As the two of them marched on, Dong Li told Nie Tian about the volcanoes in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation in a low voice from time to time.
They came across three enormous, extinct volcanoes along their way.
They all belonged to the Tool Sect. It was just that, after centuries of consumption, the flame power within them had already been completely drained by Qi warriors from the Tool Sect for equipment forging.
One day passed...
As soon as Nie Tian and Song Li arrived at the foot of a short mountain peak, he sensed that the Flame Dragon Armor had grown restless.
He immediately realized that this unimpressive mountain peak contained fierce flame power in its belly.
Thus, he came to a stop.
As he examined the Flame Dragon Armor with his soul awareness, he noticed that wisps of flesh power being generated from the spirit beast meat he had consumed earlier were quietly dispersing from his abdomen into his bracelet of holding.
This feeling went on for a while...
That was when he realized that the Flame Dragon Armor had been secretly absorbing his flesh power ever since he had returned from the mysterious land.
Meanwhile, it seemed that the green aura coiled at the bottom of his heart knew nothing about it.
During this period of time, every time he replenished his flesh power with spirit beast meat, a quarter of it would quietly flow towards the Flame Dragon Armor within his bracelet of holding.
He understood that the Flame Dragon Armor had overly consumed its strength to refine the discarnate souls and Specters within the Spirit Pearl. At this moment, it was like a dried-up well that desperately needed to be refilled with power.
What surprised him was that it didn’t straightforwardly absorb flame power from his spiritual sea.
Instead, it showed a strong, almost greedy desire for his flesh power. Even though it was stored in his bracelet of holding, it was still channeling his flesh power bit by bit.
Therefore, he suspected that his flame power was merely a cup of water to a burning cart of firewood for the Flame Dragon Armor. (Idiom: an utterly inadequate measure)
The amount of flame power the Flame Dragon Armor needed would probably be an astronomical figure. Considering his current cultivation base and strength, the flame power within his spiritual sea wouldn't make even the slightest difference to the Flame Dragon Armor.
He recalled that there had been two occasions where he had witnessed the Flame Dragon Armor madly absorb flame power.
The first time had been when it had drained the flame power of every flamecloud gem in the Nie Clan’s mine.
The other time had been when it had snatched torrential flame power from the mouth of the Earth Flame Beast in the lava lake deep under the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range.
The reason why he had decided to come to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation in search of a suitable volcano was that he knew that he knew that the fire-attributed spiritual materials in his possession were far from enough for the Flame Dragon Armor to restore itself to its normal state.
At this moment, standing at the foot of this seemingly unimpressive volcano, he once again felt the Flame Dragon Armor’s intense urging.
As Nie Tian sized up the mountain peak, which was about a thousand meters high, he noticed that people would occasionally enter and exit the numerous caves halfway up the mountain peak. “This mountain peak...”
“Don’t even think about it!” Dong Li hastily stopped him. “This volcano belongs to the Tool Sect! There’s still rich flame power within the belly of this volcano. The reason why it’s not spewing any lava or flames is because it’s being suppressed by a spell formation set up by the Tool Sect, which continuously channels the torrential lava and flames into each and every equipment forging room in those caves.”
With those words, Dong Li pointed into the distance. “Those volcanoes that have smoke and flames constantly rising from them are the ones that haven’t been claimed by the Tool Sect. That’s where you can try to unleash your Flame Dragon Armor.”
With a thought, Nie Tian suppressed the Flame Dragon Armor’s urging as he looked off into the distance and said, “Man, that’s far.”
Dong Li sighed. “I know. If only we had an air-transportation spiritual tool of our own.”
She pointed up into the sky at a crimson chariot, which had just flown out of Desolate City. “Look at those people from the Tool Sect...”
“That crimson chariot is named Rainbow Lightning, an air-transportation spiritual tool that costs five million spirit stones to forge. If we had a vehicle like that, we’d be able to arrive at our destination and find a suitable unclaimed volcano for the Flame Dragon Armor within hours.”
Upon hearing Dong Li talk about air-transportation spiritual tools, Nie Tian sighed inwardly, thinking that their journey would have been much easier if he had gotten the air-transportation spiritual tool left by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace out of the mountain peak in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations.
Having an air-transportation spiritual tool, the speed at which they traveled would be enhanced by at least a dozen times.
Instead of spending a month traveling from the “Phantasm relic” in the Realm of Dark Underworld to the inter-realm teleportation portal, they would have only needed a day or two.
“Hmm?!" He exclaimed as he watched the Rainbow Lightning whizz by over their heads, a strange look appearing in his eyes.
He saw an acquaintance on the Rainbow Lightning: Wu Ling.
During the Heaven Gate trial, he had once fought him in the Lesser Heaven section in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
His high battle prowess, fancy spiritual armor, and his unique, devilish saber had all left a deep impression on him.
The reason he had defeated Wu Ling back then was that he had been able to create powerful spiritual energy balls with the incomparably rich spiritual Qi in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and used them to attack him, along with his other battle techniques.
Just now, he saw with great clarity that Wu Ling was standing at the front of the Rainbow Lightning, dressed in a black garment with a grave expression on his face.
The other few males and females, who were also dressed in the Tool Sect’s garments, seemed to be trying to play up to him. However, he simply ignored them.
“What’s wrong?” Dong Li asked.
Nie Tian frowned slightly. “I just saw an acquaintance.”
Dong Li was taken aback. “An acquaintance?! Those who just passed over us seemed to be members of the Tool Sect, but since they were moving so fast, I didn’t get a clear view of them. So who was it?”
“Wu Ling, who I fought once during the Heaven Gate trial,” Nie Tian answered.
Dong Li’s expression flickered. “Wu Ling!”
Nie Tian was surprised by her reaction. “Do you know who he is?”
“Of course!” Dong Li nodded. “That guy has a very special background. His mother is a Spirit Channeling grade equipment forger, while his father... is even more legendary. Since Wu Ling’s cultivation attribute isn’t fire, he didn’t inherit his mother’s equipment forging attainments. Also, it wasn’t his dream to become an equipment forger.
“Therefore, he went on the same path his father had taken: the path to ultimate power.
“As far as I know, he could have advanced to the Heaven stage before the Heaven Gate trial started. But in order to gain an edge in the trial, he forcibly halted his cultivation progress, so that he would have a better chance at obtaining a fragmentary star mark as a Lesser Heaven stage cultivator. However, he ran into you, and thus returned in defeat and frustration.
“But after his return from the Heaven Gate trial, he made several consecutive breakthroughs in the past few years, and successfully entered the Greater Heaven stage, which was miraculous.
“Furthermore, I heard that he’s on the verge of another breakthrough now.”
A rare frustrated expression appeared on Dong Li’s face as she watched the Rainbow Lightning disappear into the distant horizon. “He’s got such a special background and amazing cultivation talent. Meanwhile, the Tool Sect goes all-out to cultivate him. I bet it won’t be long before he makes another breakthrough and enters the middle Greater Heaven stage.”
A grim expression spread out on Nie Tian’s face as he muttered, “Three years... from the Lesser Heaven stage to the Greater Heaven stage...”
Dong Li suddenly came to her senses. She jerked her head to look at him and said, “Of course, compared to him, your advancement in cultivation is even more monstrous! You practice power of various attributes simultaneously, yet you also managed to advance from the Lesser Heaven stage to the Greater Heaven stage in three years. If Wu Ling learns that you’ve also entered the Greater Heaven stage, I bet he’d be more shocked than you are.”
“That guy...” Nie Tian took a deep breath. “I hope I don’t encounter him while I’m in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.”
Dong Li nodded. “For sure. You defeated him and took his fragmentary star mark. That guy doesn’t have a big heart like my brother. He won’t forget what you’ve done to him.”
“During the Heaven Gate trial, I exerted all my power and used a talisman my master had given me, and even then I only won by a narrow margin,” Nie Tian said. “In order to get out alive, he severed his own hand. And I shattered that hand to secure the first fragmentary star mark.”
“I see...” Dong Li said with a shocked expression on her face. “No wonder he always wears a glove on his left hand. I thought he was trying to hide something.”
Nie Tian was surprised. “A glove?”
Just now, when the Rainbow Lightning flashed by, he had only seen Wu Ling’s face, not his hands.
“Yeah, ever since he returned from the Heaven Gate trial, he’s been wearing a black glove on his left hand, and no one has ever seen him take it off.” After a moment of pondering, Dong Li added, “Although, reattaching people’s limbs isn’t an impossible task for the mighty Tool Sect. It’s hard to say whether he’ll have a new hand the next time you see him.
“Of course, it can either be grown for him or taken from other things.
“It’s even possible that his new hand will turn out to be even stronger than the original one.
“Anyways, we’d better stay away from him. Otherwise, it will cause us a lot of trouble.”
With a grim face, Nie Tian nodded. “I’ll try to avoid him.”