Once the Earthen Core Flame was subdued by Gu Zuo, the ambient temperature immediately plummeted. If it was originally as warm as spring, there was now a somewhat cool sensation — Naturally, it wasn’t genuinely cool. Rather, because the two had stayed in the previous temperature for a long time, this misperception arose.
Gongyi Tianheng looked at Gu Zuo’s reddening complexion and shining eyes. He smiled: “Would Ah Zuo be able to operate that Earthen Core Flame so I can have a look?”
Gu Zuo was a little excited: “Naturally, there’s no problem!”
After that, his facial expression held a bit of prudence. His palm unfolded and his thoughts whirled.
In the blink of an eye, a gout of heat flowed from a bone pearl in his elbow and rushed out. It passed through his meridians and out of his medicinal bead, before suddenly appearing in the palm of his hand.
Yes. It was there that a bundle of tiny orange-vermilion flames swiftly gushed out, burning calmly.
He felt the interconnected intent between himself and this wisp of Earthen Core Flames. It seemed that so long as he use a type of hand seal, he could operate it… What was the hand seal?
There were countless notions streaking across his mind. Suddenly, he was blessed with inspiration. His other hand flipped over and his fingers flashed with ribbons of formless trajectories, which were all directed at the Earthen Core Flame’s location.
At this moment, the Earthen Core Flame twisted.
Following which, the flames underwent changes.
One would only see it change into a bird-shaped flame one moment, then a fish-shaped flame the next, and then an ape-shaped flame after that. It was just that one could only make out the general shape of a fiery bird, fish, and ape. However, the specific image was still very crude, and they didn’t feel life-like one bit — If there were any merits, it’d be that the flames were very spirited. Even though it wasn’t distinct enough, there was still a quick-witted feeling.
All of the Earthen Core Flame’s changes were taken into Tianheng’s eyes. His expression suddenly became somewhat strange. His little pharmacist really had qualities that…delighted children? On the Tianwu Continent, sixteen to seventeen year old youths already could undertake many affairs. On the contrary, it was very rare to have one that was so mischievous and cute.
However, Gongyi Tianheng watched on and his mood was very good. His smile deepened and he didn’t prohibit Gu Zuo’s “playtime”.
A good while later, Gu Zuo reacted and let the Earthen Core Flame return to normal with a hint of embarrassment — It was mainly that freely controlling the Earthen Core Flame felt too good. As a result, he couldn’t stop playing with it.
He thought it over, and explained his actions just then: “The Heavenly Fire-Submission Seal seems to be one that subdues Wondrous Fires. If I want to control it, I need to use a fire controlling seal. Speaking of which, it’s strange. The fire controlling seal is the first seal of Plucking Nine Stars, and it seems very compatible with the Heavenly Fire-Submission Seal.”
Tianheng pondered somewhat, and prudently said: “It’s probable that you’re learning the core content. The Divine Medicine Cultivation Method, the Primary Medicine Refining Hand Seals, the Spirit Piercing Awl, and the Heavenly Fire-Submission Seal should all belong to the same collective inheritance. Thus, you have this feeling of a completed set.”
Gu Zuo thought deeply: “What big brother says is reasonable.”
Tianheng’s vision softened: “Ah Zuo should properly study. It seems that these inheritances have great use to Ah Zuo. In the future, when your strength is even more profound, you’ll be able to work wonders.”
Gu Zuo naturally responded again: “Big brother, I understand.”
The two chatted for a bit before Gu Zuo went strolling through the mountain crevice.
It stood to reason that places where the world’s Wondrous Fires appeared should also have priceless treasures. Although it seemed that there was nothing at first glance, now that they subdued the Earthen Core Flame, they could just look around.
Yet, Gu Zuo miscalculated this time.
He circled around the entire mountain crevice several times, but didn’t find anything. As for what he harvested, it was just that chunk of Fire-Spirit Jade, which had a tiny breach in it. Fortunately, a bit of damage to this chunk of jade was alright. After the Earthen Core Flame emerged to run away, that crack had already healed somewhat within a brief period of time! Moreover, the jade’s color was unsullied. The entire chunk of Fire-Spirit Jade had been polished even more because the Earthen Core Flame was stored and raised inside — The Fire-Spirit Jade and Wondrous Fire were mutually beneficial. The former protected the latter, and the latter polished the former. They complemented one another.
Gu Zuo received the Earthen Core Flame into his body, so he handed the Fire-Spirit Jade over to Gongyi Tianheng: “Big brother, this is for you.”
Tianheng took it: “Oh?”
Gu Zuo earnestly said: “This is top-notch material, and it isn’t something that must contain Wondrous Fires. In the future, big brother can take it to go refine a weapon and increase his strength.”
For a martial artist, cultivation methods and martial skills were indispensable, but a proper weapon was also necessary. Currently, the weapons that Tianheng used were only barely suitable. When his realms were even higher, he would have to replace them. Otherwise, when both parties’ weapons clashed during a battle, his own weapon would already be broken. That would be a terrible thing.
Tianheng also understood Gu Zuo’s intentions, and faintly nodded. However, he stuffed the Fire-Spirit Jade back into Gu Zuo’s hands: “Since it’s precious, I’ll have to ask Ah Zuo to keep it safe for me. Rather than putting it in my Fangcun Cloth, it’s safer in Ah Zuo’s storage space.”
Gu Zuo thought this was reasonable, too. His palm flipped, and that Fire-Spirit Jade was put away in that region of his storage space that was reserved for his dear big brother.
After that, the two prepared to leave.
When ascending, they still needed to penetrate through the dense magma. Gu Zuo abruptly recalled that embarrassing spectacle when they were going down. There was a lurch in his heart and he couldn’t take a step forward.
Gongyi Tianheng’s thoughts turned. He realized what was troubling Gu Zuo and he couldn’t help chuckling. Although that scene wasn’t one he anticipated, it only gave him a novel feeling. It didn’t give rise to any uncomfortable lines of thought. Right now, as he looked at how embarrassed and hesitant Gu Zuo was, he was fully invested, and waited for Gu Zuo’s response.
Then, Gu Zuo suddenly slapped his forehead.
Right! He now had an Earth Fire protecting his body! At worst, he would only be wasting some true qi! Basically, it wouldn’t be like before when he needed to rely on his big brother’s body temperature…
Hence, Gu Zuo promptly operated his true qi. In a split second, a gout of flames gushed out from both of his palms. In addition, under his control, it formed something like a membrane, which covered the surface of his body.
Following which, Gu Zuo beckoned Tianheng: “Big brother, come quick!”
Tianheng leisurely walked closer.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Gu Zuo extended a hand and pulled Tianheng over: “Big brother, follow me this time!”
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This kind of scene was almost identical to when Tianheng discharged his true qi and Gu Zuo formed his psychic barrier to protect the two unwaveringly.
Tianheng attempted to operate his true qi.
Yet, it was hard to release his true qi within the Earthen Core Flame’s membrane. Unexpectedly, he was unable to change it freely. He let Gu Zuo know of this matter.
Gu Zuo was a little embarrassed: “It’s that my control isn’t too good yet…”
Tianheng didn’t mind. Instead, he said meaningfully: “In that case, I’ll have to ask Ah Zuo to take me along the way.”
Gu Zuo: “…”
He also realized that this was the first time he’d done something like this. There was a lot of pressure.
Then, Gu Zuo nodded his head: “I understand.”
Following that, he discharged his psychic power, which fell straight to his feet. Gu Zuo extended his other hand. Just like what Tianheng did before, he pulled Tianheng into his embrace.
But for such an embrace, a problem was found.
— His stature was a full head shorter than Gongyi Tianheng’s. There weren’t any issues with Tianheng’s long arms and long legs hugging him, but if he wanted to hug Tianheng, he could only hug the waist. Ah, it was very hard for a shortie to keep up his spirits!
Gongyi Tianheng watched Gu Zuo’s predicament, and couldn’t help laughing.
Gu Zuo’s face took a big hit.
He was being laughed at! How sad…
After Tianheng laughed for a while, he simply seized Gu Zuo into his arms. His words carried a smile that couldn’t be hidden: “Ah Zuo doesn’t need to constrain himself… It only needs me to carry you this way, while Ah Zuo uses his psychic power to carry me out.”
Gu Zuo snapped out of it.
Oh, right. Why did he have to carry his big brother? It would be the same if his big brother carried him. He simply didn’t need to cling to preconceived positions. It didn’t matter who carried who.
After realizing this, the heat on Gu Zuo’s face waned: “…Big brother, let’s go.”
Once he was done speaking, he sent out his psychic power to beneath his feet, making him shoot up instantly like a rocket. When they approached the top of the mountain crevice, he discovered a tunnel entrance that could fit two or three people. It was here that he and his big brother had previously dropped down from.
Gu Zuo didn’t hesitate in the least. He brought Tianheng through this tunnel entrance and went straight up. After passing through, he found a fiery-red substance that was in a semi-solid state all around them — Originally, he wanted to leave immediately, but after seeing this fiery-red material, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.
“Fire Essence Stone?”
Weren’t these Fire Essence Stones, which could upgrade a Wondrous Fire’s rank? Xu Lingxiu had given him a piece before!
Gu Zuo felt that his own pair of eyes should’ve been emitting golden rays of light right now.
Fire Essence Stone! Very expensive Fire Essence Stone, which could be sold for money!
These Fire Essence Stones developed from the fire qi of the Earthen Core Flame, a Wondrous Fire that surpassed first class. The stones were absolutely capable of upgrading second class Earth Fires to first class Earth Fires. Although the stones couldn’t upgrade a first class Earth Fire to a Spirit-Grade Earth Fire, they were top grade Fire Essence Stones that could slightly improve the intrinsic qualities of first class Earth Fires!
Tianheng listened to Gu Zuo’s words and faintly inclined his head: “What does Ah Zuo want to do?”
Actually, he knew about Fire Essence Stones, but he’d never seen them before. When he previously arrived, he was focused solely on carefully bringing Gu Zuo down below and searching for the Earthen Core Flame. He didn’t once pay attention to these particularly fiery-red things.
Gu Zuo clenched a fist: “I’m going to take everything away!”
Gongyi Tianheng couldn’t help smiling: “Is it possible for Ah Zuo’s true qi to support this?”
Through his perception, Gu Zuo felt that, although the rate of the true qi’s consumption wasn’t small, there shouldn’t be any problems if he was a little bit faster. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If he didn’t take the good things that were presented in front of him, wouldn’t that be a reckless waste of resources? Who knew if there’d be another chance in the future?
Hence, Gu Zuo solemnly said: “I’ll do my very best!”
Naturally, Tianheng also accompanied him and arrived before those fiery-red materials.
When they approached, they discovered that these Fire Essence Stones were perfectly round pearls that were about the size of the pad of the little finger. They were bunched up in piles, forming a glittering and beautiful scene like the glow of a sunset.
Gu Zuo was very decisive. He grabbed a big handful as soon as he reached out, and quickly put them into his storage space.
At this time, one could see the usefulness of the storage space.
So long as Gu Zuo’s thoughts turned, his extended palm would flick aside the pearls of Fire Essence Stone, and all of them would be collected at very high efficiencies. His speed was very fast. The more time that passed, the livelier his thoughts and the more active his psychic power. Later on, his psychic power discharged a shroud, where all the Fire Essence Stones within the extended range were collected!
The pearls of Fire Essence Stones were like a river of scarlet clouds. Gu Zuo spent less than a minute and everything had already been put away. Not a single pearl was left behind!
A sweep such as this was truly…extremely thorough.
Yet, this still wasn’t the end of it.
At first, Gu Zuo was prepared to leave, but he didn’t anticipate that there was a dense growth of dark-red things underneath the Fire Essence Stone pearls. They attracted his attention, and he couldn’t help taking a closer look.
This time, he was a little startled.
Those were — Fire Mushrooms?
The Fire Mushrooms covered a wide area. Each mushroom was the size of a thumb’s fingernail. The color was dull, but the mushroom’s body was quite fleshy and it looked very appetizing.
It was undoubtedly an exceptionally good medicinal herb. Most of all, when it was refined in a medicinal pill for a suitable fire attributed martial artist, there would be extremely powerful effects… This couldn’t be missed either!
Gu Zuo sucked in a deep breath. His pharmacist’s willpower was igniting!
Take! He needed to take everything!
This time, however, he requested Gongyi Tianheng’s help: “Big brother, can you help me chop them off?”
The “roots” would be left behind. Perhaps the remnant fire qi here could let a second batch of crops grow?
Although it was for the best that he didn’t use his true qi now, the control over his martial skills was very precise. Time was running out. He didn’t hesitate and immediately took out a long saber. He sent a couple chops towards those Fire Mushrooms!
Gu Zuo’s coordination was exquisite. The instant that those Fire Mushrooms were cut off, his psychic power had already enveloped them. They were all collected!
This time around, it only took a few moments. Each and every mature and plump Fire Mushroom was harvested by the dual cooperation of Gu Zuo and Gongyi Tianheng. Soon after, Tianheng put away his saber, while Gu Zuo stamped his foot. Psychic power exploded underneath and the two rapidly shot straight up.
Magma smothered them from all directions. Compared to when they were at the volcanic crater, it was much denser and hotter. However, perhaps it was due to the protective escort of the Earthen Core Flame and that the magma originated from the Earthen Core Flame, but no matter how powerful the magma was, it couldn’t hinder the momentum of their rise. Moreover, the higher they went up, the sparser the heat of the magma and, naturally, the smaller the possibility of injury to the two of them.
Gu Zuo did his best to conserve the usage of his psychic power. In his mind, he was only thinking: Faster! Faster! Faster!
If they weren’t fast enough, if they couldn’t get out in time, then it would be a disaster!
Only, when all was said and done, he had just subdued the Earthen Core Flame. No matter how careful Gu Zuo was, he still wasn’t proficient enough with his usage. As a result, the consumption of his true qi really wasn’t slow. When there was only a couple dozen meters to successfully get out, the Earthen Core Flame on Gu Zuo’s body wavered. It flickered a few times, and then it vanished.
Gu Zuo: “…”
Give a bit of time to react, okay!?
Gongyi Tianheng couldn’t help smiling. However, he’d long anticipated that there might be a slip-up with the Earthen Core Flame, so he never lowered his vigilance. Thus, he abruptly released his true qi and blocked the surrounding magma in the blink of an eye.
Gu Zuo also promptly responded. His true qi wasn’t sufficient, but he still had his psychic power! After that, he unleashed his psychic power to wrap himself and Tianheng up.
Following that, it was Tianheng’s home field.
He tightly embraced Gu Zuo, and his figure suddenly lightened. Their speed immediately doubled. Without the obstruction of the Earthen Core Flame, he now had an abundance of true qi. He was able put his martial skills to use and soared out!
A few seconds later, the volcanic crater was right before their eyes. At this moment, Tianheng swiftly rose up and carried Gu Zuo out!
Gu Zuo only felt that the air was fresh and clean…
Being covered by the magma in the volcanic crater just then was too stifling. Even though they weren’t injured by the magma, it was insufferable. After coming out, while the outside world’s ambient qi was thin, it really made one comfortable. How could there still be feelings of avoidance when they arrived at the Cangyun Continent from the Qingyun Continent?
Gongyi Tianheng set Gu Zuo down, and the true qi and psychic power of the two dispersed.
He didn’t know if it was an illusion, but Gu Zuo felt that the lava’s degree of boiling in the volcanic crater wasn’t as violent as when they first went in.
The Earthen Core Fire was already in his possession. Gu Zuo wasn’t prepared to stay here for too long, so he followed Tianheng down the mountain. Tianheng still took Gu Zuo into his embrace, and the two descended straight down from the mountain summit. The wind whistled past their ears, and it didn’t take much time for them to smoothly arrive at the base of the mountain.
This was much more relaxed compared to when they first climbed up.
After Gu Zuo regained his footing, the two walked out of the lava pool region. This time, Gu Zuo found that the boiling lava in the outer lava pools were much more calm. It seemed that it really was due to the loss of the Earthen Core Flame? But all this had nothing to do with him.
Tianheng pondered for a bit, and said: “This land of adventure probably won’t last for too long.”
Gu Zuo sighed: “After a few years, will that Hezui City no longer be as bustling as it is now?”
Tianheng smiled and said: “Previously, Hidden Dragon Mountain erupted with lava. This was a catastrophe for the surrounding common folk, but it was also an opportunity for Hezui City. But if Hezui City doesn’t grasp this opportunity nor develop while this land of adventure exists, then that’s their own fault. They can’t blame the heavens and they can’t blame other people.”
Gu Zuo finished listening, and nodded his head: “What big brother says is true.”
The prosperity here was false. It was just like when Huangfu Zhanghao undoubtedly borrowed the luck of the Tiandu Body. If a person couldn’t grasp their own chance, then it would ultimately be a flower in the mirror or the moon reflected on the water. It would just be a dream.
He, this insignificant mortal, was still serious about finding a way home. This kind of business had absolutely nothing to do with him.
Because the prosperity that Hezui City was experiencing was false, the construction within it actually hadn’t been done well. However, a martial artist’s ability to mobilize was very strong. Within a short period of time, there were already huge differences in comparison.
Gongyi Tianheng never came to Hezui City before, but he knew about the original composition of the city — Previously, even though he was sickly, not a single worldly matter nor a city of the Cangyun Empire was beyond his gaze.
Gu Zuo always felt that even if his big brother’s health hadn’t improved, he was already a winner in life. Now that he improved, perhaps he could become an ultimate powerhouse. For this kind of person, if it wasn’t for Gu Zuo obtaining a system in this world, if Gu Zuo didn’t have the talent for refining medicine, there probably wouldn’t have been any intersection between them…
Initially, he never thought about it because he still trembled in fear. Now that he recalled this, he felt that if they truly never met, if their paths had never crossed, then it would’ve become the thing he’d regret the most in his life.
— Of course, if they never got acquainted, then perhaps there simply wouldn’t have been a way to discover this regret.
Sighing in lament, Gu Zuo unwittingly pulled Tianheng’s sleeve, and followed him by his side, glancing to the left and right. Gu Zuo sized up the style of this Hezui City.
Right now, they were trying to find the tavern that Gongyi Tianyang and the others were staying at. There were many people here and those Armor-Plated Rhinos were very eye-catching. After making inquiries, they should be able to find out.
Gu Zuo felt he could’ve done this kind of thing himself.
On the contrary, Tianheng was somewhat surprised by his decision.
Gu Zuo looked at his dear big brother’s slightly moved expression and reacted — It seemed that every time before, it was his big brother who did it? Generally, he himself acted as his big brother’s attendant, and didn’t open his mouth at all.
Tianheng faintly chuckled, and patted his head: “Ah Zuo’s confidence is now sprouting. This is very good.”
Gu Zuo suddenly understood.
Yes. Firstly, he previously hid himself and was afraid having his secrets discovered by others. Secondly, because he had just come to this world and didn’t know anything, he actually felt a very minor sense of inferiority.
And now, although his secrets still couldn’t be seen by others, a small part had been revealed through his big brother’s planning, and a fortuitous encounter had been appropriately used to cover the past. At the very least, his small life was safeguarded. Moreover, because he made friends, he discovered that his medicine refining skills were pretty good compared to other pharmacists. Thus, the initial fear of the unknown to this otherworld no longer existed…
In fact, what was even more important was that — Gu Zuo glanced at Gongyi Tianheng.
What was even more important was that this once patron, now big brother, genuinely made Gu Zuo feel that this was a family member he could mutually trust and rely on.
Having a family member meant having a place to entrust one’s hope. Even a coward could become braver as a consequence.
Of course, Gu Zuo didn’t share these words with Tianheng.
Because…it was very shameful.
He wasn’t used to analyzing his heart’s sentiments. It was also too maudlin.
As a result, Gu Zuo only treated Gongyi Tianheng to a glittering smile, and effortlessly came to a tea stand off to the side. He called out to greet the outermost martial artist who was drinking tea and eating food: “Who might this Senior Brother be?”
The person who’d been “looked upon” had an appearance that was very good-natured. He was probably a Meridian Condensing Realm martial artist. In this Hezui City, this was considered a high level that the average person wouldn’t provoke lightly.
— This was a land of adventure. Although Hidden Dragon Mountain was rather interesting, the surrounding zone where lava pools had formed only had Houtian Realm martial artists come over to practice. Martial artists who were Xiantian and above had little interest in the periphery. As for Hidden Dragon Mountain itself, it still wasn’t time for scouting things out. For martial artists throughout the nation, not everyone received the news quickly. Those who got the news were either those who were self-reliant or those who were waiting on the sidelines. Otherwise, there’d inevitably be many Xiantians investigating the phenomena on Hidden Dragon Mountain. Tianheng and Gu Zuo wouldn’t have obtained the Earthen Core Flame without attracting any attention.
That martial artist, who was originally eating, sprung up when someone abruptly moved next to him. His vigilance wasn’t bad, so he promptly detected this and kept his guard up. He looked to Gu Zuo: “What is it?”
Once he saw Gu Zuo clearly, his expression somewhat relaxed.
After all, Gu Zuo wasn’t a martial artist. Rather, he was a very young-looking teenaged pharmacist. Even if his temper was bad, he wouldn’t be too neglectful towards this kind of person.
Gu Zuo revealed a smile: “I want to ask you about a few people. Would it be convenient for this Senior Brother?”
T/N: Heavenly Fire-Subduing Seal will be retroactively changed to Heavenly Fire-Submission Seal. Also, volume one has finally been completely edited, so terms should now be up to date.
Thanks for the corrections, Charysa.
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