Lu Sheng flipped open the martial arts manuals before him one by one, scrutinizing them. The word count of each of them was roughly similar; the most important part of each manual was the meditation diagram.
One by one, he memorized the true intent of the martial art from the meditation diagrams. Those which could be fused with this own system and skill, he absorbed. As for the rest, he treated them as exposure and broadening of his horizons.
His present cultivation and insight into the path of martial arts was beyond the imagination of even the average Divine Prime expert.
Relative to an mortal Divine Prime expert, he was essentially a freak who had cultivated for a thousand years without dying. His inner force was unheard ofhe deserved the title of the most powerful martial arts practitioner in the present world.
'Integrating these martial arts works only if I extrapolate and upgrade my path of martial arts. But now, I'm left with only slightly more than fifty units of Yin Qi. It's not enough for upgrading any one of them...' Lu Sheng frowned.
'Deep Blue,' he swiftly summoned the Modifier without hesitation.
The pale blue screen emerged before him. Row after row of martial arts were listed in detail. Having been implanted into his brain and body, the Modifier changed its description according to his own real-time body status.
Lu Sheng looked from top to bottom.
His three strongest martial arts were listed: Yang Extreme Dao, which determined the strength of his body, as well as Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill and Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi which decided the depth of his inner Qi cultivation.
The rest were a series of offensive move-based martial arts like Crimson Whale Saber Technique, Changing the Heavens in Seven Days Saber Technique, Eighty-One Swallows Pursuing the Wind Saber Technique, Black Tiger Saber Technique... etc.
These were pure offensive movesouter force skills that maximized the application of inner force and hard body skills.
'Come to think of it, the offensive technique I use most often in combat is Changing the Heavens in Seven Days Saber Technique's Divine Might. But this saber technique consists of only two moves. More often than not, I've got to fall back on the raw power of my body.
It's just that it's really inefficient to rely solely on speed and the toughness of my body... perhaps I should find a system of moves that's optimally suited for me.'
Lu Sheng recalled how he had been unable to detect Wandering Heart Society's stealth technique, as well as how he had suffered from being constrained in his movements during combat, having been able to only move in straight lines.
'And what if I run into a ranged opponent?' Lu Sheng suddenly thought about the possibility. 'Although the chances are slim, but I'm bound to run into one sooner or later. If I meet an opponent like thatand I can't move as fast as him or her and I can't reach him or herthen all I can do is take hits.'
He sat in the sanctuary, silently engorged in his thoughts as he looked at the stack of manuals before him.
'These martial arts are all complete in themselves. To cut them up and assemble them again haphazardly would not amplify their strength. It would only reduce it. In that case, I can only choose one among them to cultivate...' Lu Sheng thought for a moment. His remaining Yin Qi might not have been sufficient to upgrade his main skill, but it was more than enough for these Spirit Focus skills.
As long as he learnt some moves and strokes, amplified by his inner force, they could be as strong as Changing the Heavens in Seven Days Saber Technique.
'In that case, I'll choose a ranged outer force skill, and a qinggong that can be boost my speed...' Lu Sheng's gaze swept across the manuals. Suddenly, he reached forward and picked up one.
'Thousand Extreme Devil Shadows'
This was a power qinggong mastered by a wicked Divine Prime expert who had escaped arrest by Noble Families on multiple occasions using it. In the end, however, he had died in the hands of a close friend who was also a Divine Prime.
That close friend was Ouyang Qi, who had come to follow Lu Sheng.
The reason why Ouyang Qi had stabbed his close friend in his back was because he had accidentally discovered that this wicked Divine Prime had also been plotting against him to seize his cherished skill. Hence, he struck first.
Strong as this Thousand Extreme Devil Shadows was, however, it was near impossible to cultivate. After several attempts, Ouyang Qi remained unable to cultivate it and hence offered it as tribute to Lu Sheng.
Flipping it open, Lu Sheng glanced at it and immediately frowned.
The first page recorded the demands of the skill on the cultivator.
'Only a mind capable of dividing into three and a body weighing less than a hundred catties before cultivating any qinggong may cultivate this skill.'
After it came a footnote: 'After mastering the skill, it becomes ineffective if one's weight exceeds a hundred and ten catties. Take note.'
Lu Sheng continued reading and discovered that this qinggong was extremely complicated indeed. It required some sort of calculation like arithmetic, requiring the cultivator to focus all his mental energy on calculating his position based on time, the stars, geographical and environmental factors... etc., while walking.
'No wonder no one except for that wicked cultivator could master it.' Shaking his head, Lu Sheng put it down and picked up another qinggong.
'Jade Abyss Step'.
The name of this qinggong sounded extremely elusive. Its meditation diagram was an old Taoist riding on an immortal crane, soaring on the horizon amidst the clouds.
Likewise, the skill's requirement on its cultivator was that his weight must not exceed a hundred and fifty catties. Moreover, he had to preserve his virginity.
But Lu Sheng was about to be married. Wasn't it ridiculous for him to preserve his virginity just for a qinggong?
He tossed it aside and looked through the manuals again. But there was no more independent qinggong manuals left. What remained were movement steps that were part of some other inner force skills. They were effective only when practiced together with those skills.
Lu Sheng browsed through them. He felt as if it was impossible to find a qinggong that could accommodate his transformed body size.
One must not be deceived by his present ordinary-looking body size, which looked like that of an ordinary young master. That was but a front he put up by compressing all his muscles, flesh and skeleton under high pressure.
The very moment he released those restraints on his body, Lu Sheng would instantly revert to his original two or three meters state. That was his true ordinary body.
That was not to mention his five-meter-tall Yang Extreme Mode hulking frame, which built on the foundation of his true body.
'My true body weighs at least three hundred catties. Asking me not to exceed one hundred and fifty catties is impossible.' Lu Sheng frowned and put the manual down, feeling rather hard-pressed.
After a moment's thought, he suddenly recalled that he had once memorized many skills from Crimson Whale Sect's martial arts library. Among them were some qinggong skills.
Although, these qinggongs were only of Strength Proficiency level, without so much as a single Intent Proficiency skill to be found among them...
'I've got Yin Qi! If I can't find a qinggong suitable to me, I'll create one on my own!' Lu Sheng thought in excitement.
'There's nothing at all stopping me from using Yin Qi to extrapolate a qinggong that's suited for me, on the basis of a qinggong that does not impose any weight restrictions!'
Immediately, his interest was piqued.
'I've got raw strength. I've got explosive power too. But because I'm too heavy, I can only pick those basic qinggong that ignore one's weight. Such qinggong are almost all merely simple techniques of applying force.'
He searched his memories carefully for those qinggong techniques in the martial arts library that did not impose any weight restrictions.
However, because all he had committed to memory were the stronger skills which he had selected, he could not remember the details of the other martial arts.
At that thought, Lu Sheng tugged at the rope attached to a wall from a distance.
An invisible stream of inner Qi shot forward and latched on to the rope, tugging it downwards. Ring ring.
A bell chimed outside.
"Tell Xu Chui to bring me all the qinggong manuals in the martial arts library."
Acknowledgements from the guards rang out, followed by a series of hurried footsteps.
Lu Sheng shut his eyes and waited patiently, adjusting his mental state. Before long, a series of light knocks on the door of the sanctuary broke the silence.
"It's your subordinate, Xu Chui. I've brought the manuals." Xu Chui's voice rang out from the outside.
These manuals were merely of the Strength Proficiency level. He was unafraid that Xu Chui would leak them outside. As the legitimate Squad Captain of Soaring Eagle Squad, it was a piece of cake for him to redeem such qinggong manuals with his contribution points.
But Xu Chui was already at the pinnacle of Strength Proficiency to begin with. After being imparting inner force by Lu Sheng, his combat strength in his ordinary mode was already equivalent to Spirit Focus. A reason all the more why he would not care for these low-leveled manuals.
"Bring them in," Lu Sheng said emotionlessly.
As his voice fell, the blood web inner Qi in the sanctuary suddenly gathered and condensed into a beam that lifted the metal bar that locked the sanctuary.
The stone door was moved aside. Xu Chui walked in reverently with an intricate chest in his arms. He placed it before Lu Sheng, bowed, then walked out.
The stone door closed and the metal bar fell in its place again.
Lu Sheng stood up and walked to the front of the chest. He opened it to reveal the qinggong manuals that lay silently in it.
Eight Steps of Cicada Chasing, Lifting Manipulation Art, Floating on Water, Lizard Skill, Traceless Snow Stepping, Flying Swallow Skill, Floating Wanderer Art... etc. One by one, these qinggong skills were laid out before Lu Sheng.
One after another, he flipped through them, eliminating all that imposed a weight restriction.
Soon, he found several booklets that did not emphasize the cultivator's weight.
'Cloud Bow Art', 'Pegasus Steps', 'One Breath Lightweight Skill', 'Three-in-One Arrow Firing Skill', 'Chaos Wind Art', 'Light Void Skill'.
These six qinggongs were all of the Strength Proficiency level and did not possess even a true intent. There were merely systems that were pieced together from loose movement techniques.
One had to understand that the true intent of a martial art was what consolidated it into an integral whole, focusing the cultivator's force and strength into one spot. Intent Proficiency martial arts were naturally far stronger than Strength Proficiency ones.
'I need faster, more agile steps. Not qinggong that allows me to only move in straight lines.' After some rounds of elimination, Lu Sheng's gaze finally fell on Light Void Skill.
Among these Strength Proficiency Skills, the effect of Light Void Skill after mastery most satisfied Lu Sheng's expectations.
After full-mastery, Light Void Skill made one's steps unpredictable, shifting between light and void at any moment. It also amplified one's overall speed to a certain extent. The manual even hinted that a cultivator with inner force could channel inner Qi into certain spots to further increase one's speed.
That was extremely rare among Strength Proficiency qinggongs.
"It's you then!" Lu Sheng picked up the manual and flipped to the first page.
Light Void Skill comprised three levels.
After mastering Level One, one could change directions while running normally. Speed was boosted minimally.
After mastering Level Two, one could change directions comfortably even while sprinting or charging. Overall speed was boosted considerably.
After mastering Level Three, one could accelerate and decelerate while charging at full speed, shifting between movement and stillness at will. Overall speed was boosted by one and a half times.
Lu Sheng rose to his feet and began walking and applying force as was instructed by the cultivation technique of Light Void Skill.
Light Void Skill mostly relied on tempering certain muscles and force application techniques. The muscles it used were those small muscle groups that ordinary people would never think of.
After some practice, Lu Sheng felt a sore numbness in his legs. Many small muscle groups that he had never used were activated. Moreover, his three hundred catties body weight was too big a burden for those muscles in his first round of practice.
'But it doesn't matter.' Lu Sheng channeled Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi and circulated it once around the fatigued and torn muscle groups, expending much inner Qi. After sitting down to rest for several dozens of breaths, he stood up again without the numb soreness in his muscles.
He began practicing the steps in Light Void Skill again.
It was a rather strange movement skillhighly unnatural. Lu Sheng's leg muscles turned numb and sore five or six times. Each time, Lu Sheng would heal himself using inner Qi. Only after that process did he finally grasp the technique.
Light Void Skill's mantra and force application technique were very unnatural as well. It insisted on applying force in the most difficult directions. The slightest misstep would twist one's ankle.