Qiu Ling looked at the mountain in front of him. Huh, that Court of Flames lived up to its name. There was an old ruin on top of the mountain. Once upon a time, it had probably been a magnificent palace. Even now most of it seemed like it hadn’t aged much, though you could still tell that it had seen better times.
The whole complex was eerily quiet. The only thing he could hear was the wind howling when it rushed over the plain below and passed by one of the cracks in the ground. Every now and then, boiling-hot water gushed out of them, making the plain explode with deafening noise.
Qiu Ling took the jade slip out of his spatial ring and checked the information of the ingredients he needed. The first one was a herb called Flaming Lion Tail. The name was pretty descriptive: The herb indeed looked like it was the tail of a lion that had caught on fire. Apparently, the thing grew in extremely hot environments so this place should be a haven for it. He could probably take a casual look around and spot five of them.
Qiu Ling glanced at the ground but couldn’t see anything. The hot water gushing out of the ground had plunged everything in a dense white vapor. He sighed. Even if there were lots of them, it seemed he’d still have to go down and take a look from up close.
He flew down and landed, his gaze already roaming about. He wanted to get this done as soon as possible. The sooner he managed to find these materials, the sooner he could go and ask that old geezer to refine that Amethyst something pill for him and then go and present it to his beloved. Ah, just imagining how impressed Jing He would be lifted his mood. He might just earn himself a kiss for that!
Qiu Ling rushed along between the geysers. There were a lot of herbs and not only a few of them were red. He frowned. Damn. He should have taken someone with him who knew about herbs.
"A lion’s tail …" Qiu Ling took out the jade slip again and had a look at the page he recorded down. He saw at least three similar-looking herbs.
"Damn. Which one is it?" Qiu Ling frowned even more. Wasn’t there some more information on that thing? He read the text again: Looks like a lion’s tail on fire. Prefers extremely hot places like the Court of Flames. If consumed, it …
Qiu Ling raised a brow. What? If consumed raw, the Flaming lion’s tail will induce a smoldering heat in every part of the body. That didn’t sound like something that furthered cultivation at all! It seemed to be meant for some kind of drug. Did they really use something like this to refine a mystical pill?
Mn, he should better ask that old geezer about it before he let him refine that pill. He didn’t want his Jing He to have some strange side effects. Well, it wouldn’t really matter as long as he was with him but he would rather not let Jing He feel forced to do anything with him.
Qiu Ling shook his head. This wasn’t the time for that. He had to find that dumb plant first. He put the jade slip away. There wasn’t anything useful in it anyway. The only valuable hint was the mention of extremely hot places.
"Mn, maybe I should go and look at the hottest place around here?"
Well, that was as good an idea as he could get from these few clues. He flew to one of the geysers and started looking for the herb again. There were some red grasses growing next to it but they were missing that tuft at the end that the Flaming Lion Tail had.
"This doesn’t seem to be it?" Qiu Ling bent down and examined the grass a little closer. Mn, it had some spiritual energy, though … "Maybe I should just dig it out and take it back to the sect? If that Amethyst whatever pill really isn’t good then that old geezer might be able to use it for something. Or maybe Jing He would like to study herbs and alchemy? He always liked plants …"
Jing He’s palace in the Nine Heavens featured a beautiful garden that he tended to by himself. Jing He had a gentle disposition and was an attentive person. So he might excel in that sort of task if the Yun Zou Sect let him study it.
Qiu Ling didn’t hesitate. He should be prepared for the future. If his beloved wanted to become a great alchemist later on and didn’t have any herbs, then it would be too late to go and find some! He needed to accumulate as many as he could now!
He started to dig out the herbs one by one. The hot water that gushed out of the earth now and then? Tch! That was just water. A dragon wouldn’t be afraid of water even if it was a little hotter than usual. Qiu Ling worked for a while and hurried over to the next geyser whenever he finished digging up the herbs around one. Finally, all the herbs in the vicinity had been cleared and orderly placed into his spatial ring.
It was a pity though that none of these herbs seemed to be the one he actually needed. Qiu Ling looked around again. There were some other herbs around that didn’t grow next to the geysers. They didn’t exude much spiritual energy though so he ignored them. Instead, he turned toward the ruin on top of the mountain.
"That’s the only place where I didn’t look."
Mn, how hot could it be inside some ruin? He didn’t hold much hope but since somebody had named this place the Court of Flames, he might as well give it a try. If he still couldn’t find it … he would go and ask that Grandelder again or just go straight to the old geezer to pry some information out of him.