Eyeing the old man in front of him who was covered in a layer of demonic and mysterious white ice, Xiao Yan heaved a sigh of relief. He waved his hand apologetically at the old man before turning around and leaving.
“Boy, I really underestimated you.” Just as Xiao Yan was turning his body, the tired voice of the old man was released from the layer of ice.
Pausing his footsteps, Xiao Yan tilted his head and watched the old man in the layer of ice slowly open his eyes. However, Xiao Yan didn’t feel any panic in his heart. This was because he knew that with the strength the old man currently had, it was impossible for him to break out of the barrier that Yao Lao had placed.
Sighing, Xiao Yan bitterly smiled, “Old sir, I have already said that I do not have any intention of becoming enemies with you. It is just that this thing is really important to me, therefore…”
“Ha ha, it is really unexpected that after living in isolation here for over twenty years, I would actually be thrown into such a dire state by a kid today. It really is somewhat sad.” The old man’s voice was a little desolated. A moment later, however, his tone suddenly changed. His gaze passed through the demonic and mysterious layer of ice and stared at Xiao Yan outside. He said blandly, “Boy, is this map fragment very important to you?”
Xiao Yan was briefly silent before nodding his head.
“Haha.” Seeing his action, the old man let out a laugh. His smile was somewhat strange.
Frowning, Xiao Yan ignored him as he turned around and walked toward the exit.
“Back then, after I spent all my effort in the desert to obtain this map fragment, I used all my years of experience in making maps to perfectly split it into two. One of them has just been taken by you, the other piece… hee hee.” The old man coldly laughed.
Xiao Yan’s footsteps paused. With his back facing the old man, his finger tapped on the storage ring. The fragment map piece from before quickly appeared in his palm. After Xiao Yan placed it in front of his eyes to take a look, he realized that the size of this fragment map piece was approximately half the size of the one he found in the cave on the Magic Beast Mountain Range.
Holding the map fragment in his hand, Xiao Yan’s expression became a little ugly. He was a little frustrated that after putting in so much effort, he had only obtained half of a map fragment.
Letting out his breath, Xiao Yan carefully stored the map fragment into the storage ring and slowly turned around. He coldly eyed the old man and said, “You could have chosen to not reveal this secret and that I would not take your life. But now, you’ve said it… you, are you forcing me to kill you?”
“Hehe. Boy, don’t use death to threaten me. Having lived most of my life, what kind of difficulties have I not faced. When I was dominating within the Jia Ma Empire, you had yet to be born! Do you think that I would be afraid of this little threat? Moreover, if I die, even if you have some great ability, you would not be able to find the other small map fragment. Hehe, when that time comes, with one small map fragment missing, you would not be able to find the treasure the map leads to even if you can complete the map.” The old man said with disdain as he faced Xiao Yan’s cold voice that was filled with killing intent.
Xiao Yan narrowed his eyes as a cold glint flashed across it. He gently took in a breath, tightened his fist and blandly said, “Say. What do you want to do? Since you are willing to reveal this secret, you cannot be so foolish as to merely use it to anger me, can you?”
“You really have quite a good mind. I’m really curious just which abnormal old guy is your teacher. I dare not say anything now but I am certain that you will be standing at the peak of the Jia Ma Empire ten years later.” Seeing Xiao Yan’s calm manner, the old man could not help but praise.
Without accepting or denying this high praise by the old man, Xiao Yan glanced at him and said with a frown, “Say it. What do you want before you are willing to hand over that other small map fragment.”
“Can you release me from this layer of ice? Of course, that is if you aren’t afraid that I will retaliate.” The old man said with a smile.
Xiao Yan narrowed his eyes as he stared at the old man. A moment later, he gradually closed his eyes before opening it. Slowly walking forward, his palm gently touched the layer of ice and shook slightly. A thread of thick white flames was inserted into the ice, swiftly melting away the demonic and mysterious layer of ice.
“If I can lock you up once, I will be able to do it a second time. So, don’t try any tricks. Otherwise, it will be your blood that will become ice the next time around.” With the wave of his hand, Xiao Yan broke away this demonic and mysterious layer of ice that even a Dou Ling could do nothing about. His pair of dark black eyes suddenly became profound and experienced once again.
After breaking the ice layer, Xiao Yan’s head moved slightly back. The profoundness swiftly disappeared from his eyes. Gradually lowering his head and watching the old man who was repeatedly shivering after breaking out of the ice, he said, “Say it.”
“What a frightening icy cold flame. If I guess correctly, the flame that you had just used should be one of the magical ‘Heavenly Flame’s, right?” The old man said in a horrified voice as his pale face continued to shiver.
Xiao Yan lifted his eyes but was did not comment.
Seeing Xiao Yan’s manner, an obvious joy appeared in the old man’s eyes. However, a moment later, the joy was swiftly suppressed. Voicing his thought, he said, “You already know that my original strength was that of a Dou Huang, right?”
“Yes.” Xiao Yan nodded his head.
“Then do you know my identity?” The old man once again asked.
Seeing Xiao Yan shake his head, the old man also helplessly did the same. However, his face swarmed with pride as he said, “My name is Hai Bodong. You may not have heard of this name but I think you should have heard of my other name.”
When he heard the two words ‘Ice Emperor’, Xiao Yan first stilled. Quickly following that, his face clearly changed. His gaze carried a bizarre expression as he observed the old man who had been continuously suppressed by him. Although Xiao Yan had always been staying at Wu Tan City in the past, he was not unfamiliar with this strong person who was once extremely well known within the Jia Ma Empire.
Ice Emperor, a member of the previous generation of the Top Ten in the Jia Ma Empire. He was both prideful and introverted while being extremely good at using Ice type Dou Qi. Once, in anger, he had sealed an entire city in ice. Back then, he was one of the few Dou Huangs among the Ten Strong. Later on, he had a huge fight at the peak of the Misty Cloud Mountain with the previous leader of the Misty Cloud Sect. Although he was finally defeated, his opponent had a very difficult victory. During the last time Jia Ma Empire and Chu Yun Empire held a convention for the strong, he single handedly fought a Dou Huang and a Dou Wang from the other side and was not defeated, shocking all present.
After the last convention for the strong, Ice Emperor gradually disappeared from the sight of many people. Now, the name Ice Emperor only existed personally in the memories of the older generation. The current generation of the top ten had already replaced their fame and glory.
Xiao Yan had never expected that this old man, who did not have a very pleasing appearance, would actually be the Ice Emperor who had once caused the upper echelons of the Dou Zhes in the Chu Yun Empire to have a headache. This kind of drama like result made him feel a little stunned.
“Heh, luckily my old name has not vanished with time. You actually have heard of it…” Seeing Xiao Yan’s stunned expression, Hai Bodong laughed in a somewhat pleased manner.
Gradually inhaling a breath, Xiao Yan sighed, “Indeed it is an answer that shocked me. I did not expect that the Dou Huang whose name had reverberated throughout the Jia Ma Empire would actually be living in isolation in the desert area as a shop owner selling maps.”
“Why did you end up like that? The strength that you displayed earlier seemed to be only that of a Dou Ling, right?” Xiao Yan curiously asked.
Hearing this, Hai Bodong bitterly nodded his head and sighed, “Back then, after attending the convention between the empires, I came to the Tager Desert. By accident, I obtained the map fragment but I attracted the emperor of the Snake People, Queen Medusa who chased me with the intention to kill. You should know that the strength of Queen Medusa can be ranked among the peak among the Dou Huangs. Was it not for the Snake People having only this one strong person, they might have long ago tried to attack the human empires.”
“In that battle, I was defeated by her hands without question. Although I found a chance to escape in the end, I was struck by her Curse of the Snakes Seal. Not only did my body quickly become old, even my strength was sealed to the level of a Dou Ling.” Hai Bodong sighed, “In all these years, I have been hiding here, studying the secret of the map fragment and hoping to obtain something that could undo my seal. However, this map fragment is merely a small part of the map. No matter how experienced I am, I cannot crack it.”
“You aren’t think of getting me to break the seal for you, are you?” Xiao Yan said as he narrowed his eyes and twitched his eyebrow.
“Uh… you really think too highly of me. I don’t have that ability.” Shaking his head, Xiao Yan laughed dryly. He did not dare bear such a heavy responsibility.
“Over the last few decades, I have obtained a medicinal formula that can break the seal. As long as you refine the medicinal pill on it, I will be able to regain my strength.” Hai Bodong said gravely.
“… I think you should go and find Pill-King Gu He. In the entire Jia Ma Empire there should not be many people who can beat him in refining medicine. I am merely a tier two alchemist.” Xiao Yan shrugged his shoulders and said helplessly.
“He won’t do.” Hai Bodong shook his head and said with a bitter smile, “The key requirement for refining this kind of medicinal pill is that the alchemist must possess a ‘Heavenly Flame’… Pill-King Gu He, doesn’t appear to have that.”
“Oh?” Hearing this, Xiao Yan felt a little shocked in his heart. What kind of medicinal pill would have such a stringent requirement?
“Originally, I would not tell you about the news on the other small map fragment, However… the thick white flame that you displayed in the end led me to change my mind.”
“As long as you can refine the medicinal pill that I need, I will hand over that small map fragment to you. At the same time, I, Ice Emperor Hai Bodong, would also owe you a favor. You ought to know… how much a favor from a Dou Huang is worth…” Hai Bodong said seriously.
Hearing this, Xiao Yan’s heart was slightly interested. He softly inquired, “What is the tier of the medicinal pill you need?”
“Tier six.” Hai Bodong licked his lips and said with a smile.
Rolling his eyes, Xiao Yan helplessly waved his hand. “Tier six… even if I possess a ‘Heavenly Flame’, I am but a tier two alchemist. How could I possibly refine a medicinal pill of that grade?”
“I believe that your strength is not the little bit that you display on the surface…” When faced with Xiao Yan’s helplessness, Hai Bodong cunningly smiled as he said.
Xiao Yan sighed and became quiet. In his heart, he softly asked, “Teacher, what do you think?”
“Regardless of what happens, that map fragment that is related to the ‘Purifying Demonic Lotus Flame’ is something we must obtain. It will play an extremely crucial role in evolving your Qi Method in the future!” Yao Lao mused and said.
“You mean… we say yes?”
“Yes, promise him first. In any case, a favor from a Dou Huang is worth this price.”
“But I am worried that once this old man regains his strength, then…” Xiao Yan rotated his eyes and cautiously said.
“Keke, relax. With me around, even if he recovered his strength, he would not be able to snatch the map fragment back. Moreover… when refining the medicinal pill, can we not make some preparations for the unexpected?” Yao Lao smiled faintly and said.
Hearing this, Xiao Yan heaved a sigh of relief. He raised his head to watch Hai Bodong whose face was filled with anticipation. Nodding his head, he smiled and said, “Alright, I’ll agree.”