AIP - Chapter 24: Spurring On
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Beat him! Beat him! Give him a good beating for me!"
In the Meditation Garden, Wei Tianchong sat on a long chair and pointed at Tang Jie, who had been tied up on a tree. A bandage was wrapped around Wei Tianchong's head—the result of a wound to his head after he had fallen from his horse. It still throbbed with pain even now, causing him to hate Tang Jie even more.
Shi Mo coldly laughed as he took out a whip that had been soaked in water and began to viciously whip Tang Jie. With one lash, a bloody wound was created on Tang Jie's chest.
Pa! Pa! The sound of the whip cracking resounded through the Meditation Garden, and wounds began to accumulate on Tang Jie's body. Shi Mo resented him for what he had done earlier, and he showed no mercy, some of his lashes intentionally striking Tang Jie's face. As a result, Tang Jie's entire face was soon a bloody mess.
But Tang Jie didn't make a single sound throughout, only coldly stared at Shi Mo.
His eyes were so chilling that Shi Mo couldn't help but be afraid.
But a moment later, he considered that Tang Jie was still tied to a tree, so what did he have to fear? He savagely said, "Still trying to act tough!"
He mindlessly lashed the whip again and again.
After numerous lashes, Shi Mo finally ran out of strength. He threw the whip at Shi Meng and said, "Your turn! Once you're tired, switch with someone else! For daring to kill the young master's horse, he deserves to be whipped to death!"
Endless and indescribable pain!
It was a pain that made life worse than death!
Even in ancient times, whipping had been an extremely terrifying form of punishment.
During the whipping, a person's flesh would be lacerated and mutilated, and after ceaseless whipping, one's flesh would be separated from one's bones. A brutal torturer might even keep whipping until the bones were visible. This could truly be described as death by a thousand cuts.
The whips of the Wei Clan were just ordinary rattan whips, but the wounds still burned with pain, and the strikes still tore at the flesh.
Children did not understand the ways of the world, and they also did not understand restraint.
The endless whipping caused Tang Jie to fall unconscious, and then wake back up, and then go unconscious again, repeating in an endless cycle.
When pain reached a certain point, it became numbness!
Tang Jie felt entirely numb, unable to sense any part of his body. The whip striking his body seemed to be striking a pile of mangled flesh that did not belong to him.
At this point, he couldn't help but wonder if he really would end up being beaten to death by Wei Tianchong here.
He had not resisted when Wei Tianchong ordered the others to tie him up, as he had believed that the lady would hear of the matter and come to take care of things.
But he discovered that he had made a mistake: he had underestimated a child's desire for revenge, and forgotten that they did not care about the consequences!
Wei Tianchong was only twelve, and had grown up spoiled. He had no clue about restraint!
So that he wouldn't be disturbed, Wei Tianchong had even sealed the Meditation Garden, permitting no one entry!
There would be no reinforcements here!
Little scoundrels were all like this. They were sloppy and half-hearted when studying, but when it came to doing bad things, they were suddenly very meticulous!
If this went on, he probably wouldn't even have the strength to escape.
This thought made Tang Jie silently curse. The Visceral Manifestation Classic's technique began to circulate through his body. He absorbed spiritual energy and moved it through his meridians and throughout his entire body.
This was why he had dared to allow himself to be tied up. Putting aside everything else, his Jade Gate was open, and he had the ability to cultivate.
He had not used it before because he did not want anyone to find out his secret, but it was apparent that these kids were brainless. He could use the technique in front of them without a single one of them realizing anything.
As the spiritual energy flowed through his body, the pain dwindled away, and the power of spiritual energy even caused his injuries to begin to heal.
This was not all. His intense desire to live had unleashed all the energy in his body. As the spiritual energy ran through his veins, it began to permeate into his organs and bones.
Refining the organs!
Refining the bones!
Tang Jie almost yelped in shock. He had inadvertently discovered something new!
Since he had washed his meridians and refined his veins, Tang Jie had suspected that the Visceral Manifestation Classic was capable of refining his organs and bones as well. Alas, no matter what he did, he had never been able to get any results.
Only now, when he was being beaten by the boy servants, did Tang Jie discover that spiritual energy really was capable of refining the organs and bones. This left him pleasantly surprised.
It turned out that the Visceral Manifestation Classic really could do this, but did it have to be in these circumstances?
The Martial Lord wouldn't have made the Visceral Manifestation Classic so that he could torture himself. There has to be something that I'm not understanding.
He once more reviewed the Visceral Manifestation Classic's mantra and tried to comprehend its meaning. As he thought back to Xu Muyang's words, he had a flash of insight.
The viscera are within and the manifestations take form on the outside. After forming the manifestations, bolster the internals… The entranced mind that focuses on one's aspirations; the fusion of the body with the Dao, engaging the organs and abandoning essence… engage the organs and abandon essence… Right! I get it now!
Tang Jie was enlightened.
The Visceral Manifestation Classic wasn't merely for charging through the gate. It was also used to refine the body!
It was actually a body-refining art!
Through spiritual energy, one could refine the body. 'After forming the manifestations, bolster the internals' referred both to absorbing spiritual energy and also to first focusing on the body before learning spell arts.
The organs referred to in 'engage the organs and abandon essence' were the five organs. 'Engaging the organs' meant that focusing on the organs was key.
'Abandon essence' had many explanations, but here, it had to mean that one should abandon cultivation of spell arts for the time being and focus on the surface.
This was an art that worked from the outside in, training the body before studying arts!
This was completely the opposite of what was popular in current Immortal sects.
Most Immortals first cultivated spell arts, and once they had abundant spiritual energy and had entered the Mortal Shedding Realm, they would use spiritual energy to refine their mortal bodies. At this time, cultivators had already been through the Spirit Platform Realm, and their bodies had adapted to spiritual energy. Thus, refining the body was both safer and more efficient.
But the Martial Lord was an extraordinary person, or perhaps he cared more about comprehensive strength. He probably hadn't cared about anything like safety or comfort.
This also meant that one shouldn't focus too much on the twelve forms of the Visceral Manifestation Classic. The twelve forms were just an aid for guiding spiritual energy. Once they were mastered, one could cultivate in any circumstances, and cultivating while putting the body through physical labor would have an even better effect!
Xu Muyang's warning that excessive cultivation would damage the meridians might not even apply to the Visceral Manifestation Classic!
Tang Jie would have never found this out if not for this whipping session.
Excited, he began to fully circulate the Visceral Manifestation Classic, and spiritual energy freely flowed through his body. As it made a circuit of his body, a part of it permanently remained, silently modifying his constitution and healing some of his injuries.
But this also brought Tang Jie immense pain… The numbness disappeared, and the pain came roaring back, once more taking hold of Tang Jie's body. Before the new flesh could do anything, it was once more lacerated apart.
Tang Jie clenched his teeth and held on. He began to guide the spiritual energy to his skin, modifying his skin so that it became more resistant. Gradually, the boy servants discovered that their whipping was seemingly less effective. At times, even several lashes would fail to break Tang Jie's skin.
But they didn't know that this was because Tang Jie was using spiritual energy to protect his body. They just thought they were tired and weak from the prolonged whipping.
On the other hand, Tang Jie was getting more and more excited. He discovered that when he was whipped, the spiritual energy would enter his body more effectively. The Visceral Manifestation Classic could absorb spiritual energy through the skin, and when the skin was broken open, the absorption effect grew stronger. Although it could not compare to the Jade Gate, it was excellent for refining the body.
These few moments of whipping had been more effective for Tang Jie's cultivation than the previous several months. Tang Jie was looking forward to more whipping.
Whip me harder! Tang Jie mentally shouted, and then he mocked himself for having fallen so low.
This was truly being spurred on!
Of course, Tang Jie still pretended to be on his last breaths.
The whipping went on for more than an hour, after which the boy servants started to get scared.
Only now did they realize that whipping someone could kill them.
Wen Qing walked over and said to Wei Tianchong, "Young Master, that's enough. If you keep beating him, he really might die."
Wei Tianchong had never killed anyone before, and he was not so ruthless as to regard human lives as nothing more than toys. Wen Qing's warning scared him out of his wits, and only now did he realize that he had gone overboard. He hastily said, "Is he still alive?"
A boy servant walked over and placed a finger under Tang Jie's nose. "He's alive."
Wei Tianchong immediately sighed in relief.
So long as Tang Jie was alive, he wasn't afraid.
His fear gone, his temper returned.
Tang Jie's daring in killing his horse and those cold and horrifying eyes made Wei Tianchong explode with rage, and he shouted, "Don't let him down. Keep him tied to the tree!"
Saying this, he went back to his room to go to bed. After all this activity, he was rather tired.
Tang Jie mentally gave a bitter laugh. This child truly didn't know what was important.
Don't you know that, even without whipping, tying a person to a tree overnight can kill a man?
Alas, he had no plans to give up his life to prove Wei Tianchong's mistake. It would probably take ages until this kid understood this principle.
The boy servants naturally would not dare to let Tang Jie down without Wei Tianchong's order.
Tang Jie was in no rush. He used the time to nurture his organs with spiritual energy.
In truth, using spiritual energy to heal his external wounds was the most appropriate choice.
But after considering the people of the Wei Estate, he decided to give up on this chance.
As he expected, nurturing the organs had less of an effect than nurturing the bones and skin. This was presumably brought about by the situation of his body.
To nourish the organs, one needed to consume physical energy, to put the body through intense physical activity. To refine the bones and skin, one probably needed to be beaten.
Haaa, it's not like I can hire someone to beat me, right?
Tang Jie suddenly understood.
The Ninedark Martial Lord was a great power of the world who had made his fame through battle. This art had naturally been prepared for the sake of battle.
Tang Jie had finally understood, but alas, he couldn't laugh at this time.
Understanding a person's arts was actually about understanding the person!
I'm an idiot! Why didn't I realize this sooner?
Fortunately, he still had time. In the future, when he learned the arts of his predecessors, he had to first understand the person. Only then could he truly grasp the essence of the art.
After a night of cultivation, Tang Jie had essentially healed all of his internal injuries, but his skin remained a horrifying, mangled mess of blood and flesh.
At daybreak, Tang Jie grew tired and fell asleep.
It wasn't long before the maid Yanzhi came to the Meditation Garden with the morning tea. When she saw Tang Jie's mangled body on the tree, she was so frightened that she dropped her tray.
Lady Wei, Zheng Shufeng, was already awake. She was eating her white fungus and lotus seed porridge when she heard Yanzhi running in.
"My lady, something's happened!"
"What has you in such a panic?" Zheng Shufeng originated from a great clan and emphasized tradition in all things. She had always disliked servants running around and shouting without any semblance of order.
"Tang Jie… Tang Jie… the young master tied him up on a tree and beat him into a bloody mess! He might be dead!"
"What?" Zheng Shufeng stood up so quickly that she knocked her bowl of porridge onto the floor.