Book 8, Raindragon Guard, Chapter 26 – Dire-Ice, Earthfire
“You have a spirit-beast? Who? Why haven’t I seen it?” The azure-robed maiden looked about, but she began to feel a vague anger in her heart. She was a Wanxiang monster, but because she had been wandering the world by herself for so long, she was truly beginning to grow tired. This was why she had decided to establish a home for herself, here at Mount Demonlotus..
Earlier, she had suffered the pursuit and attack of the forces of the Dragonwhale. Ji Ning’s sudden appearance, and also the relationship which existed between them in the past, caused her to desire to journey through the world alongside Ning.
Unexpectedly, this kid of the Ji clan wasn’t willing to accept her good will!
“It’s my Uncle White,” Ning explained. “Uncle White previously followed my father. After my father died, he followed me. The reason why he didn’t come was because I am undergoing the Raindragon Guard trials, and I am not permitted to bring spirit-beasts to the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains.”
“Oh.” The azure-robed maiden nodded, but she didn’t say anything else. Ning revealed a smile. “However, although I already have a spirit-beast, since you desire so badly to accompany me, I suppose I can force myself to accept you.”
“The hell do you mean, ‘force yourself to accept me’?!” The azure-robed maiden stared at him, furious.
“Alright, let’s leave this place first.” Ning stared at the cracked, shattered wilderness about them. “The ripples from the earlier battle might have attracted the attention of some other monsters.” Mu Northson and Qingqing both nodded.
A dragon-headed warship appeared out of nowhere. The three of them all stepped aboard the warship.
At their level of power, they were actually able to fly through the air by themselves. However, that speed of flight was vastly inferior to riding on a magic treasure…and in turn, riding on a magic treasure wasn’t as comfortable as riding on a construct-warship.
Swoosh! The dragon-headed warship soared forward through the clouds, while Ning used a spirit-beast talisman. Maiden Qingqing, in turn, was willing to become his spirit-beast.
Aboard the warship, Ning stared at this azure-robed maiden. “I’ll call you Little Qing.” “Fine.” The azure-robed woman nodded. “From today onwards, my name shall be Ji Qingqing. What do you say?”
Ning was stunned. The nearby Northson jested, “When I lived in the tribes in my youth, when women without clan surnames married a man, they would generally take the names of the men they married.”
“Ji Ning, this junior apprentice-brother of yours is actually so very naughty! I’m even older than your grandmother!” Qingqing stared.
Ning laughed as well. “Fine, fine. You shall be Ji Qingqing. From today onwards, you shall follow me…and if the day comes when you no longer wish to follow me, just let me know, and I will restore you to freedom.”
Thanks to the influence of his father, Ji Yichuan, Ning treated his spirit-beasts as he might his other brothers or sisters. He couldn’t force his spirit-beasts to their deaths, or treat them as his slaves.
“Since you saved my life, in the future, I’ll definitely follow you.” Qingqing pursed her lips. “In addition, since you have grown in power even more quickly than I have…I want to see what will happen to you in the future.”
“Little Qing. What exactly happened to you in the past, after you left Eastmount Marsh? Why did you end up here?” Ning asked. The nearby Northson perked his ears up to listen as well.
Qingqing said, “That year, when I comprehended the Void Blink technique, I escaped Ironwood Zhan. I soon left Swallow Mountain and began to roam the world. By relying on this innate ability, ‘Void Blink’, I discovered quite a few marvelous fruits and holy elixirs, and quickly grew to the Zifu level. Afterwards, I headed towards the famous Whitedragon Mountain.”
“Whitedragon Mountain?” Ning was stunned. “Are you referring to the monster Immortal, Whitedragon?”
Amongst humans of this region, aside from the two most powerful forces of the Raindragon Guard and the Northmont clan of Stillwater, the next most powerful forces were the Black-White College, the Skysplitter Sword Sect, the Hundred Flowers Fairyland, the Eastriver clan, the Dragonhunter clan, the Bluewood clan, the Heavenly Saint Church, and the Blood God Church, these eight supreme powers.
That, however, was just amongst humans.
The monsters had their own great powers, such as monster Immortals. Immortal Whitedragon was one of the extremely famous monster Immortals. This Immortal Whitedragon’s true form was that of a female dragon, but she possessed heaven-defying power. She was willing to teach anyone who wished to learn; so long as one went to her, she would almost never refuse them. However, she was still capable of training some truly formidable monster cultivators, and had even produced Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals.
“At Whitedragon Mountain, I was highly valued, and was bestowed with quite a few techniques,” Qingqing said. “After spending a few years training at Whitedragon Mountain, I reached the peak Zifu level, and the school instructed me to go out adventuring. They said that Azure Skysnakes would only be able to grow fast when constantly journeying and adventuring. The school instructed me to come to the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains, and I’ve spent three years here and broken through from the peak Zifu level to the middle Wanxiang level.”
Ning immediately asked, “What level is your Manifestation at?”
Qingqing said confidently, “I was highly valued by the school. Naturally, my Manifestation is that of the bright moon shining in the sky.” Ning and Northson exchanged a glance, both rather speechless.
Three years…Ning and Northson knew exactly how much elemental ki was needed to advance from the peak Zifu level to the middle Wanxiang level. Ning had spent over a thousand kilograms of liquefied elemental essence to reach the early Wanxiang level.
“How many fortunate events happened to you here at the wild marshes of Gaol Mountains?” Ning asked.” “Seven, I suppose.” Qingqing spoke casually, but then her eyes lit up. “Oh, right. I’ve used up everything that can be eaten or drunk. However, there are two places that will be very useful to you two.”
“Which two places?” Ning and Northson instantly grew eager. A fortunate event? Aside from him barely surviving the test of the underwater estate, Ning really hadn’t had any fortunate events happen to him.
“I discovered a vein of dire-ice, and a vein of earthfire,” Qingqing said. “A vein of dire-ice? And earthfire?” Northson and Ning’s eyes began to blaze with excitement. In unison, they spoke out, “Where is it?”
Why was dire-ice called dire-ice? Why was earthfire called earthfire? After Pangu established the universe, the natural world had given birth to many times of natural, elemental energy, such as water, fire, lightning, light, etc.
For example, Ning’s Fiendgod body was formed from a wisp of the Lunar Truewater and Solar Truefire that had been sent down by the two most exalted of heavenly bodies, the Lunar Star and the Solar Star. That wisp of Lunar Truewater and Solar Truefire…if one was capable of controlling them in battle, then even an Earth Immortal who was brushed by them would most likely perish.
This was because these types of power came from the energy of the most exalted of stellar bodies. This was why, when one broke through to become a Xiantian lifeform, even Immortals were unable to disrupt it.
Fire, from low to high, could be ranked as human fire, earthfire, skyfire, and truefire. Human fire was the mortal fire which naturally occurred in the world, the most ordinary of fires. As for earthfire…
This was an extremely unique sort of fire which was created by the earth itself. Theoretically speaking, Zifu Disciples should be capable of absorbing a wisp of earthfire into their Zifu and nourishing it, but this was extremely dangerous. Generally speaking, only one at the Wanxiang level would go absorb earthfire and nourish it in their Zifu.
Earthfire was divided into nine grades. One could start with earthfire of the ninth grade, then nourish it until it reached the first grade! The ninth, eighth, and seventh grades were the low-grades; the sixth, fifth, and fourth grades were middle-grades; the third, second, and first grades were high-grades!
Earthfire of the first grade…this represented earthfire taken to its limits. Actually, as long as one reached the third grade…then one would be able to go absorb a wisp of skyfire and allow the earthfire in one’s body advance to the ‘skyfire’ level.
The same was true for water as was true for fire. Water was also divided into human water, earthwater, skywater, and truewater. Human water, as went without saying, was the most ordinary, commonly seen type of water. Earthwater was what the so-called ‘dire-ice’ was.
Cultivating earthfire and earthwater was the same process. It required one to first find a place which naturally had a vein of earthfire or earthwater! After absorbing enough of the earthfire or earthwater into one’s body, if the ‘planting’ processs was a success, there would be seeds of fire or water which could then be nourished into earthfire or earthwater. If one wasn’ able to find those veins of earthfire or dire-ice…then there was nothing that could be done. This was a sort of natural, precious treasure; one could hope to encounter it, but not expect to.
“It’s right here in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains. The vein of dire-ice is a bit closer, while the vein of earthfire is a bit farther away,” Qingqing said.
“Qingqing. You are absolutely amazing.” Northson was incomparably excited, and he also felt awe. “We weren’t able to find even one of them, but you easily found two.”
“Heh heh. Those places that you normally won’t visit? I’ll often use my Void Blink to enter and carefully investigate them. After having investigated many places, I naturally discovered these two,” Qingqing said smugly. “Given how rarely humans go there, after a great deal of time passes, some precious treasures will naturally be born.”
Ning hurriedly asked, “What sort of dire-ice is that dire-ice? What sort of earthfire is that earthfire?”
Dire-ice and earthfire were both just terms. There were a hundred types of earthfire, such as moonflame earthfire, azurethunder earthfire, and what not. Even skyfire was divided into many different types, and the awe-inspiring truefire which caused even Immortals to tremble in fear was divided in several types as well.
“While I was at Whitedragon Mountain, I procured a book, ‘Records of the World’s Treasures’. They had records of various spirit-fruits, spirit-grasses, and other things. There was no record regarding these types of earthfire and dire-ice. When you go, you’ll know.” Qingqing added hurriedly, “As for the dire-ice…I imagine that it can be used anywhere from three to five more times. As for the earthfire, that’s harder to say; perhaps it can only be used one or two more times.”
Absorbing earthfire into the body was a form of harvesting; a single vein of earthfire or dire-ice couldn’t be harvested indefinitely. After being harvested enough times, it would be used up.
“I’m more aligned towards water and wood. I choose the dire-ice,” Northson said. “I train in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens],” Ning laughed. “My body was born from Lunar Truewater and Solar Truefire. Dire-ice, earthfire…I need to harvest each once.”
“Good. Let’s hurry out.” Qingqing stood by the side of the boat, staring downwards, then pointed towards the north. “Move towards there.”
“Alright,” Northson replied. The dragon-headed warship immediately began to move towards the direction where Qingqing was pointing.
Ning was quite excited. His divine tattoos were what allowed him to control fire and water. If he were to then nourish earthfire and dire-ice in his body, when he combined them together, at very least, the power of his Waterflame Lotus would increase dramatically. In addition, he had many other ways he could use them. When earthfire and dire-ice were strengthened to a sufficient level, they were definitely not inferior to any divine ability.
Just as Ning’s group was headed towards the vein of dire-ice. Within a distant, short, desolate mountain.
“Whew.” A golden-robed Dong One slowly opened his eyes. “Finally, I’m safe.”
“I joined forces with those other five in Northriver Zhou’s group, but in the end, we lost everything. I was fortunate in that six years ago, I acquired a protective magic treasure thanks to that fortunate event, and so was lucky enough to survive and escape. I wonder if the others are alive or dead.” Dong One thought back quietly. When he recollected that fight, he couldn’t help but feel a surge of fear, shock, and anger.
He had heard long ago of Ji Ning, and knew that Ning was a monstrous talent, but he didn’t expect that even six truly elite Wanxiang Adepts would fail so catastrophically. “That divine will technique…I wonder if it was Ji Ning or Mu Northson who used it.” Till this very moment, Dong One still had no idea which of the two had used the divine will technique.
“This mountain is an extremely mysterious place; it can be said to be the most mysterious mountain I have located. I’ve spent so much time healing here, but no one has discovered me.” Dong One secretly rejoiced at this. “And it seems as though there is an underground river below here.”
Dong One’s body flickered, and he moved through the winding caverns, going deeper and deeper within. He continued to investigate this underground river. Soon, he felt the temperature rise to an increasingly high level, and he slowly saw, off in the distance, a wisp of golden fire within the cracked earth. The fire blazed with scorching heat.
“A vein of earthfire!” Dong One called out in shock.