As Jack sat on his bed, he was extremely satisfied. Who said you cant have your cake and eat it too?
The turtle with a mouthful of a name had limited Jacks creation of life stones, but he still had the twenty hed made the day before! With a little business acumen, he was confident in exchanging them for at least five Dao stones. Along with the Heavy Pagodas Dao-compressing properties, he would need only ten more stones to break through to the C-Grade.
Moreover, the turtle had hinted at another way to use the Life Drop. Jack was shivering with anticipation as he sat down to test it.
Use the life energy to temper my body
Closing his eyes, he sank into meditation. Wisps of life energy wafted from the Life Drop, spreading across his body and harmlessly dissipating. Jack pulled at them. The wisps turned into a current, then a raging stream as heaps of life energy emerged to fill his body. Before it could reach the point of transforming him into the four-armed form, he stopped.
Now, he just had an excess of life energy coursing through his body. This energy was mild and obedient. It followed his instructions perfectly and wouldnt merge into his body by itself. Otherwise, this energy alone would have bloated him like Dorman.
How do I go about this?
The four-armed transformation was also a form of body enhancement. When using it, the life energy dove into his entire body, essentially supercharging it. However, it couldnt be called tempering or nourishing. The excess energy gave him temporary power, then dissipated. It never truly became a part of him.
After the turtles hint, Jack began to realize that a deeper fusion was also possible.
Everything in the world was made of Dao. That included the human body. From his bones to his skin, it was all a collection of life-related Dao particles which combined into a functioning whole. His molecules themselves were made of tinier Dao particles.
Was it possible to infuse his body, which was made of Life Dao, with extra energy?
Focusing on the excess life energy currently circulating his body, Jack used his will to grab a tiny piece. It squirmed against his control, but he held on tight. Then, he slowly pushed it deeper inside his body, not on a physical level, but on a conceptual one. He didnt fuse it into his flesh and bones, but into the very essence which made them up, the foundation of his being.
The life energy resisted as it pushed against the Dao of Jacks body. These two were made of the same tiny particles, but in different combinations. They refused to work together. It was like forcing two pieces of the same puzzle that werent meant to match.
Jack stopped and pondered this problem. A moment later, he tried again.
Grabbing the same segment of life energy as before, he attacked it. His will pressed down so hard that the helpless Dao was ground into nothingness, eventually breaking into its fundamental components.
Now, it resembled pure, ambient life Dao. It could no longer be used to create his four-armed form, losing any sense of will or cohesion. It wanted to dissipate, but Jack clamped down with his entire willpower and forced it not to. Or, rather, he tried. The feeling was like trying to hold water in a basket. It kept leaking.
Frowning in concentration, Jack hurried to use it. He grabbed this ambient Life Dao and forcefully pushed it into himself, forcing it to combine with the stable Dao that made up his body. It was difficult. His body itself resisted. It was a complex machine, he couldnt just throw screws at it and hope to make it bigger.
However, a few particles still managed to make it in. They were lodged inside him, unable to escape or be absorbed. Jack even felt a stabbing pain in his bones.
Did I mess up? he wondered. Randomly sticking things in my body couldnt be a good idea.
Before he had time to consider it properly, he felt the energy melting. He would have cried out in joy if this conceptual melting wasnt accompanied by very real, excruciating heat. It rapidly spread across his body. He was on fire. His flesh was boiling, and his nerves were revolting like his bones were molten iron.
Jack gasped. He gritted his teeth, trying his hardest not to shout. Before anything else, he felt stubbornness. He had endured the Life Drop fusing with his soul and the divine tribulation burning him inside out. Compared to those, this tiny bit of pain was nothing.
A few seconds later, it was over. Jack panted, leaning his back against the wall as he struggled to recover.
Bro? Brock asked from his meditation mat, deeply confused.
Im fine, Jack replied weakly. Just had a breakthrough.
Brock stared at him deeply, then nodded and returned to cultivation. Dorman hadnt reactedhe was probably meditating on his Dao and had cut off the world.
Jack shook his head to clear it. What happened?
This was new! It was tiny buttremendous!
Jack started laughing, his previous pain all but forgotten. Brock once again raised a brow, but eventually didnt bother. As for Jack, he was incredibly excited. His mind ran amok with possibilities.
I can enhance my stats! I can do it directly, without needing the System or level-ups! Haha, haha! This is amazing!
Hed long known that, on level-ups, the System somehow pushed some ambient Dao into his body to enhance it. Everyone knew that. However, doing the same yourself wasnt possible.
But Jack had just achieved it!
What does this mean? Can I become infinitely strong? Can my strength rise without level-ups or breakthroughs? Can I become doubly as powerful, or even three or four times? Is there a limit, or am I God?
For the second time in a few hours, Jack felt hed cracked the system. Unlike the previous time, however, he now had grounds to think it was true.
This tempering process wasnt something anyone could do. Even if they could, they wouldnt. The energy consumption was tremendous. If Jack didnt have the Life Drop, he would need to spend at least a few days gathering the energy to increase his stats by one pointit just wasnt worth it. And that was assuming he cultivated some version of the Dao of Life, which he didnt. Moreover, even if he did, he would need to use some energy storage method like a life stone, which would incur a severe energy loss. It wouldnt be days, but more like a month.
As for the Life Drop, it contained practically infinite energy at this point, and the turtle didnt mind him using that energy for body tempering.
This was a method unique to Jack!
One more System mystery solved, one more peak conquered, he thought, unable to stop smiling. I wonder, how does this affect my combat strength?
The higher one rose, the more they relied on their Dao. The body was just a medium. However, that didnt mean it was useless. Thanks to his titles, Jack already had higher stats than almost everyone at his level, and that showed in every battle. He could strike harder, move faster, and endure for longer. It was part of the reason why he could fight higher-level opponents than himself.
Moreover, the body was the foundation of everything. That was why the System enhanced it at every level. The sturdier the body, the more powerful the Dao it could support. If Jacks bodily stats doubled, it wouldnt bring a mere twofold increase in his battle strengthit might even rise by five or ten times!
Okay, maybe not ten, but it will still be a huge asset! He finally calmed himself down. Thank you, Venerable Saint Thousand Shell. You really helped me a lot this time.
There were still many things Jack didnt understand. Naturally, this power wouldnt come without limitations, or he could just hide in a cave for a hundred years and emerge as a universal overlord.
He would discover those limits as he went.
Many calculations ran through Jacks mind. Absorbing that bit of energy took me a few minutes. Including rest time, that is half an hour per stat point. If I cultivate non-stop, I can gather forty-eight in a day, or around three hundred and fifty every week.
Cranxiao will come to beat up Dorman in two weeks. If I focus on body tempering, I could get seven hundred stat points by then
Seven hundred points. Thats like, seventy levels in the D-Grade. It could greatly enhance my combat strength! If I could beat the middle C-Grade planetary overseer before, then after these two weeks, could I defeat someone at the late C-Grade?
Could Idefeat Cranxiao in two weeks? Without even breaking through?
If I did break through, just how overwhelming would my strength be?
He was already giddy with anticipation. This body tempering method had opened a new world for him. He had felt unqualified since arriving at the Cathedral, like a big fish that finally entered the shark-filled seabut now, he suddenly had hope.
The sharks could go fuck themselves. He wouldnt just stay afloat; he would dive down and eat them whole.
The prerequisite was that he would suffer excruciating pain every half hourbut every good cultivator was a bit of a masochist. Jack was more excited than afraid.
Bring it on! he shouted inwardly, resolving to pause his healing studies so he could focus on body tempering for two weeks. Solving his problems himself was much better than depending on others. He would work every minute of every day, not sleeping or resting, and in two weeks
Cranxiao wouldnt know what hit him.