Among the mountains there was a wetland with plenty of pools.
The wetland was more than ten thousand miles in circumference, and in its center was a great, deep pool, surrounded by many smaller pools and ponds, which were interconnected by numerous streams. The place was rich in water and grass. The cool and wet environment had produced a myriad of spirit herbs, as well as a host of snake and crocodiles and the likes. Poisonous insects were crawling everywhere, and many spirit beasts could be seen as well.
It was a remote and uninhabited place situated between a few major provinces. Because of the strong moisture and miasma that filled the air, there were few people who ever visited this place. Although a few small energy veins were passing through under the ground, they only gave off a meager amount of natural energy, too insignificant for any cultivators or Immortals to create their cave abodes here. Therefore, since the ancient times, this wetland had become a small isolated world, and unexpectedly, a group of demons who had gained intelligence had made it their home.
Under the deep pool in the center of the wetland, there stood a simple and crude palace with an archway looming before its door. A plaque made of crystal was set upon its lintel, and someone, whose handwriting seemed like chicken scratches, had put a row of large characters on it- 'Qianzhang Dragon King Mansion'.
Several little aquatic demons, whose appearances were so crooked and misshapen that no one could tell what their true forms were, were pacing proudly under the archway with spears in their hands. Their cultivation bases were probably in the realm of Gold Core, and they were only halfway into their transformation. Although they had the rough appearance of humans, their strange look of demons could easily be revealed with a careful glance.
The palace occupied no more than one acre of land, and only had two courtyards in total. At the moment, a little old man with a one-horned head of a flood dragon, a body of a human, and thick black fish scales all over his skin, was gingerly carrying a bowl of sticky blue decoction into the principal room of the second courtyard.
Inside the room, Princess Zhang Le sat on a jade bed with black smoke rising from her head. The divine ray of five-colors shrouded her as it flickered from time to time, but there was a faint black mist in it. The mystic techniques and divine abilities of the Ancient God were extremely powerful; they could be used to kill anyone in the dark, but each of them had strong side effects. If someone with insufficient overall strength tried to use them, he or she would have to suffer a great backlash, just like Princess Zhang Le.
Had Princess Zhang Le not been cultivating her innate fleshly body and formed her innate divine soul, she would have been dead after exercising the powerful divine technique in such a rash way. Fortunately, her foundation was extremely solid. Therefore, although she was badly wounded, she could still stabilize the condition by meditating.
Lord Xiansheng and the others stood in front of the jade bed, all looking anxiously at Princess Zhang Le, who was wrapped in a flickering light. Gold Horn and Silver Horn were lying feebly on the ground, grumpily cursing the thighs of all of Li Qinghua's ancestors. The brothers swore under their breath that they would nibble all of Li Qinghua's seniors' thighs if given the chance.
The dragon-headed old man brought the decoction into the room with great care. As he entered, he bowed respectfully to Lord Xiansheng and said, "My Lord, I've collected three thousand Cold Green Spirit Grasses and boiled them into a bowl of decoction, which could replenish the lost energy of a lady. This Fairy seems to have her essence wounded. Taking this should help."
Lord Xiansheng nodded and looked at Princess Zhang Le.
Princess Zhang Le opened her eyes slightly, then nodded and said with a smile, "Cold Green Spirit Grass, really? You must have worked really hard to find all three thousand of them. I promise you that when I get away from this calamity, I will definitely help you to become a real dragon." As she opened her mouth, the decoction in the old man's hand turned into a thin stream and disappeared into her mouth. A faint fragrance emitted from her body as a mass of blue mist that was visible to the naked eye sprayed out from the end of her hair. Suddenly, the color returned to her pale face.
Nodding gladly, Princess Zhang Le smiled at the old man and said, "It really works! I deeply appreciate your kindness, Old Dragon King!"
The old man cracked his big mouth and laughed, then shook his head in humility and said, "No, no, how shall I claim myself as a dragon king in front of my Lord? Hehe, it is only a form of address which my witless children gave me. I dare not to pose as a dragon king in front of my Lord and all the Immortals here!"
This dragon-headed old man, who regarded himself as Qianzhang Dragon King, was the leader of the many demons who lived in this ten thousand square miles of wetland. His true form was a Stripped Black Blood Eel. By absorbing the essence of stars and moon, he had gained his intelligence, and had found half of a cultivation technique left by the flood dragon clan by chance. After cultivating hard for tens of thousands of years, he finally got rid of the eel body and transformed into a flood dragon.
However, as his true form was a lowborn eel, although he had become a flood dragon through cultivating, he was only a single-horned flood dragon, the lowest rank flood dragon in the entire flood dragon clan. He only had three claws on each leg, and a single horn on his dragon head. The scales covering his body were not even dragon scales, but more like fish scales. To be exact, Qianzhang Dragon King was a demon between a big fish and flood dragon. He was too far away from being considered a real dragon.
A few days ago, Lord Xiansheng fled to this place with Princess Zhang Le and the rest of the group. They had depleted all of their energy, and while Princess Zhang Le was suffering a serious injury from the backlash of the divine technique, they could flee no further. It was at that moment Qianzhang Dragon King, who was raising winds and waves on the pool with a group of little demons, saw Lord Xiansheng. He immediately welcomed them into his dragon palace and treated them as distinguished guests.
With the dragon palace where they could rest, and the decoction boiled with various spirit herbs collected by thousands of little demons under Qianzhang Dragon King's command, Lord Xiansheng and the others were able to restore their energy, and Princess Zhang Le's condition was stabilized.
After taking a deep breath, Princess Zhang Le asked thoughtfully, "Have all the formations been properly deployed outside the dragon palace?"
Catfish nodded naively and laughed. "How could anyone find us when we have fled so far away?" she said, "All the formations are deployed, but in my opinion, it is a waste of efforts. Who can chase so far to here? Who can find this place? This is such a remote place that you can even see ghosts killing people during the day!"
Princess Zhang Le frowned and did not say a word, while Lord Xiansheng was shaking his head.
"One cannot be too careful," said Lord Xiansheng in a deep voice. "According to the legend passed down from our ancestors in Longyuan River, there are almighty experts who have the ability to look into the Heaven's secrets. With a glance of their eyes, they can clearly see every single sand grain and dust in the entire universe, and every movement of every ant, even when they are staying above the stars. It is impossible for us to know all the divine abilities and mystic techniques that exist in the universe. If Myriad Immortal Alliance has sent some almighty experts to hunt us down, they might be able to find this place."
Princess Zhang Le nodded slowly as she told everyone to take good care of the formations and not take any chances. She had no energy to move now, so she had to heal her injury here in the dragon palace. It would be a terrible situation if enemies found them now.
Gold Horn and Silver Horn exchanged a glance. The brothers coiled up their bodies and began to curse once again. But now, their subjects were Li Qinghua's future descendants. They swore that when they found the opportunity, they would make Li Qinghua give birth to more children and grandchildren, then feast with only Li Qinghua's descendants to vent their spleen of being hunted.
'I just need the internal organs of the two Dragon Pythons of Fire and Ice, as they can produce the medicinal paste I need.' At the thought of what Li Qinghua had said, the brothers felt a coldness rising up from within the depths of their hearts.
"We shall rear that Li Qinghua in captivity as a 'breeding human'. Since he wants to use our internal organs to produce medicine, we will raise him like a pig, and make his children and grandchildren our dessert after meals!" Gold Horn and Silver Horn were mean by nature, and they had quickly come out with a retaliation method that would make a normal person feel frightened.
While the company was talking, a bright red light suddenly cast down onto the dragon palace.
Seven middle-aged men dressed as Daoists hovered in the clouds above the deep pool. One of them was holding a red, crystalline mirror, about the size of a palm. From it, a beam of red light came shooting out and sealed off the entire pool. The man murmured some incantations, bit his fingertip, and stroked the mirror. Immediately, the beam of red light became extremely hot, and a great fire poured down along with the red light into the deep pool.
The crystalline mirror was obviously an extraordinary treasure with a frightening power. Hot steam was billowing out from the surface of the water as the water began to bubble. In just a brief moment, the lake measuring one thousand miles across was boiling violently, from its surface to ten miles deep.
Fortunately, the depth of the pool was so great that although the top of it was boiling, the water at the bottom was still unaffected. It was just that a dozen little demons who stood guard on the surface of the water were almost cooked. They fled back to the dragon palace while wailing and crying and carrying red shells on their backs, crashing headlong into the second courtyard.
A little demon, who had the look of a crayfish and a striped black-and-white body, cried out, "Grandpa Dragon King, there are seven evil Daoists setting fire on our territory! The water is boiling, and if they are not stopped, the entire Qianzhang Lake will soon turn into a bowl of fish soup!"
Princess Zhang Le's face flickered as she turned to Lord Xiansheng and said, "Brother Xiansheng, please go up there and see if you can fight the enemy. Activate the formations if you are not their match. We'll find another way to deal with them!"
Lord Xiansheng nodded and rolled up his sleeves as he walked out of the door angrily, going straight up to the surface.
Gold Horn and Silver Horn followed him in a hurry. The brothers' eyes flickered with a murderous gleam, and saliva was dripping from the corner of their mouths.
The closer they approached the water surface, the higher the water temperature got. Initially, only the water ten miles from the surface was boiling. But now, it had reached twenty miles deep, and was spreading deeper at an incredible speed. It seemed that all the water in this deep pool would soon be boiling. As the little demon had said, the pool was about to turn into a big bowl of fish soup.
Lord Xiansheng, with Gold Horn and Silver Horn, rushed to the surface of the water. As they passed through the boiling water, even with his cultivation base and the body of a True Dragon, Lord Xiansheng could feel a burning pain, and his skin was blistered. "Good Daoists! What vicious magical treasure is this? It can actually burn my body of True Dragon?"
But Gold Horn and Silver Horn were not affected by it. They were not afraid of the high temperature, nor were they afraid of cold. When they heard Lord Xiansheng say that he was burned by the boiling water, one of them opened his mouth to inhale a deep breath, and the other exhaled. In just a flash, the heat in the boiling water was completely absorbed, then a vast stream of cold air spread across and abruptly froze the entire water surface into ice.
The seven Daoists in the air shouted in unison, "We have come to the right place! They are hiding here!"
The sounds of objects piercing through the air were heard all around. Nearly one hundred sword beams were closing in quickly, and soon, more than one hundred Daoists had surrounded Qianzhang Lake.