Su Yuying sat on her balcony waiting for her father to come home, but he wasn’t as prompt as her business partner was.
Of course, this wasn’t her father’s fault, he would come home around the same time every day.
It wasn’t until a few hours later that she saw the familiar figure of her father entering the vicinity of their residence.
“Welcome home, Father.”
Seeing her on the balcony, her father jumped up and landed in front of her, taking a seat opposite her at the table.
“And how is my little princess today?”
“I’m doing quite well.”
Hearing this, her father’s eyebrows shot up and a smile crept up on his face.
“Oh? Not your usual ‘bored out of my mind’? Something good must have happened today.”
He said this as he handed her a gift bag.
She accepted the gift bag with a smile on her face.
Ever since they had come to this town, her father would give her things like this every day.
She knew he was feeling guilty about bringing her away from their home on his business trip, so he would always try to make it up to her through these gifts.
That was where all her make up supplies came from. It seemed her father thought she liked makeup a lot, but that wasn’t the case.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that she would always show excitement when he brought her these things. She wanted him to be able to conduct his business without worrying about her too much.
After thinking about these things, she responded.
“Mm. Something very good indeed.”
She responded with a bright smile.
“A business opportunity.”
“A business opportunity?”
She nodded her head.
Her father’s smile faded away after she confirmed.
“Ying’er, I already told you about this.”
She stopped her father from continuing and spoke with a smile.
“Hehe. Who said it was for you, Father? I found a business opportunity for myself.”
“I met somebody today. Hmm. Maybe met isn’t the right word, but we did become acquainted. I had just come back from a stroll around the town when I found…”
She began to describe the events that had occurred earlier.
When her father heard the part about someone being able to observe her in her bathroom, he slammed his fist on the table and demanded that she tell him who it was.
“If I don’t grind that fellow into dust-”
She casually waved her hand, telling her father to calm down.
“No, no, no, Father. It was all an accident. It wasn’t anything malicious.”
“Ying’er, you’re too naïve. It’s never an accident. Tell me who it was.”
She decided to ignore her father and move on.
“So anyway, after we cleared that up, the person came over here and apologised very sincerely. We even ended up striking a deal over these new movie jades that he created. Now I’m just waiting for him to finish the design before we can proceed.”
Her father was still angry about the situation, but he was able to focus on the current topic.
“You said you can see the other person and also talk to them?”
“And the picture moves? Like a movie jade?”
Her father was silent for a while before he responded.
“I see. That really is a good opportunity.”
“Isn’t it? And that’s not even the best part. Guess how much I got out of it?”
“If your partner knows the potential of this product, then maybe around 25-30 per cent?”
“50 per cent.”
“Well, don’t worry about it I’m sure you’ll… Hmm? What did you say?”
“50 per cent.”
“50 per cent?”
“50 per cent.”
He had to blink a few times before it sank in. This number was very nice.
But it was also suspicious.
“Why 50 per cent?”
“Two words; fat sheep.”
These words were enough to explain away any unexpectedly favourable business situation. As long as a fat sheep was involved, anything could happen, especially if they were young.
After shaking his head at his daughter’s good fortune, he discovered something foreign.
He was very well acquainted with his daughter’s possessions because he was the one who purchased all of them. Seeing something he wasn’t familiar with, he was curious to find out its origins.
“What’s that over there?”
He pointed to a certain object.
“That? That’s just the cultivation technique my business partner gave me. It’s nothing much.”
“Oh? What’s it called?”
She looked at it with disdain in her eyes.
“You’ve probably heard about it, Father. It’s called earth element foundations.”
“With such a name…”
“I know, right?”
“Funnily enough, I haven’t heard of it. Let me take a look.”
Her father stood up to go over and take a look at the cultivation technique, but she remembered her business partner’s words, and awkwardly stopped him.
“Ah, Father. He said I’m not supposed to let anyone else see it…”
“Even your father?”
She laughed awkwardly.
“I’m pretty sure even you aren’t allowed to see it, so…”
She could tell that her father found the situation strange.
“Didn’t you always tell me to honour my premises? Even if I don’t cultivate the technique, I still won’t let anyone else see it. There’s no point in breaking the goodwill between me and my partner, is there?”
“So, this fellow peeped at you while you were bathing, and you don’t have the slightest intention to get him back at all? Isn’t there a little part of you that wants revenge? You could get it by showing me this technique. What do you say?”
Her eyes narrowed as she looked at her father.
“Father. What are you telling me to do? You wouldn’t mind if I told mother about this, would you?”
She saw her father’s body jolt in response to her words.
“A test! It was just a test! I knew my daughter would be honourable in her conduct. Your mother and I raised a wonderful little princess.”
They both laughed, but then her father’s expression became serious.
“So, tell me what this fellow looked like.”
“He is a strange fellow. He was dressed all in black, revealing none of his skin. And instead of showing his face, he had a metal mask. He was also a short little guy and had a young sounding voice.”
It was a while before her father responded.
“You should cultivate that technique.”
“Eh? We’ve been down this road so many times, Father. I’m okay with how things are.”
She didn’t want to see her father raise his hopes only for them to be dashed again. It was an even worse feeling for her to see her father that way than to experience it herself.
Her father shook his head.
“No. This is why we came here.”
“What do you mean?”
“I never told you, but the business I had here, I was actually trying to find someone, and I’m fairly confident that the person you met today is the very same person I was looking for.”
“What are you saying?”
She was thoroughly confused right now.
“I came here for you. This was the last attempt. This cultivation technique is the reason we are here.”
She raised a brow.
Needless to say, this was surprising. How would her father know that someone was going to appear? They had been here for quite a while already.
And on top of that, how would he know that the other person would have a solution to her problem?
Seeing her father’s serious expression, she decided to give it one last try. After this, she would never again put herself and her father through this cycle of hope and despair.
She opened the book to see what it was about, and the very first section was shocking to the extreme.
Before one cultivated this technique, they needed to change their spirit roots on a fundamental level.
First of all, changing spirit roots wasn’t even a concept. Everyone knew that one was born with the same spirit roots they would have all throughout their life.
Sure, there were various rumours about how there were heaven shattering treasures that could change one’s spirit roots and alter their destiny, but all of these rumours were about the middle continent.
Information about the middle continent had to be taken with a grain of salt. Any old man could claim he was a powerful cultivator from the middle continent who saw wondrous things, but nobody would believe it.
Most of it was turned into bedtime stories to give young children the motivation to continue in their cultivation, which most found to be very boring.
She also now knew part of the reason this technique wasn’t supposed to be shown to others. It was written clearly that those who weren’t compatible with it would only cripple themselves by practising it.
There would inevitably be those who risked it and ended up besmirching the reputation of the technique once they failed.
If Yuying hadn’t already given up on cultivation, she would never try such a risky technique.
After reading through the perplexing first section, she went into the content about the circulation of Qi, and the concepts held within the technique itself.
If she had to summarise what she had seen in one word, she would say it was… simple.
She had seen so many profound techniques that her father had brought to her and knew well how to interpret the language, but this one was easy enough that a small child would be able to comprehend it, and all the way up to the transcendent realm, no less.
There was nothing complicated in the words, but when they were put together, they did have some substance. To say the least, it was an interesting way of delivering information.
One thing of note was that each of the realms within this cultivation technique had 15 layers. This broke the convention of the nine-layer system that almost every other cultivation technique used.
At least that was the case for every cultivation technique she had seen.
The span of topics that were covered in the technique was quite small. Compared to the techniques her father had shown her, it seemed quite closed minded.
Other than a bit of content on yin and yang, which barely touched the surface, it was all vanilla. Nothing fancy about the techniques, nothing to display in front of an audience, it was just plain and simple cultivation.
She now understood why it was called foundations.
It was actually quite an appropriate name to give to this particular cultivation technique.
What it aimed to do was to build the most stable foundation possible, focusing solely on the fundamental aspects of cultivation and how the soul and the spirit roots interact with natural Qi.
This meant, if one were looking for unique abilities or something to set them apart from the rest, this would be the wrong technique to practice.
What made it interesting, was the fact that the technique itself was designed to be modular. At any point, new features could be added, meaning each individual cultivator could walk down a different path but still be on the road of elemental foundations.
This meant that if anything was lacking, as long as the cultivator had the necessary compression ability, they would be able to implement it, building upon that stable foundation.
As she reached the end of the book, she saw that this particular topic had been addressed, and addressed in a shocking fashion.
It was written that the technique was not in its complete form and that those who wished to walk further on the path of elemental foundations needed to join the new pillar that would be establishing itself in the lower continent.
At first, she assumed this technique must have been an ancient one from a bygone era. That was because, in the past few hundred years, there hadn’t been a single change to 3 pillars of the lower continent.
No new pillars had risen, and no old pillars had fallen.
But as she read further, even this was clarified.
Apparently, aside from the currently standing pillars, there was supposedly going to be a new one rising in the near future.
Its name wasn’t mentioned, but it didn’t need to be mentioned. If such a thing were to really occur, the entire lower continent would be shaken, and there would be very few people who would remain unaware of the fact.
After having read the entire contents of the book, she prepared herself to practice the technique.
First, she had to abandon her current cultivation, which was a process she was all-too-familiar with. It was a big source of pain for her to do this once more.
But since her father had put all of this effort into finding this technique for her, she decided to put her all into it.
After abandoning her cultivation, she began practising the new technique, and before she knew it, she was entranced by the difference between this cultivation technique and others.
After having practised the first section of the technique, her spirit roots now lacked a null element core, so she wondered how she even attracted the Qi in the first place.
She felt it was almost as if the Qi wanted to be cultivated by her rather than her having to cultivate it.
As easy as breathing.
After a single night, she had reached the peak of the body refining realm once more. But this time, having reached the 15th layer, she clearly felt that she was far more powerful than she had ever been before.
At this point, whether she was able to break through to the externalisation realm or not, this had not been a waste of time.
Having reached this point, she once again had to face the breakthrough to the externalisation realm.
She was quite nervous as she had grown to dread this experience. Every time she attempted this breakthrough, it became harder and harder. Almost as if she had developed a bad reputation among the Qi.
After receiving some encouragement from her father, she decided to go for it.
She tried using the method of breakthrough that the technique described.
This was a different method of breaking through than she had ever seen. Instead of colliding with or smothering the Qi, or using other direct-contact methods, it had the cultivator follow the Qi, to go with the flow.
This was a very unique concept and she wondered how one would be able to extract information this way. Usually, one needed to use forceful means to obtain the information.
In this method, it was almost as if they were walking side-by-side with the Qi and having a casual conversation.
To her dismay, the same issue that had always occurred happened again. No matter what she did, the Qi wouldn’t cooperate with her. It was as if it was ignoring her for having wronged it.
Just as she was about to give up, she felt a massive influx of information. It was overwhelming to the point that her vision turned white.
Initially, she was afraid she had caused damage to her vision, but things gradually became clearer.
Not only had her vision returned to normal, but she was now able to sense the things around her.
It wasn’t very clear, but she was able to feel everything in her room, which was shocking.
Having realised what had happened, she turned to her father with tears in her eyes.
“Daddy! I can see!”
“You can see?”
At first, her father didn’t know what she was talking about, but he quickly caught on.
His eyes opened wide.
“You broke through?”
She nodded her head and smiled from the depths of her heart. She didn’t know what to do with these joyous feelings she was having.
Tears also welled up in her father’s eyes.
After all of his searching, he had finally found a way for his daughter.
The two hugged each other tightly for a long while.
After a moment, her father noticed something strange.
“If you’ve broken through to the externalisation realm, where is your tribulation?”
“That’s the thing, there is none! This technique is full of surprises.”
Hearing this, her father’s expression became serious.
He gripped her shoulders tightly, so tightly that they began to hurt.
“Listen to me, Ying’er. Never tell anyone about this. Never let anyone see you break through.”
She wasn’t sure why her father had gotten so serious, but she nodded her head. The technique has also mentioned this, but she ignored it, thinking she was going to fail her breakthrough.
“Mm. Cultivate diligently. Maybe one day you’ll be able to follow in your mother’s footsteps like you’ve always wanted.”
Her father patted her shoulders twice before leaving her room with a heavy expression on his face, seemingly in deep thought.
Unable to contain her excitement, she immediately grabbed the jade bottle her business partner had given her and placed a drop of the liquid inside it onto the movie jade.