Zhou Yuan’s figure dashed towards the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree, the dried leaves on the ground completely undisturbed as his body blew past like a wisp of smoke.
In a short few breaths, he was already fast approaching the area within a hundred feet of the tree.
Everything was still peaceful and silent as before.
However, Zhou Yuan’s body grew increasingly tense, while a vigilant look filled his face. His gaze was glued to the tree, making sure to catch every movement it made.
The tree’s powerful pressure made Zhou Yuan understand just how powerful an existence it was. In the face of such a strong living being, he did not dare to be even the slightest bit negligent.
Fortunately, there was still no reaction from the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar as Zhou Yuan neared.
This caused joy to rise in Zhou Yuan’s eyes. It appeared that because he was as weak as an ant to an existence as mighty as the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree, he so insignificant that even its base instincts perceived no threat from him.
“Almost there, almost there… I just need a chop off a few scales!” Zhou Yuan’s heart violently thudded as his burning gaze looked towards the peculiar faintly glowing scales on the tree trunk.
However, Zhou Yuan’s Spirit suddenly trembled at this moment, sensing danger. His dashing figure immediately paused as he stepped to the side at a strange angle.
A flash of black light that gave off an extremely sharp aura arrived the instant his body twisted, silently slicing through even the air itself. In the end, it brushed past Zhou Yuan’s body and flew off.
The black object pierced into the ground, creating seemingly bottomless whole. Zhou Yuan’s gaze shivered as it swept to the side, because that flash of black earlier had been a black vine. The vine was covered in countless fine scales that flickered icily under the light.
It was the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree’s vine!
Zhou Yuan raised his head with a grave expression, and found countless black vines slowly slithering in the air like pythons, their sharp, pointed ends all aimed at him.
Every one of these vines gave off an extremely dangerous aura.
“Still been discovered huh…” Zhou Yuan sighed helplessly. He had originally hoped to escape detection with his Ethereal Form technique, and stealthily approach to chop off a few tree scales.
While Zhou Yuan was sighing, the countless vines suddenly descended, leaving faint marks in the air, their sharp auras directed straight at Zhou Yuan.
“Mystical Python’s Great Golden Bell!”
Zhou Yuan stomped on the ground as golden Genesis Qi exploded. The Genesis Qi swiftly transformed into a giant golden bell that covered his entire body.
Although these vines were merely an instinctive response from the tree, they were a huge danger towards Zhou Yuan. Hence, he did not hesitate in activating his strongest defense.
Countless vines ferociously stabbed at the golden bell, creating a cacophony of loud clanging sounds. Golden light violently rippled as faint cracks began to appear on the surface of the bell.
A look of horror flashed in Zhou Yuan’s eyes. His Mystical Python’s Great Golden Bell boasted astonishing defenses, and yet signs of breaking had begun to appear so quickly. Wasn’t the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree’s vine attacks a little too frightening?
More and more cracks appeared on the golden bell, before it ultimately shattered. Zhou Yuan’s figure shot forth once again at that very moment, pouncing straight towards the tree.
Vine after vine darted through the air like lightning, like an inescapable net that was about to trap Zhou Yuan in its confines.
“Heavenly Sun Flame!”
His mouth ballooned as azure Heavenly Sun Flames poured out.
The vines quickly shrank back when licked by the flames, but soon after, the scales on the vines slowly emitted a glow as robust Genesis QI flowed out to cover them.
As such, the vines that were now wrapped in green Genesis Qi no longer feared the Heavenly Sun Flames. They lashed out together, ripping apart the flames as they ruthlessly shot towards Zhou Yuan.
The attacking vines seemed to cover the entire sky, and seemed very ferocious in nature. Though Zhou Yuan wanted to advance, he had no choice but to retreat.
The tree appeared to be almost within reach, but this small gap was akin to a great raging river that was nearly impossible to pass.
In the face of the countless attacking vines, Zhou Yuan was unable to advance, and was clearly in a very difficult situation.
Further away, old Xuan breathed out a mouthful of smoke, watched Zhou Yuan’s sorry situation as he nonchalantly said. “As time passes, more and more vines will awaken, while the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree will also slowly be roused from its deep slumber.”
“The longer you delay, the lesser your chances.”
Old Xuan’s voice was transmitted into Zhou Yuan’s ears, causing his expression to change. The tree was an extremely dreadful existence. If it awakened, even a Heavenly Sun stage expert would have his hands tied, let alone a fourth layer Alpha-Origin like himself.
When that happened, obtaining scales from the tree would become a fantasy.
However, he was not holding back either. The tree’s vines were just too terrifying, causing him to be unable to advance even half a step...
Obtaining scales from the tree was clearly not going to be as easy as he had imagined.
Zhou Yuan gritted his teeth as the Heavenly Yuan Brush appeared in his hands. The brush tip transformed into numerous after images as it defended against the attacking vines. However, every clash would force him a step back.
Piercing pain could be felt from his entire hand. Even the skin between his thumb and index finger had been torn, causing fresh blood to flow out.
The pain from his hands suddenly lit up a fire of anger inside Zhou Yuan’s heart as a somewhat savage look filled his eyes. With a deep breath, an ancient Saint Rune appeared in the depths of his pupils and slowly began to spin.
Decoder Saint Rune!
When the Saint Rune surfaced, the countless attacking vines seemed to pause for a brief second. He could see Genesis Qi flowing in the vines, Genesis Qi that originated from the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree.
This was the main reason why the attacking vines were so formidable.
“If I can block the circulation of Genesis Qi for a moment, these vines will be briefly incapacitated.” Zhou Yuan’s eyes flickered in thought. Through the power of the Decoder Saint Rune, he was able to observe the flow of Genesis Qi from the tree.
In Zhou Yuan’s eyes, the vines merely paused for an instant, before continuing their terrifying and savage onslaught.
However, there was a determined look in Zhou Yuan’s eyes this time. Instead of staying on the defense, he took the initiative as his foot pushed off the ground, sending his figure dashing towards the vines.
With a jerk, the Heavenly Yuan Brush transformed into countless brush shadows. Every brush shadow moved at an extremely precise trajectory, hitting certain spots on the vines.
These spots just so happened to be the part of the circulation pathways from which the tree was sending its Genesis Qi into the vines. The invading force caused the circulating Genesis Qi to become stuck for a moment.
Zhou Yuan’s figure landed on the ground.
Countless vines continued to shoot towards him, their reflections rapidly growing in his eyes. However, his figure remained completely still, as if ignoring all of these deadly attacks.
The vines suddenly froze a split second before they were about to pierce his body. In the end, they fell from the sky like puppets whose strings had been cut, landing on the ground around him.
The surroundings fell silent once again.
Some distance away from the battle, old Xuan had been attentively observing Zhou Yuan’s figure. When he saw this scene, his old, bark like face trembled slightly for a moment, before he lifted his head and sucked in a breath of spicy smoke, as a deep and unreadable look appeared in his eyes.
Zhou Yuan secretly breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the falling vines. The Saint Rune in his eyes withdrew as he quickly walked forward and appeared beside the tree trunk.
He grasped the black wood chopping knife and began hacking.
The knife fell as palm-sized tree scale after scale was separated from the trunk. Light seemed to flow on the scales, as if they were precious stones, a rather beautiful sight indeed.
Zhou Yuan happily chopped and hacked away with excited eyes, managing to hack off a few dozen tree scales in a short period, before he sensed the Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree begin to emit a glow.
A terrifying undulation slowly emerged, as if something was awakening.
“Greedy brat, if you don’t start running, prepare to be left here as fertilizer.” Old Xuan’s voice sounded.
A chill swept through Zhou Yuan’s heart. Only then did it dawn upon him that the tree was about to awaken!
His scalp immediately turned numb. There was no hesitation at all as he swiftly grabbed the scales before turning to flee.
A dreadful burst of Genesis Qi exploded behind him, flinging his body into the air. The vines on the ground roared back to life, and shot towards Zhou Yuan like lightning.
Old Xuan helplessly shook his head when he saw this, and opened his mouth to spit out a mouthful of smoke.
The smoke rushed forth, sweeping up the black knife in Zhou Yuan’s hand. Flashes of knife light were swung from its blade, cutting all of the incoming vines.
Zhou Yuan’s body crashed into the ground at old Xuan’s feet, grimacing as he climbed to his feet. He turned around, and found vines filling the air behind, seemingly hissing at him like giant snakes. However, they did not dare to approach due to the black knife.
Old Xuan looked at the giant Dragon Scale Chinese Scholar Tree as he unhurriedly said, “Come on, why are you being so petty. All we wanted was a few of your scales.”
The tree swayed back and forth, causing the surrounding Genesis QI to shake. Even though the dreadful pressure did not spread, it still made Zhou Yuan’s heart beat loudly in his chest.
In the end, the tree slowly withdrew its terrifying Genesis Qi as peace gradually returned.
Old Xuan chuckled. He cast a glance at Zhou Yuan, before turning to leave.
Upon seeing this, Zhou Yuan hurriedly followed.
The two retraced their original path back, and eventually left the mountain.
After standing at the foot of the mountain for a long time, old Xuan looked towards Zhou Yuan and slowly said, “You may return. Come here and find me again when your Taiyi mark is complete. I will teach you how to practice the little Mythic Saint Body.”
Zhou Yuan was elated. However, he could sense that there was something amiss about old Xuan’s mood, and thus did not say anything in response. He only nodded before rising into the air on his Genesis Qi.
Old Xuan stood outside the forest, his murky eyes watching Zhou Yuan leave. After a long time, he seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders as a soft murmur echoed in the misty mountain.
“So it is as expected…”