Ji Ning instantly felt his heart clench. Iceheart Pith was the foundation of the leaf?
“With the pith gone, there will be no more leaves in the future.” The Purgatory God looked at Ning. “Many other Empyrean Gods will enter the Myriad Mountains Island. I can’t just let one of the treasures disappear due to you.”
“But I heard that the person who left, Jueming, was given more than just a single Iceheart Leaf,” Ning suddenly said.
The Purgatory God’s face changed slightly. He cursed softly, “Damn that Jueming. Why did he have to blabber about the treasures?”
“Yes, your words are correct.” The Purgatory God looked towards Ning. “Jueming entered Undermoon Lake long, long ago. He was able to make it all the way to Myriad Mountains Island in one try, and was only the second person to make it here. Back then, there were many Iceheart Leafs, and so giving him twelve didn’t make much of a difference. But as time flowed on, the Empyrean Gods who entered this place were all tempered and strengthened. More of them entered Myriad Mountains Island…and as a result, the amount of treasures stored here began to run low. That’s why the reward was changed to be a single leaf.”
“Since you also made it all the way here on your first try…if you want twelve leaves, I’ll give them to you.”
The Purgatory God waved his hand. Whoosh. Instantly, the Iceheart Pith region began to ripple, as though some sort of restrictive spell had just been dissipated. One platter after another began to appear, each holding an Iceheart Leaf. There had to be at least ten thousand of the leaves within the great Iceheart Pith region.
“That many?” Ning was shocked.
“Is it? If every single Empyrean God takes away twelve leaves, then a thousand of them would take over more than ten thousand, yes?” The Purgatory God snorted. “I have to be sparing with these treasures. The only reason why I’m willing to offer you twelve is because you made it here on your first trip without failure. Twelve of the leaves wouldn’t be a problem, but the Iceheart Pith…that’s the foundation. Forget about it.”
Ning understood. These Iceheart Leaves all came from the Iceheart Pith before him; to acquire the pith was highly unlikely.
“Actually…” Ning suddenly said, “I only need a small amount of Iceheart Pith. Let’s say…a few dozen square meters of it?”
“A few dozen square meters?” The Purgatory God stared. “You call that a ‘small amount’?”
Ning felt a surge of delight in his heart. Judging from the Purgatory God’s attitude, there was clearly some bargaining room here.
“There are several square kilometers of Iceheart Pith here. A few dozen square meters is nothing,” Ning said hurriedly. Seeing the look on the Purgatory God’s face, Ning knew that he was rather unlikely to agree. Ning immediately said, “Just thirty square meters!”
“Do you know how deep the Iceheart Pith goes?” The Purgatory God explained, “They are nearly ninety meters deep. You want nearly 2700 cubic meters of it? Completely impossible.”
“Just nine meters deep and nine meters long,” Ning said hurriedly. “That’s all I want…”
The Purgatory God frowned.
“Just a tiny bit of Iceheart Pith and a single Iceheart Leaf.” Ning looked at the Purgatory God. “I won’t take any of the other treasures. Earlier, you said that I can take three of my choosing. All I want is a bit of Iceheart Pith and a single Iceheart Leaf.”
“Nine meters…” The Purgatory God looked at Ning, hesitating.
Ning looked back at him.
“Fine.” The Purgatory God nodded. “Since you made it all the way here on your first try...and since nine meters won’t have an impact on the foundation as a whole. Earlier, I told you that you can choose three treasures; now, you’ll only be allowed to pick a single Iceheart Leaf and some of the Iceheart Pith.”
Ning was overjoyed.
“Do you have any treasures to hold it?” The Purgatory God looked at Ning. Ning quickly took out a green-jade bottle. The Purgatory God nodded, then waved his hand. An invisible hand seemed to scrape out a small ‘crater’ in the Iceheart Pith, carving out a spherical portion that was nine meters long and nine meters deep. The Iceheart Pith floated straight towards Ning.
“Come here.” Ning willed it, and the Iceheart Pith instantly flew into the green-jade bottle. He plugged it with a stopper, then waved his hand and collected the Iceheart Pith flying towards him as well. Only then did Ning let out a sigh of relief.
He had finally succeeded. In truth, the other treasures here were of little interest to Ning. He was neither an artifact forger, nor was he a pill refiner, and he had no other skills that could make use of these things.
What he needed were treasures and techniques that would increase his own strength.
The Purgatory God muttered to himself, “I really got ripped off this time. I’m usually able to shoo away Empyrean Gods just by giving them three Iceheart Leafs or equivalent treasures, but I ran into yet another person who knew that Jueming acquired twelve. Jueming…what a troublemaker.”
“Shoo, shoo! Off with you!” The Purgatory God stared at Ning. “Are you waiting for me to show you off?”
Ning laughed, then immediately left.
Within the Immortal estate he was carrying. The second Ji Ning was within a meditative room inside the estate.
“I’ve acquired the Iceheart Pith.” Ning held the green-jade bottle in his hands, a look of delight on his face. “Fortunately, the Purgatory God was rather easygoing and easy to negotiate with. He wasn’t too stubborn. Otherwise, things would be quite troublesome.”
In truth, as soon as Ning saw that the Purgatory God had only been willing to give him a single Iceheart Leaf when Buddha Jueming had acquired twelve, Ning had immediately sensed that the Purgatory God was tampering with things a bit. This was because there was definitely no way that all of the other Empyrean Gods had merely received just a single leaf when they entered Myriad Mountains Island. The Purgatory God definitely had a certain amount of discretionary power.
Perhaps he wouldn’t be allowed to give an Empyrean God too much, but he could definitely choose to give them a bit less if he chose. And so, Ning decided to give negotiation a try…and he succeeded.
“Nine meters long, nine meters deep. Iceheart Pith is a bit lighter than I expected,” Ning mused to himself. “This amount of Iceheart Pith weighs roughly 300,000 kilograms or so.”
Iceheart Pith could float atop water. However, this amount sufficed for his needs.
“My thirty-six clones need a total of 180,000 kilograms. This is enough.”
After acquiring the necessary treasures, Ning no longer hesitated. He immediately took out a different, red-jade bottle. The red-jade bottle contained Ninefire Lava within it. Ning had prepared 50,000 kilograms of it for his journey to Undermoon Lake.
“Time to begin.”
Ning pulled open the stopper to the green-jade bottle and the red-jade bottle. He placed them atop the floor, then sat down in the lotus position.
Whoosh. Ning floated up into the air by roughly thirty meters, then the True Immortal energy within his body began to activate. Slowly, a formation-diagram created from an enormous amount of energy began to form below Ning. As the energy surged, the diagram began to shine with golden light. The formation of golden light formed a sphere of nearly three hundred meters that was like an enormous screen.
A large amount of runes flowed atop it as Ning’s energy flowed through it in an incomparably marvelous manner.
After a full hour, Ning finally finished manifesting the formation.
“The fire formation has finally manifested.” Ning let out a sigh of relief. He took out a Great Firmament pill to replenish his energy, then once more began to manifest a second formation. In the air above Ning’s head, a second formation of similar size began to slowly manifest. As Ning continued to materialize it, the formation slowly began to glow with black light. The formation continued to improve in power, until it became like black jade in appearance.
Three hundred meters of golden light below him.
Three hundred meters of black light above him.
“Now that the Icefire Formation has formed…it is time to refine the Jindan.” Ning opened his eyes and stared towards the two distant bottles. The red-jade bottle and the green-jade bottle began to release the Ninefire Lava and the Iceheart Pith within them.
A total of 7,500 kilograms flew out from each. Ning was worried that he would run out, and so he brought out a bit more than he needed.
The streams of Ninefire Lava and the Iceheart Pith transformed into two spheres that hovered before Ning. One was a sphere of Ninefire Lava, while the other was a sphere of Iceheart Pith. Within the two spheres, Ninefire Lava and Iceheart Pith slowly bubbled and frothed.
Whoooosh. The essence within the Ninefire Lava sphere began to automatically and slowly be drawn downwards, being absorbed into the golden light diagram. As for the sphere of Iceheart Pith, its essence was similarly being drawn up into the black light diagram above Ning.
After absorbing the essence of these two treasures, both diagrams dramatically increased in power. They now contained an unfathomable, mysterious power that began to flow into Ning’s body, mingling within the Pure Yang Jindan inside of Ning.
The two diametrically opposed types of energy, fire from Ninefire Lava and ice from Iceheart Pith, both came from treasures that were created by the primordial chaos. They held tremendous, marvelous power within them.
“What a comfortable feeling.”
Ning could sense that the Pure Yang Jindan within his body was being baptized and transformed by the unspeakably marvelous power of ice and fire. This was an extremely comfortable feeling, and the Jindan was slowly beginning to transform. Despite how slow the process was, Ning could clearly sense every single part of the change.
Despite being slow, after two or three days, the transformation would be quite shocking.
“According to the records I read of the Icefire Jindan Smelting method, it will take roughly a month to upgrade my Jindan to the second tier. This is a slow process of nourishing and transforming the Jindan that cannot be rushed.” Ning tamped down the eagerness and excitement he felt, allowing the two giant formations to slowly extract energy from the two types of items to smelt his Jindan.
He believed that a month from now, his Pure Yang Jindan would reach the second tier. He would be a half-step into the Daofather level of power. This was a qualitative transformation, a fundamental transformation. Once his Jindan transformed, the soul within the Jindan would also be empowered at a rapid pace.
“I’ll wait for a month.”
One clone trained in the Icefire Jindan Smelting method, while the other left the smaller island and reached the larger island; Myriad Mountains Island.
The entrance to Myriad Mountains Island also had a black stone stele before it. This one was covered with a diagram of flames.
“The stone stele in front of Volcano Island contained the staff-arts of Snowfiend. I imagine that this stone stele contains the the halberd-arts of the Purgatory God.” Ning was still quite intrigued; although he had battled against the Purgatory God for a long period of time, that was a wild fight that made it difficult for him to truly understand the true essence and nature of his opponent’s techniques.
Ning stood before the black stone stele, staring at the flame diagram. Soon, his mind was drawn into it.
Within a blurry region, a human-shaped creature was brandishing two halberds. The creature started with elementary stances, but slowly began to advance through the many deeper variations on the twin halberds technique. It started simple and became complicated; started slow and became fast. In the end, it formed into the most terrifying stance which the Purgatory God had.
A long time later, Ning’s mind escaped the stone stele. He revealed a look of approval on his face. “I gained quite a bit from viewing the entire technique, from start to finish. My twin swords are still a bit inferior by comparison.” Ning had gained certain insights that would allow him to perfect the [Brightmoon] sword-art further.
“First, Myriad Mountains Island.” Ning swept it with his gaze.
This vast island was filled with mountains. Some pierced high into the clouds, some were as slender and sharp as knives, some were short, some were strange-looking. There were at least ten thousand mountains here, and none of the mountains were linked together. To see more than ten thousand solitary mountains…this truly was a strange sight.
“I wonder which Empyrean Gods are on this island.” Ning immediately walked towards the depths of the island.