Chapter 487: New Cracks

Chapter 487: New Cracks

When Chu Li finished his explanation, Qin Lie and the others who hailed from the Scarlet Tide Continent were thoroughly shocked.

A single Pure Soul Spring could be exchanged for two Scarlet Tide Continents. This meant gaining authority over the entirety of each continent—the right to control all sorts of mineral resources, spirit materials, and more. What kind of concept was that?

The Scarlet Tide Continent was just a Copper rank continent, and Profound Heaven Alliance was just one of the two strongest forces on it.

A Pure Soul Spring was worth two such continents. It was clearly valuable.

“Is it really that rare and precious?” Qin Lie was completely astonished.

He looked at Chu Li.

“Du Xiangyang isn’t talking nonsense. Our forefather did say that he was willing to trade control over two Copper rank continents for a single Pure Soul Spring.” Chu Li smiled bitterly. “Our forefather is in the Imperishable Realm. If he wishes to step into the Void Realm, he must face a great tribulation, but... he isn’t confident that he can survive one.

“The great tribulation between the Imperishable Realm and the Void Realm is a heavenly divide for martial practitioners who wish to surmount it. Out of ten martial practitioners, at least eight  perish trying to do so. The chances of success are only twenty percent.” He Wei sighed deeply. “If a Pure Soul Spring is obtained and used to refine a subsoul, then it would be possible to use the subsoul to weather the tribulation while its martial practitioner breaks through to the next realm. There would be an extremely high chance that their breakthrough is successful.”

“A Pure Soul Spring is an ultimate treasure that every elite dreams of!” Du Xiangyang exclaimed softly.

Qin Lie nodded slightly.

It was only now that he clearly understood the value of the Pure Soul Spring in the thunder lagoon.

He remembered sensing six separate auras of extremely pure soul energy. This meant that there were probably six Pure Soul Springs in it.

Six Pure Soul Springs could be exchanged for twelve continents comparable to the Scarlet Tide Continent. Just thinking about it sent shivers through one’s spine.

“Zzzt!”

A dazzling electrical light suddenly shot from the thunder barrier behind all of them.

Behind He Wei, Hu Ping’s expression suddenly changed as his bright eyes went dim.

“How strange. Even a wisp of my soul consciousness was destroyed by that thunder barrier.” Seeing that the group was looking at him, Hu Ping frowned and exclaimed in surprise, “I cultivate a thunder spirit art though, so why is this happening?”

When he found out that the thunder lagoon contained Pure Soul Springs, Hu Ping, who cultivated a thunder spirit art, had an idea.

He considered himself well-versed in thunder spirit arts, so he attempted to inspect the thunder barrier with his soul consciousness and see if he could penetrate it, get to the bottom of the thunder lagoon, and confirm how many Pure Soul Springs there were.

Unfortunately, his soul consciousness was immediately destroyed by thunder as soon as it went into the thunder barrier. He didn’t manage to get any farther.

That was why his eyes had gone dim.

So he just gave everyone a nonchalant explanation when they turned to look at him. He thought that was the end of the matter.

“This is bad!” Qin Lie’s expression changed.

Hu Ping frowned and asked, “What’s wrong? I was just inspecting the barrier with my soul consciousness. Is there a problem?”

“We can’t even sense the area even a little bit?” Wei Liang also complained.

He Wei frowned slightly, but didn’t say anything. She was also looking at Qin Lie, suspicion on her face, obviously thinking that Qin Lie had overstepped his bounds.

Qin Lie was going to explain, but when he saw the attitudes of Hu Ping, Wei Liang, and He Wei, his expression went cold and he kept silent.

“Qin Lie, what’s wrong? Is there a problem?” Chu Li was the only one who felt that the situation wasn’t right, and he hurriedly expressed his concern and wariness.

“Prak!”

It was at this moment that thunder and lightning rumbled and flashed from the thunder barrier’s interior. Lightning bolts accompanied by thunderous rumbling shot from the barrier as if they were giant dragons charging out of an abyss.

All of them were as thick as pails and several dozens of meters long!

The dazzling lightning bolts all shot toward Hu Ping as if they had minds of their own. They looked terrifying.

“Dammit, what’s going on? I just probed it with my soul consciousness!” Hu Ping screamed.

“Every person who has used their soul consciousness to probe the thunder barrier suffered lightning strikes and was killed. Their souls were sucked into the bone ash urns that Feng Yiyou put inside of the barrier. I told you about this shortly after you arrived, did I not? Yeah, I believe I did,” Qin Lie said indifferently.

“But I cultivate a thunder spirit art!” Hu Ping let out a strange yelp.

Dozens of giant dragons made of lightning enveloped him. He released blood-curdling screams as he was instantly engulfed.

Everyone’s scalps felt numb just listening to Hu Ping’s screams constantly ringing out amidst the lightning strikes.

“Save him! Hurry up and save him!” He Wei cried.

Chu Li was also incredibly anxious, but he had no idea how to deal with current situation. He was worried that, if he acted recklessly, he would provoke the thunder barrier to retaliate with an even greater lightning attack.

Wei Liang also cultivated a thunder spirit art, but his level of ability was slightly weaker than Hu Ping’s. Even his realm was a rank lower than Hu Ping’s.

If even Hu Ping couldn’t protect himself, what could Wei Liang possibly do? Would he attract a second attack from the thunder barrier if he interfered?

Therefore, Wei Liang also refrained from taking any action.

He Wei knew nothing about thunder spirit arts, which was why she was very wary of this location’s violent thunder and lightning. Although her cries for help were loud, she also didn’t dare to move carelessly.

Since even they didn’t move to help Hu Ping, it was only natural that Du Xiangyang, Song Tingyu, and Xie Jingxuan wouldn’t interfere. They stood by and watched indifferently as the matter developed.

Previously, when Qin Lie said that the situation was bad, Hu Ping, Wei Liang, and He Wei’s attitudes were unpleasant. In light of this, Song Tingyu, Xie Jingxuan, and Du Xiangyang only took pleasure in Hu Ping’s suffering. Even if they had a way to save him, they wouldn’t.

The only person in the group who could do something was Qin Lie.

However, Qin Lie kept his silence, a helpless, sympathetic look on his face.

As a result, Hu Ping took the entire onslaught of lightning bolts surging from the thunder barrier. The thunder and lightning energy that bombarded the small area held him firmly in place.

The group could only watch from afar.

No one dared to foolishly interfere.

Hu Ping’s blood-curdling screams lasted for fifteen whole minutes before the lightning bolts disappeared and vanished into the ground.

Hu Ping lay limply on the floor, miserable and burned. His face resembled black charcoal, and his eyes had lost all their spirit. He had obviously suffered horrible wounds, and it was unlikely that he would be combat-ready for some time.

“You’re lucky that you cultivate a thunder spirit art and that your body has been tempered by the thunder spirit energy inside of it. This is the only reason why you barely endured those lightning strikes,” Qin Lie said. “Otherwise, your physical body would’ve been destroyed, and your soul would’ve been sucked into the Consecutive Soul Splitting Formation inside the thunder barrier just like everyone else that was tricked by Feng Yiyou.”

Qin Lie had known from the very beginning that a thunder and lightning attack of this level wouldn’t endanger Hu Ping’s life.

Even though Hu Ping’s cultivation method was gentler than Qin Lie’s Heavenly Thunder Eradication, it was still a thunder spirit art.

Qin Lie could tell that the thunder spirit art Hu Ping cultivated focused on the gradual conversion of spirit energy into thunder and lightning energy. It emphasized the formation of thunder Natal Palaces before using the thunder energy inside of them to temper his body over and over.

Qin Lie’s cultivation method was completely different from Hu Ping’s.

From the very beginning, the strange formation inside of Herb Mountain attracted, broke down, and weakened the thunder from the Ninth Heaven before directly tempering Qin Lie’s body with thunder and lightning, resulting in the formation of thunder energy.

Qin Lie’s cultivation was fraught with unimaginable pain and torture.

If he hadn’t been able to borrow the Soul Suppressing Orb’s power and enter the state of Thoughtless Tranquility, he might not have necessarily been able to endure the pain caused by thunder from the Ninth Heaven entering his body.

The thunder energy formed by Hu Ping’s cultivation method was obviously incomparable to the thunder energy formed by tempering one’s body with a method as extreme as Qin Lie’s.

“Wei Liang! Don’t be reckless!” Chu Li hastily warned.

Wei Liang shook his head repeatedly, his face pale. With a dry voice he said, “I won’t! I definitely won’t! Don’t worry!”

It was only then that He Wei moved closer to Hu Ping, crouched low, and asked, “Hu Ping, are you okay?”

“I won’t die!” Hu Ping grunted through gritted teeth.

When he finished speaking, he shot Qin Lie a fierce glare, seemingly aware that Qin Lie had purposely let him suffer for his actions.

“Are you glaring at me?” Qin Lie narrowed his eyes and smiled calmly. In a blunt manner, he said, “I warned you. You were the one who thought you were so good that you’d be able to get inside the thunder barrier just because you cultivate a thunder spirit art. Did I have anything to do with you being struck by lightning just now?”

“I…” Hu Ping’s face was grim, and he could not find the words to argue with Qin Lie even though he wanted to.

“Nine people perished before you were attacked. You should be grateful that you’re still alive instead of trying to push the blame onto someone else.” Qin Lie snorted.

Everyone could see the frost on Qin Lie’s face.

“You can control the thunder and lightning in this place, so you should’ve had the ability to help him, yet you just stood by and watched without lifting a finger!” Wei Liang could not help but interject.

“Didn’t you do the same thing? You cultivate a thunder spirit art too, but what did you do?” Qin Lie’s face was full of impatience, and his tone grew increasingly rude as well. “I think I saw you secretly backing away from him just now. Am I right?”

“I-I couldn’t help him. I don’t have any way to free him from those thunder and lightning dragons!” Wei Liang argued, red in the face.

“Shut up!” Chu Li exploded.

Wei Liang immediately closed his mouth, but his eyes betrayed that he was still unconvinced.

“This is Hu Ping’s fault. Let bygones be bygones and stop arguing, okay?” He Wei said in an attempt to smooth things over. “Back in the Forbidden Land of Wood, we got along quite happily, didn’t we? It’s true that you, Qin Lie, are a lot more capable than we are in the Forbidden Land of Thunder, but won’t you need us once we leave? We still have to enter the Land of Buried Gods and continue surviving in the Graveyard of Gods. There’ll probably be a lot of things we’ll need each other for in the future. There’s no need to spoil things right this moment, is there?”

After a pause, He Wei continued, “Also, back when Luo Chen and his group came to attack you and Tingyu, it was our presence that dissuaded him, right? When Yu Men showed up later on, we were the ones that dissuaded him. What do you think?”

“You shut up too, He Wei!” Chu Li couldn’t stop himself from yelling.

“I’m just stating the facts. I don’t mean anything by it,” He Wei explained.

Qin Lie frowned and kept quiet.

“Allow me to say something about fairness,” Du Xiangyang suddenly interrupted. “I wasn’t around when Luo Chen went after Qin Lie and Song Tingyu, so you guys might’ve been the reason why Qin Lie avoided danger that time.

“However, when Yu Men appeared, I seem to recall that the person he was pursuing wasn’t Qin Lie, was it? He immediately wanted to fight Luo Chen, but the battle ended prematurely because Ye Yihao was about to arrive. Me, Luo Chen, and Illusory Demon Sect’s Xue Moyan were at Qin Lie’s side at the time, so Yu Men didn’t show up specifically to kill Qin Lie. Am I remembering everything correctly?”

“That’s how I remember it!” Song Tingyu snorted coldly.

“Then you, He Wei, have remembered wrongly.” Du Xiangyang smiled calmly.

A look of embarrassment suddenly surfaced on He Wei’s face.

“I also remember that Qin Lie gave you three drops of voodoo insect blood without asking for anything in return. Strictly speaking, he saved your lives…” Du Xiangyang said.

“W-we conceded our portions of the Spring of Life in return!” Ren Peng could not help but interrupt.

“Speaking of the Spring of Life... heh.” Du Xiangyang’s smile was odd as he shook his head and said, “It was Qin Lie who cured Xie Jingxuan’s voodoo toxin, and it was Xie Jingxuan who used the wooden sculptures to tear down the wood spirit’s wall, breaking the soul connection between Ye Yihao and the wood spirit. After that, Qin Lie used the Demon Sealing Tombstone to seal the wood spirit, finally forcing Ye Yihao to retreat.

“If—and I am just saying if...” Du Xiangyang continued. “ If Qin Lie hadn’t cured Xie Jingxuan’s voodoo toxin with the voodoo insect blood or sealed the wood spirit with the Demon Sealing Tombstone, and if Xie Jingxuan hadn’t torn through the wood spirit’s wall, do you seriously think that Ye Yihao would have retreated and allowed everyone else to safely withdraw?”

With the exception of Chu Li, who wore a pensive expression on his face, Du Xiangyang’s words made the faces of everyone from Terminator Sect become grim.

“Let me put it this way: if we were to honestly and fairly distribute the Spring of Life, only two people would be qualified to accept the rewards.” Du Xiangyang smiled and pointed at Qin Lie and Xie Jingxuan beside him, saying, “I’m very sorry, but those two are on our side. They wanted to give all of the Spring of Life to Xue Moyan, and I personally don’t think of that as a problem. As a result, we don’t owe you for that.”

At the end of his statement, Du Xiangyang started to use “we” when speaking of himself and Qin Lie’s group. It was obvious that he considered himself on the same side as Qin Lie.

“If we really want to get to the root of this, we don’t actually owe you anything. On the other hand, it seems that you guys still owe us something… what do you think?” By this point, the gentle smile on Du Xiangyang’s face had already faded away.

The faces of He Wei’s group grew increasingly tense.

Meanwhile, Chu Li was incredibly embarrassed by the situation. After listening to He Wei and the rest bicker about the issue over and over, his carefree attitude made him subconsciously think that it was Qin Lie who owed them.

Now that Du Xiangyang had solemnly laid everything out step by step, he finally understood that it was He Wei, Ren Peng, and the others who were completely biased and only saw things from their own point of view.

In reality, Qin Lie owed them nothing.

On the contrary, it was his group that was taken advantage of.

……


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