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Chapter 0886: Condensing the first bridge
Ning Cheng nodded; what Qi Shisanxing said did make sense. Not everyone had a Starry Sky Wheel. But even with the Starry Sky Wheel, it took him two months to reach this place at full speed. Replaced with another flight-type weapon, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it took him three, four or even five months to reach this place.
“I have already reached the full circle of the Eternal Realm and about to step into the Dao Sculpting Realm. Although I came to the Grand Essence Mystic Realm, I didn’t come here for the Grand Essence Great Meet. I just want to look for a way to condense my spiritual consciousness and expand my Sea of Consciousness. But even if I came here fully prepared, I almost fell into this Grand Essence Maze. If I wasn’t a body refining cultivator, I might have already fallen long before you came…..”
Ning Cheng interjected with a doubt, “Brother Qi, you said that one couldn’t walk out of this place, or even cultivate in this place. But even if one didn’t have spirit crystals or medicinal pills, one wouldn’t die in this place, right? This place doesn’t seem to contain any danger.”
Qi Shisanxing shook his head, “If you stayed in this place for a few months, you would also understand why I said those words. Even if you have a strong Sea of Consciousness, you will start to fall into hallucinations after one month. Later, once you begin to feel weak, you would try to use your various cultivation resources to arrange Spiritual Gathering Arrays for cultivation. But even if you did that, you wouldn’t be able to cultivate for even half a day before you threw away everything and look for another place.”
“On the way, you’d even end up fighting against non-existent monsters condensed out of Yin Qi. Unable to absorb the spirit qi in this place, you might even resort to throwing down spirit crystals in the fight to arrange Spiritual Gathering Arrays……”
Ning Cheng frowned; if what Qi Shisanxing said was the truth, no one could stay alive in this place for a long time.
Qi Shisanxing sighed, “I’ve been struggling here for tens of thousands of years, yet I barely can resist those illusions. But you have to be careful. If you stay here for too long, you will also get affected. Therefore, we have to take advantage of you not being affected and leave this place quickly.”
“How do we leave?” Ning Cheng took in a deep breath. He didn’t think that Qi Shisanxing lied to him.
Qi Shisanxing’s expressions turned serious as he spoke up in a deep voice. “While I wandered this Lost Stone Forest for tens of thousands of years, I found a jade strip from one of the fallen cultivators. The jade strip mentioned that this maze-like stone forest has a special type of chalcedony, called Divine Chalcedony. One can mix this divine chalcedony with some divine grasses and refine it into Spirit Essence Pills. Spirit Essence Pills help in increasing one’s spiritual consciousness and also expand the Sea of Consciousness. But this medicinal pill can not only expand one’s Sea of Consciousness, but it can also prevent cultivators from getting lost within the Lost Stone Forest. The most feared thing within the Lost Stone Forest is to get lost. If we can prevent that, we can then find a way out with our strength.”
“Then, how did you end up wandering this place for sixty thousand years?” Ning Cheng asked with a quiet voice.
The dry skin on Qi Shisanxing’s face twitched a few times before he finally spoke up. “That’s because life rarely goes as planned. Every month, I fall into madness. I exhaust my strength and spiritual consciousness in that bout of madness and finally faint. Again and again, it’s been a never-ending hell for me. Only this strong body of mine helped me survive this torture. But I would also be lying if I said that I didn’t hate and curse at it at times.”
“When I woke up, all the previous inferences about the way out of the Lost Stone Forest would get blurred, and I end up repeating everything once again. In the end, I understood that there wasn’t any point in going on like this. Therefore, I no longer tried to infer a way out but kept memorising all the important information I could find from the fallen cultivators. Especially information about the Divine Chalcedony, Spirit Essence Pills and the hallucinations.”
“Why didn’t you use jade strips to inscribe these things. Just like the jade strip that contained information about the Spirit Essence Pill?” Ning Cheng asked once again.
Qi Shisanxing shook his head, “If you want to try inscribing a jade strip in this place, you can go ahead and try it. You’ll come to why.”
Ning Cheng immediately took out an empty jade strip and engraved the words Qi Shisanxing spoke just now. But he quickly discovered something wrong. The words Ning Cheng carved had disappeared. He tried one more time and got the same result. From this, he understood that there was no way to engrave a jade strip in this place.
“I suspect that cultivator brought the jade strip I got from outside. Plus, I think that cultivator was also an Alchemy Master. He should have come here looking for the Divine Chalcedony. I guess he couldn’t find it and ended up falling in the Lost Stone Forest just like the others.” Qi Shisanxing didn’t care about Ning Cheng taking out a jade strip and testing what he just said. He would have done it himself if someone else had told him this information.
Grand Essence Lost Stone Forest, Divine Chalcedony, Spirit Essence Pill, Pill Sage Min Kong, Divine Grass Gardens…..
Irrelevant things started to appear in Ning Cheng’s mind for no reason. He suddenly thought about why Pill Sage Min Kong decided to abolish his cultivation before coming here. Was it to re-cultivate his spiritual consciousness and open up a new Sea of Consciousness? If that was the case, did Pill Sage Min Kong also fall in the Grand Essence Lost Stone Forest?
Qi Shisanxing didn’t know that Ning Cheng’s thoughts turned so quickly. He continued to voice his opinions, “Well, none of us is a Pill Deity, and we also don’t have any pill recipe. I only have one way, that is, we try our best to find some Divine Chalcedony. I don’t know if it would have any effect before turning it into a pill. But as long as it can keep us from getting lost, we can find a way out…..”
Ning Cheng wanted to say that he was already a Dao Sculpting Pill Deity. But thinking about refining pills like the Spirit Essence Pill, he felt that it wasn’t something a newly advanced Dao Sculpting Pill Deity could refine. Especially without a pill recipe.
“What if we get lost even after finding Divine Chalcedony?” Ning Cheng asked.
Qi Shisanxing sighed once again, “Then we can only wake up and go at it once again after losing ourselves. Maybe, in the end, you will also turn into a skeleton and wait for other people to save you. Because every time you wake up after descending into madness, it would feel as if countless things were gnawing at you. People wouldn’t notice the loss in weight, but everyone would notice the Yin Qi accumulating in the Sea of Consciousness. Therefore, once someone wakes up, the first thing you should do is to drive out the Yin Qi.”
Ning Cheng then took out a long spear, pointed it at a giant stone summit in front of him and said, “Let’s try to level out these stone peaks first; that way, we can get a clearer picture…..”
“Please don’t……” Qi Shisanxing stopped Ning Cheng before Ning Cheng could finish his words. “There is no Divine Chalcedony among these stone peaks. If you try to do it, you’ll immediately fall into madness. You wouldn’t even have the time to shatter one of the stone peaks completely…..”
“Then, do you have a better solution? And how do you know that these stone peaks have no Divine Chalcedony?” Ning Cheng asked while looking at Qi Shisanxing.
Qi Shisanxing shook his head, “At the beginning, I used a secret method to break a few small stone peaks. But none of them contained any Divine Chalcedony inside. Moreover, attacking the stone peaks would create a stronger illusion and increase your madness duration. My way is to look for Divine Chalcedony slowly…..”
As he reached this point, Qi Shisanxing started to lose confidence. He had been searching for tens of thousands of years already, not to mention Divine Chalcedony; he hasn’t found even a drop of water.
Ning Cheng looked at Qi Shisanxing’s expression and understood that he had no confidence. Besides, since Ning Cheng had already wandered around this place for a few days, he understood that he wouldn’t gain any results using such a method. Sooner or later, they would have to attack these stone peaks. Therefore, it was better to attack while they still had the energy to do so.
“Brother Qi, I must give it a try. Let me give it a try first. If I don’t try smashing these stone peaks, I wouldn’t be able to settle down and slowly search for Divine Chalcedony.”
Qi Shisanxing could see Ning Cheng’s determined look and understood that he couldn’t stop Ning Cheng. As such, he had no choice but to say, “Wait, let me first go into fake death state. You can then try it. Otherwise, you might end up attacking me in madness…..”
After speaking, he ran into the former cave and lay down. An instant later, he closed off all his sensed and entered a death-like state.
Ning Cheng didn’t care about Qi Shisanxing either. He took a deep breath, realigned his long spear and aimed it at one of the stone peaks about a hundred feet in height. The next moment, he immediately stuck it at full power.
Celestial essence blew up, causing space to buzz and vibrate. Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness stopped suddenly as a power to tear apart the surrounding area erupted from the stone peak. Ning Cheng even felt a shadow suddenly appear and cover his Sea of Consciousness. Moreover, there seemed to be something that resonated with his Sea of Consciousness that negatively affected it.
Endless Yin Qi poured out from underground, forming one demonic beast after another. These beasts didn’t even linger before pouncing onto Ning Cheng. A powerful suppressing force then erupted, and Ning Cheng’s celestial essence blasting towards the stone peak suddenly weakened. By the time it reached the target, it felt like a strand of grass stroking the surface of a rock.
But because of Qi Shisanxing’s reminder, Ning Cheng had already prepared himself. Therefore, when the endless Yin Qi poured out from underground and turned into Yin Qi demonic beasts, Ning Cheng reminded himself that it was just an illusion. He firmly guarded his Sea of Consciousness and even let the Mysterious Yellow Aura continue to scour his Sea of Consciousness. He did feel slightly afraid that he might still fall into hallucinations.
But what horrified Ning Cheng was that it didn’t matter how the Mysterious Yellow Origin’s aura scoured his Sea of Consciousness. His Sea of Consciousness still kept growing dim. Moreover, the attacks from the Yin Qi demonic beasts had also started to affect him. If his Sea of Consciousness wasn’t more robust than average, he might have already fallen into a frenzy of counter-attacks.
It made him want to cast all the various spirit techniques he knew to destroy those Yin Qi demonic beasts in front of him. However, he didn’t reach the point in the illusion where he had to lay down Spiritual Gathering Arrays as Qi Shisanxing had mentioned. It most likely was because he could absorb the Spirit Qi in this place and already had a Starry Sky Sea of Consciousness.
Ning Cheng unconsciously shot out a Time Wheel. The illusion felt too real, and Ning Cheng started to feel afraid of stopping himself from counterattacking.
The Yin Qi demonic beasts seemed endless. No matter how many the Time Wheels killed, the Yin Qi demonic beast kept spawning. Ning Cheng’s Sea of Consciousness started to wither up more and more and even grow dimmer. It felt as if many foreign enemies had invaded his Sea of Consciousness. Not only that, but he also started to feel his celestial essence beginning to run out.
Not good. Ning Cheng reacted unexpectedly. It wasn’t an illusion at all. The rest might be hallucinations, but these yin demons must be the real deal. He kept scouring his Sea of Consciousness with the Mysterious Yellow Origin Aura. After a moment, he realised why this cold aura felt a bit familiar.
Ning Cheng finally understood how those bones formed. It was a type of attack that combined illusion with reality. Once caught inside it, the target would eventually pass out. Then these yin demons would devour the comatose cultivator’s flesh and blood. Qi Shisanxing was a body-refining cultivator; thus, it would have been a difficult thing for these yin demons to devour his flesh and blood. It was most likely the only reason he managed to persist for so long and explained the gnawing sensation he talked about previously.
When these yin demons attacked, something in this place formed a resonance with one’s Sea of Consciousness, which seemed to empower the illusions. However, Ning Cheng became more and more confident that at least these yin demons weren’t hallucinations at all.
After thinking about this, Ning Cheng raised his hand and grabbed the Seven Bridges Realm Book. At the same time, he flipped his hand and cast the first spirit technique, the Bridge of Coping.
The vague stone stele of the first bridge appeared once again. A moment later, a pale stone arch bridge that was as vague as Ning Cheng used to deal with the Human-faced Poison Centipede slowly started to materialise.
But this time, Ning Cheng didn’t need to burn his essence blood. There were many yin demons here, and their strength couldn’t compare to the Human-faced Poison Centipede.
Therefore, as soon as the First Bridge of Coping came out, yin winds started to roar, and a fuzzy blood river began to flow under the bridge.
The yin demons formed out of Yin Qi rushed towards the First Bridge of Coping like moths rushing towards a flame. Reaching the First Bridge of Coping, a mysterious voice emerged, “No retreat from life, no retreat from death. Once you enter, you never return…. Not looking homewards, no reincarnation, jump into the blood river to wash your sins….”
As this voice emerged, those yin demons condensed out of Yin Qi started rushing up the bridge with even more frenzied enthusiasm.
At this moment, Ning Cheng didn’t even need to stimulate his celestial essence or spiritual consciousness. The First Bridge of Coping automatically started to grow clear. The more yin demons rushed over it, the clearer the First Bridge of Coping became.
Looking at the countless yin demons that kept rushing onto the bridge to their deaths, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but mutter to himself. “So one honed and condensed the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique through such a method.”