Chapter 257: The Planted Cultivators’ Mountain
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
After Di Jiu left the Spirit Stone mine, he couldn’t see the invisibility Dharma Array any longer when he looked back. Although the invisibility Dharma Array had been split open by him previously, it had already self-healed.
Di Jiu had been in seclusion for more than two years ever since he had entered the Small Central Planet. Thus, many things could have happened.
When he had first entered, there had been high-level spirit herbs everywhere. However, this was no longer the case. Even level-four and level-five spirit herbs were rare, let alone spirit herbs above level eight.
He had to act fast if he wanted to find the treasure. He had been in seclusion for two years, which meant that there were not a lot of leftovers by now.
Although he took out the communication pearl, there was no news from Geng Ji and the others.
Di Jiu chose a direction and bore on for three to four days. Unfortunately, he didn’t find any high-level spirit herbs. There were traces of digging everywhere. It looked like every opening of the Small Central Planet had helped the bandits raid the village.
Di Jiu finally saw a living person five days later. The man moved extremely fast, as if he was trying to flee.
Di Jiu blocked his way. “Wait a minute, my friend…”
The cultivator, who had been frantically boring into the ground, was taken aback. He quickly took out a dharma treasure. When he realized that it was Di Jiu, he heaved a sigh of relief, cupped his fists and said, “Greetings, Young Master Red Embellishment. I am Wu Qi.”
Although Di Jiu didn’t know Wu Qi, he didn’t find it strange that the other man knew him. After all, he was on the Five Continent Dao Roll and had ranked amid the top 100 on the Sea Roll. He was also being hunted down by the Genesis Sect. It would indeed have been strange if the other party hadn’t recognized him.
Di Jiu cupped his fists as well and said, “Daoist Wu Qi, have you seen my friends?”
Since Wu Qi knew him, he should have seen him together with Geng Ji and the others before.
Wu Qi hesitated. Suddenly, he clenched his teeth and said, “Young Master Red Embellishment, two of your friends are being restrained by Yue Henghe. He said he would wait to exchange them for you.”
Di Jiu’s face sunk. He knew Yue Henghe. He was the second person on the Tripod Roll, as well as an inner sect elder of the Genesis Sect. It had been rumored that he was at the ninth-stage Ekayāna Tripod Realm. Yue Henghe could enter the Genesis Sect as an inner sect elder based on his Ekayāna Tripod cultivation, as he also had another identity—he was the second in rank on the Tripod Roll.
“May I ask where my two friends are, Daoist?” Di Jiu asked once more.
“On the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain,” said Wu Qi immediately. “That place is in chaos now. I escaped from there.”
Upon finishing his sentence, Wu Qi didn’t wait for Di Jiu to probe him any further. He took out a jade slip, handed it to Di Jiu and said, “Young Master Red Embellishment, I have engraved the route to the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain on this jade slip. Please do not tell Yue Henghe that I let this leak. Yue Henghe is a vengeful man. I fear that once I’m out, he will not let me off.”
“Thanks a lot.” Di Jiu took the jade slip, thanked the man, scanned the jade slip with his Spiritual Force and then said, “You don’t have to worry. Yue Henghe will not get a chance to leave.”
After bidding farewell to Wu Qi, Di Jiu headed straight to the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain without any delay. The feud between him and the Genesis Sect was now out in the open. There was no need to hide anymore.
Thanks to the map, Di Jiu reached the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain in only a few minutes. Before his eyes was a mountain peak that towered into the sky. One couldn’t even see the top. Di Jiu was surprised to see that there were cultivators everywhere on this mountain peak.
As this thought flashed across his mind, Di Jiu felt a chill in his heart. There were indeed many cultivators here, but those cultivators were mostly lifeless. Very few of them were still moving. The name of the mountain was very fitting—all of them had been planted on the mountain. None of them moved.
Di Jiu’s gaze shifted from the cultivators on the mountain to a huge rock at the foot of the mountain. There was a pillar on the rock, where two cultivators were tied up.
What puzzled Di Jiu was that he didn’t recognize either of the two cultivators.
Besides the tied-up cultivators, there were nearly 100 other people on the huge rock. The place wasn’t in chaos, like Wu Qi had said. However, Di Jiu didn’t question Wu Qi’s words. After all, there were blood stains all over the huge rock and even some broken limbs—the chaotic battle should have just ended.
A number of the cultivators on the huge rock was looking at the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain, as if they were eager to try to climb it.
This puzzled Di Jiu. There was obviously something odd about the Planted Cultivators’ Mountain, where many people had died. Why did they still wish to go up?
“Young Master Red Embellishment is here.” Someone had discovered Di Jiu even before he had reached the huge rock.
His arrival made even the cultivators who seemed eager to go up stop in their tracks. They were keen to know what Di Jiu would do now that his friends had been tied up by Yue Henghe from the Genesis Sect.
Di Jiu had challenged Sea Roll Cultivator Jin Xun before. Now, he would be facing Tripod Roll Cultivator Yue Henghe.
“You actually managed to stay out of my sight for two years. You are very capable indeed.” Di Jiu had just walked over to the huge rock platform when a young man in white walked over.
“Are you Yue Henghe?” Di Jiu knew that Yue Henghe ranked second on the Tripod Roll. However, this was the first time he had ever seen him.
“That’s right. I am Yue Henghe. Those two are your friends, right?” Yue Henghe pointed to the two cultivators tied-up on the pillar.
One of them was a man and the other a woman. Di Jiu knew neither of them.
When Di Jiu didn’t say a word, Yue Henghe smiled. “No wonder you could easily manipulate Junior Brother Ju with just a few words and make him give up his cultivation technique. Your steady nature alone justifies all the time I waited for you here.”
Di Jiu knew what Yue Henghe meant. The two cultivators on the pillar were locked in by a level-seven restriction. If one didn’t understand this locking restriction and went ahead to save them presumptuously, the two cultivators would only disintegrate instantly. Even one’s Principal Spirit might not be left complete.
However, Yue Henghe didn’t know the real reason Di Jiu didn’t make a move. It wasn’t because of his steady nature, but because he didn’t know the two tied-up cultivators at all.
“Do I know you?” Di Jiu asked as he looked up at the tied-up man and woman.
The man didn’t say anything, but the woman said hurriedly, “Sorry, Young Master Red Embellishment. We borrowed your name and pretended to be your friends to get tied-up here.”
Di Jiu was speechless. Were these two people clueless? They had pretended to be his friends to get tied-up? He and the Genesis Sect had faced off before—this kind of pretense could have gotten them killed. Did they not know?
Yue Henghe laughed coldly and stared at Di Jiu. He didn’t believe the couple’s words or Di Jiu’s.
Di Jiu suddenly said, “You were probably being pursued and came here. When you had nowhere else to run to, you pretended to be my friends and got caught by Yue Henghe. Is that right?”
The duo was very shocked. Although they were locked in by the restriction, Di Jiu’s voice had passed through without Yue Henghe even realizing it. What kind of Spiritual Force was this?
The duo quickly nodded and said, “Yes! Yes!”
Yue Henghe frowned. If these two were nodding and saying yes, they had obviously heard something. Di Jiu’s strength shouldn’t have reached the Ekayāna Tripod Realm, no matter how strong he was. If he hadn’t reached the Ekayāna Tripod Realm, there was no way his Spiritual Force could have been able to pass through the restriction. His voice would not have gone undetected either.
Di Jiu didn’t mind. It had been smart of this duo to use his name that way. Although he wouldn’t hold it against them, he also wouldn’t take the initiative to save them.
Yue Henghe stared at Di Jiu and said, “Young Master Red Embellishment, I’d very much like to know why you were so sure that Junior Brother Ju Qi had the cultivation technique used for Spiritual Force condensation.”
Yue Henghe would never believe Di Jiu if he said that his friends in the Genesis Sect had seen Ju Qi consume the Roast Divine Herb. How could he not understand the Genesis Sect like other people?
Ju Qi had attained the Ekayāna Tripod Realm upon leaving the Five Continent Dao Pagoda. This had been no ordinary Ekayāna Tripod Realm. If anyone could hide and observe Ju Qi while he had been consuming the Roast Divine Herb in reclusion, that cultivator would have been at least above the Ekayāna Tripod Realm.
He had asked Ju Qi about this before. Ju Qi had only consumed the Roast Divine Herb outside twice. Both times, he had been on the Genesis Sect’s sacred cultivation ground— the Green Excellency Mountain. Ju Qi had just attained the Ekayāna Tripod and had only been an outer sect elder. Thus, he hadn’t known that any elders above the Ekayāna Tripod in the Genesis Sect would leave behind a picture report upon entering the Green Excellency Mountain.
After Di Jiu had questioned Ju Qi about what had happened, he had immediately asked Ju Qi when he had entered the Green Excellency Mountain on these two occasions. Then, he had retrieved the pictures left behind around those times. The pictures had revealed that no other cultivators above the Ekayāna Tripod had entered the Green Excellency Mountain on either occasion.
In that case, either Ju Qi or Di Jiu was lying.
Since the cultivation technique for tempering Spiritual Force had already been exposed, there was no need for Ju Qi to lie. The only possibility was that Di Jiu was lying.
If Di Jiu was lying, then he did not understand how Di Jiu had known that Ju Qi had possessed the tempering Spiritual Force cultivation technique.
Yue Henghe believed that it was highly likely that Di Jiu possessed the same cultivation technique, and thus could guess Ju Qi’s purpose for collecting the Roast Divine Herb.
Di Jiu could tell that Yue Henghe was getting suspicious of him. However, he was not the least bit afraid. When he opened his hand, the Heavenly Aqua Saber landed on it. He looked coldly at Yue Henghe as he said, “The Genesis Sect had previously suspected me of killing Shu Haolan. Ju Qi attacked me on the Small Central Planet. Now, you have captured two of my friends. Looks like the Genesis Sect likes to bully Itinerant Cultivators like me. In that case, bring it on! Let’s see if you can kill both my friends and me!”