Chapter 326: Restoration
Seeing that the young man who was severely injured managed to move to a position which allowed him to cultivate, Cou Ling was greatly surprised and astonished. She would have never expected that he would wake up as early as he did and even less that he had the willpower to force his beaten body to cultivate.
Most people would not think too much of it, and even Fang Wei was not fully surprised because he knew that the young man they brought with them was extraordinary. But neither he nor anyone else had experienced the genuine terror of these heavenly lightning bolts. Only Cou Ling had experienced it once before, and she knew just how devastating they were. To see someone who had managed to withstand four of these lightning bolts and still spend the evening cultivating made it hard for the blacksmith to not cough up blood from shock.
Although Hui Yue could feel her gaze aimed his way, he said nothing; instead, he fully focused his senses on absorbing the essence of the heavens and the earth. Essence that entered his body and was refined, and slowly a blue cloud surrounded the young man. As soon as it appeared so did a suction force which caused the essence which was previously lingering in the air to twist and churn and instantly head towards Hui Yue. All the energy was drawn to him, leaving nothing for the two other experts to absorb.
At least neither Cou Ling nor Fang Wei had no need to cultivate currently so neither cared that the essence swarmed towards Hui Yue. If anything both of them were amazed by the fact that this was possible. Frowning Cou Ling walked closer to the young man and looked at him tentatively, contemplating her next move.
Curiosity seemed won out and with a hesitant movement she touched the blue cloud which surrounded him. She was astonished as she found that it did nothing to attack her like she had expected it to; instead, a force appeared in her hand that was absorbing the essence around here at a speed she had never experienced before.
“How peculiar,” She whispered as she took her arm from the blue cloud and looked at it astonished. As soon as it left the blue cloud, the suction force vanished, but she had no other option as her body was already filled to the brim with the essence of the heavens and the earth.
Knowing what to do the woman also sat down and started to refine the incredible amount of essence she just absorbed hoping that perhaps it was possible for her to raise her rank by a few stars. She had stopped cultivating when she reached the Master rank because her wish of having a Metal affinity was granted. Although she was not strong when it came to fighting, she was skilled at merging with her element, and this was also why it was possible for her to raise her rank a couple of stars from nothing but refining the essence of the heavens and the earth which currently filled her body.
Fang Wei was shocked as he looked at Cou Ling. “Did she suddenly gain enlightenment?” He asked curiously as he looked at the cultivating woman. Shaking his head he came to the conclusion that something had happened when she touched the blue cloud, and although he too felt curious, his fear prevailed. The was the reason he dared not go near or touch the cloud. Instead, his face turned serious as he killed the bonfire and went to work laying down a wide array of inscriptions in the surrounding area. He placed them around the fireplace and injected some of his Qi into them activating them.
These inscriptions were all created with the purpose of masking the signs of humans. If anyone were to walk past their small campsite, no one would notice that they were even there. Their sounds were masked by one of the inscriptions, and another showed an illusion which made it seem as though they were not there. The final one warned Fang Wei if anyone came within a fifty meters radius of their campsite. These inscriptions clearly helped protect their small party.
Although Fang Wei had used a wide array of inscriptions the night went by calmly with no signs of other humans coming close to their camp. It was already rare for humans to appear in this desolate landscape. Although one could consider the inscriptions as a safety net, one could also think that it was completely unnecessary as no one voluntarily entered this godforsaken place unless they wished to attempt the Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging technique, something only one blacksmith in the entire kingdom used.
The night went by quietly. Both Hui Yue and Cou Ling spent the night cultivating. Where Hui Yue constantly absorbed the essence of the heavens and the earth and refined it, Cou Ling had enough trouble just refining the essence she had absorbed from just touching the blue cloud. Looking at the constantly absorbing you man she shook her head and mumbled, “Monster.”
Although she had long since stopped cultivating for the sake of improving her strength, Cou Ling had never expected that she would be so far behind Hui Yue when it came to absorbing and refining essence. While she watched the young man she finally understood just how the young man had managed to withstand four lightning bolts.
The sun slowly rose above the horizon, and the stars vanished in the sky. Cou Ling opened her eyes and looked at Hui Yue. The moment her eyes landed on the handsome young man, her mouth went slack, and her eyes widened in shock.
The previous evening when he had sat down to cultivate the burn marks were still visible on his body, but this morning his skin was as perfect as it had been before they started the Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging. Astonished she stared at his entire body trying to find even the slightest sign that he had been seriously injured the day before.
No matter how much she looked, though, she found nothing. Astonished she shook her head, “Some people are born to be monsters.” She commented with a faint voice, and after a short while she stood up and walked towards the stone altar she had used twice now. Her feelings were in turmoil, complex and unable to be understood. The feeling she had, while she was blood forging, was incredible; the technique filled her with energy, but at the same time it also exhausted her the moment she finished. Had it not been for the dense energy that flooded her body the previous day, she would have been completely incapable of even standing up at the current moment.
Stealing another glance at Hui Yue, Cou Ling felt more and more astonished about this young man who appeared in front of her. His strength was greater than she expected, and not only this, this young man had the temperament of a lotus; he was beautiful and calming. There was no overflowing excitement in his eyes, no shock or astonishment was present when he accepted one lightning strike after another.
Feeling giddy like a little girl once more, Cou Ling was uncertain why her eyes constantly floated towards the young man by her side. She was at least eight or ten years older than him, but whenever she looked at him her heart started beating quicker, and butterflies started somersaulting in her stomach. It was a feeling she was far from used to.
Hui Yue had long since stopped cultivating. He had also noticed the odd behavior of Cou Ling, but all he could do was give a wry smile as he noticed how the hostility within the woman had changed to admiration.
Clearing his throat, Hui Yue decided to break the awkward silence that descended. “I am completely fine now. Let’s try the blood forging once more. I should be able to withstand the least five lightning bolts today.”
Hearing that he wanted to finish the forging today, Cou Ling was taken aback. Although she was surprised, she was also slightly depressed to see that the young man wished to rush through the process. He was clearly too eager to restore his sword to its former glory and did not care what price he would have to pay.
Gnashing her teeth, Cou Ling could do nothing but agree with the customer. “If you say so, then we will do it, but don’t blame me if you die from it.” She said with a harsh voice, but unlike before, Hui Yue now understood that this harsh voice not only meant that she was angry, it also showed a certain degree of care.
Nodding his head at the words she said, Hui Yue showed a gentle smile on his face but said nothing. Seeing his silence, Cou Ling could do nothing but sigh deeply, “Let us wait an hour or two and then we will start the blood forging once more.” She said with a sigh.
The next couple of hours were spent in a tense atmosphere. Hui Yue decided to spend the time cultivating, and Fang Wei followed his example clearly doing everything he could to improve his own cultivation base. Cou Ling, on the other hand, spent her time deep in thought. She wondered how Hui Yue could manage to take one more lightning bolt than he had the previous day. How was that possible? She really had no idea but deep within she believed that he could do it.
Sighing deeply, for the tenth time that day, Cou Ling picked up the sword which Hui Yue wished to have restored. Currently, all the rust which had been there previously had vanished. The black metal it was created from had been completely destroyed, replaced by a silver metal which devoured the core of the sword.
The Nine Heavens Blood Devouring Blood Metal was a metal which devoured everything it came into contact with. Not only did it require blood to maintain itself, but it also devoured precious metals, but this time, Cou Ling was astonished as she looked at the sword in her hands.
She knew that she was only halfway through the reforging process, yet the sword already seemed fully finished. The sword was as mysterious as it’s owner, and when she was seated with it in her hand, she could feel small tremors running through it as though the sword was alive.
Being deep in thought the hours passed by quickly, and before they knew it, it was time to begin. Seeing that it was time, all three of them packed up their things and headed back to the alter. Just as they were about to start, a creaking sound was heard at the same time as a massive energy fluctuation appeared, causing both Cou Ling and Fang Wei to be completely shocked. They turned around to look at Hui Yue, unable to understand what would cause such a strong fluctuation.
Turning around Cou Ling’s eyes widened in shock, and her hand instantly went to her chest. A shrill shriek sounded out from her. What should have been a young, handsome man behind her was now a monstrous beast. A massive red wolf with red eyes and a sinister cold gleam hidden within.
Looking at the transformation her lips trembled, and her entire body shivered in fear. She had long since heard that the white-haired man was truly the Grand Marshall of the beast army, but she had never really realized that this meant that he had to be a beast himself. Looking at him in his beastly shape, a great fear enveloped her. What if his sanity was gone and had been replaced by beastly instincts?