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Chapter 0995: Ji Ang Mu Lu
A tiny Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor, an ant he previously thought would die with just a slap. Yet, the same ant had instead killed him, a Dao Transformation Holy Emperor, this easily. Why was life so unfair and suffocating?
By the time Ning Cheng’s long spear pierced through, this now-dead Dao Transformation Holy Emperor’s body transformed into a mysterious force, quickly seeping into the bridge. The holy emperor’s ring flew up and fell on Ning Cheng’s outstretched hand.
Two Dao Transformation Holy Emperors had directly or indirectly died under Ning Cheng’s methods. Seeing this, the remaining two Dao Transformation Holy Emperors struggling against the white-robed woman and Hou Fu on the Bridge of Coping became even more frightened.
But before they could even think of anything, the blood river beneath the bridge suddenly shot up, and the violent gloomy winds on the bridge quickly surrounded the two. Since Ning Cheng had taken care of his opponent, he now had a much easier time controlling the First Bridge of Coping. At the very least, it was enough to fully trap the remaining two fellows more securely.
Fortunately, Ning Cheng didn’t need to make any other moves. With the amplified restrictive effects of the Bridge of Coping, the white-robed woman and Hou Fu managed to quickly finish off the two remaining Dao Transformation Holy Emperors.
The white-robed woman and Hou Fu didn’t dare to collect their rings and immediately rushed out of the Bridge of Coping. They were worried that Ning Cheng might have other intentions and entrap them within the Bridge of Coping.
If Ning Cheng honestly had nefarious thoughts, he could trap those two within the Bridge of Coping. However, even if he had such intentions, he couldn’t trap them for long based on his current strength. Especially since controlling the First Bridge of Coping and the Second Bridge of Looking Homewards had consumed most of his reserves.
However, Ning Cheng never even thought of killing off those two allies. After all, he would have had to face those five Dao Transformation Holy Emperors alone if it weren’t for those two. In that scenario, even escaping might not be possible.
The white-robed woman and Hou Fu had just stepped out of the Bridge of Coping when the bridge disappeared without a trace. They then saw Ning Cheng standing a few feet opposite them. As for the five Dao Transformation Holy Emperors they fought against, they saw no trace left of them.
The white-robed woman and Hou Fu sucked in a breath of cold air. They had never seen such a powerful Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor before. Ning Cheng’s strength had already reached a heaven-defying level; no, even heaven-defying was no longer the right word to describe it. Once Ning Cheng completely mastered the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique, there might not be anyone in the entire Grand Essence Realm that could fight against him.
“Liu Fanglin greets dao friend. Many thanks for Senior Apprentice Brother’s help.” How could the white-robed woman dare to treat Ning Cheng as a mere Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor anymore? She even gave him a proper cultivator’s greeting. But the mere act of greeting him also outlined her charm even more.
Standing next to the white-robed woman, Hou Fu also quickly cupped his fists and said, “Heavenly Star Pill Sect’s Hou Fu greets dao friend. Many thanks for dao friend’s help.”
Ning Cheng quickly returned the greetings. “My name is Ning Cheng, just a rogue cultivator. Besides, everyone here was just helping each other; otherwise, I would have been in mortal danger. Unfortunately, one managed to escape.”
Lie Fanglin and Hou Fu sucked in another gulp of cold air. One Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor killed four Dao Transformation Holy Emperors and even forced one to escape. Even if a few died to Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu’s methods, both knew that they could only do so because of Ning Cheng’s help.
In other words, without Ning Cheng, even if they had to fight against any of those Dao Transformation Holy Emperors one-on-one, they could have only defended themselves. It would have been impossible to kill them alone, not without fatal injuries. If they had to face all five Dao Transformation Holy Emperors by themselves, they would have no choice but to wait for death.
As for Ning Cheng’s claim of being a rogue cultivator, Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu would never believe it. Could a rogue cultivator even reach this level of power? If rogue cultivators could reach such heights, everyone would be a rogue cultivator.
Ning Cheng took out two rings and handed them to Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu. “These are the spoils of war that should belong to you.”
Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu hastily refused. “We wouldn’t dare. If it wasn’t for dao friend Ning’s Seven Bridges trapping them, we couldn’t have killed them.”
Seeing that the two really didn’t want to take the rings, Ning Cheng put them away and said, “I have a few questions if you two don’t mind. What are the Burial Shadow Fiends? Why can’t we go out even though we escaped to this place?”
Understanding that Ning Cheng probably didn’t know much about the Burial Shadow Blue Sands, Liu Fanglin gave him a simple explanation. “Burial Shadow Fiends are the most terrifying threat in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands. After all, there are countless Burial Shadow Fiends hiding and growing in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands. But more importantly, these fiends are invisible to spiritual consciousness and naked eyes.”
Ning Cheng suddenly recalled when a giant mouth had opened up and chomped down on him. He couldn’t perceive the huge mouth with his spiritual consciousness at all. In fact, if not for the protection of the Everlasting Blue Thunder City, that giant mouth most likely would have devoured him.
“Dao Friend Liu, while escaping to this place, something invisible had tried to bite down me, something that my spiritual consciousness couldn’t sense at all. Was it a Burial Shadow Fiend?” Ning Cheng.
When Liu Fanglin heard Ning Cheng’s words, her expression immediately changed. Only after some time did she nod. “That should be a Burial Shadow Fiend. However, the Burial Shadow Fiends we are talking about are not of that kind, but a mature Burial Shadow Fiend that can call out ‘Ji Ang Mu Lu’. Generally, you would be out of luck if this Burial Shadow Fiend targeted you. As for the giant invisible mouth you mentioned, those are also Burial Shadow Fiends, but not the mature ones. The blue sands are pretty much filled with them.”
“These fiends usually come out only once a day to feed. If they can’t finish off their opponent in that one outing, they will immediately go back into hiding. If we go by the rumours, half the people who enter Burial Shadow Blue Sands are devoured by the Burial Shadow Fiends, while the other half die to other threats.”
Ning Cheng had already noticed the change in Lue Fanglin’s expressions. But he didn’t ask about it. Instead, he asked, “What does ‘Ji Ang Mu Lu’ mean?”
Hou Fu, who listened from one side, suddenly said, “‘Ji Ang Mu Lu’ means ‘delicious flavour….”
Ning Cheng stared at them stupidly. Delicious flavour? How could ‘delicious flavour’ scare many holy emperors into fleeing?
Liu Fanglin continued with a solemn tone. “Brother Ning, you should not underestimate those four words. Those four words imply an endless all-consuming intent. Fortunately, only the most powerful Burial Shadow Fiends can call out those four words. People have speculated that it implies human flesh, blood and essence spirit, which tastes delicious. It’s just that there is no accurate meaning to those words.”
“But once these four words emerge, it also implies that they have selected a target. The Burial Shadow Fiends will immediately start gathering to search the area for the target. At that point, even a Dao Essence Holy Emperor wouldn’t be able to escape alive. It’s also why I asked you not to leave this place. After all, those Burial Shadow Fiends might still be looking for their target outside. If anyone goes out, they won’t be able to see tomorrow in their life ever again.”
“Then, what is this place? It seems to be protected by a formation.” Ning Cheng asked, pointing to the crisp green grass around him.
Liu Fanglin explained, “This is one of the few areas within Burial Shadow Blue Sands where spirit herbs and top-grade heavenly treasures can grow. Some people say it was arranged by an ancient powerhouse and usually call it the ‘Valley of Life’. You’ll find many such Valleys of Life in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands as they pop up from time to time, and each Valley of Life has a fiend-rejecting lake at its entrance. Even the mature Burial Shadow Fiends can’t cross the fiend-rejecting lake.”
“From what I observed, someone has already discovered this valley and harvested it. Although many spirit herbs are still here, they’re not particularly precious. So, if you came here to look for precious spirit herbs, you would have to go to a Valley of Life that no one has entered. However, finding such a place can only be done by luck.”
Ning Cheng asked in doubt, “If someone has been here, why didn’t they take away all the spirit herbs here?”
Liu Fanglin replied in a patient tone, “The spirit herbs left here are all at the edges of the Valley of Life. But those are the most dangerous to collect; if you’re not careful, you might unknowingly step into the tumbling blue sands again. After all, there are no fixed ‘borders’ within the Valley of Life.”
“Since that’s the case, have the two of you ever heard of the Exquisite Star Golden Concealed Leaf appearing in these places?” This was the primary purpose for Ning Cheng to enter the Burial Shadow Blue Sands.
However, both Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu shook their heads, indicating that they had never heard of the Exquisite Star Golden Concealed Leaf in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands.
“Many thanks for clearing up the confusion.” Ning Cheng clasped his fists and thanked them. The white-robed woman simply had a highly seductive and tempting body. Just watching her speak, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but focus on the curves that shook ever so slightly with every word that came out of her lips. He honestly didn’t want to spend too much time with such an incredibly seductive woman. Plus, looking at Hou Fu’s expressions, he understood that Hou Fu also had intense feelings toward Liu Fanglin.
After saying their farewells, Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu walked about ten meters into the valley before suddenly stopping again.
Liu Fanglin looked back at Ning Cheng and said, “Brother Ning, you also need to know that the Burial Shadow Fiends don’t ever let go of their target as long as they remain in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands. You should wait at least a day before going out into the Burial Shadow Blue Sands again if bitten. Otherwise, countless Burial Shadow Fiends will come after you. Moreover, you cannot stay in the Valley of Life for more than half a month. Even if you want to stay inside, the Valley of Life would automatically teleport you out once your fifteen-day time limit expires.”
Ning Cheng finally understood why Liu Fanglin’s expressions changed when he said he had been bitten by the Burial Shadow Fiend before.
Liu Fanglin and Hou Fu’s figures quickly disappeared inside the valley, but Ning Cheng didn’t follow them. He immediately used his spiritual consciousness to carefully check his body several times and found nothing wrong. Because of this, he started to doubt Liu Fanglin’s words. Maybe it did not affect me since it only bit my Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort.
But despite the conflicting thoughts, Ning Cheng’s heart filled up with vigilance. After all, he might meet more people while going deeper into the valley, so it was better to be careful.
But more importantly, the characteristics of this ‘Valley of Life’ made Ning Cheng think a lot. He wasn’t suspicious about the place itself. Instead, he was doubtful about the person’s motivation for setting up such valleys.
Why was there a fifteen-day limit if it was to help the people trapped in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands? But then again, if it wasn’t to help people, why would anyone set up a place like the Valley of Life in the Burial Shadow Blue Sand? Why would anyone plant so many precious spirit herbs near the ends of the valley, supposedly the most dangerous part?
The second day after entering the Valley of Life, Ning Cheng found a Devil Cloth Grass. Just as Liu Fanglin mentioned, this Devil Cloth Grass grew at the ‘edge’ of the valley, under the blue colour of the raging blue sands just outside. If one rashly went to collect it, one might find themselves in the Burial Shadow Blue Sands again.
Ning Cheng didn’t go to pick up this strand of Devil Cloth Grass. Although a relatively rare spirit grass, Ning Cheng had a sizable pile of it growing in his medicinal garden. Thus, he didn’t have a particular need for it.
As he walked along the Valley of Life, Ning Cheng saw more and more spirit herbs and even the rare Blood Moon Immortal Lotus. However, Ning Cheng didn’t move up to collect any of these spirit grasses. In any case, he couldn’t just ignore Liu Fanglin’s words altogether.
On the seventh day, Ning Cheng finally saw a spirit herb that he needed, the Red Cloud Wave Root. The Red Cloud Wave Root was an auxiliary spirit herb required for refining the True Extreme Restoration Spirit Pill. Although Ning Cheng already had a dozen of them, he didn’t mind having more.
Ning Cheng brought out the Everlasting Blue Thunder Fort and carefully walked to the valley’s edge. But before his hand even touched the Red Cloud Wave Root, his back immediately turned cold. Ning Cheng no longer cared about picking the Red Cloud Wave Root and instantly activated his Twin Wings of the Heavenly Clouds and retreated from the spot.
But even with the near-teleporting like speed, an invisible and formless mouth chomped down on his Everlasting Blue Thunder City, causing several lightning arcs to splash out. Ning Cheng turned his head back but only saw a blue vortex curling away at the edge of the Red Cloud Wave Root. Regardless of the formless mouth, that vortex alone would have sent him out of the valley and into the blue sands if he had been a moment late.
Ning Cheng no longer wanted this Red Cloud Wave Root and carefully backed away to a safe distance. He had just turned away when he heard a miserable scream. Ning Cheng and Liu Fanglin had only exchanged a few words, but he immediately realised that this scream came from the pretty widow, Liu Fanglin, who had left with Hou Fu earlier.
 The term ‘Senior Apprentice Brother’ here shows respect for someone with a higher strength but not too high. It’s like when we use the term ‘Sir/Madam’ whenever in conversation with a senior person but do not have enough ‘seniority’ to be seen as a mentor or a master.
 Fun fact, ‘Ji Ang Mu Lu’ could also be translated as ‘Thorny Spirit Stupid Nanny’ if we went by individual characters.
 The words used are different from ‘Ji Ang Mu Lu’, so I’m guessing it’s more like a native/dead language sort of word, which the cultivators in the novel then translate to a modern context. The translated ‘delicious flavour/smell’ can be shortened to ‘delicious/tasty’, but it requires more context, so I decided to leave it in its full form.