Chapter 112: Fire Appearing When Lightning Struck Wood
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The heat during summer in this unfamiliar place made the air stifling even if it was night. With rain pouring down once every few days, more swamplands were formed from the mud on the ground, making it hard to traverse.
Su Ming was extremely unused to this. There may have been rainstorms where he grew up in Dark Mountain, but they were rarely like in this place, where it seldom stopped raining and this had been going on and off for more than a month.
Su Ming’s injuries became worse. The weakness he felt grew as days went by. Even if he used fine control to suppress it and moonlight to nourish his body, as time passed by, the blood veins he could use had decreased to 80.
Within the deeper parts of the rainforest, on the low mountain range that housed a lot of mountains was a small mountain. There was a naturally formed crack on it, and Su Ming sat cross-legged inside.
There was no water in there, but the walls of the mountain were wet. When he placed his hand on the walls, he could feel cold wetness. There was ash left behind on the ground by a fire. During the past few days, Su Ming had stayed here.
The inside of the naturally formed crack was built in the shape of a gourd. It was not big, but neither was it small. It served as a place for Su Ming to avoid the rain and quench herbs. There were a lot of cracks like these in the mountain range. Su Ming hadn’t spent much time before finding a cave that was more secluded compared to the rest.
‘Even if it rains nonstop, the plants here are still very dense, some of which are strange. There is even plenty of that supposedly rare Thousand Leaf Flower growing here.’
Something flashed in Su Ming’s eyes. He lowered his head and looked at the herbs situated close before him on the ground.
These were the herbs he’d found within the month of traveling carefully around the rainforest under the rainstorm.
As he looked at the herbs, Su Ming stood up. He felt that his body was also damp and wet, which made him incredibly uncomfortable.
‘It’s a pity that while there are a lot of herbs here, there isn’t any Cloud Gauze Grass. I can’t create Mountain Spirit, but the herbs required to create Scattering Dust and South Asunder are mostly complete, I only need… Night Glitter Branch.’
Su Ming frowned. This was the reason why he could not create any pills this month. Even as he got out of his meditative state, he was still thinking about it.
It was still raining outside. Thunder would boom in the sky occasionally. Su Ming had already gotten used to this sound. He walked out quietly and arrived at the entrance of the cave. The first thing that entered his sights was lightning slicing ferociously through the dark sky, which brought light upon the place. It was soon followed by thunder booming, as if there was someone roaring so loudly in the sky it shook the earth.
Lightning flashed in the sky and lit up the land, but it became dark again in an instant. Rain battered the ground, and some of the raindrops fell on Su Ming.
He took in a deep breath. The stifling air of summer was somewhat gone. It was much more comfortable standing where he was rather than inside the cave. Even if it was much more humid here, there was also a slight refreshing feeling.
Su Ming looked at the dark sky and land. Everything here was unfamiliar to him, even the rain was unusual, but Su Ming no longer let his loneliness show on his face. Instead, he hid it away deeply. His eyes were calm as he looked at the land and fell into deep thought.
‘Without Night Glitter Branch, I can’t create any pills. Am I really supposed to walk out of the rainforest to search outside in my weakened state..?’
The frown on his face grew deeper.
After a long while, Su Ming let out a light sigh. At that moment, amid the rumbling thunder, a bolt of lightning suddenly cracked as if wanting to split the sky apart. The moment it crackled in the air, it was as if it discovered that it was too close to the rainforest where Su Ming was and changed direction.
Right before Su Ming’s eyes, the bolt of lightning fell down in a straight line. With a crash, it plunged into the rainforest a distance away from him. Soon, black smoke rose into the air as lightning continued crackling in the sky. There was also light caused by the fire. Although the light was soon extinguished, when Su Ming saw that sight, he felt his heart jolt.
A thought flashed in his head at that moment.
‘This place should not be suitable for Night Glitter Branch to grow. I remember this herb is common in Dark Mountain. Every time I collected it, there’d be sparks of fire flashing. If it fell on my body, I’d feel as if I was scorched. It must be because the power of fire is hidden within Night Glitter Branch. This place is constantly raining, so it’s always moist. This herb can’t grow here.’
When Su Ming was at Dark Mountain, he did not think about it so much. Yet now, since he was alone in this unfamiliar place, he had to rely on himself for everything. A glint appeared in his eyes. He looked at where the bolt of lightning struck deep in the rainforest.
Su Ming took a few steps backward and returned to the mountain cave. He took one of the herbs piled on the ground and stared at it intently.
‘This is the Iron Core Flower. This thing…’
Su Ming flicked it gently, and a sound as if metal crashed into metal echoed in the cave immediately.
‘This thing should contain the power of metal, that’s why this herb is so sturdy, and why it’s so hard for normal people to collect it.
‘There’s also the catalpa. This herb grows densely. I’ve never paid much attention to them, but now…’
Su Ming took another herb and broke one of its leaves. Liquid flowed out from the broken part of the herb, but it only lasted for the time required for an incense stick to burn. The liquid gathered at the broken part and formed a round protruding shape. Su Ming knew that if he planted this herb on the ground, then before long, young leaves would grow from the broken part. They would look incredibly vigorous, a strange sight that made stunned people.
‘I’ve never thought much about the five herbs needed for Scattering Dust, but now, it’s clear that they’re herbs belonging to the five different elements.
‘The power of metal, the power of life, and then there’s the fire from the Night Glitter Branch. As for the other two herbs, they’re the commonly sighted ones that contain the power of water and… I don’t need the leaves of this herb, but its roots, which are buried underground.’
There was a contemplative look in Su Ming’s eyes. He stared at the roots that still contained some dirt lying among the herbs.
‘This should be the power of earth!
‘I need five different elements to create the enigmatic Scattering Dust, and now I’m lacking one of them… But if the basic principle behind the pill is this, then… I might be able to find something to substitute it!’
Su Ming’s eyes flashed. This problem had been bothering him for quite some time. Now that he saw that bolt of lightning, he felt his spirits lift up.
He immediately turned around and created an afterimage as he left the cave, charging into the rainstorm. Rain fell on his body, and soon he was drenched. Water fell down his hair, but he ignored it, moving extremely quickly. He ran along the small mountain and entered the rainforest down below, dashing towards where he saw the place lightning had struck earlier.
Mud filled the ground of the rainforest. There were also a lot of rotting leaves that gave out a humid smell. Lashing sounds echoed in the air as the heavy rain poured down from the sky.
Su Ming sped through the rainforest. Soon, he took a leap and crouched on a wet and slippery branch. Before him, he saw a big tree so tall it reached the sky. That tree was obviously much taller than the other trees around it. Yet it was black. The branches had turned into ashes, causing the tree to look like a wreck.
Black smoke rose from the tree. There may have been rain falling down around it, but Su Ming could still feel remnants of a frightening might coming from around it.
He observed for a while before leaping from the branch and approaching the black dried up tree. He raised a hand and touched the surface. A hint of warmth came from it. The surface may have been drenched by rain, but when Su Ming used a bit of force in his fingers and clawed in, he could feel that the insides of the tree were dry.
‘The power of lightning is related to fire. When that bolt of lightning fell upon this tree, it caused all the water vapor on this originally wet tree to evaporate, turning it dry and making it burn after it was struck.
‘Over here, there is nothing that contains more power of fire than this burnt tree.’
Su Ming jumped up and the 80 blood veins in his body suddenly lit up with a blood-red light. He hit the tree a few times. As booming sounds echoed in the air, the tree bark crumbled completely, revealing the hot core of the tree.
Su Ming positioned his right hand in the form of a knife and sliced downwards. Immediately, the core of the tree, which was 30 feet tall, was cut down. He quickly cut it into several parts and placed inside the broken bag.
However, the space of the bag was limited. He could not place some of the cut core parts into it. Su Ming hefted them on his body and charged into the rainforest, back towards that mountain cave.
‘I should be able to substitute fire since my blood contains it, or I could even burn trees to create the effects of Night Glitter Branch, but nothing can compare to the natural fire created by the bolt of lightning!’
As Su Ming ran, many different thoughts appeared in his head. Before long, he returned to the crack and went into the cave with rain dripping down his body.
Su Ming panted slightly and placed the charred and slightly hot cores down, then he took out the other cores from the broken bag. He looked at these materials and took a deep breath. Once he sat down cross-legged, he started soothing the Qi in his body. After the span of time required for two incense sticks to burn, Su Ming opened his eyes and raised his right hand. With one single thought, a ball of fire suddenly appeared on his right hand with a crackling sound.
The ball emitted warmth and heated up the area, causing the entire cave to be filled with light. Su Ming’s face was serious as he carefully used fine control to manipulate the fire in his hand. He observed it for a moment. Once he waited till the fire in his hand had stabilized, he quickly grabbed the herbs necessary to create Scattering Dust from the pile by his side. He used his left hand to move them, then carefully placed into the fire in his right hand.
This was the method he had thought of when he found that there was no place like Black Flame Mountain in this unfamiliar place. His Qi contained fire, and after the battle with Bi Tu, Su Ming felt that some part in his body had changed. This ball of fire was one of the changes. He no longer needed fresh blood to summon it.
That was why he had thought about this method – using his hand as a medicinal cauldron to quench herbs.
Su Ming had already created Scattering Dust multiple times. He was pretty familiar with each of the steps needed for this pill. Nonetheless, this was the first time he used his hand as the cauldron.
After a short period of discomfort, he slowly mastered the technique.
The tree core that was struck by lightning was the final item placed into the fire. As he looked at the five materials melting and blending together within, Su Ming focused all his attention on the fire in his hand and began the process of quenching the herbs calmly.