Bai was surprised. Why would her hair change colour all of a sudden?
She held a section and brought it to the front of her face.
Sure enough, it was white.
“What is this?”
She turned to her brothers.
“Don’t look at me.”
Tianlan also had no idea what was happening.
“Well… I’ve noticed a pattern.”
Hei spoke up at this point. He had remembered something.
“What is it?”
Tianlan and Bai were interested.
“When Tianlan was three years old, his eyes became creepy.”
“When I was three years old, my stealth ability activated…”
Bai seemed to know what he was getting at.
“And now you’re three years old, and this happens.”
The two were lost for words. It truly did seem that at three years of age, they all underwent some strange transformation.
“If it’s like that…”
“There’s probably nothing to worry about, right?”
There was a slight pause before Tianlan brought the conversation back to the previous topic.
“So, you said brother Hei’s spirit is converting Qi on its own?”
“Yes. I read some books in the library and they claim that spirit roots are a part of the spirit, actually it was referred to as the soul. There wasn’t much information on the distinction between the two. Anyway, spirit roots are supposedly part of the soul that has been transformed to perform the task of interacting with natural Qi.”
Hei had also seen this information.
“It is the soul that is responsible for drawing Qi into the body, which is what the null element core does. But as you know, natural Qi is incompatible with the human body, so it needs to be branded by the spirit roots before it can be assimilated.”
The two nodded. Xiulan lost interest at some point and was at her usual spot.
“If that’s the case, the soul already has the necessary traits for the conversion of Qi, it’s just that it would take a lot of control, such that it’s almost infeasible. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be people like my two brothers who supposedly can’t cultivate.”
The two nodded in agreement.
“But Brother has proven that there is another way. A way that requires assistance from the natural Qi itself.”
“Wait. How do we know that he is getting assistance from the natural Qi?”
Tianlan was doubtful of this point.
“We know this because he doesn’t intentionally cultivate. The way you described it, it’s as if the natural Qi wants to be assimilated by him.”
“This… It really does look that way.”
“I’m guessing that this is the ‘high affinity with the world’s energy source’ Brother mentioned.”
“Sounds about right.”
Hei was in agreement. He had asked Crystalia for this for the reason of making it easier to acquire power. He didn’t expect it to give him passive growth.
“Given that, we can deduce that Brother has a cultivation path that does not defy but instead cooperates with the heavens. It may be the very essence of cultivation.”
“And it would explain why he didn’t experience any kind of tribulation.”
Tianlan stepped in. He was also wondering how Hei had gained such strength without tribulation.
“Not quite. You said yourself that the externalisation realm’s main identifier, is being able to communicate with Qi in order to sense your surroundings, correct?”
“Then how do you explain Brother’s situation from earlier. If he could sense his surroundings would he have been beaten to such a state?”
“This… Come to think of it, you are so strong. How did you even get hurt?”
Tianlan turned a doubtful gaze to Hei. Surely he could have slapped them away like flies.
Hei replied awkwardly.
“I thought we were playing a game… All of a sudden they started attacking me from behind and I didn’t know I had the strength to resist. If I did, do you think I would have just let them hit me?”
As Hei said this, he remembered what happened during the incident.
“Hm. Tianlan. I want you to punch me as hard as you can.”
“Eh? What’s this? Why would…”
“Just do it. I want to see something.”
Tianlan said this, but he stood up straight away. He didn’t seem reluctant at all as he immediately attacked.
‘Hm. The same thing.’
Hei was looking at a slow-motion fist.
‘Is this the danger sensing ability? Does that mean it only warns me of things right in front of my face? That’s kind of useless. Who would launch a sneak attack from the front anyway?’
As Tianlan’s fist slowly approached, Hei casually caught it with his palm.
“Was that really your full force?”
“This… Yes, it was.”
“This… Alright. This time I’ll turn around. Launch another one.”
Hei turned around and shortly after.
“Ah! Darn it, you could have gone a little easy!”
Hei was sent forward by a heavy hit to his back. It was quite painful.
“You said to use full force.”
“So if I said to kill me, you would just do it?”
“That wasn’t a no, Tianlan.”
Hei took a few steps back.
“Hey, you asked for it. Can I be blamed for trying to fulfil your request to the best of my ability?”
“Krch. One more time.”
Hei turned around, but this time he clenched his back muscles.
“Eh? Why is your body so tough?”
Tianlan was rubbing his fist.
Hei returned to the two. This time he didn’t feel any pain whatsoever, but he was still sent forward due to not countering the force, and he still didn’t have any awareness that he was in danger.
“It looks like I’m defenceless when I can’t see the attack coming. I would have to constantly clench my muscles to mitigate the damage.”
Hei wasn’t too fond of this idea. Even though he didn’t get tired, to always be in a state of stress wouldn’t be too pleasant.
‘Looks like I need to gain spiritual awareness. Externalisation realm eh?’
“Mm. As we can see, Brother cannot sense detailed information about his surroundings without his eyes. This shows that he isn’t in the externalisation realm as you have described it.”
“Mm. Then this is groundbreaking. To have such strength in the body refining realm, I’ve never heard of it before.”
Tianlan had no choice but to agree. He was now wondering how Hei was able to obtain such strength as a body refiner.
“Actually, there is apparently a clan of giants in the northern continent who have similar strength. They were described as physique cultivators who could contend with cultivators up to two realms above them.”
“Ah. Looks like I need to read more.”
“That won’t be necessary, Little Bai here is our walking library. She remembers everything she reads. It’s quite impressive.”
Hei said this as he rubbed Bai’s head.
“You shouldn’t say such things, Brother.”
Bai hid her face in her hands.
“Hehe. No need to be shy. One day you shall be known the world over as the strongest.”
“Wait a minute! I thought I was going to be the strongest.”
Tianlan protested. He was first in line.
Hei turned to him with a disgusted face.
“Eh? You over the adorable Little Bai? Are you out of your mind?”
“This… I’ll have you know that I’m quite adorable myself.”
“Eh? In your dreams. What you are is quite conceited. Have you ever heard Little Bai praise herself? You need to learn some humility.”
“You! You’re just mad because no one in this world will ever call you adorable.”
Hei was about to refute, but now that he thought about it… Maybe it was true…
Tianlan had a triumphant air. Victories over Hei were hard to come by, so he made sure to enjoy each one to the fullest.
“Now that you mention cultivation without tribulation, it brings to mind a story I read a while ago.”
After having the attention off of her for a while, Bai regained her composure.
Hei asked. If it was a while ago, it should have been in the books he had read with her. He didn’t recall seeing any such information.
“Mm. It was in one of those children’s books.”
Hei dropped his fist onto his palm in realisation. If it was in the children’s books then he wouldn’t have come across it. He had no interest in fairy tales.
“Mm. It mentioned a group of people called the envoys of the heavens.”
Hei was stunned by the familiar words. He recalled the events that happened on the day of his birth.
“Envoys of the heavens?”
“Yes. According to the story, they would go around representing the heavens and teaching a way of cultivation that sought permission and assistance from the heavens. These cultivators were extremely powerful and didn’t face tribulation.”
“Oh right. I also read those.”
Tianlan recalled reading similar books a long time ago.
“Mm. That’s right. My mother would also read me those stories when I was a child.”
Xiulan stepped in all of a sudden.
“Oh? So what happened to them?”
Hei was interested now. It may have been a children’s story to them, but to him, it was a clue.
“They were too powerful for their own good. Given the nature of their cultivation techniques, not everyone could cultivate them, one required acknowledgement from the heavens. This lead to jealousy and fear from those who couldn’t practise them, so they banded together to eliminate the young generation of envoys who couldn’t yet defend themselves. They then chased the experts down one by one, eventually cutting off their lineage.”
“… What kind of children’s story is that?”
Hei was confused. The massacre of an entire people was made into a children’s story?
“I don’t really know, but it was interesting. Its purpose may have been to teach children to not stand out too much. A tall tree bearing the brunt of the wind and whatnot.”
“Anyway, no one believes in the envoys of the heavens.”
Tianlan stepped in.
“Yes, it’s just a bedtime story. My father said that if such a thing were to actually have happened, the heavens would have retaliated.”
Xiulan added her input as well.
Xiulan, Tianlan and Bai nodded in agreement.
“Well… It seems like the retaliation has come…”
Hei said with an awkward face. If what he was thinking was correct, he had been burdened with an unreasonable task.
All three were confused by Hei’s words.
“I am an envoy of the heavens.”
“What? Don’t be ridiculous, Brother.”
Bai wasn’t having any of it.
“Im not. On the day of my birth, the earth shook… You should remember it Mumu and also Tianlan.”
The two nodded in agreement.
“At that time I heard a voice and it told me to reclaim what was stolen. It called me Envoy Of The Heavens….”
“Take back what was stolen?”
Bai was now less sceptical. She saw the seriousness on Hei’s face and the heaviness in his voice that made it sound like he had a great burden to carry.
“I also don’t know what the voice was asking for specifically, but I’m starting to have an idea.”
“I think it was referring to the natural Qi that has been branded by the spirit roots of those who weren’t acknowledged…”
“Sigh. So you came to the same conclusion? That makes the whole world my enemy. Sigh. How am I even supposed to take it back?”
Hei had no particular obligation to comply with the voice, but he wanted to. It was an odd feeling like it was what he came here to do.
“I don’t know, but if you were given this request, it is probable that you are able to accomplish it. The heavens wouldn’t give this task to just anybody would they?”
Bai tried to console her brother.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. But now my question is, why would the elimination of the envoys of the heavens be made into a children’s book?”
“This… I think they did it to stifle future envoys. Judging from you, being an envoy of the heavens is not hereditary, so they couldn’t actually get rid of them entirely. Every now and then a new one would be born, but this way, they had no way to become strong.”
Bai offered up her thoughts.
“That sounds reasonable.”
Xiulan was just surprised that her son was apparently one of the legendary envoys of the heavens, but since it had nothing to do with baking…
“I suppose those who would not like to see a return of the envoys are still prevalent here. I’ll have to face them all at some point.”
Hei prepared himself for endless amounts of trouble. The life of a main character was not a smooth one.
“Well, you aren’t alone Brother.”
“That’s right, we’ll help you.”
Tianlan and Bai both offered their support.
“How are you going to do that?”
Hei said with a bitter smile.
“We will have Big Brother analyse your Qi circulation paths and come up with our own cultivation technique.”
Bai said this with a glint in her eyes. Ever since she had heard that Hei had been cultivating even without spirit roots, she had had this idea in mind.
“Uh-uh. I’ve read that incorrect cultivation techniques can lead to Qi deviation which can destroy your future or even kill you. It’s not worth the risk. Besides, don’t you need acknowledgement from the heavens?”
“Acknowledgement from the heavens? I think Big Brother already has it.”
“How can you tell?”
Both boys spoke at the same time.
“I see the same glow on Big Brother that I see on Brother. I am guessing that this is a sign of the acknowledgement of the heavens.”
“Eh? You can see it too?”
“Eh? You can see it too?”
Both boys said with shock in their voices. They had both thought they were the only ones who could see it.
“Eh? The both of you can also see it?”
Bai was similarly shocked.
“Mm. I see the same glow on the both of you. I also have it?”
Hei asked. What kind of children did Xiulan have?
“Mm. I see it on both of you as well. I have it as well?”
Tianlan also responded.
After a short moment, Bai’s eyes shined.
“So we all have it. This makes my plans even better. Heehee.”
She seemed to be quite pleased with the revelation.
“So… Are we also envoys of the heavens?”
Tianlan asked what was on his mind. This was both exciting and scary at the same time. He was excited because there was finally a road for him to gain strength, but that road was filled with peril.
“That… It’s too soon to say, but at the very least, we should all be able to use Brother’s cultivation method.”
Bai was very excited at the prospects. To create their own cultivation technique, who else did that? Besides, she was getting bored with the books in the library, she was ready to move on to cultivation manuals”
“That’s all good and all, but there’s still the problem of Qi deviation. Until that is solved, I won’t allow you to try anything.”
Hei had to put a damper on Bai’s energy. He didn’t want to see a perfectly good candidate be ruined by being overly ambitious. Besides she was his cute little sister. How could he let harm come to her?
Bai had a mischevious smile on her face as she looked at him.
Hei felt a cold chill run down his spine.
“Actually we have the perfect solution to this problem already.”
Hei’s bad feeling grew more intense.
“You’re right, Brother. Qi deviation is a serious problem for us. But in your case… Wouldn’t you be able to recover after some rest?”
Bai’s smile grew bigger. She looked as if what she had just said was going to cure the world.
Heiwas jolted. He could imagine the immense pain he would go through if this were to happen.
“No need to worry, Brother. You said it yourself, your healing ability is pretty good.”
Tianlan stepped in. He was enjoying Hei’s current situation.
“This. I have become a test subject.”
“Please and thank you.”
“Please take the lead Onii-chan.”
They both said with smiles on their faces.
“Onii-chan your head!”
Hei was not having a good time.
‘How did my healing ability turn into a curse?’
“Sigh. I’ll do it.”
Hei said with soulless eyes.
“Brother is the best.”
“Mm. No one is better than Onii-chan.”
The three started laughing. Though Hei’s laughter sounded more like crying.
“In order to do this, we’re going to need reference material.”
Bai brought up this point. They would get things done much faster with some already established cultivation techniques to reference.
“But none of us are qualified to enter the cultivation hall.”
Tianlan raised the issue.
“Not necessarily, Mother is the fourth wife of the clan patriarch, so she should be able to enter the cultivation hall.”
They all turned to look at Xiulan.
She noticed this and turned to them.
“Mumu, we’re going to need your assistance.”
“You want me to bring books for you?”
“Yes. Body refining books are all we need, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
With that, the next few years of their lives began.
From then on Tianlan was visiting every day, he essentially lived in Xiulan’s room as well now. He would no longer spend time practising his martial arts, as they had a bigger goal now.
For a few months, the trio diligently worked on deriving a cultivation technique from Hei.
After some time, it became clear how extremely monstrous Bai was. She was always coming up with new ideas and explanations for what Hei’s soul was doing that allowed it to brand natural Qi.
“Over the generations, cultivators have discovered the repulsive nature of null element Qi and are using it in reverse to attract elemental Qi. This method is also used to produce artificial holy lands by extracting the null element Qi which allows elemental Qi to exist in abundance.”
Bai explained her findings.
“I see. So the default nature of spirit roots is to attract null element Qi through the null element core, which reduces the repulsion force to elemental Qi in the surroundings, creating an area of low concentration that elemental Qi fills up. The null element Qi then gets expelled as the elemental Qi is processed.”
Tying some strings together, Hei came up with this explanation. He had wondered why it was called a null element core if it was used to attract elemental Qi.
“Mm. Doing it this way, pulling in the most abundant in order to attract the scarce is far more effective than trying to attract the scarce while avoiding the abundant. This allows cultivators to perform elemental techniques at a low cost to their mental energy.”
“Mm. So spirit roots seem to be organised systems that automate this process, branding the elemental Qi as it is drawn in.”
Tianlan jumped in.
“Yes, but through the introduction to Qi Manipulation and Utility, we can see that spirit roots also have the function of converting branded Qi back to elemental Qi. This further explains why single element spirit roots are superior to mixed element roots.”
“That seems to be the case. With single element roots, the system is more compact, with the same size of spirit roots, a cultivator with single element roots can practice far more profound elemental cultivation techniques than a cultivator with mixed roots.”
Through their studies, the three had learned that spirit roots actually take up space in the soul.
“Mm. The advantage of mixed roots is in the ability to practice a wide variety of techniques. This leads to the case of those with mixed roots being able to display combat prowess greater than their single root counterparts.”
“But as the cultivation realms go up, the spirit root to pure spirit ratio increases. Those with mixed roots reach the end of their potential much sooner than single element cultivators.”
Tianlan remembered his water drop analogy for explaining the same concept.
“That’s all good and well, but the problem for us is that we have no spirit roots. We would need to convert the branded Qi into elemental Qi manually, which would rapidly increase our consumption of mental energy.”
Hei voiced his concerns.
“Then we should focus on null element techniques. They may not be as powerful as elemental attacks, but we have more control over the conversion of Qi.”
“Even so, we have to brand the natural Qi in the first place. Before we do that, none of this is meaningful.”
“Actually, I’ve been thinking of something.”
“What is it?”
“As can be seen in Brother, our entire souls can be used as null element spirit roots. As Big Brother has seen, our problem is not a lack of Qi, in fact, our souls have even more attractive force to natural Qi than others because we haven’t designated the task to a null element core. What we are missing is just the branding aspect, so that the natural Qi can be assimilated into our bodies”
“How do we solve that?”
Tianlan asked. This was the key problem.
“Actually, I have come up with a method to convert part of the soul to perform the specific task of branding the Qi. The difference between this and spirit roots is that we’ll be able to freely convert this back into pure soul. It’s like creating a building out of loose bricks. We’ll be able to deconstruct and reconstruct it at any time. The only thing is…”
Hei had that bad feeling again.
“We’ll need Brother to test it for us. If it were Big Brother or me, we could trigger the Qi deviation you mentioned.”
“Sigh. So the time has come. What’s your method?”
“I haven’t fully solidified it, but I’ll let you know when it’s done.”
Over the next few days, Bai was constantly working on her new method.
“It’s done. Why don’t you give it a try, Brother?”
Hei was a little apprehensive, but he knew it had to be done.
After reading Bai’s method, he started to practice it.
Tianlan was tasked with keeping a careful watch, observing every detail of the process.
“So far so good.”
Hei was getting a little more confident as he continued circulating the method.
“Things look OK.”
Things were OK. That was until they heard a sound.
“Ah! That’s not good.”
Hei was hunched over in pain.
The sounds continued and Hei felt more and more pain.
Bai and Tianlan were looking on with blank faces.
Hei’s body was breaking down. His bones were breaking and his blood vessels were bursting.
“Ah… It’s a good thing we didn’t try this.”
Bai said with a sigh of relief.
“Good thing? Good for you! This is extremely painful. Cough.”
Hei coughed out a mouthful of blood as his body was being attacked by rampant Qi.
Bai ignored Hei’s cries of agony.
“Big Brother, did you see anything?”
“Yes. It was during the third phase where the Qi bonded with his soul. It seemed to fluctuate intensely and ended up running rampant in his body.”
Tianlan didn’t seem to be too concerned with Hei’s troubles either. It was like he and Bai had nothing to do with this.
“Hm, I see. The third phase. It must be the adhesion formula. The natural Qi must have built up and caused pressure with the branded Qi already passing through his soul. I’ll re-design in so that Qi doesn’t build up.”
After saying this, Bai looked down to Hei who was twitching in pain before saying:
“Rest well Brother. We’ll try again when you’re all healed up.”
She said this with an innocent smile and her head slightly tilted to the side.
“This…. Whose mother did I offend?”
“There there Onii-chan. It’s for our adorable little sister. Can’t you suffer this much?”
Fortunately or unfortunately for Hei, he was fully healed when he woke up the next morning.
“Mm. You look well, Brother. Let’s not waste any time.”
Hei’s body violently twitched in response to his little sister’s voice. It was no longer cute to him. It sounded like the voice of a little demon.
“Come along now.”
Hei couldn’t even speak before he was dragged away.
Hei went through the same thing again. It was not the slightest bit less painful than it had been the day before.
Thus began Hei’s cycle of daily crippling.
‘Day 46. At this point, I’m fairly confident they’re trying to kill me. I ask them for rest, but they keep shoving that cute face into view. How am I going to survive this?’
Hei found himself spending most of his days sitting next to Xiulan, staring out the window while recovering from his injuries.
‘Day 89. I-I-I-I…….’
Hei was now unable to think about anything other than tomorrow’s test.
Every day it was; test Bai’s new revision, die once, then live in pain for the rest of the day before repeating it all again tomorrow.
And was there any support? No! No there wasn’t. Bai and Tianlan had seemed to turn cold and goal oriented. What use was there in feelings? Would feelings create a cultivation method?
He tried to cling to Xiulan but she was in her own world, so he could only vent his feelings one way.
‘Curse you Crystalia. Why… Why me?’
That’s right. He could only atatch his grievances to the originator of his troubles.
‘Day… What day was it again 1,479,368? Ah, does it even matter? I… I’m done with this. It- It’s not worth the pain.’
Hei had decided to pull the plug. His siblings would have to find another way.
He was looking out the window as he usually would.
“Oh. Look at that… A little fiery bird. Do you see it Mumu?”
“Eh? Fiery bird? I don’t see anything like that. Where is it?”
“It-It’s right there. I-I know I said it was little, but it’s actually pretty big. You can’t miss it.”
“There’s nothing there. I think you need some rest.”
“Ehe, ehehe. Yeah, you’re right. I’m just seeing things.”
‘Great. Now I’m hallucinating.’
Hei watched as the fiery bird flew across the sky.
As he looked into its eye he heard a voice.
“This technique has been passed down by my ancestors. They hoped that it would be of use to those who were facing despair on their path. I shall pass this technique onto you. Overcoming Unmeasurable Distance.”
With that, the bird disappeared as if it had never been there.
‘Overcoming Unmeasurable Distance?’
This was in Hei’s mind. There was no circulation method or any instructions. Just the words themselves, but Hei was able to feel a change in his mental state.
He still dreaded the pain that was to come, but it wasn’t to the point of giving up.
‘What was that?’
Hei was befuddled. Was that more good fortune falling out of the sky?
“Wait, did you say fiery bird?”
“Yes. Do you know what it was?”
Hei was surprised. He didn’t expect Xiulan to bring the topic back.
“Hm. My father told me that the eastern guardian takes the form of a flaming bird. It’s just that no one really sees it.”
“The eastern guardian?”
Hei’s eyes opened wide. What was the eastern guardian doing here?
“Mm. I told you before how trespassers would spontaneously combust.”
“Ah! That’s right. You did say that.”
Hei recalled what Xiulan had told him about the upper continent cultivators being banned from the lower continent after reaching a certain cultivation realm.
“My father said that those who see the eastern guardian will be tasked with a great responsibility.”
Seeing that Hei had nothing else to say, Xiulan returned to her business.
‘Y-Y-Y… You help me overcome a trial so that you can give me your own? Whose mother did I offend?’
With his renewed sanity, Hei prepared himself for the continuation of the trials.
During these trials, Tianlan noticed a strange side effect.
Somehow, Hei’s internal organs were changing. They started to look like crystal and were radiating energy. Even his blood’s red colour was fading and becoming more transparent.
Bai came up with the idea that it was likely due to a mix between his healing ability and his passive cultivation.
This caused not only him gaining an even higher affinity with natural Qi, but even his body came to rely on natural Qi for all of its energy needs.
At this point, Hei didn’t need to eat or sleep. He could live just by taking in natural Qi. All parts of his body were now being reinforced and slowly replaced by his branded Qi.
Bai suspected that this was some kind of extreme form of body refining and was coming up with ways for her and Tianlan to also make use of it.
After studying the body refining realm so intently, to the point that she was able to create her own technique, Bai made a shocking discovery.
She found that Hei was in the body refining realm, but his cultivation was well above the ninth layer.
This shattered the current ideas of cultivation. There may possibly be no end to the body refining realm, which brings the question, what are all of the other realms and are they really divided into nine layers?
What if they also had no upper limit, but it was actually the limited understanding that cultivators had, that led them to believe this?
What if instead of a linear path, cultivation was actually a series of independent paths, all leading to the peak? If cultivators, reaching the limit of their understanding of a particular realm, find it easier to jump to another one?
Hei and Tianlan were surprised at their little sister’s deduction.
Hei was particularly pleased. There was no way for them to confirm these things right now, but as a candidate for world’s strongest, he felt that she really was good fortune that fell from the sky.
“Hehe. Then maybe our path is to take all of the paths simultaneously. Instead of jumping from one realm to the other, we shall take the concepts and merge them with the Way of Essence. This will allow us to reach unheard of heights.”
Hei laughed as he added his input.
“Way of Essence?”
Tianlan was unaware of this term. Was it in some book he hadn’t read?
“Yes. That is the name I have chosen for our cultivation technique. What do you think?”
Hei said with a confident smile. He had been working on this name for a while now.
“It sounds good.”
“I also thought Heaven’s Path would have been good…”
Bai had her own name in mind. She was the creator after all.
“Cough. H-Heaven’s Path? Uh… I-I read about another technique with the same name…”
“Is that so? That’s a shame.”
Bai was a little disappointed.
As the three’s birthday was approaching, they were getting close to completion.
Hei’s suffering had reduced greatly, due to the improvements Bai had made over time. It was barely even painful now.
“Let’s get on with today’s trial. It looks like we’re getting pretty close.”
Hei said this in a happy mood. He was glad to have those torturous days behind him.
“Mm. I have a good feeling about this version.”
After Bai handed Hei the revised method. He started circulating it.
“So far so good.”
Over time, Hei had learned to segment his cultivation into sections as a result of his trying to reduce the pain. This way, if a problem appeared, he would only suffer one set of consequences as opposed to the cluster of consequences he would face initially.
As he was getting close to the final segment, all three were getting excited.
“We’re almost there. Just a little more.”
Bai had her fists balled up and her eyes shining in excitement.
“… It’s finished.”
Hei couldn’t believe that he was saying these words. He had gotten through all of the segments unscathed.
Bai turned over to Tianlan. The trial wasn’t over just because Hei suffered no damage. What was most important was that his circulation paths stayed the same. They wanted to recreate Hei’s passive cultivation in a manual version.
“This… No change…”
“Success! We did it!”
The room was filled with excitement. Bai was jumping around and Hei relaxed and lay on the floor. Tianlan was still observing just to make sure.
‘It’s finally over.’
Just as Hei thought this.
“What was that?”
Bai was surprised. Just now there was a muffled sound.
Tianlan’s eyes were wide.
“What is it, Big Brother? Is there a problem?”
Bai’s parade was flooded instantly.
“Stop cultivating Hei. Right now!”
It was too late.
All of a sudden the room started to shake.
This was caused by null element Qi madly rushing in.
Hei knew best what was happening. His cultivation was on overdrive. His body was draining the null element Qi in the environment faster than it could be replenished.
He quickly stopped his intentional cultivation. Shortly afterwards, he felt extremely uncomfortable.
“What is this?”
Hei didn’t know what the cause was.
“Oh? The Qi got thicker in here.”
Xiulan spoke up. Apparently, she had been disturbed by the shaking of the room.
After making this observation, she returned to her business.
“The Qi got thicker?”
Hei was confused. He was experiencing the opposite. It was as if his body was dying of starvation.
“Ah! I understand. Brother is too freakish. You cleanly absorbed all of the null element Qi in the area, leaving it dense with elemental Qi. We know that since birth until now you have had a constant stream of null element Qi entering your body. All of a sudden it was cut off, so you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.”
“Ah. Makes sense. So then… We succeeded?”
“Mm. We succeeded.”
The three laughed.
They did not know the chaos this incident had set off throughout Spring Leaf City.