Chapter 1010: How could there be such a coincidence?
Ning Cheng naturally wouldn’t go to the Void Star Sect. Therefore, after separating from Liu Fanglin and Qi Shisanxing, he changed his appearance to a middle-aged man. Then, he joined a group heading to Boundary Essence Spirit Sea City using the teleportation arrays set up on the Grand Essence Ruins’ Public Square.
After arriving here, Ning Cheng didn’t call Yan Ji out; she was still cultivating inside the True Spirit World. Instead, he followed the instructions on the jade map Nalan Ruxue had given him and found a carefully concealed array formation at one of the remote edges of the Grand Essence Sea. Still, it took him a few days.
Whoever arranged this made significant efforts to keep it hidden from everyone’s eyes. Even Ning Cheng thought he couldn’t have set up such an arrangement with his current strength. Moreover, if Nalan Ruxue didn’t tell him about this place and had not given him the map, he wouldn’t have found it even if he spent several years searching for it.
Entering the concealment array, Ning Cheng appeared on a huge sea stone platform.
At first glance, people wouldn’t notice anything peculiar about this sea stone platform. However, it had several powerful defensive arrays protecting it and was an extension of the teleportation array set up at its centre. Ning Cheng carefully looked at the disassembled areas of the teleportation array before sighing. He couldn’t put it together with his current level in the Dao of Arrays, not even when he had all the disassembled pieces.
Yan Ji and Nalan Ruxue clearly don’t understand what they want to do. Going by their original idea, it would be impossible for them to restore this teleportation array, not even if they focus all their efforts on studying array formations and ignore cultivation. At the very least, it would require a few thousand years to study array formations, if not tens of thousands.
Moreover, it was based on the assumption that their accomplishments in the Dao of Arrays and cultivation were roughly equal; otherwise, even tens of thousands of years might not be enough.
Understanding this, Ning Cheng felt the itch to find that silvered-haired woman from the Silver Dragon Clan. After all, he still had no idea how she came to the Mysterious Yellow Starland back then. But thinking of his current situation, he immediately gave up on this idea.
The Silver Dragon Clan was in the Grand Essence Sea, while he and Man Huishan already had a deep grudge between them. Even if Man Huishan didn’t take action against him because of his vow, who can tell if someone else would move against him? Besides, even if he returned to the four great starry skies through other means, would he be able to return in the future? After all, he still had to represent the Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition.
After going over things a few more times, Ning Cheng decided to stay at the base of this teleportation array while cultivating and studying the array formation.
The Mysterious Yellow Bead, except for half-a-Wood Origin Bead, had all the five elements and was essentially complete. Therefore, even if Ning Cheng entered the Mysterious Yellow Bead for cultivation, others wouldn’t be able to notice the Mysterious Yellow Aura from it. But just in case, before entering the Mysterious Yellow Bead, Ning Cheng still arranged a shielding array formation and took out the drop of Weak Water to cover up all minute traces of an aura overflow.
As Ning Cheng secluded himself, the Grand Essence Domain quickly turned lively.
News about a Dao Essence Pill Sage refining a Renewing Heavens Ripple Bone Pill and removing the Ripple Bone Poison from the Void Star Sect’s Dao Perfection powerhouse spread like wildfire. But more importantly, the news that the Void Star Sect had a Dao Perfection powerhouse immediately shook everyone more than the former.
The sudden rise of the mysterious sect, the Void Star Sect, made many forces jealous, but it also propelled Ning Cheng’s name to the forefront. Everyone also realised the usefulness of a Dao Essence Pill Sage at this moment. After all, without a Dao Essence Pill Sage, who could rescue a Dao Perfection powerhouse from the verge of death?
Almost every sect now wanted Ning Cheng’s help refining pills and started looking for Ning Cheng. However, Ning Cheng seemed to have disappeared into thin air. No one had seen him after he refined the Renewing Heavens Ripple Bone Pills for Void Star Sect in the Grand Essence Ruins’ Public Square.
Even the Star Stepping Tower’s master and Heaven Essence Sacred City’s City Lord Le Jiesheng, who kept looking for Ning Cheng secretly, had no choice but to give up after receiving no news about Ning Cheng for a long time.
Time continued to flow, and a year passed by in a blink. Digesting the previous epiphany about the Returning-to-one Grand Dao at the Alchemy Discourse, Ning Cheng successfully reached the middle-stage Dao Sculpting Realm.
After reaching the middle-stage Dao Sculpting Realm, Ning Cheng again concentrated on researching the Dao of Array. His attainments in the Dao of Array quickly improved from early-stage Spirit Array Master to middle-stage Spirit Array Master. However, what disappointed Ning Cheng was that even after becoming a middle-stage Spirit Array Master, it was still too difficult to restore the disassembled pieces of the teleportation array. In fact, the higher his comprehension of the Dao of Array grew, the more he felt the complexity and power of this teleportation array.
Ning Cheng estimated that even if he reached the peak of Spirit Array Masters, he still wouldn’t be able to restore this teleportation array. But more importantly, even if he wanted to reach the peak of Spirit Array Masters, it would take him several decades, and only if he fully concentrated on researching the Dao of Arrays and did nothing else.
Ning Cheng sighed; he didn’t know if he should continue down this path. After all, only two years remained before the start of the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition. He understood that he couldn’t return to the four great starry skies and come back within these two years.
“Ning Cheng, I need to come out to face the tribulation.” While Ning Cheng struggled with the decision, Yan Ji’s voice rang in Ning Cheng’s ears. Unknowingly, Yan Ji’s cultivation had reached the peak of the Life and Death Realm, ready to advance to the Eternal Realm.
Ning Cheng felt quite happy and surprised when he heard Yan Ji was about to advance. After all, he didn’t expect Yan Ji to reach the Eternal Realm so soon. Looks like Yan Ji’s foundation had improved considerably after undergoing several baptisms. Combined with his top-grade cultivation resources, it caused her cultivation speed to soar faster than his expectations.
“Huh, someone’s actually trying to cross their tribulation in this place?” The lightning arcs from Yan Ji’s tribulation got noticed by three distant cultivators looking for resources at the edge of the Grand Essence Sea and immediately rushed over.
“It’s a female cultivator advancing to the Eternal Realm.” The three cultivators who came quickly sensed Yan Ji’s cultivation.
Moreover, although the target of Yan Ji’s tribulation covered a wide area, they also saw huge piles of spirit crystals arranged into several Spirit Gathering Arrays around her. Therefore, it immediately turned their eyes red with greed. As for Ning Cheng standing farther away from the Spirit Gathering Arrays, seemingly her dharma protector, they didn’t care about him at all. Rather, the trio’s eyes were glued to the piles of spirit crystals around Yan Ji. With so much wealth in front of them, even if Ning Cheng walked right up to them, they wouldn’t care.
Ning Cheng had chosen to stand far away from Yan Ji because he feared the intensity of Yan Ji’s tribulation might shoot up because of his involvement. After all, Yan Ji didn’t have a thunder-attributed spirit root. Therefore, if the tribulation grew larger because of him, it might result in severe injuries for Yan Ji. There was even a possibility that she could die because of the tribulation’s intensity.
Noticing a few people rushing over with red eyes, how could Ning Cheng not understand what they intended? Therefore, he raised a hand and shot out a few lightning bolts.
His lightning bolts were the most elementary of attacks. In fact, they wouldn’t pose any danger to an expert. But it was more than enough to deal with a few Eternal cultivators.
“Boom-Boom-Boom.....” Four lightning bolts suddenly landed on the Eternal cultivators. One of them got struck by two bolts and immediately died, while the others suffered severe injuries. It instantly frightened them, and they turned around to try and flee.
“You’ve got guts to dare rush up when knowing there is someone protecting this place?” Ning Cheng took a step forward and instantly appeared in front of the two cultivators trying to flee.
“Senior, please spare our lives. We’re working for the Pill Union and inadvertently offended you. We never intended to come over.......” The late-stage Eternal cultivator had seen Ning Cheng casually taking out one of them and understood that Ning Cheng wouldn’t hesitate to kill. Therefore, he quickly tried to use ‘working for the Pill Union’ as his shield.
Ning Cheng sneered, “Pill Union wants the help of two Eternal cultivators? Is your face whiter than your asses?”
“Haha.....” A loud laugh arrived, followed by the appearance of a red shadow not far from Ning Cheng. “I don’t know if the faces of these two are whiter than their asses, but they’re not lying. They really are doing work for the Pill Union.”
The red shadow Ning Cheng saw wasn’t because of the man’s clothes but because of his long red hair. His long red hair matched his body’s motions, creating a shadowy red illusion.
Ning Cheng’s gaze contracted slightly. He had seen this person before. When he had just arrived at the Grand Essence Realm and landed in the Grand Essence Sea, this red-haired man was the first person he saw in the Grand Essence Realm.
At that time, this red-haired man seemed to chase after someone, and his one attack had created a wave tens of thousands of feet high, which felt quite impressive back then.
But more importantly, the aftermath of the red-haired man’s attack had almost killed him. Moreover, because he was just an Eternal cultivator back then, he felt quite depressed on learning that even an aftershock of someone’s battle could kill him. Ning Cheng knew he would have died from the aftershocks if he had been closer to the epicentre. It’s just that he never expected to see this red-haired man again after so many years.
Ning Cheng could now see that this person was at the peak of the Dao Transformation Realm, just a step away from reaching the Dao Essence Realm, the second step of Dao Confirmation. As for this person, although he only arrived just now, he could see that Ning Cheng held some jealousy towards him. As if he had done something bad to him.
“Huh, I think I’ve seen you before.....” The red-haired man finally spoke up with a frown after seeing Ning Cheng. After thinking about it for some time, he finally remembered. “Yes, I remember. I chased a one-horned scaly dragon near this place many years ago, and you were in the sea. Huh, something’s not right; how come you’re still alive?”
After finally recalling Ning Cheng, this red-haired man stared at Ning Cheng in amazement. Reasonably speaking, Ning Cheng was just a small Eternal cultivator back then. Falling into the Grand Essence Sea, he should have died long ago.
This red-haired man was already a half-step Dao Essence cultivator. But as long as this fellow didn’t intentionally make things difficult for him, he wouldn’t mind the interference. After all, he had already reached the middle-stage Dao Sculpting Realm, a cultivation level far stronger than the early-stage Dao Sculpting Realm. Moreover, since he could kill a peak Dao Transformation expert like Ding Si even as an early-stage Dao Sculpting cultivator, he didn’t need to feel any fear towards this red-haired man now that he had reached the middle-stage Dao Sculpting Realm.
As long as this fellow didn’t step into the Dao Essence Realm, he would still be in the Dao Transformation Realm no matter how far he went.
“Since this dao friend hasn’t died yet, how could I die first?” Ning Cheng gave an indifferent reply.
The red-haired man was taken aback for a moment; he didn’t expect Ning Cheng to dare talk in this tone. He reacted quickly, but instead of getting angry, he laughed and said, “Good, really powerful. In just a short time, you managed to reach Dao Sculpting from the Eternal Realm, so you do have the strength to say this. Let me introduce myself; I’m Ba Meng, known as the Border Sea’s Red Hair. It was my fault that I didn’t care about your life or death back then.”
Ning Cheng didn’t expect this red-haired man to be so open-minded. After all, this red-haired man’s cultivation level was much higher than his own, yet this person apologised for his conduct. But, to be honest, he truly didn’t care much about the red-haired man’s approach.
Besides, would any Dao Transformation expert care about the life and death of a small Eternal cultivator who had fallen into the sea? After all, Ba Meng’s cultivation was still far higher than his own. Of course, Ning Cheng believed it would be impossible for Ba Meng to know his actual combat effectiveness. Thus, because Ba Meng didn’t know his actual strength, his apology felt even more sincere.
However, Ning Cheng and Ba Meng have never known each other. So why would Ba Meng intentionally show him such kindness?
The two Eternal cultivators, who managed to survive, were already quite frightened after hearing Ba Meng say that Ning Cheng was a Dao Sculpting Holy Emperor. But now that the two heard Ba Meng say that he was the Border Sea’s Red Hair, it immediately sent chills down their spine. They secretly cursed at themselves; why did they come out without looking at the time?
Ba Meng finished and didn’t wait for Ning Cheng to speak before pointing to the two Eternal cultivators. “They speak the truth, they should have come here to look for spirit herbs for Pill Union’s Sheng Houtian. Pill Union’s Union Head Sichen Qiutian wants to refine the Renewing Heavens Ripple Bone Pill to help detoxify Sheng Houtian. However, he’s missing several spirit herbs. So the entire Grand Essence Realm is looking for those spirit herbs. Therefore, them claiming to work for the Pill Union isn’t nonsense.”
Ning Cheng felt taken aback. Sheng Houtian got poisoned? By the Ripple Bone Poison? How could there be such a coincidence?