“They really are Holy Spirit Veins. Xiao Chen, how did you get them? Could it be that you raided a Rank 9 sect? Wait, that can’t be right. A Rank 9 sect would have a Martial Emperor guarding it. What’s going on?”
Lan Shaobai was clearly agitated. Even his voice quavered slightly.
Xiao Chen did not give any explanation. That experience was something he did not want to revisit. He had spent a large part of the year in the sunless seabed, which was not something easy to bear.
Mo Chen, on the other hand, was rather calm. After the initial shock, she recovered quickly.
Xiao Chen had shocked her excessively when he was in the Cloud Sea Domain. Now, she was already fairly inured to what he could do.
Handing the nine Holy Spirit Veins to Mo Chen, Xiao Chen said, “Mo Chen, these are for your personal use. As for the Spirit Veins required to repair the transportation formation, just let me know the total later.”
Mo Chen and Lan Shaobai both thought they heard wrong. Could it be that Xiao Chen still possessed many Holy Spirit Veins?
After Mo Chen’s quick breakthrough to quasi-Emperor using the Book of Heavenly Works, the progress of her cultivation slowed significantly as a result of insufficient resources.
She could not raise her cultivation as fast as before, unlike those Holy Scions or Noble Clan scions, who enjoyed large amounts of resources invested in them.
With these nine Holy Spirit Veins, Mo Chen could be confident of reaching Small Perfection quasi-Emperor within three months. They would save her at least three years of cultivation.
However, she still felt somewhat uncertain. “Big Brother Xiao, can I really do that?”
Xiao Chen smiled faintly. He knew what Mo Chen meant. She feared that after she used the Holy Spirit Veins, she would not be able to repair the transportation formation.
If that was the case, even if they could save Mo Chen ten years, she would not accept them.
Xiao Chen waved again, and another nine Spirit Vein’s origins flew out. He looked at Lan Shaobai and said, “Brother Shaobai, you are about to break through to quasi-Emperor. These are for you to use.”
Pleasant surprise flashed in Lan Shaobai’s eyes. He did not try to reject the gift pretentiously; instead, he carefully put away the nine Spirit Vein’s origins. “It would be impolite to refuse, but I feel guilty for accepting. In the future, Shaobai will definitely repay this favor.”
How could Mo Chen not understand by now that Xiao Chen did not lack Holy Spirit Veins?
She revealed a joyful smile. After thanking Xiao Chen, she put her nine Holy Spirit Veins in her spatial ring.
In the blink of an eye, Xiao Chen had tossed out eighteen Holy Spirit Veins without flinching at all.
However, Ao Jiao said anxiously from the Immortal Spirit Ring, Don’t you dare have ideas about the Spirit Veins you gave me! I will not take them back out.
Ao Jiao knew just how many Holy Spirit Veins Xiao Chen possessed. Before he went to Bright Moon City, he had only twenty. After giving her ten, he had only ten left.
After that, when Xiao Chen had some free time, he had subdued a few more Holy Spirit Veins. However, the total number definitely did not exceed thirty.
At a rough count, if the Holy Spirit Veins needed for repairing the transportation formation were included, Xiao Chen absolutely did not have enough Holy Spirit Veins.
In reality, that was indeed so. After giving Mo Chen and Lan Shaobai nine Holy Spirit Veins each, Xiao Chen only had five more Holy Spirit Veins left.
Furthermore, he still needed to give one each to Xiao Yu, Yue Chenxi, Jin Lin, and the others.
It was not that Xiao Chen was biased. This was actually due to his planning. Given Yue Chenxi and the others’ current cultivations, they would need only one Holy Spirit Vein, which would be sufficient for them to cultivate to quasi-Emperor.
Even a Holy Scion of a Holy Land would receive only this level of resources before they became quasi-Emperor.
Even if more was given, it would be pointless. Without reaching quasi-Emperor, they would not be able to exhaust much of the Holy Spirit Vein.
I definitely won’t. How can I ask for something that I already gave to Little Ao Jiao? Xiao Chen replied with a smile.
Ao Jiao asked, But what are you going to do about the Holy Spirit Veins that you need for repairing the transportation formation?
So, that was what she was worried about. Although she said that she would not give any Holy Spirit Veins away, in reality, she was still concerned about him.
There’s no need to worry. I already made a plan long before.
After Xiao Chen finished speaking with Ao Jiao, he asked Lan Shaobai, “Have you informed Jin Lin and the rest?”
Lan Shaobai smiled and replied, “I informed them some time ago. They are already at the great hall at the top of the mountain, waiting for us.”
The trio left the ruined transportation formation and quickened their pace as they headed to the summit. Along the way, Lan Shaobai asked with some doubt, “Xiao Chen, is it worth it to pay such a huge price to enter the secret realm? Who knows, there might be nothing in there. Or perhaps, the Three Holy Lands already took away all the good things.”
Mo Chen argued, “That should not be the case. If the Three Holy Lands already obtained the treasures in the secret realm, they would not have spent so much effort to destroy this transportation formation. My guess is that they entered the secret realm, but the secret realm is sealed, which blocked them from entering the true treasure trove.”
“Isn’t that the same thing? If it is sealed and Xiao Chen enters the secret realm, he still cannot get the treasures.”
Mo Chen replied, “That is hard to say. Xiao Chen might be able to open the seal that the Three Holy Lands could not. Don’t forget that he is the Azure Emperor’s descendant. The things left in there might have been prepared for him.”
There were many variables. Both Mo Chen and Lan Shaobai made sense. Perhaps there was nothing in there, or perhaps he might not be able to open the seal.
However, as long as there was a fifty percent chance of being able to open it, Xiao Chen would bet on it. He absolutely would not let it go.
After all, the Azure Emperor destroyed the Minor Leiyin Temple in the past.
The Minor Leiyin Temple had been an Immortal Holy Land with a long history. They definitely had King Spirit Veins.
In other words, it was very likely that there were King Spirit Veins among the Heavenly Starry Ocean war trophies the Azure Emperor took back, which might have been placed in the secret realm.
If that was so, it would solve Xiao Chen’s desperate situation. The means to break through to Great Perfection quasi-Emperor was so close.
His cultivation had already reached a bottleneck. Only a King Spirit Vein or the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation’s eighth layer could help him break through.
Neither path was easy to take. Subduing a King Spirit Vein did not even need to be discussed; Xiao Chen was not capable of doing so.
The breakthrough to the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation’s eighth layer was still rather far away. Furthermore, Xiao Chen never focused on quickly cultivating the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation.
The reason for not giving it priority was that beginning with the seventh layer, Xiao Chen would have to undergo a Lightning Tribulation for every breakthrough. Furthermore, each tribulation would be stronger than the last. He was not prepared for it yet.
Now that he needed to break through to Great Perfection quasi-Emperor, he was forced to take this path in the end.
However, if there was a ready King Spirit Vein in this secret realm, then all the problems would be solved.
Hence, whether Xiao Chen succeeded or not, he needed to take this gamble and enter the Dragon’s Gate’s secret realm.
When Xiao Chen entered the hall at the top of the peak, he saw his old friends, whom he had not seen for a long time. Aside from Jin Dabao and Lord Jiu, they were all present.
He definitely would not be able to escape chatting with them. Lan Shaobai had ordered people to lay out banquet tables long ago. The group of them ate and drank at the top of the mountain into the middle of the night before dispersing.
All of them were somewhat drunk. So many things happened in a short span of one and a half years, making them sigh endlessly.
After everyone dispersed, Lan Shaobai went to his study and picked up the brush. After mulling over his thoughts for a while, he started writing quickly, working on the Azure Dragon Bamboo Scroll.
“On this day, the young Azure Dragon King arrived as arranged, bringing a supreme glory from the Four Seas Hero Gathering—the last mountain tablet of the Dragon’s Gate—back to Heavenly Star Island, his own conferred land.
“He even prepared a big gift for everyone. The smiles on everyone’s faces were all sincere. The Azure Dragon King’s unique charm was indescribable. Although he spoke little during the banquet, everyone was focused on his face at all times…”
While slightly intoxicated, Lan Shaobai flowed with words. After one hour, he had written over three thousand words in cursive, finishing it all in one go.
He soaked up the final bits of ink with his brush and noted the time and date, writing: Martial Epoch, Azure Dragon Calendar Year Twenty-Nine, Third Month, Eighth Day, Zi period.
[TL Note: The ancient Chinese divided the day into twelve two-hour periods, rather than twenty-four hours as we do now. The Zi period refers to 11 PM to 1 AM. The periods were represented by the twelve animals in the zodiac. For the Zi period, it was the rat.]
Azure Dragon Calendar Year…others would definitely not understand what was going on with that term. Only Lan Shaobai understood. Ten thousand years hence, when the latter generations spoke about this age, they would no doubt use Xiao Chen’s title, the Azure Dragon, to represent it.
On the other side, Mo Chen flipped through ancient records, helping Xiao Chen look for weaknesses in the faith-related cultivation practices of the Buddhist sects.
Yue Chenxi and the others took this rare opportunity to ask Xiao Chen the questions they had about cultivation.
Given Xiao Chen’s cultivation and experience, he naturally had no problem giving pointers to them. He was not stingy with his advice.
Xiao Chen only finished when day broke. Since he did not selfishly hold anything back, everyone gained something.
With the Holy Spirit Veins that Xiao Chen gave them, Yue Chenxi and the others were bound to become much stronger within a short period.
Only after everyone left did Xiao Chen release his bated breath. Then, he took out the vellum that recorded all the Holy Spirit Veins.
Red crosses were marked on several places. These were the locations where Xiao Chen already took the Holy Spirit Veins.
Then, he shifted his gaze to Heavenly Star Island’s environs.
Xiao Chen vaguely recalled that there were several Holy Spirit Veins hidden in the area around Heavenly Star Island as recorded on the vellum sea chart.
After a while, he revealed a smile. His memory was right. There were ten Holy Spirit Veins scattered in the sea region around Heavenly Star Island.
These would be sufficient for repairing the transportation formation.
Xiao Chen, you just came back. Are you not even going to rest for a while before going to subdue these Holy Spirit Veins?! Ao Jiao asked anxiously.
Subduing Holy Spirit Veins was not easy, especially if some rather complicated geography cropped up. That would cause a lot of trouble.
Xiao Chen nodded seriously. “I have to be quick. I keep feeling that something is wrong with that fake Buddhist sect on Black Flame Island. Without advancing to Great Perfection quasi-Emperor, I’m not confident of dealing with that Amitabha Buddha.”
As the morning sun rose, it tore through the final bits of darkness before daybreak. Xiao Chen looked at this beautiful sunrise, then jumped off the mountain and headed out to sea, not showing any reluctance.
The morale of the group on Heavenly Star Island was high because of Xiao Chen’s return.
On the other hand, there were also some who felt restless due to the same. They gathered together and discussed countermeasures. However, there were no solutions even when daybreak arrived.
This latter group of people was no other than the leaders of the various factions occupying several of Heavenly Star Island’s satellite islands.
Aside from Black Flame Island, there were eight other satellite islands with rich resources that remained in the hands of other factions.
These eight major factions were each headed by a quasi-Emperor. Among them, the Sect Master of the Metal Blood Sect, which occupied Red Stone Island, was the strongest, a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor.
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