Chapter 327 - Distributing the Porridge
Duanmu Huanghun was feeling unreasonably nervous, but he was also somewhat excited.
What would the Wood Elemental Tribulation be?
He had no idea since he’d never heard of Tribulations. The three that had happened earlier really widened his horizons. Tension, anticipation, and the feeling of the unknown were foreign, yet stimulating.
He thought of Jadeite Forest all of a sudden. Over there, he had power, a high status, countless servants, and inexhaustible wealth, but living with that rigid lifestyle full of fake smiles and etiquette meant that corner fights were inevitable. Comradery was dirt cheap and virtues were dazzling gold leaves attached to decayed, dried up bones.
That beautiful cage was the battleground for ravenous wolves and hyenas.
In Jadeite City, everything could be made into a deal. Emotions like hatred could be balanced against benefits and interests, but Duanmu Huanghun did not know how to convert such emotions.
He preferred it here, where the air was filled with joy and gratitude.
The intense wood elemental energy waves pulled him back to reality.
Blades of grass broke through the ground and grew at crazy speeds. They struggled free from the soil and flew toward the big pot like green darts.
Everyone responded very quickly as they reached out their hands to stop the incoming grass.
The grass blades released blood-curdling shrieks and transformed into balls of mist upon being struck. Everyone’s hair stood on end; it was their first time hearing such miserable shrieks coming from grass blades.
When the last blade was struck down, the cries stopped.
The green mist rose in spirals within the training hall. It did not dissipate, but surrounded and circled the big pot instead. They spun faster and faster, causing an ear-piercing, mournful whistling sound that resembled the bawling of a certain wild beast.
What in the world?
Everyone was bewildered.
It was even more strange that no matter how hard they tried, they were unable to break up the green fog. The gale only heaved it upward without dispersing it. Tian Huzun had initially thought that his flames could restrain the green fog, but who knew that they would be ineffective!
The faint fog thickened and squirmed about like a monster, revolving non-stop around the Eight Treasures Porridge.
Duanmu Huanghun’s eyes, which had been shut a moment ago, opened wide as shock filled his face.
He automatically shifted his gaze to Lou Lan. What kind of porridge was he cooking exactly?
Not only him, but other wood elementalists in the hall were also startled.
When he saw Ai Hui and Shi Xueman’s distrusting gaze, he spoke up. "These wood elemental energies have changed. To be precise, a certain vitality contained within them has been activated so general methods used against wood elemental energy will be useless."
Shi Xueman looked on pensively. She was homeschooled and had solid and practical knowledge.
Ai Hui, on the other hand, was baffled. Other than metal elemental energy, he was only familiar with earth elemental energy, and this was only because of Lou Lan.
Duanmu Huanghun understood that to other elementalists, the wood elementalists’ field of "vitality" was very difficult to understand. The "vitality" that wood elemental energy contained was something that differentiated it from the other elemental energies and it was also the most profound aspect of wood elemental energy..
After some thought, Duanmu Huanghun explained, "That certain vitality has been aroused by the elemental energy odor from the Eight Treasures Porridge. It can undergo metamorphosis if it swallows this porridge. The wood elemental energy will then regroup and form a new life. To put it in layman’s terms, it could become an entity like that of the ancient flower demon."
The green fog surged and released a head-numbing howl. As if knowing that the porridge wasn’t ready, it only continued circling around the big pot.
Ai Hui recalled the written accounts from the ancient books. "It’s developing spiritual consciousness?"
"It’s similar, but not completely identical." Duanmu Huanghun added, "These wood elemental energies can only exist for a short period of time. If they do not seize the porridge successfully, they will dissipate. I’m not too sure what will then become of the entity, but the wood elemental energy will reorganize its body constitution."
The audience was horrified upon hearing Duanmu Huanghun’s explanation.
Together with the fear, however, was also anticipation, since the Five Elemental Eght Treasures Porridge had far exceeded their expectations.
Tong Gui and Yu Jin made eye contact and detected the same shock in each other’s eyes. They’d been in the battleground for a long time and had seen and experienced all sorts of strange things, but it was their first time seeing the scene that was unfolding before them.
Ai Hui asked, "Any solutions?"
Duanmu Huanghun nodded. "Yes, but we have to wait a little while. It can only cause chaos now since its spiritual consciousness has not yet been activated. When the Eight Treasures Porridge is about to finish cooking, its energy waves will intensify and that will be our chance."
He stopped talking and started preparing by sprinkling something in certain positions.
The surging green fog did not seem to see or care about what Duanmu Huanghun was sprinkling.
Tong Gui squatted down, moved closer out of curiosity, and realized that they were bamboo stems. He was quickly stunned to see that these shoots were all dried up and did not have the least bit of life in them.
What’s so useful about dried up bamboo stems?
Everyone looked on curiously.
Duanmu Huanghun then proceeded to drop a drip of rootless water on each dried-up shoot, a process that puzzled everyone.
The gluey and thick Eight Treasures Porridge bubbled as the red color gradually disappeared. The elemental energy that each burst bubble released was exponentially stronger than the ones before.
The storm-like green fog started to intensify, its cries ear-piercingly high and loud.
Just then, Duanmu Huanghun’s every movement caused a ball of green glow to light up under his feet. Immediately following this, viridescent flower vine traces made their way out of the green glow like swimming green dragons.
A bamboo stem was wrapped within each viridescent flower vine.
Tong Gui’s pupils shrank. Each bamboo stem’s position had been calculated carefully. If one were to look down from the sky, it became apparent that each vine was like the flower petal of a viridescent fresh flower that was blooming, and Duanmu Huanghun was standing right in the middle.
Duanmu Huanghun’s pupils became two mini viridescent flowers that rotated unhurriedly. An indescribable coldness oozed out from his body.
[Viridescent Flower Eyes]!
He raised his palms suddenly and the vines wrapping around the shoots flew up from the ground and floated in midair.
Whoosh. The blossoming flower beneath his feet started spinning.
The dried-up bamboo shoots absorbed the green fog ferociously, and as if sensing danger, the fog’s screech became even more mournful. In spite of that, it continued to be sucked into the shoots.
The shoots turned plump at a speed observable to the naked eye.
The green fog slowed down and its howls gradually vanished.
[Viridescent Flower Command]!
Thick vitality seemed to overflow from within the bamboo shoots. Suddenly, green buds sprouted out of them. Verdant, glistening bamboo shoots rose up little by little, shedding off their skin and growing leaves.
In the blink of an eye, the training hall became a verdant bamboo sea.
The leaves and branches swayed along with the rustling of the wind. It was a beautiful scene.
Everybody’s jaws dropped. They wondered, was this whole scene still part of the illusion from earlier? There had been all kinds of inconceivable changes that did not make sense to them!
Amid the rustling of the wind, the bamboo sea, like raised curtains, faded away unhurriedly.
Was this really an illusion?
All eyes were on a small section of bamboo branch that was fluttering in midair. A few fresh green leaves were hanging from the branch. The vast bamboo sea disappeared, leaving only this little branch that fell onto Duanmu Huanghun’s open palm.
Joy flashed across Duanmu Huanghun’s eyes. With a turn of his palm, the branch vanished as well.
The Duanmu family’s [Viridescent Flower] was indeed unfathomably strange.
Tong Gui exclaimed in admiration but was on guard at the same time. Duanmu Huanghun did not look like a hostage at all. His abilities were even more immeasurable than rumored. Rethinking She Yu’s victory over Duanmu Huanghun, could it be that She Yu was really that powerful? Or perhaps Duanmu Huanghun chose to conceal his skills?
At this point, he laughed bitterly to himself. Everybody had underestimated the Central Pine Faction.
One more Tribulation was left and practically everyone breathed a sigh of relief. As this thought surfaced within their minds, the Metal Elemental Tribulation arrived spontaneously.
There wasn’t any sign at all.
Cracks started appearing on the ground surrounding the big pot. These cracks were like wounds created by sharp blades, crisscrossing and densely packed. They formed a circle, keeping the big pot in the center.
Metal wind violently surged up through the cracks.
Lou Lan reacted quickly by withdrawing from the metal wind’s range just in time.
The concentrated metal elemental energy dyed the wind silver-white. A solid, bitingly cold metal wind screen covered the Eight Treasures Porridge.
It was Ai Hui’s first time seeing such a terrifying metal wind. Where did this wind come from? It was practically a wind screen made up of countless blade rays!
Yet, he did not panic. Metal wind was something he was rather familiar with after all, since he’d borrowed it for training in the past. Only it hadn’t been as intense as the wind currently before his eyes.
He held onto the Dragonspine and walked around the circular wind screen.
His gaze fell upon the crisscrossed cracks on the ground. His eyes lit up.
What people saw as intertwined, random cracks were not so in Ai Hui’s eyes. The cracks seemed alive to him. Were they not like scars left by a sword?
He subconsciously moved his sword along the crisscrossed marks.
There was clearly nothing on the sword tip, but it moved sluggishly as if it were underwater, making his heart churn.
Having read countless swordplay manuals, Ai Hui was astonishingly efficient since he knew those disordered cracks thoroughly. He knew, however, that this wasn’t the time to polish his moves. Breaking the wind screen was top priority.
Noting down every point of the cracks, Ai Hui realized that this chaotic sphere looked very much like… the sword formation he himself had fixed up.
Could it be…
Ai Hui shook. It seemed increasingly possible.
If it was a sword formation, then this…
Ai Hui continued drawing and dancing with his sword and people knew that he must have found something. They held their breaths in fear of disrupting his train of thought.
"Ai Hui, we’re running out of time!"
Lou Lan’s urgent voice interrupted Ai Hui’s thoughts.
Ai Hui clenched his teeth. Silhouette like smoke, sword extending out like electricity, he charged toward the wind screen with a sword ray as bright as ten stars.
Like glass, the wind screen shattered loudly.
Ai Hui blanked out. Success?
A figure rushed to his side. It was Lou Lan.
Elemental energy bubbled out from the big pot of crystal clear, gluey porridge. The wisps were like colorful fog slowly flowing.
The brightly colored fog blossomed into colorful flowers upon reaching about a meter away from the pot. Each flower was about the size of a thumb and dissipated in the air in a flash. Some appeared as others faded, creating a beautiful image.
As each flower shattered, a wisp of indescribable fragrance was emitted. As compared to the delicate smell from before, this one was much weaker.
But this faint fragrance entered right into people’s hearts and spleens, as if cleansing their bodies and purifying their spirits.
Everybody couldn’t help but swallow their saliva. Their noses twitched and their necks stretched.
Tian Huzun’s eyes were practically shining like a torch in the dark night.
"Get ready everybody! Time to distribute the porridge!"
Lou Lan called out joyously, attracting a round of cheers.
"Bangwan, ice bowl!"
"Coming!" Duanmu Huanghun’s spirits rose.
[Viridescent Flower, Icy Fissures]!
Innumerable ice blocks burst open and before they reached the ground, the mini knife-like vines cut them speedily, causing bits and pieces of ice to splatter everywhere, forming ice bowls one after another. When the ice bowl carvings were formed, the vines suddenly turned into soft springs that flung the bowls toward Lou Lan.
The ladle in Lou Lan’s hand moved fast like lightning yet light like a dragonfly brushing over water, pouring the perfect amount of porridge into each bowl.
Ice bowls filled with porridge flew toward and stopped in front of the crowd.
Without a word, they cupped the ice bowl carefully and started eating the porridge in small bites.
Upon entering their mouths, the Eight Treasures Porridge instantly transformed into a warm stream that permeated their bodies. The five residences and eight palaces within started to operate. The elemental energy in their bodies raged incessantly like boiling water.
Those with even just a little experience knew that it was time to execute the Circulatory Cycle Revolution.
They hurriedly downed the whole bowl. Slurp, slurp.. With no time to savor the taste, they quickly sat cross-legged on the floor. They did not expect the energy of the Five Elemental Eight Treasures Porridge to be this mighty.
Ai Hui was also caught off guard.
As he swallowed the porridge, his whole body started to burn and turn red like a cooked prawn. He did not sit down, but took out his Dragonspine instead and started to execute his unique Circulatory Cycle Revolution.
Although the sword embryo was long gone, he preserved this peculiar way of executing the Circulatory Cycle Revolution.
The brightness of the Skyheart Flaming Lotus Lamp within Ai Hui’s sky palace increased sharply.