AGM 249 - Metamorphosis
In the White Deer Institute, over at the back of the mountain, terrifying arrows formed from Astral Light were being fired off unceasingly.
Chu Mang's body was filled with an extremely oppressive energy. As he pulled on the bow wielded in his hands, the 'beautiful' contours of his arm were the epitome of masculinity.
In front of Chu Mang, blurry after-images moved about with extreme speed, dodging the fired arrows.
"Faster, Big Bro Chu Mang, use the will of your Mandate." Qin Wentian leisurely dodged the fired arrows as he called out to Chu Mang.
"Okay, be careful." Chu Mang nodded. With a huge shout that made the mountains tremble, the will of the Mandate of Arrows gushed forth. The screeching of the fired arrows turned sharper as a terrifying energy coated them, causing them to instantly vanish from sight.
Qin Wentian stared intently at the source of the fired arrows, he only felt streams of light being shot towards him, at a speed so fast that it almost escaped his notice. Powerful and terrifying. When fighting in team battles, if there was an expert archer amongst the group, that opposing archer must definitely be killed first.
As Qin Wentian maximised his concentration, he felt as though time had slowed. The traces of the fired arrow were slightly visible from the faint trajectory left behind, and could be felt upon sensing the motion of the wind.
The terrifying arrows broke through the void, one of them brushing just millimetres away from Qin Wentian's ear. The alarming sound of air being ripped apart made Qin Wentian's heart tremble slightly. However, an expression of extreme excitement could be seen in his eyes. "Big Bro Chu Mang, it's not enough. Fire more arrows at me."Chu Mang was visibly excited as well. This was the first time someone had dodged his arrows after he used the will of his Mandate. As he let loose three arrows in one go, Bailu Yi and Fan Le stood dumbfoundedly at the side, watching with their mouths wide open. Such a fearsome speed, it was as though they could already see the scenario of Qin Wentian's head being penetrated through by the arrows. Yet in actuality, Qin Wentian managed to avoid the arrows by a hair's breadth, their hearts almost stopping from his near-miss and the considerable degree of danger.
This type of training was pure madness.Not only that, Qin Wentian and Chu Mang had no intentions of stopping. The intensity of the sparring between them boiled to an incredible degree. The terrifying shower of arrows continue to rain down as Qin Wentian stretched his senses and executed his movement techniques to its absolute limits.
"Crack!" Abruptly, Bailu Yi and Fan Le saw Qin Wentian's ancient halberd appearing in his hands and slicing the arrows to pieces. At the same time, he dashed in the direction of Chu Mang."This madman," Fan Le scolded in a low voice.
Qin Wentian's and Chu Mang's frenzied sparring continued day after day, as though the word 'fatigue' couldn't be found in their dictionaries. Although Qin Wentian was still sorely suppressed, Bailu Yi and Fan Le were shocked by the speed of his progress. Currently, the power of his attacks were many times stronger when compared to the past.
It even gave people a sense of misperception. Every halberd strike that he made seemed to be one with himself, as well as one with Heaven and Earth. Even a casual strike of his contained overwhelming strength.
At this moment, the four of them sat in a circle on patches of grass, with Little Rascal lying down in the middle; the scene when viewed in its entirety gave one a feeling of harmony.
"Your breakthrough caused you to undergo such a great metamorphosis. It's as though you have undergone a qualitative evolution," Bailu Yi commented.
"Just a little, I guess. My sensory abilities, however, are several times stronger when compared to before.""Did you unlock 'Kinesthesia'?" Bailu Yi asked.
"Kinesthesia?" Qin Wentian's expression faltered as he glanced questioningly back at Bailu Yi.
"Yes, Kinesthesia," Bailu Yi explained upon seeing his bewilderment. "The mind and consciousness are correlated to the quintessence of the heart, by comprehending one's inner self fully, as well as strengthening one's perception of their external surroundings. The sensitivity towards usage and circulation of force is also improved, so as long as you see something, your mind and heart will work together to conceptualize it, aiding you greatly in your comprehension. Not only that, the external senses are greatly amplified as well.""Yeah, that's the sensation I had." Qin Wentian nodded. Currently, he could feel that his senses towards force circulation were extremely acute, especially during combat.A hint of laughter flickered in Bailu Yi's eyes as she regarded Qin Wentian. "It's not surprising. It seemed like your heart was stirred up after Leng Ning's incident, and forced you into a state of half-madness. Somehow, you managed to suppress it and unwittingly unlocked Kinesthesia. This kind of fortune can only be met by chance and not something that can be intentionally sought after. Unlocking Kinesthesia is something extremely rare, only seen once in a blue moon in Stellar Martial Cultivators. From now onwards, regardless of what you wish to comprehend, everything will be many times easier compared to before, because your heart and mind are now connected."Qin Wentian nodded his head; it seemed that the power he had unlocked, was Kinesthesia. However, he still felt that the candle flame was not the result of this, it seemed to be another thing altogether. That candle flame formed from the golden strands could even cause the tyrannical power of his bloodline to submit. How terrifying was that? It was only that he still couldn't fully understand what it was exactly at this moment.
"In normal circumstances, the majority of humans would use either their hearts or their minds when it came to comprehending things. You are really fortunate, the chances might not even be one in a million." Bailu Yi stared at Qin Wentian in envy.
"If only I could unlock it too, then my archery would definitely become even more powerful," Chu Mang lamented."I think so as well." Qin Wentian nodded in agreement. "Big Bro Chu Mang, I believe that you will definitely be able to unlock this state sooner or later. If you continue using your mind and consciousness to 'feel' the arrows, and shoot them with your 'heart', you will surely be able to succeed one day."
"And Fan Le, don't waste your talent, you should know the full strength of your power of intention. That power is something that normal cultivators can't actively train for, if they do not also possess an innate aptitude for it. If Big Bro Chu Mang had your talent, then he would be able to shift the trajectories of his arrows in mid-flight, easily slaying cultivators even at the sixth level of Yuanfu. You have to interact more with him, exchanging pointers and gaining insights into archery."
Qin Wentian looked to Fan Le as he spoke. Fan Le nodded, he had also changed after Leng Ning's death. He no longer needed someone to supervise him, prodding him to work hard. He would put in the effort himself.
"Don't start lecturing others. The exchange will start soon, so you should prepare yourself too, okay?" Bailu Yi rolled her eyes.
"Mhm, I will spend the rest of the remaining time researching Divine Inscriptions together with you." Qin Wentian lightly nodded his head.
"Okay." Bailu Yi smiled, she was filled with anticipation. Studying and researching Divine Inscriptions with Qin Wentian proved to be of immense help to her.
On the lush green patches of grass on this peaceful back mountain, Fan Le and Chu Mang practiced their archery, constantly improving themselves, while Bailu Yi and Qin Wentian studied and analysed Divine Inscriptions. As time flowed by, Bailu Yi grew increasingly shocked by Qin Wentian's rate of improvement. Their time in 'studying together', had become Qin Wentian solely providing guidance to her.
"Do you want to research the art of refining Puppets?" Bailu Yi brought up the topic upon seeing that Qin Wentian's attainment in combative Divine Inscriptions had reached a certain level.
"There's no need to, since Puppets are essentially Divine Weapons. To me, there's no difference, no need to intentionally waste time comprehending them." Qin Wentian shook his head.
"Are you that confident?" Bailu Yi laughed as she continued, "Do you want to try fighting against my Puppet?"
"Sure." Qin Wentian nodded, as he stood up and moved to an open location not far away. A crafty and mischievous smile appeared on Bailu Yi's face. With a flash of light, a Puppet appeared and instantly dashed towards Qin Wentian.
"Feel clearly how strong a Puppet is." Bailu Yi smiled. Her Puppet blasted forwards with a fist, which Qin Wentian met with a wave of his hands, causing a squarish imprint to manifest in the air, slamming into the Puppet's fist. Straight after, he slammed his own palm into the body of the Puppet with a speed as fast as lightning.
However, the Puppet wasn't forced back in the slightest. Qin Wentian only saw a light emerging forth from a faint runic pattern embedded in its chest, as Bailu Yi laughed. "It doesn't know pain, don't be too overconfident."Qin Wentian nonchalantly shrugged. He then retracted his palm and formed his fingers close together. Similar to the third stance of his Great Dream Halberd Art, he abruptly stabbed forth with a single finger, imbuing it with energy of the 'Fractured Void', the attack sinking into the Puppet's chest. Rumbling sounds rang out as the Puppet's chest was ruptured, before it blasted backwards.
The entire scene caused Bailu Yi's smile to freeze upon her face, was she hallucinating? The Puppet soon recovered as it flew forwards again, sending out a multitude of fist shadows that metamorphosed into the form of a black dragon, leaping forward with rage.
"Thousand-Hand Imprint." Qin Wentian waved his hands, creating countless palm shadows that covered the skies, destroying the black dragon. Immediately, he punched out with a fist coated by the will of his Mandate, aiming for the arms of the Puppet, crippling it.
Bailu Yi felt pain in her heart as she surveyed the damage to her Puppet. She couldn't help calling out, "Cease fire!"
Upon her command, the Puppet returned to Bailu Yi's side. However, to her surprise, it suddenly issued a palm strike towards her. Yet it left only the howl of the wind, there was no power in that strike. Bailu Yi glared fiercely at Qin Wentian, "Smelly brat, what did you do to my Puppet?"
Qin Wentian couldn't help but smile as he took in her angry expression. This lady when angered, looked pretty adorable as well.
"If one truly understood the essence of something, he would also be able to understand the myriad of ways it could be applied. Puppets are born of Divine Inscription, and as long as the Divine Inscription engraved in it is a third-level Divine Inscription, I can easily use the principles of Reverse Inscriptions to negate it." Qin Wentian grinned as he explained, causing a bright glow to shine in Bailu Yi's eyes. It was easier said than done, but could it be that in that short time period of sparring, he already understood the layout of runic outlines of the Divine Inscription embedded in her Puppet?
"Do you mean that as of now, even third-level Divine Inscriptions are of no threat to you?" Bailu Yi questioned.
Qin Wentian shook his head, "Peak-tier third-level Divine Puppets can still kill me easily. How would I have the time to comprehend the embedded Inscription? Unless there's someone helping me to block the attack, which would give me enough room to negate the Inscription."
"I see..." Bailu Yi nodded, but as she remembered the damage done to her Puppet, she fixed Qin Wentian with a severe stare, "How about my Puppet? How are you going to compensate me?"
"Let me help restore it." His words caused Bailu Yi to be thunderstruck. "You can even restore the damaged Inscription?"
Qin Wentian didn't reply, he walked towards the Puppet and indeed, after a while, the Puppet was restored back to its original condition before their sparring match. Could his words be true? If one truly understood the essence, one would understand the myriad number of ways to apply it!
Bailu Yi personally witnessed Qin Wentian instantly inscribe second-level Divine Inscriptions with a mere flick of his fingers. She mused in her heart, in this exchange, Qin Wentian's fame would surely skyrocket and his name would definitely shake the hearts of other Divine Inscriptionists.
Yan Tie's fate was sealed. He had no idea how monstrous a character he had unwittingly offended. On the surface, Qin Wentian appeared to have forgotten Leng Ning's death, but Bailu Yi could sense that he was merely suppressing the hatred and anger he felt in his heart, ready to unleash at any given moment!