The Frost Python left the Green Illusion dimension through the inter-spatial teleportation portal, ending up in parts unknown.
The light screen exploded, sending millions of sparks flying out in all directions, filling up the entire dome. In the briefest of moments, the twelve stone columns ceased to emit frost and flame.
As Nie Tian stood there underneath the stone pillar, he decided that he might as well explore the secrets of the stone palace.
However, he soon realized that the sparks of light floating in the air might still contain considerable energy.
Eyes lit up, he immediately released his psychic power to probe the air, and discovered that the entire stone palace was filled with unprecedentedly rich power.
He then realized that the power was from the high grade dragon bones, the same power which had been used by the inter-spacial teleportation portal.
The Frost Python must have spent countless hours and incredible effort to amass such a large collection of dragon bones. They were the key to its escape.
Now, although all the dragon bones had been shattered, the energy they had contained still lingered in the stone palace, and was dissipating at a slow speed.
“What a formidable power!”
Nie Tian immediately dismissed the idea of exploring the rest of the stone palace, and sat down cross-legged to practice the Qi Refining Incantation.
His spiritual sea thrummed as it began to madly absorb the ever-fading energy, as if it had transformed into an enormous magnet.
Strands of silver-colored mist, together with sparks of light, started converging onto him from all directions, like a band of moths drawn to a flame.
A moment later he sensed that his spiritual sea was brimming with spiritual power!
There were a total of nine levels in the Qi Refining stage. From the first level to the ninth level, a Qi warrior would only need to unceasingly reform and upgrade their spiritual sea to enter the next level.
However, when a Qi warrior was trying to break through into the Lesser Heaven stage from the ninth level of Qi Refining, merely the accumulation of spiritual power and expansion of their spiritual sea wouldn’t be enough.
This was where the bottleneck appeared.
After a period of constant consumption of the Lurker Lizard meat and upgrading of his spiritual sea, Nie Tian was already on the verge of a breakthrough.
If he hadn’t run into the Frost Python, he might have been able to enter the eighth level of Qi Refining with a single session of cultivation.
This time, the concentrated energy pouring violently into his spiritual sea pushed him to the brink of his goal: the eighth level of Qi Refining!
Cross-legged, he continue to cultivate with rapt attention.
After an unknown period of time, he suddenly trembled slightly.
Then, he opened his eyes, face full of ecstasy as he yelled, “I’ve done it!”
He had successfully entered the eighth level of Qi Refining!
Instead of springing to his feet, he once again probed the surrounding area his psychic power, and discovered that the energy inside the stone palace, although having thinned out a bit, was still quite abundant.
He sensed that the energy had only faded by a limited extent.
“This is such a rare opportunity. It’s still hard to say if I will come across another second grade spirit beast in the coming days. Without the help of more second grade spirit beast meat, it won’t be easy for me to rapidly improve in the eighth level of Qi Refining.
“The energy here is from those high grade dragon bones. Plus, it’s quite easy to absorb.
“I need to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and expand my spiritual sea as much as I can before the energy completely dissipates into the heaven and earth!”
With these thoughts, he snapped out of the complacence of reaching the eighth level of Qi Refining, and calmed himself once again.
Then he began to practice the Qi Refining Incantation, and started another session of cultivation.
Before he knew it, several days passed…
Sitting in the center of the stone palace, obsessed with the upgrade of his spiritual sea, Nie Tian had completely lost track of time, and had even forgotten about eating and sleeping.
Only when he could no longer refine power from inside the stone palace did he finally stopp.
He opened his eyes and discovered that there wasn’t even the tiniest bit of energy left in the silent stone palace.
He soon realized that the fading energy inside the stone palace, after a period of dissipation, had already completely disappeared.
Even still, he managed to expand his spiritual sea by thirty percent after entering the eighth level of Qi Refining with another session of cultivation.
As a matter of fact, expanding the spiritual sea by thirty percent in the eighth level required an immense amount of energy.
Were it not for the pure energy in the stone palace, he would probably need to cultivate in the Nie clan for half a year or longer to make such an achievement.
The energy in the stone palace had sped up his cultivation by at least ten times, but possibly even more!
Nie Tian knew that the energy had completely vanished and there would be no point in continuing his cultivation. Therefore, he stood up and started to carefully examine the stone palace.
He circled the place three times, discovering nothing but the inter-spacial teleportation portal.
As he looked closer at the walls of the palace, he found many ancient and eccentric engravings on the walls. Some of them were images of spirit beasts, and others were some kind of writing.
From the look of it, those writings were created by high level spirit beasts after they had gained outstanding intellect and wisdom.
Apparently, they carried deep meaning, but unfortunately, he couldn’t read the words and could only let out sighs.
With the dragon bones gone, it appeared that the altar in the middle of the twelve stone columns had lost its value.
After a thorough examination, he failed to discover anything else. However, he was fairly sure that the six stone columns that had been carved with Flame Dragons might continue to be of great help to him.
Even though the Flame Dragons on those stone columns were not the skeletons of real dragons, only stone engravings, he could feel that within those six dragons lay terrifyingly rich flame energy.
Evidently, the dragon bone he possessed was also from a Flame Dragon, thus his demand for flame energy was never-ending.
His dragon bone had absorbed all the energy of the entire Flamecloud gem mine before condensing that one drop of blood.
After the blood was fully condensed, the dragon bone seemed to have mutated. On their way back to Black Cloud City, Nie Tian easily used it to burn the two powerful experts into nothing more than ashes.
Furthermore, soon after he returned to the Nie clan, the dragon bone even ripped open space, and took him to a mysterious land.
That was where he saw numerous wondrous things, and comprehended the rage fist strike.
However, the dragon bone needed a massive amount of flame power to transfer him in and out of the mysterious land.
If he wished to use the dragon bone to rip open the space and enter that mysterious land again, he would need to fill it with more flame power.
The six stone columns with Flame Dragons on them were precisely what could provide that tremendous amount of flame power!
“What a pity! I didn’t bring the dragon bone with me. Otherwise, it might have been able to drain the flame power that lies within the six stone columns.”
Full of regret, Nie Tian made a even more thorough examination of the stone palace, leaving no stone unturned.
After failing to discover anything else, he climbed to the top of the stone column that was the nearest to the mouth of the tunnel. From there he leaped into the tunnel, which was the only connection between the lake and the stone palace.
The tunnel wall was made up of sand from the desert, so when he stabbed his hand into it, he was able to hold on firmly.
Pulling himself up with his hands, he gradually climbed up the tunnel. An hour later, he finally emerged from the hole at the bottom of the lake.
Standing in the middle of the lake, he immediately noticed that the lake surface was shimmering gently with a mysterious light.
Meanwhile, the hole that had been drilled by the Frost Python started to heal, bit by bit.
As soon as he emerged from the water, and looked back towards the center of the lake, he couldn’t find any trace of the hole, as if nothing had ever happened.
“The stone palace is right beneath the lake. If I can enter the Green Illusion dimension again in the future, I’ll definitely take the dragon bone and drain the flame power in the six stone columns with it.”
Narrowing his eyes, he examined and memorized every single detail of that place, including the surrounding terrain and the color of the lake water, hoping that the next time he entered the Green Illusion dimension, he would be able to find this location accurately.
“I must have spent a long time down there. I wonder whether An Ying’s group has met up with Zheng Bin’s group yet. The Ghost sect and Blood sect probably caught up with them long ago. I hope they are still alive.”
He had consumed all the spirit beast meat, and refined all the energy in the underground stone palace.
As of this moment, not only had he successfully broken through to the eighth level, but also expanded his spiritual sea by thirty percent. There was not much left to do.
“I can go find those guys and help them kill disciples from the Ghost sect and Blood sect.”
After looking around and getting a hold of his bearings, he headed off towards the direction in which the Frost Python had previously come.
He walked alone in the desert.
About ten hours later, he was starting to get tired. Hence, he stopped and took out a spirit stone from the cloth pouch on his waist to recover some spiritual power.
A moment later, he heard a loud sound. Throwing away the drained spirit stone, he stood up, brow furrowed.
“Hmm? Who might that be?”
He released his psychic awareness.
“There are two of them. One has stronger life fluctuations, while the other seems weaker. Who could they be?” He blurred into action, dashing towards the area where he had sensed the fluctuations of life.
Two gray-garbed men entered his sight. With blood covering their chest areas, they hurried forward, whispering to each other.
“Yuan Feng! Yun Song!”