<Master! One should not utter knowledge that is forbidden in the lower realms!>
Han De looked at Yao Qing with furrowed brows. ‘Sure fundamental forces could be considered natural laws, but my entire memory of it is a hazy late-night Wikipedia dive. I wasn’t even looking for it, I just clicked on the wrong link instead of the black hole one! How can half a sentence of that summon a Heavenly Tribulation?!’
Yao Qing saw the bafflement in her master’s eyes. Even she had no idea of the fundamental forces that her master talked about. This was the irrefutable proof. ‘He really has memories of the primordial era! How is that even possible? They were right! They really were right! Primordial freaks really are primordial freaks. Do not expect them to follow common sense.’ She pushed aside her excitement and looked at the abnormal Heavenly Tribulation.
Han De re-entered his Profound Expert mode once again and turned his attention towards the tribulation clouds. His back was straight as a stick, an unfathomable light flickered in his eyes.
‘Oh god... I wouldn’t have opened my mouth if I knew this would happen! This cloud should now disperse, right? No, how could tribulation disperse by itself?!’
The black chrysanthemum flowers started to disappear one by one. The sound of thunder became lower, but the clouds themselves displayed no signs of disappearing.
Suddenly Han De thought of something. When the cultivation idiot faced the tribulation while forming his core, he felt a heavenly pressure weighing down on him before he even started. Today he was only creeped out by the flowers and felt no pressure from the tribulation clouds.
Old Peng bowed deeply then started rapidly reporting. Hundreds of experts appeared in the sky and took formation, shielding Han De and his disciples from the Heavenly Tribulation.
“We are currently assuming that this unscheduled Heavenly Tribulation was summoned maliciously. The current target is unknown. Primary, secondary, and tertiary defense formations are intact. The Grand Array is on standby. Tunnels three through six are ready. Emergency supplies for the disciples have been gathered. We are awaiting your orders!”
As the last black flower disappeared into thin air, Heavenly Tribulation clouds seemingly gave up and started scattering on their own. After a minute, the sky was clear, as if everything that happened was only an illusion.
Han De looked at the sky in confusion, then retracted his gaze from the sky. His lackeys were the same. Everyone looked at each other in confusion. For a while, no one talked and just stood there.
Han De gave a profound nod as a reflex. ‘Ah, this was one of the crisis drills, right. I nearly forgot…’ He cleared his throat and spoke to Old Peng.
“The Heavenly Tribulation wasn’t summoned maliciously. You can stand down. Your response was excellent, well done.”
“Yes! Young Master!”
Of course, he had no idea if their response was adequate since he was too preoccupied to notice. But he couldn’t say that to these guys, not in a million years.
Han De looked at the now clear skies once again. ‘This isn’t right, why did the tribulation disperse? Not that I’m unhappy that it dispersed, but this is too sketchy.’
This was his third brush with the Heavenly Tribulation, and this time he had even seen the clouds. He lightly coughed to prevent himself from gulping. This wasn’t the time to idly think, he was supposed to be a Profound Expert, and one of the defining features of those experts was defying the Heavens. He scrambled to find some appropriate words.
“Ehm. Since someone is throwing a tantrum, I suppose we’ll leave this for another time. Well, you’ll figure it out anyway, eventually…”
As he talked he warily looked at the sky once again. It wouldn’t do well to piss off the Heavenly Tribulation just to get some points from his disciples.
Yao Qing opened her mouth to say something, but she closed it without making a sound. The tribulation she saw this time was too abnormal. Although she never witnessed one that was summoned just by uttering the forbidden laws, the way it acted defied common sense. The way it dispersed was suspect too. She knew many different ways of dispersing or delaying the Heavenly Tribulation, but she never saw a secret method that was this clean. Pity that her senses were too dull to detect anything.
After the initial shock was over, Yao Qing focused on the leaving experts. The preparedness of her master’s people was truly commendable. She decided to have a talk with their leader and join in on their planning. As a direct disciple, she could force her way in with her status even if they refused. Besides, this was all for her master’s safety, it couldn’t even be called an abuse of power.
Jin Shu who had asked the question looked deeply at her teacher. She was the genius of the Jin family. After her parent’s death, she was surrounded by the family elders as she grew up. Along with leveraging her bloodline, reading in between the lines became an essential skill for her survival. Otherwise, she would’ve become a convenient scapegoat for her various relatives or get married off to someone at the first opportunity.
She pondered on the meaning of her teacher’s words. It was clear that there was some profound secret, but she didn’t have enough pieces to work out what it was. Yao Qing’s odd looks at Ning Bi and the voice transmission from Yao Qing to the master also didn’t escape Jin Shu’s notice. Patience was a virtue that she had plenty of. She could wait for the events to unfold themselves.
No one noticed how Ning Bi faintly smirked while looking at the Heavenly Tribulation clouds. She didn’t know why, but she thought it was only natural that the Heavenly Tribulation would bend after meeting her master.
“Alright, we’ll continue this tomorrow. Focus on your cultivations for the time being. You can practice your techniques at a later date.”
This was a polite way of saying ‘Get me some points’. His disciples left after respectfully bowing. Most of his lackeys had also dispersed, but Treebeard and the two Nascent Soul experts were still around. Han De recognized the Nascent Soul experts, they were the same two that he saw at the Misty Mountains.
Since he was encountering them often, he decided to give them nicknames. The somewhat serious-looking one became Merry, and the enthusiastic one became Pippin. Then he sent them both to get some body cultivation resources.
‘Something really isn’t right with this picture. How can anyone cause Heavenly Tribulation to descend with mere words? I know that this was the original justification for the heavy usage of metaphors in cultivation methods, but it still doesn’t seem right.’
‘To think that I was planning to expand on the science topics and distribute them to the free schools… Thankfully I wasn’t stupid enough to write those things down. Would a tribulation descend if I write them down? Maybe?’
It wasn’t worth a test, so Han De decided to keep his curriculum extra simple to avoid any complications down the line.
The matter of heavenly tribulation was something he took as extremely serious. While MCs could defy them and shout ‘Bring it on!’ and dive into it headfirst, Han De couldn’t. He was the expert that died during his tribulation a few pages ago to emphasize the awesomeness of the MCs power.
* * *
Han Shan gently placed his unconscious son into the healing formation that he had just made.
The wounds on Han Wei’s body weren’t too severe due to the sacrifices of his subordinates, but he had used a tremendous amount of spiritual power and that caused the symptoms to worsen significantly. If Han Shan wasn’t here he wouldn’t have lasted more than a week.
Han Shan had already pieced together what had happened. He didn’t ask for a report and concentrated on healing instead. After a few hours, his son finally opened his eyes. The moment he regained some ability, he immediately asked.
<Safe. Xiu lost half her forces, but found 5 kindlings. She knows, but had no choice but to stay behind to look after little De. He took the pill and made a full recovery. Perhaps even gained some fortune from this misfortune, but that remains to be seen. Rest now. They will be coming here in a month.>
Han Wei closed his eyes with relief.
* * *
[Seventh Moonlight Scripture requires 91 Profound Points to advance to the Grand Master level]
[Profound Points: 456 -> 365]
[Seventh Moonlight Scripture (Mortal)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Mastery: Grand Master]
[Stage: Qi Condensation (0/13)]
Han De had already received the necessary items from Merry and Pippin to start cultivating his body. But he realized he was getting cold feet, so he upgraded his comprehension to prevent himself from running away. It was too late to turn away after that.
According to Han De’s understanding of this scripture, he needed to complete all the steps from scratch even if he was a Core Formation expert already. Upgrading to the Grand Master level was well worth it, he intuitively could adjust the ratios of the medicine to increase its efficacy while decreasing its side effects. These side effects were the main reason for the pain caused by the body cultivation process.
The first few layers of the body cultivation involved medicinal baths. Han De sat in the middle of the tub and stopped restraining his Luminescent Body. His body glowed with a pure white color while outside of the tub, but inside the water, it gained a bluish hue. Han De immediately started operating the Seventh Moonlight Scripture.
[Body Cultivation Feature Activated]
[Body Cultivation: Qi Condensation 1st Stage (1/50)]
‘Surprising that there is a separate section in the System for Body Cultivation, unsurprising that it is so very basic…’
After the brief interruption from the System, he continued absorbing the medicine. In just a few minutes he heard another announcement from that demonic voice.
[Your body has reached the 2nd Stage of Qi Condensation]
‘I guess it is easier since I am already at Core Formation level, my body is already strong, just doesn’t have the foundation of a body cultivation method. Not to mention my constitution.’
The Seventh Moonlight Scripture worked in the usual way that the body cultivation worked in Xianxia. It had stages where you cultivated different parts of your body, one at a time. Of course, changing only one part of the body was completely nonsensical. A body was an intricate machine that worked together in harmony. Making one part stronger was just a recipe for disaster.
If a person’s muscles became extraordinarily strong, but the rest of them stayed normal, they could shatter their own bones with simple movements. Or snap their tendons. Or turn their internal organs into mush. A simple sneeze was probably enough to cause an irreversible tragedy.
[Your body has reached the 3rd Stage of Qi Condensation]
Han De discovered that these stages didn’t just modify one part of him without touching the others. The first stage of the Seventh Moonlight Scripture was the skin. Although it did improve the toughness of the skin, it also improved his whole body along with it. The next stage didn’t just improve tendons, it just improved the body’s overall stamina.
[Your body has reached the 4th Stage of Qi Condensation]
As Han De was thinking about the differences between this world and a typical Xianxia world, he found himself fascinated by the entire process of body cultivation. Most of what he was doing was just guiding the medicine to the necessary area and use his Light Qi to let his body locally digest it.
‘This… almost seems like I’m getting fossilized alive. Is the organic matter inside me getting changed or replaced somehow? This black gunk doesn’t seem to be just ‘impurities’ like bacteria. Besides, how the hell can I excrete a bucket load of bacteria from my skin, doesn’t make any sense…’
His spiritual sense wasn’t strong enough to observe these minute changes in his body. Of course, human anatomy in Xianxia could be different. Unlikely, but possible. Maybe. Probably not.
In just 3 hours, Han De had absorbed all of the medicine. He didn’t get out of the tub but continued to cultivate his body with the help of his constitution. Normally, body cultivation of this stage could only be done with external resources, however, he found out that the cleansing effect of his constitution was actually quite beneficial.
He used his spiritual power reserves to stimulate the cleansing effect of his body constitution further and cultivated the Seventh Moonlight Scripture at the same time. The result was obviously considerably slower, but it could be done! After using nearly half of his spiritual power reserves, he finally finished the first layer of the Seventh Moonlight Scripture.
[Your body has reached the 5th Stage of Qi Condensation]
“Hahahaha, this is great!”
Although he didn’t notice any difference in strength due to the fact that he was already a Core Formation cultivator, he didn’t care. His skin had become noticeably whiter and it was tender to touch. If he wasn’t a Grand Master he would’ve panicked by now, but he knew that this was the correct effect of the precisely measured formula. It was working!
‘A little uncomfortable, but not painful at all. It takes time, but it isn’t boring, in fact, it is the opposite. Getting distracted won’t result in a Qi deviation and potentially cripple me either. The only downside is the copious amounts of resources it requires. Which means literally nothing to me...’
This was as close as one could get to pay 2 win in a Xianxia world. Han De felt regret for not giving it a go before. He was afraid of experiencing the legendary ‘unimaginable pain’ but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether if it was due to his Grand Master comprehension, or his Luminescent Body, he didn’t know.
Han De was suddenly enlightened. He wasn’t going through ‘Enlightenment’, he just experienced a moment of clarity. At this point in time, he knew exactly what he wanted.
‘My life’s mission from now on will be to become a cockroach…’
*sneer* ‘You thought you killed me? That was only a clone…’
*sneer* ‘You thought I had only 10 clones? I have more than you can imagine…’
*sneer* ‘You thought you could attack my main body after killing all my clones? You’ll have to break through my defensive spells first...’
*sneer* ‘You thought spiritual spells were my only means of defense? You’ll have to break through my Portable Grand Array before even touching me...’
*sneer* ‘You thought you could catch me after shattering my Portable Grand Array? I have millions of escape items…’
*sneer* ‘You thought you could damage me after I ran out of escape items? My body is at _insert_body_cultivation_realm_, you can’t even scratch me…’
*sneer* 'You thought just cutting me over and over again would work? I can regenerate my limbs with my healing spells...'
*sneer* ‘You thought totally destroying my main body would do the trick? My soul is still intact…’
*sneer* ‘You thought you extinguished my soul? That was only a fragment...’
*sneer* ‘You thought I only had a few hundred soul fragments? I have countless more across the stars…’
Han De could see it. His opponents were puking blood out of sheer anger and frustration, while he was sneering at them. ‘Wait, why am I sneering...’
He shook his head to clear his mind of his delusions. After entering the lotus position, he started cultivating right away.
[Cultivation: Core Formation - Mid-Stage ((+1080)8876/500000)]
‘Not bad for a 3-hour session. I probably should alternate between body cultivation and normal cultivation though, that way I can stomach the normal one for longer.’
His mind inevitably went towards that idiot. What would’ve happened if the cultivation idiot had also practiced it?
‘That idiot still would’ve died, it absolutely wouldn’t have made any difference.’
Han De sighed.
‘I should definitely get some soul cultivation methods too...’
He was about to end his session and go to bed, but thinking about the cultivation idiot made him restless. He decided to continue his body cultivation cycle instead.