“Sister Qin, do you know any of the popular songs from Nandu? I mean songs people like to sing. You can sing it and I’ll dance.” Ye Kong asked since he wanted to find a piece of music that could push the Shadow Dance to its limits.
After thinking for a long time, Lu Qin said, “How about the cabbage song?”
Ye Kong almost fainted, “It was me who taught you the cabbage song. I want you to sing songs from Cangnan.”
Cangnan was extremely lacking in entertainment. It was impossible for the ordinary people to enjoy a luxury like music. Lu Qin was so stressed while thinking that she almost burst into tears.
After some time passed, she said, “Let me sing a laundry song for you. I heard it from some women while they were washing clothes by the well.”
The girl is out with the laundry,
The boy is out making a living,
Go home and mend the crotch.”
“Go home and mend the crotch?” Ye Kong blurted out. “The laundry song is totally a dirty folk song. Those women are ridiculous.”
“I really don’t know any other songs. You taught me all the songs I know.”
Ye Kong had no choice but to shake his head and give up. Cangnan was a tragic place if a poor fourteen-year-old girl couldn’t even sing a song. While they were talking, the sound of his mom sharpening scissors filled the air, interrupting Ye Kong’s thoughts.
“Forget it, Qin. I’ll teach you how to paint talismans.”
Ye Kong turned to go back to the house with Lu Qin, but he stopped suddenly. Something seemed to come to him as he listened to the sound of the scissors being sharpened. The sound seemed to create subtle changes in his Qihai. It seemed like he was about to break through to the next layer.
‘I see! It’s rhythm. It’s rhythm that determines the effect of the Shadow Dance. Different rhythms will lead to different dances, and the exact same Shadow Dance has different results when following different rhythms. It’s not important whether the Shadow Dance is powerful or weak. The most important factor is whether it can keep pace with the rhythm.’
“Mother, Sister Qin, I’m going back to my room. Don’t disturb me no matter what happens!”
Ye Kong rushed back to his room and locked the door. He sat down on the bed with his legs crossed. He started meditating and guided the immortal Qi throughout his body.
The process of immortal cultivating was also the process of gaining enlightenment. Generally speaking, every cultivator relied on the absorption of Qi from the atmosphere, after circulating it through the body to refine it, it became immortal Qi. When enough immortal Qi was stored inside the Qihai, it would have a qualitive change and the cultivator would breakthrough to the next layer.
What Ye Kong experienced today was an epiphany. His sudden understanding of heaven’s philosophy drove his immortal Qi to have qualitative change. It was an extremely slow process to cultivate by refining Qi according to the Five Elements to Immortality. If not for his sudden epiphany, it would be impossible for him to enter the second layer of Qi refining without cultivating for at least another two years.
Ye Kong had no idea how long it took him to wake up from his meditative state. To advance from the first layer to the second layer of Qi refining required him to refine a large amount of immortal Qi. He realized that it had been five days. With his advancement his Qihai had expanded and his speed of refining Qi had also increased.
“It took me two years to reach the second layer of Qi refining. Is that considered fast or slow?” Ye Kong said, opening his eyes. It was midnight. The moonlight shone on the table through the torn window lattice.
“Mother might be worried,” Ye Kong got out of bed quickly, opened the door and quickly stepped into the next room.
Chen Jiuniang sat beside the bed. She had fallen asleep without taking off her shoes. The little oil lamp had almost burned out so only a green bean sized light was lingering.
“Why didn’t you go to bed? Were you that worried about me?”
Ye Kong’s heart ached. He guessed that Chen Jiuniang had been sleeping like this for the past five days. He suddenly knew why cultivators would go deep into the mountains or forests to do closed-door cultivation. Some were afraid of being disturbed, and the others were afraid of these kinds of unwarranted worries.
In the future, his cultivating and meditation time would be much longer. How would he comfort his mother then? How could he make her stop worrying about him? If he left home, who would take care of her?
“The heavens are truly cruel. No wonder it is said that when someone steps on the path of cultivation, all feelings must be cut off, so that one can concentrate on cultivation without being disturbed.”
Although Ye Kong understood this, he would rather practice slowly than leave his mother behind. He gently took off her shoes, laid her down on the bed, and covered her with a quilt. Ye Kong blew out the candle before grabbing several dried steamed buns and going back to his room.
Ye Kong ate the steamed buns with a blank stare. Although he would like to cultivate quickly, there were still the problems in front of him. First of all, the Qi in Nandu city was very thin. All the cultivation sects and families were located near famous mountains and rivers because there were Qi veins in abundance there.
The quantity and activity of Qi was directly related to the speed of cultivation. At present, as he was at the second layer of Qi refining, Nandu city was barely acceptable. When he entered the third and fourth level of Qi refining, he would have to leave home and find a better place to cultivate.
Another problem was that he couldn’t be disturbed while in meditation. Most cultivators liked to find a cave and live alone. Some of them even had to be protected by others when they were breaking through.
It was very dangerous to cultivate like Ye Kong. If anyone had bothered him during these five days, he would have failed to break through and he could also have been badly injured. The greater his strength became, the more serious the potential injury.
“It seems that I will have to leave here sooner or later.”
Ye Kong took a deep breath. He didn’t want to leave Chen Jiuniang, but he had to leave eventually. Although he decided to support the Lu brothers in gaining some power in Nandu city so they could take care of his mother, she would be very lonely after he left.
“It would be fine for Sister Qin to accompany my mother,” Ye Kong murmured.
He was not a little boy anymore. He had a lot of experience from chasing girls on Earth, so he knew that Lu Qin was fond of him. He thought he would be really selfish if he married Lu Qin just so she could accompany his mother. If he left, wasn’t Lu Qin going to basically be a widow? Maybe for the people of Cangnan these problems weren’t problems at all. They just lived a comfortable and carefree life without caring about what others thought.
“I’m not a native of Cangnan after all.”
After eating the steamed buns, Ye Kong sighed. He sat on the quilt with his legs crossed again. At least, he had successfully broken through to the second layer of Qi refining. Would the Collection of Spells open a new page?
He was a little excited and also a little nervous. After reaching the first layer of Qi refining, he had opened all the pages related to paper talismans. If he could open the spiritual talismans this time, that would be great. Spiritual talismans were the most effective weapons in Cangnan. Ye Kong couldn’t use a single magic technique, but that wouldn’t be a problem at all if he had spiritual talismans.
‘Spiritual talismans! They’re open!’
Looking at the first three spiritual talismans, a thrill surged through him. He could barely stop himself from laughing, “I will never fear anyone again.”
The fireball talisman: casts a low level fireball spell which will unleash a fist-sized fireball with a long lasting flame.
The earth spear talisman: releases a low level earth spear spell which will create sharp earth spear from the ground. It’s powerful and hard to evade.
The golden light talisman: a low level golden light talisman can be used for defense. As long as the talisman is active, the user’s body will be covered by the golden light spell and can defend against attacks from swords and spears. Other spells at the same level can’t break the defense of this spell, and the duration is determined by the power of the user.
“Shit! They’re fantastic!”
Ye Kong was not happy for long because he soon found that spiritual talismans were not so easy to make.
Spiritual talismans are written with immortal Qi and can be divided into low grade, middle grade, upper grade and top grade, and each grade can be divided into low, mid and high level.
Spiritual talismans are classified by effect. The different types were defense, attack and auxiliary talismans. The power of an attack talisman is fixed, regardless of the strength of the user. When using a defensive talisman, the defensive effect is also fixed, but the duration is related to the power of the user. It was advised to always use a combination of attack and defense talismans. The auxiliary type, mainly includes all kinds of evasion and acceleration talismans, or any with other special effects…
The level of the spiritual talismans must be matched by the corresponding talisman paper, which means the low level spiritual talismans need the low level talisman paper while the upper level talisman paper can make the upper level spiritual talismans. To make the low level low grade spiritual talismans, take a piece of corresponding talisman paper and unfold it. Using a spiritual talisman brush and the juice of a low level low grade spiritual plant (or the blood of a low level low grade spiritual beast), release the corresponding type of immortal Qi depending on the type of talisman. Use the immortal Qi to paint as shown in the figure.
When making the talisman, the mind needs to be free of distractions, and the immortal Qi must be infused stably and evenly.
Ye Kong couldn’t stand to read any more. Where could he find the low level spiritual talisman paper, the spiritual talisman brush and the blood of the low level low grade spiritual beasts?
Liu Changqing suffered a lot when they fought a wounded iron bull, and it was only an unlevelled spiritual beast. If he tried to kill a low level low grade spiritual beast, it was almost the same as committing suicide.
“It seems that I can’t make any spiritual talismans for the time being. Maybe I can buy these materials when I go to the cultivator market later.”
Since it was impossible to make a spiritual talisman for the time being, it was better to get familiar with the pattern of spiritual talismans first. It would be good for the success rate of spiritual talisman making later.
Ye Kong looked at the three kinds of spiritual talismans and couldn’t help but marvel. The drawing method of spiritual talismans was totally different from that of paper talismans. Even their structure was totally different.
The spiritual talisman was simply a square, without any head, heart or foot. The complicated square was connected by numerous strokes and lines. He couldn’t make out what kind of figures they were, and they had nothing to do with words.
Ye Kong thought that comparing them to a circuit board was very accurate since some strokes were like paths, and some strokes were like closed circuits. It was very complex and cumbersome. Immortal Qi flowed through them like electric currents, which would inevitably produce powerful effects when it was used.
It seemed that the spiritual talismans could not be changed at will because they contained profound and complex laws. They must have been created by a cultivation civilization far more advanced than that of Earth and Cangnan.