Chapter 23 – Xiantian
Lin Ming knew it was useless to conceal who he was, so he decided that he would instead fabricate the identity of a master in order to placate any questions.
The inscription techniques were not possible to be self-learned, much less to the point that he had at such a young age. In the eyes of a reasonable person, it was most likely that Lin Ming had some sort of legendary inscription master backing him, even if this character did not actually exist.
Of course there were also risks. The world had many crazy people, some who would even disregard the existence of such a person. If Lin Ming ran into such a person, he would be in danger.
But Lin Ming didn’t run from such risks, instead he faced them head on. He cultivated martial arts, how could he run from something just because there was the risk of danger? If he feared every shadow and shade, then it would be impossible for him to reach the peak of the martial path.
Muyi saw Lin Ming go on alert, and he said to everyone behind him, “Leave.”
Quickly, everyone had left this small room included Tie Feng. Soon there was only Muyi and Qin Xingxuan.
Muyi circulated his soul force, and something an invisible bubble surrounded the entire room. “Little brother, I don’t have any ill intentions, this is merely my sound sealing skill. Under it, no one will be able to hear what we are saying. I just want to ask you, are you the one that created that flame engraved inscription symbol?”
It was a tradition for the inscription master to have their own personalized image that they used on the inscription symbols. It identified who they were, and represented the spirit behind their inscription path. Lin Ming’s was a raging flame that represented his desire to tread the martial path.
Qin Xingxuan held her breath, her eyes wide and unblinking as she waited for his answer.
Lin Ming hesitated, nodded, and said, “It was me.”
Since he decided to act, then he would do so thoroughly and completely. Only then would he be in a strong position and others would believe that the mysterious master behind him was a legendary figure that could not be offended.
Although they had already expected this, after hearing Lin Ming’s affirmation, Muyi gasped, and in particular Qin Xingxuan’s eyes widened with shock.
She was also an inscriptionist, so she knew! She knew that it was immeasurably difficult to become an inscription master at the tender age of fifteen!
Qin Xingxuan understood that for every mountain, there would always be a higher one. Sky Fortune Kingdom was only a small state in the entirety of Sky Spill Continent. If though she was talented herself and considered the best here, if she had left for other lands, then perhaps she would only be one in any countless number of talents.
But, Qin Xingxuan still had not left the country before. After all, even in the surrounded few countries she was the top number one talent; there was not a single contemporary around her that could compare with a tenth of her.
Sixth rank martial talent, in addition to an inscription talent that was second to none in Sky Fortune Kingdom, Qin Xingxuan was truly blessed by the heavens and had not found a match in those of her generation. She had never felt a half ounce of frustration at her age, so Qin Xingxuan had grown up with a self-belief of arrogance.
But today, she was suddenly defeated by a youth of the same age. Although his strength was less than hers, his talent and ability and accomplishments in inscription had outstripped her by miles.
Concerning inscription technique, it could be said that she was a little fledgling that hadn’t learnt to fly, and he was a soaring eagle that rules the skies; the gap was simply too big!
She was frustrated, but Qin Xingxuan was not depressed or hopeless. She was actually excited, because now that she had found a goal, she could then strive to improve herself!
To this young boy, Qin Xingxuan was filled with curiosity. She also hoped to become his friend and compare notes with him in the future. She could learn from these exchanges and further increase her understanding of inscription techniques!
But she remembered that before, her invitation had been rejected. Qin Xingxuan felt wronged. Girls were naturally thin skinned, shy, and proud; beautiful girls from aristocratic families were all like this. Even if in her heart she wanted to become his friend, but because of that single time, she was not able to take her own initiative to invite him again.
After Muyi heard Lin Ming’s answer, he finally managed to compose himself from the sense of disbelief he felt. This truly was unbelievable. He had originally guessed that the inscription symbol’s creator did not have a cultivation that surpassed the third level of body transformation, but it seemed he was wrong.
Lin Ming’s cultivation was only at the peak of the first layer, but because of his solid foundation and the density and precision of his soul force, it had given the illusion that it was higher than it was!
Because of this dense soul force, he was afraid that this youth practiced the top tier martial skill manual. The kind of skill manual that only the most ancient and powerful of clans would have.
Moreover this young boy was extremely assiduous and dedicated…for instance he had just cut apart that vicious beast now with the back of a knife. Perhaps this young boy came from an ancient clan, or had the backing of a supreme master!
Thinking of this, Muyi took a deep breath and asked with a respectful tone, “Excuse me for asking, by may I request the name of your esteemed master?”
Muyi had a high and aloof position with the Sky Fortune Kingdom. Even if he approached the emperor he would no need to bow. But from this respectful expression it was sufficient to see the deep awe and reverence he had for this supreme and mysterious master behind Lin Ming.
Ling Ming said, “This…sorry, senior, but my master once told me that to speak his name was a taboo. The truth is my parents do now know that I have apprenticed myself to a master. When I was twelve years old my master found me and taught me some skills.“ Lin Ming had lived in Green Mulberry City since childhood, so this was easy to investigate. He only said as little as he could to avoid being suspected.
Muyi said. “I apologize for being crass with my words. For a elder of such high skill, they tour the four corners of the world so it is difficult to glimpse their whereabouts. I should not inquire so rashly…it’s just that little brother’s inscription technique was so outstanding that it is unlikely to belong to someone from the Sky Fortune Kingdom. Likely is someone from an ancient sect…”
Muyi said that he did not want to ask who Lin Ming’s master was, but he was still vague and wanted to ask for some information. After all, a legendary master like this was rare to see even once; if one does, then perhaps it could be their own stroke of luck!
Muyi had already been stuck at the peak of the houtian boundary for a very long time. He had always wanted to pass the threshold to the next stage.
But without guidance, the single step simple an impassable ravine!
In the eight years of Sky Fortune Kingdom’s history, there had been many pulse condensation martial artists. And in those were many talents that would even arrive at the houtian stage.
However, disregarding the peerless talents that had entered the Seven Profound Valleys, then Sky Fortune Kingdom had not had a single xiantian master!
If the step from bone forging to pulse condensation was a little stream to pass, then the path from houtian to xiantian was like a raging ocean! If one did not depend on the direction from a sect, then depending on one’s own skill and personal discovery, the possibility to enter the xiantian stage was close to zero!
It was already too late for Muyi to enter into a sect. His only hope was to encounter a mighty elder who was able to give him a pointer or two, and thus also give him the hope that he could one day dream of crossing into the xiantian level.
He did not ultimately seek to enter the xiantian level; he only wanted to know the direction, to give him a goal so he wouldn’t remain clueless and lost for the rest of his life.
Lin Ming said, “My master is a recluse, but he had once said that he had entered a sect.”
After Muyi heard this he felt a bit envious. He did not have the good fortune to enter a sect, but Lin Ming’s master had already left his sect. He said, “Your master’s cultivation must have been very high if he left his sect to go travelling. He had probably reached the limit of some high boundary. Perhaps he was above the xiantian stage?”
To Muyi, the xiantian stage was an immeasurably distant ideal. For martial artists that were not in a sect, let alone the xiantian stage, the stages above it must be even more unimaginable.
Hearing Muyi’s question, Lin Ming finally understood the intentions of this old man. His interest in this so called ‘master’ of his was very strong. His eyes were eager and full of earnest. He must have been looking for some answers for his own cultivation. It was very difficult to practice oneself, after all Muyi was at such an old age; he had probably reached his own limits.
Thinking of this, Lin Ming considered the memories of the elder’s soul fragment. These memories, although there were some memories of martial arts cultivation, they were not complete. But there was not much value, so it was easy to say a thing or two.
Lin Ming said, “I don’t know what boundary master is at, but master once said the martial way is divided into two major parts. He was now contemplating the second part.”
“Oh? Which two parts?” Muyi’s eyes lit up. He feared missing even a single word, for he knew that the opportunity to listen to the words from a learned senior were truly precious.
Qin Xingxuan’s eyes were also bright, and she did not blink as she listened to Lin Ming with reverent attention.