On Herb Mountain.
After the Ling Family’s Patriarch took off his mask, he described in detail what he saw in the mountain caves, as well as what he discovered from when he actively probed Qin Lie two times.
“Big Brother, are you sure you’re not mistaken? Ten times the stone tunnels? How can that be?” Ling Chengzhi shook his head in disbelief, then said, “Just with that grandfather-grandson pair? Even if they excavated day and night, it’s still impossible for them to dig that many stone tunnels!”
“If, if Qin Shan was an extremely strong martial practitioner whose true strength was around the Fragmentation Realm, would you believe it?” Ling Family’s Patriarch asked solemnly.
“Ah!” Ling Chengzhi suddenly cried out in shock as he felt his lips becoming dry. His eyes bulged, and he asked in a hoarse voice, “Big Brother, h-how could he attain such a high realm? If he truly was a person at that level, why did he come to our Ling Town?”
“Apart from this, I can’t think of any other possibility.” Ling Chengye’s voice also trembled, “Only an expert who has attained that kind of extraordinary realm would be able to open so many stone tunnels in such a short period of time! In fact, I’d already suspected Qin Shan since long ago… Many juniors in the clan believe that repairing spirit artifacts is much easier than refining spirit artifacts, but you should know that someone who is able to successfully restore spirit artifacts that other people have refined definitely has to be at a much higher level than the Artificer who made it!”
“You’re saying?” Ling Chengzhi was secretly shocked.
“Qin Shan was in no way simple! Perhaps, even his death, was a cover up…”
The Ling Family Patriarch's train of thought gradually cleared, “Now that I think about it, Qin Shan’s death by illness had many doubtful points. His illness was unknown, and he wouldn’t even allow us to send for someone to treat it. Moreover, the time it took for him to die was too short, and before he died, he continuously told us that we had to bury him in the water. When we threw him in the river, we naturally could not continue investigating…”
“Are you suspecting that he faked his death?” Ling Chengzhi exclaimed.
“That is a possibility.” Ling Family’s Patriarch nodded, “The grandfather wasn’t simple, and the grandson is also weird. I can’t ascertain all this yet, but Qin Lie’s weak looking body is actually extremely sturdy! I feel that the builds of the two brothers Du Heng and Du Fei might not even be stronger than his!”
“How can that be? How can Du Fei at the fifth level of the Refinement Realm, and Du Heng at the the eighth level not be better than him?” Ling Chengzhi asked in astonishment.
“Seems like we have to pay more attention to Qin Lie in the future. It is very likely that your guess may be right. The withering of Herb Mountain’s plants and herbs may truly have something to do with Qin Lie,” Ling Family’s Patriarch said with a complex expression.
“Sis, where do you think that white-clothed man’s from? Why would he attack a fool? That guy’s seriously despicable!”
“Who knows? I hope Daddy and Third Uncle are able to catch him. Our Ling Family is in quite a remote location, so great martial practitioners rarely come over. It really is strange.” Wearing an odd expression, Ling Yushi wrinkled her brows as her hands held the legs of Qin Lie, who was on her back.
Ling Yushi, whose figure was tall, gentle and beautiful, was two years older than Qin Lie. She was also a bit taller than him currently, while also at seventh level of the Refinement Realm. Theoretically, carrying a skinny Qin Lie on her back ought to have been extremely easy. But only she knew that she was actually somewhat burdened...
This deepened her suspicions even more, yet she didn’t talk about it. Instead, she casually teased her little sister beside her, “You actually didn’t let me down, huh. When that white-clothed man attacked Qin Lie, you immediately went and pursued him with me. Heh heh, and I’d even thought that you would watch on without lifting a finger and hoped that man in white would kill Qin Lie. That way, your worries would be settled right away.”
“Jeez. I’m not happy with what Daddy did, but I know that it doesn’t have anything to do with this fool. This fool is pretty pitiful too; I’m not that evil, you know,” Ling Xuanxuan stated.
The two sisters chatted in melodious voices as they came closer to Ling Town. Ling Xuanxuan did not pay any attention to Qin Lie since the very beginning, and Ling Yushi didn’t turn around since her first glance. She only minded the conversation she was having with her little sister and the rugged mountain path underfoot.
The two girls didn’t know that the Qin Lie they neglected had already opened his eyes some time ago. Those two eyes were bright, like cold stars, and crystal clear, no longer having any hint of their previous emptiness!
Since two years ago, this was the first time Qin Lie had awakened from deep cultivation!
The last time was when Qin Shan had awakened him before he left, and this time, he was roused by Ling Chengzhi’s attack.
As he heard the two sisters’ gentle chatter and smelled Ling Yushi’s orchid fragrance from her neck, Qin Lie’s eyes gradually lost its spirit. Upon sensing his body’s condition, he closed his eyes once more.
When he closed them, scenes flew through in his mind, as memories of the last two years flowed in like the tide...
He had always been interdependent with Grandpa Qin Shan, and only remembered memories from after he was ten. His memories from before he was ten was sealed in the Soul Suppressing Orb between his brows. According to Qin Shan, even he could not open those memories. Qin Lie had no other choice but to rely on himself to slowly open them.
Qin Shan had told him that when he found him, his memories had already been sealed.
Regarding his identity, background, parents, and the link, Qin Shan never spoke about them. He only said that the things sealed within his mind would slowly be unraveled by himself in the future.
Five years ago, Qin Shan brought him to Ling Town and taught him “Heavenly Thunder Eradication”, and used the special location of Ling Town’s Herb Mountain to help him cultivate “Heavenly Thunder Eradication”.
Apart from sealing ten years of his memories, the Soul Suppressing Orb that was implanted between his brows had tons of clever uses. The orb allowed him to be in the optimal cultivation state —— Thoughtless Tranquility!
The so-called Thoughtless Tranquility allowed a person to enter a special state when cultivating. It was rumored that the spirit of martial practitioners that entered the Thoughtless Tranquility state would separate from their physical body. Then, within a special space, they could even look at their corporeal body.
When they left that body that was controlled by the mind, they would be able to perfectly enact the martial arts they had cultivated before using the mind, which is also the so-called consciousness of martial practitioners, and view it from afar.
In that mysterious state, cultivating took half the work to gain twice the results; this was the cultivation state every martial practitioner yearned for!
The Thoughtless Tranquility cultivation state also had a mythical ability —— it could greatly increase a martial practitioner’s tolerance for pain!
“Heavenly Thunder Eradication” was an extremely overbearing, terrifying spirit art. It draws in the lightning from the Ninth Heavens to temper the corporeal body. When ordinary people cultivated “Heavenly Thunder Eradication”, they would often suffer the most unbearable, extreme pain that either shattered their souls or left them an idiot. Even practitioners with the greatest of perseverances would find it difficult to continue cultivating.
As long as one was human, it was almost impossible for one to endure the pain of lightning strikes for a long period of time. This was even more difficult to endure for martial practitioners that have just started cultivating.
“Heavenly Thunder Eradication” also had to be cultivated from the Refinement Realm, which was why seeking to cultivate “Heavenly Thunder Eradication” had always been just a beautiful fantasy...
Because the bodies of martial practitioners that have just started cultivating were weak, they were incapable of enduring the painful persecution of thunderbolts. Thus, no one had actually truly successfully cultivated “Heavenly Thunder Eradication”.
However, the miraculous cultivation state of Thoughtless Tranquility could allow a martial practitioner’s soul to break away from the body. This would greatly weaken one’s perception of pain.
Using Thoughtless Tranquility to cultivate such an overbearing art like “Heavenly Thunder Eradication” actually had a possibility of success!
And Qin Lie, because of the Soul Suppressing Orb’s special effects, had already cultivated “Heavenly Thunder Eradication” for a full five years.
During these five years, he had always been in that bizarre state, with his soul consciousness separated, while ordering his corporeal body to use his subconscious to follow his usual customs and painstakingly cultivate “Heavenly Thunder Eradication”.
Cultivating “Heavenly Thunder Eradication” used spirit energy to draw in thunder and lightning to cultivate the body, muscles, veins, and bones. The spirit energy he accumulated in these years all entered into the scattered thunder and lightning which filled his bones, muscles, and veins.
Even if he didn’t cultivate, due to his body getting electrocuted, the pain and injuries his body would suffer needed the nourishment of spirit energy.
This was why his spirit energy would disappear not long after every time he cultivated a bit of spirit energy.
Previously, when he had come out from the mines, the spirit energy in his body had long been depleted. This was the reason why Ling Chengye and his daughter couldn’t feel any spirit energy within him when they probed him.
Due to him being unable to preserve spirit energy for a long time, he didn’t even know which level of the Refinement Realm he was currently in. And it was because of his soul having floated away that his expression was vacant like a idiotic fool’s that he was ignored by everyone, even so much that he incurred their hatred.
In these five years, he had only woken up two times altogether.
The first time was two years ago, when Qin Shan woke him up, saying that he would leave for a trip, that it may be a long time before he comes back, and perhaps he may not ever be able to come back...
This was his second time waking up.
“Almost there, in just three more months, the foundations for Heaven Thunder Eradication will truly be laid. At that time, there will be no more need to keep cultivating stuck within the Herb Mountain mines. I am even faster than Grandpa anticipated, too bad that it’s already been two years since Grandpa left. Two years passed, I really wonder how Grandpa is doing right now…”
Laying on Ling Yushi’s soft and supple back with his eyes closed, Qin Lie thought in silence.
“My two younger sisters, why did you come back from the Herb Mountain’s direction? Huh, Yushi, why are you carrying Qin Lie?”
At Ling Town’s entrance, Du Heng siblings and a few martial practitioners Du Haitian set up at Ling Family leisurely stood. The moment Du Heng saw that the fool Qin Lie was actually lying atop Ling Yushi’s beautiful figure, his face that could sort of be regarded as handsome was suddenly brimmed with gloominess.
He knew extremely long ago that his true father was Du Haitian, and not the dead Ling Chenghui. Naturally, he also knew that he didn’t have a single bit of blood relation with the Ling Family’s sisters. As Ling Yushi, who was extraordinarily good looking since childhood, grew older, her figure became increasingly alluring, provoking more and more fanciful thoughts, causing him drool in secret and birth lustful intentions.
Once he saw Ling Yushi walking over carrying Qin Lie on his back, he felt unwell, as though he had eaten a fly, and wished that he could blast that fool into pieces.
“We went to search for some medicinal herbs at Herb Mountain, and saw someone attacking Qin Lie on the way. He received injuries, so we are taking him back first…” Without calling out ‘Elder Brother Du Heng’, Ling Yushi simply explained for a bit, then was about to pass Du Heng and company without any intention to throw in another word.
“How truly interesting, who would go assault a fool?” With his face overcast, Du Heng spoke loudly, “Seeing that you are strenuously carrying him, let me take this idiot back for you!”
As he finished speaking, without even waiting for Ling Yushi to respond, Du Heng’s figure flashed, He came to Ling Yushi’s side extremely quickly, and went on to pull Qin Lie without allowing any objection.
With his eyes closed, Qin Lie coldly snorted in his heart. When Du Heng took action, he even slightly exerted himself, and voluntarily leaned toward him.
After Du Heng took Qin Lie on him, a miserable shriek sounded.
He didn’t expect at all that Qin Lie would actually be so heavy. He felt as though a mountain had explosively pressed down on him. Caught off guard, Du Heng dropped down so hard that his head became muddled. His embroidered clothing was covered in dust, contouring an extremely sorry figure.
Du Fei and those martial practitioners Du Haitian set up here all knew about Du Heng’s strategy. As they looked forward to see some mockery happen, each and every one of them that had been laughing suddenly stopped uttering a single sound at this moment.
“No need for your help,” Ling Yushi reacted very fast, and while Du Heng was staring blankly, she hurriedly carried Qin Lie back up again and threw a meaningful glance at Ling Xuanxuan, as the two sisters urgently crossed over the crowd and left.
“Big Brother, what kind of play are you enacting?” After some time, Du Fei asked while stunned.
De Heng finally regained his senses, and as he looked at the slowly withdrawing Ling Yushi and the Qin Lie who was on her back, he suddenly shouted deeply, “That fool is ridiculously heavy, he must have some extremely heavy object on him! It’s been five years, that fool has always been in the Herb Mountain mines, could it be that he made some discoveries? It must be so! Otherwise the Ling Family sisters wouldn’t be so eager! The fool is perhaps carrying treasure on him!”
As these words were uttered, Du Fei and the surrounding martial practitioners became increasingly astonished.