After an hour, Ji Ning and his team had finished fully scouting out this ice planet. They didn’t find any Daomerge Firecloud Flowers, while they only found a single Incense Spirit-Fruit. They did find quite a number of other marvelous items.
“There was nothing?” The Flamewing God continued to fly about the skies like a streak of light, unwilling to admit defeat as he continued the search.
“Forget it, Flamewing. This ice planet was nothing more than a tiny fragment of the Icewind Sea continent. We should feel lucky that we even found a single Incense Spirit-Fruit,” Ning called out loudly.
Whoosh. Flamewing descended and transformed into human form. He stared at the floating azure fruit before them, then muttered, “It isn’t even ripe yet. I wonder how long it would take for it to fully ripen.”
“Judging from the looks of it, it’ll take roughly ten thousand chaos cycles to fully ripen,” Ning estimated with a smile. “But that’s simple.” Ning stepped forward to set up a formation around the spirit-fruit, causing spacetime to accelerate. As time began to speed up around the spirit-fruit, it began to absorb increasingly greater amounts of energy from the surrounding area.
Ning couldn’t just harvest it right away, as fruits like this could only develop in highly specific environments! Even if Ning moved it over to another part of the Icewind Sea, he still might not be able to ensure its survival.
“I’ll accelerate time around it by a rate of 3000x. If I increase it any further, the rate of energy absorption will destroy the entire frozen gorge,” Ning said. Powerful cultivators were living beings, making it extremely difficult to accelerate time for them. The Incense Spirit-Fruit, however, was just a type of unique vegetable. Given Ning’s mastery over the Dao of Time and the Dao of Formations, he would be able to easily accelerate time by even a rate of 10,000,000x. Slowing down time wasn’t too hard either. His main worry was that if he accelerated time too fast, the environment wouldn’t be able to provide the Incense Spirit-Fruit with enough energy.
“Thankfully, the Incense Spirit-Fruit will maintain its potency indefinitely after ripening.” Ning shook his head. “If it was like the Daomerge Firecloud Flower, which must be used within a thousand years after it ripens, it would be a pain to deal with.”
“The Daomerge Firecloud Flower has a far more powerful effect. Of course it also comes with more stringent requirements,” Azurefiend said.
Ning scanned the area one final time, then said: “Let’s go. If we have enough time, we can come back after a few chaos cycles.” Ning and the others boarded the realmship, then departed from this ice planet and entered the tempest once more.
Because Ning had personally set up a formation on the planet, he was able to sense its location even as they flew farther and farther away from the ice planet.
Whooooosh. A wild wind howled ravenously through the void, causing even Ning and the others to have a limited field of vision. All of them were staring at the outside, but there was nothing but a haze blocking their sight.
Still, judging from how powerful the infinitely cold aura radiating from the icy sea of energy was in each direction, they were able to sense the general direction of the main continent.
Time flowed on, one year at a time. The realmship continued to fly forwards at maximum speed, while Ning and his team remained within the warm interior, eating and drinking. Ning and Azurefiend often discussed the Dao with each other. Ning’s advantage was that he was skilled in many Daos, while Azurefiend was a Hegemon. They occasionally gained insights from their discussions with each other.
They spent over 150,000,000 years slowly flying through the tempest. During this time, they only encountered one additional ice planet. Alas, this one didn’t have any treasures which intrigued Ning at all, and the total value of the materials they found on it was perhaps at most comparable to an Archon’s networth. Ning naturally didn’t care at all.
“Here we are.” Ning revealed a smile as he rose to his feet.
“We’ve made it already?” Flamewing, Azurefiend, and Whitethaw all looked towards the outside, only to see an utterly vast iceworld that was a bit hard to make out due to the storm. This was a world that was unfathomably vaster than the two planet-sized pieces of ice they had encountered previously.
“Starting from today, all of us must be careful. Especially you, Flamewing; don’t cause any trouble!” Ning instructed. “The Icewind Sea is quite massive; so long as we remain cautious, we might be able to avoid detection by Sourcewalkers.”
“What have we to fear?” Flamewing was unhappy. “Master, based on what Realmslord Windgrace told us, the Sourcewalkers of the Icewind Sea are at most comparable to Otherverse Lords in power. I can beat the crap out of any of them!”
“Obey my commands.” Ning frowned. He was afraid of Flamewing causing trouble. Azurefiend was a Hegemon; he would definitely be extremely cautious in such a terrifying place as the Icewind Sea. The Protector Whitethaw went without saying; he would obey all orders unquestioningly. Flamewing, however… Ning might have tamed him, but he was still like a child. He might just go crazy and start causing chaos.
Flamewing lowered his head and started to mumble to itself.
“The Sourcewalkers might be a bit weaker than you, but they’ve lived in the Icewind Sea for an extremely long period of time and understand it much better than us. They might use the local environment against us. If Azurefiend and I aren’t careful, they might end up ambushing and killing us before you can do anything,” Ning explained.
“I’ll make sure to protect you and keep you safe, Master,” Flamewing said hurriedly.
“Also keep in mind that Realmslord Windgrace and the others only explored a small part of the Icewind Sea. There might be other unknown dangers here,” Ning said seriously. “That’s why you have to obey my orders.”
“Oh.” When Flamewing saw the serious look on Ning’s face, he nodded obediently. “I’ll do exactly what you tell me to do. If you tell me to fly, I definitely won’t walk on the ground. If you tell me to walk on the ground, I definitely won’t fly.”
Ning secretly let out a sigh of relief. Without Flamewing, he and Azurefiend would never dare to enter a place like the Icewind Sea. That’s why he had to make sure that Flamewing obeyed all of his orders; if they weren’t careful, they could very well die.
“Come, let’s keep going,” Ning said.
“The Icewind Sea!” Azurefiend was quite excited as well.
By now, the realmship had already landed upon the infinitely vast continent of ice. Ning and the other three flew out, then scanned their surroundings.
As far as they could see, the vast icy world around them seemed quiet and calm. However, a few vortexes rising into the skies could occasionally be seen. Given their ocular prowess, they were able to see to a distance of a trillion kilometers. Even there, they saw over ten thousand vortexes spiraling into the skies and merging into the tempest layer above.
“Scout the area out and find all treasures that are hidden here. Remember, stay close to each other and don’t run around,” Ning said. The four began to scout the place carefully by themselves…
This vast continent of ice had gorges, canyons, mountains, and more. However, everything was completely made out of ice!
The ice continent was almost as large as an entire territory in size. As a result, it had its own systemized ‘laws’, to the point where it had its own prime essences! Much like how the (much-smaller) everworlds had their own laws and essences, this vast continent did as well. Although it was merely the size of the Badlands Territory or Vastheaven Territory, its total energy levels surpassed that of entire otherverses!
It had its own laws and its own prime essences. Once a cultivator took control over the prime essences of an otherverse, that cultivator would become known as an ‘Otherverse Lord’. However, there was no way for anyone to take control over the prime essences of the Icewind Sea. Not even the Sourcewalkers who had lived in here since time immemorial were capable of it! The Sourcewalkers had merely been blessed by the prime essences of the Chaosverse, who had been enraged by the manner in which the Sithe had invaded and looted so many sacred sites. As a result, the Sourcewalkers were able to borrow some of the power from the sacred sites, causing the Sithe to suffer great losses as a result.
“If a Sourcewalker was able to take control over the entire Icewind Sea, then even Flamewing would be of no use. It might be able to stay alive, but the rest of us would probably be wiped out instantaneously.” After wandering the Icewind Sea for just a single year, Azurefiend found enough treasures to rival an ordinary Hegemon’s networth. This caused him to feel stunned as to how marvelous the Icewind Sea was.
“The Sithe were too proud and too ravenous, causing even the prime essences of the Chaosverse to feel enraged. That’s why the Sourcewalkers were granted power from these sacred places.” Ning smiled. “Ever since the Sithe were destroyed, there have been no further tales of Sourcewalkers being able to control such power.”
Suddenly, Ning’s Immortal energy flared out. Swish! It grabbed the other three, then brought them with Ning as he warped to the edges of a distant gorge.
Even ice planets had their own chaotic gravitational fields, preventing Ning and the others from warping through spacetime. The great ice continent, however, was extremely stable and had its own system of laws. The only places where things were chaotic were those vast vortexes which rose into the skies; there, warping through spacetime was impossible. Thus, Ning and the others engaged in fairly short warp teleports, ensuring that they were able to avoid those places. This process was still far faster than flying normally.
“Hm?” When the four arrived in the air above the canyon, they all peered downwards into it.
“I don’t see a Daomerge Firecloud Flower.” Azurefiend shook his head.
“I don’t sense any Fire-type energy at all,” Flamewing agreed.
This gorge was the place where Realmslord Windgrace and the others had discovered that Daomerge Firecloud Flower. Ning and the others had been making haste towards it, although of course they would’ve been pleased to find another flower midway.
One years… two years… three years. Ning and his team continued to advance through the Icewind Sea, searching for the flower Ning needed. They encountered and picked up a number of valuable fruits, but most were unripe. In addition, they were afraid to harvest too much, for fear of being discovered by the Sourcewalkers.