One month passed after another as he made his way through the forest. Seasons came and seasons went, and a year passed in the blink of an eye.
Xu Min spent his time practicing his cultivation according to the instructions he had been given by Overseer Tian, and his body quickly regained the healthy state it had been in before.
The long time spent atop the tree waiting for mercenaries and guards to give up hunting him caused Xu Min to lose a lot of weight, and his cultivation base dropped below the Student Warrior rank once more. Xu Min showed no signs of regret or despair though. Instead, he now had an iron will and a determination that shone from his charcoal-black eyes as he viewed his current state as a new beginning.
Xu Min was all alone. His parents sold him at a young age, and his sister was murdered right in front of his eyes. Although he had an amazing talent for cultivation, this young boy had not been capable of saving his only family. Thus, guilt and hate were the two emotions that now drove Xu Min.
The only thing within his mind, which was only suppressed by a small voice of reason that kept telling him to wait and endure, was revenge.
After having trained in the forest for three months, Xu Min had regained his Student Warrior rank, and with that, the ability to kill young master Zhong. However, killing young master Zhong was not enough for the young boy. He clenched his teeth as he kept training harder and harder. His goal was to defeat Family Leader Zhong, a full-fledged Warrior.
In this world, strength was what mattered. Everyone was divided into ranks by how strong they were.
At the lowest tier were those who did not possess any Qi. They did not even deserve a proper rank and were just commoners. As soon as a person had gathered enough essence from the heavens and the earth, he or she could start refining Qi. Those who reached the point of being able to refine Qi were called Student Warriors. Above that, one would become a proper Warrior, a master of the martial arts.
The Warrior rank was split into stars. Warriors of the first, second, and third star were considered early stage Warriors. Warriors of the fourth, fifth, and sixth star were considered mid stage warriors, and late stage Warriors were the Warriors of the seventh, eighth, and ninth star. Family Leader Zhong was a late stage Warrior, and his strength was many thousand times stronger than that of a Student Warrior. This fact caused Xu Min to clench his fists and work even harder to be able to defeat the Zhong Family Leader someday. Even if he had to wait for years, this was an enmity that would never be resolved until one of them was dead.
The step between a Student Warrior and a real Warrior was as great as the difference between the heavens and the earth. A difference that could only be covered after many years of hard work and cultivation. Hard work did not scare the young boy; instead, he welcomed it. He welcomed anything which would keep his mind busy; if not, he feared that he would go insane.
As Xu Min made his way through the forest, he trained three things. The first was his breathing exercises that allowed him to absorb the essence of the heavens and the earth, which he then refined into Qi.
The second thing he improved was his physical strength. Every day he would train his body with various physical exercises that Overseer Tian had taught him. As the old man had said, "The body is a tool that we rely on to use our inner energy. The stronger the energy, the stronger the tool must be. If you release too much energy, your body cannot withstand it, and you will end up breaking yourself."
Although Xu Min still felt a tinge of pain in his heart every time he thought about Overseer Tian, he was perfectly well aware of how much knowledge he was given. He had all the tools necessary for him to become a great cultivator, thanks to the amount of time that Overseer Tian had spent on teaching him.
The final thing which Xu Min trained within the forest was the Shattering Palm Stance. The Shattering Palm was a martial art skill, one of the few which Xu Min had ever seen. Its strength was limitless. It completely depended on how proficient the cultivator was.
The Shattering Palm Stance was a technique that created a massive palm-shaped Qi strike, but since the students who had been taught the stance were not Student Warriors, much less real Warriors, none of them were capable of creating this palm strike from their inner energy. Instead, they were taught the stance itself, along with an explanation of the meridians and points in the body that the Qi needed to travel through to activate.
Having trained the stance for more than a year now, Xu Min finally managed to create a transparent palm the size of his head. Although this seemed like a relatively small palm, it felt like a great success for the young boy.
Approximately two years had gone by when Xu Min finally saw a clearing ahead of him. Great shock filled his face as he saw that the landscape no longer had trees as far as his eyes could see.
Instead, right in front of him was a large field of grass stretching far and wide. By now, Xu Min was a Student Warrior with good strength, and his body was filled with lean muscles. His shattering palm strike was now strong enough to be a threat to any Student Warrior.
Seeing the open plains in front of him, Xu Min's eyes widened. Although he had gone through a lot and he had matured immensely, he was, after all, only a ten year old boy, and seeing the plains in front of him was something he could have never imagined.