Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0667: Statue of An Yi
Ning Cheng watched in shock as the vines around him started to wither at a rate visible to the naked eye. Even his wrists, which had almost transformed into the wood, under the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan’s absorption, started returning to its original state.
In just a few dozen breaths, Ning Cheng finally managed to stand on his feet wholly relaxed. As for the vines that bound him, they had already withered and looked as if a fire had burned through them. Ning Cheng shook his body slightly and the vines wrapping him turned into dust that then drifted to the ground.
How could it be this easy to free himself? Even Ning Cheng couldn’t believe it. However, he just had to look around him and see the plants around him withering at speed visible to the naked eye to know that he truly had gained his freedom. The power displayed by the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan was something still unbelievable to him.
At any other moment, Ning Cheng would have immediately left the Wood Transformation Forest. But since it was now so easy to protect himself in here, then he might as well not leave. With the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan, even a fool would decide against leaving.
As for the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan, it kept shaking as if in ecstasy, as its main branches grew thicker and extended out longer. The area around Ning Cheng, about a mile around him, had already turned barren, transforming into flat land. This flat ground continued to extend outwards in tandem with the branches of the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan that kept spreading out.
Ning Cheng couldn’t help but laugh; a few moments ago, he had almost turned into a wooden statue, but in the twinkling of an eye, the situation suddenly reversed. Thirty years on the east side of the river, thirty years on the west side of the river.
“Little Rattan, absorb it all and turn this ghostly place into nothingness.” As Ning Cheng thought back to the time when the vines in this Wood Transformation Forest had almost turned him into a tree, it immediately ignited a nameless fire of rage within his heart. Even if the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan absorbed the surrounding Great Heaven Essence Fruits, he wouldn’t care anymore.
With the size of this Wood Transformation Forest, as long as he kept moving forward, he definitely would find many good things.
However, the message from the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan immediately disappointed Ning Cheng. The Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan relayed to Ning Cheng that the Wood Spiritual Source in this place was too powerful. With its present capabilities, it would not be possible to absorb the Wood Spiritual Source from the Wood Transformation Forest completely. Once it absorbed enough Wood Spiritual Source, the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan would instinctively fall into slumber to prepare itself for evolving, it was not something that it could consciously control.
Ning Cheng, who had initially planned to wipe out the Wood Transformation Forest in anger, immediately felt surprised on receiving this news. He quickly relayed a message to the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan to stop extending outwards. He had already made up his mind to harvest a fortune in this place, and if the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan fell asleep, he might not be able to get out of this place on his own.
After receiving Ning Cheng’s command, the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan immediately slowed down its rate of absorbing the Wood Spiritual Source. Instead, it only focused on absorbing the Wood Spiritual Qi in the direction Ning Cheng wanted to travel.
With the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan slowing down its absorption speed of the Wood Spiritual Source to concentrate in one direction, Ning Cheng could now easily walk around inside the Wood Transformation Forest.
Once any vegetation in the Wood Transformation Forest got close to Ning Cheng, it would end up as nutrients for the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan. As such, Ning Cheng managed to harvest all the high-grade Starry Sky Spiritual Grasses along the way and put them inside his storage ring. As for Great Heaven Essence Fruits, Ning Cheng managed to collect so many that it did not matter if he received more of it.
Not just the Great Heaven Essence Fruits, even high-grade Starry Sky Spiritual Grasses, Ning Cheng had already collected a lot of them and stored it inside the True Spirit World.
The vegetation within the Wood Transformation Forest seemed to possess extraordinary intelligence; therefore, after the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan and Ning Cheng continued advancing for around a dozen miles, no more vines emerged to attack the two.
Ning Cheng also did not want to provoke the vegetation within the Wood Transformation Forest unnecessarily. But he still ordered the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan to stay around him while he went about collecting the various spiritual objects.
Roaming through the seemingly boundless Wood Transformation Forest, which seemed to open up as Ning Cheng moved forward, he eventually managed to catch sight of the forest’s other edge. Three days later, Ning Cheng, with the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan, walked out of the Wood Transformation Forest.
Coming out of the Wood Transformation Forest, Ning Cheng found an incomparably huge pill pond in front of him. Ning Cheng put away the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan and arrived next to it in just a few steps.
This pill pond was much larger than the Perpetual Moon Pill Pond that he had seen in the Time Wilderness. However, what caused an intense disappointment within Ning Cheng was that he didn’t even see a single Perpetual Moon Pill here. In other words, this pill pond was utterly empty.
Ning Cheng carefully walked around half the periphery of the pill pond and found half a Perpetual Moon Pill just outside it.
Ning Cheng raised his hand and picked up this half Perpetual Moon Pill. However, when he felt the starry sky Essence Qi aura from this half a Perpetual Moon Pill, he immediately froze.
Perpetual Moon Pills were not like medicinal pills, they were actually pure starry sky Essence Qi condensed into a pill form. Moreover, these pills could only form in unique environments, like a pill pond, a pill mountain, or a pill ocean. In some cases, some powerful cultivators could use their spirit techniques to condense starry sky Essence Qi into one Perpetual Moon Pill after another. There was also another method, and that was to use top-grade artefacts to turn starry sky Essence Qi into Perpetual Moon Pills. Of course, such top-grade artefacts were very rare.
But whichever method led to the formation of Perpetual Moon Pills, it would leave its own unique aura on the formed pills. The reason why Ning Cheng froze was that he felt a familiar pill aura coming from the half a Perpetual Moon Pill in his hand.
Ning Cheng had only recently used up his most recent batch of Perpetual Moon Pills for cultivation. That’s right, the one million Perpetual Moon Pills given to him by Duan Gantai.
Therefore, he could tell that Duan Gantai’s Perpetual Moon Pills and the Perpetual Moon Pill in his hand had the same exact aura. Ning Cheng didn’t need to guess about who had taken away the pills from this pill pond.
No wonder that son-of-a-bitch had readily taken out a million Perpetual Moon Pills without even blinking. This pill pond most likely could contain at least a hundred million Perpetual Moon Pills. It would truly be strange if that fellow would feel any heartache in taking out a ‘measly’ million from it.
Even Ning Cheng felt somewhat envious of Duan Gantai’s wealth at this moment. With just the pills obtained from this pill pond, even someone like Ning Cheng might not be able to use it up entirely for cultivation. Moreover, that Duan Gantai did not only have Perpetual Moon Pills, but also a large number of Permanent Essence Pills on him.
Ning Cheng took in a deep breath and realised that Duan Gantai definitely had come here in the past. Since Duan Gantai could come here, then it meant that Duan Gantai also had a way to get through the Wood Transformation Forest.
At the same time, he also understood Duan Gantai’s sinister idea. This fellow not only plotted to use him to get away from the Eternal Night Public Square, he even planted a hidden threat for insurance. That is, if Ning Cheng did manage to escape from the Eternal Night Public Square, it was highly likely that he, Ning Cheng, would try exploring the Temple of Fallen Stars. Coming to the Temple of Fallen Stars, without the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan, would have definitely resulted in his death within the Wood Transformation Forest.
Cunning bastard, not only could that fellow pass through the Wood Transformation Forest, he even managed to take away so many Perpetual Moon Pills. This fellow was definitely not someone ordinary even among those with shrewd minds.
Tossing away the Perpetual Moon Pill back into the pill pond, Ning Cheng bypassed it and appeared in front of a temple gate.
There was a dark red pillar on both sides of the temple gate, with a cracked plaque in the middle. The characters inscribed on the plaque had already worn away, leaving behind only some indistinct markings.
Was this the Temple of Fallen Stars? Ning Cheng really couldn’t tell if this place was the Temple of Fallen Stars or the Temple of Falling Stars from the indistinct marking, but he could make out that it was definitely three characters.
As Ning Cheng stepped through the temple gate, a powerful maelstrom immediately tried to swallow him. Ning Cheng quickly stepped sideways on instinct, the maelstrom’s power brushed past his side before disappearing without a trace.
Ning Cheng once again felt startled. Sweeping out with his Spiritual Consciousness, he felt shocked to find that there seemed to be only a bluestone path in front of him, with spacial maelstroms raging everywhere on either side. Just like the maelstrom from before, if Ning Cheng hadn’t immediately stepped sideways, he wouldn’t even know where it would have swept him away.
Moreover, Ning Cheng observed that none of these maelstroms actually moved. But if it weren’t for his Spiritual Consciousness, he could not have seen them with just his eyes. He touched one of the ‘static’ maelstroms at his side with his Nirvana Spear as an experiment and found that it immediately brought forth a spacial force on contact that tried to suck in everything around it.
It really was too dangerous. Without Spiritual Consciousness, one would truly have to depend on luck to step on to the bluestone path.
Ning Cheng carefully bypassed these maelstroms and slowly walked along the bluestone path. Nearly a hundred meters down, he encountered a circular door.
Ning Cheng stepped through the door, and a life-like statue appeared in front of him. It was totally different from the figures that Ning Cheng had seen before. This statue felt incredibly life-like as if it were alive.
However, when Ning Cheng looked up to see the face of this statue, he almost shouted in shock. This was An Yi. This statue’s face was definitely of An Yi.
When he had just arrived at the Graceful Star Mainland, he and An Yi had spent some time together. The two of them experienced a few life and death trials during their time together and formed quite a deep friendship. Later, An Yi entered the Falling Star Academy, while he was forced to make his escape.
Sometime later, a war broke out between the cultivators from the nine continents and the cultivators from the Graceful Star Ocean. Due to some unexpected events, he ended up joining the Hua Continent’s Cultivator Army to defeat the cultivators from the Graceful Star Ocean.
At that time, he learned that An Yi, as a genius disciple, was escorted to the Le Continent along with other geniuses. Later, when he entered the Law’s Way, he was again chased around by influential people wanting to kill him. This forced him to flee once again into the Graceful Star Ocean on coming out.
When his cultivation improved to a sufficient level, he decided to return to the Le Continent to head back home to find his sister Ruolan, before returning. Then, to avoid dealing with more powerful cultivators, he crossed the Graceful Star Ocean with Ruolan and a few others. During all that, he completely forgot to look for An Yi in the Le Continent, assuring himself that she would be safe.
Now, after so many years, he actually saw the statue of An Yi in this place. Ning Cheng couldn’t help but continue staring at the figure in front of him while pondering: this woman, who looked like An Yi, was she really An Yi?
The statue also seemed to stare back at Ning Cheng. As if knowing the thoughts going through Ning Cheng’s heart, the aura exuding from it suddenly softened up.
Ning Cheng suddenly felt a sharp pain in his heart. How could a girl as lovely as An Yi ended up as a statue like the others? Moreover, how could she appear here?
No, Ning Cheng looked up at the statue’s face once again. This definitely was not An Yi. Even if An Yi had a heaven defying cultivation speed, she would not be able to reach this place this quickly. Besides, from the looks of it, this statue looked like it has remained here for an unknown amount of time. How could it be An Yi? But then again, this statue looked incredibly life-like, unlike the clay statues outside.
“An Yi, are you doing okay?” Ning Cheng mumbled to himself while giving out a sigh before bypassing the statue. The starry sky went on without an end with many unknown secrets, secrets that he could not understand at all with his current strength.
Ning Cheng had no idea that when he bypassed the statue, a powerful invisible barrier covering the figure had quietly disappeared. As Ning Cheng crossed the statue and took a few steps forward, he saw a huge pool of blood in front of him. Although it looked like a pool of blood from his perspective, it was more accurate to say that it was a vast river of blood. The blood in this blood river kept tumbling around like a raging storm.
The stench of blood was so strong that Ning Cheng couldn’t help but vomit. However, Ning Cheng felt even more shocked by the fact that a man and a woman, both cultivators, were standing in the sky above the blood river, while the rolling waves of the blood river surged between them.
“Swish-swish…..” As the violent aura of oppression came crashing down, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but take a few steps back under the potent suppression. Just as he was about to hit the statue behind him, a gentle force emerged from it that then entered through Ning Cheng’s back, allowing him to stand firm.
 ‘Life is full of ups and downs’ would be the closest English equivalent to the phrase ‘Thirty years on the east side of the river, thirty years on the west side of the river (真是三十年河东，三十年河西)’, but I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible.