Chapter 42: The Cultivation System
Yuan Ji and the two saintesses were now in a mountain city.
This mountain city was a last stop before they officially departed from the orthodox fraternity into the unorthodox fraternity.
They were now at a tea house and taking a short rest.
Yuan Ji said to the steward, “Room for two. And bring me your best dishes for three.”
The steward humbly smiled at him, “Great Celestials, I will see to it now.”
Hua Wuwu frowned, “We’re all golden celestials here. Do we even need to eat?”
It was true. Once a cultivator had attained to the fifth realm level, they would no longer have the need to eat or drink. It was because they could cultivate upon the spirit forces that were around them and it was equally as nourishing to them.
Golden celestials were truly half-step immortals with extremely long lives as well.
Yuan Ji laughed, “But real food is tasty. It just takes a little effort to dissipate the food as profound energies. What? You mean you don’t eat at the Hundred Flower Divine Palace.”
Hua Wuwu smiled coldly, “We have never taken any solid food for centuries.”
Hua Baiyue nodded, “In our Hundred Flower Divine Palace, we have the tasty celestial fruits for our cravings. Why do we need to eat these ‘un’ delicious oily food?”
Hua Wuwu returned a nod too, “You can have all the dishes to yourself. We’re definitely not eating it.”
Yuan Ji laughed, “What a pity then. You don’t know what you’re missing.”
All of a sudden there was a noise in the street and Yuan Ji could see two golden celestials were drawing swords against each other.
He immediately stood up and muttered, “They’re having a duel?”
He was overheard by the steward who immediately chuckled, “That is right. That is Li Ye, a fifth realm golden celestial and the other one is Duan Tian who is a sixth realm golden supremacy.”
Yuan Ji was startled, “Is this even a fair duel? That Duan Tian obviously has the stronger profound strength.”
The steward laughed, “It is a fair duel because this Li Ye had been challenging several sixth realm supremacies recently and had won. Now Duan Tian is challenging him to a duel to avenge the honor of his protégé clan.”
“This Li Ye is so formidable?” Yuan Ji was further startled.
Even Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue were also looking in the direction of the duel.
The steward explained, “This Li Ye had actually ascended from the lower realm recently and he did not know the rules of the Desolate Celestial Fraternity. Therefore he had unwittingly offended some high level golden celestials.”
Yuan Ji nodded as he rubbed his chin, “This is interesting. He is from the lower realm?”
The Desolate Celestial Fraternity was actually part of the Celestial Realm that the mortals from the lower realm had always dreamed of ascending.
If a peaked cultivation practitioner from the lower realm managed to ascend to the Celestial Realm, they would always be a fifth realm golden celestial. It was because during the ascension to the Celestial Realm, their body would undergo a metamorphosis, transforming their mortal body into a golden body.
The vast majority of the celestials in the Celestial Realm were actually born in this realm and that included Yuan Ji. It was extremely rare to see anyone that was from the lower Mortal Realm and it was so rare that it was actually the first time that Yuan Ji had actually seen one.
In the Celestial Realm, all the native celestials were actually descended from the cultivation practitioners that had ascended from the Mortal Realm.
And it was these ancient celestials that had passed down their various cultivation practices, martial techniques and profound arts to the present celestials by forming the protégé clans.
The native celestials were actually weaker than the Ascended Celestials as the majority lacked the mental fortitude or talent to actually cultivate into a golden celestial.
It was estimated that over 97% of the native celestials were unable to cultivate into a golden celestial at the end of their life span.
Out of the 3% of the native celestials that had managed to cultivate into a golden celestial, over 66% were at the fifth realm golden celestial level, 33% were at the sixth realm golden supremacy level while only 1% could be fortunate enough to attain to the seventh realm sacred saint level.
Failure to breakthrough to the fifth realm, sixth realm and seventh realm level would often mean instant death for the cultivators. Therefore these three realms were also called the Life and Death Tribulations.
Unless it was time for their realm breakthrough, most golden celestials would never dare to forcefully attempt for a breakthrough. It was because no one was willing to die prematurely.
Because of the great difficulty of becoming a golden celestial, the celestials that had managed to attain it were often given the honorable address of Great Celestials and that was how the steward had addressed Yuan Ji, Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue when he saw that they had golden eyes which were the characteristic of a golden celestial.
If the realm level of the golden celestial was known, a fifth realm golden celestial would also be known as ‘Celestial’ Yuan Ji, a sixth realm golden supremacy as ‘Supremacy’ Yuan Ji and a seventh realm sacred saint golden saint as ‘Saint’ Yuan Ji.
For the native celestials that wanted to be a golden celestial, it was a constant battle against time. It was because unlike the Ascend Celestials who had been tempered by the Divine Calamity of their ascension and were given a new ageless body, the native celestials were not so lucky.
They had to quickly cultivate to the Third Realm Enlighten Celestial Level before they could slow down their aging process.
Only when they reached the Fourth Realm Immortal Celestial Level, would their aging completely ceased.
Needless to say, the younger the golden celestials looked, the more likely that they were the geniuses of their generation.
Yuan Ji, Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue were all young looking and they were really the geniuses of their generation.
Although Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue may have the appearances of a young maiden but they were in fact many centuries old.
Yuan Ji was now looking curiously at the duel and he was rubbing his chin. The reason why he was rubbing his chin was because he had lost his beard and got nothing better to do with his fingers. But of course, no one would care for the reason why he was rubbing his chin.
He was actually calculating the profound strength differences between the two duelists as he rubbed his chin.
Profound strength originated from the cultivator’s soul sea. The soul sea was also known as the inner cultivation sea, elixir sea or energy sea depending on the local cultivation practice.
In order to muster profound strength, the cultivator must harness the profound energies that were within the soul sea.
And in order to harness the profound energies within the soul sea, the cultivator must cultivate the spiritual forces that were in the mountains in order to fill the soul sea.
Each time the cultivator had a breakthrough in the realm level, the boundaries of the soul sea would also increase, affecting the profound strength and the recovery rate of the cultivator.
Therefore even though Li Ye and Duan Tian were both golden celestials, the differences in their profound strength may affect their odds.
Yuan Ji asked the steward, “Do you know their exact realm level and stage?”
The steward chuckled, “This Li Ye is only at the initial tier of the fifth realm level while Duan Tian is at the upper tier of the sixth realm level.”
Yuan Ji was startled. “The differences between them are so great?”
The steward nodded, “Duan Tian is expected to win this duel hands down.”
Yuan Ji was forced to agree quietly.
Each time a fifth realm golden celestial advanced in the small tiers, a gain of 10% of profound strength was expected.
Each time a sixth realm golden supremacy advanced in the small tiers, a gain of 20% of profound strength was expected.
Each time a seventh realm golden saint advanced in the small tiers, a gain of 30% of profound strength was expected.
But a sixth realm golden supremacy also had a gain of 30% more profound strength due to the elevation of a new realm over the fifth realm golden celestial.
And a seventh realm golden saint had a 50% more profound strength over a sixth realm golden supremacy due to the elevated realm.
By Yuan Ji’s calculations, this Duan Tian had an advantage of a 110% profound strength over Li Ye. This mean to say that the strongest strikes by Duan Tian was literally twice as powerful as Li Ye.
As for Yuan Ji, he had an advantage of an 80% profound strength over Duan Tian.
But that was not all.
A fifth realm golden celestial had a 50% quicker recovery rate while a sixth realm golden supremacy had a 70% quicker recovery rate.
And a seventh realm golden saint had a 90% quicker recovery rate over the other realm cultivators.
What was recovery rate?
Recovery rate was the speed that the cultivator would replenish their profound strength and stamina.
Whenever a strike was made, profound strength was lost and the profound energies in the soul sea would be depleted.
No one had infinity profound strength and stamina to attack continuously and seventh realm saints were greatly feared for their recovery rate rather than their profound strength.
It was because Saints could use their most powerful profound arts and they would quickly regain back 90% of their profound strength and only 10% of their profound energies would actually be depleted.
At the same time recovery rate would also affect the speed of regeneration of the Saints if they were wounded and the speed of absorbing spiritual force at the same time, making Saints much more difficult to be killed.
When Yuan Ji was a peaked sixth realm golden supremacy, he knew that his chances of winning Xue Qianxue was next to nil.
It was because Xue Qianxue was already a middle tier saintess and her profound strength without any profound arts was 110% over Yuan Ji.
Now a 100% difference in profound strength would mean that Yuan Ji’s attacks may not even bypass her profound aura and he could not even hurt her at all.
That was the main reason why Yuan Ji was forced to attempt his seventh realm breakthrough in order to stand a fighting chance against Xue Qianxue.
Of course the differences in profound strength could be affected by the profound arts, martial techniques and weapons that were used.
But Yuan Ji had checked his homework and had discovered that Xue Qianxue’s profound skills were all above him.
The same logic applied when Yuan Ji had killed Elder Hai Sheng who was a sixth realm golden supremacy while he could only muster the profound strength of a fourth realm cultivator. Although his profound strength was weaker than Hai Sheng but he had the superior sword technique and a divine sword to aid him.
Now Yuan Ji was appraising the odds of Li Ye versus Duan Tian.
It seemed that Li Ye had the more superior techniques and profound arts over Duan Tian.
Usually the Ascended Celestials were better in their profound arts because those who could ascend were usually grandmaster level in the Mortal Realm.
Usually also because the Mortal Realm was a much more violent place than the Celestial Realm.
The martial fraternity of the Mortal Realm was a place for heroes who threw away their lives fearlessly to settle their blood feuds and martial honors.
The Celestials in the Celestial Realm called these heroes stupid because they were not smart enough to value their own lives.
It was because the Celestials in the Celestial Realm were more interested to preserve their own lives. Most of the time they would never fight against someone who was of the higher cultivation level unless they had a cheat or a profound treasure.
In short the Celestials prefer to fight like smart heroes and they were all pussies.
Yuan Ji shook his head with a soft sigh when he had thought of it.
Without martial and willpower tempering, it was difficult for the Celestials’ profound arts to improve. It was no wonder a first rate fighter from the Mortal Realm could easily kill a fourth realm cultivator and even a fifth realm golden celestial.
In the Celestial Realm, there were many profound arts that used to be very powerful but due to lack of life and death battle insights, these profound arts were either lost or its successors could never mastered to the original level of the Ascended Celestials.
In the martial fraternity, their swords and fists were their constant weapons in tempering themselves through endless battle and even their injury was a way to enhance their endurances.
“My Yan’Er and Chengxi, they are not ruthless enough to handle a super exponent from the Mortal Realm.” Yuan Ji was suddenly sighing.
All of a sudden Li Ye was given a quick slash by the sword of Duan Tian.
After exchanging more than fifty strokes, Li Ye had finally lost. Even though he had the superior sword arts but Duan Tian had the superior profound strength and he was still as fresh as ever.
Duan Tian was laughing out loud. “Now you know how strong I am, right? So next time when you see me, be sure to scram as far away as possible. This little amount of injuries won’t kill you but you won’t be so lucky next time. Next time don’t be a hero and challenge a sixth realm golden supremacy. Know your station and your place!”
He was about to give Li Ye another slash when Yuan Ji had suddenly flashed in front of him.
Yuan Ji smiled, “Why don’t we duel with each other?”
Duan Tian laughed, “So what are your name and your realm level?”
Yuan Ji laughed, “I am Li Yuan. I’m also at the fifth realm level only.”
He had reported a fake name as he was not interested to know this Duan Tian.
Duan Tian laughed jovially, “I am Supremacy Duan Tian. By my title, you should know my realm level. You are also an Ascended Celestial?”
Yuan Ji shrugged his shoulders with a wry smile, “I’m a celestial cultivator from the Five Heavens Peaks.”
All of a sudden Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue had flashed to Yuan Ji and they were saying at the same time. “Who are you bullying?”
When Duan Tian saw the two lovely young maidens, he was suddenly drooling. “I’m not bullying him. He has dared to challenge me so therefore I am accepting it. Maidens, is he a friend of yours? If you are willing to accompany me for a drink, I will be happy to give him some mercies.”
Hua Wuwu rolled her eyes and thought, “This stupid fool has no idea that we are asking Yuan Ji not to bully him. It’s not the other way round.”
Even Hua Baiyue was cursing silently, “He dares to be so disrespectful to the two saintesses here. He must be so tired of living!”
Yuan Ji was sighing softly to himself. “Although you are a powerful sixth realm golden supremacy but do you know that you have encounter the 1% impossible odds of meeting not one but three saint level cultivators.”
Duan Tian laughed as he continued to eye the two lovely maidens indecently, “Since you are only a fifth realm golden celestial, I will let you make the first move.”
Yuan Ji said, “Alright then. Please give me your instructions.”
All of a sudden Yuan Ji had attacked with his sword fingers. He had limited his profound strength to the fifth realm level as he did not want Duan Tian to know that he was actually a seventh realm cultivator.
His sword fingers were imbued with the penetrating power of his sword energies as he suddenly struck Duan Tian a dozen times.
The first six sword fingers had no effect upon Duan Tian but from the seventh attack onward, his sword fingers had completely rippled through the protective profound animus of Duan Tian and had sent him flying off!
Duan Tian immediately coughed out blood with disbelief.
How could he be defeated by mere fingers?!
But his opponent was really a fifth realm cultivator as he could tell from the profound strength that was used against him.
Yuan Ji chuckled softly, “Now scram or I will be nasty.”
Duan Tian shouted, “Just you wait! You must be an Ascended Celestial too! I will not let this matter off lightly. I will be back soon!”
He had quickly disappeared in the crowd.
Yuan Ji had actually cheated. Although he had limited his profound strength to the fifth realm level but he had the speedy recovery of a seventh realm golden saint.
If he was only a sixth realm cultivator then he could only unleash six sword fingers continuously and could not be able to penetrate through Duan Tian’s golden body.
But because he had the insane recovery of a golden saint, he was able to make twelve continuous sword fingers’ attacks and therefore he could penetrate Duan Tian’s golden body.
This was another use for recovery as a high recovery could also maintain the profound energies of the cultivator.
Hua Wuwu muttered, “Bully.”
Yuan Ji ignored her.
He walked to Li Ye and said, “Friend, I must say that you are quite skillful.”
Li Ye smiled bitterly, “I’m not as good as you. I need to train harder.”
Yuan Ji snapped his fingers and said, “That is the word! Train harder rather than cultivate harder. Will you like to join my sect?”
Li Ye was startled, “Join your sect? But I am an Ascended Celestial. No one welcomes me and I don’t like to join a sect.”
Most Ascended Celestials were the grandmasters or patriarchs of their sects. Therefore it was understandable why they did not want to join any sect. They were mostly unwilling to be a low ranking protégé again.
Yuan Ji nodded but he was not about to give up on persuading Li Ye, “I will make you my elder and you will be in charge of training my protégés. I am Yuan Ji the Palace Master of the Emperor Hall Sect.”
Li Ye took a step back as he gasped, “You’re that infamous fool that dares to challenge the Hundred Flower Divine Palace?”
Yuan Ji: …
He replied bitterly, “Yes, I am that fool. I didn’t know I am so infamous now that even you have heard of my name.”
Li Ye quickly bowed with his hands, “Palace Master Yuan, please pardon me for my rudeness. Actually you have my utmost respect for your martial spirits. I will join your sect. If there is a hero that I admire, that is you.”
Yuan Ji was startled as he returned a weak smile, “Really? That’s good to hear. Haha.”
Hua Baiyue rolled her eyes, “A soon to be dead man is still going around to recruit people. What a weird fellow.”
Li Ye respectfully bowed with his hands toward the two lovely young maidens, “How do I address the two Great Celestials here?”
Yuan Ji put his hand over Li Ye’s shoulder and chuckled, “They are not important at all. They are just my personal attendants.”
Hua Wuwu, Hua Baiyue: …