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Pearblossom Pavilion. There was a visitor in the octagonal pavilion.
An Muda looked radiant. His face was rosy, his ravine-like wrinkles had smoothened, and he looked as if his age had been reversed. He sat on a meditation mat while giving off an indescribable aura of might. The aura was as bright as the sun, causing one to being unable to directly look at An Muda. Visible energy undulations engulfed Pearblossom Pavilion, appearing as if they were about to crush this dimension to pieces.
A short and thin old man was seated opposite him. This old man resembled a weather-beaten farmer who worked the fields every day. Beside the old man, there was a block of ice that was twice the height of a normal person. There was a figure within the block of ice.
When the surging energy undulations from An Muda reached the vicinity of the old man, they disappeared into thin air.
The old man took a sip of tea and put down his cup. Then, he said, "Your situation has worsened."
An Muda smiled and said, "Actually, I’m still feeling all right. My elemental energy is resonating with Nature’s elemental energies. When they are in complete resonance, I will become one with Nature."
The old man nodded his head and replied, "So this is how a Grandmaster dies."
"You’re still as unlikeable as last time," An Muda joked.
"I’m already so old. Why do I need to care whether or not people like me?" the old man replied.
An Muda shook his head and laughed. "You’re better at talking now than last time. What’s wrong with this kid anyway?"
This slight movement from An Muda released waves of energy that rippled through the air and caused the entire dimension to give off a deafening buzzing sound.
"Not good, so I came to look for you," the old man replied with a solemn look on his face.
An Muda’s gaze was extremely sharp and intense, so much so that when it swept across the ice block, countless cracks appeared on its surface. The old man waved his arm and shot out a cloud of cold air. When the cloud of cold air landed upon the ice block, its surface thickened once more.
The old man knew that An Muda had not done this on purpose. It was just that An Muda could no longer control his powers.
"Your method is rather interesting." An Muda’s tone contained a tinge of surprise.
The figure within the ice block was a fire-attributed youth. The old man’s method was unique in the way that he used an ice of extreme cold to stimulate the last trace of fire elemental energy in the youth’s body.
An Muda knew what the old man was thinking just by looking at his method.
Ever since the Fire Prairie was annexed by the Blood of God, fire elemental materials were scarce. The conventional training methods for fire elementalists no longer worked. However, Palette Cloud Village was still producing water elemental materials. Chilly ice was considered a type of water elemental material, and it could still be obtained if one put in some effort.
However, this was an unorthodox method that was unusually risky. A moment of carelessness could cause this last trace of fire elemental energy to extinguish. If the last trace of fire elemental energy extinguished, the youth would lose his life.
Being sealed in a block of ice for a long period of time was unimaginably excruciating for anyone. In this kind of extreme environment, one needed an immense amount of endurance and courage to keep the fire elemental energy trace alive and prevent it from extinguishing.
"Deprivation leads to changes, changes in turn lead to finding a way out," the old man said plainly, "but now, there’s no way out. His father placed him in my hand. Now that he doesn’t have a home, I can’t abandon him."
"Sigh, the Zu family was a powerful family. I didn’t expect that even they could not avoid this calamity. If I’m not wrong, he is called Zu Yan?" An Muda sighed and asked.
"Yeah," the old man grunted a reply. With a calm face, he picked up the cup and took a sip of tea.
"I roughly understand what you’re saying," An Muda replied with an imposing tone. "He has already been through the toughest stage. If he continues to be sealed in ice, his mind and body will be injured. Right now, he needs sufficient and vigorous fire elemental energy to strengthen his body first. Only by doing this can he survive."
"That’s right. A type of A-grade fire liquid named Snow Lava has appeared on the market and it’s related to your disciple. This is also why I came to find you. I need a lot of Snow Lava. A lot.
He spoke the last two words "a lot" with extra emphasis.
If it was other people, he would have taken the Snow Lava by force. However, since Shi Xueman was in Central Pine Valley, he had to find An Muda first. He clearly understood that even though An Muda seemed to be unconcerned about Shi Xueman, he actually cared a lot for her deep down.
He had known An Muda for decades and knew his character very well.
"Xueman isn’t the leader," An Muda said. "You have to find Ai Hui. As long as you’re willing to let your precious disciple work for him as a laborer for a few years, there shouldn’t be much of a problem."
"All right," the old man agreed.
"Since we have settled the youngsters’ issue, let’s talk about our issue," An Muda continued.
The old man cast a glance at An Muda and replied, "You’re going to die soon, so what’s there to talk about?"
"How can a Grandmaster die on a bed?" An Muda gave a faint smile that contained an indescribable aggression.
The old man froze. Then, he put down his cup and asked bluntly, "What are you going to do?"
An Muda looked at the old man and smiled, "You will know soon."
The old man shook his head and replied, "I’m not going to accompany you."
"You can help me by guarding this place." An Muda chuckled. "Dai Gang will come. Buleng, you have fought with him for your entire life. Aren’t you sick of it?"
When the old man heard Dai Gang’s name, his gaze suddenly became sharp and intense. At this point in time, he looked as if he had become a completely different person. His short and skinny body exuded might and dominance.
A powerful wave of energy swept across his body.
In the current tumultuous era, where a huge number of heroes were born, not many people remembered this short and skinny old man.
Le Buleng, who used to be the division leader of the Icy Flames Division, regarded Dai Gang as his lifelong arch-enemy.
Le Buleng regained his composure and replied, "You’re going to die soon, yet you still scheme so much. Why don’t you want to meet that youngster, Wan Shenwei?"
"Junior has passed away, so how can I bear to deal with his descendant? Be it the Avalon of Five Elements or Beyond Avalon, I have done my best as their guardian for so many years." A tinge of sadness appeared upon An Muda’s face.
"Let them be."
Le Buleng filled up his cup and downed the tea in one gulp. He put down the cup on the table with a thump and walked to the edge of the pavilion.
"Ha, it turns out a Grandmaster is a human as well," Le Buleng said, before taking the huge block of ice with him and jumping down.
Lemon Camping Ground.
A lot of people were very disappointed.
"Why does he test people on such weird topics?
"That’s right! What about aptitude? Elemental energy? Inheritances? Don’t these need to be tested? Is this a joke?"
"I think he is trying to hire laborers!"
"Now that you mention it, it kind of makes sense. Wasn’t Ai Hui a laborer last time? Is it possible that he is forming Sword of Lightning with laborers?"
"An army of laborers, that’s scary…"
The seven sword pagodas in the inner camp had become a nightmare for many people. A lot of elementalists who thought that they were gifted and good enough were being eliminated by these trials. When they saw that those who were less gifted than them were accepted, they felt that this world had gone mad.
No, Ai Hui was the one who had gone mad.
These people left the inner camp while shaking their heads in disappointment. They felt that the so-called Lightning Master was merely a lunatic. Ai Hui might be very formidable with his lightning techniques, but his current antics showed how inexperienced he was in building a combat division.
No one was stupid. In times of chaos, if one followed a good and powerful master, not only could he survive, but he might also be able to attain many achievements and build a solid foundation for his descendants.
Following a lunatic would only lead them to a tragic end.
They felt sorry for those elementalists who were accepted by Ai Hui. These people had followed the wrong master and were fated to fail.
The camping ground buzzed with such discussions, causing a lot of elementalists who had been accepted to feel worried and withdraw from the combat division. Ai Hui did not try to stop these people from leaving.
Ai Hui felt that nothing forced would succeed.
In the end, more than 400 men were all that remained in his division.
This number was far too little to make up a combat division. What could 400 men do? Placing an army of 400 on the battlefield was like releasing a drop of water into the sea. What impact could it have?
The Spear of Heavy Cloud had 3,000 men and an additional 2,000 as reserves.
In the face of the worries from Shi Xueman and the rest, Ai Hui sounded even more pessimistic. "I will be glad if half of these people can survive the training."
Everyone was stunned.
If 400 men was a drop of water, then what would 200 be?
Everyone looked at each other blankly.
"The situation on my side is terrible and all of you can see it for yourself. Whether or not we thrive in the future, it will have to depend on all of you. You must bring success to the Spear of Heavy Cloud. Everyone, you must not slack off," Ai Hui reminded them in a solemn tone.
Upon hearing these words, everyone felt weighed down. They could feel the immense pressure on them. All of them silently made a firm resolution to work and practice harder.
Shi Xueman glanced at Ai Hui.
Even though this fellow had a solemn look on his face, she felt that he had a trick up his sleeve for some reason.
Jadeite City. The dawn had yet to arrive.
The Mingxiu Embroidery Workshop was brightly lit.
Nowadays, the Mingxiu Embroidery Workshop had the highest prestige out of all embroidery workshops in Jadeite City. Not only did it have a Master to oversee it, it also had the backing of the Lu family and a type of loom called the [Needle-Subduing Peak].
If it was another embroidery workshop that used this name for its loom, the workshop would definitely be raided by the authorities.
The shadow cast by the God-subduing Peak over the Jadeite Forest had yet to disappear. It certainly wasn’t a pleasant memory.
However, the Mingxiu Embroidery Workshop was becoming more prosperous. Other than the backing of the Lu family, Lu Mingxiu’s performance for the past two years was exceptionally impressive, so much so that it shocked the entire Jadeite Forest.
Not only had Lu Mingxiu inherited the legacy of her master, Master Han Yuqin, but she also surpassed her master and founded her own embroidery school of thought, the Mingxiu Style.
Her textile products had a special name, [Yuchuan Embroidery].
This name was thought up by Lu Mingxiu herself. The word "Yuchuan" was to commemorate her master, Han Yuqin, and her master-uncle, Wang Shouchuan.
Any piece of [Yuchuan Embroidery] was considered a rare treasure on the market.
The embroidery workshop was bustling and hectic. Everyone continued loading things onto a convoy of load basin beasts.
Lu Mingxiu inspected the convoy to and fro. "Has everything been loaded up onto the load basin beasts?"
A maid stepped out and replied, "Miss, everything has been loaded up."
She had been Mingxiu’s maid when Mingxiu was still young and called Tao Su. When Mingxiu followed Han Yuqin to learn about embroidery, the two of them separated. Two years ago, Mingxiu returned to Jadeite City and requested for Tao Su to assist her in her embroidery workshop.
Tao Su was extremely capable. Even though she knew nothing about embroidery, she was able to keep everything else in good order.
"Did we miss out on anything?" Lu Mingxiu was slightly worried.
"Miss, I have already checked for the third time," Tao Su replied hastily.
At this moment, a figure descended from the sky and landed in the embroidery workshop. This person was over 40 years old and looked boorish and ugly. His eyes were always squinting, as if he was perpetually examining something closely. The most eye-catching part of his body were his legs. There was absolutely nothing beneath his knees.
"Thank you for your trouble this time around, Master Mu!" Mingxiu bowed and thanked him.
"I will set off once you are ready," Master Mu replied plainly.
Lu Mingxiu took out a wooden box and passed it to Master Mu, "This was entrusted to me by the Duanmu family. Master Mu, please pass it Duanmu Huanghun."
Master Mu took over the wooden box and replied, "All right, I will get going now."
After Master Mu finished his sentence, he floated to the back of a load basin beast, sat down, and closed his eyes to take a rest.
The convoy began to set off. The melodious sound of bells ringing broke the silence of dawn.
Standing at a high position, Lu Mingxiu looked at the distant convoy. She seemed to be lost in thought. The entire convoy was filled with textile products that she had prepared and resources that could only be found in the Jadeite Forest. All of them were for Ai Hui.
Master Mu was her elder brother’s friend. Had she not pleaded with her elder brother, she probably would not have been able to find anyone to transport so many things to the distant Central Pine Valley. She hoped that these things could help her junior.
Looking at the gorgeous red clouds at dawn, Lu Mingxiu, who had been busy making preparations for the entire night, was filled with hope.
The convoy disappeared into the horizon and Lu Mingxiu turned around to leave. At this moment, she caught a glimpse of a figure.
Her body froze as a mysterious sense of familiarity arose in her heart.
She turned her head to search for that figure, but she could only see a street that was sparsely filled with people.
She broke into laughter and turned around to leave.