Chapter 18: Fumbling
Translator: YH Editor: X
Defeating an amateur did not stir up Ai Hui's emotions, but the short battle did give him the opportunity to witness his own improvement. The increased elemental energy had a direct effect on his strength. The metal elemental energy absorbed from the Suspending Golden Pagoda was much purer than that of common sources. The elemental energy within his body was still considerably weak, but a threefold increase in elemental energy implied much greater room for development.
Ai Hui walked toward the Suspending Golden Pagoda, stopping outside its front gate. With the previous experience still fresh in his mind, he did not hastily enter the grounds this time.
The howling gales within the pagoda were still as intimidating as ever.
Ai Hui took out the rope he just bought, tying one end to a rock the size of a wicker basket. He tied the other end to his waist, lifted the rock, and threw it into the pagoda.
The rope suddenly stretched taut and a powerful pulling force quickly followed. Ai Hui was well-prepared, but still he stumbled.
The terrible metal winds within the pagoda violently tossed the rock in every direction. The force that pulled on the rope was beyond Ai Hui's expectations. He struggled to keep his body steady, but was still dragged toward the pagoda's entrance.
Since was truly lucky to have made it out of the pagoda previously, Ai Hui felt a lingering fear.
The rope suddenly relaxed, as the force pulling him forward disappeared. Ai Hui was still exerting his power backward and was unprepared for the sudden change. He reacted quickly, gently tapping the floor with his palm as he fell before he soared back up and landed squarely on his feet.
The rope had snapped. Ai Hui pulled the broken end over to investigate and found that the rope had a large number of tiny pinhole-like punctures through it.
Discovering that a rope made of grass was not good enough, Ai Hui shook his head. The numerous tiny holes were caused by fine silver strands of metal elemental energy piercing the rope. The rock would probably not last much longer either. Within moments, the slamming sounds coming from within the pagoda came to a halt, and a crashing noise followed. The rock must have been shattered into a pile of small stones.
The metal winds were truly ferocious!
No wonder this training ground was only recommended to those who had opened their natal palaces.
Luckily, Ai Hui had a backup plan as he pulled out an iron chain that was as thick as his wrist. Dragging this iron chain all the way to the Suspending Golden Pagoda had worn him out. He flung one end of the iron chain into the pagoda, waited a while, then pulled it back out. The chains remained undamaged. The metal fences in the pagoda that Ai Hui saw during last visit gave him the idea that an iron chain might be able to withstand the metal wind.
Ai Hui expended a large amount of effort and spent an entire hour pushing a rock larger than himself to the pagoda. There was no other choice since he had smashed up all the surrounding rocks on his last visit.
He wrapped one end of the iron chain around the rock before attaching the other to his waist.
After ensuring that the ends were firmly secured, Ai Hui took a deep breath and jumped into the Suspending Golden Pagoda.
Once inside, Ai Hui was immediately swept up by the violent metal winds, spinning around like a top. A powerful force unexpectedly pulled at his waist, nearly snapping him into two. The iron chain wrapped around his waist was stretched so taut that it was perfectly straight. Seeing that his method worked, Ai Hui heaved a sigh of relief. He barely had time to rejoice before his back slammed into the wall. He promptly covered his head with his hands, curled into a ball, and allowed himself to bounce around like a rubber ball.
This time around, Ai Hui stayed inside for a shorter duration. Rather than wait until he had almost hit his limit, Ai Hui used the iron chain to pull himself out once he started to feel bloated.
Having dragged himself out of the pagoda, Ai Hui heaved a sigh of relief. The world inside the pagoda was completely different from the world outside of it. Ai Hui had managed his training well-his mind was clear and he still had some energy left.
He started to hit his own body.
After his previous training session, Ai Hui had pondered over how he could absorb metal elemental energy. Ai Hui's pursuit of power was unquestionable, but he had no desire to be beaten up every day from dusk to dawn. That was an experience he had no wish to repeat.
He thus devised the method currently being employed.
In order to absorb metal elemental energy, the first step he had to take was to scatter the fine silver threads of energy that had been taken into his body. If a smaller amount of it was taken in, then perhaps he could handle this step himself.
Hitting himself and getting hit by others were essentially the same. The experience, however, was wholly different.
Ai Hui hit himself with maximum effort while simultaneously observing any changes within his body. He closely monitored his strength and technique, fumbling around to get a feel for the most effective combination.
He had a poor aptitude and was poor financially as well. All he could do was put in more effort.
He gradually uncovered some tricks to this training, but soon encountered another problem: he was unable to reach the metal elemental energy within the muscles of his back. He deeply contemplated his options before resting his gaze on the Suspending Golden Pagoda.
This pagoda that had been exposed to the metal winds for so many years should be quite sturdy. As such, the walls of the Suspending Golden Pagoda certainly seemed like a highly suitable piece of equipment for Ai Hui to ram his back into. Ai Hui quickly realized that he was thinking too much. The walls of the pagoda were as hard as metal, so dashing into them just two or three times would probably shatter his bones.
A substantial portion of the metal elemental energy in his back was not yet scattered. Ai Hui suddenly thought of his recent fight with the "amateur swollen guy" where he had executed the [Arching Fish Back] move.
This skill, [Arching Fish Back], reminded him most of the blind battle. When he had locked his opponent down, the move she attempted to use to counter him was the [Arching Fish Back]. Ai Hui, who constantly performed work that required copious amounts of strength, had the utmost confidence in his brute power. His opponent had shocked him by wielding a surprising amount of force and, almost breaking free of his grappling technique.
He could sense that his opponent's elemental energy wasn't particularly strong and that her physical strength wasn't great either. The fact that her Arching Fish Back was so powerful made it clear that she had profound martial attainments.
Ai Hui had developed a strong interest in this move and copied it. In the three years he had spent in the Wilderness, Ai Hui learned many skills that were unorthodox and fragmented, but were highly practical, just like the [Arching Fish Back].
However, he rarely had an opportunity to use this move. Getting locked down by an opponent at his current level would spell certain doom. He would not even have the chance to execute the move.
A flash of inspiration gave him the idea to use the [Arching Fish Back] to send "amateur swollen guy" flying earlier that day. This experience helped him to find other uses for the technique. He began to repeatedly use the [Arching Fish Back] against the walls of the pagoda.
Not long after, he made another discovery. When he was curled up training in the pagoda, the part of his body that took in the most metal elemental energy was his back. Besides having an astonishing amount of explosive power, the [Arching Fish Back] had a jolting effect as well.
No wonder his arms had gone numb during the blind battle.
The effectiveness of his idea boosted his morale significantly. Ai Hui became even more meticulous at his task.
Once all the metal elemental energy had been scattered, Ai Hui sat in a lotus pose. He began to enter a meditative state, absorbing the dispersed metal elemental energy.
An hour later, Ai Hui opened his eyes. He could feel an increase in his elemental energy. Although his improvement this time was much less than that of last night, that was to be expected. The thought of that bowl of elemental energy replenishing soup still made his heart ache. Last night's progress might have been remarkable, but the cost had been huge.
This method of training might be long and arduous, but it didn't matter to Ai Hui as long as he saw possible improvement. For him who had struggled through dark and difficult times, but refused to pass into oblivion, hardship was not an issue.