Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0743: The First Futility Bridge
Ning Cheng didn’t know for how long he kept sinking down, only that his Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort kept shrinking in size the lower he went. By the time his Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort shark down to about a foot around him, his feet finally landed on the ground.
The slabs under his feet were all dark red as if forged out of solidified blood. At the same time, there seemed to be whimpering and shrieking sounds coming from all around. Ning Cheng simply couldn’t find the source of all this noise.
However, despite the unsettling sounds around him, Ning Cheng paid no attention to it and kept walking in the direction of Grey Toottoot’s aura. Although the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort managed to block the black waters of the Yellow Spring Pond, every step Ning Cheng took still left a deep footprint on the dark red slabs.
The whimpering nether winds still kept attacking the blue thunder fort despite being underwater, but each time the wind got close to the blue thunder fort, thunder rays immediately blew them away. Seeing this, Ning Cheng secretly rejoiced about owning the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort. If not for the fort, these nether winds would have definitely swept him away.
But even with the support from the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort, Ning Cheng understood that he couldn’t stay down here for too long. If he waited for his Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort to shrink to the extreme limit, he would then have to rely wholly on his physical body. At that point, even he couldn’t say if his body could resist the Yin Qi in this place.
After half-an-incense-stick worth of time, Ning Cheng finally stopped and saw a blood river flowing under the Yellow Spring Pond. The blood river and the Yellow Spring Pond were like two completely different entities, unable to merge at all.
Just above this blood river, he also saw a pale while stone arch bridge that spanned across the blood river. Ning Cheng reached the bridge’s head, but could only dimly see the opposite side of the bridge. Nether winds kept flowing erratically around the bridge, and with screaming and whimpering sounds. One could only see the vague situation on the opposite side and nothing specific. Moreover, over the bridge, one could also feel a cold and gloomy aura that gave people trying to cross it a very daunting feeling.
Looking around, he found a stele engraved with five characters, ‘First Futility Bridge’.
Ning Cheng carefully stepped on this bleak white stone arch bridge but, despite hearing the sound of his footsteps, it felt as if his every step fell on empty space. Once on it, Ning Cheng turned even more careful. Take a few steps forward, he immediately saw a blurred figure materialise in front of him.
Gua Sangan? Ning Cheng immediately recognised Gua Sangan’s figure. He had seen it with his own eyes that Chuan Xinlou had deliberately pushed Gua Sangan into the path of nether winds. So how did he appear here?
Ning Cheng quickly felt something wrong about this situation. He saw that Gua Sangan’s face lacked any sort of expression. In fact, it seemed as if Guan Sangan didn’t have a single thought running through his head. He wandered around the bridge for a while before drifting towards the opposite side and disappearing without a trace.
Ning Cheng clenched the Nirvana Spear in his hands even more tightly. What was going on? Was this really the Yellow Springs? Was the opposite side of this bridge the underworld that contained the souls of dead people? Did it mean that as long as he crossed this Futility Bridge, he could find the souls of his acquaintances?
Thinking of this immediately made Ning Cheng excited. With his cultivation reaching the Life and Death Realm, how could he feel afraid of such things like the underworld? Not to mention Grey Toottoot, wouldn’t he also find the soul of his acquaintances on the opposite side of the bridge?
Ning Cheng took in a deep breath to calm down before taking a few steps forward again. However, just when Ning Cheng took another step forward, a powerful wave of nether wind swept over. This wave of nether wind not only contained immense power but also had a violent feel to it. In fact, this wave of nether wind had actually formed a substantial vortex of nether winds on top of Ning Cheng before directly swallowing up Ning Cheng.
This nether wind vortex contained much more power compared to the previous waves faced on the public square. If not for Ning Cheng’s abilities, and replaced by any other ordinary Eternal Realm cultivator, the powerful combination of Yin Qi and nether winds would have long since swept them away.
Ning Cheng frantically stimulated his Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort to block this wave of nether wind vortex from sweeping him away. In any case, if not for the blue thunder fort, Ning Cheng would not have lasted this long.
But even with the blue thunder fort, it could not provide him with much help. As the horrifying nether wind vortex swept through the Futility Bridge, it prevented him from advancing or retreating. If it kept going, there was a good chance that this wave of nether wind would definitely sweep him away, unless he entered the Mysterious Yellow Bead.
Seeing Gua Sangan’s unconscious dead body without any Essence Spirit, Ning Cheng naturally did not want the nether winds to sweep him away.
Therefore, even when the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort kept shrinking, Ning Cheng continually stimulated the blue thunder fort with his spiritual consciousness.
“Ka….” A small sound emerged, and Ning Cheng immediately felt a stinging pain erupt within his Sea of Consciousness. It immediately shocked him to the core and forced him to scream internally like a raging lunatic. Maybe he shouldn’t have forced his spiritual consciousness to such an extent that it caused his Sea of Consciousness to crack.
Once his Sea of Consciousness broke apart, it would definitely spell his end.
But Ning Cheng quickly felt surprised. His Sea of Consciousness had indeed cracked, but not because he had pushed it to the extreme. Rather, it had broken to expand. Although this place suppressed spiritual consciousness, this pressure had unknowingly benefitted his Sea of Consciousness, allowing his spiritual consciousness to grow stronger by a few folds in just an instant. In fact, everything immediately turned clear around him as his Sea of Consciousness improved by another level.
Moreover, he no longer needed to stimulate the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort desperately, yet its range expanded to nearly ten feet around him. When the waves of nether wind rolled in once again, the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort quickly managed to neutralise it.
Ning Cheng breathed in a sigh of relief. With his Sea of Consciousness rising to another level, it also meant a significant increase in his power. Previously, when he used Sunset’s Twilight to deal with Chuan Xinlou, one of the primary reasons why he couldn’t injure Chuan Xinlou more seriously was that his spiritual consciousness could not keep up with Chuan Xinlou.
With his Sea of Consciousness expanding once again, Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness could not sweep out without any scruples. However, the opposite side of the bridge remained vague, obscured by the raging nether winds. Despite that, Ning Cheng could now see clearly everything within ten feet of himself.
When Ning Cheng’s gaze reached the middle of the bridge, he saw a black stone man clutching Grey Toottoot in one hand. Grey Toottoot seemed to be struggling in the black stone man’s grasp with its four feet in the air, which made him furious. He rushed up without hesitation and quickly shot out the Nirvana Spear in his hand.
“Boom….” Ning Cheng’s Nirvana Spear had not yet reached the stone man when a black-coloured wave of nether wind suddenly condensed and struck the tip of Ning Cheng’s Nirvana Spear,
A powerful backlash erupted that directly blew away Ning Cheng from above the Futility Bridge.
Even the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort, which had expanded to more than ten feet, shrank to an area less than a foot around him. Seeing that he was about to fall into the blood river, Ning Cheng quickly activated the Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds and forcibly managed to stop himself at the very edge of the blood river.
At this point, Ning Cheng felt secretly horrified. If it weren’t for his Sea of Consciousness advancing to another level just a few moments ago, that backlash would have forced him into the blood river.
But since Grey Toottoot remained on the Futility Bridge and in the hands of that black stone man, how could he let Grey Toottoot stay here? Ning Cheng once again rushed onto the Futility Bridge and attacked.
“Boom!” A more powerful backlash erupted, but this time, Ning Cheng was ready. And despite suffering some injuries, he did not land in the blood river.
When he rushed onto the Futility Bridge for the third time, Ning Cheng felt a bit flustered. He could already fight against Heavenly Emperors, but he couldn’t even break a stone man in this place who held Grey Toottoot in its hand.
Facing the stone man again, Ning Cheng tightly held on to the Nirvana Spear and started burning some of his Essence Blood. Grey Toottoot didn’t seem to show any consciousness or any signs of life, except for the slight twitching of its head. Moreover, if not for the faint familiar aura coming from it, no one could tell if it was alive or dead. If he couldn’t take away Grey Toottoot quickly, it might actually die in this place.
With Ning Cheng crazily gathering celestial essence, his spiritual consciousness also started breaking free of the surrounding restraints. At this time, circles of celestial essence ripples had begun to manifest around Ning Cheng. Even the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort trembled at this time and started automatically overflowing with thunder rays that blasted apart the surrounding nether winds.
With celestial essence transforming into something with substance, and with the help from the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort, Ning Cheng once again shot forward with the Nirvana Spear.
The violent nether winds once again condensed in front of the black stone man and struck Ning Cheng’s Nirvana Spear, creating a huge explosion. This time, however, Ning Cheng did not go flying; instead, his Nirvana Spear actually hit the stone man and shattered it to pieces. Once the stone man exploded to bits, Ning Cheng immediately rushed forward to catch Grey Toottoot.
But at this time, the nether wind seemed to have gained consciousness and immediately wrapped around Grey Toottoot, who the stone man had dropped, before quickly moving to the other side of the Futility Bridge.
Ning Cheng immediately felt a wave of weakness wash over him; but at the same time, he also felt more nether winds rolling up from the opposite side of the bridge. Before he could do anything, it directly struck Ning Cheng’s Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort.
In just a few breaths, the nether wind once again pushed Ning Cheng away.
For the fourth time, Ning Cheng stood at the head of the Futility Bridge, supported by his Nirvana Spear, while his eyes spewed anger. He could clearly tell that the last attack was not a natural backlash, but a conscious counterattack. It not only stopped him from taking away Grey Toottoot, but it had also actively tried to injure him.
Feeling unwilling to let go, Ning Cheng once again stepped onto the Futility Bridge. But when he walked to the place where the stone man was, he only saw a pile of rubble. Apart from that, it had nothing else. He couldn’t even find a shadow of Grey Toottoot. Ning Cheng deliberately stopped and waited for a long time, but could no longer sense Grey Toottoot’s aura.
Ning Cheng then had just stepped over this pile of rubble and had taken a step forward when an even more horrifying wave of nether wind swept out. This time, Ning Cheng simply couldn’t put up any resistance at all, and it pushed him back to the bridgehead. Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort bore the most of the power, and Ning Cheng once again felt a stinging pain within his Sea of Consciousness. This time, he couldn’t hold himself back and spat out a mouthful of blood. If it weren’t for that little bit of strength still left within him, he would have definitely fallen into the blood river a moment ago.
Standing once again at the head of Futility Bridge, Ning Cheng wiped the blood from the corners of his mouth, while blue veins popped up over his hands. Somebody definitely controlled the mechanisms in this place; otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible for such a thing to happen.
Previously, when he guessed that the opposite side of the Futility Bridge might be the underworld, it made Ning Cheng a little excited. He wondered if he could go and find the souls of Xun Hanrui and Yu Qing in that place. But now it seemed like a naïve thought. Not to mention finding Yu Qing’s soul, he didn’t even seem to have the strength to walk past this bridge.
If it weren’t for his spiritual consciousness, each of those waves of nether wind would have forced him into the blood river. Even though Ning Cheng dared to come down the Yellow Spring Pond relying on the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort, he didn’t dare do that with the blood river. Ning Cheng had a hunch that once he descended into the blood river, even if the strength of his Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort grew by a few levels, the Yin Qi within it would instantly turn him into bones.
“Offending the Ghost Soldiers, a punishable crime; jump into the blood river, never to reincarnate…..”
A hollow voice rang inside of Ning Cheng’s mind, which suddenly put Ning Cheng’s mind into a daze. He even started walking towards the blood river, as if following the instructions of the voice and jump into the blood river. To use the price of never reincarnating to wash off the sin.
No, Ning Cheng suddenly stopped at the edge of the blood river. The Mysterious Yellow Aura quickly scoured through his Spiritual Soul and Sea of Consciousness, which forced him to sober up almost instantly. If he had been a moment late, he would have voluntarily dived into the blood river under the influence of that voice.
Sure enough, this place definitely had a master; otherwise, such a thing would have never happened to him.
Ning Cheng took in a deep breath, shot a sharp look across the bridge, and said, “I will return. I will return today’s treatment to you ten times over.”
After speaking, Ning Cheng quickly retreated. He understood that he couldn’t do anything to improve the current situation with his current strength.
 Also called ‘Naihe’, need more context for a proper translation so just went with the most direct form. Will return to change it later.