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Chapter 0967: Extinct Spirit Herbs
Ning Cheng had just stepped through the door when he felt as if he had overlooked something important in the previous level.
Ning Cheng was just about to turn back when several oppressive auras bound him in place. The gate behind him disappeared at the exact moment, and six human-shaped golems suddenly appeared out of thin air and surrounded him on all sides.
Golems belonged to the category of puppet arts in the cultivation world. But to control them, one needed to be not only proficient in puppet arts, but one also had to have high attainments in artefact-crafting and array formations.
Judging by their auras, even if these six golems couldn’t use any law-related techniques, their physical attacks would be on par with ordinary Dao Sculpting Holy Emperors. Depending on the controller, they could even dish out power levels close to late-stage Dao Sculpting cultivators.
Ning Cheng immediately brought out a medium-grade spear-type spirit artefact and shot out several spear traces. His Seven Bridges Spirit Technique couldn’t help him here; besides, casting it for these puppets would be akin to playing the lute to a cow. Perhaps when he learned the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique thoroughly, he could use the Seven Bridges to sweep away these golems. However, he couldn’t do it right now.
Time Wheels might be the best means of dealing with them, but Ning Cheng didn’t want to use it here either. Time Wheels would sweep through everything in their path and reduce them into nothingness. This was a herb garden, and if he carelessly used Time Wheels here, it might just wipe out many spirit herbs, leaving him with a far lesser harvest.
“Boom-Boom-Boom……” The spear traces blasted at the golems, temporarily pushing them back and stalling them for some time. One of the spear traces hit a golem’s shoulder joint, shattering its arm below the joint.
Ning Cheng breathed in a sigh of relief at that sight. These golems weren’t as sturdy as their oppressive auras.
But the next instant, Ning Cheng froze. The shattered arm of the now-one-armed golem quickly reassembled itself as a clear stream of rich spirit aura poured into the golem’s body from the herb garden’s soil. A moment later, the arm reattached itself to the golem’s broken shoulder, looking as good as new.
So that was it. Ning Cheng stared blankly at the golems tore through his domain and surrounded him again. He finally understood what he had overlooked in the previous level.
It was something that nourished and preserved so many rare spirit herbs. Since so many spirit herbs could grow here, it meant that there must have been a powerful spirit source underground. It was like Pill Sage Min Kong’s spirit grass gardens in the Grand Essence Mystic Realm. It also had a dense spirit source that helped grow those spirit grasses. Most likely, it was an underground spirit vein.
The thing that he had missed in the previous level was that spirit source, just like the one in the medicinal garden in front of him. He only realised it just now because that golem had used spirit aura coming from underground to repair itself. But more importantly, he also sensed a wood-origin aura from that strand of spirit aura.
At this moment, the six golems started pressing towards him. Fortunately, these golems couldn’t use any spirit techniques and could only suppress Ning Cheng using their physical strength.
Ning Cheng understood from the previous strike that these golems didn’t pose too much of a threat to him; even their physical strength was only average at best. Therefore, Ning Cheng shattered each golem individually by gathering his strength into six focused spear strikes.
These spear strikes even caused the space to tremble, forcing the six golems advancing towards him to stop. An instant later, Ning Cheng’s spear strikes crushed the six golems, bringing out ear-piercing sounds akin to breaking porcelain.
“Boom-Crash-Skeet……” The six golems quickly shattered under Ning Cheng’s spear, and their broken bits scattered on the ground.
However, before Ning Cheng could even take a breather, he stared at the six shattered golems in surprise. Bursts of wood origin spirit aura gushed out from the ground and rapidly poured into the six golems’ broken bits. The bits started to tremble and then quickly reassemble themselves back into six golems.
Such a powerful recovering ability? Ning Cheng thought as he immediately brought out the Nameless Flame and threw it towards them. The Nameless Flame landed on top of one of the still-reforming puppets, and the recovery speed slowed significantly. However, what surprised Ning Cheng was that the Nameless Flame couldn’t burn the puppet at all, only slowing down its recovery. Just what were those golems made from to have such powerful resistance?
Since it can’t be burned at once, might as well take the time to burn it slowly……
Ning Cheng had just thought of this when a colossal hourglass appeared out of thin air in the distance. The hourglass remained suspended in the air, seemingly because of a formation. However, the fine sand inside of it kept trickling down.
What’s going on? Could it be that he would be teleported out of the medicinal garden once the time indicated by the hourglass ended?
Ning Cheng’s heart tightened as he thought of this. The more he thought about it, the more he felt it was the most likely outcome. These golems weren’t powerful in battle, but dealing with them would slow him down considerably.
It was already tricky reaching here, and he hadn’t even entered the dao fruit orchards. He hadn’t even found the Exquisite Star Golden Hidden Lead yet, so how could he leave?
Ning Cheng no longer wanted to waste time with these golems and threw out the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King. He gave it the order to quickly bind those golems and rushed straight towards the medicinal garden. Ning Cheng didn’t dare to gamble right now as getting teleported out would delay things for him by a lot.
The spirit herbs here were of a higher grade than the previous one. But the garden itself was sectioned into three parts, each locked behind a forbidden formation.
Ning Cheng no longer cared about harming the spirit grasses and directly used Time Wheels to break open the formations. He wanted to remove the formations covering the three sections in the shortest possible time, collect the spirit grasses, and head to the next level.
By the time Ning Cheng’s time wheels blasted open the garden’s formations, the rattan king had finished binding the six golems, preventing them from moving.
Although the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King hadn’t reached a high level yet, its restrictive ability could still easily restrain the six golems. In any case, it prevented them from recovering over and over again.
Ning Cheng also sensed the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King frantically absorbing the puppets’ all-too-familiar wood origin spirit aura through his connection. But he didn’t concern himself with it. It wasn’t like the spirit aura here was his. Only the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King was his, and the more it could absorb and grow, the better it would be for him.
Only half an incense stick worth of time remained in the hourglass when Ning Cheng collected all the spirit herbs from the three sections.
Ning Cheng hurriedly rushed to the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King to help it finish off the six golems. But he found the six golems utterly ruined at this time. They showed no movement, nor was there any more spirit aura pouring into them to repair them.
At this moment, the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King had already reached the full circle of Starry Sky Rank 8. Its body even started to show signs of an imminent breakthrough.
Ning Cheng was about to put away the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King. He intended to first come out of this place before releasing the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King to face its tribulation. It wasn’t a good idea to confront a tribulation in this place, but the next best option would be to use the Mysterious Yellow Bead. However, since a great power had obviously set up this place, Ning Cheng didn’t dare to openly use the Mysterious Yellow Bead.
However, the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King, which always obeyed Ning Cheng’s command, surprisingly didn’t let Ning Cheng put him away. Instead, it sent him an eager message.
“There’s a wood origin-attributed spirit vein below?” Ning Cheng muttered to himself in shock.
Sure enough, the feedback he received from the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King confirmed it once again. There was indeed a wood origin-attributed spirit vein underground.
Ning Cheng took a deep breath. No wonder the spirit herbs here grew so lush. It was all because of that spirit vein. Looking at the sand about to run out, Ning Cheng forcibly held back his inner greed. He immediately grabbed the Underworld Crow Ghost Rattan King and the six golems’ remains before heading straight to the next door.
Suppose he possessed a spirit vein like this. In that case, he could easily open up a vast spirit herb garden in the Mysterious Yellow Bead. Even the dao fruit tree he had planted in the chunks of law soil that hadn’t yet bloomed would quickly blossom and bear fruits.
But it was still good that he couldn’t move the wood origin-attributed spirit vein right now. First, he didn’t have the time. Second, this wood origin-attributed spirit vein definitely ran through the entire Illusionary Fruit Orchard. Therefore, even if he didn’t dig it up here, he could try at the next level just as well. But more importantly, he didn’t know the consequences of pulling out this spirit vein.
Once he took out the spirit vein, it might alert the entire Grand Essence Realm. At that point, it wouldn’t matter even if he was a Dao Transformation Pill Sage. Even if he had Sheng Houtian to protect him, he wouldn’t be able to withstand the wrath of the entire realm directed his way.
Standing in front of the gate leading to the third level of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard, Ning Cheng directly took out the ingredients for the Harmony Bodhisattva Pill. The primary spirit herbs required for the Harmony Bodhisattva Pill were the Heaven Harmony Immortal Grass and the Bodhisattva Dust Lotus. The former, a currently extinct spirit herb outside.
The only reason why Ning Cheng had them was because he had harvested them from this level. From this, one could only imagine the number of spirit grasses already extinct within the Grand Essence Realm outside.
The Harmony Bodhisattva Pill was a top-of-the-line Dao Transformation Spirit Pill. Taking this pill would help the cultivator highlight the deficiencies in one’s dao heart and cultivation methods. That way, the cultivator could take corrective measures in time before attempting to advance to the Dao Essence Realm. The value of a single Harmony Bodhisattva Pill was simply something that couldn’t be measured in spirit crystals. Even the currently non-extinct Bodhisattva Dust Lotus wasn’t something easily obtainable, even for the ten major forces. But more importantly, even if you had all the ingredients, this pill was simply too difficult to refine, even for pill sages.
However, Ning Cheng had no problems in refining the Harmonious Bodhisattva Pill. He managed to refine them just when the sand within the hourglass was about to run out. Ning Cheng didn’t even wait and rushed up to the gate, just behind the pills, and passed through the moment it opened.
In the guest hall of City Lord’s mansion, the crowd was still discussing who had opened the thirteenth door. The discussion had already gone on for several hours, but no one could come up with a conclusion. Even the pill deities who failed in the pill refinement and got teleported out had no idea about who opened the thirteenth door of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard.
“I’ve heard that the medicinal gardens behind the thirteenth door of the Illusionary Fruit Orchard are very different from those behind the other twelve gates. I heard that they’re all filled with extinct or extremely precious spirit herbs. If any alchemist obtains these, he would be of immense merit to my Grand Essence Realm. Even more so if he decides to take out these spirit grasses to pass on to the future generations.” A tall, purplish copper-faced man spoke up in a gruff tone.
Everyone here knew this speaker, the Profound Moon Spirit Gate’s current Sect Master, Fei Feng. Grand Elder Fei Feng had taken up the mantle of Profound Moon Spirit Gate’s Sect Master after the previous Sect Master, Qi Changgui, suffered an accident.
There were no fools here either, and everyone understood what Fei Feng meant by those words. No matter who entered the thirteenth gate, the rare and extinct spirit herbs he obtained should be taken out and distributed to everyone. Spreading these rare spirit herbs to everyone ensured that they didn’t go extinct again.
Although it sounded noble on the surface, it was all to serve his selfish interests by evoking everyone’s greed. Would a major force willingly hand over the rare spirit herbs their alchemist obtained to others? Fei Feng only said this because his Profound Moon Spirit Gate didn’t have any accomplished alchemists.
“Sect Master Fei’s words make sense. No matter who it is, they should stand for the perspective of my Grand Essence Domain and the Grand Essence Realm. After all, we’re all cultivators of the Grand Essence Realm.” Shi Tianhe of 9-Revolution Sacred Dao Pond was the first to stand out and concur.
“Hehe, I’m afraid that even if this alchemist came out with all those rare spirit herbs, the Profound Moon Spirit Gate might not have enough resources to bid for them.” A Dao Transformation Holy Emperor from the Great Spirit Pill Sect let out a chuckle. Although his cultivation couldn’t compare to Fei Feng’s, his Great Spirit Pill Sect was just as strong because of Jing Han.
Fei Feng gave a cold snort. “The Illusionary Fruit Orchard was originally established by the great sages of our Grand Essence Realm. They left it here to develop our Grand Essence Realm and ensure that spirit herbs didn’t go extinct. Since the thirteenth gate has opened, we should follow the wishes of our Grand Essence Realm’s ancestors. How can we talk about bidding for them?”