The Great Escape
Pan Gu assumed a sitting position and listened carefully to Jian Sheng. “At this point, you have reached the critical stage of bone forging. The moment you progress into muscle strengthening, you will experience fundamental changes to your body. Before we proceed, we need to introduce the bloodlines of the four true gods into your system. You have to understand, these bloodlines were never meant to be mixed together, but I think that with your body having been tempered by Chaos Qi as it has, you should be the perfect candidate to attempt the mixture of these bloodlines. Other mortals bodies are simply too weak, so they cannot handle having more than one of these bloodlines. They have to choose only one. These bloodlines will fundamentally change you and will be a part of you and your power, forever. Understand?”
Pan Gu nods his head eagerly.
Four vials of blood appear on the ground in front of Pan Gu. “Place one drop of each bloodline onto your wrists, forehead, and feet. These bloodlines will attempt to fight each other. It’s your job to make them work together. Circulate them according to the cultivation technique you’ve been practicing.”
Taking a deep breath, Pan Gu quickly applied the blood. Almost immediately it seemed to sink into his skin, and began roaring through his veins. Whenever the bloodlines came into contact with each other, they were like oil and water. Pan Gu started forcing the bloodlines together, and bit by bit he managed to merge all four bloodlines together until they had circulated his entire body 5 times without ever conflicting with each other.
Without waiting for the order to continue, Pan Gu repeated this action.
Finally, by the end of the fifth hour, he had run out of blood.
He could feel the heat of the Phoenix, the raw strength of the dragon, the durability and longevity of the turtle, and the speed of the Qilin coursing through his body. His muscles seemed to fill out more, balancing out his wiry frame until he appeared powerful beyond belief.
Jian Sheng was nearly shaking with glee. He had feared that Pan Gu wouldn’t be able to do it, but it seemed that some of the genius of his past life had survived into this life as the energies and bloodlines of the four true gods firmly melded together within Pan Gu.
“Now, we need to move onto muscle strengthening. This is going to be a bit troublesome, as the pond is now empty. This means that we must begin absorbing the energy straight from the earth around us.”
Pan Gu started. “Will this be that different from the pond water?”
“Incredibly different, because the earth is made up of much more highly condensed energy. Enough chat, the process is the same, so just hope for it.”
Nodding his head, and with an intense look of focus, Pan Gu does as instructed. The energy of the earth suddenly crashes into his meridian veins causing them to bulge and move like sludge through his body. It was exhausting to absorb this energy. Yet, he persisted, stretching his meridians until they were bursting at the seams as he poured more energy into the Meridians bit by bit.
A full three hours passed before Pan Gu completed Pan Gu had absorbed enough energy. Without waiting for Jian Sheng’s order, he immediately began pushing this energy into his muscles. After another few hours, he runs out of Qi.
Feeling suddenly weak and feeble, Pan Gu collapses once more, totally unconscious.
Humming happily to himself, Jian Sheng observes the changes happening in Pan Gu’s body with great interest.
“To think he’d actually be able to do it so quickly. Either he has some kind of luck goddess following him around, or he’s the greatest genius I’ve ever seen. Even his past incarnation wasn’t this impressive to me. I wonder what the hell happened.”
A little under a week to reach the Muscle Strengthening Stage, that kind of insane cultivation speed could only be attributed to rare geniuses or destined heroes.
Pan Gu eventually awakens, his eyes fluttering open only for him to immediately sit straight up. Feeling slightly off, Pan Gu begins stretching, and then notices all at once just how incredibly his body has changed. The once thin and dainty muscles were now thick, and impressively toned. His body felt like it was filled with an endless amount of power.
The happiness in Pan Gu’s heart immediately simmered down and was replaced by a cold determination. He would not let himself be put in this kind of situation ever again. He would get revenge, no matter what.
“Originally I had thought you would need to wait until you reached blood condensation before we could transplant the formation, but now I think we can accomplish it without doing so. Approach the formation.”
Pan Gu obediently does so and stares at it blankly.
“Relax your mind. I’m going to take over.”
“You can do that?!” exclaimed Pan Gu.
“Only when you allow me. Now, we’ve no time to waste.”
Startled, Pan Gu has to struggle to refocus his mind on the task at hand. As soon as he manages to relax, he feels his body grow stiff and begin moving on its own. A foreign voice pops out from his lips, sounding just like the old man.
“Gods, it’s been so long since I last walked around like this. Feels good! Alright, pay attention Pangu. I’m altering this formation so that it attracts chaos qi instead of just pure Yin and Yang energy as it does now. Further, this alteration will increase the power of its condensation force exponentially. Until you reach the peak of the Qi Foundation Realm, you’re going to have to constantly be cultivating to increase your cultivation realm. This will require you to store the excess energy you can’t cultivate into the storage space within me until you are ready to use it.”
Pan Gu’s thoughts echoed into his head in the same way that Jian Sheng’s had before. “Storage spaces can be used like that?”
“Not regular storage spaces, no. But I’m not a regular storage space. I’m going to start, be quiet for now.”
Pan Gu felt his body become very still, and then he saw a milky white light emerge from the formation lines in front of him. He watched in amazement as Jian Sheng used his body to manipulate these lines into a new shape, and then letting it settle back into a complete formation.
The energy surrounding them began to turn cold and dark, seeming to sink into one’s soul.
Finally, Jian Sheng pushed aside a sleeve on Pan Gu’s right shoulder and then concentrated on the formation once more.
The white lines of the formation rose up into the air, before shrinking into a smaller shape. Then, with a thought, the formation floated over to Pan Gu’s shoulder, where it embedded itself into the flesh, wriggling its way deeper and deeper until it wrapped itself around his bones.
He could immediately feel the difference within his body as Yin and Yang’s energy began swiftly pouring into him.
Finally, he switched places with Jian Sheng once again, and Jian Sheng began absorbing the extra Qi into his space.
Pan Gu began cultivating, preparing to push forward and enter into the next cultivation stage. Feeling the energy around him, he began drawing it once more, this time flowing in torrents.
He could feel the energy within him reaching a bottleneck, and he began pushing this energy into his blood, feeling his unique bloodlines absorbing this energy like ravenous wolves. He could feel his blood boiling, becoming incomparably thick and heavy. It immediately began increasing his strength by leaps and bounds. He continued this process until finally, his blood began to change colors to become a golden hue.
Jian Sheng voice echoed in his mind,
“There is a great weakness with the method we’ve used so far to build up your cultivation level. You haven’t had time to grow accustomed to your strength. As such, your control is weak. Thus, you must not advance your cultivation to the next realm now that you’ve reached the peak of the Qi Condensation realm. You should take this time to become very familiar with your body, and solidify your foundational skills.”
Seeing nothing wrong with this suggestion, a thought occurred to Jian Sheng.
“Hey, isn’t it about time we leave this place?
Upon hearing this, Pan Gu became excited. Then a thought occurred to him. ”Jian Sheng… I look completely different. If they see me, they will think I’m some rogue cultivator who snuck into the sect! This is terrible! I look nothing like I used to!”
“It seems we’ll need to make an escape then.”
“I think you should be able to disguise yourself as your own dead body.”
Pan Gu pondered for a moment. Seeing no other option, he retrieved his old clothes and donned them, grimacing at the scent.
Then he lay down and attempted to squeeze himself out through the crack only to find that his body was now too big to fit.
Jian Sheng stayed silent as Pan Gu thought through the issue. Then Pan Gu’s eyes lit up.
He suddenly beat his own chest, cracking his ribs and then bashed his arm against the wall nearby, shattering his arm in the process.
Jian Sheng was shocked by his decisiveness, but approving, and thus, said nothing.
With his broken ribs and arm, he was able to just barely force his way back into the grime and slop of the neighboring room.
Gagging at the scent, and at the fact that he was once more drenched in chamber pot slop, he groaned loudly at the pain in his arm and ribs. He quickly sealed the wounds but did nothing to heal them to maintain the semblance of injury.
Within an hour, noises came from above as slaves lowered ropes down into the chute and scrambled down after them.
When they finally discovered Pan Gu, he was pretending to be dead, buried under a mound of garbage and fecal matter. One of the slaves prodded him and sighed heavily. “I didn’t think we’d see this again. It’s been a while since the last one was found down here. Who is this one then?”
Another slave stared at his face intently. “That’s gotta be Pan Gu. He went missing a few days ago. He looks bigger now though.”
“That’s just the body bloating. Don’t think too much about it.”
The slaves took it upon themselves to drag him up, and clean him off before carrying him out of the chamber. During this process, Pan Gu stilled his heart rate and played dead.
“We’ll have to take him to a teacher. Killing slaves is forbidden. Whoever did it will be expelled.”
Nodding his head, the other slave grunted and staggered a little. “Gods he’s heavy.”
It just so happened to be Teacher Yun Lee that was presented with Pan Gu’s apparently dead body. The Teacher’s brow furrowed as he observed the injuries from afar, and he gagged a little at the scent of Pan Gu, not daring to draw closer.
“None of you are to report what has happened to anyone else. I’ll take care of everything else from here on out. It’s unacceptable that a student of ours would blatantly attempt to murder or intentionally damage the property of our school beyond repair, and then cover it up by dumping the body. Pan Gu was sent to be punished, not murdered. If an incident like this ever occurs again, feel free to come find me, you two. You people may be slaves, but you’re our Swallow Tail Sect’s slaves. Disrespecting you is disrespecting Swallow Tail Martial Sect.”
Yun Lee walks away in a huff.
Pan Gu is carried out of the sect and buried in an unmarked grave at the edge of a forest just outside the city below the sect. This kind of thing is a common occurrence, and can only be considered very normal amongst martial sect slaves.
Taking the opportunity, Pan Gu began to quietly cultivate, refining the chaos Qi his body constantly attracted and rotated it throughout his body according to his cultivation method.
Jian Sheng’s voice finally sounded out, somewhat impatiently, “Are you done waiting in this hole in the ground, or are you ready to rise from the grave yet? If you take much longer, I might really think you’re a corpse.”
Pan Gu grinned happily and began digging his way out, using his cultivation method to absorb the energy of the earth above him, and thereby speeding up his escape.
Finally, his hand broke free from the earth, and he was able to drag himself out of his grave.
Contemplating, he retrieves a small boulder and uses a stone to scratch letters onto it.
“Here lies Pan Gu. A slave no more.”