A God in a Xianxia world

by

jmj1011995

Chapter 18 - Continuous Breakthroughs (3)

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It had gotten dark while Tom had been sitting in his room but he wasn't particularly tired yet and felt that it would probably be another couple of hours before he would be. Considering the rate he'd been going at, he reckoned that he would be able to pass through all the stages of preliminary cultivation before he had the need to sleep.

Having passed the first five, qi assimilation was next. This was an important step in cultivation as it allowed a cultivator to freely manipulate the qi they had absorbed. Before qi assimilation the extent of a person's influence over qi was limited to moving it. They could make small amounts of qi become more, or less, active and could also draw qi towards them or push it away. However, that was the extent of a person's influence. The qi that they had absorbed wasn't really theirs and they couldn't do anything with it beyond that. Assimilating qi made it one with their mind and body, allowing them to easily manipulate it, move it through the body and change its form.

Tom began focusing on the qi he had already absorbed into his body. He had already become in tune with the qi and could feel it in his body. He had also already managed to make a tangible connection with it to exert his influence over it. However, he knew he wasn't the owner of this qi. The control he could exert over it was just the basics of the basics. To assimilate it he needed to make a deeper connection with it.

Like this Tom sat continuing to try and make a breakthrough. His current state of mind was one of both relaxation and expectation. With his previous breakthroughs he was no longer as concerned about the time limit of the bet and had started to become confident in his own ability.

Tom wasn't always the most patient person, evidenced by running to Jacob for help finishing his world, but, he wasn't a stranger to patience either. On his home world, before his ascension, he had spent countless years traveling the seas, living a carefree existence. Currently, he wasn't trying to rush breaking through to the next stage. He knew that these things took time and that he would need to stay calm and composed.

Almost two hours passed while he was in this state before a change occurred. Tom could feel that the qi in his body was becoming connected to his mind, to his thoughts. It was no longer a foreign object inside his body; rather it was a part of his body, an extension of himself.

Tom had achieved the 6th stage of preliminary cultivation and the qi in his body was being assimilated by him. It wasn't long before all of the qi in his body had been assimilated, but then again, there wasn't much to assimilate. Right now there was only an insignificant amount of qi in Tom's body. Nevertheless, Tom had once again made headway on the path of cultivation.

Now that he had achieved the 6th stage of preliminary cultivation he could move onto the 7th and final stage for a preliminary cultivator, qi infusion. Tom knew from the original Tom's memories that qi infusion is one of the applications of qi and also necessary to step into the first realm of cultivation, body strengthening.

Qi infusion is the process by which someone or something injects qi into an object in order to strengthen it. In the case of human cultivation, a person must allow the qi they have assimilated to permeate through all the parts of their body. This qi will then imbue the body with greater strength. However, as with all things, there is a limit to how much qi can be infused and how much the body can be strengthened.

Human cultivators go through 10 levels of body strengthening, with each level increasing the force the body can exert by an additional 1000 jin. The process of body strengthening is vitally important to cultivators because only after they've gone through it will their bodies be strong enough to enter the next realm of cultivation, qi expansion. Without achieving the 10th level of body strengthening, the body will not be able to handle the expansion of the qi pathways in the body and the increased amount of qi.

Actually, the body can be strengthened further through qi infusion, however, that comes later in cultivation. Furthermore, besides the permanent increase in strength that qi infusion gives, there are many ways to apply qi in order to temporarily increase ones strength.

Tom immediately began trying to infuse qi into his muscles and the rest of his body. He'd been annoyed at how weak his current body was because as a magic beast, never mind as a god, he had had a naturally powerful body since birth. The chance to improve the strength of his current body came as a comfort to him.

Surprisingly, since he had already assimilated it, he didn't find he had a problem with infusing qi. He was already fully in control of the qi in his body and quickly felt it seeping through his qi pathways into the rest of his body. Perhaps it was because he already had so much experience with mana, which had some similarities to qi, that he was able to conceptualise its manipulation so easily.

Tom could feel the qi was soaking into all the parts of his body. He began to structure the qi in accordance with the Cardinal clan's cultivation manuals. Qi structuring is one of the ways that qi is manipulated and is done as part of qi infusion. It is one of the ways in which qi's form is changed and is done to increase the strength of objects, in this case Tom's body.

Unfortunately, qi infusion is a process that requires accumulation and not just comprehension. The little bit of qi in Tom's body would never be enough to achieve the first level of body strengthening. He would have to soak all of his body in qi before its structure would complement itself and increase his body's strength by 1,000 jin.

Tom quickly ran out of qi in his qi pathways and needed to start cultivating again. He needed to absorb and assimilate more qi before he could start infusing qi again. Looking around, he spotted where he had left the low quality qi stone and picked it up. This qi stone had a high concentration of natural qi that was easy to absorb and assimilate, and would greatly reduce the time needed to achieve the first level of body strengthening.

Tom held the qi stone in his hand and started absorbing the qi from it. He felt a rush of energy move through his qi pathways which were almost instantly filled up. Actually, even when just cultivating normally these qi pathways wouldn't take too long to fill up because they currently couldn't hold much qi at all. Nevertheless, using the qi stone did undoubtedly cut down the time by a fair amount and that time would stack while trying to achieve the first level of body strengthening.

After having absorbed the qi from the qi stone and assimilating it, Tom immediately went back to infusing qi. Even if he wasn't in a rush, he didn't want to waste time either. His current goal was the first level of body strengthening and he intended to reach it as quickly as possible.

................................................

"So... he's accomplished all the stages of preliminary cultivation" said Jacob.

"It appears so" responded Methis.

"You know... I should feel happy for him, but honestly I find it annoying that he was able to do it so fast."

"Ha, you would" Methis chuckled and said. "How long was it that you were stuck as a preliminary cultivator? I forget"

"3 years" Jacob said with a slightly sour expression on his face.

"Well... after all, he is still a god. He might not be used to qi but from my perspective it's not that much different from mana. Since he's actually able to, I'd be more surprised if he couldn't pick it up quickly" Said Methis knowingly.

"Still though, will 20 years be enough? Has anyone ever advanced that fast on this world?" asked Jacob.

Jacob was thinking about the time limit for the bet that Methis had set. It was regretful, but no matter how he thought about it he couldn't help but think that Tom wouldn't have enough time. Even if Tom had a better starting point than when he was a mortal human on this world; it still took him 237 years from the beginning of his life until when he finally ascended, which could still be described as rather fast, especially since so few people are able to achieve ascension and godhood. Tom had to essentially accomplish what he had in less than a tenth of the time.

"Perhaps" Methis mused.

"It'll all depend on his circumstances. He's unlikely to experience the bottlenecks that people cultivating for the first time experience, but, it'll be nigh impossible if he doesn't use cultivating resources and the Mantal kingdom alone, not to mention the Cardinal clan, doesn't have enough to provide him with. Well, even before that, it seems we're getting ahead of ourselves. First he has to survive down there and considering what's going on in the Mantal kingdom that might be easier said than done"

"I see" said Jacob.

Having discussed about these matters, both Jacob and Methis returned their attention towards Tom. They were keeping a close eye on him to see what would happen next.

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jmj1011995

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