With Xie Jingxuan and Liang Zhong clearing the road, the spirit beast horde outside the mountain valley were nothing to worry about.
As the scythe and the Azure Moon flew, pieces of flesh and blood splattered. One after another, spirit beasts were exterminated
Qin Lie, Tu Ze, and the members of Water Moon Sect and Crimson Flame Association followed closely. With ease, they arrived at the stone forest outside.
The spirit beast horde had only come over to cultivate because of the abundant spirit energy inside the Eight Extreme Trigram Fire Formation. When the Eight Extreme Trigram Fire Formation exploded and the Spirit Gathering Boards were destroyed, the spirit energy in the valley dropped to normal levels again, so the spirit beasts did not linger near the stone forest.
They scattered and roamed at the corners of the stone forest as they prepared to continue to do evil outside.
When they reached the edge of the stone forest, Qin Lie saw Ye Yangqiu, the elder of the Discipline Hall. He was leading a group of Discipline Hall martial practitioners as well as a pale Gao Yu.
There were also two elders from Crimson Flame Association and Water Moon Sect. They had come when they heard the news and were preparing to enter the stone forest to kill spirit beasts.
“Greetings Lady Xie.” Ye Yangqiu and the elders from the two powers saw Xie Jingxuan ride out on the Profound Nether Beast. They all bowed slightly in greeting.
Xie Jingxuan, dressed in white, held a cold expression. “You are late and unable to help me. Fortunately, the Soul Devouring Beast was killed. You only need to clean up the remaining spirit beasts. Also, if those from Shattered Ice Manor ask, Yan Ziqian and his group were torn apart by the Soul Devouring Beast.”
Finished speaking, she directed the Profound Nether Beast past the three elders and left the stone forest first.
Na Nuo, Xiong Ba, Tu Ze, and the others had strange expressions, but no one spoke and nodded to show their understanding.
Then, Ban Hong and the soldiers from Dark Asura Hall closely followed on their unicorns and left as well.
Liang Zhong was the only one that stayed. He said to everyone else, “We need to travel to the Arctic Mountain Range, so we will not linger here in the stone forest. The Soul Devouring Beast is dead, so the rest will not be difficult for you.”
Ye Yangqiu nodded. “We have come to kill the spirit beasts gathered in the stone forest.”
In this period of time, Ye Yangqiu had swept the surrounding cities with the two elders, Ge Hong of Crimson Flame Association and Luo Wei of Water Moon Sect. They were responsible for killing up to Rank Two spirit beasts around Icestone City, Crimson Flame City, and Water Moon Sect.
In the recent fortnight, they found that there was an absence of activity from Rank Two spirit beasts.
They received news amidst their confusion. The brass had told them that there were many spirit beasts gathered in the stone forest at the center of the three cities. They were ordered to lead people into the stone forest to aid Dark Asura Hall to accomplish this matter.
However, they were a step too late.
“Qin Lie, Gao Yu, you two come over.” Liang Zhong rode the Profound Nether Beast and formed a distance from the group and moved behind a stone peak.
Qin Lie walked from Tu Ze’s side, and Gao Yu walked out of the group of Discipline Hall members, both of them moving behind the stone peak as well.
“Gao Yu, are you alright?” Liang Zhong asked with a furrowed brow.
Gao Yu had previously left the mountain valley by himself. He had broken through without regard for the spirit beast herds, and everyone had been worried that he would be torn apart by the spirit beasts. It was unexpected that he was still alive and well.
“I’m fine.” Gao Yu’s face was ashen pale.
He did not say how he had managed to pass through the spirit beast herds. Instead, he looked at Qin Lie and thought for a moment before saying, “The thunder and lightning you attracted at that time was potentially fatal for me. I had to leave. Otherwise, my soul and the shadow in my ring… could have been scattered.”
“Mn, I understand.” Qin Lie nodded.
“I called you two over to give you two something. Mn, I had promised you two before.” Liang Zhong smiled slightly. “The Demon God’s shadow that Gao Yu summoned helped us slow the attacks of the Soul Devouring Beast. You left too early however. Otherwise, it would not have been so troublesome.”
He looked at Qin Lie with a strange gaze. “I do not know what happened in the mountain valley, but I know you definitely helped Miss greatly. Otherwise, Miss would not have told Nebula Pavilion to give you ten thousand contribution points.”
“Ten thousand contribution points?” Gao Yu’s expression was shocked.
Qin Lie snickered. “Gao Yu, we won’t have to worry about contribution points in the near future. Ten thousand contribution points is enough for us to do what we want in the Combat Room.”
Gao Yu’s expression turned cold. “I’ll get at least two thousand contribution points this time. In the future, I have to be the one to pay the contribution points to use the combat room!”
“Up to you.” Qin Lie smiled without care.
“These two sets of Beastskin Armor are for you two.” The spatial ring on Liang Zhong’s finger flashed, and two Dark Asura Hall general armor sets were revealed. He handed them to the two people as he said, “The Beastskin Armor of Dark Asura Hall is made with the skins of Rank Three and Four spirit beasts. The skins for these two came from the Rank Three spirit beast, the Metal Wing Golden Horn Lizard. Its skin is thick. It doesn’t just stop many sharp weapons, but can defend against some spirit energy…”
He thought and then said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you. Battle armor is usually very heavy. These two sets of armor are relatively light if they are worn by Manifestation martial practitioners. It might be a challenge for you two but no worries. If it is heavy to wear now, you can wait until you have higher cultivation and then…”
Liang Zhong’s words suddenly stopped. He looked in shock at the duo with a strange gaze.
Gao Yu and Qin Lie had taken the Beastskin Armor and put them on while he was still explaining. At this moment, the two had started to move in the stone forest.
Gao Yu’s movements were slightly hindered, but Qin Lie was not affected at all. It was as though he was wearing normal clothing.
“It’s very light, not as serious as you said. Not bad, very comfortable.” Qin Lie jumped around for a while and then stopped to review it with a relaxed expression.
“Slightly heavy but still acceptable. There shouldn’t be a problem wearing this,” Gao Yu expressed.
Liang Zhong was shocked and then he grimaced. “Forgot that the two of you are unusual. It seems I underestimated your strength. Mn, good, it’s good as long as you can wear it.”
Pausing, he said, “I had originally thought to give each of you a piece of the soul crystal after smelting the Soul Devouring Beast to death with the Trigram Fire. I had not expected the Soul Devouring Beast to be killed with thunderbolts. Because of that, the soul crystal did not form.” He sighed regretfully. “The soul crystal is the good stuff, a treasure that can nurture the soul and increase soul power. It is rare, ah, what a pity…”
“Soul crystal?” Qin Lie was confused.
“Yes, soul crystals can store power like spirit stones. However, spirit stones contain spirit energy while soul crystals contain soul energy! Soul crystals are extremely valuable. Only some soul-type beasts and dangerous things can form clean soul crystals after being smelted and forged by strong fire. This stuff is expensive everywhere and hard to find.”
Liang Zhong’s expression was serious. “Soul crystals becomes more attractive the stronger the martial practitioner is. Absorbing the soul energy inside the soul crystal allows high level martial practitioners to directly increase the power of their soul — their mind consciousness. The increase in mind power means that the soul grows. This can increase the power of the martial practitioner in all areas in future cultivation.”
“Starting from the Netherpassage Realm, martial practitioners have to cultivate the power of the soul. An increase in the soul is crucial to progress in cultivation after that! Usually, the stronger the soul of the martial practitioner, the more room there is for improvement. After the Netherpassage Realm, the growth of the soul is the most important factor in determining the strength of the martial practitioner.”
“Soul, mind consciousness…”
Qin Lie murmured quietly. After thinking for a while with his head down, he suddenly showed a strange smile.
“Qin Lie, get Li Mu of Li’s Shop to get more Spirit Gathering Boards. Mn, remember to pay close attention on my behalf. After coming out of the Arctic Mountain Range, we will go to Li’s Shop.” Liang Zhong’s smile became slightly fawning. “The Spirit Gathering Boards we purchased were all destroyed in the Eight Extreme Trigram Fire Formation. I want to use the Spirit Gathering Boards to create a cultivation room after returning to Dark Asura Hall so…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll definitely keep a close eye out.” Qin Lie patted his chest in assurance.
“Mn, that’s it. I’ll leave first.” Patting Qin Lie’s shoulder, Liang Zhong said with a smile, “Kid, learn more from Li Mu. That guy… isn’t simple.” Finished speaking, Liang Zhong got on the Profound Nether Beast and went out of the stone forest.
“I’m going to stay in the stone forest and kill the remaining soul beasts with the Discipline Hall. You?” Gao Yu asked.
“I am going back to Icestone City first.” Qin Lie grinned. “I’ve just broken through into the Natal Opening Realm and need to go back to the pavilion to stabilize my realm. I don’t need to increase my experience by killing spirit beasts right now.”
Gao Yu stilled and then nodded. “Congratulations, I’m going to get there soon. I can feel it… maybe when I return to the city, I will also be in the Natal Opening Realm.” His tone was confident.
The two separated.
“Big Brother Tu, are you going to remain here or go back to Nebula Pavilion?” Qin Lie asked Tu Ze and the others after he returned.
“We’re going to help Elder Ye kill spirit beasts, what? Are you leaving?” Tu Ze was shocked.
“I just had a breakthrough and need to stabilize my cultivation. I’ve also gotten a lot of contribution points so…” Qin Lie explained.
“Oh, you have a good life. That woman clearly likes you, she also pretty much gave you the Profound Cold Jade vein. It would not be possible for you to not prosper. Those ten thousand contribution points came really easily.” Kang Zhi touched his chubby face and started to complain, “Pity that I have such a handsome face, but no one understands how to admire it, how, how…”
“Shove off!” Zhuo Qian could not bear to keep looking. She kicked him and frightened him into dodging.
“Qin Lie, do you… really have something with that woman from Dark Asura Hall?” Han Feng waggled his eyebrows. “Hehe, that woman is beautiful. If you get her, you definitely have a sure shot to get into Dark Asura Hall.”
“You, shove off as well!” Zhuo Qian glared at him and then frowned. She said, “Qin Lie, let sis warn you. Do not provoke women like Xie Jingxuan. There is not a single simple woman that walks out of the Internal Affairs Department. That Ban Hong should be an enforcer. He calls Xie Jingxuan ‘Miss,’ so this woman is at least commander rank.”
Taking a deep breath, Zhuo Qian said, “Commanders of Internal Affairs have hands drenched in blood. I don’t know how many other beings and spirit beasts they have killed. These kinds of people… usually aren’t normal. You should be careful. Do not interact too much with her to prevent yourself from getting into unnecessary trouble.”
“I will remember it.” Qin Lie nodded with a serious expression.
He decided to keep some distance from Xie Jingxuan.
Because when he underwent questioning, he knew that Xie Jingxuan had intentions of killing him and had almost done so.
Even though he did not know why that woman decided to let him go, he didn’t want to experience it twice. So he decided to avoid interacting with her as much as possible.