When Lin Mu opened his eyes, he found himself in front of a glowing ethereal altar. It was releasing waves of energy that resonated with the waves of spirit qi from Lin Mu’s body. Lin Mu could clearly feel the call of the altar within his mind.
“Am I inside the ring?” Lin Mu questioned himself.
‘Wait if I’m here, shouldn’t senior Xukong be here as well?’ Lin Mu thought.
“Senior Xukong!” Lin Mu called out.
His voice didn’t travel far, and it was as if it was dampened by some kind of a barrier. Lin Mu tried to call him out using his mental connection and found out that it was blocked as well.
“Is this the doing of the altar?” Lin Mu muttered as he turned around to face it again.
‘Seems like I need to do what it’s asking of me before I can do anything.’ Lin Mu thought.
Lin Mu thus walked to the altar and placed his hand on it like the last time he did when he came here. As soon as he did, his vision blacked out and streaks of light started emitting from the altar. These streaks of light floated out of it and entered Lin Mu’s head.
At this moment, Lin Mu felt as if new memories were being etched in his mind. He could feel that this new information did not seem to be foreign and was instead assimilated into his mind. It was as if he had known it all along.
A few seconds later, the process was completed, and Lin Mu’s vision returned. He lifted his hand from the altar and the altar dimmed down to its normal form. The runes on it also became faint and would flicker from moment to moment.
Once this was done, Lin Mu could finally feel the mental connection between him and senior Xukong being restored. Knowing this, his eyes lit up.
“Senior Xukong!” Lin Mu called out again.
This time he finally received a response and soon saw an orb of gray light approaching from far. The orb of light came to a stop in front of him and faded away to reveal senior Xukong. When Lin Mu saw him, he felt a little surprised.
“Senior Xukong, Wha-what happened to you?” Lin Mu questioned.
“I just increased in size,” Xukong answered.
If Xukong was small enough to fit on a fingertip before, now he was big enough to be compared to the size of a palm.
“But how?” Lin Mu asked, feeling surprised.
The drastic difference was surprising to Lin Mu. While he had seen senior Xukong’s real body and knew how massive it was, compared to his previous tiny size, this was still big. In fact, Lin Mu didn’t think he had ever seen a spider that was this big before in the real world.
Xukong’s current appearance could be described to be as having a pale and bony white body. His abdomen was bloated and was ten times as big as his head. Eight legs sprouted from his body and had ends that were sharp. There were no hairs on his legs or on his body, unlike other spiders, as it was completely smooth. His head had Eight golden yellow eyes on it that glowed with an eerie light. His fangs were a centimeter long and were gray in color.
Overall, if one were to see Xukong outside in the real world, they would be scared because of his form. But in addition to being scary, it also had a certain charm that was hard to explain. It was as if one was appreciating the beauty of a sword. While it was sharp and dangerous, it still had a mysterious sense of beauty hidden in its craftsmanship.
Lin Mu then saw senior Xukong’s head and saw the eight eyes on there.
“Huh, senior did your number of eyes decrease?” Lin Mu questioned.
Before since Xukong was very small in size, Lin Mu couldn’t perceive the fifth pair of eyes on Xukong’s head. They were the smallest pair and were hard to perceive with his small size. They were very apparent on his main body, but on his avatar, they were nearly invisible. Lin Mu had just thought that he wasn’t able to see them because of their small size.
“No, they’ve been the same since I created this avatar. It’s because my avatar doesn’t have my cultivation base, that it does not have the fifth pair of eyes.” Xukong answered.
“So your number of eyes increases along with your cultivation?” Lin Mu questioned.
“Yes, but not exactly. You see, beasts have different changes they go through when they progress in their cultivation. These changes are different depending on the beast and its cultivation base. For me it’s my eyes, you could say. Though, I can’t tell you when I’ll be able to gain my fifth pair of eyes back as that realm is way beyond your scope of understanding.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu didn’t question it and simply accepted senior Xukong’s words as it is. He then felt as if his body was getting lighter. Lin Mu looked at his hands and saw that they were getting blurry.
“Seems like you will have to return to the real world now. Your body has reached its limit here.” Xukong spoke.
“It has?” Lin Mu questioned, remembering his previous visits to the ring.
“Yes, did you forget that this place doesn’t have a livable environment? Every time you come here, the ring helps to maintain your body’s functions. But the thing is that it can only do it for so long before it will start hurting your body instead.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu went silent for a moment before asking,
“Then will I be able to enter the ring on my own in the future?”
“Yes, when your cultivation base reaches a strong enough level, you should be able to enter the ring at will,” Xukong answered.
Just as Lin Mu heard Senior Xukong’s words, his body faded away and reappeared in the real world. He looked around and saw the familiar walls and bed. He was currently standing on the floor in the same position, he was back in the ring. He had been transported in the same position.
Lin Mu sat down on the bed and recalled the new memories that he had received from the altar. The new memories detailed the information about a new skill. It was the third skill Lin Mu had received from the ring and it was called ‘Phase’.
Unlike before, when Lin Mu had to stumble and experiment to understand the usage of the skills, this time he had senior Xukong to consult with. While Lin Mu had the instinctual knowledge of the activation of the skill, he still didn’t know what the skill actually did.
Lin Mu thus informed senior Xukong about the new skill that he had received.
“Hmm, it seems like this skill ‘Phase’ involves one of the basic manipulation techniques of spatial energy. It allows you to temporarily dissociate your body, which can allow you to pass through objects.” Xukong explained.
Upon hearing senior Xukong’s explanation, Lin Mu instantly linked it to the first skill ‘Flicker’. Flicker also had a similar effect, as it allowed his body to pass through objects as well. Lin Mu couldn’t understand the difference between the two skills.
“Senior, is this skill similar to ‘Flicker’?” Lin Mu questioned.
“No, while they look similar, they are different on a fundamental level. Flicker actually allows your body to temporarily enter the lesser void. Thus, by virtue of this, you can dodge attacks and allow objects to pass through your body.” Xukong took a pause and let Lin Mu digest this information before continuing.
“The third skill that you received ‘Phase’ allows you to dissociate your body’s particles which allows you to pass through objects. You can imagine any object or item in this world to be composed of very small particles called as molecules.”
“These particles are bound together by an invisible force. While they appear to be together, they are instead separated from each other, having an empty space between them.”
“What this skill does is that it dissociates and aligns the particles of your body in such a manner that they pass through the gaps between the molecules of that object.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu was lost in thought after hearing senior Xukong’s explanation but was eventually able to understand.
“It would be better if you just try the skill out first,” Xukong suggested.
“Yes, senior.” Lin Mu responded while nodding.
He stood up and then recalled the method of activation of the skill ‘Phase’ and used it. In the next instant, around twenty wisps of his spirit qi were consumed, as his body turned blurry. It looked fuzzy in appearance and seemed as if it was vibrating at an unknown speed.
Lin Mu placed his hand on the bed and watched it pass through with ease. It was a novel experience for him as he waved it around in the bed. Lin Mu also sensed that every second that his hand was inside the bed, a single wisp of spirit qi was being consumed.
He removed his hand from the bed and noticed that while the skill was still active, the consumption of the spirit qi had stopped. Lin Mu walked towards the wall of his house and stood in front of it. He took a deep breath and walked forward, keeping his eyes closed in slight fear.
The feeling of collision he was inherently expecting did not arrive and instead, he appeared outside the house.