After seeing his own nephew sitting up on his bed, Pierre was overjoyed. He had almost given up hope completely when he found out that this nephew of his had been attacked by a demonic beast when he was out in the woods. Demonic beasts were like cultivators, they could absorb the essence of heaven and earth to strengthen themselves, and therefore Edward wasn't their match. Since he hadn't started his cultivation yet. Of course, demonic beasts also had their own realms of cultivation, corresponding to the humans, but the beasts cultivation realms didn't have any names, which the humans did. The beasts were only categorized into ranks named after numbers, so the weakest demonic beasts were rank 1. But the difference between rank 1 and 2 was immense, and therefore they were also divided into low-tier, mid-tier, high-tier and then peak-tier. With low being the weakest.
Edward didn't know what the highest ranked demonic beast was, the highest he had heard of was only rank 3, and that was a terrifying existence that the old Edward would never cross paths with. If his luck wasn't that bad of course. Edward similarly only knew of the existence of three cultivation realms, but he only knew the name of the first two. The first realm was called the body-tempering stage, this was because you used the essence of heaven and earth, more commonly referred to as qi, to temper your body. This stage was further divided into ten stages, with the tenth being the highest of them all. After that came the second realm, this realm was known as the qi gathering realm. Edward wasn't entirely sure, but from what the old Edward had gathered, you tempered your dantian at this stage.
The dantian needed to be established in the body for the cultivator to be considered to have entered the qi gathering realm. The dantian was a place where you could store qi, and when the cultivator reached the realm of qi gathering, he could use qi to enhance his attacks, even pushing it to the surface of the cultivator's body, but not beyond that. Of course one could use qi in the body-tempering realm, but that was only internally. When the qi was released to the surface of the body, it would be a completely different kind of power. The qi gathering realm was also said to be further divided into ten stages, but there only existed a few elites in the qi gathering realm in the city of Idirie.
Since Edward hadn't started cultivating yet, a rank 1 beast was a terrifying existence for him at the moment, since he was still just a regular mortal. And Pierre had been devastated when he heard the news of his nephew running into a rank 1 demonic beast. Pierre had always felt guilty because of his brother's death, and when he left a son behind, Pierre decided to raise him into a fine young man himself. He was a bit disappointed when he understood that his nephew's talent was subpar, but he still loved him nonetheless, and he didn't give up yet. As long as Edward managed to find happiness in life, Pierre would feel satisfied.
"Edward! You're alive!"
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm feeling very exhausted, but apart from that, I feel fine."
"To think the Gods would favor you this much, you will have to thank them later!"
Hearing this Pierre felt wonderful, his nephew, who he had been presuming was dead, was now alive, and even feeling well at that! Looking at his nephew's apathetic face, Pierre was full of emotions. This nephew of his had always been like this, never showing his emotions to anyone, at this point he wasn't even sure if his nephew still had them left. But that wasn't important right now, what was important was his nephew's health, but when he checked him once more, he was totally astonished. The wounds on Edwards body had healed perfectly! Before today, his wounds didn't really want to heal, and they kept reopening themselves, Edwards body had been totally eviscerated! But now, it was all gone!
Pierre didn't even know what to say, he was too astonished to even comprehend how this could have happened, so he decided to not dwell on it, his own nephew was fine after all! And since Edward seemed to be thoroughly exhausted, Pierre decided to let him rest up for a while before bothering him. They exchanged some small talk before Pierre left him to his own devices, presuming Edward was going to sleep. But Edward wanted to make use of the time that had been given to him because he had learned a very concerning fact from the memories of the old Edward. This world was ruled by the strong! The strong preyed on the weak, and the weak could only watch while they were murdered or robbed, lest they had the strength to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Therefore the first thing Edward decided to do in this new body of his, was to lay down a solid foundation for the martial spirit awakening. He wanted to do this since is future cultivation would be smoother if he had a solid foundation. Edward saw cultivating like building a skyscraper, the stronger the foundation, the more support it could give the floors that would go on top, and the more stable it would be as well. Up until this point, the Edward of the past had trained in a couple of different martial arts. Martial arts were divided into the same tiers as martial spirits, human - profound - earth - heaven. They were then further divided into low-tier, mid-tier, top-tier and peak-tier. But the lowest of them all were core-ranked martial arts. The core rank of martial arts only existed in the human rank though, and it was essentially only for people who couldn't absorb qi since every martial art ranked higher than that required qi.
The martial arts that Edward had trained were all core-ranked foundation arts. So the foundation of the sword, the foundation of movement, the foundation of fists as well as the foundation of legs. These foundation techniques were used all around the continent to train martial artists, almost everyone started out with the same techniques, and then moved on to more advanced ones when they had awakened their martial spirits. Since they could incorporate some use of qi in their moves and practice harder ones, to attain more power.
The old Edward of this world didn't have particularly good comprehension or insight, so his achievements in all of these were very bad, only reaching the low-grade achievement in all of them, except for the foundation of the sword, in which he had achieved the mid-grade. This was how people ranked their understandings of martial arts, they ranked from beginner-grade to low-grade, to mid-grade to high-grade to peak-grade to max-grade. His achievement in the foundation of the sword was the only one that was passable, the other ones were pretty bad.
Therefore Edward decided to start training immediately to further his achievements in these martial arts since that would make him a lot stronger than he currently was. He started out by training his fist arts, this was because the body was the foundation of everything, and the fist arts trained the body more than all of the others. Therefore Edward lowered his body into a horse stance. This was an essential part of the fist arts as this would strengthen both your legs and back, help you with your balance, and it was also the stance from which you practiced your punches. After going into the horse stance, Edward started to punch out at the air in front of him.
This seemed just like normal at first, but after a little while, Edward's face lit up in excitement, this was because he had already managed to get some insights into his fist arts! Seeing as he was on the breaking point of breaking through to the mid-grade, he kept practicing for another half a day until he finally let out a low pitched grunt, finally breaking through into the mid-grade! His fists brought more power with each punch now, and he didn't need to use as much energy as before, of course, there were also fewer flaws to take advantage of in his technique, but that was a given.
Edward felt elated at this moment, this feeling was amazing! Now Edward could understand how people were able to put so much time into practicing, because the feeling of breaking through was awesome, and he got stronger as well, which would give him a higher position in the future! Edward had also noticed something from this session, his comprehension was a lot better compared to before! Now, he could even be considered a genius! If he could keep up the pace of course. And since his comprehension was a lot better now, Edward figured it had something to do with the fact that he was in control of this body now.
And seeing such obvious results, Edward decided to train even harder, so that he could catch up to his generation as quickly as possible! Therefore he decided to move onto his other martial arts as well, only devoting his time to training, resting and eating, sometimes he would even ponder further on his martial arts while he rested his body, and sometimes he would just sleep to rest his mind. This went on until the day before the martial spirit awakening ceremony...