Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 4
Chapter 4: First Qi
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
Fang Xing threw the fresh weeds into his mouth, gobbling them down in seconds while Freckle-Boy and Ghost-Face watched on in disbelief and horror.
’’Don't disturb me without a good reason!’’ Red-eyed, Fang Xing slammed the door shut behind him, locking himself up in the wood cabin. The boys looked at each other, both agreeing that Fang Xing must have gone out of his mind;the weed was called Hwa'jin, and one single leaf consumed by a fully-grown man could make a woman cry of happiness an entire night, to say nothing of a whole handful of them. To be consumed by a boy who had yet to even hit puberty...
What the hell did he want to bang?
Seated in the lotus position, Fang Xing could feel an irresistible urge rising up from his lower abdominal region while a small bulge stood noticeably from the front of his pants. Remembering the instructions in [Qing-Yun's Qi Formation], Fang Xing attempted to take the Jing he had just devoured and circulate it through his veins. He repeatedly pushed it throughout his body then back into his dantian, trying to compress and reshape the Jing into a force that would push open his pores to receive Qi.
The enormous amount of Jing tortured Fang Xing as he tried to restrain the unruly energy within him, his eyes bursting with red veins, his lips cracking under the strain.
'I can do it!' Fang Xing thought to himself, enduring the burning sensation throughout his entire body, focusing on keeping the Jing on its correct path.
Twenty minutes passed.
An hour passed.
Still seated in the same position, Fang Xing's face was flushed in an unnatural tone of purplish red. Something was rapidly changing inside him.
As he concentrated on keeping the Jing on its path, he started to feel a faint but refreshing sensation tickling at his senses. As this progressed, however, the heat and the violent energy had been replaced with an agonizing ache coming from his meridians.
’’So I guessed it right...’’
Aching all over, Fang Xing carefully converted the last trace of Jing.
Fang Xing had originally been skeptical that this was going to work, leaving him excited now.
It had just been a freakish idea he had come up with when he saw the weeds Freckle-Boy had in his hands. It was an idea stemming from the remaining sentence from [The Book of Revelation] about [Qing-Yun's Qi Formation].
Combined with his studies on the flow of circulation illustrated in detail by [Qing-Yun's Qi Formation], Fang Xing had concluded that the first step into cultivation was through building up Qi via meditation.
For those lucky enough to be born with extremely rare zi'zhi, Qi could even be accumulated passively with every effortless breath and movement they made.
It was not a rare sight for most people such as Wang to have made zero progress trying to feel Qi despite seven years of effort, and most of these people would only die in vain trying. The only method for these ordinary people was to rely on an outside energy to force Qi into their bodies, but even then the path of cultivation was usually short-lived;most only went as far as the lower tiers of the Spirit Stage.
Jing -- as a condensed form of essence that contained the energy to create life -- usually went undetected, living peacefully within the body.
Most people couldn't feel the existence of Jing;even when they could, it was only after years and years of conscious accumulation. Fang Xing, on the other hand, was bold and quick-witted, diving headfirst into what he thought might work without much hesitation. It was fortunate that it was a risk worth trying, but in reality he was just one of the lucky few that had made it through.
If it was too little to be felt, then make it plentiful!
Three weeds of Hwa'jin later and it was most definitely plentiful.
The burning sensation was the most literal reaction to a copious amount of Jing, and it was then that Fang Xing began the attempt at condensing and converting it. While the final amount of Qi that this produced was almost next to nothing, it was still something.
Without enough determination and stamina to control oneself, this method could result in the host becoming dangerously unstable;it could cause terminal damage to the internal organs and even damage one's mental state. Despite his young age, Fang Xing was not only relentless towards those that may pose a threat to him, but also towards himself.
’’Grr...’’ As the aching sensation slowly eased, his stomach loudly growled out as though he hadn't eaten once in the past three days. It turned out that when converting Jing into Qi, a large amount of the host's own energy and vitality was also used up in the process.
The first most obvious sign was the dizziness and hunger.
’’Argh, I need something to eat, fast!’’
As he sluggishly pushed himself up, his hands accidentally landed on [The Book of Revelation].
’’Huh?’’ As soon as his hands made contact with the book, he felt a slight twitch throughout his meridians before the book disappeared right before his very eyes. The sudden event left Fang Xing stumbling slightly, and he worked to find his balance again.
’’Where did the book go?’’ Scrambling through everything around him, Fang Xing couldn't believe that the booked had just disappeared into thin air. He was sure it was there just a second ago.
'Qing-Yun's Qi Formation. Suitable for Spirit Stage. A manual for beginner cultivation...'
Just as he grabbed the [Qing-Yun's Qi Formation] to see if [The Book of Revelation] was actually beneath it, that very familiar description flashed across his mind.
’’What the...’’ It took some time before Fang Xing was finally convinced that the book had made its way into his head. ’’You've got to be kidding me... An entire book? How is that even going to fit in my brain?’’
While considering the thought of his brain exploding due to having a whole book crammed inside it, Fang Xing rubbed his empty stomach and finally walked outside the wooden cabin.
It was already after nightfall and the gang watched the wooden cabin cautiously, gathered around some food and wine purposely quite a distance away. They were scared that Fang Xing would come out of the cabin either crazy or wanting to kill someone.
’’Did he really eat all of it?’’ Wang asked in disbelief as he took a sip from his wine. He'd already asked the same question three times yet was still left unconvinced.
’’Not only that, he swallowed them whole;he didn't even bother chewing!’’ Still horror-struck, Freckle-Boy whispered, glancing nervously towards the wooden cabin.
’’Oh dear... I'm sure he wouldn't be able to endure it even if it was just one, let alone all three of them! He's... he's not -- you know -- into that sort of thing is he? I mean, if he's had so many, he'll need to let it go with someone!’’ Wang shuddered at the thought before looking at Ghost-Face standing next to him. ’’Hey, Ghost-Face, we'll all be counting on you!’’
Ghost-Face dropped his half-bitten pork leg, crying out desperately, ’’I... I ain't no good! It'll hurt! H-How about... how about Freckle-Boy? You go!’’
’’No! That won't work!’’ Freckle-Boy jumped at the suggestion. ’’You've got the palest skin out of all of us, you're the pretty boy here! You're the best hustler we can find;there's no better option!’’
’’What hustler?’’ All five daotong shrivelled up in fear as they heard a husky voice questioning them.
Before they knew it, Fang Xing had already walked to where they had been hiding and -- in high spirits -- sat down to savagely scarf down the rest of the pork as though nobody was watching. His face, however, was noticeably pale and especially contrasted in the brightness of the bonfire.
It felt as though everything inside of him had been used up. As if his appetite had been turned into a black hole, it didn't seem to get satisfied no matter how much he ate.
After some time he finally stopped and washed out the last bit of pork with a couple shots of the wine. Though he was still feeling hungry, his stomach had already reached its fullest capacity.
’’From today onwards, make sure to bring me three... no, one will do. Bring me one Hwa'jin weed each day. I don't care where it's from or how you got it, whoever brings me the weed first each day can be pardoned from their entire day's worth of work. Oh, and we need to improve our meals a little, too! What's with this? How is this enough? We will double... no, make it triple the amount of meat as well.’’
Everyone gazed blankly at Fang Xing, none of them having any idea what he was up to. Being the oldest, Wang was the first to come to his senses and asked, ’’This is already... five pounds of pork, and we're going to triple this?’’
’’Yep! That'll do for now.’’ Fang Xing nodded. ’’We can always add more if it's still not enough!’’
’’But... we don't have enough silver for this...’’
’’Then go sell yourselves,’’ Fang Xing ridiculed, acting as if nothing happened. ’’Weren't all of you arguing over who was the hustler just now?’’
 Hwa'jin: 化精草, lit. grass that converts to Jing. Romanization is spelled this way to avoid confusion with the term Jing used throughout the chapter.
 Dantian: 丹田, refers to the region in the body where a person's Qi is concentrated, located below the belly button, it is an important focal point for meditative and exercise techniques.