Chapter 346: Traveling Soul (Part 1/3)
Luo Nan was in a trance for a long time, his mind still a mess. The hour hand of the clock pointed to four. Another hour had passed without him being aware. Luo Nan felt unwell. This extremely clear state of mind had been disturbed into soup.
No, I can't keep going on like this!
Luo Nan tried to shake off his bad mood. He thought of He Yueyin's teachings, and he immediately muttered aloud, "Sharpening a blade is half the work of cutting a tree. Sharpening a blade is half the work of cutting a tree. Sharpening a blade is half the work of cutting a tree…."
Luo Nan chanted these words over a dozen times, forcibly replacing his plethora of distracting thoughts. He got tired after a while, and he used his finger to press against his forehead. His mood slowly calmed. He didn't have any new experiences, but his muddy thoughts from before gradually turned clear.
He he. Sister Yueyin was quite considerate for giving me this chant. Actually, saying this chant a thousand times, thinking of a million countermeasures, boils down to a single sentence—you're f*ck all if you're not an Extraordinary!
Within this month, he followed He Yueyin in understanding "The Ins and Outs of the Psychic Wave Network's World Order.” He followed Bamboo Pole in studying "Notes on the Major Characters of the World.” Wasn't this none other than the principle he learned?
Frankly speaking, the inner world comprised just a bunch of 'inhumans' who have awakened with abilities. They ranked themselves in order of strength, establishing a simple society. Even if the inner world was influenced by the normal world—money, resources, and contacts could be used to a great degree—strength was what determined how much one was respected.
Why did Bamboo Pole have him rely on Her Majesty Empress Wu? It was because Her Majesty Empress Wu was an Extraordinary. She had masterly strength and robust resources. People were awed by her. She could sever incidents that Luo Nan found impossible to handle. She could resolve problems that Luo Nan couldn't solve.
In this sense, swapping Her Majesty Empress Wu for any other Extraordinary would achieve a similar result. At most, there would be a difference of service. Of course, swapping would be meaningless if Luo Nan was an Extraordinary himself. The majority of incidents wouldn't have happened, and even if they did, they would rapidly reach a resolution.
This was the special position that Extraordinaries hold.
If Luo Nan could resolve things by himself, he naturally wouldn't want to rely on others. But the truth of the matter was that he was far from the level of an Extraordinary. Right now, he could barely be considered a blunt blade. To grind this blade to a sharp edge and conquer every obstacle before him would require him to smash through a lot of hard work.
He Yueyin had advised him with this common saying, "Sharpening a blade is half the work of cutting a tree," because she was quite worried about him losing patience and confidence from the tedious and difficult process.
Luo Nan wasn't that careless and worthless, but to say that he was someone very patient would be a lie.
He was willing to pay with blood, sweat, and tears in order to hone his blade. He could endure whatever hardships, no matter how bitter. But if this process was crude and clumsy, like the gradual step by step of the water grinding arts, then he wouldn't be able to bear it.
His grandfather was on the verge of death; he couldn't wait. The flaming enemies with vicious intent wouldn't wait either. Luo Nan didn't want to leave behind irreparable regrets. Moreover, he didn't want to have his head cleaved by the sword of a powerful enemy before matters could be resolved.
"Put in more effort! Progress even faster!"
This was none other than the cultivation tempo he desired. To achieve this, he had to rely on nothing but two things. The first was Formatting Theory and coupling. The second was the internal body refinement technique taught to him by Gym Master Xiu, which cultivated essence and energy.
The latter involved personal guidance from Gym Master Xiu. The path was clear, the sequence distinct. Luo Nan wasn't scared of missteps. It was of the utmost efficiency. But this sort of internal refinement technique, regardless of it being breathing techniques or opening orifices, all required particular attention to maturity. One must not advance prematurely. For instance, currently, it wasn't appropriate for Luo Nan to make any impatient actions, having just honed the eyes orifice into perfection. He needed his body to settle for several days, then see.
So this left only one thing that could be further carved for results.
Luo Nan understood very well that his cultivation progress in internal refinement was shocking. Part of it was due to a sharpening influence from Formatting Theory, the transformation of the enormous potential energy of the vast ocean glacier. Today, his cultivations in the eyes orifice was completed, and he would still need to rely on the power of Formatting Theory for the next step in his cultivations.
No matter which ways he went about it, Formatting Theory was his most fundamental and key research. He dedicated himself to forging ahead. He couldn't slack off at all. And there was a state most appropriate for pondering Formatting Theory.
The clock pointed to 4:10 a.m. Luo Nan looked at his daily schedule using his HexaEar. He had around an hour to go before his regular morning exercise routine.
Luo Nan didn't get up, having estimated the time. He just slightly closed his eyes and said, Come out, in his mind. Chains shook within the void, its pulling force coming out of nowhere. It pulled his soul to leave his body with a shudder.
Yes, what Luo Nan wanted to do was astral travel in an out-of-body state.
Formatting Theory itself was flawed. Its hidden dangers were large, one of which was the imbalance between body and soul, the unconventional explosive surge of soul strength. And the times when soul strength exploded the most fiercely was often when the soul left the body.
After the event at Frost River Reality, Luo Nan's imbalance between body and soul had reached a critical level. He had to seal up this technique and stop using it.
However, was Formatting Theory still Formatting Theory without the explosive increase in soul strength? Luo Nan inherited this theory of his grandfather's. He desired to reform and improve it to perfection. This process was bound to be filled with constant trial and error. Now, how would he do this trial and error? Naturally, he had to make errors in order to make revisions.
Luo Nan was in a critical state in the past from the imbalance between body and soul. He lost all room to make mistakes. However, with his progress in his cultivations, with the constant revolving of his body gear, his foundation turned deep. His ability to deal with risks greatly increased. There were some things he had to put on the agenda. He had to keep going, or should he just wait for the blade to cleave into his body, awaiting death with closed eyes?
Luo Nan didn't want to close his eyes and wait to die. He had to open his eyes to look at this world. He had to use the perspective of Formatting Theory to make scientific analyses. Then he had to put it into practice to verify the results. He had to push forward like this, level by level, using the greatest of efforts to climb to the level of Extraordinary at the fastest speed possible.
"I can do it! I have to do it!"
Luo Nan's conviction grew clear. His soul floated outside his body. Like a fish, he softly leapt into the boundless and endless mental ocean. The range of his senses instantly expanded by tenfold, by a hundredfold.
His telepathic mind stirred, and he saw his fleshly body in its sleep-like state. He swept his vision to look at his quiet-yet-awake guardians, and his soul body flickered as it disappeared into the void.
Without the burden of the fleshly body, the soul body's movement speed only depended on the spatial interference strength Luo Nan could employ with his methods and skills. It wasn't an oddity to be able to travel several kilometers in a single thought. Luo Nan left his living community far away in the blink of an eye, entering the depths of the metropolis, which was on the verge of waking in this early morning.
His soul wandered in the city, and seemingly familiar, yet unfamiliar feelings accumulated in layers. In the past, nearly every time Luo Nan went in an out-of-body state, he was in deadly and dangerous situations. He was just purely observing and perceiving. Times like this were rare.
The Life Sketches of every living being within the area he could sense appeared one after another. Together, they formed a deep starry sky that continued to expand. The starry sky of life overlapped with the night sky of reality, turning into a labyrinth interwoven on the mental plane and the material plane. This labyrinth possibly even held unknown and precious treasures within.
This was an experience that was difficult to grasp in a normal state.
Luo Nan wasn't bewildered by the labyrinth. He soon confirmed a direction. He moved like a demon of the night. Hidden at times, and disappearing at times. But he pressed forward in a straight line. He didn't avoid any of the tall buildings or flying vehicles. He just went through them all.
It was now 4:20 a.m. Only ten minutes had passed, and Luo Nan's soul body was already flying in the skies above Pingjiang District. He took Acumen College, and even the building complex of Cloud City Water Village which jutted into the clouds, into the range of his senses.