Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0424: The Conspiracy of the Spiritual Vein
“So that was the case. No wonder my Rainbow Fall Sword Sect’s Grand Elder Taoist Xi perished because of it.” Ning Cheng could glean from that one sentence that Tan Yun at least had an inkling of who was behind all this; as such, he also decided not to conceal this matter.
“Actually, the news of Shattered Canopy Mountains containing the Spiritual Vein is real.”
As Tan Yun spoke, her eyes were carefully scrutinising Ning Cheng. When she saw Ning Cheng’s calm expression, she couldn’t help but ask in doubt, “Did you already know about this matter?”
Ning Cheng gave a smile, “The elders of my Rainbow Fall Sword Sect might be old, but they are not idiots. If the information about the Spiritual Vein was false, then how could my Rainbow Fall Sword Sect dispatch four Grand Elder Taoists investigate it?”
“Yes. However, the fact is that many already know about the news that the Shattered Canopy Mountains containing the Spiritual Vein. At the same time, there is actually no one who knows where exactly that Spiritual Vein is located. The Shattered Canopy Mountains stretch out for several millions of miles and is one of the three largest mountain ranges within the Tian Continent. Moreover, Natural Restrictions and caves of monstrous beasts are everywhere within the Shattered Canopy Mountains. It is definitely not easy to find a Spiritual Vein concealed within a Natural Array Formation.” Tan Yun acknowledged it and spoke.
“If that is the case, then I don’t know why Senior Apprentice Sister Tan wants to look for my help.”
“This time, there is someone who is fairly confident in finding the approximate location of the Spiritual Vein within the Shattered Canopy Mountains. When the time comes, there would definitely be many people who would want to snatch it, for this reason, I hope to cooperate with Sect Master Ning to get a slice of the pie.”
Ning Cheng gave a smile, “Senior Apprentice Sister Tan, I’m just a cultivator at the early stages of Sea Opening Realm. While you are a cultivator at the 1st Level Sea Opening Realm, which is even lower than me. Even if I have the capability of killing ordinary Crucible Transformation Cultivators, how could you think that we would be able to snatch that Spiritual Vein from the hands of so many people? Moreover, doesn’t your Great Change Island have many Crucible Transformation Cultivators among your ranks? Even if my relationship with Senior Apprentice Sister Tan turns into that of long-term friends, I would never believe that Senior Apprentice Sister Tan would show more confidence in me compared to the Crucible Transformation Cultivators from your own Great Change Island. After all, one would naturally be more inclined to trust their own people.”
Ning Cheng had nothing to hide. This was a fact, even if he were even more powerful, at most, he would be equivalent to a Crucible Transformation Cultivator. The Great Change Island would definitely have a lot more powerful cultivators among their ranks. So why would Tan Yun bring trouble on herself by asking for his help? Why would she choose to share such an enticing benefit with someone like him? Therefore, he decided not to ask her about the person who she said was capable of divining the location of the Spiritual Vein.
Tan Yun seemed to know that Ning Cheng would definitely bring up this kind of questions. Therefore, she spoke up with a sigh, “The truth is I did not want to divulge any information of this in my academy. If my father, the Academy Head, was still in the academy then let alone the Red Star Sword Faction, even if Jian Jun had an even fiercer backing, my Great Change Island would still be able to force the Red Star Sword Faction to hand over Jiang Jun.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot make those old geezers listen to me. I can only depend on myself to accomplish my revenge. Furthermore, I would have to share most of the Spiritual Vein, if we managed to obtain it, with the academy’s Crucible Transformation Elders……”
Tan Yun did not continue; however, Ning Cheng already understood what the opposite party meant. The Great Change Island seemed to be not a monolithic entity unlike what he previously thought, so although Jiang Jun killed Tan Yun’s little sister Tan Yushan and was even presented with ironclad proof, the Great Change Island was unexpectedly still unable to force the Red Star Sword Faction to hand over Jiang Jun. This showed that there was definitely something odd going on at the inside. Tan Yun’s cultivation was also not up to par, so since the academy did not reach an agreement internally over this matter, it would be normal for her to feel powerless.
Once Tan Yun requested the elders within her academy for help in acquiring the Spiritual Vein; first, let alone if they could obtain the Spiritual Veins, even if they were able to get it, a majority of it would go into the pockets of the academy and the elders. Tan Yun wanted to take revenge with her own hands; as such, she had to obtain the Spiritual Vein by herself.
However, Tan Yun’s words also somewhat disappointed Ning Cheng. He had hoped that when he decided to attack the Red Star Sword Faction in the future, the Great Change Island might provide him with some help, at least from the side. Nevertheless, he did not expect the Great Change Island to turn out this fragile from the inside.
If any of the Red Star Sword Faction dared to kill his Rainbow Fall Sword Sect’s disciples. Combined with ironclad evidence, Ning Cheng definitely would do everything in his power to force the Red Star Sword Faction to hand over the culprit. Even if the other party chose not to hand them over, he would definitely, at the very least, issue a public statement to completely annihilate the Red Star Sword Academy in the future.
In contrast to his side, the Great Change Island was indeed weak. No wonder Tan Yun had to forcefully advance to the Sea Opening 1st Level. She had to take revenge for her little sister, for that she could only rely on herself.
Seeing Ning Cheng somewhat disappointed, Tan Yun continued with her words, “Your cultivation is higher than mine own, and are already equivalent to a Crucible Transformation Cultivator. This time, although I am the one who brought this news, you can be the main force. Regardless of how much of the Spiritual Vein we manage to obtain, I only want one-third of it, you can keep the rest of it.”
“I see. You spoke about someone who can find that Spiritual Vein. How did you come to know about that?” Ning Cheng already had decided to collaborate with Tan Yun. Tan Yun, at least, was not corrupt at her heart nor was she greedy, only asking for a third of the share. If she spoke about dividing the rewards equally, then perhaps Ning Cheng would not have agreed to it.
“How I came to know about it, I would not be able to tell you. What I can tell you is that it is the Tian Continent’s Foremost Array Formation Grand Master Wu Mao. This time, three Crucible Transformation Cultivators sought him out; currently, they are preparing to collaborate to seek out that Spiritual Vein. After they found it, they would divide the Spiritual Vein into five portions, out of which Wu Mao would take two. As far as the cooperation between us is concerned, we only have to follow them in secret.” Tan Yun spoke out in affirmation.
“Good, then I agree to it. When are we going to leave?” Ning Cheng spoke as he could feel that Tan Yun was not lying; at the very least, what she spoke contained the scent of truth.
As for this person called Wu Mao, Ning Cheng had already heard of him as being the foremost Array Formation Grand Master of the Tian Continent. He understood that he could already arrange Rank 9 Array Formations. Moreover, his strength was also quite high, with his cultivation at the Crucible Transformation 4th Level.
“We should go now, and conceal ourselves within the Shattered Canopy Mountains. After Wu Mao arrives with the others, we can then proceed to track them in secret.” Tan Yun spoke without hesitation.
Shattered Canopy Mountains, as its name suggested, this vast mountain range covered up almost everything.
[TL Note – Shattered Canopy Mountains (盖零山) can also be interpreted as Canopy Fragment Mountain, which can be transliterated to ‘A canopy that covers almost everything below it.’]
Some rogue cultivators roamed around looking for lower-levelled monstrous beasts and spiritual grasses within the Shattered Canopy Mountains’ edges. Beastly roars emerged from time to time coming from the deeper areas of the mountain range. At the same time, Ning Cheng’s Spiritual Consciousness started to get severely restricted within this area.
After Ning Cheng arrived here, he finally understood why the top-levelled cultivators were not able to find the Spiritual Vein in this place. From the looks of it, wanting to find Spiritual Vein in an area like this was extremely difficult.
It apparently was not the first time for Tan Yun to come to the Shattered Canopy Mountains. Being familiar with the place, she was able to lead Ning Cheng to the specific position in just a day’s time. At the same time, they also did not encounter any monstrous beasts along the way.
“We’ll be hiding in here.” Tan Yun stopped in front of a massive swath of thistles and spoke.
“How do you know that they would come through here? The Shattered Canopy Mountains are simply too vast. If they do not come here, wouldn’t all our work be in vain?” Ning Cheng asked in doubt.
“They will surely be going through this area, from the news that I obtained they would be meeting at the entrance of the Blind Gorge. The entrance to the Blind Gorge lies in front of our hiding spot. Our cultivations currently are slightly worse, so we have no choice but to hold our breaths and conceal ourselves in this spot. We cannot be too close to the actual meeting point.”
After saying that, Tan Yun took out a pill and handed it to Ning Cheng. “This is a Form Changing Pill. It can help in changing a person’s appearance and aura for twelve hours. This pill is something scarce, so once those people locate the Spiritual Vein, we can then go and grab it before leaving. As long as you are able to stall them for a dozen breaths, I have enough confidence to harvest a part of the Spiritual Vein, before we meet up at our previously agreed place.”
Form Changing Pills were Rank 7 Pills and were something very precious for someone like Tan Yun. However, Ning Cheng currently had a bottle full of it inside his storage ring. Nevertheless, he still accepted Tan Yun’s Forma Changing Pill and spoke, “Will you be using talismans to make your escape?”
Tan Yun nodded, “Yes, I can only escape alone. I believe that once the Spiritual Vein appears, those people would primarily focus on the Spiritual Vein; as such, there is a high chance that there would be a brief period where they would not focus on you. That would be the best moment for you to make your escape. Of course, if you feel that I would not be able to accomplish it, then you can also choose to withdraw right now.”
“No need for that, I have already agreed to it. Since I will be the one to take claim of the larger portion, then, of course, the risk that I would have to shoulder would also be comparatively large.” Ning Cheng spoke out without hesitation. He possessed the Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds; therefore, if several Crucible Transformation Cultivators decided to besiege him, and if he was not able to make his escape, then he should really go and find soft tofu to bash his head with and commit suicide.
After Ning Cheng and Tan Yun concealed themselves under the patch of thistles, the surroundings once again returned to their previous tranquillity. As the day passed, there wasn’t a single person’s shadow that arrived at the Blind Gorge pointed out by Tan Yun. Even monstrous beasts did not pass through there.
The second day passed by, even the third day passed by but Ning Cheng was still not in a hurry. Not to say about hiding for three days, if Ning Cheng had to hide in this location for 30 days, he did not mind it. However, Tan Yun found it somewhat difficult to bear it. It was reasonable to say that someone would come over the next day. However, it was already the third day and was approaching the fourth day. If they haven’t arrived by this time, then wasn’t it possible that Wu Mao and the others had already left?
Just when Tan Yun was about to send a sound transmission to Ning Cheng, Ning Cheng immediately made a hand gesture, causing Tan Yun to quickly give up on her idea of sending a Sound Transmission. She even held her breath. Tan Yun soon discovered that there was an additional layer of concealment over her body. She immediately realised that Ning Cheng did not have much faith in her Concealment Technique, thereby helping her by putting on an additional layer of concealment over her.
Ning Cheng honestly did not have much faith in Tan Yun’s Concealment Technique. They were currently very close to the Blind Gorge, while he could detect a slight bit of Tan Yun’s aura that overflowed outside. He also did not want to engage against four Crucible Transformation Cultivators at this moment.
After a few breaths, two Taoist shadows descended at the entrance to the Blind Gorge. After these two Taoist shadows landed, they immediately swept out with their Spiritual Consciousness.
Feeling the powerful Spiritual Consciousness, Ning Cheng felt a slight pang of danger in his heart. Luckily, he helped Tan Yun by placing an additional layer of concealment over her. At this time, Ning Cheng did not have the time to observe the appearance of these two cultivators or their cultivations. Although he did believe that they would not discover his Spiritual Consciousness, he did not want to do such a meaningless thing. Observing the opposite party when they already had their attention focussed, if they ended up discovered, then it would only be their loss.
The two Spiritual Consciousnesses apparently did not care about such a matter as they swept through a broad swath, including the area where Ning Cheng and Tan Yun were hiding, before quickly recalling them back. These two people did not have to wait for long when another Taoist shadow descended. The three of them then exchanged a few words with each other, before another Taoist shadow landed after an incense-stick worth of time.
After the four of them met up, they only exchange a handful of words before they immediately entered the Bling Gorge.
Ning Cheng did not follow them immediately. Instead, he sent a Sound Transmission to Tan Yun. “You will have to wait for some time before following me inside; don’t go beyond ten steps from me. At the same time, you better not use your Spiritual Consciousness to track those four people, just track my movements.”
Actually, Ning Cheng very much wanted to make Tan Yun walk away from this place. He would be able to track them by himself, but he also knew that Tan Yun would not only not leave, but it would also become an issue of trust between the two of them.
“Yes, I know.” Tan Yun replied without hesitation. She secretly rejoiced that she decided to look for Ning Cheng’s help. Although she had confidence in her Concealment Methods and her cultivation, if she had not brought along Ning Cheng, even if not found hiding in here, she wouldn’t be able to track the previous four people.
Ning Cheng cautiously used his Spiritual Consciousness. Although he currently possessed the cultivation of Sea Opening 3rd Level, his Spiritual Consciousness, however, was not on the same level as the Spiritual Consciousness of other Sea Opening Realm Cultivators. Moreover, because of the Mysterious Yellow Formless Cultivation Method, his Spiritual Consciousness had changed into something almost formless and invisible. Tracking the four Crucible Transformation Cultivators, as long as he was careful, there would be no problem.
However, what made Ning Cheng a bit surprised was that he knew one of the people within the group of four. It was a beautiful looking woman, Sang Jiezhu of the Floating Snow Palace. This Sang Jiezhu was the Seventh Palace Master of the Floating Snow Palace. She was the one who came following the one from the Severing Emotions Dao Sect to forge a relationship with him. This woman wanted Yin Kongchan to marry him.
Among the other three, one was a middle-aged cultivator, with his cultivation at the Crucible Transformation 6th Level along with a short and thin looking man, with his cultivation at the Crucible Transformation 5th Level. However, it was the fourth person that caught the attention of Ning Cheng. A cultivator with a red face held a compass in his hand. He also possessed the cultivation of Crucible Transformation 4th Level. Ning Cheng could guess from this person’s gestures and his continuous actions of throwing out Array Flags, that this person must be none other than the Tian Continent’s Foremost Array Formation Grand Master, Wu Mao.