Lin Mu sat there for hours following the technique, yet could feel no difference, except for his spirit qi being consumed. He only stopped when it had been nearly empty and only had about a hundred wisps left along with of course the liquid spirit qi drops.
“This is much more difficult than I thought.” Lin Mu muttered.
“Well, cultivation techniques usually take a while to learn and for auxiliary ones like this one, the time frame is even vast. It’s a technique that has never been cultivated, thus we can not put an estimate on it.” Xukong said, after suddenly appearing in front of Lin Mu.
Ever since Lin Mu had progressed in his cultivation, Xukong had been able to freely appear and disappear from the Sleepscape as long as he himself was there. Xukong did not tell Lin Mu this, but he himself was starting to enjoy his time there.
While he was beyond habituated to cultivating in seclusion in the void, having a break like this felt refreshing to him and he even felt a slight improvement in his cultivation speed.
“I will have to wait and see then. Hopefully, I learn it before the Great Slumber bear awakens from its sleep.” Lin Mu replied.
He then stood up and withdrew a long spear from the ring. Lin Mu had practiced a sufficient amount with the two slim swords and now wanted to try out the other weapons. His next choice of weapon was the spear, as it had the farthest reach for him.
Lin Mu started his practice with the spear and followed the stances and maneuvers mentioned in the Thousand armament blade scripture. He practiced until he felt mentally tired and then stopped. Lin Mu noticed that he had tired much faster than before.
“Huh, is it due to my depleted spirit qi?” Lin Mu questioned himself.
“Well, it could be that. Perhaps you need a certain amount of spirit qi in order to maintain your connection with the garden of karma. If that is true, then having a low amount of spirit qi may be reducing your capability to practice further here. Though this is all that I could deduce, we still don’t know how exactly a Garden of Karma works.” Xukong replied from behind Lin Mu.
Lin Mu nodded and spoke, “Hmm, I see. Well then, time to sleep again.”
Lin Mu then willed it and his body disappeared from the Sleepscape, and he entered deep sleep. Waking up in the morning, the first thing Lin Mu did was to clutch his stomach.
“Aargh!” He screamed in pain.
“Wha…t… is… this… pain…?!” Lin Mu uttered between breaths.
He could barely breathe right now and was slumped up against his bed. Lin Mu was unable to think clearly right now and did not know what was happening to him. He did not even hear senior Xukong who was calling out to him.
Lin Mu stayed like that for about a minute before he was able to get used to the pain.
‘Why is this happening? This is worse than the time when I ate that purple spirit fruit or even when I used the boulder collapsing fist at its full potential.’ Lin Mu thought.
But just as Lin Mu was thinking this, it suddenly hit him.
‘It’s the effect of the technique! Did I make a mistake? No, if it was like that then I would have known it then and there, this is something different.’ Lin Mu realized.
“It…s …ger…” Lin Mu suddenly heard a faint voice in the back of his head.
It didn’t take him long to realize that it was Senior Xukong that was calling out to him. He attempted to chant the calming heart sutra to be able to hear better, but the pain was making it incredibly difficult.
To Lin Mu, it felt as if his guts were being twisted into a mush. With great effort, he was able to focus enough to chant the calming heart sutra. With the activation of the effects of the calming heart sutra, Lin Mu was finally able to hear senior Xukong’s words.
“It’s hunger!! Eattt!!!” Xukong shouted out in Lin Mu’s mind.
It actually was not just Lin Mu that was having a problem in hearing Xukong, but rather Xukong too was having a hard time trying to communicate with Lin Mu. The mental connection that they had was fading in and out, making it Nealy impossible for him to talk.
Xukong was very shocked by this, as the last time this had happened was back when Lin Mu had gone through the awakening of one of the nine divine heart sutras or when he was having an epiphany.
‘What kind of technique is this that its even able to disturb my link with Lin Mu? For it to be able to do that, is it on the same level as the nine divine heart sutras, or is this something different?’ Xukong thought to himself with confusion.
Lin Mu heard Senior Xukong’s words in his mind, loud and clear, making him stumble to get something to eat. In his delirium caused by the pain, he had nearly forgotten that he could just summon the food that was stored in his ring.
Lin Mu instinctively pulled out some of the cooked meat that was left in the ring. He started eating and quickly finished it in mere seconds. The food stored was barely enough for a few bites.
“NOT ENOUGH! I NEED MORE!” He spoke in a hoarse voice.
A faint wisp of vital energy was released from the roast meat that he had just eaten and it was absorbed from his stomach. Still, it did not even come close to providing him relief. It was the same as throwing a cup of water into a wildfire.
Lin Mu then withdrew the spirit apples that he had stockpiled in the ring and swallowed an entire apple in three bites. He had thought that these would show some effect, but alas, the spirit apples had no vital energy in them.
“MOREEEE!” Lin Mu yelled again.
Pushing all semblance of sanity away, Lin Mu withdrew a beast carcass that he had stored in the ring and started tearing into it.