Ancient Strengthening Technique Chapter 901-902
AST 901 – Changes to Events, Wait and See
The Mu Clan had rejected them. Although they had done so in a tactful way, it was inevitable that the Yin Clan would feel humiliated. Therefore, while there didn’t seem to be any problems on the surface, if the chance were to arise, the Yin Clan wouldn’t mind stepping down on the Mu Clan.
Young Master Yin had tried to rely on the fact that he was considered quite strong in the Yin Clan to make it clear that he wanted Mu Qing to marry him out of her own free will. By saying this, he was making it clear to others that he was going to regain the pride that the Yin Clan had lost from this. If anyone were to interfere, that person would be going against the Yin Clan.
Since Young Master Yin truly liked Mu Qing, no one found this statement strange. On the contrary, it allowed the Yin Clan to regain some of their pride. He didn't overstep his bounds and merely said that he must successfully court Mu Qing and his effort would definitely let him succeed. Therefore, even the Third Elder couldn’t say anything either. Young Master Yin hadn't said anything too overbearing, so how could they possibly beat up the other party just because he liked their daughter?
Most importantly, Yin Yuanjiao was also tactful. Maybe it was because he knew that he could not win against Mu Qing in a fight and thus decided to not offend Mu Qing. Although he was impetuous, he still knew his limits. However, it seemed like he had hit a snag.
It wasn't a problem for him to crush someone’s hand or even kill a nameless person in this city. However, this person was already the Mu Clan’s guest and if anything were to happen to this person while he was in the Mu Residence, it would be a slap to their face.
Therefore, the people from the Mu Clan weren't very happy. Additionally, there some people from the Mu Clan who hated Young Master Yin.
The reason that Young Master Yin dared to act so bold was that he had investigated beforehand. He knew that Qing Shui was not a relative of the Mu Clan and had merely encountered Mu Qing by chance. They had then entered the Sky Penetrating Mountains together.
A kill was a kill. If the Mu Clan lost face, he could just admit his mistake. It was fine as long as he could eradicate this guy who was next to Mu Qing. He had carefully planned out everything, and even his fury was calculated.
He had underestimated Qing Shui because he didn’t believe that this young 'giggolo' would be his match. After all, a demonic genius like Mu Qing might not even be found in ten million people. It wasn't that easy to encounter someone as talented as her.
But now he knew he found out that he was wrong, very wrong. One of his hands was crushed, while the other hand was badly fractured. This was just his opponent’s casual attack, or rather, they hadn't even done anything.
What on earth was this fellow's cultivation realm?
Young Master Yin wasn't the only one who wanted to know this. All the others present were curious about this as well. Even though Mu Qing knew that Qing Shui was well-learned and even knew about formations, she had always thought that Qing Shui’s cultivation level wasn't too high. At least, she thought that his cultivation shouldn't be as high as her. But now, she felt that her way of thinking was very funny.
“Senior, I’m sorry to have caused you trouble. I wasn’t able to control my strength well,” Qing Shui smiled and said to Mu Qian, seemingly embarrassed.
This statement made Mu Qian feel a little awkward. He could tell what Qing Shui was hinting. Earlier, he had also wanted to test out Qing Shui’s abilities and he was sure that Qing Shui was stronger than that Young Master Yin. However, this wasn't something he could say.
Additionally, Mu Qian had really wanted to make use of Qing Shui to teach Young Master Yin a lesson. After all, they couldn’t do it themselves. Since his daughter seemed to like Qing Shui too, he thought of it as giving Qing Shui a trial.
“It’s no trouble, no trouble. This is a spar. Injuries and deaths are inevitable.” Mu Qian said calmly before walking over to Young Master Yin.
At this moment, Yin Yuanjiao’s hands were basically crippled and he was dealt a great blow. He suddenly let out a loud cry and ran out.
There were no signs of chaos in the room, nor even a single drop of blood. However, Yin Yuanjiao's hands were crushed and they were crushed to the extent that they were basically crippled. Only some sort of miraculous medicine could save his hands.
Yin Yuanjiao’s departure stunned everyone. On the other hand, Qing Shui was wondering if this Young Master Yin would go crazy.
He wasn't worried that people from the Yin Clan would come here for now since there was still the Mu Clan. Moreover, even without the Mu Clan, Qing Shui had the confidence that he would be able to attack and evade them as he wished. This was because his Nine Palace Steps had already reached the small success stage. As for formations, it would still require a very long time.
However, with his current cultivation level, paired up with the Nine Palace Steps, only people who were much stronger than him could do anything against him.
“Eldest Brother, Young Master Yin was crippled by Qing Shui…”
Someone walked into another hall in the Mu Clan and reported. The people here were the strongest experts amongst the younger generation in the Mu Clan, except Mu Qing’s siblings weren’t here.
“Crippled? Haha, Fifth Brother was right. Qing Shui can now forget about having a good end unless he holes up in the Mu Clan and not head out,” the staunch man addressed as the Eldest Brother laughed and said.
“The Yin Clan definitely won't let Qing Shui off, not even if the Mu Clan were to stand up for him. Sister Qing’s refusal of the Yin Clan’s marriage proposal had already caused them to feel humiliated. Now that Young Master Yin was crippled by the guy that she brought back, they definitely won't take this lying down. After all, the Yin Clan isn’t any weaker when compared to the Mu Clan.” The skinny man dressed in embroidered clothes frowned and said.
“What’s so bad about that?” asked the staunch guy puzzledly when he noticed his Fifth Brother’s expression. Amongst all the siblings here and in terms of all their siblings, this Fifth Brother was the most intelligent one.
“I previously heard that Sister Qing and the others were learning formations?” the skinny man’s expression suddenly became unnatural.
“Formations? Like the type that the Sky Prison Sect uses?” the staunch man frowned and looked at his Fifth Brother.
“I think so. Does Eldest Brother know who she’s learning it from?” said the Fifth Brother as he gradually regained his calm.
“That’s right. Another notable fact is that there wasn't even a corpse of the Sky Prison Sect’s 'Flower Crusher' left behind. They had entered at about the same time as Sister Qing and the others. Most importantly, we’ve received news that their target was Sister Qing." The skinny man wearing embroidered clothes looked at his Eldest Brother and said slowly.
“The Flower Crusher’s abilities is quite high. Most importantly, if their group were to form the saber formation, there’s almost no one amongst the younger generation who would be able to do anything against them. Couldn’t they've died because of some powerful demonic beasts they encountered?”
“They had died at the hands of Sister Qing’s and that Qing Shui’s. I just received this news too.” A substitute member for their formations who had followed the Flower Crusher had spread this news. When the Flower Crusher was attacking Sister Qing and Qing Shui, this substitute member coincidentally needed to relieve himself and thus left for a short while. When he came back, everyone was dead. That were no demonic beasts, nor were there Sister Qing’s and Qing Shui’s corpses. Earlier, they were attacking Sister Qing and Qing Shui, so there can only be one answer. Sister Qing and Qing Shui had killed the Flower Crusher.” The skinny man sighed and said.
“Sister Qing’s abilities aren't sufficient to kill this opponent. This Qing Shui isn't simple,” the staunch and handsome man looked at his 5th Brother and said with a smile.
“Earlier, he had even crippled Young Master Yin with great ease. A person who dares to attack someone from the Yin Clan is either a person who is very strong but acts weak or simply an idiot. This Qing Shui is clearly not an idiot. Maybe everyone was wrong about him.” The skinny man tapped his left hand gently on the table, his expression was one that was full of caution.
“From now onwards, don’t do anything. Don’t talk about this matter either.” The staunch man hesitated for a moment before saying.
The others nodded. They had attained their goal, but they were still uneasy. However, it was still nothing since the others wouldn't think that they had done any harm to others.
“Father, the Yin Clan will definitely find trouble for Qing Shui this time around.” Mu Qing looked at Mu Qian worriedly and said.
“Haha, don’t worry. Our Mu Clan isn’t any weaker than their Yin Clan. Moreover, they only have their lack of abilities to blame for this incident. They can’t blame others.” Mu Qian didn't seem to care at all, as he said this.
“This thing has nothing to do with the Mu Clan. If the people from the Yin Clan send their people here, don’t worry, I’ll talk to them myself.” Qing Shui smiled and said.
“That can’t do. You’re my friend. How can I let you deal with this alone…” Mu Qing said anxiously. Although she was anxious, her voice was still euphonious and refined.
“Qing Shui, no matter how sorry our Mu Clan is, we can’t do this. Moreover, you’re my daughter's friend. As long as I, Mu Qian, am alive, I’ll make sure that you’re safe.” Mu Qian looked at Qing Shui and said calmly, his tone was so firm that no one would doubt his words. It also had a powerful confidence.
Qing Shui smiled and nodded. The atmosphere lightened up a lot too.
“I heard that you’re teaching my daughter about formations,” after everyone sat down again, Mu Qian smiled and said, as if he was asking casually.
Qing Shui was stunned for a moment before he smiled and replied, “It’s not really teaching. I only know a little about this. Miss Mu seems to be interested in this, so I’m just sharing with her what I know about them.”
“Qing Shui, you’re too humble. Formations are very profound and it’s hard for ordinary people to come into contact with them. In the Eastern Victory Divine Continent, the sects and clans who know about formations are also limited. These sects and clans are all very powerful.” Mu Qian looked at Qing Shui and said with a smile.
Qing Shui smiled in return. He knew that Mu Qian was actually suspicious of his identity since no one knew of his background. Additionally, he seemed to be very close with Mu Qing, and as a father, it was natural for Mu Qian to want to know about Qing Shui.
“I’m not from a clan or a sect that specializes in formations. I’ve only had a lucky encounter previously and got my hands on a book related to formations, thus managing to pick up a thing or two about it. If Miss Mu isn’t interested in this, then I wouldn’t have thought about bringing it up.” Qing Shui explained.
Qing Shui then asked about some things related to refining demons. This made Mu Qian very astonished. He hadn't expected that Qing Shui would know about refining demon too. He didn’t ask about Qing Shui’s cultivation realm but he knew that this young man was very strong. He wasn’t sure if Qing Shui was stronger than him but he felt that Qing Shui shouldn’t. It was because it would be too unbelievable if he was.
The meal lasted for about two hours. Mu Qing brought Qing Shui to a room for him to rest in. She had her own independent manor in the Mu Clan and there were several buildings there.
Qing Shui didn’t see Dong Yan and Sun Yan. He guessed that they should be still drinking. As he followed Mu Qing to her manor, Qing Shui was actually pondering about some matters.
For example, when they had brought up the issue of formations, Mu Qian had suspected his background. He must have suspected that Qing Shui was someone from the Sky Prison Sect or was someone who specialized in formations.
What Qing Shui didn’t know was that Mu Qian was aware that he wasn't from the Sky Prison Sect and that he was someone which the Sky Prison Sect wouldn’t be able to forgive. It was because Mu Qian knew of the fact that Qing Shui had joined forces with Mu Qing to kill the Flower Crusher from the Sky Prison Sect. Mu Qian had known of this fact earlier than that 'Fifth Brother'. He wasn’t afraid of the Yin Clan, but he was afraid of the Sky Prison Sect.
The Sky Prison Sect wasn't on amiable terms with many sects and factions in the city, but the other factions couldn’t do anything about it. While some of the powerful sects from this area could go against the Sky Prison Sect, they wouldn’t eradicate them just because they had the ability to do so. If they were to battle it out, regardless if the result was a victory or a loss, they would still suffer heavy losses.
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AST 902 – Accidental Touch, Qing Shui's Experiment with Formations
Qing Shui and Mu Qing walked towards her manor. Although Mu Qing appeared to be absent-minded, she would occasionally steal glances at Qing Shui.
"Are you worried about the Yin Clan?" Qing Shui asked with a smile.
Mu Qing sighed and said,"Qing Shui, we have a problem."
Qing Shui smiled, he really didn't feel troubled at all. He gently asked, "What is the problem? Is the Yin Clan that strong?"
"It is not the Yin Clan that I am worried about. My concern is whether the Sky Prison Sect will be added to the mix." Mu Qing's heart was a mess. She could not say it out loud, but she was worried that Qing Shui might be killed the moment he left. Therefore, she wanted to tell him everything of importance to allow him time to better prepare.
Although Qing Shui also had the Sky Prison Sect on his mind, seeing the hesitation from Mu Qing was already enough to let him know what she was thinking. When she first learned formations he already knew that people were of flesh and blood. Qing Shui was internally grateful for the sympathy he received at that time.
If it wasn't because she was concerned for his safety, she would see to it that he left this dangerous place unharmed. Qing Shui thought of this while walking, a smile leaking from his face.
If you give me a foot worth of respect, I will return it to you ten times. He would never change his principles and would sincerely aid those that had helped him before.
"Qing Shui, I am not sure how you escaped from the beasts in Sky Penetrating Mountains, but do you have any confidence in escaping the Eastern Victory Divine Continent?" Mu Qing realized she had almost reached her manor and stopped to ask Qing Shui.
Everything about this incident was a mistake. It was merely a coincidence that Qing Shui, Mu Qing and the others had entered the Sky Penetrating Mountains together but it was due to this coincidence that Mu Qing had been rescued from the hands of the Flower Crusher.
However, this created resentment with the Sky Prison Sect. On top of that, the incident with the Yin Clan was another fuse that was lit. She was well aware that this fuse was a short one, and it was ready to explode anytime.
The Jun City and Continent's Capital area was home to many groups that carried a huge influence. These groups included the Sky Prison Sect, Tyrant Fist Sect, Godly Sword Sect, Mu Clan, Yin Clan and more… Although all these influential powers were huddled around Jun City and the Continent's Capital area, there weren't many conflicts or disputes, so their interactions were limited.
Although the Mu Clan was more famous in the area where the Mu Clan and Yin Clan resided, the Yin Clan wasn't weak by any means. Additionally, since both clans resided in the same area, it was sometimes inevitable that they had to cooperate with each other, which led to conflicts of interest when the distribution of goods appeared uneven on either side.
After hearing what Mu Qing had to say, Qing Shui hesitated "Do they know?"
What Qing Shui was referring to was the incident where they killed the Flower Crusher. If they were discovered then there would be no place to hide. No wall was ever airtight.
"At the time we had missed one, the news of this has only spread recently and the Sky Prison Sect is trying to condemn us now." Mu Qing looked at Qing Shui, this time everything with a calm countenance.
"If it has been discovered then so be it, it's not a huge deal. If they come, we'll cut them down. Let's see if they still want to condemn us. Do they think we are some small fry?" Qing Shui mumbled while shaking his head. However, the situation was very clear.
Mu Qing looked at Qing Shui with surprise. She knew that this man never lied, nor was he the type to show off. If the enemy hadn't forced his hand, he wouldn't expose his true strength.
"Qing Shui, I am being serious here. The Sky Prison Sect is very strong." Mu Qing gave Qing Shui a glance. She had dragged out her voice a little in displeasure.
Qing Shui rubbed his nose a little and smirked. "Alright, not to worry, there won't be any incidents. How's the practice with positioning and footwork coming along?"
"It has been a mess. I have no idea where to start, so the progress has not been good." Mu Qing felt a headache just thinking about it.
Qing Shui stopped, then suddenly closed the gap between them using One Origin Steps. Although his footwork looked tricky, it was executed elegantly as though he was drifting.
Qing Shui was using One Origin Steps on purpose. If the opposition also knew the One Origin Steps, then they would dodge away like a conditioned reflex.
Mu Qing was shocked by Qing Shui's sudden movement. Her mind was also confused for a bit, but she dodged instinctively. To her surprise, she was actually moving away with the strange movement technique that she learned recently.
From this single action, she understood what Qing Shui was trying to do and started to dodge seriously. The progression in a real battle was faster and Mu Qing was well aware of this fact.
Qing Shui tried to make his move from different angles, but his attacks were nothing but feints. The purpose of his moves wasn't to hit his target, but rather to apply pressure. Right now, Qing Shui could freely cast from a variety of angles to force Mu Qing to move.
Qing Shui approached with growing coercive pressure to develop Mu Qing's potential. His footwork speed, angles and precision were steadily increasing as he observed Mu Qing's growth in skill. Compared to before, she was utilizing the One Origin Steps with more fluidity. At this point, Qing Shui began to use the Duality Steps, which could also be called Yin Yang Steps.
Nine Palace Steps had nine realms like that of a staircase that rose a step at a time. The higher one reached in the steps, the stronger it became and the further one could see. Each realm was the basis for the next realm.
Mu Qing was barely proficient in Duality Steps. With Qing Shui's persistent pressure Mu Qing's footwork became a disorderly mess. Qing Shui's goal was to put Mu Qing in a difficult position without completely discouraging her. As such, Qing Shui would leave a bit of room for Mu Qing to maneuver each time. This was to help her to fully adapt to the situation.
This method of practice was forcing her to dodge while drilling her with attacks, the effect was immediate but this approach cannot be used persistently. Continuously using this method would slow down her realm level up. Nonetheless, this method would allow her to hone her skill more, to the point where she will become able to execute the steps as though it was second nature. Therefore, if it was required, they could ask the elders of her clan to drill her later.
Almost two hours had passed since they started the drills. This was the door to Mu Qing's manor. Just like that, their footwork interaction had brought them to Mu Qing's garden.
Her garden was anything but small, its length was several hundred meters long with three pavilions, one building, one arbor, a crescent corridor, a pond, a bridge…
Mu Qing could feel her usage of the Duality Steps improve as the practice went on. She also felt that her actual combat abilities had powered up a bit. However, as she was thinking this, she had accidentally lost her composure for a split second. That was when Qing Shui's strike hit its mark.
Had she already turned sideways, then Qing Shui's strike would have missed. Although Mu Qing had turned, she was one step too slow. Qing Shui wasn't aware that she had lost her focus. In addition, he wasn't using much force with each strike, so he knew he wouldn't cause any injuries even if he did hit her.
Thus, his hand moved towards the soft bosom of Mu Qing's slanted body. Although part of the blame could be placed on how voluminous that part of her body was…
At this instant, both of them froze. Mu Qing blushed red in embarrassment and instantly glared at Qing Shui with a hidden bitterness and took two quick steps back. At the same instant, Qing Shui could feel the exquisite softness and elasticity that represented the charming tenderness extenuating from Mu Qing's body.
"Sorry!" Qing Shui said after hesitating slightly.
"I lost my focus, it's not your fault, I'll lead you to your room." Mu Qing tried to calm herself down, almost saying it as though it was the least bit of concern to her.
The pink building was where Mu Qing resided, it was half the height of the other buildings.
The other buildings were pale gray with a color that reflected the natural atmosphere.
The interior of the building was spacious. Qing Shui chose a room directly on the first floor. The center of the first floor had a living room, with a few bedrooms and a kitchen surrounding it. The second and third floor should have a similar floor plan.
This was a norm on the Eastern Victory Divine Continent. Unlike buildings in the Central Continent and the Greencloud Continent, the first floor only comprised of the living room with a kitchen on the side. The second and third floor were mostly bedrooms. At most, there would be a very small public area that could be shared.
Mu Qing didn't enter the room with Qing Shui, but said while smiling, "There are beddings and blankets inside the closets in the room, all of which are brand new."
"Okay, thank you!" said Qing Shui.
"You must be tired, you should rest. See you tomorrow!" Mu Qing said with a smile.
Qing Shui walked Mu Qing to the door and watched her graceful figure disappear from view before returning to his bedroom. Qing Shui's mood was a mess, but what he wasn't aware of was that someone else's state of mind was even more disorderly.
Once she left the building that Qing Shui was staying in, she headed straight for her own building. From the time she was at the building where Qing Shui was until her first couple of steps into her own building, she had endured. Mu Qing let out a breath as her heartbeat began to accelerate and her face flushed to a beet red.
Her face felt hot. Mu Qing quickly walked into her room and closed the door behind her, as if she was afraid someone would see her. It was a shame that nobody could see her stunning charm in this moment.
Qing Shui was inside the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. He held a few pebbles that were about the size of cobblestones in his hands. He looked towards the area around eighty meters to the North-West and started throwing stones towards that direction. This time the ground had already collected a dozen of stones.
Qing Shui was experimenting with formations. This was his first experiment in setting the formations, especially when it was the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation.
This formation was the most powerful one that Qing Shui could cast especially since only one person was needed to use this formation. Thus, Qing Shui set aside the Duality Minutest Formation for now. If the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation was unsuccessful, then he would move on to the Duality Minutest Formation.
In comparison, the Duality Minutest Formation was like a smaller and simplified version of the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation. Therefore, Qing Shui opted to practice setting the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation instead of the Duality Minutest Formation.
In addition, Qing Shui's Nine Palace Steps resonated perfectly with the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation's effect. This was also the reason why Qing Shui wanted to practice the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation.
Although Qing Shui wasn't practicing the Duality Minutest Formation right now, he knew that he must understand how to use it later. Even if he doesn't use it now, other people will want to learn it, like people from the Qing Clan or even someone like Mu Qing.
He had to at least teach her something. In the case of Nine Palace Steps, he wanted to see what realm she could reach. For the Duality Minutest Formation, it was a formation used to trap the enemy and aid the user in killing them. On top of that, he could also teach her the Five Elements Minor Formation. This should be enough for now. If she could practice the Nine Palace Steps and the two formations meticulously she should be able to get on without much trouble.
Qing Shui continued to throw pebbles while shaking his head. At least the fountain side wasn't short of pebbles. His pebble tossing speed was slow. Sometimes he would even go back and pick up some pebbles that he had thrown. Qing Shui also drew the Nine Palace Diagram and in the middle he drew the Eight Trigrams Diagram.
The Eight Trigrams Formation was based on the idea of the Eight Inner Gates: Healing, Life, Pain, Limit, View, Death, Wonder and Opening. The Eight Trigrams Formation was already a powerful technique by itself and it was now encompassed by the power of the Nine Palace, the difficulty to master this formation wasn't simply one plus one, so its strength wasn't simply additive either.
When Qing Shui held the last pebble in his hand, he was a bit hesitant, yet he was also excited. Placing this last pebble as the eye of the formation would let him know if his setup was a success or not.
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