Chapter Four Paired Cultivation
The first realm of cultivation, Profound Understanding, was to feel the profound mysteries, and open the secret points of the body. One would leave behind the ranks of mortals and step into the ranks of cultivators.
The second step of cultivation, Energy Refinement was to be able to look into one’s body, open all meridians, produce energies in the organs and circulate them through the body.
When one reached realm two, they could use their physical energies to fight against enemies. Internally, they could cleanse the bones and body, and receive benefits that ordinary people could not imagine.
Any cultivator that pass through the realm two would have nothing more important than cultivation unless they had a great hatred or a matter of life and death.
How could normal pleasures compare to the joy at feeling one’s body strengthen and change or when one solved a problem of cultivation?
When they could draw the primal energies of the universe into their bodies and produce vital energy, they reached the realm three of cultivation, Vital Energy Realm.
There were no two cultivators in the world with exactly the same talent and qualities. Even twins born at the exact same time would have countless minute differences from the moment of birth. Even if one had the help of a wise teacher on their cultivation path, the eyes of a teacher could not see endlessly into a student’s body. So the path of cultivation required people to comprehend on their own, like a swimmer in the dark night passing the river by touching rocks. Each moment was dangerous, and each realm harder than the previous.
Those with vital energy were at least realm three or above. Ding Ning naturally knew what realm her cultivation had reached. He also knew what kind of danger and urgency was contained in her cold and calm words. But everything he did was calm, and methodical.
After quickly washing and putting on clean clothes, he cut up a bowl of tofu, sprinkled on diced scallions, and poured on sesame oil.
After eating two bowls of leftover rice which hadn’t completely warmed up with this bowl of tofu, he walked into the bedroom at the back of the building.
In truth, to his present body, he did not lack this meal. However, he knew very well that this tiny misstep of not using the sesame oil after buying it might cause the officials of the Astrology Bureau find some hidden truths.
His fellow knew this as well. According to the habits of the Astrology Bureau, after twice confirming that there were no problems, the Astrology Bureau would destroy the case file they had regarding him. For a very long time, the gaze of the Astrology Bureau would not land on him.
This was also one of the reasons he deliberately appeared in front of Mo Qinggong and the others.
There were two beds in the simple bedroom with a grey curtain separating them. Living with his aunt like this was extremely common for families who did not have extra rooms.
Yet after closing the door to the bedroom, Ding Ning did not walk to his own bed, and made his way with familiarity to Zhangsun Qianxue’s bed. He quickly took off his outer robe, and neatened the blankets.
Just like many previous nights, when he silently laid down against the wall, Zhangsun Qianxue moved through the darkness and laid next to him.
Other than coldness, there was no emotion in Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyes. In the process of laying down next to Ding Ning, she did not even look at him.
And the moment she said the word, her body gave off a tangible presence of icy cold.
In the darkness, Ding Ning stared at her.
Looking at her frosty appearance, complicated emotions appeared in his eyes. A grimace lingered at the corner of his lips. But in the next moment, all emotions disappeared from his eyes. His gaze became clear, and his expression became extremely solemn and grave.
A unique presence seemed to flicker out of his body. Even the minute particles of dust in the air were blown away. Water seemed to clean the air within several meters of him and Zhangsun Qianxue.
This presence was similar to the presence of the five academians with umbrellas in the alley, and the cultivators who got there later, but slightly weaker.
Even weak, it proved he was a cultivator.
Zhangsun Qianxue seemed to quickly sink into sleep, her breathing becoming long and slow.
However, her body became colder and colder. White frost spread on the blankets.
Tiny particles of blue ice even appeared in her exhaled air.
Each tiny particle of blue ice would make a strange poof when they landed on the blanket. They would turn into a sky-blue energy, colder than even snow.
The rising blue energy would meet the moist air and immediately form white snowflakes.
So it appeared countless blue and white flowers of ice were growing on the blankets surrounding her.
At the same time she started breathing out these blue ice particles, her eyelashes fluttered and she frowned. She seemed to be cultivating involuntarily and she felt pain.
Ding Ning worriedly closed his eyes.
A layer of frost appeared on his body, yet his complexion became even redder. His body grew hotter. The blood vessels usually hidden under his skin suddenly bulging out. One could almost see his blood quickly flowing through his blood vessels.
A rhythmic sound of a furnace formed in the silent bedroom.
No presence leaked from his body, but his body seemed to become a contain with a unique attraction.
Minute cracking sounds came from this bed. The ice flowers on the blankets started to shatter. The blue energies visible to the naked eye slowly permeated his body.
The white frost danced around Zhangsun Qianxue and Ding Ning’s bodies to form a snow storm in this narrow room.
Ding Ning’s chest grew brighter and brighter. Jis organs seemed to give off red light and heat. Yet to the surrounding storm, this was a weak candleflame that could be extinguished at any time.
Cultivation was a wondrous process.
In Ding Ning’s perception, he was standing in a vast space.
This space seemed to be dim and closed, but was also extremely wide with five-colored energies falling down.
This was the energy sea of a cultivator.
A light blue ocean was underneath his feet. There seemed to be a crystal space under the pure clean ocean water like a palace made out of jade.
This was the jade palace that cultivators spoke of.
Above his head, amidst the five colored energies, there was an especially bright space. This was the celestial aperture.
Energy sea, jade palace, celestial firmament. If one could feel these three apertures and connect them, the energies of the five organs would constantly circulate and form physical energy.
Yet at this moment, no physical energy formed in his energy sea. The threads of five colored energy that flowed to the center would become burning flame after merging.
The flame, which was extremely clean and transparent, burned with terrifying heat as it roasted the celestial firmament. It appeared as though it would burn through the entire energy sea.
Countless blue ice particles fell through the center of the energy sea. Each particle would extinguish a wisp of flame. Then a transparent and heavy thread of physical energy would fall downwards into the jade palace at the bottom of the energy sea.
Time slowly passed.
The five colored energies in the energy sea grew fainter. The flame was about to be extinguished. However, the faint blue ice particles did not stop falling.
To Ding Ning, this time was really a surprise.
In the span of a breath, he woke up at a speed unimaginable to normal cultivators and opened his eyes.
Shards of ice fell off his eyelashes.
He did not look at his body. In the darkness, he saw the snow still falling in the surroundings. A hard layer of ice had formed over Zhangsun Qianxue”s body.
Her body almost did not hold any heat as though her blood had frozen. But a flow of energy still moved through her body, still blowing out blue ice particles.
Ding Ning’s eyes filled with shock. He realized what was happening. Without any hesitation, he covered Zhangsun Qianxue’s body like a blanket.
The moment their bodies touched, the cold energy caused his face to pale. In the next moment, his consciousness fell into his own energy sea.
He hugged Zhangsun Qianxue, who had become a piece of ice, and subconsciously held her tighter and tighter.
His skin started to turn hot and red.
With a crack, the hard ice shell around Zhangsun Qianxue broke.
Countless ice pieces fell on the blanket. A certain power between the two crushed the pieces into fine powder that floated away.