HSSB29: Becoming an outer aura Martial Scholar!
"According to the training speed of this body's original owner, the breakthrough from the inner aura stage to the outer aura stage would only be at the end of this year or even next year, wouldn't it?"
Yan Zhaoge remained relaxed as the aura-qi surrounding his body began vibrating, looking as though it was trying to break out of his body.
There was a huge bottleneck between the inner and outer aura stages, that resembled an insurmountable gulf. The majority of late inner aura Martial Scholars would be stuck at this bottleneck, unable to make any progress for a long time.
The time that some people would require to break through from the late inner aura stage to the early outer aura stage would sometimes be even greater than the time they had spent breaking through from the early to mid inner aura stage and the mid to late inner aura stage combined.
But proportional to the extreme difficulty with regard to breaking through was the great leap in strength the breakthrough entailed.
To a martial practitioner like Yan Zhaoge, the breakthrough from the late inner aura stage to the early outer aura stage did not just represent a simple increase in personal strength. It also meant that they would be able to properly wield mid-grade artifacts.
An inner aura Martial Scholar could wield low-grade artifacts with ease, but trying to use mid-grade artifacts would, for them, be like a martial practitioner in the Body Refinement realm trying to use a low-grade artifact. In both instances, they would find it hard to bring out all of the artifact's power.
Mid-grade artifacts, naturally, were something that Yan Zhaoge did not lack.
Thus, to Yan Zhaoge, breaking through to become an outer aura Martial Scholar was not just a matter of his personal strength increasing. With the added power from the wielding of artifacts, his overall combat strength would also rise greatly.
It had already been quite some time since his second crossing of worlds, yet Yan Zhaoge had always remained at the inner aura Martial Scholar stage.
It was not that he could not make the breakthrough successfully; to Yan Zhaoge, the bottlenecks and other difficult trials that the previous owner of his current body had faced were all resolvable. And he did not only have a single solution on hand for this; if he so desired, it would be possible to make the breakthrough anytime.
However, Yan Zhaoge had still retained his patience, earnestly sorting through the various precious secret manuals that were stored within his brain and then corroborating theory with reality, all for attaining that most perfect method for progressing, at the same time paving the way for his future cultivation path as best as he could.
Now that all the preparations were basically complete, there was naturally no longer a need to wait.
Whenever he wanted to make the breakthrough, he would make the breakthrough; it all depended on his mood.
As Yan Zhaoge sat quietly on the floor, the air within the entire room felt as though it had completely solidified; the dust on the floor seemed like they were being suppressed by an invisible pressure, which completely prevented them from even floating up even a tiny bit.
The many orifices all around his body currently seemed like they had a life of their own, as they began expanding and contracting repeatedly, as though they too were breathing along with their body's owner.
Inhale, exhale; their rhythmic movements exuded a sense of harmony.
Meanwhile, from within the orifices, steam was rising up in a mistlike form.
The regularity of the breathing gradually decreased, each breath generally sounding only once every few minutes, accompanied by a shuddering of the orifices.
Gradually, Yan Zhaoge's entire body was covered by a faint layer of white mist, his entire body coming to resemble a statue of the purest white. No signs of life could be felt from him whatsoever as he just sat there quietly, as if pondering something.
Suddenly, Yan Zhaoge's body trembled, as the white mist that was closely sticking to his skin suddenly began breaking apart like some porcelain pottery. Innumerable cracks began spreading around its entirety, making it look as though multiple spiderwebs had taken up residence there.
Streams of aura-qi which were formless and colourless yet possessing the faint luster and tangibility of a metal shot out from within these cracks, leaving behind countless scars within the air.
A sound resembling the long roar of a dragon was emitted from Yan Zhaoge's mouth, going from strong to big, getting stronger by the second.
The cracks on his body were also becoming more and more densely clustered. Nearing its end, the dragon's roar had already reached the point of devastating one's ears to the point that they wished they were dead. Now, the barrier that the layer of white mist had formed just outside of Yan Zhaoge's body, finally broke completely apart!
The aura-qi that was forceful and keenly-edged as well as refined and fierce began circling Yan Zhaoge's body, flowing unceasingly, its sharpness showing through.
Yan Zhaoge opened his eyes, smiling slightly. Now, he would be able to release his aura-qi outside of his body, as well as recall it, at will.
With but a mere thought, the aura that was currently being emanated from his body instantly vanished, not a single trace of it remaining.
The aura had been externalised. The outer aura Martial Scholar realm, successfully attained.
Yan Zhaoge closed his eyes once more, beginning to infuse aura-qi into his marrows in order to temper and strengthen them.
Through his unflagging efforts, Yan Zhaoge could already feel the major changes that were currently taking place within his body.
The marrows created blood. They having been tempered, the blood and qi of the martial practitioner would be correspondingly strengthened.
The pursuit of the martial dao was about the non-stop strengthening of one's body.
The Body Refinement realm consisted of three major stages: the fleshly-tempering stage, the meridian-bolstering stage as well as the qi-directing stage. Of these, the late fleshly-tempering stage, when the bones and the blood began to resonate, was the first time that martial practitioners would be working on the tempering of their bones. When performed successfully, their strength and durability would be increased greatly; the Martial Artist's agility and strength would undergo a meteoric rise.
The late qi-directing stage, which was when the marrows within the bones were purified, was where the martial artist would begin the tempering of the bone marrows for the first time. With the help of the Martial Artist's qi and blood which would come together with them to become one, the Martial Artist's marrows would undergo a deep infusion of inner qi, thus taking the first steps in discarding the original fleshy body for a new, better one.
However, the inner qi of a martial practitioner in the Body Refinement Realm was far from being able to compare to the aura-qi of a Martial Scholar. Having reached the outer aura stage and used the aura-qi for a second tempering of the marrows, a martial practitioner would experience yet another huge leap in strength.
From the inner aura to the outer aura stage, the Martial Scholar would be strengthened greatly, and in all areas as well.
At this moment, while viewing the internal state of his body, Yan Zhaoge could clearly see that the last, minor impurities that his inner qi had been unable to clear out from his body were currently being expelled little by little from within his bones. While their quantity was small, they were all jet-black like ink; all of these remaining dregs were the deepest and worst of the impurities that had resided within his bones.
The impurities having been expelled, not only were there changes to the bone marrows, even Yan Zhaoge's very bones became sparkling and crystal clear.
Every foot of bone was perfect, pure, well-proportioned, durable, tough, powerful.
Every new drop of blood that was born within his body was congealed and flawless, faintly shining with a silver light as if it was a droplet of mercury.
The flowing of his entire body's blood no longer emitted the 'hua, hua' noise that rivers made, the silence causing a grave mood to permeate the air, yet the blood flow was not hindered as a result, flowing along naturally.
Bones like crystal, blood like mercury, this was the special trait of an early outer aura Martial Scholar!
It was only that other martial practitioners who had just reached the level of being able to externalise their aura , newly stepping into the ranks of outer aura Martial Scholars, usually required a large amount of time to complete the second purification of their marrows, thus reaching his body's current state.
Having entered this state was equivalent to being one step closer to breaking through into the mid outer aura stage, as it was one of the necessary steps that were required for this.
And the time which Yan Zhaoge had taken to complete all this had been but a brief moment.
Having succeeded, Yan Zhaoge smiled, stood up and took out a small porcelain bottle.
Tipping over the bottle, he retrieved a black pill from within, from which white steam was rising. Surrounded by that fog, the surface of the black pill held a faint luster which resembled that of black jade.
This was the clan's reward which had already been delivered into his hands, the Profound Spirit Pill.
Although he had already successfully broken through into the early outer aura stage, Yan Zhaoge did not rush to consume the pill. Instead, he scrutinized it for a moment, also sniffing it with his nose.
After a short while, he took out a golden needle, thrusting it into the pill.
The pill shuddered as if it was alive. Yan Zhaoge did not stop. After nine consecutive thrusts, the Profound Spirit Pill regained its former calm, a faint white medicinal qi flowing back into the nine holes created by the needles in a much greater amount than before.
Only now did Yan Zhaoge nod in satisfaction, consuming the pill before entering the meditative position to absorb its effects and train his qi.
After who knows how long, Yan Zhaoge called, "Ah Hu!"
Ah Hi, waiting outside the enclosed room, knocked on the door, "Young Master."
"The thing I asked you to find for me earlier; how's it going?" Yan Zhaoge asked.
Ah Hu answered, "There's been news, but it still requires verification."
Yan Zhaoge nodded, "Put your heart into it; this thing, is even more important than the Internal Crystal Furnace."
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