Chapter 528: Force Feed
Xue Moyan quietly sat inside the cave dug into the side of the icy mountain. Her eyes, which resembled clear lakes, held traces of sadness that just couldn’t be hidden.
“Please keep the Spring of Life safe for me.” Xue Moyan took out the bottle that held the Spring of Life. Then, after a moment of thought, she raised her left hand palm-up. Bloody light shone from it, and the Bloodthirsty Dragon floated into the air, several times smaller than its original size. “Take Blood Fiend Sect’s ultimate treasure as well. Keep it safe. Once you get out of here, please find my father and give both it and the Spring of Life to him.”
After the battle with Di Fei, Jiang Tianxing, and the other scarlet barbarians, she noticed that she was in horrible condition. She tried to recover her blood energy, but her mind lacked the spirit.
She also noticed that her hair, which originally resembled a long cascade of smooth black hair, had become dry and lost its luster. Several spots sported a faint white color.
All of these strange changes pointed to one conclusion.
—Her life would soon come to an end.
The depletion of Xue Moyan’s life energy or, more specifically, the sacrificing of her overall lifespan, could only be fixed with the Spring of Life. However, her mother needed the Spring of Life as badly as she did… and she decided to die for her mother’s sake.
“I will not deliver the Spring of Life and Blood Fiend Sect’s ultimate treasure for you,” Qin Lie said with a heavy expression, his brow furrowed. “Either you continue to live strongly, or the Spring of Life and the Bloodthirsty Dragon die with you.”
Astonishment filled Xue Moyan’s eyes.
“How is the Spring of Life even used?” Qin Lie asked out of the blue.
“Drinking works well enough,” Xue Moyan answered without thinking.
“That seems pretty simple.” Qin Lie nodded slightly, then suddenly said, “Let me make the decision for you then!”
“What?” Xue Moyan asked in surprise. “W-what are you doing!?”
It was at this moment that Qin Lie moved as quick as lightning, grabbing the bottle that held the Spring of Life. Dense bolts of lightning shot from his fingers as Xue Moyan screamed.
The lightning bolts resembled prismatic ribbons of energy that wrapped around Xue Moyan’s supple body. They emanated a paralyzing power, firmly binding her.
Xue Moyan had exhausted too much of her blood energy in the previous battle. She was currently at her weakest and didn’t have the strength to stop Qin Lie.
She could only glare at Qin Lie in horror, hastily saying, “No!”
“It is not up to you to decide!” Qin Lie reached out with his left hand, forcefully opened Xue Moyan’s lips, and poured the Spring of Life into her mouth.
“No! Noo!” Xue Moyan screamed. “Nn…!”
In the cave next to them, Luo Chen was in the process of recovering his strength using spirit stones when he suddenly opened his eyes, surprise and confusion on his face.
In another cave, Du Xiangyang shivered as he rubbed his chin, a playful smile on his face.
“You animal!” Pan Qianqian exclaimed as she rushed out of her cave and into theirs.
Song Tingyu and Xie Jingxuan sat in the same cave recovering their spirit energy. They had also heard Xue Moyan’s cries.
However, the two just continued to cultivate inside the cave without even the slightest change in expressions. They knew Qin Lie well, and therefore had no intention of moving.
“Qin Lie! If you dare to harm Sister Xue, I’ll cut off that dog head of yours!” Pan Qianqian yelled as she barged in.
Upon entering the cave, she saw that Qin Lie had bound Xue Moyan with lightning, forcing her lips open with one hand while pouring some kind of liquid into her mouth with the other...
“I’ll kill you!” Pan Qianqian didn’t hesitate to unleash a deadly attack.
A silver ring slammed into the center of Qin Lie’s back. The powerful force of the blow struck Qin Lie, causing his entire body to shudder. He couldn’t help but inadvertently grunt in pain.
A shocking flood of spirit energy soaked into Qin Lie’s flesh, damaging his innards.
Qin Lie’s body trembled greatly, but his hands, which were administering the Spring of Life to Xue Moyan, didn’t move at all.
It continued to steadily pour into Xue Moyan’s mouth.
The Spring of Life released a refreshing aroma and radiated potent life energy.
Xue Moyan’s body absorbed the Spring of Life like dry land greedily sucking up rainwater. Her pallid gray skin slowly regained its lively color.
The wisps of white in her hair quickly recovered its beauty and luster. The traces of pale white that seemed to have existed in her since she was born swiftly faded as well.
Like an ancient tree once again surging with life, or a withered forest giving birth to a new sapling, a tremendous life force swelled within Xue Moyan’s body.
The aura of life energy that now surrounded her felt incredibly refreshing and natural, as if they had been transported to a grove of ancient trees.
The entire cave resonated with life energy due to the changes to Xue Moyan’s biomagnetic field.
Having long since withdrawn her attack, Pan Qianqian stood there with her mouth agape and stared at the extraordinary changes occurring within Xue Moyan’s body.
It seemed as if Xue Moyan had shed her former shell and was instantly reborn in a blaze of flame. She emanated a robust life force as if she were a completely different person.
Pan Qianqian naturally realized what Qin Lie had really been doing.
“Big Brother Qin, I-I’m sorry,” she hastily apologized. “I thought you were doing something bad to Sister Xue.”
Qin Lie wore a heavy expression, saying nothing.
He kept a close eye on the bottle in his hand. When he was sure that Xue Moyan had swallowed every single drop of the Spring of Life, he finally sighed in relief..
“I’m fine,” he said, looking deeply into Xue Moyan’s eyes before turning away and leaving the cave.
The lightning that bound Xue Moyan departed at the same time, transforming back into electricity, shooting into Qin Lie’s back, and vanishing.
The wrappings that restrained Xue Moyan were gone.
A complex look appeared in her bright, yet grim eyes. She then sighed quietly, seeming to have accepted her fate.
“You can leave, Qianqian,” she said softly. “I’ll be fine.”
“Y-you’re fine now, Sister Xue!?” Excitement came over Pan Qianqian and she felt as if she could dance. “You don’t need to worry about your shortened lifespan from now on?”
“Mn.” Xue Moyan nodded slightly, her face devoid of joy. “Such a thing will no longer cause me trouble. Please leave first. I need to do my best to recover and absorb all the power of the Spring of Life.”
“Alright!” Pan Qianqian headed out joyfully. “Alright, I’ll leave right away!”
“If I had refined and absorbed that Spring of Life, I would have been able to smoothly enter the Fulfillment Realm,” Xie Jingxuan calmly said in a nearby cave. She wore an indifferent expression.
Xie Jingxuan’s words surprised Song Tingyu.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone when we were in that village in the Forbidden Land of Wood?”
“Because I didn’t need it to save my life,” she replied.
“Xue Moyan is Senior Xue Li’s only daughter. For their family to go through so much… it’s terrible.” Song Tingyu sighed. She pitied Xue Li’s family from the bottom of her heart, inwardly lamenting everything that had happened to them.
“The fact that Qin Lie was willing to give up the Spring of Life and even requested everyone else to give it up as well…” Xie Jingxuan paused for a moment, then softly said, “He was right to do so.”
“I wouldn’t have followed him so shamelessly if he were truly heartless.” Song Tingyu flashed a beautiful smile. “If he were… I wouldn’t have persisted in pursuing him in spite of his relationship with Ling Yushi.”
“And what about in the future?” Xie Jingxuan asked, a calm expression on her face. “What will you do if he meets Ling Yushi again?”
“A good man needs to be taken with your own hands!” Song Tingyu’s eyes sparkled brightly. “As long as he hasn’t married Ling Yushi, I will have the chance to snatch him out from under her!”
“I wish you luck,” Xie Jingxuan said indifferently.
“Heh... Speaking of which, you’re the one who knew him first.” Song Tingyu changed the topic, her eyes shining with a strange light. “Jingxuan, we’re the only ones here, so please tell me honestly… have you ever felt anything for him?”
“Felt anything for him?” Xie Jingxuan lips curled into a snarl, disdain covering her exquisite face. She snorted sternly. “When I first met him, he was just an apprentice artificer at Li’s Shop that belonged to Nebula Pavilion. How could I have possibly felt anything for him?””
“Ah, I see... that’s good. I can rest easy if that’s the case.” Song Tingyu’s eyes were practically smiling for her.
“Where are they? Why have they disappeared?”
At the entrance of the valley where the previous battle had occurred, the leaders of the three barbarian tribes, Sen Ye, Jia Yue, and Di Fei, led their men in a search throughout the area. However, they had yet to find anything.
“There’s no point in thinking about it. They must have gone ahead of us already.” Jiang Tianxing snorted.
“Form up in teams of thirty and make sure to stay close to other teams!” Sen Ye ordered. “We’ll search the mountains one by one! If you discover them, do not rush into battle. Your top priority is to notify everyone else!”
“Understood!” the eastern barbarians shouted in unison.
All of them moved to start combing through the mountains, determined to find and kill Qin Lie’s group before looking for the ice spirit.
“We don’t need to spread out and search,” Jia Yue suddenly said. “I… I think I know where they are.”
She pointed at an icy mountain in the distance.
“They’re halfway up that mountain, recovering their spirit energy in caves they made.”
Everyone looked at her in surprise.