This place was called the ‘Flowing Flame Sea’, and was a famous scenic spot in Southern Wasteland.
Flowing Flame Sea was a sea, but filled with countless volcanos. Volcanos in the sea erupted all year round, sending fires into the sky and releasing lava to boil the sea. As a consequence, this sea was constantly boiling. Except for some strong creatures with especially great life-force, no aquatic creatures could live in this sea. Because of the lava and smoke released from the volcanos, on the volcanic islands and under the water, plants with the nature of fire had been growling, while none of the other types of plants could grow in this area.
Therefore, seeing a linden tree standing on an island from a distance away, Ji Hao felt a bit strange. Especially that, looking from where Ji Hao was, the tree was merely around three-meter tall, but Ji Hao was tens of thousands of miles away from the tree. From such a long distance away, Ji Hao saw the tree with a single glance, and felt it was so towering.
"Something’s wrong!" Ji Hao murmured as he turned around and attempted to leave.
The golden bridge released a dark golden light and rose into the air, bringing Ji Hao swiftly away. In the next moment, after a sudden dizziness, Ji Hao shockingly realized that he had moved to upon the sea surface, less than a hundred miles away from the linden tree.
"Something is really wrong!" Ji Hao shouted out, packed the golden bridge and let out a layer of golden light, surrounding his entire body. With all his power, he dashed backward.
Puff! The space was torn apart while Ji Hao bumped out from the rip of the space, and had his head thud against the ground. As a Divine Magus, his head was incredibly hard, such that he knocked a deep hole out of the ground and raised a large cloud of dust.
"Little friend, you’re too polite, too polite. No need to kowtow to me."
A slight and weak voice came from the front, right after which, a strengthful hand pressed on Ji Hao’s shoulder and slightly pushed. Ji Hao couldn’t help but be sent up into the sky. He shook his head hard and got rid of the dust around his head, then fixed his eyes on the front area.
The linden tree was right before his eyes, entirely green, like a jade statue. Under the tree, was a scrawny old man with a small bun on his head, and was sitting on a straw hassock. The old man’s lips curved downwards, giving a strong sense of bitterness. His slouched eyelids were dropped, that made him seem to be weak and powerless, like a person with a serious illness. Ji Hao felt quite uncomfortable to look at him.
Glancing at this old man, Ji Hao felt rather not good because of the bitter look of his. All of a sudden, Ji Hao seemed to grasp all the bitterness and painfulness that came from billions of times of reincarnations of countless living beings, and an unprecedented bitterness and sadness slowly rose from his heart. Ji Hao sensed a sharp pain from his heart, then he burst into tears.
The old man looked at Ji Hao silently. The gray and broken cloth worn by him fluttered in the air without being blown with any wind, as if he hadn’t eaten anything for a long time. Weakly, the old man said to Ji Hao, "What a talented boy. By simply seeing my face, you understood the secret of the great Dao, that the lives of all living beings are bitter. My little friend, we are destined to meet each other. Come, come here, kowtow to me and be my disciple!"
Hearing the old man, Ji Hao sensed nothing but a strong bitterness from his heart. Next, the bitterness spread out from all his internal organs, then reached his mouth and spread on his tongue. He felt like a hundred thousand gall bladders, and a million kilograms of Coptis chinensis had been compressed into a small bowl of liquid, and that blow of liquid was poured into his mouth, while he was forced to hold the liquid in his mouth and carefully taste it.
This indescribable bitterness almost made Ji Hao’s soul collapse. Sticky cold sweat oozed out of Ji Hao’s pores, and even the sweat had been releasing a dense, bitter scent.
With tears flowing out of his eyes almost in streams, Ji Hao forced himself to stand straight, looking at the old man in shock.
Linden tree, and an old priest…
Ji Hao seemed to think of something, but he was now entirely soaked in the horrible bitterness, and his brain worked as slow as a snail. He felt like he was recalling the old man’s name right now, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t do it, neither could say the name out.
"You…you…" Ji Hao tremblingly pointed his finger at the old man.
"All living beings are bitter, and the seal of bitterness is boundless!" The old man’s lip corners curved downwards, as well as his eye corners. His entire face was dropping. In Ji Hao’s eyes, even the bones of this old man were weakly dropping.
Bitter, miserable, a strong sense of sadness and despair was released from every corner of this old man’s body, transforming into a thick screen that firmly locked Ji Hao in it.
A strong gale blew across the sea. Behind the old man, the linden tree swayed slightly. Countless leaves shook on the tree, and every single leaf seemed to contain a tiny world, with countless frightened, sad and despairing faces sparkling in it. This linden tree seemed to contain all miserable people in the world, and had been replaying countless pathetic lives, all soaked in bitterness.
A great amount of saliva gushed out from Ji Hao’s salivary gland. The bitter saliva flew out through his mouth corners. He opened his mouth widely and let the clear and extremely bitter saliva surge out ceaselessly. His strength went away bit by bit along with the bitter saliva, that made his body soft and weak, causing a limp in his knees, even making him kneel down.
"The sea of bitterness is boundless, but mercy can serve as a boat." The old man narrowed his eyes, smiled to Ji Hao and said, "Come, be my disciple. You will feel no bitterness anymore! I am Priest Mu, I will be your Shifu!"
Ji Hao looked at the old man in a daze, then abruptly began laughing idiotically.
The tangible seed of Dao released dazzling golden light while those chains transformed from power of the great Dao swiftly rotated. Purely positive and violent sun power was released from the seed of Dao and immediately filled Ji Hao’s body.
The Pan Jia sun was under the control of the seed of Dao, giving out strong streams of warmth, flowing around Ji Hao’s body and fending against the bitterness. Especially thin beams of golden light dazzled out from Ji Hao’s body, and added a beautiful golden luster to his skin. Even his hair turned slightly golden, looking like threads of gold.
The old man slightly frowned, then an even stronger bitterness struck down straight onto Ji Hao’s head, like a fierce bolt of lightning.
Ji Hao chuckled, widely opened all three eyes of his, then gave a resonant roar. He pulled out the nine suns spear with his right hand and launched the combined move with all his power.
A splendid golden arc light struck down towards the old man’s head while Ji Hao growled, "Bitter? Bitter my…"
Ji Hao tried to use a dirty word to express his anger, but before the word was let out of his mouth, an unstoppable natural will suddenly descended, sealing his mouth and tongue, disabling him from saying that.
However, this full-power attack he launched tot he old man was perfect. The nine suns spear buzzed deeply while landing on the old man’s head and touching that small bun, almost in the same moment when Ji Hao pulled it out.
The old man sighed and murmured, "Bitter indeed!"
He waved the broad right sleeve of his gently towards the nine suns spear while his left hand pulled out a vividly green branch from an unknown source, slapping towards Ji Hao’s chest while leaving a soft green light in the air.