Chapter 166 - Deciding to Strengthen Himself
Special thanks to Sebastien T. for sponsoring this chapter.
The night sky was as dark and desolate as the ocean, completely silent.
Inside the room, Ye Chen sat on the bed with his legs crossed and his hands on his knees. He was meditating with his full concentration, and in front of him, the moonlight that poured into the room through the screen window was soft and clear.
The Great Mystery Art was a mid-ranked Earth Realm art, and the Zhen Qi flowing route required by this art was over ten times more complicated than the Zhen Qi flowing route required by the Pure Jun Zhen Qi. When practicing this art, the Zhen Qi flow has to make multiple twists and turns at many important spots inside the martial artist's body; at the end of which, the entire pattern may look like a dead knot, or even a ball of disordered ropes. One can hardly gain a clear understanding of it.
At this stage, in order to achieve the first level of this art, Ye Chen has to complete a whole circle inside his body and extract and purify a stream of Great Mystery Zhen Qi from his original Zhen Qi.
However, as the Great Mystery Art was genuinely complicated, it was not that easy to complete a whole circle; at least, Ye Chen was still having a headache because of the tangled Zhen Qi flowing pattern. He did not dare to be even a slight bit careless. After all, once a Zhen Qi stream flows into a wrong meridian, it might cause severe inner damage inside his body.
Sweat dripped down from his forehead, but Ye Chen had yet to sense anything; only closing his eyes and scrunching his brows from time to time. Within a short time, his expression had changed a number of times.
A while later, Ye Chen slowly opened his eyes and let out a long breath, seeming a bit tired.
"No wonder mid-ranked Earth Realm arts are considered the most powerful arts possessed by many institutions. It is only the first level of this Great Mystery Art and it is already so difficult that it costs me half a day of hard work. Hmm, to cultivate to the top-level, just how difficult can that be?" Before, the progress of Ye Chen's cultivation was extremely rapid, but this time, he felt that it was a bit demanding when practicing the Great Mystery art; every single move made by him had to be done cautiously, and it was extremely time and energy consuming.
A night was spent in silence.
In the next half month, Ye Chen spared no effort on practising the Great Mystery Art every single night; during the daytime, he chose to practice the low-ranked Earth Realm art that he got from the ancient region. Although this lifestyle was dull and dry, he was indeed very busy.
Another half a month passed.
Above a soaring cliff, the ocean of clouds surged silently.
On the ground a human silhouette was moving swiftly across the plain. His movements were as smooth as flowing water and as fast as a demon; every time he abruptly stopped moving for a moment, his silhouette would abruptly split into two then dart out towards different directions. One of the two silhouettes was wearing a long outfit that fluttered in the air that let out powerful rustling noises, while the other had a lifeless expression and a slightly translucent body. It was very apparent that it was condensed from Zhen Qi.
Moving another few steps forward, Ye Chen shook his body, and along with this move, another Zhen Qi condensed silhouette darted out from his body. It looked much more alive than the first one, wearing a Zhen Qi outfit that fluttered in the air.
The two Zhen Qi silhouettes and Ye Chen moved alongside each other, and in the next moment, all three of them threw out a heavy punch simultaneously and struck the cliff.
A fierce stream of fist power was suddenly injected into the cliff, and Ye Chen instantly leapt backwards, yelling out in a low voice when he flew in the air.
Followed by his voice, the two Zhen Qi silhouette merged back with his body.
Landing back on the ground, Ye Chen let out a long breath, then raised his head. He saw that three deep holes were punched into the cliff; the two holes on the sides were about half a meter wide and three to four meters deep, while the hole in the middle was one meter wide and six meters deep. At this moment, rock fragments were still falling off from around the three holes.
"Not bad, about fifty percent as effective as me!"
He hadn't yet reached the top-level of this Shadow-Dividing Light Art, but he was about to. At his current stage, he was already able to create two Zhen Qi silhouettes within a short time and confuse the enemy; it should be noted that in real fights, even the body shapes of martial artists themselves could become indistinct because of their swift movements. If two extra silhouettes abruptly emerged from nowhere, the enemy would definitely be confused, and that would be the perfect moment to launch a surprise attack.
Apart from this, in terms of speed, the Shadow-Dividing Light Art could allow a martial artist to move a level faster than the Crane Shadow step. That was nearly three hundred meters within a moment, even faster than the elder of the Pavilion of Martial Arts.
"Such a shame, I'm stuck at the fifth-level of the Great Mystery Art and can't break into the sixth-level at this moment, but generally, I have improved significantly more than before."
The Great Mystery Art was gained from the Heaven Dream Battle Palace, this meant that it was even more precious than the ordinary mid-ranked Earth Realm martial arts. Ye Chen only reached the fifth level of this art, and the quality of Ye Chen's Zhen Qi managed to surpass the Zhen Qi at the seventh-level of the Pure Jun Zhen Qi. The total amount of Zhen Qi at the fifth-level of the Great Mystery Art was equivalent to the seventh-level of the Pure Jun Zhen Qi. It was hard to imagine what stage his Zhen Qi quality and quantity would achieve when he breaks into the sixth, seventh, or even the top level of this art.
But of course, everything in this world had its positive side and negative side. As the Great Mystery Art was so powerful, the difficulties that Ye Chen would encounter during his cultivation would certainly increase by a huge degree. Spending a whole month, Ye Chen had only barely reached the fifth level of this art, but thankfully, his general power had already greatly improved.
When the first stream of sunlight poured down from the heaven, Ye Chen murmured to himself, "It's time for me to meet the leader."
On the main road of the Sky Cloud Martial School.
"Good morning senior brother!"
"Morning senior brother!"
A group of male and female inner disciples walked over. Among them, the one with the highest grade was already in the advance Condensing Reality Realm, while the one with the lowest grade was in the early Condensing Reality Realm. Seeing Ye Chen from a distance, they called 'senior brother' altogether with a polite and respectful tone.
Ye Chen remained silent, and only nodded to them.
Once Ye Chen walked away, those disciples instantly began whispering to each other.
"Our senior brother Ye is now Windy Nation's legendary genius, he has attained sword intent and broken into the Clasping Yuan Realm. He severely injured the rank 7 institution, Multiple Mountain Martial School's outer Head Elder with a single move! Any of these news are shocking and amazing. It's said that he is now even more powerful than the four young masters and is the most talented young martial artist in the whole nation."
"The era of the four young masters has passed, now among the whole of Windy Nation's younger generation martial artists, only six can be considered as the most powerful. They're the Young Master Emerald, Young Master North Snow, Lin Qi, Qin Yulian, our senior sister Xu Jing, and senior brother Ye Chen."
Ye Chen did not hear these conversations, and even if he did, he would not feel any pride from it. Perhaps, he was already the most talented young martial artist of Windy Nation, but compared to the other powerful martial artists of this world, he was still at the bottom level. Besides, he always felt that if he continued to stay at the Sky Cloud Martial School, the highest grade he could ever achieve in his entire life would merely be the Astral Reaching Realm; that means that he could never truly become one of the peak experts among the powerful ones in this world.
The Astral Reaching Realm was nowhere near his true goal.
Walking past a group of buildings, Ye Chen arrived in front a magnificent palace.
"Brother Ye, this is the Sky Cloud Palace, only the leader and inner elders are allowed to enter." Eight attendant disciples blocked Ye Chen's way and said blandly.
Ye Chen raised his head and responded in a similarly bland tone, "I have to discuss with the elders and inner elders regarding something important, please, go inform them of this."
"An important thing? How important exactly?" Said one attendant disciple while furrowing his brows.
"You can just tell them that Ye Chen wants to go out and attain some experience, and that he wants to leave the Windy Nation."
"Leave the Windy Nation?" The eyes of all eight attendant disciples suddenly bulged in shock. They had heard about Ye Chen's achievements back in the Scorching Ancient Desert long ago, and if no accidents happens, Ye Chen will surely become the leader of the Sky Cloud Martial School one day. As for Luo Hanshan, although he was the current leader's son, the leader would never let him take up the responsibility since he was not powerful enough.
"Hang on, let me inform the leader and all inner elders."
No matter how dumb these attendant disciples could be, they had already realised that this was indeed a huge issue, therefore, they moved quickly.
In a very short time, all thirty-six inner elders appeared in front of the palace together, and each one had a serious face; this scene made some of the other disciples who happened to see this, think that some other institution was going to start a war against the Sky Cloud Martial School, and they all glanced at each other in panic.
"Ye Chen, come inside with us."
The Head Elder nodded to the attendant disciples who had been guarding the palace, then guided Ye Chen in.
The inner space of this palace was incredibly broad, even broader than the Cloud Riding Palace. Thirty-six chairs were set up on both sides of this broad hall, and without a doubt, these chairs belonged to the thirty-six inner elders.
"Ye Chen, I heard that you want to go out and strengthen yourself."
Unable to wait for the leader to show up, the Head Elder asked.
Ye Chen nodded, "Yes, Head Elder."
"Eh, I knew this day would come." The Head Elder let out a long sigh. Ever since he met Ye Chen for the very first time, he knew that Ye Chen would never spend his whole life here in the school. Ye Chen's ambitious were huge, so huge that he could not even imagine how great Ye Chen's ambition actually was. However, he never thought that Ye Chen would make the decision so quickly.
Normally, a trip of self-strengthening could either be one of a large-scale or small-scale, for small-scale trips, disciples would usually travel around the Windy Nation or the few surrounding nations, but would not go anywhere too far; as for large-scale trips, the South Zhuo Region, even the True Spirit Continent could all be reached. During the past few hundred years, many of the Sky Cloud Martial School's disciples had decided to go out and toughen themselves, but most of them never came back. No one knew whether they were killed out there, or they just simply didn't want to come back.
Judging from Ye Chen's look, the Head Elder realised that he was planning on a large-scale self-toughening trip, and he would never come back without a true achievement that satisfied himself. In other words, Ye Chen had already decided to give up on the leader's position of the Sky Cloud Martial School.
The Fourth Elder was never a patient person, and he said hurriedly, "Ye Chen, nothing will go wrong even if you stay here, you would even become an Astral Reaching Realm martial artist in the future! Isn't our Top Elder an Astral Reaching Realm martial artist? You can achieve that as well, without a doubt!"
Ye Chen shook his head and said, "Head Elder, and Fourth Elder, please, don't worry at all. I will directly go to the Hidden Dragon Rank next season, and we can meet over there."
"Let's just wait for the leader first." Unlike the Fourth Elder, the Head Elder deeply understood that there was no way that they could talk Ye Chen out of it. Otherwise, Ye Chen would never have been able to attain the sword intent at all; because every single person who was able to attain the sword intent had an incomparably firm determination. Their decisions, once made, could never be changed by anyone in the world.
All thirty-six elders sat back at their own seats, while Ye Chen stood in the middle of the hall.
Soon after, Luo Xinglie, the leader of the Sky Cloud Martial School walked into the hall with big steps. When he glanced at Ye Chen, he had a complicated look on his face; he then directly walked to his seat and sat down.
"Ye Chen, a self-strengthening trip is definitely a good thing for you. I'm just wondering, where are you planning to go?"
Ye Chen cupped his hands, slightly bowed, then responded politely, "Both the South Zhuo Region and the True Spirit Continent are all covered in my plan; I will make further detailed decisions later, depending on my situation."
Hearing him, Lou Xinglie and the other elders gasped in surprise. In their eyes, the South Zhuo Region was already very vast and dangerous, but Ye Chan was planning to go to the True Spirit Continent as well, even though he did not have a solid plan
With a wave of his hand, Luo Xinglie signaled that Ye Chen did not need to courteous at all, then said, "Ye Chen, you're one of the most talented martial artists of our Sky Cloud Martial School; ever since our school was founded, none of our disciples has gone beyond your level, yet. Do you have any idea that, when I step into the Astral Reaching Realm, you will become the leader of our Sky Cloud Martial School, instead of my son, Luo Hanshan?
'Seriously?' Ye Chen thought that this martial world was exactly the same as what those books said - the position of leader would fall mainly to the leader's offsprings, and people from outside of the leader's family would hardly ever gain the leader's position. Even if some of them managed to do it, it was extremely rare.
However, he was not interested in such powers at all. Neither becoming the leader of the Ye Family nor the Sky Cloud Martial School was his goal. His true goal was to travel around this strange and exciting world, and grow into a top-level powerful martial artist step by step; none of the other things mattered to him.
"Leader, I still want to leave for a self-strengthening trip. The Sky Cloud Martial School will do perfectly fine with sister Xu Jing, but of course, if our school ever encounters any severe trouble, I, Ye Chen, will definitely come back immediately, no matter where I am at that time."
The other inner elders began whispering to each other. Some of them held a different opinion, and said, "Ye Chen, the world out there is indeed interesting and exciting, but you have to know that countless talented martial artists have fallen during their journeys. Are you aware of that? The last thing I want is to watch you fall."
"Elder Gao is right, Ye Chen, you must reconsider it!"
Hearing this, Luo Xinglie stared at Ye Chen with an unwavering gaze, hoping that Ye Chen would give up on his plan. As for a small-scale trip, it was of little cause for concern.
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