Real World, Soaring Continent.
Main Region, Central District, Capital City.
In one of the rooms on Springfield's Household.
The Gaming Cabin on Shin's room suddenly opens, revealing his youthful figure laying inside it.
And as usual, an unbearable smell suddenly assaulted his nose. So Shin immediately jumps out of the Gaming Cabin before skillfully tapping some buttons to activate the self-cleaning function of the Cabin.
And when Shin is about to go to the bathroom to take a quick shower, he suddenly notices something unusual on his movements.
Shin knitted his brows before closing his eyes and sending his consciousness to his inner self to check the state of his body. But he became even more confused when he saw that everything is normal.
Forgetting the idea of getting a quick bath, Shin immediately moves towards the balcony of his room before doing some basic physical training. And with that, his slight confusion suddenly become extreme bafflement.
"What the Hell!?"
He discovered that his body and mind are in some sort of disorder. His body is already executing what's on his mind even before his brain finished the command. It's as if his body is always been one step ahead of whatever he is thinking.
"Is that even possible?"
Still confused, Shin started doing some basic training regime. He does that for at least an hour before his mind and body become synchronized once again.
"What was that just now?"
After that, Shin immediately sits on the floor and crosses his legs before interlocking the fingers of both of his hands while connecting the tip his thumbs.
Then he positions his combined hands in front of his dantian before regulating his breathing as he enters a deep meditation state to recover his strength and to check the improvements of his Golden Core.
His Golden Core made a great improvement this time. The spherical shape object inside his dantian looks more solid now. And its color is turning darker at every given moment as it continuously devours the Nature Force that he is absorbing from the outside of his body.
After checking his Golden Core, Shin dives inside his sea of consciousness to see if something has changed in it and to also check his progress in nurturing his Niwan Palace.
Inside his sea of consciousness, he saw the golden structure that is made of Mental Energy, silently floating in the center of it. And this structure has some similar features of a majestic palace.
And even if this palace is a little small and is in a semitransparent state, Shin can still feel the sturdiness of the walls and foundation of the golden structure.
Shin nodded his head satisfyingly at his progress on both Martial-Arts and Mentalism. What's more, his Mentalism finally caught up with his Martial-Arts.
And while he is at it, Shin decided to fly towards the deeper part of his sea of consciousness. And as he goes deeper, the starry-like sky on his consciousness is starting to thin down, all the way until it was replaced by an endless abyss.
But that is also when Shin suddenly stops going deeper. It is because a golden wall made of Mental Energy is blocking his path. And this wall extends for as far as his sight can reach.
"This wall again? Hmm... What is the secret beyond this wall that is someone placed it here." muttered Shin as he looks curiously on the wall.
This is not the first time that he saw it. He already saw this wall when he came here a few times. And during those times, Shin discovered that this wall is created by someone else, and it was placed inside his sea of consciousness for some reason that he is unsure of.
How did he know? Simple! It is because the nature of the Mental Energy of this wall is different from his Mental Energy. And from what he had guessed, that wall is placed on there for a very long time already.
And he also guessed that it is placed by his real parents. If it is not them, then who? They are the only ones that have a reason for that after all.
And as for why they placed it? Shin have some slight suspicion on what was it.
It might be because of the Seed of Hatred.
From what he had heard from Nathan, there are three types of these 'Seeds'. A planted one, self-created one, and an inherited one.
So theoretically, he may have an Inherited Seed of Hatred from either one of his parents, or maybe from both of them. And they are aware of that, so they put this wall to prevent something unexpected to happen.
Well, that was only his assumption. And he doesn't have anything to prove that
Huu~Shin exhaled a bunch of air before opening his eyes and muttering to himself. "My parents? I wonder who they are, and why did let me live like this, away from their sides."
Then he immediately stood up and went back inside his room before going straight to the bathroom to take a quick shower.
After that, Shin thinks about what to do next. At first, he plans to get back in the game but he immediately disregards that idea after some hesitation.
Instead, he went out of his room and the house before proceeding towards Old Plum's nipa hut. And when he arrived there, he immediately enters the hut without knocking on the door.
"Hey, Old Geezer. I need to consult something." said Shin while entering the hut.
"Tsk! You are only able to remember me whenever you need something." answered by a disatisfied and lazy voice that came from inside the hut.
"And whose fault is that? If you are only behaving like a proper Master, then I might treat you as one." rebutted by Shin. After that, he walks towards the wooden bed where Old Plum is laying, before sitting on the floor across it.
Old Plum gets up from the bed before sitting on it. Then he said. "Tsk! Didn't I already told you that you only need some instructions and you can figure out the rest with yourself."
Shin released a helpless sigh and said. "And how can I properly learn something with just that? Didn't there is a saying that having a guide is better than exploring blindly with yourself."
"But didn't I'm giving you instructions? If that is not guidance, then what is it?" sneered by Old Plum. Then he immediately added after. "And didn't I also told you that you can always ask me anything whenever you encounter a bottleneck or something that you can't understand? Tsk! You are the only one that misinterprets it as me being too lazy."
"And another thing, let me remind you that you are a Battle Genius who can grow in battle. So you don't need to learn everything orally as you are good at practicals. What you need are battle experiences, and the more the better."
Shin picks an earwax on his right-ear with his right-hand pinky finger before blowing it away. Then he said to Old Plum. "Yeah, Yeah. I heard that for a lot of times already."
The corner of Old Plum's mouth suddenly twitches after seeing Shin's instructions. "This rascal–! Can you at least respect me a little, Kid? I'm still your master after all."
Shin rolled his eyes at the old man before saying. "We are already been like this for the past six years so don't act like you are still not used to it."
Old Plum releases a helpless sigh before giving up and said. "Alright, you win. But let us see how much did you improve for the past few weeks. If I didn't see any progress, then I'm really going to toss you on an uninhabited island for your special training."
Shin stood up from the floor before walking out the hut. Old Plum also gets off from his wooden bed before following Shin outside.
Outside the nipa hut, Shin is standing a few meters in front of it with eyes close while regulating his breathing.
Old Plum sits on a wooden chair in front of the hut before saying to Shin. "You can begin. Start with basic and foundation training before proceeding to your Martial-Art Skills."
Then Shin started his training routine. And that lasted for two entire hours. Old Plum keeps nodding his head while watching his disciple. "This rascal at least improved by a lot when I'm away. Maybe it is because of his recent battles, especially that life-and-death experience during the incident on Michigan City. The only concern now is that 'seed'."
After Shin stops his routine, Old Plum immediately asked. "How about your progress on practicing the 'White Dawn Boundary'?"
Shin clicked his tongue with dissatisfaction before complaining. "Tsk! Can't you at least say something about my progress? Or at least give me some pointers?"
'Oh~♪ This rascal is starting to get too full of himself after some slight improvements, Huh? Then let me step on that pride a little.' Old Plum raises one of his brows before saying. "This is my first time hearing that from you. Well, if you really what my honest thoughts, then fine. What can I say is it is just so-so. Or should I say what can I expect from a Battle Genius."
"If you didn't improve by this much after experiencing all of the things that happened recently, then you should stop training Martial-Arts. Given your talent, then it is normal for you to have this kind of leap."
The corner of Shin's mouth twitch after hearing that. Then he sarcastically said after.
"Thanks for the compliment, Old Geezer."
'Heh!' Old Plum sneered in his heart before asking Shin once again. "So how is your progress at practicing the 'White Dawn Boundary'?"
Shin clicked his tongue once again and said. "I can hold myself in that state for the entire 30 minutes for the very most."
Old Plum nodded his head before saying. "Your Golden Core should already be in a stabilized state if that was the case. Then I guess you can start practicing a 'Qi Reinforcement Skill'. Do you already have a skill that you want to learn?"
Shin shook his head before replying. "Actually, I already have some skills in mind. But I think they will conflict with my Martial-Art Battle Style, so it is better if you suggest some for me instead."
Old Plum caresses his beard before replying to Shin. "You are the one that is going to use it so it is better if you choose a 'Qi Reinforcement Skill' that suits you better, especially with your fighting style."
"But before that, you should also think about your current situation first. You are not only a Martial-Artist as you are also a Mentalist. In other words, a Dual-Practioner."
"And aside from picking a good 'Qi Reinforcement Skill' that you are going to learn, you also need to think about choosing a suitable 'Mental Energy Enhancement'. And it is better if they can complement each other."
Shin keeps nodding his head in the first part of Old Plum's words, but when he heard the latter part, he suddenly got confused and immediately interrupt the old man. "Wait! Slow down a bit, old man. So you are saying that I can combine 'Martial-Art Reinforcement' and 'Mentalism Enhancement'?"
Actually, Shin already did that, it is just he can't remember it since he did it unconsciously. (It is during his battle with Doc. Digen in Chapter 54.)
Old Plum chuckles softly before saying. "Of course, you can! In fact, not only those two. You can also combine Martial-Arts and Mentalism entirely."
Shin suddenly become interested in this sudden discovery and asked. "Really? How?"
Old Plum look at Shin and sneered. "What? You want to do it? Unfortunately, it is easier to said than done. Actually, it is pretty close to being impossible."
Then Shin suddenly becomes confused and said. "Are you messing with me, Old Geezer? First, you said that I can, but now, you are saying it is close to impossible."
Old Plum chuckles once again and said. "What I said is you can combine them, but that doesn't mean you can combine them whenever you want."
"Base on Ancient historical records, Martial-Arts and Mentalism are originally one, and they called the way of practicing it as Cultivation, while the Practioners are originally called Cultivators."
"Cultivators can simultaneously strengthen both of their bodies and minds through their Cultivation Methods while the type of energy that they are using during that time is called the 'Origin Force'."
"This force is quite special as it can either be a combination of Internal Qi and Mental Energy or another force that is unique to them during that time."
"And base on the records, Cultivators are a lot stronger than either a Martial-Artist or a Mentalist. Unfortunately, we can't be sure about that as that time is too distant."
Shin digested all the information that got before asking. "If Cultivators are our root, then why are the Martial-Arts and Mentalism suddenly got separated?"
"Good question!" said Old Plum before adding. "Actually, there no exact explanation for that. But base on the written records of the scholars of history, a disaster happened during the Ancient Era. No one knows what exactly was it as all of the written records about Ancient Times were only base on the tales of the descendants of the surviving Cultivators."
Shin frowned his brows and said. "Then are you saying that all of the things written on the historical books regarding the Ancient Era are just ancient rumors and legends?"
Old Plum suddenly chuckles after hearing that. "Hahaha.... You can say that. But aren't ancient records are always like that? Everything written on it are only penned stories by someone else, and you can't say for sure if all of them are true unless you have some solid historical evidence."
Then Old Plum brushed that topic off and said. "Anyway, we are getting off the topic. Because of the disaster that happened during the ancient times, most of the scrolls and recorded Cultivation Methods are either be lost or destroyed."
"And because the surviving Cultivators needs to continue surviving while protecting their families, they were forced to make a choice."
"They need to make a simplified version of their Cultivation Methods so that their descendants can understand their techniques in an easier way. It is also for those descendants to protect themselves in the future."
"But simplifying a Cultivation Method is easier to said than done, so the Cultivators were forced to split their Methods into too many parts until they made a new Method of their own."
"Those who are good at physical techniques called their new Methods as 'Body Strengthening' while those who are better at spiritual techniques called their methods as 'Mind Consolidation'."
At this time Shin realized something. "Wait! Aren't those two are the first respective steps for practicing Martial-Arts and Mentalism?"
Old Plum smiled at Shin and continued. "Right! You hit the bullseye this time. Because those two are really the first steps of those two 'Practicing Methods'."
"And through the passage of time, those two types of new methods that were created by the surviving Cultivators continued to improve as their preceding descendants kept modifying it."
"Then they discovered some brand-new forces and more powerful energies. And that is when our current system was made. The Martial-Art and Mentalism practices of our time."
Then Old Plum pause for a moment while waiting for Shin to digest all of the additional informations that he have got.
And after a few minutes, Shin finally raises his head once again and said. "Then let's go back to the original topic. The thing about combining Martial-Arts and Mentalism."
Old Plum's mouth suddenly curves upwards and said. "That is where interesting the parts come in."