Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“The stage of Qi-gathering is the gateway to the Martial Way; it is necessary to get the basics right… only then will your future progress be smooth,” Zhou Donghuang muttered to himself, sitting cross-legged on the bed.
“Previously, I concentrated on practicing the methods that were popular in Ziyun and had only an average foundation, which put me at a disadvantage from the beginning… Even though I had many encounters later on with the champions of various great civilizations and cultures like star clans and supreme factions, I could only barely manage to remain undefeated.”
“This time, I must choose the best and most suitable practice method for myself!”
Zhou Donghuang’s thousand years’ worth of memories contained a myriad of practice methods, more than enough for him to take his pick from.
“‘Thousand Star Sword Technique’ is the pinnacle of sword techniques. If I practice this technique starting from the stage of Qi-gathering, I will be in an unassailable position when I engage other champions in battle.”
The Thousand Star Sword Technique was plundered from the dimensional ring of an enemy that Zhou Donghuang had killed in his previous life. It was the genuine, original technique from one of the supreme sects, the Thousand-Star Sword Sect. This enemy had been the lead disciple of the sect.
In that fight, if Zhou Donghuang had not unintentionally advanced his level of practice, which allowed him to fight at a higher stage, he might not have been able to kill his opponent.
“‘The Fiery Thunder Training Regimen’ is the pinnacle of physical martial art techniques, and it was mastered by another supreme sect. However, that sect had provoked too many powerful adversaries and was utterly defeated by their combined efforts. He eventually vanished into the tides of history.”
Although the champions of the great civilizations were powerful—it could be said that they stood at the peak of the universe—they were not invincible.
There were still some but not many that could equal them; incur the wrath of them, and it would be difficult to endure.
“If I practice the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen, even if I encounter a prime user of the Thousand Star Sword Technique, all I would have to do is bide my time and wait for an opportunity to get close to him, and I would be able to defeat him easily!”
Zhou Donghuang was inclined to the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen over the Thousand Star Sword Technique.
At that time, the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen was dominant, and its users were bloated with arrogance. In the end, they had made too many enemies and caused their own demise.
Zhou Donghuang had obtained the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen by accident, just like the Thousand Star Sword Technique, and he had memorized its teachings completely.
“‘Manual of Unruffled Sage’ is an extremely rare and potent practice method that focuses on developing one’s divine will in the initial stages and spiritual attacks in the subsequent… If faced with an opponent trained in the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen, its users only need to prevent their opponents closing in, and keep them at a distance and wait for an opportunity to strike. With their divine will… they could destroy their opponent’s Primordial Soul completely!
“However, the demands of practicing Manual of Unruffled Sage are harsh… One must forsake all emotions and become completely emotionless. Only then can one maintain an unshakable resolve and successfully develop an unbreakable divine will.”
Zhou Donghuang had come across Manual of Unruffled Sage while he was exploring an ancient and secret place. According to the legends, it was the technique that had the highest probability of elevating its users to divinity.
The disaster of the demon in the heart that was a part of the divine disaster would be no obstacle to an emotionless person.
In addition, a practitioner of this level who mastered Manual of Unruffled Sage would not be defeated by other techniques in a divine disaster.
Zhou Donghuang was also able to completely recall the contents of Manual of Unruffled Sage.
These three techniques were the pinnacle of all the techniques in the universe, and of all the other techniques Zhou Donghuang was familiar with, including those he had previously practiced, none could match these three.
“Why not… choose either the Thousand Star Sword Technique or the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen?” Zhou Donghuang muttered, finding it hard to make up his mind.
Manual of Unruffled Sage did not interest him at all, other than it being a level higher than both the Thousand Star Sword Technique and the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen.
What meaning would life have for an emotionless person?
Why don’t I choose the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen?
But the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen is only strong in close combat… it is too weak in ranged combat.
Against an opponent matching or inferior to me in terms of speed, there would be no problem. However, against a faster opponent, even if his combined abilities were no match for me, I would only be able to watch him flee.
The Thousand Star Sword Technique is suitable for both close combat and ranged combat… but it neglects defense completely. It allows for fast, strong attacks but also has obvious weaknesses. By this point, it is far inferior to the Fiery Thunder Training Regimen.
Previously, I practiced a mish-mash of techniques, and the result was excelling in certain areas but appearing merely average in others… if I did not have the miraculous experience of having lived such a long life, I would have had no chance of contending with any of the star clans and supreme factions of the great civilizations.
In the course of practicing, one could switch freely between different techniques.
However, if you didn’t stick to the same one technique as you started with, you would not reach the best state later when you completed the practice.
This was the problem Zhou Donghuang had faced in his previous life, and even though he could identify the problem, he had been unable to rectify it.
It would be unrealistic for him to erase all his achievements in the Martial Way, become an ordinary person, and start all over again. Because Zhou Donghuang had previously been at such a disadvantage, he made up his mind this time to choose the most suitable technique for himself and pursue it as far as he could go.
Even though he might have to settle for the second best, he would establish a strong foundation for himself.
That’s right… how could I have forgotten?
The Lord Of The Four Supremes!
Previously, when Zhou Donghuang had found the chronospace slate in the Kunlun Mountains on Earth, he had found some jade writing tablets on which a particular technique was recorded .
The technique recorded was called the “The Lord Of The Four Supremes.”
The “four supremes” the technique referred to were the four ancient legendary beasts: the azure dragon, the white tiger, the vermillion bird, and the black tortoise-snake.
He had then begun researching on the chronospace slate after he had memorized The Lord Of The Four Supremes, and eventually, he had been transported back a thousand years into the past.
However… the technique of The Lord Of The Four Supremes can only be practiced to a maximum stage of ‘Primordial Soul.’
Zhou Donghuang knitted his brows at this thought. This was the fatal shortcoming of The Lord Of The Four Supremes.
Among the thousands of civilizations in the universe, the practice of the Martial Way could be divided into nine stages: Qi-gathering, Connate, Primal Core, Dharma Laws, Primordial Soul, Divine Transformation, Separating Divinity, Immortal, and Deity’s Tribulation.
Previously, Zhou Donghuang had practiced until he had attained the pinnacle of the Immortal stage. Even across the universe, it was rare to find an opponent who was his match.
At the pinnacle of the stage of Immortal, Zhou Donghuang had been able to extinguish any star he wished with a gesture. He could extend his will across vast swathes of the heavens and even project his soul out of his body and roam the universe at will!
The Lord Of The Four Supremes is very difficult to master… After the stage of Primal Core, it is at least three times more difficult than usual!
Anyway, so what if it is difficult. Effort produces reward… if I practice The Lord Of The Four Supremes and after I attain the stage of Primal Core, I will be far superior to an opponent of a similar stage, regarding only individual ability and not any external factors.
The hardest thing to accept is the fatal shortcoming of this technique… which is that the maximum stage for this technique is the stage of Primordial Soul.
From there on, it will be up to me to improvise.
Zhou Donghuang was faced with an aching choice to make.
When it came to establishing a foundation, The Lord Of The Four Supremes was the best.
If he chose the technique of The Lord Of The Four Supremes, to progress from the Connate stage to the Primal Core stage, he would have to condense four cores as prerequisite.
An ordinary adept would only need to condense one primal core to progress from the stage of Connate to the stage of Primal Core. Whereas, the technique of The Lord Of The Four Supremes required four.
If he chose to practice The Lord Of The Four Supremes, there would be no shortcuts, and he would have to condense four primal cores in order to progress to the next stage. In other words, to attain the stage of Primal Core, a practitioner of The Lord Of The Four Supremes would have all four cores completed within his body.
Consider this: with four portions of Primal Core to draw strength from, compared with an opponent with just one core… how would that turn out?
It was exactly the same as for the next stage—the stage of Dharma Laws.
Only if he fully utilized the four primal cores would he reach the pinnacle level of Primal Core stage and have a chance to break through the stage of Dharma Laws.
Entering into the stage of Dharma Laws, four primal cores will reveal different aspects… the difference will be determined by the laws of the four ancient legendary beasts.
Once I break through to the stage of Primordial Soul, the four portions of Primordial Soul will merge with the different aspects revealed, and I can then utilize the Primordial Soul of the four ancient legendary beasts.
The Primordial Soul of the azure dragon excels at spiritual attacks.
The Primordial Soul of the white tiger excels at close combat.
The Primordial Soul of the vermillion bird excels at long-range attacks.
The Primordial Soul of the black tortoise-snake excels at defense.
At the thought of attaining the stage of Primordial Soul with the technique of The Lord Of The Four Supremes, Zhou Donghuang’s eyes lit up, and an intense look of longing filled his eyes.
With The Lord Of The Four Supremes at the stage of Primordial Soul, he would be able to use the Primordial Soul of the four ancient legendary beasts against his enemies, and he would be incredibly powerful!
Why don’t I… practice the technique of The Lord Of The Four Supremes? Although there is no established progression further on, could I, Zhou Donghuang, not find a way to refine and perfect it?
Although doing this will put me under great pressure… but, if life was pressure-free, what difference would there be between my life and that of a fish?
At the thought of that, Zhou Donghuang took a deep breath, and in that early morning of the fourteenth day, twelfth month, year 1227 in the Ziyun Era, he made a decision that would chart the course of his life—he would practice The Lord Of The Four Supremes!
The most important reason for choosing The Lord Of The Four Supremes was that it could give him the four Primordial Souls of the four ancient legendary beasts.
The four Primordial Souls of the four ancient legendary beasts would leave almost no weaknesses if used in conjunction with each other.
If this was not the case, he would not have chosen a technique that would allow him to advance only to a maximum stage of Primordial Soul.
Now, by the time the next medicinal bath to completely rid me of the seal… I can start practicing The Lord Of The Four Supremes in earnest and start afresh on the path of the Martial Way!
Having made his decision, Zhou Donghuang’s eyes were filled with anticipation.