Chapter 31: I'm No Salted Fish!
Translator: Strivon / Ash Editor: Geoffrey / Lancent
Li Yao cried out deep in his heart, “this is bad”. Internally, he asked himself how could he ever take the cruel tempering training of an ancient cultivator guild from 40,000 years ago to be the norm.
He had to keep in mind that in the dream of grandeur, the hundred smelting guild had several hundred low-level workers who were unable to endure the torment and died, crossing over to the afterlife.
The Hundred Smelting Guild was one of the more lenient and benevolent among the major ancient guilds. Several thousands of people would die each year if it were one of the harsher guilds. The Hundred Smelting Guild’s training could be considered a trifling matter.
Needless to say, in regards to the demonic cultivator guilds, the creation of each strong individual came with it, the sacrifice of ten-thousand weaklings.
The Ancient Cultivation Civilization was this ruthless.
“Hic. Teacher Sun, I took a good look at it again. Your infernal special training program of death truly comes from the depths of hell. It’s super deadly and super terrifying~ I’m so scared that I won’t be able to finish it!” Li Yao spoke tongue in cheek.
As an old man, Sun Biao was very much experienced. How could he not see that Li Yao was putting on a show? He was agitated into rage. With a sneer, he said, “Okay, kid. No need to shoot off talking big. Change into training clothes. First, try it out by doing 10 sets of squats.”
Sun Biao got up. He felt out a set of training clothes that had an utterly old-fashioned design from the dust-packed corner of the cultivation field. He tossed it over towards Li Yao.
“Squats? My favorite!” Li Yao warmed up for a bit. He took off his school uniform, changing it for the dust-smelling, old-fashioned training clothes. His eyes gave off a glow as he giggled and spoke.
His current strength was bizarre and astonishing, so what he was least fearful of was squats, bench, and other strength training exercises. In just a moment, when he shows his maximum strength, he will certainly cause the old fogey to have eyes bulging from their sockets!
He walked up to the rusted squat rack and thought for a moment. He flung out two iron plates from the mound of Olympic plates and ferociously pounded them onto the bar.
The squatting weight was... 300 kg!
“Indeed, 200kg of weight is too light. It wouldn’t have any effect on tempering my body. I often use 300 kg as a warm up so I’m used to it. It won’t be a problem right, Teacher Sun?” Li Yao clashed a light laugh with Sun Biao, exposing his snow-white teeth.
“Of course, it's fine. I'm just scared that you might regret it later~” Sun Biao also gave a laugh, exposing tawny teeth.
“It’s no more than 300 kg. Twenty sets can be done by a single breath. What’s there to regret from?” Li Yao spat some saliva into his palms and rubbed his hands together to a burning hot state. He grabbed the bar with a death grip and lifted it onto his solid traps. Suddenly, power was sent through his pair of feet as he lifted the weight up. Then...
He felt his body tighten up. The training clothes, which were originally loose, seemed to awaken with a life of its own, suddenly contracting and transforming into a layer of tenacious leather. It bound him completely!
At the same time, an absolutely powerful bizarre strength exploded down, like a giant mountain striking down and smashing his skull. Suddenly, he was smashed to the ground!
“I forgot to mention, small bastard. This set of training clothes was an artifact that I used for training a dozen years ago. I call it ‘Give Up’. It possesses many magical abilities. The first of which is the ability to create a gravitational field. Wearing these clothes is like wearing a several hundred pound set of armor. Let’s see, right now you’re bearing 200 kilograms of weight on your body!” laughed Sun Biao nastily.
200 kg of weight. Plus the 300 kg of weight on the barbell. That's a total of half a ton. Li Yao was not prepared for that weight. Of course, he was firmly squashed.
“How despicable. But, five… five hundred kilograms is still nothing special!”
Li Yao was smashed into seeing stars. He gritted his teeth unwaveringly. He braced his hands tightly and veins, thick and solid, popped out on his arms. The bones in his entire body creaked randomly as he stiffly straightened his back. He grasped the barbell once again, spread his feet apart, lowered his hips, and got up with complete stability.
One repetition of the standard squat… was completed!
With a total weight of… 500 kg!
In the dream of grandeur, I had to endure several dozen years under the Titan. His methods were crueler than yours by a hundredfold, you dying old geezer. You think this is hard enough to stop me? You’re dreaming!” cried Li Yao in his heart. He once again squatted down to a deep position to prepare for his second rep.
Suddenly, it was like a bolt of lightning hacked into his soul. Li Yao felt that all 720 acupoints in his body simultaneously conducted with a strong current of electricity. The shock caused his hair to puff up and his eyes to go white. With a blood-curdling shriek, he fell once more to the ground. The barbell slammed heavily into the squat rack with a “Bang!”, causing rust to randomly explode off and dust to fly into the air.
“The second ability of ‘Give Up’ is the ability to produce a powerful electric current. It has short intervals of 3-5 seconds and long intervals of 2 minutes per shock, bombarding against your body’s acupoints. It will stimulate your cells into becoming stronger and purify your body and mind so it can be reborn completely. Tsk tsk tsk tsk. This is a cultivation treasure that anyone would dream of using! The only thing is the small bit of minor pain that comes with it. You can still handle it, right?” Sun Biao was beaming with smiles as he asked.
“You, you’re joking! Of... of course, I can handle this!” Li Yao’s lips were bitten into a bloody mess. He lay on the ground, panting for breath for a long time before he was able to crawl back up with utter difficulty. His right hand was shaking and trembling. He felt for the barbell with a difficulty incomparable.
His fingers hadn’t even touched the barbell when the assault of an unbearable pain came striking once more! This time, the pain wasn’t that of a strong electric current but that of extreme heat!
It was like his entire body was tossed into a volcano. He was struggling in the incomparably hot magma, causing his skin to be roasted and his blood to flow at racing speeds as boiling molten iron!
Then in the next second, the scorching heat suddenly dissipated. In its place was bone-penetrating freezing chill that practically caused even his brains to freeze into an ice cube. He was completely unable to take a breath or think a thought!
He felt the blazing heat and the freezing cold alternate three times before it gradually faded away. Before Li Yao could even screech miserably, an electric current attacked his acupoints once more. It tore through his body, causing him to twitch involuntarily!
“This is the final magical ability of ‘Give Up’. It produces an illusionary attack of a blazing heat and a freezing cold every minute. Be at ease. This targets the deepest and most mysterious part of your mind — it’s all an illusion. It won’t cause harm to a single hair on your body. Instead, it tempers your mental strength by breaking open the depths of your mind. If one day you become a cultivator, it can also allow you to absorb greater amounts of spiritual energy, increasing your cultivation speed by many factors over other people.”
A trace of disappointment flashed on the old fogeys face when he looked at Li Yao’s painful appearance of rolling all over the floor. The old fogey laughed to himself and yawned. He said lazily, “Okay~ I’ve had my fun. Go ahead and change clothes. These clothes weren’t prepared just for you. All you need to say the three words ‘I give up’ and it will automatically remove itself from you. It won’t torment you any longer.”
Li Yao lied on the ground for a long time. He breathed and breathed, gasping like whale stranded ashore.
At last, he got up inch by inch, like a rusted metal puppet. With extreme difficulty, he placed the barbell on his shoulders, stiffly raising 200 kg of weight. The high electric current and the illusionary blazing heat struck! He exploded out with his second squat rep!
“That’s two!” Li Yao howled out like a beast from the depths of his throat.
He had sounded this battle howl quite frequently in the depths of the Artifact Graveyard.
Sun Biao went “Yi?” in surprise. A trace of shock flashed from within his eyes. Immediately, he sneered, “You only did two reps. One set has exactly 10 whole reps!”
“THR… THREE!” Li Yao’s teeth were clenched, The sound of rusted metal against metal filled the spacious training room.
Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten!
A whole 10 reps of squats while wearing this bizarre clothing “Give Up” caused Li Yao to use up the last of his strength. He pushed out 10 reps of squat with perfect form without a trace of slack!
“I... I did it!” Li Yao’s head was dizzy and his vision was faded. His pair of ears rang with tinnitus and blood rushed wildly from his entire body to his brain. His heart was beating incomparably violently, seeming to practically rip open his chest and leap out.
He lay sprawled under the squat rack, unable to get his body to make a single movement. He stared blankly at the dazzling crystal essence lights on the ceiling. He felt unable to control even a single finger.
Sun Biao’s figure emerged in the edge of his vision with a face of amazement that could not be concealed. The old fogey spoke with a sound that contained some shivering, “Kid, you’re good, right?”
“I, I’m good. I just need to rest for a bit. I still need to do… 9 sets!” Li Yao’s mouth hooked into a smile as he laughed with a laugh that was uglier than crying.
Sun Biao was silent for a moment. He shook his head as he said, “Kid, just give up. I’ve already said that these clothes weren’t meant for ordinary people to use. You can’t possibly wear it and complete 10 sets of squats… There’s still 90 reps to go! Come on then, say ‘I give up’ and have the clothes removed.”
Li Yao swept his gaze across Sun Biao, and he stared once more at the dazzling lights on the ceiling.
Under the refraction of his tears and sweat, those lights turned incomparably bright.
He suddenly realized why the name of this artifact was ‘Give Up’.
It’s because its greatest ability was not the ability to produce a gravitational field of several hundred kilograms, nor its intense electric current assault, nor the blazing heat or freezing cold mental illusions.
Actually, it was pretty simple, ordinary, and easy, stemming from the three words “I Give Up”.
All it would take is for Li Yao’s lips to touch and use the lightest of lightest sounds to say the three words, “I. Give. Up.” to be able to remove this set of training clothes. He would escape from the weight, from the electric current, and from the illusionary mental inhuman persecution. And...
He would lose the courage to wear this set of clothes — for all eternity.
Will… he give up?
The first set of squats had already depleted all the strength in his body. Every strand of muscle, every sliver of vein, every cell in his body was squeezed dry. He felt that he lacked the strength to even go take a piss.
He still had nine sets to go. A whole entire 90 reps of squats. He would have to endure through an onslaught of bearing 200kgs, electric assaults, and illusionary mental attacks. He would have to raise the 300 kg barbell and continuously squat down, get up, and straighten his back.
For a whole 90 reps.
This ought to be fundamentally impossible, right? Even if he grits his teeth and use all of his strength to complete the two sets with all his might, three sets, four sets, five sets, sixth sets, seven sets, eight sets. Any moment during those sets, he could completely collapse, forcing him to say the three words “I give up”.
And so since this is the case, why doesn’t he just give up now?
It’s so easy. All he would need to do is touch his lips together, with a light vibration of his vocal cords, and with a slight opening of his mouth. I. Give. Up. And half a second later, he would be free and relaxed.
“I… Give...” looking at the dazzling lights on the ceiling, Li Yao spoke each word softly.
But within the dazzling lights emerged forth a string of dazzling memories.
“These clothes... weren’t meant for ordinary people.” Sun Biao had said in this manner.
But am I... an ordinary person?”
“An ordinary person... would not carry memories from a previous life upon birth. They wouldn’t remember any sort of messy ‘earth’ affairs, right?”
“An ordinary person... wouldn’t possibly be able to wrest control from and survive against the tyrannical cultivator, Ou Yezi, of 40,000 years ago, and instead, engulf Ou Yezi’s memories, right?”
“These two events, whichever bastard would have one of these things happen to them would not be considered an ordinary person. As for me, I’ve experienced both phenomenon!”
“Then… am I going to… in the face of these training clothes that weren’t meant for the ordinary person…. Give up?”
Li Yao suddenly withdrew his line of sight from the ceiling lights, shrinking into the depths of his pupils, and transforming into a needle-sharp stellar glow.
“Teacher Sun... am I allowed to listen to music?” he suddenly spoke lightly.
“Listen to music?” Sun Biao never expected that Li Yao would ask this sort of question. He was distracted for a great amount of time before saying, “Sure, if you want.”
“Okay, give me 30 more seconds.”
Li Yao laughed lightly, closed his eyes, and stuffed the “Tone Bell” artifact crafted by the Sounds of Wonder Guild into his ears.
Lu Yinxi resounded greatly with a voice in his ears that seemed to be able to pierce through the entire galaxy. Her voice immediately vibrated within the depths of his soul:
“After the raging waves and stormy seas, I stagger onward with all my might!”
“My heart fears not the striking of thunder for the lightning shall illuminate the path ahead!”
“I am completely different from you!”
Li Yao abruptly opened his eyes.
The size of the needle-sharp stellar glow in his eyes had already disappeared. In other words… His pair of eyes were filled completely with the stellar glow!
And then, he said a sentence that caused Sun Biao to be at a loss for words: “I… am no salted fish…”
“What did you say?” Sun Biao thought he had misheard. What salted fish?
Li Yao didn’t hear the old geezer’s question under the bombardment of the wild music; he was completely immersed in his own world. He spoke in whispers, “Perhaps I was a salted fish in my dream since I had given up in various situations. I dried up. I withered. And gradually, I turned into a salted fish. Turning into an ordinary person.”
“But me. I am no salted fish. I... absolutely will not give up!”
Li Yao stood up. 300 kg of weight was on his shoulders. An electric current ran all over his body. A screaming freezing chill and a devastating magma ran through the depths of his mind.
Yet still, he griped onto the barbell. His strength was very great, for even the hard steel creaked under his palm.
“The second set of squats starts now!”
The cultivation field, covered with the dust of several years, resounded once more with roars like the raging waves and stormy seas. A boiling fervor surged in waves of heat!