Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0875: Grand Essence Ruins’ Public Square Selection
“Master Wanderer, you must not use your spiritual consciousness to sweep around; otherwise, no one can save you.” The rogue cultivator standing beside Ning Cheng, waiting for Ning Cheng to finish crafting, noticed Ning Cheng staring at the man wearing an imperial crown. Seeing this, he quickly moved closer towards Ning Cheng and whispered.
Although Ning Cheng usually didn’t talk much, people truly appreciated his high-quality artefacts and the low prices. As such, Ning Cheng had become very popular among the rogue cultivator community. In turn, the cultivators coming to Ning Cheng’s artefact-crafting stall always addressed Ning Cheng as ‘Master Wanderer’ and gave him various pieces of advice and tidbits of information.
Ning Cheng looked at this rogue cultivator with a blank expression and asked, “Is that person famous?”
The rogue cultivator lowered his voice even more. “That’s Dragon Emperor Man Huishan of Grand Essence Sea’s top-ranked force, the Grand Essence Barbarian Dragon Clan. Moreover, he’s a Dao Essence powerhouse. You tell me if he’s someone famous?”
Ning Cheng suddenly spoke up, “No wonder I saw everyone bowing to him when he passed by. So, he’s the Dragon Emperor of the Barbarian Dragon Clan.”
The rogue cultivator nodded, “Of course, but it’s strange to see the Dragon Emperor at the Grand Essence Public Square. Usually, the major forces would only send some elders for the selection. Plus, the top ten powers wouldn’t even deem it worthy of sending someone here at all.”
“What selection are you talking about?” Ning Cheng quickly asked. He had stayed here crafting artefacts, not only to increase his proficiency in artefact-crafting but to also wait for Yan Ji. But when it came to other things, he rarely inquired about anything lest his questions raised suspicions. As such, Ning Cheng had never heard of the selection this rogue cultivator just mentioned.
The rogue cultivator smiled and said, “You know that the Grand Essence Great Meet is about to start, right?”
“I know that.” Ning Cheng replied. He had no idea about when the Grand Essence Great Meet was to start, but he knew about this event.
The rogue cultivator pointed to the low-rank spirit artefact in Ning Cheng’s hand. “I asked for this low-ranked spirit artefact in preparation for the Grand Essence Great Meet.”
“Can anyone join the Grand Essence Great Meet?” Ning Cheng asked in doubt.
The rogue cultivator shook his head and said, “It’s naturally impossible. Only some sects are eligible to participate in the Grand Essence Great Meet. But once you get a chance to participate in the Grand Essence Great Meet, you could potentially reap a great harvest. Unfortunately, how could those sects allow sharing those reward with us rogue cultivators? Even if that is the case, every time before the Grant Essence Great Meet, some sects would come to the Grand Essence Public Square. They want to recruit powerful rogue cultivators to make up for the shortcomings of their sect’s disciples. Of course, many powerful sects disdain such actions. However, they are also afraid that their rivals might recruit some strong rogue cultivators. Therefore, most sects will come to the Grand Essence Public Square before the great meet and ‘recruit’ rogue cultivators.”
“Over time, everyone accepted an unwritten rule. Before the Grand Essence Great Meet took place, all the sects would unite and recruit rogue cultivators and jointly fill up the spots. During these few days, all the major sects would engage in recruiting-related activities. If you want, you can also go check out the large number of temporary buildings that sprang up at the edge of the Grand Essence Ruins’ Public Square.”
Hearing this rogue cultivator’s words, Ning Cheng finally noticed that the Grand Essence Ruins’ Public Square’s edge truly had many more temporary buildings. Rather, they were all abode-type artefacts. Some of the building even had signs of various sects in front of it, as if confirming this rogue cultivator’s words. Glancing over the displays, Ning Cheng also understood that every one of those buildings was recruiting disciples.
But seeing that display, Ning Cheng asked with even more doubt. “I heard that the Grand Essence Great Meet’s reward is the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring and that this spirit spring has a lot of value attached to it. If so many rogue cultivators participated, wouldn’t it reduce the chances for the sects’ true disciples?”
The rogue cultivator smiled when he heard Ning Cheng’s words. “You’re overthinking. The Extraterritorial Spirit Spring is the reward for the top ten in the Grand Essence Great Meet. It has nothing to do with rogue cultivators. However, there is a Grand Essence Mystic Realm run every time before the Grand Essence Great Meet. The major sects recruit rogue cultivators to join their disciples in snatching things from this mystic realm.”
“Only the cultivators who reach the top 100 by gathering treasures like divine grasses from the mystic realm would have the opportunity to participate in the Grand Essence Great Meet. The Grand Essence Great Meet is a competition between the top hundred in the Grand Essence Mystic Realm and has nothing to do with others. I just want to get recruited by a sect and win some treasures from the mystic realm. If I could receive a Dao Fruit as a reward, then everything would be worth it.”
Ning Cheng quickly understood something. That is, this recruitment was nothing but a facade for roping in cannon fodder. He didn’t need to ask to know that it was much more dangerous to grab things in this mystic realm run before the Grand Essence Great Meet. If the mystic real truly contained so many treasures, how could the competition not be fierce?
“So, can you tell me which sects are recruiting disciples here this time? Also, what are the top ten forces that you just mentioned?” Ning Cheng asked in a low voice. He knew that the questions he asked made him look like a big idiot, but he still had to ask.
Sure enough, when the rogue cultivator heard Ning Cheng’s question, his eyes immediately lit up in surprise. However, he quickly composed himself and explained it very carefully. “The top ten forces are called the ‘Three Sacreds, Three Spirits, and Four Deep Seas’. The ‘Three Sacreds’ refer to River Luo Sacred Sect, Seven Star Sacred Shrine and Nine Revolving Sacred Dao Pond. The ‘Three Spirits’ refer to the Flaming Feather Spirit Mountain, Profound Moon Spirit Gate and Desolate Spirit Palace. As for the ‘Four Deep Seas’, they refer to Barbarian Dragon Clan, Silver Dragon Clan, Profound Aquatic Palace, and Mysterious Ferry Ancient Clan.”
“I heard that disciples from the Mysterious Ferry Ancient Clan have stopped coming out. They also haven’t participated in the previous few Grand Essence Great Meets. As for the other lesser sects, well, they are just too many, and even I don’t know about all of them. However, you can learn about them by yourself.”
Ning Cheng handed the low-ranked spirit artefact in his hand to the rogue cultivator and said, “I’ve finished refining your weapon. Since I heard so much from you today, I guess I should try my luck. Plus, I’ll only charge you half the points.”
The rogue cultivator felt overjoyed when he heard Ning Cheng say that he would only charge half the price. He quickly took out his white card and transferred the points to Ning Cheng. Thanking Ning Cheng once again, he immediately left.
After this rogue cultivator left, Ning Cheng also took down his artefact-crafting stall. After waiting for half a year, Yan Ji still hadn’t shown up. Although he didn’t mind continuing to wait for Yan Ji here, he also had a few other things that needed attention.
Moreover, during this half a year, his proficiency with artefact-crafting had risen sharply. Plus, he had also collected a lot of high-grade artefact-crafting materials. With all that, Ning Cheng had even refined a few high-ranked spirit artefacts for himself. Therefore, when Ning Cheng heard about the Grand Essence Mystic Realm Run, he decided to participate. As long as he could reach the top hundred, he might get the chance to represent a sect to participate in the Grand Essence Great Meet.
That way, he might get an actual shot at entering the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring for cultivation.
Two days later, when Ning Cheng came out of his rest stop, the Grand Essence Public Square had even more stalls and various sized booths belonging to sects.
But unlike what that rogue cultivator said, Ning Cheng not only saw stalls from many smaller sects, he even saw booths set up by nine of the ten major sects. Except for the Mysterious Ferry Ancient Clan, all nine of the top ten forces have arrived.
Apart from those booths, Ning Cheng also saw a near-infinite crowd of rogue cultivators gathered in the public square. For them, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If selected to participate in the Grand Essence Mystic Realm Competition, they might even obtain the rare chance of advancing to the Dao Sculpting Realm. Everyone understood the risks and dangers within the Grand Essence Mystic Realm Competition, but if one wanted to climb higher, how could one shy away from such a situation?
Ning Cheng turned half a circle and saw that most of the sects had an artefact to test spiritual consciousness and celestial essence. But for this kind of selection, they never asked for a cultivator’s spiritual root and aptitude. Rather, these sects cared more about the intensity of one’s celestial essence and the degree of penetration of the cultivator’s spiritual consciousness.
He didn’t need to ask around to understand why. This selection wasn’t for ‘recruiting’ sect disciples per se but rather enlisting cannon fodder. After the Grand Essence Mystic Realm Competition, once they received their benefits, everyone would simply split up and go their separate ways.
Ning Cheng stopped at the station of Seven Star Sacred Shrine. He unexpectedly saw an acquaintance, Yan Xishuang.
He had saved Yan Xishuang once and then had even teamed up with Yan Xishuang to obtain the drop of 3000 Weak Water and the Good Fortune Azure Lotus fragment. As for the outcome, the drop of 3000 Weak Water went to him, and the Azure Lotus fragment went to Yan Xishuang.
Ning Cheng still had quite a good impression of this woman. She paid particular attention to equal exchanges, did not take advantage of others, and didn’t speak with a disrespectful attitude. Besides, he had also obtained Nirvana’s Heart because of Yan Xishuang. If he talked about the facts, Yan Xishuang was the one who had discovered Nirvana’s Heart first. However, she encountered a problem when she tried to take the Nirvana Bluestone. She had fallen into a cultivation coma that could have claimed her life if not for Ning Cheng’s intervention.
At this time, seeing Yan Xishuang standing in the Seven Star Sacred Shrine’s station, Ning Cheng quickly understood that she came from one of the three sacred sects. Moreover, Ying Yongxuan, who came with Shan Yaocen before, was also from the Seven Star Sacred Shrine. However, he didn’t see Ying Yongxuan anywhere today.
At this time, Yan Xishuang’s aura felt much purer. Not only was it purer, but it was also twice as powerful as before.
Ning Cheng understood that it most likely was the effect of the Azure Lotus fragment. When he first saw Yan Xishuang, even though Yan Xishuang was at the Eternal Realm peak, she wasn’t better than him. But now, Yan Xishuang seemed to have already surpassed the full-circle of the Eternal Realm. But Ning Cheng also felt that Yan Xishuang had not reached Dao Sculpting Realm yet. Considering Yan Xishuang’s current cultivation and that she hadn’t reached Dao Sculpting Realm, it most likely had just one reason. She wanted to enter the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring and then begin the spirit essence transformation process.
With Yan Xishuang’s clean and pure aura, if she could begin the spirit essence transformation process in the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring, she would have a promising future.
Others might not know about it, but Ning Cheng did. He owned the Mysterious Yellow Bead, which meant that he also understood that only a Good Fortune treasure could cause such a huge change in Yan Xishuang.
By the time Ning Cheng walked to the station, Yan Xishuang had already seated herself on one side with a calm expression. But despite trying to hide from view, her unparalleled beauty attracted many people to the Seven Star Sacred Shrine’s station. In terms of appearance, Yan Xishuang far exceeded Kong Ning and Shan Yaocen. But what Ning Cheng appreciated more was her attitude in dealing with things. She didn’t appear or act indifferent to others and also dealt with everything with a rational mind.
Since he had to join a sect anyway, Ning Cheng decided to join the Seven Star Sacred Shrine. In any case, the Seven Star Sacred Shrine was one of the top ten forces. Even if he didn’t do anything in the mystic realm competition, it wouldn’t affect the sect. It was one of Ning Cheng’s top considerations. But the second consideration was that a force like the Seven Star Sacred Shrine would have more places to enter the mystic realm. But the most important thing was that Ning Cheng knew Yan Xishuang.
“This Senior Apprentice Sister, I want to participate in the Seven Star Sacred Shrine’s disciple selection.” Ning Cheng walked up to Yan Xishuang and spoke with cupped fists.
Yan Xishuang couldn’t recognise Ning Cheng. But she nodded, then pointed to the testing artefact not too far away from her and spoke with a gentle voice. “Just activate all of your celestial essence and spiritual consciousness and strike that testing artefact.”
“Okay.” Ning Cheng walked to the testing artefact and started to get ready.
He obviously wouldn’t use all his celestial essence and spiritual consciousness to strike. Plus, the celestial essence scale and spiritual consciousness scale on this testing artefact only went up to ten. Ning Cheng had also observed some of the other cultivators using the artefact. Most cultivators reached anywhere between one to five on the celestial essence scale. In contrast, a few got six, and only one or two got seven. As for the spiritual consciousness scale, it usually remained slightly lower than the celestial essence scale.
Observing everything, Ning Cheng decided to use 40% of his strength at most. This level of power should guarantee him admission to the Seven Star Sacred Sect.
 The author changed the wording for ‘Grand Essence Mystic Realm Run’ to ‘Grand Essence Mystic Realm Competition’ from this here.