Chapter 292 – Soul Scales
Nie Li was in his room.
He’d been cultivating all day, and all of his spiritual stones were depleted. Even then, his cultivation had only risen by a little bit, still revolving around the pinnacle of Earth Fate Realm. Stepping into Heavenly Fate Realm was still too difficult a task for him.
There was still a month to go before he could collect the reward from the Saint Soul Board. But without enough spiritual stones, it would become even harder to get stronger.
He had to think of other ways to obtain spiritual stones!
In the Draconic Ruins Realm, without spiritual stones, one’s cultivation speed would be a lot slower. Even if you had natural talent, it’d be useless without resources. The Heavenly Energy contained in one spiritual stone was equivalent to cultivating for about half a month, or even longer! Jindan sat beside him, staring at him.
As the Soul Seal bound them closer together, Jindan would eventually become Nie Li’s spiritual beast. That meant that he needed more spiritual stones! As for Yu Yan, she’d been cultivating in his room for the past few days and her cultivation was also rising at a rapid rate. However, she’d eventually encountered the same problem; the lack of spiritual stones.
*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* sounded from outside.
“Come on in,” said Nie Li.
Xiao Yu entered.
He looked at Nie Li, casually smiled, and said, “It’s only been a few days since I last saw you, and yet you’ve caused another ruckus?”
Nie Li shrugged and helplessly said, “I wasn’t the one who sought trouble. Trouble found me. That Long Yuyin woman is really annoying!”
Xiao Yu’s expression was smiling, yet not smiling, as he looked at Nie Li and said, “Are you sure that she’s not interested in you? Otherwise, why is she only causing trouble for you?”
Nie Li calmly replied, “You’re thinking too much. That woman is a snob who can’t tolerate anyone stronger than herself. That’s why she’s been pestering me all over the place. The only thing I can do is fight back; otherwise she’ll start thinking that no one can stop her!” He didn’t have the slightest positive opinion concerning Long Yuyin.
Xiao Yu reminded him, “But you still have to be careful these days. You’ve already provoked a lot of people, not just Long Yuyin alone. I heard that the geniuses of the East District have noticed you! Previously, they’d focused their attention on Long Yuyin, but since she’s from the Dragonseal Family, there was nothing they could do about her. But now, you’re the one in their line of sight. Not to mention that you have no prominent background…”
Nie Li nodded. “I understand.” He’d already made preparations. Inside the Skysoul Institute grounds, he was perfectly safe. Even if he was being targeted by others, he’d be fine as long as they didn’t pull anything life-threatening to him at the risk of expulsion. After all, in his previous life, what kind of trials hadn’t he encountered? He’d escaped the clutches of death countless times. How could such small conflicts inside the Skysoul Institute compare?
Xiao Yu looked at Nie Li and asked, “Then, do you still want to visit the testing grounds?”
Nie Li firmly replied, “You seem to have already decided, so how can I back down? I’ll go!” There were also rewards for completing the trials of other testing grounds. Spiritual stones and other rewards, Nie Li wanted to obtain them all.
Right now, each and every spiritual stone was an extremely precious resource, especially spiritual stone essence, which could allow him to make a breakthrough!
Nie Li left Yu Yan in the room to continue cultivating, and left Jindan in her care. He then called Lu Piao out, and the two of them proceeded to the testing grounds with Xiao Yu.
The three of them headed for the second testing site, known as the Ghastly Ruins. Founded by one the Divine Feather Sect’s ancestors, the ruins were filled with large numbers of ghouls, which dropped soul scales when killed. Each student was allowed to remain here for two days maximum. The more soul scales you collected, the more treasures you could redeem later on.
However, items like the soul scales would disappear if they were removed from the testing grounds, nor could they be placed in an interspatial ring. They could only be carried around in cloth bags and they had to be exchanged at the end of every test.
Each student can only enter the Grounds of Ghastly Ruins once a month.
There was also a ranking bulletin on the Grounds of Ghastly Ruins, which detailed the record quantities of soul scales collected during the student’s allotted two days. Long Yuyin was ranked tenth, having killed thirty thousand ghouls. Murong Yu held the first position, having hunted over ninety thousand in a span of two days.
However, Murong Yu was a genius from the previous year, while Long Yuyin belonged to the current one.
Nie Li checked the exchange rate. You could earn thirty spiritual stones for one thousand Ghouls. That meant that within the span of two days, Long Yuyin had obtained nine hundred spiritual stones. However, the soul scales could also be used to redeem other things, like Demon Spirits, spiritual stone essences, artifacts, and various other items.
Lu Piao was excited. “Nie Li, that woman, Long Yuyin, got thirty thousand, and you aren’t any worse than her, right? We’re going to strike it rich!”
Xiao Yu felt like they needed another reminder. “You guys still have to be careful. The Ghastly Ruins are filled with danger, especially compared to the Saint Soul Grounds. Depending on the situation, someone might also try to get in our way. Furthermore, we’ll be teleported to different parts of the Ghastly Ruins; that means we might not be able to cooperate. So you guys really need to be careful!”
“Understood.” Nie Li and Lu Piao replied, as their curiosities were piqued towards the Ghastly Ruins.
The entrance of the Ghastly Ruins was a weird vortex guarded by two experts.
*Woosh!* *Woosh!* *Woosh!*
Nie Li and his group entered the vortex, disappearing through the entrance of the Ghastly Ruins.
Shortly after Nie Li and his party entered, three people appeared at the entrance.
Hu Yong eyed his group and solemnly said, “Do you guys remember everything I told you? Do you remember what they look like?”
“Don’t worry, Young Master Hu. Even if they’re reduced to ashes, we’ll still remember them. We’ve already reached the Heavenly Fate Realm! Taking care of one kid is no difficulty!”
“That’s good! Let’s go!”
The group also entered the the Ghastly Ruins.
Hua Ling looked into the distance as coldly sneered three times. “That’s hilarious. Xiao Yu already has a hard time protecting himself, and now his friends have attracted so many enemies. Isn’t this just making it easier for me?” However, Hua Ling still wasn’t assured. After considering it briefly, he also sent a dozen or so of his own men into the Ghastly Ruins.
Other than the few mentioned, there were also others who entered the Ghastly Ruins. However, it’s unknown whether they entered because of Nie Li and his friends, or for their own purposes.
At that moment, Nanmen Tianhai and Huang Yu were watching over Nie Li and his group with bitter smiles.
“Those three are simply too good at attracting trouble! To think that there’re actually so many people following them into the Ghastly Ruins.”
“Should we go and resolve it?” asked Huang Yu.
Nanmen Tianhai considered it briefly, then said, “There’s no need. Let them make a din by themselves. As long as this matter doesn’t get too out of hand, of course.” If they themselves took action every time a student encountered a problem, how busy would they be?
The Ghastly Ruins
Nie Li materialised in a stretch of ruins that ran a thousand miles out. Everywhere, there were crumbled and ruined walls, forming an apocalyptic scenery. A majestic structure must have stood here at some point, but for some reason, it had now become a ruin. The sky was ashen-grey and an ill wind blew by. Occasionally, a herd of ghosts drifted through the air, wailing as they flickered in and out of perceptibility.
Those must be the Ghouls!
These ghouls grouped in the thousands. Even though, individually, they were of Earth Fate Realm, they’d be difficult to handle in such large numbers.
As if sensing the aura of a human, they screamed as they rained down upon him.
You could collect soul scales from hunting those ghouls!
The corner of Nie Li’s mouth rose into a smile as his body transformed. He merged with his Fanged Panda and widened his mouth, shooting a Yin-Yang Blast into the sky.
*Boom!* *Boom!* *Boom!*
Yin-Yang Blasts exploded in the sky, one after another, each instantly devouring hundreds of ghouls. soul scales fell like rain. These soul scales were the hardest parts of the ghouls’ bodies, and were also the foundation of their existence. Even when the Yin-Yang Blast hit these scales, they did not shatter.
The remaining ghouls fled in all directions, frightened by the explosions.
Nie Li leaped up to collect the falling soul scales before he resumed another round of skimming over the ruins, releasing more Yin-Yang Blasts, and frantically collecting the scales.
It seemed these ghouls were actually rather easy to deal with. If he continued at this pace, just how many soul scales would he be able to collect in two days? Why had those on the ranking board only managed to collect so few in their two days?
What Nie Li didn’t know was that these Ghouls had all reached the pinnacle of the Earth Fate Realm, standing only a step away from the Heavenly Fate Realm. Under normal circumstances, it was really hard to kill even one. Furthermore, the fact that they moved in packs made them even harder to hunt. However, since Nie Li had come to the Draconic Ruins Realm, his strength had undergone huge surges; he too would soon step into the Heavenly Fate Realm. Furthermore, the Fanged Panda itself was even stronger than Nie Li was, since it had completely reached the Heavenly Fate realm. As for his Yin-Yang Blast, its power had also increased several fold.
Therefore, Nie Li’s Yin-Yang Blast easily swept the ghouls away!
Nie Li had no idea how Xiao Yu and Lu Piao were faring. However, Xiao’s strength neared that of a 4-fate Heavenly Fate Realm expert; therefore, hunting ghouls shouldn’t be too much of a problem for him. As for Lu Piao, Nie Li was sure that he’d probably encounter some problems. But even if Lu Piao’s strength wasn’t enough, that boy had a rather sharp head on his shoulders. Therefore, Nie Li didn’t worry too much about him.
Nie Li continued to hunt ghouls like crazy. One thousand soul scales for thirty spiritual stones; that was a rather generous exchange rate.
Roughly five hours later, Nie Li had collected over twenty thousand soul scales. Such speed was simply shocking. It’d be easy for him to surpass Long Yuyin; he might even make it into the top five of the ranking board. These soul scales were the materialised forms of a ghoul’s essence; although a Yin-Yang Blast couldn’t destroy it, it would melt like ice when placed inside an interspatial ring.
Luckily, once a thousand soul scales have been gathered, they’d combine to form a single, larger soul scale. Therefore, Nie Li could easily carry these larger soul scales in a cloth bag.
Soul scales like these would make decent materials for forging soul weapons. It’s a pity that these couldn’t be removed from the training grounds; they could only be exchanged for items.
As Nie Li continued hunting ghouls, a powerful aura suddenly permeated the air. A single man stood in the sky, watching Nie Li. This youth was roughly twenty years old, wearing a black outfit, and stared at him with sharp eyes. There was a prideful expression on his face and a massive sword strapped to his back. His aura was like an unsheathed blade.
Secretly, Nie Li was shocked by this aura. This person definitely had a much stronger aura than Xiao Yu. He’d probably reached at least the 5-fate mark, or perhaps even higher.