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"And this is why you should never anger your teacher hahaha."

 

No one else was laughing. In fact, many started sweating. Are all the elders of the school that powerful? What about that time when they didn't salute them with the proper etiquette? Will they be randomly launched into the stratosphere one morning as revenge? How can one be at ease with an absolute monster in front of them?

Because the silence was starting to become slightly awkward, teacher Xian quickly continued.

*Cough cough* "Well at least everyone should have understood the absolute superiority given by a higher cultivation. This illustrates the saying "there are no possible schemes in front of absolute strength". 1 core formation elder can destroy thousands and thousands body strengthening cultivators with little effort. This is also why resources are concentrated to the best. In general, less than 1 out of 1000 body strengthening cultivators reaches core formation. But 1 core formation expert is far more valuable to any organization than 1000 body strengthening cultivators. Now if you take the 800 of you lot together. What we value is only your young age and future potential. Your cumulated strength is worth nothing.

Now let's get to your cultivation. I hope everyone has learned the breathing exercises. Disciples, get into a lotus position and try to sense qi surrounding you. Don't worry if you take time, it is not an easy process at the beginning. My assistants and I will pass through the ranks to guide those with more difficulties and correct any mistakes. Try to spread out to the maximum to avoid bothering one another."

 

Han Lingyun was ready for this. He took up the lotus position with a couple of heavy breaths to steady himself. Then he began the breathing routine and tried to empty his mind. He found it was easier if he looked inwards and focused on the rhythm of his breath. He started to visualize himself in complete darkness.

This state seemed to stretch on for a long time and yet it also felt too short. Han Lingyun had never felt so much at peace with himself and realized he truly enjoyed this state. This little surge of emotion was enough to lose his focus and lose that state.

Han Lingyun realized his mistakes and tried again. This time by relaxing his mind even further. Soon, he was back in the darkness, punctuated by the rhythm of his breath like waves reaching the shore of a dark ocean without end. Then he sensed a shimmering point in the darkness, slowly floating around like a grain of dust. More and more little grains of dust that seemed to scintillate with white light appeared around him.

Following his breath, the white particles of qi started to rotate and converge to him. After an unknown amount of time, 4 slowly moving streams of qi were washing his body and tickling his skin. At some point, Han Lingyun felt a hand gently correcting his posture and pressing on several points on his back. Instantly, he felt so much more relaxed. It was as if he was made of fluid, as if he melted!

The 4 streams of qi instantly became twice as fast and the tickling of his skin grew stronger. The particles of qi also felt endless, it seemed that there was always as much around him, even as he absorbed a portion. Of course, the vast majority of the particles that passed through his qi pathways didn't remain in his body. Han Lingyun continued the process, until he seemed to have reached the end of a cycle.

After which, he opened his eyes only to notice that most of the other 1st years around him were still in a meditative state while a couple were already emerging from it. To his shock, he saw that the sun had already long started its descent. 5 hours had passed just like that!

Teacher Xian indicated to the ones that woke up to remain silent. After another silent hour, nearly all had emerged from their deep meditation. Many were bubbling with excitement, others were deep in thought: truly, it was an indescribable experience!

"Now that everyone has left meditation, let's conclude this first lesson. What you have experienced was one cycle of qi absorption. After each new stage of body strengthening, you will be able to remain in a meditative state for one more cycle, and each cycle will be faster due to your body becoming more accustomed to qi. After finishing a cultivation session, trying to cultivate again right after is useless. In fact, you won't succeed in doing anything, not even getting in the correct state of emptiness. In general, at the body strengthening stage, it isn't possible to do more than 2 cultivation sessions per day.

Then it is up to you to experiment. Finding the correct time between each cultivation round is easy, if they are too close, you will immediately notice that you absorb qi at a much slower pace and that you feel absolutely exhausted after the session.

In contrast if you wait enough, you will find yourself refreshed after cultivating. The time between each round should be approximately 6 hours, it might be slightly more or less. No point to try to cultivate after an hour of downtime. It is best to exercise between each round of cultivation especially at the body strengthening stage.

As you should have guessed, the tickling under the skin you have experienced is the effect of flesh strengthening. In theory, it might be slightly bothersome or distracting, but it should never become painful. In general, if you feel pain during cultivation, there is a problem: probably a qi pathway being blocked.

DON'T TRY TO FIGHT THE PAIN, this would probably damage your pathways. If that happens, just go find an Elder ; he will be glad to clear any issues. Remember, pain is a body mechanism to indicate to the brain that something is wrong. So, listen to your body, don't try to always fight it!

Finally, a question that is often asked: how much sleep do you need? First of all, yes you DO still need to sleep. It is a necessary process for your brain to function correctly and it speeds up your recovery or any gains you will have from cultivating and physical training. But you also don't need to sleep as long as before and will be able to remain awake for 3 days if you push it a bit. Still a regular 4 hours of sleep a day at the body strengthening realm is best according to my experience. I also recommend using a routine for the most efficient growth. Classes will be held from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M every day and are optional from now on. You will have different teachers presenting different subjects later on. You will know the program in advance so that you don't need to come if a subject doesn't interest you.

To sum up, I came with the routine of the ideal 1st year disciple. Follow it if you want to progress the most efficiently or become a monk hehe.

Wake up at 5 A.M. Then 2 hours of high intensity physical training. 5 hours of cultivation (one session). Eat and relax (1 hour). Go to class for 2 hours. 4 hours of lower intensity Physical training. Eat and relax (1 hour). 5 hours of cultivation. Sleep for 4 hours. And start again.

That is a very optimized day if I may say so.

Finally, remember that we won't be behind your back on this matter but we will also not save you the day you have to come face to face with a magical beast. And this day will come this year, it's in fact a necessary trial. The arrogant and lazy will be weeded out one way or another.

That is all for today."

 

Han Lingyun like the majority of the 1st years around him listened with rapt attention to the many advices of teacher Xian. He was struck by the attention to detail the White Tiger School used to forge its new disciples. These Core formation elders were far from the aloof characters their incredible strength could have granted them. He was so absorbed in all the crucial information he received that he had forgotten about his question from last night. Like many other 1st years, he made the choice to stick to teacher Xian's plan as much as possible.

The previous demonstration also made him realize something very important: he was vulnerable. He wasn't safe. He was truly weaker than an ant compared to the might of an Elder. A stronger breeze might take him away someday. Their approachable side distracted him from their terrifying strength.

'What if an elder at the core formation realm loses control? What if another sect attacks us? How can I survive in the wilderness with monsters like this roaming around? What about my parents, what if someday, powerful cultivators fight in the vicinity of the city of Cemone?'

Han Lingyun widened his eyes at the realization. The sense of security from decades of peace in his previous life has blinded him. The conclusion was obvious.

'I need to gain in strength and fast. The longer I remain in my weak state, the greater the odds of something going wrong. I am not in control of anything except for my growth. When I am strong enough, I will have time to enjoy the view more thoroughly.'

Of course, Han Lingyun guessed that the sect must have measures in place to prevent an elder from causing any damage, and that the sect protecting array was an excellent shield against any enemy attack. But all this was beside the point: for now, he was at the mercy of others, and beside being a potential threat to his life, that could prove to be a hindrance in his grand aspiration to unveil the secrets of the universe.

Han Lingyun returned to his house, with a newfound determination that just kept growing since his discussion with Elder Wu at the library.

'No time to lose, let's get to work!'

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