Ji Ning sat there, his right hand extended. A hazy elemental ki enveloped the chunk of ancient glacial ice within the heavy wooden chest. The cold energy of the ancient glacial ice was absorbed by Ning steadily, all the way into his Zifu region. Within his Zifu region, the dire-ice, upon coming into contact with the cold energy, instantly began to excitedly, wildly absorb it.
“Master.” Qingqing, who had hesitated for quite some time, suddenly spoke out. “Eh?” Ning turned his head to look at her. “Master, after you use up your piece of ancient glacial ice, I can give you more.” Qingqing looked carefully towards Ji Ning. “I’ll give you another six foot chunk.”
Ning instantly started to laugh. He could tell that this Little Qing was a bit of a miser. As he looked towards Little Qing…another woman’s figure suddenly appeared within his mind.
“Elder sister Autumn Leaf,” Ning murmured to himself. “It’s been more than three years since I left Swallow Mountain. Three years since I’ve seen her. I wonder how elder sister Autumn Leaf is doing.”
That woman who had accompanied him since he was a child, who was like an older sister to him; Ning felt deep emotions for her. “After I become a Raindragon Guard, I need to begin investigating those three culprits who, many years ago, harmed father, mother, and uncle so catastrophically,” Ning mused to himself. “And…I also need to go back to Swallow Mountain to go visit elder sister Autumn Leaf, Bluestone, and Serpentwing Lake…”
Ning suddenly had a strong desire to return to Serpentwing Lake. It had been so long since he had lain within that small boat atop Serpentwing Lake and just floated on the surface of it.
“Serpentwing Lake!” As Ning thought of this, a faint, fierce light began to flash in his eyes. “Sooner or later, there will come the day when I will be able to ensure that those I love will always live joyful lives. Tragedies will never befall those by my side. Never!” Ning’s heart was filled with an incomparably powerful desire, and his Dao-heart was extremely pure. “As for Snowdragon Mountain? They are nothing more than my first stepping stone on my Immortal path.”
In his heart, Ning’s target had always been to become a major power who could dominate the Three Realms; a figure who could completely control his own destiny. Snowdragon Mountain? Ning had never treated them as his number one priority.
In the blink of an eye, three days passed within that room of ice. The dire-ice in Ning’s body, after having been nourished by the ancient glacial ice, was now significantly larger, and had reached the eighth grade. However, only the early grades would progress this quickly; the farther along it went, the slower it would become. Some types of dire-ice with weaker potential would have no hope at all of reaching the first grade.
“Eh?” Ning stared towards the nearby Northson. Northson was opening his eyes. “Ah, success,” Ning said. “Right.” Northson’s eyes were filled with delight as well.
“Woody,” Qingqing said, “I’ve prepared a gift for you. Consider it a congratulatory gift for implanting that dire-ice.” “A gift? For me?” Northson was instantly astonished.
“Yep,” Qingqing nodded smugly. Within her dainty hand, a fairly small wooden box appeared. Upon seeing the size of the wooden box, Ning instantly clapped his hand to his forehead.
“Look.” Qingqing opened the wooden box up.
“Ancient glacial ice!” Northson instantly called out in surprise. Earlier, he had focused all of his attention on implanting the dire-ice, and hadn’t been able to divide his attention at all. Naturally, he had paid no attention to the conversations going on outside.
Ning glanced out of the corner of his eyes at the chest. That piece of ancient glacial ice within the ‘small’ chest was merely half a foot long. Qingqing hurriedly looked towards Ning, winking at him.
“How can I accept…” Northson began, but Ning rose and interjected, “Just take it. After you take it, we’ll head out immediately and go to the earthfire vein.”
Slightly more than half of the nearby dire-ice vein was left. Ning could go find other Wanxiang Adepts and engage in a trade…but the two group battles in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains, one against those six Wanxiang Adepts, the other against those ten-plus Wanxiang monsters, had quickly taught Ning something. Given his current level of power, when adventuring in the outside world, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to acquire treasures. He really didn’t need to waste his time conniving and scheming on potential trades with one or two Wanxiang Adepts.
Atop a desolate mountain. A Xiantian monster was standing guard here.
“His Majesty ordered me to go patrol and investigate the various mountains for that human cultivator. The wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains have so many mountains. Who knows which one the human cultivator has gone to? How could I possibly be so lucky as to run into them while patrolling this mountain?” A yellow-haired monster was leaning against a giant rock. As a Xiantian monster, he would’ve been a minor figure even in the Swallow Mountain region. Here, in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains, he was an even more minor figure.
“Two human youths actually caused King Dragonwhale to suffer such a loss.” The yellow-haired monster still clearly remembered the contents of the letter. The water-imprinting technique had been used to duplicate thousands of copies of the leather parchment scrolls which the Dragonwhale had sent out. All of the Xiantian monsters had seen the contents, and they had all memorized it.
A streak of light suddenly flew through the clouds, charging towards a nearby mountain. “Is that…?!” The yellow-haired monster was instantly startled. Upon taking a closer look, it revealed a look of shock and delight. “No mistaking it. That’s a dragon-headed warship.”
After seeing the dragon-headed warship fly to the mountain, it saw three figures disembarking; Ning, Northson, and Qingqing. And then, the three of them disappeared into thin air.
“It’s that mountain over there. There are no monsters nearby, just a few minor monsters who aren’t worthy of concern,” Qingqing said. The dragon-headed warship instantly dove downwards.
Ning spread out his divine sense to encompass a range of three hundred kilometers. This was the maximum range Ning could currently search at. Upon doing so…indeed, he saw that for hundreds of kilometers around, only minor monsters were present; there was one that was possibly just barely at the Zifu level, and who was painstakingly training within a private room.
“Let’s go.” They executed their movement techniques, entering the heart of the mountain.
Qingqing led the way as they moved through the mountain. “If we follow this tunnel, we’ll quickly arrive at the river. If we follow the river, we’ll soon be able to see the earthfire vein.”
Indeed. Moments later, a subterranean river appeared within the gloomy, dark underground. The end of the river had a six meter wide crack, and within the crack, there was a tendril of golden fire.
“The earthfire vein.” Ning’s eyes lit up. “That should be…goldflame earthfire!” Ning immediately recognized it. “This is an excellent type of earthfire as well.” Ning felt great joy in his heart, and he stared downwards. Beneath the deep crack was a roiling river of scorching hot lava. It made sense for the goldflame earthfire to appear here, above a river of lava. But when Ning looked at the lava…for some reason, he suddenly felt his heart clench!
It was a vague sense of danger which something within the deep, dark regions of his soul could sense. It was a warning.
Ning turned his head, no longer looking at the river of lava, and the sense of danger instantly disappeared. “Can it be that there is a region of shattered space below?” Ning mused to himself.
When Ning normally looked at some twisted areas of shattered space, he would also feel his heart clench slightly. In a place like the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains…situations like this were extremely common.
“Don’t go into the lava. You in particular, Little Qing. Don’t charge into it rashly,” Ning instructed. “Don’t enter the lava?” Qingqing looked at Ning.
Ning nodded. “There should be a spatial distortion or rift below. Be careful. Right; I’m probably going to take much longer for the harvesting of earthfire, because my body already has dire-ice in it. I need to be even more careful in harvesting earthfire. I imagine that I’ll need anywhere from three to six days.” Ning then sat down in the lotus position next to the goldflame earthfire.
“Leave it to us,” Qingqing said. Northson added, “Don’t worry at all; relax. I’ll go set up the formation right away.” The two of them had already set up an alarm formation outside the mountain, and then within a few kilometers of the goldflame earthfire vein, they set up a second bewildering formation.
Ning was seated in the lotus position. He opened his mouth, and with ‘pincers’ of elemental ki, he guided the goldflame earthfire directly into his mouth and into his body.
Earthfire and dire-ice were polar opposites. Because Ning already had dire-ice in his body, he had to be incomparably careful when absorbing earthfire into his body…if any of it leaked out and if the earthfire and dire-ice interacted with each other, there would be an explosion. Even if Ning was able to survive, thanks to his Fiendgod body, his Zifu region would still probably be completely ruined. Even if he was lucky and it wasn’t destroyed, it would still be badly damaged to the point where he would be like his father, never able to advance at all as a Ki Refiner.
However, Ning couldn’t possibly give up this opportunity because of such a minute risk. The path of Immortals was always one in which one would fight for any chance to become an Immortal.
In the blink of an eye, three days passed. The Xiantian monster had painstakingly run back to report, and then the Zifu monster had personally gone to Dragonwhale Peak to make the report. “King Dragonwhale, this is the map.. Three days ago, those humans you are chasing after, your Majesty, appeared in this area.” A black-furred bear monster was speaking with great respect.
“Over here?” The Dragonwhale sat on his throne, staring at the map in his hands. He quickly understood the location. “Very good. Go back and tell old Wolf that he helped me this time, and I’ll remember it.” The Dragonwhale’s voice boomed out.
“Yes.” The black-furred bear monster bowed respectfully, then immediately departed.
The Dragonwhale’s shadowy green eyes were filled with a murderous intent, and the aura from his body was more than ten times as violent as it was in the past. After becoming a Primal Diremonster…his power had naturally increased dramatically.
“Big Brother.” The two bison-type Diremonsters standing nearby both looked towards their king. “I’m going to kill that human brat. My two brothers, for now, look after Dragonwhale Peak,” the Dragonwhale instructed.
“Don’t worry, Big Brother. Leave everything here to us,” the two bison-type Diremonsters replied. “Then just wait for me to return and drink celebratory wine.” The Dragonwhale let out a savage laugh, and then its body disappeared from the cavern estate with a flash. Soon, an azure streak of light appeared in the skies, streaking towards and disappearing into the horizons.
Atop a green leaf, there were three Wanxiang Adepts who were soaring through the clouds.
“Fellow Daoist Dong One, have we reached that place where you said you found the earthfire vein?” A bald, black-robed woman was speaking in a pressing manner. Her face was covered with red tattoos, and she looked quite devilish.
“The two of you, don’t worry. I’ve sworn an oath to the Dao of the Heavens. What have you to fear?” The golden-robed Dong One smiled as he spoke. “The earthfire vein is in an extremely secretive place…even that cave within the mountain is extremely remote and hard to find. I only encountered it through luck; I trust that within such a short period of time, no one else should have been able to find it.”
Dong One was in a splendid mood, because he had traded the location of this earthfire vein for quite a few treasures. But of course, this was just an agreement; both sides had sworn an oath to the Dao of the Heavens. Only when they actually reached the earthfire vein would they give him the items.
“Here we are. It’s that short mountain below us.” Dong One pointed downwards through the clouds, where a short, squat mountain could vaguely be seen. “That desolate, short mountain over there. Not even monsters can be bothered with taking over that place. It’s quite unremarkable.”
The eyes of the two Wanxiang Adepts next to him, one male and one female, were filled with excitement.
“Follow me,” Dong One said confidently, and then he controlled the flying treasure to descend rapidly.