The Immortal’s Poison - Chapter 201
Chapter 201: The Ice Fissure
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The white-robed youth may have been swift but he was no match for Wen Leyang, Rangjung, and Po Tu. Upon launching their simultaneous attack, before the youth’s body could even touch the surface of the ice, six large hands had grabbed onto him firmly.
Gu Xiaojun watched as the youth with unknown origins was caught. A small smile spread across his face but the three elites suddenly let out a cry of shock. A layer of white frost had rapidly spread from the youth’s body and up their fingers. In a flash, their hands were frozen.
The frost shimmered magnificently under the reflection of sunlight, creeping rapidly up their arms. They were under attack and in self defence, they prepared to use their powers but before they had even exerted an ounce of strength, the frost shattered. This had slowed them down, thwarting their attempt at capturing the youth. Everything happened in just a blink of an eye and before they could try again, the white-robed youth had disappeared under the thick layer of ice underneath everyone’s feet.
With a crack, the pangolin Po Tu attempted to chase after the youth but only reappeared with an empty, long, white robe in its paws.
When the white-robed youth was escaping, he did not break the ice as he had first done when appearing. Instead, as his body was about to make contact with the ice, he merely melted into the ice, like a snowflake that fell upon a fire, he disappeared without a trace.
Po Tu shook the long robe in its paws helplessly. It pouted its lips and laughed sheepishly. “This young lad’s magic art is nothing special, just rare. Which is how he got away from me. I won’t let him get away the next time I see him, no matter what.”
Wen Leyang was astonished at how the other party managed to vanish so completely, simply melting away into the ice sheet. He pointed to the spot where the youth disappeared. “What kind of magic was that?”
On the other hand, head lama Rangjung was frowning. He appeared to be deep in thought as he stared at the hole that had been made by the youth earlier.
Po Tu had let the youth escape and was feeling slightly embarrassed. It wIt was grateful for the diversion in the topic, hastily answering Wen Leyang, “This is an Escape Art. almost the same as my ability to burrow underground but his skill is…”
Wen Leyang chimed in, “The Ice Escape?”
Po Tu burst out laughing. “What the hell is an Ice Escape? This the Art of Water Escape. Once he is fully trained, he can also use the ice to escape.” As it said that, Po Tu flipped the long robe about in its hands, looking for any clues.
The long robe was snowy white in colour. Under the reflection of the sunlight, radiant strands of silver could be detected. The group may have comprised of experienced and knowledgeable individuals but nobody knew what material the robe was made of. When Po Tu had given chase earlier, it had managed to grab the youth, they both used their life force in the brief struggle yet the robe was not torn nor ripped at all. It was made with a material of unusually resilient quality.
The giant pangolin fiddled with the long robe yet he could not understand how it was so resilient. He passed the robe to Fei Fei and chuckled, “This is a remarkable piece of material, I shall gift it to you…” Before he could finish his sentiment, a white figure scurried underneath his feet, as fast as lightning. The figure pulled the robe out of Po Tu’s paws in one swift attempt. As the group readied for an attack, the figure dove head first back into the ice, leaving behind a sound of peculiar, croaking-like laughter. “I think it’s better if you returned my robe.”
Everyone had thought the youth had left. He had been secretly lurking underneath their feet all along, waiting for an opportunity to seize back his robe! Wen Leyang the other’s psychic ability had failed to detect any trace of him.
The divine beast was so angry that its lungs almost burst. A long and aggressive howl burst from its lips. The beast’s gigantic body jumped high into the air, bawling up its fists like hammers and slammed into the ground with a loud bang. It was attempting to use its demon powers that it had accumulated over the centuries to push the white-robed youth out of the ice.
The first time the youth managed to escape, it could have been attributed to the fact that the youth’s magic powers were unfamiliar. To its surprise, the youth had now managed to seize the long robe right out of its paws.
The particularly distasteful part was, based on the youth’s brand of ice magic, his life force was actually not all that impressive. He relied on his strange ability to hide his body and the Art of Water Escape to trick and successfully escape from the clutches of the few strong elites over and over again.
Wen Leyang and the head lama were so startled that their eyes were wide in shock. Each one of them took one side as they jumped up and was trying to restrain the giant pangolin that was thrashing wildly in midair.
Po Tu was finally held down by its two companions. It panted in rage. It’s bronze eyes shown with murderous intent as it glared at Wen Leyang and Rangjung. “Why the hell did you stop me?”
Rangjung smiled gently and calmly. “When you burrow underground to escape, can one find you by digging away the soil? The other party has escaped by water, you will never capture him even if you crush the whole ice sheet to pieces. The Art of Escape through the five elements is a brand of magic. One uses the power of one of the five elements to break through spaces. The act of escaping by burrowing underground is not like an earthworm that bore into the soil, neither is the water escape like how a beltfish swims away in the ocean. If it was, the act of escaping by fire would just mean that the person who attempted it would be barbecued…” As he comforted Po Tu, he had also conveniently explained the Art of Escape using the five elements to the rest of the group.
Wen Leyang hastily nodded in agreement at the lama’s statement. In truth, he was more worried Po Tu might cause an avalanche.
Po Tu’s face was filled with astonishment. “I was not going to simply break open the ice. I had planned to use the demonic energy of the earth element to break his escape spell…”
Halfway through the beast’s speech, a pale old face suddenly stuck out from behind the pangolin’s shoulder. He bared his teeth and widened his mouth towards the group, Wen Leyang could not tell if the face was crying or laughing. Wen Leyang’s heart thumped in his chest. Before he could act on his first instinct to to punch the face, a crisp voice laughed and reminded him from behind him. “That’s our leader!”
The three master cultivators earlier had moved so swiftly that their passengers didn’t get the chance to dismount. Po Tu’s passenger, Old Gu, had suffered greatly from the divine beast’s violent actions. Gu Xiaojun’s body was fatigued from having to hold on for dear life and had to rest for half the day before he could continue with the journey.
Despite the startling episode, he still had a clear mind. He stuck his head out from Po Tu’s back and pointed at the ice hole that the white-robed youth had created. “Master Rangjung, do you know the origins of the individual from earlier?”
The group looked towards where Old Gu was pointing and gave out a surprised ‘huh’. Ti everyone’s surprise, due to the vibrations made by Po Tu, the sides of the irregular hole had chipped off to form the shape of a six petaled flower.
Po Tu forgot its anger for a moment and laughed as it spoke, “This flower is rather beautiful.” Every single petal was round and symmetrical, forming an ice flower the size of a well. Coupled with the reflection of the blue sky and the surrounding snow, the ice flower gave of a sense of sweetness to anyone who looked at it. A cool and refreshing sensation penetrated straight to one’s heart.
Rangjung moved calmly, not in any hurry to speak. He first placed Xiao Sha back ontot the ground before procuring four pieces of Vajvakilaka from his chest pocket. They were densely engraved with mantras from the Tibetan Buddhism Sect. He jumped up and spun around, scattering his ritual instruments around them. In a booming voice, he chanted, “Dayata om gadei gadei bara!”
The Tibetan Buddhism Sect mantra echoed throughout the mountains and the four pieces of Vajvakilaka shook abruptly in response, projecting the radiating light of Buddha. The brilliant, golden light reached into the ice sheet underneath the group’s feet. In the blink of an eye, the ice sheet turned even more transparent than glass. The frozen soil and rocks underneath the thousand year glacier could clearly be seen and the youth was nowhere in sight.
Head lama Rangjung exhaled. “He has left.” Following that, he chuckled and said, “I won’t say I know about this much but I have heard of this flower mark.”
The head lama was a heavenly figure on the highlands of Tibet. He had close relationships with practitioners from all over Tibet. He took extra care to keep in touch with the trainees that practiced Tibetan Buddhism. That was why he could call for help fromm all over Tibet just by using the human bone flute. He had an old friend who had been meditating and cultivating in the Tapas monastic practice at Geladaindong Peak, up in the Tanggula Mountains. That old friend had once mentioned about this flower mark to head lama Rangjung.
The group become visibly excited. Po Tu urged the head lama, “What did this friend of yours say? Who was that young lad?”
Rangjung chuckled, “My friend mentioned that there was a tribe living in seclusion up in the Tanggula Mountains. They like to use this six petal ice flower as their mark. This tribe of obscure practitioners bears the family name of Hua.” (Translator’s note: Flower)
Po Tu burst out laughing, “Perhaps the young lad was trying to tell us his name using this chiselled ice hole?”
“The family name Hua?” Fei Fei frowned, yet still appeared to be smiling, making her look peculiar yet adorable. “Is this tribe of obscure practitioners residents of the central plains?”
Head lama Rangjung shook his head. “I am a Buddhist follower thus care little for other obscure cultivators in the land of Tibet. My friend had only mentioned this to me in passing, I am afraid I do not know much.”
Gu Xiaojun, Fei Fei, and Xiao Sha exchanged glances. Their initial purpose of entering the mountain was to pursue and capture the residents of Tuer Town and the evil sorcerer and now they have come actoss another obscure tribe of practitioners who bear the family name of Hua. If these obscure practitioners had been ordinary practitioners, they would not have been concerned. Seeing the other party’s trick earlier, managing to escape twice, once from all of the three elites present and the other even successfully seizing back his long robe from the divine beast, this was a cause for concern.
Fei Fei was the most cautious one in the group. She continued to frown and raised the question on everyone’s mind, “Is it possible that the Hua family is… in league with the evil sorcerer and the Tibetans of Tuer Town?”
The expression on head lama Rangjungs face was one of helplessness. “I cannot say for sure. My friend mentioned that he had close contact with one of the members of the Hua family. Initially, I had not planned to call on my friend. After all, his brand of magic and supernatural power would be of little help to us. However, I think we need to pay him a visit now since the people of the Hua family have already shown their face. We need to find out more about this tribe’s origins and background.
As he said that, the head lama Rangjung turned his head towards Po Tu and laughed. Ï also stopped you earlier because I knew he would be hard to catch since he escaped using water. Besides, I took into consideration that if there was no connection between the Hua family and the evil socerer, your attack might just complicate matters further. After all, the other party had come over and announced to us his family name. It was us who did not understand.”
The ice river that Wen Leyang and the group were heading to was situated on the Geladaindong Peak on the Nanling Moutain. As they were entering the mountain from the nortwest direction, head lama Rangjung’s friend was on the way. He looked at the color of the sky and bent down to retrieve his ritual instruments. He hosisted Xiao Sha back onto his shoulders. “We should move quickly so that we can reach my friend’s immortal cave before darkness falls.”
Wen Leyang and the group picked up their pace. They moved swiftly across the vast snow field like a gust of white smoke, following behind the head lama Rangjung, dashing at full speed.
As the group disappeared over the horizon, the spell casted by head lama Rangjung on the large stretch of opaque ice sheet slowly dispersed.
The three elites were tense now as there was an enemy capable of escaping the group’s combined physic ability. Po Tu could look out for the enemy but he could only rely on its eyes to see and its ears to hear. The three passengers were alert and surveying their surroundings vigilantly as they went along their journey.
The white-robed youth did not appear anymore during their journey. It was clear that he had left the group and was attending to his own business.
The Geladaindong Peak is the highest peak of the Tanggula Mountains. It was situated six thousand meters above sea level. However, Tibet itself was also four to five thousand meters above sea level. That was why the majestic peak did not seem that high. The base of the mountain to the peak was less than a thousand meters in height. This would not have been difficult for the few elites of the magical realm but as they scaled the mountain to Geladaindong Peak, even Wen Leyang who grew up on a mountain could not help but complain.
The reason why Geladaindong Peak was such a challenge was not because of slippery ice and snow sludge, nor because it was steep but because it was wide, making it difficult to climb!
Over the years, glacial cirques, knife-shaped mountain ridges, pyramid-shaped peaks, and ice rivers formed by frozen ice squeezed together on the wide mountain ridge. The smaller ones were less than a hundred meters while the bigger ones were three to five hundred meters in height. In order to reach the highest point of the Geladaindong Peak, Wen Leyang and company had to cross through these gigantic ice and snow cliffs one after the other.
Xiao Sha, who was on Rangjung’s back, suggested softly, “Great master, why don’t you blow the flute and summon your friend to us instead?”
Rangjung’s laughed helplessly but if one were to listen closely, there was a tinge of pride hidden in his laughter. “The moment the bone flute is blown, the whole magical realm of Tibet would be rushing over to help. This item here is like a megaphone, not a cellphone. There is no way to use it to call just one person. It can only call to an entire crowd! Also, blowing the bone flute might alert our enemies.”
The winds on the mountain were bitterly cold all year round, creating ferocious and terrifyingly huge fissures everywhere on the higher parts of the ice cliffs. They looked irregular and mottled, like welts left behind after an earthshaking war.
The narrower ice fissures were less than a finger’s width while the wider ones were seven to eight meters. These obstacles would have been very difficult for an ordinary man but this was only a trivial matter for Wen Leyang and the other two elites. The three of them braced the strong winds and did not stop for even a moment, dashing madly all the way through.
Occasional dark blue lights penetrated to the surface from the depths of the fissures. Fei Fei could not stand to be silent, even with the strong howling of the wind. She was still chuckling and telling Wen Leyang, “Those fissures emit the strange blue light are mineral veins containing rock crystals. They are one of the precious minerals obtainable only from Geladaindong Peak!”
Wen Leyang slowed down his footsteps. It was not to look at the rock crystals but because he was afraid that if he ran too fast, the strong backwind would choke Fei Fei. So long as he could keep pace with the head lama, he was on track. He laughed and replied light-heartedly, “Is it expensive?”
Fei Fei answered with a smile, “Only the ones with high purity are expensive. The ordinary ones as used as a construction material. It’s a pretty good paving material.”
Wen Leyang laughed and was about to speak when an unusual ray of light from one of the blue mineral veins caught his eye. Wen Leyang immediately whistled for his companions. He turned around and returned to the fissure he had just crossed. He scaled down the steep ice fissure as agilely as an ape. It did not take him long to jump onto the mineral vein that was dozens of meters wide and slightly elevated.
This ice fissure was narrow on the top and wide at the bottom, similar to the shape of a flattened glass used in the traditional cupping therapy. This fissure was not formed from rigid ice that had cracked open but instead was a converging point between two ice cliffs. As strong winds blew through the mountain peak all year long, the surface of the ice appeared flat and smooth hence people could not actually tell it was two separate ice cliffs without looking closely. As the summer season had just passed, the snow sludge that had accumulated on the fissure had melted away, revealing its odd shape.
Fei Fei could not tell what Wen Leyang was thinking. As she was about to inquire about his intentions, she suddenly gave out a soft cry of alarm. Dozens of long swords were scattered on top of the blue mineral vein.
Wen Leyang immediately cast out his pshyic net, carefully examining his surroundings. He instructed Fei Fei to light up a few flares for more light. In the brightness of the flares, he surveyed his surroundings. The blue colour underneath his feet was the crystal mineral vein. It curved and twisted in between the two humongous ice cliffs and snaked from the top to the bottom. It glimmered all colors of the rainbow under the reflection of the fire from the flares, making one feel dizzy and bedazzled at the same time.
After he had determined that there was no one else around, Wen Leyang bent over and lifted up one of the swords. Before he could study the sword closely, he cried out in alarm and tossed the precious sword back on the ground.
Fei Fei was startled. She jumped off his back, her expression was one of panic. She lifted the QSZ-92 and asked softly, “What is it?
Wen Leyang was stunned for a moment before he laughed in an almost menacing manner. He bent over and picked up the sword once more. To his side, Fei Fei suddenly felt a piercing coldness radiating from Wen Leyang’s body!
Not a few moments later, the giant pangolin and the head lama was climbing down the ice fissure in agile movements. They were stunned upon seeing all the long swords that were scattered on the ground.
Po Tu’s face was filled with puzzlement. It was about to bend over and pick up one of the long swords when Wen Leyang, who was standing fixed to the ground, growled, “Stop!” He flashed past the group and attempted to push Po Tu away from the swords.
Po Tu jumped backwards in haste. Even though it had dodged Wen Leyang’s attack, it was still startled. It shouted in rage, “What in the world are you doing?!”
Wen Leyang’s expression was not fierce not stern. There was neither embarrassment on his face but instead had a look of surprise and joy, like a mad man. He stared at Po Tu and said, “There is poison on the swords!”
Po Tu had rarely seen an honest person who had gone mad. The divine beast’s eyes widened as it took another furtive step back. “Why the hell are you happy about that?” It paused for a moment before it continued angrily, “Why are you so damn happy that there’s poison!”
Wen Leyang was not just joyous, he was elated. The last time he had absorbed any poison this strong was when he first returned to the Wen family village with severe injuries. The Poison of Life and Death in his body had absorbed the strong poisons from the boundary spell on Nine Peaks Mountain and assimilated that using the power of Ying and Yang in his body, remoulding his bones to become even stronger.
Ever since then, Wen Leyang’s power had improved vastly. After assimilating the poison, he resumed his previous state towards toxins and could not be harmed by ordinary poison but his body had not been able to find any stronger poison to absorb. However, the moment he picked up the long sword, a rush of ice needles invaded his body upon contact! The Poison of Life and Death in his body had surged forward like a bed of hungry snakes, surging out from the gaps of his bones and the pores of his skin. The poison was assimilated into his body within mere seconds.
Wen Leyang was an expert in poisons and could tell that the strong poison on the sword was something called Water Poison of utmost purity. However, the amount was too little. To Wen Leyang, it was like a drop of water to a big sized camel that was about to die of thirst in the desert.
Wen Leyang picked up another sword. It did not disappoint. His Poison of Life and Death drained the Water Poison upon the sword in a flash. After removing the poison off the sword did he wave his hands and toss the long sword to Po Tu. “Be careful. There is strong Water Poison on the sword. It would be difficult for any ordinary practitioner to withstand its effects.”
It giant pangolin sneered, “Am I an ordinary practitioner?” It lifted its paws to receive the long sword. The giant beast may be stubborn but it still shuffled away from the long swords that were scattered all over the ground. It was aware that Wen Leyang was one of the most poisonous creatures on earth. Any strong poison capable of rousing Wen Leyang was certainly not the He Ding Hong. (Editor Note: Arsenic is made from He Ding Hong)
Gu Xiaojun may be old but he had sharp eyes. The moment Po Tu caught the long sword, he could read the ancient scriptures engraved at the bottom of the sword’s blade. He read softly, “Kunlun… Shock Seal!”
The head lama too took Wen Leyang’s advice. He did not touch the long swords as he cautiously walked among them. He lowered his head to take a closer long at the scriptures engraved on the blades. He spoke them out loud, “Kunlun Dessert Rebel… Kunlun Pointed Chase… Kunlun Perverse Ridge… these are all the flying swords that belong to the Kunlun practitioners!”
Wen Leyang did not answer. As he picked up one long sword after the other, absorbing the Water Poison, he suddenly felt a sense of nostalgia in his heart. He felt as if he had returned to his childhood, plucking off a handful of Sophora flowers when the trees were in bloom, sucking off that single drop of clear honey from its roots. Though sweet, it was merely a tiny drop. After sucking the honey, he would move on to the next flower.
The divine beast Po Tu was in a foul mood. After it had determined that the flying swords belonged to the Kunlun disciples, the beast’s bronze eyes widened. “This group of ox noses put poison on their swords?”
Rangjung laughed as he shook his head. “Not necessarily! Strong poisons are capable of defiling the flying swords. What I believe, a pack of Kunlun disciples met with an enemy.” Whether one was a demon or an immortal, one should have grown wiser with age. With the divine beast Po Tu however, unknown how many thousands of years old it was, instead of growing wiser, it just cultivated a bad attitude.
The giant pangolin shook its head in disagreement. “I see neither a living person nor a corpse. The person is gone but the sword is poisonous!” As it said this, it heaved a sigh. “You are still lacking in experience. The more impossible something is, the more meticulous the enemy is. In the past few millenniums, this old one had seen plenty of these situations.”
Wen Leyang was done absorbing the strong water element poison off the long swords. When he heard what the giant pangolin had said, he shook his head, at a loss whether to cry or to laugh. “Even if the poison was intentionally placed, it should have been placed at a more obvious location right? If I had not slowed down, they could have filled this place with all the long swords of the Kunlun gang and we would have missed them! Let’s not discuss the motive. Even is the Kunlun gang had been planning to ambush us, Liu Zheng knows about my practice in poisons. He would not be so foolish as to try to use poison against me.”
“The toxicity on those swords would have been enough to deal with an ordinary disciple of the Kunlun Sect but it would be far from enough to deal with any of you.” As he said that, Wen Leyang visibly excited. “I did not allow you to touch the flying swords because I was afraid that the Water Poison would be wasted.”
The giant pangolin had made a fool of itself but it refused to give up. It insisted on its argument and refused to budge. “Then where are the corpses? Where are the corpses then?”
There were only the flying swords on the ground but no corpses. The strangest part, whether it was a disciple of the same sector an enemy, the Kunlun gang would not have left behind their flying swords when they buried their dead. Even if the sword was tainted with poison.
The giant pangolin was loudly going on and on at the others about the devilish ways of the Kunlun Sect when Fei Fei tugged at Wen Leyang’s sleeve. She used her chin to point towards ahead of them, her expression was vigilant as she raised the gun in hand, appearing rather heroic.
Wen Leyang took one look and immediately stepped forward to shield Fei Fei behind him. At the same time, the giant pangolin and the head lama growled and assumed a defensive stance.
In the depths of the gigantic ice cliff that was as bright as a mirror, a dozen human figures stood together in a huddle!
Fei Fei let out a long breath and sighed in relief as she saw that the people were trapped in the ice. She lowered her gun. Wen Leyang still stood by, speaking in a steady voice, “When I first came down here, there was nothing underneath that ice. I did not even detect these people with my psychic net!”
As Wen Leyang said that, the human figures came into clearer focus. It was not that the human figures had walked out of the ice but more like the group’s vision gradually focused. There were a dozen people wearing their hair up in a bun in the style of a Taoist Master and they had on green robes. They were all Kunlun disciples!
Wen Leyang was sure that he had even met one or two of them on occasion!
The giant pangolin rubbed its eyes in disbelief. It said in a low voice, “What the hell are you bastards doing?!” It asked its companions,”What shall we do? Shall I tunnel in and take a look?”
Before the pangolin’s voice had died away, expression of joy appeared on the faces of the Kunlun disciples’ faces as if they had heard the pangolin’s words. They nodded their heads vigorously towards Wen Leyang and his group!