Time was often forgotten in cultivation. It seemed only a twinkle of time had passed, but Wu Qi and his companions had already spent one year and five months cultivating in the Heart Cleaning Pool. Of course, the public was told that because the four of them had damaged the friendly relationship between Yuan Hua Sect and Eminent Cloud Sect, they were being punished to face the wall and ponder over their misdeeds in the Heart Cleaning Pool for seventeen months.
The seventeen months of strenuous meditation made Princess Zhang Le, Lord Xiansheng, and Catfish-flood-dragon's cultivation base improv by leaps and bound. Princess Zhang Le had materialized her innate Divine Soul, but as it was completely different from Nascent Soul and Nascent Divinity, nobody could sense her actual overall strength. After Wu Qi taught her the technique of forming a Fake Nascent Soul, she was greatly interested and formed herself tens of them, basically including all the different elements such as gold, wood, water, fire, earth, wind, thunder, cloud, rain, and many other natural forces. So naturally, the aura she emanated was of peak-stage Nascent Soul realm.
Meanwhile, relying on the magical power of Heart Cleaning Pool, Lord Xiansheng and Catfish-flood-dragon managed to enter the state of enlightenment a few times. Although each time only lasted three to five days, the benefits they obtained were simply incredible. Both of their Nascent Souls had transformed to look obscure now, and they could communicate with the forces of Heaven and Earth at any time they wished to temper their Nascent Souls and manifest their Nascent Divinities. Nevertheless, as they had to participate in the match, they suppressed the temptation and maintained their cultivation base at Nascent Soul realm.
As for Wu Qi, he did nothing during the one year plus period, just focusing on tempering his fleshly body, pushing the cultivation of Dragon Transformation Script to a further height.
Dragon Transformation Script was a body tempering technique which the Dragon clan created especially for their descendants. The highest level for it was the Nine Transformations of Divine Dragon, a level lower was the Eighteen Transformations of Heavenly Dragon, and one level further lower was the Thirty-six Transformation of True Dragon. They matched perfectly with the tiers of Primordial Immortal, Gold Immortal, and Heaven Immortal respectively. But at the same time, it did have an even lower level technique, the Three Transformations of Flood Dragoon.
The Three Transformations of Flood Dragon was a technique that allowed those lower grade flood dragons, such as those who transformed from great pythons or great fishes, to increase the purity of their bloodline, strengthen their bodies, and eventually transcend the heavenly tribulation and become a true dragon. The first transformation corresponded to cultivators of Houtian, Xiantian, and Gold Core realm. The second transformation corresponded to Nascent Soul cultivators, while the third transformation corresponded to Nascent Divinity cultivators who were yet to transcend the heavenly tribulation.
After more than one year of arduous cultivation, Wu Qi had finished tempering his fleshly body with the Three Transformations of Flood Dragon.
Flood dragons were not considered as real dragons. Frequently, they were referred as demon dragons by pure-blooded dragons, and sometimes even demon beasts by those arrogant members of the dragon clan. It was because after one cultivated the Transformation of Flood Dragon, one would have a body full of big muscles that stood out and shone brilliantly like newly crafted swords, sending forth a threatening air. Every movement would come with a tremendous force, and they could topple a lofty mountain easily with just one gentle push.
It was a known fact that the fleshly body of Dragon was one of the best in the universe. Therefore, after completing the cultivation of the Three Transformations of Flood Dragons, the strength of Wu Qi's fleshly body was a least a few times stronger than Nascent Divinity cultivators who focused on tempering their bodies. The toughness of his muscles was comparable to that of iron ingots. If ordinary cultivators were to get closer to him, Wu Qi could easily break their bones and tendons with just a casual strike. And, if they were not protected by better quality spirit items, it was even possible that they could get killed instantly.
A deep, muffled breathing that sounded like a thunderclap echoed out. A patch of ground near the Heart Cleaning Pool protruded abruptly as Wu Qi, his upper-body naked, pushed through the thick rock layer with pure muscle force and sprung up to the surface. Princess Zhang Le was standing next to him with a ball of clear water hovering before her, and a clean, white towel in her hand. When Wu Qi took a deep breath and stopped exercising the technique, Princess Zhang Le wet the towel with the water and wiped away the dirt and dust from his skin.
While doing that, she chuckled and teased, "Look at you now! You look frightening!"
Wu Qi stopped exercising the technique as he helplessly looked at his body, which had muscles standing out as if they were chiseled with blades and axes. "I will look different once I transcend the heavenly tribulation and begin to cultivate the Transformation of True Dragon. The fleshly body of a True Dragon is similar to wind, rain, mist, or lightning. When it expands, it can devour the heaven and earth, and when it shrinks, it can hide inside of a mustard seed. It is truly a magical thing, and I won't look the same once I've achieved that," Wu Qi said with a smile.
Princess Zhang Le pursed her lips as she poked Wu Qi's chest muscles that felt like two alloy ingots, then waved her hand and threw the ball of water onto Wu Qi's body with a splash. It drenched Wu Qi, but in just a blink of an eye, the droplets of water spun and left him, taking away all the dust at the same time.
Wu Qi stretched himself, causing cracking sounds to issue from all the joints. After that, he produced a long robe and draped it over his shoulder, then finally issued a loud whistle.
On a tree next to them, Little Que'er was perching on the treetop, staring blankly. The loud whistle stirred her, causing her to fall to the ground with arms and legs spread. It was only after some while that she realized that the whistle was coming from Wu Qi. She flapped her wings lazily and flew up into the air, bringing with her a big belly as she landed on top of Wu Qi's head weakly, then gave his hair a furious scratching.
Wu Qi touched Little Que'er's fat belly as he sighed helplessly. Perhaps, this was the fattest descendant of Phoenixes since the beginning of the history? Not only did she not look like a Phoenix at all, she looked more like a piglet instead! Princess Zhang Le had overly spoiled her. Over the period of more than one year, she was fed with a large amount of fire element energy stones on a daily basis, spirit spring water, and various fresh fruits. There was no way Little Que'er could digest so much energy and food in a timely manner. As a result, she became a fat bird with a dull look in her eyes.
"Well, this might not be a bad thing, as others will just take you as a fat hen, and they would never expect that you actually possess the bloodline of Phoenix," Wu Qi shook his head as he told smiling Princess Zhang Le with sigh, "This is better, because nobody would be on guard against her... Mm, with the look she has right now…"
Little Que'er chirped a few times lazily, opened her mouth and spat out many grape seeds, hitting them on a large tree not far away before she burped in a manner without the least bit of grace. If those elegant, holy, pure-blooded Phoenixes saw the current Little Que'er, perhaps they would euthanize her instantly, and kill Wu Qi and his companions in the passing! This was such a disgrace to the Phoenix clan!
After waking up Lord Xiansheng, who was in a state of enlightenment, the company of four came together for a discussion. Before long, a cloud was seen flying towards them off at a distance. A little Daoist was standing on the cloud as he called loudly while still far away, "Uncle-Masters, I bring you the decree of Ancestral Master! You can all leave Heart Cleaning Pool now to prepare for the match that is going to be held in a month. Uncle-Masters, please leave the back mountain as soon as possible and linger here no more!"
Even as the little Daoist was calling, he produced a talisman. With a shake of his hand, the talisman turned into ashes as a bright beam shot out of it. Immediately, the mist inside the pool flickered and the starlight shining on it changed as well. Now, the pool no longer had the same magical effect of helping someone to enter an enlightenment state. Instead, it would now emanate a biting cold air and scorching flame during midday and midnight every day - the effect of helping someone 'facing the wall and pondering over misdeeds'.
Wu Qi waved at the little Daoist, produced a storage bag, and threw it at him. The bag flew one mile in the air before landing in his hand. The little Daoist was struck dumb for a brief moment, then he glanced the contents of the bag with his divine will. He was totally stunned by the one hundred upper-grade energy stones in it. Hastily, he cupped his fists and bowed to Wu Qi, "Thank you for the generous gift, Uncle-Master! I'll take my leave now!" The little Daoist spun and left in a great joy. A moment later, Wu Qi and his companions stepped onto a cloud each and began to fly slowly towards Green Wood Peak.
Right after they left the boundary of the back mountain, Catfish-flood-dragon cried out immediately, "Aye, don't you feel hungry? I've not eaten even a single rice for more than one year! I'm very, very hungry!"
Darting her eyes from side to side, she raised her hands up and gestured, "During the year, I've roamed the area with my Nascent Soul. There is a very large valley, five thousand miles eastward of Green Wood Peak, with many demon beasts inside! All of them look fat and juicy!"
Lord Xiansheng gave her a glare, touching his stomach as he said with a dried smile, "Well, recently I've visited that place as well... Mm, they sure look fat and juicy. But, those demon beasts will be used as Yuan Hua Sect disciples' demon pets or steeds... And, we have a big appetite!"
Wu Qi was holding Princess Zhang Le's hand and paid no attention to them.
The true forms of Lord Xiansheng and Catfish-flood-dragon were extremely huge. No matter how fat and juicy those demon beasts were, they could always finish over one hundred for just a meal. Moreover, those demon beasts were kept by Yuan Hua Sect as the demon pets and steeds for their disciples, so it was not convenient for them to feast on them! Princess Zhang Le chuckled and said, "Let's find a mortal city so we can buy a few thousand animals. Wu Qi's Long Bo people like to eat raw meat as well. Haven't they been complaining recently, requesting for wine and meat?"
Wu Qi nodded and moved the finger with his Spirit Breeding Ring. A large sheet of white light burst out from it. While they were talking and joking, Princess Zhang Le's ears moved a little. Her face turned cold instantly as she looked down.
Following her line of sight, Wu Qi looked down as well. What he saw caused a flame of anger to rise straight up into his head.
Before he could come out with any response, Princess Zhang Le had already disappeared with a blink, then reappeared at the top of a small hill several tens of miles off in a distance. She was seen raising her little hand and giving someone a round of brutal slapping. Two young Daoists clad in green Daoist robes rolled howling on the ground as teeth were spewed out of their mouth like popcorns, their faces smeared with blood.
Even as they were rolling on the ground, Princess Zhang Le dashed over and began to stamp on their heads with her feet. Several tens of clanging noises could be heard in a row as both young Daoists had their heads pushed one-foot deep into the ground, and their faces smeared with mud.
In a herb field next to them, the two little girls who Catfish-flood-dragon and Lord Xiansheng rescued from Yun Wuqi of Luo Ling Pavilion, were seen kneeling pitifully on the ground. The Daoist robes made with coarse cloth they wore were torn, revealing much of their fair and smooth skins. A few crisscrossing eye-catching whip scars were branded on their skins.
While brutally stamping on the heads of two young Daoists, Princess Zhang Le bellowed, "I've asked someone to take good care of them. How dare you treat them with cruel tortures? You damn rascals, who gave you the audacity to do this?" Upon seeing Princess Zhang Le, the two little girls began to weep aloud. They rose to their feet and clutched tightly on her sleeves, showing no sign of letting go.
Wu Qi arrived with a darkened face. He looked at the two young Daoists coldly, who had lost their consciousness after being brutally stamped by Princess Zhang Le. He snorted and said, "Fools who don't know the difference between life and death! What is this? Bullying freshly joined disciples?"
Right at the same moment, a loud bellow was heard coming from off at a distance, "How dare you! Who is bullying my disciples? I am the Chief Supervisor of the herbs mountains within one thousand miles here. You've pushed things too far!"
Even as the furious bellow rang out, a beam of green light approached at a high speed. A Daoist with a fair skin complexion and mid-stage Nascent Soul cultivation base came angrily on a sword beam.
"Pushed things too far?" Wu Qi rolled his eyes and cried out sternly, "I'll let you know what it really means by pushing things too far! Catfish, eat them!"
Saliva sprinkled down from the corner of Catfish-flood-dragon's mouth as she leaped forward happily, grabbing up one of the green-robed Daoists and swallowing him in one gulp.
Before she could swallow the second green-robed Daoist, Lord Xiansheng had arrived on a cloud. His head transformed into a flood dragon, and he downed the second Daoist with just one bite.
The white-faced Daoist who came on a sword beam roared with rage instantly. With a shake of his hand, several tens of thunder pellets, each the size of a thumb and enshrouded in a purple mist, were being sprinkled down and shooting towards Wu Qi and his companions.