Book 7: The Extreme North
Chapter 39.3: The Three Emperors of the Extreme North
Huo Yuhao set out once again, headed towards the north. Though the biting cold wind no longer posed a threat to him, the frost that had gradually accumulated on his body still managed to slow him down. As he continued to travel northwards, the advantage that his Spiritual Detection gave him became more and more pronounced: Whenever he encountered an unfamiliar area, he could simply use his Spiritual Detection to continue travelling and avoid any possible dangers.
As Huo Yuhao travelled, the Skydream Iceworm stayed awake, which was an extremely rare thing for him to do. The reason he’d stayed awake was so that he could make sure to tell Huo Yuhao when to change directions. As he continued to travel northwards, Huo Yuhao was able to faintly sense that the Skydream Iceworm had been releasing some of its spiritual power in front of him. Compared to the Skydream Iceworm’s terrifying spiritual power, he was like a grain of rice adrift in an ocean. However, despite being able to sense it, he didn’t know what the Skydream Iceworm was looking for.
In the blink of an eye, two days had passed. By this time, Huo Yuhao had already fully entered the desolate and uninhabited Extreme North. He’d encountered a few soul beasts, but due to the guidance of the Skydream Iceworm, he’d yet to meet an existence that actually posed a threat to him.
As he continued onwards, the snow became thicker and thicker. Once it was higher than his knees, Huo Yuhao had no choice but to chop down a tree and create two wooden planks, which he tied to bottom of his feet. Though they weren’t much, they were able to reduce the stress on his feet. And, whenever he reached a downhill slope, he was able to use them to slide down. In the end, he’d found a pretty decent method to travel through the snow with.
Two days later.
Even though he’d slowed down quite a bit, he was already 400 miles into the Extreme North. The frequency at which the Skydream Iceworm told him to change directions had become much higher as well.
Suddenly, the Skydream Iceworm’s voice rang out as he anxiously said, “Quickly lie flat on the ground and bury yourself beneath the snow. Don’t move an inch once you’ve done so. You can’t move no matter what—even if something touches you.”
Huo Yuhao was shocked when he heard this. Afterwards, he laid down as fast as he could, covered himself with the surrounding snow, and held his breath.
Not even ten breaths of time had passed before Huo Yuhao’s body began to shudder uncontrollably. Even though he’d buried himself beneath the snow, he was still aware of his surroundings! By relying on his Spiritual Detection, he was still able to sense the outside world to a certain extent.
He was shuddering because he’d suddenly sensed an incomparably terrifying aura outside. However, the instant that this aura had appeared, the trace of spiritual power he’d left outside had instantly shattered. He hadn’t even been able to tell what the newcomer looked like.
From what Huo Yuhao could tell, the newcomer was extraordinarily large, and the terror brought about by its aura had reached the apex. In fact, it seemed like it could wipe him off the face of the earth with a mere breath. Immediately after sensing this, he felt a heavy pressure weigh down on his back and viciously shove him even deeper into the ground.
Originally, he’d been holding his breath. However, the instant this heavy pressure appeared, the oxygen he’d been holding instantly disappeared. Afterwards, his entire body sank so deep into the snow that he reached the soil beneath it.
Huo Yuhao felt a hard shell cover his body the instant the heavy pressure appeared. Even though he’d been forced into the ground, he’d only been shoved in. Other than the suffocating pressure he felt, he hadn’t suffered any injuries.
Were it not for the Skydream Iceworm’s previous command, Huo Yuhao definitely would’ve made a noise. Due to the pressure and the command he’d received, he didn’t even dare to move at the moment. Instead, he forcefully endured the pain that came along with being suffocated.
The enormous pressure that was weighing down on him suddenly disappeared, while the terrifying aura he’d felt began to move further and further away from him. As he continued to choke, Huo Yuhao felt his chest burning up.
However, he couldn’t move before the Skydream Iceworm told him that it was alright. He could only endure. If he didn’t, there was a large chance that he’d encounter a calamity that could kill him as easily as breathing.
After another ten or so seconds had passed, the terrifying aura disappeared completely. Once it had, the Skydream Iceworm indicated that he could get back up.
After getting to his feet with difficulty, Huo Yuhao immediately gasped for air. Even though he wasn’t afraid of the cold, inhaling the cold air still caused him to instinctively shiver. He hurriedly lowered how much air he was taking in with each breath, but his chest continued to move up and down violently.
Even though he hadn’t seen what exactly had crushed him, he was certain that he’d just escaped from the gates of hell! The outer shell that he’d felt suddenly harden had been the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin. If it hadn’t been for that, he would’ve been squashed into a meat patty.
He continued to inhale and exhale for quite a while before managing to recover somewhat, albeit with difficulty. The moment he stood back up, astonishment involuntarily appeared on his face. The first thing that he’d noticed were the enormous footprints around him, and he was in the middle of one of these footprints.
Each footprint was around five meters long and two meters wide. In contrast, Huo Yuhao’s imprint in the ground wasn’t even a third of a single footprint. He was able to see the enormous footprints headed towards the distance.
After everything was said and done, Huo Yuhao was still just a kid. After encountering a situation like this, how could he not be scared?
“Brother Skydream, wh-what was that... thing just now? How could its footprints be this big?”
The Skydream Iceworm’s somewhat nervous voice rang out, “We nearly gave away our location. That fella’s also a spiritual-type, thus he was actually able to block my Spiritual Detection. Fortunately, my spiritual power vastly exceeds his in quality. Because of this, I was able to notice him while he was still a certain distance away from us. You’re really lucky, kid. You were actually able to meet the Titan Ice Devil King, one of the Three Emperors of the Extreme North. Luckily, we were able to hide from that fella. If we hadn’t, only one thing awaited us: death. Even if it was me when I was at my peak condition I would’ve died, let alone you.”
“The Titan Ice Devil King? What species does it belong to? Is it also a soul beast?” After the anxiety and palpitations in his heart had died down, the curiosity of a young man quickly won over Huo Yuhao’s heart.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “The Three Emperors of the Extreme North are equivalent to the kings in the Great Star Dou Forest. They’re the rulers of the Extreme North, as well as the true consummate experts here. They’re practically unparalleled existences in a cold environment such as this. In terms of overall strength, those fellas from the Great Star Dou Forest most likely wouldn’t be able to beat the soul beasts of my Extreme North, even if they all happened to work together. Only, the Extreme North has too large of an area and range. This, combined with the few soul beasts present, makes it much harder for them to gather.”
“The Extreme North has a large number of hundred thousand year soul beasts, so many in fact, that the amount exceeds the amount within the Great Star Dou Forest. After all, the environment here is extremely harsh, and very few humans dare to intrude. In addition to this, the Three Emperors all share a common characteristic—their cultivations all exceed a hundred thousand years.”
Huo Yuhao was stunned. He was no longer the ignorant kid he’d been when he met the Skydream Iceworm. After studying in Shrek Academy for more than a year, his knowledge towards both soul masters and soul beasts had drastically increased.
“Brother Skydream, if I’m not mistaken, soul beasts have no ways of growing after they’ve cultivated for a hundred thousand years. Once they reach that point, their life force will begin to deteriorate. Your situation is an extremely unique one, such that even our academy’s Director Du hasn’t ever seen anything like it before. However, not all hundred thousand year soul beasts are able to constantly eat the best heavenly treasures like you were! How did the Three Emperors do it? Are you one of them?”
“Hai… they naturally don’t include the likes of me. If I were really one of the Three Emperors of this place, why would I need to go so far as to run away!? At that time, I was forced to run away because of one of the Three Emperors. The lands beneath the heavens are vast, and are filled with extraordinary things; I’m not the only soul beast who’s had a lucky encounter. Isn’t it possible for someone else to have a lucky encounter as well? Indeed, the Three Emperors are different from me. We Iceworms can only be considered lower ranked soul beasts within the Extreme North. Most of the time we’re just considered food. On the other hand, the Three Emperors of the Extreme North all have noble origins; the blood of the Ice God flows through their bodies. To begin with, they belong to the strongest races in this freezing place. As such, their ability to gather heavenly treasures is definitely not weak. Combined with the secrets that they know, it’s definitely not impossible for them to have a cultivation breakthrough.”
“But now that I think about it, it really is extremely hard to break through the hundred thousand year barrier by solely relying on cultivation. In the million years that I’ve been alive, the number of soul beasts that I’ve seen succeed doesn’t exceed ten. And of those ten, only three of are still alive. The others all died while trying to make a breakthrough to an even higher cultivation realm. The hurdle that soul beasts have to cross every hundred thousand years is an extremely arduous task.”
“That guy who passed by just now was a descendant of the Titan Giant clan, which was supposedly visited by the ancient Ice God. He belongs to the Titan Ice Devil clan. If you want to talk about race alone, they’re undoubtedly the strongest race in this freezing place. They currently only have several hundred clansmen left. However, despite this, when they gather together, they become an unparalleled existence. Titan Ice Devils are over ten meters tall at birth, while adult Titan Ice Devils are over fifty meters tall. The Ice Titan Devil King who just passed by was over a hundred meters tall, and he’s definitely the largest living creature on the Douluo Continent. Furthermore, we’re not talking about a ‘one of a kind’ thing. Even within the ocean, soul beasts that can compare to it in size alone are as rare as phoenix feathers and qilin horns.”
Huo Yuhao was flabbergasted. “A hundred meters tall? That’s too scary. Isn’t it an unparalleled existence then?”
“Unparalleled?” The Skydream Iceworm snorted disdainfully. “That’s obviously not the case. Not to mention the entire continent, it’s not even unparalleled in the Extreme North. It’s ranked last amongst the Three Emperors. Of course, the chances of a human being able to beat it here in single combat is naturally basically zero.”
Astonished, Huo Yuhao said, “It’s only ranked third with such a terrifying body? Then the other two Emperors….”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Having a larger body isn’t always better. Contrarily, there are some times where it’s more advantageous to have a smaller body. The other two Emperors aren’t nearly as big as that guy, but they’re both stronger than him. According to what I know, this Titan Ice Devil King should’ve only managed to break through the two hundred thousand year bottleneck with quite a bit of difficulty. I reckon that it won’t be able to breakthrough to the three hundred thousand year level. One of the other two fellows has already passed the three hundred thousand year bottleneck, while the other has passed the even more terrifying five hundred thousand year bottleneck. Other than myself, it’s currently the oldest soul beast on the Douluo Continent. If you were to determine the strongest soul beast on the continent, the leader of the Extreme North’s Three Emperors is definitely a powerful contender for that position.”
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