The swamp’s water was so murky that no sunlight could penetrate into its depths.
As they descended, Shui Ling used her water manipulation abilities to create a clear bubble of air around them so Yang Kai didn’t feel smothered or breathless.
Using their Divine Senses, they could easily examine their surroundings.
Sinking down for quite some time, Yang Kai realized that the young woman from Bold Independent Union wasn’t mistaken, this swamp really was more than a thousand meters deep.
Only someone like Shui Ling who possessed the Water Spirit Body could freely access this place, anyone else, even if they cultivated a Water Attribute Secret Art, would probably suffer a massive drop in mobility.
After reaching a certain depth, Yang Kai began to feel the surrounding temperature drop and the further they went the colder it became.
It wasn’t long before Shui Ling couldn’t bear it and her teeth began chattering. Seeing this, Yang Kai quickly released some of his True Yang Yuan Qi and immediately dispelled the surrounding chill.
“I was right to bring you along,” Shui Ling chuckled, Yang Kai’s control over his True Qi had reached a very profound level. If she had instead brought along the self-recommended man from Bold Independent Union, Shui Ling was quite certain him releasing his Flame Attribute True Qi would conflict with her water manipulation technique.
Yang Kai, on the other hand was different, he could easily dispel the Cold Qi around them while not damaging the bubble she had created to protect them.
Below them, through the murky water, a glimmer of light came into sight, like a cluster of white flames that swayed in the wind.
However, there was still a fair distance between them and the source of this illumination and a thick ice barrier was blocking their way, making it difficult for Yang Kai to get a clear picture of what was glowing.
“The flickering white flames are the grains of Ice Flame Star Sand; the Scarlet Blood Orchid is hiding further beneath them,” Shui Ling explained, “This ice is a couple dozen meters thick, can you break it open quietly?”
Yang Kai nodded gently, “I can try.”
Saying so, Yang Kai exited Shui Ling’s air bubble.
After leaping out of the bubble, Yang Kai suddenly felt stiff, like a great mountain was pressing down on him, causing his bones to creak.
Without the protection of Shui Ling barrier, Yang Kai had to resist the surrounding water pressure all on his own.
“If it’s too difficult you don’t have to force yourself,” Shui Ling urged.
Yang Kai nodded once before closing his eyes. After taking a moment to adapt to the huge water pressure, he slowly began.
From the palm of his hand, True Yang Yuan Qi burst out and like a sharp blade, it sliced deep into the ice layer in front of him, melting it away at a rapid pace.
As he pushed his True Qi fiercely, Yang Kai bore through the thick ice like as easily as smashing a piece of rotten wood.
Shui Ling brought her bubble and quickly followed behind Yang Kai.
In this way, Yang Kai managed to bore through the several dozen meter thick ice layer in less time than it would take to boil a cup of tea.
The pair soon arrived at the location of the Ice Flame Star Sand.
“You collect the star sand while I go deal with the Scarlet Blood Orchid!” Shui Ling said excitedly, darting away towards the Scarlet Blood Orchid.
A mysterious force soon created a large barrier around the surrounding water, keeping the Scarlet Blood Orchid from running away.
Yang Kai glanced around once at Shui Ling’s methods before turning his attention back to the white flame-like grains, casually digging them out and stuffing them into his Black Book space.
Although these things appeared like flames, they were actually solid grains of star sand. They were quite different from ordinary sand however, each grain like a beautiful gem that gave off a cold, biting aura.
Even the inexperienced Yang Kai could tell this was a valuable treasure.
Having just arrived in Tong Xuan Realm and encountering such an opportunities, it was a good sign.
There were only about a hundred grains of Ice Flame Star Sand but Yang Kai was in no rush, taking his time to collect all of them. After a while, Shui Ling came over, a joyful look upon her face as she held the seven-leafed World Spirit Treasure in her hand and beckoned towards Yang Kai.
With her ability to control water, in this environment, the Scarlet Blood Orchid obviously couldn’t escape from her grasp.
Having finished his work as well, Yang Kai smiled and rejoined her inside the bubble.
“Let’s go up, that group should be pretty anxious by now,” Shui Ling grinned, clearly guessing what the group from Bold Independent Union must be thinking.
Above the swamp, the group of people from Bold Independent Union all had ugly expression as they continued to wait quietly.
The bearded man suddenly let out cold snort and said, “It’s been almost an hour yet those two haven’t come up yet, they must have ran.”
“They better not let me see them again or I swear I’ll chop their corpses into ten thousand pieces!”
However, the young woman scolded her companions lightly, “Don’t make such irresponsible comments, that girl should indeed be a disciple of Water Spirit Temple, and her identity is definitely not low.”
“What makes you say that, Young Lady?”
“She has a Peak Immortal Ascension Boundary cultivation. Besides a disciple with extraordinary status from a powerful Sect like Water Spirit Temple, who else could have such great strength at such a young age? Someone of such high status shouldn’t lie to us…” Though she said so, the young woman’s voice grew quieter as she spoke, seemingly trying to convince herself to trust Shui Ling with this explanation.
“Even she has such an identity, both the Scarlet Blood Orchid and Ice Flame Star Sand are rare treasures. It’s difficult to guarantee they won’t covet them for themselves.”
“If this is the case, then we can only accept that our loss is deserved!” The young woman sighed, “All of this is a result of us not having enough ability.”
“Ha…” Everyone sighed.
In this world, those who have the ability can obtain good things while those who don’t are only capable of watching from afar. This kind of situation was not uncommon, quite often a person would discover some treasure only to have someone stronger swoop in and snatch it from them. When this happened, the original finder could do nothing but glare hatefully.
“Look, there’s movement!” As they were sighing, the bearded man suddenly exclaimed, pointing towards the swamp in front of them.
From beneath the surface, some ripples of energy slowly emerged.
Seeing this, the group from Bold Independent Union immediately sighed with relief while the young woman felt a great weight lift off her shoulders.
A moment later, a giant bubble of water broke through the surface and Yang Kai and Shui Ling emerged.
Shui Ling quickly flew over and landed in front of the group, “You should have brought a special container for this World Spirit Treasure, yes?”
“En!” The young woman nodded quickly, opened a small bag tied to her waist and removing a white jade box engraved with a number of Spirit Array lines.
Yang Kai secretly noted that the small bag on the young woman’s waist was actually a Universe Bag.
Seeing this, Shui Ling nodded slightly, “It seems you came fully prepared.”
Saying so, she casually handed over the Scarlet Blood Orchid.
The young woman’s expression became slightly awkward for a moment before happily reaching out and accepting it, “Thank you!”
Her manner was sincere, with not the slightest false pretense.
Placing the Scarlet Blood Orchid in the jade box, the young woman activated the Spirit Array and firmly secured the World Spirit Treasure.
“What about that Ice Flame Star Sand?” The bearded man couldn’t help asking.
“Ji Hong!” The young woman’s expression became cold as she angrily shouted.
“Haha, I’m just asking!” Ji Hong scratched the back of his head awkwardly as he smiled towards Yang Kai, “Fellow Brother shouldn’t mind me, I’m just naturally curious. It you don’t want to talk about it you don’t have to, whether you obtained it or not, it was yours in the first place.”
Yang Kai smiled and suddenly found that this big man was actually somewhat interesting, although he was saying to not worry about it, he was still indirectly inquiring about the Ice Flame Star Sand.
“It’s fine, we indeed managed to obtain it,” Yang Kai frankly admitted.
“Brother has such good luck, I’m so jealous!” Ji Hong grinned, also not concealing his thoughts.
Watching this exchange, the young woman could only shake her head and turn to Shui Ling, “For Young Miss’ assistance, my Bold Independent Union is very grateful. En, according to union’s rules, each of us can receive twenty Crystal Stones as a reward for completing this mission while as the captain of this team I can obtain fifty, would you accept eighty percent of that as a token of our thanks?”
With a total of eight people, seven of whom could obtain twenty Crystal Stones while the young woman obtained fifty, the total reward for this mission was one hundred and ninety, so eighty percent would come out to one hundred and fifty-two Crystal Stones.
The young woman suddenly offering such a generous thank-you gift caused the rest of her team members’ faces to sink.
But after thinking about it, without Shui Ling and Yang Kai choosing to assist them, they wouldn’t be able to obtain anything for this mission and would likely be punished instead, so their moods quickly balanced out.
Shui Ling smiled and pointed to Yang Kai, “Give it to him, I don’t need Crystal Stones.”
Yang Kai didn’t ask much, although he didn’t know what these Crystal Stone were or how much value they represented, from the expressions of these people he could tell that these Crystal Stone should be a good thing.
“Alright,” The young woman smiled, “In addition, if the two are willing to sell us that Ice Flame Star Sand, I can guarantee you both a satisfactory price.”
“Hehe…” Shui Ling giggled, “A Spirit Grade Top-Rank Artifact Refining material, we don’t plan to sell it. Keeping it for ourselves will be more useful.”
“This…” The young woman was slightly disappointed, but she was not reluctant, soon nodding, “Let’s not discuss this for now, you can take your time to consider my offer, if you change your minds feel free to seek me out. This place is only three days away from our Bold Independent Union’s headquarters, Bold Independent City, would you care to accompany us there so we may offer you our hospitality?”
After this incident was resolved, the young woman no longer showed any hostility and instead began trying to forge a relationship with the two.
Shui Ling glanced over at Yang Kai and seeing him nod gently, decided to accept.
Shui Ling nodded, “Good, we were just looking for a place to rest.”
“Please!” The young woman said, glancing at Yang Kai intentionally or unintentionally as if she was re-examining him.
The quick exchange between Shui Ling and Yang Kai just now had not escaped her eyes.
This, however, only raised more doubts in her mind; Shui Ling seemed to be a very high-ranking member of Water Spirit Temple, so why did it seem like she was following this youth’s lead? Whenever a decision had to be made she would always solicit his opinion before making a choice.
Just what kind of background did this youth have to actually make a high-ranking disciple of Water Spirit Temple pay such attention to him?
The young woman was puzzled and couldn’t help feeling curious about Yang Kai.
As they traveled, the atmosphere gradually became harmonious.
The young woman deliberately made a few attempts to probe Yang Kai’s identity in casual conversation but Yang Kai never let anything slip, causing her some grief.
Through their conversations, Yang Kai and Shui Ling also learned that this young woman’s name was Yun Xuan and she was a team leader of one of Bold Independent Union’s external units.
The members of this team were the seven people accompanying her.
Bold Independent Union was a little different from other forces in that it had semi-permanent teams that were responsible for seeking, gathering, and transporting materials and finished products. These teams would travel all year round outside of Bold Independent Union’s headquarters looking for various business opportunities and in return, Bold Independent Union provided them with resources and a safe environment to cultivate in.