Chapter 264 (1) A Date with Yao Fei
Men were different from women. If women feel weary, misery or wronged, they would find their sisters or close friends to pour out their ill feelings. However, men could only conceal all their weariness and bitterness, burying them deep within their hearts and move forward in life with a heavier load on their shoulders…
No one would know about what’s within their hearts and none of them would wish someone could understand their feelings. What they only wished is that for every step they take, they have no misgivings nor qualms.
Ning Fan’s heart was weighed down by weariness. This feeling of tiredness was actually the evil influence of the Heart’s Devil before one attains the Divine Transformation Realm which was inducing him to let go of all responsibilities and return to become his mortal self, tempting him to give up all of his cultivation levels and weakening his state of mind to the point of falling apart.
However, the Heart’s Devil might be strong, but it was still a Heart’s Devil after all. It might be able to trouble Ning Fan’s heart, but it would not be able to change his mind.
Even though the snow breeze before him was no different from those of Seven Apricot City, the more the responsibilities he had on his shoulders, the harder it would be for him to turn to his back and return.
“The moments I had in Seven Apricot City are indeed unforgettable. But there’s no turning back now…”
The perplexed look on his face gradually faded away. His eyes began to shine with brilliant light, extinguishing traces of the Heart’s Devil within him. Meanwhile, his state of mind was advancing closer to the Divine Transformation Realm.
With just a step, he travelled across the cold plum tree, through the icy snow breeze, casting all the past behind, as if he was severing all his mortal coil!
His steps were adamant. Traces of his aura were all withdrawn within his heart, making him look simple and guileless on the outside.
From a mortal to a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator, every advancement would make one’s aura become sharper and keener than before.
However, from the Nascent Soul Realm to the Divine Transformation Realm, every advancement would cause the cultivator’s aura to be more restrained than before.
It was actually a state similar to recover one’s original simplicity!
As Lu Wan’er looked at the emaciated but reliable body from behind while following at Ning Fan’s back, her heart pounded heavily in disbelief.
She gradually had a delusion that Ning Fan’s breath was slowly becoming as low and inaudible as a mortal being.
“Lu Bei… No. Ning Fan…He’s on the verge of breaking through to the Divine Transformation Realm…My brother once told me that the moment when a Peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivator’s aura has completely been kept within his heart and become no different than that of a mortal being is his final step before transforming himself into a divine being…It’s the step where he has to sever his mortal self!”
Lu Wan’er cast him a glance.
It’s just like yesterday when I first met him in the Ming Lu Building…During that time, his demon power was just at the early stage of the Nascent Soul Realm… Just over a year, he has nearly broken through to the Divine Transformation Realm…
“Ning Fan, you are too outstanding…So much so that I don’t even dare to claim ties of kinship with you…”
“Silly girl, what nonsense are you talking about?!” Ning Fan gently flicked her forehead. That intimate action caused the little fox to be dazed at first but revealed a smiling face split seconds later.
In the government office of the province, Encompassing Heaven Hall.
Without the need of reporting to the guards, Ning Fan and Lu Wan’er directly entered into the hall.
Within the hall, Lu Daochen was standing with his back slightly bent while looking at a portrait hanging on a wall.
Obviously, that portrait had just been made. It was a drawing of a young and strong middle-aged Heavenly General.
That man had the head of a tiger, clad in a set of golden armor. His fierce and menacing eyes were gleaming in radiant light. He stood at the front of the Golden Flame Chariot with his hands clasped behind his back.
There were nine demon beasts pulling the chariot and each of them possessed different bloodlines. Among them, there was a tree bird with six heads, a blood-red jiaolong1, a cloud beast, a gigantic snake, a leopard and so on.
The place that the Golden Flame Chariot was passing by was an herbal garden which was full of spiritual qi.
Ning Fan’s eyes lit up when his gaze fell upon the portrait.
If he was not wrong, the Golden Flame Chariot on the portrait was exactly the chariot that was given to him by Lu Daochen. There might be lots of similar chariots in ancient times, but each of the chariot were engraved with different designs because of the different people riding them….
It can’t be wrong! As expected, this chariot really has special meaning!
“You have come…”
Lu Daochen’s tone was a little sentimental. Turning to his back, his gaze landed on Lu Wan’er, revealing a fatherly look on his face.
When his gaze shifted to Ning Fan, his face began to be filled with surprise and praised, “Uncommon, truly uncommon! Your aura has become so restrained. Apparently, you are not far away from attaining the Divine Transformation Realm… If you enter the Dragon Pond, you will definitely achieve the breakthrough within a hundred years… If you have the help from this old man’s pills, you will have a higher chance of succeeding. If you are assisted by the power of the demon statue on the Cloud Platform, it won’t be difficult for you to achieve your Third Bloodline Awakening after attaining the Divine Transformation Realm. Perhaps, your demon power will increase by at least 30%… If you have me giving you guidance on the ‘path of the Star Palace’, you will be able to obtain the Star of the Celestial Emperor. With that, you might even advance into the Mid Divine Transformation Realm in one go…”
Lu Daochen’s eyes flashed with kind intentions. It was because he wished to get Ning Fan’s help that he offered all kinds of attractive benefits just as they met.
If one thought about it carefully, one would find that his words had indicated a number of things. The Dragon pond, the pills, the demon statue on the Cloud Platform, the path of the Star Palace, the Star of the Celestial Palace…
What Lu Daochen did was similar to casting a few bricks to attract jade. He was actually trying to arouse Ning Fan’s interest so that they could move on to the topic about the maps of the Third World Passage.
However, Ning Fan gave him a wee smile and deliberately avoided the topic. He did not immediately discuss the maps with Lu Daochen but he lifted his finger and pointed at the portrait on the wall instead.
“If I didn’t guess wrongly, the painter of the portrait is a True Immortal! And the Heavenly General who stands at the front of the chariot should be the Demon Marshal sleeping in this Land of Slumber, Lu Wu!”
Mortals would only seek for the similarity in shapes in their paintings and calligraphy. Those who had arrived at a higher level in paintings would seek for the overall arrangement while those who were better than the experts would only emphasize on the meaning but not the shape. Their artwork would be painted using light ink, leaving only a white landscape painting.
However, that was not the highest level in paintings and calligraphy. At least, Ning Fan knew that the higher level than just focusing on the meaning of the drawing was to add the vital finishing touch, just as the saying goes, bringing the painted dragon to life by putting in the pupils of its eyes. The painter who had achieved that realm would be able to turn the virtual things into physical existence, turn fantasy into reality.
The middle-aged Demon General in the portrait before his eyes gave him a feeling that as long as the painter wishes, the character within it would then be turned into an actual person!
After all, the seven realms of the cultivation level only cultivate and comprehend the meaning of “void”.
Only True Immortals would cultivate and comprehend the meaning of ‘truth’.
Therefore, if the artwork was at the level of being able to become reality, the painter of the portrait must be a being who had attained the True Immortal Realm!
Due to the long age of the portrait, it had lost more than half of its spirituality. Otherwise, with just a thought, one could summon a Void Refinement Realm Demon Marshal from the portrait to fight. A portrait like this could be regarded as an Immortal Treasure!
Ning Fan’s was moved by the portrait. The techniques and art in creating that portrait were extremely profound. Aside from that, this simple drawing seemed to have contained the True Immortal’s technique of turning the illusion into reality…
If I get this portrait and comprehend it, it would definitely be beneficial for advancing into the Void Refinement and Void Fragmentation Realm!
Besides, from this portrait which was almost lifelike in appearance, Ning Fan could see the middle-aged man loftily standing at the end of the chariot possessed a Void Refinement Realm aura at first glance. It was a being with a Demon Marshal’s cultivation level and Lu Daochen was looking at it reverently just now. Thinking in a logical manner, one would be able to figure out the man was Demon Marshal Lu Wu.
“Isn’t it just a normal drawing? How could it be an artwork of a True Immortal…” Lu Wan’er pursed her lips to control herself from laughing.
This Ning Fan is really interesting. He might be powerful but don’t tell me that his knowledge in paintings is also extraordinary…
Lu Wan’er muttered inwardly.
At least, she could not see how unique that portrait was even though she had studied quite a lot of calligraphy and paintings.
But what surprised Lu Wan’er was her master’s reaction.
After seeing Ning Fan’s state of mind was nearly approaching the stage of severing his mortal coil, Lu Daochen was slightly astonished. But after listening to Ning Fan’s opinion, Lu Daochen was completely stunned.
It was because in the past, if it was not because the Demon Marshal who personally introduced to Lu Daochen that the portrait was a gift from a True Immortal of the Ancient Heavenly Court, he would not be able to perceive how special the portrait was at all. The reason why he would stare at the portrait just now was just because he was cherishing the memory of the Demon Marshal.
At this moment, Lu Daochen felt that he had to start over in understanding Ning Fan.
This person doesn’t only have strong combat power, but also have broad and profound knowledge. He is a man of great shrewdness and his foresight is incredibly sharp.
“You really have good judgement. This old man is ashamed for not being able to compare to you… To be honest, this portrait is a ‘relic’ from the Demon Marshal. True enough, it is precisely a gift from a True Immortal to the Demon Marshal. If you are able to cooperate with me, this item will also be one of your rewards. Since you could recognize the profundity of this portrait, it won’t be a waste for you to own it…”
“Oh. Then it would be disrespectful to decline your offers. Thank you…”
Ning Fan’s facial expression remained unaffected but deep inside, he was shocked. In Lu Daochen’s words, he mentioned that the portrait was a ‘relic’, which was beyond Ning Fan’s expectation.
From Lu Daochen’s tone, he seemed to be declaring that Demon Marshal Lu Wu had already passed away…
To Lu Wan’er, it was just a conversation between a young man and an old man where every line they conversed carried an underlying meaning. She had never liked such style of communication.
“Lu Bei! Master! There isn’t anyone else in this place. So can’t the both of you just speak properly and frankly?!”
“Hehe. Alright. Alright. I’ll go straight to the point. Actually, this should be the case… Lu Bei, let me ask you, the reason why you want to gather the maps is because you intend to kill Demon Marshal Lu Wu and devour his demon bloodline to enhance your demon power?”
“Yes.” Ning Fan replied without holding back his true intention.
“Good kid… If the Demon Marshal were alive, I, as the Demon General who protects the Demon Marshal would have fight you to the death if you make such rebellious remarks… Unfortunately, this old man no longer has the reason to fight you anymore. Aside from that, your wish of devouring the Demon Marshal’s blood essence is bound to be fruitless. As I’ve hinted to you earlier, Demon Marshal Lu Wu has already died countless years before this old man awakened. His demon blood is already long gone…”
Theoretically, demons would never die because of falling into slumber. However, the moment of waking up was hard to control.
Lu Daochen did not know how long he had been slumbering but the moment when he was awake, he sensed that the Demon Marshal was already dead.
The reason why he was able to tell was because of some kind of item given by the Demon Marshal that reacted. Other than Lu Daochen, the other generals of the other divisions had no idea about Lu Wu’s death.
“The Demon Marshal of the Third World is dead?!”
Lu Wan’er covered her mouth with her hands, feeling flabbergasted by that shocking secret. If that matter is disseminated, it would definitely shake the entire Luo Yun Tribe.
“I don’t know if what you’re saying is true or not. If it’s true, it will be pointless for me to enter that world. But I just want to know what Cloud General plans to do in that world?”
Ning Fan’s eyes turned serious. What he wanted to know the most was Lu Daochen’s true intention.
Ever since the beginning, he had never been able to see through him because he could not see Lu Daochen had any schemes or greed towards the Third World.
“For me, I have nothing to do in the Third World. I only want to pay a debt of gratitude to the Demon Marshal Lu and save his remnant soul… It has been more than a thousand years since I was awakened from the egg. Throughout this period of time, I have been repeatedly performing divination and studied about the Third World. All records about that world are within this jade slip. Please have a look.”
After receiving the jade slip, Ning Fan placed it on his glabella. Immediately, a primitive and wild continent which was immeasurably vast appeared within his Sea of Consciousness.
It was a general map of the Third World!
However, within this map, there was not the most symbolic building for a Demon Marshal to fall into slumber – the Egg of Slumber. There were only different trails of star path connecting to the void. In the middle of the void space, there was an enormous maze palace which was formed from starlight.
This maze palace was labelled by Lu Daochen as the Star Palace!