After Li Yundong and Zi Yuan focused their minds, one Yin Spirit and one Yang Spirit floated into the air in unison. Li Yundong felt that like he was completely weightless. With a thought, he was able to fly thousands of meters away in an instant. His speed was far higher than his normal physical flying speed.
There was no difference between the Yang Spirit of Zi Yuan and her physical body. Even the clothes she was wearing were exactly the same. It was as if she had split herself into two people. After watching Li Yundong float freely in the air for a while, she suddenly asked, "Do you know the biggest difference between the Yin Spirit and the Yang Spirit?"
Li Yundong stopped, then shook his head and said with a smile, "Although I seem pretty decent at fighting right now, I'm actually still far behind in my Cultivation. Zhenren Zi Yuan, don't keep me guessing, just give me some pointers."
Zi Yuan smiled slightly and waved to Li Yundong. "Come with me."
The two quickly descended to the ground. By this time, night was already drawing in. They flew to the suburbs, unafraid of being seen as they neared the wilderness.
After Zi Yuan had landed, she broke off a branch with her hand and began to fiddle with it. She smiled and said, "Have a try."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "It's not difficult." As he said this, he reached out to break the branch in front of him. However, rather than his hand touching the branch, it passed right through it.
Li Yundong was stunned and said, "Can't I touch anything?"
Zi Yuan nodded and smiled. "That's right. This is the greatest difference between the Yin and Yang Spirits!"
Li Yundong smiled and asked, "Isn't it like a soul separated from its body?"
"You could say that. I've already explained how to cultivate Shentong in the fifth phase. Today, I'll explain to you how to cultivate Yuanying in the sixth phase," Zi Yuan replied.
Li Yundong's expression was solemn. He put one fist on the flat, upturned palm of his other hand, cupping it as he said, "Zhenren Zi Yuan, please enlighten me!"
Zi Yuan was playing with a branch she had picked up from the side of the road. She said with a smile, "When a cultivator has cultivated Shentong of the fifth phase to a certain extent, God will start to prepare a divine punishment in order to kill the Cultivator. According to the normal law of cultivation, if the Heavenly Thunder strikes a person, whether they are a Da Luo Jinxian or a Ninth Heaven Immortal, they will die for sure. This is because no matter how strong the human body is, it can't be stronger than Heavenly Thunder. There is only one kind of power that can withstand Heavenly Thunder..."
Before Zi Yuan could even finish her sentence, Li Yundong's eyes lit up. He quickly interjected, "I understand. It's the Yin Spirit or Yang Spirit that's roaming outside!"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "The Yin Spirit is only at the primary Cultivation of the sixth phase. It is an energy form spawned from the Neidan in your body. However, this energy body is relatively thin and weak, so it can't touch anything. If you use the Yin Spirit to bear the divine punishment, it will be thoroughly obliterated and you will become nothing more than a walking corpse."
"You can only withstand the Heavenly Thunder after you have cultivated your Yin Spirit into a Yang Spirit. You have to know that when you undergo Lightning Retribution, that is when your Yang Spirit will be placed in the rolling dark clouds of thunder and lightning, enduring countless strikes of lightning. This is called passing divine punishment.
"The primary Cultivation of the sixth phase is called the Huaying phase. As the name implies, it means that the Neidan in your body has turned into a baby shape. You said that when you practiced the Nine Cycles Jindan, your Yin Spirit went out of your body. At that moment, your Yin Spirit, which had just turned into a baby, was separate from your body and able to look at the world. Your Yin Spirit has now grown into a teenager. This is the intermediate level of the sixth phase. In the Chengying phase means, the Yin Spirit in your body will begin to slowly take shape.
"As your Yin Spirit gradually grows in strength and power, it will slowly turn into Yang Spirit, which means that your energy will become stronger and stronger, and you will be able to touch other things, just like any ordinary person. This mark shows that you have cultivated to the upper Cultivation level of the sixth phase, Yuanying phase, which is also the Yangshen phase.
"Although you're better at fighting than me now, if I were to release my Yang Spirit, it would become a two-against-one situation. One-on-one, I'm no match for you, but two-on-one, you'll be no match for me at all. To say the least, even if I'm fighting two-on-one, I'd be no match for you. I can also escape from the Yang Spirit to find a corner and a good Furnace tripod which you wouldn't be able to locate. After doing that, I'd endure the humiliation and try to rise again. This is similar to Yan Fang. She's no match for Liu Ye when it comes to fighting, but if she escapes by using her Yang Spirit, no matter what kind of cultivators she's against, they and even Liu Ye wouldn't be able to stop her."
Zi Yuan said slowly, "Those who have cultivated to the Yuanying phase have Taoed life and death and reincarnation. As long as the Yang Spirit is not dead, one can continue to live. The spirit only needs to constantly be attached to the body to be reborn. That's the strength of the highest level of the Yuanying phase."
Li Yundong was suddenly enlightened. "Ah, so it turns out that you still had a trick up your sleeve last time! Cunning, really cunning! I will have a real fight with you some other day!"
Zi Yuan smiled faintly. "There's no need for us to spar anymore. If I don't use a Yang Spirit, your Zhenqi will be so immense and boundless that I'll be no match for you. I'll gladly admit defeat before we even take to the field. But since I can't beat you, there's no way you can wipe me out. Because you haven't cultivated to the peak of the Yuanying phase, if you meet a master level great cultivator, you won't be able to beat him and will be unable to run away by using your Yang Spirit. As such, you'll have nothing to do but to surrender.
Li Yundong smiled and said, "I know. After cultivating to the Yang Spirit Cultivation in the sixth phase, not only can you bring one of your doppelgangers into the fight to assist you, but you can also slice your wrists when necessary, give up your physical body, and escape by Yang Spirit, right?"
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "Exactly!"
Li Yundong then asked with incomprehension in his eyes, "Now that you have cultivated the Yang Spirit, shouldn't you be able to pass the divine punishment?"
Zi Yuan shook her head and said, "No, after a cultivator reaches Yang Spirit Cultivation, he has Taoed the cycle of life and death. However, he has not transcended the restrictions of heaven and earth. He must train his Yang Spirit to jinshen of the seventh phase before he can fight the Heavenly Thunder. Otherwise, even the strongest and most condensed Yang Spirit would not be able to withstand the might of the Heavenly Thunder."
Li Yundong said, "I remember something about this. When the Fox Zen School settled a score against the major sects last time, I heard some cultivators from other sects say that no one in the world could reach jinshen?"
Zi Yuan nodded, then shook her head. "From the perspective of the current Cultivation World, this is indeed the case. However, the Great Six and the Zhengyi School, as well as the North-South Zen Sect, Huayan Sect, and other Buddhist Sects have a wide range of roots and hidden dragons and tigers. It's hard to say whether or not there are any seniors who have been above worldly considerations for many years in the Cultivation World and who have been able to reach this Cultivation level. However, as far as I know, the Leader the Zhengyi School, Zhang Tianshī, seems to have approached this Cultivation level."
Li Yundong thought for a moment and asked, "I seem to recall having heard someone say that only by taking the Diyuan Jindan can one cultivate to this point?"
Zi Yuan chuckled and said, "It's just theoretical. There are three Elixirs of life in the whole world: the Tianyuan Jindan, the Diyuan Jindan, and the Renyuan Jindan. You took the lowest-ranked Renyuan Jindan and immediately became a cultivator who is famous throughout the world. If you took the Diyuan Jindan, what kind of Cultivation do you think you would reach?"
When Li Yundong heard this, he couldn't help but become lost in thought. "I wonder how one can refine the Diyuan Jindan..."
"The cultivation method for the Diyuan Jindan has been lost for nearly five hundred years. You'd better not think about it. It's better to cultivate step by step."
Li Yundong nodded in agreement.
While they were still talking happily, they suddenly heard a faint cry from not far away. "Excuse me. Is that Li Yundong, Zhenren Li?"
Li Yundong and Zi Yuan were immediately shocked. The two of them turned at the same time to face the direction which the sound was coming from. They shouted warily, "Who is it?!"
Li Yundong peered through the shadowy darkness of the night and saw a woman standing in a yellow gown. She was beautiful, slender, and aesthetically exquisite.
In normal times, this woman would be an eye-catching beauty. But under these circumstances, a beautiful woman standing in a dark area of the wilderness could only be seen as suspicious.
The gaze of Zi Yuan was like a torch, able to see through to the woman's original appearance at a glance. She whispered to Li Yundong, "This is a Yin Spirit that is out on a trip. The demon Qi in her is very strong."
Li Yundong thundered, "Who are you? How do you know me?"
Although Li Yundong was out using his Yin Spirit, his body was still full of Yang Qi. The woman in yellow didn't dare to get too close. When she was about five meters away from him, she said slowly, "Zhenren Li, you once saved my husband's life. Have you forgotten?"
Li Yundong was immediately confused. "How did I save you and your husband?"
The woman in yellow looked at Zi Yuan. Her eyes were filled with vigilance as she said softly, "In Xiyuan..."
Li Yundong suddenly understood. "Wait, are you one of those two golden snakes that escaped?"
Li Yundong looked at her with a face full of doubt and asked, "Why are you looking for me? Aren't you afraid that I'll take you back? Next to me is Zhenren Zi Yuan from the Linggong Sect. She is my good friend. If you have something to say, just say it. Don't beat around the bush."
The yellow-dressed woman sighed softly and said with tears in her eyes, "My husband and I were two golden snakes who cultivated at the foot of Donghua Mountain. A few days ago, when my husband heard that the Immortal Pen and the Medicine King Tripod were about to be above worldly considerations, he got stirred up and said that he would go to the mortal world to have a look. I tried my best to persuade him not to go but he wouldn't listen. In the end, I followed him out of the mountain.
"However, what I didn't know was that that when we passed through Dongwu City, we would be caught by a bunch of charlatans from the Xiyuan Temple. They insisted that we were evil Demons and they wanted to release us from purgatory by force. With God as my witness, I swear that my husband and I have cultivated in the deep mountains for a hundred years and never hurt anyone. I never could have expected that we would suffer such a disaster. Fortunately, Zhenren Li rescued us, so it was fortunate for us to get rid of it."
At this point, the yellow-dressed woman bowed respectfully, her movements graceful.
Li Yundong lifted his hand and said, "Since you have escaped, why did you come to me? It was just an accident that day. I wasn't actually intending to save you, so you don't have to thank me."
The woman in yellow sobbed and said, "Although we escaped from the tiger's mouth, it seems that we can't escape from the claws of a wolf. In the past few days, we have been besieged by several cultivators of the Cultivation sects and they tried to kill us in order to take our Neidan. I was in a desperate situation. I remembered that only Zhenren Li had ever helped us in the human world, and I had heard that he saved the Fox Zen School when it was in danger. What's more, Zhenren Li didn't discriminate against demons like us who cultivated in a demon body. That's why I am being so bold as to come here and ask for help."
Li Yundong asked in a deep voice, "How did you find me?"
"I wandered around the Fox Zen School until I saw Zhenren Li's breath nearby. Only then did I follow you," the woman replied.
Li Yundong was noncommittal and asked again, "You want me to save you? But how can I know whether or not you have done anything against reason and nature?"
The woman choked with sobs as she said, "As the saying goes, heaven is merciful. My husband and I have never done anything that is harmful to heaven or earth. If I am lying, may the heavens smite me where I stand!"
Both Buddhists and Taoists believed in karmic consequences, so Li Yundong believed the woman's oath.
However, Zi Yuan said in a low voice, "Li Yundong, it's not that I'm being too wordy and pedantic. Humans and demons are not the same, after all. As the saying goes, those who aren't of our race are bound to be different. Not all demons are as innocent and harmless as Su Chan. You have to think carefully before making a decision here."
The words of Zi Yuan made Li Yundong think twice, and he realized that he was in quite a dilemma.
To help them or not? That was the question.