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Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 77

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Chapter 77: Path of a Battle Cultivator

Translator: Myriea Editor: Nou

’’A Battle Cultivator? What the hell is that?’’

Unsurprised, Bai Qianzhang smiled and explained, ’’Among those practicing cultivation, everyone has their own specialized area for earning resources and establishing themselves within the realm of cultivation. Similar to what the three elders at the Grand Hall of Promotions explained to you, some study the path of alchemy and are called Alchemy Cultivators;some spend their lives studying the art of weapon refinement and are called Blacksmith Cultivators;and those that specialize in talismans and formations also have their own term and title. By no means is this a rare or isolated case.

’’However, only the small sects like the Qing-Yun have such broad categories;when you leave here for the bigger world, you will realize that the specializations only grow more specific. There are cultivators who specialize in spirit creatures called Spirit Cultivators, those who specialize in the plantation of spirit crops called Agricultural Cultivators, and even those who have opened up brothels like those seen in the mortal realm. The realm of cultivation is a lot more complex than you can imagine, and it's possible to find all kinds of cultivators who have all spent the entirety of their lives working for a single thing resources.’’

’’What the hell is all this...?’’ Fang Xing was left dumbstruck and began to wonder whether there was such a thing as a ’’Bandit Cultivator’’.

Bai Qianzhang then continued, ’’Aside from all of these specialized cultivators, there is also the existence of another, special type: the Battle Cultivator. An expert in crafting pellets is an Alchemy Cultivator, an expert in crafting spirit tools is a Blacksmith Cultivator, those who make talismans are Talisman Cultivators, and a Battle Cultivator is exactly as its name implies;such a person is an expert in the art of combat. The realm of cultivators hinges on the basic laws of survival, but battles can break out at any time and place. Right after levels of cultivation, combat power becomes the next important thing a cultivator seeks, and Battle Cultivators take this quest for power to an extreme. They do not craft pellets, they do not refine weapons, they do not spend even a single moment on any other specializations. They don't even see their cultivation level as important as the brute force and power they can use in battle. They focus only on things that will aid them in combat, such as techniques, skills, and spells that are specialized towards fighting.’’

Fang Xing grew excited as he listened on, clapping his hands as he laughed. ’’I like this!’’

Bai Qianzhang smiled. ’’It's not as easy as it seems. Before a Battle Cultivator can even call themselves that, there are no means of earning cultivation resources, which would usually mean these types of cultivators have no methods of surviving on their own. This makes their existence special even within the realm of cultivators, and only two kinds of people would choose to become a Battle Cultivator. The first is a genius child of a large sect or clan that has an entire organization providing for them;all they have to do is focus on improving their power and solidifying their strengths.’’

’’What's the second type?’’ Fang Xing couldn't help but interrupt as he grew agitated. The first type was everything he wasn't!

Bai Qianzhang looked to Fang Xing before giving a soft sigh. ’’The second type includes those who have no talent in alchemy, no motivation for blacksmithing, are too fussed about calligraphy, and find divination too complicated to study. Since they are unable to establish a solid foundation for themselves in anything else, the only remaining option is to focus all of their might on how to fight others. These people even if barely are also called Battle Cultivators....’’

’’Eh? So, like, a Battle Cultivator is either a genius or a piece of trash?’’

’’Yes... you could say that.’’ Bai Qianzhang nodded.

Fang Xing was left speechless. ’’So when you said I'm suitable as a Battle Cultivator, am I the first type or the second, then?’’

Bai Qianzhang sent Fang Xing a meaningful smile without another word. It was obvious which one he was.

’’I am NOT a piece of trash!’’ Fang Xing was infuriated, his eyes widening as he stared at Bai Qianzhang. If it weren't for him knowing just how large of a difference there was between their cultivation levels, Fang Xing would have leapt at him right then and there.

’’I said you're suitable to become a Battle Cultivator because you have the talent for it, especially considering you've managed to comprehend the Decapitation's Portrayal and mastered the foundations of the True Samadhi Fire[1]. With this, if you become a Battle Cultivator, you'll have one extra advantage over most of your enemies.’’

’’True Samadhi Fire?’’ Fang Xing blankly asked. It was his first time hearing such a name.

’’Indeed, it is the True Samadhi Fire, a flame that is rumored to be controlled by true immortals after they have reached the Tribulation Stage. The flame contains anger, desire, and hope, the three emotions that are hardest to leave behind of all the worldly attachments. Those master cultivators are able to turn these emotions into a flame and use it as a powerful aid during battle. Legend even has it that millions of years ago when the Monkey King[2] was causing havoc in the ancient Heavenly Palace, his body was as hard as steel yet was still wounded heavily by the True Samadhi Fire. Its main point of offense aside from the physical damage it causes is through damaging one's Spirit Sense, which is extremely difficult to defend against.’’

’’I've already mastered something so powerful?’’ Fang Xing was unable to contain his joy and began to hop in circles, as if he were an overly excited puppy chasing after his own tail. He was eager to see his True Samadhi Fire in action.

Laughing at Fang Xing's reaction, Bai Qianzhang continued, ’’Of the flames of rage, desire, and hope, you've only just barely scratched the surface of the first one;you're far from mastering all three from the legends. This is also only based on my speculations after listening to what you said of your comprehension from the painting. The beheaded immortal's emotions of resolve, estrangement, and unwillingness involuntarily triggered the flames of rage within him, yet even though the flame is extremely powerful, it is unrefined. Before you reach the stage of Tribulation, it is almost impossible for you to control and master this flame completely, and this also includes understanding all of the mysteries of the True Samadhi Fire. The only method... is through Body Refinement!’’

’’Body Refinement?’’ Fang Xing held up his small fist and glanced at his thin shoulders before casting a glare filled with doubt towards Bai Qianzhang.

Bai Qianzhang answered with a laugh, ’’That's correct. In the same way fire is used to refine steel, you will use your flame of wrath to refine your body!

’’To nurture a Battle Cultivator is extremely difficult. Aside from the standard practices of Qi fluctuations and training, all sects and clans have researched secret methods to increase their power and strength for combat. I have heard of bathing one's body in spirit elixirs, refining one's physical body with the essence of the soul, hardening oneself by embracing the sky as a shelter and the earth as a blanket, and so on. All of these Battle Cultivators have extremely powerful physique and vitality, and some of these Spirit Stage Battle Cultivators have a purity of Qi that might even be on par with an ordinary cultivator in the Foundation Stage. There have always been stories where a Golden Core Stage genius of a certain large clan manages to slay three or four Budding Soul Stage cultivators alone, yet not many know that for these so-called 'geniuses' to be where they are today, the amount of resources used to purify and refine their Qi would probably be more than enough combined to produce three Budding Soul cultivators.’’

’’Enough resources to produce three Budding Soul Stage cultivators, all for a single person at the Golden Core Stage! That's....’’ Fang Xing was once again stumped for words before he began to feel great pity for such a misuse of resources. ’’That's just wasting it!’’

’’In some ways, Battle Cultivators are precisely wastrels,’’ Bai Qianzhang replied in a stern voice, ’’but their existence is also extremely valuable. Within any sect or clan of sufficient size, they will always nurture their own Battle Cultivators. It is a method of protecting their own authority, and without these Battle Cultivators, they would not be far from facing complete annihilation.’’

Fang Xing thought it over before asking with doubt, ’’So if I were to become a Battle Cultivator...’’

As if knowing exactly what Fang Xing's concerns were, Bai Qianzhang nodded. ’’You would also require such excessive use of resources. It's not exactly wasting them, per se, it's just that Battle Cultivators will always require far more resources than an ordinary cultivator. Although you may not have all the secret methods used by those large sects and clans, you do have the flames of wrath from the True Samadhi Fire, allowing you to use it to purify your Qi and refine your body. By doing so, your power and strength will be many times greater than an ordinary cultivator of your level, but the amount of resources you use will also grow exponentially.’’

Fang Xing swallowed his saliva before suddenly showing a joyous smile. ’’I'm so sorry you'll have to spend so many resources to nurture my growth!’’

Bai Qianzhang was initially left speechless. He could only reply some time later, ’’Who said I was going to nurture you?’’

’’Then why did you explain so many things to me? About Battle Cultivators, about how I should practice my cultivation.... Aren't you going to take me in as your disciple? It's only normal that if you take me in, you'll have to teach me everything you know and give me access to all the resources you have. And if someone bullies me, you'd punch them back. Oh, and if I like someone, you'd also be proposing the marriage to her elders on my behalf, right?’’

Intrigued by Fang Xing's words, Bai Qianzhang laughed once more. ’’I will guide you on how you should practice your cultivation. I also want to see what kind of Battle Cultivator will develop from someone who has comprehended the Decapitation's Portrayal. However, I cannot provide you with resources. Even though I will tell you what you need, it will be on your shoulders as to how you get them.’’

'This white-haired freak is pretty much encouraging me to get into highway robbery....' As Fang Xing cursed to himself, he was carefully observing Bai Qianzhang's at the same time.

Although Bai Qianzhang was knowledgeable and wise, he would not always be able to guess what the boy had on his mind;however, seeing Fang Xing's eyes rolling about with excitement, he knew the boy had to be contemplating something shady again. His eyebrows pressed slightly together before he begrudgingly asked, ’’I wish to teach you the path of a Battle Cultivator. Are you willing?’’

Fang Xing's eyes immediately lit up. ’’Of course I am!’’

Bai Qianzhang smiled before his tone suddenly changed, ’’The path of a Battle Cultivator will be one that is a hundred times more difficult than the one an ordinary cultivator walks. Are you still willing?’’

As soon as Bai Qianzhang's gaze became as sharp as a sword and he took on an imposing manner as grand as the heavens, Fang Xing also grew serious. Throwing aside his usual cheekiness, he answered with resolve, ’’I am!’’

’’The path of a Battle Cultivator will see you sweat a hundred times more than an ordinary cultivator. Are you still willing?’’

Fang Xing replied without a second thought, ’’I am!’’

’’The path of a Battle Cultivator will make your life a hundred times more dangerous than that of an ordinary cultivator. Are you still willing?’’

This time, Fang Xing stood up and held his little fists into tight balls. ’’I am!’’

At last, Bai Qianzhang also slowly stood up and placed his palm atop Fang Xing's head, his voice gentle, ’’Well, since that is the case, I shall teach you.’’

NOTES

[1]True Samadhi Fire: 三昧真火 (san1 mei4 zhen1 huo2), with reference to the popular Chinese story <A Journey to the West>(西游记). It was a powerful skill used by the Red Boy (红孩儿) which was inextinguishable by water or smoke. Samadhi is the Sanskrit word for concentration.

[2]Monkey King: The lead character of <A Journey to the West>(西游记).



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