Su Yu shot a cold glance at Lu Xing, then gravely turned to face the entrance of the pitch black valley. An indistinct looming figure in green gradually emerged from the dark, causing his pupils to contract.
"Run, quickly! He's coming!" Su Yu's expression greatly changed. He spurred onwards with Cloud Shadow, duckweeds drifting with the waves, and disappeared into the woods.
Faced with a Level Six of the Martial Path, he might have even lost the chance to escape. Lu Xuan looked back with contracted pupils! That youth in green, covered in blood, could be smelled a mile away. With his cultivation level, Lu Xuan could not detect clearly, causing a feeling of dread!
"Run!" Lu Xuan, heart pounding and alarmed by the impending doom, carried Lu Xing and quickly took flight. But, he was wise enough not to flee in the same direction as Su Yu.
The youth in green wore a cruel and evil grin on his face, both his hands sticky with fresh blood. His sinister gaze alternated between Su Yu's and Lu Xuan's backs.
"That was a perceptive junior, able to detect me in advance, concealed in the darkness." The youth in green stood still, did not pursue, and instead left the valley in a flash. "The goal has been achieved. Those three bastards should count their lucky stars! It's not advisable to stay here any longer, I must quickly retreat and report back to the First Prince."
Su Yu fled for ages and never saw the youth catch up. He felt a little relieved and ducked into the dense forest. Once he found safety, Su Yu started thinking.
In fact, before he entered the Twilight Mountains, he had his suspicions. If anyone had really discovered the cave abode guarded by the demonic beasts, why would the person not secretly search for the treasures himself? Why had he spread the knowledge to the entire world?
Even an average student like Xuan Lefei could obtain a treasure map. At that moment, it seemed like the news had been spread on purpose to lure others into the valley and be slain by the youth in green. But, what was his motive?
After quietly waiting for half a day, it looked like the youth in green did not follow them. Su Yu pondered, "Since he has not come after me, he is very likely to have left the valley."
The youth in green had been exposed. If he wanted to continue to hide in the valley to lure and kill, he should have killed Su Yu and the others to silence them. Now, since there was no pursuit, it meant that the youth had given up the valley as a hiding place. Pupils flashing, Su Yu thought and thought, turned and darted back.
Half a day later, outside the valley, there were whiffs of blood in the wind. Revolving his crystalline pupils around, the youth in green was nowhere to be found. Only the ice-cold corpse was left. With a gentle tap of his toes, Su Yu cautiously approached the side of the corpse.
"Fourth-ranked gold student, Ceng Bier!" Su Yu gasped as his pupils contracted!
Ceng Bier was on good terms with Qin Feng, and was said to be his former girlfriend. She was instrumental in Qin Feng's courtship with Jiang Xueqing. As a female student, Ceng Bier had freedom of access to the female dormitory and was admired and esteemed by others due to her strong cultivation base. It was said that she had a lot of connections among the female students and knew a lot insider information about them.
In the eyes of the former Su Yu, she was a mighty Level Three Peak that he would look up to. However, at this moment, having met with such a violent death in this spot, pierced in the middle of her eyebrows by a powerful force, her face was a petrified mask of terror at death's door.
When Su Yu crouched down to inspect the body. The youth in green was not after any valuables as he did not take away the precious items found on Ceng Bier. Su Yu was unceremonious and started to fish things out from her inside pockets.
"A top-grade spirit elixir?" Su Yu was slightly taken aback that this did not catch the eye of the youth in green, which showed his peculiar origins. The thought of a top-grade spirit elixir quickened Su Yu's pulse as he put it in his inside pocket. In addition, there were also three silver banknotes worth 1,000 taels each, enough to buy another top-grade spirit elixir.
When he was done, Su Yu prepared to leave. Suddenly, there came faint wisps of a rotten odor that stung his nose. Su Yu revolved his crystalline pupils to look deeper into the valley and he discovered two enormous reeking lions, collapsed in front of a cave abode.
Could it be that the treasure map was real? Not a fabrication? That youth in green, to ensure that someone would be lured, really chose a place guarded by demonic beasts. Su Yu glided over in a heartbeat.
Though the fiery lions were decomposed, their teeth were worth a fortune. Su Yu took four in total. The fangs held fiery combustible energy within them. Once thrown, they would ignite when they hit their target, causing an explosion which could instantly injure with its flames.
The power was similar to the silver pellet that the Young Princess of Xianyu used. He could keep them for his own use or sell them when he returned. Just four of them would be worth at least 2,000 silver taels.
Once properly packed away, Su Yu used his pupils to inspect the cave, which was deathly still and had no sign of life. The cave was not vast, only 100 meters deep. The rock walls radiated faint heat from the blazing flames of the fiery lions.
Deciding to give it a try, he walked to the end of the cave and found it was empty. Su Yu could not help but be disappointed, it seemed like the cave was merely a lair for the fiery lions, and they weren't guarding anything. Thinking about it, even if there was genuine treasure, it would already have been taken by that terrifying youth in green.
Suddenly, Su Yu felt the earth under his feet lightly tremble. Staring at the ground, he saw that there was a crimson hairline crack. It would have been extremely difficult to discover the crack were it not for Su Yu's excellent night vision.
As he carefully dug at the ground, red-hot crimson liquid began to ooze out, and like a spring, gushed to the surface, with the small pit overflowing in the blink of an eye.
"Jade Fire Marrow?" Su Yu was astounded! He had heard the name of this object more than a couple of times. Rumor had it that the Jade Fire Marrow came from the depths of the earth and had the ability to transform the energy of the body with a strong reaction, far superior to the spirit elixir! Furthermore, the Jade Fire Marrow could also revitalize the body!
Different physiques had varying strengths, strong and weak. With a similar cultivation base, a strong physique could become more powerful and ferocious between strikes during long duration of combat. Often, those with stronger physiques had the ability to crush their opponents of the same level.
A drop of Jade Fire Marrow was worth at least 100 silver taels in the market. Moreover, there was no market price! It had not been seen in the world for 100 years. Even the Royal Family had none in their collection. And the Jade Fire Marrow before his eyes was more than a drop, it was a pit full!
Su Yu was too excited for words.
This precious liquid had the ability to increase the energy of a mighty Level Six of the Martial Path. How that youth in green would feel if he knew he had overlooked this spot with its immense amount of hidden treasure! What left Su Yu slightly dumbfounded was that he did not have that many jade bottles or pouches with him.
Just cultivate on the spot and bring back the excess! Su Yu made up his mind and dug the pit a little deeper, just enough for him to soak in it.
With his body immersed in the Jade Fire Marrow, Su Yu immediately felt like he was thrown into a deep fryer! The scorching pain shocked his nerves and instinctively made him want to jump out. But his strong determination forced him to press on.
Gritting his teeth, large beads of sweat dripped profusely from his forehead. His body was red hot from being scalded.
Bear with it! The reason why my body feels so much pain is because it is still relatively weak. My body never had any revitalization foundation, so as long as I grit my teeth to get through this, my body will be completely transformed!
One minute gone!
Ten minutes slipped away!
Half an hour went by!
One hour elapsed!
Su Yu, with his tenacity, persevered. Finally, three hours later, his body was transformed, and having gradually acclimated, not so painful anymore. After 10 hours, he no longer had any discomfort from head to toe.
Of all the Jade Fire Marrow in the pit, there was now only a fist-size amount of it left.
As Su Yu slowly opened his eyes, a powerful force of energy surged within his body. "Wow! The Jade Fire Marrow is truly potent!" Su Yu discovered to his amazement. His cultivation base unexpectedly reached Level Three Peak, only one step away from breakthrough to Level Four!
When ingested, the Jade Fire Marrow could increase one's cultivation base. Just merely immersing himself in it, his cultivation base had unexpectedly advanced to Level Three Peak! Its effect was remarkable! The small remaining amount of Jade Fire Marrow could be consumed when he returned and with its potent properties, Su Yu's cultivation base could take another leap.
At that moment, Su Yu body and appearance were still weedy. He looked as if a single blow would cause his bones to crack and rattle. Using the same Universal Stroke cultivation technique, a punch and a kick were more than twice as powerful as before.
Su Yu was unable to estimate the power of his own strength. Before this, he had easily defeated Lu Xing, a Level Three Upper Tier. It should be a cinch to beat his elder brother Lu Xuan.
"Qin Feng! Our gap has further narrowed! Hope you don't get too surprised when the moment comes!" Su Yu clenched his fists, his eyes shone with strong self-confidence.
Looking at the remaining precious amount of Jade Fire Marrow, Su Yu promptly went outside to catch a python, flayed the snakeskin, stripped it clean,and used it as a vessel to contain the last remainder bit of Jade Fire Marrow.
After the last drop of Jade Fire Marrow was collected, Su Yu calculated the time and said to himself, "I've already been out for half a month, will need at least another 10 to 15 days to hurry back on the road. It's time to return to the training institute, the Gold Assessment will soon begin!"
Oh! Just as Su Yu finished collecting the last drop of Jade Fire Marrow, he suddenly saw dazzling rays of multi-colored brilliance from inside the crevice where the Jade Fire Marrow gushed from. Su Yu continued to excavate along the crack.
After having dug half a meter...
A natural underground tunnel suddenly appeared as the ground caved in. There were traces of odor from the Jade Fire Marrow in the tunnel, which stretched towards the deep underground.
Su Yu, with a sense of wonder, stepped into it and suddenly felt a twinge of pain. It turned out to be the steam from the Jade Fire Marrow in the tunnel, radiating heat. Fortunately, Su Yu's body had been initiated, no longer afraid of the scorching Jade Fire Marrow, otherwise, he might not have had the opportunity to go down the tunnel.
After walking for a full hour, Su Yu felt that it was getting more and more difficult to breathe, as if he had already entered several thousand meters deep into the underground.
The multi-colored brilliance appeared once again at the end of the tunnel. Su Yu immediately rushed over. At the end of the tunnel, which was sealed with clay, there was only one crack through which the outside was revealed. The multi-colored brilliance came from outside.
Su Yu's curiosity was piqued. He gazed out and found a spacious ancient hall, dilapidated and run-down, deeply buried in the depths of the earth.