Chapter 10: Warrior
At first, Xu Min had believed that becoming the disciple of Wang Li was a fortunate event – an event that would help him increase his strength. However, it did not take long before he realized that being Wang Li’s disciple was not as great as he had expected.
The first thing that Wang Li had taught the young boy was how to cook food that was as delicious as the food made by the overseer himself.
Having learned how to cook, he was told that it was his job to ensure that their living quarters were always clean; not even one speck of dust was allowed within the room or Xu Min would end up being sold back to the Zhong family. Although it was just a threat, the young boy believed that the old man would really do it.
As soon as the sun rose in the sky, Xu Min had to be at the harbor where he was expected to work as hard as everyone else who worked there. The young boy worked hard every single day. He always gave the task at hand his all and frequently ran from one side of the harbor to the other, sometimes carrying two, or even three crates at once.
This sort of physical training was much more intense than the training he had received at the Zhong family compound. It was even harder than the training that he had given himself during his time in the forest. However, this was a welcome change because the young boy could feel that his muscles were screaming day in and day out. This was proof that he was overcoming hurdles every day, increasing his strength by leaps and bounds when compared to before.
As his body became stronger, his mental training and cultivation became much smoother. Finding someone who would use their external strength to support their internal energy was rare because it was incredibly hard for anyone to go through the physical training that left the body feeling sore and broken. However, as soon as that person sat down and started cultivating, their body would be rejuvenated once more, filling the person with newfound energy and strength.
Seeing the young boy bustling about and working as hard as he could, many of the harbor workers would ask the Overseer why he was making such a poor young boy work so hard. All of them got the same answer: The boy was a peak-rank Student Warrior who was training himself through lifting and moving crates.
Within this world, there were three ranks that one could reach. The first was the rank of a Student Warrior. Student Warriors were people who had become able to refine Qi from the essence of the heavens and the earth. However, since they had too little Qi, they could not truly be considered Warriors. It usually took ten to fifteen years before a Student Warrior would be able to refine enough Qi to transform into a Warrior.
The second rank – the Warrior rank – was split into nine stars. The first three stars were considered the Early Stage, the three middle stars were considered Middle Stage, and the final three stars were considered Advanced Stage.
The majority of all cultivators were either Student Warriors or Early Stage Warriors.
Guards and soldiers were often Middle Stage Warriors. Middle Stage Warriors were not to be taken lightly because they were, without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with.
Advanced Stage Warriors were considered experts. As an Advanced Stage Warrior, one was virtually unrestricted in whatever they wanted to accomplish. Nine-Star Warriors were especially in high demand for everyone.
Above the Warrior rank was only the Emperor rank. Emperors were the pinnacle of the cultivating world, and not many managed to reach this peak. Xu Min had never before seen an Emperor; he had only heard about them from Overseer Tian. But even Overseer Tian did not know much. All he knew was that one had to defy the heavens and ascend to immortality in order to become an Emperor.
Xu Min’s dream was to become an Emperor one day. However, his revenge could not wait for him to reach the peak of cultivation. The Zhong family leader was an Advanced Stage Warrior, but he was an Eight-Star Warrior, not a Nine-Star Warrior. The gap in strength between Xu Min and the Zhong family leader was simply as vast as the distance between the heavens and the earth. For now, the young boy had no other hope than to work harder than anyone else to achieve his revenge.
Because Xu Min trained his body to such an extent, his body began showing evidence of his hard labor. His initially lean muscles became bigger proportionately along with his height, which also grew at an astonishing speed. In this way, his body was balanced in terms of strength and size.
Had Xu Min been focusing on the same training curriculum that Overseer Tian had put the Zhong Family guards through, his body would not have been able to achieve this equilibrium. He would had just been solely strengthening his arms and legs, neglecting the other muscles that were just as important .
When Xu Min had first heard that Wang Li would take him in as his personal disciple, the young man expected that he would be immediately learning new martial art skills. However, he was quickly disappointed. He discovered that Wang Li had only required him to do chores around the house and work at the docks. In his spare time, he would be told to cultivate.
Having his life filled with working at the docks alongside cultivating nightly, time quickly flowed by, and before long the ten year old boy turned into a fifteen year old young man.
“Overseer Wang!” Xu Min called out, his eyes filled with delight as he jumped up from his seated position. Around him was a myriad of golden specks of light, all of which quickly dissipated into thin air, removing any traces of what had just transpired.
Looking at the ecstatic young man, Wang Li smiled gently as he guessed what the young man was about to say. He waited patiently to allow his disciple to have the joy of announcing it himself.
“I did it! I managed to become a Warrior!” He exclaimed, his face flushed red, and his eyes filled with delight. During the last five years, the young man had worked tirelessly to constantly train both body and soul; and now he had finally succeeded in becoming a true cultivator.
Being a One-Star Warrior at the age of fifteen would not cause him to be considered as a truly outstanding talent, but it was quicker than the average individual. But how could anyone compare Xu Min with ordinary cultivators?
Although Xu Min was focusing every night on cultivating his internal energy, the majority of his day was spent improving his physical strength, something that the majority of cultivators disregarded because all of them focused mainly on the internal aspect of cultivation.
Because he went through the experience of doing all the chores and working hard at the docks, Xu Min was well aware that Wang Li had intentionally focused on tempering his body and put a secondary focus on cultivating internal Qi. He did not fully understand the logic of Wang Li as to why he had decided to train him in this manner, but he chose not to question Wang Li’s reasoning.
Back when Xu Min had first become Wang Li’s disciple, the young man found that it was impossible for him to feel the aura coming from the older man, and he quickly guessed that his strength was far superior of his own. Now that he had reached Early Stage Warrior, he could feel a domineering aura coming from his teacher.
The aura was so domineering and overpowering that Xu Min felt completely incapable of going against it.
One had to remember that Wang Li was not using any abilities nor was he intentionally releasing his battle aura; instead, this was just the aura that belonged to the Advanced Stage Warriors, a realm that no one wanted to fight against unless the contender was of the same realm themselves.
“Well done!” Wang Li revealed a rare smile on his weather-beaten face.. He then went towards a bag that he had tossed in a corner of their shared room.
From within the bag, he pulled out two bottles of wine. After looking around the room for some time, he found two cups in which he poured the wine into, then handed one cup to the young man.
“Congratulations on finally joining the ranks of cultivators!” He said, before lifting the cup of wine up to his lips and emptying the cup in one gulp.
Seeing his teacher toast him in such a manner, Xu Min followed with drinking his own glass.His face flushed red as soon as the strong wine entered his mouth. A burning sensation followed as it went down his throat, and his face turned pale with sweat as the liquor ended up in his stomach.
Watching the interesting changes that manifested themselves in his disciple’s face, Wang Li ended up letting out loud laughter. Clearly in a great mood, he smiled as he clasped his legs with his hands,.
“Let me see you use that Shattering Palm technique,” Wang Li finally said. “You can use it against me. I want to feel just how strong you are now.”
Hearing this, Xu Min instantly bowed and complied with the order he had been given. Although he was about to use an ability against his teacher, he did not hesitate. He already knew that although he had become a true warrior, it was impossible for him to truly pose any threat to this teacher of his.
Taking the stance he had performed so many times in the past and forcing Qi to flow out from within his dantian and through his body, it did not take long before pearl-white Qi flowed from his palm, creating a large, seven-meter long palm of Qi.
The palm hovered above the head of Wang Li and with a few quick movements, Xu Min slammed down the palm onto Wang Li’s head, only to hear a resounding boom fill the room.
A shockwave erupted outwards and swept the unprepared young man upwards and threw him backwards. He landed heavily against the wall, causing him to taste blood in his mouth.
Swallowing down the blood and standing up on wobbly legs, Xu Min approached his teacher to ensure that he was unhurt. As he neared, he secretly looked at the place where he had aimed at Wang Li, but he quickly was disappointed because the only change he could see was that his teacher’s hair was slightly disheveled.
Although disappointment was evident within Xu Min’s eyes, an approving expression was seen on Wang Li’s face. He nodded his head a couple of times before he once more brought forth the bag from before, and started looking around for items within.
Seeing his teacher acting somewhat differently than normal, Xu Min quickly forgot about the disappointing display of his Shattering Palm technique, and attentively observed his teacher as Wang Li searched through the bag.
Initially, Wang Li had pulled out three scrolls from bag. However, Wang Li did not stop. He searched and searched until he found some other scrolls, followed by a map and a small bag of coins.
“Tempering your body enables it to withstand physical attacks; and at the same time, it also provides you with the capability of using material attacks without relying on your inner strength.” Wang Li started speaking formally as a teacher for the first time. As soon as Xu Min heard Wang Li’s words, he instantly sat down, staring intently at his teacher. He swallowed every word whole, memorizing them within his mind.
“Being able to rely on your body is something that will make you even stronger than your peers; however, you are currently completely unable to use the strength that you have gathered. I have forged your body well, making it definitely equal to even the bodies of a Two-Star Warrior. However, only you yourself can learn how to use this great weapon that you have polished for the last five years. It is about time for you to go on a trip.”