Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 841-842
AST 841 –Qing Shui and Yun Duan's Wedding
He didn't feel it last time, even though he had walked past the bamboo forest a couple of times before. Back then, his Nature Energy hadn't reached the sixth level yet, so naturally the Nature Energy didn't manage to circulate automatically. He didn't notice any special attributes either.
Qing Shui had a sudden epiphany and quickly entered the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal towards the field of plum blossoms. He didn't notice it before but nurturing the Nature Energy in this area felt distinctly faster than in the real world. However, when he went out of the realm, he realized that the field of plum blossoms would prove to be insufficient. He still required the plum blossoms to brew the Plum Blossom Wine, so if he were to cultivate his Nature Energy there, the plum blossoms would exhaust their essence, turning into something less than an ordinary flower.
Because of his usual morning training, he was able to discover the absorption of the Nature Energy from his surroundings unexpectedly. Qing Shui felt like he should give the Nature Energy a shot!
This was a bamboo forest situated in a nearby decorated park. Each bamboo stalk ranged in thickness from that of a child's arm to that of an adult's arm, standing tall in a even-spaced distribution. Qing Shui felt great as he entered the bamboo forest calmly.
He decided to see if the bamboo was affected if he tried to cultivate his Taichi Fist while surrounding himself with the bamboo forest. However, he hesitated when he realized that he would soon leave this place in a few days. Doing so might not yield an instant result either.
A line of red light peeked from the horizon, indicating the rising sun from the east. Qing Shui faced the east and slowly circulated his Qi while performing a series of Taichi Fists casually amongst the bamboo forest. The flow of his movements was as smooth as a running river, yet his movements seemed exaggerated, as if he was milling flour at times.
In the midst of his training, Yun Duan was already up and observing from the second floor without any intention of disturbing Qing Shui. When she realized there wasn't any food in the room, she went to the nearby kitchen to prepare breakfast for the two of them.
Qing Shui finally stopped after an hour of continuous training. He found that the bamboo had little effect on him, almost insignificant, to be honest. Despite that, Qing Shui still felt that there was a shred of hope to this method of training.
This were merely ordinary bamboo. If he were to train amongst a forest of bamboo with extraordinary effects, like a bamboo forest of a few thousand years, would he be able to yield better results?
A bamboo forest of a few thousand years would be extremely rare. Because generally, bamboo would not live more than a thousand years. Moreover, if he had planted the bamboo of extraordinary effects in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, the bamboo forest would require only a few years to flourish.
Using his spiritual sense, he noticed there was no difference or changes occurring to the bamboo. He had an inkling that the bamboo would require three days –or less than that –to recover its effect. He could essentially train in the bamboo forest for a three to five days to cultivate his Nature Energy.
When he got back to the building, Yun Duan was already up. She had left the room and was nowhere to be seen. Just when he had decided to make breakfast for the both of them, Yun Duan came in while holding some freshly cooked dishes on a tray covered with an embroidered cloth. The delicious aroma of the food travelled through the room, causing Qing Shui to salivate with hunger.
"Qing Shui, come and eat breakfast!" Yun Duan called out to Qing Shui happily as she served the dishes on the table in the living room.
Qing Shui gave a short reply and sat opposite Yun Duan while observing the dishes in front of him. Overall, it was a light and simple breakfast, with two bowls of plain porridge, two dishes of vegetables with a side of meat and two bowls of rice. Simple, yet delicate. This kind of breakfast was up his alley.
"You made this, right?" asked Qing Shui as he took over the chopsticks Yun Duan handed to him.
"Yeah, how did you know?" Yun Duan flashed a smile on her face.
"I can tell by your aroma in these dishes." Qing Shui chuckled as he glanced over to Yun Duan.
"Eat!" Yun Duan picked up a piece of meat from the nearest dish and fed it into Qing Shui's mouth.
"Qing Shui, I've never heard about the Sky Penetrating Grass of 5,000 years above. 5,000 Years medicinal herbs are extremely valuable but if you need them, you can try your luck in the capital of the Central Continent." Yu Duan had already heard about Qing Shui's intention of finding the Sky Penetrating Grass.
"No one will reveal such a valuable item easily. Most importantly, I don't even know where I can find one in the wild. Even if the herb is below 5,000 years, I will still gladly take it." Qing Shui frowned helplessly.
"You can forget about finding the medicinal herb in the Heavenly Beast City. You can try the larger medicinal stores or auction houses in the Central Continent's capital. Perhaps you might find the herb there," Yun Duan suggested after a brief moment of thought.
"Hmm, I can try that." said Qing Shui. In any case, he would eventually pass the Central Continent, making it convenient for his journey. If the search in the capital was a bust, then he could try his luck in the Eastern Victory divine Continent, where it was rumored that people with special powers would gather. Moreover, there was a rumor that the rare heavenly treasures and valuables were abundant in the Eastern Victory divine Continent as well.
After having breakfast, Qing Shui finally made up his mind and said, "Let's go out today, how about it?"
"Alright!" Yun Duan said gleefully.
The reconstruction of the hall in the Cloud Adventurer Guild was scheduled to commence today. This sort of issue would be handled by the Elders instead, as they were more than capable of doing so. Ever since the incident, they had gained a lot of trust in the public's opinion, as well as countless new members to their guild. Even though most of the new members were defectors of the former Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild, Yun Duan was more than happy to welcome them as they would contribute to the future expansion of the guild. After all, humans were prone to make mistakes –some things were inevitable.
Moreover, the Cloud Adventurer Guild had also appointed some of the loyal members to fill in the crucial positions within the guild to avoid treacherous acts in the future.
Most importantly, the Cloud Adventurer Guild had gained a formidable support and protection. Qing Shui's appearance had become the key to the reporter's headline material due to the instant annihilation of the Grand Elder, Hu Yunlong, as well as Hu Langsha from Hu Clan. This young man had surpassed everyone's expectations in just a few days.
The first kill may be a lucky attempt from a hidden attack but the succession of kills after that would prove otherwise. Only a fool would dare to look down on Qing Shui without the consideration of his accumulated achievements.
Qing Shui wanted this kind of reaction –he wanted to stun not only the outsiders but also his wife. He took the opportunity to clarify their relationship to everyone –that Yun Duan was his woman –so that no one would dare to stir up trouble with Yun Duan or the Cloud Adventurer Guild in the future.
Despite Yun Duan being an intelligent woman, she only realized Qing Shui's love for her after he had told her everything –including things he had done for her. This made her extremely happy. All those years of suffering were worth this moment.
The two of them walked out of the building and mounted on the Fire Bird, rode towards the Tiger Gorge Mountain. While flying in the air, they also took the time to view the scenery below.
"How is the situation in the Heavenly Palace now?" asked Yun Duan while they had some spare time riding on the Fire Bird.
"It's still alright. The Heavenly Palace is under my jurisdiction now," said Qing Shui as he turned to look at Yun Duan.
"You are the Patriarch now?" Yun Duan exclaimed, shocked.
Yun Duan revealed a smile. When she was still in the Greencloud Continent, the Old Ancestor of the Heavenly Palace was still an elderly man. Back then, Qing Shui was just a chief disciple. She didn't expect that he would eventually become the Patriarch of the Heavenly Palace.
"Qing Shui, tell me what has happened to you and the Heavenly Palace during those years." Yun Duan was curious. She wanted to know more about Qing Shui, negative or positive –anything was fine.
Qing Shui didn't hold back and told her most of the major events he had been through, as well as the fact that he had a number of wives and children.
"You are a lucky guy. All the nice ladies seem to like you very much," Yun Duan said with a smile.
"You are a nice lady too!" Qing Shui rubbed his nose and let out a snicker.
"If you come back next time, bring your children along. I want to see them. They must be beautiful," Yun Duan giggled.
"Our child will be beautiful too!" Qing Shui chuckled.
Yun Duan blushed instantly after hearing those words.
"Do you think one is enough or should we have two?" Qing Shui asked gently.
"Two. Wait, I didn't say I would make a child with you, dummy!" Yun Duan slipped up for a moment. Her face was flushed in red as she dodged Qing Shui's gaze.
"If Duan`er says she wants two children, then I will make sure to make that happen. We will have to work hard from now on. There's not much time left," Qing Shui laughed teasingly.
Yun Duan gave the stink eye to Qing Shui for a while but quickly flashed a mesmerizing smile onto her face.
"Duan`er. Tomorrow we will send out some wedding invitations to your friends and the important figures of the Heavenly Beast City. We will have a ceremony in three days." Qing Shui said with a determined tone after pondering for a while.
Yun Duan stared at him blankly, forgetting to speak for a brief moment.
"You don't want it?" said Qing Shui softly as he carefully interrupted her train of thought.
"I do." Yun Duan allowed herself a genuine smile. Her contented smile was as beautiful as the bright moon in the night sky.
"Duan`er, I am not a good man. I fell in love with a couple of women all at once but I still got you by my side in the end. You and the ladies at home are all my wives –not concubines. I may not be capable enough right now but soon I will. By then, we can all live together forever." Qing Shui said apologetically with a heavy heart.
"Don't say that. It is impossible for just one woman to tame you. If that was the case, you would have given up on that woman by now." Yun Duan tried to cheer up Qing Shui while showing him a pleasant smile.
Qing Shui was shocked. This was the exact thought in his mind, as if she had spoken his mind. Regardless of who it was, it would be impossible for one woman to separate him from the other women. He didn't expect that Yun Duan would be able to understand him on a deeper level.
"You understood my thoughts." Qing Shui was still bewildered at the fact that she seemed to understand him well.
"Because we are the same, only that I am a woman –a traditional woman."
The two had already dismounted from the Fire Bird and settled into their spot on a mountain peak. Qing Shui and Yun Duan strolled around while chatting idly. They knew that their time together would be cut short, probably after the wedding ceremony in three days time.
"Duan`er, take this Beauty Pellet. This can maintain your youth for another 30 years." Qing Shui took out a Beauty Pellet and handed it to Yun Duan.
"When have I ever lied to you?"
Besides the Beauty Pellet, he had also saved other medicinal pills for her, like the Spirit Concentrating Pill, Aroma Concentration Pill, Great Revitalizing Pellet, Tiger Vitality Pill……
Since she would soon become his wife, Qing Shui would naturally share everything with her. He gave her everything she needed to become stronger because he would be away for quite a while. If he didn't have a schedule, he would be able to increase her strength faster in a short amount of time.
In the afternoon, both of them returned to the Cloud Adventurer Guild and started sending out invitation cards to their wedding. In a short span of time, the news of Yun Duan and Qing Shui's wedding had spread to the whole city like wildfire.
In these past two days, almost everyone now knew Qing Shui's name by heart. The news of Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild's annihilation was still the talk of the town but that was soon followed by the auspicious news of Yun Duan and Qing Shui's wedding.
Hosting a wedding ceremony in the World of the Nine Continents was considered rare. Most common folks would only organize a small banquet as that was the cheapest way to get married while publicizing their marriage. Those with substantial wealth or an influential position would choose to host a bigger banquet with family members and guests of authority, making their banquet as lively as they could.
"Brother-in-law, I should call you that from now on," said Yun Tong as he flashed a grin at Qing Shui.
"We are a family now," said Qing Shui.
"Brother-in-law, thank you so much. Not because you destroyed the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild for us but for making my elder sister smile again."
"I've known your sister for many years, so we are meant to be with each other. Don't mention it. Come, let's go inside and have a drink. They've called us a few times already." Yun Chi, Yun Yang and the others were waving at them enthusiastically.
Then in a flash, three days had passed.
The wedding invitations sent out by the Cloud Adventurer Guild were limited, yet there were more than anticipated that came to attend the ceremony. Essentially, almost all of the influential figures from the Heavenly Beast City had attended the wedding. However, there were some who had attended without an invitation. But that was fine as these attendees had brought valuable gifts for the couple. In any case, the more people who came to the banquet, the merrier the atmosphere would be.
At least these people would be able to spread a positive news to their neighbors for once!
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AST 842 –Requiem Grass, Arrival At The Central Continent's Capital
The number of people arriving at the Cloud Adventurer Guild was endless, as were the extravagant beast carriages and horse carriages in front of the guild. Some of the members of the Yun Clan and Cloud Adventurer Guild were stationed near the entrance to greet the guests as they arrived for the banquet.
The banquet only began when the sun was high in the sky. The spoils of war granted by the defeat of the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild were exceptional, resulting in a luxurious banquet consisting of thousands of tables in the guild hall. As such, the banquet could cater to both the prestigious and the commoners, with a few hundred tables allocated to the middle classes and the lower classes. Those who had finished their meal would be required to leave to accommodate the next batch of guests……
Even though this procedure had pretty much annoyed the people of status, those feelings would eventually pass. In spite of that, the Cloud Adventurer Guild had gained a good reputation for doing that due to the public's distaste for the rich and wealthy. Naturally, the distaste for the rich was part of the human's basic instinct, especially in the case of the poor and those from modest households. Regardless, the Cloud Adventurer Guild had a good reputation to begin with, at least in the Heavenly Beast City.
Qing Shui and Yun Duan walked around and briefly greeted everyone at the guest tables. He refused to do it at first but he needed to remind them of his presence in the Cloud Adventurer Guild, so no one would dare cause trouble.
Qing Shui had received a substantial amount of spiritual energy after consuming the Mysterious Fruit. Not only would the force of his Primordial Flames become stronger, he would also be able to gain more control of his attacks that required an infusion of spiritual energy. If his spiritual energy became stronger, the suppression force of his aura would be greater as well.
Even though he was showing a smile on his face, his overall aura was as intimidating as an unsheathed sword. The sharpness was akin to that of a divine weapon –invincible and forceful.
"Here's to you, City Lord, for attending our marriage ceremony. Because I have been busy dealing with my personal matters, I have let Yun Duan suffer for a long time. Luckily, she was treated kindly by the City Lord and everyone here. No one will dare to torment her in the future. As capable as I was, there were a few supreme aristocratic clans who had tormented me in the past. However, that is already over, as I have annihilated them completely. I admit that my temper was a flaw –I couldn't resist the thought of putting them down once they had triggered it." Qing Shui gulped down a cup of wine after he had finished. He was serious when he said that, yet with a smile to put everyone at ease.
These words didn't seem excessive or arrogant when they came out of Qing Shui's mouth. He was going to leave soon anyway, so he thought it was best that he explained his intentions as clearly as possible.
The City Lord was an old man, albeit not that old. He was from the well-known Guan Clan with a history as deep as the Heavenly Beast City itself. The members of the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Clan would never provoke them and vice versa.
The members of the Guan Clan were undoubtedly wise, so they immediately understood Qing Shui's meaning. Moreover, when Qing Shui mentioned the annihilation of several aristocratic clans by his own hands, there were some who exclaimed in shock, further asserting that Qing Shui was a man to be feared and not to be provoked.
Some of them already knew about Qing Shui's accomplishments in the Greencloud Continent but had never seen him before until now. It was only through the occasional word of mouth that they were able to learn about the incidents in the Greencloud Continent. They were not particularly concerned with his matters since he wasn't from the Central Continent. After all, the chances of them meeting him in the rest of their lives were slim to none.
Yet, he was here. And they had finally realized how terrifying and powerful this young man was.
People with the same name were too common in the World of the Nine Continents. Furthermore, this was the Central Continent, one of the continents with the largest population in the entire world. They would have never thought that they would be able to meet the exact Qing Shui they had heard from the rumors. There were only a few who could truly become famous throughout the entire world, after all.
Of course, it was only when Qing Shui mentioned the annihilation of the supreme aristocrat clans that they realized he was the protagonist of the rumors in the Greencloud Continent. Luckily, the Central Continent had the advantage of being situated in the heart of the earth, so they were well-informed of the happenings around the world. This was also the reason why the Central Continent could flourish with various businesses and bustle with visitors, travellers and traders. Moreover, most powerful warriors would gather in the Central Continent to set up a stronghold, signifying their dominance in the world of martial arts.
That was all Qing Shui needed to instill fear on the troublemakers. Doing so would prove to be disadvantageous, as destruction would pursue those of the great. In order to deflect himself from such disaster, Qing Shui had planned to hasten his progress towards the achievement of greater power.
The only things that brought him comfort were the advancement of the Heart of Roc towards the large success stage, his poisonous beings, poison beasts, poisonous weapons and the perfect synchronization of his demonic beasts. Essentially, he had nothing –and no one- to fear.
However, whenever he thought about the woman in the crystal coffin, he would become helpless. In the face of absolute power, he was impotent –retaliation was futile.
Then it hit him, perhaps that woman was able to use the Spiritual Confinement on him, restricting his efforts to counter her attack. Was she a Spiritualist? Or was that part of the ability of a Martial Emperor?
The Spiritual Confinement could be considered a powerful assault ability that could attack the mind of any living being. This attack wasn't as simple as a suppression force being released by a person of high power against a weak warrior but more like the sensation of being restrained by a pair of invisible, formless hands.
Now that he had greatly enhanced his spiritual energy, could he stand a chance against the Spiritual Confinement of hers?
Wild imaginings began to form in his head as he continued to conjure various speculations.
The banquet lasted from the afternoon until late evening, when all the guests had left the hall in the Cloud Adventurer Guild. It was only then that Qing Shui and Yun Duan were allowed to leave and go back home. When they were back, Qing Shui realized the furniture inside their home had been swapped with new, giving the whole room a fresh atmosphere and outlook.
Nevertheless, this was an auspicious sign. Inside the newly furnished room, he glanced at Yun Duan beside him –she was wearing a long white dress that complimented her slender waist and her delicate body figure.
"Duan`er, let me hear you say 'husband'." Qing Shui quickly picked up Yun Duan when he saw the sky almost turning dark as the dusk set in.
"Ah, what are you doing? It's still daylight outside……."
"Who said we must do it at night?" said Qing Shui as he locked his eyes on the woman whose tears were almost rolling down her delicate face.
Yun Duan was shocked but quickly buried her face in his chest. Qing Shui had become increasingly insatiable as they made love with each other almost every night until a few hours before dawn. According to him, that was the only way to assure the success of her pregnancy.
The next day was Qing Shui's departure to the Central Continent's capital. Yun Duan held him tightly as she sent him out to the entrance.
"Can't bear to let me go? I will come back for you soon." Qing Shui gently patted Yun Duan's back and smiled.
"I will always wait for you. Be careful when you're out there alone." Yun Duan was teary-eyed as she forced herself to reveal a smile for him.
"Don't worry about me. Take care and don't forget to cultivate your strength. No one will come and cause trouble anymore. I hope the Cloud Adventurer Guild will progress to become a greater and better guild for everyone."
After they waved each other goodbye, Qing Shui mounted his Fire Bird and flew up into the air heading east at a fast pace. The view of Yun Duan and the members of the Cloud Adventurer Guild became distant, until they had disappeared completely from the horizon.
Nine Continents Steps!
According to Yun Duan, the Central Continent's capital was located in the middle of the continent, slightly closer to the eastern region. Based on his calculations, he would be able to reach there within two months or so if he continued at the same speed and without rest.
The Central Continent was much larger in contrast to the other continents in the world. Despite the straight path towards his destination, there was still a long way before he could reach the capital. Even with a significant boost to the current speed and the Nine Continents Steps, he would still have a hard time calculating the exact time he required to travel through the entire Central Continent while mounted on his Fire Bird.
A month later, Qing Shui had finally arrived at a place called the Donghua City, situated in the Eastern Park Country. This city could be considered the heart of the Central Continent as many people would gather here for various activities. Powerful warriors were rumored to be stationed in the heart of the Central Continent, not necessarily in the capital but usually somewhere nearby.
Throughout his journey, Qing Shui felt inner peace with himself –perhaps due to the surge in his power. He felt at ease travelling to unfamiliar places, unlike his past self, where he would constantly become insecure once he had stepped into the outside world.
This must be the courage that stemmed from being a highly skilled warrior.
Qing Shui's overall appearance was far from a standard martial warrior. From the public's perspective, he was nothing more than a handsome and attractive man wearing a set of embroidered clothes, garnering attention wherever he went, particularly from those of the opposite se*. In fact, Qing Shui seemed more like a scholar than a martial warrior from the way he dressed.
Even though martial arts was the primary focus in the World of the Nine Continents, scholars were still considered important figures amongst all practitioners. Some had successfully gained insights into the Dao solely with their knowledge of words –progressing from a scholar to a Dao cultivator. A scholar would be able to become a powerful warrior just by depending on their writing brushes, paper and ink stones. Speaking of which, Qing Shui was instantly reminded of the Realm of Drawing, which could be one of the ways a scholar was able to gain an insight to the Dao.
Donghua City was the capital city of the Eastern Park Country. Even though there was nothing significant in the that country, it was still part of the 81 countries in the Central Continent. Nevertheless, Donghua City was considered the superior city among others in the Eastern Park Country.
When he lifted up his head, he could see a large arena nearby. Qing Shui decided to stop by this city for a while before continuing his journey. There was still quite a distance from here to the Central Continent's capital anyway.
This wasn't the first time Qing Shui had seen an arena situated on a wide street. The arena in the Martial God Street in the Southern Viewing Continent was much larger than this one and it was significantly elevated as well.
Since he knew no one in this part of the city and no one would recognize him, Qing Shui decided to approach the arena to have a look. Just then, he noticed two middle-aged men sparring with each other using swords. They seemed to be engaged in a heated fight as they locked their swords without a hint of distraction.
However, these two were not as strong as Qing Shui was –they had just reached the early stage of the Martial King realm.
Not far from the arena was a restaurant, so Qing Shui went in and filled his stomach with some food. After that, he went to the neighbouring medicinal stores and auction houses with the goal of finding the Sky Penetrating Grass.
Throughout his journey, he would go into various cities to find the herb as long as the city was flourishing with businesses and commerce. He would go into the largest auction houses and medicinal stores to inquire about the medicinal herb. Although he could find some medicinal herbs he required for other alchemy recipes, Sky Penetrating Grass search was, however, to no avail.
This time was no different. However, he was able to retrieve a special herb for a remarkably low price.
The Requiem Grass!
Even though the supply of the Requiem Grass was scarce in the World of the Nine Continents, not many would use it for medicine refining. This was due to the rumors of it having a vicious effect on human beings. However, the Requiem Grass still had its uses, so most medicinal herb companies would usually keep a few in stock for a few years –or ten years even if none could be sold. Essentially, the smaller stores would not keep this kind of herb as it was not profitable in any way.
Requiem Grass was hard to come by, so Qing Shui bought them all straightaway.
Before he knew it, one month had passed. After asking for directions a few times, the Central Continent's capital was finally visible to his sight. He knew he was almost there when he saw three golden calligraphy words labelling this "Central Continent's Capital" on a large wall surrounding the city.
Qing Shui would be awestruck each time he saw those grandiose words on the wall because they didn't seem to be the work of a mere scholar. However, for that same reason, scholars were considered important in the World of the Nine Continents, albeit not as important as martial warriors.
The wall of the Central Continent's capital was moderately sized –it wasn't quite as tall as he had imagined. However, the capital's wall gave off an ancient yet dignified aura much stronger than that of the other cities. Qing Shui followed the crowd of beast carriages and went straight into the capital.
Business operations would always be the most flourishing near the gates of every city due to the interaction between the merchants and the visitors. Because of that, Qing Shui chose to walk on the grounds with the other visitors and beast carriages, instead of flying above in the sky towards the inner capital.
After he had entered the gates, Qing Shui realized there was a formless suppression force surrounding the entire city. From the gates towards the inner city, there was a straight, wide street paving the path towards countless cross-sections of area. The streets were paved with green stones that were arranged in the pattern akin to the scales of a carp, which gave him a feeling of indescribable splendour and magnificence.