Translator: Atlas Studios
Editor: Atlas Studios
“Ling’e, do you know what Qi is?
“Qi is the arteries and veins of the heaven and earth. It is the breath of all living things. All methods for cultivation start from Qi. All divine powers were created using Qi. A Heavenly Cycle is completed when one practiced breathing exercises and allowed the Qi to circulate in their body.
“Today, I will be teaching you the basics of our sect’s Single Qi Heaven Regularization Chant.
“This is the technique for establishing one’s Dao foundation. It is a brilliant foundation establishment technique even if one were to compare it with other techniques in the five continents. Even if you want to practice other cultivation techniques in the future, this technique will still be able to help you establish your foundation.
Lan Ling’e was standing under the shade of the willow beside the lake. Her gaze kept turning towards the middle of the lake involuntarily, and she stuck the tip of her tongue out nervously.
The old Daoist priest, Qi Yuan, looked towards the middle of the lake and smiled. “Your Senior Brother is trying to comprehend Water Escape techniques. Do not be distracted by him. Listen to me. I’ll explain this basic cultivation technique to you.”
Lan Ling’e focused her attention and concentrated on the marvelous technique that her master was teaching. She tried her best to understand the meaning of those words.
However, after a while…
Lan Ling’e’s almond-shaped eyes widened into a circle. She pointed at the lake and exclaimed, “Master! Senior Brother has disappeared!”
Qi Yuan turned his head and looked over. He smiled helplessly and said, “That is an escape technique! Come. Let’s go inside the room to practice! Your Senior Brother is interested in all kinds of escape techniques. This should be the sixth escape technique that he has mastered.”
“Master, what are escape techniques?”
Qi Yuan combed his beard and said while smiling, “Escape techniques are a kind of Dharma spell. It enables the practitioner to travel instantly to different places. Water Escape allows one to swoop through the water and move faster than the fish. Look. Your Senior Brother has appeared beside the lake. His escape speed is really remarkable.”
Lan Ling’e tiptoed and looked over just in time to see her senior brother appear at the far end of the lake. He stood quietly on the water surface.
Ling’e complimented softly, “Senior Brother is so impressive!”
“Speaking of escape techniques, your Senior Brother’s escape techniques are indeed very impressive compared to others in our Immortal Du Sect.” Qi Yuan looked a little helpless. “If he spent half the amount of effort in other Dharmic spells as he did in escape techniques, I would be much more assured.”
Lan Ling’e blinked her eyes gently and followed her master into the straw hut.
Qi Yuan summoned two meditation cushions and closed the wooden door of the straw hut. He hit his little disciple’s head softly with the horsetail whisk in his hand. “Pay attention!”
“Oh.” Lan Ling’e crossed her legs and sat down properly hurriedly. She could finally concentrate this time.
Li Changshou was walking on the surface of the lake. After taking two steps, he suddenly transformed into a stream of water and disappeared. In a few breaths’ time, he reappeared in the middle of the lake.
‘Water Escape worked, yet it took so long.’
However, he could integrate himself into the water while performing the Water Escape technique—that could shield him from attacks using some Dharma treasures.
‘Water benefits all yet it doesn’t demand credit for its contributions. Water can make everything float without collapsing. It is indeed something worth exploring.’
Li Changshou stood with his hands behind his back. After thinking for a while, he continued walking on the water surface. However, he would disappear and reappear with every few steps.
After continuous attempts, Li Changshou did not need to walk on the water surface to perform the Water Escape technique anymore. As long as he came into contact with the lake, Li Changshou could immediately perform the Water Escape technique.
However, Li Changshou was still not satisfied. He continued thinking about ways to improve his Water Escape technique and was completely oblivious to the time passed.
That continued until the evening when Qi Yuan sent a voice message asking him to go back.
“Ling’e has yet to practice inedia, but she should not be eating satiety pills all the time. While you are constructing the straw hut, later on, build a stove as well. Make her a meal every day until the day she practices inedia.”
Li Changshou cupped his hands and said, “At your command, Master.”
“I shall proceed with my cultivation. Ling’e, if you face any troubles, you can speak to your Senior Brother.”
“Yes, Master!” Lan Ling’e copied her senior brother’s actions and answered with her hands cupped. However, her tummy growled at that very moment, making her face flush.
Qi Yuan laughed out loud. He transformed into a wisp of smoke and vanished. Li Changshou was also full of smiles, yet he turned and looked at the lake to avoid making his junior sister feel awkward.
“Senior Brother! Did Master just use the Smoke Escape technique?”
“Huh? Smoke Escape technique?” Li Changshou was momentarily stunned. Afterward, he broke into a burst of laughter. “That was just an illusion spell. It is mainly used to protect one’s life when one is battling with their enemy. It can be used to deal damage or trap the enemy. It can be considered one of Master’s best spells. Do you want to learn it? You will have to wait until your cultivation sees some improvements. Master will teach this to you then if you ask him to.”
“What about Senior Brother’s Water Escape technique? Can Ling’e learn that now?”
“Water Escape can only be learned later. You will need to reach the Soul Formation Realm of Qi Refinement before learning this, as well as the other element escape techniques. Leave that at the back of your mind as of now, rookie cultivator. You have only just completed your first meditation session.”
Lan Ling’e blinked and asked, “What does rookie mean? Does it refer to a clumsy beginner?”
Li Changshou’s eyes turned into a line as he smiled. He brought Lan Ling’e over to the empty space beside the herb garden. “What do you want to eat? We have a lot of wildlife around here. If you do not have any dietary restrictions, I will recommend you some.”
“Senior Brother, are we eating… these medicinal herbs this afternoon?”
“Of course not.” Li Changshou stretched his right palm in front of him. A piece of stone flew towards him from one side and spun one round in his palm. Afterward, it flew towards the forest with a piercing whizz.
Lan Ling’e could not help but exclaim in awe. Meanwhile, a commotion stirred in the forest, startling flocks of birds.
Very soon, a golden pheasant that was born with tri-colored feathers swooped in the air. The stone was etched in the golden pheasant’s chest—that spiritual beast was long dead.
The stone flew into the forest and back. Afterward, Li Changshou threw it at a nearby bush casually. That made Lan Ling’e’s eyes shine brightly.
Not before long, Li Changshou had skillfully set up a barbeque rack beside the lake. He stripped the feathers of the golden pheasant and removed its innards. He took out a few bottles of seasoning ingredients that he valued a lot and started ‘seducing’ his junior sister, her saliva, more specifically.
“Senior Brother, what Dharma spell was that with the stone? How could it fly back after it’s been thrown?”
“It’s just simple telekinesis.” Li Changshou smiled and replied, “This can only be considered a simple spell.
“In today’s cultivation world, or rather, in the entire five continents, the most popular fighting tactics was to use some Dharma treasures. Cultivators would incorporate their cultivation powers into their Dharma treasures, or use them to hit others.
“Telekinesis is only the basics of controlling Dharma treasures.
“You have just started on your cultivation. It is no surprise that you do not know about that. I will slowly explain them to you in the future.”
“Okay.” Lan Ling’e knelt at one side. She arranged a strand of hair beside her ear with her hand and said softly like a mosquito, “Senior Brother’s spells all seem very impressive.”
Li Changshou shook his head slightly. Then he explained to Ling’e sincerely, “You are wrong, Junior Sister. These are not impressive.
“Our master and I are both cultivators who have yet to experience Immortal Ascension.
“This Primordial World is too savage. Immortal Ascension is only equivalent to leaving the beginner’s village. There are seven or eight more realms after Immortal Ascension. Only then could one be considered a powerful cultivator. Each realm could stop countless of ‘geniuses’ in their tracks.
“The Primordial World has existed for a duration too long to count. There are countless of top-notch cultivators around. This makes it even harder for new cultivators to climb to the very top.
“Moreover, cultivation powers are ultimately just a foundation. If two individuals at the same cultivation realm were to battle, the outcome of the one without any powerful Dharma treasures would be… losing one’s Dao and dying!”
Lan Ling’e shrank her neck. Her senior brother’s words were like a demon’s voice. They made her hairs stand.
His voice continued reverberating in the air.
“Even if you have powerful Dharma treasures, death is still inevitable if you do not possess powerful mystical abilities. Even if you have sufficient Dharma treasures and mystical abilities, you might still face disasters if you are unlucky. Death is still inevitable. To sum it all…”
“Lose… losing one’s Dao and dying?”
Li Changshou showed a kind smile and complimented her. “Good. You have understood it pretty quickly.”
Lan Ling’e asked softly, “However, Senior Brother, isn’t the purpose of cultivation to live forever? Shouldn’t our aim be striving to protect oneself and live an unrestrained life?”
“No. You might have gotten it wrong. Cultivating is not something that is admirable.” Li Changshou shook his head and sighed. “The purpose of cultivation is to become stronger so that we will be able to face all kinds of difficult situations and ultimately survive.
“Living forever is just a realm in cultivation. When you reach that realm, you will not die naturally. However, you might still lose your life to various disasters.”
Lan Ling’e asked nervously, “Then, Senior Brother, what should we do to truly stay alive?”
Li Changshou rotated the barbeque rack in his hand slowly and replied methodically, “First, avoid dealing with karma. Try your best not to be involved in weird situations. The best solution is to stay at home and practice your cultivation. Avoid walking around unnecessarily and avoid coming into contact with anybody else.
“Of course, it is hard to achieve this.
“For example, you and me. We have come into contact because we are under the guidance of the same master. That creates a cause. If any one of us face any troubles, the other will inevitably be implicated. This is an effect.
“Therefore, even if we tried our best to avoid karma, which is the combination of cause and effect, we will not be able to avoid it completely. Hence, we should learn to analyze the situation. We must make reasonable judgments based on the situation to avoid landing ourselves in danger.
“If we did everything we could but still found ourselves in a potentially dangerous situation, we are only left with the second solution.”
“What is the second solution?”
Lan Ling’e wiped the saliva at the corner of her mouth. The golden pheasant that was on the rack was almost done and was emitting a delicious scent.
“Hole cards? What are they?”
“Hole cards refer to your various hidden abilities.” Li Changshou tore a piece of chicken and handed it over to Ling’e, who was eagerly waiting while continuing to teach her.
He had prepared the entrance educational talk for his future junior sister for a long time. He was currently consolidating the information that he had prepared for months!
“You can conceal 30% of your abilities and only showcase 70% of that to others. In this case, if someone targeted you, you would be able to shock them with your abilities and win the fight.
“To be precise, if you have any powerful Dharma spells, mystical abilities, or Dharma treasures in the future, you can hide them and use them as your hole cards. No one will know about them until you use them at crucial moments. They will be your royal flush that will end the game.
“You can also conceal a portion of your cultivation level. That can also be one of your hole cards.”
Lan Ling’e finished the chicken in her hands in a few bites. Her eyes lit up as she reminisced about its delicious taste. She could not help but lick her fingers in satisfaction.
She thought through her senior brother’s advice and asked softly, “However, Senior Brother, what can I do if I still fail to beat the other party even after revealing all my hole cards?”
“That’s where the third solution applies.” With a flick of his finger, the cooked golden pheasant was dissected in front of Li Changshou. It turned into chicken pieces that were full of spiritual energy and floated in front of Lan Ling’e.
“The third solution is very simple. That is to—run!”
“Umm…” Lan Ling’e blinked her eyes. Although the barbequed meat attracted most of her attention, Lan Ling’e still tried her best to understand what her senior brother was talking about.
Li Changshou said casually, “As the saying goes, while the green hills last, there’ll be wood to burn.
“Acting rashly would only bury your hopes for the future. You only have one precious life. Of course, some people who are extremely lucky and have good temperaments may go lucky and receive a second chance.
“Cough. Back to the serious business!
“If you want to escape from the hands of a powerful cultivator, you will require excellent reactions to danger. This is where I want to emphasize the importance of learning escape techniques. The more escape techniques you master, the greater your chances for survival…”
The sun was setting as the delicious aroma of the meat permeated in the air.
A young cultivator was passionately teaching his new junior sister by the clear lake. The little girl, who was munching on the pieces of barbecued meat, was listening attentively.
This would definitely be an important lesson that would influence her entire life as an immortal.
However, although Little Ling’e could not stop exclaiming about how the lessons made a lot of sense, she felt that something was amiss.