Book of Paths

Chapter 9: Painful Cultivation

Jennifer and Jeffrey underwent various emotions hearing Pheonas words, they were happy and hopeful at first hearing there might be a way to go back but hearing Pheonas words made them despair. The first condition was immediately given up on, if getting strong to the point where theyd be able to escape was easy, they knew Pheona would have done it. As for the second option, how could a place where there might be hope to leave be safe. If it was safe, then Pheona would have gone there to acquire the way to go out. Besides if Pheona was still trapped in the Primordial Forest despite there been a chance to leave through the palace then that means it was very dangerous and a place dangerous for somebody as powerful as Pheona was a place only death awaited normal humans like them.

” You don have to lose hope, Ive not finished what I was saying. ” Pheona chuckled seeing Jeffrey and Jennifers face losing all hope but she also couldn blame them cause if it were any other mortal, theyd also lose hope hearing her words.

Jeffrey and Jennifer turned towards Pheona, a part of them hoping that her next words would at least at give them hope of returning back home.

Pheona chuckled once more seeing their faces and decided to speak ” The Temporal Palace is a special place, its a place where the stronger you are the more danger you face and the weaker you are the less danger you face though that does not mean its not dangerous for the weak, its still a very dangerous place. ”

Jeffrey and Jennifer were stunned, confused and hopeful once again. They didn expect the Temporal Palace to be a place where it seemed like it favored the weak.

” If the Temporal Palace was a place like what you said, couldn you have sent weaker beasts to enter the palace? ” Jennifer asked and Jeffrey nodded because if it was a place that favored the weak, weaker beasts should have been able to enter the palace and find if there was a way out of the primordial forest.

” Beasts can enter the palace. ”

” Wait, if beasts can enter how do you know about the Palace. Doesn that mean youve never entered? ” Jeffrey asked in confusion

” There used to be humans in the primordial forest but they
e all dead. Well I think they should all be dead, you never know humans are cunning. ” Pheonas words shocked Jeffrey and Jennifer. All this time they thought only beasts lived in the forest, they never asked if humans were here. Though, they could not be blamed because so many events have happened to them recently to the point that they were almost getting overwhelmed.

” What happened to the humans? ” Jeffrey asked as he was curious and Jennifer also looked at Pheona.

” When the primordial forest was sealed, some humans were also sealed in the forest with the beasts. After some time, a foolish human who called himself the liberator of humanity became the strongest human and their leader. He incited most humans to kill powerful beasts because if he absorbs our blood essence hell become strong enough to break the seal and allow humans to escape the primordial forest. There was a war between beasts and humans, the humans killed a lot of powerful beasts but we eventually won the war, we killed that so called human liberator and later we slaughtered every human. ”

Jeffrey and Jennifer were awed by the story and history between humans and beasts in the primordial forest, especially Jeffrey, he had always enjoyed reading interesting history related events like this. He wanted to ask about the history in detail but decided against it, it was not going to help them find their way home.

” Humans at some point found the palace and some entered the Temporal Palace, the powerhouses that entered never came back. Humans later sent stronger powerhouses into the palace but they also never came back, some weaker ones entered after a period of time and they were able to come out of the palace and revealed that they saw human skeletons inside. After that, humans later kept on sending weaker people inside the palace, some came out with treasures while some died. After the war, beasts tried to enter since humans were never able to fully explore the entire palace but could not enter.

Jeffrey and Jennifer looked at each other after hearing Pheonas words, from what she said they knew it was dangerous to enter the palace although the danger was reduced, it was dangerous nonetheless but they knew they had to do it if they wanted to go home.

” So when do we enter the palace? ” Jennifer asked to show that they were resolved to enter the palace, although staying might make them have power close to Pheona later in the future and some might decide to stay to get stronger and explore a new world but they had families and friends back home, they had people they loved and cared about, since theres a chance to go back home they might as well take it, if it doesn work out then that means theyll have to stay here indefinitely which they really don want.

” Hehe, little girl you can go now. You
e too weak. ” Pheona chuckled seeing Jeffrey and Jennifers resolve and eagerness.

” Didn you say that the weaker you are, the easier it is? ” Jennifer asked in confusion hearing Pheonas reply.

” Yes I said that but when I said weaker people I didn mean normal humans, you
e just sending yourselves to your death. You
e going to cultivate to a certain point. ”

” Seriously? ” Jeffrey asked with slight excitement in his voice while looking at Pheona with bright eyes.

” Yeah seriously, but its not the cultivation I told you about, its a different cultivation. The one I told you about was Energy Cultivation, the type of cultivating you
e going to be doing is Body Cultivation. ”

” Body Cultivation? ” Jeffrey and Jennifer were confused, how is body cultivation different from energy cultivation, isn it just to get stronger, why is that ever since theyve entered this world everything has been so foreign and confusing to them. They were hoping theyd not have to hear confusing words again.

” Body cultivation is just getting your body stronger to be able to perform superhuman feats. ” Pheona sighed as she explained, she started wondering if this was how her seniors who taught her cultivation when she was young felt when teaching her, it must have been stressful. As she was reminiscing, she heard Jeffreys voice,

” Isn that the same as working out or going to the gym, but won that take time to become strong like superman. If itll take time won it be better to do the energy cultivation thing? ” Jeffrey furrowed his brows hearing Pheonas explanation of body cultivation and looked at Pheona but was scared seeing her annoyed and frustrated expression, he turned towards Jennifer but saw her with a hand on her face while shaking her head. As he was about to ask what was wrong, he heard Pheona speak,

” Of course its not the same you idiot. You want to cultivate energy? I want to see how much complaint youd have when cultivating. Im obviously going to help you with your body cultivation to make it faster. When cultivating one must have patience, most people don know that but patience is important in cultivation. ” Pheona said in an annoyed tone while rubbing in between her eyebrows with her fingers.

” Can you please tell us the stages of body cultivation? ” Jennifer asked.

” Hahh, this is so frustrating. Fine, after I tell you, Ill send you to your rooms. Telling you common information is so frustrating. The stages are strengthening of the bones and muscles, purification of the blood and strengthening of the skin. The stages after that require elemental refining of specific organs which means using elements to strengthen specific organs. There are realms after that but theres no point in telling you that until you reach close to that realm. ”

Jeffrey and Jennifer wore blank expressions listening to the various stages Pheona mentioned, so many things didn make sense to them. How do you strengthen bones in a short period of time, how do you purify blood, why would you want to strengthen skin, will your skin become hard like a rock, doesn that mean if people hold hands itll be like rock touching rocks, what about the elements, how in the world do you use Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and so on to temper your organs. They regretted asking about cultivation, everything about cultivation has been confusing, it gives headaches. They really need to sleep and if by some miracle hope that everything has been a dream.

Pheona seeing their expressions understood they didn understand anything she said and became more annoyed, she simplified body cultivation to the most simplified form but they didn still understand anything. She sighed and just waved her hands at them spatially shifting them to their rooms before she hears anymore questions from them.

She stretched her hand towards the bookshelf in the room and a book flew towards her hand, she caught it and looked at the cover which had {ALCHEMY RECIPES} as the title. She opened the book, read the first three pages of the book, closed the book and sent the book back towards the shelf.

She closed her eyes for a few seconds and then walked towards the same door Jeffrey and Jennifer came in, as she opened the door it lead towards a room that had only a pill furnace inside but the surroundings had fire everywhere but Pheona walked towards the pill furnace unbothered by the flames in the room.

As she walked towards the pill furnace, she thought to herself Its better I refine pills to allow them to be able to refine their bones, muscles, blood and skin at the same time, I wanted to give them a cultivation technique but I won , if I did they wouldn understand what to do and Ill have to start explaining and that is something I don want to do.

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