Chapter 195 – Prestige of the Saint Beast
Sky Fortune Kingdom, Seven Profound Martial House.
At that time, it had been one month since Lin Ming left Sky Fortune City.
It was a chilly winter afternoon, and a light crop of snow carpeted the earth. The cloud had scattered, and the bright sun was high in the sky, slowly melting the soft snow and filling the air with an icy humidity.
In the northwest corner of the Seven Profound Martial House, the deacon responsible for the Martial House Registration Office was lazing around in ennui, casually flipping the pages of a novel.
Working in the Martial House Registration Office was quite a boring affair. It was mainly recording when disciples of the Martial House would go out for adventures and experience, or recording the time and location for missions they were on. This was to ensure the disciples’ safety. Otherwise, if they were missing for too long without an adequate explanation, then the Seven Profound Martial House would initiate an investigation.
Because there weren’t many disciples of the Seven Profound Martial House that would often go out for adventure or to experience the world, even three or five disciples coming in to register was considered a lot. This boring and tedious work was considered a dead end job with no possibility for future progression; it was work that powerful martial artists would never debase themselves to do.
Sun Liang was a superior second-grade martial talent. Although he couldn’t compare with juniors of large aristocratic families, he was still so-so. Relying on his connections, he had entered into the Sky Fortune Martial House to cultivate for several years before just barely reaching the Viscera Training stage. Afterwards, he became too lazy to practice and turtled himself in the Seven Profound Martial House Registration Office where he became a deacon.
The novel was reaching a satisfying peak. Sun Liang’s expressions couldn’t help but change as he followed the rises and falls of the protagonist’s fate. Sometimes he giggled, sometimes he was tense, but his mood was always engaged. Suddenly, he felt the light dim as a figure blotted out the sunlight.
Sun Liang thought that it was a disciple who had come to register for a leave of absence. He was somewhat dissatisfied as his good mood in reading the novel was interrupted. He looked up, and just when he was about to ask when this disciple was planning on going and where, he suddenly froze in place.
In front of him was a middle-aged man wearing a flowing white robe and carrying a long zither on his back. He was slender, and his thick eyebrows were wise. He had a temperament like clouds in the sun, and was simply an elegant existence.
Sun Liang’s novel fell on the ground. Quivering, he stood up and opened his mouth to speak. His voice was dry as he said, “Martial… Martial House Master…”
Sun Liang felt faint at heart. Why would the Seven Profound Martial House Master Qin Ziya be here?
Qin Ziya smiled. Naturally, he did not intend to bother with such minor matters like Sun Liang reading novels during his job. He said, “A month ago, did Lin Ming record where he was going here?”
Sun Liang quickly nodded. There weren’t many people that registered. Lin Ming’s status was unique, so he had definitely remembered him.
“Let me see.”
Sun Liang trembled as he flipped through the records, combing the ordered files before finally pulling one out. He thanked the heavens that he didn’t encounter a situation in which he couldn’t find the record, otherwise he really would have wanted to hit his head on the wall and kill himself.
Qin Ziya glanced through the paper records and saw Lin Ming’s travel time and signature. He frowned.
He would go out to adventure for two months, location unknown…
Qin Ziya closed the file before turning around and walking away.
Lin Ming had already disappeared for one month. Although the record had clearly stated that he voluntarily went out to adventure and experience the world, Qin Ziya felt that something was strange about the matter.
Lin Ming had simply offended too many people. It was absolutely an unwise decision to go out and adventure during this time period.
Once his whereabouts were leaked out, he could even encounter a fatal disaster.
Not only that, but there simply weren’t any good areas near the Sky Fortune Kingdom to go out and adventure in. Going out anywhere would be inferior to the quick cultivation within the Seven Profound Martial House. Even the Seven Major Killing Arrays had their doors opened wide for Lin Ming; where could he find such good practice locations outside?
The only thing that the Seven Profound Martial House lacked was true life and death killing situations. If Lin Ming wanted to experience this, then he could have joined the army for awhile. But Qin Ziya had already asked the military, and Lin Ming hadn’t joined them.
This made Qin Ziya’s heart fill with doubts. Just what was Lin Ming doing?
The reason that Qin Ziya had come back this time was to prepare for the upcoming Inter-faction Assembly Tournament.
Two months from now, the Seven Profound Valleys would call down the Martial House core disciples from all the nearby countries and hold a martial gathering.
The martial gathering occurred every three years. At that time, the core disciples of all the countries would gather together and drink tea while appreciating and comparing martial arts.
This was an assessment of the various nations’ core disciples, but it was also an assessment of the Martial Houses themselves. Even Qin Ziya, who rarely cared or worried about the internal affairs of the Martial House attached a serious importance towards this assessment.
When Lin Ming had been passed down the Seven Profound Decree, Qin Ziya had taken advantage of that time to give Lin Ming many benefits. He hoped that Lin Ming would be able to quickly grow in that short time and blossom, shining with radiant glory at the martial gathering.
If his result was good, then not only would he receive rewards as a core disciple, but even the Martial House Master would receive a reward.
The most precious reward was a Heaven Opening Pill.
A Heaven Opening Pill was the miracle medicine that a peak Houtian realm master would take when they were attempting to break into the Xiantian realm. It would remove the foul Houtian air within them, wash their muscles and marrow, reproduce a Xiantian-like state that would allow them to return to their natural state, and finally step into the Xiantian realm.
No matter how awe-inspiring one’s talent was, they still had to take a Heaven Opening Pill in order to step into the Xiantian realm from the Houtian realm.
The difference between the Houtian realm and Xiantian realm was the Xiantian breath within oneself. With this, one’s soul would enter into a tranquil state, and they would be able to communicate with heaven and earth origin energy. They could use their soul to understand the wisdom of the world and use their true essence to move the power of the heavens and earth.
When a baby was still in the mother’s body, they would rely on the umbilical cord transporting blood in order to breathe; this was the Xiantian breath.
After a baby was born, they changed to breathing from their mouths and nose. Inevitably they would breathe the foul Houtian air, and there simply wouldn’t be any Xiantian breath.
From Houtian to Xiantian, one had to rid themselves of worldly roots and change their Houtian breath to Xiantian breath.
In order to do this, one had to wash their muscles and marrow and reproduce the Xiantian breath with the Heaven Opening Pill!
In theory, it could be said that a naturally peerless martial talent could get rid of their body’s Houtian air through their own strength, and wouldn’t need to depend upon a pull to step into the Xiantian realm. However, this was only a theory. The truth was that no one had ever managed to accomplish this.
The Heaven Opening Pill was an incomparably precious treasure within the Seven Profound Valleys. Not only in the Seven Profound Valleys, but the Heaven Opening Pill was extremely scarce even in other large sects.
The materials for the Heaven Opening Pill were too difficult to find. Even if they were all collected, there was still a small chance that there would be a failure during the alchemical refinement of the pill.
The Seven Profound Valleys would refine a batch of Heaven Opening Pills every three years. In the end, they would have around 20 or 30 pills.
The more than 20 pills were insufficient to be divided among so many disciples.
The rules of the Seven Profound Valleys stated that the Heaven Opening Pill could only be rewarded to peak Houtian masters with outstanding talent. Even if these masters took the Heaven Opening Pill, it didn’t mean that they would necessarily break into the Xiantian realm.
Qin Ziya’s talent could already be considered heaven defying. He had started cultivating at 20 years of age, and at 45 he had reached the peak Houtian realm. Once, he too had been given a Heaven Opening Pill. After he took it he attempted to break through the Xiantian bottleneck. However, there was a problem that arose from within his Zither Heart, and he had failed just a step away!
Finally Qin Ziya had stopped a half-step into the Xiantian realm. These years he had been roaming the deep valleys and tempering his Zither Heart. Now, his Zither Heart had reached the Large Success stage. He would only need a Heaven Opening Pill to attack the Xiantian realm bottleneck once again!
Every three years during the martial gathering, two Heaven Opening Pills were rewarded. One to the core disciple, and one to the Martial House Master.
Only first place was rewarded!
Of course, a core disciple had to reach the peak Houtian realm before he could cash in on this reward.
If their cultivation was insufficient, then it would be a waste for them to take the Heaven Opening Pill.
To a core disciple, besides a Heaven Opening Pill, there were also many other rich rewards. For instance, high-grade human-step treasures, top-quality pills, core cultivation methods, and other such great items.
Qin Ziya of course wanted to obtain the Heaven Opening Pill, but he knew it was hopeless for Lin Ming to take the number one spot; that was simply too distant a dream. Sky Fortune Kingdom’s Seven Profound Martial House was strong, but compared to those of Huoluo Nation or the Eastern Sun Country, they were still sorely lacking.
However, just because they couldn’t obtain first place this time didn’t mean they couldn’t next time. If they couldn’t next time, then they could try the time after that. Lin Ming was only 15 years old. He would be able to participate in a total of 3 martial gatherings.
Even if Lin Ming failed these three times, if he was able to make good progress, that could be considered as a merit of Qin Ziya.
But Qin Ziya hadn’t thought that when he had come back, Lin Ming would already have disappeared for one month, his location unknown.
Southern Wilderness, Blackwater Swamp —
The chase between Lin Ming and the little flame boy had lasted for more than an hour!
In the time of this hour, the two of them had already fought several times, but neither had been able to gain an advantage.
Lin Ming only had about 30% of his true essence left within him. With the long time that he had been flying as well as the high-intensity combat he engaged in, even though his blood vitality was strong and he had the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ augmenting him, he wouldn’t be able to last much longer.
Like this, his true essence would be completely exhausted in one more hour!
In comparison, the little flame boy had no weakening or lack of true essence. The reason for this was because his cultivation was far more profound and deep than Lin Ming’s, and also because the little flame boy was not a human, but rather a Flame Essence. A Flame Essence grew forever, and wouldn’t be extinguished.
Lin Ming became increasingly anxious; he couldn’t keep on going like this!
If he stopped to fight, he still wouldn’t win. If he was delayed long enough, then the Fire Worm Shaman’s true self would catch up.
If he continued to run away, then he could last one more hour at most. Afterwards, once his true essence was all depleted, the Fire Worm Shaman’s true self wouldn’t even need to come; even the little flame boy could kill him!
It was as if he had already fallen into a dead end…
No, as long as he was alive he had a chance, he just hadn’t thought of it!
Lin Ming’s breathing became more even. His mind had entered into a state similar to the realm of the ethereal martial intent. He had to find a way to break out of this doom!
At this time, 600 miles away from Lin Ming, a middle-aged bald man in a black robe was sitting cross-legged on a Heavenly Wind Eagle with a cold expression. This person was the Fire Worm Shaman, Chi Yue.
He had already ridden the Heavenly Wind Eagle in pursuit for more than one hour while his Fire Essence avatar was diverting Lin Ming. Even so, he was still 600 miles away.
However Chi Yue didn’t worry. He was fine waiting for his prey to exhaust themselves and consume their true essence. As long as this continued for another hour, he would almost win by default.
But this prey’s strength was beyond his expectations. He was only at the peak Bone Forging stage, but his combat prowess actually matched a Houtian realm martial artist. Not only that, but he could also fly, and his endurance and sustained fighting ability were simply frightening!
“No matter what secrets you have on your body, they will all be mine!”
Chi Yue sneered. His goal was to conquer the Southern Wilderness. No one could block his path!
But at this moment, Chi Yue’s smile suddenly froze as he instantly paled!
“This… this is the Vermillion Bird!”
600 miles away, Lin Ming’s eyes were round as he stared at a large red bird flying in the sky. His mind was full of a disbelieving expression; was this the Vermillion Bird?
A legendary Saint Beast actually appeared in front of him?