Chapter 459: Trek
Zenith Yin didn’t grow angry, instead replying with a roll of his eyes and a chuckle, “My junior disciple’s cultivation is too shallow. As his master, it is only natural that I look after him. Although the White Rhino Emblem could be considered precious, I plan on taking the Path of Profound Crystal so this item will be useless to me. If I am not mistaken, Brother Man also has a Glacial Ice Pearl. Why not lend it to my disciple? Surely Fellow Daoist doesn’t wish for my junior disciple to encounter any mishaps before he enters the Inner Halls!”
“Humph! I cannot allow that youngster to easily die before the Heavenvoid Cauldron is secured. I acquired this Glacial Ice Pearl from a Glacial Carp during my early years. How lucky for you, youngster.” With that said, Man Huzi took out a thumb-sized misty white pearl and tossed it at Han Li.
Han Li felt joyful and gave many words of thanks after receiving the item. Although he knew these treasures were only given to him because of his Bloodjade Spider, they would allow him to go through the Path of Molten Rock safely. It was exactly what he had wanted.
Although the Glacial Ice Pearl shone with white light similar to the White Rhino Emblem, it was far colder to the touch, causing his hand to tremble from its penetrating chill. He hastily placed it in his storage pouch, as it appeared to be the more valuable of the two.
When Layman Qing Yi saw this, he chuckled and entered the Path of Profound Crystal with a blur. When the other cultivators saw this, they started to successively enter the canyons that they had previously chosen.
After only a short moment, a majority of the cultivators had already entered the canyons.
Zenith Yin glanced at Han Li and amiably said, “Han Li, how about you set off? We’ll meet again at the end in a few days.”
Han Li saw no reason to disagree and headed towards the Path of Molten Rock. As he was walking forward, he swept his gaze around with a calm expression, resulting in a feeling of anxiousness.
‘That old devil, Bone Sage, still hasn’t appeared. Could it be that he had changed his mind and slipped away by himself?’ Han Li couldn’t help but assume the worst.
After all, human hearts were unpredictable. He could’ve changed his might after seeing the great might of Zenith Yin. If the Bone Sage truly abandoned him, Han Li would bluntly use the Bone Sage’s information as a bargaining chip with Zenith Yin to guarantee his life. An ominous glint shone from Han Li’s eyes as he thought this.
His actions had caught the attention of others. As Han Li felt slightly regretful from this, the Bone Sage’s voice had suddenly entered his ear, “Don’t glance around. I am concealed nearby and have yet to reveal myself. Do your best! I will meet you again after this trial is cleared.”
Han Li felt some relief after recovering from his surprise and walked towards the passage with large steps.
Hot winds blew past Han Li just as he stepped into the passage, causing him to feel a scorching heat on his body. Han Li frowned and attentively looked forward.
The passage was six meters wide and couldn’t be considered very tall. However, the way forward was glowing with blinding red light, placing apprehension in the hearts of those that see it.
Han Li licked his dried lips and glared at it for a moment before moving forward. Each step he took felt as if the temperature was rising. After thirty steps, Han Li was no longer capable of moving forward. The hot winds that occasionally blew past him and the already hot temperatures of his surroundings caused his body to feel pain.
After a moment of hesitation, Han Li covered his body in the water attribute barrier. The deep blue brilliance immediately alleviated the scorching heat.
He then patted his storage pouch and a streak of blue light flew out into his hand, the Fire Repulsing Robes.
Han Li immediately donned robes without much thought and suddenly felt a chill from his body. With roused spirits, Han Li continued forward.
After a dozen steps, he saw a sudden flash of light. A wall of red light was blocking his path.
After glancing at the wall of light, he walked in head first. He could hear footsteps echoing from behind him. He had no interest in meeting with other cultivators.
After a series of dizzying fluctuations from within the blinding red light, the disappeared heat reappeared in a vicious, overbearing counterattack. His blue light barrier was unable to endure and started flickering as if it were about to collapse.
Having yet to recover from his dizziness, Han Li grew greatly frightened and hastily circulated spiritual power throughout his body. After stabilizing his barrier, he examined his surroundings.
He saw scarlet red stone, yellow soil, plants that emitted red light, and a blurry, deep red sky. Everything was tainted with the color of fire.
Even while protected by his barrier and the Fire Repulsing Robes, he could clearly feel the scorching air.
Han Li took a deep breath with a sullen expression. Under these temperatures, he would only be able to endure for five hours. He had thought he wouldn’t have to make use of any treasures and could easily make it through. But according to what Fairy Violet Spirit had said, in the second trial - the Paths of Fire and Ice - cultivators couldn’t fly and could only slowly tread forward on foot.
As such, those that were teleported farther away would have to spent several days of restless walking before arriving at the end of the canyon. This wasn’t something that could be done while relying solely on one’s cultivation. It would require the use of treasures that blocked the respective elements of each path.
In addition, the path wasn’t the sole danger that the cultivators encountered on the path. The canyon gathered demon spirits of their respective elements which were the greatest hindrance in the trial. During each occurrence of this trial, about half of the resulting deaths were caused by these demon spirits.
In addition to this, there may be cultivators lying in ambush along the path, aiming to rob the treasures of others. This was something that had always occurred. After all, the closer one grew to the end of the canyon, the more likely one would encounter other cultivators.Their odds of survival would greatly increase after robbing the others of their elemental resistance treasures. Odds were that a few cultivators that found it too difficult to continue would attack without any hesitation.
Han Li stood in his original place without movement, examining his surroundings with narrow eyes and pondering over the information he had.
After the time it took to finish a cup of tea, Han Li’s expression stirred. He then took out the White Rhino Emblem and hung it at his waist. He then replaced his blue light barrier with the jade emblem’s white light.
He couldn’t afford to squander any of his magic power. Staying still to recover his magic power was a suicidal action.
He then turn his head to the sky. After identifying the direction of the blurry red sun with great difficulty, he set off without any further delay.
Apart from a pile of rocks and a strange, perfectly straight tree, he didn’t see anything else on the path as he slowly staggered onward.
After a short moment of walking through the searing air, Han Li encountered a large patch of vegetation blocking his path that glowed with a strange, fiery light.
Han Li frowned after looking at the strange plants and immediately shot a ball of glowing blue water towards it. Upon impact, the ball of water sizzled and turned to steam.
Han Li’s expression slightly changed. He looked to the side of the plants but saw no other way past the strange vegetation.
After some hesitation, Han Li gritted his teeth and tried stepping through it.
Upon walking through, Han Li came to know the fearsomeness of the Path of Molten Rock. Wild plants? These were closer to swords of flame. Their incredible sharpness and heat caused him no small amount of pain.
Although he didn’t suffer much damage due to the protection of the White Rhino Emblem and Fire Repulsing Robes, he still felt continuous stabs of pain from below his thigh as he painstakingly forced himself through.
After walking through only ten meters, Han Li was forced to redeploy his water attribute light barrier. Although this would quickly consume his magic power, it allowed Han Li to quickly escape from the blistering underbrush. Making full use of his Shifting Smoke Steps, he turned into a blue ghost that occasionally appeared within the dazzling red light. With each appearance, it had grown farther away.
Elsewhere on the Path of Molten Rock walked a middle-aged man.
He was Bu Wu, a late Core Formation cultivator with earth and fire spiritual roots. He managed to acquire his current cultivation in less three hundred years, resulting in a resounding fame in the local sea territories. Those that were close to him even thought that he was among those that had the highest chance to ascend to the Nascent Soul stage in the next hundred years.
Bu Wu greatly enjoyed the admirations and praise of others along with their envious gazes.
However, Bu Wu clearly understood his own circumstances.
Were it not for the the ancient “Essence Split Pill” that he had found in the stomach of a grade four demon beast he had slain while traveling, he would likely still be lingering at the Foundation Establishment Stage.
That medicine pill had caused him to feel the sweetness of ancient spirit medicines, saving him a hundred years of bitter cultivation. As such, he had made plans for this journey to Heavenvoid Hall and had purchased a fire dragon worm at great price. He planned to brave the Inner Halls during a moment of distraction and use the worm to acquire the top grade mysterious treasure renowned throughout the Scattered Star Seas, the Heavenvoid Cauldron. With the many treasures contained in the Heavenvoid Cauldron and the rumored Heavenmend Pill, breaking through to Nascent Soul Stage would only be a step away.