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Chapter 0273: Taking up the assignment
“Let me go and ask to see if it’s still available.” Ning Cheng patted Jin Liangan’s shoulder and then went to Announcement Office of the Academy’s Assignment Hall.
“Can I ask…..”
Ning Cheng had not yet spoken his request yet, when he was immediately interrupted by a female cultivator inside, “Give me your identity jade card and the assignment number you want to apply for, I don’t want any other nonsense.”
Ning Cheng helplessly spoke up, “I want to apply for the 17th Assignment…..”
An impatient look flashed past that female cultivator’s face as she heard Ning Cheng’s words as if she was annoyed with it, she looked up at him as if she could not believe what he was saying and once again repeated the words, “You said you want to apply for the 17th Assignment?”
“I would have explained it to you if you had allowed me to explain, so I directly spoke what I wanted to apply for.” Ning Cheng spoke up in a somewhat depressed tone.
The female cultivator unexpectedly did not verbally attack him, but rather frowned a little before speaking up, “Up till now, our Rainbow Fall Sword Sect included, all the people with the cultivation of Soul Essence Realm, who applied for the 17th Assignment, or the disciples who followed the ones with the Soul Essence Cultivation there, none of them have returned, nor is there any message from them. Are you sure you want to apply for this 17th Assignment?”
Ning Cheng already knew this, so he just asked, “I would only like to ask one thing, if I was not able to complete the assignment, and return halfway, will I be punished for it?”
“No, participating in this assignment is completely voluntary.” The female cultivator spoke up, without any hesitation.
Ning Cheng after confirming the words once again, immediately spoke up, “Ok then I will apply for this 17th Assignment.”
At worst, if he ended up finding it to be too dangerous, then he would simply not go ahead with it. In case he hit the jackpot, and found out even a few clues of what the academy was looking for, then the academy’s reward was enough for him to cultivate in the Small Spiritual Domain for more than a year.
The female cultivator also did not try to persuade Ning Cheng anymore, as she nodded and spoke up, “This time there are a few changes to the 17th Assignment, there will be disciples from the other academies participating alongside you, after you reach there, the elders stationed there will tell you more about what has to be accomplished. Here is the jade card pertaining the details of the assignment and also a map. Take it, and good luck.”
Ning Cheng came out of the Assignment Hall’s Announcement Room, and found Jin Liangan and several other Profound Core Cultivators huddled together discussing something. It seems that they were discussing about what assignments that they would be able to undertake together. Ning Cheng gave a casual greeting to Jin Liangan and the others and immediately left the Assignments Hall.
Not even going back to his residence for some preparations, Ning Cheng directly headed out to the Great Liang True Country and North Shang True Country’s battleground of the Great War. He still had some worry about the Liang Kexin duo.
As to what happened to the two true countries due to the Great War, the jade strip was quite vague about it, and only had a general idea about what had transpired.
It seems that a few years ago, at the border between the Great Liang True Country and the Northern Shang True Country, an ancient immortal cave had appeared unexpectedly. The Norther Shang True Country was the first to learn of this news, as such was the first to make a move to occupy that area, in order to explore this suddenly unexpected appearance of the ancient immortal cave.
But shortly afterwards, the Great Liang True Country also found out that there was an ancient immortal cave that appeared within its borders, so of course it would definitely allow the Northern Shang True Country to occupy it. Using this as an excuse against the Northern Shang True Country, the Great Liang True Country immediately moved to abduct the princess of the Northern Shang True Country, with the condition that if they wanted the Great Liang True Country to give back the princess then they would have to cede that territory to them as compensation.
Because of this incident, the two countries ended up going through years of great wars. Resulting in almost countless casualties. Finally, this news ended up being exposed to the world, causing some of the academies to get involved in this matter. At this moment, this matter has already spiralled out of control, and was something that neither the Great Liang True Country nor the Norther Shang True Country would be able to control.
Once the ancient immortal cave was exposed to the outside world, the war between the two countries came to a temporary halt. This ancient immortal cave was not only extremely old but was also seemingly extremely vast from the inside, and only the cultivators at the Soul Essence Realm or below the Soul Essence Realm could enter. There were even rumours that the deepest part of the cave was extremely rich in spiritual qi, however only cultivators at the Profound Congealing Realm or below can enter that place.
As such when some of the Soul Essence Cultivators came to explore out this immortal cave, they would also bring one or two Profound Congealing Cultivators with them, because once they all reached that place, there would be no way for them to enter it.
But this matter started to get strange from this point on, these academy disciples on reaching the battlefield between the two countries, although were able to go into the ancient immortal cave, but unfortunately had ended up gone missing. When even the last person that went in was not able to make it back, there was simply no way to figure out as to how all of these people went missing in the first place.
At the very beginning, this immortal cave only had a single entrance, which was still visible, but for those who arrived later, the ancient immortal cave started to gradually disappear. Even as this ancient immortal cave disappeared completely, whether it were the Soul Essence Realm cultivators or the cultivators following those Soul Essence Cultivators, there were simply no signs of any of them appearing at the position of the immortal cave.
All these disciples, who had come here to complete their assignments, were all elites of the influential and long standing academies and sects, causing the Crucible Transformation Cultivators of their respective sects and academies to not be able to sit still. Some of the Crucible Transformation Cultivators even headed out to investigate, however not one of these Crucible Transformation Cultivators were able to find out even a single clue. Fortunately, although these Crucible Transformation Cultivators were not able to find any clues, nevertheless they did not give up on the disciples who went missing on this assignment.
But still, it caused this matter to turn into a mystery, with more and more disciples going missing, some of the rogue cultivators were also roped in to take up the academy assignment. But it still ended up in them going missing like the other people. In this manner, the disciples wanting to take up this assignment were also growing fewer in number.
In order to find the truth of this mystery, it was necessary for at least a few cultivators below the Soul Essence Realm to take up the assignment to find at least a few clues, allowing the Crucible Transformation Cultivators to also act accordingly towards the missing cultivators.
Ning Cheng put away the jade strip. In his heart, he was very clear that if someone wanted to pick up this assignment, then these people would simply be playing the role of either cannon fodder, or taking over the job of a mouse.
Ning Cheng was also aware of his own situation, since he had already experienced cultivating inside the Small Spiritual Domain. As such, in the future, if there were no Small Spiritual Domain, it would simply be too difficult for him to advance. In order to get that years’ worth of cultivation time in the Small Spiritual Domain, he had no choice but to take it up. Besides, he was also not a person without any escape methods, if the worst came to worst, he could simply crush the talisman given to him by that skeleton, and once again re-enter the bottom of the Blood River.
Ning Cheng simply took out a flight type magical weapon, which was a medium grade spiritual artefact, and in order to arrive early, Ning Cheng not only fully stimulated the flight type magical weapon, he also used his Twin Wings of the Heavenly Cloud to aid in his speed. Even if that was the case, it was only after ten days, that he reached the location marked on the map in the jade strip.
The place in front of him seemed to be an endless desolated area, which was filled with potholes as far as the eyes could see, with pieces of broken weapons and even debris from lower levelled magical weapons strewn about everywhere. There were even many places where the soil had turned dark red; apparently, it was because too much blood had seeped into it.
Within the range of Ning Cheng spiritual consciousness, there was nothing other than a dark grey building.
According to the brief on the jade strip, Ning Cheng knew that this dark grey building was the temporary set up for anyone wanting to undertake this assignment. They had to first come to this grey building, and then listen to the instructions of the Academy Elders stationed there.
Ning Cheng put away his flight type magical weapon, and had just arrived at the door of this huge grey building, when he was stopped by two cultivators, “Which Academy?”
My goodness, the two gatekeepers in front of him were cultivators in the Soul Sculpting Realm.
“This junior is Rainbow Fall Sword Sect’s Inner Sect Disciple Ning Cheng, and has come here this time to specifically undertake this assignment.” Ning Cheng quickly cupped his fists and replied in a polite manner.
The Soul Sculpting Cultivator on the left nodded and spoke, “The Rainbow Fall Sword Sect is on the left side of the third floor.”
“Many thanks.” Ning Cheng once again thanked the two of them before he sped up the staircase inside the building.
“Alas, a month ago there were groups of Soul Essence Cultivators that were assigned to this assignment, now just look at what kind of people come here, even a Profound Core 1st Level Cultivator came here to take up this assignment.” The other Soul Sculpting Realm Cultivator seeing Ning Cheng dash off, couldn’t help but shake his head and speak out with a sigh.
The Soul Sculpting Cultivator, who replied to Ning Cheng, spoke disapprovingly toward the other Soul Sculpting Cultivator, “He is the third person today, during these several days, there is simply no one who want to even apply for this assignment. I guess that this place will soon be forgotten, although there were a lot of disciple that have disappeared here, but even until now there has not been a single clue regarding this.”
“This kind of thing is not something that we would be able to manage…..”
Although Ning Cheng had already entered the building, he was still able to hear the words exchanged between the two Soul Sculpting Realm Cultivators.
“Come in.” Ning Cheng had just arrived at the door of the third floor of the building, when a voice suddenly entered his ears.
What a powerful cultivation, this sound was simply nothing ordinary at all, as there was not even half a shred of distortion in the sound transmission. Seeing this, Ning Cheng also did not dare to hesitate before he quickly opened the door and went inside.
There were five male and female cultivators sitting inside the room, while two young looking cultivators stood in the middle of the room.
There was not even a shred of aura spilling out from these five male and female cultivators, but they still managed to give Ning Cheng a strong sense of suppression. Ning Cheng simply wasn’t able to see or even sense the cultivation of the people in front of him, causing him to immediately understand that these five people definitely must be Crucible Transformation Cultivators.
“Rainbow Fall Sword Sect’s Inner Sect Disciple Ning Cheng greets the five seniors.” Knowing that these five people in front of him were Crucible Transformation Cultivators, Ning Cheng did not dare to neglect his manners, as he quickly bowed to give his greetings.
“Oh, quite good, even though your cultivation is somewhat low, but you are quite calm.” An old man on seeing Ning Cheng’s calm look, spoke up while nodding his head.
Sitting on the right side was a middle aged Confucian looking scholar who also nodded with satisfaction as he looked at Ning Cheng and spoke, “Ning Cheng, I think that you should be already aware of the dangers pertaining to this assignment, as such even if you give up now, it would be excusable. Up until now, none of the disciples who undertook this assignment has returned, as such there is simply very little favourable news. This assignment will also be scrapped soon, and would be replaced by another method to track them down.”
Ning Cheng on listening to the middle aged scholar’s words, immediately was able to gleam a few underlying meanings, the first was that this assignment was truly very dangerous, and the disciples participating in this would only be playing the role of cannon fodder to find clues. Second, because there was simply no to very little news received from the cannon fodders, this assignment would soon be scrapped. And third, was that the other party was trying to persuade him to give up on this assignment.
Although he was a Crucible Transformation Cultivator, but he still cared about the life and death of an Inner Sect Disciple, it could be seen that this Crucible Transformation Elder had a personality that was still much better than what the others had.
Ning Cheng once again cupped his fists and spoke, “Many thanks for such words from senior, I already am aware that there were True Inheriting and Core Disciples from my Rainbow Fall Sword Sect involved in this assignment. I am just an Inner Sect Disciple, and the only reason I am participating in this academy assignment, is to not only contribute towards the academy, but also for using this time to enhance my own cultivation.”
A beautiful looking woman gave a short giggle before bursting into a laugh, “Elder Bei, this kid from your Rainbow Fall Sword Sect really knows how to speak his mind aah, moreover to the point even.”
Ning Cheng hearing these words was able to understand not all of the five Crucible Transformation Cultivators here belonged to the Rainbow Fall Sword Sect; there should be others from other academies.
The middle aged scholar also gave a laugh, “Junior Apprentice Sister He flatters me. Your Star Gathering Mansion’s disciple and Severing Emotion Dao Sect’s Baby Nuwa both are much stronger than Ning Cheng”
Finished saying that, the man from the Rainbow Fall Sword Sect then directly turned to Ning Cheng and continued, “Ning Cheng, you along with Star Gathering Mansion’s Xing Hai and Severing Emotion Dao Sect’s Bu Mei, will be reviewing this situation together. Remember that as long as you can find some clues and return, it would be equivalent to performing a meritorious service. Take this jade talisman, once you find anything wrong, immediately crush this jade talisman, and you would immediately be teleported away.”
“Yes, this junior understands.” Ning Cheng quickly acknowledged as he stepped forward to receive the jade talisman.