After all, there was still a year left.
The biggest problem right now was how to make the upcoming year as productive as the previous one.
Since he had successfully mastered his Purgatory Chains and Unshackled Doppelgangers, he could be sure that progress in the remaining year would be slow indeed. He could not afford to be hasty.
Abandoning dao enlightenment and the expansion of his Violet Kingdom for overly long would result in detrimental consequences.
"There isn't any room for improvement for my Heaven Earth Void techniques, mystiques, and the Ground Demon Transformation Art. Since I don't have the aid of the Yan Huang Ancient Souls in the remaining year, I might as well cultivate my dao enlightenment through the refining of immortal medicines and the drawing of spirit designs. Nonetheless, it seems too far-fetched to aim for the second tier of the Violet Kingdom of the Inner Sea Realm in just a year.
"Furthermore, given my lack of Inner Sea Essence Pills, even though my Unshackled Doppelganger has reached this level, where can I find so many Inner Sea Essence Pills once I leave this place without sufficient time?"
He frowned and pondered in the darkness.
The duel at Shushan was of paramount importance to him! It concerned his entire path of cultivation and was the greatest emotional hurdle obstructing his progress! He needed to settle everything once and for all.
With Nangong Wei, the Mizar Sword Immortal, and Beishan Mo, and even with the entire Shushan Immortal Sect.
Nangong Wei and Beishan Mo had been in the Shushan Reincarnation Realm for another three years. Without any trials, they would be progressing smoothly and would definitely improve by leaps and bounds again.
Wu Yu knew that it was still too dangerous to leave the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence now, given his current level.
"If I went to Shushan and couldn't even beat Beishan Mo, I’d be the laughing stock of the town. This... is a battle I can't afford to lose..."
Reality could be this harsh sometimes.
In the darkness, Wu Yu contemplated. Had he not entered the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence, his improvements would have been greater. The Yan Huang City Lord might even have allowed him to stay in the Yan Huang Ancient Well for three years, allowing him to burst through to the second tier of the Violet Kingdom of the Inner Sea Realm.
This way, even if he fell short of Beishan Mo and Nangong Wei in terms of cultivation level, he would still be a little more confident.
"You shouldn't overthink. In any case, you’re stuck here, so you can only give it your all instead of thinking useless thoughts. Now that you're trapped in this place, it's not even certain if you'll able to get out in time for the duel."
Ming Long took a relentless blow at him...
"You're right. Being overly desperate will only disrupt my dao heart. I'll just go with the flow when it comes to improving my cultivation level."
Although Wu Yu appeared calm, his survival instincts had never been so strong before.
Wu Yu subsequently used his previously purchased materials to refine immortal medicines and draw spirit designs. At this crucial juncture, his success rate had dipped substantially due to his emotional unrest. His inability to focus resulted in failed medicines and spirit designs time after time.
"There's a problem in your mental state," Ming Long said.
"How can I solve it?" Wu Yu asked.
Ming Long laughed and replied, "Forget your supposed duel. Although, if it were me, I wouldn't be able to do it. If I were you, I'd charge over and beat them all into submission, and make Nangong Wei kneel and lick my feet."
As he thought of that fiery little girl, he mused. Perhaps because both he and Nangong Wei had an affinity with fire, that was precisely why they weren't compatible.
But Wu Yu did not detest her. Far from it, he actually hoped that Nangong Wei would have a brighter future ahead, and perhaps even attain immortality.
Thinking about her calmed him down, and as Wu Yu continued his practice, he started to see some improvement.
"Wu Yu, come here for a moment." He suddenly heard Luo Pin's gentle and melodious voice calling out to him. Wu Yu immediately went in the direction of the main hall, where she had been all this while.
She had spent a large duration of time absorbed in her recovery and seldom spoke. What could she have called him over for?
After arriving in the courtyard in front of the front hall, he could see that Luo Pin still seemed to be submerged in a vast ocean. Under the gaze of Wu Yu's Eyes of Fire and Gold, her true form emerged: a white dragon circling in the depths of the ocean.
Her eyes remained closed; she was obviously still engrossed in the recovery process, and it would be inconvenient to interrupt her. Nonetheless, for her to call out to him under these circumstances, it was clear that she had something important to say to him.
From Wu Yu's position at the platform before the main hall, he was close enough to see the white dragon basking in a warm, bluish glow. All of a sudden, it occurred to him that in comparison to Nangong Wei, Luo Pin's personality was as pure as water and all-encompassing. Yet even with his intensely fiery personality, he found that he could still calm himself down whenever he was by her side.
Her tranquil expression would easily put anyone at ease.
"Wu Yu, having accompanied me into the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence, you've wasted a lot of time and even lost the chance to train for your duel with Beishan Mo under the best circumstances. I noticed that you've been feeling unsettled these days... Do you regret coming here with me?"
Above her closed eyes, Luo Pin's lashes fluttered delicately in the water. Her beauty was captivating.
Wu Yu shook his head, "Of course not. Once I've decided upon something, I never regret it. Having made a decision, no one can predict what the future holds. Moreover, being able to help you acquire the Precursor Dragon Scale and befriend someone like you, I feel that it's worth it."
Although he was unsettled, he had never once regretted it. Furthermore, the future remained uncertain for better or worse.
"If we had remained in the Yan Huang Ancient Well, you wouldn't have to be this anxious," Luo Pin said softly.
Wu Yu replied, "It doesn't matter where we are. Perhaps it's just because this duel is extremely important to me. Anyway, there isn't any fixed conclusion before the time comes."
Luo Pin's achievements were extraordinary, and she was someone Wu Yu respected greatly.
"You treat me as a friend and I've benefited greatly from our friendship. You surely wouldn't stand on ceremony in front of me, right?" Luo Pin suddenly said smilingly.
In reality, the fact that Luo Pin was able to obtain the Precursor Dragon Scale was certainly due in large part to Wu Yu.
For example, it was Wu Yu who suggested searching within the ancient city in the first place.
Wu Yu laughed dumbfoundedly. "Of course not..."
Just as he finished speaking, a Sumeru Pouch appeared by Luo Pin's side and flew through the air towards Wu Yu. A startled Wu Yu reached out with his hand and caught it. He did not expect Luo Pin to give him anything.
"Having wasted two years of your time, I feel guilty being your friend. Here's a little token of apology. After all, you just said that you wouldn't stand on ceremony," Luo Pin said. A hint of a smile played around her face. Under the light of the blue ocean glow, it was an especially breathtaking sight.
Wu Yu stood up and hefted the Sumeru Pouch. It was very heavy. He insisted, "I can't accept such gifts from my friends. Wouldn't that be equivalent to saying that I came in here and helped you with these rewards in mind?"
Needless to say, Luo Pin must have given him quite a few precious gifts.
Luo Pin adopted a stern expression, saying, "You just said that you wouldn't stand on ceremony. I'm only doing what a friend should do to alleviate my guilt, you don't have to be overly courteous with me."
Her determined tone brook no argument.
Wu Yu nonetheless felt that accepting her gift would be inappropriate and indicated that his intentions for following her into the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence were greedy. However, Luo Pin was obviously resolved. While considering how to politely reject her, he suddenly noticed a familiar object hanging around Luo Pin's milky-white and elegant neck.
He held the Sumeru Pouch for a moment before saying with a sudden grin, "Alright, I'll take it as a gift from you then. But it can't be one-sided. I'll give you something too and you definitely have to accept it."
Upon seeing Wu Yu accept her gift, Luo Pin was in good spirits. After all, Wu Yu wouldn't have anything really valuable, hence she replied without thinking twice, "Naturally."
She never expected Wu Yu to immediately say, "Well, then I hope that the next time we're fated to meet, the Damask of the Sea's Heart's is still in its present location. Alright?"
His gaze fell upon the blue silken cord around Luo Pin's neck.
Luo Pin opened her eyes, startled. Those deep blue irises fixed themselves on Wu Yu in somewhat of a daze.
She would never have imagined that Wu Yu would make such a decision. The Damask of the Sea's Heart was his first dao treasure. Even though it wasn't entirely suitable for him, it was still a dao treasure! It was invaluable! Even to the extent that countless Inner Sea Essence Pills would probably not be sufficient to purchase it.
Hence, she agreed for now.
Although Wu Yu had not said so explicitly, it was clear that by hoping for the Damask of the Sea's Heart to still be worn on her neck the next time they met, he was giving it to her.
And on a deeper level, this was a parting gift.
After Luo Pin had sufficiently recovered, they would inevitably have to part. Their worlds were different after all, and the time they would be able to meet again might be far ahead into the future, perhaps even never.
Parting gifts naturally held more significance compared to ordinary ones.
Even Ming Long gave Wu Yu a wide-eyed stare, saying, "Wow, you sure put in some serious investment when going after a girl! You just gave away the most valuable thing you possess in the blink of an eye, you wastrel. After treating you so well for so long, you haven't even given me anything worthwhile at all!"
In fact, Wu Yu had always acted according to his heart. He knew that the Damask of the Sea's Heart was priceless, yet these were his principles as both a friend and a man. Since Luo Pin had given him such a present, he definitely had to reciprocate, and the only gift he possessed that was worth anything was the Damask of the Sea's Heart.
Actually, Luo Pin had left the Damask of the Sea's Heart on all this while because she was afraid that other unforeseen incidents would occur within the Heaven Devouring Evil Residence, and the Damask of the Sea's Heart might be able to buy her some time to ensure their safety. She had been prepared to return it to Wu Yu once her condition had stabilized.
She opened her eyes, those deep blue irises meeting with Wu Yu's own Eyes of Fire and Gold. Perhaps she too could feel the intense oppressive aura he was emanating.
"Your eyes, they're different. Is this the result of your hard work during this period of time?" Luo Pin muttered.
"Yes." Wu Yu nodded.
Luo Pin stared at him intently, as if lost in his gaze. This youth made her feel strange. She had never seen anyone like Wu Yu. In fact, Wu Yu's cultivation level and hers were worlds apart, yet his proud and unyielding spirit was not inferior to her own at all. She had only intended to help him escape his emotional predicament, yet because of his pride, he had given her a gift that surpassed the value of the items in her Sumeru Pouch.
Furthermore, the significance of a parting gift was extraordinary indeed. Every time she noticed the Damask of the Sea's Heart on her neck, she would undoubtedly think of Wu Yu. This passionate, resolute, determined young man.
She nodded in a daze. "Alright, I'll accept it."
Wu Yu could detect the respect she had for him.
"I'll accept these treasures then."
With just a brief look, he could see that the number of Inner Sea Essence Pills far surpassed his imagination…
His doppelgangers had hope now.
They even had hope of breaking through to the next level!Previous Chapter Next Chapter