Dual Cultivation God Returns

Chapter 23: She Was Before Him Again

Chapter 23: She Was Before Him Again

On the night after she finished her secluded cultivation and achieved a major breakthrough in her Sword Dao, Liu Li slept soundly and had a vivid dream. It was a dream of her sparring with Wu Long, but it was she who was teaching and leading him, telling him what he did wrong and how he could improve. He was also a lot more mature, but at the same time looked somehow haggard and his eyes were soulless. There was rage and hatred deep within them, and pain, endless pain, and agony. There was an intense feeling of her heart being squeezed when she looked at him and she taught him even more harshly because of that.

When she woke up in a cold sweat, most of the dream vanished from her memory like sand slipping through her hand, but, the feeling remained there, and there was inexplicable sorrow clenching her heart.

At the time of departure, Wu Long separately generously rewarded the thoughtful inn manager as well as the flower garden maidens that accompanied him to make his stay enjoyable.

On the first day after departure, after sparring with Liu Li, who was beginning to bloom more and more with the aura of a swordswoman, she suddenly decided to ask him a question since his sword intent on that day did not leave her mind, and she could not drive away the feeling she got the night before.

"Can you really not tell me where you learned the sword?"

"Hmm, I learned the sword first by myself. But as I always say I also learned it from a friend. In fact, in my life, most of the time I practiced the sword I was doing it myself, as all swordsmen should. And you will have to comprehend the sword yourself for the most part too. But, at critical junctures, I had three people who had ever taught me. Two of them are dead, and one is the friend I always mention as this friend is the only one alive. That friend also taught me last and the level of sword taught was the highest out of the three. Though, there were many people who taught me specific sword skills and techniques of course" he said after some deliberation.

It was the first time he gave her at least a vague answer about his past.

She did find it strange that he was so young yet talked in this way, and seemed to have many secrets, but she already knew there was something mysterious about him. So she decided to wait until he trusted her with more information about himself.

But for him to trust her, she had to come clean about herself too.

"To be honest, as we are getting closer to our destination, I should probably warn you so that you are not surprised when we get there. Originally, sect elders will take the disciples on their experience gaining once we arrive, and I and Hua Ziyan will go separately, but I want you to accompany us instead. Our destination is the Imperial City of the Azure Eagle Empire. And that is where we will part with the others. We, if you agree to go with us, are going to my family, one of the four great families of the Azure Eagle Empire, the Ye family. Hua Ziyan will be representing the sect master as her disciple."

Liu Li said suddenly. When he heard 'Ye family', Wu Long's eyebrows twitched, and he turned to look at her.


"Yes, I know, I am not allowed to use my surname at the sect since the family forbids it. My real surname is Ye"

She said after seeing his gaze, thinking that he just was surprised since her surname did not match. As she said this, he looked at her with wide eyes, full of disbelief. An expression she have never seen on his face.

"W-what about the name?" he asked, obviously flustered, enough for her to notice at least.

She was surprised, but nodded.

"Yes, my name is also different as Li was given to me by my master, my full name is Ye Ling" Ne/w novel chaptš¯’†rs are published on no/vel(/bin(.)co/m

His heart throbbed when he heard this name, and countless pictures from the distant past went through his mind.

'So it was the same name after all' he thought.

Although he was already certain since her personality, the way she talks, her gaze, her mannerisms, cute antics when caught off guard and most importantly her sword told him so, it was still shocking nonetheless.

"Soā€¦ you have been altering your appearance?" he asked suddenly, dumbfounding her.

"H-how did you know?"

Liu Li, or more accurately, Ye Ling did not deny but asked him instead.

"If your name was fully changed it makes sense for the appearance to be changed, as for such an influential family I imagine they would have connections everywhere and your appearance would become an issue. The problem is, I don't sense any appearance-changing technique or medicine on you" he said, as his perception was basically as sharp as a tenth of his prime. That was the reason he could see so many things and cultivation bases of people far above him in realm.

Perception was closely tied to soul power, and the quality of perception was directly correlated with it. As his soul was the same, he had a higher perception, it was just not yet backed by a high enough cultivation to display its real power and was severely limited compared to his prime. He could also not yet use any pupil arts that usually complimented his perception. However, in this backwater place, it was like having an all-seeing eye.

Perception and spiritual sense were similar but separate concepts, both dealing with the ability to perceive, but while spiritual sense could perceive the world at a great distance and through obstacles, perception helped to see the truth of things that could be perceived either through five senses or through spiritual sense, and while spiritual sense depended entirely on cultivation, perception depended heavily on the soul. Thus while his spiritual sense was limited, his perception of a certain range was still high.

"That is because my appearance is changed by an artifact", she said with a somewhat smug smile as this was one of the first occasions that she saw him actually flustered. Though she didn't know that the reason for it differed from what she thought it was.

'I see, if it is a good enough artifact, it makes sense, but to have such a strong appearance changing artifactā€¦,

anyway, so her case is very similar to mine, but without awakeningā€¦

but I don't want to get her into danger just to awaken her memories,

if it is at all possible...'

He dove deep into his thoughts, as he was excited, overjoyed, nervous and even a little panicked. He noticed her purely due to her sword, as both her name and appearance were in disguise. And the appearance disguise was masked by the artifact of substantial quality, thus making his strength into weakness, as his confidence in his perception worked against him. Were it not for that ephemeral feeling he got on the training ground, he could have missed her. That gave him a scare.

'I need to take this "gift" even more seriously now it seems'

He still had to see her without disguise to be completely certain, but he was already pretty sure. She was before him again. Living, and he needed to ensure he never has to separate with her again.

An inexplicable mixture of feelings in his gaze flustered her, as there was an ocean's worth of emotions in his eyes at the moment. She blushed looking to the side, while he closed his eyes for a few moments, and when he opened them, there was tranquility in them again, though only on the surface.

"Thank you for telling me, it ā€¦ it is nice to meet youā€¦ the real you"

He said, seemingly searching for words, as he did not want to make her uncomfortable, but he was really happy right now.

She smiled when there was no indignation at being fooled, or rejection as another person in his reaction. Albeit there was far more emotion than she ever expected, that instead made her happy.

"And, of course, I would be happy to accompany you to your family household" he added.

"Great. Just be prepared as they are an old fashioned noble family. I am only required there since the patriarch is giving the position to my uncle, so it is a grand family occasion and all direct family members must attend" she warned him so that he would be prepared on what to expect.

Wu Long trained with Ye Ling in the mornings as usual, only now her movements were even more refined, and she seemed inspired by her recent success. Ever since her breakthrough, there seemed to be some magic in the movements of their swords as her skills rose by leaps and bounds with each day. Her trust in him and her feeling of connection to him seemed to intensify as she improved. She now also rode in the same carriage with him and Hua Ziyan, wishing to spend more time with him.

He would also advise Hua Ziyan on the technique she was training in. As she stepped into the Qi Manifestation Realm, she could now completely abandon the sword and focus on the Spiritual Arts that she wanted to practice in since the beginning. His mentoring greatly enhanced her understanding of the technique and she gradually began to be able to use it.

What she chose was a spiritual fist technique, with which a user could summon fists of Spiritual Qi with hand seals and use them to attack and defend in a small distance around her.This technique did not require a strong physique, but did have a heavy Spiritual Qi exhaustion rate, so it required the user to have massive reserves of Spiritual Qi in order to be effective.

Though for Wu Long, the quality of the technique seemed extremely poor, it still shared foundations with the techniques similar to its type, so she could move on to a better technique in the future. He could give her a better technique, but it was better to let her start with something of an easier level so that the learning curve would be somewhat feasible.

At the same time he was diligently cultivating. His breakthrough to the 8th level of Body Transformation and improved physique were far from his goal, so he needed to take every moment he could.

It was already two months since his awakening, and he intended to breakthrough to the Qi Gathering Realm at most in a month from now.

In fact, Wu Long's progress was already far ahead of his previous life. Despite the heights he managed to achieve eventually, it took an unimaginable amount of effort, blood and sweat, as well as being close to death so many times that he would need at least a hundred years continuously counting them one by one to arrive at the approximate number. The reason was, that he was inherently not really that talented initially, and the foundation of his cultivation was just too poor. It was only through sheer effort and perseverance that he managed to pull through and break the shackles of his own talent time and time again.

He also mumbled and stumbled along the way, and there were periods when he wasted time before because of his inexperience and immaturity at that time.

He started dual cultivation very late into his cultivation, a long time after he built and solidified his foundation with inferior cultivation techniques that were available to him, and spent a tremendous amount of time slowly reconstructing it with immense effort and unfathomable resources.

So by the time he was in his prime, it became so hard to progress, even he found it nearly hopeless.

Now that he could start from scratch, he picked only the best of the techniques he knew. But he would still have to struggle quite a bit since his current body and talent matched the one he had in his youth.

Cultivation would be difficult for him, and the better the cultivation technique, the higher the standards and requirements, meaning that he would have to make even more of an effort than before, as it will be that much harder to progress in the short term, while being tremendously beneficial in the long term.

The very base of his current cultivation was a mysterious and profound dual cultivation technique called "Two Extremes Infinite Union Art".

He learned it too late in his cultivation career but knew that it was incredibly profound and powerful. It even seemed to contain the mysteries of the creation of the universe, as Yin and Yang were known to be primal forces born from chaos, and the technique was apparently created for it. This time, he was starting as a dual cultivator from the very beginning.

He then used the "Chaos Refining Body Tempering Art" as a secondary technique to be able to absorb all types of energies to temper himself, as well as give his body unimaginable resilience to damage. He ran any energy from outside through this technique first and only then sent the pure product to his cultivation base through Two Extremes Infinite Union Art.

He temporarily used the "Yin Yang Conversion Cauldron Body" since he could not dual cultivate, and there was no Yin and Yang Qi market culture here. But that could not even count as an auxiliary cultivation technique and only a skill he used temporarily.

In order to start with his target auxiliary cultivation technique, the "Golden Yang Dragon Body" he had to at least reach the Qi Gathering Realm.

This technique is his own creation. He created it with all of his knowledge and experience with cooperation from the dragon race, one of the most powerful races in the universe. But also extremely prideful, so it took a lot of 'persuasion' to some of the key members of the race to get into friendly terms with them.

This technique not only tempers his body by the principles as that of a dragon but also tempers his Yang Qi into a unique and incredibly powerful state. With the Yang Qi he could produce with this technique at his prime, women at any level of cultivation would benefit tremendously from it, even those with the highest realm he knew. And that was when he started cultivating it rather late, if he could start with it as an auxiliary technique from this base level, his physique and Yang Qi would reach unimaginable heights.

He also knew many techniques and methods to improve it in other easy along the way of course, but they would be even more effective if he had this auxiliary cultivation technique as a base for them.

Another reason he needed this auxiliary cultivation technique was because it built a nearly inexhaustible stamina, something he needed as a dual cultivator. Now, if he were to dual cultivate, no matter how experienced and skilled he was, his body in his current state would place great limitations on his stamina. He had to start cultivating it as soon as possible.

So he focused on improving his cultivation as long as he did not affect the stability of his foundation.

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