Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 882
AST 882 - Jade Spirit Fruit, Stumbled Upon The Golden Jiao's Lair
When Qing Shui saw the determined gaze of the Snow Lion King, he knew that the lion was done for. He didn't try to force the beast to consume the medicinal pill - he would rather let the laws of nature determine the lion's fate.
To be frank, Qing Shui felt quite uncomfortable with his decision. It was quite a pity to let a majestic beast like this lion to perish away just like that. However, this was the way of a 'king', which was no different from the other demonic beasts in the wild. In any case, it was considered rare to be able to capture a demonic beast of the king class. Essentially, it would be impossible to do so, especially for demonic beasts with the strength greater than a Peak Martial Saint, as they had already possessed an intelligence from advanced cognitive functions.
Before he knew it, the Snow Lion King had slumped to the ground, its body becoming an empty shell, completely devoid of life. Qing Shui sighed deeply and then used his Primordial Flames to completely cremate the corpse.
He didn't salvage the core or the other materials from the Snow Lion King body, but instead buried its remains under the soil of the Jade Spirit Fruit Tree. The tree, however, was removed by Qing Shui and moved into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
He initially thought that the process would be a little bit difficult, since this being the first time he had attempted to move such a large ten meters tall tree. After a hefty process and a lot of effort, he was able to move the tree successfully into the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
The tree would be able to grow inside the realm without much trouble.
Qing Shui took a closer look at the Jade Spirit Fruit, which was coincidentally also known by the same name in his past life as well. This fruit could be consumed by both humans and demonic beasts and would effectively increase their Spiritual Qi once consumed. In other words, the fruit had the ability to change the constitution of the body fundamentally.
The effect, however, would differ between every human and demonic beast. Additionally, the fruit would require a period of time to ripe completely. Qing Shui could test the effect by then, which should be remarkable as the fruit was a product well-guarded by the Snow Lion King after all.
Killing the beast was his plan all along, but then he had a change of heart and decided to try and tame it at the last minute. Ultimately, he didn't succeed. If he couldn't tame the demonic beast, then it would be impossible to get along with it after that.
After this matter was settled, Qing Shui proceeded to venture into the deeper parts of the forest. This was the Snow Lion King's territory, so Qing Shui would have no problem in dealing with encounters with other demonic beasts of the same level.
Finally, he made it out from the forest!
The bright sun in the sky was a cheerful sight, which subsequently lightened up his mood as well. The forest was always gloomy and dark and Qing Shui didn't like to be stuck in that atmosphere for a long period of time.
He had arrived at the depths of the mountain at last. The surroundings were enclosed with tall ancient trees and the atmosphere was peaceful but unrealistically quiet. Qing Shui was alarmed by this odd situation and felt that it was suspicious because there were no demonic beasts in sight.
Qing Shui was bewildered. He was told that the demonic beasts would be stronger the deeper he ventured but there was no sight of any beasts, not even a small demonic beast or a tiny flying beast.
This was a most alarming situation.
This location seemed like a wide beach. He scanned the area filled with golden sand, then he knelt down and grabbed a handful of sand before releasing his palm to let it trickle through his fingers.
As the sand slipped back to the ground, Qing Shui got up and continued his way forward. There must be a sea somewhere ahead!
This was a beach, after all. Oddly, he could feel a whiff of aura from the sand beneath his feet. This beach could be considered a hotspot for demonic beast encounters as it was quite close to the ocean. However, he hadn't seen a single demonic beast since his arrival. The atmosphere was quiet, eerily quiet.
Qing Shui turned his head around to look out for surprise ambushes, then headed toward the area where the air felt increasingly moist. On the bright side, the colorful shells scattered around the beach painted a bit of vividness to the unsettling quietness of the beach, bringing a little bit of liveliness to the atmosphere.
After a brief stroll along the beach, a large flying beast hurriedly flew by, as if it was trying to run away from something. Qing Shui was calm, yet nervous. He couldn't understand why he felt that way just now.
Qing Shui seemed as if he was walking casually, but his pace was as fast as a flash of lightning. With one step on the sand, his body was brought forward by about ten li in an instant. His expression remained collected and composed as he expanded his spiritual sense to his surroundings.
And then, he froze......
An overwhelming aura stormed abruptly toward his direction like a hurricane, enveloping everything in its path. Qing Shui halted his movements as he continued to observe the aura.
A heaven-shattering roar trembled across the sky. At that moment, Qing Shui finally realized the true meaning of the word 'heaven-shattering' as he felt the ground and the sky vibrating from the growling screech. This was nothing like any of the cries he had heard before in his entire life.
One could even hear the roar very distinctively from thousands of li away.
Qing Shui's facial expression changed slightly. He stared at the faraway space attentively without taking cover, because he knew it would be futile as nothing could evade his opponent's spiritual sense.
As he recalled the flying beast from before, he finally realized why it had seemed terrified.
Another roar echoed throughout the sky, which was promptly followed by a large figure soaring into the air. A gigantic golden python-like beast circled the sky swiftly.
Qing Shui's eyes followed the golden beast as he was still left in a state of shock. The flying creature in the sky was by far the largest demonic beast he had ever seen.
The circling motion was intriguing as well. Qing Shui had never seen a dragon before, but he had seen illustrations of one from books and pictures in his past life. However, when he saw the golden beast in the sky, he was instantly reminded of the majestic figure of a dragon.
A dragon form!
The gigantic golden figure was about 200 meters in length with the body as strong as diamonds. Two humps were peeking through the ferocious head of the Jiao, as if it would eventually grow out horns from the top of its head.
The Golden Jiao!
Qing Shui finally realized that the flying beast was a Golden Jiao but he had no idea whether this beast could be the same Golden Jiao King that had destroyed the entire Cheng Clan. This Golden Jiao seemed to fit the bill, or rather, this could be the exact Golden Jiao King that was responsible for the annihilation of an entire clan.
He wasn't quite certain of the number of Golden Jiao dwelling in the Sky Penetrating Mountains but he guessed that there shouldn't be a lot of demonic beasts with such strength dwelling nearby or in other places around the mountain either. Moreover, if the Golden Jiao's habitat was in this region, he could conclude that this mighty beast must be the one responsible for the deaths of the entire Cheng Clan.
As the Golden Jiao soared in the air, its eyes zoomed toward the beach and locked its gaze onto Qing Shui, as if it had detected Qing Shui's presence in its territory. The eyes that were akin to two enormous lanterns flashed brilliantly across Qing Shui as it turned its ferocious head in his direction.
In the Golden Jiao's eyes, Qing Shui seemed quite tiny, similar to a small ant on a wide field of sand. However, the beast was able to detect waves of energy from the tiny human and that he had trespassed into its lair.
What would Qing Shui think if he knew that he had stepped into the Golden Jiao's lair? If he knew that he had, Qing Shui would be able to realize why he hadn't been able to encounter any demonic beast when he arrived at this part of the forest.
The flying beast from before must have mistakenly flown into this area, which could explain why it had seemed so terrified as it fled in the opposite direction. Qing Shui was beginning to wonder if he was responsible for the awakening of the Golden Jiao, or whether it was the smaller flying beast's fault.
Demonic beasts of the Jiao species and the snake species have unique builds. The stronger ones could easily reach a size of more than a 100 meters due to their natural gifts. Other flying beasts, in contrary, would find it hard to reach more than a hundred meters as their growth limits were vastly lower than the jiao and snake species.
Qing Shui had a strange inclination that made him remember the woman from the crystal coffin when he faced the Golden Jiao in the sky. In any case, Qing Shui was no longer the same man he was during the time he met the woman in the crystal coffin.
Could the Golden Jiao have become stronger since the time it destroyed that clan?
Qing Shui couldn't get a good grasp on the Golden Jiao's overall strength, but he definitely knew that the enormous beast was undeniably powerful. In any case, the Golden Jiao wasn't an opponent he could easily defeat for now, even with his debuff abilities. Qing Shui also had a feeling that he wouldn't be able to pierce through the Golden Jiao's body just by looking at the lustrous diamond-like build of the enormous creature.
The disparity between their strengths was too great. Qing Shui had discarded the idea of battling the Golden Jiao. Escaping from the grasps of this terrifying beast was all he could think of right now.
Qing Shui quickly turned around and ran.
The clamoring screech was evidently louder than the previous two roars. The enormous frame of the Golden Jiao hovered in the air as the beast blitzed toward Qing Shui at a lightning speed.
This terrifying speed was enough to push Qing Shui to consume a Gale Pellet immediately. After that, he quickly turned around and smacked a Descending Heavens Talisman onto the Golden Jiao!
Fiery Golden Eyes!
The Golden Jiao became furious from the debuffs and proceeded and its whole body began to gleam brightly with a golden light. Not only did its speed and power return to normal, the Golden Jiao's attributes had also become stronger than before.
Qing Shui was crying in pain on the inside. Nevertheless, he took out multiple poisonous 10,000 Years Coldsteel Needles and shot each of them toward the gigantic beast in succession. The needles were extremely fine and sharp, and within seconds, the needles had appeared in front of the Golden Jiao.
A clear sound echoed in the air, followed the by a succession of similar echoes. By now, the needles were already broken into fragments. Met with the failure of his attacks, Qing Shui was even more determined to flee from the fight. The strength of this Golden Jiao was too perverted. Moreover, the hardness of its body was no joke......
The Golden Jiao had an extraordinary ability to strengthen its power and spiritual capacity after being inflicted with Qing Shui's debuffs. This didn't necessarily mean that the debuffs were completely dispelled, but the effects were fully compensated by its battle skills. If Qing Shui didn't apply some more weakening techniques onto the Golden Jiao, perhaps its power would be more formidable and terrifying.
Qing Shui was quite crafty in his escape, a special trait that came from the usage of his Ghostly Steps. He could also use the terrain to his advantage to aid in his escape with agility, wickedness, and shrewdness.
In the midst of his escape, Qing Shui had inevitably reached the border of the forest. He took no time to enter the dense forest and quickly moved around to maneuver away from the Golden Jiao.
The Golden Jiao, on the other hand, mercilessly razed through the forest, toppling and crushing the towering ancient trees instantly. At the same time, Qing Shui conjured two Primordial Flame Balls in his hands and aimed the flames toward the head of the great beast.
His Hidden Weapons had proven to be useless and ineffective against the hard surface of the Golden Jiao's body. Qing Shui felt that he could inflict some sort of damage against the Golden Jiao with the Primordial Flame Balls instead. And to his amazement, the Golden Jiao showed a moment of caution when the flame balls appeared to trail scorchingly toward its head.
Thus, Qing Shui decided to use the Primordial Flame Balls to stall for time and he also used the flames as a defense mechanism against the Golden Jiao. A series of furious roars echoed throughout the forest, followed by the trampling of the aging trees and a scattered trail of wooden debris was left behind the Golden Jiao.
Qing Shui soared and glided behind a tree hidden in the mountain pass before entering the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal without hesitation.
The Golden Jiao followed promptly and rammed the very tree Qing Shui had hidden behind, destroying everything in its path. However, Qing Shui was long gone before it had the chance to wound him. His aura had already disappeared when the Golden Jiao attempted to sense his presence in the surroundings.
Even after affirming the absence of Qing Shui's aura, the Golden Jiao continued to destroy the nearby trees relentlessly. Despite being a powerful and intelligent demonic beast, intellectual perception didn't seem to be one of its fortes.
Qing Shui was now safe inside his Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. After a moment of cultivation, he decided to exit the realm to get a hold of the situation.
The Golden Jiao was thrashing about nearby like it was waiting for Qing Shui to re-appear. However, the intelligence of a demonic beast was distinctively lower than that of a human being. The Golden Jiao was a prime example - it didn't even notice the presence of Qing Shui's aura since it was blinded by the hatred in its heart. The conclusion drawn by the Golden Jiao was that Qing Shui had already fled far away from its territory.
After a few moments, the Golden Jiao trampled a row of trees once more before it turned around and left. Qing Shui observed the beast's movements quietly, making sure that the Golden Jiao had returned to its lair before continuing on his journey.
Qing Shui didn't want to waste his time allocated to the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal carelessly. If he were to use up the entire six hours, he would have to depend on his Nine Continent Boots to escape from peril.
Of course, he could also choose to use the Nine Continent Steps instead to pass through the Sky Penetrating Mountains without going through countless winding paths unnecessarily.
Now that he knew about the Golden Jiao's lair, he decided to go around it for safety reasons. He took a long detour and stayed as far away from the territory infused with the Golden Jiao's Spiritual Qi as much as possible.
The detour began from the hundred li into the woods, and toward the south, then north. At the same time, he expanded his spiritual sense as he ventured around the Golden Jiao's territory to detect potential dangers from miles away.
After Qing Shui managed to detour around the Golden Jiao's territory, he finally let out a sigh of relief. This was the first time Qing Shui had battled with a demonic beast as strong as the Golden Jiao, which had ultimately forced him to flee in dismay.