Not far away, from a hole in the ground, the Stone Puppet stuck its small head out, an uncertain look upon his face. It seemingly did not understand what was happening to Yang Kai. As for the Artifact Spirit, it had already snuck into Yang Kai’s body and disappeared.
After meeting Yang Kai’s two empty eyes, the Stone Puppet seemed to be frightened and shrank back into its hole, fleeing several dozen metres into the ground.
At this moment, if someone were standing in front of Yang Kai and staring into his eyes, they would see seven coloured light flashing across their depths, and if one observed carefully enough, they would discover that this seven coloured light actually took on the form of a lotus bud.
Yang Kai sat perfectly still as time passed by, the seven-coloured glow in the depths of his dull eyes slowly growing stronger.
Gradually, above Yang Kai’s head, a beautiful phantasmal lotus flower appeared, one that emitted dazzling seven coloured light. This lotus rotated slowly while releasing an astonishing Spiritual Energy fluctuation.
As the illusionary lotus continued releasing Spiritual Energy, its multicoloured petals began to gently blossom, as if it was a shy lady ever so slowly removing her robes to reveal her pure self.
The whole process was extremely slow, but Yang Kai himself was unaware of it as his consciousness was completely immersed in his Knowledge Sea, comprehending the profound mysteries that arose from the Soul Warming Lotus’ blossoming.
Yang Kai did not know how much time had passed, but by the time the phantom seven coloured lotus fully bloomed atop his head, it had expanded to almost fill the entire stone room. The moment it finished blossoming, this illusionary lotus shattered into tiny points of light that filled the air like fireflies before immediately being drawn into Yang Kai’s body by some unseen force and disappearing.
Yang Kai’s body shook, and his eyes regained their clarity, but his expression remained tight as he continued sitting in meditation.
When the Soul Devouring Insects finished their evolution half a month ago, Yang Kai had immediately tested out their power and had been greatly satisfied with their performance. Soon after though, the Soul Warming Lotus also completed its evolution to its final seven coloured form!
However, Yang Kai had not imagined that after his Soul Warming Lotus evolved, he would comprehend a mysterious Soul Skill from it!
Although the Soul Warming Lotus was an unparalleled treasure and could infinitely nourish one’s Soul, according to the records Yang Kai had read, it did not allow a cultivator that possessed it to comprehend any kind of Soul Skills. But Yang Kai did not have time to think too much about this as he immediately began comprehending this newly acquired technique.
Now that the Soul Warming Lotus had completed its evolution and he had thoroughly comprehended this new Soul Skill, Yang Kai had a moment to puzzle over this unexpected development.
If it was not the credit of the Soul Warming Lotus, it most likely had something to do with the colourless crystal cube he had acquired in the pool of Soul Cleansing Divine Water. Yang Kai had inadvertently obtained that crystal, after which his Soul Warming Lotus quickly swallowed it, allowing it to begin its process of evolution. Now, that colourless crystal had completely disappeared, and his Soul Warming Lotus had successfully evolved into its seven coloured form.
Yang Kai hypothesised that the Soul Skill he had obtained this time was somehow related to that colourless crystal. Perhaps there was some kind of mysterious force that allowed Yang Kai to acquire this new Divine Ability by chance.
Although he had no way to experiment with this new Soul Skill, Yang Kai could understand that it was an extraordinary ability, one worthy of being called a certain kill strike.
Recently there had been too many happy events. The Divine Tree had woken from its deep sleep, the Soul Devouring Insects had finished their evolution, and now the Soul Warming Lotus had transformed into its ultimate seven coloured form. It was as if all these good things had decided to spring themselves on Yang Kai at once.
Yang Kai had been worrying about where to place the evolved Soul Devouring Insects a few days ago, but now this problem had been solved.
Considering all this, Yang Kai waved his hand and summoned a mass of gray fog to it. This fog twisted about randomly, appearing extremely strange.
Although this fog was difficult to notice, if one observed it closely, they would notice that it was a cloud of small insects that were almost invisible to the naked eye!
Yang Kai’s Soul Devouring Insects were originally invisible to the eye, but after their recent evolution, once they gathered in one place, they formed this gray fog. The lethality of each Soul Devouring Insect had greatly increased, and Yang Kai estimated that they could not easily kill ordinary Saint Kings, and even an Origin Realm master that was infested with them would have trouble quickly purging them.
Yang Kai was naturally not afraid of them at all, however, and after releasing his Divine Sense, he simply wrapped them up and moved them into his Knowledge Sea
The swarm of Soul Devouring Insects traveled straight to island the Seven Coloured Soul Warming Lotus had transformed into in Yang Kai’s Knowledge Sea and quickly settled into their new home.
After such a long retreat, Yang Kai had accomplished everything he intended to.
He had refined the Artifact Refining Furnace, begun refining the dragon bone and Dragon Bead, refined the Flowing Flame Flying Fires to enhance the power of his Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, and comprehended the Demon Blood Thread technique…
The dragon bone and Dragon Bead refinement was something Yang Kai knew he could not rush and was resigned to wait for it to finish on its own so he could make use of them. As for the Golden Blood Thread he had adapted from Demon Blood Temple’s Demon Blood Thread technique, while he had successfully comprehended it, he was still in the process of cultivating it. Although he had not used it against an enemy yet, Yang Kai knew it was a very powerful technique as the pseudo-artifacts he could refine using his Golden Blood were far more flexible and handier than any weapon.
Of the eight Flowing Flame Flying Fires, Yang Kai refined six. As he had guessed, these Flowing Flame Flying Fires could allow a cultivator to obtain a Mutated Knowledge Sea and enhance the power of his Conflagrated Knowledge Sea.
However, after refining the fifth Flowing Flame Flying Fire, the enhancement Yang Kai received was no longer obvious, so Yang Kai left two, thinking they might come in handy for something else later.
After a year in secluded retreat, Yang Kai’s cultivation realm hadn’t actually changed much, but his combat effectiveness had actually improved significantly, now all he needed was an opportunity to verify the power of his Golden Blood Thread and newly realized Soul Skill.
It was time to go out. Cultivation could not be done by completely cutting oneself off from the outside world. Although doing this could help one quickly enhance their realm, their fighting power would not be able to keep up with their cultivation. Yang Kai’s cultivation path had been filled with fighting, so naturally he understood this simple truth.
Moreover, he now had to exit his retreat because a guest had come to Dragon Cave Mountain a month ago and was currently waiting for him outside. The only reason he had not gone to see them yet was because the Seven Coloured Soul Warming Lotus had just completed its evolution and he needed to spend some time to comprehend the Soul Skill he obtained in the process.
Thinking of who this guest was, Yang Kai frowned slightly, wondering why she had specifically come here looking for him. From the level of friendship they shared, it was strange for her to care so much about his wellbeing.
Even so, Yang Kai got up and left his cave mansion.
A short time later, Yang Kai appeared outside and unscrupulously released his Divine Sense, quickly locating Yang Yan and Wu Yi and sending them a message before flying straight over to one of the open lofts.
A moment later, while Yang Kai was sitting in this loft sipping a spirit tea that Yang Yan and the others had obtained from somewhere, two beautiful young ladies appeared at the entrance. Naturally it was Yang Yan in her signature black robe and Wu Yi in a green dress
The two women were both smiling broadly, as if something good had happened, and after spotting Yang Kai, they hurried over.
“You’ve finally come out,” Yang Yan swept his eyes over Yang Kai but upon not finding any signs that he had become stronger, furrowed her brow slightly.
“En, what happened? Why do both of you seem so happy?” Yang Kai asked again while sipping his tea.
Wu Yi smiled and explained, “Our Dragon Cave Mountain is becoming more and more famous. Many cultivators without Sects or families have been asking to join us. Earlier, not many people would even pass by this place, but over the past few months, more than a dozen would show up every day asking. One day there were as many as thirty people requesting to join us, including one who was an Origin Returning Realm master. Elder Sister Yang Yan and I were discussing whether to found a small Sect here.”
“A small Sect?” Yang Kai shot her a disapproving look, “You’re thinking is too simple. We do not have any powerful masters here, so how could be found a Sect? On top of that, we can only stay here safely because of Qian Tong. If one day Qian Tong were to lose power or fall in battle, do you think Shadow Moon Hall would just sit by and watch us grow stronger right on their doorstep?”
Listening to Yang Kai’s words, the smile on Wu Yi’s face retreated and after hesitating for a while argued, “That shouldn’t be, Elder Qian has an incredibly high position in Shadow Moon Hall, second only to the Sect master.”
“Anything is possible, especially in such a big force. Although things usually proceed in a predictable manner, once something does happen, the fallout is generally quite large, and those who are in power may lose their influence or unexpectedly fall. On top of that, although Qian Tong is good to us, I do not want to constantly depend upon his prestige and shelter behind him, otherwise we’ll find ourselves constantly lacking the initiative. If there is no Third-Order Origin Returning Realm master to assume command, don’t even think about trying to found a Sect here.”
Wu Yi frowned, thought for a moment, but soon nodded, “What you said makes sense, I really wasn’t thinking far enough ahead.”
Yang Kai also had the idea to found a Sect because he wanted to pave the way for his friends and family back on Tong Xuan Realm, but he had no intention to do so any time soon. This idea was proposed by Wu Yi. Yang Yan only thought about Artifact Refining or arranging Spirit Arrays and would not consider such things, but Wu Yi had managed many things for the Hai Ke Family before now and would have such ambitions. However, as someone who had only experienced things in a small family force, her way of thinking was too simple. She had thought that so long as they had Qian Tong’s shelter, Dragon Cave Mountain could be worry free.
“Did you refuse those who came?” Yang Kai asked somewhat nervously.
“Naturally I refused them. You were in retreat, so we didn’t dare make such a big decision,” Wu Yi nodded.
“That’s good,” Yang Kai touched his chin, suddenly raising his head and asking, “Did that Dai Yuan from Coloured Glass Sect say why she wanted to see me?”