Chapter 15: Making Amends
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Within the deep valley.
In the early morning, Fang Yuan gathered an iron pot, boiled the spring water, added fine sand and herbs, and allowed the concoction to boil.
"The Black Sand Palm requires the use of specific herbs, allowing those herbs to be absorbed into the body...together with style, technique, perfecting it would allow one to split rocks and be invincible….."
The 3 scrolls were checked by Fang Yuan, who confirmed that there was no problem. It was also checked by Han Shou. Now it was finally time to train.
"Within the martial arts world, there are the 12 Golden Gates of cultivation, perfecting the Black Sand Palm would allow us to reach the level of the 5th gate at most..."
That was the limit of the Black Sand Palm, which was also the difference between normal martial arts and magic.
"The Eagle Claw Technique is even worse, only allowing us to reach the 3rd gate, after which it requires special mental cultivation. However, if it was attained, it would be sufficient to overcome the restraints, allowing one to reach the 8th gate. It is considered not bad within the sect..."
Fang Yuan carefully arranged the information obtained from his own scrolls.
"There is the Rough Breathing Technique still. While there is some vested interest, I am afraid not even the original creator knew what level the technique could reach. He failed to overcome 6th gate, the Pain Gate, resulting in his death..."
Fang Yuan sighed.
Every stage of the 12 Golden Locks was complicated with multiple obstacles.
"Out of the 12 Golden Locks, I only know the first 8 gates: Initial, Rest, Life, Restriction, View, Pain, Shock, and Death! There are still subdivisions within these. The first 3 gates, Initial, Rest, Life, once overcome, would result in the growth of the person, Failing to overcome gates is not a problem. For the foundation of martial arts, the two gates, Restriction and View would cause trouble. However, failing to overcome these gates would not cause much harm to the body, for the last 3 gates, once the martial artist is unsuccessful in overcoming the gates, he would suffer backlashes or even death! This is especially true for the 8th gate, the Death Gate which must be overcome in one shot as failure will result in death!"
It was never easy to practice and cultivate.
"The first 8 gates are already so formidable, and the last 4 gates are rumoured to be of another level. No one knows the realm that the Wu Zong above the 4 gates is in either."
Fang Yuan let out a faint sigh.
"According to legend, there are more roads to cultivation, with more unimaginable, unbelievable masters that are more highly skilled than the martial artists..."
Fang Yuan suddenly yearned for a new goal in his heart.
While he did not have many ambitions, the thought of becoming a deity, never to grow old and die, being happy and carefree was not bad.
"Furthermore, I do need some power to protect myself!"
With the sand herbs done, the fine sand which was originally exquisite and white turned black in colour, emitting the scent of the herb. Fang Yuan found a rough cloth and delicately kept the sand.
"The Eagle Claw Technique does not combine mental cultivation and internal energy, at most reaching the 3rd gate, which makes it very commonplace..."
"The Rough Breath Technique was self-created, not many practices it. The original creator himself died when he was unsuccessful in overcoming the stage... It can only reach the 5th stage at most..."
According to the scrolls and Fang Yuan's own deduction, the first three gates were mainstream and the martial artists were good at overcoming the stages.
Those who were able to overcome the 4th and the 5th gates were rare, well-off and commanded high positions in society.
Those who were able to overcome the Pain Gate were considered to be highly skilled and geniuses within the sects.
"The first 8 gates are already so formidable, what about the last 4 gates and the realm of Wu Zong above them...."
Fang Yuan let out a long sigh, well-aware that the Spirit Returning Sect dominated the area and was not dependent on weaponry.
One Wu Zong would be sufficient to suppress everything!
"The world is so big, Clear Spirit Mountain is but one corner of the world, I must continuously cultivate and improve myself if I want to explore and understand the world..."
While Fang Yuan might be indifferent and lazy, once he set his mind on something, he would focus all his effort in achieving his target.
"The Black Sand Palm is the most suitable for me!"
All he needed was a skill which would enable him to overcome the stage, where could he find the skill which would not corrupt him?
Looking at the previously-filled sandbag in front of him, Fang Yuan inhaled deeply: "Palm slam!"
His palm strike left a print on the sandbag. He temporarily felt a burning pain in the back of his hand.
"Training is hard, even though my master forced me to train in the past, I might still escape from it..."
Fang Yuan finally drew back both hands after a thousand palm strikes, looking at the blisters on his palms, both palms stinging, yet feeling the cooling sensation of the herbs entering his hands.
Fang Yuan dared not neglect his hands and dipped his hands into the basin of water that he had previously prepared.
"While training the Black Sand Palm, one must not interrupt the effects of the herbs, especially the last healing procedure. Without this, one would become useless."
After half an hour, Fang Yuan discarded the water that turned black and placed a new basin of fresh water.
"It's lucky that the herbs are commonly found in large amount in my valley..."
The Flower Fox Ferret, which had been observing and yawning for half the day, suddenly ran to the side and took a sniff at the discarded herbs solution. It gave a look of disdain and walked off.
The actions of the Flower Fox Ferret reminded Fang Yuan of a human.
"Okay, Flower Fox Ferret, stop messing around, I will prepare grilled meat for you!"
Fang Yuan scolded while laughing before looking at both of his hands.
After soaking his hands in the water, the burning pain subsided. His palms felt cool, the blisters healed and the dead skin peeled off.
"According to the manuals, once the Black Sand Palm is perfected, one's palms would be even smoother and paler than that of a young maiden. However, once the skill is activated, the palms would instantly become as tough as steel, enabling the user to split rocks and even increase the damage dealt by poison to the body..."
"From today onwards, I will dedicate 6 hours to honing the Black Sand Palm. I am unsure if it would be enough to overcome the gate..."
Fang Yuan felt somewhat helpless looking at his own stats.
It was no easy feat to be selected and chosen in this system.
"If I am able to master the Black Sand Palm technique, it would be acknowledged even if it just overcome the first stage? "
Fang Yuan thought, immensely proud of himself.
"Erge, why do we still need to come here?"
Outside the mountain, Zhou Wenxin and Zhou Erge were slowly making their way together into the valley. Zhou Wenxin looked both reluctant and faintly scared.
"There is finally someone who is able to control my younger sister..."
Zhou Erge smiled and put on a front. "You previously denounced him without distinguishing the facts, it is only right that you apologize..."
The Zhou family was rich and influential, how would something as important as herbs not go through various testing before reach Old Zhou's mouth?
Even Lin Yuanwai was no exception.
After both parties ensured that there was no problem, Old Zhou refused to take the medicine, as if to make things difficult for others.
"Then why are we still looking for him... he is obviously someone who does not know martial arts..."
Zhou Wenxin was about to finish her sentence when the image of Fang Yuan appeared in her mind, scaring her and causing her limbs to tremble, making her unable to speak.
"He might not know martial arts but he may be skilled in other areas... In this world, there are not just martial artists. It is rumoured that there are those who practised magic and necromancy where even those martial artists who are able to overcome the 8 gates need to respect..."
Zhou Erge looked solemn. "I have looked at Ri Jiading's wound. It is curious indeed. According to your description, you are only able to see a blinding white flash despite being sharp-eyed. This is the work of the spiritual knights ..."
Thinking of the miracle that Fang Yuan pulled off that day, Zhou Wenxin was unable to speak.
"Remember not to throw a tantrum today, understand?"
Zhou Erge tone turned strict: "This is for our father's sake!"
No herbs and stones were effective in Old Zhou's current condition. It was possible that only the spiritual masters of the legends were able to bring him back.
"I.... I understand!"
While Zhou Wenxin was pampered since young, she understood her priorities, lowered her head and spoke with a soft voice.
Ever since the previous time when Fang Yuan taught her a lesson, a shadow was casted in Zhou Wenxin's heart. Even without the advice of Zhou Erge, she would definitely not go looking for trouble.
Not long after, the valley came into sight.
Zhou Erge circled the valley one time before exclaiming: "Zhou family's Zhou Wenwu, Zhou Wenxin would like to meet Young Master Fang!"
His crisp voice echoed through the valley far and wide.
Within the valley, Fang Yuan, who was honing his skills lifted his head: "Zhou Family's 2nd young master, this voice... It is hard to imagine that he is also one who practice martial arts, and at a higher level too. I am not sure which gate he has attained..."
Fang Yuan currently still had 1 gate to overcome. However, he had sufficient energy to do so.
Fang Yuan was unafraid. If attacked, he had the Flower Fox Ferret which was capable enough to fend off a highly trained martial artist. If he was unable to win the battle, given the valley's location and secret tunnels, he would be able to make a swift escape.
Upon reaching the opening of the valley and spotting Zhou Wenwu and Zhou Wenxin, Fang Yuan grimaced: "If it isn't the two of you. Is this still about the previous incident?"
"Master Fang, please do not misunderstand. My little sister was impetuous and clashed with you!"
Zhou Wenwu was very sincere and turned his head. "Sister!"
Zhou Wenxin slowly moved in front and looked at Fang Yuan in the eyes, her limbs started trembling unconsciously.
Under Zhou Wenwu's glare, she stammered: "Master Fang, regarding the previous incident, I sincerely apologize and hope that you are magnanimous….."