Chapter 18: Snow Treading Art
After breaking through to the Harmonious Spirit realm, Ning Fan went into isolated cultivation for more than ten days to completely solidify his foundation.
He also dual cultivated with Zhihe during these ten days. Perhaps it was because Ning Fan broke through to the Harmonious Spirit realm and the gap between the two’s cultivations was too great, so during their session, outside of the Yin Yang Locket empowering its blood paths, there was no increase to cultivation. On the contrary, Zhihe got a lot of benefits as her cultivation quickly grew all the way to the sixth level of Vein Opening after a few short days using dual cultivation. Cultivation wise, she was already an expert within the Vein Opening realm…
Ning Fan felt quite helpless as dual cultivation was only reciprocally effective for both parties when their cultivation was the same. This situation occurred because his cultivation was much higher than Zhihe, and it couldn’t be helped.
The Yin Yang Locket’s jade body was covered with more than twenty blood paths at this moment. Ning Fan estimated that once the locket completed ninety-nine blood paths, this was when he would finish the Yin Yang Transformation’s first level. Then, he could open a few magical techniques through the Yin Yang Locket.
An Immortal Emperor’s heritage treasure’s magical techniques will not be weak.
But conversely, was dual cultivation with Zhihe really not beneficial for Ning Fan? A beauty in his embrace with a natural jade fragrance. Even if his cultivation didn’t increase, it was still a matter blessed by endless fortune…
Normally, cultivators going from early Harmonious Spirit to intermediate Harmonious Spirit would need several dozen years if fast, or their whole life if slow.
If Zhihe was a Harmonious Spirit, then Ning Fan could absolutely reach intermediate Harmonious Spirit within just a year through dual cultivation.
This was already an extremely frightening speed. Vein Opening was easy, but Harmonious Spirit was very arduous. And the Gold Core realm after Harmonious Spirit was severely backbreaking.
The Sinister Sparrow School had 100,000 Vein Opening disciples, but only 35 Harmonious Spirit elders, and only one Gold Core School Master. The higher the realm, the harder it was to move up.
Since his cultivation couldn’t increase, Ning Fan decided to practice his techniques.
Regarding his offensive attacks, his one sword, Fire Transformation, was more than enough to kill an intermediate Harmonious Spirit.
Regarding sword techniques, with his Immortal Emperor’s memories, his sword techniques had an air of a master even if it was not outside the boundary of common sense.
Ning Fan took out the mysterious scabbard from the auction and tried to comprehend its sword intent, but it was too difficult to grasp.
This was not because his understanding of the Sword Dao was lacking, but because the sword excluded the fact that he was a man.
This sword intent seemed that it was only able to be activated by women.
However, this scabbard was not completely useless. Ning Fan could use his Fire Transformation Sword’s intent to combat the scabbard sword intent to improve his own sword intent and increase his Sword Dao cultivation.
And Ning Fan faintly sensed that inside this scabbard was an extremely powerful technique. Once he destroyed this scabbard, he would be able to force this technique out.
Ning Fan couldn’t be sure of the exact powerful technique inside this scabbard. This could only be known after taking it out.
Ning Fan could now be considered a powerful cultivator after reaching the Harmonious Spirit. He needed to learn many techniques in order to protect himself.
He decided to cultivate a new magical technique, named the “Snow Treading Art” — a technique of the ice element. Once cultivated, not only will it increase one’s ice magical power, but they could also borrow the power of the ice spirit to perform the ultimate Ice Treading Escaping Art!
This was not considered a high ranked technique in the Immortal Emperor’s memories, but it was the highest existence in the land of Yue.
The one requirement to cultivate this technique was that the body must grasp an ice element magical power. Ning Fan just happened to have this prerequisite after dual cultivating on the cold ground.
In the night, after putting Zhihe to sleep, he opened the door to leave and bravely cultivated in the cold snow and wind.
This was a painful process. In order to harmonize with the power of the ice spirit, one must use his own body to withstand the cold without activating any magical power to defend.
The night flew by as he cultivated in the cold and wind. After every hour, he would become frozen till the point where his lips became purple and had to stop practicing. But after a little rest, he quickly resumed. Ning Fan was able to endure hardship because of his childhood experience. He had always been a responsible person with rock-solid willpower.
He had a brother to save, and he needed more power. Such hardship was trivial.
Like a shadow in the night, Ning Fan treaded over and over through the snow, leaving behind many footsteps. These footsteps became fainter and shallower as his speed became faster. In the end, he almost turned into a blur and, with one jump, he could leap dozens of zhang away like a ghost.
However, he couldn’t cultivate this Snow Treading Art to the highest level; not because his ice power was not enough, but because he was missing a little something.
Ice Treading did not mean treading the coldness of the snow but rather the endless coldness of a murderous pursuer. This art would be much faster during a moment of life and death.
However, who could give him a life and death crisis? Without an experience of life and death, it was too difficult to cultivate this art to its peak.
This arduous cultivation began and lasted for half a month, but Ning Fan could not fully complete this art; he always had a distance left.
Inside the Si Fan Palace, the old monster finally exploded his 53rd cauldron. He angrily pushed the door outside and noticed, with a glimmer of praises in his eyes, Ning Fan practicing in the snow during the night.
He was proud his whole life and seldom praised people, but a hard worker like Ning Fan was the thing he valued the most.
“When your father was cultivating the Black Evil Escape Art, it was also like this. Once Little Mei went to bed, I also sneaked out to the lava to cultivate… Ah, Han Yuanji, Han Monster, did the world think that my evil title renowned everywhere was that easy to come by… Little Mei, I accepted a good disciple. He has Immemorial Yin Yang Evil Veins, just like your evil veins…”
The old monster became fuzzy as his heart was pounding with pain.
Little Mei, after your slumber, I haven’t touched half of a woman…
After your slumber, I withdrew my killing way and lived in Seven Apricot City in seclusion…
This boy and you have the same evil veins; maybe, one day, he can help me wake you up…
‘I treat him really well with sincerity because, one day, he can save you! I really want to see you again. Just for this desire, I was willing to put down my great responsibility for the Black Evil Sect and hide in this lower world. I can let go of all my hatred towards the White Evil Sect in my heart, but your shadow is the only thing I can’t erase…’
Under the moonlight that illuminated the snow, the old man’s figure became more and more desolate and lonely. Suddenly, he made a decision and void stepped into a black shadow towards Ning Fan. With his fingers like the draconic claws, he aimed straight for Ning Fan’s robe.
This sudden attack surprised Ning Fan, but he felt that this old monster had no killing intent and was reassured.
Perhaps the old monster wanted to test him.
He took out a low-ranked sword as he channeled the Fire Transformation Sword and slashed towards the old man’s claw.
This one sword, whether it was the timing, angle, or reaction speed, were all impeccable. Ning Fan had practiced this sword for a long time and was very skilled. This caused the old man’s eyes to glimmer with surprise, but he suddenly shook his head and laughed: “Against Little Girl Dugu’s strongest ‘Heart Image Sword,’ your father isn’t afraid. Your Fire Transformation Sword cannot stop me!”
The sword slashed the old man’s claw, issuing a metallic collision sound, but it couldn’t break through the old man’s physical defense.
Then, the old man strengthened his grip and the sword suddenly shattered into countless pieces!
Ning Fan was speechless at the hardness of the old man’s claw; it dared to block a flying sword.
While keeping his thoughts under control, Ning Fan took out the Tracing Shadow Sword. This was the sword he got from Wu Dongnan. His sword started to dance like the chaotic falling apricot petals and, with a blazing sword tip, he channeled the Shadow Tracing Technique to directly lock the old monster inside the sword energy.
Ning Fan then condensated the sword energy into the sword tip with a hint of refined light, a glimmer of fire, and a touch of breaking intention. As his offensive capabilities concentrated into one point, even the old monster no longer dared to meet the sword with his bare hands.
“Smelly brat, you are really a genius of the Sword Dao. To be able to concentrate sword energy into one line, this is something only a few Gold Cores are able to do. Hehe, worthy of being my disciple; if this is the case, your father won’t be holding back. Fragment Dan Cauldron, smash this smelly brat for me!”
With six corners, eight surfaces, and three legs, a tiny cauldron was taken out by the old monster. It grew to one hundred zhang high — under the icy winds — and suppressed Ning Fan underneath.
Even an ordinary old monster would have to bitterly die under the suppression of this cauldron. Ning Fan changed his expression for he could not block this cauldron! It was impossible to stop!
This cauldron was appended by the “Body Locking” power with black light illuminating from below. Under this black light, Ning Fan could only watch the cauldron fall down above his head in astonishment.
He must either use his sword energy to block this cauldron or dodge it! He must make a decision immediately!
His sword energy would absolutely not be able to block the old monster’s cauldron, but if he wanted to dodge, what should he use… the Snow Treading Art?
He lifted his gaze and met the old monster’s eyes. He noticed a worried expression in his eyes that were looking at him.
“What are you looking at, you fool! Quickly comprehend in this moment of life and death! If your escaping art breaks through, then you can escape the body locking!” The old monster angrily scolded.