Chapter 4: The Mystery of Time and Space
During the Initial Stage of the Yellow realm, the Qi Pool had expanded tenfold. It was almost as big as a basketball.
However, the Genuine Qi in the Qi Pool was still not sufficient, as it was less than one-tenth its total capacity. It was as small as an egg.
Zhang Ruochen could not practice the next level, the Mid Stage of the Yellow Realm, until the Qi Pool was completely filled with Genuine Qi.
He sat cross-legged and closed his eyes. The Sacred Mark between his eyebrows opened and he began to practice “Overlord Yellow Realm”, the first level of the “Scripture of Emperor Ming’s Empyrean”.
Overflowing from the Qi Pool, the Genuine Qi circulated through his body along the Meridian that had broken out.
With the Genuine Qi circulating, he felt as if his body had melted into a vortex and was slowly absorbing the Spiritual Qi between heaven and earth.
It flowed into the Sacred Mark between his eyebrows.
The Sacred Mark transformed the Spiritual Qi between heaven and earth into Genuine Qi in the Qi Pool. Then the Genuine Qi overflowed from the Qi Pool and circulated in his body along the Meridian.
A single circle of Genuine Qi in the body was a complete circulation.
Nine circulations passed. When Zhang Ruochen opened his eyes again, he was surprised to find that his Genuine Qi had doubled. It was now at one-tenth of the total capacity.
If other warriors had known that their Genuine Qi could double like this in such a short time, they would have gone into rapture.
But Zhang Ruochen was unsatisfied. It had taken nine circulations to double his Genuine Qi. It was too slow! If he could obtain a Spiritual Crystal, his practice would accelerate and double.
The exercises that Zhang Ruochen was practicing were from the “Scripture of Emperor Ming’s Empyrean”. His absorption rate was already faster than warriors with inferior practices.
And yet, he was still not satisfied with his current progress.
If he could obtain one Spiritual Crystal, he would speed up his cultivation dramatically.
A Spiritual Crystal was a spinel formed by Spiritual Qi.
It could be a Natural Spiritual Crystal found in a lode under the earth or an Acquired Spiritual Crystal hidden within the body of a savage beast.
One Spiritual Crystal was worth 1,000 silver coins or so. Only princes, nobles, and masters from large families had the opportunity to obtain Spiritual Crystals.
1,000 silver coins were a gigantic expense, and Zhang Ruochen and Concubine Lin simply could not afford it.
“A Spiritual Crystal!”
His heart shook intensely, and immediately the pit-shaped, White Spinel he had been wearing fell off. He held it in his palm.
“Could this be a Spiritual Crystal?”
With Genuine Qi circulating in his body, the Sacred Mark between his glabella instantly appeared and changed into a circular halo.
A streak of white Genuine Qi shot out from the mark into the White Spinel.
Four ancient characters emerged on the surface of the White Spinel.
It was weird.
Never had Zhang Ruochen seen such writing before. However, he managed to read the four characters quickly—”Time and Space Spinel”.
Zhang Ruochen had injected Genuine Qi into the White Spinel in his last lifetime. However, he had failed to produce the characters.
In his last lifetime, though his cultivation had been hundreds of times more powerful, he had never inspired the appearance of characters on the White Spinel. In this lifetime, to his surprise, he managed to change the White Spinel in the Initial Stage of the Yellow Realm. This proved that it was the nature of Genuine Qi, rather than its intensity, that mattered.
For instance, a warrior with a Flame Sacred Mark could better utilize a Spiritual Crystal that had fire nature. This could help to triple his practicing rate, while a common Spiritual Crystal would only double his practicing rate.
In nature, 90 percent of Spiritual Crystals did not have an individual essence. Just like 90 percent of warriors could only unlock the Sacred Mark without nature.
“Does that mean that my Sacred Mark had some kind of nature that corresponds with this Time and Space Spinel? But wait… What is the Time and Space Spinel?”
As the son of Emperor Ming in his last lifetime, Zhang Ruochen was well-informed and knew about many Spiritual Crystals with different natures, such as the Flame Spiritual Crystal, the Ice of Profound Spiritual Crystal, the Thunderbolt Crystal, the Blood Spirit Spiritual Crystal, etc. But he had never heard of a Spiritual Crystal with a time-space nature.
Time and space could not be controlled by humans at all, nor could a god dominate their development. Thus, all life should obey the rules of time and space.
While Zhang Ruochen contemplated, a ring of light appeared on the surface of the Time and Space Spinel, melting into a vortex.
The vortex kept growing larger and larger, eventually enveloping Zhang Ruochen completely.
Zhang Ruochen felt very dizzy as the sky and earth began to reel around him. The next second he found himself in a closed space, slamming onto the hard ground.
Luckily, he had already accomplished the processes of Washing Marrow and Breaking out of the Channels. He had attained the level of the Initial Stage of the Yellow Realm, which had greatly strengthened his physique. If it had been his former fragile body, this heavy fall could have caused death.
Zhang Ruochen got up from the ground, stretched his aching muscles and bones, and began to observe the surrounding space.
This space was completely enclosed without any doors or windows, and it was 10 meters high, 10 meters long, and 10 meters wide.
“What happened? How did I get here? Where is this? There’s a stone platform.”
There was only one single stone platform inside the space.
On the stone platform, there was nothing but only a rolled-up painting and a silver iron book.
Zhang Ruochen reached out for the painting first and discovered that it was unexpectedly heavy as if it was joined to the stone. The scroll painting remained motionless, no matter how hard Zhang Ruochen tried to move it.
Since the scroll painting could not be picked up or opened, Zhang Ruochen could only give up temporarily. So he turned to the thin, silver iron book instead.
“The Mystery of Time and Space!” was printed on the book.
But this time, Zhang Ruochen was prepared for it. With Genuine Qi circulating in his body, he mobilized all his strength and opened the first page.
He effortlessly managed to flick through “The Mystery of Time and Space”.
Zhang Ruochen shook his head solemnly and stopped using the Genuine Qi. He picked up “The Mystery of Time and Space” and held it in his hands, reading carefully.
The first page of “The Mystery of Time and Space” did not document any practicing Mysterium but included the transcripts of Saint Monk Xumi, the last possessor of the Time and Space Spinel.
After reading the transcripts of Saint Monk Xumi, Zhang Ruochen had figured everything out.
It turned out that Zhang Ruochen’s mark was the Sacred Mark of Time and Space. According to what Saint Monk Xumi said, no one out of hundreds of millions of people could unlock it. Since ancient times, there had been only two people that had gotten it. And now he was the third one.
Saint Monk Xumi was the second to unlock the Time and Space Sacred Mark. But based on the recorded time in “The Mystery of Time and Space”, he died more than a hundred thousand years ago. It was in the Medieval Ancient Times, which was so long ago.
The space that Zhang Ruochen was located in was the internal space of the Time and Space Spinel.
The speed that time passed in internal space was totally different from the outside world. Practicing in internal space for three days was equivalent to one day outside.
Zhang Ruochen was overjoyed. He exclaimed excitedly. “Practicing in internal space for three days is equal to one day outside. That means that my practice time will be three times longer than others’! It’s perfect.”
Zhang Ruochen wanted to turn to page two. However, no matter what he did, he was unable to open it.
“I have failed again!”
Zhang Ruochen had an impulse to throw the “Mystery of Time and Space” to the ground. Suddenly, he found a line of small print in the last row of the first page:
“Only when you attain the level of the Dawn State of the Yellow Realm and inject Genuine Qi into the scroll painting can you open it.”
Zhang Ruochen stared at the painting again and surmised. “Some mysterious exercises must be recorded in it. Perhaps it relates to the time and space of practicing.”
“I will practice hard and try to break through to the Dawn State as soon as possible. I would like to see what secrets this painting contains.”
The Dawn State was the fourth small realm. Its upper levels were the Medium State, the Final State, and the Completion.
Zhang Ruochen was feeling a little hungry. He left the internal space of the Time and Space Spinel and returned back to his room.
He grasped the Time and Space Spinel in his hands. With this spinel, he had more confidence that he could reach the Advanced Stage of the Yellow Realm in three months.
Zhang Ruochen, Concubine Lin, and maid Yun were sitting together for breakfast.
They only had rice and steamed buns without any meat.
Warriors consumed more strength than ordinary people, thus, their daily diet was of vital importance.
The princes and princesses who had already unlocked their Sacred Marks had stopped eating a normal diet long ago and chose to eat Blood Pills, which were refined from the blood of savage beasts.
One Blood Pill could replenish the physical exertion of an entire day. Even if one practiced fist techniques and sword techniques for a whole day, you would not feel hungry.
Besides, Blood Pills also had benefits in improving Spiritual Blood, building up the body for Martial Arts and enhancing strength.
If this continued, even if Zhang Ruochen ate eight meals a day, with only rice and steamed buns, it would not be enough to supply the lost energy.
“Chen-er, since you have unlocked the Sacred Mark, you shouldn’t eat normal food anymore. Take these 10 Blood Pills. I’ll find other solutions if you need more.” Concubine Lin took out a jade vase and gave it to Zhang Ruochen.
Zhang Ruochen never thought Concubine Lin would have 10 Blood Pills. He asked curiously, “Mom, one Blood Pill costs five silver coins. 10 Blood Pills cost 50 silver coins. How did you get so much money?”
Concubine Lin smiled and said, “There’s always a way to make it!”
Maid Yun stood behind Concubine Lin and said, “Our empress exchanged her favorite gold hairpin for 10 Blood Pills in the Pill Market!”
Concubine Lin gave Yun a slight glance as if to blame her big mouth. Then she added, “Chen-er, it doesn’t matter. As long as you can be a real warrior, I will always support you. Even if I have to sell all my jewels.”
Zhang Ruochen was very impressed, gripping the jade vase. He bit his lip and wanted to tell Concubine Lin that he was already a real warrior.
No, he could not tell her.
It had taken only one day for him to open up the Qi Pool and finish the process of Washing Marrow and Breaking out of the Channels. It was too fast. If this news leaked out, other princes and queens would definitely find ways to frame them.
He was still relatively weak and needed to be more powerful.