An Ying had finally become anxious, as she wasn’t able to ferret out the Black Ice Python after roaming about in the glacier region for more than ten days.
A row of thirteen people gathered together to look for the Black Ice Python, was evidently not a wise plan.
The Low Graded Grade One spirit beasts in this glacier region had also been mostly hunted by them in this period of time. In the few following days, it had already become very difficult for them to encounter any Low Grade spirit beasts.
In order to increase efficiency, An Ying had made a bold decision - to split up and search.
Her, Pan Tao and Zheng Rui all came from the Ling Bao Court. Each of them had a signalling sticks, that could transmit messages, in their hands.
As long as they released a signal within ten Li, other people could also see it.
Therefore, after discussing it with Pan Tao and Zheng Rui, she decided that the three of them would each lead a squadron and conduct a thorough search for the Black Ice Python within a ten Li radius.
The weakest Zheng Rui was the first to select four team members. An Ying and Pan Tao on the other hand had each chosen three people as their team members and started to operate separately.
Nie Tian and Jiang Miao as well as a youngster named Guo Qi were in the team led by Pan Tao.
Under Pan Tao’s guidance, the four of them walked a different direction from An Ying and Zheng Rui.
Just like before, Nie Tian, who was carrying a large amount of spirit beast meat with him, as he followed Pan Tao and the others, madly ate just like he did every day.
When they were resting, he immediately continued to open up and expand his spirit sea using the Lianqi Tactic.
In a span of ten or so days, he had leaped from the Lianqi sixth level to the seventh level. This had made him taste the sweet taste of success.
To advance from the seventh level to the eighth level, the spirit sea originally needed to be expanded one-fold and with the current foundation, it still needed to be strengthened one-fold as well.
This round, he had set himself a timespan of two months. He planned to enter the eighth Lianqi state with the help of the spirit beast meat in two months!
As for the search for the Black Ice Python, he greatly lacked interest in it and only cared about his cultivation every day.
“It has been one and a half day already. We ought to be seven Li away from An Ying and the others. But, we actually haven’t encountered a single Low Grade spirit beast.”
Pan Tao, who had attentively scouted out every low and small glacier and every crevasse, held the device that was used to measure time tightly in his hands with a disheartened expression on his face.
“Elder Brother Tao, perhaps this region of ours really does not have any spirit beasts left.” Guo Qi said.
“I wonder how it is on Elder Sister An Ying and Elder Brother Zheng’s end.” Jiang Miao said softly.
At this moment, the four of them sat by the side of a low and small glacier. They hadn’t gained anything the last few days, which had left them slightly discouraged.
“They should be in a similar situation, not being able to locate the Black Ice Python. Otherwise, they would have already released a signal long ago.” Pan Tao sighed and shook his head, “We’ve wasted too much time in this glacier region. Maybe the Lingyun Sect and the Black Mist Palace have already gotten rid of the other two Grade Two spirit beasts on their end.”
“Elder Brother Tao, Yuan Feng and the others from the Grey Valley entered the depths of the glacier region before us. We have already been here for ten or so days and have unexpectedly not come across their people. Is this not slightly strange?” Guo Qi asked again.
“This isn’t anything strange.” Pan Tao shook his head, “This glacier region is actually very large. If Yuan Feng and those others were previously like us and had assembled together from the start to search for the Black Ice Python, the odds that we run into them is very small. Unless… they have also split up and are roaming about in their respective areas.”
“Only in this way will everyone’s chance of encountering one another substantially increase.”
Guo Qi thought for a moment and nodded his head, “That is also true.”
“Nie Tian, do you have any good ideas?” Pan Tao suddenly inquired.
Nie Tian, who was sitting at the side and was minding his own business, as he quietly ate his meat, raised his head slightly. The corners of his mouth were completely stained with oil, “If you guys cannot find it, how can I have any other good ways to do so?” He replied with a lazy expression on his face.
After he knew that the spirit beast meat could substantially increase his cultivation speed, he didn’t have any interest in searching for the Black Ice Python in the slightest anymore.
Pan Tao and the other two could see Nie Tian’s laziness and the could-not-care-less attitude in his eyes.
Amongst the three, Jiang Miao had been saved by him before and Pan Tao knew that he was out of the ordinary and as such, didn’t say much about it.
Only Guo Qi had already expressed his dissatisfaction countless times and had requested for Pan Tao to deal with Nie Tian, so that Nie Tian would not idle his time away like this, only knowing how to eat all day long.
Pan Tao had always put a smile in place to Guo Qi’s requests and didn’t bother with him.
“The both of you head on over to that side. I want to say a few words to Nie Tian alone.” Pan Tao pointed towards a direction.
Guo Qi’s eyes moved and thought that Pan Tao wanted to reprimand Nie Tian in private. He chuckled sinisterly and pulled Jiang Miao, leaving them alone.
After they had walked a distance away, Pan Tao came to Nie Tian’s side and after he bitterly laughed once, he said: “Nie Tian, lend me a hand.”
Nie Tian was speechless.
“Even though I’m from the Ling Bao Court, my days in the Ling Bao Court aren’t as pleasant as you think they are.” Pan Tao said with a sullen look on his face, “People like Zheng Rui and I are actually not well received in the Court. No matter how hard we work, everyone says that we’re relying on our seniors’ protection to be able to possess the achievements that we have today.”
“Those old fellows inside the Court all admire people like An Ying, who mature step by step from the subordinate families, and are finally recommended and received into the Court.”
“I, on the other hand, have actually always been held in contempt and been looked down upon by them.”
Nie Tian was stunned for a moment, then he only spoke: “To each their own difficulties. You take offence to people talking about you like that, but for people like me to enter the Lingyun Sect, the place that you people from the Ling Bao Court similarly want to enter, do you know how difficult it is?”
“I naturally know this.” Pan Tao nodded his head, “But as long as you guys work hard, you will be acknowledged in the end and other people will look up to you. I, on the other hand, no matter how much effort I put in, it will also be considered as help that I have gotten from my forefathers and doesn’t feel like I achieved it on my own.”
“The Green Illusion Realm trial is very important to me. I must produce some achievements to let them have a whole new level of respect for me!”
Nie Tian had a begrudging look on his face, “Speak. How do you wish for me to help you?”
Pan Tao’s expression shuddered, “You were able to find the Earth Lizard from the depths of the land below the ground. Therefore, you should also be able to use the same method to find the Black Ice Python!”
“Based on my observations, the Black Ice Python is similar to the Earth Lizard and should also be hiding in a secret place where we are unable to see it.”
“I don’t believe that we can find it just by relying on our eyes. I hope that you can use the method of seeking out the Earth Lizard to search for that Black Ice Python.”
“The glacier region is so large. I cannot roughly pinpoint its position. It’s also very difficult for me to find it.” Nie Tian forced a laugh and contemplated for a moment before saying: “Forget it. I will give you face and try it out. If it really is impossible, then you cannot blame me.”
“Of course, of course!” Pan Tao quickly said.
After that, Nie Tian calmed his heart and adjusted the frequency of his breathing as he tried to disperse his mental consciousness outwards.
Those traces of his mental consciousness used him as the center as it extended out in the surroundings.
Strands of mental consciousness gradually travelled further like invisible tentacles, enveloping their surroundings within the range of forty meters.
After a moment had passed, he opened his eyes in exhaustion and shook his head in Pan Tao’s direction, saying: “In any case, it isn’t nearby.”
“Then let us change the location!” Pan Tao shouted.
“Allow me… to rest for awhile.” Nie Tian forced a smile.
“Alright! I will wait for you!” Pan Tao completely complied with him.
After a period of time, Nie Tian followed Pan Tao and the other two, really putting out his effort as he often used his mental consciousness to perceive his surroundings.
Everytime he consumed his mental consciousness, he would be incomparably exhausted, but after going through a deep sleep, he was able to rapidly recover again.
He gradually realised, that after he had completely used up his mental consciousness and recovered the next time, his mental strength would usually strengthen a little.
At the start, the range that he could perceive was only limited to forty meters.
Later, following the strengthening of his mental strength little by little, the range that he could perceive had already expanded to over fifty meters.
This discovery had also made him, who was originally extremely unwilling to help Pan Tao search for the Black Ice Python, release the knot in his heart.
He was starting to see that the arduous task of helping Pan Tao search for the Black Ice Python was also good for his cultivation - pertaining to the cultivation of his mental strength.
Guo Qi and Jiang Miao didn’t know that Pan Tao had established a mutual understanding with Nie Tian. Whenever they first arrived at a new place and when Pan Tao saw Nie Tian closing his eyes, reopening them once more after a while and shook his head in Pan Tao’s direction, Pan Tao would immediately give up on that region and would then proceed to search in other places.
Guo Qi and Jiang Miao felt extremely confused and they didn’t understand what the hell the other two were doing in secret. They had asked Pan Tao but he refused to say anything and had even asked them not to be overly suspicious.
In the end, they had also given up and as for the search for the Black Ice Python, they gradually lost interest.
This day, Nie Tian once again conducted a perception with his mental consciousness...
An extremely weak fluctuation of life suddenly reflected into the bottom of his heart. He suddenly opened his eyes.
Pan Tao who was gradually losing confidence, had originally not harboured any delusions anymore, but when he looked towards Nie Tian this time, Pan Tao realised that Nie Tian didn’t shake his head like he had constantly done before.
“What? Is there a discovery?!” He asked in a trembling voice.
“It isn’t the Black Ice Python. It’s something else.” Nie Tian stood up and pointed in a certain direction, “It should be… people.”
Pan Tao was clearly slightly disappointed but he still took the others along with him and hurried to the position based on Nie Tian’s guidance.
The heavy scent of blood came from behind trunks of ice trees. They passed through the ice trees and saw two youngsters from the Grey Valley in a glance. The both of them had toppled to the icy ground, completely blood-soaked from head to toe.
One of them had a dagger stuck in his neck and had already died long ago.
The other person’s body was covered with bloody criss-crossed scars and fresh blood was continuously flowing out from the bloody scars.
Bloody foam was also directly emitting outwards from his mouth. It was obvious that he had been bleeding excessively and was on the verge of dying.
When Pao Tao arrived, his gaze that was dull and expressionless seemed to slightly light up for a moment. It then rapidly lost all of its colour.
“He has also died.” Pan Tao had an extremely serious expression on his face.
He walked forwards and lowered his head. He had seen in a glance that the both of them had their right thumbs chopped off by a sharp blade.
Pan Tao was aghast and lost all the colour in his face, like he had received a huge shock. There was even something wrong with his voice already, “Ghost Sect! This is the Ghost Sect’s doing! Dammit, how is it that the people from the Ghost Sect have entered the Green Illusion Realm?”
Nie Tian had an expression on his face that said that he couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on, “What is the situation?”
Pan Tao didn’t reply, rather he surveyed their surroundings extremely cautiously, after which he even lowered his voice, “Immediately return to the original route that we came from!”
“Oh.” Nie Tian had also started to feel nervous because of him. He softly and quietly followed Pan Tao back to the road where they came from.
Pan Tao’s expression was grim all the way. He didn’t say anything at all and was only preoccupied with hurrying onwards.
After walking for an extremely long time, once he felt that they were already safe, only then did he ignite the signalling stick.
The signalling stick shot up into the sky and turned into a perfectly straight line of pitch-black smoke, not scattering for a very long time.
After a long time, An Ying and Zheng Rui excitedly rushed towards them.
“Pan Tao! You guys have found the Black Ice Python already?” An Ying shouted from afar in happiness.
Before they came close, Pan Tao shook his head with an ashen look on his face, “We didn’t run into the Black Ice Python, but we have found the Ghost Sect’s tracks!”
“Impossible! This is absolutely impossible!” Zheng Rui shrieked.
An Ying was greatly alarmed, as her face lost all of its colour, “Pan Tao! You’re joking, right? This is the Green Illusion Realm and it’s our Ling Bao Court’s private secret realm! Moreover, we’re currently in a trial. How can the people from the Ghost Sect possibly enter?”
“I am not joking!” Pan Tao shouted.
Once his words had escaped, An Ying and Zheng Rui’s faces were filled with frightened expressions.