No matter how boisterous the outside world was, Qinghan knew nothing of it. Neither did he have any clue about the feelings of the two girls right now, or of his other family members who were expectantly waiting for his return.
The only thing that occupied his mind right now, was his determination to pass the three trials and leave this damned mountain. If he failed to grab the Immortal Sword in the Small Immortal Pavilion, he would probably be unable to ever leave this place.
After a couple of day’s worth of investigation, however, he managed to reassure himself that this place had no immediate exit. He was still trapped in the first trial, the Illusion Trial. Like a pathetic animal, Qinghan skittered about in the misty forest, desperately trying to find a way out. But, he only found the vastness and boundlessness of this place. Fortunately, the spirit fruits he picked from the trees kept him alive, without which he had no energy to charge any further. But, apart from the trees, this place, or more exactly, the illusion realm he was in, was so pessimistically barren. The path he trod on was as flat as the concrete pavement in the modern age, for there were simply no flowers or other plants along the road.
Previously, Qinghan had naively thought that he could eventually make his way out at the end of the road if he kept walking in a linear way. However, he had overestimated his ability, obviously. Several days’ of arduous, yet pointless walking had led him to believe in the legendary power of this Luo Shen Mountain. The thick white fog, the brown soil, and the spirit fruit trees were the only thing that Qinghan could see.
Right now, he had totally given up on the idea to make his way out. He was pretty sure that every hint of escape was but a mere trick played on him by the Illusion Trial.
His prediction was right; the Illusion Trail had actually created this maze-like realm that blocked anyone from going out.
Qinghan was told by Ye Ruoshui to break this trial within one year, otherwise his soul would be drowned in the killing illusions. It was highly likely that Qinghan would be entrapped in this very first trial and die.
He had no choice but to arduously cultivate, until his soul power would be sufficiently strong to overcome this trial. In the illusions, it took an overwhelmingly powerful soul to clear the “mental barricades” created by the trees of the seven human emotions.
Cultivating seemed to be his top priority right now. Of course, he had nothing else to do at this stage, because every time he got close to one of the ancient trees, he would feel that the power of the illusion was too strong for his soul to handle. He had to, therefore, empower his soul through cultivation, and hopefully pass the trial. Despite the monotonousness of cultivation, he was lucky to have Little Black with him. In this unpopulated mountain, he would otherwise have become depressed, gone mad, or become autistic.
Now, after suffering from numerous illusions these days, Qinghan had discovered that there was a pattern in terms of its appearances. There would be three illusions within a single day. During the break hours, however, it was perfectly safe. He thus let Little Black out when he wasn’t stuck in an illusion.
The spirit fruits Qinghan picked up from the trees provided him with enough pure energy. He felt that his stomach would become warm when he ate one of these fruits, up to roughly three times a day. Although the energy it released wasn’t very much, but it was miraculously powerful and pure. His Dantian had now become a reservoir of energy, which would eventually be transformed into liquidated Battle Qi.
For cultivators, they had to accumulate the Essence Qi between heaven and earth, and absorb it into their Dantian. Normally, the convert ratio of Battle Qi from Essence Qi to liquidized Battle Qi was as low as one percentage. The energy released by the spirit fruits, nevertheless, could actually be completely transformed into liquidized Battle Qi.
This was terrifyingly productive! The pure energy Qinghan took in via the spirit fruits were six times the amount of energy raised by traditional method.
Usually, it would take roughly ten years for a mediocre cultivator to break into the Realm of the Prince. But for the talented ones, such as Qinghan and Sainan, they needed about five years, if they didn’t search for assistance from certain medicines. But, if Qinghan continued to eat these spirit fruits, he would largely shorten his duration in breaking through to the next realm. He even calculated that it would take him around eight to ten months to reach his goal – the Realm of the Prince! Of course, this was predicted based on the hypothesis that everything went on well and no accidents occurred.
It was hardly convincible to tell anyone in the cultivation world that one could break into the Realm of the Prince within such a short period of time. The young lord and ladies, who lived in affluent families, had a chance to be this efficient, but the spirit medicine it required would be bloodily huge. Even the richest Yue Family would hesitate to do so.
“Boss, I’m back!”
When Qinghan was about to take a break from cultivation, Little Black’s voice grabbed his attention. In the misty fog, Little Black spurted and eventually catapulted himself into Qinghan’s arms.
“Hehe, Little Black. You’re always running about. Don’t get yourself lost!”
Qinghan held Little Black while stroking his fur. Suddenly, out of curiosity, he touched the horn on Little Black’s head, wondering why it grew so slowly after such a long time had already passed. It could only be held between two of his fingers.
“Oh… I’m so full. These fruits are so yummy. I’ve eaten more than ten now!”
Little Black naughtily shook his head, and hilariously stood up on his two rear legs, showcasing his round, cute stomach.
Qinghan couldn’t help reaching out his hands, as he touched his belly, and laughed, “Hey, my little beast, don’t eat too much. How can such a small stomach hold ten fruits?”
“I forced myself to eat them. You know, the energy it later releases is as comfortable and pure as that from the Dragon Crystal. I have to eat more, so that I can grow up!”
Like a funny little human being, Little Black put his claws upon his stomach and massaged it up and down. While at the same time, he stuck out his tongue and licked as if he was still enjoying the delicious fruit.
“Little bastard, haven’t you already reached the maturing state? I remember you told me so when you absorbed the energy of the Dragon Crystal. It has been several months since then, why do you still look as small as before?”
With an amicable smile, Qinghan tried to make fun of his beast. But, one thing that befuddled him was, why did Little Black grow so slowly in terms of his physical size? Up until now, Little Black still couldn’t get rid of the image of a puppy, for he was only several kilograms in weight, and he was no larger than a dog.
However, fortunately, in terms of power, Little Black was improving with visible progress. In Little Black’s own words, despite his little figure, his true power had already become equivalent to a seventh-grade demonic beast. Perhaps, Qinghan thought, his holy-grade battle beast really was different from other ones.
While Little Blacked was choked up by Qinghan’s questions, his eyes rolled around as he pondered, “ Ahh… eh, boss, I can’t give you any explanation on this, because I don’t know either. But, in theory, I should be as powerful as those seventh-grade demonic beasts. My body… yeah, I admit, it looks short and skinny. Could it be that all holy-grade battle beasts grow in this way? Or am I a saint-grade battle beast? Hey, boss, think about it. That can probably explain my delay in growing up.”
“Ha! Nothing is… impossible. When I become an immortal, I can probably turn you into a saint-grade battle beast with my magic power! Forget about it and play with yourself. I’ll continue my cultivation. Alas, hopefully, I can break into the Realm of the Prince and dispel these fucking illusions!”
Qinghan threw a disdainful look at Little Black, for he didn’t believe in Little Black’s imagination in the slightest.
Saint-grade battle beast? Even ancestor Ye Ruoshui didn’t have the fortune to summon such a top grade battle beast. How could it be possible for Qinghan to obtain such a legendary beast, which was rarely heard of in the whole Flaming Dragon Continent? So, without any hesitation, he denied Little Black’s optimistic prediction, even though what he said might dampen Little Black’s enthusiasm in finding such innovative explanations.