Xue Ling woke up the next morning and realized that the sun was already up. She got out of bed and entered the small courtyard. Chu Li was already practicing his swordsmanship there.
The way he swung his sword was incredibly fast, like lightning, but without a hint of sound. If he were to ambush somebody with this technique, he would have most definitely succeeded.
Xue Ling felt a bit uneasy upon seeing Chu Li, she blushed and dashed into the kitchen.
Her cultivation from last night has improved; the effects from the Eight Forms were more effective. It is truly important to get proper guidance and advice from a teacher Chu Li only used the scabbard to hit her three times, and her cultivation results almost doubled!
Chu Li spotted her lowering her head dashing into the kitchen. He chuckled and did not stop his practice.
The door to the small courtyard was pushed open. Clad in an apricot color gown, Su Ru walked in and sized up Chu Li's swordsmanship.
She smiled, "That's fast! You could be catching up with Lady Siao already!"
Chu Li did not even pause for a bit, he laughed and said, "Yes, it's fast. But Lady Siao is still faster, and I still have a long way to catch up!"
He was not being humble. He realized that upon reaching a limit in his sword speed, he was unable to move faster; which is why he will not be able to beat Siao Qi in it.
"Of course!" Su Ru laughed. "Lady Siao's Scripture of Sword cultivation is legendary and abstruse. What you saw was just the Brilliant Haste. Being fast is just a part of it there is more to it that you have yet to see. As such, common sword skills are deemed useless to her nor will it have much effect on her."
"The Brilliant Haste" Chu Li stopped his practice suddenly and sheathed his sword. The sword flashes around him stopped altogether. He returned to the gazebo and hung the sword back on its pole.
"Cutting the threads of carnal love with the Brilliant Haste swordthe phrase ideated from this, right?"
"Indeed," Su Ru smiled. "The Brilliant Haste focuses on one's spiritual opening, which is above and beyond sword skill levels. Sighthere really is no point in discussing this unless you experienced it yourself first."
Chu Li pondered.
"The Glory's Will Tree should be up today, right?" Su Ru asked.
She had not eaten yet, but she could not wait to take a look at the tree. She walked towards it and observed it in detail.
Chu Li held out his hand, dug and loosen the soil slightly to show the roots. He pointed to a delicate sprout on it, "do you see it now?"
There was a delicate, young, bright green sprout, seemingly full of vigor and vitality.
Su Ru widened her eyes in joy, "It is alive!"
Chu Li laughed, "congratulations!"
"It's a shame that this effort will not help you rank up" Su Ru shook her head, sighing. "Lady Siao will compensate you for this when the chance presents itself!"
Chu Li waved his hand, and smiled saying, "I will be seeking more attention if I rise any higher in my ranking."
He was already the youngest around to achieve Rank Six at his age. Any further up will attract unwanted attention.
He understood that the technique Aunt Yueling bestowed on him was a form of reward from Lady Siao. The Sentient Menace is considered the most highly regarded skill of Temple of Tempest, and its value could not be measured.
His efforts and contributions were still not as valuable as the Sentient Menace. He could only equate its value by planting and growing the Glory's Will Tree and a few more other spirit herbs.
"It's good that you think that way," Su Ru nodded. "But don't worry, Lady Siao will not treat you unfairly."
Chu Li smiled, "I am happy enough to be able to help Lady Siao share her burdens and worries."
Su Ru rolled her eyes at him. "Come on!"
She could tell from Chu Li's character that he would not dedicate himself selflessly. He was ambitious, and it is impossible for somebody as smart as him to not be ambitious. Lady Siao is wise and treats everybody fairly; hence she is not afraid of ambitious people with their own intentions.
Chu Li asked, "are the spirit herbs' seeds ready? We should start planting them now!"
Su Ru waved her hand, "I need two more days. I'll go back and deal with it, and will have them sent over as soon as they are ready!" She left.
Chu Li continued to cultivate the Sentient Menace with Xue Ling reciting the Scripture of Titanium on the side. Since it is alive and growing, he tried to channel the spiritual energy of Glory's Will Tree and found out that it was working.
Once the Sentient Menace was cultivated, the Scripture of Life and Death was automatically activated, and the spiritual energy from the Glory's Will Tree flowed into his body steadily.
The tree's spiritual energy was at its purest. Once it entered Chu Li's body, it followed the Sentient Menace pathway and very quickly, he could feel it in his flesh and muscles. If the spiritual energies he absorbed earlier were like water, the spiritual energy from the Glory's Will Tree was like mercury.
After practicing for half a morning, Chu Li felt that he has reached his physical limits. His muscles were sore and numbed. He could not cultivate any longer more. Otherwise, the effects would only bring nothing but harm.
Only for half a morning, Chu Li had already felt that he hit his maximum. His muscles were swelling up and numbing. He could not train for any longer, or else it would harm him.
He stopped and contemplated. He was not born with natural talent, his muscles were not strong enough, as such was not able to withstand the Sentient Menace's demands. If he wants to extend his cultivation period, he will first need to strengthen his muscles.
Racking his brains for a solution, he found an ancient method the Spirit Bath method.
The method has been proven effective, but it was a challenge to search for the spirit herbs needed for it. As such, the method failed to be handed down and lost its widespread usage. The key spirit herb, the Grass of Raven, was extremely delicate, fragile and fastidious to grow. Moreover, it was not considered a spirit herb even as it had almost zero medicinal value; but for some off reason, this ancient method required it as a key ingredient.
"Xue Ling, I will write you a prescription, and you go get the medicine from Chief."
Chu Li stopped cultivating, walked into the main hall, and sat down in front of the dark purple window. Xue Ling grounded the inkstick for him.
Chu Li wrote the prescription and handed it to Xue Ling, "if they do not have the Grass of Raven, ask Chief if they are able to get it for me. Otherwise, its seeds will do as well."
He took another piece of paper and in a few strokes of his brush, illustrated a herb plant that looked very realistic even on paper.
Xue Ling nodded, holding up the paper to blow the ink dry. Once it was done, she left.
After an hour, she returned with a bag and spoke to Chu Li.
"Master, there is no Grass of Raven or its seeds in storage. Chief said that she will try to locate it."
Chu Li nodded in acknowledgment.
Without the Grass of Raven, the other spirit herbs were useless. The prescription itself does not require expensive spiritual herbs as they are mostly ranked nine as such were still affordable.
Chu Li sat in the gazebo and pondered for a moment. He stood up and picked up a wooden stick from the corner.
"Xue Ling, hit me with this."
"Hmm?" Xue Ling looked at him, baffled.
Chu Li laughed. "This is the chance for you to vent your anger on me! Don't let go of this opportunity!"
Xue Ling was embarrassed. "When was I angry with you? But why do you want me to hit you, Master?"
"Cultivation," Chu Li replied.
Xue Ling took the wooden stick from him. "How hard do you want me to hit you?"
The stick was heavy and as thick as a baby's hand. It was made out of pine wood, and although may not be as compact or tough as other types of wood, it would still hurt it being used to hit someone hard.
"Try using half of your energy first, come on!" Chu Li said.
Xue Ling raised the stick, "I'll hit now?"
"Don't talk so much, quickly!" Chu Li made his first pose, and instructed, "on the back!"
'Bam!' The stick struck him firmly on his back, emitting a loud and muffled thunk.
Chu Li reflected the pain on his back, and nodded his head, "very good! Now try harder!"
"Master, I'm going to use all of my strength to hit you!"
"Do it, come on!"
Xue Ling hit him more than 20 times in a single breath. She focused all her energy in each hit, finally clearing up her gloomy mood for the past few days. She smiled.
'Crack!' The wooden stick broke into two.
Xue Ling stared at the broken stick and shook her head. She caught her breath and panted. This pine wood stick was tougher than she thought it to be.
Chu Li closed his eyes and activated the Omniscient Mirror. When his flesh and muscles were hit, the inner energy of Sentient Menace circulated faster than before and proved to be more efficient than the usual cultivation. Not a bad effect.
Chu Li instructed Xue Ling, "go get a few sticks."
Xue Ling left the courtyard, and returned hugging a bunch of wooden sticks. There were ten of them of different wood types, each measuring as thick as a baby's arm.