Chapter 64: Competition
Shi Mu’s gaze gradually narrowed.
He realized that his body didn’t show the slightest trace of exhaustion. His mind was relaxed; a cool and comfortable feeling lingered in his head.
He was convinced that some mysterious changes had taken place inside his mind; though, he couldn’t see them.
Suddenly, he thought about the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants that he had comprehended through meditation in the daytime. Something about this left him dumbstruck. There were some parts of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants that he hadn’t been able to understand while he had practiced it in the daytime. However, everything about the art had become crystal clear to him now; just with a little thought.
This stunning discovery froze him to the spot. However, an ecstatic expression crossed his face.
He hadn’t expected that the strange ‘Moon Swallowing Art’ would exhibit such a wonderful effect in the comprehension of any cultivation art through meditation. He would be benefited if this process continued like this. Moreover, it was easier for him to achieve the first layer of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants by drawing support from the Bone Tempering and Blood Strengthening Pills.
Shi Mu couldn’t repress his urge and stood up. Then, he quickly glanced around. He sneaked into his little stone house once he was sure that no one was around.
He then sat cross-legged on his stone bed and started to recall the details of the first stage of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants. He gulped down a Blood Strengthen Pill once he was sure that he had comprehended it. Then, he assumed a meditative posture. He slowly adjusted his breath as he started to induce the spiritual energy from his surroundings.
His breath gradually fainted; it seemed as if it had almost disappeared. Shi Mu felt that his body and mind were in their best condition. Therefore, he swallowed a Bone tempering Pill and started to practice the first stage of the art.
The spiritual energy started to stream and gather within his body like the twinkling stars gather in the sky. Then, the spiritual energy got integrated into his meridians under the guidance of an invisible force. Subsequently, it began to circulate within his body according to a certain pre-determined order.
The flow of the Real Qi within his meridians grew stronger with the passage of time. Initially, it was as thin as a hair. But now, it had become as thick as a needle. However, it got separated at a particular intersection of several meridians with a loud explosion. Then, a wisp of Real Qi – as thin as a strand of hair – entered a new meridian.
Shi Mu was delighted. He had made a few adjustments in the practice-method of this art since he had a sudden enlightenment on the evening of the previous day.
The adjustment that he had made wasn’t special, but it had transformed his slower speed of practice into a newer and faster one.
He succeeded in establishing a contact with his meridians after an entire day of practice. He would later on work on the absorption speed of the spiritual energy and increase it.
Shi Mu continued to practice the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants crazily in the following days; it seemed like he had received some stimulation. However, he spared some time to polish his Thirteen Series of Gale-Force Art and Stone-Breaking Fist.
He continued to sneak-out of his house on the moonlit nights. Then, he would proceed towards the open area in the woods to enter his dreamland. He continued to absorb the moonlight, and continued to compress the accumulated moonlight-essence in his mind with the help of ‘Moon Swallowing Art’.
The size of the crystal grain in Shi Mu’s mind had grown from the size of a rice grain to that of a bean in the last two months.
Shi Mu hadn’t yet figured-out the exact role of this crystal grain. However, he had been greatly benefited by it; it had enhanced the sensitivity of his thought power.
It took Shi Mu two months to attain the first stage of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants with the help of the Blood Strengthening and the Bone-Tempering Pills.
The Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants could increase the strength of one’s body. Shi Mu’s strength had been increased by almost one-third. He could elevate twice of his original strength with the support of his Real Qi. Moreover, the skin of his entire body had become quite tenacious. It could be said that an ordinary sword or spear wouldn’t be able to easily cut through his flesh if he continued with his practice.
Besides, he could wield three Stone-Breaking Fists or two cuts of the Thirteen Series of Gale Force Art at one fell swoop with the help of the Real Qi within his body.
Furthermore, he could reach the consummate stage of the Thirteen Series of Gale Force Art with the help of the Real Qi accumulated within his body. He could easily achieve eleven cuts at one breath now. Also, the might of his Stone-breaking Fist had been elevated. He was startled when he had tested his fist since he had been able to smash a huge megalith into small pieces.
Shi Mu believed that he could easily confront an intermediate Hou Tian warrior like the Fifth Master of the Jin family with his present strength.
But, he was left with only a few Bone Tempering and Blood Strengthening Pills now. So, he needed to purchase a few more.
Shi Mu took out a packet and turned it over. Several silver notes fell out of the packet.
Shi Mu was left with less than thirty thousand silvers by now. This money could last for just a fortnight when considered his current consumption for his practice.
The resources that needed to be consumed for the practice of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants were beyond the reach of an ordinary person. Shi Mu couldn’t have reached its first stage if he didn’t have his savings and the support of the Moon Swallowing Art.
Shi Mu smiled wryly. He didn’t have any other option but to proceed step-by-step. He needed to try and find some way to earn money in the Black Demon Sect.
He put away the silver notes. Then, he pushed-open the door and walked out.
There was a row of houses for new disciples in the vicinity of the thirteenth mountain peak. It was crowded to the bustling point at the moment.
The new disciples who had been injured by Qu Kun and his group had fully recovered. Most of them had become familiar with the Sect over the last two months.
The young disciples were inquisitive about the Black Demon Sect. So, they would loiter outside their houses after their practices ended; except for Shi Mu… who was always busy with his closed-door practice. The other disciples would linger in the valley and squares to understand the ambience of the Sect.
However, Shi Mu seldom left his house. He wasn’t even familiar with most of the new disciples… except for a few people.
Shi Mu turned along a street towards the Bluestone Plaza. Suddenly, he heard voice of shouting and cheering coming from the direction of another crossroad.
The loud noises seemed to be sourced from a huge crowd.
Shi Mu knitted his brows as he realized that there was a specially-designed open-arena in the direction of the thirteenth mountain that he once visited with Bai Shi.
It seemed that some people were competing in the arena.
This arena was specially established for new disciples like Shi Mu. So, it was obvious that the ongoing fight was between new disciples.
Shi Mu’s eyes flashed as he advanced towards the arena.
The ring was a 25-28 meters platform made up of green stone. It was few feet above the ground and was surrounded by a black metal guarding-fence.
Two disciples were fighting with each other in the ring; the tactical situation was very intense.
One of them was a young slim boy… who turned out to be Bai Shi; Shi Mu was familiar with him.
The other person was a petite young girl. She had short braids, and several silver bells were hanging from her clothes.
“It’s her…” Shi Mu was surprised.
This was the same girl who had revealed a strange blood-method to dodge Qu Kun’s punch on the day of their entry into the Sect. That incident had left a profound impression on Shi Mu.
Shi Mu and Bai Shi had later made some contacts with girl. Shi Mu remembered that her name was Lan Feng.
Both Bai Shi and Lan Feng were eminent new disciples. But, why were they fighting with each other?