Editor note: Hey guys, quick message. In chapter 8 we called one of the stages “freezing blood”, however, we’ve realised this is not accurate. It’s been changed and from now on will be called: “Liquidation of qi”.
Enjoy the chapter! :)
Chapter Eighteen – Enlightening Remarks
The whole class was silent.
All of the students here were beginners, who only aspired to learn the ‘rudimentary knowledge of a forged body’, such as techniques, the flow of qi, the most-effective herbs to advanced cultivation, etc. Something like the peak state of a forged body, was something they could only dream about. To think what was beyond this realm, was something beyond their comprehension.
However, now that Xu Yi had brought this question up, everyone felt enlightened, as they began thinking of the whole picture of Wu Dao, rather than merely tunnel vision on the state of a forged body.
As cultivators, they all wished to make progress day by day, no one wanted to be left behind. Within the stage of a forged body, the cultivation of the body was the origin of their strength. But what if they finally surpassed this level?
The classroom was silent, as they were all pondering on Xu Yi’s seemingly simple, yet difficult question. Teacher Zhou raised his brows a little bit and calmly said with a rare and solemn expression, “I have figured out the general answer to your question. What you seem most curious about, is how to obtain more strength after having reached the peak state of a forged body. Actually, your concern would disappear once you’ve taken the next step. As you all know, there are four stages to unlock the shackles of this mortal world, the forged body is simply one of these stages. In each stage, we have different techniques to cultivate and gather strength. You know what the four stages are, correct? They’re namely, a forged body, an ocean of qi, the liquidation of qi and a grateful soul. You may see from their names, that they’re a reflection of their personal state, either physically or spiritually.”magic
“At the peak state of a forged body, you’ll have ox’s skin and iron-like bones. The strength you can exert will be equivalent to that of one ox. After you surpass this stage, you’ll have entered into the next realm, an ocean of qi. Just as its name implies, the qi in your body will form an ocean in your dantian. You’ll be able to fight with your mind, rather than with your hands, or any other part of your body. It’ll be an amazing stage. Indeed, in this stage, you’ll still need to cultivate your body, but not to strengthen your skin and bones. Instead, you will cultivate your bone marrow into a frost state and your blood into a thick liquid.”
“As for the last two stages, I don’t possess any definite answers. To tell you the truth, I haven’t reached these stages myself, so…it is beyond me. However, if you like, I could give you a simple overview.” He paused for a second as he looked at Xu Yi and then continued. “The so called liquidation state, I’m fairly certain that it refers to the liquidation of your qi. You will train the organs inside your chest, forging them into a more resilient state. Finally, a grateful soul is the last realm, it represents the end of the limitations of your physical body and you will start to absorb the energy from the heavens. You have to be absolutely devout in this state, in order to successfully purify your soul.”
The detailed explanation by Teacher Zhou, though combined with evidence and predictions, was enlightening learning material for the students. Xu Yi was especially overwhelmed, as the doubts that had nagged him all this time had been like an insurmountable mountain, but now it had suddenly collapsed.
For a while, silence dominated the classroom, as the students were “digesting” the wide-ranged knowledge, that was bombarded onto them by Teacher Zhou.
“Is there anything wrong with my lecturing, why is everyone suddenly so quiet?’ Teacher Zhou was baffled by the awkward atmosphere.
“Teacher, it really surprised us that you are in the state of an ocean of qi!” A round faced guy blurted out in astonishment.
When Teacher Zhou said that he had no experience in the last two realms, the students felt like they were hit by a thunderbolt. Because they never expected that this hoary little man had surpassed a forged body, this came as a huge surprise to them. Aside from Xu Yi, everyone here was only at the beginning stages of a forged body. For them, they weren’t even confident in reaching the peak state of a forged body, let alone stepping into the realm of an ocean of qi.
Xu Yi was probably the only one who didn’t make any fuss over it. He had previously fought with Shirong, who had also reached an ocean of qi. So he knew quite clearly how powerful it was. However, he treated each word from Teacher Zhou as a gem and sculptured them deep inside his heart.
“Bullshit! How can you consider an ocean of qi to be a big deal?!” Teacher Zhou angrily retorted.
“Even if you’ve reached the final stage – a grateful soul, you are still living in this damn mortal world! Listen, if don’t have the mere courage to obtain the state of an ocean of qi, just get out of my class!” Teacher Zhou continued.
Indeed, the verbally passionate Teacher Zhou had his own miserable story, however, he wasn’t interested in sharing this with his students. Yes, he had obtained an ocean of qi, but that was nearly twenty years ago. Now, sadly, he was like a disabled person in Wu Dao, as his Dantian – the basis for cultivating Wu Dao, had been damaged in a fierce battle. Thanks to his solid theoretical knowledge in Wu Dao, as well as his presentation skills, he had finally managed to make a living in the Lecture Room.
Teacher Zhou didn’t wish to share his negative emotions, so he kept the bitter remorse to himself.
Xu Yi finally broke the silence and stood, as he asked another question, “My apologies, Teacher Zhou, but I’ve got another question. During an intense fight, what’s the most important factor? Strength or speed, which one will dominate in a fight? And how about battle techniques, are they vital in a fight? In addition, based on what you’ve just told us, one won’t have more than an ox’s strength in the peak state of a forged body, yet I’ve heard stories that some cultivators are able to reach three-oxen strength in the peak state. How do you explain that?”
This question had puzzled Xu Yi ever since he had fought with Elder Feng, who had exerted the Tranquil Fist, which was three-oxen strength. Although Xu Yi had survived this attack, it had been an extremely close call, as his armor had been his saving grace. He still had lingering fears on the fatal strength of that fist.
During Xu Yi’s cultivation, all he knew was how to cultivate around the clock, in the hope that something magic would happen to his strength and speed. It never occurred to him that techniques would be so powerful, that was, until he met Elder Feng. Xu Yi was, indeed, a little bit envious of Elder Feng’s mind boggling Tranquil Fist.
“Look at you, diligent, discerning and cautious; you’re great material for Wu Dao!” Teacher Zhou glanced at Xu Yi and then enjoyed a sip of his wine.
“Ok, let me answer your question. Firstly, never forget to treat strength and speed as your top priority. You know, in front of absolute strength, any showy technique would be easily overshadowed. In other words, never underestimate the importance of strength and speed.”
“Secondly, we occasionally need techniques to overcome our shortcomings in strength or speed. Look, absolute strength is not an easy thing to achieve, when you encounter someone in a higher realm, what would you do? Your strength and speed won’t help you out, only techniques can narrow the gap between you and your enemy. Anyway, you’re all in the state of a forged body and you’ll hardly have any chance to compete with those in a higher realm.”
“That’s why I consider, to some extent, absolute strength a pseudo-proposition. Only a minority of the talented cultivators will be lucky enough to gain absolute strength. For normal cultivators, like you, I suggest that techniques are an effective way to improve your ability. Or let me put it this way, techniques, strength and speed are an integral part in the cultivation process of Wu Dao. None of them should be singled out as the most important element.”