This was the Azure Grotto!
The endless wind which was mixed with the dreary sound of thunder made people feel chilly in their hearts.
Though Zhou Bao was an expert at Level Seven who was ready to reach Level Eight, he still couldn't help changing his facial expression before the world's vast expanse of mighty power.
"Don't worry. Take it easy. Just invoke your Air-frozen Bead as it will play a big role here!"
Following his words, Zhou Bao invoked the Air-frozen Bead!
As soon as the Air-frozen Bead was taken out, the wind around him stood still. Even within the radius of 1,000 feet, there was no trace of wind and the howling wind could only be heard 1,000 feet away.
The Air-frozen Bead, which had formed a wonderful force field around Zhou Bao within the radius of 1,000 feet, blocked out all the wind and sand.
"It really works!" Zhou Bao was overjoyed at the sight of the Air-frozen Bead's miraculous function.
"Outside is just some storms caused by the Essential Qi Tide in the Azure Secret Area, it's no big deal. If the Air-frozen Bead can't settle down such a wind, I wouldn't let you enter the Azure Secret Area!" Green Spirit drifted out of the green light and hovered around Zhou Bao.
"Hurry up and go into Azure Secret Area. I can't wait, haha!"
With a smile on his face, Zhou Bao jumped up and started flying toward the entrance to the Azure Secret Area.
Along the way, Zhou Bao encountered a lot of storms, but everything was under the control of the magic Air-frozen Bead, and nothing happened. Zhou Bao once again felt the magical function of the Air-frozen Bead. Even tornados disappeared as if they had met their nemesis once they were in the area controlled by the Air-frozen Bead.
"It's amazing. After I have completely refined the Air-frozen Bead in the future, I will come here and leave as I wish. Others can only be here for two months in a year, but I can be here at any time. What a big advantage!"
"Yes, yes, but the magic function of the Air-frozen Bead is more than that, and you will know all about it when you have completely refined it!" Green Spirit was also very excited at this time.
Having walked to the entrance to the cave safely, Zhou Bao stopped to look back, but he only saw storms enveloping the world. He couldn't help shaking his head and said, "Level Seven, well, even a Level Nine expert wouldn't necessarily arrive here safely without the Air-frozen Bead."
"The world's mighty power is not something that human beings can imagine or reverse. You can't communicate through the heaven and earth, and come and go freely unless you have reached the Mysterious Realm and have obtained the Individual Immortal Karma Rank. Otherwise, it's nothing but empty talk!"
"I won't need to care about these storms once I have reached Mysterious Realm, will I?"
"Well, of course, you'll know when you reach Metaphysic Realm. Now let's see how to get in. Now is the time that the Essential Qi Tide is rising, so the inhibition on the entrance to the cave should be loosened."
"Ah!" Zhou Bao nodded, and slowly bent down, carefully examining the inhibition on the entrance to the cave.
"The Fire Land Prohibition has become very fragile under the influence of the Essential Qi Tide. You can easily burn it with the Great Fusion Technic, but you need to be careful and pay attention to the pneuma inside. The pneuma in the secret area is completely chaotic at the moment. You will be in trouble if the Evil Qi comes out when you open the inhibition."
Zhou Bao nodded and stretched his fingers. A bright golden light fluttered violently upon the entrance which was banned by the Fire Land Prohibition.
Afterward, with a slap in the air, the khaki-colored inhibition, which was made up of the forbidden skill, was instantly blazed open.
In no time, Zhou Bao suffered boundless pressure from all sides, which pushed his body toward the cave, and at the same time, a stream of black Evil Qi came out of the cave.
"Evil Black Water, buddy, watch out!"
At the sight of this stream of black Evil Qi, Green Spirit screamed and the illusionary body suddenly slipped into the green lamp.
With a flash of bright light in Zhou Bao's eyes, his gold Gang Qi rose instantly. Once the black Evil Qi came into contact with his Gang Qi, it let out a very sharp and piercing sound as if cold water poured into boiling oil, and then it disappeared without a trace.
Zhou Bao, on the other hand, was safe and sound.
When Zhou Bao was immersed in his complacency, Green Spirit came out again unexpectedly, "Are you crazy? You even used your Gang Qi to resist the Evil Qi. I'll tell you that this is the greatest taboo in the Essential Qi Tide. Just now, what came out was nothing but a stream of Evil Qi. But when we go deep down, countless kinds of pneuma, Evil Qi, and Spiritual Qi will blend together. If you resist them rashly with your own Gang Qi, you're prone to get into trouble. Got it?"
"I see! I see!"
After breaking the inhibition, he entered the secret world.
Everything was different.
In the Azure Secret Area, there was none of the vitality that he had seen on his last entry, but a sense of lifelessness between heaven and earth.
With the extremely sticky essence of the world mixing together, the Azure Secret Area was now a big jar, which was filled with jellylike substances consisting of various pneuma, Spiritual Qi, and Evil Qi, all flowing slowly.
It was lucky that the Air-frozen Bead had propped up a region of 10 feet around him and isolated the pneuma miscellany which had been condensed into gelatine from the inside.
However, Zhou Bao also felt enormous pressure as soon as he entered the Azure Secret Area.
The pressure came from the Air-frozen Bead!
The sand and storms that seemed to be violent beyond the bounds of the Azure Secret Area posed no threat to the Air-frozen Bead, which could spread its power 1,000 feet away easily and didn't drain Zhou Bao's strength at all.
However, it was different in the Azure Secret Area.
The surrounding essence of the world had become a gel, mixed in one place. The world in the Azure Secret Area had become veiled, and nothing could be seen clearly. Although the Air-frozen Bead had popped up a region of 10 feet, it faced various kinds of pressure from all sides and its own strength couldn't resist them at all. Therefore, it began to fuel up by drawing strength from Zhou Bao's body.
When Zhou Bao was refining the Air-frozen Bead, he followed Green Spirit's advice and refined the Air-frozen Bead as a natal magic weapon. Therefore, the spirit of the Air-frozen Bead was closely related to his. Once it was suppressed, the pressure would also pass on to Zhou Bao's body, and it would naturally draw strength from his body.
The Internal Qi of Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire was in full operation, and the black flame began to flow through the tendons and meridians in his body. Through a mysterious passageway, it entered into the region of the Air-frozen Bead. All of a sudden, he was surrounded by darkness and the 10 feet area around him was filled with thick and hot black spirit, which firmly stabilized the Air-frozen Bead's shaky region.
"It can't go on like this!"
The Air-frozen Bead was temporarily stabilized and the pneuma was blocked out, but similarly, Zhou Bao felt the rapid loss of his Internal Qi. ''I can't sustain it for a long time. At most, in one hour, my Internal Qi will be exhausted!"
"It doesn't matter. Although the Essential Qi Tide is powerful, it's not true that there's no hiding place. Otherwise, the living creatures in the Azure Secret Area would have died out long time ago!" Green Spirit said, "Two hours are enough. Let's look for it!"
"How to find it? Being covered by the essence of the world, this place is in pitch darkness and nothing can be seen beyond 30 feet.''
"Just sense it with your spiritual mind!" Green Spirit said sourly. "Don't rely too much on your eyes. When your cultivation has reached Mysterious Realm, your eyes are no longer important!"
"But my current spiritual mind is useless here. I can't see with my eyes. Don't even mention the spiritual mind!''
"Just do what I say. Please walk slowly forward, and explore with your spiritual mind and divine thoughts. Don't you have eight divine thoughts? If you use them to communicate with your spiritual mind, it will be more sensitive.''
Zhou Bao had no choice but to follow Green Spirit's words. If not for the Wind Bead, which had propped up a region of 10 feet amidst the Essential Qi Tide, he would have run into a tree within few steps. Even with the help of the Wind Bead, he still nearly hit a rock several times.
But gradually, Zhou Bao seemed to have mastered the know-how. The longer he used the spiritual mind, the clearer it felt. Suddenly, with a flash between his eyebrows, the eight divine thoughts drilled out. Centering on the purple-jade-like divine thought which had been purified by purple-thunderbolt, the eight divine thoughts were circling around his body. In an instant, his spiritual mind suddenly burst out like a radar and began to sweep in all directions.
Soon, the spiritual mind passed through the Air-frozen Bead's region, leaving Zhou Bao clearly aware of the situation outside.
It was thick, sticky, and possessed a variety of different properties.
That was what Zhou Bao felt of the essence of the world beyond the region of the Air-frozen Bead.
Like the malt food that Zhou Bao had eaten at home during his childhood, all the essence here was slowly stirred by an invisible stick which seemed to mix all the pneuma together, but the relationship among the pneuma, the Evil Qi and Spiritual Qi was similar to that of oil and water. However you stirred them, they could basically maintain their independence and only a small amount of pneuma would be melted together.
After a period of time, the melted pneuma started to settle down. Some slowly sank into the ground, while others slowly rose upwards. It seemed that they no longer wanted to be blended in the pneuma's tide. However, it was very rare, and there was not a single case in the midst of hundreds of pneuma.
Now, Zhou Bao finally understood what Green Spirit had meant.
He also remembered the saying he had often heard before, "Clear air floats up, while turbid gas sinks!"
The Essential Qi Tide had always existed. As long as there was enough time, the numerous pneuma would be melted together and form a very stable state one day, just like the outside world. It was not certain whether, to achieve this, it would take tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, or even longer. Right now, the Azure Secret Area was was still in a period similar to Primordial Origin and primitive times. Since the pneuma was not stable, it was impossible to form a stable world similar to the outside world in a short period of time.
The spiritual mind slowly spilled around like water.
With the help of eight divine thoughts, Zhou Bao's spiritual mind became very sensitive and delicate. Through the region of the Air-frozen Bead, he could clearly sense the properties of various pneuma and tell whether it was Evil Qi or spiritual qi, safe or dangerous.
Suddenly, Zhou Bao gazed for a moment and stopped in his tracks!
It was because he had found a strange place where there was no miscellaneous and dangerous Essential Qi Tide.
Although it was more chaotic than the first time he entered the Azure Secret Area, the chaotic extent was limited.
"How did it go? Did you find it?"
"Yes, there is a hiding place 600 feet away. However, it seems that it already has a master!"
"I don't care. Can you feel the strength of the guy hiding there?"
"I can feel a bit, its cultivation is no less than Level Seven!"
"It's an evil beast whose cultivation is equal to Level Seven. It should be hiding in the hole and be trembling right now. It's easy to deal with it!"
"I see!" Zhou Bao nodded.
Because there was turbulent and eccentric pneuma everywhere, it took him more than one hour to cross a 600 feet distance. But fortunately, it was safe in the end. He bid defiance to a Level Seven evil beast. Moreover, the evil beast was not as sensitive as usual in the Essential Qi Tide, and it would never have imagined that one could still find the way to its cave in the boundless Essential Qi Tide.
So, when Zhou Bao arrived at its lair, it was not even awake.
Zhou Bao resolved the issue of the cave's previous master using his Great Fusion Technic.
"Whoo, whoo!" After jumping into this cave, Zhou Bao took a deep breath and gasped, and then sat down and began to adjust his breath. Along the way, he was exhausted and his Internal Qi, including that of his Fiery Eyes External Elixir, had been consumed by 80 percent. If it was a bit longer, he might not have survived it.
However, in the Azure Secret Area, his Internal Qi recovered quickly and the cave which was not affected by the Essential Qi Tide, was full of pneuma.
"Green Spirit, just tell me why this cave is not affected despite the Essential Qi Tide almost covering the entire Azure Secret Area?"
"The power of the world is unpredictable, but in any dangerous situation, there will always be some hope of survival among the Great Ways. The exquisiteness of the Great Ways lies in the transience between death and life. I just know this truth, but I can't really understand it. You're asking me the reason, but I can't exactly explain it!"
"Just say you don't know. What do you do with all this esoteric stuff?" Zhou Bao was angry at his words and asked, "What shall we do next?"
"Since you have recovered your Internal Qi, just begin to refine acupoints!'' Green Spirit said, ''I'm going to look for a place to restore my Original Spirit!"
"Aren't you staying here?"
"What am I doing here?" Green Spirit laughed.
"Don't forget that this place is full of Essential Qi Tide. Can you just go out like this? Aren't you afraid of falling into trouble?"
"I'm not going out. I'm just guide pneuma into my body at the entrance to the cave!" Green Spirit said, "Because of the stir of the Essential Qi Tide, there is Spiritual Qi and Evil Qi everywhere. I have just discovered several kinds of pneuma that are good for my recovery. I just need to guide the pneuma at the cave's entrance, and I don't need to leave."
"You simply got a terrific place for yourself!"
Having muttered a curse, Zhou Bao calmed down, quietly exercised his own Internal Qi and began to refine acupoints.
This was not the first time for him to refine acupoints. He already had some experience. In addition, since he had fumbled through the acupoint of the Primordial Celestial Dragon by Invisible Dragon Rod, he had a very deep understanding of the Real Dragon's Nine Acupoints. Therefore, once he ran his Internal Qi, exploring the tricks of his own acupoints was something up his street.
Because he wanted to open the Real Dragon's Nine Acupoints, therefore, the Internal Qi was in accordance with Dragon Flying Technique. After several full days, Zhou Bao's body gave a slight shake, and the black flames began to swirl around him like wind instead of in a solidified form.
At this moment, in Zhou Bao's tendons and meridians, the black flame-shaped Internal Qi which was like a hand controlled by Zhou Bao, moved slowly and probed the depths of his tendons and meridians, feeling their difference in a subtle way and trying to find a unique point in the tendons and meridians.
The Fiery Eyes' Inner Vision function had been fully turned on and all the movements in his body were fully reflected in his mind. The flow of a drop of blood, the beating of the heart, the pulsation of the tendons and meridians, and even the deepest mental and spiritual movement were all clear and complete.
After a full day's operation of the Dragon Flying Technique, he basically knew the position of the remaining seven acupoints of the Real Dragon's Nine Acupoints. After a few more days, he could locate the position of the seven acupoints and went to the second step.
To refine acupoints!
According to the last distribution of tendons and meridians, he first began to flush the tendons and meridians with his own Internal Qi, slowly emptying the points around the seven acupoints, creating the inner air circulation, step by step, letting the cycle take shape.
As expected, the acupoint was opened by him.
As what happened when he opened the first acupoint, this acupoint madly absorbed his Internal Qi like a black hole once it was formed. The Internal Qi which originally coiled around his body because of the operation of the Dragon Flying Technique, was sucked into his body suddenly.
The Internal Qi was rolling like a long river running!
In a very short period of time, the Internal Qi in his body was completely inhaled into the newly opened acupoint. The Internal Qi in his Dantian, the Fiery Eyes External Elixir, and the crimson star cloud in the acupoint he had opened before, all rushed out and poured directly into the newly opened acupoint.
Everything happened as Zhou Bao had expected. However, instead of crimson star cloud, there was a black star cloud circling in the newly opened acupoint.
"Whoo!" Zhou Bao took a deep breath. Unlike last time, there was no shortage of Internal Qi this time. Having been circulating in the newly opened acupoint, the Internal Qi in his Dantian, the Fiery Eyes and the first acupoint were completely melted together. After being purified and converted, it was completely condensed into one when the star cloud was formed.
But at the same time, Zhou Bao felt an endless emptiness and even had the feeling that he was hurt badly. It was because the whole body's Internal Qi had been consumed in this new acupoint, leaving the whole body in urgent need of supplementation.
Fortunately, he was in the Azure Secret Area. The richness of the essence of the world quickly filled up his Internal Qi, but at the same time, his look became a bit weird.
"Internal Qi is powerful!"
After opening the second acupoint, he had totally doubled the amount of Internal Qi in his body. Additionally, after the purification, the crimson Internal Qi in the acupoint which was first opened, was also completely assimilated, and it began to change into condensed and black flame-shaped Internal Qi.
His Dantian, the first acupoint, and the second acupoint, vaguely formed a cycle where the Internal Qi flew endlessly. Furthermore, he noticed that the capacity of his Dantian seemed to have been expanded a lot, not to mention the capacity of two Real Dragon's Acupoints which was more than ten times bigger than that of his Dantian.
"Although my cultivation is still at Level Seven, my current Internal Qi is at least fifty times more than that of an ordinary Level Seven expert. If I try to open a few more acupoints, then my Internal Qi capacity will be a hundred times or even hundreds of times more than that of an ordinary Level Seven expert!" At this thought, his face lit up with a joy, but it soon subsided.
"It's a pity that the strength of my tendons and meridians is limited. Moreover, it is impossible to make all the Internal Qi burst out at once no matter how abundant my Internal Qi is. Otherwise, it will fracture the tendons and meridians. Therefore, compared to a Level Seven expert, my biggest advantage is only my great amount of Internal Qi. If we confront each other, my endurance is a hundred times more than that of theirs, but the power that can be exerted by one stroke will not be much stronger!"
This is a very simple truth. An acupoint was like a pool, and tendons and meridians were like water pipes. In the case of the same thickness and the same number of pipes, the amount of water that you put in one pool and one hundred pools at the same time was almost the same. The advantage was shown when the water in one of the other pools was drained.
But Zhou Bao was very satisfied with this. What he valued was not the present, but the future. After he had opened all the acupoints, he would purify the Real Essence Source. By the time his cultivation had passed Level Nine, reached Mysterious Realm and obtained Individual Immortal Karma Rank, his Real Eessence would be many times more powerful than that of an ordinary Individual Immortal.
Of course, this was just one of his ideas. It was far from becoming a reality.
After he opened the second acupoint and tasted the benefits of it, Zhou Bao continued to work hard and started refining the third one and the fourth one...
Gradually, he had completely indulged himself in the process of refining acupoints.
Because during this process, he increased the number of his acupoints, and at the same time, he used his own Internal Qi to control his own tendons and meridians inch by inch as he opened his acupoints step by step. It helped him a lot with the control of Internal Qi in extremely subtle areas. His technique of exercising Internal Qi also entered into a new level and height.
"The Sword Qi of the Extreme Yang Heavenly Sword can also be used separately!"
"Differentiation of such a large quantity of Sword Qi can be carried out in the tendons and meridians!"
"Yes, if the gathering and diffusion of Sword Qi can be done in such a way, the efficiency will at least double!"
"Oh, I got it! If Heavenly Jade Technique and Snake-like Breath Holding Skill work in this way, the Critical Hit rate will be greatly increased!"
"Well, why is it in the reverse order? Haha, I got it. The waves of two secret skills of Heavenly Jade Technique and Snake-like Breathing overlap. As long as I do it in this way, I can keep the probability under my control, and I don't need to count on luck!"
"This is the secret to the technique of Flipping Sky Seal. As long as my Internal Qi flows like this, I don't need to worry about breaking my tendons and meridians when I exercise Flipping Sky Seal!"
"As long as Infinite Trembling Contemplation is also exercised in this way, the power will be increased by 30%. The time of application will be reduced by half. The damage to the tendons and meridians won't be so serious. It can save my life at critical moments!"
Time flew as he was refining and meditating. When he re-opened his eyes, it was already half a month later.
He let out a sigh of relief. The past half month was fruitful and he was extremely exhausted due the fact that he kept practicing and meditating, which was physically strenuous.