Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 76
Chapter 76: Battle Cultivator
Translator: Myriea Editor: Nou
’’You're only digging your own grave!’’ With a sudden shift of tone, the purple-eyed man raised his voice. ’’You think you're justified for betraying the clan just because they treated you a little unfairly? Don't you understand? As soon as you left the clan, you became NOTHING! What's your cultivation level now? Heh, have you managed to break through into the Budding Soul Stage? Probably not. With your personality, if you could break through into the Budding Soul Stage, you would have already been back for your revenge. And this is the result of you leaving the clan! If only you were smart enough to swallow your pride at the time, with your zi'zhi and the clan's wealth, let alone reaching Budding Soul, I don't doubt you'd have already reached the Tribulation Stage.’’
As Bai Qianzhang listened to those words, his expression changed multiple times before finally returning to its original tranquility. ’’It is as you've said, eldest brother;my level of cultivation has been stuck at the peak of Golden Core for the past five hundred years. Without any manuals on the Budding Soul Stage or the Nirvana Pellet required for a breakthrough, I'm at the end of my lifespan without any hope of reaching Budding Soul.’’
As the image of the man listened on in silence, he grew visibly mournful with Bai Qianzhang's confession. ’’Come back. Come back with the Decapitation's Portrayal, then apologize to Third. The clan might forgive everything you've done in the past if the painting is returned. I will also plead with them for leniency;perhaps then, with the clan's support of resources and manuals, you can still break into the stage of Budding Soul!’’
An indescribable fury rose to Bai Qianzhang's face and his tone abruptly lowered in response, ’’Apologize to him? You also believe I'm in the wrong, eldest brother? If it wasn't for that beast of a man performing such a disgusting act... and yet you want me to apologize to him? What would that make my poor child?’’
The man within the stone plate paused for a short moment before replying, ’’Does that matter anymore? It's been seven hundred years and you've still not let it go. Since you voluntarily contacted me, I thought you would have thought it all through by now....’’
Bai Qianzhang's voice grew more emotional, his words drawing up into a cold howl, ’’Indeed, I'm contacting you because I've thought it all through. What's so great about being a genius? That treasure of yours may not always be what you've hoped for. Now that I'm almost at the end of my life, I will use the rest of it to craft a sword, a sword that will bring disorder and regret to you all!’’
The breathing of the man within the stone plate became suddenly heavy. ’’Ninth! Don't you do such a foolish ’’
The very moment Bai Qianzhang's hand touched the purple stone plate, it shattered into ash and scattered into the wind. With the plate destroyed, the very last connection he had to his clan was severed;his expression calmed back down, as though a heavy stone had been lifted from his heart. With his hands tucked behind his back, he languidly strolled back inside the cave estate.
Inside the cave, Fang Xing was in the process of conversion, trying to refill his Qi after sipping a few mouthfuls of spirit wine. He had noticed that the amount and speed at which he was absorbing the Jing in this spirit wine was even greater than before;it was as though he was overflowing with the vitality of a beast immediately after a vigorous and fruitful mating season.
Fang Xing felt that even though his level of cultivation had not increased by even an inch, he was able to convert a greater amount since the Qi he stored within his body had been condensed and refined. Activating [Dragon Catching] as a test, Fang Xing noticed that he was now able to utilize it with much greater fluidity and ease, while its power also seemed to have increased. Despite the lack of movement in his cultivation tier, his techniques seemed to have improved by a good ten percent.
'How did this happen?' Fang Xing pondered to himself while holding on to his gourd of wine, slowly considering the matter. 'Maybe it has something to do with the flames of wrath that appeared when I was studying the Decapitation's Portrayal? Could it be that when the flames destroyed my insides, it was the same as having my body cleansed?'
The more Fang Xing thought about it, the more plausible it seemed. He clearly remembered that the sensation of fire burning away at him was similar to that of a breakthrough, and the purpose of a breakthrough especially for tiers two and three was to cleanse impurities and ready oneself for a new limit. Tier four focused on opening up and reaching that new limit and capability.
Tiers five and six had a similar cleansing process to the second and third, while tier seven was a breakthrough past the second limit. The same cycle repeated for tiers eight and nine, followed by pushing on into the Foundation Stage.
When Fang Xing considered it, the flames that had burned away inside him before was exactly like that of a breakthrough. The moment they had been lit, it was as though he had taken the Poji Pellet again and his body was being reconstructed anew.
After some thought, Fang Xing felt that he had probably guessed the key to all of this, then determined that the white-haired youth had to know something about it as well. As he went outside to ask, however, Fang Xing saw him staring blankly into thin air. Not wanting to interrupt, Fang Xing returned back to the cave and strolled around without a purpose.
The cave itself was simple, and there wasn't much in the way of decorations aside from a few spirit herbs and manuals. It was precisely this simple layout that had allowed the cave to become even classier and full of depth, but this was of course not something Fang Xing could appreciate. All he had eyes for was whether or not there was anything of value he could take for himself.
'These few pellets don't look bad, but it's so unpleasant for them to be placed here. Let's take them!
'Oh, this jade bottle looks like a spirit tool, but it looks so out of place here. I'll take it!
'Ah? These manuals look like they're worth something, but they're wasting away here and gathering dust. I'll make good use of them instead!'
As Fang Xing picked out the treasures for himself with a swagger in his hips, a soft voice sounded out behind him, ’’Are you done choosing?’’
Fang Xing let out a sly smile, putting down a spirit herb he had managed to pull out after quite some effort. ’’Almost....’’
Bai Qianzhang turned his head and stood in front of the cave's entrance, the light of the sun striking his silhouette and nearly leaving him with a golden glow. ’’Then come with me.’’ Fang Xing had been concerned Bai Qianzhang would demand he return all of the items he had taken, yet he had simply been asked to follow along. Feeling guilty as a result, Fang Xing followed obediently behind.
Bai Qianzhang sat down in front of a stone table before gesturing for Fang Xing to come closer. As he placed his palm against the boy's back, he began to mutter to himself, ’’As I expected, the Decapitation's Portrayal contained an Immortal-rank technique that uses fire to cleanse one's body....’’ He then began to visibly think hard upon something.
Fang Xing stood still and waited. After Bai Qianzhang remained quiet for some time, Fang Xing decided to take a seat as well. Just as was about to sit down, however, he saw that there was a fruit tree near the stone forest. Despite not knowing the tree's name, the bright red fruit hanging from its branches looked impossibly inviting;unable to bear its allure, Fang Xing grabbed two at once before taking a bite out of one. It was filled with sweet and juicy goodness, and once the juice reached his throat, Fang Xing was excited to find that it turned into streams of Qi.
Fang Xing made himself comfortable soon after discovering how delicious these fruits were, and it didn't take long before a good seven or eight of them had been wolfed down. By the time Bai Qianzhang returned from his thoughts, the stone table was already filled with fruit cores.
Bai Qianzhang looked at his Red Peach Tree and the fruits that would grow only every three hundred years, then he gazed at the bloated Fang Xing to the side. ’’There's no question that you're the descendant of the Taotie bloodline, you are just like those from the Taotie;for every place you pass, all is devoured empty. Inviting you to my estate was just like inviting a thief to openly steal from me,’’ he said with a bitter smile.
’’I've only just eaten a few of your fruits, did you really have to call me a thief?’’ Fang Xing replied.
Unwilling to debate the rights or wrongs with the boy, Bai Qianzhang asked with a laugh, ’’When you were at the Grand Hall of Promotions, why did you not want to learn any of the four techniques they recommended to you?’’
Fang Xing scratched his head. ’’I don't want to make pills, I'm too lazy to write, fortune telling was never my forte, and a blacksmith just sounds too... stupid.’’
’’Give me the truth,’’ Bai Qianzhang replied with a faint smile.
Fang Xing blurted out his answer before he had even considered it, ’’Because it's all too weak! I only want to learn the strongest!’’
’’What do you think is the strongest, then?’’
Fang Xing became silent, as he had not thought he would speak the truth of the matter. Since it was already out in the open, though, he may as well reveal everything;this man named Bai Qianzhang wasn't so bad, after all, and he felt that this man was perhaps one of the very few that he could safely speak the truth to. With that decided, Fang Xing continued on, ’’The strongest, and also the most powerful. I feel that the Qing-Yun Nine Swords was the most powerful. All of the others were for either alchemy or blacksmithing, while only this manual can be used for battle!’’
There was an unusual degree of seriousness in the manner Fang Xing spoke about this, all because he remembered the night at the Guiyan Valley. One man and his steel eagle had appeared from the sky with a single sword in hand, and corpses were laid out across the entire valley. Only with strength could a person control the lives of everyone else;without strength, a person could only end up as a meal for others, even if they had all of the wealth in the world.
Most cultivators sought immortality on the path of cultivation, they wished to be freed from worldly restraints and travel to unknown lands, but none of this held any attraction to Fang Xing. His first impression of a sect was that they held great strength in combat, and what he was after was precisely that same strength.
Bai Qianzhang let out a sigh as he heard the answer. ’’Even though Qing-Yun Nine Swords might be the strongest in the Qing-Yun Sect, it is not the strongest in the entire continent of South Zhanbu, and it may even be considered as one of the weaker ones. Even in this small kingdom of Chufung, there are at least two or three manuals on par with it, if not even slightly superior. Even if you do learn it, it's not going to give you the strength you seek.’’
Fang Xing considered it before replying, ’’Then I will learn this first before learning even stronger techniques!’’
Bai Qianzhang laughed at such an answer. ’’All clans and sects view their techniques and skills as important as their lives. No one would teach them to you!’’
’’Then I will rob them. I will learn it regardless!’’
’’And how are you going to rob them if you're not even strong enough yourself?’’
Fang Xing was finally vexed at that and began to pull at his hair. ’’Then what do you say to do?’’
’’There is no manual with the strongest technique, but there is something else that can make you one of the strongest. And it's very suitable for you!’’
Fang Xing's eyes lit up at those words. ’’What is it?’’
’’Being a Battle Cultivator!’’
Tribulation Stage: The stage after Budding Soul Stage. From the lowest to the highest known cultivation stages so far: Spirit Stage >Foundation Stage >Budding Soul Stage >Tribulation Stage. Rumor has it that one will become an immortal once they have stepped into the Tribulation Stage.