Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – Livewidsmile
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0912: Refining the spirit spring
Once one’s cultivation level reaches the late-stage Eternal Realm, level improvement would become incomparably slow no matter who it was. But the Mysterious Yellow Formless Cultivation Method combined with the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s premier spirit spring allowed Ning Cheng’s cultivation to soar wildly without any reservations.
By Ning Cheng’s third year since entering the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring, his cultivation level had already reached the full circle of the Eternal Realm. As these three years passed, most of the remaining eight people had already walked out of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring, starting with Ji Pingzhong.
Once Ji Pingzhong came out, everyone outside immediately learned of Ji He’s fierceness. Ji He not only dominated the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s premier spirit spring, but he also killed River Luo Sacred Sect’s Guo Haoge.
It was a relatively regular occurrence for a cultivator to fall during the struggle to occupy the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s stone doors. But a rogue cultivator daring to kill the Sacred Child of River Luo Sacred Sect immediately stoked the ire of that sacred sect. Not only them, but the rest of the sects whose cultivators entered the spirit spring also felt very upset.
Obviously, the best location for the spirit essence transformation process was the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s premier spring. But now, a rogue cultivator had snatched that spot, which the sects felt rightfully belonging to them.
Although no force came forward to say anything, everyone understood that all the factions that were anything in the Grand Essence Domain had sent in experts. Their sole purpose, to keep an eye on the teleportation array that brought people out from the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring. As soon as Ji He comes out, someone from the crowd would undoubtedly snatch him away.
Funnily enough, the one who felt the most worried about Ji He’s safety was the Dragon Emperor of the Barbarian Dragon Clan. Man Huishan wanted to capture Ji He, and almost every major force had witnessed it three years ago. It wasn’t a secret anymore. As for a reason, people didn’t need to think or ask around for it anymore; that is, Ji He was the one who had murdered his son Man Jiuren.
If this matter had happened three years ago in isolation, Man Huishan wouldn’t have cared much about it. At most, he would have negotiated with other forces a bit before taking away Ji He. Maybe he would have simply killed Ji He in front of everyone.
But after discovering that Ning Cheng had also killed Beyond Heaven Path’s Jing Wuya, Man Huishan immediately gave the order to capture Beyond Heaven Path’s Fei’er. It’s from Fei’er that he obtained the crystal ball of the fight between Ning Cheng and Jing Wuya.
A similar long spear, similar-looking spear traces, and an almost identical fighting style. It made Man Huishan immediately think back to what he heard about Ji He from the Grand Essence Great Meet.
That fake Ji He also seemed like an inexplicable anomaly. Despite being a Pill Emperor, he used a long spear and spear traces to overwhelm the enemy. Then, when he caught Lifeless Poisonhand, he learned that Ning Cheng had not fallen but had escaped. Combining two and two, even if Man Huishan was an idiot, he now understood that the person impersonating Ji He had a connection to Ning Cheng. Most likely, that fake Ji He was none other than Ning Cheng.
If Ning Cheng truly was impersonating Ji He, then everything would become a lot clearer and straightforward. Ning Cheng already had a grudge against his son, Man Jiuren. Therefore, it would make sense for him to dare kill Man Jiuren in the Grand Essence Mystic Realm. But how could Ning Cheng, a puny Eternal cultivator, have the power to kill two half-step Dao Sculpting experts? He knew that his son had half-step Dao Sculpting experts working for him when he entered the mystic realm.
He could come up with the only explanation, Ning Cheng truly possessed the 5-coloured Star Splitting Arrow. That was most likely why his son Man Jiuren brought helpers to the mystic realm without informing him. His son, most likely, wanted to pocket the 5-coloured Star Splitter Arrow for himself. But as a result, that useless son of his not only failed to finish off Ning Cheng but also ended up dead at Ning Cheng’s hands. Man Huishan even suspected that Qi Shisanxing might have helped Ning Cheng, but Qi Shisanxing wasn’t someone he could touch right now. He didn’t want to start a feud with the Profound Moon Spirit Gate without having definitive proof of Qi Shisanxing’s involvement.
After realising that Ji He, most likely, was Ning Cheng under disguise. And that Ning Cheng truly possessed the 5-coloured Star Splitting Arrow, how could Man Huishan not feel anxious? Once news of the 5-coloured Star Splitting Arrow leaked, it would immediately whip up a bloody storm within the Grand Essence Domain. Every expert that had even the slightest bit of fame to their name would come flocking here to grab it. Even Man Huishan’s identity as the Dragon Emperor wouldn’t be of any use if that truly happened.
Ning Cheng, who was still inside the first spring, naturally had no idea about the storm he created because of his actions. Likewise, he had no idea about the growing number of people waiting for him outside. Once he reached Eternal Realm’s full circle, he started the spirit essence transformation process.
This place made the spirit essence transformation easy. As each strand of celestial essence started to transform into spirit essence, Ning Cheng gradually began to sense his strength increasing once again.
The previously gurgling celestial essence had now started to transform into a stream of spirit essence. At the same time, his Sea of Consciousness which now looked even more like a boundless starry sky constantly provided support to transform his celestial essence into spirit essence.
The spirit aura of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s premier spirit spring kept pouring in like waves flowing over the surface of a river. Yet, Ning Cheng continually sucked them in without restraint. Rather, more and more spirit aura kept flowing out from somewhere at the bottom of the spring.
Ning Cheng looked like a bottomless pit that kept absorbing the spirit aura flowing out. But at the same time, the spring also seemed like an inexhaustible rice silo, constantly providing more and more spirit aura to Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng’s strength continued to rise higher and higher. As time passed, more and more strands of celestial essence transformed into spirit essence. But suddenly, Ning Cheng started to feel as if his cultivation level had begun to decrease. He initially thought that it might have been an illusion. But sensing the spirit essence flowing through his meridians and purple palace, Ning Cheng grew certain that his cultivation had started to go down as the transformation process continued.
However, despite his cultivation level dropping, his strength inexplicably rose exponentially.
Ning Cheng had never encountered such a situation before. Of course, if one’s cultivation level dropped, then one’s strength would also naturally decline. But here, as his cultivation level fell, his strength instead continued to rise as the spirit essence transformation continued.
Ning Cheng subconsciously slowed down the spirit essence transformation process and closely looked at the Mysterious Yellow Formless Cultivation Method’s operation. Soon, Ning Cheng realised what caused this situation. He found that his spirit essence had somehow started to compress as more and more of it formed.
That is to say, as his celestial essence transformed into spirit essence, the newly formed strands of spirit essence had started to come together, compressing on itself. Put it simply, a barrel of liquid had shrunk to half a barrel of the same fluid but with a higher concentration. Thus, if one wanted to fill up this barrel, one had to continue pouring in more and more of the stuff.
So powerful, Ning Cheng thought to himself as he sucked in a mouthful of cold air while feeling even more excited. This result was most likely due to the heave-defying nature of the Mysterious Yellow Formless Cultivation Method. When he cultivated before, whether using the starry sky aura or the Perpetual Moon Pills, none of it was a pure aura source. Therefore, once he encountered an even more pristine source, that is, the spirit essence, his strength started to break through its previous limits. It resulted in his cultivation level dropping, but his power continued to increase.
After understanding this point, Ning Cheng began to compress his spirit essence consciously.
It was where the advantages and disadvantages of not having a master or a clan came into play. If one came from a sect or had a teacher to learn from, Ning Cheng would have never attempted such a crazy and ridiculous thing. Could one even compress spirit essence? Even trying to do it would cause instability, which would lead to the collapse of one’s body and the Sea of Consciousness to implode on itself.
But for Ning Cheng, it had virtually no impact on him at all. The Mysterious Yellow Formless Cultivation Method had no form or shape. At the same time, the powerful spiritual consciousness cultivation method resided in both one’s meridians and dantian. It followed the cultivator’s dao rhythm and the powers contained within heaven and earth. The combination even formed a unique resonance with the various laws between heaven and earth. It allowed a cultivator who cultivated using the Mysterious Yellow Formless to mobilise his strength in tandem with the power contained in heaven and earth at any time. As for it causing the Sea of Consciousness to implode, Ning Cheng cared about it even less.
His Sea of Consciousness had long since transformed into the Starry Sky Sea of Consciousness. It had already started to resemble the starry skies before Ning Cheng improved it by taking the Empyrean Consciousness Transmutation Pill. Now that he used an Empyrean Consciousness Transmutation Pill, his Starry Sky Sea of Consciousness had grown even vaster and turned nearly infinite.
It was already the fifth year since the opening of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring. By this time, all the disciples who had entered the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring had come out, except Ji He and the dead Guo Haoge. As a result, the various experts waiting on the location of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s teleportation array started to grow a little impatient.
According to the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s recorded history, no one could stay inside for a full five years. Besides, it wouldn’t take anyone five years to finish the spirit essence transformation process in the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring. Moreover, once a person completed the spirit essence transformation, or once the spirit spring behind a stone door depleted fully, the spring would automatically teleport the cultivator out.
But Ji He, on the other hand, had stayed inside for over five years. Yet, the spirit spring showed no signs of teleporting him out.
“Crack.” The lotus-shaped platform beneath Ning Cheng gave out a slight cracking-like sound. It immediately shocked Ning Cheng, and he opened his eyes. But when he opened his eyes, he found that the spirit pool around him had disappeared without a trace.
No, not disappeared; rather, the spring pond had utterly dried up, with not a single trace of spirit aura emerging from it.
Ning Cheng couldn’t help but stand up in amazement. He had somehow managed to suck dry the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s premier spring, a feat that should have been impossible. Moreover, it wasn’t just the spring that no longer gave out even a single strand of spirit aura. Even the lotus-shaped platform where he cultivated had cracked apart.
But when he sensed his cultivation level, Ning Cheng felt quite satisfied. His cultivation level had initially decreased during the spirit essence transformation process. But as he continued to compress his spirit essence, with the seemingly endless spirit aura in this place, it allowed him to cultivate the full circle of the Eternal Realm once again. He then transformed all of his cultivation into spirit essence, repeating the cycle repeatedly till he no longer could.
The majestic and powerful feeling made Ning Cheng want to find someone for a test.
Wait. I’ve been here for six years. According to what Ning Cheng had learned about the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring, no one could stay in this place for its five-year usage. Did something unexpected happen?
Ning Cheng had just thought of this when a powerful force wrapped around him.
Not good. This place wanted to send me out. This thought had barely emerged in Ning Cheng’s mind when he erupted with a furious surge of spirit essence, instantly shattering the force wrapping around him. Ning Cheng used the opportunity to escape into the Mysterious Yellow Bead.
The laws governing the workings of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring were of an extremely high level. It meant that even if he entered the True Spirit World, it wouldn’t help him escape the teleporting power of this place.
Fortunately, the laws of the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring couldn’t suppress the Mysterious Yellow Bead. Therefore, as soon as Ning Cheng entered the Mysterious Yellow Bead, the teleportation suppression he was subjected to disappeared without a trace.
Standing within the Mysterious Yellow Bead, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but feel slightly relieved. Luckily, he had grasped the opportunity at the right moment. Otherwise, the teleporting power here would have sent him out. If that had happened, it would be a miracle if even a part of him could survive.
He didn’t think that Man Huishan would forget about him. Plus, there was also the River Luo Sacred Sect. Even if there was no other force, Ning Cheng felt confident that these two would come after him.
When he finished off Guo Haoge, Ning Cheng had already decided that he wouldn’t go out through the original exit.
He believed in an old saying from Earth that all roads lead to Rome. So no matter the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring’s location or how it came to be, it would have another place to enter and another place to exit.
Pondering over various things inside the Mysterious Yellow Bead, Ning Cheng decided to explore the outside with his spiritual consciousness.
To Ning Cheng’s amazement, the dried-up spirit spring outside had also started to crack. At the same time, the lotus-shaped platform he had been sitting on for the past six years for cultivation also quietly crumbled into dust. The Mysterious Yellow Bead then fell to the bottom of the cracked spring along with the crumbling dust of the former lotus-shaped platform.
Another moment later, the bottom of the spirit pool also cracked open, and the void’s vast and boundless aura emerged from it. Sensing this aura, Ning Cheng understood that he was now somewhere in the middle of the vast emptiness.
A rumbling sound surrounded Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness, but Ning Cheng decided to sit down.
He vaguely guessed why such a thing happened. He had unconsciously refined the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring into oblivion. His six years of cultivation at the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring most likely had surpassed anyone else’s six thousand years of cultivation.
Ning Cheng had indeed made the correct conjecture. He had undoubtedly refined the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring into oblivion. The Extraterritorial Spirit Spring was a location that had managed to survive for countless years. It was even reinforced by a great powerhouse sometime in the past. All to let people absorb the spirit aura from the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring for the spirit transformation process. Moreover, after every opening, the spring would take roughly 3000 years to absorb and refine enough spirit aura from the vast void for the next opening.
But that wasn’t the only point. The rest of the nine springs within the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring depended on the first spirit spring for survival. Therefore, when the first spring disappeared, the nine other springs would also disappear simultaneously. Ning Cheng had absorbed every scrap of spirit aura within the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring, even the reserve aura required for its maintenance and upkeep. It was like drying out a lake just to find a few fish. It would be strange if the Extraterritorial Spirit Spring would even open again after what happened today or if it would even continue to exist after today.
One could say that Ning Cheng had done something that the entire Grand Essence Domain abhorred.