced affinity with Earth, and she had never even heard about incantations before she met Hui Yue.
Her Earthen Spears would grow up to four metres tall and two metres in diameter when they were maxed out, yet she was able to twist the Earth in every way she could possibly want. Her ability to create things from the soil was smooth and graceful like it was a dance.
Next to Sha Yun, Hui Yue could not help but feel slightly inferior. Although his attack could grow to the same size, he still needed the incantation, which required a few moments to mumble. Waiting for a moment within a fight was enough for Hui Yue to be completely annihilated if he was against a veteran fighter.
As Hui Yue spent more and more time practicing the Earth spiritual arts, he felt a great change within his body and the surrounding world. He was no longer just Hui Yue, he had become one with the ground, with the soil, and with the energy which flowed from Earth.
Seated on the ground, Hui Yue felt as though something broke through and underneath him the earth started to ripple with energy, slowly transforming as though it was heeding Hui Yue’s summons. The white-haired boy however kept his eyes closed, yet a slight wrinkle appeared between his eyebrows, as sweat started to appear on his body.
During the sparring match against Sha Yun, Hui Yue felt something different than when he was practicing on his own. He had observed the snake-woman throughout, and the way she treated Earth was very much akin to how Hui Yue treated his Qi and Spiritual Energy. Both were a part of him, as they live within, and Hui Yue seemed to have gained enlightenment because as soon as the match ended he created a mental projection, and then entered the spiritual energy sea.
Within the spiritual energy sea, Hui Yue was seated in a meditational position with the yellow flame floating slightly above his two hands as he focused his entire being on this flame alone. This flame was in no way different from the red flame which Hui Yue had already perfected, yet there was a different feeling about it.
Hui Yue was trying to merge his consciousness with the Flame of Earth, and sweat was trickling down his skin as the rumbling around his body grew larger and more profound until it eventually settled in the pattern of a five pointed star.
Sha Yun was standing next to Hui Yue and her eyes were alert, yet she did not interrupt, instead she stood guard. The snake-woman’s main offense was her control over Earth, how could she not know that currently Hui Yue was forcing a perfect elemental affinity?
Forcing an affinity to merge with the soul was a very risky move, it could easily backfire if the cultivator did not take caution, or if the elemental affinity had not already been thoroughly trained. Sha Yun had no intention of stopping Hui Yue, as she felt that the young man would be capable of accomplishing everything he wanted.
The five pointed star suddenly erupted with soil and all of it turned to mud before it all covered Hui Yue, creating what looked like a statue of mud, not even the face was left out.
Hui Yue could not help but feel shocked as he felt the sudden opportunity, yet he also felt secretly thrilled. Earth was responding to him. Everything went dark, even the inside of Hui Yue’s dantian caves. No light could shine through.
Hui Yue was laying in this black but very gentle world for an unknown amount of time before the picture of growing plants appeared in his eyes. The small plants quickly grew into large bushes and trees, towering above while their roots were firmly fastened within the comfortable soil.
A chuckle escaped Hui Yue as he felt as if he was a child once more, laying in his mother’s embrace, and the white-haired boy did not resist although he knew that this was not his real mother, instead it was mother earth.
Hui Yue was taken for a long journey through the world of earthen power. He saw how the earth got corroded at some beaches, but also how other beaches were growing in size. He saw how mountains sprouted from the underground, and even how islands were created from magma.
Finally, Hui Yue saw how the fields allowed for seeds to grow, and he finally understood that to live one needed the earth, and the earth was everywhere, the earth was created by the element Earth, giving the practitioners with that affinity an immense strength, should they be capable of unlocking it. Hui Yue suddenly knew that once he became one with the earth, he would always have a part of this history within him. He would become a part of the earth itself.
Ever so slowly, the soil which encased Hui Yue started to crumble, and after a few minutes Hui Yue was once more free. He opened his eyes and shock instantly appeared within his soul. The world had changed from how he saw it before.
Every time Hui Yue took a step he was capable of feeling the ripples of energy which the earth was releasing into the world. He could feel every tree and living creature within a hundred metres, every movement which occurred on the soil was easily felt by Hui Yue, as though they were made on his very body.
A great smile appeared on the white-haired boy’s face, as he realised that it had been a success. Hui Yue managed to force a perfect symbiosis with Earth, yet the feeling was vastly different compared to when he was dealing with Fire.
Furrowing his brows, Hui Yue was about to once more sit down in meditation when he felt, through the earth, that more guests had arrived in front of his mansion.
Slightly disappointed, Hui Yue stood up and as soon as he made a move, Sha Yun opened her eyes and followed him into the mansion, heading for the mansion gate.
Opening the gate, Hui Yue saw that the Rong twins were visiting him once more, and their previously lively eyes were now filled with exhaustion and worry. A tinge of sadness appeared in Hui Yue’s heart yet he had no intention of joining either faction.
“Come in,” Hui Yue said, as he allowed for the two to enter before he quickly went down to the kitchen to order a few snacks.
“You look tired,” Hui Yue commented, as he handed two cups of warm tea to the twins before he sat down in a chair and looked at them expectedly.
Things within Riluo City had changed vastly over the past year which Hui Yue had spent to reach the second star of the Master rank along with finally syncing with his Earth elemental affinity.
The first half of the year things had been calm on the surface, yet ripples of shock had resonated throughout the entire underground, as the Wang and Deng families were actively recruiting forces and families desperately.
At first the opposing faction knew nothing at all, as all of them were busy with the massive steam engine which Rong Liang produced and the incredible increase in mining which allowed for wealth unlike any other seen within Riluo City. Because they managed to mine one magical crystal after another, and export them to the other major cities.
Unfortunately, the smaller families within the city noticed the change in the factions and the tension slowly grew impossible not to notice. The family-owned marketplaces started to only allow those of their own factions to purchase items in their stalls, and eventually they completely refused to even allow the other faction entrance.
This went so far that at some point they even refused allowing in citizens who had no alignment, these were citizens who were commoners, and who had lived a life where the noble families meant absolutely nothing in their everyday life.
The atmosphere within Riluo City turned tense and no one wished to walk about leisurely any longer. No one knew exactly what was happening, and what could cause this sudden hostility which was shown between the two factions, but it was obvious that something big was happening and this caused them to feel nervous.
This situation caused the Rong family to become in a tough position. They had no idea what the opposing faction was planning, yet it was obvious to everyone that they were planning something. The Rong twins graduated from the academy, and the past year they had been working hard for the Rong family and learning how to manage business. Half a year ago the two of them did everything in their power to try and understand what was happening, but not even had Gao Yan, the Master of the Whispers, managed to obtain any information at all on the subject.
Looking at Hui Yue, Rong Xing sighed heavily. She cared deeply for the small child who had been her friends for multiple years, and he had turned into a younger brother for her. Because they were so close Rong Xing knew a lot about how Hui Yue’s mind worked and this was also why she knew that Hui Yue had no intention of joining either side. As if he did he would be put in a position where he would have to choose amongst his friends.
Despite his neutrality, the Rong twins kept visiting the younger man as they felt that within his home was the only place left in Riluo City where there was tranquillity. A tranquillity which nurtured their tired minds, before they once more had to return to the stressful situation within the City Lord’s Mansion.
Hui Yue’s home was the only place where the Rong twins could still return to the feelings which they had experienced year after year at the academy. This was the one place that still felt like home, as Hui Yue had managed to stay unaffected by the entire situation between the factions, and all the friends would gather here from time to time to replenish their energy.