Chapter 10 A breakthrough

A new notification message appeared on the status screen in Tolly’s mind.

[Name: Dead Bineonate]

[Quality: Ordinary]

[Level: 4]

[Vital Energy: 916 points]

[Note: Absorbable]

‘Oh, nice!’ Tolly thought to himself gladly, ‘Why not absorb its vital energy now?’

As he wished, his Universe Golden Cauldron begin its absorbing work. Tolly felt it shaking violently again, and consequently, the vital energy of the dead Bineonate was drawn into his body through the tattoo on his wrist.

If any seasoned practitioners witnessed his practicing like this, they would consider it funny and crazy, for normally, people would not dare to absorb the vital energy directly from others in case they would be caught by Ki deviation and have to succumb to their Internal Demons.

However, Tolly did not feel anything bad about himself. On the contrary, he felt like he was recharging his own batteries. He had never been so relaxed before. Actually, he felt as if his whole body was bathed in a warm glow. It was so comfortable that he did not even bother to move.

A few minutes later, all the vital energy went into Tolly’s body. The system suggested that it had already finished its job of absorption. Until then, he gradually opened his eyes, discovering to his astonishment that the body of Bineonate became shrunken, smaller, and withered.

Once again, the message about the dead two-headed snake appeared on the screen before his eyes.

[Name: Dead Bineonate]

[Quality: Ordinary]

[Level: 4]

[Vital Energy: 0 points]

[Note: Edible or Absorbable]

“Unbelievable!” Tolly whispered, “It’s lucky that I can absorb its vital energy. If I were to get its vital energy by eating it, I guess it’ll take me hundreds of years to cook and then eat. what a horrible job! If that were the case, eating, supposed to be one of the most enjoyable things in the world, would immediately turn into torture like hell.”

At the thought that his belly would double in size and look like a giant ball that would explode at any minute, he shook his head and swiftly stopped thinking that again.

‘Why not check my vital energy points now?’ Tolly had a new idea in his mind.

Before he knew it, the status screen quickly appeared in front of him again. Sure enough, his vital energy rose from 56 to 972 points.

‘With such a growth rate, there’s no telling I’ll rise to power soon.’ Tolly thought excitedly.

He glanced at the status screen before him again. The word ‘restorable’ at the end of the line of ‘Main Art Owned’ caught his attention.

‘Why not have a try and restore my Energy Absorption Techniques now? I guess it’ll make my energy absorption quicker!’

With the idea in his mind, he saw 972 points in the line of ‘Vital Energy’ on the screen swished into 172 points. Tolly wanted to check the information about his main art on the screen, on which a new window quickly popped up.

[Main Art Owned: Energy Absorption Techniques, complete]

[Layer 1 at Stage 1: Dragon Meditation Technique, incomplete]

[Note: “Energy Absorption Techniques” has been a common cultivation art since ancient times. It has long been incomplete after endless years of vicissitudes in this world.]

“Pretty good!” Tolly exclaimed, ‘Why not practice it for a while now and see if there’s any new change?”

Tolly closed his eyes again and sat cross-legged.

Click!

About twenty-five minutes later, Tolly felt like something had shattered inside his body. Had any obstacles inside his body been crushed? Were his channels or meridians going to provide his vital energy with better traffic?

Probably.

He could feel that he was more energetic and refreshed, his vial energy more active.

‘Could this be the so-called breakthrough?’ he wondered.

With a little ‘Ding’ in his mind, the status screen popped up before him.

He was right—some information about him had changed.

[Name: Universe Golden Cauldron]

[Owner: Tolly McCoy]

[Level: 2 as an ordinary alchemist]

[Vital Energy: 172]

[Spirit Heritage: Level one but upgradeable]

Finding that he was already an ordinary alchemist of the second level, Tolly was on cloud nine. He was a little bit surprised, too. It seemed that the breakthrough was not that difficult—at least not for him at the moment.

‘Why do people keep saying that it will take years to break through to a new level? I’ve made it in less than half an hour.’

‘What would they say if they knew I made it in less than half an hour? I guess they would say I must be crazy!’

Tolly thought happily, having a big smile on his face.

The sudden breakthrough also gave him a feeling of being enlightened. If he had been able to lift a 100-pound stone before, he would be able to lift a 1000-pound stone now. It seemed like he had unlimited strength and power in his body.

‘Why not have a try of my newfound power? And is my absorbing ability getting better? Do I have to sit and have a meditation every time I absorb the vital energy? That's too inconvenient.’

A new message again on the screen.

[ New Quest for Absorbing Vital Energy: Gaze at subjects for five seconds]

Tolly jumped up from the ground.

He had never expected that he would be able to gain vital energy in this way. All he needed to do later was just gaze. If it was the case, that would be fantastic.

In his last life, he had always admired this type of absorbing power mastered only by those gallant knights or martial artists in movies. But now, finding himself also accessible to it, he felt it just like a dream to come true.

However, it was still unbelievable. Was it too good to be true?

He trod around the Golden Cauldron tree and found some yellow flowers blooming under it. He fixed his eyes on one of them to test his new absorbing ability.

Five seconds later the little yellow flower wilted and Tolly simply got one more point of vital energy.

"Fantastic! Even the vital energy of plants can be absorbed,” Tolly said to himself, his eyes filled with excitement, “Doesn't it mean that everything in this world is a resource for my cultivation? Is it possible that the vital energy of rocks can also be absorbed?"

His system did not give him any suggestions, since no new message was shown on the screen. However, Tolly was not disappointed at all as he could find it out himself.

He tried to have a try on the huge Golden Cauldron Tree. It must be tens of thousands of years old. Its trunk was so thick that it could not be embraced even by a dozen people together.

Tolly thought gladly that he should be able to absorb a huge amount of spiritual energy from it. If he was not wrong, he remembered that the tree before him had 999999 points of vital energy.

‘I’m going to be a millionaire soon.’ Tolly thought, curving his lips into a happy smile.

He stared and stared at it hard, even without blinking for a second.

However, one second…One second…Two…Three…Four…Five seconds. Nothing happened.

He lost no confidence, so he tried it again.

One minute…Two…Three…Four…Five minutes. No miracle.

Unfortunately, until his eyes had been dry and misted by tears did he not feel any new vital energy coming to him.

‘Well, the tree might be too big. Okay then, I can try something smaller.’

So, he began to gaze at an oval-shaped stone right under the tree. Once again, he was not lucky. The little stone turned into the mocking face of a stupid clown in the circus which he had often visited in his previous life.

A little exasperated, he kicked it desperately. The stone did not move, nevertheless, as it was small but heavy. Only an ouch was heard and Tolly fell to his knees.

He concluded that the vital energy of most stones and plants could not be absorbed directly unless he broke through to a higher level of cultivation. And at present, the rocks and plants that could be absorbed contained too little vital energy. Actually, they were useless to him.

However, Tolly was not frustrated because there were so many other things available for him to absorb anyway.

After a short while, Tolly looked at his status screen again. the line ‘Spirit Heritage’ stood out and caught his attention. It said that his ‘Sprit Heritage’ was simply at level one but upgradable. What did it mean? Could it be the factor that stopped him from absorbing the vital energy from stones and big plants?

By checking it out further, he found it would also cost him 800 points of vital energy to upgrade it to another higher level.

‘Damn it!’ he exclaimed, ‘they are all greedy idiots!’

Tolly really wanted to kill himself by hitting his head on an iron wall. If there had been a bank of vital energy, he would have absolutely gone to rob it.

There wasn’t such a bank, however, so he limped around to check his surroundings to see if there was any new appropriate subject for him to absorb. He knew that the more vital energy he absorbed, the more powerful he would become.

It was a virtuous cycle. He could also tell that the previous owner of his body had been in a dead-end cycle of cultivation. He had just not been able to break it. What a shame!

As his assumer, from the bottom of his heart, Tolly promised to take care of his body and lead a better life for him.

As lost in his mind, Tolly limped along to a big cave before he knew it. The cave simply looked like the spitting image of the one in his dream. The mouth of the cave shone with glimmers of golden light. Could it be the place where Bineonate lived? Purportedly, treasures could be found in places where giant snakes or dragons lived.

‘Does it mean I’m going to be rolling in it?’ Tolly thought smilingly.

He had always wanted to be a millionaire in his previous life. As a gold miner back on Earth, he had always been a regular visitor to many different caves.

Naturally, he was getting a little excited when sighting a cave. He slowly made his way along the narrow path in the cave. Peculiar pictures or patterns on both of its walls greeted him unceasingly along the way.

To his amazement, they looked exactly the same as the ones he was in his dream. He had never had such an amazing experience before—the dream could be a prophecy that would come true in the real life.

Though having no idea what all these patterns or pictures were about, he was pretty sure they were important and might be useful to him one day. Luckily, Tolly had a photographic memory. He decided to learn them by heart first and take the time to study them later.

After about a nine or ten-minute walk, sure enough, the huge mural that he hadn’t had a chance to look at closely in his dream appeared in front of him.

About twenty feet in width and ten feet in length, the mural looked grand and splendid. Interestingly, the further Tolly went into the cave, the brighter it got. Tolly figured there must be more special stones that could send out natural light deeper inside the cave.

By the light, Tolly finally had a good look at the mural.

It depicted a striking woman with long raven hair coiled up high with a silver hairpin. Dressed in a white silk gown, in her left hand she held a white jade-like vase where iridescent flowers were filled.

‘Who is she? How come I’ve never seen her before?’ Tolly thought, ‘Could she be a goddess worshipped in an unknown religion?’

At the sight of such a majestic portrait, Tolly was all swept up, feeling that a sense of devotion crept over him from deep down. He quickly knelt down and kowtowed three times.

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