This was the only way he could surpass his past self at the same stage of cultivation!
The knowledge and experience of his past life meant that Su Yi already had a clear path to follow as he cultivated anew.
In this life, he had to be stronger than his former self at every stage of cultivation.
Only then could he forge an unparalleled path and far surpass his past life!
In the time it took to burn a stick of incense, Su Yi practiced the full Pine and Crane Body Refining Technique three times.
He was already covered in a sheen of sweat, and his breathing was slightly ragged.
This was already his current limit.
Even so, he was in unusually high spirits, and bathed in the morning light, his tall, thin frame shone with all the youthful vigor of a seventeen-year-old.
“This is already the third day since I reawakened the memories of my previous life and began my cultivation anew.
“But now, after just three sets, I’m already covered in sweat….
“This body of mine just isn’t good enough.
The cultivation methods I used over the past seventeen years were full of flaws, and my foundations weren’t ‘good’ at all.”
Su Yi wiped his brow with a cloth and pondered.
In this life, before losing his cultivation, he’d been the Sword Chief of Blueriver Sword Manor’s Outer Sect, famed throughout Cloudriver Prefecture.
But in the eyes of his “past life”, this minor accomplishment wasn’t even worth discussing.
“At seventeen years old, I’ve already missed the ideal age for hammering out my Martial Dao.
Fortunately, if I use the Pine and Crane Body Refining Technique to establish my foundation, it won’t be difficult to compensate for the flaws of my earlier cultivation.
“It’s just, this world’s spiritual energy is a bit too sparse, isn’t it…?”
Su Yi furrowed his brows.
In the three days since reawakening his memories, he’d figured out just which world he was in.
The Azure Continent.
It was home to over a hundred nations big and small, its territory vast and expansive.
He was currently in “The Great Zhou”, which was but one of the Azure Continent’s hundred-plus countries.
In his past life, Su Yi had never once heard of the Azure Continent, but he was certain that this world was connected to the Nine Provinces of the Wilds.
His reasoning was simple: the prevailing cultivation system of the Azure Continent shared a common root with the Wilds!
However, because the spiritual energy of the Azure Continent was practically depleted, the people spoke only of “the Martial and Origin Daos”, the first two realms along the path of cultivation.
As for the two higher realms of cultivation, the “Spirit Dao” and “Profound Dao”, there was practically no trace of them on the Azure Continent.
They only existed in legends.
Rumor had it that the mightiest experts of the Great Zhou were only in the Origin Dao stage.
Despite this, the common folk honored them as “Earthly Immortals.”
From this, it was easy to infer just how barren and sparse the Azure Continent’s spiritual energy was.
Su Yi pondered out loud, “Even if I have countless techniques and remarkable abilities at my disposal, I reincarnated into such a barren place that most aren’t usable….”
But he wasn’t actually worried about all that.
The way of cultivation undoubtedly came down to four key words: wealth, companions, techniques, and land.
“If I can find a place with concentrated spiritual energy, I can cut my work in half for twice the results.
“And if I can find a few treasures of heaven and earth on top of that, I’ll need three months at most to break past the Martial Dao and step into the Origin Dao….”
Su Yi’s thoughts stopped here.
“I’m getting ahead of myself,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh.
“With the sparse spiritual energy of the Great Zhou, giving rise to elixirs on the level of ‘treasures of heaven and earth’ is all but impossible.
“But realizing my dao in this spiritually-depleted landscape will prove my abilities as Su Xuanjun.
Only then will I have a chance to reach greater heights than in my past life!”
Why had he reincarnated to cultivate anew?
Naturally, it was a plan to reach an even higher realm than in his past life!
“Tomorrow, I’ll take a trip outside the city and see if I can find a ‘spiritual ground’ suitable for cultivation.” Having made up his mind, Su Yi looked up.
His carefree gaze reflected the bright moon hovering overhead, and when its radiance lit up his pupils, there was a hint of an altogether different emotion visible there.
Cultural notes if you’re curious:
The “pine and crane” are both traditional symbols of longevity.
It makes sense that pines would symbolize longevity; they’re evergreens, resistant to cold (and presumably other hardships), and many species of pine really do live a long time.
There’s a tree in California, “Methuselah”, that’s almost five thousand years old already.
As for cranes, there are legends of daoists turning into cranes upon death, or of cranes carrying the souls of the dead to the next realm.
Cranes can also represent purity, among other things.
You’ll often see them paired with pines in traditional Chinese art.
“Anāsrava” is a Buddhist term, presumably from Sanskrit.
It doesn’t imply perfection as in “omnipotence” or “moral superiority” so much as the absence of contaminants.
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