Li Chengfeng was confused but could scarcely distinguish that this was a maxim unique to a particular cultivation sect. It described that all living beings from plants to humans to birds and insects all came from the same source and were one. The energies between heaven and earth all had an affinity to balance, the weak borrowing from the strong. And because every power in the world was seen as from the same source, energy was seen to be flowing unobstructed between all parties, converting into different forms as needed. The flow of energy was infinite and never-ending- that was the base of the Dao of the Heavens.
The Dao of Mortals denoted that imbalance was inevitable. The limited resources of an area would be siphoned by a powerful party. This cultivation philosophy separated humans and the rest of the living beings, recognising that the essential power held within all living beings were offerings to humans. Humans were seen as above the rest of all living beings, known as spiritual masters of the world that held power to control the rest.
This sect believed that Heaven’s Dao was superior to Mortal’s Dao because the formal placed one’s self as a part of the universe. I am the universe, the universe is me. My energy is also the universe’s energy, we are one. Energy and spiritual qi flow unrestricted between the two in a continuous cycle forever.
Although Mortal’s Dao also emphasized that everything was one, it meant that everything ‘belonged’ to one. Cultivators of this philosophy continuously siphon energy from the universe, never giving back. These people formed one-way power chains, leading to eventual self-destruction.
If a master cultivator read these words, he would be shaken. Then, he would treat Heaven’s Dao as a priceless treasure because all of the current sects in the world still operated on the ‘Mortal’s Dao’ philosophy.
Unfortunately, Li Chengfeng was just confused as ever after reading the characters on the pillar. He then climbed to the other side to look at the carved drawings. There was one line of text too.
First Heavenly Stage of Heaven’s Dao Cultivation: Spiritual Qi Exists Among The Flowers And Grass!
Li Chengfeng paused, then read further only to see many maps of human meridian points.
After experiencing the Grim Stork’s ambush, he sensed a problem: Why did generations of patriarchs stubbornly insist to begin cultivation despite the risk of going insane?
Because they all wanted to restore the glory of the Li family.
But… what if he goes mad too?
He thought to himself, ‘What if I give it a go first?”
Li Chengfeng had his own strengths. Although he had not cultivated before, he, fortunately, had received martial arts training since young. He knew how everyone started from the bottom, no matter the path taken. No one could leap from not knowing a single character to a scholar overnight.
Someone had to teach this person how to recognise characters first. Without a mentor pointing out one’s mistakes, one could not make progress.
Learning martial arts was the same. A person could train hard on his own according to a manual but he would end up a mediocre fighter at best. He would not be able to activate his inner potential, or figure out the best herbs to maintain his body at peak condition.
Cultivation was the same. Without a master, insanity from improper practise was inevitable. A human body had too many meridians, how would one know where to direct their Qi to? When was the best moment to direct their Qi? Where to store Qi? How to store Qi? What path should the Qi take?
Execution is impossible without comprehension.
Without a true understanding of the Dao, execution of proper cultivation would be difficult.
Just studying these images was not necessarily useful. Who knew if the people who made these carvings left out any secrets?
Li Chengfeng understood this well. The Li family’s secrets had secrets hidden within them. Outsiders would never be able to copy despite witnessing them utilise the same technique ten times. There were minute details in terms of energy wielding that an observer would not know if not verbally told.
Chengfeng was cautious yet extremely curious. He studied the images one by one, all of them various diagrams labelling the meridians of the human body. Meridians required in this method of cultivation were labelled in red, plus they had numbers labelled in sequence to denote the direction and sequence of energy.
He memorised the picture though did not dare attempt it. He did not notice wisps of bright green appearing on his body, flowing along his meridians from the tip of his fingers, to his hand, shoulder, chest, then split into two to his head and feet, then along his back, concentrating at the Zhongshu meridian point at the small of his back. The green thread then separated into two again and concentrated back into two bright dots, one at the Baihui meridian point in his crown and another in his abdomen.
He did not notice at all, focusing on memorising the picture. He felt a chill but no other symptoms, though he heard a rustling at his feet.
When he finally came to, he looked down to see countless vines growing up the pillar towards his feet, all of them filled with lush leaves and blooming tiny flowers.
The vines approached at an alarming speed, crawling up his heels. Leaves and flowers cut his cloth shoes and pants, then his skin, piercing his flesh and entering his bloodstream.
Chengfeng felt as if countless worms were crawling beneath his skin, even feeling waves of itchiness and numbness in his face. He instinctively scratched only to realise his face was covered in grass leaves and flowers!
He was terrified!
He screamed internally, ‘Looks like the Li family isn’t built for cultivation at all! I was not even serious and I ended up with flowers on my face!”
This was a new height of madness, it was terrible!
While he prided himself as a bold man, he was so scared his soul left his body. HE screamed and tugged at the leaves and flowers growing on his face. Yet because he let go of the pillar, he fell off instantly. When he was mid-air, he felt his body pulled back by one of the vines attached to himself. This caused him to swing a huge radius around the pillar, screaming incessantly, until he slammed hard into the stone pillar.