In the end, Pyo-wol left the Hao clan empty-handed. With both Hong Yushin gone and the Hao clan system collapsed, it was impossible to get anything useful from the Hao clan.
He had already wasted two days waiting for Hong Yushin. Now, there was no point in searching for Um Soso, So Gyeoksan and the others.
It would be better for him to conserve his energy by moving on alone, instead of chasing after them.
If he still had a connection with them, then they would surely meet again someday.
After stopping at the market to buy some supplies for his upcoming journey, Pyo-wol mounted his horse.
He didn’t have a specific destination in mind. He just wanted to leave Runan.
He rode towards Tianzhongshan and headed east, passing by the foot of the mountain.
He didn’t have any particular destination in mind.
As much as he wanted to track down the Kowloon Assassin Guild, he couldn’t, because he had no information about them at the moment.
So rather than wasting his mental energy on something he had no information about, it would be better for him to follow his heart and move as he pleased for the time being.
And as of now, his heart was drawn to the sea.
He had never seen the sea in his life.
Even during his orphan days when he roamed the world, he had never been to the sea. And during the time he was kidnapped and raised as an assassin by the Blood Shadow Group, he only stayed in Sichuan, which was surrounded by high plateaus.
He did, however, encounter a large river on his way here, but he had never been near the sea.
He felt that if not now, then when would he ever find the time to go and catch sight of the sea?
That was why Pyo-wol’s steps were now headed towards the sea.
He didn’t know much about the exact direction, but he knew that if he kept going east, he would eventually come across a sea.
In order to go east from Runan, he had to pass by the foot of Tianzhongshan.
Tianzhongshan was by no means a small mountain.
It was as high and vast as its grand name suggested, spanning over a wide area. It was for this reason why many people chose to take a detour by taking the river to the south when traveling east from Runan.
However, Pyo-wol chose to cross Tianzhongshan.
He believed that doing so was worth the journey, despite having to traverse the rough mountain path.
There was a path that people used to traverse Tianzhongshan, but it was rarely used due to its difficulty.
Pyo-wol rode his horse as he ascended the mountain path.
Even though the horse couldn’t run freely unlike on a flat land, it seemed pleased to walk, since it could finally relieve its boredom and be out of the stifling stable.
The mountain path twisted and turned like a snake, passing through the side of Tianzhongshan.
Pyo-wol was not in a hurry.
He knew that he could not cross the mountain within a day even if he rode his horse as fast as he could. Plus there’s the danger of falling over a cliff if he recklessly rushed his way.
Sure, Pyo-wol could survive such an accident, but his horse could not.
As he travelled carefully like this, it was expected that Pyo-wol couldn’t get far.
Darkness slowly descended on Tianzhongshan.
Traveling at night was even more dangerous, since it was near impossible to see the mountain path.
Knowing this, Pyo-wol found a place to sleep before nightfall.
He chose a small clearing just off the mountain trail.
Pyo-wol took and tied his horse to a place where the grass was abundant. Afterwards, he started preparing to stay the night.
He built a campfire and picked a place to sleep. For his dinner, he would be eating the beef jerky he had prepared in advance.
Pyo-wol quickly built a fire, flattened the ground, and sat down near the fire, chewing on the beef jerky.
It was then.
Gwiya, who had been hanging gently from Pyo-wol’s arm, suddenly squirmed and crawled down.
Once on the ground, the small snake glanced at Pyo-wol before disappearing into the forest.
Even though Gwiya had completely disappeared into the forest, Pyo-wol wasn’t particularly worried. He had faith that his small snake would definitely come back.
So Pyo-wol put aside his worry for the snake.
Although it was small in size, Gwiya was extremely agile and had poison to defend itself.
It was safe to say that it would not be harmed by the other animals.
After finishing his beef jerky, Pyo-wol did what he always did.
Using the Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Technique, Pyo-wol cultivated his internal energy.
As he practiced this technique, he realized that his internal energy had become much larger and deeper than before. Perhaps due to the experiences and realizations he had gained during the battles, his internal energy had unconsciously increased.
This was good news for Pyo-wol.
The Soul-Reaping Thread that Pyo-wol frequently used, was a technique that could not last long without strong internal energy. In order to keep it going for a long time, strong internal energy was necessary.
The Snake Qi Thread, which was a step above the Soul-Reaping Thread, was even more demanding.
With how the said technique consumes an immense amount of internal energy in a short period of time, Pyo-wol couldn’t even afford using it frequently.
While there might be elixirs that could significantly enhance internal energy, in the absence of such a device, the only solution was to steadily accumulate internal energy through consistent meditation.
Pyo-wol focused solely on meditating and circulating his energy.
It was nearly impossible for someone with no background or power to obtain renowned elixirs in Jianghu. And Pyo-wol wasn’t the type to cling to and obsess over impossible endeavours.
He was more inclined to focus on what he could do, on what was possible. That’s why he concentrated on meditating.
However, today, he found himself strangely more focused than usual.
Perhaps it was because he was in the depths of Tianzhongshan.
Tianzhongshan has been known as a famous mountain since ancient times.
Its name Tianzhongshan literally means, center of the sky.
And true to its name, Pyo-wol indeed felt a unique energy lingering around Tianzhongshan.
Pyo-wol immersed himself in the mountain’s energy, as he cultivated using the Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Technique.
It was as if lightning was striking within his body.
Although there was no actual lightning, Pyo-wol felt a sensation similar to it. This was because the nerves in his body were being constantly stimulated.
The more he cultivated, the more intense the stimulation became.
Eventually, the stimulation was so intense that Pyo-wol’s body trembled uncontrollably.
But he didn’t dare to stop.
Even if no one had formally taught him how to cultivate, he instinctively realized that he couldn’t stop cultivating at this moment.
He practiced harder and harder.
He eventually lost track of time.
He even forgot that he was cultivating.
In the end, even when Pyo-wol was no longer cultivating, his internal energy was still moving on its own.n𝑂𝓋𝖾-𝓛𝒷-1n
Even without Pyo-wol’s guidance, his internal energy was moving fiercely, following a predetermined path.
Thud, thud, thud!
Tiny vibrations continue to explode from within Pyo-wol’s body.
As his internal energy flowed like a tidal wave, his blood vessels naturally expanded.
Afterwards, the internal energy that had widened Pyo-wol’s blood vessels began to deviate from its set path.
From going through the main blood vessels, the internal energy then spread out into the minor veins.
Unlike the major blood vessels, the minor blood vessels were much more difficult to train.
They are so cramped and countless that it is impossible to distinguish each and everyone. That was why most martial artists only cultivated the major meridians and didn’t even pay attention to the minor ones.
Pyo-wol was no different.
He had created and cultivated the Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Technique on his own, without a master As a result, his knowledge was so vastly inadequate that he didn’t even think about expanding his minor meridians.
But now, he was sure.
‘This is like how a bowl overflows when it’s filled. The overflowing energy naturally fills even the lowest and narrowest places…’
Pyo-wol realized that he had reached a turning point.
At first, he didn’t understand why this was happening.
But now he understood.
The time had come.
On his journey from Runan to here, he had fought many battles.
Through these battles, he had grown a lot. But the speed in which his mind and body grew were different, so he couldn’t find harmony between them.
In addition, there were also too many things that were happening, that he didn’t have time to stop and reflect.
But even then, his experiences and insights continue to build up without him realizing it.
And now, everything he had accumulated was finally pouring out like a flood.
Pyo-wol didn’t try to control what was happening inside him.
He just let it happen and observed.
He thought that everything would eventually turn alright.
And he was right.
Everything was falling into place and moving on its own.
Lightning stimulated the nerves to become thicker and stronger, while his blocked minor meridians were becoming unblocked, allowing him to use his internal energy without hindrance.
He spent the night in a trance-like state.
Only when he felt the morning sun tickle his skin did Pyo-wol open his eyes again.
A faint sigh drifted out in the cool breeze.
He could feel it.
Something had changed inside his body.
Although nothing seems to have changed on the outside, the change within him was comparable to the difference between heaven and earth.
Everything had changed.
The speed of his thoughts.
The speed of his nerves.
His perspective of the world.
And even the flow of his qi.
But since he had no point of comparison, he couldn’t accurately determine his level. Nonetheless, the fact remains that he had definitely become much stronger than he was yesterday.
Some might call his enlightenment a fluke, but Pyo-wol didn’t think so.
His current achievements were a natural reward for his hard work and experiences so far.
He did not obtain it without any effort.
What he liked the most was the lightning he had naturally accumulated while cultivating the Thunder-Splitting Snake Spirit Technique.
It’s not just lightning that stimulates the nervous system.
He felt like he could do even more than that if he set his mind to it. But, Pyo-wol didn’t try to rush through things.
The process of gaining insight and then rectifying mistakes was always the most dangerous moment.
Rapid change would inevitably lead to instability and failure.
For now, it was important to cultivate and put his weakened body in the best condition possible.
“I’ll have to stay here for a while.”
The good news is that he had plenty of beef jerky, but if by chance it turned out to be insufficient, he could still hunt to supplement it.
It was then.
Something crawled over his foot.
It was Gwiya.
Its bulging belly looked like it had eaten something.
Perhaps because of that, Gwiya climbed up Pyo-wol’s body slowly. Nonetheless, Pyo-wol waited patiently for Gwiya to climb up.
When Gwiya finally reached his shoulders, it kept tilting its head as if finding something strange.
Gwiya then put its nose to Pyo-wol’s nape and pretended to sniff him.
Pyo-wol found Gwiya’s behavior both fascinating and cute, so he just watched and let it be.
After sniffing Pyo-wol for a while, Gwiya crawled down and headed back into the bushes, but instead of disappearing completely, it stopped and looked back at Pyo-wol.
It was as if it was telling Pyo-wol to follow.
Pyo-wol looked at Gwiya for a moment, then took the horse’s reins.
Gwiya then continued on its way, crawling.
Gwiya would often stop halfway and look back just to check whether Pyo-wol and the horse were still following behind. When the small snake confirmed that they were indeed following, it would continue pushing forward through the bushes.
Gwiya gradually made its way deeper into Tianzhongshan.
They were already a long way from the clearing near the mountain path.
Pyo-wol didn’t know how Gwiya had gotten this far, but he silently followed behind it.
Gwiya must be a spiritual being.
She must have had something in mind for acting this way.
The place they arrived in had a small spring.
The spring was surrounded by trees, and it had a steady stream of clear water flowing out of it.
Pyo-wol looked around.
Wildflowers bloomed in the forest around the spring.
Bees were flying around the wildflowers, collecting honey.
However, the appearance of these bees was different from the typical ones that Pyo-wol knew.
They were more than twice the size of normal bees and their colors were particularly dazzling, especially the stinger at the end of their tails, it stood out sharply.
At first glance, it was clear that they were no ordinary bees.
They were bees with extremely potent venom, enough to cause death with just one sting.
Judging by the number of venomous bees flying around, it was clear that there was a beehive nearby.
Pyo-wol looked at Gwiya.
He wondered why he had been led to such a place.
It was then.
Gwiya suddenly caught a venomous bee flying above its head.
The venomous bee struggled fiercely, flapping its wings around, but Gwiya did not hesitate to swallow it whole.
The venomous bee’s deadly venom seemed to have no effect on Gwiya.
After catching and devouring the bee in an instant, Gwiya settled down on the ground, looking as if it was taking a comfortable rest.
Pyo-wol understood what Gwiya was trying to convey.
“It seems like we’ll be staying here for a while.”
There was water nearby that could be Pyo-wol’s source of drinking water, and there was plenty of grass for his horse to eat along the stream. In addition, there were countless venomous bees that could serve as Gwiya’s food source.
There seemed to be no better place to train their bodies after undergoing such a sudden change.
Pyo-wol accepted his silent friend’s suggestion.
Pyo-wol’s training arc begins! Just in time before he goes against his opponents. Anyway, this is the end of Volume 12. And as usual, thank you for reading!