AIP - Chapter 6: The Visceral Manifestation Classic
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As Xu Muyang got up in the early morning, he saw a bowl of silver ear fungus and lotus seed soup on the table in front of him, a kind of tonic. The inn could not possibly make this sort of breakfast for its guests, so Xu Muyang knew that it must have been Tang Jie who made it.
Though this sort of lotus seed soup was useless at his level of cultivation, the good intentions were still there, and Xu Muyang felt rather comforted. Moreover, the soup was made well and had an excellent taste, and eating it was a delight.
After breakfast, Tang Jie came to pay a visit to Xu Muyang and ask him where they were going next.
This put Xu Muyang in a difficult spot.
He was fleeing pursuit, so he had no fixed goal. He was just going wherever the wind took him.
Anyang Prefecture was in the far east, and farther east was the endless sea. Was he going to flee to the islands?
As if he could see Xu Muyang's hesitation, Tang Jie said, "If Spirit Master Xu doesn't need to go to any particular place, I have a suggestion. Why not buy a house? A quiet and peaceful place for you to recover."
"Buy a house?" Xu Muyang was astonished.
"Yes. If it's a problem of money, Spirit Master Xu does not need to worry. I have some silver taels that should be enough to buy a small house."
"But that is your money."
"But those horses came from the bandits that Master Xu killed, so some of the money should be Master Xu's," Tang Jie said in a tone that was neither servile nor overbearing. While using the address of Spirit Master Xu, he had dropped the 'Spirit', simply calling him Master Xu.
Xu Muyang didn't notice this, hesitantly saying, "In the end, it's not proper for me to stay here for long."
"When you don't want to stay any longer, just sell it. Moreover, Master Xu is unwell and has no one to attend to you. I happened to come here to look for work, and I can attend to you in my free time," Tang Jie continued.
Once they got to Anyang Prefecture, Tang Jie had confirmed that Xu Muyang had no set destination in mind. Since that was the case, he would just keep him here.
He wanted to follow Xu Muyang and cultivate, so he had to remain at Xu Muyang's side. If Xu Muyang wanted to leave, he would follow, but if he couldn't find a good reason to travel together with him, Xu Muyang would sense that he had ulterior motives. Although his intentions would be exposed eventually, until their relationship had reached a certain level, this time was best delayed as long as possible.
Since he couldn't follow the man, he might as well make him stay.
Xu Muyang had no idea what was going through Tang Jie's mind and was still worrying over his karmic debt and owed favors. He thought to himself that if he really left, he would never be able to resolve this karmic debt, so he decided to listen to Tang Jie and stay.
But even so, if Tang Jie bought the house he lived in, wouldn't he owe Tang Jie another favor?
Or was it as Tang Jie said, and some share of the money was his?
After some thought, he realized that this wasn't quite right. After all, he had chosen to ignore the horses. If someone else got rich off of them and he was still somehow owed a share, then weren't all the scavengers in the world about to get robbed?
But if he didn't stay in that house, where would he stay? After all, Tang Jie was also paying for his room at the inn!
He found it impossible to calculate the bill and only felt a headache coming on, so he decided to stop thinking about it and let Tang Jie handle everything.
Tang Jie worked very efficiently, and in just two days, he had found a good house.
The house was an old home downstream from the Windscreen Ford outside of Anyang Prefecture. The original owner had fallen on hard times and was selling it, and Tang Jie had bought it for 150 taels of silver.
The procedure for buying a house was very simple. All one needed was to request some prestigious elder in the area to serve as an intermediary, and everything was done once the contract was signed and the money exchanged.
The house was bought under the name of 'Tang Jie (劫)', but the elder wasn't listening carefully, so on the contract, he wrote 'Tang Jiye (杰)'.
Tang Jie had intended to point this out, but a moment later, he decided that since he didn't understand this world very well, it would be safer to use a pseudonym. Thus, he let this matter go.
Once the house was bought, Xu Muyang paid it a visit. He saw that while the house wasn't big, it was still a house with six rooms, including the main room and side room, and two gates. It was rather remote, but it had its back to a small hill and was fronted by willows and a river. This gave it the excellent fengshui of a mountain behind it and the water before it. It was a peaceful and beautiful place that left him satisfied.
Also of note was that this place had abundant spiritual energy, making it the perfect place to rest and recover.
Xu Muyang immediately realized that Tang Jie had not found some random house. After asking Tang Jie, he realized that Tang Jie truly had selected this house because of the area's abundance of spiritual energy.
Xu Muyang was very curious about this. "How did you know that this area had abundant spiritual energy?"
Tang Jie answered, "This family once planted spirit grains for an Immortal sect, but the later generations weren't interested in farming, leaving the lands abandoned. As this was a place that could grow spirit grains, it must have abundant spiritual energy. After all, Immortals wouldn't choose a bad location. Moreover, this place is close to a road intersection, making things easier for you."
In pointing out the numerous roads, he was naturally referring to how Xu Muyang was being hunted down and this would provide him more avenues of escape.
Xu Muyang was thoroughly stunned by this reply.
He looked at his room and found that it had already been swept clean. On the side was a study, and all the tools of a scholar were present. Outside of the room was the courtyard, which was perfect for quiet cultivation.
This boy had handled everything neatly and cleanly.
He finally began to look at Tang Jie in a different light.
After some time, Xu Muyang finally nodded. "Though he is young, his thoughts are very meticulous."
He was finally finding this boy rather interesting and was no longer in such a rush to part ways with him.
He vaguely sensed that if he stayed at this boy's side, his life would be much easier.
From that day forward, Xu Muyang took up residence in this courtyard downstream of Windscreen Ford, and Tang Jie naturally took up residence as well. After all, he wasn't going to buy a house just for Xu Muyang to live in while he stayed in an inn.
There wasn't much money left after they bought furnishings, and they couldn't just sit back and relax until their money ran out, so Tang Jie found work in Anyang Prefecture.
During the day, he would head off to the city to work, and at night, he would return to the house to cook for Xu Muyang, wash the clothes, and clean the houses, taking care of all the housework.
All Xu Muyang needed to do was quietly recover from his injuries.
Occasionally, he would sit alone and fiddle around with that bronze mirror, closely inspecting it for something. But most of the time, he would just sigh.
Tang Jie's work truly was saving him some effort. There were many small domestic trifles that Xu Muyang could never have imagined that Tang Jie would think of. With him here, Xu Muyang basically didn't need to worry about his needs. At some point, Xu Muyang grew accustomed to Tang Jie's service.
When covered in many lice, one would cease to itch, and when mired in many debts, one would cease to worry about them. As time went on, Xu Muyang decided to stop thinking about his karmic debt.
In the blink of an eye, the two of them had lived together for half a month, and were gradually beginning to know each other.
On this night, Xu Muyang went out to the courtyard to cultivate the Visceral Manifestation Classic as usual while Tang Jie watched on the side. The two of them already regarded this as routine.
Once Xu Muyang was done cultivating the Visceral Manifestation Classic and ceased circulating energy, Tang Jie served a cup of tea. Smiling, he said, "Congratulations, Big Brother Xu, for recovering from your injuries."
Their relationship had deepened so much that he could call him 'Big Brother Xu'.
"I've only recovered thirty percent of my power… mm, how could you tell?" Xu Muyang asked.
Tang Jie answered, "Whenever Big Brother Xu would cultivate the Visceral Manifestation Classic before, you would only do eleven movements, but today, you did twelve. From this, I can see that it wasn't that you didn't want to do it in the past, but that you didn't have the strength. Since you can do twelve, it naturally means that your injuries are improving."
"That truly is the case." Xu Muyang was not surprised by Tang Jie's meticulous nature. Smiling, he explained, "The Visceral Manifestation Classic has twelve forms and has the effect of increasing spiritual energy. Before this, I lacked in both energy and blood, so I didn't dare to perform the complete set of twelve. Now that my condition is gradually improving, I can finally perform them all."
Saying this, he looked at Tang Jie. "I must thank you for serving me so dutifully, allowing me to recover without worry."
"So when Big Brother Xu completes the Visceral Manifestation Classic, you can drive out that domineering energy and completely recover?" Tang Jie excitedly said.
"It's not that easy. The Visceral Manifestation is only a basic art and has little effect when it comes to healing injuries."
"But isn't Big Brother Xu a True Person of the Celestial Heart Realm? Why do you have to restart from the foundations? Oh, I know! You must not have been a diligent student when you were little, so your foundation isn't good."
"Nonsense!" Xu Muyang angrily said. "Although this Visceral Manifestation Classic is a basic art, it has an extraordinary background. It emphasizes the entranced mind that focuses on one's aspirations; the fusion of the body with the Dao, the essence contained within the blood; energy running through the one hundred meridians, flowing smoothly and without obstruction…"
He immediately went on a big spiel, essentially saying that this Visceral Manifestation Classic had mighty origins and amazing effects. He was so agitated that he even quoted some of the lines from the text.
After speaking for a while, he suddenly realized what was going on and glared at Tang Jie. "Kid, you fooled me again."
As he spent more and more time with Tang Jie, he gradually came to understand him. He wasn't ignorant at all, only feigning it. Every time he spoke with him, he would end up divulging something about the cultivation world. Thus, Tang Jie was no longer ignorant about cultivation and Immortals, and he could even quote a few snatches from the Visceral Manifestation Classic now.
But Xu Muyang didn't care that much.
After receiving Tang Jie's care and attention, he had begun to like the boy. Now that there was some affection between them, he naturally no longer bickered about the minor things.
He had been fooled by Tang Jie, but in truth, he was willing to be fooled.
In his view, the Visceral Manifestation Classic was incredibly abstruse and difficult to cultivate. Even a True Person of the Celestial Heart Realm like him had a hard time realizing any effect, so there was no way Tang Jie could comprehend the complete cultivation method through the snatches he had heard… He was growing more and more skilled in his self-consoling art.
Hearing Xu Muyang's rebuke, Tang Jie giggled, his expression like that of an innocent and pure child.
But Xu Muyang didn't take the bait this time. After saying a few more words, he returned to his room to sleep.
Watching Xu Muyang leave, Tang Jie put away his smile, his innocent and childish eyes turning deep and profound.
He muttered to himself, "The entranced mind that focuses on one's aspirations; the fusion of the body with the Dao, engaging the organs and abandoning essence; energy running through the one hundred meridians, flowing smoothly and without obstruction…"
He began to recite the words Xu Muyang had just spoken while repeating the movements, extending his arms and taking up an extremely strange posture. This was the first form of the Visceral Manifestation's twelve forms.
Every night, once Xu Muyang went back to rest, Tang Jie would practice the Visceral Manifestation Classic.
This was the only thing he could practice.
He had watched the first eleven forms of the Visceral Manifestation numerous times and had practiced each of them to perfection.
Each time he did this, his body felt extremely relaxed and pleased, as if all the veins in his body had been opened up. But there was always something off at the end. This was because he was lacking the twelfth form, which prevented him from getting the full effect.
Today, he had learned the twelfth form, and so once he finished the eleventh form, he naturally moved on to the twelfth. Although it was his first time using it, he moved with incredible grace and proficiency, as if his body had been waiting for this moment. He performed the movement as naturally as a river flowed.
Tang Jie finally felt a weak pulse of energy from his Energy Cave Point.
(TN: In Chinese acupuncture, the Energy Cave Point is located a little bit beneath the navel.)
The Visceral Manifestation Classic could allow him to sense spiritual energy! He was naturally elated, so he repeated the twelve forms again.
Performing the movements of the Visceral Manifestation Classic presented no difficulty to him. On the contrary, they became easier the more he did them, and the energy flow through his body improved. After the third repetition, his weak spiritual energy grew stronger and stronger until he was almost sure of its existence.
Tang Jie was in the initial stage of cultivation and had no idea of its challenges and dangers. In his excitement, he continued to repeat the process, and the flow of energy grew stronger and stronger, until he began to feel something swelling in his abdomen.
Tang Jie finally realized that something was wrong, and hastily stopped.
The moment he stopped, the energy in his body explosively dispersed, flooding through his meridians. That comfortable sensation now became one of absolute misery, plunging Tang Jie from heaven into hell.
As the energy rushed through his body, blood began to flow out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and even began to leak out of the pores on his skin. Tang Jie felt like his body was being gnawed on by countless ants, and one torrent of energy rushed at his brain. His brain began to buzz as if something was madly knocking against it.
He knew that he was as good as dead if this went on, so he shouted with all his strength, "Big Brother Xu!"
Xu Muyang immediately charged out of his room, and when he saw what was happening, he shouted, "A Jade Gate Heaven Charge? How could that be?"