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Chapter 0941: Furnace Sand’s Changes
Shui Yueke fell silent. If she didn’t have a deep hatred, she would have definitely joined Yan Ji and Ning Cheng. But she couldn’t, she wanted revenge, and for that, she had to find a place to shape her dao. One day, she would definitely find a way to fight against 9-Revolving Sacred Dao Pond to avenge her sister Shui Yuexin and her family.
“Senior Apprentice Sister Yan Ji, how about this. This place is still too close to 9-Revolving Sacred Dao Pond. Let’s fly for a few months straight. If Ning Cheng still doesn’t wake up by then, I’ll look for a place to shape my dao.” Shui Yueke quickly decided. If Ning Cheng couldn’t wake up in a few months, then I’m afraid he wouldn’t wake up at all.
Without people from 9-Revolving Sacred Dao Pond chasing after them, Yan Ji should be more than enough to care for Ning Cheng. But if the 9-Revolving Sacred Dao Sect decided to pursue Yan Ji or herself, even adding a few hundred of her would be of no help. She had to go shape her dao and reach Dao Sculpting Realm. Without shaping her dao, how could she even think of taking revenge for her sister?
Furnace Sands. It wasn’t an item but the name of a place.
Rumour has it that Furnace Sands got its name because a powerful Pill Sage had once used this place to refine pills. The Pill Sage ultimately failed the refinement, ruining the pills in the furnace due to underestimating the difficulty of refining those pills. Moreover, the materials in the furnace were all top-grade heavenly treasures, and this Pill Saint could no longer collect the materials to begin another refinement. As such, in a fit of rage, the Pill Sage smashed the entire furnace.
What’s more, when the Pill Sage had started to refine the pills, he had absorbed more than 90% of the spirit aura from the surrounding area. Therefore, when he smashed the furnace, the terrifying temperatures scorched the area, turning it into an actual barren land.
Since then, this place had become devoid of spiritual plants and even normal life.
After countless years had passed, some life slowly returned to this place, and some low-level spiritual grasses started to appear. However, the spirit energy here still remained incredibly thin.
Therefore, cultivators who couldn’t cultivate or be unable to advance slowly migrated to this place. Eventually, a settlement formed in this area. The people here all had low cultivation, and the settlement even had ordinary people with no cultivation.
In the Grand Essence Realm, having no cultivation meant certain death. As such, one would rarely find a place with ordinary people in the Grand Essence Realm. Let alone a place where ordinary people lived with cultivators with low cultivation.
Furnace Sands was one such place. However, most people here were descendants of cultivators who could not cultivate or raise their cultivation level.
If one looked at the entire Furnace Sands from above, it would look like a relatively large village with irregular misshapen buildings everywhere. Even the medicine shops, spiritual herb stores and weapon stalls looked humble. If a cultivator suddenly decided to come to Furnace Sands, he would never believe that such a place existed in the Grand Essence Realm. He would definitely think that this place was nothing more than one corner of the lowest level of a true cultivation interface.
But this place was indeed within the Grand Essence Realm, only at the edge of the Grand Essence Realm.
The sun had already started to set in the west.
One could see many figures starting to return one after another from afar. These were primarily ordinary people and low-level cultivators who had ventured to the Black and White Mountains searching for cultivation resources.
Those with high cultivation levels usually didn’t return every day but stayed in the Black and White Mountain Range, returning only once or twice a month for supplies.
A woman in grey came from afar, the gradually sloping sunset dragging her figure long. One could also see a sleeping figure secured to her by what looked like a string on her back.
Her hair looked a little dishevelled by the evening breeze, but the small locks of hair beside her veiled face added a little more softness to her beauty.
All the people who lived in Furnace Sands knew this woman in grey and knew Yan Ji’s strength.
Yes, this woman in grey was none other than Yan Ji. Shui Yueke stayed with her for six months. But she had to leave to shape her dao. From then on, Yan Ji led Ning Cheng to a remote place till they arrived at Furnace Sands.
Furnace Sands lacked in spirit aura, which also meant that strong people would usually never come here. As such, this was the most suitable place to live for Yan Ji right now.
Counting up, Yan Ji had been in Furnace Sands for three years by now. And in these three years, she never left Ning Cheng alone. Even when she went to the Black and White Mountains searching for cultivation resources, she never put Ning Cheng down.
Thanks to that one Sacred Marrow Fruit, Yan Ji had advanced to the middle stage of Life and Death Realm, even in a place with barely any spirit aura.
In Furnace Sands, Yan Ji’s cultivation wasn’t the highest, but she definitely belonged to the strongest within Furnace Sands. As such, very few people came to provoke her. As for any unenlightened people that came over to trouble her, she didn’t hesitate to kill them.
Yan Ji had travelled alone from the starry sky to the void, from one celestial river to another. Even coming to the Grand Essence Realm, she didn’t rely on anyone for anything. With her own strength, Yan Ji had managed to reach the Live and Death Realm. She no longer kept count of the number of life and death experiences she had faced along the way. It also meant that she had a wealth of combat experience and wasn’t afraid of cultivators of the same rank. Even those above her level, she wasn’t scared to fight them.
Therefore, coming to a corner like Furnace Sands naturally wouldn’t make her fear ordinary foot soldiers.
Initially, Yan Ji wanted to rush to the late-stage Life and Death Realm before leaving Black and White Mountain to search for an even more secluded area. However, she started to feel a faint fluctuation in Ning Cheng’s aura. Moreover, this aura fluctuation was growing stronger and stronger with each passing day.
Not only were the aura fluctuations growing more substantial, but Ning Cheng’s white hair had also started to turn grey. Some strands had even begun to return to their original black sheen.
Because of these changes, Yan Ji felt that there was a possibility that Ning Cheng would awaken at any moment. It was also why she brought Ning Cheng out of Black and White Mountain and to Furnace Sands.
Half of the Black and White Mountains was made out of black clay, and the other half out of white clay. This mountain range was only ten thousand miles away from Furnace Sands. Although there weren’t many high-grade spirit grasses, it did contain some relatively strong high-grade demonic beasts because of its vastness.
Plus, the distance between Black and White Mountains and Furnace Sands wasn’t too large either. Yet, there weren’t any demonic beasts that ever came to Furnace Sands. Primarily because the spirit aura in Furnace Sands was just too scarce. So thin that even the lowest levelled demonic beasts wouldn’t want to live here.
If Ning Cheng was about to wake up, he definitely couldn’t continue to stay on her back. But Yan Ji was afraid that she couldn’t care for Ning Cheng if something happened in the Black and White Mountains. Therefore, she decided to bring Ning Cheng back to Furnace Sand in a hurry.
As soon as she entered Furnace Sands, Yan Ji felt that something wasn’t right. It had only been less than two months since she left Furnace Sands. But now, she saw a lot of unfamiliar faces. Moreover, their cultivation was also not low. She even saw several Eternal powerhouses. There were even a few who had cultivations beyond the Eternal Realm. She couldn’t see their exact cultivation level, but she figured it should be at least at Dao Sculpting Realm.
Yan Ji started to regret coming out of the Black and White Mountains. However, she quickly realised that these people seemed to have come specifically for the Black and White Mountains. She saw a steady stream of people moving towards the mountain range, ignoring the fact that night was about to set in.
Yan Ji quickly lowered her head and walked into Furnace Sands.
In some of the better places at Furnace Sands’ outskirts, the messy building had long since been razed, and in their place were some abode-type artefacts that looked much more luxurious. When she reached her own dwelling, Yan Ji found that hers had likewise been razed.
Yan Ji didn’t dare ask what was going on and immediately sped up to leave the place. She let her spiritual consciousness sweep out and eventually found a group of people who lived in Furnace Sands all year round. Only then did she breathe a slight sigh of relief. These people had to move away from the original places because those outsiders had destroyed their dwellings. Some of them also looked sad. Probably because those outsiders killed someone close to them. From the looks of it, there was no one strong enough to fight those outsiders.
“Uncle Yu? Why are there so many outsiders here?” Yan Ji quickened her pace and came to an old man within the crowd and asked with a quiet whisper.
Uncle Yu’s full name was Yu Caifeng, and he only had Celestial Gatherer cultivation. This was only because he had been born in Grand Essence Realm and used spirit aura to cultivate since the start. Otherwise, he most likely couldn’t even form a domain with his qualifications, let alone reach the Nirvana Realms.
Moreover, his life span was also about to reach its end. With Yu Caifeng’s ageing meridians and weak bones and living in a place with almost no spirit would, he would find it impossible to break through to the next realm.
Someone who hadn’t cultivated before and started using spirit aura would put them on a much higher standing than someone who began using spiritual aura. But spirit aura wasn’t all-powerful. Even though it would put you on a higher pedestal, it would lose its effect after reaching a certain level.
Yu Caifeng sighed and replied with a low voice, “I heard that a pill furnace had emerged in the Black and White Forest. It should be the same pill furnace left behind by that Pill Sage in the legends. From the looks of it, the pill furnace hadn’t shattered back then. Those outsiders came here to look for that pill furnace. I heard many of them say that the inside of that pill furnace is a world with many treasures…….”
Yu Caifeng sighed when he said this and continued, “It will be tough for us to survive here in peace from now on.”
After saying this, he lowered his head and no longer answered Yan Ji’s words.
Yan Ji’s heart sank. This was the last thing she wanted to see. She had long been satisfied in her heart as she led Ning Cheng here for a peaceful life. But these foreign powerhouses, if they were this hell-bent on searching for the lost Pill Sage’s pill furnace, could she continue to stay here?
Yan Ji looked back at Ning Cheng, who had still not woken up. She knew that she had to leave. The lotus jade piece on her was also gradually losing its effect. If no strong people came here, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. But if an expert much stronger than her did show up here and realised that she had a Heavenly Fragrance Body, it would turn into a disaster for her.
Just then, a sharp burst of light, filled with killing intent, blasted towards them. Yan Ji had ample experience when it came to life and death encounters. Therefore, the moment she sensed this killing intent, her skin only tingled a bit. At this time, Yan Ji simply didn’t have the time to think about anything else. She reflexively coalesced all of her celestial essence and turned into a shadow before vanishing from her spot.
“Boom….” Just as the light, filled with explosive killing intent, fell, Yan Ji’s spiritual consciousness swept out and saw that it was a sword light. This sword light had cleaved through the group of people she was just standing in. A mist of blood splashed up, and apart from some cultivators with more robust cultivation levels, most of them had disappeared under this sword light.
Yu Caifeng, who was still sighing in lament previously, had also disappeared. Apparently, fallen to this sword light.
The few who managed to survive immediately scattered like scurrying chickens, not even daring to look back or say anything.
Yan Ji quickly stimulated her celestial essence and used her best evasion technique to rush away. Facing such a ruthless person who killed without any reason, what else could one do but escape as quickly as possible?
“Brother Xiong, weren’t you the one who said that the Yin Yang Pill Furnace wasn’t in the Black and White Mountains, but in the Furnace Sands?” A man in a golden cultivator’s robe asked with a smirk, looking at another brocade-robed man beside him.
After asking, he then pointed to the huge gully that had just been split apart by the sword light. “That one sword strike should be more than enough. If there were any treasures below, there would definitely be some aura overflow. But the fact is that there is nothing but mud down there.”
It looked like that brocade-robed man had used a sword slash to see if there were any treasures down there. As for the hundreds of people that died as collateral, he didn’t even bother to mention them.
However, the man addressed as ‘Brother Xiong’ started in the direction where Yan Ji had fled and mumbled with a frown, “Why do I feel that something isn’t right here?”