Chapter 48: The Fisherman Reaps the Reward
Translator: / KurazyTolanzuraytor Editor: Lucas
That night, after eating his fill, Duan Ling Tian returned to his room.
After pouring in Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid into the bath barrel, he took off his clothes, sat inside the barrel, and closed his eye as he started to cultivate.
Nine Dragons War Sovereign Technique, Spirit Serpent Form!
Greedily absorbing the medicinal strength of the Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid, Duan Ling Tian could clearly feel the lifeblood in his body slowly growing stronger as his body underwent a metamorphosis...
When he finished absorbing the Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid, Duan Ling Tian opened his eyes.
"What's going on? I still haven't broke through."
Duan Ling Tian frowned. His face had a puzzled expression.
For the past half month's time, on every occasion that he absorbed the Seven Treasure Body Tempering Technique, he was clearly able to feel the changes in his body as it underwent metamorphosis.
But every time he felt he would soon break through, he would be unable to.
"Could it be that it has something to do with the Spirit Serpent Form's mental cultivation method?"
Duan Ling Tian curiously searched through the memories of the Rebirth Martial Emperor.
He quickly found an answer!
Duan Ling Tian couldn't help himself from spitting out a vulgarity.
It turned out to be that the madman Rebirth Martial Emperor had added an extra something in his self-created Nine Dragons War Sovereign Technique's Spirit Serpent Form...
According to his theory, when the Spirit Serpent Form is cultivated to the ninth level of Body Tempering Stage, a strength of three ancient mammoths would be achieved by just relying on the fleshly body!
The strength of three ancient mammoths is 30,000 Pounds.
Duan Ling Tian was currently at the eighth level of the Body Tempering stage and had a strength of 7,000 pounds, 2,000 pounds above the strength of an average martial artist at the eighth level of the Body Tempering stage.
But at the ninth level of the Body Tempering Stage, he would be able to possess a strength of 30,000 pounds.
An ordinary martial artist at the ninth level of the Body Tempering Stage only had the strength of 10,000 pounds.
In other words, when he breaks through to the ninth level of the Body Tempering stage, he will be three times stronger than an average ninth level Body Tempering martial artist.
The strength of three ancient mammoths!
An ordinary martial artist would only be able to possess this sort of strength by relying on the fleshly body and Origin Energy when they reach the second level of the Core Formation stage.
"No wonder I was unable to break through; it was actually the exceptional ability in the Nine Dragons War Sovereign Technique's Spirit Serpent Form. It was because of the Spirit Serpent Form that the Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid was constantly activating the potential in my body, creating a foundation for me to successfully possess the strength of three ancient mammoths when I break through to the ninth level of the Body Tempering Stage."
Duan Ling Tian laughed bitterly.
How long will I have to endure until the tides turn...
The next day at dawn.
When he exited his room, Duan Ling Tian noticed that his mother had prepared a sumptuous breakfast.
"Mom, what's the happy occasion?"
Duan Ling Tian was slightly shocked.
"Tian, looks like you really are going to have to let Ke Er protect you... Ke Er broke through to the ninth level of the Body Tempering stage last night."
Li Rou blinked her clear eyes as she teased him.
Duan Ling Tian was startled.
Ke Er slowly walked out of her room.
The slim and graceful young girl seemed to have added on some charm after a night's time.
"Ke Er, looks like you'll have to protect me from now on."
Duan Ling Tian smiled tenderly.
Ke Er's breakthrough was something Duan Ling Tian expected.
With the assistance of the Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid and the Thunder Flame Pill, and Ke Er's natural talent, it wasn't strange for her to break through.
After all, the Frost God's Sword Technique was not as abnormal as the Nine Dragons War Sovereign Technique...
After having their breakfast, Duan Ling Tian notified his mother before bringing Ke Er along as he left the Li Clan Estate.
This time, he planned to spend a few nights in the Misty Forest with Ke Er.
To get proper tempering!
"If I had noticed the unusualness of the Nine Dragons War Sovereign Technique's Spirit Serpent Form earlier, I wouldn't have promised to battle Li Zhong half a month from now in the Clan Martial Meet."
On the way to the Misty Forest, Duan Ling Tian laughed bitterly in his heart.
He originally thought that he would surely break through before the Clan Martial Meet.
At that time, he thought that after breaking through to the ninth level of the Body Tempering stage, he would possess around 15,000 pounds of strength, comparable to the strength of one and a half ancient mammoths.
Compared to Li Zhong, who was at the first level of the Core Formation Stage, he would only be weaker by a few thousand pounds.
If he attacked unexpectedly while relying on the Sword Drawing Arts, he had a good chance of defeating Li Zhong.
The ninth level of the Body Tempering Stage was far, far away.
If he wanted to let his fleshly body possess the strength of three ancient mammoths, even with the assistance of the Seven Treasures Body Tempering Liquid, it would at least require half a year to be successfully accumulated.
"It's really like how they say 'don't act like your great or you'll be struck by lightning,'"  Duan Ling Tian muttered to himself.
"Young Master, what's this about getting struck by lightning?"
The young girl looked over curiously.
Duan Ling Tian smiled embarrassedly.
Entering the Misty Forest this time wasn't the same as before; everything seemed to progress easily from experience.
After a journey of hunting wild animals, Ke Er and Duan Ling Tian finally arrived near the inner area of the Misty Forest when the sun was setting.
The wild animals around this area were quite ferocious; if not for Ke Er breaking through to the ninth level of the Body Tempering stage, Duan Ling Tian wouldn't be daring enough to bring Ke Er this deep into the Misty Forest.
Spirit Serpent Movement Technique!
Sword Drawing Arts!
Duan Ling Tian was like a spirit serpent, and his Violet Meteorite Flexible Sword was like the tongue of a poisonous serpent. Every time it swept out, it would take the life of a wild animal with it.
Profound Rippling Steps!
Compared to the bizarreness of Duan Ling Tian's movement technique, Ke Er's figure seemed much more graceful...
That night in the Misty Forest, Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er slept out in the open.
As a former exceptional weapons specialist, sleeping out in the open was as normal as eating to Duan Ling Tian.
But it was different for Ke Er. She was restless until late at night when she finally fell asleep while listening to Duan Ling Tian's stories.
Sitting on the tree trunk, looking at the young girl soundly sleeping, the corners of Duan Ling Tian's curled up into a light smile.
Maybe a life like this wasn't too bad.
Dawn of the second day.
Some noise entered Duan Ling Tian's ears.
Seven people, five men and two women, were approaching from afar.
These people were young, only at the ages of seventeen or eighteen.
When they noticed Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er, they were slightly shocked as they didn't expect there to be people younger than them that dared to pass the night in the Misty Forest.
Moreover, they were only two people.
The five youths' gazes fell upon Ke Er, emitting a slight burning gaze.
When the two young girls looked at Ke Er, their eyes emitted a sense of envy.
When the seven of them arrived near Duan Ling Tian, a tall youth asked, "Should we get them to help us?"
"Are you crazy? Wouldn't two more people mean we have to share two more portions? It's only a Black Python; it will be easy to kill it with the seven of us working together!" a short youth said as he frowned.
"Yeah, if you're scared, you don't have to come. The six of us can share it," the young girl who was dressed in revealing clothing and had a face covered in makeup said.
The tall youth went silent.
The seven of them passed by Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er, walking towards a different area.
Duan Ling Tian's pupils constricted.
Searching through Rebirth Martial Emperor's memories...
Black python, a fierce beast that evolved from a wild animal. Its strength is comparable to a Core Formation martial artist.
Allegedly, the nest of the black python has treasures that are formed from the spirit qi of heaven and earth. There would be rare medicinal materials, or rare ores, or maybe even spirit fruits.
"Ke Er, let's follow them and see what happens."
On the spur of the moment, Duan Ling Tian took Ke Er and followed the seven people from afar.
The seven people quickly entered the inner area of the Misty Forest.
The inner area of the Misty Forest was covered in fog all year round, turning the entire forest into a maze of fog.
As they entered the inner area of the Misty Forest, the figures of the seven people slowly became indistinct.
"S**t, I lost them."
After a moment, Duan Ling Tian frowned.
Just at this moment, a loud bang sounded nearby on the left.
Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er silently went towards the sound.
What they saw was a huge, multicolored tiger, fighting with the seven people from before on an empty field.
The multicolored tiger had an enormous body, greatly exceeding that of an ordinary wild tiger, and its strength was at the first level of the Core Formation stage, extremely ferocious.
"Four of them are at the ninth level of the Body Tempering Stage.... No wonder they dared to hunt the black python."
Looking at the ancient mammoth silhouettes above three of the youth and one of the young girls, Duan Ling Tian's hearts twitched.
Finally, by paying the price of one of their ninth level of the Body Tempering members being injured, the seven of them eventually killed the huge, multicolored tiger.
After collecting the valuable fur and other parts of the multicolored tiger, the seven of them continued forward.
Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er followed from afar.
Finally, in front of a remote cave, the seven of them stopped.
"The black python is inside?"
Duan Ling Tian brought Ke Er and hid on a nearby tree, watching from afar.
Duan Ling Tian quickly saw one of the seven throw a stone into the cave.
Instantly, an enormous figure flew out from inside. It was exactly an enormous python with an entirely pitch-black body.
The black python was over ten meters long, with a pair of icy cold and piercing eyes, its tongue moving like lightning.
"Let's do it!"
Immediately, the figures of the seven of them moved, flying straight towards the black python and attacking with full force.
The black python moved as well, as if transforming into a flash of black lightning. Its tail swung out and blasted a youth away. The youth dropped to the ground and fainted.
Abruptly, the tall youth shouted, "Not good. This black python isn't simply at the first level of the Core Formation Stage!"
The young girl with heavy makeup looked towards the sword-wielding youth as she shouted in a delicate voice, "Wang Dong, pierce its weak spot!"
"You guys, hold him for a moment!" the sword-wielding youth shouted in a low voice as he started to look for an opportunity.
But the speed of the black python was not something they could compare to...
Another youth's head was quickly bit off by the black python's bloody mouth. The entire scene seemed incredibly bloody.
Looking at this scene, Duan Ling Tian's expression didn't change.
But Ke Er beside him had a dreadfully pale expression and her delicate figure trembled.
"Young Master, should we help them?"
Ke Er's eyes emitted a trace of pity.
"If we go help them, they might not even be willing, or maybe they would even think we wanted a share of the spoils."
Duan Ling Tian shook his head.
After a moment, with the help of the remaining five people who fought desperately, the sword-wielding youth eventually found an opportunity and pierced the weak point of the black python.
But it seemed to be slightly off target.
The black python went completely berserk...
The remaining five were either bitten to death or sent flying by the python's tail.
Until the last person lied there lifeless, only then did the black python's enormous body finally drop heavily on the ground, its eyes emitting a sense of sorrow.
Duan Ling Tian and Ke Er dropped to the ground, reaping the rewards at the earlier seven's expense. 
At this moment, Duan Ling Tian noticed the black python raise its head and gaze at him. Its piercing eyes were actually emitting a begging expression.
Duan Ling Tian was stupefied.
The black python suddenly raised its head and turned to look at the cave behind it. It shook its head as if it were begging for something.
Only when he entered the cave did Duan Ling Tian understand what the black python was begging him to do.
Inside the cave, besides three spirit fruits hanging on two bizarre plants, were two slightly cracked snake eggs that would hatch at any moment...
Out of the three spirit fruits, two were the same, whereas the other larger spirit fruit was slightly different.
"This is... a Dark Spirit Fruit!"
The memories of Rebirth Martial Emperor flashed inside his mind.
Looking at the slightly large crimson red spirit fruit, Duan Ling Tian's heart trembled and his face turned completely red.
(TL Note - It's kind of like a Chinese rhyme saying, where the word 'act great' rhyme's slightly with the word 'struck by lightning' in the original Chinese text. It's something like an informal saying that means you will get retribution when you portray yourself beyond your ability. If you're curious its & .)
(TL Note - the idiom/saying Fisherman Reaps the Reward actually means the obtaining of a profit at another's expense which is how I translated it here. The reason for this note is just to clear up the meaning of the chapter title.)