Clouds and fog rolled between the mountains, covering the entire deep valley. This fog was like an illusion, a phantom, reflecting a faint halo of light no matter how much sunlight fell unto the valley’s medicinal field. The medicinal fragrance rushed into the senses like peerless dishes. With so many spirit plants placed right in front for eating, this was truly the biggest test of a chicken’s life!
The chicken overlord stood at the side of the medicinal field, its throat twitching as it gulped again and again, its face twisted with reluctance. Should I eat? Or do I eat? Its small eyes widened and it flapped its wings several times, getting ready to pounce like a tiger spotting its prey. But at this time, the fog outside the valley suddenly swirled and parted.
The chicken overlord wildly swung its head, fear and shock in its small eyes. It raised its claws and wings, preparing to flee at the next moment. But then surprise filled its face. In the blink of an eye, it went from fleeing to standing in a heroic position, as if it were a brave champion ready to die where it stood!
With a loud cry, the chicken overlord pounced up and flew outwards. As its wings swung up, a gale whipped up around it. With its dashing momentum and daring demeanor it fit the poetic description of ‘the chilly wind howls and the river waters run cold’. Like this, the chicken overlord ventured forwards, without any thoughts of turning!
This is how loyal and devoted I am, how unafraid of death I am! No one can touch the medicine garden that master left behind!
As Qin Yu walked out from the fog, what he saw in front of him was the staunch and dutiful chicken overlord. With a twitch of his lips, he flicked his sleeves and sent it flying away.
Don’t ask why a chicken was capable of emitting such a sound because this was how it cried out. It flew away miserably, tumbling about several times on the ground before falling motionless. If its cries were so tragic and authentic, then how come when it was tumbling on the ground it used its wings to protect its face? It hadn’t made any progress at all!
Qin Yu waved a hand and the bamboo dragonfly flew into his hand. After probing it, he sensed that during the time he was away, the mountain valley had remained safe and quiet.
The chicken overlord was embarrassed. It struggled inwardly for three seconds before leaping up like a carp from water and rushing over to Qin Yu, wagging its tail feathers.
“Didn’t you faint?”
Chicken overlord: I endure!
“Stop wagging about. You’re not a dog.”
Chicken overlord: I still endure!
“If you’re going to put on an act then do it until the end. You still haven’t fixed your problem of protecting your face. And as for your face, is there any need to protect it?”
Chicken overlord: I will still…no, this isn’t good. It’s fine if you laugh at me, but you cannot laugh at my face. Young child Qin, you have gone too far!
It raised its head, valiant and plucky, the blood burning in its veins. Just as it was about to cry out to express its anger, several pills were tossed in its face.
Ah…this familiar fragrance, my most beloved flavor, I’m drunk on this!
Huh? Did you say face? What is that? Is that something I can eat? Holding onto a pill, the chicken overlord’s face was full of contempt. It looked down, as if trying to say, ‘boy, you are far too naïve and pure’. Then it turned around and bowed, flattering its master with 120% of its abilities.
Young child Qin?
Who said that? It wasn’t me anyways, and if you want to blame me then you will need to bring evidence. The chicken overlord’s silver tongue was not a joke!
Qin Yu didn’t have time to bother with it. He stepped into the wooden house and took out a storage bag. First, he put away the two Thousandgold Mulberries and then took out another jade box.
The four sides of the jade box were around the size of a palm. It was blue and cool to the touch. After taking off the sealing talismans and opening the top, it revealed a pillar the length of a knuckle. The roots were still there but slightly dry and dark, flashing with faint traces of green lightning.
This was the Skythunder Bamboo!
Qin Yu had hurried a full two days to arrive at the large city where the alliance headquarters was located. The treasures of the hundred treasure list were also located there, so he was able to directly exchange for the Skythunder Bamboo. If he had stayed longer and revealed himself, then he would have inevitably been sucked into many troubles, and wanting to leave again would be difficult.
If he were to reveal himself, he knew that there were advantages he could obtain. Qin Yu was well aware of this, but he was even more aware that he couldn’t do it, because if he did, sooner or later his identity as an outer court disciple of the Eastern Mountain Sect would be exposed. And at that time, everyone would know he had a tremendous secret on his body.
He couldn’t do something that courted death!
The most important task before him was obtaining the Skythunder Bamboo and breaking into the Golden Core realm as soon as possible. After breaking into the Golden Core realm, his strength would rise even further and he wouldn’t need to fear anyone below the Nascent Soul realm within the entire 100,000 miles of the Southern Empire.
He waved his hand and a jade basin appeared. He moved the Skythunder Bamboo and Thousandgold Mulberries within. Then, looking at the dull and listless Skythunder Bamboo, he coldly smiled.
After being cut down to the length of a knuckle, could this still rightfully be said to have grown for 800 years? The key point was that the Skythunder Bamboo had entered a withered state, and if it wasn’t fixed then it wouldn’t be able to live much longer. If it weren’t for the little blue lamp then he would have been enraged after seeing the state of the Skythunder Bamboo.
Now, all he had to do was wait for night to fall.
Half a year later.
The Skythunder Bamboo was now half the height of an ordinary man. Sitting cross-legged beneath it, Qin Yu was submerged in green lightning. A numb and dull aching yet stabbing pain spread through his body as if countless ants were creeping along his flesh. Although he had already experienced this countless times, his body was still streaming with sweat like every time before!
Faint traces of dark black flowed out from his pores, mixed in with the sweat as it emitted a faint stench in the air.
Two hours later, the green lightning dissipated. Qin Yu’s eyes flashed open, divine lightning exploding from within. Thunder seemed to sparkle deep in his pupils. He rose up and stepped into a wooden barrel beside him. As he sank into the hot water, he let loose a comfortable sigh.
Leaning against the barrel, his breathing gradually calmed down. Waves of exhaustion passed through him and like this he fell asleep. But in the next moment, his eyes popped back open, bright and radiant. He assessed the condition of his body and happily smiled.
Every hundred years, the Skythunder Bamboo would grow a length less than four sections. The little blue lamp had caused the Skythunder Bamboo to grow a height of 15 sections, at an average of one section every 12 days. If so, then the Skythunder Bamboo had accelerated growth by around eight years every day. When included with the 800 years that the Skythunder Bamboo grew for originally, it was now around 2300 years old.
From this, it could be seen that the little blue lamp accelerated the growth of spirit plants at different speeds. At the very least, when it accelerated the growth of the Skythunder Bamboo, this speed was far faster than that of ordinary spirit plants.
When placed in the current cultivation world, a spirit plant above a thousand years in age was a priceless treasure. As for spirit plants above 2000 years of age, that was something only the largest sects had. And the Skythunder Bamboo was truly worthy of being called a spirit plant from ancient times; the power of thunder it released possessed an astonishing ability to cleanse the mortal body. Qin Yu could clearly feel less and less medicinal residue in his body over time.
But this still wasn’t enough.
At this time his body was like a barrel full of water. Just a little bit more would cause him to explode. Qin Yu couldn’t take any more risks; he had to break through to Golden Core in the next attempt.
Luckily, as the Skythunder Bamboo grew, the power of thunder it released became increasingly strong and it cleansed away pill residues more thoroughly and faster. It wouldn’t be much longer before it was finished.
In the blink of an eye, another half year passed.
With a low roar of pain, the last of the pill residues in Qin Yu’s body was washed away by the power of thunder. The rich green lightning parted to reveal his ruined figure. Sweat soaked his white inner garments and a black stench rose up around him.
At his side, the Skythunder Bamboo was now the height of a person. Green arcs of electricity played atop its branches and leaves, the surging fluctuations leaving the heart shivering with fear. According to normal calculations, it was almost 5000 years old! If this Skythunder Bamboo were converted into spirit stones it would be worth no less than one million. This was an amount that would cause large sects to wildly try and seize it!
But at this time, Qin Yu didn’t think about the Skythunder Bamboo. The medicinal residues in his body had been completely cleared away. The time to break through to Golden Core was right before him!
A hundred miles away from the valley, there was a hidden mountain stream. Qin Yu’s fingers moved to form a law formula, activating the array disc of the giant array formation beneath him.
The invisible array formation blocked out auras so that they couldn’t be sensed from the outside.
Today, here, he would break past Foundation Establishment and reach Golden Core!
He flicked his sleeve and 30,000 spirit stones fell around him, forming six small hills. Qin Yu sat between them, swallowing several Essence Augmenting Pills. The powerful medicinal efficacy quickly dispersed through his body, supplementing the losses to his body. When breaking into Golden Core, he needed to absorb a massive amount of spiritual strength in a short period of time; this was when these spirit stones would come into use.
Suddenly, because the dantian sea within Qin Yu had been intentionally suppressed, the base of the great dao that had been quiet all along suddenly erupted with a dazzling light. Endless beams of light gathered at its center, as if a great sun were being birthed within. Pink clouds shined in the world, blinding to the eyes.
Qin Yu trembled. Blood vessels stuck out all over his body. The impact of magic power began. After purifying his magic power through 17 failed breakthroughs, it was already pure enough to form a Golden Core. And, reality proved this. The great dao base shivered and a blinding brilliance shot out from within its center; this was the light of a Golden Core!
Qin Yu’s surrounding aura suddenly changed into one of raw and savage majesty. An invisible suction force erupted and the 30,000 spirit stones around him also began quivering. Boundless spiritual strength surged and roared into Qin Yu’s body like a broken dam.
At this time, the great dao base within his dantian sea suddenly trembled. An invisible strength descended and broke apart the condensing Golden Core with overbearing might.
Magic power flushed out from him. Qin Yu’s eyes popped open. His skin broke apart, revealing countless openings that marred his body. Blood spurted out like springs. The ground beneath him shattered and 30,000 spirit stones howled away. The array disc beneath him cried out as it was crushed to pieces by the terrifying aura!
The low rumbling was like a rolling thundercloud, spreading deep into the forest. Qin Yu fell onto his back, seeming as if he had been fried in oil.
Even his potent Demon Body wasn’t able to withstand the backlash of magic power from having his condensing Golden Core scattered. It had disintegrated around him.
Why had he failed?
In his fuming rage, this was his first thought.
The second thought was that he couldn’t stay here any longer.
Qin Yu struggled upwards. Even the simplest movement left his field of vision darkening. If it weren’t for his strong will he would have already fainted. He took out several pills and swallowed them whole. He staggered away, too occupied to think of the 30,000 spirit stones behind him.
His heaving breaths became increasingly fast and heavy, and his disintegrating mortal body gradually turned cold. Qin Yu didn’t know how far he walked, but he understood his time had arrived. Leaning against a stone, he slumped to the ground. He arranged himself in as comfortable a position he could and then fell silent.
Everything had gone according to plan. He had been more than careful, so why had he failed? And he would even need to pay for it with his life?
Qin Yu frowned. He couldn’t figure it out. If he died like this, he really would be a little unwilling.
Suddenly, the sound of footsteps rang out. They were light and faint; a woman’s steps. Qin Yu didn’t look up as he continued to search for answers in his heart.
The arriving person opened their mouth. Their voice was sweet and clear, pleasant to the ears, just like a sparrow. It really was a woman. “Are you trying to figure out why you failed?”
Qin Yu looked up. Another crack formed on his neck, revealing red flesh and blood. But, he didn’t seem to feel it at all. “You know why?”
His vocal cords were damaged and his voice was harsh and coarse, but he remained unexpectedly calm.
The woman’s eyebrows arched up. She smiled. “You’re calmer than I thought you would be.”
Qin Yu said, “It’s because I know that I will die, so what is there for me to worry about? I’m not lying to you, I really will die soon, so if you want to tell me the truth you had better hurry up, otherwise it will be too late.”
The woman walked to his side. She traced a finger along Qin Yu’s face and wet her finger with blood before placing it in her mouth. Her face relaxed, revealing an intoxicated look. “This is indeed the taste of the Demon Body…”
Qin Yu frowned. “I don’t mind what sort of treatment I receive after I die, but could you at least wait until I close my eyes?”
“Are you afraid?”
“I’m only disgusted.”
The woman seemed interested. “Have you eaten human flesh before?”
Qin Yu was silent for several moments. “I’ve only seen it.”
With a soft laugh, the woman gently stroked his face. She whispered, “Rest assured, how could I possibly allow you to die…”
A nail cut across a white and tender palm. Purple blood flowed out. Suddenly, a burning heat spread through Qin Yu’s body, as if molten iron were being poured onto him and melding his disintegrating body!
Without another word, Qin Yu fainted.
The woman was stunned for a brief moment before she smiled again. “What an interesting fellow.”