That aura of the sliver is peaceful, although it contains a slightly heavy sensation within it. This is a true earth element spirit energy. The five elements form the fundamentals of the universe, and the same goes for the cultivators of the center continent as well. The talent for the respective elements dictated on the Five Elemental Divine Compass limits one’s possible future paths as a cultivator, as well as their estimated upper limit in it.
This scant earth element spirit energy circulates a round around his meridians before gathering in his dantian qihai. For a cultivator, regardless of what realm one is in, such uninteresting daily cultivation forms the foundations of his training. Just that, when Lu Chen examines the results of his training in his dantian, he can’t help but feel helpless.
Dantian -> An acupoint| Qihai -> spirit sea
Perhaps, throughout the course of ten years, the Curse of Black Flames had caused massive damage to his body, causing the roots of the reborn Five Elemental Divine Compass to be far too lacking. He might still able to cultivate, but the ability to attract spirit energy and the speed of his cultivation are disappointing. In fact, he might not even be able to compare up to an ordinary newcomer.
The only thing positive about the situation is that the earth element spirit energy that Lu Chen absorbed is much more pure and dense in terms of quality. However, this isn’t something to be surprised about. After all, only the Earth Divine Pillar is left on his Five Elemental Divine Compass. This means that he is only capable of absorbing earth element spirit energy, and naturally, it is easier for it to be pure.
In reality, based on his prior knowledge, someone with roots like his, due to their overly weak foundations, tend to be unable to join any cultivator sect to train under them. Typically, a normal cultivator disciple will at least possess divine pillars of two elements with them. Furthermore, the quality of each individual pillar must not be too lacking, and only then can they barely meet the prerequisites to be considered to be worthy of grooming. As for those who carry three or four divine pillar, they are considered as talented individuals with powerful roots, and the upper limits of their cultivation are likely to be extremely high. On the other hand, those who possess all five of the Five Elemental Divine Pillar are rare genius-level figures, even when put against the entire world.
These thoughts flash across his mind. Then, Lu Chen chuckles softly self-deprecatingly. However, he isn’t too upset about it. Perhaps, to him, the current situation is already much better than he had expected.
Except for the existence of the dark side.
The smile on the corner of his lips disappears and in its place is solemnity. Silently sitting in this lonely and quiet straw cottage, the Five Element Divine Compass in his dantian qihai starts moving. Gradually rotating about its axis, a shade of black silently reveals on it and soon, the dark side of it can be seen.
When the flicker of black flame appears, darkness suddenly spreads outwards into the surroundings. In an instant, Lu Chen’s entire dantian qihai darkens into a deep black ocean. At this instant, a peculiar desolate aura exudes fleetingly from within his body.
Lu Chen is conscious.
He is well-aware of the changes occurring within his body, although he could not comprehend or fathom why such a bizarre change would occur with his body. He holds his breath, and after a moment, as though cultivating normally, he tries to absorb the spirit energy from the heavens and earths via this dark dantian to see whether he is capable of cultivating in this state.
The spirit energy of the heavens and earths are formed from the five elements, this is the unbreakable conventional belief in the center continent for countless eons. The existence of the five element spirit energy is the fundamental reason why cultivators are able to absorb spirit energy to cultivate.
Thus, Lu Chen doesn’t feel anything at all.
His attempt seems to be in vain. Under this dark Five Elemental Divine Compass, not a single spirit energy enters his body. Perhaps, the ancient saying is true, that without the Five Elemental Divine Pillar, one is unable to absorb any five element spirit energy, and thus, one would be unable to cultivate.
Lu Chen continues trying for a long period of time, until two hours has passed. Yet, he fails to pull even a single sliver of spirit energy into his body. The dark and cold Five Elemental Divine Compass looks like a vicious curse, coldly mocking him.
He sighs and dispels his cultivation technique.The Five Elemental Divine Compass starts to rotate slowly once more and the darkness retreats. Soon, the dantian qihai reverts back to its original appearance. Once again, he turns back to an ordinary and average insignificant figure. In the straw cottage, he sits quietly, as though falling into deep thoughts.
Lu Chen walks out from his straw cottage and stretches his back. The mountainous wind carries a refreshing fragrance of tea leaves with it, and a slightly sweet scent seems to be embedded within it. Just like what Old Ma said that day, his complexion seems to be gradually improving. This change isn’t apparent, but hints of it can be seen.
Lu Chen moves his body for a moment, and just as he is considering whether he should drink in the village over at Old Ma’s, he suddenly spots Ding Dang’s figure.
The lady walks over from the foot of the mountain and upon seeing Lu Chen at the entrance of his straw cottage, she stops and smiles at him.
Lu Chen nods his head with a smile, “Where are you heading to?”
Ding Dang points to the top of the mountain, “I’m heading for the Dragon Lake.”
Lu Chen is taken aback, “Alone?”
Ding Dang nods her head, “Didn’t you bring me over the other time? I roughly remember the paths.”
Lu Chen gazes at her, “The mountainous paths are complicated, are you sure you can handle it? Or, why don’t I accompany you this time as well?”
Ding Dang smiles, “There’s no need. I will be fine alone.”
Lu Chen asks, “Why would you head there for no apparent reason? It takes a whole day to go up and down from there, not to mention the fatigue one would accumulate.”
Ding Dang replies, “I’m there for the scenery. The scenery at the Dragon Lake is beautiful.”
To climb the towering mountain within a short span of a few days just to view the scenery by the lake? Lu Chen is silent for a moment. In the end, he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he simply chuckles, “Then, be careful. If it gets late, light a torch and wave it about. If I see it, I will head upwards to fetch you.”
Ding Dang smiles, her smile alluring and moving, “Thank you, but I probably won’t need it.”
After which, she continues walking towards the mountain. When she is a distance away from the straw cottage, she suddenly hears Lu Chen’s voice from behind, “Right, Ding Dang, I have a question for you.”
Ding Dang turns over and asks, “Yes?”
“When you were at the Dragon Lake the previous time, did you see any mysterious large fish?”
Ding Dang shakes her head and chuckles, “Of course not. The Dragon Lake was how it always was, there isn’t any mysterious fish inside. Where did you hear those unreliable rumors from?”
Lu Chen shrugs, “Is that so? I guess I was fooled by someone. Haha, it’s nothing, go ahead.”
Ding Dang responds with a smile before she turns around and continues treading upwards. Lu Chen watches as her silhouette slowly disappears in the midst of the mountainous paths and the spirit tea trees. Then, he lifts his head and gazes musingly at the distant peak of the tea mountain. However, he soon shakes his head lightly and turns around to walk down the mountain, towards the village below.
The clear stream is still as transparent as it is, the base of which clear to see. Just like any other day, it flows quietly and peacefully. Accompanied with the towering bamboo and greenery on both banks, it is reminiscent of a painting.
扑朔迷离 (Pu shuo mi li)
This is the name of the chapter.
The first two words 扑朔 (pu shuo) means something hopping whereas 迷离 (mi li) refers to the squinting of eyes.
This phrase came from the famous Mulan poem (Yes, Mulan came from a poem, not book or anything else) In the end of the poem, it metaphors to the male and female rabbit. In the past, ancient people differentiated them by their eyes (the female rabbit would tend to have squinty eyes)
However, when the both of them are leaping side by side, who is able to tell the difference between the two of them? (That’s the essence of Mulan’s story)
So, this phrase means that sometimes, things are confusing and it is difficult to differentiate the truth from falsehood.