Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
As Li Changshou covered a larger area, the amount of Saliva of Red Yang Poisonous Dragon he had kept reducing.
His search had not borne fruit in the area the ancient texts talked about or around the Chaos Treasure Forest.
Three days after he incidentally rescued Youqin Xuanya, Li Changshou still had not found the Immortal-Emancipating Herb. However, as he had been venturing deeper into the North Continent, he had found many other useful, poisonous, and spirit herbs.
He had even caught two precious Corpse-Burning Bugs, which could be refined into Corpse Calcining Powder. This would give Li Changshou a total of twelve ways of dealing with corpses.
Even though he was beginning to feel frustrated, Li Changshou never forgot that he was in a dangerous place like the North Continent. This meant that he remained extremely cautious the entire time.
Logically, while Immortal-Emancipating Herbs were extremely valuable, they were considered quite unconventional herbs. Few people should have been seeking them.
The regions that Li Changshou had been searching had the right conditions for Immortal-Emancipating Herbs to thrive. Yet, there was not a single seedling in sight—it was all very strange.
Li Changshou tried his best to make time between his training in order to read all the classical texts on poisons and herbs. Was all that he read fake?
‘Indeed, Master, the old man, is very unlucky.’
Li Changshou could only comfort himself in this manner. He wanted to get rid of the indignance in his heart as he began to think about when he should head back.
He had to walk 100 kilometers more towards the west!
If he still could not find the herb, Li Changshou would give it a rest. He would go to the town and see if there were any herbs on sale. Of course, there was only a slim chance of that happening.
Li Changshou moved his feet quickly, casting shadows underneath his feet. He wanted to complete the last segment of his quest.
After searching for 25 kilometers, he found nothing.
Li Changshou searched a total of 50 kilometers, through all the areas in which Immortal-Emancipating Herbs could possibly grow. Still, he found no trace of them. Surprisingly, he found several precious spirit herbs, which he could use to create Soft Immortal Dispersers.
‘Look, herbs that would be useful to me are lining up to get into my storage Dharma artifacts. Yet, no matter how hard I try, I cannot find herbs that would be useful to Master. This is probably because of the differences in our character and manners. Since I cannot obtain Immortal-Emancipating Herbs, I will not be able to create the Immortal-Melting Pill. This method will not work then. It’s a good thing that I had already prepared Plan Two and Plan Three. Although these plans will not be as safe as creating Immortal-Melting Pills, they will at least be of help to Master.’
There was a movement in the Heaven and Earth spiritual energy. People were fighting somewhere.
Li Changshou’s spiritual awareness immediately reached out to look for the source of this movement. However, the Miasma Qi in front of him was too rich. With the poisonous Qi moving around, he could only search a maximum radius of ten kilometers.
The fight was happening more than 15 kilometers away. He could vaguely sense several figures moving and twisting around.
Was the area where this ‘itinerant cultivator’ activity was taking place, just ahead?
There were many cultivators in the North Continent. Normally, they would head 500 kilometers deep into the North Continent in order to look for valuable and mysterious flowers and fruits. They would then trade these flowers and fruits for other resources that would help their own cultivation and training.
Assassin Turtledove, who Li Changshou had killed earlier, was one example. He had already been in the Dao Requital Realm. On days when he had not been doing others’ dirty work, he would collect these flowers and fruits, and trade them for other resources.
Li Changshou immediately thought of retreating. Thus, he stopped moving and hid behind a rock, pondering his next moves very carefully.
Li Changshou had read all the ancient texts about this region. Cultivators were fighting on the path that he was supposed to take. If he did not retreat now, when should he?
As the saying went, “Gentlemen should not remain in dangerous places.” This journey to the North Continent could only end in regret.
All of a sudden, Li Changshou jumped!
By chance, his spiritual senses detected three ordinary-looking, emerald green herbs swaying in the breeze on the cliff’s peak, 11.5 kilometers north-west of where he was.
They were shaped like Orchid Grass, but they were much shorter. There were also strange patterns on their leaves. Each herb seemed to be wrapped in a dull glow.
They were Immortal-Emancipating Herbs, which could poison Essence Immortals and seriously injure the essence souls of Perfected Immortals!
What’s more, from the density of the patterns, Li Changshou could tell that the herb in the center was about 3,000 years old. The other two herbs on either side of it were also more than 1,000 years old!
Li Changshou nearly jumped out from behind the rock.
However, he immediately recited a Heart-Cleansing Curse silently to calm himself down. He had not gotten the herb yet and thus could not afford to celebrate too early.
‘Calm down. I can only have a small celebration after I obtain the herb and leave the North Continent. That’s not right. Refining the pill would be extremely troublesome as well. At the very least, it would not be too late to rejoice after I get back to the mountain and successfully create the Immortal-Melting Pill. Let’s begin!’
Li Changshou employed Earth Escape and headed straight for the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs. At the same time, his spiritual awareness spread outwards underground, allowing him to survey the area around the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs.
Beside the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs was a bald, old cypress tree. He could transition from Earth Escape to Wood Escape in order to get close to the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs.
However, to poisonous beasts, poisonous herbs, which were thousands of years old, would be considered extremely nourishing. There was no way that the herbs would remain unguarded.
Indeed, Li Changshou quickly discovered a Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent nearby.
This snake was treacherously hiding lower down the cliff. It even knew how to hide its own aura. Its thirty-feet-long body camouflaged with the rocks around it, but its blue-green scales glowed mystically.
If Li Changshou had not scanned the area, inch by inch, he would not have realized that there was a poisonous beast hiding nearby.
There was a huge bulge in the center of the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent’s head. It looked extremely ugly and could easily invoke bold ideas in the minds of humans.
Its triangular-shaped head was already beginning to elongate. Its body was also thicker than ordinary serpents. Clearly, this snake was on its path to immortality.
The oldest Immortal-Emancipating Herb was probably the key to its ascension to immortality. However, at that moment, it was just not poisonous or powerful enough.
‘This will not be easy.’
Li Changshou also noticed that there were many bones below the cliff. Among them were many human-shaped bones.
Li Changshou could not fight using brute force, so he had to use his intelligence.
Poisonous beasts like that, which were close to immortality, were considered extremely poisonous, demonic beasts. Although Li Changshou carried poisons with nine types of effects, which could threaten even ordinary Essence Immortals, they would prove useless on a beast like that.
Based on his own Dharma spells, Li Changshou could fight the beast using brute force. However, the surroundings were too dangerous, with instabilities all around.
‘How should I outsmart the serpent? Should I use Wood Escape to get there, pluck the herb, and run? Most serpents are extremely nimble. This plan might not work.’
Li Changshou pondered deeply as he traveled back and forth in the earth swiftly. Soon, his mind ran through ten different plans.
As Li Changshou got closer to the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs he yearned for, the battle taking place in the distance also became clearer to his spiritual awareness. When he turned his attention to the battle, his breath caught in his throat, causing him to cough several times underground. He nearly turned around and left right there and then.
‘Why have I bumped into her? Is this Youqin Xuanya charmed? She should change her name to Toxic Xuanya. I already drew a map to direct her to the south. What is she doing here? She’s a full 1,000 kilometers away from where she is supposed to be!’
The corners of Li Changshou’s mouth twitched several times. He felt like there was a strange lapse in his knowledge.
‘Why is there a suppressive force belonging to immortals among the people chasing her?’
A spark appeared in Li Changshou’s mind. As his spiritual awareness focused on the battle, a brilliant plan to obtain the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs surfaced.
On further thought, if not for the battle occurring on this path, he would not have noticed the three Immortal-Emancipating Herbs.
What’s more, according to his current line of sight, there was a high chance they would not detect him.
From this angle, perhaps he should thank ‘Toxic Xuanya’.
“I saved you the last time, and I’m going to make use of you this time. I’ll take it that we’re even,” mumbled Li Changshou under his breath. He paused before employing Earth Escape once again.
Li Changshou activated his Dharmic powers and used all his strength to control his aura. He silently traveled towards the cliff as fast as he could. Then, he began to observe the people attacking Youqin Xuanya.
At that moment, flaming swords were revolving around Youqin Xuanya. She was floating in mid-air and moving towards the cliff as well. The swords were revolving around her at top speed, forming a dense shield.
However, with a single look, Li Changshou could tell that Youqin Xuanya was only strong in appearance but weak in reality. She had not mastered the sword defense Dharma spell yet. Youqin Xuanya knew a fixed style of using it, but she did not know how to react according to her circumstances. While she was defending herself, Youqin Xuanya could not deal effective counter-attacks.
Six people, all dressed in black, were attacking Youqin Xuanya just then. Two of them were in the Dao Requital Realm, and four were in the Void Return Realm. Although they were using all their efforts to attack Youqin Xuanya, they were not critically injuring her. Apparently, they wanted to keep her alive.
Li Changshou’s luck was not bad either. There were two other Essence Immortals from this group who were in the Dragon-Trapping Array at that moment. A certain Perfected Immortal in the same array was also powerful enough to keep both Essence Immortals busy.
‘These few fellas would probably not be able to defeat the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent.’
Fortunately, there were two more types of aura in the air, belonging to two people who had not acted yet. What’s more, Li Changshou was quite familiar with them.
It was Yuwen Ling, the front guard from whatever country Youqin Xuanya was from, along with Yuan Qing, a Junior Brother from his sect, who came from the Heaven-Breaking Peak.
Within a 15 kilometer radius, Li Changshou could only sense one immortal—Yuwen Ling. He guessed that the suppressive force, which he sensed earlier, belonged to him as well.
Li Changshou’s mind began to race.
‘Speaking of which… why isn’t the big, warm man, Yuan Qing, dealing any blows yet? Is he going to drag this on? Does he really think that there are no other powerful people in the Immortal Du Sect?’
The Immortal Du Sect was a medial-class immortal cultivation sect, but it was also widely recognized as one of the Three Schools. Even though several immortals had royal status, the Immortal Du Sect would not hold these earthly royalties in high esteem.
If Aunt-Master Jiu Jiu and the five disciples did not return to the sect at the designated time, immortals would be sent to the North Continent to search for them. Yuan Qing and his group were courting death by continuing to take their time.
‘There are no two ways about it. Isn’t this fake, warm guy coveting after the fake ice mountain’s body? Pui, despicable!’
At that moment, in Li Changshou’s eyes, Yuwen Ling, the immortal seated in the clouds, and the people that were attacking Youqin Xuanya could be labeled as Tool Number One, Two, Three, Four, and so on.
Li Changshou focused his spiritual senses on Youqin Xuanya and employed the Wind Speech Incantation to speak directly into Youqin Xuanya’s ear.
“Take the position that you are facing now as north. Retreat eight feet towards the south-west.”
Youqin Xuanya, who was using her sword defense to withstand the attacks of the Dharma treasures in front, jumped.
‘Senior Brother Changshou! Why is he here?’
Although she felt slightly suspicious, Youqin Xuanya subconsciously followed Li Changshou’s directions. She used the support of the flying swords and remained close to the ground as she moved backward. Two beams of light immediately scratched the side of her sword array formation!
They were a short knife and a spike. They flew towards Youqin Xuanya at top speed, but landed on the ground!
“Move back some more, six feet towards the west.” Li Changshou’s voice sounded slightly urgent.
Youqin Xuanya trusted him and followed his directions. Two more beams of light brushed her sides.
Then, Li Changshou’s hoarse voice sounded in her ear once again. “Don’t daydream. Use any additional energy you have to counter-attack. Control your expression. Don’t let them become suspicious.
“There is a poisonous beast at the bottom of the cliff. Lure them over and make use of the poisonous beast to defeat them. Move three feet to the west, then move five feet south-west.”
Youqin Xuanya’s dark gaze brightened up once again.
She pursed her lips and said, “Yes” in her heart in response.
Youqin Xuanya dodged left and right swiftly. Very slowly, she covered her poise and calm. In the eyes of her six attackers and the two observers above, Youqin Xuanya suddenly became much more nimble.
A breakthrough in battle?
Youqin Xuanya managed to dodge most of the six opponents’ attacks. She had only been using her flying swords as a shield earlier, but now she seemed to have realized how to deal counter-attacks as well.
Just like that, Youqin Xuanya became much less stressed. Calmly and methodically, she retreated towards the cliff’s bottom, where the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent was hidden.
At the same time, Li Changshou arrived among the rock strata at the top of the cliff. He was 1,000 feet from the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs.
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent seemed to have realized something was amiss as well. At the bottom of its cliff, it lifted its head to survey its surroundings.
There was a plain in front of the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs. The strong-looking, black cypress tree was about 160 feet from the edge of the cliff, and the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs were located under its shade.
Li Changshou found the roots of the black-skinned cypress tree. While among the rock strata, he stopped using Earth Escape. Then, he fought against the surrounding pressure, gritted his teeth, and employed Wood Escape instead. He drilled into the roots of the cypress tree, hid his aura, and penetrated upwards.
The old cypress tree: “…”