Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 451
AST 451 - Fei Wuji, Meeting with the Old Ancestor of Heavenly Palace
Qing Shui quickly stood up and excused himself before leaving with Fei Wuji. Cang Wuya fell into deep thought as he watched Qing Shui leave.
’’Grandpa, is the Old Ancestor of the Heavenly Palace very powerful?’’ Huoyun Liu-Li asked slowly and hesitantly. She stammered her question out haltingly.
’’Little Lass, it is just a question. Why are you so cautious? Just relax. If you have any questions, you can ask me. At most, I won't be able to give you a reply. You don't have to hold yourself back.’’ Cang Wuya smiled kindly.
’’Yes, grandpa is the best. So, is the Old Ancestor very powerful?’’ Huoyun Liu-Li asked jovially.
’’Of course. The Old Ancestor is a very powerful man. He heads the Heavenly Palace's Elder Association we belong to. He is one of the most powerful people in the Greencloud Continent. He was already a Peak Martial King three hundred years ago. Right now, it is impossible to know what his actual prowess is. He could have even already reached the Martial Saint Level, but no one can verify that.’’ Cang Wuya said slowly. It seemed that it was not any sort of big secret.
’’Grandpa, you mentioned that he was one of the most powerful people. Are there others who are as powerful?’’ Huoyun Liu-Li continued asking. All the other martial warriors were also interested in the answer.
’’There is another in Sword Tower, but both of our sects don't really share that sort of information. There must be one in Hai Clan, Demonic Beast Clan and also Alchemist clan.’’
’’That many?’’ Huoyun Liu-Li exclaimed.
’’Many? That's not a lot. Greencloud continent is large. In the population of about a trillion, there are only these few exceptionally strong martial arts practitioners. Heavenly Palace and Sword Tower are large sects that have existed for more than ten thousand years. Even Demonic Beast Sect, Alchemy Sect, Qin Family and Hai Family have legacies from a few thousand years back. It would not be surprising if there were Martial Saints in those factions, even if we have no way to confirm it.’’
’’Do you know why that Old Ancestor called Qing Shui over?’’ This was the actual question that Huoyun Liu-Li wanted to ask.
’’I don't know too. But don't worry, it should be a positive thing.’’ Cang Wuya laughed.
’’ Grandpa, if the Old Ancestor was already a Peak Martial King three hundred years ago. Then, would that mean that the Old Ancestor is about 400 years old now?’’ Canghai Mingyue asked in amazement.
’’400 hundred years? Hahahaha, he shouldn't be younger than 500 hundred years old.’’ Cang Wuji replied with a smile.
’’500 years old? So when he reached the Peak Grade of Martial King level, he was already 200 years old. That is not considered early!’’ Huoyun Liu-Li commented while engrossed in thought.
In the central continent, becoming a Peak Martial King at 200 years old was already considered quite good. One could be considered a genius if they could reach that level at 100 years old. People like Qing Shui and Hai Long were considered absolute geniuses. In the world of the Nine Continent, most of these people were demon-level characters.
Even though Tan Yang was a Grade 10 Martial King warrior, he would still need at least 20 years to reach the strength of a Peak Martial King. He would be over 50 by then and would still be considered a super genius if he became a Peak Martial King by then. Even in as large a sect as the Sword Tower, there were rarely more than three people like Tan Yang. Unfortunately, Qing Shui and Hai Long's talents far exceed his.
’’The Old Ancestor became a Peak Martial King before he was 200 years old. He should have reached the peak of Xiantian before he was 100 years old.’’ Cang Wuji said as he looked at Huoyun Liu-Li.
’’Even if he became a Peak Martial King at 200 years old, it has already been 300 years. Don't tell me 300 years is not enough to reach the Martial Saint level. Grandpa, how close are you to reaching the Martial Saint level? What is the variance in strength between people who are all at the Peak Grade of Martial King level?’’ Huoyun Liu-Li realised that the various inner workings really piqued her interest.
’’Hahaha. You need favourable circumstances to reach the Martial Saint level. I am not even at the gateway of the Martial Saint level. It is too difficult to breakthrough to the Martial Saint level. Not only must you be at the gateway of the Martial Saint level, you will need some special items. Regarding the variance in strength, I can put it this way. A very strong Peak Martial King can singlehandedly contend with and defeat roughly over ten other Peak Martial Kings by himself.’’ Cang Wuji shook his head and gave a difficult smile.
’’Oh, even though they are all at the Peak Martial King stage, their difference in strength can be so huge?’’ Canghai Mingyue asked in surprise.
Cang Wuji smiled faintly at Canghai Mingyue, but it was still a little bitter. He then slowly said, ’’ After reaching the Xiantian level, your lifespan will be extended to 500 years. That is why many people can reach the Martial King level and its peak. However, the requirements to breakthrough to Martial Saint level are very strict. Even though one might not be able to breakthrough to the Martial Saint level, there are indeed other ways to improve one's capabilities. For example, breakthroughs in technique, pellets, armors, rare treasures - there are all sort of weird and mysterious items in the World of the Nine Continent. In the past, there have been instances with some aberrant practitioners who could live up to 600 years old despite not being Martial Saints. It is simply impossible for a century old Peak Grade Martial King warrior to defeat one who is 500 years old.
Qing Shui and Fei Wuji walked towards the peak of the Heavenly Palace Mountain.
’’Senior Martial Uncle, do you know why the Old Ancestor is looking for me?’’ Qing Shui was puzzled and a little curious about this most mysterious and strongest figure of the Heavenly Palace.
’’I don't know. But your performance is unimaginably outstanding, so it should be about something good.’’ Fei Wuji smiled.
’’Senior Martial Uncle, do you know what sort of person the Old Ancestor is?’’ Qing Shui asked after some thought.
’’He is a cold and ruthless person who is only dedicated to Heavenly Palace.’’ Fei Wuji gave a straight-forward answer without hesitation.
’’Senior Martial Uncle, you know the Old Ancestor this well?’’ Qing Shui was surprised.
There was an unmasked painful look on Fei Wuji's face, but he quickly self-deprecatingly said, ’’I was raised by him, but my parents died at his hands. Why wouldn't I understand him?’’
’’Senior Martial Uncle's parents? So you are still part of Heavenly Palace?’’
’’Forget it. We're here.’’ Fei Wuji said bitterly.
After that, Qing Shui realized that they had reached an isolated peak. This peak was slightly taller than the peak where Lingxiao Treasure Hall was situated.
This was a location that had a view of the entire Heavenly Palace. There were only a few stone houses, and the place looked bare. It looked very desolate when compared to Heavenly Palace's nine halls.
The stone houses were very short. They were only slightly taller than a person's height. The stones looked extremely heavy, giving off the impression that each house was created by carving huge stones.
Qing Shui followed Fei Wuji and headed into one of the stone houses.
’’He is here!’’ There were no emotions in Fei Wuji's voice.
’’Just come in.’’ An aged voice replied. The voice was extremely calm, without any emotions or modulations.
Qing Shui found the voice very weird. It was like the voice of an old monk he had previously heard, without any wants or desire, the inflection desolate. This person sounded shockingly old.
The large doors of the stone house slowly opened right in front of Qing Shui and Fei Wuji.
When the doors opened, Qing Shui saw a path leading downwards. The place was dimly lit. Qing Shui noticed fist-sized glowing rocks on the wall every 200 meters.
’’Qing Shui, you can go down.’’ Fei Wuji said to Qing Shui while looking at him.
’’Senior Martial Uncle, aren't you going down too?’’
’’I won't be going down. Don't worry. Senior Martial Uncle won't try to harm you.’’ Fei Wuji laughed. He found that Qing Shui was too apprehensive.
’’What are you talking about? If you wanted to harm me, you don't even have to do this.’’ Qing Shui replied with a laugh.
’’Alright, you should go down. There won't be any bad outcomes.’’
Qing Shui walked slowly down the steps. The stone doors closed behind. Qing Shui only realized that the path sloped down gradually to a turn.
After he passed the turn, the place began to brighten up. He had reached a stone hall. It was about 100 meters in length. There were no decorations,only a large supporting pillar.
Qing Shui was surprised to find someone standing some distance away from him.
It was an old man in a simple moon-white attire. The length of his snow white hair was at his ankle. He looked thoroughly kempt. Most surprisingly, unlike how Qing Shui had imagined, the old man was not some tall, large warrior. Instead, he was just a lanky, dignified old man.
Qing Shui did not know how to describe the old man's face as he observed him. He could only think of the word ’’old’’. When Qing Shui saw the man's eyes, he felt that he finally knew the true meaning of the vicissitudes of life. In front of this old man, he felt like a child.
His eyes were filled with wisdom and tranquility. His eyes were as calm as the vast oceans. It was as if nothing could even cause a ripple in that vastness.
’’Qing Shui. Great.’’ A placid voice spoke.
Qing Shui felt heavy-hearted;it was the type of feeling you get when you meet an old man past his prime. Qing Shui could not sense even an iota of the old man's strength. Qing Shui knew that it was because the old man was extremely formidable, so he could not sense it at his level. Qing Shui did not bother to use his Spiritual Sense.
Even though it was a simple compliment, people who knew the Old Ancestor would be shocked to their core if they knew that the Old Ancestor had actually praised someone. Yet, Qing Shui did not feel a thing.
’’I am here to pay my respects, Old Ancestor.’’ Qing Shui said his greetings cordially as a junior.
’’You don't have to be so courteous. Come. Let's talk.’’ The Old Ancestor said unhurriedly, again without much emotion.
’’Do you remember when you battled the nine people from Sword Tower?’’ The Old Ancestor continued as he walked. His voice was gentle and clear, giving a mysterious feeling.
He did not seem impressive, yet he was so imposing that one couldn't help but feel pressured. It was as if he had an imposing stature that came from his very soul.
’’I remember. What would Old Ancestor like to say to me?’’
’’At that time, Wuji sent someone to request for me to save you, but I did not agree.’’ The elderly man said with indifference.
Qing Shui was perplexed. He did not know what the old man meant by that. He could not help thinking about what Fei Wuji had told him regarding Fei Wuji's parents dying by the old man's hand.
The Old Ancestor looked at Qing Shui. He saw his expression and asked, ’’Did he tell you about me?’’
Qing Shui's heart skipped a beat. He shook his head. ’’No!’’
’’It doesn't matter. Since you are here, let this old man tell you a story. This is the first time I'm telling someone a story.’’
’’I am all ears!’’
They had by this point reached the deepest section of the stone hall. There was a stone table and a few stone benches. On the table, there was a Zisha teapot and some Zisha teacups.
’’Let's sit there to drink tea and talk.’’
Qing Shui did not pay too much attention to being courteous. The Old Ancestor poured out two cups of tea. It was the first time in a hundred years that he had tea with someone, and it had been years since he served anyone tea.
The tea was a normal ’’Mountain Green Lotus Flower’’, but it was brewed well. The taste was not bad, and it was fragrant and rounded and had a good texture.
’’I am a person who likes cultivation. In the past, everyone called me a lunatic. Once I started cultivating, I became overly obsessed. But I improved very quickly, and just like that I had cultivated insanely for many years. People who were the same age as me had already become grandfathers, but I was just alone. My parents and elders had all died, and I was already a Peak Martial King after 200 years. My abilities were at the top rank of all the martial artist practitioners in the Greencloud continent. It was at this time that I realized a problem.’’
The Old Ancestor drank a cup of tea and continued slowly, ’’Being alone made me feel very lonely. I did not even have anyone to spar with. People who were at the same age already had a large family, and they even had clans. I only recognized that I needed to start a family then. It is easy to find a woman once you are powerful, so I quickly found a normal woman and settled down. Maybe it is because I was a cultivation addict, so I chose a lady from an influential family who did not know any martial arts. ’’
This sort of situation was not unique. In the central continent, there were many people who had similar views. Perhaps, people who were obsessed with cultivation did not want their other half to be the same as them.
This was a sort of self-hatred. Everyone knows their own habits and traits, but because they were so accustomed to that, they were unable to change. It was akin to a drug addict not being able to quit albeit knowing the wrong in it.
A 300 years old Peak Martial King only looked middle-aged. Some even retain baby-like skin. However, their hair would turn white. This did not hinder their ability to marry and have children. There were quite a number of people who were like this in the central continent. All the people who were outstanding in their cultivation usually married late.