Chapter 11: Birth of a storm.
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The sun was just about to rise when Liang Chen finished his cultivation, opening his eyes and climbing down the tree. But even though the sun was just about to rise, the sky was so filled with gray clouds that none of the sun's rays managed to reach the ground. A strong wind blew through the forest, letting Liang Chen know that the storm would start either today or tomorrow.

Liang Chen only sent the gray sky a quick glance, before unsheathing his knife and making his way into the forest. The bath had been prepared, now he simply needed to acquire the liquid that would fill the bath, Demonic beast blood. Liang Chen slowly stalked the outskirts of the forest, wary of every sound or sign of movement that he saw.

He had to be careful that he did not encounter any Demonic beasts that were too strong, but he also had to be careful that he did not miss any weak Demonic beasts that he could catch and kill. As he slowly stalked the forest, Liang Chen knew that he could not afford to be picky. He had read that most cultivators who ate Demonic beast flesh or bathed in Demonic beast blood, only chose to use materials from Demonic beasts that shared the same element as them.

But Li Yang did not even know his own element, nor did he have the luxury of picking and choosing between Demonic beasts. Because of that, he simply caught and killed any weak Demonic beasts that he encountered, dragging their bodies back to his camp and draining their blood into the hole he had dug, slowly but surely filling it up. The leaves and cloth that he lined the hole with prevented the blood from seeping into the ground, so he did not have to worry too much about all the blood wasting away.

After spending a few hours hunting Demonic beasts, the sound of distant thunder rang out, rain starting to pour down from the clouds in the sky, drenching Liang Chen. But rather than get annoyed at the rain, Liang Chen grew happy when it started to rain. As the earth turned muddy, the leaves wet, it became easier to spot the tracks of Demonic beasts that were searching for shelter from the storm, increasing the speed at which he hunted them.

He made sure to stay in the utmost outskirts of Sky Piercer Forest, so he only encountered Rank 0 Demonic beasts that were too weak to survive deeper in the forest. A thing the Demonic beasts had in common, something that Liang Chen had failed to notice, was that most of them had evolved to contain some type of poison to defend themselves from humans and other Demonic beasts.

As the day slowly got darker, Liang Chen had killed quite a few different Demonic beasts, dumping their bodies a good distance away from his camp. There were snakes, lizards, spiders, bats, birds, cats, dogs, scorpions, all manner of Demonic beast shapes. But Liang Chen had learned how to better fight them, carrying a thick branch in his left hand and using it to hit the Demonic beasts, disorienting them for a short moment and giving him the chance to stab them with his knife.

When Liang Chen finished hunting Demonic beasts, the sky had already turned completely dark, the rain that hit his skin feeling like tiny needles that stabbed into him. Golden bolts of lightning would light up the sky, their thundering sound drowning out everything else. Liang Chen tossed away the body of the last Demonic beast, one that looked like a large squirrel with a thick tail that ended in a thin spike. After tossing away the body, he walked back to the hole he had dug, which was now filled with thick red blood that released a somewhat pungent smell.

Liang Chen's eyes were cold and determined as he stood next to the hole, taking several deep breaths in an attempt to calm his beating heart. Liang Chen removed his shoes and rolled up the lower part of his robe, sitting down next to the pit of blood. He slowly lowered his feet into the blood, the intense pain causing his mind to blank as the urge to pull his feet out washed over his body.

But Liang Chen resisted the urge, gritting his teeth so hard that it felt like they would crack, a deep and hoarse growl escaping from his throat. Liang Chen forced his feet to stay in the blood, the surrounding Qi quickly entering then. Only after he felt himself get somewhat accustomed to the pain did he pull his feet out of the blood, letting out several deep breaths.

After a few minutes of lying on the ground and breathing heavily, he finally managed to calm his breathing. The spot he had chosen was well protected from the rain, but the tree could not block all of the rain, so the ground around the hole had already started to turn somewhat muddy. Liang Chen glanced at the muddy ground, his eyes slowly turning determined again as he stood up. He took off all his clothing, standing naked in front of the pit of blood. As a large bolt of thunder lit up the dark sky, Liang Chen's low voice rang out.

"Mother, Father. Please watch over me."

After he spoke out, he took a deep breath and then stepped forwards. His legs sank into the blood, and the horrifying pain caused his legs to turn weak and give out beneath him. His body fell forward, every inch of him sinking into the blood as wave after wave of torturous pain wracked his body. Liang Chen thought he had somewhat prepared himself, but the pain still caused him to open his mouth and let out a loud scream that was quickly drowned by all the blood that entered his open mouth.

Liang Chen did not know if he was crying, the pain washing over his mind and drowning out nearly all other thoughts. Had it not been for his stubborn determination, he would likely have passed out from the pain and then drowned in the blood, a truly pitiful end. Despite the pain drowning out nearly all other thoughts, it did not manage to drown out all of his thoughts. He was still able to force his own body to stay submerged in the blood, resisting the urge to jump out of the hole, and he was still able to keep a clear enough mind to not succumb to the aggressive nature of the Qi within the blood.

After he spent a little while submerged in the blood, spending several agonizing minutes getting accustomed to the pain that felt like his entire body was slowly being taken apart and put back together, he forced his body into a sitting position. The blood would automatically draw in the surrounding Qi, but he still found that it went too slow, he wanted to speed up the process even more.

When he sat up, his entire body was covered in blood, his eyes so bloodshot that it looked like they were filled with blood. He took several deep and heavy breaths of fresh air, but the stench of the blood was already stuck in his nose. He grit his teeth and forced his hands to clench, but they would still twitch and tremble from the pain that was coursing through him.

Liang Chen closed his eyes, stretching out his mind to draw in the surrounding Qi and speed up the process. Thanks to being drenched in Demonic beast blood, he could draw in Qi from further away than he usually could, greedily drawing in as much Qi as he could. But as he was drawing upon the surrounding Qi, a thick bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, a small arc of it coming into contact with the Qi that Liang Chen was drawing in.

The arc of lightning was drawn in alongside the rest of the Qi, striking the pit of blood that Liang Chen was sitting in. The lightning mixed with the blood and the Qi, pouring into Liang Chen's body and wreaking havoc inside his body. The pain Liang Chen felt was suddenly heavily amplified, a hoarse scream escaping from his lips as his eyes jolted open. Liang Chen saw tiny golden arcs dancing atop the blood as well as around his body, slowly sinking into his body.

Liang Chen bit down on his lips and forced himself to stop screaming, putting all his focus on the lightning that was now coursing through his body. But as he checked on the lightning that was coursing through his body, his eyes could not help but bulge a little. The lightning was mixing together with the Qi that was coursing through his body, quickly increasing the speed of the strengthening process. Not only his veins and flesh, but even his bones and organs were slowly strengthened by the lightning. Upon seeing the results, Liang Chen's lips split apart, letting out a maniacal laugh.

"HAHAHA! Do you see that, Qing Lan Yong! The heaven's are helping me! The heaven's are helping me!"

Liang Chen ignored the pain, his bloodshot eyes turning towards the sky, greedily eyeing the golden bolts of lightning that were flashing through the sky. He started drawing in more Qi from the surroundings, every time a bolt of lightning appeared, he would use the surrounding Qi to draw in a bit of the lightning, the outline of a tower slowly appearing within Liang Chen's dantian. But as most of his focus was placed on the tower that was slowly appearing in his dantian, Liang Chen failed to notice more and more of his hair turning green, his eyes slowly taking on a golden hue.

While the people in Green Rivers city were taking shelter from the storm, barring their windows to keep out the rain and wind, a maniacal laughter rang out from Sky Piercer Forest, signaling the birth of a storm in human shape.