Chapter 325: Improvement

In a distant part of the forest, the battle was still ongoing.

But regardless of how it was fought, it was already decided that the outcome would be the defeat of Godhead and Beast Refining.
Without their strategic advantage, any effort they put in was pointless.

This had nothing to do with who the first treasure belonged to.
The moment Tang Jie's plan to lay a siege and attack the reinforcements began, foreign relations became the decisive factor, rather than strength.
Those who lost out in the battle of human relations would lose the entire battle.

After resting in the forest, Tang Jie and Wei Tianchong had recovered much of their strength.

Wei Tianchong shook his body and stood up.
“Let's go and see how Senior Brothers Ye and Peng are doing.
We might even be able to get something more.”

This was his first time on the battlefield, and rarely had he obtained such spoils, so he was in high spirits, all of his cowardice swept away.

Tang Jie shook his head.
“If you want to go, go.
I won't be heading over.”

“Huh? Then where are you going? It was so hard to get everyone together, so why split up again?” Wei Tianchong was confused.

The members of other sects couldn't contact each other whenever they wanted like those of the Seven Absolutions Sect, so they had only been able to get together by using the treasure light.
Now that they had finally come together, there was naturally no need to split up again.
Thus, Wei Tianchong had thought about having all of them move together.

Tang Jie laughed.
“I'm naturally going to look for a chance to improve myself.
Why else would I ask for so many blessed land quotas?”

Tang Jie's first priority was to advance in cultivation realm, waiting until he was in the Mortal Shedding Realm to exert himself.
Thus, he was in no rush to meet up with everyone else.

In any case, Godhead and Beast Refining had already been eliminated, and what came next was a clash between the Absolutions-Ocean alliance and the Moon-Passions alliance.
This would naturally be a stalemate, which was exactly what Tang Jie hoped to see.

The longer this competition dragged on, the greater his chances of reaching Mortal Shedding became.

He now had Ye Tianshang's, Wei Tianchong's, and the Seven Absolutions Sect's quotas, which was eight extra quotas, and he had eight bottles of True Essence Pills besides that.
Together with the more concentrated spiritual energy of the blessed land, if he were given a month, he could reach the peak of Spirit Sea.

Of course, it would be very difficult for the competition to go for another month in this state, but Tang Jie had a plan.

Wei Tianchong was very reluctant to see Tang Jie go off on his own, but Tang Jie was right.
Cultivation was very individualistic, and it wasn't right to do it with everyone else around.
He could only say, “Then what do we do if we need to find you?”

Tang Jie thought it over and pointed at a distant mountain.
“We passed that mountain on the way here.
See that outcrop on the mountain? The one that looks like fish lips? It is located in a position of extreme Qian, at the intersection of Li and Geng, making it the perfect place to absorb spiritual light.
I will go there to improve myself.
If you guys have anything to say to me or have gotten anything, you can send a message to me by flying sword.
If the other senior brothers have found Ghostface Ginseng or other plants, they can also sell it to me there.
Of course, I will have to pay them once we get out of the blessed land.
Right—if there is any news of the Stop Gate Banner, inform me as soon as you can.”

When it came to cultivation resources, Tang Jie's attitude was “the more, the better.”

Tang Jie laughed.
“Actually, it's not easy to come to a blessed land, so why rush to decide the outcome? If I had any say, I would have everyone put down their arms and use this opportunity to cultivate for a few days to get stronger before having the final battle.
That's the best way, in my view.”

Wei Tianchong scratched his head.
“That's true, but once the treasures emerge, battles are inevitable.
They wouldn't be able to stop themselves even if they wanted to.”

Tang Jie smiled.
“This is very simple.
Once the treasures are found, immediately put them in Mustard Seed Bags.”

“Huh?” Wei Tianchong was shocked.

Tang Jie explained, “Think about it.
The moment the treasure enters the bag, the treasure light will stop, so there naturally won't be any battles.
Of course, this would mean that the twelve-hour limit isn't met and that the treasure doesn't belong to anybody, but what does that matter? Put it to the side and cultivate.
Once you're basically done cultivating, you can take out the treasure and get everyone together for the final battle.
Do you know what Yun Wuji's greatest mistake was? It wasn't that he took the first treasure, but that he didn't join up with the rest of his team after getting the Taiyi Profound Clarity Cup.
If he had gotten everyone together and then taken hostages, we wouldn't have been able to pull off our plan of besieging him and targeting his reinforcements.”

The people outside cursed at Tang Jie for acting too far out of line.

If things went as he said, these days were bound to be calm and peaceful for a time.
Nobody would show the treasure light until they were satisfied with the cultivation progress they had made.
But once they appeared, there was bound to be treasure light coming from all corners, followed by a frenzied melee until everything was settled.

But the days in between would be insufferably boring and plain.

Even Wei Tianchong was shocked by this suggestion.
“Isn't this going too far? The Wandering Palace provided this place for us to battle, not cultivate.”

Tang Jie chuckled.
“I know that.
The problem is that this is a cultivation ground being used for battle.
Not cultivating here would be too much of a waste!”

Wei Tianchong couldn't help but be tempted by these words.

After some discussion, Wei Tianchong finally agreed to Tang Jie's plan.
He would go to find the others while Tang Jie went off on his own.

Tang Jie walked along the edge of the forest, memories of his battle with Lan Yu still going through his mind.

This was the first time that he had used spell arts to fight rather than relying on his powerful constitution, and in this situation, he realized how lacking he was in strength when it came to cultivation.

Even though he was a student with three secret arts from the Divine Firmament Sword Classic, he still couldn't take even one blow from Lan Yu.

This had to do with the power of his opponent, yes, and also with how long he had spent plotting instead of cultivating.
Otherwise, the level of his Formless Golden Body should have been on par with the Karmic Cycle Finger.
And if Lan Yu's cultivation level had not been higher than his, how could it have so easily penetrated his defenses and heavily injured him?

A person's energy was limited, and sometimes, plotting too much meant actually doing less.
Given all that he had gained these last few years, he should have made more progress in cultivation than he actually had, and the core problem behind his average performance rested in this excessive focus on plotting.

Of course, it was hard to blame him.
At that time, Tang Jie had been fighting back against the enormous organization that was Godhead Palace.
No matter how much he cultivated, he couldn't possibly fight against it, so he had to resort to plots and schemes.

Now that his original body had entered the formation and Godhead Palace had mistakenly believed that Tang Jiye was You Shaofeng, all of the surface conflicts had faded away, and Tang Jie had gained the initiative.
Now was the time to completely focus on improving himself.
Until he reached a certain level of strength, he didn't need to get into too many conflicts with Godhead Palace.

And Tang Jie had realized that he had another natural advantage: the existence of an avatar.

Though the original body and avatar were not together and would find it difficult to help each other, they shared a mind and had the power to think at double the speed of normal people.

This thinking speed seemed to have nothing to do with cultivation, but it could not be forgotten that cultivating spell arts required familiarity and constantly looking over one's memories.

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When improving their cultivation realm and cultivating spells, students always had to worry about how to allot their time.
When Qi Shaoming had focused on combat spell arts, he had neglected improving his cultivation and lingered at the same realm for some time.
It was only after his battle with Tang Jie that he had heard the wake-up call.

But now, Tang Jie had two minds, so many things became much easier.
When it came to cultivating spell arts, he could let his original body do the familiarizing and memorizing while the avatar focused entirely on improving its cultivation realm.
When the original body had become completely familiarized with the spell art, its insights would naturally be shared with the avatar.
All that was needed was for the avatar to go through a brief period of adaptation to quickly grasp a spell art.

In this way, he wouldn't lack in either cultivation or combat.

Tang Jie couldn't help but get excited at the prospect.

Although his original body's cultivation would undoubtedly be affected by this, it had to be remembered that his original body was in the formation.
There was no need for battle there, and there was also the prospect of entering the fifth formation, the All-Blossom Formation, in the near future.
In there would be countless resources for his original body to use, and the sheer amount of resources would be enough to create a master.
There was no need to rush things.

Time was given to the avatar while resources were left to the original body, so both bodies could improve in some aspect.
This was Tang Jie's plan.

If he hadn't gotten the Eye Flesh, allowing his avatar to cultivate, then Tang Jie might not have chosen to do this.
But the fact that it could cultivate had filled Tang Jie's mind with ideas.
He really wanted to know what his future would be like if this kept up.

As dusk fell, Tang Jie finally arrived at the fish lip rock.

It was at the very end of a precipitous cliff, its huge body extending outward, its insides hollowed out like a fish head.
Spiritual energy circled around it like clouds.
Just as Tang Jie had said, this place was a nexus of spiritual energy and ideal for cultivation.

In truth, this was the cultivation platform provided to Wandering Palace students in this blessed land.
Only those who had obtained sufficient contribution points were allowed to cultivate here for a set amount of time.

The Wandering Palace had opened up this place for the six major sects, and Tang Jie had made the unprecedented decision of cultivating in someone else's blessed land.
It was quite the amusing idea.

Standing on the fish lip stone and looking at the spiritual energy coiling around him, Tang Jie felt carefree and cheerful.

Looking down, he could see a stone forest below.
These were numerous stone steles—the ancestral platforms of the Langya Blessed Land.

“Ancestral platform” was nothing more than another name for the sect ancestors' cenotaphs.

When the ancestors of sects became Returned Remnants, most of them left no body, as their essence returned to the earth.
Any remains left behind would be regarded as valuable treasures and collected by the sects.
As there needed to be a place to pay homage to these ancestors, cenotaphs were set up and called “ancestral platforms”.

This was the most important place in the various paradises and blessed lands belonging to the sects.
Although it had no practical value, it did have immense symbolic value.

It was precisely due to these ancestors that these paradises and blessed lands could exist for the later generations.

Thus, in this competition, the most important rule, the one that could not be broken, was that it was forbidden to damage an ancestral platform.
Anyone who dared to break this rule, even someone from the six major sects, would die!

Tang Jie gazed at the stone forest and bowed.

This was his respect for the selfless sacrifice these ancestors had made toward their sect, and also his gratitude to them for providing this blessed land to them.
To reside in this blessed land was essentially to live in their body, and Tang Jie couldn't help but be respectful.

He was unaware that the people outside were watching him, and he was unaware that this bow massively improved the impression the Wandering Palace had of him, but he might not have cared even if he knew.

Starting from this day, Tang Jie took up residence on this summit and began cultivating.

Tang Jie's cultivation didn't involve him just sitting there.
On the contrary, he was very busy.

Every night, at around 11pm, he would enter the hollow in the fish lip rock and use the Illuminating Eye.
This was when the night was at its deepest and most people were asleep, and in this deep darkness, basically no one would be paying attention to Tang Jie.

After using the Illuminating Eye to observe his surroundings, Tang Jie would go down the mountain the next morning and take an hour to pick the spirit plants he needed.
The previous night's observation provided him with an understanding of his surroundings.

The early morning was when the spiritual flows of the blessed land converged.
At this time, Tang Jie would take the spirit plants he had gotten and process them according to the proper methods, after which he would consume the product and absorb as much energy as he could.

These spirit plants became precious True Essence that accumulated in Tang Jie's body, expanding his Spiritual Space, widening his meridians, and purifying his body.
And with the abundant spiritual energy around him, each Major Circuit Heaven allowed Tang Jie to get ten to twenty drops of spiritual liquid.

The improvement speed was frightening.
Tang Jie's level rose crazily, boosted by the large amount of medicine he was consuming.
With every passing day, he showed an obvious improvement in strength, and his Spiritual Space expanded from the initial level of Spirit Sea all the way to the middle level.
He accumulated more and more spiritual energy, his cultivation growing more and more profound.
He became immersed in cultivation, and there were times when his body would show visible signs of taking in spiritual energy.

At this stage, even a fool could see what he was trying to do.

“Advancing to the peak of Spirit Sea? So he wants to use this opportunity to reach the peak of Spirit Sea?” Xie Fengtang couldn't help but sigh in praise.
“It's really a good idea, and this really is a rare opportunity.”

Unless one became a True Inheritor, students had few opportunities to enter a blessed land.
Blessed lands were rich with resources, and if they were used well, one could truly improve oneself greatly.
But there were few like Tang Jie who used these resources to the maximum.

If Tang Jie could reach the peak of Spirit Sea before the end of the competition, then this trip couldn't be considered a waste.

It had to be understood that Tang Jie had only been cultivating for four and a half years.
It wasn't rare for someone to reach the peak of Spirit Sea in four and a half years… if they had a nine-cycle Jade Gate.
It was extremely rare for someone with a five-cycle Jade Gate.

Ming Yekong replied, “I don't think that's the extent of his ambitions.”

Xie Fengtang was startled.
“He's not thinking of making a charge at Mortal Shedding, is he?”

Charging at Mortal Shedding couldn't be done just because one had reached the peak of Spirit Sea.
Erecting the Heaven-Earth Bridge was no easy task, often requiring the guidance of a wise teacher and according to the situation at hand.
The slightest lack of caution could lead to failure, which could lead to energy corruption or death in the worst cases.
Tang Jie using a large number of resources to make a charge at peak Spirit Sea had the side effect of an unstable foundation.
He needed to take time to stabilize this foundation, or else he would face large risks.

This was also why even students from great clans couldn't rapidly advance in a short amount of time.
It wasn't that their seniors didn't give them enough resources, but that giving them all those resources had no meaning, only increasing the risk they faced and hurting them.
Thus, when it came to resources, they were granted according to one's ability.

“Ability” here did not refer to one's financial power, but to a junior's potential.

It wasn't that Tang Jie couldn't rapidly advance to peak Spirit Sea using resources, but this came at increased risk.
But with his resources, he wouldn't be able to become anything great if he didn't take a risk, so Xie Fengtang could understand.
A small risk was understandable, and Xie Fengtang was sure that Tang Jie could control it.
But if Tang Jie made a charge at Mortal Shedding, the risk would be maximized.

Charging at Mortal Shedding didn't have a large risk initially, but with the way he was doing things, Tang Jie was raising the risk from 1% to 20%, which was why Xie Fengtang had paled.

Ming Yekong replied, “I think there's a very high chance.”

Xie Fengtang said, “Master Ming, how are you so sure?”

Ming Yekong softly chuckled.
“This is your student, so how do you not know him? I wouldn't dare say this about anyone else, but this child is different.
He is bold and blackhearted, daring to think and daring to do! In these last few days, he's already given us many shocks, and the greatest impression I have of him is his daring.
While charging at peak Spirit Sea is praiseworthy, it's something that the two of us can still accept.
Since it's something the two of us can accept, it's clearly not Tang Jie's limit.”

Xie Fengtang was left utterly speechless.

He had known Tang Jie for some time, but to his surprise, Ming Yekong seemed to understand him even more.

His understanding of Tang Jie's decision-making was so simple, yet so reasonable.

This really was something that Tang Jie could do.

Xie Fengtang stomped his feet.
“If he wants to erect a Heaven-Earth Bridge, he needs to sense the will of the heavens and earth.
Understand the will to open the path, and comprehend the divine to attain the Dao! This is why the one who erects the Heaven-Earth Bridge can experience both risk and fortune.
This is the closest one can get to the Great Dao, and if one is prepared enough, one will get a chance to comprehend the Dao for the first time.
He's doing this now with no knowledge whatsoever and without the guidance of a teacher.
For the sake of a momentary happiness, he's adding to risk and missing out on an excellent opportunity!”

Xie Fengtang dropped his head and pounded his chest in regret, as if Tang Jie was already doomed.

Ming Yekong laughed.
“There is no need to worry.
While this Tang Jie is bold in action, he is not rash.
He must have some confidence if he dares to do such a thing.”

“What sort of confidence can he have? He doesn't even have someone to give him instructions.
Don't even mention Peng Yaolong or the others.
Those guys have barely entered Mortal Shedding, and while they have some experience, it is shallow.
Someone who can truly help him comprehend the Dao must be at the Celestial Heart Realm and have already experienced the Heart Demon Tribulation, entering the Soul Transformation Period where they have already developed a Celestial Heart and gained a basic comprehension of the Divine Will.
I myself have not reached this point and was even thinking about requesting the aid of Master Ming.
He's currently in the blessed land, so where is he going to find a person like this to instruct him?” The thought left Xie Fengtang so angry that he was shaking.

Even Ming Yekong was momentarily speechless.
In the end, he could only sigh, “This is all about fortune.
What should be his will naturally be his, and what shouldn't be his won't be his no matter how much he tries for it.
Perhaps this is the will of the heavens.
This is a shooting star, brilliant for but a brief moment.”

The two of them fell silent.

On the fish lip stone, Tang Jie had no idea of these worries and continued to cultivate.
His earlier plan had already taken effect, and ever since he had made his proposal, treasure light had ceased to illuminate the sky of the blessed land.

There was one day when Tang Jie had just finished cultivating and saw a rainbow light shoot into the sky, but it was only for a moment.
Tang Jie knew that someone had gotten the treasure and stuffed it into a bag.

This was also why Tang Jie didn't know if the Stop Gate Banner had appeared or not, nor did he know how many of the ten treasures had appeared.

But he was in no rush.

As the days dragged on, Tang Jie's strength soared.
Every day, he shrank the distance between himself and the others.

At the same time, in the formation, the original Tang Jie was also working hard.

He had put aside the Ninedark Mantra for now and was studying other spell arts.
He first focused on the Jade Shattering Finger.

Just as he had initially planned out, his original body served his avatar, spending large amounts of time every day on cultivating spell arts.

Occasionally, his original body would create a duplicate to go and see He Chong to talk with him whenever he was bored.

Initially, He Chong wasn't interested in talking with Tang Jie, and any conversations usually devolved into arguments.

But in this formation, he had no conversation partner besides Deng Yuqing and Duan Fourth, who were both too afraid of him to get an interesting conversation from.
But Tang Jie never treated him like a True Person, addressing him by his real surname and with an impolite tone.

He Chong had been angry about this at first, even destroying Tang Jie's duplicate.
But as the days went by, he knew that this was pointless and stopped.
As more days went by, He Chong grew accustomed to Tang Jie's tone and started to find this kid more interesting than Deng and Duan.

He gradually started to ignore these two and even started to enjoy his conversations.

He Chong didn't even mind when Tang Jie called him “Old He”.

Today, Tang Jie's duplicate came over again to see He Chong, casually sitting down next to him and saying, “Old He, when charging at Mortal Shedding, what should I pay attention to?”

“You? Charging at Mortal Shedding?” He Chong chortled in disdain.
“Shouldn't you still be far from that step?”

“I'm just asking.
Don't be so petty.”

He Chong thought it over and finally nodded.
If the fifth formation is as you say, requiring Mortal Shedding, then you might need to cultivate to that stage before entering.
If you have any questions, go ahead and ask.”

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