Amidst the immortal aura that looked like a vast expanse of white clouds, Wu Qi was seen sitting cross-legged under a luxuriant 'Seven Seeds Fig Tree', exerting all his strength in circulating the Seven Foundation Establishment Technique and crazily absorbing the immortal aura found in the surroundings. Ten Gold Cores were shimmering brilliantly within the meridians inside both his arms. They had grown to the size of a little chicken each, and turned extremely solid. Large sheets of five-colored light were hovering and lingering around these Gold Cores, while an enormous amount of immortal aura was constantly being absorbed into them, quickly transformed into streams of innate energy and flowing through his body.
Actually, only a true Immortal could absorb and make use of the immortal aura. Its characteristic was like the Innate Nectar of a Gold Core cultivator, or the Purple Mist of a Nascent Soul cultivator, both of which were regarded as important as the life force of the cultivator. The energy contained in a single wisp of immortal aura was comparable to ten thousand portions of that acquired five element energy. It was an extremely pure and brutal energy, and thus, apart from those who possessed immortal bodies, any cultivator who absorbed it would have their bodies exploded immediately. Only a Nascent Divinity cultivator, who had one of his legs stepped over the threshold of Heaven Immortal, could absorb a little bit of the immortal aura, using it to refine his Nascent Divinity.
But shockingly, the ten Gold Cores Wu Qi formed using the Seven Foundation Establishment Technique could absorb this immortal aura without any limitation or restriction, while every one hundred portions of immortal aura absorbed would be transformed into a single portion of innate energy through his Gold Cores. The current innate energies in his body were at least one hundred times purer and denser than before, and they contained an incredible life force and immense amount of divine forces. Nourished by this innate energy, a tremendous transformation began to happen to Wu Qi, like how a caterpillar metamorphosed into a butterfly in its cocoon.
Sitting cross-legged, Wu Qi's muscles were seen creeping rapidly, while the bones and internal organs inside his body were grinding and pushing at each other, generating crystal clear cracking sounds.
Approximately four hours later, Wu Qi suddenly pulled out a barrel of flood dragon blood essence from Black Dragon Spirit Ring. Then, like a giant whale inhaling water, he exhaled first and then inhaled deeply. The five thousand kilograms of blood essence turned into a long stream that rushed into his mouth, then was quickly swallowed them into his stomach. While circulating the Seven Foundation Establishment Technique at top speed, he also exercised the Dragon Transformation Script to refine his fleshly body. Then all of a sudden, a heat wave with a high temperature was emanated from his body, immediately followed by the spraying of some sticky, pitch-black impurities from his skin. In just a blink of an eye, he was completely covered with a thick layer of dirt.
Ten Gold Cores continued to spin inside his Seven Stealing Heaven Meridians. Because of the nourishment from the immortal aura, they had now expanded to the size of an adult's fist, and were then forcibly compressed and tempered by Wu Qi using some mystic techniques from the Scroll of Stealing. After every compression and tempering, the five elements innate energies shot out from the Gold Cores would become purer and denser. Finally after the ninth time Wu Qi compressed and tempered his Gold Cores, the five elements innate energies shot out from them could already be compared to the energies of an early-stage Nascent Soul cultivator.
Sounds of bone cracking could be heard without end, as Wu Qi's body was also expanding and shrinking repeatedly. After the ninth round of expanding and shrinking, the layer of dirt wrapping around his body suddenly broke and exploded, while a layer of his skin was peeling off as well, revealing a new skin that looked fair and shone like the whitest jade. He snorted coldly, clenched his fist tightly, and thrust it forward forcefully. Vaguely, a five-colored gleam was seen glinting on his fingers, then they fused with each other in the middle of his palm, transforming into a tiny purple-gold thunderbolt that streaked out mightily.
A loud rumble rang out, as not far away from Wu Qi, a railing made of Heavenly Dark Iron that stood one hundred feet tall was smote to shreds. The broken pieces shot and flew into the air, and were instantly melted by the high temperature contained in the thunderbolt, turning into molten iron that splashed and sprayed in all directions. Heavenly Dark Iron was a material with the strength comparable to upper-grade defensive magical treasure, yet it was ripped to shreds by just one single thunderbolt unleashed by Wu Qi. It was not tough to tell what kind of power had his five elements innate energy possessed currently.
"Excellent!" Wu Qi exclaimed while laughing out loud. Suddenly, his soul inside his spiritual ocean transformed into a misty figure that shone brilliantly, rushing quickly towards all ten Gold Cores inside his Seven Stealing Heaven Meridians. Then, it split into ten equal portions and fused into all ten Gold Cores. Immediately, a blinding light burst out from the Gold Cores which had shrunk to the size of a thumb and taken a purple-gold hue. On their surface which was as clean and smooth as a mirror, there were countless images of Wu Qi blinking and flashing about. They looked extremely magical and magnificent.
"The immortal aura is indeed many times stronger than ordinary natural energy! Only those who cultivate the Scroll of Stealing can utilize immortal aura to aid their cultivation when they are still in the Gold Core realm!" thought Wu Qi complacently, "Now that my soul has fused with the ten Gold Cores, this is already a cultivation base of mid-stage Gold Core realm!"
Shaking his head, Wu Qi prepared to absorb the immortal aura again, trying to forcibly push his cultivation base to peak-stage Gold Core realm. However, right after he circulated the five element energies in his body, countless wounds immediately opened up in his arms. He had no choice but to stop, as his five elements energy was extremely powerful currently, and had already gone beyond the limit of which his fleshly body could endure. He had to spend the time to strengthen the foundation of his fleshly body, and only then could he raise his cultivation base again.
Scroll of Stealing had always been emphasizing the importance of the foundation, as without a solid foundation, one's future achievement would certainly be limited. Wu Qi had no choice but to stop absorbing. He just let his Gold Cores keep absorbing and spitting his own five elements energies, and used the Dragon Transformation Script to slowly strengthen his fleshly body. Currently, he had attained the cultivation base of mid-stage Gold Core realm, and with his soul fused with his Gold Cores, they had now given birth to their own intelligence. Together with the innate energies constantly circulating inside of his body, he would have his cultivation base advancing at a tremendous pace in the future, many times faster than in the past.
He rose, randomly picked two fruits from the Seven Seeds Fig Tree beside him, and ate them. After that, he gave the surroundings a casual glance.
One month ago, during the moment when Wu Qi and the others carefully entered Cang Ao Immortal Abode, they were suddenly enveloped by a large cloud that emerged out of nowhere, and then everyone was thrown to a different location within the immortal abode. Wu Qi was lucky enough to be thrown into a flower and fruit nursery garden. Not only this place was filled with a copious amount of immortal aura, it was planted with numerous very rare and precious fresh flowers, spirit fruits, and spirit herbs. Wu Qi dwelt in this place happily and began focusing on cultivating, relying on the near endless immortal aura here to push his cultivation base to the mid-stage Gold Core realm, a stage where his soul finally fused with his Gold Cores.
Wu Qi was able to achieve this because of the near endless immortal aura in the immortal abode. If he wished to attain the same cultivation base he had right now with the natural energies in the outside world, it would take him at least one thousand years of laborious cultivation. After all, the energy contained in one single portion of immortal aura was equal to ten thousand portions of ordinary natural energy.
As Cang Ao Immortal Abode was not visited by anyone for the last two Great Apocalypses, it had accumulated a nearly endless amount of immortal aura, thus allowing Wu Qi to use them to his heart's content.
After laughing out loud, two bright beams measuring several feet long suddenly shot out from Wu Qi's eyes, as he had exercised the Mystic Eyes of Universe. Immediately, everything inside the nursery garden that covered an area of over one thousand acres, including all the restrictive spells, became clear and visible in his eyes. After having his cultivation base taken a leap to the next stage, the power of all his divine abilities and mystic techniques were improved by at least ten times as well. And so, he saw that every herb, every fruit tree in this nursery garden was protected by a restrictive spell, but they were not very strong, and not for offensive purposes. Their primary function was to keep a stable temperature and humidity.
Since he now knew the true nature of those restrictive spells, Wu Qi carefully came to the center of the nursery garden, into a white jade field about one acre in area. The field was entirely paved with a layer of white jade of fine quality after they were crushed into powder, and planted with tens of tall purple grasses. They looked very similar to Calamus, having long and narrow leaves that stretched like ribbons. Although there was no breeze, they were swaying gently amidst the white immortal aura. Near their tips were a few fist-sized golden fruits found growing. Each fruit had a shape that looked similar to a human brain, and was glinting in a dazzling glow.
"Fruit of Heavenly Wit!!" Wu Qi cried while narrowing his eyes. This was a very rare spirit plant, with its fruits able to awaken a human or animal's wit, allowing them to possess an intelligence of near-psychotic level. However, it could only be consumed once, as the subsequent consumption would cause the brain to be burned off by a heavenly flame and kill the person or the animal immediately. A single spirit fruit could produce an existence with super intelligence, and at the same time improve the existence's ability to sense the Heavenly Dao by three to ten times.
The higher the intelligence of the person before consuming the spirit fruit was, the greater was the multiplication. Since gaining enlightenment to the Dao of Heaven and Earth was the most fundamental thing for every single cultivator, thus even with the lowest improvement a Heavenly Wit Fruit could bring, which was improving the ability to sense the Heavenly Dao by three times, could also help a cultivator to save three times the time in cultivation.
For example, Patriarch Jiang Yun had spent nearly one hundred thousand years in laborious cultivating, which only made him very close to the realm of Thirty-Fifth Tier Heaven Immortal. If he were given a Fruit of Heavenly Wit, even if that only made him save three times of the time, he would have advanced into the next realm seventy thousand years ago.
There were eighteen Heavenly Wit Plants here, and a total of fifty-seven Heavenly Wit Fruits. There were also many fruit pits that could be found on the ground, evidence that there were countless fruits which had ripened in the past, yet were not picked by anyone and fell to the ground in the end.
After a brief moment of pondering, Wu Qi picked all the Heavenly Wit Fruits, and he himself ate one of them. Then, he spent fifteen minutes to circulate his energy and regulate his breath, digesting the powerful medicinal strength of the fruit. The result was as he expected; he felt his hearing and eyesight had become much better, as if his body had melted completely and fused with everything in the surrounding, which made the communication between him and the Heaven and Earth be magically improved.
He kept the rest of fifty-six fruits in a jade box, then turned to look at the spirit plants. He could do nothing but shake his head.
This spirit plant would ripen with a cycle of thirty-six thousand years, provided they were planted in a place rich in immortal aura. Currently Wu Qi did not have an immortal abode of his own, and thus, even if he wished to bring them away, they would die eventually. And since he had harvested all the fruits, anyone who wished to have more would have to wait for another thirty-six thousand years.
After that, Wu Qi began to roam the nursery. If he found any spirit herbs that he deemed valuable, he would either eat them on the spot, or harvest them. At the same time, some spirit herbs which he could replant somewhere else, he would find a way to store them temporarily in the Spirit Breeding Ring. It was too bad that the quality of the Spirit Breeding Ring was not good enough, and thus, it could not store any immortal aura, or else Wu Qi would have looted everything away from this spirit nursery.
After spending a few days to loot everything that he could bring away from here, he suddenly heard some voices coming from outside the entrance.
"Chief General, there is a Spirit Nursery Garden here!"
Hearing the voices, Wu Qi rolled his eyes and twisted his body immediately, transforming into a stream of yellow mist and plunging into the ground. Very carefully, he avoided some restrictive spells in the ground, and with the help from Mystic Eyes of Universe, he followed the flowing direction of a few underground energy veins. According to the technique of searching for energy veins that he learned from the Scroll of Stealing, he began rushing straight towards a spirit cave located right at the heart of Cang Ao, a place with the most copious amount of immortal aura.
When he passed a small energy vein about three miles away from the spirit cave, Wu Qi suddenly heard Patriarch Jiang Yun's voice coming from above, "Sure enough, this is an immortal abode that once belonged to an ancient Heaven Immortal, as the restrictive spells here are extremely mysterious and profound. My fellow Daoists, let's work together and break this restrictive spell first. This is the place where all the treasures are hiding. If there is anything good here, this is the place we will find them!"
Wu Qi was struck with great joy as he heard that. So, Patriarch Jiang Yun and the others were still trying to break the restrictive spell?
But, the restrictive spells deployed by the ancient Heaven Immortal did not seem too complicated to Wu Qi! He just had to travel under the ground with the innate earth escape art, avoiding a few important cores of the formation, and he would be able to enter the place without any other obstacles!
As a matter of fact, the formation was just an ordinary illusionary formation that combined with the formation of Thirty-six Celestial Dippers and the Formation of Seven-two Nether Evils, mainly focusing on illusion and being assisted by an offensive formation. Although it was considered ingeniously built, without being controlled by its owner, the power was just ordinary. Of course, it would be still very difficult to break it from the front, but it was actually very easy to sneak into it by moving along the flow of the underground energy vein, just like what Wu Qi had just done.
Shaking his head, Wu Qi stealthily plunged into the energy cave through a little underground energy vein.