Chapter 9: Five Years Later, A New Self
Dong Bo Xue Ying, his brother Qing Shi and Zong Ling were sitting together. Dong Bo Xue Ying took out a watermelon-sized crystal ball, left behind by his mother, from a package.
“Brother, what is this? It’s so beautiful,” The cute Qing Shi asked. While Do Bong Xue Ying resembled their father, Qing Shi looked more like their mother. He would become a dashing man for sure, more handsome than Dong Bo Xue Ying.
“Here, Pebble. Put your hands on it,” Dong Bo Xue Ying said.
“Okay,” Qing Shi replied before obediently placing his small hands on it.
When his hands touched the ball, the spiritual waves inside him reacted with the crystal ball. One could see that the crystal ball immediately started radiating with a red luminescence, filling every corner of the room.
Xue Ying and the others beamed with delight as the radiance spread.
“Brother, why it is glowing?” Qing Shi asked curiously.
“Great mage, come. Let me give you a kiss,” Xue Ying replied, embracing his little brother and kissing him.
A mage was different from a knight.
As a knight, one needed to start training from childhood. For example, Eternal Wind Academy’s admission ruled that the maximum age at which an aspiring knight could apply was ten. In contrast, mages were never trained at such a young age. Those who possessed good family backgrounds might begin to practice around the age of ten. Others might start around sixteen or even twenty. At the Eternal Wind Academy, the deadline for a mage to apply was at most thirty years old.
Before reaching thirty, one still had a chance to be admitted.
Being a mage required possessing a sharp mind. The spirit in particular was heavily involved in training. One might damage his spirit and become mentally retarded if he started too young and acted recklessly. As one got older, he would gain the necessitary experience as wisdom would accumulate over the years. Quite a few mages who started training at the age of forty or fifty still achieved great things, even being able to become a Transcendent.
Time passed by, day after day.
In the blink of an eye, five years had passed.
‘huhuhu~~~’ Goose feather-like large snowflakes were falling.
In front of the fence stood a young man in black garments, looking at the flakes dancing through the sky. His facial features seemed as if they were meticulously carved by knife. Years of training had given him the dreadful presence of a spear expert.
A warmly dressed boy shouted from far away.
“Qing Shi.” Xue Ying grinned. He jumped down from a height of six meters to the snow-covered ground below. His little brother had grown, and Dong Bo Xue Ying had changed his way of addressing his little brother. He now called him ‘Qing Shi,’ not ‘Pebble’ as he had when they were young.
“Brother, let’s go to Water Rites Town to play. There’re so many fun places there, and it’s so boring to stay at home,” Dong Bo Qing Shi said excitedly.
“What about asking Uncle Zong to go with you?” Xue Ying smiled as he spoke.
“You always stay in the Xue Ying territory and hardly go into town even once in a whole year. Aren’t you bored?” Qing Shi murmured.
Xue Ying smiled, but didn’t say a word.
His little brother now hardly remembered anything about their parents, let alone the night their parents were taken away. He lived a carefree life.
“Let me practice my fist techniques a little longer,” Xue Ying compromised. He took off his upper garment, revealing his robust body. Clearly, years of penance had made him amazingly sturdy.
As he spoke, Xue Ying stepped onto the snow and started practicing the . This was both a Dou Qi method and a fist technique.
Snowflakes fell on Xue Ying’s skin. Each gesture and motion he made enhanced his understanding of the world around him.
“Take your time then. I’m going to play,” Qing Shi said before running off.
Dong Bo Xue Ying continued practicing the fist technique. Every movement appeared to be quite slow, yet strength flowed like water underneath his skin.
At the age of thirteen, his spear technique had already achieved the stage of ‘one with the spear’.
But this was not enough…… All of his strength must be united as one and under his complete control, as precisely and finely as possible. Only by doing so would he deserve to be called a ‘spear master.’ Only by doing so could he master the first stage of the technique, ‘Drifting Snow’.
During the past two years, when practicing fist techniques, he would focus on self-reflection, inner peace, and enlightenment. He wanted every fragment of his power to work perfectly as if it was one.
Dong Bo Xue Ying faintly felt that he was nearing the threshold for uniting his strength perfectly.
He had trained his spear technique every day until this winter, training for ten years from the age of six to his present age of fifteen. The intense training he had gone through in these ten years equalled twenty or even thirty years of training for normal people.
‘My progress with the spear technique hasn’t been a problem, but why is it that I still can’t generate Dou Qi?’ As Dong Bo Xue Ying picked up a spear nearby and started practicing with it, it was as if the spear was a part of his body. The spear mimicked a dragon, and its strength as he surged forward. One stab would create endless shadowy images. One simple sweep would become an unblockable force.
According to his initial plan, he should have been able to generate Dou Qi when he was ten! He should have become an earth knight when he was fifteen! But in reality?
He hadn’t generated even a shred of Dou Qi, let alone obtaining knighthood.
However, Xue Ying, Zong Ling and Tong San weren’t disappointed by this. On the contrary, they thought that this was really weird!
The principle of Dou Qi was to absorb energy from heaven and earth and nourish one’s body. When these energies were absorbed so much that they could no longer be absorbed by one’s body, they would be converted to Dou Qi and form inside one’s body!
When Xue Ying was ten, his body was already stronger than the best amongst normal people. In the five years that followed, he never stopped developing his body. He never stopped taking in the world’s energy and thus never generated any Dou Qi.
“What on earth could the reason be?”
“My body is ten times better than that of a normal person, so why is it still absorbing energy?” Xue Ying wondered, confused.
Even though Zong Ling and the others had a lot of experience and knowledge, they couldn’t tell what had caused this either.
The spear struck a snow-covered rock and rebounded, abruptly flying forward with a terrifyingly sharp whistle.
The deepest and tiniest parts of his body had suddenly started itching, breaking his concentration.
‘Hm?’ Xue Ying put away the spear. Every piece of bone and every fibre of muscle in his body was tingling; he could barely tolerate the itchiness even with his fortitude. This itchy feeling was followed by a burning sensation, as if all his bones were being burnt to ashes. His skin became red and tougher as a membrane began to form underneath his skin.
There was blood-red stream rising from Xue Ying’s naked upper body. It formed a blurry shape, one that resembled a towering giant.
Xue Ying was entranced. He ‘saw’ a barefoot giant wearing a hide skirt raise its head and roar wildly on a desolate plain.
The scene faded with the red steam.
But inside Xue Ying’s body, the transformation intensified.
Xue Ying could not bear it any more. He fell on his hands and knees as his burning hot skin melted the snow surrounding him.