Chapter One Hundred and Four - Hesitation
The first problem was strengthening his channels.
Only stronger channels could tolerate the Stalagmite fire. Otherwise Zuo Mo would be frozen into a popsicle by the Stalagmite fire. This first problem was enough to trip Zuo Mo up. The only scripture that he had related to strengthening the body was [Vajra Profound Sutra]. The effects of the [Vajra Profound Sutra] didn't look very bad right now, and Zuo Mo tried to find a section on it relating to strengthening channels.
He was quickly disappointed.
There wasn't too much in [Vajra Profound Sutra] on strengthening channels. Zuo Mo, unsatisfied, ran to the records room, searching everywhere for scriptures that could strengthen his channels. He quickly found related content from some of the body cultivation jade schools. However, he was even further disappointed. Each of the jade scrolls clearly wrote that strengthening channels was a very profound field.
Body cultivation first trained the flesh, then the tendons, and then the bones before the channels.
With his weak zhuji cultivation, he couldn't even start to think about it.
Zuo Mo was not discouraged. This was not the first time he had encountered an obstacle like this. The jade scrolls that he had struggled so much to obtain were unclear in many places. That required him to think about it himself. If one path did not work, he would change to another. He could always find a workable solution.
Since it was not possible to strengthen his channels, that meant that he could not carry out his idea of purifying ling energy in his channels.
What about on the outside? If he could purify the ling energy outside the channels, then the ling energy he would absorb into his body would become pure ling power. Zuo Mo sank into deep thought. How could he purify ling energy outside the body to turn it into ling power? Inside the body, ling energy was invisible and non-tangible. How could he purify it?
Each question seemed to be beyond his limits, but he did not plan on giving up.
" For this sword test conference, who are we sending?" Yan Le looked at Sect Leader Pei Yuan Ran. There was only the two of them in Wu Kong Hall. Xin Yan was in seclusion forging. Shi Feng Rong was in seclusion making dan.
"Naturally, Wei Sheng will have to go. I just don't know if he'll come out in time," Sect Leader said,"Zuo Mo can also go."
"Ha ha, the little guy ran to make a fuss at Ling Ying Sect. I heard he was extremely impressive," Yan Le smiled. The Ling Ying Sect, just by relying on their wealth had always been extremely arrogant towards the other sects of Dong Fu. There were many that thought them an eyesore.
"En, Zuo Mo's talent is not bad. It's a pity he cannot focus on the sword," Sect Leader said with regret,"It could be considered an honorable defeat, that he lost on Chang Heng's hands."
Yan Le shrugged carelessly, "It's good even if he does not focus on the sword. In the future, the sect needs people like Zuo Mo."
Sect Leader nodded and did not say anything. He turned to say, "You can go take a look at Luo Li. The incident last time really shocked him. He should have improved."
"Just these three?" Yan Le asked.
"En, just these three," The sect leader added, "there's no rush. There's still time until the preliminary sword test conference."
Yan Le excitedly clenched his hands, "I'm looking forward to it. If Wei Sheng gets out in time, he will definitely shock everyone."
The sect leader gave a light smile. Even though he did not say anything, but the flash of light in his eyes revealed his thoughts.
The great harvest of Fiery Red flower once again bloated Zuo Mo's purse. The price of Fiery Red flower had risen again during this time, to now two and a half third-grade jingshi per tael. The eighty mu of ling garden had, in total, produced twenty two catties of first grade Fiery Red flower. Other than that, there was almost one catty of second-grade Fiery Red flower. The price of second-grade Fiery Red flower had grown to sixty pieces of third-grade jingshi per tael. Taking off the previous payment of sixty pieces of third-grade jingshi, in total, Zuo Mo's income was one thousand and ninety pieces of third-grade jingshi.
This was his biggest payout of jingshi yet.
To stop Pu Yao from secretly taking it like usual, Zuo Mo decided to attack first. Based on income, Zuo Mo definitely was in the high ranks of Dong Fu, but all of his jingshi was stolen by Pu Yao before they even got warm in his purse.
Pu Yao saw Zuo Mo's nervousness, and mocked, "Just one thousand pieces of third-grade jingshi, it's just two pieces of fourth-grade jingshi, do you have to be like this?"
Zuo Mo was completely unaffected. "I'll exchange it for something." He then added: "That I can use."
Pu Yao said slowly, "Haven't you been looking for a way to purify ling energy recently?"
Zuo Mo's mind became alert. "Yes! Do you know how?"
"There's nothing wrong with your idea." Pu Yao snickered, "But you know too little. Even if you have a good idea, you cannot solve it."
"I'll exchange for this!" Zuo Mo unhesitatingly said.
"Hee hee." Pu Yao lightly swept his sleeve. A stream of clinks of jingshi hitting each other sounded, but Zuo Mo did not feel pain this time. He only stared at Pu Yao, waiting for him to keep talking.
"Then I will teach you. In reality, this is a very simple method." Pu Yao's face resumed its habitual indifference. "Tsk tsk. Even though your idea is only superficial, but to think of it with your skill level isn't easy." Pu Yao's indifference gradually disappeared without him noticing, his voice becoming serious.
"Xiuzhe, yao, mo, the three of them, the one that has the hardest time to create ling power is xiuzhe," Seeing Zuo Mo's surprised eyes, Pu Yao laughed lightly, "You must find it weird, that the xiuzhe who focus on ling poweras their primary have the hardest time with ling power. No matter if it is yao or mo, they are born with the ability to communicate with nature. Like us yao, once we are born, we can manipulate ling energy of the world. Mo, their bodies can automatically absorb the ling energy of the world, and naturally get rid of impurities, that they use to temper their body. They do not need to do anything for their blood and flesh to be filled with ling energy. Based on natural talent, xiuzhe cannot be compared to us. However, they are very good at learning. You have practiced many scriptures now. Do you know what is the core of scriptures?"
"What is it?" Zuo Mo, entranced, asked reflexively.
"Formations," Pu Yao's eyes became extremely deep, as though he was looking through the ages, "Each scripture is a kind of formation. Scriptures, most of them are divided into parts. The first is absorption. If it cannot take in ling energy of the world, then the scripture is useless. Then it is forging. If it cannot purify the ling energy, then it is not useful, and would harm the user. After that, it is storage. If it cannot store the power, it's useless no matter how much is absorbed and purified."
Zuo Mo was dumbstruck. No one had broken down scriptures like this before. Pu Yao stated it so simply, without any part that was difficult to comprehend. Zuo Mo finely pondered it, and instantly understood. It really was so!
"Good scriptures, the efficiency of taking ling energy is higher, the purification is faster, and it can store more ling power. Hm, it's just this simple." Pu Yao sighed. "You must be wondering why us yaomo can naturally absorb ling energy? That is because us yaomo have natural formations in our body. This is a blessing from nature! It is a pity that our intelligence is not as great as xiuzhe, ignorant of the treasure in our possession. Millions of years, we only knew to act according to our instinct, never thinking of the mechanisms behind it. Only when xiuzhe started to rise did we start to study, but by that time, we were too far behind xiuzhe and could only develop in two other directions."
"Oh, that's off topic." Pu Yao suddenly gave a smile. "Let us return to your question. Your problem is easy to solve for all time. How about it, do you want to try?"
Pu Yao was already extraordinarily beautiful. That smile, it seemed to light up the sea of consciousness. Even Zuo Mo was shocked. He was suspicious that, if Pu Yao appeared in Dong Fu, there wouldn't be a woman in Dong Fu that would be able to resist his spell. But, a male growing up to look like this, it really was a crime!
"What method?" Zuo Mo asked, slightly hesitant. You had to reverse Pu Yao's words. If he said something like it would be solved forever, then it most likely would be continuously troublesome in the future.
"Your luck isn't bad. You encountered me" Pu Yao resumed his lazy expression, "Didn't I already say to you just now, yaomo can naturally gather ling energy and purify it. Coincidentally, this kind of natural seal formation, I have a little knowledge."
"Such a thing as good as this, how could those experts give up on it?" Zuo Mo didn't quite believe it. The yaomo that xiuzhe had captured could not be counted. If there really was some secret on the bodies of yaomo, it should have been discovered long ago.
"Ha!" Pu Yao smiled mockingly, "They've been angling for this thing for a long time. Pity, nature blessed us Yao with this just so yaomo will not go extinct! How about it, want to try?"
"How high can it increase? Is there any side effects? Would it conflict with practicing scriptures?" Zuo Mo asked a string of questions.
"Hee hee, how much can it increase, this depends on your body. At least, it would be multiple times what it is now. Side effects? Of course there would some. In this world, is there anything that is only beneficial? Losses and gains, I shouldn't have to teach you such a simple tenet. As to cultivating scriptures, it wouldn't affect it, definitely wouldn't affect it." Pu Yao resolutely said.
Zuo Mo lowered his head, sinking into his thoughts. Pu Yao did not hurry him, idly sitting on the gravestone.
For some reason, Zuo Mo had a feeling that the following decision would change and influence his entire life. He did not know why he would have such a feeling. He had learned many things from Pu Yao, but never had a feeling like this before. This feeling was so strong, so clear.
He was hesitant.
He had been very happy these recent days. Even though he was still worried about jingshi, but everything was developing so well. He had improved step by step. Each day was very full. If he kept going like this, he definitely wouldn't have to worry about jingshi in the future, and could live a very good life. In the sect, he would also have a pretty good position.
He could study ling plants, could study dan-making, could study... ...
But that repeated dream, like fate, it always seemed to accidentally guide him towards another direction. Changing features and erasing the mind, his body was still carrying a past of unknown hardship and cruelty... ...
Head down, Zuo Mo's hands fisted unconsciously, his entire body minutely trembling.
What was it that he wanted?
What was it that he could not avoid?
Translator Ramblings: Zuo Mo goes back to farming and gets some money. Then Pu Yao finally introduces the world to Zuo Mo. A lot of weird information to build up the world and will become important later. Pu is a very good teacher and his attitude about all three races is really evident here.
Zuo Mo thinks of weird things to do like purifying ling energy outside the body because he doesn't know anything about the world. It's like how he thought he could make yin fire beads but didn't know that his cultivation was not enough. He breaks convention because he is not aware where convention is. Of course, that also trips him up when he is not aware some people have already invented certain things.