Chapter 5: Martial Arts Masters
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
Chen Fan slowly opened his eyes when his cultivation was finally done. If anyone had been paying attention to him, they would find the boy's eyes shone like a pair of light bulbs. Slowly, the light in Chen Fan eyes dimmed.
"What an amazing art! Although this is the first time I attempted to cultivate, I am already well into the first sub-level. At this rate, I should be able to reach the Ethereal Enlightenment within six months!" Chen Fan exclaimed in his mind.
The fast rate of progress in an environment so deprived of qi had surprised him. Although he was convinced that it had something to do with his past life's cultivation experience, he wagered that the unique art had helped too.
Chen Fan picked himself up and shook his body, and the energy within his system made a continuous popping sound like popping popcorns.
He closed his fingers and felt his body was bursting with energy.
He turned around and punched the willow tree behind him. The old willow tree trembled as countless willow leaves fell to the ground.
Chen Fan removed his fist from the tree, and he saw that his punch had left a three-inch deep impression on the willow tree bark.
This willow tree had lived over hundreds of years, and the age had turned it's bark extremely hard. If such a punch landed on a mortal, there would be a hole wherever it landed.
This was the result from his first day of cultivation; it wouldn't be long before he would be able to sever the tree trunk with one blow. Moreover, he did not use any arcane forces in that punch but relied only on the power of his body.
Thus it was, the art of Void Mortal Refinement not only improved his energy but also significantly elevated his strength. He was already half as strong as a superman after only one night of cultivation.
However, Chen Fan shook his head in disappointment. Compared to the power that he used to wield, the strength in this punch was pathetic.
"I have a long way to go." He sighed. He looked up and noticed the nascent sun shining above the surface of the lake. He realized that he had been sitting there for a whole night. To his surprise, he was not at all tired.
Although he didn't succumb to exhaustion, he felt hunger was claiming him. He patted his belly and decided that it was time to eat.
As soon as he was out of the willow trees, he saw three people walking toward him.
There was a woman in a white exercise suit walking beside an elderly man in a traditional Chinese suit. Trailing behind the two was a young man with a fit body and pair of sharp eyes.
The girl of the group pulled her hair in a ponytail; her beautiful face held a cold and distant expression. She had a pair of perky bosom and a tall body. She was as attractive as Jiang Churan if not more thanks to her well-defined features.
Chen Fan was still immersed in the joy of his achievement, and therefore, he didn't think too much of this encounter. He passed the three strangers without even sparing them a glance.
However, three stranger had definitely noticed him.
The young man glued his eyes on Chen Fan and didn't look away until Chen Fan had disappeared at the end of the walking path. Then and only then, he turned his head and looked at the old man in the traditional outfit, and said something.
The old man shook his head in disagreement, " It can't be. He is probably just a morning, jogger."
After returning to his rented home at the lakeside community, Chen Fan found a breakfast stall and ate a big meal. Then he went to the supermarket and bought some groceries. He managed to find a Chinese medicine shop and ordered some herbal medicines. When he got home from the medicine shop, it was already noon.
He soon received a phone call from Auntie Tang who invited him over for lunch at her house.
He wanted to go, but the thought of seeing the cold faces of Jiang Haishan and Jiang Churan made him think better of it. He improvised an excuse and told Auntie Tang that he would have to have lunch by himself.
After hanging up the phone, Chen Fan suddenly reckoned that his parents had not given him a phone call yet. What kind of parents are they? Sending their son away to a new place and didn't even care to make a phone call?
"Maybe Auntie Tang was my real parent." Chen Fan shook his head in dismay.
Soon, the courier knocked on his door, the medicine he had ordered has arrived.
Cultivation without any help was possible, but it would be a very slow process. Things like herbal medicine and numinous treasure would greatly improve a cultivator's rate of advancement. Although the herb medicines on the earth were extremely low in quality, it was better than nothing.
To prepare these herbs, he didn't need any medicine barrels, nor did he need to boil them for seventy-two hours as suggested by the apothecary at the drugstore.
He simply drew a circle directly on the ground, then spread the medicine around and inside the circle. Then he stepped into the circle and initiated the art that he knew to harness qi from herbs.
"Spirit Robbing Array!"
This was the most basic array formation that the cultivator could summon.
The herbs he had scattered around him started to dance around on the ground until they threw themselves at Chen Fan.
As the name of the array suggested, the technique was used to draw out the spirit qi from the herbs and fuse them with the caster's system. This was an easy spell to cast, but extremely effective. It could not only draw out the qi in common herbs but also that in numinous treasures.
The cultivators had been studying and developing the cultivation techniques over millions of years, and therefore no longer did they need to follow the cumbersome methods of cultivation described in Wuxia novels. This was the era of Xianxia!
The effectiveness of the array, to a large extent, depends on the experience of the cultivator. In Chen Fan's past life, he had been widely regarded as a great master in using arrays.
Eyes closed, Chen Fan continued harnessing qi in the herbs for many hours. When he finally opened his eyes, it was already late evening.
"Today's cultivation was even more effective than last night's effort. Unfortunately, the effect wouldn't last long." Chen Fan frowned. "Why the heck are these herbs so freaking expensive? I have already spent most of the money my mother had given me; I can't afford another round of harnessing anymore."
"It seems that I will have to go to the same place that I had spent last night." Chen Fan had never thought that money— the quintessential of worldly burden—would become so essential in his cultivation.
"Why is my mother so stingy? It's not like she is poor!" He thought resentfully.
He went to bed and slept until five in the morning. As soon as he got out of his bed, he went straight to that old gnarly willow tree by the lake.
When Chen Fan finally arrived, he was surprised to find someone else had already taken his spot under the tree.
It was that same girl with the ponytail that he had met yesterday, and she was practicing martial arts under the tree. Soon, Chen Fan noticed that she was not alone. The old man stood behind the tree and watched over the girl's practice. From time to time, he would stop the girl to offer some advice and guidance.
The sharp-eyed young man was sitting inside of a black jeep-like vehicle, his eyes constantly scanning the surroundings with a great measure of vigilance.
Wasn't that the same group of strangers he had met yesterday morning?
Unable to contain his curiosity, Chen Fan approached the group. The old man graced him a glance and then returned his attention to the girl next to him.
Chen Fan was in a hurry yesterday, so he wasn't able to take a good look at the girl, but after observing the girl for a while today, he was shocked by what he found.
In addition to the girl's exquisite face and tenacious body, she carried an almost heroine-like quality in every single movement. Even the simple act of lifting an arm seemed like a declaration of victory, and her powerful roundhouse kicks a righteous ultimatum to her enemy.
However, her appearance wasn't what surprised Chen Fan. It was what he saw inside of her: arcane energy.
"Is she also a cultivator?" Chen Fan was caught by surprise as he did not expect to meet another cultivator on Earth.
"No…" upon a closer look, Chen Fan found out that something was amiss about the energy inside of her. "It was too weak and too… simple. Probably isn't even strong enough to summon the simplest spell."
As Chen Fan continued his observation, he noticed the unique shirt the girl was wearing, as well as the traditional martial arts suit the old man was in; he finally put the two and two together.
"Is that the so-called ‘internal energy' inside of her?"
Chen Fan grew up watching Wuxia shows on TV, and therefore he had heard plenty of high tales about Gongfu and Internal energy. He always thought those high tales and legends were exactly what they were: high tales and legends, until now.
He wagered that the so-called internal energy was a much weaker form of the arcane energy inside of the cultivators. Although Chen Fan was at the earliest stage of his cultivation, he would already be the most deadly Martial Artist in the realm of Wuxia.
The internal force inside of the girl was far inferior to the arcane dharma force inside of even the most incompetent cultivator. The difference in the two forms of energy was much like that of the diesel and rocket fuels, where Diesel could only be used to fuel trucks, but rocket fuel could be used to propel a rocket into space. They were both fuels, but one provided far more energy than the other.
In addition, a cultivator could harness the power in the universe to command powerful spells and create miraculous numinous treasures. All of those were way beyond the reach of a martial artist.
After Chen Fan's curiosities were satisfied, he gathered himself and continued watching the girl's practice.
From time to time, he would shake his head disapprovingly.
The girl had noticed Chen Fan's criticism, and it didn't sit well with her. She paused and asked hotly, "What are you staring at? Do you even understand what this is?"