Chapter 6: A Long Dream
Days passed. Mu Yi looked in the mirror and the image scared him.
His hair was messy, and he had big black bags under his eyes. His face was also very pale, making him look like a ghost.
“Is that me?” Mu Yi looked at himself and frowned.
“Phew… It was like a long dream.” Mu Yi had been sat there for such a long time while focused on breathing. He tried to relax and not think too much, but he ended up losing himself in a trance.
Luckily, he hadn’t lost his senses. If he hadn’t woken up in time, he probably would’ve died while cultivating.
It was difficult to know when to stop cultivating since he had no rules to follow.
When the old man had told him that it could be dangerous, he hadn’t taken it seriously. But actually, it was like being in a beautiful environment and not realizing that it was filled with dangers. If one wasn’t careful, they would die or go insane.
Mu Yi had just started practicing cultivation, so he couldn’t expect immediate results. He had to stay cautious of the dangers and take his time. Additionally, danger also came from the fact that Mu Yi found it easier focus and become detached from worldly affairs, leaving himself vulnerable.
At some point, he woke up one morning and realized that he understood what it meant to practice cultivation.
He slept really well these days and didn’t have any dreams.
The next day, Mu Yi practiced a fighting technique against a huge stone in front of the temple.
The old man had taught him this fighting technique.
During those eight years, apart from having the impression that he had slightly more physical strength than ordinary people, he didn’t really think much of the technique. He had never felt himself gaining the powerful abilities of a martial artist. In the end, he had thought that he was just too stupid to learn the technique.
Be that as it may, he didn’t give up because it had become routine.
After the old man’s death, he had stopped training for just over half a month.
Now that he had tried again, he had a different impression.
Even though the fighting technique consisted of only thirty-six moves, it required using all of one’s body to gather strength.
After having tried three times, Mu Yi could finally do it with his eyes closed, and he suddenly detached from worldly affairs.
He didn’t do it on purpose, though. He did it automatically.
He had the impression that his body had become lighter and faster. Slowly, some sort of strength had started flowing throughout his body. Then, everything became dark.
At that moment, Mu Yi felt dizzy and suddenly woke up.
Mu Yi came back to his senses and was surprised. He frowned and tried to remember what had happened when the darkness had invaded his mind. Thankfully, he had woken up at a crucial moment, otherwise, the consequences would’ve been tragic.
When one practices fighting techniques, the body gives birth to Qi. Even though the old man taught me a basic fighting technique, my body still gathered Qi, Mu Yi thought to himself.
Does my body have anything mysterious? he wondered. Mu Yi had sensed some strength flow throughout his body, and if he wasn’t mistaken, it had to be Qi. Unfortunately, his body hadn’t assimilated the Qi before it had dispersed.
Since Mu Yi couldn’t understand his problem, he decided not to waste his efforts trying to solve an unsolvable problem.
Besides, Mu Yi also realized that he hadn’t eaten very much recently.
Having traveled with the old man for many years, Mu Yi was bound to have saved some wealth. Unfortunately, the old man’s circumstances, which lead to death, had left him with little to no money.
Mu Yi still had a good amount of food, but the incoming winter only emphasized his financial problems because he would still need money to buy food during the long winter season. Also, he would need a lot of it.
“Capturing ghosts? Reading fortune? Holding ceremonies for the dead?” Mu Yi tried thinking of several ways to earn money, but he quickly ruled them all out.
After all, he wasn’t travelling the world anymore. On top of that, ghosts weren’t common, and holding Taoist ceremonies wasn’t something anyone could do. Even in the small village Mu Yi was in, deaths were rare.
Reading fortunes would be even worse compared to the former two, as no one would trust someone as young as Mu Yi. As the saying goes, ‘A youth without facial hair cannot be relied upon.’ If he ever went to people as a fortune teller, no one would believe him, and the people might even beat him with sticks and kick him out. In short, he didn’t look qualified.
Never mind. I might as well hunt so that I can sell furs and skins. Then, I’ll dry the meat in the wind and eat it. When Mu Yi thought about this, he became happy. It was the perfect solution. Back when he was cutting trees outside, he had seen many animal footprints. He was strong enough now, and as long as he didn’t encounter any animals that were dangerous to people, such as panthers and tigers, he would have no problem.
Such thoughts led to Mu Yi repairing his axe, he sharpened it and replaced the handle, which was broken. Afterward, he took off his Taoist robe and put on a simple linen robe before setting out for the mountains.
Behind Funiu Mountain there was more mountains covered in dense forests. Luckily, it was Fall, so most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees, which gave Mu Yi a better field of vision.
He saw furry and feathered animals of many colors, such as gold, black, and white. These animals especially liked to roam between trees when hunting, so Mu Yi kept glancing around. However, he remained vigilant at the same time.
Suddenly, a rock the size of a fist fell right next to him. A pheasant nearby woke up, flapped its wings, and left.
The bird made several stones fly when flapping its wings, and some crashed into the tree, causing more leaves to fall down.
Startled by the sound of the stones hitting the tree, the bird flew escaped faster.
Mu Yi continued walking through the trees.
At the moment, he was holding an axe in his left hand and had small bags hanging by his waist.
He had leaves in his hair and holes in his dirty robe.
He had spent half a day in the mountain, and he had to admit that he wasn’t adept at hunting. Luckily, he was carrying stones in his waist bags. This was because Mu Yi realized that hunting rabbits or birds with his axe never worked since they always noticed him and fled before he could even get close to them. Therefore, Mu Yi decided to throw stones at them.
Despite his efforts, Mu Yi was left starving and tired, which forced him to stop hunting. It seemed as if he would never manage to become a hunter.
As Mu Yi was thinking about going back and finding another solution, a loud sound spread in the air.