Chapter 24 – Understanding
Lin Ming said, “Martial arts are divided into two major parts. First cultivate the martial path, and then grasp the principles to attain enlightenment. To cultivate the martial path is to cultivate the body. To enlighten oneself is to cultivate the soul. Master often said that the life was a boundless sea of bitterness. Cultivating was the path of traversing the waters. To cultivate the body was to build a boat that could cross the sea, and cultivating the soul was to create oars to move the boat.”
“If one does not cultivate the body, then the boat would not be steady or strong; a storm would easily capsize it. If one does not cultivate the soul, then their motivation and will would not be enough, and even if their predestined death was near, they would be unable to arrive at the distant shores.”
“But the cultivation of the body and the cultivation of the soul is the difference in transition from the houtian to the xiantian stage. Before houtian, the martial artist will cultivate the body, after xiantian, the martial artist will cultivate the soul.”
“After xiantian, cultivating the soul! As soon as Muyi heard this he was startled, and felt that he would faint. No wonder all these years which he had been practicing he had actually been unable to take that tiny step. He realized that he had been headed the wrong direction the entire time. He had not imagined the xiantian stage to be like this. He muttered, “And what is the meaning of xiantian?”
Lin Ming said, “Master once said that the answer lies in how a baby breathes in the womb. He said that ‘when humans are babies in the womb, they cannot breathe through their nose or mouth, but must depend on the mother to give them sustenance through their connection only. This is how they breathe. This is the characteristics of xiantian. After the human is born then they can breathe through the nose and mouth. This worldly air is filled with impurities that gradually accumulate. This is the characteristics of houtian. In the xiantian stage the soul enters a state of incomparable tranquility and peace. They body changes the way they interact with their surroundings and the soul becomes aware of the world and is able to communicate with nature, even being able to actuate the power of the heavens and earth with soul force. That is the true xiantian. But from houtian to xiantian one must cut off every root in order to pass through and return to the state of being in the womb.”
“So…I see…that’s how it is…” Muyi muttered under his breath. His eyes showed both admiration and dismay. This young boy casually tossed out a few words that were akin to ancient enlightenments. If this boy had these teachings, guided by the top tier xiantian skill manual, then he would soon become a martial arts master!
The sects and clans were able to rely on their heritage and legacies; a martial artist that tried to fumble his way through would not find it possible to think of these things. Muyi lamented, “How laughable! To think that I reached pulse condensation at thirty six years of age and then reached houtian at fifty years of age, and afterwards I spent sixty years exhausting all my efforts to step into the xiantian realm! And I had been wrong the entire time! I had started down the wrong path all this time! I have wasted sixty years! Lamentable! Truly lamentable!”
Muyi face was excited and yet his emotions were complex. Lin Ming stood at the side and watched, his heart sighing. This old man did not inherit the legacies and yet had wanted to step into the xiantian boundary; this was naturally hopeless. One needed the legacy and understandings of a sect to accomplish this, but which sect would not stubbornly control their secrets from spreading?
Not only that, but from houtian to xiantian one needed to return their soul to a state of being in a womb. This required the most precious and rare of medicines. These medicines methods of production and rare materials were tightly controlled by the sects. Not to mention the common people, but even the royal family could not purchase it!
So even if Lin Ming told Muyi these memories of his, even if he wanted to use them to advance into the xiantian stage, it was simply not possible.
Therefor Lin Ming said, “Senior, I will say frankly that master once said that if one does not have the support of a clan, even if one obtained a skill manual that allowed them to enter the xiantian stage, it would still be impossible.”
Muyi said, “I know…I know…it’s just that I have long striven to reach the xiantian stage. It is my life long wish. Even if I cannot achieve this wish of mine, but to at least let me see its direction and to know where I was wrong, then I can also die in peace and without regret.”
Even though Muyi said these words easily, the tone behind them was lonely. Lin Ming also unavoidably sighed with emotion. If he hadn’t obtained that mystical magic cube, then perhaps he too would be like Muyi, after reaching the houtian stage he would forever try to track down that illusory lifelong dream of reaching the xiantian realm, and would eventually hold these regrets even when he died.
Muyi reflected for a long time, and finally said to Lin Ming, “Little friend, I feel like old friends even after meeting for the first time. If this little friend does not mind my old age, I would like to become good friends with you.”
Lin Ming also had a favorable impression of the Muyi who had earnestly pursued martial arts his entire life. He said, “Lin Ming also would like to become your friend.”
“Haha! Then no other day is as lucky as today! Let us go downstairs and feast at the Great Clarity Pavilion. We will drink wine and speak fast and free! How about it good friend?”
Lin Ming hesitated slightly, and then agreed. He also said, “Senior, about the inscription technique, I would like to ask senior to keep it a secret for me.”
Although Lin Ming created an imaginary master for himself, he also wanted to avoid those that were blinded by greed and took risks not matter what. It was therefore better to be low-key about these inscription techniques.
Muyi guessed correctly Lin Ming’s worries and said, “Little brother Lin feel relieved. As long as the Martial Quarters of Sky Fortune City exists, I guarantee your absolute safety! As long as little brother meets any trouble at all, then just send me a sound transmitting talisman and I shall handle it personally. About this, but I may now know everything, but…why would little brother Lin have to sell the inscription symbol and also work at the Great Clarity Pavilion. Is it for practice?”
Listening to Muyi ask this, Lin Ming forced a smile and said, “It’s because of economic reasons. Master taught me but never gave me any money. My family is ordinary, so it is not enough for me to cultivate the martial path.
“Like that, it must be a true martial artist’s way. No anger, no extravagance, no greed, no laziness, and true hardship to forge the spirit. Your master must have consciously made this informed and experienced decision, as he naturally has his own reasons and truth. Such being the case, although I do not know if this goes against your masters opinion, but if little brother Lin would still like to sell your inscription symbols, I could buy them at market price. If it is that flame engraved inscription symbol, would 3000 gold taels be enough?
After Lin Ming heard this price his heart almost leapt out of his chest. 3000 gold taels!
3000 gold taels, but since he had three, that was 9000 gold taels! Although Lin Ming had expected his inscription symbols to rise in price, he had not thought he could receive 9000 gold taels!
What concept was 9000 gold taels! Lin Ming’s family’s restaurant was also valued at 3000 gold taels. If he could buy that restaurant then his parents would not have to work so hard every day.
He would have 6000 gold taels left over and could use it for medicines. He could buy any body transformation pill or altering muscle pill and eat them like rice!
As for blood ginseng and other medicines, he could eat one and throw one away, because to Ling Ming, creating another inscription symbol was an easy matter.
Ling quieted the excitement in his heart and said to Muyi, “Many thanks, senior.”
Muyi naturally saw Lin Ming’s joy. When Lin Ming had been with his master he had lived a simple and poor life, but now he had suddenly arrived at this lively capital city. A fifteen year old young man would find it hard to resist all the wonders and amazements and treasures that the world had to offer.
Muyi said, “Little brother Lin’s inscription symbol is naturally at this price. Also, please do not call me senior. My name is Muyi, my full name is Mu Yi Zhuo, by just Muyi is fine.”
“This…” Lin Ming hesitate slightly. Although he did not know who this old man was, he only needed to look at Qin Xingxuan attitude of respect to suspect that this man’s status was high. But Lin Ming was not a person affected by conventions, since Muyi said so, then let it be so. He simply nodded in agreement.
Muyi smiled and said, “Xingxuan, let’s have Great Clarity Pavilion set aside a room for a banquet. I’d like to have a drink with little brother Lin.”
Qin Xingxuan had been silent. She had also been carefully listening to Lin Ming’s explanation of what it meant to be xiantian. Now she heard Muyi say this, she said excitedly, “Yes master.”
When the staff of Great Clarity Pavilion heart that Muyi was arranging a banquets and had asked Lin Ming to drink, everyone blanched. What kind of person was Muyi? He was the Martial Quarter’s seat of honor official that was invited to serve at court. Qin Xingxuan’s master was also the tutor of the crown prince. The crown price would ascend the throne in the future, and Muyi would be the emperor’s teacher! Not only that, but Muyi’s cultivation was immeasurably deep, and he was also skilled in inscription techniques and was skilled in astronomy, geography, and the ancient art of divination. He truly was an outstanding person! Even the emperor had to give him three points of respect.
But he actually asked Lin Ming, the deboning boy, to eat a meal. Moreover as the two left the kitchen it seemed they were speaking very familiarly like they were contemporaries. What sort of background did Lin Ming have?
If his real background was not small would he willingly come to the Great Clarity Pavilion for deboning work? As the saying goes, the gentleman stood far from the kitchen; the kitchen and especially the butcher’s job was always despised and looked down upon by martial artists and the scholar. Lin Ming had deboning skills that they admired, but it was difficult to say that it was a refined work.
“What background is that that spareribs chopper little Lin?”
“I don’t really know…”
The two waiters who were serving the guests could not help but chat amongst themselves while they were serving. They were both dedicated staff that served the high-level guests, and were each around twenty years of age, with outstanding looks and also proficient at the fine arts of poetry and painting. They first saw Muyi and Qin Xingxuan enter the Great Clarity Pavilion and were shocked. After all, this type of honored guests was rare, and once it happened there was a reward of ten gold taels for good service which was equivalent to two months of wages. But they had not actually thought that they came to look for Lin Ming.
The banquet dishes were simple, but very exquisite in taste and texture. The liquor was several hundred gold taels and was called red dragon liquor; it was specially prepared via a secret recipe and mixed in with a variety of rare herbs. A martial artist who drank this could cure their internal injuries and promote a stronger and fitter body along with a higher degree of cultivation. However the brewing method was complex and the materials used were precious. Let alone Lin Ming, even the juniors of the aristocracy could not afford to savor it.
In the banquet, Muyi wanted to ask Lin Ming if he would like to stay at the Martial Quarters, but Lin Ming thought it would inconvenient to practice martial arts there while preventing people from discovering his secrets, so he politely declined.
Muyi was forced to give up, but in light of these his opinion of Lin Ming was heightened. Before leaving, he left behind the 9000 gold taels along with a gold-purple VIP card. Through this card it was possible to receive a 10% discount from every shop that was under the jurisdiction of the chamber of commerce, and in Sky Fortune City nearly every large ship was under them.
He had finally managed to attain 9000 taels of gold. He looked at this thick gold banknote and felt very excited. His blood boiled and finally proudly raised his head!
9000 gold taels and he would send 3000 gold taels to his parents. He would have enough left over to buy medicine to easily break into the second stage of body transformation. If he obtained the precious medicines and increased their effect with inscription techniques, then later even breaking through the pulse condensation period would be an easy matter.
He has doomed to go far down the path of martial arts. If in the past Zhu Yan was like a mountain that Lin Ming could only cross with immense effort, now Zhu Yan could only be a stepping stone on his road of martial arts. Lin Ming would only step on it to reach a higher peak.
Lin Ming was in a sterling mood. He passed on a sound transmitting talisman to inform Lin Xiaodong. “Dongdong, let’s go, today I will treat you to some shopping. I’ll see you at the Hundred Treasure Hall’s entrance.”
Lin Xiaodong had helped Lin Ming many times. This type of sentiment was priceless! And now that his own situation was better because he had come into possession of riches, he would naturally help him back. A man must always repay favors!
“Go shopping?” After Lin Xiaodong sees the sound transmitting talisman, he thought to himself, this crazy guy also has money to use sound transmitting talismans?