There were high and big fences around the garden. There was a door as well. A boy with coiled-up hair was partly leaning at the door-side; he was wearing black clothes. His head was tilted; he seemed to be whistling in his sleep. A faint smile was hung on the corner of his mouth. It seemed as if he was having a beautiful dream.
The two apes looked at each other. They then waved their arms, and made a few gestures.
The white ape nodded its head. It then jumped out of the woods, and started to dance in joy while making creaking sounds.
The black-clothed boy heard the sounds. And, he was woken from his beautiful dream.
However, he didn’t get time to make any movement. The white ape opened its mouth, and puffed out a group of flames. The flames hit the black-clothed boy’s body like meteors, and ignited his clothes.
The white ape closed its mouth. Then, its feet touched the ground with a creaking screech. It had a proud look on its face.
The black-clothed boy became angry. He raised his hand, and red-and-green colored clouds rolled out from it. They extinguished the blazing flame from his clothes in a flash. He then waved his hand, and took out a long golden-red whip. He thrashed it towards the white ape.
The length of the long whip increased with the wind; it stretched-up to ten times of its original size. Then, the tip of the whip started to release groups of red flames.
The white ape issued a strange scream. Its body moved sideways, and fled while pulling out some of the white after-images. It then jumped to hundred or more feet to get out of the danger zone, and dodged the strike of the whip.
The ground shook as the long whip hit it. Then, a blazing flame shot in the ground, and a black hole emerged out of it.
The white ape didn’t seem to be fearful. It raised its tail higher, and swung his red butt towards the black-clothed boy. It then turned its head. It looked towards him, and made a wry face. It seemed that he felt extreme hate towards the ape.
The white ape had awakened the black-clothed boy from a beautiful dream. So, he was extremely angry. And, the ape was making fun of him now. This made him so angry that he couldn’t restrain himself. He brandished his whip once again, and shot it towards the white ape.
A proud look flashed through the eyes of the white ape. It issued a loud creaking shout, and ran away towards a distant place. It continued to turn around and kept making various kinds of weird faces. A whip had been shot towards it a moment ago. But, the ape had escaped it owing to its quick wit. And, this made the black-clothed boy even angrier.
The boy and the ape had soon disappeared in the depth of thick fog. Even their traces couldn’t be seen anymore.
A swishing sound was heard at this time. The grey ape jumped out of the forest. Its eyes looked towards a distant place. It then exposed a happy expression on its face. It moved its body, and got transformed into grey-shadows. It then scuttled like electricity, and dashed towards the territory where those various kinds of fruits grew.
It looked towards the fruits in the surroundings, and issued a creaking sound in excitement. It then tweaked its ears, and scratched its cheeks.
Then, its figure scuttled to a fruit-tree in a flash. It stretched out its hands, and picked a fruit. After that, it took a mouthful of bite from the fruit.
The eyes of the grey ape flickered and shone. The flavor of the fruit seemed to be fabulous and satisfying.
Suddenly, a screeching shout was heard from a distant place from outside the garden; it was the white ape’s voice.
Suddenly, the grey ape raised its head. It still had half of the bite of the white fruit in its mouth. It then looked towards the place from where the sound was coming. The shadow of a man with an anxious face was rushing towards it with a very fast speed.
The grey ape was surprised. It swung its arm, and threw away the fruit. It then searched its body with its other hand. It was unclear how it took out a big piece of cloth from somewhere. It then wrapped it up to make a pouch. After that, it began to collect fruits in that pouch. It picked all the fruits quickly, and hurriedly stuffed them into the pouch.
The pouch was soon filled with fruits.
The grey ape tied the pouch to the back of its body. It then jumped out from the entrance of the garden. It quickly scuttled out of the garden. In fact, it was so fast that it seemed as if it was flying. After that, it went towards the platform near the forest.
The black-clothed boy was too late. He looked helplessly towards the escaping grey ape with the pouch full of stolen fruits. He angrily issued a scream. He then chased after it while issuing several loud sounds in anger. He covered some distance in anger, but eventually stopped chasing the ape.
It was impossible to chase after a swift ape in a jungle. Moreover, that despicable white ape was perhaps nearby as well.
The grey ape jumped through the mountain-forest smoothly; as if it was treading on a plain land. Its face was filled with happy expressions. It then issued a roar in excitement.
It arrived at a river beside a valley after a short period of time. It stood still for a moment, and a sly color flashed through its eyes.
It then put down the pouch from its back. It took out few of the biggest fruits from it, and hid them in the bushes beside it. After that, it tied the pouch on its back, and stood-up to enter into the valley.
The white ape was already in the valley. It looked towards the grey ape and the big pouch on its back. The white ape became happy, and started to dance in joy.
The grey ape came over with quick steps. It put down the pouch from its back, and took all the big fruits out from it.
The white ape drooled with desire. It extended its hand to take a fruit, but the grey ape pushed its hand aside.
The white ape was startled. The grey ape took out all the fruits from the pouch with a very fast speed. After that, it divided them into two halves, and put one half in front of the white ape. It then put the remaining half into the pouch, and tied it on its back.
The grey ape shouted at the white ape. It then waved its arm, and walked in the direction of the exit of the valley.
The white ape didn’t seem to be concerned about the departure of the grey ape. It looked towards the pile of fruits on the ground with a delightful expression on its face.
It grabbed a red fruit, and readily bit half of it. It gradually swallowed down the entire fruit. Then, it picked-up another fruit.
The white ape ate to its full appetite. And, it ate quickly; so much so that it had gulped down that pile of fruits in just a few breaths’ time.
Its lower abdomen swelled-up. It touched its mouth, and exposed a satisfied look on its face.
But then, the happy expression vanished from its face. It covered its belly with its hand. It then exposed a painful look on its face.
The fruits had changed into cold and hot streams of air inside its belly. The streams fled, and entered into the Qi of its body. It felt as if countless knives were being stabbed into its body.
The complexion of the white ape turned blue and white in pain. Then, the golden light in its eyes started to flicker.
The white ape hopped-up from the ground. It then started to climb-up to the mountain that lay on its side at a very fast speed.
It was so fast that it had reached the summit in a few breaths’ time.
The fierce sun hung up in the sky. The white ape sat down cross-legged; its arms lay prostrate. It raised its head upwards, and opened its mouth. It then took a long breath.
After that, a strand of white light converged in midair, and got condensed into a white light beam. It then rushed forth, and entered into the mouth of the white ape.
Colors of suffering became visible on the face of the white ape as soon as the light beam entered its mouth. It scattered in its body, and pacified all the streams of air inside it. It then got transformed into a warm stream of air. It slowly flew inside its body.
The white ape continued to maintain this posture. And, that beam of white light continued to become brighter and thicker with the passage of time.
The white ape opened its eyes after an unknown period of time. And, traces of a golden blaze started to appear in its pupils.
Countless golden characters of various sizes appeared in its mind at the same time. Then, they got converged together. They then condensed, and took the form of a piece of paper. The paper had some characters written on it.
The first three characters were – Sun-Swallowing Art.
Shi Mu’s body shivered as came out of his dreamland.
He was startled to look at his body. He didn’t know when he had sat-up. He was in the same posture as that of the white ape while it was swallowing sun in his dream.
White light had been falling down from the hatchway above him, and had been merging into his body. Then, it had changed into a warm current, and had started to flow slowly.
However, the beam of white light dissipated without leaving any trace behind as soon as Shi Mu came into his senses.
"Sun-Swallowing Art… "
Shi Mu had already experienced the Moon Swallowing Art. So, he wasn’t amazed. He thought for a while. Then, his heart was filled with ecstasy. He realized that he had comprehended a wonderful cultivation art once again while being in an unconscious state of mind.
However, he couldn’t even recall one character from that slip of paper as he thought about the Sun Swallowing Art.
But, he didn’t worry since he had already experienced the Moon Swallowing Art.
He looked towards his surroundings. Flames were rolling-up under the stove. And, they were issuing stuffy sounds of rumbling in the fourth room of the fire room.
Shi Mu recalled the things that had happened while he was unconscious. He closed his eyes, and tried to feel the state of internal parts of his body. He was startled, and his face exposed colors of ecstasy.
His real Qi had been in a chaotic situation in his lower abdomen. But now, traces of air-masses had been concentrated there. They had taken the form of a silkworm cocoon, and were rolling-up.
A thought crossed Shi Mu’s mind. Suddenly, the rolling-speed of the air-masses was accelerated. Then, tremendous amount of real Qi was released outside his body from the air-masses. It radiated every part of his body.
A piece of thin red light appeared on the surface of his body, and his entire body began to fill with formidable power. He couldn’t help but look up in the sky and issue a long shout. However, he restrained himself soon after.
Shi Mu opened his eyes again. Then, he jumped-up with an expression of ecstasy on his face.
The air-masses in his lower abdomen had concentrated owing to his advancement towards the Xian Tian realm. The Qi palace in his body had officially taken the form of a Qi embryo.
The real Qi in his body had been coagulated to form a Qi embryo. So, he was now only half-a-step away from entering into the Xian Tian realm.
Now, he only needed to continue practicing the seventh layer of the ‘Art of the Flaming Red Ape’. Moreover, he had to wait for the Qi embryo to accumulate enough Real Qi and be steady. This would allow him to establish the Qi palace and step into the Xian Tian realm.
Shi Mu’s mood was very good. The real Qi surging-up in his body slowly vanished. He was about to sit cross-legged, and continue his practice.
However, the door of the fourth fire room suddenly issued a rumbling sound, and opened.
A third grade disciple was standing outside the door with an anxious look on his face. But, he exposed a happy expression as he saw Shi Mu.
"Senior Brother!" the third grade disciple walked towards Shi Mu, and greeted him.
"Brother, what’s the matter?" Shi Mu asked.
The third grade disciple stared blankly as he heard this. He hesitated and said, "You’ve been staying here for twenty-eight days already. You didn’t come out. So, I’ve come to see you."
"Twenty-eight days already…?" Shi Mu was surprised.
It meant that he had been unconscious for almost seven days.
The third grade disciple felt relaxed in his heart. It was a trivial matter that Shi Mu had occupied the stone room for more than the predetermined time. But, Shi Mu hadn’t come out of the room for so many days. So, the third grade disciple had been worried that something unexpected had happened to him inside the room.
Shi Mu was a senior disciple of the Black Demon Sect. So, the third grade disciple would’ve been blamed if something unexpected had happened to him in the fire room. Therefore, he was relieved to see that Shi Mu was safe and sound.
"Thank you for informing me, Brother. I was practicing a cultivation art of the Sect with the help of the power of fire, and I got lost in that. So, I didn’t realize when the predetermined time passed," Shi Mu chuckled and replied.
"Senior Brother doesn’t need to explain anything. But, do you still want to continue renting the fire room?" the third grade disciple smiled and asked.
"There’s no need for that." Shi Mu thought for a while, and shook his head.
Shi Mu patted the clothes on his body. He then turned around, and walked out of the entrance of the fire room.
There wasn’t much time left before he would have to leave for the Heavenly Demon Sect. Therefore, he couldn’t have continued his practice anyway…
Shi Mu departed from the third peak, and started to walk towards his cave residence.