The Human Emperor - Chapter 33: Dragon Bone Art
The Body Tempering Pill could boost a person’s stamina and strength significantly. However, what Wang Chong truly needed it for was for his training of the Dragon Bone Art.
There was a total of three types of techniques to cultivating one’s bones. They were namely Dragon Bone, Tiger Bone, and Panther Bone. Other than the three, the other methods were all considered unorthodox.
Of these three bone tempering techniques, Panther Bone was the most common and its training method was the easiest to find. In comparison, Tiger Bones was much harder and only royalties and powerful nobles had it. Furthermore, it was normally treated as a treasure and it was exclusive to the clan or family, never leaked out to outsiders.
The Dragon Bone was even rarer than that, even the clans of the dukes had no access to it. It was closely confined to the royal family and they were strictly forbidden from leaking the manual out.
Rumor had it that the Dragon Bone Art was a bone tempering technique the ancient Yu the Great created for his descendants. After the Xia Dynasty was destroyed, the Shang Dynasty took over the heritage. From then, it passed down to the Zhou Dynasty, then to the Han Dynasty before reaching the Great Tang.
Many people probably hadn’t heard of this ultimate art.
Wang Chong only happened to chance upon the precious Dragon Bone Art. Even though it was only the very basic of body tempering techniques, body tempering techniques formed the core of one’s martial arts.
In his previous life, due to his laziness, he wasted an entire four years and missed the optimal age for tempering one’s bones. In the end, no matter how hard he trained and how much guidance he received from the experts of the Central Plains, he was still limited by that. Eventually, when he reached Saint Fighter realm, he found himself unable to take a single step forward.
This was a great regret to Wang Chong. His failure in his previous life also had something to do with this.
In this life, when he got a chance to start anew, Wang Chong could finally make up for this regret of his. With the Dragon Bone Art, he would be able to break the limits of his previous life and reach even greater heights!
Wang Chong rested for a brief moment before punching outward. Along with this punch, a burning wave gushed from Wang Chong’s mouth downward, spreading to the rest of his body.
Footwork, palm strikes, body bending, and stretching… What Wang Chong was practicing was no ordinary punching technique. Rather, he looked like a dragon which was stretching its body on the ground.
《Dragon Bone Art》 was a skill that emulated the movements of a dragon to pump one’s blood to guide an external Origin Energy source within the body so as to stimulate the acupoints within one’s body, thus changing the physique of a martial artist, evolving from a ‘Mortal Bone’ into a ‘Dragon Bone’!
‘Root bone’ was the foundation of all martial arts, and it determined one’s future. A person with good root bone was able to achieve much more with less effort whereas a person with inferior root bone would find his future achievements limited.
Thus, even though the 《Dragon Bone Art》 was in no way an earth-shaking ultimate skill, and it didn’t bring a martial artist the ability to flip mountains and part oceans, Wang Chong still valued it highly.
In the blink of an eye, Wang Chong’s right hand converted from a fist to a palm and he advanced forward. His movements resembled the motion of a ferocious tiger descending a mountain. Suddenly, another fist whipped outward and a sonic boom sounded in the air. A powerful might gushed forward into the space before Wang Chong.
This move was called Dragon Breath Fist!
The core to practicing Dragon Breath Fist was for one to comprehend the breathing of a dragon. This single movement carried 28 bones and 64 muscles throughout the entire body along with it, creating a small gap within one’s body that allowed the essence of the pill to flow through it, making it much easier to open up the hidden acupoints on one’s body.
The greatest problem with practicing this fist was that if one’s movements were not sufficiently precise and accurate, or if one failed to fully comprehend the rhythm behind a dragon’s breathing, not only would they be unable to open up a pathway for the medicinal essence to flow through, they might even damage the muscles and bones throughout the entire body.
It could even be said that unless one was adept in it, training such a technique made it easy to wound one.
However, Wang Chong was different. Even though he was only fifteen-year-old and his cultivation realm was pathetic, he was still a Great Marshal in the past who commanded all armies of Great Tang. It was easy for Wang Chong to figure out the essence of such as level of 《Bone Dragon Art》, so he was able to bypass this problem.
As he continued practicing, he abruptly paused and stopped. For some reason, Wang Chong felt that his movements were exceptionally easy while practicing Bone Dragon Art this time. This was no longer just a matter of difficulty. Rather, his fists felt as though water melding within a river and his body felt as though it was simply moving along with the current.
Wang Chong understood his condition well. Previously, he had been living day after day aimlessly.
Logically speaking, after not cultivating for such a long time, he should be finding the training difficult. Yet, Wang Chong did not feel this way. Not only that, the sensation of becoming one with the skill wasn’t something a cultivator of his level should be able to possess.
A moment after this thought flashed across his head, Wang Chong shook his head and dumped the thought in the back of his mind.
“Dragon Ascending the Clouds!”
It wasn’t the time to be thinking about such matters. Wang Chong turned and his foot stepped outward again. This movement was called Dragon Ascending the Clouds. Even though his feet hadn’t left the ground, the fist from Wang Chong felt extremely nimble. His posture was in place, the meaning behind the fist was in place, his fist and hands were in place, and the sight looked as though a real dragon was ascending the clouds.
“Dragon Tail Whip!”
Wang Chong’s movements were connected, as though a dragon traversing across the heavens. Every single movement was difficult and required one to have precise control over their muscles and bones. Through the 《Dragon Bone Art》, Wang Chong displayed a set of carefree and elegant movements. Forceful, but at the same time, nimble.
Wang Chong moved all around the ground, but only seven footsteps were imprinted on it. Taking a close look, one would realize that these footsteps seemed to be aligned with the Big Dipper Constellation in the sky.
This was called “Constellation Steps”, a footwork within the 《Bone Dragon Art》.
‘Stepping on the stars of the Celestial Big Dipper, the dragon traveled to and fro.’ These words referred to the ‘Constellation Steps’.
The Wang Family’s courtyard was silent and no one was around. Wang Chong continued to practice the Bone Dragon Art alone.
Wang Chong’s method of practicing bone tempering technique was very different from the others.
Other people tend to swallow the Body Tempering Pill straight in while cultivating. On the other hand, Wang Chong kept it in his mouth and sucked on it. This was a little trick one could use when cultivating a body tempering technique.
While swallowing it straight could create a burst of energy, making training much more effective, but it resulted in a significant loss of medicinal property.
However, sucking it in one’s mouth was different. Even though the energy was being released at a very slow pace, the medicinal essence was being fully absorbed by one’s body, thus allowing one to make full use of the effects of the pill.
Time slowly passed. Wang Chong had already ordered that no one was to interrupt him today. Thus, he was granted tranquility and freedom.
The medicinal essence of the pill was slowly released continuously and Wang Chong could feel his entire body growing hotter and hotter. The strength of his entire body was also increasing steadily.
——Body Tempering Pill could boost a martial artist’s strength. This was its main usage!
“Regardless of whether I am able to succeed in cultivating the Dragon Bone Art, after I swallow this Body Tempering Pill and train for a period of time, I should be able to reach Origin Energy Tier 4.”
Wang Chong thought as he executed the Constellation Steps.
There were nine tiers to the Origin Energy stage of a martial artist. Currently, Wang Chong was only at Origin Energy Tier 3 and he wasn’t even able to match up to Wei Hao, who was at Origin Energy Tier 4, needless to say, Yao Feng, who was at Origin Energy Tier 9.
It was difficult for him to enter Kunwu Training Camp with this kind of cultivation realm.
The Three Great Training Camps were currently still in its preparatory phases. Many people thought that the Three Great Training Camps were created specifically for the scions, and all scions could enter. Even Father Wang Yan thought so as well.
However, Wang Chong knew that the recruitment requisites for the Three Great Training Camps would shock many.
One had to possess at least a Tier 4 cultivation in order to enter the Three Great Training Camps. This caused a massive outrage and protests from many nobles and officials, but the one sitting at the top of the royal court was resolute on this matter. No one could change his mind.
This was the rule that was implemented, and it would only get stricter from then on!
The first batch of recruits into the training camps only needed a Tier 4 cultivation realm, but eventually, it would be raised to Tier 5 and Tier 6! If Wang Chong was unable to squeeze into the first group of enlistees, it would only get harder and harder for him to enter.
Thinking about such matters, Wang Chong’s mind slowly blanked out to reach an imperturbable state.
Weng, after an unknown period of time, Wang Chong finally opened his eyes.
Looking at the sun that still hung high up in the sky, Wang Chong was taken aback. Based on his cultivation realm and the medicinal effect of the Body Tempering Pill, Wang Chong had expected it would already be night by the time he finished absorbing the final bit of medicinal essence in the pill.
Yet, for some reason, his training completed earlier than he expected. It was as though his body was exceptionally receptive to absorbing the medicinal essence of the Body Tempering Pill.
In his previous life, Wang Chong had become the Grand Marshal and eliminated all hindrances before him through his wits. It was impossible for him to make such an error in the time taken for his absorption of the Body Tempering Pill.
Just a slight error was unnatural, needless to say, it was such a huge disparity.
Not just so, a person would normally be fatigued just by standing in a Horse Stance for so long. Yet, even though Wang Chong had been moving about for so long, he didn’t feel tired at all.
“What is going on? …”
Wang Chong looked at the sky in doubt.
He had already experienced such a sensation when he challenged Yao Feng in the Vast Crane Pavilion back then. His body seemed to have changed significantly from how he was in his previous life after coming here. His movements were much more nimble and he managed to avoid many attacks which should have been impossible for him to avoid.
Back then, the sensation wasn’t that apparent, so Wang Chong didn’t pay it much heed. But as time went by, Wang Chong realized that the changes were becoming more and more obvious.
“The Body Tempering Pill only boosts one’s strength, it is impossible for one to feel nimble. Furthermore, if the Body Tempering Pill can be assimilated into one’s body so easily, he wouldn’t have needed to send so many people out to purchase herbs to complement his absorption of the pill. What went wrong…”
Ripples of doubt spread across Wang Chong’s mind.
The current him and the impression he had of himself in his previous life on the path of martial arts seemed to be completely different. Wang Chong mused over the matter, but he was unable to find anything that could have resulted in it. If one had to really point out something, it could only be his act of reincarnating.
“Is it that shooting star…”
Wang Chong thought.
If not for that shooting star, it would have been impossible for him to reincarnate here. If there was a problem, it was definitely that mysterious shooting star.
Furthermore, Wang Chong could vaguely remember some voice sounding by his ear right before his death, just that he only had a hazy memory of it now.
“Could it be that the powers of the mysterious shooting star had remodeled my body?”
Wang Chong thought.
However, after his reincarnation, Wang Chong had checked on the condition of his body thoroughly and he didn’t find anything amiss.
“I guess this matter would remain an eternal mystery!”
Wang Chong sighed. Soon, he calmed down. Even though he had miscalculated, he soon realized that he had reaped unexpected rewards within his body.
“Not bad! Origin Energy Tier 3 pinnacle, just a step off from reaching Origin Energy Tier 4! As long as I work harder these few days, I should be able to step into the next level.”
Wang Chong nodded his head in delight. The benefits from the Body Tempering Pill was much greater than he had expected.
Under normal conditions, ‘Body Tempering Pill’ could only raise one halfway through the Origin Energy Tier 3. However, through his nifty trick, Wang Chong was able to achieve gains surpassing that of what normally possible.
“Of the nine tiers of Origin Energy, the first three tiers, Still Stance, Imbued Tendons, and Imbued Bones were all fundamentals. One could only be considered as a true martial artist when reaching Origin Energy Tier 4. By then, one’s body would generate an imbuing sensation which would then evolve to become Origin Energy. By cultivating it and nourishing it, one would grow stronger and stronger. Only then can one be considered as a true Origin Energy martial artist!”
Wang Chong thought.
The realm which one one looked forward the most to reaching was Origin Energy Tier 4. At that realm, one’s strengthened flesh and blood would generate Origin Energy. With this Origin Energy, one’s cultivation would progress smoother, thus growing stronger at a faster rate.
For the next few days, Wang Chong continued to train in his backyard without anyone interrupting him.
In his previous life, Wang Chong used to slack off frequently. In this one, Wang Chong was incomparably focused and serious about his training.
Three days later, while Wang Chong was still practicing the 《Dragon Bone Art》, his body suddenly jolted, as though a furious wave had crashed onto a shore and broke through a dam. Wang Chong felt an invisible shackle being broken and a feeling of lightness gushed over his entire body.
Wang Chong could clearly sense that his strength had increased significantly.
Wang Chong could sense an energy being generated from his countless cells of his four limbs and blood and gradually, he could feel a weak imbuing sensation.
Wang Chong melded all these imbuing sensations together and soon, it gathered at his dantian to form Origin Energy.
“Such a nostalgic sensation!”
Feeling the infant-like Origin Energy in his body, Wang Chong clenched his fist in agitation.
This wasn’t the first time Wang Chong was reaching Origin Energy Tier 4 and compared to his earth-shattering power in his previous life, Origin Energy Tier 4 was not worth mentioning at all. However, to Wang Chong, it carried great significance.
Origin Energy Tier 4 at fifteen-year-old!
He had finally accomplished something that he wasn’t able to do in his previous life. At fifteen-year-old, the optimal age for tempering one’s bones, he created a solid foundation!
He still didn’t have any idea whether he would be able to bypass his previous limits, but at the very least, the possibility of it existed now.
Just when Wang Chong was feeling delighted over the matter, an abrupt situation occurred. Feeling an intangible sense of hostility and danger in the air, Wang Chong’s heart tightened.
“Who is it?”
Wang Chong’s face darkened and he bellowed. Boom! What that replied Wang Chong was a savage fist. This fist was earth-shattering, causing the air in the entire courtyard to boom in resonance to it, and it flew straight toward Wang Chong!
“Brother, try my fist! ——”
Along with the fist came an immature voice. Hearing that voice, Wang Chong was taken aback:
Wang Chong didn’t expect that it would be his younger sister who assaulted him! Wasn’t this fellow grounded by their mother? Why did she come to this courtyard?
However, he had no time to think too much into the matter. The small fist was already right before his face. Wang Chong knew his little sister too well.
Her cultivation realm might not be exceptionally high, but she possessed frightening strength to make up for it. Even Yao Feng, who was at Origin Energy Tier 9, could only ‘kneel’ before her. What that made Wang Chong shuddered even more was that his younger sister never went easy on anyone. If he were to be struck by her, even if he were to survive it, he would be heavily injured at the very least.
Constellation Steps (Initially wanted to translate as Handle Steps; aren’t you glad I didn’t do so):
Handle refers to the stars at the handle of the Big Dipper Formation, Alioth, Mizar, and Alkaid. (If you haven’t seen the Big Dipper Formation before, it is like a lollipop. 3 stars form the round (rectangular, to be precise) end of the lollipop while another 3 form the handle. The last one is the intersection between the round/rectangular end and the handle)
Stepping on the stars of the Celestial Big Dipper
Actually, this phrase, in Chinese, refers to a ritual. A priest dancing according to the constellation of the stars to summon a divine being/god. So, think of the Constellation Steps as such. I will be describing it as ‘dancing along the constellations’ in the future.