The scene within the cavern was a complete chaotic mess. After the first spirit creature was swallowed, it was quickly followed by a second and then a third.
The devouring appetite of the Lotus was incredibly frightening. Once a spirit creature was enclosed by it, it would be unable to break free at all and struggle until it died.
Some stronger spirit creatures with faster reactions immediately understood what was happening and fled when they saw the other spirit creatures being devoured by the petals of the Lotus.
However, the hundreds of vines around the chasm were like hundreds of tentacles as they formed a dense net surrounding everything.
Add to that the enormous mouth that was the Lotus, the spirit creatures were unable to escape from the encasement of the sea of vines no matter where they fled.
Jiang Chen immediately spurred on the Rat King when he took in the situation. “Ole Gold, hurry, and follow me down. We’ll circle around behind it.”
“Don’t ask and follow my instructions. We need to be quick, so hurry.” Jiang Chen rushed the Rat King onwards and started drilling towards the depths of the ground.
The Rat King also used all of its strength as it moved like it was swimming through water. The rock walls didn’t affect its speed at all whilst drilling.
One had to admit, the Goldbiter Rats had a great talent in drilling indeed.
“Mm, we’re about two to three thousand meters in. This is the place.” Jiang Chen calculated accurately using the Psychic’s Head.
Indeed, when the walls were broken through, a man and a rat found themselves at the bottom of the chasm.
In front of Jiang Chen’s Psychic’s Head, any place was like bright daylight for him and his vision wasn’t impaired at all. Add to that searching with the God’s Eye, he quickly locked onto the right location.
“Go, over there, that’s the place.”
The temperature was actually as warm as spring beneath the chasm. Neither the bone piercing cold nor the blazing hot fire was present.
Jiang Chen knew that this was the balance formed by the Flaming Heart of Ice. It was only under these conditions that the evolution of the Heart would be the fastest.
“Hurry, hurry, we must be fast!” Jiang Chen threaded through the bottom of the chasm.
He knew that he was in a race against time with the Lotus and hoped that the spirit creatures would be able to contain it for a bit longer.
Jiang Chen would be safe as long as the Lotus hadn’t completely retreated.
He’d have to face hundreds of Lotuses by himself if the Lotus finished its meal and withdrew!
Every single one of those Lotuses was at least at the peak of the spirit realm.
Once that happens, Jiang Chen would be dead without a doubt.
However, if Jiang Chen was able to get to the Heart and absorb it before the Lotus does, then all the Lotuses would immediately wither without the support of its spirit essence. They wouldn’t be able to threaten him then.
Time was of the essence, and it was now a race against time.
Jiang Chen’s footsteps suddenly halted as fog billowed upwards in front of him. It gave one a mysterious feeling like finding an altar in the middle of water.
“That must be the place!”
Jiang Chen’s heart suddenly pounded because he knew that this was an opportunity, but one that came with a lot of risks.
He was about to rush over when his footsteps abruptly halted because he discovered that there were eight vines around the altar in the water. There were eight Lotuses around the altar, protecting it tightly.
“Damnit, this Heart is extremely cautious alright.” Jiang Chen was depressed as hell. He could see the item in front of him, but he had no way to get to it.
Each of the eight Lotuses were at the peak of the spirit realm. To approach with Jiang Chen’s current level of training meant seeking death.
However, he wasn’t willing to leave empty handed.
“Ole Gold, we may have to sacrifice some of your descendants!” Jiang Chen turned and said to the Rat King.
The Rat King smiled ruefully. “Must we really do this?”
“If I don’t become stronger, how can I help your tribe become stronger?” Jiang Chen was quite rational.
The Rat King laughed wryly, “I almost don’t know whether this choice is worth it or not.”
“Ole Gold, this doesn’t sound like you.”
“Say no more. I’ll summon a group of children to attract the eight Lotuses. As for whether you can obtain what you want, that will be up to you!”
“Alright. As long as your descendants can distract them for three to five minutes, I promise that I’ll have the item in hand!”
The Rat King didn’t hesitate as it summoned a couple thousand Rats to rush towards the altar within the water.
The Goldbiter Rats were as fierce and fearless as always, regardless of what environment they were in. They rushed towards the altar and started ferociously tearing away at the vines of the eight Lotuses.
Jiang Chen laid in wait until all eight Lotuses were contained by the Rats before taking a leap upwards and landing on the altar within the water.
Jiang Chen looked downwards and saw a spirit item shaped like an infant on the altar. It was half blue and half red, sparkling like a crystalline entity and exuding an astonishing presence.
The dense vines around the spirit item were obviously born from it and were extending from it.
“This is the Flaming Heart of Ice!”
Jiang Chen was about to reach out and grab it when his hand was almost burnt to a crisp by a wave of heat before he’d even touched the Heart.
He hastily snatched his hand back.
“That’s right, the Heart is half blazing flame and half frosty ice. I’ll be unable to take it without using special equipment. I’d only be able to destroy it.”
“However, if I can use the mysteries of the Divine Aeons Fist and hold the moon in one hand and the sun in the other, wouldn’t that happen to match the mysteries of the Heart?”
Jiang Chen’s hands twisted into certain hand seals as he deployed the mysteries of the Divine Aeons Fist. He held the sun in one hand and the moon in another, and placed both hands on the Heart.
“What are you?!”
“A lowly human dares to pollute me?!”
“Damn it, what are you doing?! Don’t touch me!”
The Heart possessed inordinate intelligence. How else would it give birth to so many Lotuses to swallow the spirit creatures, absorb their spirit power, and help itself evolve?
However, the Heart itself had no battle capabilities. It couldn’t resist at all with both of Jiang Chen’s hands on it.
“Human, are you absorbing my spirit power? No, you’re actually refining me! How… how are you doing it? You can actually refine me?”
The Heart was panicking by now. It hastened to summon the Lotuses back to attack Jiang Chen.
Indeed, it wasn’t long afterward before the Lotuses on the surface of the chasm were continuously summoned back down by the Heart.
The Rat King on the side was resigned. It obviously couldn’t watch Jiang Chen be swallowed by the Lotus, so it could only continuously summon out its children and use the tactic of superior numbers to continuously harass and restrain the Lotuses.
It was a good thing that Jiang Chen had a high comprehension of the Divine Aeons Fist. Furthermore, he had studied the Lotus in depth. This continuously boosted his rate of absorption.
As his rate increased, the Heart’s defensive capabilities decreased. The amount of Lotuses it could control also continuously decreased. As its spirit essence was continuously siphoned away, the attacks of the Lotuses it had summoned downwards also grew weaker and weaker.
Finally, when Jiang Chen retracted his hands after fifteen minutes, the Heart had disappeared completely from the altar within the water as it’d been completely absorbed by Jiang Chen.
The vines from all the Lotuses also swiftly withered at a noticeable pace after the Heart had disappeared.
Jiang Chen quickly dashed out of the altar and came to the side of the Rat King. “Hurry, let’s go.”
The Rat King summoned the rest of his children to return back into the Stonenest as they left hurriedly through the tunnels they had come from, leaving behind a scene of devastation.
All of the spirit creatures who had survived the disaster came down not long thereafter.
All of the Lotuses had withered and died above the chasm, this greatly shocked the spirit creatures hanging on by the tips of their claws.
Although there were only less than a third of the spirit creatures left at this point, those who could survive until now weren’t your average strong spirit creature.
They weren’t satisfied with merely living through what’d seemed like sure death, and wanted to investigate the bottom of this chasm.
They were all greatly astonished when they happened upon the scene of great devastation.
“It was this altar controlling the Lotuses?”
“No, there’s no spirit power on this altar at all, how could it have controlled the Lotuses?”
“Eh? There’s the lingering presence of humans here?”
“Can it be that a human secretly snuck in and stole the spirit essence of the Lotus?” A spirit creature who had great knowledge suddenly remembered the matter of the spirit essence.
“Everyone, come look, there’s a passage here!”
“There really is a passage! This must be how the human got in.”
“Yes, judging from this size, it looks big enough for a human.”
“That’s odd, this passage looks new. Does the human know how to drill through the earth? This is a bit strange.”
“Whatever, after the human!”
A few smaller sized spirit creatures rushed into the passage and tried to follow it.
A few bigger spirit creatures couldn’t squeeze themselves in no matter how they tried. They could only go back the way they had came and take a look at the situation when they got to the surface.
Except, Jiang Chen was as if a fish in water at this moment. He quickly arrived back in the outside world thanks to the Rat King guiding him.
After the Rat King returned to the Stonenest, Jiang Chen rushed out of the cave with the fastest speed possible and left the mountain valley.
He had no worries after he left the valley. The maze realm was so vast, he only needed to retract his presence to make it impossible for the spirit creatures to follow him.
After he ran madly for a thousand li, Jiang Chen found a quiet area and had the Rat King dig a cave. He hid in it and started closed door cultivation.
After absorbing the Heart, Jiang Chen’s current spirit ocean almost wanted to explode. He needed to cultivate behind closed doors for a moment to fully subvert the heart for his own use.
It was also Jiang Chen’s good luck that he’d trained in the Divine Aeons Fist and had a high grasp of its mysteries. There was no way he could taken the Heart otherwise.
Any practitioner who hadn’t grasped the concept of the sun and moon and the dual existence of the yin and yang would’ve been directly burnt to a crisp by the power of fire or frozen into an ice cube by the power of ice if they’d brashly tried to take the Heart.
It was only through dual employment of the yin and yang and alternatively absorbing each side could the Heart be slowly absorbed.
Jiang Chen also knew that he’d made out like a bandit this time. The Autumn Hunt had finally not been in vain.
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