Li Qiye left the Holy City for the Hidden-dragon Mountains. He continued to travel through the mountain ridge while gauging the location the whole way.
This mountain range spanned across the land for millions of miles like a gigantic dragon in all of its grandeur. Many existences were born here. This was not only the paradise of the human race, but also home to many animals.
The average person might not be able to feel anything after entering the mountain. However, it was different for Li Qiye since he could sense the powerful quake underground, a supreme impact as if there was an endless source of life gushing out of the ground.
As he continued around the ridge, he finally made it to a ravine. While inside, he took a look around before whistling.
It was a piercingly harsh whistle. People would cover their ears after hearing this as they would feel that the sound would cause pain that felt like it was piercing their eardrums.
There was a strange and obscure characteristic of this whistle that allowed the sound to travel deep into the ground.
“Crashh!” A long time after his whistle, mud and soil flew everywhere as a creature crawled out of the ground.
This creature’s entire body was as black as ink. The scales on its body seemed to be made out of black steel. It had a dragon’s head with a single horn at the top while its body resembled a Pixiu. 1
It cautiously stared at Li Qiye after crawling out of the ground. It postured offensively, but at the same time, it was ready to burrow again at any moment.
“Earthdrake, quite a rare creature.” Li Qiye chuckled after seeing the beast.
Li Qiye took out a handful of leaves hanging on a branch and dangled it in front of the drake before smiling: “Come, as long as you take me to that place, I’ll let you eat your fill.”
This branch was from the Dracotree. It was completely irresistible to the Earthdrake.
After noticing that Li Qiye was not hostile, the drake slowly came over from the mud. Nevertheless, it was still quite cautious. After a while, it bit the branch in his hand. With some rustling sounds, it quickly ate the entire branch and the leaves.
Li Qiye took out some more leaves. The drake leaned in for another bite, but Li Qiye was even faster and shifted away so that the drake couldn’t eat it.
“You should be very familiar with this smell.” He raised the leaves up in the air and stopped the drake from eating before smiling: “Take me to that place and then you can eat. If you agree, then nod your head.”
The drake looked at Li Qiye then back at the leaves up high. It was a bit hesitant, but ultimately, appetite triumphed over reason. It quickly nodded while staring at Li Qiye and then crouched down with its body.
Li Qiye chuckled in response: “That’s more like it. Leaves from the Dracotree… even you might not have the chance to eat these more than a few times in your life.” Having said that, he mounted the drake.
“Boom!” The Earthdrake instantly burrowed into the ground, causing a series of rumbles. It crossed the earth at an unbelievable speed. Only a creature like this drake would be able to move so fast beneath this mountain range.
The mountain range was an extraordinary location. No matter how powerful one might be, the moment they penetrated this earth, they wouldn’t be able to tell their location and the four directions.
The drake continued to carry him under ground for a very long time. He wasn’t worried that it would go to the wrong place. If even the drake couldn’t go to the right destination, then no one else would be able to find it.
“Boom!” Eventually, the drake running at full speed rushed out from the mud and entered a stone cavern.
It stopped to let Li Qiye get down. He took a look around the stone cavern that was located deep beneath the land. No one knew its exact coordinates!
There was a stone arch entrance in front of the cavern. Behind it was a pitch-black scenery; who knew where it led to.
Li Qiye revealed a faint smile and murmured: “Yes, this is it. I have finally returned.”
“Ziii—” The Earthdrake behind him cried out.
Li Qiye turned around and looked at the drooling drake. He couldn’t help but smile and threw the rest of the leaves towards it: “This is your reward.”
The drake happily roared after seeing so many leaves from the Dracotree and began its feast. In the blink of an eye, it ate everything then drilled back into the ground.
Li Qiye shifted his gaze towards the stone arch: “I want to see whether it came back to life this time…”
After going through the stone arch, a precipice could be found in front of Li Qiye. Ahead of him was still complete darkness. No one would be able to see anything.
Li Qiye stopped before it and used his steps as a measure to determine the direction. Afterward, he jumped down without any hesitation. He descended like a falling meteor with the wind howling in his ears.
“Boom!” Li Qiye didn’t know how long he had fallen before he slammed into the ground like a huge nail drilling into mud.
“I hate this step the most!” He murmured while more than half of his body was stuck in the mud. Each time he came to this place, he always had to get dirty.
He didn’t stand up just yet. He took out a small bottle and poured out the dew inside. These dew drops dampened his body and then seeped into the soil as if it had its own consciousness.
These dew drops were from the Dracotree and were infused with moonlight. After some minor noises came out, the mud and soil around Li Qiye turned into a swamp. His entire body sank down extremely quickly.
“Almost…” Li Qiye quietly counted down in the midst of this sinking process. After reaching a certain number, he activated all of his blood energy.
“Buzz!” A clear light exploded from his body!
This was the Heaven’s Will Crystallized Physique, the secret art of the Crystallized Sea Sect, the most powerful and flawless defensive technique in this world! Although Li Qiye’s dao foundation was sealed, he was still able to activate this technique due to his great blood energy. The main difference was that he couldn’t use it for as long as before.
He continued to sink deeper into the swamp. He was completely helpless since even the strongest existences wouldn’t be able to fly up.
“Bang-bang-bang!” Some time after the start of his descent, a towering inferno capable of burning everything erupted from below.
Even a God-Monarch would be scared out of their mind if they were to see this scene because this surging inferno was the mythical draconic flame from legend — extremely frightening!
Since he had no control over his body, he was consumed by the inferno instantly. However, the crystal physique protected him perfectly, so he didn’t feel a single thing.
A moment later, he escaped the inferno. However, crackles were heard right afterward. Below was a pool of tribulation lightning. Extremely thick bolts of lightning were down here and flashed continuously; these bolts were capable of ripping apart any creature that fell down here.
“ZZZZ—” Bolts of lightning frantically assaulted his body in an attempt to rip him to shreds. Fortunately, they failed to break through the crystal physique despite their might.
He continued to fall down uncontrollably…
In this manner, he met layers of tribulations one after another. It seemed that he was falling into the eighteen layers of hell.
In the face of such disasters, even a Godking would not be able to persevere and would be eventually rendered to ashes.
However, with the crystal physique, he managed to fall down and survive all the layers of tribulations.
“Boom!” He heavily slammed onto the ground once more and the crystal physique began to slowly disappear from his body.
“That was a bit risky. Luckily, the time limit was within my calculations.” Li Qiye laughed after seeing the physique going away. This was not his first time here, so he knew how long it took to fall all the way down.
After standing up, he took a look around and eventually, his gaze focused on two large doors ahead of him. He then slowly walked towards them. The two doors were cast from divine bronze. They emitted an ancient luster that would never fade for all of eternity.
1. Pixiu (Chinese: 貔貅; pinyin: píxiū; Wade–Giles: P’i-hsiu) is a Chinese mythical hybrid creature commonly but incorrectly referred to in the West by the Greek word “chimera”. It is considered to be a very powerful protector to practitioners of Feng Shui. It resembles a strong, winged lion.