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“Boss, we are almost at the border of our Southern Fire Empire. Where do we go next? My father said it is not safe to ride horses, otherwise, we could have ridden from the start and we might have been within the borders of Central Earth Empire by now,” grumbled Bisu.
After 3 days of riding a carriage, the trio reached the border city of Southern Fire Empire — Xinghuo City. They decided to stay the night here and rest up before continuing on their journey.
Souther Fire Empire was at the southernmost region of the continent. It was bordered by the Western Metal Empire, Eastern Wood Empire and the Central Earth Empire. When they set off from Star Flame City, they had to go across the border and they could do so only by foot. Ji Dong now sat on the bed in his room in a small inn, poring over a map as he studied the route they must take.
Ji Dong pointed at the map to Karl and Bisu, saying, “You see, Lihuo City is in the western region of Southern Fire Empire. We came to this Xinghuo City, which is also on the western border. From here, we have two options. First: we go eastwards, bypassing the Wind-Frost Mountains that span Western Metal, Eastern Wood and Central Earth Empires. Then from the central border of Southern Fire Empire, via Bingrong City, we shall enter the borders of central earth empire. From there if we go northwards, we will arrive at Central Plains City.”
“This road is relatively good and is an official route. But we have to take a detour of at least five hundred miles. Wind-Frost Mountains is the second largest mountain range in the continent, its range is around thousands of li, if we want to bypass it in seven days and then enter the Central Earth Empire and then go to Central Plains City, the time will be very tight. Another way is directly go northeast from Xinghuo City, directly pass through the Wind-Frost Mountains into the Central Earth Empire. Although the WInd-Frost Mountains spreads horizontally across thousands of li, it is only less than 100li breadth-wise. So, we should be able to save a lot of time. But the road will be much more difficult to traverse. In any case we may run into magic beasts, I am afraid that it will be dangerous. So which do you think is the better path?”
Karl promptly said, “The path through the Wind-Frost Mountains. This way we can save two days’ time. Moreover, when Teacher Xia Tian was talking about the geography of the continent, he did say that the WInd-Frost Mountains was sparsely populated with magic beasts. Very rarely do any one see magic beasts there. Even if there are magic beasts, they are of a low-level, which we should be able to handle. Before I condensed my Yin-Yang Crown, Teacher Xia Tian taught me some standard skills. Though they are not very powerful, they can certainly help with my magic power.”
Bisu snorted, “Did you think it was only you? Similarly, Teacher Qiu Tian taught me.”
Although both Xia Tian and Qiu Tian were Ji Dong’s teachers, be it either him or Qiu Tian, both did not know how to teach Ji Dong. After all, they have never seen a double attribute Yin-Yang WIzard. And Yang Bing Tian directly vetoed their plans of teaching Ji Dong magic skills. He told them that, The Ten Heavenly Stems Academy is the most suitable place for Ji Dong to study. Magic skills can’t be easily practised. If they weren’t suitable for their attributes, it would be harmful to their own practice.
Hearing them say all this, Ji Dong relaxed and said, “Even I know of some standard skills, then it is decided. Tomorrow early morning, after we buy some necessary items, we will set off through the Wind-Frost Mountains. Now, it is really late, you guys go to your rooms and rest.”
Ji Dong had his own plans, just as what Karl said, the Wind-Frost Mountains had a very small possibility of magic beasts. They were Yin-Yang Wizards, and also this way they could lessen the time on the road. Moreover, these past few days his spirit had been a bit distracted and he was apprehensive so he also didn’t think too much on this topic.
The three people had two rooms between them. Ji Dong was not used to sharing a room, so he stayed by himself in his room. Whilst Karl and Bisu shared a room. This way, Ji Dong was satisfied as he could blend more liquor for Lie Yan. Although he had been travelling for 3 days straight, he still persisted in this task he had done for four years.
After Karl and Bisu returned to their room, Ji Dong took out the materials for mixing cocktails from his storage bracelet. After he had carefully blended a cocktail, he called out Lie Yan’s name.
The geocentric lake was still held the same scorching hot feeling. After Lie Yan had made that platform in the lava appear, every time he was teleported, Ji Dong would automatically appear on top of this platform.
A red light flickered, Ji Dong had a steady and serious character, but he actually could not use his thoughts to sense the surrounding fire elements. With his eyes he quickly looked at his surroundings, however from beginning to end could not find a trace of Lie Yan.
“Lie Yan, where are you?” He cried out but didn’t receive a response.
It has been three days. Since he fainted that day, he hasn’t seen Lie Yan. These past few days, after he had been making cocktails and bringing them here, he had been directly returned. Lie Yan had never come out and made no sound. But Ji Dong could sense her existence; if she wasn’t there, then how could the teleportation be possible?
But, why won’t Lie Yan see me? He had high hopes as he came, but Ji Dong was again disappointed. The wine glass in his hands flew into the geocentric lake, and by then the red lotus had again wrapped itself around him and brought him back to inside his room in the inn.
Only after Ji Dong’s figure had completely vanished, did Lie Yan come out. She was holding the wine goblet as she solitarily sipped the fine wine inside the goblet. The expression on her face looked amazingly similar to what Ji Dong had. Her eyes, which were originally bright and clear, held a trace of unsettled emotions as if she were reflecting upon something.
Gently swinging her head backwards, Lie Yan talked aloud, “You must not think too much. He is after all, only a human. Whatever the feelings, we are still friends. And the longer we spend time together, the harder it is to give up these feelings of being unable to carry on. If he dies in the human world, how would I be able to bear that pain? Better to give up now than prolong the agony. Thus, not meeting him is good for the both of us. I am sorry, Ji Dong, but you will gradually forget me. I wish for you to cultivate more and become stronger.”
After returning to his room, despite the fact that he was exhausted after 3 days of continuous travel, he couldn’t fall asleep for a long time. If he closed his eyes, all he could see was Lie Yan’s adorable face. He preferred Lie Yan being strict with him, he yearned to see her, to hear her voice. These past few days, it was as if he had lost his soul. The four years of uninterrupted hard-earned cultivation was now of least interest to him.
Early morning, the next day. The trio purchased large amounts of food and water from the inn. These were stored in the storage accessories (bracelet and ring) of Ji Dong and Bisu. With these items, their trip was more relaxed.