Chapter 341 "Qiu Tian's Tribulation"
Unbeknownst to Ling Yue yet, this small landscape inside the Black Valley was the "seal" mentioned by Wu Chong and Nie Feng Hang (General Tiger Wolf) from before. As for this carnivorous flower, it's in fact the eye of the seal prohibiting any human from accessing this region.
So how did Ling Yue managed to stumble inside despite being human? Of course it's due to her newfound form as a stone beast. If not for that, she would've been repelled as soon as she came into contact with that barrier.
“Little Squeak!” As soon as Ling Yue used her daggers to slice herself free, the little fella was already wrapped into a ball and beyond her reach.
"Squeak!" Poor Little Squeak, he was truly scared out of his wits right now because he didn't want to be eaten by this strange flower.
“Dammit!” In her urgency, Ling Yue was surprisingly versatile here and shot a beam of green light from her eyes. Anything that came into contact with that beam would be petrified, which it effectively did according to her plan.
Angered by the pain it received, the carnivorous flower wasn't going to let this go sitting down. Stabbing its tentacles into the ground, it converged onto its target and reformed into a binding cage to trap the girl inside.
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Using this opening, it quickly sent the poor fox up to that giant sausage mouth high up in the sky.
“SQUEAK!!!! (I'm not tasty at all, please don't eat me!!!)" He squealed in horror as his body flailed around repeatedly.
Strangely enough, the plea for mercy seems to have worked. Not only did the flower not attack Little Squeak, it instead brought the little guy up to its giant flowery head to sniff him like a dog.
“SQUEAK~!!!!! (Don't come any closer. OH HEAVENS, SOMEONE HELP ME~!!!!)"
He desperately struggled there, but try as he might, Little Squeak's insignificant body size can never escape from all those intertwining vines. Then again, the little troublemaker didn't need to overreact anyways because he had confused the flower's kind action there.
Giving her "prey" a heavy smooch like a mother caring for her child, the carnivorous flower was very tender in its action and left the fox smothered in a layer of plant sap.
Still constrained on all four limbs, Ling Yue was completely lost on how to react to this after witnessing this strange behavior.
What is going on? Why is that giant flower acting like it knows Little Squeak?
“Squeak? (You say you know my family?)" Now that he understands that this carnivorous flower meant him no harm, Little Squeak was surprisingly calm as he conversed with the plant using a language unique to their own.
Ling Yue didn't have a clue what they were talking about, but one thing was sure, it wasn't anything bad because the vines tying her down had scattered away. Then as a gesture of goodwill, one of the vines even lifted her up to the top where an amazing surprising was waiting.
Giving off a soft yellow glow all over its ginormous body, a middle-aged woman donning an elegant yellow dress soon emerged from within the flower's core. This person was the manifestation of the carnivorous plant, a representation of its mind.
Showing a faint welcoming smile, this woman didn't say anything when she first met Ling Yue in her beastial form; instead, she only raised a finger to touch her forehead. Next thing Ling Yue knew was a cool current of energy circulating across her body and turning her back into a human.
“Squeak (Mistress, she is Lady Qiu Tian, a friend of my grandfather and a surviving being from the primordial age)." Little Squeak's face was full of pride and cheekiness because this proved he wasn't wrong. There's indeed someone here in the Black Valley that he's familiar with.
A being from the ancient primordial age? This was the second time Ling Yue's heard of this phrase. According to her memories, Wu Chong also said something about Little Squeak being a primordial beast.
So according to Little Squeak's explanation, this carnivorous plant known as Lady Qiu Tian had lived in this Black Valley for more than a thousand years. Because of this long time span, the flower's cultivation had reached the peak level of the reincarnation realm, only inches away from making a breakthrough into the next realm.
Peak of the fifth element, wouldn't that mean this flower is even stronger than Marquis Wu and Marquis Hong back at the capital?
Now Ling Yue was very grateful that she and Little Squeak are on this plant's good side; otherwise, she might as well make her prayers today.
“Lady Qiu Tian, could you explain to me what a primordial being is? And where exactly is Little Squeak's home?"
The little cuddly fox was first discovered by Ling Yue back when she initially ventured into the Red Mist Sky, making the poor guy an orphan. Although they've already sealed a contract with their souls, that doesn't mean she doesn't want to help her friend here relocate his family.
“I'm sorry but you two really came at a bad timing. Little guy, I promised your grandfather before separating that I will do everything I can to send you back to his side, but the current I don't have the luxury or strength left to attempt such a feat. On this evening, it will be my moment of tribulation to advance into the Avatar Realm. I have no energy left to spare, I'm sorry." Lady Qiu Tian sounded very sad and worried when she reached up this point, a change that didn't go unnoticed by Ling Yue.
“Lady Qiu Tian, are you implying that you will encounter some sort of difficulty?"
“Yes, I won't keep it from you two. I've already done a divination for myself. I fear I won't be able to survive my tribulation and advance into the next stage of my life," the middle-aged woman sighed helplessly.
As a being of great power and lineage, add in her long life-span, it's a given that her abilities would reach a stage where she can peer into her fate. Though fragmented and not definite, it's still a skill not many can achieve.
Take this tribulation for example, she's certain her chances of succeeding was slim to none at this point. Lady Qiu Tian wasn't afraid of death, she's lived a long life. Though secluded for most of her time, but it's still a long one. What she's afraid of though was the dreadful existence currently suppressed under the Black Valley.
Without her, the seal will be broken….
“Squeak (Mistress, do we have any way to help her make it through this tribulation?)"
It's very rare for Little Squeak to come across a fellow companion in this world, he doesn't want to be separated so quickly.
Ling Yue didn't answer right away because she understands her own ability the best. If someone like Lady Qiu Tian cannot find a way, what can she do with her measly strength and knowledge?
Bravery and foolishness sits on a thin line, decided by whether or not one has the strength to back it up.
“I appreciate the kindness, but each tribulation is different and can only be resolved by the bearer themselves." Melancholy surrounded the woman's voice but anyone can see she wasn't going to give up.
Suddenly, her eyes focused in on Ling Yue like she discovered something important, This feeling?
Twitching in her brow like something was resonating inside, she eagerly asked: "Is there a wood sprite in your possession?"
She's a plant, meaning her spirit was very sensitive to the wood element of nature. If her intuitions are correct, the key to her survival lies in this opportunity.
"I do. Several months ago I happen to come across an evil wood sprite that wanted to possess my body." After a second of musing, Ling Yue ended up choosing not to hide the truth. If she did, it would mean disrespecting her little friend. Besides, the wood sprite had already been absorbed by her spirit cauldron, making it impossible to be separated at this point.
“This must be fate then. Maybe you guys can really help me in this,” from that beautiful and mature face, a flicker of hope reveals itself. "Time is of the essence. I will send you two out of the Black Valley first. Remember, no matter what happens tonight, you two mustn't come back in here. Take this vine with you, it's a part of me. Return with it tomorrow at noon." With her words said, the woman quickly hands over a flowery vine emulating a jade like glow to Ling Yue.
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?