Chapter 4: First Qi
Fang-Xing threw the weeds in his mouth, gobbling them down in seconds as the freckled boy and Ghost Face watched in pure disbelief and horror.
“No one disturb me without a good reason!” Slamming the door behind him, Fang-Xing, red-eyed, locked himself up in the wood cabin.
The boys looked at one another and agreed that Fang-Xing must have lost his mind. The weed was called Hwa’Jin, and one of its leaves, if consumed by a fully grown adult, could make his woman cry of pure joy and… exhaustion. So, let alone a single leaf, a child who had yet to hit puberty ate a handful in front of them.
‘What the hell does he want to bang?’
Inside the cabin, Fang-Xing sat in a lotus position. He could feel the irresistible “rise” of energy from his lower abdominal as a small bulge stood noticeably between the inseams of his pants. He quickly remembered [The Book of Revelation]’s comments on the [Qing-Yun Sect’s Qi Formation] and attempted to circulate the Jing he had just consumed. He tried guiding the immense amount of “energy” through his veins and to his Dantian, performing a cycle. Each cycle would compress and reshape the Jing into an energy battering-ram-of-sorts, which would open his pores for Qi fluctuation.
[TL note: Dantian: 丹田, refers to the region in the body where a person’s Qi is concentrated, located below the belly button, it is an important focal point for meditative and exercise techniques.]
With his eyes bursting with red veins and cracked lips, Fang-Xing sat steadfastly as he was tortured by the massive amounts of untempered Jing energy inside of him.
‘I can do it!’ Fang-Xing gritted his teeth as he focused on keep the Jing energy to its correct path.
Soon a whole twenty minutes had passed….
After sitting for an hour in the same position, Fang-Xing’s face had turned purplish-red. But he didn’t give up and he started to feel a faint yet refreshing sensation that tickled his body. Thinking that he was on the right path, Fang-Xing picked up his pace.
‘Yes! I guessed correctly,’ Fang-Xing congratulated himself as he carefully converted the last trace of Jing energy. The once sharp and violent energy had all been converted and left Fang-Xing with an intense aching of his meridians.
At first, Fang-Xing’s didn’t actually believe that his own method would work as it was just an adaption from the suggestion given in [The Book of Revelation]:
“Must be practiced through the circulation of Qi. For thy lesser endowed, one may first convert the life essence into Qi…”
The reason that Fang-Xing and his Daotongs– in fact, almost all of the Daotongs, couldn’t feel any Qi fluctuation nor gain any improvement was because [Qing-Yun Sect’s Qi Formation] did not account for the disciples with bad Zi’Zhi. The ones born with good Zi’Zhi were given a god-given ability to passively accumulate Qi even in their most minute movement, and a sect as famous of [Qing-Yun Sect] did not elect to accommodate the less fortunate. Therefore, those born with bad Zi’Zhi, like Fang-Xing, struggled with Qi fluctuations and their path of cultivation was often stunted, most going only as far as the lower tiers of [Spirit Stage].
However, Fang-Xing would never allow such a thing to happen and decided that since he wasn’t born with good Zi’Zhi, he would torture himself until he felt the Qi fluctuations. Although Fang-Xing’s method turned out to be successful, most wouldn’t even dare to follow in his footsteps. When consuming excessive amounts of energy, the slightest stray thought or lack of stamina would inflict the practitioner with terminal damage to their internal organ and mental health.
“Grrrrr” As the aching sensation of the meridians eased, his stomach roared as if Fang-Xing hadn’t eaten in three days.
“I WANT SOME FOOD!!”
As he pushed himself up, his hands accidentally landed on top of [The Book of Revelation].
“Huh?” As soon as Fang-Xing’s hand touched the book, he felt a slight twitch throughout his meridians and the book disappeared.
[TL’s Notes: Meridian: (in acupuncture) pathways in the body along vital energy flows.]
Fang-Xing scrambled and almost lost his balance, “Where did the book go?” He couldn’t believe his eyes…
‘I’m sure it was just there a second ago’
Fang-Xing grabbed [Qing-Yun Sect’s Qi Formation] to see if [The Book of Revelation] was actually underneath it. Then, a very familiar description flashed across his mind.
“[Qing-Yun Sect’s Qi Formation]. Suitable for [Spirit Stage]. A manual for beginner cultivation…”
It took some time before Fang-Xing was finally convinced that he had absorbed [The Book of Revelation]. “You’ve got to be kidding me. An entire book? My brain isn’t even big enough”.
Thinking about how his brain might explode from having a whole book inside of it, Fang-Xing rubbed his empty stomach and walked outside of the wooden cabin.
“Did he really eat all of it?” Wang took a sip from his wine and asked in sheer disbelief. This was already the third time asking but he could not believe what had just happened.
“That wasn’t the end of it. Laoda swallowed them whole. Didn’t even bother chewing!!!” The freckled boy whispered as he looked nervously towards the wooden cabin.
So when Fang-Xing walked out of the wooden cabin, clutching his belly, everyone ran away as quickly as possible. They were too afraid that Fang-Xing wasn’t fully satiated and needed other “toys”.
“Oh my god… He’s… He’s not “you know”, right? What if he grabs me? He’ll need to let it go on someone” Wang shuddered at the thought. Then he looked at Ghost-Face standing next to him, “Hey, Ghost-Face, we’ll be counting on you!”
Dropping his half-bitten pork leg, Ghost-Face cried desperately, “I… I ain’t no good. I’m damaged goods. How about freckle-boy?”
“NOOOOOO” The freckled boy shouted, “You’ve got the palest skin out of all of us. You’re also the prettiest one here. There’s no better option.”
“What option?” All of the Daotongs felt a shiver down their back as they heard a familiar husky voice.
Before anyone realized what happened, Fang-Xing had already stood next to them. He reached— for the rest of the pork and started engulfing piece by piece. The boys, petrified, couldn’t move and just watched Fang-Xing.
Fang-Xing felt as if his stomach turned into a small black hole; no matter how much he ate, it wasn’t enough.
After some time, he finally stopped eating to drink some wine and said, “ From today onwards, make sure to bring me three– no, one Hwa’Jin weed every day. I don’t care how, where or whoever brings me the weed. The first one to bring me the weed each day will be pardoned from a day’s worth of work. Oh! Also, we need to double, no triple, the amount of meat and wine as well.”
The boys, still petrified, looked at Fang-Xing with a stupor. Wang, being the oldest, came to his sense the quickest and asked, “That’s five catties of pork. Are we really going to triple this?”
[TL’s Notes: Catty: =16 Taels. Also a Chinese measurement used to measure mass. Roughly equivalent to 500 grams or 1 pound.]
“Yup. That’ll do for now,” nodded Fang-Xing, “we can add more if it’s still not enough.”
“But– we don’t have enough silver for this.”
“Then go sell yourselves,” acting as if nothing happened, Fang-Xing ridiculed, “weren’t you all fighting to sell yourself just now?
Meridian: (in acupuncture) pathways in the body along vital energy flows.