Chapter One Hundred and Ninety Seven - Ningmai!
The ling power inside Zuo Mo's body was thick like a cloud as it filled his channels. If it was not being channeled they would be abnormally quiet and flow extremely slow as though they had stopped.
This was a characteristic unique to zhuji ling power. The ling power in Zuo Mo's body was thick like rain clouds, showing that his cultivation had reached the peak of zhuji.
The reason that his cultivation had grown so rapidly recently was all due to a strange repulsion at the little holes in his dantian. Before, any ling power he absorbed would spill from the little holes. Right now, the holes still existed but the ling power in his dantian would not spill and leave.
Zuo Mo was very suspicious that this strange repelling force was caused by the draw of earth energy away from his body as this began occurring after the earth energy had tempered his body.
However, the mysteries of channels were not something a little person like Zuo Mo could understand. He quickly threw it to the back of his mind and started to cultivate.
The cloud-like ling power relentlessly circulated in his body. Zuo Mo had already maintained this for four hours. His ling power was active while his mind and body were all at their best condition.
He started to charge into ningmai!
All the ling power in his body were roused, they started to flow through the channels at a speed Zuo Mo was familiar with.
Ningmai, or concentrating channels, required condensing the mist-like ling power into liquid form ling power. The simplest way was to continuously absorb ling power thus increasing the density of ling power causing it to condense from gas into liquid.
However, the process was not so simple when this condensation occurred in real life. After one's cultivation reached the peak of zhuji, they would encounter resistance when they absorbed ling power. If they could not absorb ling power they could not increase the density of ling power.
Many people found themselves stuck at this gate into ningmai.
There were many ways to break through to the stage of ningmai, such as lingdan. The markets would sell Ningmai Dan. The success rate was high but not everyone liked to use them. Different than zhuji, those in ningmai stage started to comprehend the laws of the world. The breakthrough to ningmai was a wonderful opportunity to comprehend all kinds of laws. Xiuzhe who had confidence and high aspirations for themselves usually would not chose the Ningmai Dan but to comprehend by themselves.
Zuo Mo chose to comprehend it himself.
With his present wealth it was very easy to buy a Ningmai Dan, but he was understood that the easier the beginning was the easier it was to trip at later stages. If he walked more steadily at the beginning, even if he suffered more, the beneficial it would be for him later.
He had grown in this half year, and with the recent battle he had grown rapidly.
This kind of growth was not just in cultivation and formations, it was also the growth of his mind. Continuously encountering certain things caused him to understand many things. Even though it was hard to change his habit of taking shortcuts when possible, but regarding cultivation, he was abnormally steadfast.
Carefully channeling the ling power in his body his spiritual leaf hand opened like a flower. Any change in his ling power would be instantly detected by the leaf hand.
Using spiritual power had become Zuo Mo's instinct. After he started [Embryonic Breathing Spiritual Cultivation] he became used to using his consciousness in any situation.
This habit had given him many benefits. He became even more determined to persist in this habit.
The mist-like ling power continuously magnified in front of his eyes. He could even see tinier wisps of ling power swimming within. They were like a group of tadpoles. They appeared to be one but the interior was made up of countless little entities.
There was a weak attraction between wisps of ling power, but as the ling power in the channels continued to increase there was a kind of repulsion that occurred between the ling power. The amount of ling power in the channels had reached a limit!
For some reason, Zuo Mo suddenly thought of Wu Kong Mountains, thought of the time that he had been farming in ling fields at Wu Kong Mountain.
A faint sorrow slowly flowed at the bottom of his heart. The ling power inside his body seemed to feel his emotions and instantly slowed down.
It took only a short while for Zuo Mo to fight his way out of the sadness. The world could not be predicted. He had started to learn how to deal with these emotions. He didn't hold any hatred towards Wu Kong Sword Sect. The sect leader's choice was not wrong at the core. With the exception of a few conservative and extremely old sects the great majority of sects were extremely mobile.
He just had never thought this would happen to him.
Focusing Zuo Mo controlled his thoughts and brought his attention back on his ling power.
He knew why he would suddenly recall farming ling fields on Wu Kong Mountain. The mist made him think of [Little Art of Cloud and Rain].
He was so familiar with the [Little Art of Cloud and Rain] he couldn't be any more familiar. It was the spell out of the five basic spells that he had the deepest comprehension of. For a long time, he had relied on it to not starve.
Wasn't the the process of ningmai just transforming water element power to rain?
The [Little Art of Cloud and Rain] required first to use the spell to gather water element power. When the power reached a certain level, it would form water drops and fall as rain, nurturing the ling fields.
The two were so similar!
How did ling rain form? Zuo Mo was too familiar. In the past, in order to study the [Little Art of Cloud and Rain], he almost took apart everything in the the [Little Art of Cloud and Rain].
Water element power was invisible and intangible. It could not directly turn to water drops. There were two requirements: one was having enough water element power, the other was collisions. The water element power had to collide among themselves. Only through mutual collisions to overcome the repulsion between the water element power could water drops form. The water drop would increase in size and condense in the air.
One way worked so it worked for ten thousand problems.
Zuo Mo's thoughts became abnormally clear and he was very confident that his direction was not wrong.
Since the ling power in his body had reached a limit and no matter how he tried, he could not absorb any more ling power, then what he needed to do now was to cause the ling power to collide.
To cause the collisions in [Little Art of Cloud and Rain], Zuo Mo used turbulence in the air. The changes in air flow would cause the water element power to continuously collide.
Naturally, this method would not work on ling power. Other than ling power, the channels did not contain anything else.
His direction was not wrong. What he had to find now was a realistic method.
After thinking for a while, he thought of a way. Smashing ling power!
If he split his ling power into two parts and then made them smash into each other at high speeds, would that accomplish the effects of a collision?
His mind became alert. It would be difficult for others to use their mind for two things at once, but he possessed the leaf hand, it wasn't a problem.
He didn't rashly start but continued to sit and ponder.
He thought through every possible problem that he could think off. Some questions that he didn't know the answers to, he would only know when he tried it.
Zuo Mo decided to start experimenting.
He split the ling power inside his body to two parts
The spiritual leaf hand started to shake, two portions of ling power started to move along their own paths. One half of ling power flowed through the channels on his left side, revolving clockwise. The other half of his ling power flowed through the channels on his right and revolved counter-clockwise.
Zuo Mo's mind was clear, untainted by mortal matters, no sorrow or joy.
On his body, there was none of the frugality and worldliness that he usually had, but a faint and clean aura.
His ling power circulated while gradually speeding up.
The reason that low level xiuzhe attacks were so weak, besides their cultivation, was that they were limited by the speed the ling power circulated through their body. When high level xiuzhe thought, their ling power would be like a tsunami, and a killing move would form. For low level xiuzhe, even if they managed to respond in time, and channeled the ling power in their body, the time that was needed was much longer than high level xiuzhe.
But as Zuo Mo continued to speed up the circulation, the speed of the two groups of ling power had reached the limits of his endurance. His channels started to hurt.
The intensity was pretty much enough!
Zuo Mo gritted his teeth. The two high speed flows of ling power moved simultaneously from up and down towards his dantian!
The dantian was the place chose for the collision. Compared to the narrow channels, the dantian was much broader and the amount of ling power it could tolerate was much higher.
This held a certain degree of danger. The dantian was the nexus of all the channels in the body. If he made a mistake then it would be a calamity.
Cultivation was to go against the natural order and it was full of dangers. This was just ningmai. If his cultivation deepened, he would encounter more dangers such as heart demons and heavenly tribulations, and risk the destruction of his soul at any time.
Knowing that there was danger, Zuo Mo's mind was abnormally clear without any fear.
Two high speed ling power flows charged into the dantian and collided without any finesse!
Zuo Mo's body shook, his head ringing. It was as though he had been struck by a large hammer. He felt his body boil. There was an instant where his soul was outside his body, his mind completely blank, not knowing what was happening.
But when Zuo Mo woke up, he felt his body was unspeakably comfortable, soft and relaxed, so comfortable that he wanted to groan!
Zuo Mo did not sink into this comfort. He carefully inspected the changes in the ling power at his dantian.
A strange scene was occurring in front of him.
The two flows of mist that had ran head first at each other merged into a ball of ling power, and this ling power ball was slowly drizzling rain.
The feeling of comfort was from the ling power raining down at the dantian.
As the ling power continued to collide, the ling power rain constantly rained down on the dantian. In a little while, the dantian turned to a little pond.
Zuo Mo was overjoyed!
These water-like ling power meant that Zuo Mo had successfully entered ningmai!
He suppressed the happiness inside and carefully channeled the two streams of ling power. When all the ling power had collided, that was completion!
The ling power fell like rain.
Zuo Mo patiently waited for the last thread of ling power to turn collide into drops and land in the ling power pond below.
Feeling his dantian was hollow, Zuo Mo took out a piece of jingshi and furiously absorbed.
When the ling power was absorbed inside his body, he repeated the process and turned the ling power into liquid. Zuo Mo absorbed three pieces of third-grade jingshi before his dantian felt slightly filled.
Opening his eyes, he could not disguise the joy he felt. The ling power in his body was three times what he had in zhuji. This now was just after he had broken through.
He finally understood why ningmai was so much stronger than zhuji.
At some unknown time, his body had become wet, a sticky black layer pasted onto his body and emitting a nasty odour.
Zuo Mo hurriedly cast the [Little Art of Cloud and Rain] and washed his body clean. The black substance were impurities from his body.
After finishing, Zuo Mo felt his body was filled with ling power, unable to stop himself from howling.
Lil' Pagoda that was in charge of the [Sky Ring Moon Chime] Formation simultaneously started the formation with a ring from the Buddha Sound Hoop.
All of Desolate Wood Reef could hear it.
Translator Ramblings: Zuo Mo's first spell makes an appearance back again. This is his version understanding ningmai. Other people probably have to comprehend different things.
There's a lot that can be argued about the decisions Wu Kong Sword Sect made but the first matter is to say that Fang Xiang really created characters that are controversial yet relatable, not one-sided selfish antagonists. By the time I got to these chapters, it was almost entirely relief that the struggle is over. I go through the process of anger and relief every time I reread.
These elders are not the all-knowing and wise elders that exist in some stories, they are imperfect individuals that make decisions based on the limited information they have. Each person has priorities and just became one of those priorities is lower on the list does not mean that it didn't mean anything. There is a whole series of decisions that created the choice at the end, and no one is faultless. You might say that Zuo Mo was doomed to leave once he encountered Pu Yao. At the same time, Zuo Mo may have influenced decisions that were made but he is almost always in the reactive position.
This is obviously been a case of the needs of the many outweighing the few as the elders prioritize the sect. From Pei Yuan Ran's perspective, this is the best result. He cannot sacrifice the safety of the sect which had just started to prosper, and was the lifelong goal of him and the other elders, for one ningmai disciple that most likely cannot pass on the sword teachings of the sect. While Shi Feng Rong may have made it to Desolate Wood Reef in three days, she most likely could not have flew back with Zuo Mo in three days, and that would be past the deadline for the move. Zuo Mo may be Shi Feng Rong's student, but she has other students like Xiao Guo. But I do not mean that this was the best decision to take for both Zuo Mo and the sect. As the story proceeds, the world will expand and many things will be explained.