In the world that Tom was currently located in, people cultivated qi, a lesser form of Primal energy that this world was inundated in, in order to become strong. They did this by cultivating through many different cultivating stages and in the end they would have to chance to extend their own lives and possibly even ascend to godhood through comprehension of Primal energy.

As Tom was sitting and concentrating, memories about cultivating flooded through his mind. He learned that on this world, to embark on the process of cultivation and become a true cultivator, one most pass through the preliminary stages of cultivation. Right now, in his current body, Tom couldn't even be considered as a preliminary cultivator. Right now he was just an ordinary person. Methis had told him he would have to start from scratch and this was truly the case. In fact, even if Methis had put Tom's consciousness into the body of a superior cultivator on this planet, it wouldn't mean that Tom would be able to use or comprehend the energies that resided in that cultivator's body. Sticking him in a vessel with zero cultivation was the best way for a god to begin to comprehend energies outside of the primary energy or energies that they ascended to godhood through. By starting off with zero cultivation, Tom would be able to incrementally increase his understanding of Primal energy and his ability to use it.

Sifting through the information from the memories, Tom learned that there were seven stages of preliminary cultivation. These were; qi sensing, body sensing, body opening, qi absorption, qi storage, qi assimilation and qi infusion.

Now that he had this information, Tom could finally start on the path of cultivating and take his first step towards comprehending Primal energy. Of course, a prerequisite for this was whether or not he was actually able to take that first step. Methis had told him that this was a method for gods to bypass the constraints of being able to comprehend different types of energy, but, he also warned that it would be a situation where he was either able to do it or wasn't able to.

Tom sincerely hoped it would be the former; otherwise, he wouldn't be able to win his bet with Methis and would be stuck with a barren world that he wasn't able to populate. What's more, regardless of whether or not he was able to cultivate, he'd be stuck on this planet for the next 20 years. Of course, he could just destroy his vessel as an easy way out. If he did this, his consciousness would instantly reconnect with the rest of his Essence that was in slumber, but, that would be wasting the time he had down here. Even if he didn't win the bet, just sensing a bit of Primal energy or its lesser energies would set Tom off on a path to becoming a stronger god. Being on this planet, in this vessel, was a huge opportunity for Tom and he didn't intend to waste it.

Having gotten a comprehensive overview of things, it was time for Tom to start tackling the preliminary stages of cultivation, of which the first stage was sensing qi. Tom had mixed feelings going into this. Whether or not he was able to pass this first stage would determine his next 20 years on this planet.

Tom started by trying to sense the energy around him. He was concentrating and trying to become in tune with the qi which was present in the air. Although the first stage of preliminary cultivation was called qi sensing, it could also be called qi feeling or qi connecting. In fact, to a certain degree Tom could already sense the qi on this planet, but, although he was aware of its presence, he wasn't able to feel it and he couldn't connect with it.

Currently, the energy on this planet was all rather indistinct to Tom. When he was looking down at this world from above he could sense the different concentrations of energy across the world, but, he couldn't comprehend that energy. Right now he was in the same situation, just on a smaller scale. There was qi in the atmosphere around him. It wasn't very much, it was rather faint, but, he knew that it was there. Unfortunately, he just wasn't able to properly sense it. It all felt too indistinct to him. The moment he was able to distinguish it would be the moment he had passed the first obstacle on his path to cultivation.

In this state, sitting and trying to feel the energy in the air, several hours passed, but, Tom still wasn't able to pass the first hurdle of cultivation. He was beginning to get exasperated. He'd tried using methods and guides from the Cardinal clan's records to help in sensing the qi around him but none of them were any help. They were all pretty much just vague descriptions and suggestions of qi and how to try and sense it, but, how could someone who has passed this first stage possibly explain it in a way that someone who hasn't would be able to understand?

Tom stood up to stretch his legs. He'd been sitting motionlessly for several hours now and needed a small break. He decided to take this opportunity to look around his room. He'd already taken note of the larger items, such as the bed, the desk, the chair, the chest of drawer and the wardrobe, but he hadn't taken note of the smaller items lying around the room.

He looked over the desk and saw some papers, things that were related to Tom Cardinal's work. After all, about the only thing Tom Cardinal could do in the clan was administrative and financial work that involved documents and such. He looked in the chest of drawers and wardrobe and saw the different clothes he owned. A lot of it was smart attire. Mixed in there were some garments which were red or had the Cardinal clan's emblem, which was a sword that was pointing to the ground and had a split down the middle. The colours and emblem of the Cardinal clan could be seen on the clothes of the clan's personal guards as well as clan members.

Continuing to look around the room, Tom's eyes were attracted to the bedside table. On this table was a small and impure stone. It seemed to have a mineral or ore running through it. This stone was actually a low quality qi stone. Gerald had left it with his son in case he was ever able to cultivate. If he was, he was meant to absorb the qi present in the stone as proof and show it to his father. Gerald would then spend time educating his son about cultivating and try and to help him become a true cultivator. Well, although he did this, he didn't hold out any hope that this day would ever come to pass. He'd already accepted that his son just wouldn't be able to cultivate.

Tom picked up the stone, twiddled it in his hand a bit and then sat down with it in his hand. Tom was attracted to this object because it had a greater density of qi than anything else in this room.

A qi stone was essentially a natural deposit of qi that formed in the earth. By its nature, it would have a greater concentration of qi than the atmosphere. These were actually valuable cultivating resources that would help people progress on their path of cultivation.

Tom stared intently at the qi stone. His eyes followed the discolouration where the mineral or ore was. As he was staring at this rock, his perception of it began to change. The discolouration began to look more vibrant and the stone no longer felt like a mere dead weight in his hand. Tom could feel the energy inside it. What was previously intangible to him was becoming tangible. What was indistinct was becoming distinguishable.

"Ha ha ha, Ha ha ha ha Ha" Tom burst out with laughing boisterously.

Right now Tom was unbelievably happy, because, right now Tom could sense the qi in the qi stone and as he sensed the qi in the qi stone, he became able to sense the qi in his surroundings as well. It was only a little bit, it was only the first step on his journey and far away from Primal energy, but, he'd done it. He'd passed the first stage of preliminary cultivation and stepped onto the path of a cultivator.

"Methis, just you wait... just you wait" he said while grinning to himself.


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