Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 1256-1257
AST 1256 –Who Is The Pathetic One?
Qing Shui pretty much understood some of the issues while they were on the road. Although it was the Emperor City, it was too vast. Other than the Royal Family, there were also many great aristocrat clans. With all these powers united, even the Royal Family would fear them. Besides, without these clans, the Royal Family wouldn't be able to develop smoothly and steadily either.
The Hu Clan was a reputed clan in this region and was definitely a powerful clan. The fact that Hu Yiya could go to the Heaven Secrets Academy with the Royal Family to participate in the exchange competition proved just how powerful the Hu clan is currently.
The Royal Family wasn't entirely made up of their own people, perhaps their own people only made up for even less than one third. However, the truly powerful figures within it were the people among the Royal Family. The bloodline that flowed within their body was noble and a powerful inheritance.
The Hu Clan couldn't be considered the best clan, but they were almost there. The number of clans that was able to completely suppress the Hu Clan could be counted on two hands.
Qing Shui had known these people because he had been introduced to them previously;they were the aristocratic clans around this area. There were countless aristocratic clans in the Imperial City. These clans joined hands with each other, forming a rope. Otherwise, it was possible that they would be eliminated.
These aristocratic clans cooperated with each other but also competed against each other at the same time. It was possible that the previous generations were rivals to each other while the current generations cooperated with each other. The previous generations may cooperate with each other while the current generation is also great friends with each other and would also compete with the young masters and young ladies of the rivaling clan.
Among Hu Yiya's group, the Hu Clan and Bei Clan were the most powerful in strength. Among the Bei Clan, there was a boy with the name Bei Gele. The Hu Clan and Bei Clan were on great terms with each other and could even consider each other friends.
Bei Gele and Hu Yiya were about the same age, only separated by a few months. So he could only address Hu Yiya as Sister Ya. However, his cultivation was a little stronger than Hu Yiya’s.
They were not from the main branch of their clans but were the youngest ones among their generation. Even if they were very talented, they were still too young to influence their clan's aspirations for now.
But at the same time, no one dared to do anything to them either, due to their clan's reputation.
"Brother Qing, what is your cultivation? Sister Ya cannot stop praising you." Bei Gele glanced at Qing Shui with eagerness in his eyes, but Qing Shui could tell that there was no malice in them.
"Why? Do you want to try fighting me?" Qing Shui asked with a smile.
Qing Shui wasn't actually older than him, but with the height of his realm, even Hu Yiya thought that Qing Shui wasn't that young even though he didn't really seem old to her. Among the great clans in the West Oxhe Continent, some of the younger generations got married around 200 years old but that didn't mean that they were definitely virgins.
Aristocratic clans got engaged very early. Some of them could engage at the age of 20 or even 16. This kind of engagement could be considered as getting married and they could live together. Basically, if the clans were well-matched in terms of social status, a divorce was very unlikely to happen, unless the other party was a lot more powerful than the other.
After the children from aristocratic clans got married, they didn't give birth to a child at too early age. But of course, most of them were couples of older husband and younger wife. Although it was difficult to get pregnant when one got more powerful, the child that they bore at this time would have talents that were above average instead. Such was the power of clan inheritance.
"I would love to. But I have something else I'd like Brother Qing to help us with right now."
"Stop it. Qing Shui didn't come all the way here to help us. If you continue with this I won't allow you all to follow us." Hu Yiya said directly, the tone of her voice left no room for further discussion at all.
Qing Shui didn't have to guess to know that it was most likely because they had some conflicts with the children of other clans, and Hu Yiya and the rest were probably in a vulnerable position.
Bei Gele shook his head without a choice, but Qing Shui only nodded at him.
Although nothing was said, Bei Gele was still smiling happily. This nod had actually already spoken for itself. To have one more person is to gain another power. Besides, he had a feeling that Qing Shui's strength was even more powerful than his own, though it was just a hunch.
When Qing Shui heard Hu Yiya's voice, he instantly understood it along with the other nearly twenty people who were closely following them. Qing Shui rubbed his nose. He got himself into something like this upon meeting them.
Hu Yiya stopped walking and turned around to give Qing Shui an embarrassed look. "We are actually on our way to fight those people today when we ran into you by coincidence. Qing Shui, please leave at once. I will go find you in a bit."
Qing Shui looked at Hu Yiya seriously and discovered that her gaze was very sincere. Although she seemed a little seductive, she was still being very serious.
"With you and Brother's relationship, do you think I can just leave? Can you explain to me what is going on?" Qing Shui said with a smile.
"Sigh. The fellow who leads them is Chen Fuding of their Chen Clan. The Chen Clan and my clan are about the same level. Chen Fuding likes me, so he had his clan come to my clan with a marriage proposal. You know that I wasn't going to agree to this, besides the people of my clan doted me too, so we refused them politely. Even so, it was inevitable that this was like a slap on the Chen Clan's face. Although we can't fight over this, the relationship between our clans definitely is not going to be good. Chen Fuding also accused me of humiliating their clan, so we would fight every time we see each other."
By the time Hu Yiya finished speaking, the other party had appeared about five meters away from them. Qing Shui looked at the man who was quite good looking. He was standing tall and straight across them. His skin was fair, he had a straight nose and a pair of bright eyes that had a hint of lasciviousness and evilness in them.
"Hu Yiya. I've told you that I'd beat your people up every time I see you. I'll have you know that missing out on a man that is as outstanding as I is your biggest loss,”Chen Fuding said arrogantly.
Although he was saying that in a very serious tone, Qing Shui couldn't hold back his laughter and instantly broke out laughing.
"Brother Qing, you also think it's funny?" Bei Gele asked Qing Shui with a smile.
"It's not really that funny, but it's fitting to come out from an idiot's mouth," said Qing Shui in a serious tone.
Qing Shui's statement had definitely dished out enough damage. The countenance of Chen Fuding, who stood across them, instantly turned livid as he looked at Qing Shui. After glaring at him for a few moment, he put on a fake smile. "Who are you? I've never seen you before. I'd advise you to stay out of this."
Qing Shui didn't expect the other party to remain so prudent. Although he was furious, he suppressed his anger rather than instantly going into a frenzy. He understood that it was possible that he would be paying a hefty price if he was rude and impetuous to someone without knowing them well yet.
"You don't have to care who I am. Don't you think you are being a big idiot to say something so gallantly like that to a girl? Do you think it's a very glorious thing to do?" Qing Shui couldn't hold back from lashing out at someone who was so shameless and narcissistic like him. Watching them shrivel was the most pleasurable thing.
"This is a matter between the Hu Clan and Chen Clan. If you stop getting yourself involved, I won't hold you accountable for humiliating me just now. Otherwise, you will regret this." Chen Fuding didn't say anything too overboard up even to this point.
He only wanted to see Qing Shui's reaction and was trying to investigate his background at the same time. After all, there were some people whom he couldn't afford to offend.
"You can't disgrace the Chen Clan even more than this. For a man like you to find trouble with a single lady every day on your own accord, don't you see how perverse you are? Don't you realize that everyone is looking at you pitifully? You're indeed pitiful."
"Shut up. You are the pitiful one. I am the young master of Chen Clan. Who dare to say I am pitiful?" Chen Fuding yelled loudly, attracting the attention of many people around them.
"The truly pitiful man is a person who isn't aware that they are being pitied by the others. That's the most pathetic part. The Chen Clan have so many sons, why are you the only one who is doing something like this?"
"That's because she…" Chen Fuding couldn't bring himself to say that she refused a marriage.
"You're doing this just because she didn't accept the marriage proposal from your clan, don't you think that you're being too petty? For you to do something like this just because someone isn't attracted to an idiot like you will only make others think that you are even more pitiful. Look at your seniors. They didn't do something like this because they knew others will only find them pathetic. Why didn't anyone from the Hu Clan step out when you bully a girl from their clan like this? That's because the Hu Clan also think that you're pathetic. Although there's a saying that goes: a pathetic man certainly has something to be despised, the pathetic man certainly has a pitiful side too…"
Qing Shui felt that he was kind of like Tang Monk right now, but he saw that sheen of sweat on the other party's forehead despite the fact that it was snowing right now…
"Am I pathetic?"
"Am I pathetic??"
Cheng Fuding suddenly asked the people around him. The men in this world were actually male chauvinists. Men have always been regarded as superior to women. Only some powerful women could escape this fate but no matter where they go they would find themselves still trapped in this in the end.
When these people thought about it, they really found him to be quite pathetic. However, their target was still Hu Yiya, so they were all looking at each other, unsure of what to do.
Hu Yiya was also looking at Qing Shui in shock. "I thought you have quite a decent cultivation but it seems like your mouth is even better. You have already driven him crazy by only speaking. Usually, it's us who go crazy when he speaks."
It would be strange for a lady to not be driven mad when they met someone who was as shameless as Chen Fuding. From the first sentence Chen Fuding spoke, it was already evident that his shamelessness and narcissism had already attained a very high level.
"Young Master Chen, since he had already said that we are pathetic, why don't we beat him up and let him be the pathetic one?" A youth at the back stepped forward and spoke.
"That's what I wanted to hear. It'll be merrier for all of us be pathetic together. Since I have been criticized as pathetic today, go beat him up and show him who is the pathetic one." Chen Fuding hissed through his teeth.
He didn't mind to be called shameless, narcissistic or anything of the sort. He was born with a sense of superiority, so he wouldn't pay any attention to what the others said about him. Yet Qing Shui had destroyed his sense of superiority with all that talk about how men are always regarded superior than women earlier. Without that sense of superiority, it felt as if he was standing here bare naked while everyone watched him. It even made him feel pity for himself.
However, they only knew the next level of pathetic when they started fighting. Qing Shui immediately used his spirit energy to restrict the other party's speed and reaction. They were instantly left with a bloody nose and a swollen face after about ten of Hu Yiya's people went up to throw their punches at them.
All these time, it had always been Hu Yiya's people who got beaten up. But this time, they realized that the opponents were actually weak and were a lot more inferior to how they usually were. They unleashed the anger that they had been suppressed over a long period of time, putting Chen Fuding and the rest at their mercy.
Qing Shui didn't join in the fight. He only watched how the opponents got beaten by nearly ten of Hu Yiya's people until each of them had at least a few broken bones. No one was going to die in a fight like this as their objective was to humiliate the other party. Perhaps it was because they had been suppressed for a long time and had no idea why the opponents had low endurance today, hence the opponents ended up with a few broken bones.
They were mainly aiming at their opponents face in this fight. There was nothing better than letting them leave with a bloody nose and a swollen face, looking just like a pig's head.
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AST 1257 –Copper Body, Shadow Body
In the end, Chen Fuding fled along with his people. From the beginning to the end, he didn't understand how today's outcome turned out like this. Even Hu Yiya didn't really quite get it, but she knew that it definitely had something to do with Qing Shui.
"Thank you, Qing Shui!" Hu Yiya expressed her sincere gratitude to Qing Shui.
"What are you thanking me for? You guys are the one who chased them away with your fists. I didn't do anything." Qing Shui smiled.
"It's fine if you don't want to admit it, as long as I know what is going on in my heart. Come, I'll treat you to some wine. Think of it as a welcome party for you." Hu Yiya said proudly.
Qing Shui didn't decline it either. He didn't know anyone here and Hu Yiya was considered an acquaintance. Moreover, her clan seemed to be quite powerful. If he went with her, he'd probably find out about the Lotus Sect. There'd at least be some clues!
Thinking up to this point, Qing Shui relaxed a little. They found a restaurant nearby and Qing Shui saw that they seemed to be in very high spirits. Perhaps it was due to the victory earlier, so he didn't want to be a party pooper either.
"Brother Qing, let me give a toast to you!" Bei Gele happily held his cup of wine towards Qing Shui.
Both Hu Yiya and Bei Gele could guess that today's outcome was due to Qing Shui's help in the background. The rest could have guessed it, but they didn't really give it careful thought.
"Sister Ya, I'd like to get some information from you." Qing Shui asked Hu Yiya while eating.
"What is it? There's no need to be so polite."
"You know the Lotus Sect?" Qing Shui thought about it after thinking. He was powerful enough now, so naturally, he didn't have to worry about some other problems.
"The Lotus Sect?" Hu Yiya looked at Qing Shui with her eyebrows knitted together.
"That's right." Although Qing Shui saw Hu Yiya's frown, he still had a hunch that she'd know something about it.
"The Lotus Sect is the sacred land of the divine Might Dynasty. Although it didn't seem like an existence of Grade Four strength, they’ve stood aloof all this time. But legend has it their strength isn't any inferior to dynasties of Grade Four strength." Hu Yiya looked at Qing Shui.
Qing Shui was a little surprised yet thought it was normal at the same time. He had heard of some hidden powers in the West Oxhe Continent and their rumored strength was inaccurate because it was outdated information since many years ago.
"I have come to the divine Might Dynasty this time because I wish to find someone at the Lotus Sect." Qing Shui explained his objective of coming here.
"The Lotus Sect is completely made up of women that stand aloof from the worldly affairs." Hu Yiya looked at Qing Shui suspiciously. It wasn't like she suspected Qing Shui, she was just wondering who he was looking for.
"Are you familiar with the Lotus Sect?"
"My sister is part of the Lotus Sect, so I know a little about them." Hu Yiya was a little proud of herself for saying that. It was evident that the Lotus Sect was at a quite decent position among the divine Might Dynasty.
"Oh, that's even better. Do you know the location of the Lotus Sect?"
"I don't!" Hu Yiya shook her head before speaking again. "I heard that the Lotus Sect has many members, yet not many know about the whereabouts of the Lotus Sect."
"Are you able to get in touch with your elder sister?" Qing Shui was a little gloomy. But since her sister was from the Lotus Sect, things would be easier for him.
"Sister is the one who gets in touch with us, none of us are able to get in touch with her." Hu Yiya was slightly sad when she explained this.
"Is she coming back anytime soon then?" Qing Shui realized that things might not be going as easy as he thought it would be.
"She usually comes back at the end of the year, but sometimes she doesn't return at all. It's already winter now, why don't you come to my place and wait for her return?" Hu Yiya offered after thinking for a moment.
Qing Shui didn't have any better ideas either right now. Hu Yiya's elder sister was from the Lotus Sect. Even so, not even Hu Yiya knew much about the Lotus Sect's location much less the others.
"In that case, I'll think of something else. I'll visit you at the end of the year."
"Well then, you still need to come to my place so you know how to get there next time. I'll introduce you to my clan, the people of my clan are very welcoming towards guests." Hu Yiya said happily.
Qing Shui didn't decline this time. Bei Gele and the rest had already left so Qing Shui and Hu Yiya made their way towards the Hu Residence.
The Hu Clan was a major clan in this area and had quite a number of State Masters among them. Qing Shui knew all this through Hu Yiya. In these great clans, it wasn't too difficult to attain the State Master grade yet only a handful of children was able to achieve it.
However, from Grade Four State Master onwards, the effects of clan inheritance would be greatly reduced and improving wouldn't be as fast as before and it might even be at a standstill.
The starting point of the Grade Four State Master was a great dividing range itself, followed by 2,000 suns, 3,000 suns, and 4,000 suns. The 3,000 suns itself was already a challenging stage.
It was very, very difficult to breakthrough after reaching 3,000 suns.
Hu Yiya was bringing Qing Shui back to her direct clan. The Hu Clan was a large clan as there were too many people in it.
Hu Yiya was the youngest in her family. Her father wasn't really that old of age and was a refined man. Although he wasn't tall and strongly built, he was brimming with vital energy that was akin to Nature Energy on him.
Not only that, he also had a decent strength of nearly 2,000 suns.
The old man was very courteous. He seemed to be particularly fond of his youngest daughter. With Hu Yiya beside him, they didn't seem stiff like those other aristocrat clans. The pair of father and daughter got along very well together. Hu Yiya was just like a little girl to him. This made Qing Shui have a great impression on the old man.
"You are Little Ya's friend, then that means you are part of us. Make yourself at home, no need to be shy if you need anything." The old man said warmly.
"Thank you, uncle!"
Not too long after that, Qing Shui also got to know a few of Hu Yiya's siblings. These were all her step-siblings from different mothers and most of them had already married and established careers.
Hu Yiya's third brother and fourth sister left the deepest impression on Qing Shui. Qing Shui had a decent memory so he already managed to remember their names after Hu Yiya made a round of introductions to him.
Hu Yechong and Hu Yimin could both be considered to have a rare constitution –a copper body and a shadow body, in which the former was suited for physical training and the latter for speed training. It was a pity that they had yet to tap into their potentials.
"Come, come. Have a seat with everyone, Qing Shui. Let's have some tea." A slender and tall man invited Qing Shui to have a seat.
He was Hu Yiya's sixth brother, Hu Yefeng.
"Sorry for intruding then."
"Qing Shui, you don't have to be so polite, it would just mean that you are looking down upon us." Hu Yechong laughed.
"That's right, Qing Shui. If you don't mind, you can call me Sister Min." Hu Yimin also looked at Qing Shui curiously.
They realized they couldn't tell the potential of this young man. Even if they did at the first glance, something still felt off somehow.
"Well then, I shall do that. Please take care of me from now on, Sister Min." Qing Shui smiled at the plump and young married woman.
The atmosphere around them lightened with their conversation.
"Brothers and sisters, do you all know if Sister Qian is returning for New Year this year?" Hu Yiya asked her brothers and sisters.
"Why? Are you missing her?"
"Qing Shui wishes to find someone in the Lotus Sect, but we've no idea where is the Lotus Sect." Hu Yiya helped Qing Shui to explain his situation.
"We are not too sure either if Qian'er will return, but I can bring you to meet someone. She knows the whereabouts of the Lotus Sect. However, I can't be sure if she's willing to share the information with you because she wouldn't even tell me where it is. Apparently, this is a rule." Hu Yimin said after thinking for a moment.
As expected, there was strength in numbers. On top of that, the Hu Clan was also an influential clan so this would be easier for them.
"Oh, so Sister Min know someone from the Lotus Sect. That's great!" Qing Shui was quite worked up in his heart.
"Yes I do, but this friend of mine is rather eccentric, so the success rate will be very slim." Hu Yimin said after pondering for a moment.
"Eccentric?" Qing Shui was a little lost.
"The meridians in her lower limbs are damaged and dead and she left the Lotus Sect. Oh right, she's the eldest daughter of the Diwu Clan from the divine Might Dynasty in her generation. Her talents were unrivaled. It was a pity that no medicinal pills were found to restore her legs to how they were before and that caused a huge shift in her personality.
Diwu was a surname. He was already aware of the Diwu clan when he was in the Heaven Secrets Academy because apart from the royal family, the Diwu Clan was rumored to be the most powerful among the divine Might Dynasty.
But it was nothing to be surprised about since Qing Shui had seen the Heaven Secrets Academy which was an equally powerful existence as the divine Might Dynasty. However, now that he wanted to find someone at the Lotus Sect, he'd need to have someone to guide him. Otherwise, he wasn't going to see anyone.
"I see. I know a little about the art of healing. Maybe I can fix her." Qing Shui said after pondering for a moment.
"The Diwu Clan had given her a medicinal pill made out the Bones of the Living Dead. Even so, that only allowed her to walk like a normal person. The Origin Qi wasn't able to get into her meridians at all." Hu Yimin sighed. She didn't directly comment anything about Qing Shui's medical expertise, but she had stated that even a medicinal pill made out of the Bones of the Living Dead couldn't completely heal her.
Qing Shui was also actually puzzled. A medicinal pill made out of the Bones of the Living Dead should definitely be able to heal her. Her flesh, bones, the meridians between her flesh and bones, the veins and the rest should be regenerated. Even if she lost both of her legs, they could also be regrown. Could it be because she still had her legs, so the effect of this medicinal pill was greatly reduced?
Qing Shui couldn't really wrap his head around this. So the legs weren't going to be regenerated if they were still there? Was she suppose to amputate them before taking the pill?
"When is it convenient for Sister Min to bring me to meet this friend of yours?" Qing Shui no longer mentioned anything about healing that friend of hers.
"Let's make it tomorrow then. I'll bring you there so you can give a shot at it. You have a good rest here for today." Hu Yimin replied after a moment of consideration.
"Alright. Oh right, Sister Min. I'm guessing that your strength lies in your speed?" Qing Shui smiled.
"Oh, so you can tell."
"Sister possesses the rare Shadow Body. It's a pity that its important capabilities aren't awakened yet. If you are interested, I can help you increase your speed by folds and maybe it will increase even more as time passes."
Qing Shui wanted to help her. That way, he'd have another friend here. Everyone actually yearned for many friends. His other reason was that he wanted her to know a little more about his capability so that maybe tomorrow, things wouldn't go so bad that they wouldn't find the door closed to them.
"Hmm Qing Shui, you're really something to be able to tell my constitution. I'm better than anyone else when it comes to speed-related techniques. Grandfather has told me that I have the Shadow Body. It is a pity that I am not able to reveal the real effect of this Shadow Body. I've been hoping for it to suddenly awaken someday. Can you really help me to achieve this?" Hu Yimin looked at Qing Shui in excitement.
"Of course. We are friends, naturally, I'd be willing and very happy to be of help to you. Also, for the third brother, I can help him transform into an impenetrable copper wall."
A look of pleasant surprise appeared on Hu Yechong's face. Since Qing Shui mentioned about an impenetrable copper wall, he probably could tell his constitution too. Their clan had very high hopes for both him and Hu Yimin. They had always hoped that both of them could one day awaken the powerful capability of their bodies.
———————————————- Translation Note:  Diwu also means 'The Fifth'.
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