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Chapter 0817: Traceless Gate
After Ning Cheng returned to Covered Snow City, the first thing he did was to go into seclusion to refine the Seven Bridges Realm Book. If this wordless book truly contained the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique, it meant that it was at least on the same level as the Five-coloured Star Splitter Arrow.
But to Ning Cheng’s disappointment, even after refining the book for three months in seclusion, the wordless book still contained only its name. Other than that, he obtained nothing.
In the end, Ning Cheng could only give up on continuing to refine the book. He couldn’t spend all his time on it. He needed to go to the Thorn Tooth Lake to study the teleportation array. Yan Ji had teleported away from within the Thorn Tooth Lake, which didn’t provide much of a relief to Ning Cheng.
As for the Mysterious Yellow Celestial River and Stately River Star, Ning Cheng knew that he wouldn’t need to worry about it at all.
He had already done a lot of things in Striking Order Starland and Nine Jewels Starry Sky. Therefore, even if the news didn’t spread throughout the Culmination Grand Starry Sky, people around the Mysterious Yellow Celestial River understood a few things. That is, even Chuan Xinlou did not dare come to Stately River Star to find trouble with Ning Cheng, so who else would dare do anything? One could even say that the Stately River Star, and even the Mysterious Yellow Celestial River, were the safest places in this part of the starry sky.
Of course, only a handful of people knew that Chuan Xinlou had already left the Culmination Grand Starry Sky.
Night Essence Celestial River, Orchid Restraining Star’s Thorn Tooth Lake. Since the time Ning Cheng killed Shangguan Fei and Shangguan Xiang a few years ago, few people rarely, if ever, came venturing to this place. Moreover, after Luo Sizhe took complete control of Nine Jewels Starry Sky, Luo Sizhe immediately listed this place as a forbidden zone.
It has been two years since Ning Cheng had come alone to study the teleportation formation under the Thorn Tooth Lake. Over these past two years, he had deduced various formations with the hope to rearrange the one-way part of this teleportation array. Even if it couldn’t teleport him to the original location, he hoped that it would bring him somewhere nearby.
Even without factoring in Ning Cheng’s Mysterious Yellow Formless, very few people could match his deduction ability. Yet, even after two years, he still couldn’t deduce the layout of this teleportation array, let alone advance to the rank of Array Dao Master.
Moreover, to help Ning Cheng, Starry Sky Emperor Luo Sizhe of Nine Jewels Starry Sky also collected the best Array Dao Jade Slips within the Nine Jewels Starry Sky. Unfortunately, these Array Dao Jade Slips couldn’t help Ning Cheng in improving his understanding of the Dao of Arrays.
Studying array formations for so many years, and not caring about anything else, yet, still unable to advance to the level of an Array Dao Master. It made Ning Cheng deeply understand the difficulty in becoming an Array Dao Master. From a Starry Sky Grade 7 Array Master to a Starry Sky Grade 9 Array Emperor, Ning Cheng hardly needed to spend any effort. It all came naturally to him.
As such, it was the first time for Ning Cheng to run into such trouble. He couldn’t reach the Array Dao Master-level even after so much effort.
Fortunately, he at least gained some understanding of what held him back. After years of researching the Dao of Arrays, Ning Cheng understood that to reach the Array Dao Master-level, he lacked a most fundamental requirement. In other words, he lacked an understanding of the Laws of Space.
No one was like him, in contact with the Laws of Time for so long, yet not even touching the Laws of Space. In terms of complexity of laws, the Laws of Space held a lower pedestal to the Laws of Time. As such, one would have a much easier time touching the Laws of Space compared to the Laws of Time. Yet, Ning Cheng came into contact with the Laws of Time first.
When it came to the Dao of Arrays, especially for the arrangement of ultra-long distance teleportation arrays, an Array Formation Master must first have an understanding of the Laws of Space. Otherwise, no matter how profound the master’s comprehension and deduction ability was, it wouldn’t be of any use. Just like how one first needs ‘wings’ to fly. It didn’t matter whether your ‘wings’ were physical or in some other form, one would need them to start flying.
To start sensing the Laws of Space, there were only a few places within the four grand starry skies. They were the Spirit Heaven Grand Starry Sky’s Sky Ridge and Demon Domain Grand Starry Sky’s Traceless Gate. These two places enjoyed a similar level of fame as Striking Order Starry Sky’s Time Wilderness. The only difference was that Time Wilderness was a place to perceive the Laws of Time, while Sky Ridge and Traceless Gate were places to sense the Laws of Space.
Sky Ridge was a place filled with spacial collapses, spacial cracks and spacial dislocations. It even contained dense pockets of spacial blades. Because of this reason, most cultivators wouldn’t come to this place to sense the Laws of Space. Going to this place meant holding your head in your hands at all times.
The Traceless Gate in Demon Domain, in contrast, was a much safer option than the Sky Ridge. It’s said that it hardly contains any spacial dislocations. However, the Traceless Gate had many small independent spacial pockets inside of it. Entering these small pockets would also render your spiritual consciousness ineffective. Even if two people stood in adjacent pockets, they wouldn’t be able to see each other or even sense each other. It was also one of the primary reasons why many cultivators entering the Traceless Gate would never come out of it even after perceiving the Laws of Space.
Only those who went inside the Traceless Gate would understand that the dangers within it were no less than that of the Sky Ridge.
Since Ning Cheng wanted to get in touch with the Laws of Space in the shortest time, he must go to one of these two places. After thinking it over for some time, Ning Cheng decided to visit the Traceless Gate first.
He had seen many spacial dislocations and spacial collapses. However, he never managed to perceive even the slightest bit of the Laws of Space. On the contrary, Ning Cheng had only heard about the Traceless Gate but had never seen it. Hence, curiosity was also one of the factors.
The Traceless Gate was a testing ground to help in the perception of the Laws of Space. However, the Traceless Gate wasn’t accessible to everyone. That’s because the Traceless Immortal Pond guarded the entrance of the Traceless Gate. The Traceless Immortal Pond was a true sect.
This sect was one of the major forces within Demon Domain Grand Starry Sky. If anyone wanted to enter the Traceless Gate’s trial grounds, they would have to first get permission from this sect.
Standing outside the Traceless Immortal Pond, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but feel shocked. This place might not be as diverse as Chuan Xinlou’s Levelled Heart Emperor Mountain, but this sect was truly the grandest he had ever seen till now.
The nine huge Heaven Connecting Array Columns at the entrance told everything he needed to know. Each of these Heaven Connecting Array Columns required many top-grade materials and a lot of money. Moreover, each column required many artefact-crafting masters and array formation masters to work in parallel to design and craft it. Even as the master of Stately River Star, he wouldn’t waste so many materials in crafting such a monstrosity, which served no practical purpose.
He also saw several suspended waterfalls out in the distance, half-hidden by the passing clouds and mists. But Ning Cheng understood with a glance that these waterfalls were the concealed array bases for the Sect-protecting Grand Array. Moreover, the majestic sounds of the waterfall showed that this truly was a powerful sect no weaker than a top-class force.
Moreover, this was just a corner of the sect. Ning Cheng, as top-grade Array Emperor, could easily see countless array formations arranged everywhere within the Traceless Immortal Pond with a single casual glance.
While Ning Cheng observed the surroundings for a while, a young female cultivator came out to receive him. After hearing Ning Cheng’s intention, she didn’t speak even a word of nonsense and asked Ning Cheng to pay 100 Permanent Essence Pills. She then took Ning Cheng to the Traceless Immortal Pond’s guest hall after receiving the payment.
Ning Cheng was a well-known entity in Culmination Starry Sky, and even the Devil Domain’s Silent Bubble Starland had heard of Ning Cheng. However, in Demon Domain’s Traceless Immortal Pond, no one had heard of Ning Cheng at all.
But Ning Cheng wasn’t the only one who wanted to enter the Traceless Gate through the Traceless Immortal Pond. When Ning Cheng came to the Traceless Immortal Pond’s guest hall, he saw five other people waiting inside, and he was the sixth.
Those who came here to perceive the Laws of Space were mostly socially isolated cultivators who rarely talked to others. Therefore, when Ning Cheng came in, the previous five people sitting in the guest hall only glanced at him before closing their eyes once again. Nobody even uttered a word. Of these five people, three were men and two women. Except for one Heaven Seated Realm, the others consisted of two in the Life and Death, and two in the Eternal Realm. Moreover, of the two Eternal cultivators, one had even reached the late-stage Eternal Realm.
Ning Cheng didn’t like to wait here, but he had no other choice. The Traceless Gate belonged to the Traceless Immortal Pond. Only when these people allowed him to enter could he then go to that place. He had no choice but to wait.
Fortunately, Ning Cheng didn’t have to wait long. A middle-aged female cultivator entered the guest hall. When Ning Cheng saw this middle-aged female cultivator, he immediately understood that this Traceless Immortal Pond was not a pushover. Just this middle-aged female cultivator, who came to receive guests, had early-stage Eternal cultivation.
The middle-aged female cultivator cupped her fists towards Ning Cheng’s group of six and spoke up. “As the guardian sect of Traceless Gate, I, on behalf of Traceless Immortal Pond, thank you all for coming to the Traceless Gate to understand the Laws of Space. Even if everyone knows about this, I still have to mention a few things to you all first. Since the establishment of the Traceless Immortal Pond, a total of 1,113,412 cultivators have entered the Traceless Gate. However, only 90,378 cultivators have come out of it unharmed.”
“Of course, we don’t know how many of these people have successfully realised the Laws of Space. One thing I can tell you for certain is that Heavenly Emperor Qiao Jierui of Devil Domain had once entered the Traceless Door. I believe that everyone has already heard about the Five-coloured Myriad Connecting Banner used by Heavenly Emperor Jierui. It came from the Traceless Gate. As for his control over the Laws of Space, I believe that only a few within the four grand starry skies could match him.”
Ning Cheng truly didn’t know that Qiao Jierui had once entered the Traceless Gate. But Ning Cheng had seen and experienced his Five-coloured Myriad Connecting Banner. He had to acknowledge that it was quite a useful weapon. However, Ning Cheng didn’t care about Qiao Jierui’s understanding of the Laws of Space. Compared to that red-haired man with a squashed nose, who he killed a few years ago, Qiao Jierui’s control over the Laws of Space felt like a joke.
However, Ning Cheng did feel a little surprised at the survival rate for the people entering the Traceless gate. It barely reached one-tenth. But since the other five had regular expressions, it also meant that they all knew about the dangers within the Traceless Gate even before they entered.
Seeing that all six remained silent, the middle-aged female cultivator continued. “Apart from paying 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills to enter the Traceless Gate, there is another task……”
Ning Cheng asked with a confused voice, “Didn’t you take 100 Permanent Pills from me when I came in? How come I have to pay 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills?”
“This 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills is the cost to enter the Traceless Gate. As for the 100 Permanent Essence Pills, it’s the reception fee.” The middle-aged female cultivator glanced at Ning Cheng and replied with a calm voice.
Ning Cheng looked at the spiritual tea in front of him, which seemed as pale as white water, and secretly complained to himself about the costs. This glass of water costs 100 Permanent Essence Pills? 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills, in truth, didn’t mean anything to him. But with over a million people entering this place, and each of them taking out 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills, how much would it mean? No wonder the Traceless Immortal Pond had such a theatrical display all over the place.
No, even if a million people entered the Traceless Gate, the Traceless Immortal Pond wouldn’t gain too much wealth. After all, these million people had not come all at once; they arrived over countless years. Ning Cheng was a top-grade Artefact-crafting Weapon Emperor, and also a top Starry Sky Array Emperor. Therefore, he naturally had a good idea on how much capital the Traceless Immortal Pond spent on its grandiose construction.
From the looks of it, Traceless Immortal Pond seemed to have other sources of income. While Ning Cheng mulled over it, the others had already paid the required Permanent Essence Pills. Only two cultivators had insufficient Permanent Essence Pills, so they chose to pay using Perpetual Moon Pills instead.
Ning Cheng did not hesitate and also took out 10,000 Permanent Essence Pills before handing them over. He anyway had more than a hundred million Permanent Essence Pills on him.
After putting away the Permanent Essence Pills and the Perpetual Moon Pills paid by the six people, the middle-aged female cultivator continued. “After many cultivators entered the Traceless Gate, they never came out again, including many of my Traceless Immortal Pond’s disciples.”
“Therefore, entering the Traceless Gate also involves accepting a mission. Just help us find our Traceless Immortal Pond’s disciples inside the Traceless Gate and bring them out. We will reward 100,000 Permanent Essence Pills at the minimum, to a maximum of hundreds of millions of Permanent Essence Pills for each disciple you bring out. My Traceless Immortal Pond will not skimp out on it.”