Xing Beichen fixed the shining bug with a blazing gaze as he lowered his voice as much as he could and said, “Metal-devouring Bugs are good stuff. They feast on all kinds of metal. Even though they’re small, they’re harder than any kind of metal.
“Also, Metal-devouring Bugs can merge with almost any spiritual tool. They can, to a great extent, improve the spiritual tool’s hardness and sharpness. The higher grade the Metal-devouring Bugs are, the better the strengthening effect they will have on spiritual tools.
“They are very ancient and extremely hard to find. I can’t believe you actually found some here in the heart of this meteor.”
While Xing Beichen talked, he constantly looked up at the mouth of the hole, fearing that Guan He would notice something.
An unpleasant look appeared on Nie Tian’s face as he put the Metal-devouring Bug that was only the size of his thumb into his ring of holding, and said, “You’re quite a wordy guy.”
If Metal-devouring Bugs were like Bone-devouring Leeches and were also an ancient species from the Desolate Antiquity Era, they should be exceptionally helpful for the upgrade of his bloodline as well.
However, since Xing Beichuan was there, Nie Tian didn’t choose to drain it of its flesh power with Life Drain and refine it into his heart right away.
Nor did he dig deeper to search for more Metal-devouring Bugs, even though he sensed with the help of his unique bloodline aura that there were more Metal-devouring Bugs buried in this meteor.
Not just that, but he even sensed the presence of a shockingly strong aura, which he believed belonged to a high grade Metal-devouring Bug.
The reason why the Qi warriors from the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan had failed to discover the Metal-devouring Bugs was because most human Qi warriors didn’t develop a keen perception of flesh aura.
The Metal-devouring Bugs were small and buried in the depths of the meteor. Plus, their flesh aura was rather weak. Therefore, it was understandable that they didn’t discover them.
“Are there more Metal-devouring Bugs here?” Xing Beichen asked in a low voice.
“I guess not,” Nie Tian answered with an indifferent tone.
“How did you know that there was a Metal-devouring Bug down here?”
“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”
Looking somewhat frustrated, Xing Beichen gave a weak sigh, but still refused to leave.
Since he refused to leave, Nie Tian couldn’t do anything. After pondering for a moment, he shot out of the hole without saying anything to Xing Beichen.
At that moment, Nie Tian started to feel that there was something strange with Xing Beichen. He had seriously wounded Wei Yu, and before that, killed Qi Jiuchuan and many other Trisword Sect disciples, but Xing Beichen didn’t seem very angry about any of that.
Nie Tian even had a feeling that Xing Beichen had faked the anger he had shown earlier when he had discovered that people from the Bliss Mountain Sect had assaulted and wiped out the Golden Stone Sect team.
The Trisword Sect had poured their cultivation resources into this man and viewed him as the future of their sect. However, unlike Yin Yanan and Qiao Yunxi, he didn’t seem to care very much about the deaths of their powerful experts.
Just as Xing Beichen couldn’t see through him, he also couldn’t see through Xing Beichen. He knew in his heart that this harmless-looking man must have many secrets.
With these thoughts, he landed on the meteor’s surface.
Seeing him, the plump Guan He asked indifferently from afar, “Found anything?”
Nie Tian shook his head. “Nothing.”
“I told you that you were wasting your time. We’ve already done a thorough scan of the area. We didn’t find anything, but you thought you could?” With these words, Guan He jumped onto her air-transportation spiritual tool and left for the meteor where Yin Yanan and Qiao Yunxi were, along with all of the other members of the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan who had come to search this meteor.
After she left, Xing Beichen took his time to surface from the hole. Stopping beside Nie Tian, he said, “How about you sell me that Metal-devouring Bug? Just name your price.”
“Are you really so interested in it?” Nie Tian asked, smiling.
With a warm smile, Xing Beichen said, “As you know, I’m from the Trisword Sect. My most suited spiritual tools are swords. I’m hoping to take that Metal-devouring Bug back to my sect and have our best equipment forger refine it into my spiritual sword.”
“Well,” Nie Tian said, “it’s not for sale. Sorry.”
Since the Metal-devouring Bug could help him accelerate the upgrade of his bloodline, he surely wouldn’t sell it for any amount of spirit stones.
“Umm, okay...” Xing Beichen said with a dry smile.
At that moment, Qiao Yunxi flew over on her Flame Bird, muttering something as she did, looking disgruntled.
Nie Tian gazed off at the meteor which she had just left, and saw Yin Yanan from the Beast-controlling Sect in ecstasy, as if she had reached some mutual understanding with the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan.
Qiao Yunxi snorted coldly and said, “Let’s go. That woman isn’t leaving any time soon.”
“What happened?” Xing Beichen asked. “She managed to persuade the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan to give her the eighth grade Frost Python, didn’t she?”
“Yeah.” Qiao Yunxi looked rather discontent. “I told them the same thing, that as long as they give the Heaven Flame Beast to me, my sect will definitely repay them generously. But they refused and kept the Heaven Flame Beast for themselves.”
Xing Beichen didn’t seem very surprised as he said, “Yin Yanan showed up and scared those people from the Bliss Mountain Sect off, which relieved them from further casualties. I suppose they only agreed to her request in light of such a contribution. Since none of us made any sort of contribution, it’s only natural that they don’t want to give the Heaven Flame Beast’s corpse to you. Plus, they already agreed to give the eighth grade Frost Python’s corpse to Yin Yanan. How can you expect them to give the only remaining Heaven Flame Beast’s corpse to you?”
“Alright, alright! Enough of that!” Qiao Yunxi was in a bad mood, so didn’t want to listen to his reasoning.
Then, she beckoned for Nie Tian to join her on her Flame Bird.
“I want to stay here and practice cultivation for some time,” Nie Tian said.
Upon hearing these words, a hearty smile appeared on Xing Beichen’s face as he chimed in, “I want to stay and cultivate for a while too.”
Qiao Yunxi went blank briefly before asking with a confused expression, “What the hell are you two doing?”
Xing Beichen smiled, but didn’t say anything.
After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian gazed off towards the place where the Guan Clan and the Jian Clan members were gathered. Only after making sure that none of them were spying on them did he say, “There are Metal-devouring Bugs under our feet.”
Qiao Yunxi was taken aback. “Metal-devouring Bugs!?”
Xing Beichen’s eyes lit up as he finally confirmed his speculation that there was more than one Metal-devouring Bug buried in this meteor.
“Shh!” Nie Tian shot Qiao Yunxi a warning glance.
Qiao Yunxi then nodded and rapidly calmed down. “Those from the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan won’t stay here for very long. They’re afraid that the outsiders will come to this area. Besides, they think that there might be other spirit beast corpses hidden in nearby meteors, so they’re planning to go and do a quick examination of all of them.”
Xing Beichen chimed in, “Given their strength, it won’t be very long before they unearth that Heaven Flame Beast’s corpse, so all we need to do is wait.”
“Alright.” The three of them exchanged a glance and reached a mutual understanding.
Time passed bit by bit...
As loud rumbles echoed, the Heavenflame Stones were first unearthed and collected from the meteor where the Heaven Flame Beast corpse was buried.
Shortly afterwards, with the Jian Clan and Guan Clan members’ joint efforts, the enormous Heaven Flame Beast corpse gradually appeared.
Even though it had long since died, the eighth grade Heaven Flame Beast still emanated a shockingly strong flesh aura, along with torrential flame power.
Even the Flame Dragon Armor’s soul was stirred, and sent soul messages to Nie Tian to express its strong desire for it.
The Flame Dragon Armor had consumed a significant amount of flame power to refine the six fierce souls and the Phantasm soul.
It yearned for such raging flame power so that it could recover its strength.
The eighth grade Heaven Flame Beast’s corpse would provide it with ideal nourishment.
However, Nie Tian could only ignore its repeated requests. He knew that there was no way he could take the Heaven Flame Beast corpse from so many powerful Guan Clan and Jian Clan experts.
The Heaven Flame Beast slowly rose from the depths of the meteor. However, before Nie Tian could get a good look at it, it was sucked into Guan Gao’s ring of holding.
After finishing with the Heaven Flame Beast, Guan Qi flew over from that meteor and asked Qiao Yunxi, “Are you coming with us?”
“Thank you for your kind offer, but we’ll stay and wait for Yin Yanan,” Qiao Yunxi said. “After all, we came together.”
Guan Qi nodded slightly. “Alright then. We’ll keep the Heaven Flame Beast corpse intact for some time. If we run into Senior Yue soon, and he happens to have something that suits our needs better, perhaps the Heaven Flame Beast corpse will end up being yours eventually.”
After hearing these words, Qiao Yunxi’s face warmed up a bit as she said, “Exactly! Keep it intact. Our grand elder will definitely have something better to trade with you for it!”
“Don’t worry. We’ll keep it for you for some time.” Guan Qi smiled and returned to the meteor where the members of the two clans were gathered. Then, they got on their respective air-transportation spiritual tools and left.
On another meteor, Yin Yanan had dug deep into the meteor to help her Frost Blood Python absorb the remaining power within the corpse of the eighth grade Frost Python.
“They’ve left!” Xing Beichen said, smiling. Before Nie Tian could say anything, he took the initiative to dash down the hole where Nie Tian had found the Metal-devouring Bug.
Nie Tian let out a cold harrumph. “Isn’t he quick?”
Hey guys, today marks a traditional Chinese festival which is called Xiao Nian, or "Little Spring Festival". It's celebrated on the 23rd day of the last lunar month.
According to Chinese tradition, Xiao Nian is a day for people to offer sacrifices to the Kitchen God, clean their houses and eat melon-shaped candies. In Chinese legends, this god watches over people's actions and words in the kitchen. On Xiao Nian, he returns to heaven and reports back to the mighty Jade Emperor. By offering candies to the Kitchen God on Xiao Nian, people hope he will become sweet-lipped, and say more good things about them, thus bringing good fortune to the family.
Usually, people clean their houses and put up spring festival decorations on this day. In north China (where I live), Xiao Nian is often viewed as a prelude to the larger Spring Festival celebration.