Chapter 55: The Secret Cultivation Hall (1)
Upon entering through the third portal, was a big hall with many shelves. At the end of the hall were two portals; one blue and one green.
There was a large black stele where they had appeared near to and they quickly put their hands on it so that they could understand where they were now at and for any extra information.
“Cultivation Hall!” Ling Feiyue gasped softly. She really could not believe that they had found a secret cultivation hall where cultivation practices were stored.
Yuan Ji nodded with a wry smile, “We can only take one away though. Just one. Why not three or more?”
Ling Feiyue giggled softly, “You are so greedy.”
Yuan Ji laughed, “That is because I’m too poor to buy cultivation manuals.”
In the celestial fraternity, cultivation manuals could easily cost an arm and a leg.
“You seem to be really experienced with the trials? You have been to many of the trials in the celestial fraternity?” Ling Feiyue asked curiously.
Yuan Ji laughed, “Not really. Only three.”
Ling Feiyue: …
Ling Feiyue: …
Ling Feiyue: …
She was stunned. It was because she could describe herself as an experienced trial cultivator by now, having visited more than thirty places for various trials. Some of the trials were even more dangerous and higher level than the Lotus Sword Mansion.
“In your lifetime, you have only been to three trials?!” She was finding it difficult to believe him and to accept what he had just said. After all, Yuan Ji was a high level cultivator and it was impossible for him to been to just three trials in his lifetime. Even a lowly fourth realm cultivator may have already been to more than ten trials as part of the clan mission.
“Yes just three trials.” Yuan Ji replied without a change in his expression. He was dead serious.
“You are lying…” Ling Feiyue had an unpleasant look on her countenances. It was because she detested liars and especially if the liar was a man that she liked.
Yuan Ji smiled awkwardly when he saw her expressions.
He quickly said to pacify her, “Although I have been to only three trial places but I had actually visited each one more than a hundred times.”
Ling Feiyue was stunned. A hundred times?!
She smiled bitterly, “For the trial to open so frequently and you can even visit it a hundred times, it must be some low level trials. With your cultivation level and strength, you ought to explore other trial places with a much higher difficulty.”
Yuan Ji laughed weakly, “It is because I feel that I haven’t explored the trials thoroughly enough.”
Ling Feiyue: …
“Is there a need to explore so thoroughly? And a hundred times? It is just a waste of time.”
She returned a soft sigh before asking, “So you can now tell me how you know that there is actually a hidden portal earlier?”
Yuan Ji returned her a gentle look, “If I tell you, you have to become my woman. Will that be alright to you?”
Ling Feiyue averted her eyes shyly as she cursed softly, “Dream on!”
Yuan Ji was only teasing her.
He quickly explained, “There are three portals inside the iron pagoda. So it is a clue that the trial inside will have three options.”
Ling Feiyue was startled, “How did you find out? I mean, no one think of this before.”
Yuan Ji said, “I found out about it by accident. Have you ever wonder why some trials have two portals and why some trials have three portals? And the order seems to be random?”
Ling Feiyue smiled awkwardly, “Actually no one cares why there are two or three portals as long as they can overcome it. You…you are the queer one.”
“If you have explored the same trial for a hundred times, you will also notice it.” Yuan Ji said matter of fact.
Ling Feiyue smiled bitterly, “A hundred times…in a low level trial…no way…”
Yuan Ji laughed jovially for a while before he smiled, “Don’t you feel that it is weird that this level actually contains two trials? One for reaching the iron pagoda and another inside the iron pagoda? If we just go to the third level, we won’t get any reward at all and at the same time, the rewards are too straightforward?”
Ling Feiyue chuckled softly as she shook her head lightly, “Actually no. I always thought it is the nature of the trial itself.”
She was secretly flushing, “He has actually found a bug in the trials and he is telling me so freely? He…trusts me…”
Yuan Ji laughed, “Let’s take a look around here. Maybe the cultivation practices here are just some low level ones and not worth our time.”
Ling Feiyue smiled shyly, “Alright, my lord.”
Yuan Ji’s heart was pounding rapidly when he suddenly heard her calling him her lord.
Just as he was about to tease her back, she had shyly disappeared among the shelves.
“Well then, I should focus on finding a suitable cultivation practice. It may or may not be useful but it would be good to have an alternative. I need to find something useful to defeat the old master of the Hundred Flower Divine Palace…alas…and I am almost out of time.”
The main reason why he was interested in the trials was because the Lotus Sword Mansion gave an above average reward for completing the trials and he needed to find any weapons, pills, cultivation methods or anything that he could find to have a fighting chance in the duel four months later.
He quietly went to the nearest shelf and immediately started his browsing.
There were many cultivation slips on the shelf.
Yuan Ji examined the first cultivation slip that he saw, “Golden Bell Profound Defense. Interesting.”
Out of curiosity, he took the cultivation slip to read its description. “The profound technique of strengthening the profound aura into an impenetrable shroud, shaping the profound aura into the likeness of a golden bell, condensing one’s profound aura into two layers of defenses…”
Yuan Ji was gasping with shock, “This is an advance cultivation profound art!”
In the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, if one got an advance cultivation profound art then they would be able to found a celestial clan. Take his Major Heavens Sword for example which was the secret sword art of the Orthodox Sword Sect, it was an example of an advance sword profound art. With that, his ancestor patriarch had founded the Orthodox Sword Sect.
The cultivation slip only contained the descriptions. If he really wanted the actual cultivation practice of this profound art then he would have to take this cultivation slip to the exit portal. After which, he would then receive the full cultivation practice.
All of a sudden the cultivation slip had vanished from his hands and had returned to the shelf.
Yuan Ji rubbed his chin as he pondered. It seemed that if he was not reading or imbuing his profound power on the cultivation slip, it would disappear after some time.
“Absolute defense skill. This may be the profound defense skill that I may need to withstand the profound might of an upper seventh realm sacred saint…”
All of a sudden he had recalled how Han Guanglie had died and he had lost his interest in this Golden Bell Profound Defense Profound Art.
He could suddenly hear Ling Feiyue shouting to him on the other side, “Ji Yuan, did you see the cultivation slips? These are all advance cultivation methods. Sword art, internal profound art, external profound art, cultivation art…”
Yuan Ji smiled bitterly. There were literally thousands of cultivation slips here and it was a hard choice to choose which cultivation practices to pick. The reward in this secret portal seemed to be better than the highest level of the Lotus Sword Mansion that could be given out and even rivaled all the previous trials that he had been to in the past.
When there were too many choices, the choice would be a difficult one.
But luckily for Yuan Ji, he had only a limited choice because he was only interested in looking for a cultivation practice that he could learn in as little as four months.
Therefore he began to pick and toss away the cultivation slips as he moved around hastily.
Eventually he found a cultivation slip that had caught his interest.
“Hmm, the True Sacred Saint Profound Art?”
He was half-amused. “There is such a thing as a true sacred saint? It must be a joke from some ancient celestials or immortal cultivators.”
Curious, he began to browse the description with more in-depth.
“The soul sea is the source of all the cultivation profound strength. In the soul sea, it is where the cultivation core is formed and the cultivators will be able to harness their profound strength by condensing the profound energies through the absorption of spiritual aura from the environment…”
He skipped to the more advance descriptions.
“In order to form the Pure Core within the soul sea, the cultivator must first attain to the fourth realm level energy level first. Forming the Pure Core will allow the cultivator to increase their profound strength by 20%…”
“Forming the Gold Core at the fifth realm level will increase the maximum profound strength by up to 30% and improve innate profound strength by 3% per tier…”
“Forming the Spirit Core at the sixth realm spirit level will increase the maximum profound strength by up to 40% and improve innate profound strength by additional 4% per tier…”
“Forming the Soul Core at the seventh realm soul level will increase the maximum profound strength by up to 50% and improve innate profound strength by 5% per tier…”
Yuan Ji was quite startled by this find. This was not only an advanced internal profound art and it even be considered a divine profound art!
This was a divine profound art that could raise the cultivator’s innate profound strength. If his innate profound strength could improve then he would be able to learn the more advance stages of his Major Heavens Sword without even a need to attain to the middle and upper tier of the sacred saint level.
The main reason why the seven major orthodox patriarch clans and the five unorthodox heretic sects were such a major power in the cultivation fraternity was because they all had some divine profound arts to back their celestial clans.
Take the Celestial Orthodox Sect for example; their most powerful profound art was the Sacred Maiden Profound Art which was an internal profound art. Because of this profound art, Sacred Maiden Xue Qianxue was able to advance fairly quickly in her cultivation level and her profound strength was unusually strong for her level.
Yuan Ji had personally witnessed her turning an envelope into a secret projectile through her internal profound strength and the penetrating power unleashed by her was startling.
“Gold core…this is interesting…” He was now muttering.
He had heard that in the past the ancient celestials that had cultivated their cultivation core into a golden core was much stronger than the celestials now. There was even a spirit core and a soul core to be mastered.
This was a lost divine profound art!
Or even a supreme divine profound art!
To think that he could casually find it in this place?
Yuan Ji sighed softly. Although this cultivation practice was tempting but it was not what he was looking for.
With a shrug of his shoulder, he tossed the cultivation slip away as he felt that it would take too long to cultivate it.
So he moved on to the other shelves.
Very soon, he had found another interesting cultivation slip.
“Hm, the Divine Heart Recite. This is an intricate recite formula on how to control the heart beat and to display absolute calmness even in the most dire of situations.”
Intricate recite formulas were unlike the powerful profound arts as its uses were not obvious. Rather it contains several aphorisms that were keys to understand the various principles of cultivation.
“I wonder what the tier of this Divine Heart Recite is? Is it standard, advanced or divine?”
Just based on the description alone, there was no way that he would know.
Yuan Ji was a little intrigued by it but because he did not know which tier this Divine Heart Recite was so he casually tossed it away.
The reason why he was intrigued by it was because when the cultivators fought with each other, there were three factors that could determine the winning outcome; profound arts, profound strength and the human factor.
The profound strength factor was easy enough to explain. It was the cultivator’s cultivation realm level.
The profound arts factor was the internal profound art, profound power arts, lightless profound art, weapons used and martial profound arts.
The human factor was the cultivator’s current mental fortitude, willpower, fighting spirit and perception.
Yuan Ji was a Sword Saint because he had relied more on the human factor to defeat his opponents especially with his sharp sense of observation on his opponents and his undying fighting spirit. He had also a strong mental fortitude in defeats and he would calmly re-calculate his odds for the next victory.
He had thought that he may be able to defeat Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue by going for his seventh realm breakthrough, rather than accepting defeat on the spot. Every action of his was planned for his next fighting chance and he was unaffected by defeats or the superiority of his opponents.
Next he moved on to another shelf after quickly browsing through several cultivation slips.
“What is it?”
“Sacred Maiden Profound Art. Isn’t this the divine skill of the Celestial Orthodox Sect? This divine skill belongs to the top ten most powerful internal profound arts.”
“The Sacred Maiden Profound Art can only be practiced by women. It is most effective if the cultivator is a chaste maiden. Altogether there are nine stages to this internal profound art…”
He quickly skipped to the more important descriptions. “The cultivators of the Sacred Maiden Profound Art must be wary not to give away their chastity so easily. It is because the other party will receive a portion of the Sacred Maiden Profound Energies which in turn could speed up the cultivation of profound energies and the practitioner would no longer be able to advance in her Sacred Maiden Profound Art…”
When Yuan Ji had read to this part, he was startled; this confirmed the a long standing rumor that If the chastity of the Sacred Maiden was taken, it would be able to aid the taker in his realm breakthrough and even had the effect of strengthening the purity of the soul sea’s profound energies.
There were other benefits by dual cultivating with a practitioner of the Sacred Maiden Profound Art but Yuan Ji was disinterested in reading anymore. It was because he was thinking of Xue Qianxue now and her sacrifices for him.
“Qianxue knew that she was making a great sacrifice for me and yet she willingly gives up her celestial practice for my sake. It is because she knows that I will be having a duel with the Divine Palace Master of the Hundred Flower Divine Palace. She didn’t even tell me…”
He was extremely touched and said solemnly in his heart, “Qianxue, I will get you out of the Celestial Orthodox Sect before my duel.”
With that he tossed the cultivation slip away.
Soon he found another cultivation slip.
“The Unrighteous Moon Profound Force. Isn’t this the divine profound art of Ling Feiyue’s Spirit Blue Moon Sect?”
He quietly put it back to the shelf. In the past, he would be interested to know Ling Feiyue’s strengths and weaknesses. But not anymore.
“Lightning God Divine Skill.”
“Generating the profound energies of lightning to use as your own profound strength and generate the profound power of lightning. This skill looks really overpowered…”
“Weakness: Only usable during thunderstorm days.”
Yuan Ji: …
“I need to find a way to control the weather first. Hmm, the Celestial Orthodox Sect has a celestial array to generate the golden tribulation lightning. I wonder if they will be willing to help me during my duel…”
He quietly tossed the cultivation slip away as he continued to search the shelf.
“Supreme Dual Cultivation.”
“Why am I looking at this? Haha. Supreme Dual Cultivation drawn upon the yin essences of the female cultivators to nourish the cultivation core instead of depending on spiritual aura. The higher realm level of the dual cultivation target, the more benefits it reap.”
“Alas, I’m a man of culture…”
He was now imagining himself with Shangguan Yan, Fairy Ye Chengxi, Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue now…
“The target of the Supreme Dual Cultivation will slowly lose their vitality and unable to leave the practitioner…”
“Weakness: the practitioner’s urges will always be on an overdrive…”
He was frowning lightly before he threw away the cultivation slip with a little hesitation.
“Although this skill can be mastered as little as a month but it will turn my love ones into a melting cauldron for my own vile pleasures.”
Reading the description of this cultivation slip had suddenly made him think of Ling Feiyue now.
He had quickly realized that many hours had passed. As a matter of fact, they had been here for a long time.
He began to wonder what Ling Feiyue was doing now.
He soon found her at the other side and she was giggling with delight as she read the descriptions of the cultivation slip that she was holding.
“Why is that I find her ten times more prettier now even though she is still cross-dressing as a man?”
She was so engrossed in her reading that she did not notice that Yuan Ji had quietly approached her.
“Feiyue, I think we ought to choose a cultivation slip fast and move on to the next level trial.”
Ling Feiyue looked up with a beaming smile as she said enthralling, “Ji Yuan, shall we stay here a little longer? I don’t want to leave this place. This whole place is way better than completing the entire trial. I’m staying here until I’ve finished reading the descriptions of all the cultivation practices.”
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji frowned, “This will take months and years. Moreover you can only read the descriptions and not practice it. Don’t forget that I still have a duel in four months.”
The enthralling eyes of Ling Feiyue were smiling at him as she giggled beautifully, “Look at this description. It is so funny. This is the cultivation method of my most hated rival and he’s from one of the five major unorthodox sects. Let me read it out for you…”
“Although the Dark Solstice Profound Art is extremely powerful but the practitioner must be warned that the pace of regaining profound strength will be slowed down by 90%. The practitioner can only cultivate to regain his lost profound strength and no amount of divine pills will be able to replenish back the lost profound strength. Also be warned not to take the ascension to transmigration to the Immortal Realm, it will surely fail.”
Ling Feiyue was laughing and giggling while holding onto her belly, giving off an enthralling look. “So my hatred rival has such a weakness in his profound art. This is so funny…so this is the hidden reprisals in his profound arts. No wonder he is always so eager to finish the fight so hastily. Next time, I will slowly drain his profound strength by delaying the fight…”
Yuan Ji frowned lightly as he was not amused. “Feiyue, we really should go. How many cultivation slips have you checked already?”
Ling Feiyue refused to answer his first question and instead she answered his second question, “About thirty.”
Yuan Ji almost fainted on the spot. “Thirty?!” He could not help gasping out loud.
Only thirty cultivation slips after so many hours had passed?!
It was because he had already browsed through several hundreds of cultivation slips in the same time that she had browsed through the thirty cultivation slips.
Browsing was actually the wrong word. She was actually reading very thoroughly.
“Look at this Ji Yuan. The first form of the Dark Solstice Profound Art requires thirty years of constant cultivation in order to merge with the Heavens and the Earth. If the practitioner has reached the golden celestial level, the time taken will be halved. If the practitioner has reached the golden supremacy level, the time taken will be further halved. It halved again if the practitioner is at the sacred saint level. The second form will require double the time…”
Yuan Ji was rolling his eyes. She was reading too much information. At her current rate of reading, she would never be able to leave this place for a few years.
Ling Feiyue was looking with admiration at Yuan Ji, “After I’ve finished reading all the cultivation slips here, I may well be the most knowledgeable celestial in the entire Desolate Celestial Fraternity. And it all thanks to you.”
Yuan Ji smiled bitterly, “You know. I really regret coming here. You’re so right earlier.”
Ling Feiyue chuckled softly, “Well, I don’t regret it. Why don’t you go away for now…”