“Poof!” Sure enough, the fresh grasses ignited with smoke and fire. The smoke rose to the sky.
It was similar to hay being burned. The fire crazily intensified and seemed impossible to extinguish. Everyone held their breath, aware that this was the time when the insects would come out. This was a harvest season of sorts, just not their harvest.
The grasses would burn every once in a while. During this process. The Winterfire Insects hiding deep below would come out and devour the fire essences of the grasses to empower themselves. That would be the best time to capture them.
It didn’t take long before the grasses all became ashes, leaving behind only the soil.
“This is it.” Someone murmured.
“Start digging.” Wu Lian ordered the disciples from his clan.
They instantly started digging up the ground in order to find the insects.
“You’re not starting?” Wu Lian looked around and sneered at Li Qiye and Song Yuhao.
“No rush, you first.” Li Qiye smiled back.
Wu Lian grinned and coldly said: “Enjoy this moment because a bit later, you’ll be eating all the mud here.”
“We’ll just see about that.” Li chuckled.
Wu Lian was quite annoyed at the constant rebuttal and glared angrily at Li Qiye.
Yuhao was horrified and pulled Li Qiye’s sleeve, signaling him to back down.
“Faster, I want to see them swallow the mud.” Wu Lian shouted at his group.
Loud rustling noises continued as they dug out the whole area but not a single insect could be found.
“Young Lord, there’s none.” A disciple reported.
Wu Lian’s expression changed as he yelled: “How can this be? You all didn’t dig deep enough then, keep going, flip the ground over and bring me these insects.”
The disciples had no choice but to keep going. The pits grew larger and deeper but no insects could be found.
“This doesn’t make sense.” The spectators were perplexed.
One said: “Just three inches should be enough to see them, but they went much deeper now and found none.”
This has never happened before to the crowd’s astonishment. These insects would always come up to devour the fire essences of the grasses. Wu Lian seized the entire field but couldn’t obtain a single one.
“Keep going then, three thousand feet or whatever, get me those damn insects.” His expression turned unsightly as he screamed off the top of his lung.
He had made a strong bet earlier so there was no backing down.
“Our turn.” Li Qiye leisurely said after seeing the failure of the other group.
The crowd’s attention darted towards him. They didn’t believe that he could find the insects since Wu Lian’s field was hundreds of times bigger versus their corner plot and its few blades of grasses.
There was no way the insects would ignore the large field for these random grasses on this side.
Wu Lian scowled: “My several hundred plots got nothing, so stop daydreaming. Start eating now and I’ll spare you from eating the entire field after we find some.”
“Don’t be so sure now.” Li Qiye remained nonchalant: “We’ll see who will be the last one smiling.”
He pointed at the old tree after saying this, sending it back to his fate palace. The tree had begrudgingly obeyed while thinking that it was a waste of its talents so it didn’t wish to stay out any longer.
The incomplete tree was completely inconspicuous. No one recognized it either in this place.
The truth was that in all of Three Immortals, few could understand its magical properties. Even regular ancestors couldn’t recognize it, let alone these ordinary experts.
After recalling the tree, he told Yuhao: “Start digging.”
“We’re really doing it?” Yuhao lacked confidence after seeing no insect in that entire field. Their tiny plot shouldn’t have attracted any insect, just like Wu Lian had said.
“Do what I say.” Li Qiye demanded.
Yuhao had no choice but to pick up a hoe and started digging. He could already see himself eating the mud, feeling quite sorry for being dragged into this mess but it was too late to do anything about it.
“Ignorant fools.” Wu Lian saw Yuhao still trying to dig and said: “Wait till I find some, I’ll make you swallow all the soil here.”
His eyes flashed with a frightening murderous intent. No one was allowed to disrespect their Everlasting Kingdom in this system.
A while after Yuhao’s effort, a spark came out of the ground, as bright as a hidden treasure.
He seemed to be struck by lightning, jolted and drowned with excitement as he started digging even harder.
‘‘What is that?’’ The fiery spark attracted everyone's attention.
He finished digging a large pit, finding fiery balls the size of a face-washing basin within and picked one up.
Upon careful inspections, they were actually fiery insects resembling silkworms, just much longer. They squeezed together and formed circles as if something was attracting them. That’s why they looked like fiery balls at first sight.
“That’s, that’s Winterfire insects…” Someone shouted.
“So many, must be more than one thousand!” Another guessed.
“I can’t believe it.” The spectators were amazed. It was impossible for so many insects to gather at this small plot.
“Even this entire field can’t produce so many Winterfire Insects.” An experienced alchemist chimed in: “It’s almost a miracle to find so many below that small plot.
The crowd looked at Li Qiye with strange gazes, wondering how he knew there were insects below.
All eyes were on the Firehawk Grasses. One took note of the time: “It’s almost the time for the grasses to burn…”