Book 13: Chapter 17
“Within the ancient soul dualism tradition, every living human has both a ‘hun’ spiritual, ethereal, yang soul, which leaves the body after death, and they also have a ‘po’ corporeal, substantive, yin soul, which remains with the corpse of the deceased. Daoism proposes a soul structure of three ‘hun’ and seven ‘po’. You can call the three ‘huns’ the spiritual soul and the seven ‘pos’ the seven physical souls. If you can retrieve their three ‘hun’ and seven ‘po’, as well as keep the deceased’s corpse intact, it’s possible to resurrect them.”
“H-how do I find them? Tell me, or I w-”
“I’m not used to people talking to me in this tone.” Ming Feizhen suddenly stomped on Yan Jiangnan’s kneecap, disabling the left leg he had all his weight on.
Ming Feizhen ignored the swordsman now on the ground, sat up onto the bench, grabbed the teapot and poured it straight down the hatch. The tea wasn’t exactly nice, not that anyone was expecting for prison tea to be, but it was even worse due to how long it had been left there for. Nonetheless, for someone who had been deprived for a while, it was rejuvenating to say the least.
“Yeah, tea leaves really are a big field to study. Would’ve been nice if you kidnapped Mr. s.h.i.+ along with me.” Ming Feizhen licked his lips in spite of what he said.
Yan Jiangnan used the scabbard to get to his feet. Despite sweating buckets just staying on his feet, he felt it was necessary to thrust the sword in his right hand at Ming Feizhen’s tummy with lethal intent. As neither of them had access to internal energy and were hurt to relatively the same extent, their fight boiled down to who had the better technique. In terms of technique, Yan Jiangnan surpa.s.sed Ming Feizhen with every weapon.
Yan Jiangnan couldn’t understand why Ming Feizhen didn’t even react to the incoming attack. Out of nowhere, a dead Yan Jibei jumped up. Scared witless, Yan Jiangnan lost his base and rolled across the ground. Seeing his brother glare vindictively at and listening to his brother produce incomprehensible sounds through his teeth, Yan Jiangnan pleaded, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I won’t do it again!’
As Ming Feizhen licked his lips, he kept track of how much time his puppet still had left on his right hand based on the force he used to hit the corpse’s accupoints. Once time was up, he clapped his hands, turning Yan Jibei into a statue. A brief moment later, Yan Jibei collapsed.
Breaking the silence that once again permeated the prison, Ming Feizhen stated, “Now he’s as dead as can be… People can be brought back from the dead as I stated.”
Crawling along the ground, Yan Jiangnan replied after a long silence, “… I saw.”
“You can’t find a phoenix, not that anything would change even if you could. Jiang Chen will off you once you’re no longer useful, so there’s no point in begging him. Sky Palace, well, men aren’t allowed in. With your looks, they’ll attack you even faster, although you might hack it as a eunuch.”
“I am your only hope.” Ming Feizhen stood up. “I can help reunite you with your lover again. I can walk the walk. What I need from you is your a.s.sistance in helping me escape. Clear and simple enough?”
“I’m now powerless… How am I supposed to help you…?”
“Simple. First, answer a question for me.”
“How long have I been out for?”
“… Over two hours.”
“Yeah?” Ming Feizhen lifted up a corner of his lips slightly. “The eight heavy doors have been lowered, so there’s still time.”
“I can erase your internal energy, and I can teach you to restore it. As a matter of fact, I can help you surpa.s.s your previous prime. I shall begin by treating your back first.”
Ming Feizhen took the scabbard, then poked several major accupoints on Yan Jiangnan’s body multiple times. As he had to rely on pure arm strength, it took several jabs to seal the accupoints. “I haven’t sealed your awareness, so I’ll be knocking you out later. Just letting you know so that you’ll be mentally prepared.” Ming Feizhen fetched Wu Ping’s sword and a candle.
Even though Yan Jiangnan didn’t have the foggiest idea what Ming Feizhen was up to or understand the first thing about the resurrection method, Yan Jiangnan didn’t have any intent on resisting. “Who exactly are you…? I’ve never heard of you. I doubt you’re a relative of my Yan Clan, so how do you know my ancestor’s discipline?”
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“The discipline your ancestor’s pa.s.s down is okay, but there are a lot of confusing parts. My s.h.i.+fu and I did a lot of explaining in addition to patching up. Remember to send us a ‘thank you’ letter when you practice it in the future.”
“What am I doing? Knocking you out.”
“What for? Why do you have to use the bench?”
“I need to cut open your lower back to adjust your bones’ positions. You don’t feel pain or something?”
“Y-you’re going to cut open my lower back?”
It was one thing to hear of surgeries and another thing to be the patient of one. Plus, they usually used anaesthetics, not benches.
“Where do you expect me to find anaesthetics here? Just bear with it.”
“B-but how are you going to put my back together after cutting it open?”
Ming Feizhen pulled out several silver strings from his hair. “I think that’s enough questions. What’s the point of answering them? I’ve already sealed your accupoints. Rest a.s.sured.”
“Hun” and “po” – Adding on to the section I inserted into Ming Feizhen’s explanation in order for you to understand what he was even saying, according to the 1992 version of the Xinhua Dictionary, “hun” refers to the “spirit” that can exist without a living body, while “po” refers to the spirit whose existence depends on a living body. As they are two different types of “spirits”, you’ll sometimes find them used together (i.e. hunpo).
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