AST 881 - Separation, Jade Spirit Fruit? Snow Lion King
Qing Shui heaped the entire patch of earth containing the Sky Penetrating Grasses into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. Everyone looked at him bewilderedly, but they could only laugh awkwardly without mentioning the obvious. Even if they tried to tell him something, they wouldn't be able to express their words clearly. In the end, they gave up.
Even though Qing Shui was a bit disappointed, he was nonetheless happy to have found the rare medicinal herbs at last. If he still couldn't find some Sky Penetrating Grass of more than 5,000 Years as proceeded to explore the mountain, the ones he had acquired would suffice. As long as he was able to acquire any kind of Sky Penetrating Grass, there was hope. 12 years may seem long, but the Sky Penetrating Grass would eventually grow into a medicinal herb of 5,000 Years.
Qing Shui felt better after thinking it through. Those medicinal herbs could still be of use after a period of growth. Sky Penetrating Grass that was less than a 1,000 years old were essentially worthless and useless - only those that were 3,000 to 5,000 years old could be regarded as treasures of Heaven and Earth.
However, 3,000 Years Sky Penetrating Grass would still be less effective than 5,000 Years variants. The 3,000 Years Sky Penetrating Grass were proven to grant approximately 50 years of lifespan. The 5,000 Years variants, however, would be more effective, increasing a person’s lifespan by much more than 50 years. Consequently, no one suspected anything when Qing Shui took away the 300 to 500 Years Sky Penetrating Grass.
Moreover, his goal for climbing these mountains was ultimately the Sky Penetrating Grass. But if had to, he would still give up a Sky Penetrating Grass of more than 5,000 years to someone who needed them more. Mu Qing had already done it, and she had given it to him unconditionally. However, both of them were oblivious to their current situation as they struggled to clear up their own feelings for each other.
Of course, Qing Shui would willingly do the same. From that moment when Mu Qing gave up the Sky Penetrating Grass for him, he knew she was a determined person. There weren't many who would give up such a rare medicinal herb for someone they had met only a few days ago. The temptation of the Sky Penetrating Grass was certainly strong, yet she was able to resist her desires for it unwaveringly.
Soon after that, the group continued their search at the peak of the mountain. Some of them found a batch of medicinal herbs, and some were able to unearth some unique metals. The group finally stopped and descended from the mountain after they basically scoured the entire peak.
By the time they reached their camp, it was already the afternoon. Everyone ate some lunch and engaged in idle conversations as they settled themselves at the foot of the mountain. Meanwhile, Qing Shui was hesitating as he struggled to think of how to explain his decision to the group members.
It was time for Qing Shui to part ways with this group!
“We’ve traveled about 100,000 li into the mountains. Why don't we part our ways from here? I will continue on forward, so please head back to safety.” Qing Shui faced the group and spoke his words calmly.
All of them sank into silence, while some turned to look at Mu Qing for an answer. In a short amount of time, they had forged a bond similar to that of a family, adapting to each other's habits and characteristics without a problem. Now that Qing Shui had decided to risk his life by continuing forward, an indescribable feeling overwhelmed their heart and it felt quite uncomfortable. After all, he would only have a 10% chance of survival from here onwards.
“Qing Shui, I don't know how to stop you. It's too dangerous inside, so please stop. Based on your current ability, I suggest that you venture forth at a later date. Who knows, maybe we might find a Sky Penetrating Grass somewhere else or in a canal.” Mu Qing looked at Qing Shui with an expression of concern.
“Thank you. I know you are all worried for me, but I don't intend to die so quickly. I believe that I will be able to survive from here onwards.” Despite his adamant decision, he felt warmth in his heart, as he knew that someone was genuinely concerned for his life.
For Qing Shui, it honestly felt great since he didn't have any relatives or friends in the Eastern Victory Divine Continent when he first came here. With the exception to Dong Yan and Sun Yan, the closest relationship he had had would be his relationship with the members of the Mu Clan.
In other words, Qing Shui already considered the Mu Clan as one of his friends.
Mu Qing gave a low sigh and said: “Then please be careful. I'm uncertain about what's ahead. When you come back later on, please come and find me in the Mu Clan and let me know, alright? I will have a celebration for you.”
“Alright, I will.” Qing Shui smiled.
This meal had quickly turned into a farewell meal. Luckily, Qing Shui told them after they had eaten. Otherwise, everyone would lose their appetite in such a gloomy atmosphere.
“Take care, and please be extra careful. I will wait for your return!” Mu Qing locked her eyes with Qing Shui, as she said in a soft voice.
Qing Shui’s heart skipped a beat. He gave a firm nod to this beautiful woman as her words resounded in his mind. Her words felt amicable, but he understood her real intentions judging from her words.
He waved goodbye to the members of the Mu Clan and proceeded on his journey into the deeper parts of the forest. At the same time, he called out to them and said: “Be careful, you guys. Take care.”
Even after Qing Shui’s silhouette had disappeared into the forest, Mu Qing didn't turn back and stood there dumbfounded. She felt dazed and confused, it was as if she would lose Qing Shui forever.
However, she knew that only time could tell between Qing Shui and herself. Besides, it was best to let nature take its course. She convinced herself that she hadn’t fallen in love with him, so what would become of them would be left to the hands of destiny.
“He is the man among men, my girl. If you can’t capture his heart now, it’ll be difficult to do so in the future. Soon, he will rise up to the heavens and become the top among all martial warriors,” an old woman emerged from the group and said with a benevolent smile.
She was one of the two old women who had looked after Mu Qing ever since she was a little girl.
“Grandma, he didn’t seem to like me that much…..” Mu Qing gave an awkward laugh. She didn’t know what to think of her own words. This was the first man who had shown indifference to her after she had grown into a fine woman. She tried to convince herself that she was only curious about his behavior. Mu Qing believed her heart would heal accordingly with the passage of time.
“Heh heh, it’s not that he didn’t like you. He has too many burdens and does not have the ability to make room for romance. Don’t underestimate his calm composure. More than anyone, he has been through a lot from bearing everything on his shoulders all alone.” The old woman eye’s flashed with wisdom as she looked at Mu Qing, feeling proud of the woman she had become.
She gazed lovingly at Mu Qing as if she was her own child. The old woman never had a child of her own and she had never married throughout her entire life. Mu Qing was essentially the life of her soul.
Everyone has something precious within their hearts. That preciousness was a sort of backbone and a support to their lives. It was a reminder to stay true to who they were. This old woman’s precious treasure was none other than Mu Qing. She had dedicated her life to grant an impeccable honor and happiness upon the young woman she had cared for since young.
“Forget it. God will decide for us. Grandma, let’s go back. We have reaped so many good rewards for our efforts.” Mu Qing smiled at the old woman.
“Alright.” The old woman laughed and nodded. A faint smile appeared at the corner of her eyes as she looked at Mu Qing.
Qing Shui didn't have the Lightning Bees but he did have his spiritual sense. He also had a considerably strong spiritual energy, as well as the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal in his possession. Even if he were to face a dire situation inside the deeper parts of the mountain, he would still have various ways to evade danger or escape from threatening demonic beasts.
Qing Shui gained a surge of confidence after gaining a considerable amount of spiritual energy. He would have no problem avoiding - and killing - powerful demonic beasts or martial warriors as long as his powers were not restricted like that encounter he had with the woman in the crystal coffin.
He also had the company of his Thunderous Beast and Fire Bird, as well as the formidable Soulshake Bell. Thus, his days after parting with Mu Qing were quite carefree. If a demonic beast appeared and decided to attack Qing Shui, he would be more than happy to eradicate it instantly and turn the corpse into materials for demon refining, talisman drawing, or medicinal refinement.
In the blink of an eye, half a month had passed.
By now, Qing Shui was 150,000 li into the mountain range. He didn't spend a lot of time seeking treasures, so he was able to venture into the mountains with agility. All he cared about was getting further - the deeper he went, the better.
Qing Shui had a hunch that he would be able to find a Sky Penetrating Grass of 5,000 years or more at around 280,000 to 300,000 li. This was because he knew that someone was able to find a Sky Penetrating Grass of more than 5,000 Years at the range of about 300,000 li. If necessary, he would go as far as 500,000 li to try and find the grass. Should he bump into a difficult situation, he could always escape into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal or use his Nine Continents Steps to run away quickly.
Qing Shui had been inside the large and dense forest for five days already. The deeper he ventured into the forest, the more difficult it was for him to find the exit. The trees here stood tall in a towering stature. They were about 100 meters in height and their trunks were shockingly thick. There was practically no light here, and darkness consumed the entire forest.The dense leaves formed a makeshift roof, blocking any form of light from illuminating the ground.
The forest was filled with the subtle scent of ancient wood. Qing Shui would fly up to the sky once in awhile, advancing towards the inner mountain on top of the forest. However, this would increase the likelihood of encountering flocks of flying beast. Although it didn’t take him too much effort to kill these flying beasts, it was still quite troublesome to do so. Moreover, he didn't fly over the forest just so he could kill demonic beasts, but he did so to get out from the dense forest to get a clear sense of direction.
There were many encounters inside the forest as well. Group encounters were a common occurrence, but nothing at the sort of difficulty that he wouldn’t be able to handle.
Qing Shui felt perplexed. He might need to spend a few more days inside the ancient forest before he could get out. He was strongly tempted to use his Nine Continent Boots to reach the other side, but that wouldn’t assure his safety. In the end, he decided to find a way out slowly. It was the safest way, after all.
“Hmm, Jade Spirit Fruit?”
Suddenly, Qing Shui saw a tree of that was about ten meters in height somewhere far away. The thickness of the trunk was wide enough to be hugged by an adult. He was able to notice this tree due to its relatively diminutive appearance amongst the neighboring gigantic trees. Even with its height of ten meters, the tree was still considered a miniature tree in this area......
Hanging on the tree were hundreds of snow white fruits the size of fists. These fruits seemed familiar, and were similar to the Jade Spirit Fruit Qing Shui had known. However, he didn't really know what these fruits could do or how valuable they were.
Qing Shui’s eyesight was exceptional, so aside from the small tree, he was able to spot a demonic beast just beside it. The beast seemed comparatively larger when it laid on the ground beside the ‘fruit tree’.
Snow Lion King!
The moment Qing Shui saw the demonic beast, he immediately recognized it as the Snow Lion King. At first, he was shocked, because he had seen a Snow Lion Beast before. This lion was also known as the Snow Lion for short. He had met a Snow Lion in the Central Continent and it was the mount of the elderly man from the Medicine Emperor Clan in the Lingxi Country.
The Snow Lion of the elderly man from the Lingxi Country was less than 50 meters in size. But for its species, it was considered a large beast. However, the figure in front of him was twice as large as that Snow Lion. It seemed like a small mountain as it laid on the ground peacefully.
Qing Shui had a sudden thought and looked at the distance between the Snow Lion King and himself. They were a hundred meters apart, but the attack of the Thunderous Beast could still hit the Snow Lion King from where Qing Shui stood. He immediately summoned the Thunderous Beast and commanded it to use Thunderbolt on the Snow Lion King relentlessly.
In any case, the Snow Lion King was still the ruler of this area. How could it allow such a disrespectful act to continue without trying to teach them a lesson? With a loud roar, the Snow Lion King got up and quickly rushed toward Qing Shui to retaliate.
The Snow Lion King had guarded this area for about 200 years, which was quite a feat for a demonic beast of its size. Once the fruit had ripened, the Snow Lion King would be able to feast on it and become a Saint Lion Beast.
Descending Heavens Talisman!
Fiery Golden Eyes!
Violet Lightning Strike!
Art of Pursuing!
Qing Shui hit the Snow Lion King with his Big Dipper Sword, and his blows were followed by the endless assault of Thunderbolt from the Thunderous Beast.This perfect outcome from his simple strategy left Qing Shui in a state of shock.
The powerful Snow Lion King had become slower, as slow as a snail to be precise. It was barely breathing, since it had endured multiple hits from Thunderbolt and from Qing Shui’s Big Dipper Sword. The beast could be considered as quite powerful, especially with its formidable defense, which was somewhat on par with that of the Heavenly Fire-Armored Rock Bear. Otherwise, it would have been long dead by now.
If Qing Shui were to continue to debuff the Snow Lion King’s ability while having its weakness struck by Thunderous Beast continually, the lion would have breathed its last breath a few moments ago.
Qing Shui allowed the Thunderous Beast to stop when he saw the Snow Lion King on the verge of death. It would be a waste to kill such a majestic beast quickly, so he decided to capture and tame the beast for his own use. Normally, a demonic beasts with the title of ‘King’ in its name would hardly surrender itself to be tamed. They would rather die than submit themselves to the command of a mere human being. Because of their nature of a king, they need to prove themselves worthy of that title by being the best of their own species.
Qing Shui extended his arm toward the Snow Lion King to touch it. The beast widened its eyes, bearing an expression of alertness as it stared firmly at Qing Shui’s hand. However, with its life force draining away quickly, the lion could not move at all.
At that moment, Qing Shui could feel a strong resistance against his aura. Qing Shui sighed and took out a medicinal pill.
This medicinal pill could heal its wounds, but as he turned to look at the Snow Lion King, he could see a strong resistance in its eyes. A sheer force of determination lit from the lion’s eyes, it refused to give in even if death were to knock on its doors…...
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