Chapter 118 – The Starlight Between My Fingers (2)
Translated by: bbkgs
Edited by: bbkgs
TLCed by: bbkgs
By using some strength in your fingers and clasping them together, you can grasp objects, but some things cannot be grasped, say the wind, say rays of light, say time itself.
Chen Chang Sheng spread his fingers, and Starlight seeped through.
From Spring to deep-autumn, for countless nights, the Starlight that had descended upon his body, could it have been seeping through just like this?
The starting point of cultivation was to illuminate your Fated Star and then to guide Starlight for Purification; after countless years, countless cultivators had gone through this process, the brilliance that descended from a Fated Star, quietly transformed the cultivator’s body; starting from your skin, hair, nails, all the way to your bones, flesh and inner organs; never had there been records of Starlight passing straight through the cultivator’s body.
A cultivator’s body is not made of glass; neither is it made of water.
Chen Chang Sheng was well-read in the Scripture of The Way, yet hadn’t seen any similar precedents mentioned. Within the addendum of the Four Classics of Meditation however, he noticed a single passage, that passage noted a medical case study: 100 years ago, a Southerner died after mysteriously exploding; upon investigation by the local officials and sects, no cause of death could be found, they only noted that the victim had attempted and failed at completing Purification for 13 years in succession.
He had practised medicine under Taoist Ji since he was a child and thus focused upon this medical case study’s additional details; he noticed that the author also mentioned the victim suffered from an illness known as Lou Beng (Leakage Failure) disease.
The disease known as Leakage Failure was caused by an in-born deficiency in blood and qi, causing weakness; what did this have to do with exploding?
Chen Chang Sheng speculated on this passage, this bizarre case study, and upon comparing it with his own body’s situation, he came up with a daring and preposterous hypothesis.
The Southerner who had died from exploding, had the Leakage Failure disease, this was actually just someone who was born with an unusual constitution; as he guided Starlight to Purify, the descending Starlight did not transform his skin or hair, but had shone past his skin and directly entered the deepest reaches of his body.
That person had attempted Purification for 13 years, it could be surmised that a large quantity of Star Brilliance had accumulated within his body and that due to some reason; a reason Chen Chang Sheng could already faintly see an inkling of, the accumulated Star Brilliance had suddenly erupted.
This hypothesis had some points that made it difficult to believe: how can Starlight go past the skin? But upon closer consideration, whilst cultivating, a roof or clothing could do nothing to hinder the connection between the cultivator and their Fated Star, and couldn’t obstruct Starlight, therefore; on what basis could it be concluded that Starlight couldn’t go past the skin and directly enter the body?
Not to mention, if this was an impossibility, then why would the Orthodoxy’s virtuous forebears, from hundreds of years past, had gone through the trouble of carefully noting down this medical case study within the addendum of the Four Classics of Meditation?
Chen Chang Sheng dared to make such a hypothesis because he had encountered a lot of difficult questions on his path to cultivation. The fact that he could illuminate his Fated Star, was proof of his divine sense being suitably vast and powerful; logic would dictate that his cultivation should be successful, yet who could have predicted that it would instead stall at the stage of Purification and continue to do so for half a year.
Even if it was due to his meridian lines being different, which made it impossible to Purify in the same way others do, where did all the Starlight go to? Did it just dissipate without a trace?
No, this was something he couldn’t possibly believe. Having spent so many nights doing this, he had long started to suspect something; this was unreasonable. If it could be said that Heaven’s Way rewarded diligence, then who could compare with his diligence? Though of course, if Heaven’s Way was unfair, then he had nothing else he could say, but at this moment in time, he still held onto the view that out of the process of guiding Starlight to undergo Purification, he had fulfilled the requirement of guiding Starlight.
Yet, even an expert such as Jin Yu Lu, couldn’t sense any traces of True Essence from within his body, if the Starlight was really contained within his body, then where would it be? How was he to find its location and then make use of it?
Just as how one would seek their Fated Star, if you wanted to inquire the state your own body, you are your own best observer.
Chen Chang Sheng was aware of the method.
That method was Meditation.
Cultivation required the illumination of a Fated Star, then Purification, then meditative introspection. This sequence was immutable; any transpositions would cause either injury or death without exception. Countless years ago, there were cultivators that attempted to forge new methods, but now, no one dared to try such a reckless endeavour.
Human cultivators, in terms of their bodily strength, was the weakest out of the three races of demon, yao and human. To directly attempt meditative introspection without first successfully achieving Purification; ignoring the criteria of ensuring your meridians were wide enough and strong enough to endure the movement of True Essence converted from Starlight, was akin to seeking death itself.
Akin to an embankment that had yet to be reinforced; you seek to irrigate it using sea water?
Daring to allow the power of True Essence to wantonly flow through the body, to seek new grounds and establish a base without the thorough strengthening of every bone, every fibre of hair in your body through Purification?
For meditative introspection, completing Purification was the most basic requirement, Chen Chang Sheng was not a member of the yao race, thus he had to adhere to this rule. If he were to attempt skipping the Purification stage, then, according to the Scripture of The Way, even if he was to find the Star Brilliance that was hidden in his body through meditative introspection; upon the moment of contact, he was likely to instantly perish.
If his hypothesis was correct, then the Southerner that had died due to an explosion, recorded in the addendum of the Four Classics of Meditation, had clearly managed to accidentally die in this fashion.
But if he were not to perform meditative introspection, he wouldn’t be able to find the Star Brilliance that he suspected to be hidden within his body, and he would forever stall upon the entrance of the Purification realm, without being able to advance further; was this not a hopeless situation?
This was a question of his life with only two choices.
Even someone who held time to be as precious as he did, could only contemplate upon this matter for a time, wracked with indecision in weighing its advantages and disadvantages.
The Grand Examination was fast approaching; the amount of time he had left was very short indeed.
Heaven’s Way, or rather, fate, really was unfair.
His fate really was dismal; not only did he have a difficult to treat illness, but it seems he also had an exceptionally unusual problem in cultivation.
He was becoming very depressed, yet at this moment, he heard Xuan Yuan Po calling everyone for supper.
Due to health concerns, he rarely had supper, this made him even more depressed.
Not wanting to see the others, he left the dorm; pushing open the new door on the wall, he arrived at the Hundred Herb Garden.
The autumn trees gently swayed within the night breeze; from far away a dim light could be seen.
What was it? He was still filled with indecision, and naturally started thinking of the Black Dragon that was under the Imperial Palace alongside the words he had said in front of that Black Dragon.
It would seem if he wanted to continue living, he would have to risk his life.
He then remembered, he had promised to see the Black Dragon but never had the chance to fulfil that promise.
Upon this moment, he saw a figure of eerie darkness, a divine-like existence.
This wasn’t the Black Dragon.
It was the Black Goat.
Chen Chang Sheng was surprised; he went to the Black Goat and crouched down in front of it, asking: “Why are you here?”