"Yes, spirit stones are just fine," Song Shuhang said firmly. He was simply too poor at this time. Aside from that spirit stone inside the silver dragon puppet—which was exhausted for the most part—he didn't even have the crumbs of a spirit stone!
Being a cultivator without even a single spirit stone made him look simply too pitiful.
Song Shuhang glanced at Daoist Priest Horizon. At this time, he had twenty blood pearls with him. With how many spirit stones could he exchange them for?
A transaction was a deal where both parties were willing to exchange. Even if one had in their hand only a piece of rotten wood, as long as they could find the right buyer—and the opposite party also liked the commodity—it was possible to sell it at a good price.
If Song Shuhang were to sell these blood pearls to other cultivators, the price he could sell them at would be low. After all, it was unlikely that the opposite party was in urgent need of these blood pearls.
These blood pearls were the result of Venerable White's experiment. Venerable White wanted to transform the body of the blood demon into something akin to spirit stones. However, the transformation wasn't too successful.
In the end, although these blood pearls indeed had the spiritual energy of the Sixth Stage rank within, the actual quantity of spiritual energy inside was comparable to only 70% of an ordinary spirit stone of the Sixth Stage. In addition, the purity of the spiritual energy inside was also inferior to that of ordinary spirit stone of the Sixth Stage. The impurities derived from the blood demon were mixed within the spiritual energy.
Therefore, a blood pearl would be only comparable to two spirit stones of the Fifth Stage after the conversion.
However, that was only under normal circumstances.
Daoist Priest Horizon needed these blood pearls urgently. In addition, it didn't seem he was someone that lacked money.
After all these calculations, Song Shuhang hoped to sell the blood pearls for five spirit stones of the Fifth Stage each!
As a result, he would obtain 100 spirit stones of the Fifth Stage rank, which were equivalent to 1000 spirit stones of the Fourth Stage rank.
For Shuhang, it was already an incredible number of spirit stones.
One had to remember that the cost for entering Great Master Profound Principle's 'Jingang Immortal Cave'—where one could try to comprehend the advanced version of the ❮Basic Buddhist Fist Technique❯ in the heart-tempering ancient well, the ❮Demon Subduing Buddhist Fist Technique❯—was six spirit stones of the Fourth Stage rank. If Shuhang had 1000 spirit stones of the Fourth Stage rank with him, he could try to comprehend the technique innumerable times!
On the other hand, he would need a whole 10,000 spirit stones of the Fifth Stage rank to learn that mysterious life-maintaining technique from Venerable Seventh Cultivator of True Virtue, the ❮Flame Substituting Technique❯.
It was better to put off that mysterious life-maintaining technique until later. It wasn't worth it for Song Shuhang to spend so much money on it right now.
After hearing that Song Shuhang wanted spirit stones, Daoist Priest Horizon's eyes immediately lit up.
It was great if he could use spirit stones to solve the problem!
Daoist Priest Horizon asked, "Little friend. For how much do you want to sell them?"
Song Shuhang faintly smiled and said, "Daoist Priest, you can try offering a price."
Daoist Priest Horizon pondered for a while and recalled the appearance of that blood pearl.
The spiritual energy inside the blood pearl was almost comparable to that of a spirit stone of the Sixth Stage. Such being the case, should he offer a spirit stone of the Sixth Stage in return?
However, he really needed these blood pearls, and it wasn't too practical to get them with just a spirit stone of the Sixth Stage rank.
In that case... perhaps he should double the price?
"A blood pearl for two spirit stones of the Sixth Stage. What do you think?" Daoist Priest Horizon said in a grave tone.
Song Shuhang kept his calm. Daoist Priest Horizon had released the aura of a nouveau riche and directly increased by four times the price Shuhang had in mind.
Thereupon, he nodded and said, "Deal!"
Shuhang could have probably increased the price even further if he were to go for it. After all, this was only Daoist Priest Horizon testing the waters, and it shouldn't be the limit of what he was willing to pay.
However, Song Shuhang felt that the price was already good enough. Shuhang wasn't a qualified businessman. If he were to go out to make business, he would surely suffer loss after loss!
"Deal!" Daoist Priest Horizon secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
The duo exchanged their respective items.
Twenty blood pearls were traded for forty spirit stones of the Sixth Stage, which were comparable to 400 spirit stones of the Fifth Stage or 4000 spirit stones of the Fourth Stage!
It was a deal that had left both parties satisfied.
Daoist Priest Horizon took the twenty blood pearls and gently stroked each of them. Soon after, he turned his head toward the owner of the villa, Yu Jiaojiao, and said, "Fellow Daoist Jiaojiao, can you lend this daoist priest a quiet room?"
Daoist Priest Horizon wanted to carry out a small experiment first and see how compatible these blood pearls were with that tribulation-transcending tailor-made magical treasure of his.
He was looking forward to trying and seeing.
"No problem. This way, Daoist Priest." At this time, Yu Jiaojiao still had her mother's appearance due to Soft Feather's shapeshifting brooch.
She stood up and led Daoist Priest Horizon to the most internal room of the villa. That place was rather quiet, and he wouldn't get disturbed.
"Thank you, Fellow Daoist Jiaojiao," Daoist Priest Horizon said gratefully.
"Daoist Priest, you're welcome," Yu Jiaojiao replied with a smile. As long as he didn't mention that matter about the 'strength imparting', they could stay on good terms!
In the meantime, Song Shuhang put all the spirit stones in his pocket. He absolutely didn't dare to put them in his size-reducing purse. After all, that spirit stones-swallowing puppet was still in there.
According to the result of the appraisal technique, that thing was a high-quality puppet tailor-made for one of the VIP clients of the ancient Jet-Black Sect. It had many wondrous uses and needed 50,000 spirit stones of the Eighth Stage to be activated.
50,000 spirit stones of the Eighth Stage! Song Shuhang had nothing but 40 spirit stones of the Sixth Stage with him. They weren't even enough to fill the gap between that puppet's teeth. They would disappear without any traces if the puppet were to absorb them.
Song Shuhang had already decided that he would give the puppet to Senior White so the latter could disassemble and research it. After all, he had no intention of wasting 50,000 spirit stones of the Eighth Stage to activate the puppet.
After putting the spirit stones away, Song Shuhang took a gift box out of his size-reducing purse. Inside the gift box was a complete set of 33 spirit beast crystals, each of them of the Second Stage rank.
Song Shuhang's constitution had already strengthened until reaching the limit of the Second Stage. Such being the case, he could use the ❮Whale Swallowing Technique❯ to eat these spirit beast crystals and complete the 'innate true qi' inside his body.
Amongst the spirit beast crystals that Shuhang had already eaten were the shark, sheep, horse, donkey, and camel types.
"Today, I'll eat the bull, deer, pig, dog, and cat types of spirit beast crystals. If I eat five types of spirit beast crystals each day, I'll be able to complete the innate true qi of the ❮Thirty-Three Divine Beasts' Technique❯ very quickly!" Song Shuhang muttered to himself.
Thereupon, he returned to his room and took out those five types of spirit beast crystals and used the ❮Whale Swallowing Technique❯ to eat them, starting another day of practice.
He was getting nearer and nearer to the Fourth Stage and his dream of riding a flying sword.
As soon as this thought flashed through his mind, Song Shuhang remembered that he still had that ❮Blade Dragging Technique❯ with him.
Evil thoughts, disperse!
Unless it was to save his life, he wouldn't ever use the ❮Blade Dragging Technique❯. It looked simply too stupid!
In the meantime, in the faraway East China Sea.
After searching in the East China Sea for a long time, that lustrous scholar that had forcibly taken control of Song Shuhang's ghost spirit was finally able to find the person he was looking for.
A man dressed up as a scholar was currently running on the surface of the sea.
He had disheveled hair and incomplete clothing, and only one of the shoes he had been wearing was left.
He had a foolish smile on his face, and the fearsome immortal energy emitting from his body was creating huge ocean waves.
Tears streamed down the face of the lustrous scholar as soon as he saw this person with disheveled hair running on the water. However, these 'tears' were actually extremely pure spiritual energy.
"Senior Brother Daozi, I'm here," the lustrous scholar said softly. A gentle expression flashed through his eyes full anger and killing intent.
But that man dressed up as a scholar didn't pay attention to the lustrous scholar.
He kept foolishly smiling and running on the surface of the sea. Then, from time to time, he would suddenly drill into the sea and head toward the seafloor, disappearing without traces.
The lustrous scholar rubbed his eyes and closely followed the mad scholar with incomplete clothing.
The mad scholar in front of him kept running and looking for all types of strange fish, playing and fooling around with turtles, shrimps, and fishes alike.
The lustrous scholar had never seen Senior Brother Daozi act like this.
In his memories, Scholar Daozi was their big senior brother and the leader amidst the disciples of the Scholarly Sage.
His every word and deed—as well as every action and movement—was something to be emulated in the eyes of the other disciples, a textbook example.
He was their respected and beloved big senior brother. He was both a brother and a father to them.
But the big senior brother before his eyes was acting like a child. Laughing and aimlessly chasing after everything he was seeing.
After Gods knew how long, Big Senior Brother Daozi got tired of playing. After getting tired, he stood motionless and allowed himself to sink in the water.
He kept sinking and sinking.
Eventually, he sank until arriving at the seafloor.
The lustrous scholar followed behind him and also headed toward the bottom of the sea.
Senior Brother Daozi lay prone on the seafloor with his eyes closed, not moving in the slightest.
The immortal energy emanating from his body had created an empty space around him, not allowing the seawater to touch him.
The lustrous scholar sat on his knees next to his senior brother.
After a long, long time...
The fast asleep Senior Brother Daozi slightly opened his eyes. Then, his innocent and pure eyes, similar to that of a child, curiously looked at the lustrous scholar.
"Senior Brother Daozi, I'm here," the lustrous scholar said once again.
Senior Brother Daozi still had a curious expression on his face, and he didn't seem to have recognized the lustrous scholar.
The lustrous scholar gently kowtowed while sitting on his knees. "I ask Senior Brother Daozi to show me the way. Please, tell me where I can find the remains of the Sage and our other fellow disciples."
In those days, their teacher—the Sage—lost the battle to become the new Wielder of the Will.
In the battle for 'eternity', failure meant death. The Scholarly Sage died in the hands of the person that eventually became the new Wielder of the Will.
After that, the new Wielder of the Will attacked without mercy, and the thirteen Tribulation Transcender disciples of the Sage almost completely died. Countless treasured books belonging to the scholars were destroyed, and tens of thousands of disciples of the Sage died due to the flames of tribulation.
Amidst that catastrophe that befell the scholarly faction, the remains of the Sage and the thirteen Tribulation Transcenders that had died with him disappeared without traces.
Senior Brother Daozi bent his head to one side and kept curiously looking at the lustrous scholar.
The lustrous scholar prostrated himself and said in a grave tone, "Senior Brother, the calamity is over. Please, allow me to recover the remains of the Sage and our other fellow disciples to give them a proper burial."
Back then, he asked Slow-Witted Song to seal him and had thus managed to barely maintain his feeble existence up until now. One of the reasons was so that he could give a proper burial to this teacher and fellow disciples after the calamity was over.
"Ahahaha!" However, Senior Brother Daozi suddenly laughed. "How can a dead man bury the dead?"
"Senior Brother Daozi!" The lustrous scholar resolutely kowtowed.
"A dead man can't bury the dead," Senior Brother Daozi said again while laughing.
The lustrous scholar forced a smile and faintly sighed in the end. "I understand."
Then, he kowtowed again to Senior Brother Daozi and said respectfully, "Senior Brother Daozi, I already left behind the inheritance of the Sage, and now, it's only waiting for the fated person to appear. At that time, I'll finally have completed the duty that Senior Brother left me. Such being the case, I have no longer anything left to do in this world... therefore, I'll ask Senior Brother about another matter. Who is the new Wielder of the Will?"
What was the origin of the new Wielder of the Will?
Whether they were daoists, scholars, buddhists, demonists, or monsters, none of them knew the origin of the new Wielder of the Will. Back then, with whom did their teacher fight to become 'eternal'?
"Ahahaha!" Senior Brother Daozi laughed once again. Then, he turned his body over and started rolling on the seafloor.
"Senior Brother, my time is limited. At the very least, give me an opportunity to put an end to this matter or vent my anger," the lustrous scholar said in a low voice.
Senior Brother Daozi still curiously looked at the lustrous scholar and sat up. He used one hand to prop up his chin and furrowed his brows, looking as though he was in deep thoughts.
But if he could easily recall things, he wouldn't be in the state he was right now.
Senior Brother Daozi rolled on the seafloor while propping up his chin with his hand and thinking.
The lustrous scholar was sitting on his knees in his original position and didn't speak, so as to avoid disturbing Senior Brother Daozi.
Then, Senior Brother Daozi suddenly sat up and said, "Netherworld."
"Netherworld? The new Wielder of the Will comes from the Netherworld?" The eyes of the lustrous scholar lit up.
Senior Brother Daozi clapped his hands and said, "No... but that day, creatures of the Netherworld killed many scholars."
The lustrous scholar faintly sighed and kowtowed to Senior Brother Daozi once more.
Afterward, he got up and headed toward the surface of the sea.
He couldn't bury the remains of the Sage. As for the inheritance, he had already arranged everything and only had to wait for the fated person to appear.
Now, he still had a little bit of time left... therefore, he would head to the Netherworld!
Just as the lustrous scholar headed toward the surface of the sea, a luminous jellyfish tore space apart and appeared in front of him.
"Fellow Daoist, you are really persistent." The lustrous scholar looked at the jellyfish, and a slightly happy expression flashed through his red eyes.
"Where are you going next? And what are you planning to do?" The luminous jellyfish looked at the lustrous scholar. Soon after, she discovered that the appearance of the scholar had changed... Eh? Isn't that little friend Song's appearance?
The luminous jellyfish hadn't seen the lustrous scholar taking over Song Shuhang's ghost spirit. Hence her surprised expression.
"I'm going to the Netherworld," the lustrous scholar said indifferently. "That place will be my final destination, and it's unlikely that I'll return from there. Therefore, you don't need to follow me anymore, Fellow Daoist."
The luminous jellyfish looked at the lustrous scholar and ultimately nodded, saying, "Take care of yourself."
The lustrous scholar faintly shook his head.
In the next moment, he used his hand to rip space apart. What appeared on the other side was a world full of filth and curses, a place that contained all the 'evil' of the universe.
The lustrous scholar took a deep breath and entered the Netherworld.
As soon as the entered the Netherworld, all the strength he was suppressing was instantaneously released.
A huge quantity of immortal energy filled the body of Song Shuhang's ghost spirit.
Immortal energy was a type of energy at least two tiers higher than true qi and spiritual qi. It was the energy that belonged to Ninth Stage Tribulation Transcenders.
Just as the lustrous scholar released all his strength, Song Shuhang, who was inside a far-off villa in the Jiangnan area, opened his eyes wide.