AWG - Chapter 0026: Drinking the Earthly Spirit Spring
Outside the bloody pit, a large group of guard captains had assembled to discuss Wan Lanxin’s situation.
Some insisted they enter the pit to assist her immediately, while others were opposed. Zhang Xiong, captain of cellblock 1 and apple of Wan Tianlong’s eye, led the first group, while the opposition followed none other than Lie Ziying. With both sides adamantly fighting for their plan, they were engaged in a fierce dispute.
Zhang Xiong was a big, boorish man with stubble. One look was enough to see he had enormous physical power. He rode a bull spirit and wielded a trident. In full battle dress, he was surrounded by a capable, murderous air. “Out of the way!” he screamed at Lie Ziying. “I will hold you personally responsible if anything happens to the first young miss!”
Lie Ziying returned Zhang Xiong's glare, showing no sign of weakness, “Stop being reckless! I’m more concerned for her wellbeing than you, but that pit and its bloody aura have already claimed the warden’s and a deputy warden’s lives. No one will stop you from going in alone, but I cannot permit you to take a team with you.”
“And you insist that you have feelings for the Young Miss? You’re nothing but a coward! It’s no surprise that she thought so little of you!” Zhang Xiong responded sarcastically. After a pause, he continued, “Not even Deputy Warden Lie Feng could stop me if he were here.”
Zhang Xiong led at least ten mounted men, all of whom were preparing to charge into the bloody pit. Lie Ziying and his men stood in formation, prepared to fight the mounted group if necessary.
The larger captain was the fourth-strongest fighter in the prison, which had earned him his place as captain of block 1. He also had no hesitation in battle, which was evident as he thrust his trident toward Lie Ziying, the weapon emitting a brilliant light and enveloped in a sharp energy.
Although Lie Ziying was no weakling himself, he could not compete with Zhang Xiong’s strength. Frightened, he dodged the ferocious, incoming attack.
Lie Ziying’s comrades rushed to his side, but the force of Zhang Xiong’s thrust knocked the weapons from their hands. None could keep up with the robust warrior’s speed. If Zhang Xiong wanted a massacre, they would certainly fall.
Fortunately, that was not his goal this day. But as Zhang Xiong turned to lead his men toward the pit, a figure flashed before him. It leapt into the air, swinging its sword at the captain in an anger-driven attack.
Reacting quickly, Zhang Xiong raised his trident to parry the blow.
Sparks flew and the sound of the strike echoed as the weapons collided.
The strength behind the figure’s attack was nearly enough to knock Zhang Xiong from his bull, evidence of this adversary's power.
“How dare you disobey my orders, Zhang Xiong?” Lie Feng demanded with a cold snort, glaring sullenly at the large man as he landed.
“Deputy Warden, I am simply concerned for the young miss’s safety,” Zhang Xiong insisted, frowning.
“Don’t tell me you’re as impulsive as that child, Lanxin? You’re currently responsible for guarding cellblock 1, an area that contains hardened felons. If they manage to escape, you will be held accountable!” Lie Feng reminded the captain, his tone frosty.
“Are you saying that you’re just going to sit back and watch as she puts her life at risk? You may be okay with that, but I’m not!” Zhang Xiong barked.
“Then you may go in alone. I strictly forbid you from causing anyone else’s death!” Lie Feng said.
“Very well. I'll go by myself!” After some hesitation, Zhang Xiong turned to his men. “I want you guys to return. I’ll save the first young miss!” With that, he turned and entered the bloody pit.
As Lie Feng watched the captain rush off, he sneered, thinking, Do you really believe you’re as capable as Wan Tianlong and Zhao Changdao? How naive.
“Father, isn’t this against protocol?” Lie Ziying asked after stepping forward.
“Leave him be. He is doing this out of loyalty, and we should not discourage that. Keep a close eye on this site, all of you. I’ve already dispatched an eagle to the imperial court with a report. It won’t be long before they send someone here to take charge. We can only hope this is the end of these strange events,” Lie Feng informed his son and the others.
Once inside the pit, the bloody shadows descended on Zhang Xiong, just as they had attacked the others who entered their domain. Luckily, he had prepared, holding a spirit cleansing pill in his mouth to prevent the evil from influencing his mind.
The large man moved swiftly, reaching Wan Lanxin without delay. His tension faded the moment he saw her safe, and he cried out, “First Young Miss, come with me. We should not linger here.”
Realizing who the man was, her lips parted, and she whispered, “Uncle Zhang! I’m sorry, but I can’t leave yet.”
“This place is extremely dangerous. I saw Deputy Warden Zhao’s slaughter with my own eyes. Why stay here? Let me examine the bloody altar. I’ll see if the warden is still alive.” Zhang Xiong said.
Wan Lanxin reached out, stopping him. “Don’t go, Uncle Zhang. Little Brother Wu should be able to handle this himself.”
“I’m not sure who Little Brother Wu is,” Zhang Xiong inquired, confused. He glanced up, his gaze drifting to the nearby altar where he spotted a young man, seated, who was absorbing massive amounts of the bloody aura. Even so, the young man seemed unharmed. Stunned, he asked, “Can that young man really pull this off?”
“Please sit here with me for a moment, Uncle Zhang? If he can’t, no one can,” Wan Lanxin calmly insisted.
As it turned out, Yang Wu did not even need the jade umbrella’s protection to endure the vicious aura. If he could not cleanse this place, who could?
Zhang Xiong sat next to Wan Lanxin, accepting what he saw, and patiently waited for the young man to complete his task.
Sitting before the altar, Yang Wu absorbed enormous amounts of the bloody aura. His peach pit dantian continuously refined the energy, generating a powerful force that treated his injuries. As a result, the pure energy gradually tempered Yang Wu’s muscles, organs, meridians, and bones, making his body far tougher than it had ever been.
Despite the fact that he had sat there for a day and night, the bloody aura still seemed unending. Fortunately, the bloody hands had stopped interfering, making Yang Wu wonder what had changed.
He had reached a stalemate with the bloody aura. It had already corroded his skin terribly, and he knew this could not go on for much longer. Rising to his feet, Yang Wu approached the altar.
“He’s really done it!” Wan Lanxin exclaimed.
She had kept a close eye on him throughout their excursion, afraid something terrible would happen to him.
Zhang Xiong, who stood next to her, was dumbfounded. As far as he could tell, this young man had not relied on any spiritual treasure to beat the aura back. Rather, he had acclimated to it. It was simply unbelievable!
Even Generals were powerless against the bloody aura, yet this young man, who had succeeded where they had failed, had not yet reached the General Realm.
Yang Wu kept silent. As he approached, he felt waves of restless energy emanating from the earthly spirit spring. He began to wonder what was happening when Zhang Xiong’s voice reached him, “Young man, that is earthly spirit essence. Drink it. It will be extremely helpful.”
An earthly spirit spring was a natural phenomenon that had various physical benefits. Its energy could cleanse one’s marrow, widen meridians, enhance physique, boost strength, and heal injuries. The effects were astonishing, though they were difficult to come by.
Yang Wu had read about spirit springs in the past and was aware of their benefits. Thus, he did not hesitate, taking a deep drink from the earthly spirit spring. Finding such a spring was nearly impossible unless one was fated to discover one. Naturally, Yang Wu would not pass out such a golden opportunity.
The spring’s sweet flavor filled his senses before wisps of energy flowed into his stomach. A pleasant, comforting sensation arose before awakening the peach pit dantian’s appetite.
As the energy made its way toward his dantian, Yang Wu began circulating the Supreme Nine Profound Art. The pores of the peach pit drew every drop of the spring water’s energy into his dantian.
Ethereal mist, flashing with multicolored light, spewed from the peach pit’s pores even as the pit drank in the earthly spirit essence. If Yang Wu were able to see what was happening with him, he’d see the space within his dantian increase rapidly, surrounded by the divine-looking mist.
When he had first acquired it, the space within his peach pit dantian had been no larger than his thumb. It had quickly grown to the size of a fist, yet now, it rapidly expanded to the size of a human head. It had grown to contain ten times, maybe a hundred times, more energy than previously.
The dantian was a cultivator’s foundation. The size of a person's dantian at birth would determine how much they could accomplish as a cultivator. Those born with tiny dantians were destined to follow more restricted paths, and their abilities would be limited. On the other hand, some were born with enormous dantians; they would be able to absorb significantly more energy than others. As a result, they could accomplish incredible feats.
When comparing cultivators of the same realm but different dantian sizes, a single glance could determine which martial artist had more prowess and endurance.
Despite Yang Wu’s cultivation talent, he was still a long way from comparing to a genius like Wan Lanxin. But things had changed. Since acquiring the peach pit dantian, his destiny had changed. Now that he had absorbed the earthly spirit essence, he had unlocked the peach pit’s wonders, making him even more remarkable.
His capacity for Profound Energy grew with the expansion of his dantian. His meridians vibrated, and he heard one whistling arrow after another. In that instant, he had reached nineteen stones of strength, the maximum for a Consummate Grade Foot Soldier. He was now one step away from the Warrior Realm.
“This young man is just a Foot Soldier?” Zhang Xiong had sharp hearing, and he recognized the strange sounds chiming from Yang Wu’s body. He was utterly stunned.
Comprehending how a puny Foot Soldier had survived within such dense and intense bloody aura was beyond him.
In contrast, Wan Lanxin celebrated her little brother’s success. Silently, she promised herself, When this is all over, I’ll help Little Brother Wu regain his freedom!”
However, the two captains’ expressions suddenly changed as another bloody hand materialized over the bloody altar.
Translated by: Demarsin
Edited by: FluffyGoblyn
Checked by: DragonInWhite
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