Chapter 9 – Quenching and Dispersing
The small cave was pretty strange, it was the same size all around. After crawling around for about ten feet, Su Ming saw the end of the cave, then he slowed down.
Crawling carefully towards the exit, he took another look around and was startled. He took a deep breath.
This is a fire karst cave, numerous stalactites were hanging from the top of the cave. The surface of these stalactites were dry, as if they were going to fall down at any moment. The ground was black but mixed with a stripe of red rocks, making the black cave look somewhat brown, and the heat was even more intense that what they had felt outside the cave earlier.
Not far away there is a black skeleton, it was about ** meters long, and Su Ming could easily see that this was the skeleton of a python.
[TL: Raws say **]
On top of the python’s skull there was a horn the size of an adult arm, the color of the horn is black as well.
Su Ming had never seen a python this long, Grandfather had once told him, in his early days there was a python money in the Black Dragon Mountain, it was very fierce, and there was a horn on its skull… They named it the Horned Python. The horn is incredibly sharp, and would often become something used for praying.
In the Wushan tribe there is one Horned Python bone horn, and it was passed on by the chief of the tribe.
“Maybe it is a Horned Python?” He examined the skeleton of the python with his eyes, and looked around the cave… he seemed to have the answer.
Su Ming thought to himself. He then took some herbs from his bamboo basket and threw them on the ground.
The herbs fell down slowly, and when it touched the ground, a sizzling sound could be heard, and after 15 minutes, the herbs had dried up completely. Su Ming tried a few more times, and he finally confirmed the temperature on the ground. Although the ground was hot, Su Ming could easily stand on it for some time, however, he could not touch the red stone.
Red was impatient, he really wanted to go down. If it wasn’t for him knowing about the dangers in the cave, he would have already jumped.
Su Ming crawled out of the cave carefully and jumped onto the ground, a sizzling sound could be heard once his feet touched the ground, the heat transferred from his feet into his entire body, but it wasn’t enough to burn his feet in a short period of time.
Red’s body was covered in sweat upon entering the fire karst cave because of the intense heat. After thinking for a couple of seconds, it ran back into the small cave. It just ran away to play somewhere else.
Su Ming didn’t stop Red from leaving, instead he picked up his bamboo basket and walked forwards, he suspected that this cave is somehow connected to the Black Fire Peak… Maybe there will be a place suitable for quenching and dispersing.
He didn’t walk very far, he arrived at an unknown place, and potholes could be seen on the ground. The heat was far more intensive here than in the previous location.
He hesitated for a moment, then he raised his leg and continued walking, suddenly, an intense heat wave exploded. Su Ming was shocked, then he jumped backwards, his pupils shrank and he saw fire the size of an adult arm erupted from one of the potholes, covering the whole cave with light.
Su Ming took a deep breath and started running backwards until he reached the entrance of the cave. He looked at the potholes and started examining them, he stared at them for half an hour. The fire would emerge from one hole, then it would disappear, then it would erupt from another hole.
It was a cycle, the fire continued erupting, disappearing and reappearing another place.
“Fire…..” Su Ming stared at the potholes, and slowly his eyes brightened, a surprised expression emerged on his face.
“There’s a fire here! But, it isn’t consistent…” Su Ming thought to himself with a pitiful expression.
“Never mind then… Though, if I enter the mountain from the peak, they may be some better place, but, this place is better in terms of privacy… and, if there is any danger then I can leave here quickly.”
“I shall make this the place for my first quenching and dispersing venue!” Su Ming mumbled to himself with an excited expression on his face, then he looked around again.
“Now I’ve got fire, but I still need an Ancient Cauldron…… I can make one myself!” Su Ming turned his vision towards the rocks that were scattered around.
“These rocks have been here for many years, any they still haven’t been turned into ashes… They can withstand intense heat, so they should be suitable for quenching and dispersing……” Su Ming scratched his head, then he replaced the herbs at the bottom of his feet, then jumped back into the cave and picked up a large rock which looked suitable. He hesitated for a moment before touching it, but he didn’t feel much heat from it, it was just a little warm.
Su Ming decided he would use the big rock, he took out his sharp knife and started cutting and carving the rock.
This is a boring process, but Su Ming had gotten used to it, he never showed any impatience. During the process, and idea appeared in his mind, he gazed at the python skull not too far away from him, then he stared at the black horn on it.
Su Ming thought to himself for some seconds, then he started moving towards the Horned Python’s skeleton, he knocked the python skull off. A bone cracking sound was heard and the skull had turned into pieces on the ground.
Amongst the bone pieces, the black horn was the only thing left intact.
“This horn is extraordinary; I wonder how this python even got here…” Su Ming picked up the black horn and used it to scratch the wall next to him, and a mark immediately appeared… Su Ming was not surprised by this.
“I wonder why this Horned Python would want to come in here…” Su Ming couldn’t figure it out, he grabbed the black horn and walked over to the big rock and started carving again.
With the help of the horn, it didn’t take more than a few hours before Su Ming was done. A Stone Cauldron which looked almost identical to the Ancient Cauldron which Su Ming had seen in his memories had been completed, Su Ming even made a cover for it so that the heat wouldn’t be able to leave the cauldron.
“Let’s give it a try.” Su Ming had an excited look on his face, he pushed the ancient cauldron to the area filled with pot holes, and then he stopped and started waiting patiently.
A few hours passed, fire erupted from different potholes, and finally, fire emerged from the pothole right in front of Su Ming.
Almost immediately after the fire erupted, Su Ming pushed the cauldron into the pothole with all his power, making the cauldron cover the top of the pothole which erupted fire.
Su Ming had an anxious look on his face, the cauldron needs to be able to withstand the intense heat in order for the quenching and dispersing to work.
Soon after, the Stone Cauldron started glowing with a red color, and heat was coming out from it together with a cracking sound. The surface of the Stone Cauldron began to fill with cracks, and Su Ming’s heart immediately sunk. But, he didn’t stop there, he waited for some more time and discovered that it didn’t break into pieces, and Su Ming stop worrying.
“An hour…… I need about an hour for quenching and dispersing, and this isn’t enough…” Su Ming thought to himself, he had cracked his mind trying to make this work.
“I can do it like this!” Su Ming backed off a few steps, he had an idea, but he still held it back. He stood on the ground which wasn’t too hot, and he carefully looked at the potholes on the ground, he had been staring at them for an entire day.
During this time, Red had come back, but it couldn’t stand the heat, so it left some fruits for Su Ming, then it ran back out to have some fun by itself.
As for the Stone Cauldron, it had passed the test. After being thrown into the fire a few time, it remained whole without breaking into pieces.
“The fire is coming out from the potholes, and there is some sort of pattern, but at the same time there’s no pattern……” A day later, Su Ming grabbed his black bone horn and walked to the area full of potholes, then he started digging some channels on the ground, connecting the potholes to the bottom of the Stone Cauldron.
He didn’t stop there, he dug another six channels, and after some time, when one of the potholes started erupting fire, parts of the fire moved towards the bottom of the Stone Cauldron, following the channel he dug.
“Success!” Su Ming watched for a couple of minutes, then he found another chance to dig out another five channels, then he went back to the entrance and started observing for the rest of the day, making sure that his method works. Su Ming was very satisfied with this.
Actually, he did hesitate, these channels were not dug randomly, and he had to make sure that they didn’t send too little or too much fire to where the Stone Cauldron was located, if it wasn’t perfect then the results would be bad.
According to his observations, there were a few potholes that were connected at the same time, if he connects the wrong potholes then there will be a huge chance of the Stone Cauldron breaking.
Su Ming didn’t calm his mind down until he solved the two foundation problems, he started recalling what he saw in his memory and started quenching and dispersing for the first time in his life.
The little monkey was helping him get food, and sometimes Su Ming would personally go out and hunt for some animals, carry it over to the cave, cook it and eat it. He had also informed the Wushan tribe about the matter regarding the Black Mountain tribe’s Grandfather when he met his tribe’s hunters as he was hunting for some animals.
Days passed and Su Ming kept letting out sounds of frustration, he had been quenching and dispersing for 15 days, his eyes were red, and he had tried numerous times, but he had yet to succeed a single time.
He had reached the first level of Blood Condensation, and he had condensed 4 blood veins, and if he manages to condense 2 more blood veins, he will reach the second level of Blood Condensation.
Once he reaches the second level of Blood Condensation, he will be able to use the first skill that he inherited from the Barbarian statue!
This is something that Su Ming had been dreaming of, and it was also what drove him to keep trying to concoct the pill.
But after failing repeatedly for an entire month, he almost gave up, but, he is a stubborn man, so he will not give up so easily.
“I don’t believe this! Red, help me gather some more herbs!” Su Ming said out loud, then he threw the bamboo basket towards the little monkey near the cave entrance, then he continued working.
The little monkey took the bamboo basket, smiled, then turned around and walked out of the cave.
A day, a day, another day……
Failure, failure, another failure……
Another 15 days passed. It was after noon, Su Ming with his messy hair stood in front of the Stone Cauldron, in his hands there were two types of herbs, both were red, but one had 6 petals and one had 5 petals.
“Which one should I use……” Su Ming knows that he shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about it, he made up his mind.