"Why? Why do you have to give so much for her? Is she worth it?"
He was still smiling faintly, and he still didn't make a sound. He had already shown his heart from the moment he knelt down in front of her. He had to go, no matter what he had to face.
"Go, go, go!" Wang Qiu'er continued to shout. "Just go, and go to your death. The Jade Phosphorous Flowers fear the cold!. If you channel your domain to the strongest possible level, even those Jade Phosphorous Flowers of the Nine Absolutes will be afraid of you. Go, you bastard! I will not follow you to a certain death, you can go by yourself if you want to die for her! You will never return, ever!"
She tossed him heavily into the distance as she spoke, and he flew for dozens of meters before finally slamming into a tree.
Huo Yuhao didn't utter a word from beginning to end, he was just quietly staring at her with a faint smile on his face. He still wore the same smile even when he got to his feet after crashing into the enormous tree, which had snapped in two from the impact.
"Thank you." He finally opened his mouth, and said words that couldn't get any simpler as he strode towards the miasmic clouds.
Wang Qiu'er didn't follow him this time.
Huo Yuhao paused after a few steps and turned back around. He looked at Wang Qiu'er, who was still rooted to the ground, her shoulders still quivering.
"You're a nice girl, Qiu'er. We will always be friends whether I return from this expedition dead or alive." He left this statement for her and gave her a radiant smile before he turned back around. He didn't stop or slow down this time as he widened his stride and walked away. His steps were determined and unwavering.
"Bastard!" Wang Qiu'er suddenly exclaimed and hurled her right fist violently. She hammered heavily on the large tree that she had just tossed Huo Yuhao against.
The tree was thick enough for a person to place his or her arms around, but the broken half of the tree flew backwards into the distance and slammed against another large tree before it broke apart into smithereens. Her punch was just too strong and ferocious.
Wang Qiu'er bit down on her lower lip as she collapsed to the ground, and tears flowed down her face uncontrollably. "Why? How can there be a fool, an idiot like him? Why is he willing to give his life for a girl? He's still going to do it even though he knows he's going to die! Has he really gone crazy?"
Huo Yuhao's faint smile surfaced repeatedly before her eyes... that despicable smile! The final image stopped at the moment he knelt down before her.
Wang Qiu'er knew that she would never forget this moment, when he knelt down in front of her for another woman. She would remember this for the rest of her life.
"Huo Yuhao! You… you're such a bastard!" Wang Qiu'er shouted in Huo Yuhao's direction as he departed the scene. Intense golden light erupted from her body, and every inch within ten meters around her glowed with golden luster.
Huo Yuhao wasn't that far away, so he could still hear her voice. That faint smile appeared on his mouth once more, but he didn't turn back around.
I'm sorry, Qiu'er. Perhaps this is the best ending. After all, I am the only person that should be here for this dangerous endeavor.
So, the Jade Phosphorous Seven Exotic Flower was not afraid of fire, but it was afraid of extreme cold. No wonder uncle Niu Tian had figured that he had the ability to venture into this place.
What Huo Yuhao didn't know was that Niu Tian had decided to give that pouch to Wang Dong'er because of Huo Yuhao's Snow Empress Spirit. He had both Ultimate ice and snow, and extreme chill was a natural counter to the toxic miasma all around him. Of course, the prerequisite was that he had to be strong enough. Niu Tian had never expected that Huo Yuhao had Skydream Iceworm, and that Skydream was strong enough to break the spiritual seal. This ended up with Huo Yuhao coming into the Setting Sun Forest prematurely.
Huo Yuhao hadn't moved too far before he found a relatively flat place to sit down. He began to meditate to restore his soul power, while he filled the final two empty Milk Bottles at the same time.
Huo Yuhao closed his eyes, and began to devise and refine the plan in his mind. It was impossible to make his plan entirely seamless and without loopholes, but he had to make sure to prevent all dangers that could possibly appear.
Today's adventure wasn't a complete waste, as he had managed to figure some things out, while also discovering that the Jade Phosphorous Flowers were the true originators of the toxic miasma. This information was imperative to his operation and what he was about to do.
Wang Qiu'er seemed to have given up on him, and didn't follow him. Huo Yuhao had had a peculiar sentiment when he knelt down; he had wanted to show his determination to her, but he had also wanted to consolidate this determination for himself. Furthermore, he had become a lot calmer and more rational than before.
He had thought it through. He didn't have to find the herb on this expedition, and the mentality of paying with his life even if he was unsuccessful was irresponsible. What he had to do was do everything he could and whatever was necessary to obtain that herb.
It wasn't embarrassing to ask for help. If he couldn't do it by himself, then he would have to ask the academy for help. Shrek Academy's abilities meant there was definitely something they could do against all this miasma. Furthermore, the Jade Phosphorous Flower of the Nine Absolutes would be extremely beneficial for the academy's plant-type soul masters.
According to Niu Tian, Wang Dong'er's hidden injury would only be triggered at the age of twenty, while she was currently only seventeen years old. Niu Tian would never use Dong'er's life as a joke, so this time estimation should be accurate. That also meant that he had more than two years left.
On the other hand, if Skydream hadn't helped him open that spiritual seal, he would never have opened that seal by himself to see everything that he had seen until after at least another year. That also meant that this endeavor wasn't that urgent.
Huo Yuhao gradually realized all this after he encountered the Jade Phosphorous Flowers of the Seven Absolutes. The worry, the anxiety, and even the feeling of valiant sacrifice settled down after he thought everything through. What he had to do now was everything he could to probe the valley's secrets. Obtaining sufficient and valuable information was enough.
If he didn't have the strength to find this herb, it wouldn't be difficult to rely on his own abilities to retreat safely so that he could go back with his life. He would then find another opportunity to come back here to retrieve the herb when his chances were boosted to the highest possible level, and that outcome was what he really wanted.
The reason why he said all that he did to Wang Qiu'er was because he really didn't want to owe her this favor. Huo Yuhao could faintly feel something from Wang Qiu'er's emotions and her attitude… However, he already had Dong'er, and he couldn't touch Wang Qiu'er's feelings at all, and this was especially true because they were in a perilous place. Even though he knew that his operation would be a lot easier if he had Wang Qiu'er's help, he didn't dare to ask her for more help.
He knew that he couldn't afford to owe her this favor. Therefore, he would rather she leave his side than allow her to continue on this hazardous adventure with him. Huo Yuhao had still perceived Wang Qiu'er as just his friend before this, and when they pushed through the poisonous clouds, he had unleashed his abilities while hugging her at the same time. However, she had subconsciously leaned into his shoulder, and it was then that Huo Yuhao realized something wasn't right. I'm sorry, Qiu'er…
Midday had just passed, and Huo Yuhao wasn't about to wait until the following day. He recharged both Milk Bottles and used another hour to rest so that he could be at his optimum condition.
This was the hottest time of the day, so the miasmic clouds weren't any stronger than before. Huo Yuhao checked his inventory and equipment once more before he activated his flying-type soul tool and soared into the sky, and back towards the place locked in his memory.
Huo Yuhao had Spiritual Detection to accurately determine his location, and he quickly found the place where the dense multicolored clouds sank downward, and where bluish-green lights shone faintly.
He didn't plunge through the toxic clouds here. Instead, he hovered in midair about one kilometer from his destination.
"This is about right. I won't touch those Jade Phosphorous Poison Clouds." Huo Yuhao mumbled under his breath, and the stationary soul cannon was back on his shoulder in the next moment.
His method was no different from before, and he tossed one shell before he fired another one from his shoulder immediately afterwards. Two incendiary explosive bombs collided in midair, and the subsequent explosion created an enormous hole in the miasmic clouds.
Huo Yuhao didn't fire another two rounds with the experience from before, as he had enough understanding and judgment about the poison clouds' thickness and strength. He didn't have to waste his cannon shells, as those things, would be critical to protecting his life when he broke out from this place.
Huo Yuhao plummeted towards the ground as soon as the hole appeared.
Right at this moment, a golden light erupted beside him without warning and dove down through the sky along with him.
The owner of this golden light was burning up with pale golden flames, and the faint miasma dissipated and vanished when it came into contact with these flames.
"You… why have you followed me?" Huo Yuhao's voice was full of exasperation.
There was no question that Wang Qiu'er was the owner of this golden light. Huo Yuhao hadn't used Spiritual Detection at all so that he could conserve soul power, which was why he had no idea that Wang Qiu'er had followed behind him, and that she had picked this "opportune" moment. They were both barreling through the poisonous clouds, and there was no way he could reject her participation anymore.