Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 685
AST 685 - 'Raiding' the Snow White Sacred Fruit
A White Jade Jiao was crawling on the ground!
The White Jade Jiao was also known as the 'White Jiao' or the 'Silver Jiao'. It was one of the most highly ranked of the Jiao species. According to legend, the White Jade Jiao had, since ancient times, harbored the blood of the White Jade Dragon in its veins.
The gigantic body of the White Jade Jiao was about 100 meters in length, and appeared very eye-catching as it crawled majestically on the icy snow ground. Qing Shui was utterly shocked when he took a careful look at the White Jade Jiao. He hadn't thought that he would find a powerful demonic beast just 300 li into the Mountain of Longevity.
Most importantly, Qing Shui was able to notice a small horn on top of the White Jade Jiao's gigantic head. This horn was the most shocking part about the White Jade Jiao.
Legend stated that if a Jiao managed to grow a horn on its head, it would be considered the king of its kind. The aptitude and growth of the White Jade Jiao would always be far superior to other Jiaos. Theoretically, the White Jade Jiao could evolve into one of the legendary beasts given enough time.
Qing Shui was quite perplexed at the current situation. He had been told that there wouldn't be any demonic beast that had the strength to surpass the Old Ancestor of the Ten Thousand Poisons Sect within 300 meters of the mountains' borders. Qing Shui didn't need to sense the White Jade Jiao's power to be certain that it had already surpassed the strength of 10,000 countries.
If this was the strength of a human martial warrior, he would have already passed the level of Peak Martial Saint. However, in the world of demonic beasts, the White Jade Jiao wouldn't even be considered a Peak Martial Saint. Suddenly, the White Jade Jiao began to move in a spiraling motion and curled into a shape of a small mountain. It glared at Qing Shui with its ferocious eyes and spouted a three-meter long breath of cold air in between its nose.
It was a clear sound that sounded like a cow's cry, and at the same time, like a dragon's roar. Even though Qing Shui had never seen a dragon before, he had heard their roars from dubbed voices in media and historical records during his past life. The clear cries of the White Jade Jiao were oddly similar, especially the dignified tone of its roar. The sound could provoke a sense of fear and agitation to those who heard the cries.
According to legend, there would also always be treasures nearby whenever a White Jade Jiao appeared in an area. This was to be expected as the White Jade Jiao mostly acted as guardians to such treasures. Normally, these kind of demonic beasts would guard treasures such as fruits, herbs, and anything else considered edible. Moreover, the treasures the guardian beast protected would be quite useful for their own consumption. A demonic beast would often guard a treasure for a few dozen years, and in certain cases, even for a century.
Although Qing Shui's current strength was way inferior to that of the White Jade Jiao, he didn't feel afraid. It was a good thing that he was wearing the Nine Continent Boots. Even if an unavoidable situation arose, he could use the Nine Continent Steps Effect to evade the impending crisis.
Moreover, Qing Shui had decent amounts of agility and speed.Taken together with the ultimate Cloudmist Steps that he had cultivated from combining numerous step techniques, he could move cunningly and as quick as the wind.
He darted his gaze around, hoping to find the treasure that the gigantic beast was trying to guard, as well as assessing if the treasure was worth the risk to perform a 'raid'.
The White Jade Jiao roared loudly at Qing Shui once again, but it didn't try to leave its spot to chase him away. Because of that, he speculated that there was something valuable hidden underneath that humongous body of the White Jade Jiao.
Qing Shui stood nearby as he hesitated to attempt the 'raid'. He observed the situation closely - the White Jade Jiao didn't seem like it planned to leave this place any time soon.
’’It's good that it didn't move. Otherwise I would have had to run away as fast as I could. Alright, I will try for now. If anything happens, I can always run away and try another time. Like they always say: If there is no risk, there is no reward.’’ Qing Shui held this monologue in his mind for a while.
If he couldn't defeat this White Jade Jiao, then there would always be other ways to force it to leave its spot. However, it was unknown whether these methods would actually work.
Mighty Elephant Stomp?
After pondering this idea for a moment, he shook his head. He also put on hold his thoughts about the treasure underneath that massive beast for now. After all, he still wasn't qualified to fight head on with the White Jade Jiao given that his own power was only 4000 countries of strength.
Descending Heavens Talisman!
Qing Shui took out the Descending Heavens Talisman and 'slapped' it instantaneously towards the White Jade Jiao's body.
With the Descending Heavens Talisman and some other weakening abilities, Qing Shui could instantly estimate the White Jade Jiao's strength.
After decreasing about 240 countries of strength.....
Even though he had initially guessed that the White Jade Jiao at least possessed the power of 10,000 countries of strength, he was nevertheless shocked at what he saw - 2% of its overall power was about 240 countries of strength.
This meant the White Jade Jiao's overall power was about 12,000 countries of strength.
Before this, Qing Shui actually had thought luck was on his side, because if the White Jade Jiao had the power equivalent of about 10,000 countries of strength, there was a possibility he could kill it with his current abilities. But now, all of that seemed nearly impossible.
There was a great disparity between his strength and the White Jade Jiao's strength.
’’I will try to decrease its strength first. If that doesn't work, then I still can run away from it quite easily.’’ Qing Shui thought about it and regained a bit of hope. Today, his goal was to snatch the treasure away from the White Jade Jiao.
The White Jade Jiao let out a deep roar while staring with its terrifying eyes at Qing Shui. The enormous eyes gazed at him with an expression of disdain. Taking away 240 countries of strength was a sign of disrespect to the gigantic demonic beast.
Qing Shui then summoned his Diamond Gigantic Elephant.
The Diamond Gigantic Elephant possessed the Instantaneous Diamond Evasion skill, so it was still in a safe zone. Of course, it would be another story if the opponent decided to use all of its 12,000 countries of strength. However, Qing Shui had made all the necessary preparations to defend against the White Jade Jiao.
Vajra Subdues Demons!
The Diamond Gigantic Elephant went straight into its battle mode and inflicted the skill that could infuriate any opponent onto the White Jade Jiao. In an instant, the White Jade Jiao's power had been weakened by a further 10%.
At that point, the White Jade Jiao that originally had 12,000 countries of strength began to feel uncomfortable. It felt some fear when it realized the potential threat Qing Shui and his Diamond Gigantic Elephant were beginning to pose. The look of disdain the White Jade Jiao gave to Qing Shui earlier was because it thought it was still far more powerful than him.
Fiery Golden Eyes!
This technique decreased the Jiao's power by another 1000 countries of strength!
The White Jade Jiao's shifted its enormous body uncomfortably as it let out two distinct roars. The beast began to circle around the spot swiftly, almost like a layer of rippling waves.
Even so, it refused to leave its original spot. Seeing how adamant the White Jade Jiao was in remaining still, Qing Shui was even more certain that there was indeed something valuable underneath that particular spot. Without hesitation, Qing Shui quickly released his ungodly Emperor's Qi towards the White Jade Jiao.
2400 more countries of strength were removed from the White Jade Jiao
The last weakening effect of the Emperor's Qi by Qing Shui had completely angered the White Jade Jiao. Its power had dropped from 12000 countries of strength to about 7300 countries of strength in a short amount of time. Nonetheless, despite all of Qing Shui's efforts to reduce the Jiao's power, there was still a vast difference between his strength and that of the demonic beast.
If he wished to eliminate the White Jade Jiao alone, it would be nearly impossible. Nevertheless, he still had other demonic beasts that he hadn't yet summoned. However, it was still too early to tell whether they could inflict any damage on the White Jade Jiao. The Diamond Gigantic Elephant was off the list because Qing Shui knew that it wouldn't last very long if it were to fight head-on with the White Jade Jiao.
What about the Gold-Silver Colored Butterfly?
Qing Shui had some doubts. After all, the White Jade Jiao had an enormous body, and even if the butterfly's 'solidifying' ability could petrify part of the White Jade Jiao's body, it would be finished as soon as the White Jade Jiao even grazed it.
The White Jade Jiao straightened for a moment, and then quickly swept towards Qing Shui's direction like a flash of lightning. Thundering noises sounded in the air as the White Jade Jiao flashed across the mountain range.
There was a trail of black afterimages left behind the White Jade Jiao, which seemed like a trail of shadows created by dark clouds blotting over the sun's rays.
Qing Shui didn't think twice and quickly retreated as he simultaneously recalled his Diamond Gigantic Elephant. As he was retreating, Qing Shui quickly sent the Heavenly Talismans that he had prepared earlier towards the incoming White Jade Jiao.
Seven Star Armored Vest!
At this critical moment, Qing Shui gave up on hoarding his best equipment and swiftly equipped the vest that had the ability to double the user's defense for one hour.
The White Jade Jiao's movement and attack patterns were so unexpectedly swift that Qing Shui didn't have the time to evade its attack completely.
However, in that split second, Qing Shui managed to use his Violet Gold divine Shield to defend the White Jade Jiao's attack.
Even after his defense had been doubled, he was still injured by the White Jade Jiao's previous bash. Fortunately, he could clearly feel his injury slowly healing. It seemed the injury he had sustained wasn't really all that serious.
This was the Yin-Yang Image's healing effect!
Qing Shui could clearly feel the Yin-Yang Image circulating in a swift motion. The Yin-Yang Image that had previously become larger was continuously repairing his wound while also slowly boosting his powers. The reason Qing Shui's cultivation could progress quickly was because of the Yin-Yang Image. Qing Shui and his Yin-Yang Image were essentially inseparable.
The White Jade Jiao's bash flung Qing Shui into the air, and right then, he saw what was underneath the spot the Jiao had been guarding earlier. On that spot was a three-meter tall ice-blue tree with two azure fruits the size of a human fist.
The Ice Snow Sacred Fruits!
Qing Shui's heart started beating rapidly. He had already seen and read the introduction on this fruit in the book called 'Chronicles on Rare Phenomenons in the Main Continent'. As a result, he immediately recognized the fruits as the Ice Snow Sacred Fruits.
Qing Shui also realized that it made sense for the White Jade Jiao to be guarding the Ice Snow Sacred Fruit. The treasure the White Jade Jiao had been guarding would of course have some sort of value, so when he saw the fruits, he understood everything.
The Ice Snow Sacred Fruit was able to grow even in harsh and cold conditions. A seed could grow into an Ice Cold Sacred Fruit Tree if it had the right conditions of the earth's cold air and an abundance of spiritual qi. It would take 500 years for the tree to bloom flowers, and then another 100 years for the tree to produce fruits. After that, it would take another 500 years for the fruits to ripen. So overall, each fruit on the Ice Cold Sacred Fruit Tree would take about 1100 years to ripen before it was ready to be picked.
Qing Shui observed the fruits and realized they hadn't seem to have ripened yet. Judging by their size and color, as well as the description he remembered from the book, it would take about another 100 years before both the fruits would completely ripen.
When he saw the actual fruits with his own eyes, his heart was filled with excitement. The book had also recorded the tempting effects of the fruits. The Ice Cold Sacred Fruit could possibly advance a cultivation technique of a demonic beast to another realm. Should that fail, then the demonic beast would instead gain 200 countries of strength. However, only Grade Two Martial Saint up to Peak Martial Saint demonic beasts would be affected. The effects weren't limited until the Grand Perfection Stage of Peak Martial Saint either.
Qing Shui thought it was worth provoking the Jiao when he remembered the effects of the Ice Cold Sacred Fruit. After all, this fruit was considered one rarest in the world. Given its rarity, Qing Shui speculated that no one in the Seven Stars Country had ever gotten away with the fruit. This was because White Jade Jiao was the guardian of the Ice Cold Sacred Fruit Tree.
The effects of either increasing power by 200 countries or advancing a cultivation technique to another realm - if lucky, were nothing short of beneficial. Moreover, the advancement wasn't by one level, but by an entire realm, which could skip several levels in one go. Realms were divided by sizes, but even the smallest realm could advance a Grade Two Martial Saint to a Grade Three Martial Saint in an instant.
This effect was heaven-defying!
The White Jade Jiao didn't try to chase Qing Shui after it swept him away to the other side. Instead, it circled around the spot once again - as if forming a perfect circle, seemingly protecting the Ice Cold Sacred Fruit in the middle.
Qing Shui stood back up quickly. The force of the White Jade Jiao's bash had also injured the inner vital organs of his body, causing him to nearly vomit blood. Luckily, he was able to recover quickly due to his great physique. The only thing that bothered Qing Shui right now was the speed of the White Jade Jiao - it was insanely fast! The speed was like the strike of a ferocious snake, which was exactly how the White Jade Jiao moved when it had tried to attack Qing Shui. The speed was indescribable, and Qing Shui was unable to evade a straightforward attack. Fortunately, he had already recalled his Diamond Gigantic Elephant, otherwise it would have been crippled by the White Jade Jiao's attack. It might have even been killed right there and then.
Qing Shui quickly swallowed a Gale Pellet, but even so, he had no confidence that he would be able to evade the Jiao given its incredible speed.
Binding Talisman, Armor Break Talisman!
Since the White Jade Jiao would never leave the area, he decided to strike with everything he had. During that moment, the White Jade Jiao abruptly spat out a dense icy qi at the Heavenly Talismans - freezing them in the process. Despite the enormous size of the 'Dragon's Aura' qi, once the qi touched the Heavenly Talismans, all of the talismans burst instantly and seeped their divinity powers into the White Jade Jiao's body.
Art of Pursuing!
Qing Shui was flung outwards by the White Jade Jiao once again. This time, he managed to use his Taichi's power and quickly forced himself backwards, minimizing the damage received. He was able to do this very quickly due to his previous experiences dealing with large beings. At the very least, this was better than the first bash, as he could time his actions swiftly. Most importantly, Qing Shui was able to inflict the 'Art of Pursuing' at the White Jade Jiao successfully.