Chapter 7 – Yuan Li Manipulation
Liu Ming couldn’t help but pick up the bronze bracelet with an astonished expression on his face.
This bronze bracelet was as light as the wind, as if it was weightless.
“Is this Young Master Bai’s Practitioner Weapon?” Liu Ming asked after he had carefully inspected the bracelet in his hand.
“That’s right. The Tiger’s Bite Bracelet is a rarely seen, upper tier Practitioner Weapon in both its offensive and defensive capabilities. It can be ranked among the top ten Practitioner Weapons within the Bai Clan.” Gu Lao San explained while he looked at the bracelet with an air of reluctance.
“However, before young brother can activate it, I fear that you must first learn the most basic skill of controlling your Yuan Li. As for these techniques, we will teach them to you as we continue on our journey. We will definitely help you activate the bracelet as quickly as possible.” Guan Lao Da added.
“Then I give my sincere thanks to both uncles.” Liu Ming said with a hint of joy in his eyes as he placed the bracelet onto his right wrist and felt a cooling sensation emanating from it.
“Very good, but your current appearance is still slightly imperfect and needs to be adjusted so that the Apostles of the sect won’t see through our ruse.” Guan Lao Da was nodding his head as he observed Liu Ming’s face.
“Adjusted… in what manner?” Liu Ming frowned as he heard this.
Even though Liu Ming had an average appearance, he was still unwilling to let others change his appearance by any large degree.
“Ah, relax young brother! We will definitely not damage your original appearance, we only need to make some slight adjustments to your hair and skin tone. Gu Lao San is an expert in this area so you can leave it to him.” Guan Lao Da immediately saw through Liu Ming’s worries and reassured him with gentle laughter.
“If it is just like that, I do not mind. Uncle Gu, I am sorry to bother you.” Liu Ming set aside the worries he was carrying in his heart and agreed to their request.
“Heh heh, this is just a small matter. In the days before I became a Practitioner, I once held the title of [The Man with a Hundred Faces]” Gu Lao San boasted with a laugh.
At this, he turned around and pulled out a number of vials from his massive bag, along with some small yet unnaturally sharp blades and gestured for the youth to come over.
After some hesitation, Liu Ming stood up and walked toward him.
An hour later, in front of Liu Ming was a shiny bronze mirror that cast light upon his facial features.
“The eyebrows are slightly lighter and the hairs that were originally crooked have been fixed. A silver hair band has been added to the forehead, giving off an air of elegance. However, the biggest change is still…”
Liu Ming raised both his hands, which could originally be considered a rather healthy pair, and discovered that they had now become abnormally white, giving him the appearance of a pampered noble.
“Take this vial of Skin Washer, apply it to your body once every night. I’ll brew a few more bottles for you during our journey. By the time we reach the Barbarian Ghost Sect, your skin color will remain as such for some time. By the time the color begins to fade, nobody will notice it anyway. Even without using this appearance changing skill for so many years, looks like I am still pretty good at it.” Gu Lao San remarked delightedly as he held the bronze mirror.
Gua Lao Da assessed the youth and gave his look of approval.
The current Liu Ming definitely looked more suave than his previous self. As long as it was not a person who was closely acquainted with the young master of the Bai Clan, the disguise would not be easily seen through.
Even though Liu Ming had never met the young master, judging from the satisfied looks on both of their faces, he knew that the transformation was a success and inwardly heaved a sigh of relief.
Now that he was in deep with these two men, his own life would also be in jeopardy if they were unable to scam their way through.
“Ah that’s right, you are our master from now on so please refrain from calling us uncle. Just address us as Guan Da or Gu San, just to prevent any slip ups when we get there.” Guan Lao Da remarked.
“I got it.” Liu Ming replied with a heavy expression.
One day later, a small yellow vessel could be seen traveling downstream.
On this small boat, Gu Lao San occasionally glanced into the cabin while holding onto the rudder with both hands.
Within the cabin, Liu Ming was sitting cross-legged under the guidance of Guan Lao Da.
In front of him was a small wooden table upon which the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet was placed.
All of a sudden, Liu Ming let out a low cry and aimed a finger toward the bronze bracelet.
The bracelet slightly trembled, after which it didn’t move again.
Liu Ming frowned at this sight.
“Not bad. To be able to form a reaction between your Yuan Li and the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet within such a short time, seems like you are rather gifted in controlling Practitioner Weapons.” The middle-aged man standing by the side was rather pleased, unlike Liu Ming’s dissatisfaction.
“Did you not say that I only have two months to train?” Liu Ming slowly asked.
“Young master may not know, but the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet is an upper tier Practitioner Weapon and, by that virtue, should not be that easy to control. According to my knowledge, the Bai Clan should have a secret technique, specific to controlling this Practitioner Weapon. Right now I only have normal techniques to pass to you and thus the affect is greatly lessened. Of course with your talent, two months should be more than enough for you to grasp the basics of manipulating this Practitioner Weapon” Guan Lao Da explained to him.
“Since Guan Da says it is so, there should be no problem. However, even after understanding the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet, there are still attack and defense techniques to be learned. I am afraid that those might take some time as well.” Liu Ming responded.
“Young master need not worry. So long as you can master the art of control and are able to synchronize with the Practitioner Weapon to a certain degree, then everything else is a small matter of practice and familiarity.” Guan Lao Da replied without hesitation.
“So that is how it is. Then I will spend these few days focusing on my control. That’s right, exactly what kind of a sect is the Barbarian Ghost Sect? Guan Da should have at least some knowledge of this area.” Liu Ming suddenly thought of this and asked.
“If Young Master wishes to know about the Barbarian Ghost Sect, this might be a slightly difficult request to accommodate. Although its ranking among the Sects in the Kingdom of Xuan is closer to the bottom, if one is to talk merely about secrecy, then no other sect can come close the Barbarian Ghost Sect in the way they so jealously guard their secrets.” Guan Lao Da said with an uneasy expression on his face.
“Oh? Why?” Liu Ming was taken aback.
“This is because the Barbarian Ghost Sect is a sect that specializes in manipulating ghosts. I have heard that the sect is built in a terrifying place where humans are unable to live and is surrounded by miasma all year round. As for the apostles and masters who practice the techniques of this sect, all of them have a strong connection with the river styx and can thus summon and subdue ghosts to use against their foes. However, it is because of this that the participants for the Barbarian Ghost Sect Opening Spirit Ceremony are rather few and most capable Practitioners instead opt to join other sects. Of course this is all just hearsay. Anything else regarding the sect I honestly cannot say for sure.” Guan Lao Da replied after thinking for a long while.
“Manipulating ghosts does indeed sound extremely terrifying. However, apart from the Barbarian Ghost Sect, the other sects in the Kingdom of Xuan are…?” Liu Ming asked curiously.
“I am actually more familiar regarding the other sects. In the Kingdom of Xuan, apart from the Barbarian Ghost Sect, there is the Heavenly Moon Sect, the Hall of Blood, the Nine Enlightenment Mountain, and the Firestorm Way. These are the four biggest sects.” Guan Lao Da recited their names by heart.
“Oh, then what techniques do these sects specialize in?” Liu Ming asked excitedly
“The Heavenly Moon Sect is a sect that specializes in wielding swords. It is said that the students under the sect can wield flying swords that can kill someone hundreds of meters away. The Hall of Blood is…”
At his request, Guan Lao Da starting describing the sects without withholding any information
Half a month later, a pitch black carriage, drawn by four horses, was flying down an official road.
Gu Lao San was sitting peacefully in the coachman’s seat without moving.
Within the carriage, Liu Ming was seated cross-legged with his eyes firmly shut. Both of his hands rested on his knees while he was lightly breathing in a steady pattern.
As he breathed, the bronze bracelet he wore on his arm continuously vibrated as it followed his breathing pattern.
It was almost as if there was some form of resonance between the two of them.
Guan Lao Da nodded his head as he watched this scene from the opposite side of the carriage.
To be honest, he originally thought that the youth’s potential was average at best. He was instead treated to a surprise with the intensity in which the youth showed in the Yuan Li manipulation exercises performed throughout their journey.
Apart from the time spent sleeping, Liu Ming practically spent every available minute moving Yuan Li throughout his body, searching for a feeling of resonance with the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet.
Even during mealtimes, one could get a glimpse of the bracelet on his hand vibrating and producing light yellow glow.
This form of training was extremely dry and boring and required the highest levels of concentration and discipline from the Practitioner.
No matter how insistent ordinary Practitioners were, they would at most be able to keep this up for a few hours a day. Any longer than that and it would definitely take a toll on their spirit, causing them to be unable to focus — it would basically become a Sisyphean task.
Unable to contain their curiosity, the two men asked Liu Ming how he accomplished such a feat.
In the end Liu Ming revealed to them his innate ability of being able to split his consciousness which left them speechless.
TL: To be able to do two things at once
Now they realized how, without the supervision of a teacher, this youth managed to train himself to attain such a large amount of Yuan Li.
A month later, Guan Lao Da and Gu Lao San were standing atop a knoll, attentively staring into the distance.
Liu Ming was sitting hundreds of feet away from them with his eyes closed, while raising the arm on which the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet was worn.
All of a sudden, he opened his eyes, flicked his wrist slightly, and called out, “Element Shield!”
In an instant, the bracelet made a buzzing noise as it gave off a brilliant flash of light, a small round shield appeared and fixed itself to his forearm.
The shield was glowing yellow and was apparently made entirely out of Yuan Li.
“Finally! Though it is the most basic of Yuan Li defensive techniques it is sufficient to say that you have already mastered the basics of using the Tiger’s Bite Bracelet. Originally I thought that it would take the Young Master at least two months to reach this stage, I never expected for you to reach it so quickly.” Guan Lao Da let out a sigh of relief while being unable to cover up his surprised expression.
“Me reaching this stage is all thanks to the patient efforts of the two of you. Now that I have this Practitioner Weapon to protect me, I can—to a certain extent—say that I am less worried about the Opening Spirit Ceremony.” Liu Ming cheerfully replied and, with the flick of his wrist, extinguished the shield.