A stern voice from the TV interrupted Su Chan's rumination. "In 1941, Hitler announced the start of the Second World War, and German troops launched a blitzkrieg on Poland..."
Su Chan jumped at the voice, and then turned to look at the TV screen with wide eyes. What in the name of the Tao? That box actually talks? she thought, slowly rising to her feet.
Driven by a sense of wonderment and curiosity, she crept forward, stopping when she was close enough to touch the TV. She then reached out a tentative hand, then touched the flat surface with moving colors and changing faces. When the box didn't start emitting Qi or shoot lightning, Su Chan became bolder. She took another step forward and began knocking and poking it at various places.
During her training in the mountains, her master did mention to her about certain special objects in the mortal world; metal boxes with wheels and megastructures with wings were among those things. But talking boxes! That was totally unheard of! Wow! It could even change its face! One second it looked like a man with a toothbrush moustache, then the next it changed into a large metal box with a long tube poking out on top! Amazing!
However, her wonderment was short-lived as her mind quickly went back to her Li Yundong dilemma.
Su Chan jumped slightly at the sound. She turned and glared daggers at the TV.
How dare this box startle me!
On the screen, a tank was tearing down some kind of village.
You'll pay for this, you stupid box!
Su Chan cocked her fist back, then—
Her entire arm pierced through the TV screen. Feeling a bit ticklish, Su Chan yanked her arm back harshly.
Li Yundong charged out from the kitchen. Son of a... His jaw dropped at what he saw. His f*cking TV had fallen off its mount on the wall. TV? More like pieces of junk metal with sparks flying out of them. Sparks!
"What the f... What did you do?!" Li Yundong said without once taking his eyes off the TV which had broken into two halves.
Su Chan jabbed a finger at the pile of junk metal on the floor and yelled, "This box scared me! I think there's a bad guy living inside it!"
Li Yundong nearly passed out due to exasperation. "Oh for f*ck's sake, it's just a TV!" Then he paused as if a thought had just occurred to him. "Holy shit... You don't know what a TV is, do you?"
Su Chan gave him a puzzled look. "Um... no..."
Li Yundong felt like stabbing himself in the heart and just dying. Even if he ended up in hell, it'd probably still be better than having to deal with this shit.
Don't know what a TV is?! What a load of bull! She just wanted to pay me back for trying to kiss her! It's just a kiss, for God's sake! Do you really have to go this far?! Li Yundong thought, gripping two fistfuls of his hair, then stared down at the two broken halves of the TV.
Well, at least the sparks were gone.
"Are you mad?" Su Chan asked tentatively when she noticed Li Yundong's scowl.
Li Yundong looked away from the ruined TV towards Su Chan, and goddammit, why did she have to look so adorable! She looked just like a child who was scared of being punished after doing something wrong. Punish? Yeah, right. Li Yundong couldn't even bring himself to yell at her when she looked at him that way, let alone punish her. He forced a smile and said, "No. I'm not mad."
Li Yundong sighed and began cleaning up the mess on the floor. Once he had gathered all the broken parts of the TV in a large bin bag, he headed towards the door with a storm cloud hanging over his head. He had to sneak downstairs, then toss the bag into the dumpster where nobody could see.
I'm screwed if the landlord finds out about this... Li Yundong thought. Great. Now where the f*ck am I supposed to find another TV of the exact same model and size? Do they even sell this model anymore? Should I just buy any TV? Argh!
Needless to say, dinner mood was ruined the moment the TV met its demise. Technically, it was ruined only for Li Yundong, since Su Chan was still wolfing down her food as though she hadn't eaten in centuries. Li Yundong, on the other hand, might as well be eating candle wax at this point considering how sour his face looked with each mouthful he took.
Knowing that she had caused trouble again, Su Chan observed Li Yundong's long face across the table. At some point, she couldn't take the guilt anymore, so she stood up and hid herself in the bedroom.
After dinner, Li Yundong cleared the table, then tidied up the kitchen and living room. When he was done, he went back to the living room and lay down on the carpet. As he lay there, he stared up at the ceiling, his intense gaze following the gentle sway of the pendant light. His thoughts, however, had nothing to do with the light, but everything to do with the events of the past few days.
He kept replaying in his mind all the things he'd done during the past few days. Generating 1500 pounds of punching force on that machine? Sending Zeng Qing into the air with a kick? Punching Zhao Yujian into the air? Running up walls? And all those ninja stunts? None of those things were even humanly possible. It was like one of those dreams where he suddenly became a superhero with cool powers.
At this point, Li Yundong had already dismissed the hysterical-strength-plus-unlocking-hidden-potential theory. Well, for one, that kind of thing only happens to a person perhaps once or twice in a lifetime, if it even happened at all! Yet, here he was, unlocking cool abilities and performing superhuman feats practically all day long. No. Something inside him had changed, something fundamental.
Well, Li Yundong did know of a similar case involving an elite special forces soldier who once generated over one ton of force using just his thumb and index finger. It wasn't just talk though. The guy had actually proven it by crushing an ice cube the size of an adult human thumb between his fingers!
Even so, that soldier had achieved that feat by tampering with his body's endocrine system in order to cause a huge adrenaline spike inside his body.
Needless to say, messing with the body's endocrine system comes at a cost. If done frequently, there might even be a risk of death!
But how many times had Li Yundong performed superhuman feats within a short day? Dozens at least! If his source of strength was the same as that special forces soldier's, shouldn't he be dead by now considering the risks?
But no, not once had Li Yundong felt as if he could drop dead at any moment. Not even close! In fact, it was the other way around! He felt so energetic and full of vitality! That alone convinced Li Yundong that something inside his body had changed, though he couldn't put a finger on what it was. What changed? What made him so strong and fast?
Doubts and uncertainties aside, there was one thing that Li Yundong was damn sure of: This was a good change!
As he lay there on the carpet, fantasizing about the things that he could do from now on, a wave of energy gathered inside his chest, and he was hit by a sudden impulse to put his newfound abilities to the test. He'd never felt so energetic before in his life! It was like every cell inside his body was energized, and he thought he might actually burst into flames if he didn't run ten laps around Tiannan City to burn it off.
Li Yundong sprang to his feet, then punched the air.
The force of his punch stirred the air. If the meridians inside Li Yundong's body were water pipes, then that punch was like some kind faucet, allowing all the Qi inside his body to start flowing. At that moment, Li Yundong felt as though the stuff flowing through his veins and capillaries wasn't blood, but hot magma instead. He was on fire!
Li Yundong put his right leg forward, then bent it slightly at the knee. Yep, he believed that was the stance he'd used when he walloped the strength tester. SWISH! He threw another punch, stirring the air once more. He was so focused on the raw strength he felt in his arm that he'd entirely missed the fact that his hair was standing erect on top of his head!
Su Chan rose from the bed when she heard noises coming from outside the bedroom. She crept to the door, then opened it slowly until there was about an inch's gap between the door and the door jamb. She peeked out and saw Li Yundong punching the air with zest. Delight flooded her heart instantly.
Has he finally noticed the Jindan's power inside him? Yay!!!
Su Chan's grin widened further when she noticed the erect state of his hair. She knew that this was because the Qi inside his body had reached the peak of vitality. Imagine a covered pot of water. At first, the water is still. But once energy is added to the water via heat, it will start to boil and turn into steam! If Li Yundong's body was the pot, then the Renyuan Jindan's power would be the heat, and his Qi the water!
Now remove the lid from the pot. Qi would escape Li Yundong's body from his Baihui at the top of his head in the same way steam would escape the pot.
Cultivators from every Taoist school that Su Chan knew of agreed that the human body consists of three essential elements, Essence, Qi, and blood — the Three Flowers. They also believed that there are three Dantians inside the human body: the lower Dantian, located below the navel near the pubic region; the middle Dantian, located at the level of the heart; the upper Dantian, located at the level of the brain. (T/N: Please refer to the 'Three Flowers' section in the novel's glossary to get a deeper understanding of the concept behind Essence, Qi, and blood. I have also added an analogy as part of the explanation)
The Dantians can be thought of as containers. As such, the lower, middle, and upper Dantians are responsible for storing a person's Essence, Qi, and Spirit respectively. (T/N: Essence, Qi, and Spirit are regarded by Taoists as the three elements/aspects of human life; together, these three elements are called the Three Treasures; note that the Three Treasures are different from the Three Flowers, a detailed explanation of that difference can be found in the novel's glossary)
Cultivators believed that it is possible to transport one's Essence and Qi via the blood to one's head, where the upper Dantian lies. When this is achieved, one is said to be wearing the crown of three flowers (the Three Flowers are gathered on top of one's head, like wearing a crown). From there, the Three Flowers would be refined and converted into Spirit. This entire process is known as Xiao Zhoutian.
When Su Chan performed the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique on Li Yundong at his school the other day, she had indirectly put Li Yundong through Xiao Zhoutian.
Of course, no indirect training could produce an effect as potent as the real thing.
Woo-hoo! Now that's more like it! Keep punching! Go! Go! Go! Su Chan thought, cheering inwardly. Although Li Yundong was merely swinging his fists around, the physical activity would get his blood pumping. In other words, more blood would flow into his brain! And not just any blood, but blood carrying his Jindan-enhanced Qi and Essence!
Su Chan giggled.
He's performing Xiao Zhoutian, yet he doesn't even know it...
Then, she smirked.
And the best is yet to come too... It'll still have to wait until he knows how to convert his Three Flowers into Spirit though...
Once Li Yundong reached a certain level in Xiao Zhoutian, he would be ready to begin another process known as Da Zhoutian, which allows for the convergence of five Qis. (T/N: The convergence of five Qis is a phenomena in Cultivation in which the Qis of the five organs of the human body converge and come together as one at the Cultivator’s head. Please refer to the novel's glossary for more details)
Xiao Zhoutian and Da Zhoutian are the prerequisites for the Zhuji phase. (T/N: Zhuji is the fourth phase of Cultivation)
And after he passed the Zhuji phase, Su Chan could finally absorb the Jindan through an epic Yang Feeding! (T/N: Yang Feeding is when a woman feeds off a man's Yang Essence through sexual intercourse; details can be found in the novel's glossary)
Su Chan grinned at the thought.
However, her grin faded a few seconds later. But he's been so nice to me... All of a sudden, she felt a vague tug in her heart and a stifling sensation inside her chest, like she was gradually suffocating. She swallowed the lump in her throat and began chanting inwardly: He stole my Renyuan Jindan... He stole my Renyuan Jindan...
After repeating the chant dozens of times, she felt a bit better.
Su Chan's internal struggles were, of course, unknown to Li Yundong. The only emotion he was capable of feeling at that moment was thrill. His body trembled with each breath he took as he relished the strength coursing through his veins. He'd never experienced something like this before, like there was so much energy inside him that he might start swelling up like a balloon. Heck, he wouldn't even be surprised if he suddenly started breathing fire or something. He felt as though he was a nuclear warhead on the verge of detonation!
At one point, he couldn't take it anymore. He had to do something. Anything.
Li Yundong's right leg shot into the air as he mimicked the same kick that Zhao Yujian had used when he tried to bash Li Yundong's head in.
Li Yundong bent his raised leg at the knee and brought his heel downwards in a powerful snapping motion to complete the hook kick. The form was so perfect that it would put a 9th dan Taekwondo blackbelt to shame.
Holy f*cking shit! Did I just do that?
Excitement and joy coursed through him. In the past, he couldn't even perform a half split without feeling like his nutsack was about to rip in half! Now he could perform ninja kicks as though they were nothing! Boo-ya!
What is it that they say about being over-excited? Yep, it leads to all kinds of delusions.
Hah! I'm invincible!
He performed another kick, this time with his left leg. Then another.
After a few more tries, he came to the conclusion that the standing hook kick was a far cry from what an invincible badass like him was capable of. He wanted something a bit more challenging. Let's see... he thought, glancing around. When he found nothing on the floor to satisfy his inner Bruce Lee, he raised his head towards the ceiling.
The shade of the pendant light was at least two meters above his head.
Take this! Jump, spin, hook kick! WA-TAAAAAH!
Li Yundong's toe grazed the lampshade, causing the pendant light to sway like a pendulum.
Li Yundong landed on the ground with a loud thud, then did a fist pump.
"YES!!!!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, noise complaints be damned.
Meh, his walls were pretty much soundproof anyway. But more importantly, holy shit! He couldn't believe he just —
Li Yundong suddenly looked up.
"Son of a—"
Li Yundong yelped when the whole lamp landed on his face. He raised his arms and managed to grab hold of the lamp and prevent it from crashing to the floor, but then he lost his footing in the process. Another crash sounded as Li Yundong fell flat on his ass with his arms still hugging the contraption that interior designers called a lamp these days.
So much for being an invincible badass.
The sound of giggles made Li Yundong turn his head. The door of his bedroom was ajar, and he saw Su Chan's gorgeous face through the gap. And, of course, that little minx was laughing at his expense. Li Yundong glared at her, but that only made her laugh harder. Li Yundong's cheeks heated up. Soon, giggles turned into chuckles, then into full-blown belly laughs.
Feigning a menacing look, Li Yundong growled and tossed the stupid lamp onto the carpet. He got to his feet, then pounced at the door. Su Chan shrieked and shut the door with a loud bang. And, of course, being the invincible badass that he was, Li Yundong ran face-first into the door.
Oww... Li Yundong stood in front of the door, rubbing his forehead and nose. After a while, he turned around and walked away from the door in an angry huff. He stopped at the edge of the carpet, then glanced up at the hole in the ceiling. F*cking hell... First the TV, now this? At this rate, I'll probably be broke before I even get expelled...