Chapter 269: Zhangchou Jianqiong's Banquet Invitation!
"It's good that you accepted these people, but if you wish to do something considerable for the empire, just these hundred recruits won't be enough," Elder Xiang said as he turned to look at Wang Chong.
"Elder Xiang, don't worry. This is only the first batch of recruits. I'll bring more people in later on, and they won't be limited to the men of the Wang Clan," Wang Chong replied earnestly.
"Oh?" Elder Xiang was slightly surprised by those words, but he also thought that it was commendable.
"It seems like you have a concrete plan in mind. That's great. My worries are unfounded."
After chatting with Elder Xiang, Wang Chong returned back to the main hall.
Time passed swiftly. Soon, three days had gone by.
Meditating by the edge of the spirit vein, Wang Chong drove his Origin Energy through his meridians and acupoints relentlessly. However, fatigue piled up on him with every single circulation.
Circulating one's Origin Energy around the body would sap one's spirit!
The effects weren't too obvious at the start, but as Wang Chong's cultivation realm advanced and he grew stronger, the amount of spirit that was sapped by his Origin Energy circulation became more apparent.
As such, even though his Origin Energy would grow during his training, he would feel slightly drained by the end of it, and he would need some rest to recuperate.
As Wang Chong's spirit was significantly stronger, exhaustion didn't set in very quickly for him. But even so, he could clearly feel it being drained by his Origin Energy.
A sight of nothing but pure darkness loomed before him. With a calm mind, Wang Chong continued meditating without moving at all.
After a long moment, a ripple suddenly appeared amidst the darkness.
Somehow, Wang Chong could sense that something was gathering around his surroundings.
It's coming!, Wang Chong thought.
This feeling was no stranger to Wang Chong. In the past few days, he had been feeling this sensation. There seemed to be something within the darkness, but it wasn't the trees, pavilion, mountain, river, or that sort...
It was something far smaller than that.
Something that even the eyes couldn't see!
It felt like it was about to come within reach, but it was extremely far away at the same time As if there was a very thin barrier between them, preventing him from traversing beyond it.
The law of the world!, Wang Chong thought.
The energy of the world dictated its law, and a martial halo was a manifestation of the law. Only upon comprehending the law of the world would one be able to wield a martial halo.
This was also the reason why Miyasame Ayaka didn't have a martial halo, but Li Zhuxin did.
Not every True Martial realm expert would possess a martial halo, and cultivation wasn't the only determining factor as to whether or not one had a martial halo!
But without doubt, under the circumstances that both individuals possessed similar prowess, the one who possessed a martial halo was bound to be far stronger than the one who didn't!
If one wanted to wield a martial halo, one must comprehend the law of the world first, and before one could do so, one had to first encounter and feel it.
Origin Energy Tier 9 was the start to everything.
Only after coming in contact with the law of the world and feeling its existence could one comprehend it. Otherwise, everything would simply be empty talk. This was exactly the state that Wang Chong was currently in.
Time passed slowly. Wang Chong didn't forcefully attempt to break that thin barrier. Instead, he allowed himself to go along with the flow, moving to wherever it brought him to.
Everything had its own nature!
The essence to forging the white ripples at Origin Energy Tier 9 was to allow one to go with the flow, allowing one's spirit to fuse naturally with one's Origin Energy before tempering it further.
The more one tried to force it, the more difficult it would be to comprehend the law of the world. One's cultivation might even go berserk instead.
When his Origin Energy finally reached saturation after absorbing sufficient spirit, it began to metamorphosize.
Boom!; in the darkness, an intangible barrier had broken, enabling him to comprehend something.
In the next instant, the Origin Energy that was trapped within his meridians came free, and Origin Energy suddenly gushed out from his pores and acupoints like a jet of water.
Boom! The space trembled, and from above, one could see a clear and powerful aura rushing out from Wang Chong's body. When the aura finally peaked, it suddenly compressed together to form white ripples.
The white ripples felt as strong as metal, as if nothing could destroy them.
At a distance a zhang away, a black artificial hill was caught within the white ripples, and it immediately shattered into small fragments, forming a cloud of dust a zhang high in the sky.
At the center of the shock wave from the explosion, Wang Chong abruptly stood up, and a sharp light gleamed in his eyes.
While this breakthrough had no effect on the might of his zhenqi, it represented a vast difference in fighting prowess.
Boom! Wang Chong abruptly punched out, and his Origin Energy immediately jolted and shot out along with his fist. At the very tip of his fist, a white ripple diffused into the surroundings.
Boom! This fist threatened to crumble even mountains beneath it, just the immense shock wave from it had already whipped up a huge gale.
Incredible!, Wang Chong thought excitedly. He could finally bring out the full strength of Might of the Barbaric God! In terms of strength, Wang Chong was unmatched by any Origin Energy Tier 9 cultivator at the moment.
However, he didn't stop with just a single punch.
He executed the movements of the Dragon Bone Art that he had cultivated previously one by one. Every single movement he made, be it kicks or elbow strikes, would generate the white ripple, augmenting the force of his movements.
With just a light kick, he could easily smash a boulder to smithereens.
With his experience from his previous life, he could easily bring out the white ripple from any part of his body.
"I should try the Hundred Steps Divine Fist!"
Wang Chong gazed around his surroundings for a target, and his eyes finally fell upon a lush tree twenty zhang away. Boom! A comet-like fist qi shrouded with white ripples shot out, and with a resounding explosion, the lush tree along with six others in the surroundings were smashed to pieces.
A great wind swept up the grass and sawdust from the ground.
"Are Origin Energy Tier 9 cultivators that formidable?"
Astonished mutterings sounded behind him. Turning around, Wang Chong noticed a huge crowd consisting of a hundred young men and women standing at the edge of the training field, watching him.
"It doesn't seem like it's the Origin Energy Tier 9 cultivation that is formidable, but the Hundred Steps Divine Fist."
"That's impossible. I've seen the Hundred Steps Divine Fist before, and it isn't as strong as that!"
The groups began to argue with one another.
Seeing the bunch of young men and ladies squabbling with one another, their faces reddened in agitation, Wang Chong chuckled. Before they realized it, Wang Chong's figure had already disappeared into the distance.
His original plan was to remain on the mountain for around ten days or so to forge the white ripples, and since he had met his aim, it was time to leave.
Sou sou sou!
In just a short moment, Wang Chong's silhouette had already vanished.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man sipped on a mouthful of the Snow Butterfly Tea as he watched Wang Chong disappear among the trees below through his window, and a slight smile crept onto his lips.
But soon, the smile turned into a stern frown.
"What are you idling around for? Hurry up and cultivate!"
"HMPH!" an indignant voice sounded within the hall. Then, everything fell silent.
At the exterior of the training base, three carriages had stopped. Steel Arms, Old Eagle, and Solitary Wolf were standing by these carriages as three eagles circled in the sky.
Wang Chong nodded in acknowledgement of their presence before asking, "What's the location?"
"The Goguryeon's Ten Sun Tavern in the city's west!" Old Eagle said, as he passed an invitation letter over. Two large crimson words reminiscent of fresh blood were written on a black background, Invitation Letter.
"Heh, as expected of him. Only a person with such boldness would dare to stir up such a matter."
Wang Chong shook his head as he took the invitation letter from Old Eagle's hands before lowering his head and stepping into the carriage.
With a shout and the crackling of a whip, the three carriages began to move slowly toward the capital. There, a person whom Wang Chong had been anticipating for a very long time was waiting.
No one knew that a storm was currently brewing in the Great Tang empire.
And no one knew what this storm would represent. Only many years later would its aftereffects start to show.
In the city's west, the Goguryeon's home turf, a row of lanterns was hung along the street. However, perhaps due to the gloomy atmosphere, it looked exceptionally dim.
King Sosurim's death was like a huge wave that had swept past this entire area, washing away the arrogance of the Goguryeons, leaving them meek and fearful.
Wang Chong was currently standing on this Goguryeon turf.
The bustling streets looked much colder than before, and the prosperity it had once enjoyed seemed to be long gone.
The Goguryeons had actually attempted to kill the influential officials of the royal court, even recruiting over a thousand soldiers from their homeland for the operation...
The revelation of this matter was a huge blow to the Goguryeons.
Most of the Goguryeon shops were now cold and deserted.
In the short run, this was unlikely to change.
Steel Arms frowned. "Gongzi, surely this isn't good? Those people must be dying to kill us after we have cleared away King Sosurim and their army. To come to their turf at this moment..."
No one could have expected the influential Southern Protector-General Zhangchou Jianqiong to host a banquet on the Goguryeon's turf.
After the matter with King Sosurim, the Goguryeons had to be filled with hostility towards them. In fact, there was news that every single Goguryeon had a portrait of him in their home.
"Hehe, so what about it? We aren't the ones who should be fearing the Goguryeons, they are the ones who should be fearing us. On Great Tang's territory, why should we fear those foreigners?" Wang Chong spoke nonchalantly with his head held high.
He could already sense the gazes coming from the windows and door cracks, but he didn't pay them any heed.
It was high time that their arrogance should be curbed, especially after all they had plotted and done in Great Tang.
Before long, the group of four arrived at a peculiarly-designed yet extravagant tavern. Its exterior was painted black and golden.
"Ten Sun Tavern!" Wang Chong gazed at the three words on the black signboard outside. There was also a picture of the ancient legend of a man shooting down the ten suns above the signboard.
This was the place Zhangchou Jianqiong had invited him to.
Tl Note: The ancient legend refers to the Chinese folklore regarding Hou Yi and the ten suns. It depicts an era of suffering where the men of the world had to suffer under the searing heat of ten suns. Thus, the legendary archer Hou Yi drew his bow and shot down nine of them, leaving behind just a single one.
Also, the Three-legged Crow is a symbolism of the sun.