Chapter 649 – The Flower That Balances Water and Fire
Even the school of Music could use their zithers to injure people, so the school of Medicine also possessed ways to protect themselves. Among the books of the school of Medicine, there was a way to refine plague ghosts.
“Plague ghosts” were not evil spirits. It was like how the “gods of plagues” in the legends were actually gods that dispelled diseases.
Plague ghosts feasted on diseases, accumulating them in their bodies. Once they reached a certain level, they could throw themselves at the enemy. Because they were immaterial like ghosts, barely anything could stop them from delivering the nasty diseases into the enemy’s body.
However, the bodies of cultivators had always been extremely tough, and a body like Zhu Lie’s was among the top of the list. Regular diseases were unable to affect him much at all.
Only by devouring a tremendous amount of diseases could they determine victory or defeat, which also meant the cultivator had to spend large amounts of time treating and curing mortals.
The plague ghost Ru Xin refined had only reached its current level through accumulation during the years of war in the Clear River prefecture. During the war, pestilence was widespread, allowing her to gather countless diseases.
As a result, while plague ghosts were powerful, there were not a lot of medical disciples that chose to refine them. The world had been at peace for too long. No one was willing to spend time on something like this.
And once the cultivator became somewhat accomplished with the plague ghost, it would be even more terrifying than potent poison. Toxins could always be purged, but diseases would constantly grow and spread. For each moment that passed without treatment, the situation would worsen.
Zhu Lie was unable to hold back the discomfort in his lungs, covering his mouth and coughing violently. When he checked his hand, he found it covered in blood. He could feel the condition of his body constantly worsen like a structure termites had eaten away, about to collapse at any time. Vicious determination filled his mind.
I’m probably under the effect of this woman’s gu. As long as I kill her, the gu will obviously vanish. Even if I can’t achieve that, I’ll still pull her down with me!
Ru Xin seemed to have been expecting this the entire time. She pulled far away and called out, “You can stop dreaming. Even if you kill me, your sickness won’t improve. Instead, it’ll erupt instantly and kill you on the spot. In the Mist province’s language, it’s death gu!”
The Mist province was an undeveloped land. There were many vicious and mysterious ways to refine gu, and death gu was the most fiendish among them all. They could only be activated by sacrificing the user’s life, taking down the enemy and perishing with them.
“So you have been to the Mist province. Who are you exactly?” Zhu Lie no longer looked down on her at all. His eyes were filled with deep fear.
“That’s not for you to worry about. I just want to ask you, do you want to return to the Mist province?” Ru Xin’s eyes shone brightly, her expression and mannerisms vastly different from before. Even Li Qingshan who knew her extremely well had never seen this side of her. The battle seemed to reignite something inside her that had been laying in silence for all this time.
Zhu Lie said nothing. Fire devourers were full of valour and vigour. If he were to die on a battlefield, he would definitely go ahead with it fearlessly, but the situation right now was a little different. Si Qing had subdued him at first before Li Qingshan defeated him. His will to embrace death had already been mostly eroded away. The diseases and pain he suffered from were rapidly worsening. He could not help but experience an urge to live on.
“So what if I do?”
“If you do, then I’ll stabilise your diseases? But you need to cooperate with me for the treatment. You’ll obey me for ten days.”
After a moment of thought, Zhu Lie finally lowered his head and said, “Alright!”
As soon as he said that, he felt the pain on him recede like the tide, but Ru Xin had merely suppressed the diseases, embedding them in his organs, brain, and marrow. Once they erupted, they would completely tear Zhu Lie apart.
“What do you want me to do?” Zhu Lie originally thought Ru Xin wanted him to help her collect medals, but he never expected Ru Xin to say, “I want you to tell me about the local customs and practices of the Mist province. I heard the main base of the fire devourers in the Mist province is Fire Melt mountain. Where are you from?”
When Ru Xin asked this question, her expression became even stranger. She licked her lips subconsciously. A desire she was unable to suppress burned and spread through her like a nefarious fire.
“Fire Melt mountain is the holy grounds of my race. It’s not a place where anyone can stay. Normally, we only gather there during the holy war!” Zhu Lie could only answer truthfully.
The holy war!
Ru Xin’s eyes flashed. Fire devourers were violent and frequently waged war against other races, but only when they fought the Merfolk of the South sea would they call it a “holy war”. Moreover, every holy war would involve the strength of the entire race, fighting devastating battles to no end.
“When was the most recent holy war?”
The two of them followed up each other promptly in the conversation. It even seemed like they had already buried the hatchet if viewed from the eyes of others. However, Ru Xin maintained a certain distance from Zhu Lie the entire time, asking him about the Mist province with great patience.
When the final bolt of lightning vanished, Hua Chenglu opened her eyes and released her soul sense, sensing that the entire world had changed. It looked completely different in her eyes.
This was both from her comprehension of breaking through a major realm of cultivation, as well as the effects of the Wisdom Imbuement. The influence of the latter was probably even deeper than the former.
Li Qingshan went up to receive her with a smile. He felt a little strange inside. In his eyes, Hua Chenglu had changed drastically. Her beauty and figure were already almost perfect, but she was still lacking a little in terms of bearing. Let alone Gu Yanying, she probably even paled in comparison to the venomous Qian Rongzhi. No matter whether he liked or hated them, it was all a distinct sign that only appeared through undergoing trials and ordeals.
Right now, Hua Chenglu overflowed with a gentle and touching aura, like morning dew resting on a flower petal, producing a rainbow under the sunlight. She had already begun exhibiting peerless beauty.
Of course, this was only his first impression. As for any more specific changes, even Li Qingshan was unable to put it into words. He thought, Hopefully this isn’t a bad thing!
Hua Chenglu called out “big brother Li” with a giggle before meditating and adjusting her condition. She recovered her spiritual qi very soon before asking, “How long has passed already?”
Li Qingshan said, “Two and a half days!”
“Then we better hurry up and begin!” Hua Chenglu said that as she entered the hole, leaving the centre of the tree.
Unable to take advantage of her, Li Qingshan rubbed his nose and said to the Great Banyan Tree King, “This girl originally had some interest in me, but after what you’ve done, she’s completely lost interest! How are you going to compensate me?”
He had not idled around during the past two days either. He constantly asked the Great Banyan Tree King questions about cultivation, and they got to know each other. They joked around quite a lot. As for whether Hua Chenglu was interested in him or not, he did not actually care very much.
“Thoughts are unpredictable. How can you be certain whether it was intentional or not from a single glance?”
“Then thank you for all the guidance during these days, fellow!” Li Qingshan smiled. The Great Banyan Tree King’s understanding of the Arts of the Boundless Ocean allowed him to benefit tremendously. He was now a little more confident about condensing an Ocean pearl and breakthrough through to Golden Core.
Of course, he did not forget to ask about the problem of merging water and fire either. The Great Banyan Tree King told him a few ways, but these ways could clearly only balance out regular fire and water, unable to balance out the spirit turtle and the phoenix. Li Qingshan was afraid to say too much. However, a legend that the Great Banyan Tree King mentioned piqued Li Qingshan’s interest.
“Legend has it that in a place where fire burns in the depths of the ocean, a strange flower will bloom the moment the flames erupt before immediately withering away. It’s born with balanced fire and water spiritual qi, and it’s a symbol of peace between Merfolk and Fire Devouring folk. Perhaps it also symbolises that their peace is as brief as the flower’s bloom.”