AGM 192 - Qing`er
After Qin Wentian, Ouyang Kuangsheng and the four others entered the tempest, the remaining cultivators wreaked devastation upon each other for the Stellar Fruits in Wang Xiao's possession. After the battle, the clan members who had accompanied Wang Xiao, alongside twenty other cultivators, were all dead.
Even Yao Sheng from the Skydemon Sect, and Shiki from the Beast King Hall, were both seriously injured.
Regardless, the other cultivators were still unable to prevent Wang Xiao from entering the tempest. Upon entering the tempest, he turned his head to gaze at them , flashing a look that left a chill in everyone's hearts.
The followers of Wang Xiao had all died, and he was most definitely incensed. Wang Xiao's hatred for them should be soaring the skies, so if looks could kill, they would all already be dead.
Wang Xiao also arrived at the celestial lake, and proceeded to step into the last available celestial pool. The other cultivators could only dejectedly make their way back. All seven available spots had been filled up, and so the tests of the Refinement Grounds they participated in were all over.
Qin Wentian was totally ignorant of the events happening in the outside world. He immersed himself completely into his cultivation.
On the 6th day after entering the celestial pool, the nine arterial pathways in his body had finally expanded to their limits. His arterial pathways spun as they transformed into a spiralling whirlpool, boundless Astral Energy flooding every fibre of his being. In the place where his nine arterial pathways intersected, a terrifying vortex was formed, causing rumbling sounds to echo from his body.
In the heart of the vortex, the Astral Energy within his body converted into Yuan droplets, each drop flowing towards the whirlpool, causing its outline to appear stronger and stronger.
As the whirlpool was completely formed, a receptacle appeared and the Yuan energy droplets unceasingly dripped into it, forming a Yuan Ocean. That was the basic form of a Yuanfu, the birth of a Yuanfu.
As the shape of evolving Yuanfu gradually formed, the whirlpool seemed intent on continuing its circulation. On the contrary, the speed in which it span only grew increasingly faster. At the same time, a terrifying stream of Astral Energy surged frenziedly towards the third Astral Gate in Qin Wentian's sea of consciousness, attempting to unlock it. Qin Wentian was currently dividing his objectives by doing two things at the same time. Not only must he establish his Yuanfu, he wanted to unlock his third Astral Gate as well. This was all because he needed to condense his third Astral Soul.
By condensing his third Astral Soul at the moment he stepped into Yuanfu, only then would he be able to separate his Yuanfu into three foundations, as instructed by the Art of Nine Astrarium. Qin Wentian didn't want to miss this perfect opportunity.
Undoubtedly, the abundance of Astral Energy made this place the most suitable for Qin Wentian, who was attempting to unlock his Astral Gate. The success rate was many times higher compared to using Yuan Meteor Stones. And indeed, after several breaths of time, as he sent his consciousness towards the third Astral Gate, it was successfully unlocked.
And because of the existence of the beast spirits, Qin Wentian was quickly able to sense the respective constellations of the demonic beasts within the Heavenly Layers.
Qin Wentian had long made his decision on which third Astral Soul he should condense. His choice was undoubtedly the one ranked first in the Warbeast Index - the Demon Sovereign Constellation! Because of this, Qin Wentian didn't even bother attempting to reach out to the 6th Heavenly Layer.
The Demon Sovereign Astral Soul was ranked first in the Warbeast Index, and from this, one could already see how tyrannical it was. It didn't need to be said how beneficial it would be to Qin Wentian in his cultivation of the Fiend Transformation Art. Therefore, he was certain that condensing an Astral Soul from the Demon Sovereign Constellation was the best possible choice.
Very quickly, Qin Wentian's consciousness appeared in front of the Demon Sovereign Constellation. Incomparably savage and violent waves of Astral Energy gushed out, tinged heavily with terrifying demonic Qi. At the same time, an overbearing and imposing aura emanated forth from the Demon Sovereign Constellation.
With no hesitation whatsoever, Qin Wentian immediately chose to form an innate connection with the constellation, causing columns of Astral Light to cascade downwards, shining onto Qin Wentian's body. After a few breaths of time, an illusory manifestation of his third Astral Soul shining with resplendent light, could be seen shimmering on top of his head. After which, he released all three of his Astral Souls, as three beams of Astral Light cascaded downwards, channelled directly into the currently developing Yuanfu of Qin Wentian.
The whirlpool formed by his nine arterial pathways madly began to refine these three beams of Astral Energy, converting them into tri-colored liquid form, flowing into the Yuan Ocean. Three different colours of Yuan droplets condensed into tri-coloured droplets. Three different kinds of energy, all completely unique, flowing into three separate locations. As his Yuanfus took form, they eventually formed three Yuan Oceans, filling up the three receptacles.
This transformation continued unabated. Qin Wentian silently mused; if this miraculous place - the celestial lake - didn't exist, it would be exceedingly difficult to find other appropriate places with the right conditions for him to cultivate the Art of Nine Astrarium.
An unknown amount of time passed as Qin Wentian finally opened his eyes. Although he was still immersed in the celestial pool, he felt extremely fatigued. His mental constitution was thoroughly exhausted.
"Success!" A radiant smile appeared on Qin Wentian's face. Keeping the map of Dicang, he drew in a deep breath, closing his eyes as he sensed the changes in his body. Within his body, three Yuanfus were situated within, the tri-colored Yuan droplets filled Qin Wentian with an unprecedented, overwhelming sense of power that seemed inexhaustible. With a slight intention of his will, his body floated up into the air. He could finally soar through the skies with the power of his cultivation base alone.
"What a marvellous sensation." Qin Wentian laughed. He had gained much from this trip to the Demon Continent. Now, he only needed to spend more time to familiarise himself with this realm, as well as to consolidate his cultivation.
Qin Wentian initially had still wanted to continue on with his cultivation, however, the radiance of the shimmering starlight in the celestial pool was already fading as the Astral Energy within grew weaker and weaker. Inclining his head, Qin Wentian discovered that Ouyang Kuangsheng and Mo Qingcheng had already exited their celestial pools and were currently looking in his direction.
Not only that, a silhouette actually appeared on top of one of the astral stone pillars. It was none other than the ephemeral beauty that stood beside the Palace Mistress previously.
Her demeanor was still as cold and aloof as before, her aura extraordinary and pristine, appearing as though she was someone not of the mortal world.
"Time's up." Her voice was icy cool, as she lowered her head, shooting a glance in the direction of Qin Wentian.
"So fast?" A disappointed smile appeared on Qin Wentian's face, he felt that the time was too short. He initially wanted to consolidate his cultivation here and wanted to make use of the excessive Astral Energy to unlock even more fragments of memories from the tiny astral-being in his sea of consciousness. It was naturally understandable that he would be depressed after all; cultivating a day in the celestial pool far surpassed cultivating ten days in the outside world.
However, looking at the expression shown on the face of that ephemeral beauty, Qin Wentian knew that it was impossible. Coming out of his celestial pool, he glanced at Mo Qingcheng as he asked with a smile, "How was it? Did your cultivation base improve?"
"Mhm, I broke through to the second level of Yuanfu." Mo Qingcheng sweetly smiled back as she nodded her head.
"Haha, it seems like everyone benefited this time round." Ouyang Kuangsheng laughed. He has also broken through to Yuanfu and was exceptionally joyful at this moment. Not only him, even those from the Mystic Moon Hall had smiles on their faces.
"However, that fellow Wang Xiao has also broken through to Yuanfu. He just left not long ago, but still you have to be cautious of this man in the future. The power of the Wang Clan from the War Continent cannot be belittled. A few years from now, after he matures, Wang Xiao will most definitely be a voice of authority within his clan," Ouyang Kuangsheng warned.
The transcendent powers of the nine continents were all incredibly powerful, regardless of whether they were sects or clans. Especially for those elites of the younger generation, if one's talent was dazzling enough, one would be recognised and nurtured, eventually becoming a pillar of the clan. By that time, they would wield true authority, but of course, to reach that point they would first have to shine brighter than their peers, attracting the attentions of the upper echelons.
If not, death is the only outcome. For those at the top, deaths of members from the younger generations were nothing to them. Either you stand out, or you are eliminated in the struggle for the top. This was the harsh reality and environment that those younger generations from the transcendent powers had to grow up in.
"Noted." Qin Wentian nodded.
"Let's go," the ephemeral beauty cooly exclaimed, as she leapt downwards, leading the way out of the Refinement Grounds. Their journey here was filled with difficulties, but upon returning, their way was smooth of all impediments, allowing them to proceed unhindered. After some moments, they arrived back at the hall situated outside the entrance of the celestial lake.
"Ouyang." Jiang Ting and the rest were already there, waiting. Upon seeing his safe return, a warm smile blossomed on her face.
"She's Jiang Ting, my fiancée." Ouyang Kuangsheng smiled as he spoke to Qin Wentian.
"Jiang Ting, this is my friend, Qin Wentian."
Qin Wentian looked towards Jiang Ting as he nodded with a smile. From Ouyang's words, he already knew that Jiang Ting was from the Jiang Clan, and was similarly a transcendent power that had great influence in the Wind Continent.
Jiang Ting silently contemplated Qin Wentian. From what she knew of Ouyang Kuangsheng's character, his decision to be friends with Qin Wentian was already sufficient to show how extraordinary the latter was.
After which, she politely smiled back as she returned the nod, her posture graceful and befitting the noble lady of a great clan.
"Hey, thanks for the hospitality shown to us by the Celestial Lake Palace. Farewell." Ouyang Kuangsheng turned his head back, as he spoke to the ephemeral young lady. However, she remained aloof and indifferent, not bothering to reply. Feeling helpless, Ouyang Kuangsheng and his group of people could only lead their demonic beasts away as they departed the area.
Outside the Celestial Lake Palace, as the remaining survivors bid their farewells to each other. Qin Wentian politely waved his goodbye to those from the Mystic Moon Hall, while he and Mo Qingcheng mounted on her white crane, flying away.
The veiled lady of the Mystic Moon Hall gazed at the departing silhouette of the white crane, as an expression akin to reluctance could be seen passing through her eyes.
"Let's go," she lightly commanded. After a while, they mounted their demonic beasts, and in similar fashion, departed the Demon Continent.
Within another hall, Fairy Qingmei sat there, as the Palace Mistress stood by her side. At that moment, the ephemeral beauty made her way over.
"How was it, do you like him?" Fairy Qingmei inquired in a low voice upon seeing the appearance of the cold-looking young lady.
"I've no idea." The young lady lightly shook her head, while hints of obedience could be seen on her face. Only in front of Fairy Qingmei, would she present such an appearance.
"It doesn't matter if you don't like him, but I need you to stay by his side and to protect him from danger. Qing`er, remember this: you must not let him come to any harm." Fairy Qingmei laughed, causing waves of jealousy to rock the heart of the Palace Mistress standing next to her. Their teacher only displayed such expressions of gentleness in front of Qing`er.
She knew that Fairy Qingmei doted most on her junior sister. And now that Fairy Qingmei had actually instructed Qing`er to protect that youth earlier, it could be seen how highly her teacher regarded Qin Wentian.
Fairy Qingmei's devotion to the Azure Emperor, was truly deep indeed.
"Okay." Qing`er's replies were also scarce even when she was talking to her esteemed teacher. However, the look in Fairy Qingmei's eyes was still as gentle as before; she understood Qing`er's personality and naturally wouldn't blame her.
"Don't help him in everything he does, and if he uses flowery words to coax you, ignore him. You can only help when he is in moments of absolute danger, and do not reveal your identity." Fairy Qingmei gently smiled as she instructed.
"Qing`er understands." This was the first time she would be venturing outside, so she carefully took note of Fairy Qingmei's instructions. However, was it true that all men were skilled in the usage of flowery words?
"Go then." Fairy Qingmei smiled. Following which, a pair of beautiful wings appeared on the back of Qing`er while she hovered in the air. Her silhouette flickered, as she instantly disappeared from sight. Who knew what terrifying realm had her speed reached!