The next few days, the Ling Family mined fire crystals together with martial practitioners from the Gao and Feng Families, then hand their yields for the day to Liu Yan in the evening so that they could be counted and recorded. Afterwards, they would go their separate ways, hunting for small animals, setting up their tents, starting fires for their meals, and cultivating for a while before sleeping.
Gao Yu and the Gao Family’s martial practitioners never had any excessive interactions with either the Ling or Feng Families. Every day, after they finished their task, they would rest at their designated quarters.
Liu Yan, who was in charge of overseeing this task, would always go over to the Gao Family to eat dinner after he had finished counting and recording all the mined fire crystals. From this, it could be seen that he was relatively closer to Gao Yu.
As the practitioners of the Ling and Feng Families were rather familiar with each other, they had often moved amongst each other during the last few days.
In regard to this, it wasn’t good for Ling Yushi to stop them and she could only ignore it.
After the event which had happened two days ago, Ling Yushi never grouped up with the Feng Family again. Instead, she was constantly starting fires and cooking with Qin Lie and the few practitioners who weren’t familiar with those of the Feng Family.
However, Feng Yi seemingly didn’t take the small conflict a few days earlier to heart and tried to find opportunities to converse with Ling Yushi daily, whether it was talking about how to split the mining areas or exchanging tips for mining.
Whenever Feng Yi saw Qin Lie, he would greet him in a friendly manner. Ling Yushi, upon seeing his amiable character, felt bad keeping a straight face all the time and began to occasionally smile and say a few sentences.
Qin Lie didn’t really participate in the Ling Family’s mining. During the day he tended to wander around the nearby mountain forests by himself before choosing a quiet place to cultivate in.
Only when it was about to be meal time did he reappear within the canyon so that he could eat with the Ling Family members.
Towards the matter of the Ling Family having brought a fool over to mine, Liu Yan had no opinions to express. He clearly didn’t think anything of Qin Lie, and every time he saw Qin Lie, he would disregard or ignore him.
Most of the time, Liu Yan was narrow-eyed and resting. Only when a small dispute or problem arose while the Ling, Feng, and Gao Families were mining would he finally come forward and mediate.
Members of the three families were scattered across both sides of the canyon, and occasionally, disputes would occur over mining sites. As the Ling and Feng Families were familiar with each other, their martial practitioners rarely had disputes with each other. Only when the Gao Family was involved would there ever be any friction, and every time, Liu Yan would correctly manage the situation so that the three sides could proceed to mine smoothly.
Today, Qin Lie once again returned to the entrance of the canyon around meal time.
He discovered the martial practitioners of the Ling, Feng, and Gao Families had still yet to finish today’s mining. In fact, many of the Gao Family’s practitioners were all grouped up together around one rock cliff.
Upon the rock cliff, an extremely deep hole had been bore open. By the hole, hanging onto ropes, were several extremely excited Gao Family practitioners who were whispering amongst themselves.
The Ling and Feng Families’ practitioners, upon seeing the irregular actions of the Gao Family practitioners, began to grow curious and slowly made their way up.
Suddenly, the Gao Family’s Gao Yu, the noticeably pale skinned youth, trembled slightly. Waving his hand towards Liu Yan, who was climbing up, he said, “Brother Liu! Over here! Come look over here!”
As the sun’s rays shined down, a marvelously beautiful orange luster emitted from within the hole Gao Yu was hanging by.
“Fiery Solar Jade! It’s Fiery Solar Jade! It’s a Profound Grade Three spirit material!”
Liu Yan had yet to reach the hole, but just from his own experience, he was able to tell what it was. Unable to restrain himself, he let out a great shout of surprise as an excited expression spread across his slightly chubby face.
Fiery Solar Jade was a Profound Grade spirit material and was used for refining fire attribute Profound Grade spirit artifacts. It was capable of providing a spirit artifact with sufficient energy.
Furthermore, martial practitioners who cultivated flame techniques could directly draw out the fire energy within to enhance their cultivation; for them, it was even more effective than spirit stones.
The value of a Profound Grade Three Fiery Solar Jade was much more extraordinary than Common Grade Four or Five fire crystals! Fire crystals were only the most basic fire source while Fiery Solar Jade was spirit material that could be used by practitioners who had cultivated to the Manifestation Realm and Netherpassage Realm!
It was no exaggeration to say that a single piece of Fiery Solar Jade was even more precious than ten pieces of Common Grade Five fire crystals!
“In areas where Fiery Solar Jade is present, the temperature will be extremely high. No wonder there are fire crystals nearby. Evidently, this rock cliff could give birth to many more fire crystals, and it would all be due to this Fiery Solar Jade!” The corners of Liu Yan’s mouth drew back into a huge smile as he excitedly laughed and said, “This time our Nebula Pavilion is fortunate. I wonder how much Fiery Solar Jade exists on both sides. Fiery Solar Jade… it is something that we can exchange with Dark Asura Hall for many benefits!”
At this time, Gao Yu, who always seemed dark and cold, also began to laugh with a similarly carefree attitude.
The members of the Feng and Ling Families, upon hearing about the existence of Fiery Solar Jade, were also overjoyed. They knew that those who had come mining this time would definitely be rewarded for their great contributions.
“Gao Yu, Fiery Solar Jade differs from fire crystals. This matter must immediately be reported to the elders so that they can arrange for even stronger experts to come!” Liu Yan took a deep breath, then instructed, “Your Gao Family is the closest. Quickly arrange for someone to return and notify your father. Tell your father to notify Nebula Pavilion and let them rearrange everything.”
“Yes!” Without wasting a breath, Gao Yu immediately shouted, “Gao Yuan! Quickly go home. Within two days, you must convey the message to the family!”
Without even replying, one of the Gao Family martial practitioners jumped off the cliff, landing on the ground below. He then turned towards the Gao Family’s headquarters and hurriedly ran off.
“It is already late. Everyone, go and hunt some wild game, have a nice night and happily drink yourselves full; have a good celebration!” exclaimed the smiling Liu Yan. Encouraging everyone to party, he continued, “From tomorrow onwards, we shall temporarily put off mining fire crystals and focus all of our efforts towards this piece of Fiery Solar Jade! Rest assured, this time, all three families have greatly contributed, and no family will be left unrewarded!”
A rumbling response was given by everyone.
The martial practitioners of the Gao, Ling, and Feng Families immediately dispersed to their own quarters, all of them excited. They formed many small groups of three to five and then went into the nearby mountain forests to hunt for wild game, ready to celebrate and have a good night of drinking.
“Our luck is truly good. The value of Fiery Solar Jade is equivalent to a city. To Nebula Pavilion, it is already a rarity. To have participated in the mining this time, we truly came at the right time. After it’s over, the number of spirit stones we receive will definitely surpass our expectations! Perhaps I can rely on the harvests to breakthrough the seventh level of Refinement!” exclaimed Ling Xin with a smile on his face and his fists clenched in excitement.
People like Ling Feng and Ling Ying were also full of smiles. Ling Yushi was no different. Her shining eyes gleamed a brilliant splendor as she was similarly caught up in her own wonderful fantasies.
The next morning, at the break of dawn, the three families excitedly left to mine the Fiery Solar Jade. Qin Lie just followed his usual routine, leaving the canyon after eating his fill.
He cultivated by himself within a forest secluded in the mountain. It seemed as if his luck today was quite good, as in the afternoon, the sky slowly became dark. Before long, the rumbling of thunder could be heard.
Under a giant tree, Qin Lie sat cross legged, concentrating on circulating Heavenly Thunder Eradication.
“Bzzt bzzt bzzt!”
Between his fingertips, strokes of fine electric arcs fluctuated like nimble electric snakes.
As he sunk deeper into the art’s formula, and as spirit energy gradually seeped toward all the bones in his body, he could faintly hear the muffled sound of thunder emanating from the cavity of his chest, as though resonating with booming sounds of the thunder in the firmament.
“Boom boom boom!”
In the raging sky, a deafening thunderclap, followed by bolt after bolt of lightning began to gradually interweave themselves together.
That lightning hovered over the top of the mountain forest, and after a while, as if was gradually being attracted by Qin Lie, began to congregate in the area around him.
Thunder constantly resounded around him as bolts of lightning struck down from the skies, landing directly onto his body.
The lightning rushing into his body caused Qin Lie to helplessly scream in pain. His hair had all but become charred as his body unceasingly quivered.
The violent current instantly surged into his inner body, charging through his flesh like a strongly galloping horse!
He felt a burning sting throughout all his muscles and veins as the electric current followed the circulation of Heavenly Thunder Eradication, surging all the way to his chest cavity and causing his sensation of pain to increase several fold. It was so unbearable that he almost went to roll on the ground.
“Too frightening! If it’s like this, I might not be able to endure it. I have to do it slowly!”
Qin Lie quickly realized that in order to lay a solid foundation for his body, he needed to bear the direct bombardments of thunder. Currently, he was still unable to stand, causing him to feel fearful that he could die at any time.
The strange formations within the depths of Herb Mountain had the effect of an insulator, weakening the thunder and lightning by splitting the lightning along the wire web. This made it relatively easier for him to bear.
As of right now, it was still too hard for him to not use the strange formations and bear the thunder and lightning directly. He had to gradually adjust his body and attract less thunder and lightning for now.
He choppily circulated Heavenly Thunder Eradiation, and the amount of thunder and lightning condensing in the sky clearly reduced. The thunder and lightning that struck down was also quite a bit weaker, making it much easier for him to cultivate with.
“Won’t circulating Heavenly Thunder Eradication when my level of cultivation is higher and my spirit energy is both thicker and purer… attract even fiercer thunder and lightning? If it’s like that, then in the future, after I’ve advanced further, I can still continue cultivating through this method, calling down even more powerful thunder to temper and continuously strengthen my flesh!”
“Based on what Grandpa once said, I should persistently cultivate Heavenly Thunder Eradication and not be negligent. If I can use the power of the lightning of the Ninth Heaven to temper my flesh, muscles, veins, bones, and organs and toughen my body to a certain extent, I will gain the ‘Heavenly Thunder Sacred Body!’ Once I attain the ‘Heavenly Thunder Sacred Body,’ my body will undergo a qualitative change which will allow me to, with but a thought, incite the thunder within me to rumble. Furthermore, I’ll be able to directly summon thunder and lightning from the most distant part of the Ninth Heaven even when I’m below the blazing sun, and rage wildly across the world!”
Recalling what his grandfather, Qin Shan, had said when describing the ‘Heavenly Thunder Sacred Body,’ his heart began to yearn. He began to assiduously receive and attract thunder and lightning at an increasing rate to temper his body, causing the area around him to become filled with the flickering of lightning and sound of thunder. The booming thunder constantly exploded around him.
He didn’t know how long had passed, but eventually, the thunder and lightning stopped and a torrential rainfall began.
He sat cultivating in the rain for an extremely long time, but suddenly, he heard the cheerful sounds of some small beasts around him; he also smelled the strong scent of blood.
Qin Lie’s heart became uncertain, and after thinking about it for a moment, he stopped cultivating. He moved towards the cries of the small animals with furrowed brows.
Condensed below a large, densely leaved tree were several aardwolves. They were clawing something within the mud, constantly biting into it until it was a bloody mess.
Aardwolves didn’t understand how to circulate the nature spirit energy, so they weren’t considered spirit beasts. Towards Qin Lie, they held no danger whatsoever. Furthermore, as there was still lightning fluctuating along his body, those aardwolves quickly fled as soon as he approached.
“This, this is… Gao Yuan!” Looking forward, the color quickly drained from Qin Lie’s face, and he became unable to restrain himself from yelling in shock.
The corpse’s body had already become indistinct, but from the clothes that it wore and its unsightly appearance, Qin Lie was immediately able to discern the identity of the deceased person.
It was Gao Yuan, a martial practitioner of the Gao Family!
It was the martial practitioner who had been ordered to return and report to the Gao Family last night. His cultivation was at the sixth level of the Refinement Realm, and there was no way that he had been killed by aardwolves!
Looking closer, he discovered that the nearby soil was loose. Moreover, a small pit had been revealed due to the torrential rain. Nearby, there were also marks from the exploding thunder…
He immediately understood. This Gao Yuan had been killed by someone last night and then expertly buried.
Perhaps while Qin Lie was cultivating and attracting the bombardment of thunder, it had coincidentally also hit this area. Afterwards, the torrential rain eroded the area, causing the scent of blood to waft out from the corpse. Subsequently, the aardwolves smelled it and came over to feast.
“He was killed last night, but why would anyone kill him? He was going to report to the Gao Family… who could have done it? Could it be that there are other forces lurking nearby?” Qin Lie frowned, his heart becoming flooded with worry.
He realized that the Ling Family’s mission this time around might be harder than he had expected. Not only did they have to deal with the Silver Winged Demon Wolves that were probably on their way here, they might also have to face an additional unknown force.