"The True Samadhi Fire has the ability to purify and reconstruct your body. Whether you can grasp its power will be dependent upon your own abilities." Bai Qianzhang did not care to elaborate on that and began to talk about the methods that could be used.
Fang Xing managed to understand that even though he only had one of the True Samadhi Fire's three flames, it was dangerous even on its own. It was something that only the most powerful cultivators beyond the stage of Tribulation would have full control over, after all, and it was almost something like a taboo.
The creator of the [Decapitation's Portrayal] was a genius beyond imagination; by borrowing the explosion of power the moment right as the immortal was beheaded, he had sealed the flames of wrath inside the painting for future generations to appreciate and understand.
But "to understand" and "to control" were two completely different matters.
Out of the nine extremely talented disciples who had tried before Fang Xing, only two managed to grasp an understanding of the picture. Unfortunately, they both met the same end and had been burned to ash by the flames of wrath. Even for Fang Xing, if he hadn't managed to comprehend the second part of the picture—the will of the heavenly sword—and borrowed this will to smother the flames, he would have been no different from those two long-dead disciples.
If Fang Xing wanted to reconstruct his body through the True Samadhi Fire to officially begin his journey towards being one of the strongest Battle Cultivators, this flame of wrath had to be used. It was only through the use of this flame—a flame that only immortals could have complete control over—that he would be able to refine all of the Qi within him to reach a pure state of body. To do this, the flame could neither be too wild nor too weak and had to move in a certain pattern. Similar to Qi fluctuations, everything had to be micromanaged and controlled down to the individual spark.
Bai Qianzhang left Fang Xing at his cave estate for the entire night while he himself left for the sect's chamber for scriptures and manuals. When he returned the next morning, he began to explain to Fang Xing, "I've gone through all of the manuals at the Qing-Yun Sect and found none that were suitable to allow the True Samadhi Fire to be used to the most of its potential. Since I don't have any other options, I will only be able to teach you the techniques of the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing to help you operate the True Samadhi Fire. I have made some small adjustments to the manual so that it's more suitable for you while eliminating the chance someone might become suspicious. Although this modified manual still won't allow you to use the True Samadhi Fire at its peak potential, it will however be much safer."
With this, Bai Qianzhang proceeded to pass Fang Xing the newly adjusted and improved [Manual of Blue-Flame Grand Smithing]. Once everything had been passed on and memorized within Fang Xing's mind, the [Book of Revelation] once again began to send him a new set of appraisals. With its new modifications, the [Manual of Blue-Flame Grand Smithing] had increased from its previous mid-tier to that of high-tier.
Fang Xing was surprised and began to realize just how much more powerful Bai Qianzhang was than he had originally thought. Simply through reading enough books, Bai Qianzhang had been able to improve a technique manual by an entire tier, and that was with just a single night. The talent necessary to do this was perhaps even harder to find than the high level of his cultivation.
Aside from admiration, Fang Xing also began to grow suspicious. With such ability, why didn't this White-Hair pass the improved version of the technique on to the sect? By the looks of it, he wasn't an ordinary elder of the Qing-Yun Sect, but what was his identity exactly?
Of course, Fang Xing would not truly ask any of these questions, nor would he waste much more time thinking on them. Whatever the reason was, he trusted this white-haired person, and Fang Xing could even feel a trace of familiarity between the two of them. It was an incredibly uncommon sensation for Fang Xing, but when it did occur, it was usually extremely intense. This feeling was furthered because Fang Xing was able to tell whether Bai Qianzhang's actions were beneficial or detrimental to him.
Ultimately, Fang Xing could use the [Book of Revelation] to appraise all; if Bai Qianzhang wanted to pass on something detrimental, it would have been easily recognized. To this very day, considering the [Decapitation's Portrayal], the improved recipe for the spirit wine, and now this new version of the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing, all had been good things. This alone was enough basis for trust.
Even if the [Decapitation's Portrayal] had been remarkably dangerous, it had also been an opportunity, and Fang Xing approved of taking such risks. Fortune favors the bold, after all, and he would have actually been more concerned had there not been a price for something so good.
As for why Bai Qianzhang had decided to teach him techniques and skills, Fang Xing did not care even if there were unspoken secrets and motives behind it all. Why should anyone nurture someone else for free? It was just too normal for people to have their own reasons, and even if Fang Xing wanted to resist, it would be pointless in the end; there was no room to escape the hands of someone so powerful. The best path for now was to learn as much as was available to be taught. As for any ulterior motives, once Fang Xing improved his own strength, he'd at least have a slightly higher chance of resisting by then!
Hence, under the tutelage of Bai Qianzhang, Fang Xing began to study the techniques of the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing.
At first, Fang Xing's progress was quite fast. The technique itself was very simple, as it only converted Qi into a pale-blue flame once it had exited the body. The flame's temperature was extremely high and typically used for weapon and tool forgery, while the technique itself was designed to rid crafting materials of their impurities and return them to their purest form. However, since these flames could not travel far from its owner and burned Qi at an extreme speed, it lacked the flexibility required in genuine battles and its combat potential was said to be even lower than that of one of the most basic skills, [Fireball].
For Fang Xing, the main purpose of studying this technique wasn't for the blue flame, but to use the same method of flame control and its cultivation methods in order to control the True Samadhi Fire. Then he would use the techniques of smithing to rebuild his own physique one step at a time and refine a body with the purest type of Qi.
This method of body refinement was very dangerous. At the beginning, a single moment of carelessness triggered the flame of wrath and nearly burned Fang Xing into an endless loop of Qi Deviation. It was fortunate that Bai Qianzhang was beside him day and night to protect him from falling into such peril, and he would release a loud yell as soon as he sensed Fang Xing going down this path. The yell would forcefully pull Fang Xing back so he could calm himself through the will of the heavenly sword, and Bai Qianzhang would prepare the best medicinal pills to heal the burns afterwards.
Even so, it took half a year before Fang Xing finally began to grasp the method of refining his body by using the True Samadhi Fire. At his current state, he was finally able to accurately control the heat and power of the True Samadhi Fire's body purification. Put simply, he had grasped a rather powerful secret technique of body refinement.
As for why it could be called a "secret technique", such methods were often controlled by large sects and ancient clans and used to nurture their own Battle Cultivators, and they were never to be shown to anyone outside of their group, even in the face of annihilation. Such a technique formed the basis of their sect or clan and operated as a hidden trump card.
Within these six months and despite the numerous unsuccessful attempts, a complete purification had only been successful a small handful of times, but the change it brought to Fang Xing was astonishing. Upon first sight, his muscles and skin gave off a radiant shine that gave off the impression of being clean, fresh, and full of vitality, while further study would show a mysterious jade-like gleam radiating from his skin. In fact, if someone were to closely study his physique, they would find his vitality was perhaps far more powerful than even a grown adult. As for the energy of his flesh, it was three times that of an ordinary man, and his Qi was also three times more pure than an ordinary cultivator. In other words, even though the amount of Qi he had may seem standard for someone of his tier, its quality was three times better; Fang Xing may have only been at Spirit Stage tier four, but his actual strength and combat potential was equivalent to someone in tier five!
To achieve all of this, the amount of resources used had also been three times greater. All of the beast cores in his storage had been used up and Bai Qianzhang also didn't adhere to his own words about not giving any cultivation resources, either. In the later three or four months, it had actually been Bai Qianzhang who provided Fang Xing with the beast cores necessary for the body purification attempts.
Next to the stone forest was a dark-green pond. Ice Pond by name, its water was calm and emitted an icy coldness that had covered the white pebbles around it with a thin layer of frost, and Fang Xing was currently seated in the pond's center. It was shallow and covered up only to the boy's neck, allowing his tiny head to be exposed above the surface. Fang Xing's eyes were tightly shut as he focused on the circulation technique of the Blue-Flame Grand Smithing.
Fang Xing's skin gradually became blood-red before a faint light began to emit from his body. As he continued to practice, the frost atop the white pebbles disappeared and was instead replaced by a mist of steam. He was still far from completing another full round of body purification, yet the top of his head, behind his ears, and perhaps all of the skin exposed outside the water was all covered in numerous faint flames. These bluish-purple flames rose from within Fang Xing's body in a bizarre manner, as though full of life.
Soon, the steam grew denser and thick, nearly engulfing Fang Xing in his entirety.
Plip… plip… plip….
After a great time had passed, waves splashed against the surface of the Ice Pond; it had begun to boil.