Chapter 326: Metamorphosis of the Soul
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Jiao Junchen was not capable of reading minds and hence would not be able to guess what Zhu Yi was thinking. He had simply employed mathematical calculations to assess the hundreds and thousands of possible permutations of thinking and acting which Zhu Yi could have chosen in a blink of an eye.
Every single thought process was ranked by their probability, and from there, he ascertained the most probable course of action which Zhu Yi would choose.
Following which, Jiao Junchen would decisively employ the targeted counter-measure, leaving the impression as though he had read Zhu Yi’s mind.
Other than “Shoot” and “Resist”, Jiao Junchen also used his finger as a calligraphy brush and painted characters after characters in the air.
The characters would solidify in air and burst towards Zhu Yi with a concentrated amount of mana and principles of Taoism.
The character might be “Ensnare”, which would trap Zhu Yi and immobilise him. The character could also be “Stagnate” which would result in the sluggish circulation of mana within Zhu Yi. The many different characters which he could paint resulted in a plethora of wondrous abilities which were literally at his finger tips.
This was the Art of Calligraphy which he had learnt from the Six Arts of Confucianism. Every single character was a single spell on its own. Jiao Junchen was hence able to call upon many different spells at will.
A thought suddenly occurred to Zhu Yi, “Maquis Xuanji’s Household Manager, Zhang Hai was also a practitioner of the calligraphy. His most famous spell was known as the The Heaven and Man Manual. In many ways, it was very much similar to Jiao Junchen’s Art of Calligraphy.”
“Zhang Hai is a Nascent Soul stage cultivator. If we were to compare the power from their calligraphy, Zhang Hai would definitely be stronger than Jiao Junchen. But when it comes to how refined the calligraphy is, Jiao Junchen might edge Zhang Hai out in this aspect. Jiao Junchen definitely has a brighter future in this Art than Zhang Hai.”
An interesting idea suddenly occurred to Zhu Yi. It was an idea that was entirely irrelevant to the battle in front of him.
The idea was still sketchy but it did not mess up his train of thoughts. Instead, it was a moment of inspiration.
For a large part of the battle, Zhu Yi had been smothered by Jiao Junchen. Facing the endless and ever-changing attacks of Jiao Junchen, Zhu Yi was like a little boat in the middle of a stormy sea. He could die in any moment.
However, only elation was written on his face. No sign of panic. At all.
At this moment, he was like a beautiful piece of jade which was still covered by a thin layer of rock. Jiao Junchen was like a craftsman, who was chipping off the layer of rock, bit by bit, revealing the potential within Zhu Yi to the rest of the world.
Outsiders might not be able to see it but Zhu Yi was very aware of the changes to his soul. It seemed as though it was ablaze.
It was not ablaze from mana or any form of spiritual energy. The fire was very surreal, something the naked eye would not be able to catch. In fact, one would not even be able to sense it from his soul. Only Zhu Yi could see this flame of wisdom in his soul.
The flame of wisdom was not only refining Zhu Yi’s soul. It was also smelting the chunks of knowledge and experience that Zhu Yi had accumulated since he was born, and turning them into new wisdom.
Spells, abhijna, poems, theses and day-to-day observations all led to all sorts of wisdom gained. All the random ideas which had popped out in his head in spontaneous moments of inspiration were now ablaze in the flame of wisdom as they were broken down into simpler forms before combining together to form new wisdom.
Everyone present, except for Lin Feng, did not have a better understanding of Zhu Yi’s current state than his challenger Jiao Junchen..
Jiao Junchen could not peer into Zhu Yi’s metamorphosis. However, he was not new to such metamorphosis. Back in the days when he was training in the art of Confucianism, his sudden metamorphosis was very similar to Zhu Yi’s. It was an accumulation of much wisdom and truth before resulting in an explosive metamorphosis.
This allowed him to be able to grasp a rough idea of when the critical juncture of the metamorphosis was.
“The saying goes, ‘The carp has leaped through the dragon’s gate to become a dragon – a successful feat’. But not many people notice that there are many other fishs which did not manage to leap through.” Jiao Junchen smiled, “I shall give you a hand then since you need my help. But will you remain as a carp or transform into a dragon?”
Jiao Junchen brought his palms together as he chanted an incantation. His aura transformed entirely as white clouds surged and formed a figure in front of him.
The silhouette was dressed in a traditional attire while its facial feature gave off a traditional and authoritative vibe. It was a good ten meters tall as a powerful aura radiated from it.
This was “Rite”. The consolidation of all the spirit, character and attitude of the millions of educated people in the world.
The First Art in the Six Arts of Confucianism, the Rites!
Jiao Junchen exclaimed with much solemnity, “The rite of passage to guest!” Following his words, the ten meters tall figure gave a solemn bow to Zhu Yi as its authoritative aura moved towards Zhu Yi.
The rite of passage to guest was one of the five rites. It was commonly performed in the imperial court where the emperor welcomed all honorable guests and visitors from everywhere.
This act was both an act of invitation from the representative of the Great Qin Empire to join the spiritual conference and also an assertion of dominance to remind Zhu Yi of his guest status. Jiao Junchen was taking another step towards controlling the pace of the battle.
Zhu Yi humbly replied, “Thank you, my friend, for your invitation.”
Despite facing Jiao Junchen’s strongest art among the Six Arts, the Rites, Zhu Yi was completely unfazed. Not only did he not suffer from the pressure, in fact, his soul was metamorphosing at an increased rate, His soul was baptized by the ancient rites as it gained inspiration and sight from the wisdom of the past. This led to an even more accurate grasp of the truth and principles with the assistance of the past and its traditions.
The light in Zhu Yi’s eyes were even brighter than before.
Out of a sudden, his left eye suddenly became completely black as all the white in his eye had disappeared, leaving nothing but a metaphorical
However, his right eye was emitting a powerful glow that was blinding. The glow did not contain any form of heat energy. It was just pure and primal. It was just bright.
In the next moment, Zhu Yi’s left eye started to emit a light that could penetrate any obstacles as though it belonged to the beams of the brightest sun.
Meanwhile, the glow in his right eye suddenly died down and transformed into a boundless dark, as though nightfall had arrived and engulfed everything.
Absolute darkness breeds brightness while absolute brightness breeds darkness. Zhu Yi had exemplified this theory as he showed how they would reverse, creating an energy that could twist apart almost everything.
Such power, surprisingly did not contain a single tinge of violence, and instead gave off an aura of truthfulness and purity.
Zhu Yi controlled this power with ease as it transformed into a chain of characters bathed in a seemingly messy combination of light and darkness. However, within this obstensible mess, the dark and light did not interfere with one another as the brightest light and the darkest dark resided side by side along a clear and distinct line.
These characters went on and on to rearrange themselves, giving off the impression that it was both an abstract and complex formation as well as a very thoughtful writing on principles and morals.
The tremors created from its formation was already so powerful that it had gotten the ten meters tall figure trembling. It was a sign that the silhouette was about to crumble.
During the process of the formation of the essay from the many different characters, one could almost hear a symphony of classical chinese music. The music was the backdrop for an imaginary which created an impression of sparrows chirping and a fountain in the distant.
Finally, Jiao Junchen started to treat Zhu Yi’s work with seriousness. In fact, he was mildly shocked, “What an essay… It is definitely worthy of praises even from the most renowned writers in the ancient times. It was the most perfect blend of chinese cultural aura and the power of Taoism.
“Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!” Jiao Junchen nodded his head fervently as he lauded even more praises, “If you were not able to top the Imperial Exams conducted by the Great Zhou Empire next year, I can’t imagine who else could it be…”
The other viewers of the battle could at best only sense that Zhu Yi was about to unleash an unbelievably powerful spell. Only Jiao Junchen was able to fully appreciate the intricacies and the principles behind this spell.
After hearing Jiao Junchen’s praises, Zhu Yi did not show any sign of happiness. In fact he was very disappointed as he muttered, “What a shame, it seems like I have not accumulated enough thoughts and ideas.”
Despite being in front of Jiao Junchen, Zhu Yi was very upfront as he continued, “I am unable to complete this writing. All that I have accumulated is only enough to craft the introductory paragraph.”
“That is quite a shame,” Jiao Junchen sighed. “But nevertheless, it is already very special.”
Following which, Jiao Junchen changed his hand symbols and incantation as he muttered, “The rites of passage to guest is no longer sufficient to deal with your essay.”
Under the propulsion form his mana, the ten meters tall silhouette stood up straight and its figure began to expand once again til it was at least a hundred meters tall. With its noble ceremonial attire, it gave off the impression that it could take on anything.
“Rites of passage to deities!” Jiao Junchen exclaimed as the hundred meters tall silhouette gave a bow.
Among the Six Arts of Confucianism, the Rites was the number one. Then among the Five different rites, the rites of passage to deities was the number one.
It was the one that required the most amount of respect and solemnity and was specially for deities and celestial beings.
“To pray to the mortal souls, to pray to the old kings, to pray to the ancestors…”
Jiao Junchen’s expression was nothing but serious as the hundred meters figure kept on bowing, radiating an increaisngly powerful aura.
“To pray to the Earth gods, to pray to the people, to pray to the five peaks, to pray to the small gods…”
Jiao Junchen’s hands were placed firmly together as he bowed in unison with the hundred meters figure again. Clouds and winds in the space of the Hidden Dragon Gorge surged as all the spirituality of the Heaven and Earth seemed to surged towards the figure, giving it an impression that it was the perfect combination of Heaven and self. It was as though the silhouette was supporting the archs of the Heaven with its sheer authority and size.
“To pray to the Heaven gods, to pray to the stars and the moons…”
Under the endless pressure from the rites of passage to the deities, even Zhu Yi’s amazing essay was unable to form as the characters formed from light and darkness began to scatter.
Because of Jiao Junchen’s effort to strip Zhu Yi of his strongest skill, his entire state be it mana, abhijna or spirituality was at a new height.
His expression was solemn as he sped towards Zhu Yi on his sea of clouds while a faint sound of music began in the background.
During the movement, Jiao Junchen let out a howl as he started to dance on the clouds in a set of mystical footsteps.
Zhu Yi studied the footsteps and was shocked as he exclaimed, “Is that the Cloud Gate Dance? The Scroll of Cloud Gate was the oldest among the Six Musics and was known to have been lost over time, leaving nothing but the name of the music. I never thought that I would ever see it again.”
Jiao Junchen rode on the sea of clouds as he played the music of the Cloud Gate while his right hand wrote characters. Characters after characters began to take shape in mid-air and they were the six characters which represented the Six Arts of Confucianism.
He also employed the mathematical analysis as he began his projection of Zhu Yi’s possible counter-measures.
Rays after rays of light began to shoot towards Zhu Yi like arrows.
The spell seemed messy at first sight. The splitting of power seemed like a recipe for failure as it would weaken the attack. But under the support from the aura of the rites of passage for deities, there was a perfect harmony as the magic from the different Six Arts were smelted into a single furnace. The attack was a synergised and concerted effort that was heading towards Zhu Yi.
The clouds in the air rolled apart as the winds surged at the incoming powerful attack, signalling the impending doom.
Zhu Yi scanned his surroundings and was suddenly overwhelmed by the loneliness which had engulfed him. It felt as though it was him against all.