Chapter 6: Acquired Resonance
The black crystal ball with a mirror-like sheen allowed Li Luo to see his countenance within. A trace of anticipation, lashed with anxiety, was hung upon his gaze.
He wanted to know just what sort of item would lead his parents to spend so much effort to squirrel away…
“Soooo… just how do I open this?” Li Luo was doing everything he could to quash the feelings of anxiousness in his heart. Cautiously inspecting the ink-black and mysterious crystal ball, he finally decided to… use the most direct method instead. He tentatively pressed his palms against its surface.
At the exact moment his palms contacted the crystal ball, the crystal ball emitted a slight shock! That originally shiny exterior liquefied and enveloped Li Luo’s palms.
At the same time, Li Luo could distinctly feel a sensation not unlike acupuncture, as though needles were piercing right into him, into his palms! As this happened, some of his blood was absorbed!
The palms which were covered with the black liquid then began to radiate a bright light. Then, to Li Luo’s surprise, two light apparitions gradually took form.
Looking at the familiar silhouettes, Li Luo could feel a wave of nostalgia and yearning descend upon him.
“Dad, Mom…” The male apparition was handsome, his body upright like a spear whilst clothed in white robes. He possessed an absolute charm and a warm smile, yet hidden within was a lofty and immovable presence that would bend to no one! Just looking at him brought others an indescribable sense of comfort and safety.
On the other hand, the female apparition was garbed in violet, her long hair elegantly pinned up, her two hands leisurely placed within her pockets. She, too, was of incomparable beauty and held an unparalleled, dignified demeanor.
These were Li Luo’s parents, Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan.
As Li Luo stared blankly at the two, the apparition of Li Taixuan began to speak. “Haha, my little boy, now that you’re seeing these imprints, I assume you are seventeen already. I believe that by this point, we are long gone.”
Tan Tailan, who was smiling happily at the side, also began to speak. “Little Luo must have become even more handsome by now, right? Have any girls begun to court you in school?”
Li Luo rubbed his eyes as he mumbled to himself, “Your son did not only become extremely handsome, he also became absolutely unmatched! Just who would dare to court me…?”
“Are you feeling full of grievances right now? Do you feel that nothing has gone right for you?” At this point, Li Taixuan began to chuckle again, as though he could see right through the frustrations in Li Luo’s heart.
His mom continued, “Perhaps because of the blank palaces within you?”
At this point, Li Luo was shocked. By the time his blank palaces had manifested, his parents had been missing for years. Just how could they have known of his situation?
“Little Luo, don’t be surprised. We used some special methods to observe your body’s situation long before your resonant palaces manifested. In fact, you even have three resonant palaces.” Tan Tailan soothed him with a doting gaze in her eyes.
Li Luo’s jaw dropped. So it seems as though his parents knew of his unique situation a long time ago. Then in this case, did his parents’ disappearance have to do with this? Just where were they now? Were they still doing well? Why had there been no news since then?
“Little Luo, I would first like to tell you that just because you were born with blank palaces, it does not mean that you’re crippled. In fact, based on what I feel, this is the strongest sort of constitution in this world. You don’t have to feel dispirited at this, and instead rejoice!” Li Taixuan’s words were too earth-shattering, leaving Li Luo speechless.
“Dad… even if you want to console me, couldn’t you do it in a less exaggerated way?” Li Luo lamented. The blank palaces had already hampered his ability to cultivate; just what nonsense was he spouting about some mightiest constitution? Dad, just who are you trying to scam?
Li Taixuan had a wry smile as he explained, “Your natural blank palaces cannot absorb or refine worldly natural energy. This has to do with the root of your power, and frankly… we have no solution for this.”
“Since it’s a blank palace, then just find some way to stuff something in!” added his mom, with a beaming smile.
Li Luo was now wrinkling his brows in consternation. This was easy to say but impossible to do! Resonances were determined from birth. Wanting to change this after being born was unheard of. He had even experimented with this idea, but to no success.
“In a normal situation, this would truly be undoable. However, ever since we discovered your situation, we have been working hard to find a solution.”
“If you do your best, you’re bound to succeed eventually! Indeed, the heavens did not disappoint us and we finally found it.” At this point, Li Luo could distinctly hear the thunderous palpitations of the heart, and even his head felt dizzy as blood rushed to his brain in excitement.
“We poured through numerous ancient records and finally found a solution. This art is known as the Acquired Resonance Godly Forging Art. It allows one to forge acquired resonances. At the same time, it allows one to integrate their blood essence and soul, along with a chosen resonance, into the forging process. The resulting acquired resonance can then be absorbed into your blank palace.
“Little Luo, your naturally-endowed blank palaces may not necessarily be a bad thing. As natural resonances are too powerful and hard to control, we cannot pass the full art down to you. Instead, the Acquired Resonance Godly Forging Art is a much better fit for you, allowing you to forge your path as you see fit.
“If you want an elemental resonance, then you can work in that direction. Conversely, if you want a beast resonance, then go ahead and do just that!
“In future, your three blank palaces will contain three carefully constructed resonances. At that point, you will be greatly superior to those with a natural resonance.”
Li Luo’s eyes shone bright like a diamond under light. The situation seemed salvageable. There were all sorts of resonances, and many people had no choice over the manifestation of their resonances. This was something that could not be changed. On the other hand, although he did not have any natural resonances, he had the benefit of flexibility and could essentially determine what sort of resonance he wanted!
“Little Luo, the acquired resonances produced by the Acquired Resonance Godly Forging Art also have another benefit,” Tan Tailan added.
Although these were just apparitions that were left behind, Li Luo snapped right to attention. Since they had said it was a good thing, then how could he dare to miss this?
“A standard natural resonance is usually only of one element. However, the forged acquired resonances from this art are not the same! They can have two attributes, one main and one supporting.
“These attributes can be fully customizable as you see fit. The power gained is as though giving a tiger wings! I’ve only ever heard of certain natural treasures that have allowed for one’s natural resonance to gain a second minor attribute when taken. However, this effect is miniscule and is just a small additive layer of strength. This is completely different from your acquired resonances, which are forged with two attributes that are supplementary. The difference is worlds apart!
“Oh my gosh, this is just too awesome! Too great!” Li Luo was jubilantly celebrating as he clapped and jumped for joy. He could easily understand the preciousness of this ability. If he chose to forge a fire resonance and then supplemented it with a thunder resonance, the combination of fire and thunder would bring about a multiplicative increase in strength!
At this point, he couldn’t help but become emotional. It looked as though his blank palaces were truly more impressive than those natural resonances!
“Cough. Of course, nothing is ever so perfect. Although your acquired resonances have numerous benefits compared to natural resonances, there is one glaring disadvantage: the forged acquired resonances will not exceed the fourth-grade,” Li Taixuan clarified with a sigh.
Li Luo was momentarily stunned by this revelation. A fourth-grade? This did seem slightly inferior. Compared to Jiang Qing’e’s ninth-grade Light Resonance, there was a difference of more than half the scale!
With such a stark difference in grade, it was very possible that the benefits brought about by the dual elemental resonance would not be able to bridge this gap.
However, his hesitation was short-lived. His current situation was already as bad as it could get, so even a fourth-grade resonance would be considered decent!
Li Luo’s mom spoke dotingly as she reminded him, “Of course, you don’t need to worry. Even though your acquired resonance grade might be low, you can also utilize acquired resonance arts to eventually improve them.”
Li Luo was once again struck with yet another revelation! That was true indeed. This world contained many wondrous treasures and medicines that allowed one to increase the grade of their resonance. There was a particular profession known as resonance artificer. These people were able to refine and temper spiritual liquids and mysterious treasures that would improve one’s resonance, and as a result, they were widely welcomed by all resonance cultivators.
There were, however, certain constraints to using external means to improve one’s resonance grade. There was usually a limit to the tempering process and, normally speaking, an improvement of a grade or two was the best possible result.
In the case of acquired resonances, as the highest grade was fourth-grade, refinement would lead to a possible peak of fifth or sixth-grade.
“Is Little Luo worried about the physical limitations of refining one’s resonances?” Li Taixuan laughed as though he was reading Li Luo like an open book.
“Huh?” Seeing his dad’s wide smile, Li Luo’s eyes widened and he couldn’t control himself. Could it be possible that this wasn’t the end? This weakness could still be made whole?
As Li Luo greedily anticipated the next round of news, his mother let out a slight sigh and interrupted his father with a disgruntled expression. “You idiot, you’ve just gone ahead and came clean with everything! Just what can I tell Little Luo now? Huh????”
Li Taixuan’s expression changed as he hastily consoled her, “My dear, I was in the wrong, I was in the wrong! Please explain the rest to our son and I won’t do it again! Please forgive me!”
Upon seeing this familiar sight, Li Luo couldn’t help but shake his head with a sigh. His dad’s survival instincts were truly commendable. Was this something that had been beaten and ingrained into him?
“Brat, are you laughing at your father right now?” That apparition seemed to know exactly how Li Luo would react. Snorting with dissatisfaction, he immediately began to speak in a serious tone. “You are still young and have yet to understand. I am deeeefinitely not afraid of your mother. It’s just that my love for her runs too deep! As I’ve often lectured you, loving your significant other is the most important rule of this family. When you eventually get together with Qing’e, you will also have to obey this law! Do you understand?” When Li Luo heard those words, he couldn’t help but let out a cold laugh. Whenever his father said those words, if not for the fact that this explanation was often accompanied by a sight of a reddened palm mark on his face, he would have almost believed in them!
Yet when he mentioned Qing’e, Li Luo could only sigh. Qing’e had been intimately raised by his mom and hence their personalities were similar… And he was often on the receiving end of a beating without him having a clue why…
How would his life be in the future??
With a heavy heart full of sadness, Li Luo raised his head and looked at his dad. At this moment, it seemed as though their gazes could transcend time. It was as though he could finally understand what his dad was thinking. For a brief moment, this father and son pair could feel a truly fateful connection with their hearts, one of intimate sorrow…
“Li. Tai. Xuan. Can you stop standing there and making a fool of yourself? You’re wasting my time!” Li Luo’s mom enunciated with a single raised eyebrow, interrupting that brief moment of endearment between the pair.
Without surprise, Li Taixuan nodded eagerly, demonstrating that he had heard those words clearly.
At the same time, Tan Tailan turned to look at Li Luo, her tone turning gentle. “The refinement limit is only applicable to natural resonances. This is because these external treasures, no matter how pure and pristine they look, inevitably contain some impurities at their core. It is the accumulation of these impurities that prevent a palace from completely sealing in the resonance’s might. As a result, it makes it difficult to continue refining the resonance past one or two grades.
“However, Little Luo, your blank palaces don’t have this limit. Natural resonances have specific affinities and thus external tempering materials will face some form of rejection from the resonant palaces. Your blank palaces have no affinities, meaning that they can accept anything.
“Thus, your resonances can continually be refined as they will not be rejected by your palaces! Although it will get increasingly difficult to refine your acquired resonances, there is a chance for you to perfect them.
“Hence, it’s as I’ve said. Your blank palaces could very possibly be the world’s mightiest constitution ever! The perceived disadvantages are just a key to greater success.”
Li Luo could feel his heart roiling in waves. He had suffered greatly due to his blank palaces in these past few years. When he had first manifested it, he was unwilling to believe it and even felt angry. His frustrations and furious cultivation still resulted in him remaining powerless. In the end, he could only accept reality as it was.
However, now, with his parents’ words, these blank palaces were not useless. In fact, he might have the world’s best constitution?
This new information brought tears to Li Luo’s eyes.
“Little Luo, for your first acquired resonance, we have already extracted some of your blood essence and a strand of your spirit soul and refined something for you. It is within this crystal ball.
“The Acquired Resonance Godly Forging Art is also within,” Tan Tailan explained.
Li Luo could feel a warm current surging through him as he immediately opened his clenched fists. “Dad, Mom, thank you! Let’s go, I’m ready! Transmit this acquired resonance and the Acquired Resonance Godly Forging Art to me. Let me finally gain the opportunity to be reborn and soar above others!”
At this point, Li Taixuan’s expression became solemn and he became silent for a few breaths before speaking again. “The last thing I want to let you know is that absorbing this acquired resonance is not as easy as you might think it will be.
“As the acquired resonance is assimilated, it will require massive amounts of blood essence. This is why we had to wait until you were seventeen before allowing you to retrieve this. Only at this age will you barely be able to withstand the loss of your blood essence.
“More importantly, what you will lose is not just blood essence, but also part of your longevity. Once this acquired resonance is absorbed, you will only be able to live for five more years… unless you’re able to break into the Duke Stage and transform your body. Otherwise, that will be the end.
“This has been something that your mom and I have disputed for a long time. The price to pay is too great, but you, my boy, have grown up. So we have decided to lay the facts bare and let you make the choice yourself. Little Luo, will you choose to maintain the status quo and become a rich Young Lord? Or will you choose to assimilate with the acquired resonance and cultivate against the heavens, struggling to live while embarking on a path fraught with danger?
“If you choose the first option, then all you have to do is store the crystal ball somewhere and the previous process will revert. If you choose the latter, then reach into the crystal ball. The choice is up to you, but regardless of your decision, the two of us will always support you.” After which, the two apparitions no longer spoke and merely stared at Li Luo with gazes full of concern and love.
Li Luo, on the other hand, gradually eased himself into a sitting position, his eyes focused on the murky, black crystal ball with uncertainty laced within.
Throughout the explanation, he had realized something. Since the benefits were so wondrous, why were there no drawbacks? It seemed that this was left for last.
Now his choices were simple. Did he want to be a weak, little monster? Or a mighty, short-lived beast?