Chapter 76 – Totem
The remains consisted mostly of two leather bags. Inside were healing pills and some junk. However, there was a scarlet jade box in the scorpion’s claws which attracted Liu Ming’s attention.
He inquisitively grabbed the jade box and opened the lid. The interior contained a vast expanse of white frigid energy that rushed out. Liu Ming couldn’t help but tremble.
Within the jade box, unexpectedly a deep blue pearl rested. It seemed to be incomparably cold and had an unknown origin.
Liu Ming suddenly understood how the gray-robed male had escaped the sea of fire.
This item most likely was an unusual treasure of the water element.
With this thought in mind, Liu Ming quickly put away the jade box and the other items. After scouring the vicinity once more, he raised his hand and successively emitted a fireball. The vestiges of the recent battle were then destroyed and not a trace remained. Instead, the result was similar to what the sea of fire had inflicted. Liu Ming proceeded to retract the White Bone Scorpion as he activated his Soaring Sky Technique and flew toward Barbarian Ghost Sect.
A few days later, when Liu Ming returned to Barbarian Ghost Sect; everything in the sect was still the same as before. Apparently no information pertinent to the event had been sent back or spread within the sect.
Seeing this, Liu Ming first went to the Duty Hall and recorded his return to the sect. Then, he immediately returned to his dwelling on Nine Infant Mountain. From there, he started to use his medicinal pills; everyday he would incessantly refine the medicinal powers and increase his Fa Li.
In the blink of an eye, seven to eight days had passed.
However, on this day, an outer disciple of Nine Infant Mountain appeared outside of the small courtyard and proceeded to yell that Gui Ru Quan was calling for him.
After hearing his words, Liu Ming’s heart moved as he ceased his cultivation and walked out of the room.
In the time it took to have a meal, he appeared in the large hall on the peak of the mountain.
Inside the hall, aside from Gui Ruquan, he also saw the middle-aged Spirit Master, Master Zhang.
“It really is this person!” When the middle-aged Spirit Master made clear of Liu Ming’s face, he started to laugh.
Hearing this, Gui Ru Quan’s expression didn’t change as he asked Liu Ming, “In the previous few days, you went to Wei Zhou Market. On your way back did you encounter that demonic Dragon?”
“Yes, this disciple really did make a trip to Wei Zhou Market.” Liu Ming indifferently replied.
“You should know that aside from the two disciples who Master Zhang saved, all the others perished. When Master Zhang left, what happened after? Furthermore, how did you escape with your life?” A glint of surprise appeared on Gui Ru Quan’s face as he asked his question.
When the middle-aged Spirit Master heard his words, a trace of embarrassment arose on his face.
Although not saving Liu Ming at the time was pardonable, right now he was in front of Liu Ming’s master in name so he naturally was somewhat uncomfortable.
“Master Gui, aside from Senior Qian and Cui Er, I’m afraid that I was the only one who could stay awake and clear-headed. Thus, after the evil Dragon used a remarkable ability and disappeared, this disciple could only use a few self-preservation techniques…”
Liu Ming didn’t have the intention of hiding anything and immediately gave his recount of what happened.
However, regarding the White Bone Scorpion, the death of the Wasp Bandit that had also escaped and the short sword totem, he naturally didn’t mention them. He only talked about the defensive Glyphs which he bought in the city and used to fortuitously escape from the sea of fire.
“As it turns out, this was the case. I previously said that when I returned to the location, I wasn’t even able to locate any of the disciples’ bodies. They unexpectedly were burned by the demonic Dragon. Nevertheless, Disciple Bai’s luck really isn’t that bad considering he coincidentally bought defensive Glyphs in the city. Otherwise, I’m afraid he wouldn’t have made it back alive. If I hadn’t investigated the names of which disciples had returned recently, I most likely wouldn’t have realized that another disciple had survived.” The middle-aged Spirit Master exclaimed.
“Junior Zhang doesn’t need to blame himself. Who would’ve thought that the trap meant to lure out those despicable Wasp Bandits actually ended up attracting the demonic Dragon. Moreover, of the three Spirit Masters, only Junior Zhang managed to survive. This can really be counted as a large fortune within a misfortune.” Gui Ru Quan turned his head and spoke with consolation.
“I also only managed to escape that demonic Dragon because of Wind Fire Gate’s Elder Chi Yang’s sudden appearance. Otherwise, I would not have survived either. This demonic Dragon’s formidability far surpasses the rumors. Despite the severe wounds on its body, it’s not something us Spirit Masters can provoke. Unfortunately, I heard that Elder Chi Yang chased it for two days, but was still unable to catch this Dragon.” The middle-aged Spirit Master bitterly laughed.
“This already is not that bad of an outcome. If we wait for a small period of time, Master Yan will exit secluded training and when that time comes, our sect will still have hope to gaining something. Gui Ru Quan let out a light laugh as he spoke.
“I hope this will be the case. That’s right, Disciple Bai, you can return, but you cannot spread any information about the demonic Dragon and the market to anyone. If you violate this, you will face sect punishment.” The middle-aged Spirit Master nodded his head and put on a solemn expression as he spoke to Liu Ming.
“Yes, I understand.” Liu Ming’s heart shivered and immediately responded as he left the hall.
“This disciple isn’t bad. He unexpectedly was able to remain awake under the Dragon’s shrieks. This is not something a normal disciple can accomplish.” Once Liu Ming actually left the large hall, the middle-aged Spirit Master gave his praise.
“Mhm, no matter whether it is his temperament or intelligence, this child is exceptional. The only pity is that he is but a mere Three Spiritual Pulse disciple, otherwise, I would have already taken him as my personal disciple.” Gui Ru Quan nodded his head as his face let out a slight smile.
“So it turns out that he only had Three Spiritual Pulses. This really too much of a pity. However, if he is able to become a Late Spirit Apostle, there is a large chance of him becoming a core disciple.” When the middle-aged Spirit Master heard his words, he also emitted a sigh of regret.
“Oh that’s right! I still haven’t congratulated Senior. I heard that Senior Zhu and Senior Zhong went to the Sea Race’s Market and managed to exchange for a Deep Sea Cold Light Steel. Tsk tsk, this item is one of the materials needed to forge a true flying sword. I’m afraid that in a short while, the Heaven Moon Sect will dispatch someone to find Senior.” The middle-aged Spirit Master thought of something else and clicked his tongue and gave his praise.
“Haha, this is Junior Zhu’s good luck. However, although this item can be used in forging a flying sword, it can only be forged into a low grade flying sword. Moreover, it has great use to us so we aren’t planning on selling it to Heavenly Moon Sect.” Gui Ru Quan twirled his beard in his hand before speaking excitedly.
“Ah, so that is case. Then this really is a pity. Heavenly Moon Sect will never hesitate to pay whatever price to acquire materials for a flying sword.” The middle-aged Spirit Master was slightly startled and seemed to not have believed what he just heard.
“Hehe, you will understand the difference of our choice in the future.” Gui Ru Quan gave a laugh and seemed to not want to discuss the matter further.
Subsequently, the two men talked for another while before the middle-aged Spirit Master took his leave and left.
Liu Ming, who had returned to his dwelling, entered his cultivation room. His face carried an expression of concentration as he pondered for a good while. He then retrieved a pill from his belongings and ate it; he then started to refine it.
To the current him, becoming a Late Spirit Apostle was the most important thing.
Liu Ming began cultivating the third stage of his Dark Bone Method while simultaneously clearly feeling the progressive Fa Li increases in his body.
Half a month later, Liu Ming was in the middle of cultivation. Suddenly, he felt his body shake and his Spirit Sea involuntarily began to whirl around. Coincidentally, two forces of energy, one hot and one cold rushed forward and quickly spread to every part of his body before suddenly rushing toward the cover of his head.
Liu Ming felt a stuffy sound go off in his head as the cold and hot forces precipitously converged in his mind and merged into one. Simultaneously, his body felt as if it was floating in the air; there wasn’t a spot on his body that didn’t feel extremely comfortable.
“I did it, the Dark Bone Technique has reached the stage of a Late Spirit Apostle. There unexpectedly wasn’t even a bottleneck.”
Liu Ming instantly stood up and felt the sudden increase in his Fa Li by several times. He couldn’t help but be exceptionally overjoyed.
Since this was now the case, he no longer had to fear if the bubble broke out again.
A while later, Liu Ming finally calmed down and decided against going out for the next short period of time until he was able to fully control the surplus of Fa Li.
In this way, unless he was fighting with someone and released his Fa Li, a normal person would not be able to tell his cultivation level.
After all, becoming a Late Spirit Apostle in such a short period of time for a Three Spiritual Pulse discipline was simply too astonishing.
In the following two months, Liu Ming pretty much used up the rest of his pills. His body had even built up an immunity to a few types of medicinal pills. Even if he were to continue eating these pills, they would not be able to increase his Fa Li by much. Thus he started to quietly cultivating without pills every day and progressively consolidated his Late Spirit Apostle Fa Li.
What made Liu Ming slightly puzzled was that it had only been half a year, but there was still no sign of the bubble in his body.
Due to the bewilderment, he didn’t want to complete any sect missions in this condition.
However, on this day, he still made a trip to Nine Infant Mountain’s Spell Pavilion. From within, he chose a few books that described totems in detail and proceeded to bring them back to his dwelling.
A few days later, he finally managed to understand the technique and immediately pulled out the short cyan sword. He opened his mouth and spit out some refined Fa Li before he lifted one hand and successively performed hand signs on the sword.
After the totem absorbed most of the refined Fa Li and a densely packed group of cyan inscriptions began to appear on the sword’s exterior. Each inscription was only the size of a grain of rice, but after they whirled around, they suddenly formed numerous cyan patterns that covered the sword in layers of silk-like material. With one quick glance, there seemed to be about ten or so layers.
Liu Ming’s eyes intensified and began to meticulously identify the quantity of the patterns. A while later, his eyebrows finally moved as he spoke to himself.
“Sixteen layers of restrictions: A mid-tier totem! It can even be considered to be at the apex of mid grade totems!” Liu Ming spoke according to what he had read in the books. The quality and power of a totem fundamentally depended on the layers of restriction it contained.
From what he had read before, the power and tier of a totem were determined through the number of layers or restrictions on the totem.
Normally, one to nine layers of restrictions would be considered a low quality totem, ten to eighteen layers of restrictions would be a mid quality totem, nineteen to twenty-seven layers of restrictions would be a high quality totem, and twenty-eight to thirty-six layers of restriction would be a perfect quality totem.
As for totems with more than thirty-six restriction layers, according to legends, these were Talismen that contained the ability to topple mountains and overturn seas. The few books he had mentioned them a few times, but didn’t speak more on them.
Of course, this method of determining a totem’s quality and power was not absolute. After all, within totems, there were counters to each other. Furthermore, totems also had to look at whether its attribute was compatible with its user’s cultivation method. A totem in the hands of person whom it was not compatible with would exhibit substantially less power.