Chapter 32 – Courage in hunting

At night.

In a hidden cave, a dim yellow light was shining.

Yuan Ming sat cross-legged in the cave, with a concave goose egg-sized stone in front of him filled with lamp oil made of snake oil, and a faint smoke emitting from the lit fire, giving off a sweet and greasy smell.

He held a blue book in his hand, reading it attentively.

“No wonder Zhao Tong wants the face skin of the human-faced spider. It turns out that this Qianji mask is so useful that it can change a thousand faces, and cultivators below the Foundation Establishment stage cannot see through it.” Yuan Ming said with a click of his tongue.

During this time, his understanding of cultivation gradually became clearer. He knew that after the Qi Refining stage, there was the Foundation Establishment stage, followed by the Core Formation stage, and then the god-like Elemental Infant stage.

However, he only knew the names of the stages after the Qi Refining stage, and he didn’t understand the differences between them.

After a moment, he closed the book “Illustrated Handbook of Dangerous Beasts” and silently recalled the information about the beasts recorded in it, memorizing it in his mind.

“I’ve been stuck at the bottleneck of the second level of Qi Refining for a long time, and I don’t know if this thing is useful.” Yuan Ming put away the book and held the palm-sized flesh spirit mushroom, muttering to himself.

According to the “Compendium of Hundred Herbs”, flesh spirit mushrooms over ten years old can produce white bones and eliminate rotten flesh.

Those over a hundred years old can revive the dead, strengthen Qi and blood, and assist in cultivation. When combined with other herbs such as Poria, Red and Yellow Ginseng, and Five-leaf Spirit, they can be refined into Lingzhi Dan, which can double the effects.

Judging by the size and shape of the one in his hand, it was already over a hundred years old. Unfortunately, Yuan Ming couldn’t find anyone to help him refine it into a pill. Once he took it out, he would probably bring disaster upon himself.

After all, the innocent need not fear the guilty.

“I can only eat it raw, better than not eating it at all.” Yuan Ming sighed and said.

After that, he sat cross-legged, adjusted his breathing, and began to silently operate the second level of the “Nine Elements Technique”, mobilizing the mana in his dantian and circulating it around his body.

When the qi and blood in his body were mobilized, Yuan Ming slowly opened his eyes, picked up the flesh spirit mushroom, and took a bite.

The fleshy texture felt like wood fibers, and a bitter taste spread in his mouth, making him widen his eyes in surprise.

“It tastes terrible.” Yuan Ming silently said to himself, but he didn’t spit it out, and instead forced himself to chew it.

In a short while, Yuan Ming had swallowed the entire flesh spirit mushroom.

Afterward, he continued to try to operate the third level of the “Nine Elements Technique” and carefully feel the changes in his body.

However, to his disappointment, just as the third level of the “Nine Elements Technique” had just started to operate, he felt a sense of stagnation and obstruction, and his mana felt like it had hit a high wall, unable to cross over.

“Is it not working?” Yuan Ming sighed inwardly.

Indeed, even heavenly treasures and earth treasures like spiritual herbs need to be refined in a specific way to unlock their effects.

But just then, Yuan Ming suddenly frowned and placed his hands on his lower abdomen.

Immediately, a hot stream rose from his dantian, like a warm stove in his stomach.

Just as Yuan Ming was surprised, he suddenly felt the temperature of the hot stream in his lower abdomen suddenly increase, from a warm sensation to a slightly scorching one.

He felt as if the warm stove in his stomach had sprung a leak, and the flames were all pouring out, making his stomach ache.

Yuan Ming felt a little panicked and quickly unbuttoned his clothes, exposing his chest and abdomen.But this still couldn’t dispel the heat, his lower abdomen skin turned red, and began to spread towards his chest and groin.

Yuan Ming quickly took off all his clothes and sat naked on the ground, feeling slightly relieved.

But this feeling didn’t last long, he was once again swallowed by the heat, and his skin turned red all over, looking like a cooked shrimp.

Yuan Ming even blew out the small oil lamp in front of him, but still felt dry-mouthed and uneasy, his heart beating like a drum in his chest.

At the same time, he felt the mana in his dantian restless, uncontrollably rushing into his meridians, causing a needle-like pain throughout his body.

He had never experienced such a situation before and was a little panicked.

But soon, he forced himself to calm down and began to use the Nine Yuan Technique to try to guide the mana back to his dantian.

With this attempt, he found that his mana was still under his control, but the speed and power had increased.

Realizing this, Yuan Ming quickly recited the third layer of the Nine Yuan Technique in his mind, guiding the mana to flow through his meridians and attempting to break through to the third level of Qi Refining.

After a moment, Yuan Ming suddenly opened his eyes, shining brightly.

The bottleneck that he couldn’t break through before was easily overcome this time.

In an instant, his mana surged in his dantian, the speed of mana circulation increased, and the time required to run a full cycle was reduced by half, greatly improving his cultivation efficiency.

Yuan Ming worked tirelessly, running the technique again and again, sweating profusely, and a white mist rising from his head.

As he continued to practice, the heat in his body gradually subsided, his red skin faded, and his mana became stable, with a significant increase in the amount stored in his dantian.

After a few hours, Yuan Ming slowly opened his eyes, a smile on his face.

With the help of the hundred-year-old medicinal Lingzhi, he had finally broken through to the third level of Qi Refining.

After the joy, Yuan Ming did not stop practicing, but continued to meditate, trying to stabilize his realm.

Half a month later, Yuan Ming was running through a jungle beside a stream, wearing a white ape skin and carrying a bronze ancient sword.

He was not using the beast transformation technique, but was running at an incredible speed.

Behind him, trees in the forest continued to fall, making a crashing sound.

In the rolling dust, a gray-green forest python, seven zhang long and as thick as a water bucket, with amber eyes, bloodthirsty mouth, and two pairs of sharp teeth, chased after Yuan Ming with a six-foot-long crimson snake tongue.Yuan Ming was in mid-air, reaching out to grab a vine hanging from an old tree beside him, and forcefully pulled it down. The vine trap on both sides of him immediately contracted rapidly.

Half of the Senyan’s body had entered a rapidly shrinking rope circle, and before it could fully escape, it was tightly bound by the tightened vines, with half of its body hanging in mid-air.

It struggled incessantly, pulling the vines and causing the thick branches above to shake violently, as if they were about to break.

At this moment, Yuan Ming, who had already returned, leaped high, gripping the Qingyu Sword tightly with both hands, and slashed down fiercely at the Senyan’s head.

Just as the Senyan was about to be killed in one blow, its six-foot-long snake tongue suddenly coiled and wrapped around Yuan Ming again.

The old tree branch could not withstand the weight of the Senyan’s body and collapsed with a loud crash.

With a flick of its long tongue, the Senyan dragged Yuan Ming and pulled him into its mouth in one fell swoop.

Before Yuan Ming had time to react, his vision went black, and the upper half of his body had already been swallowed by the Senyan, entering a moist and sticky cavity.

The Senyan’s upper and lower jawbones closed together, and a tremendous pressure tried to crush Yuan Ming’s bones.

Yuan Ming suddenly felt a huge pressure on his chest and ribs, making it difficult for him to breathe. The stench from inside the Senyan’s abdomen kept rising, making him feel as if he was about to suffocate and pass out.

As the muscles in the Senyan’s mouth wriggled, slowly sending Yuan Ming further into its belly, a green light suddenly shone from its lower abdomen, and a sword tip with a green sheen pierced through the Senyan’s skin from the inside out.

Following that, as the muscles in the Senyan’s mouth continued to wriggle, Yuan Ming’s body slowly sank deeper into the snake’s belly, and the Qingyu Sword split open the Senyan’s stomach, creating a huge opening.

Yuan Ming, covered in slime, crawled out of the wound in the Senyan’s abdomen, holding the Qingyu Sword in one hand and a dark green, papaya-sized fleshy pouch in the other.

That was the Senyan’s gallbladder, the most valuable thing on its body besides its blood, and also the thing that Zhao Tong had specifically asked Yuan Ming to bring back.

Yuan Ming had already killed three Senyans before, but each time he had cut open their stomachs, he had found that the gallbladders inside had been shattered, and the dark green bile had corroded the abdominal cavity beyond recognition.

At first, he thought it had been accidentally shattered during the battle, but later he realized that the Senyans had shattered it themselves when they were on the verge of death, so as not to be hunted for their gallbladders.

Left with no choice, he decided to be swallowed by the Senyan and take the gallbladder from inside.

The Senyan, which had its gallbladder removed, did not die immediately. Its writhing body twisted incessantly, and its long tail swept from side to side, still trying to put up a struggle before dying, but it was ultimately futile.

After storing the beast blood in a blood storage pouch, Yuan Ming carried his sword to the riverbank, intending to clean the filth from his body.

He had just arrived at the water’s edge and had not yet bent down when he noticed that his reflection in the water was strange. Just as he was about to take a closer look, his heart suddenly jolted.

His face reflected in the water suddenly twisted, turning into an extremely hideous snake face.

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