Chapter 951 – With the Heavenly Thunder Concealed, Who Can Recognize It?
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Xuanyuan Po was somewhat shocked. No one had ever recognized the method he cultivated, but Bie Yanghong had exposed it with a single question.
Seeing his expression, Bie Yanghong knew that he had guessed correctly. "Was this method selected for you by Chen Changsheng?"
Xuanyuan Po nodded.
Bie Yanghong praised, "I always felt that his talent in cultivation was superb, but I didn't realize that his insight was similarly excellent. He makes for a very competent principal."
Xuanyuan Po thought this over, then replied, "That's hard to say."
Bie Yanghong glanced at his right arm again and said, "I can see that you've practiced it quite well, but you've apparently had a few problems."
Heedless, Xuanyuan Po used some paper to wipe up the remaining meat juice on his fingers.
Bie Yanghong spoke once more, his voice entering Xuanyuan Po's ears and straight into his heart.
"The Heavenly Thunder Bringer means concealing the Heavenly Thunder, concealing the thunderstorm so that it leaves no sign1. You aren't wrong on this point and can even be said to have cultivated it superbly."
Bie Yanghong added, "But you've made it somewhat too deliberate."
Xuanyuan Po raised his head and asked in surprise, "What is Sir saying?"
Bie Yanghong looked at him and said, "A tree will plant its roots deep within fertile soil, not letting them be seen by the heavens and earth, not suffering the hardships of the strong winds. Refined by earthfire, it gradually begins to crackle with thunder. It accumulates energy, waiting for the moment where it will break out of the soil and suddenly become a massive tree that soars to the heavens, its leaves flashing with arcs of lightning. What person could withstand such might?"
Xuanyuan Po's gaze followed Bie Yanghong's gaze to his own right arm.
His right arm was clearly withered, standing out in stark contrast to his sturdy left arm, making it appear particularly miserable.
Many patrons of that small tavern believed that this was an old wound from his defeat at the hands of Tianhai Ya'er in the capital and had jeered him about it many times.
Only he knew of the terrifying strength hidden in his seemingly crippled right arm.
Of course, someone had now seen through it.
Xuanyuan Po finally realized that the person in front of him was an expert of the Divine Domain, a legendary individual of the Storms of the Eight Directions.
He immediately turned serious, seeking instruction. "What does Sir mean by 'deliberate'?"
Bie Yanghong explained, "The peal of thunder is a natural law of the world. One can only conceal its intent and must not conceal the shape. It would be like when the heaven-soaring tree rose up in a single day covered in thousands of years of dirt and stone. While it seems imposing, it has lost the most important characteristic."
Xuanyuan Po continued to ask, "Might I ask Sir what this characteristic is?"
Bie Yanghong asked, "What is the external method of the Heavenly Thunder Bringer?"
Xuanyuan Po immediately replied, "The fist."
Bie Yanghong smiled. "I just so happen to have some understanding of this."
In the great battle in the Mausoleum of Books, he had personally witnessed the world-shaking fist of the Tianhai Divine Empress, leading to a great revelation.
In the last few years, he also began to use the fist. Thus, in the world after Tianhai, there was no one stronger than him in the fist.
Naturally, there was no one else more learned and experienced in this aspect as well.
"Why is it that the Divine Empress did not use the Wooden Phoenix or the ruyi, but used her fist to contend against us?"
Bie Yanghong calmly stared into Xuanyuan Po's eyes and said, "That is because the fist is a part of the body, rising and falling according to our desires. Compared to swords, spears, and all other external objects, one can at least open and close with more speed, and speed… is strength."
Xuanyuan Po's eyes brightened.
The Demi-human race revered pure strength more than the Human and Demon races, and as a member of the Demi-human race, he was no exception. However, this was not the reason he was moved by Bie Yanghong's words. It was more because these words had revealed to him a very important principle.
Whether it was a Daoist technique, a sword style, or an array, they were all used for battle. All of them shared the same root, ultimately pointing to speed and power. No matter how gorgeous and dazzling the sight, how powerful the momentum, there was intrinsically no difference.
Concealing the thunderstorm allowed the most strength to be accumulated, but just like Bie Yanghong said, it would also affect the speed at which techniques could be used.
How could one simultaneously maximize both aspects?
Xuanyuan Po voiced his questions.
Bie Yanghong used the precious experience he had obtained from his centuries of cultivation and countless battles to explain.
Xuanyuan Po became more and more focused, even forgetting to breathe.
The room became abnormally quiet. The wind blew in through the cracks in the paper door, lightly rustling the crystals and three pagodas on the floor.
If not for Wuqiong Bi's impatient snort, this instruction in the Dao might have persisted for quite some time.
Xuanyuan Po came to his senses, prostrated to Bie Yanghong, then left the room.
As he stood on the wooden floorboards outside the room and gazed at the occasional wisp of cooking smoke rising from beyond the courtyard, he quietly thought for a very long time. Gradually, Bie Yanghong's words began to fuse with his own experiences in cultivation, allowing him to resolve many problems in his cultivation. He could even feel that he was approaching a certain boundary.
He took in a deep breath and then traversed the white cobblestones to the well. He used a wooden ladle to water the short pine tree, then lowered his head and used the chilly water in the well to wash his face. After verifying that he was completely sober, he wiped the water off his face and left the courtyard.
The beating of drums continued to resound from the upper city.
The beating of the waves from the Red River grew louder and louder, closer and closer.
Pine Paths was already awake and his neighbors were yawning and picking at the crust in their eyes. Holding jars, they were still standing in line to buy breakfast.
A few laborers who had already finished eating were sitting on a long bench outside the porridge store, their feet raised as they talked. They seemed completely unaware of the drumbeats coming from the upper city or the roaring waves from the nearby Red River. This did not mean that they were not interested in the Heavenly Selection ceremony. Quite a few people were chatting about which fighting platform they would go to after finishing their work.
Xuanyuan Po walked over from the street.
A few women from the neighborhood that he was acquainted with asked if he had eaten breakfast, to which he smiled and nodded in response. A laborer that he was acquainted with asked him how business was doing at the small tavern and whether the boss was willing to sell a cup of coarse ale for only two strings of cash again. He shook his head, indicating that he didn't know.
Afterward, the owner of the meat bun stand casually asked him where he was going so early in the morning.
He stopped and replied, "I'm going to participate in the Heavenly Selection ceremony."
For a second, the street was quiet. Even the steam rising from the steamers seemed to pause for a few moments.
Laughter ensued and continued for some time. Moreover, it grew louder and louder, tinged with ridicule or amusement, kindness or malice.
Xuanyuan Po rubbed the back of his head and heartily laughed.
The fighting platform Xuanyuan Po went to was in the Pine Paths, so close that he could walk. He didn't need to ride a carriage, saving him some money.
By the time he reached the street where the fighting platform was located, it was already surrounded by spectators. However, the list of participants did not even fill two pages.
This was a remote place, far from the Imperial City and Heavensguard Pavilion. No important figure was keeping watch on this place and no formidable fighter could possibly appear here, so there were no naturally no experts here who wanted to challenge themselves. The people willing to register at this platform were often people who had no interest in the Heavenly Selection ceremony, just demi-human commoners who wanted to fight a little. There was nothing too special about battles between ordinary demi-humans and they seemed more like marketplace brawls. After a few careless rounds, they would give up.
The Carp tribe judge for this platform and the two supervisors found these matches exceedingly uninteresting, and the officials from Pine Paths were even more bored. The minor official in charge of registration even began to feel drowsy, his head occasionally drooping down. It seemed like his head might knock against the edge of the table at any moment.
Xuanyuan Po walked up to the table and lightly rapped on it.
The minor official was startled awake. Angrily raising his head, he wanted to speak a few words of reprimand but froze.
1. 'To bring', 引, and 'conceal', 隐, share the same pronunciation.↩