Chapter Thirty Seven Completely New Cultivation
In the small temple at the highest point of White Goat Cave, Xue Wangxu looked at the white clouds and empty sky, thought about how his fellow disciples had passed away in these years, and felt empty and tired.
He sighed and asked Li Daoji who was standing by the temple door, “That youth entered the cave?”
Li Daoji nodded.
“When he makes his choice of cultivation manuals, tell me immediately,” Xue Wangxu said with slight satisfaction.
Li Daoji nodded. His knife-like eyebrows raised up slightly. “Master, why are you so interested in him?”
Xue Wangxu’s gaze was emotional as he said softly, “Not just because this youth is special, but this youth is a seed that your Sect Uncle Du Qingjiao left behind for White Goat Cave. When you reach my age, you will understand how it feels when those people who have been with you for a long time leaves.”
Looking at this old person who was starting to reminisce, Li Daoji bowed seriously and left.
“Health Manual”, “Profound Finger Art”, “Internal Vision”, “Discussion of Nine Cultivation Realms”, “Mind Comprehending Art”, “Thirty Four Sword Arts of White Goat”, “Nine Ink Fire Illumination Art”, “A Simple History of Changling Cultivation”, “True Fire Guide” …
For ordinary cultivators, the cultivation records were vast as an ocean in a library cave. Even if they were organized by type, these records would dazzle the eyes. So like most other sects, White Goat Cave’s library cave did not have any special organization, and the records were placed randomly.
Ding Ning knew better than Zhang Yi all vital energy cultivation methods had their shortcomings and advantages. Other than some very special methods not passed down, all methods had clear limits. So he was not in a hurry to enter the inner cave and walked past each shelf.
Looking at the dense characters on the spines of books or rolls of paper, he was not as shocked and excited as ordinary people. Many records looked mediocre to him, but his gaze was still serious and prudent.
The Nine Deaths Silkworm he cultivated was the most profound method in the world. It had many fantistical abilities that none of the cultivators in the world knew, yet his Nine Death Silkworm could not be exposed under Changling’s sunlight.
Before he was strong enough, he needed a method that could disguise Nine Deaths Silkworm. For most of the time, he needed to use the vital energy this method produced to fight.
This method must be suited to him at this present time.
This was akin to a completely new cultivation.
“Phoenix Divine Light Skill”
He suddenly stopped and his finger landed on an ancient book with a yellow cover.
This was a vital energy cultivation method he had only heard of but never seen before.
Flipping open the cover made from heavy canvas, his thoughts sank into this yellowed book.
The content was the same as what he heard. This vital energy cultivation method was suitable for him presently as it required abundant energies of the cultivator. Based on his natural body state, he could skip the processes for increasing energy, and his cultivation speed would be faster than with other ordinary methods. Also, the vital energy this method produced would be beneficial to Zhangsun Qianxue’s paired cultivation.
He read for a while, gathered up the book, and then moved forward.
“Five Yang Body Art”… It also was beneficial to paired cultivation with Zhangsun Qianxue. While this was not as fast as the speed of the Phoenix Divine Light Skill, one’s body would become stronger.
“Peace Vision Flowing Light Method” … A cultivation method that could speed up the flow rate of vital energy. This way, one would reach Vital Energy Realm from Energy Refinement Realm faster than ordinary methods.
Ding Ning’s mind was completely immersed as he held three books in his arms.
“Vain Heart Sutra”
When these characters suddenly entered his eyes, his body shook slightly and his expression froze.
His gaze carried a hint of disbelief as it moved forward.
“Celestial Inner Vision”, “Super Divine Spell”, “Fate Reversing Art”… He quickly captured the words from the shelf in front of him.
He took a deep breath. He felt a strange sense of numbness. He understood why White Goat Cave had offended the empress from these familiar characters and were forced to merge with Green Vine Sword School.
These were records that should not exist in the Qin Dynasty.
In the first year of Yuanwu, to stabilize the throne newly obtained and erase the tracks of that person, countless cultivators were killed and many sects were accused of rebellion. After those sects were destroyed, to express loyalty to the Holy One and the Empress so the Holy One and the Empress would not worry that those sects would be revived, countless records related to those sects were burned. 1
Actually, as time passed and many events became stories, even if those cultivation sects left behind some records, the present cultivators would not easily relate to those sects, and do things on behalf of those sects.
But this represented an attitude … the Holy One and the Empress did not want any hint of possibility.
White Goat Cave’s Library Cave had these records which should have been destroyed. This showed the attitude of some of the cultivators in charge of White Goat Cave.
Even if they only just felt that the cultivation methods themselves were innocent, as any comprehension on the way of cultivation was valuable for the cultivators of the world, many people in Changling would still think that they felt at least sympathy towards those sects, and had different opinions about past events.
Ding Ning felt an indescribable emotion. He looked deeply at those records which he feared were now one of a kind of Changling. His paralyzed fingers did not touch them and slid forward on the shelves.
His emotions gradually calmed.
“Spirit Source Way”, a thin ancient book inexplicably attracted his gaze.
In his memories, this cultivation method from Spirit Source True Treasure Sect in the Zhao lands were ordinary and passed around by the people of all the dynasties. This ancient book clearly did not receive any attention in White Goat Cave. The old book cover showed many signs of damage which no one had fixed. From the traces where the book and the shelf were touching, this ancient book had remained untouched for many years.
But through the damaged cover, Ding Ning saw parts of the diagrams on the page and felt they were not so ordinary.
He frowned and carefully pulled out this ancient diagram to open it.
His brow furrowed deeper, and his eyes flashed with an unusual light.
The initial descriptions on the page appeared no different from the explanations of the Spirit Source Way, yet the first diagram was not simple. As Ding Ning flipped further, he was even more shocked. He was sure that this was not an ordinary explanation of the Spirit Source Way. This was a secret cultivation record that had been mistaken as an ordinary explanation of the Spirit Source Way!
After flipping through multiple pages, Ding Ning read the profound and cryptic words next to the diagrams that most cultivators could not understand at all, and almost cussed out loud.
This was not any ordinary record from an ordinary sect in the Zhao Dynasty which had been disseminated. This was clearly the secret record of one of the three great cultivation places of the Han Dynasty — Nonself Palace’s Three Corpses Nonself Consciousness Sutra!
For ordinary cultivators, the “three corpses” were the three “evil desires” of man, greed, gluttony and lust. All three desires were detrimental to cultivation and should be reduced. However, in Nonself Palace’s Three Corpses Nonself Consciousness Sutra, they stimulated these three desires during cultivation, and at critical stages in later cultivation, would cut away these desires.
In the process of stimulating these three desires, the cultivator’s five energies would grow greater than ordinary cultivations. Once the desires were successfully expelled, one’s mental power, and mental state would grow greatly.
This was a risky method and a powerful method which surpassed ordinary cultivation methods.
In the decades before the Han Dynasty was eliminated by the Qin Dynasty, they had fought constantly with the neighbouring Wei Dynasty. Nonself Palace had been destroyed on one of the Han Dynasty’s great defeats.
Nonself Palace was said to have occupied thousands of hectares. After being defeated, the fire burned in Nonself Palace for a full month without going out. In the battle, Nonself Palace’s wealth and records had been looted by the fleeing remnants of the Han Dynasty army and the attacking Wei army. Many of the Nonself Palace survivors also took some resources and left or they furiously caused destruction so the useful records would not land in the hands of the Wei. Countless records had burned.
Ding Ning did not know how this Three Corpses Nonself Consciousness Sutra, disguised as an ordinary method, ended up lying in White Goat Cave’s Library Cave but he was sure this method was powerful and he would be fast in cultivating it.
At the same time, he was sure, even though he had not yet entered the inner cave, he could not find a more powerful method than this one.
So he put down the three books in his arms and only held this one.
Then he stopped looking at methods for vital energy cultivation, and started to pick swordsmanship styles suited for him.
As time flowed, he entered the inner cave.
The inner cave was only a third the size of the outer one but the records were much more profound than the ones outside.
In the end, his finger landed on a sword manual with a very common name.
This sword manual with a black cover was called Wild Fire.
He had no more interest in the records here and went to the meditation mats on the side.
“So you picked and choose these two in the end?”
“You want to cultivate these two?”
Two disbelieving voices sounded in the quiet cave and entered Ding Ning’s ears.
Translator Ramblings: This burning of the cultivation manuals is something that is more in line with the stereotypical perception of the “burning of books and killing of Confucians” by the Qin Emperor than what history might actually have been considering the practical uses of cultivation in war in this fantasy world.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 13 “What Should Happen”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 12 “Fear of Defeat”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 11 “Yin River Fire”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 10 “Splashes”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 9 “The Path Forward”
- The Qin book burning involved the destruction of privately-owned philosophical and historical books while the technology and medicinal and agricultural ones were exempt. However, each book had a copy kept in the imperial library. There are conflicting modern perspectives including some people who think that the book burnings were necessary to unify the Qin empire’s way of thought while others think that the Qin Emperor’s actions led to a loss of culture and philosophies originating in the era of “Hundred Thoughts”. ↩