Chapter 174: The Natural QiIt was not a normal cultivation recovery but an outrageous hike of power.
What was spookier was the change in the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being’s appearance. After taking that pill, his old, wrinkled skin started to turn supple and smooth, his scarlet hair turned black at a notable rate, and so did his red-white eyebrows. His facial form, his eyes, and even his body were undergoing an incredulous transformation, as if his time was flying back rapidly to bring back the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being in youth.
Yes, he was returning to his youth.
“The power of time?” Li Mu was stunned.
According to the old faker, time and space were among the few things that were beyond the control of immortals.
Time, in particular, was the biggest mystery that had not yet been unraveled. No matter how great a man was, he could not escape the curse of time. Even superior lords or emperors could not live in eternality. Under the effect of time, everything just had to age. Regardless of how handsome or talented you were, at the very end, you would all be reduced to dust.
That was the invincible power of time.
Naturally, Li Mu always believed that no one on this primitive Martial Art Star could grasp the unfathomable secret of time.
“But he is changing. His vigor is booming, his blood is surging, and his body is getting stronger. Yes, he is growing out of his senility… It’s a reverse of the aging process. His internal energy is growing, and the powerful vigor inside him is making him younger. Wow, never knew that is possible. Now, it’s getting really interesting.”
Li Mu was quite amazed by the transformation.
As though a person dying of starvation and thirst who had just obtained sufficient supply of food and water, the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being managed to come back from the verge of death. Back on Earth, there were scientists who once interpreted the natural aging process. They reckoned that aging was caused by the gradual decline of energy in one’s body. Specifically, it happened because the reduced energy supply in cells was no longer enough to keep the cells going.
The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being was, in fact, a very old man. But attributed to his high cultivation, his life span was longer than that of an ordinary man. Nevertheless, the aging process was irreversible, even though he was in the Great Master Realm. No one could defy the laws of nature unless his essence of life improves.
Suddenly, Li Mu was hit by inspiration.
“If what he is doing is the improvement of his essence of life, then…”
His eyes were instantly lit up with excitement, for he already realized what was going on with the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being.
At the precise moment, some experts with profound cultivation on the audience stand also registered the aim behind this weird move.
Cai Zhijie’s tower-like burly figure suddenly got up and he let loose a cry out of astoundment.
Sitting aside him, many of the military experts and generals altered their expressions drastically as well.
A flash of inconspicuous light dashed across Li Gang’s eyes. His fingers trembled slightly. But the next second, he swiftly restrained his movements and became calm as usual. His eyes were narrowed, as if he was in deep thinking.
The president of the Hanshan Academy, Tie Zhan, and the president of the Fengming Academy were also watching the battle without blinking…
So was Ning Rushan from the Ning Mansion…
And many other famous Great Masters in Chang’an were sitting at the audience stand…
However, at this point, even those experts of martial arts found it hard to keep calm. They all got to their feet and stared at the already damaged fighting ring with their mouth wide open…
The return to boyhood which was happening to the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being was an upgrade of the essence of life. There could be only one explanation for that phenomenon, and that was he was entering the Natural Realm.
A Natural Expert!
Was the city of Chang’an about to have another Natural Expert?
Those in the Natural Realm were all peerless masters.
At this moment, the Heaven-breaking Legend Sword Zhang Chengfeng displayed a surge of wild joy on his face. He had waited for this moment for so long that he directly broke into a roar of gleeful laughter in spite of himself. His face was also written with blatant arrogance.
“You see that?”
“That’s the real ace card of our Heaven Sword Martial Club!”
“Our senior is gonna step into the Natural Realm!”
So far, most of the audience had not realized what was really happening, for their martial cultivation and experience were still quite limited. They needed more time to digest what they had seen. But some of them who was remarkably perceptive were thrown in a daze for just a few seconds before crying out in alarm as the truth dawned on them.
“Heaven-Sword Celestial Being is making a breakthrough in the middle of the duel!”
“Gee, are we witnessing a new Natural Expert coming into being today?”
“Crap, the young Great Master is too sluggish! Since he failed to attack in time, he gave his opponent an opportunity to level up!”
“Well, it’s not too late to strike. Li Mu, attack him now!”
Various shouts mingled together on the vast audience stand. Waves of cries flew over, but no one could hear what they were saying distinctively. But their emotions were already clearly demonstrated by their looks. At that moment, their varied expressions all seemed frozen on their faces.
At the same time, on the entrance tower in a distance…
The Marvelous Mathematician forcefully spat the peels of melon seeds and yelled, “Sh*t, that darn Heaven Sword Being really got a breakthrough! Oh, a Natural Expert! This is no good news for Li Mu.”
“If that old b*stard becomes a Natural Expert, then, how can our Xiongfeng Martial Art Club ever hold our chin up? A peerless master in the Natural Realm… Well, I certainly have no chance against him,” grumbled the owner of the Xiongfeng Martial Art Club as she wolfed down the last piece of watermelon with an exaggerated look on her delicate face.
She wiped off the residue of the juice at the corner of her mouth with her sleeve. Then, she rolled her eyes in before landing them on her best straight man, the Marvelous Mathematician. “Listen, should I hurry back to abdicate and hand over the position to another person. If not, when that old crazy man comes to get even with us, you guys probably will throw me to the wolf first.”
“You’re our head. Can you please just be a little more responsible?”
“Be responsible? What do I need the sense of responsibility for?”
“Well, fine, forget it.”
“Hum, I’m in the prime of my life. I’m young and beautiful. Everybody loves me. There are a lot of things I haven’t got to enjoy, so how can I die for you dumbasses… But anyway, look at Li Mu! Is he out of his mind or what? He has put on an overjoyed look. Could it be…”
“Could it be that he has no fear of the Natural Expert at all?”
At this point, the two exchanged a look and both of them registered the astonishment in the other’s eyes. Then, they yelled in one voice, “No way!”
“The battle is finally getting interesting.”
“What a Natural Realm!”
Li Mu sensed an overwhelming aura from the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being. Finally, he was under some pressure.
Entering the Natural Realm indicated a leap of the essence of life. Once a cultivator became a Natural Expert, he shook off the fetters nature put upon mankind and opened a crack on the capability boundary set by the laws of nature. It was the first step to turn a man from a human being to a non-human, and from a non-human to a deity.
When a man entered the Nature Realm, he would find the world free of limits.
For martial arts practitioners, if they rose to the Natural Realm, they could thoroughly remodel their body and have a much longer lifespan. Their body would be tougher, their spiritual force purer. And a broad road to the higher level would emerge in front of them… All in all, they would be stronger in all aspects and become way more powerful than normal human beings.
“Hahaha…” The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being laughed gloatingly despite himself. His voice was mingled with a hint of creepy malevolence.
Right now, he had practically turned into a different man. He now was a man in his twenties. He was tall and strong, his jaw wide, his mouth large, brows thick, and hair black. It was what he looked like when he was young. Indeed, he had returned to his youth.
“Boy, you’re too careless. And now, you’ll pay for your negligence.”
There was sword light contracting in the pupils of the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being. The energy he was emitting was as imposing as a raging sea. It could be seen that some red mist began to wrap around him as if flames were burning. That was a symbol of the Natural Expert—the energy and blood he had were endless; his own vigor of life equaled the total amount of that of a thousand people.
Still, Li Mu did not panic. He crooked a finger scornfully at his opponent and urged, “Well, don’t waste our time. Get your show started now. Let me admire the strong power of the Natural Realm.”
The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being cracked a hideous smile and said, “Just tell me, which way do you prefer to be killed?”
Li Mu said shortly, “Stop talking the nonsense. In most of the TV dramas, those badasses usually got killed for talking too much… Well, I’ll get started first.” Then, without another word, he threw out a hard punch straightaway. The fist energy was sharp like electric, the fist intent was strong like sea waves, equally forbidding to everyone. Instantly, a massive fist seal bombarded at the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being.
“It’s no use. You’re too late to launch your strike.” The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being let out a roar of arrogant laughter before opening his mouth and spitting a jet of Sword Qi.
As if blow away a cluster of cloud, the Sword Qi scattered Li Mu’s fist energy without effort.
“Tut tut, that’s very funny!” The smile on Li Mu’s face was getting brighter.
Sure enough, the younger Heaven-Sword Celestial Being was more than several times stronger than he was a moment ago.
“I’ve entered the Natural Realm. Now, the gap between you and me is as wide as that between a human being and a deity. I can kill you as if killing a chicken.” Confidence was exuding from every pore of the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being. The way he stared at Li Mu was similar to a cat chasing a mouse, which was cruelly playful.
Li Mu’s desire for a victory was finally kindled. “Cut the crap! Just show me your move!”
At the moment, he was exhilarated. To strike once more, he galloped like a flash of lightning and approached the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being in no time. Another punch was out. Even the air in the vicinity cracked at the blow. Instantly, the airflow over that spot caved in frighteningly, as if that punch had crumbled the heaven.
Li Mu had already defeated the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being with exactly the same punch in the first half.
However, this time, the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being reacted as quickly as Li Mu’s attack went.
He simply stood on the spot, not attempting to shun the blow. Instead, he launched a punch, too. The energy of that punch carried a shot of menacing Sword Qi. It was so sharp that it might be able to cut gold and jade into pieces. That was completely different from the forceful punch Li Mu produced.
The two fists crashed into one another, creating an effect like a comet crash.
Visible airflow was surging wildly from the fists.
Li Mu swayed from one side to the other for just a second, and then stood there stably.
But the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being let loose of a deep cry. His face reddened, jaw tensed, and he staggered backward with his fist bleeding and flesh burst open.
“Huh? You do get a little stronger. But that makes not much a difference. Hey, old man, it seems you are overconfident,” mocked Li Mu.
The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being now looked slightly awkward. But he soon revealed a trace of savageness and hissed through clenched teeth, “Don’t get carried away too early. What happened just now was because my power has not fully transformed since I just entered the Natural Realm. It’s simply a matter of time. Every second, I’m growing stronger. I will soon generate the first wisp of the Natural Qi before you know it. Even though you might try to fight me with all you might, I wonder how much longer you can hang in there.”
Surprisingly, Li Mu nodded with agreement and admitted, “Yeah, you do have a point…”
It was true that any new Natural Expert needed some time to fully adjust their power before completing the upgrade of their body.
It had been barely tens of seconds since the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being made his breakthrough by dint of that Mighty Blood Elixir, whereas, he was already able to fend off Li Mu’s punch head-on. It was beyond imagination how intimidating he could be in a while.
No one could predict that.
However, Li Mu was still perfectly composed.
“I have a question. Now that you have a Mighty Blood Elixir, why didn’t you eat it before this battle started? Why did you have to wait until I beat you not a pulp? Are you a masochist? Or else, is there any side-effect of taking the Mighty Blood Elixir?” asked Li Mu with sincere curiosity.