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Chapter 0922: Sneak Attack
A’Li gripped the jade box in her hands tightly as emotions wildly surged in her heart. She never expected that her kindness would bring her the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly. Despite being wrapped in the jade seal, she felt sure that this was the real Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly.
Hugging the jade seal to her chest, A’Li looked at the spot from where Ning Cheng had disappeared and only spoke up after a long time, “Thank you, you’re a true man.”
Another moment passed by in silence before she once again mumbled to herself. “Not only are you a true man, but you will also become a true powerhouse in the future. I’m sure of that. A dharma cultivator fully recovering in a short amount of time after severe injuries from the Power of Hope. Even if I didn’t give you that map, the Land of Broken Laws wouldn’t be able to bind you.”
As the former ruler of the Blue True Hope Tribe, A’Li naturally knew how terrifying it was after being injured by the Power of Hope. Even the strongest person wouldn’t be able to quickly recover their cultivation in a place like the Land of Broken Laws, where there were no laws at all. Let alone in just a few days.
From this, she could tell that Ning Cheng definitely had a great secret in his body or even cultivated a power that surpassed the Power of Hope. In any case, the Power of Hope wasn’t the most powerful force within the vast universe. Still, it was also not something that other types of powers could easily surpass. Facing the purest Power of Hope, even the power of spirit essence wouldn’t be able to shake it, let alone overcome it.
In A’Li’s view, Ning Cheng had a big secret and, more importantly, a big heart and high principles. Although she knew that the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly was of far less value to Ning Cheng than the Bestowing Lawless Fruit, she knew for sure that Ning Cheng didn’t know about it. Ning Cheng also didn’t know the actual value of the Bestowing Lawless Fruit. Yet, he returned the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly to her simply because he was unwilling to take advantage of her.
Ning Cheng had partially refined the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly. Therefore, Ning Cheng definitely must have known its effects and that it could even save his life in the Land of Broken Laws. Yet, even under such circumstances, Ning Cheng handed over the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly. What was it if not for a big heart?
What’s more, Bing’er had used the hope-powered blade lights to oppress Ning Cheng and almost finished him off. Yet, even in those circumstances, when asked Ning Cheng about the sacred relic, Ning Cheng remained dismissive and never thought of taking out a sacred relic in exchange for his life. What was it if not for high principles?
If Ning Cheng had known that A’Li thought so highly of him, he would have sweated all over his face. He might have even said that this woman was truly innocent.
The primary reason why he didn’t hand over the jade seal to Lan Bing was that he knew that handing it over would only mean a quick death. Moreover, the jade seal was something he had worked hard to obtain and refine. As such, he would never casually hand it over to someone who wanted to kill him.
If he truly was trapped with no way out and his life hung by a thread, and the jade seal could be exchanged for his life, then Ning Cheng wouldn’t hesitate to hand over the jade sea in exchange for his life. However, there was one thing A’Li wasn’t wrong about; that is, Ning Cheng did have his own principles in everything he did.
A’Li gazed at the teleportation formation where Ning Cheng stood for a while longer before suddenly pulling out the jade seal. Then, forming a strange gesture after another with her other hand, she started chanting.
A dozen or so breaths later, the jade seal, which Ning Cheng only treated like a treasure that stored the Power of Hope, suddenly cracked open. A bird shining with a faint golden glow emerged and landed on A’Li’s hand.
If Ning Cheng was here, he would have clearly noticed that this bird was precisely the same as the flying bird carved on the upper part of the jade seal, the Hope Clan’s sacred butterfly.
“I offer my soul; I offer my blood…….. Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly, condense…..” After saying these words, A’Li slapped this sacred butterfly onto her forehead.
A faint ripple emerged from her forehead, and after A’Li took her palm away, the Ancient Desolate Hope Butterfly had long since disappeared without a trace. In fact, it felt as if it never existed. Even A’Li’s forehead didn’t look any different, as if she hadn’t just slapped a bird on it a moment ago.
With a wave of A’Li’s hand, the cracked jade seal disintegrated into flying ash and scattered into the wind.
When Ning Cheng handed the jade seal to A’Li, he didn’t care what A’Li did with it. However, Ning Cheng had guessed that A’Li most likely would give the jade seal to Lan Bing. It’s just that Ning Cheng had never thought that A’Li wouldn’t hand over the jade seal to Lan Bing. Rather, she would actually condense it into her forehead.
Ning Cheng took out the map given by A’Li and started examining it. After a while, he felt sure that this map didn’t come from the Hope Clan. The reason was that someone had carved this jade strip using spiritual consciousness. The people from the Hope Tribe cultivated the Power of Hope, and whether they used spiritual consciousness, Ning Cheng didn’t know. But he knew for sure that A’Li didn’t have any spiritual consciousness.
But this map was also slightly different from other cultivator maps. That is, it had no positioning formation on it. In other words, it was akin to a map drawn on a piece of paper. Only by comparing the markings on the map with the surrounding scenery could one find the relevant reference points.
It could be said that if one didn’t have access to spiritual consciousness, it would be useless to carry this map in the Land of Broken Laws.
But not only could Ning Cheng use his spiritual consciousness in this place, but he could also stretch it out to five or six thousand meters around him now. Therefore, in just a few moments, he found one of the reference points marked on the map, the balding mountain peak he currently stood on.
Following the first reference, Ning Cheng walked all the way down. A few days later, Ning Cheng suddenly sensed a hint of something wrong, and he immediately perked up and became even more cautious. However, this irregularity didn’t bring him any sense of danger. Even after cautiously walking around for several more days, Ning Cheng didn’t encounter any problems.
As time passed, this odd feeling gradually faded away. Ning Cheng felt slightly relieved at this but also felt a bit scared. Man Huishan shouldn’t know about his current whereabouts, which also meant that there wasn’t any reason for him to coincidentally appear here as if waiting for him, right?
Besides, with someone like Man Huishan, if he wanted to make a move on him, he wouldn’t wait for so many days, right? Most likely, Man Huishan would have already attacked him the moment he spotted him. In other words, if someone spoke about a second-step Dao Confirming expert stalking an Eternal cultivator, Ning Cheng himself wouldn’t believe such a thing.
Therefore, not feeling too worried, Ning Cheng followed the map for another half a month before he realised the vast size of the Land of Broken Laws. Considering the distance he covered over the past month, it didn’t look as if he traversed even a hundredth or even a thousandth of the Land of Broken Laws. If things continued at the same speed, it might take him a few years to get out of the Land of Broken Laws.
But then Ning Cheng started to relax. Over the past month or so, he primarily focussed on checking the authenticity of the map. Now, after about a month of walking, Ning Cheng felt reasonably confident that the map in his hand was genuine. Therefore, he could now take out his starship and fly according to the route marked on the map.
With the speed of the starry sky battleship, he could cover a large amount of distance quickly. Combined with the route marked on the map, Ning Cheng estimated that he could get out of the Land of Broken Laws in less than half a year.
Putting the jade strip away, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but feel grateful towards A’Li. If A’Li hadn’t given him this map, then even if he had the best starship, he most likely couldn’t have walked out of the Land of Broken Laws. In the end, he might even end up losing his life after getting lost within this place. It wouldn’t be a pretty end either.
Even if his spiritual consciousness reached five to six thousand meters right now, he would still be an ant in the vast and boundless Land of Broken Laws. He might escape one crisis or maybe two, but what about three, or four or more?
Moreover, he also had no idea about which great power had carved this jade strip in the first place. However, Ning Cheng understood that this person had to be a mighty master.
Ning Cheng felt an inexplicable sense of relief when he thought of how he could get out, while Man Huishan, who chased after him, was still nowhere to be found. If it was any other place apart from the Land of Broken Laws, Man Huishan, as a second-step Dao Confirming expert, could have quickly finished him off. But within the Land of Broken Laws, Man Huishan wasn’t as dangerous as outside.
As long as he didn’t have such a map, Ning Cheng felt confident that Man Huishan could never walk out of the Land of Broken Laws. Or, at the very least, it would take him a considerable amount of time to escape. The Land of Broken Laws had no laws and also no sense of direction, both of which were things that couldn’t be compensated for by a high cultivation level.
Ning Cheng was just about to take out his starship when a soul-chilling killing intent blasted over from the side.
Ning Cheng instantly identified the person who attacked him as Man Huishan. Moreover, this sneak attack had almost given Ning Cheng a heart attack.
Man Huishan truly was a shameless and despicable person. An expert at the second-step Dao Confirming Realm had actually snuck upon him, a small Eternal cultivator. At this moment, how could Ning Cheng not realise what that hint of unease he felt earlier was? It turned out to be Man Huishan using deceptive tricks. Initially, Ning Cheng only felt a tinge of apprehension but did not feel any sense of crisis. It was only when Man Huishan snuck in did he realise a sense of grave danger.
Ning Cheng didn’t even think about it, and in an instant, forced every scrap of spirit essence into a punch. At this moment, Ning Cheng knew that he had nowhere to run and could not do anything else but try and block it. Ning Cheng could manage to do this only because his spiritual consciousness had grown thousands of times stronger than when he had first entered the Land of Broken Laws. As such, even the amount of spirit essence Ning Cheng could mobilise had also increased. Otherwise, he wouldn’t even have the ability to resist.
“Boom…..” The violent power rolled in and blasted Ning Cheng back like a kite with a broken string. A line of blood spewed out of his mouth, and his viscera almost crumbled under Man Huishan’s attack.
A wave of weakness and exhaustion came through. But Ning Cheng forcibly kept himself from fainting by using his spiritual consciousness to jolt his mind. At this moment, he no longer cared about pill poisons or anything else and swallowed a handful of pills while using the momentum to fly away.
Only Ning Cheng understood in his heart how terrible his injuries were. Even though he had personally refined these pills, they still couldn’t fully curb the deterioration of his injuries.
Man Huishan had learnt a heavy lesson from the last time when he almost caught Ning Cheng. Even though Ning Cheng managed to escape, he attributed it to a fluke and the unexpected development. This time, one could say that Man Huishan had come prepared and had even dealt a deadly blow. Yet, he didn’t expect that Ning Cheng would still manage to escape from him.
“No wonder he’s so arrogant. It turns out that he’s also a powerful body-refining cultivator.” Man Huishan snorted coldly as his entire body transformed into a shadow and chased after Ning Cheng.
If Ning Cheng wasn’t a strong body-refining cultivator, that blow would have torn apart Ning Cheng instantly. For this outcome, he couldn’t help but hate those people from Hope Clan even more. Those disgusting Hope clansmen not only besieged him but also caused him to lose ten per cent of his strength. If not for that, he could have finished off Ning Cheng with that blow, even if he was a peak body-refining cultivator.
Entering the Land of Broken Laws already negated his strength to almost nothing. As such, losing a tenth of his remaining power, Man Huishan truly wouldn’t be able to finish off a strong body-refining cultivator like Ning Cheng.
What’s more, in the Land of Broken Laws, it was almost impossible for him to recover his lost strength. At the very least, it would take him a long time.
Therefore, to catch Ning Cheng, he had pondered over everything from the past. Going over all the experiences, he found that Ning Cheng could still walk away calmly every time he tried to capture Ning Cheng.
After being besieged by the Hope Clan and seriously injured, Man Huishan concluded that there must be a reason for this. That is, Ning Cheng most likely had a finely tuned intuition that helped sense his killing intent in advance.
To test it out, after Man Huishan discovered Ning Cheng again a month ago, he immediately curbed his killing intent. He even approached Ning Cheng as a passer-by. Such a thing would be impossible for an ordinary person. But for Man Huishan, an expert at the second-step Dao Confirming Realm, it wasn’t too tricky.
However, even if that was the case, Man Huishan never thought Ning Cheng had still sensed something wrong with the situation. It was only because he remained calm and had not moved against Ning Cheng that allowed Ning Cheng to gradually relax, allowing him to strike.
However, Ning Cheng’s strength had significantly increased, while he couldn’t recover his lost strength at all. As such, Ning Cheng still managed to get away despite the severe injuries.
 Well, that confirms it. The statue is of a bird, but with the name ‘Sacred Butterfly’.