Ancient Strengthening Technique Chapter 732-733
AST 732 – Five Colored Poison, Preparation for a Bloodbath
This location was like a tunnel. It became pitch black the moment the entrance was shut off!
"Don't move, we have to wait for about seven minutes. Otherwise, we'll be shot by the poison arrows from both sides." Elder Ge prevented Qing Shui from taking a step forward.
"There are some mechanisms installed on the walls of this stone path. It will shoot anyone who moves without waiting up to seven minutes. Even trying to fly across will have no effect. The poison on the arrows is from a type of Five Colored Poison Beast. Even a peak Martial Saint wouldn't dare to risk it," Elder Ge explained slowly.
"The poison of a Five Colored Poison Beast?" Qing Shui asked curiously as his eyes lit up when looking at Elder Ge.
"There are poison masters in the Heavenly Palace, but the poison from this Five Colored Poison Beast has been left behind from the past. The poison masters are only responsible to replace them once every few years. Normally, no one dared to touch this Five Colored Poison," Elder Ge sighed. He wasn't sure if it was at the decline of the Heavenly Palace or some other reason.
"Elder Ge, is there still any more Five Colored Poison left?" Qing Shui was a little excited in his heart. He had been developing the [Poison Scriptures] for quite some time now and was lacking a type of main poison. Although there were quite a number of poisonous beings in the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal, none of them could be used as most poisonous main ingredient at the moment. They were either lacking in toxicity or lacking in age.
If he could get his hand on a main ingredient, then he could start concocting the poison before finally strengthening it with the crystals produced by the Crystal Lions. The triple-eyed Grass Green Frogs could also be used for strengthening it. The difference between the two was that one was strengthened by produced crystals and the other one was being used as a medicinal ingredient itself.
"Yes, but not much. After all, this poison was prepared for the poison arrows in this mechanism. Since the poison arrows were very rarely used, there wasn't much Five Colored Poison to begin with," Elder Ge replied while looking at him.
"Oh, then give me half of the remaining Five Colored Poison. This way, I can have higher odds of success." Qing Shui's blood raced at the thoughts of more than twenty powerful cultivators on his opponent's side.
"I'll give all of it to you!" Elder Ge said with a smile.
"This is not the only mechanism in here, right?" He asked Elder Ge.
"Of course not."
Seven minutes passed very fast. The darkness in here didn't lessen from people getting accustomed to it despite being in here for prolonged period. It was still as dark as the black ink around them after seven minutes. They couldn't even see their own fingers when they extended their arms.
After turning a corner, Elder Ge informed Qing Shui, "We can only walk on the width of a meter in the center. Walking on either two sides will trigger the sharp blades beneath the floor. These blades were also dipped in poison. It's an extremely strong corrosive poison, so it can easily penetrate anything."
After turning another corner, they could only walk on the width of a meter on the right side…turning another corner, they could only walk on the width of a meter on the left side. Next, they could only fly across in the mid air without touching any of the four walls to prevent being attacked….
They even had to pause a few times in between. Other than the dangers mentioned above, there were also poisonous stone bugs and poisonous stones. On top of that, there were countless of them. Even a peak Martial Saint cultivator would have a hard time in such a narrow and confined space. Just like how 'a tiger may even be insulted by a dog when it leaves the remote mountains and comes to the flat area; even a shrimp dares to dupe the dragon when it is in the shallow water'*, they'd have no opportunities to put their strength to use.
[TL Note: Part of a poem that has the meaning of 'Those who lose their advantages or power over others will be belittled and defeated'.]
Qing Shui was less worried now. After walking a few li through this meandering tunnel, his eyes were greeted by brightness. They had reached a quite spacious and empty place. This should be an underground world, since they had been traveling along a downhill path.
This place was like a mountain valley with spring and lake. There were even fishes in the lake. The sky here was overcast, but the air wasn't too bad. However, this place wasn't suited for long stays. Staying here for a year and half would pretty much be the limit.
There were many stone houses in the distance. Their purpose was to provide shelter whenever the Heavenly Palace was in danger. These were prepared for the sake of leaving behind some foundation for the next Heavenly Palace's successor.
"How is it? You can be at ease now, right? Besides, we can overlook the possibility of them finding out this place. You are the only thing I am worried about now. You are the key, otherwise everything here is just as useless as a decorative item."
"With the Five Colored Poison and nothing else to worry about, I should be able to kill them." Qing Shui evaluated that the odds of success was still very high with his Realm of Violet Jade Immortal, Fire Bird and the Diamond Gigantic Elephant. Though, that was provided that the opponents weren't too powerful. It would be a different story otherwise.
Qing Shui and Elder Ge returned after they were done looking around this 'hidden room'. Upon their return to the Heavenly Palace, Qing Shui got his hands on the Five Colored Poison Pearls. These Poison Pearls were created by the Five Colored Poison Beasts. They weren't any inferior to the Five Colored Poison Beasts in the least.
"Fifteen!" Qing Shui took away nearly half of it. There was no need to take any more than that. If they were effective, only ten of them would suffice.
Without staying much longer, he returned to the Qing Residence and told them his plans. This involved letting them live there first for a period of time, because Qing Shui had decided to strike first to gain the upper hand.
Huoyun Liu-Li disagreed at first, and the others remained silent as well. Their hearts ached at the fact that Qing Shui had to shoulder the burden all by himself, but they still couldn't do anything to help.
Qing Yi had a very lonely expression on her face. She walked to Qing Shui's side and embraced him, "We'll all listen to you, but you have to be honest with your mother. What are the odds of your success? Why not hide with us? A lot of things may change over a year and a half."
Qing Yi's words were exactly what the others had on their mind. Since it was Qing Yi who asked him, the rest of them looked at Qing Shui earnestly.
"Mother, as long as you all can be safe, I have no problems in defending myself. I am 80% confident in eliminating them. I promise you that nothing will happen to me," Qing Shui told her firmly.
"You've grown into a man with indomitable spirit. Qing Shui, you have your wives and your children. You need to think through this carefully. You are the pillar of our clan. This clan needs your support," Qing Yi said gently. Each of her words resonated in Qing Shui's heart. He was well aware that the burden on his shoulders was indeed very heavy.
"Mother, I know. I understand as well. It's been a long time, you should trust your son." Qing Shui smiled. His smile had indescribable confidence. It was also greatly assuring to others who saw it.
Qing Shui entered the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal at night. He no longer spent his night in their rooms.
He started cultivating. The Ancient Strengthening Technique was stopped at the 399th cycle. With this, Qing Shui was certain that this was the Sixth Heavenly Layer's wall of obstruction. He should be able to breakthrough to the Seventh Heavenly Layer as long as he could breakthrough to the 400th cycle.
Even though he knew that it was hopeless for now, he still cultivated everyday. If he happened to have a sudden breakthrough, then those people of the Zuoshi Clan were really nothing to be worried about.
Qing Shui found a type of strong poison among the [Poison Scriptures] that could be applied on weapons. This poison was akin to Antiaris Toxicaria* and it travelled via blood. Therefore, opponents had to have an open wound first. As long as they were affected by this poison, only death awaited them.
[TL Note: This plant is known as the 'Poison Arrow Tree' in China because its deadly poisonous latex was smeared on arrowheads in ancient times for use in hunting and warfare.]
Qing Shui still had ways to injure his opponents. Hidden weapons, Silver Needles, Gold Needles…he had quite a lot of trump cards up his sleeve. As long as he was able to use them at the right moment, they could kill opponents of the same level as him.
He concocted the poisonous liquid. This type of poisonous liquid was only good for one use. After it was concocted, weapons should be be soaked in it so that the essence within the poisonous liquid could adhere onto them.
The difference between concocting poison and medicine was that concocting poison usually wouldn't fail. Although, when a strong poison turned out to be weak poison during the concoction, then that would basically be an indication of failure. The poison could be used as a weak poison if one didn't want to waste all their efforts.
Concocting poison and medicine were quite similar to each other. Poison was first extracted and then refined. This wasn't his first time concocting poison, so he was able to do it very skillfully. The poison was successfully concocted very quickly, but there was a bit too little of the amount of poisonous liquid that was yielded.
"I guess it will yield more next time!"
He retrieved a crystal produced by the Crystal Lion and dropped it into the poisonous liquid. Then he pulled out about ten 1,000 Year Coldsteel Needles and six Frosted Iron Balls. He put all of them into it before he started the refinement again, until the 'crystal' had been completely dissolved.
The Gold Needles and Silver Needles could absorb poison, however they couldn't retain them for long. The 1,000 Year Coldsteel Needles originally contained cold poison and were strong in absorbing poison, but it required time. Although time was very tight, he didn't have to worry much with the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal in his possession. Next, Qing Shui started to concoct once again. He then dumped the newly concocted poisonous liquid into the poisonous substance from earlier.
The amount of yielded poisonous liquid was a little more this time around. He only stopped after seven Five Colored Poison Pearls were used up, and also added two more Frosted Iron Ball in between.
Qing Shui only breathed a sigh of relief when he had completed all these tasks. According to the [Poison Scriptures], the soaking process required at least 81 days. But of course, the longer they were soaked, the better. All the poison in it would be fully absorbed if such were the case.
Next, Qing Shui invested all his time into cultivating. He rode on the Diamond Gigantic Elephant to practice the State of One with Elephant in between because he had a feeling that he was about to breakthrough the current realm.
Although the time he spent practicing the State of One with Elephant wasn't a lot, he had used it quite a number of times. In addition, it had been long enough… about a few years. It would be great if he could have a breakthrough during such a crucial period.
The very next day, Qing Shui brought the entire Qing Clan along with food stored in the Realm of Violet Jade Immortal. They left for that 'hidden room' with Elder Ge's guidance.
Qing Shui patiently escorted each of them through the entrance. It took more than half a day to escort everyone inside. They then proceeded to clean those stone houses.
There were abundant fishes and prawns swimming about in the lake. The springwater was refreshingly delicious and there were also some turtles and crabs in it. Therefore it was still possible to survive here for up to a year and half. This was a land of idyllic beauty. The only thing about it was the atmosphere here was a little damp. It wasn't much of a problem for those with high cultivation, but it wasn't suitable for those two little fellows, Qing Zun and Qing Yin, to stay for too long.
Qing Shui helped them to settle down and also spent a day there before leaving. He also asked them to seal up the entrance. Even Elder Ge wasn't going to leave this place because there was only one key.
If they had to come out, they could unseal the entrance first then let Luan Luan release a demonic beast to sense if there were any danger lurking outside before coming out. But for one month, they had to stay in there. They mustn't come out whatsoever.
Qing Shui let everyone around him enter the the 'hidden room' along with the people above the Elder ranking in the Heavenly Palace. For the remaining few hundred thousands of ordinary disciples, even if he let them kill, they wouldn't dare to.
Qing Shui couldn't help feeling sorrowful when he returned to an empty Qing Residence despite knowing that they were all in the hidden room.
He stopped at the stairs in the big hall and sat there. Memories of the past started to replay in his head without him realizing it. He recalled his journey from the past decade. He was like a horse that kept running relentlessly in hopes of settling down some day. He had no choice but to do this for the sake of his belief and a promise. He even felt extremely exhausted to the point of giving up sometimes.
But when he saw the unintentional looks of sorrow and hope, he understood that it was because he had a past. So he had chosen to do this. No matter how difficult or tiring it was, it was all worth it.
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