Chapter 206 – Spiritual Stone Vein
Splash, splash. Amidst the sounds of gurgling water, the three of them crossed an underground river.
Li Qingshan was surprised, as he could sense that the river water contained faint spiritual qi. Lowering his head and taking a gulp, his daemon qi actually grew by an extremely tiny amount.
Many unknown plants grew on the banks of the river teeming with spiritual qi. The spiritual qi they possessed clearly indicated to Li Qingshan that they were rare spiritual herbs.
Li Qingshan plucked one of them and placed it in his mouth.
Milliped said in a hurry, “You can’t eat that! It’s disgusting!” But he was too late.
An extremely astringent taste spread through Li Qingshan’s mouth. His tongue almost became numb, while the spiritual qi in the spiritual herbs instead came into conflict with the daemon qi within him. Most of it was lost.
Li Qingshan poured some alcohol into his mouth in a hurry to rinse it.
Milliped giggled as he looked at Li Qingshan. The streaks of his tears were still on his face, which only made him seem even more foolish. When he caught the fragrance of the alcohol, his eyes widened, now wishing for it eagerly.
Li Qingshan passed the jar of alcohol to Milliped. He drained the entire jar and let out a belch. He had completely forgotten about all those painful memories now.
Li Qingshan, however, had other thoughts. Most of the spiritual herbs in the world probably could not be directly ingested, but there were no spiritual herbs that were useless.
It was very likely that the inconspicuous spiritual herbs on the banks of the river were crucial materials to some kind of pill. However, daemons lacked the ability to practise alchemy, which was why they were useless to them. However, it was exactly because of this reason that the spiritual herbs still remained and were not all harvested away.
Humans, including powerful Qi Practitioners, would struggle to venture so far underground. Although they had not come across a single daemon along the way, Li Qingshan sensed seven or eight powerful auras at the very least. As soon as they sensed Milliped’s arrival, they all avoided him from afar, maintaining their distance.
If there were any humans, they would probably have become the prey of these vicious predators immediately. Even a Daemon General like Milliped would not show any mercy to other races who had intruded on his territory. A half-hearted strike from him was enough to instantly kill any Qi Practitioner.
Daemons could not venture above ground, but underground was also forbidden to humans.
Li Qingshan wondered as he walked. Suddenly, he raised his head, and he saw a speck of blue light. It was like a blue star in the night sky, quietly giving off light that formed a halo. The light was so weak, yet it seemed beautiful and dazzling when he saw it within the absolute darkness.
Only after approaching it did he discover it to be an azure flower that grew out of a crack in the rocks. Its petals that seemed just like the wings of a butterfly would open and close from time to time as if it were a living creature.
Xiao An gently touched one of them, and the petals immediately closed up. The light it gave off vanished as well.
Li Qingshan had never seen such a wondrous plant before. He could sense the spiritual qi it contained. It was much denser than the spiritual herbs he had seen earlier.
As he ventured deeper, the black cavern gradually opened up, and the number of azure flowers gradually increased. They formed small clusters, standing out in the darkness.
The spiritual qi in the air became denser and denser as well. It had surpassed the Zombie Daoist’s dwelling a long time ago.
Milliped said, “We’re almost there!”
Li Qingshan could tell even without his reminder. Blue light seeped over from up ahead, illuminating his path. It was like a blue moon was hidden underground, waiting to be discovered.
Suddenly, he saw the end of the long tunnel. Li Qingshan ventured forwards rather eagerly, while the light grew brighter and brighter as well. He arrived at the end and suddenly stopped. His eyes widened, shocked by what he was seeing.
Before him was an open area the size of a soccer pitch. There were thousands of flowers there, shining with blue light and illuminating the entire cavern. It was a dazzling sea of flowers. Many butterflies fluttered about on this sea, like it was all an illusion.
This was a sight that only appeared in deep dreams.
Xiao An’s sleeve brushed past a blooming, azure flower. The blue flower seemed to break off from its stem, flying up and turning into a beautiful butterfly of light, leaving behind a beautiful trace in the air.
These butterflies actually came from the spiritual herb. They were the fairies of the herbs.
Xiao An extended her hand to grab at it, but the blue butterfly turned into light and slipped through her fingers. It condensed together again nearby, fluttering into the distance to escape.
Xiao An immediately pursued. She crossed through the sea of flowers that almost reached up to her head, and the cluster of flowers all began to dance, turning into countless blue butterflies that lingered around her.
Li Qingshan called out, “Xiao An!” This was Milliped’s home. This was their first time here, so they had to be polite. Perhaps these spiritual herbs were extremely important to Milliped.
Xiao An looked back. The blue light dyed her azure, and combined with her delicate facial features, she seemed just like a fairy of the legends.
Li Qingshan was suddenly left at a loss as to how he should follow up. After looking at Milliped, who smiled foolishly beside him, he sighed gently and smiled too. “You sure live in quite a nice place!”
Not only was it absolutely beautiful, but the spiritual qi here was denser than he had ever seen before. If he meditated and cultivated here, both his daemon qi and true qi would increase rapidly.
Milliped said, “What’s nice?” He pointed at the blue butterflies. “You can eat those, but they’re disgusting!”
Li Qingshan smacked his head. “Do you have anything in your head apart from eating?” Even if they were delicious, he probably could not bring himself to eat such a beautiful thing!
Milliped rubbed his head and continued to smile foolishly. He did not have the grandeur bearing of a Daemon General at all. Since Li Qingshan agreed to go underground with him, he had never stopped grinning foolishly. He even forgot about the matter of being harassed by the other Daemon Generals.
“Stop smiling. Be serious. It’s no wonder others would harass you and that you wouldn’t get any sweet potatoes with how you act!” Li Qingshan scolded. Since he had made up his mind about reclaiming Milliped’s lost territory, they were no longer just drinking buddies, but comrades-in-arms who would fight alongside each other. He had to rely on Milliped’s power later on, so he could not help but scold him after seeing how foolishly he behaved.
Milliped stopped grinning in a hurry and said sternly, “Stay! No sweet potatoes is fine too!” For once, he expressed himself clearly.
Warmth flooded Li Qingshan’s chest. He was touched. “How can my friend go without sweet potatoes to eat?” Milliped was not particularly bright, but he treated him with absolute sincerity. He had a high cultivation, but he did not capitalise on it. He was much better than those arrogant, sixth or seventh layer Qi Practitioner mongers.
This was the first friend in this life that he recognised from the bottom of his heart. He would never disappoint his friend.
“Friend?” Milliped pondered the word.
Li Qingshan patted his shoulder and smiled. “Good friends!”
“Good friends.” Milliped patted Li Qingshan’s shoulder. He seemed to understand something and chuckled loudly.
Friends were better than sweet potatoes.
They crossed through the sea of flowers and alarmed countless blue butterflies. Soon, they arrived at the centre of the open area. There was a huge, stone platform without any vegetation. It was thirty feet long, twenty feet wide, and six or seven feet tall.
Milliped laid down on there and spread out his limbs. His dazed face became relaxed as he exhaled happily. After looking at Li Qingshan and Xiao An, he rolled over to one side, opening up some free space.
Li Qingshan had no idea how to react. “You’re inviting us to sleep?” Afterwards, all he heard was snoring. This guy had already fallen asleep!
Li Qingshan and Xiao An looked at each other.
Was this stone bed really that comfortable?
Li Qingshan climbed onto the stone platform with Xiao An in his arms before trying to lie down. However, he soon sat up like he had been struck by lightning. He was stunned. For a moment, he did not feel like he was lying on some tough rock, but a pulsing sea of spiritual qi.
He rubbed the surface of the stone platform with some strength and studied it carefully. Resplendent light seemed to flicker underneath the platform, like the most beautiful gemstones of the world had fused together into one. This did not seem to be the first time Li Qingshan had seen its magnificent colour.
His heart skipped a beat, and he fished out a spiritual stone hesitantly. He compared it to the stone platform and finally confirmed. “T- this is a bed of spiritual stone!”
He probably felt like a regular person who had just found a bed made out of gold. His first reaction was disbelief, but he immediately understood why Milliped chose to make this place his dwelling out of all the places available to him in the vast subterranean world.
The first instinct of all daemons was not to eat or drink, but to search for a place rich in spiritual qi so that they could absorb more of the spiritual qi of the world.
The bed of spiritual stone was large, but it definitely could not last for decades or even centuries while it was being drained away by a Daemon General!
A thought that Li Qingshan struggled to believe in appeared in his head. He arrived beside the bed and pushed aside the soil beside the bed. He had guessed correctly. This was not a bed of spiritual stone, but a spiritual stone vein.
This stone platform was just the tip of the iceberg to the vein.
If a bed of spiritual stone was enough to incur the jealousy of cultivators, then a spiritual stone vein was enough for two cultivation sects to go to war, enough for noble cultivators to die like regular people.
The principle that greed could lead to death applied to the cultivation world as well.
This spiritual stone vein was the natural crystallisation of the spiritual qi of the world, often condensed above spiritual veins.
Most of the spiritual stone veins above ground were under the control of powerful organisations and were guarded by powerful cultivators. However, not only did spiritual stones serve as currency, but they were consumables too. Over thousands of years, many of them had been excavated and used up by humans. Some of them had even been drained dry, directly severing the spiritual vein.
However, deep underground where spiritual veins were most abundant, daemons did not have the habit of using spiritual stones to trade, nor would they use spiritual stones in formations, puppets, and artifacts. Unexcavated, daemons would rotate through these spiritual stone veins, allowing the spiritual veins to constantly absorb spiritual qi from the surroundings and nurture countless daemons and spiritual herbs.
Li Qingshan thought, Truly a fool’s luck. Originally, he thought that Milliped was broke, which was why he came to him every day to eat and drink his things. Never did he think that he slept on a bed of spiritual stone every single day. He lived an utterly extravagant life.
Milliped had freeloaded food and drink, so now it was his turn to freeload sleep from him. If he did not take advantage of a holy land for cultivation like this, he would be shamefully wasting it.
Li Qingshan laid back down, closed his eyes, and began to use the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, allowing his mind to settle like a spirit turtle sinking into the sea abyss.