The soul was the most mysterious part of a cultivator. Even now, there was no one that was able to fully understand the secrets of it, and enhancing it was quite difficult.
This sea marrow crystal had a value surpassing 200,000 spirit stones and had been fully absorbed in less than half a day. Luckily, with this exorbitant usage of resources, the increase of his soul force was that much faster. He flipped his hand and produced a jade box. Taking out a palm-sized purple flower, he swallowed it up, closed his eyes, and began to refine it.
Perhaps if he continued at this speed, he might be able to refine the third of the five-element spiritual objects in several more days.
Five days later.
Qin Yu opened his eyes and a flash of divine light erupted from his pupils. With a flick of his sleeves, the Fleeting Flame Furnace appeared. Metal, water, wood, fire, earth – since he had started with refining the water-element spiritual object, then he should follow the path of mutual constraint and support recorded within the Five Element Sword Diagram. If so, the next thing he needed to refine was the fire element spiritual object.
The top of the furnace popped open and a sphere of red light flew out. It appeared as if it wanted to run away but then it seemed to sense something. It paused for a moment and hovered in front of Qin Yu. Its burning aura caused the surrounding temperature to rapidly increase, and this was only the natural emanations of its heat. If it were to blow up then the entire Sea Spirit Pavilion would be reduced to ashes!
Qin Yu lifted his hand. Magic power rushed out from his palm, quickly turning into a furnace. The red sphere of light let out a whistle and flew into it on its own initiative.
Qin Yu’s eyes brightened.
The five elements all originated from the same source, thus they possessed an overwhelming instinct to fuse together as one. Perhaps the fusing of the five elements that was listed in the appendix of the Five Element Sword Diagram really did exist.
As soon as this thought appeared, Qin Yu pushed it away. He closed his eyes and refined with all his strength.
The world was blazing red and dreadfully high temperatures wreaked havoc all around. All that could be seen was churning magma and air distorted within the fiery heat. This was a world of fire and magma, a world buried beneath the earth that hadn’t had any contact with the surface for billions and trillions of years. This stability lasted for countless years. Then, one day, there was a great change in the world. A massive impact struck the world and a horrifying strength pierced through the plates of the earth. Magma instantly flowed out through the gap, eventually terrifying through the ground and turning into a destructive plume that tore into the skies. In the blink of an eye, strength capable of destroying the heavens and earth erupted. Following the crack in the earth, a crystal wrapped in magma that had been still for endless years was sent tumbling through the horizon. Flames followed behind it, swallowing all forests. Wherever it went, all life was annihilated, with only death and destruction left behind.
Qin Yu’s complexion turned red and steam rose up from all over his body. The reinforced ground that was able to withstand all sorts of extreme environments was suddenly scorched black. The furnace in Qin Yu’s hand gently trembled and then magic power scattered outwards before fusing into his body.
His dantian sea suddenly became far brighter. A palm-sized crystal with sixteen sides appeared. Red light tumbled on its surface, making it seem like a small sun. It resonated with the lotus seed and willow branch, finally achieving a measure of synchronization with Qin Yu’s aura.
He had completed refining the fire-element spiritual object.
Qin Yu opened his eyes. After a brief moment of dizziness, brightness grew in his eyes. He carefully probed himself. A smile began to appear on the corners of his lips. Indeed, after his soul became stronger he could contain more memories and the effects they had on him were much smaller.
After refining the third spiritual object, he was now another step further on his road. Qin Yu swallowed a pill and began to restore his losses.
Originally, he wanted to continue refining treasures to strengthen his soul force, but he soon received two pieces of news and couldn’t help but pause his cultivation.
The first – because Sea Spirit Pavilion had recently begun a massive purchase of soul strengthening treasures, the scarcity had led to a sharp increase in price. It seemed as if some force were meddling behind the scenes to cause the price to surge by over two times in a short period of time. If they were to continue purchasing in this environment, not only would it be a far higher cost, but those with dark intentions would continue to push up the price. After Chief Manager Wu investigated the situation, he recommended to suspend purchases for some time until the market stabilized. Or, they could use the network of Sea Spirit Pavilion to make purchases from other sea race cities.
Qin Yu nodded in understanding upon hearing this. He asked the chief manager to borrow the connections of Sea Spirit Pavilion to make more purchases. Of course, this required additional expenses and there was also a period of time needed for shipment to the capital city.
As for the second piece of news, it was neither good nor bad. Every ten years in the sea region, a large-scale sea spirit teacher competition would be held. The champion of this event would be given the opportunity to challenge the position of the ten great Purple Cards, and winning would allow the victor to take up one of the ten positions and become one of the incomparably revered Purple Card sea spirit teachers.
If this was just a title and a bit of reputation, Qin Yu would have never considered this at all. But, the key point of the issue was that a new Purple Card sea spirit teacher would be given a chance to obtain a sea spirit baptism. This was an ancient ritual and the cost of activating it required a minimum of ten million spirit stones. But, one couldn’t assume it was precious because of the monetary cost alone. There were countless sea spirit teachers willing to brandish their spirit stone cards, but no matter how much they paid, they would never be given the chance to obtain a sea spirit baptism.
This was an ancient ritual only opened for Purple Card sea spirit teachers. It could enhance the abilities of a sea spirit teacher, and according to the private investigation of Sea Spirit Pavilion, it was found that it had a particularly great effect in enhancing one’s soul.
Looking at the satisfied smile plastered over Chief Manager Wu’s face, Qin Yu thought that these final words were especially meant for him to hear. And, he was well aware that Chief Manager Wu definitely wouldn’t joke around with something so serious. The sea spirit baptism definitely had the ability to strengthen his soul. Of course, there was a risk that he would be exposed. He silently glanced through the introductory rules of the competition.
“How about it? Has mister carefully considered whether or not you would like to attend this competition?” Chief Manager Wu smiled. “According to tradition, our Sea Spirit Pavilion has a single quota for someone to enter the finals directly.”
Qin Yu’s eyes brightened. “Directly enter the finals?”
Chief Manager Wu winningly smiled. “That’s right. If mister decides to participate, then I will handle everything else. You will only need to attend the final competition, and if you win, you will be given the chance to challenge for the Purple Card. It won’t take too long and there is also the reward of the sea spirit baptism to consider.” He continued sincerely, “At the very least, I believe that mister shouldn’t miss out on such a chance.”
“Very well, I agree.”
Chief Manager Wu’s eyes lit up. “Then, mister should rest well. I will come a few days before the competition begins and inform you.” He said and quickly departed.
Qin Yu leaned down on a sofa. He could guess why Chief Manager Wu was trying so hard to have him participate in this competition, but he also couldn’t help but admit that to him, this sea spirit baptism was indeed incredibly tempting.
And, the most important reason was that Qin Yu had glanced through the general outline of the competition. Sea spirit teachers would compete in a sealed environment where outsiders wouldn’t be able to observe.
If this weren’t so, then even if the chance to undergo the sea spirit baptism was directly offered to him, he still wouldn’t want to mess with it. He rubbed his forehead. When he competed he definitely needed to be more careful and not reveal his identity.
After refining the final soul strengthening treasure in his storage ring, Qin Yu suddenly thought of something. A quick memory flashed through his mind and he flipped over his hand, producing a transparent bead. Dark fog swirled within it. It contained a massive amount of absorbed soul force.
This was the soul bead that he had obtained in the Netherworld Realm after using the Skythunder Bamboo to kill a high level specter. Looking at it further, Qin Yu regretted that he hadn’t been more patient. If he had, he could have lured several more high level specters to gather up and he wouldn’t need to worry so much now.
Qin Yu had already carefully examined the soul force within the soul bead; he could directly absorb it. But just as he was about to begin, he suddenly discovered there was something else that was extremely interested in it.
It was currently daytime and the little blue lamp had been put away. The Soul Mushroom was put side by side with the two other sea spirit plants. At this moment, the gray mushroom gently shivered. This was an extremely minor vibration. If one didn’t have sharp eyesight and also closely observed it, it would have been impossible to notice.
Qin Yu was surprised to discover this. He placed the soul bead near the mushroom, and once he did, the fog swirling within began to wildly tumble.
The soul bead shattered. Qin Yu felt an instinctual pull in his soul, but he forcefully suppressed this desire and watched as the Soul Mushroom locked onto the soul force and completely absorbed it. After a moment, a trace of blue appeared on the surface of the Soul Mushroom. In several breaths of time, it rapidly spread over, turning the entire mushroom blue.
This faint blue color was like the first traces of spring after a deep and dark winter. It represented birth and the beginning of vitality.
Blue…one hundred years!
Qin Yu was overjoyed. He never thought that a single soul bead could actually help the Soul Mushroom overcome that key step in its transformation. Although the accumulated light from the little blue lamp had definitely played a role, it was impossible to deny just how amazing the effects of the soul bead were.
He regretted once again that he hadn’t killed several more high level specters…and once he recalled the words that the old turtle had told him after leaving the Netherworld Sea Region, even if he knew about the use of the soul beads, he still didn’t dare to return.
Whatever, whatever…since things had gotten to this point, fretting over it any more was meaningless. He comforted himself and put the Soul Mushroom away. Then, Qin Yu sat down and gathered his thoughts.
He took out some pills and swallowed them.
He couldn’t continue refining treasures to strengthen his soul, but he could still cultivate. It would be a shame to waste any bit of time he had, and while the effects of Star Pills were much weaker in enhancing the soul, there would always be an effect in accumulating a little bit at a time.
As Leon continued admiring his teacher, Qin Yu also continued his seclusion. During this time, the sea spirit teacher competition swept throughout the entire world of the sea races, drawing in all their attention like a surging torrent. For a period of time, it was the uncontested topic to talk about. From the capital city to the most remote sea race tribes, from the high level figures to the commoners, everyone heatedly discussed this event.
The ten great Purple Card sea spirit teachers were the most mentioned figures. When people spoke of them, their eyes would be filled with awe and reverence.
There were only ten Purple Cards, and each one was said to be the embodiment of sea spirits in the world, divine travelers that walked amongst mortals. The ‘sea spirits’ mentioned here wasn’t referring to spiritual plants and objects but to the invisible will that encompassed the entire sea region. It was the sea that gave birth to the sea races. It was the sea that gave them a place to reproduce and live, and it was the sea that gave them the right to survive and live in prosperity.
As incarnations of the sea spirits, it was natural that they would possess revered statuses. In some ancient and remote sea race tribes, these Purple Cards were respected even more than the ruler within the capital city’s royal palace.
All sea spirit teachers, no matter how great their talent was, no matter if they were strong or weak, would attend the competition with pride. This was because attending the competition represented the dream that they all chased after, as well as being a way to express their hard work and struggle to the invisible sea spirits to gain their favor and perhaps obtain a greater strength.
A vast, large-scale preliminary competition was held. After ten days of consecutive competition and layers upon layers of elimination, each competition area was repeatedly reduced to the top ten participants. These ten participants were able to compete in the next intermediate stage. Public interest sharply rose during the intermediate stage. More and more sea spirit teachers rose up amongst the new generation, each one of them displaying their skills and abilities with zest.
Various sea spirit influences, tribes, noble families, and many others dispatched observers to watch the competition with wide eyes. Even if the participants failed, this didn’t necessarily matter because there was always a chance that a rich contract would be delivered to them in the next moment. This great competition that swept through the sea region was designed to give sea spirit teachers a chance for them to show off and make a name for themselves. Of course, this didn’t conflict with their reverent thoughts, because in the eyes of the sea spirit teachers, this chance was granted to them by the sea spirits.
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