The battle was over and the demonic spider was killed!
Grandpa Fifteen's mountainous figure was covered in blood as he stood there in an imposing manner. With the demonic spider's millstone-sized head in hand, he truly looked like a demonic god. Such an appearance was frightening to everyone at the scene, and a complete silence fell over this place.
The Black-eyed Green Demoni Spider was ten zhang in length, and it carried a savage and evil look. It laid dead on the ground with its spiky green needle-like hair stained with blood. The scene was incredibly horrifying, and the result was completely unexpected to all.
A large rain of light appeared. The enormous corpse as well as the massive head in Grandpa Fifteen's hands began to disintegrate. The two pieces melted like snow and quickly dissipated.
It was the spirited body of the archaic demonic spider, not the original form. When it died, it turned back into the divine force it was made of and disappeared into thin air.
The bronze pagoda radiated resplendently in mid-air. A powerful will was roaring and hissing from within; this was the imprint left by the archaic demonic spider.
"You dare kill my spirit body…"
"The battle has ended and everything is over," said the Human Emperor. He was radiating from head to toe, making him look incredibly awe-inspiring. His true form was blurred by the light, as if he was standing in a golden sun.
The crowd was still frightened and uncertain at this moment. They were somewhat terrified of the Human Emperor's reaction as well. Had he anticipated this result all along? Was this the reason why he agreed to proceed with the battle and used it to contain the chaos?
A cold snort came from the bronze pagoda, shaking open a silvery path. It then disappeared in a flash.
That day, the capital was greatly stirred. The Great Demonic God had returned with overwhelming power. He first struck down the Martial King, and then he defeated the Rain King. In the end, even the archaic Black-eyed Green Demonic Spider died at his hand. His extraordinary prowess astonished the world!
The onlookers burst into an uproar. A person thought to be dead reappeared and was more powerful than ever. Everyone was frightened by the turn of events, and the entire capital seethed with excitement.
Not long after, the human emperor summoned the Great Demonic God to his palace.
Soon after, news travelled out that the human emperor was going to grant the Great Demonic God another title that granted him great noble authority.
That night, many great clans were shaken by the news. They couldn't remain calm at all, because even though they hadn't been able to confirm the news yet, the rumors alone were enough to leave their minds unsettled.
During the years that Grandpa Fifteen and Shi Ziling disappeared, there were several major clans that underwent great changes. They all felt agitated and restless.
Early morning in the Northern Sea.
The sun leapt out from the ocean surface. It appeared bright red at first, but soon after, it began to radiate brilliantly. As the golden multicolored light of morning scattered down on the ocean surface, it looked like a sea of gold.
A single ghost ship was drifting along. It travelled in a single direction the entire time.
A whimsical youth was stretching his body out on top of the ship. As he gazed into the ocean limits, he rubbed his eyes and said, "We should be reaching land soon, right?"
Beside him, a fist-sized golden creature sprang out to the side of the ship. It swiftly threw out a hook to begin fishing.
The two were none other than Shi Hao and Hairy Ball. It had been a while since the battle at the Kun Peng nest finished, and they had been on the return route the entire time. They weren't in any hurry, of course.
Although he had been overseas for more than two years, he had been fighting and cultivating the entire time. He had not had the chance to carefully explore the seas, so everything was still rather new and exciting. From time to time, they would appreciate the scenery and explore the various traces left behind on different islands.
Hairy Ball spent most of its time sleeping, and even when it was awake, it would always be eating. The assortment of seafood had made it even rounder than before, to a point where it would roll around on board instead of using its feet.
"Zhizhi…" yelled Hairy Ball as it pulled back the fishing line rapidly with its little paws.
"Such a big lobster!" Even Shi Hao was surprised. It was a lobster that was over ten meters long. Its head was covered in a pale golden glow that resembled the aura of a Flood Dragon.
He put the lobster into the heaven and earth pouch without any hesitation. He was going to take it back to Stone Village and share it with his clan members. Naturally, Hairy Ball was not happy about his decision and protested for quite a while. It then returned to its fishing, hoping to catch something bigger.
Before long, Hairy Ball began to screech. It threw away the fishing line and climbed onto the highest point of the Ghost Ship with a swooshing sound. It then looked into the distance where some sea beasts were entering and leaving a large dark area.
"Yi, is that a dragon palace down there?" The devilish brat's eyes were twinkling with excitement.
Along the way, they had heard many different legends. The large and powerful Dragon Palace was comparable to the Archaic Divine Mountains. It could also be considered a restricted land similar to places like the Sea Deity Islands.
Besides the great ones, there were also some smaller dragon palaces. Despite the 'dragon' in their names, most of them did not even have any flood dragon inside. The masters of those places were mostly derivatives of ocean beasts.
"I really would like to have a look at that dragon palace. We are almost out of the Northern Sea, yet we still don't know what they look like inside," Shi Hao said to himself.
Hairy Ball yapped with zhizhi sounds, indicating its approval. It also wanted to stir up some trouble and see the dragon palace with its own eyes.
"Let's go have a look then. This dragon palace should be a small one. We'll take a peek from afar."
Just like that, the Ghost Ship was put away and they began to dive down. They swam deep into the ocean towards the ocean abyss.
They followed behind those ocean beasts, diving deeper into the ocean abyss. It was completely pitch black, and only after a long time did they see some light emerging from the darkness.
The devilish brat became dumbstruck.
At the deepest corner of the sea bottom, auspicious lights were surging in streaks. The area was shining resplendently under the light and, and a wonderful view had completely replaced the darkness.
It was an underwater city constructed from materials like crystals and pearls. Multicolored light radiated everywhere, giving the entire city an ethereal feeling. It was as if they were no longer in reality, but instead in a dream.
Shi Hao was completely stunned. There were many valuable gems and rarely seen materials, yet they were all things the city was built on. The underwater dragon palaces were truly luxurious places.
Within the city, there were a few beads that were incomparably massive. They were like stars as they adorned the tallest buildings and provided light.
"That's a pearl?!" Shi Hao was doubting his eyes as he looked at that enormous pearl. It flickered with silver light, and a blazing radiance surrounded it.
"That one is even bigger, and its diameter should be several meters. Just how big was the old clam that produced this?!" Shi Hao said to himself.
Hairy Ball wished it had another pair of eyes as it looked around. There were so many treasures in this undersea city, and most of them could never be found on land. Ample amounts of spirited essence could be detected within them.
"That's a Blood Essence Pearl!" The devilish brat widened his eyes widely as he looked at the pearl on a skyscraper. It was a relatively small one that was only the size of a washbowl, but the pearl was blood red, and spiritual essence surged within.
This was not an ordinary pearl, but instead something produced by a profoundly cultivated clam. At death's door, it could infuse all of its flesh and essence energy inside to create the Blood Essence Pearl.
It was a precious treasure just from its spiritual essence alone. It could produce the purest divine might that could be directly absorbed by the human body.
However, this was not where all of its value lied. It could also be used for medicinal purposes. When the highly-cultivated clam ultimately injected its blood essence inside, a miraculous transformation would take place, allowing it to turn into a blood pill.
It was recorded in ancient texts that a blood essence pearl like this was a priceless treasure. When just a powder amount of this pearl was used while concocting pills, it could promote the efficacy of the medicine, making it incomparably precious.
"Ocean Blue Essence!"
Soon after, Shi Hao spotted a blue crystal. It was used as a sign on an ancient building, and blue light was radiating splendidly from it.
"This stuff is rare and precious! When refining precious artifacts, it can be extremely effective in increasing the magical objects' power. If it was brought back to dry land, it would definitely tempt many great powers."
The devilish brat was dazzled by this place. He discovered these things as as soon as he arrived, and they were all things he liked a lot.
Shi Hao was finally noticed by the residents of this place. The sea creatures were great in numbers, and tiny fish and crabs were hiding everywhere under the mud. It was impossible to avoid their detection.
They were not attacked, however, and welcomed with open arms. This undersea palace was not resided by flood dragons, but instead belonged to a clan of mermaids.
An exceptionally beautiful figure showed up. She had a silver fish tail that was waving gracefully in the water. Her upper body was in human form, with skin that was spotlessly white. Her chest was covered by seashells, and her long blue hair was soft and bright.
She was leading a group of mermaids without any hostility. Instead, they escorted Shi Hao into that radiating city in a friendly manner.
"Thank you for saving my life the other day," said the mermaid girl.
During the battle of the Kun Peng nest back then, this girl had tried to fight Mo Shang, the fierce and unrivalled sea deity descendent with her magical staff when he was slaughtering her people. However, she was no match for him.
In the end, Shi Hao made his move against Mo Shang, and the girl's life was spared.
The sea deity descendant was his enemy, and saving the girl was not his intention. He did not expect that they would meet again here. The mermaids were showing great respect to him, and they were all very enthusiastic.
Shi Hao led Hairy Ball into the city. He was completely dazzled by what he saw. There were so many treasures here that were all native to the ocean and rarely seen on land.
"Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the mermaid girl.
"I need to return to dry land. Do you have any transport formations here?" asked Shi Hao. Leaving the North Sea was easy, but after arriving at the Great Wasteland, Stone Village would still be too far away. He was not sure about the exact distance, but it must be millions of li away.
"We do!" Nodded the mermaid girl with a smile. She then followed the devilish brat's desirous eyes and immediately realized he was drooling at the treasures.
"I'll gift you some!" She smiled.
"Really?" Shi Hao's big eyes sparkled, and he immediately smiled from happiness.
In the end, he was given a pile of materials such as Blood Essence Pearls, Sea Blue Stones and Flood Dragon Pills, all of which were extremely valuable materials that were native to the undersea world. On land, they were all rare treasures.
Shi Hao stayed in this palace for the next two days and visited every corner of this undersea city. He was incredibly amazed by this fairy-tale-like world. Every building illuminated like crystals, and pearls were cobbles that no one bothered to take an extra look.
Situated in the center of the city was an altar where finally the mermaid girl asked the clan elders to activate the transport formation. Emerging from the misty light was a pathway.
Shi Hao would obviously not tell them the exact location of Stone Village, but only asked to be transported to the western border of Stone Country.
With a flash of the multicolored light, he stepped onto the pathway. It then closed and sent him together with Hairy Ball on their returning journey. He finally left the Northern Sea for good.
Without this transport formation, he would have to travel on foot. It would have taken him months or even years to return to Stone Village.
He reemerged from an ancient forest at the western border of Stone Country. A month later, he traversed three hundred thousand li of ancient mountains and arrived at Stone Village. A green glow could be seen from afar that covered the sky.
"Is that… the Willow Deity?"
The willow had grown taller, and the charred half of the trunk had regenerated. Most of the black dead bark had come off, making the tree looked much more alive. Not much of the dragon scale-like black bark was left now.
Green branches hung down from the tree, all of them looking bright and glistening like a splendid waterfall. The Willow Deity had fifty branches now that all hung downwards from high up in the air towards the ground. The glossy and green treen was surrounded by an auspicious aura.
Its transformation this time was special and vital. It was clear that it was now much stronger.
"The little guy, no, Shi Hao is back!" Someone spotted him and shouted out immediately.
It had been two years since he left, and the villagers worried about him very much. However, after his last trip, they were not too anxious about him.
Now that Shi Hao was back, a group of people rushed out and surrounded him.
Even the Willow Deity was awake. It transmitted speech to communicate with him.
"Willow Deity, I've obtained the complete Kun Peng precious technique. I’ll tell you about it later." The devilish brat was very happy.
Of course, he said this in secret. The Willow Deity had warned him that he could not let the news leak out after obtaining the precious technique, or else he would bring a fatal disaster to himself.
"Good!" The Willow Deity was obviously greatly shaken by the news. It did not anticipate his success. Even a someone as powerful as the Willow Deity desired the Kun Peng precious technique.
Then, as if remembering something, the Willow Deity said, "I'm afraid you’ll be leaving again soon."
"Why?" Shi Hao was confused. He had only just got back and was all happy and joyful. He had brought back many native products of the sea, especially the huge pile of food. He was about to celebrate with his clansmen.
"Your grandfather has appeared," answered the Willow Deity.
"What?!" Shi Hao was shocked. His body trembled uncontrollably.