Chapter 21: The Intricacies of the Qi Exercises!
Translator: ryuxenji Editor: mjn0898
Ling Lan's consistently voracious appetite once again pushed Lan Luofeng into a quandary — it was a blessing that her child could eat, but ... was it really alright for Ling Lan to eat so much?
Ling Qin and Ling Nanyi were asking themselves the same question as well. Ling Lan's appetite could certainly be classified as monstrous — even if one tried to explain it away as a sign that her body needed energy, the amount of food she consumed was still rather hard to accept.
Looking at Ling Lan's petite figure, however, they could only shake their heads and sigh. It just didn't make sense. Could it be that their young master's stomach was from an alternate dimension?
With time, Lan Luofeng's worries proved to be unnecessary. Although Ling Lan ate a lot, her body did not change much besides growing a little taller; her waistline remained the same. Furthermore, unlike the other children who received injections of the gene stimulating agent, she did not bulk up, but looked rather weak and skinny instead.
Accordingly, Lan Luofeng banished all thoughts of getting Ling Lan to diet. Her child was already so weak and skinny even after eating so much, if she made her diet, wouldn't her child end up a fragile bean sprout? Better to let her eat as she likes — it's not like the Ling household had any problem supplying that much food.
From then onwards, no one ever contested Ling Lan's appetite again. In the end, whenever Ling Lan ate just a little bit less than usual, such as skipping out on a bowl of fried rice or a steak, the entire Ling household would descend into a panic. The young master's appetite had weakened! Could it be that he was ill ... Eh-hm, habit was certainly a powerful thing.
Ling Lan herself was very puzzled at her own condition, and so quietly asked Little Four to investigate.
Reliable as ever, Little Four soon provided an answer.
The reason Ling Lan was so trim and skinny compared to the other children who received agent injections was that the 'bulk' put on by those children was actually a physical symptom of the accumulation of impurities within their bodies. Of course, this result was not an entirely bad thing. On the plus side, it indirectly strengthened the physical toughness of a child's body, making it able to withstand a certain level of impact. On the flip side, it would decrease a child's flexibility and lower the body's resilience.
Meanwhile, the agent Ling Lan was absorbing contained no impurities due to Little Four's interference, so there was no build-up of impurities within her body, and consequently no physical bulk.
As for Ling Lan's large appetite, it was due to Ling Lan's training in advanced physical skills within her mind-space. The training sapped a lot of energy, so Ling Lan had no choice but to increase her intake of food to replenish the energy used. Part of this could also be explained by the Ling family's secret medicinal formula ... it had increased the storage capacity of Ling Lan's body so that it could store the energy from two bowls of rice in the same space others needed to store one bowl's worth of energy.
Naturally, the more energy stored up by the body, the greater the energy potential ... the long and short of it was that it was advantageous for Ling Lan.
As for why Ling Lan seemed weak and fragile ... Little Four was unsure. He searched for a long time before cautiously suggesting that the Qi exercises Ling Lan had learned in her past life were to blame.
After getting these answers from Little Four, Ling Lan was reassured. As long as there was no harm, Ling Lan didn't mind becoming a glutton, especially since she could indulge her taste buds at the same time.
However, Ling Lan's pleasant days of pure feasting and sleeping didn't last very long. Soon, she had been mercilessly thrown into training under Chamberlain Ling Qin by her mother. Apparently, at five years old, it was time for her to start learning the hereditary Ling family martial arts.
On the very first day, Ling Lan already caught a glimpse of the hard days ahead. The Ling family martial arts were of the harsh variety — there were no shortcuts, all improvements could only be achieved through hard training. A quota of punches and kicks had to be completed every day, or else no rest was allowed.
When Ling Lan finally finished her last kick for the day, she immediately dropped to the ground, immobile. Ling Nanyi, who had been standing watch by her side, picked her up tenderly and brought her directly to the hidden room for her medicinal bath, in hopes that it would soothe Ling Lan's exhausted muscles.
The moment Ling Lan entered the medicinal bath, she knew that something was different with today's bath. There was no pain at all, only a tingling warmth which was so comfortable that she was almost lulled to sleep.
Little Four chose to pipe up at this moment, saying derisively, "This physical skill set is no match for the learning space's — it can easily cause problems for the body. If it weren't for this medicinal bath, any child who practised it would be damaged beyond repair."
Ling Lan chuckled bitterly. "It's not like I can choose not to practise it. I have no choice but to continue. I really don't want to see the disappointed faces of the old couple." In her past life, Ling Lan had seen disappointment too many times on her parents' faces. So now, whenever she was on the verge of giving up, the disappointment that would appear in Ling Qin and Ling Nanyi's eyes would change her mind, giving her another boost of determination to hang on.
This was truly self-inflicted! Even though Ling Lan knew this was one of her personal demons, she just couldn't throw off the influence of her past life so easily.
After the bath, Little Four found that the damage caused by the training to Ling Lan's body had not been completely repaired by the medicinal concoction. Although the problem was relatively minor right now, it was a seed that would grow into a serious affliction if things continued as they were.
Thus, Little Four planned to convince Ling Lan to find a way to skip tomorrow's training. However, early the next day, to his immense shock, he found that all the remaining damage he had sensed the day before had disappeared without a trace. In fact, Ling Lan's body was in a better condition than it had been even before the damage was inflicted.
In disbelief, Little Four scrambled to ask Ling Lan what she had done the night before.
Ling Lan was befuddled, unsure what Little Four was asking for.
Little Four frantically clarified that he needed to know what Ling Lan had done the night before besides sleep.
This was indeed relatively important. If he could find out the cause, it would be a revolutionary discovery. Even in the technologically advanced world he came from, it was impossible to fully repair damage to the body with just medicinal solutions. Full repair required some sort of equivalent sacrifice, such as a reduction of life force or cell energy. Although these sort of sacrifices had no discernible negative effect in the short term, they would cause endless trouble in the long run.
Ling Lan's situation was entirely different, however. Somehow, she had managed to achieve a full recovery without any sort of sacrifice. Her life force had not been weakened but had instead grown even stronger, while the stored energy within her body was even richer than before. All of this was proof that Ling Lan did not draw on any of her body's resources to repair the damage.
Ling Lan thought the matter over seriously before hesitantly telling Little Four that she might have practised her Qi exercises right before bed.
At her response, Little Four insisted that Ling Lan continue to attend today's training, and to follow it up with the Qi exercises at night.
The results proved that Little Four's suspicions were correct. As expected, the circulation of energy prompted by the Qi exercises once again repaired the body to its optimum condition, just as it did the first day. Little Four watched the entire process in awe. Who'd have thought that a primitive planet with fledgling technology would have such a miraculous thing? The Qi exercises not only had the ability to nourish the body's life force, but could also incorporate a portion of the body's energy into its active circuit to improve and maintain the body in such a way that would go undetected by technological means.
Little Four could only 'see' it now because Ling Lan was his host so they were sharing spiritual energy. Otherwise, he would never have believed that such a hidden wonder actually existed in the world.
Little Four felt a smidgen of regret. If only he had known that primitive world had such wondrous things, he would have paid more attention and started gathering them from the very beginning. Unfortunately, it was all too late now ...