Chapter 17: What real power is

“Xiaoxia, there are known cases among the races who have totally depleted their Ki in an instant and died,” Instructor Wei was telling him, “This is another reason why you need to focus on controlling your Ki output in order to prevent that from happening.”

“On the other hand, you are only Duelist Realm 7th Tier by a stroke of luck,” Menon added, “Everyone increases their Ki Realm based on a few factors, namely the ability to maintain Ki within their Ki vessels and meridians is one of them.”

“The only answer I can come up, on how you jumped from Apprentice Realm 3rd Tier to this level in such a short time, is probably the effects of having the 44 meridians opened,” he theorized, “I am not sure about your unique meridian, there is simply no information, I can’t tell if it is opened nor can I say for certain what its role is.”

Menon looked rather disappointed at his own lack of knowledge when he said that.

“Currently we can only deal with what information we have,” Instructor Wei told Menon, “You and I need to explain to Xiaoxia whatever we can with no conjecture, it will only do him harm.”

As they continued explaining to Xiaoxia, he tried to visualize the meridians. With the help of the image on the hologram, he slowly began to form a mental image and after a while, was finally able to visualize the various meridian points in his body.

According to their information, the levels between Ki Realms require meridians to be opened, dilation of the Ki vessels to be of certain size, storage of Ki in these vessels, and the saturation as well as the quality of Ki.

He now understood why his parents where stuck at Adept Realm Expert Tier, they could only open a quarter of the meridians in their body.

However Xiaoxia’s biggest hurdle was not the opening of meridians, it was containing the Ki within the Ki vessels. Whenever he tried to do so, the Ki flows through the meridians and dissipates into the surroundings.

Instructor Wei explained that by containing the Ki within the Ki vessels, it acts as a secondary reservoir. This not only reinforces the part of the body where the Ki is, it also allows certain safeguards. If Ki was directly drained from the Ki center’s reservoir, there was always the risk of totally depleting the Ki and ending up dead.

Menon helped by quoting another example using ancient projectile weapons, the Ki vessels were the projectiles, when one is used up, the other Ki vessels acts as other projectiles. Once the Ki within all the Ki vessels are depleted, the Ki center’s reservoir replenishes them.

That way if Xiaoxia’s main reservoir was totally depleted, he still had Ki within these secondary reservoirs that will be automatically siphoned to maintain his bodily functions. One of another safeguard.

The last safeguard unique only to Unknown Realm pugilists. They are the 8 extra-ordinary meridians, which can be used as tertiary Ki reservoirs. Xiaoxia needed to train so he could achieve these safeguards, he currently do not have the ability to properly utilize them.

“As you can see, your Ki reservoir is tremendous for your level, and unconsciously Ki is spilling out from a couple of the minor meridians near your Ki center,” Menon was informing Xiaoxia.

“Will this cause me harm?” Xiaoxia cut in even as Menon was speaking, feeling worried again.

“There is nothing to worry about, your natural Ki absorption is keeping up with it,” Menon consoled him.

“Worries aside, to attain higher Ki Realms and ensure you do it effectively, you must learn to passively prevent the Ki from escaping your body. You need to restrict them to the Ki vessels between the Ki center and the meridians, as well as between meridians,” Instructor Wei further advised.

“What Instructor Wei said is very true,” Menon agreed while continuing, “Xiaoxia, imagine if you are now Grandmaster Realm Expert Tier. Besides needing much better Ki quality, the amount of Ki required in all Ki vessels is a few hundred folds as compared to Duelist Realm.”

“The results showed that you have the potential to exceed Unknown Realm for Ki Quality and Ki stamina, but can you imagine the massive amount of Ki you will need to maintain all these leaks from your body?” Menon asked figuratively.

Instructor Wei added more information for Xiaoxia’s benefit, “Just to maintain that level, you would be constantly cultivating Ki half a day, every day for the rest of your life. Worse is, if you ever reached the Unknown Realm, you would spent every second of your life just cultivating Ki and nothing else.”

Xiaoxia nodded his head, fully comprehending the lesson, however there were still things he could not understand and needed an answer, “I understand, however there is something I want to ask as well, it is a little off topic.”

“Well go ahead” Menon replied.

“When I took the test at Crescent Lake, it mentioned about life path, and talent category, but I do not see them in your current report,” Xiaoxia stated.

“Your talent category has already been answered, both as unmeasurable genius as well as beyond Unknown Realm. As for life path, there won’t be one, due to the nature of your results.” Menon answered him.

“Bu… cough … ahem, damn the medication is wearing off,” Menon was trying to speak when he suddenly coughed. He immediately started taking stuff out of his quantum bag.

“Cough cough cough! Ahem, urg, ahem!” he was coughing badly even as he was mixing something in a flask and the final result was something not very appealing, it looked like it came from a sewage.

“Are you ok?” Xiaoxia asked with a concerned voice, Menon gave him a quick thumbs up while downing the mixture.

“Yucks! Why do elixirs always have to taste this bad,” he was saying to no one in particular.

“Old man do you want to continue or do I have to?” Instructor Wei impatiently asked.

“Ahem, ah I feel much better,” Menon finally said, gesturing to Instructor Wei he will continue, “Sorry about that, it really stinks getting old.”

“Anyway,” he quickly went on, noticing Instructor Wei was about to say something snide, “With your results, you can choose to be whatever you want.”

“In fact the Ki talent class system is just a summary of your overall potential, not everyone goes into details like what we are doing now,” he concluded.

“True, but currently you just need to concentrate on the task at hand, it is still too early to think about these, “Instructor Wei said and went on, “There are many competitions, events, as well as activities you need to be involved in each year. Majority of them requires the use of Ki. We need to fully immerse ourselves with your training, I will cancel your classes with Sem.”

“I rather you be an ignorant county bumpkin than killing someone by accident. The freshmen competition will take place in 3 months,” she said and pause, before continuing, “Based on the moon’s position, you have 65 days to prepare.”

(Author’s note: kindly refer to the compendium for explanation of the date and time system)

Xiaoxia immediately nodded his head, comprehending the seriousness of the situation.

“Ok I will be leaving now, I really wish to be able to see you train and grow, it’s unfortunate but duty calls,” Menon said packing up his equipment.

“Ah! How am I going to explain this,” he shook his head while looking at the remnants of the Void crystal.

“Look for this person, he will get you what you need,” Instructor Wei passed to Menon a slip of paper.

“Is this what I think it is?” Menon asked a little surprised.

“Yes it is, I do not have one myself, but if it’s him, finding one should not be a problem,” Instructor Wei explained.

“Thank you, given the circumstances, I would never have thought you will be helping me,” Menon cast her a quick grin.

“Don’t push your luck old man, you did a great service today, not only for me,” Instructor Wei actually complimented him.

“Thank you Menon, I learnt a lot today,” Xiaoxia added to the compliment.

“Ah well, if you two need me, you know where to find me,” Menon replied, almost done packing all the stuff into his quantum bag.

“Old man, just don’t go doing things for me without my prior knowledge or agreement, I won’t be so kind the next time,” Instructor Wei warned.

“Sure, I will, but you have to promise not to be so thick headed on matters,” Menon said as he wave his hands, activated his personal spatial transportation device, and was gone.

“Xiaoxia, go train a little more on your control. You can leave for dinner at the 20th hour and return on the 22nd hour, we will train till the 26th hour than you can return back to your dorm,” Instructor Wei said, this time it was her turn to leave.

“Yes Instructor,” Xiaoxia replied.

It was currently 30 minutes to the 20th hour. When Xiaoxia returned to the training hall after lunch, it was the 16th hour. The test and conversation had taken a little more than 3 hours.

After all the explanation, he could now clearly visualize his meridians and Ki vessels. In fact he was rather eager to try the theories out.

While standing in the middle of the training room, he drew his Ki up to the meridian just above his Ki center and below his sternum. He managed to successfully restrict the meridian from dissipating the Ki, while increasing the Ki in the Ki vessel between them.

Next he ceased the flow of Ki to the Ki vessel, while maintaining the Ki within. It was kept there perfectly with no leakage only after a few tries. When that happened, it dawned on him that he had successfully created a secondary Ki reservoir.

When that happened, he was overcame with a wave of exultation and cried out, “YES!!!!”

Now with more confidence, he slowly moved from one meridian to another till it reached his palm. The effort taken was incredible. His entire training attire was drenched in sweat.

At this point, a vague aura could be seen on his palm, and slowly over what seemed like an agonizingly long time for him, it began to become more visible as its intensity increased.

Applying more focus and concentration, he managed to increase its intensity, but only manage to achieve it for a short while before stopping. He did not carry on, as he was thinking about what Menon and Instructor Wei said about the leaking meridians in his body.

He once again delve into his Ki vessels and meridians. This time he was looking for the culprits that were leaking. He found them within a short time span, and successfully restricted the dissipation of Ki. Then he tried seeing if he could passively restrict them while moving around the training room.

He started jumping, running, shouting and shadow boxing. To someone looking from the outside, he would looked exactly like a madman. He did it at a few minutes intervals, while checking on the restrictions he place. Each time smiling in satisfaction that they were still there.

After doing this for another dozen times or so, he was convinced of success. By this time, he had already spent more than an hour there, it was already 37 minutes past the 20th hour.

“Ah! I am going to miss them!” Xiaoxia exclaimed, as he rushed out of the room and headed for the showers.

Initially, he wanted to use the 2 hours to meet up with Winfrey and friends at the restaurant, followed by dropping off the package for the girl he met during the sole plate incident.

Now with what little time he had, he decided he will head up to the restaurant and pass the package to the girl the next day.

Taking less than 10 minutes to shower and clean up, he rushed out of the locker room into the training hall and was about to make his way to the lower levels, when he heard noises coming from a training room. He detoured just out of curiosity.

“Wham! Boom! Boom! Boom! Pook Pook Pook!”

The noises were becoming louder and clearer, even as Xiaoxia approached the origin of the sound.

“Prrreet Prrreet Prrreet!”

As he neared the viewing window on the door, he could hear all sorts of noises coming from inside, it sounded like there was a battle going on.

“Wham! Da Boom!”

A bright flash temporarily blinded Xiaoxia as he looked into the room. When he regained his vision, he could see a figure cloaked the same way as Instructor Wei, however it was clearly someone else. The figure had broader shoulders, thicker arms, as well as taller than Instructor Wei.

He could feel the pressure and the aura of the figure emanating even through the training room doors. The training room was designed to restrict Ki from permeating out, and Xiaoxia was amazed as well as terrified at what that meant.

Even as terrified as he was, he was rooted to the spot as his curiosity refused to allow him to avert his gaze. He saw a distinct aura around the entire body of the figure, and two even larger aura around the figure’s hands.

When the figure stretched out its right hands and pointed at the multiple dummies in front, tendrils of energy gathered around its index finger and immediately branched out in what looked like a forked lightning.

“Shzack! Shzack! Shzack! Shzack! Shzack!”

Immediately the dummies all had holes right through their midsection, the holes were charred with flames licking through them.

Now the figure swung with its left hand fingers gathering into a fist. Tendrils of bright scarlet energy, which looked like flames converge around the fist as it punched, and blasted out.

“Boom! Wham! Wham! Wham!”

A sonic boom could be heard when it was release, then a visible blast wave appeared each time a group of dummies were disintegrated one after another in quick succession. Each group had more than 20 dummies arranged behind the other group.

Suddenly the figure vanished, appearing on the other end of the room. At this moment, it did a downward slash with its left foot from top to bottom.

Bright white energy gathered around its feet as it swept downwards.

“Whooosh! Schhhlarrk! BA DA BOOM”

Another group of dummies who were lined in a single file, were split cleanly right in the middle as if sliced with a surgical knife. The incision ran all the way from one end of the room to the other. The impact shook the entire building, and the dummies were blown upwards as the energy hit the ground.

Xiaoxia lost his footing at that point and fell on his butt, he was grimacing but silent. His mind was still in a daze, what he saw was perhaps the most outrageous display of power he had seen in his short life.

“This is what real power is,” he said to himself while still on the floor, but already recovering from the visual shock.

“Creak!” the training room door opened a moment later.

“Damn, I think I went too far with that one,” the figure was saying, the voice sounded masculine.

“Thank goodness it’s after lessons, no one around. Hahaha!” it laughed awkwardly.

“Errrggh!” the figure cried as it tripped over Xiaoxia, it was just about to move beyond the door.

“Ungh! Which idiot left something at the door!” it cried out, obviously pissed at being tripped.

“Ah! Sorry Sir!” Xiaoxia quickly apologized. The figure was not a student and had an Instructor’s badge on it. The badge looked rather familiar.

“Who?” the figure was a little confused, not expecting someone to be there at this time.

“Me Sir!” Xiaoxia immediately stood up, bowed and cupped his hands.

“You who?” the figure asked while standing up at the same time.

“Student Chen Zhen Xia, freshman!” Xiaoxia answered, still in the same position.

“Ah don’t need to be so stiff after office hours,” the figure replied.

Xiaoxia raised up from bowing and faced the figure, he could clearly see that it was a man, however his face was covered by a large hood. Xiaoxia could not point a finger to it, but there was an air of familiarity to him.

“Ooh! Young man, how are you related to Instructor Wei?” the man was pointing at Xiaoxia’s token, the one Instructor Wei gave him.

“She is my Instructor, Sir!” Xiaoxia replied.

“Doesn’t make sense, she would have told me if she gave her token to someone,” he replied.

“Sir, I am sorry but do you know Instructor Wei?” Xiaoxia asked, a little curious.

“Young man, look at this,” the man point at his badge.

At this distance, the badge was much clearer, it had a pair of crossed sabers etched over a dragons head* with a ‘W’ on the top.

“You can also call me Instructor Wei, I am her brother.”

(*Author’s note, the female Instructor Wei’s token has a pair of wings. Instructor’s tokens are smaller versions of the badge. No two instructors have the same design, hence it is a dragon on this badge)

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