Chapter 29: The Badly Damaged Secret Manual
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The Martial Arts Hall Master’s review this time had completely severed Manager Yang and Elder Fei’s hopes of grooming Jiang Yi. However, he did confirm that Jiang Yi possesses a mysterious power that was capable of helping martial artists rapidly increase their proficiency level in martial skills.
After Manager Yang asked Elder Fei for instructions, the Martial Arts Hall made a decision to designate Jiang Yi as the highest-level, purple gold token-grade sparring partner. At the same time, they announced throughout the entire Martial Arts Hall that the sparring partner ‘Lone Wolf’ would only spar for three sessions daily, and each sparring session would require—one hundred taels of purple gold.
Once that announcement was released, all the young masters and young mistresses in the entire Martial Arts Hall were in an uproar. All these martial artists, who had originally paid no attention to Jiang Yi, began to persistently make inquiries over who exactly was this sparring partner. How did he actually get promoted to a sparring partner of the highest grade? How could one match with him require such high fees?
Upon seeing the announcement, Yi Longyu and Yi Lingxue immediately revealed looks of disappointment. They knew that Jiang Yi wouldn’t have a need to rely on the Yi Clan anymore. Even if the Martial Arts Hall did not take Jiang Yi under their wings, he would definitely be highly regarded by the Jiang Clan. However, over this recent period of time, many descendants of the Yi Clan were able to spar with Jiang Yi and had more or less received some benefits. The Yi Clan had already profited from those sparring sessions; after all, they would have to spend a whopping hundred taels of purple gold for each sparring session in the future.
“This is going to be troublesome…”
After finding out about that affair, Jiang Yi’s first thought was his impending doom. Once the announcement was out, countless young masters and young mistresses would definitely request for Jiang Yi to spar, even though every session’s fees were as high as a hundred taels of purple gold. After all, the elite young masters and young mistresses of these Major Clans were never short on money. Additionally, the martial arts skills that he had learned were all famous techniques developed by the Jiang Clan. Anyone who had functioning eyesight could instantly tell he was a descendant of the Jiang Clan after sparring with him for a few sessions. With his identity revealed, the Ma Family would find some way to get rid of him. Even if the Ma Clan did nothing, if this news reached by to the Jiang Clan, he would be in great big trouble and might even have to face severe punishment…
Jiang Yi went look for Manager Yang. Manager Yang didn’t hide anything from him. Instead, he explained that Jiang Yi had an Astral Body of the Earth which could help others rapidly attain Phenomenal Stage in their martial arts skills. Upon hearing this piece of news, not only did he not feel a sense of elation, but he found also it very suspicious.
He knew that he definitely didn’t have whatever Astral Body that Manager Yang mentioned, and the reason for his slow cultivation was due to his damned seal. The fact that he possessed such insane reaction speed was not because of the Astral Body, but his black essence forces that enhanced his vision to such horrifying levels. Even the ability to help his sparring partners quickly attain Phenomenal Stage for their martial skills was also likely due to his black essence force.
However, there was no way to explain this thing; nor was he going to blindly tell Manager Yang about it. Finally, he came up with a plan—to ask for five days of leave of absence before asking Manager Yang for some help in the hopes of learning some martial skills at the Martial Arts Hall.
The learning of new martial skills would not help in hiding his identity for too long; but at this moment, he could only hope to drag out more time. As long as he could be given some more time, he could get his cultivation level at the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. By then, even if the Ma Clan wanted to give him trouble, he would at least have some ability to defend himself.
Originally, with the release of this announcement, there would definitely be a lot of people who would seek Jiang Yi for sparring practice. However, since Jiang Yi had asked, Manager Yang looked on the fact that he had to count on Jiang Yi to make money; he didn’t want to just brush off Jiang Yi’s request. Manager Yang retrieved a token from his belongings and passed it to Jiang Yi. He then said, “In order to learn martial skills of the Martial Arts Hall, you would normally need to pay purple gold. However, since you’re a Purple Gold Token-Grade Sparring Partner now, I can grant you the special privilege. You can go to the Book Storage Pavilion and look for Manager Bai. You may pick any three of the human-grade martial skills. This is my command token. I shall let you take five days off, but five days later, you must continue the sparring sessions.”
“Thank you very much, Manager Yang.”
Jiang Yi cupped his hands and bowed in a show of his gratitude, before making his way out of the Technique Practicing Room. Asking for directions from a guard, he walked down another corridor and entered a side hall. Even though he had been coming to the Martial Arts Hall for such a long time, this was his first time walking into one of the side halls.
The Martial Arts Hall was a very mysterious existence: no one knew who established it or when it was established. The people of the Martial Arts Hall had always been maintaining a low-profile. As long as no one provoked the Martial Arts Hall, they would never take the initiative to seek trouble; neither would they ever get involved in conflicts between the six vassal states.
The Martial Arts Hall only provided service to martial artists. The interior of every Martial Arts Hall contained a spirit concentration array, allowing anyone to increase their cultivation speed. There was a massive quantity of martial skills, divine armaments, elixir pills, and a wide variety of other artifacts. There was a Heavy Strengthening Room, provision of sparring partners, and a Mechanism Training Room. All of these facilities were meant to help martial artists increase their strength. As long as one had sufficient purple gold, this place was effectively a paradise for any martial artist.
Of course, in the Martial Arts Hall, one could earn money as long as one had the strength. One could accept all sorts of missions and tasks there, such as hunting and killing demonic beasts, searching for rare and expensive herbs, or even take up assassination missions. After making money here, one could use the money at the Martial Arts Hall once again to continue to rapidly increase one’s strength and then take on missions of an even higher level.
The Martial Arts Hall trained and produced many powerful martial artists. To the martial artists, the Martial Arts Hall was an extremely important existence. Without the Martial Arts Hall, the overall strength of all the martial artists in the entire continent would decrease by twenty percent. The number of martial artists in all of Stellarsky Continent was immeasurable. All these martial artists were responsible for the establishment of the renowned Martial Arts Hall, allowing it to become the uncrowned king of the entire continent.
“Lone Wolf pays his greetings to Manager Bai! I was sent here by Manager Yang…”
There were no guards except a single middle-aged manager in the side hall, and this manager was currently reading an ancient text. Jiang Yi retrieved his token and repeated Manager Yang’s words. That manager glanced at Jiang Yi curiously, before extending his arm and pointing his hand towards a room within the side hall. He said, “You can go inside and pick three secret manuals!”
Jiang Yi was startled. Was this manager not going to send anyone to follow himself in? He allowed Jiang Yi to explore inside by himself? His memory was insanely good—like those individuals with a photographic memory—he would not forget it after looking through once. If the manager was to casually allow him to read these manuals, he would easily memorize a few dozen manuals by heart and know it inside out in just two hours.
But that manager lowered his head and started reading his book once again; he didn’t pay any more attention to Jiang Yi. Jiang Yi pushed open the door to the side room with a sense of uncertainty and walked in. Several luminous pearls were suspended on the interior walls, giving the room ample illumination. Jiang Yi’s eyes turned blurry with a single glance at the entire room. The interior was filled with nothing but large three-tiered bookshelves; there should have been no less than one hundred of such bookshelves, with each bookshelf stacked to the brim with secret manuals.
The Martial Arts Hall is indeed great and powerful!
Jiang Yi silently lamented but felt excitement in his heart at the same time. He speedily walked up to the front of a bookshelf and conveniently picked up a secret manual to read.
“Dragon Eagle Claw? A Man-tier medial-grade martial skill. When the practitioner mastered this martial skill, his hands could become like an eagle’s talon and could easily crush rocks and boulders… eh?”
Jiang Yi hastily glanced through a short record pasted on the cover of the secret manual. Just as he was thinking of flipping it over and reading the contents of the manual, he discovered that he actually could not flip it open! He tried using both his hands to forcefully tear it up, and yet the covers of the secret manual remained firmly sealed, not moving even an inch.
“No wonder that manager can rest easy and just let me casually walk in. I can’t help but feel that these secret manuals aren’t supposed to be read at all…”
Jiang Yi grabbed a secret manual beside him; once he discovered that it was of a similar result, he then suddenly realized something. These manuals obviously had some mystics that was locking it up and which prevented anyone from reading it unless the seal was unlocked. He grew anxious, how could he possibly determine which martial skill manual would be suitable for himself based on some simple information on a summary page alone?
Forget it, I’ll just choose three books at random! I shall only pick those that are of man-tier superior-grade! One manual on movement techniques, one manual for offense, and one last manual for defense!
Since he could not open the secret manuals, Jiang Yi had to depend entirely on his luck. He swiftly glanced through the books on a nearby bookshelf. He completely disregarded all those manuals that were martial skills of the man-tier inferior-grade or medial-grade. After spending an entire morning, Jiang Yi had just about looked through all the available manuals. He then chose three manuals out the hundred manuals that were of man-tier superior-grade martial skills.
Extreme Divine Steps, a man-tier superior-grade martial skill. When one circulates the technique, one can increase speed by three folds within a short period of time. The disadvantage is that it exhausts essence force excessively. Without essence force, one can only increase the speed by two folds, and it will use up an extreme amount of stamina…
Buddha Palm, man-tier superior-grade martial skill, an offensive full-contact type martial skill! It is suited for a martial artist with innately strong reaction speed. It is a martial skill that consumes an extreme amount of mental strength…
Mountain Smashing Fist, man-tier superior-grade martial skill. An offense-type martial skill. It increases a martial artist’s strength progressively with their cultivation stage…
It seemed like these three martial skills were each powerful by themselves, especially the Buddha Palm martial skill which felt like it was specially made for Jiang Yi. The Mountain Smashing Fist was even more obscenely powerful. However, since Jiang Yi had no way to read the contents of the secret manual, he wasn’t sure how much his strength would increase with the Mountain Smashing Fist. As for the Extreme Divine Steps, it was also way more formidable compared to his original Psychedelic Step.
Jiang Yi once again scanned his surroundings; he made sure there were no other martial skills besides these three that were more suited for him. He turned around and got ready to leave.
Mm? There is actually an original copy here?
After taking a few steps, Jiang Yi saw a yellowing manual at a corner of a bookshelf. The other manuals in the room were all rather new; with one look, one could tell they were all copied versions. Yet, he discovered an original copy? He put down the three manuals and retrieved that original manual to take a look. However, he quickly became disappointed.
This was indeed an original manual, and it was named Exploding Essence Palm. Its tier grade was also in the earth-tier. Unfortunately, this manual was badly damaged, which was why the Martial Arts Hall classified it as a man-tier technique and left the original copy without even making a copy.
An Earth-tier martial skill! The most powerful martial skill in our Jiang Clan is only of the earth-tier superior-grade level right? Unfortunately… this is damaged. However, if it wasn’t damaged, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to even see it!
Jiang Yi regretfully returned the manual to the shelf. This manual even had handwritten annotations on it, and it was indeed formidable. It could compress essence forces by three folds, before releasing them from the palm in an explosive force to hurt an opponent, increasing the firepower by three folds! Unfortunately, a few pages are missing from within the book, making the martial skill difficult to cultivate. On top of that, even if this martial skill was to be successfully mastered, it would still consume an extreme amount of essence force. With Jiang Yi’s current volume of essence force, he was afraid that with just one or two releases, his essence forces would be completely consumed. If that was the case, then this Exploding Essence Palm wouldn’t be of much meaning to him.
No, that’s not right—
After taking two steps, Jiang Yi’s feet abruptly halted. He had forgotten about one thing!
His dantian didn’t merely contain the blue essence force; he also had the mysterious black essence force. Once the black and blue essence forces were combined, his power could greatly increase. If he were to release the Exploding Essence Palm with the blue and black essence forces, how great would the strength of his attack be?
The strength of my blue essence force would increase by two to three folds when combined with black essence force. If I used the Exploding Essence Palm and released my essence forces, would it not increase by another three folds? It would be six or seven folds the original strength level? In other words… if my cultivation stage reached the fourth or fifth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, wouldn’t the release of this Exploding Essence Palm easily kill any Cast Tripod Realm martial artists? Could it even possibly kill with a Purple Mansion Realm martial artist with the explosion?
When he thought about the possibility, Jiang Yi’s entire body trembled. With his current volume of essence force, he could only release such attacks once or twice. But this was finishing move that could help save his own life.
I’ll just do it!
Jiang Yi pondered for a moment: he resolutely decided to practice this Exploding Essence Palm. After all, if he failed to learn this martial skill, he would only be wasting an opportunity. If he was to successfully master this martial skill by chance, he would possess a formidable finishing move that could help him survive.
Resisting his internal agony, he finally put down the manual that contained the Mountain Smashing Fist martial skill. He held on to three manuals and left the room. He lightly placed the three manuals in front of Manager Bai before speaking with respect, “Manager Bai, I’ve made my choices!”
Manager Bai put down his book and gradually emitted essence forces from his hands and circulated the three manuals. Soon enough, there was a bright light flashing from the three manuals. As he glanced at the manuals, he nodded. “Not bad, you have a good eye. This Extreme Divine Steps is a high-grade movement technique; this Buddha Palm is a great choice too. Mm? Exploding Essence Palm! Lone Wolf, are you sure you want to pick this manual? You only have three free chances. Next time, if you ever want to learn more martial skills, you would have to pay one hundred taels of purple gold for each manual. I am going to tell you this truthfully: at least a few dozen of martial artists had tried to cultivate this Exploding Essence Palm, and yet not a single one has managed to successfully master it…”
“A few dozen people?”
Jiang Yi was astonished. However, when he thought about the insane power he could produce with the Exploding Essence Palm when merged with his black essence forces, he gritted his teeth and nodded. “I want to try it!”