Chapter 561: Superlative Height
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
A better deal?
Li Yao quickly remembered that Xiong Wuji had asked whether or not he could repair a starship at the beginning of the conversation. He suddenly felt that he was onto something.
However, the most important question for him was not how to get away from Iron Plateau, but how to resolve the wretched Black Spider Death Curse!
Although the curse brought him absolutely no pain, it was not like he should be confined to the peak of the Refinement Stage for the rest of his life.
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao said, “Chief Xiong, in that case, it’s all the more reason that we should start making a deal now! You are building war machines. I happen to know something about the production of sabers, swords, and crystal bombs, and I can help you build more powerful weapons! When the apocalypse arrives, I will fight side by side with you!”
Xiong Wuji was somewhat bewildered. “You are going to fight against the apocalypse with us?”
Li Yao answered, “Of course. I’m a Cultivator.”
Sha Yulan’s eyes suddenly shone with a smile of pride on her face.
Li Yao thought for a moment and decided to speak honestly, even though his following request was a bit outrageous. “However, I am now suffering from the Black Spider Death Curse. Although it does no harm to me, my capability has been curbed to the peak of the Refinement Stage.
“By the peak of the Refinement Stage, I mean the 14th level of the Refinement Stage in your understanding. From what I’ve seen, it is not a very high level on Iron Plateau, and I doubt that I will make much of a contribution with my current capability even if I join the battle of the apocalypse.
“I wonder, can I learn the techniques of the qi-trainers so that I may have a breakthrough?
“Of course, I won’t study your techniques for free. In space, it is very normal to exchange knowledge. I can trade for your techniques with the arts of crafting melee weapons, the practical battle skills of Refinement Stage Cultivators, or even the tricks of building one’s foundation.”
Li Yao’s heart was pounding as he finished his proposal.
Qi-trainers’ secret arts were their core techniques after all, and it was naturally questionable whether or not they would be willing to share them, if they were not infuriated by the idea in the first place.
Xiong Wuji did not burst into fury or storm out as Li Yao had feared. Instead, he seemed a bit embarrassed and walked to the window to enjoy the scenery of the outside after a cough. Then, he waved his hands at Sha Yulan and gestured for her to explain.
Sha Yulan smiled and said in a low voice, “Brother Li Yao, the training techniques of the qi-trainers are no secrets on Iron Plateau.
“The environment of Iron Plateau is harsh, the land barren. Life is very difficult here. Not only is everyone faced with mutated demon beasts on a daily basis, bloody wars break out every ten years or so when a batch of eggs of apocalypse are mature!
“Therefore, people here prefer muscles to brains, and they do not keep the ways of training to themselves. On the contrary, everybody is encouraged to train themselves so that there will be more warriors when a war comes!
“At the center of every tribe on Iron Plateau is a splendid temple. The few training techniques that they have are all placed inside. Everybody can read them for free. The experts of each tribe will have open courses regularly. Whoever is interested in them can join them easily.
“Look, everybody knows my son Wu Mayan to be a space resident, but he has never been forbidden from undergoing the training ever since his gifts in training were revealed. This place is in serious shortage of qi-trainers. One more warrior means one more hope for victory in the battle against the apocalypse.
“Therefore, in general, it is not a problem for you to study the qi-trainers’ techniques, as long as you stand up and protect the ordinary people when they are in danger.”
Li Yao couldn’t help but interrupt her. “I would not hide behind the ordinary people when they are in danger even if I don’t learn the qi-trainers’ techniques.”
Sha Yulan nodded in a smile and continued. “However, the qi-trainers’ techniques are, in fact, not very suitable for the Cultivators who have made certain accomplishments, because their techniques are really… a little bit weak.”
Xiong Wuji coughed loudly and looked back at Sha Yulan in discontent.
Sha Yulan pretended that she did not see it and simply continued her explanation. “When I arrived on Iron Plateau, I was also shocked by their unfathomable levels. The 50th level of the Refinement Stage, the 80th level of the Refinement Stage, and all their talks about beating Core Formation Stage Cultivators and thrashing the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators. I thought that they were the strongest people in the world.
“But after I stayed for a while longer, I discovered that it was not the case at all.
“It is true that they have made breakthroughs in the Refinement Stage of the traditional sense, but they never made great breakthroughs. If anything, they created a brand-new level above the peak of the Refinement Stage that I would like to call ‘superlative height’.”
“The superlative height of the Refinement Stage?” Li Yao chewed on the seven words.
Sha Yulan nodded her head. “When they surpass the peak and reach the superlative height, they are no longer bound by the spiritual domain we know about, and they can expand the range of their spiritual gas outburst unlimitedly. They call the improvement of every meter in the diameter of the range of the outburst the advancement of a level.”
Li Yao was dumbfounded. A meter wider meant a level higher? That sounded rather straightforward.
Xiong Wuji sniffed heavily and glared at the two of them.
“Eh, such a way of classification is indeed easy to understand and implement, even for the old and the kids. It’s very good. It’s very good,” observed Li Yao as he scratched his nose, not entirely meaning what he said.
Sha Yulan smiled. “Brother Li Yao, since you have reached the Building Foundation Stage before, you must have a deep understanding about the source and structure of spiritual energy. If you really enter the ‘superlative height of the Refinement Stage’, I believe that your levels will definitely soar. Chances are that you may become an ‘expert’ in the 60th level of the Refinement within the next month.”
Li Yao grinned. It was quite a good possibility. But such a way of training did not touch the essentials of spiritual energy and simply aimed to collect more and burst out more. It might have sounded cool when he told other people that he was in the 60th level of the Refinement Stage, but it wasn’t really proof that he was a top expert.
“If one can keep advancing into higher levels until they reach the 300th or the 500th level, it is quite possible that they can truly defeat Core Formation Stage Cultivators and be on par with Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators.
“However, one only has limited time and energy, and the range of the spiritual gas outburst has its own restrictions.
“Qi-trainers have existed for thousands of years. Neither the legendary experts thousands of years ago nor the contemporary ones have ever broken into the 100th level of the Refinement Stage. Even the best of them come to a halt in the 99th level!
“Therefore, it is believed that the maximum range of spiritual gas is a hundred meters. The 100th level of the Refinement Stage is an unbreakable ‘Wall of True Qi’.
“The slogan they wrote on the city walls such as ‘Go into the 100th level of the Refinement Stage if you are a man!’ is merely meant to cheer everybody up,” Sha Yulan said.
Xiong Wuji finally couldn’t hold it in any longer and bellowed, “I don’t believe in the Wall of True Qi. I will definitely break into the 100th level of the Refinement Stage. I will!”
Sha Yulan lowered her voice and said softly, “Big Xiong, I believe you will. But as of now, no qi-trainers have ever entered the 100th level, have they?”
Xiong Wuji snorted again and turned around.
This might have been the reason he was unwilling to explain it to Li Yao himself.
“The spiritual gas outbursts of the top experts of the six tribes of Iron Plateau can reach more than ninety meters, which means that they are above the 90th level of the Refinement Stage.
“According to my observation, their combat ability is approximately between the high level of the Building Foundation Stage and the peak of it, but nowhere near the Core Formation Stage.”
Li Yao was somewhat shocked. He asked, “If their best warriors are only equal to the Cultivators in the peak of the Building Foundation Stage, how have they managed to resist so many demon beasts and the mutated ones resulting from the apocalypse?”
Sha Yulan explained, “Such a methodology of training cannot produce super experts, but they have another technique: teamwork. When an army of qi-trainers is formed, their spiritual gas will be mutually spurred and eventually congregate into an unstoppable and destructive torrent.”
Li Yao thought of the iron knights of the Burning Sun Tribe who had gone berserk when their spiritual gas resonated. That must have been such a teamwork technique.
Sha Yulan said, “Do you see it now? The qi-trainers did not have a second path to walk on due to the special circumstances of Iron Plateau. For us the Cultivators, the best we can do is reach the peak of the Building Foundation Stage if we follow their path. Why bother?
“The qi-trainers have to suffer excruciating pain when they get started. It is basically plucking their veins and bones and rebuilding them. The requirement on the solidness of the soul is very high.
“When I just joined the Furious Bears Tribe, I tried the secrets arts of the qi-trainers once out of curiosity, only to give up in the first test due to the overwhelming pain.
“The natives of Iron Plateau have been living on this land for thousands of years. They’ve fought bloody battles, and their bodies are extremely strong. Even so, many of them still quit because they cannot bear the pain.
“You should be able to imagine how horrible the process is now.”
Li Yao’s curiosity was aroused, too. He asked, “I’ve suffered some pain during my training. I wonder, how painful can the qi-trainers’ training be?”
Sha Yulan said solemnly, “It’s totally different from what you’ve experienced. The way that Cultivators of space train ourselves is gentle and progressive in general, nothing like the wild and barbaric style in this place!
“I can tell from your face that you don’t buy it. Let me give you an example. Have you ever heard of a strange insect named ‘Purple Ring Sword Ant’?”
Li Yao was dazed. “I know a thing or two about them.”
“If so, you must know how agonizing the Purple Ring Sword Ants biting is, don’t you?
“The training of the qi-trainers’ is like more than ten Purple Ring Sword Ants gnawing you at the same time!”
Li Yao’s expression suddenly turned extremely weird. “More than ten Purple Ring Sword Ants gnawing me at the same time? That must be… painful!”
Sha Yulan added, “That is only the first test. More breakthroughs mean more pain. In the end, you will feel that a hundred Purple Ring Sword Ants are nibbling on you at the same time!”
Li Yao’s face became even weirder. “A hundred? That will be indeed quite painful.”
Sha Yulan nodded. “Do you know how terrifying the process is now? There’s even more. During the training, you cannot resist the pain with your spiritual energy, and you must keep your head absolutely clear in order to sense the stretch and expansion of your every vein and nerve. If your head gets muddled because of the pain, it is very possible that you will become mentally deranged!
“Such a terrible training method is pure nuts! It can only exist in such a wasteland like Iron Plateau!”