Chapter 107 – The Pass of Desire
With Lin Ming’s current fame in Sky Fortune City, there were many major powers that wanted to show their good will to Lin Ming. However, because of the regulations and customs of the Seven Profound Martial House, they could not disturb Lin Ming’s cultivation unless he left the Martial House or contacted them on his own initiative.
Under the jade stage, the lake was tranquil and shimmering deep green, as if it were a huge liquid emerald. As it was late in autumn, the rows of weeping willows surrounding the lake were already a dry, golden yellow. As the gentle autumn wind blew across the lake surface, the leaves swirled into the air like a golden moth before fluttering gently downwards. What was surprising though was that there was not a single leaf that fell into the lake.
Lin Ming sat cross-legged on the sea jade platform. This platform was the illusory magic array that was used in the entrance examination’s Dream Trial. It was only open during the beginning of spring and fall when the two exams were conducted. However, it was not the start of fall anymore, so it was closed to the Martial House disciples.
However, Lin Ming’s status was special now, so he was specially permitted to train and feel his heart of martial arts.
During the entrance examination of the Seven Profound Martial House, when Lin Ming was in the sea jade platform’s dream land, he found that there was a flaw in his heart from the Pass of Desire. In the Pass of Desire, Lin Ming had seen a Lan Yunyue, ten years older. She had been exquisitely elegant, and humming a nursery song. She had been coaxing their child to sleep. When Lin Ming had seen this scene, he had nearly lost himself in the illusion.
Lin Ming knew that he no longer had any connection to Lan Yunyue. Even when he would pursue the pinnacle of martial arts in the future, his path would no longer cross with Lan Yunyue’s. But Lan Yunyue’s betrayal was still a knot in his heart.
This so-called ‘knot’ was a place in the heart that the mind could not reason with. In a martial artist’s journey, they not only cultivated their bodies, but they also cultivated their hearts and minds. They had to be true to themselves, and follow their desires, whether it was love or hate.
Otherwise, what was the point? If they tortured themselves to cultivate, and practiced martial arts day and night, and felt the desolation and loneliness at the same time, and yet had to bear everything in life patiently even as they suffered countless humiliations, then what exactly was the point of practicing martial arts? Why not just be a normal, common person?
A martial artist had a proud heart. They would not keep things in their heart such as losing an important contest or fight. Things like that could not frustrate their proud hearts. However, there were some things that would, such as when Lan Yunyue had betrayed Lin Ming and followed Zhu Yan. Such a malicious act had severely impacted Lin Ming’s pure heart, and no matter how strong and clear his heart of martial arts was, it would inevitably leave behind a ‘knot’ in the heart.
This was what the common folk spoke of when they mentioned ‘spirit’. As long as the spirit was smooth, then they would have clear thoughts and ease of mind. Their true essence circulation would not be impeded and their meridians would be able to link together easier.
On the other hand, if their ‘spirit’ was bad, then their mind would be blocked, and they would be depressed. Not only would their true essence not move, but it would be trapped in their body and become an anger that would psychologically attack them. Not only would they not be able to cultivate, but they would also damage their own health. If their arrogant heart was too strong, then they might even go mad!
If their thoughts were clouded and their hearts uncomfortable, the cultivation of a martial artist would easily be restrained. During the essential period of breaking through a bottleneck, the ‘knot’ would change into a demon that haunted their hearts. This would cause the martial artist to fail, and become forever immersed with their obsession before finally turning into an idiot.
There was only one solution to clear this ‘knot’, and that was to rely on their own strength to destroy the knot and cut off the evil spirits in the heart. Their minds would be clear, their breath smooth, and true essence would easily flow!
For instance, like in the competition, Zhu Yan had been defeated by Lin Ming. He had lost his dignity and also sustained a serious injury. His meridians had been damaged and it would affect his future efforts to break into the Pulse Condensation Period.
That event would cause Zhu Yan’s proud and arrogant heart of martial arts to be severely frustrated. Even if he wanted to stand up and recover his pride, hiring an assassin to kill Lin Ming was useless. He had to one day rely on his own strength to defeat Lin Ming, and overcome these demons in his heart.
However, this was already impossible for Zhu Yan. Not only did he experience a severe wound that would seriously influence his future cultivation, but even if he were completely cured, later on the disparity between him and Lin Ming would only increase.
In contrast, Lin Ming had defeated Zhu Yan at his strongest state and cut off this ‘knot’ in his heart. His heart of martial arts would only improve yet again, and although he could not achieve a perfect level, the time it took to pass the Dream Trial was reduced again. This time, it only took half an incense stick of time.
This time, he only needed half the time of Ling Sen.
As he awoke from the martial arts dream world, he closed his eyes and recalled what he had experienced in the Pass of Desire. Lin Ming’s cheeks were an odd color. He no longer dreamed of Lan Yunyue again, but had instead dreamed of Qin Xingxuan. Not only that, but he had also dreamed of several girls that he didn’t have too many impressions of. For instance, the talented, young inscription girl, Wang Yuhan, who he had met at the Inscription Association. There was also the cunning, rude, and totally unreasonable elder senior-sister who he had met at the Zither Department when he was looking up materials.
However, as soon as these two girls had appeared in Lin Ming’s dream land they had instantly disappeared.
Lin Ming now knew that the Pass of Desire didn’t necessarily show women that he liked in his heart, but also those that were capable of arousing the latent desire in his heart.
Desire didn’t include only love, but also lust. A human’s nature was that of an animal. An animal only existed for two goals; one was to survive, the other was to procreate.
To survive, eat, and reproduce; that was lust. Therefore the ancient scripts had recorded that the nature of man was food and s*x.
This instinct was imprinted in the very bones of every living human. Therefore the heart had evolved a wide range of potential desires. Some desires were suppressed by one’s own truth of morality. The Pass of Desire was able to find these infinite lusts of the heart and magnify them, and finally cause someone to be lost inside of them.
As they say, there was no man in the vastness of heaven and earth who had no wants or desires.
Many martial artists practiced martial arts to satisfy their desire. Because they strove towards this goal, their martial arts cultivation would leap ten thousand miles every day. However, after they had fulfilled their desires, their strength of cultivating martial arts would plummet.
This was always a contradictory process.
There were martial arts sages, who in order to overcome the pass of passion, had even castrated themselves. There were certain marvelous and ancient skill manuals that had written in their introduction, ‘In order to cultivate this art, one must first castrate themselves’, and so on. This was because in order to reach the Large Success stage of these cultivation methods, they had to overcome the pass of passion. But if their heart held any lust, then their demons would overcome them and they would perish in the beautiful dream land, becoming a useless idiot.
Because of these reasons, some of the eunuchs of the palace had rapid advancement when they cultivated martial arts. This was because they no longer had that lustful desire, and their energy would be locked into their body and converted into strength and true essence.
Lin Ming was aware of these reasons, and did not persist in the Pass of Desire. After all, from ancient times until now, there was never a martial artist who did not have even a tiny flaw in their heart of martial arts.
As he peacefully meditated on the sea jade platform, Lin Ming revolved the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ and quickly entered into the ethereal martial intent state. His bond passed into a state of unconsciousness, and the true essence in Lin Ming’s body began to circulate on its own instinct. Its speed began to run faster and faster, moving in lines that were more and more perfect.
Lin Ming was observing from an outsider’s perspective. He felt that as the true essence flowed in his body, it was also much quicker than before!
Lin Ming was indescribably happy. Because of the improvement in his heart of martial arts, his ethereal martial intent had also stepped up a level, and the cultivation speed was enhanced even more. Like this, he would not too far away from reaching Small Success of the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’s’ second-level.
With one breath, Lin Ming let his true essence revolve by itself for three hours. Finally, Lin Ming opened his eyes. The day was getting late. He suddenly remembered the Crown Prince’s invitation, so he lit a sound transmitting talisman and sent it to Muyi…
Sky Fortune City, the Crown Prince’s Palace
At this time, the sun had just set, and the Crown Prince’s palace front door was happily covered with decorations. A stream of luxurious horse-drawn carriages had formed a long line. All the celebrities and important figures of Sky Fortune City had gathered in their splendid attire at the Crown Prince’s palace. The floor was covered with hundreds of meters of red carpet, and there were also hundreds of beautiful maidservants that carried around fine food, refreshments, and fruits that they shuttled between the numerous visitors. Exquisite and playful music flowed through every corner of every hall.
Today, the Crown Prince Yang Lin had hosted a grand banquet at his palace. Although the Crown Prince had said this part was only a simple congregation, all those with a discerning eye knew that this banquet and great political significance. This was because this banquet’s main guest was the rising star Lin Ming, who was in the limelight of all of Sky Fortune City.
For this banquet, the Crown Prince’s palace had done careful preparations and cleaning. The garden was refurbished, and the blue stone tile floor was spotless as if it were just cleaned. It was bright and appealing. The palace had also filled the fountain springs with clear water. The blue water sparkled under the moonlight as it shot up; it was truly beautiful.
“The Southern Martial Marquis has arrived!” As soon as the herald announced this, a fat, middle-aged man wearing a brocade gown walked into the main hall of the Crown Prince’s palace with his entourage.
Although this man appeared bloated and fat, his steps were steady and his breath was even. His lazy gaze occasionally gave off a feeling that made the hearts of those watching him palpitate.
This middle-aged man was one of the ten great generals of Sky Fortune Kingdom, the Southern Military Marquis. The Sky Fortune Kingdom had several dozen generals in total. However, those that had genuine power and authority within the palm of their hands, and also had enormous prestige and fame within the army, were only ten people. These ten people were given noble titles. The Southern Martial Marquis was the youngest of these ten. This year, he was 69 years old.
“Southern Martial Marquis, he also came?”
Yang Lin heard this announcement and felt a great happiness surge in his heart! Although he had delivered an invitation to the Southern Martial Marquis, it was actually only a show of good etiquette; He did not actually believe that the Southern Martial Marquis would show up.
Although Yang Lin was Crown Prince in name, but as an official, his power and influence were far inferior to the Tenth Prince Yang Zhen.
When the elderly emperor died and the throne would change, it was unknown as to whose hands the throne would fall into. This was the critical period of time when people would choose who to support. If they chose the right person, their life would be filled with a lifetime of wealth and success. But with the wrong person, they would crash into the abyss and be beyond redemption.
However, the true attitudes of those people were elusive. The two princes mostly had their own trusted subordinates, or were like Zhu Yan and had been inextricably tied to Tenth Prince by their family. Most of the others already had enough status to avoid this conflict and adopt a moderate approach.
They had already rapidly advanced their careers and simply did not need to partake in the game of throne changes to increase their fortunes. To adopt a moderate stance and not favor any party was the most sensible option. No matter who came out on top, their status would not be affected.
The military was especially so. Since ancient times, if the military intervened in the battle for the throne, then it would become an extremely sensitive matter. Therefore the ten great generals normally did not attend the banquets held by the princes. This was because there would be spies in the banquets who would be reporting on them.
Although the Tenth Prince did not assume that all those that attended the banquet were partial to the Crown Prince, he would remember these people. In the future, if he won the struggle and seized the throne, even if these people did not intervene, he would not trust them after he mounted the throne. There were a limited number of positions to be a royal courtier of the emperor. The number of talents and geniuses would be unlimited. Who would not entrust these heavy responsibilities to their own trusted subordinates?
Therefore, that the Southern Martial Marquis had come today, was really a happy surprise for Yang Lin.
However the Crown Prince knew that the reason the Southern Martial Marquis had come today was mostly because of Lin Ming. He wanted to meet Lin Ming and get to know him. The Southern Martial Marquis was also once a disciple of the Seven Profound Martial House. When he was young, he was also known as a martial nut. He certainly would want to know someone like Lin Ming.
“This Lin Ming, he has not grown up and yet already has such rallying appeal. If he is willing to help me, my succession to the throne will be much smoother.”