One whole day quickly passed in this fashion, and when Nong Zaitian opened his eyes, he saw that the fire was still raging strong. The temperature in the entire area was still as high as ever, and he could not help but ask Lu Yin, “Hey, a day’s already passed. Why hasn’t the fire died down?”
“I’m not the one who released it, so how should I know?” Lu Yin replied.
Nong Zaitian was taken aback, but then he angrily replied, “You’re just messing with me!”
Lu Yin shouted back, “Shut up!”
Nong Zaitian was furious, and he really wanted to go over to give this bastard a kick. However, after thinking it over, he quickly abandoned the thought. The ambient star energy had also formed a small vortex over him, reducing how much the high temperature was affecting him by quite a bit. Also, he didn't dare to move out of fear that the vortex would vanish, leaving him to be instantly incinerated. He could only grind his teeth in anger and continue to endure.
Soon, three days passed in the same monotony, but the blaze still did not diminish, and they could only see a dark expanse outside of the furnace. The space within the furnace was thoroughly isolated by now, and Nong Zaitian was worried that even if the fire did not burn them to death, it would be difficult for them to leave this place.
The only way for them to survive was to persevere until their time ran out, and then they would vanish from the Daosource Sect's ruins.
But when Nong Zaitian calculated his time, he realized that he still had twelve days left before his time expired. Could he last for that long? He looked over at Lu Yin and then rubbed his eyes. Could he be mistaken? This guy actually looked like he was smiling!
Nong Zaitian had not seen wrong, as Lu Yin was indeed smiling. During the previous four days, he had absorbed an amount of star energy that would have normally taken him years to absorb, and his absorption speed was still rising.
This was unimaginable, as his normal star energy absorption rate was already dozens of times faster than others’ to begin with, but what he was doing at this moment could not even be considered cultivation anymore. It would be more accurate to say that he was simply swallowing the star energy and allowing it to be poured into his body. If he tried to calculate his current cultivation speed, then it should be around 600 times faster than his speed with his Cosmic Art in normal circumstances.
In other words, Lu Yin’s current absorption rate was the same as if he were revolving more than 40,000 stars with the Cosmic Art, which meant that he was gaining star energy 40,000 times faster than a normal cultivator.
40,000 times. Lu Yin did not even know if the Cosmic Art could cultivate that number of stars. This speed could safely be considered the very peak of his generation, but it was only for this time. As soon as he left the furnace, without this fire and the incinerated natural treasures, his speed would definitely revert back to normal. Even if he encountered another inferno, it would be useless without a comparable number of natural treasures.
Lu Yin opened his eyes, and his eyes brightened. He felt like he might have found a shortcut to raising his strength. Others may lack natural treasures, but how could he? It was impossible so long as he had his die’s three pips: Enhance. With that, any spiritual plant could be upgraded to the level of instinctively evading danger. If he added in a high temperature flame that constantly burned those upgraded plants and then placed them within a sealed environment, he could replicate this cultivation paradise where his cultivation speed was faster by a magnitude of tens of thousands.
As he thought of this, Lu Yin’s breathing grew a bit ragged. He did not want to cultivate slowly, and even if he cultivated his Cosmic Art to 100 stars, its speed would still be significantly inferior to his present cultivation speed.
He had decided—he would attempt to reconstruct this environment, and he would place more importance on searching for natural treasures when he returned home.
“Hey, how much longer before this fire dies out?” Nong Zaitian urgently asked when he saw that Lu Yin had opened his eyes.
Lu Yin casually replied, “Ask it yourself.”
Nong Zaitian choked on his next words, as he felt that this fellow was quite revolting. First, he had stolen Nong Zaitian’s hoe, then he had followed Nong Zaitian to this hidden place, but that still wasn’t enough! Now the bastard even dared to tease Nong Zaitian. Was this really the time to crack jokes?
Nong Zaitian sulked by himself while Lu Yin was suddenly feeling rather conflicted, as he had forgotten an important detail. With his level of physical strength, it would not be simple to find a flame that could threaten him. He had lucked out to stumble upon this blaze that had been left behind by an ancient powerhouse which was able to rapidly raise his cultivation. A normal fire was simply of no threat to him, and it would similarly be unable to burn any natural treasures, let alone create an isolated, restricted space.
This was becoming a troublesome task, but he had to find such a fire.
Outside the furnace, Mr. Bai had returned. His clothes were tidy, and he looked as if he had not fought at all.
He saw the furnace and the completely isolated space within, and he stared at the blaze with regret. He did not dare to touch such an inferno, which meant that those two were dead beyond a shadow of a doubt.
“Deafmute Bro, it seems that this is farewell forever. What a pity.” Mr. Bai shook his head and left. Nobody knew if he was feeling pity for Lu Yin or for the loss of those natural treasures.
There had been many natural treasures within the furnace, and they had released an exorbitant amount of star energy after being incinerated. Even with Lu Yin’s hugely increased rate of absorption, he still could not completely absorb all of the ambient star energy despite Nong Zaitian also absorbing a portion.
The star energy had even formed vortices, isolating the two youths from the high temperature, which allowed them to survive inside of the furnace. These circumstances persisted for ten days, after which the vortex of star energy surrounding Nong Zaitian’s body started to slowly shrink.
He started panicking. “Hey, slow down! You’re taking all of it.”
Lu Yin opened his eyes to glance at his companion. “A decent harvest, huh?”
“Decent your ass! I don’t want this kind of harvest. Slow down and don’t take away all of the star energy,” Nong Zaitian hurriedly replied.
Lu Yin did not want to harm this person. Even though Nong Zaitian was from the Sixth Mainland, Lu Yin felt that Nong Zaitian was his lucky star, as something good happened every time Lu Yin ran into him. Because of this, Lu Yin reduced his speed of absorption.
Nong Zaitian’s star energy vortex persisted for another two days, and after that, he laughed maniacally. “My time’s up! I’m leaving first. Thank you, bro, as without you, I would have been burned to a crisp. I hope that you can leave soon too.” He then vanished and left the Daosource Sect's ruins.
As he watched Nong Zaitian leave, Lu Yin released a breath, and his gaze trembled. He then began to voraciously absorb all of the remaining star energy at his fastest speed, as he would also disappear from the Daosource Sect’s ruins in less than two days.
As Lu Yin started cultivating at top speed, the vortex that had formed around him became even larger as all of the star energy within the entire furnace gathered around his body. He was like a beast that was crazily devouring all of the star energy.
When a normal person broke through to the Explorer realm, they would need a bit more than 100 star essence to complete one cycle of their cultivation, which amounted to 10,000,000 star crystals. In contrast, Lu Yin required 20,000 star essence per cycle, which was 200 times the amount needed by a normal cultivator. Additionally, this meant that he took much, much longer to complete a single cycle, so his cultivation rate ended up being slower than an ordinary cultivator.
However, at this moment, with his terrifying rate of absorption, it took him just slightly over ten days to complete a cycle.
As the cycle completed, Lu Yin opened his eyes, and his surging star energy swept out, destabilizing the void. The amount of star energy within his body now surpassed even that of a normal Hunter, which meant that not even a Hunter would be able to use their star energy to suppress Lu Yin in a fight. In fact, they might even be counter-suppressed by him instead.
This was one of the many benefits of cultivating and cycling star energy. Each additional cycle would take more star energy to complete as well as a longer period of time, but correspondingly, the increase in one’s strength would also be more significant.
At this time, Lu Yin no longer needed to use his universal armor, the Yu Secret Art, or even the Dream Finger to fight on par with an ordinary Hunter.
In general, most cultivators’ power level would increase by 10,000 each time they completed a cycle. Additionally, each subsequent cycle would require double the star energy and time of the previous cycle. Lu Yin was no different, and he would have to absorb twice the amount of star energy for him to complete his second cycle.
He exhaled: double the amount. Unless the Cosmic Art increased his rate of absorption by 100 times, it would take him decades to complete his second cycle. He could not afford to wait that long.
After the second cycle, there was still the third, all the way until the ninth cycle was completed, after which he would break through to the Hunter realm. But even after that, a Hunter still needed to absorb multiple cycles of star energy, and it was the same even when one became an Enlighter. This was part of the endless journey of cultivation, and if his estimations were made with a hundredfold increased rate of absorption, even his entire lifetime would not be enough to rise to the top. He had to find another way; he had to find a similarly powerful fire.
The scenery before his eyes suddenly turned fuzzy, as his time had run out. Lu Yin relaxed, as he was still alive despite everything that had happened, though he also felt slightly regretful. If he could have stayed inside the furnace for a bit longer, he would have been able to completely absorb all of the star energy released by the incineration of the natural treasures. Then, he might have been able to come close to completing his second cycle.
The view in front of him suddenly changed, and Lu Yin returned to King Zishan's palace’s secret room. His appearance was completely wretched at the moment; his clothes were gone, his body had been scorched black by the fire, and there were even burn marks on certain areas of his skin. The pike, his Enneadic Wings, and the Void Thunderbeast’s flesh that he had taken to the Daosource Sect’s ruins were all gone. While he did not know if this trip had been worth the costs, it had certainly been a memorable one.
After experiencing two narrow escapes from death, Lu Yin decided not to head back to the Daosource Sect’s ruins in the short term as he had no strength to retaliate, no matter if he ran into one of the Ten Arbiters or a Realmling. He would only return once he was completely confident that he was able to escape from them.
Over this period of time, Zhao Ran had become extremely upset. She was staying in King Zishan's palace, and she enjoyed a life of leisure since the good person, who was also His Highness, did not show his face very often. Thus, she often did not need to do anything at all. However, ever since the Great Eastern Alliance was established, she had become much busier. The various regions of the universe were constantly sending congratulatory gifts to King Zishan's palace, and these gifts had not been sent to the Great Yu Empire, but rather specifically addressed to that good person, His Highness.
The problem facing Zhao Ran was that there were simply too many congratulatory gifts, and the warehouses could not hold them all. If it were just these gifts plaguing her, then she could have just slowly arranged them. However, the annoying part of it all was that she frequently forgot everything while in the middle of organizing things, causing her to rearrange them all over again. And all the while, new gifts continued to stream in. Zhao Ran was rather dejected, as it was too difficult to organize everything!
Right, why not let the good person, His Highness, enjoy a bit of the gifts? Zhao Ran’s eyes lit up at this thought, and she quickly moved to the sitting room to wait for the good person, His Highness.
Not much time passed, and Lu Yin ordered Gavin to meet in King Zishan's palace with him, as Lu Yin wanted to ask how the situation of their cooperation with the Nalan family had been going over the past month.
Zhao Ran was already in the sitting room, clearly wanting to say something.
Lu Yin was amused to see her. “Zhao Ran, is something wrong?”
Zhao Ran nodded, and her eyes went wide as she looked at Lu Yin. She was just about to speak when her eyes suddenly turned confused, and she asked, “Who are you?”
Lu Yin was left speechless at this abrupt change.
After some time, Zhao Ran looked at the paper that she kept in the locket on her chest where she recorded her memories, and then she remembered what she had wanted to say. “Oh, good person, Your Highness, you’ve come out!”
Lu Yin nodded. “Zhao Ran, memory loss is a disease, have you ever tried to treat it?”
“I’m Rotten Trash, so it can’t be treated,” Zhao Ran seriously answered.
Lu Yin could not respond to that. “Alright… Then what did you want to say earlier?”
Zhao Ran thought about it for a moment. “Oh, right, I remember now. The warehouse is full.”
“The warehouse is full?” Lu Yin did not understand what she meant.
Zhao Ran nodded. “Many people sent gifts to the good person, His Highness, so the warehouse is now full, and it’s not easy to organize. Please use some of it.”
Lu Yin’s eyes lit up. That was right—he had completely forgotten about this. The Great Eastern Alliance had only recently been established, and many powers that did not belong to the Great Eastern Alliance had sent him gifts, including Shamrock Enterprises, Endless Borders, and more. These gifts had all been piled into a warehouse, untouched.
Lu Yin felt tempted, as he had spent hundreds of thousands of star essences when he last rolled six pips: Possession on his die. Recently, he had been rather worried about being broke. On top of that, he had now discovered a method to rapidly absorb star energy, but it would require a large number of natural treasures, which meant that his finances were a growing problem for him. “Let’s go. You can show me.”
Zhao Ran hurriedly led the way, happy that she would finally not need to worry about organizing the warehouse every day.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA