Chapter 404 – Strange River
Even though Lin Ming’s current cultivation had reached the peak of Pulse Condensation, controlling the energy of the Shattered Demon Heart Crystal to temper his marrow still caused the same aching pain as before. It was as if a saber was being twisted into his very being!
This kind of energy contained the remnant will of the Netherworld Great Emperor. It was cruel, brutal, arrogant and unruly. In order to force it to yield so that Lin Ming could use it for himself, he had to erase this will.
What Lin Ming could do was use his own soul and slowly wear down the remnant will of the Netherworld Great Emperor.
Lin Ming grit his teeth as sweat streamed down him. Periodically there would be small amounts of energy that escaped from his pores, but this energy was all imprisoned by the power of the medicinal inscription symbol and contained within his body.
The principle behind this medicinal inscription symbol was to reduce the loss of medicinal efficacy. This medicinal inscription that was able to be fully utilized on the Heaven Opening Piil could still slightly affect the Shattered Demon Hearty Crystal.
Thus the energy within Lin Ming’s body was increasingly manic and savage.
Lin Ming forcefully used the tempering marrow method found within the ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’ and urged the Shattered Demon Heart Crystal energy to enter his skeleton a bit at a time. The energy was thick and heavy like mercury, and also extremely pervasive. Even though Lin Ming’s bones were extremely dense, the energy easily penetrated through.
As the energy entered the marrow, Lin Ming could hear ‘chi chi chi’ sounds coming from his bones. This was the energy burning his marrow, slowly refining it and changing its very nature. This was similar to when a blacksmith had to fry a wooden spear shaft in a massive wok of oil in order to cause all the impurities within them to explode. This pain was deep within his bones and utterly agonizing.
Lin Ming’s forehead was dripping with sweat. But compared to the last time that he had absorbed the Shattered Demon Heart Crystal, he was in a much better condition. The first time, almost all of his blood had been drained out, forming a bloody carapace that covered his body. But this time, there was only pain and sweat.
In the sweat, there were traces of faint gray substances, but only a small amount. These were the impurities within Lin Ming’s body. After Lin Ming had gone through several experiences of washing down his marrow and muscles, this was the result. Although Lin Ming’s bodily purity couldn’t compare with someone like Mu Qianyu, he also didn’t have many impurities left within him.
Time passed slowly. Finally, a full two hours had passed, and Lin Ming absorbed the last of the energy. He opened his mouth and vomited a mouthful of black blood.
This vomit actually didn’t stop. Lin Ming kept vomiting blood until the entire ground was covered in blood. It was quite a disturbing sight. Finally, it ended, and Lin Ming wiped his mouth. He looked within himself and found that the blood within his blood vessels was extremely bright red, and thick like mercury.
Marrow and blood were inextricably linked. Marrow produced blood, and blood rejuvenated the marrow. In order to temper one’s marrow, one needed to create new blood.
After Lin Ming ate half of the Shattered Demon Heart Crystal, the golden color of his marrow was much richer than before; he had come closer to completing Tempering Marrow by another 5% or so.
Half of a Shattered Demon Heart Crystal was 5%, and a whole one would be almost 10%. Now, Lin Ming’s Tempering Marrow was around 25% complete. Even though the future medicinal efficacy of these pills would weaken, once he finished eating the eight Shattered Demon Heart Crystals, Lin Ming estimated that he should complete Tempering Marrow by around 60 to 70%.
Tempering Marrow was a great boundary. Completing it was much more difficult than Lin Ming had previously assumed. He didn’t know just how strong he would be after completing Tempering Marrow.
As Lin Ming sat in meditation for half an hour, his stomach began to growl in hunger.
Before Lin Ming had entered the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, he had filled his spatial ring with all sorts of food. As he took out cured meats and dry rations, he heard a faint trickling sound coming from within the cave, as if there was water nearby.
Lin Ming’s mind stirred. He put away the dry rations and began walking into the cave. After he walked several hundred feet, he saw that there really was an underground river in the cave.
The river water was incomparably clear and beautiful. However, Lin Ming felt that there was something not quite right. As he reached out his hand to scoop some up, he suddenly sucked in a breath of cold air. This river water was very heavy. At least, it was no lighter than mercury. Not only that, but the temperature of the water was terrifyingly high; it was already several times above boiling.
As Lin Ming was cupping the water, he found out that during that time a great amount of the true essence that protected his body had melted away.
“What kind of river is this!?”
Lin Ming’s complexion wasn’t too good. Everything he found within this Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm was strange and dangerous.
“Mm? What’s that?”
Lin Ming discovered that there were actually creatures within the river. These creatures looked like giant crabs, and their whole body was covered with red bony armor as they lurked underneath the water. They stared at him with wide eyes.
The two claws were over two feet long!
“If it can survive in this place, then it’s not some friendly animal.” The temperature was several times the boiling temperature, but these crabs could still survive here. Even Lin Ming wouldn’t be able to do so. He could stay under the water for a long time, but he would eventually have to give up after his true essence was exhausted. But these crabs took this river as their home, and simply didn’t fear the high temperatures.
A giant crab with a four or five foot tall body suddenly rose up. It brandished its two foot long claws as it tried to clamp down on Lin Ming, as if it wanted to cut him off at the waist.
“It takes me as prey?”
Lin Ming sneered. He punched out with the Body Tearing Bone Shattering Fist; azure true essence erupted!
The crab flew backwards, rolling around. It finally stopped, jumped up and ran away.
“It didn’t die?”
Lin Ming was shocked. This punch was able to kill a late Houtian martial artist. But this big crab had actually resisted it!
Soon, seven or eight giant crabs gathered in the river. Lin Ming was stunned for a moment, and then realized that the crab fellow had gone back to gather its buddies.
These crabs were the overlords of the river. They had never suffered a loss like this before. Now, they swore to eliminate Lin Ming!
Seven or eight giant crabs ran out of the river together, rushing to kill Lin Ming!
This time, Lin Ming no longer held back. He took out the Purple Comet Spear and fused the Divine Demon Thunder Soul into the shaft. The power of thunder exploded, and with a flourish of the spear, the entire cave was basked in a radiant purple light.
Seven or eight bolts of thunder dropped down from the sky, each one striking a giant crab. All of the crabs were instantly killed by Lin Ming.
As Lin Ming looked at the giant crabs on the ground, he suddenly remembered something. The Palace Spirit had said that this cave was the residence for those participating in the general level smelting trail; was this the food and water that were supplied?
Lin Ming hesitated for a moment, and then walked over to a giant crab. He grabbed it, and then used a great deal of effort to smash its palm-thick shell. Inside was glisteningly tender red and white meat. He dug out a big chunk and began to roast it over a fire.
Lin Ming had already become accustomed to bringing along salt and other seasonings. He casually sprinkled some onto the crab meat, and a delicious fragrance began to waft out.
Lin Ming took a careful bite. This strange giant crab’s meat was extremely savory and tender, yet still chewy.
Lin Ming took his time. After he carefully determined that there weren’t any side effects, he began to heartily chow down.
This strange giant crab’s meat was very resistant to high temperature. No matter how he roasted it, it would not char or become over burnt. As he tasted it, its flavor was extremely delicious, and was even better than the dishes found within famous restaurants.
“This is the good stuff.”
Even Lin Ming, a connoisseur who was relatively picky about food, couldn’t help but praise this strange crab meat.
“Mm? The crab meat in my stomach seems to nourish my body’s true essence?” Lin Ming was surprised to discover. As the crab meat entered his stomach, a low heat began to flow out and dissipate. This was an extremely comfortable feeling. He felt the fire-attribute true essence in his body slowly strengthening.
The magnitude of enhancement from this crab meat was far less than eating pills, but it absolutely won in terms of purity. There were no impurities and toxins contained within.
It was equivalent to eating spiritual vegetables and spiritual grains. However, the effects were at least 100 times greater than the spiritual foods found within Divine Phoenix Island!
Lin Ming was shocked. This was what participants in the Ancient Phoenix Clan’s general level smelting trial ate?
The Ancient Phoenix Clan. Lin Ming only needed to hear this name to roughly guess that they would have the bloodline of a God Beast within them; it was difficult to imagine just how formidable their talent was. In addition, they studied the techniques and skills of the Ancient Phoenix Clan, they had training grounds like the smelting trial in the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, and also all sorts of amazing medicines and foods.
How could their talent not be outstanding?
It was no wonder that the weakest and most inferior king-level talent within the Ancient Phoenix Clan could also complete the general-level smelting trial within a year.
“Maybe… only the king-level are true members of the Ancient Phoenix Clan. And, the so-called general level is only for the subordinates of the Ancient Phoenix Clan!
As Lin Ming realized this, the original contentment in his heart vanished.
The road he walked was still inestimably long!
However, the more it was like this, the more it aroused the competitive spirit within Lin Ming’s heart. If he had already stood at the top of all the geniuses of the 3000 infinite universes, then, with no goal to pursue, he would feel desolate and bored.
But now, it looked like he fell far short.
After he ate a giant portion of crab meat, Lin Ming drank the water from the river. The river water also had similar effects to the crab meat; it was able to moisten and refine the true essence within his body.
“Even water has this effect. Not just that, but the fire-attribute true essence here is much richer than the outside. If I wish to practice actual combat, there is still a giant battle waiting outside for me. This is truly a great place to practice!
Within the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, if one wanted to battle there were countless opponents outside. If one wanted to cultivate, there was extremely rich fire-attribute true essence; even eating or drinking would increase one’s strength. What place would be quicker to cultivate in than here?
After Lin Ming drank his fill, he felt the crab meat and water turning into heat within his body and scurrying around. His body flushed with a frantic energy. If he didn’t release this energy soon, he would be feeling unwell for a while. Lin Ming couldn’t wait to go out and fight!
Lin Ming took out the Purple Comet Spear from his spatial ring and launched his movement technique, directly flying out of the cave. Outside the cave, several hundred rock puppets had already gathered on the plains. But this time, the flaming rock puppets were in the majority. These flaming rock puppets were much stronger than the ordinary rock puppets.
As he saw this vast number of rock puppets, Lin Ming’s fighting spirit shot up. He trod forwards, his body shooting out like an arrow, creating a perfect arc as he landed in the midst of a puppet group.
The rock puppets roared, and columns of flames came blasting towards Lin Ming. He faintly smiled and instantly activated Golden Roc Shattering the Void. He was like a swallow within a storm, dancing in the midst of the crowded flames, like thread through the needle!
Hu hu hu!
All of the columns of fire passed by Lin Ming. A 1000 foot distance was crossed in the blink of an eye. As Lin Ming arrived in front of the first flame puppet, the Purple Comet Spear came sweeping down!
With a loud explosion, the flaming puppet was broken apart by Lin Ming’s spear!
As strength flowed through his entire body, Lin Ming could hear his bones popping and snapping; this inestimably comfortable feeling made him want to groan and shout!
After tempering his marrow and eating a massive amount of crab meat, Lin Ming felt energy crashing throughout his entire body. If he didn’t vent this energy, then he would never feel comfortable.
Peng peng peng!
A spear thrust out. Arcs of lightning shot out into all directions, blazing flames jetted into the sky, and an azure light sliced through the void. Wherever the Purple Comet Spear went, crushed stone would fly!