A creek flowed in the mountain, making clear sounds as water beat against the rock.
Zhou Yuan’s figure was seated on a rock by the creek with his eyes faintly shut. At this moment, his breathing seemed to become extremely weak.
The Genesis Qi in his body slowly began to flow in his channels according to the instructions in the Ethereal Form technique.
The crux of this technique was to unblock a 108 apertures, and at this point in time, Zhou Yuan was going to find the location of the first aperture. This was something he had to do by himself, because even though he possessed the Decoder Saint Rune that could view the weak points of any Genesis technique, he needed to first give it somewhere to start.
Without the first aperture as a primer of sorts, how could the Decoder Saint Rune find the second aperture?
The Genesis Qi in his body circulated in his channels time and time again, an exceedingly boring process. However, Zhou Yuan’s heart was akin to a still lake as he concentrated on sensing any strange disturbances in the Genesis Qi flow.
Half a day passed in this manner.
Only now did Zhou Yuan understand how troublesome it was to practice the Ethereal Form method. He had already used slightly over half a day for the first aperture alone. It was difficult to imagine how long it would take if he were to find and unblock even more apertures by himself...
Fortunately, on the 300th round along the route indicated by the Ethereal Form technique, Zhou Yuan finally sensed a tiny disturbance.
The instant this tiny disturbance appeared, the long waiting Zhou Yuan immediately turned his Genesis Qi, directing its full force towards the origin of the disturbance.
A faint prickling pain was felt as Zhou Yuan felt an aperture open in his body. The moment this happened, the Genesis Qi flowing through the route given by the Ethereal Form technique began to flow in little by little.
A certain subtle sensation rose that allowed Zhou Yuan understand that he had found the first aperture and unblocked it.
“Next, I’ll have to smoothen the aperture with Genesis Qi, before infusing it with mist essence.” Zhou Yuan breathed an almost inaudible sigh of relief, before he once again began to circulate his Genesis Qi, wisp after wisp flowing into the aperture that began to smoothen it according to a unique method.
Inside the aperture, sliver after sliver of Genesis Qi gathered, seemingly transforming into a rolling wheel that soon started to spin at a unique frequency as it smoothed the aperture.
This smoothing method was the essence of the Ethereal Form technique. Only by using this procedure would the mist essence be able to fuse with the aperture later on.
Zhou Yuan very carefully manipulated his Genesis Qi as he continued to smoothen the aperture. In the beginning, his control was rather rough and unpracticed, but gradually grew more and more polished as time passed, allowing the smoothing process to become much quicker.
Hence, after about four hours, the aperture felt smooth and round.
The process was done.
With a slight grin on his face, Zhou Yuan gave a light tap to his Universe bag, causing a transparent jade bottle to appear in his hand. Inside the bottle, a milky-white mist swirled.
The mist within this bottle was the so-called mist essence.
Mist essence was formed from the agglomeration of Genesis Qi and the clouds when the sun and moon interchanged. It was a rather bizarre but seemingly magical process.
Of course, Zhou Yuan had not collected it himself, but had bought it with Genesis jade in the Glittering Jewels Pavillion. A single bottom of mist essence had cost him two pieces of Genesis jade.
“It should be enough for three days…”
Mumbled Zhou Yuan to himself. With a thought, wisps of mist began rising from the bottle, transforming into white smoke that flowed in through Zhou Yuan’s nose.
Once the mist essence was in his body, Zhou Yuan began directing it through his channels. There was not much Genesis Qi contained within the mist essence, making it very easily absorbed or dispersed by the Genesis Qi in his body. Hence, Zhou Yuan needed to guard it with his full attention as he sent sliver after sliver into the aperture he had smoothed earlier.
Mist essence flowed into the aperture, drifting about as it stealthily fused into it.
As mist essence continued to be infused, Zhou Yuan began to feel a very faint sensation spreading from the aperture, seemingly akin to the ungraspable mist.
This went on for another two hours.
Zhou Yuan suddenly opened his eyes, faint mists seemingly swirling within them, before scattering completely a moment later.
Joy appeared on his face.
He had finally completed the first of the 108 apertures of the Ethereal Form technique!
He lifted his head to look at the sky, discovering that the first aperture had taken him nearly an entire day. At this rate, it would take nearly a month to complete the first level of the Ethereal Form technique.
There were three levels to the Ethereal Form technique, only by unblocking a set of 36 apertures would one reach the next level.
“Thankfully, I have the Decoder Saint Rune!”
Zhou Yuan grinned slightly. Now that the first aperture was done, he could use the Decoder Saint Rune to find the location of the second one. As such, he would be able to cut out to most troublesome sensing process.
At this point, Zhou Yuan sent out a thought without any hesitation, and the faint ancient Saint Rune between his brows began to descend, fusing into the deepest recesses of his eyes.
“Decoder Saint Rune!”
The Genesis Qi in his body began to follow the path indicated in the Ethereal Form technique again, while Zhou Yuan’s pupils seemed to pierce through his body, focusing on the location of the first aperture.
It strange yet wonderful ripple seemed to pulse.
It was the power of the Decoder Saint Rune.
The ripple spread, and a few minutes later, Zhou Yuan’s heart violently shook when he saw a strange ripple suddenly pulse from a certain location in his body.
There was no hesitation whatsoever as Genesis charged towards it.
The familiar prickling pain was felt as another aperture was opened.
The instant it opened, Zhou Yuan sensed a thin thread of Genesis Qi extended from the first aperture, linking up with the new aperture and establishing a connection.
This phenomenon clearly showed that this was the correct location of the second aperture.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes opened as they rapidly filled with elation. Sensing the first aperture had taken a good half of the day, but with the power of the Decoder Saint Rune, he had drastically shortened the time required.
Moreover, the subsequent apertures would only become harder and harder to sense, but this was clearly not going to be a problem for him.
“The Decoder Saint Rune is just too awesome!” Said Zhou Yuan. Only now did he fully realise how miraculous its power was. With it, he would be able to more efficiently master any Genesis technique he desired, making him far more efficient than others.
A fire began to burn in Zhou Yuan’s eyes as he softly chuckled. “Zhu Yue, I’ll show you that even without your guidance, I will still be able to master the Ethereal Form technique!”
With a deep breath, he closed his eyes again, and began to polish the smoothen the second aperture.
The Decoder Saint Rune could find the aperture locations, but he would still have complete the subsequent processes himself.
Hence, besides being present for the Genesis Mountain training, all of Zhou Yuan’s time during the next three days was invested into the Ethereal Form technique.
As he tirelessly continued to work, a total of 18 of the 108 apertures were unblocked by him in three short days.
The first level of the Ethereal Form technique was fast approaching.
However, while Zhou Yuan was immersed in his training, waves were churning in the outer mountains, causing many disciples to be shocked.
The origin of these waves was to everyone’s surprise, the instructors from the rear mountain of the Hidden Scriptures House. These instructors had high status in the outer mountains due to two main reasons. Firstly, they were inner mountain disciples. Secondly, they guided the other disciples in learning Genesis techniques,
However, several instructors secretly spread that Zhou Yuan would be restricted from attending the lectures for the Genesis techniques they were in charge of...
This news caused quite an uproar, numerous disciples feeling pity towards Zhou Yuan. No one had expected him to have stirred up these instructors this time...
With regards to such matters, the outer mountain manager Chen Yuan should have stepped up to put a stop to it. However, he seemed to be ignoring it, causing it to become an extremely hot topic in the outer mountains.
“I heard that Zhou Yuan angered Zhu Yue. Zhu Yue is after all an inner mountain disciples, and has many friends. The other instructors would naturally not risk offending, hence why they’ve declared that they won’t be teaching Zhou Yuan any Genesis techniques.”
“Zhou Yuan is really too arrogant. To think that he even dares to offend senior brother Zhu Yue.”
“Yea, without the guidance of the instructors, what can Zhou Yuan possibly learn by himself? Hehe, if this continues, he won’t be able to perform well in the peak selection ceremony three months later.”
“He deserves it. Let’s see what he can do now that he’s being shut out by all the instructors.”
Similar whispers spread to every corner of the outer mountains, an indication that the number of gloating people were not few. After all, they were many people who were envious of Zhou Yuan’s first class disciple status.
Hidden Scriptures House, rear mountain.
In a certain hall, Zhu Yue stood with his hands behind his back, while Gu Hongyi, Zhu Feng and the rest of the disciples were seated on mats in front of him, their eyes closed as they tried to sense for apertures.
All of a sudden, Gu Hongyi opened her eyes, happiness flashing across her lovely face as she exclaimed, “I’ve found my sixth aperture!”
The others also opened their eyes, their envious gazes looking towards her.
The scars on Zhu Yue’s face had yet to fully heal. He smiled and nodded. “There’s no need for the rest of you to be envious. Gu Hongyi’s talent is better than yours, so her progress is not surprising.”
The other disciples respectful said with a smile, “Well it’s still thanks to senior brother Zhu Yue’s guidance.”
Gu Hongyu hesitated slightly, before she too cupped her fists together towards Zhu Yue, showing her gratitude.
Zhu Yue seemed to nonchalantly wave his hand, but the pleased look that faintly rose from the corners of his mouth was a little difficult to hide.
With his hands behind his back, he raised his gaze and peered into the distance as an icy smile suddenly appeared on his face.
He wondered how many apertures Zhou Yuan had managed to unblock. It was likely that he had yet to even reach that point, right?
“Zhou Yuan ah Zhou Yuan, you must be regretting it now that there’s no one to teach you, right? Heh, but even if you go down on your knees and beg me now, I will never teach you!”
“Since you’ve offended me, I’ll let you know the meaning of eternal despair!”