AIP - Chapter 97: Prisoner
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Tang Jie wasted quite a lot of time to find the golden needle, after which he began to clean up the battlefield and wipe away any remnants of the formation.
He casually threw the tree seed at Yiyi. "Oh, this is for you. I didn't expect you to be the one to win out in this expedition."
"What is this?" Yiyi curiously looked at the seed. The seed looked like an olive pit. It was emerald green all over and had a hole punched through it, made by Tang Jie, from which green liquid was flowing out.
"The tree sprite's sprite core, where all of its essence is gathered," Tang Jie answered. He swept up Yiyi and pointed at the sprite core. "Sprite cores, fiend pellets, ghost essence, and monster marrows are the four core treasures of these four creatures. This is the sprite core of that tree sprite, and this alone is worth a lot of money."
"Then why didn't the wolf we killed earlier have a fiend pellet?" Yiyi questioned.
Tang Jie chuckled. "Sprites lack blood energy because they have no flesh and blood, but they find it easy to gather spiritual energy and form sprite cores. But this is why most of their body parts are essentially worthless, since their essence is all gathered up here. Fiends are different from sprites because they have bodies of flesh and blood, which makes up for their lack of spiritual energy. Spiritual energy integrates with their entire body, making all their body parts valuable, but it also makes it difficult for it to form a fiend pellet. Any fiend with one would undoubtedly be a powerful existence. If we ran into such a fiend beast, we would die without even knowing how we died. While this tree sprite was lower-grade, it had lived for a long time, so it isn't strange for it to have formed a sprite core. But it seems like it hadn't formed it very long ago, so it's a bit small. In my estimation, it's only worth four hundred coins at most."
"What is it used for?"
"It's got a lot of uses, whether it's pill refining, medicine production, drawing talismans, or laying down formations, but its effects are different depending on the use case. This tree sprite had an average nature and was of lower grade, and it lacks any sort of special effects. However, it is rich in spirituality and Wood energy, so if you eat it, it will give you a huge boost."
"If it's such a good thing, it's best if Big Brother sold it," Yiyi said while hugging Tang Jie's neck.
She was a little mischievous, but she understood the situation and knew that Tang Jie had come to this place for money. The sprite core was the most valuable thing they had gotten. If she ate it, wouldn't they be suffering a huge loss?
Tang Jie scratched her nose and laughed. "Silly girl, you eating it is the best use of all. Moreover, I pierced through the sprite core with my finger, and its energy is already starting to leak out. If you don't eat it now, it'll all leak out, and that would be the real loss."
It was true that sprite cores and fiend pellets were valuable, but they were also where the lifeforce of these creatures was located. When they were about to die, they would often use them in one last desperate assault. Thus, getting an intact sprite core or fiend pellet was difficult. In the end, Tang Jie had been lacking in strength, so his only way of dealing with the sprite core had been the golden needle. If he had been the slightest bit hesitant back there, he probably would have been the one who died.
Of course, he had been so willing to give it up partially because he knew that Yiyi was here, so at least he wouldn't lose too much from the sprite core.
Hearing this, Yiyi stopped hesitating and swallowed the sprite core.
The moment she swallowed it, her face flashed with green energy, and spiritual energy filled her body. Her body began to grow as though inflating, from a little thing only twenty centimeters tall to the size of a newborn infant, more than double her former size.
Not only that, her skin gained a crystalline texture, and beneath her jade-white skin, light seemed to flow.
Tang Jie creased his brow. "Spiritual energy fills the body, illusory and refusing to congeal…"
He used the Azure Light Sword to cut his wrist, creating a deep wound. He offered it to Yiyi. "Yiyi, drink!"
Yiyi's stomach was empty of anything except an indescribable hunger. Upon seeing Tang Jie's presented arm, she immediately began to gulp his blood.
Her blood drinking this time was many times more ferocious. Tang Jie felt like all the blood in his body was flowing into Yiyi's mouth.
Tang Jie knew that this wasn't good. The more spiritual energy Yiyi absorbed, the more blood energy she required as nourishment. The tree sprite's sprite core had contained powerful spiritual energy, meaning that he would need to supply more blood. If she were allowed to keep drinking, Tang Jie would be greatly drained, and perhaps not even several months of rest would be enough to recover.
He knew now that he was being rash. Though he was familiar with the content the teachers had lectured on, there were always some things that the teachers didn't have time to lecture on and could only be experienced.
As Yiyi drank more blood, her body began to fill out. She became less like a crystalline doll, her eyes gradually turning red and becoming tinged with confusion.
Tang Jie understood that she was in a key moment and couldn't be disturbed, so he gritted his teeth and took a demonblood pill.
This demonblood pill was made from the fiend pellet of a Blood Refining Beast. Upon its use, one's blood energy would swell. Its purpose was to refine blood, so it was perfect for supplying Yiyi with blood energy. Even if he might be weak for a while after this, he wouldn't be damaging his foundation.
Under the effects of the demonblood pill, Tang Jie's blood energy frenziedly grew. Yiyi continued to madly drink his blood, turning him into a leaky pool with the hose on, water going in and water going out.
Only when that crystalline luster began to disappear and healthy ruddiness returned did Yiyi finally let go, and her confused red eyes cleared up.
She exhaled, her head dropped to the side, and she fell asleep.
The little one had drunk her fill and gone to sleep, leaving Tang Jie speechless.
Yiyi had absorbed the majority of the blood energy from the demonblood pill, and because there was still a sliver of medicinal power left, Tang Jie still wasn't feeling the side effects. On the contrary, he was brimming with energy.
But Tang Jie knew that this effect wouldn't last for long, so he didn't keep hunting. Once he had packed everything up, he carried Yiyi through the valley, and it wasn't long before he returned to that mountain spring.
But that tiger on the summit wasn't there. It might have gone back to its cave to rest.
Tang Jie began to make his way up the mountain.
Making his way along the mountain paved with black stone, when Tang Jie got a third of the way up the mountain, he saw a stone stele upon which three large words were written: "Fiend Sealing Stele".
The stele was placed across the path leading up to the summit.
Beyond the stele, the black stone became red, and between red and black was a clear dividing line that divided the summit and the area beneath the summit into two different worlds.
This place was the jail of the only upper-grade Spirit Sensing fiend of Tiger Roar Valley, the fiend tiger.
To go beyond this line was to go through the protection of the formation and enter the tiger's cage.
Every year, many students would enter the fiend tiger's cage to fight with it, and while they would usually fail, victory or defeat was not important.
For the students, this was a necessary experience in their growth. Only by truly experiencing a battle with a high-grade Spirit Sensing beast would they be able to understand what they were actually capable and incapable of in future missions.
Tang Jie stood in front of the stone stele, a profound look in his eyes as he pondered something.
After a long while, he suddenly stepped forward.
He stepped onto the red stones.
A tiger's roar came from the summit.
The tiger once more appeared, standing atop a stone and staring at Tang Jie.
Tang Jie's left foot was on a red stone, his right foot on a black one. Straddling two worlds, he coldly looked at the tiger.
Man and tiger were in a standoff.
Tang Jie slowly raised his right foot and took another step forward.
Now, his entire body was within the formation.
The tiger still did not move, still looked at Tang Jie.
Tang Jie took another step forward.
A third step!
A fourth step!
Tang Jie cautiously stepped forward, still staring at the fiend tiger.
The tenth step.
The fiend tiger finally moved.
It made a flying leap off the summit.
Tang Jie hastily retreated.
He retreated one step!
The tiger let out a ferocious and thunderous roar that made Tang Jie freeze.
The Violet Lightning Lunge that he had just been about to use was dissipated by this roar.
Unable to circulate the technique, he could only retreat!
He retreated a second step.
The fiend tiger's body was entirely in the air, wind gathering at its feet.
Tang Jie retreated a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth step!
By the time he had fallen back four steps, the fiend tiger was like a streak of lightning, hurtling down and instantly covering a hundred meters!
He fell back a seventh step.
The fiend tiger was right in front of him, the winds howling!
He fell back an eighth step. The tiger raised its claw and swatted at him.
Tang Jie leaned back, and the claw brushed past his face, flitted past his leg, and slammed to the ground with a splash of blood.
Lightning and wind erupted!
The claw striking the ground had stirred up winds that carried gravel and debris at Tang Jie!
The stones pelted his body like bullets. Thud! Thud! Thud! Blood splashed.
Tang Jie vomited blood and fell back.
The ninth step!
One foot was out of the barrier.
At this moment, a stone spike shot out of the ground, aimed at the sole of Tang Jie's foot.
Tang Jie jumped.
The fiend tiger jumped with him, its maw aiming to bite down on Tang Jie.
In the air, Tang Jie couldn't dodge. He could only try his best to lean back as far as possible.
Time slowed to a crawl.
His body moved back through the air while the tiger lunged down the mountain.
The giant tiger had opened its mouth wide, revealing its savage teeth.
Tang Jie did not doubt the lethality of this bite. Even with his body, he would still die.
The teeth grew larger and larger in his eyes, almost occupying his entire field of vision, consuming his entire world. They gleamed with a cold light and carried the smile of death… A chill touched his body.
The moment the teeth touched his body, a giant golden net appeared around the summit.
Tang Jie passed through the golden net like it was made of air.
But the tiger ran straight into it.
Lightning crackled across the net, instantly gathering into a giant bolt of lightning that slammed into the tiger.
Raaaaw! The fiend tiger howled in pain and misery.
Tang Jie finally made it out of the formation, his inertia carrying him into the ground, where he landed on his butt.
He saw that the tiger still refused to back down, even after being struck by lightning.
It rammed its head against the net, madly howling at Tang Jie, making terrifying sounds.
It rammed its head against the net!
It swiped its claws at the net!
It gnawed at the net!
Consumed by madness and rage!
What welcomed it was callous and vicious lightning.
Lightning slammed down again and again on its body, tearing open its flesh and burning its hide, even exposing the white bone underneath.
Finally, it could take no more and collapsed.
It panted for breath, but it was still staring at Tang Jie. Tang Jie could see that its eyes burned with hatred!
Tang Jie looked at it and said nothing.
Man and tiger, separated by a net, stared at each other.
After a long while, the fiend tiger stood back up.
It lurched back up to the summit, its steps slightly unsteady.
Tang Jie watched it go, step by step, until he could no longer see it.
Unprecedented fatigue spread throughout his body. Tang Jie knew that this expedition in Tiger Roar Valley had come to an end.