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Chapter 632: Drastic Increase in Strength
In the center of the stone forest, Tang Xiu sat at the edge of the Spirit Spring watching Su Xiangfei, who was still inside it.
Su Ben and Su Quan had finished their cultivation and already put their clothes on and stood at the side. The wrecking cultivation for two days resulted in them being able to feel the Qi inside their bodies and even control it.
Along with the sound of splashing water, the naked Su Xiangfei jumped out of the spring water. Excitement flashed in his eyes as he called out, “I can control the flow of Qi in my body now, Tang Xiu. I can also control it following the route of cultivation technique. It's been running three times in my meridians.”
“How thick is the flow of Qi in your body?” Asked Tang Xiu.
“About the size of a needle,” answered Su Xiangfei after pondering slightly.
Tang Xiu turned his gaze toward Su Ben and Su Quan and asked, “What about you two?”
Looking pleased with himself, Su Quan answered, “The stream of qi I can control is stronger than Xiangfei's, about the size of a match.”
Su Ben scratched the back of his head before raising his hand and extended his little finger, saying, “Mine is probably half of my little finger, kinda as big as a chopstick—should be a bit thicker than a disposable chopstick, I think. But the length is quite short, only a few centimeters.”
Su Quan and Su Xiangfei were taken aback, especially the latter as his mouth twitched a few times and looked embarra.s.sed. He had heard from Tang Xiu before that a human's const.i.tution was divided into various grades and ranks. People with a great const.i.tution would have faster cultivation speed compared to ones with poor fitness. And now it looked like that he had a huge gap with Su Ben and Su Quan.
“Not bad.” Tang Xiu nodded and smilingly said. “For being able to sense the flow of Qi in your meridians as well as controlling it according to the cultivation route means that you all have officially embarked on the cultivation path. Furthermore, your physical strength has progressed drastically after two days of cultivation. You should be several times stronger than before. Now, try to lift some stones to test your strength.”
“I'll try first,” reply Su Ben.
Immediately, his gaze landed on a stone nearby of about 100 pounds. He was able to lift a stone weighing 100 pounds of stone in the past, albeit having quite a bit of difficulty. As his hands circled around the stone, he exerted his strength suddenly and the stone was easily lifted by him, and he even nearly threw it into the air due to lifting it too fast.
“How could it be so light?” Su Ben muttered in disbelief.
“If you can move 100 pounds of stone before, you should now find a 300-400 pounds' stone and try to lift it,” commented Tang Xiu with a smile.
“300 to 400 pounds? Can I really lift it up?” Asked Su Ben, astounded.
“How will you know it if you don't give it a try?” Said Tang Xiu with a smile.
Su Ben nodded firmly and his eyes now set on a stone weighting nearly 400 pounds about seven-plus meters away. He walked over there and hugged it.
The stone was lifted, he and even faintly felt that he could lift a much heavier stone.
500 pounds! He estimated that he could lift a 500 pounds' stone. If he exerted out his full strength, he could even throw it more than 10 meters at the very least.
Following his action, Su Quan and Su Xiangfei also gave themselves a try. To their pleasant surprise, they found that they were able to easily lift a 200-300 pounds' stone. Though their strength was not as strong as Su Ben's, they were at least several times stronger than before.
Tang Xiu nodded with a satisfied expression. These three fellas had extremely good luck—so good they would make countless cultivators feel jealous. The first time they started cultivating was aided by the Earth vein's Spirit Spring, making their cultivation speed soar to the sky like they were riding a rocket. Recalling how Kang Xia and Andy began cultivating, Andy spent quite a lot of time to be able to feel the flow of Qi and then slowly trying to control it, while Kang Xia spent a few months.
“Xiangfei, hurry and pick up your clothes and put them on, will you?” Tang Xiu laughed. “There may be no women here, but looking at you running about naked is gross.”
Su Xiangfei was stunned and suddenly bolted towards his clothes with a reddened face. He quickly grabbed them from the ground and put them on. Tang Xiu's teasing, however, dissipated the remaining the unpleasantness he had, giving him a clean and fresh feeling.
While looking at the sky, Tang Xiu then spoke, “We've been here for two days if I remember correctly, and tonight should be New Year's Eve. I'm afraid we've created a big rumpus outside due to our disappearance. So, guys, let's go now. We must find that leopard tonight and exterminate it.”
“We can definitely kill it!”
The trio rubbed their fists and looked eager to get into action. There was no more fear on their faces, as the drastic increase in their strength boosted their courage as well. Though Tang Xiu wanted to warn the trio that they must not take it lightly, he did not want to strike their enthusiasm at the moment. Besides, he was confident that that leopard savage beast would not be able to kill them with his presence.
“Just let them taste a bit of hardship!”
Tang Xiu faintly smiled. After leaving the stone forest with the trio, he quickly entered the forested mountain. Since the trio had their physical strength increased, their strength and speed far exceeded their previous state, and therefore were able to move very fast while keeping a constant observation of the surroundings. Tang Xiu even released his perception to the fullest and observed the range of 400-500 meters around.
More than an hour later, Tang Xiu stopped halfway up the mountain all of a sudden. A smile appeared on his face as he pointed to the southeast direction and said, “Our luck is quite good. I can hear the cry of a leopard over there, and it's very close to our position—about a few hundred meters away. Follow and keep up with me. We're going to kill it and then go home to celebrate the New Year.”
In the Su Family Village.
Anxiousness painted Su Lingyun's face as she stood restless in the courtyard. Her hands hugging Gu Yin's shoulders were shaking. Though Tang Yunde and Mu Qingping were also anxious and worried, they did not show it on their faces.
“Have the villagers come back?”
Zhang Shi came out from the house with a worried face. Beside her was Su Yaning, who was silent.
“No, they haven't. I just went out and asked around.” Tang Yunde shook his head. “Mother, how about you prepare dinner at home first? I'm going to the back of the mountain to look for them, too. Now is New Year's Eve, so we can still have a good hot meal after I find Xiu'er and we come back.”
“You just arrived, Yunde!” Zhang Shi waved his hand. “Take a rest first before doing something. Besides, many people from our village have gone there, along with the police from the town and the county's police station. I'm sure they will find Xiu'er.”
At this time, Chen Huiying who lived next door walked inside. After seeing Tang Yunde and Su Lingyun, she looked slightly dazed and immediately asked, “How is it? Did someone find them?”
“No, they haven't. Let's just wait some more!” Sighed Zhang Shi.
With a distressed expression, Chen Huiying said, “These little devils are really insane! Even if they want to kill that beast, it doesn't mean you must venture into the mountain to take that risk! If anything happens to Ben'er, I… I don't want to live anymore.”
“Don't worry, sis-in-law.” Tang Yunde quickly comforted her. “Xiu'er has great abilities. Let alone an ordinary beast, he wouldn't fear even if that thing was a monster. Maybe they just went to look for it in the mountain, and I believe they will be back tonight if they can't find it.”
In the outermost mountaintop near the Su Family Village.
Hundreds of villagers and police officers equipped themselves with flashlights and weapons were currently searching everywhere and shouts were constantly heard. Zhao Donghe, the chief of the County Public Security Bureau, held a loudspeaker and shouted Tang Xiu's group names.
He originally had already returned to his home and was preparing to paste the couplets with his wife and children, as well as buying some items for the New Year. Then he received a phone call and was informed that four young men from the Su Family Village had gone up the mountain today to look for the beast that killed the villagers. Therefore, he summoned dozens of policemen to rush over there along with the men from the fire brigade department.
On the way to the Su Family Village, he had planned to find someone to look for them, and would only spend one day at most in the case that they couldn't find them. Who would have thought that after he arrived at the Su Family Village, he learned that one of those four young men was Tang Xiu? He immediately changed his mind and personally ordered that they must find the group of four no matter how long it would take and how much it would cost.
Zhao Donghe was perfectly aware of the reason why he was able to sit on the seat of the County Public Security Bureau's Chief, as it was entirely because of Tang Xiu. At that time, the person who competed with him for the position of the Public Security Bureau's Chief was Magistrate Hong, the county's Head Magistrate commissioner. It was entirely because of Tang Xiu that he got the position with direct instructions from the leaders above. Even the Munic.i.p.al Discipline Inspection Commission sent a team to conduct an investigation on County Magistrate Hog, and as a result, the man was now still in prison.
He did not know who those people behind Tang Xiu were. What he could affirm was that they were definitely not from the city, because the inspection team from the city that came to investigate Magistrate Hong back then was actually led by someone from the capital.
“Chief Zhao, we can't venture any further, it's too dangerous.” The leader of the fire brigade following beside Zhao Donghe spoke with a face painted with a wry smile. He had learned from the villagers of the Su Family Village that the back of this mountain was filled with many beasts and the terrain was arduously steep—and slight carelessness would send them to danger.
Zhao Donghe clenched his fists. Despite having spent a day to trek from side to side in the mountain, he still ground his teeth and said, “No. We must find these four youngsters no matter how dangerous it is. Anyways, the villagers should be tired. Tell whoever is unable to keep up that they can go back immediately, while I'm going to personally lead the team to venture deeper and look for them.”
The leader of the fire brigade wore a confused expression. He couldn't understand why Zhao Donghe was so adamant and persistent in this search. Weren't they only four youngsters? Not to mention that getting lost in the deeply forested mountain was a normal occasion, and yet not necessarily dangerous either! What's more, many people had already gone deeper into the forested mountain to look for them. Moreover, the night would be pitch black and once they ventured deeper, it would be inevitable that some people would be injured. With all these reasons, was the endeavor still worth it?
“Chief Zhao, the firefighters—my men shall and must venture deeper to look for them, but the civilians are already tired. I think it would best if you take them and go back. Just a.s.sign some police officers to accompany and follow us,” said the leader of the fire brigade with a serious expression.
“No need to persuade me. I must stay here.”Chapter Notes:
If you're wondering about the couplets (or ant.i.thetic couplets) for the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival Couplets (Chunlian), you can read this article on Wikipedia.