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Edited: Odd Man Out
Chapter 687: Before Breaking Through to the Tian Qi layer
The strong cultivator opened his eyes once everybody sat down.
He looked absolutely normal but in his eyes one could see something deep and profound. It seemed that for the strong cultivator, the world had no secrets. It seemed like he knew and understood everything. He could see through things.
“Why are you here?” asked the old man, surprising everybody. Why had they come? Because they wanted to become stronger, of course. They wanted to learn from a strong cultivator.
“For the sake of cultivation.” replied somebody. In the Continent of the Nine Clouds, people wanted to progress on the path of cultivation, they wanted to become monstrously strong, they wanted to control the world and their own destiny.
“What about the others?” asked the Zun cultivator glancing around the crowd. The other people nodded, they had come for the sake of cultivation.
“Very good, since you have come for the sake of cultivation, can you tell me what cultivation is?” asked the Zun cultivator indifferently. Everybody was surprised, what was cultivation?
Strong cultivators wanted to be respected and reach the clouds. They wanted to control the clouds and their fate but few of them had ever thought about what cultivation really was. Everybody remained silent.
“Nobody can tell me?” said the Zun cultivator. The cultivators remained silent and were a bit surprised. What a simple question! But they couldn’t even reply.
Many people lowered their heads, they felt stupid.
“If you haven’t studied cultivation deeply how could you become strong cultivators?” sighed the Zun cultivator. The crowd felt even more ridiculous, they had said that they wanted to become strong cultivators and that they had come for the sake of cultivation but they couldn’t reply to a simple question.
“Cultivation, as I see it, includes many things. It is about learning skills and techniques, making one’s body stronger, improving one’s strength. It’s about surpassing one’s self and one’s own limits. It’s about studying and understanding. You can use the strength of the Earth and sky for your own interests. First you can borrow their strength and then you can control their strength. Then, you will be able to understand the abstruse significance. Once you can control that kind of strength, you don’t need to think about anymore.” said the old man slowly. Then he continued, “That is how I understand what cultivation is, what about you?”
The first step was making one’s own body stronger, the second step was about borrowing the strength of the planet, the third step was controlling the Earth and sky.
Looking at it that way made it seem easy to understand what cultivation was, but in fact it was precisely that way. It was about starting weak and then becoming stronger. And eventually, someday, becoming a cultivator would be about controlling the Earth.
Step by step, if a cultivator managed to control the Earth and sky they would become an authentically strong cultivator. But what kind of cultivator was that? Could a Zun cultivator control the earth and the sky? Probably not!
“Do you understand what I mean?” asked the old man making them shiver.
“At our level, we can only borrow the strength of the Earth and sky, and use skills. We are learning basic things such as using intent. All of those things are about borrowing strength, including their Qi. Those who understand the Earth and sky the best, including their strength, are the strongest.” said someone.
The Zun cultivator nodded and said, “You are just about right, the Qi of the Earth and sky allow you to make your magical powers become stronger. It enables you to improve your intent level, then one day you’re able to destroy the Earth and sky. That’s the only way to become stronger.”
Lin Feng kept nodding. He understood things better than most people. No matter if it was on the path of sword cultivation, the strength of the Heruka, corporeal strength etc. All of those things were about borrowing external strength, the strength of the Earth and sky.
“If you understand that, tell me how to become stronger and break through to the different cultivation layers?”
“Using pure Qi, and once it reaches a certain level we break through to different cultivation layers.” said someone else.
“What are cultivation layers?” asked the Zun cultivator. The crowd was stupefied again, what were cultivation layers…?
“And how can you break through to the next cultivation layers?” repeated the Zun cultivator.
“Cultivation layers are probably related to one’s power of understanding. If our power of understanding is deep enough, we can break through to the next one…” said someone else.
“The cultivation layers represent one of the most important aspects of cultivation, but it is difficult to talk about such abstract concepts. Once the required factors are present, one can break through to the next cultivation layer. Practicing cultivation enabled you to break through to your current cultivation level and use your current skills and techniques.”
“It’s like a river and stones.” said the Zun cultivator. He then stretched his hand and in a flash appeared a drop of water which fell down onto a stone.
“Your cultivation level is like that stone, but your cultivation is like water. You can break through to the next cultivation layers like water slips on a stone. Cultivation layers exist but you are not stuck in them, they are immobile as you break through to the different ones like a river. If you want the water to pierce through the stone, there are many methods. You can increase the speed of the water flow, or can use more water, you can also make the water become sharper. And each time you collide with that stone, you become stronger. What you want to do is break that stone as quickly as possible. No matter, you need to make the water fall onto the same place each time, then you will progress faster.”
Following each of the Zun cultivator’s words, drops of water appeared and fell down onto the stone.
“Do you understand?” asked the Zun cultivator while moving his hands. Then the water started flowing even faster and very quickly, the stone disappeared.
“It is tiring if you use more water. Making the water sharper requires that you become stronger, you need to understand cultivation for that. Each time the water falls at one precise point you observe and understand the laws of our world. You need perseverance, persistence and determination to stick to such a task. You need to move forwards with indomitable determination.” said Lin Feng slowly.
The Zun cultivator looked at Lin Feng, smiled and nodded, “Indeed, if you want to become stronger, you need perseverance and determination… But you also need natural abilities, you need hard work and you need skills. You need to have an iron-will and determination.”
“You are all geniuses that will soon break through to the Tian Qi layer. If you know the proper methods, if you use your brain and work hard, you will break through to the Tian Qi layer very quickly. Cultivation will be even more meaningful for you. When you break through to the Tian Qi layer you will be in perfect fusion with the universe. You will understand the strength of the Earth and sky.”
If you want to break through to the Tian Qi layer you will first need to penetrate into a mysterious cultivation dimension, the human earth fusion dimension.
The crowd stared blankly. Breaking through to the Tian Qi layer required such incredible things, what a difficult prerequisite…
“When you break through to the Tian Qi layer, you will need to pay attention to the strength of the Earth and sky and you will need to pay attention to the way you control it. You will need to continue practicing skills and techniques. You will need to continue understanding the different sorts of intent: fire intent, sword intent, firmament intent, and so on. Even if you and an opponent have both broken through to the same Tian Qi layer, if you don’t understand intent but your opponent does, he can easily defeat you.”
“When you break through to the Tian Qi layer you will need to keep persistent. Then you will try to penetrate into the abstruse significance dimension… However, you are still extremely far from it. You first need to start understanding the strength of the Earth and sky. Only those who understand the abstruse significance can become Zun cultivators.”
The human earth fusion was necessary to break through to the Tian Qi layer and the abstruse significance was necessary to become a Zun cultivator.
“There is one more aspect, understanding the human earth fusion requires determination and willpower, one cannot give up. If one’s heart is polluted they cannot break through to the Tian Qi layer.”
The Tian Qi layer required the understanding of the human earth fusion!