It was best for a mortal absorbing their first threads of qi to do so at midnight, the time when the natural qi in the air was at its most stable. Thus, Mo Tianliao sat before his desk and started reading some account books.
His kitten had just woken up. It poked its little white head out from his collar and peered lazily at the items on the table, letting out a wide yawn.
Mo Tianliao looked down and tried to kiss the top of its head, but the opening of his collar was a little low, so he couldn’t reach it at all. He asked, “My Xiaozhao is awake? Are you hungry?”
The kitten wriggled out from the collar and made its way up to his shoulders. From there, it looked down at the accounts in its servant’s hands.
“These are some of the administrative tasks in Woqing Abode, it’s quite messy.”
Mo Tianliao turned his head as he spoke, rubbing his ear against the fluffy kitten.
The little cat lifted up its hind paw and kicked the offending ear.
Is it messy? This excellency doesn’t think so.
Mo Tianliao wasn’t actually expecting the little furball to reply, so he started flipping through the account books speedily. The second-generation disciples had brought him all these account books thinking to cause trouble for him, but checking all these accounts was nothing to someone with a Half-Immortal stage divine soul.
When a cultivator’s divine soul reached the Half-Immortal stage, they could read ten thousand scrolls a day and memorise everything perfectly.
In about an hour, Mo Tianliao had already finished reading the stacks of accounts.
While it was still messy, at least he now knew who was in charge of each task. However, the distribution of tasks wasn’t done well and there were many details which were overlooked.
For example, when it came to distributing the monthly allowance, the Sect Master’s administration department would send Woqing Abode’s allowance to the Branch Master. From there, the first-generation disciples would pass it down to the second-generation disciples, who would distribute it further. Of course, there were many holes in this process and it wasn’t guaranteed to be fair for all the disciples.
Mo Tianliao set the account books aside now that he had a clear plan in his mind. Seeing that the sky outside had already turned dark, he stretched out his sore limbs and said, “Come, Xiaozhao, let’s sleep together.”
Without waiting for a response, he grabbed the kitten and headed for the bed. He wanted to take a short nap and restore his energy so he could start cultivating at midnight.
“Meow!” The white furball struggled to get out of Mo Tianliao’s arms and jumped off the bed, clearly having no intention to sleep with its servant.
Mo Tianliao laid down on the bed, holding up his head with one arm. He looked at the kitten crouching on the ground, “If you don’t want to sleep, then go play by yourself. Don’t just eat everything you see.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
There was a barrier set around this courtyard anyway, so the kitten wouldn’t be able to run away. Mo Tianliao went to sleep without any worry.
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When the white cat jumped towards the steps of the palace entrance, its figure was suddenly surrounded by a flash of white light. When the light faded away, the kitten was gone, only to be replaced by a slender and tall man. His white robes were still glowing as he tread on the jade steps.
The palace gates opened by themselves as the man drew near. The glowing white lights of the lanterns within illuminated the man’s unearthly beauty, revealing his identity: Master Qingtong.
Once he entered the inner hall, servant girls dressed in white came forward and bowed in unison, “Branch Master.”
Some of the servants were holding robes, while others were holding goblets, or jade combs.
Master Qingtong raised his hands and allowed the servant girls to change his clothes into a soft robe. The girls carefully took off the exquisite jade crown on his head and used a jade comb to smooth out his long black hair.
He raised a delicate-looking pale hand and waved off the servants, who then vanished as quickly as they had appeared.
Qingtong slowly lifted his left hand, allowing the soft sleeves to roll down his arm, revealing a wristguard about three fingers wide, tightly wrapped around his pale wrist. The inlaid sapphires glimmered brightly, complemented by beautiful silver patterns wrapped around the wristguard. If any female cultivators were to catch sight of it, they would likely want to buy it even if it cost a hundred thousand spirit stones.
That man had always valued practicality more than anything when making things, so most of his creations turned out ugly. Only those made for him would be this exquisite and beautiful. It was generally said that Lord Duantian was a very skilled craftsman, but that his taste was terrible. No one knew that Duantian was actually adept at carving and decorating, and that most of his creations were plain because those clients were not worth the time and effort to him.
Qingtong lowered his arm, letting his wide sleeves slide down and cover the work of art on his wrist. He moved past the layers of silk hanging at the back of the inner hall and entered his bedroom.
Even though the bedroom was shrouded in darkness, it didn’t affect Qingtong’s sight at all. He strode over to the large bed and slowly sunk into it. He had finally found his person, so he could sleep in peace now.
When the moon was high in the sky and it had turned to midnight…
Mo Tianliao’s eyes fluttered open. When he tried to estimate the current time, his thoughts wandered to making a tool that could tell the time when he was free. It was hard not to know accurately what time it was.
He sat cross-legged on the bed and pulled out a few spirit stones from his storage bracelet. The natural qi here was abundant, so it was more than enough for the first time he would draw qi into this new body. However, just in case something went wrong, he had a backup plan in place. If he failed in this first attempt to absorb qi, it would damage his meridians, which would take a month to recover. So it was best if he succeeded at his first try.
He pressed his left middle finger into his right palm, then moved his right hand under his left, letting the tip of his right middle finger rest at the base of his other middle finger. His other fingers were curled such that they looked like lotus flower buds. When the qi started moving into his body, this would ensure that his left and right sides were connected and let him control the speed of the qi coming into his body.
His eyelids shut, but his sight remained unhindered. A strong divine soul could see the fluctuations of natural qi in the air. Qi in the colors of red, orange, yellow, green and blue flowed around him.
The way of heaven is to nurture the poor with abundance. The way of mankind is to fulfill the needs of their inferior bodies. Thus, the way of cultivation is to follow heaven’s will and use the abundance of nature to fill the deficiency in human bodies.
Mo Tianliao’s body was different from most. He couldn’t use his spirit potential to absorb qi, and had to follow the steps in the <Wood Igniting Technique>. As described in the scroll, he first had to use his wood spirit potential to absorb wood attribute qi, before drawing in fire qi into his dantian.
His new divine wood body, the Everlasting Wood, belonged to the natural order, so he could absorb wood qi freely. As he willed it, countless green orbs of wood qi started circling around Mo Tianliao, as if testing the waters, before suddenly getting sucked into his body. This sparked off a flow of wood qi from all directions, spiraling into him.
The nature of wood qi was vigor and vitality. As it flowed through his limbs and bones, Mo Tianliao felt as if he were a tiny sprout drinking up water. Under the nourishment of the qi, his limbs slowly relaxed and his joints popped. He carefully changed the seal that his fingers were forming, causing the flow of qi around his body to increase bit by bit. When the qi flow had become about as thick as a finger, and its speed had reached the maximum he could take, he instantly clapped his palms together.
All streams end in the ocean, all things contain spirits.
Mo Tianliao instantly opened his eyes, which were covered in a green glow. He had succeeded in drawing qi into his body.
When he finished absorbing the power, Mo Tianliao’s eyes were filled with surprise. Even those with the best spirit potential would still face a little difficulty when absorbing qi. For example, with a divine spirit potential, even though their meridians were wide, their absorption would be blocked by their own flesh and blood body. However, for Mo Tianliao, his divine wood body was able to absorb qi as well.
The absorption speed for a cultivator with a single spirit potential was akin to using a thin bamboo straw to absorb qi, while a divine potential cultivator’s speed was like using a thick bamboo pipe. In comparison, Mo Tianliao was basically using a whole bamboo canister to gulp down qi.
Now that he had succeeded in drawing wood qi, Mo Tianliao let out a huff of air before trying to draw in fire qi.
Usually, double potential cultivators would have to absorb two different kinds of qi at the same time, which meant that the two kinds of qi would clash within their body. Mo Tianliao wasn’t really a double potential cultivator, so he could absorb the two attributes separately. He used his divine soul to check his dantian, and saw that his woodfire was flickering weakly like a firefly’s glow.
He separated his palms and took the same hand seal as before, hovering over his lower abdomen, drawing red qi to his dantian. Before Mo Tianliao could chant the words in his head, the woodfire had already leaped up in excitement and started circling in his dantian. A very tiny whirlpool of qi was formed from its movements, which then sucked in the fire qi and let it flow endlessly into his dantian.
“Ugh…” Mo Tianliao let out a subconscious groan. It felt like little sparks were travelling from his limbs towards his dantian, burning his meridians as they went. That burning pain lasted for a few moments, before his meridians got used to the temperature. Now it felt rather comfortable instead.
It was as if he had tried soaking his feet in hot water and ended up burning them at the start. After getting used to it, the warmth was actually very pleasant.
When his dantian could no longer hold any more qi, Mo Tianliao immediately stopped the absorption and released a breath of impure air. The woodfire in his dantian had grown larger. It seemed to be full, as it glowed lazily.
Mo Tianliao fell back onto his bed with a plop, too tired to move even a finger. He had just found out that the little flame in his dantian wasn’t the only woodfire he had. There were actually small bits of woodfire hidden throughout his body, but he could only use the one in his dantian for now. Thus, he would have to continuously practise cultivation to draw these small bits of flame into his dantian.
Since he had succeeded in stepping onto the path of cultivation once again, Mo Tianliao slept deeply for the rest of the night.
Back in Qingning Palace, the beauty lying on a soft bed abruptly flipped over as his eyelids fluttered open, revealing a mesmerising pair of eyes.
The moonlight streaming in from the window cast shadows on his long eyelashes, accentuating his beauty. Those pale lips pursed together and formed a few words, “Damn it…”
He sat up and got off the soft bed. When he pushed the windows open, he could see all the way to the courtyard at the side of the palace, where qi had stopped gathering. Qingtong placed one hand on the windowsill and leaped out of the window in one smooth movement. As he did so, he transformed into a small white kitten, which then tread forth into the darkness of the night.
The man on the bed was sound asleep when the little kitten jumped onto his bed. The kitten pushed at his body in disdain, causing Mo Tianliao to let out an unintelligible grunt and move his arms, creating a small space between them.
The furball slowly lowered his head and buried his way into the embrace of Mo Tianliao’s arms. However, it wasn’t comfortable enough, so the kitten dug at Mo Tianliao’s robes until the collar opened up, revealing the soft inner clothes within. It was only then that the kitten sat down on the human’s chest with satisfaction.
“Xiaozhao…” Still immersed in his dreams, Mo Tianliao sensed that something furry was nearby, so he immediately smiled and hugged the furball in his arms more tightly.
The little cat resisted the urge to roll his eyes and bumped his head against his servant’s stubbly chin, before shutting his eyes and drifting off to a peaceful slumber…
Carpenter: Master, why are you climbing into this disciple’s bed in the middle of the night…?
Master: This excellency is here to check on your practice
Carpenter: Isn’t that too troublesome for you? Why don’t I go into your room to cultivate? (earnest eyes)
Master: …… (raises paw, sends stupid disciple flying)
Ahhhh Xiaozhao can’t sleep without Mo Tianliao! <3