Chapter 75: Seemingly Bottomless Pit
After having dinner, Ye Fan continued to comprehend the Dao Scripture, throughout the night he was immersed within this profound state, Qi was being diffused above his golden sea of bitterness, it was derived from nothingness as the the stars began to sparkle in the misty mass of unknown, constantly permutating.
It was only on the second day where he gradually woke up from this state, without feeling any lethargy, the qi essence of life within his sea of bitterness was flowing out and made him feel refreshed and comfortable.
“Big brother, it’s time to eat breakfast already……” Little Ting Ting hopped and skipped as she came over to call him for breakfast, her face was covered with a happy smile. Although the clothes on her body were disproportionate, old and tattered with many patches, it was hard to mask her glow from her spirited youth.
Ye Fan lamented, a child was a child, after experiencing yesterday’s events and suffering such a big grievance causing her to cry so miserably, once she slept and woke up she no longer felt sad and had already forgotten all the unhappiness.
“Ting Ting are you very happy? Ye Fan smiled as he asked.
“Yes!” Ting Ting earnestly nodded her head: “There’s food now and grandpa doesn’t need to starve to leave food for me, Ting Ting is definitely very happy!”
Ye Fan stared blankly, so a person’s happiness was actually so simple, being able to eat a full meal was sufficient to make Ting Ting satisfied.
Looking at her rosy face that was filled with happiness, that splendour deeply affected Ye Fan as he spoiled her by rubbing her head before bringing her out of the room.
Close to noon time, the sickly faced middle aged man from the Li family came again and seeing the closed store, he kicked as he scolded: “Open up, this master wants to eat!”
Within the store, Ting Ting was extremely nervous and her wide eyes were filled with fear. She hugged the old man tightly in fear that the people would force their way in. Old uncle Jiang gently patted her back and softly consoled her.
Ye Fan was standing within the house and hearing those abusive words, he gradually frowned as his eyes became colder.
“Okay, Jiang old man if you’re not willing to do business, then starve to death! Already seventy to eighty years old, I’d really like to see what you can do!”
The people outside who were hurling abuses broke two flower pots that were outside before using daggers to scratch the door and making it seem unsightly before finally leaving.
“Grandpa……” It was a long time before Ting Ting timidly asked: “Will those bad people still come back tomorrow?”
“It’s alright, Ting Ting don’t be afraid, Grandpa won’t let them harm you.” The old man constantly consoled her.
Ting Ting said in a small voice: “Those bad people are doing bad things everyday, why aren’t there good people to teach them a lesson?”
Ye Fan felt that a child’s words were really the most frank in this world and there were many injustices occurring but no one really cared about them.
“Ting Ting don’t worry, they definitely won’t be coming back tomorrow.” Ye Fan crouched down as he smiled: “Come, let’s go eat. I’ll make for you a nice dish for lunch.”
“Big brother you know how to cook?” Ting Ting’s eyes were filled with disbelief.
“Looking down on me, I’ll let you see my skills. I guarantee you’ve never eaten something like this before.”
The little girl blinked her big eyes in disbelief: “I don’t believe you, grandpa can cook any dish. Back when we had the restaurant grandpa would cook good dishes for me to eat everyday.”
“Sweet and sour pork ribs, have you eaten that before?” Although it was a very simple dish from his homeland, Ye Fan did not believe that it had appeared within this place before.
Indeed an expression of puzzlement appearing on Ting Ting’s face as she asked: “How can sugar be put together with pork ribs?” even the old man who was by the side showed confusion on his face.
Ye Fan seemed to have only been talking about military tactics on paper* as his chef skills were horrible. However, once the old man personally cooked a properly prepared sweet and sour pork was placed and this dish was simply delicious and made Ting Ting’s face bright with smiles.
[Idiom*: Armchair Strategist]
Ye Fan loved this sort of happy and peaceful atmosphere, it gave him a feeling of home and left him feeling that he had found a place to live in.
Having finished the meal, the old man brought TIng Ting to have an afternoon nap before brewing a pot of tea and placing it on the eight sided table he asked Ye Fan: “Kid, whatever you are planning to do, please don’t be rash……”
Ye Fan smiled: “Old uncle, don’t worry nothing will go wrong. Actually, anyone can be a bad person. It’s only a question if they want to be one or not.”
“What are you planning to do?”
“If one thinks things through carefully, hurting someone isn’t difficult. I have hundreds of methods to take revenge on them however, I don’t have a need to do so. I will use the simplest of methods to deal with them. I will make them too busy to care about themselves, making sure they can no longer create trouble. Once I have free time in the future, I will properly take care of them.”
Ye Fan left this small town in the afternoon, he did not want to scheme against the Li family. As long as their cultivators did not return, he did not need to do so.
He already knew that the Li family would go to the county town every month to buy goods and food, they had monopolised more than half the businesses within the small town and tomorrow would be the day that they headed to the county town to buy goods. That yellow skinned middle aged man was an in-charge within the Li family and these matters were usually handled by him.
The county town was seven to eight miles from the small town and was much more prosperous than the small town. There were over ten thousand people there and both sides of the streets were filled with shops as the sound of buying and selling constantly invaded the senses. For Ye Fan with his exceptional physique, this distance was not a problem and barely two hours later he had easily reached. Selling a few of the hunted animals he had killed in the forest, he bought several sweets and snacks for Ting Ting as well as a few clothes and shoes. Finally, he also bought some items in preparation for the next day.
It was only when the sky began to darken did he head back, the main objective for heading out today was to examine the route between the small town and the county town, looking for areas which were desolate and secluded.
Ye Fan only returned when the time for lamps to be lit was reached and seeing him unscathed, the old man’s nervous heart finally calmed down. Ting Ting was elated and excited seeing all the beautiful clothes and a big grin could be seen on her face. Opening the wrappers which contained sweets and snacks within them, she placed the good ones into the old man and Ye Fan’s mouths before happily eating some on her own.
“Ting Ting why aren’t you changing your clothes?” Ye Fan asked her.
“I want to wear it in the future, the clothes I’m wearing can still be worn.” She carefully wrapped up the new clothes.
Looking at her attired in her sewn and patched clothing, Ye Fan lamented. Kids from poor families made one’s heart ache and being so young yet so understanding, her words made it difficult for him to calm down.
“Don’t worry, in the future Ting Ting will have new clothes to wear everyday. Hurry, go and change into them.” Ye Fan felt that Ting Ting who was such a cute girl and old uncle Jiang who was such a compassionate elder, if they were bullied again, heaven would not stand for it.
This night, Ye Fan continued to comprehend the Dao Scripture, he found that when he held the Bodhi seed within his hand, his mind was especially empty and his understanding of the Dao Scripture became much deeper.
“It really deserves its name as the Tree of Comprehension……”
In the afternoon on this day, Ye Fan left the small town as he traversed through the forest and swiftly reached the road which led towards the county town. There was a mountainous path along the way which required one to pass through a ravine.
Ye Fan quickly climbed to the top of a cliff wall and changed into a black attire as he covered his face. Thereafter, he wore stilts as he pretended to be a middle aged man before opening the oil barrels which he had prepared here the day before, silently waiting for the group of people who were going to buy goods for the Li family.
The sky was beginning to turn dark before rumbling sounds were heard on the mountain road. There were ten big carts and each was filled with goods ranging from silk, woven thread and clothing materials to everyday goods and food, having all of one’s needs.
Ye Fan stood up as he forcefully pushed the oil barrels down, “Bang! Bang!” sounds could be heard as the ten over vehicles were all covered in oil, the scene immediately becoming a mess.
“Oil, it’s oil! Someone wants to set the carts on fire!” The people of the Li family were loudly shouting and several people were frantically running about. There was a small group of people who were searching for the person who wanted to start the fire. At this moment, someone finally spotted Ye Fan who was perched on top and only saw his tall figure and black clothing as he threw a stick that was lit downwards.
“Chi, Chi, Chi”
A large-scale raging fire immediately started blazing as all the vehicles became a fiery sea, impossible to extinguish as the fire surged to the sky.
“Who are you? You actually dare to burn all the goods of the Li family, aren’t you afraid of being chased to death by cultivators?” The yellow skinned middle aged man shouted in his panic, all these goods were destroyed and he could only imagine the frightening outcome once he went back.
Another oil barrel was thrown down and almost smashed onto his head, his clothes had already been stained with oil and another flame was thrown down as the middle aged man began to scream, running towards the distant mountain stream with his entire body covered in fire.
Ye Fan swept his gaze as he hid his figure and hastily removed his stilts and black clothing, carrying this items as he swiftly ran away.
This night, there was plenty of commotion within the pure and honest small town, the Li family had lost a lot and over ten carts filled with goods had all been burnt to ash without anything remaining. There were even seven to eight people who had been burnt and injured by the fire.
Throughout the night, there was no peace within the pure and honest small town as the people from the Li family seemed to have gone mad and inspected every house for clues. To them, this was akin to attacking the foundations of the local overlord, their huge losses made them tremble in anger.
It was only late into the night before the small town gradually regained its peace. The people from the Li family surmised that the people within the small town would not dare to act out and did not have that kind of means as well as the gall. They guessed that this had been done by a competitor from far away. The Li Family became nervous and began to send letters to the Yan Xia immortal sanctuary throughout the night.
This very night, Ye Fan silently left the small store as he went into the depths of the mountains. He needed to quickly increase his strength. After heading several miles deep into the mountains, he finally found a mountain cave and he placed a huge rock before the cave, sealing himself within as he began to take out all the spiritual medicines on his person.
The Jade Snake Orchid was sparkling and translucent, gentle like white jade. An overflowing fragrance that penetrates deeply into the heart*. The dazzling and bright golden stem left behind by ancient tree spirit had magnificent rays of lights circulating about.
[Idiom: To refresh the mind]
Ye Fan held the Bodhi seed within his hand as he calmly began to comprehend the Dao Scripture, he could feel his sea of bitterness trembling as though it might make a breakthrough before ingesting the Jade Snake Orchid.
An hour later, although the mountain cave was blocked, the sounds of a howling sea could still be heard as golden lights flashed. It seemed as though there was a tsunami that went on relentlessly, the sounds were unending as the rumbling spread out.
It was only late into the night before everything calmed down and Ye Fan looked within, he found that his golden sea of bitterness had grown by more than double as he shifted the large rock aside and rushed out of the mountain cave. His body was lighter and felt fitter, his strength and speed had increased by several times and like a gentle mist, he quickly traversed through the mountain and forest.
Finally, he returned to the mountain cave as he once again sealed it with the large rock. Without hesitation, he began ingested the golden stem left by the ancient wood spirit and held the Bodhi seed in his hand as he continued to comprehend the Dao Scripture.
The night continued on as an explosive sound could be heard from the mountain cave, the large rock that was covering the mountain cave shattered as stone pieces shot in all directions.
Like a volcano that was erupting or the milky way spilling down to earth, the mountain cave was filled with dazzling lights as tsunamis seemed to shake the heavens, thunder continually resounded as Ye Fan’s sea of bitterness became a vast golden body of water which continually surged towards the high heavens.
This scene continued for an hour before the astonishing sounds slowly faded away, the divine lights receded and Ye Fan rushed out. The mountain cave behind him let out rumbling noises as it thoroughly fell apart, the golden lights had been holding it in place and now that it had receded the cave fell apart.
At this moment it was close to dawn and the forest was not that dark anymore. Ye Fan felt a vigorous life force within his body and an abundance of qi essence was circulating within his body.
His golden sea of bitterness had become the size of a pigeon egg from that of a soybean size in a single night, becoming multiple times bigger. He was very astonished, this was the result of the golden stem that was left behind by the ancient wood spirit, it contained more than ten times the qi essence of life of the Jade Snake Orchid and was surely a rare treasure.
Ye Fan found it difficult to keep calm as he found that his body was like an endless abyss, he never needed to fear that the effects of medicine would be too fierce and if he could supply sufficient qi essence of life, he could continue to establish his sea of bitterness.
“Could it be that the curse of the ancient divine body did not occur to me? Or could it be that this is a curse, every step of the way requires huge quantities of qi essence of life. This road will only become narrower as I go on, in the later stages it will certainly become harder to continue establishing the sea of bitterness……”
If a normal person were to have absorbed so much qi essence of life, his sea of bitterness would have long been pierced through and his body would have shattered. “If a normal person were to absorb all this qi essence of life over a long period of time, the sea of bitterness they establish should be much bigger than mine……” Ye Fan was in deep thought as he felt that this way of cultivating was really wasteful. He then muttered: “Is it really wasteful? I don’t seem to feel that way.”
At this moment he found that his sea of bitterness was especially condensed, although it was only the size of a pigeon egg, it had accumulated nineteen ‘Divine Symbols’ and had a vigorous vitality within it.
“A normal person whose sea of bitterness is the size of a pigeon eggs would find it difficult to form even a single ‘Divine Symbol’. As for my golden sea of bitterness it could do so long before reaching that size.” Ye Fan did not feel that this was extravagant but rather had a sense of accomplishment, his golden sea of bitterness was certainly exceptional.
“Chi, Chi, Chi”
Ye Fan lightly flicked his ten fingers as over ten streaks of ‘Divine Symbols’ shot forth, like streaks of dazzling sword aura, piercing through the mountain ahead.
“Establishing a similar sized sea of bitterness, the amount of divine energy I possess would be several times greater than a normal person.” This made different thoughts surge through Ye Fan’s mind.
“However, if I want to have a small success in my cultivating with this physique, I would require enormous amounts of qi essence of life to support it.” Thinking of this problem, he began to frown.
“This shouldn’t be limited to just spiritual medicines, if I can find an area of ‘Source’ that elder Wu Qing Feng mentioned, where the spiritual qi is dense and is a treasured ground for cultivating, I should also be able to breakthrough.”
Based on the records from ancient texts, when the qi coalesced within heaven and earth to form all living things, a misty formless mass of dense spiritual qi, extremely thick and many spiritual creatures could absorb the natural source of qi essence within heaven and earth, forming an amber crystal which contained vast amounts of qi essence of life.
Those that remained till now were referred to as ‘source’ and could be considered extremely valuable to cultivators. Some exceptional ‘sources’ could be considered to cost more than a town.
Since the era of of the beginning of all living things till time immemorial of the great desolates, the natural source of qi essence has been gradually thinning and it was difficult for a ‘Source’ to form.
In the final period of splendour, all living things flourished and the people were formidable, spiritual medicines abound and there were several rare ‘Divine Sources’. People of later generations found amber crystals that had living things sealed within them, these ‘Divine Sources’ once extracted would be able to provide endless amounts of qi essence of life.
“That was really an era that made one yearn for more……”