Within the Sky Fortune City, the capital of Sky Fortune Kingdom, the Seven Profound Martial House stands before the Great Mountain Zhou. Seven Profound Martial House, it is the martial house set up by the Seven Profound Valley, a martial arts clan with over six hundred years of heritage. It is also the only martial house set up by them in the Sky Fortune Kingdom.
As one of the biggest martial house, Seven Profound Martial House possesses a great number of legacy martial skills and martial masters as its tutors. It was only natural that it would become the holy land of the many young aspiring martial artists. Correspondingly, the entrance qualifications for new recruits in Seven Profound Martial House were set at a high threshold. It would not be an exaggeration to say that only one in a million would be able to qualify.
Under the scorching heat of summer, a teenage boy stood within a forest of the Great Mountain Zhou. Both his fists were wrapped up with strips of cloth as he stood bare chested before a rough looking big tree. He threw punch after punch, striking heavily against the tree trunk.
“Peng!” “Peng!” Heavy sounds echoed out around the forest. The layer of bark on the big tree that were struck had sunk downwards noticeably, exposing its greyish wooden texture. On its surface, traces of blood could be seen.
This teenager’s name is Lin Ming. He possesses a Grade Three Martial Talent.
In Sky Fortune Kingdom, half of its citizens have no martial talent to speak of and are unsuitable towards the path of martial arts. As for the other half, at least eighty per cent of them have a Grade One Martial Talent. Even if these people were to practice martial arts, they would not be able to reach anywhere. One in ten of the remaining people have a ninety per cent chance of having Grade Two Martial Talent. If these people were to be diligent in their practice of martial arts, they have a chance to accomplish something in life. However, becoming a master of the martial arts would be near hopeless for them.
Lin Ming’s Grade Three Martial Talent could be considered as a high-class existence. If one were to be boastful, one could claim that he is the cream of the crop. However, even with his martial talent, it would still be difficult for him to enter the Seven Profound Martial House!
Lin Ming was well aware of this. Together with his female childhood friend, the beautiful Lan Yunyue who also has a Grade Three Martial Talent, they had agreed to take the entrance assessment for the Sky Fortune Martial House even though it is nowhere near as good as the Seven Profound Martial House.
The Sky Fortune Martial House is part of Sky Fortune Kingdom. Since the day of its inception, it has only eighty years’ worth of martial skills, legacy and foundation, a limited number indeed. Legacy martial skills are something of great importance to martial artists. Without a good set of martial skills, the goal of completing the final Physical Training Stage, the Pulse Condensing Stage or higher would be near impossible.
The Pulse Condensing Stage is a realm that most martial artists vied for. It is also the first turning point for cultivators of the martial way. Once the Pulse Condensing Stage is successfully attained, a martial artist’s lifespan would be greatly increased. Additionally, they would also be granted the title of nobility, allowing them to live a life of prosperity, bringing a blessing to their descendants.
It is in this Pulse Condensing Stage training that the Sky Fortune Martial House falls greatly behind the Seven Profound Martial House.
Lin Ming’s heart pulsed for the sake of the martial way. It was only natural that he too, desired to enter the Seven Profound Martial House. If his talent was insufficient, then he could only rely on his own diligence and perseverance to impress the examiners. However, the prospect of him entering was very low. Moreover, once he failed, he would have to waste half a year’s time to wait for another opportunity. For martial artists, this amount of time is highly precious.
Placing all this into consideration, in addition to the fact that he had promised Lan Yunyue, Lin Ming decided instead to enter the Sky Fortune Martial House.
Lin Ming and Lan Yunyue had trained and played together for many years. Even though the both of them were still young and the topic of marriage never came up, those emotions have already begun budding. Lin Ming’s parents on the other hand, had shown their approval and love towards Lan Yunyue. They would always invite Lan Yunyue to their house for dinner.
A mutual feeling of goodwill existed between Lin Ming and Lan Yunyue, leaving only a thin piece of paper between the two. Once they grow slightly older, this piece of paper would certainly be torn apart.
Lin Ming viewed the agreement between them both seriously. He had determined to charge towards the Pulse Condensing Stage even if he could only train within the Sky Fortune Martial House!
However, on the day that Sky Fortune Martial House held its entrance assessment, Lan Yunyue failed to show up.
At first, Lin Ming had assumed that Lan Yunyue was unable to arrive due to some matters. It was only later that he learnt of Lan Yunyue entering the Seven Profound Martial House. Additionally, the one who had ensured her success in becoming a disciple of Seven Profound Martial House was Zhu Yan, the genius Young Master of Green Mulberry City’s number one family.
Although Lin Ming was only fifteen years old, he had accompanied his parents to do battle on the outside before. Thus, he has a greater level of maturity compared to others. He understood the meaning behind Zhu Yan’s act of ensuring that the Seven Profound Martial House accepted Lan Yunyue.
For a great family such as the Zhu Family, their prerequisite in selecting future wives lied not in terms of appearances, but rather their martial talent. A highly talented wife would have a higher chance of giving birth to a martial genius. Although Lan Yunyue’s family is only average, her Grade Three Martial Talent is very good considering her gender. In addition, Lan Yunyue herself is a beauty with an outstanding temperament. It was only natural that Zhu Yan would fall for her.
For Lan Yunyue, the difference between the Sky Fortune Martial House and Seven Profound Martial House is simply too great. The opportunities, honour, glory, and potential accomplishments that both could able to provide are simply incomparable. This is especially true regarding the extension of life that could be gained after one successfully reaches the Pulse Condensing Stage. Such a kind of temptation is simply irresistible for girls.
Faced with such appealing prospects, most females would have chosen to go with Zhu Yan as well. After all, Zhu Yan himself possesses handsome features; his family background and future are both far better compared to Lin Ming’s.
Although he was able to understand, to say that this matter did not greatly affect Lin Ming would be a lie. He shut himself within his room for three days. After that, he walked out and proceeded to eat, sleep and train. Moreover, the intensity of his training had become much higher than before.
Before Lan Yunyue had left him, Lin Ming had already made the decision to break through into the Pulse Condensing Stage and pursue an even higher realm of martial cultivation. The current Lin Ming was no different. If he still had any doubts before, then Lan Yunyue’s act of leaving him had hardened his resolve towards the Martial Way.
He made the decision to enter the entrance assessment for the Seven Profound Martial House, no matter how difficult the process may be.
“Peng!” “Peng!” The heavy sounds of fists striking against the tree trunk echoed continuously throughout the forest. The name of this tree is Iron Tree. Not only does it possess an extremely tough layer of bark, it also has strong regenerative properties. Many beginners of the martial way would choose this Iron Tree to train themselves.
After throwing out who knew how many punches, Lin Ming finally exhausted himself. Leaning upon a tree trunk, he sat down on a piece of rock and removed some herbs from a backpack placed on the ground. He smeared them onto the surface of his fists and kneaded. For those who pursue martial arts, frequent usage of body treatment herbs is necessary. Not doing so would cause internal injuries to build up. Once these internal injuries accumulate, there is a possibility of becoming a cripple or even death.
This herb is called Iron Thread Grass. It was given this name because the green juice produced from squeezing Iron Thread Grass could help heal wounds but would cause a terribly painful sensation akin to having iron threads brushing upon the wounds.
Lin Ming gritted his teeth as he endured the pain. He retrieved a white cloth from within the backpack and rolled it around his fists, bandaging it.
Truth be told, there were many other herbs that are more effective compared to the Iron Thread Grass. These herbs also has a milder side effect, but comes at a much higher price. Lin Ming’s circumstances made it impossible for him to afford such herbs.
Lin Ming’s parents run a restaurant within Green Mulberry City. However, this restaurant does not belong to them. It actually belonged to the Lin Family1 of Green Mulberry City.
Although Lin Ming’s maiden name is also Lin, his family line had been separated from the Lin Family by several generations. The Lin Family placed some off their less important assets into the hands of their distant relatives for management. Lin Ming’s parents livelihood were dependent on their management of this restaurant. Every year they would be given a fixed amount of income and some commission. This money was naturally enough for them to subsist on, however, it would be a stretch to use it to fund Lin Ming’s pursuit of martial arts.
Lin Ming’s parents had originally wanted Lin Ming to continue the family business and become a treasurer for the restaurant. However, seeing Lin Ming’s ardent devotion towards the martial way, they instead chose to take out all their savings for Lin Ming to purchase healing herbs.
Since then, Lin Ming’s family savings had decreased bit by bit. But Lin Ming on the other hand had remained at the first stage of Physical Training.
The Physical Training Stage is the first realm for those who pursue the martial way. It involves the primal tempering of their bodies and is separated into six stages. The first stage is Strength Training, second is Flesh Training, third is Viscera Training, fourth is Altering Muscle, fifth is Bone Forging and sixth is Pulse Condensing. After that, one would be able to step into the Primal Assemblage Stage.
After applying the Iron Thread Grass juice onto his wounds, Lin Ming rested for half a long hour (1 hour) to allow his wounds to absorb the medicinal properties of the herb. He then straightened himself and was about to continue training his fists when a fat youngster walked into view. This fat youngster was carrying a long sword with him. Seeing Lin Ming, he grinned and spoke. “Brother Lin, today is the registration day for the entrance assessment of the Seven Profound Martial House. Could it be that you have forgotten about it? Why are you still practicing your fists here?”
This youngster’s name is Lin Xiaodong, he is slightly younger than Lin Ming. Growing up together, the two of them have a very strong bond of brotherhood.
Lin Xiaodong is a direct descendant of the Lin Family. However, even for direct descendants, there exists a form of ranking. As it happens, Lin Xiaodong is part of the lowest ranked ones. As for Lin Xiaodong’s parents, they too were engaged in business and have a close relationship with Lin Ming’s parents.
After seeing Lin Xiaodong, Lin Ming turned his attention back to the tree trunk and said.