Chapter 69: Beast Cores
Xu Min was not from a big family; his education was lacking, and he knew nothing about medicinal herbs. He understood that some alchemists would pay an incredibly high price to get these herbs, and they would then create medicinal pills which would be beneficial for cultivators.
These herbs could also be consumed fresh, without any adverse side-effects.They would have a good effect on the body as well as the inner and outer strength. Unfortunately, some of these plants were poisonous before they were refined. Xu Min knew that he had no knowledge about these plants and without Cao Cao by his side to tell him about the herbs, he dared not consume them.
What he did consume were the beast cores. He had the option of either absorbing them and allowing for his inner energies to rise drastically or keep the cores and use them when it came to the immortal valley ranking.
"Well, the ranking as such means nothing to me," Xu Min sighed as he was seated at the top of a tree. He had been contemplating for long. "I am here for the sake of increasing my strength. The stronger I become the faster I can deal with the Zhong family and return to Meilin's side," he stated. The beast core then appeared in his hand. Sitting down in a lotus position on a thick branch, Xu Min closed his eyes and breathed in and out. He calmed himself as he started to absorb the energy within the core. A golden mist started to leave the core, and Xu Min breathed it in. The moment it entered his body the body slowly started refining it, making it into Qi which slowly entered his dantian.
It took him a couple of hours to absorb the entire energy from within the beast core. As the last few grains of golden light had been ingested, Xu Min opened his eyes and looked at the empty core in his hand. He Decided to keep it so that he could store it within his storage treasure.
Flexing and stretching his body, a great smile appeared on his face. The inner energy was so abundant that Xu Min knew it was almost time for him to break into the third star. His strength had long since reached the bottleneck, but no matter how much he had cultivated he had been stuck there. Absorbing the energy from the beast core, he finally understood that the energy he had absorbed was helping him overcome his plateau. He was still not at the third star, but another beast core or two, and he would break through.
Having noticed how close he was to breaking through, Xu Min instantly strategized a battle plan. He was to hunt more beasts and absorb their beast cores. This way he would be able to quickly reach the third star, at which point his strength would greatly increase. He then would become a much stronger opponent. Once a third-star, he would not have to fear the four-star Warriors and would have ways to deal with the five-star Warriors.
Even though he knew that his strength would increase like this, Xu Min was also aware he was uncertain that he could manage the stronger opponents, especially now that Cao Cao was no longer by his side. He felt slightly intimidated without his dear friend’s help. He knew defeating the stronger opponents would make everything harder.
"That damned Guardian! Why'd he have to take Cao Cao away from me?" he cursed as he made his way forward, running from one tree to another. However, his bad mood quickly changed, and a smile appeared on his face as he looked down. An Iron-coated Warpig was in front of him. Although Xu Min knew that these creatures were difficult to defeat due to their strong outer-defense, this beast was equal to a three-star Warrior.
Relying on his strength, Xu Min jumped from his high position up the tree. With the sword in his hand, he landed on the ground and swung the sword. A direct slice to the head, Xu Min decapitated the warpig. The execution was swift and painless; the warpig never noticed what had happened before its death.
Once more, Xu Min was in a hurry. He used his hands and a knife to cut out the beast core before taking to the treetops.
Leaving the battleground once more, Xu Min kept moving forward until he suddenly came to a stop. In front of him was the sounds of laughter and chatting. Staying in his high tree top, he heard the voices come closer and closer. Looking down, he saw a group of experts making their way through the wilderness together.
None of them were worried about beasts overhearing them. If anything they wished for beasts to come, so they could battle them and get more beast cores.
Xu Min did not recognize any of the members, but he still had no intention of showing himself to these people. Xu Min preferred to be on his own; he waited patiently for the group to pass. While waiting, he could not help but listen to what was being said.
"I met the Snow Mountain group before. Although they are strong, they dared not kill me since Snow Mountain is nothing compared to our Dragon Ruins," one of the people boasted, "but they told me they are giving a great reward for whoever kills that young man from the City of Thousand Stars. He was with the Bu family, but he isn't a part of their family."
"Isn't he called Yanluo by those Snow Mountain people? Seems quite troublesome to me," a girl asked. Her question caused some murmurs to be heard, and everyone nodded their heads. It was clear that this Xu Min was truly troublesome.
"Well even if he is hard to kill, so is some of the magical beasts," the first speaker spoke again, "We have been battling hard to kill beasts all this time. He just like one of them, except he will bring in even better rewards! Why fear him? Yes, he killed a lot of experts, but he was lucky. All of us would be able to kill lots of experts as well if we wanted to do so. We are just too clever. None of us would volunteer to become enemies of Snow Mountain."
Xu Min, who was just above them. He was surprised to hear that they were trying to hunt him, but a grim expression appeared on his face. Although Cao Cao was not there, Xu Min was not an easy target. Relying on his sword, he was capable of defeating anyone below the fifth-star warrior. Even if he were to die, he would take quite a few people with him.
Without moving, the group below were not alert enough to notice Xu Min who was sitting as still as a rock, not moving in the slightest. This group would have noticed him had they been using their inner energy to scan the surrounding areas. However, none of them had considered doing this. They felt completely safe since they were in great numbers.
As they had vanished into the distance, Xu Min could not help but snort in contempt of their carelessness. "Well no need to worry about them any longer," he mused to himself as he took the beast core and once more sat down in a lotus position. He started absorbing the energy within.
As more and more energy entering his body, he could feel his plateau slowly dissolving. His internal energy was constantly surging. Suddenly, it was as though a massive black hole appeared within his body. All the energy in the surrounding area was surging towards him, entering his body.
Every little bit of energy which entered his body enhanced the durability of the body making it tougher than before. The muscles swelled under the constant surge of energy. Soon his strength was more than double. Xu Min smirked. His body had finally reached the third-star Warrior rank, but this was not all.
The energy kept pouring into the body. Though it was making the body itself stronger, it also ended up being refining into Qi. Deep within Xu Min's dantian, there was a thousand specks of light that constantly shone. More and more specks had shone before they turned to a clear liquid, sucking up more and more specks. The internal energy within Xu Min's body was changing into a large drop of mercury-like liquid.
This mercury-like liquid kept changing. The liquid constantly hovered in the middle of the dantian and greedily sucked up one speck of light after another. Xu Min felt his internal strength grew tremendously. He was shocked to feel the changes within himself.
Previously, he was quite worried about how he should survive this Immortal Valley Ranking, but now, he was no longer worried. Without being overly confident, he still assumed that with his sword he should be able to defeat the majority of the experts that came his way.
He would still be at a disadvantage against groups of experts, but as long as it was defending himself and allowing for him to escape than he should be fine. Even so, Xu Min could not help but swear at the Guardian who took Cao Cao away from him. He was no longer as safe as he used to be.
Finally, after what seemed to be an entire hour did the rapid absorption of energy stop and Xu Min clenched his hand excitedly. Standing up, he looked around. Without waiting any further, he once more traveled treetop to treetop.
As he moved around, he found a lot of humans aiming towards the area he had just left. Many of them clearly sensed the strong energy fluctuations and went to see their origins. Such fluctuations usually came from treasures or breakthroughs. Everyone close by were willing to risk running into experts in the case they found a real treasure.
Moving away from the location, Xu Min was not interested in battling the oncoming experts. Sometimes he found people battling one another, but he still did not stop; instead, he kept on his way.
The further away he got the quieter the area became. Using his Qi to scan the area, Xu Min found that there were no humans around him. Nevertheless, a cave was located on the outskirts of his range in which a beast equaled to a five-star Warrior resided.
Noticing the location of this beast, Xu Min grew very curious. He was eager to see just how well he would match up against a five-star beast. He was deeply curious about what was hidden within the cave. It must contain some treasures.
Inching closer, Xu Min had his Qi spread wide to make sure no other cultivators had seen this cave and were attempting to attack. A look of ruthlessness shown on Xu Min's face. Even though he was not interested in attacking humans, he was very interested in this five-star beast. He would fight for the right to battle it if he had to.
Fortunately, no one was present within Xu Min's range of the Qi blanket he had spread out. As he inched closer, he noticed that the beast was a Golden-furred Blood Lion. A wry smile appeared on Xu Min's face when he recognized the beast’s race. The Golden-furred Blood Lion was renowned for their outstanding offense, and Xu Min while looking at it, could feel his blood boiling. He was very excited about the battle that was going to commence.