The Nine Cauldrons

Book 2 Chapter 19 :The Strongest Plan 

“Qingshan, you will see the Frost Jade Pool after climbing to the top of Twin Peak Mountain,” Teng Qinghu declared while pointing to the mountain ahead.

Having heard so much about the lake, Qingshan was naturally curious. “Frost Jade Pool has outstanding qualities! I would really like to have a look.” Within, the hunters were moving abnormally fast; they had lived in the mountain for such a long time that it felt like their own backyard. Thus, they could easily skirt around dangerous areas .

However, as the proverb goes, “Things always seem closer than they are from far away”

Although Twin Peak Mountain was relatively small, the trekking distance was exceedingly long. As a result, the hunters ultimately spent an hour before reaching the breezy and comfortable peak.

“Qingshan, the lake on that mountainside is the Frost Jade Pool,” Teng Qinghu said while pointing downwards.

Qingshan looked towards where Teng Qinghu was pointing and noticed that there was a white, immaculate speck halfway up the mountainside. Only after looking at the speck scrupulously could Qingshan discern that it was a pool of water.

“Let’s go down, then.” Teng Qingshan strided down the mountain ahead of everyone else.

Jumping off from a six meter stone, he finally arrived at the flat ground half way up the mountainside where the Frost Jade Pool was located.

“It is exceedingly cold here.” Qingshan remarked in a surprised tone. “The Frost Jade Pool is seven or eight meters from my current position, yet I can clearly feel that the temperature has dropped. The present temperature is definitely below zero.”

“Haha” The other clansmen had arrived, as well. Teng Yonghao was laughing. “How are you feeling, Qingshan? It’s getting cold, right? However, we are still three Zhang from the pool! The current chill is nothing when compared to the pool itself! Even if you were to come here during a scorching summer and the surrounding areas were cracking under the scorching heat, you would still have to wear a padded jacket here!”

Teng Qingshan sighed as marveled at the Frost Jade Pool’s sublime mysteriousness.

“Hey, everyone, let’s start collecting the water.” The clansmen immediately began collecting the water.

“Haa, it’s so cold.” They couldn’t help but sigh as they dipped the water tanks in the pool of water.

Teng Qingshan scrupulously looked at the water of the Frost Jade Pool. It was meticulously immaculate; if one were to closely examine the lake, one would discover that the surface possessed a slightly purple shade. Scooping a small amount of water would render this observation obsolete. When in one’s hand, the water would appear without color, a perfectly clear liquid.

Teng Qingshan squatted in front of the pool and was hit by a chilly breeze. Subsequently, he put his hands in the water and immediately felt his hands go numb.

“Huh…” Teng Qingshan took a deep breath. “It really is cold–at least negative 50 or 60 degrees Celsius!”
(TL: the author wasn’t specific about whether this was in Celsius of Fahrenheit, so I assumed it was in Celsius)

In Qingshan’s previous life, he had lived in a desolate region of Siberia where he underwent hellish training. The usual temperature there was negative 30 or 40 degrees. The coldest recorded temperature was negative 70 or 80 degrees. On the other hand, in the Teng Clan, the winter temperature would, at most, be a few degrees below zero .

This lake water’s coolness was unprecedented!

Teng Qinghu discovered that Teng Qingshan had put his hands into the water, he roared: “Qingshan, don’t put your hands into the water. It will damage your hands.”

“It’s OK.” Teng Qingshan smiled. His hands trembling, Qingshan circulated inner strength to get rid of the cold.

Internal Martial Arts cultivators were not fearful of cold temperatures. Wearing single-layered clothes during the winter was normal.

“Uncles, once you fill your tanks with water, you can rest here for a while. We will depart after a break,” Qingshan announced before turning his attention back to the Frost Jade Pool. The Frost Jade Pool had a width of three Zhang and a length of five to six Zhang. “The water is extremely cold. How can it be used to temper weapons?”

Though he knew very little about blacksmithing, Qingshan had observed the weapons being dipped into water as part of the forging process.

“Won’t the heated weapons shatter when put into such cold water?” Teng Qingshan thought.

If Qingshan were to inquire about this with a weapon craftsmen, he would be laughed at. There were myriads of ways to “temper” a weapon; such as ‘partial tempering’, ‘precool tempering’, ‘empty tempering’, ‘multiple tempering doses’ etc. Even water colder than that from the Frost Jade Pool could be used as tempering liquid by weaponsmiths.

However, this did not entail that the colder the tempering liquid was, the better the quality of the weapons. Compatibility was more important.

The various combinations of different materials and forging methods required unique tempering liquid doses. Thus, created 1000 years ago by the Teng Clan’s ancestors, the Jade Frost Saber was idiosyncratic to the Teng Clan. Except for the Teng’s Clan, no other entity could forge the Frost Jade Sabre.

“I am but a layman. If my father plans to use this water as tempering liquid, he definitely has ways to do so.” Teng Qingshan didn’t think too much of it.

“However, the water here is definitely cold enough to allow me to stimulate my body once the ‘Strongest Plan’ phase of my training begins.” Teng Qingshan’s eyes lit up. He had made a training plan for himself when he first produced inner strength at the age of three.

He had begun to train his flexibility since the day he was born and had begun to learn Xing Yi Martial Arts when he was three. He used his inner strength to build up physique and muscle as well. This phase lasted until he turned ten.

The most important part of his plan was the training period; the training period of “Strongest Plan” was during puberty.

During this period, all of his bones and muscle would grow by leaps and bounds. Most boys started this period at 10 years of age, but some didn’t begin until they were 14 or 15 years old. Growing 20 centimeter per year was common in this period, since it was indubitably the fastest growing period for humans!

Thus, Qingshan’s ‘Strongest Plan’ was made to coincide with puberty where one’s body would undergo incredible growth.

“In my previous life, I began hellish training in Siberia when I was 7. My latent potential was squeezed out, and when I went to live with my master, he only wanted me to stay in good health and make up for various small deficiencies. I still managed to train Iron Palms thanks to some medicine.”

An ordinary man who loved sports would grow normally 10 or 20 centimeters during puberty.

If a man were to be malnourished during puberty, his body would never grow sufficiently again; even if he were to eat a substantial amount in his twenties or when he was older; it would never be able to substitute what he had already lost.

The best time to strengthen one’s body and improve one’s health was during puberty!

Of course, if an individual did not have 100% confidence and trained carelessly, the body would be in great peril and would have to suffer for the rest of his or her lifetime.

“Human puberty is granted to us by God so that we can train ourselves and strengthen our body to its pinnacle! This period occurs only once a lifetime; if you miss it, you can never aspire to strengthen your body to the limits. In my previous life, I trained Iron Palms too much so I needed various kinds of medicine to prevent my hands from becoming disabled.” Teng Qingshan clearly understood the dangers of strengthening one’s body during puberty.

“I needed various kinds of medicine in my previous life, but I won’t need any in this life.”

Teng Qingshan was quite confident. “I have been incorporating inner strength into my bones and muscles since I was three. Currently, the strength of my bones and muscles is incomparably stronger than that of most adults. Now I can begin my ‘Strongest Plan.’ Moreover, the medicinal powers of elixirs are merely an external aid. Right now, my inner strength is profound enough to surpass its barriers and replenish the depleted energy in my bones and muscles.”

Bones and muscles required energy to grow stronger!

What kind of energy?

An ordinary person eats more when his body grows due to the need to replenish the body’s energy. However, a martial artist learning Iron Palm would have his hand muscles and bones consume a large amount of energy. Just eating food would not provided the needed energy, so medicinal help would be required.

However, medicine was an external aid that was far inferior to the power of one’s inner strength, which was an internal aid.

In his previous life, there were too few inner strength cultivators. Even if they refined their blood to earn a miniscule amount of internal strength, this amount of internal strength was too sparse. Only a Grandmaster level practitioner would have sufficient amounts inner strength. In his previously life, if he used the«Crossing Worlds»Technique” even once, his inner strength would be completely depleted. Thus, it was easy to imagine how little inner strength one would possess. This amount of inner strength  was not enough to sustain 1/100th or even 1/1000th of the “Strongest Plan”.


The current situation was different!

In this ancient world, which was filled with Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, Teng Qingshan currently possessed the same amount of inner strength as the Grandmasters of his previous life. Furthermore, he possessed a great degree of control over his own bones and muscles. He could even feel miniscule changes in his bones and muscle. Thus, Teng Qingshan was confident in his ability to handle withstand any training as he proceeded through puberty.

He was 100% positive that he would be successful with his ‘Strongest Plan’!

“Over 80% of one’s muscle strength and bones are built up during puberty! If I manage to fully complete my ‘Strongest Plan’, my body will be stronger than that of any Grandmaster in my previous life! I will have reached the top of Internal Martial Arts!” Teng Qingshan’s blood began to boil from excitement.

After all, in the history of Internal Martial Arts, how much inner strength did Grandmasters possess? It obviously was not enough for them to carry out the “Strongest Plan”.

Moreover, even when these Internal Strength Masters successfully managed to cultivate inner strength, they were usually far beyond puberty.

Teng Qingshan, who had manifested inner strength at the age of three and had collected a substantial amount of inner strength over the past seven years, had just started his “Strongest Plan”. Once puberty stopped, his body would reach an unprecedented level of strength.

“I am almost 10 and I feel that… my bones have already begun to change extremely rapidly.” With Teng Qingshan’s control over his muscles and bones, he could feel any changes they experienced. Truthfully, it would be considered normal to feel the changes in one’s body at the apex of puberty.

However, during the initial stages of puberty, ordinary people could not feel the changes. Yet, as a practitioner of Internal Martial Arts, Teng Qingshan was able to sense every single change his body went through.

“After the yearly sacrifice, I will begin my ‘Strongest Plan’!”

Teng Qingshan silently thought.

“Qingshan!” The clansmen began calling for him. “Shouldn’t we return now?”

Teng Qingshan glanced at the Frost Jade Pool, and then looked at his clansmen. “Each water tank is about 400 to 500 Jin. How about this: Brother Qinghao and Brother Qinghu, both of you carry them first; I will switch with you midway. Alright then, let’s return home now.”

“Taking them home by ourselves is an easy task.” Teng Qinghu smiled.

Teng Qinghu could carry 300 Jin when he was nine. Now he was one month away from turning 16 and could carry 1000 Jin. Teng Qinghao, who was older than him, could carry almost the same amount of weight.

“Don’t boast. You will lose face if you have to put them down halfway.”

The hunters talked and laughed as they began their descent.

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