AIP - Chapter 9: Washing the Meridians
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the room, Xu Muyang continued to tell Tang Jie about the cultivation world.
"Cultivation is divided into five realms, and each realm has three tiers, excepting the Immortal Platform Realm, which has only two tiers. Thus, it is sometimes called the Five Realms and Fourteen Tiers. The Spirit Platform Realm is divided into the Spirit Spring, Spirit Lake, and Spirit Sea Tiers, and these primarily refer to the amount of spiritual energy in one's body. Cultivators cultivate spiritual energy, and for this reason, the first realm focuses mostly on absorbing and circulating spiritual energy. In the Spirit Platform Realm, one breathes in spiritual energy and uses this energy to modify one's constitution and increase the amount of spiritual energy that can be contained in the body. Thus, the Spirit Platform Realm is often called the Breathing Period or the Energy Refining Period.
"At this time, the cultivator still has the body of a mortal and has yet to reach the stage where they have shed their mortal shell and been remolded. They can learn spell arts, but as they can only be used through the spiritual energy in their bodies, their power is limited. It is for this reason that cultivators in this stage are normally called Spirit Disciples, and the spell arts they can use are normally simply called 'spells', not 'arts'. Only after entering the Mortal Shedding Realm can they harness the spiritual energy of the world and use true spell arts, finally earning the right to call them 'arts'. And it is in this period that cultivators can truly shed their mortal body and reshape it into a spiritual body, which is why it is called the Mortal Shedding Realm. As building the spiritual body and shedding the mortal body is the basis of cultivation, this is often called the Foundation Period or the Spiritual Body Period. Did you get all that?"
"Big Brother Xu's explanation is simple and concise. I understand everything. To put it simply, realms are qualitative improvements while tiers are quantitative improvements, right?" Tang Jie answered.
Xu Muyang smiled and nodded. "This summary is fresh and interesting, and it also makes some sense. While it's not completely accurate, it's also not too far off the mark."
At the same cultivation level, different cultivation methods would produce different results.
According to Xu Muyang, the human body was made from meridians, blood, energy, the bones, muscles, and organs, and each part had its own purpose and use. Different cultivation methods and processes would bring about different changes, and it would also affect what one was good at. Even the simplest spells like Wind Blade, Frost Sword, Fireball, and Chain Lightning would show varying levels of power depending on the type of cultivation method the cultivator had used.
Those with abundant experience would only need to see one attack to get a general idea of the primary cultivation method and background of their opponent.
Moreover, not all methods were compatible, and it was crucial to determine if there were any conflicts between them. For example, the Heavenfire Sutra primarily focused on the Lesser Yang Triple Burner Meridian of the Hand. Energy was dispersed in the heart cavity and ended in the liver and gallbladder. The liver was of the Wood element and governed refinement. The heart belonged to the Fire element and governed divinity. For this reason, the fire energy was vigorous, and once the technique was cultivated successfully, the Heavenfire would have the power of a wildfire. But the Stillwater Sutra used the Lesser Yin Meridian of the Foot, which rose from the spleen and ended in the kidney. The spleen was of the Earth element and governed transportation. The kidney was of the Water element and governed essence storage. Once one cultivated this technique, one would have the grandeur of all rivers running to the sea.
But these two were not subordinate to each other and stood on their own.
Not only did they stand on their own, they actually conflicted against each other. Someone who was unaware and cultivated them together would have their efficiency halved.
Thus, with cultivating methods, more was not better. Rather, one had to ensure that they complemented each other.
"This is also another reason I don't want to teach you the Xu Clan's arts," Xu Muyang said. "The Xu Clan's Grotto Void Classic cultivates the Greater Yang Small Intestine Meridian of the Hand, which emphasizes the eye, focusing on penetrating through the void and the creation of a grotto illusion. The Basking Moon Sect cultivates the Lesser Yin Heart Meridian of the Hand, which emphasizes the heart. The two do not share the same basis, but the heart is the master of the five organs and is the residence of the sovereign. Thus, it is better to start with the Violet Jade Mantra and Divine Firmament Sword Classic of the Basking Moon Sect as your foundation."
"So what you're saying is that cultivating the Violet Jade Mantra and Divine Firmament Sword Classic of the Basking Moon Sect doesn't mean I can't cultivate the Xu Clan's Grotto Void Classic, but if I cultivate the Grotto Void Classic, I might not be able to cultivate the Violet Jade Mantra. Is that right?" Tang Jie asked.
"Right, that's exactly what I mean. The Basking Moon Sect is a brilliant and large sect, and its mantra is vast and very compatible. If you have it as your foundation, you will be able to learn anything in the future without a problem, and you will have limitless potential."
"Understood. This is like how a sea can hold a lake, can hold all rivers, but a lake trying to hold a sea will result in rampant flooding."
"Yes, you understand," Xu Muyang said with a smile.
Tang Jie was a very clever child and could thoroughly comprehend everything that he saw only a little of. Xu Muyang was delighted to have such a student. Although he was not taking Tang Jie as his disciple, he was treating him as one.
"So aren't you saying that there's no point in me cultivating the Visceral Manifestation Classic?" Tang Jie asked.
"The Visceral Manifestation Classic is merely a method for breaking through the gate coupled with the ability to wash the meridians. It does cultivate any particular meridians, so cultivating it will not produce any problems. Moreover, the Visceral Manifestation Classic is still a product of the Martial Lord, so I still feel it's not that simple.Continue practicing it, and you might gain something else in the future. My meridians are already hardened, so washing them has little use to me." With these last words, Xu Muyang shook his head and sighed.
'Washing meridians' was really tempering and expanding the meridians.
Once the Jade Gate was opened, energy would flow through the meridians. Different methods of energy circulation would result in different cultivation methods. The purpose of washing the meridians was simply to expand the meridians, allowing more energy to flow and the meridians to bear more energy load.
If the human body was compared to a country, the meridians were the roads, with each acupuncture point being a stop. The wider the roads, the smoother the flow of traffic. More spiritual energy could flow through, and of greater power.
There was an old saying in China: 'If you want to get rich, fix the roads first.'
The cultivation world had a similar saying: 'If you seek immortality, first wash your meridians.'
Besides washing the meridians, a cultivator who was just getting started also had to open their Spirit Eye, which was where spiritual energy was stored. Only by opening the Spirit Eye could spiritual energy be stored, expanded, and formed into the basic energy for spell arts.
But different cultivation methods had different ways of opening the Spirit Eye, and even different locations. For this reason, Xu Muyang did not teach Tang Jie how to open the Spirit Eye. Tang Jie was going to enter the Basking Moon Sect in the future, and that place would have even better methods than the Xu Clan's to learn.
Thus, while washing meridians was building the foundation, a day that went by without opening the Spirit Eye was another day where Tang Jie had not formally become a cultivation disciple.
"So that means that I can only officially start cultivating when I enter the Basking Moon Academy?"
"What? Getting impatient?" Xu Muyang smiled.
Tang Jie's face reddened, but he didn't argue. "I'm just eager."
"I can understand what you're feeling," Xu Muyang said with a smile, "but cultivation is not something that can be done in a day and a night. Only by laying a good foundation can you cultivate with greater efficiency. In truth, children your age, when your bones are not fully developed, are in the best period for meridian washing. Alas, most children are temperamental and are unable to suppress their yearning for spell arts and divine connections, and there are always those who seek momentary pleasure… For this reason, so many geniuses, after passing through the painful charging of the gates, were defeated at the simple washing of meridians, limiting their potential."
He spoke these words with earnest sincerity, and Tang Jie felt his heart chill. He knew that Xu Muyang was warning him.
He solemnly said, "I understand. No matter where or what we do, patience is the key to our success."
"Excellent!" Xu Muyang clapped his hands. "And there's no need to be anxious. There's a limit to how much the meridians can be expanded, and meridian washing will normally be done in half a year. At that time, you can formally begin cultivating. I will take you to the Basking Moon Sect, and, given my reputation as a formation master, there should be no problem getting you in."
He didn't say that he would get him in based on the fact that he was a Celestial Heart True Person, but that he was a formation master. It was clear that he was very confident in his Dao of Formations.
From this day onward, Tang Jie cultivated the Visceral Manifestation Classic and washed his meridians.
Though he was young, he had the soul of an adult, and he had long ago passed that youthful stage of his life where one lacked self-control. Thus, after his moment of eagerness, he did not repeat the mistake, and his steady progress amazed Xu Muyang.
"Such a sly fellow, yet also so prudent and capable, truly hard to understand." Xu Muyang was forced to admit that while Tang Jie might have lacked the greatest cultivation aptitude, when it came to how he conducted himself, he truly could not be regarded as a child.
Even though he was busy cultivating, Tang Jie did not slack in his care for Xu Muyang. Every day, he continued to diligently clean the courtyard and go to work.
Xu Muyang spent most of his time in his room, recovering from his injuries. But as the days passed, his condition became better and better, and he could soon go out whenever he pleased, even occasionally going through some punching routines when he was in the mood, to exercise his lazy bones.
He had nothing else to do today, so he was moving through the courtyard, taking in the scenery. Suddenly, he realized that the fake mountain, the pavilion, the stone table, and the surrounding flowers and plants had all been inadvertently arranged in a way that was in tune with the principles of the world. A few minor alterations would be enough to make them into a formation, so he immediately began studying it.
He had a natural fondness for the Dao of Formations, being so interested in researching formations that he even tossed aside the position of Xu Clan Patriarch.
Before this, he had been more focused on recovering from his injuries, but now that he was better, he naturally had the spare energy to focus on his hobbies.
Under his control, formation lines began to spread out from his feet, linking to the objects in the courtyard. Flashing with brilliant light, they swiftly assembled into a small formation.
Xu Muyang pointed at the small formation. "Conceal!"
With a twinkle, the formation lines gradually faded away. If no one pointed it out, it would be very difficult to notice that there was a formation in this courtyard.
"Not bad! Not bad!" Xu Muyang nodded in satisfaction at his newly-completed work. This formation was something he had created on a whim, but he had come up with many new ideas in the process. Bursting with inspiration, he rushed back to his room and began to write down all the new ideas for formations he had. A large notebook was completely filled up, and with Xu Muyang having expressed himself to his heart's content, feeling that he had gotten everything down, he finally looked up and saw that it was already dark outside.
His Xu Clan's Grotto Void Classic placed importance on the eye, and so he could see as well in night as in day, so he had not realized the coming of the night.
"Strange—why hasn't that kid sent over dinner yet?" Xu Muyang muttered.
Tang Jie should have already come back and brought dinner over.
But then he realized something and slapped himself on the head. "Shit!"
He charged out of his room and saw Tang Jie walking in circles in the courtyard, his eyes dazed. It was clear that he couldn't tell what direction he was going, and he would occasionally shout, "Big Brother Xu!"
But his voice couldn't leave the formation, so Xu Muyang hadn't been able to hear it.
From the look of it, he had been imprisoned here for a good half of the day.
Whew! "Thankfully, it was just an illusion formation," Xu Muyang said, so scared that he had broken out in a cold sweat.
If he had laid down a killing formation, Tang Jie would have already been dead.