Qiu Ling went back to the herbs he had dug out halfway. He finished his work, threw them into his spatial ring as well and had a last look around before he whipped out the jade slip once again.
Mn, there were quite a few other herbs he needed and they were scattered around the mortal realm. There was actually some pretty flower from the highest mountain, some strange-looking, thorny plant growing in an ice desert and the fruit of some tree in a deep chasm.
“Why were the Grand Elder and that beast-taming guy making such a ruckus because of that? Getting that Flaming Lion’s Tail wasn’t difficult at all and the rest doesn’t look much harder either.” Qiu Ling shook his head and put the jade slip back into his spatial ring. They were humans, after all, so maybe he should have expected this.
He took out the book the best-taming Elder had given him and browsed through it while climbing up the stairs. Aiya, there were a lot of strange beasts in the human realm! What did he need from those? Some kind of horn, some feathers, … It looked like nothing much. The only problem was that they even wanted things like the bone marrow that he wouldn’t be able to get without killing the spiritual beasts.
Qiu Ling frowned and closed the book. He’d see about that when the time came. He hurried up the stairs and arrived outside the ruins again.
Ah, he should hurry up. His beloved would certainly get worried if he took too long! He leaped up into the air and motioned with his hands. The vapor that shrouded the ground rose up and condensed into a cloud. Qiu Ling stepped onto it, sat down and let the wind blow it forward to his next destination while he started to leaf through the book again.
For now, he’d go to the ice desert. He didn’t understand why but this book said that it wasn’t far from the Court of Flames. Only one river separated them so he wouldn’t need long to arrive.
Qiu Ling had the wind blow faster while he curiously looked down. Sure enough, it only took some minutes to arrive at the river. The thing didn’t look like anything special. Sure, it was a beautiful sight, flowing between that dark, barren ground and that deadly ice like the sole lifeline of this place. But other than that … Qiu Ling tilted his head. Well, it did give off strong spiritual energy. Maybe that had created such an environment.
“Ah, I should have taken Jing He with me. He would have liked this.”
Qiu Ling sighed. Yes, it would have been great: Sitting on this cloud together with him, holding him in his arms so that he wouldn’t feel cold and pointing out what he could see down below … Mn, that would have been perfect.
Qiu Ling looked back in the direction of the Yun Zou Sect. Maybe he should go and invite him? He moved his fingers and the wind stopped. His cloud hovered in the air.
He wanted to have him with him. But then again … Jing He himself had said that he hadn’t been able to cultivate. He would be defenseless. Sure, Qiu Ling didn’t doubt that he could protect him but he still felt nervous. That Grandelder and the other guy had been quite clear on the fact that this was dangerous. It might just be easy for him because he was a dragon. He shouldn’t involve Jing He.
Qiu Ling sighed and moved forward again. It wasn’t possible now but as soon as the old geezer had refined the pill and Jing He’s spirit veins were remodeled they could venture into the human realm however much they wanted.
Mn, he’d take Jing He to all those places then. Not only would they be able to enjoy the scenery and each other’s company, but it would also help further the bond between them in Jing He’s mortal life. After all, he would be able to finally live through the adventures he desired when they went out together. Mn, this plan was really good. He should hurry up.
Qiu Ling motioned and the wind carrying him picked up again. He sped over the icy desert until he spotted another lake. This time, it was a normal lake. Well, as normal as it was for a lake to be completely free of ice when in this environment.
Qiu Ling didn’t think about it any longer though. He jumped from his cloud and hurried through the snow, looking for the strange, thorny plant he was supposed to find. This time, he didn’t have any problems. He spotted it some steps away from the edge of the lake. One side of the plant was green and small leaves sprouted from it. The other side was covered in ice and sharp thorns pointed outside. It was as if the leaves had rolled up because they feared the cold.
Just like at the Court of Flames, Qiu Ling dug out the whole plant and even took the time to gather some more of them. It couldn’t hurt to have a little more. If something went wrong, the old geezer could give it another try or maybe Jing He could use them later on.
Qiu Ling threw all of them into his spatial ring and turned to leave. There weren’t any more plants around or at least he couldn’t see any. If there was something around after all that Jing He needed, he could come back here and get it for him or they could just stop by when they were journeying outside together.
He hopped back onto his cloud and continued on with his quest of gathering the ingredients for the Amethyst Lightning pill.
Just like before, Qiu Ling couldn’t help but notice that this task wasn’t difficult at all despite all the warnings. Reaching the top of a mountain and finding some little flower that grew right on the precipice where one wrong step could cost one’s life? Tch, he’d just fly up on his cloud and dig it out while leisurely sitting there. Venturing into some old ruin filled with traps to find some fern in a moldy corner? Ah, he loved seeing new places if they had style! Those traps? It felt a bit itchy when he accidentally stepped into one. Getting the horn of a ferocious spiritual beast that might impale you on the said horn or trample you beneath its hooves? Well, being a dragon naturally made him the king of spiritual beasts. If he wanted a horn, he would get one. All he had to do was appear and ask for it.
He felt bad about that though. Most of the ingredients needed for that Amethyst Lightning pill required things from those spiritual beasts that they needed to live. As a dragon, Qiu Ling couldn’t bring himself to kill them. This wasn’t a war or some fight for honor between enemies of the same caliber. This would be a king cruelly murdering his subjects for his own benefit. Even though he took being king not that seriously, he couldn’t do that.
Thus the spiritual beast from the lava lake got quite a bit of company in the spatial ring. Qiu Ling was determined to ask that Elder from the Yun Zou Sect if there was another way to get those things without harming the spiritual beasts. And if the Elder knew nothing, then he’d go and ask the old geezer. Maybe he just hadn’t thought of the right way. And if there really wasn’t one, then he could still consider what to do. Maybe those ingredients could be substituted with something else.
In that manner, Qiu Ling gathered all of the ingredients … except for two. One was the fruit of a tree that grew in a deep chasm and the other was a seaweed-like herb from the ground of the sea. They weren’t any more difficult to get than the other ingredients but they still made Qiu Ling pause. He wasn’t worried about braving danger for his beloved. No, instead, it was things of the past that troubled him.