Chapter 424 - Central Pine Valley
The wood elemental energy pool in the bamboo forest operated smoothly. Nothing went wrong.
The awkward atmosphere between Ai Hui and Shi Xueman had finally disappeared, appearing as if nothing had happened. Ai Hui had enough of his mysterious feeling of guilt. He did not even know why he felt guilty. After all, he did not owe Iron Lady any money!
This was something that continued to trouble Ai Hui. From his understanding of himself, he would only feel guilty when he owed other people money.
If Shi Xueman knew what Ai Hui was thinking, she would have sneered at him nonstop.
After three days, the elemental energies in the five elemental pools finally stabilized.
The valley looked completely different from before.
If one looked down at the valley from the sky, he or she would discover that the entire valley had been divided into five zones, each with a distinct color. The water elemental zone was like a dreamland shrouded in misty rain. The wood elemental zone was covered with lush and verdant trees. The fire elemental zone was a piece of naked, crimson land. The earth elemental zone had a prominent, yellow-colored sand dune. The metal elemental zone gave off a bright metallic lustre.
The five elemental zones were completely different from each other.
In the center of the valley was an empty circular space. This space was where everyone lived together. The point of them living together was to enable them to react aptly to sudden situations. If all of them lived separately in the valley, then they would easily get caught in individual battles if they were attacked by dire beasts. Safety would be everyone’s main priority for the time being.
Ai Hui was still pondering over this issue.
As the elemental energies became plentiful, Duanmu Huanghun’s plants began to grow frantically, becoming verdant and lush. The glow that the defensive ancient tree emitted became brighter while its defensive capabilities became more powerful.
However, Ai Hui still felt that these were not enough.
The area of the valley was too large. The defensive coverage of just one ancient defensive tree could not cover such a huge area. Wood elemental defense systems had the unique characteristic of being directly connected to time. As time passed, the wood elemental defense system would gradually become stronger. Duanmu Huanghun’s defense system was flawless, but it still needed time before it could take complete effect.
However, the dangerous dire beasts would not wait for their defense system to be completely set up.
Not only did they need to guard against dire beasts, they also needed to guard against other elementalists. This valley possessed all five elements. If the news were to spread out, the valley would attract powerful and covetous elementalists, including the Elders Guild.
No one could resist such a powerful temptation.
Even if Iron Lady’s father was to try to protect them, he would not be able to single-handedly contend against so many people.
Shi Beihai would be unable to protect the valley, let alone bums like them.
The Wilderness Expansion Order clearly stated that whoever completed building a city possessing all five elements first would be granted the position of Great Elder, but Ai Hui and his counterparts knew that this was too good to be true. Just because one was named Great Elder, would he or she really be the Great Elder? Could he or she then govern the Elders Guild without any obstacles? Stop dreaming!
Ai Hui and his counterparts had no interest in the position of Great Elder. It was worthless to them.
Originally, the plan had been to sell this city, but now no one could bear to do so. This city had high concentrations of elemental energy and exceptionally fertile lands. Where could they find such a place again after selling it?
They might put it up for sale in the future, but definitely not now.
They needed to think about how to safeguard the city. Ai Hui and his internal department had come to a common understanding that they could not let the outside world know about the existence of Central Pine Valley before they developed enough defensive capabilities.
Central Pine Valley was the name everyone had come up with for the valley. It was to remind them not to forget where they’d come from.
Ai Hui wanted to turn Central Pine Valley into an impregnable fortress. Doing so would make those covetous elementalists think about the heavy price they would have to pay if they were to invade Central Pine Valley. Only then would they negotiate and do business with Ai Hui.
The rest understood this as well. Every combat elementalist was training with all their might. It would be a waste if they did not train hard in such a perfect training ground!
Meanwhile, the herbalists and farmers were preparing to grow herbs and elemental beans respectively. They were extremely enthusiastic and hardworking. They had never seen such fertile lands before. They could cultivate any types of herbs and elemental beans in this place. One should take note that the prices of fire elemental resources and earth elemental resources were exorbitant nowadays.
With such high concentrations of elemental energy, they were very confident that they could cultivate high-grade herbs and high-grade elemental beans. If they could do this, the valley would not need to worry about a lack of financial capabilities. Even the herbalists and farmers themselves would benefit.
They were filled with gratitude towards Miss Mingxiu.
At this time, nothing was more important than joining a faction with a bright future. Unless one was a Grandmaster, his or her individual strength would be extremely insignificant.
After spending some time together, all of them grew to love being in this team. No one asserted his or her authority and there were no complicated etiquettes to follow. Those who were capable would be respected. In battles, everyone was taken care of and no one would be neglected. Furthermore, with Ai Hui and his friends taking care of the front line, what was there to be worried about? Could this place get any better?
They were already envisioning the countless accomplishments they would achieve in the future.
Everyone was extremely busy. Not an idle soul could be spotted. Even the children were helping out.
Wei An followed behind everyone. His body was thin and weak, resembling a bamboo pole. He had left his aunt who had been taking care of him since he was very young to follow his teacher. Naturally, he knew who the legendary Lightning Blade was. When Ai Hui suddenly visited Wei An at his house and told him that he was his teacher, he felt as if he was dreaming. If not for the fact that Ai Hui’s face was rather recognizable, he would have thought that he had encountered a swindler.
Wei An certainly had not expected his aunt to agree to Ai Hui’s request without any hesitation after seeing the token Ai Hui gave her.
Following which, he’d boarded a Fiery Floating Cloud and was sent to this valley.
The period of time he spent here felt like a dream. Even until now, he still felt that he was in a dream. Fortunately, there were other children in this valley as well. Otherwise, he would be bored to death. Su Qingye and the rest were longtime disciples of his teacher. Since he came the latest, he was the youngest disciple.
Being the weakest and the youngest disciple, everyone took great care of him .
Wei An had only been through some basic training in the past. His strength paled in comparison to that of his seniors. Other than the daily trainings, they had to follow Grandpa Mo Zhong to cultivate plants like sword reeds.
Everyone in this place worked very hard. No one dared to idle around.
The busiest person was his teacher. Wei An seldom saw his teacher take a rest. Sometimes, he did not even have the time to teach them. Whenever this happened, Lou Lan or Aunt Xueman would come and teach them.
Wei An felt that Aunt Xueman was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, but they still liked Lou Lan more. Other than teaching them, Lou Lan would supervise their trainings and give them snacks.
When Wei An thought of snacks, he could not help but start drooling. He could never let the hateful Uncle Fatty see that he had snacks, otherwise, Uncle Fatty would use his malt candies to "swap" with their snacks. Wei An heard that Uncle Fatty and his teacher had been through numerous life-and-death situations in the past. Wei An could not understand why their characters were so different.
Uncle Fatty always liked to idle around. Furthermore, he was so fat…
Fortunately, there was Lou Lan to supervise Uncle Fatty and stop him from idling.
Wei An’s teacher was the most hardworking man he had ever seen. Everyone admired his teacher. When he grew up, he wanted to be someone like his teacher.
Wei An raised his head to look at the small black dot at the volcanic crater of Blackfish Mouth Volcano. He could not see the black dot clearly, but he knew it was his teacher.
His teacher had already stayed at the volcanic crater for a day and a night.
Ai Hui was finding the nodes for fire elemental energy in the volcano.
They ultimately had to depend on the volcano to ward off dire beasts and elementalists.
The volcano contained a boundless amount of fire elemental energy. It was their greatest resource.
Before they could use the immense fire elemental energy of the volcano, however, they first had to identify the nodes within it.
Despite this, due to the surging lava, the high temperature, and the terrifying destructive power of the violent fire elemental energy, even Ai Hui did not dare to step into the lava. This was the most complicated elemental energy flow Ai Hui had ever encountered. Since the fire elemental energy was extremely violent, Ai Hui’s perceptive energy could not reach the depths of the lava. The fire elemental energy in the depths of the lava was unusually turbulent.
Ai Hui heaved a sigh. He knew that he still could not fully grasp the energy flow of the fire elemental energy in the volcano with his current capabilities.
He had to wait until he reached the level of Master before he could utilize the elemental energy of the volcano. As Ai Hui thought of this, he felt that he was too greedy. One step at a time.
Upon realizing that his idea was unrealistic, Ai Hui immediately changed the direction of his thinking process. A plausible defensive design plan quickly emerged in his mind.
He thought of the lava-spitting beast that they had previously encountered. Among the spoils of war, there were two intact spitting snouts.
Perhaps he could think of some uses for these two spitting snouts…
Ai Hui’s eyes lit up.
Blind He was fiddling with the White Cluster Flames. He was feeling slightly bored. Right now, there were a lot of things to be done in the valley. Everyone was busy with either training or cultivating plants. No one needed him to forge any weapons.
By having nothing to do, Blind He felt that he was wasting such high-grade flames; however, the amount of materials that they had brought on this trip was limited. They only brought the bare necessities. There was still some time before they searched for new ore veins. Furthermore, since the valley was cut off from the rest of the world, he could not buy any materials.
Blind He felt that if the city expanded in the future, the smelting furnace could be rented out.
The White Cluster Flames were burning for nothing now. Such a waste. Whenever Blind He thought of how the high-grade flames were being wasted, he felt as if his heart was bleeding.
Who wants to forge something? If you don’t need weapons, I can forge farming tools as well!
Blind He had already put away his ego and aloof attitude. Asking a master weaponsmith to make farming tools? What a joke!
Very soon, the news of Blind He’s willingness to forge farming tools spread among the farmers and herbalists. Everyone thought they heard the news wrongly. Their farming tools, such as hoes and sickles, needed to be forged specifically.
Then again, there weren’t master weaponsmiths that would lower themselves to forge farming tools.
As such, when Blind He told everyone his intention, all the farmers and herbalists came over anxiously, including Mo Zhong.
Blind He took over a hoe and examined it. With an indifferent voice, he said, "Its sharpness is passable. Hmm, the materials to upgrade it are not of high-grade. Alright, I get it. Elemental energy needs to be channeled into the blade of the hoe. It can’t be too sharp, otherwise, it will damage the roots of the plants."
Blind He’s casual remarks won everyone over easily. He was truly a Master. Anything he said hit the nail on the head.
"Thank you, Master He. Master, sorry for troubling you." The farmer bowed respectfully to Blind He.
"No big deal," Blind He replied plainly.
Following which, he picked up the hoe and placed it in the White Cluster Flames. The white-colored flames spurted over the surface of the hoe while Blind He continued turning his wrist. He was adjusting the angle from which the White Cluster Flames were spurting at the hoe. The surface of the hoe became bright red. As Blind He’s wrist continued to turn, layers of wave-like patterns began to appear on the surface of the hoe.
The hoe became smaller and the glow on the hoe’s blade also disappeared, but all the farmers’ eyes turned red at this moment. They had rich experience and could tell that the hoe’s quality had improved by one grade with a glance.
"Thank you Master He! Thank you Master He!" The farmer thanked Blind He incoherently.
"No big deal," Blind He blurted out and continued involuntarily, "Is one hoe enough? How about five hoes? Each for one type of elemental energy. Don’t all of you want to grow all five types of elemental energy beans?"
The farmers were stunned. They had never heard of anyone willing to forge such a high-grade hoe for every element.
A covetous-looking herbalist ran over. "Master…"
"No big deal. Is it enough? I thought there were five types of elemental energy? What about herb baskets? Cannot be forged? Nonsense! I shall forge it for you! Do you need a millstone? No big deal. Equipment for forging Grass-grade weapons? No big deal. One set? Do you want a spare set? Troublesome? No, it won’t be troublesome. No big deal."