Ryu's aura surged as he firmly entered the peak of the Lower Divine Vessel Realm. But even to the end, he didn't quite understand what happened as his battle prowess took another step forward.
Still, with thicker qi reserves to pull from, matching Host Minn's strikes became a level easier while the shaking of his organs and the blood flowing from his lips all but ceased entirely. With each passing moment, he grew stronger and stronger as the neutral qi he rapidly absorbed was catalyzed into Chaotic Qi.
Host Minn was stunned silent. "Absorbing qi through the skin…?! What kind of monster are you?!"
His fists flew forward at a faster rate, but the waves in his heart couldn't be quelled.
If he had enough knowledge to know about Ancestral Grade Constitutions, Host Minn would immediately know what Bone Structure Ryu had to cause such a phenomenon. Unfortunately, he didn't. While Heavenly Pupils were known by all, the specifics of Ancestral Grade Bone Structures, Bloodlines and Meridians were comparatively less well learned.
Actually, this truth could be seen for Heavenly Pupils as well. Though everyone knew the broad abilities like the projection of spatial qi every Heavenly Pupils had, Ryu's more niche abilities had yet to be seen through.
How could the mere elder of a Clan of the Pedestal Plane know the ins and outs of a constitution he would likely never even witness in his lifetime?
'Ailsa, what is this? Why do I feel like I can take control of atmospheric qi as though I already have an Immortal Ring?'
The truth was that if Ryu acted on his instinct, he could defeat Host Minn in a single strike. But, at the same time, he was very worried. He had never taken control of atmospheric qi before. Without an Immortal Ring to act as a filter and funnel of sorts, the qi he took hold of could very easily go out of control.
For someone else, this would never become a problem. Reason being most people could never elicit the movement of enough qi to the point of being a danger to themselves. However, Ryu was certain that he could pull in enough qi to kill himself several times over…
One needed to understand that Ryu wasn't pulling this qi into his meridians. If he was, it would be far less of a problem. After all, his meridians were nigh indestructible.
When one takes control of atmospheric qi, one is supplementing the exterior of their technique. The entire point is that this qi doesn't have to enter your body. This is a great boost to those who don't have the ability to hold as much qi in their bodies as Ryu can.
However, this process is also very dangerous. Since this qi hasn't been refined, controlling it is comparatively more dangerous. This is especially since Ryu could vaguely feel that even lower grade Immortal Qis would listen to his call.
Not only was this incredulous, Ryu almost wanted to turn the ability off. Qi had such a high affinity for him that even without him actively calling for them, they were running toward him.
In the end, this completely disrupted the flow of his own qi, causing his battle prowess to drop slightly.
'Dammit…' Ryu muttered.
He had grown more powerful, yet had somehow grown weaker at the same time. What kind of sick joke was this?
'There's actually nothing much to worry about.' Ailsa said after thinking for a moment.
Ryu dodged backward, his spear swinging in a [Sweep] before arching back upward to execute a beautiful [Slice].
Host Minn seemed to have noticed the oddity in Ryu's fighting stance. And after a moment, he "understood" what was going on.
"Ha!" He roared with laughter. "A sudden breakthrough isn't always good, little fool. Your greatest asset is your qi control, but now you suddenly have far more than you're used to controlling. It's no wonder … It isn't that your battle sense has dropped, but rather that your ability to act on those senses has!"
Host Minn was ironically correct, but for all the wrong reasons. Ryu had gone from pressing him back after his breakthrough, to being on his backfoot.
Ryu could only ignore him.
'What do you mean? How is this nothing to worry about?'
'Well… This actual situation is pretty worrisome. But, the situation as a whole isn't. This is actually pretty common. Your Heavenly Pupils went through what is called a Synergistic Mutation. It's just shocking that the mutation is actually so good…'
Ryu's eyes flashed. He had read about Synergistic Mutations before.
The martial world, and especially the human body, wasn't a static entity. Whenever several constitutions appeared in a single body, the chance of a mutation was possible. After all, with two or more sometimes completely different powers existing in one body, they are forced to find a unique balance with one another lest they kill their host.
What Ailsa said about them not being rare was both right and wrong. It was wrong in the sense that a single person having more than one constitution was incredibly rare. However, mutations occurring in those who happened to have more than one wasn't a rare occurrence at all. It could be said to happen over fifty percent of the time.
'You Heavenly Pupils resonated with your Ice Jade Crystal Body. It's a fusion your Bone Structure's ability to harmonize with nature and be beloved by qi and your Heavenly Pupils' ability to see through the mystery of all things.
'When those two combine, you receive a mutation like your [Ephemeral Tapestry]…'
Ryu was kicking himself for having forgotten such a possibility. In his last life, he had extensively researched his Heavenly Pupils, hoping that maybe the number one ranked Pupils might have a way to help him cultivate. He knew all of his current and future abilities like the back of his hand. This was why he had never been surprised when they appeared to now.
However, he was currently in completely uncharted waters. He wasn't even sure if this ability could be turned off!
He couldn't deny that these sights were incredibly beautiful, it felt as though the world had lit anew… But these same gorgeous sights were very much making him feel sick to his stomach right now.
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