In truth, the Golden Pill Immortal Technique that Mari taught Yongno was considered an expert-level technique within the martial world.
To be specific, only martial artists in the upper echelons of their field would practice it.
The Golden Pill Immortal Technique utilized the creation of cores within one’s body, much like how animals and beasts created divine or spiritual energy cores over time.
However, the production of internal force and energy was relatively slow.
This was because one had to constantly gather and condense internal energy to form and develop cores.
This process was lengthier than most other techniques, as they could directly imbue cores with internal energy from the environment.
Due to this drawn-out process, many outside observers considered the Golden Pill Immortal Technique to be an inferior and low-level internal force technique.
If one’s internal energy development or replenishment rate were slow, one would inevitably face difficulties in battle.
Yet, the Golden Pill Immortal Technique boasted a high output capacity and the stability to maintain that output.
A normal martial artist with an internal energy of 100 can usually only employ one or two points of their internal energy at a time.
This was the critical weakness of most internal force techniques.
Even if someone invested the time to gather additional internal energy, they would only be able to use five points of internal energy for an ability.
By utilizing another skill on top of one’s internal force technique, a person would at best be able to output 30% of their total internal energy.
Put simply, the process of outputting internal force is similar to physical strength.
Bench pressing 100 kilograms ten times and lifting a metric ton once are two entirely different scenarios.
Since energy needs to be expended when lowering the weight, it is true that lifting 100 kilograms ten times may actually require more energy than lifting a single ton once.
However, if someone capable of lifting 100 kilograms ten times were asked to pick up a metric ton, they’d probably shake their heads, thinking that the other person was crazy.
It would be the same as asking a marathon runner who could run 20 kilometers in one hour to expend all their energy at once and run 20 kilometers in 10 minutes.
It just wasn’t physically possible.
The utilization of internal energy followed the same concept.
Telling a user who possessed 100 points of internal energy to output 50 or even all 100 at once was physically impossible, and even if it were feasible, the user would most likely suffer critical, unrecoverable damage to their dantian.
In order to maintain stability under such a heavy output load, one would have to possess a firm stamina foundation.
Yongno was able to sustain the blow, but he still couldn’t help but spit out blood.
He was already in a tremendously weakened condition.
Furthermore, he did not have any method or option to retaliate.
In his current situation, it seemed likely that he’d be knocked around like a punching bag before dying.
‘Internal energy… I need internal energy.
What should I do? Should I try to utilize Dark Northsea Divine Technique to gather some surrounding internal energy?’
Of course, this wasn’t really viable.
Though the Dark Northsea Divine Technique derived internal energy from the surrounding natural qi, the technique could not just operate optimally for those who didn’t practice or primarily use it.
There was no such cheat to absorb qi quickly.
Moreover, although natural qi existed everywhere, it still needed to be converted to internal energy using a separate technique and method of processing.
Of course, a half-immortal may be able to skip this step, but that was just a pipe dream for Yongno.
/Your condition has changed to ‘Fatal Injury!’/
A message popped up to warn Yongno of his body’s dire state, but he was too busy trying to think of a way out of his current situation.
‘Processed qi… I need processed qi… where can I find- huh?’
Yongno suddenly opened his inventory and took out the giant clam’s Deepsea Core.
The core contained 60 points, or half a cycle, of spiritual force.
In other words, the internal force contained in the core was double Yongno’s limit of 15 years of internal energy.
Another shockwave from an Ultrasonic Punch struck Yongno; however, this time, his reaction was different.
Yongno swatted the incoming attack with his left hand and rushed toward the giant shrimp, hitting the great shrimp’s head with his right hand.
The giant shrimp, which had just launched a powerful attack with its tail, recoiled backward after sustaining Yongno’s attack.
Whether this was from being hit on its head or surprise at suffering such an attack, the giant shrimp was momentarily stunned and seemed perplexed.
Yet, Yongno was not able to launch another attack as he was suffering from a debilitating, splitting headache.
‘Ugh…? What the hell is this? The pain control system should be operating and limiting the pain I feel… but… ugh!’
Despite the high amount of pain he was in, Yongno endured.
This was because his opponent had not yet fallen.
Truthfully, what Yongno had just done was absurd and outrageous.
It was true that the Deepsea Core was refined internal energy, but this energy wasn’t his in the first place.
Even so, Yongno had still brought it out and used it.
Yongno knew that the internal energy within the Deepsea Core would clash with his Golden Pill Immortal Technique.
And so, he’d tried to circumvent this by absorbing the core’s internal energy with his left hand, circulating that internal force through two acupoints located near his shoulders, and outputting the internal energy through his right hand.
Although he could not avoid the repercussions of utilizing internal force that was not his own, Yongno was able to carry out this process because of his understanding of Qi Heaven.
Of course, Yongno couldn’t fully utilize the abilities that Mari had taught him, as those were all high-level skills.
However, he was an irregular, the single one out of a quintillion other people.
Even if he did not fully understand something, that didn’t mean he wasn’t able to comprehend some rudimentary knowledge.
The usage rate is so inefficient because it’s not my internal energy.
It took 20 years just for that single attack….’
While he wasn’t well versed in Qi Heaven, Yongno was able to infer the method to use external force and send internal energy outside of the body to launch an attack.
The process Yongno came up with wouldn’t allow him to gather, condense, process, and utilize natural qi from his surroundings, nor would it allow him to use another living being’s internal energy.
However, he was able to employ the internal energy that resided within the Deepsea Core.
The internal energy Yongno used to deflect the giant shrimp’s attack was eight years, and he had needed 20 years for that attack.
While this was a remarkable feat for someone with a maximum internal force capacity of 15 years, the energy usage of the core’s internal force was terribly inefficient.
Not only was the Deepsea Core’s internal energy not fully processed, but Yongno also had to send the internal energy from his left hand to his left shoulder, right shoulder, and right hand to avoid any clashes with his Golden Pill Immortal Technique system.
Thus, Yongno was only able to produce a largely unfocused output-based attack.
However, since he wasn’t in a situation where he could consider efficiency, Yongno did not hesitate to circulate the last ten years of internal energy in the Deepsea Core.
‘The force of that last attack wasn’t enough.’
Though his last attack had affected the giant shrimp, it did not seem like the mob had any lasting injury.
If Yongno struck in a similar manner, the great shrimp would only be stunned once more; however, Yongno would have wasted his reservoir of internal energy.
It was highly inefficient to use the Deepsea Core’s internal energy.
Yongno was only able to output a fourth of what he could do if the internal energy were his own.
‘I need to finish that thing off in one go.’
Yongno focused the remaining ten years of internal energy on his right hand, and it started glowing with a golden aura.
The golden aura illustrated that Yongno had reached the eighth level of the Great Strength Vajra Hand.
The internal force moved, following along a set pathway that converted the force into a usable and practical output.
All miracles and great things started from the smallest of places.
‘… I can do it.
I’m using the Shaolin’s greatest hand skill, which can push away ten thousand boulders and crush diamonds into dust….’
Yongno raised his hand high before swiping downward without any hesitation.
‘… This is the power of the Great Strength Vajra Hand.’
This time around, there was little outward noise.
As if his warm hand was passing through layers of snow, Yongno’s hand gently landed on the great shrimp’s head.
Soon, the monster stopped moving.
/Your hand skill has risen two levels!/
In the spot where the giant shrimp vanished, Yongno found three items: a level 9 sword, ‘Great Shrimp’s Flesh,’ and ‘Great Shrimp Tendon.’ Yongno searched the area, but he found nothing else.
‘Damn it! All that just for these scraps?’
Despite feeling exasperated by the pitiful loot, there was nothing Yongno could do.
Under DIO’s item drop system, drops were closely associated with the monster, being, or NPC itself.
Thus, they would usually be a body part of the defeated opponent or something that the opponent carried.
No other items would drop.
There was no such thing as a high-level magic book being obtained from a passing dog.
On the bright side, in lieu of valuable drops, opponents that possessed high-level attack skills usually gave higher amounts of experience points than others.
Yet, Yongno did not know this fact, so he couldn’t help but feel cheated.
‘Fuck! Damn it! I’m going to get out of here and make sure to chew long and hard on your damn flesh!’
After thinking this, Yongno made his way up the cave.
He briefly considered logging out, but he determined that it would be better to leave the area first.
If he logged out and logged back in, another great shrimp might materialize in the same spot and attack him.
If that occurred, he would really be in trouble.
Even if it was a bit tiresome, Yongno decided that it would be best for him to get out of the ocean.
Since he would be replenishing his internal energy quicker than he used it to breathe underwater, Yongno decided that he could slowly make his way to the surface without much trouble.
However, as soon as he went about ten meters up, Yongno felt that something was off.
He was finding it hard to breathe, and his vision was becoming dark.
‘I can’t breathe? My internal energy… isn’t recovering?’
Even though he was constantly practicing the Golden Pill Immortal Technique, Yongno couldn’t recover his internal energy.
This was because he had absorbed and used the Deepsea Core’s internal energy.
The ingenious process based on Qi Heaven that Yongno employed to utilize the Deepsea Core’s internal energy was indeed novel.
Yet, since he introduced foreign internal energy into his system, there were bound to be repercussions on his physical body.
‘No, no way.’
Though he waved his hands about, he was 1,000 meters under the surface.
He could have logged out, but through his dizziness and panic, Yongno couldn’t think straight.
/You lack oxygen! Your status has changed to ‘Dying Condition!’/
/Warning! Warning! Please log out!/
Though several messages popped up urging Yongno to log out, he didn’t have the wherewithal to process the contents of the notices.
Yongno was still able to move his body, but something else made it impossible for him to take any action.
‘Ah… ah… ah…!’
Yongno felt as if a dark hand had grabbed ahold of him, not allowing him to rise to the surface.
He felt as though he was reliving his nightmare, being dragged down into the depths of profound darkness.
“Oh, wow! You’re really good at swimming, aren’t you? You’re like a fish.”
Yongno recalled these words.
It was a memory from when he was playing in the water when he was young.
With parents who never praised him, this was the first compliment he remembered receiving.
Yongno liked the water, and he grew to become an adept swimmer.
Despite never formally learning how to swim, Yongno was able to move freely in the water.
“Help me! Save me! Save me!”
“Y-your good at swimming, right? H-help me! Help me escape from this sinking ship!”
“M-me too! I don’t want to die in a place like this…!”
“Help me, Yongno! Y-you can do that, right?”
“Help me! Ah! Help me!”
A strong, firm hand landed on his shoulder.
A young girl grabbed onto his ankle, and a manicured hand grabbed onto his left wrist.
Although all those hands were from different people, they had one thing in common.
‘No! No! I didn’t do anything wrong.
They were frightened and out of their minds.
I was only thirteen years old.
Isn’t it absurd to put that much pressure on such a young kid?’
In the end, there was only one survivor: Yongno.
Only Yongno was able to escape from the capsized ship.
Afterward, he made his way to an uninhabited island and sulked in regret and guilt.
Even though he was a young kid, he knew why those people had grabbed onto him.
It was because he had displayed unbelievably fluid movements in the water.
Similar to the gravity-defying motions he showed on the bus during his final days in high school, his swimming ability was not something that any human could have done.
It was understandable why everyone had burdened and put their hopes in a young boy like him.
“Ah… ah… ah…!”
On the uninhabited island, Yongno cried out.
He was the sole survivor; everyone else had died.
It was from that point that Yongno avoided water.
Forget about swimming.
Yongno was afraid to get near a bathtub.
Yongno could feel water seeping into his throat.
The bubbles rising above him seemed like pieces of his soul leaving his body.
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