Chapter 29: Inner breath realm
Lu Mingshu had no idea about the conversation held in the Willow Woods.
Once she'd returned to the Green Jade Valley, she naturally continued to read, practice, and watch her master shave wooden swords.
Thus, the master and disciple duo continued their isolated lifestyle.
Every ten to fifteen days, Gao Xiang would come to the Green Jade Valley and take Lu Mingshu to play in the Willow Woods. The Martial Granduncle, who was always present, would remain silent most of the time, but would occasionally speak up to correct her actions, or to guide her in her practice. Every time he offered her his advice, it caused Lu Mingshu to feel as if she'd been enlightened due to perfect wisdom.
As time passed, a year passed, during which several major events took place within the Nine Jade Palace.
An example was that Sect Leader Fu Shangqing had formed an alliance with the Seven Truths Platform. The Nine Jade Palace had begun to dispatch disciples to Zhongzhou in exchange for them allowing the disciples of the Seven Truths Platform pass through the Nine Jade Mountains unhindered in order for them to train in the Jade West Mountain Forest.
Ever since the sect's founding, the Nine Jade Palace had always been in charge of guarding against the vicious beasts in place of Xichuan. As such, this decision immediately caused an uproar in the sect. For them to allow the Seven Truths Platform to visit the Jade West Mountain Forest as they pleased was equivalent to the Nine Jade Palace violating the responsibility it had always firmly held onto. Furthermore, a large number of resources used by the Nine Jade Palace came from the west mountains. How was this any different to opening up one's private warehouse to someone?
As a result of this, a series of power struggles took place within the Nine Jade Palace. Some people gained power and were promoted, while others lost power and their positions.
Yet, none of this had anything to do with Lu Mingshu. The Green Jade Valley had long since been forgotten by everyone, and nobody would bother the Willow Woods.
As time continued to slowly move forward, Lu Mingshu gradually transformed from a newbie that knew nothing about the world to a seasoned veteran. As she continued to mingle with the community within the Heavenly Wheel, she chatted about random things with them and picked up any bargains she could afford.
[ Brother, are you still trading your Seven Star Pill? ]
[ I am! What does Fellow Daoist have to offer? ]
[ Glimmering Green Grass. ]
[ Okay, let's chat privately. ]
[ How about you leave me a message. It's not convenient for me to chat privately with you currently. ]
[ Alright. ]
Lu Mingshu let out a relieved breath once she'd retrieved the small bottle that contained the Seven Star Pill from the Heavenly Wheel.
A martial practitioner would need to bathe in medicine baths as they cultivated. If they didn't their meridians wouldn't be able to tolerate the burden brought about by the continuous circulation of mystic force, which would, in turn, cause internal injuries to form in their muscles and bones. As such, a martial practitioner would have to slow down their cultivation if they didn't have a sufficient amount of resources.
The sect had stopped giving Courtyard Leader Liu Jizhen the resources they were supposed to, as his meridians had been damaged severely. Lu Mingshu, on the other hand, was merely a third-rate disciple; she was only qualified to receive a pitiful amount of resources. Lu Mingshu was only been able to take medicine baths once a month due to this.
Money was necessary to practice, and when Lu Mingshu became of aware of this, she became a middleman like Brother Six.
The way that the people from the Martial Art's world used spirit herbs was no different from wasting them to people from the Xianxia world. Rare and incomparable spirit medicine was either boiled in a cauldron of a decoction or was boiled in a small pot of decoction for consumption. If such ingredients were to be placed in the hands of a Xianxia cultivator, just how many rare elixirs would they be able to refine?!
Now that she had the book of <Basic Alchemy>, Lu Mingshu naturally wanted to refine pills herself. As such, she'd planned to trade her mystic spirit ore for a cauldron in the Heavenly Wheel, but had unexpectedly encountered a swindler who'd given her a scrap product.
Afterwards, when Lu Mingshu saw someone directly selling elixirs, she suddenly realized she could buy the elixirs directly? The flames and smoke from when I use the cauldron would inevitably be discovered by Master if I were to produce them on my own. Wouldn't it just be better to directly trade for the elixirs I need??
After she realized this, she began to consciously use spirit herbs that were scarce in the Xianxia world yet abundant in her world to trade for elixirs.
Every month, either Ah Sheng or Hui Niang would make their way to the Green Jade Valley, then take the items that she'd traded for—like mystic ore—to the base of the mountain and sell them. They'd exchange them for spirit herbs, then hand them to her on their next visit.
In order to maintain secrecy, she chose elixirs that didn't look out of the ordinary, and consciously controlled the amount.
Fortunately, nobody had found out so far.
Lu Mingshu sat down on her stone bed and consumed the Seven Star Pill. Afterwards, with a chunk of mystic spirit ore in both of her hands, she slowly urged her internal mystic force to move and began the process of breaking through the closed aperture.
She'd originally only had a trace of mystic force, but now that it had evolved into a stream, it allowed her to be able to break through the closed aperture.
She'd enter the Inner Breath Realm once she broke through it.
This would also represent her officially stepping into the world of practitioners.
The reason that practitioners were placed above ordinary people was due to the fact that they could utilize mystic force. The Body Tempering Realm, which required one to awaken their meridians and accumulate mystic force, would only cause someone to be a bit stronger than the average person. One would only be a true martial practitioner when they reached the Inner Breath Realm and were capable of utilizing more mystic force.
Once the Seven Star Pill dissolved, the spiritual qi it contained—which resembled mystic force—would quickly be absorbed into Lu Mingshu's meridians.
As the mystic spirit ore in her hands was stimulated, an unending stream of mystic force began to continuously enter her body.
When the amount of mystic force from the Seven Star Pill and the mystic spirit ore met, they began to mutually stimulate each other.
Lu Mingshu guided her mystic force along the hidden creek and up to the middle of her spine. Her mystic force then attempted to rush towards her dantian, but was blocked by the closed aperture, as if by an invisible inner membrane, which caused the mystic force to rapidly accumulate. When it rose to a significant level, the inner membrane was finally pierced, followed by a loud rumble, which let her mystic force enter her dantian.
Afterwards, her mystic force split into two streams: One went up the muddy pill, into the mingtang, while the other went down huachi, in the sea of energy. *
Sweat poured off of her forehead in streams as the two locations simultaneously exerted pressure.
After the pain, she felt an unhindered amount of elation.
Liu Jizhen stared at the wooden sword he'd just shaved dazedly.
The number of wooden swords he'd shaved these few years had been gradually decreasing; he'd only shaved a single wooden sword this month.
When he'd initially begun shaving wooden swords, he'd simply wanted to find something to do. He began to reminisce about how, when he'd just entered the sect, his master had taught him to shave wooden swords in order to nurture his patience, as his temperament had been indeterminate. Ever since his meridians had been severed, he'd been floating in a hollow space with no direction in life. Hence, he'd picked up the hobby of shaving wooden swords again.
Falling from the clouds into a quagmire and turning into a waste from genius weren't pains that everyone would experience.
He could only remain tranquil when he was concentrating on shaving wooden swords.
Yet, during these past two years, he'd no longer been miserable, despite not shaving as many wooden swords. Just watching the sunset while drinking the tea that his disciple had brewed and reading a book were enough to relieve his boredom and let him achieve a tranquil state.
Does this mean that I've fully recovered?
Liu Jizhen turned around when he heard the sound of Lu Mingshu's voice.
What he saw stunned him.
A small knife flew out of her hand with a gentle wave, a whoosh sounding as it flew through the air.
The resisting matter with qi!
Liu Jizhen's pupils shrunk. "You've open up the closed aperture?"
Lu Mingshu nodded.
Liu Jizhen was suddenly at a loss for words. During these past couple years, even though he hadn't been unconcerned about Lu Mingshu, due to the hole in his heart that he still hadn't gotten over, he'd never taught her how to practice martial arts nor how to cultivate.
She was mostly self-taught with, at best, a few pointers from Zhuo Jiangui.
He'd had both talent and full support from his master, as well as constant medicine baths, which had allowed him to enter the Inner Breath Realm in his former days. But Lu Mingshu? She'd had a pitiful amount of resources, a master that hadn't imparted anything to her, and had only received a few pointers from Zhuo Jiangui. Despite this, she'd entered the Inner Breath Realm? New Years had just passed, and she wasn't even eleven.
"Master?" Lu Mingshu asked when she didn't get a response.
Liu Jizhen stood up abruptly. "I'm going out for a while."
"Ah?" Lu Mingshu was stupefied;
Once one precedent had been broken, it was easy to break another.
Liu Jizhen left the Green Jade Valley and went straight to the Willow Woods.
"What do you want to talk about?" Zhuo Jiangui calmly gazed at Liu Jizhen and sipped his tea.
"Senior Uncle, I say, Mingshu has entered the Inner Breath Realm."
Zhuo Jiangui nodded. "So?"
His calm demeanour caused Liu Jizhen to be at a loss for words.
Zhuo Jiangui lightly smiled. During these two years, I've been the one to guide Lu Mingshu. Wouldn't I, of all people, be the clearest on her progress? Based on my calculations, she would've entered the Inner Breath Realm in the next few months.
"My Willow Woods line has always only had one direct disciple. It's impossible for you to transfer her over here."
He'd been rejected before he'd even had the chance to plead his case. Liu Jizhen didn't know what to say.
"Jizhen, it's time for you to stop escaping."
Liu Jizhen murmured, "But, I'm already a cripple …"
"Your meridians might have been severed and you might not be able to cultivate anymore, but don't tell me that you can't teach your disciple." Zhuo Jiangui shook his head, leaned back in his chair, then waved his hand. "You should leave."
Liu Jizhen stood up in a daze and walked out.
"Xiang er will also break through his closed aperture in a few days. Wait until he's entered the Inner Breath Realm, then he and Mingshu should go to the Jade West Mountain Forest together!" Zhuo Jiangui's voice sounded apathetic, yet it carried an underlying meaning. "Let that group of trash know what exactly a true genius disciple is."