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Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 52

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Chapter 52: Foundation Skills

Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor:

Fang Xing was currently a stone's throw away from the peak of tier three. This was the right time for a cultivator to try to collect the materials necessary to craft a Poji Pellet as well as consolidate their growth. If he were to learn a basic skill or technique during this time, there was no doubt that it would increase his overall power, and his cultivation would be reinforced by the fluctuations of Qi caused through its activation. It would all pave a reliable path forward for when he entered the inner court.

Aside from these treasures, the next most precious loot Fang Xing had gained had been Lyu's jade talisman. Even though its physical appearance was rather unremarkable, seeing it with the [Book of Revelation] revealed that it had a name: [Talisman of Shrinking Earth], a high-tier support-type Spirit Tool. It could be activated once it had been filled with Qi and allowed the user to teleport to a specific point immediately. As for the distance, it was determined by the user's cultivation level;the higher their level, the farther they were able to teleport to. It was through the use of this talisman that Lyu had been able to catch up to Fang Xing;its abilities were rather miraculous.

The primary shortcoming of this jade talisman was that its Qi requirement was enormous. It was also because Lyu had spent so much of his Qi to activate this talisman that he had been unable to retaliate when Fang Xing launched his attack, an attack that had cost Lyu his life at Fang Xing's hands. Furthermore, the talisman's make and materials were rather ordinary;it would be unable to endure too many uses, and it already looked rather worn out. Despite this, it was still of course a rare find. Who knew where Lyu had gotten his hands on such a treasure?

Meng Xuanzhao's storage bag not only had his Ore Essence Powder inside it, but there were also over seventy Spirit Stones and two excellent-quality Flying Swords. In comparison, the items Fang Xing had gained from Hou Qing and Lyu were not particularly enticing anymore.

After Fang Xing had checked all of the items, he even felt his confidence grow by a large amount just by having acquired so much wealth. Without further ado, he called the plump Taoist over and handed him ten of the Spirit Stones he'd received from Hei San, then sent him out the door with a kick. To Fang Xing, this was all a gesture of appreciation, as Yu had been tortured because of him. Besides, Fang Xing was never someone who was too miserly.

The plump Taoist held the Spirit Stones in his hands while standing in front of Fang Xing's wooden cottage and sobbing quietly to himself, so thankful that no words could come to him. Not a single one of the passersby who saw those flaming red Stones in Yu's hands was able to look at them without envy or jealousy. The difference from before was that Fang Xing was now connected to Xuanzhao, and so the plump Taoist Yu had also had his status increased thanks to his connection with Fang Xing. If it was before, plenty of people would have wanted to try their luck at these Spirit Stones he held, yet now no one dared to have such thoughts.

’’Shidi Fang, dear Shidi... I, Yu Sanliang, I'm....’’ The plump Taoist's voice was choked with emotion. His eyes grew red before large teardrops began to splatter down.

A voice rose from inside the wooden cottage as Fang Xing gave an impatient yell, ’’Take the Stones and get out of my sight! If you stay here and say another word, for each extra word you speak, I'll take five Stones back, and every extra second outside my door I'll take one more. I wonder how long it would take to have all of the Stones back?’’

The plump Taoist immediately sniffed his runny nose and ran off.

Yu was extremely appreciative of this. He had never thought that all of the torture he had endured during the last month would bring ten Spirit Stones in compensation. According to Fang Xing, these ten Stones were for Yu's cultivation needs right now, and he would be able to receive more of them once he had run out, as the top priority right now was for him to increase his cultivation level.

If Yu had known this was going to be his reward, even another two more weeks of the same torture would not have meant anything to him.

After hearing Yu's hasty footsteps, the edges of Fang Xing's lips curled up slightly. Truth be told, Fang Xing had never thought the plump Taoist would have these genuine feelings of friendship towards him. Their relationship had only begun based on mutual benefit, yet when Liu had ordered Yu to call Fang Xing a bastard beneath the bamboo terrace, Yu had hesitated. This was outside of Fang Xing's expectations.

Even if the plump Taoist had cursed him, Fang Xing would not have minded. Yet the plump Taoist had not. This alone was enough to show his genuine feelings towards Fang Xing. The man in question, on the other hand, perhaps did not expect that those few seconds of hesitation had won him Fang Xing's sincere approval. Of course, this type of approval was not the same as being willing to give up his life for him, but it did however represent a small percentage of importance within Fang Xing's heart.

'Stupid fatty, fortune does indeed favor the fool....' Fang Xing let out a crisp laugh as he thought to himself before shaking his thoughts clear;he wanted to focus on the newly acquired [Dragon Catching].

First, Fang Xing quietly read the script of the skill several times in order to completely understand and memorize it, then he tried to do exactly as it said and guided his Qi around his body through a complex pattern. It was slow at first, but once he had grasped the entire route, Fang Xing suddenly increased its speed. Within a few breaths, the Qi had finished its complicated circulation before hastily amassing itself in the center of Fang Xing's right palm.

HSSSH

Inside the wooden cottage, a howling gale quickly emerged before disappearing back to the ground thirty yards away. The gale was abrupt, appearing from nothing and disappearing just as quickly. The bowls and chopsticks atop the table clattered with noise throughout the duration.

'It indeed produces some sort of force from out of nowhere, but it's also very hard to control....' Fang Xing frowned. He realized that this force was without shape or form, making it difficult to control without plenty of practice. Furthermore, such a small impact had already cost him one tenth of his Qi, and it could only be imagined that when he became more proficient in this skill, the amount of Qi consumption with each use would be quite exceptional as well. It was no wonder the sect forbade outer court disciples from learning the various foundation skills;not only was it for the psychological aspect of keeping them a secret only for the inner court and core disciples, but its enormous Qi consumption would make it useless for those without enough tiers of cultivation.

Theoretically, if this skill was activated continuously, it would only last for some ten or so breaths even for someone like Hou Qing, and that was only if he was not trying to use the skill on a very heavy item or to control a large area. Now, if he were to control a rock in the air weighing a thousand pounds, he would be lucky to keep it afloat for even three breaths.

'To have full control over this skill in one go isn't practical anyway. Since I don't have much else to do lately, I might as well practice this....'

Within the next four to five days, Fang Xing practiced this [Dragon Catching] diligently, though it went without saying that this was only done after night had fallen and he was away from any watchful eyes. He could not allow others to realize how he had obtained the skill manual, after all, and so he didn't dare to show it in front of others so openly. Furthermore, despite having attached the Ore Essence Powder event to Liu, Fang Xing had yet to hear anything from Xuanzhao. Simply not hearing anything from Xuanzhao did not mean that Fang Xing hadn't become the next suspect, so it was only best to keep a low profile by hiding inside his wooden cottage every day, practicing Qi fluctuations during daylight and [Dragon Catching] after nightfall. Even the drinking sessions with Yu had been reduced.

To others, it made sense. After having completed a Duty Talisman mission, Fang Xing must have plenty of cultivation resources and thus had been spending these resources ever more diligently to improve his cultivation level. Privately, some were envious of him, while others sighed at his dog-sh*t luck[1]. Regardless of everything else, Fang Xing had surely made somewhat of a name for himself within the outer courts;the title of being the first outer court disciple to successfully complete a Duty Talisman did hold some weight to it, after all.

But plenty of people would only snicker at Fang Xing's stupidity in giving the Ore Essence Powder away so easily. Although the powder itself did not have a high monetary value, it was the rarity of the powder that made it a hot item and on the Black Market such powders could go for at least two hundred Spirit Stones, and this was only for the current market price. Its price would only inflate as time passed;greater numbers of outer court disciples would slowly reach the peak of tier three, and the growing demand would come into conflict with the limited supply.

There were also those who believed Fang Xing was smart for giving away the powder. If Fang Xing hadn't given it to Shixiong Xuanzhao, Fang Xing's cultivation level meant he might have ended up defrauded a million times over. Not even considering the Ore Essence Powder, his Spirit Stones and any rewards from the mission would have all been taken away from him through forceful extortion. By handing the powders over as a gift, he was left with a large umbrella of protection that made him safe within the entire outer court;wasn't this the best outcome for someone like him?

The most emotional and gloomy person out of them all was Shixiong Xuanzhao. Almost the entire outer court knew that the Ore Essence Powder had been gifted to him, but he himself had yet to touch a single hint of the item. As it turned out, since the news with Fang Xing had spread throughout the outer courts, he could not do anything about the situation. Everyone knew that Fang Xing had gifted him the powder, and if he did not offer protection over him now, everyone would see him as someone who was extremely ungrateful.

’’Come here, baby!’’ Inside a wooden cottage, Fang Xing stared hard at a wine jar atop a wooden table twenty feet away before he activated [Dragon Catching]. After he circulated the Qi onto his palm, an invisible force was generated out of nowhere and wrapped itself around the wine jar before pulling it towards Fang Xing.

SMASH

As the wine jar began to move towards Fang Xing, the force supporting it suddenly decreased at the halfway point and it ended up shattering against the ground.

’’Nngh... this skill is so hard...’’ Fang Xing took a deep breath. It was his third continuous day practicing the same movements, but the success rate of this skill was still very low. This had left him slightly dispirited and annoyed, even to the point of wanting to cut off his hand. Fang Xing had been smart ever since he was young and almost no effort had been required for him to learn each of the dishonest practices and scams he'd been exposed to in the bandits' nest, yet one of the most basic foundation skills had failed for him numerous times.

’’Again!’’

Fang Xing grabbed another wine jar to place atop the table. As for the supply of this wine, Hei San had ordered someone to bring Fang Xing a good hundred jars, all of which were now neatly placed beneath his bed. At first, Fang Xing had reacted by saying he could not drink all of it by himself, but this was soon greeted with a ’’If you cannot drink them all, just throw them around for fun.’’

So, ’’throw them around for fun’’, it is!

NOTES

[1]Dog-sh*t luck: a Chinese idiom (狗屎运) to describe great, not unfortunate turn of events. This is a throwback to the days when, in rural China, people used excrement for fertilizer and there was not enough supply to meet demand. Dog shit could be sold for cold hard cash or used to grow crops, and either way, accidentally stepping in it was a source of joy, not sorrow.



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