After settling all formalities, the Eldest Young Master could be considered a great teacher.
If An Fei ignored the fact that the youth before her with the insufferable, cold aura, was attempting to claim her life to preserve the family’s dignity if necessary and without any hesitation, she would have mistaken him for a gentle elder brother who carefully explained certain concepts to his clueless younger sister.
“The <Golden Lotus of Establishment>’s fundamental principle is to combine Yin attributed spiritual essence with Yang attributed spiritual essence,” the cold youth steadily spoke, pacing back and forth within the study at a slow pace.
“By fusing spiritual essence of polar attributes, the technique can produce a might several folds more potent than the individual components that form the finished product.”
“Yin attributed spiritual essence… Yang attributed spiritual essence…”
The young girl murmured to herself, her eyes nearly glazing over in her confusion.
Raising her head, An Fei glanced at the Eldest Young Master’s cold visage, before moving her lips to ask a question that nearly tipped coals onto her foot.
“…Eldest Brother, what’s the difference between Yin and Yang attributed spiritual essence?”
“Mh…” Wei Chang Feng froze, giving the girl a good glare of consternation.
Restraining his facial muscles, the youth clasped his hands behind his back, facing away from the girl.
“Spiritual qi and spiritual essence can be generalized into two major attributes, which are Yin and Yang,” the youth mulled.
“Yin and Yang do not refer to varying extremes of temperature, but rather refer to a generalized collection of properties. Yang contains attributes of aggression, imposing might, dominance, straightforwardness, and others upholding a direct, fierce role. Yin contains attributes of elusiveness, subtleness, and is oftentimes submissive in demeanor compared to Yang.”
“Fourth Little Sister can think of Yang as a domineering emperor, and Yin as an empress. When the emperor commands, the subject must obey; Yang possesses a direct influence over its surroundings, but can only alter the environment and never itself. On the other hand, an empress does not possess direct authority in either politics or over the citizens; Yin possesses a subtle influence over the surroundings, and mainly alters the self to better adapt to the environment.”
An Fei instinctively frowned at Wei Chang Feng’s explanation, drumming on the drawing table with her fingers.
Listening to the rhythmic sounds of her finger tapping on the wooden surface, the girl smoothened her brow, firing off another question whilst preparing her brush.
“Then… spiritual essence can manifest in the same form regardless of whether its attribute is Yang or Yin, but the intrinsic properties will differ?”
“That’s correct,” the cold youth affirmed with a curt tone.
“What does it mean to fuse spiritual essence of polar attributes?” the girl quickly asked, the brush in her hand tracing small movements on the paper.
“Attempting to combine Yin and Yang attributed spiritual essence, wouldn’t it produce a similar effect as combining fire and water?”
“That is correct, but also drastically incorrect.”
An Fei pushed her bottom lip in a pout, her eyes narrowed in dissatisfaction towards the answer given by Wei Chang Feng.
As if sensing her discontent though his back was turned, the Eldest Young Master soon expanded on his reply as he stared towards the closed doors of the study.
“The easiest misconception to make during the path of cultivation is to assume that Yin and Yang are polar attributes; this misconception can occur even if one is fully aware that it is incorrect as they make further revelations. Yin and Yang are in itself, generalizations of a concept.”
“For example, a person may adopt a submissive attitude towards a superior being – it would be apt to declare the person’s attitude to be of Yin. However, his actions may gravitate towards aggressive traits through his speech, expressions, or just about everything else; Yin and Yang are opposite sides of a border, with a thin line separating the two.”
“So when the <Golden Lotus of Establishment> states to merge spiritual essence gathered from a Yin acupuncture point with spiritual essence gathered from a Yang acupuncture point,” An Fei mused, placing the sheet of paper onto the drying rack and grabbing a fresh page.
“The <Golden Lotus of Establishment> is meant to combine spiritual essence of polar attributes,” the girl directed a glance towards the Eldest Young Master, “as in combining aggression and diffidence? Or suppression with submission?”
Wei Chang Feng inwardly started in surprise at the girl’s questions; she seemed to have begun to notice the interesting factor of cultivation.
Nodding his head, the cold youth tapped his fingers behind his back, pondering in silence for several minutes.
“If we were to reference Fourth Little Sister’s analogy of fire and water,” the Eldest Young Master finally spoke, his voice flat and unchanging.
“Then it would be apt to notice that when we pour water onto a blazing fire, the fire loses heat to maintain its state of conflagration. Similarly, the water would gain heat and evaporate, establishing a delicate balance of neutrality.”
“In the world of cultivation, spiritual essence similarly possesses a state of neutrality, devoid of any attributes that define it as either Yin or Yang attributed spiritual essence. However, compared to the case of fire and water, of which the neutral state produces nothing, fully neutralized spiritual essence is one of the strongest and deadliest tools available to a cultivator.”
“Strongest and deadliest?” An Fei echoed, her voice muted as she lapsed into thought.
“Yes, strongest and deadliest,” Wei Chang Feng affirmed with a nod of his head.
“However, there is a special phenomenon that introduces a quantity of chance into the process of neutralizing spiritual essence. When neutralizing spiritual essence, one may obtain either spiritual essence that possesses attributes of both Yin and Yang of equal proportions, or spiritual essence possessing nothing at all.”
“Spiritual essence possessing nothing is akin to the previous analogy of fire and water; it is absolutely useless regardless of the circumstance. However, spiritual essence possessing attributes of both Yin and Yang is impervious to any detriments that may befall it, and can only be subdued by brute force. Cultivation techniques including the <Golden Lotus of Establishment> attempt to minimize the chances of obtaining spiritual essence devoid of attributes, and maximize the spiritual essence possessing both Yin and Yang.”
The girl continued to nod her head, though she was unsure whether she fully understood the concepts. The brush danced above the sheet of paper, lines of ink cementing their conversation.
“Then Eldest Brother, if such might can be achieved in a relatively simple format, why is there all sorts of complicated techniques for cultivation?” An Fei fluttered her slightly sore fingers in the air, staring at the reddened skin.
“Can’t a cultivator apply the concept Eldest Brother just described to create neutralized spiritual essence and increase in strength?”
Wei Chang Feng’s countenance instantly became pitch black, and the youth whirled on his heels to face the girl.
Observing her lax expression and her obvious cluelessness regarding the matter, the Eldest Young Master was instantly flabbergasted regarding how to reply to such a question.
It was completely stupid and baseless!
Anyone would realize the answer after trying it themselves, how did this girl remain clueless and surpass the first pillar of Body Tempering using this technique?!
“Fourth Little Sister,” the youth finally released a huge sigh.
“Fusing and neutralizing spiritual essence appears simple on the surface, but is impossibly complex and difficult. Every cultivation technique that attempts to fuse spiritual essence of polar attributes relies on a specialized mnemonic to assist in focusing the mind and retaining sufficient concentration during the process.”
“It’s simply impossible for a cultivator to fuse spiritual essence by raw strength; no cultivator, regardless of how he tempered his mind, possesses enough mental ability to carry out such a process. The first step of cultivation is to fully visualize the internal components of the body to the smallest iota; without the assistance of an subsequent mnemonic, how could a practitioner achieve such a feat?”
“Attempting to tamper with the composition of spiritual essence disorients the mind, and may cause permanent illness or damage if severe.”
“O-oh…” An Fei murmured.
The girl fell silent, and the youth returned to a state of calm mental repose, staring through the doors of the study. The atmosphere within the study entered a period of tranquility, until…
“What’s going on?”
Wei Chang Feng muttered to himself, his ears twitching at the soft sounds ringing within the study. The soft scratching noise drilled at his mind and produced an irritating headache, prompting the youth to fiercely sweep the study with his gaze, searching for the source of the discomfort.
The sound was barely audible, but drove miniscule nails of pain into his mind like the insufferable naggings of an annoying elder.
“…Eldest Brother, something wrong?”
The girl questioned in a concerned tone, her head tilted to the side as she glanced upward towards his figure. The Eldest Young Master turned to reply to the girl and dismiss any notion, but…
“Fourth Little Sister, what are you doing with that brush, ah?”
“Huh? Eldest Brother, I was taking notes, was that not allowed?”
The girl continued to write with the brush’s tip flicking at the paper, producing exceedingly small characters of ink that spanned across the entire sheet. As to whether Wei Chang Feng’s veins were sufficiently agitated to leap from his countenance to devour her soul, An Fei didn’t really pay much concern.
…killing her over such an inconsequential reason would be completely illogical and do absolutely no help for the family’s future, no?