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Chapter 0550: Ladder of Life
Ruan Mingshu kept looking around; although she knew that Ning Cheng had fallen in the Perpetual Moon Lake, she still hoped for Ning Cheng to come out. She knew that it was her words that caused him to follow her in, without her words, Ning Cheng most likely would be alive, or at the very least would have ventured into other unexplored regions.
However, the miracle that she hoped for did not happen; Ning Cheng did not come out.
“Junior Apprentice Sister Mingshu, I heard that you and Ning Cheng had teamed up. Why don’t I see him around?” A crisp voice sounded out beside her.
Shen Qinyu, who still felt sad, on hearing this sentence, knew that it was Tang Yu, a very talented genius of the Striking Order Starry Skies, who asked this question.
Ruan Mingshu sighed and spoke, “That’s right, but I am the reason he died. I invited him to accompany me to the Perpetual Moon Lake, but the Perpetual Moon Lake’s Time Wheel broke. He didn’t have the time to come out……”
Tang Yu spoke with some regrets, “That’s a shame. He really looked like a splendid fellow.”
Shen Qinyu immediately recalled Ning Cheng. From the looks of it, Ning Cheng had fallen in the Perpetual Moon Lake. No wonder she did not receive any message. Her thoughts then immediately turned towards Wanderer, who just like Ning Cheng, was a cultivator without a Celestial Wheel. However, instead of falling in the Perpetual Moon Lake, this fellow died in the Sea of Twilight.
Heavenly Emperor Striking Order’s figure turned from blurry to clear before he finally appeared in front of everyone. Although only half the cultivators who entered had come out, he still felt delighted with the result.
He glanced at the cultivators standing over the temporary public square constructed in the void, before speaking, “Welcome back geniuses of my Striking Order Starry Skies. Those of you who stand here today are the true geniuses of my Striking Order Starry Skies. You will be the future of my Striking Order Starry Skies, the pride of the Striking Order Starry Skies.”
“My Striking Order Starry Skies will now proceed to reward the outstanding talents for their toils. However, this group of winners has no restrictions on their numbers; rather, as long as you obtained a Time Stone, you would definitely receive the reward promised by my Striking Order Starry Skies. The top ten, however, would proceed to represent my Striking Order Starry Skies in the upcoming Celestial Scryer Universal Genius Finale that would take place in the Grand Culmination Starry Skies.”
Every cultivator who obtained any amount of Time Stones immediately came forward and brought out the Time Stones they got. At this moment, no one dared to keep the Time Stones hidden. Even if some individual wanted to sneak a few Time Stones, once the powerful Spiritual Consciousness of the experts descended over their bodies, they quickly came forward to hand over their Time Stones.
Many cultivators had entered the Time Wilderness, but only a scant few managed to obtain Time Stones. Shen Qinyu, however, did not hand over her Time Stones. Therefore, once she brought her Time Stones out, she immediately took them back.
An hour later, the experts finally finished tallying all the Time Stones brought forth by the cultivators. Looking at the total, only 31 people managed to obtain Time Stones. However, most of these cultivators only gathered a few rice grain-sized Time Stones.
A cultivator in the Heaven Seated Realm stood in the void and read the results aloud. “The first place goes to Bright South Celestial River’s Cen Fei, who obtained four Time Stones. The second place goes to Striking Order Star Land’s Sikou Hao, who obtained three Time Stones; the third place goes to Striking Order Star Land’s Tang Yu, who obtained three Time Stones……”
Looking at the top ten cultivators who had managed to bring out Time Stones, no matter how big or small, none of them could compare to what she had obtained. Seeing that, Shen Qinyu gave out a deep sigh within her heart.
Ning Cheng did not continue to dig out ice steps. After comprehending the Time Law Spiritual Technique, Dusk, he decided to sit still and continued to deepen his understanding of the essence of this spear technique. The more Ning Cheng understood, the more clearly he realised that without the starry skies’ Sea of Consciousness, even if he managed to touch the surface of the Laws of Time, he might not have managed to bring out the full power of dusk within this spear attack. His starry skies’ Sea of Consciousness was just too mighty.
Within the Sea of Twilight, one could not even bring out his or her Spiritual Consciousness. However, Ning Cheng could not only bring it out, but he could also stretch it out over a range that exceeded a hundred miles. Previously, Shen Qinyu could not release her Spiritual Consciousness; however, since Ning Cheng carried her over his back, she ended up drawing herself into Ning Cheng’s epiphany, which allowed her to bypass a part of the restrictions that had bound her Spiritual Consciousness.
Thinking of Shen Qinyu, Ning Cheng suddenly recalled her perfect yet utterly naked body. There was also that face with an out-of-the-world beauty. Previously, because he had just comprehended the true meaning of dusk, Ning Cheng had unconsciously put aside the shocking feeling that had resulted from seeing Shen Qinyu’s naked beauty. However, now that he had coalesced his third spear technique, Ning Cheng could not help but think of that perfect figure once again, which also caused some desire to manifest within his heart.
Ning Cheng shook his head and forcibly put these thoughts aside before concentrating over the spear attack once again.
After a long time, when Ning Cheng’s Spiritual Consciousness and Celestial Essence had fully recovered, he once again brought out his Nirvana Spear and fired another shot.
This time, he felt the stillness around him even more clearly. Instead, because of the technique, everything around him stagnated into silence.
At this moment, one could not even hear the slightest sound. One could not even perceive the slightest movement, even the sounds of breathing had utterly disappeared.
Suddenly, Ning Cheng saw a crystal-clear drop of liquid flash at the bottom of the Time Whirlpool. This drop of liquid felt like the cohesion of all life and exuded a strong vitality while shimmering with bright lights.
Within the now-still funnel-like whirlpool of flowing time, he actually saw a drop of liquid that radiated vibrant vitality, which caused Ning Cheng to sober up from his previous state of concentration almost immediately. Even the Dusk Spear Technique, which he had not come out fully, faded and disappeared without a trace.
Ning Cheng did not feel any frustration because of the second failure of his Dusk Spiritual Technique. However, he could help but keep thinking about that drop of liquid that looked like the sunrise and exuded a vibrant vitality. What was that drop of liquid oozing so much life energy? What kind of treasure was this drop of liquid?
Although his Dusk Spiritual Technique failed for the second time, because it had failed mid-way, Ning Cheng did not suffer too much loss in his Celestial Essence. After a short break, Ning Cheng grabbed his Nirvana Spear for the third time. This time, however, Ning Cheng came fully prepared. During the momentary pause, he shot up and stretched out his hand to grab the sunrise-like drop of liquid gently, before collecting it into a jade bottle in his other hand.
A faint fragrance emerged from this drop of liquid, mixed with a strong vitality; at the same time, a terrifying ice-cold aura also radiated out from this liquid.
In addition to the vibrant vitality contained within, the ice-cold aura, and the fragrance, this drop of liquid even carried the aura of sunrise. It gave one a feeling that one faced the just-rising sun, which brought along a sense of endless vitality.
Just a whiff of this vibrant vitality made Ning Cheng feel as if his dissipated longevity had fully returned.
This must be the Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence, Ning Cheng instantly understood, while feeling pleasantly surprised within his heart. At this moment, he felt incredibly grateful towards Shen Qinyu. If it were not for Shen Qinyu, he would even know about Twilight Sand, let alone something like the Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence.
He did not know if Shen Qinyu managed to go out using the Transfer Array. However, if she managed to get out, then Ning Cheng decided to send her a drop of the Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence in the future, as the repayment of gratitude he currently felt.
After carefully placing several restrictions over the jade bottle, Ning Cheng once again began to gather his Celestial Essence and Spiritual Consciousness, before continually casting the Dusk Spiritual Technique, using the chance to collect more drops of Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence from the static Time Whirlpool.
No wonder only an extremely few people managed to obtain such a thing, even Shen Qinyu said that it was only the stuff of legends. If Ning Cheng had not touched upon the surface of the Laws of Time and used the Dusk Spiritual Technique, even if he knew about the First Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence existing within the Time Whirlpool, he could have never obtained it.
However, since this kind of an object had appeared outside, it meant that someone had also obtained it through comprehending the Laws of Time inside this place.
One month later, no matter how many times Ning Cheng cast the Dusk Spiritual Technique, he could no longer obtain any more Glimmers of Dawn Ice Essence from the Time Whirlpool. Ning Cheng could not understand if it was the result of him thoroughly cleaning away the Glimmer of Dawn Ice Essence or if his cultivation was still too low to see any more.
However, Ning Cheng felt delighted with his harvest. In one month, he managed to obtain nine drops of this legendary Glimmers of Dawn Ice Essence.
Carefully storing the nine drops of Glimmers of Dawn Ice Essence into the jade bottles, and sealing the bottles with numerous restrictions, Ning Cheng once again resumed digging through the ice around him to reach the top. He did not feel the urgency to restore his skin and hair immediately. For him, his current appearance was a lot better than even the best mask-type weapon.
At the same time, Ning Cheng’s speed of digging through the ice of the glacial canyon had also increased significantly after comprehending the surface of the Laws of Time in this place.
In just one month, Ning Cheng finally managed to come out of the scope of the Time Whirlpool. When he could no longer feel the effects of the Time Whirlpool around him, Ning Cheng gave out a long sigh as he thought; could he use his Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds now?
Ning Cheng looked up and was just about to activate his Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds when he felt shocked yet again. There was another set of dug out ice steps just over his head. However, these ice steps extended from the top to bottom unlike the bottom to top ice steps that he had dug out.
Who dug out these ice steps? Was it Shen Qinyu?
A moment later, Ning Cheng confirmed that Shen Qinyu had indeed dug out these ice steps. His Spiritual Consciousness clearly captured the line of text next to the carved ice step closest to him. “This Qing used several years to dig these 7,542 ice steps in hopes to find Eldest Brother Wanderer. However, the ten-year period is almost up, forcing Qing to leave in reluctance and frustration. This Qing vows that as long as I remain alive, I will come here again and take away Eldest Brother Wanderer from this place. Regardless of life or death, it is this Qing’s vow.”
Ning Cheng immediately felt his heart turning warm. This Qing should be none other than Shen Qinyu. Since Shen Qinyu posed as a cultivator from the Orchid Borough Celestial River to enter the Time Wilderness, she presumably had also not used her real name. However, after she reached the Transfer Array, she did not care about her escape. Instead, she spent several years digging the ice steps to find him.
Shen Qinyu had kept digging the ice steps in this place; however, she faced a completely different situation compared to him. Although Ning Cheng had fallen to this place, he still had the Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds. However, if Shen Qinyu descended into this place, she would have no chance of survival. One could even say that in the past few years, Shen Qinyu helped him in digging those ice steps while risking her life. This woman gave the feeling of being very rational; however, such actions showed pure impulsiveness on her part.
Ning Cheng had genuinely thought that Shen Qinyu was a rational person. He and Shen Qinyu had travelled together for a few years, and no matter how much offended she felt, she always spoke out in a calm tone and an everyday expression. She never showed any emotional outbursts. However, this woman actually spent a few years, risking falling to her death at any time, to dig these ice steps to save him. Could he still claim that it was entirely on impulse?
Ning Cheng also knew that although Shen Qinyu had vowed to return, she most likely would not be able to return to this place. With Shen Qinyu’s cultivation, when she returned to her home, she most likely would end up advancing to the Celestial Bridge Realm. If cultivators in the Celestial Bridge Realm could enter the Time Wilderness, then why did the other cultivators in the Celestial Bridge Realm not come in during the time this place opened? Shen Qinyu most likely had not thought of this matter.
Thinking of this, Ning Cheng gave up the idea of flying up; however, his speed of ascent definitely increased a few folds. In just a short time, he dug out a few dozen more ice steps and connected his own ice steps with the ice steps carved out by Shen Qinyu.
Ning Cheng then took out a sword and added a sentence after Shen Qinyu’s message, “Thank you for your ice steps, it saved me a few more years of hard work. I have already dug up the path behind me. I took the liberty of christening it as the Ladder of Life. Perhaps one day, a few latecomers might embark on the ice steps we dug out. Wanderer. By the way, you really look beyond beautiful when you do not wear any clothes. Well, that is all from my side; do not let other people see you like that… Or they might end up worshipping you.”
Although trapped in this place for several years, Ning Cheng managed to harvest a lot of Twilight Sand and Glimmers of Dawn Ice Essence; he also managed to grasp his very own Dusk Spiritual Technique. Therefore, he felt delighted and contended with everything he obtained. This kind of happiness, coupled with knowing that Shen Qinyu would not come here again, made him leave behind such a mess of a message.
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