Chapter 146 – Sorrowful Bai Jingyun
“The ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ has reached the Large Success stage of the second layer, ‘Flow like Silk’ has split into 5000 filaments, and the cultivation of my early Altering Muscle stage has been greatly consolidated. It’s about time that I finally drew up the ‘Strife Seal’.”
The two body inscription symbols that Lin Ming had chosen were the ‘Essence Gathering Symbol’ and the ‘Strife Seal’. The former was able to speed up one’s cultivation by increasing the rate one gathered true essence at, and the latter was able to enhance one’s strength.
He had already successfully drawn up the ‘Essence Gathering Symbol’. At that time, he was only at the peak Viscera Training stage. To draw up that ‘Essence Gathering Symbol’ he had overtaxed his soul force and true essence, causing himself to fall into a deep slumber for three days and three nights. For safety purposes, he had put aside the ‘Strife Seal’ for the moment. But now, his cultivation had already stabilized at the Altering Muscle stage. In addition to his ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ reaching Large Success of the second layer, it would be much easier to draw up the ‘Strife Seal’ when compared to before.
Lin Ming placed the Heavy Profound Soft Spear in this spatial ring, closed the door to his cabin and hung up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ plaque. After that, he lay in bed and fell into a deep sleep for several hours until dawn. Lin Ming rose from bed, washed himself, ate a meal and also drank some water.
Then he sat for a period, drinking tea, before he stood up and washed his hands, burned incense, bathed, and eliminated all the distracting thoughts in his heart. He let his mind become completely ‘ethereal’, while adjusting his mindset to its optimum condition.
The creation of this inscriptions symbol was very important to Lin Ming. The materials used to draw up the ‘Strife Seal’ were more precious than those used in drawing up the ‘Essence Gathering Symbol’. Because several materials were exceedingly hard to find, Lin Ming was not able to prepare any backups. Thus, he could not allow any room for failure. A single mistake here would be the end of it all.
Lin Ming used half an hour to adjust his condition, and then he finally began to draw up the ‘Strife Seal’.
This one drawing of an inscription symbol lasted from morning to evening. Throughout, Lin Ming did not make a single error. Not only did the ethereal martial intent state have a remarkable effect on cultivation, but it was similarly effective when drawing up an inscription symbol. Because he was able to remain fully in the ethereal state, his heart did not have even the slightest distraction, so Lin Ming was able to constantly maintain the highest degree of concentration.
When an average person excessively consumed their soul force, they would experience a dizzying vertigo, and a desire to fall asleep. In Lin Ming’s case, he was still able to maintain his best condition.
As the setting sun descended across the mountain horizon, Lin Ming had finally drawn the last symbols and lines. In the air, several shining inscription symbols glowed like a crimson sunset of nirvana. They began to slowly blend together into one, and in that moment, it was surpassingly gorgeous.
After half an incense stick of time, the inscription symbol finally completely fused, and the ‘Strife Seal’ symbol turned into a stream of light that quickly submerged into the back of Lin Ming’s hand. It ultimately condensed into a runic image of a flying dragon and phoenix.
Normally, an inscription symbol’s runic mark would give a sense of an ancient mystery. However, this ‘Strife Seal’ mark was more similar to calligraphy. It vaguely appeared like the archaic character for ‘fight’, and each stroke was long and thorough, and seemed to have a faintly sharp imposing momentum, just like a long spear.
In drawing up the ‘Strife Seal’, Lin Ming had consumed an enormous amount of resources. His true essence was still abundant, but his soul force was taxed beyond its limit. He managed to drink down some water, and went straight to sleep.
This slumber lasted for one day and one night.
After waking, Lin Ming’s tummy rumbled. He was very hungry and there was a sharp aching pain in his head.
After he ate a meal, he sat in meditation. Lin Ming did not continue cultivating, but instead went to the Seven Profound Martial House’s strength measuring room.
The role of the ‘Strike Seal’ was simple. It was to directly improve the physical strength true essence force of a martial artist, and thus heighten their combat prowess. Lin Ming wanted to see just how much this ‘Strife Seal’ increased his fighting strength.
As he chose a corner of the strength measuring room to measure his strength, he approached the stone column and took a deep breath. His whole body started to flood with true essence, and true essence rushed into his right hand. The ‘Strife Seal’ began to issue a faint red light, as if the circulating blood underneath was visible.
Lin Ming cried out and let loose a punch. There was a dull thumping noise, as if the stone column was struck by an iron hammer, and continued to tremble crazily!
The light beam was like a fountain as it rushed up. It unexpectedly rushed to the height of a person. The final result, 7200 jins.
Lin Ming’s eyes brightened as he saw this result. This had already far exceed Ling Sen’s casual strike.
Ling Sen had once hit a random punch with a result of 4900 jins. Even if at that time he had only used some of his strength, Ling Sen’s full force should be no more than 6100 jins. Lin Ming’s result was more than 1000 jins above this!
When a martial artist arrived at the peak Pulse Condensation Period, their fist strength would be around 8000 jins. There were a minority of those who had inborn divine strength, whose fist strength might reach 10,000 jins.
With Lin Ming’s 7200 jins of fist strength, he was already close to the strength of a peak Pulse Condensation Period martial artist.
He had successfully completed the ‘Strife Seal’ and the ‘Essence Gathering Symbol’, reached the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’s’ Large Success of the second layer, comprehended the concept of wind, broken through to the Altering Muscle stage, and also had successfully condensed the Heretical God Seed.
As for the ‘Pulse Cutting Palm’, it was simple enough. It was originally not a powerful martial art, and Lin Ming had already mastered it.
He had completed most everything he had needed and it had only been two months since the core disciple test had begun.
There was plenty of time.
Lin Ming took a deep breath, and was filled with confidence. Compared to the last time he had participated in the Ten Thousand Killing Array, he now had the ‘Strife Seal’, Heavy Profound Soft Spear, ‘Heretical God Force’, and had furthered his cultivation of the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ and ‘Flow like Silk’.
Even if he faced Zhang Guanyu now, Lin Ming had a tremendous assurance that he would win.
“Once I defeat Zhang Guanyu, I can obtain a 500 year old Blood Lingzhi. It will be very beneficial to my vitality. This Zhang Guanyu is a sinister and deceitful person, I have no idea what sort of malicious plot he will try to conjure to deal with me. It’s best if I challenge him earlier and waste him to avoid further complications.”
Time flew. In a moment, it was already the day of the Imperial Palace’s grand banquet.
The entire Imperial Palace was decorated in a festive occasion, bright and merry. The Palace security had increased, and it was heavily guarded. On the main road to the Imperial Palace, there was a red carpet hundreds of meters long. There were beautiful maids that had undergone careful screening that walked around, offering a variety of cuisines to the guests.
Today, those that arrived were prominent figures in Sky Fortune City. There were the young, handsome, and outstanding heroes, the top ten ranked Heavenly Abode disciples of the Seven Profound Martial House, the core disciples of the Seven Profound Martial House, and some whose strength was ordinary, but were the young talents of the large and respected families.
In addition, the princesses and princes, including Crown Prince Yang Lin and Cloud Prince Yang Zhen had all arrived on scene.
However, these two were not the main guest today. Not even the dazzling stars Lin Ming and Qin Xingxuan were the main guests. The main guest today was a special envoy from the Seven Profound Valleys. But who this special envoy was, the guests present did not know.
“The emperor arrives!”
As the eunuch announced this, all of the maids and palace ladies kneeled down in abundance. However, the guests did not need to; it was fine as long as they bowed.
Lin Ming looked up and saw an old man walk into the hall wearing a crown with nine stars, a five fingered dragon robe, and golden dragon boots.
Although this old man was wearing mighty and impressive attire, it still could not conceal the heavy depression and gloom on his forehead. His eyes were almost buried in wrinkles and the loose flesh on his neck had begun to break down. There were faint age spots on his temples. He looked to be at least 70 years old.
This old man was the ruler of Sky Fortune Kingdom, Emperor Yang Jian. Yang Jian did not have many male children. Those male children he did have came at a late age. That was why when his several sons had finally grown up; he had already arrived at the end of his life.
This was the first time that Lin Ming saw the emperor of Sky Fortune Kingdom. On this emperor’s body, there was not royal air of ‘Purple Air Comes From the East’. Instead, there was only a lethargic, deathly gas.
Yang Jian apparently had no intentions of greeting the guests. He arrived at the banquet hall and sat at the seat of honor, and then closed his eyes in repose.
‘This Yang Jian probably only has 4 or 5 years of life left, and that was all maintained by precious medicines and being carefully nursed to health by the best doctors. If he were an ordinary person and had reached this degree, he would have already died…’
As Lin Ming thought this, he inadvertently caught of glimpse of Bai Jingyun standing in a corner of the banquet hall. Bai Jingyun was wearing a formal black dress, and seemed to have lost all of her usually calm temperament. Today she appeared somewhat anxious and disturbed. There was a young noble youth that approached Bai Jingyun, but Bai Jingyun did not seem to notice his existence.
“Bai Jingyun… she seems worried about something.” Although Lin Ming thought something was strange, he did not care too much. Then, Murong Zi walked over to Bai Jingyun’s side carrying a glass of juice. She shoved that incessantly chattering young noble youth to the side. “Big Sister Jingyun, how are you, are you uncomfortable?”
“I’m alright.” Bai Jingyun barely smiled, and tried to say a few relieving words.
At this moment, the court eunuch reported, “Seven Profound Valleys’ Acacia Faction elder’s direct disciple, Mister Ouyang!”
Hearing this called out, Bai Jingyun’s hands and feet instantly went ice cold. Ouyang of the Acacia Faction… it was really him!
“What?” Murong Zi asked, unclear.
“Hurry up and leave here, or else it will be too late!” Bai Jingyun said with some panic.
“This Ouyang Dihua is a sexual harasser. Do you remember last time at the Crown Prince’s banquet where I said I could not take responsibility for my own marriage? It was all because of him!”
As Bai Jingyun said this, Murong Zi suddenly recalled that event in her mind. When the Crown Prince had invited Lin Ming to his banquet, Bai Jingyun had jokingly told her to marry Lin Ming. Murong Zi teased her back, and asked why she didn’t marry Lin Ming herself. Finally, Bai Jingyun had said she was no longer able to call the shots of her own marriage.
Murong Zi had thought this was strange. With Bai Jingyun’s special status, how could she possible be unable to take responsibility and decide her own marriage? That was because the other party was a direct disciple of a Seven Profound Valleys elder!
A direct disciple’s status was on equal standing with a Seven Profound Envoy or the Martial House Masters of various countries. But because a direct disciple was often closely related to an elder, in an actual situation, even a Seven Profound Envoy or Martial House Master had to show three points of respect.
Although Murong Zi was usually heartless and fearless, and was not scared of either the heavens or earth, she still understood that this kind of person was not someone that her Murong Family could even hope to contend with.
But she could not just leave and abandon Bai Jingyun to suffer for herself. She simply did not have the heart to do that. “Big sister Jingyun… I…”
“Quickly leave.” Bai Jingyun said urgently. Acacia Faction disciples most favored those with looks and outstanding talents. If Murong Zi were discovered by Ouyang Dihua, in all likelihood he would be eyeing her.
Murong Zi bit her lip, kept her head down, and quickly walked towards the palace restroom.