Ye Xiu had started his training with the technique with high expectations at first but with the multiple failures in the past day, he was certainly glum. He had found out quickly that the failure in using the technique wouldn't force him to use the mixture that he was forced to make with his blood essence and Qi. The only time he would have to make the mixture again was when he had run out of it and that would only happen if he managed to complete his transformation.
It was apparent to Ye Xiu that the mixture would only be consumed for the technique when he was successful so he was at least happy at the fact that he had a way to tell whether he had succeeded in the technique or not. Though this was helpful in that aspect, it didn't help that he had no idea what he was doing wrong. He had followed the instructions to the best of his ability yet it proved futile as no results had shown themselves,
He was currently meditating due to his exhausted mind. He wanted to continue his training but he was stopped by Tian Bai after he saw the mentality that Ye Xiu was training in. Even though Tian Bai was one who despised training, he still knew proper training etiquette from the inherited knowledge that he gained.
Ye Xiu was calmly thinking since his meditative state required him to be in control of his emotions. He was able to keep the mixture from travelling around his entire body and managed to store it in a similar way to how he stored blood essence. He had seen no mentions in the instructions about being able to store the mixture in such a way but thought that it might have been something that they wanted the participant to find out for themselves.
'I'm glad that Tian Bai pushed me to take a break since I was definitely not in the right state of mind. Now, where have the issues in the technique come from? I have followed each of the steps but it feels like I'm missing something. I know I'm missing something because when I reflect back to when I was training it definitely felt like there was a crucial step I was missing but I was probably too stressed or annoyed from having so many failures to notice.'
Whilst Ye Xiu was trying to figure out what exactly he was missing, Tian Bai was running around the room to find something interesting to do. He had no intention of being cooped up in the soul space and had no intention of training together with Ye Xiu since it was boring, and since the room was so large, Tian Bai was certain that there must be something that would entertain him.
Tian Bai's speed allowed him to jump up to places that shouldn't have been reached though he was aided by the statues that stood on the sides of the room. He was climbing a statue when he suddenly heard a click sound. He had just stepped on a statue's palm when he heard the sound. He jumped off the palm and heard the clicking sound again. He jumped back onto the palm and once again he heard it.
He started to play with the sound since he hadn't been able to find anything else interesting and this was definitely better than just running around searching for something. He played with the palm for the next ten minutes before getting bored of it. 'I'm bored. I need something else to do.' He made his way down the statue carefully but quickly and ran back to where Ye Xiu was. Ye Xiu had done a short meditation session and was already back at training.
Tian Bai started to gnaw on the smoked meat that he had been given without care. What he didn't realise was that the palm he was playing on had a switch and the switch had a function that would certainly surprise the duo.
The room they were in didn't have a very high density in Qi but with the switch being activated, the density of the Qi would get to suffocating levels. The room was actually one that was supposed to be used for meditation but had been redesigned so that it could also be used as a testing area. It was highly unlikely for a person to stumble across the switch since it was in such an obscure place that nobody would even be looking at.
The density of Qi in the room would continue to rise and peak unless Tian Bai pressed on the switch again to drain the Qi back to where it came from. Ye Xiu noticed the increased in the Qi since he could feel his cultivation technique running at a much faster speed. He used his multitasking skill to cultivate in both the dragon and phoenix cultivation methods at the same time which is why he noticed the change in Qi density.
"Tian Bai, have you noticed that the room has a much higher Qi density than before?" Ye Xiu looked to his weasel familiar.
The weasel was continuing to gnaw on the meat until Ye Xiu flicked it. "Huh? What did you say?" Ye Xiu rolled his eyes at his familiar's antics but repeated himself nonetheless.
"I asked you whether you notice the increase in the Qi density in the room." The weasel contemplated the question before answering.
"I didn't notice it until you asked me about it? I was busy eating food so I didn't really take notice of what was happening around me." Tian Bai seemed to have a one-track mind when it came to food.
Ye Xiu seemed exasperated at this point. "Did you do anything to cause this? I know you were running around when I was meditating so it couldn't have been me that triggered this change. If it wasn't you then it could be the test that is providing benefits but I sincerely doubt that since they said ti was supposed to be the hardest stage."
Ye Xiu continued to prattle on and forgot that he had asked Tian Bai a question but had never given him the opportunity to even answer the question in the first place. "Oops, I forgot about that question that I asked you but go ahead and answer it for me." He looked at Tian Bai who seemed really bored with the entire situation.
"I may have stumbled upon something." The weasel's tone of voice made him seem as if he was trying to pass off as an innocent bystander. "I might have played around with that something?" His tone became questioning since he was unsure whether it was actually his fault.
Ye Xiu sighed. "Go back to wherever you found your entertainment and fix it. It's actually getting hard to breathe in here and that's saying something since I'm rather used to higher Qi density environments." Tian Bai nodded his understanding and quickly scurried back to the statue and jumped on the palm one last time before running back to his meat. He had been interrupted from his eating session and wanted to get back to it as quickly as he could.
When Ye Xiu noticed that the Qi was visibly disappearing to his eyes he nodded his head in a satisfied manner. He returned to his training now that he could concentrate on it instead of suffocating.
It was a few hours later that Ye Xiu managed to figure out what could've been the missing detail that he needed to successfully use the technique. He hadn't been visualising his transformation. Though Ye Xiu found it hard to believe that he would need to visualise his transformation in order for it to work since Shi Die had no need for such things. He categorised Shi Die's transformation being an instinctual one whereas his transformation was a learned one.
Though talking about visualising his transformation was easy, it certainly didn't help that he had no idea what a dragon's scale looked like. He had the visual detail of the scale from the statue where the humanoid dragon warrior stood but he believed that the way to properly visualise a transformation was to know how it felt and worked. He knew that he was probably overthinking it so on a whim he visualised the looks of his transformation instead of anything else.
He followed each of the steps to perfections whilst imagining the transformation. He didn't imagine the complete transformation that the humanoid dragon statue had but had merely imagined the scales on his body. The reason why he did this was that he knew that he wouldn't be able to complete a full transformation immediately since he hadn't even stepped into the first stage of the technique.
He also took his own advice that he had told Shang Yang to never visualise too much and get the basic details which wouldn't be overlooked by others if they watched him under scrutiny. Though he failed this attempt he continued his attempts since he knew that he was getting close. He had this feeling in his body that was urging him to achieve the transformation faster.
It took several attempts before results started to show for themselves and even then the results were barely there. When he succeeded he only managed to get a single scale that was on his face. The scale wasn't big and when he touched it he could feel the softness of the scale. He was obviously surprised that the scale could feel so soft. Tian Bai had tried to bite through the scale but failed spectacularly. Tian Bai was now busy massaging his teeth in sorrow.
After the first success, Ye Xiu knew that he had gone on the correct path and stopped training for a moment. He knew that once he succeeded he would've needed to stop. He wanted to take the time to review what had gone right and what he felt during the transformation no matter how small it was.
He looked at the smoked meat that Tian Bai seemed to be enjoying and sighed sulkily. He knew that he wasn't supposed to touch the food but the smell of it had gotten to him. He reached his hand towards the smoked meat before Tian Bai suddenly jumped on his arm and bit it.
"I can see you trying to take the meat. THIS IS MY MEAT! MY FOOD!" The weasel shouted angrily and defended the food as if it was his precious babies. "Didn't you say that you weren't going to eat as well? Weren't you going to use your Qi to stave off your hunger?" The weasel was now speaking in an accusatory tone
Ye Xiu looked slightly guilty since he knew that it was his own fault for succumbing to his own desire. He moved further away from where Tian Bai was eating so that the smell wouldn't get to him. There was barely any wind in the room to bring the smell over so he didn't have to move too far.
With that little debacle over, Ye Xiu went back to a meditative state. He started to review his first transformation before attempting to improve in the technique once again. He noticed that the transformation barely made the mixture change in volume. It looked to be the same amount.
He believed that the mixture would be completely used if he managed to complete the entire transformation technique but if he could only do a partial transformation, only a portion of the mixture would be used. It was a logical deduction based on what he had already seen.
This meant that he didn't have to use too much of his blood essence. He only had a few more drops of blood essence stored up and those were for emergencies. He wasn't sure that he would be able to master the technique without using all of his blood essences but he had to try. He wanted to save up the blood essence just in case the opponent he had to face later on was strong.
He spent the next two weeks practising and abstaining from food.