An enormous rumble suddenly came from inside Azure Dragon Mountain.
The snowflakes in the forest were shaken down with a rustle. The hibernating beasts were also startled awake. A dozen red-tailed snow monkeys leapt everywhere through the trees and were knocked to the ground by the force of this jolt. They looked for the source of this noise and very quickly found its origin.
This boulder was split down the center into two halves, like a severed tree trunk. This boulder, they knew, was very sturdy. Normally, the mountain’s tigers and black bears would often grind their claws upon its surface. Occasionally, the snow monkeys would also slap the rock. This could allow their limbs and tails to become even more powerful.
But as of this moment, this impossible to destroy boulder had unexpectedly split into two halves, scaring the monkeys.
This was with the strength of a human.
Chen Mo gloomily looked at the claw sharpening stone before his eyes. The knuckles on his hands were already completely red. His blood was heated and surging just as he was striking, but he had only just landed more than four thousand strikes when the stone cracked in two. Regardless, the five thousand strikes he had trained in these days were finished.
After striking five thousand times, Chen Mo breathed in, very satisfied with his current achievements.
He had stayed at Azure Dragon Mountain already for a month. His qi and blood had finally refined into his organs, reaching the level of harmony of Qi And Blood Six Turns. There was still more than a month until the Divine Warrior Examination. If everything went smoothly, he would have no problem passing the provincial examination once he reached Qi And Blood Seven Turns.
Chen Mo brought out the little Qi Returning Dew he had left. He was prepared to call for Feng Xue when he turned his head back to suddenly see two more adorable little foxes next to the little white fox, Feng Xue.
These Snow Foxes seemed to be Feng Xue’s family, for they were rubbing against one another. At this moment, a larger fox walked out. It held in its mouth a blue-green pearl that it set down. Then, it looked at Chen Mo, as if beckoning him to take it as thanks for looking after Feng Xue.
Having trained in the Azure Dragon Mountain for the past few days, Chen Mo already treated the little Snow Fox as his partner. He was somewhat reluctant to let it go, however, that it had found its family still made Chen Mo quite happy for it.
Feng Xue looked at Chen Mo, also reluctant to part. The White Fox mother called a few times before the family squeezed into the snow, very quickly vanishing without a trace.
Chen Mo walked over to look at the item the white fox had put down. This pearl was somewhat dim, unlike a gemstone, but it did not have a spiritual aura either. As they say, white foxes were sensitive. To be able to have a white fox repay a favor, this object was not simple. Chen Mo carefully put it away.
After training a bit under the waterfall, Chen Mo’s heart was somewhat empty.
In the snow bamboo forest.
Xiyi heard Chen Mo’s footfalls, “Today is the last time I can learn from Fellow.”
“Xiyi, you need to go as well?” Chen Mo was a bit downcast.
Xiyi arranged the chessboard, relaxing with her eyes closed. She leisurely said: “Fellow Chen Mo, must be very eager to know My true identity. This is our last match. Should Fellow be able to emerge victorious, I shall state the truth.”
Chen Mo inwardly smiled. His own curiosity could not be hidden from the girl’s clever mind.
After sitting down, Chen Mo chose black. “To use such a method to receive Xiyi’s True Name, I am a bit disappointed.”
“As if anything in this mortal life will go as you wish.” Xiyi faintly smiled. She saw through him completely. This was completely the attitude that only a hundred year old with the Dao could have.
Then, both sides took to hanging corners, executing common maneuvers. From the perspective of twenty or so moves, this state was nothing to write home about, not very shocking. But this time, Chen Mo put forth all his power to defeat Xiyi, so the Chen Mo who had already determined his objective brazenly changed moves after twenty-two moves.
“Corner occupation?” Since opening the game, the corner of Xiyi’s lips curled upwards. Although she was familiar with Chen Mo’s style, it appeared that the young man in front of her had a never-ending stream of pleasant surprises for her.
In their perimeter.
Containing the knowledge and wisdom of the world, everyday even when Xiyi ate and slept, she was playing go, someone hard to see through. But Chen Mo nevertheless always could find ten thousand paths from a thousand changes. Of course, if it was not for Chen Mo’s experience being too lacking, and for someone like Xiyi’s whose perception was far and few in between even in Star World, she honestly could have been defeated by Chen Mo.
The black pieces then stabbed, clearly a probing maneuver. Chen Mo’s thinking was very vicious. Against a move like this, white would have to respond. Black acted without a second though. Although both sides had two dragons still entangled in battle at the center of the board, white nevertheless could only blindly follow black. If she did not respond, then clearly she would not follow the logic of chess, to be forced to the irrational by black yet also unyieldingly split into two fronts. Although she was still unable to see any life worries for the time being, if they entered a life or death struggle later on, she would clearly be at a disadvantage.
The black pieces occupied a good spot, showing off their strength, aloof and remote. The white pieces had no room to advance or retreat. They were at a loss.
Truly a good game.
Xiyi nodded once again. This time, her considerations took a little longer.
A few breaths later, she made her move.
This was outside of Chen Mo’s expectations. White abruptly renounced the main battlefield, maneuvering a step to the right.
What’s this move? Chen Mo was confused. Although there was such a saying in go, he partially felt this was not an easy move to make, one that should not be made at the moment. But the center had twenty-piece dragon. Could it be she really was throwing this away?
Xiyi’s chess skills once again made Chen Mo witness what was called “unfathomable.” His brow creased. Was white finding a set of stairs to surrender upon? Judging from the relaxed expression of the Xiyi across from him, he knew this was very stupid thinking.
Abandoning first place? Although the chess board was very large, no one would so resolutely forfeit this many pieces midgame.
Chen Mo found that his previously belligerent and swift moves had seemed to get bogged down. He found he could not attack nor flank. No matter how he moved, he was firmly restrained by his opponent. He could not display his power at all.
This long thinking used quite a while.
Chen Mo was shedding tears of blood in his heart.
He had originally intended for an avalanche style to kill Xiyi while she was off-guard, but the avalanche was incomplete, leaving his strategy actually without room to be used. Ai, even if he reused some modern go strategies, how could a true go sage ever honestly care about some petty tricks.
Even if they did respond, it could not be done in such a short time.
Just as Chen Mo sought to surrender, Xiyi cast a glance down the mountain, then abruptly said to him: “To be able to play go with Fellow has made Me very happy. It would be better to seal the board like this. In the future, if Chen Mo can think of a way out of this situation, come find me again. I look forward until then.”
“Seal the board?” Chen Mo was taken aback, having not expected that Xiyi would raise such an idea.
“What do you think?” Xiyi said.
“Okay.” This game was very profound, however, Chen Mo believed he definitely could figure out a way. “But you’ll be leaving, Xiyi. How can I find you?”
The girl faintly smiled. All of a sudden, the weather changed. Snow and mist enveloped her body, and when this cloud scattered, the girl and the chessboard had already vanished like a dream. Only a single black go piece was left atop the stone table.
This black piece was somewhat special. It was translucent as jade, a black as pure as lacquer. It was like the starry skies were condensed together to form this, surprisingly carrying unfathomable Star Energy.
Two words appeared on the piece.
It looked like Xiyi was inviting him to Mount Hua to continue their game.
Chen Mo knew of Earth’s Mount Hua, but he was not so sure about Star World’s. The size of Star World seemed limitless. The expanse of Star Fields seemed boundless. He did not know where this Mount Hua was. Perhaps he could ask Auntie.
When Xiyi left, Chen Mo was somewhat as frustrated as if he had lost. He recollected his thoughts and began to cultivate the Bagua Chant where he was. He already had Qi And Blood Six Turns strength, his qi and blood was refined into his organs, and the Bagua Chant was increasingly proficient.
Following his shadowboxing, the delicate wind and snow became a blizzard. Snowflakes pranced over the ground like a dragon rising into the heavens. Following Chen Mo’s fists swiping downwards, the swift air pressure from his fists dug into the ground.
The moment he brandished his fists, Chen Mo suddenly launched himself into the forest, circulating his qi and blood. He retained his breath in his organs. The wind from his fists exploded at this moment, bursting in all directions without stopping. The space around Chen Mo seemed to have been broken inch by inch, letting out a frightening noise.
In a radius of several dozen meters, all the sky-reaching trees were snapped.
Chen Mo retracted his fists, using the Nose Locking Art to control his exhales, quite pleased with the scene in front of him.
“Xun Lower Broken has already been completed.”
An ice-cold voice abruptly came from behind him.
Chen Mo raised his head to see that a white-robed woman had at some point in time been standing not far from him. She was still as cold, proud, and inviolable as he remembered.
“Auntie.” Chen Mo cried out in surprise.
Heavenly General Star Chen Qinghan sized up Chen Mo’s punch just then. Xun represented wind, and the Xun Lower Broken punch represented the body techniques of the wind, power that was everywhere and all-encroaching. She originally thought that this nephew would need to spend about half a year to comprehend this. It appeared she had underestimated him.
“Auntie, I’ve missed you to death.” Chen Mo gestured he wanted to give her a hug, but Chen Qinghan’s ice-cold glare sent him reeling back.4
“You have already refined your qi and blood into your organs?” Chen Qinghan wrinkled her brows. Chen Mo’s cultivation speed was unavoidably too fast.
Chen Mo nodded and chuckled: “Auntie, you said you’d give me a reward.”
“Take it.” Chen Qinghan threw over an object.
Chen Mo caught it and looked. It was a dark red fretwork two-tiered jade box. It was crafted exquisitely. At the center, there was a groove. “Auntie, you’re giving this to me?” Chen Mo said, disappointed.
“This is something Elder Sister left for you. Do you want it or not? If you don’t, give it back.” Chen Qinghan said expressionlessly.
Hearing that his mother left it behind, Chen Mo’s expression immediately became much softer.
Chen Qingzhi said: “This box is called ‘Mother And Child Box.’ Only the blood of a close relative can open it. Press your finger into that notch.”
Chen Mo did as she said. He pressed his thumb into the box. A needle was hidden inside that drew a drop of his blood. It flowed into a flower design on top of the box. Following a clatter, the box slowly opened.
The inside hung only a single gemstone.
The gemstone was clear and clean, blue as the sky.
Chen Mo recognized this was a Star Spatial Stone, also known as an Astral Stone or Langhuan Star Jade. In Star World, this was very famous. Astral Gems were stones that possessed a virtual space. The sizes of the spaces inside varied. Some were so large they were rumored to be able to fit the sun and moon. Cultivators all loved to cast these gemstones into accessories and weapons. By doing so, one could carry many things on their person at once.
However, such an immaculately crafted stone like the one hanging there was rarely seen.
Although Chen Mo’s Astral Stone was not so extravagant, the space was extremely large.
In the stone’s space, Chen Mo found a massive piece of iron.
After using tremendous strength, Chen Mo finally dragged this enormous piece of iron out. This giant iron was at least a thousand catties in weight. It was a giant ladle-shaped stick. Distributed over its length were seven grooves, its workmanship very crude. It was an unfinished item, for it had yet to be polished. On the handle, there were two exquisite characters – Northern Dipper!
A concentrated and fierce aura pervaded the iron stick, so much so that it was much more lofty than Chen Mo himself.
Even Chen Qingzhi was left stupefied by this absurdly large stick.5