Chapter 16: Ghost Wood Art

2


Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios


Jiang Li put the matter of the ancient times aside for the time being. It was meaningless to rely on guesses. He continued to look at the other two ancient manuals.


“Coffin Burial Art” was a manual pa.s.sed down by a rogue cultivator clan specializing in corpse manipulation in the past. Later on, the clan fell into decline, so the descendants brought the manual to the Scripture Storage Valley. The cultivation method became part of the collection here.


It was said that during the most glorious period of their clan, there was once a Nascent Soul cultivator. This was also the limit of this cultivation method.


The “Ghost Wood Art” was somewhat special. It was not originally created by humans, but came from an old ghostwood tree that had cultivated a thousand years to become a tree spirit!


According to the records, the tree spirit was extremely ferocious back then. It had once turned hundreds of miles of mountains and rivers into a graveyard. Its cultivation had reached the Earth Immortal realm that surpa.s.sed the Nascent Soul realm.


In the end, the heavens were enraged and the thousand-year-old spirit tree died under the lightning tribulation. Only then did the descendants discover the Ghost Wood Art on the remaining tree trunk.


Jiang Li’s expression was a bit bitter. Of these two ancient texts, one required him to lie in a coffin and cultivate underground, while the other had him sleep in the graveyard every day to cultivate.


After cultivating either of these, he was afraid that he would be easily eradicated by others in the future as a demonic cultivator.


Furthermore, he had always thought that a cultivation method should allow him to progress all the way to the level of a True Immortal. He did not expect that these cultivation methods actually had a limit.


After letting out a long sigh, Jiang Li still chose the Ghost Wood Art as his initial cultivation method.


First of all, the upper limit of the “Ghost Wood Art” was obviously higher than the “Coffin Burial Art”. Also, he could not stand being buried underground in a coffin every day.


After selecting the cultivation method, Jiang Li walked towards the exit of the Scripture Storage Pavilion. Because he could only choose between three books, he naturally was the fastest.


At this moment, most of the disciples, including Yan Hong, were still gathered in front of the bookshelves.


In front of the metal door, the old man and Elder Weng Sanqi, who had opened the door for them earlier, were sitting behind a counter in the middle, discussing which type of spirit wine was more delicious.


“Elder, I’ve chosen my cultivation method.”


Jiang Li respectfully placed the “Ghost Wood Art” on the counter and waited there obediently.


After a short while, the two elders behind the counter finished their cups of spirit wine before turning around to look at Jiang Li and the books on the table.


“The “Ghost Wood Art” is quite a good cultivation method. Kid, bow your head!”


The Scripture Storage Pavilion Elder made a few hand seals, and the pages behind the “Ghost Wood Art” immediately scattered and became accessible to read.


“Since you’re being polite, I’ll help you out a bit more.”


The elder took out a long and translucent jade strip from under the counter and pressed it on the cultivation manual.


Countless black characters crawled out of the book like insects and entered the jade piece that was only a finger wide.


A moment later, the three words “Ghost Wood Art” appeared on the jade piece. That elder raised his hand and patted again, pressing the ice-cold jade piece onto Jiang Li’s head.


“Don’t resist, calm your mind and gather your spirit!”


Since he had just arrived, there was no reason for the other party to harm him, and he did not feel any malice either, so Jiang Li did not dodge and allowed the jade piece to press down on his forehead.


In the next moment, a refres.h.i.+ng feeling rushed into his mind, accompanied by a series of mysterious and complicated ink-colored characters that were deeply etched in his memory.


“Ghostwood! Ghost within the Wood!”


“Its roots drink the water of the Netherworld! Its leaves cover the moon in the sky!”


“When a ghostwood tree descends upon the earth and overturns the tomb, it must transform into the Yin of all things. When it touches things, they become profound, and when it’s divine, it becomes clear and easy to understand. When the earth is vast, it’s connected through heaven and earth. The wood is dense and verdant, the moon is beautiful and round, and the wind is pleasant and ghastly. No one fights in the vicinity, and there’s the aura of calamity in the surroundings, so it’s naturally neither n.o.ble nor long-lived.”


“All the trees in the region wither and die, the Earth Tomb is crooked, and the Dark Crow Beast tramples upon it. The surroundings are desolate, the front and back are flawed, and it nurtures a lonely and sinister ghost…”


In just a few breaths, thousands of ink characters and ten complex images flooded into his mind.


For a moment, Jiang Li leaned on the counter with both hands. His mind was in a daze for a long time.


“Haha, boy! Just faint, that’s right. You haven’t even started Qi Refinement and you’ve already used a jade slip. Consider this your good luck.”


This voice belonged to Elder Weng Sanqi.


At this moment, Jiang Li felt a gentle force lifting his swaying body and placing him on a futon.


“You can thank Elder Li after you’ve stabilized yourself.”


Jiang Li held his temples and rubbed them continuously. The dizziness was quickly fading.


A jade slip. Was that a jade slip? It was very similar to the bamboo strips used to make ancient bamboo slips.


Moreover, he had stuffed thousands of words and images into his memory. This method was really amazing.


A few minutes later, the discomfort was gone.


He suddenly thought of something and immediately opened his character panel. Indeed, on the cultivation method column, the words “Ghost Wood Art Qi Refinement Chapter Level 0” appeared.


So it was only the Qi Refinement chapter.


Slightly disappointed, he opened his eyes and realized that there were already quite a number of youths who were bitterly humming while copying down the content of the manual.


It seemed that the others did not receive the same treatment as him.


Actually, no, the few disciples with high-grade spiritual roots were the same as him. They sat crookedly on the mats, frowning and holding their foreheads. They must have been instilled with cultivation methods in jade slips too.


“Thank you, Elder Li! Thank you, Elder Weng!”


Jiang Li stepped forward once more and bowed as he cupped his hands. This jade slip contained a detailed explanation of the cultivation method, and it saved him a few days of hard study at least.


Compared to those young people who were still copying books and did not even know how to read, it was indeed a huge advantage.


“Yes, this is your first month’s allowance in the outer sect. You can collect it from the Outer Sect Internal Affairs Hall every month in the future.”


“Don’t miss out on the lectures at the Outer Sect Study Hall every week. Alright, you may go back and cultivate now.”


The two elders nodded and did not care much about his grat.i.tude. After Weng Sanqi threw out a cloth bag, he gave a final reminder and sent him back.


Jiang Li waited outside the door for a few minutes before Yan Hong walked out of the Scripture Storage Pavilion. The two of them walked back to the outer sect area in a low-profile manner.


When they returned to their residence, they opened their sacks and placed everything on the table.


Jiang Li had three spirit stones and two bottles of spirit pills.


The bottle was not full. He looked at the label and counted the pills inside. There were ten Qi Nouris.h.i.+ng Pills and ten Qi Recovery Pills.


[Name: Qi Nouris.h.i.+ng Pill]


[Type: Medicinal Pill]


[Grade: Low-Grade Yellow-Rank]


[Note: It can help with cultivation.]


[Name: Qi Recovery Pill]


[Type: Medicinal Pill]


[Grade: Low-Grade Yellow-Rank]


[Note: It can replenish spiritual qi.]


As expected, they were all low-grade Yellow-rank medicinal pills.


He then looked at Yan Hong, who was sitting opposite him. His monthly allowance was five spirit stones, twenty Qi Nouris.h.i.+ng Pills, and twenty Qi Recovery Pills. It was nearly twice as much as Jiang Li’s.


This treatment was indeed very different.


“Jiang Li, these are for you!”


Yan Hong took out a spirit stone and five Qi Nouris.h.i.+ng Pills from his monthly allowance and pushed them towards Jiang Li.


This meant that he wanted to share resources equally with Jiang Li.


In the early stages of cultivation, everyone was poor. Every resource was very precious. Jiang Li was touched that Yan Hong could do this.


But to him, the quant.i.ty of medicinal pills actually did not have much meaning.


“No, that’s not necessary.”


“My cultivation method is rather special. My requirement for resources is different from ordinary disciples.”


“Besides, didn’t we agree that we would split the profits equally? I won’t be polite when it comes to that.”


Yan Hong wanted to say something else, but Jiang Li did not reject him directly. Instead, he said that they needed different resources, so he could only give up.


“Alright, but if I leave you in the dust, don’t come crying and regret it.”


“Get lost! You’ll be the one crying!”


After bragging for a while, the two of them parted ways. They could not wait to try their first cultivation session.


Sitting cross-legged with his palms and feet facing the sky, Jiang Li a.s.sumed the posture he used to practice martial arts.


Soon after, he began to slowly visualize according to the description and diagrams in his mind.


In his mind, a seed slowly appeared. It was a seed of a ghostwood tree with a grayish-brown surface and a tiny crack on the edge.


Fifteen minutes…


Half an hour…


After an hour later, Jiang Li let out a long breath, feeling as if his entire body was about to freeze.


He did not succeed, he was still thousands of miles away from mastering the “Ghost Wood Art”.


With his experience as an internal force martial artist, it should be easier for him to sense spiritual qi than others.


However, after sitting cross-legged for a long time, he only felt a faint sensation. No matter how hard he tried, he could not grasp that feeling.


Indeed, the beginning was always the hardest.


He really wanted to eat all ten Qi Nouris.h.i.+ng Pills before cultivating.


However, according to the cultivation method, it was best to cultivate the first wisp of Ghost Wood spiritual qi on its own. If the first wisp was impure with the help of external forces, there would probably be many hidden dangers in the future.


He looked outside. It was still early in the morning. Cultivation emphasized on wealth, companions.h.i.+p, and spiritual lands. The time, place, and people were all crucial.


Right now, this time and environment was clearly not suitable for cultivating the Yin-Wood attribute Ghost Wood Art. It seemed that he had to wait until night.



He temporarily put down his cultivation matter and ran to the window. He inadvertently looked around. It was the first day. Everyone was trying to cultivate and no one was running around.


Jiang Li was very satisfied with this, and he closed all the doors and windows before taking out a handkerchief from his pocket.


This was a love token given to him by a young girl in the convoy. However, he still did not know her name.


Unwrapping the handkerchief, a palm-sized, somewhat flat rock rolled out and hit the wooden table, spinning around.


[Name: Rock with Something Hidden]


[Type: Trash]


[Content: Unknown]


[Note: See if curiosity kills you this time.]


This was the rock he had picked up during his journey.


The few Scaled Demons had been hiding it, especially the White Scaled Demon. It seemed to have taken a fancy to it. He guessed that it must be something important.


He had been calm and collected for such a long time. Now, he had finally found a safe environment to check this stone.

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