Chapter 513: Weak
Qin Lie’s group headed deeper into the Forbidden Land of Ice.
As they ventured further into the snowy landscape, they discovered the corpses of eastern barbarians who had frozen to death. From what they could identify, most of the chilled bodies were scarlet barbarians and white barbarians, and none had any obvious wounds or other signs of combat.
—All of them appeared to have died due to lack of strength or caution, having hurried on their journey without fully recovering their spirit energies.
The numerous corpses they discovered were like a layer of shadow on everyone’s minds. The pitiful fates of these barbarians weighed down on them, making them feel lethargic and morose.
“Pssh!” A foot plunged into the snow.
Every time someone took a step, they would be knee deep in the thick layer of icy snow on the ground. This rough terrain made the group move slower and slower.
At this moment, Qin Lie’s group stood at the foot of a snow-covered mountain.
They had decided on climbing up to the peak of this mountain and survey the land. They wanted to see if they could figure out the approximate direction that the Land of Buried Gods would be in.
The seven of them were already deep inside of the Forbidden Land of Ice.
Here, the freezing cold went bone-deep, and massive chunks of snow flew through the air. Bitter, frigid winds would even batter them from time to time.
Whenever wind swept across the land, the crisp sound of something cracking would resonate from an unknown place. It was the terrifying sound of something being frozen.
“Some of the scarlet barbarians and white barbarians we came across froze to death because they didn’t have enough spirit energy to protect themselves from the cold,” Qin Lie said. “The others... they were swept away by the freezing winds.”
Qin Lie sucked in a deep breath and stared off into the distance, eyes glittering. “The bitter, freezing winds of the Forbidden Land of Ice are several times more terrifying than those of the land underneath the Arctic Mountain Range. I can also feel how frightening this extreme cold is. Forget those scarlet barbarians and white barbarians with weak realms… even we may not necessarily be able to endure for long!”
Qin Lie’s words shocked the entire group, making everyone become more cautious.
During this period of time, Qin Lie’s group became acutely aware of the terrifying wind sweeping throughout the Forbidden Land of Ice in the form of strange frigid airflows.
These cold winds seemed to come out of nowhere, threatening to sweep across all eight of them with bone-chilling cold.
However, thanks to how amazingly perceptive Qin Lie was, he could predict which direction the cold winds would blow in advance. He would then tell them how to avoid the winds and let them know when to rush out of each gust of wind’s path.
Even though they were able to avoid the winds and remain unaffected, everyone was still greatly alarmed.
Just as he was about to speak, a soft groan escaped from Qin Lie’s lips. He sat on the ground, face twisted in pain.
Waves of blood energy and soul energies emanated from Qin Lie’s body.
Everyone exchanged glances and inwardly sighed. They understood what was happening.
—The Soul Suppressing Orb was absorbing Qin Lie’s soul energy and blood again.
Fifteen minutes later, Qin Lie got up sluggishly. His face was a pale white, and his eyes were a dim gray. Sweat poured from him as if he were suffering from a dire illness.
“Let’s go,” he said. “We need to get to the peak of the mountain as soon as possible.”
“Qin Lie, shouldn’t we… take a break? Why don’t we wait for you to recover before climbing any farther?” Du Xiangyang asked sincerely.
Qin Lie shook his head and said, “It’s fine. This location is exposed. Those extremely cold winds will constantly sweep through, so we definitely can’t afford to stay here. Besides, you guys just replenished your spirit energy. We should hurry while you’re able to. Otherwise, once you’ve expended your spirit energy, we’ll have to stop and rest again anyway.”
“But you…” Song Tingyu frowned.
“I’m fine. At least I don’t need to expend spirit energy to resist this cold. Also… if I replenished my soul energy and blood, they’d only get drained again.” Qin Lie smiled helplessly.
“Alright.” Du Xiangyang nodded.
“Then let’s walk shoulder by shoulder,” Song Tingyu said softly, walking up to him and holding him by his shoulders. “You just had your blood absorbed and are at your weakest. Don’t force yourself…”
Qin Lie smiled. “Okay.”
The sight of Qin Lie and Song Tingyu being intimate no longer surprised the rest of the group.
Two hours later, Qin Lie’s group reached the peak of the snow-covered mountain and looked into the distance.
Through the swirling wind and snow, they could see enormous, interconnected glaciers of ice and the peaks of snowy mountains. The white, silver land around them seemed to stretch on endlessly.
Here, even Qin Lie’s soul perception was greatly impaired. He couldn’t scan the area for life signatures.
In light of this, the group could only rely on their eyes to search for the tiniest of movements, confirm that there weren’t any living creatures nearby, and figure out which direction the Land of Buried Gods might be in.
“Over there! There’s a shadow over there!”
On another icy, snow-covered mountain, Su Yan stood behind a gigantic boulder of ice, carefully observing her surroundings from her hiding spot. She immediately spotted Qin Lie on a snowy peak in the distance.
Behind Su Yan were several man-made caves. Celestial Artifact Sect’s Feng Yiyou, Ten Thousand Beast Mountain’s Yu Men, Black Voodoo Cult’s Huang Zhuli and Ye Yihao… everyone was there.
All of them were gripping spirit stones, absorbing spirit energy from them to recover their strength.
“Have the eastern barbarians caught up to us again?” Ye Yihao asked grimly.
Sen Ye and his black barbarians had caught up to them not longer after they had entered the Forbidden Land of Ice. He and his eastern barbarians attacked them repeatedly as they ventured deep into this freezing land.
When they finally made it to the peak of this mountain, the three forces thought they had thrown the black barbarians off their trail. Instead of black barbarians, however, they encountered white barbarians and scarlet barbarians and were forced to fight even more.
Up to this point, they lost many subordinates.
After a long pursuit riddled with numerous battles, most of the martial practitioners of Black Voodoo Cult, the three great families, Celestial Artifact Sect, and Ten Thousand Beast Mountain, had either been killed or frozen. The number of those who remained had become dangerously low.
At this moment, these people were like birds that could be startled by just the soft twang of a bow. Even when they recovered their spirit energy, they had to leave one person on guard duty to prevent the eastern barbarians from ambushing them again.
As a result, they always chose to rest high up on a mountain, providing a better position with which they could observe their surroundings.
“It isn’t the eastern barbarians,” Su Yan said, peering into the distance from her hiding spot. “I-It looks like Qin Lie’s group!”
Shock appeared on everyone’s faces.
“Qin Lie and those other people definitely reaped a good harvest back in the thunder lagoon!” Feng Yiyou said, gnashing his teeth hatefully.
“The Pure Soul Springs!” Yu Men’s eyes were ablaze with fervent desire.
“Back in the Forbidden Land of Thunder, Qin Lie’s thunder spirit art allowed his combat power to increase to the maximum. It was like a god went out of its way to help him, and we weren’t able to do anything because of that.” Huang Zhuli’s beautiful face was grim. “However, this is the Forbidden Land of Ice. He definitely won’t be a match for us here!”
Every martial practitioner present in these caves had been harassed by the eastern barbarians until they were dizzy and lightheaded, yet when someone mentioned the Pure Soul Springs, they acted as though their minds had been thoroughly refreshed.
“Let’s go get them!”
With their opinions united, the surviving martial practitioners of the three forces left their caves, figured out which direction Qin Lie’s group was in, and secretly made their way toward them.
Meanwhile, at the mountain peak where Qin Lie’s group was, everyone carefully observed their surroundings. Their gazes swept across the myriad mountain peaks in the distance, but no one saw anything out of the ordinary.
—They didn’t notice Su Yan hiding behind a boulder of ice.
“All of us have used up quite a bit of spirit energy, so let’s quickly go and recover,” Song Tingyu reminded the others.
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.
In order to recover, Qin Lie took out the Demon Sealing Tombstone so that he could absorb its aura of blood energy and replenish his blood supply.
However, the moment that the Demon Sealing Tombstone appeared, its surface suddenly shone with the seven rays of brilliant, divine light.
Qin Lie’s group immediately looked at the Demon Sealing Tombstone.
It floated into the air as it glowed, seemingly moving in a specific direction.
Qin Lie’s expression changed into one of understanding as he hastily jumped onto the Demon Sealing Tombstone and dragged it back to the icy ground in front of him.
“I think I know where the ice spirit is!” he exclaimed.
The eyes of the other lit up in surprise.
“Now I understand.” Qin Lie continued to restrain the Demon Sealing Tombstone and keep it from flying away as he explained, “Back in the Forbidden Land of Fire, the Demon Sealing Tombstone flew off on its own and led me to the fire spirit. That means it can sense the seven spirits…”
The others nodded in understanding.
“Here, in the Forbidden Land of Ice, the Demon Sealing Tombstone hasn’t reacted to anything despite the the fact that I’ve taken it out to recover the blood in my body.” Qin Lie thought to himself for a moment before continuing, “It probably couldn’t detect the ice spirit because it’s too far away. Such a function is like that of the tokens. The tokens can be used to sense other tokens and transmit messages within a fifty kilometer radius. In the same vein, the Demon Sealing Tombstone can only detect the seven spirits when they are nearby!”
“Does that mean that we’re currently close to the ice spirit?” Du Xiangyang asked, growing excited.
“That should be the case!” Qin Lie seemed to have regained his spirits as well. “If I let go of it right now, I believe that the Demon Sealing Tombstone will float away and lead us to the ice spirit!”
“Before you do that, we need to recover our strength!” Luo Chen exclaimed.
“Then let us quickly recover our spirit energy using the spirit stones!” Du Xiangyang agreed.
Keeping a hand on the Demon Sealing Tombstone to prevent it from flying away, Qin Lie continued to absorb blood energy from it and use the Blood Spirit Art to recover his blood supply.
He extracted soul energy from a soul crystal in his other hand.
Since the Soul Suppressing Orb had begun to drain soul energy and blood at regular intervals, Qin Lie had learned from all the times he needed to replenish himself and gradually became able to multitask. Now he could absorb blood energy from the Demon Sealing Tombstone and extract soul energy from a soul crystal at the same time.
He would sometimes even have the leisure to examine the inside of the Soul Suppressing Orb with his soul consciousness.
As he replenished his energies this time, his soul consciousness entered the strange, borderless space inside of the Soul Suppressing Orb once more.
And he looked at the frost concept painting.
Just like a spirit diagram, several crisscrossing, icy threads and silver lines made up the frost concept painting. It faintly depicted a land covered in icy crystals that looked extremely cold. When Qin Lie examined it with his mind consciousness, he felt as if he were in a freezing land.
A wisp of his mind consciousness entered deep into the frost concept painting, intermingling with the thin icy threads and experiencing painting’s aura of frost.
Qin Lie sought to use the frost concept painting to understand power of frost on a more profound level.
“It suddenly became a lot colder!”
“It feels as if the Forbidden Land of Ice’s aura of frost secretly converged on us, causing the temperature to drop sharply.”
Luo Chen, Du Xiangyang, Xie Jingxuan, and the others shivered as they were recovering their spirit energy with spirit stones.
They were still inside of their shields of light.
All of them opened their eyes as they continued to replenish their spirit energy and observed their surroundings with a frown.
Wisps of white, frosty mist surged to their location from every direction and slowly floated toward Qin Lie. They shrouded him like thin, white clouds.
This caused the air around Qin Lie to suddenly become several times colder.
The intense chill that everyone felt obviously came from Qin Lie.
“This guy really is a freak,” Du Xiangyang yelled after a moment of disbelief. “I think all of us should stay away from him for now... just in case something bad happens.”
Luo Chen was the first one to walk away.
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