Translated By – DemonKiller
Checked and Edited By – DemonKiller
Proofread By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 1013: Stepping Into The Netherworld
Among the four, Ba Meng was the initiator and the most powerful member, cultivation level-wise. He was the only one who owned a top-grade 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman. In other words, only he could open the passage to the netherworld and go in. However, his main purpose in entering the netherworld was to retrieve his son, Ba Luo’s, soul.
Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green wanted to go to the netherworld to find something but didn’t speak about it. Therefore, Ning Cheng also didn’t bother to ask about it.
Unfortunately, even if the laws of the netherworld had broken down completely, it wasn’t that easy to enter the netherworld. As such, apart from the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman, one also required lightning-based attacks containing worldly laws to open the passage. Ning Cheng was a Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor; therefore, his lightning-based attacks naturally carried the power of worldly laws.
But even then, Ba Meng had to invite Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green as his 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman, and Ning Cheng’s lightning-based attacks wouldn’t produce the required power. He needed a few more Dao Transformation-level cultivators as Ning Cheng was only at the Dao Sculpting Realm. If Ning Cheng was a Dao Transformation Holy Emperor like him, he would have only needed one other person for this job.
Moreover, Ning Cheng’s role wasn’t just to provide the necessary power to activate the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman and open the passage to the Grand Essence Netherworld. But also to help Ba Meng cleanse Ba Luo’s soul of the ghostly aura once Ba Meng found it.
That’s because any soul that enters the broken netherworld and stays inside for some time would eventually become contaminated by the netherworld’s ghostly aura. If this isn’t purged from the soul, even if Ba Meng could successfully awaken Ba Luo, it would drastically erode Ba Luo’s cultivation qualifications. And this would be the best-case scenario.
As Ba Meng led the way, Lady Green kept teasing Ning Cheng with flirtatious tactics. But Ning Cheng didn’t say anything, except for an occasional ‘uh ah’. Seeing Ning Cheng not showing interest in her even after so much time, Lady Green eventually closed her mouth.
The group gradually left the Grand Essence Sea, and after several days of going through several teleportation arrays and other forms of rapid transport, they finally stopped at a barren island with almost no spirit aura.
However, despite the lack of spirit aura, Ning Cheng could feel a dense ghostly aura permeating the surroundings. Plus, although barren, the area was filled with white skeletons and howls of low-level ghostly spirits.
“Is this the entrance to the Grand Essence Netherworld?” Ning Cheng asked in confusion.
Ba Meng shook his head in denial. “I’m afraid only a handful of Dao Fusion experts can perceive the location of the Grand Essence Netherworld’s many entrances. This place isn’t one of the netherworld’s entrances. However, this place has the heaviest concentration of ghostly aura I have seen so far, making it an ideal location to activate the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman. Moreover, no one comes here, so no one will disturb us during the process.”
“Red Hair, let’s start.” Qiu Yuanyi’s heart flashed with contempt when he saw Ning Cheng didn’t know about it. After all, even ordinary cultivators knew about this fact. As a late-stage Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor, how could Ning Cheng not know about it?
“Okay….” Ba Meng only said one word, raised his hand and brought out piles of spirit crystals. He then arranged the spirit crystals into several Spirit Gathering Arrays around them.
Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green also helped Ba Meng set up the arrays. Seeing their actions, Ning Cheng understood that they only had an average understanding of the Dao of Arrays. In fact, it couldn’t even match up to the worst low-level Spirit Array Master.
However, Ning Cheng didn’t plan on helping them with the arrays. They were just ordinary Spirit Gathering Arrays, not worth his time. Moreover, these Spirit Gathering Arrays were only for providing additional support while activating the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman; it didn’t necessarily need his involvement.
Half a day later, Ba Meng and the other two finally stopped. “I’m going to activate the talisman. But once it activates, countless ghostly spirits will rush out from the rift it creates. Although those spirits are individually very weak, it will not be a good experience once enough gather. In fact, if too many appear, their combined strength might even destroy the talisman.”
“Dao Friend Ning, once you see any ghostly spirits approaching, immediately use your lightning bolts to take them down. Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green will work with me to help the talisman tear open the interface.”
Seeing no one raising any objections, Ba Meng took out a palm-sized, pitch-black talisman. As soon as the talisman came out, Ning Cheng sensed a powerful aura of several laws coming from that palm-sized talisman. Sensing it, Ning Cheng couldn’t help but marvel. Just what kind of talent was required to refine it?
He had never met any powerful talisman makers. In fact, the only ‘famous’ talisman maker he had ever heard of was Fu Liu from Cang Wei’s mouth.
Ba Meng took a deep breath and activated the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman in his hand. Once activated, pitch-black rays filled with the power of spatial laws erupted from it before blasting into the void. However, these rays didn’t spread out but rather started collapsing onto themselves after the initial explosion. As the rays collapsed onto themselves, more powerful spatial laws erupted, and the cycle continued.
“Thwomp……..” A few cycles later, the rays collapsed one final time, directly tearing open a pitch-black rift in the void.
Endless ghostly spirits suddenly rushed out of this pitch-black rift towards the talisman.
Ning Cheng understood that it was time for him to act. He didn’t hesitate and blasted out with several lightning arcs. Ning Cheng wasn’t a lightning-focussed cultivator; therefore, his lightning arcs weren’t particularly powerful. However, Ning Cheng was still a Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor. It meant that these lightning arcs still carried some laws of heaven and earth.
“Boom-Boom-Boom…….” Under the lightning arcs, those ghostly shadows rushing towards the 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman quickly turned into flying ashes. At the same time, the rest of the shadows immediately retreated in horror as they felt the aura of the thunder source within those lightning arcs. It was as if they had met their natural predator.
Ning Cheng couldn’t help but secretly think that the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique would be much more effective against these ghostly spirits than simple lightning bolts.
“Do it……” Ba Meng roared, and an almost infinite amount of spirit essence gathered in and around his hands, which he then directed towards the rift.
At the same instant, Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green gathered their spirit essence and poured it towards the rift.
A moment later, a long, dark passage finally appeared under their joint efforts. Ba Meng was the first to rush in, followed by Ning Cheng, who simultaneously asked, “Dao Friend Ba, how will we get out once we finish our business?”
Ba Meng gave a helpless reply, “The 9-Hells Boundary Breaking Talisman comes in pairs, one for going in and one for coming out. Otherwise, who would dare to buy this?”
Lady Green, who followed just behind them, laughed and transmitted a message to Ning Cheng. “Pill Sage Ning is well-versed in alchemy but knows so little about talismans. Come to my abode when you have the time, and I will teach you slowly.”
This woman truly knew her stuff. Ning Cheng thought but didn’t respond to Lady Green’s words.
The long passage seemed to have no end; in addition to the countless ghostly spirits surrounding the passage, there was also the ghostly wind filled with the power of laws. Fortunately, this power had very little impact on the group.
Seeing Ning Cheng not saying anything, Lady Green deliberately sped up and reached Ning Cheng’s side before sending a voice transmission. “Although Liu Fanglin has a charming physique, I cultivate an actual charm-type cultivation method. I can guarantee I’m no worse than her; if you don’t believe it, you can taste it to make up your mind.”
Ning Cheng started to feel annoyed by Lady Green’s teasing. Therefore, he could only speak up with a somewhat weak voice to shut her up. “If Lady Green wants my help, we need to put a price on it, just like the Void Star Sect. If it’s for something else, then I have no interest.”
“Good, I was waiting for such words from you.” Lady Green smiled, “When we get out, I will definitely come up with a reward that will satisfy you.”
“Boom…..” Suddenly, the sound of Ba Meng’s feet hitting the ground emerged. Ning Cheng and the others quickly followed suit and landed on the ground with a similarly loud ‘boom.’
Their surroundings were nothing but a vast expanse of grey gravel, without the slightest trace of any life, sans the four of them. In fact, they couldn’t even sense any trace of spirit aura around them. Apart from some souls lacking any spiritual nature that floated aimlessly at a distance, they couldn’t sense anything, not even through their all-seeing essence spirits. This place had no water, no sky, and no living beings. Just a world of grey, with an occasional flash of lighter or darker grey.
“Is this the netherworld?” As Ning Cheng spoke, his spiritual consciousness swept out.
This place didn’t hinder one’s spiritual consciousness, but no matter how far Ning Cheng extended it, all he saw was the same scenery. A vast and unending expanse of grey.
Ba Meng spoke with a solemn tone. “This place can only be considered the outermost part of the Grand Essence Netherworld. No, this place isn’t even considered part of the netherworld; it’s more like a courtyard outside a palace. Plus, with our cultivation level, even if the laws of the Grand Essence Netherworld are in shambles, we can’t go in. That’s because as soon as we enter, we will be suppressed. In fact, those with low cultivation will die instantly; even those with high cultivation would eventually be ground down into souls lacking any spiritual nature.”
“Then, how will we find what we’re looking for?” Ning Cheng asked in confusion.
Ba Meng didn’t answer, but at this moment, Qiu Yuanyi and Lady Green clasped their fists and said, “Red Hair, we’ll leave first. One month later, we will meet here.”
“Okay.” After Ba Meng clasped his fists and sent the two away, he said to Ning Cheng, “They came here to look for Six Yin Fruits. They are very beneficial for reaching Dao Confirmation’s Dao Essence Realm. However, finding Six Yin Fruits with their cultivation level would be……..”
Ba Meng didn’t finish his words but just shook his head. Apparently, Ba Meng thought that these two people wouldn’t be able to find the Six Yin Fruits in this place.
Ning Cheng knew about Six Yin Fruits; after all, he had refined a furnace of Six Yin Soul Pills for Silver Dragon Clan’s Gong Huayu. Moreover, he still had two Six Yin Soul Pills from that batch. Since Ba Meng intended to give him the Dragon Washing Pool, he had also prepared to give Ba Meng a Six Yin Soul Pill if he couldn’t find Ba Luo’s soul.
“Let’s go; we need to lure out a soul. We can’t enter the actual netherworld with our cultivation level, but we can at least lure out the souls. As long as a trace of my son’s soul is still here, it will be able to feel its physical body.” After finishing the sentence, Ba Meng stepped forward and vanished from view.
Fortunately, Ning Cheng could follow Ba Meng’s traces, and the two continued to move in a particular direction for several days before stopping in front of a looming stone arch bridge.
“The First Bridge of Coping!?” Ning Cheng almost screamed out. How could it not be the Bridge of Coping with the same looming arch and pale white colour?
Ba Meng shook his head. “That’s not the Bridge of Coping, but a bridge that guides the souls to the netherworld. You mentioned the First Bridge of Coping, the first of the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique; it has nothing to do with this bridge. Once a living being dies, its soul eventually approaches this bridge to enter the netherworld. Only a soul that has passed this bridge will have the opportunity to enter the reincarnation cycle. The souls we saw earlier would have no chance of reincarnation as long as they stay on this side of the bridge.”
After saying that, Ba Meng carefully moved closer to the bridgehead and said, “One would find thousands, if not millions, of such bridges around the netherworld’s periphery. But in actuality, there is only one. Our cultivation is limited, so we have to stay outside the bridge. We must not cross this bridge under any circumstances; otherwise, we’ll pretty much be dead.”
After Ba Meng explained it to Ning Cheng, he raised his hand and brought out an ice jade bed. A young, fairly healthy-looking man was on the bed with red hair, looking somewhat similar to Ba Meng.
“This is my son, Ba Luo. Since his physical body is here, as long as his soul is near, it will come over of its own accord. When the time comes, I will need your help. As soon as his soul comes over, please help me wash away the netherworld’s ghostly aura clouding his soul with your lightning arcs.” Ba Meng looked at Ning Cheng with sincerity and a pleading gaze.
Ning Cheng hadn’t stepped onto the bridge, yet he could already feel the strong law pressure coming from it. This prompted him to want to try and comprehend the netherworld’s laws within those ghostly winds. But after hearing Ba Meng’s words, Ning Cheng hurriedly recalled himself and said, “Of course, there is no problem with this; Dao Friend Ba Meng, don’t worry about it.”
 For those who forgot, Fu Liu is supposed to be the Talisman Master who created the Opening Heavens Talisman in Cang Wei’s possession.