Immortal - Book 1: Chapter 16





Zhong Shan washed his clothes in the hot spring after he had finished washing himself.  He even found a boulder next to the spring that was perfect for drying his clothes.

The boulder was warm; even if the air could not dry his clothes, they would be toasted dry by the boulder.

While he was inside the hot spring, Zhong Shan sensed a tremendous heat source and felt the heat spread throughout his body. He had a sudden urge to dive to the bottom of the spring and see if the temperature was even higher?

People who had reached Xiantian stage could perform internal breathing, thus, it was possible to hold his breath for a long time under water.  Besides, Zhong Shan also knew Guixi Dafa; diving would be a very easy thing to do.

He swam slowly to the center of the hot spring and quickly dived down towards the bottom.  As he went deeper, Zhong Shan found the temperature was growing higher.  He soon found a multitude of small bubbles rising underneath him.

Zhong Shan continued diving deeper, until, he could feel the temperature had reached the boiling point, 100 degree Celsius.

However, Zhong Shan had reached Xiantian and had practiced inside a kiln before, the heat didn’t bother him at all.  As he went further down, the temperature remain constant but gradually, he sensed something even hotter.

It was fire energy; there was a burning sensation whenever it touched the body.  Even though it only occurred once in awhile, Zhong Shan was sure that there was more deep down.

Just a trace of the fire energy made Zhong Shan feel alive and refreshed.  This was the kind of high heat that he would need to make a breakthrough into the second level.

 

When he reached the bottom, the fire energy was thick enough that he felt it in every other breath.  Zhong Shan felt that the pores all over his body had opened up.  He tried to breath in as much as he could; he could break through to the second level if he could get enough heat.

He thought to himself, it would be so nice if there’s a quiet room here.  He couldn’t really practice in his current position.

As he became disappointed, he suddenly noticed that there was a cave at the bottom with a faint red glow emanating from the mouth of cave.

As he dived deeper, it got darker as he moved closer to the bottom. The sudden red glow quickly attracted Zhong Shan’s attention.

Aimed at the red glow, Zhong Shan slowly moved closer to the cave which barely allowed one person to get through.

Zhong Shan carefully dived into the cave.  The further he went, the red glow grew stronger and fire energy became more and more plentiful. Zhong Shan happily took in the fire energy.

Zhong Shan was very excited because he thought of a term: cave paradise.  Could this be a cave paradise?

He moved horizontally for a little while and finally passed through the passage.  The inside was bathed in red light and it was the bottom of another passageway that went up.  What was at the top?

Zhong Shan quickly swam upwards.  After swimming for some time, he reached the surface.

“Hua ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”

Zhong Shan’s head bobbed above the surface.

It was an enclosed cave illuminated by red lights.  There was only one entrance, the passage where he had just come from. On one side of the cave, there was a platform. The naked Zhong Shan quickly climbed onto the platform.

When he was on top of it, Zhong Shan saw the source of the red light came from a corner near it.

It was a plant with a black stem and two purple leaves.  At the top of the plant, there was a fist sized red fruit.

This red fruit was the source of the red light.  It radiated a great amount of red light and outside of the fruit, there was burning flame.  Zhong Shan knew that was not a true flame but a corona of fire energy. No wonder there was a concentration of fire energy near here.

Zhong Shan swallowed hard.  He knew he had found a treasure.  Though he didn’t know what exactly this fruit was, just by looking at it, he could tell it was a rare find.

Pick the fruit? Zhong Shan dared not at this point.  Swallowing it?  He didn’t have the courage.

There was a large amount of fire energy floating around in this cave and his own genuine energy was lacking this element.

Zhong Shan sat with crossed legs and started to practice Dayang Shengong.  After two hours, he discovered that he had progressed more than ten times as he had inside the kiln.  Seeing the benefit of practicing here, he decided to practice in this cave from now on.

Zhong Shan jumped into the water, dived, and quickly went through the passage back to the hot spring.

He swam to the surface of the hot spring, took his clothes, Wind Chaser Boots, machete, and food.  Then he dived right back in, back to the cave paradise.

Zhong Shan named the cave, ‘Flaming Fruit Cave Paradise.’  He found a large rock to block the entrance to the hot spring, so that at least the red glow wouldn’t be seen from outside.

Afterwards, Zhong Shan focused on practicing.  He only stopped for food and water.

The red light was mainly from the fruit, while the fire energy didn’t have any color.  Zhong Shan didn’t expect the aura to be thick enough to show any color. He was grateful that he could practice in this place.

One month later.

“Ha ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”

With a roar, Zhong Shan punched with both fists, with each first covered in red, baleful energy.

The second level of Xiantian.

Finally, after four months, he had reached the second level.

Zhong Tian was quite pleased with his progress.  But, when he thought about Prince Lietian, he was dissatisfied again. Prince Lietian should have reached the Nascent Soul Stage a long time ago? He once more strengthened his resolve to practice hard.

He had run out of food by now and had to go back to make some more.

He went back into the water. He moved a boulder to block the passageway once he exited, then swam towards the surface of the hot spring.

Once came out of the hot spring, he used his genuine energy to dry his clothes and, with the machete on his back, he bolted towards the route he came one month ago.

On his way back, he ran into some monstrous beasts.  He avoided the more powerful ones and engaged with one mountain lion, similar in strength to those from before. This time, he didn’t have to use the Hongluan Manual or the Demonic Body Toning Method before he killed the mountain lion.  Though he was still covered with blood, he was obviously much stronger than before.

Four months, at the fourth month, Zhong Shan finally reached the second level of Xiantian.

By evening, he carried the body of the mountain lion back to his own yard.

He had hung a small plaque with the words ‘Ting Sui Xie[1]’ on it for his yard.

After he had put the body down, he went to check on his garden and rice field.  The rice and all the vegetables were ripe.

Zhong Shan spent one whole day to harvest all the vegetables and rice and cooked some food before he continued to practice.  

Five days later, he planted new batches of vegetables and rice.  He was ready to head for the flaming fruit cave paradise once again with the food he had made in the past few days.

“Zhong Shan, you’re back?  We can’t find you anywhere these days?”  From outside of his house came the voice of Tianling-er.

“You’ve harvested all the vegetables?  I was planning to take some back for myself.” Came   Nanbatian’s voice.

Zhong Shan, frowning, hid all the food he had prepared and walked out to the yard.

“Ling-er, Batian.”  Zhang Shan greeted them.

“Where have you been these days?”  asked Tianling-er.

“I was fighting with monstrous beasts in the mountains to practice my skills.”  Zhong Shan frowned and said.

“No wonder we couldn’t find you every time we came over. I’m at ninth level of Xiantian; the third shijie of the third generation disciples.” Tianling-er cheerfully announced.

“Any breakthrough in the past month?”  Nanbatian looked at Zhong Shan and asked.

“I’m now at the second level.”  Zhong Shand reported honestly.

“Good. Wait till you’re at the sixth level, I’ll fight with you again. As it is now, I can’t use my full force to fight.” Nanbatian laughed.

“Much appreciated.” Zhong Shan sincerely replied.

“However, Zhong Shan, you have to work harder.  I heard from my dad that someone has already reached the third level.”  Tianling-er immediately followed up.

“The third level?” Zhong Shan frowned.  There was someone faster than he was?

“En, but that’s normal.  The first five levels of Xiantian are the easiest to reach.  It gets harder after that. When I first reached Xiantian, it took me only two months to reach the third level; as fast as da shixiong.”  Tianling-er proudly said.

“Da shixiong?” Zhong Shan frowned and looked at Tianling-er.

“Yeah, da shixiong. He is very shrewd. He reached the sixth level during the first year after he got into Kaiyang School, forming genuine energy.  Then he used only three years to reach the tenth level. Two years later he broke through to the Gold Core stage. My dad took him in as his most senior disciple.  He’s also the strongest among all those who are at Gold Core stage right now.”  Tianling-er proudly detailed the past achievements of da shixiong.

“No, it may not be true now.  Beiqingsi of Xuezhu Peak is moving along unusually fast as well.  She came to Kaiyang School 50 years later than your da shixiong, but her speed of progress is no less than da shixiong.  Or she may be able to reach the Nascent Soul Stage ahead of da shixiong.” Nanbatian said.

Tianling-er stubbornly insisted, “Sister Qingsi is very strong, but da shixiong is even stronger for sure.”

“Maybe.” Nanbatian didn’t want to argue.

“You two wait here.  I found some tea in the mountains, which tastes very good. I’ll bring some for you.” Zhong Shan shook his head.

The way these two talked sounded naive to Zhong Shan. He laughed at himself: maybe because he was already an old man.

He brew a pot of tea and brought it outside his yard.  There was a small stone table out there.  In any case, these two people had done favors for him.  Zhong Shan decided to take half the day off and chat with them.

From the conversations between the two, Zhong Shan learned that Beiqingsi was the senior disciple of Guxuangzi, the headmaster of Xuezhu Peak.  She was referred to as the third shijie of the second generation; among the second generation disciples, she was the third genius to have reached the Gold Core Stage.

Da shixiong, who was called Tiansha, was the first one among the second generation to reach Gold Core. Tianling-er worshipped da shixiong, or to put it more appropriately, she adored him.  Yet, da shixiong treated her like a little girl.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Water Listening Pavilion




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