Chapter 4. The Beginnings of a Cultivation Technique (2)
He could barely feel himself exhale through his mouth.
His breath was just that long.
At first, breathing like this was extremely difficult, but he had gotten used to it now. It had embedded itself into his life now.
He didn’t know how much time had passed. It wasn’t like he had been counting the dates like some prisoner, nor was it like he could get out of the cave after a certain time.
Instead, a single thought was dominating his mind.
“I don’t like this name!”
Dapeng Cultivation Technique.
Dapeng probably didn’t come up with this technique himself. The man probably picked up the technique from elsewhere.
Why did Muwui think this way?
Well, because whenever Dapeng talked about a technique he came up with, he would describe every single twitch of the muscle fibers related to the move in much detail.
‘Younger brother, this Dapeng First Stance that I’ve created was something that came to me when I fought a man called Steel Mountain in the past…’
Dapeng First Stance.
It was a move that Muwui had made great use of in the past.
…Well, all this move really was, though, was spitting into the enemy’s eye and then stabbing him.
Every time Dapeng taught Muwui this move, Muwui had to listen more about the man’s story. Seeing Dapeng’s pathetic attempts to describe what his cultivation technique was, Muwui could see that the cultivation technique was not made by Dapeng.
“Then, what if I make one…?”
Muwui tried putting his name in the name of the technique.
His face immediately brightened.
Muwui jumped up, and shouted.
“This is so much better! Muwui Cultivation Technique! Soo much better than Dapeng Cultivation Technique! Holy heck, I’m such a freaking genius!”
He had just stuck his name into the technique, but that was more than enough to make him happy.
But a moment later, he dropped down to the floor with a frown. He didn’t seem happy about something.
“So what if I change the name?”
If someone asks him about the origins of the technique, Muwui would surely falter, just like Dapeng.
That would be embarrassing, no?
Someone might insult him behind his back, just like he did. But after thinking a bit more, Muwui just laughed maniacally.
“Pahahaha! You fucking idiot, like you’re ever going to teach anyone in this place.”
He laughed some more.
He felt stupid for imagining that he’d ever get out. He realized once again how foolish his actions were.
Muwui lay down on the ground again.
Everything became boring again once he realized just how meaningless everything was.
“Damn it, it’s not like I’m going to live much longer anyway.”
Muwui stood up. He then muttered some more with a frown.
“How much time passed again?”
A sudden curiosity. But the emotions shown on his face seemed to imply that he was very curious.
“I stopped even keeping track of the years after around roughly the fifth? So about seven, maybe?”
That made him question how long he’s been stuck in the cave.
But that wasn’t the important part.
After seven years, Muwui was bound to have aged a bit. Muwui hurriedly grabbed his blade, and stared into it.
After staring for a few minutes, Muwui lost the grip on his sword.
“What kind of a… shite situation is this? Why do I look the same?”
He sounded dumbfounded.
He was supposed to be approaching forty. Why did he still look like he was in his twenties?
No, it even felt like he became younger. His hair and beard didn’t grow at all either.
After standing in shock for some more, Muwui stumbled over to the heat stone, where the Sword God’s message was written.
He must’ve missed something.
His eyes eventually focused in on a single word.
The name of the formation.
Clear Mind, Infinite Time Formation.
The infinite time part, to be more precise.
He only now realized what that really meant.
“What a cool guy, that sword whatever dude.”
Muwui still sounded dumbfounded.
“I can’t go crazy because my damn brain’s so clear, the formation absorbs all kinds of shock like a pillow, and now not even time passes in this place? How is this even possible?”
It really was the perfect torture chamber for Muwui.
Muwui turned to look at his sword.
Maybe he could die with this.
Maybe this sword would be his escape key, unlike the walls of this cave.
“How did I not think of that?”
Muwui grabbed his sword.
It was sharp enough to take a life, thanks to all the care he put into it. He looked at it carefully.
“I only ever used this to cut down other bastards.”
Thinking of taking his own life with this weapon made him smirk.
“Wrist would take a bit too much time, and the neck… mm… it’d be troublesome if I fail to do it in a single stroke.”
Muwui stopped to think a bit more about death.
Come to think of it, not a lot people had seen as much death as he did.
After all, not many soldiers managed to survive up to twenty years on the battlefield.
Muwui was a soldier of the front lines. Cannon fodder.
Death was just a part of his life, was it not?
Countless deaths began to appear in Muwui’s head.
The child that died in the market. A mother that starved to death in the streets, with her rotting baby still biting on her teat.
The first enemy soldier he killed, and the allies that got killed around him.
He killed, and watched others get killed…
He even remembered the death of his so-called elder brother.
“Told me to run, didn’t he?”
The last words to come out of Dapeng’s mouth before he died.
When Muwui thought about the man’s last words, he began to recount the times he desperately tried to survive.
A memory of running from a knife-wielding salesman, all the while getting his hands burned from the hot dumplings in his hands.
Getting horribly sick after eating some rice cake that he found on the body of a rotting corpse.
Getting fooled by an old man after getting lured in by his food, and running away after almost being turned into meat.
And the war.
The memory of hanging on the cliff before he came here.
“God, I was desperate.”
And he survived.
He lived in desperation, and he survived thanks to it.
Other memories began to surface in his head.
The time he was beat, the time when he got scolded, and the time when he actually had a place to go back to. The time when there was actually someone who cared for his well-being, even a little bit.
Those were the times that made him cling onto life with such desperation.
Why would anyone actually want to die?
“My dream is to live like any other person?”
Muwui laughed lightly.
It was a tiny dream.
That tiny dream was what kept him going all this time.
But he couldn’t laugh any more.
Because he couldn’t even achieve such a small dream.
‘Look, little brother! Who’d even need a godly cultivation technique if you have this?!’
Dapeng’s voice rang like thunder in his ears.
A slight smile appeared on Muwui’s face. The smile got bigger and bigger in time. A new light of life began to burn in his eyes.
He muttered to himself quietly.
“Muwui Cultivation Technique… sounds really nice, doesn’t it?”
* * *
He found his new goal.
The formation seemed to be able to control time. He didn’t know how, but it was able to mess with the mechanisms of time to a certain degree.
It seemed like an idiotic conclusion, but that was the best he could do when he knew so little.
To him, all of this just seemed a little cool.
At least… now that he had all this time, maybe he could achieve something even with his simple breathing technique?
‘The only difference between the standard breathing technique and other godly cultivation techniques is its pace. In the end, they both allow you to collect qi.’
This was what Dapeng had taught him.
“I have plenty of time anyway, so that’s covered. I’m bored, fortunately it’s impossible to go crazy inside here, so that’s good too.”
Time is either slowed or stopped, his head becomes incredibly clear, and the food and water made his body return to its peak condition. That seemed to be the formation’s functions.
There was one more, too.
“This really is some good stuff.”
Despite having lost control of his energy in the end, he still made quite a bit of progress in the recollection of that energy. Looking back, that must’ve been all thanks to the heat stone here.
He tried using the breathing technique on the stone and off the stone. There was definitely a difference.
He could get the amount of qi he could gather in ten breaths in just about nine on the stone.
It was quite an amazing treasure. While the Dapeng Cultivation Technique was more efficient than the standard breathing technique only by three breaths out of a hundred, this actually topped the latter by another whopping ten percent in efficiency.
“The only thing I’ve done with my life is to preserve it.”
Muwui’s eyes shone.
“Godly cultivation techniques be damned, I’m going to make my own! Muwui Cultivation Technique, let’s go!”
That day, Muwui lost control of his energy for the second time.
This time, not only did his mouth contort, but his eyes joined in as well.