Ryu’s eyes shone. What he was the most lacking in right now was defense. The best part was that since this was a Mental Realm technique, there was no need for him to worry about its compatibility with his body. If the Zu Library alone made his more than half year of efforts worth it, this [Immortal Sakura] could be counted as a pleasant surprise.
“Mental Realm techniques are split into three stages. Visualization, Manipulation and Manifestation.
“The basis of a Mental Realm technique is its Visualization. One must not only picture the technique in their mind, but it is necessary to understand its complexities.
“Manipulation is the next important step. In the case for an Immortal Sakura that once had many iterations of itself birthed into existence, this is especially important. Obviously, no two immortal trees are identical. This tests a cultivator’s ability to change the form of their Visualization while keeping the core essence of the image. In the case of an ancient tree, this would be related to changing the number of branches or leaves, yet maintaining the technique’s integrity.
“Finally, there is Manifestation. Of the three steps, this is by far the most difficult. This requires a cultivator to project their Visualization into the outside world, thereby causing changes within it. In the case of my [Immortal Sakura] technique, the key to its defense are the falling blossoms from its branches. If these blossoms aren’t manifested, then there is no technique. If your Visualization falters in combat, then an attack you believed you had blocked could very well kill you.”
Ryu nodded. He knew too little about cultivation. This was especially so for Mental Realm cultivation that was banned during his first life. So, this was very important knowledge for him.
“The reason I never passed down my [Immortal Sakura] wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but because it led too many youths down a path of destruction. Mental Realm cultivators, more than anyone else, are highly susceptible to cultivation deviation. There are no shortage of tales of Visualizations killing the cultivators who imagined them.
“In the case of my [Immortal Sakura], this is even more glaring. The Immortal Sakura itself is an Immortal Spiritual Plant. In fact, it was among the very few that gained sentience for itself. The difficulty in Visualizing such an ancient incarnation is unfeasible for many…
“In truth, I am taking a risk by teaching you this technique. We do not know much about the Heavenly Pupils since they had only just begun to be birthed during our Sky God Era. However, if I understand correctly, your pupils are particularly good at comprehending the quintessence of things. As such, I believe you may be among the few capable of leaping over this first hurdle.
“These things are all I can tell you for now. Are you willing to take the risk?”
Though Ryu remained calm, he was inwardly sighing a breath of relief. It was just as he expected.
Heavenly Pupils didn’t exist in the Chaos, Primordial, and Ancient Beast Eras. They didn’t begin to appear until the Sky God Era, but it took time for those born with Heavenly Pupils to understand the gift they had been given, and it wasn’t until the Shrine Era that any sort of proper ranking was created.
This meant one thing: these four Ancestors didn’t understand the value of his Heavenly Pupils! It was no wonder their reactions were so nonchalant. His eyes were too novel when they first appeared back then. In fact, the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth Pupils weren’t even ranked in the top twenty in their Era!
Ryu simply didn’t trust these four Ancestors. If they realized the value of his body, he would have one more thing to worry about. But, luckily, they didn’t.
“Yes.” Ryu replied without hesitation.
“Good. Since you haven’t collected all four fragments, you cannot enter the Natural Order floor and will thus have to settle for the barest bones version of my technique. However, you must remember that what makes my [Immortal Sakura] so powerful is its endless flexibility. You must comprehend for yourself what sort of style benefits you the most.
“For now, watch and observe. I will show you the first of my technique’s seven stages. Behold, [Immortal Sakura]!”
In that moment, Ryu couldn’t take his eyes off of the scene before him. He never thought a tree could be so beautiful. He was completely mesmerized.
The Immortal Sakura that appeared above Eska’s head was unlike other trees. Its trunk was incredibly short, only standing at about two meters before branching outward in what seemed like endless forking branches. The phenomena made the Immortal Sakura far wider than it was tall.
This wasn’t all either, the branches formed a gorgeous dome. It wasn’t the branches themselves that made the Immortal Sakura so appealing, but rather the innumerable translucent blossoms that peppered its body. It was almost more of a semi-sphere of shimmering lights than a tree…
Suddenly, the scene became even more spectacular. The blossoms began to fall one by one, their translucent bodies gently wafting through the air. It was a mesmerizing scene akin to a year’s first snow fall. Pure and simple, but nature at its absolute finest.
“This is the lowest form of my [Immortal Sakura]. My Spiritual Sense has long since reached a range capable of blanketing an entire Plane, as such, the theoretical range of my [Immortal Sakura] is equally as large. For you, who have yet to step upon even the first stage, its impossible to maximize your Immortal Sakura manifestation. In addition, your Mental Realm talent isn’t as great as mine. Your range will never be so large. You must take it one step at a time.
“This is known as the translucent stage. It is followed by the white stage, the cherry, then red, violet, purple-gold, and finally, the gold stage. At the peak realm, even a Sky God’s attack can be casually deflected.”
The four Ancestors truly underestimated Ryu’s Heavenly Pupils far too much. It took Ryu all of a few seconds to perfectly grasp the quintessence of the first stage. He could already begin to prepare for his Visualization stage. However, he purposely stretched the matter out, asking Eska endless questions. As time passed, the Ancestors began to believe the Heavenly Pupils weren’t a big deal after all…
After two months, Ryu extracted his mind from the crystalline jade, a faint smile on his cold, handsome features. The Ancestors were bound to never leave the Zu Library due to the range limitations of the Incarnation Jade. They would never know what was happening outside, so he could rest easy.
Ryu left Opes Kingdom, travelling to Viri Kingdoms. After another half year, he left to Lantes Kingdom. Finally, not long after Ryu turned seventeen, he turned his sights to Tor Kingdom. It was time to complete Granny Miriam’s revenge.