OMF V2C28 Better Be Prepared For The Future

Qiu Ling looked at the mountain in front of him. Huh, that Court of Flames lived up to its name. There was an old ruin on top of the mountain. Once upon a time, it had probably been a magnificent palace. Even now most of it seemed like it hadn’t aged much, though you could still tell that it had seen better times. The whole complex was eerily quiet. The only thing he could hear was the wind whooshing over the plane below and the sound of the hot water gushing out of the earth every now and then.
Qiu Ling took the jade slip out of his spatial ring and checked the information on the ingredients he needed. The first one was a herb called Flaming Lion Tail. The name was pretty descriptive. The herb indeed looked like it was the tail of a lion that had caught on fire and moreover it liked to grow in extremely hot environments. This place was definitely a haven for such a herb.
Qiu Ling had a look over the ground but couldn’t see anything. The hot water gushing out of the ground had plunged everything in a dense white vapor. It seemed like he had to go and have a look from down there.
He flew down and landed, his gaze already roaming about. He wanted to get this done as soon as possible. The sooner he managed to find these materials, the sooner he could go and ask that old geezer to refine that Amethyst something pill for him and the sooner he could go and present it to his beloved. Ah, just imagining how impressed Jing He would be lifted his mood. He might just earn himself a kiss for that!
Qiu Ling hurried along between the geysers. There were a lot of herbs and not only a few of them were red. He frowned. Damn. He should have taken someone with him who understood about herbs.
“A lion’s tail …” Qiu Ling took out the jade slip again and had a look at the page he recorded down. He saw at least three similar-looking herbs.
“Damn. Which one is it?” Qiu Ling frowned even more. Wasn’t there some more information on that thing?
He read the text again: Looks like a lion’s tail on fire. Prefers extremely hot places like the Court of Flames. If consumed, it …
Qiu Ling lifted a brow. What? If consumed raw, the Flaming lion’s tail will induce a smoldering heat in every part of the body. That didn’t sound like something that furthered cultivation at all! Did they really put something like this into a mystical pill? It rather seemed to be meant for some other kind of drug.
Mn, he should better ask that old geezer about it before he let him refine that pill. He didn’t want his Jing He to have some strange side effects. Well, it wouldn’t really matter as long as he was with him but he would rather not that Jing He felt forced to do anything with him.
Qiu Ling shook his head. This wasn’t the time for that. He had to find that dumb plant first. He put the jade slip away. There wasn’t anything useful in it. The only hint was really the mention of extremely hot places.
“Mn, maybe I should go and look at the hottest place around here?”
Well, that was as good an idea as he could get from these few clues. He started in the direction of one of the geysers and started looking for the herb again. There was some red grass growing next to it but they were missing that tuft at the end that the Flaming lion tail herb had.
“This doesn’t seem to be it?” Qiu Ling bent down and examined the grass a little more. Mn, it had some spiritual energy, though … “Maybe I should just dig it out and take it back to the sect? If that Amethyst whatever pill really isn’t good then that old geezer might be able to use it for something. Or maybe Jing He would like to study herbs and alchemy? He always liked plants …”
Jing He’s palace in the nine heavens was surrounded by gardens and even housed two inside. Those two had even been tended to by himself. Jing He had a gentle disposition and was an attentive person. Tending to a garden was something he was especially good at. He might really excel in that sort of task if the Yun Zou sect let him study it.
Qiu Ling didn’t hesitate. He should be prepared for the future. If his beloved wanted to become a great alchemist later on and didn’t have any herbs, then it would be too late to go and find some! He needed to accumulate as many as he could now!
He started to dig out the herbs one by one. The hot water that gushed out of the earth now and then? Tch! That was just water. A dragon wouldn’t be afraid of water even if it was a little hotter than usual. Qiu Ling worked for a while and hurried over to the next geyser whenever he finished digging up the herbs around one. Finally, all the herbs around them had been cleared and orderly placed into his spatial ring.
It was a pity, though, that none of these herbs seemed to be the one he actually needed. Qiu Ling looked around again. There were some other herbs around that didn’t grow next to the geysers. They didn’t exude much spiritual energy, too, so he ignored them. Instead, he turned toward the ruin on top of the mountain.
“That’s the only place where I didn’t look.” Mn, how hot could it be inside some ruin?
He couldn’t really imagine it but he went inside nonetheless. He should at least try.
Qiu Ling entered the old palace and raised his brows. It was incredibly hot in there. In fact, he felt like the whole thing was on fire even though he could see that that wasn’t the case.
He continued on and the heat grew even worse. This was definitely the place where the Flaming lion’s tail would grow. He couldn’t tell why it was so hot, though. It seemed to come from somewhere below.
He just followed the feeling toward a stone staircase. It seemed the source of the heat was at the foot of the staircase. Qiu Ling took one look back. He hadn’t found many herbs in the palace itself and none of them had looked even remotely similar to the Flaming lion’s tail. It could only be down there.
Qiu Ling climbed down the stairs. What had been built from bricks at the beginning finally became something that had only a rough resemblance to a staircase. The steps were caved merely through people going up and down. They were uneven and at the edges, they didn’t even seem like steps at all.
Qiu Ling frowned at this sight but he continued on. Finally, he reached the foot of the staircase. In front of him was actually a lake of lava. No wonder it was so hot in the palace.
Qiu Ling didn’t even have to look around to find what he was searching for: A whole cluster of Flaming lion’s tail grew at the edge of the lava lake.
“That was surprisingly easy.” He went over, bent down and dug them out. He didn’t dare just plucking them off. Who knew if the old geezer would need them with the roots or without? He put the Flaming lion’s tail into his spatial ring next to the other herbs and had a last look around the cavern.
Mn, there were some other herbs. He should probably dig those out, too. He started to work while his gaze roamed about. There should be some good things in this place he could take back for Jing He.
Just when he thought about that, he saw something breaking through the surface of the lava lake. Qiu Ling’s eyes gleamed.
He ignored the herbs he had half dug out from the ground and slowly rose into the air, getting closer to the thing in the lava. He could only see a pair of long ears from where he was but he could feel the spiritual fluctuation from the thing. If he wasn’t wrong, then that was some sort of spiritual beast that inhabited the human realm.
Qiu Ling hovered above it in the air and waited if it would come out. The beast was cautious, though. It looked around and stayed in the lava. Both of them waited.
Finally, after a quarter of an hour had passed, Qiu Ling lost his patience. He grit his teeth, swooped down and just reached into the lava. He grabbed the thing by the ears and pulled it out.
The beast screeched and its legs waved about in the air, revealing some sharp claws.
Qiu Ling frowned and lifted the beast in front of his face. “Stop it.” His expression was grim. Even for a dragon with a sturdy body, it wasn’t pleasant to reach into a lake of lava. He actually had some slight burn marks on his skin. “You already ruined my skin with having me reach in there. If you dare to add some scratches to it, I’ll skin you and present your fur to my beloved.”
The beast halted with his paws raised in mid-air.
Qiu Ling nodded with satisfaction. “That’s better.” He gently grabbed one of the paws and had a look at the sharp claws. “Mn, we’ll have to do something about these.” He certainly couldn’t let those get in close proximity of his beloved!
The spiritual beast retracted its paws at Qiu Ling’s malevolent glare and even took back its paw. It tried looking as harmless as it could. Unfortunately, his whole body was covered in flames.
“What’s with the fire? Retract that, too!”
The spiritual beast had no other choice but to comply. It reduced the flames on its body until the fur beneath them could be seen. It still gave off a little bit of warmth, just enough to make one feel comfortable.
Qiu Ling’s eyes gleamed. This was perfect! Jing He would love this! It could give him warmth when he couldn’t be with him and in an emergency — should something like that ever happen — it could even protect him a little bit. Furthermore, it looked quite cute. It was exactly the kind of thing someone with Jing He’s gentle temperament would like!
“I’ll take you with me and gift you to my beloved. You’ll like him, I’m sure.” Qiu Ling smiled and the spiritual beast in his hands shivered. It definitely didn’t want to know what the beloved of such a scary guy was like!
It had no say in the matter, though. Qiu Ling shoved it into his spatial ring, too. Well, his spatial ring actually had something like a small room inside, so it wasn’t like the spiritual beast was mistreated. It bounced over to the stalks of Flaming lion’s tail Qiu Ling had dug out and laid down beside them, its own long tail curling around them.
How unlucky! Why did it have to take a peek outside when that guy was out there? It should have stayed inside its home. Now, it could only hope that that guy’s beloved was a better person.

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