‘I am really going to die!’
The qi was chipped away. Chung Myung tried to make the most of what he could use, but there was nothing that could be used.
It was like trying to cut out the edible part of a completely rotten radish. The qi couldn’t reach the required standards and was pushed out of the body.
Wasn’t a pill something one used to improve the qi in their body? But now, Chung Myung was throwing it all out.
If the person who made the pill had seen it, they would have died frothing at the mouth.
‘Do you want me to lose everything!?’
This damned foundation!
Chung Myung gathered only the purest qi into his dantian, but it was far less than he had hoped for. Even a pill that was refined repeatedly to improve its quality was deemed impure by Chung Myung’s foundation.
Only a tiny portion of the qi could be used. Desperately leading the handful of pure qi, he pushed it into the dantian.
Soon, the remaining essence merged with Chung Myung’s qi within his dantian and circulated throughout his body.
In an instant, everything changed. Chung Myung, who was sitting cross-legged, began to float.
Normally, it would be impossible for this to happen, even with a greater level of internal strength. However, because Chung Myung’s qi was so pure, this phenomenon, which transcended the amount of inner strength he had, began to occur.
A clear, diaphanous qi went around the whole body, circulating once and again. It then began to filter out the impure energy.
This wasn’t what Chung Myung intended. He was thinking of recovering his lost qi, but the qi went against his will and started to regenerate his body.
Both his broken wrists instantly reset and attached as the bruises covering his body were restored entirely like they had never been there.
Sweat and impurities flowed from his pores like a cloud of steam. The dantian and even the blood vessels in his body began to open wider and wider.
Chung Myung titled his head.
The bottom dantian.
Qi, which started below the navel where the dantian is commonly located, forcibly opened the middle dantian in the chest; and even the upper dantian had opened now.
It was terrifying.
Everything in the world must follow a proper process. A child should first learn to crawl; maybe they could walk with some effort. But if a child learning to crawl suddenly tried to run, they would surely stumble and fail.
‘Need to stop it….’
The qi was thrashing about inside Chung Myung’s body. If he couldn’t control it, it would continue to rage and destroy his body.
The situation was quickly turning sour. Even if the process was helping his body heal, no one could be sure what the end result would be.
Chung Myung struggled to block the qi. However, it rebelled against his will and moved along its own path.
‘Shit, listen and stop already! You’re my energy, damn it!’
Chung Myung cursed in his mind, and the qi slowed down. It seemed like it realized who its master was.
But after a while, the qi began to run wild again.
Even if blocking the qi would hurt his body, he had to stop it as soon as possible.
Then, right when he gathered all of his will to suppress it.
-So, are you a Taoist or a martial artist?
It was the voice of his Sahyung echoing in his mind. Why?
No! This was something he had heard in his past life.
-Martial artists try to oppress and control the flow. But those who follow the path of Dao, let it be. You idiot. Where did your sense of logic come from? If you build a dam to stop the flowing water, it will simply flow over it.
Chung Myung’s body twitched.
-Let it be. If you leave it alone, everything will flow naturally. You wish to twist the rules of nature with the will of man? Stupid bastard. Humans are also a part of nature. How can a man compete with the all-encompassing nature?
Remembering his sahyung’s words, Chung Myung gave permission for the qi to flow freely. The moment he released control, the energy, which had been violently raging, began to flow smoothly and softly through his body.
As it circulated, the flowing stream grew larger and thicker, soon becoming a river that cascaded throughout his body.
How long had it been?
Chung Myung suddenly opened his eyes. A supremely crystalline glare.
Chung Myung, who dropped from the air to the ground, touched his hips.
“What? Why was I floating?”
He never imagined that his body would float. He got up, rubbing his tingling butt.
“Phew. I was almost done for.”
It was dangerous. The slightest deviation would have paralyzed him or taken away his life. Falling off that cliff didn’t seem so scary now.
But the reward could be felt.
Chung Myung waved his wrist. The broken wrist was fully attached. Rather, it felt more robust than before.
It wasn’t just the wrist, either.
‘The impure qi.’
Chung Myung thought that his body had already washed away all impurities, but it was even more efficient and clean now. This was his second time removing the impure qi from his body. If he could do it again in the future, his body could reach unparalleled levels.
But the most significant changes were the meridians. It felt like his entire body was open.
Originally, his meridians were a small, thin stream flowing into a creak, but now they were wide like a river surging into the ocean.
“The internal qi has also increased.”
Considering that a year of accumulation would only increase his qi by a fingernail-sized margin, it was encouraging to improve so much overnight.
‘The pure innate qi has also recovered.’
“My dantian grew.”
For Chung Myung, the body is a vessel for his martial arts. If the dantian is small, then it will be limited. As he overcame a new wall, the dantian has grown and what it can withstand has expanded.
Right now, it was like a rat’s tail, but still, this was the foundation Chung Myung aimed to surpass his past with.
With a satisfied smile, he thought.
‘If it wasn’t for Sahyung, it would have been a disaster.’
Maybe he finally attained enlightenment after dying once. The words of Sahyung, which he always regarded as nagging, took on a new meaning and helped him when he needed it.
“I was just a swordsman.”
Not a Taoist.
Mount Hua was home to both Taoism and martial arts. But Chung Myung couldn’t call himself a Taoist.
Could he really help the current Mount Hua?
Chung Myung scratched his head. Such concerns would do him no good.
First, let’s just try something!
“If that doesn’t work, then try something else.”
Chung Myung was flustered as he walked. With each step, he was moving farther than expected but, thanks to his past experience, he adapted to it quite quickly.
Chung Myung took out the box of pills and pushed it into his sleeve.
“Tch. How unfortunate.”
Now, this was meaningless to him.
He could repair and grow his body, but the pill’s energy was only a catalyst serving as a medium for him; the pill itself did not contribute to his growth.
Compared to Chung Myung’s unique qi, it was nothing more than a lump of impurities. Things might have been better if it was the Supreme Pill.
It felt terrible to just use the pills as a medium. Anyone other than him would have experienced a much greater effect.
Chung Myung hated how things were always tricky for him.
He closed his eyes to contemplate.
He didn’t need to feel bad; although he didn’t get much energy out of the snow plum blossom pill, he managed to achieve a result he couldn’t normally get no matter how many pills he took.
“I’m being greedy. Ah, Chung Myung, let’s only eat as much as you can handle.”
Chung Myung turned around…
A couple of alcohol bottles that were in the chest were wrapped around his waist.
It’s not like he wanted to drink it. It was an action that stemmed from innocent curiosity; he simply wanted to know what alcohol aged for a hundred years would taste like.
Chung Myung, who finished taking the alcohol, stood at the entrance of the cave and glanced back.
“It feels weird.”
Traces of the past.
Mount Hua had changed so much, yet this cave remained the same. When Chung Myung was in this cave, it felt like he was taken back in time.
He missed it.
Chung Myung, who was silently looking into the cave, smiled.
‘I need to come here again some time.’
Not for drinking and playing around like in the past, but it was still a good place to come and rest.
“Well, not too often either. The past needs to stay in the past.”
He was Chung Myung, the Plum Blossom Sword Saint. However, that wasn’t who he was anymore. Now, he was Chung Myung, the third-class disciple.
Those bound by the past cannot advance into the future.
The past was a milestone that would lead his life to the right place.
Chung Myung walked out of the cave.
His body felt incomparably lighter than before, and he was able to move with far more proficiency and agility than before. His light feet slammed the cliff as he accelerated upwards.
Making multiple leaps and ascending quickly, Chung Myung made it to the top of the cliff.
A deep breath.
The fresh air on the summit lightly caressed him, then as it brushed his nose…
He felt nauseous.
It was then that he realized that his clothes were thick with filth. Chung Myung’s face frowned as he took off the clothes.
“What the hell is coming out of this body!”
Chung Myung removed his clothes, lifted them up with his fingertips, and took a deep breath.
“Oh, my god! Nothing makes sense! Where is the nearest stream?”
He would have to wash the clothes before heading back to the dorm.
Chung Myung turned and trudged down the mountain.
On that day, the innocent animals which had come to happily cool their throats in the stream had no way of knowing they would suffer a tragedy lasting several days to come.
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