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Chapter 1040: Sheng Huotian’s Residence
Ning Cheng was a Dao Essence Pill Sage; therefore, whoever wanted to look for Ning Cheng would naturally have something to do with his alchemy. It’s just that Cen Ruxuan and Gong Ximao had only asked to refine a few furnaces of pills but didn’t specify what they wanted. It showed that they both didn’t want the other party to know their intended uses by revealing the names of the pills.
Ning Cheng didn’t need to think too hard to understand this point. Unfortunately, the conversation quickly became speculation as everyone chimed in this discussion.
Therefore, Ning Cheng, not wanting to stay in Sea Dragon Sacred City for long, swiftly turned around the conversation and proposed immediately heading out for Heaven Essence Sacred City. With Ning Cheng expressing his intent to leave immediately, Cen Ruxuan and Gong Ximao naturally wouldn’t raise any objection.
“Mo, my name is Ning Cheng, and I can also be said to be an alchemist. Do you want to go to Heaven Essence Sacred City with me now, or do you want to stay in Sea Dragon Sacred City?” Ning Cheng looked at the lone martial cultivator Mo beside him and spoke with a friendly tone.
Mo bowed to Ning Cheng and replied, “After leaving Sea Dragon Sacred City, I plan to explore the Grand Essence Sea to gain more experience.”
Hearing Mo didn’t want to go to Heaven Essence Sacred City with him, Ning Cheng decided not to push for it. He stood up and gave Mo his goodbye and wished him luck. Mo was a martial cultivator, and martial cultivators were well-known for their ascetic-like life of licking blood from the edge of their blades.
Thousand Leaves Sacred City. The northernmost part of the Grand Essence Domain and on the southern coast of the Grand Essence Sea.
It was also the city with the most teleportation arrays. Whether teleporting from the Grand Essence Sea to the Grand Essence Domain or from somewhere else to the Grand Essence Domain, everyone would have to pass through Thousand Leaf Sacred City. Since Ning Cheng had teleported from the Sea Dragon Sacred City, he would have also had to pass through Thousand Leaf Sacred City.
In Ning Cheng’s group of five, in addition to him and Ba Meng, Gong Ximao and Cen Ruxuan, there was also an additional Palace Master Luan, the only Dao Fusion expert among them.
Palace Master Luan’s appearance was no worse than Yin Yueshu’s, and she could even pass off as her younger sister. Unfortunately, she sported a pair of fierce almond eyes, which ruined her beauty and made her appear cold and aloof.
Since Ning Cheng first saw Palace Master Luan in the Profound Aquatic Palace, he hadn’t heard her speak more than a few words. Rather than saying it was companionship, it was better to say it was for fulfilling her duty as a ‘bodyguard’ so that Ning Cheng helped them refine pills.
After arriving at Thousand Leaf Sacred City, Ning Cheng turned even more careful. He knew that if the person who wanted to lure him out wanted to act, it would be in the Thousand Leaf Sacred City. Other than the Thousand Leaf Sacred City, he couldn’t figure out a better option.
Although Thousand Leaf Sacred City and Heaven Essence Sacred City were in the same Grand Essence Domain, the distance was still too huge. So large that the teleportation array from the Thousand Leaf Sacred City to the Heaven Essence Sacred City could only be used once daily. Therefore, if anyone wanted to use the array after activation, they would have to wait a full day before it could be refuelled and operated.
Unfortunately, by the time Ning Cheng’s group reached the Thousand Leaf Sacred City, the teleportation array to the Heaven Essence Sacred City had already been used for the day. Therefore, they had no choice but to wait until the next day.
The forced overnight stay was the key. As Ning Cheng realised this truth, Cen Ruxuan and others understood it. Therefore, that night, the five of them decided to stay awake to discuss the Dao for the rest of the night.
As one night passed, no one came to cause any trouble for Ning Cheng. They couldn’t figure out if it were because they didn’t receive news of Ning Cheng’s return or if they realised that the ‘bodyguard’ beside Ning Cheng was too strong.
Regardless, that one night of dao discussion genuinely benefited Ning Cheng, as he had the lowest cultivation level among the five. Whether it was Cen Ruxuan or Gong Ximao, their experience and cultivation insights weren’t something he could compare to.
Unfortunately, Palace Master Luan never spoke up, so Ning Cheng didn’t obtain any benefit from her.
The next day, the group of five passed through the Thousand Leaves Sacred City’s teleportation array without any risk and arrived at Heaven Essence Sacred City.
Heaven Essence Sacred City was a den of powerhouses and experts, but even if one were a Dao Fusion Holy Emperor, they wouldn’t dare do anything to Ning Cheng here. That’s because as soon as he made his presence known, it would immediately attract an equally powerful counterattack. It’s just that it would also expose his identity.
Therefore, Ning Cheng’s arrival at Heaven Essence Sacred City was, in theory, the safest option.
Coming out of Heaven Essence Sacred City’s teleportation array, Cen Ruxuan and the others bid farewell to Ning Cheng, saying they would return to visit Ning Cheng in a few days. Ning Cheng also understood the underlying intent. They all knew Ning Cheng had come here to help heal Sheng Huotian’s injuries at the Pill Union. Their ‘return a few days later to visit’ was, in essence, a reminder for Ning Cheng to honour his promise.
As Ning Cheng and Ba Meng sent off the others, he started to yearn for great strength with even more enthusiasm. Sure, with his alchemic prowess, he could find a strong bodyguard, but that wouldn’t be his strength. Besides, bodyguards wouldn’t always follow you around; even if they did, it would only be because of the benefits.
“Brother Ning Cheng, I didn’t expect that you were a Pill Sage. What grade of Pill Sage are you?” After everyone finally left, only then did Ba Meng ask Ning Cheng.
Ning Cheng smiled slightly, “Originally, I was just a Dao Transformation Pill Sage, but soon I will be a Dao Essence Pill Sage?”
Ning Cheng said this because he was sure that what the Profound Aquatic Palace and the Silver Dragon Clan wanted him to refine would be something other than a Dao Transformation Dao Pill. Even if they wanted Dao Transformation Dao Pills, it would only be a small portion of their request. Since these two forces ‘befriended’ him, they wanted him to refine Dao Essence Dao Pills.
But Ning Cheng believed that even if these two forces wanted him to refine Dao Essence Dao Pills, it wouldn’t be a difficult-to-refine pill like the Six Yin Soul Pill. Although he had refined the Six Yin Soul Pill, only Ning Cheng knew the process. But because of that, he was infinitely close to becoming a Dao Essence Pill Sage, just not an actual Dao Essence Pill Sage.
If he went by conventional inference, these two forces, most likely, wanted him to refine strategic pills to enhance their respective family’s strength. Most likely, they wanted Dao Pills that aided in sensing the Dao Essence Realm.
With the depth of such large forces as the Profound Aquatic Palace and the Silver Dragon Clan, they naturally wouldn’t have a shortage of materials required for refining ordinary Dao Essence Dao Pills after countless years of accumulation. Therefore, he could follow the normal distribution of halves; to refine one furnace of pills, they needed to come up with two furnaces worth of medicinal ingredients.
This way, he would have enough divine grasses for practice, so Ning Cheng mentioned that he would soon be a Dao Essence Pill Sage. If Cen Ruxuan and Gong Ximao had a problem with their head and wanted him to refine a Dao Essence Dao Pill that was too difficult, he could only admit defeat.
Ba Meng hemmed and hawed a bit but ultimately chose not to ask any more questions. He had witnessed too many impossibilities in Ning Cheng; the fact that Ning Cheng came out of the netherworld unscathed already made him question reality. Plus, Ning Cheng possessed the Seven Bridges Spirit Technique, the 5-Coloured Star Splitting Arrow, and the Six Yin Soul Pills….
“Brother Ba, you go look for an inn; I will go to the Pill Union to see Union Master Sheng.” Ning Cheng would be lying if he said he wasn’t worried about Sheng Huotian’s injury. After all, Sheng Huotian’s poisoning a few years ago most likely had something to do with him. It’s just that Ning Cheng believed Sheng Houtian wouldn’t lose his life this easily. Afflicted with the poison for countless years, didn’t Void Star Sect’s Ancestor Kang still recover with the help of Renewing Heaven Ripple Bone Pill?
Ba Meng shook his head, “Although this is the Heaven Essence Sacred City, I will still go with you.”
Ning Cheng understood Ba Meng’s intention and felt grateful. Friendship and trading favours were two entirely different things. He and Cen Ruxuan’s group were only involved in an exchange of services; the exchange was to escort him to Heaven Essence Sacred City for his alchemical services. Now that he was already in Heaven Essence Sacred City, Cen Ruxuan’s group wouldn’t show up unless to collect on their favours. However, Ba Meng was his friend; no matter what time, he still worried about his safety.
“Okay, then let’s go together.”
Sheng Houtian had a special status compared to the other elders from the Pill Union in that his residence was within the Pill Union’s headquarters.
“Pill Sage Ning!” A surprised voice called out when Ning Cheng arrived at the Pill Union, followed by a beautiful figure running over eagerly and bowing to Ning Cheng.
“It’s you? Congratulations on the promotion.” Ning Cheng also recognised this female cultivator. She was the same person who had led the way for him when he came here to take the Pill Union’s qualification examination. Looking at this female cultivator’s clothing, Ning Cheng understood that she had become the person in charge of this area.
The female cultivator quickly replied, “Hejie is here today solely because of Pill Sage Ning’s light. Since Pill Sage has just returned, what are your orders?”
“Take me to see Union Master Sheng.” Ning Cheng gave a simple nod and replied.
Hearing that Ning Cheng wanted to see Sheng Houtian, Hejie wasn’t surprised. However, a hint of wariness flashed on her face.
Ning Cheng immediately noticed it and frowned. “What?”
“Nothing, Pill Sage Ning; please follow me.” Hejie had absolute respect for Ning Cheng, someone she knew as capable and not as arrogant as others.
After passing through the Pill Sages’ examination halls, entering the backyard of the Pill Union, and then walking for a full minute, Hejie finally stopped at the entrance of an independent abode before bowing to Ning Cheng. “Pill Sage Ning, this is Union Master Sheng’s residence.”
Ning Cheng nodded and moved the restrictions at the entrance of the residence.
Once the restriction opened, Ning Cheng didn’t see Sheng Houtian but a middle-stage Dao Essence Holy Emperor. Ning Cheng had seen this fellow before, sitting next to Sheng Houtian at the time of the Alchemy Discourse. Ning Cheng felt doubtful; this fellow wasn’t friendly to him or Sheng Huotian, so why was he at Sheng Huotian’s residence?
After Le Xizhen had finished refining the Supreme Essence Arterial Pulse Pill at the Alchemy Discourse, this person was the one who pressed him on why he was still not refining pills. At that time, Ning Cheng only knew that this fellow was a high-ranking person in the Pill Union; as for the fellow’s name or position, Ning Cheng knew nothing about it.
When this Dao Essence Holy Emperor saw Ning Cheng, he said indifferently, “Pill Sage Ning, Union Master Sheng just got poisoned; you’ve come right on time.”
He obviously wanted to mock Ning Cheng. After all, it had been two years since Sheng Huotian’s poisoning, yet Ning Cheng only showed up just now.
Ning Cheng didn’t care about this fellow’s ridicule; he told Hejie before walking inside, “You can leave first; thank you for bringing me here.”
Hejie saw through the unfriendly atmosphere and hurriedly bowed before retreating.
Ning Cheng suddenly felt that Ba Meng had done the right thing by accompanying him.
“Wait….” This Dao Essence Holy Emperor stopped Ba Meng from entering with Ning Cheng and spoke with the same indifferent tone, “This is the Pill Union; irrelevant people are not allowed to enter. Ning Cheng, you can go in, but those who came with you can only wait outside.”
Ning Cheng’s gaze turned cold as he looked at this Dao Essence Holy Emperor before him, “I’m going to count to three; if you don’t get lost, don’t blame me for taking action.”
This Dao Essence Holy Emperor had just said two words when Ning Cheng’s long spear materialised. Ba Meng didn’t even need Ning Cheng to speak; when Ning Cheng made his move, he immediately summoned his Sun and Moon Pagoda, and a powerful aura enveloped him.
A Dao Essence Holy Emperor had suddenly unleashed his killing intent in the Pill Union, which many powerful people around Pill Union instantly sensed.
This middle-stage Dao Essence Holy Emperor’s face turned blue from anger. He couldn’t imagine that Ning Cheng would be so bold as to dare use his artefact in the Pill Union. He wasn’t afraid of Ning Cheng attacking; it’s just that even if Ning Cheng made a move, he couldn’t hurt even half a hair of Ning Cheng, not because of a difference in strength but because of Ning Cheng’s identity as a Dao Essence Pill Sage. After all, Dao Essence Pill Sage’s status in the Pill Union was much higher than his own.
“Three…. Do it….” Ning Cheng counted the word ‘three’, and the spear in his hand stabbed outwards. The Sun and Moon Pagoda also erupted in Ba Meng’s hand with a bright light that pressed towards this middle-stage Dao Essence Holy Emperor.
Even if Ba Meng deliberately did not let his momentum overflow, the surrounding formations and prohibitions emitted a burst of clicking sounds as if they would crack in the next moment.
“Ning Cheng, hurry up and stop….” Sichen Qiutian’s voice came from inside, just in time.