After the awkward silence, Hei continued.
“Since Jingfei is a blue, we should come up with a cultivation method for her. The only problem is, Tianlan isn’t here.”
After being separated from Tianlan for a while, Hei realised how big of a factor he had been in their progress.
Now that they were without him, it was much more difficult to create custom cultivation techniques.
Bai had also been thinking about this.
“While it is a shame to be without Big Brother, there are still things we can do. For example, we can modify the elemental foundations series to work for those who have acknowledgement from the heavens.”
Hei had also thought of this. Even without Tianlan, they had already created an array of cultivation techniques for all spirit root combinations.
With this, they could simply modify them and give them to any new subordinates as a preliminary cultivation method.
After that, they could create a more specialised version for them once they had reunited with Tianlan.
This would allow them to collect subordinates without pause.
Hei added a point.
“We should also modify the techniques such that one can easily progress to the specialised versions.”
This was what Hei was thinking. The difference between them and everyone else was that they had created all of their cultivation methods in-house.
That meant that all of the Shao Clan’s cultivation methods had similarities that could be used to switch between them without having to abandon one’s cultivation.
This was a massive advantage over other organisations, who used cultivation methods from a wide variety of sources.
With this in mind, Hei planned to recruit a large number of non-blues to do unimportant tasks. They would all be cultivating the Shao Clan’s ‘core method’, which would simplify things.
The Fang Clan was already an example of this. Every single cultivator within the clan, other than a select few, were practising elemental foundations.
The Radiant Jade Sect would soon be following them.
In response to Hei’s words, Bai smiled.
“I had already thought of this, Brother. During this week, other than completing challenges, I have also been modifying the techniques. In fact, they are ready for testing right now.”
Hearing these words, Hei’s eyebrows twitched.
He groaned as he held his hand out, waiting for Bai to deliver the manuals.
When he felt the cold sensation of the paper, he shuddered.
After scanning through them, he practised them one by one.
To his delight, the methods were flawless. There was no need for modification, and thus, no pain.
He gave her a smile and a thumbs up.
“Good job, Little Bai.”
Over the years, Bai had gotten pretty good at modifying cultivation techniques. It especially helped that there were no new realms and that she was modifying techniques she had already created, so her accuracy was very high.
This didn’t do anything to prevent Hei from dreading the day they would be creating the fifth layer of Way of Essence.
He hoped it would be quite a while before he saw Tianlan again.
Since this particular issue was solved, Hei spread his spiritual perception and sent a message to Jingfei for her to return to their room.
It wasn’t too long before Jingfei appeared.
She was accompanied by Qiuyue and Fang Ren.
After getting permission to enter the room, the three walked in and stood in front of the table.
“You mentioned that you’ve reached a bottleneck in your cultivation. So, we’ve created these cultivation techniques for you. You should abandon your current cultivation and practice them instead.”
Hei didn’t bother to advertise the techniques first.
Jingfei stared at Hei with wide eyes.
Since when had reaching a bottleneck meant that one should abandon one’s entire cultivation, and practice another technique?
Wasn’t that a drastic solution to a simple problem?
Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance to practice them.
While the Shao Clan’s alchemy techniques and formation techniques may be profound, she had no clue what their cultivation techniques were like.
Sure, the four from the Shao Clan were very powerful. But powerful individuals did not necessarily mean a powerful cultivation technique.
Seeing that Jingfei had her doubts, Fang Ren spoke up.
“Senior Sister Jingfei, I think you should accept.”
Jingfei turned over to Fang Ren with a raised brow.
“Why would I do that?”
“Because almost the entire Fang Clan is now practising the techniques created by the Shao Clan. You saw our performance at the 5-sect summit yourself. It’s all thanks to them.”
Hearing these words, Jingfei recalled the events of the 5-sect summit. It was completely dominated by the Fang Clan.
There were very few names outside of the Fang Clan as one went from the top of the list down. Those being Shao Hei, Shao Bai, Shao Tianlan, Shao Mei, Wu Ning, and Ji Dian.
It was only after you had gotten past the first hundred or so, that other names would start to appear in numbers.
But still, it wasn’t enough to abandon her many years of accumulation.
Hei could guess what Jingfei was thinking. It was a common thought among people who were faced with abandoning their cultivation.
What of their countless years of experience? How would they justify starting a new?
But Hei had an answer for this.
“Sister Ren, why don’t you tell Jingfei how long it took for the average Fang Clan junior to regain their strength after practising our techniques.”
Fang Ren turned to Jingfei before answering.
“It was less than two years for most of us. And that’s if we’re talking about getting back to your previous cultivation realm. If it’s about strength, then it only took a few months.”
Jingfei was surprised by this response. Wasn’t this way too fast?
She turned to Hei and the others, who nodded their heads.
She struggled to make a decision and Qiuyue just looked at her as if she were crazy. Wasn’t this a no-brainer? Who would abandon their cultivation to try some wild technique they’ve never even heard of?
It had to be known that each person’s constitution was unique. And trying to switch cultivation techniques arbitrarily could be disastrous.
Just because it worked for the Fang Clan, didn’t mean it worked for everybody. It may have been that the Fang Clan’s techniques were already well aligned with the Shao Clan’s techniques.
And she was right. The only reason the Fang Clan trusted the childish sages, was because they had already experienced practising their modified techniques.
This let them gain confidence that the childish sages knew what they were doing. Which ended up paying off tremendously for them.
Jingfei also considered these things, and thus she responded.
“Can I have some time to think about this?”
Hei had decided to try something out.
He looked to Bai.
“Restrain Jingfei and Senior Sister Qiuyue for me.”
Bai wasted no time in activating her Marionette ability, completely restricting their movements.
Both Jingfei and Qiuyue were highly alert right now.
Even after clearing up the previous situation, this one was not easy to justify. They wondered what exactly Hei intended to do.
Hei stood up from his chair and walked over to Jingfei.
Jingfei seemed to be frightened, but it was much different from the previous situation.
Unable to speak, she could only watch as Hei did as he pleased.
Hei spoke three words. Three words that shook Jingfei to the core.
“You are unworthy.”
After these words, Jingfei didn’t even notice that Hei had plunged his hand into her chest and ripped out her spirit roots.
The only thing going through her mind was the thought that she was unworthy. Her existence itself an abomination.
Even after she had fallen unconscious, the thought repeated itself over and over again.
Seeing Jingfei fall unconscious, Qiuyue desperately tried to escape her restraints, but to no avail.
She never imagined a scenario like this could take place. Even all of the education in the sect never mentioned anything remotely similar.
She could only watch as Hei placed his hand into his own chest and closed his eyes.
This was Hei using Heavenly Bestowal on himself and absorbing Jingfei spirit roots.
After he had succeeded, he proceeded to modify them according to the methods they had created.
This meant he was removing the null element core and making various enhancements, all based on the assumption that whoever had the spirit roots also had acknowledgement from the Heavens.
After that was complete, he turned to Bai and had her wake Jingfei.
As Jingfei regained consciousness and looked at Hei, she felt like an exiled criminal facing her King.
She was unable to maintain eye contact.
Hei helped Jingfei, who was now on the floor, up to her knees. He wanted to help her stand, but she was unable to hold herself up.
As she was wallowing in despair, she heard three more words. Three words that rescued her from the darkness and pulled her to the light.
“You are worthy.”
After hearing his words, the way Jingfei saw Hei changed completely. She was now looking to her King, who had acknowledged her presence, and was rewarding her.
She was even able to see his aura as an envoy of the heavens.
Freed from Bai’s restraints, she was now able to move, but she remained still as Hei thrust his hand into his own chest, and pulled out a glowing sphere, before placing it in her own.
As Hei found his way to her heart, she didn’t feel any pain at all. The only thing she felt was acceptance. She had been accepted by the heavens themselves.
When Hei withdrew his hand, Jingfei felt she had lost something important, and even though she felt she was overstepping her bounds, she couldn’t help reaching out and grabbing it.
At this point, Qiuyue was wondering what had just happened.
She couldn’t tell if this was an illusion or reality.
Everyone in the room looked at Jingfei with strange expressions. The way she was clutching Hei’s hand as if it was her most precious treasure was odd, to say the least.
Hei also found this strange, but it just so happened that he needed to have physical contact with Jingfei for the next part.
He turned to Bai and Mei.
“Mei, take over in Senior Sister Qiuyue’s restraint. Little Bai, it’s time for vacuum cultivation.”
Bai’s eyes shined brightly upon hearing Hei’s words. Vacuum cultivation was a technique Hei had created to help Xiulan. It could only be performed when either Hei or Tianlan paired with another.
This was because they were the only ones who could see a cultivator’s cultivation paths.
The way Hei saw cultivation paths was much different from the way Tianlan saw them. Tianlan was able to see them plainly with his eyes, but Hei had to be in physical contact with the cultivator.
When Hei was in physical contact with cultivator, even their own branded Qi would betray them and tell Hei their secrets.
Mei took over in restraining Qiuyue, and Bai stepped behind Jingfei. She placed her hand on Jingfei’s back and began the process.
Vacuum cultivation involved creating an area of low concentration in another cultivator by extracting any null element Qi from within their bodies. This would encourage the elemental Qi to enter their bodies.
With Bai providing the supply of Qi, Hei used her Marionette ability to hijack Jingfei’s cultivation paths. He then began circulating the appropriate elemental foundations version for her spirit roots.
It was only a few seconds later that Jingfei had reached the peak of the body refining realm.
This was because Bai was a transcendent realm cultivator.
That meant Jingfei’s cultivation speed was that of a transcendent realm cultivator, while still in the body refining realm.
At this point, Hei and Bai could no longer cultivate for Jingfei. She had to break through to the externalisation realm on her own, as it involved creating a relationship with the natural Qi.
Seeing that Jingfei was still in a daze, Hei decided to snap her out of it.
“Uh… It’s time to break through to the externalisation realm now, Jingfei.”
Hei used his Qi to transfer the information to Jingfei, so that Qiuyue couldn’t hear it.
After having heard Hei’s words, Jingfei immediately complied. In no time at all, she had broken through to the externalisation realm.
It was only a few minutes later that she was at the peak of the externalisation realm.
Again, Hei provided her with the method to break through.
After she broke through, Bai and Hei stopped assisting her. At this point, she should have regained all of her previous abilities, if a little weaker.
At least she wouldn’t be walking around feeling blind after having lost her spiritual perception.
After they were finished, Bai and Mei went back to the table.
But Hei’s hand was still being clutched by Jingfei.
After raising a brow, he yanked it away and went back to the table.
After Hei pulled his hand away, Jingfei could no longer see his aura. It was as if everything had been an illusion. But as she inspected her own body, she could see that there were various changes.
Her spirit roots were much different from before, and her strength was reduced. But she could tell that she had a very strong foundation.
Qiuyue went up to Jingfei and helped her up.
“What did they do to you?”
She wasn’t as alert right now because she could see that Jingfei was still all right, but she still wanted to know.
“From what I can see, they forcefully made me abandon my cultivation and then rose it back up to the internalisation realm using their techniques.”
Hei had already instructed her not to say anything about the spirit roots.
Hearing her words, Qiuyue’s eyes opened wide.
Since when had people been able to forcefully reset someone else’s cultivation? And then to make them cultivate a method against their will on top of that…
While Qiuyue and Jingfei were discussing, Hei was also discussing with Bai and Mei.
“It seems to have been a success, Brother.”
“Mm. It worked better than I expected.”
Hei was gripping his arm under the table. It was shaking much worse than when he first used Heavenly Revocation. Which was understandable, because he had used Heavenly Revocation and Heavenly Bestowal twice each.
But the results were worth the inconvenience.
Vacuum cultivation would be a very useful tool when trying to have new subordinates catch up with experienced ones.
And if they wanted extreme speed, then Hei would take Bai’s role and Tianlan would take Hei’s role.
This would allow them to take advantage of Hei’s freakish cultivation speed.
The only disadvantage was the extremely conspicuous nature of Hei’s intentional cultivation.
The three continued to discuss vacuum cultivation until Jingfei walked up to the table and bowed.
“Thank you for helping me, Young Master Hei and Young Mistresses Bai and Mei.”