Chapter 47 – The Huang Family’s Offering, the Four Realms of the Martial Dao

They were Huang Yunchong and Huang Qianjun, father and son.

After a brief daze, Su Yi understood.

Indeed, Huang Yunchong hurried over, his expression grateful.
“Young Lord Su, yesterday I learned that you taught my son a profound and mysterious secret art.
I’m shocked and flattered, so I came here to express my gratitude in person!” As he spoke, he bowed solemnly at the waist.

Su Yi calmly accepted this show of respect.

The breathing technique he’d created on the spot yesterday wasn’t all that lofty or profound, but to the Huang Family, which practiced the Form-Intention Six Harmonies Fist, it was an enormous stroke of good fortune!

Huang Yunchong was clearly well aware of what it represented to the Huang Family.
It would have been stranger if he hadn’t come to express his thanks.

“It was nothing, as easy as lifting my hand.
If there’s nothing else, please be on your way.”

As he spoke, Su Yi walked into the mulberry grove and began practicing the Pine and Crane Body Refining Technique.

His attitude was a bit cold and indifferent, but Huang Yunchong didn’t mind at all.

After hearing his son recount the breathing technique Su Yi taught him, he completely lost his calm.
He couldn’t have been any more grateful.

When he finally calmed down, he reached a single conclusion—

With this breathing technique, the Huang Family would rise to new heights.
They’d reach a whole new level!

This was something Huang Yunchong wouldn’t have even dared dream about in the past. 

The Dao couldn’t be taught lightly, and laws weren’t to be passed on casually.

In the Great Zhou, a single powerful breathing technique was enough to change the destiny of an entire clan!

“Child, remember what I told you yesterday.
You have to work hard.
Don’t disappoint Young Lord Su after all he’s done to train you up.” Huang Yunchong took a deep breath and patted Huang Qianjun on the shoulder.

Then, he turned to the distant Su Yi, who was busy drilling his martial arts, and clasped his fist.
Finally, he turned and left in silence. 

“What he told me yesterday….?” Huang Qianjun couldn’t help but recall the solemn words his father had spoken before their ancestors’ memorial tablets:

“Child, you’re still young, and you don’t understand the significance of this secret art.
Let me tell you directly that this technique alone is so weighty, every generation of the Huang Family will remember this benevolence!” 

This was Huang Qianjun’s first time seeing his father so solemn.

It was also his first team realizing that, simply by following Su Yi and acting as his subordinate, he’d inadvertently given his entire clan a chance to change their destinies!

“Is this what they mean when they ‘when one person obtains the Dao, even their dogs and chickens ascend into the heavens?’” Huang Qianjun glanced at Su Yi, who was practicing martial arts not far away.
An unprecedented reverence welled within his heart. Brother Su really is amazing!

After finishing his daily cultivation, Su Yi walked over and saw the piping-hot breakfast and drinks Huang Qianjun had ready for him.

“Ee? Are there spiritual medicines in today’s bone broth?” Su Yi’s nostrils flared.
He smelled something different in the soup.

“Brother Su, my father said that for the next week our steward will prepare a spiritual medicine for you once a day.” With that, Huang Qianjun pulled out an embroidered pouch and passed it over.
“This contains fifty spirit stones.
They’re a token of the Huang Family’s gratitude, and we hope you’ll accept them.
If you refuse, my father won’t let me through the door….”

A stalk of spiritual medicine a day.
Seven days meant seven stalks in total.

Add that to fifty spirit stones… The Huang Family had really spared no expense!

Su Yi was stunned despite himself.

There was no need to even discuss how rare and precious spiritual medicines were.

Spirit stones were even rarer.
There were none to be found in the markets; money alone wasn’t enough to purchase them.

To the best of Su Yi’s knowledge, the Three Great Clans of Guangling City had less than a hundred spirit stones apiece. 

Yet now, the Huang Family had offered fifty such spirit stones at once!

Huang Yunchong is actually quite clever.
He knows that the value of a good breathing technique far exceeds mere treasures like these. Su Yi shook his head, then set those thoughts aside and began eating and drinking. 

Huang Qianjun, meanwhile, entered the nearby clearing and began practicing the Form-Intention Six Harmonies Fist. 

When he finished his practice, Su Yi pointed out a few imperfections, then left.

The Apricot Cottage.

“With these spirit stones, I can temporarily set aside my plans to pick medicine in the Azurecloud Mountains.” Su Yi poured the embroidered pouch’s contents onto his desk.
The spirit stones glittered, clear and transparent, emanating spiritual undulations. 

Although all of them were just tier-one spirit stones, the lowest class, they were already hard to find in the spiritually-barren Great Zhou.

“Not bad.
With these spirit stones, I can reach the peak of the Refining Sinew Stage within two weeks!” Su Yi’s lips curved upward in a hint of a smile. 

One day passed, then another.

Su Yi’s life was calm but fulfilling.
Nothing happened to stir up any waves.

When he wasn’t cultivating, he would occasionally see patients, audit the ledgers, and collect profits.

And at night, when all was still, he’d call upon the beautiful but ditzy ghost Qing Wan and instruct her in her cultivation.

When the mood struck, he’d chat with her.

Unfortunately, she still couldn’t overcome her timidness.
When she faced him, she was still as fearful as could be.

This left Su Yi at a loss.
If she was scared to even talk to him, who knew how terrified she’d be if he touched her?

If things went on like this, how were they supposed to engage in dual cultivation? Dual cultivation was no joke, and required doing all sorts of things.
There was no avoiding direct contact, both body and soul.

If anything went wrong, it would be a disaster. 

But of course, dual cultivation was still far away.
The way Su Yi saw it, he’d have plenty of time to teach Qing Wan not to be so afraid of him.

At night, when no one else was around, Qing Wan sometimes sat in the locust tree and hummed ancient tunes.
Her voice was beautiful and ethereal.

It was true; Qing Wan really was a multi-talented lady ghost.

During this period, Nie Teng visited twice to report on various matters.

For example, the guards had scoured the entirety of Guangling City.
They’d discovered seven Ghoul Worm farms in total, but all seven had been disposed of, preventing future trouble.

Su Yi couldn’t help but wonder; if Wu Ruoqiu was really raising the worms on his sect’s orders, why hadn’t they sent anyone to investigate after all their worm farms were destroyed? 

In the end, Su Yi inferred two possibilities.

One, the Deathbringer’s Gate already understood that something had happened to Wu Ruoqiu and they were currently investigating in secret.

Two, the Deathbringer’s Gate still didn’t know what had happened, so they’d yet to react.

Regardless of which possibility turned out to be correct, Su Yi knew that the heretical cultivators of the Deathbringer’s Gate wouldn’t just let this go.

But of course, this latent danger was nothing to Su Yi himself. 

They were a third-rate sect, a bunch of losers who used virgins’ menstrual blood to refine their weapons.
What could a group like that possibly achieve? 

As time went on, the Dragon’s Gate Banquet drew closer and closer.

Boats clustered along the Great Azure, their faint outlines visible even from far away.
Artisans from both sides of the river seized every moment to finish setting up the banquet’s venue.

Furthermore, the Dragon’s Gate Banquet had become the talk of the town on both sides of the river.

Even the ordinary civilians were incomparably excited.

This was because the banquet was held at night, and countless lanterns would light up the Great Azure, like a galaxy of flame descending to earth.
The glowing lights were like a painting against the inky darkness of the night; it was a top-class spectacle.

It was morning in the mulberry grove outside of Guangling City.

“Brother Su, I’ve begun Refining Sinew!” Huang Qianjun was enormously excited, like a student waiting for his teacher to praise him.

But Su Yi merely nodded and said flatly, “With my guidance and the medicine the Huang Family is supplying you, if you couldn’t reach this step, there’d be no point in cultivating any further.

Huang Qianjun instantly deflated, and his excitement faded.

Su Yi thought for a moment, then added, “But with your current attainments in martial arts, you’ve just barely stepped over the threshold.
When the Dragon’s Gate Banquet comes, you still might not be Wen Jueyuan’s opponent, but even if you lose, you won’t embarrass yourself.”

Learning martial arts was a long-term process, starting from the superficial and becoming deeper with practice.

Attainments in any martial art could be divided into four stages: “peering through the door”, “stepping over the threshold”, “proficiency”, and “mastery.”

“Peering through the door” referred to successfully performing all of a technique’s stances and attacks. 

For ordinary martial artists, reaching this stage wasn’t particularly difficult.

“Stepping over the threshold” referred to understanding the essence of your technique.
At this level, there was a nuance and power to every stance and movement.

Proficiency took that a step further.
It meant full understanding of a martial art, that you could call upon it at will, without conscious effort.
Every time you attacked, you could realize a martial art’s highest level of power.

As for mastery, that meant practicing a martial art to the level of comprehending other techniques by analogy, of seeing one stance and inferring three others.
It meant merging your own understanding and experiences into your martial art, allowing you to explode with unprecedented power. 

When you practiced a martial art to the level of “mastery”, you’d obtain a “force” unique to oneself. 

Like sword, knife, or fist force.

But ordinary yellow-grade martial arts contained little profundity. 

Never mind reaching “mastery”; just achieving proficiency was enormously difficult.

Take the Huang Family’s original Form-Intention Six Harmonies Fist.
Its potential stopped at mere “proficiency.” 

But with Su Yi’s guidance and assistance, combined with the breathing technique he’d made, their fist technique had undergone a qualitative metamorphosis. 

So long as Huang Qianjun kept practicing, he’d reach mastery eventually!

“Brother Su, the curtains open on the Dragon’s Gate Banquet in just three days.
Are you planning to come?” Huang Qianjun couldn’t help but ask.

“It depends how I feel at the time,” said Su Yi casually.

He’d lost track of how many heaven-shaking “discussions of the Dao” he’d participated in.
Anyone eligible to join in was a glorious, mighty figure famed throughout the world.

He really couldn’t work up any interest in participating in a minor event like the Dragon’s Gate Banquet. 

Huang Qianjun was a bit disappointed. If Brother Su participates, I’m afraid he’ll easily take the number-one spot!

Just thinking about it filled his heart with excitement. 

Huang Qianjun suddenly seemed to remember something.
“Brother Su, I heard that one of Blueriver Sword Manor’s inner sect elders, Zhou Huaiqiu, will be in attendance.
If anyone who puts on a spectacular performance will receive direct admission to the Blueriver Sword Manor!” 

His gaze filled with longing.
“So, I hope I can put on a good showing.
Even if I can’t take the number one spot, if Senior Zhou Huaiqiu takes a liking to me, I can ascend the heavens in a single bound!”

“Zhou Huaiqiu….” When he heard this familiar name, Su Yi was briefly stunned.
Memories of his past flooded into his mind.

Some time later, he glanced at Huang Qianyun, shook his head, and laughed.
“That’s the extent of your ambition? What a disappointment!”

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