Translated by – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0844: See you later Nalan
“Give me a map of the Grand Essence Ruins.” A thick voice came over, immediately crushing the laughter in the store.
Only after this did Ning Cheng hear the footsteps, “pata, pata…..” as a person walked into the store.
It was a big man with messy hair wearing a ragged hemp robe. He had a gourd hanging from his waist and a huge iron rod on his back. One of the iron rod’s ends looked a bit dark, exuding a strong murderous aura and stench of blood. One could easily imagine the number of souls who died under this iron rod. But what felt even stranger was that this person didn’t wear any shoes and was completely barefoot.
Other people barely would create any sound while walking barefoot. But this person’s footsteps were not only loud but also heavy despite being barefoot.
As Ning Cheng looked at this strong man over two meters in height, the first thought that came to his mind was of Pan Qian. Of course, compared to Pan Qian, this big fellow was nothing at all. But Ning Cheng couldn’t see his cultivation at all. Instead, he seemed to have a different kind of power within him that had nothing to do with celestial essence or spiritual consciousness.
“Okay, one hundred low-rank spirit crystals. It’s the latest map of Grand Essence Ruins in our store. We can guarantee that it’s much more complete than the maps sold elsewhere, and our price is also the cheapest around these parts.” The shop assistant seemed very afraid of this big fellow and quickly took out a jade strip before giving it to him. Even if it was a business of a spirit crystal, the store assistant still had a smile over his face.
The big man nodded, dropped off a crystal, picked up the jade strip, and walked out again with heavy footsteps.
Ning Cheng saw that the crystal the big man dropped off was similar to the one he had used. From this, Ning Cheng speculated that it most likely was a high-rank crystal, which also let him know that one high-rank spirit crystal equalled one hundred low-rank spirit crystals.
After the big man walked out, someone in the shop whispered, “Isn’t he Mo? The one who killed an early-stage Eternal martial cultivator with a slap?”
“Of course, it’s him. But unlike how he looks, Mo is a pleasant person to talk with, and I don’t think he likes to cause trouble. Moreover, he’s also a very righteous person. Back then, that person relied on his cultivation to deceive others, but ended up dead under Mo’s hand.” Someone explained from the side.
“He just brought a map for Grand Essence Ruins. Is he planning to explore it? But he is only a martial cultivator ah.”
“What’s wrong with being a martial cultivator? He’s not the only martial cultivator going to the Grand Essence Ruins. Being a martial cultivator or not isn’t important to go to that place. What matters is luck. If you have bad luck, even if you were a second-step Dao Perfection expert, so what? You’ll only meet death.”
“Haha, stop joking. Why would a Dao Perfection expert go to the Grand Essence Ruins?”
“I’m not joking. Such a thing had truly happened in the past.”
Ning Cheng didn’t stay in the shop to listen to other people’s comments and quickly walked out. Looking around, he quickly found that martial cultivator named Mo and followed him.
Ning Cheng saw Mo walk to the corner of the public square and also walked over. Immediately, he saw Mo take out a pile of spirit crystals and put it on a table. The cultivator sitting at the table put away the spirit crystals and gave Mo a jade card. Mo grabbed the jade card, walked to the side and sat down amongst many other cultivators.
When Mo took out those spirit crystals, Ning Cheng had quickly counted all of it and realised that Mo had taken out ten thousand spirit crystals.
After Mo sat down, a few more people came over to pay spirit crystals and then sat down beside Mo.
Ning Cheng’s gaze then fell on a giant screen beside the table. After scanning the contents of the screen, he understood what those actions meant.
All those people had paid spirit crystals here to use a teleportation array. Using the teleportation array, you can then go to either the Grand Essence Ruins or leave the Boundary Essence Sea. Ning Cheng had no idea about the Grand Essence Ruins, but even if he did, he had no spirit crystals.
Not to say ten thousand spirit crystals, Ning Cheng didn’t have even one spirit crystal.
After wandering around the public square for a long time and conducting a few inquiries from random cultivators, Ning Cheng gradually started to have a better understanding of this place. This place was the edge of the Grand Essence Realm, and the cultivators here usually ventured into the Grand Essence Sea to search for treasures or hunt demonic beasts.
Because the competition here wasn’t too fierce, cultivators enjoyed a bit more security and safety compared to other places. As such, many low-levelled cultivators made this place their home to gain experience.
But the real treasures appeared in Grand Essence Ruins. The Grand Essence Ruins was the most famous ancient ruins within the Grand Essence Realm. This place simply had no end to it, and no one knew if the Grand Essence Ruins truly had a limit to its size. It’s because entering the Grand Essence Ruins would put a shackle on one’s spiritual consciousness.
But what were these so-called treasures in the Grand Essence Ruins? Ning Cheng asked a few more cultivators, and they could only mention high-grade spirit artefacts, ancient rings, and so on.
As for how to leave Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City, Ning Cheng also asked about it in a veiled manner to several cultivators. The answer he eventually obtained was that one couldn’t leave the Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City without a position-tracking jade strip. Moreover, even if you wanted to venture into the Grand Essence Sea, you shouldn’t go too far away from it. Otherwise, even with a position-tracking jade strip, you might not be able to find your way back. Once lost in the Grand Essence Sea, you would have no choice but to wait for death.
But if cultivators wanted to leave Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City to other cities, they also had another method. That is, if you had enough spirit crystals, you could take specific airships to your destinations.
Ning Cheng sighed. From the looks of it, he would have to slowly save up and accumulate spirit crystals if he wanted to leave this place. Moreover, the routes out most likely had some forces guarding them; meaning, unless he paid the required spirit crystals, he couldn’t leave. It was just like the time Ning Cheng had arrived in Rootless Black City for the first time and had come to know about the different factions controlling the trade routes. It looks like he truly had luck at his side to have met a cultivator who directed him to the Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City.
But unlike others, if he wanted to earn spirit crystals, he didn’t need to venture into the Grand Essence Sea. He could just help people refine weapons and artefacts here. As long as he set up a stall on the Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City’s public square, he could rake in spirit crystals without much effort.
However, Ning Cheng took things for granted. He had just put up an artefact-crafting stall on a corner of the public square when two cultivators immediately stopped him.
“My friend, you should have just arrived here, right? Otherwise, you should have known that setting up stalls is not allowed here. I’ll only remind you now since it’s your first time, but if someone else’s finds you the second time, they might just take you away.” An early-stage Life and Death cultivator pointed to the stall and spoke to Ning Cheng.
“Why?” Ning Cheng asked in doubt. Were there truly restrictions on setting up stalls here?
The cultivator looked at Ning Cheng before speaking with a helpless tone, “You should first go and buy a Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City’s guide. Forget it. It doesn’t look like you have any spirit crystals. I’ll give you one.”
After the cultivator finished speaking, he took out a jade strip and handed it to Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness swept through it and instantly understood many things. To set up an artefact-crafting or alchemy stall within Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City, one needed specific qualification certificates. But these were things only issued by Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City’s Artefact-crafting and Alchemy Trade Unions. Moreover, these qualification certificates had a clear hierarchy that showed your artefact-crafting or alchemy proficiency.
But to go to the trade unions and assess one’s artefact-crafting or alchemy qualifications would also require large sums of spirit crystals.
“I understand now.” Ning Cheng immediately put away his artefact-crafting stall. He wanted to sell a Space Crystal in exchange for spirit crystals, but reason told him that he couldn’t do so with his current strength.
“Ning Cheng?” At this moment, a shocked voice came from nearby.
Ning Cheng looked up and saw a pretty and unparalleled face, but gave out a slightly unexpected response, “Nalan Ruxue, why are you here?”
He then saw two men and another woman beside Nalan Ruxue. From the looks of it, the four of them most likely were a group.
“It truly is you.” After Nalan Ruxue made sure that it was Ning Cheng, she felt even more surprised. She didn’t seem to have heard the plainness in Ning Cheng’s tone. However, she also couldn’t hide the joy of meeting someone from her home.
“Junior Apprentice Sister Ruxue, who is this person?” A brown-robed man standing next to Nalan Ruxue frowned and asked.
“He’s an acquaintance of mine. Senior Apprentice Brother Tao, Senior Apprentice Brother You, Senior Apprentice Sister Siyan, you should go to the merchant house first. I’ll join you later after catching up Senior Apprentice Brother Ning.” Nalan Ruxue quickly spoke up. She couldn’t hide the joy in her eyes.
The brown-robed man showed a slight frown, but he soon replaced it with a smile. “Junior Apprentice Sister Ruxue, that’s out of the question. Your friend is our friend too. Let’s go to a restaurant together. You can invite your friend too. This time, I will be the host.”
Nalan Ruxue saw the stall Ning Cheng had just put away and understood that Ning Cheng might not have many spirit crystals on him. Therefore, after hearing those words, she quickly looked at Ning Cheng and asked, “Senior Apprentice Brother Ning Cheng, why don’t you come and sit with us? Senior Apprentice Brother Tao Xing, Senior Apprentice Brother You Cheng and Senior Apprentice Sister Li Siyan are all my friends. If you want, you can also decide to join us. That way, everyone can take care of each other.”
“No need. You can go with them; I’m leaving anyway.” Ning Cheng put the things into his ring, turned around and started to walk away. Nalan Ruxue had made a ‘special’ trip to the Rainbowfall Sword Sect to apologise to him. Although he didn’t care about the past, he never thought of becoming friends with people like Nalan Ruxue either.
Nalan Ruxue had a late-stage Heaven’s Mandate cultivation. But Tao Xing and Yue Cheng were at middle and late-stage Heaven Seated Realm. Even Li Siyan was an early-stage Heaven Seated cultivator. But even if Ning Cheng had Heaven’s Mandate cultivation, he would never team up with these three cultivators who had much higher cultivation than him.
Seeing Ning Cheng turn around to leave, Nalan Ruxue’s eyes flashed with sadness. But she still called out, “Senior Apprentice Brother Ning, do you know that Senior Apprentice Sister Yan Ji is still looking for you?”
“Yan Ji?” Ning Cheng suddenly stopped and asked with joy, “Did you meet with Yan Ji? Where is she?”
Seeing Ning Cheng’s rapid change in expression, Nalan Ruxue felt even sadder. She hesitated a bit before speaking, “I’ll tell you about it later, if….”
Ning Cheng immediately understood that Nalan Ruxue wanted to speak to him alone. He was just about to ask Nalan Ruxue to leave with him when that brown-robed cultivator standing next to her spoke up again. “Junior Apprentice Sister Ruxue, why don’t we all go to Essence Sea Restaurant together?”
Nalan Ruxue looked at Ning Cheng with a little embarrassment. Her gaze indicated her intent to invite Ning Cheng over.
Ning Cheng felt it a little strange. One could say that he knew a bit about Nalan Ruxue’s character and temperament. She didn’t like to do anything with male cultivators. Yet, he didn’t expect her to care about the words of this male cultivator called Tao Xing to such an extent.
But Ning Cheng also wanted to know where Yan Ji went and didn’t hesitate, “Okay, then let’s sit down for a bit.”
Hearing Ning Cheng agreeing, Nalan Ruxue felt overjoyed. Tao Xing also spoke to Ning Cheng, “Junior Apprentice Brother Ning, you don’t have to act restrained around us. Don’t worry. You’ll get used to things once you start living here. Let’s create a team together and take care of each other.”
Ning Cheng didn’t answer this brown-robed cultivator’s words. It was just an intuition, but he didn’t trust this Tao Xing.
 The word here is ‘武修’, which translates to ‘martial artist’. But because I translate ‘修’ as ‘to cultivate’, I decided to put it down as ‘martial cultivator’.