And just like that, the two of them walked together while chatting lazily, randomly about all sorts of topics. Although they were ‘chatting lazily’, it was better to say that Han Li was the one asking the questions while the youths was the one answering. From the mouth of the youth, Han Li finally obtained some news about the world of cultivators as well as finally understanding some of the fundamental facts about that world.
For example, the levels of cultivation could be classified into the lower realm, middle realm and higher realm.
The lower realm consisted five stages: Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, Deity Transformation. The middle realm consisted of Void level, Integration Level, and Great Ascension Level. And upon reaching the higher realm, it could be said that one truly stepped into the realms of Immortals. Cultivators at the higher realm could fly through the skies and visit the Immortal realm with a lifespan as long as that of heaven and earth.
However, it was easier said than done! It was extremely tough to cultivate to such a level.
Not to mention cultivating all the three realms. Even in the most basic, the lower realm, there was no one in the history of State of Yue who had successfully cultivated to the peak of the Deity Transformation stage. At most, they were stuck in the Nascent Soul stage. But even then, reaching Nascent Soul was exceedingly rare. Only a few eccentrics with great luck and karmic fortune would be able to do so.
According to the youth, an individual’s lifespan was directly linked to his cultivation level, and each successive breakthrough would prolong his lifespan.
Mortals, at most, could only live for 100 years, but even that was very rare among mortals.
For cultivators who successfully stepped into Foundation Establishment, they would have a lifespan of 200 years. This was very common. And if an individual was lucky enough to reach Core Formation, his lifespan would be further doubled to 400 and 500 years. And…if that individual somehow managed to meet a fortuitous encounter through have extreme luck and managed to form his Nascent Soul, then, congratulations! His lifespan would be extended to a 1000 years! As along as the person in question was a cultivator, this was all within the realm of possibility!
Suddenly, the white-robed youth stopped here. He was extremely envious of those eccentrics with a lifespan of 800 to 1,000 years. These people had ten times the lifespan of a normal human!
Han Li was awestruck as he listened by the youth’s side, but he had already guessed that lifespan of cultivators would be longer when compared to that of ordinary humans. But what he hadn’t expect was that the differences in lifespan would be so ridiculous! 1,000 years of life, wouldn’t that mean that the eccentric had become a 1,000 year-old tortoise? Han Li thought in his heart somewhat maliciously.
But if just reaching the Nascent Soul stage would enable you to live so long, what about Deity Transformation stage? And the further stages in the middle and higher realms? How long would they live then?
Han Li finally couldn’t bear it anymore and indirectly asked..
“Who knows?” Maybe they can live forever, enjoying eternal youth?” The youth exclaimed.
“Legend has it that cultivators who reached the ‘Great Perfection’ circle of the Deity Transformation stage have to leave this world and travel to a higher realm in another space. But as to where and what the higher realm is, no one knows, because no one has ever returned from there.”
“No one has ever returned? Then how do we determine the different levels of the Deity Transformation stage?” Han Li asked somewhat dejected;y. However, the youth in front of him probably could not answer this as well.
Other than the different levels in cultivations, Han Li now had a general understanding of the cultivation clans and sects within the State of Yue.
The youth may not know matters of other places, but regarding the State of Yue’s cultivation world, the youth seemed quite knowledgable as he proceeded to explain in great details.
From his mouth, Han Li knew that in the State of Yue, there existed a total of seven cultivation sects: the Masked Moon Sect, Yellow Maple Valley, Spirit Beast Mountain, Clear Void Sect, Saber Transformation Dock, Heavenly Imperial Fortress, and the Giant Sword Sect. Out of these seven, the Masked Moon Sect was the most powerful. Spirit Beast Mountain was a close second, and as for the rest, their power levels were roughly evenly matched.
If one were to say that these various cultivator sects were the great tree providing support for the whole of State of Yue, the other various cultivator clans and families would be the leaves and branches that depended on the great tree for survival.
And according to the youth, the ancestors from the Immortal cultivators clans were once disciples of the cultivator sects. The bloodline of the sect disciples eventually flowed out over the generations and slowly became a cultivator clan.
Thus, one could say from this that all cultivators possessed something called ‘spiritual roots’.
‘Spiritual roots’. What exactly were they? Not even Immortal cultivators know everything about them, but what they did know was that if a person lacked spiritual roots, that person couldn’t aspire to traverse the path of cultivation. After all, if one had no spiritual roots, how could he even absorb Spiritual Qi? And if Spiritual Qi couldn’t be absorbed, how could he become an Immortal cultivator?
Of course, those who were born with spiritual roots were extremely rare among the commoners. It could be said that there would only one would be born with spiritual roots in a batch of tens of thousands, and thus, there were only a selected few who would be able to embark on the pathway to become an Immortal. But still, the majority of those with spiritual roots lived out their lives as a commoner since it was extremely difficult for individuals to know if they possessed spiritual roots or not, causing great headache to recruiters from the Immortal sects.
Even possessing spiritual roots did not guarantee that one was qualified to enter the Immortal sects. This was because there were differences in grade among spiritual roots.
As the saying went, spiritual roots could be categorised into five categories: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The majority of cultivators had roots an impure mixture of four or all five of the attributes. Although these people was able to absorb Spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, they would progress extremely slowly in terms of their cultivation. At most, they could only reach the third or fourth level of the Qi Condensation stage before reaching a bottleneck that halted all hopes of breaking through to Foundation Establishment.
Spiritual roots with a mixture of four or five attributes were known as “false spiritual roots” in the Immortal world, while spiritual roots of two to three attributes, were known as “true spiritual roots”. Those with true spiritual roots would naturally cultivate many times faster when compared to those with false spiritual roots.
And as for spiritual roots with only one attribute, they known as “heavenly spiritual roots”; those who received them were truly favored by heavens. With heavenly spiritual roots, regardless of which of the five attributes the spiritual root belonged to, the cultivation rate would be faster by two to three times when compared to those with true spiritual roots. And upon reaching the peak of Foundation Establishment, they would not encounter any bottlenecks when attempting to break through to Core Formation. If true spiritual roots already increased the rate of cultivation, the heavenly spiritual roots would make people angry to a point of vomitting blood, as they enabled the individual to reach Core Formation easily without facing any bottlenecks.
One must know that in a group of ten Qi Condensation cultivators, even with the aid from a Foundation Establishment elder, only one of them would be able to reach Foundation Establishment. But as for Core Formation, not even one in 100 Foundation Establishment cultivators would be able to reach it.
The probability of reaching Core Formation could only be described as immensely difficult, which was why many people were envious of those who possessed heavenly spiritual roots. Every time someone with heavenly spiritual roots appeared, they would be frenziedly sought after by the Immortal sects. After all, this meant that in the future, their sect would have an additional Core Formation elder, furthering consolidating the power of their sect.
However, being so precious and rare, the chance of something like the heavenly spiritual root appearing was close to nil, only once in several hundred years. Other than these spiritual roots, there was still a type of spiritual roots that did not belonged to any of the five attributes. This other kind of spiritual roots was known as ‘mutated spiritual roots’, and the rate of its appearance was much more frequent, about once every 20 to 30 years.
Mutated spiritual roots referred to spiritual roots that evolved through the combination of any two or three of the five attributes.
Example, a spiritual root of both earth and water attributes undergo a mutation and evolved into that of the lightning attribute; Metal and water attribute mutated and evolved into the ice attribute. Not only that, there were also darkness attribute roots and wind attribute roots, as well as countless other variations.
For individuals who possessed mutated spiritual roots, although they would still meet a bottleneck when attempting to step into Core Formation, their cultivation speed was roughly equal to those with heavenly spiritual roots. Furthermore, if those with mutated spiritual roots were able to find a cultivation art that matches their attribute, they would undoubtedly be the strongest among their generation, capable of fighting against three to four cultivators at the same cultivation level.
As a result, those with mutated roots were also greatly welcomed by the Immortal sects.
However, even finding individuals with true spiritual roots was a headache for recruits from the Immortal sects, let alone heavenly spiritual roots and mutated spiritual roots.
That was because it was simply impossible for Immortal recruiters to go into every nook and alley, demanding people to turn their children in for testing. And even then, true spiritual roots were pretty uncommon, with only one in every five to six individuals appearing with spiritual roots. Hence, some Immortal sects eventually collapsed simply because they could not find or groom anyone with spiritual roots.
Regarding this embarrassing situation, many cultivators investigated and realised that spiritual roots were usually passed on through bloodline.
For example, if a man or a woman possessed spiritual roots, the children they birthed would have a 25 percent chance of being born with spiritual roots. And naturally, if both the mother and the father were possessors of spiritual roots, the children they birthed who have a higher probability of inheriting spiritual roots.
After this matter was discovered, many people grew agitated.
This agitation was directed towards the young sect members. Under their elders’ pressure, many youth from the various sects were forced out to the secular world to get married and settle down. Only after having a son or daughter would they be allowed to return back to their sect for cultivation.
Whenever the sects lacked of disciples, they would select the descendants of their disciples with spiritual roots. This way, the rate of finding people with spiritual roots would greatly increase.
The problematic situation faced by Immortal sects could finally be considered partially resolved.
Eventually over time, more and more people with spiritual roots were born, which paved the way for the formation of cultivator clans and families.
These cultivator clans might not possess high-level cultivation arts, but they do not face a shortage of low-level cultivation arts and techniques. Eventually, they became the external window that the Immortal sects could use to reach out to the secular world.
This essentially meant that behind each cultivator clan was backed by a powerful Immortal sect. Having explained all of this, this white-robed youth felt extremely satisfied. It had been far too long since he last showed off his knowledge.
The feeling of when the listener was fully focused on the words he spoke made him feel extremely happy and well-disposed towards Han Li. Hence, so he held nothing back, wanting to show off his knowledge in front of Han Li. Naturally, Han Li was pleased with such an arrangement, and he oftentimes interjected appropriately, giving the white-robed youth another chance to expound on his knowledge. What a pity, this hill that was shrouded by fog wasn’t very far from the village. After a few hours, both of them had already arrived at the hillside.
Having traveled only a short journey, Han Li couldn’t help being somewhat dissatisfied for not having enough time to learn more regarding the matters of the cultivation world. He deeply wanted to walk back to the village again so that he could expand his knowledge, but he knew that it was impossible to do so. Sighing, he looked at the youth beside him with disappointment misting over his eyes.