151 – Seven realms of cultivation!
“Ah?” Li Muyang’s eye sprung wide open in surprise, looking at Xiahou Qianbai as he asked: “Teacher Xiahou, what are you talking about? What killing countless desert bandits and wiping out their family by myself–When did I do that? I know teacher Xiahou would laugh at me but before I was enrolled into Starry Sky, I was just a very average student in Jiangnan City. I was constantly sick and affected with all kinds of illnesses. Teachers looked down on me and students bullied me. At that time, I had not even killed a chicken before, let alone those evil, cruel and inhuman desert bandits–Teacher Xiahou, have you gotten mistaken with the wrong person?”
“You don’t remember what happened? How would you know desert bandits are evil, cruel, and inhuman?” Xiahou Qianbai’s lips curved into a faint smile, thinking to himself: boy, you want to challenge me, you’re still too young.
He stared at Li Muyang severely, saying: “you had came into contact with desert bandits some other time?”
Li Muyang’s heart let out a shudder, knowing that his acting was far too exaggerated. Xiaohou Qianbai had managed to find the inconsistency in his story.
Trying to appear composed, he said calmly: “Teacher Xiahou, so, I have a friend called Yan Xiangma, he’s a young master in Jiangnan City. He’s knowledgeable and dedicates himself to the service of the country. He often said to me that the nomads of the grasslands, desert bandits, rebels of Wuchang Mountain and Dawu’s army at the frontier are the four biggest pests of the kingdom. Moreover, he often told me about the vile acts of the four pests, so I also know a little. I have strong hatred towards them. I hoped that I could also be like the strong people of Starry Sky and behead millions at once. Teacher Xiahou mentioned desert bandits just now so I added that they are evil, cruel and inhuman—which are also what my friend Yan Xiangma told me. If teacher Xiahou don’t believe me then you can go find Yan Xiangman and ask him.”
Xiahou Qianbai pensively surveyed Li Muyang’s face, his thick, black sword-like brows gently screwed up. “You don’t remember anything?”
“Teacher Xiahou, I’m really sorry–I didn’t mean to forget, I really don’t know what happened.” Li Muyang said pulling an apologetic face. “I only remember I entered the land of Nameless Mountain, but what happened after, I don’t remember at all. When I woke up, I was already lying at the peak of Nameless Mountain. An older brother named He An brought me to registration, where I also fatefully met teacher Xiahou, and because I was once attracted by Teacher Xiahou’s confident and aloof temperament, I had to enrol in the subject teacher Xiahou is responsible for—”
Xiahou Qianbai pondered for a moment before he said: “Li Muyang, what is your objective of coming to Starry Sky?”
“Objective?” Li Muyang looked off into the distance in deep thought; he could not reach a definite answer in this short while.
It was an unfathomable mystery how he was admitted into Starry Sky Academy when he knew nothing about Starry Sky Academy. On his way to register into the school he clashed with Cui Zhaoren and was chased by countless people along his way–
Now he was asked what is his purpose of coming here. His first response was stay alive and keep his family safe.
However, when he first decided to come to Starry Sky Academy, that was not his objective–There must be some other reason.
To change his fate, become someone who would be treated equally and not be bullied, and not be a trash that girls are afraid to talk to in case others would see them.
Or chase his dream, become a strong person of Starry Sky that millions of people would look up to or a superhero whose name would be read with admiration by storytellers all over the world.
This should be his purpose of coming to Starry Sky Academy, right?
Li Muyang’s eyes were resolute as he raised his head and looked Xiahou Qianbai in the eye, saying: “I want to be stronger.”
It’s only when he’s stronger that he could protect his family and change his fate.
It’s only when he’s stronger that he would have the right and opportunity to choose–He can choose to live an ordinary life, or choose to kill phoenix and slay dragons—-no wait, kill phoenix and protect dragons, and be a famous person of Starry Sky.
Strong people can choose, while weak people can only accept.
“Stronger?” A hint of a smile emerged on Xiahou Qianbai’s lips, as he got up and paced around Li Muyang’s bed. “Are you aware of the condition of your body?”
Li Muyang shook his head, saying: “I don’t know.”
“You still haven’t crossed the threshold.” Xiahou Qianbai said bluntly.
“What is cross the threshold?” Li Muyang looked bewildered.
“Each subject has a threshold; with writing, if you can write with beautiful and elegant handwriting, that can be considered as crossing the threshold. For painting, if you can draw the shape and attitude, that is called crossing the threshold. Even cooking, farming, or riding has certain standard as the threshold. Cultivation is the same.”
Xiahou Qianbai then stood still in front of Li Muyang and looked him in the eye as he said: “I investigated your activity of qi and health just now, your body is very weak. It seems you’ve been through a period of training but that’s not enough to build the foundation. The body is the source of all, it’s the medium for a variety of remarkable powers. If your body is weak how can you cultivate?”
“There’s a little bit of qi activity gathered at your dantian but that’s small enough to be negligible. Moreover, sea of qi—-Oh, you don’t even have a sea of qi.”
“In the divine continent the training of cultivators is divided into seven main realms, and in each realm there are three different levels of strength. The first realm is the Empty Valley—Valley is profound, deep and steep-sided. It is said that everyone is a blank slate when they’re born. In the eyes of us cultivationists, an ordinary person’s body is a deep, empty valley. Deep and unfathomable, you need to fill it with things–what things? With wisdom? With knowledge? Or qi?”
“The second realm is known as the High Mountain, once you reach and stand on the top, all the other mountains appear so small. When your body is crammed but it’s still not enough and you wish to continue to fill it up until it piles up like a mountain, that’s what we call the High Mountain Border. The more you accumulate the farther you see. It’s the same principle with everything.”
“Third realm is the Free Clouds. Free clouds, wild cranes, and freedom. Free Clouds realm is the top of the lower three realms, once you enters the Free Clouds, you can be called a master. Free clouds realm is a threshold, numerous cultivationists could go no further than the Free Clouds. However, those able to take one step forward can become one of the top cultivationists of the country.”
“The fourth realm is Withering Glory, which is also the level above the Free Clouds. Lush grass on the plains come and goes with every season. Even a wild fire does not burn it completely; when spring breeze blows, it grows again. Controlling life and death with one thought. Withering Glory is the rebirth state, it makes the body glow with life and can make one’s fighting capacity and mental state be at their peak–Withering Glory is a realm of infinite possibilities. If one can go further, one will be able to roam the Starry Sky and become a person the divine continent looks up to. Of course, Withering Glory is extremely rarely achieved,there will not even be one person able to achieve this among ten thousand.”
“The fifth realm is the Starry Sky, even hearing its name you would know—Vast, boundless sky, only I move unhindered. Those who can reach the Starry Sky can direct the rise and fall of a country or even lead the affairs of the divine continent. Starry Sky is vast and boundless. Cultivationists at the Starry Sky realm can move without restriction. From this, it’s power and influence are obvious.”
Li Muyang’s eyes gleamed with excitement, as though he might become a strong person of Starry Sky in any minute. Before, he simply has the basic knowledge of the system of cultivation, but never was it explained to him in detail like this before.
Having a teacher to guide him and reminding him is so important, it saves him a lot of time wondering and thinking.
“The sixth realm is called the Astral Projection, we usually call it the celestial realm. Journey beyond the heavens, behead people from miles away. The slightest wisp of intent can kill. So, from this, it is clear how frightening and powerful this realm is—Of course, people who could reach the Astral Projection realm are already immortals in our divine continent. So, even if we want to see these immortals—-it’s extremely rare.”
“The seventh realm is the Dragon Slayer. Some say dragons are half divine beings and some say dragons are an immortal race. Even until now many people are still in debate over this. Killing an invincible dragon with a mere human body. Thinking about it—What powerful strength is needed to achieve this?”
Li Muyang was overwhelmed with emotions, swallowing saliva repeatedly in an effort to calm down his excitement before he could ask aloud: “How can I reach the dragon slayer realm?”
“First of all.” Xiahou Qianbai darted a look at Li Muyang. “You have to build your foundation.”