Chapter 9: The Map of the Desolate Land

    Book 4 Chapter 9: The Map of the Desolate Land

    Spiritual fruits that increased one's inner strength?

    Teng Qingshan's knowledge of things such as spiritual fruits and demonic beasts was very small.

    Zhuge Yuanhong laughed. "Initially, I had thought that you, Qingshan, had eaten a spiritual fruit that increased your inner strength. Seems like it was actually a spiritual fruit that modified your meridian channels. Now, we'll have to find a way to get a hold of a spiritual fruit that increases your inner strength!" While it was a bit troublesome, Zhuge Yuanhong was rather happy.

    That was because...

    Once the spiritual fruit was obtained, Teng Qingshan would be able to step into the innate realm.

    "Master, what are the spiritual fruits that increase inner strength?" Teng Qingshan inquired.

    Astonished, Zhuge Yuanhong said, "There are many miscellaneous books in the Martial Pavilion. You didn't read them?"

    Seeing Teng Qingshan's expression, he understood. He smiled and added in detail, "There are currently six known spiritual fruits of the Heaven and Earth that increase one's inner strength and expand the Dan Tian to the limits. These include the Violet Ice Heart, Bamboo Spirit Fruit and Scarlet Fruit. These six spiritual fruits  increase inner strength but are considered mediocre amongst the spiritual fruits of the Heaven and Earth. The fruits that can affect one's meridian channels, like the fruit you had eaten, are the most precious spiritual fruits.

    Teng Qingshan was astonished.

    Dear heavens! To think that there were six types of spiritual fruits that increase one's inner strength. The Nine Prefectures were definitely much more amazing than the world from his previous life.

    "Of course, the effects of these six fruits are slightly different! For example, after eating the Violet Ice Heart, your Dan Tian will reach its limits. But at the same time, your inner strength would also be affected and contain icy cold Qi." Zhuge Yuanhong explained. "As for the Scarlet Fruit, after eating it, it will make you inner strength contain scorching flaming Qi!"

    After mentioning this, Zhuge Yuanhong smiled. "Of course, right now, you are only a warrior in the Postliminary Realm. There is no differentiation such as hot and cold in your inner strength, so you can choose to eat whichever you prefer. But once eaten, when you reach the innate realm in the future, the method by which training your Innate True Origin must be the same as the nature of the spiritual fruit you consumed."

    Teng Qingshan frowned.

    The inner strength of almost all warriors was the same, colorless, and no differentiation such as that of hot or cold.

    However, after attaining the innate realm, the Innate True Origin would have color! Take that 'Ghostly Fox' Sima Qing for example, his Innate True Origin was grey in color. When individual training methods diverge, it allowed their Innate True Origin to contain different traits. For instance, if one were to train the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique' to perfection, it should contain the icy cold trait.

    "Qingshan, you will be training the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique'. Therefore, in the future, your Innate True Origin will have the icy cold trait. It would be better for you to find the 'Violet Ice Heart', since eating it will strengthen the ice cold trait of your Innate True Origin, giving you bigger prowess! But it's also hard to locate this Violet Ice Heart. I reckon not many sects have them in stock."

    "To find the Violet Ice Heart, you will need to traverse across the Nine Prefecture as you travel north. After reaching the North Plains, travel through the plains, and head towards the Northern Sea......You will only be able to have the hope of finding the Violet Ice Heart in the midst of the Northern Sea! Once harvested, the Violet Ice Heart must be consumed within one month, else it will turn into water. This is also why not many sects have it in stock."

    Perishables such as fruits would rot when stored for a prolonged period of time.

    Furthermore, it was highly challenging to harvest such spiritual fruits. Therefore, usually only when there was a need would sects spend a large amount of effort to harvest them.

    "From our Yangzhou to the Northern Seas, the journey is very long......" Zhuge Yuanhong continued.

    Hearing this, Teng Qingshan, shook his head. "Master, I don't need the 'Violet Ice Heart'. I would like to take that Scarlet Fruit!"

    "Scarlet Fruit?" Zhuge Yuanhong looked at Teng Qingshan in astonishment. "Qingshan, that Scarlet Fruit contains the scorching heat trait. Aren't you training the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique'? The Innate True Origin cultivated from the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique' has the ice cold trait. If you were to eat the Scarlet Fruit, the conflict between the heat and the cold would do you no good."

    "Master!" Teng Qingshan quickly explained himself. "I am only using the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique' as a reference on the method for the Dan Tian to achieve the 'True Dan' and the 'Golden Dan' from the 'Emptiness Dan'. As for the channeling within the meridian channels, I will not learn it."

    A person had eight extra meridians and twelve regular meridians.

    That was because even an innate master might not be able to clear all of them. Furthermore, rather than spending a large amount of time to clear all the meridian channels, it would be better to focus and specialise one's training on a few meridian channels. By focusing the training the few meridian channels, it could allow those meridian channels to widen unobstructed. For instance, to focus on training meridian channel with the 'cold' characteristic.

    Then in the future, the Innate True Origin would also contain the cold characteristic.

    But Teng Qingshan was different!

    All his meridian channels had long since been cleared, and he had already seen the components of the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique'. To him, it was a waste of the other meridian channels. He might as well learn the technique of the 'Vigor of the Reckless Bull'. The ninth level of the 'Vigor of the Reckless Bull' depended on absorbing with all eight meridian channels. To concurrently absorb Qi through all eight meridian channels, it would not be any slower than using the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique' to absorb the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth.


    This was the so called mental cultivation method.

    The first step was actually to absorb the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth and convert it to inner strength. Thereafter, the inner strength would be fused with the 'spirit' to turn into Innate True Origin. In the Dan Tian, he would start from Emptiness Dan to slowly train to the 'True Dan', and finally the 'Golden Dan'!

    To Teng Qingshan, only the last part of the 'Dark Moon Spear Technique', which held information about the evolution process of the Emptiness Dan, the True Dan and the Golden Dan, was worth learning.

    Of course, the insights from those predecessors were even more important!

    "Not learning?" Zhuge Yuanhong was also an expert warrior, so he understood Teng Qingshan's intentions. "If you don't want to learn, so be it! It is not a big problem. It's just that...... why do you want to choose the Scarlet Fruit? Is the heat characteristic better than that of the cold characteristic?"

    "Master, I studied the 'Ardent Flame Spear Art' and created the 'Five Techniques of the Ardent Flame'. Now, I am currently studying on how to merge the 'Five Techniques of the Ardent Flame' into one spear art! I feel that this move, when used together with the Innate True Origin with scorching heat characteristic, its prowess would be larger." Teng Qingshan said.

    Zhuge Yuanhong was astonished. "Combining the 'Five Techniques of the Ardent Flame' into one move?"

    "Good, good!" Zhuge Yuanhong exclaimed. "Although I haven't seen your 'Five Techniques of the Ardent Flame', I heard from Ji Hong that you relied on two moves to defeat the Sovereign of the Chong Jian Sect, Sima Feng." With Zhuge Yuanhong's abilities, he could clearly imagine the prowess of the Five Techniques of the Ardent Flame.

    To want to break up such powerful strokes and merge them into one!

    Even Zhuge Yuanhong felt that it would be hard for himself to achieve this if he did not have a few years' time.

    "Excellent!" Zhuge Yuanhong said. "Then, Qingshan, you can set off to look for the Scarlet Fruit!"

    "First, I'd like to ask master one question. Where can I find this Scarlet Fruit?" Teng Qingshan asked.

    Zhuge Yuanhong quickly replied, "The Scarlet Fruit has an even shorter shelf life than that of the Violet Ice Heart. Even if it's stored in a jade box immediately after its harvest, it will start to rot in fifteen days! I would reckon that there are no sects with the fruit in its stock. Therefore, you'd have to look for it for yourself. Based on my understanding, the Scarlet Fruit can be found in the Desolate Lands in the south!"

    "Desolate South?" Teng Qingshan had generated a tinge of interest.

    Boorish South, Desolate South, Boorish Desolate...... These few terms referred to the same place. It was a location that would change the faces of many warriors when they talked about it.

    "Mmm, the Scarlet Fruit grows about eight hundred li deep in the region of the Boorish Desolate! There are plenty of Scarlet Fruits there. Of course, it's also hard to harvest it." Zhuge Yuanhong mentioned. "Go to the Martial Pavilion, look for Martial Elder, and get a copy of the map of the Boorish Desolate. Right, and get another two books on spiritual fruits and demonic beasts." Zhuge Yuanhong instructed.

    "Yes, master."

    Teng Qingshan immediately left the study.


    The rain outside continued to fall endlessly, accompanied by the chilly wind. Carrying an umbrella, Teng Qingshan hurried to the Martial Pavilion.

    After the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, Teng Qingshan placed the umbrella outside the study and entered.

    "Pass me the map of the Boorish Desolate." Zhuge Yuanhong instructed.

    "Yes, master."

    Teng Qingshan took out a stack of thick leather paper. After receiving it, Zhuge Yuanhong laid it out on the floor of the study. When completely laid out, the map of the Boorish Desolate was four chi long and two chi wide. It contained specific details of many areas, but this map only introduced certain regions of the Boorish Desolate.

    "Qingshan, this map of the Boorish Desolate shows close to over two thousand li of land." Zhuge Yuanhong took out his brush and drew a circle around a spot. "This area is called the "'Steeled Arms Monkey Mountain', the one place in the Boorish Desolate where the 'Scarlet Fruit' can be found."

    After marking this, Zhuge Yuanhong stacked up the map properly and passed it to Teng Qingshan.

    "Qingshan! The Steeled Arms Monkey Mountain is known for the demonic beast  known as the 'Steeled Arms Monkey'. The Steeled Arms Monkey is not considered strong, far in comparison from the 'Red Scaled Beast'. However, even if it's not strong, it's still a demonic beast and has the abilities close to that of an expert listed in the Earth Ranking. Most importantly, in this Monkey Mountain, there is a large troop of the Steeled Arms Monkey!" Zhuge Yuanhong said.

    Teng Qingshan was astonished.

    A troop of monkeys?

    "Even if an innate master were to look for the Scarlet Fruit, they would not dare to take it by force! Qingshan, that book on demonic beasts also has some records on the 'Steeled Arms Monkey'. Take a good look at it before you set off for the Boorish Desolate! Keep in mind......To obtain the Scarlet Fruit, you must use your wit! Do not intend to take it by force." Zhuge Yuanhong said with a smile. "For this issue, it doesn't matter how many of people accompany you. Therefore, this time you will need to depend on yourself."

    "Yes, master."

    Teng Qingshan was undaunted.

    It was obvious that to Zhuge Yuanhong, even an expert of the Earth Ranking would be able to get the Scarlet Fruit if he were to use his brain and be careful.

    "When do you plan to set off?" Zhuge Yuanhong asked.

    "Tomorrow." Teng Qingshan replied.


    Teng Qingshan was one who would do what he put his mind to, and was not one who procrastinated. On the same day, Teng Qingshan spoke of his task with the others, including his sister, Teng Qingyu, and his cousin, Teng Qinghu, as well as went to purchase a Cyan Bristled Horse in the afternoon! While he was travelling, Teng Qingshan did not wish to attract too much attention by riding on one of the three Dragon Horses, the 'Dark Demonic Horse'.

    Once people saw the Dark Demonic Horse, his identity would be revealed.

    The rain only stopped at night.

    "Unbelievable! This is really unbelievable." Teng Qingshan put down the book that held records of demonic beasts. "To think that there are so many types of demonic beasts across the Nine Prefectures. There are strong ones and weak ones. To think that...... The Flood Dragon in that Frost Jade Pool was actually such a terrifying creature!" Only after reading the book did Teng Qingshan start to feel terrified.

    The Flood Dragon in the Frost Jade Pool was much more terrifying that the Red Scaled Beast.

    The book mentioned a Purple Radiant Boa that mostly stayed in the area of the 'Purple Radiant Coldsteel'. When it was young, the Purple Radiant Boa was about three Zhang long and its abilities were mediocre. When it fully matured, it would grow up to eight Zhang long and could spew white fog that could freeze the mountain rocks. Even an innate master would have to avoid them. Over the years, the Purple Radiant Boa would continue to grow slowly. When it reached a length of ten Zhang, it would grow silver horns and turn into a Flood Dragon. It would be a top grade demonic beast once it turns into a Purple Radiant Flood Dragon! At that time, it would spew black fog. Even a innate master, once he came into contact with the black fog, would turn into dust instantaneously! Even an innate Golden Dan expert, when faced with this top grade demonic beast, would lose his life if he wasn't careful!

    "It was truly luck." Teng Qingshan felt the terror as he recalled. "The Flood Dragon in the Frost Jade Pool was about twelve Zhang long! If I had touched the black fog, I would have perished."

    That time, Teng Qingshan had been in the water.

    The Flood Dragon of the Frost Jade Pool spewed black fog and froze the water in the Frost Jade Pool, causing Teng Qingshan to be frozen within the iceberg.The low temperature that Teng Qingshan had endured was the freezing point of ice and not the lowest temperature of the black fog. Thank the heavens that was the case......

    "From this book, it seems that the Purple Radiant Boa would be able to match up to the Red Scaled Beast. When the boa turns into the Flood Dragon, its abilities would increase by another notch." Teng Qingshan exclaimed. "If the Flood Dragon were to leave the Frost Jade Pool one day and wreak havoc across the world, many would perish."

    He immediately stored the books.

    "Mmm, I'll take a rest for a while and set off early tomorrow morning!" Teng Qingshan sat crossed-legged and meditated. His heartbeat slowed down to an extreme, and his life signs plunged to an absolute limit.
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