On the back of Green Cliff Mountain was a vast expanse of a dense virgin forest, uninhabited by any human. Countless exotic flowers and plants grew here. Over ninety percent of various fresh fruits and flowers enjoyed by Yuan Hua Sect's cultivators, as well as the ingredients used to brew all sorts of spirit wines, were produced here. In order to preserve the natural environment of this place, no disciple of Yuan Hua Sect was allowed to enter the back of Green Cliff Mountain, let alone meditate here.
Because cultivators inhaled natural energies when meditating, if a Heaven Immortal were to meditate behind the mountain, a single inhale from him would consume a significant part of the natural energies accumulated in the place. Therefore, the decision of disallowing any disciple to enter the place without prior permission was to conserve the natural energies, allowing the exotic flowers and plants to receive sufficient nourishment from the underground energy veins. In addition to that, Yuan Hua Sect's Heart Cleaning Pool was located right at the back of the mountain, which was a place that nobody was allowed to freely visit.
Amidst the vast ocean of trees, dozens of towering old trees circled around an open ground that was about several acres wide, at the center of which was a pool of green water, glinting faintly under the reflection of the sunlight. Several dozens of jade blocks of different sizes laid around the pool, each of them having a visible trace that took the shape of a buttock. One of them had the trace sunk as deep as one inch.
The Heart Cleaning Pool was the most magical, but at the same time, the most useless place in Yuan Hua Sect. Those seniors who wished to reward their disciples would send them here, while the disciples who performed mistakes would also be sent here as a punishment. The only difference lied in the hand incantation gesture that controlled the Heart Cleaning Pool.
If it were used as a punishment, they just needed to shift the position of the few natural energy veins underneath the pool, aiming them at the corresponding stars. Then, at noon and midnight of every day, the pool would spray out scorching heat wave and biting cold air to torture the disciple. This was what they called cleaning one's heart with trial by ice and fire.
If it were used as a reward, by shifting the few energy veins to aim at some other stars, there would be a white mist filled with illusions emerging above the pool at noon and midnight of each day. Amidst it, images of stars moving, the rise and fall of the sun and moon, the blossoming and fading of flowers in four seasons, the birth, senility, illness, and death of humans, and many different events would be perceptible. According to Patriarch Yuan Hua's experience, these strange images could increase the chance of a cultivator entering the state of enlightenment by fifty percent.
When one entered the enlightenment state, the Dao of Heaven and Earth one obtained could be comparable to the result of several hundred or even thousands of years of laborious meditation. With such a magical effect, the Heart Cleaning Pool naturally became the most important place for Yuan Hua Sect. Those who were sent here to have secluded meditation were, of course, the most outstanding elites of the sect. They were sent here to be rewarded.
In any case, be it a punishment or a reward, all it took was for Patriarch Yuan Hua to activate it using different sets of incantation gestures. Externally, everybody under the heaven knew that the Heart Cleaning Pool was a place Yuan Hua Sect used to punish their disciples. But internally, only a few Yuan Hua Sect's Elders knew the exact function of it.
Wu Qi was seen sitting cross-legged with a frown on his face on a white jade block. He was holding the Flaming Wings Sparrow in his hand, whose eyes were still closed and was chirping incessantly. Evidently, the person who sat here meditating the last time had a differently shaped buttock from Wu Qi, as he felt really uncomfortable sitting on the jade block. Nevertheless, as every single blade of grass, tree, and everything here were personally decorated by Patriarch Yuan Hua, Wu Qi did not want to simply modify them. So, he just had to bear with it.
He lightly patted the Flaming Wings Sparrow, feeding it a bowl of decoction he concocted during the last two days, which could improve the purity of bloodline and temper the fleshly body of demon beasts. After that, he produced the thread of concentrated divine bird bloodline. The bloodline kept twisting and struggling like a flood dragon, and was exuding a weak heat. When the Flaming Wings Sparrow sensed the heat, it immediately struggled violently, flapping its pair of immature wings to leap towards the bloodline.
Wu Qi handed the Flaming Wings Sparrow over to Princess Zhang Le. "Feed it three drops of your blood essence, quick!" He cried lightly.
As Princess Zhang Le took hold of the bird, a tiny slit opened up on her fingertip, from which came flying out three drops of five-colored blood, entering the bird's mouth. With both hands clutching the divine bird bloodline, Wu Qi began to recite a few incantations. In the next moment, a vast red light and heat burst out abruptly from the tiny bloodline. Vaguely, a long cry of Phoenix could be heard coming out from it.
"Just as I've predicted, it is the bloodline of a phoenix! Although we only have a small thread of it, as long as we keep feeding this little fellow more decoction, we can always transform it into a genuine descendant of the Phoenix! Zi Xuan, remember to use your energy to temper it every day. The future achievement of this little fellow is going to be huge!" Wu Qi said with a chuckle. Then, he squeezed out a streak of blood on the bird's chest using his finger, shoving the phoenix bloodline into its body.
A loud, melodious bird cry echoed out, reaching tens of miles away. A red light flickered from the Flaming Wings Sparrow's body as it grew double in size suddenly, while pale-golden feathers spread out at the same time. On its head was a cluster of red feathers that took the shape of a phoenix coronet, and on its back stretched out long tail feathers, each shining dazzlingly. There were some patterns on those tail feathers, vaguely resembling some primordial characters.
The Flaming Wings Sparrow chirped happily, and just when it opened its eyes, it saw Princess Zhang Le. A faint bloodline aura that felt very intimate with Princess Zhang Le emanated from its body as it jumped joyfully on her shoulder. But very soon, its head tilted sideways, and it curled up and sunk into a deep slumber in Princess Zhang Le's arms. It would take at least a few days to digest the bloodline and the bowl of decoction that Wu Qi fed it just now.
Wu Qi handed a one-foot tall jade bottle over to Princess Zhang Le. "This is the Ancestral Awakening and Body Tempering Decoction concocted by me, which can purify the bloodline and strengthen the fleshly body of demon birds. Feed 1.5 kilograms of the decoction to it every three days for a total of twenty-one times. This is the limit that its fleshly body can endure currently. Once its cultivation base improves in the future, we can feed it more."
Princess Zhang Le took the jade bottle joyfully. While caressing the bird, she asked smilingly, "So, what should we call it?"
What should they name the bird? Wu Qi frowned as he was totally clueless. "Maybe, we can just call it Little Que? It sounds nice to me!" Wu Qi said in a low voice. When it came to naming of a pet, Wu Qi admitted that he was a total fool.
Princess Zhang Le repeated the name, then nodded and said, "Let's call it Little Que'er, as it sounds very much like Bai Zhu'er and Bai Zu'er." She kissed Wu Qi on the chin happily, then found a jade block and sat cross-legged on it. Immediately, she entered the state of enlightenment. Her aura turned obscure and could hardly be sensed, as if she had just vanished from the world.
Sitting next to her, Lord Xiansheng and Catfish-flood-dragon gave Princess Zhang Le a shocked look, then shook their heads helplessly.
It had been seven to eight days since they arrived at the Heart Cleaning Pool to 'face the wall and ponder over their misdeeds'. However, even with the guidance of various strange images in the white mist that sprayed out from the pool during midday and midnight, they were still unable to enter the state of enlightenment even once. But during the same period, Princess Zhang Le could always enter the enlightenment state with ease at any time she wanted. It was no doubt a big blow to them.
Catfish-flood-dragon breathed out a heavy sigh, tilted her head sideways, and said, "I've only eaten a man, why the big fuss? That Yun Tianao seems like a reasonable man to me! Since he has already admitted the fault, why did that old man Yuan Hua still send us here to sit like a fool?"
Lord Xiansheng narrowed his eyes and sneered, "Yun Tianao? A reasonable man? Brother, what do you think?"
The time was approaching midday. Wu Qi pulled out several dozens of blood and soul crystals from Black Dragon Spirit Ring and tossed them to Lord Xiansheng and Catfish-flood-dragon. "All Immortal cultivators cherish their faces the most... Although it is a fact that Catfish has eaten Yun Wuqi, Eminent Cloud Sect took the blame and apologized... They surely must be up to some trick," Wu Qi said in a flat tone. "Let's wait and see. I'm sure this will not end so easily. Maybe, something is happening in Eminent Cloud Sect, causing them to lack enough manpower to seek revenge against us, or perhaps they are waiting... waiting for the internecine outcome after the match between the Huiling Sect and us. All in all... if Yun Tianao is a reasonable man, I will be the most reasonable Patriarch!"
All of a sudden, a strange whistle was heard coming from the bottom of Heart Cleaning Pool. A large patch of white mist rose up from the surface of the pool, amidst which, a pitch-black wasteland was revealed. Very quickly, rain began to sprinkle down on the barren wasteland, grass began to sprout and grow taller, and the nightingales were seen flying in the air. It was full of vigor.
Lord Xiansheng hastily swallowed one blood crystal and one soul crystal. While absorbing the enormous power in them, he fixed his gaze at the strange image in the white mist with all his heart. On the other side, Catfish-flood-dragon threw all the blood and soul crystals Wu Qi gave her into her mouth and downed them in one gulp. After that, she stared foolishly at the white mist for a while, then fell sideways and began to snore loudly as she sunk into a deep slumber.
She appeared to be dreaming. After sticking out her tongue to moisten her lips, she murmured, "Yun Tianao looks tasty! Ugh, I am the most reasonable Patriarch! Tsk... tsk... Would the people in Yuan Hua Sect bully the two little girls?"
Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and thought of the two little girls who Catfish-flood-dragon rescued earlier. He did not expect that the Catfish-flood-dragon, who looked like a fool, would actually have a very strong sense of justice. The twin sisters were sent to Green Wood Peak. They did have excellent latent talents, but he was not sure if they would be taken into Yuan Hua Sect as disciples. If Yuan Hua Sect refused to take them, he could just ask Zhang Le to take them as her serving ladies!
After pondering over the things that happened in the past few days, Wu Qi exercised the Mystic Eyes of Universe and focused all his attention on the strange image inside the white mist.
Princess Zhang Le had an amazing innate talent, which allowed her to enter the state of enlightenment at any time she wished. It was as if she were a drop of water, while the Heavenly Dao was a vast ocean. It was perfectly natural for a drop of water to be fused with a vast ocean. However, Wu Qi did not possess such an incredible innate talent. He had to focus all his attention on the white mist, and only then could he sense the vague traces of the Heavenly Dao.
The blood and soul crystals entered his body one after another from the Black Dragon Spirit Ring, then were slowly digested and absorbed by him.
His ten Innate Spirit Embryos kept crazily absorbing the immense energies contained in the blood and soul crystals, and began to grow gradually. For every cycle of inhaling and exhaling, a large portion of the natural energies around Wu Qi would disappear. Soon, the natural energies in the entire back mountain of Green Cliff Mountain began to gather toward him. Even the energies in the underground energy veins were flowing towards him. Wu Qi's speed of absorbing natural energy was just too fast.
All the enlightenment for the Heavenly Dao and experiences in cultivation that fused with both of his fake Nascent Souls, which he obtained from Immortal Chang Wu, Vagabond Qing Yi, Immortal Xuan Yang, and Lady Dark Gold Water, were being quickly absorbed by all innate Spirit Embryos like tidal waves. Slowly but surely, ten innate Spirit Embryos produced after ten innate Gold Cores fused with Wu Qi's three spiritual and seven physical souls were growing stronger. Eventually, they turned bright with golden rays emitting from them. The dazzling rays even penetrated Wu Qi's fleshly body and shone far away.
An exotic fragrance suffused the air around Wu Qi. Suddenly, a large patch of dark clouds began to take shape in the sky.
The dark cloud was very slow in forming, and time passed on. On the thirty-sixth day after Wu Qi entered the enlightenment state, it finally took the final shape.
The void trembled suddenly as a loud rumble rang out. A purple heavenly thunder that was as thick as a thumb fell down from the dark cloud at an incredible speed.
 Que - The pronunciation of sparrow in Chinese.