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AIP - Chapter 56: Opening the Spirit Eye

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Tang Jie spent the night continuing to study and practice the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra. At the same time, he constantly used the Internal Breathing spell to inspect his body and ensure that the impacts weren't too much for his body to handle.

To his delight, he realized that it really was as he had predicted. The constitution conferred by the Visceral Manifestation Classic had greatly improved the ability of his meridians to take impacts.

According to what Daoist Ku had said during the day, if energy ran astray, the students would have to take a short break, but he could repeatedly circulate energy, and only after two or three times would he feel a jolt to his meridians. As for the "blood energy roiling and spiritual breathing disarray" that Daoist Ku had spoken of, six or seven mistakes would cause his blood energy to roil a little, but his spiritual breathing remained steady.

Even when he used the Internal Breathing spell to check, he found that there were no lasting side effects.

Not only that, with just a small break, all of the damage would disappear, and he could continue.

This let him essentially cultivate for twice as long as others. He finally succeeded in pushing the energy to the Lesser Sea point and dispersing it through his body, completing the first loop, the Lesser Yin primary meridian loop, which was the most important and most complicated.

While he was still far away from completing a Major Circuit Heaven, he had made incredible progress.

From this, Tang Jie also found out how difficult cultivation really was. Simply creating an energy whirlpool took so much time. Using this energy whirlpool to open and expand a Spiritual Space would probably take much more effort.

When a Spiritual Space was first opened, it could only take in ten drops of spiritual liquid. A Spirit Spring could hold one hundred drops, a Spirit Lake could hold one thousand, and a Spirit Sea could hold ten thousand. Each step was a tenfold increase in capacity. Spiritual liquid was a representation of how much spirit power one could store. Essentially, it was the mana required to use spells.

After completing the first step, Tang Jie felt sore all over and finally stopped cultivating. But he realized that it was already early in the morning and almost time for class. Sure enough, when cultivating Immortality, time just flew by.

Fortunately, he wasn't sleepy. Cultivation was the best kind of rest. If one could constantly circulate and loop spiritual energy, one could go several months without sleep.

As he left the house, Tang Jie took a look at the pond. Most of the fish fry were the same, but two golden carp were clearly much bigger.

When he saw this, he leaned back and laughed.

He finally understood the use of that golden fish scale.

It contained the essence of great fiend Li Yu's flesh and blood.

This blood essence was something that Tang Jie couldn't absorb. Only those of the same kind could absorb it.

This was wonderful news.

It took quite some time for a fish to fully mature, and infusing its flesh with spirituality involved feeding it various medicines. It was a cost-intensive endeavor. Taking the spirit fish sold by Thousand Taste Pavilion, and not considering the ruthless mark-ups applied, even a small fish would normally go for five to ten spirit coins.

With this fish scale, he would need only a few days to raise a large golden carp, and one fish would have the same effects as one bottle of energy-restoring pills, and it could nourish the blood and strengthen the body.

If used to support one's cultivation, it would be the equivalent of eating superb spirit medicine.

Li Yu was a great fiend capable of transformation, so his scale contained so much essence that he could raise ten-some large spirit fish without a problem.

This was how to truly use this treasure!

That night, Tang Jie roasted a golden carp to eat, and when he began to circulate energy, he found that the energy was strong and forceful, allowing him to complete four small loops in a single night.

After another two days, with more proficiency in spiritual energy control, Tang Jie finally completed a Major Circuit Heaven. In total, he had taken five days.

And this was because he hadn't realized the power of the Visceral Manifestation Classic on the first day, so his speed was rather fast.

It was only later on that Tang Jie learned that fifty people had finished the first Major Circuit Heaven before him, which left him shocked. He had the golden carp to help him and the Visceral Manifestation Classic. Despite his diligent cultivation, how had he not even managed to squeeze into the top fifty?

But later on, he understood that this had to do with the mantra as well. His Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra was the most complex and difficult technique. A Major Circuit Heaven for this mantra would have taken much longer for others to complete.

Besides, quite a few of the fifty had good families who could support them with spirit medicines, and their effects were comparable to his golden carp, so all they lacked was the Visceral Manifestation Classic. There were also those who were more talented, neutralizing much of the advantage created by the Visceral Manifestation Classic. Coupled with the easier nature of their mantras, it wasn't strange that they were faster.

Even so, out of fifteen hundred students, only these people were a little faster than him.

There was only one person who completely surpassed him in terms of cultivation speed of the same mantra.

His name was Qi Shaoming.

Nine-cycle-Jade-Gate Qi Shaoming!

In the following days, Tang Jie went to class during the day, and other than when he occasionally went to attend to Wei Tianchong, he spent the rest of his time cultivating in the Carefree House.

In truth, other than having a few too many rules that were implemented rather strictly, Basking Moon Academy was a very liberal place. After all, cultivation was a very personal affair. Besides giving pointers, the academy needed to give everyone adequate time to explore everything on their own.

As they were cultivating a new technique and this was a fresh experience, everyone worked very hard in this initial phase. Even Wei Tianchong became much more obedient, diligently cultivating every day and researching carving in his spare time. He even voluntarily gave up on his one free day every month, which left Tang Jie very satisfied.

This was always the most peaceful period for every class of Basking Moon Academy. The majesty of the rules was still present and everyone still lacked the confidence to compete with each other.

With the fish scale and the Visceral Manifestation Classic, Tang Jie made triumphant progress, and on his twenty-first day in school, he officially opened up his Spiritual Space and opened his Spirit Eye.

As for the fish scale, Tang Jie had used it to raise twelve large carp that were brimming with spirituality. He had eaten three himself and left nine with the intent to sell so that he could buy the Wu couple some good spirit medicine.

Alas, the fish scale's blood essence was now completely used up, and it was nothing more than a regular fish scale now.

Even so, Tang Jie felt like he had greatly benefited. It had to be understood that this fish scale had a value of fourteen hundred spirit coins at least.

By selling his seat and his spirit food, he had only managed to make forty spirit coins, but this one impromptu gift from Li Yu was worth more than a thousand. As the saying went, "A hair of a powerful man is ten years of work for a mortal." In this life, only by grabbing onto someone's leg did one have any future prospects.

At this time, only around fifty people had completely opened their Spirit Eyes. The majority of people hadn't even got halfway to completion, and a small number had just completed their first Major Circuit Heaven.

As for those who had yet to complete their first Major Circuit Heaven… the smarter ones would elect to withdraw.

Strictly speaking, only by opening the Spirit Eye did one enter the Spirit Platform Realm. Before that, one merely had the right to cultivate but had yet to actually begin cultivating.

With his Spirit Eye open, Tang Jie could finally start attempting to condense energy into liquid.

Condensing energy into liquid was different from opening a Spiritual Space.

It also required looping spiritual energy through the body, but as the goal was condensing the energy, the spiritual energy entered through the Jade Gate and ended in the heart. From the heart, it would gather at the Lesser Sea point, where it would be refined into liquid that would drop through the Spirit Eye into the Spiritual Space. This was called the Minor Circuit Heaven.

Unlike the Major Circuit Heaven, as this was only condensing energy into liquid to serve as power for spells and arts, nurturing the meridians was not required. Thus, unlike with the Major Circuit Heaven, there was no need to go through the time and effort of making twelve loops. But while it was just a simple loop, performing it was extremely complicated and required a lot of training from the cultivator.

The Major and Minor Circuit Heavens were essential requirements for cultivators.

To use the simplest analogy, a Major Circuit Heaven increased the upper limit of one's level and MP while the Minor Circuit Heaven increased the MP recovery speed.

When two cultivators of similar aptitude fought, the one with the faster-operating Minor Circuit Heaven would be stronger, as they could recover their spiritual energy more quickly.

Why was it that Wei Tianchong's Lesser Sea Spiral Essence Mantra could provide a constant stream of energy?

Put bluntly, it was because it had the simplest method for operating the Minor Circuit Heaven.

The easier it was to operate, the faster it could run, and so it was only natural that one could recover energy faster.

Of course, when introducing these techniques, no one would say, "This technique is very simple." Instead, they would say, "The special trait of this technique is a constant stream of energy." It would be like if you were trying to sell something. You wouldn't say, "Our products are lacking in quality," only "Our products are very cheap."

Thus "constant and long-term stream of energy" had almost become a substitute term for simple techniques in the cultivation world, similar to "I bought a watch last year."

(TN: In Chinese, "I bought a watch last year" would have the pinyin of "wo qu nian mai le ge biao" and if you took the first letter of each word, you would get "wqnmlgb", which can be constructed into another phrase that essentially means "Screw your mother".)

Of course, there were also some good techniques that had delayed effects and were very powerful, but just like that line about buying watches had its original meaning, bad money drove out the good, and it had long ago become difficult to distinguish between the two.

Cultivators had extremely high requirements when it came to operating the Minor Circuit Heaven. For truly powerful cultivators, completing a single Minor Circuit Heaven took as little as a second. Only with powerful recovery abilities could one ensure that one could maintain combat strength from the beginning to the end of a long battle.

This was why the Spirit Platform Realm was also called the Circuit Heaven Platform. The terms "Breathing Period" and "Energy Refining Period" referred to the functions of the Circuit Heavens on spiritual energy.

For talented people, this was where their advantages became obvious.

When practicing the Major Circuit Heaven, those with high talent were more capable of sensing the energy whirlpool and controlling it.

When practicing the Minor Circuit Heaven, for the same loop, an average person might be able to condense two or three drops of spirit liquid, while one with a nine-cycle Jade Gate could condense ten drops in one go. There was nothing to be done. They just had a bigger faucet.

As Tang Jie began to circulate energy according to the mantra, he encountered the same problems as before.

Fortunately, it was just one loop, so after wasting half the night, he finally completed his first Minor Circuit Heaven. His spiritual energy was condensed into liquid that flowed through the Spirit Eye into the Spiritual Space.

As he carefully felt out his body, Tang Jie understood that his first attempt at condensing energy had resulted in only two drops. This wasn't a sign that he was untalented, but that he had sought speedy completion in the process of condensing energy, causing too much energy to be lost. But once he became proficient with it, the process would become more effective. With his talent, he should be capable of about five drops every try, corresponding to his Jade Gate.

A recently-opened Spirit Eye could only hold ten drops of spirit liquid, but it was still power that he could use for a few small spells.

There was still a long time until he could expand the Spirit Eye into a Spirit Spring, so Tang Jie decided that there was no harm in learning a few small spells.

In truth, the vast majority of students had to consider studying a few spells at this stage. After all, basic mantras like the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra only tempered the body and had no other effect. To possess a variety of abilities, one needed to learn spells and arts.

Of course, some students sought only cultivation level and not battle, so they gave up on cultivating spells and arts, gave up on proficiency with the Minor Circuit Heaven, and focused only on expanding the Spiritual Space and increasing their cultivation level.

But just as the esteemed teachers had said, cultivation could not be done in a single step. Even if all of one's time were devoted to raising one's cultivation level, one might not be much faster than those people who chose to study a few spells.

After all, the Major Circuit Heaven had to go through all the loops to be effective.

Thus, there was no difference whether someone could do three circuits in one night, or three and a half circuits. If one lacked the time, continued cultivation was just wasted time, so it would be better to practice spells.

Moreover, cultivating spells and arts could also increase one's understanding of cultivation. Even low-class spells would often serve as the foundation of high-class spells, so learning them now would be laying a foundation for the future. Thus, it was almost a requirement to learn them.

Tang Jie had another very important reason that pressed him to quickly master a few spells that were useful in battle.

Twenty-some days passed.

After morning class, Tang Jie went to Heaven One Pavilion.

Heaven One Pavilion was the library of Basking Moon Academy. It had nine floors in all. The lower four floors were for spell books, and the upper four floors were for art books, but there was no floor for divine connections. Only those at the apex of Celestial Heart could learn those, so Basking Moon Academy didn't need them.

The top floor of Heaven One Pavilion was reserved for the treasured arts of the Basking Moon Sect: the basic portion of the Violet Jade Mantra and the spell portion of the Divine Firmament Sword Classic.

Once the students had opened their Spirit Eyes, they were permitted to take one spell book from Heaven One Pavilion. There was a floor corresponding to each level, with the eighth floor corresponding to the apex of the Mortal Shedding Realm. This was theoretically the highest one could reach in one's ten years at Basking Moon Academy, but no one had reached it in the last several hundred years.

Each student could only take one book for each advancement they made. Any more would require spending money. However, learning a higher-ranked version of a spell or art that one was already learning was free.

As for the ninth floor, only students favored by Basking Moon Academy could take a book from there.

This sort of favor could be summarized with a single saying:

"Becoming a disciple doesn't necessarily confer the right to enter the ninth floor, but those who enter the ninth floor will definitely become disciples."

When Gu Changqing said that they wouldn't be learning the Violet Jade Mantra or Divine Firmament Sword Classic and would only learn ordinary things, he was just framing the situation in pleasant terms. Even if he did want those techniques, stealing them would be harder than ascending to the heavens.

Upon arriving at Heaven One Pavilion, Tang Jie looked at the ninth floor for some time before finally making his way toward the door.

The guarding student saw Tang Jie and raised an eyebrow. "Opened your Spirit Eye?"

It had been a month and a half since school had started, and more than three hundred students had opened their Eyes by now. For Tang Jie to come at this time still placed him in the upper ranks, but it wasn't too outstanding of a performance.

"Yes, Senior Brother, I made a breakthrough just yesterday. I've come today to see if there are any suitable spirit spells for me," Tang Jie said as he handed over his point card. This card also served as a book voucher. Once used, it meant that he had taken his book for this phase.

The student nodded. "Not bad. Remember that you can only choose one."

"Yes. Might I ask how much it costs to buy another?"

"You want to learn a lot of spirit spells?" The student was rather surprised. "Your Spirit Eye has just opened, so learning one is enough. Careful not to bite off more than you can chew."

Tang Jie smiled. "Thank you for your concern, Senior Brother. I only want to ask."

The student replied, "Though the mantras on the first floor can all be learned upon just entering Spirit Platform and aren't very powerful, they're not cheap. One costs twenty spirit coins, and even if you learn it, you can't transmit it to others."

"I understand. Thank you, Senior Brother!" Tang Jie entered Heaven One Pavilion.

There was a white-faced student holding the fort inside. When Tang Jie came in, he said without raising his head, "Choose your book, but don't go randomly touching. Each book has a description, so decide if you want a book after you read the description. Grabbing a book means choosing the book, and the contents of the book will automatically enter your mind. There are no returns."

"Thank you, Senior Brother, but I don't need to browse. I've already made my decision," Tang Jie answered.

"Mm?" The white-faced student finally raised his head. "Which one do you want?"

"The Aqualight Shroud and the Twelve-Form Horizon Sword."

"The Twelve-Form Horizon Sword? A martial technique?" The student was shocked.

"Yes, a martial technique." As Tang Jie spoke, he handed over twenty spirit coins.

Hypersheep325's Notes:

All of Tang Jie's techniques are carefully selected. For what purpose? Not too hard to guess.

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by Hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.