ObligatoryTLNote: Enjoy the extra-long chapter, and join me in holding onto the faint hope that one day, Wang Lin would behave like a normal MC and gain sudden powers allowing us to feel good… for once.
Translators: NomYummi, MeTaL MaX, Void, tbc
TLCs: NomYummi, tbc
Editors: Cheesy McBreezy, Nahtaivel
Unfortunately, when he had been chasing Sun Youcai earlier, an unforeseen event had abruptly occurred and he had run into the fire beast. This had allowed the devil to escape. After Wang Lin had finally escaped from the volcano, he had immediately used his divine sense to search for and pursue it.After consecutively devouring ten people, the devil’s current cultivation had surpassed the middle Foundation Building stage and had entered the Fake Dan stage. Believing itself capable of completely resisting Wang Lin’s control, it approached sinisterly.
Wang Lin’s gaze was ice-cold. A bolt of red lightning shot out from his eyes, and the devil immediately clashed with it, attempting to devour it. But as it received the full force of the lightning, it uttered a miserable shriek and rapidly retreated. How could Wang Lin let this devil do as it wished? He stepped forward and snatched the air with his right hand. The Gravity Technique formed an invisible hand and captured the devil.
The devil immediately howled in grief and begged for forgiveness, but Wang Lin ignored it and used his Ji Realm Divine Consciousness to stab it repeatedly. His control of his divine consciousness was excellent. Every time the devil was about to collapse, he would pause before repeating the cycle. The devil’s body continuously shed bursts of light smoke. The sound of its miserable shrieks gradually weakened to the point of being inaudible.
The terror in the devil’s eyes reached a peak. This time, he feared Wang Lin from the bottom of his heart.
Wang Lin’s ice-cold eyes showed a trace of ruthlessness. Staring at the devil, he coldly warned: “If this happens again, you die!”
The devil trembled with fear and in its panicked state, repeatedly swore its newfound loyalty.
Wang Lin patted his storage bag and the iron sheet flew out. The devil did not wait for Wang Lin to remind it. Promptly turning into a red light, it drilled into the sheet. After the iron sheet flashed a few times, it returned to the storage bag.
Wang Lin looked at the corpses that the devil had devoured and fell silent. His current state of mind, compared to before Zhao Guo’s upheaval, was enormously different. The previous Wang Lin, the simple mountain village youth, had shown a simple and honest temperament. But after the destruction of his family, this innocence had vanished into thin air, like smoke.
The realm of XiuZhen followed the law of the jungle. If he was incapable of protecting his life or his family’s lives, then there was no reason to display that ridiculous concept called mercy.
Situ Nan had previously said many times that Wang Lin should enter the Devil Sect and become a XiuMo, but Wang Lin’s heart had always resisted. But after having died once, that conflict too had died with him.
“So what if I become a devil!” Wang Lin laughed coldly. With a wave of his hands, the corpses around him immediately disappeared. With a leap, his body rose high into the air.
Once the rarely seen Huo Fen Country’s volcanic mountain range appeared before him, Wang Lin turned around. After choosing a place and descending, the iron sheet flew out and rapidly carved out a cave.
The cave was completed in the amount of time it takes to burn one stick of incense. Wang Lin walked inside. He lay out a few Track Erasing Formations outside of his new stronghold, and sealed the opening soon afterwards.
Having completed these tasks, he sat down cross-legged. He took out the storage bags that had once belonged to Sun Youcai and that black-clothed middle-aged man. Then he spread out his divine consciousness to search the bags and finally took out three jade strips.
Wang Lin placed the first jade strip on his forehead. After examining it for a bit, he muttered to himself for a moment and then put it aside. This jade strip contained a record of a XieMo Sect cultivation method called the Great Asura.
XieMo Sect was Huo Fen Country’s Devil’s Way sect. Their methods horrified most who encountered them. This particular Great Asura Method consisted of a total of six levels. Those who practiced this method would embark on the path to becoming a ruthless asura.
Through killing, one’s heart was refined. Through refinement of the heart, one became ruthless. Immersed in ruthlessness, one would continue refining until one’s very soul became an Asura, replacing the YuanYing. Thus would the Great Asura Method succeed.
The practice of the first stage of this method had a very strict requirement: the practitioner had to kill a person every day. Thinking attentively, Wang Lin realized that the black-clothed middle-aged man must have been practicing this Great Asura Method. This jade strip must have also come from his storage bag.
Wang Lin held little interest for this method, but was actually greatly interested in a few of the techniques recorded on the jade strip. Although they were excessively cruel, they were also very practical. [Ed. note: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]
Taking out the second jade strip, Wang Lin swept his divine consciousness over it. A hint of happiness appeared on his face. This jade strip contained a particular technique: the Earth Escaping Technique.
This was the greatest of the resoundingly famous Five Element Escaping Techniques. Since ancient times these techniques had been renowned as godly powers. However, the ancient Xiu Zhen community had been annihilated. In the present day, the Five Element Escaping Techniques were extremely rare, even after the emergence of the new Xiu Zhen Alliance. Their fame as godly powers only added to their mystery.
The reputation of the Five Elements Escaping Techniques had been far too great, and thus countless branch techniques had been developed. Most of these branches had grown off of the fame of the Five Elements Escaping Techniques. In reality, compared to the actual, original Escaping Techniques, the understanding behind these branch techniques were nothing more than superficial knowledge.
The jade strip in Wang Lin’s hands did not contain one of the true Five Elements Escaping Techniques. But compared to the superficial branch techniques, this one was slightly more profound. Although the difference in understanding was slight, the difference in power was like that between heaven and earth.
As Wang Lin immersed himself in studying the Earth Escaping Technique, time slowly trickled by. Only on the morning of the second day did Wang Lin slowly open his eyes. His face revealed a trace of understanding. Without standing up, his two hands patted the ground. After the pat, his body immediately disappeared from his former position and reappeared thirty feet away.
Wang Lin’s face revealed a hint of joy as he muttered to himself: “This Ma Liang’s body is much better than the one I had before, both in innate talent and in spiritual roots. Although it is not perfect, it is at least of middle grade. Cultivating this Earth Escaping Technique is not too difficult, but it will still require a long period of practice before I can genuinely comprehend it.”
Wang Lin pulled out a spirit gourd from his storage bag, and after drinking a mouthful, sat in meditation. Half an hour later, all of his fatigue from his long night of practicing the Earth Escaping Technique was dispelled.
He calmly picked up the third jade strip and concentrated his divine sense over it. In it were daily records of everything Sun Youcai had done. It was likely that Sun Youcai had recorded his daily activities as a hobby. Within the jade strip he had stored detailed descriptions of the last 30 years of his practice.
During this period of time, he had experienced quite a few complicated relationships with several women. [Ed. note: ( ͡°╭͜ʖ╮͡° ) ]
Wang Lin swept past these sordid affairs. His true interest lay in the detailed summaries of Sun Youcai’s past ten years, when he had taken tens of different kinds of immortal pills. Each immortal pill had increased the rate of his cultivation and the size of his spiritual force.
Furthermore, there were seven or eight immortal pills that Sun Youcai had quite desired, but had been unable to obtain. After looking through the strip for a while, Wang Lin put aside the three jade strips and continued to examine the storage bag for other items.
Apart from several bottles of immortal pills, there were no other magic weapons or talismans in Sun Youcai’s storage bag. The previous Wang Lin would have been somewhat confused. But after having briefly glanced through the past 30 years of Sun Youcai’s life, he knew that although this Sun Youcai had killed many cultivators and seized many treasures, almost all of his belongings had been exchanged for immortal pills to increase his cultivation.
Wang Lin then turned to the black-clothed middle-aged man’s storage bag. Within it was a yellow sheet of paper painted with black signs. Powerful bursts of chi flowed out of it.
Wang Lin recognized the yellow paper. He had once seen a similar piece of paper. This was likely an item created by a JieDan expert that was capable of utilizing its creator’s full strength exactly once. It was truly a precious dan treasure.
Holding the yellow paper, Wang Lin laughed grimly deep in his heart. Had the black-clothed middle-aged man been a bit more cautious and wielded this treasure, he clearly would not have been killed. This dan treasure was an ultimate weapon to be utilized only as a last resort. Unfortunately, when he had come across Wang Lin and his Ji Realm Divine Consciousness, the black-clothed middle-aged man had underestimated his enemy in his heart. Thus he had refrained from taking out this single-use treasure.
Apart from this dan treasure, the remaining items within the storage bag were not worthy of mentioning. After he finished organizing his spoils, Wang Lin touched between his eyebrows. The Heaven Revolting Bead slowly came out and hovered in mid-air.
Looking at the bead, Wang Lin gave a bitter smile. The Bead’s surface once again showed only the five leaves of the wood element. Wang Lin pondered for a moment. The Heaven Revolting Bead required the completion of five elements before it could exhibit its true formidable might. As of now, the water and fire spiritual element requirements had been satisfied, whereas the wood element requirement was still only half done. There were also the gold and earth element requirements necessary to complete the five elements.
Wang Lin looked forward to the day when the five elements would be completely combined. What kind of formidable power would the Bead show then? Presently, the Bead’s only benefit was the dream space. But how could such an item be so simple? After all, even Situ Nan, ZhuQue country’s number one expert, had been forced to fight over it to the point of having his mortal body destroyed.
Staring at the bead, Wang Lin’s eyes flashed. After patting between his eyebrows, he withdrew a jade strip from his storage bag. Grabbing it, Wang Lin studied the jade strip with his divine consciousness. This strip had been copied from War Shrine by Yang Xiong, and it contained within it various methods and chants used for refining.
During his journey, Wang Lin had not had a chance examine it. Now, he finally had some time to carefully study it.
At this very moment, within Huo Fen Country’s borders, countless volcanoes of all sizes released more and more concentrated black smoke. A frantic, fiery spirit force spread across all of Huo Fen Country.
Furthermore, the disciples of the four major sects had discovered the presence of the fire beasts within the volcanic craters. Shocked by this anomaly, they had rapidly used every method at their disposal to report this phenomenon.
The four major sects regarded the sealing of the volcanoes as simple task, even after they heard about the presence of the fire beasts. Only those who had achieved the YuanYing stage were able to truly appreciate this secret news and fully understand the situation.
At this time, within War Shrine’s Palace Hall sat four men and two women. The six people, separated into two sides, all frowned silently.
“Everyone, what are your thoughts on this matter?” A gray-haired old man with an ashen face seated on the left-hand side had posed the question with a gloomy voice.
“Brother Song, I have looked into the ancient records and discovered that these fire beasts are a type of spirit beast. In the ancient texts, words are always rather exaggerated and parts may be ignored. Even though we are facing spirit beasts, I believe that if the six of us join together, we can without a doubt beat them into submission. If we YuanYing masters rely on and trust each other, we can definitely subdue these trivial fire spirit beasts!” The person who had spoken was a middle-aged scholar with a face like Guan Yu’s1. He was cultured and refined, and although his voice was weak, it was filled with arrogance.
[Ed. note: 1. Guan Yu of the Three Kingdoms]
“Don’t be ridiculous. Those fire spirit beasts are at the JieDan stage. I have seen one such spirit once before with my master. The natural predisposition of their spirits is to the fire element. Thus all fire magics are completely ineffective against them, and may even help their power grow instead. Only with cold-attribute magic might one be able to resist one or two of them. Don’t even think about having the ability to subdue them, much less eliminate them.” The beauty that had once met with Wang Lin spoke without a trace of courtesy.
The middle-aged senior specialist felt embarrassed. Looking lovingly at the woman, he chuckled a few times and shook his head in silence.
“This matter is simple. Those fire beasts have existed for a long time, but have never left the volcanoes. Clearly there must be some kind of restriction placed on them by heaven. The only thing we need to do is increase the strength of the seals. Rather than sit around and discuss things here, it would be better for us to act now and complete the seals sooner rather than later.” The speaker flung his sleeves, stood up, and walked outside. He stood 6 feet and 3 inches tall, with a mouth like the sea and eyes shaped like a river on his prominent forehead.
Seeing that the others remained silent, old man Song said in a sinking voice: “Never mind. Let’s hope that the appearance of this fire beast does not cause the seal to break. In accordance to the rules set before, I will seal the volcanoes and their respective mountain ranges one by one.”
The same scene was repeated in Luo He Sect, XieMo Sect, and Corpse Yin Sect, with those three sects also reaching similar conclusions, albeit with minor differences. Thus, YuanYing masters from all over the Huo Fen Country set out to seal everything.
[Ed. note: ]
Suddenly, across the entire Huo Fen Country, YuanYing masters from each Sect could be seen wandering about, hovering over volcanoes and sealing them one by one. The spiritual fluctuations in the surroundings had become quite fierce these days.
As the seals were being placed, the YuanYing masters could not help but have a strange feeling in their hearts. In each volcano there were many fire beasts, but these fire beasts just watched on with cold eyes, making no attempts to either block the seals or to attack. They just continued to watch quietly.
Their expressions could not help but give off the feeling that they couldn’t care less about the seals. Gradually, the hearts of Yuan Ying cultivators participating in the task of sealing sank more and more. Some who had initially been optimistic could not help but change their minds.
Amidst all this, Wang Lin remained immersed in the Refining Jade strip. However, he was not completely ignorant to the events of the outside world. He had predicted earlier that the fire beasts would appear, but he had still needed to wait for ten days to get the map from Lin Tao. Only then would he have been able to leave. Otherwise, entering another country without a map would have given rise to many difficulties.
On this day, there still remained four days before the deadline agreed upon with Lin Tao. Wang Lin retrieved his divine consciousness from the jade strip. He looked tired, but his face showed an expression of joy. This Refining Technique was profound and could not be fully understood in a short amount of time. Wang Lin came to this conclusion through his personal experiences, and after discovering this, he immediately shifted his focus to refining the flying sword.
Returning the jade strip containing the precious Refining Technique into his storage bag, Wang Lin’s eyes flashed. As he waved his right hand, the iron sheet immediately flew out and began floating around in a spiral around his head. Over time and after much use, the iron sheet had shrunk in size by half. It had also blackened around the edges, apparently due to its many high-velocity flights, which had caused it to melt repeatedly.
Wang Lin pondered a bit, then brought his hands together. Upon opening them, several threads of spiritual force could be seen between his hands. These thin threads were the first stage of War Shrine’s Refining Technique.
War Shrine’s Refining Technique was completely different from traditional refining techniques. Like the sword that moves with a side stroke1, it did not rely on spiritual fire to refine. Nor did it rely on formations to heat and smelt. Nor did it rely on simply adding and fusing a variety of special materials. It a powerful and bizarre system, like a heavenly steed soaring through the sky2.
[TLNote: Idioms: 1. “Sword that moves with a side stroke” means “winning in an unexpected manner.” 2. “Heavenly steed soaring through the sky” means “bold and unconstrained”]
This particular system focused on three things: blending, merging, and combining. War Shrine’s Refining Technique also required a critical piece of equipment: the reaction furnace, which was frequently mentioned in the jade strip.
The reaction furnace’s main task was to stimulate the source attributes within the various refining materials. Only after first producing the reactor could one be said to have completed the first step of War Shrine’s Refining Technique.
As Wang Lin rapidly moved his hands, the spiritual force threads continuously increased in number and connected together. It was as if both of Wang Lin’s hands were wrapped in a piece of silk, forming a shimmering curtain of spirit.
After the spirit silk curtain formed, Wang Lin shook his hands, and the silk slowly began to float. Wang Lin’s eyes shimmered as he recalled in his mind the procedure to manufacture the reaction furnace. It had very demanding requirements, as it needed the skull of a spirit beast as a base.
Wang Lin did not know that this requirement had caused many War Shrine disciples to remain stuck at this point for their entire lives.
Wang Lin took a deep breath and patted his storage bag. A small bucket and a snake corpse, with its head still attached, came floating out.
This snake corpse had come from Xu Hao’s storage bag, from the foreign battlefield. Wang Lin did not know how or where Xu Hao had obtained it, and had not bothered with it before. However, since the creation of the reaction furnace required a skull, he decided to try to use it.
According to Wang Lin’s analysis, this dead snake had most likely been the pet of a powerful cultivator in the foreign battlefield, and had died soon after its master. Xu Hao must have picked it up while performing clean-up duties.
After carefully cutting off the head of the snake corpse and removing the flesh, an oval-shaped skull appeared before Wang Lin. After further removal of the red and white viscera within the skull, the base for the reaction furnace was complete.
Then Wang Lin took a deep breath. Carefully controlling the spirit silk curtain, he slowly pasted it onto the furnace. The skull began to emit cracking sounds as a rift appeared within the bone. Slowly, it expanded to cover the entire skull, eventually breaking it into countless pieces as it fell onto the ground.
At this point, the Spirit Silk Curtain slowly began to dissipate and eventually disappeared.
The creation of the reaction furnace had ended in failure.
Wang Lin smiled wryly. Although he was disappointed, he had mentally prepared himself for this outcome. It had been written in the jade strip that in order to increase the chance of success, not only was accurate control of spirit silk necessary, but the choice of the furnace base was also very important.
Using the skull of a spirit beast who had just recently died was good. If the skull was that of a powerful spirit beast, then it was even better and would increase the chance of success. On the other hand, if the skull was that of a long dead spirit beast, the success rate would be greatly reduced. Had it not been for the quality of the spirit beast, the success rate would basically have been zero.
The quality of the reaction furnace determined how effective it would be in refining. This fact was emphasized many times.
Wang Lin pondered for a while. The creation of the reaction furnace had failed, and in his storage bag there had only been that one snake corpse. Since it had now broken into pieces, Wang Lin could not attempt the same method a second time, so he settled for trying a different method of refining.
He took out the iron sheet, and it immediately began to spin rapidly. Soon, drops of molten iron began to drip off the sheet as it shrank. As it grew smaller, it spun faster and faster, until with a bang the sheet had completely melted, leaving only a pool of molten iron. The devil floated above it, having already come out from the sheet. It looked at Wang Lin secretively.
A small green sword ghost slowly fluttered out from the melted metal, and started to hover around Wang Lin. Wang Lin took out Sun Youcai’s black flying sword from his storage bag. Wang Lin was cheap, and recycling fit his character.
The small green sword ghost suddenly injected itself into the black sword and they two slowly became one. This method was quite direct, but it could only be considered a poor refining method, if that. It simply allowed the small green sword ghost to take over a new body.
He frowned as he tested it out. The flying sword was now faster than the iron sheet had been; but compared to the green sword’s original form, the range was worse. For now though, this was already a good result.
The devil immediately drilled into the flying sword, not even waiting to be ordered. Wang Lin then put away the flying sword. He calculated for a moment and took a short rest. Then he took a breath, and without hesitation took one step and vanished.
But Wang Lin had not realized that while he had been sorting through all of his affairs in closed-door training, Huo Fen Country had undergone an earth-shattering change.
The source of this upheaval was a Luo He sect YuanYing expert. He had been sealing a volcano and had almost completed the seal when the volcano had suddenly erupted. Plumes of magma had surged 1000 feet into the sky.
Black smoke had filled the entire sky immediately, but that had meant nothing to the YuanYing expert. Instead, it was the appearance of countless fire beasts that had terrified him. They had burst out from the erupting volcano with the lava.
From among those beasts had emerged one of the giant fire beasts. It had rushed at the YuanYing expert, and a battle between a single man against a single beast had unfurled. In the end, the YuanYing expert had been found inferior, and had fled, injured.
The fire beast had not pursued him, but had instead traveled to the other craters and destroyed their seals. All of a sudden, the volcanoes of Huo Fen Country had begun to erupt, one after the other. The world had rapidly been flooded by a tyrannical fire lingqi. One breath of it was enough to immediately cause a person to combust.
This had engulfed the whole country in chaos, beginning in the mortal world, as it was impossible for a normal human body to resist the fire beasts. Fearful of being burnt, every single mortal in Huo Fen Country had emigrated.
Afterwards, the big and small sects had all set their sights on the four immortal sects, waiting to see if they would fight or flee.
The YuanYing experts of the four sects had gathered in War Shrine. After they had reported the events to their seniors in a higher-ranked country, they had finally decided to emigrate. Upon returning to their own sects, they had launched a national exodus.
After all, the four sects did not dare to bet on the arrival of the fourth-ranked XiuZhen country to rescue them. They feared that if they did not leave quickly, even if they ultimately destroyed the fire beasts, they would lose a great deal of strength in the process. Huo Fen Country would then likely be demoted to the second rank.
At the border of Huo Fen Country lay Xuan Wu Country, which was also a third-ranked country. Compared to Huo Fen Country, the composition of its internal forces was quite complex, as it had numerous sects.
When Wang Lin came out of the cave, the four sects were in the middle of their exodus. Although the migration of all of the sects was easy to describe, in reality it had been exceedingly complex, as the fire beasts’ attacks had forced the sects to simultaneously bear the onslaught during their migration.
As a result, before they had departed, the four sects had gathered together with the smaller sects, forming a group of 20,000 cultivators. The fire beasts, having completely opened all of the volcanoes in Huo Fen Country, had encircled the group with a force of 100,000 fire beasts. The cultivators had been surrounded on all sides.
After several fights, the surrounded force of cultivators had finally broken through the encirclement. Leaving some people behind to cover their escape, they had quickly moved towards the nearby Xuan Wu Country.
Wang Lin appeared outside of his cave at this moment. His eyes suddenly contracted as he watched seven or eight cultivators get thrown fiercely into the sky by a group of fire beasts. The cultivators’ blood splattered out, and they died instantly.