Chapter 17 – Cultivation
After waiting a while in the garden, Elder Sun came back with a dark expression. His face was full of anger. Earlier, when he talked to the patriarch about the matter, some of his apprentice-brothers ridiculed him. He thought, “Wait until I get all the gourds and create an immortal pill that will greatly increase my cultivation. Let’s see who will be laughing then.”
After entering the garden, Elder Sun saw Wang Lin and huffed, “Wang Lin, from today on, you are my, Sun Dazhu’s, disciple. You must cultivate properly to not disgrace your master’s name.” He tossed out a small pouch and said, “This is the inner disciple’s identification. It also acts as a bag of holding. It can hold a lot of things. Your clothes and instructions to your cultivation method are stored inside. Check it out yourself.”
Wang Lin quickly picked it up. He was very excited, and his mind was filled with the thoughts of his parents’ expectations. This time, he wholeheartedly called Sun Dazhu master.
Sun Dazhu replied with a grunt. He shifted his gaze and said, “From now on, you will live in the room in the back. You can’t leave without my permission.”
With that statement, he picked up a pebble and threw it at the garden gate behind him. There was only a purple light when the pebble hit the gate and it disintegrated into a fine powder.
After this display, Sun Dazhu gave Wang Lin a cold look and walked into his room.
Wang Lin’s pupils contracted. He was terrified. He held his bag of holding and entered his room. The room was small and only contained a bed. Wang Lin didn’t mind. He sat on the bed examined the bag of holding.
The little gray bag didn’t look that special. Wang Lin turned the bag upside down on the ground and several things fell out. There was a set of red clothes and a little booklet.
Wang Lin’s face lit up. He picked up the little booklet and excitedly opened it. On the first page it read: “Three Stages of Qi Condensation ”
He read until midnight using the light of the oil lamp. He closed the book and felt he had a bit more understanding of cultivation. This booklet contained three stages of concentrating qi, which were considered the most basic stages. In the booklet, it was mentioned that there were total of 15 stages of Qi Condensation. Only after reaching the third stage could one gain access to the method for later stages.
The so called Qi Condensation was to absorb the spiritual energy from heaven and earth to change the body and build a foundation for the future.
This was also a test of how good one’s natural talents was. The more talented one was, the faster they could absorb spiritual energy into their body. Naturally, their cultivation speed would be quick, however, if one’s talent was average, then perhaps they would never reach the third layer in their lifetime. Some couldn’t even reach the first layer.
The Three Stages of Qi Condensation booklet became Wang Lin’s treasure. He immediately memorized the method for the first three layers in his mind. He sat cross legged with his eyes closed and began to breath with the one long three short method stated in the booklet. One long means to take a deep breath, while three short means to take three short breaths that were one third the length of a normal breath. Using this abnormal breathing method allows one to quickly absorb spiritual energy into their body.
The booklet indicated that the first time one practiced breathing technique, they would feel as if there are ants crawling inside their body. This was caused by spiritual energy entering the body. The booklet said not to be nervous. Just relax and imagine yourself becoming nothing, then become one with heaven and earth.
After a long time, Wang Lin helplessly found that not only did he not feel anything, but he was out of breath thanks to this abnormal breathing.
Wang Lin sighed. He knew that most of the disciples here had a lot of talent and that this booklet was written for them. His talent was only average. How could he compete with them?
But he wasn’t discouraged. After taking a few breaths, he continued the breathing technique.
The night went by slowly. By the time morning came, Wang Lin still wasn’t able to feel any spiritual energy enter this body. His head was dizzy from not sleeping at all that night as he got up and opened the door to go out.
Outside, there was a gentle breeze that carried the scent of medication. He took a few deep breaths, but wasn’t able to get rid of his exhaustion. He missed the spring water filled gourd. If he could drink some of that spring water, he wouldn’t be this tired.
But right now was not the time to act rashly. He was very confident in where he hid the stone bead and the gourds. He searched almost half the mountain to find a secluded location. Even if they happened upon the location, they wouldn’t find his treasure.
He strolled into the herb garden until he found a rock. Wang Lin sat down on the rock and started to cultivate. After a while, he felt like ants were crawling in his body. He was stunned. Right as he was about to continue, his teacher shouted, “Wang Lin, what are you doing? Quickly come out of there. I’m telling you now; never cultivate in the herb garden.”
Wang Lin opened his eyes and saw Sun Dazhu sullenly staring at him. He silently got up and left the herb garden.
Sun Dazhu coldly snorted, “You sure know how to find a good location. I’m growing my herbs here because it has the most spiritual energy in the garden, and you come and suck it away. If any of these herbs die because of this, even our lives couldn’t compensate for them.”
Wang Lin glared at Sun Dazhu and respectfully said, “Disciple didn’t know any better. Disciple will never cultivate here again.”
Sun Dazhu’s expression returned to normal, then he added “However, if you can find me another gourd, while I can’t let you cultivate in the herb garden, I can give you a low-grade spirit stone. With it, your Qi Condensation will be lot easier.”
Wang Lin lowered his head. A look of ridicule flashed across his face, then he said, “Disciple can go check the spring in the mountains again. If my luck is good, I might be able to find another one.”
Sun Dazhu pondered a little and said, “You go have a look. Remember, if you bring me back another gourd, I’ll reward you with a low-grade spirit stone.”
Wang Lin looked up at Sun Dazhu and asked, “Is what master is saying true? If I bring back a gourd, you will give me a spirit stone?”
Sun Dazhu had a happy look on his face as he said, “Yes. As long as I get a gourd, I’ll give you a low-grade spirit stone.”
Wang Lin secretly sneered, but on the surface he respectfully nodded in response.
Sun Dazhu’s right hand formed a seal and he muttered a few words, then he threw his arm and the gate swung open. He rubbed his beard and said, “Go ahead. Leave now and come back quickly.”